Last updated on: 1/30/2017 | Author:

Feb. 1862 – President Lincoln Acts to Prohibit the “Coolie Trade”

“Lincoln signed ‘An Act to Prohibit the ‘Coolie Trade’ by American Citizens in American Vessels’ in February 1862. …[T]he legislation simply outlawed any shipment of Chinese subjects ‘known as ‘coolies’ abroad ‘to be held to service or labor.’ Virtually all Chinese subjects leaving China were known as ‘coolies.’ But another section of the law left the door open to Chinese migrations, proclaiming that ‘any free and voluntary emigration of any Chinese subject’ should proceed unabated so long as a U.S. consul attested to the voluntary status of the migrant through a written certificate.”