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Biographies Unit Biographies

Ng Poon Chew 1866-1931
Newspaper Publisher and Chinese American Leader

Ng Poon Chew (IHNG poon choo) was born in a village in China. When Chew was 13 years old, his uncle came home from California. The uncle had been away for eight years. He had $800 that he had earned in California and many stories to tell. The stories made Chew want to go to California.

Chew arrived in San Francisco in 1881. He was about 15 years old. At first he worked as a servant and studied English at night. Later he went to school to become a Christian minister. Chew wanted to help other Chinese immigrants. In 1900, he started Chung Sai Yat Po, or The Chinese Daily Newspaper. The paper printed articles in Chinese about events and topics important to Chinese immigrants.

Chew also traveled around the United States and gave speeches. He spoke before Congress and met the President of the United States. Chew said that discrimination against Chinese immigrants was wrong. He spoke out against the Chinese Exclusion laws. He brought the problems faced by Chinese Americans to the attention of the whole country.

Comprehension Check

Why did Chew start a daily Chinese-language newspaper?

Critical Thinking

Why might it be important for an immigrant community to have its own newspaper?