The Chinese contribution to the development of the American West is far greater than most people suspect. This is especially true for the early years of Idaho and Montana. The Idaho and Montana Chinese were active in assimilating themselves into mainstream society and contributed greatly to the placer mining of the region. Some of them also owned their own businesses, such as laundries, and interacted regularly with locals. This thesis uses census data, newspaper accounts, Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, and a city directory to uncover these Chinese contributions.
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