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We have assurance from leading Chinese merchants that, under the just and liberal policy pursued by the company, it will be able to procure during the next year not less than 15,000 laborers.With this large force the company will be able to push on the work so as not only to complete it far within the time required by the Acts of Congress but so as to meet the public impatience. The difference in the eating and drinking habits of the Chinese and white workers building the Central Pacific was as great as their other living habits.It is the intention of the company to employ at once as many men as can be advantageously worked on the distance between these points 23 miles. New men were hired as a result of the fresh money in the treasury and were put to work completing the unfinished grading of the twelve miles between Newcastle and Clipper Gap. We have now about 2000 men at work with about 300 wagons and carts and I can assure you they are moving the earth and rock rapidly.The iron for laying this additional amount of track is already in Sacramento and it is expected that the cars will run to Illinoistown by August next. It was after passing Auburn early that year that the first Chinese were employed apparently because Central Pacific was unable to fill its ranks. We are now on some of the heaviest work in the mountains, but so far we have been fortunate in meeting very little hard rock.Several times daily a Chinese mess attendant brought fresh tea, pouring it into the big barrel.These beverage reinforcements were carried to the work site in powder kegs suspended from each end of a bamboo pole which was balanced on a Celestial shoulder. Labor is, however, scarce and dear in this state.At the same time, there were many thousands of Chinese in California.
A large part of our force are Chinese, and they prove nearly equal to white men, in the amount of labor they perform, and are far more reliable. We are training them to all kinds of labor, blasting, driving horses, handling rock, as well as the pick and shovel.... Crocker insisted that the race that built the Great Wall of China could certainly be useful in building a railroad, countering Strobridge's claim that they were "not masons." Strobridge finally agreed to try fifty Chinese.Many of them are becoming very expert in drilling, blasting and other departments of rock work. The Chinese on the Central Pacific were divided into small groups.Each group had a cook who not only prepared their meals, but also kept a large boiler of hot water ready every night so that when the Chinese came off the road they could fill their tubs made from powder kegs and take a hot sponge bath.The greater portion of the laborers employed by us are Chinese who constitute a large element in the population of California.Without them it would be impossible to complete the western portion of this great national enterprise within the time required by the Acts of Congress.