On the day 10th day of May, in the year of 1869, the final spike was driven into the railroad that I had spent countless hours working on. My aching joints...hard work from hundreds and hundreds of workers just like me had been through dangerous work. Blasting through rock and laying countless ties. I was being payed a low $28 a month to do life-threatening work. Luckily, I have survived.
Chinese laborers like myself were hired because we had been recommended because we already completed the California Central Railroad. This was no easy work. We cooked our own meals. We usually ate fish, dried oysters, fruits, mushrooms, and seaweed.
We used techniques that we had developed in our own land of China. The first few miles were tough work. I would lower myself down on a rope from a cliff in a basket, chip away at the stone, and use explosives to blast tunnels. I risked my life for a railroad. Many lost their lives for a lowly transportation system.
Its hard to say as of now, but I think that we workers boosted the Americans years into the future. Now that they have a way to travel across the country easily, there will be much more progress in America.
I worked in harsh weather, and cruel conditions. I pray that my children’s children’s children will appreciate the work that I have done for this country.
There was much political debate over this railroad, but I never paid much attention to it. I am just a lowly Chinese worker. I didn’t understand any of the American’s politics anyway.
If you looked above the mountains that we worked on from a bird’s view, I imagine that it would look as the mountains we worked on were ant hills, crawling with small ants doing brutal work.
Some say without all of the Chinese workers, this enormous task would have never been completed. We were accompanied by Irish workers, but they only made up one-tenth, the rest were Chinese workers.
We were not slaves, we were working for money, but if you were...