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Constitutional Union Anti-Coolie Ticket

February 5, 2023

A colleague made an interesting find recently, namely a San Francisco John Bell ballot from 1860 titled “Constitutional Union Anti-Coolie Ticket”, or “The Workingman’s Ticket.” Chinese immigrants were critical in the construction of the transcontinental railroad, as well as a support function in mining operations. That said, their presence provoked a great deal of resentment from white citizens, culminating in the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act. It is unlikely the national ticket authorized this partisan effort, stoking the fires of racism, but “all politics is local”.