Playing on

Amusing the Child

George Frederick Keller1882-05-19

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

In this political cartoon, President Chester Alan Arthur is dressed like a grandmother. He wears a bonnet, holds a "U.S. Congress" cup and blows "great expectations" and "hope" bubbles from his "Chinese Bill" pipe. Next to him, is a "Pacific Coast" baby. The baby sits on a chair which is shaped like a Chinese man. A half rat, half Chinese creature with a devil's tail threatens the crying baby. In the background there is an image of the White House. On May 6, 1882 President Arthur signed into law the Chinese Exclusion Act. The law prohibited Chinese immigration to the US for a period of ten years. Chinese immigrants already working in the US were denied citizenship. The ban on Chinese immigration was extended several times, until it was repealed in 1943.

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