On November 3, 1885, Tacoma forcibly removed their Chinese residents. Most historians have researched the events of that day and what led up to it in the context of anti-Chinese violence on the U. S. West Coast. This paper argues that Tacoma's Chinese expulsion was more than the events of November 3. The anti-Chinese Committee of Fifteen, an unelected group of white men, were appointed to carry out the ethnic cleansing the town's people desired. Days before the expulsion the city made the Committee a permanent sitting body, ensuring the exclusion of the Chinese would continue. Between 1885 and 1895 the Committee impacted the growth of Tacoma and continued the exclusion of the Chinese by their interference in elections, confronting the Chamber of Commerce and mayor, and denying the basic rights of citizens.

First Advisor

Douglas Sackman

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in History

Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2019



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