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History in Context


The 1870 U.S. Census found 1,949 Chinese living in Montana ‒ 9.5% of the total population of the state at that time.

Note: Ciity locations on this map are approximate. Click on a place name to learn about what happened there.


In the Courts



In 1898, the Ninth District Court of Montana decided in Hum Lay, et. al. v. Baldwin that a a boycott of Chinese businesses by white citizens in Butte caused monetary harm to the Chinese merchants. The court ordered to boycott to stop and awarded the Chinese merchants $1,750 in legal fees and expenses. This was a rare but important legal victory for Chinese immigrants in the 19th century.

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