Institute of Texan Cultures' Texans Series
Groups of Chinese men came to Texas more than 120 years ago. They came to help build the railroads across the state. Hearne, Toyah and El Paso were some of the towns where they settled.
Between 1882 and 1943, the U.S. Government did not allow many Chinese people to enter the United States. However, in 1917, about 500 Chinese people were allowed to settle in San Antonio. These people had been living in Mexico. When an expedition of American soldiers went to Mexico, the Chinese gave them food and supplies. When the Americans left Mexico, the Chinese followed them. They were permitted to enter the U.S. because they had helped the soldiers.
Since 1943, many more Chinese people have come to Texas. They live mostly in cities. Houston has more Chinese Texans than any other city in the state. There are shopping centers with signs in Chinese. A Chinese-language newspaper is printed there. Chinese is spoken in theaters and churches. Cities throughout the state celebrate Chinese cultural traditions such as the Lunar New Year.