Departure of a Dignitary from Middelburg, by Adriaen van de Venne, 1615. Rijksmuseum, D. Franken bequest, Le Vésinet.


Volume XIV, Number 3 | April / May 2022


In the summer of 1867, Chinese laborers working on the Central Pacific Railroad in the Sierra Nevada went on strike, demanding a pay increase and a ten-hour workday. Desperate to resume the railroad’s progress, executives considered asking the Freedmen’s Bureau to send African American laborers to take over. “A Negro labor force would keep the Chinese steady,” one executive wrote, “as the Chinese have kept the Irishmen quiet.”

Exile lacks the grandeur, the majesty, of expatriation.

—Bharati Mukherjee, 1999