Hell On Wheels Season 5. Cullen Bohannon Is Surrounded By Chinese Workers. How Did They Live?

Hell On Wheels Season 5. Cullen Bohannon Is Surrounded By Chinese Workers. How Did They Live?
Isabel del Rio

Yesterday, we could see Hell on Wheels season 5 premiere. Great! Cullen Bohannon (actor Anson Mount) is working on the Central Pacific now. He moved to the west looking for his wife Naomi and son. However, he has found a new atmosphere, maybe more exotic but for sure, much more unfamiliar for a Southern gentleman turned into an engineer (sometimes railroad pawn).

After the war years in the 1860s, the building of the transcontinental railroad, one of the biggest projects in US history, tried to connect the prospering east with the still wild west. Hell on Wheels season 1 began in 1865 shortly after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Season 2 covered 1866, and seasons 3 and 4 1867.

However, the exact number of Chinese who worked on the railroad from 1864 to 1869 is unknown, because records are incomplete. The railroad did not list most individual Chinese workers by name but by crews under the name of their headmen.

The Central Pacific hired the first Chinese workers in 1864. At the beginning of 1865, they were convinced that Chinese workers were capable, and the railroad hired about one hundred. The following quote is absolutely interesting:

“A large majority of the white laboring class on the Pacific Coast find most profitable and congenial employment in mining and agricultural pursuits, than in railroad work. The greater portion of the laborers employed by us are Chinese, who constitute a large element of the population of California. Without them it would be impossible to complete the western portion of this great national enterprise, within the time required by the Acts of Congress.” Leland Stanford reporting to Congress in 1865.

Historians estimate that in 1867, about 8,000 Chinese were working on the construction of tunnels (like Cullen Bohannon) and 3000 were laying track. They represent ninety percent of the workforce. Most of them were born in China, especially in the poor Canton, and ships regularly brought extra workers throughout the construction. Thus, they didn’t speak English and didn’t know Western culture.

Alexander Saxton, in “The Army of Canton in the High Sierra,” calculates that Chinese labor cost the railroad companies two thirds of what was paid to white workers. On June 25, 1867 Chinese workers went on violent strike.

Thus, the cultural gap was important. They had other religion, ate other foods, and drank tea and hot water with occasional wine and opium (never whiskey). In addition, Chinese in their contracts insisted that a Chinese physician (acupuncture) be in the vicinity.

A strange world for Cullen Bohannon, full of new challenges. Hell on Wheels season 5 rocks!

What do you expect from Hell on Wheels season 5? Tell us your opinion now!

View Comments (1)

More in Entertainment

Vent-Axia Celebrates 80th Anniversary

Sussex-based Vent-Axia Celebrates 80 Years of Innovation

Yareah MagazineSeptember 14, 2016
Nicole Scherzinger, Joel, Ella & Murad

International Popstars DNCE And Nicole Scherzinger Amongst Performers To Take To The SSE Arena, Wembley Stage For Rays Of Sunshine Children’s Charity On Monday 24th October 2016

Yareah MagazineSeptember 9, 2016

HBO News. Bill Simmons’ lineup for tomorrow night

Yareah MagazineSeptember 6, 2016
Lord's Pavilion

As the cricket season draws to a close, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) can report a surge in popularity for guests seeking a full day of luxury hospitality at Lord’s during a Test Match in 2016. In the Home of Cricket’s most iconic venues – the Captains’ Lounge and Marylebone Suite – hospitality packages which included a hearty breakfast, sumptuous four-course lunch and luxury afternoon tea, sold out quickly for the first three days of the England v Sri Lanka and England v Pakistan Investec Test Matches. Private Boxes with the best views of the action for up to 18 guests also sold out fast for the same days. MCC revealed a sharp increase in revenue for its 2016 Sri Lanka Test Match hospitality packages compared with 2014 when the team last played England at Lord’s. Revenues for hospitality were up by nearly 30% over the same period in 2014 whilst private box sale revenues were up by a healthy 60%. Nick Kenton, MCC Head of Sales, Meetings & Events and Hospitality, said: “2016 has been a fantastic year for enjoying a day of cricket whilst experiencing the very best food, drink and hospitality that Lord’s has to offer. “This year’s sales figures show that hospitality packages at Lord’s were in huge demand and continue to be a key part of the summer sporting calendar.” Lord’s also expects high demand for its new hospitality packages, to be released this autumn for 2017 matches. These include England v South Africa from 6th to 10th July and England v West Indies from 7th to 11th September. Packages for the England v Ireland Royal London One-Day International on 7th May 2017 are also expected to sell out in record time. Details of all hospitality options at Lord’s can be found on its website

Yareah MagazineSeptember 6, 2016
Afternoon tea at Lord's

It’s not all about the cricket – Lord’s lists top five unforgettable days out for summer 2016

Yareah MagazineJuly 28, 2016
Map of UK Bregret

1 in 10 Londoners want a second EU referendum

Yareah MagazineJuly 24, 2016

Yareah Magazine

Art is Everywhere and Up to You.

About Us - Press Kit - Contact Us

YM on Twitter

Top Posts & Pages

Yareah® Magazine is a Registered Trademark in the United States