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2017 Program

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TALES OF THE GOLDEN SPIKE: Did the Hakkas join the Punti?

The 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad will be celebrated in 2019.  The contributions of Chinese to this massive undertaking are largely omitted and unrecognized by US history. The renowned Chinese American photographer Corky Lee will talk about the annual trip he leads with descendants of Chinese railroad workers and many other adventure seekers. He also will share his iconic photography taken for the reenactment of the railroad’s completion with staged Chinese workers, many of them descendants of the original workers.  He will also present the preliminary travel plan for the 150th anniversary celebration.  Corky Lee believes that some of the railroad workers might have been Hakka and if so, they would they would have been omitted twice.  Dr. Bayer Jack-Wah Lee will explore if the Hakka were involved by introducing Zheng De Hua’s 1989 PhD Thesis, “A Study of Armed Conflicts between the Punti and the Hakka in Central Kwangtung, 1856 to 1867.” Dr. Lee also will discuss Chung Yoon-Ngan’s posting in Asiawind suggesting that Hakka joined the Transcontinental Railroad effort as they fled from South China in the fifth migration which occurred during the Taiping Revolution (1851 AD to 1864 AD).