Uncommon partly-printed DS as president, one page, 8 x 10, May 9, 1881. President Garfield authorizes Secretary of State James G. Blaine to affix the Seal of the United States to “my ratification of a treaty relating to Chinese immigration into the U. S. signed at Peking, Nov. 17, 1880.” Signed at the conclusion by Garfield. In fine condition.
With a decades-long influx of Chinese immigration, the economically strained American workforce’s anti-Chinese sentiment spiked throughout the 1870s. Under great pressure, President Hayes renegotiated the US’s terms with China at the close of his presidency, temporarily suspending immigration of Chinese laborers while still protecting the rights and privileges of those already present. The relationship between the two nations continued to develop as Garfield took office; the treaty referenced here promoted mutual commercial intercourse while also prohibiting the transportation and distribution of opium. Presidential documents issued by Garfield are quite rare, given his brief time in office.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.