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The Diary of Duksang Wong

“These mighty lands are so great to gaze upon, but the laws made here are so small.”—Dukesang Wong

The Diary of Dukesang Wong:
A Voice From Gold Mountain

Edited with commentary by David McIlwraith

Translated by Wanda Joe Hoe

Here is the only known first-person account from a Chinese worker on the famously treacherous parts of transcontinental railways that spanned the North American continent in the nineteenth century.


This thought provoking story changes our understanding of a history that so many believed was lost forever.


Dukesang Wong’s written account of life working on the Canadian Pacific Railway, a Gold Mountain life, tells of the punishing work, the comradery, the sickness and starvation, the encounters with Indigenous Peoples, and the dark and shameful history of racism and exploitation that prevailed up and down the North American continent. 


The Diary of Dukesang Wong includes all the selected entries translated in the mid-1960s by his granddaughter, Wanda Joy Hoe, for an undergraduate sociology paper.


Background history and explanations for the diary’s unexplained references are provided by David McIlwraith, the book’s editor, who also considers in his commentary why the diarist’s voice and other Chinese voices have been silenced for so long.

Published by Talon Books

Available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble


Bibliographic information


Title: The Diary of Dukesang Wong: A Voice from the Gold Mountain

Author:  David McIlwraith
Translated by:  Wanda Joy Hoe
Contributor: David McIlwraith
Publisher: TALONBOOKS, 2020
ISBN: 1772012580, 9781772012583
Length:  144 pages

  • Biography & Autobiography › Cultural, Ethnic & Regional › Asian & Asian American

  • Biography & Autobiography / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / Asian & Asian American

  • Biography & Autobiography / Historical

  • History / Canada / Post-Confederation (1867-)

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