Excerpt from "Chinatown History"
During the late 1840s, many Chinese laborers, mostly male, starting coming into the United States. They were drawn to the states due to the rumors and promises of higher wages. This was during the time of the civil war and economic stagnation in their home town of China. Many of these Chinese wanted to strike it rich by coming to work in the states, and possibly find gold. They were to return to their hometown once they received the gold to live high with their families. Many of the Chinese did not strike it rich and lived in poverty for the majority of their lives. Discriminatory laws prevented most of the Chinese to establish families within the United States. This was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
Link to the website and full article: http://www.philadelphia-chinatown.info/chinatown-history.html