The biographical study of this central California builder-architect of the late 19th century presents an idiosyncratic slice of ethnic social history, focusing on an architect's reactions to the slavery issue, 1850-1865, and to the controversy of Chinese immigration in California, 1880-1900. The lengthy career-70 years-of an American builder-architect, contributes to our understanding of the profession's middle echelon during the 1845-1915 period. In this regard, James Fergusson's History of Architecture, London, 1873-1876, assumes importance as a pattern book employed by California designers. Beasley's Agricultural Pavilion of 1887 in Stockton pushes back the earliest known date of a "Chinese" design by 20 years. Knowledge of his career raises questions regarding the factual and interpretative history of San Francisco's Chinatown, 1906-1912. This article is based on a documents search, including census records, cemetery files, newspaper archives, photograph collections, and miscellaneous histories and pamphlets. These were supplemented by an interview with the Beasley heirs, written correspondence, work with the Pioneer Museum and Haggin Galleries, and participation in the Stockton Historic Buildings Survey.

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