Using sources in English, Spanish, and Chinese from across the Pacific Rim, this article uses a global scale to examine the Cantonese sworn brotherhood known as the Chee Kung Tong. Whereas in 1860 the organization was largely limited to the West Coast of North America, by the early twentieth century it spread to six continents and throughout the Pacific Rim. The article argues that the Chee Kung Tong, far from being simply a criminal organization or an apolitical mutual aid society, attracted members throughout the Cantonese diaspora, and that a focus on networks like the Chee Kung Tong allows us to examine diasporic history in new and revealing ways.

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