Goon Dip

Goon Dip

Goon Dip, Photo courtesy Wing Luke Museum

In January 1909 Goon Dip was assigned to a newly-created consulship in Seattle. Dip was one of the wealthiest members of Portland’s Chinese community. The Chinese Foreign Office wanted Seattle to catch up with Portland in the volume of its trade with China. Goon Dip was held in high esteem by his fellow countrymen. He accumulated a considerable fortune as a merchant and labor contractor in Portland and made investments in several Pacific Coast cities. For many years he supplied most the Chinese labor for Pacific Northwest canneries. Goon Dip’s move to Seattle at this time was strategic. He was in the right location at the right time to organize the Chinese activities at the A-Y-P.

Goon Dip was a skilled politician and entrepreneur. He was a well-educated man who spoke fluent English. He was an inveterate cigar smoker, seldom seen without a smoldering cigar between his teeth, while still creating a pleasing impression. Dip advocated relaxing the Chinese immigrations laws. He argued that because of the trade interest of the United States in China, the Chinese should be treated more fairly.

Seattle welcomed and celebrated Goon Dip’s arrival in January 1909 by hosting an elaborate Chinese banquet with thirty members of the local Chinese leaders and a representative of the
Japanese community. The creation of the new position acknowledged Seattle’s importance in trade between Seattle and the Orient and between the Sound and Alaska.

The Chinese Village at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition would display goods representing China, so Goon Dip raised money and procured goods from his Chinese acquaintances around the Pacific Northwest. Ah King also contributed financially to the pavilion. Because of a massive fundraising campaign almost every Chinese person in Seattle donated $4 for the cause. Goon Dip also provided the great Chinese dragon to head the parade on Chinese Day.

Sources: Oregonian Jan 1, 1909 p6; Morning Olympian, Apr 10, 1908, p2; Bellingham Herald, Jan 25, 1905 p5; Oregonian Jan 11, 1909 p2; Oregonian Jan 9, 1909 p3; International Examiner Vol 35, #14, Part 2; SPL AYPE Digital Collection p. 1,2,8.


3 Comments on “Goon Dip”

  1. rebecca Says:

    do u know anything about how goon dip affected WA

  2. According to his grandson, Clifton Goon, in an essay in Reflections of Seattle’s Chinese Americans: The First 100 Years by Ron Chew (Seattle: University of Washington Press), p. 28: “Goon Dip was an original entrepreneur. He contracted to send people up to Alaska to work in the canneries. He was an original venture-capitalist, into speculative investments in gold and copper mines.”
    There are several essays about him on Also see

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