In the background is part of a poster ‘Hip! Hurrah! Chinese Excluded’ with the text repeating, a popular cause for the Chinese Exclusion Act. Thomas and Tillie were trying to live a family life under these conditions.
Poster reference: Hip! Hurrah! Chinese Excluded by order of Democratic County Central Committee, published by Frandzen, Bumgardner & Co., Steam Printers, 1882.