1906 Expulsion of the Chinese

January 24, 2016
The County photo is dated 1885, but Pfaelzer dates is 1906...

Source: Humboldt County Collection (notice the Yacht Club in the background)

Jeannie Pfaelzer included a photo in her book, Driven Out, The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans, that references a Chinese expulsion in Humboldt County in 1906- I’ve finally found the story…

In the summer of 1905, the Tallant-Grant Co. of Astoria, Oregon established a cold storage plant at Port Kenyon on the Salt River and with the commencement of the salmon season in October, purchased the fishermen’s catches for two cents a pound. During two months of fishing and at various times, daily receipts of nine, ten, and twelve tons were recorded (Ferndale Enterprise, 1 Aug. 1905; 17 Oct. 1905; 27 Oct. 1905; 5 Dec. 1905). Because Eel River salmon were no longer of the size or grade most desirable for cold storage purposes and in order to handle this surplus, the Company explored the feasibility of developing a cannery at Port Kenyon (Ferndale Enterprise 2 Oct. 1906). An inquiry was made to the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce about the employment of Chinese labor, without which, the Company claimed such a plant could not be successful. The Chamber responded that there would be no objection as long as certain conditions were met,including 1) the Chinese would work only at the cannery, 2) stay no longer than the period of operations, and 3) they would not be permitted at any time to leave the vicinity of the cannery (Ferndale Enterprise 22 June 1906). The Tallant-Grant Company built a 110×50 addition to the Port Kenyon Cold Storage Company building for the cannery, which began operations during the 1906 season. The investors felt that such a facility would be economically viable by utilizing the smaller salmon caught by the local fishermen and easily exported via the Salt River (Ferndale Enterprise 4 Sept. 1906; 9 Oct. 1906). Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

One of Many Lucys

October 8, 2015

Lucy.Murder in Arcata.NCJCover..F.2015.1008

I recently (finally) finished a story about Lucy Romero for the North Coast Journal. It is an important story and I am thankful to Thad Greenson, their editor, for working so long and patiently with me to get it done.

There is one point I failed to include though and so want to share it here. This is from a post I did years ago, but it is just as important to remember now…

In the western movie, Broken Trail  , there is a scene where Robert Duvall struggles to learn the names of five Chinese girls under his care.  They speak no English and growing frustrated, Duvall’s character points to each one in turn and names them, “One, Two, Three, Four… “.  The girls accept the names, because they have no choice.

The same thing happened here.  When the white settlers arrived, they re “named” the native people.  Smo-Wa became Henry Capell (he was from the village of Capell).  Corn-no-wish became Weichpec Oscar.  Zo-wish-wish, a Wiyot woman related to Lucy’s daughter, Annie, was also known as “Rose”.

Lucy, the woman I write about, was only one of many “Lucys”.

 


Little Known History of Slavery in California

January 22, 2013
Child captives (who became child slaves)

Child captives (who became child slaves)

I was honored recently to be able to participate in the TedX Eureka  event where I presented on the History of Slavery (indenture) in California. That video is now posted on youtube:

Link to TedX Video

If you would like me to give a presentation similar to that in the video to your civic group or classroom, please email me at lynette.mullen@gmail.com.  

It is not pleasant history, but it is important and has been lost and forgotten too many times.

~Lynette


Bucksport, c. 1858

March 14, 2012

Bucksport, c. 1858 (County of Humboldt Collection)

So many things make this cool that it is really a wonder I haven’t posted this picture before.

I love Table Bluff in the background. And the pennisula to the right. The rider on the horse and someone walking on the road. This photo does make me wonder, though, where the Indian Village was located.

Two years after this painting was done, it was believed that all who lived in that village were killed…  I may enjoy the tangents, but the original driver for this blog, the murder that began an obsession.  is never far from my thoughts.


Short Hair-In keeping with advancement

September 27, 2011

I have to admit that I sometimes wondered if stories of the white’s attempts to wipe out the Indian culture were a bit exaggerated.

This is one area where I can openly admit I wish I was right–because the proof below that I am wrong also reveals a more recent cultural genocide that is hard to comprehend…

“Dept. of the Interior OFFICE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, Washington January 13, 1902 The Superintendent, Greenville School, CaIifornia, Sir;

This office desires to call to your attention to a few customs among the Indians which, it is believed, should be modified or discontinue. The wearing of long hair, by the male population of your agency is not in keeping with the advancement they are making, or will soon be expected to make, in civilization. The wearing of short hair will be a great advance and will certainly hasten their progress toward civilization. The returned male student far too frequently goes back to the reservation and falls into the old custom of letting his hair grow long.

He also paints profusely and adopts all the old habits and customs which the education in our Industrial schools has tried to eradicate. The fault does not lie so much with the schools as with the conditions found on the reservation. Those conditions are very often due to the policy of the Government toward the Indian and are often perpetuated by the superintendent’s not caring to take the initiative in fastening any new policy on his administration of the affairs of the agency. On many of the reservations the Indians of both sexes paint, claiming that it keeps their skin warm in winter and cool in summer; but instead, the paint melts when the Indian perspires and runs down into the eyes. The use of this paint leads to many disease of the eyes among those Indians who paint. Persons who have given considerable thought and investigation to the subject are satisfied that this custom causes the majority of the cases of blindness among the Indians of the United States.

You are therefore directed, to induce your male Indians to cut their hair and both sexes to stop painting. With some of the Indians this will be an easy matter; with others it will require considerable tact and perseverance on the part of yourself and your employes to successfully carry out these instructions. With your Indian employes and those Indians who draw rations and supplies it should be an easy matter as a non-compliance with the order may be made a reason for discharge or for withholding rations and supplies. Many may be induced to comply with the order voluntarily, especially the returned student. The returned students who do not comply voluntarily should be dealt with summarily. Employment, supplies, etc., should be withdrawn until they do comply and if they become obstreperous about the matter a short confinement in the guard-house at hard labor, with shorn locks, should furnish a cure. Certainly all the younger men should wear short hair, and it is believed that by tact, perseverance, firmness, and withdrawal of supplies the Superintendent can induce all to comply with this order.

The wearing of citizen’s clothing, instead of the Indian costume and blanket, should be encouraged. Indian dances and so-called Indian feasts should be prohibited. In many cases these dances and feasts are simply subterfuge to cover degrading acts and to disguise immoral purposes, you are directed to use your best efforts in the suppression of these evils. Very respectfully, WL (W)


Illegitimate children expose illicit relations

August 30, 2011

Researching Lucy has given me an opportunity to learn many, many things about our history, including the court’s attitude toward illegitimate children in the early 1900s.   The following came from the Superior Court of California (County of Humboldt) probate record for Charles Mulberg (Lucy’s son) , who died “on or about March 23, 1928″.

Inheritance in all other cases is eliminated on account of public policy founded upon a moral reason.  If every illegitimate child could claim inheritance from his brothers and sisters, public scandal would be placed upon the head of many otherwise decent and respectable citizens.  The legislature therefore evidently considered it a better policy to lessen public scandal and deny inheritance to an illegitimate, than to throw open the doors of public scandal and gossip, subject many persons to questionable ridicule and permit an illegitimate to expose the  illicit relations of his or her ancestors, merely for the purpose of sharing the estate of his parent’s kindred.   It therefore left the right of inheritance of an illegitimate to these cases where the parents themselves had exposed such illicit relations by admitting parentage. …

 Sucks for the poor bastards (literally) whose parents didn’t want to claim them.

Now the Probate Record, which revealed much about Lucy and her children

Read the rest of this entry »


Founding of the Klamath (now Yurok) Indian Reservation, 1855

August 28, 2011
   

Klamath Modoc Indians, 1860

  
Hello everyone,
To those who enjoy regular posts I must apologize.  Work and … life have gotten the better of me lately.  Hopefully I’ll get back into regular postings.
I do want to keep on the thread/topic of Lucy and plan to continue discussing her limited options and the dangers she and her children faced during the settlement period.  The focus of the next (this) post was going to be the risks inherant to those on reservations but… but, as often happens with me, I’ve gotten distracted.  Sort of.
Looking through my notes regarding reservations I found the following, which discusses the founding of the Klamath (which is now the Yurok) Indian reservation.  It may be dry reading for some, but I chose not to edit any of it.
It was very surprising …. well, Please also be sure to catch the newspaper editor’s response to the founding of the reservation which follows the letters–his perspective is very different from how reservations are viewed today.
Klamath River Reserve.

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Office of Indian Affairs, November 10, 1855.

SIR: Referring to your communication of the 8th of August last to the Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs, advising him of the approval by the President of the United States of the recommendation of the Department that it was expedient to expend the money appropriated on the 3rd of March last for removing the Indians in California to two additional military reservations, I have the honor now to make the following report:

Read the rest of this entry »