Mr. Chang Yen
Hoon to Mr. Bayard.
Washington, D. C. , February 25, 1887. (Received February 25.)
Sir: It becomes my unpleasant duty to bring to your attention further acts of violence against Chinese subjects and injury to their property [Page 364] in violation of treaty rights, additional to the lawless acts which have been the subject of my previous notes.
It appears from the reports received at this legation and corroborated by the statements of the officers of the United States and of the public press, that a considerable body of peaceable and law-abiding Chinese laborers at the mines on Douglass Island and in the vicinity of Juneau, Alaska Territory, near one hundred in number, were assaulted in the month of August last by a band of wicked and lawless men, with arms and violence, and ordered to cease work and abandon the Territory; that when the Chinese declined to go voluntarily, the mob of armed men took them by force, drove them to the sea-shore, put them on miserable, small schooners, and sent them adrift on the ocean; that they were, after enduring great hardships, landed on a distant and barren land; that being kindly taken on board by a passing steamer, they were carried back to the place where they had been working; that they desired to return to their employment, but the wicked men who had first driven them away threatened their lives if they remained, and neither their employers nor the United States authorities could afford them any protection; that to save their lives, and with great pecuniary loss and damage, they were compelled to flee to San Francisco and elsewhere outside of the Territory of Alaska, having endured further hardship and suffering on their journey; and that, owing to the reign of terror created by these wicked men, they have not been able to return to Alaska.
Official information of this outrage has doubtless reached your Government, as the noble and honored President in his last annual message to Congress has alluded to it; and General Gibbon, the military commander in Washington Territory, in his annual report of September 8, 1886, states that “a report has recently reached me from authentic sources that in the mouth of August a number of Chinese laborers were expelled from Douglass Island, in the Territory of Alaska, by an organized party of white men, who acted with great brutality towards their helpless victims.” The newspaper account which I inclose herewith will furnish you with some of the many details published by the press at the time.
It has not been possible for me, owing to the distant locality of these occurrences, to obtain speedily an accurate estimate of the losses which have been sustained by the Chinese through these lawless acts; but I take the liberty to transmit to you a copy of the petition of some of the sufferers, and as soon as I can obtain further information I will again communicate with you on the subject. But I have felt it my duty not to delay longer to address you and to ask urgently that rigorous and effective measures will be adopted, if not already taken, to bring to merited punishment the wicked men who have so defiantly violated the laws and the treaties and have so inhumanly outraged the rights of ray countrymen to their great bodily suffering and pecuniary loss.
Accept, sir, etc.,