Mr. Chang Ten
Hoon to Mr. Bayard.
Washington, February 16, 1888. (Received February 21.)
Sir: It is with great regret that I have to bring to your attention another case of outrage inflicted upon my countrymen, which resulted in the murder of ten Chinese laborers in the most horrible manner.
The consul-general at the port of San Francisco has reported to me that he received a joint petition dated the 18th of July, 1887, from Chea-Tsze ke, Chea-Fook, Kong-shü, and Kong Chun, natives of the district of Punyu, Chinese subjects, who represent that at the beginning of the ninth month, the Chinese twelfth year of Kwong Su (October, 1886), their clansmen named Cheapo, CheaSun, Chea-Yow, Chea-Shun, Chea Cheong, Chea Ling, Chea Chow, Chea Lin Chung, Kong Mun Kow, and Kong Ngan, respectively, went to Log Cabin Bar, Snake River, State of Oregon, in a boat loaded with provisions, accompanied by another boat manned be Lee She and others, for the purpose of seeking for gold; that they had been pursuing their avocation peaceably until the beginning of the intercalary fourth month (the latter part of May and the greater part of June, 1887), when they were suddenly murdered by some unknown persons; that when Lee She and his party came out of the bar in their boat they found three bodies of Chea-po’s party floating down the river and some provisions and bedding lying profusely at the entrance of the bar, and upon a search being made further found Chea-po’s boat stranded on some rocks in the bar, with holes in the bottom, bearing indications of having been chopped with an axe, and its tie-rope cut and drifting in the water; that Mr. J. Vincent, commissioner of Nez Percés County, Idaho, visited the scene of the murder, and on examining the three bodies found a number of wounds inflicted by an ax and bullets; that the bodies of the others that had been murdered have not yet been found; that in the fourth month, last year (the latter part of April and the greater part of May, 1887), a person named Jackson told a Chinese named Hung Ah Yee that he had witnessed some cowboys, eight in numb, forcibly driving Kong Shu [Page 384]and his party out of the bar in their boat and throwing their provisions and bedding overboard; that Kong Shu and his party fled from them, being afraid to offer any resistance; and that since he had learned of the murder of Cbea-po and nine others he came to the conclusion that the cowboys had committed the crime; that they, the petitioners, reported the case with all its circumstances to the authorities in Lewis-ton, Idaho, and a copy of which report and of the statement of the examination made of the bodies they have submitted to the consul-general for his perusal, praying that he may communicate with the local authorities on the subject, so that due justice may be obtained by having the murderers pursued, arrested, and punished.
The consul-general states that Log Cabin Bar is in the Snake River; that, after he had learned of the murder through the press dispatches, he immediately asked the Sam Yup Company to depute a Chinese interpreter, by name Lee Loi, who lived near the bar, to attend to the case, and on the 14th of July, 1887, wrote a letter to Mr. J. K. Vincent, commissioner of the county, requesting him to investigate the matter; that Mr. Vincent in his reply informed him that white men were the murderers, as some of the provision “flour” left at the bar he had traced directly to them, and that white man had told a Chinese at his camp some very curious stories, and that some circumstances looked very suspicious. He (the consul-general) is therefore fully convinced that the murderers must be white men (Americans), and further says that the commissioner promised to write again to him if he should thereafter have secured more definite information regarding the stolen property; but several months have elapsed and he has not heard from him again, though he (the consul-general) has repeatedly written to him. He (the consul-general) has offered a reward for the apprehension of the murderers, and has ordered Chea Tsze Ke and Lee Loi to make inquiries, but they have not yet discovered the names of the murderers.
The consul-general finds that there are very few Chinese in the neighborhood of the bar, which is far from San Francisco, and that it would not be easy for the police of that place to make their investigation; and that, as the commissioner has assured him that the murderers were white men, he has sent me copies of the correspondence and all documents connected with the matter, begging me to communicate with you thereon, to the end that the local authorities may be communicated with, so that justice may be secured by having the murderers arrested and punished, and that the Chinese during their sojourn here may be protected.
As the character of this case, wherein ten lives were murdered and their bodies mutilated in a most shocking manner and thrown away, as will be seen by Commissioner Vincent’s report, differs greatly from a common case of homicide, it is feared other wicked persons may, from their hatred of the Chinese, follow the examples of the murderers if they are not arrested and punished, which will affect the interest and safety of the Chinese resident there and elsewhere in the United States; I have, therefore, sent you the inclosed copies of the correspondence and documents connected in the case, hoping that you will kindly communicate with the local authorities, and urge that the murderers may be speedily apprehended and punished, to serve as a warning to others.