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Fan AY. Gim Shek Ju赵金石. Chinese Medicine Culture 2016;1, 58-61

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337064256_Gim_Shek_Ju_A_Pioneer_in_Acupuncture_Chinese_Medicine_Education_in_the_United_States

Citation: Fan AY. Gim Shek Ju: A Pioneer in Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Education in the United States. Journal of Chinese Medicine Culture 2016; 1:58-61.

 

Gim Shek Ju: A Pioneer in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Education in the United States

Arthur Yin Fan

McLean Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, PLC. Vienna, VA 22182, USA

KEYWORDS: acupuncture; Chinese medicine; United States; Education; history of medicine; Gim Shek Ju

Correspondence: Arthur Yin Fan; Tel: +1-(703) 499-4428; E-mail: ArthurFan@ChineseMedicineDoctor.US

 

Several stories of pioneers establishing acupuncture and Chinese medicine (ACM) practices in the United States (U.S.) have been documented. However, the establishment of actual schools for acupuncture and Chinese medicine is one of the key signs that ACM has become an established profession. One of the first people who wanted to set-up a school for Chinese medicine in the United States was Dr. Tom Foo Yuen (谭富园, 89, Aug 7, 1858 – Jul 10, 1947) during the late 1800s in Los Angles, California. However, it was not until the time period of 1969-1970 that the first ACM school was established in the U.S. The school was called the Institute for Taoist Study in LA, with Dr. Gim Shek Ju as the only teacher.

Based on the recollection from some of his students, Dr. Gim Shek Ju (Gim, in short; 赵金石) was impressed by a group of Tai Chi students, most of them students at the University of California in Los Angles (UCLA).  At the urging of his friend’s Tai Chi students, he used acupuncture to treat these students and some of their relatives during a Chinese New Year celebration in Chinatown, LA  in 1969. It was after these acupuncture treatments that these students became interested in ACM and had their Tai Chi teacher, Master Marshall Hoo, a close friend of Gim, persuade Gim to teach them ACM. Gim broke the old Chinese tradition (that means only teaching to those within the family) and taught two classes of non-Asian students ACM during 1969 to 1970. These two classes of students became the key people in ACM development in the U.S., both in acupuncture or Chinese medicine legislation and professional development of Chinese medicine in the U.S. The classes taught by Gim were the origin of three professions: acupuncture and Chinese or Oriental medicine (for licensed acupuncturists, LAc or Oriental medicine doctors, OMD), medical acupuncture (for MD acupuncturists) and animal or veterinary acupuncture (for DVM acupuncturists) in the U.S.

Figure 1. Dr. Gim Shek Ju with a Shaolin Monk.

Dr. Ju arrived in the U.S. around the 1950s (Dr. Fan notes: based on personal research, he should arrive in 1957).  He did not settle in Chinatown, LA until the 1960s (around 1968).  He was still traveling back and forth to Hong Kong at that time because his own family was there.  He practice in LA was funded and organized by his third wife, Helen Robertson.  The clinic was in the apartment that they lived in. Helen was a veterinarian from Downey, CA and a former patient of Dr.Ju. She had suffered a debilitating trauma from a car accident that damaged her spine to the point that she could not stand up, but remained bent at a 90 degree angle.  After finding Dr. Ju via word of mouth, she was able to improve her condition.  Most of Dr.Ju’s patients were Caucasian, and not Chinese.  In fact, very few Chinese came to see him (the author notes: it is opposite to our “common sense”—many people believe Chinese medicine had its market because Chinese people, or say, Asian community uses it more).  Most of his patients were extremely ill, and suffering with debilitating pain.  Dr. Ju was able to treat patients with very little communication.  According to his daughter, Mamie Ju, Dr. Ju’s powers of intuition and understanding or hearing the body was probably daunting to many…even modern-day TCM practitioners.  But it was the “old” way, and in Mamie opinion, the right way to practice.  “Ancient TCM practitioners were most likely practicing Shamans, and I believe my father was a Shaman by birth”.  This is what made him very special. But it is difficult to explain this, even to other TCM practitioners.

Figure 2. Dr. Gim Shek Ju practice Tai Chi with a friend.

 

Figure 3. Dr. Tin Yau So in classroom of New England School of Acupuncture.

Dr.Ju and Dr. Tin Yau So (苏天佑) were colleagues at the Hong Kong College of Acupuncture; Dr. So was the founder. Dr.Ju strongly recommended Dr. So as the best teacher in ACM and let his students resume ACM under Dr. So; he flied with his student Steven Rosenblatt, as well as Steven’ s wife Kathleen, to Hong Kong to meet Dr. So, where these two American students actually studied there for one year in 1972. Per the invitation and handling of a visa by the National Acupuncture Association (founded by Dr.Ju’s students Bill Prensky, Steven Rosenblatt, etc.) , Dr. So arrived in LA in October,1973  as an acupuncturist in the UCLA acupuncture clinic.

Dr. So was one of the most influential individuals of the 20th century by formally bringing acupuncture education to the United States. He established the first acupuncture school in the U.S., the New England School of Acupuncture in Newton, Massachusetts in 1975 with the help of his (also Dr. Ju’s) students Steven Rosenblatt, Gene Bruno, Bill Prensky, etc. after overcoming great difficulties. To some extent, I could say that it was Dr. Gim Shek Ju who brought Dr. So to the U.S. that allowed him to become the father of Acupuncture and Chinese medicine education in the U.S.

Dr.Ju had a very thriving acupuncture practice treating patients inside his three bedroom apartment. He used one of the bedrooms as his main office and treatment room.  His living room was the waiting room.  There were people there from 8AM until after 5PM, but usually no later than 6PM. He often worked six days a week and was always busy doing something. He rarely rested.  He kept a very strict schedule.  He got up every morning before dawn and practiced Tai Chi. No-one knows when he learned Tai Chi.  Then he started his working day at 8AM.  He took a lunch break exactly at noon every day, and ate lunch in Chinatown with friends, probably his students too, and sometimes with his children on the weekends.  Dr.Ju was usually in bed by 8PM unless he had other things to do.  His students were not around regularly… or at least not on a regular basis.  Dr.Ju never really grasped the English language. His daughter often had to translate for patients who were trying to book appointments over the phone. Mamie often had to schedule appointments for him when he was out. His daughter…making trips to the herbal store to get formulas, and helping him in the room with some of the female patients.  Dr.Ju took many patients, the apartment was filled with people non-stop, and he accepted treatments outside of the clinic as well.  It was not unusual for his daughter to come home and find a limousine parked outside our apartment either waiting to pick up Dr.Ju or to drop him off. Dr. Ju never spoke about who his patients were.  He kept many of those things very, very private. He would not discuss many cases or anything in great detail.

His daughter remembers, when he was still involved with his American students, “I remember accompanying my father to UCLA where he gave a lecture about meridian/channel theory and how acupuncture worked.  Another thing my father did that was rather record-breaking at the time was perform anesthesia on a wisdom tooth patient using acupuncture.  I was maybe about 11 years-old at the time (1975) and I remember watching him do this on our old black and white television”.  It was all over the news in Los Angeles.

His daughter continued helping Dr.Ju with his practice on-and-off until age 14 (this was around 1978, when Gim was about 61 years-old).  At that time, Dr. Ju’s local practice had really slowed down.  He was traveling more than he was working at home.  He was invited to many places…particularly Mexico to perform acupuncture, and he had relationships with high officials and wealthy people there. He often stayed in Mexico for weeks at a time.

Dr. Ju died in Hong Kong in 1987, when he was 70 years old.

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank Ms. Mamie Ju providing her father’s stories and reviewing the draft.

Reference

Fan AY. The earliest acupuncture school of the United States incubated in a Tai Chi Center in Los Angeles. J Integr Med 2014. J Integr Med. 2014 Nov;12(6):524-8.

Fan AY. The legendary life of Dr. Gim Shek Ju, the founding father of the education of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in the United States. J Integr Med. 2016 May;14(3):159-64. doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(16)60260-1.

 

 

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How Los Angeles Covered Up the Massacre of 17 Chinese
By John Johnson Jr. Thursday, Mar 10 2011. ( Original  article at

The greatest unsolved murders in Los Angeles’ history — bloodier than the Black Dahlia, more coldly vicious than the hit on Bugsy Siegel — occurred on a cool fall night in 1871. Seventeen Chinese men and boys, including a popular doctor, were hanged by an angry mob near what is now Union Station, an act so savage that it bumped the Great Chicago Fire off the front page of The New York Times.

Corpses of the Chinese victims

Corpses of the Chinese victims
Los Angeles at the time of the Chinese massacre

Los Angeles at the time of the Chinese massacre

Eight men eventually were convicted, but the verdicts were thrown out almost immediately for a bizarre technical oversight by the prosecution. Unbelievably for a crime that occurred in full view of hundreds of people, no one was ever again prosecuted.

The truth about the Chinese Massacre remained buried for 140 years, until writerJohn Johnson Jr. took up the hunt. Johnson spent more than a year examining every piece of evidence, including documents long thought to have been lost to history.

Aided by newly discovered records at theHuntington Library, Johnson found that the men convicted of the killings were in fact guilty. Little surprise there.

But Johnson found something astonishing — and sinister. The bloodlust unleashed that October night was allowed to unfold (if not also set in motion) by some of the city’s leading citizens, men so powerful they could arrange to have the convictions fall apart and the reasons for the massacre covered up.

What emerged from Johnson’s research is a portrait of a town engaged in a death struggle against its own worst nature. Come with us on a journey into the liar’s den of our Los Angeles ancestors.

P olice officer Jesus Bilderrain was settling into his drink at Higby’s saloon on the evening of Oct. 24, 1871, when he heard gunfire.

Bilderrain, one of just six cops in rowdy, fast-growing Los Angeles, jumped on his horse and galloped hard for Calle de los Negroes, or Negro Alley.

The officer didn’t need great detecting skills to guess that the trouble came from the Alley, a narrow lane fronted by crumbling adobes left over from the city’s earliest days. Named for the dark-skinned Spaniards who owned property there, Negro Alley for two decades had been the most dangerous piece of topography in the United States. Its gambling houses and flesh markets were home to gamblers and quick-draw artists, men like the princely Jack Powers, the bloodthirsty Cherokee Bob and the notorious man-killer Crooked Nose Smith.

Of 44 homicides that occurred in Los Angeles in one 15-month period — the highest murder rate ever recorded in the United States — a good portion took place in the Alley.

Bilderrain arrived to find a man named Ah Choy lying on the ground, blood spurting from a gunshot wound to his neck. Spotting a group of fleeing Chinese men, Bilderrain chased them into a large L-shaped adobe, the Coronel Building, a crowded warren of shops and tiny apartments that housed the core of the Chinese community.

According to the first version of the story Bilderrain told (before revising it several times in the months that followed), he courageously dashed into the building and was immediately shot. He came back through the doorway, minus his gun and with a bullet in his shoulder.

Falling to his knees, the officer blew his whistle to raise the alarm.

Responding, a man named Robert Thompson ran to the door of the Coronel Building. Thompson was not a cop. In fact, he had been the proprietor of one of the town’s most notorious saloons, the Blue Wing. But in frontier Los Angeles, citizens were used to taking the law into their own hands. In the previous two decades, 35 people were lynched by Vigilance committees in Los Angeles.

As Thompson approached the door, a sometime cop named Adolfo Celis called out that the Chinese were armed.

“I’ll look out after that,” Thompson replied. Sticking his weapon inside the door, he fired blindly into the darkened interior.

He then pulled open the door to go inside and took a bullet in the chest. “I am killed,” he is supposed to have muttered as he turned back toward the street and collapsed. He died an hour later.

Incensed by Thompson’s mortal wounds, a mob estimated at 500 — nearly a tenth of the entire population of Los Angeles — gathered in the Alley to lay siege to the Chinese.

At first, the mob was held at bay by gunfire coming from inside the Coronel. Eventually, the mobsters hatched a new plan. Climbing onto the roof, they used axes to hack holes in the tar covering. Then they sprayed shotgun and rifle fire into the rooms below. By the time the mob had battered open a second door with a large rock, the Chinese had all but given up.

What came next was an orgy of violence shocking even by the decadent standards of the city of Los Angeles.

In the dim gaslight of recently installed street lamps, armed bands of men dragged cringing Chinese to gallows hastily erected downtown. Bodies soon were swinging from two upturned wagons on Commercial Street, as well as the crossbar of the Tomlinson Corral, a popular lynching spot that just the previous year had been used to string up a Frenchman named Miguel Lachenais.

Lynch men also used the porch roof of John Goller‘s wagon shop at Los Angeles and Commercial, a block from the south entrance to the Alley.

Goller was a model citizen, a former city councilman, respectful husband and dutiful father. He objected bitterly as the Chinese were hoisted outside his windows. There are small children inside, he protested.

Negro Alley, where the massacre began

Negro Alley, where the massacre began

“You dry up, you son of a bitch,” growled a teamster as he leveled a rifle at Goller.

As the Chinese were hauled up, a man on the porch roof danced a jig and gave voice to the resentment many Americans felt over the Chinese willingness to work for low wages. “Come on, boys, patronize home trade,” the man sang out.

The bloodlust was not only in the men. A woman who ran a boardinghouse across the street from Goller’s shop volunteered clothesline to be cut up for nooses.

“Hang them,” she screamed.

A boy came running from a dry goods shop. “Here’s a rope,” he called helpfully.

Of all the Chinese in Los Angeles, Dr. Gene Tong(Chee Long Tong) was probably the most eminent and beloved among both his countrymen and Americans. He could have made much more money hanging his shingle in the American part of town. But Tong stayed in the Alley, dispensing both traditional and modern cures from a small shop in the decrepit Coronel Building.

As Tong was dragged along the street, he tried to strike a bargain with his captors. He could pay a ransom, he said. He had $3,000 in gold in his shop. He had a diamond wedding ring. They could have it all.

Instead of negotiating, one of his captors shot him in the mouth to silence him. Then they hanged him, first cutting off his finger to steal the ring.

The next morning, the citizens of Los Angeles filed past the town’s jail building to view the bodies of the dead laid out in double rows. There were 17. It was the largest mass lynching in American history.

When word of the massacre reached the outside world, the reaction was universal horror. In the East, citizens asked what sorts of ghouls had taken up residence on the West Coast. Turning its gaze from heathen lands, the Methodist Conference started raising funds for missionary work in Los Angeles.

Frontier apologists blamed the massacre on the “dregs” of California society, an assortment of thugs and highwaymen who slouched into town every fall from the mines in the north and the lawless Mexican territory to the south.

“American hoodlum and Mexican greaser, Irish tramp and French communist all joined to murder and dispatch the foe,” wrote poet and historian A.J. Wilson.

The truth was different. While the looting and murder were carried out mostly by hoodlums, the deeds required the tacit approval and occasional intervention of the town’s elite. What’s more, the vast majority of those responsible could not have escaped punishment without a legal cover-up.

To begin with, the Massacre was not spontaneous. Events had been building toward violence among Chinese factions in Negro Alley for several days — and tensions between Chinese and Angelenos also were on the rise.

The cause of the shooting of Choy, whom Bilderrain had seen lying in the street, was the kidnapping by a Chinese company of a woman belonging to a rival Chinese company. These companies were a kind of club or gang that offered support and structure to the Chinese in America.

The kidnapped woman was a striking, moonfaced beauty named Yut Ho. Evidence only recently brought to light by historian Scott Zesch indicates she was a properly married woman who was kidnapped by a company to be sold into marriage.

That company was led by a master manipulator named Yo Hing, whose ability to curry favor with the white power structure was second to none in L.A. One businessman who knew him better than most called him a “guttersnipe Talleyrand.”

The lovely Yut Ho belonged to a rival company, one led by a shopkeeper named Sam Yuen.

Determined to restore the young woman to her husband, Yuen imported from San Francisco several tong warriors, basically hit men.

Choy was one of the hit men, which was understandable, given that Yut Ho was his sister.

After disembarking from the steamship in San Pedro and making the kidney-jarring stagecoach ride to Los Angeles, Choy lost little time tracking down Yo Hing. Choy spotted Hing in Negro Alley on Oct. 23 and fired several shots at him.

Hing escaped injury and he swore out a warrant against Choy, who was promptly arrested.

As testament to Hing’s influence with whites, Choy’s bail was set at a staggering $2,000 — an amount far more than that for men accused of murder.

When Yuen showed up to post bail for his man, Hing’s attorney was stunned. The attorney sputtered that Yuen could not possibly have that much money. The Chinese were known to be thrifty, but that amount of money was supposed to be beyond their reach.

A policeman accompanied Yuen to his shop in the Coronel Building, where he verified that Yuen had the bail money, and a lot more, hidden in a trunk.

Soon, rumor of Yuen’s unexpected wealth was circulating through the city’s imbibing establishments, of which there was no shortage. Of 285 businesses in town, 110 dispensed liquor.

The Chinese were already the objects of both fear and revulsion in L.A.: fear because they were seen as almost superhuman in their ability to work long hours for a pittance, revulsion because their religion and culture were alien.

Popular books at the time suggested that the Chinese streaming into California by the thousands to search for gold eventually would take over California and elect a silk-clad Mandarin as governor.

Hatred was so strong that during the Civil War California’s Legislature passed a law that forbade any Chinese from testifying against a white man. The law gave whites immunity — an invitation to violence that historian Paul De Falla says the people of Los Angeles took up with “a glint and a glee” the night of the massacre.

Against that backdrop, it’s easy to imagine the reaction to the revelation that a Chinese company possessed a small fortune, protected only by a locked trunk.

Indeed, several pieces of evidence strongly suggest that Bilderrain went to Negro Alley that evening not to investigate gunshots but to rob Sam Yuen.

For one thing, Bilderrain had a reputation for dishonesty and larceny. Several court cases were filed against him in the years before and after the massacre, accusing him of stealing valuable roosters for use in his cockfighting operation.

Along with his brother Ygnacio, Bilderrain was an inveterate gambler. For years, he and his brother controlled and manipulated the Latino voting bloc in Los Angeles on behalf of Democratic candidates who, ironically, opposed racial equality. On Election Day, it was a common sight to see Jesus Bilderrain in a white duster stuffing bills into voters’ pockets in downtown Los Angeles.

Then there is Bilderrain’s changing story. According to his own account, after he saw Choy wounded in the street, he chased Yuen’s band into the Coronel Building. This made little sense, since Choy was working for Yuen’s gang.

Instead, the officer should have sought out Hing’s gang.

Why didn’t he? Because he likely was working for Hing.

It was well known in town that the Chinese companies paid off the local police for favors. As Hing said about L.A. law enforcement, according to newspaper accounts of a later court hearing, “Police likee money.”

The chief “favor” rendered by the police was the retrieval of escaped Chinese prostitutes. The women were little more than slaves to the companies, yet whenever a prostitute tried to escape her awful confinement, all her owner had to do was go to court and swear out a warrant accusing her of theft. Then, knowing they would earn a fat reward, the police would spring into action, tracking the woman to Santa Barbara, San Diego or elsewhere, and restore her to her tormentors. While police were off on these errands, they left the city unguarded.

This system of payoffs inevitably led to police officers being openly allied with one Chinese company or another.

The likelihood that Bilderrain was doing Hing’s bidding is apparent in his comments after the riot. The officer insisted that he had seen Yuen shoot bar owner Robert Thompson, a remarkable feat given that Bilderrain was lying wounded in the street when Thompson was shot by someone in the dark interior of the building.

Horace Bell, a lawyer and early chronicler of Los Angeles, wrote years later that he believed Bilderrain and Thompson went to Yuen’s store that afternoon for no other purpose than to steal his gold.

Bell’s account was dismissed by historians because he was known to stir a good deal of drink into his tales of early Los Angeles. But in this case there is plenty of independent evidence of Bilderrain’s duplicity.

In the days after the massacre, Hing and Yuen, both of whom survived, gave their versions of events to the Los Angeles Daily Star, blaming each other for the outbreak. But Yuen provided a key piece of evidence in his account, saying his men opened fire on Bilderrain because he came for them in the company of Hing, his enemy.

There was no way, in the highly charged aftermath of the riot, that Yuen could openly accuse a police officer of robbery or of starting the massacre. He could, however, hint at it while blaming Hing for being the instigator of both the kidnapping and the riot.

Further evidence of the Chinese view was offered later, when Dr. Gene Tong’s widow sued Hing, accusing him of starting the violence.

Finally, there was a monumental reversal by Bilderrain that casts doubt on his original explanation for the start of the massacre. He and his friends gave several accounts of what he saw that night, sometimes naming Yuen and sometimes not.

But by the time Yuen filed suit against the city of Los Angeles to recover his lost gold, Bilderrain had come around 180 degrees. He testified for Yuen, claiming he had never seen the gang leader on the night of the massacre.

However the riot started, one of the greatest unanswered questions is how it was allowed to continue. A review of news accounts in the days following the massacre showed that the authorities were strangely, and criminally, uninvolved.

L.A.’s top cop, Marshal Francis Baker, was new to the job. Baker testified before the coroner’s inquest that he arrived at the scene just as Thompson was shot. He deputized an ad hoc collection of men to surround the Coronel Building.

His purpose, he said, was to prevent the escape of those involved in the shooting. But it goes without saying that recruiting guards from among the rabble who frequented the Alley was a questionable decision.

Baker’s next action was even stranger. With gunfire ringing out behind him, he went home to bed, leaving the mob in charge.

Police did little, as was evident by the actions of the two officers with probably the most experience, Emil Harris and George Gard. Both had proved their bravery during the Mexican bandit wars. Harris helped capture the dashing Tiburcio Vasquez, and the Starsaid he and Gard were “hard to beat on either a warm or cold trail.”

But on this night, these brave officers loitered near hay scales at the corner of Los Angeles and Arcadia streets, a half-block from the trouble. Harris took custody of one fleeing Chinese man. But when he was surrounded and the victim wrenched from him by the mob, Harris simply returned to his post, later saying he was unaware that any Chinese people had been hanged.

Harris and Gard said they eventually worked their way to Yuen’s store, where they stood guard for much of the night. Even this was a wasted effort, because the mob had already looted the store and Yuen’s trunk.

As they stood their pointless vigil, it is likely they had one thing on their minds: reward. Both men were allied with Yuen. Just days before the riot, one newspaper reported they had received nice presents from him.

Historians have argued that no one could expect poorly trained police to stand up to an armed mob of hundreds. It’s more likely, however, that police, fatally compromised by their secret deals with Chinese companies and accustomed to letting vigilantes do their deeds, simply stood aside and let the mob do its customary work.

The argument that police were powerless that night was put to the lie by Robert Widney, a former schoolteacher who helped found the University of Southern California. His technique, he wrote years later in papers preserved at the Huntington Library, was to sidle up to a mobster, yank him by the collar, shove the barrel of his pistol into the man’s throat and whisper: “Get out or I’ll kill you.” Widney managed to save four or five Chinese people.

As the mob did its vile work, a crowd of observers gathered along the route of execution to watch. According to later accounts, some of the city’s leading citizens were seen cheering on the killers.

Among them was H.M. Mitchell, a reporter for the Star. A future leader in Democratic party politics, Mitchell would serve a term as sheriff before marrying into the wealthy Glassell family and becoming a gentleman farmer and collector of Western antiquities.

A member of the crowd heard Mitchell yelling, “Hang him.”

Harris Newmark, one of the most respected members of the business community, wrote years later that he heard a shot as he left work that night. Walking over to Los Angeles Street, he learned that Thompson had been killed.

Newmark said he went home to supper “expecting no further trouble.”

The statement strains belief. By the time the mob learned Thompson had died, its blood was up. Given L.A.’s record of vigilantism, it didn’t require much imagination to foresee what would come next.

The mood of the city, from the best to the worst, was that it was time for the Chinese to learn their lesson. As one survivor of the massacre said, according to news accounts: “When Melican man gettee mad, he damned fool. [He] killee good Chinaman allee same bad Chinaman.”

The massacre finally was brought to an end by Sheriff James Burns, a colorful figure known as “Daddy” to the gamblers and whores. He pleaded that if just 25 volunteers from the crowd of onlookers stood with him, he could stop the mob. He soon was hoisted on the shoulders of the crowd and carried into the alley — and the murderers faded into the night.

By 11 p.m., the bars were going great guns as the mob slaked its thirst. At J.H. Weldon‘s, a man with blood on his hands and shirt bellied up to the bar with a boast: “Well, I am satisfied now. I have killed three Chinamen.”

In the aftermath of the massacre, expressions of horror and disgust rained down on the city from around the world.

It was a public relations disaster for a town that was desperate to attract a rail link that was expected to, and did, bring thousands of Anglos to Southern California to sweep away what was left of the Spanish Californio culture.

City fathers believed nothing must discourage those passengers from coming. So they had very good reason to downplay the massacre as a spontaneous outbreak of rage against a hated minority.

They also needed to put the incident behind them as quickly as possible, no small feat for a city that had officially shrugged off vigilante lynchings in the past. Indeed, no lynchers had ever been prosecuted.

In fact, after the hanging of the Frenchman Lachenais the previous year, not only did the grand jury fail to indict anyone, but the lynch men also boldly published a rebuke to the authorities by way of one of the most arrogant editorials ever to run in an American newspaper.

“It is to be hoped,” said the column in theStar, “that the ‘hint’ given by the people yesterday will be sufficient ammunition to cause the weak ‘arm of the law’ to recover its former strength, and render it unnecessary for the people, from whom all the power of the law proceeds, to ever again re-take that ‘law into their own hands.’ ”

The fact that Los Angeles lynch men included influential citizens was shown by the access they were given to one of the city’s finest and newest structures, Teutonia Hall, in which to deliberate Lachenais’ fate. Afterward, they marched through downtown in the light of day before dragging the accused to his fate.

At first, it seemed the killers of the Chinese would benefit from a similar failure of civic will. At the coroner’s inquest, one witness after another, including police, was somehow unable to recognize any of the mob members.

Slowly, however, a few citizens recovered their memories. Various merchants were named at the coroner’s inquest as having aided the mob in one way or another, from a clothing store owner to a farmer, a silk grower, a butcher, a blacksmith, a saloon owner and a carpenter.

The erstwhile cop Celis, who had warned Thompson before he was shot dead, and a constable named Richard Kerren were fingered as men who shot at the Chinese. City Councilman George Fall was identified as having attacked Hing with a plank of wood.

The grand jury finally issued indictments accusing two dozen men of murder. But not one prominent person was on the list — not Fall, not Mitchell, not Harris or Gard. While awaiting trial, two of the accused, Louis “Fatty” Mendell and L.F. “Curly” Crenshaw, received visits in jail from Harris and Gard.

Inexplicably, the penniless rabble managed to engage one of the most distinguished and successful members of the bar to defend them. Edward J.C. Kewen‘s legendary oratorical gifts were almost certainly beyond the financial reach of the defendants. His ability to sway listeners was such that the Lincoln administration imprisoned him for several months during the Civil War for making secessionist speeches around the West.

The prosecution was led by District Attorney Cameron Erskine Thom, the grandson of a Scottish warrior and son of a captain in the War of 1812 who had been on friendly terms with Thomas Jefferson.

Surely Thom had the combination of character and courage to stand up to any forces in town that would excuse the rioters.

But other factors apparently were at work. Like the vast majority of Angelenos, Thom was openly sympathetic to the Southern cause in the Civil War. (He had even given up his law practice in 1862 to volunteer for the Confederacy. He was wounded at Gettysburg.)

This comity of feeling for the Southern cause bound the rioters and their accusers in the same way that going to the same college or belonging to the same club binds people, Doyce Nunis, former head of the history department at USC and an expert on the massacre, said in an interview with the Weekly before his death last month.

If good citizens like Thom and Kewen did not sanction lynching, they almost certainly shared the rioters’ attitude toward the Chinese as a threat to the future of California as a homeland for transplanted WASPS.

With all this as a backdrop, Los Angeles’ first Trial of the Century began in March 1872.

Showing just how deeply the vigilante movement had penetrated the city, one prospective juror after another was disqualified because he belonged to a Vigilance committee.

Presiding over the trial was Robert Widney, the hero of the massacre, who acted to save Chinese people when police would not. But according to historian De Falla, Widney wasn’t even a member of the bar, and wouldn’t be for some months.

If that weren’t enough reason to question his fitness, he should have disqualified himself because he had personally witnessed the violence that night. How could he sit in judgment and fairly rule on motions submitted by the defense when he knew who was guilty?

The first to stand trial was Crenshaw. A drifter who had run away from home in Nevada the previous year, Curly was 22 but looked much younger. He apparently gave in to the temptations of Negro Alley with a lusty enthusiasm. “His favorite resort,” according to theLos Angeles Daily News, “was the rendezvous of lewd women, pickpockets and cutthroats.”

In short order, he was convicted. Not of murder, the obvious crime, but of manslaughter.

How could that be? Witnesses said Curly had fired down on Chinese from atop the Coronel Building.

But Curly had a powerful ally. Policeman Gard — who did little to stop the lynching — testified that he gave his rifle to Curly to hold while he put out a fire on the roof. When he got it back, he said, the gun contained the same number of bullets.

Suddenly, Gard’s and Harris’ jailhouse visit made sense.

The trials of the next nine defendants were combined. This is usually a dangerous tactic, since jurors tend to blame all for the worst acts of the few. But Kewen had an ace up his sleeve.

Seven of the nine were convicted but, again, of manslaughter. Widney imposed sentences ranging from two to six years, light terms given the crime.

Kewen pulled out his ace not long after the guilty boarded ship for San Quentin. He filed papers with the Supreme Court of California, alleging that the convictions were improper because the district attorney committed a fatal legal error.

Prosecutor Thom had correctly charged the defendants with murdering the beloved Dr. Tong. But Thom had failed to introduce evidence that Tong had been killed.

The court agreed and the convictions were set aside.

Thom’s mistake was the error of a rookie, not of a veteran prosecutor. What’s more, Thom never attempted to retry the defendants.

He also never brought to trial the majority of those accused by the grand jury. After a time, the indictments themselves were mislaid, so that no future trials could be held.

Just like that, L.A. had disposed of its messy public relations problem.

Local newspapers did not even mention the lynching in their year-end analysis of the major events of the previous 12 months.

Within five years, the arrival of the transcontinental railroad made the trip West fast and safe, and the great immigration of church builders, book clubbers and ladies who lunch followed. Los Angeles became a modern city, and many of the men who lived through the evil times grew rich.

The massacre did have one salutary effect, however: It brought an end to the rule of the rope in Los Angeles. The Chinese were the last to be lynched in L.A.

Historian Nunis was convinced that the whole truth about the massacre never was told. “It’s very hard to prove that the best citizens were involved, although I believe it’s true,” he told the Weekly.

“You’ve got to look at what motivated the killers,” he added. “The economy was on the decline with the end of the Civil War. There was social dislocation. Blacks were moving in. The Chinese were very successful. All these things caused resentment.”

Far from being the result of passions inflamed by alcohol, “I really felt the lynchings were a put-up job,” Nunis said.

And still today, every so often, the rainbow mix of populations in Los Angeles forsake their surfboards, convertibles, Cinco de Mayo celebrations and Martin Luther King Jr. Daymarches and rise in revolt against each other’s accursed presence in this paradise.

The story might end there, were it not for strange events that occurred in the following years.

In 1877, a brief appeared in one of the newspapers noting that one Yo Hing had been hacked to death by an assassin bearing, along with a hatchet, “an old grudge.” Somehow, the author failed to note Hing’s connection to the massacre only six years earlier.

Celis, one of only two defendants acquitted in the massacre case, died in a bizarre accident while chasing horse thieves in the San Fernando Valley. According to the account given by Gard, who was riding in a buggy with Celis at the time, a rifle fell out of the wagon and hit a spoke on one of the wheels. Absurd as it sounds, the rifle discharged a bullet that struck Celis square in the chest, Gard said, apparently with a straight face.

As no one else saw the incident, Gard’s word was taken as gospel.

Around the same time, H.M. Mitchell, by then known as Major Mitchell, having left behind his ragged roots as a journalist, went hunting with City Attorney William E. Dunn in the foothills beyond Pasadena. Dunn mistook his friend for a deer, accidentally shooting Mitchell — twice. A single mistaken shot by a skilled hunter seems barely credible. But two shots?

Did the wily Sam Yuen, still burning with rage over never having recovered his gold, have a hand in these events?

Nunis doubted Yuen was that smart. And Yuen could hardly be blamed for another premature death, that of Gard, who after the massacre became a railroad detective and died in a fiery explosion.

If not Yuen, then, who was settling the score?

Maybe it was just bad luck, the kind that for a few decades in the 19th century seemed to find a home in the rough-and-ready town of Los Angeles.

The Anti-Chinese Massacre of 1871 and its Strange Career: The People Killed

Posted: October 25th, 2010

With so many public traces gone, it would seem that final accountings might be frustrated. That might be true of the ones that got away, but not all lists of names have disappeared. The Chinese Los Angelenos who were killed on October 24, 1871 were not nameless. The Los Angeles Daily News printed a record of those whose names were known. For the sake of a fresh look at the October 1871 massacre, and to provide a better accounting for at least eighteen of those killed, here is an inventory. There is Chee Long Tong. He was reputed to be a doctor. Non-Chinese Los Angelenos called him “Gene” Tong. He was shot through the head and hanged. There is Wa Sin Quai, noted as “resident of Negro Alley.” Shot in the abdomen and legs. There is Chang Wan, a resident of Doctor Tong’s house. He was hanged. There was Long Quai. Hanged. There was Joung Burrow who was shot through the head and left wrist. Another with no name, but was guessed later to be Won yu Tuk, hanged, was a cigar manufacturer in life. Wong Chin – hanged, and three cartridges were found in his pocket. There was Tong Wan who was shot, stabbed, and hanged and there was Ah Loo, hanged. Wan Foo was hanged. Day Kee was hanged. Ah Was was hanged. Ah Cut, shot in the abdomen and extremities. He was a liquor manufacturer. There was Lo Hey, hanged; Ah Wen, hanged; and Wing Chee, hanged. There was Fun Yu who was shot in the head and died October 27. And there was an unidentified Chinese male who was hanged and found in the cemetery (most likely it was Wong Tuck).

Victor Jew, The Anti-Chinese Massacre of 1871 and its Strange Career, chapter in William Deverell and Greg Hise, A Companion to Los Angeles (2010), citing P.M. De Falla, Lantern in the Western Sky, Part 2, 42 Quarterly of the Historical Society of Southern California 161-62 (1960).

Victims of the Chinatown Massacre of 1871 lie dead in the jail yard. Los Angeles Public Library, Security Pacific National Bank Collection.

The City of Los Angeles continues to desecrate the site of the Chinatown Massacre — click here to learn more about The City Project’s law suit to preserve history and green space at Father Serra Park and the site of the Massacre.

http://www.wenxuecity.com/news/2011/05/04/1353455.html

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1871年洛杉矶17华人遇害真相:参与者蹊跷死亡(图)

文章来源: 青年参考 于 2011-05-04 08:20:24 – 新闻取自各大新闻媒体,新闻内容并不代表本网立场!
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1871年洛杉矶17华人遇害真相:参与者蹊跷死亡(图) 青年参考

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在1871年洛杉矶骚乱中被绞死的华人

洛杉矶老唐人街,由“黑人巷”扩建而来。

  1871年10月24日,洛杉矶市发生了一起骇人听闻的骚乱,17名华人在骚乱中被白人歹徒处死,其中包括一个孩子。事后,在洛杉矶市官员的庇护下,参与骚乱、屠杀的凶手均逃过了惩罚。

是什么样的仇恨,让这些歹徒连小孩也不放过?在屠杀发生近140年后,美国史学家约翰·约翰逊,根据多方搜集的资料,还原了那段历史。

  “黑人巷”传来枪声

1871年10月24日傍晚,洛杉矶市仅有的6名警察之一耶稣·贝尔德里安刚在经常光顾的“海碧”酒吧坐下来,还没开始喝酒,便听到外面传来一阵枪响。

贝尔德里安立即冲出酒吧,上马扬鞭,直奔“黑人巷”——枪声是从那里传来的。

那时的洛杉矶市,虽然人口比1850年刚建市时的1600多人增长了好几倍,但也只有五六千人,城市规模只相当于今天的一个小镇,因此每天在市区巡逻的贝尔德里安闭着眼睛也能听出枪声是从哪里传来的。

当时的“黑人巷”,是一条两边立有低矮土坯房的数百米的狭窄巷子,因深色皮肤的西班牙殖民者最先在此定居而得名,后来逐渐成为洛杉矶市赌博与皮肉生意的集中地,许多亡命之徒经常到此地寻求刺激、释放欲望,因此这里的犯罪率居高不下。

赶到“黑人巷”后,贝尔德里安看到一个名叫阿乔(本文华人的名字均为音译)的华人躺在地上,血从脖子上汩汩涌出。他中枪了。

在现场还有一伙华人。见警察来了,这些人一哄而散,躲进附近一座“L”型的土坯房子里。

此前一年(即1870年)的人口普查结果显示,洛杉矶市共有172名华人,绝大部分居住在“黑人巷”,以做苦力、开小商店或耕种为生。这座“L”型的土坯房,便是一些华人开店、居住的所在。

接下来发生的事情,按照贝尔德里安最初的说法(他后来多次更改说法),他“勇敢地冲入华人的屋子里,却被一枪击中肩膀,不得不退了出来,枪也丢了”。

  500名白人歹徒围攻华人

受伤后的贝尔德里安马上伏在地上,吹哨子发出警报。很快,一个名叫罗伯特·汤普森的人率先赶到。汤普森并非警察,他是洛杉矶“蓝翼”酒吧的老板,也是洛杉矶市私人自卫组织“警戒委员会”的成员(武装自卫在蛮荒西部时期比较普遍)。

汤普森接近土坯房房门时,另一名刚赶到的警察阿道夫·赛里斯在他身后大喊:“中国人手里有武器。”

“我小心点儿就是了!”汤普森一边回答,一边把枪伸进门缝里,胡乱朝里面开了几枪后,他一脚把门踢开,就往里闯,结果刚进屋胸口就挨了一枪。

“我完了!”汤普森咕哝了一声,他转过身来,一头栽倒在地上,一小时后不治身亡。汤普森死亡的消息传开后,约有500名白人聚集到“黑人巷”,对土坯房里的华人进行围攻。华人抵抗了一阵后,只能选择投降。

接下来是对华人的大屠杀,场面令人触目惊心:

在街道两旁刚安装不久的煤气灯昏暗的灯光下,手持武器的白人押着被绑成一串的华人,走向临时竖起的绞刑架。一些商店门廊的横梁也被当作绞刑架。很快,17具华人的尸体便摇荡在半空中,其中一具尸体没穿裤子,还有一个是十几岁的孩子。

曾任市议会议员的约翰·格勒反对以残忍手段对待华人,但他的强烈抗议被一名牛仔喝止:“闭嘴,你个狗娘养的!”然后把枪对准了他。

不光成年男子,白人妇女和小孩也参与了对华人的屠杀。一名志愿绑制绞刑架套索的女子在行刑时高喊:“绞死他们!”还有一个小孩也从纺织品店里拿来绳索,“绳子来了!”他喊道。

在被处死的华人中,有一名医术精湛的童姓中医大夫。童大夫对抓捕他的人说,他有价值3000美元的金子,还有一枚钻戒,都放在药店里,如果放了他,他愿把这些财物全部奉上。可歹徒们根本不愿与他讨价还价,反而朝他的嘴里开了一枪,打死后又把他的尸体悬挂在绞刑架上,戴金戒指的手指也被人割了下来。

杀戮之前,“黑人巷”华人的店铺已被洗劫一空。

  警察觊觎华人店主钱财?

至于骚乱的缘起,还得从一个名叫霍玉的华人女子说起。霍玉容貌出众,有一张讨人喜欢的圆脸蛋。她当时已经成家,却被盘踞在“黑人巷”的一个华人帮派拐卖,这个帮派的头领名叫于兴。在洛杉矶,于兴很吃得开,当地上至政府官员,下至贩夫走卒,他均能说得上话。

霍玉的来历也不简单,她是洛杉矶另一个华人帮派的家属,该帮派的头领是一个商店店主,姓袁。

袁店主听说于兴绑架了霍玉,就从旧金山找来几名杀手,准备把霍玉救回来,其中一名杀手就是被击中脖子的阿乔——霍玉的弟弟。

1871年10月23日傍晚,阿乔找到了于兴,开枪将后者击伤,随后,他被警察逮捕。

因为于兴事先与警官进行了“沟通”,阿乔的保释金被定为高不可攀的2000美元,要知道,1869年开建太平洋铁路时,一名白人筑路工的月工资才45美元。

可出乎于兴的意料,袁店主表示,他可以缴纳2000美元,保释阿乔。

一名警察陪同袁店主,到他的店里拿钱。回来后便有消息传出:袁店主还有很多钱,都藏在他店铺的箱子里。

实际上,袁店主当时是洛杉矶市主要的酒水经销商,加上华人省吃俭用的美德,他攒下这些钱并不奇怪。但在白人眼里,华人“每天光知道干活,拿低薪也不抱怨”,抢走了他们的工作机会。对华人的歧视也日甚一日,美国内战时,加州的立法机构甚至通过一项法律,禁止华人指控白人,这意味着白人可以对华人任意施加伤害。在这样的背景下,不难想象白人得知袁店主有“大量钱财”后的反应。洛杉矶一名叫贺瑞斯·贝尔的律师在事发几年后写道:“贝尔德里安听到枪声后赶到黑人巷,并非为了维持治安,而是他事先已与于兴串通好了,在于兴向阿乔开枪报复之后,他再趁乱到袁店主的店里把钱偷走。”

  好心市民出手救华人

虽然很多史学家认为贝尔的说法并不可信,但于兴靠向贝尔德里安“进贡”,经营赌场和妓院则是不争的事实。事后,袁店主也向《洛杉矶每日星报》透露,贝尔德里安根本不是前来维持治安的,他和于兴的人一起来找他们的“麻烦”,打伤了阿乔,他们不得不开枪还击。

有意思的是,贝尔德里安此后多次改变说法,一会儿说在事发现场见到了袁店主,一会儿又说没见到他,当袁店主提出诉讼,要求参与暴乱的人归还他的金子时,贝尔德里安坚定地声称,他在事发当晚“绝对没见到”袁店主。

抛开与当地华人帮派的利益勾结不谈,警察在骚乱发生时的失职则是明显的。

洛杉矶市警局局长马歇尔·贝克尔在事发时曾召集人包围了“L”型土坯房,在接受质询时,贝克尔声称他此举是为了“防止杀害汤普森的凶手逃走”。不过,当围攻土坯房的枪声响起后,贝克尔却大摇大摆地回了家,因为他“要休息”。

局长对骚乱持如此态度,手下人更不消说。事发时,另有两名警员——埃米尔·哈里斯和乔治·嘉德正在离“黑人巷”半条街的地方闲逛。听到贝尔德里安的哨子响后,两人忙往“黑人巷”赶,半路上哈里斯控制住一名逃命的华人,但随后又把他交给了冲上来的白人暴徒。

两名警察没有出面制止骚乱,反而站在袁店主已被洗劫一空的店外进行“警戒”,真实用意是期望袁店主事后能“表示表示”。就在骚乱前几天,一份报纸指出,两人收了袁店主“精美的礼物”。

也有人认为,要求两名警察制止数百人的骚乱有点勉为其难,但再看看一位名叫罗伯特·韦德尼的退休教师的义举吧。韦德尼当时开了一家商店,事发时,5名华人躲入他店中,暴徒尾随而至。韦德尼趁一名暴徒不备,冲上去扭住暴徒持枪的手并对准其咽喉,小声说:“滚出去,否则我杀了你。”暴徒退出了他的商店,5名华人得救了。

  骚乱参与者接连蹊跷死亡

骚乱最终在洛杉矶司法长官詹姆斯·伯恩斯的制止下停止了。伯恩斯被开赌馆和妓院的人尊称为“老爹”,他向实在看不过眼的围观者说,只消有25个人听他指挥,他就能制止骚乱。

很快,伯恩斯被25个人簇拥着,来到“黑人巷”。果不其然,他的出现平息了骚乱。

24日深夜11点多,那些在骚乱中抢得钱财的暴徒纷纷到酒吧畅饮“庆功”。一个衣服上沾有血迹的家伙在J.H.威尔东酒吧里醉醺醺地说:“我杀了3个中国人,心满意足。”

这场屠杀引起了美国媒体的关注,甚至把同时期发生的芝加哥大火从《纽约时报》头版头条的位置上挤了下去。

东海岸的美国人纷纷指责这一暴行。迫于压力,洛杉矶市的执法机构以“过失杀人罪”判处8名白人暴徒2至6年监禁,但不久就以证据缺乏为由,将他们释放出狱。

洛杉矶市之所以敢冒天下之大不韪,对杀人暴徒从轻发落,是因为当时该市官员正不惜一切代价,说服铁路公司将太平洋铁路修到洛杉矶,以吸引西进的移民。他们担心,此事若太过声张,会让移民对洛杉矶市望而却步。

骚乱发生几年后,又接连发生蹊跷事。

1877年,于兴在街头被人砍死。

告诫汤普森不要进入土坯房的警察阿道夫·赛里斯也死于非命:乘坐马车时,他的枪掉落到地上,车轮碾过后,枪竟然响了,匪夷所思的是,子弹击中了赛里斯的胸部,致使他当场身亡。

赛里斯死后不久,一名曾在围观杀戮时高呼“绞死他们(华人)”的洛杉矶市政府官员H.M.米切尔,在一次打猎时,竟被朋友当作猎物开枪打死,而且中了两枪。

有人说这一切都是袁店主策划的,但随着相关人等的去世,真相或许将永远湮没在历史长河中。( 来源:《青年参考》;作者:章鲁生)

 

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