Charles Frederick Holder.

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rights in China as we accord her peo-
ple here. They have not the right to
settle where they please in that coun-
try, to engage in trade, or to indulge

in their missionary work, excepting in
a few of the ports of China, and few
of her cities, and if an American
wishes to go into the interior of China
he must do just what we ask the
Chinaman to do here — obtain a certif-
icate of his right, and be prepared to
show it whenever called for.

We have to-day not exceeding
twenty-five merchants in all of China.
As a matter of fact, the American
houses have withdrawn from that
trade, being unable to compete with
the other foreign houses. As to the
missionaries, itwouldn'tbe a national
loss if they were required to return
home. If the American missionary
would only look about him in the
large cities of the Union, he would
find enough of misery, enough of suf-
fering, enough people falling away
from the Christian Churches, enough
of darkness, enough of vice in all its
conditions and all its grades, to fur-
nish him missionary work for years to

The sympathy now exhibited by
many for the Chinese in their present
condition is misplaced. It should be
the duty of all good citizens to advise
submission to law, and to withhold
their sympathy and encouragement
from those who defy the laws of the
country, no matter what their class,
race or condition may be ; because,
unless there is voluntary obedience to
law, or if the right of one race or class
to defy the Government can be justi-
fied, a precedent is established for the
future which will justify similar con-
duct on the part of other classes and

Since 1882, the laws of this country
have prohibited the coming into it of
Chinese laborers. This law was known
in China, and was familiar to all of
their people here ; and yet year after
year the law was violated, and large
numbers of Chinese, as Mr. Choate,
their attorney, in his argument says,
came into the country in violation of
our laws. Their coming was encour-
aged by the Chinese here and over our
borders, and through frauds practiced

3 o8


at our seaports, these people came into
the land contrary to our wishes. They
were not invited. Once here, they
were received with open arms by their
people, and their identity was covered
up and lost in the great mass of the
Chinese in the country, who, at all
times lent all the assistance in their
power to enable these people to violate
the law. It was impossible to separate
them from their fellow countrymen,
and return them to their native land,
since with their inherent disregard for
truth, numbers of their fellows were
always ready to come forward and tes-
tify that the accused had been a resi-
dent of the United States for many
years. These violations of law were
encouraged by the Chinese legally
here, and especially by the Six Com-
panies who made a profit out of the
importation of the coolies.

Either the restriction laws had to be
repealed and the ports of the country
thrown open to this class of immigra-
tion, or else some other step that would
secure the enforcement of the restric-
tion laws had to be adopted.

One of the arguments presented by
the friends of the Chinese is, that
under the operation of the restriction
laws in force prior to May 5th, 1892,
large numbers of Chinese were con-
stantly leaving the country; it was
declared that their number here was
decreasing so rapidly, that in a short
time the evil of Chinese immigration
would settle itself. Unfortunately,
however, the statistics of the country
do not support this claim. In 1880,
we had, according to the census, 105,-
000 Chinamen. Since that time, 64,-
000 have returned to China from
the Port of San Francisco, and 16,000
have returned on certificates establish-
ing their prior residence. These fig-
ures show a net decrease in the number
of Chinese in the United States of
48 000, but unfortunately for this
argument, the census of 1890 shows
106,000 Chinese in the United States;
or, instead of a decrease of 48,000, an
increase in ten years. This number
of 48,000 represents the proportion of

Chinamen whose presence in the
United States is illegal and contrary
to law. Of all the Chinese now here,
more than one- third are here not by
invitation, but in defiance of the au-
thority of this Government and its

During these years the Government
has been compelled every year to ex-
pend large sums of money for the
maintenance of guards and inspectors
upon our frontiers and at our different
sea-ports, in order to prevent the in-
fraction of our laws by a race of peo-
ple who never have shown any respect
for them, and to whom the violation
of our laws is not a crime.

The Act of May, 1892, as Mr.
Choate says, had for its primary and
only object the identity of those
Chinese who were justly here, so that
we might distinguish them from those
who came in violation of law, and
who had no right to remain in the
country. Its object was to prevent the
deportation, or the infliction of any
hardships attendant upon its enforce-
ment, from being inflicted upon the
innocent, and to identify them from
the violators of law. The law was
not so harsh in its provisions, but that
even many of those who had violated
the existing laws might secure the
protecting certificate, as we were more
anxious to establish a means of identi-
fying those who came hereafter, than
we were of visiting punishment upon
those now in the country. This pur-
pose was j ustified both by the neces-
sity of securing obedience to our laws,
and also upon the score of economy in
reducing expenses which this Govern-
ment was compelled to incur every
year, because of the attempts of this
particular race to defy its laws. The
law imposed no hardships upon these
people, and no tax was levied upon
them ; they were asked to comply
with the law, and it carried with it no
badge of degradation.

Registration cannot now, and in this
country be considered as a badge of
infamy, because the history of our
times shows that the registration of



our citizens, and of trades and pro-
fessions, in one way and another, by
Government, is in common and general
use. In many of the States, and nearly
all of the large cities, physicians, den-
tists and members of other callings are
required to file their applications, be-
come registered, take out certificates
showing their right to follow their
profession, and in default thereof, are
subject to penalties for practicing with-
out them. It matters not how able a
physician he may be, nor from what
schools he graduated ; the natural
right that he had to follow his profes-
sion is denied him, unless he complies
with these laws. These laws have
been passed in the interest of public
health, for the purpose of protecting
the community against the injuries
resulting from the pursuit of these
professions by incompetent persons.
Yet no man contends because the phy-
sician, dentist, plumber and others,
have to comply with these laws and
obtain these certificates, that there is
any badge of degradation or ignominy
attaching to the members of their par-
ticular calling.

Americans complying with these
laws make no claim that it is an evi-
dence of barbarism, or has a tendency
to subject them to degradation. In
thirty-four of the States the American
is compelled to register his name, his
age, occupation and residence, and in
some States a description of his per-
son, before he is permitted to exercise
the right of suffrage, than which there
can be no more valuable privilege be-
longing to the American.

These laws are interferences with
the natural right of the American, and
if not complied with, deny him the
exercise of the most sacred privilege;
and yet no one says that they tend to
humiliate him, or degrade him, or
subject him to hardships. They are
founded upon the right of the Gov-
ernment to protect itself and its citi-
zens from the commission of frauds
against the elective franchise, and
because of the recognized facts that
such frauds are attempted, and

have been made by some gov-
ernments, it assumes that all citi-
zens are liable to do the same, and re-
quires registration of all. It is better
that all such be subjected to the hard-
ship attendant upon registration, and
the imputation of fraud established by
the law, than that a few should have
the criminal privilege of fraudulently
exercising the franchise. Such a law
is recognized as reasonable and just
by all good citizens.

In the case of the Chinese, year
after year we have found frauds prac-
ticed upon the Government, and the
Government has been subjected to ex-
penses to protect itself against them ;
and we apply to Chinamen the same
rule that for years we have been apply-
ing to our own citizens — a rule justified
by the actions of these people, and
made necessary by their own criminal
behavior. If we had imposed a tax
upon Chinamen, if we had made compli-
ance with the law difficult or onerous,
some modification of the law might be
justifiable; but recognizing how widely
they were scattered over the Union,
and how difficult and inconvenient to
them it might be to attend before offi-
cers far removed from their residences,
the law provided that the officers
should go to the Chinaman, wherever
he was, and afford him every facility
for complying with the law without
expense or burden to himself.

In the case of the American citizen
desiring to vote, or to follow a legiti-
mate calling, we compel him to go to
the courthouse in his county, and file
there a description of himself, bearing
his own expenses and loss of time con-
sequent upon the performance of this
duty, before he can obtain his license
or certificate. In the case of the
Chinaman, with a regard for him we
do not show to the citizen, we compel
the officer to visit him, thus affording
him no reasonable excuse for failing
to comply with the requirements of
the Act. Under these circumstances,
the law was justified by the conditions
that confronted us, by the desire to
maintain and insure respect for the



laws of this country among the people
of alien races, and it ought to be en-
forced. And we know from experi-
ence in California, where nine-tenths
of all the Chinese in the United States
reside, that the great mass of the
Chinamen here would gladly and wil-
lingly have complied with it, but for
the threats of their masters — the Six

Thirty years ago we spent millions
of dollars and sacrificed thousands of
American lives to free this land from
the curse of African slavery, and all
Americans justified it. To-day we
have the exhibition of another race as
absolutely enslaved by their masters
as were the negroes in the South,
establishing themselves and their in-
stitutions in our midst ; and if it were
well to free the country at that time
from the slavery of the black, it ought
to be equally as essential and patriotic
at this time, to protect our country
from the evils of Asiatic slavery, and
our American labor from the unjust
and degrading competition presented
to them by the Chinese. The first
duty of the Government should be to
protect itself and its people against
the re-establishment of slavery in any
form, or under any name, no matter
whence it comes.

This law is beneficial rather than
degrading to the Chinamen legally
here. Under the old laws, he was
subject to arrest at any time, on the
charge of having come illegally into
the country. He was at the mercy of
his fellows, who sought to inflict
on him this form of annoyance.
Charged with being illegally here, he
was subject to arrest, and forced to
incur the expenses attendant upon a
trial to determine his rights to remain,
while proof was necessarily parole, and
perjury might be resorted to with
ease and comparative freedom from
penal consequences. This law gives
him, under the seal of Government, a
justification for his presence, and the
written testimony always with him to
free himself from this inconvenience
and annoyance, while his right to re-

main could only be questioned, and
the production of his certificate re-
quired by a regularly appointed
Federal officer, whom we cannot pre-
sume would use his position to violate
the spirit of the law or to harass and

But it is said that the photograph
required of him was an evidence of
dishonor and disgrace. It can hardly
be contended in this day that to re-
quire a man to be photographed, im-
poses on him any very great hardship,
especially when one remembers the
almost general use of the photograph
by all men. From the resemblance
that all Chinamen bear to one another,
no other means of identifying them
could be selected. We tried the de-
scription by other means, under the
law of 1882, and found it radically de-
fective. If previous laws had been
complied with, this law would not be
necessary. The opponents of the law
say that the Chinaman was required
to carry about him a certificate, hav-
ing stamped thereon his own photo-
graph, and we are told that the man
must feel dishonored because he car-
ries his own picture in his vest pocket.
Such an argument is unworthy of

There would have been no failure
to comply with this law on the part of
the Chinese, but for the Six Com-
panies, whose antagonism to it is not
because of the degradation which it
offers to their subjects, but for the
reason that the enforcement of the law
would ensure a certain means of pre-
venting in the future any further im-
portation of their slaves by themselves.
It was the destruction of their slave
industry that caused the Six Com-
panies to make the effort they have to
secure the defeat of the law, and not
any love for the vassals now in their
employment here. This law is justi-
fied by the treaties between America
and China, and is in entire accord with
the last compact between this Govern-
ment and the Government of that

The consequences that now con-



front the Chinese in the United States
are not the results contemplated by the
Act, but are the results of the action
of the Chinese themselves in defying
the Government, in their voluntary
failure to obey its just and reasonable
laws; while the possible deportation is
the result of their own actions, and
not what was contemplated or ex-
pected when the law was passed. The
law was intended only to prevent the
further immigration of Chinese into
the United States— deportation of those
legally here was not its purpose.

The sympathy now exhibited by
many for the Chinese in their present
position is misplaced. It should be
the duty of all good citizens to advise
submission to law, and to withhold
their sympathy and encouragement
from those who defy the laws of the
country, no matter what their class,
race, or condition may be; because,
unless there is voluntary obedience to
law, or if the right of one race or class
to defy the Government can be justi-
fied, a precedent is established for the
future which will justify similar con-
duct on the part of other classes and
races. Uultimately, the Govern-
ment, under these circumstances, un-
able to enforce its decrees, will cease

to be able to protect those who are de-
serving of its protection.

All aliens residing within the Union
should be taught as the first condition
of their remaining here, that they
must obey our laws, or else leave.
There is not room in this country for
the establishment of foreign govern-
ments, or for races that are not willing
to submit to the authority of American

The Chinese law of May 5th
was justified by the circumstances
prevailing in this country; was in ac-
cordance with the treaties made be-
tween this Government and China;
imposed no undue or unjust hardship
upon the Chinese people here, and
was a proper and just exercise of
power on the part of this country.

American interests in the far West,
the maintenance of American civiliza-
tion and the just protection of Amer-
ican labor from Chinese competition,
is of more consequence than the prof-
its of the Chinese trade, or the main-
tenance of missionary stations in
China. The law should be enforced.
We cannot afford to have the declara-
tion made that this Government can-
not enforce its laws against an alien
race in our United States.



IN early times, bears were so plenti-
ful on the Pacific Slope that ran-
chers on ordinary occasions paid
little attention to them ; but on ' 'fiesta' '
days, bruin, especially if he was large
and savage, had to keep a wary look-

Two or three days before the feast
of St. John — not John the beloved,
but John the wild, the wearer of
skins — a half dozen young fellows
would sally out in quest of his bear-
ship. The early Californians consid-
ered the reata the most effective of all
weapons for bear hunting, more es-
pecially as it was their purpose as a
rule to capture the animal alive. The
hunters seldom had a long search or
hard ride. If they started from Los
Angeles, for instance, on the little
plain where the town of Garvanzo now
stands, the quarry was surely sighted.
Uncoiling their reatas the hunters
would dash on the game at full speed,
and soon would be heard the whir of
the circling loop, and cries of "Aye
oso viejo y muchido guatatal" Sure
cast, a couple of reatas around the
neck, one on each hind foot and the
captive and captors returned home.
No excitement or curiosity ; no ques-
tions asked ; the occurrence was of too
ordinary a nature to excite comment.
If.bruin survived the conflict with the
bull, which usually followed, and had
no ' ' takers " he was turned loose and
allowed to go back to his own kindred.
Strange as it may seem these combats
between bulls and bears were seldom
fatal, the native Californians being
careful to put an end to the duel the
moment that either animal showed
signs of weakness.

There have been many arguments,
pro and con, regarding the ferocity
and aggressiveness of the grizzly bear,
some maintaining that the animal will

not attack a human being except when
wounded, or in defense of its young.
I am not in a position to give an
opinion on the subject, for the reason
that I have either been the aggressor
or else have given these ferocious
creatures the widest possible berth ;
but old hunters tell me that grizzlies
have charged them on sight without
the least provocation.

A prominent Spanish-American
from Santa Barbara, long since dead,
invariably provo"ked a bear to combat
whenever he encountered one, using
no weapon but his knife — his serape
being tightly wound round his left
arm as a shield. One night, after a
clandestine meeting with his sweet-
heart, the gentleman vaulted over the
adobe wall, and instead of coming
down on terra firma alighted on the
back of a huge bear. A terrible
combat ensued. When rescuers came
they found the bear dead, and his
antagonist lying alongside with knife
in hand. The man was torn and
mangled but still alive, and was taken
into the house and tenderly cared for.
The heart of the obdurate parent was
filled with admiration at the ycung
man's brave deed ; all objections were
removed and the courtship was allowed
to proceed more comfortably.

Let us, however, say Actios to old
time hunters, and interview those of
our own day. Doubtless there are
many people in California who re-
member the famous old grizzly, Club-
foot — so named on account of the
deformity of one of his forefeet. This
animal became so renowned for his
ferocity, destructiveness and cunning
that several large rewards were con-
tinually outstanding for his capture
or death. It was proven beyond a
doubt that the range and wanderings
of this shaggy terror extended from




San Diego County clear up to the
Oregon border. Many tales, some
true, others purely imaginary, are
still told of the prowess of this bear,
some going so far as to assert that in
order to insure a sufficient supply of
fresh meat for winter use, Club-foot was
in the habit of driving cattle into
some deep canon in the very heart of
the mountains, there to dispose of them
at will. I once gave great offense to
an old hunter by asking him if he had
ever heard of how Club-foot had raided
a country store for a supply of salt to
brine his beef. A famous hunter

named S had a terrific hand to

hand battle with this bear. He
wounded the animal, and before he
could reload (having only a single
shooter) the savage brute was upon
him, finally leaving him for dead.
Club-foot did not escape, however,
without carrying away some well-
carved hieroglyphics made by the
hunter's knife. I well remember when
the wounded man was brought into
Los Angeles. He presented little
semblance to humanity; his jaw and
both arms were broken and every por-
tion of his body was terribly lacerated.
Remarkable as it may seem, the man
survived, and if I am not mistaken, it
was he that finally put a quietus on
Club-foot's depreciations a year or two
after the encounter that had so nearly
cost him his life.

In April, 1873, a party composed of
my cousin, brother, myself and a half-
breed named Agusto, yclept El Peladci* ,
left L,os Angeles for a bear hunt in
Ventura County. Four days' easy
travel brought us to our happy hunt-
ing grounds, near what is called
Cobble Stone Mountain. My compan-
ions were all expert hunters, and as a
matter of course — crack shots. I was
a mere lad then, but I prided myself
on being able to handle either rifle or
revolver with any of them. El Pelado
was our man Friday, a good cook and
a good fellow generally. With one
exception he was utterly fearless, and

♦laterally. " the skinned." but th~ term i* often ap-
plied in California to an impecunious person.

this was his abject fear of los difuntos,
the dead.

Arriving at our camping ground
late on the afternoon of the fourth
day, we busied ourselves in getting
everything in proper shape ; while
El Pelado was preparing supper, my
cousin and brother were setting up the
tents and I was attending to the horses.
The declining sun shed its soft rays on
the surrounding greenery of tree and
herb, seeming to rest longer on the
mountain side and bringing out in
strong relief the deep canons and
moss-covered rocks.

It had been agreed, much to my
disappointment, that there should be
no hunting the next day, as there
were a hundred-and-one things to be
done before we could settle down com-
fortably in camp. That night, sitting
around the bright fire, every one had
some story to tell. My brother, espe-
cially, was full of border lore. This
was not strange as his ranch is situated
in the very heart of the American
wonderland. Many were the tales he
told of adventures and hair-breadth
escapes from Indian, outlaw and rene-
gade, while for El Pelado' s benefit and
mine, too, very likely, he related a
most terrific and far-fetched ghost
story — Pelado and I, faithful devotees
that we were, believing it from first
to last. After spending an hour or
two about the fire we retired to rest.

Early next morning, refreshed and
in the best of spirits, the duty of giving
the finishing touches to the appear-
ance of our quarters commenced, and
by noon this was done to the satisfac-
tion of all. Despite the agreement to
do no hunting on that day, the con-
tinuous drumming of quails was too
alluring for me to resist, so shoulder-
ing my shot gun, I started out, prom-
ising to bring in a lot of quail for
supper. In less than two hours I had
bagged at least three dozen birds. On
my way back and not a quarter of a
mile from camp, I came to an attrac-
tive little clearing surrounded by large
oaks. Under one of these I sat for a
short time, keeping very quiet in the



hope that a flock of quail would come
out of the brush and give me a chance
to increase the weight of my bag.
Presently I noticed that the limb of a
small tree not sixty feet away was
swaying violently, and upon changing
my position to obtain a better view,
what was my consternation at behold-
ing an enormous grizzly bear ! He
sat on his haunches eating berries,
seemingly without paying the slight-
est attention to my presence. That
he had already seen me I had little
doubt, and that little doubt was
removed when his bearship suddenly
turned his head in my direction,

Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Californian (Volume 4) → online text (page 38 of 120)