Charles Frederick Holder.

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1 ' These .streams, ' ' said my compan-
ion, "are not always the quiet ones
they appear, and what astonishes me
is that the fish are not entirely washed
out. Some years ago I was making a
trip over the mountains in winter,
when I was caught in a rain storm,
and camped not far from this spot. I
thought I would be safe on a boulder,
but during the night I was aroused
by a terrific roaring sound, and
found that the water was rising,
and that the entire canon had been
transformed into a wild torrent. For-
tunately there grew a big sycamore
by the rock, which I reached by some
wild-grape vines, gaining an upper
limb, and that was my camp for nearly
twenty-four hours. By actual meas-
urement the water rose ten feet above
the rock."

We fished this mountain stream
from end to end, then later found our
way into the picturesque county of
Marin that reaches from the Golden
Gate north along shore for miles, a
region suggestive of trout streams and
wild game.

The county has Tamalpais as a
landmark, a fine, isolated mountain
peak whose shadow darkens the waters
of the Golden Gate, and from whose
sides burst springs and rivulets that
make up many trout streams in Marin.
We entered this fair trout country up
to the north by Cazadero, and worked
our way down the summer streams by
easy stages, literally, a horseback
fishing party, since we made our long
stretches by this means, and carrying
our blankets and other equipments,
while we slept at night beneath the
redwoods in the sweetest, purest air
under the sun.

Around Cazadero there are many

famous trout streams that flow gently
along through a most charming coun-
try. There are the redwoods in all
their glory, magnificent specimens of
trees still untouched by the vandal
wood-chopper, and among the giants
wind one of the best streams foi
trout in the vicinity. Fastening our
horses we took to the stream, w!
four lofty redwoods pierced the sky,
and were soon wading down the stream
that forced its way into the \
heart of the forest. The water wai
clear as crystal, and young tn at
dashed here and there at every step,
while their larger fellows could be
seen under the rift, inviting conclu-
sions with the fly. The stream flowed
silently along, creeping now and then
beneath the low branches of the trees,
then coming out into the warm sun-
light and flowing over half exposed
pebbles to merge again into the deep
gloom of the redwoods. Standing
knee-deep in an open spot where the
sunlight poured in, I cast my first fly
in a gentle riffle down stream. A
gleam of silver and gold, a dash and
the melody of the reel told of noble
game. Away he rushed down a little
fall out into the sunlight, shaking
golden spray all about in a desperate
effort at freedom, falling back to come
up stream faster than I could reel in.
then, turning, catching a glimpse of
me only to dart away again. Far
down stream he ran, now hiding
beneath the combing banks, then out
into the sunlight, fighting hard for
life only to finally come in game to the
very last.

Wading down the stream, we ob-
tained more than the enjoyment of
landing gamey trout. The bm<>k
took us into some of the most delight-
ful nooks and comers of California.
Winding down through fertile val-
leys with high mountains on either
side, the outer Coast Range to the
west formed the ocean barrier over
which rifts of fog came, gleaming like
patches of molten silver, to be broken
or dissipated by the warm air rising
from the valley. Here the stream crept



through deep underbrush and sud-
denly seemed to stop as a giant fallen
redwood barred the way, the latter
illustrating well the peculiar growth of
these trees, as from the trunk numbers
of trees were growing forming a lit-
eral redwood fence of rare beauty,
beneath which many large trout
lurked and tempted the angler to
inglorious ventures. Not far below,
a tree had bridged the brook, at a
famous fishing point, and flies were
cast from this vantage point with
goodly results. Some of the most
delightful scenery was found in the
shadow of Tamalpais. Here the
stream wound its way down a deep
canon or valley from which rose lofty
hills clothed with pines and redwoods,
so old and tall that even fierce fires
that had swept over the country had
not affected them. Standing among
these giants of the forest, their tops
seemed lost in the blue sky above,

while their great bases were buried
deep in masses of fern and moss, the
accumulations of centuries. Wading
.slowly along, noting the rare beauty
of it all, occasionally dropping my fly
upon the ripple, I suddenly came
to a leafy barrier, and saw beyond an
open space into which the sun poured,
beautifully illumining a little sandy
beach with a flood of light in strong
contrast to where I stood. There was
absolute silence except the occasional
hoarse cry of a blue shrike as it dived
down into the green abyss from above,
or the love note of the plumed quail
that came gently on the breeze. As I
stood silent in the very enjoyment of
the scene, there came a .soft crunch
upon the gravel, and out from the
brush stepped a black-tailed deer, a
noble fellow, with a fine pair of antlers.
He stopped a moment, raised his big,
lustrous eyes to the hillsides, listened
to the tell-tale quail notes, expand-
ing his nostrils, then walked
boldly into the stream and
drank the clear water, so
near me that had it not
been for the verdure I could
have dropped a fly fairly
upon his back. Not a sus-
picion had he, and after
drinking his fill he w T aded
into the brook, spoiling my
fishing by cooling his hoofs
along the shallows, until
the deep underbrush swal-
lowed him up.

From this trout stream
we climbed the range and
looked down upon Bolinas
with its bay and long
stretch of sandy beach — the
blue ocean on one hand and
the eternal green of the
redwood forest on the
other. Here a little inn
crowned the summit, where
good refreshments for man
and beast were found, and
about which grand scenery
delighted the eye. We
were almost as high as the
summit of Tamalpais, that




looked like a hill to the east. Far
beyond rose the snow-capped Sierra
Nevadas, while to the north stretched
away the country over which we
had fished, with its forests, hills,
valleys, its streams, its acres of flow-
ers and verdure. A fine carriage
road carries one from the summit back
to civilization, and one bright morning
our horses brought us to I^agunitas —

a little lake deep in the woods at
I he very base of Tamalpais. Here
v/e took a boat and spent the day
drifting in the little bays that in-
dent its shores. The trout were
small, but gamey, and afforded fine
fly fishing. The lake is one of the
most picturesque spots in Marin
County, an ideal place for the artist
as well as the angler. Tamalpais
rises abruptly to the south ; while
to the west a wall of verdure forma
a wooded barrier that is reflect,
the lake.

The high water had encroached
upon the land, and masses of white
flowers bordered the lake, affording
runways to the small fry that defied
the fiery eye of the watchful heron
standing silent guard by a sub-
merged fence, under and through
which the trout passed. To the
artist the beauties of Laguuitas are
endless, the vistas of water beneath
big madronas or flowering shrubs,
the banks of wild flowers reaching
up from the lake, the little bays
here and there reflecting the sky
and tiers of forests, forming condi-
tions that appeal strongly to the
artistic sense. It may be suspected
that we did not fish for the mere
sake of fishing ; trout was not the
only object, it was the excuse to
wander over one of the most delight-
ful regions in California — a land
almost within sight of a city of
300,000 inhabitants, yet nearly as
wild and untouched by vandal civ-
ilization as the heart of the Sier-





WHEN the Act of May, 1892,
known as the Geary Act, was
passed, the Chinese Societies,
commonly called the Six Companies,
at once made strenuous efforts to ren-
der it inoperative. As is well known
they sent their emissaries through the
length and breadth of the land pro-
claiming to the ignorant Chinese
laborers that the enactment was in con-
travention of treaty stipulations, and
that they intended to prove its illegal-
ity in the Courts of the United States.
The)' raised a large sum of money —
$200,000, it is estimated — for that
purpose, by calling for pecuniary aid,
or rather imposing a forced contribu-
tion of one dollar per head upon
coolies and laborers, while the mer-
chants and other classes subscribed
sums varying from that amount up to
twenty dollars. They counseled non-
compliance with the law and held out
confident promises of immunity in

case of failure to register. Such is
the power of these Companies that
their suggestions or instructions were
SO well carried out that of the 110,000
Chinese resident in the United States,
little over ten per centum took out
certificates of registration.

When the Supreme Court of the
United States, on May 15th last,
declared the Geary Exclusion Act to
be constitutional, there was no little
excitement in this city among the
misguided Chinamen, and as soon as
their eyes were opened to the evil
counsel which they had followed,
their auger was great. But of this
we will speak later, preluding remarks
on the effect of the disappointment of
the Chinese community by a brief his-
tory of the Six Companies, with some
explanation of the cause of their
anxiety to overthrow the Act.

These societies are known by the
names of the Sam Yup, the Yeong




Wo, the Yan Wo, the Kong Chow,
the Ning Yeong and the Hop Wo
Companies. There is also the Shu
Hing Company, which, however, is
only a branch of the last-named of the

The presidents, named in the same
order, are respectively, Chun Ti Chu,
Chu Shee Sum, Chan Fau, L,ui Kun,
Lee Cheang Chun, Yee Ha Chung
and Chang Wall Kwan. These officers
are elected annually by the votes of
the merchant members of the societies
in San Francisco, who take care to
appoint men of education and ability.
A few words explanatory of the
illustration of the meeting hall, where
the representatives of these companies
assemble, will not be out of place.
The members of the different societies
take their seats in the massive, heavy,
dark-wood chairs arranged along the
sides of the wall and at the farther
end of the room. Around the center
table are seated the directors when
in conclave, and the altar-looking
construction at the head of the hall
represents the presence of the Empe-
ror, who is supposed to preside over
the council. A copy of his signature
is presented on the white rectangular
slab in the center of the pictorial rep-
resentation of the royal presence.

These Six Companies were de-
veloped from six Chinese agencies
established originally in the same
number of districts in Canton for the
purpose of promoting coolie immigra-
tion into this country. As early as
1850, Chinese labor was in demand in
California, and American agents pro-
ceeded to Hong-Kong to procure
coolies, which could only be done by
the employment of Chinamen as aux-
iliaries. These latter with the shrewd-
ness of their race, soon perceived that
an extensive and profitable business
could be built up by the exportation
of laborers and workmen to the Pacific
C : ibiisiied headquarters

in San Francisco and presently formed
themselves itto the corporation ki
as the Six Companies. Since
time they have introduced into the
Vol. IwL 11

United States every Chinaman that
comes under the denomination of
working man. The farmhand, the
manufacturer's operative, the domestic
servant, the washerman, the vegetable
gardener and peddler, the placer
miner, the shrimp-fisher and the small
retail vender are all imported by them
and are their serfs. In feet the Six
Companies have practically established
a system of slavery under the
nose of our Government. / Their
method of procedure is as follow- :
Through their agents in China thej
agree to pay the emigrant's pas
and secure employment for him on hi>
arrival here ; to provide and caiv
him when sick ; to give him legal ad-
vice ; and in case of his death abroad
to send his remains back to China.
On the emigrant's part he binds
himself to obey the orders of the Com
panies, and for the repayment of his
passage money mortgages the
ceeds of his labor, his earning 1
also garnished with an exaction of
two and a half per centum during his
stay in this country. Few are the
Chinamen resident here who get out
of the clutches of the Six and become
independent of them ; the vast major-
ity are their bondsmen. It will
readily be seen what immense pn
are derived from such a system of
taxation. \

As a matter of course, they soon
began to flood California with Chinese
workingmen, and no longer confining
their emigration agencies in China to
the exportation of out-of-door lalx
introduced into this State a cla«
workmen of higher intelligence —
operatives of the skilled labor order
— established factories and instructed
^the immigrants in manufacturing
entirely new to them. The facult
imitation is strongly developed in the
Chinaman, while his patience
careful attention under instruction is
super!, itive. lie rapidly H quires the
practical skill in mechanical work »

ch enables him to turn out manu-
factured articles of a quality equal to
that of the generality of productions



by white labor, and by reason of his
extraordinary endurance under a sys-
tem of long-hour work, cheap living
and low pay, has proved himself a
most depressive competitor to the
white operative in most branches of
industry on this coast.

This formidable competition in time
reached such proportions and was of
.such serious detriment to the welfare
of our laboring classes that, in 1880,
the Government at Washington sought
to restrict Chinese immigration into
the United States by entering into a
new treaty with China. The provis-
ions of it were, however, inadequate
to lessen the influx, and in May, 1881,
a restriction law was passed, prohibit-
ing the coming of Chinese laborers
into this country for ten years and
requiring the registration of all future
immigrants from China, who for that
purpose were to be provided with cer-
tificates from the Chinese authorities
to the effect that the persons bearing
them were not of the laboring class.
As is well known the intention of
this law was frustrated by the action
of the Six Companies, who, by sup-
plying immigrants with forged certif-
icates, enabled them to get registered
on their arrival at our ports. Subse-
quent enactments of 1S84 and 1888
proved equally ineffective and thou-
sands of the obnoxious race have
fraudulently gained admission into the
Pacific Coast States during the last
ten years.

The heads of the Six Companies
rank in intelligence among the ablest
and most astute of their countrymen.
Well educated, possessed of adminis-
trative and commercial abilities of the
highest order, and free from all those
scruples of conscience which the
Asiatic regards as weaknesses, they
are men who can and will take every
advantage, fair or foul, that will con-
duce to their own interests and those
of the Companies over whom they
* preside. Chung Tone, the Secret
of the corporation, is exceptionally
gifted with the talents and qu:
for which the educated Chil

conspicuous. Highly accomplished,
rich, and of fine presence, he is a lead-
ing spirit among the members of the
Six Societies. Though belonging to a
class in China which the Emperot
would not recognize, his w T ealth and
importance as an individual will in-
sure his cordial reception at court
when he chooses to return to his

A still more prominent leader in the
important question of the day is
Chun Ti Chu, the president of the
Sam Yup Company. This organiza-
tion is the most powerful of all
Chinese societies. The great Sam
Yup family is composed of hundreds
of thousands of members, and it is
believed that one-half the Chinese in
the United States are members or
dependents of this company, which
has its headquarters at 825 Dupont
street, in this city. Chun Ti Chu is
the ablest leader in the councils of the
Six Companies, and was the foremost
mover in the organization of a vigi-
lance committee among the merchants
to oppose the highbinder Tongs, who
were wont to levy blackmail upon
them with impunity. Since the estab-
lishment of that committee the fertile
fields of plunder have been fenced in
against the highbinders and hard
times have followed. Their joss-
houses were recently destroyed by the
police, and the infamous bagnios on
which they used to levy tribute have
been closed and the inmates driven to
out-of-the-way apartments, incon ve-
il ient for the practice of their calling;
numbers of the highbinders left the
city to work in the canneries in the
North, or were expelled by the police
authorities, and those who remained
have found it a difficult matter to gain
the means of living. Having reached
this fallen state mainly through the
instrumentality of Chun Ti Chu they
g regarded him with feelings
of Hatred which were intensified when
it became known that he Geary Act

pronounced constitu ion
he, in fact, as in the cast of the i
tution of a vigilance conmittee, who



was the principal mover in the plan
adopted to prevent registration — a
plan known to have been objected to
by several of the other companies as
well as by many prominent Chinese

The hatred of the man by the high-
binders displayed itself immediately
after the defeat of the Six Companies
in the Supreme Court of the United
States became generally known, and
on May 17th a price was placed on
Chun Ti Chu's head. This lawless
and murderous class has a wholesome
dread, it seems, of their arch enemy
and feared to assail him. Detective
Cox, than whom no one is better
qualified to speak, owing to his long-
continued services in Chinatown, thus
expresses his opinion of the president
of the Sam Yup Company. " Chun
Ti Chu is one of the ablest and smart-
est Chinese here. He can fight as well
as talk. He is a fine shot and the high-
binders fear him as much as they hate
him. He is brave enough to stand
off three or four highbinders."

Hoping, however, to reach their
enemy by offer of a reward for his
assassination, they secretly posted up
placards in many of the thorough-
fares and alleys of Chinatown, offering
$300 to the highbinder who would
kill the president of the Sam Yup
Company and promising protection
and assistance in court if the murderer
were caught. In the placards Chun
Ti Chu was denounced as an enemy
to the Chinese race as having been
the cause of Chinamen not procuring
their registration certificates within
the time prescribed by the new law.
He was, moreover, charged with being
an enemy to the Tongs and with aid-
ing the police in driving highbinders
out of the city. Of course, the circu-
lars were quickly torn down by the
police and proper measures taken for
the protection of President Chu.

Later in the day. however, they
gave vent to their animosity in abuse.
Another circular was pasted up of an
insulting and offensive nature. ' ' The
President of the Sam Yup Company,' '

it stated, "contains twelve stinkpots
which are inexplicable. He lias no
literary talent. He bought his posi-
tion with money. His father w.
reformed thief. His mother's first
husband was Fung and her second
Chung"— illegitimate in China "He
shields guilty criminals, and tru
free them. He provoked ]>eople to
anger at a meeting and tried to
cape. Therefore, all persons had bet-
ter close their noses before passing
his door." These placards and the
venomous feelings which they display
show that the path of life for the di-
rectors of the Chinese Six Companies
is not smooth. These highbinder ai
ciations, or Tongs, have long been a
thorn in the side to them. Hiding
the real object of their organization
under the pretense that they are rebels
against the Tartar dynasty with the
object of restoring a Chinese monarch
of pure blood to the throne, tin \
have made themselves liable to execu-
tion immediately upon landing on
their native soil. To them deporta-
tion means decapitation, and they
regard with deep resentment the
dangerous position in which their
obedience to the mandates of the com-
panies has placed them. When the
deportation begins these troublesome
and lawless Chinamen will be among
the first that the authorities will send

Shrewd and far-seeing as to their
own interests though they are, the
leaders of these companies seem to
have been influenced in their action
with regard to the Geary Act by even
shrewder minds. The prospect of big
fees induced astute lawyers to hold
out promises of breaking down the
law, promises so plausible that they
doubtless had great weight with the
ruling spirits of the Six Companies in
their decision to contest the constitu-
tionality of the Act. At least such
is the statement of those Chinese mer-
chants who were opposed to the pol-
icy adopted. In thus yielding to the
advice of the lawyers the companies
have overreached themselves, and



placed themselves in a position in
which they are liable to incur far
greater pecuniary loss than they
would have suffered had they with-
held their evil counsel. As the mat-
ter stands their action has placed in
jeopardy a vast annual income which
they would have received for many
years to come, and it must not be
supposed that with such large interests
at stake they have given up the strug-

Unfortunately for the interests of
white labor and the white manufac-
turer, there is reason to fear that the
fight will be a long one. Amply
provided with funds with which to
fee talented counsel, the Chinese com-
panies will take advantage of every
loophole that can be discovered in the
meshwork of law that surrounds the
case, and holes are already being picked
in the Act itself. No stone will be left
unturned to delay the operation of
the enactment. Chinese emissaries
are abroad through the land, hard at
work among religious people and sen-
timentalists in endeavoring to excite
pity for much-abused John ; the con-
sequence is that in many of the East-
ern States where he is not understood,
and which his presence in the country
in no wise affects, a great amount of
misdirected sympathy for him is ex-
pressed. But this same abused China-
man, in spite of ill treatment, would,
in time, if no impediment were placed
in his way, come and possess this
land " flowing with milk and honey."

These sentimentalists not only ig-
nore the curse which coolie labor is to
the Pacific Coast, where alone its
blight is felt at present, and where,
for years past, thousands of men, with
families to support, have been kept
in poverty and want by Chinese cheap
labor, but in their self-sufficiency
leave out of their mental sight the
welfare of our posterity. They may
be put on the same platform of intelli-
gence with that Irish member who,
in his opposition to a bill before
the Parliament involving benefit
to future generations, exclaimed :

"As for posterity, why should we
consider it ? What has posterity done
for us?"

When the Geary Act was declared
constitutional much agitation pre-
vailed throughout the land. The
Chinese were bitterly disappointed
and angry ; the white population of
the Pacific Coast States were jubilant
and somewhat impatient under the
difficulties that stood in the way of
carrying it immediately into effect,
and in the Eastern States a large
amount of sentiment was aroused in
favor of the Chinese. The cry, too,
was raised that China would retaliate
by the expulsion of Americans from
her ports, and possibly by the mas-
sacre of the missionaries at the inland
stations. A war might even be the
consequence if the Act were enforced.
The short-sighted and narrow-minded
authors of these bug-a-boo stories of
reprisals were more self-interested
than actuated by a sincere conviction
that John was being abused and un-
justly treated. All tlje nonsense talked
about harsh and brutal treatment of

Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Californian (Volume 4) → online text (page 61 of 120)