Chinese on Santa Cruz Island

From WikiName
Jump to: navigation, search

CHINESE: SANTA CRUZ ISLAND


September 30, 1856 [SDU]: “At 7:30 P.M., September 28th, below Monterey, during a thick fog, [a steamer] ran down the schooner Frances Skiddy, of 17-1/2 tons. The Captain, Hugh Robertson, was drowned. The schooner was bound to Santa Cruz Island with a cargo of provisions for the Chinese fishery, and had on board four Chinese passengers, who were all saved. One Chinaman had his shoulder broken, but is doing well. The steamer was on her usual course, with her lights burning. The crew of the schooner report that they heard the steamer for some minutes before striking, but became bewildered, and the Captain ordered the helm put down, which kept the schooner directly in the steamer’s track, without showing a light until nearly under her bows, when it was too late to prevent the catastrophe. The names of the persons saved are Captain Eastman of the sloop Marin; James Wilson, James Hardy, John Bathgate, and four Chinamen.”


May 29, 1876 [SBDP]: “As the Star of Freedom was coming over from Santa Cruz Island on Saturday, a Chinaman who had been employed on the island and was returning to Santa Barbara jumped overboard and was drowned. From the actions of the man, who had been leaning on the rail laughing and talking to himself, it is thought he went overboard in a fit of insanity.”


July 19, 1876 [SBDP]: “Four Chinamen came ashore in two small rowboats yesterday, which were loaded with their luggage and trinkets. On being interviewed, they stated that they had just completed the transit from Santa Cruz Island to this place in their open boats, and had been three days on the water.”


January 6, 1878 [SBDP]: “A Chinese schooner, the Ung Wa, Captain Hop Lee, arrived Saturday afternoon and left this morning for Santa Cruz Island to ‘gather shells’ as ‘in days of yore.’”


January 6, 1879 [SBDP]: “A Chinese schooner, the Ung Wa, Captain Hop Lee, arrived Saturday afternoon and left this morning for Santa Cruz Island to gather shells as in days of yore.”


August 7, 1883 [ODNY]: “Captain A. Larco, a California fisherman, recently made an extensive cruise along the coast… He had undertaken the contract to provision four seal-fishing stations on Santa Cruz and San Miguel islands… At one place Captain Larco found a colony of Chinamen engaged in gathering abalones and catching and drying rock cod and bluefish for shipment to China. They have accumulated several tons of dried fish and will soon have a load for a schooner…”


September 22, 1883 [SBDP]: “There are 170 sacks of abalone piled up on Stearn’s Wharf. These shells are gathered by Chinamen at Santa Cruz Island and are brought here in large quantities by schooners.”


January 21, 1884 [SBDI]: “... About the cove the land lies flat and an old Indian burial ground gives silent testimony of the vanished race who found Santa Cruz [Island] a peaceful home. Two Chinese camps busy in gathering abalone...”


May 9, 1884 [SBDI]: “A party of 15 Chinamen were shipped in two parties this morning for the islands of Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa by the schooner Santa Rosa. They are abalone fishermen and have with them a complete outfit for a long stay on the islands. They use long flat-bottom boats, like the sharpie of the New England coast, save that it is steered by a clumsy Oriental-looking sweep tied to the stern instead of the ordinary oar or rudder.”


April 27, 1885 [SBDI]: “A Chinese junk is lying in our harbor, the property of Sing Chung the Chinese merchant. She is from San Diego and we are credibly informed that the white fishermen made it very unpleasant for the Mongolian fishermen, and the junk in the future will ply the waters near Santa Cruz Island. The fish they catch is dried and forwarded to China.”


May 1, 1885 [DAC]: “A Santa Barbara exchange of the 27th ult. says: ‘A Chinese junk is lying in our harbor, the property of Sing Chung, the Chinese merchant. She is from San Diego, and we are credibly informed that the white fishermen made it very unpleasant for the Mongolian fishermen, and the junk in the future will ply the waters near Santa Cruz Island. The fish they catch is dried and forwarded to China.”


September 2, 1885 [SBDP]: “The gathering and curing of abalones is an important item of business here, the product finding a market chiefly among the Chinese, who ship large quantities of the tough yet mourishing flesh to the Flowery Kingdom. The sloop Ocean King night before last brought a cargo of 120 sacks of abalone to this port from Santa Cruz Island, each bag weighing 75 to 80 pounds, and making a total weight of about five tons. The market price of the shells is so low just now that they are left at the island until there is a demand for them.”


January 23, 1886 [SBDP]: “A Chinese junk arrived in port this morning with a cargo of fish for Sing Chung, making two junks now in port besides the schooners Rosita and Star of Freedom, the latter vessel arrived from Santa Cruz Island yesterday, for freight brought down by the steamer Santa Rosa.”


July 26, 1890 [VFP]: “The Examiner tells how a Chinese junk has been smuggling opium at Santa Cruz. Several junks are continually in and out of this port, and if the Government had an inspector here some startling developments might be made. But as the nearest inspector is thirty miles away, Santa Barbara is the safest smuggling point on the coast, and that fact is well known to those in the business.”


August 5, 1891 [SBMP]: “The two Chinamen arrested at Santa Cruz Island for stealing sheep were fined $70 yesterday by Judge Crane.”


August 8, 1891 [SBMP]: “The schooner Star of Freedom left for Santa Cruz Island yesterday with several Chinamen, who had been brought from the island charged with sheep stealing.”


May 9, 1896 [SBDI]: “A party of fifteen Chinamen were shipped in two parties this morning for the islands of Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa, by the schooners bearing the same names. They are abalone fishermen and have with them a complete outfit for a long stay on the islands. They use long flat bottom boats, like the sharpie of the New England coast, save that it is steered by a clumsy oriental-looking sweep tied to the stern instead of the ordinary oar or rudder.”


June 30, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “The Chinese junk Cho Lee is in port from Santa Cruz Island with a cargo of abalones and shells.”


December 13, 1898 [SBMP]: “The yacht Helene, built a few years ago by J. D. Axtell and owned by Edwards & Company, is a total wreck in Forney's Cove on Santa Cruz Island... We [Rosaline Vasquez] had been at San Miguel Island for a cargo of guano. Beside Captain Vasquez and myself, there was a man named Charley from Carpinteria who was taking the trip for the pleasure of it, and the crew, José Olivas, G. Massia and José Cota. We sailed from San Miguel on the 8th with a fair wind. The cargo was 4-1/2 tons of guano. Late in the day we sailed to Forney’s Cove on Santa Cruz Island and laid there... Helene drifted into the blind breakers... About a half a mile away we found a deserted house at a Chinese camp; we broke in and got something to eat: rice, flour, etc...”


December 13, 1898 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Santa Rosa came into port late last night bring with her six shipwrecked men from the schooner Helene. These men tell a fearful tale of exposure that they had to endure for two days on a rock off Santa Cruz Island… Late the next afternoon the tide had gone down so low that it was possible to wade a considerable distance, and by swimming a short distance they reached the main island. There they found an old Chinese cabin with some provisions, which they used…”


August 11, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “It is reported that about two tons of abalones were stolen recently from the Chinese fishing camp on the east end of Santa Cruz Island. This is the second theft of the kind within four months. Early in the spring the camp was raided while the three Chinese occupants were out fishing, and 1500 pounds of dried abalone meat were taken with all the rice and provisions of the camp. Eight weeks later when the schooner Dawn called at the camp, one Chinaman was found dead and the other two had lain down to die. The Chinamen in both cases did not know the pirates.”


August 22, 1900 [SBMP]: “Late yesterday afternoon constables Hopkins and Sansome arrested William Gerald and Frank Reina on a complaint sworn by Ah Poy, who charges them with Grand Larceny. He alleges in the complaint that William Gerald, Frank Reina and John Doe stole from him 43 sacks of abalone shells and 20 sacks of abalone meat, valued at $150. The thieves stole the abalone shells and meat at the islands, and there sailed in their boat to Gaviota where they shipped the stuff to San Francisco. It is claimed that there is a clear case against the accused. On being arrested they were brought before Justice Wheaton, who, at the request of the accused’s council, set the 27th at ten o’clock. Their bail was fixed at $1000 each. Witnesses will be brought from the islands and San Francisco for the prosecution. Also wharfinger McNealy of Gaviota.”


August 24, 1900 [LAH]: ”Santa Barbara, Aug. 23,—One of the two men arrested here a day or so ago, charged with stealing abalones from Chinese fishermen on Santa Cruz Island, was seen in the county jail this morning. He refused to admit his guilt of the theft, but when closely questioned said that he knew who the parties were who some time ago caused the death of a Chinaman on San Clemente Island by stealing his provisions. The man may yet be brought to the point of telling who these provision thieves were. If they can be located the most serious charges will be brought against them, as their victim perished of starvation.”


August 25, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “The robbery of the Chinese abalone fishers on Santa Cruz Island seems to have been partially cleared up by the arrest of Frank Reina and William Gerald, who have been navigating the Channel Waters in an old junk called the Acme. The two men were arrested on a complaint sworn by Ah Poy, who alleges that he lost about thirty sacks of dried abalones at their hands a few weeks ago and that they shipped their booty from the Gaviota wharf to San Francisco. When captured aboard their junk, Reina submitted peacefully, but Gerold showed fight and had to be overpowered. Both men were taken ashore by officers Hopkins and Sansome and being unable to give $1000 bond were sent to jail. When near the jail door Reina broke away from Constable Hopkins and tried to escape. Glancing over his shoulder he saw Hopkins draw his gun and he halted immediately, saying he know the officer’s reputation. The detention of these men may furnish some explanation to the thefts of abalones and provisions from Santa Cruz Island which caused the death by starvation of a Chinese fisherman and brought his fellows near death’s door.”


August 28, 1900 [SBMP]: “Abalone thieves put no defense and were bound over. S. E. Crow is their attorney. The preliminary examination of William Gerald and Frank Reina were held before Justice Wheaton yesterday on the charge of Grand Larceny. They were both held to answer to the superior court on the same charge. Gerald and Reina were arrested on Wednesday on a warrant, sworn to by Ah Poy, charging them with stealing 40 sacks of abalone shells and 20 sacks of abalone meat. In the examination yesterday, it was learned that Gerald and Reina were engaged with their boat to take P. E. L. Hillyer and a party to the islands on a cruise. After leaving the party on the island, the defendants left for a short trip, agreeing to be back at a staged time. When they returned somewhat later than the agreed time, they stated that they were becalmed and could not get back. Wharfinger McNealy of Gaviota testified that during that identical time the defendants came to Gaviota, and from there shipped about 60 sacks of abalones to San Francisco. The defendants, represented by S. E. Crow, Esq. put up no defense, and were held to answer to the Superior Court by Justice Wheaton.”


August 28, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “Reina and Gerald, charged with stealing abalones from the Chinese fishermen on Santa Cruz Island, came up before Justice Wheaton this morning for examination. The men were held to answer the charge in the Superior Court. Their bonds were left at $1000 each.”


August 31, 1900 [SBMP]: “The junk Acme sailed yesterday with Joe Arabas in command instead of buccaneer Reina.”


September 1, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “Ex-Deputy Sheriff Chris Brown of San Diego is in the city. He confirms the report that two of the abalone thieves incarcerated here served six months in the San Diego County jail for smuggling Chinese into the country.”


September 7, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “Frank Reina and Gerald, the alleged Channel pirates accused of robbing Chinese abalone fishermen, were arraigned in the Superior Court this morning. Reina pleaded guilty and sentenced to four years insane Quentin. Gerald will stand trial.”


September 9, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “The trial of the case of the People vs. William Gerald, the channel pirate, who stole abalones from Santa Rosa Island Chinese, is set for the 27th inst.”


October 2, 1900 [SBDI]: “The gasoline schooner Santa Cruz arrived this morning with 15 tons of abalone shells and four Chinamen from the camp on Santa Cruz Island.”


October 3, 1900 [SBMP]: “The gasoline schooner Santa Cruz arrived yesterday from the islands, bringing over tons of abalone shells and four Chinamen from the Chinese fishing camps.”


October 3, 1900 [LAT/SB]: “The schooner Santa Cruz came in from the island, bringing off the four Chinese abalone fishers, who have spent the summer there. Her cargo consisted of fifteen tons of abalone shells.”


November 6, 1900 [SBDI]: “Five Chinamen were taken to Santa Cruz Island today to establish an abalone camp.”


November 24, 1900 [SBDI]: “The schooner Santa Cruz left for the island today with several laborers and Chinamen.”


November 25, 1900 [SBMP]: “The schooner Santa Cruz left yesterday for the islands taking a number of laborers and Chinamen.”


May 12, 1901 [SBMP]: “Captain Vasquez, with the Big Loafer took a number of Chinamen to Santa Cruz Island yesterday. They will establish an abalone fishing camp.”


January 20, 1902 [LAT/SB]: “Smugglers of Chinese. Evidence of their operations found near Santa Barbara. The United States Revenue cutter Bear is here under orders from Washington to investigate the smuggling of Chinese at this port… evidence that smuggling has been carried on within a few months was found on Santa Cruz and one of the other islands… Today every boat at anchor in the harbor was visited…”


April 24, 1902 [LAT]: “The schooner Restless left for Santa Cruz Island at noon yesterday with a lot of Chinese, who are employed by the canning company to gather abalones and assist in the cannery.”


August 6, 1904 [SBMP]: “Cargo of Sea Grass. The sloop Big Loafer came over from Santa Cruz Island yesterday with a cargo of 95 sacks of sea grass, a species of kelp gathered by the Chinese on the west end of the island where they maintain a camp. This particular kind of kelp is considered a great delicacy by the Chinese and it is shipped to China where it brings a good price.”


August 12, 1904 [SBMP]: “The sloop Big Loafer brought in a cargo of sea weed and other merchandise from Santa Cruz Island yesterday which was turned over to the Sun Lung Company of this city.”


September 6, 1904 [SBMP]: “The launch Peerless returned last night from Forney's Cove, Santa Cruz Island, with a number of Chinese and a cargo of sea grass. The Peerless made the trip in four hours.”


[1905 Sunset Magazine]: “The West Coast Fishing Company, under the terms of a lease, has erected a cannery at Pelican Bay, and in every cove one runs into Chinese and Italian craw fishers who are in the employ of the company. Here and there, too, Japanese are seen diving for abalones.”


August 19, 1905 [SBMP]: “Henry Ables, the recently appointed patrolman of the State Board of Commissioners, returned yesterday from Santa Cruz Island with three Chinese fishermen whom he found with undersized abalones in their possession. The chinks were taken before Justice Wheaton, as the evidence was conclusive, all pleaded guilty. Each was fined $25. In addition to their fine, the fishermen will have the added expense of returning to the island.”


August 18, 1908 [SPDN]: “Mr. [Fred] Caire expressed satisfaction with the action of the legislature in prohibiting the catching of crawfish or abalone for two years. There will be no fishing permits on the island this year, in consequence… Mr. Caire said the Chinese who gather abalone and sea weed have caused less trouble on the island than Americans. They pay a small rent for the use of the land and this has served to regulate their actions.”


September 2, 1908 [SBI]: “Abalone shells are disappearing from the shores of Santa Cruz Island because fishermen gather them for bait, paying no attention to size, and disregarding state law. On Santa Rosa Island the shells are becoming scarcer, although Chinamen who gather them for market are said to obey the law and take only shells, which are twelve inches or more in circumference. Twelve tons of shells, filling 50 gunny sacks, were brought from Santa Rosa Island this week by four Chinamen and sold for $12 per ton… G. M. McGuire who probably handles more abalone shells than any other man on the Pacific coast, buying from Chinamen and shipping to San Francisco and other cities, is authority for the statement that fishermen are responsible for the disappearance of abalones…”


August 31, 1908 [SBI]: “Four Santa Barbara Chinamen returned from Santa Cruz Island this morning on the large cattle schooner, Santa Rosa, which they had chartered to carry to this city one of the largest shipments of abalone shells and cured abalone meat ever taken from the Santa Barbara Islands in a single season. The party has been in camp on the south side of Santa Cruz Island for three months. The cargo which is being unloaded today consists of 12 tons of shells, worth $50 per ton, six tons of cured abalone meat valued at $160 per ton, and two tons of sea grass, which Chinese people use in manufacture of a condiment that is exceedingly popular with the Celestials. The four Chinamen will earn nearly $2000 as the result of their three months’ work. The party was managed by Ah Poy and financed by You Kee, a merchant on Canon Perdido Street. The 12 tons of abalone shells, packed into 500 gunny sacks, were purchased today by G. M. McGuire of this city, who will ship them to factories where they are made into ornaments including buttons, cuff buttons, and trinkets. The abalone meat, which was cured by the Chinamen on the island, will be sold to San Francisco and shipped either to Honolulu or China. Abalone meat is popular both with Japanese and Chinese.”


1908, Fred Caire stated: “the Chinese who gather abalone and sea weed have caused less trouble on the island than Americans. They pay a small rent for the use of the land and this has served to regulate their actions.” Ah Poy of Santa Barbara had a contract for abalone gathering on Santa Cruz Island.


January 6, 1909 [SBMP]: “The Gussie M, under Captain Vasquez, came into port yesterday with 84 tons of abalones from the islands and eight tons of shells from Santa Cruz Island. The cargo was sold to Chinese firms.”


August 14, 1909 [SBI]: “Fred F. Caire, of San Francisco, who with other members of the Caire family hold the title to Santa Cruz, largest of the Santa Barbara group of islands, announced today that it may be necessary to establish a patrol along the shores of the island and eject all campers who do not hold permits from the family of the management. .. Mr. Caire said the Chinese who gather abalone and sea weed have caused less trouble on the island than Americans. They pay a small rent for the use of the land and this has served to regulate their actions...’”


June 29, 1911 [SBMP]: “Abalone camps on Channel Islands — large parties of Chinamen prepare for harvest of shellfish. The Gussie M, Captain Vasquez, has already landed one large party of the south side of Santa Cruz Island, and will sail tomorrow with another party, having concessions from Vail & Vickers, owners of Santa Rosa Island. They will also be located on the ocean side of the island. Both camps are provisioned for an extended stay.”


July 29, 1911 [SBMP]: “To Islands Today. The Gussie M, Captain Rosaline cruise to Santa Cruz Island with Mr. and Mrs. L. F. Ruiz and Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Greenwell, who will camp at that place for a couple of weeks. Returning, the Gussie M will bring a cargo of abalone meat and shells from the Chinese camp at Forney's cove on the south side of the island. Vasquez also hopes to secure three seals for eastern shipment.”


August 3, 1911 [SBMP]: “Captain Rosaline Vasquez of the Gussie M, returning yesterday from Santa Cruz Island, reported that he stood off Forney’s Cove on the south side of the island for two days awaiting moderation in the weather so that he might land, and then gave up the idea. A cargo of abalone meat and shells is awaiting shipment from that harbor where a party of Chinese fishermen is encamped. He will return to Forney’s today hoping for better luck. A heavy swell has been running since the northwest blow of Sunday night.”


August 5, 1911 [SBMP]: “The power boat Gussie M, returning yesterday from Forney’s Cove on the south side of Santa Cruz Island, bringing the Chinese abalone fishermen who have been camped there for some months. The boat brought a cargo of between four and five tons of abalone shells and a quantity of seaweed of which the Chinese are so fond.”


December 19, 1911 [SBMP]: “Captain Swenson and his mate, names Pierson, will be before Justice Wheaton Wednesday to answer to the charge of battery, preferred by a Chinaman, who claims that one of them struck him over the head with a monkey wrench. The affair happened some days ago at Santa Cruz Island, and the warrants were served by Constable Storni when the pair landed at San Pedro. Swenson attempted to start piracy proceedings against the Chinaman, claiming that he tried to take forcible possession of their boat; but piracy would not hold because the alleged offense was not committed on the open sea. They have retained J. J. Squier as their attorney.”


December 23, 1912 [SBI]: “Rough weather along the south side of Santa Cruz Island has prevented the landing of small boats there for several days. A party of Chinese, equipped for abalone fishing on the island, left early last week. They were forced to put back to Santa Barbara and wait for the sea to go down. They headed for the islands again Sunday morning.”


March 14, 1915 [SBMP]: “After Irish Moss. Captain Ira K. Eaton left for Forney's Cove, Santa Cruz Island yesterday morning with a crew of Chinamen who will make camp there for the purpose of gathering Irish moss, which they will export to China, where this sea product is regarded a great food delicacy.”


August 29-September 14, 1948 [O. P. Pearson Field Notes]: “… Walked up the [Santa Cruz Island] valley about three miles to the ranch buildings where we found only a Chinese cook and one ranch hand…”