LUNG KOW ( -1899), died on San Nicolas Island.
In the News~
September 28, 1899 [DN]: “…Last winter I spent in Santa Barbara, only coming to the island occasionally. One day a Chinaman came to my lodgings and asked me if I knew San Nicolas, the bleakest and windiest of all the California islands. I said I did. ‘You know Mandalin?’ he asked. Lung Kow… he go San Nicolas; allee same dead man.’ In short, the Chinaman was a representative of the Six Companies of San Francisco, and the mandarin, Lung Kow, had taken a trip for his health to the island with a party of abalone hunters and had died on the desolate spot. He was a big man, and so a delegation of Chinamen had been sent to Santa Barbara to charter a vessel to go to San Nicolas to bring him to the mainland. We soon struck a bargain and set sail… The Mandarin had simply been laid in the sand with his robes about him and his red buttoned hat on. We got him up, put him in the coffin and bolted it down. Then the Chinamen threw handfuls of papers in the air, uttering cries and bowing to the body, to the east and west… We got the coffin in the falls and landed it on deck, putting it across the house… The body was shipped to San Francisco under the same guard… The next week we saw in a San Francisco paper that a lot of smuggled opium had been captured in a coffin, and we began to think that the Mandarin was just an ordinary dummy Chinaman, packed with opium cases, which had been landed at San Nicolas and taken away with us. It looked that way!”