University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Foreign Relations of the United States

Page View

United States Department of State / Index to the executive documents of the House of Representatives for the second session of the forty-fifth Congress, 1879-'80

China,   pp. 181-243 PDF (27.7 MB)

Page 237

                                  No. 116.
                         ]    Witg to lt       . Evtu
                                               CHINESE LEGATION,
                                           Washington, October 10, 1879.
  SIR: Numerous complaints having reached me during the past sum-
mer from San Francisco in regard toa decision of the collector of inter-
nal revenue there affecting the interests of Chinese residents, I venture
to call your attention to the facts, and I inclose documents which fully
explain the subject.
  It is alleged that for the first time-in twenty years the collector re-
fuses to accept as bondsmen for tobacco manufacturers wealthy Chinese
merchants, but insists that the:sureties shall possess-real estate. As the
Chinese rarely own houses and lands, the new regulation operates harshly
against them.    In many cases they are driven into the hands of profes-
sional " 1bond-signers," who exact exorbitant fees for signatures.
the former regulation     the government never suffered loss from the
Chinese, but under the new its receipts are dimiinishing.
   The collector was not compelled by laew to establish the new rule, and
 there are many things connected ,with: it which look like: a design to
 drive the Chinese residents, from    trade in San Francisco. If this be
 true, it is a violation in spirit, if not in letter, of treaty stipulations,
 and by an officer of the United States Government.
   As the regulation referred to is within the discretion of the Execu-
 tive, I have no. hesitation in presenting the subject for your considera-
       I have, &c.,
                          [Inclosure 1 in Mr. Wing's letter,]
                             Mr. Bee to Mr. Wing.,
                                               SAN FRA-CiSCO, June 19, 1879!.
   DEAR SIR: I regret exceedingly the necessity of calling your attention
to'a matter
 which I am compelled to say, after a thorough inquiry, partakes of persecution
 wards a large number of Chinese engaged in the manufacture of cigars and
 in this city. I am compelled to say that, for the first time, this persecution
 from the United States officials, through.the internal-revenue office of
this district. I
 need not call your attention to the nmany annoyances the Chinese have been
 to submit to by statutory enactments- of the State and local authorities.
But I must
 say I never anticipated the United States Government would, in any of its
 ments, without good and sufficient reasons, beinfluenced-by the clamor of
a foreign
 mob and lend, its'aid in, striking down any class of. residents, and 1 don't
believue it will
 tolerate such an act wheninquiy is.made, Hence I place the facts before
you that
 you .may judge if my language is.too strong. As a preface to the great wrong,
I call
 ouri attenti.on to what I call petty persecution. A few monthssince, a ,new
 agent mnde his appearance here, representing the Internal-7Reven.ue Depa.rtment,,
 his acts in connection with "tihe citizens" the proof has fully
ventilated ; his acts to-
 wardRthe Chinese have never been made public.
   This man learned that the Chinese vegetable peddler, in self-defense,
had to take
 with him in his rounds each morning. a pocket full of cigars to appease
the hoodlum
 who met him regularly and demanded his supply of cigars, which the poor
fellow at
 once complied with to save his wares. Scores were arrested and imprisoned
for hav-
 ing unstamped cigars in their possession to'the ruin of. their calling,
and loss of a city
 license of $10 per quarter paid in advance.
   The hoodlum and ex-convicts were pressed into service to convict old established
 factories of illicit acts. The collector ordered the investigation.of one
of the oldest
 factories here upon the affidavit of a young thief who, five days after,
was sent to the
 industrial school for ninety days for petty larceny, and a most estimable
 Mr. Cooper, removed for refusing to be a party to such a transaction. So
much for
 petty acts.
   Please turnto Revised Statutes of United States, second edition, p. 664,
sec. 3387,R
 which requires all cigar manufacturers to give a bond, &c.

Go up to Top of Page