Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
In September 1885 a petty dispute among Euro-American and Chinese Union Pacific miners in Wyoming exploded into a homicidal spree which left twenty-five confirmed dead Chinese miners, and another twenty-six missing and presumed dead. In the weeks and months which followed, other Chinese miners and laborers were robbed, killed, or hounded out of the United States. Some of the parties responsible for these atrocities were arrested and brought to trial, but juries found no one guilty of these genocidal crimes. Many local, state, territorial, military, and federal government officials made good-faith efforts to protect the Chinese, but their efforts primarily hastened the exodus of the Chinese contract workers from American shores; for protection usually meant little more than safe passage away from the danger areas, and most of the western US was a dangerous area for Chinese nationals after Rock Springs. Craig Storti's brief account of these events revives long dormant, shameful memories of an era in American history when racial and ethnic prejudices ran unchecked and labor unrest all too easily led to homicide.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1992