YEAR 1877

RETURN TO 1870 to 1879

Market Street, as seen from Montgomery Street. The city had been a refuge in the 1860s, Tarnoff writes, but by the mid-1870s, it looked more like a dumping ground. People from other parts of the country washed up on its shores looking for work, swelling the ranks of the poor. By 1877, San Francisco's unemployment rate was as high as 25 percent. Bankruptcy, suicide, and murder and robberies were the order of the day,, recalled one workingman. The city's literary fortunes had undergone an equally steep decline. The last remnants of the Bohemian scene had vanished.
Image Courtesy the Society of California Pioneers
Text Courtesy of
Ben Tarnoff

1877 San Francisco City Directory listed Frederick Bee as a capitalist and Frank Bee as a clerk. They resided at the same address.
Edward S. Salomon

Page from the 1877 Official register of the United States
Frank M. Bee worked as an agent of the Palisade to Eureka, NV route for the Post Office.

Anti-Catholicism and Race in Post-Civil War San Francisco by Joshua Paddison

Chinese in America by Reverend Otis Gibson

Our Relations with the Chinese Empire by S. Wells Williams

Read record from Office in charge of Affairs of All Nations

The coal mines of the western coast of the United States (1877)

"Commercial herald" review of the trade of California and the entire Pacific Coast for the year 1876 - Commercial herald and market review.

San Francisco and Chinatown from "America Reivisted"

Brief of the legislation and adjudication touching the Chinese question referred to the Joint commission of both houses of Congress. Comp. by B.S. Brook 1877

Chinese Immigrants at the San Francisco Custom House
Harper's Weekly February, 1877

San Francisco Newsletter

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 2, Number 272, 6 January 1877
San Francisco market review

January 6, 1877 San Francisco News Letter
Western Savings and Loan and Frederick Clay
Editorial about prior restraint

Daily Alta California, Volume 29, Number 9776, 12 January 1877
John H. Griffiths became assignee for the Samoan Commercial and Land Company.

San Francisco News Letter dated January 27, 1877 indicated residents of San Francisco bought muskets at Mare Island and shipped them to Samoa. The muskets were exchanged for land.

February 1, 1877 North China Herald
Acting Secretary of State Cadwallader encouraged a Chinese consulate be built in San Francisco.

February 27, 1877
Page viii, Report of the Joint Special Committee to Investigate Chinese Immigration
The report concluded the Chinese population had few desirable characteristics.
Report in Hathi Trust website

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 7, 1 March 1877
Report of Joint Committee to investigate Chinese immigration

Report on the Agency of A. B. Steinberger in Samoa

March 5, 1877 San Francisco Chronicle
Chinese banquet
These two articles show how the story changed.
The Benton record., March 30, 1877
The true northerner., April 06, 1877

Report of Congressional Committee submitted to Congress.
San Francisco Chronicle (1869-Current File). San Francisco, Calif.: Mar 10, 1877. p. 4 (1 page)
Colonel Bee testified, "John Parrott of the well known banking firm of Parrott & Co., who did the banking business for the whole Chinese population of San Francisco for many years, says he never lost a dollar by a Chinaman."

Daily Alta California, Volume 29, Number 9836, 13 March 1877
South Comstock Gold and Silver shares to be sold at auction because of delinquent assessment .

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 20, 16 March 1877
Chinese woodcutters murdered in Chico, California.

Daily Alta California, Volume 29, Number 9840, 17 March 1877
Prominent citizens gave $500 to Colonel Bee for Chico investigation.

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 21, 17 March 1877
Meeting in Chico to discuss massacre of Chinese.

Butte County Historical Society emailed this excerpt from Michele Shover's "Chico's Lemm Ranch Murders and the Anti-Chinese Campaign of 1877". On pages 45 & 46 ,"On the 17th the Committee learned help would come from the Chinese merchants of San Francisco. The Chico Chinese emissaries who had appealed for their aid moved the Six Companies to instruct Colonel Fred Bee, their 'accredited attorney,' to organize a response. He immediately raised $1,000 for the reward fund and his Chinese clientele provided an additional $500 to hire two detectives for Chico duty. This was the first of at least three racial conflicts in which Col. Bee would represent the Six Companies on behalf of the Chico Chinese..... Fred Bee's efforts as their counsel for over a decade would earn him the resentment of Chico's anti-Chinese residents."

San Francisco Chronicle March 21, 1877
"Col. F. A. Bee, city: Dear Sir: The 11 of 708, have you marked. You had better not have sent your $500 to Chico. The Chinamen have -got to leave this country, and that little affair in Butte county is only a preliminary. Take my advice and leave this State in thirty days or you will be killed. AU of you who are in for coolies and against the whites here are marked. 708."

San Francisco Chronicle (1869-Current File). San Francisco, Calif.: Mar 21, 1877. p. 4 (1 page)
Ah Moon on trial for murder

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 24, 21 March 1877
Colonel Bee received death threat.

Daily Alta California, Volume 29, Number 9845, 22 March 1877
Colonel Bee thanked citizens of San Francisco for donations to Chico fund.

Daily Alta California, Volume 29, Number 9846, 23 March 1877
Order of the Caucasians denied quotes in San Francisco Chronicle.

Daily Alta California, Volume 29, Number 9859, 5 April 1877
Colonel Bee asked Governor Wood for help with Chico murders.

Daily Alta California, Volume 29, Number 9860, 6 April 1877
Ah Moon convicted.

April 14, 1877 San Francisco Newsletter
People v Frederick Marriott, Indictment number 4

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 79, 25 May 1877
Testimony in Chico murder trial

Daily Alta California, Volume 29, Number 9909, 25 May 1877
F A Bee traveled to Oroville to take interest in Chico murderers.

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 80, 26 May 1877
Colonel Bee and R. B. Hall, detective, arrived in Oroville.

June 18, 1877 Daily Oregonian
"A new company has been organized to complete the Olympia and Tenino railroad. The old company sells grade and all rights for $15,000. The latest talk is for narrow gauge."

Annals of the great strikes in the United States. A reliable history and graphic description of the causes and thrilling events of the labor strikes and riots of 1877 .. (1877)

Daily Alta California, Volume 29, Number 9968, 24 July 1877
Riot in San Francisco

San Francisco Chronicle (1869-Current File); Jul 25, 1877
THE HOODLUM WAR: Continued Excitement and Anxiety in the City

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 128, 26 July 1877
Colonel Bee estimated $25,000 in damages.

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 131, 30 July 1877
Chinese workers fired from business in Chico.
Chico, California was founded by John Bidwell.

The Chinese Question by John H. Boalt
published August, 1877
John Henry Boalt obituary

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 134, 2 August 1877
Colonel Bee declined $1,000 from Chinese merchants for the mother of A. H. Gudewill.
Note: A. H. Gudewill was shot at the Rincon Hill riot.

On August 8, 1877 Owen Nickerson Denny and family left San Francisco on the City of Tokio. Owen Nickerson Denny had been appointed U.S. consul in Tinjin, China. In 1880, Denny was promoted to U.S. consul general in Shanghai. Benjamin Nickerson and Owen Nickerson Denny are both related to William N. and Anne Busby who lived in Chatham, Massachusetts in the 1680s according to the Nickerson Family Association. Benjamin Nickerson lived in Placerville, California in the 1850s.

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 143, 13 August 1877
Senator Oliver Morton visited San Francisco
NY Times - Senator Morton visited F. A. Bee.

Daily Morning Call San Francisco August 20, 1877
Interview with F. A. Bee

The Chinese Question Analyzed by John Glasgow Kerr, 1877

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 149, 20 August 1877
Colonel Bee was to sue the federal government for damages to Chinese property.

Daily Alta California, Volume 29, Number 9996, 21 August 1877
Senator Oliver Morton was very sick.
Holladay's restaurant was in Portland, Oregon.

September 10, 1877 Richard Gibbs Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States
Effort of Peruivian Government to induce immigration of Chinese from California

San Francisco Chronicle 13 Sep 1877
The Six Companies Will Lobby a Bill Through to Tax Themselves to Take Themselves Back Home

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 170, 13 September 1877
Colonel Bee and Chinese Six Companies encouraged Fung Pak to discourage emigration when Fung Pak was in China.

September 15, 1877 San Francisco News Letter, page 9, right hand column
Frederick Bee mentioned along with Fung Pak.

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 173, 17 September 1877
Chinese driven out of Rocklin, Placer County, California

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 175, 19 September 1877
Chinese refugees from Penryn, Roseville, Rocklin

Chinese expelled from Rocklin from History of Placer county, California (1882)

September 20, 1877 San Francisco Chronicle
The Rocklin Tragedy
The Chinese will sue Placer County for damages.

Last Tuesday afternoon Colonel F. A. Bee, acting in behalf of the Chinese Six Companies, sent a telegram to Governor Irwin, in which he called attention to the lawless state of affairs in Placer County and the failure of the authorities to suppress the armed bodies of men engaged in driving out and burning the property of Chinese residents, and called upon him to protect from harm the people who came here under solemn treaty obligations. A reporter of the CHRONICLE called upon Colonel Bee yesterday and asked him what the Six Companies had done and would do in relation to the tragedy at Rocklin. In reply, he said that as soon as the news was received here from Rocklin, the officers of the six companies telegraphed to Ah Sam, a shrewd Chinaman, of considerable ability, instructing him to spare no expense in securing the perpetrators of the deed. For the purpose of making a preliminary investigation, Ah Sam visited the house where the murderers were committed, when he was, without ceremony, seized and imprisoned on suspicion of being connected with the crimes. The six companies also desired Colonel Bee to advertise a reward for the apprehension and conviction of the murderers, but he dissuaded them form pursuing this course. In the meantime, however, they are doing their best through their own channels to apprehend the guilty parties. Prominent Chinamen declare it to be their opinion that the murder of the man and woman was not committed by Chinamen but by the teamsters; of the murder of Mr. Sargent they are more doubtful, but claim that if it was done by their countrymen it was the act of highbinders and not of the working classes, and the presence of the highbinders in country is caused solely by the efforts of the Chinese merchants to drive them from San Francisco. Several months ago the Six Companies so represented matters to the Chief of Police that the Chinese theaters were raided and a general search made for highbinders. They also paid for the services of a special officer, who, dressed in citizen's clothes, went through Chinatown and deprived all armed Chinamen he found in the back streets and alleys who did not carry the necessary permit of their weapons, besides arresting several. These and other measures caused the highbinders to flock into the country as the efforts of the late Safety Committee forced large numbers of the hoodlum element out of the city. The Six Companies claim that if the Rocklin murders were committed by Chinamen, it was by the hoodlum element, and not by those who work in and about Rocklin. While the Six Companies deprecate any breach of the peace committed by their people, and say they will use their best endeavors to bring the guilty parties to justice, yet they claim that by the terms of the Burlingame treaty under which they are living in this country, they are as much entitled to protection in the enjoyment of life and property as the native born, and acting in this belief they have instructed Colonel Bee as their attorney to bring suit against Placer county in the name of every Chinese resident driven away from his business for the full amount of each one's individual damages for the destruction of his property and business losses of whatever nature caused by their enforced exodus from Rocklin and any other and all places in the county where they have been made to suffer. These suits will be pushed and every step taken to secure full compensation for all losses caused by persecution. The Six Companies also claim that their countrymen either owned or leased almost all the land within a radius of ten miles from Rocklin, a large portion of which is taken up by mining claims purchased from the whites, which had all, or nearly all, been paid for. They think they see the animus of the present occupants being driven away, and being so thoroughly frightened they will not return to it, thus enabling the former white owners to gain possession of their former property, being in pocket the Chinaman's purchase price. However this may be they say their people have been unjustly treated, and that they shall seek the reparation they feel sure of occurring through the medium of the Courts.

Daily Alta California, Volume 29, Number 10026, 20 September 1877
Governor Irwin commented that Col. Bee's letter was not necessary.
Copy of telegram from Lincoln Daily State Journal: Wednesday, September 19, 1877

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 185, 1 October 1877
Second California Constitutional Convention approved.

Woman's Board of Missions for the Pacific amended articles of incorporation. Mrs. Reverend J. K. McLean was a member.

Cartoon about the formation of the Working Men's Party on October 5, 1877

Daily Alta California, Volume 29, Number 10051, 15 October 1877
John M. Morton, son of Oliver Morton, dangerously ill on St. Paul Island, Alaska

Daily Alta California, Volume 29, Number 10062, 26 October 1877
Bankruptcy of Frederick Clay

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 222, 2 November 1877
Senator Morton, Republican, died.

Otago Daily Times , Issue 4903, 3 November 1877, Page 2
J.B.M Stewart had started company, G. J. Smith & Co., in Samoa.

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 224, 5 November 1877
Chinese Six Companies' letter to the Mayor of San Francisco

November 6, 1877 letter of condolences from Mr. and Mrs. Bee to Mrs. Morton
Courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 225, 6 November 1877
The correct town was Secret Ravine, not Locust Ravine.

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 226, 7 November 1877
Daniel Voorhees, Democrat, appointed to replace Senator Morton.

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 226, 7 November 1877
1,000 Communists meet.

Daily Alta California, Volume 29, Number 10083, 16 November 1877
Col. Bee to respond to Reverend T. K. Noble's lecture regarding the Chinese Question
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 45, Number 6922, 10 June 1873
1873 sermon given by Reverend T. K. Noble I could not find a copy of Reverend's Noble 1877 lecture.

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 246, 30 November 1877
Letter from Senator Sargent to Secretary Evarts

December 1, 1877 San Francisco News Letter, page 9, left hand column
Frederick Bee supplied turkeys for Thanksgiving.

December 8, 1877
Memorial of the Six Chinese Companies ; an address to the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States. Testimony of California's leading citizens before the Joint Special Congressional Committee. Read and judge us.

San Francisco Chronicle, December 10, 1877
H.L. Knight described the Workingmen's 4-step program.
One of the steps was to strip capitalists of their power.

San Francisco Chronicle, December 11, 1877
Colonel Bee denounced at Workingmen's meeting.

December 12, 1877 Daily Evening Bulletin (San Francisco, CA)
Denis Kearney, "When the Chinese question is settled, we can discuss whether it would be better to hang, shoot, or cut the capitalists to pieces...."

The San Francisco Irish, 1848-1880 / R. A. Burchell, 1979

Daily Alta California, Volume 29, Number 10108, 12 December 1877
Letter from Chinese Six Companies to Secretary Evarts
The correct town was Secret Ravine, not Locust Ravine.

Daily Alta California, Volume 29, Number 10108, 12 December 1877
Reply of Chinese Companies to Sargent's letter

RETURN TO 1870 to 1879

Denis Kearney

Senator Oliver Morton