Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Dead Chinese

On June 29, 1870, the bodies of 50, NOT 1,200 Chinese dead arrived in Sacramento by train for reburial, and not all of this much smaller number had died of railroad construction accidents. Many thanks to Wendell Huffman for finding this historical evidence.

From: "Wendell Huffman" wwhuffma@clan.lib.nv.us

... the article from the Sacramento Reporter of 30 June 1870 ... mentions the bones of the 1,200 Chinese ...

... here is a report of – apparently – the same train. But what a different number!

—Wendell


Sacramento Union, June 30, 1870.

BONES OF DEFUNCT CHINAMEN.  Sacramento Union, June 30, 1870.  Courtesy of Wendell Huffman.

"BONES OF DEFUNCT CHINAMEN — The Central Pacific freight train last evening brought to the city the bones of about fifty defunct Chinamen who died from disease or were killed by accident while working on the line of the Central Pacific Railroad. They are to be interred in Conboie's private cemetery, as have been already the bodies of about one hundred others similarly deceased."


Sacramento Reporter, June 30, 1870.

BONES  IN TRANSIT.  Sacramento Reporter, June 30, 1870.  Courtesy of Chris Graves.

"BONES IN TRANSIT. — The accumulated bones of perhaps 1,200 Chinamen came in by the eastern train yesterday from along the line of the Central Pacific Railroad. The lot comprises about 20,000 pounds. Nearly all of them are the remains of employees of the company, who were engaged in building the road. The religious customs of the Celestial Empire require that, whenever possible, the bones of its subjects shall be interred upon its own soil, and the strictness with which this custom is observed is something remarkable."


Elko Independent, January 5, 1870.

DEAD CHINAMEN.  Elko Independent, January 5, 1870.  Courtesy of Wendell Huffman.

"DEAD CHINAMEN — Six cars are strung along the road between here and Toano, and are being loaded with dead Celestials for transportation to the Flowery Kingdom. We understand the Chinese Companies pay the Railroad Company $10 for carrying to San Francisco each dead Chinaman. Six cars, well stuffed with this kind of freight, will be a good day's work. The remains of the females are left to rot in shallow graves while every defunct male is carefully preserved for shipment to the Occident."