Monday, October 27th, 2008
A weekly handful of weird, wonderful and wacky happenings dredged up from the kaleidoscopic depths of San Francisco history.
October 28, 1881:
A murder in Chinatown
A murder in Chinatown.
Newspapers, particularly the often very nasty San Francisco Chronicle, were full of anti-Chinese propaganda in the last decades before the turn of the century. Stories dealing with Chinese people were usually over-heated, pretty racist, and sometimes hard to even get through.
This item was short and straightforward, though, and I might have even skipped over it if I hadn’t noticed an article about the very same case in a legal journal. The tiny bit of testimony from the victim in that piece helps capture the flavour of the parallel world of 1880s Chinatown.
Shooting of a Courtesan in Kum Cook Alley
Between 7:30 and 8 o’clock last evening, while Choy Gum, a Chinese courtesan, was bargaining with a fruitdealer in her room on Kum Cook Alley, a Chinaman named Fong Ah Sing walked up to her door and fired a shot at her … read on …
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