Document 26: Letter from Watson Squire, Washington Territorial Governor, to L.Q.C. Lamar,
Secretary of the Interior, October 21, 1885
Report of the Governor of Washington Territory to the Secretary of the Interior 1886 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1886), 866. Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries.
WASHINGTON TERRITORY, EXECUTIVE OFFICE
Olympia, October 12,1885
SIR: I received your telegram of October 10, requesting me to forward my annual report as early a date as practicable, to which I shall be pleased to conform.
During the past few weeks there has been much agitation in the western part of the Territory, particularly in the counties bordering on Puget Sound, on the subject of forcing the Chinese residents to leave the country. Several public meetings have been held, at which were present delegates from an association styled the "Knights of Labor," and from other organizations claiming to represent workingmen; at which meetings violent and incendiary speeches have been made, and resolutions have been passed expressive of a determination to rid the country of the Chinese by forcible means if these people find it necessary to use force in so doing.
The principal point for these demonstrations has been Seattle, the largest town in the Territory, and there has also been a great deal of agitation at Tacoma.
Thus far there has been no outbreak, and no crime has been committed in either of the towns, although at times it seemed we were on the point of having serious trouble in preserving the peace.
The Chinese hop-pickers on a ranch situated in the Squak Valley, about 35 miles from Seattle, in King County, were attacked at night by a party of white men and Indians, and several of the Chinese were killed. The persons accused of the murders were promptly arrested, and are now in jail awaiting trial, having been indicted for murder in the first degree. Strong efforts have also been made to intimidate the Chinese employed at the Franklin coal mine, and the New Castle coal mine, both of which are owned by the Oregon Improvement company, and are situated in King County. At Franklin a building was burned which had previously been occupied by Chinese.
Owing to these occurrences many of the Chinese have been leaving.
These places are now comparatively quiet, but the coal companies are still in a state of anxiety in regard to the safety of their property. They deem it necessary to employ Chinese laborers to some extent in their work, and fear they cannot obtain adequate protection from the civil authorities in conducting their operations with the help of the Chinese...
WATSON C. SQUIRE
Hon. L. Q. C. LAMAR, Secretary Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.