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Threats to the Chinese in the 1880s

Updated: Jan 3, 2021

Denis Kearney

Anti-Chinese Club

  • In November 1885, the anti-Chinese club was formed, and they adopted Denis Kearney’s motto: “The Chinese must go!”.

  • Denis Kearney was a labor contractor in California known for his racist views against Chinese immigrants

  • A mob in Arroyo Grande order the Chinese to leave

  • Chinese men working on the railroad in Nipomo were ordered to leave by another crowd from Arroyo Grande

  • Anyone who refused to listen to the order were threatened to be hanged

  • A lynch mob hanged a father and his fifteen-year-old son, accused of murder, from the Pacific Coast Railway Bridge near the foot of Crown Hill

Chinese Washhouses

  • Chinese washhouses were successful, until a white laundry opened on Osos Street in 1876

  • 1880 - city limits the hours that Chinese washhouses can operate

  • 1883 - Chinese laundry workers go on strike after a disproportionate fee increase to their business licenses

Works Cited

Gregory, Jim. San Luis Obispo County Outlaws: Desperados, Vigilantes and Bootleggers. The History Press, 2017.

Image Source

[Portrait of Denis Kearney.], no date, photograph, California Faces: Selections from The Bancroft Library Portrait Collection, UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library, Calisphere,

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