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0
1975
LEO MICHAEL DAMBOURGES JACQUES
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
THE ANTI-CHINESE CAMPAIGNS IN SONORA,
MEXICO, 1900-1931
by
Leo Michael Dambourges Jacques
A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of the
DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
For the Degree of
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
In the Graduate College
THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
19
7 4
THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA.
GRADUATE COLLEGE
I hereby recommend that this dissertation prepared under my
direction
entitled
by ______ Leo Michael Dambourqes Jacques______
THE ANTI-CHINESE CAMPAIGNS IN SONORA,_________
MEXICO, 1900-1931_____________________________
be accepted as fulfilling the dissertation requirement of the
degree of ___________ DOCTOR
OF PHILOSOPHY________________
^
Dissertation Director
j-dhsT-
__ ^
c3
Jy
Date
After inspection of the final copy of the dissertation, the
following members of the Final Examination Committee concur in
its approval and recommend its acceptance:*
O d 2V IIV-I
This approval and acceptance is contingent on the candidate's
adequate performance and defense of this dissertation at the
final oral examination. The inclusion of this sheet bound into
the library copy of the dissertation is evidence of satisfactory
performance at the final examination.
STATEMENT BY AUTHOR
This dissertation has been submitted in partial
fulfillment of requirements for an advanced degree at The
University of Arizona and is deposited in the University
Library to be made available to borrowers under rules of
the Library,
Brief quotations from this dissertation are
allowable without special permission, provided that
accurate acknowledgment of source is made. Requests for
permission for extended quotation from or reproduction of
this manuscript in whole or in part may be granted by the
copyright holder.
SIGN
7
TO CAROL
iv
PREFACE
The Mexican Revolution of 1910 set into violent
motion several powerful forces that were latent during the
long rule of President Porfirio Diaz.
One of these was
nativism or the quest for a distinct Mexican personality.
Concomitant with this searching for a Mexican ethos, arose
a passionate xenophobia that affected Mexico’s small, but
influential foreign population.
Although the Mexican
nativist movement was sporadic, halting and malleable in its
search for concrete characteristics, xenophobia in the
movement was peculiarly direct.
After a half century of
foreign encroachment that witnessed the creation of fabulous
fortunes by aliens, while Mexicans lagged behind, the latter
were primed for the release of pent-up hostilities and
frustrations.
Thousands of foreigners of all nationalities
had come to Mexico.
Spanish, British, German, North
American, and other foreigners found Diaz' Mexico a
hospitable haven for foreign investment.
Second in numbers only to the Spanish, the Chinese
were a significant minority in Mexico.
Although they lived
throughout Mexico, they concentrated in the outlying,
sparsely-populated frontier states,
In the states of Baja
California, Sinaloa, and Sonora they were the largest
foreign minority.
Because Mexico depended on them for its
v
vi
economic growth, aliens amassed considerable fortunes and
economic influence, especially in the states on the north­
west coast.
As the power and influence of foreigners grew,
Mexicans watched with mounting jealousy and anger.
The
Revolution, with its unchecked violence and unleashed
nativism, intensified these forces and physical attacks on
foreigners became commonplace.
Before the Revolution, the
Chinese were the objects of sporadic outbursts of pent-up
hostilities.
Sonora.
Attacks of this nature were most prevalent in
But after 1910 attacks on the Chinese became
widespread.
The violence and persecutions were most
intense in those states with the largest Chinese colonies.
Chinese suffered throughout all of Mexico, but in Sonora
they faced the most organized, prolonged and intense antiChinese campaigns.
The purpose of this study is to ascertain how and
why the Chinese became the object of a crusade to oust them
from Sonora,
The Chinese were a large and important foreign
minority in Mexico and their treatment in a climate of
rising nativism is a significant aspect of both the quest
for a national ethos and the xenophobia inherent in the
Mexican Revolution.
The author wishes to thank The University of
Arizona for a University Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, which
provided the funds for research in several libraries of
vii
the United States and archives in Mexico City and Sonora.
Sr. Enrique Macias B. and Sr. Sergio Flores, Director and
Assistant Director of the Archive General del Gobierno del
Estado de Sonora were particularly generous with their
time in locating materials in Sonora.
I am indebted to
Miss Anne Pace and Dr. Delmar Leon Beene for leads to
information in Mexican archives.
I also wish to thank the late Dr. Russell C.
Ewing, who directed the early stages of research.
Special
thanks is reserved for Drs. Michael C. Meyer and Boyd C.
Shafer for valuable suggestions and insights into the
Mexican Revolution and nationalism.
Of great importance
was the guidance and suggestions of Dr. George A. Brubaker,
who had the unenviable task of nursing the project to its
conclusion.
To him is due gratitude, not only for directing
the dissertation, but also for providing invaluable new
insights into Latin America.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
LIST OF T A B L E S ................
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
ix
................................
A B S T R A C T .............................................
X
xi
CHAPTER
1.
INTRODUCTION .
1
2.
IMMIGRATION OF CHINESE TO MEXICO ...............
8
3.
CHINESE IN SONORA BEFORE 1 9 1 0 .................
42
4.
CHINESE IN SONORA, 1911-1916 ...................
72
5.
JOSE MARIA ARANA'S CAMPAIGN— 1916- 1 9 2 1 ........
110
6.
TONG WAR AND RENEWED OPPOSITION, 1922-1926 . . .
163
7.
CHINESE ECONOMIC PRESENCE IN SONORA
201
8.
EXPULSION
9.
CONCLUSION ......................................
APPENDIX A.
..........
...................
222
257
IMMIGRATION AND EMIGRATION
S T A T I S T I C S ...........................
264
APPENDIX B.
POPULATION STATISTICS . . . . . . . . . .
275
APPENDIX C.
ECONOMIC STATISTICS
288
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
...............................
viii
304
LIST OF TABLES
Table
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Page
Number of Chinese in Northwest Mexico,
1921, 1928, 1930, 1940, and Ratio to
Chinese inAllMexican States ...............
203
Chinese Population of Sonora by Sex, Age,
Civil Status,1924 ....................
206
Chinese Population of Sonora by Occupation,
1924 ....................
206
Chinese Merchants of Sonora in Ratio to
Total Chinese, 1924 .......................
,
208
Merchants and Mixed Grocery Merchants of
Sonora by Nationality, 1924. . . . . . . . .
211
National Composition of Merchants and Grocery
Merchants of Sonora, 1924
211
Mexican and Chinese Capital Investment in
Industry and Other Property in Sonora,
1925 .........................................
213
Capital Investment of Over 10,000 Pesos by
Chinese and Mexicans in Mercantile
Businesses in Sonora, 1925 ............
214
Ratio of Foreign Investment to Mexican
Investment in Guaymas, MazatlSn, Acoponeta,
1926 .........................................
217
Merchandise Received by Juan Lung Tain at
Guaymas, January to August, 1924 ............
218
ix
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Figure
1.
,
Page
Mexico: Chinese
Population by State, 1895
...
22
2. - Mexico: Chinese
Population by State, 1900
...
26
3.
Mexico: Chinese
Population by State, 1910
4.
Sonora: Chinese
Population by District, 1903
. .
49
5.
Mexico: Chinese
Population by State, 1921
.
. .
161
6.
Mexico: Chinese
Population by State, 1930
.
, .
204
7.
Sonora: Towns with Over 90 Chinese, 1924 . . . .
209
8.
Mexico: Chinese
255
Population by State, 1940
x
...
. . .
39
ABSTRACT
Porfirian economic policies stressed the necessity
of foreign immigration to provide labor for Mexico's
development projects.
Chinese comprised the second largest
number of foreigners who resided in Mexico.
Although they
gravitated to almost all states, the majority lived in
Sonora.
As the center of the largest Chinese colony, Sonora
became the focal point of anti-Chinese campaigns.
Within Sonora the Chinese dominated the retail
grocery trade through credit ties with Chinese in the United
States and an intricate network of associations within
Sonora.
Protected by a succession of state governors, they
faced constant opposition from the press and domestic labor.
Sporadic and unorganized before the Revolution, opposition
increased drastically as revolutionary armies operated in
Sonora.
The Chinese suffered constant attacks, which ranged
from looting to murder.
The accession of Plutarco Ellas
Calles and Adolfo de la Huerta to power ushered in a new
phase of both the Revolution and opposition to the Chinese.
As the Revolution developed Mexicans attempted to define
their own distinct national ethos.
An important part of
the definition was the elimination of the vestiges of the
Porfiriato.
Because the presence and power of foreigners
were prominent vestiges of Diaz' regime, Mexican nationalism
xi
xii
was definitely xenophobic.
In the articulation of cultural
and economic nationalism the Chinese in Sonora were aliens
who profited at the expense of Mexicans,
Armed with a new
constitution, Sonorans organized anti-Chinese campaigns that
stressed legal restrictions instead of unchecked violent
attacks.
Three separate organized and legalistic campaigns
between 1916 and 1931 attempted to curtail Chinese immigra­
tion, to weaken the position of the resident Chinese, and
eventually, to oust them from the state.
From 1916 to 1921
Jos§ Maria Arana coordinated a campaign against the Chinese,
but their economic strength, contributions in tax revenue
and official peculation blunted his efforts.
A second
organized campaign, a direct result of tong wars in 1922
and 1924, suffered a similar eclipse.
By 1928 the Chinese
remained in control of over eighty per cent of Sonora's
retail grocery trade despite two concerted campaigns to
destroy their power by encumbering them with legal restric­
tions.
The Great Depression created an environment in
Sonora that immediately led to a third and final antiChinese campaign.
Unemployment, economic chaos and the
return of thousands of Mexicans from the United States
strained the precariously balanced Sonoran economy.
Three
interrelated problems, economic crisis, unemployment and
the presence and influence of the Chinese, faced incumbent
xiii
Governor Francisco Elias.
He and his successor, Rodolfo
Calles, emphasized one measure they believed would solve
the three-fold problem— expulsion of the Chinese.
In the
fall of 1931 this third campaign successfully ousted the
Chinese from Sonora.
CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
In 1876 Po'rfirio Diaz assumed office as president of
Mexico.
Except for the four years from 1880 to 1884, he
held this position until 1911,
During the Porfiriato,
Mexico attempted to develop its economic potential which had
been disrupted by constant civil strife and foreign inter­
vention.
Although mining had been a significant industry
and source of revenue in the colonial period, it suffered
from antiquated technology and from destruction during
frequent civil wars before Diaz assumed office.
The
agricultural productivity of the nation also suffered from
inadequate transportation, capital, and irrigation facili­
ties.
Thus the exploitation of large-scale mining and
agricultural projects necessitated at least three elements:
capital, an efficient transportation system, and a popula­
tion sufficiently large to sustain these projects and to
populate the unoccupied areas of the country.
With some domestic capital and investments from the
United States and Europe, Mexico began to remedy her
economic problems.
Of utmost importance was the development
of a railroad network to ensure that minerals and
1
2
agricultural produce reached domestic and foreign markets.
Without a railroad network little interdependence existed
among the various states.
Agriculture suffered from a lack
of markets in good harvest years, and from a lack of outside
sustenance in bad harvest years.
Mining also deteriorated
as only those areas which promised an enormous profit could
be exploited.
Poor transportation facilities also retarded
industrial growth because raw materials and finished
products could not be shipped inexpensively, thus the Diaz
regime created a network of railroads throughout the
nation.
The railroad provided the backbone of Porfirian
development schemes.
Upon it hinged more efficient trans­
portation, greater agricultural productivity, stimulus to
mining in remote areas, and, ultimately, progress for
Mexico.
But construction of railroads was only a part of
Diaz' development projects.
The multi-faceted reconstruc­
tion of the country necessitated immense funding and
expertise, which the country lacked.
Thus the government
brought in foreign capital and specialists in mining,
construction, agriculture, and railroads.
It also granted
concessions to foreign firms and individuals to exploit her
natural resources and to build railroads and to improve
port facilities.
New steamship lines, that plied both the
Atlantic and the Pacific, provided inexpensive steerage
rates to Mexico.
Publicity agents and brochures in foreign
3
capitals extolled the benefits of investment in the country
and provided another attractive force for foreigners who
desired to emigrate.
An added inducement was the status
assigned to foreigners by the law of 28 May 1866 which gave
them equal civil rights with Mexicans.
Thus began a long and profitable association between
foreigners and the Diaz regime.
With government concessions
and blessings, foreigners invested their capital, until
British, French, German, Spanish, and North American in­
vestors dominated the modernized Mexican economy which they
helped create.
But as urbanization and modernization
occurred a class of Mexican middle class entrepreneurs
appeared.
They were both the initiators and the bene­
ficiaries of the economic revival.
A segment of these indii
viduals formed a clique within the government, privy to the
long-range goals of Diaz.
This group, known as the
cientificos, became the arbiters of Porfirian economic,
policies and helped produce the favorable climate in which
foreign businessmen operated.
With a new body of techno­
crats to plan its development, foreign investment, and
tecnology, Mexico began to modernize.
Although Mexico could obtain the capital and tech­
nology necessary to build railroads, contemporary observers
believed it lacked consumers and laborers for economic
1.
For a list of the rights of foreigners, see The
Mexican Year Book, 1908 (London: MeCorquodal, 1908), p. 120.
4
advancement.
2
necessity."
Thus immigration was "the first and most urgent
Immigrants of two types were desired.
First,
contractors needed labor to build railroads and public
projects, and to work in plantation agriculture.
The second
type of immigrants the Diaz regime desired to attract were
permanent colonists.
Diaz hoped to use foreign immigrants
to colonize large areas of sparsely populated or uninhabited
territory, especially in the north.
Thus he granted con­
cessions to foreign colonization companies.
The creation of
these companies and concessions, combined with the need and
desire for labor and increased population, lured foreigners.
In 1877 Minister of Development Vicente Riva Palacio allowed
private surveyors to retain one-third of all land that they
surveyed.
From this beginning Diaz hoped to induce sur­
veying and colonization of Mexico's unoccupied territories.
Despite all these inducements few foreigners migrated to the
country.
The attempt to stimulate foreign immigration was not
only a part of economic development plans, but also a re­
flection of the racial attitude of the cientificos.
Before
Diaz assumed power, the Indians in Mexican society were
largely neglected.
Many considered them child-like.
Thus
2. J. de Jesds Cuevas, La inmigracidn: opdsculo
(Mexico: n.p., 1866), n.p.
3. For information on colonization during the
Porfiriato, see Moists GonzSlez Navarro, La colonizacidn
en Mexico, 1877-1910 (Mexico: n.p., 1960).
5
two strong bastions of conservatism, hacendados and the
Church, kept them in a state of tutelage.
On the other hand,
liberal factions considered them an obstacle to progress
because of their tendencies to be crude, uneducated, and
violent.
Neither attempted to draw the Indian into the
mainstream of national life.^
With the ascendancy of the
cientificos the Indian question assumed a role in Mexico's
development.
The cientificos, never a monolithic group with
a single philosophy, also differed in their approach to the
Indian.
Those who saw hope for the Indian as a contributory
force in the nation's growth stressed education and closer
contact between Indians and other Mexicans.
Among the
important proposals of.this group was primary education for
Indians.
lected .
But during the Porfiriato this concern was neg­
Other cientificos saw the Indian as an obstacle to
progress, thus others were needed to develop the country.
Although Diaz did not reject the uplifting of the Indian
into a modern economy, he believed that this was a long
evolutionary process.
Because he desired rapid economic
expansion he chose a second course.
Immigration of
4.
For a discussion of the Indian in Mexico before
Diaz, see T. G. Powell, "Los liberales, el campesinado
indigena y los problemas agrarios durante la Reforma,"
Historia Mexicana, XXI (April-June, 1972), pp. 653-675.
6
foreigners was stressed as official government policy to
5
stimulate growth.
While not rejecting the indigenous population, Diaz
again turned to foreigners out of economic necessity.
With
long-standing cultural ties and envy of progressive and
modern western Europe, Mexicans stressed the need for free,
white, European immigrants.
They supposedly possessed the
intellectual, moral, Christian, technological, and industri­
ous qualities necessary for rapid economic development.
Some of them also had capital.
But few Europeans came to .
Mexico, and many who did immediately left and entered the
United States.
Railroad builders and planters with large haciendas
in the southern states of YucatSn, Chiapas, and Tabasco
found the native Indian and the European immigrants too weak
for sustained labor in the hot and humid environment.
Cotton planters in the Mexicali Valley of Baja California
concurred with this assessment.
In addition, European labor
demanded wages these businessmen thought too high for a
sizeable profit.
To alleviate these problems Mexican and
foreign entrepreneurs negotiated contracts with Chinese
labor to fill in the gaps in the labor force.
5.
For a revisionist study of Porfirian attitudes
toward race, see T. G. Powell, "Mexican Intellectuals and
the Indian Question, 1876-1911," The Hispanic American
Historical Review, XLVIII (February, 1968), pp. 19-36.
7
A dedication to material progress provided two por­
tentous orientations.
First, the government emphasized the
necessity of foreign capital and investments.
This in turn
produced a larger foreign debt, dependence on foreign
bankers, and foreign control of the country’s natural re­
sources and industrial potential.
The second orientation,
an emphasis on foreign immigrants, introduced a new alien
force into the already heterogeneous population.
In the
states of the northwest coast foreign capital came almost
exclusively from the United States, although Spanish,
French, German, and British nationals also invested capital.
The cotton industry of Baja and the mining areas of Sinaloa
and Sonora were controlled by United States businessmen.
In
addition to this presence and dominance of foreign capital­
ists in large-scale industries, Chinese immigrants gravi­
tated to these states and gradually dominated small-scale
mercantile activities, especially in Sonora.
The arrival of
the Chinese aggravated domestic problems created by the
heterogeneity of races in Mexico.
CHAPTER 2
IMMIGRATION OF CHINESE TO MEXICO
Attractive forces lured Chinese to Mexico, and the
government promised lucrative rewards for migration to its
territory.
Labor contractors negotiated to obtain un­
employed Chinese as labor for Mexico's development projects.
And most significant among the inducements was the absence
of any restrictions on immigration to Mexico.
But propul­
sive forces also affected the Chinese desire to leave their
homeland.
The migration of Chinese to Mexico was only a
small part of their migratory movements in the nineteenth
century.
Although migrations were caused by constant civil
war and unrest, such as the Opium War (1839-1842) and T'ai
P'ing rebellion (1850-1864), few Chinese entered Mexico
before 1880.
But later civil wars, famine, poverty, rural
unemployment, scarcity of arable land, overpopulation, and
other internal pressures caused emigration to Mexico between
1880 and 1920.1
1.
For information on the causes of Chinese migra
tions, see "A Survey of Chinese Emigration," International
Labour Review, LX (September, 1949), p. 290; Pyau Ling,
"Causes of Chinese Emigration," The Annals of the American
Academy of Political and Social Science, XXXIX (January,
1912), pp. 74, 80; Eugenio Chang-Rodriguez, "Chinese Labor
Migration into Latin America in the Nineteenth Century,"
Revista de Historia de America, XLVI (December, 1958), p.
393; Sen-dou Chang, "The Distribution and Occupations of
8
9
The two provinces of Fukien and Kwangtung provided
over ninety per cent of all Chinese emigration in the
nineteenth century.
The Chinese in Mexico came almost ex­
clusively from the latter province, with the majority from
a seven thousand square mile area around the Canton Delta.
The nine hsiens (districts) of Chung-shan, T'ai-shan, Shunte, Nan-hai, Hsin-hui, Kai-p'ing, Hao-shan, Kao-yao, and
En-p'ing provided all the Mexican Chinese.
Several circum­
stances induced the Chinese from the Canton Delta to migrate
to Mexico.
After the closing of the ports of Amoy and
Swatow in the 1850's and Macao in 1874, which were open
during the heyday of the coolie trade to Cuba and Peru
(1847-1874), Hong Kong was the main port of embarkation.
The proximity of Canton to Hong Kong facilitated emigration
from.these nine districts.
The area had a long tradition of
business and international trade, and the Chinese of
Kwangtung province were accustomed to traveling abroad for
long periods of time on business ventures.
Finally, since
the clan financed many of the voyages, many left to join
clansmen who were already in Mexico.
Thus the Chinese were
Overseas Chinese," The Geographical Review, .LVIII (January,
1968), p. 104; Ching-chieh Chang, "The Chinese in Latin
America: A Preliminary Geographical Survey with Special
Reference to Cuba and Jamaica" (unpublished Ph.D. disserta­
tion, University of Maryland, 1956), pp. 10-11; La Voz de
Mexico (Mexico), 30 September, 1883; Ta Chen, Chinese Migrations, with Special Reference to Labor Conditions (rpt.
1923, Taipei: Ch'eng-Wen Publishing Co., 1967), pp. 5-6, .11.
10
an available and inexpensive force to solve some of Mexico's
2
labor problems.
Although the Chinese government never actively
promoted emigration, Chinese labor migrated to Mexico,
especially for the plantations and railroads of the south.^
The earliest immigration of Chinese to Mexico in the nine­
teenth century occurred in the 1860's.
They came from the
United States and worked on construction projects and in the
mines of Mexico's northern states.^
The first official
Chinese colonization company received its concession on 10
December, 1865, when the Emperor Maximilian created the
Asian Colonization Company.
Under the decree Maximilian
granted Manuel B. de Cunha Reis an exclusive privilege to
2. Ching-chieh Chang, "The Chinese in Latin
America," pp. 33, 41.
3. TomSs Carrasquilla H., Inmigracidn y colonizaci6n (BogotS: Imprenta Nacional, 1906), p. 63; Ching-chieh
Chang, "The Chinese in Latin America," p. 33.
4. For references to the arrival of the Chinese in
1864, see S. W. Hung, Chinese in American Life: Some Aspects
of Their History, Status, Problems, and Contributions
(Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1962), p. 22;
Kwong Min Chen, Mei-chou Hua ch'iao t'ung chien ("A General
History of the Chinese Overseas in the Americas") (New York:
Overseas Chinese Culture Publishing Company, 1950), p. 496;
Yuan-tse Yu, Mo-hsirke.Hua-ch*iao Shih-hua ("Historical
Sketch of Overseas Chinese in Mexico") (Taipei: Overseas
Chinese Library Publication Service, 1954), pp. 10-11; Chingchieh Chang, "The Chinese in Latin America," p. 27; Sen-dou
Chang, "The Distribution and Occupations of Overseas
Chinese," p. 94; for references to the arrival of the Chinese
in 1881, see Florence C. Lister and Robert H. Lister,
Chihuahua: Storehouse of Storms (Albuquerque: The University
of New Mexico Press, 1966), p. 175.
11
import Asian labor into Mexico for ten years.
The contract
called for workers from Asia as well as for 1,500 Arabs from
Egypt for work on haciendas in Vera Cruz.^
In a second
venture, the Lower California Company formulated a plan to
import Chinese colonists to Baja California.
After twelve
years of surveys the project collapsed in 1878.
6
Although these two ventures failed to induce Chinese
to migrate, Mexicans encouraged contract labor and colonists
to come from Hong Kong to work on construction and agri­
cultural projects.
An example of the inducements to lure
colonists and immigrants appeared in the following circular
posted in Hong Kong in the 1880's.
China colony for Mexico. All get rich there,
have land. Make first year $500, next year
$1,000. Have quick more money than mandarins.
Plenty good rice and vegetables cheap. Nice ship,
no sickness, plenty of room. Chang Wo.
These early efforts were to little avail before 1884 as few
Chinese entered Mexico.
5. Mexico, Compahia de Colonizacidn AsiStica,
Estatutos (Mexico: n.p., 1866).
6. Lower California; Its Geography and Character­
istics with a Sketch of the Grant and Purposes of the Lower
California Company (New York: M. B. Brown and Company, 1868),
pp. 14-44; Ruth Elizabeth Kearney, "American Colonization
Ventures in Lower California, 1862-1917" (unpublished M.A.
thesis. University of California, Berkeley, 1944) , p. 59.
7. Quoted in Ching-ch'ao W u , "Chinese Immigration
in the Pacific Area," The Chinese Social and Political
Science Review, XII (October, 1928), p. 553; see also La
Voz de Mexico (Mexico), 22 June, 1881.
12
To increase trade and immigration, the Mexican
government negotiated a contract with the Pacific Mail
Steamship Company of San Francisco in 1874.
provided for two separate steamer lines.
8
This contract
First was a
"throughline," with two round-trip voyages a month from San
Francisco to Panama with a stop at Acapulco.
The second,
or "coast line," called for two round trip voyages from San
Francisco to Panama with nine stops on Mexico's Pacific
Coast.
These steamers stopped at Cabo San Lucas, MazatlSn,
San Bias, Manzanillo, Acapulco, Puerto Angel, Salina Cruz,
TonalS or La Puerta, and San Benito de Soconusco.
9
On 10
8. For other contracts of the Mexican government
and various steamship lines, see "Contract with Holladay and
Flint, San Francisco (23 August 1861)"; "Contract between
Maximilliano and Benjamin Holladay (31 January 1865)".
Mexico, Secretaria de Estado y del Despacho de Gobernacidn,
Seccidn I, Informe que el Secretario de Gobernacidn rinde a
la Ccimara de Diputados del Congreso de la Unidn en cumplimiento del acuerdo aprobado en la sesidn del 5 del actual,
sobre lineas de vapores subvencionadas (Mexico: Imprenta del
Gobierno, 1880), pp. 19, 21; Mexico: Presidente, Manifesto
que en el Ultimo dia de su periodo constitutional de a sus
compatriotas el Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
Manuel Gonzcllez informando acerca de los actos de su administracidn (Mexico: Tipografia Literarla de Filomeno Mata,
1884), pp. 32-33; "Contract with the Compahia de la Mala del
Pacifico (8 November 1880)";. all in the papers of Edward Lee
Plumb, box 7, folder 76, Special Collections, Stanford
University, Palo Alto, California. For other contracts, see
El Monitor Republicano (Mexico), 16 November 1880; Mexico,
Secretaria de Estado y del Despacho de Gobernacidn, Contrato
con C. Ireneo Paz en representacidn de la Compahia de
Vapores de California (13 November 1883); Mdxico, Secretaria
de Estado y del Despacho de Gobernacidn, Contrato con C.
Sebastidn Camacho, como apoderado de la Compania del Ferrocarril de Sonora (12 January 1885).
9. Edward Bartlett, United States Consul, Acapulco,
to Edwin F. Uhl, Assistant Secretary of State, 10 October,
13
March 1884, the Mexican government signed a contract with
the Pacific Navigation Company to establish service from her
Pacific ports to the Orient.
There were to be at least
twelve round trip voyages per year, for which the govern­
ment paid the company a subsidy of $17,000 per voyage.
Part of the contract stipulated that the company develop
immigration to Mexico.
In return the government paid the
company $68 for every European immigrant and $31.50 for
every Asian laborer.
Spenser St. John, British Envoy in Mexico, wrote
Foreign Minister George Granville that he thought the pur­
pose of the steamer lines was to bring in a flood of Chinese
coolies.
He believed that the development of Mexican agri­
culture needed them, but hoped that they would fare better
than the Chinese coolies in Peru.1*
The 1884 contract1
1895, in United States, Department of State, Despatches from
United States Consuls in Acapulco, Mexico, 1823-1906,
National Archives Microfilm Publications, Microcopy 143
(Washingtong: National Archives and Record Service, 1949),
reel 7; "Articles of Contract between the Pacific Mail
Steamship Company and the Republic of Mexico (1874)."
10. Spenser St. John, British Envoy to Mexico, to
Foreign Minister Lord Granville, 19 March 1884, in Great
Britain, Public Record Office, Foreign Office, Consular
Despatches from Mexico, 1822-1902, series 50/volume 445/
folio 33; reel 178 (hereafter cited as FO with appropriate
classification numbers).
11. For the treatment of the coolies in Peru and a
sample coolie contract, see Watt Stewart, Chinese Bondage in
Peru; A History of the Chinese Coolie in Peru, 1849-1874
(Durham, North Carolina; Duke University Press,.1951),.pp,
42-44, 138-159; for conditions of the Chinese in Peru, see
Hosea Ballou Morse, The International Relations of the
14
provided for the transport of coolies from Hong Kong to work
on Mexican railroad and agricultural projects.
But the
British colonial governor of Hong Kong refused to allow the
emigration of contract coolie labor from that port because
he believed Mexico was not able to guarantee their protection.
12
This decision opened a long controversy, initiated
13
by the Pacific Navigation Company.
Immediately the company appealed to the British
government to allow the Chinese to leave Hong Kong.
The
steamer Mount Lebanon was in that port ready to leave with
600 Chinese when the governor prohibited emigration.
Since
no treaty existed between China and Mexico, the Chinese
-
Chinese Empire (3 vols., n.p.: n.p., n.d.), II, 172-180;
Alice Jo Kwong, "The Chinese in Peru," in Morton H. Fried,
editor, Colloquium on Overseas Chinese (New York: Inter­
national Secretariat, Institute of.Pacific Relations, 1958),
p. 42? S. R. Lainger, "K voprosu o Kitaisko'i emigratsii v
strany Latinskoi Ameriki," in Strany Dal'nego vostoka i
lUqo-vostochnoi Azii (Mokova: n.p. 1969), p. 61.
12. For examples of contracts that established
rules and protection.for coolies in Cuba, see Cuba,
Reglamento para la introducidn de los trabajadores chinos
en la isla de Cuba (Habana: Imprenta del Gobierno y
Capitania General por S.M., 1860); Cuba, Reglamento para la
introducidn y regimen de colonos asidticos en la isla de
Cuba (Habana: Imprenta del Gobierno y Capitania General,
1861); Cuba, Decreto del gobierno superior politico sobre
colonizacidn asidtica publicado en 14 de septiembre de 1872
e instrucciones dictadas por dicho superior gobierno para
las subcomisiones y delegaciones creadas en 22 de mayo de
1872 (Cienfuegos: Imprenta del Pabell6n Nacional, 1872).
13. St. John to Granville, 19 March 1884, FO/50/445/
33, reel 178; Victor C. Dahl, "Alien Labor on the Gulf Coast
of Mexico,.1800-1900," The Americas, XVII (July, I960), p.
30; Edward Wingfield, Colonial Undersecretary, to Julian
Pauncefote, Foreign Undersecretary, 8 August 1884, FO/50/
447/199, reel 179.
15
Foreign Office (Yamen) intimated to Great Britain that it
trusted British agents to protect Chinese immigrants if they
14
went to Mexico.
St. John again advanced the idea that the Chinese
were the only people capable of developing Mexico's Pacific
coast.
He reported that several representatives of San.
Francisco-based Chinese firms were now in Mexico.
These
firms wanted to establish branches in MazatlSn to assist
immigrants.^
When Mexico's Foreign Minister, Ignacio
Mariscal, stated that Mexico would allow British good
offices to include protection of all Chinese interests in
Mexico, the Chinese government agreed to the emigration from
Hong K o n g . T h u s
they set the precedent for Chinese
immigration.
14. Theodore Schneider, Agent, Pacific Navigation
Company, London, to the Earl of Derby, London, 6 October
1884, FO/50/451/3, reel 181; Foreign Office to Sir Harry
Parkes, British Agent, Peking, 4 November 1884, FO/50/451/43,
reel 181? Parkes to Granville, n.d., FO/50/451/54, reel 181;
for the exchanges of notes in this controversy, see Mexico,
Secretaria .de. Relaciones.Exteriores, Correspondencia diplom&tica cambiada entre el gobierno de los Estados Unidos
Mexicanos y los de varias potencias extrangeras desde el 30
de junio de 1881 a 30 de junion de 1886 (4 vols., Mexico;
Tipografla "La Luz," 1887), IV, 603-633 (hereafter cited as
Correspondencia, 1881-1886).
15. St. John to Granville, 10 December 1884,
FO/50/451/92, reel 181.
16. Lionel Carden, British Envoy, Mexico, to
Ignacio Mariscal, Minister of Foreign Relations, Mexico,
19, 31 March, 1 May 1885, Correspondencia, 1881-1886, IV,
623, 625, 629; Mariscal to Carden, ibid., p. 626.
16
This was not the last British action that involved
Chinese immigration to Mexico.
On 30 August 1883 George
Hopkins of the Anglo-Mexican Mining Company, and George
Gibbs of the Mexican Railway Company , bought mines near
Culiaccin, Sinaloa, from United States owners.
They paid
$850,000 in cash and $510,000 in shares of the new company.
To provide labor for the enterprise, Hopkins contracted with
a Hong Kong firm, which promised to ship Chinese coolies to
17
the mining camps via MazatlSn and Guaymas.
plagued this project from the start.
Problems
An early group of 300
Chinese arrived in MazatlSn in the summer of 1886.
They
lived in two rooms in a building in the center of the town
while they awaited the arrival of the mining company's
agents.
Local authorities accused the contractors of mal­
treating the coolies.
Living in poverty and hunger, eating
discarded watermelon rinds, they were finally provided
rotten fish and a paltry supply of rice by the townspeople.
Finally the company removed the coolies to the mines.
the 300, about one half obtained employment.
Of
If they were
healthy and capable after their ordeal in the city, they
17.
Alfred Tischendorf, Great Britain and Mexico
in the Era of Porfirio Diaz (Durham, North Carolina: Duke
University Press, 1961), p. 80.
17
obtained jobs in the mines at wages up to a peso and a half
a day.'1'8
A second group of Chinese arrived in MazatlSn from
San Francisco in October, 1886.
No company agent met. them,
therefore, some left for other areas of Sinaloa and Sonora
in violation of their contracts.
At their own expense city
authorities fed and housed the remainder.
The 150 Chinese
barely survived on clams and crayfish that they caught.
Finally, when some Chinese died, the populace, moved by
their misery, donated twelve centavos a day for their
relief.
They expected the Chinese consul in San Francisco
to reimburse them.
Representatives of the company soon
arrived and took the Chinese to the camp at Yedras.^8
Al­
though Chinese fishermen lived in AltatS as early as 1883,
no appreciable immigration of Chinese to Sinaloa took place
before 1886.
Those Chinese who came for the mining1
9
8
18. El Tiempo (Mexico), 29 June, 1, 16 July 1886;
E. G. Kelton, United States Consul, MazatlSn, to the
Secretary of State, 1 December 1886, in United States,
Department of State, Despatches from United States Consuls
in MazatlSn, Mexico, 1826-1906, National Archives Microfilm
Publications, Microcopy 159 (Washington: National Archives
and Record Service, 1949), reel 5 (hereafter cited as CDM).
19. El Socialista (Mexico), 31 December 1886? El
Monitor Republicano (Mexico), 26 March 1887? Tischendorf,
Great Britain and Mexico, pp. 80-81.
18
operations added considerably to the small foreign popula­
te
tion of the state.
Before 1890 only Tehuantepec and Baja California had
21
received significant numbers of Chinese immigrant laborers.
In September, 1889, the On Mick Company of San Francisco
planned to bring Chinese laborers to the area around
Ensenada, Baja California.
The company planned to provide
labor in Real del Cartillo to exploit the mining concessions
of a San Diego firm.
On Mick also negotiated contracts with
Mexican businessmen in Ensenada to provide capital and labor
to exploit pearl and abalone beds on the west coast of
Baja.2
22
1
2
0
20. La Voz de Mexico (Mexico), 30 September 1883;
for information on the emigration of Chinese to AltatS from
Guaymas, see Archive Histdrico del Estado de Sonora,
Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, gaveta 21-1, carpeton 544
(hereafter cited as AHES).
21. For the 31 March 1891 Tehuantepec contract of
the Mexican government and the combine of Salvador Halo and
the Hi Loy Company, see G. D. Barker, British Consul, Hong
Kong, to St. John, in Great Britain, Public Record Office,
Foreign Office, Embassy and Consular Archives, Mexico,
Letterbooks, 1826-1899, FO/204/217/12; Carden to St. John,
27 August 1891, in Great Britain, Public Record Office,
Foreign Office, Embassy and Consular Archives, Mexico,
Correspondence, Series I, 1823-1902, FO/203/102/51, reel 51
(hereafter cited as FO with appropriate classification
numbers).
22.
Alexander Willard, United States Consul,
Guaymas, to the Secretary of State, 18 September 1889, in
United States, Despatches from United States Consuls in
Guaymas, Mexico, 1832-1896, National Archives Microfilm
Publications, Microcopy T-210 (Washington: National Archives
and Record Service, 1958-1963), reel 8 (hereafter cited as
CDG); Anthony Godbe, United States Vice Consul, Ensenada, to
the Secretary of State, 13 September 1889, in United States,
19
Interest in Chinese labor was not confined only to
Baja and Tehuantepec.
Chinese labor.
Sonorans were also interested in
The building of the railroad in Sonora in
1880 initiated talk of the need for Chinese in that state.
Chinese moved to Sonora before 1880, but in very small
numbers and almost all of them lived in the port city of
Guaymas.
23
The first opportunity for large numbers of
Chinese to enter Sonora came in 1880.
The Sonoran Railroad
Company of Boston received a contract to build the line
between Guaymas and Nogales.
As early as July, 1880, the
company reluctantly spoke of importing Chinese labor if the
Yaquis did not prove adequate for the rigorous construction
work.
The company found it difficult to maintain steady
employment among the Yaquis, who, unaccustomed to this type
of work, often deserted.
Although the company considered
using Chinese, the labor crisis did not materialize and2
3
Despatches from United States Consuls in Ensenada, Mexico,
1888-1906, National Archives Microfilm Publications, Micro­
copy 291 (Washington: National Archives and Record Service,
1963) (hereafter cited as CDE).
23.
For reference to the arrival of fifty Chinese
in Guaymas in 1873, see Pro-Patria (Magdalena, Sonora), 25
July 1917; for an 1875 date instead of 1873, see Pro-Patria
(Magdalena), 5, 12 September 1917; for early contact of the
Chinese with Sonora, see Farrelly Alden, United States Vice
Consul, Guaymas, to the Secretary of State, 1 January 1861,
CDG, reel 1; for early movement of Chinese in and out of
Sonora, see Boletln Oficial (Ures), 14 July 1876 and La Era
Nueva (Hermosillo), 3 February 1878; for records of contri­
butions by the Chinese to the treasury, see El Municipio
(Guaymas), 15 February, 1 March 1878 and La Constitution
(Hermosillo), 26 June 1879.
20
construction proceeded without them.
A scarcity of labor
developed again in November, 1880, but other foreigners in
Sonora filled the gaps.
With the completion of the line in
October, 1882, the need for Chinese labor ceased,^
Although very few Chinese entered Sonora before
1883, government authorities thought Chinese immigration was
a problem.
On 27 February 1883, the Sonora Secretary of the
Treasury addressed a complaint to the Secretary of Develop­
ment in Mexico on the subject of immigration to Sonora.
He
complained that European and Asian immigrants took the jobs
of native Mexicans, who thus unemployed, migrated to California and Arizona.
25
Despite this complaint, Chinese
immigration continued to increase slowly after 1883.
Small
parties of Chinese arrived in Guaymas in 1883 and 1884, but
again their numbers were insignificant in the total foreign
population of the state.^
But it was not until well into
24. Willard to the Secretary of State, 8 July, 12,
29 August, 30 November 1880, 14 October 1882, CDG, reel 5;
John H. McNeely, "The Railways, of Mexico: A Study in Nation­
alization," Southwestern Studies, II (Spring, 1964), p. 13.
25. Secretary of Treasury, Hermosillo to Secretary
of Development, Mexico, n.d., AHES, gaveta 20-2, carpeton
513; for the immigration of Chinese from Tucson, Arizona, to
Caborca, Sonora, via the port of entry of Sasabe, see La
Constitucidn (Hermosillo), 25 August 1881.
26. For immigration in 1883, see La ConstituciGn
(Hermosillo), 22 June, 24 August 1883; for the figures for
1884, see the port records of Guaymas, AHES, gaveta 21-1,
carpeton 544; for figures for 1885 to 1890, see Henry R.
Jackson, United States Minister, Mexico, to the Secretary of
State, 8 October 1885, in United States, Department of
State, Despatches from United States Ministers to Mexico,
21
the decade of the 1890's that immigration of Chinese in­
creased rapidly in Mexico, with large numbers going to
27
Sonora.
Figure 1 shows the centers of Chinese population
in Mexico in 1895.
With the increasing immigration and problems with
the United States over.illegal entrants, Mexico moved to an
accommodation with the Chinese Empire to regulate this
immigration.
28
These negotiations resulted in a Treaty of
Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation between China and
Mexico.
The treaty, signed in Washington, inaugurated
diplomatic relations between the two signatories and
1823-1906, National Archives Microfilm Publications, Micro­
copy M-97 (Washington: National Archives and Record Service,
1955-1961), reel 81 (hereafter cited as DMM); Willard to the
Secretary of State, 26 September, 31 December 1886, 31
December 1887, 18 September 1889, 18 April 1890, CDG, reels6, 8.
27. Paak-shing Wu, "China's Diplomatic Relations
with Mexico," The China Quarterly, IV (Summer, 1939), p. 3;
for reports from Guaymas that concernced Chinese immigration
see Willard to the Secretary of State, 18 April, 8, 18 May
1890, CDG, reel 8; for reports on an increase in immigration
in 1894 to 1895, see Frank Roberts, United States Consul,
Nogales, to the Secretary of State, 23 January 1896, in
United States, Department of State, Despatches from United
States Consuls in Nogales, Mexico, 1889-1906, National
Archives Microfilm Publications, Microcopy T-323 (Washington:
National Archives and Record Service, 1959), reel 2 (here­
after cited as CDN).
28. For Chinese arrivals at Mexican ports before
1899, see Appendix A, Tables A.1 and A.2.
STATES INDICATED BY NUMBERS
1 - FEDERAL DISTRICT.
2 - MORELOS
3 - PUEBLA
4 - TLAXCALA
5 HIDALGO
6 - MEXICO
7 - OUE RETARO
8 - GUANAJUATO
9 - AGUASCALIENTES
LEGEND
253-348
INTANA
ROO
Figure 1.
Mexico: Chinese Population by State, 1895
to
N)
23
introduced a new era in Chinese immigration to Mexico.
29
Yang Yue, China's Minister to the United States, Spain,
and Peru, began negotiations for a treaty with Mexico in
August, 1 8 9 4 . ^
Finally, in 1898, Wu Ting-fang, Chinese
Minister to the United States, and Manuel de Azpiroz,
Mexican Ambassador in Washington, began negotiations, which
resulted in a Treaty of Amity and Commerce signed in
Washington on 12 December 1899.
Three articles were impor­
tant not only for future relations between Mexico and China
but also for the Chinese residents of Mexico.
The treaty
gave the nationals of each country the freedom to enter and
travel in the other country where they could also remain
and engage in commerce.
Mexico guaranteed protection to the
persons, families, and properties of its Chinese residents.
China extended similar guarantees to Mexicans resident in
China.
Each country permitted the free immigration of
laborers and their families without restrictions.
31
Other
29. Paak-shing Wu, "China's Diplomatic Relations,"
p. 3; St. John to Fernlndez, 22 December 1884, Correspondencia, 1881-1886, IV, 617; Clinton Harvey Gardiner, "Early
Diplomatic Relations Between Mexico and the Far East," The
Americas, VII (April, 1950), p. 410; Carden to St. John, 27
August 1891, FO/203/102/51, reel 51; El Imparcial
(Hermosillo), 25 July, 4, 11 August 1894.
30. El Imparcial (Hermosillo), 11 August 1894;
Paak-shing Wu, "China's Diplomatic Relations," p. 4.
31. Ch'ang-fu Li, Hua ch'iao ("Chinese Overseas"),
(Shanghai: Chung Hua Book Company, 1929), p. 144; for the
text of the treaty, see.Mexico, Secretaria de Relaciones
Exteriores, Boletin Oficial, X (August, 1900), pp. 193-211;
Harley Farnsworth MacNair, The Chinese Abroad: Their
24
parts of the treaty dealt with commerce and most favored
nation clauses, but these were less significant because
Mexico's trade with China was small.
32
This treaty inaugurated diplimatic relations be­
tween the Diaz regime in Mexico and the Ching Dynasty of
China.^
It also opened Mexico to more Chinese immigrants ? ^
Position and Protection: A Study in International Law and
Relations (rptT 1933, Taipei: Ch'eng Wen Publishing Company,
1971), p. 93; and a copy in Archive General del Gobierno del
Estado de Sonora, 1900-1931, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico,
tomo 3611, Part 1 (hereafter cited AGG).
32. For the presentation of an award from the
Republic of China to Manuel de Azpiroz for his part in the
promulgation of the 1899 treaty, see Letter of Manuel Calero
to the Secretaries of the Mexican Senate, 5 December 1911, in
The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley;
for trade between Mexico and China from 1905 to 1907, see
The Mexican Year Book, 1908, pp. 311, 312, 318.
33. Mexico, Secretarla de Relaciones Exteriores,
Boletin Oficial, XIX (December, 1904), p. 66; Mexico,
Presidente, Informe leido por el C. Presidente de la
Repdblica al abrirse el cuarto periodo de sesiones del XXI
Congreso de la Uni6n el lo de abril de 1904 (Mexico:
Imprenta del Gobierno, 1904), p. 5; United States, Depart­
ment of State, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of
the United States, with the Annual Message of the President
Transmitted to Congress, December 6, 1904 (Washington:
Government Printing Office, 1905), p. 487; Mexico, Presi­
dente, Informe del Ciudadano General Porfirio Diaz Presi­
dente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos a sus compatriotas
acerca de los actos de su administracidn en el periodo
constitutional comprendido entre el lo de diciembre de 1900
a 30 de noviembre de 1904 (Mexico: Imprenta del Gobierno,
1904), pp. 8-9; Wu Ting-fang to Diaz, 30 October 1909, in
Mexico, Secretarla de Relaciones Exteriores, Boletin Oficial,
XXIX (November, 1909), pp. 7-9; for the notes on the death
of the Chinese Emperor, see ibid., XXVII (December, 1908),
pp. 53-55.
34.
For immigration figures for 1900 to 1907, see
Appendix A, Table A.3.
25
With the establishment in 1903 of the China Commercial
Steamship Company by a group of wealthy Chinese in San
Francisco, the number of Chinese immigrant.laborers in- ..
creased.
In addition to freight service, the company pro-
vided steerage for coolie labor.
35
The company also began a
price war with the Pacific Mail Steamship Company for
control of the coolie trade.
With four boats, the Atho11,
Clavering, Ching W o , and Lothian, the China Commercial
Steamship Company forced its rival to cut rates-.
The
latter's efforts to retain control of this trade resulted
in a reduction of steerage rates from fifty to fifteen
dollars to keep pace with the new line.
With cheaper rates
and greater demand for coolie labor, Chinese immigration
doubled from 1,900 in 1903 to 3,800 in 1 9 0 4 . Figure 2
shows the centers of Chinese population in Mexico in 1900.
As Chinese continued to enter the ports of Manzanillo and Salina Cruz, Vice President Ram6n Corral feared the Lothian
and Ching Wo would bring in over ten million Chinese under
35.
Kwong Min Chen, Mei-chou Hua ch'iao, p. 497)
Yuan-tse Yu, Mo-shi-ke, p. 11; for a sample coolie contract
used in the twentieth century, see Eugene S. Watson,
"Chinese Labor and the Panama Canal," The Independent, LXI
(22 November, 1906), p. 1204; The Mexican Year Book, 1908,
pp. 407-409.
36.
San Francisco Chronicle, 22 May 1903; The San
Francisco Examiner, 22 May, 25 July 1903.
STATES INDICATED BY NUMBERS
1 - FEDERAL DISTRICT.
2 - MORELOS
3 - PUEBLA
4 - TLAXCALA
5 HIDALGO
6 - MEXICO
7 - QUERETARO
8 - GUANAJUATO
9 - AGUASCALIENTES
INTANA
ROO
to
Figure 2.
Mexico: Chinese Population by State, 1900
CTi
27
their new contract.
37
The company landed 4,157 Chinese at
Salina Cruz between 1903 and 1904.
This passenger service
surpassed its cargo service; at times the passengers ate all
38
the cargo before the ships could unload it in Mexico.
North of Salina Cruz and Manzanillo, MazatlSn and
Ensenada handled Chinese immigrants.
MazatlSn was the
terminus for most Chinese on ships from San Francisco.
Mazatldn many transhipped to Guaymas or Ensenada.
From
The
steamer Curacao carried most of these coastal migrations to
39
Mexican ports.
In December, 1902, the bubonic plague
struck Mazatlcin.
Shipment of Chinese there ceased and
Manzanillo emerged as the terminus for Chinese immigration
in 1903.
Mexican authorities took measures to alleviate the
distress by burning houses and bodies in addition to
quarantines and the closing of the port.
In January, 1903,
Doctor I. Rivera, representative of the Superior Board of
Health, presented his findings on the plague in that city.
He claimed that rats from San Francisco brought the disease.
37. Vice President Ramdn Corral, Mexico, to Governor
Rafael Izabal, Hermosillo, 26 July 1903, in Letters of Ram6n
Corral in the Private Papers of Jorge Corral, Hermosillo,
Sonora, Mexico.
38. Mexico, Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores,
Boletln Oficial, XX (July, 1903), p. 128; Clinton Harvey
Gardiner, "Trade Between Mexico and the Transpacific World,
1870-1900,11 Inter-American Economic Affairs, III (Winter,
1949), p. 38.
39.
For an account of a disastrous trek by fifty
Chinese from MazatlSn to Baja in 1902, see John Edwin Hogg,
"El Desierto de los Chinos," Touring Topics, XXII (October,
1930), p. 37.
28
He alluded to the Chinese as the main dealers in vegetables
and produce in MazatlSn and found them culpable for the
rapid spread of the d i s e a s e . E v e n t u a l l y the plague abated
and the port of MazatlSn returned to business, but it was
never to regain the position it once held of handling the
largest number of Chinese immigrants on the west coast.
A
new law, passed on 29 September 1903, permitted only ten
Chinese from foreign countries to land at a port at one
time.
Every Pacific Mail ship brought ten Chinese, who
waited until the Curacao took them to Sonora.
The presence of increasing numbers of Chinese in
Sonora caused fear of surreptitious entry into the United
States.
As the Chinese arrived in MazatlSn and then
traveled to Sonora, warnings preceded them.
Louis Kaiser,
United States Consul in MazatlSn, warned that over 6,000
Chinese were moving toward Sonora to cross the line.
Every
arrival resulted in reports that Chinese used Sonora as a.
stepping stone to the United States.
The press reported
that the Chinese accepted no jobs, because they only wanted*
6
40. Louis Kaiser, United States Consul, MazatlSn,
to the Secretary of State, 23 December 1902, 24, 27 January,
6 February 1903, in COM, reel 6.
41. Powell Clayton, United States Envoy, Mexico, to
John Hay, Secretary of State, 12 November 1903, in DMM, reel
159; for reports on regular departures from Guaymas and
MazatlSn to Ensenada, see Louis Kaiser to the Secretary of
State, 24 June, 22 August, 7 July 1904, 24 May 1905, in COM,
reel 7; Gustavus A. Kaiser, United States Vice Consul,
MazatlSn, to the Secretary of State, 29 November 1904, ibid.
29
to cross the border.
Chinese continually went from MazatlSn
to towns in Sonora near the border, where smugglers
operated on both sides to bring them across.^
In 1899, the
United States government removed Harry K. Chenoweth from his
position as Customs Collector at Nogales.
He was an
associate of Lee Sing of Sonora, a known smuggler of
Chinese.
In August, 1901, Chenoweth1s successor in Nogales,
William M. Hoey, followed the same path to disgrace for his
part in smuggling Chinese across the border.
Reports also
circulated in Nogales that Yung Ham, a reputed smuggler,
smuggled 6,000 Chinese into the United States.
the authorities caught and deported only 3,000.
Of these,
43
These arrests merely curtailed smuggling operations
for a time.
The smugglers reverted to new techniques with*
8
2
42. Louis Kaiser to the Secretary of State, 10 July
1900, COM, reel 6; Gustavus Kaiser to the Secretary of State,
28 July, 7 August 1900, COM, ibid.; El Correo de la Tarde
(MazatlSn), 29 August 1900; Albert R. Morawetz, United
States Consul, Nogales, to the Secretary of State, 10 June
1903, CDN, feel.4. .
43. George E. Paulsen, "The Yellow Peril at
Nogales: The Ordeal of Collector William M. Hoey," Arizona
and the West, XIII (Summer, 1971), p p . 113-115; Roscoe G.
Willson, "Secret Service Men Foil Border Smuggling Racket,"
Arizona Days and Ways (13 January 1957), pp. 24-25; Roscoe
G. Willson, "Line Riders Trick Chinese Smugglers," Arizona
Days and Ways (20 January 1957), pp. 16-17; Border Vidette
(Nogales, Arizona), 31 August 1901; for the arrests of
several Chinese who crossed the line illegally at Nogales,
see John H. Behan entries in logbook of 15, 16, 19 January
1896, in Papers of the Behan Family, in Special Collections,
The University of Arizona Library, Tucson, Arizona; Morris
Hunter Jones, Chinese Inspector, to George Webb, several
dates from 1906 to 1908, in Papers of Morris Hunter Jones,
in the Arizona Historical Society, Tucson, Arizona.
30
the forging of Chinese certificates that allowed the Chinese
to pose as United States citizens.
Use of these certifi­
cates coupled with the new sanitary regulations of 29
September 1903, that curtailed Chinese immigration to
Mexico, led to an investigation of Chinese certificates
there and in the United States.
Vice President Ram6n Corral
complained of these false certificates to Sonoran Governor
Rafael IzSbal in 1904.^
William Wright, Deputy Collector of Customs at Naco
in the Arizona Territory, discovered this operation when he
found a forged certificate on a Chinese in Sonora.
And on
9 June 1904, D. W. Clark, Deputy Sheriff in Naco, along with
several other United States officials, raided the Palace
Saloon in Cananea, Sonora, and confiscated over 300 forged
blank Chinese certificates.
The smuggling operation began
with the arrival of the Chinese at MazatlSn.
Later they
went with smugglers to Cananea where they received training
on what to do to enter the United States.
With training
completed, the agents brought them to Guaymas where they
boarded boats to sail up the Gulf of California and the
Colorado River to the United States.
The forger received
44.
Clayton to Hay, 6 February 1904, DMM, reel 161;
Mariscal to Clayton, 16 February 1904, in Clayton to Hay, 5
March 1904, DMM, ibid.; Fenton R. McCreery, United States
Charge ad Interim, Mexico, 19 May 1904, DMM, reel 163; Vice
President Ramdn Corral, Mexico, to Governor Rafael IzSbal,
Hermosillo, 22 June 1904, AGG, tomo 1900, paquete 35.
31
$100 for each fraudulent certificate and hundreds of Chinese
crossed the border in this fashion.
The customs officials
failed to catch the forger, who fled to British Columbia.
Consul Alexander Dye of Nogales, Sonora, reported that
forged certificates continued in use as late as 1910.^
Set in a narrow valley on the border, the city of
Nogales, Sonora, provided an ideal area for smuggling.
What
appeared to be small shops on the street opened into large
dwellings and caves dug into the hills,
A substantial
number of Chinese lived in the area, awaiting an opportunity
to cross.
Bands of smugglers provided the opportunity to
cross for $200 a person.^
United States Consul George B.
Schmuker at Ensenada testified to the effectiveness of this
trade and the "largely unavailing.efforts of controlling the
long standing problem of Chinese smuggling.11^ *
.
V
45.
San Francisco Chronicle, 10 June 1904; Alexander
Dye, United States Consul, Nogales, to Doctor Griffith,
Nogales, Arizona, 24 January 1910, in Papers of Alexander V.
Dye, in Special Collections, University of Oregon Library,
Eugene, Oregon (hereafter cited as Dye Papers).
46". Undated manuscript autobiography of Alexander
V. Dye, Dye Papers.
47.
Quoted in Lowell L. Blaisdell, The Desert Revo­
lution; Baja California, 1911 (Madison: The University of
Wisconsin Press, 1962), p. 112; for more information on
smuggling activities in Baja, see the Secretary of State to
the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, 21 March 1911, In
Archives of the Immigration and Naturalization Service,
United States, Department of Justice, Washington, 53620/318
thereafter cited as Justice with appropriate classification
numbers).
32
During the first decade of the twentieth century,
the immigration of Chinese continued and increased
enormously over pre-treaty figures.
This increase in
numbers, constant problems with the United States, and
domestic opposition forced Mexico to take action.
The
national government undertook measures to study the Chinese
immigration problem and attempted regulations to control its
direction and extent.
Criticisms of the lack of sanitary
regulations resulted in the promulgation of sanitary restric­
tions on the Chinese on 10 October 1903.
Under the new
regulations each immigrant had to present a doctor's affi­
davit that he was free from all diseases while each vessel
was required to have disinfecting apparatus to disinfect all
the passengers, their baggage, and clothing.
The Superior
Council of Health ordered the China Commercial Steamship
Company to construct observation barracks and a quarantine
zone for contagious diseases in Manzanillo, the only port of
48
arrival for Chinese.
In October, 1903, the Secretary of Interior, in the
name of the president, created a commission to study the
problem of oriental immigration, especially its health
aspects.
The commission received orders to study the legal,
economic, and social aspects of Asian immigration and its
effects on the physical, moral, and intellectual progress of
48.
For the 1903 sanitary regulation, see L. Kaiser
to the Secretary of State, 17 March 1904, COM, reel 7.
33
Mexico.
The Secretary of Interior posed four questions
which he hoped the commission would answer after they re­
searched the immigration problem.
First, was it beneficial
to allow the free immigration of Chinese and Japanese?
Second, were rules to be established for both on an equal
basis, or were they to have different regulations?
Third,
if the government impeded free entry of Asians, was it to be
merely by restrictions or by abolition?
question arose.
Finally, a legal
Was immigration to be impeded or prevented
by law or by decree?
49
The president's Immigration Commission began de­
liberations on 17 October 1903 with five distinguished
members.
Licenciado Genera Raigosa, Doctor Eduardo Lic^aga,
Licenciado Rafael Rebollar, Senador Jos§ M. Romero, and
Ingeniero Jos# Covarrubias comprised the board.
50
Armed with the sanitary regulation, the initial
attempt to mitigate the effects of Chinese immigration, the
49. Andr#s Landa y Pina, El servicio de migracidn
en Mexico (Mexico: Secretaria de Gobernacidn, 1930), p. 3.
50. Mexico, Comisidn de Inmigracidn, Dictamen del
vocal ingeniero Jos# Maria Romero encargado de estudiar la
influencia social y econ6mica de la inmiqraciOn asiatica en
M#xico (M#xico: Imprenta de A. Carranza e Hijos, 1911), p.
vii; Landa y Pina, El servicio de migracidn, p. 5; Jos#
Covarrubias, "La inmigracidn china considerada desde los
puntos de vista intelectual y moral," in Varies informes,
sobre tierras y colonizacidn (M#xico: Imprenta y Fototipia
de la Secretaria de Fomento, 1912), pp. 120, 122; for
earlier statements of Raigosa that the Chinese were regres­
sive and opposed to progress, see Powell, "Mexican Intel­
lectuals," pp. 29, 31.
34
commission moved on to the first phase of its study.
The 10
November 1903 session produced two questionnaires to be
circulated in each state.
The commission stated that one of
its objectives was to propose a general law to the govern­
ment to regulate Chinese immigration.
To do this they needed
information on the orientals who were resident in Mexico.^
One of the questionnaires referred to the Japanese; the
other considered the Chinese.
Ten questions appeared on the
form:."
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Are there Chinese in your municipality?
What is their approximate number?
What are their general occupations?
What is their general conduct?
What crimes do they most frequently commit?
Are there any vagrants or beggars?
Are there many in public establishments (asylums)?
If there are no Chinese: .
1.
2.
3.
Do agriculturists and industrialists desire to
employ Chinese laborers?
What wages would they pay?
How many can they employ?^
The results of the survey led.the commission to
study the problem of Chinese immigration more closely.
Two
of the members of the board published their findings and
the committee's conclusions.
Jos# Maria Romero published
his ideas on the Chinese issue in 1911.
As he studied*
8
1
51.
Genero Raigosa, Immigration Commission, to
•Governor of Sonora, 10 November 1903, AGG, tomo 1900,
paquete 34.
52. Immigration Commission to Governor of Sonora,
18 November 1903, AGG, tomo 1900, paquete 34; for the
results of the survey in Sonora, see Chapter 3.
35
Chinese immigration Romero concluded that the Chinese did
not bring to Mexico the type of people that it needed.
For
progress Mexico needed intelligence, capital, and hard work.
The Chinese only added to another unassimilated people, the
Indians.
Thus Chinese immigration was socially and eco­
nomically unsuitable.
In Romero's view the low morals, non­
permanent characteristics, and different racial, linguistic,
and religious customs rendered the Chinese undesirable
53
immigrants.
Jos§ Covarrubias published his conclusions on 3
September 1904.
He believed that the Chinese who came to
Mexico were the dregs of Chinese society.
They were agri­
culturists who broke away from their land and families in
China.
Since the family was the nucleus of social unity in
China, Covarrubias saw this as a bad omen for Mexico.
With
no natural family the Chinese in Mexico would never be
permanent residents or become integrated into Mexican
society.
He saw the Chinese as very materialistic, con­
cerned only with money and profit.
They garnered all they
could and remitted their savings to China, thus Mexico lost
valuable capital from circulation.
Despite these defects
the Chinese were considered invaluable laborers in hot and
humid lands.
Covarrubias mentioned one other important
53.
Mexico, Comisidn de Inmigracidn, Dictamen del
vocal ingeniero Jos6 Maria Romero, pp. iii, iv, 81, 85, 95,
104.
36
consideration.
Mexico needed labor, and he thought the
Chinese were beneficial as laborers, but not as permanent
colonists.
On 29 September 1904 the Immigration Commission
reached a conclusion.. The commission felt there was no.
danger that Mexican society would be contaminated or changed
by conta'ct with the Chinese.
They also discarded the hope
that they could assimilate the Chinese.
Mexico had capital,
but had insufficient labor; therefore, Chinese labor was an
economic necessity.
The commission then recommended to the
president that the free immigration of Chinese colonists be
regulated, while no restrictions be placed on the entry of
Chinese labor.
Then the board proposed that the government
constantly supervise Chinese labor and direct it to where it
was needed.
They hoped to eliminate Chinese colonies or
enclaves in certain areas where they competed with Mexicans
and impeded local economic development.
55
From 1903 to 1909 the Sanitary Service handled prob­
lems resulting from immigration.
But it proved unable to
54. Jos6 Covarrubias, "La inmigracidn china," pp.
124, 126, 206-209; Moists GonzSlez Navarro, El porfiriato:
la vida social, vol. VI of Historia moderna de Mexico, Daniel
Cosio Villegas, editor (9 vols., Mexico: Editorial Hermes,
1955-1972), VI, 166-167; Jos§ Covarrubias, "La inmigracidn
y la colonizacidn en America," in Varios informes sobre
tierras y colonizacidn (Mexico: Imprenta y Fototipia de la
Secretaria de Fomento, 1912), p. 345.
55. Covarrubias, "La inmigracidn china," pp. 209210; Mexico, Comisidn de Inmigracidn, Dictamen del vocal
ingeniero Jos£ Maria Romero, pp. 121, vii.
37
handle its own responsibilities as well as problems created
by immigration.
Therefore, on 22 December 1908, Diaz
promulgated the Mexican Immigration Law which was to take
effect on 1 March 1909.
The law not only regulated immigra­
tion, but also created the Mexican Immigration Service.
law enumerated prohibited classes in Chapter I ,
The
These
included those with bubonic plague, cholera, yellow fever,
typhoid fever, tuberculosis, leprosy, beri-beri, and
tracoma.
It also prohibited the entrance of epileptics,
paralytics, the blind, fugitives from justice, anarchists,
prostitutes, and beggars.
Chapter II detailed all regula­
tions for arrivals at Mexican ports.
Each captain bore the
responsibility to present a detailed statistical analysis
of every passenger.
Each person had to submit to a medical
examination and detention in a sanitary station.
Other
articles of the new law repeated the sanitary regulations of
1903.
Finally, Chapter III created the Mexican Immigration
S e r v i c e . A n d r e s Landa y Pina in his analysis of other
articles stated that the identification of all the aliens
with cards and photographs was a very significant advance,
56.
Ley de Inmigfaci6n, Mexico, 22 December 1908,
AGG, tomo 2337, paquete 18; Mexico, Secretaria de
Gobernacidn, "Ley de inmigracidn de los Estados Unidos
Mexicanos," in Coleccidn de leyes, decretos, reglamentos, y
acuerdos, serie I, leyes y decretos de la federaci6n
(Mexico: Imprenta del Gobierno Federal, 1909); Mexico,
Comisidn de Inmigraci6n, Dictamen del vocal ingeniero
Jose Maria Romero, p. vii; Landa y Pina, El gervicio de
migracidn, p. 7.
38
"given the same physiognomy that exists among all indi­
viduals of the Asian race."
Although the law dealt with all
immigrants, the impetus for its promulgation came from the
pressures of Asian immigration.
57
No accurate.figures exist for the total number of
Chinese immigrants to Mexico before 1911.
According to
Mexican immigration figures, over 35,000 Chinese entered
Mexico before 1911, but thousands also left for the United
States, returned to China, or transshipped to other areas.
Those who remained were counted in three censuses before the
outbreak of the Madero revolution.
The numbers varied with
the estimates of local observers, who reported larger
numbers.
Nonetheless, these statistics indicated the in­
crease in the number of Chinese in the country.
Although
the total number of Chinese in Mexico rose from only 915 in
1895 to 2,836 in 1900, increased immigration after the
promulgation of the 1899 treaty affected the 1910 census.
Officials recorded 13,203 Chinese in 1 9 10.^
Figure 3 shows
the centers of Chinese population in Mexico in 1910.
The Chinese in Mexico gravitated to the outlying,
sparsely populated and undeveloped areas.
Except for a ....
large Chinese colony in Mexico City, few Chinese lived in
57.
Landa y Pina, El servicio de migraci6n, p. 7.
58. For statistics on the Chinese population of
the Mexican states in 1895, 1900, and 1910, see Appendix
B, Table B.l.
STATES INDICATED BY NUMBERS
1 - FEDERAL DISTRICT.
2 - MORELOS
3 - PUEBLA
4 - TLAXCALA
5- HIDALGO
6 - MEXICO
7 - OUERETARO
8 - GUANAJUATO
9 - AGUASCALIENTES
CALIFORNIA'
LEGEND
2 306-46 08
1 15 3-23 04
5 77-1152
2 8 9 - 576
145-288
1- 14 4
X
X
#
W
#
•
^ lA L is c c y
e
•
y
f
C O L IM A '^ « IC H O A C A N i
•
INTANA
ROO
X P UERRER(
#
e
#
Figure 3.
Mexico: Chinese Population by State, 1910
w
40
Central Mexico.
Coincidental with Porfirian development
schemes there arose a need for labor for railroad construc­
tion, mining, and plantation agriculture.
areas Chinese provided this work force.
In many outlying
Before 1910 large
Chinese colonies lived in Oaxaca, Veracruz, Chiapas and
Yucatetn as a result of railroad construction and the growth
of large plantations.
the north.
But the largest colonies lived in
By 1910 Sinaloa, Baja California, Coahuila, and
Chihuahua all supported sizeable Chinese populations
occasioned by the need for labor for the development of
railroads, mining concessions, and increased agricultural
production.
With the failure of European immigration schemes
and the need for labor, Chinese migrated to Mexico.
Induced
by promises of lucrative rewards, they arrived, only to be
directed to remote undeveloped areas, both in the south and
the north.
Mexicans expected a docile and servile laboring
class which they could manipulate in the country where
needed.
They also hoped these immigrants would return to
China at the completion of their contracts.
Although the
Chinese solved some of the country’s labor needs, they pro­
duced problems.
Many reneged on their contracts and others
tried to enter the United States by land routes through
Mexico's northern states.
And.finally, their drastic in­
crease in numbers after 1899 prompted a government investi­
gation of oriental immigration.
The 1903 survey and
41
Immigration Commission renewed the debate on both the
immigration and racial policies of the Porfiriato.
The
commission concluded that immigration was still a necessity
for the country's economic progress.
Although the commission
noted that the Chinese would fail as colonists because of
their unassimilable nature, they thought these immigrants
were a valuable addition to the labor force.
With the con­
tinued commitment to immigration, the Diaz regime also con­
tinued its emphasis of the superiority of foreigners to
Mexico's Indians as elements in Mexico's rapid progress.
Aided by a favorable attitude toward foreigners, an
ambivalent racial attitude, and "an evil but necessary"
attitude toward them in particular, Chinese entered northern
Mexico.
CHAPTER 3
CHINESE IN SONORA BEFORE 1910
As the most important northern port of entry,
MazatlSn received thousands of Chinese who were on their
way to other Mexican states, especially Sonora.
Many
Chinese chose to remain in MazatlSn and other towns in
Sinaloa.
In his 1881 address to the state congress. Governor
Mariano Martinez de Castro stated that there were only
twenty-two Chinese in Sinaloa, all of whom lived in
MazatlSn.
Governor Francisco Cahedo's address of 1886
listed forty-five Chinese in the state.
The majority were
laborers in shoe factories owned by other Chinese.
Even
after the influx of Chinese in 1886 to labor in the mines,
2
reports indicated less than 100 in Sinaloa.
Alfonso Luis
Velasco, author of several statistical surveys in Mexico,
listed seventy Chinese in Sinaloa in 1899.
Forty worked in*
,
I
V
1. Sinaloa, Gobernador, Memoria general de la
administracidn a la H. legislature por el gobernador
constitutional, C. Ingeniero Mariano Martinez de Castro,
en 15 de septiembre de 1881 en cumplimiento de la fracci6n
VI, art. 47 de la constitucidn politics, de Sinaloa (CuliacSn:
Tip. de Retes. y Diaz, 1881), pp. 30, 109.
2. Sinaloa, Gobernador, Memoria general de la administracidn pdblica del estado, presentada a la H. legislatura del mismo por el gobernador constitucional C. General
Francsisco Cahedo, en cumplimiento de la fraccidn VI,
articulo 47 de la const!tuci6n politica de Sinaloa (Culiacdn:
Imprenta Estereotipia de TomSs Ramirez, 1886), pp. 97-102,
104.
42
43
shoe factories in CuliacSn.
beds to obtain pearls.
Others worked in the oyster
But the total number of Chinese
acknowledged to live in the state remained low.^
As immi­
gration increased in the 18901s Sinaloa showed a consider­
able increase in Chinese residents.
The census of 1895
reported 195, a number which was second only to that of
Sonora.
By 1900 234 Chinese lived in Sinaloa, third only
4
to Sonora and Chihuahua.
Using Mazatl&n as a base, the Chinese moved into
Sonora, which not only contained the largest number of
Chinese, but was also the center of the most strident oppo­
sition to them.
Before 1890 almost all the Chinese in
Sonora worked in the state's large shoe and clothing manu­
facturing businesses.
They either made shoes or clothes, or
worked as ironers or launderers.
United States Consul3
4
3. Alfonso Luis Velasco, Geografla y estadistica
de la Repdblica Mexicana: Sinaloa (Mexico: Oficina Tip. de la
Secretaria de Fomento, 1889), pp. 70, 94, 106; Richard
Lambert, United States Consul, MazatlSn, to the Secretary of
State, 13 September 1891, COM, reel 5.
4. Mexico, Direccidn General de Estadistica, Censo
general de la Repdblica Mexicana, 20 de octubre de 1895
(Mexico: Secretaria de Fomento, 1899), p. 32; Mexico, Direcci6n General de Estadistica, Censo general de la Repdblica
Mexicana verificado el 28 de octubre de 1900: Sinaloa
(Mexico: Oficina Tip. de la Secretaria de Fomento, 1905),
p. 31; Sinaloa, Gobernador, Memoria general de la administraci6n ptiblica de estado de Sinaloa presentada a la XXa
legislatura por el gobernador constitucional C. Gral Fran­
cisco Cahedo comprende los ahos de 1896 a 1902 (2 vols. in 1,
MazatlSn: Imprenta y Casa Editorial de M. Retes y Cia.,
1905), II, 99; for a district breakdown of the Chinese pop­
ulation in Sinaloa in 1895, 1900, and 1910, see Appendix B,
Table B.2.
44
Alexander Willard in Guaymas felt that the businesses were
so profitable most would not want to go to the United
5
States.
The Chinese turned to gardening activities as well,
an occupation that would prove lucrative in the future.
In
the fall of 1889 the shoe factories at Guaymas and Hermosillo increased business with improved machinery.
The two
largest Guaymas factories employed 102 Chinese, while in
Hermosillo another employed twenty-four.^
By 1890 the Chinese population of the state was 170.
Willard reported no Chinese domestic servants because the
wages were too low for them to think of competing with
native labor.
The remainder, not in the shoe industry,
served as cooks and gardeners.
Except for one mining
engineer for the Imuris Mines, Ltd., there were no Chinese
miners or farm hands in Sonora before 1890, despite the
shortage of labor in these areas.
Most people felt the
Chinese were not good underground workers, but could do the
aboveground labor on the mines.
Their failure in the mines
at Yedras, Sinaloa, and their move to Sonora seemed to prove
7
this point.5
7
6
5. Willard to the Secretary of State, 26 September
1885, CDG, reel 6.
6. Willard to the Secretary of State, 18 September
1889, CDG, reel 8.
7. Willard to the Secretary of State, 8 May 1890,
CDG, reel 8.
45
With some capital when they arrived and extensive
credit with firms in San Francisco, some Chinese soon
prospered in Sonora.
The first indication of success in the
shoe industry appeared in Willard's annual report for 1890.
He stated the Chinese controlled the shoe and rough clothing
business and did well in laundries and gardening.
8
The two
largest shoe factories, both in Guaymas, belonged to Siu Fo
Chon and Company and Tung, Chung, Lung.
business in 1873.
The latter began
Both manufactured shoes and clothes and
sold both wholesale and retail.
By 1900 Tung, Chung, Lung
had all modern equipment imported from the United States.
The Siu Fo Chon firm also acted as Mexican agent for a
Canton export firm.
These two factories were the beginning
of an extensive business these men developed over the next
thirty years.
Several other Chinese established shoe and
clothing manufacturing plants in Guaymas and Hermosillo.
And
Fon Qui, who would become one of the richest Chinese in
9
Sonora, established a shoe factory in Magdalena in 1885.8
9
8.
Willard to the Secretary of State, 31 December
1890, CDG, reel 8; for advertisements for the shoes made byi
several Chinese firms in Sonora, see El Imparcial (Guaymas),
1892, 1893; El Tr&fico (Guaymas), 1895; El Trdfico (Nogales),
1897; El Comercio (Guaymas), 1898; El Imparcial (Hermosillo),
1895; J. R. Southworth, El estado de sonora, Mexico; sus
industrias, comerciales, mineras y manufactureras (Nogales,
Arizona: The Oasis Printing and Publishing House, 1897,
p. 47.
9.
Information culled from the advertisements in
the newspapers noted in footnote 8; Fon Qui, Magdalena, to
Governor Adolfo de la Huerta, 20 December 1919, AGG, tomo
3288; Fong Hong, representing Tung, Chung, Lung, Guaymas,
46
Periodic business censuses indicated that they gradually
moved into other fields as well.'*'®
Periodic censuses of the Chinese population gave an
idea not only of their numbers, but also of their occupa­
tions.
Willard reported 157 in the Guaymas consular
district (which excluded Nogales and Cananea) in 1889.
Governor Ramdn Corral's report to the state congress in 1891
stated that the Chinese population of the state was 229 at
the end of 1 8 9 0 . ^
Seventy per cent (161) worked in the
industries related to the manufacture of shoes and clothes.
12
Only twenty said they were merchants.*
1
to Governor, 21 August 1902, AGG, tomo 1720, paquete 2,
expediente 3.
10. Governor, Hermosillo, to Eduardo Banfi, Mexican
Consul, Milan, Italy, 28 March 1898, AHES, gaveta 27-1,
carpeton 745; Southworth, El estado de Sonora, p. 47; JosS
Maria Arana, Reseha de estadistica general de la ciudad de
Hermosillo (Hermosillo: Imprenta de "El Heraldo," 1899), pp.
22-23h for Chinese business activities in Agua Prieta, see
Manuel Sandomingo, Historia de Aqua Prieta: resumen historico
del su primer cincuentenario (Agua Prieta, Sonora: Imprenta
Sandomingo, 1951), pp. 217-218.
11. Willard to the Secretary of State, 18 September
1889, CDG, reel 8; Sonora, Gobernador, Memoria de la
administracion pdblica del estado de Sonora, presentada a
la legislatura del mismo por el Gobernador Ram6n Corral
(2 vols., Guaymas: Imprenta de E. Gaxiola y Cia., 1891), I,
586; Alfonso Luis Velasco, Geografia y estadistica de la
Repdblica Mexicana: Sonora (Mexico: Secretaria de Fomento,
1893), p. 200.
12. For a comparison of Willard's and Corral's
figures for the population of Chinese in 1889 and 1890,
see Appendix B, Table B.3.
47
Within two years a change took place in Chinese
business activities in Sonora.
With the increase in immi­
gration and the gradual movement of some from ambulatory
pursuits to fixed business, more Chinese classified them­
selves as merchants.
The 1895 census also indicated an in­
crease in the number of Chinese living in the mining areas.
Minas Prietas reported seventy-five men and a surprising
nine Chinese women.
13
Chinese did not limit themselves to
the larger cities in Sonora.
Estacidn Carb6 had eleven
Chinese in a population of 479.
was well known in Sonora.
One of them, Ignacio Bon,
His restaurant was the one critir
cized by travelers for its rotten tomatoes, half-cooked
meat, and moldy potatoes.
Travelers advised others to save
their seventy-five cents and bring a box lunch on the train
trip.But
the future for the Chinese was to be in mer­
cantile activities.
Established in Sonora for more than a
decade, with credit ties with merchants in San Francisco,
they began to move into the wholesale grocery and drygoods
businesses.
Two Chinese business houses with considerable1
4
3
13.
For preliminary census work sheets for 1889,
see AHES, gaveta 23. 1, carpeton 616; for 1892, see AHES,
gaveta 24-2, carpeton 647; for 1895, see AHES, gaveta 26-2,
carpeton 715.
14.
Preliminary census work sheets, AHES, gaveta
26-2, carpeton 715; El Trgfico (Guaymas), 1 September 1895;
El Treifico (Nogales), 3 January 1897; David M. Pletcher,
"The Development of Railroads in Sonora," Inter^American
Economic Affairs, I (March, 1948), pp. 23-24.
48
economic interests in Sonora were the firms of Fon Qui and
Juan Lung T a i n . ^
The latter had branches in Magdalena,
Guaymas, and Hermosillo.
By 1898 his company had an in­
vested capital of $40,000 to $50,000.^
These two merchants
were to become the largest and richest Chinese businessmen
in Sonora, with assets estimated at over one million dollars
each.
The growth of the Chinese population prompted the
national government to study immigration in 1903.
An
extensive census of Chinese was taken at the request of the
Immigration Commission.
In this census authorities in
Sonora prepared a municipality-by-municipality breakdown of
all the Chinese in the state according to the questions on
the commission's questionnaire.
Figure 4 indicates the
Chinese population of Sonora by district in 1903.
Each of
the districts of Sahuaripa, Altar, Ures, Moctezuma, and1
6
5
15. J. F. Darnall, United States Consul, Nogales,
to the Secretary of State, 18 May, 30 June 1898, CDN, reel
3; F. Aguilar, Secretary of Treasury, Hermosillo, to the
Secretary of State, Hermosillo, 8 July 1896, AHES, gaveta
26-2, carpeton 721.
16. Josiah E. Stone, United States Vice Consul,
Nogales, to the Secretary of State, 11 February 1892, CDN,
reel 1; affidavit of Alejandro J. Clark, Municipal
President, Magdalena, 6 February 1892, ibid.; affidavit
of Ignacio Bonillas, Prefect, Magdalena, 6 February 1892,
ibid.; Darnall to the Secretary of State, 31 October 1892,
CDN, reel 1.
49
A R IZ O N A
ALTAR
MAGDALENA
AR, 2PE
BAJA
GUAYMAS
CAL I F O R N I A
LEGEND
SINALOA
451 - 9 0 0
3 0 1 -4 5 0
7 6 -3 0 0
I-
75
Figure 4.
■
Sonora: Chinese Population by District, 1903
50
Alamos reported less than sixty-five Chinese residents.
17
The other four districts in Sonora all had colonies of over
350 Chinese residents.
The smallest of these was Magdalena,
which claimed 356 Chinese.
Of the 409 Chinese in the
district of Hermosillo, ninety-six lived in the mining area
of Minas Prietas and over 300 resided in the capital,
Hermosillo.
Guaymas district reported 427, with 350 Chinese
residents in the port of Guaymas.
Arizpe, 800 lived in Cananea.
Of the 900 Chinese in
The reports prepared for the
commission indicated a Chinese population of 3,165 in
TO
Sonora.
The Chinese continued to engage in lines of business
they entered in the 1880's and 1890's, but they solidified
their hold on the retail and wholesale grocery business and
shoe factories.
Pedro Ulloa in his study of the economic
situation of Sonora in 1910 stated that the Chinese owned
the majority of the thirty-seven shoe factories in Sonora.
A 1907 report of the United States Department of Commerce
and Labor confirmed this assessment and affirmed that the1
8
7
17. For preliminary census work sheets, see AGG,
tomo 1900, paquete 34.
18. Preliminary census work sheets, AGG, tomo 1900,
paquete 34; T. Philip Terry, Terry's Mexico: Handbook for
Travellers (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1909), p. 71;
the total of these figures was over 2,000, whereas the
total noted in another section of the report was 3,165; the
discrepancies were in the Arizpe district— Agua Prieta was
not included in the report, and the figures for Cananea
differed in the two sections of the report.
51
Chinese owned at least ten shoe factories that produced over
$100,000 in shoes each year.
In addition, the Chinese owned
all but one of the factories that manufactured shirts and
overalls, sales of which amounted to over 450,000 pesos a
year.
This report also confirmed allegations that the
Chinese dominated the wholesale and retail trade of the
state.
19
In a study of the economic progress and potential of
Sonora, Federico Garcia y Alva complimented the Chinese on
some of their contributions to the state.
In the general
directory of the state Garcia y Alva listed Chinese busi­
nesses in twenty-one Sonoran towns.
Almost all were grocery
merchants.^
The 1910 census included 667 Chinese in Sinaloa and
a total of 4,486 in Sonora.
21
Other observers who lived or
traveled in the state reported different figures.
One1
0
2
9
19. Pedro N. Ulloa, El estado de Sonora y su
situacidn econdmica al aproximarse el primer centenario de la
independencia nacional (Hermosillo: n.p., 1910), p. 185;
United States, Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of
Manufactures, Monthly Consular and Trade Reports, 318
(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1907), p. 160; for
an 1899 survey of the Chinese in the grocery trade, see Jos6
Maria Arana, Resena de estadisticas, pp. 22-23.
20. Federico Garcia y Alva, "Mexico y sus proqresos:" album-directorio del estado de Sonora (Hermosillo:
Imprenta Oficial Dirigada pro Antonio B. Monteverde, 19051907); for a similar study of Chinese economic interests in
MazatlSn, see Directorio mercantil, industrial, agricola y
minero del estado de Sinaloa (Mazatlcin: Tip. y Casa Editorial
de M. Retes y Cia., 1904), pp. 29, 30, 32-37, 44, 46, 47.
21. For the Chinese population of Sonora by district
in 1900 and 1910, see Appendix B, Table B.4.
52
traveler reported 2,500 Chinese in Guaymas alone, with 2,000
of these owning stores. Consul Dye reported 1,000 Chinese
22
in Nogales.
While these latter figures are probably
exaggerations, they do indicate that a large number of
Chinese resided in Sonora and were an important part of the
business community before the Mexican Revolution.
But their
increase in numbers and influence in the economy of the
state intensified public opposition that had been growing
steadily since 1879.
In 1879 La Libertad, a Mexico City daily, initiated
a campaign against Chinese immigration even though only a
few Chinese lived there.
The litany of Chinese defects
presented by this paper formed the corpus of arguments of
anti-Chinese crusaders for the next fifty years.
The editor
charged that the Chinese presented a danger to Mexican in­
dependence and to the beauty of the Indian race.
They were
a degenerate race, not the strong race of immigrants Mexico
needed.
More important were the economic arguments.
The
Chinese were not consumers since they spent only one quarter2
22.
T. Philip Terry, Terry's Mexico, p. 78; Dye to
Doctor Griffith, 24 January 1910, Dye Papers? undated manu­
script autobiography of Dye, ibid.; for figures for the
1890's and 1900, see Mexico, Direccidn General de Estadistica, Censo y divisdn territorial del estado de Sonora,
verificado en 1900 (Mexico: Oficina Tip. de la Secretaria
de Foment©, 1901), pp. 39, 133, 227? Mexico, Direccidn
General de Estadlstica, Resumen general del censo de la
Repdblica Mexicana verificado el 28 de octubre de 1900
(Mexico: Imprenta y Fototipla de la Secretaria de Fomento,
1905), p. 38; Mexico, Censo ... 1895, p. 32; Sonora,
Gobernador, Memoria ... Corral, p. 586.
53
of what they earned.
The rest of their earnings they took
back to China with them.
Chinese penetration.
Equally bad was the nature of
La Libertad alleged that they competed
with Mexicans and drove them out of jobs.
Chinese were
never permanent colonists because they had no families.
23
Another commentator, Alberto H. Mertes of Sonora,
who observed the Chinese in California and in various
Mexican states, reported similar conclusions in 1884.
He
found the Chinese to be egotistical, ungrateful, lazy, and
cruel.
But again, the economic arguments were paramount.
He criticized them because they sold higher than they bought,
not a very astute criticism.
They,were, parasites, who
arrived with no families, only tea and shoes.
After they
filled their pockets, they left with their debts unpaid.
Mertes asserted that this was not the type of colonist Mexico
needed.
The debate over the desirability and type of immi­
grants among the cientificos was now repeated and expanded
in the press.
24
Those who favored colonization stressed the2
4
3
23. La Libertad (Mexico), 3 October 1879; for the
development of anti-Chinese attitudes in another country with
an Hispanic heritage, see Margaret Wyant Horsley, "SANGLEY:
The Formation of Anti-Chinese Feeling in the Philippines— A
Cultural Study of the Stereotypes of Prejudice" (unpublished
Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1950).
24. El Monitor Republicano (Mexico), 26 March 1884,
3 April 1886, 26 March 1887, 25 April 1889; for protests
against the program of using the Chinese to convert Mexico's
"deserts into gardens," see Francisco R. Calderdn, El
porfiriato: la republics restaurada: la vida econdmica, vol.
IV of Historia moderns de Mexico, Daniel Cosio Villegas, ed.
(9 vols., Mexico: Editorial Hermes, 1955-1972), IV, 66.
54
need for good, white colonists, not Chinese who lived in
conditions worse than the Indians. El Monitor Republicano
thought that a population of six persons per square kilo­
meter was insufficient for prosperity and growth.
Mexico
had to have workers, but from a civilized country.
Mexico
had enough uneducated.citizens in her Indian population and
Chinese could only add to this uneducated mass.
The draw-
backs of immigration far outweighed Chinese productivity.
25
This paper's comments on the immigration of gypsies.to.
MazatlSn best epitomized the feeling of the opponents of
Chinese immigration.
In a caustic commentary the paper
reported that the people of MazatlSn "now lacked only Mormons
and Negroes to consider themselves happy, since they already
had Chinese and Gypsies."
Increasingly, arguments against
Chinese immigration stressed two main threats.
Most evident
at first, and which colored all further opposition, were
racial and cultural antagonisms.
Opponents argued that the
Chinese spread diseases, such as tracoma and beri-beri,
because dozens of the "celestials" lived in the same small
room, built for only four to five people.
Worse than these
debilities, they charged that immigrants brought other2
6
5
25. El Colono (Mexico), 10 November 1895; La
Convencidn Radical Obrera (Mexico), 13 September 1896;
El Monitor Republicano (Mexico), 22, 23 September 1896.
26.
1890.
El Monitor Republicano (Mexico), 5 September
55
vices, such as gambling, drinking, and smoking opium. 27
Others claimed that Chinese were also characterized by
generic indolence, egotism, and cruelty.
The press alleged
that the strange "sons of Confucius" committed all types of
crimes and were a very "pernicious element."
But, the
newspapers concluded, what could one expect from people who
wrote from right to left, began books at the end, read from
bottom to top and right to left, and ate their dessert first
and their soup last?
28
But racial slurs comprised only a
part of the cultural antagonism evident in Sonora.
decried the marriage of Chinese and Mexicans.
Sonorans
Critics
reported hundreds of these marriages and numerous non-marital
unions which they alleged, produced a weak, half-breed
caste.
29
Rafael Agraz y Rojas of Hermosillo summed up his
opinion on the Chinese presence in 1905.
He believed that
the framers of the 1857 Constitution realized the need for
immigration, but in their zeal to attract it they made a
grievous error.
They allowed any breathing human to enter.2
9
8
7
27. Moists GonzSlez Navarro, El porfiriato: la vida
social, pp. 168-169; El Universal (Mexico), 5 August 1896;
El Monitor Republicano (Mexico), 6 August 1896.
28. El Imparcial (Guaymas), 13, 20, 23 January, 1,
8,February, 29 March, 18 April 1893; J. Baranda, Secretary
of Justice, to Governor, 21 August 1897, AHES, gaveta 26-5,
carpeton 740; La ConvenciGn Radical Obrera (Mexico), 20
December 1896.
29. La Convenci6n Radical Obrera (Mexico), 20
December 1896; El Universal (Mexico), 5 August 1896; Chingch'ao Wu, "Chinese Immigration," p. 557.
56
without regard for physical and mental disabilities and
social misfits.
This needed to be corrected as the influx
of germ-ridden Chinese showed.
Even the healthy ones were
unacceptable because they were a weaker race and would not
mix well with the Mexicans.
no women.
They remained aloof and brought
Thus Agraz y Rojas proposed the restriction.of
Chinese immigration.
He suggested that all colonists ad­
mitted must bring their wives,
He thought of a married
colonist as a more permanent resident.
Thus he noted the
need to reform the constitution to permit Asian immigration
by families only.
He reinforced his contention with a story
about the Chinese New Years Dance in Hermosillo.
A fright­
ening spectre was the presence at the dance of all the young
"flowers” of Hermosillo society.
He thought it sad that
young Mexican girls went to the dance without Mexican boys.
He deplored the threat this completely masculine Chinese
society p o s e d . ,
Only rarely did young Chinese women arrive in
Sonora.
One such episode in 1907 aroused much interest,
because the small group of Chinese girls who arrived in
Guaymas were reputed to be models of Chinese beauty.
But
with few Chinese women in the north, Chinese continued to
marry Mexican women, especially in Sinaloa and Sonora.
The3
0
30.
La EvoluciOn (Hermosillo), 17 February 1905;
for the celebration of the Chinese New Year in Mexico, see
El Centinela (Hermosillo), 27 January 1906.
57
press in Mexico City bemoaned the advances made by Chinese
in relationship to Mexican women.
The 11opium-smoking"
Chinese laundrymen were the culprits.313
4 El Diablito Rojo
2
of Mexico City feared the inroads of the Chinese, who with
"nice pumpkin colored faces, and seductive diagonal glance
and a skullike nose captivated the hearts of many ignorant,
32
foolish Mexican girls."
The Mexicans received clean white
laundry and the Chinese got the Mexican women workers in the
laundries.
The product of these unions moved the editor to
thoughts of genocide to remove the threat they posed to
the Mexican race.
33
For most Sonorans it was the economic threat and
pressure of the Chinese that caused the greatest concern.
The Chinese took over all types of businesses and forced
natives out of work.
Of importance was their alleged pro­
pensity to employ no Mexicans at all in their businesses
from laundries to shoe factories.3^
Among the charges was
the contention that the Chinese forced native women out of
their way of life by washing clothes, ironing, and cooking
31. El Pais (Mexico), 10 February 1907; Diario del
Pacifico (MazatlSn), 2 October 1910.
32.
El Diablito Rojo (Mexico), 21 September 1908.
33.
Ibid., 22 March 1909.
34. El,Centinela (Hermosillo), 9 June 1906; for
Tung, Chung, Lung's record of employing Mexicans, see Fong
Hong to Governor, 21 August 1902, AGG, tomo 1720, paquete
2, expediente 3.
58
at low wages.
Men complained that Chinese preferred woman's
work to hard work on the land.
Women charged that all that
was left for them was the occupation as wetnurses, since the
Chinese dominated all else.
As the Chinese moved into the
shoe and grocery businesses, complaints increased.
From
Alamos came complaints that their shoe business destroyed
all competition and reduced local workers to poverty, unable
to support their families.
35
After the 1899 treaty anti-Chinese campaigns pro­
liferated.
The center of the campaign was Sonora, which by
1903 had over 3,000 Chinese residents.
A virulent press
campaign attacked the Chinese using the same charges as the
campaign of the previous twenty y e a r s . O n e of the solu­
tions proposed to end the Chinese problem was the repatria­
tion of Mexicans in the United States.
Another solution
was the formation of anti-Chinese leagues.
In June, 1910,
the directors of El Correo de Sonora and El Tr&fico, both
Guaymas newspapers, formed a league to combat Chinese immi­
gration.
Entitled the United Press of Guaymas, the organ­
ization had a two-point program.
First, it decided to use 3
6
5
35. La Convencidn Radical Obrera (Mexico), 20
December 1896; El Universal (Mexico), 5 August 1896; Chingca'ao Wu, "Chinese Immigration," p. 557.
36. Yo Chinolla, merchant, Naco, to Governor, 9 May
1905, AGG, tomo 1974, paquete 4, expediente 8; A. Cubillas,
Secretary of Government, to Yo Chinolla, 17 May 1905, ibid.;
Diario del Pacifico (MazatlSn), 24 June, 18 August 1910;
El Imparcial (Mexico), 9 August 1900, 6 August 1907; El
Pals (Mexico), 8 August 1900.
59
all legal means to combat Chinese immigration.
Second, the
league sent a note to the national congress protesting
"
37
'
against the treaty with China.
Sonorans also urged the federal government to create
Chinese inspectors in all large cities to watch Chinese
businesses and homes.
prevent disease.
They wanted to insure cleanliness and
They also decried the process by which
Chinese became Mexican citizens.
Sonorans saw these people
as pseudo-Mexicans and parasites who replaced them in
business, especially when armed with their new rights as
Mexicans.
38
When legal restrictions failed, other methods .
were employed to. reduce the economic threat.
The area in which the Chinese dealt daily with the
Mexican local and state authorities was.in the matter of
business taxes.
Sonoran law required that accurate books be
kept by all businesses so assessors could accurately deter­
mine annual sales for tax purposes.
The state obtained
substantial revenue from the graduated taxes on annual sales.
Violations of the laws by the failure to record sales,
falsification of books, and failure to possess account books3
8
7
37. La Convencidn Radical Obrera (Mexico), 9 June
1901; El Pais (Mexico), 2 March 1907.
38. La Convencidn Radical Obrera (Mexico), 16 June,
4 August 1901; El Centinela (Hermosillo), 15 July 2 September
1905, 17 February 1906; El Imparcial (Mexico), 21 December
1905; El Pals (Mexico), 3 November 1907; for statistics on
naturalization of Chinese in Mexico before the 1910 revolu­
tion, see Mexico, Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores,
Boletin Oficial, I-XXXI (1896-1910), passim.
60
resulted in fines.
The state also levied fines for not
retaining invoices for sales made in Chinese shops.
In many
cases the Chinese defended their failure to comply with the
law by saying the problem arose because of their lack of
knowledge of the customs and language of the country.
They
felt the diversity of the business laws hurt them more than
39
all other foreigners.
Again and again treasury agents fined the Chinese
for failure to keep bills of sale for merchandise.
A second
long series of fines stemmed from deliberately hiding the
sales from treasury agents to avoid payment of taxes.
Al­
most all the merchants fined were dealers in groceries or
drygoods.
40
It was not unusual for firms to be fined
several times for violations of the laws on sales.
The
repetition of the same charges indicated that the Chinese,
like their Mexican counterparts, did not always comply
with the laws, and in some cases deliberately tried to avoid3
0
4
9
39. For protestations by the Chinese that they were
ignorant of the laws and the language, therefore their fines
should be reduced, see Tom Yong Sui, merchant, Arizpe, to
Treasurer, Hermosillo, 11 September 1902, AGG, tomo 1720,
paquete 8, secci6n 4, expediente 7; Wong Assim, merchant,
Hermosillo, to Governor, 15 April 1902, ibid., expediente
29; Chon Qui, merchant, Hermosillo, to Governor, 12 October
1911, AGG, tomo 2685, paquete 3, seccidn 5, expediente 6;
31 July 1906, AGG, tomo 2106, paquete 1, expediente 20;
although many of the Chinese knew no Spanish, almost all
were literate as indicated in the periodic state censuses.
40. For the exchange of correspondence concerning
these fines, see AGG, tomo 2216, paquete 2, expediente 6;
AGG, tomo 2685, paquete 3, seccidn 6, expediente 1.
61
taxes, especially in large sales.
with this contention.
But the Chinese disagreed
They complained to local and state
officials that treasury agents harassed t h e m . ^
But Sonoran
authorities disputed contentions of harassment.
They pointed
out several instances when fines were returned because they
were levied illegally.
42
The state government also aided
Chinese in improving their businesses.
In 1902, Fong Hong
of Tung, Chung, Lung, the shoe company of Guaymas, requested
an exemption from his treasury fees for a few years.
He
wanted to invest his funds in new electric machinery to
improve his shoe factory.
He asked for the ordinary exemp­
tions the state gave to new industries.
The state granted
the concession.^
The success of Chinese businessmen, their large
sales and inventories, and their alleged accumulation of
wealth irritated Sonorans.
But Mexicans also lamented the4
3
2
1
41.
Luis Quon Yui Sen, merchant, Magdalena, to
Secretary of Government, 12 June 1908, AGG, tomo 2336,
paquete 1, expediente 5; Felipe Lee, merchant, Camoa, to
Cubillas, 3 September 1908, AGG, tomo 2336, paquete 2,
expediente 1.
42.
Treasurer to Governor, September 1909, AGG,
tomo 2440, paquete 1, expediente 22; Fung Chong, agri­
culturist, Magdalena, to Governor, 10 September 1909, ibid.;
Governor to Fung Chong, 16 October 1909, ibid.; for other
instances when fines were returned, see AGG, tomo 2216,
paquete 2.
43.
Fong Hong to Governor, 21 August 1902, AGG,
tomo 1720, paquete 2, expediente 3; Governor to Fong Hong,
23 August 1902, ibid.
62
constant tendency of the Chinese to undersell the native
store owner.
Criticisms by local officials and businessmen
comprised the most vocal opposition in addition to press
attacks.
44
But not everyone criticized them.
they were not such bad fellows after all.
Some thought
One inmate in the
Arizpe jail complained that he did not "object to the
Chinaman but I do object to being locked up with a crazy
Mexican.
When all other opposition failed, Sonorans resorted
to violence.
46
Occasionally prosperous Chinese shopkeepers
were subject to attack as highwaymen and Yaquis preyed on
them throughout the state.^
Despite attacks, they faced
opposition without any physical resistance.
But they did
constantly ask for protection and criticized local officials4
7
6
5
44. Jestis V. Cruz, Prefect, Altar, to Cubillas, 29
February 1908, AGG, tomo 2336, paquete 9, expediente 2.
45. Fred Beckwith, inmate, town jail, Arizpe, to
Frank W. Roberts, United States Consul, Nogales, n.d., in
Roberts to the Secretary of State, 16 May 1895, CDN, reel 2;
Roberts to the Secretary of State, 25 March 1895, ibid.
46. For earlier attacks, see La Estrella de
Occidente (Hermosillo), 20 June, 10 October 1884; El Imparcial (Guaymas), 6 February 1893, 10 October 1894; for records
of deaths of other Chinese by violent means, see AHES,
gaveta 35-2, carpeton 1032, carpeton 1034.
47. For Chinese protests of harassment, see Sam
King, merchant, Fronteras, to Governor, 29 June 1905, AGG,
tomo 2072, paquete 5, expediente 8; Francisco L. Yuen,
merchant, Cananea, to Governor, AGG, tomo 2320, paquete 2,
expediente 67; Yuen also petitioned for a permit to carry
a Winchester for a trip to Chihuahua to protect himself
from bandits.
63
for alleged unwarranted interference with their businesses
and failure to apprehend criminals.
48
Press criticism and
violence caused them grave concern, as it did for other
foreigners when aimed in their direction.
Chinese lived in constant fear of attacks.
But only,the
In November,
1903, fire struck the commercial house of Yuen Chong in
Guaymas.
The owners so feared the constant threat of
Mexicans robbing their stores that they locked the store and
let it burn to the ground.
They feared the firemen would
rob the store instead of fighting the fire.
49
The most important outbread of violence in Sonora
prior to the Revolution, was the Cananea strike of June,
1906.
Foreign capital, especially from the United States
entrepreneurs, dominated the Sonoran economy during the
Porfiriato.
Investments were made in railroad construction,
cattle-raising, irrigation projects, and mining.
With the
completion of the Guaymas to Nogales section of the rail­
road, investment was facilitated, especially with feeder4
9
8
48.
Francisco Chon Lay and Fong Hay, merchants,
Cananea, to Governor, 24 December 1904, AGG, tomo 1974,
paquete 8, expediente 20; I. Macmarrus, Municipal President,
Cananea, to Secretary of State, Hermosillo, 16 January 1905,
ibid.
49.
A. E. Garcia, Prefect, Guaymas, to the
Secretary of State, Hermosillo, 20 November 1903, AGG, tomo
1869, paquete 1, expediente 2; for violence against Chinese,
see Chinese of Santa Cruz to Governor, 31 October 1903, AGG,
tomo 1869, paquete 1, seccidn 3, expediente 6; Arturo Fong
Chong, merchant, Cananea, to Governor, 8 October 1904, AGG,
tomo 2139, paquete 1, expediente 4.
64
lines to more isolated mining districts.
In 1905 United
States investment in Sonora was estimated at over seventyfive million dollars divided among over 250 f i r m s . W i t h
an increase in the world demand for copper in the 1890's,
Sonoran copper mines became profitable, especially with the
government's relinquishment of the Hispanic tradition of
national ownership of subsoil rights.
The 1884 mining code
eliminated these old traditions.
Foremost among the mining magnates in Sonora was
Colonel William Greene, whose Consolidated Copper Company
dominated Cananea.
Three-quarters of his 5,000 workers were
Mexicans, whose wages were less than a third of their United
States counterparts.
These wages were high by Mexican
standards, thus their plight was not as severe as for
laborers throughout the c o u n t r y . B u t constant agitation
against the disparity between native and foreign wages was
common in Cananea.
Constant anti-Diaz agitation by the
Mexican Liberal Party (PLM), their newspaper, Regneracidn,
and leading spokesman, Ricardo Flores Mag6n, also affected
conditions in Cananea.
Workers subscribed to the labor5
1
0
50. Louis Hostetter, United States Consul,
Hermosillo, to the Secretary of State, 1 November, 18
December 1905, in United States, Department of State,
Despatches from United States Consuls in Hermosillo, Mexico,
1905-1906, National Archives Microfilm Publications, Micro­
copy 293 (Washington: National Archives and Record Service,
1963.
51. Wages for United States employees averaged five
dollars a day; Mexicans received $1.50 to $1.75 a day.
65
orientation of the PLM just as an organized labor movement
emerged in this mining district.
The Uni6n Liberal Humani-
dad struck on 1 June 1906 after a pay increase was granted
to United States workers, but not to Mexicans.
The Union
demanded $2.50 a day, an eight-hour day, and the removal of
some hated foremen.
other allegations.
But beyond these immediate demands lay
Strikers demanded more privileges for
Mexicans in the face of what they alleged was government
favoritism of foreigners at their expense.
They charged
that .they were treated like the lowest dregs of Mexican
society, Negroes and Chinese.
52
Violence occurred during the course of the strike.
Among the foreigners whose property was destroyed were two
Chinese who claimed they were unable to stay in business
because of the depredations.
watershed in the Porfiriato.
53
The strike was an important
It was an attack on the Diaz
regime, an early manifestation of xenophobia, and the
fledgling beginnings of nativist sentiment in Sonora.
The5
3
2
52. Albert Brickwood, United States Consul, Nogales,
to the Secretary of State, 23 June 1906, CDN, reel 4.
53. For exchanges of correspondence on the 1906
Cananea strike, see AGG, tomo 2139, paquete 1; for the cor­
respondence on a similiar strike in 1908 in Cananea, see
AGG, tomo 2412, paquete 1; for the Chinese claims and the
governor's response see Quong Sang Lung and Fong Fo Qui,
merchants, Cananea, to Governor, 26 June 1906, AGG, tomo
2139, paquete 1, expediente 3; Governor to Quong Sang Lung
and Fong Fo Qui, July 1906, ibid.; for the claims of Monnin
Brothers, Swiss merchants, Cananea, see AGG, tomo 2139,
paquete 1, expediente 1; for the claims of Juan Pons, French
merchant, Cananea, see AGG, tomo 2139, paquete 1, expediente 2.
66
mineworkers were now even more receptive to PLM ideas.
1 July 1906, the PLM published its Program.
On
In addition to
political, social, and economic reforms, the manifesto con­
tained references to foreigners.
The PLM deplored the
preference given to foreigners over Mexicans and suggested
that foreigners who obtained real estate thus lost their
foreign citizenship and became Mexicans.
In regard to the
Chinese, the PLM demanded the prohibition of their immigra­
tion in order to protect the native worker.
The justifica­
tion was that these aliens worked at the lowest wage level
and were thus an obstacle to the prosperity of native
laborers.54
Mineworkers were not the only Sonorans receptive to
anti-Diaz propaganda before 1910.
An emerging group of
middle class businessmen also found comfort in attacks on
the regime.
Commercial interests in Nogales, Hermosillo,
Guaymas, and other growing cities found themselves the
beneficiaries of Porfirian economic development.
But they
were excluded from the entrenched political leadership of
Diaz' supporters in the state.
Ramdn Corral, Luis Torres,
and Rafael IzSbal alternated as governor and dominated the
54.
For the Manifesto and Program of the PLM,
see Manuel GonzSlez Ramirez, Planes politicos y otros
documentos (Mexico: Fondo de Culture Econdmica,- 1954) , pp.
3-29.
67
state from the late 1870's to 1910.^
Frustrated by
political isolation and foreign competition, these business­
men were receptive to proposals for change,
A bitter epi­
gram circulated in Sonora before the Madero Revolution which
manifested the position of foreigners and the bitterness of
the Mexicans toward them because of their success and busi­
ness acumen:
"The Americans do all the big business, the
Chinese do all the little business and we Mexicans hold
office and shout VIVA!"
In the midst of rising opposition to his regime from
miners and businessmen in Sonora, Diaz announced in 1908
that he would not seek reelection.
57
This stimulated polit­
ical activity, but when Diaz reneged on his promise, opposi­
tion immediately surfaced.
In Sonora opposition coalesced
around native son Ram6n Corral's campaign for reelection as
Vice President.
Gradually the dissidents supported the
presidential candidacy of Francisco I. Madero, wealthy5
7
6
55. For a study of the creation of this regime, see
Delmar Leon Beene, "Sonora in the Age of Ram6n Corral, 18751900"
(unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, The University of
Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, 1972), pp. 32-59.
56.
Undated manuscript autobiography of Dye, Dye
Papers.
57. James Creelman, "Interview with Porfirio
Diaz," Pearson's Magazine, XIX (March, 1908), pp. 241-277).
68
hacendado of Coahuila.
Under the slogan "Effective Suffrage
— No Reelection," Madero gained support.
He was aided in his campaign by a deterioration in
the nation's economic growth after a Wall Street crash in
1907, subsequent economic crises in Mexico, and a poor
harvest year in 1909.
But the switch to support for Madero
had deeper roots than economic changes.
He preached strict
adherence to the constitution, legalism, and a non-violent
approach.
These appealed to the middle class businessman.
Despite his tour of the country and the backing of the
dissidents, Madero, in jail on the day of the voting, "lost"
the election.
Hounded by Diaz, imprisoned, and then in
self-imposed exile in the United States, he reluctantly
decided to revolt.
He proclaimed the Plan of San Luis
Potosi, dated 5 October 1910, which declared open rebellion
against Diaz to begin on 20 November.5
59
8
On that date the
Mexican Revolution began.
Although both the national and Sonoran governments
espoused economic development through foreign investment,
individuals in the private sector resented some of the
ramifications of this policy.
Mexico and Sonora did undergo
58. For Madero* s ideas, see Francisco I. Madero,
La sucesi6n presidencial en 1910 (San Pedro, Coahuila:
n.p., 1908).
59. For the Plan of San Luis Potosi, see GonzSlez
Ramirez, Planes politicos, pp. 33-46.
69
rapid economic development in which these individuals
shared.
But progress brought with it some disadvantages.
Foreigners dominated in the economy with concessions from
Diaz and the Corral-Torres-IzSbal clique.
Foreign investors
received approximately sixty-five per cent of the nation's
export earnings in 1910.
Money flowed through the latter's
hands back to foreign lands in the form of profit remit­
tances, service on the foreign debt, charges and fees, and
import payments.
Despite her growth, Mexico was caught in
a cycle in which foreigners and Mexicans prospered, but
deprived Mexico of control over her own economy.
With pay­
ments to foreigners, Mexicans had little to reinvest in
their own economy.
Thus, after 1900 cientlficos attempted
to regulate foreign c o n t r o l . U n d e r Finance Minister Jos§
Ives Limantour, the government purchased railroads, attempted
to return to the Hispanic idea of government control of sub­
soil rights, and played European nations against the United
,
States in their bids for concessions.
All these measures
presaged revolutionary programs after 1910.
Thus, by 1910 opposition to Diaz had emerged in
Sonora.
Middle class businessmen were tired of foreign
privileges and frustrated in their political aspirations.
Lower class mine workers desired better conditions and6
0
60.
For an analysis of Mexico's financial problems
in 1910, see G. Butler Sherwell, Mexico's Capacity to Pay:
A General Analysis of the Present Economic Situation
(Washington: n.p., 1929), pp. 7-24.
70
resented the position of foreigners.
As the opposition to
Diaz and the Sonoran elite increased, hostility to United
States and Chinese interests played an important part.
On the eve of the Mexican Revolution anti-Chinese
activity increased.
A 1910 memorial from Sonoran citizens
to Vice President Ramdn Corral noted an alarming increase in
the number of Chinese in Sonora.
The memorial asked for the
restriction of their immigration into the state.^
Agita­
tion and violent attacks against them increased to the point
where they complained to the Chinese Charge d 1Affairs.
Eventually the Secretary of Foreign Relations instructed the
governor of Sonora to insure protection for the large
S2
Chinese colony in the state.
Press opposition, United States vigilance, new
sanitary and immigration regulations, personal attacks and
abuse, enforcement of business taxes, and general public
opposition all failed to stem the tide of Chinese immigra­
tion.
And despite all these forces, they prospered, and
advanced from laborers to businessmen in the favorable
climate of the Porfiriato.
Chinese entered as an economic
necessity in a country in dire need of laborers for economic
development.
The transformation of these immigrant-laborers6
2
1
61. Memorial, citizens of Sonora, n.p., to Ramdn
Corral, 16 March 1910, AGG, tomo 2556, paquete 18.
62. Secretary of Foreign Relations, Mexico, to
Governor, Hermosillo, 1 July 1910, AGG, tomo 2605, paquete
10, expediente 7.
71
to entrepreneurs who competed with domestic labor and
businessmen was a totally unexpected and undesirable meta­
morphosis.
Thus they became an economic liability in the
eyes of domestic labor and middle class businessmen.
But
Chinese immigration continued, although the government
attempted to regulate its direction and extent.
With the
outbreak of the Revolution, Mexicans more frequently
manifested their bitterness over the presence and success of
go
the Chinese.
Outbreaks of violence became more frequent
and more ghastly.
in Sonora.
Financial exactions increased, especially
Discriminatory legislation also appeared.
Finally, a campaign that contemplated the cessation of
Chinese immigration and the eventual expulsion of the
Chinese from the country became a mainstay of Sonoran polit­
ical life.
But before Sonora again took center stage in the
campaigns against the Chinese, the Revolution began and
disaster befell the large Chinese colonly in Torredn,
Coahuila.6
3
63.
For a study of anti-foreign feeling against
United States, Chinese, Spanish, and Guatemalan minorities
in Mexico in the Revolution, see Moists Gonzdlez Navarro,
"Xenofobia y xenofilia en la Revolucidn Mexicana,"
Historia Mexicana, XVIII (April-June, 1969), pp. 569-614.
CHAPTER 4
CHINESE IN SONORA, 1911-1916
In November, 1910, the Mexican Revolution began with
the uprising of Francisco Madero.
This attack on the regime
of Porfirio Diaz would drive him from power within a year
and initiate an internal power struggle in Mexico in which
northerners, especially Sonorans, would play an important
i
role.
Military campaigns in the north affected the busi­
nesses and lives of the Chinese as revolutionary armies
fought the federal forces and among themselves.
Although
initial rebel campaigns were failures, Madero's revolution
spurred rebels to action in several states.
In Chihuahua
Abraham Gonzalez, Pascual Orozco, and Francisco Villa
gradually wrested control of large portions of that state
from the federals.
The capture of Ciudad Jtiarez on 10 May
secured Chihuahua for Madero.
And in the south, Emiliano
Zapata took Cuernavaca and Cuautla in Morelos.
By May,
1911, rebels were also successful in Durango as the Diaz
regime neared collapse.1
1.
For an analysis of characteristics of northern
see Barry Carr, "Las peculiaridades del norte mexicano,
1880-1927: ensayo de interpretacidn," Historia Mexicana
XXII (January-March, 1973), pp. 320-346).
72
73
As the rebels pressed southward toward Mexico City,
one obstacle impeded their control of the transportation
network in the north.
Torredn remained in federal hands.
The rebels attacked the city, which resulted in disastrous
consequences for the Chinese.
One of the most brutal and
savage acts perpetrated against the Chinese during the
Revolution occurred at Torredn in May, 1911.
Fresh from
victories over the federal forces in Durango, the Maderistas
under Emilio Madero attacked Torredn, a strategic railroad
junction in southern Coahuila.
After three days of fighting,
the Maderistas entered the city on 15 May.
When the federal
troops had abandoned the city, the rebels proceeded to
slaughter its Chinese colony.
After ten hours of savagery
2
and barbarity, 303 Chinese and five Japanese were killed.
The firm of Loebbus Wilfley and Arthur Bassett stated that
the incident was "an unprovoked massacre . . . conceived in
2.
For accounts of the massacre by eyewitnesses,
see Tulitas Jamieson, Tulitas of Torredn; Reminiscences of
Life in Mexico (El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1969), pp.
118-122; C. A. Heberlein, United States mining engineer,
Torredn, to Philip Hanna, United States Consul General,
Monterrey, 23 May 1911, in Hanna to the Secretary of State,
25 May 1911, Decimal File 812.00/2026, in United States,
Department of State, Records of the Department of State
Relating to Internal Affairs of Mexico, 1910-1929, National
Archives Microfilm Publications, Microcopy 274 (Washington:
National Archives and Record Service, 1959), reel 13 (here­
after cited as RDS with appropriate classification numbers);
George C. Carothers, United States Consul, Torredn, to
Charles M. Freeman, United States Consul, Durango, 7 June
1911, in Freeman to the Secretary of State, 10 June 1911,
Decimal File 312.93/7, in National Archives, Records of the
Department of State, 1910-1939, Washington (hereafter cited
as NA with appropriate classification numbers).
74
malice and race hatred,” and thus violated Chinese guaran3
tees under the 1899 treaty.
A second team of investigators,
who represented both Mexico and China , researched the
question of responsibility and an allegation that the
Chinese fired on the Maderistas.
Arthur Bassett and Owang
King, who represented China, and Antonio Ramos Pedrueza, who
represented Mexico, investigated the scene of the massacre
and interviewed witnesses.
with
They concerned themselves only
these latter charges as the basis for ascertaining
responsibility.
The three men concluded
that the contention that the Chinese offered
resistance is a pure fabrication, invented by the
officers of the revolutionary army for the sole
purpose of escaping the punishment which the
commission of such a heinous crime would
naturally entail upon them.^
With these findings in mind, Wilfley and Bassett
submitted a third report that substantiated Chinese claims
for an indemnity for the 303 Chinese killed in the massacre
at Torredn.
China submitted claims for.these dead in3
4
3. Wilfley and Bassett, firm, Memorandum on the Law
and the Facts in the Matter of the Claim of China against
Mexico for Losses of Life and Property Suffered by Chinese
Subjects at Torredn on May 13, 14, and 15, 1911 (Mexico:.
American Book and Printing Co., 1911), pp. 7-8.
4. Owang King and Arthur Bassett, Report of Messrs,
Owang King and Arthur Bassett, Representatives of His
Excellency, Minister Chang Yin Tang in an investigation Made
in Conjunction with Licenciado Antonio Ramos Pedrueza,
Representative of His Excellency, Francisco L. de la Barra,
President of Mexico, of the Facts Relating to the Massacre
of Chinese Subjects at Torredn on the 15th of May, 1911
(Mexico: American Book and Printing Co., 1911), pp. 13-14
75
addition to 271 other claims that totaled $1,137,227.04.'*
After six months of haggling over the indemnity, Mexico
agreed to pay China 3,100,000 pesos in addition to an
apology for the massacre.
China accepted the apology and
the promise of an indemnity. ** But collecting the indemnity .
was an entirely different matter as Mexico never paid China
for the massacre at Torredn.
7
The motivation behind the massacre aroused fear and
indignation among the Chinese of Mexico, especially in
Sonora.
The reports of the investigating teams stressed
racial prejudice, but the economic position of the Chinese
in Torredn was also an important cause of the movement
5. Wilfley and Bassett, firm,' Memorandum Showing
Extent of Destruction of Life and Property of Chinese Sub­
jects During the Recent Revolution in Mexico and Mexico's
Responsibility Therefore, Together with Citations of Auth­
orities (Mexico: American Book and Printing Co., 1911), p. 3.
6. For the texts of the protocols on the indemnity,
see "Convention between the Governments of Mexico and China
for the Payment of an Indemnity," Supplement to the American
Journal of International Law, VIII (January, 1914), pp. 147150; Memoria: hechos relatives a la matanza de chinos en
Torredn y el protocol de 16 diciembre de 1911, prometiendo
indemnizacidn por la matanza (n.p.: n.p., n.d.), pp. 6-7.
7. Ch'ang-fu Li reported in 1929 that Mexico had
not yet paid the indemnity, Ch'ang-fu Li, Hua ch'iao, p.
144; for Mexico's attempts to float silver bonds to pay the
indemnity, see Montgomery Schuyler, United States Charg§,
Mexico, to the Secretary of State, 12 January 1912, NA
312.93/25; Nelson O'Shaughnessy, United States Charge,
Mexico, to the Secretary of State, 3 December 1913, RDS
812.51/98, reel 168; Paul Kosidowski, Dutch Ambassador-,
Mexico, to Foreign Office, 22 December 1912, 19 January 1913,
in The Netherlands, Algemeen Rijsarchief, Archief Gerentschep, Washington, 1910-1940 (hereafter cited as AR with
appropriate classifications); Kosidowski to Dr. J. Loudon,
4 June 1913, ibid.
76
Q
against them.
The Mexicans resented the existence of a
fairly large and very prosperous Chinese colony in their
q
midst.
Anti-Chinese speeches incited the crowd before the
attack on Torredn and observers noted an intense feeling
against all foreigners, especially Chinese.
suffered wide scale death and destruction.
But only they
They were easily
visible targets because of their color and facial features.
They also provided a safe target since they did not resist
and their government was too weak to aid them.
In addition
to the virtual destruction of Chinese business in Torredn,
the massacre terrorized them throughout Mexico and forced
many to emigrate.
Chinese immigration declined immediately
after the massacre, but resumed again within two months.
8. For Chinese economic activities and wealth in
Torredn, see Jung-pang Lo, editor and translator, K*ang
Yu-wei: A Biography and a Symposium, The Association for
Asian Studies: Monographs and Papers, XXIII (Tucson: The
University of Arizona Press, 1967) , pp. 195, 202-208, 269;
Hsien-tzti Wu, Chung kuo min chu hsien-cheng tang tang shih
("A History of the Chinese Democratic Constitution Party")
(San Francisco: n.p., 1952), pp. 79-86; Wen-chiang Ting,
Liang jdn-kung hsien-sheng nien-p'u ch'ang-pien ch'u-kao
("First Draft of an Unabridged Chronological Biography of
Liang Ch'i-ch'ao") (3 vols in 1, Taipei: n.p., 1958), I,
251, II, 266-267, 327-328.
9. Carothers to Freeman, 7 June 1911, NA 312.93/7;
Frederick C. Turner, The Dynamic of Mexican Nationalism
(Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1968),
p. 204; Henry Baerlein, Mexico, the Land of Unrest, Being
Chiefly an Account of What Produced the Outbreak in 1910,
Together with- the Story of the Revolutions Down to This Day
(Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, n.d.), p. 261.
10.
Loebbus Wilfley, legal counsel for China, Mexico
to President William H. Taft, 11 July 1911, NA 312,93/9; El
Heraldo de Occidente (MazatlSn), 18 March 1912; El Imparcial
77
The capture of TorreSn by the Maderistas opened the
railroad route to the south.
Combined with the victories in
Morelos and Chihuahua, these successes in Durango and
southern Coahuila forced Diaz to resign.
He left office on
25 May 1911 and Francisco Le6n de la Barra succeeded him as
provisional president until November, 1911.
In November
Madero became president, a position he would hold until his
death in February, 1913.
On the northwest coast of Mexico the situation for
the Chinese was one of turmoil, especially after the Torredn
massacre.
When the revolution began, over 5,000 Chinese
lived in Sinaloa and Sonora.
Although Sinaloa had only
fifteen per cent of them, most of the Chinese residents of
Sonora arrived through the port of MazatlSn, thus Sinaloa
was well aware of their impact.
In September, 1911, the Union of Retail Merchants of
Mazatlcln attacked the Chinese colony for unfair business
practices.
No outbreak of violence occurred until September
1 when a mob inspired by the Union stoned some Chinese in
the streets.
The mob resisted the attempts of the local
prefect to arrest them, and in turn threw the prefect in
(Mexico), 28 May, 15 December 1912; for immigration and
emigration statistics of Chinese in 1911 and 1912, see
Appendix A, Table A.4; for a list of the remnants of Chinese
businesses in Torredn in 1913, see International Chinese
Business Directory of the World for the Year 1913 (San
Francisco: International Chinese Business Directory Co.,
Inc., 1913), pp. 1572-1573.
78
jail.
United States Consul William E. Alger feared anarchy
and the massacre of Chinese citizens.
The State Department
authorized him to insure protection of the lives and prop­
erty of the imperiled Chinese by granting them temporary
_
11
refuge.
In October, 1911, the Union staged another demon­
stration against the Chinese in MazatlSn, which was so
massive the authorities did not interfere.
prefect fled to CuliacSn.
The local
E..Stait-Gardner, British Vice
Consul in Mazatldn hoped for troops from the state capital
to restore order.
On 6 November he reported the circulation
of a flyer that threatened an attack on the Chinese, but
troops arrived and restored order, and MazatlSn returned to
normalcy.
12
Under constant pressure from the Chinese, Alger
petitioned the State Department to grant the Chinese temporary refuge in San Francisco or San Diego if they were
compelled to leave Mexico.
The Department granted the
request and sent the USS Buford to take the Chinese out of
Mazatldn as an act of humanity.
As the threat subsided, the1
2
11. El Imparcial (Mexico), 13 September 1911;
William E. Alger, United States Consul, Mazatldn, to the
Secretary of State, 21 October 1911, RDS 812.00/2481, reel
15; Wilbur J. Carr, Department of State, to Alger, 14
November 1911, ibid.
12. E. Stait-Gardner, British Consul, Mazatldn, to
Foreign Office, 2, 6 November 1911, Great Britain, Public
Record Office, Foreign Office, FO/204/392 (hereafter cited
as FO with appropriate classification numbers).
79
Chinese extended their thanks for the aid, but would not
avail themselves of the Buford except as a last resort.
13
Madero may have won the presidency, but pockets of
resistance to his policies occupied his attention as presi­
dent.
Zapata continued his struggle for agrarian reform in
Morelos.
Orozco rebelled in the north.
movements also took place.
Other isolated
But a rift between Madero and
his General Victoriano Huerta drove the latter into an
alliance with another rebel, Diaz’ nephew,.F61ix Diaz.
This conspiracy, with the tacit approval of the United
States Ambassador, Henry Lane Wilson, precipitated the fall
of Madero in February, 1913.
The overthrow and death of.Madero installed Huerta
in the presidency and introduced more turmoil in Mexico.
In
March both the Sonora and Coahuila state legislatures re­
fused recognition of Huerta.^
On 26 March Governor
Venustiano Carranza of Coahuila proclaimed the Plan of1
4
3
13. Heraldo de Occidente (MazatlSn), 27 January
1912; Alger to the Secretary of State, 17 March 1912, RDS
812.00/3259, reel 16; 17 March 1912, NA .312.93/19; Alger to
the Secretary of State, 14 April 1912, RDS 812.00/3754,
reel 17; Dye to the Secretary of State, 2 May 1912, NA
151.07/7; Huntington Wilson, Secretary of State, to Dye, 4
May 1912, NA 151.07/7; Alger to the Secretary of State, 5
May 1912, NA 312.93/22.
14. For the declarations of these legislatures, see
GonzSlez Ramirez, Planes politicos, pp. 134-136; for the
coup in Sonora, see Sonora, Gobernador, Informe del
qobernador de Sonora sobre el golpe de estado de febrero de
1913 y hechos posteriores (Hermosillo: Imprenta del
Gobierno de Sonora, 1914).
80
Guadalupe, which initiated a revolt against the Huerta
regime.^
For the Chinese in MazatlSn conditions remained
the same until the United States took punitive action
against Huerta by occupying Veracruz.
With this occupation
came the closing of its consulates in April, 1914.
The
Chinese then requested the protection of H. Claisse, the
French Consular Agent in MazatlSn.
In June, 1914, the
French Ambassador in Washington relayed the French Foreign
Minister's approval of this request in those areas where ho
Chinese official resided.
With the reopening of the United States consulate in
MazatlSn, the Chinese again looked to Alger for aid.
In
March, 1915, the Chinese colony numbered over 700, with the
accretion of emigres from other parts of northern Mexico.
They were in a perilous situation.
Anti-Chinese crusaders
began an attempt to segregate the Chinese in barrios on the
periphery of the city.
Simultaneously a virulent press
campaign incited the populace to the point where all1
6
5
15. For the Plan of Guadalupe, see GonzSlez
Ramirez, Planes politicos, pp. 137-144.
16. Alger to the Secretary of State, 29 March 1915,
NA 312.93/106; Ayquesparsse to Minister of Foreign Affairs,
1 June 1914, in France, Archives du Ministers des Affaires
fitrangeres, "Colonie franqaise et Strangers au Mexique”
(1908-1918); Gasgory to French Ambassador, Washington, 6
June 1914, ibid; J. Jusserand, French Ambassador, Washington,
to Foreign Minister, Paris, 7 June 1914, ibid.; P. de
Fucergerie to French Legation, Mexico, 10 June 1914, ibid.
81
expected a riot.
17
Through May and June, 1915, the Chinese
situation worsened in MazatlSn.
Finally, protests against
the segregation of the Chinese on grounds of discrimination
resulted in a temporary halt to the move on 6 June 1915.
Acting Governor Manuel Rodriguez Gutierrez stopped the
segregation because it was a discriminatory measure.
18
Simultaneous with these events, anti-Chinese
activities again occurred in Sonora.
For the next twenty
years Sonora was the center of anti-Chinese activities in
Mexico.
With no consular representative in Sonora, the
Chinese there felt themselves in great danger, as their
country, fresh from a 1910 revolution against the Manchu
Dynasty, was unable to protect their interests.
In this
instance the Chinese Charge in Mexico asked Henry Lane Wilson
for protection for the Chinese in Guaymas.
Wilson peti­
tioned the Department of State, who authorized him to use 1
8
7
17. Alger to the Secretary of State, 30 March 1915,
NA 312.93/105; H. Claisse, French Consular Agent, MazatlSn,
to Chinese Ambassador, Washington, 14 April 1915, NA
312.93/103.
18. Alger to the Secretary of State, 14 May 1915,
NA 312.93/116? 6 June 1915, NA 312.93/118? Alger to Manuel
Rodriguez Gutierrez, Acting Governor, CuliacSn, 7 June 1915,
ibid.? for a similar barrio crusade in 1917 in Guasave,' ‘
Sinaloa, see Sinaloa, Gobernador, Informe correspondiente
al periodo transcurrido del 15 de septiembre de 1917 al 15de marzo del aho en curso rendido a la XXVII legislatura de
Sinaloa por el C. General Ram6n F. Iturbe, sobre su gestidn
administrative como gobernador constitucional del estado
(Culiacctn: Talleres Gr&ficos de la Compahia Comercial de
Sinaloa, 1918), p. 16.
82
his informal good offices to aid them if Mexico assented.
19
This crisis was averted, but outbreaks against the Chinese
continued.
After Madero's call to arms in 1910, rebel bands
appeared in Sonora.
Their initial attempts failed, but
gradually, supplied with arms from the United States, they
gained strength.
The fall of Agua Prieta on 13 April 1911,
assured control of a border town and a more secure supply of
munitions.
Cananea fell on 13 May and by late May Diaz and
his regime in Sonora had fallen.
Waiting.in the wings were
the disaffected classes who survived the Corral-TorresIzSbal regime.
Carlos Randall guided the state as pro­
visional governor until the July elections.
Although
fighting had taken place in the state, dislocation of the
economy was minimal, except in one area, finances.
The
state government had used large sums to fight the rebels,
then when the struggle was lost, they absconded with state
funds.
In this climate Jos6 Marla Maytorena assumed the
governorship on 30 July 1911.1
0
2
9
19. Henry Lane Wilson, United States Ambassador,
Mexico, to the Secretary of State, 20 March 1911, NA
704.9312; Huntington Wilson, Secretary of State, to Henry
Lane Wilson, 24 March 1911, ibid.
20. For Randall's account of his tenure, see
Sonora, Gobernador, Informe del C. gobernador interino del
estado de Sonora Carlos E. Randall presentado el lo de
septiembre de 1911 ante el H. Congreso del mismo al hacer
entrega del ejecutivo al gobernador constitucional Sr. Jos#
Maria Maytorena (Hermosillo: Imprenta de Gobierna de Sonora,
1911).
83
The Revolution brought military.engagements, chronic
unrest, and Yaqui uprisings in Sonora.
All of these
affected foreigners, especially the Chinese.
W. W. Clark/
a British ranch owner in Cananea, informed British officials
in Mexico City of’disturbed conditions in the Arizpe
district of Sonora.
Cananea witnessed labor disturbances in
1906 and 1908 and was a center of anti-foreign sentiment in
Sonora.
Clark reported several raids on his ranch in April,
1911, in which rebels carried off his mules, horses, and
movable property.
In addition, several of his Chinese
employees lost their belongings when rebels beat and robbed
them on 7 April.
Having employed several Chinese for many
years on his ranch, he had become familiar with their
position in Sonoran society.
Although violence against the
Chinese was only sporadic, Clark stated that the feeling of
the Sonorans against the Chinese was very strong and he
21
feared for them in the future.
As the Revolution entered Sonora and Yaqui incur­
sions increased as a result of the disruption, the Chinese
felt more imperiled.
Consul Dye saw the Chinese issue as a
major political question in Sonora.
Complaints by the
rebels levied against the incumbent government, and espe­
cially against native son, Ram6n Corral, involved the2
1
21.
W. W. Clark, British rancher, Cananea, to
British Consular Service, Mexico, 25 April,1911, FO/204/391.
84
Chinese question.
Opponents of the Diaz regime held the
government responsible for fostering Chinese immigration.
Secondly, they protested alleged administration favoritism
to Chinese merchants at the expense of Mexicans.
The lower
classes were markedly hostile to the Chinese as they looted
and destroyed Chinese stores when towns fell.to the rebels.
Even the Federals manifested strong dislike for the Chinese.
For these reasons the Chinese sought consular protection.
Chinese fears were not imaginary, but real.
1911, rebels attacked Imuris.
22
In May,
They sacked Chinese gardens
and stores, killed eight and wounded three other Chinese.
In August, 1911, another crisis developed for the 300-man
Chinese colony who had worked for a United States mining
firm in Pilares de Nacozari.
They complained earlier in the
month that mobs threatened them because they felt the
Chinese robbed them of their work.
The mob ordered the
Chinese to leave within three days or be shot,
Chang Yin
Tang, Chinese Minister in Washington, requested and received
a promise of United States consular good o f f i c e s . C h a n g 2
3
4
22. El Imparcial (Mexico), 18, 25 May 1911; Dye to
the Secretary of State, 15 May 1911, RDS 812.00/1789, reel
13; 19 May 1911, NA 704.9312/7.
23. El Imparcial (Mexico), 23 May 1911; The New
York Times, 23 May 1911.
24. Fred Morris Dearing, United States Minister,
Mexico, to Chang Yin Tang, Chinese Minister, Washington, 14
August 1911, NA 312.93/n.n.; Dearing to the Secretary of
State, 14 August 1911, NA 312.93/13.
85
Yin Tang had a low opinion of the Mexican lower classes and
feared what they might do.
He stated that these people
disliked work, peace, law, and order.
And he thought this
95
boded ill for the Chinese during a period of revolution.
During the next twenty years the activities of the Sonorans
against the Chinese fulfilled his worst fears.
Chang was
not alone among, the Chinese who criticized the Mexicans.
Another Chinese observer pointed out the control of all
Mexican industry by foreigners because "the Mexican people
are lazy and cannot well manage their own living."
This
observer stated that because they were unable to attack the
Japanese, British, French, and United States citizens, who
were supported by powerful governments, the Mexicans took
their revenge on the Chinese.^
By August, 1911, El Imparcial estimated the number
of Chinese
ead in Sonora, Sinaloa, and Tepic at sixteen,
with twenty-five million pesos in property damage.
Two
hundred and sixteen Chinese merchants in these states
complained of forced loans by the military.
China's legal
representatives in Mexico, Wilfley and Bassett, agreed with
the number killed, but revised the property damages down­
ward.
In addition to the 303 Chinese killed by soldiers in
Torredn, Wilfley and Bassett reported fourteen other Chinese
also killed by soldiers in Baja, Sinaloa, Sonora, and
26.
Ch'ang-fu Li, Hua ch'iao, p. 144.
86
Chihuahua.
Eleven of these were in Sonora.
Of the seven
Chinese killed by unknown parties in Durango, Oaxaca,
Sinaloa, and Sonora, four occurred in Sonora.
Of the total
of 608 Chinese claims, 271 were from Coahuila and 235 from
Sonora.
Baja and Chihuahua followed with thirty-three and
thirty-eight, respectively.
The total of all claims outside.
of Torredn was $287,298.35, or about one-third of the
Torredn total.
The first year of the Revolution closed with
324 Chinese dead and over a million dollars in claims.
97
Chinese throughout.Mexico suffered hardships, but
the anti-Chinese campaign was most intense in Sonora.
28
Despite protests and investigations, the attacks continued.
Chinese and other foreign claims for damages mounted each
year as the Revolution progressed.
Throughout 1913 and 1914
rebels assaulted and robbed over twenty Chinese in separate
incidents, and killed half of them.
After Yaquis killed two
in Torin in September, 1913, fifteen others fled the Yaqui
Valley.
They sailed from Guaymas to San Diego on the USS
27. El Imparcial (Mexico), 23 August 1911; Wilfley
and Bassett, Memorandum Showing Extent of Destruction, p. 3.
28. For inventories of Chinese property, see Dye
to the Secretary of State, 9 March 1912, RDS 812.00/3240,
reel 16; undated manuscript autobiography of Dye, Dye
Papers.
87
29
Buffalo.
In the violent revolutionary times they were
easily recognized as outsiders.
This, combined with their
position in the economic sphere, singled them out for
attacks.
Most of the attacks were merely senseless acts of
frustration and the result of pent-up hostility, not the
result of long planning.
The Chinese was there, he fared
better than Mexicans in business, and he was obviously a
foreigner.
It was easy to assault them, because they hardly
ever resisted and most crimes went unpunished.
30
Conditions
worsened for the Chinese as the revolution wore on.
In
October, 1914, a Maytorena soldier challenged a group of
Chinese in Nogales with the traditional Vwho goes?"
Ben, who knew no Spanish, answered in Chinese.
shot and killed him.
Wong
The soldier
With the constant changes in governing
authorities the neutral and pacific Chinese became more
wary.
Fearful that any action would result in personal
29. Tong Qui, merchant, Hermosillo, to Governor,
29 August 1913, AGG, tomo 2946, paquete 2, seccidn 5, expediente 3; W. J. Philips, United States Acting Consular
Agent, Guaymas, aboard USS Buffalo, San Diego, to Secretary
of State, RDS 812.48/558, reel 153.
30. Frederick Simpich, United States Consul,
Nogales, to the Secretary of State, 23 June 1913; NA
312.93/32; 24 June 1913, NA 312.93/34; Simpich to Governor
Ignacio L. Pesqueira, 28 June 1913, AGG, tomo 2913, p quete
9; Simpich to the Secretary of State, 27 February 1914,
NA 312.93/63; 6 April 1915, RDS 812.00/14863, reel 44;
A. L. Gustetter, surgeon. United States Public Health,
Nogales, to Simpich, 25 June 1913 [sic], in Simpich to the
Secretary of State, 24 June 1913, NA 312.93/34.
88
harm, they began to reply to shouts of "who goes?" with "you
say first.
But it was in Cananea that anti-foreign sentiment
crystalized and led to violence.. On 24 February 1914
leaders of the Women's Union of that town harrangued the
populace with denunciations of foreigners, especially
Chinese.
A crowd of 500 heard speakers that demanded the
forcible expulsion of the Chinese.
Led by wives of mine
laborers, the crowd began a rampage of destruction of
Chinese stores in the immediate vicinity.
While police
watched, the mob robbed, stoned, and beat Chinese launderers.
32
Deluged by protests, the mayor and Governor
Maytorena sent thirty mounted troops who dispersed the mob
and arrested eight men.
Charged with inciting the women to
violence, the men spent one night in jail.
With anti-
foreign feeling still running high, Maytorena ordered the
local authorities to protect the lives of foreigners.
Gradually, order returned.
Native hatred of foreign inter­
ests, especially Chinese and the large Cananea Consolidated
33
Copper Company, continued.3
2
1
31. Simpich to the Secretary of State, 29 October
1914, NA 312.93/79; undated manuscript autobiography of
Dye, Dye Papers.
32.
The New York Times, 25 February 1914.
33. Simpich to the Secretary of State, 27 February
1914, NA 312.93/63.
89
Chinese protested the increasingly bitter feeling
toward them and the constant infringements of their rights.
The local authorities seized their property, taxed them
excessively, arrested and beat them, and failed to intervene
when the mob attacked.
Secretary of State William J. Bryan
ordered Frederick Simpich, Consul in Nogales, to prevent
hostile action against any foreigners.. He suggested a plea
to Venustiano Carranza to intervene.and offered the Chinese
entry into Naco, Arizona.
The Chinese wanted to close all
their shops, but feared to do so because they would be
34
looted.
The threat to the foreigners prompted James S.
Douglas and George Kingdom, United States mine owners, to
consider closing the mine.
They discarded this idea as it
was certain to produce riots, and probably a recurrence of
the Torredn massacre.
The riots ceased, but the forces that
moved the mob to action remained.
The depreciation of the
peso, rapid increases in food prices, and the presence and
dominance of foreigners continued to alienate the populace.
Many blamed the United States capitalists and Chinese
35
merchants for the poor economic conditions.3
5
4
34. Simpich to the Secretary of State, 24 February
1914, NA 312.93/61; William J. Bryan, Secretary of State,
to Simpich, 14 February 1914, ibid.; Simpich to the
Secretary of State, 26 February 1914, NA 312.93/62.
35. Simpich to the Secretary of State, 27 February
1914, NA 312.93/63? 24 February 1914, NA 312.93/61.
90
Sonorans also instituted a more subtle campaign to
weaken the position of the Chinese.
With the coming of the
Madero Revolution Sonorans formed the Sonoran Democratic
Club, with Eduardo C. GonzSlez as president and Plutarco
Elias Calles as secretary.
In its nine-point national pro­
gram the club approved Madero's revolt against Diaz, called
for the sovereignty of the states, and urged municipal
independence. • They also asked the government for laws to
impede Chinese immigration.
In a six-point municipal pro­
gram, the Club stressed the necessity for local vigilance
of Chinese colonies to ensure they complied with all health
regulations.
Another part of their program called for the
closing of Chinese casinos and gambling dens and the pro36
hibition of opium.
In order to protect the health of the
town and protect the Chinese, the municipal council of
Cananea decreed that no Chinese could sleep in his place of
business.
Seventeen Chinese protested this decree since
they had no homes but their stores.
Maytorena modified the decree.
Governor Jos6 Maria
The new regulation allowed
only one Chinese to live in each store that also served as a
residence.
Imuris followed this new line of attack with a
decree in July, 1912, which prohibited cantinas to be3
6
36.
El Imparcial (Mexico), 28 June 1911.
91
joined to other businesses.
37
In October the Nogales
municipal council adopted a new municipal market law, which
provided for inspections of all vendors of cheese and eggs.
Article IV specified that these products could be sold only
in the central market.
The council stressed the many
complaints against the Chinese who sold these items in bad
condition.
Guillermo Barrett, Municipal President of
Nogales, informed the governor of the council's reasons for .
the decree.
He reminded the governor of a similar Nogales
decree of 1909 which prohibited the Chinese from selling
bread outside the central market.
The 1912 law prohibiting
the sale of cheese and eggs outside the market remained in
effect.
The Chinese suffered because most of their shops
were outside the principal market.
38
Various regimes requested contributions in cash and
merchandise from Sonorans and from the Chinese.
complied to avoid repercussions.
The latter
Chinese merchants who left
Mexico to conduct business found they could not reenter
Mexico on their return to the border.
In Nogales3
8
7
37. Various Chinese, Cananea, to Governor, n.d.,
AGG, tomo 2777, expediente 15; JosS Maria Maytorena,
Governor, Hermosillo, to Prefect, Cananea, 25 June 1912,
ibid.; Wing On Chong, merchant, Imuris, to Governor, 25 July
1912, AGG, tomo 2777, expediente 18.
38. Twenty Chinese merchants, Nogales, to Governor,
8 November 1912, AGG, tomo 2777, expediente 19; sixteen
Mexican merchants and thirteen Chinese merchants, Nogales,
to Guillermo Barrett, Municipal President, Nogales, 12
October 1912, ibid.; Barrett to Governor, 16 November 1912,
ibid.
92
authorities arbitrarily levied contributions and fines on
Chinese.
39
The introduction of new currency by each new
regime complicated the Chinese position, as it did for other
Sonoran residents.
40
And in Guaymas Chinese suffered from
commercial discrimination.
Consul W. J. Philips acted as
the Chinese representative in the protests to the municipal
authorities, while the USS Pittsburg granted protection to
600 Chinese in a camp on Almagre Island in Guaymas harbor.
In April, 1914, 700 of the Chinese colony in Guaymas
arranged a charter on the German steamer Marla to take them
out of the city if there were riots.^
While Maytorena attempted to revivify Sonora's
economy and institute reforms in the state, Carranza con­
tinued his war against Huerta.
After failures in Chihuahua3
1
0
4
9
39. Louis Hostetter, United States Consul,
Hermosillo, to the Secretary of State, 10 May 1913, NA
312.93/27? Captain Arnulfo R. G6mez, Military Garrison,
Nogales, to Interim Governor Ignacio Pesqueira, 27 May 1913,
AGG, tomo 2903, paquete 11; J. L. Pope, Municipal President,
Nogales, to Maytorena, 12 December 1913, ibid.; Simpleh to
the Secretary of State, 12 February 1914, RDS 812.5157/47,
reel 187; 24 June 1913, RDS n.n., ibid.; Secretary of State
to Simpich, 3 July 1913, NA 151.07/11.
40. For an analysis of problems involved with an
exchange rate of five constitutionalist pesos to one silver
peso, see Juan Santiago, merchant, Cananea, to Governor, 14
September 1916, AGG, tomo 3075, Part 1, expediente 4.
41. Philips to the Secretary of State, n.d., NA
312.93/51? Captain, USS Pittsburg, to Secretary of Navy, 9
July 1913, in F. D. Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of Navy,
to the Secretary of State, 10 July 1913, RDS 812.00/8021,
reel 27; Philips to the Secretary of State, 23 April 1914,
NA 312.93/69.
93
and Coahuila, Carranza retreated into Sonora.
But this
proved to be a less convenient starting point for a drive
to Mexico City because of the gap in the railroad from
Tepic, Nayarit, to Guadalajara, Jalisco.
Victories by
Francisco Villa in Chihuahua and his capture.of Torredn on
2 April 1914 opened a rift in Carranza's Constitutionalist
forces.
Fearing that Villa would reach the capital first,
Carranza denied him munitions and coal for his trains.
Thus
Carranza's forces under Sonoran General Alvaro Obregdn
reached the capital first, in August, 1914.
Villa's and
Obregdn's victories, combined with the occupation of
Veracruz, weakened Huerta's position.
He resigned on 15
July and left the city to the Constitutionalists.
The struggle against Huerta and the split in the
forces fighting Huerta also had repercussions in Sonora.
A
rift developed between Maytorena and the military under
Obregdn.
The latter thought Maytorena moved too slowly in
his reforms.
Thus Obregdn and his Sonoran subordinate
Plutarco Ellas Calles attempted to weaken Maytorena's posi­
tion.
With Obregdn's departure to beat Villa to the
capital, the split widened between Calles and Maytorena.
Calles controlled the northeast around Nogales, Naco,
Cananea, and Agua Prieta..
The most important split in the Constitutionalist
forces came late in 1914 when Villa declared against both
Carranza and Obregdn.
The latter abandoned the capital for
94
a new base in Veracruz while both forces fought to control
Mexico and the Revolution.
In April, 1915, Obregdn
decimated Villa's forces at Celaya, Guanajuato, and forced
him back into Chihuahua.
Relentless pursuit and victories
at Agua Prieta and Hermosillo reduced Villa to a threat only
in Chihuahua.
Turning on Zapata, Obregdn reduced him to his
original base in Morelos.
Thus Carranza regained prominence
and United States recognition.
With the widening rift
between Carranza and Villa, Maytorena also broke with the
Constitutionalists, thus initiating a more intense struggle
with Calles.
Through the spring and summer of 1915 he
successfully confined Calles to Agua Prieta.
The economic situation in Sonora reached its lowest
point in the spring of 1915.
As military forces operated in
the state Sonora became a battleground.
The result was the
disruption of agricultural and industrial productivity.
The
Maytorena government was in dire financial straits with no
money and its fiat peso valued at five cents.
nated with the disruption of communications.
Trade stag­
Importers
feared heavy losses when dealing in the rapidly changing
currencies, therefore they imported little.
Taxes remained
uncollected while Maytorena increased duties and taxes and
levied loans on merchants.
The Consolidated Copper Company
closed, thus adding over 4,000 to the unemployed, and in­
creasing unrest in the mining areas.
The population of the
Cananea area fell from 15,000 to 12,000 with over 2,500
95
destitute.
Observers reported that Yaquis looted Chinese
stores, beat, robbed, and stripped their owners, and left
them naked and tied to trees.
42
In the agricultural areas the land lay fallow as the
farmers abandoned their farms from fear of Yaqui depreda­
tions.
If this were not bad enough, floods wiped out most
of the crops of wheat, corn, and garbanzos.
Faced with
economic hardships, the Yaquis and townspeople resorted to
popular methods of relief.
They raided Chinese businesses.
In April, 1915, the Yaquis raided Chinese in Querobabi,
Torres, and other towns.
Townspeople in Fronteras, Cumpas,
Nacozari, Santa Ana, and Magdalena followed the Yaqui lead
In Guaymas crowds looted Chinese stores, but strangely took
only dry and dressgoods, not food.
What incensed the
Chinese in Sonora more than all else was the impunity with
which anyone attacked them.
It seemed that despite protesta­
tions to the contrary and half-hearted attempts to prevent
abuses, the state authorities did not consider the beating
and killing of Chinese as a crime.
None of the men 4
3
2
42. Simpich to the Secretary of State, 6 April
1915, RDS 812.00/14863, reel 44; Charles L. Montague, United
States Consular Agent, Cananea, to Simpich, 28 February
1915, in Simpich to the Secretary of State, 6 April 1915,
ibid.; Montague to Simpich, 4 May 1915, NA 312,93/110; for
figures on the decline in copper production, see The Mexican
Year Book, 1914 (London: McCorquodal, 1914), p. 62.
43. Simpich to the Secretary of State, 6 April
1915, RDS 812.00/14863, reel 44.
96
responsible for these crimes went to trial or_jail.
The
authorities investigated the cases and the complaints, but
only to satisfy observers and to insure the guise of
responsible government.
44
In May rioters broke into Chinese stores in
Hermosillo.
The prefect, unable to prevent this attack,
wired Maytorena for troops.
Simultaneously a plea went out
to Villa to restore order.
A mob of Yaqui soldiers, towns­
men, and women raided the stores.
With the low value of
fiat money and the high price of provisions the soldiers and
the civilians had a difficult time in surviving.
resorted to the popular balm for their w o e s . ^
Thus they
Officers and
men joined the 300 to 400 looters while the prefect fled.
After only seven stores were looted some semblance of order
was restored, but observers felt this was only a temporary
reprieve as over 100 Yaquis and their women deserted the
army and promised to return to loot the next day.
Maytorena
ended the looting by proclaiming martial law in the capital.
Consul Louis Hostetter in Hermosillo felt Maytorena was
responsible for the looting because of his financial
policies.
For a long time Maytorena had ordered merchants
to sell provisions at less than cost and he also obtained4
5
44. Simpich to the Secretary of State, 21 April
1915, NA 312.93/108.
45. Hostetter to the Secretary of State, 21 May
1915, NA 312.93/112; Bryan to Carothers, 21 May 1915, ibid.
97
provisions by forced contributions.
Payment made by paper
receipts left merchants with no money and no supplies.
merchants imported no new supplies.
Thus
When the scarcity
reached the people, they rioted and looted whatever they
could find.
In most instances they found the Chinese stores
first.
In the summer of 1915 Maytorena found himself on the
defensive^as the forces of Plutarco Elias Calles advanced in
Sonora.
On 19 July, as they abandoned Cananea for Nogales,
Maytorenistas joined local citizens in looting over forty
Chinese businesses.
The soldiers freed all the prisoners in
the jails to join in the sacking of the stores.
The mob
took everything movable and destroyed anything they could .
not take with them.
Later, Chinese found every safe empty.
47
They estimated their losses to be $544,726.05.
The
enormity of this figure seemed exaggerated considering the
previous sacks, the lack of business, and the decline in
imports to Sonora.
extensive.
Despite exaggerations, the damages were
The number and amount of claims also manifested
the importance of the Chinese in the economic life of
Cananea.
48
On 20 July Calles arrived and restored order.4
8
7
6
46. Hostetter to the Secretary of State, 21 May
1915, NA 312.93/112; 23 May 1915, NA. 312.93/115.
47.
Shah to Adee, 24 July 1915, NA 312.93/124.
48. Shah to Alvey A. Adee, Acting Secretary of
State, 24 July 1915, NA 312.93/124; Montague to Simpleh, 30
August 1915, in Simpich to the Secretary of State, 2
98
He allowed the Chinese to reopen their businesses but he was
unable to punish any of the rioters because most of the town
had participated.
As a result of the destruction, the
Chinese requested a diplomatic representative from China to
speak for them in Sonora.
49
at this time.
But no consular personnel came
Faced with the open hostility not only of the local
officials, but also from the governor, the Chinese suffered
at the hands of Sonorans in 1915 and 1916.
Juan Lung Tain
claimed damages from five separate depredations in 1914 and
1915.
He reported losses of over 6,000 pesos in March,.
1914, and almost 17,000 pesos in December, 1914, and the
summer of 1915.
in August, 1915.
A fifth raid cost him almost 70,000 pesos
And finally, he reported losses of almost
500,000 pesos as a result of raids and depredations in the
first two weeks of November, 1915.4
0
5
9
September 1915, NA 312.93/129; C. C. Chase, United States
Acting Consular Agent, Cananea, to Simpich, 22 July 1915,
in Simpich to the Secretary of State, 31 July 1915, NA
312.93/127.
49. H. Merle Cochran, United States Vice Consul,
Nogales, to the Secretary of State, RDS 812.00/15513, reel
46; Simpich to the Secretary of State, 21 December 1915,
NA 312.93/136.
50. Juan Lung Tain, Guaymas, to Secretary of
Interior, Mexico, 1 October 1922, in Claims Commission,
Mexico, to Governor, Hermosillo, 15 February 1927, AGG,
tomo 72 (1927); for a breakdown of the losses of Juan Lung
Tain in this 1914-1915 period, see Appendix C, Table C.l.
99
Anti-Chinese sentiment in Cananea continued with
murders and robberies while in other parts of Sonora Yaqui
depredations increased.
In Nogales, Yaqui women raided five
Chinese stores in September.
The local garrison restored
order after the women looted as they pleased.
Guaymas, Yaquis killed twenty-three Chinese.
And near
China's
minister in Washington requested aid by the United States
consul and the naval squadron under Admiral T..B. Howard.
The Navy Department stated that the Pacific Fleet would land
men in Guaymas only if foreigners were to leave Mexico.
They had no information that the Chinese desired to leave.
By October, 1915, the dire financial and economic
conditions weakened Maytorena's base of support.
With the
de facto recognition of Carranza's government by the United
States on 19 October, Calles was reinforced and rearmed
through Douglas, Arizona.
This eventually led to Maytorena's
defeat and Calles' accession as military governor of Sonora.
If the Chinese thought they fared badly under the
Maytorenista regime, conditions worsened under Calles in
1916.
As in previous years, harassment of individual
Chinese continued unabated.
Francisco L. Yuen, President of
the Chinese Fraternal Union of Nogales, complained to
51.
Montague to the Secretary of State, n.d., NA
312.11/6738; Simpich to the Secretary of State, 24 September
1915, NA 312.93/130; Shah to Robert Lansing, Secretary of
State, 31 July 1915, NA 312.93/126;. W. Brusan, Acting
Secretary of Navy, to the Secretary of State, 4 August 1915,
NA 312.93/128.
100
Governor Calles about the frequent attacks, murders, and
sacks of Chinese merchants throughout the state.
52
Yuen
feared for the 2,000 Chinese at Cananea, who expected a
Villista raid in November, 1916.
United States consuls
continued to protect the Chinese, as did the German Vice
Consul in Guaymas.
In July, 1916, the latter received
instructions from the German Minister in Mexico to offer aid
to the Chinese in Sonora and northern Baja.
He protested to
Governor Adolfo de la Huerta, Calles1 successor, in the
summer of 1916 against the harassment of the Chinese.
He
deplored the failure of the Mexicans to bring anyone to
justice for these crimes.
53
But these outrages were few in
number and less important than the beginnings of a new
campaign against.the Chinese position in Sonora.
A more
subtle crusade tried to ruin them and force them to leave
the state in 1916.
54
52. F. L. Yuen, President Chinese Fraternal Union,
Nogales, 17 September 1916, AGG, tomo 3076, expediente 35;
Municipal President, Opodepe, to Governor, 5 October 1916,
ibid.; Municipal President, Magdalena, to Governor, 31
October 1916, AGG, tomo 3071, Part 2.
53. Simpich
1916, NA 312.93/160;
Guaymas, to Governor
AGG, tomo 3061, Part
expediente 33.
to the Secretary of State, 28 November
Rademacher, German Vice Consul,
Adolfo de la Huerta, 25 July 1916,
2; 12 August 1916, AGG, tomo 3076,
54. Luis Chen, merchant, Hermosillo, to the
Secretary of Government, Hermosillo, 5 January 1916, AGG,
tomo 3083; Governor to Chen, 8 January 1916, ibid.;
Simpich to the Secretary of State, 10 April 1916, NA
312.93/145.
101
In Agua Prieta the authorities instituted a policy
of harassment of the Chinese on several fronts.
They raised
their business taxes.from five to thirty pesos a month.
All
other regulations were irritants aimed at forcing the
Chinese to leave in frustration.
The Chinese faced regula-
tions that compelled them to take public baths in the
presence of the municipal officials and forbade them to
visit from one house to another in the city without author­
ization from the police.
Local regulations also limited
the number of times Chinese could leave town to visit
friends in other towns.
And finally a 200-peso fine was
levied for each Chinese over four who lived.in the same
store that served as a residence.
In Cananea, Mexicans who
leased lands to Chinese received warnings that their land
could be confiscated.
Finally, the municipal council
ordered Chinese to sell.nothing but groceries in their
a.
55
grocery stores.
The Chinese colony of Cananea vigorously protested
the prohibition on selling dry and dressgoods in their
grocery stores.
In addition to their cries that this pro­
hibition hurt them because they needed great variety in
goods to pay their taxes, the Chinese complained that this
55.
Simpich to the Secretary of State, 10 April
1916, NA 312.93/145; 7 April 1916,.NA 312.93/144; Edward
Eugene Briscoe, "Pershing's Chinese Refugees: An Odyssey of
the Southwest" (unpublished M.A. thesis, St. Mary's
University, San Antonio, Texas, 1947), p. 6.
102
hurt their customers, who liked to.buy in one store, not
several.
E. R. de Hoyos, Municipal President of Cananea,
countered these accusations when he defended the law as
necessary for public hygiene.
The council believed selling
other goods with vegetables was unsanitary.
In addition he
defended its actions as similar to those of other areas of
Sonora.
The Secretary of Interior overlooked Chinese com­
plaints and upheld the local ordinances as in accordance
with the incumbent governor's ideas.
He also thought it was
in the general interest of Cananea society.^
agreed with these measures.
The governor
In Hermosillo, Calles decreed
that no Chinese could travel outside his home city or town,
nor could any Chinese obtain a passport.
Vigorous protests
resulted in the abolition of these ordinances, but the
Chinese feared the constant annoyances would lead to a
general campaign of harassment against them.
57
In June, 1916, Chinese in Nogales received orders to
pack and ship all their merchandise to Magdalena and
Hermosillo.
They complained that Calles issued the order
to wipe out their businesses in Nogales.
The orders further
56. Nineteen Chinese merchants, Cananea, to
Governor, 3 May 1916, AGG, tomo 3083, paquete 1,'seccidn 3,
expediente 2; E. E. de Hoyos, Municipal President, Cananea;
to the Secretary of Government, 18 May 1916, ibid.;
Secretary of the Interior, Hermosillo, to J. F. Chuck,
merchant, Cananea, 23 May 1916, ibid. '
57. Hostetter to the Secretary of State, n.d.,
NA 312.93/152.
103
stated that noncompliance would remove any government
responsibility to protect the Chinese in Sonora.
58
As they
continued to profit from their sales, local authorities
complained to the governor that they charged higher prices.
The municipal presidents of Magdalena and Santa Ana charged
that Chinese merchants bought their goods with gold and sold
them at a very high price for paper money.
Juan Lung Tain
and Fon Qui, with branches in Magdalena, Santa Ana, Imuris,
Estacidn Llano, and several other towns, were the main
targets of these complaints.
These charges of July, 1916,
remained unanswered when several Mexican merchants joined
the Chinese in attacking the price scales set by the
municipal presidents.
59
As the economic crisis deepened in Sonora in the
summer of 1916, projects aimed at conserving food supplies
became uppermost in the minds of many government officials.
The municipal president of Magdalena proposed a system of
regulations and inspections to ensure that necessary goods
were available.
In order to retain needed supplies he*
1
58. Simpich to the Secretary of State, 20 June
1916, RDS 812.00/18512, reel 54.
59. Ram6n Corral Soto, Municipal President, Santa
Ana, to de la Huerta, 26 July 1916, AGG, tomo 3083, paquete
1, expediente 2; E. Campbell, Municipal President,
Magdalena, to the Secretary of Government, 28 June 1916,
ibid.; twenty-one merchants, Magdalena, to Campbell, 14
October 1916, ibid.; for a list of the branch stores and
the business of Fon Qui, see Fon Qui to Governor, n.d.,
AGG, tomo 2445, expediente 110.
104
proposed a ban on exports.
Second, he.requested merchants,
especially Chinese, to remain open to the populace for
longer hours.
And finally he desired a register of every
merchant with information on the times they closed and if
they aided the government.
He hoped by this to reduce
Chinese power and hopefully force them into other businesses
or out of the state.
The governor agreed with his ideas and
instituted a policy of inspecting all mercantile activi­
ties. ^
Throughout Sonora the newly organized campaign
against the Chinese increased in 1916 under the auspices of
Governor Calles, who was openly hostile to foreigners.
On
all sides Mexicans deliberately harassed the Chinese with
discriminatory legislation that gradually replaced the
personal attacks, sacks, and murders of previous years.
The
regulations violated Chinese rights under both the treaty
between China and Mexico and the Constitution of 1857.
Noetheless, local officials, with the tacit support of
Calles, continued to press for the diminution of Chinese
economic power.
Simpich felt it was useless to protest to
Calles, because he inevitably refused to listen or even to
answer notes protesting the treatment of the Chinese.*
5
1
60.
Campbell to the Secretary of Government, 3
August 1916, AGG, tomo 3083, paquete 1, seccidn 2, expediente 6; Secretary of Interior, Hermosillo, to Campbell,
15 August 1916, ibid.; Chuck to Governor, 31 August 1916,
AGG, tomo 3083, paquete 1, seccidn 3, expediente 3.
105
Simpich recommended a vigorous protest to Carranza, but
feared Calles would evade any checks on his power or
campaign against foreigners.
Not every local official harassed the Chinese.
In
Bacerac, Luis Fong petitioned for the reopening of his
business which had been closed several times by local
officials.
Since he had the only general store in the area,
the populace petitioned that it be reopened because they
neede the staples he sold.
The municipal council allowed
him to reopen and the Secretary of Interior agreed.
In this
case, with a scarcity of food and no other stores in the
town, Fong was an economic asset.
Because he sold what the
people needed to survive, necessity altered the policy that
had closed his store several times in the past.
But in most
Sonoran towns the ideas of Magdalena's municipal president
gained new adherents.
He wanted to reduce Chinese business
and drive this "plague" from the state.
G2
Calles tried to limit Chinese immigration to the
state in an effort to reduce their numbers, and hopefully
their power.
On 23 December 1915, Calles informed.all.
immigration authorities in Sonora that Chinese immigration6
2
1
61. Simpich to the Secretary of State, 7 April
1916, NA 312.93/144.
62. Ignacio M. Ochoa, Municipal President, Bacerac,
to Governor, 9 October 1916, AGG, tomo 3083, paquete 1, expediente 3; Secretary of Interior, Hermosillo, to Ochoa,
ibid.; Campbell to the Secretary of Government, 3 August •
1916, AGG, tomo 3083, paquete 1, seccidn 2, expediente 6.
106
to that state was temporarily suspended.
This included not
only Chinese from China and the United States, but also from
other Mexican states.
He stated that the regulation was a
necessity because of health reasons.
The Chinese chargS
protested because it violated Article VI of the 1899
treaty.^
In addition to the losses in property suffered by
the Chinese, Mexicans killed over fifty other Chinese
between 1911 and 1916 in Sonora alone.
to trial.
Only one killer went
Chinese also suffered from increasingly harsh
discriminatory legislation.
Other foreigners feared that
this precedent would be injurious to all foreigners in the
state.
Since they had no consular representative in Sonora,
many Chinese left the state to escape the persecution spon­
sored by the incumbent regime.
Periodic petitions from
prominent Chinese, such as Juan Lung Tain, stressed the need
for a consular representative.
Finally, China decided to
send Tsai Shih Jung to the state.
He was to represent China6
3
63.
El Pueblo (Mexico), 31 January 1916; Secretar
of Interior Circular #55, Hermosillo, 23 December 1915,
AGG, tomo 3045, paquete 20; Enrique Moreno, Secretary of
State, Hermosillo, to R. Cruz, Municipal President, Guaymas,
31 December 1915, ibid.; Secretary of Foreign Relations,
Mexico, to Governor Plutarco Elias Calles, February 1916,
AGG, tomo 3072, paquete 8.
107
in the northern Mexican states and to mitigate some of the
repression against them.
64
Although opposition to the Chinese existed before
the outbreak of the 1910 Revolution, it was sporadic and
unorganized.
Criticism came from Diaz' opponents and became
merely one element of the condemnation of his regime.
In
Sonora opposition to the entrenched regime of Luis Torres,
Rafael IzSbal, and Ram6n Corral merged with the condemnation
of Diaz.
Because this triumvirate was responsible for the
unchecked immigration of Chinese into Sonora before 1910,
anti-Chinese demonstrations became a part of the opposition
to their regime.
But these forces remained unorganized and
concentrated on isolated acts of violence and financial
exactions on the local level.
With the advent of the Revolution, the triumvirate
and Diaz machines collapsed and Jos£ Maria Maytorena'became
the dominant political figure in the state from 1911 to
1915.
Torn in the throes of revolution and economic crisis,
Sonora was a maze of conflicting factions in this period.
The Chinese remained neutral, which marked them for exploita­
tion by all parties.
Again, isolated though now more fre­
quent, outbreaks of violence against the Chinese continued.*
4
2
64. Simpich to the Secretary of State, 10 April
1916, NA 312.93/145; 7 April 1916, NA 312.93/144; Cochran
to the Secretary of State, 2 July 1916, NA 312.93/119;
Wellington Koo, Chinese Minister, Washington, to Lansing,
24 April 1916, NA 312.93/146.
108
Murders, beatings, robberies, and sacks increased.
In a
time of unrest and scarcities the Chinese remained aloof and
seemingly well-supplied.
Thus increased financial exac­
tions, taxes, forced loans.and contributions, and outright
thefts predominated.
The victory of the Revolution brought to power the
disaffected elements of the Porfiriato.
Middle class
businessmen, resentful of Diaz' favoritism toward foreigners,
assumed power on the state and local levels.
Their lower
class compatriots, imbued with the ideas of the PLM and
anti-foreign resentment, supported the new legal restric­
tions on the Chinese.
In the chaotic situation created by
the fighting in Sonora they also released their pent-up
hostilities in physical acts of violence against foreigners,
especially Chinese.
Latent in the Porfiriato, anti-Chinese
sentiment exploded during the Revolution.
Both as beneficiaries of the old regime and neutrals
in the Revolution, the Chinese suffered with the fall of
Diaz.
The Maytorena transition period was a harsh one for
them.
With the advent of the Calles-de la Huerta regime
conditions changed, but only in tone, not intent.
For the
twenty years after 1911 all Sonoran political regimes sought
to limit Chinese economic power in the state.
means differed.
Only the
With Calles and de la Huerta came not only
a new regime, but also a new dynasty to replace the old
triumvirate.
The new clique would rule Sonora into the
109
1930's and Mexico from 1920 to 1934.
Simultaneous with the
rise of Calles came a new and organized campaign to crush
the economic power of the Chinese.
With the tacit support
and encouragement of Calles and de la Huerta, JosS Maria
Arana emerged to coalesce all the divergent local and hap­
hazard campaigns into a grandiose scheme to rid Sonora of
her Chinese.
CHAPTER 5
JOSfi MARIA ARANA'S CAMPAIGN— 1916-1921
In February, 1916, the Mexican businessmen of
Magdalena took the first steps toward the organization of a
campaign to oust the Chinese from the state.
On 5 February
they established the Commercial and Businessman's Junta with
Francisco C. L6pez as president.
Among the objects of the
Junta were efforts to uplift the Mexican merchant with the
hope that other cities would follow their lead.
But the
most important goal was to use all legal means to eliminate
the Asian m e r c h a n t . T h e Act of Installation of the new
Junta stressed the necessity for a militant mercantile
organization in this time of crisis.
The committee deplored
the situation that faced Mexican youth, who emerged from
school prepared for a career, only to find their entrance
into business barred by the Chinese who dominated the field.
Thus many young Mexicans emigrated to the United States.
This was doubly harmful, not only because Sonora needed
these young, aggressive future businessmen, but also because1
1. Act of Installation of the Commercial and
Businessman's Junta, Magdalena, 5 February 1916, AGG, tomo
3083, paquete 1, expediente 2; Juan Lung Tain, Magdalena, to
Governor, 24 November 1917, AGG, tomo 3138, paquete 4; re­
printed in Pro-Patria (Magdalena), 8 August 1917.
110
Ill
their departure further solidified the Chinese hold on the
2
economic life of Sonora.
As the Chinese entrenched themselves in business,
the Junta condemned them because the Mexicans were unable to
compete on an equal level.
The Chinese sold at the lowest
prices in addition to cheating on taxes, weights, and
quality.
Among other alleged abuses, the Junta singled out
frauds, both of the consumer and the treasury.
Because they
had no families they lived frugally, either in their stores
or in large numbers in small rooms.
The Mexican, on the
other hand, had to pay rent for a house and a store, pay
business taxes and support large families "in decent conditions imposed by society."
3
In addition the Chinese were a
threat to public health with their diseases, crowded living
conditions, and despicable habits of sleeping in their
stores.
For these reasons the committee felt it necessary
to "make an effort to the end of extirpating this class of
individuals from its bosom.
The committee rapidly gained adherents throughout
the state.
On 16 March it met in Magdalena to present a
formal proposal to Governor Plutarco Ellas Calles, who2
4
3
2. Act of Installation, 5 February 1916, AGG, tomo
3083, paquete 1, expediente 2.
3.
Ibid.
4.
Ibid.
112
subsequently supported the campaign against the Chinese.^
All the assembled delegates agreed that the economy of
Sonora was in dire straits.
The long revolution was costly
in financial outlay, in the destruction.of communications,
and in the disruption of business and agriculture.
Pro­
longed rains and disastrous floods of 1914 also reduced
agricultural production considerably.
But it was the
presence and activities of Chinese merchants that hurt
Mexican commerce and industry more than any other force.
I
In addition to their dominance of business, they closed
their doors in crises and accepted only United States gold
in payment.
This contributed to the scarcity of goods and
the high prices.5
6
For these reasons the Assembly asked the immediate
expulsion of the Chinese.
If this solution proved
impossible, the Assembly then proposed several measures
aimed at resolving the main Chinese issues...To combat the
problem of marriages and prostitution, the Assembly proposed
abolition of naturalization and marriages of Chinese, as
5. JosS Angel Espinoza, El ejemplo de Sonora
(Mexico: n.p., 1932), p. 31.
6. Memorial Presented to the Governor of the State
by the Great Commercial and Businessman’s Assembly,
Magdalena, 16 March 1916, AGG, tomo 3083, paquete 1, expediente 2; reprinted in Pro-Patria (Magdalena), 15, 22,
August 1917; for a list of United States and foreign in­
vestment in Sonora in 1914, which listed no Chinese, see
"American and Foreign Capital Invested in Mexico," pp. 1519, RDS 812.503/19, reel 161.
113
well as the elimination of business contact between Mexican
girls and Chinese.
The Chinese ability to defraud the
treasury constituted a second problem.
Thus, the legis­
lature appointed inspectors to check their books more
frequently.
Because one of the complaints alleged that the
Chinese refused to employ Mexicans, the Assembly found an
1875 law that stipulated that fifty per cent of all workers
in any enterprise must be Mexicans.
Further measures to
weaken the favorable position of the Chinese encompassed
suggestions that all business be conducted in Spanish and
only a fixed number of Chinese could live in the same house.
Each proposal attempted to reduce the influence of
the Chinese, who had benefitted from free immigration and
the absence of restrictions on foreigners during the
Porfiriato.
The Assembly also charged that the Chinese
bribed Governors Ram6n Corral, Luis Torres, and Rafael
IzSbal whenever they needed a concession.
Official mal­
feasance, which aided the Chinese, constituted one of the
first abuses the Assembly desired to end.
They hoped the
new administration would make it impossible for Chinese to
bribe officials.®
In subsequent months the members of the Junta
traveled throughout Sonora and reiterated their program.
7.
Pro-Patria (Magdalena), 15, 22 August 1917.
8.
Ibid.
7
114
Destined to become the leading proponent of the anti-Chinese
campaign, Jos§ Maria Arana initiated his crusade in 1916.
A
school teacher and businessman from Magdalena, Arana became
the leading antagonist to the Chinese in the next five
9
years.
It was no accident that he made his first address
on the Chinese issue in Cananea.
Long a center of foreign
population and a hotbed of xenophobia, Cananea was an ideal
location to rouse the rabble against the Chinese.
'
On 29 April 1916 Arana announced the program of the
Junta to the workers of Cananea.
In addition to the list of
sins propounded in the March Memorial, Arana added refine­
ments of his own to stress the danger the. Chinese posed for
Mexico, and for Sonora in particular.
He condemned the
immunity from compliance with commercial laws which the
Chinese enjoyed under Corral, Torres, and IzSbal.
As the
solution to the deplorable situation in which the Chinese
dominated Sonora's women and economy, Arana proposed that
no woman enter their stores and no one do business with the
Chinese.
Arana recoiled in horror when confronted with the
example of Sinaloa where, he claimed, the Chinese ran the
economy and married the fairest women, all with the approval
of the people, the society, and the government.
This he
9.
Gordon V. Krutz, "Chinese Labor, Economic
Development and Social Reaction," Ethnohistory, XVIII
(Fall, 1971), p. 328; Espinoza, El ejemplo de Sonora, p. 32.
115
refused to allow for Sonora, and he saw Calles as the man to
destroy the power of the Chinese.
By June, Arana became president of the Junta.
The
campaign continued as he deluged the governor with the
Junta's memorials, complaints, and solutions to the danger­
ous increase in the number of Chinese in Sonora.
Arana
the businessman and crusader never divested himself of the
rhetoric of the academician as the following excerpt from
one of his speeches showed:
Like a dismal legacy of the abominable dictator­
ship, they have outlived in Sonora, rooted deeply
in the arteries of the social organism, an instiable hydra, who by tolerance and unconditional
protection benefitted during the disappeared
tyranny, have remained converted into a fabulous
monster, endowed with the eyes of Argos, the
tentacles of an octopus, the immunity of
Mithridates, the talons of a bird of prey and
the venom of a serpent; and which in actuality
represent the case of the dogs who consumed the
entrails which had given them life: I refer to
the tremendous calamity of the Chinese iaundice,
the pestilential and nauseous Chinese.1%
But while Arana and the Junta talked, their propa­
ganda began to have an effect.
In January, 1917, the small
merchants of Nacozari de Garcia complained about the in­
crease in Chinese there and in Pilares de Nacozari.
Because
the Chinese were a health hazard, the merchants requested*
1
10. Discourse of JosG Maria Arana, Cananea, 29
April 1916, AGG, tomo 3083, paquete 1, expedients 2.
11. Arana to Governor, Magdalena, 2 June 1916,
AGG, tomo 3083, paquete 1, expediente 2.
12.
ibid.
Discourse of Arana, Cananea, 29 April 1916,
116
that the governor stop immigration and place the Chinese in
special barrios.
The merchants filed the usual charges
against the Chinese.^
As the pressure and stridency of
anti-Chinese propaganda increased, the governor took action
to restrict immigration.
When nine Chinese returning from
China tried to enter at Nogales in 1917, the officials denied
them entry.
Later some of the Chinese who fled Chihuahua
with General John J. Pershing petitioned Governor Adolfo de
la Huerta for permits to enter Sonora.^
Venustiano Carranza for instructions.
He asked President
Faced with de la
Huerta's exhortations that Sonorans were unalterably opposed
to further immigration, Carranza suggested to the governor
that he restrict further immigration for a time. . De la
Huerta immediately ordered all immigration and municipal
officials in Nogales to temporarily suspend Chinese immigra15
tion, because of urgent necessity.1
5
4
3
13. Two hundred and twenty-five small merchants to
Governor, Nacozari de Garcia, 1 January 1917, AGG, tomo
3124, paquete 1.
14. For the story of Villa1s oppression of the
Chinese in Chihuahua and their flight to the United States
with General John J. Pershing, see Edward Eugene Briscoe,
"Pershing's Chinese Refugees in Texas," The Southwestern
Historical Quarterly, LXII (April, 1959), pp. 467-488; Amy
Elizabeth Nims, "Chinese. Life in San Antonio" (unpublished
M.A. thesis, Southwest Texas State Teachers College, San
Marcos, 1941), p. 5.
15. Secretary of Foreign Relations, Mexico, to de
la Huerta, 8 February 1917, AGG, tomo 3313, paquete 8,
expediente 1? Governor Adolfo de la Huerta, Hermosillo, to
President Venustiano Carranza, 8 February 1917, ibid.;
Carranza, Mexico, to de la Huerta, 11 February 1917, ibid.;
117
De la Huerta's orders and the intensification of
the campaign against the Chinese elicited a query on the
situation from the Secretary of the Interior in Mexico City.
The Secretary wanted suggestions on how best to limit their
immigration to Sonora.
De la Huerta stressed the necessity
of limiting immigration without endangering relations with
China.
He believed the argument to the government in China
must stress three points.
First, Mexico was in the turmoil
of several years of abnormal conditions in which the mines
and industry were in a chaotic state.
In addition, the
problems created by unemployment continued unabated.
Thus,
in this period of reconstruction, Sonora was unable to
accept new immigrants from any country.
A complaint Mexicans levied against the resident
Chinese was the familiar one that they arrived without
capital, saved all they.could and sent it back to China.
With their control over business, they also drove off other
more desirable foreigners who came to Sonora to establish1
6
de la Huerta to Cirilio Rochin, Immigration Official,
Nogales, 13 February 1917, ibid.; Oficial Mayor, Hermosillo,
to Municipal President, Nogales, 28 February 1917, ibid.;
Sonora, Gobernador, Informe que rinde al H. Congrese del
estado, el gobernador constitucional provisional de Sonora
C. Adolfo de la Huerta, por el periodo de su gobierno,
comprendido entre el 19 de mayo de 1916 al 18 de junio de
1917 (Hermosillo: Imprenta del Gobierno del Estado, 1917),
p. 69.
16.
Manuel Aguirre Berlanga, Secretary of Interior,
Mexico, to de la Huerta, 8 March 1917, AGG, tomo 3313,
paquete 8, expediente 1; de la Huerta to Aguirre Berlanga,
17 March 1917, ibid.
118
businesses.
The foreigners left because they encountered
the insufferable Chinese.
For the Mexicans there remained
nothing to do in Sonora.
The Chinese controlled all types
of small businesses, agriculture, industry, mining as well
as shoe and clothing factories, tailor shops, and hotels.
They even ran bakeries and pastry shops.
17
A survey of Sonoran industries by the Secretary of
Industry, Commerce, and Labor in 1921 reinforced the con­
tentions of these Cananea merchants.
Chinese engaged in
several types of large businesses in the state in addition
to their control of the grocery business.
They maintained
control of the clothing industry and owned and operated two
of the three clothing factories in Cananea and all five of
these businesses in Nogales.
18
Mariano Urrea, Cananea1s new Municipal President,
reinforced the view of the aggrieved Mexican merchants.
He
reported to the governor in March, 1917, that while previous
anti-Chinese legislation was to protect native business, it
nonetheless resulted in a diminution of local revenue.
.
•
The1
8
7
'
17. Twelve Mexican merchants, Cananea, to the
Governor, 12 February 1917, AGG, tomo 3147, expediente 3;
for anti-Chinese speeches and attacks in 1917, see Jos§
Chong Bing, President, Chinese Fraternal Union, Hermosillo,
to Governor, 5 March 1917, AGG, tomo 3141, expediente 5;
Arana speech, 29 March 1917, in Papers of Jos§ Maria Arana,
Special Collections, The University of Arizona Library,
Tucson, Arizona (hereafter cited as Arana Papers).
18. Mexico, Secretari de Industria. Comercio y
Trabajo, Departmento de Industries, Directorio industrial
de algunos estados de la Reptiblica (Mexico: Talleres
Grdficos de la Naci6n, 1921), pp. 75-80.
119
Chinese also circumvented prohibition on Chinese-owned
stores by hiring Mexicans to sell meat and vegetables in the
market.
They were merely fronts for businesses owned by
Chinese.
Another regulation sought to encourage Mexican
ambulatory business by prohibiting Chinese from these
activities.
With the demise of the Chinese in this business,
problems arose.
The local treasury lost at least twenty-
five pesos daily in revenue and no Mexicans replaced the
Chinese in this trade.
consumer.
This hurt both the treasury and the
Nonetheless the council sustained the ordinance.
By early March the council proposed that no one rent to the
Chinese.
This ruling had little effect.1^
After.thirteen months as Provisional Governor of
Sonora, de la Huerta left office in June, 1917.
He reported
to the state legislature that he had prohibited Chinese
immigration to solve the problems of economic crisis and
rising unemployment.
With the unemployment and business
chaos, Chinese replaced Mexican women in the laundry,
washing, and ironing trades.
To end this danger and to
"defend the Mexican woman," de la Huerta established a
government steam laundry, with Mexican employees only.
Finally, he created a government cooperative farm with a
large number of workers and provided railroad cars to bring1
9
19.
Mari no Urrea, Municipal President, Cananea, to
Governor, 6 March 1917, AGG, tomo 3147, expediente 3? for
anti-Chinese legislation in Nogales in April, see AGG, tomo
3147, expediente 6.
120
Mexicans back from the United States.
20
Despite these
measures de la Huerta never solved the financial crisis in
the state.
According to E. W. Lawton, United States Consul
in Nogales, de la Huerta failed in all his efforts to over­
come the financial troubles.
Lawton thought the crisis con­
tinued because the governor depleted the treasury with
lavish expenditures.
Calles replaced de la Huerta as gover­
nor and attempted to cut unnecessary expenditures.
Mean­
while the campaign against the Chinese continued as local
councils throughout Sonora passed laws which decreed that at
least seventy-five per cent of all employees in all busi­
nesses must be Mexicans.
A second type of class legislation
levied against the Chinese was the prohibition on their
obtaining more property or of selling it except to a
Mexican.
Calles vetoed these measures because they violated
individual guarantees contained in the new federal constitu­
tion of 1917.2
21
0
After the victory.of the Carrancistas over the
forces of Villa and Zapata, the Constitutionalists turned
their attention to the pressing problems in need of reform.
They deliberated over education, Church-State relations,
the political structure, land tenure, labor, and subsoil
20. Sonora, Gobernador, Informe ... de la Huerta
... 1917, pp. 11, 12.
21. E. W. Lawton, United States Consul, Nogales,
to the Secretary of State, 16 July 1917, RDS 812.00/21141,
reel 161.
121
rights.
The last two were of particular importance to the
foreign population of Mexico.
In January, 1915, Carranza instituted a change in
the 1857 Constitution.
The new amendment gave the national
government the right to legislate on mining, commercial, and
labor issues.
Gradually labor assumed an organized and
independent role in the country after a pact between
Carranza and the Casa del Obrero Mundial.
The latter
promised to support the president in return for laws to
protect workers.
From this.base labor brought its plight to
the nation and established its need for privileges and
guarantees in the constitution.
Labor, one of the most
powerful enemies of foreign control, assumed a prominent
role in the new order.
A second area of concern for the Constitutionalists
was the question of ownership of subsoil rights.
Since the
time of the Diaz mining code of 1884 the traditional Hispanic
principle of national ownership of subsoil rights had been
replaced by that of the private individual.
With over
eighty per cent of Mexico's mineral deposits and over fifty
per cent of its oil reserves owned by United States
capitalists, the new regime began to give Porfirian policy
a closer scrutiny.
revision:
Three elements of the system needed
alteration of the old concessions to gain benefits
for domestic labor and the government, obtain greater
revenues for the treasury from these industries, and restore
122
the policy of national ownership of subsoil deposits.
In
April, 1916, the Constitutionalists took the first steps
toward these changes when Carranza's technical advisors
declared it equitable."to return to the nation that which is
22
its own, the wealth of the subsoil, coal, and petroleum."
Carranza established a temporary capital in
QuerStaro in April, 1916, and began the procedure of
electing a constituent assembly.
On 1 December he appeared
before the newly elected convention and presented a draft
constitution for the country.
Essentially it was a revision
of the 1857 document, but the Revolution had proceeded too
far to approve this draft.
Many articles were accepted, but
substantive revision was made in regard to education, ChurchState relations, labor, and subsoil rights.
The resultant
Constitution of 1917 embodied not only rejection of the most
nefarious Porfirian practices, but also new departures,
gained by the revolutionary experience.
Article 123 pro­
vided for a complete renovation of the status of Mexican
labor.
In addition to material benefits in wages, hours,
and working conditions, this article also granted arbitra03
tion and strike privileges.2
3
22. Lorenzo Meyer, Mexico y Estados Unidos en el
conflicto petrolero, 1917-1942 (Mexico: El Colegio de
Mexico, 1968), p. 68.
23. Mexico, Nueva constitucidn politica de los
Estados Unidos Mexicanos (Mexico: Empresa Editora "Argos, 11
1917), pp. 38-41.
123
The most significant article in the new constitution
was Article 27.
It was to be.the.basis for social and
economic changes, as well as a challenge to the system of
property holdings and foreign concessions.
The statement
that all property rights were subordinated to the needs of
society later led to expropriation of haciendas, national
dominion over subsoil deposits, and elimination of ownership
24
of property by foreigners.
This article was the crux of
opposition to Diaz and the fundamental ideas of the Revolu­
tion.
In it lay a dedication to agrarian reform, an active
role for the government in the economy, restrictions on
foreigners, and the codification of nationalist aspirations.
Two other articles severely circumscribed the
freedom.of action of. foreigners, in the country.
Article 23
promised preference to Mexicans over foreigners in regard to
all government concessions and positions.
And Article 33
prohibited foreigners from taking part in the political life
of the country.
It also provided for expulsion of aliens
who disobeyed the laws or were undesirables.
95
The entire
document proclaimed a "new Mexico."
Among the important ideological bases for the new
Mexico were the writings of Andres Molina Enriquez.
In 1909
he wrote Los Grandes Problemas Nacionales, a treatise that
24.
Ibid., pp. 9-13.
25.
Ibid., pp. 14-15
124
introduced a coherent conception of a Mexican ethos.
He
attacked the coalition of the upper classes and foreigners
who dominated the country to the exclusion and detriment of
the lower classes.
In his tirade.against them he called for
a more equitable distribution of wealth to establish some
semblance of social equilibrium.
Of greater importance was
his stress on the mestizo as the. unifying force in Mexican
society.
For the creation of Mexican nationality he
rejected the upper classes outright.
allied with foreigners.
They were too closely
The Indians would not be the
unifying force because they were too oriented toward their
own locality.
But they would be the allies of the mestizos,
the only Mexicans with common origins and aspirations.
he preached against Diaz and the foreigners.26
m
Thus
the new
order created by the Revolution, Molina Enriquez1 ideas
enjoyed a resurgence.
The. Revolution and the Constitution
redefined national goals.
Uppermost was the idea of
political stability.to ensure a favorable environment for
economic and social justice.
Within this redefinition
indigenous elements were stressed as the national ethos.
Diaz' xenophilia gave way to xenophobia and the exclusion
of alien influences.
Within this framework, Mexican agrarian
reform, labor legislation, treatment of foreigners, art,
26.
Andres Molina Enriquez, Los grandes orolemac
nacxonales (Mexico: Imprenta de A. Carranza e Hiios— Tongi
3 '
''
pp. 312-313, 338-340, 345-346, 357-360.
125
music, and literature resounded with allusions to the new
Mexico, land of the "Cosmic Race."
Although debate would
center around the concrete characteristics of the Mexican,
the rejection of any alien element was singularly prominent.
Despite these anti-foreign articles in the Consti­
tution, all residents in Mexico received certain rights,
which were guaranteed by Article 1.
Article 4 prohibited
unwarranted interference in anyone's business or profession.
Within the limits of immigration and health laws. Article
11 guaranteed freedom of movement within Mexico.
Among
other individual guarantees. Article 16 limited interference
with one's person, family, and personal possessions, except
when confronted with official, written authorization.
These
and other individual rights, when upheld, would blunt any
anti-Chinese measures in Sonora..
Under the new constitution Carranza was elected
President and took office on 1 May 1917.
And in Sonora,
Calles and de la Huerta alternated in office from November,
1915, to May, 1920, when the latter became President.
Under
Calles' protection and with the general imprimatur of the
Constitution of 1917, Arana began a new anti-Chinese
campaign.
The organ of the crusade was his Magdalena-based
paper, Pro-Patria, whose masthead proclaimed it was a weekly
•••
"dedicated to defend the interests of the Mexican people.
126
27
Mexico for the Mexicans and China for the Chinese.11
From
the beginning Arana stressed the need for a program to work
constantly for the advancement and well-being of the
Mexicans.
Supporters had to carry out this scheme within
the law, reason, and morality.
Chinese stood in the way.
28
The dangerous increment of
He believed that Mexican hospi­
tality, indolence, and indifference allowed.them to enter
and prosper to the point that they menaced the economic and
social strength of Mexico.
The campaign demanded from the
local, state, and federal authorities the regulations and
29
laws necessary to protect national business.
Under the cry "either them or us," Arana carried his
campaign throughout the state in Pro-Patria.
Anti-Chinese
jokes and derogatory remarks were prime fare in the paper.
These appealed to the mentality of his lower class audience.
Arana printed a sample question from a school physiology
examination.
To the question what are the most obstinate of
animals, the students replied, "flies, chickens, cochis
[small fish with vicious teeth], and Chinese.
Pro-Patria waged a constant.campaign to reveal
Chinese abuses, to eliminate the Chinese from positions of
27.
Pro-Patria (Magdalena), 25 July to 19 September
28.
Ibid., 25 July 1917.
29.
Ibid., 25 July, 1 August 1917.
30.
Ibid., 25 July 1917.
1917.
127
power in the economy, and finally to uplift Mexican business,
agriculture, and industry.
'The members of the Junta spread
their propaganda throughout the state through the paper and
by means of speeches in towns with a Chinese colony.
In
Cananea in September, 1917, Arana's lieutenant, Serapio
Ddvila, reiterated all the Arana arguments and stressed the
need to abrogate the treaty with China.
He stated that the
Chinese problem, with its accompanying prostitution, opium,
monopolies, disease, and corruption was the most significant
crisis in Sonora.
It now reached the point where it was
"either them or u s . A r a n a
concurred and added "together
we cannot be, because there exists an absolute incompatibility in race, social customs, and economy."
32
Sup­
ported by a succession of governors, Arana carried his
campaign to all parts of Sonora and adjacent states,
Adolfo
de la Huerta, Cesareo Soriano, Plutarco Ellas Calles, and
Francisco Ellas all supported the campaign at various times
during their tenures as governor between 1916 and 1921.
Despite the emphasis on legality, the over-zealous
followers of Arana, affected by anti-Chinese propaganda and
independence day celebrations, resorted to popular festive
events.
On the night of 15 September 1917 unknown indi­
viduals bombed two Chinese stores in La Esperanza and3
2
1
31.
Ibid., 5 September 1917.
32.
Ibid., 1 August 1917
128
wounded three Chinese.
pesos.
The owners estimated losses at 2,000
On the same evening bombs wracked three Chinese
stores in Pilares de Nacozari.
damage.
These caused only minor
And the next day, in the midst of the independence
celebrations, rioters tore down and destroyed the Chinese
33
flag on the Fraternal Union Building in Nacozari.
Conditions worsened for the Chinese in the fall of
1917 as the anti-Chinese campaign increased in intensity.
Under the tacit approval of Plutarco Ellas Calles, who dis­
liked the Chinese, Arana's campaign gradually bore fruit as
several towns passed new regulations against them.
In the
agricultural towns around the capital, Chinese farmers and
merchants faced special taxes levied only on them.
In
violation of Article 11 of the Constitution, Calles denied
reentry permits to Chinese who left Mexico and desired to
return through Nogales.
In the cases of eight of these, a
contribution of 500 pesos to local charities was sufficient
to supercede the immigration d e c r e e . H u a t a b a m p o proposed
a law to prohibit the opening of new Chinese stores.3
4
33. Enrique S. Gin, President, Chinese Fraternal
Union, Nacozari, to Governor, 17 September 1917, AGG, tomo
3141, expediente 12; E. Andrade, Municipal President,
Nacozari, to Cesareo R. Soriano, Interim Governor, 18
September 1917, ibid.; R. E. Contreras, Police Commissioner,
Pilares, to Soriano, 18 September 1917, ibid.; Lawton to the
Secretary of State, 21 September 1917, NA 312.93/165; P.
Galvez, Pilares, to Arana, 10 October 1917, Arana Papers.
34. Lawton to the Secretary of State, 21 September
1917, NA 312.93/165.
129
Interim Governor Cesareo Soriano suggested that "the
Mexicans compete with the Chinese and have the townspeople
refuse to buy anything from them.
35
And in Guaymas Juan
Lung Tain and Fon Qui, the two largest Chinese firms in the
state, protested the increase in their taxes while others
continued to pay the old rate.
The municipal president
retorted to the governor that the taxes were not discrimina­
tory but were levied on all importers.
Beyond this, they
were not harsh taxes because the Chinese were not only rich,
they also monopolized trade and almost all imports.
Again,
higher taxes aimed almost exclusively at Chinese remained in
effect despite protests, because few other nationalities
operated in the business to substantiate the Chinese claim
of discrimination.
<
Both public and official opposition to the Chinese
spread in 1917, and although Calles and Soriano favored the
campaign, Soriano attempted to oppose its more blatant and
illegal attacks.
37
As the attacks and pressures on the3
7
6
5
35. R. Ruiz, Municipal President, Huatabampo, to
Governor, 18 September 1917, AGG, tomo 3147, expediente 1;
Soriano to Ruiz, 19 September 1917, ibid.
36. Martin Wong, merchant, Guaymas, to Governor, 30
September, 27 October 1917, AGG, tomo 3147, expediente 4;
C. R. Felix, Municipal President, Guaymas, to Governor, 3
November 1917, ibid.
........
37. For the activities of General, later President
Alvaro Obregdn in saving the Chinese of Huatabampo from
harm, see Francisco L. Yuen, President, Chinese Fraternal
Union, Nogales, to Governor, 30 September 1917, AGG, tomo
3138, paguete 4; Soriano to Yuen, 5 October 1917, ibid.;
Chinese increased so did their complaints.
Finally, Soriano
issued a circular to all municipal presidents on 25 October
1917.
He ordered them to give the Chinese the protection
guaranteed by the Constitution to all foreigners.
He also
cautioned them to prevent violence and anti-Chinese dis­
turbances.
Consistent with his policy of favoring a
diminution of Chinese influence, but maintaining legality,
Soriano conceded that anti-Chinese activity could continue,
but municipal authorities must control it and maintain
, 3 8
order.
On 24 November Juan Lung Tain protested vigorously
to the governor that Arana's campaign continued unimpeded.
In addition to the charges of false statements and deliberate
lies, he accused Arana of inciting the violence against the
Chinese in Sonora and using his campaign as a means of
furthering his candidacy for municipal president in the
forthcoming elections.
The Chinese condemned Arana because
he played on public sentiment and ignorance to.promise.their
expulsion if he were elected.
They noted that even if he
were elected, he could not oust them, relegate them to a3
8
for the business interests of Alvaro Obregdn in Sonora, see
AGG, tomo 3147, expediente 6; for Obregdn's comments to
Consul Lawton in Nogales on his fears that the people of the
state would get out of hand and kill the Chinese, see Lawton
to the Secretary of State, 21 September 1917, NA 312.93/165.
38. Soriano Circular to all Municipal Presidents,
25 October 1917, AGG, tomo 3183, paquete 8, expediente 2;
tomo 3138, paquete 4.
131
separate barrio, or close their stores.
The federal and
state constitutions, the penal code, and the 1899 treaty
guaranteed their rights.
No local officials had the right
to supercede these provisions.
39
Tain then proceeded to refute the main lines of
Arana's arguments against the Chinese.
To the charge that
they monopolized commerce and tried to prevent the growth
of the Mexican merchant, he argued that the Mexicans pre­
ferred to shop at Chinese stores because the prices were
lower.
He also noted that the families of the leaders of
the anti-Chinese crusade bought from the Chinese to save
money.
To Arana's promise that prices would change when the
Chinese left, he asked why the Mexicans did not sell lower
now.
He charged that Arana did not really care about the
price and the local economy, but merely wanted to destroy
the Chinese.
Tain stressed that the Chinese were honest,
hardworking, and also paid their taxes punctually.
He also
refuted the charge that they bribed local officials.
As to
Arana's obsession with the idea that Chinese prostituted
Mexican women, Juan Lung Tain responded with bitter contempt
for a man who, to destroy the Chinese, dishonored the
Mexican woman.
After a long discourse on the anti-Chinese
campaign, the Chinese defense:against.these abuses, and the
legal rights that Arana violated, Tain concluded that if3
9
39.
Juan Lung Tain, Guaymas, to Governor, 9
November 1917, AGG, tomo 3138, paguete 4.
132
Chinese immigration was prejudicial and their business
detrimental to Mexico, then the legislature could decree
they must leave.
from Arana.
But until then, the laws protected them
40
Arana replied that his crusade was morally just.
His sixteen national juntas with more than 5,000 members had
an obligation to broadcast the vices of the Chinese to stop
a further increase in either their numbers or economic power.
Among his followers Arana numbered several newspapers and
the majority of the people of Sonora and other states.
41
He continued that the Chinese were a dangerous group because
of their economic monopolies and corruption of society.
For
these reasons they must go and Mexico must take steps to
42
amend the 1899 treaty.
In a letter to Arana in December, Soriano summarized
his ideas on the Pro-Patbia campaign and the Chinese problem
in Sonora.
He agreed with Arana's theories about Chinese
domination of.Sonora and the need to uplift the Mexican as
a distinct ethnic element in the New World, but he dis­
approved of the disgraceful effect of the propaganda of4
2
1
0
40.
Ibid.
41. Some of the papers that followed Arana and his
campaign were Orientacidn (Hermosillo), La Palabra (Nogales),
El Malkriado (Nacozari de Garcia), and Nuevos Horizontes
(Pilares de Nacozari).
42. Arana to Soriano, 24 November 1917, AGG, tomo
3138, paquete 4; 19 November 1917, ibid., paquete 5.
133
Pro-Patria.
He thought that the program "left much to be
desired, not only in matters of gentlemanly and noble con­
duct, but also in the most trivial rules of the education of
men."
Soriano charged that Arana forgot the cardinal rule
that brought pride to the press.
The press had to instill
in the hearts of the masses doctrines of significance for
universal fraternity, harmony, and brotherhood.
Pro-Patria
was remiss in this, and produced a vulgar response by dia­
tribe, insults, and parochialism.
"Far from being for the
public welfare, it exploited the little intelligence of our
popular masses" to further Arana's political aspirations.
Soriano warned Arana that if he wanted to carry out patriotic
work he must alter his approach, because many honorable
people read his words.
43
Finally, on 4 December, Soriano
issued another circular to all municipal presidents con­
cerning the recent disorders against the Chinese.
He
stressed the constitutional guarantees of free speech,
association, and assembly, but cautioned against abuses of
these rights by reviling the Chinese.
Everyone must respect
all guarantees inasmuch as the constitution prohibited per­
secution of anyone because of his race or for any other
reason.
He also instructed all officials to see that no4
3
43.
Soriano to Arana, 4 December 1917, AGG, tomo
3138, paquete 4, paquete 5.
134
demonstration occurred, but if one did, they were to punish
44
all culprits.
Despite the increase in the number of murders,
Sonorans refined their attacks on the Chinese in 1919 as
more and more legal impediments a p p e a r e d . A r a n a cam­
paigned for the position of Municipal President of Magdalena
with an anti-Chinese program.
After his victory, he
immediately increased the monthly taxes of Juan Lung Tain
from 250 to 400 pesos.
He thought the precarious economic
situation and the dire straits of the poor dictated drastic
m e a s u r e s . T h e r e f o r e he decided to increase the taxes of
the Chinese who had capital, monopolized business, and had
47
no families.4
7
6
5
44. Soriano Circular to all Municipal Presidents,
4 December 1917, AGG, tomo 3138, paquete 5.
45. Oficial Primero, Hermosillo, to Attorney
General, 15 January 1919, AGG, tomo 3313; E. Garzca PSrez,
Subsecretary of Foreign Relations, Mexico, to Governor, 7,
20 February 1920, AGG, tomo 3315; Jos6 Maria Pena, Municipal
President, Imuris, to Governor, 7 March 1919, ibid.; for
permits to several Chinese to carry arms to protect them­
selves from the attacks, see AGG, tomo 3312.
46. For information on the economic crisis and
regulations on the distribution and prices of staples, see
Sonora, Gobernador, Informe que rinde el C. General Plutarco
Elias Calles, gobernador constitucional del estado de
Sonora, ante la XXIV legislatura del mismo, acerca de sus
gestiones durante el perlodo comprendido entre el lo de
abril al 16 de septiembre de 1918 (Hermosillo: Imprenta del
Gobierno del Estado, 1918), p. 15.
47. Arana to Governor, 18 March 1919, AGG, tomo
3288; Governor to Juan Lung Tain, 13 January 1919, ibid.;
Fon Qui, Magdalena, to de la Huerta, 20 December 1919, ibid.;
Treasurer to Governor, 27 December 1919, ibid.
135
In the spring of 1919 the Chinese faced several
serious threats to their position..
In March the Noriega
Theatre in Hermosillo advertised the coming attraction. The
Yellow Peril.
The Chinese Mutual Cooperative Society
immediately attacked the theatre for creating.an environment
conducive to attacks on the Chinese.
The Society also
referred to ordinances that prohibited foreign films that
denigrated Mexico.
As a compromise measure, the Chinese
colony petitioned the municipal council to name a committee
to view the film to ascertain whether it denigrated Mexico
or the Chinese.
But before the commission met, Calles
ordered the film to be shown since it was neither immoral
nor attacked any nation.
48
With the reemergence of Arana and another vicious
campaign in March, 1919, the Chinese colony in the capital
complained about the continuous slanderous attacks that the
authorities never punished.
The Chinese charged that the
attacks were only for personal gain, not a patriotic
crusade.
On 6 March Arana attacked the editor of El Tiempo
in a public letter after the latter charged that Arana's
campaign was unconstitutional.
Arana countered that all4
8
48.
JosS Chong Bing to Governor, 26 March 1919,
AGG, tomo 3300, Part 1; Chinese Colony, Hermosillo, to
Municipal President, March 1919, ibid.; Calles to Municipal
Presidents, Cananea and Nogales, 22 April 1919, ibid.; the
film, made in the United States, did denigrate Chinese.
136
his activities were legal under the state and federal constitutions.
49
Arana's propaganda campaign was partially effective
in March, 1919/ with the passage of the state's Organic Law
of Internal Administration.
Article 60 stated that munici­
pal councils, for reasons of hygiene and health, would
relegate all Chinese houses and stores to special barrios.
Article 61 allowed each council to establish its own pro­
cedures to carry out the law.
Immediately the Chinese
ChargS protested that this violated the treaty and was a
deliberate conspiracy against the Chinese because of their
prosperity.
The Secretary of Interior communicated this
complaint to Calles and requested information on the new
law.4
51
0
5
9
In a lengthy defense of the state legislature's
action, Calles told the Secretary of Interior that the
deputies, after long debate, passed the law for the good of
49. Chinese Colony, Hermosillo, to Municipal Presi­
dent, March 1919, AGG, tomo 3300, Part 1; Arana's Open
Letter to the Director of El Tiempo, 6 March 1919, ibid.;
for a similar article that defended the Chinese, see El
Norte (Nogales, Sonora), 22 August 1917; for Arana's response
to this article, see Pro-Patria (Magdalena), 29 August 1917;
for Arana's recital of his accomplishments in Magdalena, see
Arana's Open Letter, 6 March 1919, AGG, tomo 3300, Part 1.
50.
Orientacidn (Hermosillo), 6 March 1919.
51. Chinese Charg§, Mexico, to Secretary of
Foreign Relations, March 1919, in Secretary of Interior,
Mexico, to Calles, 2 April 1919, AGG, tomo 3315; for viru­
lent anti-Chinese statements by State Deputy Rosendo L.
Galaz, see Orientacidn (Hermosillo), 1 March 1919.
137
the state.
Among the major considerations were the expe­
rience of the deputies in their own districts, and what they
thought was an accurate reflection of public sentiment.
In
addition to these concerns, they realized the danger the
Chinese presented to public health, business, society, and
the Mexican race.
Calles added that Sonora suffered more
than any other state from the errors of the Porfiriato,.
especially in the disastrous flood of oriental immigrants.
Chinese dominated commerce and ran the largest businesses.
Even more alarming was the increase in their numbers from
859 in 1900, to 4,486 in 1910, to an alleged ten to fifteen
thousand in 1919.^
Unable to defeat the law that created barrios, the
Chinese soon faced another and more serious threat to their
businesses.
On 13 April 1919, Calles announced the new
labor law which arose from Article 123 of the federal con­
stitution.
This federal regulation allowed state legis­
latures to pass labor laws necessary in their own state if
53
they did not violate Article 123.
For the Chinese,
Article 106 of the 1919 Labor Law was to impinge on their
economic power in the next twelve years.
The article
stated that in "every business, workshop or industrial or*
2
1
52. Calles to the Secretary of Interior, Mexico,
12 April 1919, AGG, tomo 3315.
53.
Mexico, Nueva constituci6n, p. 38.
138
mercantile establishment, the owners were obliged to employ
eighty per cent Mexicans.”
On 15 July, R.
GonzSlez, Municipal President of
Cananea, emphasized in a circular that he would enforce the
Labor Law, especially Article 106.
men two weeks to conform.
He granted all business­
A Commission was to investigate
all houses and businesses on that date to ensure compliance
with the law.
55
In order to circumvent the law, the Chinese
created societies in which all members were partners.
Thus
there were no employees and Article 106 would not apply.
Calles intervened and declared that mutual societies were
not exempt from the l a w . ^
Outside of Cananea, the largest number of complaints
arose from conditions in Magdalena.
Alejandro Ungson,
President of the local Fraternal Union, complained that
jailers held Chinese incommunicado, beat them brutally, and
allowed the populace to stone them in the streets.
Com­
plaints surfaced against Arana because he was the municipal
president and sponsored the legislation against the Chinese.
54.
Labor Law, 13 April 1919, AGG, tomo 3291,
Part 1.
55. R. R. GonzSlez, Municipal President, Cananea,
Circular, 15 July 1919, AGG, tomo 3349, Part 1; El Tiempo
(Cananea), 1 July 1919.
56. GonzSlez to Governor, 28 July 1919, AGG, tomo .
3449, Part 1; Calles to GonzSlez, 29 July 1919, ibid,;
Jim Son, representative of Chinese colony, Cananea, to
Governor, 1 August 1919, ibid.
...
139
One of the regulations pushed by Arana was the notice that
"Chinese merchants . . . are strictly forbidden to joke in
any way with their clients or customers, especially with
little girls or women, as to do so is improper and detri57
mental to morality."
Although there were no attempts to enforce Article
106 in Guaymas in July, the Chinese, who owned seventy-five
per cent of the grocery trade, feared oppressive legisla­
tion.
They also feared race riots similar to the ones in
1915 that cost Chinese considerable losses in merchandise.
In addition to their protests, the Nogales, Arizona,
Chamber of Commerce attacked the Labor Law because it hurt
Arizona trade and business.by disrupting the Chinese in
Sonora with whom they had extensive business ties.
58
Benjamin Ungson, President of the Chinese Fraternal
Union in Nogales, summarized his objections to anti-Chinese
legislation in a discourse on Article 106.
He attacked the
law from three points of view, juridical, moral, and
practical.
In addition to violations of individual guaran­
tees in Article 1 and employer's rights in Article 4, the
57. Francis Dyer, United States Consul, Guaymas, to
the Secretary of State, 14 July 1919, RDS 812.504/169, reel
162; George F. Summerlin, United States ChargS, Mexico, to
the Secretary of State, 11 August 1919, RDS 812.504/196,
ibid.; Arana notice of May, 1919, ibid.
58. Bartley F. Yost,
to the Secretary of State, 26
reel 162; Gil Rankin, Chamber
to the Secretary of State, 22
ibid.
United States Consul, Nogales,
July 1919, RDS 812.504/192,
of Commerce, Nogales, Arizona,
August 1919, RDS 812.504/196,
140
law violated Article 123 of the federal constitution.
Ungson also quoted a 1914 United States Supreme Court
decision that declared unconstitutional a similar Arizona
law.
These were Ungson's juridical criticisms of the eighty
per cent law.
From a moral viewpoint, Ungson protested
national discrimination.
He asked why should any Mexican,
whether he was able or honest or not, have an advantage over
a Chinese.
In addition, freedom of labor was a necessity
for a sound political economy.
And finally, from a prac-..
tical viewpoint, the employer lost trained and honest
employees if he had to replace them with new ones.
Besides,
he added, imagine the chaos if he had to "amputate part of
his employees" if he had less than five.
59
In a letter to.the.Oputo Municipal President on 24
September, the governor stressed the need to prevent demon­
strations against the Chinese.
He stated that this violence
discredited Mexico in the eyes of the world, especially
since the United States press condemned Mexico for her
failure to prevent this violence.
The governor felt that
the disturbances gave the foreigners an excuse to accuse
Mexican authorities of complicity in the outbursts.
Mexico
must prevent this to be welcomed into the "concert of
59.
Dyer to the Secretary of State, 5 August 1919,
FDS 812.504/194, reel 162; Benjamin Ungson, President,
Chinese Fraternal Union, Nogales, to Governor, 24 January
1920, AGG, tomo 3367, Part 1.
141
nations.11
De la Huerta urged that all violence end, but
he felt that this would have fatal consequences, especially
in Cananea, where anti-Chinese sentiment ran high.
And
again, Cananea led the way with the first violation of the
governor's request to forestall violence.
The municipal
council decreed the expulsion of the Chinese to take effect
by 31 December 1919.
On 25 November the council notified
the Chinese that they could not import any more merchandise
and must sell their entire stocks by the end of the year.
Beginning 1 January 1920 the council stipulated that all
remaining Chinese property revert to the council.
For the
convenience of the Chinese the council provided a train to
take the Chinese to the border on New Year's Day.
Immediate Chinese protested.
Ungson condemned the
action as an.intrigue of Mexican storeowners.
Appalled at
the callous injustices the Chinese faced, the Chinese Lega­
tion in Mexico blamed Arana's personal greed to acquire more
business as the motivation behind the decree of expulsion.
If the Mexicans desired to reduce Chinese competition, the
Charge proposed a limit on Chinese immigration to Mexico.6
1
0
60. Circular #177, Hermosillo, 22 October 1919,
AGG, tomo 3328; Dyer to the Secretary of State, 11 November
1919, RDS 812.5593/3, reel 204; Governor to Municipal
President, Oputo, 24 September 1919, AGG, tomo 3312.
61. De la Huerta to Berlanga, 29 November 1919,
AGG, tomo 3449, Part 1; Municipal Council Decree, Cananea,
25 November 1919, ibid.; note, Department of State,
Washington, 12 January 1920, RDS 812.5593/21, reel 204.
142
Later this suggestion assumed importance when negotiations
began to renew the 1899 treaty.
At this time protests had
no effect on local or state officials, only on the federal
authorities.
President Carranza instructed de la Huerta to
prevent local officials from expelling the Chinese and to
order their protection.
On 22 December General Juan Torres,
Chief of Military Operations in Sonora, told de la Huerta to
prevent any violence.^
From another direction, the Cananea Municipal
President and Governor de la Huerta faced protests from Hum
Fook and Jos§ Chang, prominent merchants in Cananea.
The
former represented 125 Cananea.Chinese merchants and the
latter another 38 in a protest against the expulsion decree.
Hum Fook complained that expulsion meant their economic
ruin.
The Chinese then asked the Nogales district judge for
a writ of amparo.
After they explained the action of the
municipal council and the inaction of the governor, they
reinforced their contention that the decree was illegal.
Not only did the decree violate constitutional guarantees of
liberty and freedom to engage in business, but it also6
2
62.
Secretary of Interior, Mexico, to de la Huerta,
n.d., 15 November 1919, AGG, tomo 3449, Part 1? General Juan
Torres, Chief of Military Operations, La Misa, to de la
Huerta, 22 December 1919, ibid.; The New York Times, 13
December 1919; Robert Lansing, Secretary of State, to Dyer,
30 December 1919, RDS 812.5593/12a, reel 204.
143
violated the treaty of 1899 and Article 1 of the Labor Law
which prohibited interference in anyone's business.
As the date" neared for the expulsion of the Chinese,
Augustin Centeno BSrcena presented the Chinese case to the
court.
Attacking the council's statement of unfair Chinese
competition as a subterfuge, Centeno BSrcena accused the
council of being a front for a few speculators who, unable
to compete with the Chinese, desired their expulsion.
Re­
calling de la Huerta's, inaugural address of 14 September
1919 in which he promised to end violence against the
Chinese, because it gave Sonora a bad name, The Chinese's
lawyer suggested it was time for de la Huerta to fulfill his
promise.
64
On 27 December the district judge presented the
amparo petitions to the governor.
Upon receiving the
charges, de la Huerta presented his defense.
In spite of
President Carranza's instructions, he charged the Chinese
violated Article 106 of the Labor Law, therefore he and the6
4
3
63. Hum Fook, merchant, Cananea, to de la Huerta,
11 December 1919, AGG, tomo 3449, Part 1; Chinese Colony,
Cananea, to District Judge, 25 December 1919, ibid.; Labor
Law, 13 April 1919, Article 1; for an analysis of the juicio
de amparo, whose aim was to protect private persons against
the violation, by public officials, of the guarantees of the
first twenty-nine articles of the Constitution, see Richard
D. Baker, Judicial Review in Mexico: A Study of the Amparo
Suit, Institute of Latin American Studies, Latin American
Monographs, 22 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1971).
64. Augustin Centeno BSrcena, Hermosillo, to de la
Huerta, 15 December 1919, AGG, tomo 3449, Part 1.
144
Cananea council were correct in closing stores and allowing
no new ones to open.
In addition he stressed his strict
adherence to the law while he catered to public interest
and the national conscience.
He foresaw serious conse­
quences if the judge suspended the Cananea ordinance.^
In two separate decisions on the cases of Hum Fook
and Josd Chang, the court suspended the Cananea act of 25
November 1919.
Governor de la Huerta advised Julian S.
GonzSlez, Municipal President of Cananea, to appeal the two
decisions.^
Despite Carranza's directive and the court's
orders, many observers believed that de la Huerta would not
comply with the decision.
Francisco Chiyoc of the Chinese
Fraternal Union in Cananea told J. M. Gibbs, United States
Acting Consular Agent in Cananea, that GonzSlez and de la
Huerta did not consider Carranza's promises of protection to
the Chinese as binding on them.
The amparo suspended the
Cananea decree and the Chinese remained, though not un­
molested.
Chiyoc also stated that the municipal president
of Cananea accepted money from the Chinese during his entire
term.
But now he felt that GonzSlez had milked them of all6
5
65. L. Castaneda, for the District Judge, Nogales,
to Governor, 27 December 1919, AGG, tomo 3449, Part 1; de la
Huerta to Castaneda, 28 December 1919, ibid.
66. Castaneda to Governor, 29 December 1919 (two
separate letters with same date), AGG, tomo 3449, Part 1;
Governor to Castaneda, 31 December 1919, ibid.; de la
Huerta to GonzSlez, 19 January 1920, ibid.
145
that he could, thus he agitated for their expulsion to
strengthen his political position.
Sonora in 1919 was definitely hostile to the Chinese
who owned and operated most of the mercantile business.
De
la Huerta ran for office on a program that included a demand
for the expulsion of the Chinese.
In Cananea labor agita­
tors incited the populace and officials against the
C h i n e s e . I n Nogales agitation against the Chinese was
less intense and demonstrations were rare.
Very few Chinese
closed shops in Nogales and even less left the city.
Guaymas was also free of violence against the Chinese since
the outbreaks of 1915.
This was strange considering the
openly hostile attitude of the press and local officials to
the Chinese monopoly of business.
But here again graft
played a significant role in keeping hositility a vocal
exercise.
In exchange for immunity, the officials extorted
money from the Chinese.6
0
9
8
7
67. Dyer to the Secretary of State, 30 December
1919, RDS 812.5593/15, reel 204; J. M. Gibbs, United States
Acting Consular Agent, Cananea, to Dyer, 22 December 1919,
in Dyer to the Secretary of State, n.d., RDS 812.5593/17,
reel 204.
68. Dyer to the Secretary of State, 10 December
1919, RDS 812.5593/12; 28 December 1919, RDS 812.5593/17,
reel 204.
69. Dyer to the Secretary of State, 28 December
1919, RDS 812.5593/17, reel 204.
70. Yost to the Secretary of State, 25 December
1919, RDS 812.5593/19, reel 204.
146
. At the beginning of 1920 the Chinese remained in
Sonora and anti-Chinese legislation was ^in a state of limbo,
either because of writs of amparo, presidential restric­
tions, or the lucrative practice of accepting graft or
donations from the Chinese.^
Although fifty Chinese left
Sonora in December and an average of thirty more left each
month, an influx of new arrivals from Sinaloa maintained the
Chinese at an estimated 5,000.
De la Huerta suggested the.
Chinese foresake business and go into agriculture as a
compromise to forestall drastic measures.
The Chinese
rejected this because they would have no protection in the
outlying areas.
A second suggestion, that a number of
Chinese leave Sonora monthly until all or most left, was
equally distasteful.
Moreover, with a constant increment of
Chinese from Sinaloa, this plan would not work.
72
Upon his accession to the governorship Adolfo de la
Huerta pursued an anti-Chinese campaign.
He consistently
supported the efforts of Arana and others against the7
2
1
71. For payments and donations from the Chinese to
local officials in 1920, see AGG, tomo 3375, Part 1, tomo
3362, Part 1.
72. Dyer to the Secretary of State, 27 December
1919, RDS 812.5593/13, reel 204; 28 December 1919, RDS
821.5593/17, ibid.; for manifestations of support for de la
Huerta against the Chinese, see Pablo Aguilar, Mexico, to
de la Huerta, 23 December 1919, AGG, tomo 3449, Part 1;
Governor Ramdn F. Iturbe, CuliacSn, to de la Huerta, 23
December 1919, ibid.; Ramdn Murieta, Municipal President,
Cocorit, to Governor, 27 December 1919, ibid.; E. L. Rivas,
et al., workers representatives, Hermosillo, to de la
Huerta, 27 December 1919, ibid.
147
Chinese from his election campaign to the end of his term.
In addition to blocking the return of Chinese to Sonora, de
la Huerta supported the Cananea expulsion decree, resisted
efforts from Mexico City to protect the Chinese, and en­
forced his choice of an anti-Chinese municipal council on
Guaymas.
He also advocated amendments to the 1899 treaty
to limit Chinese immigration and rights in Mexico.
References to the treaty and its renewal opened a
73
new stage in the anti-Chinese campaign.
. Magdalena citi­
zens circulated a petition to abrogate.the treaty and rein­
force the governor's plans.
De.la Huerta advocated the
abrogation of the treaty in addition to the expulsion of the
Chinese.
He intimated to Consul Dyer that abrogation was
his next goal because the situation in Sonora had stabilized,
after the failure of the Cananea expulsion decree.
In
December, 1919, his petition to annul the treaty reached the
national senate, which in turn handed it over to the Foreign
Relations Committee.
De la Huerta told Dyer that the Senate
began work on his idea to abrogate the treaty and by this
method he thought "that very soon the Chinese problem . . .
will be solved.7
4
3
73. For a report that alleged that over 800 armed
Yaquis, in the pay of the Chinese in Sonora, were going to
join the Chinese in a rebellion on 25 December 1919, see
El Demdcrata (Mexico), 26 December 1919.
74. P. Ortega, Municipal President, Magdalena, to
governor, 12 January 1920, AGG, tomo 3378; Dyer to the
Secretary of State, 27 December 1919, RDS 812.5593/13, reel
148
Although Chinese suffered attacks throughout the
state, the Arizpe district was the scene of continuous
abuses.
In 1921 Fronteras and Agua Prieta rivaled Cananea
for outbreaks against the Chinese.
In November, Felipe
GonzSlez Cortes, who had attempted to stir up the Guaymas
populace against the Chinese in January, appeared in Agua
Prieta.
In a large demonstration he stressed the need to
75
stop Chinese immigration.
The Chinese of the Arizpe
district charged Mexicans with harboring malice toward them
and deliberately molesting them.
Benjamin Ungson indicated
to the governor that two political parties in an election in
Fronteras prejudiced the Chinese there.
One party supported
Francisco Blanco and circulated flyers, which indicated
Chinese supported his rival, Felipe Luna.
The flyer, in
pidgin Spanish, imitated the way the Chinese spoke and
stressed the benefits the Chinese would get if Luna won:
"We like Mesicans cuz they vely dumb, if Filipi plesident
we leceive many potatoes, chili, glocelies; we agglandize7
5
204; 7 January 1920, RDS 812.5593/20, ibid.; Secretary of
State to Charles Tanney, United States ChargS ad Interim,
Peking, 19 January 1920, RDS 812.5593/21, ibid.; de la
Huerta to Dyer, 3 January 1920, in Dyer to the Secretary
of State, 29 January 1920, RDS 812.5593/23, ibid.
75.
Hiang hieng Li, to Governor Francisco Elias, 7
November 1921, AGG, tomo 3471; Y. Trevino, Municipal
President, Agua Prieta, to Governor, 15 November 1921,
ibid.
oulselves, but he lefuse Mesicans tax us.”
Ungson
requested the governor order the campaigners to campaign
without insulting foreigners.
ordered the flyers removed.
77
The Secretary of Interior
The use of flyers to
denigrate the Chinese was another common feature of the
anti-Chinese crusade.
In February, 1921, Li complained
to Governor Pina about flyers in Nogales that ruined the
good name of Chinese and prejudiced their business.
Li
asked the arrest and punishment of the author of this
offending poem:
Since the Chinese entered here
our country is in ruin,
because the gold they hoard
then send to China.
What sorrow it gives me
to see what is happening
on seeing a pretty Mexican
with whom Chinese are marrying.
Do not buy
think with
because to
is to make
from the Chinese
your head,
consume from the Chinese
them richer.
I wish that the Government
would have the compassion and7
6
76.
Quoted in political flyer, in Ungson to
Governor, 30 July 1921, AGG, tomo 3471; for the arrival in
1921 of a new Chinese Consul, Hiang hieng Li, see AGG,
tomo 3360.
77.
Manuel Wong, Agua Prieta, to Governor, 27
July 1921, AGG, tomo 3471; Secretary of Interior,
Hermosillo, to Ungson, 8 August 1921, ibid.
150
colonize the Chinese
-g
and restrict immigration.
Another constant threat to the Chinese in Sonora
were the degradations of the Yaquis.
79
As a result of
Yaqui raids, the state government and several towns decreed
that all Chinese merchants must leave the area in June,
80
1921.
Bdcum's municipal president stressed the need for
haste in removing the Chinese.
Reiterating the problems
they faced from the Yaqui raids, he stressed the need to
remove Chinese interference with the "moralizing work of the
government" among the Indians.
81
Another crisis that exacerbated tensions in the
summer of 1921 concerned a drastic increase in taxes on the
Chinese in Guaymas.
Carlos Tang and Martin Fong, who7
1
0
9
8
78. Quoted in poem, in Li to Pina, 10 February
1921, AGG, tomo 3471.
79. For the protests of Rademacher, German Vice
Consul, Guaymas, against the expulsion of the Chinese from
the Yaqui Valley after Yaqui raids in 1917, see Rademacher
to Interim Governor Gilberto Valenzuela, AGG, tomo 3141,
expediente 2; F. L. Yuen to Valenzuela, 17 January 1917,
ibid.; Valenzuela to Rademacher, 11 January 1917, ibid.;
General Francisco Serrano, Military Commandant, Guaymas, to
Valenzuela, 13 January 1917, ibid.
80. Memo, Division of Far Eastern Affairs, Depart­
ment of State, 25 June 1921, RDS 812.5593/44, reel 204;
Malcolm Cutter Little, attorney, Richardson Construction
Company, Guaymas, to the Secretary of State, 8 June 1921,
NA 312.93/199; Yost to the Secretary of State, 11 June 1921,
NA 312.93/200.
81. Municipal President, BScum, to Police Chief,
Yaqui Valley, n.d., in Yost to the Secretary of State, 19
June 1921, NA 312.93/201.
151
represented sixteen other Chinese, informed Li that their
taxes increased between forty and 300 per cent in May.
82
The increase was a surprise to them since they expected a
decrease in taxation because population was down drastically
since 1917.
With the lack of work in the city, many
Mexicans went elsewhere, thus their surprise when taxes
went up.
They feared closings because they were unable to
pay the higher taxes.
They also feared for their creditors
if they closed and failed to pay their debts.
Li attacked
the regulations as unjust and contributory to the ruin of
Chinese business in a period of dire economic crisis.
He
asked de la Huerta to fix the irregularities because it
was unfair to treat Chinese differently than other
foreigners.
83
The governor said he could not interfere,
because the taxes affected all citizens, not only the
Chinese.
The taxes remained, as the governor replied that
he thought it "useless to continue . J . this unnecessary
84
and polemical discussion."8
4
3
2
82. For the new taxes for the Chinese merchants in
Guaymas, see Appendix C, Table C.2.
83. Carlos Tang and Martin Fong, merchants,
Guaymas, to Li, 15 June 1921, in Li to de la Huerta, 16
June 1921,
AGG, tomo 3471; Oficial Primero to Li, 17 June
1921, AGG,
tomo 3449, Part 2; Governor to Li, 21, 22, 28
June 1921, ibid.
84. Oficial Primero to Li, 29 June 1921, AGG,
tomo 3449,
Part 2; Li to Governor, 2 July1921, ibid.;
Oficial Primero to Li, 5 July 1921, ibid.
152
By late 1921 Arana's campaign, begun in 1916,
reached its peak with constant harassment of the Chinese
by violence and legal devices.
Although Arana himself had
died early in 1921 and Pro-Patria folded, the press con­
tinued his campaigns.^5
El Sol of Hermosillo ran anti-
Chinese articles, and a new paper, La Pulga, of Nogales,
replaced Pro-Patria as the leading crusader against the
Chinese.
Li protested these attacks on his conationals
because, as he saw it, the paper tried to incite disorder
and inflame public opinion against the Chinese.
to Governor Elias to stop the campaign.
He appealed
86
Beginning from three premises. La Pulga advanced its
anti-Chinese campaign.
First and foremost, government
officials contributed to the Chinese position.
Second,
Mexicans, victims of poverty, allowed the Chinese to
prosper.
And finally, in the not so distant future the
editor foresaw the possibility of a Chinese governor of
Sonora if the Sonorans failed to take punitive action.
He
claimed that gold, the Chinese "religion," placed in the
correct hands, brought Mexican women to Chinese beds.
Thus8
6
5
85. For an opinion of Arana's son Enrique that his
father was poisoned by the Chinese, see notes appended to
the Arana Papers by Bernard Fontana, University of Arizona
Field Historian, who received the papers from Enrique
Arana.
86. Li to Ellas, 12 December, 28 October 1921,
AGG, tomo 3425.
153
these "bestial quasimodos" gradually ruined the Mexican
race.
87
In his second article the editor of La Pulga turned
from the question of the prostitution of Mexican women to
the drain of unemployed Mexicans from Sonora.
He charged
that Chinese enriched themselves in Sonora and returned to
China while Mexicans starved at home and faced discrimina­
tion in the United States.
Unable to meet Chinese competi­
tion, Mexicans witnessed the appearance of Chinese stores on
every corner.
Even worse, they employed no Mexicans despite
go
the existence of Article 106.
In the third issue of his anti-Chinese crusade, the
editor of La Pulga looked with horror on Chinese merchants
who dominated the central market, while there were but a few
Mexican merchants.
He charged they invaded every business
until the Mexican was a mere tributary to them.
89
La
Pulga* s editor called for a grandiose meeting of protest
against the Chinese to support the idea of a special
Chinese barrio.
He also suggested a special plea to the
state legislature to prohibit the immigration of Chinese
into Sonora unless they brought 1,000 pesos with them.
The
CO
La Pulga (Nogales, Sonora), 21 October 1921.
CO
CO
editor also proposed a plan to create an anti-Chinese police
Ibid., 22 October 1921.
89.
Ibid., 23 October 1921.
154
force to be supported by a head tax levied on every Chinese.
resident.
Surveilance of Chinese and the prevention of
concubinage between them and Mexicans comprised the
important tasks of the police.
Another proposal indicated
the need to prevent disease by naming a sanitary inspector
to visit all Chinese residences.
Finally, the paper
exhorted the Mexicans to break up large enclaves of Chinese
90
in the state.
While Sonorans took steps to organize state govern­
ment under the new constitution and also to weaken the
Chinese position by legal means, Carranza had begun his
tenure as constitutional president and decreed a return to
constitutional rule in all states.
Of the nineteen
governors elected, fourteen were Carranza's allies, while
only three were definitely hostile.
Calles in Sonora.
91
Among the latter was
During the last three years of his
tenure, Carranza faced considerable obstacles.
He did
little to fulfill the aspirations of labor and agrarian
reformers.
And he was unable to enforce subsoil legislation
because of foreign resistance and rebel control of the oil
areas.
But he faced more serious domestic crises.
Poor
climatic conditions and uncertain markets forced
90.
Ibid.
91. For a list of the newly elected governors, see
Charles C. Cumberland, Mexican Revolution: The Constitu­
tionalist Years (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1972),
pp. 370-371.
!
155
agricultural production to new lows, as unemployment reached
new highs.
Beset by these dire economic conditions
Carranza faced renewed opposition within his ranks.
On 1 June 1919 Alvaro 0breg6n announced his can­
didacy for the presidency.
As the economic crisis deepened
he rapidly gained support, as Carranza's hold on the
government deteriorated.
Relations between Carranza and
Sonora, Obregdn1s stronghold, gradually broke down after
Carranza's constant interference in the state's Chinese
policy.
Carranza then supported Sonoran Ignacio Bonillas
for the presidency.
state.
He also interfered directly in the
With de la Huerta's accession as constitutional
governor in September, 1919, the rift widened.
First,
Carranza claimed that the Sonora River was federal property
not Sonoran.
He then named Chihuahuan Manuel M. DiSguez
as head of the military in Sonora.
Although the Yaquis
were now subdued, Carranza informed de la Huerta that he •
would send federal troops to deal with them.
In April,
1920, faced with this threat, the state legislature
declared that the despatch of federal troops would be an
attack on the state's sovereignty.
On 9 April Sonora broke
with Carranza, who ordered troops to the state.
92
Soon
rebels appeared in Sinaloa, Zacatecas, Nuevo Le6n,
Michoacan, and elsewhere.
On 23 April the revolt gained*
92.
Dyer to the Secretary of State, 10 April 1920,
RDS 812.00/23557, reel 70.
156
official sanction with the proclamation of the Plan of Agua
Prieta by the new Sonoran triumvirate, Calles, de la
Huerta, and Obregdn.
The plan denounced Carranza for
violations of individual guarantees, states rights and the
Constitutional Revolution.
as supreme chief.
93
The plan also named de la Huerta
Carranza's forces lost battles or
deserted, thus on 7 May he left the capital for Veracruz in
a disorganized flight.
When he camped for the night on 20
May he was killed by rebels in Tlaxcalantongo,
De la Huerta
assumed the office of provisional president until the
election of ObregSn, who succeeded him.
Obregdn's ascendancy to the presidency occurred at
a time when Chinese immigration increased considerably,
especially to Baja California.
94
Chinese immigration, which
93. For the Plan of Agua Prieta, see GonzSlez
Ramirez, Planes politicos, pp. 251-255.
94. For information on the life and treatment of
the Chinese in Baja's cotton fields, see Eugene Keith
Chamberlin, "Mexican Colonization Versus American Interests
in Lower California," Pacific Historical Review, XX
(February, 1951), pp. 43-55; United States, Department- of
Commerce, Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, Special
Agents Series, 220, Mexican West Coast and Lower.California:
A Commercial and Industrial Survey (Washington: Government
Printing Office, 1923), pp. 293-295, 305-306, 311-312; Lew
Ling, The Chinese in North America: A Guide to Their Life
and Progress (Los Angeles: East-West Culture Publishing
Association, 1949), p. 164; Harry Carr, "The Kingdom of
Cantu: Why Lower California is an Oasis of Perfect Peace
in Bloody Mexico," Sunset, XXXVIII (April, 1917), p. 65;
for an estimate of over 2,000 in the cotton fields in 1919,
see Frederick Simpich, "A Mexican Land of Canaan: Marvelous
Riches on the Wonderful West Coast of Our. Neighbor Republic,"
The National Geographic Magazine, XXXV (September, 1919),
p. 329; for a later report of an increase to 3,000 by 1921,
157
declined to 3,300 from 1914 to 1918, underwent a resurgence
to 6,100 between 1919 and 1921, according to Mexican
immigration statistics.
95
The influx of Chinese caused
great concern, thus the press and several federal Senators
proposed restrictions.^
Faced with this opposition and
increasing demands for abrogation of the treaty with China,
Obregdn's government moved toward an accommodation with
China, particularly in reference to the immigration of
Chinese laborers.
97
After long diplomatic negotiations and
see "The Chinese Population Abroad," International Labour
Review, VI (November, 1922), p. 778; for de la Huerta's
views on this immigration, see Mexico, Diario de los
debates de la Camara de Diputados del Congreso de los
Estados Unidos Mexicanos, XXIX Legislatura (1 September
1920), p. 11.
95. For immigration statistics for these years, see
Appendix A, Table A.5.
96. For this opposition, see Excelsior (Mexico),
19 May 1919; Mexico, Diario de los debates de la Camara de
Senadores del Congreso de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos,
XXVIII Legislatura (13 June 1919), pp. 4-5 (hereafter cited
as DPS); El Heraldo de Mexico (Mexico), 23 May, 2 June 1920.
97. For initial attempts to alter the treaty, see
Mexico, Presidente, Informe rendido por el C. Adolfo de la
Huerta presidente constitucional substitute de la Reptiblica,
ante el H. Congreso de la Unidn, el dia lo de septiembre de
1920 y contestaciSn del C. presidente de la Camara de
Diputados (Mexico: Imprenta del "Diario Oficial," 1920),
p. 16; El Universal (Mexico), 3, 8 March 1920; Robert T..
Pollard, China's Foreign Relations, 1917-1931 (New York:
The Macmillan Company, 1933), p. 99; Mexico, Presidente,
Informes rendidos por el C. Gral. Alvaro Obreg6n presidente
constitucional de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos ante el H.
Congreso de la Uni6n durante el perlodo de 1921 a 1924, y
contestaciones de los CC. presidentes del citado Congreso en
el mismo perlodo (4 vols., Mexico: Talleres Linotipogrdficos
del "Diario Oficial," 1924), I (1921), p. 20; Summerlin to
the Secretary of State, 5 April 1921, Decimal File 712.932,
158
strident debate in the legislature, A. J. Pani and Ouang Ki
Tseng signed an amendment to the treaty on 25 November
98
1921.
Article II of the "modus vivendi" prohibited the
immigration of foreign labor to Mexico.
With the exception
99
of this article, the 1899 treaty remained in force.
Chinese immigration declined after 1921, not only in total
numbers, but also in relationship to other nationalities.
Chinese, who comprised 12.49 per cent of all immigrants
from 1911 to 1915, and 6.69 from 1916 to 1920, fell to
only 2.61 per cent of all entrants from 1921 to 1924.^^^
Despite official harassment, depredations by
irresponsible elements, immigration restrictions, and an
organized anti-Chinese campaign in Sonora, the Chinese
survived into 1922 and continued to dominate the retail
trade in most goods and the wholesale and retail grocery
businesses.
Passive resistance, complaints to the
in United States, Department of State, Records of the
Department of State Relating to Political Relations Between
Mexico and Other States, 1910-1929, National Archives Micro-,
film Publications, Microcopy M-315 (Washington: National
Archives and Record Service, 1961), reel 2 (hereafter cited
as DS with appropriate classification numbers).
98. For legislative debate on this issue, see DDS,
XXIX (9 November 1921), p. 25; XXIX (15 November 1921), p. 15.
99. Diario Oficial (Mexico), 25 November 1921; for
a copy of the treaty and the "modus vivendi," see AGG, tomo
3611, Part 1.
100. Imre Ferenczi, editor. International Migra­
tions, Demographic Monographs, 7 (2 vols., rpt. 1929, New
York: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, 1969), II, pp.
271-273, 286-287.
159
authorities in Sonora, Mexico and Washington, and the
willingness of officials to accept bribes and to look the
other way, all combined to mitigate the pressures of Arana
and his cohorts.
A tight-knit organization into cooperative
societies also aided the Chinese to resist expulsion and
financial ruin.^^^
But Arana had established the organiza­
tion of juntas, groups of merchants and virulent press
campaigns that subsequent crusaders were to use with more
effect against the hated Chinese.
Arana also established
the procedures of legal impediments and official harassment
which later anti-Chinese leaders refined and extended.
But
ultimately Arana’s campaign was a failure as the Chinese
remained with as much, if not more, financial weight than
before 1916.
Faced with constant opposition, both in the public
and private sectors, Chinese encountered considerable
obstacles in the Sonora of Calles and de la Huerta.
Except
for the legal qualms of Soriano, Chinese found the governors
hostile, or at the least uncooperative.
Although the
Chinese population of Sonora fell from 4,486 to 3,639 during
the ten years since the revolution began, they still
101.
For lists of officers in Sonoran Chinese
societies, see AGG, tomo 3378 for 1920, and AGG, tomo 3471,
paquete 4 for 1921; for an analysis of organization and aims
of these societies, see John W. Dye, United States Consul,
Ciudad JuSrez, to the Secretary of State, 3 June 1921, RDS
812.43C44, reel 151.
160
comprised the largest Chinese colony in Mexico.
102
Figure 5
indicates centers of Chinese population in Mexico in 1921.
Despite the coordinated campaign of state-wide proportions,
the Chinese survived and prospered.
But with the beginning
of the "Sonoran Dynasty" and the movement of Sonorans to the
presidency and other high offices in Mexico City, in
combination with a rapid increase in Chinese colonies in
Tamaulipas, Baja, and other states, the campaign spread
throughout Mexico.
With a national voice, Sonorans carried
their campaign beyond the confines of the northwest.
Temporary roadblocks, such as Chinese bribes and the need
to curtail violent outbreaks in order to enhance Mexico's
international prestige, impeded the success of the antiChinese campaigners.
But they continued to employ Arana's
organization and procedures and to use the national congress
as a forum to restrict Chinese immigration and to advocate
abrogation of the 1899 Sino-Mexican treaty.
The end of the violent phase of the Revolution in
Sonora, the subjugation of the Yaquis and the appearance of
a new constitution transformed anti-Chinese campaigns in
the state.
The violent attacks diminished in number and
intensity.
Simultaneously legal restrictions proliferated.
Calles and de la Huerta rose from the middle class barred
from political power during the Porfiriato to dominance of
102.
For population figures by states for 1921, see
Appendix B, Table B.5.
STATES INDICATED
1-
BY NUMBERS
FEDERAL D IS T R IC T
2 - MORELOS
3 - PUEBLA
4 - TLAXCALA
5 HIDALGO
6 - MEXICO
7 - OUERETARO
8 - GUANAJUATO
9-
AGUASCALIENTES
LEGEND
2 30 5-46 08
1 1 5 3-23 0*
INTANA
R00
5 77 -1 15 2
289- 576
145-288
1-144
Mexico: Chinese Population by State, 1921
161
Figure 5.
162
the state during the Carranza years.
Both were imbued with
a dislike of foreign interests, especially United States and
Chinese.
Supported by local and state administrators from
similar backgrounds they hounded Chinese with legal restric­
tions.
Armed with the new constitution and an emergent
nationalism they fully supported Arana's campaign of "Mexico
for the Mexicans; China for the Chinese."
Despite Arana's
death the anti-Chinese forces continued to advocate expul­
sion of the Chinese’.
In 1922 this campaign increased.
Aided by the "modus vivendi, immigration restriction, a
■>f •*
national forum and the experiences of the Arana campaign,
Sonorans, led by Governors Francisco Ellas and Adolfo de la
Huerta, took advantage of a tong war to oust Chinese from
the state.
r
CHAPTER 6
TONG WAR AND RENEWED OPPOSITION, 1922-1926
In April and May, 1922, a series of brutal slayings
of Chinese occurred in Sinaloa and Sonora.
Authorities
found over twenty bullet-riddled bodies of Chinese in the
streets.. In these instances police were successful in
apprehending the criminals, because the murderers remained
at the scene of the crime and surrendered meekly.
An
important difference between these crimes and previous
attacks was the nationality of the assassins.
all Chinese.
They were
In the spring of 1922 a tong war between rival
Chinese factions provided the backdrop for a new attempt to
oust them from the state,1
In Sonora and Sinaloa two rival societies, the
Nationalist League and the Chee Rung Tong, fought each other
to claim the support of the Chinese residents there.
The
weaker, the Nationalists, began a campaign against the Che
Rung Tong (CRT) to strip it of its adherents.^
Without the1
2
1. Democrat (Nogales, Arizona), 15 June 1922;
Tucson Citizen (Tucson), 14 June 1922; for information on
tong wars in Baja, see Baja California, Gobernador, Memoria
administrativa del gobierno del Distrito Norte de la Baja
California, 1924-1927, Abelardo L. Rodriguez (Mexicali:
n.p., 1928), pp. 6, 16, 229.
2. Chinese Minister, Mexico, to Municipal President,
MazatlSn, 25 July 1922, AGG, tomo 3524, paquete 4.
163
164
support of the Chinese consul, who supported the
Nationalists, or of the Mexican government, who recognized
his government, the CKT bore the brunt of responsibility
for the assassinations and saw its bretheren deported."*
These societies had a legal existence in Sonora as social
and business associations to aid the resident Chinese.
The
CKT, often called a Masonic Society by Mexicans, had an
involved secret ritual that aroused the suspicions of
Sonorans.
Arana noted the threat of such a secret society
in 1917 in Pro-Patria.3
45
After the victory of the Nationalists of Sun Yat Sen
over the Manchu or Ching Dynasty in the Chinese Revolution
of 1910, overseas Chinese supported the newly-formed
Nationalist government.
Supporters of the regime joined
the Nationalist League in Mexico.
When the Nationalists
denied participation in the new cabinet to others who
participated in the revolution, a crisis ensued which was
to throw China into turmoil for over a decade.
The Triad
Society, long a bitter enemy of the Manchus, resisted their
exclusion from the cabinet.
Formed in the early eighteenth
century, the Triad Society dedicated itself to the overthrow
of the Manchus,^
In the Americas the overseas Chinese in
3.
El Sol (Cananea), 4 May 1922,
4.
Pro-Patria (Magdalena), 1, 15 August 1917.
5. Chinese Nationalist Party Broadside, Sonora,
October 1922, AGG, tomo 3588.
165
this society called their organization the Chee Kung Tong
and in Mexico it appealed to the large number of Cantonese.^
Against the backdrop of internecine strife in China,
these two rival factions carried out a series of assassina­
tions in Sonora in May, 1922.
Beginning in Cananea, the
series of murders spread to Hermosillo, Guaymas, Nogales,
7
Cocorit, and Los Mochis, Sinaloa.
Authorities apprehended most of the assassins.
8
Although only Chinese were
victims and the culprits went to jail, Sonorans took
advantage of the unrest to vilivy them.
A state-wide
dragnet to apprehend all members of the CRT became a state
objective.
Opponents of the Chinese demanded the applica­
tion of Article 33 of the federal constitution, which6
8
7
6. Robert Wells Ritchie, "The Wars of the Tongs:
Justice in New York's Yellow Triangle,11 Harper's Weekly, LIV
C27 August 1910), p. 8; Lois Mitchison, The Overseas
Chinese: A Background Book (Chester Springs, Pennsylvania:
Dufour Editions, 1961), p. 34; Stewart Culin, The I King or
"Patriotic Rising" (rpt. 1887, San Francisco: R and E
Research Associates, 1970), p. 2; C. N. Reynolds, "The
Chinese Tongs," The American Journal of Sociology, XL
(March, 1935), p. 618; Stanford M. Lyman, The Asian in the
West, Social Science and Humanities Publication, IV (Reno
and Las Vegas: University of Nevada Press, 1970), p. 39.
7. Yost to the Secretary of State, 20 May 1922,
NA 312.93/211; William E. Chapman, United States Consul,
MazatlSn, to the Secretary of State, 18 June 1922,
NA 312.93/217.
8. Alfonso Almada, President, Supreme Tribunal,
Hermosillo, to Governor, 6 October 1922, AGG, tomo 3524,
paquete 3; Dyer to the Secretary of State, 5 May 1922,
NA 312.93/209.
166
provided the president with the power to oust unsuitable
g
foreigners,
Immediately after the first murders, opposition to
the Chinese increased because Mexicans feared accidental
deaths of innocent S o n o r a n s . F e d e r a l troops guarded
closed Chinese stores in Guaymas and Hermosillo, where
Sonorans threatened to bomb the stores if they failed to
reopen.
With Chinese establishments closed, goods became
scarce and the prices rose.
As the unrest caused by the
assassinations gradually intensified the public became more
hostile in the face of widespread scarcities.
Finally the
Chinese reopened to save their businesses.^
As the first step in the elimination of the violence
between the rival tongs, the governor ordered, on 1 June
1922, the collection of all arms held by the Chinese.
12
Throughout the state municipal presidents and police
officials collected Chinese weapons.
Despite protests by
the Chinese that they needed the weapons for protection,
local officials carried out the order.
9.
After the constant9
2
0
1
Mexico, Nueva constitucidn, p. 15.
10, Excelsior (Mexico), 24 June 1922; for reports
on a Chinese gun duel that almost killed a Mexican girl, see
L, G. Montano, citizen, Guaymas, to Elias, 8 June 1922, AGG,
tomo 3523,
11. Yost to the Secretary of State, 10 June 1922,
NA 312.93/213.
12, Circular to all Municipal Presidents,
Hermosillo, 1 June 1922, AGG, tomo 3523.
167
harassments of the past thirty years, the Chinese were well
armed.
In Huatabampo thirty-three Chinese surrendered
thirty-one pistols and two rifles.
And in Pilares de
Nacozari police collected twenty-three pistols and ten
rifles from only seventeen Chinese.
These were typical of
the reports received by the Secretary of Justice.
Although
the Chinese surrendered hundreds of arms, many people were
convinced that many more arms remained hidden.
13
As a result of the first series of arrests in the
dragnet, 193 Chinese received jail terms in the state
penitentiary in Hermosillo.
Less than ten per cent of these
belonged to the Nationalist group, while over sixty per cent
were members of the "masonic party."
per cent were merchants.
Of the total, seventy
Members of the CKT protested
against the arrests as the unconstitutional action of a
"miserable governor."
14
The arrest of these Chinese
engendered a host of other problems for the Sonoran
authorities.
Immediately, many Chinese protested the
arrest of several Chinese who were innocent of participation1
4
3
13. Municipal President, Huatabampo, to Secretary
of Justice, Hermosillo, 11 July 1922, AGG, tomo 3524,
paquete 3; Municipal President, Nacozari, list of weapons,
5 June 1922, AGG, tomo 3523; Miguel Palafox, Municipal
President, Caborca, to Governor, 7 June 1922, ibid.
14, Undated list of Chinese prisoners in the State
Penitentiary, Hermosillo, AGG, tomo 3524, paquete 3; Lin Mo
Poing, member CKT, CuliacSn, to Alfonso Ley, member CKT,
Hermosillo, 10 August 1922, in Narciso C. Yillen, Secretary,
Nationalist League, CuliacSn, to Governor, Hermosillo, 15
August 1922, ibid.
168
in the murders.
Secretary of Interior, Plutarco Elias
Calles, communicated Chinese protests to Governor Elias and
cautioned him to ensure protection to those Chinese not
involved in the murders.
Faced with these problems the governor proclaimed
\
one dictim as a reason to free the Chinese.
Article 33
referred only to foreigners; therefore, any Chinese who was
a naturalized Mexican and was not directly responsible for
any of the murders could be freed.^
Despite this order,
some Chinese took matters into their own hands and tried to
free their compatriots by other means.
Huatabampo's
municipal president informed his superiors in the capital
that Chinese in his area frequently used coded messages to
telegraph other Chinese in Sonora.
Immediately after these
suspicious activities, Chinese in Cumpas and Cocorit tried
17
to free imprisoned Chinese, but were captured.1
7
6
5
15. Tranquilina V. de Ley, Navojoa, to Governor, 17
18 June 1922, AGG, tomo 3523; Jos§ L. SuSrez, Chinese
attorney, Nogales, to Chinese Legation, Mexico, 23 June
1923, AGG, tomo 3524, paquete 3; P. E. Calles, Secretary of
Interior, Mexico, to Elias, 10 August 1922, ibid.
16. Secretary of Government, Hermosillo, to Jesds C.
Robles, Sonoran Labor Syndicate, Hermosillo, 8 July 1922,
AGG, tomo 3523; Elias to Francisco Barreras, Municipal
President, Guaymas, 17 August 1922, AGG, tomo 3524, paquete
3, for pleas by Mexicans to free certain Chinese, see
Seventeen Mexican merchants, Guaymas, to Governor, 29 July
1922, ibid.
17.
Municipal President, Huatabampo, to Secretary
of Government, 17 June 1922, AGG, tomo 3523; Raul H. Ldon,
citizen, Navojoa, to Elias, 17 June 1922, ibid; S. F.
169
While the two hundred Chinese languished in prison,
anti-Chinese elements in Sonora and Sinaloa again took up
the crusade against the Chinese.
Most applauded the
imprisonments while milder elements suggested restrictions
18
on their freedom of movement.
Throughout Sonora placards
appeared with the slogan, "China for the Chinese and Sonora
for the Mexicans; drive out the Orientals."
19
Juan Lung Tain tried to mediate among the warring
factions, Sonoran authorities, the imprisoned Chinese and
labor leaders, but to no avail.
The governor also rejected
the offer of the Sonoran Cooperative Party, who promised
aid in ousting the Chinese.
20
President 0breg6n took steps
to solve the crisis as tempers flared in Sonora.
On 20 June
1922 0breg6n authorized the application of Article 33 to
Chinese responsible for the disorders in Sonora.
21
Another1
0
2
9
8
Navarro, Municipal President, Cocorit, to Governor, 20 June .
1922, ibid.; Ellas to President Obregdn, 19 June 1922, ibid.
18. Palafox to Governor, 7 June 1922, AGG, tomo
3523; Fifty citizens, Imuris, to Municipal President,
Imuris, 22 June 1922, AGG, tomo 3524, paquete 3; Labor
Leaders, Nogales, to Governor, 23 June 1922, AGG, tomo 3523.
19. Yost to the Secretary of State, 25 June 1922,
NA 312,93/218.
20. Ouang Ki-Tseng, Chinese Envoy, Mexico to
Secretary of Foreign Relations, Mexico, 26 June 1922, AGG,
tomo 3524, paquete 3; R. Espinoza, Sonoran Cooperative
Party, Nogales, to Governor, 27 June 1922, ibid.; Secretary
of Government to Espinoza, 21 July 1922, ibid.
21. Mexico, Presidente, Informes ... 0breg6n ...
1921 a 1924, II (1922), p. 7; El Universal (M§xicol, 21
June 1922; Excelsior (Mexico), 20 June 1922; Mexico,
170
long and laborious process followed as Sonorans attempted
to comply with the order and oust the guilty Chinese via
22
MazatlSn.
With over 200 Chinese in jail in Hermosillo,
Ellas had an ample supply of "pernicious foreigners" to
expel.
On 26 June the Secretary of Foreign Relations
compiled a list of 181 Sonoran Chinese who were to be
expelled.
The 181 left Hermosillo for Mazatl&n on 8 August.
Their journey by train was to conclude with a boat trip to
China via San Francisco.
Ellas demanded payment of all
23
costs by Chinese merchants in Sonora.
Despite the arrival of these Chinese in MazatlZm
for deportation, Ellas continued to petition for the
application of Article 33 to other Chinese,
24
To reinforce
his position he commissioned two men to intercede on
Sonora’s behalf with 0breg6n.
For this purpose he chose
Alberto Gayou and Ignacio F. Loaiza, Sonora's deputies2
4
3
Secretarla de Relaciones Exteriores, Boletln Oficial, XXXIX
(June-July, 1922), pp. 147-148.
22.
Excelsior (Mexico), 21 June 1922.
23. Ellas to Secretary of Interior, Mexico, 28
June 1922, AGG, tomo 3523; Secretary of Foreign Relations,
Mexico, to Secretary of Interior, Mexico, 26 June 1922, in
Undersecretary of Interior, Mexico, to Governor, Hermosillo,
3 July 1922, AGG, tomo 3524, paquete 3; Ellas to Ignacio F.
Loaiza and Alberto Gayou, Federal Deputies, 8 August 1922,
ibid.; Ellas to Undersecretary of Interior, Mexico, 10
August 1922, ibid.
24. The New York Times, 9 August 1922; Ellas to
Secretary of Interior, Mexico, 27 September 1922, AGG,
tomo 3524, paquete 4.
171
to the federal congress.
On 2 July, Elias authorized Gayou
and Loaiza to press Sonora's case before the nation.
He
hoped they would transform a state campaign against the
Chinese into a national crusade.
The two-man commission
arrived in the capital on 6 July and discussed the issue
25
with Calles on 8 July.
The Chinese also petitioned the federal government
to investigate the situation in Sonora and the Secretary
of Interior commissioned Antonio Pozzi and Martin F.
BSrcenas to travel to Sonora for this purpose.
During the
investigation state officials received orders to ensure
the constitutional guarantees of the Chinese.
2 6
B&rcenas returned to the capital on 4 November.
Pozzi and
Initial
reports indicated the weaker Nationalist League created the
disturbances to undermine the stronger CKT; therefore, the
government expelled over thirty Nationalists.
Another 250
remained in prison in CuliacSn and MazatlSn, awaiting
deportation.
The commission declared that the imprisonment
of 300 Chinese for over three months was unjustified, since
many were innocent.
All, but a few to be expelled, received2
6
5
25. Secretary of Interior, Hermosillo, to Gayou and
Loaiza, 2 July 1922, AGG, tomo 3523; 2 July 1922, AGG, tomo
3524, paquete 4; Gayou and Loaiza, Mexico, to Elias, 7, 8,
9 July 1922, AGG, tomo 3523.
26. Guadalupe Hung, Chinese citizens' representa­
tive, Mexico, to Obregdn, 13 July 1922, in Calles to Elias,
14 July 1922, AGG, tomo 3523; Undersecretary of Interior,
Mexico, to Elias, 24, 25 August 1922, AGG, tomo 3524,
paquete 4,
172
complete liberty.
27
commission's report.
On 8 November Obreg6n acted on the
He decreed full pardon to all but
forty-three Chinese held in CuliacSn and MazatlSn.
These
forty-three were the "principal intellectual directors of
the bloody conflicts among the Chinese colonies of Sonora
and Sinaloa" in 1922.
In December President 0breg6n
reiterated his order to free all the other Chinese
og
imprisoned in the two states.
Obregdn was in a delicate position during his
tenure (1920-1924).
Of immediate concern was pacification
of the contending forces that had disrupted Mexico for ten
years, fiscal stabilization and an accommodation with
foreign governments to forestall intervention.
Although
he failed to institute all the reforms contemplated in the
constitution, he did succeed in pacifying the country.
While his gradualist and pragmatic approach did not satisfy
agrarian reformers, a law of 1922 did provide for expropria­
tion of unproductive and uneconomically operated latifundia,
not all large estates.
His support of the Regional Con­
federation of Mexican Workers (CROM) and its head Luis
Morones, brought staunch labor support for his regime.2
8
7
27.
El Demdcrata (Mexico), 4, 6 November 1922.
28. Obregdn Decree, 8 November 1922, in Under­
secretary of State, Mexico, to Governor, 23 November 1922,
AGG, tomo 2523; 5 December 1922, AGG, tomo 3524, paquete 4;
Mexico, Secretarla de Relaciones Exteriores, Boletin
Oficial, XXXIX (June-July, 1922), pp. 147-148.
173
Obregdn also supported education reforms of Jos§ Vasconcelos
in rural areas.
The stress on the Indian origins of Mexico
and the role of the native in the Revolution became impor­
tant concepts in the development of Mexican nationalism.
But fiscal problems and foreign pressures occupied most of
Obregdn1s time.
Finance Minister Adolfo de la Huerta negotiated a
reduction of the foreign debt and higher payments to
Mexico on the oil export tax, but he was unsuccessful in
obtaining foreign loans and recognition of the Obregdn
government by the United States,
But these deliberations
paved the way for a future accommodation.
Protection of
foreign investment, especially oil, was important for the
United States in the face of Article 27’s subsoil provi­
sions.
Mexico desired autonomy, a financial return from
exploitation of its natural resources and elimination of
foreign tutelage.
In the Bucareli Agreements of 1923 a
compromise was reached.
The United States extended
recognition to Obregdn in return for vague promises that
paragraph. IV, Article 27 would not be retroactive to before
the promulgation of the constitution for those who had
performed "positive acts" which indicated the owner intended
99
"to make use of or obtain oil under the surface."2
9
29.
Robert Freeman Smith, The United States and
Revolutionary Nationalism in Mexico, 1916-1932 (Chicago:
The University of Chicago Press, 1972), pp, 221-222,
174
While ObregSn struggled against foreign pressure and
gained recognition, Sonorans witnessed the beginnings of
another anti-Chinese campaign.
Since "one Chinese looked
like another," the state congress passed a law on 30 June
1922 that required the registration and identification of
all Chinese in the state to avoid confusion.
The lawmakers
also stressed the need to protect the Chinese during any
future tong disturbances.
Ostensibly congress passed the
law as a result of the arrest of many innocent Chinese
during the summer c r i s i s . I n July, the Sonora congress
passed a new regulation to isolate Chinese in special
barrios.
In order to improve the condition of the laborer,
"without distinction as to color or creed," it was necessary
to exclude the Chinese, and only the Chinese,
They violated
the eighty per cent provisions of the 1919 Labor Law, and
were opposed to the solidarity of the Mexican worker.
Therefore, Sonorans felt that Chinese intransigence left
them no choice, thus they banished them to separate colonies
31
outside municipal limits.
But again Chinese remained in3
1
0
30, For local restrictions, see Excelsior (Mexico),
10 July 1922; Ley #51, 30 June 1922, AGG, tomo 3524, paquete
3; Boletin Oficial (Hermosillo), 12 July 1922; Municipal
President, Navojoa, to Secretary of Government, 24 July
1922, AGG, tomo 3510; Municipal President, Navojoa, to
Secretary of Government, 18 July 1922, AGG, tomo 3524,
paquete 3; Circular #54 to all Municipal Presidents, 6
December 1922, AGG tomo 3523; Chinese Consul, Nogales, to
Ellas, 25 January 1923, ibid.
31. Circular #46 to all Municipal Presidents, 12
July 1922, AGG, tomo 3496.
residence within each town as they successfully bought off
local officials.
The Cruz GSlvez Industrial School also
received over 3,000 pesos in donations from Chinese after
the passage of this regulation.
This fund was frequently
used to accept donations from petitioners who desired
exemptions from various regulations that impinged on their
business activities.
32
While some Mexicans believed that this was the
moment for the rise of Mexican businesses, others disagreed.
Magdalena's Municipal President, Eduarto Arias, believed
that the campaign to oust the Chinese would be detrimental, ..
not only for the Chinese, but also for Mexicans.
Faced with
expulsion, Chinese closed their shops and abandoned their
farms.
This left the town without vegetables.
But the
greatest blow Arias foresaw was a disaster for the local
treasury with the loss of Chinese tax revenue.
33
As in previous anti-Chinese campaigns, the Chinese
survived the crisis and continued to dominate business.
On
the local level Mexicans needed their products and revenue.
And on the national level Mexico was not yet willing to risk
international complications, even with the weak Chinese
Republic.
Although the Chinese survived the tong war, they3
2
32, Summerlin to the Secretary of State, 25 October
1922, NA 312.93/229; for contributions of Chinese to the
Cruz GSlvez Industrial School in 1922, see AGG, tomo 3499.
33. Eduardo Arias, Municipal President, Magdalena,
to Governor, 21 June 1922, AGG, tomo 3523,
adopted new methods to escape persecution and expulsion.
Strangely no radical increase occurred in the illegal entry
of Chinese into the United States to escape the conse­
quences of the tong war.
But many Chinese contributed to
an increase in legal emigration to the United States.
34
In
the four years before 1922 the United States admitted only
119 Chinese from Mexico.
In 1922 the figure rose to 418 as
immigration officials allowed Chinese to escape the state­
wide dragnet.
In each of the next two years over one
hundred additional Chinese entered in this manner from
Mexico.
After the presidential decree to free all
•
naturalized Mexicans, a second tactic the Chinese employed
was to become Mexican citizens.
From the summer of 1922
to the end of the year over one hundred Chinese became
Mexican citizens.
Chinese comprised over sixty per cent of
all foreigners naturalized in 1922.
Many Chinese had become
citizens before, but most retained their Chinese citizen­
ship because"they saw themselves as temporary visitors.3
6
5
4
34. United States, Department of Labor, Bureau of
Immigration, Annual Report of the Commissioner General of
Immigration to the Secretary of Labor, 1923 (Washington:
Government Printing Office, 1923), pp. 18-19.
35. For statistics on the emigration of Mexican
Chinese to the United States in this period, see Appendix A,
Table A,6,
36. Lew Ling, The Chinese in the Americas: A Guide
to Their Life and Progress (Los Angeles: East-West Culture
Publishing Association, 1929), n.p.
177
But during the crises of 1922 to 1926 Chinese comprised over
twenty-five per cent of all foreigners naturalized.
37
Sonora's Chinese weathered the storm caused by the
tong war, but not unscathed.
Prohibitions on the immigra­
tion of Chinese laborers and the expulsion of over 200
Chinese cut into their numbers.
With immigration cut off,
they competed more fiercely with Mexicans for local women
in Sonora.
This competition provided the backdrop for a new
anti-Chinese crusade in 1923.
In 1923 Alejo Bay was elected to succeed Adolfo de
la Huerta.
Although the latter was Mexico's Finance
Minister, he was still officially governor of Sonora for
the four-year term 1919 to 1923.
A succession of interim
governors served for him while he was in the capital.
After
he resigned as Minister of Finance, de la Huerta returned to
Sonora to fill out his term and oversee the election of Bay.
The new governor returned to the stress on legalism in the
fight against the Chinese.
He did not play an active role
as had de la Huerta, Calles, and Ellas, but supported a
series of anti-Chinese measures proposed by the legislature.
For most areas of the state special Chinese barrios
were the answer to the Chinese question.
3 8
Despite the3
8
7
37. For statistics on the naturalization of Chinese
in this period, see Appendix B, Table B.6.
38. For an exception in Guaymas, see El Brochazo
(Guaymas), 19 July 1923.
178
passage of several local ordinances, they were not
applicable until passed by the state legislature.
In the
Sonoran congress, Alejandro C. Villasenor proposed a law
to create a Chinese barrio in each town of the state.
He
hoped to localize the Chinese to remove the threat to the
health of Sonorans.
Villasenor also proposed that the
owners of the land chosen for the barrio must sell to the
Chinese or face expropriation.
After these decisions, each
municipal council had four months to remove all Chinese to
these barrios.
39
Despite strident opposition, led by Deputy Angel J.
Cortes, the state legislature passed a law on 8 December
1923 that created Chinese barrios.
40
Constant legislative
action also attempted to reduce the intense Chinese competi­
tion for female companionship.^
In June, 1922, Hermosillo
police arrested four Chinese found "consorting with
prostitutes" in the house of Martina Garcia.
Chinese
competition for prostitutes was rampant throughout the
state, and they had the funds to compete successfully with
the Mexicans.
In May, 1923, the Hermosillo municipal3
1
0
4
9
39. Sonora, Boletin de la C&mara de Diputados del.
Estado de Sonora, XXVII Legislatura (.28 November 1923)., p.
5 (hereafter cited as BCDS).
40, BCDS, XXVII (6 December 1923) , p. 5,* Boletin
Oficial (Hermosillo), 19 December 1923; for Cort&s* opposi­
tion, see BCDS, XXVII (6 December 1923), p. 5.
41.
Ling Lew, The Chinese in North America, p. 165
council attempted to reduce this competition with an
amendment to the law on prostitution , which prohibited the
exploitation of prostitution and vice in any establishment
owned by foreigners.
42
But the law failed to solve the
problem.
From Cumpas, Municipal President Florencio Frisby
complained about the large number of Mexican girls who
lived with Chinese.
43
This so offended Frisby that he
ordered the concubines of Juan Hong and Luis Sujo to leave
their homes and move to the barrio set aside for prosti­
tutes,
Pacifica Morales and Adela Barrios protested this
action, because their relationship with the Chinese was
"honest and clean," although not sanctioned by civil laws.
They requested and received a writ of amparo to suspend
44
Frisby's decision.
Judge Arsenic Ezpinoza of Nogales
ordered Frisby to suspend his order to relegate Morales and
Barrios to the barrio for prostitutes.
45
Nonetheless,4
5
3
2
42. Manuel Lau, merchant, Hermosillo, to Interim
Governor, 19 June 1922, AGG, tomo 3523? Amendment to the
Law on Prostitution, Hermosillo, 1 June 1922, ibid.
43. For later activities of Frisby as President of
the Pro-Racial Committee of Cumpas, see Florencio Frisby,
Municipal President, Cumpas, to Governor, 7 August 1924,
AGG, tomo 3686.
44. Frisby to Governor, 27 June 1922, AGG, tomo
3523; Pacifica Morales and Adela Barrios, citizens, Cumpas,
to Judge of First Instance, Nogales, 1 June 1922, ibid,
45. Arsenic Ezpinoza, Judge of First Instance,
Nogales to Frisby, 16 June 1922, AGG, tomo 3523.
Frisby deplored the alarming increase in concubinage among
the Chinese and Mexicans in Cumpas.
46
To substantiate
Frisby's claim of a drastic increase in concubinage in
Cumpas, the municipal council prepared a list of all Chinese
in the town.
This included references to those who lived
with Mexican girls.
Of the fifty-four Chinese in Cumpas,
twenty-four per cent had Mexican concubines.^
These conditions in addition to legal marriages of
Mexicans and Chinese prompted many municipal councils to
propose a state-wide prohibition on Sino-Mexican marriages.
On 13 December 1923 the state congress passed a law which
attempted to solve this problem.
Article I prohibited
marriages of Mexicans and Chinese, including Chinese who
were naturalized Mexicans.
Article II assessed a fine of
from one hundred to 1,000 pesos for any illicit or marital
union between Mexicans and Chinese.
4 8
Angel J, CortSs condemned this new law as well as
other anti-Chinese measures as unconstitutional.
In March,
1924, he proposed the elimination of the barrio and marriage
laws.
He also condemned the congress' approval of a4
8
7
6
46. For examples, see Frisby to Governor, 27, 29
June 1922, AGG, tomo 3523; Patricio Chu, merchant, Esqueda,
to Francisca Miranda, Cumpas, 9 June 1922, ibid.
47.
tomo 3523.
List of Chinese, Cumpas, 27 June 1922, AGG,
48. BCDS, XXVII (14 December 1923), p. 3; Boletin
Oficial (Hermosillo), 31 December 1923; Ley #31, 13 December
1923.
181
Nacozari de Garcia ordinance that prohibited Chinese from
selling meat unless they had a Mexican employee who handled
49
all the meat.
Cortes stated all three laws were un­
constitutional; therefore, no one need obey them.
He
claimed he was no friend of the Chinese and disliked them,
but he would not attack them with illegal methods or destroy
the legal structure of the state, merely to weaken their
p o s i t i o n . S o m e Sonorans shared Cortds' views, and even
applauded the Chinese as hard-working and honest, but the
majority shared the views of Walterio Pesqueira, Municipal
President of Nogales.
He condemned them as men of doubtful
character who were a definite menace to the race, especially
through the prostitution of Mexican gir l s . ^
Both de la Huerta and Ellas stressed a legal
process to eliminate the foreign threat to Sonora.
As
Minister of Finance de la Huerta dedicated himself to
obtaining United States recognition without any concession.4
1
0
5
9
49. For the debate on the Nacozari meat bill, see
BCDS, XXVII (5 December 1923), p. 3; (6 December 1923), p. 5.
50.
BCDS, XXVII (26 March 1924), pp. 3-5.
51. Walterio Pesqueira, Municipal President,
Nogales, to Secretary of Interior, Hermosillo, 8 December
1923, AGG, tomo 3577; for support for the Chinese, see
Arturo M. Martinez, Municipal President, Oputo, to Governor,
10 May 1923, AGG, tomo 3577; for an opinion that China
should fight over the marriage and barrio laws, see Ch'ang-fu
Li, Hua ch'iao, p. 144; for the contributions of individual
Chinese for the relief of the victims of the earthquake in
HuSsabas and Granados in December, 1923, see AGG, tomo 3578,
182
The Bucareli Agreements incited widespread opposition to
Obregdn throughout Mexico as a relinquishment of Mexico's
national prerogatives.
De la Huerta, embittered over his
failure to secure recognition, soon became the leader of
the various opposition groups.
In the summer of 1923
0breg6n began the process of choosing a successor.
When
Calles was designated, de la Huerta resigned in September,
With Veracruz as its headquarters, de la Huerta's Libertarian
Movement gained support.
On 7 December 1923 he proclaimed
a revolt against Obregdn in a manifesto which charged that
the latter had violated the sovereignty of the people and
of the states.
With arms provided by the United States,
Obregdn was victorious against de la Huerta, who fled to
the United States.
Obregdn was again successful, but left
Mexico in a severe financial crisis.
In Sonora the legal campaign received an impetus
from the outbreak of a second tong war,
In September, 1924,
Hsiang Hu left Nogales and Timothy T. M. Wang replaced him
as Chinese Consul in Sonora,
52
He arrived in time for a
renewal of friction between the CRT and the Nationalists.
The latter now called themselves the Kuo Min Tang (KMT), or
Chinese Nationalist Party.
Wang told the governor that the5
2
52.
Timothy T. M, Wang, Chinese Consul, Nogales, to
Governor, 14 October 1924, AGG, tomo 3682, expediente 3901,
183
CKT had killed twelve KMT members between 7 January and 8
November 1924.
From 28 September to the end of the year a contro­
versy that involved the CKT, KMT and anti-Chinese crusaders
revolved around the murder of Francisco U. Yuen, a prominent
KMT merchant of Agua Prieta.
On 28 September two Chinese
shot and killed Yuen as he descended from the train in Naco.
Local police apprehended CKT-members Ram6n Ley and Luis
Hoy,
54
This incident was to renew the suspended tong war
crisis of 1922, and to result in a state campaign to crush
the CKT.
It ultimately led to another wave of expulsions.
On 3 October Walterio Pesqueira, former Municipal
President of Nogales and now Secretary of Government, posted
a circular in the name of the governor.
It decreed the
confiscation of all weapons held by the Chinese.
This was
necessary because of the new "war to the death" between the
rival Chinese parties in the state.
On 31 October another5
4
3
53, Secretary of Foreign Relations, Mexico, to
Governor, 8 September 1924, AGG, tomo 3640, expediente 1659;
Yillen to Governor, 18 September 1924, AGG, tomo 3645,
expediente 2031; 23 July 1924, AGG, tomo 3645, expediente
2083; Wang to Governor, 23 December 1924, AGG, tomo 3645,
expediente 2043.
54, Yillen to Governor, 29 September 1924, AGG,
tomo 3645, expediente 2037; Governor Alejo Bay, Hermosillo,
to Secretary of Interior, Mexico, 11 October 1924, ibid.;
El Intruso (Cananea), 30 September, 1 October 1924.
184
circular established procedures and regulations to record
information on all weapons surrendered by the Chinese.
55
President 0breg6n, who was familiar with the CKT
attempts to destroy the KMT, decided to apply Article 33's
expulsion clause to the directors of the CKT on 12 October
1924.
Consul Wang cautioned against hurting innocent
merchants and agriculturists in the state-wide dragnet.
The
Secretary of Interior in Mexico noted this plea and directed
Governor Alejo Bay to free all but the leaders of the C K T . ^
By late October, Sonoran jails held 240 Chinese with another
57
106 of the original list of fugitives still at large,
After he received Obregdn's order, Bay informed the municipal
president and police officials in his capital to free all
Chinese who were naturalized Mexicans.
On 5 November
0breg6n ordered expulsions to be limited until a further
investigation ascertained the responsible parties.
He
ordered liberty to those who were not directors of the CKT.
In addition, Obreg6n promised Interim Governor Manuel5
7
6
55. Citizens, Naco, to Governor, 29 September 1924,
in Flyer of Pro-Racial Committee, Naco, 20 October 1924,
AGG, tomo 3645, expediente 2033; Circular #204 to all
Municipal Presidents, 3 October 1924, AGG, tomo 3645,
expediente 2035; Circular #238 to all Municipal Presidents,
31 October 1924, AGG, tomo 3645, expediente 2036.
56. For a breakdown of the CKT members by town, see
Appendix C, Table C.14.
57. Secretary of Interior, Mexico, to Governor,
12 October 1924, AGG, tomo 3645; 6 November 1924, ibid.;
Wang to Bay, 18 October 1924, ibid.; The New York Times,
20 October 1924,
185
Montoya recompense for Sonora's costs in executing the
expulsion decree.
5 8
Although liberty for the prisoners eased financial
problems, drains on the state treasury continued.
In
addition to the time and personnel needed to round up the
Chinese, other financial considerations concerned the
59
state.
From the beginning of the expulsion proceedings
the Chinese declared their inability to pay either the
costs of imprisonment or the voyage to whatever destination
they chose.
Montoya indicated to Obregdn that the difficult
economic situation, combined with the costs engendered by
the expulsion procedure, placed the state treasury in a
precarious position.
costs.^
Obregdn promised to cover the state's
The governor forwarded a bill to the Secretary of
Interior to cover the costs of extra police, photographs and
food for the Chinese prisoners.
On 28 January 1926 the
federal government authorized the payment to Sonora of5
0
6
9
8
58, Bay to Municipal President and Police Officials,
Hermosillo, 31 October 1924, AGG, tomo 3645, expediente
2030; Obregdn to Interim Governor Manuel Montoya, 6 November
1924, AGG, tomo 3648.
59, For payments in 1922 to photographers A. W,
Kossio and others, see Treasurer, Hermosillo, to Governor,
9 August 1922, AGG, tomo 3524, paquete 3; Secretary of
Government, Hermosillo, to Treasurer, Guaymas, 18 August
1922, ibid.; for payments of at least 1,100 pesos to Gayou
and Loaiza in 1922, see Secretary of Government, Hermosillo,
to Treasurer, 14 July 1922, ibid.; Treasurer to Governor, 24
September 1922, AGG, tomo 3524, paquete 4,
60, Bay to Obregdn, 31 October 1924, AGG, tomo
3648; Montoya to Obregdn, 5, 6 November 1924, ibid.
186
4,537.64 pesos to cover the costs incurred from the 1924
expulsion proceedings.*^
With the expulsion of CKT leaders in 1924, Sonora
saw the end of tong disturbances, although both parties
remained antagonistic throughout the next few years.
Expulsion of a few Chinese failed to halt either Chinese
economic power or the anti-Chinese campaign.
Taking
advantage of the widespread fear in Sonora of further
Chinese unrest, agitators turned their attention to
immigration restrictions.
The Dutch Ambassador in Mexico
reported strong movements against Chinese immigration,
especially in Sonora where the number and power of the
Chinese were greatest.
After the "modus vivendi" of 1921,
Mexico continued to search for means to restrict6
3
2
1
61. Governor to Secretary of Interior, Mexico, 21
April 1925, AGG, tomo 3648; Secretary of Interior, Mexico,
to Governor, 15 February 1926, ibid.; for breakdown of the
costs by town, see Appendix C.
62. For information on the continued antagonism
between the rival tongs, see Way Yen Man, member, CKT, Agua
Prieta, to Governor, I4 June 1925, AGG, tomo 3750; Municipal
President, Cocorit, to Secretary of Government, n.d., ibid.;
JosS Jui, member, CKT, Nogales, to Governor, 11 November
1925, ibid.; W. Pesqueira to Jui, 11 November 1925, ibid.;
Anselmo Juan, member, KMT, Nogales, to TomSs M. Valderrama,
Secretary of Government, 14 June 1926, AGG, tomo 86 (1926);
Benjamin Ungson and Luis C. Fong, members, KMT, Nogales, to
Governor, 4 January 1929, AGG, tomo 15 (1929); A. R. Cinco,
member, CKT, Nogales, to Governor, 29 January 1929, ibid.;
for 1928 tong disturbances in Baja, see Frank Bohr, United
States Consul, Mexicali, to the Secretary of State, 18 March
1928, RDS 812.00/29137, reel 88.
63. Dutch Ambassador, Mexico, to Foreign Office, 21
April 1924, AR, Kabinet-gezantschepsrapporten, LatyinsAmeriker, 1924,
187
immigration, although they exchanged few communications with
the Republic of China.^
Because new regulations failed to
solve the Chinese question, the 1899 treaty came under
repeated a t t a c k . C r i t i c s denounced the special privileges
which had allowed the Chinese unfair competition in
business.
On 25 October 1925, the Mexican government gave
the one-year notice required to abrogate the treaty.
Mexico was not too candid in its diplomacy in this instance,
because China said it received no such note.
They received
an undated note on 30 September that repudiated the treaty.
Finally, foreign relations admitted that the note they6
5
4
64. Summerlin to the Secretary of State, 3 April
1922, NA 712.53/1; for a rare note from Mexico to China, see
Mexico’s protest to the Chinese government over the kid­
napping of a Mexican and his wife by bandits in Shantung,
in The New York Times, 11 May 1923.
65. For earlier restrictions, see Mexico,
Presidente, Informes rendidos pro el C. Gral. Plutarco
Ellas Calles, presidente constitucional de los Estados
Unidos Mexicanos ante el H. Congreso de la Uni6n los dlas
lo de septiembre de 1925 y lo de septiembre de 1926 y
contestacidnes de los CC, presidentes del citado Congreso
(Mdxico: Talleres GrSficos de la Nacidn "'Diario Oficial,"
1925-1926), p. 15; The New York Times, 1 June 1926; El
Demdcrata Sinaloense (MazatlSn), 20 June 1926; for congres­
sional opposition to the treaty, see El Demdcrata (Mexico),
8 September 1924; DPS, XXXI (29 September 1924), p. 6;
(6 October 1924), pp. 12-13; (27 November 1924), pp. 10-11;
Cl5 December 1924), p. 14; for migration figures for the
1920s, see Appendix A, Table A.5.
66. El Universal (Mdxico), 7 September 1926; H. F.
Arthur Schoenfeld, United States Chargd ad Interim, Mexico,
to the Secretary of State, 17 September 1926, RDS 812.5593/
51, reel 204; 1 October 1926, RDS 812.5593/52, ibid.; 2
October 1926, RDS 812.5593/53, ibid.
188
submitted in 192
as the second official note to terminate
6 7
the treaty, was in reality the first such note'.
Obregdn left office without having solved either
the oil or the financial questions.
His successor, former
governor of Sonora and Secretary of Interior, Plutarco
Ellas Calles, inherited the problem.
Freed from the
internal opposition and quest for foreign recognition that
circumscribed Obregdn, Calles turned to reforms.
Labor
reached its peak with Morones as Minister of Industry,
Commerce and Labor.
servant of the state.
Calles also reduced the army to a
In addition to progress in irriga­
tion, elimination of disease and the continuation of the
Vasconcelos education reform, he reorganized the fiscal
system.
He reorganized taxation, created a national bank
and reduced the foreign and internal debts.
In enforcing
the anti-clerical provisions of the constitution Calles6
7
67,
For the exchange of notes that resulted in the
expiration of the 1899 treaty, see Pollard, China1s Foreign
Relations, p . 375; Chung-hua-nien-chien (The China Year
Book), 1931 (Shanghai: The North-China Daily News and
Herald, Ltd., 1931), pp. 487-488; for a new Treaty of Amity
between Mexico and China in 1944, see China Handbook, 19371945 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1947), pp, 185-186;
for the relinquishment of extraterritoriality in 1929, see
"Exchange of Notes between China and Mexico for the
Relinquishment of Extraterritoriality," The Chinese Social
and Political Science Review, Public Documents Supplement,
XIV (April, 1930), pp. 19-22; China, Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, Treaties between the Republic of China and Foreign
States (1927-1957) (Taipei: n.p., 1958), pp. 313-315,
r
189
provoked the Cristero Rebellion, but eventually he broke
the power of the Church.
But again foreigners stood in the way of economic
development and the creation of national unity.
Calles
took steps to impinge on foreign control late in 1925.
A
new Alien Land Law prohibited foreigners from owning land
within fifty kilometers of the coast, or 100 kilometers of
the frontier.
It also provided for the elimination of
foreign majority interests in land development companies.
A new Petroleum Law required applications for concessions by
foreign countries.
These laws strained relations with the
United States on the official level, while financial and
debt negotiations on the private level were harmonious.
But
in Sonora relations with the Chinese worsened.
In 1925 Chinese faced several threats in all parts
of Sonora.
Although legal restrictions made great efforts
not to single out individual nationalities, most regulations
struck directly at the Chinese.
The Arizpe district again
became the center of agitation against the Chinese.*’®
Fronteras passed an ordinance that required a permit to
export goods from that town to any other location.
The
Chinese merchants immediately protested in January, 1925.
Before the month ended, vigorous protests forced the local6
8
68.
Wang to Bay, 12, 31 January 1925, AGG, tomo
3750, expediente 1234; Casimiro Cota, Municipal President,
Agua Prieta, to Governor, 31 January 1925, ibid.; Affadavit
of Doctor Manuel Calderdn Vargas, 29 January 1925, ibid.
190
Municipal President, M. Dur6n, to revoke the legislation.
Under the leadership of Durdn, Fronteras pursued a definite
anti-Chinese crusade with meetings, demonstrations, and
propaganda.^
in March, 1925.
*
The effect of this propaganda became evident
Within a fortnight five Chinese in
Fronteras and vicinity died as a result of gunshot wounds.
Agua Prieta police captured the four killers, one of whom,
Julio Martinez, was Durdn’s nephew.
Consul Wang placed the
entire blame on Dur6n, who campaigned for election under a
program to eliminate Chinese merchants from Fronteras and to
enforce anti-Chinese laws.
Because of his campaign and
success in the election, the authorities in Fronteras never
intervened in anti-Chinese activities.
On the contrary,
they encouraged t h e m . ^
These harassments and regulations were insignificant
compared with, a new and more powerful anti-Chinese crusade6
0
7
9
69.
Wang to Bay, 20 January 1925, AGG, tomo 3750,
expediente 1229; Sam Lee, merchant, Fronteras, to Governor,
23 January 1925, ibid.; Secretary of Government to Sam Lee,
28 January 1925, ibid.y for agitation against marriages of
Chinese and Mexican women in Fronteras, see Francisco Sujo,
merchant, Fronteras, to Governor, 8 February 1925, AGG, tomo
3750, expediente 1230; M. Dur6n, Municipal President,
Fronteras, to Secretary of Government, 17 February 1925,
ibid.; for similar attempts of the Cananea police to prevent
Chinese from living with Mexican women, see Antonio Ley,
merchant, Cananea, to Governor, 8 August 1925, AGG, tomo
3750.
70.
Wang to Interim Governor, 22 December 1925,
AGG, tomo 3750; Le6n J, Garcia, Municipal President, Agua
Prieta, to Governor, 16 April 1925, AGG, tomo 3750,
expediente 1237; Wang to Bay, n.d., ibid.
191
that struck Sonora in the summer of 1 9 25.^
Anti-Chinese
and Pro-Racial committees throughout the state began a fullscale offensive to destroy the Chinese threat.
Under the
guidance of state senator Jose Angel Espinoza and Doctor
Juan Calder6n, the Chinese faced the greatest threat to
their existence since Arana.
Aided by only half-hearted
attempts to stop their campaign, the committee attacked and
robbed Chinese merchants in the capital.
72
Alert Chinese
recorded the license number of the fleeing thieves and
reported it to Wang.
Candy Shop,
The car belonged to Trugui Brothers
As one of the Trugui brothers was municipal
president, Wang was upset over the collusion of the
authorities in attacks on Chinese.
Police captured the
criminals, all of whom were members of the Anti-Chinese
73
Committee of Hermosillo,7
3
2
1
71. For the exchange of letters that concerned the
continuous harassment of the Chinese, see Wang to Bay, 21
March 1925, AGG, tomo 3750, expediente 1246; 5 October 1925,
AGG, tomo 3750; 30 March, 1 May 1925, AGG, tomo 3750,
expediente 1249; 10 March 1925, AGG, tomo 3750, expediente
1250; 27 May 1925, AGG, tomo 3750, expediente 1239; 18 May
1925, AGG, tomo 3750, expediente 1240; for new legal
restrictions on the Chinese in the same period, see
Pitiquito Law, 25 April 1925, AGG, tomo 3784; Pilares de^
Nacozari Law, 30 April 1925, ibid.; Ley #180, 21 April 1925,
AGG, tomo 3768.
72. Wang to Bay, 3, 16 June 1925, AGG, tomo 3750,
expediente 1241; 11 June 1925, AGG, tomo 3750, expediente
1244,
73. Wang to Bay, 8, 9, 11 June 1925, AGG, tomo
3750, expediente 1244.
192
From informants Wang heard of a three-pronged
strategy planned by the committee.
They planned to print
derogatory slogans on walls throughout the state, burn
Chinese stores, and kill individual Chinese.
In July the
committee carried out their threats with attempts to burn
Chinese stores,
After several attempts to burn them out,
T. T. Lee, Chinese Vice Consul in
for his inaction.
Sonora, criticized Bay
Lee charged that Bay could have avoided
these attacks and fires if he had checked the anti-Chinese
elements after the initial threats.
74
On 17 July Bay
ordered the municipal president of the capital to avoid
further disorders and to guarantee the lives and properties
of the Chinese.
He also ordered all permits for anti-
Chinese demonstrations in the city bear his approval before
they could be held.
75
Despite this proclamation the fervor
generated by the new campaign continued.
Within eight
days in July three Chinese died at the hands of gunmen.
Within another nine-day period unknown men burned four
Chinese stores,
Chinese feared that the propaganda
campaign infused in the lower classes a desire to destroy7
5
4
74, Wang to Bay, 9 June 1925, AGG, tomo 3750,
expediente 1244; T. T. Lee, Chinese Vice Consul, Nogales, to
Bay, 10 July 1925, AGG, tomo 3750; for lists of the
assassinations and fires in 1925, see Wang to Bay, 22
November 1925 (two separate letters), ibid.
75. Lee to Bay, 15 July 1925, AGG, tomo 3750;
Circular #212 to Municipal President, Hermosillo, 17 July
1925, AGG, tomo 3738, paquete 5,
193
them.
After a state-wide convention of anti-Chinese
committees in Hermosillo on 5 August, another series of
arsons on Chinese stores occurred.
Although Hermosillo was the center of much of the
anti-Chinese activity in 1925, Navojoa and Moctezuma were
also centers of vicious campaigns against the Chinese.
As
in Hermosillo, the campaign began with another isolated
incident.
Antonio Villegas prohibited Chinese from
entering his Cosmopolitan Barber Shop in Navojoa.
He
claimed that the majority of his clientel voted to do so.
Despite pleas from Chinese to remove this ban, the governor
refrained from acting.
By July the local anti-Chinese
committee exhorted the populace to boycott Chinese stores,
printed broadsides that defamed them and threatened to burn
out their businesses.
77
The most intense anti-Chinese campaign was that
inaugurated by Doctor Juan Calderdn in the Moctezuma
district in the summer of 1925.
In a public declaration in
Hermosillo on 23 July 1925, he called for the enforcement7
6
76, Jos# Won and Queon Lee, CKT, Hermosillo, to
Governor, 22 July 1925, AGG, tomo 3750; El Pueblo
(Hermosillo), 29 July 1925; "Lee to Governor, 8 August 1925,
AGG, tomo 3750,
77, Municipal President, Navojoa, to Pesqueira, 3
June 1925, AGG, tomo 3750; Pesqueira to Municipal President,
Navojoa, 17 August 1925, ibid.; Lee to Bay, 13 July 1925,
ibid.; Lee to Bay, 25 August 1925, ibid.; Municipal
President, Navojoa, to Pesqueira, 25 September 1925, ibid.
194
of the barrio and marriage laws of December, 1923.
the government one week to enforce the laws.
He gave
At the end of
that period, the "people" would exercise their constitu­
tional rights for the good of the nation.
When he received
no reassurance that the laws would be enforced he held a
meeting in which he called the Chinese "animals" and
threatened them with expulsion.
78
In Nacozzri de Garcia,
Calderdn called on the populace of Mexico to exercise their
constitutional rights against the Chinese.
Since neither
the president nor the governor answered his requests to
carry out existent laws, he proclaimed the efficacy of
Article 39 of the federal constitution of 1917.
The article
stated that "national sovereignty resided essentially and
originally in the people."
Since the state and federal
governments failed to carry out the popular will, it was
up to the people to enforce colonization of the Chinese,^
And this is exactly what CalderSn attempted to do in several
towns in Moctezuma.
Late on the night of 27 August 1925 a group of
armed men invaded Pilares de Nacozari, sacked Chinese stores
and carried off several Chinese.
Municipal President Pedro7
9
8
78, Declaration of Doctor Juan Calderdn, Moctezuma,
23 July 1925, AGG, tomo 3750; Juan CalderSn, Moctezuma, to
Governor, 29 July 1925, ibid.; Lee to Governor, 29 August
1925, AGG, tomo 3750, expediente 1249,
79. Calderdn Manifesto to the People, Nacozari, 25
August 1925, AGG, tomo 3570; Mexico, Nueva Constitucidn,
p. 16,
195
Fglix of Pilares reported that Doctor Juan Calder6n led the
raid and now moved on Nacozari.
A. P. Martinez, Municipal
President of Nacozari, informed the governor that he
expected an attack and feared his police forces were
insufficient to prevent it.
Interim Governor Manuel Montoya
then ordered General Francisco R. Manzo, Chief of Military
Operations in La Misa, to send troops to Pilares and
Nacozari.
80
Martinez requested troops, and with the
despatch of seventy troopers of the 64th Cavalry under
General Flavio Bdrquez, the situation returned to normal,
and the Chinese returned to their homes.
81
By early
82
September almost all the raiders had been imprisoned.8
2
1
0
80.
A, P. Martinez, Municipal President, Nacozari,
to Governor, 27 August 1925 (10:10 p.m.), AGG, tomo 3750;
Montoya to Martinez, 28 August 1925, ibid.; Pedro FSlix,
Municipal President, Pilares de Nacozzri, to Governor, 28
August 1925 (9:00 a.m,), ibid.; Martinez to Governor, 28
August 1925 (9:25 a.m.), ibid.; Montoya to General Francisco
Manzo, Chief of Military Operations, La Misa, 28 August
1925, ibid.
81,
Martinez to Governor, 28 August 1925 (11:55
a.m. and 2:20 p.m,), AGG, tomo 3750; Manzo to Montoya, 29
August 1925 (5:20 p.m.), ibid.; Montoya to Saldate, 28
August 1925, ibid.; Montoya to A. Saenz, Secretary of
Foreign Relations, 30 August 1925, ibid.; Damm to the
Secretary of State, 8 September 1925, RDS 812.4016/14,
reel 143.
82.
For the final dispositions of the cases
against Calderdn's gang, see Bay to Municipal President,
Nacozari, 3 September 1925, AGG, tomo 3750; Bay to Municipal
President, Pilares, 4 September 1925, ibid.; J. Solorzano
and Francisco V, Coronado, imprisoned gang members,
Nacozari, to Governor, 25 September 1925, ibid.; Francisco
Cardenas, jailer, Nacozari, to Governor, 26 September 1925,
ibid,; President, Supreme Tribunal, Hermosillo, to Governor,
196
The termination of this crisis was not the end of
problems for the Chinese.
The Chinese Legation communicated
rumors of more demonstrations in Hermosillo and elsewhere.
On 11 October 1925 the Second Convention of all antiChinese Committees of the Republic took place in Hermosillo.
Leaders of the meeting, were Carlos GonzSlez Tijerina and
JosS Angel Espinoza,
For his services as director of the
meeting, Espinoza, a State Deputy, received from the state
legislature a grant of 200 pesos for costs incurred in
arranging the meeting.
He also received from the same
source a subsidy of 250 pesos to aid his work as editor
and owner of El Nacionalista, an anti-Chinese newspaper in
Cananea.
83
Espinoza's involvement and that of the legisla­
ture through its subsidies to leaders of the anti-Chinese
campaign, placed the Chinese in a precarious position in
late 1925,
Although the CalderSn-Espinoza campaign generated
widespread anti-Chinese sentiment in Sonora, the physical
violence placed the national government in a delicate
position.
President Calles manifested his displeasure with8
3
3 February 1926, ibid.y for an estimate of $1,600,000 in
losses by Chinese in 1925, see Ch'ang-fu Li, Hua ch'iao,
p. 144.
83.
Secretary of Interior, Mexico, to Governor, 8
September 1925, AGG, tomo 3750; Carlos GonzSlez Tijerina,
President, Board of Governors, National Anti-Chinese
Movement, Nogales, to Governor, 1 September 1925, ibid.;
State Congress to Governor, 17, 27 October 1925, ibid.
197
Governor Bay because of the numerous complaints he received
from Chinese over the last three years.
What grieved him
most was the charge that local officials encouraged the
attacks by participation in anti-Chinese meetings and
failure to capture the culprits.
The active participation
of the authorities in the violent campaigns also alarmed
Calles.
Finally, he complained about the anti-Chinese
committees which worked outside the law and denied the
Chinese their legal guarantees.
84
Calles emphasized that these activities placed
Mexico in an embarrassing position.
By provoking violent
conflicts, these groups endangered internal peace and
menaced Mexico with another possible Chinese massacre.
Beyond these threats, the persecutions sullied Mexico's
image on the international scene.
He reiterated the federal
executive’s measures to partially alleviate the situation
by impeding Chinese arrivals at Mexican ports.
But the 1899
treaty remained in effect and the constitution guaranteed
protection to Chinese residents.
Therefore, he suggested
that Bay take all necessary steps to grant the Chinese
their legal guarantees, in order "to maintain order and to
sustain the prestige and good name of Mexico."
85
Bay passed8
5
4
84. President Plutarco Elias Calles, Mexico, to
Governor, 23 September 1925, AGG, tomo 3750.
85,
Ibid,
198
the directive .on to all municipal presidents in a circular
on 22 October 1925.86
Despite Calles' warning to local authorities, more
officials in Sonora actively participated in anti-Chinese
87
activities as 1925 drew to a close.
In Hermosillo,
Felipe GonzSlez Cortes, local Sanitary Inspector, declared
that "both the municipal and state authorities . . . were in
accord with the principles" of the leaders of the antiChinese crusade.
88
Backed by the press, the governor, and local
officials, pro-Mexican and anti-Chinese groups throughout
Sonora worked to force the Chinese to obey the laws or to
leave.
With the passive acquiescence or active participa­
tion of state and local authorities the committees harassed
the Chinese both legally and illegally.
89
The crusaders*
1
3
86. Circular #300 to all Municipal Presidents, 22
October 1925, AGG, tomo 3738, paquete 5.
87. For the spread of the campaign to other states,
see The New York Times, 21 August 1925; Annual Report for
1925, of the Dutch Consul, MazatlSn, in AR, Archief
Consuleer, MazatlSn, 1925-1929; El Universal (Hermosillo),
5 September 1925; Bartley F. Yost, United States Consul,
Torredn, to the Secretary of State, 8 July 1925, RDS
812.4016/12, reel 143.
88. Address of Felipe GonzSlez Cortes, Sanitary
Inspector, Hermosillo, 20 December 1925, in Wang to
Governor, 25 December 1925, AGG, tomo 3750; Wang to Bay,
31 August 1925, ibid.
89. Francisco Amparon, Substitute Municipal
President, Navojoa, to Secretary of Government, 26 January
1926, AGG, tomo 20, expediente 169 (1926); El Diario
(Navojoa), 13 January 1926; The New York Times, 25 October
19.25,
“
199
pointed to the constant necessity to propose new laws
against the Chinese, which were exactly the same as laws
already on the books.
90
When they searched for the answer
to this recurring problem, Sonorans found the economic
power of the Chinese to be the most potent and obstructive
force in the enforcement of the laws.
They alleged that the
Chinese were sufficiently rich either to buy off officials
with bribes, or to threaten the survival of several towns
by closing their shops.
Eight years after the constitution codified regula­
tions for the position of foreigners in the country and
presented the embryonic tenets of Mexican nationalism
foreigners still held prominent positions in Mexico.
The
United States dominated the oil fields, which remained a
national problem.
And in Sonora the Chinese continued to
dominate the wholesale and retail grocery trade.
But the
state's quest to determine what exactly comprised Mexican
nationality was a prominent force.
The prevalence of
"national" and "pro-fatherland" committees manifested an
active campaign to define the characteristics of a Mexican.
Although no precise definition was arrived at, these
90,
El Diario (Navojoa), 7 January 1925; Wang to
Bay, 8 January 1926, AGG, tomo 20, expediente 168 (1926);
Secretary of Government to Wang, 12 January 1926, ibid.;
El Pueblo (Hermosillo), 26 April 1926; for exchanges of
correspondence on robberies of Chinese, see AGG, tomo 20,
expedientes 186, 190, 192 (1926); for exchanges of
correspondence on the murders of Chinese in this period,
see AGG, tomo 20, expedientes 166, 172, 175, 178 (1926).
200.
committees had a definite conception of what it did not
include— the Chinese.
The legal campaign concentrated on
the nefarious effects of contamination of the race by
contact with the Chinese.
The new conception of the
Mexican race stressed the mestizo heritage, but in the
case of the Chinese, further mixture would prove detrimental
to the race.
Thus sanitary regulations, barrio proposals
and prohibition on marriages became the most important
weapons against the Chinese.
Constrained by the constitu­
tion and international agreements, Sonorans created a
framework of laws, regulations, and annoyances to harass
the Chinese to force them to leave.
failed.
As in the past they
Thus Sonorans reassessed the position of the
Chinese in order to find new methods of eliminating this
menace.
CHAPTER 7
CHINESE ECONOMIC PRESENCE IN SONORA
From the moment the Chinese arrived in Mexico they
encountered hostility and opposition.
Criticisms included
racial slurs, allusions to poor health, evil habits, and
charges of frauds and business practices that gave them
control.of business in the state.
For over forty years
Sonorans complained that the Chinese were a threat to
domestic business.
Despite the constant complaints,
Sonorans also lamented the expected loss of tax revenue
if the Chinese left.
Faced witti these alternatives, state
and national authorities attempted to ascertain the exact
numbers, location, and economic interests of the Chinese.
Although national censuses in 1921 and 1930 showed
an increase in Chinese in Mexico from 14,472 to 18,953,
many Mexicans believed that these figures were far from
a c c u r a t e . M o s t estimates were between thirty and forty
thousand for the Chinese in the country.
In an independent
attempt to determine the entire foreign population of the
nation, the Department of Migration compiled a statistical
index of Mexico's foreigners by state in 1928.
They noted1
1.
For statistics by state of the Chinese popula­
tion in 1921 and 1930, see Appendix B, Table B.5.
201
202
24,218 Chinese, or sixteen per cent of all foreign resi­
dents .
Two aspects of the survey were revealing to the
anti-Chinese crusaders.
The Chinese comprised the second
largest foreign colony in Mexico, second only to that of
the Spanish.
Whereas the ratio of men to women for all
other foreigners varied from one to one, to three to one,
Chinese men outnumbered Chinese women by thirteen to one.
2
Thus the opponents of the Chinese presence were reinforced
in their contention that the Chinese population was
extremely large and a threat to native women as they brought
a few Chinese women with them.
Only in Baja California,
Sinaloa, and Sonora did the Chinese comprise more than
thirty per cent of all foreigners in the state.
In each of
these states the Chinese population was over fifty per cent
3
of the entire foreign population.
The large concentration
of Chinese on the northwest coast almost equalled that of
the Chinese in all the other states of Mexico in the 1920s.
Table 1 shows the Chinese population of these three states
in 1921, 1928, 1930, and 1940, and the ratio of these
figures to all the Chinese in Mexico.
Figure 6 indicates
centers of Chinese population in Mexico in 1920.2
3
2, Department of Migration list, 14 March 1928,
AGG, tomo 53 (1929); for statistics by sex of the foreign
population in 1928, see Appendix B, Table B.7.
3. Ibid; for statistics on the foreign population
by state, see Appendix B, Table B.8.
203
Table 1.
Number of Chinese in Northwest Mexico, 1921, 1928,
1930, 1940, and Ratio to Chinese in All Mexican
States^
1921
1928
1930
2,971
5,889
3,188
788
Sinaloa
1,040
2,019
2,127
283
Sonora
3,639
3,758
3,571
155
Total
7,640
11,666
8,886
1,226
48.0
47.0
18.0
State
Baja California
Per cent of
total Chinese
in Mexico
•
53.0
.
1940
^Compiled from statistics in AGG, tomo 53 (1929) .
STATES INDICATED BY NUMBERS
1 - FEDERAL DISTRICT.
2 - MORELOS
3 - PUEBLA
4 - TLAXCALA
5 HIDALGO
6 - MEXICO
7 - QUE RETARO
8 - GUANAJUATO
9 - AGUASCALIENTES
LEGEND
2305-4608
1153- 2304
INTAN A
ROO
577-1132
289
5 76
145- 2 8 8
1- 144
Mexico: Chinese Population by State, 1930
204
Figure 6.
205
According to these official national statistics the
Chinese population of Sonora fluctuated between 3,500 and
3,800 in the 1920s.
But Sonorans were not completely
satisfied with data that originated from the capital,
therefore they compiled their own statistical surveys.
In
1924 Governor Alejo Bay ordered a census of all Chinese in
the state to ascertain the characteristics of the state's
4
largest foreign minority.
At first Chinese refused to
answer the questionnaires because they feared this was the
initial step in another campaign against them.
threatened with heavy fines, they complied,^
But when
The census
officials, in a door-to-door survey, listed 3,339 Chinese
in Sonora in 1924.
As Table 2 shows, only five per cent
were women and ninety per cent were of working age.
Again,
the statistics reinforced the arguments of the nationalist
leagues who advocated the reduction of the Chinese threat
to domestic labor,
A second part of the survey indicated
the occupation of each Chinese.
Table 3 details the type
of employments pursued by the Chinese and the ratio of the
number in each area to the total number of Chinese
employed.
The labor force of 3,033 was almost equally4
5
4. Walterio Pesqueira to all Municipal Presidents,
17 December 1924, AGG, tomo 3659.
5. J. E, Montano, Municipal President, Cumpas, to
Governor, 30 December 1924, AGG, tomo 3659; Bay to Montano,
5 January 1925, ibid.
206
Table 2.
Chinese Population of Sonora by Sex, Age, Civil
Status, 1924a
Age
Sex
Men
Women
3,165
174
Total
3,339
to 15
15-30
31-45
46-60
60+
Status
221
724
1,706
627
61
single
married to Mexican
married to Chinese
widowed
divorced
3,339
1,751
166
1,341
76
5
3,339
^Compiled from census work sheets of all Sonoran
towns, 1924, AGG, tomo 3659; over 1,300 Chinese had wives
who still lived in China.
Table 3.
Chinese Population of Sonora by Occupation, 1924a
Occupation
Number in
occupation
Per cent of
total employed
Merchant
Laborer
Agriculture
Shoes/tailoring
Cook
Baker
Laundryman
Hotel/restaurant
Others
1,410
652
470
137
94
76
61
45
88
46.5
21.5
15.5
4.5
3.1
2.5
2.0
1.5
2.9
Total
3,033
100.0
^Compiled from census work sheets of all Sonoran
towns, 1924, AGG, tomo 3659.
207
divided between merchants and those in all other occupa­
tions.
Whatever field they pursued, the Chinese faced
criticisms from the Mexicans.
If they were laborers,
Mexicans charged that they worked at a lower salary, thus
forcing the Sonoran laborer out of jobs.
Chinese merchants
faced charges that they undersold the local businessmen and
ruined their business by unfair competition.
Under these
conditions the Sonorans claimed they found it difficult to
survive because they faced Chinese competition wherever
they turned, especially in the cities.
Although the Chinese
lived in ninety-three Sonoran towns, eighty per cent lived
in the twenty largest cities and mining areas.^
As Table 4
indicates, these towns contained over eighty-five per cent
of Sonora's Chinese merchants.
They were also the towns
where anti-Chinese activities were most intense.
Figure 7
shows centers of Chinese population in Sonora in 1924.
For Sonorans the 1924 census was no surprise.
They
had been complaining for forty years about the number and
economic position of the Chinese.
The new statistics merely
enunciated the need for corrective measures.
Thus addi7
tional surveys followed this initial census in 1924.
In6
7
6. For statistics on Chinese merchants in towns
with over 100 Chinese, see Appendix C, Table C.3; for
statistics on Chinese merchants in towns with 50 to 80
Chinese, see Appendix C, Table C.4^
7. For a town by town survey of merchants by
nationality, see Appendix C, Table C.5.
208
Table 4.
Chinese Merchants of: Sonora ini Ratio to Total
Chinese, 1924a
Per cent
of all
merchants
Size of town
Number of
Chinese
Per cent
of all
Chinese
Over 100 Chinese
1,922
57.6
952
67.5
50 to 80 Chinese
739
22.2
255
18.1
73 other towns
678
20.2
203
14.4
3,339
100.0
1,410
100.0
Total
Number of
merchants
^Compiled from census work sheets of all Sonoran
towns, 1924, AGG, tomo 3659.
209
ARIZONA
N OG A LE S
BAJA
■ A QUA
PRI ETA
C AN A NE A
MAGDALENA
frontera:
nacozari
HERMOSILLO
GUAY MAS
CALIFORNIA
NAVOJOA
LEGEND
SI NALOA
311 - 365
256-310
201-255
146-200
91-145
Figure 7.
Sonora: Towns with Over 90 Chinese, 1924
210
1924, the state Secretary of Interior requested information
on all merchants in Sonora, especially with reference to
their nationality.
8
Because the new survey counted only
owners of businesses, many Chinese, who were counted as
i
merchants in the 1924 census, failed to appear in the new
statistics.
According to the figures in Table 5 only one-
third of the Mexican merchants were owners of mixed
groceries.
Eighty-five per cent of the Chinese merchants
sold a diverse stock of goods in mixed grocery establish­
ments.
Although only forty per cent of the merchants of
the state were Chinese, they controlled sixty-five per cent
of the mixed grocery establishments.
They engaged in fewer
types of businesses, but offered a greater variety of goods
in their stores.
Table 6 shows their dominance of the
retail grocery trade and near parity with the Mexican
merchants of Sonora in absolute numbers.
By early 1925 many of the charges levied against the
Chinese seemed to have been proven.
Sonorans knew the size
of the Chinese colony, their number in the business com­
munity, and virtual control over the grocery trade.
But
official investigators had not yet finished with them.
In
April, 1925, the governor requested still another survey
when he asked for a list of all new businesses established
in Sonora in the past year.
He stressed the need for8
8, Circular #45 to all Municipal Presidents,
[1924], AGG, tomo 3660.
211
Table 5.
Merchants and Mixed Grocery Merchants of Sonora by
Nationality, 1924a
Type
Mexican
Chinese
Other
Merchant
763
685
131
Mixed grocery
257
588
48
Per cent of grocery
merchants of all
merchants
33.7
85.8
36.6
^Compiled from statistics in AGG, tomo 3660.
Table 6.
National Composition of Merchants and Grocery
Merchants of Sonora, 1924a
Nationality
Per cent of
merchants
Per cent of
grocers
Chinese
43.4
65.8
Mexican
48.3
28.8
8.3
5.4
100.0
100.0
Other
^Compiled from statistics in AGG, tomo 3660.
212
information on the nationality of each owner.
Among the new
businesses were twenty-eight Mexican and thirty-four
9
Chinese concerns.
This revelation prompted a new survey
of capital investment of Chinese and Mexicans in all phases
of the state's economic life.
Although Chinese investments
in industry were meager, they had sizeable holdings in land,
in addition to their mercantile establishments.^^
Table 7
indicates Chinese holdings in industry and land in 1925.
The survey of capital investment in mercantile
businesses showed that, although almost twice as many
Chinese were surveyed, their average investment was almost
one thousand pesos less."^
When the merchants are divided
into separate categories, as in Table 8, a different picture
emerges.
For investors of less than 5,000 pesos and 5,000
to 10,000 pesos, only a 400 peso difference existed between
the average investment by Mexicans and Chinese.
Among the
large investors, who invested over 10,000 pesos, Chinese
businessmen averaged over 2,000 pesos more each in invested
12
capital.
In a separate survey of several smaller towns,9
2
0
1
'
9. Circular #146 to all Municipal Presidents, 30
April 1925, AGG, tomo 3758; figures compiled from several
letters to the Secretary of Interior, Hermosillo, from
Municipal Presidents, ibid.
10.
11.
Table C.6.
12.
Compiled from statistics in AGG, tomo 3758.
For a breakdown by town, see Appendix C,
Compiled from statistics in AGG, tomo 3758.
Table 7.
Mexican and Chinese Capital Investment in Industry and Other Property in
Sonora, 1925a
Industry
Nationality
Number
Mexican
112
Chinese
21
Other property
Investment
Average
1,535,513b
11,921b
c
2,526
91
53,050
Number
Investment
c
355,082
Average
c
3,900
^Compiled from statistics in AGG, tomo 3758.
In pesos.
cNot available.
213
Table 8.
Capital Investment of Over 10,000 Pesos by Chinese and Mexicans in
Mercantile Businesses in Sonora, 1925a
Mexican
Chinese
Number
Capital
Average
Number
5-10,000
19
113,400
5,968
25
158,500
6,340
10,000+
17
523,000
30,059
13
408,300
31,984
Others
204
307,140
1,505
420
809,570
1,928
Total
240
943,540
3,932
458
1,376,370
3,005
Type (in pesos)
Capital
Average
aFor statistics of capital investment of 5,000 to 10,000 pesos by town,
see Appendix C, Table C,7; for figures of investments over 10,000 pesos, see
Appendix C, Table C,8,
214
215
investigators checked local treasuries to ascertain annual
sales of all establishments.
In the fragmentary returns
the average Chinese sales of 6,064 pesos almost doubled the
Mexican total of 3,280 pesos in merchandise sold each
year.
Although investments in their respective
businesses were almost equal, Chinese outsold their
Mexican competition with lower prices and a wider variety
of goods,
A later investigation of Mexican and Chinese
businesses in Naco reinforced this assessment of the
Chinese position.
In businesses exclusive of cantinas,
the Chinese merchants outsold their Mexican competitors
four to one.
They also owned all the grocery stores in
14
the town.
There was no doubt, despite exaggerations, that
the Chinese did a thriving business in Sonora.
They
comprised a high percentage of the merchants of the state,
although they were only a fraction of the population.
The
Chicago Daily Tribune reported in 1928 that Chinese
interests in Mexico’s Pacific coast states were in the
millions of dollars.^
Fragmentary returns of local land1
5
4
3
13. For statistics on these annual sales in 1925,
see Appendix C, Table C.9.
14. A. H. Hernandez, Treasury Agent, Naco, to
Governor, 22 March 1928, AGG, tomo 91 (1928); for the
statistics by type of business, see Appendix C, Table C.10.
15.
The Chicago Daily Tribune, 13 March 1928.
216
assessments in Sonora for 1927 showed Chinese were assessed
for almost one million pesos.
But this was only one-tenth
of the total for Mexicans in the same towns.^
A federal
survey of only three cities in Nayarit, Sinaloa, and Sonora
in 1927 reinforced the Tribune1s allegations.
The
statisticians chose Acaponeta in Nayarit, MazatlSn in
Sinaloa, and Guaymas in Sonora for their analysis of capital
investment of over 5,000 pesos in mercantile establish­
ments.
The survey divided the investments by nationality.
Although Chinese and Japanese were combined in the totals,
the figures are indicative of the position Mexican
businesses occupied in the face of foreign competition.
In
both Acaponeta and Guaymas the Chinese and Japanese were
second only to the Mexicans in investments of over 5,000
pesos in mercantile establishments.
In Mazatl&n their
17
investment was almost three million pesos,
Using the
Mexican investment as a base of 100, Table 9 indicates the
relative position of Asian businessmen.
In all three cities
these foreigners were first in investments among the foreign
colony.
And in Mazatlcin they had investments two and a half1
7
6
16. For 1927 assessments of Chinese, see Appendix
C, Table C.11? for a sample declaration of a valuation
official, see Declaration of J. C. Araiza, Evaluation
Official, Navojoa, 13 December 1927, AGG, tomo 3 (19271.
17. For the statistics by nationality, see
Appendix C, Table C.12.
217
Table 9.
Ratio of Foreign Investment to Mexican Investment
in Guaymas, MazatlSn, Acoponeta, 1926a
Guaymas
Nationality
Mexican
Chinese/Japanese
German
United States
Spanish
Syrian/Lebanese
French
English
Others
100.00
66.37
1.75
26.20
34.93
3.49
8.73 •
4.37
0.00
MazatlSn
Acoponeta
100.00
244.96
229.83
165.55
58.82
18.91
0.00
0.00
2.94
100.00
40.34
6.90
0.00
0.00
20.69
0.00
0.00
0.00
aMSxico, Department© de la Estadistica Nacional,
Sonora, Sinaloa y Nayarit, Ano de 1927 (Mexico: Imprenta
Mundial, 1928), pp. 376-377.
times as large as their Mexican competition.
Despite their
small numbers they posed a powerful threat to domestic
merchants on the northwest coast.
Among the powerful
Chinese competitors was Juan Lung Tain, who remained one of
the richest Chinese in Sonora.
His average annual sales
were over 100,000 pesos as he was one of the biggest
receivers of goods at the port of Guaymas.
Table 10 reveals
the magnitude of this trade for the period January to
August, 1924.
Local officials in Guaymas watched the ship
and railroad manifests carefully and reported the merchandise
218
Table 10.
Merchandise Received by Juan Lung Tain at
Guaymas, January to August, 1924s
Product
Number of
railroad cars
Coffee
Sugar
Rice
Corn
Bran
Butter
Beans
Wheat
Anchovies
Cement
Others
2
4
4
4
5
2
1
7
2
0
13
Sacks
8,885
1,000
360
85
0
2,580
537
775
300
1,340
5,000+
^Compilation of records in enclosures in J. Manzo,
Contador, Guaymas, to Interim Secretary of Interior,
Hermosillo, 27 August 1924, AGG, tomo 3668, expediente 2913,
he received and its distribution to his branch stores
throughout the state.
18
With such tremendous stocks of goods available the
Chinese were formidable competitors for the Mexicans.
They
also had large cash reserves saved over the last four
decades of their residence in Sonora.
With ready cash,
credit reserves and extremely well organized commercial
cooperative organizations, the Chinese successfully outsold1
8
18,
Walterio Pesqueira to Alejandro C, Villasenor,
Assessor, Hermosillo, 30 August 1924, AGG, tomo 3668,
expediente 2913? for the distribution of these goods to
his stores in Magdalena, Santa Ana, and Estacidn Llano, see
Appendix C, Table C.13.
219
their Mexican competition.
In addition the Chinese spent
little on food, rent, and families, thus leaving a larger
reserve of profits for reinvestment or remittance to China
for political purposes or retirement in old age,
W. M.
Cousins,.who observed the Chinese in the Caribbean in 1926,
noted that the only ostensible sign of wealth among the
Chinese in the islands was a new car.
19
In Sonora in 1924
fiscal agents reported 1,352 automobiles registered in the
state.
Forty of these belonged to Chinese, among them the
largest Chinese businessmen in the state.
20
In his analysis
of the businesses of Nacozari de Garcia in 1924, the
municipal president complained that "all the Mexican
businesses are small; all the Chinese large."
21
This was the economic power that the anti-Chinese
campaign of 1922 to 1926 attempted to eliminate.
The
campaign was only partially successful in Sonora, but it
22
had gained new adherents in other parts of Mexico.1
0
2
9
19, W. M. Cousins, "Chinese in the Caribbean," The
Living Age, CCCXXXII (1 January 1927), p. 18; W. M. Cousins,
"The Chinese in the Caribbean," The Contemporary Review,
CXXX (November, 1926), p. 635.
20. Undersecretary of Industry, Commerce and Labor,
Mexico, to Governor, 14 May 1924, AGG, tomo 3659; report of
J. F. Astiazar&n, Fiscal Agent, Hermosillo, 1 October 1924,
ibid.
21. Municipal President, Nacozari, to Secretary of
Government, 19 June 1924, AGG, tomo 3758.
22. H. C. Mendez, President, Anti-Chinese
Committee, Torre6n, to Governor, Hermosillo, 28 June 1926,
AGG, tomo 20 (1926); for the growth of the anti-Chinese
220
Within the state violence remained a popular method of
harassing the Chinese.
The CalderSn episode indicated the
intensity of anti-Chinese feeling in some areas.
But Alejo
Bay's tenure as governor (1923-1927) was characterized by
increased legal impediments on the lawbooks and tremendous
economic growth of the Chinese.
New health regulations,
immigration restrictions, barrio laws and prohibitions on
mixed marriages all became law during Bay's tenure.
At the
same time Chinese investments, sales, and wealth increased
until they dominated mercantile activities and virtually
controlled the retail grocery trade of the state.
Despite
laws, virulent defamatory attacks, violent measures, and
official assistance, the committees and agitators failed to
oust the Chinese from Sonora.
As in previous years the
power of Chinese tax money and contributions proved an
effective weapon.
23
Control over the grocery trade,
combined with the lack of Mexican capital to replace it,
also aided in defeating the campaign.^
Conscious of their2
4
3
campaign in Torredn, see Yost to the Secretary of State,
NA 704.9312/23; RDS 812.4016/9, 10, 11, reel 143; RDS
812.404/255, reel 144.
23. Author's correspondence of October, 1973, with
Mrs. Herbert Sidney Bursley, widow of Herbert Sidney
Bursley, former United States Consul, Guaymas.
24, For an opinion that French merchants provided
money for the campaign, see William D, Maxwell, United
States Vice Consul, Guaymas, to the Secretary of State, 28
July 1925, RDS 812.4016/13, reel 143; for an opinion that
Russians from Esnsenada incited anti-Chinese riots in
221
international position and prestige, the national government
was not yet ready to prohibit immigration or to allow any
violent campaign to cause a repeat of the Torredn massacre.
Aided by their own organization, cooperation and financial
power in combination with the venality and divisions among
the opposition, the Chinese survived the 1925-1926
Calderdn-Espinoza campaign as they had the Arana campaign.
They outlived both the legal and violent crusades of the
first half of the 1920s.
Thus they were able to forestall
violent campaigns and expulsion for another five years.
Hermosillo, see John Q, Wood, United States Consul,
Veracruz, to the Secretary of State, 12 September 1925,
RDS 812,4016/15, reel 143.
CHAPTER 8
EXPULSION
In 1925 another electoral campaign began in Sonora.
The two major candidates were former governor Francisco S.
Ellas and General Fausto Topete.
Calles supported the
former while 0breg6n supported Topete.
When the election
approached, 0breg6n sent 15,000 troops under General
Francisco Manzo to the state for the ostensible purpose of
subduing the Yaquis.
The presence of these troops, who
voted in the election, ensured Topete’s victory.
He con­
tinued the campaign against the Chinese, but with less vigor
than his predecessors.
Early campaigns centered around
threats of racial contamination .^1
1.
State Congress to Governor, 30 April 1928, AGG,
tomo 17 (1928); Boletin Oficial (Hermosillo), 30 May 1928;
Herbert S. Bursley, United States Consul, Guaymas, to the
Secretary of State, 16 June 1928, DS 712,932/0, reel 2; for
an opinion that this racial mixture was the most important
problem on a "totally yellow" Pacific coast, see Gustavo
Durdn Gonzalez, Problemas migratorios de Mexico (Mexico;
Talleres de la Camara de Diputados, 1925), pi 129; for an
analysis of a similar problem with the Chinese "fifth
column" of racial inferiorities and disabilities, see
Emilio Uribe Romo, "La poblaciSn de Sinaloa en el tiempo
y en el espacio," in Antonio Pompa y Pompa, editor,
Memories y revista del congreso mexicano de historia;
estudios histbricos de Sinaloa, 2 vols,, Congreso Mexicana
de Historia, IT (Mexico: n.p., 1960), I, pp. 264-265.
222
223
The National Pro-Racial League of Sonora led the
opposition.
The League upheld the need for foreigners in
Mexico, but only those with capital, not exploiters like
the Chinese.
To defend native labor they demanded the end
of Chinese immigration.
In a flyer the committee called
2
for unity and cooperation of all to oust the Chinese.
L. M. Shen Ming, Chinese Consul in Nogales, immediately
protested the flyer and the meeting.
Speakers insulted
Chinese and encouraged the listeners to extort money from
them.
Shen Ming praised "as a noble end," efforts of the
committee to unite the workers for the betterment of the
race.
But he objected to the anti-Chinese slurs.
He
reminded the governor of past campaigns and of the
deleterious effects Arana's speeches had on the Chinese.
Shen Ming also stressed Calles1 exhortations to Bay in
1925 to prevent violence.^
The consul failed to comprehend
why the league existed, since its two programs were
unnecessary.
Immigration restrictions on Chinese labor
and laws that prohibited marriages of Chinese and Mexicans
existed in the state.
Then why was the league adamant in
its opposition to the Chinese?
As the consul probed more2
3
2. El Siglo (Agua Prieta), 8 December 1928; Flyer,
National Pro-Racial League, Navojoa, 30 December 1928, AGG,
tomo 15 (1929).
3. L. M, Shen Ming, Chinese Provisional Consul
General, Nogales, to Governor, 7 January 1929, AGG, tomo
15 (1929) .
224
deeply into the matter he equated Arana's campaign with the
new one in Navojoa.
He said Arana carried out his crusade
for one purpose, to extort money from the Chinese.
It
seemed to him as if the new campaign were aimed at the same
end.
Shen Ming then requested the governor order,all to
4
obey the law.
On 14 January the governor ordered Navojoa
groups to stay within the law and prevent violence.^
Topete's order reflected President Calles* position
in 1928.
As negotiations on the oil issue proceeded, Calles
advocated a more moderate policy.
Moderation on the part of
the United States reached its apogee with the appointment of
Dwight Morrow as Ambassador to Mexico.
a modification of Calles' stand.
This coincided with
Economic dislocation
caused by the Cristero Rebellion and the loss of large oil
revenues precipitated this change.
The conciliation of the
Mexican and United States bankers in 1925 left the oilmen
with no allies, thus they acquiesed to the new Petroleum
Law of December, 1925.
The law renewed concessions which
had been improved on before 1 May 1917.
All others were
subject to national control, but owners could receive
thirty-year leases.
Although Calles allowed the foreign
oilmen to retain their holdings, he still stressed national4
5
4.
Ibid.
5. LizSrraga to Shen Ming, 14 January 1929, AGG,
tomo 15 (1929); for the continuation of the campaign against
intermarriages, see El Intruso (Cananea), 8, 10 March 1929,
225
regulation of the economy and national control of natural
resources,
In 1926 Calles prepared for the election of his
successor.
Two amendments to the constitution, non-
consecutive reelection of a president and a six-year term,
were passed by the congress.
Thus the way was paved for
Obregdn*s election in July, 1928.
But on 17 July a Catholic
fanatic assassinated the recently elected Obregdn.
This
immediately was the signal for opposition to Calles, who
many accused of ordering Obregdn1s assassination.
Calles
then designated the Governor of Tamaulipas, Emilio Fortes
Gil, as provisional president.
in Sonora and Veracruz.
Opposition rose immediately
Nominally a repudiation of Fortes
Gil, the opposition was in reality an attack on the position
of Calles and his control of Mexico,
On 3 March 1929, in
the Plan of Hermosillo, General Francisco Manzo, Governor
Fausto Topete, Senator Alejo Bay, General Jose Escobar and
a host of others, repudiated the presidency of Fortes Gil.
These men condemned Plutarco Ellas Calles for the assassina­
tion of Alvaro ObregSn and the creation of a puppet regime
under Fortes Gil,
Under the cry "Down with the Predominance
of Plutarco Ellas Calles," the group went into open
rebellion.^6
6.
Plan de Hermosillo, 3 March 1929, AGG, tomo 7
(1929); El Pueblo (Hermosillo), 4 March 1929? La Reata
(Hermosillo), 4 March 1929; La Gaceta (Guaymas), 4 March
19.29; GonzSlez Ramirez, Planes politicos, pp, 295-300,
226
The uprising in Sonora and Sinaloa cut off railroad
communications , which hurt Chinese business,
This worried
them less than did the possibility of bodily harm.
Among
the first threats to the Chinese were forced loans and the
loss of merchandise.
General Manzo demanded considerable
sums from the three largest Chinese businesses in Guaymas.
Juan Lung Tain, Fupau Brothers, and On Ching paid over
4,750 pesos in forced loans and lost over 7,200 pesos in
merchandise in Guaymas alone.
Since the total loan assessed
for the town was 20,000 pesos, these three bore a con7
siderable share of the burden.
In Ciudad Obregon, Manzo
levied a loan of 50,000 pesos on the town.
Au Sap, Ching
Chong, and Cinco Brothers bore 10,000 of the total.
They
feared for their lives since they had no such cash available.
When they appealed for aid, E. W. Eaton, United States Vice
Consul, extended unofficial good offices, and, if necessary,
the use of a refugee camp on the beach covered by the guns
of the USS Robert Smith.
The revolt then settled down to a
series of destructive raids by Manzo *s forces until his
eventual defeat.
8
United States companies lost property and7
8
7, A. S . Hooe, merchant, MazatlSn, to Carr Brothers,
factory representatives, n.d., in Hooe to William P.
Blocker, United States Consul, Mazatlan, 29 March 1929,
NA 312.93/243; Bursley to the Secretary of State, 5 April
1929, NA 312.93/242.
8. E, W. Eaton, United States Vice Consul, Ciudad
Obregdn, to the Secretary of State, 7 April 1929, NA
312,93/246; for daily accounts of Francisco Manzo’s revolt,
see El Pueblo (Hermosillo), 4 March, to 1 May 1929,
227
valuables in the revolt, but Chinese suffered heavily
through demands for cash and merchandise, in addition to
outright thefts.
Juan Lung Tain and Fupau Brothers suffered
the greatest losses, again because they were the largest
firms.
q
Under General LSzaro CSrdenas the federals defeated
the Manzo-Escobar revolt by 1 May 1929.
Manzo, Topete,
Escobar, and Bay all fled.
After the revolt, Francisco S. Ellas again assumed
office as governor to replace the now-defunct Topete regime.
Having lost the 1927 election to Topete, Ellas now succeeded
him on 10 May 1929 as provisional governor.
for the Chinese.
in 1927.
This boded ill
Ellas campaigned on anti-Chinese programs
When he lost, his followers, who called themselves
the 11Guarache," continued the anti-Chinese tenets of his
program.
They became the staunch supporters of Ellas and
his successor, Rodolfo Ellas Calles, when these two men
tried to destroy the position of the Chinese in Sonora.
On the eve of this new campaign in Sonora, two
United States consuls in Mexico assessed the status of the
Chinese.
In their studies, John Jones, United States Vice9
0
1
9, Eaton to the Secretary of State, 4 May 1929,
NA 312.93/253; Bursley to the Secretary of State, 7 May
1929, NA 312.93/254.
10, The New York Times, 27 April 1929; El Pueblo
(Hermosillo), 1 May 1929.
11, Jos6 AbrSham Mendlvil, Cuarenta ahos de
polltica en Sonora (Hermosillo: n.p,, 1965), pp, 17, 23,
45-46; Las Noticias (Guadalajara), 23 July 1929.
228
Consul in Mexico, alluded to characteristics of the Chinese
in Mexico.
Mexicans.
They monopolized trade and competed with the
But they were absolutely neutral in politics.
Therefore, both consuls concluded that there was no real
threat to the Chinese since their presence was "looked upon
by the native element as a natural condition."
12
This
proved to be an unrealistic assessment because Mexicans on
the northwest coast felt differently.
Sonorans saw a
dangerous precedent set by Chinese who laughed at Mexico's
laws, thus they renewed demands for immigration restric­
tion.^^
Efforts to achieve restrictions faltered as Mexico
entered the Great Depression.
With the depression came
closing of the mines, unemployment, and economic crisis, and
an economic standstill in the United States forced thousands
14
of Mexicans to return home.
12. John E. Jones, United States Vice Consul, Agua
Prieta, to United States Consul General, Mexico, 30 April
1928, RDS 812.5593/59, reel 204; Reed Paige Clark, United
States Consul, Mexico, to the Secretary of State, 5 June
1928, RDS 812.5593/61.
13. Mexico, Secretaria de Gobernacidn, Memoria que
comprende el periodo del lo de agosto de 1929 al 31 de julio
de 1930, presentada al H, Congreso de la Uni6n por el
secretario del ramo C. Carlos Riva Palacio (Mexico: Talleres*
4
1
Gr&ficos de la Nacidn, 1930), p. 27.
14. Abraham Hoffman, "Mexican Repatriation
Statistics: Some Suggested Alternatives to Carey McWilliams,"
The Western Historical Quarterly, III (October, 1972), p.
399; Abraham Hoffman, Unwanted Mexican Americans in the
Great Depression: Repatriation Pressures, 1929-1939 (Tucson:
University of Arizona Press, 1974), pp. 174-175; Brewery
Gulch Gazette (Bisbee, Arizona), 3 April 1931; for statistics
229
As the economic depression deepened in Sonora,
officials faced three interrelated problems with the peso,
unemployment, and the Chinese.
The value of the peso
p l u m m e t e d . W i t h the return of thousands of Mexicans from
the United States, unemployment rose drastically.
And in
the midst of the crisis the Chinese continued to prosper
and dominate commerce.
The most logical solution to the
problems of revenue for state coffers, employment for
Mexicans, and a final resolution of the Chinese menace was
to force the latter to comply with the laws.
This situation confronted Francisco Ellas as he
assumed office, and he created public works projects to
employ many repatriated Mexicans.
Among other possible
solutions to the problem, Elias stressed the need to
enforce existing legislation that regulated the position of
the Chinese,
Already on the books were Article 106 of the
1919 Labor Law which required that eighty per cent of all
employees be Mexicans, and the 1923 laws that created
Chinese barrios and prohibited marriages between Chinese
and Mexicans.
During the last six months of 1930, Ellas and
his Secretary of Government, Abelardo B. Sobarzo, reiterated1
6
5
on the repatriation of Mexicans from the United States, see
Appendix A, Table A.8 and Table A.9; for the emigration of
Chinese during this period, see Appendix A, Table A.7.
15.
Christian Science Monitor (Boston), 19 May 1931.
16.
Espinoza, El ejemplo de Sonora, p, 49.
230
previous regulations to weaken the Chinese and to aid native
labor and business.
Sanitary regulations passed in January, 1929, were
ineffective, therefore Ellas created a new sanitary service
to enforce all health regulations.
17
Under the leadership
of the new Director General of Public Health, Antonio
Quiroga, sanitary inspectors enforced these laws.
By
forcing the Chinese to live outside their shops, the state
hoped to generate more income for the populace from rents.
And with the prohibitions on sales of a variety of goods in
a single store, they hoped to create more stores, preferably
run by Mexicans.
And finally, the enforcement of the 1919
Labor Law was essential to reduce Mexican unemployment.
18
Although they pressed the Chinese on all fronts,
Ellas and Sobarzo concentrated heavily on the 1923 law that
prohibited Chinese-Mexican marriages.
On 7 October 1930,
Ellas reiterated the law in a circular to all municipal
presidents.
The law also included naturalized Mexicans and
illicit unions.
Fines for offenses ranged from one hundred
to 1,000 pesos.
Ellas told his minions to initiate an1
8
7
17. Circular #153 to all Municipal Presidents, 27
May 1930, AGG, Bound Circulars, 1930; for a summary of
previous health regulations that Ellas hoped to enforce, see
Charles C. Cumberland, "The Sonora Chinese and the Mexican
Revolution," The Hispanic American Historical Review, XL
(May, I960), p. 201.
18. Antonio Quiroga, Director General of Public
Health, Circulars, 29 October, 11 November 1930, Hermosillo,
in Espinoza, El ejemplo de Sonora, pp. 65, 67-68.
231
active campaign to apprehend and fine all Chinese who lived
with or were married to Mexican girls.
19
To assist in
preventing infractions of the law, Ellas ordered all keepers
of vital records to inform their municipal president of any
woman who appeared to register a child born of a Chinese
father.
20
Local municipal presidents, aided by informants,
pursued this campaign until a bombardment of protests forced
Ellas to reconsider the full ramifications of enforcement of
this law.
Overzealous supporters of Ellas carried out his
orders to the letter.
Thus the campaign caused considerable
disruption, especially among the Chinese with families.
Ellas saw that full application of the law to Chinese family
units was inimicable to the development of the children.
The Chinese-Mexican child would lose paternal guidance and
the family would suffer great hardships, if the state
21
deprived the family of the Chinese father.
Faced with
these considerations, Ellas decided to reconsider the law
in November, 1930.
Cognizant of the hardships the law
produced, Ellas planned new legislation to treat this
problem.
Meanwhile he would exercise the "most elemental
human sentiments" and permit the continuation of these1
0
2
9
19. Circular #277 to all Municipal Presidents, 7
October 1930, AGG, Bound Circulars, 1930.
20. Circular #278 to all Keepers of Vital Records,
7 October 1930, AGG, Bound Circulars, 1930,
21. Circular #308 to all Municipal Presidents, 13
November 1930, AGG, Bound Circulars, 1930.
232
family units.
Despite this reprieve, he ordered the full
application of the law for the "complete and absolute
dissolution" of all legal and illicit Chinese-Mexican
22
unions that had no children.
Despite grandiose schemes and rhetoric, Ellas’
campaign sputtered with occasional setbacks, until the
23
spring of 1931.
As the world economic depression
intensified and unemployment increased, he took action to
increase employment for Mexicans.
Ready at hand was the
eighty per cent provision of the 1919 Labor Law, which he
revived in a circular on 18 M a rch.^
Under the cry "Out
with the Chinese to employ Mexicans," Sonorans envisioned
jobs as a result of the eighty per cent provision of
Article 106.2
25
4
3
2
Again the Chinese attempted to circumvent the law.
To exempt themselves from compliance with the law, they
said they had no employees,
They were either owners or
associates; therefore, the law had no effect on them.
The
legislature immediately passed an amendment to reform
22,
Ibid.
23, For attempts by Cananea merchants to invite
capital investment from other states, see La Frontera:
Organo de la C&mara Nacional del Comercio de Ciudad
Jflarez (Ciudad JGarez), January 1931,
24. Circular #68 to all Municipal Presidents, 18
March 1931, AGG, Bound Circulars, 1931,
25.
El Sol (Monterrey), 20 May 1931.
233
Article 106.
To eliminate the loopholes, a law of 13 May
1931 added naturalized Mexicans and associates to those
owners who were required to employ eighty per cent domestic
n z*
labor.
In June, Ellas added one more check on the
Chinese inclinations to disobey the law.
Chinese, faced
with fines and closing for non-compliance with Article 106,
began employing female labor because they received a smaller
wage,
Ellas banned employment of women in any business
owned by Chinese.
The circular also gave the Chinese an
extension to comply with the law.
27
In August, 1931, the campaign to force Chinese
compliance with the laws intensified.
As the Chinese
hurried to liquidate their businesses, several chambers of
commerce in the state became alarmed.
To solve the threats
to creditors, these chambers requested intervention rights
in liquidation procedures.
One of their suggestions was
to inform all chambers of commerce of the liquidations so
28
they could collect any debts owed them by Chinese.2
8
7
6
26. Ley #89, 13 May 1931, AGG, Bound Laws, 1931;
for continued advertisements by the Chinese firms of Juan
Lung Tain, Manuel Chuy, and Sin Lee, despite the crises,
see El Mayo (Navojoa), 23 April 1931.
27. Circular #141 to all Municipal Presidents, 22
June 1931, AGG, Bound Circulars, 1931.
28. The New York Times, 10 August 1931; Boletin
Comercial (Chihuahua), 15 August 1931; for a $15,000 debt of
Chinese in Sonora to a Douglas, Arizona wholesale firm, see
Douglas Daily Dispatch. (Douglas, Arizona), 1 September 1931;
tor reports that Chinese owed Mexicans four million pesos in
debts, see Brewery Gulch Gazette (Bisbee, Arizona), 31 July
1931.
234
Chinese resisted attempts to force them out of
Sonora.
In addition to bribing officials, they also
resorted to economic sanctions.
The first method, bribes,
failed because the pressures of unemployment and antiChinese agitation were too great to overcome.
Voluntary
closings to prevent compliance with Article 106 and to avoid
forced liquidation comprised the economic sanctions.
Closings cut local revenue drastically and removed produce
for the survival of the local populations.
Conscious of
their economic power, the Chinese hoped to end the campaign.
Instead, Elias lamented their closings which produced
scarcities.
Thus, he ordered the Chinese to liquidate their
entire stocks and leave the state by 5 September 1931.
29
Samuel Young, Chinese Minister in Mexico, protested against
these actions to Foreign Relations and to Porter Gil's
sucessor, President Pascual Ortiz Rubio.
Although Ortiz
Rubio promised protection for the Chinese, J, Reuben Clark,
United States Ambassador to Mexico, believed this was only
a token response.
Clark believed the federal government2
9
29.
Espinoza, El ejemplo de Sonora, p. 118;
Circular #194 to all Municipal Presidents, 25 August 1931,
AGO, Bound Circulars, 1931; R. Roosmale Keprene, Dutch
Ambassador, Mexico, to Foreign Minister, 30 September 1931,
AR, Archief van het Kabinet, gezantschepsrapporten, LatinAmerica, 1930-1931.
235
was powerless to prevent or control the anti-Chinese
activities in Sonora,
During the last five days of August, Chinese began
to abandon their properties.
In the Agua Prieta area the
Chinese, who raised almost all the produce there, relin­
quished their land to the Mexican cattlemen from whom they
had leased it.
With this transfer and the closing of stores
in the towns, food again became scarce.
Local observers
hoped that the thousands of repatriated Mexicans would move
into abandoned Chinese stores.
31
The expulsion decree prompted many Chinese to close
their shops and to sell all their goods.
arose.
But here problems
The decree denied them all but a few personal
possessions.
If they sold out and took the money, Mexico
would gain little.
Therefore many towns denied Chinese the
right to wholesale their goods.
Also many refused to buy
from the Chinese as they considered him an illegitimate
owner.
By the end of August the campaign forced many
Chinese to close and Sonora moved toward removal of its
32
Chinese population.3
2
1
0
30. Paak-shing Wu, "China's Diplomatic Relations,"
p. 18; J. Reuben Clark, United States Ambassador, Mexico, to
the Secretary of State, 26 August 1931, NA 312.93/259; The
New York Times, 30 August 1931.
31. Douglas Daily Dispatch (Douglas, Arizona), 27,
29 August 1931; The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), 29 August
1931.
32. Douglas Daily Dispatch (Douglas, Arizona), 29
August 1931; Excelsior (Mexico), 31 August 1931.
236
Minister Young, admitting defeat, petitioned the
United States to allow Chinese to cross the border without
passports.
Although the exclusion act prohibited this
practice, the Labor Department allowed the Chinese to enter
the United States in transit and under bond.
Applications
for this privilege, made at the border, carried a nine-day
limit to travel by train to San Francisco.
The railroad
bore the responsibility to deliver all Chinese to that port.
The Chinese Minister suggested this transit privilege as "a
precautionary measure to save the Mexican Government
embarrassment if it fails to afford protection promised to
the Chinese."
33
In addition to attempts to secure the
safety of the refugees, China also continued its protests to
Ortiz Rubio.
To help solve the controversy, China decided
to seek the mediation of a third power.
As the date neared
for the expulsion of the Chinese, Chinese diplomatic
personnel reported relations near the breaking point.
Therefore, China sought United States m e d i a t i o n . I n the
midst of the crisis, the federal government ordered the new3
4
33. The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), 1 September
1931? The New York Times, 1 September 1931.
34, Excelsior (Mexico), 3 September 1931; El Sol
(Monterrey), 3 September 1931.
237
governor, Rodolfo Ellas Calles, to order a temporary halt to
the expulsion.
Calles did so on 3 September.
35
Despite the order, the exodus of Chinese continued.
Chinese diplomatic protests also proceeded.
The United
States promised its unofficial good offices if China
petitioned for this aid.
Temporary transit of Chinese to
San Francisco was one part of these good offices.
To
extricate itself from further involvement, the United States
claimed it would mediate only if both parties accepted her
good o f f i c e s , M e x i c o criticized China's petition for
Washington's aid as "unwarranted because of its impudence."
37
China was in an unenviable diplomatic position in September,
1931,
Although the United States granted entrance and
transit privileges, it refused to intervene or mediate
unless both parties agreed.
Mexico adamantly refused.
Moreover, Mexico traded very little with China.
This
deprived China of aiding its nationals in Mexico with trade
reprisals.
Because there were only a handful of Mexicans
in China, it had no lever to threaten Mexico.
Finally,3
7
6
5
35. The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), 4 September
1931? The New York Times, 4 September 1931; "Mexico,"
Time, XVIII (14 September 1931), p. 23.
36. El Porvenir (Monterrey), 4, 11 September 1931;
The New York Times, 11 September 1931; La Prensa (Mexico),
12 September 1931.
37. The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), 5 September
1931; San Francisco Chronicle, 5 September 1931.
238
Mexico was not a member of the League of Nations, which
deprived China of an international forum for its protests.
38
Beset by these problems, China continued her pro­
tests to Mexico via diplomatic channels.
But she also
sanctioned other petitions to Ortiz Rubio from private
Chinese citizens' groups.
The Chinese Students' Club and
the American Friends of China commissioned Paul Linebarger,
president of the latter, to plea the Chinese case before
Ortiz Rubio.
Soon Linebarger officially represented the
Chinese government and attempted to prevent more expulsions.
39
Meanwhile, China denounced the expulsion as an
act of barbarism.
On both sides of the Pacific the press
anticipated a break between the two powers.
Mexicans hoped
this would be a partial solution to the Chinese problem.
Chinese papers were more strident in their denunciations of
Mexico.
Sin Wan Pao claimed expulsion was the economic
device Mexico employed to aid her workers, who were too lazy
to compete with the Chinese.
Both the Central Daily News
(Nanking) and the Republican Daily News (Shanghai) casti­
gated Mexico for barbaric acts.
apology and restitution.
The latter demanded an
The China Times of Shanghai3
9
8
38. For Mexico's admission to the League of Nations
on 11 September 1931, see Excelsior (Mexico), 13 September
1931,
39, Douglas Daily Dispatch (Douglas, Arizona), 6
September 1931; Excelsior (Mexico), 7 September 1931; La
Prensa (Mexico), 8 September 1931? El Sol (Monterrey) , 8
September 1931.
239
suggested a gunboat visit Mexico to reprimand ex-president
40
Calles, who supported the anti-Chinese forces.
But China
was in no position to enforce sanctions on Mexico.
She had
no trade to curtail, no Mexicans to harass, and a myriad of
internal problems.
Disastrous floods in August, and
September, 1931, left thousands homeless and millions with­
out food.
She also faced a revolt in August and a new civil
war in September.
concerns.
affairs.
Flood*relief and war comprised her main
This left little time and energy for Mexican
With the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in
September, 1931, China left the Chinese in Mexico to their
own f a t e , ^
The Chinese in Sonora continued to close their
establishments and to leave Sonora in early September,
1931,
42
The Douglas Daily Dispatch reported that Mexicans
moved into abandoned Chinese stores in Agua Prieta.
The
paper believed these stores would fail if all the Chinese
left, because Mexicans lacked business ability.
Although
the Agua Prieta lower class was jubilant, Douglas, Arizona,
merchants were upset because their meat and vegetable4
2
1
0
40. "Mexico Relaxes on Chinese Exclusion Order,"
The China Weekly Review, Shanghai (19 September 19311,
p, 98? "Why Mexico Expels the Chinese," The Literary Digest,
CX (26 September 1931) , p. 14.
41. Douglas Daily Dispatch (Douglas, Arizona), 3,
5, 10 September 1931.
42. Lewis Boyle, United States Consul, Agua Prieta,
to the Secretary of State, 1 September 1931, NA 312.93/260,
240
business was with the Chinese.
They were about to lose
steady suppliers and good credit risks.
Despite the .
expulsion order, very few Chinese left Agua Prieta.
As the
date for the expulsion approached, the town was tense.
But
Calles1 modification of the order extended the time limit
and reduced the tension.
43
In the rest of the state the Chinese were near panic
as Mexicans forced them to the border or to MazatlSn.
On
2 September forty-nine Chinese left Nogales for San
Francisco by train.
This was only the first contingent of
Chinese headed for China. The next day sixty more
44
followed.
They fled several towns in Sonora and Sinaloa
while Mexicans seized their property.
45
By 3 September El Porvenir of Monterrey reported
over 1,000 Chinese awaiting deportation in both Nogales and
Mazatl&n.
The paper stressed the successful conclusion of
the campaign to control the retail grocery trade in Sinaloa
and Sonora with the expulsion of the Chinese.
Ousted from
their homes, forced to sell at a loss and unable to remove
their possessions, the Chinese were a miserable spectacle4
5
3
43. Douglas Daily Dispatch (Douglas, Arizona), 1,
3, 4 September 1931,
44. San Francisco Chronicle, 2 September 1931; The
Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), 3 September 1931.
45. Douglas Daily Dispatch (Douglas, Arizona), 3
September 1931; The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), 3 September
1931; Christian Science Monitor (Boston), 4 September 1931.
241
in Sonora in early September.
Over 300 Chinese waited
deportation procedures in Arizona jails, while special
trains traveled throughout Sonora to carry others to
MazatlSn or Nogales.
Residents loaded the Chinese in
cattle cars for the journey to the debarkation points.
46
Harassed at all stops, the Chinese suffered an added
indignity at Naco where they now met demands for a fifty
peso exit fee.
Border officials also stole some of their
clothes and valuables.
47
The order to halt the expulsion
found hundreds of Chinese in Nogales, MazatlSn, and Arizona
jails, and thousands more on the northwest coast in a state
of panic.
Between 25 August and 5 September, Sonorans
virtually destroyed Chinese economic power in the state.
Although Calles ordered a temporary halt to expulsions,
Chinese suffered damages estimated at over ten million
dollars,
With liquidations, forced sales, emigration and
attacks, the Chinese remained with only a shadow of their
past wealth and power.
Even with the losses, the suspension
of the campaign against them met stiff resistance.
Sonoran
students in Mexico violently protested the alteration of the4
7
6
46. El Porvenir (Monterrey), 3 September 1931; The
New York Times, 3 September 1931; El Sol (Monterrey), 4
September 1931; San Francisco Chronicle, 2 September 1931.
47.
Excelsior (Mexico), 4 September 1931.
242
order to oust the Chinese.
They demanded the "expurgation
of the Asians" from the state,^
Cognizant of United States laws that provided
deportation for illegal entrants, the Chinese fled to the
border.
Those who retained some of their funds and could
afford to pay their passage to China crossed legally under
bond.
Others, more destitute, crossed the line and
surrendered to immigration officials, sheriffs, or anyone
they saw.
All these appeared before the United States
Commissioner, who bound them over for trial.
49
After the
trials the Immigration Service shipped them to San Francisco
for deportation to China.
On 5 September 1931, 180 Chinese
left San Francisco for Hong Kong on the Dollar Line Steamer,
President Monroe.
The 180 included twelve children and
fifteen women, many of them Mexican.
their way to China.
All were able to pay
They reported that the majority of
Chinese in Mexico were unable to pay their fares.4
0
5
9
8
48. Douglas Daily Despatch (Douglas, Arizona), 8
September 1931; Excelsior (Mexico), 7 September 1931; all
newspaper reports alleged that both Fon Qui and Juan Lung
Tain lost one million dollars each in the expulsion.
49. Mary Kidder Rak, Border Patrol (Boston: Houghton
Mifflin Company, 1938), pp. 119-142.
50. The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), 5 September
1931; for records of the cost to the United States of
deportation, see United States, Department of Labor, Bureau
of Immigration, Annual Report of the Commissioner General of
Immigration to the Secretary of Labor, 1931 (Washington:
Government Printing Office, 1931), p. 53; Twentieth Annual
Report of the Secretary of Labor for the Fiscal Year Ended
June 30, 1932 (Washington: Government Printing Office,
243
To alleviate this problem, and for a large profit,
J. W. Krederman, president of the Panama Mail Steamship
Company, offered to aid the National Pro-Racial Committee.
He offered two of his ships to leave MazatlSn on 11
September to take the Chinese to Hong Kong at a reduced fare
of $131.^
Reports circulated that fifteen Chinese a day
left Mexico the first week in September.
This later rose to
twenty, then to fifty a day in the next two weeks.
recorded 1,278 Chinese emigrants in 1931.
Mexico
Of these, sixty
per cent or 709 left between 1 August and 31 December.
52
From Nogales, the Chinese went to Hong Kong via San
1932), p. 72; United States, Department of Labor, Bureau of
Immigration, Annual Report of the Commissioner General of
Immigration to the Secretary of Labor, 1932 (Washington:
Government Printing Office, 1932), p. 5; Twenty-First Annual
Report of the Secretary of Labor for the Fiscal Year Ended5
2
1
June 30, 1933 (Washington: Government Printing Office,
1934), p. 59; for the procedure involved from arrest by law
officers, to detention in local jails, to appearances before
the United States Commissioner, to trial by the Judge of the
First District Court, to deportation from San Francisco
after a train trip from Tucson, see Author's Correspondence
of 24 October 1973, with D. C. Kinne, United States Immigra­
tion Service, retired, Douglas, Arizona.
51. Excelsior (Mexico), 6 September 1931; El
Porvenir (Monterrey), 6 September 1931.
52. El Correo de Chihuahua (Chihuahua), 7 September
1931; Excelsior (Mexico), 9 September 1931; for emigration
records for 1909 to 1935, see Appendix A, Table A.5; for
monthly records of emigration of Chinese in 1931, see
Appendix A, Table A.7; for a comparison of emigration of
Chinese from Mexico in 1929 with 1930, see "Statistics:
Migration to and from Mexico in 1929," International Labour
Review, XXII (November, 1930), p. 678; "Statistics: Migra­
tion to and from Mexico in 1930," International Labour
Review, XXIV (November, 1931), p. 612.
244
Francisco.
From Mazatl&n many Chinese sailed to China, but
the majority went to South America.
53
If Sonora solved its
problem, it also gave one to other states.
Excelsior
reported considerable movement by the Chinese early in
August, 1931, long before the expulsion.
The paper pre­
dicted an intensification of the anti-Chinese campaign as
new states received more Sonoran Chinese.
Chinese poured
out of Sonora into most of the northern states and as far
south as Colima.
In all these states anti-Chinese
committees began to attack this new menace to their
survival.
Excelsior claimed the Chinese problem underwent
not a solution but merely a change of locale.
54
Francisco Ellas, in the first official statement on
the expulsion, defended the eighty per cent law and
vehemently denied that the government had expelled the
Chinese,
He also rejected as ludicrous the charges that the
Chinese suffered great losses.
Ellas insisted that the
Chinese left of their own free will to avoid compliance with5
4
3
53. Excelsior (Mexico), 31 August 1931; The New
York Times, 31 August 1931,
54. For reports on the internal migration of
Chinese, see Excelsior (Mexico), 13 August, 10, 14 September
1931; El Sol (Monterrey), 1, 10, 30 September, 21 October
1931; The New York Times, 7 August 1933; DOS, XXXIV (29
September 1931), p. 6; XXXVI (3 November 1936), p. 14;
Frederick W, Hinke, United States Consul, MazatlSn, to the
Secretary of State, 3 March 1933, NA 812.504/1375; for
efforts of Sonoran Chinese to enter Baja, see El Informador
(Guadalajara), 4 October 1931; Excelsior (Mexico), 4 October
1931; El Sol (Monterrey), 27 October 1931,
245
55
state laws.
By 10 September the Nationalist Committee
that coordinated the expulsion campaign felt confident of
their success.
Thus, in a meeting in Hermosillo it
terminated the anti-Chinese crusade since there was no
longer any problem with Chinese merchants.
Chinese remained in Sonora after the expulsion
crisis, though in far reduced numbers.
Governor Rodolfo
Calles told the press that he would enforce Article 106 of
the 1919 Labor Law.
In addition he allowed the remaining
Chinese time to comply or close.
On 13 September Calles
permitted a United Press reporter to interview him on
conditions in Sonora.
Like Ellas, he denied that the
state expelled the Chinese,
He reiterated the story that
they left of their own free will to avoid compliance with
the law.
In regard to the law, he said that he would treat
the Chinese with an energetic hand to force them to "comply
strictly with the labor laws and to satisfy corresponding
taxes,"
He also ordered troops to protect Chinese where
57
there was racial unrest.5
7
6
55, Douglas Daily Dispatch (Douglas, Arizona), 6
September 1931? The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), 6, 8
September 1931,
56,
El Sol (Monterrey), 10 September 1931,
57, El Porvenir (Monterrey), 7 September 1931; La
Prensa (Mexico), 14 September 1931? El Sol (Monterrey), 14
September 1931.
246
The termination of the expulsion crusade in Sinaloa
and Sonora emboldened some Chinese to return.
When a
contingent of over seventy Chinese returned to Guamuchil,
Sinaloa, a riot ensued.
turbance.
Federal troops ended the dis­
Sinaloa, like Sonora, saw a great diminution of
Chinese control over the grocery trade.
Of 480 Chinese
businesses in early 1931, only 150 survived the expul­
sion.^
But those who remained awakened a new anti-Chinese
campaign in both states.
With the departure of the Chinese
and the reluctance of the remainder to employ Mexican
employees, Nogales' Chamber of Commerce sought businessmen
and capital from other states.
With the attractive offer of
hundreds of abandoned stores, Nogales enticed businessmen
and investments from Nuevo Le6n, Tamaulipas, and other
states.
59
Another problem, repatriation of Mexicans, increased
to an alarming number of 37,000 for October and November,
1931,^
This drastic increase, combined with continued
unemployment, especially in the mines of Pilares, Nacozari,
and Moctezuma, pushed Sonora into a deeper economic crisis.5
0
6
9
8
58. El Sol (Monterrey), 19 September 1931; El
Informador (Guadalajara), 4 October 1931.
59. El Sol (Monterrey), 17 September 1931; Carta
Semanal de la CSmara Mercantil y Agricola (Matamoros,
Tamaulipas)., 19 September 1931.
60. For Mexican repatriation statistics for 1929 to
1937, see Appendix A, Table A.8; for monthly statistics for
1931, see Appendix A, Table A,9,
247
Calles immediately moved against the Chinese who remained in
the state.
On 14 October, in a circular to all municipal
presidents, he deplored the resurgence of Chinese business
and ordered the closing of all their stores and shops and
the arrest of their owners.
61
Under the slogan "All the Chinese or None," Sonorans
pursued their crusade with such vigor that Rodolfo Calles
announted in January, 1932, that there was no longer a
Chinese problem in Sonora.
The problem spread to other
states, especially Baja, but refugees there never equaled
the number who left Sonora, which lost an estimated
3,000.6
62
1
Expulsion might have solved the crisis created by
Chinese control of the grocery trade, but it failed to solve
other pressing economic problems in.the state.
brought little capital to Mexico to invest.
they obtained great welath,
The Chinese
Nonetheless,
Sonorans maintainted that they
retained the profits and did not return pesos to circula­
tion, instead they saved their money and ultimately sent it
61,
Excelsior (Mexico), 14 October 1931; El Heraldo
de Cananea (Cananea), 17 October 1931; Circular #241 to all
Municipal Presidents, 14 October 1931, AGG, Bound Circulars,
1931; Circular #255 to all Municipal Presidents, 21 October
1931, ibid.
62.
El Sol (Monterrey), 3 September 1931; Espinoza,
El ejemplo de Sonora, p, 140; The New York Times, 10 October
1931; for Chinese admissions that they did control eighty to
ninety per cent of Sonora’s grocery trade, see "Chinese
Being Forced Out of Mexico by the Thousands," The China
Weekly Review, Shanghai Cl2 September 1931), p. 64,
248
overseas to China.
This practice was harmful to Mexico, not
only because Chinese prospered at the expense of Mexicans,
but also because it deprived Mexico of funds for reinvestment in other projects.
63
Because the Chinese built up
large savings in Mexico in the hope of eventually retiring
on these earnings in China, they had substantial reserves
in banks in Sonora and Sinaloa.
Many large banks in these
two states bought and sold exchange at Hong Kong for the
convenience of these customers.
When the campaign began in
earnest in August, 1931, Chinese immediately withdrew
64
considerable sums from banks in both states.
After the
exodus many banks closed because of the withdrawal of these
reserves.^
The plan to oust the Chinese to prevent a drain
on Mexican capital was not too successful with their bank
deposits,
Sonora faced yet another failure in its attempts
to retain Chinese profits in circulation.
Although they
had little time to sell their holdings and sold only at a
63. "Why Mexico Expels the Chinese," p. 14; La
Prensa (Mexico), 7 September 1931.
64. Mexican West Coast, p. 254; Excelsior (Mexico),
31 August 1931; The New York Times, 31 August 1931; for
advertisements of the Bank of Sonora which included refer­
ences to exchanges at Hong Kong, see Revista Comercial de
Sonora y Sinaloa (Nogales, Arizona), December, 1924 to
November, 1925.
65. Anita Bradley, Trans-Pacific Relations of Latin
America (New York: International Secretariat, Institute of
Pacific Relations, 1942), p. 62; "The Credit Situation in
Guaymas, Mexico," Commerce Reports, XLV (9 November 1931),
p. 313; Ching-chieh Chang, "The Chinese in Latin America,"
p. 104.
249
fraction of current market values, the Chinese converted
large holdings into pesos.
gold.
They then converted this into
Despite robberies and extortions by border officials,
millions of pesos left Mexico with the Chinese.
Professor
Joaquin Balcarcel reported in La Prensa that Chinese
removed eight million pesos from Sonoran b a n k s . S o n o r a n
banks were not the only losers.
A. L. Shafer, Manager of
the Pacific Branch of the American Red Cross, reported
that Chinese also withdrew their reserves from Nogales,
Arizona, banks as well as from Nogales, Sonora, banks.
Arizona banks, firms and creditors lost considerable invest­
ments with the expulsion.
Although Sonora failed to control these funds, it
succeeded in the crusade to employ Mexicans and control
Chinese businesses,
Jos§ Angel Espinoza, spiritual
descendant of Arana, and long a leader of the anti-Chinese
campaign, branded the campaign a success in these two
phases.
He claimed that Mexicans established 1,454 new
businesses in the eleven months between September, 1931,
and July, 1932.
He asserted that these provided sustenance
66. The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), 6 September
1931; The New York Times, 26 December 1931; La Prensa
(Mexico)., 25 December 1931.
67. A. L. Shafer, Manager, Pacific Branch, American
Red Cross, San Francisco, to James Fieser, National ViceChairman, American Red Cross, Washington, 16 February 1932,
in the Records of the American National Red Cross,
Washington; Douglas Daily Dispatch.(Douglas, Arizona), 1
September 1931.
250
for 5,816 families, or over 25,000 people, based on
approximately five persons in a family.
Despite this glowing but exaggerated picture, the
economic situation in Sonora was still chaotic.
State
Treasurer Rodolfo Tapia informed Calles that these new
businesses provided monthly taxes of 24,888.88 pesos.
But
this was only one-third what the Chinese had p a i d . ^
Sonorans faced shortages, not only of tax revenue, but also
in many areas of food and drygoods.
In many towns the
Chinese were the only shopkeepers; therefore, their
expulsion forced the populace to bartering.
their debts in kind and left.
Chinese paid
Because they paid no cash,
indeed took cash with them, they left some towns in dire
financial straits.
areas as well.
70
The Chinese left a vacuum in other
Agricultural production fell when Mexicans
drove the Chinese off their truck gardens.
The expulsion shook the already weakened structure
of Sonora.
Sonora found employment for thousands of
68. Espinoza, El ejemplo de Sonora, pp. 333, 368;
for a list of all these new businesses, see ibid., pp. 336
to 338; the population of Sonora in 1930 was 316,271.
69. Espinoza, El ejemplo de Sonora, p, 334; The
New York Times, 13 March 1932.
70. The New York Times, 26 December 1931; "The
Credit Situation in Guaymas, Mexico," p. 314; Bradley,
Trans-Pacific Relations of Latin America, p. 62.
71. Douglas Daily Dispatch (Doublas, Arizona),
29 August 1931,
251
Mexicans and took over hundreds of Chinese stores.
again it was not without cost.
stocks and even less credit.
But
These merchants had meagre
As 1932 began, the future of
Sonora's precariously balanced economy was doubtful.
Chinese observers saw a bleak future because they believed
Mexico lagged behind the world in socioeconomic living and
cultural standards because of continuous revolution and
unsound internal affairs.
72
Calles indicated to the state legislature in 1932
that he was proud of his efforts to enforce the Labor Law,
especially those provisions on hours, salaries, and the
eighty per cent rule.
Despite these successes, he regretted
the loss of local revenue because of the depression.
he had great hopes for the future.
73
But
Early in 1932 Calles
opened another campaign against the Chinese to force them
to comply with an impending federal labor law that required
ninety per cent of all employees to be natives.
labor law went into effect on 1 March 1932,
72.
74
The new
By the second
Ling Lew, The Chinese in North America, p. 164.
73. Sonora, Gobernador, Informe rendido por el
gobernador constitucional del estado, C. Rodolfo Elias
Calles a la H. XXXI legislature, de Sonora: Hermosillo,
Sonora, 16 de septiembre de 1932 (Hermosillo: Imprenta "Cruz
Galvez,” 1932)., pp. 4, 15,
74. For restrictions on immigrants in the early
1930s that affected the Chinese, see Robert Frazer, "Mexico
Further Restricts Immigration," Commerce Reports, XXXVI (7
September 1931), pp. 624-625; La Prensa (Mexico), 3
September 1931; Harold Fields, "Closing Immigration
Throughout the World," The American Journal of International
252
week in March many of the Chinese who remained after the
1931 purge, began to leave.
75
Brutal treatment of Chinese in Sinaloa led to a
protest to President Abelardo L. Rodriquez in 1933.
This
group of citizens demanded the cessation of indignities to
Chinese.
They supported expulsion, but protested "as
civilized human beings . . .
in order that it may not be
said later that . . . [they] stood silently by and
tolerated these inhuman acts.
Observers in China also
lamented the persecution of their conationals in Mexico.
They charged that the anti-Chinese leagues "composed of
intellectuals and parliamentarians and led by Mr.
[Plutarco
Ellas] Calles," conspired with Rodolfo Calles to destroy
the Chinese in Sonora.
77
Opposition papers in China
attacked the Nanking government and demanded funds and naval
vessels to go to Mexico.
They condemned China for not
protecting her overseas populations.
felt definitive action was necessary.
The Chinese Republic .
The editor charged
Law, XXVI (October, 1932), pp. 671-699; Decreto que reforma
varies artlculos del reglamento de la ley de migracidn y
acuerdo por el cual se restringe la inmigracidn de
trabajadores (Mexico: Talleres Gr&ficos de la Nacidn, 1934).
75.
The New York Times, 21 February 1, 20 March
76.
The New York Times, 1 March 1933.
1932.
77. Chung-hua-nien-chien (The China Year Book),
1932, Shanghai (The North-China Daily News and Herald, Ltd.,
1932), p. 266.
253
that China would face Mexican dreadnoughts pounding on her
shores if China had persecuted her Mexican residents.
7 8
In September, 1934, Rodolfo Ellas Calles announced
that the anti-Chinese campaign initiated by Francisco Ellas
had reached its definitive conclusion in his term.
But
the resolution of the Chinese issue led to another problem.
When the Chinese liquidated their businesses they caused an
economic crisis and the loss of over 800,000 pesos a year
in state income.
With a moratorium on some taxes to
stimulate the growth of local business, Sonora gradually
emerged from this situation, recuperated some of her losses,
and regained some economic stability in 1933.
Calles was the man of the hour in 1933.
79
Rodolfo
He not only
resisted all Chinese bribes and opposition, but also
carried Ellas’ campaign to its fullest extent and drove out
the Chinese.
Jos£ Healy of the National Chamber of Commerce
in Hermosillo, in praise of Calles, said there were no
Chinese groceries in Sonora in 1933.
He felt the
78.
"The Week," The New Republic," LXVIII (14
October 1931), p. 219; "The Plight of the Chinese in
Mexico," The Literary Digest (24 June 1933), p. 11.
79. Sonora, Gobernador, Memoria general e informe
rendidos por el G. Rodolfo Ellas Calles, gobernador
constitucional del estado, ante la H. XXXII legislatura
local, el 16 de septiembre de 1934 (Hermosillo: n.p., n.d.),
p. 10; for monthly income figures for the state of Sonora
from 1929 to 1933, see Appendix C, Table C.15; for state
income for 1919 to 1927, see Ricardo Diaz, Contador,
Hermosillo, to Governor, 31 December 1926, AGG, tomo 18
(1926).
254
elimination of the Chinese had been a social necessity and
was representative of the will of the people.
In his
discourse on the subject he reiterated alleged Chinese
vices and debilities.
Healy asserted that they bankrupted
Sonora's economy, while Mexicans, with large families to
support, languished in misery.
Given the absolute danger
of the Chinese menace, it was of utmost necessity "to cut
off the octopus' head whose repugnant tenacles sucked out
gq
our blood."
Although by 1933 the Chinese menace in the
northwest ceased, periodic outbreaks of anti-Chinese
81
violence occurred in these states as late as 1935.
By
1937 the Chinese campaign ended, because few Chinese
remained.
Chinese gradually reentered Sonora, although
in greatly reduced numbers and circumstances.
census reported only 155 Chinese in Sonora.
8 2
The 1940
Figure 8
80. Sonora, La labor de organizacidn econdmica
y social en el estado de Sonora en 1933: discursos
(Hermosillo: n.p., 1933), pp. 28-29; El Noroeste
(Nogales, Sonora), 18 August 1934.
81. For anti-Chinese activities in Baja caused
by sensational newspaper reports of harsh treatment of
Mexican women by their Chinese husbands in China, see
Dutch Ambassador, Mexico, to Foreign Minister, 23 February
1934, AR, Kabinet-gezantschepsrapporten, Latijns-Amerika
(Mexico), 1932-1934; "The Plight of the Chinese in
Mexico," p. 11.
82.
Chun-po Chen, "Chinese Overseas," The Chinese
Year Book, 1935-1936 (rpt. 1936, Nendelin/Liechtenstein:
Kraus Reprint, 1968), p. 446; D. Graham Hutton, "Mexico
and the Pacific," Pacific Affairs, XI (June, 1938), p. 152;
Francisco Javier Clavigero, S.J., The History of [Lower]
California, Sara E. Lake and A, A. Gray, translators and
editors (rpt. 1789, Stanford; Stanford University Press,
STATES INDICATED BY NUMBERS
I - FEDERAL DISTRICT
2 - MORELOS
3 - PUEBLA
4 - TLAXCALA
5 - H I DA LG O
6 - MEXICO
7 - QUERETARO
8 - GUANAJUATO
9 - AGUASCALIENTES
CALIFORNIA1
LEGEND
481'- 960
241-480
161-240
UUINTANA
ROO
81-160
I-
80
255
Figure 8.
Mexico: Chinese Population by State, 1940
256
shows the centers of Chinese population in Mexico in
1940.
1937), p. 210; for the renewal of ads by Chinese businesses
see Accidn (Nogales, Sonora), 14 October 1937; for a town by
town survey of Chinese in Sonora in 1940, see Appendix B,
Table B,9; for a state by state survey of Chinese in Mexico
in 1940, see Appendix B, Table B.10,
CHAPTER 9
CONCLUSION
During the Porfiriato Mexico induced foreign
immigration to aid in its economic development.
Foreign
technology, capital, and labor were considered an economic
necessity for rapid development of its mines, railroads,
and agricultural projects.
Although Chinese brought little
capital or modern technological expertise, they did provide
an abundant source of labor and mercantile skill.
They
helped build railroads and other public works, and aided in
increasing the productivity of Mexico's mines and planta­
tions.
They also gravitated to Mexico's frontier states,
which the government hoped to populate.
Spurred by oppor­
tunities to prosper, the 1899 treaty and the absence of
immigration restrictions, Chinese entered Mexico in large
numbers.
Despite local opposition the government con­
sidered them an economic necessity as population on the
frontier and as laborers in new development schemes.
The Chinese manifested a slightly divergent attitude
toward their role in Mexico.
Because they brought no
families with them, they did not form large agricultural
communities in isolated frontier districts.
As laborers
they were effective, but gravitated toward large towns and
257
258
cities when they completed their contractual obligations.
Although Chinese in Sonora worked on the railroads and in
the mines, the majority lived in cities and engaged in other
businesses, such as laundries, restaurants, and hotels.
But the mainstay of their existence was shoe and clothing
factories and grocery establishments.
With little capital,
but extensive credit ties, industry and frugality, they
dominated the rough clothing, shoe, and grocery business
of the state before the end of the Porfiriato.
With this
drastic change in the role Mexicans expected them to play
in local society, opposition arose.
Instead of confronting
a docile, transient contract laborer, the Mexican faced
intense competition from the Chinese in business.
But
opposition was isolated, sporadic and ineffectual before
the Revolution,
Bereft of the stability and protective umbrella
of the Diaz regime, the Chinese faced more intense cultural
antagonism in the Revolution.
As Mexicans attempted to
define their unique characteristics and arrive at a national
ethos, xenophobia assumed a prominent role.
Although
foreigners in general were affected, Sonorans concentrated
on the Chinese, which was facilitated by the precedents and
corpus of anti-Chinese propaganda established in the •
Porfiriato,
On one level the Chinese remained as
beneficiaries of the old regime.
On another level they
swore allegiance to no regime, but dealt with all contending
259
parties in the revolt.
Thus, as neutrals in the Revolution,
they were marked for exploitation by all forces,
Anti-Chinese activity was only one segment of
general anti-foreign feelings in Sonora, as anti-American
sentiment also prevailed.
Although United States and
other foreign residents controlled much of the economy,
only the Chinese faced constant and vicious attacks.
Because of obvious racial characteristics, they were more
visible than other foreigners.
They also outnumbered all
other foreign residents combined and were an important force
in the economy as shown by several state and national
economic surveys.
What distinguished the Chinese was their
control of the grocery trade.
To survive in the difficult
times of the Revolution, Sonorans had to deal with them in
almost every town on a daily basis in order to obtain vital
staples at low prices.
Thus an alien element controlled
the state's food supply.
Two vestiges of the Sonoran's Hispanic past worked
against him in attempting to compete with the Chinese.
The
Hispanic abhorence of manual labor carried over into modern
Mexico and by default the Chinese occupied many positions
the Mexicans did not care to pursue.
Mexicans allowed
foreigners to do tasks they disliked and, gradually, as in
the case of the Chinese in Sonora's grocery trade, they
controlled the business.
When the Mexican did engage in
this type of business he faced an additional residue of his
260
Hispanic past.
Mexican merchants were all independent,
isolated economic units eking out their own individual
survival.
Hardly any cooperation existed among them.
But
the Chinese, who presented a small corner grocery store on
the surface, were backed by a network of interrelated
associations and cooperatives.
Under the aegis of the benevolent de la HuertaCalles regime, the first organized crusade began with Arana.
The campaign was at times violent, but the emphasis was on
effective cooperation, competition and legal harassment
until the Chinese left.
Despite official protection and
encouragement this campaign failed to oust them.
Coopera­
tion among themselves and the effective use of bribes
enabled the Chinese to blunt Arana's efforts.
Of great
importance in their survival was the common assertion that
the Chinese supported most towns in the state by their
taxes,
Thus the campaign was ineffective when local
politicians foresaw the projected damage to their coffers
if the Chinese left.
The outbreak of a tong war in Sonora precipitated
a second organized campaign to oust them.
But again,
despite the expulsion of a few, the problem remained
unsolved.
The failure of this campaign manifested the
strength of the Chinese,
opposition by cooperation.
In the past they withstood
But now, divided and warring
among themselves, they also successfully resisted a
261
state-wide campaign to destroy their power.
A new legal
crusade evolved out of the tong war and tested their
position from 1922 to 1926.
Restrictions on sales,
residences, occupations, hours, prices, and a plethora of
minor aggravations confronted them.
But even the two most
significant legislative acts, the barrio and marriage laws
of 1923, failed to curb their influence.
Chinese success
in evading all laws and impediments, especially Article 106
of the 1919 Labor Law, increased the frustration and
antagonism of their detractors.
While Chinese success in mercantile activities
prompted opposition, it simultaneously blunted or overcame
this opposition before 1931.
With control of the vital
staples of the grocery trade and substantial contributions
in tax revenue, the Chinese possessed two powerful levers
against opposition.
They were in a position to cut off
supplies or to bribe officials to refrain from enforcing
anti-Chinese
legislation.
This relationship with Sonoran
officials ensured their survival until 1931,
The Great Depression provided the backdrop for the
solution of Sonora’s Chinese dilemma.
With the depression
came business chaos, closing of the mines, economic disloca­
tion, an influx of repatriated Mexicans from the United
States, and substantial unemployment.
Again the position
of the Chinese in the economy marked them for attacks,
w^s a measure of their position that they were able to
It
262
resist this last onslaught for two more years.
Elias and
Calles hoped to solve many of the economic problems created
by the depression with one act— expulsion of the Chinese.
The Chinese had outlived their usefulness for the state and
had become an economic liability.
The depression, in
combination with long-standing local hostility and the
sympathy of national leaders, finally wrested control of
the state's food supply from the alien Chinese.
The treatment of the Chinese in Sonora reflected
two important developments in Mexico's search for a national
ethos.
Anti-Chinese attacks and racial slurs comprised a
part of its cultural tenets.
Although a part of Mexican
society, the Chinese were not a part of Mexican culture,
thus opponents alleged they were an unassimiable alien
presence grafted on Mexico by Diaz and his cohorts.
It was
easy to transfer general feelings of xenophobia into antiChinese harassment in Sonora.
Other foreigners were strong
and backed by powerful governments,
rich, neutral and unprotected.
Chinese were visible,
Freedom from the Diaz
regime also meant destruction of the vestiges of the
Porfiriato, such as foreign exploitation, business and
influence, which permeated Porfirian development schemes.
Thus the Revolution attacked Mexico's foreign element.
The
rejection of Diaz' stress on foreign influence in the
economy was the most important tenet of economic nationalism.
263
Thus, in their search for cultural and economic autonomy,
the Mexicans attacked the Chinese,
Although the Mexican nativist movement was sporadic,
halting and malleable in its search for concrete charac­
teristics, xenophobia in the movement was peculiarly direct.
Chinese were attacked because they were foreigners.
The
attacks were greater in extent and intensity because they
were Chinese.
Their power in the local economy, combined
with their vulnerable position with no powerful patron,
marked them for extinction among all foreigners.
But this
economic position also provided the lever that extended
their stay for a half century despite constant opposition.
APPENDIX A
IMMIGRATION AND EMIGRATION STATISTICS
264
Table A.1.
Ports
Chinese Arrivals at Mexico's Maritime Ports, 1884-1891
1884
1885
1886a
1887
1888b
1889°
1890d
1891e
3
6
2
3
2
13
66
216
311
Pacific
72
138
277
190
117
520
1,655
828
3,797
Total
75
144
279
193
119
533
1,721
1,044
4,108
Gulf
aM£xico, Ministerio de Fomento, Boletin de la direcci6n general de
estadistica de la Repdblica Mexicana, 1888-1891 (.8 vols., Mexico: n.p., 18881892), I, 41-46,
bIbid,, II, 78-84.
CIbid., III, 88; 4, 89.
dIbid,, VI, 129.
elbidt, VIII, 130,
265
Table A.2.
Port
Gulf
Progreso
Tampico
Veracruz
Total
Pacific
Acapulco .
Ensenada
Guaymas
MazatlSn
Puerto Angel
Salina Cruz
Total
Total all ports
Chinese Arrivals at Mexico’s Maritime Ports, 1892-1899
1892a
1893b
1894C
1895d
1896e
1897f
1898g
1899h
Total
0
43
252
295
12
12
668
692
35
39
82
156
45
205
21
271
335
281
51
667
60
97
37
194
15
13
20
48
124
345.
271
496
626
1,035
1,158
2,819
1
26
4
9
0
5
45
0
11
3
9
0
5
28
1
4
4
0
0
14
23
0
8
7
7
0
55
77
2
24
1
10
0
210
247
0
5
2
428
0
3
438
0
17
0
119
0
12
148
1
10
2
187
1
6
207
5
105
23
769
1
310
1,213
340
720
179
348
914
632
196
703
4,032
aMSxico, Minister© de Foment©, Boletin semestral de la direcci6n general
de estadistica de la Reptiblica Mexicana, Aho de 1892, NGmero X (Mexico: n.p.,
1892), pp. 418-419.
Vn
Mexico, Anuario estadistico de la RepGblica Mexicana, 15 vols,
1907), I, 302-303.
(1893-
C Ibid,, II, 354-356.
dIbid., III, 570.
eIbid., IV, 229.
266
fIbid., V, 199,
Table A. 2.— Continued
9Ibid., VI, 347.
hIbid., VII, 109.
^For different figures for 1897 (43), 1898 (37), and 1899 (24), for
Veracruz, see United States, Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of
Statistics, Emigration to the United States, Special Consular Reports, XXX
(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1904), p, 178.
to
C\
Table A.3.
Chinese Arrivals at Mexico’s Maritime Ports, 1900-1907
190 0a
1901b
1902°
1903d
1904e
1905f
19069
1907h
Total
168
2
24
194
132
1
11
144
25
0
31
56
103
5
19
127
96
6
148
250
864
144
289
1,297
Gulf
Progreso
Tampico
Veracruz
Total
64
113 .
171
194
0
0
13
13-
Pacific
Acapulco
Ensenada
Guaymas
La Paz
Manzanillo
MazatlSn
Puerto Angel
Salina Cruz
San Benito
San Bias
Santa Rosalia
Total
0
4
0
0.
1
205
2
9
19
0
0
240
65
3
0
0
0
829
0
1
11
0
0
909
17
3
0
0 •
4
232
0
0
1
0
0
257
7
2
38
6
1,656
25
0
58
0
0
0
1,792
4
0
1
0
185
224
0
3,300
0
0
0
3,714
16
3
0
0
45
0
0
1,909
0
0
0
1,973
1
3
2
0
49
274
0
2,287
0
1
507
3,124
6
3
16
0
55
233
0
5,286
13
4
0
5,616
116
21
57
6
1,995
2,022
2
12,850
44
5
507
17,625
Total all ports
434
922
576
1,986
3,858
2,029
3,251
5,866
18,922
276
17
26
319
aMSxicof Anuario estadistico, VIII, 171-172,
bIbid., IX, 174, 176.
cIbid., X, 106, 108,
elbid,, XII, 160^162,
268
dIbid., XI, 207-208,
Table A.3.— Continued
fIbid., XIII, 130.
gIbid., XIV, 132, 134.
hIbid., XV, 132, 134.
*For different figures for 1900 (24), 1901 (41), and 1902 (54), for
Veracruz, see United States, Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of
Statistics, Emigration to the United States, p. 178.
269
270
Table A,4.
by Sex,
Immigration and Emigration of Chinese ]
1911-1912
Immigration
Date
1911
1912
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
1911
1911
1911
1911
1911
1911
1911
1911
1911
1911
1911
1911
1912
1912
1912
1912
Male
Emigration
Female
Male
Female
3,258
4,953
12
20
801
535
9
15a
107
81
26
953
557
82
535
233
46
594
100
44
760
43
27
22
1
0
1
1
0
0
2
1
0
5
1
0
3
1
1
0
19
29
17
63
24
58
95
220
46
93
53
84
46
32
45
47
0
2
1
1
1
2
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0.
2b
Mexico, Departmento de la Estadlstica Nacional,
Anuario de 1930, 2a Spoca, 16 (Tacubaya: Talleres GrSficos
de la Secretarla de Agriculture y Fomento, 1932), p, 163.
^MSxico, Secretarla de Fomento, Colonizacidn S
Industrie, Boletin de la direccidn general de estadistica,
Nfimero I (Mexico: Oficina Tip. de la Secretarla de Fomento,
1912), p. 119.
271
Table A.5.
Immigration and Emigration of Chinese by Sex,
1911-1936
Immigration
Emigration
Year
Male
1911
1912
1913
1914
1915
1916
1917
1918
1919
1920
1921
1922
1923
1924
1925
1926
1927
1928a
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935,
1936°
3,358
4,953
4,857
1,488
467
220
366
762
1,132
3,647
1,276
696
1,082
845
365
862
433
475
389
308
99
5
1
1
2
1
12
20
53
3
7
8
11
12
19
22
44
25
• 43
35
11
20
16
14
17
13
15
2
1
1
0
5
801
535
843
457
182
366
615
508
729
1,045
1,001
922
850
945
856
693
800
688
565
635
1,202
311
49
37
20
13
9
15
23
3
4
7
21
11
16
21
22
38
20
27
35
21
25
30
16
28
76
28
4
1
0
0
28,090
429
15,688
501
Total by sex
Total
Female
28 ,519°
Male
Female
16, 189
^Figures for 1911 to 1928 from Mexico, Departmento
de la Estadistica Nacional, Anuario de 1930, pp. 163-170.
^Figures for 1929 to 1936 from Mexico, Direcci6n
General de Estadistica, Anuario estadistico, 1938 (Mexico:
Talleres GrSficos de la Nacidn, 1939), pp. 87-88.
cFor immigration figures of 3,487 for 1909 and 4,681
for 1910, see Ferenczi, International Migrations, p. 503;
these figures increase the official Mexican totals of
Chinese immigrants from 1909 to 1936 to 36,687.
272
Table A.6.
Chinese from Mexico Admitted to the United
States, 1918-1926a
Year
Number
1918
1919
1920
1921
1922
1923
1924
1925
1926
38
16
11
54
418
142
121
65
58
aR. D. McKenzie, Oriental Exclusion; The Effect of
American Laws, Regulations, and Judicial Decisions Upon the
Chinese and Japanese on the American Pacific Coast.(rpt.
1928, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1970),
p. 188.
273
Table A.7.
Migratory Movements of Chinese in Mexico, July,
1931 to June, 1932 by Month and Sex
Immigration
Date
Male
Emigration
Female
Male
Female
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
1931
1931
1931
1931
1931
1931
6
5
7
1
3
2
2
0
0
0
0
0
56
142
167
148
91
89
17b
21
13
12c
9
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
1932
1932
1932
1932
1932
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
40
58
35
50
50
0d
2®
4vi
7h
7h
if
aMSxico, Estadlstica Nacional, VIII (January,
19321, p, 48 .
bIbid., VIII (February, 1932), pp. 120, 125, 126.
cIbid., VIII (March, 1932), pg>. 170, 171.
dIbid., VIII (April, 1932), p. 293.
eIbid., VIII
(June, 1932) , pp. 340-341.
fIbid., VIII
(July, 1932), p. 387.
gIbid,, VIII (August, 1932), p. 465.
hIbid., VIII (September, 1932)i, p. 529.
•
274
Table A.8.
Repatriation of Mexicans to Mexico from the
United States, 1929-1937a
Year
Number
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
74,419
70,129
138,519
77,435
33,574
23,943
15,386
11,599
8,037
aHoffman, "Mexican Repatriation Statistics," p. 399.
Table A.9.
a
Repatriation of Mexicans to Mexico from the
United States by Month, 1931a
Date
Number
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
6,508
6,145
9,400
10,439
7,201
9,639
8,954
14,748
13,826
16,448
20,756
14,455
Hoffman, Unwanted Mexican Americans, pp. 174-175.
APPENDIX B
POPULATION STATISTICS
275
276
Table B.l.
Chinese Population of Mexico by Sex, 1895,a
1900,b 1910c
1900d
1895d
State
Male
Female
Aguascalientes
8
Baja-Norte
71
f
Baja-Sur
Campeche
3
Chiapas
13
Chihuahua
62
Coahuila
54
Colima ,
0
Durango
23
Federal District 40
Guanajuato
2
Guerrero
0
Hidalgo
0
Jalisco
0
Mdxico
3
1
Michoacan
0
Morelos
34
Nuevo Leon
Oaxaca
13
Puebla
1
Queretaro
0
Quintana Roo
g
San Luis Potosl
12
Sinaloa
182
Sonora
299
Tabasco
4
Tamaulipas
8
Tepic
1
Tlaxcala
0
Veracruz
11
Yucatan
47
Zacatecas
4
Total by sex
Total
896
915
Male
1910e
Female
Male
Female
0
0
f
0
0
1
4
0
0
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
g
0
0
11
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
10
138
50
5
16
328
197
5
147
116
11
3
0
20
15
4
5
90
81
11
1
g
32
233
850
2
38
29
0
116
153
19
2
0
0
0
0
2
5
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
g
0
i
9
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
21
851
f
70
477
1,316
745
78
240
1,477
102
27
38
69
57
26
18
221
259
29
5
3
109
663
4,449
35
211
173
0
433
875
41
0
0
f
0
1
9
14
2
2
5
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
3
2
0
0
0
4
37
1
2
0
0
1
0
0
19
2,725
21
13,118
85
2 ,746
13, 203
aM<Bxico, Censo general .. . 1895, p. 119.
^MSxico, Resumen general del censo . .. 1900,
p. 29, passim.
277
Table B.l.— Continued
cMSxico, Secretaria de Fomento, Colonizaci6n S
Industria, Boletln estadistica, Ntimero 3 (Mexico: Oficina
Tip. de la Secretarla de Fomento, 1913), p. 87.
^Chinese nationality.
eBorn in China,
f
Combined with Baja-Norte.
^Not included.
Table B.2.
District
CuliacSn
Sinaloa
Mocorito
Co Sell cl
Badiraguato
El Fuerte
MazatlSn
Rosario
Concordia
San Ignacio
Total
Chinese Population of Sinaloa by District,
1895, 1900, 1910
1895a
1900b
1910c
43
67
0
0
15
2
42
21
0
0
46
47
2
10
16
15
83
15
0
0
116
34
5
0
1
60
431
14
4
2
190
234
667
aM£xico, Censo general ... 1895, p. 30.
^MSxico, Direccibn General de Estadistica, Censo
y divisi6n territorial del estado de Sinaloa, verificado en
1900 (Mexico: Oficina Tip. de la Secretaria de Romento,
1905), p. 31.
^Mexico, Direccidn General de Estadistica, Tercer
censo general de poblaciSn de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos
verificado el 27 de octubre de 1910 (2 vols., Mexico:Ofic.
Impresora de la Secretaria de Hacienda, Departmento de
Fomento, 1918-1920), I, 230.
279
Table B.3,
Chinese Population in Sonora in 1889 and 1890 by
Total Number and Number of Chinese Involved in
Shoe Industry
1889a
1890b
District
Number
Shoes
Number
Alamos
Altar
Arizpe
Guaymas
Hermosillo
Magdalena
Moctezuma
Sahuaripa
Ures
Cocorit
Mines
4
0
0
110
30
6
0
0
0
3
4
3
0
0
102
24
4
0
0
0
0
0
18
10
0
143
26
30
0
1
1
0
0
18
0
0
88
19
13
0
0
0
0
0
Total
157
133
229
138
Shoes
aWillard to the Secretary of State, 18 September
1889, CDG, reel 8.
^Sonora, Gobernador, Memoria ... Corral, I,
586, 489-492, 494-498, 502-503, 505; Alfonso Luis Velasco,
Geografla y estadlstica: Sonora, pp. 91, 102, 134, 145,
159, 173, 188, 200.
280
Table B,4.
Chinese Population of Sonora by District and
Sex, 1900, 1910b
1910
1900
District
Male
Female
Alamos
Altar
Arizpe
Guaymas
Hermosillo
Magdalena
Moctezuma
Sahuaripa
Ures
54
16
16
281
315
144
12
0
12
9
0
0
8
0
0
0
0
0
147
92
1,370
857
716
770
490
11
56
6
0
7
14
6
4
0
0
0
Total
850
9
4,449
37
Male
Female
aM§xico, Direccidn General de Estadistica, Censo
.., Sonora ... 1900, pp. 39, 133, 227.
^Mgxico, Tercer censo, I, 232.
281
Table B.5.
Chinese Population of Mexico by Sex, 1921, a
1930b
1921
State
Aguascalientes
Baja-Norte
Baja-Sur
Campeche
Chiapas
Chihuahua
Coahuila
Colima
Durango
Federal District
Guanajuato
Guerrero
Hidalgo
Jalisco
Mexico
MichoacSn
Morelos
Nayarit
Nuevo Leon
Oaxaca
Puebla
Queretaro
Quintana Roo
San Luis Potosi
Sinaloa
Sonora
Tabasco
Tamaulipas
Tlaxcala
Veracruz
Yucatan
Zacatecas
Total by sex
Total
Male
1930
Female
Male
Female
14
2,792
160
60
615
517
507
31
46
589
18
3
49
52
24
5
3
152
68
152
16
1
3
103
1,036
3,573
44
1,970
0
837
768
19
0
14
5
1
30
16
16
1
0
18
3
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
6
1
0
0
8
4
66
4
35
0
10
5
0
29
2,919
162
75
857
898
612
24
196
745
25
7
52
103
35
11
3
143
154
108
32
2
6
284
1,685
3,159
41
1,875
0
1,076
819
117
18
63
44
38
238
229
153
14
33
141
12
3
18
48
22
1
0
27
13
50
12
0
4
73
438
412
23
242
0
162
153
25
14,227
245
16,254
2,699
14, 472
18,953
aM(3xico, Departmento de la Estadistica Nacional,
Censo general de habitantes, 30 de noviembre de 1921
282 .
Table B.5.— Continued
(33 vols., Mexico: Talleres GrSficos de la Naci6n, 19251928), I-XXXIII, passim.
kjyiSxico, Secretaria de Economia Nacional, Direccidn
General de Estadistica, Quinto censo general de poblacion,
15 de mayo de 1930 (32 vols., Mexico: Talleres Graficos de
la Nacidn, 1932-1936), I-XXXII, passim.
283
Table B .6.
Naturalization of Chinese in Mexico, 1922-1932a
Date
Total foreigners
naturalized
Chinese
Per cent
1922
1923
1924
1925
1926
1927
1928
1929
1930
1931
1932
197
371
205
322
95
305
323
366
540
1/106
1/278
122
160
98
122
23
21
13
6
11
3
6
62.0
43.0
48.0
38.0
24.0
7.0
4.0
1.7
2.0
0.3
0.5
aM§xico, Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores,
Boletin Oficial, XXXIX-LIX (1922-1932), passim.
284
Table B.7.
Foreigners Resident in Mexico by Sex and
Nationality, 1928a
Nationality
Canadian
German
Syrio-Lebanese
United States
Chinese
Spanish
Others*3
Total
Men
Ratio of
women to
men
Women
Total
Per cent
of total
for­
eigners
3,249
4,443
7,400
9,742
22,446
31,412
c
3,198
2,518
5,245
5,477
1,772
17,146
c
98.4
56.7
70.9
56.2
7.9
54.6
c
6,447
6,961
12,645
15,219
24,218
48,558
37,619
4.3
4.6
8.3
10.0
16.0
32.0
24.8
c
c
c
151,667
100.0
^Department of Migration list, 14 March 1928, AGG,
tomo 53 (1929).
^Sixty-two nationalities, each with less than 4,700
residents.
4
cNo information available.
285
Table B.8.
Foreign Residents of Mexico by State, 1928a
State
Aguascalientes
Baja California
Campeche
Coahuila
Colima
Chiapas
Chihuahua
Federal District
Durango
Guanajuato
Guerrero
Hidalgo
Jalisco
Mexico
Michoacan
Morelos
Nayarit
Nuevo Le6n
Oaxaca
Puebla
Queretaro
Quintana Roo
San Luis Potosi
Sinaloa
Sonora
Tabasco
Tamaulipas
Tlaxcala
Veracruz
YucatSn
Zacatecas
Total
Total
foreigners
Total
Chinese
Per cent
of Chinese
397
9,223
581
4,500
175
6,755
11,030
46,456
2,168
1,945
511
2,523
2,131
2,305
1,325
272
626
2,553
2,441
5,114
381
369
2,950
4,027
6,842
1,130
10,918
236
14,428
6,293
1,035
31
5,889
108
707
43
1,261
1,037
1,062
197
37
7
98
192
78
8
9
164
216
254
22
1
2
288
2,019
3,758
67
2,916
0
1,908
1,726
113
7.8
63.9
18.6
10.6
25.0
18.7
9.4
2.3
9.0
2.0
1.4
3.9
9.0
3.4
0.6
3.3
26.2
8.5
10.4
0.4
0.3
0.6
9.8
50.0
54.9
6.0
26.7
0.0
13.2
27.4
10.9
151,667
24,218
16.0
^Department of Migration list, 14 March 1928, AGG,
tomo 53 (1929); copy appended to Mexico, Departmento de
Migracidn, Seccidn de Estadistica , Inmigracion y emigracidn
registradas en los Estados Unidos Mexicanos durante los ahos
de 1908 a 1927 (n.p.: n.p., n .d ,).
286
Table B.9.
Chinese Population of Sonora by Town and Sex,
1940a
Chinese
Naturalized
Town
Male
Female
Agua Prieta
Alamos
Arizpe
Bacerac
BScum
Batuc
Bavietcora
Caborca
Cajeme
Cananea
La Colorada
Cucurpe
Etchojoa
Guaymas
Hermosillo
Huatabampo
Imuris
Magdalena
Naco
Nacozari de Garcia
Navojoa
Nogales
Opodepe
Oguitoa
Pitiquito
Quiriego
Sahuaripa
San Miguel
San Pedro
Tubutama
Ures
YScora
0
3
1
1
6
1
1
1
14
3
0
0
5
10
4
3
2
0
1
0
13
4
1
1
1
0
0
1
1
2
7
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
3
0
0
1
1
0
0
5
3
2 '
1
2
4
5
6
2
1
0
1
4
8
1
2
0
1
1
1
0
1
1
1
Total
88
4
60
Male
Female
Total
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
6
1
1
7
2
1
1
20
6
3
1
7
18
9
10
4
1
1
1
17
12
2
3
1
1
1
2
1
3
8
2
3
155
^Mexico, Secretaria de la Economia Nacional,
Direcci6n General de Estadistica, Sexto censo de poblacidn.
1940: Sonora (Mexico: Talleres GrSficos de lai Naci6n,
1943), pp. 21, 53, 85 , 115,
287
Table B.10.
Chinese Population of Mexico by State and Sex,
1940a
Chinese
Town
Aguascalientes
Baja-Norte
Baja-Sur
Campeche
Coahuila
Colima
Chiapas
Chihuahua
Federal District
Durango
Guanajuato
Guerrero
Hidalgo
Jalisco
Mexico
Michoacan
Morelos
Nayarit
Nuevo Le6n
Oaxaca
Puebla
Queretaro
Quintana Roo
San Luis Potosl
Sinaloa
Sonora
Tabasco
Tamaulipas
Tlaxcala
Veracruz
YucatSn
Zacatecas
Total
Male
Naturalized
Female
6
610
35
24
255
19
305
510
603
83
10
8
44
60
11
12
2
51
62
38
12
1
5
91
155
88
9
700
0
528
349
60
0
8
1
1
1
0
6
10
20
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
1
4
0
0
0
0
1
10
4
1
23
0
9
6
2
4,746
110
Male
8
113
14
11
90
8
104
190
220
21
6
4
14
42
3
5 '
3
34
42
16
14
0
3
43
115
60
6
220
0
167
129
27
1,732
Female
Total
0
7
0
0
1
2
3
16
10
0
0
1
0
5
3
0
0
0
2
0
3
0
0
1
3
3
1
8
0
3
1
0
14
738
50
36
347
29
318
726
853
104
16
13
59
107
17
18
5
86
110
54
29
1
8
136
283
155
17
951
0
707
485
89
73
6,661
Mexico, Secretaria de la Econoraia Nacional,
DirecciSn General de Estadistica, Sexto censo de poblacidn,
1940; resumen general (Mexico: Talleres Grdficos de la
Nacion, 1943), pp. 9-10, 47-48.
APPENDIX C
ECONOMIC STATISTICS
Table C.l.
Juan Lung Tain's Claims for Losses Suffered
During the Revolution in 1914 and 1915a
Amount of claim in pesos
Date
1 March 1914
December 1914
Summer 1915
17 to 18 August 1915
merchandise
United States currency
Mexican bank notes
constitutionalist currency
1 to 13 November 1915
merchandise
United States currency
Mexican banknotes
constitutionalist currency
6,678.14
16,784.36
b
54,516.00
3,330.00
6,800.00
5,200.00
69,846.00
198,702.85
149,500.00
7,895,00
43,770.00
403,117.85
Total
69,846.00,
403,117.85
496,426.35
Juan Lung Tain to Secretary of Interior, Mexico
City, 1 October 1922, in Claims Commission to Governor of
Sonora, 15 February 1927, AGG, tomo 72 (1927).
^Included in December, 1914 figures.
288
289
Table C.2.
Guaymas Business Taxes, 1917 to May 1921a
Name
1917
1920
1921
May
1921
Juan Lung Tain, Co,
On Chong, Co,
Yick Chong, Co,
Siu Fo Chong, Co.
Fing Sing, Co.
Sang Chong
Ramon Pon & Bros.
Julio Chan & Bros.
Chan Hie, Co,
Miguel H. Guin
Mauro Hien
Juan Hong & Bros,
Hop Lorn
Him Qui
Leon Qui
Quon Qui
Sam Qui
Carlos Tang, Co.
200b
175
200
100
40
40
40
10
0
0
0
0
0
0
20
15
0
0
450
350
275
165
200
115
115
40
55
30
30
35
30
30
45
40
30
100
350
225
225
125
150
75
75
20
30
20
20
25
20
20
35
25
20
100
500
385
300
180
220
130
130
45
60
30
35
35
35
35
55
45
35
400
El Aguilar
Petroleum Co.
Csspar Zaragoza
J, A. McPherson Co,
National Paper
Type Co,
Pierce Oil Corp.
Rademacher Muller Co.
A. Save Co.
% Increase
in 1921
42.86
71.11
33.33
44.00
46.66
73.33
73.33
125.00
100.00
50.00
75.00
40.00
75.00
75.00
57.14
80.00
75.00
300.00
125
200
50
10
125
125
80
aLi to de la Huerta, 16 June 1921, AGG, tomo 3449,
Part 2
In pesos,
290
Table C.3.
Chinese Merchants of Sonora by Towns with Over
100 Chinese, 1924a
Number of Chinese
Town
Hermosillo
Cananea
Guaymas
Nogales
Fronteras
Navojoa
Nacozari de Garcia
Agua Prieta
Magdalena
Total
Chinese merchants
355
336
270
263
172
165
148
107
106
232
172
165
134
24
52
47
75
51
1,922
952
^Compiled from census work sheets of all Sonora
towns, 1924, AGG, tomo 3659.
Table C,4.
Chinese Merchants of Sonora by Towns with 50 to
80 Chinese, 1924a
Town
Villa de Tigre
Naco
Santa Ana
Cocorit
Villa de Seris
Imuris
BScum
Pilares de Nacozari
Etchojoa
Cumpas
Empalme
Total
Number of Chinese
Chinese merchants
80
74
73
72
70
68
65
64
62
58
53
14
32
19
27
6
13
48
40
19
18
19
739
255
^Compiled from census work sheets of all Sonora
towns, 1924, AGG, tomo 3659,
291
Table C.5.
Merchants and Mixed Grocery Merchants of Sonora
by Town and Nationality, 1924a
Mexican
Town
Aconchi
Agua Prieta
Alamos
Altar
Atil
Arizpe
BacadShuachi
Bacerac
Bacoachi
Bdcum
BanSmichi
BaviScora
Bavispe
Caborca
Cananea
Cocorit
La Colorada
Cucurpe
Cumpas
Etchojoa
Fronteras
Granados
Guaymas
Hermosillo
Huachinera
HuSsabas
Huatabampo
HuSpac
Hunamichi
Imuris
Magdalena
Moctezuma
Movas
Naco
NScori Chico
Nacozari
Navojoa
Nogales
Nuri
Opodepe
Oquitoa
Merchant
1
23
42
28
1
7
3
4
38
3
8
1
7
15
39
46
8
2
3
8
3
6
56
116
2
16
4
2
8
11
29
1
1
6
5
20
29
49
3
3
3
Grocer
1
4
7
7
1
4
3
4
1
3
8
0
4
6
10
9
5
2
2
6
1
1
10
27
1
4
1
1
8
3
6
0
1
0
3
10
12
14
3
3
2
Chinese
Mer­
chant
1
30
12
4
1
14
0
1
2
17
3
6
1
2
49
21
20
1
17
19
11
0
69
84
1
2
40
6
3
9
18
4
1
10
1
14
38
59
0
6
1
Grocer
1
19
7
4
1
14
0
1
2
17
3
6
1
2
35
17
15
1
17
18
10
0
61
76
1
2
36
6
3
8
14
3
1
7
1
11
33
43
0
6
1
Others
Mer­
chant
0
11
1
3
0
1
0
0
1
4
0
1
0
1
22
5
0
0
1
0
0
0
26
11
0
0
2
1
0
0
0
1
0
4
0
8
9
9
0
0
1
Grocer
0
2
0
3
0
1
0
0
1
4
0
1
0
1
5
3
0
0
1
0
0
0
2
7
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
3
4
2
0
0
0
292
Table C.5.— Continued
Mexican
Town
Oputo
Pilares
Pitiquito
Quirego
Rosario
San Felipe
San Javier
Santa Ana
Santa Cruz
Saric
Sahuaripa
Suaqui
Suaqui Grande
Tepache
Trincheras
Tubutama
Villa de Seris
YScora
Total
Merchant
Grocer
Chinese
Merchant
Grocer
Others
Merchant
Grocer
20
7
12
3
1
3
2
2
7
5
4
11
1
3
7
0
1
14
7
2
5
3
1
2
2
1
2
5
3
7
1
3
1
0
1
13
18
11
3
4
1
0
0
20
2
4
4
0
0
8
1
3
7
1
16
11
3
4
1
0
0
19
2
4
4
0
0
8
1
3
7
1
4
3
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
2
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
763
257
685
588
131
48
aCompiled from statistics in AGG, tomo 3660,
293
Table C.6
Mexican and Chinese Capital Invested in
Mercantile Establishments in Sonora by Town,
1925a
Town
Alamos
Aconchi
Agua Prieta
Altar
Arizpe
Arivechi
Atil
BacadShuachi
Bacerac
Bacoachi
BScum
BanSmichi
Batuc
BaviScora
Bavispe
Caborca
San Luis Rio
Colorado
Cananea
Cocorit
Cucurpe
Cumpas
Etchojoa
Fronteras
Granados
Guaymas
Hermosillo
Huachinera
HuSsabas
Huatabampo
HuSpac
Imuris
La Colorada
Magdalena
Moctezuma
Ncicori Chinco
Nacozari de Garcia
Navojoa
Nogales
Nuri
Oputo
Oquitoa
Number of
Mexicans
3
1
1
5
6
1
1
1
1
1
0
5
2
1
3
5
3
12
2
2
0
0
0
1
23
29
0
1
0
1
0
1
3
3
1
0
19
57
3
2
0
Capital
invested
22,200b
500 •
200
14,405
18,050
1,000
1,200
500
150
4,000
0
2,150
5,900
600
3,300
9,250
3,200
31,800
1,200
900
0
0
0
1,100
268,750°
214,800
0
400
0
500
0
1,000
4,450
7,340
525
0
41,100
183,920
1,500
2,900
0
Number of
Chinese
Capital
invested
3
1
11
6
6
0
1
0
2
0
1
3
1
4
1
1
3,900*
2,000
21,700
16,000
16,500
0
3,000
0
8,000
0
1,500
5,400
6,000
10,010
2,200
5,000
0
11
36
0
8
20
8
7
32
72
1
2
25
4
5
3
25
4
0
9
22
61
0
3
2
0
33,900
95,300
0
19,200
44,450
19,800
2,500
208,000
182,135
3,500
900
64,850
6,700
8,500
6,500
150,255
12,540
0
29,265
118,900
112,960
0
8,340
2,380
294
Table C.6.— Continued
Town
Pilares de Nacozari
Pitiquito
Quirego
Raydn
Rosario .
Sahuaripa
San Javier
San Miguel
San Pedro
Santa Ana
Santa Cruz
Saric
Soyopa
Suaqui de Batuc
Tepache
El Tigre
Trincheras
Tubutama
Ures
Valle de Tacupeto
Villa de Seris
Villa Pesqueira
Total
Number of
Mexicans
Capital
invested
Number of
Chinese
Capital
invested
1
3
1
2
1
11
2
2
0
1
1
2
2
2
0
7
1
0
8
1
1
1
11,000
1,050
1,200
2,500
500
17,450
3,000
5,000
0
1,200
3,000
2,000
4,500
2,500
0
14,400
1,050
0
9,810
800
500
1,200
4
0
2
4
0
3
0
4
1
15
1
2
0
0
2
9
0
2
12
1
5
0
13,500
0
2,700
8,800
0
8,300
0
9,000
5,000
25,255
5,000
4,500
0
0
2,020
24,000
0
3,200
28,310
2,500
7,200
0
240
943,540
458
1,376,370
^Compiled from statistics in AGG, tomo 3758.
bT
In pesos.
cThis included the invested capital of Caspar
Zaragosa, who appeared in other statistical surveys as a
Spaniard.
295
Table C.7.
Town
Altar
Arizpe
BanSmichi
Bavicicora
Caborca
Cananea
Cocorit
Fronteras
Guaymas
Hermosillo
Huatabampo
Magdalena
Navojoa
Nogales
Sahuaripa
Santa Cruz
El Tigre
Ures
Chinese and Mexican Capital Investment of 5,000
to 10,000 Pesos in Mercantile Businesses in
Sonora by Town, 1925a
Nationality
Businesses
Investment
Mexican
Chinese
Mexican
Mexican
Chinese
Chinese
Chinese
Chinese
Chinese
Chinese
Mexican
Mexican
Chinese
Chinese
Chinese
Mexican
Chinese
Mexican
Chinese
Chinese
Chinese
Mexican
Chinese
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
3
2
3
3
5
3
1
3
1
5
1
1
1
1
1
11,000
10,000
7,000
5,000
6,000
5,000
5,000
9,000
21,500
10,000
21,000
18,000
39,500
17,500
9,000
16,000
5,000
28,400
5,000
6,000
5,000
6,000
5,000
aAGG, tomo 3758.
296
Table C.8.
Town
Alamos
Cananea
Cocorit
Guaymas
Hermosillo
Magdalena
Nacozari
Navojoa
Nogales
Pilares
Sahuaripa
Chinese and Mexican Capital Investment of Over
10,000 Pesos in Mercantile Businesses in Sonora
by Town, 1925a
Nationality
Businesses
Investment
Mexican
Mexican
Chinese
Chinese
Mexican
Chinese
Mexican
Chinese
Chinese
Chinese
Chinese
Mexican
Mexican
Mexican
1
1
1
1
6
4
3
2
2
1
2
4
1
1
20,000*)
15,000
10,000
10,000
230,000°
157,000
157,500*)
35,000
110,000
12,300
75,000
67,500
11,000
10,000
aAGG, tomo 3758.
^These include owners listed as Spanish in other
statistical records.
297
Table C.9.
Annual Sales by Mexican and Chinese Merchants
in Sonora by Selected Towns, 1925a
Mexican
merchants
Town
Alamos
Altar
Atil
Bacerac
Bavispe
Caborca
Cumpas
Etchojoa
Fronteras
Guaymas (San Jos£)
Horcasitas
Huepac
Moctezuma
Opodepe
Pilares de Nacozari
Pitiquito
Rosario
Santa Cruz
Tepache
Trincheras
Total
Average annual
sales per
merchant
Annual
sales*3
Chinese
merchants
Annual
sales*3
6
2
1
2
4
7
4
5
1
9
4
2
4
3
4
4
1
0
1
2
27,000
16,000
2,400
716
9,800
14,571
9,600
16,000
6,000
12,821
12,000
4,400
12,586
11,600
36,900
15,400
3,600
0
215
4,800
3
5
1
1
1
1
11
16
9
2
9
5
4
2
10
3
1
1
4
1
23,000
25,800
2,400
892
7,000
5,000
95,000
137,100
37,893
2,967
37,200
22,400
34,400
4,000
61,600
10,000
3,600
10,500
20,000
5,000
66
216,409
90
545,752
3,280
6,064
^Figures from AGG, unnumbered tomo. Figures did not
include cities with the largest concentration of Chinese:
Cananea, Guaymas, Hermosillo, Nogales,
b-r
In pesos.
298
Table C.10.
Mexican and Chinese Businesses in Naco,
Sonora by Type and Annual Sales, 1928a
Mexican
Chinese
Business
Number
Cantina
Butcher
Restaurant
Grocery
Others
4
0
2
0
3
108,000b
0
8,000
0
23,000
0
1
4
8
0
0
12,000
29,000
89,000
0
Total
9
139,000
13
130,000
Sales
Number
Sales
^Treasury Agent HernSndez to Governor, 22 March
1928, AGG, tomo 91 (1928).
bIn pesos.
299
Table C.11,
Assessment of Chinese in Sonora by Selected
Towns, 1927a
Total value
of land
Town
Number Chinese
assessed
Value of
Chinese
property
Aconchi
Arizpe
Cajeme
Cananea
Guaymas
Hermosillo
Los Angeles
Magdalena
Nacozari
Nogales
Pilares
Sahuaripa
Santa Rosa
La Trinidad
Ures
172,481.42b
599,854.89
858,925.00
1,266,070.00
972,780.00
1,285,214.50
188,504.79
634,676.63
1,470,529.11
993,930.00
110,090.00
213,763.58
20,353.00
4,160.00
427,475.15
3
8
47
17
22
16
7
14
16
6
4
3
1
1
10
18,000
29,860
200,915
91,300
54,500
154,085
38,150
26,600
103,365
69,310
41,520
12,000
1,000
2,000
47,200
Total
9,218,808.07
168
989,805
aAGG, tomo 3 (1927).
b-r
In pesos.
Table C.12.
Capital Investment of Over 5,000 Pesos in Mercantile Businesses in
Guaymas, MazatlSn, and Acaponeta by Nationality, 1926a
Guaymas
Nationality
Capital
Mazatlcin
Per cent
Acaponeta
Capital
Per cent
Capital
Per cent
Mexican
Chinese/Japanese
Spanish
United States
French
England
Syrian/Lebanese
German
Others
1,145,000
760,000
400,000
300,000
100,000
50,000
40,000
20,000
0
40.67
27,00
14.21
10.66
3.55
1.78
1.42
0.71
0.00
1,190,000
2,915,000
700,000
1,970,000
0
0
225,000
2,735,000
35,000
12.18
29.84
7.17
20.16
0.00
0,00
2.30
27.99
0.36
290,000
117,000
0
0
0
0
60,000
20,000
0
59.55
24.02
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
12.32
4.11
0.00
Total
2,815,000
100.00
9,770,000
100,00
487,000
100.00
aM£xico, Department© de la Estadistica Nacional, Sonora, Sinaloa y
Nayarit, Ano de 1927, pp, 376-377? in 1928 Chinese and Japanese comprised 57.8%
of all foreigners in Sinaloa, see Sinaloa, Secci6n de Fomento, Departmento de
Gobierno, El estado de Sinaloa: monografia, geografia, estadistica e
informative, Ano de 1928 (CuliacSn: Imprenta del Gobierno, 1928), p. 51; in 1930
Chinese and Japanese comprised 67.2% of all foreigners in Sinaloa, see Sinaloa,
Departmento de Gobernacidn, Seccidn de Fomento, El estado de Sinaloa: monografia
geografia, estadistica, informative e ilustrada, Ano de 1930 (2nd ed., CuliacSn:
Imprenta del Gobierno, 1930), p. 19.
300
Table C.13,
Distribution of Merchandise to Branch Stores
of Juan Lung Tain, January to August, 1924a
Product
Magdalena
Santa Ana
Llano
Coffee (sacks)
Coffee (kilos)
Sugar (sacks)
Butter (boxes)
Beans (sacks)
Soap (boxes)
Potatoes (sacks)
Corn (sacks)
Corn (kilos)
Gas (gallons)
Rice (sacks)
Rice (railroad car)
Anchovies (sacks)
Anchovies (railroad
car)
Wheat (sacks)
351
35,500
1,525
355
100
595
59
0
56,744
0
0
1
0
307
0
620
651
28
500
0
240
0
203
203
0
290
27
0
105
0
3
55
8
35
0
40
5
0
0
1
240
0
190
0
180
aWalterio Pesqueira to Antonio Villasenor, 30 August
1924, AGG, tomo 3668, expediente 2913.
302
Table C.14.
Suspects and Costs of 1924 Tong War in Sonora
by Town
Town
Apprehended3
Agua Prieta
BScum
Cananea
Cocorit
La Colorada
Cumpas
Empalme
Fronteras
Guaymas
Hermosillo
Huatabampo
Magdalena
Naco
Nacozari de Garcia
Navajoa
Nogales
Pilares de Nacozari
Santa Ana
El Tigre
Ures
Total
At large3
16
2
22
31
3
10
4
21
7
21
13
6
11
15
9
14
6
18
3
8
5
3
9
6
8
8
8
0
5
15
0
9
0
5
3
4
0
6
7
5
240
106
Costs to state*3
298.80°
24.00
632.10
352.00
27.85
92.50
116.50
206.15
243.75
50.00
278.00
963.10
65.40
316.75
82.74
176.50
230.00
332.00
20.00
93.50
4,601.64
aList of Chinese apprehended and at large, 1924,
AGG, tomo 3645,
^Governor to Secretary of Interior, Mexico City,
21 May 1925, AGG, tomo 3648.
(2
In pesos.
\
303
Table C .15.
Income of Sonora’s State Treasury by Month,
1929-1933a
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
3.7b
2,0
2.3
2.0
2.2
2.5
3.3
4.0
2.0
3.2
2.8
3.0
3.9
2.9
2.4
3.8
2.7
2.3
3.0
2.0
2.0
2.4
2.0
2.1
2.0
2.4
2.6
3.0
2.0
2.2
3.8
2.0
2.0
2.0
2.0
2.2
2.0
2.0
2.0
3.2
1.8
1.1
3.3
2.4
1.2
3.0
2.0
3.7
3.0
1.8
1.4
3.3
1.7
2.6
3.2
2.0
——
——
Average/month
2.75
2.63
2.35
2.31
2.38
Month
—
—
aSonora, Gobernador, Informe que el ciudadano
Rodolfo Elias Calles gobernador constitucional del estado
fibre y soberano de Sonora, rindiS ante la H. legislature,
del mismo, con fecha 16 de septiembre de 1933 (Mexico:
Talleres Linotipogr^ficos Mexicanos, 1933), n.p.
^1 is equivalent to 100,000 pesos,
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