While the Chinese question elicited more letters than those written about 

all other ethnic groups combined, Times readers did express their feelings 

about Indians, African Americans {or "colored" men and women, to use the term 

most commonly used at that time}, Hispanics and other hyphenated-Americans.  

Although their comments were less heated, they were as badly divided in their 

attitudes toward these groups as they were toward the Chinese.

                                  A} INDIANS

     The original site of the pueblo in 1781 was near the Indian village 

located south of the present-day Union Station.  Estimates by Guinn and other 

early historians suggest that the local Indian population at that time 

approximated 300, and at the twenty or more other villages scattered throughout 

what would become the modern county the total number of Indians was near 4000.  

A census in 1830 counted 198 Indians within the pueblo.  Following mission 

secularization by the Mexican government in the early 1830s and the subsequent 

dispossession of the Mission Indians, their population in Los Angeles increased 

as they sought security in the pueblo.  But while an Indian population remained 

in or near the town, the last vestiges of the village disappeared by 1836. 

    At the time of American acquisition Indians in the town numbered about 500, 

and those within the county remained at about 4000.  The questionable 

statistics contained in the census of 1870 reported 114 Indians in the city, 

another 99 in Los Angeles township exclusive of the city, and 1 Indian at Santa 

Ana.  None were reported in other portions of the county, although other 

records make clear that scattered settlements did exist.

    One of those settlements was near the San Fernando mission.  Following 

secularization, that mission's property had been taken by the government before 

passing into private ownership.  In 1846 Eulogio De Celis purchased an interest 

in the mission's lands from General Andres Pico, who had previously obtained it 

from the government.  The De Celis portion, when finally confirmed by the 

federal land claims commission, was reportedly the largest rancho in the 

county, consisting of over 121,000 acres.  Pico subsequently sold the bulk of 

his share to the San Fernando Farm Homestead Association, an enterprise 

dominated by Isaac N. Van Nuys and the Lankershims.  In 1874 the De Celis 

family sold more than 50,000 acres of their holdings, including the old 

mission, to George and B. F. Porter and former state senator Charles Maclay, 

who founded the city of San Fernando that year.

    Near the mission lived a small band of Indians, headed by Rogerio Rocha, 

who had been born there about 1801 and had been baptized at the mission in 

1810.  When Maclay had Rogerio and the others evicted by court order in 1885, 

an anonymous letter appeared in the Times, followed by an exchange of letters 

written by Robert M. Widney, Maclay's nephew, attorney and business associate, 

and by a son of Eulogio De Celis, who was represented by attorney Anson 

Brunson.  Assisting in the eviction was deputy sheriff, and later San Quentin 

warden, Martin Aguirre.  Shortly after Rogerio's death at age 102 or 103 in 

1904, Horatio N. Rust {appointed government agent to the Mission Indians in 

1889 and the author of letters printed elsewhere in this volume} lamented the 

eviction in an Out West article, endorsing the De Celis version as related in 

the letters that follow.

                         {Times, Nov. 21, 1885, p. 4}

                        Rights of Natives of the Soil.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Yesterday I was 

         reading Helen Hunt Jackson's story, "Ramona."  Profoundly 

         moved by the recital of the wrongs and miseries of the 

         Indians, driven from their homes, where their fathers had 

         lived before them, I was comforted by the reflection that it 

         was only a story, probably exaggerated, and that it was 

         impossible such things should happen again.  Enlightened 

         Christian feeling would not permit it.  Judge of my 

         astonishment, therefore, on taking up your paper this morning 

         and reading the following:

              Deputy Sheriff Aguirre:  "Will Hammell and I have just 

         got back from San Fernando, where we dispossessed the Mission 

         Indians for Judge Widney and Senator Maclay.  They have been 

         there about 80 years, I think; had two good houses - a lot of 

         property.  We had to load their stuff on a wagon and cart it 

         off.  There were eleven Indians in all, and they all came 

         away peaceably except the old Capitan.  We had to grab him 

         and throw him on the wagon to get him away."

              What can it mean?

                         {Times, Nov. 22, 1885, p. 1}

                           THE SAN FERNANDO INDIANS.

                Statement of Judge Widney as to Their Eviction.

              Judge R. M. Widney, in response to a question concerning 

         the eviction of the Indians at San Fernando a few days ago, 

         said:  "A wrong impression seems to have got out about this 

         matter.  In the first place, all but three of the Indians are 

         recent arrivals, coning here from San Luis Obispo.  The three 

         mentioned were formerly connected with the Mission, but were 

         "shoved out" by some one.  They were allowed to occupy the 

         portion of the ranch they have lived on for some years, the 

         understanding being that when the land was wanted for 

         settlement they must move off.  Some time ago a judgment was 

         rendered against them for the land, the purpose being to 

         prevent the statute of limitations from taking effect.  When 

         Maclay sold to the new company he proceeded to survey where 

         the Indians had been cultivating, and offered them $150 for 

         their improvements.  About this time the Indians were advised 

         by certain attorneys not to go away.  Later an execution was 

         taken out and placed in the hands of Sheriff Gard, who was 

         authorized to pay them $100.  The Indians were seen, and they 

         promised to leave in ten days, but in the meantime they were 

         advised again by their attorneys not to do so.  The latter 

         now proceeded to move to set aside the judgment on the ground 

         that it was void.  This the court, after a careful hearing, 

         refused to do.  The new company wished to use water from a 

         spring on the land for a brickyard, but the Indians (by 

         advice of their attorneys) refused to let them have it, and, 

         at considerable expense, a yard was established elsewhere.  

         The sheriff was now instructed to rent them a house for one 

         month in Los Angeles, or, if they preferred it, at the 

         Mission.  If they were not satisfied with this arrangement he 

         was to let them have an abundant supply of provisions.  These 

         offers were rejected, the attorneys of the Indians advising 

         them to resist dispossession even to violence.  (Evidence to 

         this effect is in writing in the hands of Senator Maclay.)  

         The Sheriff proceeded to move them off without any resistance 

         on their part, except in the case of one old Indian.  They 

         were all given food and a house at San Fernando, and the 

         accommodations were accepted, except by the old Indian 

         mentioned.  A day or two ago he went to Senator Maclay and 

         said, 'I do not blame you for putting us off, as we had no 

         rights there.  We would not have done as we did had we not 

         been badly advised.'  He asked for provisions and was given a 

         liberal supply.  The Indians have been a great nuisance and 

         their rancheria has been a rendezvous for horse thieves and 

         other bad characters."

              Statements diametrically opposite to these have reached 

         the Times, and will be investigated.

                         {Times, Nov. 24, 1885, p. 4}

                           THE SAN FERNANDO INDIANS.

                     The Indians' Side of the Controversy.

              Ex-Judge R. M. Widney has been misinformed in a few 

         respects regarding the eviction of the Indians at San 

         Fernando, and, being in possession of all the facts, I will 

         state them briefly.

              The impression created is not wrong; it is, in fact, too 

         mild; if the full facts had been known it certainly might 

         have been stronger.

              The Indians from San Luis Obispo, if any there were, cut 

         no figure in the matter.  The only ones entitled to stay 

         there for the length of their lives were Rogerio and his 

         wife.  He (Rogerio) was born on the spot he occupied, was 

         raised there, has lived there ever since, and is over 80 

         years old.

              There was only one understanding about them and other 

         old Indians on the ranch at the time it was purchased by 

         Messrs. Maclay and Porter, and this was that the clause in 

         the original deed from the government to my father, "that the 

         old Indians were to be protected in the possession of the 

         small tracts they occupied as long as they lived," would be 

         respected and observed.  Mr. Porter has kept his word so far.

              A judgment in ejectment against Rogerio was obtained by 

         sharp practice on one side and neglect or oversight on the 

         other.  It was the opinion of the United States attorneys for 

         the Mission Indians of California that the above judgment 

         lapsed, and they think so yet.

              In view of the facts in the case, the United States 

         attorneys aforesaid advised Rogerio "not to give up the 

         possession voluntarily, but to allow himself to be arrested, 

         if necessary."  The Hon. ex-Senator Maclay cannot produce any 

         written evidence that the old Indian was by anybody advised 

         to resist the officers of the law.  The instructions 

         mentioned, the "one old Indian," the only one concerned in 

         the matter, followed to the letter.  He allowed himself to be 

         ejected against his protest.

              There may have been offers to pay him money, to rent 

         houses for him and give him provisions.  The Indian denies 

         it, and I believe the Indian.  Only in one instance, he says, 

         they offered him money to sign a paper.  He very properly 


              They were not given a house and food at San Fernando 

         when ejected; they were dumped on the county road; their 

         chickens were packed in sacks and died, of course.  So says 

         the "one old Indian," and I believe him.

              Rogerio, the "one old Indian," had two substantial adobe 

         houses on his place, fruit tress and vines which tell of more 

         than a few years occupancy.  He was never known to be a 

         harborer of thieves, being also remarkable for never drinking 

         liquor at all, an example that some citizens of San Fernando 

         might have imitated with advantage.

              The facts stated I know to be true, and they can be 

         substantiated by the record.

              Finally, the ten acres of Rogerio may be turned into 

         bricks and reared in splendid monuments to heaven, but the 

         unjust and heartless conduct of the builders will still be 

         remembered when the monument crumbles into dust.

                                        E. F. De Celis.

                         {Times, Nov. 28, 1885, p. 3}

                           The San Fernando Indians.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Mr. E. F. De Celis, 

         replying to my former statement, in some things he is 

         correct, in others not.  The original statement that eleven 

         Mission Indians had been dispossessed is now modified by Mr. 

         De Celis, and he states only two out of the eleven had any 

         right there during their lives.  Mr. De Celis says:  "It was 

         the opinion of the United States attorneys for the Mission 

         Indians of California, that the judgment lapsed, and they 

         think so yet."  I quote from a letter signed by said 

         attorney, as follows:  "Upon the second investigation it was 

         found that certain irregularities which were supposed to 

         exist, were not supported by the records, since which time we 

         have given no advice to any person regarding the subject 

         matter."  Mr. De Celis says that no writing can be produced 

         showing that the Indian was advised to resist.  I quote as 

         follows from Mr. De Celis's letter to Senator Maclay, 

         November 10, 1885:  "---------- -----------, (naming the 

         attorney for the Indians,) instructed me to tell Rogerio not 

         to leave the possession, but to submit even to nothing but 

         actual force, and if necessary to allow himself to be 

         arrested.  I told that to Rogerio."  It is but justice to 

         said attorney to quote again from his letter subsequently 

         written, as follows:  "I informed Rogerio, through Mr. De 

         Celis, that he should remain upon the land until the officer 

         should put him off; in other words, that he was not to go off 

         voluntarily, but when the officer commanded him to go, he was 

         then to leave."  Mr. De Celis seems to convey the idea that 

         no money was offered the Indians.  When Sheriff Gard went out 

         with the first writ I told him to let the Indians take off 

         all their improvements, and then to give them $100.  After 

         putting me to over $100 expense, costs, and damage, when the 

         second writ was issued, I told the Sheriff to let them take 

         their improvements and to pay them the value of anything they 

         left, and give them $50 besides.  When the Sheriff finally 

         went out after we had incurred several hundred dollars' costs 

         and damage, I told him to rent a house in Los Angeles city 

         and move them into it by teams or on the cars, if they had no 

         other place to go.  Or, if they would not do that, to rent a 

         house in San Fernando, or at the Mission, and put them in 

         there; and that when he moved them to pay them for anything 

         they left, and if they needed provisions to buy, at San 

         Fernando, ten sacks of flour, more or less, as he thought 

         best, and other provisions for them, and Maclay would pay the 


              Mr. De Celis says Rogerio was never known to be a 

         harborer of thieves.  Mr. Hubbard and Wright, who live within 

         a few feet of where the Indians were, aided a former Sheriff 

         in surrounding one of the Indian's houses and watching for a 

         fugitive from justice harbored there.  They can tell a 

         different story from Mr. De Celis from their years' 

         experience as a neighbor.

              Finally, a man (not Mr. De Celis) came to me at the 

         beginning of this matter, and said that he had arranged to 

         take the Indians away to a place he had in the mountains, and 

         when moved off he would sell us a water right for $10,000.  

         There was a small spring of about one or two inches of water 

         where the Indians were, which may have created the idea that 

         we would pay a large sum for it.  We have no occasion to use 

         the small flow, as we sink artesian wells on other grounds.

              Finally, Rogerio and wife went to the mission and have a 

         house there furnished by Mr. Pico, who tried to have them 

         come there before the sheriff moved them off, and when they 

         went they took provisions furnished by Senator Maclay.  They 

         were removed because they interfered with the subdivision  

         and development of the rancho, and were evidently controlled 

         by some outside parties, whom I have not named, who desired 

         to make money out of the matter.

                                               R. M. WIDNEY.

                         {Times, Nov. 29, 1885, p. 5}

                                Card of Thanks.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  I am indeed thankful 

         to the Hon. R. M. Widney for coming forward so kindly and 

         corroborating the facts mentioned in my plain statement of 

         facts about the eviction of the old San Fernando Indians.  I 

         hope the Judge will also admit that the small portion he 

         quotes from my letter means nothing like resistance "to the 

         proper authority;" also that the "irregularities" referred to 

         in the United States Attorney's letter, do not refer to the 

         judgment direct; also that Messrs. Hubbard and Wright live 

         more than a few feet away from Rogerio's native hearth; also 

         that suspicion of evil is no proof of evil existing, as 

         witness a watch set at San Fernando upon Deputy Sheriff 

         Russell of Downey, under the idea that he and his traveling 

         companion were horse thieves.  If Judge Widney will be kind 

         enough to make these few admissions, he will be more in the 

         right, and I will forget (kindly) his contradictions of his 

         former statement.

              Yours truly,

                                  E. F. De Celis.

    On occasion the situation was reversed.  Those evicted were not Indians but 

white settlers who had taken up land claimed by various tribes.  When the U. S. 

Supreme Court upheld an Indian claim to land at San Jacinto, the Times 

editorially sympathized with those whites who suddenly held a clouded title to 

property there, drawing a response from Edward Bouton, former owner of a large 

tract of land at San Jacinto.  Perhaps what the Times had in mind was an 

earlier incident, at Banning, where the tragedy of eviction, Indian or white, 

had been touchingly described by "Quien."

                         {Times, Feb. 12, 1888, p. 6}

                        The San Jacinto Land Decision.

              Los Angeles, Feb. 10.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  In 

         your issue of this morning you say:

              "The Supreme Court of California has decided the 

         celebrated San Jacinto land case, giving to Indians the right 

         to hold their lands.  This is hard on those who hold a United 

         States patent for a portion of the land, and shows the great 

         need of circumspection in carefully examining titles, 

         especially where the land has been covered by a Spanish 


              These Indians and their ancestors had been in peaceful 

         possession of this land for 150 years when the grant was 

         made, in 1842 or thereabouts.  Their rights and possessions 

         were recognized by the Mexican authorities, and they were 

         named in the grant.  The United States patent which I 

         procured was subject to their claims.  When I was the 

         principal owner of the San Jacinto rancho I always recognized 

         the rights of these people.  In this case the equities are on 

         the side of the Indians, and I think the decision a just one.  

                                                 E. BOUTON.

                         {Times, Oct. 12, 1887, p. 6}

                             Government Eviction.


              Los Angeles, Oct. 11.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  It 

         may surprise some of your readers to know that there is being 

         carried out one of the most contemptible outrages that was 

         ever perpetrated under the ruling of any civilized 

         government.  Talk of free America!  It is a mockery!  

              The facts of the case are as follows:  Over ten years 

         ago S. Z. Millard, at that time broken down in health, 

         without means and with a family to support, moved on a piece 

         of vacant Government land and commenced to clear the brush, 

         develop water and make for himself a house.

              Some months after his settlement the Government made a 

         reservation for the Mission Indians.  This reservation 

         adjoins Banning, in San Bernardino county.

              Mr. and Mrs. Millard have worked hard for years upon 

         their place, undergoing great hardships and privations.  They 

         made themselves a home, and are now just beginning to reap 

         some benefits from their labors.  Mr. Millard has erected 

         buildings, developed water at great cost and raised his 

         orchard.  He is a native-born citizen, and has always been 

         loyal.  He is now 66 years old, and he and his wife are 

         growing quite feeble.  Mr. Millard must soon cease his labors 

         on earth.

              And now comes the outrage.  Mr. Millard is ordered to 

         vacate--leave his home, all his earthly possessions, as his 

         farm is claimed in the reservation, which was created after 

         he located and began improving.

              There is nothing offered him for his long years of 

         labor, nothing to support him in his declining years.  He and 

         his aged wife are turned out on the world.  A few years ago 

         he could earn a living at his trade, but now he can not.  

         What kind of justice is this?  There are several families 

         evicted under similar circumstances.          


    If the city's Indians were "noble savages" that description did not come 

across in the writings of Newmark, Spalding, Willard, Guinn or the other 

chroniclers of local history.  Instead, readers find them characterized as a 

breed not only unfit for assimilation {an argument often used by advocates of 

Chinese exclusion} but so debased that it was considered unnecessary to refute 

the possibility that Indians might assimilate.  While an occasional tear might 

have been shed facetiously for "Lo, the poor Indian," the more common concern 

was how to deal with the few remaining in the area.  But when one young woman 

of Indian descent was derogatorily referred to as a "squaw" by the Times, 

Charles O'Malley came to her defense.  His position as clerk to the Adjutant 

General, Department of Arizona, headquartered in Los Angeles, probably 

accounted for his knowledge of the incident.

                         {Times, Nov. 30, 1888, p. 6}

                       Without Regard to Race or Color.

              Los Angeles, Nov. 25.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Referring to the article under "The City in Brief," in The 

         Times of the 25th inst., permit me, in justice to the alleged 

         "squaw," but not in extenuation of T. A. Gaskins's actions, 

         to explain matters, as known to me.

              Thomas A. Gaskins was a general services clerk at 

         headquarters, department of Arizona, from October, 1884, to 

         about May, 1887.  During his stay at Prescott, Ariz., where 

         headquarters were established before their removal to this 

         city in January, 1887, he formed the acquaintance of Theresa 

         Schulz, the adopted daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Horne of 

         Prescott, Ariz., a family well and favorably known throughout 

         the Territory, the elder son being Recorder of Yavapai 

         county, the younger son a graduate of West Point, now a 

         lieutenant of the Fourth Cavalry.  There never has been a 

         breath of reproach upon Miss Schulz's character, and her 

         relations with Thomas A. Gaskins were those of an 

         acquaintance only.  She came to Los Angeles some time in 

         July, 1887, and after a renewal of her acquaintance with 

         Gaskins, who had accompanied headquarters to this city, 

         married him in October, 1887, I think, with the consent of 

         her adopted mother.  Since that time she has been a good and 

         faithful wife, suffering so I have been repeatedly told, 

         through her husband's neglect and harshness, and finally, in 

         the hour of her greatest need, a mother of two weeks, left by 

         him without a dime, her room-rent and board bill unpaid, and 

         her only inheritance her husband's disgraced name.

              Mrs. Gaskins has Indian blood in her veins, it is true; 

         but not more so than the majority of our proudest creole 

         families in Louisiana.  Though, forsooth, why an Indian woman 

         of character and education should be entitled to less regard 

         than a white woman of even advantages is not clear to my 

         perception.  Yours very truly,

                                     CHARLES O'MALLEY.

    The only editorial postscript Editor Otis appended to a letter regarding 

Indians came at the end of this trivial question from an anonymous reader.  In 

railroad parlance, a non-paying passenger was a "dead head."

                         {Times, Nov. 14. 1887, p. 5}


              Los Angeles, Nov. 13.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Please inform a constant reader if Indians ride free through 

         this State on the Southern Pacific Railroad, or if they have 

         to pay fare.

              Answer.--That depends upon the sleepless vigilance of 

         the able conductor.  We are not aware that the copper-colored 

         native is vested with either an inalienable or a 

         constitutional right to d. h.

                            B) "COLORED" AMERICANS

    Those opposing the removal of Chinese from the work force frequently argued 

that California had no adequate labor supply to replace them.  "Prosperity" 

suggested they be replaced by "colored laborers," and to a letter asking about 

the prospects for colored people in Southern California Editor Otis offered his 

opinion.  The county's colored population, as the Census Bureau termed it, had 

risen from 87 African Americans in 1860 to 188 in 1880.  By 1890 "persons of 

African descent" numbered 1817 in the county, less than half the Chinese 


                         {Times, Dec. 16, 1885, p. 2}

                     A Good Word for the Colored Laborer.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  There is considerable 

         said about the going of Chinamen, but where is the laborer to 

         fill his place?  The vast machinery of work must have a power 

         behind it to make it move.  Labor must not come and go at 

         haphazard, like one having fits and spasms.  What is wanted  

         is the steady laborer, who loves his place and home, with a 

         desire to drive his stakes and build in the waste places.  

         There is a laborer of that kind at hand--this is to speak a 

         good word for him.  Surely he ought not to be neglected, for 

         he is already a citizen, with the power of the ballot.  His 

         morals are above those of the Chinaman.  It is scarcely 

         necessary to say that I mean the colored laborer who is now  

         being crowded in the Southern States.  The writer of this saw 

         300 colored immigrants passing out of South Carolina and on 

         their way to Arkansas.  Why not bring a few thousand to 

         Southern California?  They are industrious laborers; they 

         love home and schools and churches.  They would fit admirably 

         to take the place of Chinamen in all departments of labor; 

         besides, they are a cheery people.  Who has not heard and 

         been pleased with the old-fashioned plantation songs and 

         quaint negro philosophies?  Such human beings have natures to 

         rise above low levels and become among the most useful 

         citizens.  Somebody should get up a "Negro Immigration 

         Society."  Bring them out here and prove their quality to 

         benefit this section.

              Allow me to subscribe myself,


                         {Times, Sept. 29, 1888, p. 6}

                     Inquiries from Texas Colored People.

              San Fernando, Sept. 27.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         I have just received a letter that is worthy of insertion in 

         your paper just at this juncture of the campaign.  I will 

         copy the letter verbatim and it will speak for itself.  If 

         you would not consider it too much trouble I would ask you to 

         append an answer to it, as I except to answer the gentleman 

         shortly and my knowledge regarding the resources of our 

         beautiful and fertile country is somewhat limited:

                        "Houston (Tex.), Sept., 1888.

              "Rev. James Blackledge--My Dear Brother: I write you for 

         information concerning Southern California as a place 

         suitable for farming people.  Is immigration desired?  What 

         are the inducements, if any for good, honest colored people 

         who are good farmers, peaceable and industrious?  Is the soil 

         good?  What is and what can be raised?  Can cotton, corn, 

         etc., be cultivated successfully?  Please answer and give me 

         information which I may tell the people.  A bit of history:  

         Past and recent outrages upon the colored people of my State 

         and district, driving out and killing the best of our men, 

         have caused them to desire to leave for more congenial 

         climes.  We cannot stand the oppression; our manhood and 

         spirit are crushed out; our lives are insecure, and no 

         protection from the Governor or officers.  Although we go to 

         ourselves and colonize apart from them, yet they come by 

         bands of hundreds and kill and drive away from homes, wives 

         and children our educated and best men.  I am presiding elder 

         of the Houston District (Texas) Conference M. E. Church, and 

         among the delegates who attended the General Conference at 

         New York.  Please answer as soon as possible, giving the 

         needed information.  Put me in correspondence with any one 

         else whom you know to be reliable.  Yours truly,

                                          "R. H. HARBERT."

              [We think there is room for a good class of industrious 

         colored men--agricultural laborers--in Southern California.  

         It is not a cotton country, but almost everything else in the 

         shape of agricultural and horticultural products can be 

         raised from the prolific soil.--Ed. Times.]

    Just as it was considered acceptable to print "news" items that ridiculed 

Indians, such as Mrs. Gaskins, African Americans were similarly at the mercy of 

the paper's staff.  When the Times ran a piece that found humor in what one 

reader thought was a subject too serious for laughter, the following letter was 

the reader's reply.

                         {Times, Aug. 18, 1887, p. 6}

                         Where Does the Laugh Come In.

              Los Angeles, Aug. 17.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  An 

         article in this morning's Times gives an account of the 

         desertion of a "colored lady" by her husband.  The conclusion 

         of the paragraph states that the event has both a "comical 

         and a serious side," for the reason that the husband left the 

         wife in rather an "interesting" condition, and without a 

         dollar.  One can readily comprehend the serious aspects of 

         this affair, which seems to have distressed the poor wife so 

         grievously; but I, for one, fail to see the "comical" side of 

         what produced such an abundant flow of tears from the victim.  

         It may be that I am wanting in a sense of humor.  Possibly 

         the fun of the thing is to be found in the racy style of the 

         narrative.  But could it have been made to tickle the fancy 

         of any one with a groan of sympathy for the unfortunate if 

         the actors had been of high social standing?  Are we 

         permitted to laugh at the misfortunes of the lowly, while we 

         consider seriously and with sympathy the griefs of the great?

                                               W. P. W.

    While several historians place the hiring of the city's first black 

policemen in Mayor Meredith Snyder's term during the mid 1890s, recent 

scholarship indicates that Joseph Green and Robert W. Stewart were the 

earliest, appointed simultaneously in 1886.  {For more on Stewart, see his 

letter in the chapter on politics.}  By 1889 George H. Baxter, a porter, was 

disenchanted with the assignments given African American policemen.  Green was 

classified as a city hall janitor in an 1887 directory, giving weight to 

Baxter's complaint, and neither Green nor Stewart were listed as policemen 

before 1889.  A century later Baxter would no doubt have demanded an 

examination of the police department's affirmative action program relative to 

hiring minorities.  On the other hand, one of the most respected members of the 

county sheriff's force was Martin Aguirre, hero of the 1886 flood and 

descendant of an Hispanic family long established in Los Angeles. 

                          {Times, April 3, 1889, p.3}

                       Colored Men for the Police Force.

              Los Angeles, April 2.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         ask permission to make the inquiry through your paper why 

         only two of the applications from colored men to be placed on 

         the police force were considered, and also why the city 

         authorities are dilatory in placing the two colored men 

         appointed on the force to active duty, and why they should be 

         relegated to janitor duty in the city buildings?

                                          G. H. BAXTER.

    The state's constitution barred blacks from voting until ratification of 

the 15th Amendment in 1870.  When one Southern Californian indicated he would 

have continued that voting ban, "Tippecanoe" offered a reply.  Ralph Hoyt, a 

regular contributor of well-written letters on a variety of subjects, and 

"Veteran Observer" offered their support for the right of all Americans to 

vote.  Hoyt's defense of the Civil Rights Amendments is particularly 


                         {Times, Aug. 19, 1888, p. 5}

                         Some Light on a Dark Subject.

              Santa Ana, Aug. 18.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  In a 

         recent letter to The Times from E. E. Keech, secretary of the 

         Prohibition Club of this place and Candidate for County Clerk 

         on the Prohibition ticket, that gentleman explains why the 

         sable orator, Rev. Hector, failed to meet his appointment to 

         speak in Santa Ana.

              In view of the fact that Mr. Keech, in a conversation 

         with one of our prominent Republicans, gave vent to the 

         following (or, in substance) language, touching his views on 

         the negro suffrage question, it may not be out of place to 

         give him a grain of allowance on the Hector mis-fit:

              Said p. r. {prominent Republican - Ed.} was speaking of 

         the suppressed negro vote at the South and Mr. Keech gave it 

         as his unqualified opinion that if he could have it his way 

         the negro ("nigger" to use his own word) "should not be 

         allowed to vote at all."  Why?  "Because of their ignorance."  

         Perhaps Mr. Keech does not favor the negro having the right 

         to speak even on prohibition.  At all events the admirers of 

         the Rev. Mr. Hector can put this away somewhere, and when 

         they vote for County Clerk do so consistently.  I will also 

         say right here that Mr. Keech is frequently seen hobnobbing 

         with that class of Democrats who believe in a solid South at 

         all hazards, in other words the "shotgun policy," to squelch 

         the negro Republican vote, and yet he claims to have been a 

         Republican once.  Shades of Horace Greeley!      


                         {Times, Oct. 31, 1886, p. 3}

                        THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS.

              Los Angeles, Oct. 30.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  In 

         view of the political situation in the South the question 

         arises, what shall be done with the later constitutional 

         amendments--commonly known as "the fruits of the war?"  Shall 

         they be enforced or repealed?  Every existing law or 

         constitutional provision that can not be enforced should be 

         abrogated.  It is sickening to think how justice is 

         burlesqued and the public mind debauched in this country by 

         the existence of "dead-letter" laws--national, state and 

         municipal.  Laws which nobody respects because they are never 

         enforced.  The thirteenth amendment to the Federal 

         Constitution, adopted in 1865, abolished slavery and thereby 

         broke what had been the backbone of the slaveholders' 

         rebellion.  But how about the amendments that followed?  The 

         fourteenth amendment, adopted in 1868, and the fifteenth, 

         adopted in 1870, were intended to confer the rights of 

         citizenship upon the colored race, removing all distinction 

         on account of color and making black and white people equal 

         before the law.  This is as it should be.  But, 

         unfortunately, these amendments have never been followed up 

         by the necessary legislation.  After the colored men of the 

         South had been minimally enfranchised, and the representation 

         of these States in Congress and in the Electoral College 

         thereby increased, the black voters were practically left to 

         shift for themselves - to enjoy these newly acquired rights 

         and privileges only if agreeable to their former owners and 

         overseers.  Otherwise they should say nothing about them.  It 

         is well known how in five or six of those States, the colored 

         people have enjoyed(?) these privileges and exercised these 

         rights.  It is well known, and the proof is overwhelming, 

         that physical force with a representative Southern Bourbon is 

         a more potent factor in shaping elections than are all the 

         constitutional amendments ever adopted.  It is well known 

         that a majority of the legal voters in these States (who are 

         registered Republicans) are practically disfranchised.  This 

         is done in defiance of the plain provisions of the 

         constitution.  The fourteenth and fifteenth amendments are 

         deliberately nullified by Bourbon brutality.  Well may we 

         inquire, what kind of a Government have we, anyhow?

              When an American citizen, who happens to be in a foreign 

         land, is deprived of a legal right, our Government 

         immediately gets up on its dignity, shows its teeth, and 

         demands that the wronged citizen be treated fairly.  And in 

         doing so, the Government voices the sentiment of the whole 

         country.  But right here in our own land, under the alleged 

         "protecting folds of the Stars and Stripes," the 

         constitutional rights of tens of thousands of our people are 

         trampled to the earth every four years, and yet the 

         Government tolerates the outrage.

              The closing section of each of the constitutional 

         amendments says: "Congress shall have the power to enforce 

         this article by appropriate legislation."  But Congress has 

         not done so.  If it had, the old Democratic serpent would 

         never have succeeded in swallowing the Government.  He would 

         be so nearly dead as to find difficulty in even moving his 

         tail, and James G. Blaine would now be President.  Of course 

         the "appropriate legislation" to enforce these amendments 

         will never be had from a Democratic administration.  The most 

         that a Republican Senate can hope to accomplish under 

         Cleveland's reign is to prevent the Democrats from so 

         changing the election laws that a fair election and an honest 

         count will be as nearly impossible for Republican voters in 

         the North as they now are in the South.

              The fourth article of the original constitution declares 

         that "The United States shall guarantee to every State in 

         this Union a republican form of government."  Now, if this 

         means anything, it certainly means that every citizen of 

         every State and every portion of every State shall be 

         protected in the exercise of all the rights conferred upon 

         him by the constitution and the laws made in pursuance 


              At the earliest possible day we must have a Congress and 

         President that will enforce the fourteenth and fifteenth 

         amendments, at all hazards and at whatever cost.  Otherwise 

         the time is not far away when the Constitution of our country 

         will not be worth the paper on which it is printed.  Voters 

         should bear these facts in mind, especially when choosing 

         members of Congress and legislators, whose duty it will be to 

         elect United States Senators.

                                            RALPH E. HOYT.

                         {Times, Nov. 17, 1888, p. 5}

                               The Solid South.

              Los Angeles, Nov. 13.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  A 

         leading Democratic politician of South Carolina is reported 

         in this morning's papers as saying that if the Republicans 

         would give the South the assurance that they would leave her 

         alone to manage her own State affairs, etc., the people of 

         that section would break up the solid South.  In parallel 

         columns with this outgiving is a detailed account of how a 

         northern man was treated, including threats of his life, in 

         the State of North Carolina, and how he and his family were 

         driven out of the State.  Now, however desirable to liberty-

         loving Republicans the dissolution of the political 

         combination known as the Democratic Solid South may be, they 

         are not yet ready to enter into pledges guaranteeing to any 

         section or rod of this country the right to murder for 

         political reasons, or to run off for no crime, any citizen, 

         be he black or white, or northern or southern born.  So long 

         as American citizens of whatever color, or wherever born, 

         cannot go or stay, or say his say, or vote and have his vote 

         fairly counted, in any and every State of our common country, 

         the Republican party will not voluntarily close its mouth or 

         bar its right of protest or tie its hands to even secure the 

         mere outward conversion to Republicanism of the entire solid 


                                                VETERAN OBSERVER.

                                 C) HISPANICS

    Through the 1880s descendants of the original settlers from Spain and 

Mexico continued to maintain a prominent place in Los Angeles society.  They 

held high ranking offices, both elected and appointed.  Reginald del Valle 

served in the legislature and Ygnacio Sepulveda was a superior court judge.  

Hispanics held numerous city offices, although with an influx of Easterners in 

the 1880s they were gradually displaced.  When the city police commission in 

1889 fired nearly half the police force, including all "Spanish-American" 

officers, the Times denounced the action as unjust, arguing that dismissal of 

the Hispanic officers closed to that group an occupation that they not only 

were competent to fill but had in many cases performed with exceptional 


    Families of the rancho owners remained an in-group in social circles and a 

few still held great tracts of land.  Others, however, had fallen on hard 

times.  "Prophet" Potts, himself a pioneer from the early 1850s and an 

associate of many of the land grant holders, offered a suggestion.  At the time 

he wrote, California had a short-lived old-age pension plan for the destitute 

that was, though modest, far ahead of its time, giving county supervisors 

authority to place names on the pension roles.  In June, 1885, for example, 131 

Los Angeles County residents drew government pensions ranging from $2 to $30 a 


    Potts' letter was one of the few about Hispanics that appeared in the 

Times, which is somewhat surprising considering the size of that population and 

the history of the area.  

                         {Times, June 15, 1888, p. 6}

                          Help the Indigent Pioneers.

              Los Angeles, June 8.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         see every few days some old familiar face of the old Spanish 

         families on the streets of Los Angeles, destitute and in many 

         cases begging for alms of the passers-by.  The most of these 

         old people were rich when I came here, 36 years ago, and were 

         liberal to the poor Americans coming across the plains in 

         those days, dividing with them anything they had liberally.  

         Some of them suffered loss from desperadoes by being friendly 

         to the American Government in the conquest of California by 

         the Americans.  They are now old and poor and destitute of 

         this world's goods, and do not know how to make a living 

         under the new state of things.  The county of Los Angeles is 

         rich, and can well afford to provide sustenance for these few 

         old pioneers during the balance of their short stay in this 

         world; and I would suggest that the Board of Supervisors 

         appoint a committee to hunt up all those old people who have 

         been worthy citizens of this beautiful countryside for so 

         many years, and that they be placed on the indigent list and 

         provided with the necessaries of life from the county funds 

         for the balance of their short stay amongst us.                                                                               

                                                J. W. POTTS.

                            D) HYPHENATED-AMERICANS

    Chinese, Indians, Blacks and Hispanics were not the only groups singled out 

for scorn in the 1880s.  While overt hostility toward the Irish had largely 

disappeared, the letter from "X" raised the suspicion that, given an 

opportunity, the author would have taken the British side.  "American," on the 

other hand, had had enough of all hyphenates.  Clan-na-Gael, cited by 

"American," was a revolutionary Irish nationalist movement implicated in a 

Chicago murder in 1889.  The title Otis placed above "American's" letter does 

not refer to Indians!

                         {Times, Dec. 29, 1886, p. 10}

                            BLARNEY FOR THE IRISH.

              Los Angeles, Dec. 24.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         For several weary weeks the Tribune has been inflicting on 

         its readers an immense amount of week-kneed, broken-backed, 

         hysterical rhetoric concerning the wrongs of Ireland, and 

         much denunciation of "British tyranny and greed."  That the 

         writer of those articles knows nothing of his subject goes 

         without saying; were the case otherwise he would not be 

         employed on that cholera morbific sheet.  That his agonizings 

         are altogether perfunctory is equally evident--nothing could 

         be plainer than that the Great Mind which steers the 

         metropolitan journal thinks to capture for the use of his 

         faction Irish votes and Irish influence by his able 


              If that were all, however, one would pass his 

         maunderings in silent but soulfelt nausea; but when he says 

         "there is not a true American who will refuse to fight for 

         our truehearted brothers" (the Irish) he insults Americans 

         and lies about their sentiments.  And I, claiming to be as 

         true an American as the proprietor of the aforesaid Great 

         Mind, though acknowledging myself a much humbler one, desire 

         to enter a vigorous kick against the assertion that Americans 

         are ready to take up the Irish or any other foreign quarrel.


                         {Times, June 30, 1889, p. 6}

                         A Native American Sentiment.

              Los Angeles, June 27.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  It 

         may seem like a step backward to raise the old cry, "Put none 

         but Americans on guard,"  but will we not have to do so in 

         self-defense?  We have had the Anarchist murders in Chicago, 

         and now the Clan-na-Gael.  We have British-Americans of 

         Boston trying to dictate the policy of the country, and the 

         Hessians of San Francisco refusing to turn out in a Fourth of 

         July parade, unless they are paid $8 per day--not only 

         refusing, but threatening to boycott a Fourth of July parade.

              In your paper of the 24th, I noticed an advertisement 

         from Pasadena for a cook, "French, English or Swede; no 

         Americans need apply."  Is it not time for us to say, no 

         foreigners need apply?