State of California vs. John Chinaman

Finding aid created by San Francisco History Center staff using RecordEXPRESS
San Francisco Public Library. San Francisco History Center
San Francisco Public Library
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San Francisco, California 94102
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Descriptive Summary

Title: State of California vs. John Chinaman
Dates: 1854
Collection Number: SFH 432
Creator/Collector: California. Grand Jury (Trinity County)
Extent: 1 leaf
Repository: San Francisco Public Library. San Francisco History Center
San Francisco, California 94102
Abstract: True bill against a Chinese man for assaulting an officer
Language of Material: English


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Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.

Preferred Citation

State of California vs. John Chinaman. San Francisco Public Library. San Francisco History Center

Biography/Administrative History

John Chinaman was a generic name given to any Chinese person, especially male, in the early to mid-nineteenth century. William M. Lowe was sheriff of Trinity County in 1855. The grand jury probably convened in Weaverville, the county seat. Richard T. Miller later moved to Silver City, Idaho, serving in that state as a judge and attorney.

Scope and Content of Collection

A brief manuscript record of the agreement of what is assumed to be the Trinity County grand jury, regarding probable cause to try (a “true bill”) a Chinese man in court after he had been charged with assaulting an officer on the Trinity River on or about July 1, 1854. In this case, the People of the State of California vs. John Chinaman, William M. Lowe was a witness; R. T. Miller was jury foreman; the true bill was filed October 4, 1854. The outcome of the subsequent trial is unknown.

Indexing Terms

Chinese -- California -- Trinity County
Indictments -- California -- 19th century
Grand jury -- California -- Trinity County
Court records -- California -- Trinity County
Criminal courts -- California -- Trinity County
Lowe, William M.
Miller, Richard T., d. 1873
Trinity County (Calif.) -- Social conditions -- 19th century.