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Showing Eureka in CA...

Basic Information
Type of PlaceIndependent City or Town
Metro Area?Independent City or Town
Politics c. 1860?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status
Confirmed Sundown Town?Surely
Year of Greatest Interest1885
Was there an ordinance?Yes, Written Evidence
Sign?Don't Know
Still Sundown?Surely Not

Census Information

Tell Dr. Loewen More About This Town
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Method of Exclusion
Violent Expulsion

Main Ethnic Group(s).

Group(s) Excluded
Black;Asian;Native American

In 1885 a Chinese man accidently shot and killed a Eureka city councilman. Within two days the city's Chinatown, formerly home to 480 Chinese Americans, ceased to exist. Chinese Americans expelled from Eureka unsuccessfully attempted to sue for damages relating to property lose. In the U.S. Circuit Court case Wing Hing v. Eureka, the court noted that the Chinese residents owned no land and held that their other property was worthless. Well into the twentieth century a tendency to glory in the anti-Chinese attitude was much in evidence." Shortly after the expulsion, a citizen's committee drafted an unofficial law stating: "1) That all Chinamen be expelled from the city and that none be allowed to return. 2) That a committee be appointed to act for one year, whose duty shall be to warn all Chinamen who may attempt to come to this place to live, and to use all reasonable means to prevent their remaining. If the warning is disregarded, to call mass meetings of citizens to whom the case will be referred for proper action. 3) That a notice be issued to all property owners through the daily papers, requesting them not to lease or rent property to Chinese." On the first anniversary of the expulsion, Eureka citizens met to renew their pledges to keep Chinese people out of the city. They also offered help to other towns attempting to expel Chinese people. The anti-Chinese ordinance was repealed in 1959, and a few Chinese Americans now live in the city.
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