Return to Frederick Bee History Project

Maps of old and new Martinez

April 29, 1882 Contra Costa Gazette

The good name of the county and county seat was injured in the estimation of every sound-thinking and considerate person at home or abroad, by the brutal and pusillanimous assault made last Wednesday evening upon the Chinamen domiciled in the old Dutil building at the corner of Main and Mill streets. Well grounded and undeniable as are the objections in Chinese cheap labor importations and competition, even aggravated as they have been by the late veto of the bill for restricting the evil, they afford no excuse for such proceedings as disgraced the name of our town and of humanity last Wednesday evening. Such acts injure any cause, however good, in which they are committed, and are a disgrace to our American civilization in comparison with which the persecution of the Jews in semi-barbarous Russia are palliable. Indeed, if the civilization of our Caucasian Republic cannot afford guaranty against such barbarous outlawry, we had better swap it away for Mongolian or even for Comanche system, of less pretense for the claims of law and humanity.

The Chinamen subjected to this assault were employed by the Martinez Cannery Company whose works occupy the old warehouse on the Ferry wharf. Somewhere from fifty to seventy-five of them were domiciled there. The building is directly in the centre of town and within five or six hundred yards of the Court House and the railroad depot. It was a mistake to locate them there, if not an offense against decency excusable, if at all, only for the reason that the cannery company, in hasty preparation for their season's work, could find no other place for them. But, obtrusively located as they were, they were personally blameless in the matter and had given no special provocation for the outrageous assault made upon them.

The attack was apparently to some extent a preconcerted one, in which no responsible citizen of the place, so as we can ascertain with any degree of certainty, was concerned. It commenced about half past eight, upon a signal by repeated strokes on a gong, and was participated in by many boys and a large number of Greek and Italian fishermen and others who have not been identified as yet. It is said that a notice to leave within fifteen minutes was served upon the Chinamen, and at, or before, the expiration of that time, the gong was sounded, and a crowd of men and boys pulled unavailingly upon a rope that had been attached to the corner frame post of the building with the purpose of pulling it down upon the heads of the inmates.

This effort, however, proved ineffective, and the crowd resorted to smashing windows and doors, thus breaking their way in. On their entry the Chinamen below fled to the second floor and attic story of the building pursued and assailed by the mob. On the second story several pistols were discharged, either by the Chinamen upon their assailants or by the latter upon them; and one of the Greek fishermen received a pistol ball in his leg. Whether any of the wounded Chinamen were shot or not, we are uninformed, but many of them were wounded, and some very seriously with bludgeons, stones or other instruments, and three or four were thrown, or they jumped, from the Main street attic window and must have been severely if not fatally hurt by the fall of twenty or twenty-five feet. Many were struck with pieces of scantling or boards, in trying to escape from the building, and six or seven, some of whom are likely to die, were carted to the train, which took away their companions Thursday morning.

The rioters made a demonstration to assail the domicile of the Chinese employees at Mr. Black's cannery, but, to their credit, so far, were dissuaded from their purpose by that gentleman, who, as we understand, represented to them that he had employed all the while help he could obtain, in his business, and would gladly employ more if it were to be had. This statement is undoubtedly true; and at rates that the business will warrant, white labor, although it is said that, boys and girls can earn from 75 cents to $2.00 per day, is not to be had for the canneries. It is not an attractive or pleasant work, and, in the present conditions of the actual scarcity of white labor, and close competition in disposing of the goods, those who have engaged in this business must employ the Chinese or retire from it with a loss.

We do not know what amount of investment is represented by the two canneries established here this spring, but it can scarcely be less than five thousand dollars and upwards by each of them, and they are taking all the salmon caught by the hundred or two fishermen who rendezvous here for the season, at 40 cents each, and dispensing to them an average of, perhaps, $200 to $500 per day, while the cannery at Benicia dispenses a like amount to the fishermen there. Taking the amount dispensed at both places to the fishermen and the cannery employee together and it will not average much if any short of $1,000 per day.

The establishments of the kind everywhere upon the coast are running mostly with Chinese help for want of other at the rates they can afford to pay, and those here, under conditions must have the privilege of employing the Chinese or quit the business. It is not to be questioned that the system of cheap Chinese labor importation is an evil of menacing portent which calls imperatively for restriction, but inhuman brutality will not remedy the evil. The humanity of the century is too far established to yield to savagery, and will not tolerate Comanche methods of reform. Neither will the law respecting and self respecting citizens of Contra Costa county be content to have their name and reputation dishonored and the public peace and order outraged by reckless rioters indulging brutal propensities upon the plea of anti-coolie prejudice.

May 3, 1882 Contra Costa Gazette

Anti-Chinese League An anti-Chinese League was organized at Somersville on the 20ult, as Liberty League No.1 of Contra Costa County with H. E. Ward, President, David Humphreys, Vice President; Henry Treglawn, Secretary; Patrick Brown, Treasurer; Thomas Lee, Marhsal, and a roll of 64 members.

June 24, 1882 Contra Costa Gazette

The Grand Jury
Results of their investigation into the Chinese Riot Case, etc.
The Grand Jury which was empaneled on the 6th of June, submitted a report to the Superior Court on Saturday last, after which they adjourned to the first Tuesday in September, when their investigations will be renewed. The time of the jury was principally occupied in endeavoring to trace out the originators of the participators in the late Chinese riot, which disgraced our town a few months since. Of those alleged to have been implicated in the riot, indictments were severally found by the Grand Jury against E. J. Simmons , C. Ed. Miller, William Briare and Angelo Berryessa for an assault with intent to produce bodily harm, and a presentment was made against the same parties for riot. A presentment was made against Constable W. A. J. Gift for willful neglect of duty as an officer to not attempting to quell the riot. Nearly one hundred witnesses were examined in the laudable attempt to ascertain the guilty parties, or parties to whom a suspicion of guilt attached. The Jury was composed of able and representative men from all sections of the county, and their report will be accepted as the impartial results of a patient and honest investigation of facts.

July 1, 1882 Contra Costa Gazette

The Chinese Riot
It assumes proportions of international importance
Views of President Arthur
Full text of correspondence between the Chinese Charge d'Affairs, the Secretary of State and Gov. Perkins

The Chinese riot, which occurred in Martinez on the night of April 26th, and which resulted in the reported death of one Chinaman and severe injury of several others, has suddenly assumed proportions of national and international importance. The riot was unprovoked and unjustifiable. A number of Italians and others, incited by individuals who themselves remained at a safe distance from the disgraceful scene, burst open the doors of the old Dutil building on the corner of Main and Mill streets, took forcible possession, and ejected the Chinese by whom it was occupied. Several pistol shots were fired, as number of Chinese were hurled or compelled to jump from the window, and night was made hideous with the discordant yells of the mob and their victims. It was useless to suppose that an act of such atrocious character could be lightly passed over by the representatives of the Chinese Government, whose special business it is to see that their countrymen receive the protection guaranteed to them by stipulations of the treaty. All attempts to hush up the matter were equally useless. The better class of citizens in Martinez and throughout the county desired to see the perpetrators brought to justice. However great a nuisance the Chinese are, and however strongly American citizens desire to have them excluded from the country every fair-minded man recognizes the importance and necessity of extending to them the rights which they have already obtaining by treaty until such rights may have become void by abrogation of the latter. The Grand Jury, composed of representative men from every section of the county, irrespective of religious or political views, did their duty and investigated the case so far as they were able. Indictments and presentments were found against four of the residents of Martinez. One of these is an official of well known ability and obliging manners and the other a young lawyer with a good prospect before him. It is to be regretted that find themselves in their present unfortunate position. The Gazette trusts that they will be able to fully exonerate themselves, and if they succeed in so doing, no one will more gladly extend to them the hand of congratulation than the proprietor of the Gazette. But the act itself was nevertheless deplorable and inexcusable, and is one which the national authorities have very properly determined to investigate. Below is the full text of the correspondence already had in regard to the riot. District Attorney Chase has prepared a copy of the indictments and forwarded them with all necessary information to Governor Perkins, who in turn will transmit them to the Secretary of State at Washington.

Tsu Shan Pang to Mr. Frelinghuysen
Chinese Legation, Washington, May 29, 1882
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I have received a communication from Mr. Wong, Chinese Consul-General at San Francisco, in which he complains that some Chinese fish dealers in the town of Martinez, about thirty-five miles south of San Francisco, were on the night of the 26th of April last maliciously attacked by a mob who, surrounding the houses of the Chinese, forced their way in by breaking open the doors, when they proceeded to rob and destroy the property of the occupants. The Chinese occupants were flung down from the windows of the upper stories ad eight of them received injuries and one has since died of his wounds.
The Consul-General therefore requests me to lay these facts before you and to ask that you will be pleased to communicate with the authorities of California and instruct them to give proper protection to the Chinese residents of the State, with the view of preventing the recurrence of such outrages.
Under these circumstances I beg most respectfully to call your attention to the fact that the Irish residents of California are known to be unfriendly to the Chinese. It will be remembered that a telegram in the papers dated San Francisco, April 27, stated that resolutions were adopted in that city providing for the "Boycotting" of the Chinese and all who deal with them. At that time I had no anticipation of any outbreak, if the Chinese conducted themselves peacefully, though it was threatened. The news of the robbery and murder at Martinez was therefore unexpected. Should the matter be overlooked it is greatly to be feared that the depredators will be without restraint and more regardless of the law in future. I therefore respectfully request that the guilty parties in this case arrested and brought to justice, and I earnestly beg that you will be pleased to communicate with the proper authorities and give such instructions as will give the Chinese residents of California the protection guaranteed to them by the treaties, and that no further outrages or maltreatment may occur in the future. Accept, sir, the assurance of my highest consideration. {Signed} Tsu Shan Pang, Charge d'Affaires

Mr. Frelinghuysen to Gov. Perkins
Department of State
Washington, June 20, 1882
His Excellency, George C. Perkins, Governor of California Sir:
I transmit for your information, and such action on your part as it may seem to you that the circumstances demand, a copy of a note from the Chinese Minister, of the 29th ult. The facts, as stated by the Minister, are briefly: that in the town of Martinez, near San Francisco, on the night of the 26th of April last, the houses of some Chinese fish-dealers were attacked by a mob, the doors of their dwellings being first broken open, the mob entered, pillaged the house and maltreated the inmates, throwing them from the windows of the upper stories. Eight of these unfortunate people were seriously injured, one of whom has since died. I need not remind your Excellency, that such exhibitions of malevolence, beside being in themselves revolting to humanity, are in contravention of the latter and spirit of the treaty relations between the United States and China, are also in direct violation of the laws of the United States, and of the laws of the State of California. The treaty concerning emigration concluded between the United States and China on the 17th of November, 1880, after providing for the regulation of Chinese emigration, declares that "legislation taken in regard to Chinese laborers will be of such a character only as is necessary to enforce the regulation, limitation, or suspension of immigration, and immigration shall not be subject to maltreatment or abuse," and the Act suspending Chinese immigration exempts from its application "Chinese laborers who were in the United States on the 17th day of November, 1882, or who shall have come into the same or before the expiration of ninety days next after the passage of this Act." These provisions of public and municipal law would seem to be sufficient, if faithfully executed, to avert any injurious consequences, real or imaginary, apprehended by the people of the United States, and especially by those of the Pacific coast, as likely to result from Chinese immigration. The Chinese Government have a right to look a faithful compliance with the stipulation of the Treaty, and a just administration of the law on the part of the United States, and sound policy no less than good faith and national honor demand that this Government should fully recognize the national obligation in this regard.
Our commercial relations with the East, already extensive, are annually growing in importance. China ranks as the first of those countries in the East with whom our citizens maintain and are anxiously seeking to extend their commerce. European powers are not sparing in their efforts to turn this commerce towards their own shores, the Chinese, on the other hand, manifest a strong disposition to increase their trade with this Country. National and private interests, therefore, suggest the wisdom of this Government's cultivating and maintaining friendly relations with that of China; and I may add that considerations of a still higher nature demand that the Government of the United States should in every possible and proper way discountenance such lawless outrages as that of which this affair at Martinez furnishes an example. The immigration to the United States has largely increased within the past year, much of it being made up of people fleeing from political and religious persecutions in other countries. This Republic is looked to as the land where impartial justice is secured to all, and as the asylum in which the helpless and defenseless seek refuge. The Government and people of the United States can, therefore, ill afford to look with indifference upon such outrages as that which is the subject of the present complaint. In view of these consideration, the President directs me to request that you will make use of such means as the laws of California place at your disposal to bring the offenders in this case to justice, and he further desires me to express the hope the you will see the necessity and propriety of adopting some supreme executive measure by proclamation or otherwise, that may lead to prevent the recurrence of these outrages upon the Chinese inhabitants of California. I have the honor to be Your Obedient Servant, Fred K. T. Frelinghuysen. Enclosure Note of May 29, 1882 of the Chinese Minister, to the Secretary of State.

Gov. Perkins to District Attorney Chase.
State of California, Executive Department,
Sacramento, Cal., June 27, 1882
E. R. Chase, Esq., District Attorney, Martinez.
Dear Sir:
I herewith transmit copies of papers from the Secretary of State and Chinese Minister, relating to an attack by a mob upon Chinese fish dealers at Martinez on the 26th of April last. I learn that some of the mob have been indicted by the Grand Jury of your county. In order that the Governor may intelligibly reply to the note from the Secretary of State, will you kindly furnish this Department with a certified copy of said indictment and a statement of the facts and circumstances of the case, what the authorities have done and intend to do in the matter, all of which will be forwarded to Washington with the Governor's answer.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, W. S. Safford, Executive Secretary

July 8, 1882 Contra Costa Gazette

Superior Court
Monday July 3, 1882
People vs. E. J. Emmonds, C. Ed. Miller, William Briare and Angelo Berryessa- Demurrers of Emmons and Miller sustained and ordered that the case be resubmitted to the Grand Jury.

July 8, 1882 Contra Costa Gazette

The Late Riot
District Attorney Chase's Reply to Governor Perkins' Letter
A clear and comprehensive statement of all the facts concerning the Chinese Riot
On Monday last Judge Brown of the Superior Court sustained the demurrers in the case of the People vs. E. J. Emmons and C. Ed. Miller, indicted for assault in connection with the late Chinese riot. Mr. Miller has engaged W. W. Foote of Oakland, as counsel, and Mr. Emmons acts in his own behalf. The demurrers were on the ground that the Superior Court has no jurisdiction over the case, as the indictment was for simple assault, making the offense a mere misdemeanor. District Attorney Chase has appealed to the Supreme Court for Judge Brown's decision. It was evidently the intention of the Grand Jury, as stated in their presentation of facts, to indict the several parties mentioned for assault with intent to commit bodily harm, and Mr. Chase is confident that the indictment is drawn in accordance with the code requirements, and that the intention of the Jury is so evident that Judge Brown's decision will be overruled. The matter will be brought up before the Supreme Court at their October term, sitting at Los Angeles. In the meanwhile, the riot case will probably revived at the adjourned meeting of the Grand Jury, in September. There was but one charge of assault preferred against the parties, and as there were three Chinamen hurled from the window and injured, two separate indictments could probably be found on the former testimony and disposed of in the Superior Court before the Supreme Court has to time to get at the present question. Although it was reported that one Chinaman had died, inquiries have revealed the fact that he still lives and none of the Chinamen were fatally injured. This is a matter of congratulations, as the riot was fraught with sufficient disgusting details without the parties engaged having to bear the onus of murder in addition to that of inexcusable assault. District Attorney Chase has written a communication to Governor Perkins, in reply to his note concerning the riot, published in last Saturday's GAZETTE, and the full text is herewith presented. Mr. Chase is clear and impartial in his review of the case, but at the same time there is a determination expressed to see that every guilty party, so far, as possible, is brought to justice.

District Attorney's Office, Contra Costa County
Martinez, June 30, 1882
Hon. W. S. Safford, Executive Secretary, Sacramento, Cal.
Dear Sir;
Your communication of 27th inst., with copy of communication from the Chinese Legation to the Secretary of State of the United States, of May 29th, 1882, and copy of the Hon. Secretary of State's communication to his Excellency George Perkins, Governor of California, relating to the late disgraceful affair that occurred in this town on the evening of April 26, 1882, against the Chinese residents, and requesting a certified copy of the indictment lately found against some of the supposed leaders and abettors, is received, and I have given your communication and inclosures careful consideration with the view of complying with your request.
You ask to be furnished with a statement of the facts and circumstances of the case, also with what the authorities have done and intend to do in the matter. The facts are substantially as follows:
In early spring of this year two canneries commenced the business of canning fish at this place and were reported to have in their employ some 100 to 125 Chinamen. Those employed in one of the canneries, to the reputed number of 70 to 80, were occupying an old, dilapidated building, situated on one of the principal streets and in the business part of town.
On the evening of April 26th the Chinese question, which at that time had become more exciting than usual on account of the veto by the President of the "Chinese Bill" was under discussion by residents of the town and others who at that time happened to have been here congregated. In some parts of the county Anti-Chinese Leagues had been formed, the members of which bound themselves not to employ Chinese in any capacity whatever, nor to patronize any person who should employ them either directly or indirectly, and the necessity, propriety and manner of forming such a league here was discussed. Allusion was made to the 70 to 80 Chinamen occupying the building in the heart of town, rendering property contiguous likely to be destroyed by fire and breeding a pestilence among the people. It was suggested that they should be made to leave their present domicile, and that if they must be employed, that sanitary measures and the interest of property holders contiguous, demanded that they should occupy quarters more remote from the business centre of town. Someone of the "crowd" (there were 40 to 50 then present) suggested that the present was a suitable time to make them leave; and from this time an action without any other or further premeditation, as appears from reliable sources of evidence, ripened into execution.
In the communication from the Chinese Legation to the Secretary of State, allusion is made to the Irish, and the writer is therein pleased to say, after relating what he supposed to be the facts, "under those circumstances I beg most respectfully to call your attention to the fact that the Irish residents of California are known to be unfriendly to the Chinese."
I am happy to inform your Excellency and through the President of the United States that the Irish as a class, and I think as individuals, had nothing whatever to do with the execution of the unfortunate and disgraceful affair of April 26th. In fact, after a searching and thorough investigation by the Grand Jury no Irishman has been found who figured conspicuously, if at all, in the affair. The originators were principally Americans, but the execution was carried out by another class. Living in scows, boats and various other places on the border of the town were probably 150 to 200 fishermen of various nationalities principally Greeks and Italians a few Portuguese, who were known to hold an intense hatred towards the Chinese. Word was sent to them to appear on the scene, a gong was sounded to call together the people, a rope was procured with which to pull the building down in case the inmates should refuse to leave, and on the advent of the fishermen who, to the number of 50 or 60, promptly responded to the call, all proceeded to the scene of action.
Twice the Superintendent or "Boss" as he is called, was called to the door and the Chinamen ordered to leave. After a little parleying the rope was fastened to an awning in front of the building and the awning was torn down. Then the rope was attached to a corner post of the building, but after repeated efforts to pull the building down the rope gave way. The fishermen commenced an onslaught upon the building. The doors were stove in, the windows were demolished with stones, clubs and other missiles, and the fishermen entered the building. The frightened Chinamen ran in all directions, trying to escape. Some jumped from the back windows of the second story to a shed below, and made their escape that way; others passed through the broken doors and windows into the streets, where they were pursued and set upon, and in some instances knocked down, by the fishermen. And here I am glad to relate that the humanity of one Irishman saved a fleeing Chinaman by stopping a fisherman who was in close pursuit of the Chinaman with a club. Having cleared the first story of the building, the fisherman began to ascend to the second. At this time some pistol shots were fired in the building, but whether the fishermen or Chinese is uncertain. The building is two stories, with an attic or third story. Soon after, a Chinaman was seen coming through the window of the attic or third story, and fell to the ground. He was soon followed by two others; and this, it is presumed, cleared the building of Chinamen. Those who came through the attic window fell to the ground helpless and insensible, and remained so some time. They were taken up, carried across the street to a hotel; medical aid procured, and their wounds dressed. The evidence of those on the outside, and the Chinamen themselves, proves conclusively that they were actually thrown out of the window.
The fisherman then went to the residence of the Chinamen employed by the other cannery, at the outskirts of town, where they were met by the proprietor, who prevailed upon them to disperse.
After the first act of hostility, at the residence of the Chinamen, it does not appear that any person except fishermen took any active part in the unfortunate affair.
Besides the promoters of the outrage, there were a large number of the citizens of the town who, being attracted by the noise and tumult, came upon the scene, but without organization were powerless to protect the Chinamen against the fifty or sixty determined and infuriated fishermen. The act is condemned by all good citizens by the press and the pulpit.
What has been done.
"What the authorities have done and intend to do in the matter." On the morning of the 27th, my office was visited by the proprietors of the two canneries and others. I proposed to draw a complaint upon which to base a warrant for the arrest of the suspected parties; but neither of the cannery men were willing to make a complaint, fearing, they said, that it would only make matters worse; that they had been informed that another attack would be made the following night; and they wanted security for the future the past could not be remedied. The Sheriff, who was present, assured them that he should see to it that nothing of the kind would take place that he would be able to resist any assault made. It is but fair to state that on the 26th the Sheriff went to San Francisco, returned about 6 PM, with a prisoner, and soon after went home; that no person informed him of the affair at the time, and that he knew nothing of it until the next morning. His deputy was also at home and knew nothing of until 10 P. M., when it was all over, the whole of the affair not lasting more than a half hour. A constable came upon the scene at the "nick of time," and claims that he arrested two persons who were engaged in demolishing the doors and windows, when he was seized by three others and forcibly marched off. I endeavored faithfully to find out the facts and fix the guilt where it belongs, but it was unable to find any head to the outrage, or to ascertain who were engaged in it, except fishermen, and those no person could then or since identify. Immediately after a number left for the Columbia river fishery, and it is presumed that they are those who were engaged in the outrages of the 26th, at this place.
Finally, the Hon. Thomas A. Brown, Judge of the Superior Court, determined on calling a Grand Jury to investigate the matter. In June the Jury was empaneled and charged, among other things, to diligently inquire into the causes, and as to who the guilty parties concerned. The Jury went to work with a will to probe the matter to the bottom, and to brink the guilty parties to justice. After a two weeks session, and the examination of about one hundred witnesses, they found an indictment for an assault with intent to do bodily injury against four persons, and also presented the same individuals for riot. [A certified copy of the indictment is herewith inclosed.]
The Parties Arraigned.
The parties, except one, indicted have been arraigned, and interposed a demurrer to the indictment, and it was taken by the Judge, and is now under advisement. If the demurrer shall be overruled the parties will be tried in July. The Jury also presented the constable for willful misconduct in office in not using the means with which the law invests such officer, to quell the riot; also a presentment for riot against the four persons indicted. The Jury then adjourned to September 5th, at which time they may take further action in the matter.
The Jury seemed very zealous and anxious to go to the bottom of this disgraceful affair and to bring the offenders to the bar of justice, and in every instance where there was an intimation that a person could give any light upon the subject he was promptly summoned before them.
The intelligence furnished the State Department is erroneous in this: there has been no death resulting, and only three seriously, and none fatally injured.
In conclusion, I will add that this lawless and outrageous proceeding against the Chinese has no countenance with the citizens of this county. It was started on the spur of the moment, without deliberation or serious thought of the result, and had not the fishermen been present, I feel certain nothing of a serious or lawless character would have occurred. We, as well as nearly all of the Pacific Coast, are desirous that this foreign Chinese element, that so largely pervades this section of the United States, no one of which forms or can form a factor in citizenship, and which is constantly impoverishing the country and degrading labor, should be eliminated, but there is no desire to get rid of them by any other means than their voluntary withdrawal or by just and wise provisions of humane and equitable laws. The occurrence of April 26th is deeply deplored; and rest assured that the judicial and executive officers of this county are not passive lookers on, but will discharge their duties with fidelity to the Constitution and laws they have sworn to obey.
I remain, with great respect, your ob't servant, Eli R. Chase, District Attorney Contra Costa County, State of California

The Governor's Reply.
State of California, Executive Department, Sacramento, Cal, July 6th, 1882.
Eli R. Chase, Esq.
Dear Sir:
Your statement in regard to the lawless attack upon the Chinese at Martinez, with a copy of the indictment, came duly to hand.
The full, fair, and elaborate attachment given by you, ought to convince anyone that the authorities of Contra Costa county are vigorously performing their duty in bringing the guilty parties to justice, and that such lawless acts are condemned by the citizens of Martinez.
Very respectfully,
W. S. Safford, Exect've Sec.

September 16, 1882 Contra Costa Gazette
District Attorney Chase has received a letter from Governor Perkins, stating that he has been informed by the State Department at Washington of their reception of Mr. Chase's statement concerning the Chinese riot at Martinez.

People v. Emmons
Supreme Court judgment

October 7, 1882 Contra Costa Gazette
The Riot Indictment
The demurrer of C. Ed. Miller, E. J. Emmons, and others, indicted by the Grand Jury for implication in the riotous lawsuit upon the Chinese occupants of the Dutil building in Martinez last April, which was sustained in the Superior Court by Judge Brown, has been overruled by the Supreme Court on appeal.
The Court hold the indictment to be good under Section 245 of the Penal Code, reverses the judgment sustaining the demurrer and remands the case with instructions for the Court below to overrule the demurrer.

October 21, 1882 Contra Costa Gazette
The Edward Miller who was indicted by the Grand Jury this week for assault with a deadly weapon was not C. Ed. Miller, the County Recorder. The person indicted resides at Brentwood.

November 18, 1882 Contra Costa Gazette
C. J. Emmons et al were before the Superior Court Monday on a charge of assault with intent to commit bodily harm, during the Chinese riot. At the defendants' request, they were granted separate trials. Emmons' case is set for Nov. 20th, and C. Edward Miller's for Nov. 22d.

November 25, 1882 Contra Costa Gazette
The Emmons' Case
The trial of E. J. Emmons on an information for assault with intent to produce bodily harm took place in the Superior Court this week. The case grew out of the late Chinese riot, the particulars of which are still fresh in the public mind. District Attorney Chase was assisted in the prosecution by Thomas D. Reardon, attorney for the Chinese Six Companies; the defense was represented by W.W. Foote. After a somewhat lengthy trial, during which numerous witnesses were examined, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty.

December 9, 1882 Contra Costa Gazette
The Riot Case
The Jury in the Miller Trial Render a Verdict of Acquittal.
The trial of C. Ed. Miller, County Recorder, on an information for assault with intent to produce bodily harm, growing out of the Chinese riot in April last, was begun in the Superior Court on Monday. The first day was taken up in empannelling a jury. The prosecution was conducted by District Attorney Chase, assisted by Theodore Riordan, attorney for the Chinese Six Companies; the defense was represented by W. W. Foote, of Oakland. A number of important witnesses were absent. The purport of the evidence was substantially the same as that obtained from the testimony of the witnesses here mentioned.
Briare, who was indicted for a similar offense, testified that he saw Miller at the scene of the riot. He (Briare) sounded the gong as a signal for the attack on the house occupied by the Chinamen.
Henry Overfield saw Miller during the riot and heard him exclaim: "I have got them started."
S. Bennett testified that Miller borrowed a rope from his stable on the evening of the riot, and said that the boys were going to have some fun, adding: "If you hear a racket don't be alarmed!"
Mrs. Rowell, who resides in the hotel opposite the Chinese building, testified that she heard Miller say: "They are shooting; now, boys, go for them!"
Charley Yet, a Chinaman, was sworn. On being asked if he knew the significance of an oath he said he thought if he did not tell the truth he would condemned by the Supreme Power; he considered his oath as binding as the one of his native country; he did not think it necessary to cut a rooster's head off to make an oath binding. He testified that, on the night in question, he thought what happened was unusual; he heard people beating a gong, and a lot of men came in saying they were hunting
Opium-Smokers and Gamblers;
he saw a rope tied to the corner of the house, and saw a fleshy man and another (identifying Miller and Emmons); he gave a detailed account of the tearing down of a portion of the building by means of a rope placed through the window; he saw his associates lying on the ground wounded, and stated that the "fleshy man" stood at the door and would not let any one out; witness kept a Chinese boarding house for the accommodation of those he employed in packing salmon.
George W. Fuller of Antioch testified that after supper he went around to take in the town; saw a lot of fishermen, Greeks or Italians, chopping the fence down with hatchets, smashing doors and pulling down the porch; saw a Chinaman come out, and a crowd take after him; saw some Chinamen come out of a third-story window; did not think they jumped out; thinks they were thrown out; the Chinamen lay on the sidewalk; they were pretty badly hurt; heard three or four pistol-shots; one of the Chinamen lighted on his feet and was struck on the head; he kept running; the other three Chinamen lay on the pavement, badly hurt; never saw Miller around the place of the riot; he saw all of this from the porch of the shoemaker's shop; when they began shooting pistols he took refuge in the shop.
The trial was concluded Wednesday afternoon. There was no evidence that Miller had assaulted any of the Chinamen, and one witness testified that he saw Miller protect a Chinaman who was being chased by another party. The jury was out long enough to cast one ballot, and returned with a verdict of not guilty.