Massacred for Gold: The Chinese in Hells Canyon

Overview

In 1887, more than thirty Chinese gold miners were massacred on the Oregon side of Hells Canyon, the deepest canyon in North America. Massacred for Gold, the first authoritative account of the unsolved crime, unearths the evidence that points to an improbable gang of rustlers and schoolboys, one only fifteen, as the killers.

The crime was discovered weeks after it happened, but no charges were brought for nearly a year, when gang member Frank ...
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Overview

In 1887, more than thirty Chinese gold miners were massacred on the Oregon side of Hells Canyon, the deepest canyon in North America. Massacred for Gold, the first authoritative account of the unsolved crime, unearths the evidence that points to an improbable gang of rustlers and schoolboys, one only fifteen, as the killers.

The crime was discovered weeks after it happened, but no charges were brought for nearly a year, when gang member Frank Vaughan, son of a well-known settler family, confessed and turned state's evidence. Six men and boys, all from northeastern Oregon's remote Wallowa county, were charged—but three fled, and the others were found innocent by a jury that a witness admitted had little interest in convicting anyone. A cover-up followed, and the crime was all but forgotten for the next one hundred years, until a county clerk in Wallowa County found hidden records in an unused safe.

Massacred for Gold traces the author's long personal journey to expose details of the massacre and its aftermath and to understand how one of the worst of the many crimes committed by whites against Chinese laborers in the American West was for so long lost to history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870715709
  • Publisher: Oregon State University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 817,665
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

R. Gregory Nok es travelled the world as a reporter and editor for The Associated Press and The Oregonian, where he first wrote about the murders of the Chinese miners in 1995. His article "A Most Daring Outrage, Murders at Chinese Massacre Cove, 1887" appeared in the Oregon Historical Quarterly in 2006, and his reporting on the subject has resulted in a formal designation of the massacre site as Chinese Massacre Cove. He attended Harvard University as a Nieman Fellow. Greg and his wife, Candise, live in West Linn, Oregon.
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Table of Contents

Prologue 8

Part 1 The Dead 11

Chapter 1 Tales of Murder 12

Chapter 2 "Adventurous Boys" 17

Chapter 3 Miles from Punyu 26

Chapter 4 Why they Came 32

Chapter 5 More Tales of Murder 39

Chapter 6 The Judge and "The Chinaman" 45

Chapter 7 A Personal Journey 50

Chapter 8 The Mon-Tung Camp 63

Chapter 9 Two Investigations 66

Chapter 10 "With Great Regret" 71

Chapter 11 Rock Springs and More 76

Chapter 12 "Deplorable in the Extreme" 82

Part 2 The "Innocent" 87

Chapter 13 Vaughan Confesses 88

Chapter 14 "Don't Ask ... Don't Tell" 98

Chapter 15 A Story Changes 103

Chapter 16 Behind the News 108

Chapter 17 On a Merry-Go-Round 113

Chapter 18 Claims for Corpses 117

Chapter 19 A Kind of Trial 121

Chapter 20 Wanted: Horse Thieves 129

Chapter 21 Tightening the Screws 134

Chapter 22 A Second Confession 137

Chapter 23 Blooming Flour 140

Chapter 24 Flight 144

Part 3 P.S. Keeping Secrets 153

Chapter 25 The Secret Keepers 154

Chapter 26 And Now, the Journal 167

Chapter 27 The Coffin Maker 173

Chapter 28 Memorial Not 178

Chapter 29 Horner's Epilogue 182

Epilogue 183

Appendix 185

Acknowledgments 188

Notes 189

Bibliography 201

Index 205

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 26, 2010

    Magnetic historical revelation

    "In Massacred for Gold, Gregory Nokes has not only brought to light an historical atrocity that needed the light of day, but has done it with skill and scholarship. Nokes' background as a seasoned journalist makes this book accessible to readers in a manner that is usually reserved for a novel. A tremendous read!" -George Wright, Portland, OR

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