Wah Sing Addendum

"No more Chinese cheap labor," ca. 1880 anti-immigrant trade card. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, Archives Center, PO Box 37012, Suite 1100, MRC 601, Constitution Ave, between 12th and 14th Sts, NW, Washington, D.C. 20013-7012. www.si.edu

“No more Chinese cheap labor,” ca. 1880 anti-immigrant trade card. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, Archives Center, PO Box 37012, Suite 1100, MRC 601, Constitution Ave, between 12th and 14th Sts, NW, Washington, D.C. 20013-7012. http://www.si.edu

I located additional information about Wah Sing and the beating and robbery he suffered in 1891. The local paper reported at the end of April that Sing’s brother was visiting from Painesville, Ohio. “The brother is a telegraph operator and speaks English very fluently. He acted as interpreter before the grand jury at Elyria for his brother in the Gulde-Wadsworth case and will be on hand at the trial of the case in the common pleas court” (4-22-1891, pg. 5).

A month later, the headline proclaimed, “SENTENCED. Gulde and Wadsworth Plead Guilty to an Assault with an Intent to Commit Robbery and Are Sent to the Penitentiary for the Term of One Year.” The men initially pleaded guilty to assault but not robbery, so the judge sentenced them to six months in a Cleveland work-house and a fine of $270. “The boys considered that rather oppressive and decided to change their plea,” and the sentence was consequently altered to one year in jail. To my mind, the most interesting piece of information included in the article is the fact that Gulde and Wadsworth’s attack was actually the fourth robbery of Wah Sing and his laundry in a period of two years. I have not done a systematic analysis of theft reports in the Enterprise, but my impression is that this is a high number of crimes committed against a single business in the village.

At the end of June, a curious notice was printed in the paper. “[A]n application will be presented to the board of pardons at the penitentiary for the release of Clint Wadsworth, who is now confined there for assault and robbery” (6-24-1891, pg. 5). There is no further information provided. I am so curious to know on what grounds Wadsworth was planning to appeal his incarceration. After pleading guilty to the charges against him, why did he feel deserving of a pardon? Was he successful in his application, and if so, did Gulde follow suit? And how did Wah Sing feel, hearing that his assailants were attempting to avoid the punishments handed out to them by the American justice system? I will continue to look for answers.

PLEASE NOTE: I subsequently uncovered materials that proved some of the assumptions of my first two “Wah Sing” posts to be incorrect. The entry detailing that corrective information can be found here.

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