Hindus Scared By Plan To Oust Them

An article from the September 16, 1906 issue of Puget Sound American describing fears amongst "Hindu" workers at the Bellingham Bay Lumber Company regarding a petition that white workers were circulating demanding that they remove their turbans.

Early Immigration

Date: September 16, 1906
Subject(s): Bellingham Riot
Type: Newspaper Clipping
Language: English
Source: Puget Sound American
Location: Bellingham, WA

Puget Sound American 9/16/06, p. 2

Frightened Sons of India Ask Assistance of Local Inspector.

Indications Are That the Foreigners Have Been Threatened.

Invaders Promise Not to Coax Friends of Relatives Here.

Hearing that employes [sic] of the Bellingham Bay Lumber Company were circulating a petition asking for the discharge of the Hindus working there, and stirred by threats, three turbaned Indians yesterday called on A.J. Ferrandini, immigration inspector in charge of this port, and expressed some of their fears to him. They said that they had been told by white men that they must remove their head gear. This, they declared, would be wrong, according to their religious belief.

The Hindus assured Inspector Ferrandini that they do not want any trouble. That they have been threatened is indicated in their appeal to the inspector to take the matter up with the British Consul I Vancouver. There is no doubt that rough remarks have been applied to the dusky men by white workers, and these have frightened them. It probably is true that nothing was said or done by the Hindus to warrant such treatment, with possibly slight exceptions, as they are peaceably inclined.

The Hindus who visited Inspector Ferrandini hastened to say that they would take care not to invite any of their friends or relatives to come to Bellingham. If they adhere to this promise the agitation quietly developed against them will have the effect of checking further immigration on a large scale. If these people continue to come as some persons are afraid they will, trouble is almost certain to occur.

According to statements of employes [sic] of the Bellingham Bay Lumber Company’s mill, the petition requesting the discharge of the Hindus employed there was to be presented last night or very soon. When questioned whether he had received the petition the superintendent declined to affirm or deny.

The men most active in the circulation of the petition probably are the workers on the dock, among the lumber piles, where the Indians are employed. It was by these that the American was told of the movement to oust the invaders. An old employe [sic] in the mill said he had not seen the petition. The alleged movement is being closely watched by the laboring classes of Bellingham.

Item History: 2011-12-15 (created); 2013-05-22 (modified)

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