"Of all national assets, archives are the most precious:
they are the gift of one generation to another,
and the extent of our care of them marks the
extent of our civilization." Arthur Doughty.

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San Juan Islands, Washington State, United States
A society formed in 2009 for the purpose of collecting, preserving, celebrating, and disseminating the maritime history of the San Juan Islands and northern Puget Sound area. Check this log for tales from out-of-print publications as well as from members and friends. There are circa 500, often long entries, on a broad range of maritime topics; there are search aids at the bottom of the log. Please ask for permission to use any photo posted on this site. Thank you.

14 December 2015

❖ SMUGGLERS WRECKED ON LOPEZ ISLAND, SJC. ❖

Lopez Island,
with wreck location at Davis Bay.
Click to enlarge.
By Quantity Photo Co.
Archives of S.P.H.S.
Thursday, 5 November 1903
"The Seattle papers published such garbled reports of the capture of fourteen Chinese on Lopez Island last week and the arrest of the two white men who smuggled them over from Victoria, that the Islander gives rather more space to the circumstances than would otherwise have been deemed necessary. Following are the facts:
      About midnight Tuesday the two smugglers, Harry Thomas, alias Summers, and Fred Anderson, left Victoria in a sloop about 28' long, with 14 Chinese laborers, destined for Seattle. They made good time across Haro Strait and were skirting the shore of Lopez Island in search of a safe and secluded anchorage for the day when a high wind sprung up quite suddenly, rendering the navigation of the heavily loaded sloop difficult and dangerous. The jib was soon carried away and the little craft was run into Davis Bay, near Richardson, and anchored. But it was very rough, even there, the wind being in the southwest, and the anchor line having parted, the sloop was driven upon the rocks and was soon a total wreck. Thomas jumped into the water and carried a line ashore; O.J. and E.J. Bruns, tenants of the Davis farm, having come to their assistance, the terrified Mongolians were landed and soon 'took to the woods.' The two smugglers, after offering Bruns brothers $100 to look after the Chinamen until they could go to Seattle and get another boat, walked to Lopez, about six miles, to take the steamer BUCKEYE for Anacortes. Bruns brothers, promptly notified Henry Towell, Justice of the Peace of the precinct, and Mr. Towell hurried to Lopez and engaged Weeks brothers to take him in their launch to Friday Harbor where he notified Deputy Customs Collector Culver. 
Steamer BUCKEYE
On smuggler duty for Sheriff McCrary.
San Juan County, WA.
The steamer BUCKEYE was then coming into the harbor, and Mr. Culver, accompanied by Towell and Sheriff McCrary, at once started after the smugglers who were expected to board the BUCKEYE at Port Stanley. They got aboard at Lopez, however, and were quickly arrested by Mr. Culver, handcuffed together and left in charge of Mr. Towell at Butler's store while the officers were taken by Ben Lichtenberg in search of the Chinese, whom the Bruns brothers had succeeded in 'rounding up' shortly before dark, on the Port Stanley road, taking them back to the Davis place, where the officers found them. From there they were taken in a wagon to Lopez, where they were lodged over Butler's store and guarded all night by the officers, the smugglers on one side of them and the Chinese on the other, the two white men having begged that they not be left in the same room with the Chinese from whom they seemed to fear violence. The nearest Chinese detention station being at Pt. Townsend, all were taken there on the steamer LYDIA THOMPSON Thursday, Bruns brothers also going, in the expectation that the preliminary hearings of the men would be held before the U.S. Court Commissioner there. Mr. Culver's responsibility in the matter ceased with the turning over of the party to Col. Fisher, inspector in charge of the Immigration Service.
      For the reason that Thomas (Summers) and Anderson had been arrested a few months ago in Seattle for the same offense, by Customs Officers Delaney and Brisker, and had been 'bound over' by Commissioner Keifer, Col. Fisher decided to take them there, after having had a very aggravating experience with Commissioner Kuhn in Port Townsend
The defense (?) of the prisoners is that they were en route with the Chinese from Victoria to Salt Spring Island, B.C. to cut wood, and were driven into the US by 'stress of weather.' Bruns brothers and Mr. Towell merit much commendation for their expeditious work and the good judgment they exercised. But for their prompt action Thomas and Anderson would have escaped."
21 January 1904: 
"Harry Thomas, alias Summers, and Fred Anderson, the two smugglers of Chinese arrested at Lopez on 28 October 1903, were convicted in the US Court in Seattle last week and each sentenced to imprisonment of one year in the federal penitentiary on McNeil's Island and also to pay a fine of $1,000."
Both articles from the pages of the San Juan Islander newspaper, Friday Harbor, WA. 
From the archives of the Saltwater People Historical Society.

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