The Order of the Caucasians, and the Chinese in Chico and Butte County

Prior to the 1870’s the Chinese, along with other ethnic groups migrated to the west, in hopes of making a fast living off of the Gold rush. Some also migrated in hopes of making living from farming but government land was given to very few White’s, which constricted job opportunities of incoming migrates. John Bidwell; the founder of Chico, was one the few who received thousands of acres of land from government. To get the large operation going he used he used cheap Chinese labor. Many large businesses followed the same model. The Chinese also owed small businesses like laundries, and vegetable stands.[1] This put pressure on native born whites.

As Sojourners; the Chinese planed to move back home after making their fortune. To get the most befit out this; it is probable, that they lived below their means. Where native born whites where bound to living in U.S and supporting their interest, and did not benefit from the inflation, that the Chinese did when they returned home.

Then the depression of 1870 hit, which added kindling to the already growing fire, and out this fire was born a short lived hidden society’s that was meant drive out the Chinese. The Order of the Caucasians, and the Labors, both had the same agenda, and both where interconnected. They used arson to achieve their goals, and they attacked any one who employed or housed the Chinese. Eventually their members would be arrested and broken up, after several of their of them resulted to murder. Ultimately the violence would continue, but would be committed by small groups.[1]

Those who where Pro-Chinese where mostly their employers, who wanted to main their privilege of cheap labor, and wanted to protect their own property. The Chinese where not just simple victims, they took up arms, and developed fire teams to combat the advances made by The Order of Caucasian. They also called for the support from the Six Chinese Company, which was an organization created to protect and support the Chinese. They would also have a large role in trafficking Chinese after the passing of legislation that  prevented legal immigration. Lastly the group used political pull to arrest and convict murders, and to end boycotts. [2] In many ways, the incidents in Chico where just the begging of anti-Chinese violence that would sweep the west coast.