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Topics in Chronicling America - Rock Springs Massacre

Anti-Chinese prejudice was rampant throughout the United States in the nineteenth century, but on September 2, 1885, this prejudice morphed into violence that would leave an estimated 28 Chinese miners dead. The Rock Springs Massacre, as it is now called, was one of the most significant acts of violence against Chinese immigrants in United States history. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/). Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.


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Important Dates:

  • September 2, 1885, morning. A fight occurs between a few Chinese miners and white miners at Rock Springs
  • September 2, 1885, afternoon and evening. White miners attack the Chinese miners, set fire to homes, and kill approximately 28 people
  • September 3, 1885. All 500 Chinese miners are reported to have been driven out of Rock Springs
  • September 7, 1885. 22 white miners are arrested in relation to the massacre
  • October 1885. No indictments found against white miners
  • April 1887. Chinese government receives a check for $147,000 from the US government to compensate for damages from the massacre

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Rock Springs massacre, Rock Springs riots, Rock Springs miners, Rock Springs difficulty
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event in order to narrow your results.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  July 8, 2016
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