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Site of the Gallows


During the night a gallows with a hangman's noose was erected in the middle of the intersection at 5th and F Streets, directly bordering Chinatown. Affixed to the structure was a sign that read "Any Chinaman seen on the street today after three o'clock will be hung on these gallows."


When word of this warning reached the remaining Chinese residents, anyone who had been hesitating moved as quickly as possible to the wharf. On the morning of February 7th, 310 Chinese residents of Eureka and the surrounding area were waiting at the wharf and hoping to leave before any violence broke out.


There were two steamers waiting in the harbor, and all morning long small skiffs took the Chinese and the belongings out to the ships. By the time everyone and everything was on board it was late in the evening and the tide was too low for the ships to depart. They left the next morning and arrived in San Francisco on the 9th. There were no reported deaths or injuries among the Chinese residents, but many people left behind most of their family possessions.


Within a few weeks news of the expulsion at Eureka spread up and down the West Coast, and the tactics there became known as the "Eureka Method". It became a model for other such events throughout the West.

Sources: Carranco, Moak, Perry, Pfaelzer


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About this site: The downtown street names and locations in Eureka have not changed since the time of the expulsion, and this is the intersection of 5th and F Streets today.

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