Hop Alley/Chinese Riot of 1880 Historical

Hop Alley/Chinese Riot of 1880 Historical (HM1TBW)

Location: Denver, CO 80202 Denver County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 45.237', W 104° 59.646'

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—Lower Downtown Walking Tour —

During the 1860's, the first Chinese settled in Colorado. Drawn here by the completion of the transcontinental railroad as well as by other demands for cheap manual labor. Existing amidst persecution, poverty and wretched living conditions, the Chinese worked mostly in laundries, as house servants and in the mines. The Chinese neighborhood was bounded roughly by Blake and Market, 19th and 22nd Streets, and contained about 500 Chinese. By 1880, the city had 17 known opium dens in this area, where one could "hit the pipe" or "suck the bamboo." "Hop" Alley buildings were said to be connected by tunnels and secret rooms accessible only by trap doors. Hostilities between the Chinese and other immigrants intensified as competition for jobs increased and negative publicity about opium dens filled the local press. On October 31, 1880, in John Asmussen's Saloon, located on the 1600 block of Wazee, an argument broke out between two pool-playing Chinese and some intoxicated whites. When the Chinese slipped out the back door, they were attacked and beaten, beginning Denver's first recorded race riot. About 3,000 people congregated quickly in the area, shouting "Stamp out the yellow plague!" Destruction of the Chinese ghetto ensued. Several white residents show remarkable courage protecting the Chinese: Saloonkeeper James Veatch sheltered refugees,
as did gambler Jim Moon and Madam Lizzie Preston, whose girls armed themselves with champagne bottles and high heels to hold the mob at bay. Many were injured, and one Chinese man lost his life. Despite 150 claims totaling over $30,000, no Chinese were ever paid for property and business losses, nor did this dark day end Denver's struggles with the underlying issues of racial prejudice.
Placed ByThe Lower Downtown Historic District
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, July 28th, 2016 at 5:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13S E 500505 N 4400448
Decimal Degrees39.75395000, -104.99410000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 45.237', W 104° 59.646'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 45' 14.22" N, 104° 59' 38.76" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)303, 720
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1962 Blake St, Denver CO 80202, US
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