Thursday, March 6, 2008

Chinese On Trial

This is the kind of article that leaves me wondering whether I read it correctly. Newspaper articles from these years were not shy about describing suicides and terrible injuries, but sexual matters tend to be cloaked in euphemism. I expect that the reader was trusted to understand exactly what was being implied, but I find it difficult in this case to know whether I might be reading too much into the wording of the article. We have a 15 year old girl with a new baby, and an assault the previous year. Is that assault as in a kick in the pants, or is it something else? Hmmm... We do learn without doubt that there was a Chinese laundry on South street in 1921. We also see another case of Jamaica Plain boys trying to "rescue a prisoner." There seems to have been a lot of that going on before the days of portable radios.

Boston Daily Globe October 26, 1921

Chinese On Trial On Girl's Complaint

Assault by Laundryman and His Partner Alleged

Three Jamaica Plain Youths Fined for Attack on Officer

The West Roxbury Court, Judge Perrins presiding, was in session until 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon, establishing a record for that court.

Woo Yee, a Jamaica Plain Chinese, was arraigned on charges of assault brought by a 15-year-old girl, who carried in her arms an infant born to her several weeks ago. She alleged that Woo Yee and Yeo Sam, Yee's partner in a laundry on South st, Jamaica Plain, assaulted her in 1920.

Lee Yam, a well-known Chinese of the West End, was brought to court by officers who had been misled by Yee Sam, now a fugitive from justice. Sam met with officers while they were searching for him and pointed out Lee Yam as the man named in the warrant. Yam was discharged.

The case against Woo Yee was carried over until today when the defence will present its case.

The girl said, during her testimony, that she visited Woo Yee several times voluntarily.

Arthur W. McLaughlin, 21; Mark Kelley, 19, and Joseph F. Vogel, 18, all of Jamaica Plain, were each fined $10 on a charge of assault of battery and $25 for attempting to rescue a prisoner. The charges resulted from alleged attacks on Special Officer Malcolm Campbell during a dance-hall disturbance two weeks ago. They appealed.

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