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Black pines | by Trail Image
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Black pines

A Chinese interpreter, Lum Sears, was disguised as a drunk and placed in the cell with the Chinese suspects. Those Sears identified, based on overheard conversations,¹ were loaded on a wagon destined for trial in Murray, Idaho. Just three miles into the journey, however, they were intercepted by vigilantes and the hung forthwith from a pole slung between these black pines.


In spite of a federal investigation, the vigilantes were never identified. An indemnity of $100,000 dollars is said to have been paid to the families of the five men in China.² The community of Fraser, where my great great grandparents lived, was named to honor the slain store owner.


¹ Fern Coble Trull, “A History of the Chinese in Idaho: From 1864 to 1910” (University of Oregon Master’s Thesis, June 1946), p. 167

² Ibid., p. 171

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Taken on August 9, 2013