News & Tall Tales. 1800s.
Little Pete (Fun Jing Toy, Fong Ching)
° Chinese in San Francisco ° Chinese Interpreters ° Anti-Coolie Tax ° Chinese Merchants ° Buddhist Temple 1856 ° Little Pete ° Opium (China, Europe, North America)
"Little Pete," who real name was Fung Jing Toy (reported as Fong Ching in San Francisco's early newspapers), came to San Francisco from Guangdon province in 1864 at age 10. While still in his teen years, he started a shoe business, but also got involved with local gangs. His dress was dapper and he frequently changed jewelry throughout the day. When he realized there was more money in importing opium, he went into the import business. He became known as The King of Chinatown.
In 1886, a rival gang attempted to murder Little Pete, but Pete's bodyguard was faster and killed the assailant. Cultured, well-groomed and polite, Pete was well-liked by white San Franciscans, who saw him as "Mr. Chinatown;" however, he was totally amoral with sinister overtones.
May 3, 1887, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
"Little Pete" Again
The second trial of Fong Ching, alias "Little Pete," was postponed for two weeks yesterday by Judge Toohy. "Pete" is charged with felony for having, as is alleged, attempted to bribe Policeman Martin to offer false testimony during the trial of Lee Chuck for the murder of Yen Yuen last July.
September 13, 1887, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
Return of "Little Pete"
"Little Pete" was brought down from Folsom State Prison yesterday by Deputy Sheriff Riley and lodged in the County Jail pending the application for a new trial in his case. "Pete" is still in possession of his queue, the length of which has not been abbreviated an iota.
After his release, Pete took up various activities including gambling, slave girl trafficking and protection.
June 1, 1887, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California
"Little Pete's" Third Trial
The case of Fong Ching, alias "Little Pete," charged with attempting to bribe Officer Martin in behalf of Lee Chuck, the highbinder who murdered Yen Yueng, was again called in Judge Toohy's Court yesterday. On motion of Ching's attorneys the third trial was continued until June 27th.
August 18, 1887, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
The "Little Pete" Trial
The trial of Fong Sing, alias "Little Pete," alias Hee Hop, accused of attempting to bribe Police Officer Martin to give corrupt testimony in a Chinese murder case, was resumed yesterday before Judge Toohy. M. M. Feder and J. Springer were excused from jury duty. Springer informed the Court that the alleged attempt to bribe M. M. Feder, if selected as a juror, had prejudiced him strongly against the accused. Officer Martin was placed on the stand and testified the name as at the previous trials. The case will be resumed today.
August 25, 1887, Daily Alta California, San Francisco
"LITTLE PETE" CONVICTED
The Jury Finds Him Guilty of Bribery in Short Order
The trial of Fong Sing, alias "Little Pete," for attempting to bribe Police Officer John Martin to give such testimony as would secure the acquittal of Lee Chuck, a Chinese highbinder, accused and later on convicted of murdering one of his countrymen, was concluded yesterday before Judge Toohy and, a jury. The case has attracted much interest from all classes in the community. At the previous trials of the case the jury has each time disagreed, and the strongest hints were thrown out that the jurors had been tampered with. In the present trial, Jurors M. M. Feder and A. Mayfield informed the Court that they had been approached with offers of money to bo lenient towards "Little Pete." In the case of Juror Feder, "Pete" himself did the approaching. Defendant is one of the best educated Chinamen in the State, and wields great power in Chinese highbinder circles. In fact, he is the brains of the Gi Sui Sear, the most powerful Chinese highbinder society here, and it is no secret that there was $20,000 ready to secure Pete's acquittal of the present charge.
The arguments in the case were concluded by 3:30 o'clock, and after a brief charge by the Judge, the jury retired precisely at 4 o'clock to consider their verdict. Just half an hour later they returned to the Court room with a verdict of guilty as charged against the defendant, Fong Sing, alias Little Pete. The verdict was very favorably received by the attendants at the trial. Counsel for the defense will present a list of exceptions. The day of sentence was fixed for Saturday next.
October 4, 1887, Sacramento Daily Union, Sacramento, California, U.S.A.
"LITTLE PETE'S" HORNET NEST.
Buckley, Judge Toohy and Stonehill Assert Their Purity.
San Francisco, October 3d. [Special.] In relation to the contempt case growing out of the return of "Little Pete" from Folsom, Sheriff McCann says he railroaded Pete because he knew him to be a dangerous man, and was afraid that if he kept him here he would corrupt the officials bringing him back from Folsom. He did everything under the direction of Menzies, Foreman of the Grand Jury, and did not allow anyone to see the prisoner. He did not personally have the papers taken from the Chinaman's safe on a search warrant.
Judge Toohy, when asked as to the truth of the statement made by "Little Pete," that he had made him a present of $2,400, said it is untrue; that he cannot be approached, and he defied the world to impugn his official integrity.
District Attorney Stonehill branded the statement that he received a present from "Little Pete" as a foul falsehood.
Buckley denies in general and positive terms having had anything to do with Pete's case. The $4,500 lie is charged with receiving he says was Lowenthal's fee. He admits having received dispatches about the case. He says the whole matter was instigated by Mowry, a personal enemy, and by a newspaper, because he gave some of the Democratic patronage to the Alta.
January 29, 1889, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
A Chance for Little Pete
The Supreme Court yesterday reversed the judgment in the case of Fong Ching, or "Little Pete," as he is known, who was convicted of offering a bribe to Officer J. B. Martin, who had arrested Lee Chuck for murder. The reversal is founded on the charge of the court before which the case was tried, and exception is taken to these words: "It is not a crime in this State to encourage a witness with pecuniary gifts to be truthful, but neither is it among the recognized customs to subsidize the personal integrity of our citizens in order to prevent them from lapsing into falsehood and perjury."
June 1, 1890, Daily Alta California, San Francisco
Another Trial for "Little Pete"
The second trial of Fong Ching, alias "Little Pete," charged with bribery in connection with the trial of Lee Chuck for murder, has been set by Judge Van Reynegom for tomorrow. The defendant's attorney, George A. Knight, asked for a continuance, but the Court announced that if counsel was not ready to proceed with the trial at the time appointed another attorney would be appointed by the Court.
When he returned to San Francisco, he made another fortune in the slave-girl trade, successfully importing close to 100 soon-to-be-enslaved prostitutes by claiming they were going to work in the Chinese pavilion of the great Midwinter Fair of 1894. He also made vast sums at the track by bribing jockeys. Meanwhile, his connections with wealthy and powerful white San Franciscans grew even stronger.
April 2, 1891, Daily Alta California, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
"Little Pete" Again
Thomas O. Bashford, a witness in the case of How Jing, on trial for the murder of Chu Wy, testified in Judge Murphy's court yesterday that Fong Chung, better known as "Little Pete." had said to him: "If How Jing is convicted of murder in the first degree you shall have part of $600, and if he is convicted of murder in the second degree you shall have part of $400." "Little Pete" knew that he was a witness in the case. Judge Murphy directed the clerk to enter an order for Fong Chang, "Little Pete," to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt court, for trying to influence improperly a witness.
October 14, 1893, San Francisco Call
Little Pete in Control.
The Six Companies have placed the work of the proposed Chinese exhibit for the Midwinter Exposition in the hands of Little Pete, who is given the entire management. Their building they have decided to increase so as to accommodate twenty six different departments.
After Pete's bodyguard was arrested for murder, Pete attempted to bribe the arresting officers with $400 each. Pete was arrested for attempted bribery. Pete hired noted attorney Hall McAllister and used the unusual defense of admitting the bribery attempt, but claiming that the officers took the bribe and only arrested Pete when Pete wouldn't give them more money. This defense won Pete two hung juries, but he was convicted on the third try and sent to Folsom Prison to serve five years.
In 1897, while Pete's bodyguards were attending a Chinese New Year celebration, Pete was shot to death while sitting in a barber's chair. His white bodyguard, C. H. Hunter, had been sent to pick up a copy of Sporting World at Pete's insistence. Little Pete was 33 years old. (Right: Fish Alley, Chinatown, San Francisco c. 1899.)
Men and women fought for sticks of incense, bits of paper, flowers, ribbons -- anything for a souvenir of "Little Pete," They knocked the roast meats and fowls into the sand. One man grasped a chicken and carried it away. A big, red-faced citizen swabbed a piece of pork in the sand and shouted for joy as he held aloft this trophy . . . And in this fashion and worse, 3,000 white people of a civilized and Christian race and country gave a lesson in manners to 600 of their pagan brothers.
November 13, 1893, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
NOT IN THIS CITY.
"Chin Pau Kwai Now in China,"
Says Little Pete.
According to what Little Pete says, Chin Pau Kwai, the manager of the Chinese theatrical show in the Midway Plaisance, Chicago, is now in China.
The story telegraphed from Chicago would leave the inference that Chin Pau Kwai had left that city only recently to evade the Federal authorities who are now investigating the importation of the 432 Chinese brought to this country through a Hong-Kong firm as actors, but Little Pete says Chin Pau Kwai was in this city some time ago. He saw him, he adds, and Chin Pau Kwai left soon afterward for China.
At any rate a still-hunt through Chinatown yesterday failed to reveal the existence of Chin Pau Kwai here. Little Pete says also that the story of his own appointment by the Six Companies as manager of the Chinese exhibit here is false. What probably gave rise to the supposition that he was put in control, he explains, was his business connection with a Chinese bazaar started in this city. The man in charge of the Chinese village he says is Lung Lum of 917 Dupont street.
"What has been published about me has not hurt me," Little Pete observed, "but I just want to explain that the story about me being connected with the exhibit is not true. They could find a better man than I" this with becoming modesty "but the Six Companies do not have anything to do with the exhibition."
January 24, 1897, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
"LITTLE PETE" MURDERED BY HIS ENEMIES
Chinese Highbinders Assassinate the Most Famous of Local Mongolians.
The Great Jury-Briber Shot Down by See Yup Assassins.
King Owyang, the Chinese Vice-Consul,
Is Said to Be the Next on the List of the Doomed Sam Yups.
THE GREAT LEADER KILLED IN A BARBER-SHOP FOR A PRICE SET ON HIS HEAD.
The Notorious Victim Was Once Millionaire, Race-Jobber, Importer of Slaves and the Man Who Gave Chris Buckley the Title of "Blind White Devil."
"Little Pete," long noted as the wisest and meanest of local Chinese, was murdered by rival Highbinders last night. He had ventured to a barber-shop without his bodyguard and his vigilant pursuers did their deadly work. The police at once arrested two suspects.
The famous Mongolian, whose real name was Fong Ching, had lately made himself very unpopular with the See Yup society of Highbinders. A price of $3000 was placed on his head and the murderers caught him off his guard at 9:10 p. m. in a barber shop at 817 Washington street.
Two assassins sprang into the shop and the brainiest of the Sam Yup men had "saluted his ancestors" in true Chinese fashion.
"Little Pete" had two distinct sides to his nature, as much so as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. As a Chinese merchant and millionaire manufacturer he was a power in commerce.
Endowed with unusual intellectual powers, fearless and unscrupulous, he became a leader at once respected and feared. As a shrewd Mongolian, educated in the English language, he entered the battle for money without any restraints of conscience, though he bore the reputation of being steadfast to his friends. He instigated Chinese murders, imported women, ran gambling games, swindled people at the races and bribed juries in a way that white men would never undertake. The murdered man lived over his shoe factory, in the third story of the building at 819 Washington street. About 9 o'clock last night he sent his Chinese bodyguard on an errand, and a little later dispatched one Murray, a white bodyguard, to get him a newspaper. "I will go downstairs and get shaved while you are gone," he said. The guard advised him not to be so rash as to venture out alone, but "Little Pete" said, "That's all right, I'll take care of myself." In less than ten minutes the remarkable man was a corpse.
After he left his home he walked down through his shoe factory to the barbershop at 817 Washington street, conducted by Chung Ching, Wong Chung and Wong Kuw. He sat about four feet from the door of the barber-shop, facing Ross alley. In the shop were two barbers and a man who had just been shaved. Suddenly two men entered with a rush, walking rapidly toward "Little Pete," who was sitting down in an ordinary chair to be shaved. Before anybody could comprehend what the visitors meant one of them drew a revolver and fired four times with great rapidity. One shot penetrated the right eye and one entered the brain just above it. Death was instantaneous. Two shots did not strike "Little Pete" at all, but went Into the wall, one passing into the partition and almost striking Lee Kam, a barber, in an adjoining room. Both bullets were recovered and held as evidence. The assassins ran away, both dropping their revolvers. One, an old-fashioned smooth-bore, was recovered by the police, and the other was spirited out of the way by accessories.
One of the men ran rapidly toward Waverly place. Sergeant Mooney and his posse were soon on the scene and Officer Myler arrested one of the barbers as a witness. In a few minutes Sergeant Wollweber and fourteen officers were upon the scene. The streets were crowded with excited Chinese and all who came within reach were searched for weapons, but none were found. Little Pete conducted his shoe business under the name of F. C. Peters & Co., but the firm consisted of Little Pete, his uncle, Fong Yuen, and his brother Fong Shun. They employed about forty men.
The dead man came here in 1878 and was 34 years of age. He was born ten miles from Canton and arriving here at an early age acquired a good English education. He passed through the Grammar and High schools of this City, married, and leaves three boys and a girl. He leaves a widow also, in China.
It is said that the murdered man was to get $40,000 for destroying the See Yup Society of Highbinders, and it is supposed that the Chinese Vice-Consul, King Owyang, was back of "Little Pete" and the Sam Yup men in their efforts to destroy the See Yups and demolish their josshouses. The See Yup men say he got $10,000 for his efforts, and was to get $30,000 more on completion of the work.
THE SUSPECTS' STORIES
Those Who Took Flight Pretend Innocence
Wong Sing and Chin Poy, the two men suspected of the murder, were brought from the California-street station by Policeman Murty Cullinan, who arrested them in their lodging-house on Waverley place. They were interrogated by Lieutenant Birdsall, but they denied any complicity in the affair, said they were in their room at the time and did not even hear the shots.
Chin Poy, who is a cook, and came here about two weeks ago from Portland, did the talking. He said he was cook in the service there of Herbert Folger, an insurance agent, and came here with him and his family. Mr. Folger was now living in a hotel, but as soon as he got a house Poy said he was going with him again as cook.
The other suspect, Wong Sing, pretended that he could not understand English. Poy said he came here about a month ago from Alaska, where he had been working in a cannery. He is a well dressed Chinese and does not have the appearance of a man who was used to working in a cannery. Wong Lung, a laundryman, who happened to bo in the barbershop when "Little Pete" was shot, was also brought to the City Prison by Policeman Callinan, and is being detained as a witness. He pretended to be entirely ignorant of who the men were that did the shooting.
Special Officer George Welch said he saw the two men running out of the barber-shop. He chased them, and saw one of them drop the revolver, which he picked up. He saw them enter the lodging house on Waverly place, and notified Policeman Callinan. He identified Wong Sing and Chin Poy as the two men he saw running out of the shop and followed.
WHY HE WAS MURDERED
Suspected of Having Employed Men Who Demolished the See Yup Headquarters
For several months past death has followed the footsteps of the murdered Chinese, the peer among his fellow-country-men. The first cloud of trouble that last evening culminated in Little Pete's assassination obscured the horizon of peace about two years ago. At that time the See Yup and Sam Yup societies, between which there had always existed an unfriendly feeling, declared a mutual boycott. This led to no end of trouble and murder upon murder was the result.
The feud finally reached the Chinese Emperor, and an edict was issued by him, threatening vengeance unless an amicable settlement was reached. Up to this time Little Pete's name was seldom used in connection with the trouble. The See Yups appeared to be the most aggressive in the controversy and the Sam Yup Company finally decided to crush them; to shatter their society if possible and scatter them over the face of the globe. Little Pete being the genius of the Sam Yup Society was selected to general the battle against the enemy.
All went quietly for a while, but finally Chinatown was shocked to the core by the demolition of the Lee Yup headquarters, corner of Clay street and Waverly place. Ferdinand Callundan, a private detective, and his associates entered the headquarters, sacred to the See Yups, and with keen-edged axes smashed, cut and broke the furnishings and paraphernalia into splinters. The Joss pictures and carvings were wrenched from their fastenings and added to the scene of chaos. The detectives then left, but as a Chinese society's decree or an Emperor's edict are not respected by the courts, Callundan was arrested and enjoined from committing further demolition.
It was reported that Little Pete, cooperating with King Owyansr, Vice Consul, were behind Callundan and that Little Pete received $10,000 for having the job committed. It was also reported that he was to receive $30,000 more, or $40,000 in all, when the See Yups were an extinct people. A reward for Pete's and King Owyang's assassination was promptly offered. First $1000 was offered by unknown Chinese, but as the amount was too small to benefit the fighting men, when it came to killing the most influential Chinese in America, the price was raised to $2000.
Even these did not have the desired effect and Little Pete lived on. Friday night the reward was raised to $3000 and the high binders began to stalk the streets, looking for the man who was doomed to die. Last night they found him alone, his guard was absent, and in an instant two bullets had pierced his brain and he fell to the floor dead.
LITTLE PETE'S CAREER.
First a Poor Boy, Then a Manufacturer, Next a Capitalist.
Fong Ching, or "Little Pete," as he was better known, was one of the prominent business men of San Francisco, though a Chinaman. He was shrewd, tactful and successful, and was probably as noted a Chinese character as there is in the United States. At the time of his death be was positively known to be worth not less than $100,000, and the total value of his estate in San Francisco is estimated by various white men connected with him in a legal and representative character to be anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000.
The fact has always been noticed during the last fifteen years that if Fong Ching had occasion to use anywhere from $1000 to $25,000 in cash he had the money ready.
Fong Ching, or "Little Pete," was not born in San Francisco, as has been commonly supposed. He came to this shore when 5 years old, and was between 32 and 33 years of age at the time of his death. He was born in Kow Kong, China. He first started in to made his fortune in America as an errand boy in a shoe factory on Sacramento street. He was a very quick and apt "Chinese kid." While an errand-boy he showed the mettle of ambition by going to an English school at night. It is a singular fact that while he spoke his native tongue fluently he could not read or write a word of Chinese except his own name.
His aptitude and affability made him friends. He was probably the best known Chinaman in San Francisco. He seemed to have a peculiar faculty for making friends among white people. Having graduated from the errand-boy stage he next became a broker in the customs business. He landed a large amount of goods for the Chinese merchants and also accelerated the landing of Chinese in San Francisco, thereby considerably swelling the population of Chinatown. While yet only a boy he was looked to for legal and general advice by the Chinese. Later, having made considerable money in the brokerage business, he went into the business of shoe manufacturing on his own account, and at the time of his death was one of the largest shoe manufacturers in San Francisco. The English name of the shoe firm is F. C. Peters & Co., the Chinese name, Hung, Yuen & Co.
His first escapade which brought him prominently to public notice was when he was arrested for bribery in connection with the killing of Lee Chunk, some years ago, as a result of a feud between the Boe Sin Say and Guy Sin Say societies, "Little Pete" being a member of the latter.
Burr Love and another policeman claimed that "Little Pete" tried to bribe them for $400 for testifying to certain things, while "Little Pete" claimed that the policemen had heard that $2000 had been raised to acquit Lee Chunk, and that they wanted $400 of the swag. "Little Pete" was convicted and served a few days in prison, but the case was reversed by the Supreme Court, and on the second trial he was acquitted.
About this time Little Pete wrote a letter which became public, in which he referred to Chris Buckley as the "blind white devil," a name which has stuck to him in Chinatown and out ever since.
He was interested in several gambling houses and other resorts in Chinatown, out of which he made considerable money. "Little Pete" had about $100,000 worth of property in Canton, China. This property consists of fish-ponds and silkworm industries, which netted him from 6 to 8 per cent, which is a big interest for the Celestial kingdom.
Five months ago there was $23,000 on his shoe factory boats owing him by white shoe firms. He had a white traveling salesman on the road and a white bookkeeper.
He leaves a widow and three children and a brother in Chinatown. The grief of the widow and children last night was pitiful. Under the Chinese law and custom the property goes to his oldest son; lacking an oldest son it goes to his oldest brother.
"Little Pete" carried an accident policy of $10, 000 and a life policy of $15,000. Owing to this insurance the estate will in all probability go in the probate court.
He imported the Chinese show at the Midwinter Fair.
Among the property and other possessions he is said to have left in this City is the Jackson-street Theater, three fan tan games, a retail shoe store at 314 Montgomery avenue, a retail grocery store on Dupont street.
He made but one visit to China since he came here.
Captain Lees said last night that Fong Ching, or "Little Pete," was arrested about eight years ago for jury-bribing and forgery. Stewart Menzies was foreman of the Grand Jury at the time, and it was Menzies who secured the warrants from Judge Coffey for "Little Pete's" arrest. The warrants were given to Captain Lees, and he detailed Detective Hogan to accompany Menzies and serve the warrants on "Little Pete." They had search warrants also with them, and they broke open "Little Pete's" safe and found documents incriminating him and exposing Chris Buckley's methods. It was through these documents that Buckley came to be designated the "blind white devil." "Little Pete" was tried, convicted and sentenced to six years in San Quentin. Previous to that "Little Pete" had been known from his prominent connection with gamblers and Highbinders. He was the most famous Chinese probably in the United States.
HIS TURF CAREER
Plunger, Corrupter of Jockeys and Finally Ruled Off for Fraud
The career on the turf as a plunger of Fong Ching (or Little Pete) was as weird as it was meteoric. Entering the portals of the Bay District racecourse a mild, meek-looking Celestial, with no more knowledge of the horse racing game than a parson has of faro, it was not long before he had under his control three and possibly more of the best jockeys riding at the track, and when in March, 1896, he together with Jockeys Churn, Chevalier and Heinrichs, was ruled off the turf by the officials of the Bay District track for fraud and jobbery, it created a great sensation in the world of turf.
Little Pete made his advent on the turf during the summer of 1895 while the long siege of racing given by the California Jockey Club, so prolific of jobs and crooked races, was in progress. Meeting with only ordinary success in picking winners on form, the wily Chinaman soon found out there were many tortuous curves and inshoots to master before one could hope for success, and he proved an apt student. He soon found out that jockeys were no different from ordinary mortals and that glittering gold could accomplish many things. It was common gossip about the track during the summer months that certain jockeys were frequent visitors to the shoe factory owned by Pete on Washington street, in Chinatown; a mention of which only caused a few smiles and knowing winks among the trainers and swipes.
It was not long before there were some very suspicions looking races, and invariably Little Pete held tickets on the winning horse. The confidential friend and adviser of Little Pete in all things appertaining to turf affairs was Jockey Heinrichs, a mild-looking, blonde-haired youth hailing from St. Louis. Heinrichs was an artist in the saddle, keen and shrewd, a demon finisher, but with a very, very cloudy reputation as to honesty. This glib-tongued, blue-eyed youth Little Pete chose as his first lieutenant.
The Celestial was in the habit of backing the horses ridden by Heinrichs heavily and invariably he cashed his tickets. There was much talk about "dead ones" finishing behind the winner; but the judges saw not, and Little Pete was growing rich daily. Then came the end of the long summer racing season, a short interval of rest and then the auspicious opening of the fall and winter season of 1895-96. Many new Eastern horses were on the scene of racing operations, as well as jockeys of Eastern repute. Among these latter was Jerry Chorn, a colored lad in the employ of Barney Schreiber, the St. Louis turfman, a rider of many sterling qualities. The season progressed and Little Pete, present daily was often observed looking over the form book of the races run, which he always carried in his blouse. Then a trip to the saddling paddock, a chat with a jockey or two and Little Pete's commissioners would be seen skirmishing about the ring placing his coin. Tales of monster winnings made by the Celestial plunger were told, to which that individual would reply that "he backed two or three horses in the race and only won a trifle."
One day the talent in general backed the mare Wheel of Fortune, ridden by Chorn, very heavily, as she looked a certainty. Little Pete strung his coin on the chances of Rosebud, carrying the Burns & Waterhouse colors, and strangely enough the judgment of the little man from Chinatown proved superior to that of Caucasian race-goers of many years' experience. Chorn's ride on this occasion was viewed with suspicion by many, but no action was taken in the matter by the officials in the judges' stand.
As the meeting dragged through the long winter months and merged into spring, elated at his successes, Pete engaged in a book-making venture. At this he was only partially successful, as it was whispered about that one or two horses laid up with his book, supposedly "dead ones," were resuscitated, and the book lost heavily. On top of this came a rumor of a rupture between Pete and his trusted lieutenant, Jockey Heinrichs. The cause of this was, it was said, jealousy on the part of the jockey that other Jockeys who were getting better mounts were usurping his place in the good graces of the plunger from the land of the Flowery Kingdom.
In the latter part of March, 1896, matters came to a focus and the racing world was treated to a startling surprise. At a meeting held one evening by the Board of Stewards of the California Jockey Club four or five jockeys were summoned before them and closely questioned regarding some very suspicious looking riding that had been viewed from the stand. Murder will out, and it was claimed that Jockey Henrichs, under promise of a lenient sentence, let the cat out of the bag, and the Chinese confederacy was a thing of the past. At any rate, much silence was observed by the jockey club officials regarding how the information was gleaned. After a searching inquiry jockeys Chorn and Chevalier were ruled off the turf for life and Heinrichs and plunger Fong Ching were warned off the turf.
Many tales of wondrous winnings were told about the little yellow man, but as he was of a secretive turn of mind they were never verified and how much he added to his wealth during his open career on the turf will probably never be known. That he became a fiend to the game is certain, for even after being ruled off he sent money to the track to be played on certain horses. Jockey Heinrichs is now riding on an outlaw tract in the East, Chevalier, the colored boy, is an exile from his native land, piloting horses over the races courses of Guatemala. Jerrry Chorn, it is said, is a penniless hanger on about the race tracks of St. Louis and the prime mover in the gigantic turf swindles occupies a slab in the City Morgue.
Four More Arrests
Four Chinamen, Ah Wong, Ah Yup, Ah Kong and Ah Hing, were arrested at the corner of Jackson and Dupont streets later. Three dirks, two hatchets, a cleaver, and a 43-caliber Colt revolver were found on them. They were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in Little Pete's murder.
February 4, 1897, San Francisco Call
Not "Little Pete's" Money
Judge Slack has given permission to Mrs. Chun Li, widow of Fong Ching (Little Pete), to disclaim all interest in $2312.90 in the firm name of Hung, Yuen & Co., deposited with the Anglo-Califiornian Bank.
June 6, 1897, San Francisco Call
"Little Pete's" Murder
Chun Woon Sing and Chuu Chuey, charged with the murder of "Little Pete," will be placed on trial for their lives in Judge Carroll Cook's court tomorrow morning.
June 11, 1897, Los Angeles Herald, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Little Pete's Slayer
SAN FRANCISCO. June 10. Taking of testimony was commenced today in the case of Chun Woon Sing, charged with the murder of "Little Pete." Dr. Morgan described the wounds of the deceased. Police Officer Russell described several diagrams of the premises where the killing occurred. Two Chinese witnesses described the murder, but they were both unable to identify the defendant as one of the assassins.
October 21, 1897, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California
LITTLE PETE'S DEATH
Trial of a Man Charged With the Murder in Last January
Chun Woon Sing is on trial in Judge Carroll Cook's court charged with assisting Chun Chuey, alias Chin Poy, in the murder of Fong Ching, otherwise known as "Little Pete," on the 23d of last January. "Little Pete" was one of the most notorious denizens of Chinatown, and his assassination caused a great sensation in that part of the city. Two days have been used in trying to secure a jury, and thus far but five jurors have been accepted. It will take a week to fill the jury-box, in all probability, as every inch of the ground is being fought by the opposing lawyers. Assistant District Attorney Hosmer is assisted in the prosecution by ex-Judge Robert Ferral and Attorney J. N. E. Wilson. For the defendant are General A. L. Hart and Colonel T. V. Eddy.
November 7, 1897, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
Didn't Kill Little Pete
In Judge Carroll Cook's department of the Superior Court yesterday a jury returned a verdict of not guilty in the case of Woon Sing, charged with the murder of Fong Ching, alias "Little Pete." The defense was conducted by General A. L. Hart and Colonel T. V. Eddy, who proved to the satisfaction of the jury that the accused man was not near the scene of the tragedy at the time "Little Pete" was shot.
Little Pete's death set off tong wars between the various tongs.
October 6, 1899, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
In Memory of Little Pete
The blood relatives of Little Pete, who came to his death in Chinatown some time ago by the murderous bullets of a highbinder, offered a service in commemoration of his death in Waverly place last last evening. The room in which the requiem services were held was filled with josses and decorated in Oriental splendor. The Chinese services of feeding the dead were read and the ceremony lasted about three hours.
The Naval Order of the United States has a history dating from 1890. Membership includes a wide range of individuals, many with highly distinguished career paths.
The San Francisco Commandery meets the first Monday of each month at the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club in San Francisco, California and holds two formal dinners each year.