When did it occur? Where did it occur? What happened to John Sutter after gold was discovered on his property?
Yet it is a mistake to view any such society solely through the lens of criminal justice. Most were much more than mere lairs of Mafia-style gangsters. Many were law-abiding, with a middle-class membership. They focused on charity, conflict resolution, and assisting members in relations with the non-Chinese world.
In almost any Chinatown for at least part of its history, one or more secret societies were at the center of community life. In those days, the population of the region was devoted almost entirely to gold mining, and more than half were Chinese.
Printed in the Autumn of the Renchen -Tianyun year. The latter is the designated character for the Fourth Lodge. The poetic verses summarize the identity and sovereignty of the Fifth Patriarch who headed the lodge. The bodies of the two sisters-in-law were recovered by a fisherman, Xie Bangheng.
Full of mischief and skilled in martial art, he was eventually subdued by the Buddhist goddess, Guanyin. Although he was not a regular deity in the pantheon of the Society, it is possible that the Clinton branch believed in evoking his spirit for initiation ceremonies. Is the manual unique?
Modern copies with a very similar text are widely used in Hong Kong. Cai Shaoqing says that there are earlier copies, representing several versions, in libraries in Europe, North American, Australia, and China itself Caip The Clinton version bears a cyclical date equivalent towhich makes it later than several others, including the one reproduced by the pioneering Dutch scholar, Gustave Schlegel, in Most versions seem not to include images of deities and the founders of the Tiandihui.
The Clinton version does include such images. Its colors are bright, and the condition, except for an eaten-away corner, is excellent. We do not know whether other copies of the version exist. The editors of this website, as well as Mike Brundage on behalf of the Clinton Museum, would be grateful for any information that our readers may have.
We may assume that the Clinton manual was used by one such lodge. While looking through the Chinese part of that col- lection, we made a discovery: The Tiandihui came into existence in China in the late 17th century.
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