11/30/19

Two Chinese Who Liked the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act

One might assume that all Chinese in the U.S. would object to the passage of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.  However, a Los Angeles newspaper reporter decided to go to Chinatown and interview some residents.  It isn't stated how many Chinese he spoke with, or how many objected to the law, but he did find at least two merchants who approved of the law.

Quong Hing saw one effect of the law would be that "Chinamen here would scatter out over the country," which he argued would benefit their wages. He also defended the restriction of Chinese if their presence made times hard for others (white labor).


A second merchant, Ah Toy, held a similar view. He almost questioned whether money Chinese sent back to China instead of spending it in the U.S., one of the objections raised about Chinese, was a significant amount overall.  He felt that the Chinese who came from China were poor but that after being here two years would make enough money to go back to China.


The article only cited the views of two Chinese and it would have been interesting to see how widespread similar views were held among Chinese.


11/24/19

1911 Chinese Revolution Changed Hairstyles of Men As Well As its Govermnment


The 1911 Chinese overthrow of the Qing dynasty led by Sun-Yat Sen not only established the Republic of China, but had a big impact of barbers, both in S.F. and China, as Chinese men began cutting off their queues or "pigtails" that the Manchus had imposed on the Han Chinese.



The queue was a  hairstyle worn by the Manchu men from central Manchuria who invaded China during the Qing dynasty. The Manchu required Han Chinese men wear a queue which consisted of the hair on the front of the head being shaved off above the temples every ten days and the rest of the hair braided into a long ponytail. The hairstyle was compulsory for all males and the penalty for not complying was execution for treason. In the early 1910s, after the fall of the Qing dynasty, the Chinese no longer had to wear it.

A San Francisco newspaper described the impact of the regime change on the consequences for Chinese barbers as shown in excerpts from the San Francisco Call in 1911.




In contrast to Chinese men voluntarily cutting their queues in 1911 as an expression of freedom from the mandate of the Manchu rule, the cutting of queues imposed by whites during the late 19th century was humiliating if not emasculating.
In April 1878, Ho Ah Kow was arrested in San Francisco for violating the “cubic feet” ordinance, which limited the number of Chinese living within a room. While in jail, the Sherif ordered his queue becut off. After his release from jail, Ho Ah Kow enlisted the support of the Chinese Six Companies to sue Sheriff Nunan.
California Supreme Court Justice Stephen Field decided the case in an opinion that had a far-reaching and historic impact on the rights of Chinese immigrants, ruling that the Queue Ordinance was a form of additional punishment within the “cubic feet” law, which the Board of Supervisors did not have the authority to enact. The judge also ruled that the law was clearly aimed at the Chinese and was therefore a violation of the right to equal protection under the law for “all persons,” not merely “all citizens.” Finally, because of the specific disgrace imposed upon the Chinese, the law was deemed a form of “cruel and unusual" punishment. The San Francisco Wasp lampooned the issue with a drawing of Justice Fields dressed in Chinese clothing and sporting his own queue. It showed him in “Justice Field’s Barber Shop,” braiding the hair of a Chinese man, under a picture of Sheriff Nunan having just finished using a scissors to clip a queue.






11/21/19

The Heathen Chinee Strike Back!


Bret Harte wrote a poem, Plain Language from Truthful James, in 1870, which later became more widely known as The Heathen Chinee. In brief, the poem describes how two white miners cheat a Chinese, Ah Sin, in a card game but the crafty Ah Sin outcheats them. But they discover his cheating and exclaim "we are ruined by cheap Chinese labor," and then proceed to pummel the hapless Ah Sin.

As noted in a previous post on this blog, 

Bret Harte's personal attitude toward the plight of Chinese immigrants was sympathetic even though his poem might suggest otherwise.  The intent of the poem has been viewed as a satirical commentary on the hypocrisy of whites who cheated the Chinese but then attacked them for the same behavior. Nonetheless, the poem reinforced this negative image of all Chinese that was in keeping with the national animosity against cheap Chinese labor that led to the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, not too long after the poem was published.  The image of the heathen Chinee created by Harte's poem quickly became a popular term of derision of Chinese and reprinted in newspapers across the country even as late as the 1920s, half a century later.

A few years later, Harte wrote a less influential poem with a provocative title, "The Latest Chinese Outrage," designed to arouse curiosity about what terrible misdeed the Chinamen committed.
The poem described a confrontation in which "Chinee," 400 of them actually, give some ruffian white miners a taste of their own medicine after they repeatedly failed to pay their laundry bills. Led by Ah Sin, they take the livestock and possessions of the miners as payment.  

When out of the din
To the front comes a-rockin' that heathen, Ah Sin!
"You owe flowty dollee--me washee you camp,
You catchee my washee--me catchee no stamp;
One dollar hap dozen, me no catchee yet,
Now that flowty dollee--no hab?--how can get?
Me catchee you piggee--me sellee for cash,
It catchee me licee--you catchee no 'hash;'
Me belly good Sheliff--me lebbee when can,
Me allee same halp pin as Melican man!

The Chinese capture one miner, Joe Johnson, and force him to ingest opium, shaved his eyebrows, tacked on a cue (queue), dressed him in Chinese clothing, painted his face with a coppery hue, and stuffed him in a bamboo cage on which they placed a label that read "A white man is here" and left him hanging like ripening fruit.

 And as we drew near,
  In anger and fear,
  Bound hand and foot, Johnson
  Looked down with a leer!


In his mouth was an opium pipe--which was why

He leered at us so with a drunken-like eye!
They had shaved off his eyebrows, and tacked on a cue,
They had painted his face of a coppery hue,
And rigged him all up in a heathenish suit,
Then softly departed, each man with his "loot."
  Yes, every galoot,
  And Ah Sin, to boot,
  Had left him there hanging
  Like ripening fruit.

One wonders whether Harte, in writing this poem, was trying to make amends for all the harm his heathen Chinee character, Ah Sin, created for the Chinese. It would be unlikely that many if any, Chinese would have read the poem, but if they did, they might feel some vicarious vengeance. On the other hand, anti-Chinese whites might experience anger if they read it.  Unlike Plain Language from Truthful James, it had little impact on white-Chinese relations.

11/20/19

A Gold Mountain Dream Turned into a Nightmare



Mark Twain spoke up on behalf of Chinese immigrants and against their mistreatment. His brilliant satirical short novel "Goldsmith's Friend Abroad Again" is an effort to make his readers reject the racism against Chinese.   [This link is to the printed text.]

The novel was serialized in Galaxy Magazine over 1870-1.  The format involved seven fictitious letters from Ah Song Hi to his friend, Ching Foo.
In the first letter, Ah Song Hi is beginning his journey from China to Gold Mountain, full of optimism. However, his following five letters describe increasingly negative experiences ranging from unfair immigration fees, prejudicial mistreatment by San Francisco police, attack by a dog belonging to young men, being jailed, and not being allowed to testify in court because he was not white. Ah Song Hi's dream of Gold Mountain was actually a nightmare.

Note: The odd title for Twain's indictment of the mistreatment of Chinese comes from the celebrated 18th-century Irish author, Oliver Goldsmith, who wrote "Citizen of the World" in 1760 about letters from Lien Chi,  a fictional Chinese traveller in England, to provide an outsider's ironic and at times moralistic views on British society and manners.

The "Abroad Again" part of the title speaks to the many travel books Twain wrote that included the word, "Abroad" such as Innocents Abroad.

It is understandable why Twain used a title to acknowledge his debt to Goldsmith but unfortunately, it doesn't convey the content, namely, a biting criticism on the racism toward Chinese.


11/12/19

How Hop-a-long Cassidy Led Me to Discover Willie Fung

Hop-a-long Cassidy was not one of my favorite grade B cowboy movie stars, but I saw a link to one of his movies the other day. In a moment of nostalgic longing for my boyhood days when I was a devoted cowboy movie fan, I could not resist watching, at least part of it. 
As the opening credits rolled by, I noticed that a "Willie Fung" was in the movie and wondered if he might be Chinese.  And my hunch was right.  He only had a few scenes and his lines were in spoken in stereotypical pidgin English. After all, he was only the ranch cook.
Still, I was curious to learn more about Willie Fung so I "googled" him, and much to my surprise, he had his own Wikiwand page. I learned Willie Fung, born in 1896 in Canton, played supporting roles in 125 American films between 1922 and 1944 even though he died in Los Angeles at the young age of 49 in 1945. The majority of his roles were in Westerns and dramas, and his filmography shows that he was most often was cast as a cook, servant, houseboy, and once a laundryman

Willie Fung was a pioneer Chinese American actor but not the first Asian American actor. George Kuwa (7 April 1885 – 13 October 1931) was a Japanese and American Issei (Japanese immigrant) film actor of the silent era. He appeared in 58 films between 1916 and 1931. He was the first actor to portray Charlie Chan on-screen, in the 1926 film serial The House Without a Key. Unlike Fung who had very small roles, Kuwa had the key role in the first Charlie Chan movie, a silent film. 


By 1931, Hollywood no longer used Japanese actors to play Charlie Chan, preferring a Swedish American actor, Warner Orland for all subsequent Charlie Chan movies.

10/24/19

Pioneer S.F. Chinatown Photographs by William Henry Jackson (1843-1942)

Arnold Genthe, a German immigrant, was the best-known street photographer of Chinese public life at the end of the 19th century on the streets of Chinatown.


      William Henry Jackson (1843-1942) took some rarely seen photographs of San Francisco Chinese, who judging by their attire, were better off financially than the typical Chinese immigrant.  





Jackson's portfolio had few photographs of the Chinese. Instead, he was a pioneering prolific landscape photographer and painter of the American West even though Ansel Adams has achieved greater recognition with his photographs in Yosemite. 

"From 1870 to 1878 Jackson was the official photographer for the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories. His photographs of the natural wonders of northwestern Wyoming, taken during the Hayden survey expedition of 1871, were exhibited in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.  Members of the U.S. Congress were so impressed by Jackson’s photos that his work was one of the major factors in the congressional vote that established Yellowstone National Park in 1872." 

10/23/19

Mah Jongg Mania

   Mah Jongg, a game of skill and strategy that is likened to the card game, rummy,  but using small bakelite tiles instead of cards, originated in China during the Qing dynasty around 1870. It was a popular recreational pastime, sometimes involving small stakes gambling, but with the rise to power of Communist China in 1949, gambling was disapproved.  The game was even banned during the Cultural Revolution but has since regained its appeal in contemporary China.

In the 1920s, mah jongg became wildly popular in America, especially with Jewish women. Abercrombie & Fitch, a clothing store, marketed it to Americans in 1920 and is said to have sold over 40,000 sets in one decade. Thus, despite the prevailing prejudices against Chinese people, Americans had no problems adopting Chinese games such as mah jongg. Note: "Chinese Checkers," a children's game, was Chinese only in name and decoration and made in Germany.

Ironically, this is the same New York store that in 2002 created t-shirts with racist slogans and images mocking Chinese until protests ended their sale.




This wide acceptance of a Chinese game occurred even though in 1920 Americans still held racist attitudes and prejudicial treatment of Chinese immigrants.  A poem, Mah Jongg, by Edward A. Guest could not resist mocking the Chinese and their game.


The 1923 cartoon below illustrating the difficulty of a white couple in understanding the rules for mah jongg invoked the belief that Wun Bum Lung, a laundryman, be consulted as if laundrymen ever had time to play it.



Christian clergy in Vancouver attributed social problems in China to the excessive playing and gambling associated with mah jongg.  They worried that it would cause similar problems in North America.


This fear seemed unwarranted and mah jongg is still popular, but the 1920s mania has subsided.  Currently, there is a large online market for mah jongg sets, especially "Oriental sets," and accessories.


9/29/19

The Role of Newspapers in Spreading the "Cunning Oriental" Stereotype

 Elsie Sigel, a young white woman who helped teach English to Chinese men in New York's Chinatown, was murdered in 1909 and found stuffed in a steamer trunk in the apartment of a Chinese, Leon Ling, a nationwide search for him for several months was unsuccessful despite sightings of him, real or imagined,were reported around the country.

The failure to find him was not attributed in newspapers to shortcomings of the authorities but rather to the "Oriental cunning," of Leon Ling.


I was curious to see how pervasive this stereotype of Orientals, in general, was in newspaper articles. A cursory archival search showed 150,749 occurrences over many decades from the late 19th century until the mid-20th century in newspapers across the U.S.  A small sample of snippets of these articles is shown below.





The high number does not reflect separate stories since articles about major issues were reprinted in newspapers across the land. Nonetheless, the negative image of the "cunning Oriental"reinforces the prevalent xenophobia because the fear and suspicion generated are resistant to disconfirmation.

8/26/19

The Case of 22 Lewd Chinese Women Chy Lung v. Freeman, 92 U.S. 275 (1876).

Chy Lung was one of 22 Chinese women on the steamer Japan that journeyed from China to San Francisco in 1875. The immigration commissioner decided that Chy Lung and the other 21 women were "lewd and debauched women," because they were traveling alone. The captain of the ship refused to post a $500 bond per woman to allow her to land and detained the women on board. They sued and filed a writ of habeas corpus, that allowed them to disembark under the custody of the Sheriff of the County and City of San Francisco.

The women appealed the decision to deport them. The California High Court upheld the constitutionality of the statute used to deny them entry and upheld their deportation. The women appealed the decision and won their freedom.  One of the women, Chy Lung,  the United States Supreme Court,  the first case with a Chinese litigant to appear before the United States Supreme Court, Chy Lung v. Freeman, 92 U.S. 275 (1876).  The United States Supreme Court ruled that the power to set rules surrounding immigration rested with the United States Federal Government, rather than with the states.

Interesting, no one knows what happened to the 22 "lewd and debauched" after they were allowed to enter the U.S., and it was suspected that some, if not all, were indeed prostitutes.

Judge Denny Chin, a circuit court judge in the United States who is famous for sentencing Bernie Madoff, arranged for the enactment of a courtroom drama about the case. He considered the case historic because it was the first by a Chinese litigant, and also one where the court ruled in favor of the litigant at a time when sentiment against Chinese and immigration was rising in the 1870s.

A performance using trial transcripts, "22 Lewd Chinese Women: Chy Lung v. Freeman," was created by The Trial Reenactment Team of the Asian American Bar Association in collaboration with the New York City Bar Association on May 21, 2014, to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

A second re-enactment of the trial was sponsored by a Washington, D.C. legal firm, McDermott Will & Emery.

8/19/19

Pioneer Chinese American Boxer, Georgie Washington Lee

When I was researching the rise of Chinese restaurants in the 1920s, I stumbled upon a 1921newspaper article about a boxing match featuring a bantamweight Chinese boxer named Georgie Lee.  He received enthusiastic crowd support for his vigorous performance even though he lost the match.

Lee started boxing in Sacramento at an early age of 10 in 1910 (and lived to a ripe age of 92) and became popular on the East Coast and American South even though his record was modest, at best. 



Despite his limits as a boxer, his manager marketed George as the "Yellow Peril of the Prize Ring," and added a theatrical gimmick by having George wear an Oriental robe and false pigtail when he entered the ring.




Typical of the racism against Chinese for many decades, the journalists often made condescending and mocking comments.  At least the audiences did show some admiration for the spunky fighter that George was even though he was never more than mediocre as a boxer.

George and his brother Raymond had boxing matches outside the U.S, as well.  They had boxing matches all over the world— Canada, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, France, and the British Isles.  
Below is George's Immigration Form 430 which under the Chinese Exclusion Act all Chinese had to file if they left the country and planned to reenter later.



8/16/19

What Happened to 20,000 Chinese The U.S. Betrayed in 1888?

By the middle of the 19th century as increasing numbers of Chinese came to the western part of the U.S. in search of gold, the Chinese were increasingly demonized as threats to white labor. They were vilified further with a major recession in 1873. Eventually, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in 1882 to prohibit the entry of Chinese laborers for 10 years. However, it was renewed for another decade with the Geary Act in 1892, and would not be repealed until 1943.
Chinese who were already in the U.S., either immigrants or American-born who wanted to make visits to China had to complete a Form 430 as the one for actress Anna Mae Wong in 1935 shown below certifying their status so they could reenter the U.S. without going through the procedures used for new immigrants.
              

  Unlike the better known 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act that blocked entry of Chinese, in 1888 the Scott Act denied reentry of around 20,000 Chinese who had left the U.S. to visit China even though they had obtained Certificates of Return before they departed that were not honored.



Chae Chan Ping (n.d.) traveled to China to attend to his father’s death before the Exclusion Act. Ping acquired a Certificate 38 and, on June 2, 1887, he sailed for China after having been a California resident for twelve years. Ping returned on October 7, 1888, and presented his certificate when his ship arrived in San Francisco.
However,  a few days before his arrival, Congress passed yet another amendment to the Chinese Exclusion Act that declared “every certificate heretofore issued in pursuance [of the law] is void and of no effect, and the Chinese laborer claiming admission . . . shall not be permitted to enter the United States.” Ping's attorneys submitted a habeas corpus petition and challenged the decision arguing that Congress could not deport a Chinese citizen entitled to reside in the U.S. under the Burlingame Treaty of 1868 which guaranteed the right of Chinese and U.S. citizens to immigrate between the two countries and outright rejected any attempts to restrict this immigration. The circuit court of northern California denied his entry so the case was taken to the U.S. Supreme Court, Chae Chan Ping v United States, which also denied Ping's right to reenter the U.S. despite the fact he owned property in the U.S.  
On May 13, 1889, Justice Stephen Jay Field, writing the decision for a unanimous court, portrayed Chinese immigrants as a threat to American civilization, since they refused to assimilate into American culture and were outcompeting white laborers. He argued that immigration policy was a right of the federal government free from judicial review since a strict immigration policy, especially in regards to Chinese immigration, was vital to the national interest. Therefore any certification held by Chinese immigrants prior to the passage of the Scott Act, “is held at the will of the government, revocable at any time, at its pleasure.” 
This so-called Chinese Exclusion Case gave rise to the "plenary power doctrine" as the Supreme Court transformed congressional power over immigration “into a power of national self-defense derived from the nation’s inherent sovereignty.” Justice Stephen Field said that the government must “give security against foreign aggression and encroachment,” whether it came “from the foreign nation acting in its national character, or from vast hordes of its people crowding in upon us.”
But what happened to the more than 20,000 Chinese who returned from China in 1888,  only to find the U.S. had slammed the door in their faces.  Not being allowed reentry meant no access to their property  in the U.S. 
Hopefully many or most filed petitions of habeas corpus and found a way to gain reentry, but as far as I could find, no one has documented their fate.


https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/130/581/

8/3/19

Chop Suey and Marital Conflict

Married couples fight over many issues,  but it would seem unlikely that chop suey might be one. In 1910, Wing Lee, a Chinese physician married to a Norwegian for six years, felt his obligation to feed her was limited to Chinese food, and did not include "bread and butter" or in other words,  American foods. Mrs. Lee, however, "fed up" with her "chop suey diet," took him to court, which proved a bit embarrassing for her because the testimony revealed some negative or questionable aspects of her behavior such as her arrest for stealing money from another "Chinaman" or giving birth to a child in Norway before they married.  The judge ignored these tangential matters and ruled that the doctor must provide his wife with food "such as white people eat" or pay her $4 each week.




 In 1913 Birdie Eill, the wife of  Jacob Eill, a trucking contractor, sued for separation and alimony on grounds that he abandoned her in favor of going to dances to be with "soubrettes" or flirtatious women. He countered that she deserted him, did not cook for him,  and was "fond of chop suey beyond expression."  
The judge ruled in favor of Mrs. Eill, although he only awarded her a third of her alimony requested.



A more dramatic story of marital discord that involved chop suey was a 1922 Long Island murder case in which a husband "accidentally" shot his wife fatally. 

William and Celia Stenger had argued in a restaurant over his refusal to buy chop suey for her. When they got home, Celia exclaimed rather melodramatically she was going "to end it all" and went to her room. Mr. Stenger then entered her room and wrestled with her in an attempt to take a pistol from her but it accidentally discharged, killing her.  As there were no witnesses, the quick-thinking husband wrote a suicide note and forged her signature.  


Nonetheless, he was convicted of first-degree manslaughter.  

One lesson to be learned from these three unhappy marriages: don't fight over a dish of chop suey, it ain't worth it!



7/29/19

Worry Over Rumors in 1906 That The Chinese Were Coming to Brooklyn and the Bronx

The threat in 1906 of replacing New York's unsanitary and crime-ridden Chinatown in lower Manhatten was real. As a hedge against this development, some forward-looking Chinese began to explore alternative sites for their businesses and residences.

Word that the Red Hook section in Brooklyn and the Bronx were being considered by some Chinese created fears that the yellow peril was going to invade their part of town. The acronym, nimby, was not coined until around 1980, but the phenomenon was certainly present in the reactions of whites to the impending invasion of "Orientals."


Interestingly, one Bronx resident had no objection to the presence of some Chinese laundries but he objected to having a large body of Chinese as they would be a menace.  Another resident was more accepting of Chinese, at least in comparison to an influx of Italians into the Bronx.

A Tale of Two Chinatowns in 1906

The two largest Chinatowns in the U.S. in 1906 were in San Francisco and New York.  Both faced major threats to their existence in 1906 but survived and still are iconic in 2019 even though now they are threatened by gentrification and the move by many Chinese residents with resources to suburban areas.

The 1906 disaster of a major earthquake and fire in San Francisco is well known and needs no detailed description.  The photograph by Arnold Genthe says it all. Amazingly, Chinatown, like the rest of the city, rose from the ashes and its Chinese merchants became an attraction for tourism.

Less well known is the 1906 threat to the existence of New York's Chinatown which was not due to natural forces but to social and political factors.  The Mayor and some powerful civic and religious leaders wanted to replace Chinatown, reviled for its filth and vice, with a park.
Feb. 28, 1906 "Tear Down the Dens of Chinatown and Make a Park...
'

Chinese and their supporters strenuously objected to the proposal and numerous public hearings were held in the spring of 1906.

On March 21, 1906, p. 3, The Evening World, which strongly advocated for the park plan exclaimed that the battle was "good as won."


A search of archival newspapers for the rest of 1906 did not turn up any definitive date for ending the proposal. But support for it died out and it was argued that health and police departments would be a less costly way to deal with the filth and vices than to purchase the land for the park. And so, Chinatown in lower Manhattan dodged its demolition.  The crisis still had some negative collateral damage that will be the subject of another post.

7/11/19

The Majority of Chinese Women and Girls in the U.S. Were Prostitutes in 1870

The vast majority of immigrants who came from China in search of gold in California starting in 1848 and during the 1860s to work on the construction of the western part of the transcontinental railroad were primarily young men.  Most were not married, or if they were, did not bring their wives because they hoped to return to China after they made enough money.

In 1870, there were approximately 58,000 Chinese men and about 4,000 Chinese women and girls identified in the U.S. Census so it is obvious there were few marriages created between Chinese men and women. Anti-Chinese sentiments, as well as Chinese preferences for marrying a Chinese partner, left these thousands of Chinese without sexual outlets, aside from forming homosexual liaisons, a topic that is understudied as a taboo topic, or patronizing prostitutes. In 1870, about 61 percent of the roughly 4,000 Chinese women in California were prostitutes, according to Ronald Takaki in his landmark 1998 study, Strangers in A Different Land. It should be noted that most of these women, some actually barely into puberty, and at least one girl 6 years-old, were coerced or involuntary participants controlled by unscrupulous Chinese.


I was startled by this huge statistic.  For 4,000 females, 61% would be over 2,400 prostitutes. By the way, their patrons were not limited to Chinese men, as "yellow fever" existed among white men even back in the mid-19th century. I decided to check census listings for Chinese women born in China but living in the U.S. in 1870 whose "occupation" was listed as "prostitute."  I should add I saw some towns where the occupation of many women was keeping house" or as "public."  I wonder if those were polite terms for "prostitute." ( I also saw one where the census taker wrote "whore" for one woman's occupation).

I found page after page of census records full of prostitutes. Below are 2 pages for San Francisco in 1870.  Seeing lists of actual names of these prostitutes, many under the age of 15, was more distressing than looking at statistics.



I hasten to add that a place like San Francisco also had many other occupations for Chinese men including cook, peddler, tailor.  jeweler, doctor, barber, cigar maker, and of course, laundryman.

In contrast, in small mining towns such as Silver Bow, Montana, most of the Chinese men were miners along with two laundrymen to wash their clothes and a couple of prostitutes to fulfill their carnal needs. (Note that the census taker did not bother recording their names. All men were listed as  "Chinaman" and the two prostitutes as "Chinawoman"!

Thankfully, a decade later in the 1880 census, although still unacceptably high, there was a big drop in the percentage, 24, of Chinese women working as prostitutes.

Writer Gary Kamiya presented an excellent account of the factors responsible for the high number of Chinese prostitutes and their living conditions in San Francisco in the late 19th century.





About Me