The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America

By Mae Ngai | Go to book overview

2. THE FIRST RESCUE

JEU DIP'S MILK ROUTE took him past the Chinese girl's home; perhaps he even delivered milk to it, for she lived in the same neighborhood, at the home of the Ladies’ Protection and Relief Society on Franklin Street, a block west of Van Ness. Started by the wives of Protestant ministers in the 1850s, the Ladies’ Society began by caring for women who were in temporary need of shelter and assistance. Its founders emphasized that these women came from good families; they were not indigent by fault of character or class. They had followed their “pioneer husbands, brothers, and sweethearts” to San Francisco but found themselves upon arrival deserted and without funds. Their men had been unable to find work and had gone to the mines or, worse, had died as a result of accident or illness.

By the early 1860s, the society was caring mostly for children, whose parents had found only misfortune in California and whose predicaments reflected a new set of social and moral problems for San Francisco. Of these children, the society reported, “some are deserted by an abandoned mother, or a vagabond father, and are outcasts. Some come by sudden sickness of parents [or] death of a fa

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The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vi
  • Preface to the Paperback Edition viii
  • Author'S Note x
  • Tape Family Tree xiv
  • Part I - Strivings (1864-1883) 1
  • 1- The Lucky One 3
  • 2- The First Rescue 14
  • 3- Joseph and Mary 24
  • Part II - School Days (188 4-18 94) 41
  • 4- "that Chinese Girl" 43
  • 5- Chinatown'S Frontier 58
  • Part III - Native Sons and Daughters (1895-1904) 69
  • 6- Suburban Squire 71
  • 7- Two Marriages 83
  • 8- The Chinese Village 95
  • Part IV - The Interpreter Class (1905-1917) 117
  • 9- Blood and Fire 119
  • 10- In Pursuit of Smugglers 135
  • 11- Modern Life 150
  • 12- The Trial 161
  • 13- "sailors Should Go Ashore" 173
  • Part V - Reinventions (1917-1950) 187
  • 14- The New Daughter-in-Law 189
  • 15- Loss 201
  • 16- Service 207
  • Epilogue 223
  • Glossary of Chinese Names 231
  • Acknowledgments 233
  • Notes 235
  • Appendix - Documents from the Chinese Exclusion Era 277
  • Index 315
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