Lot 356: 1890s Cabinet Card Photo, ‘Angel’ of San Francisco Chinatown

PBA Galleries

2016-01-13 11:47:02


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Lot 356: Author: N/A; Title: Cabinet Card photograph of white missionary with a Chinese child she "rescued" in San Francisco Chinatown; Place Published: N/A; Publisher: N/A; Date Published: ca. 1890; Description: Cabinet card photograph, ca. 1890, on 4.5 x 7" backing, of Caucasian woman looking lovingl at a Chinese boy, seated in a high chair. Photographer not identified, but the subject is identified on verso with a period ink inscription: "Lin Kim & his Sweetheart, Margarita Lake". Rare. Middle-class "do-gooders" - white Christian women supported by Methodist and Presbyterian churches - began, in the 1870s, to "rescue" Chinese prostitutes and abused or neglected Chinese children in San Francisco Chinatown. Local newspapers dramatized the exploits of Margarita Lake and her sister Kate, and "the Angry Angel of Chinatown", Donaldina Cameron, who "saved" thousands of "enslaved" Chinese immigrant girls and women from indentured servitude and prostitution, and often forcibly removed Chinese children from abusive home environments. Some of the rescued girls were unwillingly deported to China, even if white families were willing to adopt them. And Lake, accusing San Francisco police of thwarting her efforts, fought to keep boys and girls in her church mission home, even when their "reformed" mothers had stable employment and wanted them back. Condition: Very good. PBA Galleries' Sale 578: Americana, Travel/Exploration, Cartography, African/Asian Americana and Directories Thursday, 28th January 2016 Estimate: $300-500
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