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A Little China Leader, a Brothel Owner, and Their Clashing American Dreams in Gold Rush San Francisco.


Despite homogeneous portrayals of the Chinese experience in the United States, pursuing and achieving the American Dream is a unique experience for each individual. What happens, then, when the dream of one Chinese immigrant clashes with the standards of another? This paper studies two rival immigrants in gold rush San Francisco: Norman Ah-Sing, an association leader, and Ah Toy, a brothel madam, and their battle with each other to achieve their versions of the American Dream. Using historical newspaper accounts and secondary sources, this paper demonstrates that, although the dream is as unique as the person who pursues it, these two immigrants committed a critical mistake: by forcing each other into a pigeonholed American experience, they contributed to the other's downfall and deprived their community of unity at a time when it most required a strong foundation of leadership.

[phrase omitted] "HARMONY BRINGS WEALTH." --Chinese proverb

The morning of September 23, 1854, would have dawned cloudy in San Francisco, but wouldn't have stayed so for long. The ubiquitous fog that usually crashed over the hills and poured through the Golden Gate during the summer mornings and evenings would begin to hibernate and give way to the sun, which, like any other normal city's springtime, thawed the city in preparation for the warmer months. But then, as today, San Francisco wasn't a normal city. Its real summer started in October. (1)

On the west side of Portsmouth Square, just off the corner of Clay Street and Brenham Place (now Walter U. Lum Place), in the alcalde's office doubling as a courtroom, a young Chinese woman, about twenty-four years old, prepared to be questioned. This wasn't her first time to court. Most of her summonses to the Recorder's Court were for charges of public nuisance: specifically, throwing offal into the street or, more frequently, keeping a disorderly house. (2) When the proceedings began, she would have known what to do.

First, adhering to the Chinese practice born recently in the courts of British Hong Kong and brought to California, she would have written her name, Ah Toy, on a yellow strip of paper, followed by her promise to tell the truth. Someone would then have produced a match and lit the paper, reducing it to ashes and sealing her oath. (3) If it was anything like Ah Toy's first lime in court five years before, men would have overcrowded the room and likely felt a twinge of anxiety as the smoke wisped up to the ceiling. San Francisco had suffered six major fires and countless minor ones in its early years, and the wooden office had yet to be upgraded to brick or stone. (4)

Next, she would have been asked if she needed a translator, but she likely would have declined. She had picked up more than her fair share of English over her last five years in the city. (5)

Sitting at the defendant's table was a wrinkled, oddly dressed old man, wearing what must have been a defeated expression. (6) Ah Toy knew this man; she knew him so well, in fact, that it's easy to imagine that revulsion simmered in her gut.

It was Norman Ah-Sing.

It was remarkable that these two rivals of Little China (as San Franciscans called the Chinese district until the 1860s), Ah Toy and Norman Ah-Sing, were in court to face each other at all. (7) This was, after all, an official American court--a White court--to which most Chinese gave a wide berth. They handled disputes in their community on their own, with no outside interference from city authorities. (8)

But here they were. Five years after the start of the gold rush, they stared each other down in a San Francisco courtroom. (9) Twenty-eight years before the Chinese Exclusion Act, this courtroom scene signposted a breach in the Chinese community at a time of increasing vulnerability. It began as the pursuit of the American Dreams of a Little China leader and a brothel madam.

The defendant, Norman Ah-Sing, was a singular character in gold rush San Francisco, though he would have stood out in any time period or place. His appearance, above all else, caught people's attention in a town where the extraordinary was the norm. (10) Mexicans, Peruvians, French, Germans, British, Australians, and Hawai'ians all mixed into the salad bowl of San Francisco, but it was Norman who caught the curiosity of journalist James O'Meara, who called him "a sallow, dried, cadaverous, but active and keen old fellow." His dress was "a singular mixture of the Chinese and American, as he maintained his queue, and at the same time literally 'capped the climax' with a stove-pipe hat!" (11)

That hat came by way of New York City, to where Norman had sailed around 1820 from his home in Macau. He was about twenty years old then, his mind lit with possibilities after seeing his older brother depart and return home with grand stories of America. But it was the hat on top of his brother's head that stirred Norman's imagination, and so, before tending to any other business upon arriving in New York City's harbor, he set forth to buy his own. (12)

For the next twenty years or so, after traveling to Europe, Norman established himself in New York City and later Charleston, where he claimed to have become an American citizen (it was against the law, as stated by the Naturalization Acts of 1790 and 1795, but at least one researcher claims it was possible). (13) But what he really desired was to become rich. (14) So when he heard in 1848 that gold had been found in California, he put the East Coast behind him and was off to the West. (15) His American Dream for riches could now truly begin.

On the other side of the Pacific, Ah Toy, no older than twenty, was also preparing to journey to Gold Mountain. (16) Her husband, if he had seen the advertisements in the windows and heard the stories, would undoubtedly have been captivated by the news of gold. The war-, natural disaster-, and famine-stricken south couldn't hold the couple any longer, so the pair packed up what they could, likely paid off all the right officials (leaving the country was legally forbidden), made their way to Hong Kong, boarded the ship, and sailed away from the harbor. (17)

One of them wouldn't survive.

Partway through the roughly sixty-day voyage, Ah Toy's husband fell ill. (18) We don't know which illness he contracted, but it could well have been erysipelas, a bacterial infection that attacks the upper layers of the skin and was common on passenger ships. (19) Baptist minister Russell Conwell, traveling in China on missionary work, described a Chinese passenger who contracted the disease:
   The sick man was afflicted with the colic in connection with an
   attack of the erysipelas, and was on his side lying doubled up,
   with his knees under his chin, and the side of his swollen face
   upon the cold, damp deck.... The sufferer, between his groans,
   expressed a desire that his countrymen would drive away the bad
   spirits that were afflicting him. (20)

What we do know about Ah Toy's husband is that he perished, his feet never to touch the soil of Gold Mountain. (21)

Ah Toy was suddenly a widow. Stuck on a ship with no husband, she may have wondered if she could survive on her own. The capiain of the ship, perhaps taking pity or perhaps taking advantage, took her into his service. He lavished gifts on her, and she returned the favors in kind. (22)

But that arrangement ended when they landed in San Francisco. Ah Toy was left alone on the dock with difficult options in front of her: return to China and live the rest of her life as an undesirable widow, or stay in San Francisco and start over fresh, but at what cost? (23) Her American Dream at this point was mere survival. Thriving could come later if at all.

When Norman Ah-Sing arrived in San Francisco in 1849, he found a melting pot with ethnicities spanning the globe arriving by the day, with one exception. There were very few Chinese. (24) The few he did glimpse often landed in the town one day and were off to the gold country the next. (25) But soon the trickle of Chinese immigrants became a stream. (26) Fortune-seekers from across the Pacific arrived in the American territory with no English skills, little idea of how to interact with White men, and a lack of a cohesive community to provide protection from thieves and abuse. (27)

This was Norman's opportunity. He didn't head for the hills like so many of his brethren; rather, he stayed put in the town and established Macao &r Woosung Restaurant on the corner of Kearney and Commercial Streets, just a block from Portsmouth Square. From there he gathered together the scattered Chinese immigrants and formed an association, the Chew Yick Gung Shaw, or Luminous Unity Public Office. It was the first Chinese mutual aid society in America. (28)

The association did some constructive, much-needed work, but Norman also used it as a tool to further his dream. Riches preoccupied his mind. So he began using the Chew Yick Gung Shaw to protect the nascent Chinese community, but only after receiving association dues from each of its members. Over the course of a few months, he became the undisputed leader of Little China. (29)

Just a couple of blocks away on Clay Street, Ah Toy tried to find her footing. The rent on her canvas shanty was at least $14 a week, which she could pay for the time being, but the money lavished on her by the ship's captain would have begun to run out. (30) It was at this time, however, that Ah Toy took charge of her fate. She must have known she was physically appealing, as contemporary accounts of her beauty have been found in some men's journals. Albert Benard de Russailh wrote, "There are a few girls who are attractive if not actually pretty, for example, the strangely alluring Achoy, with her slender body and laughing eyes." (31) Charles Duane described her as a "tall, well-built woman. In fact, she was the finest-looking woman I have ever seen." (32) Seeing she could turn heads, she decided, in true American fashion, to see if she could empty pockets. So she went to work, transforming her shanty into a life-size diorama with peepholes for viewing in. Charging her customers one ounce of gold, or $16, to look, Ah Toy treated the lonely men to a five-minute peepshow of seductive strutting, sensuous spinning, and sultry sashays. The men hooted and hollered, then rotated to the end of the line that stretched around the block. (33) She was wildly successful. (34) But when she took some men to court for paying with brass instead of gold and the court refused to rule in her favor, she dropped the shows and concocted a bolder plan. Taking her peepshow earnings, she purchased a building on Pike Street, found two girls, and opened a brothel. (35) Her initial American Dream of survival had been fulfilled. Now it was time to thrive.

When Norman Ah-Sing first noticed Ah Toy, it was for good reason. Her brothel was a hit. (36) Historian Curt Gentry claimed that the lines outside Ah Toy's were sometimes "a block long. Chroniclers say that whenever a boat from Sacramento docked, the miners would break into a run for Ah Toy's." (37) The men in town couldn't resist the charms of Chinese women, who played up their exotic mystery by calling, "You hear hey, all Chinese girls they have cunt go east-west, not north-south like white girls hey, you hear?" (38)

Norman, too, must have dropped by the house on Pike Street. The brothel would have been attractive to him: lucrative and run by a woman (and thus, supposedly, easy to persuade and control). There is no direct evidence that Norman attempted to extort Ah Toy, though Gunther Barth asserts the following:
   Reports from the Recorder's Court, notes on daily occurrences,
   and advertisements in newspapers attested to the shrewdness,
   belligerency, and ruthlessness with which Norman Assing
   asserted his control over early California.... Atoy successfully
   fought off all attempts by Norman Assing and his thugs, Leidik
   [sic] and Chidock, to control her world. "Blooming with youth,
   beauty and rouge" in the Police Court, she prosecuted him and
   other extortionists who disturbed the order of her disorderly
   house through attempts to tax the Chinese women. (39)

Benson Tong adds that "as early as 1851, Ah Toy's monopoly of the trade faced a challenge mounted by Yuen Sheng [Norman Ah-Sing's birth name], the tong leader. Yuen Sheng struggled with Ah Toy for hegemony over Chinese prostitutes." (40) It wasn't long after opening the house for business that Ah Toy's troubles with him began.

In March 1851 she received a strange letter. It was from a man calling himself Atchoung, who made the claim that he was her abandoned husband. According to the Daily Aha California, Atchoung
   had conferred with the church authorities in Hong Kong, who had
   sent an order for the return of Atoy to her liege lord. The money
   is ready here, in the hands of the Chinese citizens, to pay her
   passage back to her native country ... and praying that they may be
   allowed to return Atoy to her country and her duties as a wife. (41)

To Ah Toy this looked like a trick of retribution, probably for refusing Norman's attempts of extortion. (42) After all, she had no husband, as hers had perished on the voyage over. The letter had to be a lie. Ah Toy could have brought this matter to the Chew Yick Gung Shaw to sort out, but since Norman led the association, the American courts were her only shot at a fair hearing. The Alta confirmed Normans nefarious intentions when it reported the following:
   Apung, a Chinese from Canton, being duly sworn ... has further
   ascertained that [Ah Toy] immigrated to this country for the
   purpose of bettering her condition; and that she is anxious to make
   California her permanent home, and not to return to China. And
   deponent further says that Norman Assing, Leikid, and Chidock,
   three Chinamen, have conspired together to abduct the above named
   Atoy, against her will, out of this country, and carry her forcibly
   to China. (43)

Upon hearing this, the judge pivoted his attention away from Ah Toy--who was allowed to stay--and toward Norman, whom he ordered arrested and fined a $2,000 bond to keep the peace. (44)

This was the first clash between Ah Toy's and Norman Ah-Sing's American Dreams. The second came four months later during the summer of vigilance. In the middle of 1851 a group of concerned citizens banded together--calling itself the Committee of Vigilance--to track down and rid San Francisco of thieves, murderers, and ruffians they felt were acting with impunity. (45) They also went after other undesirables, prostitutes and brothel owners among them. (46) Norman saw an opening. Securing an interview with the committee, he tried an end-around to implicate the brothel madam. In his statement he asserted the following:
   I know one Ahone.... I know him to be a bad man--Keeps a whore
   house here. He takes sailors & others & drugs them in their drink
   and when asleep robbs them, he was known as a robber in Hong
   Cong--has been guilty of arson twice in Hong Cong--he also has two
   woman of bad repute with him known whores & reprobates and who are
   accessory to the fact of his stealing. (47)

He didn't specifically name Ah Toy in his accusation, but the "two woman of bad repute" is likely a reference to the madam. Historians believe Ah Toy was one of the two for whom Norman aimed, but since Norman was already publicly associated with her in the Atchoung case, perhaps he didn't name her to avoid raising eyebrows. (48) But his rival escaped him again. Selim Woodworth, a committee member and liaison to the Chew Yick Gung Shaw, did some poking around, interviewed the accused, and made this recommendation to the committee:

I have examined the evidence adduced on behalf of the defense of the Prisoners [Ahone and a second man Alo] ... and am satisfied that there exists on the part of plaintiffs a conspiracy to deprive [them] of their liberty and reposing confidence in the wisdom of your body, I trust that the simple application for their release, here made will meet with your ready assent, as I believe the above charge can be by me proven, should you be disposed to hear the evidence. (49)

The committee took heed and dropped the matter. (50)

It was at about this point when Norman Ah-Sing began his fall. At his peak Norman commanded an impressive position. He founded and led the Chew Yick Gung Shaw, and in that capacity helped create an era of good feeling between the Chinese community and the rest of San Francisco. (51) Working to commingle the two, Norman wrangled invitations to receive missionary literature in a public ceremony with the mayor, to march in President Taylor's funeral procession, to march in the parade celebrating California's statehood, and to march in annual parades celebrating the Fourth of July; he also made himself visible by writing open letters to Mayor Geary and Governor Bigler and held a Lunar New Year's feast with prominent San Franciscans. (52) Historian Him Mark Lai may have characterized California's early attitude toward the Chinese as "at best patronizing indulgence or amused tolerance," (53) but the overall relationship was positive. "They are among the most industrious, quiet, patient people among us," the Alta opined in 1851, foreseeing a day when "the China Boys will yet vote at the same polls, study at the same schools and bow at the same Altar as our own countrymen." (54)

But as an "instant city," as described by historian Gunther Barth, San Francisco was in constant cultural flux. (55) From 1851 to 1852 Chinese immigration rose to previously unseen numbers. (56) The swelling Little China population brought with it factions from back home, notably the Saarn Yup (Three Districts) and Sei Yup (Four Districts). Norman's Chew Yick Gung Shaw split around 1851, the result of a community outgrowing the services he offered, as incoming Chinese joined associations tailored more to their distinct culture and language dialects. (57) "Thus," historian Jack Chen explains, "immigrants soon after arrival in the new land found themselves immersed in the familiar relationships to which they had been accustomed back home: families, clans, districts, dialect groups, guilds, and hui-guan [associations]." (58) But Norman, perhaps so preoccupied with Ah Toy's defiance, either failed to see the shift or recognized it too late. The Saam Yup's and Sei Yup's footholds in the town strengthened while Norman's slipped as he struggled to adapt. (59)

His behavior became more erratic. In June of 1852 he had to write a letter to the San Francisco Daily Herald to dispute allegations of selling illegitimate steamship tickets. (60) A few days later he assaulted a vendor over the price of cauliflowers. (61) He rebounded slightly in late 1852 to help found another association, the Yeong Wo, or Masculine Concord, but had to abdicate due to "hemorrhages" (possibly acute bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, or even cancer, or from something as seemingly mild as lung irritation caused by clouds of dust billowing from the city's unpaved roads). (62) In January of 1853 he caught a man breaking into his house, but rather than turn him over to the police, he ordered, according to the Daily Herald, "a legion of Celestial scarecrows, who bound him hand and foot, and passing a chain about his neck made him fast to an upright post, and left him thus accommodated to pass the remainder of the night." In the morning, "they sent for a police officer, who, upon his arrival, discovered the unfortunate man well nigh perishing from the hard treatment he had endured. He was so tightly bound that the blood had started from his finger ends, and he had grown black in the face in consequence of the chain about his neck." (63) Norman was arrested along with the intruder. (64)

A few blocks away, Ah Toy endured her own struggles. Her brothel was faltering, as the same forces that undercut Norman were also undoing her. Nascent factions, notably the Hip Yee Tong, began importing their own prostitutes from China in 1852 and, as Ah Toy was busy defending herself against Norman's aggressions, transformed the prostitution business into an industry. Ah Toy, as a "mom-and-pop" brothel, was squeezed out. (65) But in 1854, rather than focus her energies on adapting her business, she found herself on the courtroom stand in the alcalde's office, staring down a declining Norman Ah-Sing.

According to the Daily Herald, Norman "and about forty members of the Triad Society" had called upon a brothel owner named Ah Luck "and demanded the quarterly payment of $10 a head for each woman who lived in the filthy den." When Ah Luck refused to pay the extortion fee, "they then took hold of him, and beat him severely." The brothel owner kept three men in his house for protection but they were ineffective, for a few nights later the members returned and "threatened to have him cut in pieces, if he did not pay the tax, and again beat him." (66)

Is this true? the court would have asked Ah Toy. Is Norman Ah-Sing one of these Triad hitmen?

As she prepared to answer, she may have been surprised to see how much Norman had aged. Maybe now she rejoiced in his low condition, and now that she had the upper hand, considered how best to twist the knife in his back. Or maybe she pitied him. She had already bested him in every one of their previous encounters, and he was likely desperate to cling to any shred of self-respect. This was a man who had fallen from de facto Little China leader to accused Triad thug.

Well? the court would have insisted. Is he?

She rendered her judgment to the room. The Daily Herald quoted her as saying, "All the Chinamen were fools, and didn't know nothing; and when some man came in and said he was a high man, and demanded $10 a head for the women, the Chinamen paid out the money because they were fools, and didn't know nothing." (67)

Ah Toy's answer was deceptively simple but complex in meaning. She didn't deny his role in the Triad but she implied it, calling him "some man" who "said he was a high man." But she didn't confirm it or use his name. Instead, she cast the blame on the "fools" who were too willing to give in to such demands. In the end, when she had him over a barrel, Ah Toy saved Norman's face. Whether she intended it that way is unclear--she could have been trying to protect herself from future retribution from the Triad--but it seems to have been a gracious gesture to a bitter rival.

It didn't much matter. The court put Norman on trial for assault. (68) But in the bigger picture, both Norman and Ah Toy were no longer relevant. Little China and San Francisco had passed them by. Only five months later, in early 1855, the missionary Reverend William Speer wrote in his Chinese-language newspaper that "the days of Norman Assing are past," (69) the last time Norman was mentioned in the public record. As for Ah Toy, she continued to run her brothel in the face of the associations' takeover of the prostitution industry, but her brief glory days were past as well. In late 1855 she attempted suicide by swallowing opium because, according to the Evening Star, "It is said that Ah Toy, though formerly wealthy, is now very poor, and expressed herself that she has no desire to live in poverty." (70) She was in and out of the courts, charged with misdemeanors over the next five years, and then disappeared from the record herself. (71) She didn't resurface until newspapers announced her death, at ninety-nine years old, in February of 1928. She had been living in a small house in Alviso, according to the Oakland Tribune, "selling clams to tourists and yachting parties in order to make a living." (72)

Seventy-four years earlier, in a courtroom in San Francisco, Ah Toy likely decided to go easy on Norman Ah-Sing. But by then it was too late to do any good. Had they found a way to work together, there may have been some hope that the two entrepreneurs could have held off the encroaching associations, at least for a while longer. It's a leap, but it's possible. Norman, for instance, had made deep, positive inroads into San Francisco's political establishment, even at one point receiving a personal invitation from Mayor John Geary to march with his "China Boys" in the funeral procession for President Taylor. (73) It's easy to see him exploiting his connections to clamp down on the rival associations. Ah Toy, meanwhile, had become a prominent madam, and, if descriptions of the industry by other madams are correct, rubbed shoulders with many political elites (there were even accusations that Governor John Bigler had dallied in her house). (74) She also could possibly have mobilized the loyalty of her favorite customers (including at least one Vigilance Committee member), and what might they have done? (75)

It probably would not have done much more than delay the inevitable. The burgeoning associations were powerful organizations with deep networks and pockets, and Norman and Ah Toy were mere independent operators. (76) But their cooperation would have signaled a deeper significance. In their prime, both had been powerful players. They oversaw a Chinese diaspora in need of strong leadership, especially in a time uncertain of what the future of the Chinese would be in California. Many Chinese returned to China, but many stayed, ready to make the state their home and try their own hand at the American Dream. (77) They would face growing resistance and hostility in the run-up to exclusion, which begged for a unified resistance and support system. (78) Efforts at cooperation had, after all, worked in the past. In 1853 a delegation of association heads testified to the California State Assembly against the Foreign Miner's Tax, suggesting instead that the taxes collected from the Chinese miners stay and be used in the district in which they were collected. It worked, according to historian Corinne Hoexter, and "because of it the Chinese were tolerated in most such areas." (79) If the associations could come together to address the legislature, certainly Ah Toy and Norman Ah-Sing could have attempted to lay aside their quarrels to assist in some small way. Any foundation built on cohesion, demonstrated even by a Little China leader and a brothel madam, was what the community needed.


(1.) William Robert Prince to his wife and children, June 17, 1849, in A Year of Mud and Gold: San Francisco in Letters and Diaries, 1849-1850, ed. William Benemann (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2003), 11; Charles H. Randall to his parents, September 12, 1849, in A Year of Mud and Gold: San Francisco in Letters and Diaries, 1849-1850, ed. William Benemann Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2003), 13; and Frank Marryat, Mountains and Molehills, or, Recollections of a Burnt Journal (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1855), 36-37.

(2.) "Nuisance," Daily Alta California, February 6, 1852, vol. 3, no. 36, California Digital Newspaper Collection; and "Recorder's Court," Daily Alta California, November 9, 1851, vol. 2, no. 332, California Digital Newspaper Collection.

(3.) The Hongkong Almanack, and Directory for the Year 1848, or Our Lord and the Twelfth of the Reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria; D. Noronha, 1848, "Brief Description of the Town of Victoria: And for General Purposes" section; and "Chinese Oaths," San Francisco Herald, December 30, 1852, in New York Daily Herald, January 31, 1853,

(4.) Charles Caldwell Dobie, San Francisco's Chinatown (New York, London: D. Appleton-Century, 1936), 30; John Shertzer Hittell, A History of the City of San Francisco (San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft, 1878), 147, 156-57, 168-72; Hubert Howe Bancroft, The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, vol. 23 (San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft, 1888), 203; and John Williamson Palmer, "Pioneer Days in San Francisco," Century 43, no. 4 (February 1892): 541-60, HathiTrust Digital Library.

(5.) Arnoldo De Leon, Racial Frontiers: Africans, Chinese, and Mexicans in Western America, 1848-1890 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2002), 77.

(6.) James O'Meara, "The Chinese in Early Days," Overland Monthly (1884): 478.

(7.) Herbert Asbury, The Barbary Coast: An Informal History of the San Francisco Underworld (New York: A. A. Knopf, 1937), 140.

(8.) Dobie, San Francisco's Chinatown, 120,123; and Lani Ah Tye Farkas, Bury My Bones in America (Nevada City: Carl Mautz Publishing, 1998), 10-11.

(9.) "The Triad Society," San Francisco Daily Herald, September 24, 1854, University of California, Berkeley.

(10.) Theophile de Rutte and Mary Grace Paquette, The Adventures of a Young Swiss in California: The Gold Rush Account of Theophile de Rutte (Sacramento, Calif: Sacramento Book Collectors Club, 1992), 96; and Bayard Taylor, Eldorado (New York: G. P Putnam & Sons, 1870), 55.

(11.) James O'Meara, "The Chinese in Early Days," Overland Monthly (1884): 478.

(12.) O'Meara, "The Chinese in Early Days," 478.

(13.) Him Mark Lai, Becoming Chinese American: A History of Communities and Institutions (Walnut Creek, Calif.: Rowman Altamira, 2004), 179; Thomas J. Osborne, Pacific Eldorado: A History of Greater California (Maiden, Mass.: John Wiley & Sons, 2013), chapter 5.

(14.) O'Meara, "The Chinese in Early Days," 478.

(15.) "Despatches from California," Charleston Courier, January 24, 1849,; and Him Mark Lai, Becoming Chinese American, 179.

(16.) Nancy J. Taniguchi, "Weaving a Different World: Women and the California Gold Rush," in Rooted in Barbarous Soil: People, Culture, and Community in Gold Rush California, ed. Kevin Starr and Richard J. Orsi (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), 153.

(17.) Iris Chang, The Chinese in America: A Narrative History (New York: Penguin, 2004), 17-18.

(18.) Alton Pryor, The Bawdy House Girls: A Look at the Brothels of the Old West (Roseville, Calif.: Stagecoach Publishing, 2006), 36.

(19.) Harry Leach, TheShip Captain's Medical Guide (London: Simpkin, Marshall, and Company, 1868), 37-39.

(20.) Russell Herman Conwell, Why and How: Why the Chinese Emigrate, and the Means They Adopt for the Purpose of Reaching America (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1871), 218.

(21.) Pryor, The Bawdy House Girls, 36.

(22.) Pryor, 36.

(23.) Patricia Ebrey, "Women in Traditional China," Asia Society, (accessed June 21, 2018).

(24.) David V DuFault, "The Chinese in the Mining Camps of California: 1848-1870," Historical Society of Southern California Quarterly 41, no. 2 (1959): 155.

(25.) Chang, The Chinese in America, 34.

(26.) Thomas W Chinn, H. Mark Lai, and Philip P Choy, A History of the Chinese in California: A Syllabus (San Francisco: Chinese Historical Society of America, 1969), 22, wordpress/wp-content/uploads/A-History-of-the-Chinese-in-CA-A-Syllabus-Part-1.pdf?9388f2.

(27.) Corinne K. Hoexter, From Canton to California: The Epic of Chinese Immigration (New York: Four Winds Press, 1976), 9.

(28.) Hoexter, From Canton to California, 8-9.

(29.) David Brion Davis, Antebellum American Culture: An Interpretive Anthology (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1979), 263; Hoexter, From Canton to California, 9; and Gunther Barth, Bitter Strength: A History of the Chinese in the United States, 1850-1870 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1964), 83.

(30.) Benemann, A Year of Mud and Gold, 11.

(31.) Alben Benard de Russailh, Last Adventure: San Francisco in 1851, trans. Clarkson Crane (San Francisco: Westgate Press, 1931), 89.

(32.) Charles P Duane, "Pioneer Days," San Francisco Examiner, January 23, 1881.

(33.) Pryor, The Bawdy House Girls, 36-37; and John Harrison, "Lookee, Lookee, No Touchee," Real West (January 1973): 60-61, 68.

(34.) Lucie Cheng Hirata, "Chinese Immigrant Women in Nineteenth-Century California," in Women of America: A History, ed. Carol Berkin and Mary Beth Norton (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1979), 226.

(35.) Vickie Jensen, Women Criminals: An Encyclopedia of People and Issues (Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2011), 278.

(36.) Benson Tong, Unsubmissive Women: Chinese Prostitutes in Nineteenth Century San Francisco (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000), 6; and Elisha Oscar Crosby, Memoirs of Elisha Oscar Crosby: Reminiscences of California and Guatemala from 1849 to 1864, ed. Charles Albro Barker (San Marino, Calif.: Huntington Library, 1945), 109.

(37.) Curt Gentry, The Madams of San Francisco (Sausalito, Calif.: Comstock, 1977), 58.

(38.) Nell Kimball, Nell Kimball: Her Life as an American Madam, ed. Stephen Longstreet (New York: Macmillan, 1970), 226.

(39.) Barth, Bitter Strength, 83-84.

(40.) Tong, Unsubmissive Women, 11; and Kevin J. Mullen, Dangerous Strangers: Minority Newcomers and Criminal Violence in the Urban West, 1850-2000 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), 66.

(41.) "Chinese Difficulties," Daily Alta California, Marcho, 1851, vol. 2, no. 87, California Digital Newspaper Collection.

(42.) Barth, Bitter Strength, 84.

(43.) "Recorder's Court," Daily Alta California, March 8, 1851, vol. 2, no. 89, California Digital Newspaper Collection.

(44.) "Recorder's Court," Daily Alta California, March 8, 1851.

(45.) George R. Stewart, Committee of Vigilance: Revolution in San Francisco, 1851 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1964), 17-18, 95.

(46.) Judy Yung, Unbound Feet: A Social History of Chinese Women in San Francisco (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 34.

(47.) Mary Floyd Williams, ed., Papers of the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance of 1851, vol. 3 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1919), 170-71.

(48.) Hoexter, From Canton to California, 13; and E. Morse Stephens and Herbert E. Bolton, eds.. University of California Publications in History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1921), 318-19.

(49.) Williams, Papers of the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance, 172.

(50.) Stephens and Bolton, University of California Publications, 318-19.

(51.) Him Mark Lai, "The Honeymoon--Era of Good Feeling," East/ West, April 3, 1968, 5, -content/uploads/01-H.M.-Lai_The-Honevmoon-Era-of-Good -Feeling_04.03.68_TIFF.pdf?9388f2.

(52.) "The Chinese Meeting," Daily Alta California, August 29, 1850, vol. 1, no. 210, California Digital Newspaper Collection; "The Celebration," Daily Alta California, October 31, 1850, vol. 1, no. 272, California Digital Newspaper Collection; "Celebration of the Anniversary of Our National Independence," Daily Alta California, July 7, 1852, vol. 3, no. 187, California Digital Newspaper Collection; Dobie, San Francisco's Chinatown, 37; Norman Ah-Sing, "To His Excellency Gov. Bigler," Daily Alta California, May 5, 1852, vol. 3, no. 125, California Digital Newspaper Collection; and "Chinese New Years," Daily Alta California, February 3, 1851, vol. 2, no. 55, California Digital Newspaper Collection.

(53.) Him Mark Lai, "The Honeymoon," 5.

(54.) "China Boys," Daily Alta California, May 12, 1851, vol. 2, no. 154, California Digital Newspaper Collection.

(55.) Gunther Barth, Instant Cities: Urbanization and the Rise of San Francisco and Denver (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975), xxii.

(56.) Mary Roberts Coolidge, Chinese Immigration (New York: Henry Holt, 1909), 498.

(57.) Jack Chen, The Chinese of America (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1990), 29.

(58.) Chen, The Chinese of America, 29.

(59.) Barth, Bitter Strength, 87-89.

(60.) "Correction by Norman Assing," San Francisco Daily Herald, June 9, 1852, University of California, Berkeley.

(61.) "Assault and Battery," Daily Alta California, June 16, 1852, vol. 3, no. 167, California Digital Newspaper Collection.

(62.) Carl T. Smith, Chinese Christians: Elites, Middlemen, and the Church in Hong Kong (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2005), 47.

(63.) "Chinese Hospitality," San Francisco Daily Herald, January 13, 1853, University of California, Berkeley.

(64.) "Police Court," Daily Alta California, January 14, 1853, vol. 4, no. 14, California Digital Newspaper Collection.

(65.) Barth, Bitter Strength, 155; Benson Tong, Unsubmissive Women, 9-11; and Lucie Cheng Hirata, "Free, Indentured, Enslaved: Chinese Prostitutes in Nineteenth-Century America," Signs 5, no. 1 (October 1, 1979): 10.

(66.) "The Triad Society," San Francisco Daily Herald, September 24, 1854, University of California, Berkeley.

(67.) "The Triad Society," San Francisco Daily Herald, September 24, 1854.

(68.) "The Triad Society," San Francisco Daily Herald, September 24, 1854.

(69.) William Speer, "The Chinese Companies," Oriental, March 1, 1855, Frederick Bee History Project.

(70.) "Personal," Evening Star, December 14, 1855,

(71.) Richard H. Dillon, The Hatchetmen: The Story of the Tong Wars in San Francisco's Chinatown (New York: Coward-McCann, 1962), 40; "Chinese Syrens Arrested," Daily Alia California, May 9, 1858, vol. 10, no. 127, California Digital Newspaper Collection; and "Stop That Knocking," Daily Alta California, July 12, 1859, vol. 11, no. 191, California Digital Newspaper Collection.

(72.) "'China Mary of Alviso' Dies as Century Neared," Oakland Tribune, February 2, 1928, vol. 107, no. 33,

(73.) "The China Boys to Mayor Geary," Daily Alta California, September 1, 1850, vol. 1, no. 213, California Digital Newspaper Collection.

(74.) Kimball, Nell Kimball: Her Life, 193; Karen Abbott, Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul (New York: Random House, 2007), xix; and "Letter to His Excellency John Bigler," Daily Aha California, July 2, 1853, vol 4, no. 182, California Digital Newspaper Collection.

(75.) Yung, Unbound Feet, 34.

(76.) Chen, The Chinese of America, 29; and Barth, Bitter Strength, 77-78.

(77.) Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of California, vol. 7 (San Francisco: History Company Publishers, 1886), 336.

(78.) Mark Kanazawa, "Immigration, Exclusion, and Taxation: AntiChinese Legislation in Gold Rush California," Journal of Economic History 65, no. 3 (September 1, 2005): 802.

(79.) Hoexter, From Canton to California, 39.
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Title Annotation:Norman Ah-Sing of Luminous Unity Public Office; Ah Toy
Author:Cilker, Noel C.
Publication:Chinese America: History and Perspectives
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2018
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