Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Heathen Slaves and Christian Rulers by Elizabeth Wheeler Andrew and Katharine Caroline Bushnell

Part 4 out of 4

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.4 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

communication a translation of the Chinese laws relating to slavery,
which is permitted under certain restrictions in that country. Nothing
could exceed their stringency at the point of any resistance on the
part of the slave to the condition of servitude. From that set of laws
we quote the following:

"If a female slave deserts her master's house she shall be
punished with 80 blows." ... "Whosoever harbours a fugitive wife
or slave, knowing them to be fugitives, shall participate equally
in their punishment." ... "A slave guilty of addressing abusive
language to his master shall suffer death by being strangled....
If to his master's relations in the first degree he shall be
punished with 80 blows and two years' banishment. If to his
master's relations in the second degree, the punishment shall
be 80 blows. If in the third degree, 70 blows. If in the fourth
degree, 60 blows." "The master or the relations of a master of a
guilty slave may ... chastise such slave in any degree short of
death, without being liable to punishment. Nevertheless, if
a master or his aforesaid relations, in order to correct a
disobedient slave or hired servant, should chastise him in a
lawful manner on the back of the thighs or on the posteriors, and
such slave or hired servant should happen to die, or if he is
killed in any other manner accidentally, neither the master nor
his aforesaid relations shall be liable to any punishment in
consequence thereof."

"All slaves who are guilty of designedly striking their masters
shall, without making any distinctions between principals and
accessories, be beheaded.

"All slaves designedly killing their masters, or designedly
striking so as to kill their masters, shall suffer death by a slow
and painful execution.

"If accidentally killing their masters, they shall suffer death by
being strangled.

"If accidentally wounding, they shall suffer 100 blows and
perpetual banishment to the distance of 3,000 li (1,000 miles).

"Slaves who are guilty of striking their master's relations in the
first degree ... shall be strangled.... All slaves who strike so
as to wound such persons shall ... be beheaded."

The "painful execution" which is the penalty of killing a master,
means execution by slicing the criminal into 10,000 cuts. Foreigners
who have witnessed it say it is too horrible to recite.

It is under such slave laws as these that the young girl is trained
as a brothel slave before she is brought to California. After such
tuition, it seems hardly credible that girls do, in San Francisco,
dare to escape from their masters, and flee to the missions for
protection. Governor C.C. Smith, who was for years the Registrar
General of Hong Kong, previous to being knighted and sent to Singapore
as Governor of the Straits Settlements, replied to the Secretary of
State for the Colonies, in reference to the freedom of prostitutes,
"out of an experience of over a quarter of a century":

"There are no restrictive regulations on the part of the
Government which go to prevent or interfere with the entire
freedom of the inmates of brothels, and they can go abroad alone.
This statement will not, I hope, deceive you into believing that
as a consequence they are really free agents ... such is actually
not the case. A child who strikes its parent is liable to a death
sentence. The girls in brothels are in the position of daughters
to the keepers, and ... call them mother. There is no sense of
freedom, as we understand the term, possible in such a state of
affairs. The women are fearful of the unknown; of what should
happen to them if they should disobey their pocket-mothers, and
are terribly ignorant of everything connected with the Government
under which they nominally live. It is out of the question to
educate them up to the English standard of liberty of the subject.
They stay but a few short years in an English Colony, seeing
nothing but the worst phases of a life of vice and immorality, and
only know of the officers of Government as 'foreign devils' or

This is all only too true as regards California also, excepting that
the experiment of educating them by just treatment in the "English
standard of the liberty of the subject," has certainly never been
tried either in Singapore or America. The brothel keepers, however,
have learned to understand that matter of "liberty of the subject"
only too well, and take advantage of the habeas corpus act at every
turn to capture a slave who is trying to escape their clutches.

These words of Governor Smith should be borne in mind and brought to
attention every time our law officers in California put brothel girls
through the farce of asking them if they are desirous of liberty, and
when they say no, proclaim triumphantly to the world that "there isn't
a slave girl in Chinatown." These officers deceive others by these
falsehoods, but they know too well the conditions to be themselves

When certain Chinese girls appeared before a committee appointed to
investigate conditions at San Francisco, the members of the committee
were put under promise not to divulge their names or stories, as
"their lives would not be safe for five years to come," if the
brothel-keepers and their former owners knew that they had informed
against them. It is a little difficult to describe the various secret
societies of Chinatown in full, but for practical purposes and as
relates to the welfare of Chinese women, it may be said that the
secret society, or tong, is a sort of mutual benefit society and has
generally a very commendable sort of name; but it exists to divide the
profits of the trade in women, among other villainies. When anyone
gives any evidence against such a society, or informs a rescue worker
where a girl will be found who desires her liberty, then some one from
the tong that has a special interest in the profits of that girl's
slavery, deposits a sum of money in a place mutually arranged for, and
the highbinder society undertakes for the sum paid to see that the
informer is assassinated within twenty-four hours. That is the length
of time usually claimed for the act. But sometimes years may pass
before the marked victim can be traced and killed.

We will next give a few cases from the records of the Presbyterian and
Methodist Mission Rescue Homes of San Francisco, which will clearly
show the similarity between the state of affairs in Hong Kong and



A Chinese girl of 14 was brought to this country, and served six
months as a domestic slave, and was then put into a brothel. She was
rescued. Her Chinese master got out a writ of habeas corpus, went to
the Mission with an officer and took the girl away at once to court
before a corrupt judge. It was just at noon-time, and the missionary
pleaded for a little time in which to summon a lawyer. The judge said:
"I have no time to fool with this case." The lawyer arrived in haste
and pleaded for a little time in which to prepare the defense. The
judge said to the lawyer: "You shut up, or I'll have you imprisoned
for contempt of Court." He awarded the slave to the care of her

This and other such cases led to a valuable alteration of the law at
the point of the protection of minors. We will explain the change in
the words of Miss Cameron:

"In years past it was necessary in each case to in a way break
the _letter_ though not the _spirit_ of the law when we rescued a
Chinese child, for there was no written law to uphold us in
entering a house and carrying off a child--then, too, before
it was possible to carry out guardianship proceedings, the
ever-available writ of habeas corpus would in many cases deliver
the child back into the care of the Chinese, until the matter
could be settled in the Superior Court--in such instances we
seldom won our case. Our attorney saw wherein the difficulty lay,
and proposed an amendment to the law of the State in the matter of
the guardianship of minor children, which would give power to a
presiding judge to sign an order to the Sheriff, commanding him
immediately to take into custody the child whose name appeared
on the warrant and place her in the care of those applying for
guardianship, until such time as the hearing could be had."

This means of protection for minors was secured by the combined
efforts of mission workers and their friends. This explanation will
prepare the way for a rehearsal of some cases of rescue which
might puzzle the reader as being carried out by unusual methods of

The following cases are from the records of the Methodist Home for
Chinese Girls, located, since the earthquake, at Berkeley:

No. 1. Made the following statement: "I am 12 years old; born
in Canton; father a laborer; mother a nurse; parents very poor.
Mother fell sick, and in her need of money sold me. Took me to
Hong Kong and sold me to a woman; saw the money paid, but do not
know how much; it looked a great deal. This was 3 years ago. The
woman promised my mother to make me her own daughter, and little
did my mother know I was to be a slave, to be beaten and abused by
a cruel mistress. My mother cried when she left me; it was very
hard to part. The big ship, 'City of Pekin,' took me soon out of
sight. I have heard that she is now dead. On arriving we did not
come ashore immediately. I was landed after 4 days. There was
trouble in landing me. I had a red paper, bought at Hong Kong,
that they called a certificate, and there was trouble about it.
The woman who bought me had no trouble getting ashore because she
had lived in California before. She told me what I was to say when
I was questioned. She told me I must swear I was her own daughter.
The Judge asked, 'Is this your own mother?' and I said, 'Yes.'
This was a lie, but I did not know it was wrong to do as I was
told, and I was afraid of my mistress. The Judge said, 'Did this
woman give you birth?' and I said, 'Yes.' The Judge said, 'Did
anybody tell you to say all this?" and I said, 'No,' because my
mistress had instructed me how to answer this question, if it was
asked me. She taught me on ship-board what to say if I was taken
to court. My mistress was an opium smoker, and she and her husband
had awful quarrels, which made her bad-tempered, and then she
would beat me for no reason. I used to get so tired working hard,
and then she would beat me. She beat me with thick sticks of
fire-wood. She would lay me on the bench, lift my clothes, and
beat me on the back. Another day she would beat me thus with the
fire tongs. One day she took a hot flat-iron, removed my clothes,
and held it on my naked back until I howled with pain. (There
was a large scab on her back from this burn when she came to the
Mission.) The scars on my body are proof of my bad treatment. My
forehead is all scars caused by her throwing heavy pieces of wood
at my head. One cut a large gash, and the blood ran out. She
stopped the bleeding and hid me away. She beat my legs one day
until they were all swollen up. I thought I better get away before
she killed me. When she was having her hair washed and dressed I
ran away. I had heard of the Mission, and inquired the way and
came to it. A white man brought me here. I am very happy now."
While being brought to the Mission by this gentleman, she laid
hold of his coat, and would not let go until she was safely
inside. It is significant that in this case and the following,
methods of punishment allowed even unto death by Chinese law, are
administered by the mistresses of slaves in America.

No. 2. "One day I was playing in the street near my home in
Canton, and a man kidnaped me. He said: 'Come with me; your mother
told me to take you to buy something for her, and you are to take
it back.' I have never seen my father and mother since. In 3 or 4
days I was taken to the Hong Kong steamer. I dared not cry on the
street, but on board the steamer I cried very much. The kidnaper
said: 'Don't you cry, or you will have the policeman after you,
and they'll take you off to the foreign devils' prison.' At Hong
Kong he sold me to a woman, and after staying at her house a few
days she brought me to California. I had a yellow paper given me,
but I don't know what it was. The woman told me I must say I was
born in California. I came here last winter. I am 11 years old.
I don't remember the name of the steamer. The woman sold me to
another woman. I had to work as cook, and nurse her little
bound-footed child, who was strapped to my back to carry. The
child I carried was 9 years old; and I was 11. My mistress was
very cruel. Often she took off all my clothes, laid me on a bench
and beat me with a rattan until I was black all over. Then she
said: 'I will get rid of you and sell you.' The keeper of a
brothel came to buy me, and look me over to see how much I was
worth. A Chinaman living next door, knowing how I was treated and
that I was going to be put in a brothel, when I saw him in the
passageway, asked me if I wished to come to the Mission, and I
said 'Yes.' My mistress had gone out into the next room, leaving
her daughter and another slave girl in the room. I said I would go
at once, and he brought me. I am very glad to live here and lead a
good life."

No. 3. The rescuer was requested to meet a girl at the corner of
Stockton and Jackson streets. She did so. K---- Y---- was comely
and refined looking. She had been sold into a brothel at a tender
age. When about 22 she met a young Chinese man who wished to marry
her, and he paid down $600 for her, promising $1,400 more in time.
Another man objected to the sale, because the girl had mortgaged
herself to him for $600. Through the Mission the girl was released
from her bondage, and remained at the Mission one year and then
married the first man, and they left San Francisco and resided for
a time in an inland town. Here an effort was made to kill her in
her own garden one evening. Her husband brought her back to San
Francisco, and later she went back to China.

No. 4. Came from a brothel on Spofford alley. She was occasionally
allowed to attend the (Chinese) theatre. One evening when at the
theatre she had word conveyed to the Mission to come get her
immediately. The rescuer did so, and the girl promptly arose, when
the rescuer entered the room, from the front tier of seats, and
seizing the hand of the missionary in the presence of them
all climbed over the backs of two seats, regardless of their
occupants, and escaped. Later she was married and returned to

No. 5. In a dark, dismal room where the sun never shone lay a poor
Chinese woman helpless with rheumatism. She had a baby girl 10
months old and was too sick to care for it. The invalid felt
forced to put the child in the hands of a friend she trusted, who
promised to care for it, and advanced money for the sick woman.
When the mother got better she worked two years and saved until
she had enough money to buy the child back, but the cruel woman
who had got possession of it refused to give it up unless paid
three times as much as was originally borrowed. The mother could
not do this, and finally, hearing of the Mission, reported the
case there. The baby was traced to a horrible den in Church alley,
where it was in the possession of a notorious brothel-keeper. The
mother secretly visited the Matron at the Mission, who had secured
the child, urging her to keep possession of the baby, saying she
would not dare testify against the woman on the witness stand, as
it would cost her her life. The case was a long time in court, but
after six months the Judge committed the child to the Home, and
the mother was made very happy.

No. 6. She ran into the Mission leading her little son. She was
chased to the very door of the Mission, but kept her pursuers
at bay, by means of a policeman's whistle which she held in her
mouth, walking backward and threatening to blow it if they dared
touch her child. She was a widow with this only child, and her
relatives were bound to sell her into an immoral life and take the
boy away. After being in the Mission a few months she became a
Christian. Her little boy was placed in an orphanage. Later the
widow married respectably.

No. 7. This girl was aged 14 when rescued, and had been placed in
a vile life four weeks before. Two days later she was taken to
court on a writ of habeas corpus. Her case was put off three
times, and finally came to trial. The Judge remanded the girl to
the custody of the M.E. Mission Home. He said, on dismissing the
case, that never in all his experience had he listened to such
perjury, and that the alleged mother should be punished to the
fullest extent of the law for her lying. The girl seemed very
happy and contented in the Home, but nine days after she was
committed to it she was again taken out on a writ of habeas
corpus and appeared before another Judge, who returned her to the
brothel-keeper. (This was before the new guardianship law came
into operation).

No. 8 proves that the buying and selling of children takes place in
America up to the present day. It is but one instance of this sort out
of scores of others given by the missionary:

"She was sold when she was but four weeks and five days old. Her
parents being very poor and having several other children, she was
disposed of to a man who was a friend of the father. The wife,
however, was an inmate of an immoral house. Part of the time the
child was kept there and part of the time in a family house where
we often saw her in our rounds of visiting prior to the earthquake
and fire. We did not know but that she belonged to the family in
whose care we saw her.

"After the fire the man returned to China, leaving the woman and
child. The woman took to abusing the child, and word was brought
to us of the condition of things. We appeared on the scene one
morning about 10 o'clock with an officer. Leaving him outside, we
entered, and found the woman and child eating breakfast. Three
other women and two men soon came in. After talking for a while I
saw the woman was anxious to get the child away from the table, so
I informed her we had come to take her, and proceeded to do so,
catching the child up and darting into the street, leaving my
interpreter and the officer to follow. We ran several blocks,
followed by the irate woman. Finally hailing a man with a horse
and wagon, we sprang in and were driven away to where we could
take the street cars for home. The child did some screaming and
crying, at first. But once we were seated in the street car, her
tears were dried and her little tongue rattled along at a rapid
rate; she was delighted to get away.

"The case was in court for some weeks, but the woman was afraid
to appear, and had no one to assist her but the lawyer, and as he
could not prove any good reason why the child should remain with
an immoral woman, we were given the guardianship."

No. 9. A young girl came to San Francisco from China as a
merchant's wife, and missionaries used to visit her at her home in
Chinatown. Once when they went they were told that the wife had
gone to San Jose, but she could not be traced at the latter place,
and the missionary was suspicious. A year passed, and one night
the door bell at the Mission rang, and when it was opened
a Chinese girl fell in a faint from exhaustion, across the
threshold. A colored girl stood by her holding her by the cue.
The colored girl said she saw her running, and divined where she
wished to go, and seizing her by the hair to prevent her being
dragged back, rushed her to the Mission. It was the merchant's
young wife. She had been confined in a brothel not two blocks from
the Mission, and often saw the missionary pass by, but had no
means of attracting her attention. The merchant told her one day
that he wished to take her to a cousin to learn a different way of
dressing her hair, and he would leave her there a day or two while
he was away from town on business. The young wife went without
fear, but never to return to virtue until she escaped to the
Mission. She was tied to a window by day to attract custom, and at
night tied to a bed, for she was no willing slave. When rescued
she was horribly diseased. Three days before her rescue, the
Chief of Police and an interpreter had gone through the house
questioning every inmate as to whether they wished to lead a life
of shame or not. She was asked the question in the presence of the
brothel-keeper, the head mistress, and all the girls. She had been
told beforehand, "If you dare say you want to escape, we will kill
you." The Chief of Police had it announced in the papers that
he had made this investigation, and that no slaves existed in
Chinatown. Immediately after his visit, she was removed to a
family house, lest her rescue might be effected, and one man and
two women set to watch her day and night. She feigned willingness
to lead a bad life, and the two women, lulled into a sense of
security, turned aside to gossip, while the man dropped off
asleep. She suddenly rushed out of the house, and but for the
quick wit and good offices of the colored girl might have missed
the way to a safe harbor.

The following are cases of rescue reported from the Mission Home of
the Occidental Board of Missions of the Presbyterian Church:

No. 1. Qui Que. This little girl was taken from a gambling den
at Isleton, a small town on the Sacramento river. The woman who
brought her from China died, and she was thus left to the care of
this gang of gamblers. When Miss Cameron and her escort arrived at
the house, the little girl of six or seven years sat on a table
rolling cigarettes for the men who sat around it gambling. They
were taken by surprise, and before they quite understood the
situation the rescuers were gone with the little girl. When they
discovered this, they fired several shots after the party, but no
harm was done. The officer, with one hand on his revolver, drove
rapidly for the boat landing, and Qui Que, safe in Miss Cameron's
arms, will probably never know the danger risked in securing her

No. 2. Ngun Fah. This child was a domestic slave in the family of
a well-to-do merchant in Chinatown, but so cruelly was the child
overworked and abused that the matter was finally reported to the
Mission, and little Ngun Fah rescued. When found at the home of
her master, she was in a most pitiable condition. Weary from hard
work and worn out with crying, after the cruel punishment which
had just been administered, the lonely little girl crawled on to
the hard wooden shelf which served as a bed, and with no covering
but the dirty, forlorn garment worn through the day, had dropped
off to sleep. Thus she was easily captured and carried to the
Mission, where upon examination it was found that her head had
been severely cut from blows administered with a meat knife, the
hair was matted with blood and the child's whole body was covered
with filth, and showed signs of former punishments. After the
first fears of "being poisoned" were allayed, Ngun Fah expressed
herself as being very happy to be rescued from the suffering
and weariness of her life in Chinatown. Her master sent many
emissaries to the Home with offers of bribes, and many promises
of better treatment in the future, but all these overtures were
rejected, and when at length the matter of guardianship came up,
there was no one present to claim the child but her new friends at
the Mission Home.

No. 3. Suey Ying. Our dear baby was surely sent to dispel any
clouds of sadness which may be hovering round, for she takes all
of life as a huge joke. And where did Suey Ying come from? From a
part of Chinatown, dear friend, that you would not dare to enter,
and the strangest thing about her coming is that she was carried
to the Home by a fugitive slave woman, who was escaping to China.
Long ago this woman had spent a day or two in the Mission and was
impressed by the happy life of the children here and by the kind
treatment she herself received. Later on she purchased for $120
a little baby girl. She grew to love the tiny waif, and when at
length troubles of many kinds drove her to sudden flight across
the ocean, instead of selling the baby she brought it to this Home
of happy memory and asked that we keep it always.

No. 4. How Wan. A frail young girl with bound feet was brought to
this country to be the wife of a man who had died while she was
en route. Refused a landing, she was detained in the Mission by
immigration officials, while the young man's parents made frantic
efforts to secure her admission to the country. She remained here,
a prisoner, for two years. Thousands of dollars were expended
without avail, and How Wan was deported. Nothing daunted, they
accompanied her as far as Japan, and returned with her, secured a
license and landed her as a merchant's wife. She lived with
the family in a dark basement on Sacramento street, where the
mother-in-law abused her with such cruelty that, shrinking girl as
she is, she found courage to send word to us if we did not come
to her rescue she must relieve herself by suicide--the Chinese
woman's only hope. We began at once to plan to get her taken to
the steamer to hid good-bye to some friends, and rescued her
at the Pacific Mail dock. She is now a grateful member of our
household family, and is unbinding her feet.

No. 5. During the St. Louis Exposition a Chinese company brought
from China a large number of women for exhibition in the Fair.

Four of these, upon learning that they were not to be returned at
the close of the exposition, as agreed, but were destined to be
sold into houses of prostitution in San Francisco, refused to
land, and were brought to the Mission by the Commissioners of

These Chinese were arrested, the case tried in Federal Court,
these girls being the principal witnesses; yet twelve supposedly
good men dismissed the criminals, and the case was lost.

Surrounded by the genial environment of our Mission, the minds of
these four girls unfolded in a remarkable manner; fascinated with
their studies, they constantly begged us to intercede with the
authorities that they might remain in the Mission and obtain an
education; but, although every effort was made, they were deported
after a seven months' stay.

They had learned to love our Home life, had united with our
Christian Endeavor Society and had become interested in all our
work, and we would be quite unreconciled to their departure did we
not know that our missionaries in Shanghai stand ready to receive
and care for them when they arrive.

No. 6. Seen Fah. The first beams of the rising sun shone bright
and hopefully into a pleasant room in the Presbyterian Mission
Home one morning last autumn. It threw its cheerful radiance over
a group of three gathered there to plan an important undertaking,
lighting the bright, eager faces of two young Chinese girls, and
giving renewed courage to the anxious heart of the Superintendent.
What important event had to be discussed? What serious matter
decided? News had reached the Mission Home, a few hours before,
of a young Chinese girl just landed in San Francisco and sold for
three thousand dollars. Plans to save this helpless and innocent
child, before it was too late, were the subject of discussion at
that early morning meeting. In such a serious undertaking every
possibility of failure must be carefully guarded against. Each
possible device of the wily Highbinder slave-owner must he
conjectured and frustrated. So the three planned this campaign:
"When is Detective ---- coming?" asked Chan Yuen, as a step sounded
on the quiet street below. "At six he promised to be here with one
of his trustiest men. It is best to reach Chinatown early, that
our coming may not be signaled by those on the streets at a later
hour. If the alarm is given, every slave den will be doubly bolted
and barred; and perhaps little Seen Fah, whom we wish to save,
will be spirited away beyond reach of help." Well did the
questioner know the terrible truth of these words. A sympathetic
shade of sorrow and anxiety crossed her bright face. She, too, was
a rescued girl and had not forgotten the dark, mysterious ways
of Chinatown. The Superintendent rose to answer the summons of a
small electric bell. Two trusted detectives had arrived. After
a short conference, the rescuing party set forth on its strange
mission. One who had eagerly thought and planned for the success
of the undertaking felt her heart throbbing between hope and fear,
but was reassured when a slender hand slipped into hers and a
sweet, encouraging voice whispered: "I have faith to believe God
will give us the girl." Faith triumphed that day. Through two of
Chinatown's most desolate old tenements, upstairs and downstairs
in dark closets and unexpected corners, while Highbinders uttered
imprecations in the alleys below, the rescue party kept up a
diligent search for many hours. When at last the quest was about
to be abandoned as hopeless, suddenly a cry of success echoed
through every gloomy corner of the old building--Seen Fah was
found! A small, dark closet, overlooked in the earlier hours of
the search, was discovered. A lighted candle soon revealed a pile
of empty rice bags and broken boxes. Pulling these away, the
object of the long search was discovered, nearly smothered beneath
the debris. Dazed and terrified, but safe, Seen Fah was at last
in the hands of friends--and the slave ring had lost just three
thousand dollars. Later on, Seen Fah and her new friends were
haled into court. As usual, the sleek, well-paid attorney appeared
for the Chinese owners. But they and he were alike powerless to
drag back into slavery the rescued girl. There was but one course
for the court to pursue. _Finding that Seen Fah was over fourteen,
she was allowed to choose for herself_ between the life of
Chinatown and that offered by the Mission. She chose the Christian
Home; so to its care Judge Cook consigned her. To-day, a free
happy girl, Seen Fah joins gayly in the simple, wholesome life
of her new surroundings. Rescued before the blight of slavery
actually darkened her life, she will never fully understand from
how great a danger her guardian angel snatched her. But we who do
know thank daily the kind Providence who thus protects His own.

No. 7. Kum Ping. She was married in the American Consulate at Hong
Kong in the most approved European way. Her new husband had made
a good impression on the old aunt who was her guardian, and for a
small consideration in Mexican coin, Kum Ping became his property
according to Chinese custom, as well as his legal wife by
American law. When these arrangements were completed, passage was
immediately engaged on the Korea, bound for that harbor of
romance, San Francisco Bay. There was, however, to be little
romance in the life of our small Chinese heroine. The man who made
her his wife did so simply as a means toward an end, and that end
was to be a life of slavery and degradation in California. The
landing of slave girls in free America is prohibited by law, thus
the slave-dealers must resort to the best means at their command
to thwart or circumvent our laws. A witnessed marriage in China
gives an American-born Chinaman the right to land his wife in this
country, so many an innocent village girl crosses the ocean secure
in the belief that she is the honored wife of a respectable
husband. She is landed as such, and, alas! often finds out
when too late that she is merely the chattel of an evil and
unscrupulous Highbinder society, whose paid agent is the man to
whom she is bound. Soon after the Korea's arrival in port, on the
voyage in which we are interested, I visited the ship to interview
the Chinese women on board, and there for the first time met our
little dark-eyed friend, Kum Ping. She had been carefully coached
on the way as to the visits she might receive from foreign
missionaries, and the replies to all our questions showed a
guarded suspicion that seemed quite hopeless. Our cheerful
interpreter talked on, nevertheless, and finally won a quiet smile
and the offer of some roast duck (a great delicacy among Chinese).
All warnings about the dangers and wickedness of Chinatown
apparently fell on deaf ears. "I am a married woman, my husband
can take care of me. I do not need your protection!" was the
rather indignant response. So we presented some bright flowers as
a token of good will and friendship, and with them slipped into
the small, soft hand a talisman that might help her out of future
trouble. Just a slip of paper, but the magic of the name and
number written there many an escaped slave girl can bear witness
to. Some weeks passed by after our visit to Kum Ping on the
steamer. She had landed, and, like hundreds of others, had simply
disappeared from view in that place of many mysteries, old
Chinatown. One night perhaps a month later, I was called to the
reception room to see a strange visitor (Chinese) who refused to
divulge either name or business to any one else. On meeting this
messenger I noticed his great excitement and nervousness. Only
after the door was tightly shut did he tell his errand. We
listened with interest to his story of a young girl sold to a very
cruel master, who beat her daily and never allowed her to leave
the place in which she was closely guarded. Unless relief came
soon she must end her life. Would the Mission try to save this
poor girl? We gladly promised what help we could give, and our
visitor left as quickly and mysteriously as he came, only leaving
for our guidance a roughly sketched diagram of alley and house
where the little captive could be found. There followed much
planning and plotting. Our staunch friend, Sergeant Ross of the
Chinatown squad, was summoned and consulted. The place was a
difficult one to reach, but at last satisfactory plans were made,
the day and hour set. There were three officers and three Chinese
girls from the Mission. It was a good-sized rescue party and
divided into three companies, we guarded well the three exits from
the low-roofed house on Spofford alley. With Sergeant Ross leading
and our courageous young interpreter at our side, we stealthily
ascended the dark, narrow stairs to the second floor, where a
heavy door barred the way, but for such obstacles our good officer
was prepared. A few blows of his strong hammer made bolts and bars
yield. We passed through into a small dark passage. From there
could be heard on all sides sounds of excitement; light feet
running hither and thither to places of escape, only to be turned
back by the sight of our guards, who stood on watch. As we
cautiously felt our way further in we were met by the baffled and
angry keeper of the den--a woman, but not worthy the name. She
fiercely demanded our business--there was no need to tell it,
for she knew as well as we; but she wished to find some means of
hindering our search for her newest and most valuable slave. A
room was at length discovered in which we felt sure the treasure
was hidden. Again Sergeant Ross had to force open a door. As it
gave way, a small, dimly-lighted room opened before us. In the
center cowered a Chinese girl. It needed not a second look to
recognize in the frightened, anxious face before me Kum Ping of
the steamer. Our talisman had worked its charm. She had proved
to the depths the terrible truth of our warning, and now gladly
entrusted herself to our care, while her almost frantic owner
stormed, threatened and at last laid violent hands on the officer
who was helping us. As we led the trembling Kum Ping out, a
greatly excited crowd of chattering Chinese met us at the end of
the passage at Spofford alley, and the news passed from lip to
lip, "The Mission people have taken Woon Ha's new slave girl!" We
would be glad to end the story of our little friend's troubles and
safe escape with her arrival at last in the Mission Home that day.
But how few rescues ever do end in that peaceful and pleasant way!
There followed the usual train of lawyers and warrants. To avoid
these unpleasant experiences, Kum Ping had to change her place of
residence several times, the last time being the night before the
fatal eighteenth of April. A warrant was served at ten o'clock
that night, but being forewarned, the one named in it was with
friends at some distance from the city. The warrant summoned us to
court at two o'clock next day. God disposed of that case! No court
has ever passed judgment on it. Long after the excitement of these
days was over, Kum Ping returned to our Home; country air and a
free life are working their spell. It is hard to recognize in the
round, sun-tanned, happy face we see today, the unhappy slave girl
of Woon Ha's den on Spofford alley.



It is a matter of no small importance that the Christian public of
America should realize that in the Oriental slavery of its Pacific
Coast it faces a flood. One can gaze with indifference upon a little
stream that trickles through a wall, so long as it is thought to be
merely a natural spring of water; but when one is informed that this
is the trickling of water through a dike which dams out the raging
sea, the sensations are changed to a realizing sense of imminent
peril. If some are disposed to criticise this book for leading its
readers into past history and far distant countries, to tell them
harrowing tales, let them know it is intended to take them for a view
behind the dike,--that they may understand the source of the trickling
stream of brothel slaves that, almost unobserved, flows steadily into
our fair land, and know that the stream is the precursor of a flood.
No mere wall of immigration restrictions will ever get control of the
flow so long as men are permitted to hold slaves after they have once
been landed. And for the further reason, that so soon as China and
Japan have drilled a little longer with the fire-arms furnished them
by Western nations, they will force a free entrance to America. The
yellow flood is sure to come, and we must make ready for it. We must
realize what may happen to American women if almond-eyed citizens,
bent on exploiting women for gain, obtain the ballot in advance of
educated American women. We must realize how impossible it is to
throttle this monster, Oriental Brothel-Slavery, unless we take it
in its infancy. For these reasons, we wish to sound the cry long and
loud: "At once to arms! Not a moment to be lost! We cannot build a dam
in the midst of the raging sea. The new dam must be finished before
the old one bursts."

And beside the peril arising directly from the flood of Orientals who
are accustomed to dealing with women as chattels, there will be the
peril from a debased American manhood. Men cannot live in the midst of
such slavery as this, tolerate it, defend it, make gain through it,
patronize it, without losing all respect for woman and regard for her

And then, the slave business is fast becoming a vested interest of
large dimensions to American men as well as to Chinese. There are
fully as many (probably more) Japanese slaves as Chinese in the United
States, and at the moderate reckoning that they are worth three
thousand dollars each, that represents six million dollars in capital;
and at the present time the Japanese traffic is more threatening
to the United States than the Chinese, with which alone this book

[Footnote A: When we undertook the task of writing this book we
intended to include in it also a representation of the Japanese
slave-trade, but have been obliged to desist for want of space.]

In these latter days, when everything in the business line tends to
take on the form of trusts and combines, bent on defeating all law and
exploiting the common people for gain, it casts a shadow of gloom over
one's spirits to think of capitalists entering so largely upon the
active culture and development of vice for pecuniary profit. This can
no longer be looked upon as an evil due to the frailty of human nature
and the strength of the sex appetite; it is rather the expression of a
greed for gold, and should be actively combated as such. The owners
of property, especially those who have a monopoly in the matter of
housing vice because of municipal measures for its segregation, are
most potent offenders against decency, and should be punished as such,
instead of their being admitted, as too often they are, not only to
good society, but to membership on the church roll.

No individual can afford to be indifferent and ignorant as to the
existence of social vice in the community. The only escape from moral
blight and confusion is by active conflict with the forces of evil.
The wrong training of youths who grow up in the presence of tolerated
evils, cannot be overcome in a single generation, nor in a single
century. There is a confusion of the moral sense in the presence of
evil to which one has become accustomed, that is truly terrible.

When it was first learned in England that such an official had been
appointed at Singapore and Hong Kong as the inspector of brothels, the
matter could scarcely gain credence. Mr. Benjamin Scott, Chamberlain
of the City of London, in his valuable book, "A State Iniquity,"
in mentioning this exclaims: "Her Majesty's Inspector of Brothels!
Curiosity is aroused to inquire what were the attributes, duties, rank
and status of this official. From the evidence taken by the Commission
[at Hong Kong], we gather that he kept a register of 'Queen's Women,'
and saw that their names were duly inscribed on the door-posts of the
Government establishments, as lawyers' names are inscribed on nests of
Chambers in the Temple, and those of merchants and traders are written
on offices in the City. He comptrolled the receipt of the fees paid by
the women into the Colonial Treasury.... But, what was the fashion of
his uniform? Did he attend the receptions of His Excellency and
the Port Admiral? Was he allowed precedence of chaplains, or how
otherwise? and was he expected to dine with the Bishop? Was he
decorated on the abolition of his office, and allowed a good service
pension? or is he still in the service of 'our religious and gracious
Queen?'" That officer still remains in the service of the Government,
both at Singapore and at Hong Kong. By the ruse of denominating all
the tasks connected with the Government management of immoral houses
at Singapore "protection," the Chief Inspector of brothels in this
place holds a more honored place in the community than at Hong Kong.
As to Mr. Scott's ironical questions in regard to that officer's
rank, we cannot answer, nor whether he is invited to the Governor's
receptions; but Mr. Scott would have been astounded, indeed, had
he, like ourselves, first met the Chief Inspector of brothels at a
reception given to ministers of the Gospel and missionaries; had he,
like ourselves, been introduced to the official by a minister of the
Gospel than whom none stands higher in British India, and that in
terms of eulogy of the Inspector's activity in Christian work. How
can we explain such a state of affairs? Just as we would explain the
religiousness of early days of America and England associated with the
monstrous cruelty of the slave traffic. There is often in connection
with great human wrong great moral confusion, and without judging the
individuals living under such conditions, we can say emphatically,
those conditions are most undesirable, and attended by moral peril,
especially to the young. It is a truly lamentable thing when prolonged
familiarity with vicious conditions leads to such lack of discernment
as to a man's true character, even among the best portion of a
community. We do not wish such a state of things as this in America.

California does not lack in excellent laws (as they read, in the
Statute Book), for the suppression of prostitution. There are laws
against procuring; against trading in Oriental women for evil
purposes; against buying or selling a female, with or without her
consent, for prostitution; against a husband forcing or influencing a
wife to lead an evil life; against a husband even consenting to his
wife practicing prostitution; against keeping a house of ill-fame; and
against knowingly renting a house for a place of prostitution. But all
these laws, almost the world over, as well as in California, are weak
at one point, namely, that they provide for imprisonment _or_ fine,
whereas they should provide for imprisonment _and_ fine. This is not
because the penalty would then be heavier, of necessity, but in order
that the law may not be prostituted into license. The alternative of
a fine instead of imprisonment defeats the object the public-spirited
citizens have in demanding a law for the discouragement of vice, and
places before the police officials a temptation to corruption. A mild
sentence, which invariably puts the procurer or brothel-keeper in
prison, is worth more than a heavy sentence by way of fine, which can
be met by further oppression of his slaves. Besides, the heavier the
sentence threatened, if there be an alternative fine, the more potent
implement it furnishes for blackmail in the hands of corrupt police
officials. Penalties by means of fines invariably tend to degenerate
into a monthly squeeze to the police, in payment for toleration, and
thus tend to make the police official a defender of social vice,
rather than an exterminator.

It has always been considered, among experienced workers, a most
difficult thing to attack prostitution itself by means of penalties,
for the reason that the punishment is invariably visited with greatest
severity upon the head of the female partner in shame, who is often
the mere victim, while the male partner goes free. But surely
those men who make a business of cultivating vice and vicious
practices,--who use every sort of device to corrupt the youth and
develop the trade in women, can be reached by just and wholesome laws.
We cannot make men moral by act of parliament, but we can restrict
their depredations.

It has long been our feeling that every form and kind of spurious
marriage, such as bigamy, polygamy, illegal divorce and remarriage,
seduction, adultery, and bastardy, besides constituting sometimes
cause for civil action, might with good results be lifted into
offenses against the State. National development depends not upon
the individual but upon the _family unit_, and that family unit is
non-existent outside the monogamous relation, or, at least, is so
frail as to easily crumble. Nothing could be more vicious in moral
education to the youth than the average suit for civil damages, in
which the whole decision of the case is made to depend upon whether
some young girl can or cannot be ruined in reputation by lawyers
of the defense and by their client, concerning whom there is not a
question as to their lack of a decent reputation. When the State rises
to defend itself against counterfeit marriage, just as it defends
itself against counterfeit coin, then the whole horizon of the life of
a profligate woman will not be brought before the public gaze every
time she comes into court, but will be kept in deserved obscurity, and
the woman will be tried for a _single_ offense, just as the man is
tried, and not for all the offenses and indiscretions of a life-time.
The penalty for such wrong doing may not be placed at even so high a
figure in the Statute Book as it now stands, while accounted a civil
injury, but the dignity of the trial would give serious lessons
in virtue to the youth. No nation can long exist that does not
incessantly discourage the practice of every sort of offense against
the sanctity of the marriage relation.

But after all, there will be no success in attempting to cope with
Oriental prostitution by means of laws against prostitution and
kindred vices, for the reason that the evil is a far graver one than
this. Innocent children are reared for vice, and at a certain age
thrust into the life through no choice of theirs; and not infrequently
perfectly respectable women of mature years are kidnaped for the vile
service. The effect upon the moral character of a man who resorts to
a _slave_ class of victims to his evil propensities, must be to make
that man a menace to society wherever he goes, through deeds of
violence which he is willing to commit, and accustomed to commit, of
the worst imaginable sort.

And an attack upon the slave _traffic_ alone will never prove
adequate. The history of our country's dealing with negro slavery
is instructive on this point. There were laws in abundance for the
suppression of the _traffic_ between Africa and America; it was
forbidden to bring slaves into the country, and devices were invented
looking to an eventual liberation of all the slaves in certain
regions; but what did all these amount to, so long as slavery could
exist? There had to be one sweeping, general emancipation of slaves
wherever they were found, under whatever circumstances, and when the
state of slavery was abolished, the trade in slaves died a natural
death. The words of Mr. Francis concerning conditions at Hong Kong
bear directly on this point: "Until the system of prostitution which
prevails in this Colony ... is declared to be _slavery_, and treated
and punished as such in Hong Kong, no stop will ever be put to the
kidnaping of women and the buying and selling of female children in
Hong Kong. This buying and selling and kidnaping is only an effect, of
which the existing system of Chinese prostitution is the cause."

In 1880, Mr. Berry, a member of the House of Representatives from
California, made use, in a debate in the House, of the argument that
"if the British authorities had not been able to prevent slavery from
being practiced in Hong Kong, there would be great danger that, if an
unlimited immigration of Chinese were allowed, it would be followed by
the prevalence of slavery in this country."

It is perfectly true that immigration of Chinese, even though it has
been greatly restricted, has been followed by the introduction of
slavery into the United States, yet the premises laid down in this
argument, may not pass unchallenged, for the following reasons: There
was never any serious attempt to put down slavery at Hong Kong,
excepting in the efforts of Sir John Smale and perhaps one or two
others, whose efforts were opposed by others, and in large part
defeated. The records go to show that there was at once a growth of
healthy moral sentiment created among the Chinese, through Sir John
Smale's endeavor, that promised much good for the future had his
course of action been continued. This official planted his feet
squarely upon the doctrine that all buying and selling of human beings
was slavery, and that a human being cannot, in law, "become a slave,
even by his own consent." And moreover this official, with Governor
Hennessey's encouragement, prosecuted his cases without any tender
consideration as to the demands of European libertines, who would be
left with scant opportunities to be self-indulgent unless slaves were
placed at their disposal. The truth is, from the foreign standpoint,
the plea for brothel slavery was based upon the "necessity" of vice,
and from the Chinese standpoint the plea for slavery was based upon
so-called Chinese "custom." The Government was impressed that it must
have consideration for the demands of libertines, and consideration
for Chinese "custom." Neither of these arguments has any worth when
applied to the slave conditions of California, and therefore the most
serious, baffling obstacles to a removal of the evil are out of the
way. Both pretexts, we maintain, were false. There is no necessity for
furnishing vice to libertines; there was no lawful Chinese custom to
be opposed in opposing brothel slavery. But even if these were claimed
to be sufficient arguments across the water, they have no force in
California. There are women, alas! willing to make a trade of their
virtue for _their own gain_, without forcing Chinese women to make a
trade of their virtue for _the gain of masters_. As to Chinese custom:
America is not setting forth inducements for the Chinese to come and
live in our midst, as did Sir Charles Elliott when he promised the
Chinese the privilege of practicing their own social and religious
rites and customs, "pending Her Majesty's pleasure." If Chinese or any
other class of foreigners come to reside in the United States, it
is with the understanding that they must conform to the laws of the
country, whatever modification or radical alteration it obliges them
to make in their native customs, and if they will not do this they
must take the consequences.

No class of people, taken as a whole, are possessed of a greater
moral sense or can be reached more readily by moral suasion, than
the Chinese. We believe that if a proper condition of public moral
sentiment were maintained, by the enforcement of the laws of the
United States in Chinese communities, no class of people would be more
delighted than the respectable Chinese themselves, who are now left in
a state of terror for their own lives from the highbinders, and who
often dare not bring over their lawful wives from China, to live in
the midst of this reign of terror, at the mercy of slave-traders
and women-stealers. Then Chinese criminals would seek safer shelter
elsewhere, and respectable Chinese family life would take the place,
in our Chinatowns, of a combination of criminal men and slave women.
And Chinese men of weak character, separated far from home influences,
would not be met on every hand by temptations of the most potent sort.
Such is the real worth of the sort of Chinese character that one meets
in other parts of that country from those vitiated by familiar contact
with foreign profligates, that the presence of such could not but be
a benefit to us, and would afford peaceable, thrifty, useful Chinese
settlements in our midst, of which we would feel justly proud.

In order to see that the entrance of Chinese to our country from China
is not made a cover for this dreadful slave trade, there is an urgent
need of cooeperation between rescue workers of the California coast
and rescue workers in all the open ports of China. Chinese men are
constantly returning to China to "marry," in duly prescribed form, and
then return with their wives and reenter the United States, merely to
put the women into the brothels. Any man who is willing to run the
risk of detection can thus get a trip home to China to see his lawful
wife and family, and make it a profitable business trip besides,--with
all expenses more than paid by the importation, and sale of a slave.
Chinese women are constantly returning to China to bring "daughters"
to put in the slave pens. No woman (even lawfully married to a
Chinaman), should be allowed to take a ticket at Hong Kong or any of
the open ports of China for the United States, whose case has not been
thoroughly investigated by days of acquaintance with a woman inspector
in a house of detention, if necessary, on the other side. And no
Chinese woman should be allowed to enter on this side of the water,
until she has passed the second time under such surveillance in a
house of detention. And such rescue workers should have the Government
authority signified by a policeman's star.

The evil to be combated should be met with the right remedy. "Fitches
are not threshed with a thresher, neither is a cart wheel turned about
upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the
cummin with a rod." Much of the failure to control brothel slavery
has grown out of the application of the wrong remedy, not out of a
difficulty in controlling the Chinese. These cases of trading in human
flesh have generally been treated in the courts as though coming under
the laws against ordinary prostitution. To illustrate:

Within the past month, three Chinese girls were captured by a rescue
worker. They were cooped up, with a man who had charge of them, in
a tiny closet scarcely sufficient to hold the four, which had been
entered by a panel door which was securely nailed up and bags of rice
piled against it. The rescuer pulled away the bags, pried open the
door of the secret receptacle with her hatchet, and drew out the
girls, dripping with perspiration and panting for breath, in
consequence of the two hours' confinement, while the brothel was being
searched for them. They were conveyed to the mission home, and were
very happy, and expressed their eager wish to remain. A Chinese
woman came to call at the mission home, in the absence of the
superintendent, and, unfortunately, was allowed to get access to an
acquaintance of these girls, and she conveyed to them a promise that
if they would come back, in a very little while they would all be
given their liberty. After that the girls said they wished to go, and
for the following reasons: They could not dwell in safety among their
Chinese people, if in debt to a brothel-keeper, for he would be always
on their track, and if he could not capture them and they would
not return, he would certainly secure their death at the hands of
high-binders. The case came up in court. The girls told there all the
details of their being recently smuggled into this country; that they
were bought by their present owner for $3,030 each; that they were
flogged when their earnings for their owner fell below $300 a month,
and other similar details,--_but_ they also declared their wish to go
back to the brothel and to their owner. To be sure, they had expressed
elsewhere a contrary wish, and the wish to return had been begotten in
their hearts by the threats and inducements conveyed to them by the
woman who came to the home. The judge was one who could not be bought
nor bribed, and who sincerely wished the good of the girls, but they
said they chose a life of prostitution, and to that life they were

We do not pretend to understand as well as that judge the laws that
were available, on which he rendered his decision, but this we do say:
If California has not a law that will not permit the introduction
of slavery into the state, even though Chinese women _consent_ to
slavery, then it needs such a law at once. _Slavery is too formidable
an evil for free Americans to allow its existence on the consent of
enslaved Chinese women._ Age of consent legislation, as applied to the
question of social vice, is one thing, and consent as applied to the
question of slavery, quite another thing. Sir John Smale, in the
Supreme Court of Hong Kong, quoting from Sir R. Phillimore on
International law (vol. I, p. 316), declared that it was not possible
for a human being legally to "become a slave _even by his own
consent_." Had the matter of consent or non-consent of slaves been
consulted as to negro slavery, we have no reason for believing that
the negro would ever have had his freedom. Though prostitution is
entangled with the conditions of servitude, under which Chinese women
and girls groan in California, yet only about half the slaves are as
yet prostitutes, and slavery looms up so large against the western
sky, as compared with the mere consent or wish of a creature brought
up from babyhood in familiarity with vice, that to consult the option
of such an one in determining the existence or non-existence of
_slavery_ in America, is a thing that ought not to be tolerated for a

We have shown how every Chinese girl who has escaped from her
servitude to the city of refuge,--the mission home,--is received and
welcomed. How the rescued and rescuer run the race for dear life, and
the pursuers are obliged to turn back at the door. But what a state
of things in this country which we call free! Should not the entire
country be one great city of refuge? Do we not pretend that it is such
to all who are oppressed? Why should not the pursuer be turned back at
the Golden Gate, rather than at the door of an exceptional home in
San Francisco? We are fond of saying that under the stars and stripes
slavery cannot exist. We must make it good, or acknowledge, in dust
and ashes of repentance, that we are hypocrites. Idle words will not
do in place of deeds; we must make good our profession at any cost.
Everyone of these Chinese women should be removed from the brothels,
wherever these exist, consent or no consent, placed in houses of
detention, instructed as to the condition of liberty of the person in
which she _must_ live, and then, if she _prefers_ a slave's life,
he deported to China,--a land in which slavery is permitted. Every
Chinese man who attempts to interfere with this radical treatment of
the situation, should be imprisoned or driven from the country. These
"Watch-dogs," who are perfectly known to the police, both by name and
by face, should be put behind bars and in stripes, for a long time to
come. This is not prostitution, _merely_,--Oh, how tenderly men are
inclined to deal with the male harlot! but for once the libertine
has not a shadow of a shade of defense,--the patrons of _slaves_ are
something worse than fornicators; they are guilty of as many offenses
of criminal outrage as they are guilty of visits to the slave-pens
stocked with Chinese girls, and they deserve a prison sentence for
every such visit.

Girls are afraid to come out of Chinese brothels until they have
earned their freedom. This is because powerful Chinese societies have
been formed that will either kidnap such a girl or kill her. So she
declares in court that she consents freely to be returned to the
brothel, and an extraordinary misconstruction of the doctrine of the
"liberty of the person," leaves the judge with nothing to do but to
deliver the girl over to compulsory voluntariness. Again, Chinese
young men do not wish to marry liberated Chinese girls, but they go,
rather, to the brothel and buy a wife; and for much the same reason.
If a man marries the liberated slave of a brothel keeper, the
high-binders will teach the lesson that he has stolen another man's
property, by watching their chance and assassinating him. Why are not
these societies broken up, root and branch? Cannot? Nonsense; the
officers of the law have not made the attempt with any degree of
earnestness as yet.

For years, the "Protectors" at Singapore and at Hong Kong have
summoned the slaves into their offices and informed them that they
were free, and asked them if they freely consented to going into a
life of shame, before putting them there? But to what purpose? Let the
Police Magistrate, H.E. Wodehouse, reply, as he did concerning a
case of suicide: "When registering her name she said she had no
pocket-mother, that her parents were both dead, and that she became a
prostitute of her own free will. The inspector said that that was the
description of themselves that nearly all prostitutes gave, and that
it was very rarely that it was true." Remember that, reader, when
the columns of your morning paper inform you that all the girls of
Chinatown have been interrogated, and that they all said they were
there of their own free will? It is "very rarely that it is true."
Referring to this case, which we describe on page 118, the Marquess
of Ripon wrote to Hong Kong that the brothel-keeper who attempted to
extort money from the young man before delivering up his captive to
him for marriage, should have been prosecuted, and adds: "A single
successful prosecution in a case of this kind would, in all
probability, do more to show that the inmates of brothels are free to
leave such places when they wish, than could ever be effected by the
present system, under which efforts are indeed made to explain their
positions to the inmates of brothels." This is a very clear statement
of exactly what is needed in California. The public should refuse to
be satisfied with visits of the police officials to the girls, to
ascertain the girls' state of mind as to a sense of liberty, and
demand to know the official's state of mind,--whether he is ready to
_prove_ the freedom of the slave by hounding the slave dealers out of
the community.

There was recently a war of secret societies in Oakland's Chinatown.
One of the "tongs" quarreled with another, and three or four Chinese
men were shot on the streets of Oakland,--one fatally, named Lee Bock
Dong, in his own house. Lee Bock Dong had a slave girl who saw the
shooting, so she was taken into custody by police officers. But the
Chinese got her out of jail by means of the usual writ of habeas
corpus, and she was sent to Sacramento to another person, who had
disputed her ownership with Lee Bock Dong. It seems, Lee Bock Dong had
been holding the slave girl for a debt owed to him by her real owner
in Sacramento, of $2,000. The Oakland _Enquirer, of_ Feb. 20th, 1907,
informed its readers a few days after the affray as follows: "This
girl's possession was one of the points in dispute between the two
tongs, and it was this that was settled at yesterday's conference." It
is interesting to note that other newspapers gave the information
that police officials attended the conference of these tongs, to help
settle the dispute. The report continues: "Lee Bock Dong's widow
demands the return of the girl as security for the money, or the
payment of the $2,000. This the Bing Gongs (one of the tongs) finally
agreed to, and it was for them to determine the course they would
pursue. The police say that this step is only preliminary to a
settlement of the whole affair ... that peace will be declared, the
complaint against the alleged murderers withdrawn, and the case
dismissed ... it is now expected that within a few days the extra
police force, which has been maintained in Chinatown ever since the
night of the shooting affray, will be withdrawn and peace reign once
more." This article is headed: "Warring Tongs Hold a Conference, and
it is Agreed Chinese Maiden is to be Returned, or Equivalent in Cash."
The _Enquirer_ of March 9th reported that the "Chinese tong men have
been dismissed."

"Equivalent in cash" for a Chinese maiden! Can it be possible that
this is the United States of America, and the twentieth century! One
actual murder, and two murderous assaults on the public streets, all
dismissed by an understanding entered into with the police that they
could now withdraw their extra force, since the Chinese girl had been
passed over as security for a debt, until the "equivalent in cash"
is paid! Have we spent hundreds of millions of dollars, and shed the
blood of thousands of young men, and widowed and orphaned tens of
of thousands besides, in a civil war to put down African slavery,
introduced from the Atlantic Coast, merely to turn about and welcome
Chinese slavery from the Pacific Coast?

"Behold this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them
snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a
prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.

"Who among you will give ear to this? Who will hearken and hear for
the time to come?"

Book of the day: