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Vol. 19 (2005 Fall)

Inscription on the Past from Present Inquiries: Historiography of Nineteenth Century Chinese Immigrant Public Women

  • Carol Huang
June 19, 2017


Chinese immigrant women arrived in America's West in the mid nineteenth century. Their arrival marked the beginning of Chinese American women in the United States of America [1]. They left very few documents of their own. They were assumed to have followed the Chinese men to the West after the gold rush to serve the men. A majoritity of them were called "One Hundred Men's Wives" or prostitutes [2]. In the Western construction and conceptualization of Chinese women of this particular time, they have been portrayed as victims of patriarchy and the capitalist system.