Episode 66: Dollop: Tong Wars

Can’t we get away from this for one Dollop? Feels like the last three have been ‘And, of course, your body is going to be raped by cows.’
–Gareth

1882–Chinese Exclusion Act–first immigration restrict law in the Unites States, upheld into 1924–You can see the original document at ourdocuments.com.
The Weaverville Joss House is the oldest continuously used Chinese (Taoist) temple in America. Built in 1874, to replace another that had burnt, it contains art, mining tools, and weapons used in the 1854 Tong War. (I wanna go. Somebody come get me. I’m on the wrong coast. I’ll make you cookies.)
One of the house’s latest restoration projects has been the Lion Dance costume:

 
Donaldina Cameron, the Angry Angel of Chinatown, AKA Bad Ass Bitch, AKA Another Awesome American We Didn’t Learn About In Public School Damn It. While the men were being funneled into California to work the gold mines, the women were being trafficked as sex slaves in secret corners of Chinatown, for life. Donaldina Was Not Having It, and not only rescued these girls and women, but raised them as her own family members.
The Donaldina Cameron House still works with Chinese Americans today to fulfill their needs: 920 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA 94108 415-781-0401
Fierce Compassion: The Story of Donaldina Cameron * Kristin and Kathryn Wong
 
Little Pete, King of Chinatown: birth name Fung Jing Toy
Chinese slavery @ webroots.org
An excellent–and different–exploration of the Chinese’s forced labor during the Gold rush, check out Stephen King‘s novel Desperation. The TV movie version is also quite good; the manufactured “vintage” footage of the Chinese miners is so realistic it made me extremely uncomfortable.
Band names from this episode:

  • Warring Tongs
  • Dormant Tong
  • King of Chinatown
  • Hatchet Men

 

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