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Grant number like: FZ-250440-16

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Julia Flynn Siler
Unaffiliated independent scholar

Public Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2016 – 9/30/2017

The White Devil's Daughters: The Women Who Fought Slavery in San Francisco's Chinatown

Focusing on the relationship between a white social reformer and a Chinese immigrant forced into slavery as a young girl, the book chronicles human trafficking in San Francisco's Chinatown as well as the broader history of Chinese immigration and exclusion in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Daughters of Joy is a narrative history of a struggle against sexual slavery in turn-of-the-century San Francisco. Set in the underworld of San Francisco's Chinatown, this book will reveal the grim details and the evolution of this criminal practice. The story is told through a decades-long partnership between two women, Tien Wu, a Chinese woman who was sold into domestic servitude as a child, and Dolly Cameron, who came from a prominent Scottish family. This unlikely pair ran a rescue home in San Francisco called the Occidental Mission Home for Girls where they saved thousands of young Asian women from slavery, more than anyone else in late nineteenth and early twentieth century America. Based on extensive archival research, this book will explore a little-known aspect of the American experience and is intended for general readers. It will directly connect humanities scholarship, in the form of narrative history, to a contemporary issue: the modern fight against human trafficking.