The White Devil’s Daughters
Join the Calvary community this summer in reading a book together. The book chosen this year has historical significance to our church, The White Devil’s Daughters: The Women Who Fought Slavery in San Francisco’s Chinatown, written by local, bestselling author Julia Flynn Siler.
At the end of the summer, an online book discussion date and time will be announced. All are encouraged and welcome to participate.
Get the book and start reading
About the Book
During the first hundred years of Chinese immigration–from 1848 to 1943–San Francisco was home to a shockingly extensive underground slave trade in Asian women, who were exploited as prostitutes and indentured servants. In this gripping, necessary book, bestselling author Julia Flynn Siler shines a light on this little-known chapter in our history–and gives us a vivid portrait of the safe house to which enslaved women escaped. The Occidental Mission Home, now known as the Cameron House, situated on the edge of Chinatown, served as a gateway to freedom for thousands. Run by a courageous group of female Christian abolitionists, it survived earthquakes, fire, bubonic plague, and violent attacks. We meet Donaldina “Dolly” Cameron, who ran the home from 1899 to 1934, and Tien Fuh Wu, who arrived at the house as a young child after her abuse as a household slave drew the attention of authorities. Wu would grow up to become Cameron’s translator, deputy director, and steadfast friend. Siler shows how Dolly and her colleagues defied convention and even law–physically rescuing young girls from brothels, snatching them from their smugglers–and how they helped bring the exploiters to justice. Riveting and revelatory, The White Devil’s Daughters is a timely, extraordinary account of oppression, resistance, and hope.
About the Author
Julia Flynn Siler is a New York Times best-selling author and journalist. Her new book, The White Devil’s Daughters: The Women Who Fought Against Slavery in San Francisco’s Chinatown, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in May of 2019. She is also the author of Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure. Her first book, The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty, was a finalist for a James Beard Award and a Gerald Loeb Award for distinguished reporting. A veteran journalist, Siler is a longtime contributor and former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and has been a guest commentator on the BBC, CNBC, and CNN. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their two sons. Please visit juliaflynnsiler.com for more information.
Check out a recent video on PBS American Masters about Tye Leung Schulze, who worked at Donaldina Cameron’s mission home and became the first Chinese woman to vote in the U.S. https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/she-was-first-chinese-american-woman-vote-a573kk/14273/