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The Chinatown WarChinese Los Angeles and the Massacre of 1871$
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Scott Zesch

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199758760

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199758760.001.0001

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Daughters of the Sun and Moon

Daughters of the Sun and Moon

(p.57) 4 Daughters of the Sun and Moon
The Chinatown War

Scott Zesch

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the experiences of the earliest Chinese women immigrants to America, with particular reference to those who were forced into prostitution. It first considers how Chinese women became the center of attention in America's first Chinatowns before turning to their place in the “bachelor society.” It then examines the thriving sex trade in Los Angeles in the early 1860s, as seen in the increasing number of whorehouses in the city, and the reasons why young women from China ended up being prostitutes in California's Chinatowns. The chapter also cites the role of American lawmen in preventing Chinese prostitutes from escaping before concluding with an assessment of marriage as a means for the Chinese to defy their rivals.

Keywords:   prostitution, Chinese women, immigrants, brothels, Chinatowns, bachelor society, sex trade, Los Angeles, whorehouses, marriage

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