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The Chinese LadyAfong Moy in Early America$
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Nancy E. Davis

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190645236

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190645236.001.0001

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The Chinese Lady

Nancy E. Davis

Oxford University Press

Returning to New York City in 1836, Afong Moy’s sales functions fully ended and her manager, Henry Hannington, employed her solely as an oriental object in his New York diorama and panorama entertainments. After the Panic of 1837, Hannington’s operations collapsed. Those who brought her to America, Nathaniel and Francis Carnes and Captain Benjamin Obear, appear to have abandoned her despite their promise of returning her to China. In 1838, as Chapter 9 relates, Afong Moy, without resources or financial support, entered a poorhouse in Monmouth, New Jersey. Yet, the public did not forget her. Rallying to her defense, newspapers across the nation ran articles decrying her treatment. Citizens forced her guardians to come forward and contribute to her support.

Keywords:   oriental object, diorama, panorama, Panic of 1837, poorhouse, Monmouth, New Jersey

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