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Chinese Diaspora Archaeology in North America$
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Chelsea Rose and J. Ryan Kennedy

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066356

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066356.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Interethnic Relationships in Nineteenth-Century Chinatowns

Interethnic Relationships in Nineteenth-Century Chinatowns

New Perspectives from Archaeological Research and Missionary Women’s Writings

(p.109) 5 Interethnic Relationships in Nineteenth-Century Chinatowns
Chinese Diaspora Archaeology in North America

Barbara L. Voss

University Press of Florida

In the mid- and late-nineteenth century, Protestant missionaries evangelized urban Chinatowns, seeking not only to convert Chinatown residents to Christianity but also to provide education and related social services. This study analyzes meeting records from the Presbyterian San Jose Woman’s Board of Missions, which formed in 1874 to evangelize residents of the Market Street Chinatown in San Jose, California. Missionary women recorded details of home life in Chinatown, generating rare eyewitness accounts of material practices, including spatial use, architecture, home furnishings, eating and dining, dress and adornment, illness and death, and opium and addiction. Combined with the results of archaeological investigations, these accounts provide nuanced information about how Chinatown families negotiated the challenges of everyday life in the United States. The chapter closes with reflections on how this study of daily life in San Jose’s historic Chinatowns may contribute to transnational archaeologies of the Chinese diaspora.

Keywords:   archaeologies, Chinese diaspora, Protestant mission, interethnic relationships, architecture, missionary women, illness and death

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