In 1895, a young Scottish-American woman moved into San Francisco’s Chinatown to help at a mission home for orphans and women rescued from slavery and forced prostitution. She planned to stay for a year. She stayed for decades. Donaldina Cameron barged into brothels and uncovered hidden trap doors to find the terrified teenage girls held behind them. She stood up to threats from the gangs who made money from trafficking in Chinese slavery. She raised hundreds of girls in the mission house, wiping away tears, giving in to requests for midnight snacks, and gradually training previous enslaved young women to live on their own. She advocated in the courts on their behalf. Racism and injustice towards Chinese living in the U.S. was terrible. Donaldina Cameron labored to change public perceptions and policy. She was a courageous, compassionate zealot who is credited with rescuing some 3,000 people from slavery and breaking the back of the Chinese slave trade in the U.S.
A Biography of Abolitionist Donaldina Cameron