Chapter I: The Arid
Land of Heathenism (1847-1867)
In which young Wong Sa Kee is given
over by his aged and destitute father to Christian missionaries in
Shandong to raise, receives a Western education and is baptized as a
Chapter II: An Abbreviated American Education (1868-1870)
In which Wong sails to the
United States, attends two American colleges, gets his start as a
lecturer and returns to China without completing his studies.
Chapter III: The Timber From Which Conspirators Are Made (1871-1872)
In which Wong marries and
fathers a child, joins the customs bureaus of Shanghai and Zhenjiang, is
excommunicated from the Baptist Church, runs afoul of Imperial
authorities for revolutionary activities and flees for his life.
Chapter IV: Soiled Doves (1873-1874)
In which Wong helps rescue
Chinese girls sold into prostitution in America, begins a lecture tour,
becomes a naturalized citizen and has a liaison of his own with an
Chapter V: A Hare-Brained, Half-Crazy Man (1873-1874)
In which Wong is accused of
fraudulently posing as a Chinese envoy and denounced by Chinese
officials, and in which a Manchu prince demands his extradition to
Chapter VI: America’s First Confucian Missionary (1874)
In which Wong defends Chinese
from charges of godlessness and depravity and proclaims himself the
first Chinese missionary to the United States.
Chapter VII: A Most Delightful Dish of Chow Chow (1875-1879)
In which Wong lectures
throughout the East and Midwest, falls in with New York's Theosophists,
takes aim at the Christian missionaries in China and is excoriated by
them in return.
Chapter VIII: A Terror to the Chinese Community (1879-1882)
In which Wong begins to speak
out on the "Chinese question" and partisan politics, clashes with
members of Chicago's Chinese colony, is nearly assassinated, flees to
Michigan and returns.
Chapter IX: The Chinese American (1883)
In which Wong relocates to
New York and establishes the first Chinese language newspaper east of
Chapter X: Wiping Out the Stain (1883-1885)
In which Wong defends the
Chinese community against false allegations of debauchery, and in which
his crusade against vice in Chinatown earns him a conviction for libel.
Chapter XI: I Shall Drive Him Back to His Sand Lots (1883)
In which Wong challenges –
and bests – Irish-American demagogue Denis Kearney, the symbol of the
“Chinese Must Go” movement in the United States.
Chapter XII: Pigtails in Politics (1884-1886)
In which Wong organizes the
first association of Chinese-American voters and announces that all
American Chinese are being recalled to their motherland.
Chapter XIII: Chop Suey (1884-1886)
In which Wong begins an
effort to bring Chinese theater to New York, establishes a language
school, studies law, works as an interpreter and introduces American
readers to life in China and Chinatown.
Chapter XIV: Why Am I A Heathen? (1887)
In which Wong launches a
frontal attack on Christianity and Christendom in a major article and
garners a firestorm of opposition from many quarters.
Chapter XV: Fifty Cents a Pound (1887)
In which Wong protests the
Canadian government’s assessment of a $50 head tax as a condition of
crossing the border.
Chapter XVI: The Chinese in New York (1887-1889)
In which Wong debates Denis
Kearney, builds relationships inside and outside of New York’s Chinatown
and addresses American audiences through writing and public speaking.
Chapter XVII: I Have Always Been a Republican (1888-1889)
In which Wong tries twice to
secure a government job and endorses Benjamin Harrison for president in
a new Chinese weekly newspaper.
Chapter XVIII: I’ll Cut Your Head Off If You Write Such Things
In which Wong clashes with
the Chinese underworld in his quest to rid Chinatown of vice, a reward
is offered for his murder, and he acts, at his own peril, to save a
young girl who had been sold into slavery.
Chapter XIX: The Only New Yorker Without A Country (1891)
In which Wong is denied a
passport by the U.S. government and is arrested for illegal voter
registration, tried and acquitted.
Chapter XX: The Chinese Equal Rights League (1892)
In which Wong organizes and
energizes a political organziation to fight new burdens imposed
on America's Chinese by the Geary Act.
Chapter XXI: Is It Then a Crime to Be a Chinaman? (1893)
In which Wong testifies
before Congress - perhaps the first Chinese ever to do so - and
confronts the Congressman who created the Geary Act, and in which the
law is challenged in the Supreme Court.
Chapter XXII: An Ardent Worker for Justice (1893)
In which New York's Chinese
Theatre is established, Wong seeks justice for a clansman in Chicago, a
second incarnation of the Chinese American is published, and Wong gets a
close-up look at Chinese participation in the World's Fair.
Chapter XXIII: False Starts (1894-1895)
In which Wong enjoys a brief
career as a Chinese Inspector for the Treasury Department and goes into
a short-lived partnership with a Chinese physician.
Chapter XXIV: The American Liberty Party (1896)
In which Wong attempts to
create a new political party, publishes his fourth and last newspaper,
and briefly opens a Confucian Temple.
Chapter XXV: A Letter From My Friends in America (1894-1897)
In which Wong opines on the
Sino-Japanese War, corresponds with Dr. Sun Yat-sen and announces plans
for the establishment of a Chinese revolutionary junta in Chicago.
Chapter XXVI: Citizenship for “Americanized” Chinese (1897)
In which Wong receives his
first word from his family in China in a quarter century, re-establishes
the Chinese Equal Rights League and spearheads an effort to lobby
Congress for citizenship rights for Americanized Chinese.
Chapter XXVII: When the World Came to Omaha (1897-1898)
In which Wong competes to
construct the Chinese Village at Omaha's Trans-Mississippi International
Exposition and wins a consolation prize, tries to bring his son to the
United States, is jettisoned by his business partners and is jailed for
contempt of court.
Chapter XXVIII: I Do Not Like Chinese Ways, Nor Chinamen Any More (1898)
In which Wong sails to Hong Kong,
attempts to collect monies due him, is issued a United States passport
that is soon withdrawn, takes ill, returns to Shandong for a final
family reunion and dies.
Wong Chin Foo
Wong filed a Declaration of Intention to
become an American citizen in Grand Rapids, Michigan on April 3,
1874. He was one of the first Chinese in America to do so.
Wing, one of the first Chinese diplomats ever posted in America,
saw Wong as a usurper. The two crossed swords more than once
during Wong's career.
Wong spent several
years traveling around the United States lecturing on China and
the Chinese people. This advertisement for a lecture appeared in
the Quincy, Illinois Daily Herald
on February 19, 1878.
The Newark, Ohio Daily Advocate
and many other newspapers around the nation ran a story about
the new political party Wong tried to launch in 1896 with a
sketch that made him look decidedly Caucasian. This image
appeared on July 24, 1896.
Wong had a hand in acquainting Americans
with Chinese food in the 1880s. He was the first to introduce
"chop suey" to American readers. This article from the Summer,
2014 issue of The Cleaver
Quarterly includes some of his
descriptions of Chinese ingredients and dishes.