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At the hearth of the nation : the Woman’s Missionary Society and Victoria’s Chinese Rescue Home 1886-1923 Ikebuchi, Shelly Dee 2012

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AT THE HEARTH OF THE NATION: THE WOMAN’S MISSIONARY SOCIETY AND VICTORIA’S CHINESE RESCUE HOME 1886-1923 by SHELLY IKEBUCHI B.A., Okanagan University College, 2003 M.A., The University of British Columbia, 2005  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY  in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Sociology)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  October 2012  © Shelly Ikebuchi, 2012  Abstract The Chinese Rescue Home was an important feature of Victoria's (British Columbia, Canada) moral and racial landscape. It was envisioned by Methodist missionaries and later the Women's Methodist Missionary Society (WMS) to be a sanctuary for Chinese and Japanese women who were thought to be prostitutes or slave girls or who were believed to be at risk of falling into these roles. Despite its significance to British Columbian and Canadian history, there has yet to be a sustained and systematic study of the Home. Using a range of archival sources including WMS reports, newspapers, and legal cases, this dissertation offers an in-depth and empirical case study of the Chinese Rescue Home. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach and drawing from theoretical and methodological developments in sociology, history, and geography, I use the concept of domesticity to examine the complex, contradictory, and contentious relationships between gender, race, and religion. While white women derived their own inclusion in the nation by policing the boundaries of race and reimagining the places of Chinese and Japanese women, they did so by including these women as part of the 'Christian family.' Therefore, this dissertation contributes to the Canadian literatures on Chinese and Japanese immigration by foregrounding the ways in which racial power operated through both inclusion and exclusion. Domesticity, here, was central to the shaping of not only the types of relationships that were permitted, but also the spaces in which they took place.  ii  Table of Contents Abstract ....................................................................................................................................................... ii Table of Contents ....................................................................................................................................... iii List of Tables ................................................................................................................................................v List of Figures ............................................................................................................................................ vi List of Maps .............................................................................................................................................. vii Lists of Abbreviations ............................................................................................................................. viii Acknowledgements.................................................................................................................................... ix Dedication .................................................................................................................................................. xi Chapter One: Introduction.........................................................................................................................1 A Case Study of the Chinese Rescue Home ..............................................................................................2 Research Questions ...................................................................................................................................6 Review of the Literature ...........................................................................................................................7 Theoretical Framework ...........................................................................................................................14 Methodology ...........................................................................................................................................25 Chapter Outline .......................................................................................................................................33 Chapter Two: Foundations of Stone: Victoria and the Chinese Rescue Home ....................................36 Immigrant Foundations ...........................................................................................................................36 Life in Victoria ........................................................................................................................................39 Geographies of the Home .......................................................................................................................42 White Women and the Home ..................................................................................................................45 ‘Inmates’ of the Home.............................................................................................................................52 Conclusion ..............................................................................................................................................71 Chapter Three: Pillars of Domesticity and the ‘Chinese Problem’ ......................................................73 Domestic Delinquents .............................................................................................................................74 Pillars of Domesticity .............................................................................................................................84 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................ 112 Chapter Four: Crossing the Threshold: Interrogating the Space and Place of Victoria’s Chinese Rescue Home ............................................................................................................................................ 114 Conceiving Mother-land: ‘Constructing’ the Home as a Signifying Mechanism ................................. 116 Hearth, Home, and Motherhood Perceived...........................................................................................126 Beyond the Threshold: Aspirations in the Lived Spaces of the Chinese Rescue Home........................148 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................162 Chapter Five: Outside the Walls of the Home: Men, Marriage, and Morals in the Public Arena ...164 The State of Ambivalence .....................................................................................................................167 Transformation or Trafficking: The Search for (Male) Moral Authority ..............................................179 Lending Legitimacy: The Women Weigh In .........................................................................................185 The State of Marriage ...........................................................................................................................201 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................214 Chapter Six: Roofs, Rafters and Refuge: The State, Race, and Child Custody ................................216  iii  A Roof over Their Heads: Parental Surrogacy and the Home ..............................................................218 From Roofs to Rafters: State Support of the Home. .............................................................................226 Refuge from the Outside: The Stranger and the Best Interests of the Child .........................................238 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................267 Chapter Seven: Conclusion: At the Nation’s Door: Race, Gender and National Imaginings ..........270 A Door into the Past: Reimagining Religion, Nation, Whiteness and Gender .....................................271 Hearth and Home: Domesticity as a Key to Inclusion ..........................................................................274 Throwing Open the Door: The Production of Women’s Aspirations and Authority .............................277 Locks without Keys: Empirical and Methodological Limitations ........................................................279 Doors, Locks, and Keys Revisited: The Radical Reinterpreted ............................................................281 Bibliography ............................................................................................................................................287 Primary Sources ....................................................................................................................................287 Secondary Sources ................................................................................................................................288 Appendix: Timeline for Menzies/Bloomfield Cases .............................................................................299  iv  List of Tables Table 1: Admissions to Chinese Rescue Home, 1886–1901 ......................................................... 58 Table 2: Reason for Admission to Chinese Rescue Home, 1886–1901 ........................................ 59  v  List of Figures Figure 1: “New Chinese Home” ..................................................................................................... 1 Figure 2: Chinese Rescue Home—British Columbia Archives C-07913 ....................................118 Figure 3: Oriental Home and School—British Columbia Archives C-07927 ............................ 122 Figure 4: Craigflower Manor - British Columbia Archives A_01435 ....................................... 124 Figure 5: Home and School Group—British Columbia Archives C-07926 ............................... 128 Figure 6: Oriental Home Family—British Columbia Archives C-07922 ................................... 132 Figure 7: Woman’s Missionary Society - British Columbia Archives E-01216 ......................... 148 Figure 8: “Trafficking in Girls.” Daily Times, 30 May 1888, p. 4. ............................................ 181  vi  List of Maps Map 1: Victoria Fire Insurance Map 1891 (viHistory 2006) ........................................................ 43 Map 2: Victoria's Chinatown: Land Utilization 1909 (BC Archives 2010).................................. 44  vii  Lists of Abbreviations BC – British Columbia LCP – Live-in Caregiver Program OUC – Okanagan University College UBC – University of British Columbia WCTU - Women’s Christian Temperance Union WMS – Woman’s Missionary Society  viii  Acknowledgements My first thanks must go to my supervisor, Dr. Renisa Mawani and committee members, Dr. Jennifer Chun and Dr. Henry Yu, for their inspiration, dedication and commitment to this dissertation. Their patience, understanding, challenging, and guidance have truly made this project richer and more meaningful than I could have imagined. I would like to especially thank Renisa for her unwavering support at every stage of this endeavour. Thanks also to Dr. Thomas Kemple who read and commented on an earlier draft. I am especially grateful for my family whose endless support and encouragement have sustained me throughout this long process. A special thank you to my children, Eric and Takara Ketchell, who have been loving, giving, patient, and understanding, believing in me even when I stopped believing in myself. I am also indebted to Dr. Stephen Braham, as well as friends and fellow L.O.W. members, Dr. Jacqueline Schoemaker Holmes, Rachael Sullivan, Dr. Brandy Weibe, and Bonar Buffam. Steve, thanks for always being there to offer me support, love, laughter, and good food. Jackie, you are my inspiration, my friend, my shelter in the storm and most of all, a true sister at heart. It gives me such comfort to know that I can always count on you to challenge and encourage me! Thanks Rachael for reading early drafts and for being a good friend and for always being willing to offer your support. Brandy, you were my first U.B.C. friend, and you have inspired me through your great example, boundless energy, and wonderful insights along the way. Bonar, it has been a wonderful gift to have you as my academic sibling and friend. You always offered great advice and kept me moving along this path (as I always feared you would pass right by me if I slowed my pace!) This dissertation was also motivated by earlier lessons from inside the classroom. I am grateful for the inspired teachings of wonderful professors both at Okanagan University College ix  (OUC) and at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Their teaching has inspired me not only in my academic research, but in my own teaching. Thanks especially to OUC professors, Dr. Patricia Tomic and Dr. Ricardo Trumper for teaching me to love Sociology and believe in its transformative power! Thank you also to UBC.’s Dr. Becki Ross for inspiring in me a passion for historical research. Lastly, this project would not have been possible without the financial support offered by University of British Columbia Department of Sociology, which took the form of Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships. Additionally, I am grateful for receiving support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Last, I would like to thank Jay Smith for reading and editing the final draft.  x  Dedication This dissertation is dedicated to Crystal Ikebuchi Mandryk, who taught me to dream, to believe, to aspire, and to risk.  xi  Chapter One: Introduction  Figure 1: “New Chinese Home”1 In 1886, nearly three thousand Chinese lived in the city of Victoria, British Columbia (BC), making up nearly 18% of the population (Lai 1991, 5). Based on the 1891 Canadian Census, Victoria had a total population of 16,841 (Dunae 1998, 234). While the vast majority of Chinese immigrants during this period were men, the women who did immigrate were targets of  1  Private Collection, “New Chinese Home, Victoria, British Columbia”, [c 1900], Victoria, BC, photograph by Ridsdale, G.F., Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1979-282 NPC, item number 132, reproduction copy number C-012600  1  both suspicion and concern. According to McLaren (1999), “[i]n a minority community that was overwhelmingly male and in which women were regularly bought and sold, it was assumed by their detractors that, with limited exceptions, any Chinese girl or woman who came to Canada must already be a prostitute or destined for that role” (407). It was based on these assumptions that the Chinese Rescue Home was founded. The Chinese Rescue Home, later called the Oriental Home and School (henceforth to be referred to as the Home), began as a project to rescue Chinese prostitutes and slave girls from those who held them captive. But their mandate quickly expanded and between 1887 and 1925, 425 women took shelter in the Home (Gagan 1992, 176). As its name indicates, the Chinese Rescue Home had three related concerns: race, rescue, and domesticity. First and foremost, it was about dealing with a particular racial problem. That the word Chinese (and later Oriental) was part of the Home’s name is noteworthy, as race and its management were to become its primary goals. Yet, racial concerns informed not only technologies of exclusion, but also inclusion. Although Chinese women and men were, at different periods, excluded from Canada, the Home’s mandate was to transform and domesticate these women so that they could eventually be included and assimilated. Second, rescue as a mandate of the Home was about benevolence and transformation. Thus, the relationship between race and religion was a vexed one. It was concerned with both highlighting race as a target of benevolence, as well as erasing it through transformation. This was to be achieved through the third concern, domesticity. The role of white women was paramount here, as it was in the domain of the home (and Home) that this institution functioned. Thus, whiteness and domesticity, like Chineseness, were also racial concerns and form central themes in this dissertation. A Case Study of the Chinese Rescue Home Although the Chinese Rescue Home has become somewhat iconic in British Columbia’s 2  history, the importance of the Home has yet to be fully explored. Many historians and historical sociologists have pointed to its significance in Victoria and in British Columbia more generally (See, for instance, Chang 2004; Mawani 2009; Gagan 1992; McLaren 1999; Valverde 1991). Despite the many references to the Home, however, no sustained or detailed analysis has thus far been carried out. A detailed empirical study of the Home, therefore, is an important goal and contribution of this dissertation and will add to the historiography of British Columbia. Uncovering the organizational hierarchies, the institutional schematics, as well as the religious and racial tropes which infused the Home is crucial to understanding how the institution came to hold such an important place in historical imaginings of the province. Further, these hierarchies and inner workings can also illuminate how whiteness and domesticity came to be imagined and asserted in relation to and through interactions with a racialized Other. This dissertation also adds to the existing literatures on Chinese and Japanese immigration and historiographies of racial exclusion to show how racial power also operated through inclusion. Many have documented the varied and multiple technologies of racial exclusion as they existed in British Columbia, especially with regard to Chinese and Japanese populations (see Ward 2002; Roy 1989, 2003), which, it has been argued, has “led to a portrayal of racialized peoples as victims without voice or as people whose identities were externally imposed” (Price 2008, 54). Recent work has begun to take into account the active role of Chinese and Japanese populations in resisting and challenging governmental and societal exclusions (See Price 2008, Ng, 1999). One of the goals of this dissertation is to build on these important works by examining a case study where government and institutional work took a less exclusionary form. While many in the province were decrying the menace of the “Yellow Peril” and calling for the expulsion of the Chinese and Japanese populations, if not always from the nation then certainly from white society and white labour interests, white women were taking a 3  different approach. Although many Christians (and non-Christians) during this time argued that Japanese and Chinese men and women could not (or should not) be assimilated into the nation, the women of the Woman’s Missionary Society (WMS) were of a different mind. They saw these populations to be inferior. But, rather than focusing only on exclusion they engaged in what they believed to be transformative projects of inclusion. By viewing domesticity as spatial, psychic, and corporeal, and the Home as a geographically situated site and embodied practice of moral regulation, this project moves beyond dominant explanations which focus on racial exclusion alone. Domesticity was central to these more inclusionary processes, as it informed how space was conceived, how identities were forged, and how bodies were disciplined. In this dissertation, therefore, I foreground the importance of domesticity both in its material geography and its imaginative one (Gregory 1995). As the title of this dissertation indicates, the Home might be likened to the hearth of the nation. Not only does the hearth represent the home and domesticity and their association with women, but the hearth is also a symbol of welcome. It is a space for those coming in from ‘outside.’ In the case of the Chinese Rescue Home the welcome was not unconditional. Yet, the hearth offered a space for some outsiders to find openings into a world in which they seldom otherwise found welcome. The hearth also represents a place of transformation; it is here that the fire turns a cold room into one filled with warmth. It is a space where the outsiders are not only welcomed, but also affected and transformed. The transformation of the Other through regulation threaded itself materially and discursively into the very fabric of the Home. Deconstructing the processes and practices of this benevolent work, I argue, uncovers the complex relationship between whiteness, femininity, and religion. A third contribution of this dissertation, then, is a critical examination of these relationships. The Chinese Rescue Home was a site where white women exerted their moral 4  authority in ways that enhance our understanding of how racial projects functioned in early British Columbian history. The centrality of whiteness and its performative significance was exemplified within the Home and it is this foregrounding and privileging of whiteness, its assertion and maintenance amidst challenges made by many, both within and outside of the Home, which is of primary concern to this dissertation. Although this was in part an assimilatory project, it was not only about inclusion. Rather, the goals included sending converted women back to Japan or China as missionaries—an indication that racism was more than a delineation between self and Other. Instead, racism worked through a contradictory process of inclusion, exclusion, and regulation. Race, here, was used to identify inferiority, as the Other was opposed to the white self. Here, whiteness was deployed as both authority and therefore superiority, and as a model to emulate. Yet, race was also malleable and subject to transformation through domesticity. The Home illustrates how whiteness was also central to both the state and the domestic realm. This dissertation, explores how whiteness was deployed through national and global imaginings, and how these relationships intersected with religious discourses. The Home was a religious institution that straddled the public/private and national/global divides. Run by women, the Home was a space informed by gender hierarchies, just as it was informed by racial ones. It occupied a unique space where (gendered and racialized) national and domestic spaces overlapped; thus a critical discussion of the Home offers a clearer understanding of how these relationships informed institutional practices while providing insights into the state’s investment in and interventions into the domestic realm. This dissertation is also prioritizing a discussion of the tensions and contestations that arose from the overlaps between the national and domestic, and what was largely man’s dominion and women’s domain. Although the photo that opens this chapter was taken approximately twenty years after 5  the first ‘rescue’ of a Chinese woman from what was assumed to be a brothel, I have chosen to open this dissertation with this photo because of its symbolic and material significance. This photo was taken during the construction of a new home for Chinese and Japanese women and children. The new building was evidence of both the success of a twenty-year project and a promise of the future. This photo represents the building of a home and a family in a local context, but it also represents citizenship and nationhood, and the challenges that Chinese and Japanese women and men posed to them. Yet, it was the white women who ran this home who posed on the veranda. The significance of this photograph lies not only in what it shows, but also in what is missing. The Chinese and Japanese women, absent here, were central to this project: without them there could be no Home. Although the stories of Japanese and Chinese women and their recollections of the Home are an important piece of Asian Canadian history, it is not the history that I have written. Instead, I have chosen to write a history of an institution, of the intersections between whiteness and domesticity and the ways in which these were produced through the Home. By focusing on spatial metaphors and material spaces, the goal of this dissertation is to theorize the Chinese Rescue Home as an active site of production. This included the production of racialized and gendered spaces, behaviours, discourses, and ideologies. Research Questions The relationships that were forged within the material spaces of the Chinese Rescue Home were neither strictly familial nor economic, but were framed as both. Building on insights from geography, sociology, and history, I utilize a spatial focus to analyze these spaces as embedded in, constructed through, and productive of power relations. The Home is a unique and rich site for reconsidering women’s roles both within the home and outside of it. As it existed at the interstices of the public and the private, and of the foreign and the domestic, the Home offers a productive space for exploring how Japanese and Chinese women were discursively 6  constituted as domestically delinquent. Further, I ask how this discursive constitution materially and imaginatively contributed to the construction of the domestic realm that ‘housed’ the Home and how these material spaces were themselves practice of power. In what ways did the Home interact with and inform imaginative geographies which were informed by gendered and racial hierarchies and how did those outside of the Home, including judges, police officers, and the public, also draw upon domestic discourses in the regulation of ‘foreign’ and female bodies and in the disciplining of white men who dared to interfere with or intervene in the domestic relations of the Chinese Rescue Home? Specifically, I ask how state practices informed and shaped the types of cross-racial domestic relations that were possible inside of the Home and outside of it. Finally, I interrogate how discourses of domesticity were taken up by state institutions, such as the courts, in ways that both undermined and cemented the legitimacy of the domestic workings of the Home and the authority of white women who staffed it. Review of the Literature This dissertation builds on three bodies of work. First, it must be contextualized within what I am calling ‘contact narratives’ concerning Canadian Japanese and Chinese populations in the Pacific Northwest. Second, I locate my research within the numerous studies which have documented the work of white women missionaries and other moral reformers both in North America and abroad. Third, this dissertation builds on the work of geographers and others who have focused on the spatial parameters and relationships of the home as a domestic space with political consequences. Contact Narratives The links between race and religion are central to this dissertation. Both had an uneasy relation with questions of Chinese and Japanese immigration. My discussion of race, here, begins from an understanding of race as a social construction, not a biological fact. Thus, one of 7  my goals is to trace how constructions of race were formed through national and religious discourses. For religious leaders, for instance, discussions around race were complex, as they revolved around both global and local concerns. Race was a target of religious interventions, yet it was also malleable enough to be transformed. My goal is to shift the focus away from a singular focus on exclusion in order to explicate the complex relationships between race, religion, and citizenship and how these came together and were combined to form discourses of inclusion as well. Early ‘contact narratives’ have overwhelming characterized white/Asian encounters through the lens of racism and anti-Asian sentiment. One of the most widely cited books on Japanese Canadian history is Ken Adachi’s (1991) The Enemy That Never Was: A History of the Japanese Canadians. As the title makes clear, this book arose out of and in response to a very specific historical context: the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. By focusing on race as an exclusionary project, such work has uncovered important functions and consequences of discourses of race. While this book and others that have a similar goal of documenting pre-internment narratives are invaluable documentary resources, their focus on linking past injustices with the internment tends to emphasize the exclusionary functions of race and racism. Alternatives to internment-focused histories do of course exist. Patricia Roy (1989, 2003) provides a comprehensive history of ‘Oriental’ populations, while Kristofer Allerfeldt (2003) offers a geographical shift, focusing on Oregon and Washington instead of California (which has been the locus of much North American Asian history). However, these works also focus largely on the exclusionary effects of race. Recently, other scholars have taken a critical approach to cross-racial contact in British Columbia. Renisa Mawani (2009) deals with encounters between whites, aboriginal peoples, and Chinese migrants and explores how these contacts were informed by and through spatial practices and legal strategies. Like other postcolonial scholars, Mawani (2009) critiques and 8  disrupts the binaries of colonizer-colonized, self-other, and metropole-colony (4). By moving away from a unitary focus on contact itself to a discussion of how contacts informed racial knowledges and spatial and legal practices, Mawani (2009) is able to uncover the ambivalent effects resulting from cross-racial contacts. In the United States, Nayan Shah (2001) also draws attention to the links between state bureaucracies and racial formations/constructions as they were applied to the Chinese, and how these were informed by discourses of public health. His attention to the role of the state in producing racial discourses is a useful model for understanding the complex relationships between national institutions, the discourses they produced, and the actions and reactions of Chinese Americans and other public citizens. Here, Shah (2001) also points to the complex ways in which the state intervened in matters of intimacy that have often been thought of as confined to the private realm: the family and the body. The state was not the only force governing intimate realms: churches also intervened. Despite the fact that some authors, such as Makabe (1998) have highlighted the importance of churches in post-internment Japanese identity, very little has been written about the earlier relationships that informed such alliances. Others such as Razack (2008) and Mamdani (2004) have explored the uneasy relationships between religion and race in other more recent contexts. Three important studies have begun filling the gap as it relates to Japanese and Chinese Canadian and American church history (Knowles 1995; Hennings 2000; Chang 2004). Norman Knowles (1995) compares and contrasts Chinese and Japanese responses to evangelical projects, offering a more nuanced view that does not assume that religious discourses were necessarily equated with assimilation. Joseph M. Henning (2000) evaluates how assumptions “that modern civilization and progress were white, Christian birthrights” (3) were challenged by civilizing missions to Japan. Derek Chang (2004) investigates the racial imaginings of the American Baptist Home Mission Society (ABHMS) in its work with African Americans and Chinese 9  Americans, examining the relationships between race and nation-making (134-135). My focus on religious missions is not meant to imply that white/Asian contact was free from exclusionary discourses and practices; what I show is that contact between white women, Japanese women, and Chinese women was more complex than many have suggested, as white women attempted to bring Japanese and Chinese women into a nation that was at once hostile and ambivalent to their presence. In particular, the roles and importance of white women in these relationships will be explored, as they provide insight not only into the discourses that informed these relationships, but also into the complex relationships between state and non-state institutions. This dissertation, therefore, examines the ways that both Christianity and citizenship were projected onto the bodies of Asian women by white women who themselves were marginal to national projects. Building on Mawani’s (2009) approach, this project is also concerned with the legal and spatial manoeuvrings that informed and shaped relationships between whites, Chinese, and Japanese in British Columbia. By focusing on a single case study, this dissertation provides a detailed and systematic study of the ways in which gender and religion coalesced with and undercut state-sanctioned boundaries of both race and domesticity. Like Shah (2001), I examine how various levels of government intervened in the domestic realm, and how this intervention intersected with and against religious narratives and discourses. Gendering the Nation The Chinese Rescue Home was not only a regional project but also a national one, as it sought to include and exclude Asian women not only in and from British Columbia, but also the nation. It was a site that was shot through with discourses of race and gender which borrowed from global missionary tropes, imperial discourses, as well as national ones. The intersections of gender with religion and citizenship have been taken up by numerous scholars who have studied the work of women missionaries and other moral reformers both in their home countries and 10  abroad. In her discussion of British women’s place in the nation, Antoinette Burton (1994) points out that national identification was not only about the right to vote, but also about women’s moral authority. She argues that it was partly their perceived inferiority in relation to men that led women to pursue their imperial duty so enthusiastically and with such fervour. In her analysis of women reformers in Canada, Mariana Valverde (1991) also documents the work of various moral reformers in sustaining the dominance of white Protestants, arguing that citizenship was constructed along very narrow parameters, often centering on whiteness and Christianity. Other scholars have written on the moral regulation of racialized populations by missionary women, but again, these writers have largely examined these processes as imperial projects, as interventions that took place outside of the West (Burton 1994; Klempa and Doran 2002; Melman 1992; Semple 2003; Singh 2000). In Relations of Rescue: The Search for Female Moral Authority in the American West, 1874-1939, Peggy Pascoe (1990) explores the role of women missionaries in the development of women’s moral influence into what she calls “female moral authority” (xvi). Drawing from Pascoe (1990), I take a narrower but more in-depth approach. Through a more contracted lens, I examine how women gained moral authority through their work in the Chinese Rescue Home, and how they utilized discourses and spaces of domesticity to achieve their goals. If women’s status as second-class citizens meant that they reaffirmed their worth through claims to white superiority, it also meant that these claims, and the practices that accompanied them, were curtailed by the dominion of white men. The nation, as the dominion of men, thus, significantly curtailed their public engagements and opinions. The domestic realm, as a site of state intervention, also fell under the nation’s dominion as the courts and other state authorities weighed in on who might be allowed within the walls of the Home. White women created spaces of autonomy that were also shaped by the white- and male-dominated Methodist Missionary 11  Society. By focusing on a ‘foreign’ mission located on Western soil, I examine how the domestic realm was produced on three scales: the local, the national, and the global. Examining these scales together allows for a simultaneous examination of local practices, national imaginings, and the global discourses and practices that threatened and sustained them. Space and Domesticity This study explores an institutional space which took the form of a domestic space, troubling both the binaries of private and public and foreign and domestic. In order to consider the material and imagined geographies (Gregory 1995) of the Home, this dissertation builds upon a recent body of work in geography which examines the “house and home, the household and the domestic world” (Domosh 1998, 276). Geographers have taken many approaches to studying the home. For instance, structuralists and phenomenologists have been particularly invested in delving into the relationship between the house, the mind, and emotions. This relationship has been captured in Tuan’s “notion of ‘topophilia,’ or love of place” (in Duncan and Lambert 2004, 383). The links between the home and emotion are not limited, however, to love. In fact many scholars have productively taken up the links between home and loss, fear, and danger (Duncan and Lambert 2004). The domestic realm has also been a site of intervention for geographers and others who are interested in the material ways that the home informs gender and gender relations. Many who have taken this approach have viewed the domestic as part of the ‘private’ realm and juxtaposed this realm against the male-dominated public realm. Others have charted women’s movements both within and outside of the domestic realm, troubling the boundary between the private and the public in significant ways. Stephen Legg (2003), Georgina Gowans (2003), and Alison Blunt (1999) for instance, all examine how women in India used home spaces as political spaces of anti-colonial resistance, which helped to define not only the domestic but the national and imperial as well. While some postcolonial scholars have troubled the space of 12  the home as itself a site of exclusion from which the Other is debarred (Sibley 1995), others have shown that colonial relations and exclusions occur within the home as well (McClintock 1995; Stoler 2002). All of these studies have largely explored how white women gained authority and autonomy through their relationships with the racial Other both inside and outside of the colonial home (George 1993-1994). The Chinese Rescue Home and those associated with it comprised a very small portion of the work carried out by the Methodist Missionary Board and the Woman’s Missionary Society. While they had a smaller constituency than the missions explored by Pascoe (1990), the Home presents a compelling case study for a number of reasons. First, while missions that were undertaken abroad strove to improve the spiritual lives of those they evangelized, racial ‘problems’ were seen to originate and thus remained outside of the West. Occupying a space that was between the inside and the outside of the nation,2 the Home was a space not only of evangelism, but also of assessment and appraisal. Second, a spatial analysis of the Home provides insight into the ways in which the institution itself was situated between the public and private. Third, by moving outside of the space of the Home, this project offers a valuable study of the disparate ways that moral regulation functioned. While an analysis of the Home interrupts binaries of gendered realms, moving outside of the Home further extends our understanding of how moral regulation functioned in other ways. While many scholars have argued that moral regulatory projects functioned as technologies of social control (Chunn 1992, Valverde 1991,  2  Anzaldua (1987) writes that borders “are set up to define the places that are safe and unsafe, to distinguish us from them. A border is a dividing line, a narrow strip along a steep edge. A borderland is a vague and undetermined place created by the emotional residue of an unnatural boundary. It is in a constant state of transition. The prohibited and forbidden are its inhabitants” (25).  13  Pascoe 1990), and the work of the Home certainly supports these claims, the Home did not exist in a vacuum. In fact, it was its positioning as an in-between space that gave it legitimacy. It was situated on the edge of nation and yet firmly within it. It was a space of domesticity within the public realm. It was also a site that blurred the lines between state and non-state institutions. It is these tensions and ambivalences which make the Home an ideal point of departure, allowing for a deeper discussion of the private/public, state/non-state, and national/domestic than these binaries allow. The remainder of this chapter will examine the theoretical concepts and methodological strategies that inform this discussion. Theoretical Framework My conceptual framework is influenced by three bodies of literature. My goal in this dissertation is to bring them into dialogue with each other. These three bodies are represented under the following headings: a) Racial Otherness and Whiteness, b) (Trans) National Domains, and c) Moral Regulation, Domesticity, and Racial Governance. Racial Otherness and Whiteness Taking a critical approach to race, this research begins with the understanding and acknowledgement that both race and whiteness are social constructions and not biological facts. Three points are important here. First, race and whiteness are socially constructed through processes of racialization, whereby meaning is assigned to biological manifestations of ‘race’: these meanings in turn help to shape institutions and structures (Miles 1989, 76) so that racialization is not only concerned with racial bodies, but also about the institutional practices that govern and create them. Omi and Winant (1994) argue that “racial formation is a process of historically situated projects in which human bodies and social structures are represented and organized” (55-56). The Chinese Rescue Home was just one of many racial projects, and as will be shown, racial projects in this case both sustained and interrupted hegemonic ideas and 14  practices, for as Omi and Winant (1994) claim, hegemony “is tentative, incomplete and ‘messy’” (68). The shifting meaning of race can be seen as a part of racial projects which arise out of and inform state practices. States do not only define race: rather, the state and race are in a constant (in)formative dialogue (Goldberg 2002). Thus, understandings of race are understandings of the ways in which state and non-state institutions are built up on and produce racial knowledges. Throughout this dissertation, I also rely on understandings of race as intrinsically tied to space. Influenced by the work of Anderson (1991), Razack (2002), and Mawani (2009) in particular, I see race as both constitutive of and constituted by space. Buildings and landscapes are not just objective and neutral, but also subjective representations of past and future beliefs and practices (Anderson 1991). Thus, the focus on space throughout this dissertation is attentive to ways in which race was always already constituting and constituted by these spaces. Here, I want to consider the ways that values and social relations become embedded in buildings and landscapes (Chari 2008, 1919). Although it is my contention that race as a set of relations generated by the state and other institutions informs space, it does so in distinctly relational ways that intersect and produce gendered, classed, and sexualized meanings. Race is relational in the sense that the racialized Other is constructed as raced by the white subject and in the sense that he or she is raced in opposition to a seemingly unraced (white) subject (Fanon 1967, 110). Thus, in order to understand the process of racialization and its effects, one must also consider how whiteness itself is a product of racial institutions and state practices (Steyn and Conway 2010, 284-285). Although whiteness studies have become prominent in recent years, Fanon’s (1967) work reminds us that the study of whiteness is not new but was always a part of anti-colonial and anti-racist scholarship and activism. The recent studies of whiteness, however, have reemphasized its importance. Twine and Gallagher (2008) 15  argue that it is often at the local level that “whiteness as a form of power is defined, deployed, performed, policed, and reinvented” (5). Drawing from this literature, this dissertation understands whiteness as historically grounded and socially produced. This allows for an analysis that is attentive to the slippages that take place in defining not only the ‘racial problem’ but also the instability of whiteness itself. A critical assessment of the ways that whiteness is itself constructed allows for a destabilization of the binaries of self and Other, by exposing the instability and fluidity of both. Although I initially conceived this study in terms of race relations and racial discourse, I have been continuously reminded by my sources that power relations based on race, gender, class, and sexuality do not occur in isolation from each other. For this reason, I take an intersectional approach to analyzing the Home. Thus, I interrogate not only how white women, as well as Japanese and Chinese Canadian women, were framed in terms of their ‘race’, but in particular how they were also “multiply, simultaneously and interactively” (Stasiulis 1999, 347) framed in terms of nationalism, citizenship, sexuality, class, and gender. Additionally, I argue here that white women were also subjected to gendered and racialized forms of power, and an examination of the Home highlights some of the ways these facilitated and constrained their aspirations. (Trans) National Dominions Whiteness, like other racial categories, was produced on multiple registers and thus was not monolithic. Central to this dissertation is the understanding that the Home was a space that both challenged and interrupted discourses of white (national) superiority. Whiteness, here, must be understood as relationally formed. For instance, global constructions of whiteness informed (and were informed by) local discourses. National discourses which privileged whiteness did not exist in isolation from other racial taxonomies. Therefore, it is important to take into account the 16  ways in which national discourses of whiteness (and other racial categories) were themselves transnational processes (Briggs, McCormick, and Way 2008, 626). National discourses and processes of inclusion and exclusion were often influenced by discourses from the inside as well as by imperialist relationships that were forged outside of the nation. Exploring the relationality between the national and the global allows for an examination of how inclusion and exclusion work. Chinese and Japanese women were neither fully incorporated into the nation nor entirely excluded from it. Situated within the borders of the nation, Japanese and Chinese women continued to be framed as foreign. As such, discussions which rely on binaries of inside and outside cannot fully explain how it was that women missionaries could remain within the nation at the same time as they were evangelizing women who were always already ‘foreign.’ While other scholars have troubled the relationships between religion and nation, both in terms of foreign mission work and more narrowly with regards to home mission work, the vast majority of studies of home mission work have focused on the nation as the site of intervention and analysis (Burton 1994; Singh 2000; Semple 2003; Pascoe 1990; Gagan 1992). However, the Home cannot be easily explained through a focus on the nation alone. While Pascoe (1990) focuses her attention on a similar mission in San Francisco, her discussion revolves largely around how Chinese women were regulated in order that they might be assimilated into the nation, especially through education (42). In British Columbia, the process was much more complex. While assimilation was also a goal of the Home, the institution also became a site from which some women were expelled from the nation. Immigration officials, for instance, placed women in the Home while their claims were assessed. The matron of the Home would provide these officials with her recommendation as to the fitness of the women to remain in the country. Those who were seen as unable or unwilling to undergo the transformations that were deemed necessary were, accordingly, expelled from the Home and 17  upon the matron’s recommendation, sometimes from the nation. My approach, therefore, hopes to trouble the nation as an ideology which relies on binaries of inside and outside, but which is never capable of fully sustaining these categories. By theorizing the Home as both within and outside of the nation, I argue that the Chinese Rescue Home challenged binaries of the national and global and also threatened binaries of race and whiteness as central to defining the nation. A ‘borderland’ (Anzaldua 1987) approach provides a more nuanced analysis of the policing of racial boundaries, the crossing of these boundaries, and their re-entrenchment. For if nations are defined by their borders, then understanding the processes that take place at the borders can provide us with a greater understanding of how the nation itself is defined. This approach provides a more nuanced understanding of how the Home became both a place which facilitated the integration of some ‘foreigners’ into the nation by teaching them the value of domesticity and a place which expelled others from it. It is not enough to say ‘We let them in’ or ‘We kept them out.’ Binaries of inside and outside are not sufficient to explain how once inside the nation, Chinese and Japanese women were framed as both incompatible with their new home and integral to its definition. Without Japanese and Chinese women, Victoria’s Chinese Rescue Home would have no foundation. Without these women, Victoria’s Woman’s Missionary Society could have no mission. If whiteness was to define the nation through its moral superiority and its benevolent paternalism (and maternalism), then whiteness needed an inferior and a subordinate Other. While it might be claimed that this inferior and subordinate Other was always a part of the national imagining, that this inferiority simply marked a hierarchy within the nation, this does not fully explain how the subordinate came to be defined in the first place. Mawani (2009) and Stoler (1995) inform my discussion here regarding the mobility of 18  racial knowledges. Stoler (2000) contends that racial discourse evolves out of and through its attachment to prior cultural representations (90). In fact, as I will argue, these were not only localized representations, but also built on and mobilized other forms of representation from outside of the nation. For instance, racial discourses were mobilized through reliance on examples from the United States as well as from prior missionary contact in China and Japan. Race cannot be understood as singular or static, but instead it has the potential to change, evolve, and transform as it attaches itself to other discourses and representations. These representations, I argue, included narratives of Christian transformation, which could transgress but not fully overturn the boundaries of race. Domesticating Japanese and Chinese women interrupted racial discourses of non-assimilability, yet the need for transformation was contingent on understandings of racial inferiority and white superiority. Whiteness was a central defining component of the nation. For white women in particular, Christianity was used to reinforce their moral authority (Pascoe 1990; Burton 1994, 43). However, the inclusion of racialized populations within the framework of Christianity interrupted the discourses which equated whiteness as superior. It did not open the door to full equality. Instead, racialized bodies were re-constructed as in need of transformation before inclusion could take place; paradoxically, in order for racialized bodies to be seen as in need of transformation, they had to be framed as inferior or subordinate. Thus, Christian missionaries often opposed biological racism, but their Christian project produced another form of racism that rendered Chinese and Japanese as inferior. The discourses that made this construction possible were not to be found within the nation, but instead had everything to do with how the nation was formed through processes that were always already in conversation with racial knowledge from outside of the nation. Evangelical nationalism relied on discourses of race which were predicated on cultural 19  differences (Chang 2004, 137). Whiteness was contrasted not only against those who were nonwhite, but against foreignness itself. The Chinese Rescue Home, thus, marked off not only the public and private as gendered realms, but additionally marked off the domestic from the foreign—and was therefore crucial to defining the nation and citizenship. It was precisely the form that the Home took as a domestic space that allowed for the transmission of Christian morality and its attendant transformative practices. These practices and discourses of morality must also be understood in the context of a gendered moral regulation and reform. Moral Regulation, Domesticity, and Racial Governance Domesticity was central to the regulation of Japanese and Chinese women within the Chinese Rescue Home. The relationship between gender and domesticity was not only a spatial one. Instead, domesticity also functioned as psychic and corporeal practices of regulation. Understanding domestic spaces as constitutive of discourse and practice, especially as these discourses and practices related to moral regulation, is a central goal of this research. Moral regulation projects, according to Alan Hunt (1991), are a “form of politics in which some people act to problematize the conduct, values or culture of others and seek to impose regulation upon them” (1). I am particularly interested in how this operates on local, national and global scales. While taken up by ordinary citizens, these projects are deeply enmeshed in state practices which are informed by colonial discourses, especially around race. Due to the complexity of regulating the racial Other, in my own work I have taken an approach which views the nation as contested and contradictory. The discourses that fed this particular strand of moral regulation must be understood as located within larger discourses of race and religion, which in turn drew from existing knowledges outside of the nation. The Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration (1885), for example, drew on global knowledges about race from San Francisco and Melbourne. Religious discourses, while largely Western in origin, 20  also built on missionary narratives from Japan and China in ways that informed not only their understandings of Asian populations, but also informed how and where they would evangelize them. The Methodist Woman’s Missionary Society, for instance, in their yearly reports often discussed strategies for evangelizing Chinese women in China as useful models for evangelizing them in Canada. Additionally, religious discourses were also modeled after their British traditions and borrowed from (and sometimes rejected) approaches that had been adopted in the United States. Second, and building on the first point, racialized Others were viewed, in many ways, as ungovernable. This meant that in order for moral regulation to take place, transformative work needed to be done. Thus, I argue that transformative work must be taken into account, not as a precursor to moral regulation, but as part of the practice of moral regulation itself. Like Nayan Shah (2001), I am concerned with how missionary women worked to transform Asian populations from inassimilable to cultural citizens. For instance, Shah (2001) shows how racial boundaries of exclusion were transgressed through missionary women’s training of Chinese women “in middle-class domesticity” (111). This “simultaneously made ‘fallen’ women ‘respectable’ and served to transform Chinese society in the United States” (Shah 2001, 111). In the Canadian context, religious missions such as the Home were less about bestowing cultural citizenship on their charges, but instead focused on global citizenship. Proper transformations were as much about the entrenchment of Christian values globally as they were about the transformation of the individual and the nation. The regulation of Chinese and Japanese women was initially concerned with producing ‘Bible women’ to spread the gospel in China and Japan and only secondarily with integrating Japanese and Chinese women into the Canadian cultural community. Moral regulation was, thus, a complex, spatial project. According to Hunt (1999), moral 21  regulation requires the following elements: a moralized subject, a moralized object or target, knowledge, a discourse within which the knowledge is given a normative content, a set of practices, and a ‘harm’ to be avoided or overcome (7). While it was clear that the state, the media, and the women of the WMS all acted as moralizing agents, and residents of the Home were moralized objects, other considerations were also at play. It was not only the ‘immoral’ practices or behaviours which were being targeted, namely the sexual behaviours of Chinese and Japanese women. Despite the fact that the Home was meant to be a rescue mission for prostitutes and slave girls, sexuality, while certainly a concern, was not the primary target of regulation. Because white women viewed Japanese and Chinese women as largely coerced into prostitution, once freed from their lives of sin, the regulation of their sexuality was seen as largely unnecessary (except in cases where women were resistant to their interventions). Instead, white women focused their attention on providing Japanese and Chinese women with skills that were in line with (white) classed and gendered expectations. Teaching women to dress, sew, cook, or build a fire the ‘English way’ was intended to teach them to cultivate and take on their new roles as transformed and whitened subjects. These behaviours were a form of discipline that took place within a domestic sphere. The Home produced Chinese and Japanese women as ‘docile bodies’ who could be “transformed and improved” (Foucault 1995, 136). These practices must also be understood as lessons in social hygiene (Valverde 1991; Melman1992; Singh 2000). Although the teaching or controlling of certain practices was linked to a harm that was to be avoided or overcome (Hunt 1999), in the case of Japanese and Chinese women, the harm to be avoided or overcome was much more diffuse than Hunt (1999) suggests. If it were only prostitution and sexual ‘licentiousness’ that were to be curtailed, removal of the women into the Home would certainly have meant an end to or overcoming of potential harm. And yet, the practices and behaviours that were regulated within the Home were about more than simply 22  ending prostitution. The object of moral regulation, here, was seen as inherently inassimilable, except through transformation and thus changes in behaviour (regulation) would never be enough. Instead the Woman’s Missionary Society approached the problem more broadly as the ‘Chinese problem’.3 Thus, moral regulation needed to be not only about the regulation of practices and the avoidance of harm associated with those practices; it also required another element. This element, I argue is transformation. Thus, the Home’s mission was to transform not only practices and behaviours, but to domesticate the objects of regulation as well. In addition to cultivating new behaviours, mission work was also designed to produce and cultivate domestic subjects. To be clear, the transformation of racialized bodies into models of whiteness was not to be a transformation of Other into self, but of the Other into another Other. Japanese and Chinese women might be encouraged to aspire to models of whiteness, but they would, at best, only inhabit a space between the white self and the Other. If Japanese and Chinese women were able to transgress race and become white, this would put into jeopardy the project itself, as it would call into question the superiority of the white self. The emulation of whiteness reaffirmed its value. This transformation first meant the removal of the women from their places of domicile and their admission into the Home. Once in the Home, the women were then able to become part of the family of God. This was a practice in domesticity, as evidence of this transformation was to be found in the women’s ability to learn and embody not only Victorian moral values, but  3  Although Japanese women entered the Home as early as 1895, the Home continued to call itself the Chinese Rescue Home until 1910. While Chinese and Japanese populations were not always constructed in the same way, similar assumptions were made about Japanese women, especially with regard to their propensity to prostitution and sexual lasciviousness.  23  Christian ones as well. Thus, the practices that were targeted in the Home were not only about providing training for Chinese and Japanese women so that they would not have to return to lives of immorality, but instead were about processes that would, first, transform them from racial outsiders to ‘family members’ and, second, socialize them into their rightful positions within their new ‘family’, the family of God. This transformation, once complete, did not guarantee their acceptance into Canadian society, however. Although some were allowed to return to their own communities and others even entered white homes as servants, successful transformations did not always translate into their presumed fitness for assimilatory projects. For some, in fact, successful transformations were not seen as evidence of their fitness to stay within the nation at all, but were used as a way to expel them from the nation by sending them to China or Japan as missionaries. Transformations, thus, were always already spatial processes. Important to this dissertation is an understanding of the (often spatially defined) gendered private/public divide in moral reform projects. Like Peggy Pascoe (1990), Hunt (1999) also views the separate spheres doctrine as inherent to the moral reform movements and women’s places within it (Hunt 1999, 95). This was certainly the case with regards to the Home. The women who ran the Home were able to do so precisely because the Home was seen as an extension of the private realm. However, I attempt to move beyond this public/private dichotomy in two ways. First, I challenge the notion that moral reform was about reinscribing the divide between private and public spheres by arguing that the Home was a place where both white women as well as their Chinese and Japanese charges could aspire to something more than domesticity. Second, I challenge the divide through a spatial analysis, which locates the Home in its physical form, as a space that was situated on the threshold between the private and the public, infringing on both but inhabiting neither in totality.  24  Methodology “At the Hearth of the Nation” explores the intersections of race, gender, religion, and nation in Victoria, British Columbia. Although I focus my analysis on Victoria, I also reference relevant material from other cities in the province, including Vancouver. Both Vancouver and Victoria were entry points for Japanese and Chinese populations coming from the United States and as well as directly from Japan and China. The period of study begins in 1886, when John Gardiner4 and Reverend John Edward Starr first began ‘rescuing’ Chinese girls, and ends in 1923. This closing date is significant for two reasons. First, the bulk of the records from the Methodist Woman’s Missionary Society, British Columbia Conference Branch Fonds are dated from 1904-1923. Secondly, it was in 1923 that the Chinese Immigration Act shifted from exclusionary policies such as the head tax, to even more expansive and systematic process of exclusion. Although the Home continued to run until 1942, the objectives and the demographics of the Home changed significantly during this period. More Japanese women and children began to enter the Home, and the focus, while still largely evangelistic, shifted to education, especially of young children. This shift in demographics and concern is important and worth further investigation, but is beyond the scope of this project. On Case Studies As I have already suggested, this dissertation is a case study of the Chinese Rescue Home. The Home, as a case study offers an in-depth analysis of relations of power that often, but  4  Gardiner is also known as “Gardner” and “Vrooman” in many of the documents. Unless quoting from other sources I will use the spelling Gardiner here and throughout.  25  not always, mirrored those in Canadian society. As Iacovetta and Mitchinson (1998) have argued, case studies “offer us a rare window on human interactions and conflict. Complex power relations play themselves out at the local level, sometimes with unpredictable outcomes” (6). With all of its diversity of artefacts, from formal reports to letters, to legal documents and carefully worded press releases and beyond, this case study holds a wealth of information about institutional practices, especially as they were applied to ‘deviant’ women. The case study, according to Berg (2009), “aims to uncover the manifest interaction of significant factors … But in addition, the researcher is able to capture various nuances, patterns, and more latent elements that other research approaches might overlook” (318). Thus, as a case study, the Chinese Rescue Home opens up possibilities for studying structural institutions both as they impact personal relations and as they are informed by them. The Home is a compelling study not only of race relations, but of the complex relationship between the national and global, the state and the domestic realm, and the roles of race and religion in each of these. The usefulness of case studies also lies in the fact that many of these collections are concerned with ‘deviant’ populations and thus are what Karen Dubinsky (1989) describes as “‘sites of contestation’ between the observers and the observed” (363). As such, these sources can shed light on the intricacies of disciplinary practices and forms of surveillance. The documents that I uncovered provide interesting insights into the experiences of and relationships between white, Chinese, and Japanese women that transpired within the Home, as well as how these relations were perceived outside of it. Although I examine the Chinese Rescue Home as a case study, I also pay particular attention to its material form, as the experiences and relationships that were forged within the Home were solidified through space. Borrowing from cultural geographies of the home, this dissertation attempts, as Alison Blunt (2005b) suggests, to move “beyond binaries such as public and private space and 26  imaginative geographies of ‘self’ and ‘[O]ther’” in order to investigate the “interplay of home and identity in terms of spatial politics” (4). Gendered discourses of domesticity informed the type of physical space that was built and from which the Home operated. Instead of working from a strictly institutional space, those who ran the Home created it as a domestic space from which to domesticate their charges. Although space was determined by religious and gendered discourses of domesticity, I also argue that the spaces themselves reproduced discourses of domesticity, as the space dictated the acceptability of only certain types of practices. Thus, a case study which focuses on material spaces illuminates how domesticity as a discourse was reaffirmed through the spatial organization and performance of feminine roles and practices, such as sewing, cooking, cleaning and mothering. Effective History As a historical project, this dissertation is informed by the debates over voice and history. In “The Selectivity of Historical Representation,” David Wishart (1997) explains that “the historian does not have access to that past, only to accounts of it, and that those accounts describe only a fragment of what took place” (112). What is most often lost are the “accounts of the people most directly affected” (Wishart 1997, 113). This is certainly the case with respect to the Japanese and Chinese women who lived in the Home. It would be a grave mistake to claim that I have compiled a history of Japanese and Chinese Canadian women, as only glimpses of their stories are evident through the narrow lens of formal institutional records, letters, meeting minutes, official reports, Royal Commissions, and newspaper accounts. Motivations for entering the Home are recorded only from the perspectives of the white women matrons who painstakingly catalogued each entrance and exit. While we may never know the motivations of the Japanese and Chinese women, especially those who entered voluntarily, I have attempted throughout to draw on secondary sources, including literature and biography, to provide some 27  spaces to consider their stories. At best, these are piecemeal and incomplete attempts. While it is likely that most of the women who entered the Home during the period studied have passed away, future studies might yet uncover the stories of residents who entered and left the Home during the later period from 1924–1942. Despite my inability to account for the voices and experiences of Japanese and Chinese women, I have applied a critical lens to my sources. Guiding my research is a framework that Foucault calls ‘effective history’ (Foucault 2003, 360). Jennifer Terry (1991) explains that effective history “involves what Foucault calls ‘historical sense’—a strategic awareness of points of emergence or ‘possibilities’ existing at particular historical moments in the formation of particular discourses” (56). My goal in this dissertation is to provide a systematic and historical account of the Chinese Rescue Home and to point to the ways in which racial and gendered truths and practices were formed and challenged through this site. As Foucault (2003) explains, “History becomes ‘effective’ to the degree that it introduces discontinuity into our very being— as it divides our emotions, dramatizes our instincts, multiplies our body and sets it against itself” (360). The discontinuities that I am tracing here are found in the interstitial positioning of the Home and in the ambivalences of the private/public and national/global divides. Given that archival records are often written by those in positions of power or authority, I have adopted two strategies to lessen the ‘top heaviness’ of the sources. First, I have endeavoured to utilize multiple and diverse sources in my work. For instance, in the third chapter I draw extensively on two Royal Commissions, a report/letter compiled by Reverend Starr, as well as numerous Methodist reports and publications. The fourth chapter focuses largely on records of the Methodist Woman’s Missionary Society, but includes architectural, document, and image analysis. The fifth chapter relies heavily on newspaper accounts of court cases that reference ‘friends’ of the Home and explores the multiple roles of the press in documenting and 28  (re)framing court cases. In the sixth and final substantive chapter, I focus on both WMS records and court documents to examine ‘custody’ (habeas corpus) cases and the state’s role in determining guardianship over Chinese girls placed in the Home. This approach has offered a multifaceted and more nuanced understanding of not only the form and function of the Home, but the social, legal, and national context in which it was constructed. Although this still offers a ‘view from above’ it is, nevertheless, a more nuanced view. Further, while this history is in no way complete, what I offer here is an institutional history of the Home that nevertheless provides insights in the functioning of power. A second approach I take endeavours to uncover the points of emergence or Foucauldian ‘possibilities’ by providing a subversive reading of history and questioning how these dominant accounts come to stand as truth. In this operation, an archivist/reader reveals that the dominant account is never fully capable of containing the subaltern it launches, nor fully able to stabilize itself (Terry 1991, 58). Reading subversively or ‘against the grain’ is a strategy that offers a richer analysis than reading ‘with the grain,’ but is not a substitute for the latter. As Stoler (2002) in her discussion of the colonial archive contends, we also need to read the archive “for its regularities, for its logic of recall, for its densities and distributions, for its consistencies of misinformation, omission, and mistake—along the archival grain” (100, emphasis in original). Building on Stoler (2002), I submit that all archival collections depend to a greater or lesser degree on hierarchies of power and therefore can and should be read as not only reflecting power hierarchies, such as hierarchies of race, gender, class, and sexuality, but also as producing them. Church archives, for instance, were littered with official reports made by missionaries and church officials at various levels of church governance, who were most often white, upper middle class men. The “consistencies of misinformation, omission, and mistake” (Stoler 2002, 100), therefore, are important indications of existing power hierarchies both outside of and 29  within church structures. Not all of the sources in church archives were penned by men, however: women’s missionary groups most often reported directly to male supervisors, which means that there are many extant reports written by these women. Despite the fact that many of these women had more autonomy than many other white women, their claims to power were often limited to supervising or reforming those who were perceived as racially or culturally inferior. Reading these texts both with and against the grain can tell us much about the complex interplay of race, gender, and class. Providing a critical and systematic analysis is imperative, as this dissertation relies on a diverse corpus of documents which includes published texts, photos, maps, official documents of churches and religious governing bodies, personal letters, record books, newspapers, court documents, and Royal Commissions. Although these texts are largely from British Columbia, a number of reports and texts deal with missionary work in China and Japan as well. Chang (2004) and Mawani (2008) offer detailed discussions of the ways in which racial knowledges were routinely transported within and across national borders. Thus, the sources for this dissertation highlight the ways in which the ‘Chinese and Japanese problem’ was always already outside of the nation, and therefore, even within ‘home missions’, missionaries and church organizations often borrowed from racial knowledges and practices that were imported from other national contexts. Records and reports of the Chinese Rescue Home in Victoria, British Columbia were located in the Provincial Archive in Victoria as well as in the Bob Stewart Archive in Vancouver. Missionary reports and publications such as The Missionary Outlook were combined with records from the Methodist Woman’s Missionary Society which include reports and minutes of advisory committee, intake books, journals, newspaper clippings, and some photographs. Most of these records deal specifically with missions to Chinese and Japanese populations, including 30  the Home. In British Columbia, the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Rare Books and Special Collection, the Provincial Archives and the Bob Stewart Archive together provide a rich source of primary documents such as the ones mentioned above. The Bob Stewart Archive has many documents related to various home missions, evangelical work that took place on Canadian soil, which ministered to these populations in British Columbia. The Methodist Woman’s Missionary Society, British Columbia Conference Branch fonds dates from 1904–1923 and includes minutes related to various Chinese and Japanese missions, including the set-up of the Chinese Rescue Home, which, as I have noted, later became the Oriental Home and School. The Bob Stewart Archive also houses the Oriental Home and School fonds, which includes records, reports, and scrapbooks relating to the Oriental Home and School in Victoria. Also of relevance are the records of the Superintendent of Home Missions of the United Church of Canada, the minutes of the Methodist Missionary Society, and the Methodist Recorder, a monthly publication published by the Methodist Church in British Columbia. Newspapers from this time period offer community perspectives on the Home, transcripts of two Royal Commissions provide a national perspective, and court transcripts offer insights into the role of the state in supporting and challenging the Home’s authority and jurisdiction. Discourse Analysis One strategy to reading these documents ‘against the grain’ is to employ discourse analysis as a means to investigate how constructions of race and gender were produced through religious discourse and discourses of national belonging. Joy Parr (1995) explains that “experiences are not made by discourses, but discourses are the medium through which experiences are comprehensible” (165). In Discourses of Domination: Racial Bias in the Canadian English-Language Press, Henry and Tator (2002) contend that discourse is the way in which language is used socially to convey broad historical 31  meanings. It is the language identified by the social conditions of its use, by who is using it and under what conditions … [and that] it can never be totally free from the sociocultural influences and economic interests in which it was produced and disseminated (25). Thus, the archives, as well as the documents held there, are the products of sociocultural influences that are social, political, economic, and moral. This dissertation draws from a number of sources to uncover how religious discourse intersected with racial and gendered ones to produce specific understandings of Chinese and Japanese women as foreign and potentially transformable through practices of moral regulation. Given that racial and gendered discourses played such a central role both in the Home and in this dissertation, discourse analysis is an important method for understanding how one comes to make sense of race, sexuality, and gender. Jorgenson and Phillips (2002) offer some key premises of discourse analysis. These premises are: that discourse analysis is a “critical approach to taken-for-granted knowledge” (5), that this approach take into account the “historical and cultural specificity” (5) of discourse, that there is a “link between knowledge and social process” and that there is also a “link between knowledge and social action” (6). Critical discourse analysis approaches discourse as forming a dialectical relationship with the social world. Further, for those scholars who use this approach discourse is viewed as “just one among many aspects of any social practice” (Jorgenson and Phillips 2002, 7). Critical discourse analysis, therefore, strives to understand the relationship between both the concrete material world and the abstract discursive world. Throughout this project, discourse analysis has been extremely useful in understanding, for instance, how the physical (material) structure of the Home was embedded in—indeed constructed through— gendered, racial, and colonial discourses and how the material structure fed into and reproduced these same discourses within the Home. The critical discourse analysis that Jorgenson and Phillips (2002) describe informs my approach.  32  Firstly, discourse contributes to the construction of social identities, social relations, and “systems of knowledge and meaning” (Jorgenson and Phillips 2002, 65). In addition to my focus on systems of knowledge and meaning, I am committed to highlighting the many and diverse ways in which the discursive impacted white, Japanese, and Chinese women’s lives in material ways. Therefore, secondly, my analysis will pay particular attention to the social practices which informed and were informed by these discourses, for as Fairclough (2000) contends, “social science should include theories and analyses of both structure and action, and of their interconnection” (42). Discourse and ideology are neither neutral nor static. Ideology, instead, is embedded in social and cultural practices and given that these practices change and (d)evolve over time, so also do the knowledges that they produce. These discourses, therefore, shape the everyday lives of individuals through the shaping of both social identity and social relations. Last, the archival sources that I use must be understood as both material evidence of discursive practices and as the discursive practices themselves. Jorgenson and Phillips (2002) contend that “discourse is both constitutive and constituted” (61). In other words, not only does discourse shape social meaning and identities, it is also shaped by the social world. The texts that I have chosen to analyze are not separate from the historical and social specificities that informed them, nor are they distinct from the policies and practices that resulted from them. Further, religious discourses cannot be understood as singular or cohesive, but must be understood as developing out of and in response to counter-discourses. Chapter Outline As has been illustrated here, Canadian histories, to the extent that they have included Japanese and Chinese populations, have often framed Chinese and Japanese as inassimilable or as subjects of white discriminatory practices and policies. In what follows, I utilize a plethora of sources, not to deny such exclusions, but to explore how racial power worked through exclusions 33  and inclusions and how these processes took place simultaneously and often operated together. Constructing the Home as an active space and site of production, I utilize a series of housing metaphors to theorize the domestic and domesticity as practices and processes of power. I begin in Chapter Two by building the ‘foundation’ of the Home, providing some historical and geographical context. In Chapter Three, I identify the four ‘pillars’ of the regulative power of the domestic and domesticity, through an examination of the discourses of nation, whiteness, Christianity, and gender as they operated in the Home. These pillars not only provided the support for the Home, but also created it as a necessary intervention, a solution which existed as a space both outside of the nation and within it. It was precisely the intersections of the religiosity of the mission and the imaginary of the home that allowed for the transformation of (female) racial bodies into domestic ones (both in a national sense and in a gendered one). Chapter Four crosses the ‘threshold’ into the Home, to examine how domesticity was tightly bound up with motherhood and maternalism. The ‘threshold’ as a metaphor highlights how domesticity blurred the binary of public and private, for it was always on or at the threshold between the private and the public, facilitating the constant crossing over between these two domains. The domestic was both materially and ideologically framed through gendered discourses of ‘home’ and ‘family.’ Yet, as an institution, these domestic spaces were utilized by white women, and to lesser degree Japanese and Chinese women, to cross the threshold from the private to the public realm. In the Fifth and Sixth chapters, I shift my lens outside of the Home. In Chapter Five, and by focusing on ‘walls,’ I consider how the parameters of the Home were (re)defined not only from within the Home but also from beyond it, as the Home did not exist in isolation. Here, I turn to newspaper accounts to discuss high profile civil and legal cases that involved key players in the Home. These cases show how important domesticity was in the moral regulation of Chinese 34  and Japanese women, and also highlight the importance of state and citizens as moral regulators of those who dared to remove domesticity from the transformation process. In the sixth chapter, I offer metaphors of roofs and rafters to complete my ‘reconstruction’ of the Home. Here, I explore the state’s role as protector and arbiter in habeas corpus cases. In these instances, the state provided a protective covering to the Home and its charges. The state not only acted as ‘parens patriae’ but also provided the framework and support (rafters) for the Home to take on this same surrogate parenting role. It thus reframed the Home as a site of refuge, rather than ‘rescue.’ The habeas corpus cases provide for a deeper analysis of the state’s role in delineating the boundaries of cross-racial contact and in defining (national) familial relations. Chapter Seven concludes this dissertation.  35  Chapter Two: Foundations of Stone: Victoria and the Chinese Rescue Home Histories of British Columbia in general, and of Victoria in particular, have documented the successes and the challenges faced by white settlers. Over the past two decades, many scholars have added to these colonial histories, providing alternative histories of the Pacific Northwest and including the challenges and contributions of Japanese and Chinese men, and to lesser extent women (Adilman, 1992: Anderson 1991; Green 2000; Johnston 1996; Knowles 1995; Lai 1991; Mawani, 2009; Roy 1989, 2003; Ward 1990). In this chapter, I draw and build upon these histories to provide the historical foundations and context for my study of the Chinese Rescue Home. Specifically, my objective is to provide a broad historical sketch in order to contextualize the organizational structures of the Home and the attendant modalities of racial discipline that were carried out within it. To this end, I begin with a discussion of Japanese and Chinese immigration. I follow this with a brief discussion of life in Victoria. The discussion of locality points to a specific production of race, thus laying the foundation for the discussion that follows in Chapter Three. I conclude with a discussion of the Home and the women who ran it and resided there. This chapter highlights the historical relations of power through which the Home was constituted and to which it contributed. Immigrant Foundations Victoria was the main port of entry for Chinese immigrants. According to Patricia Roy (1989), the Chinese who were the first Asians to arrive in Canada initially came “from the declining California gold fields” and after 1860, directly from China (x). Roy (1989) estimates that “in the mid-1860s, there were about 4,000 in the colony, but that number declined to about 1,500 in 1870. The second wave of Chinese immigrants, an estimated 16,000 or 17,000, came in the early 1880s during the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway” (x–xi). The first arrival from Japan came later, beginning with nineteen-year-old Manzo Nagano in 1871 (Adachi 1991; 36  Miki 2004). By 1891, there were approximately two hundred Japanese in Canada (Ayukawa 2008, 12). This number steadily increased. The 1901 census recorded 4,738 Japanese living in Canada; 97% of these lived in British Columbia (Adachi 1991, 13–33). In the early stages of Japanese immigration, the majority of immigrants were from the lower classes (Adachi, 1991, 13). Like the Chinese, most of the early Japanese “immigrants were unattached males, nearly all of them hoping to make quick fortunes” (Adachi 1991, 17). Most of these men took up work in fisheries, coal mines, or the lumber industry, sometimes alternating between these three industries (Adachi 1991). There was much ambivalence among whites with regards to the arrival of Japanese and Chinese labourers. Some in British Columbia welcomed their labour, while others engaged in formal protests, including the violent and destructive Vancouver riot in 1907 (Adachi 1991; M. Ayukawa 1995; Roy 1989, 2003). Formally, as Lai (2010) recalls, as early as “1872, the BC legislative assembly passed an act to disenfranchise both Chinese and native Indians” (16). Adachi (1991) discusses the ambivalence that early white settlers expressed toward Japanese immigration, stating that “[e]fforts were made to exclude the ‘wrong’ kind of settlers; yet without them there was not an adequate supply of labour” (37). Many have argued that the riots and hostility were a result of increased concern around the economic threats that Asian labourers were thought to pose to white populations (Adachi 1991; Ayukawa 1995; Roy 1989; Ward 1990). Regardless of the reasons, anti-Asian sentiment resulted in legislation that greatly reduced immigration from China and Japan as the government imposed head taxes on the Chinese and entered into the “Lemieux Hayashi Gentlemen's Agreement of 1908, which limited the number of labourers entering Canada to 400 per year” (Ayukawa 1995, 107). The enactment of such limits and exclusions significantly affected immigration, especially with regard to gender. The head tax meant that very few Chinese women came to Canada in these early years. 37  Those that did come were often assumed to be either slaves or prostitutes, who needed to be ‘rescued’ and thus would end up at the Chinese Rescue Home in Victoria. The Lemieux Hayashi Agreement of 1908 had the opposite effect with regards to Japanese women. Because of its focus on reducing threats to labour, the “Gentlemen’s Agreement decreased the number of male immigrants, but accelerated the immigration of women” (Ayukawa 1995, 107). Many of these women came over as ‘picture brides,’ a long distance adaptation of the traditional practice of arranged marriages. These non-western marriage practices meant that these women were initially seen as morally suspicious and thus became targets of the Home as well. According to the 1871 census, only fifty-three Chinese women were reported to be residing in British Columbia (Adilman 1992) when the Home was first opened. Although the census showed very few Chinese women in British Columbia during this period, Adilman (1992) explains that accurate estimates were difficult to discern, as even the numbers provided by the Immigration Department Records and the Canadian Census do not correspond. She also tells us that at least “100 to 200 Chinese women were imported annually from 1887 until the beginning of the twentieth century” (314). The small numbers of women entering the province was in part due to exclusionary immigration policies such as the head tax, but as the authors of Jin Guo: Voices of Chinese Canadian Women (1992) explain, the reason also may have been rooted in the familial pressures exerted on women residing in China. “Some villages were supported entirely by the remittances sent by the family wage earners in North America. Thus, most of the women and children stayed behind to make sure that the men would continue to send money home” (17). For women who did come to Canada, the majority … came from the Pearl River Delta region of Guangdong province in Southern China. Women from this area have traditionally demonstrated an exceptional independence. The people of this region had been emigrating for centuries, mostly to Southeast Asia. So going overseas was an accepted practise and the strength of the family allowed villages to function in the absence of men. Women in Southern China have traditionally worked outside of the home, 38  demonstrating self-reliance by sowing and harvesting crops while the men were away (Women’s Book Committee Chinese Canadian National Council 1992, 18). It was primarily these women who were the concern of the matron and missionaries who ran the Home during its early years. During British Columbia’s transitional periods, however, Japanese ‘picture brides’ also became the subject of concern. Japanese ‘picture brides’ entered the province for many reasons. During the sojourner stage, which lasted until 1908, Ayukawa (2008) points out that the Japanese population residing in Canada was largely male. Those few Japanese women who also migrated had been brought to assist their husbands. In the second stage (1908–1924) “… women began arriving and in doing so launched the settlement stage in the history of Japanese in Canada” (Ayukawa, 2008, 35). Some of the women who arrived were educated and from wealthy families, while others came from poorer areas. While the motivations for coming to Canada were as diverse as were the women themselves, most were startled by the conditions that confronted them. “Many were taken directly to remote lumber camps, sawmill towns, fishing villages, and untamed farms in the Fraser Valley, the Okanagan and southern Alberta” (Ayukawa 2008, 46). For those who entered through Victoria, many were first shepherded by immigration officials to the Chinese Rescue Home, where they awaited their grooms. Although legally married, neither the province nor those who ran the Home recognized these marriages, at least initially. Thus, many participated in marriage ceremonies at the Home before they were allowed to leave. In these early decades, the province was already deeply invested in Japanese and Chinese women’s lives as they attempted to (re)enforce appropriate (white) forms of domesticity. Life in Victoria In 1871, British Columbia joined Canada in confederation. While Adele Perry (2001) aptly describes life in early British Columbia to be ‘on the edge of empire’, Victoria was located 39  on the outer edge, perhaps even the precipice of empire. During this period, she writes, building a white British Columbia was of primary concern in a province that was racially diverse and dominated by a resource-based economy (Perry 2001, 14). Thus, physical, economic, and moral development were important imperatives of this period. Pethick (1980) has termed 1886 to 1901 to be the ‘Jubilee Years’. In 1886, the Canadian Pacific Railway finally made its way to Victoria, bringing with it the promise of expansion and prosperity. Sharon Meen (1996) observes that a “small manufacturing base was established in and around Victoria, including tanneries, sash mills, a foundry, a soap factory, a shipyard, and a gas works” (111). This meant that in addition to a large underclass who were manual labourers, especially miners and fur traders, many of British Columbia’s wealthy elite also settled in Victoria. The result was a hierarchized and highly classed society. An “incredible amount of snobbery existed in early Victoria, and invariably it was directed toward ... those who worked ‘in service’; those who were of Chinese origin; those who came to Victoria to earn a living in the theatre, in dance halls, or in prostitution; and those who worked ‘in trade’” (Green 2000, 8). A local census for this period “showed 8,452 whites, 2,978 Chinese and 101 Indians in Victoria” (Pethick 1980, 110). Thus, it is not surprising that race in general and racial mixing in particular were of concern to Victoria’s white citizens, especially the elite. In 1878, for instance, Victoria’s representatives in the House of Commons “placed a motion on the order paper at Ottawa urging that ‘no person be employed on the Pacific railway in any capacity whose hair is more than five inches long’” (Pethick 1980, 91). Although these provisions were meant to exclude the Chinese, preventing them from taking white jobs, this recommendation was framed without explicit reference to race. While race and racism were sometimes implicit, other times they were much more explicit. In 1878, the provincial legislature proposed an annual tax of sixty dollars to be imposed on “all Chinese in the province” (92). In 40  Victoria, “the entire Chinese population … including house servants, went on strike simultaneously, and soon afterwards Judge Gray of the BC Supreme Court pronounced the law unconstitutional” (Pethick 1980, 92). The ‘striking’ of Chinese house servants would likely have had the most significant impact on the domestic lives of white women in the province. Living in Victoria during these early years was especially challenging for women, irrespective of race and class. For those who were wealthy, challenges included finding suitable help in the home, and the lack of availability of help due to immigration and employment restrictions meant that many upper class women were forced to take on domestic work that they would not have performed had help been more readily available. The lack of and need for white women during this period has been well-documented by Green (2000) and Perry (1997, 2001). Both have shown how poor white women from England were brought in on so-called ‘bride ships’ in order to change the racial configuration of settler society. The importation of these women was thought to be adding respectability to the province by supplying wives to single men and bringing a population that could serve wealthier families who were otherwise dependent on Aboriginal women or Chinese men to work as domestic help. Despite the importation of white women to act as domestic help, and notwithstanding the training of young Chinese women to do the same, even wealthy and middle-class women lived very demanding lives. Many, in the absence of a full staff, had to oversee the running of large homes in a city where wealth and prestige continued to matter. Some of these women were also involved extensively in charity work and in the suffrage movement. During the early 1900s, women’s organizations in Vancouver and Victoria had far-reaching objectives in social reform. These included hospital auxiliaries, nursing, charitable societies, and other “good causes” (Cramer 1992, 59). One such charitable society that occupied Victoria women was the Chinese Rescue Home. 41  Geographies of the Home Evidence shows that early missions to Chinese populations began in 1861 (Knowles 1995, 59). North American churches had a long history of missionary work in Japan and China (Gagan 1992; Pascoe 1990; Rutherdale 2003). Thus, for many missionaries, Japanese and Chinese immigration to Canada did not mark their first contact with these populations. In British Columbia, the extension of this missionary work to immigrants from Japan and China was a natural progression. In the US context, Peggy Pascoe (1990) has argued that Chinese rescue missions in San Francisco developed out of the desire by women who were supporting projects in Shanghai to develop a project closer to home (13). In British Columbia the same was likely true, as ‘home mission work’ that was once reserved for Native populations was soon broadened to include first Chinese and later, Japanese populations (Gagan 1992). While not all churches (or church members) welcomed these ‘foreigners’ into their midst, some churches opened their doors to Japanese and Chinese parishioners, while others helped to build churches for their communities and ‘ministered’ to them through missions, rescue homes, home bible study, or English language classes (Rutherdale 2003). Located in the heart of Victoria, the Chinese Rescue Home was meant to offer a space where Chinese and later Japanese women could be accepted and transformed through white missionaries’ interventions. Originally the women were temporarily housed in the homes of their ‘rescuers’, but given that the two founders of the Home were men, this was only a temporary measure. Soon, a matron was hired and a home rented for the women. All of the structures that were to house these women were located outside of Chinatown but in close proximity to it, on the border between Chinatown and white business and residential communities. These locations were likely chosen because of the ease of access to Chinese women and the respectability and security of being close to the white community. By the time the work of the Home began, in 42  1886, Chinatown comprised two full city blocks, between Store Street and Government Street and between Herald Street and Cormorant Street (see Map 1 below). The original location of the Home is just outside of this map area and is marked on Map 2. The ambivalent location of the Home is noteworthy, as it was always situated in between white and Chinese settlements, this geographical reality greatly affecting both its mission and its role in Victoria.  Map 1: Victoria Fire Insurance Map 1891 (viHistory 2006) By 1909, when the Woman’s Missionary Society (WMS) were building the new Home, Chinatown had grown to almost double its size in 1891, to include the adjacent blocks between Government and Douglas Streets. As fire insurance plans from 1885 and 1891 show, although much of Chinatown was confined to these two (and later four) blocks, racial boundaries were 43  certainly not distinct ( 2006). In 1891, for instance, Chinese businesses and houses spilled onto the block east of Government Street, separated from white institutions such as the Masonic Hall only by a thin strip of grazing land. North of Herald Street was a mixture of businesses and residential, housing a wagon shop, an iron works, the Indian Methodist Church, as well as cabins marked off as either “Chinese” or “Chinese and Indian Cabins” (viHistory 2006). While the 1901 Census showed the Chinese and Japanese population to be 2,978, Japanese made up only 287 of this total (BC GenWeb 2009). Thus, it is not surprising that Japanese and Chinese lived in close proximity. Although widely referenced as ‘Chinatown,’ this area included buildings that were marked off as Chinese laundries and in between was a large building marked ‘Japanese.’ These buildings were separated on the map by a thin dotted line from a community called Chatham Terrace, which was most likely comprised of Victoria’s white citizens (See Map 2, especially the area North of Herald Street, on the East side of Government Street).  The Home (1886–1898)  Map 2: Victoria's Chinatown: Land Utilization 1909 (BC Archives 2010)  44  Located in the heart of the downtown area of Victoria, Chinatown was almost unavoidable, and in many ways, it became a crucial part of the city. Chinese businesses included laundry services, cigar making, groceries, and restaurants. Maps, such as the one above, show that land use was determined in racialized ways. The location of the Home, for example, was strategically placed. The first site of the Home was on the north side of Herald Street (see area indicated by arrow on Map 2), an area outside of the boundaries of Chinatown, but in close proximity to it. However, from the late 1890s until it closed in 1942, the Home was located in the area marked by the circle on Map 2, east of Douglas Street on Cormorant Street. This area was located near Chinatown, but was outside of its boundaries. In fact, less than a block from the Home, on Cormorant and Douglas Street were City Hall, the public library, and the Commercial Hotel. Although the Methodist Mission Church was positioned in the heart of Chinatown on Fisgard Street, the Home was not—an indication that the male-dominated Chinatown was considered dangerous for white women. Further, given that the Home was modeled after Victorian domestic spaces, this necessitated spaces outside of the male-dominated environs which made up Victoria’s Chinatown. White Women and the Home After it was taken on as a project by the Woman’s Missionary Society (WMS), the Home’s day to day running was maintained by a matron, who was eventually assisted by teachers and other helpers as the Home grew and its population expanded. Other women were involved in an advisory capacity, chairing and sitting in on monthly meetings, making decisions on finances,  45  seeking legal advice, testifying in court cases, assessing applications for new residents, seeing to the Home’s maintenance, and later constructing a new building for the Home. Advisory Committee members were generally women from well-known, often wealthy families. For instance, Mrs. W.J. Pendray5 held the position of president of the Advisory Committee for many years. Her husband founded and built an empire by producing soap in Victoria (Humphreys 2010). According to the British Colonist, Mr. and Mrs. Pendray, both originally from Cornwall, England, moved into their “palatial” home, complete with electric fountain and elaborate ceiling scrollwork, in March of 1897.6 Likewise, Mrs. Emma Spencer, who sat on the Advisory Board for many years and served as its president in 1905, was well connected in Victoria high society circles, with her husband, David Spencer, having “extensive retailing interests” in Victoria (Gregson 1970, 55). While most of the women on the advisory board were listed only by their surnames (Mrs. Shakespeake, Mrs. Grant, Mrs. Adams, Mrs. Burkholder, and Mrs. Smith, for instance) many of the names represented were associated with prominent families in Victoria. For instance, Noah Shakespeare and John Grant were both mayors of Victoria in the 1880s; A.J. Smith held the position of Victoria Councillor; and Mr. W.H. Burkholder was a candidate for school board trustee (City of Victoria 2010). Likely, few of these women would have taken on paid employment. Instead, they took on responsibilities of the domestic realm, in their own homes and through their participation in the affairs of the Chinese  5  While not unproblematic, here and throughout this dissertation I will use names as they appear in the records. The use of titles and the presence or absence of first names, are indicative of the time period in which these records were written. These are reflective of gendered and racialized practices during this period and are retained in order to maintain historical integrity. 6  “A Palatial Home: Mr. W. J .Pendray's Stately New Residence and Some of the Features of Its Decoration”The British Colonist, March 14, 1897, p. 5.  46  Rescue Home. Unlike the women of the advisory committee, most of the matrons of the Home were supplied by the General Board of the Woman’s Missionary Society. This meant that most arrived in Victoria from Eastern Canada or in a few cases where women missionaries were on furlough, from Japan and China (Gagan 1992, 170). Thus, while some had experience working with Asian populations, most did not. During the period of 1886–1925, the WMS supplied eighteen missionaries to the Home. While none had university training, “five women had considerable teaching experience and others had engaged in social or philanthropic activities” (Gagan 1992, 171). Most were middle aged, the average age of the matrons being thirty-seven, “possibly because the board preferred mature women for this particular type of work, which involved contact with the more sordid side of life” (Gagan 1992, 171). Finding younger women to accept the position may also have been more challenging given that the work in the Home was difficult and, in the early years, solitary. During the first four years, the WMS supplied only one woman, Annie Leake, to the Home. While Miss Leake creatively drew on friends for help, much of the time she was left to her own devices, unable to leave the Home unless she could find someone to stay with the girls or women in her care (Whiteley 1999, 68). After Miss Leake’s tenure, it was more common for the Home to employ two women, a matron and an evangelist (the evangelist was later replaced by a teacher or teachers). That the work was difficult was evinced by the fact that only one matron, Ida Snyder, agreed to a second term overseeing the Home. Although they were trained and supplied by the same organization, each matron brought her own approach and personality to the position. Miss  47  Leake was described by many as militant and independent (Gagan 1992, Whiteley 1999). Her five years at the Home were anything but smooth. On one occasion, Miss Leake was publically accused of abuse7 and on two occasions she came under criticism by the Board for her conflicts with John Gardiner, one of the founders of the Home. She was asked to take her furlough at the end of her five-year term, and subsequently resigned (Whiteley 1999, 69). Although there is very little information in the Home’s files about these women, we can gain insights into them from the reports they filed. For instance, Miss Bowes, who served as matron in the Home from 2 September 1895 to December 1898, signed her reports as ‘Home Mother’ rather than ‘Matron’ as the women who previously filled this post had done. Clearly, she was embracing metaphors of home and family. Prior to her tenure at the Home, she was an avid organizer for the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), travelling around British Columbia setting up branches in various towns and cities.8 Miss F. Kate Morgan, on the other hand, who started as a teacher in the school and was appointed as matron in 1899, signed her reports more formally, as “Superintendent of Work”.9 Miss Morgan’s less amiable salutation might be seen as reflective of her greater suspicion of Chinese populations, for which there is clear documentation. She strongly opposed unrestricted immigration, testifying at the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration in 1901 that she believed they were “all a menace to the public from their ways of  7  See my discussion of the Menzies case in Chapter Five.  8  Various reports in the British Colonist during 1894 describe her work in Victoria, Vancouver, and Nanaimo, for instance.  9  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1898-1899. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p.lxxxviii.  48  living, [and] the way they herd together.” 10 She was slightly more generous toward Japanese women, stating that “I think the women of Japan are superior. There is no slavery in Japan.”11 She quickly followed this, however, with a condemnation of Japanese polygamy, then proclaiming that she “would not trust a young brother or sister in the custody of a Chinese or Japanese.”12 Of the eighteen women who served as matron in the Home between 1886 and 1923,13 some left missionary work after their tenure at the Home, some due to illness and others to marry. Others continued on with their missionary work in other locations and until they retired from the field (Gagan 1992). Despite its geographical location in Victoria, the reach of the work done in the Chinese Rescue Home extended beyond the capital city. Much of the mission work done by the WMS in Vancouver, in fact, began as rescue missions aimed at Chinese and later Japanese women who were subsequently brought to the Home in Victoria. Additionally, letters and reports of the rescue mission were also sent with relative frequency to WMS groups in Eastern Canada, and to the General Board of the Woman’s Missionary Society in Ottawa which oversaw and funded much of this work. Although this was a localized project and a domestic one, the work that was done in Victoria contributed significantly to how race and gender were constructed both provincially and  10  “Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration”, Sessional Paper No. 54, Session 1902, Ottawa: Printed by Order of Parliament by S.E. Dawson, Printer to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty. p. 38. 11  Ibid.  12  Ibid.  13  The following were listed in the Advisory Board minutes as ‘Matron’ or had filed matron reports which were published in the annual reports of the WMS: Annie Leake 1888–1893, Miss Morrow, 1892–1895, Miss Bowes, 1895–1898, Miss Ferguson, 1899 (January–June), Miss F. Kate Morgan, 1898–1901, Mrs. Ida Snyder, 1902–1910, Maggie Smith, 1911–1919, and Annie Martin 1920–1923. Note: Names appear here as written in the original documents.  49  nationally, especially in relation to missionary work. For instance, even the commissioners overseeing the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration in 1901–1902 turned to the matron of the school for her expert opinion on Chinese and Japanese populations.14 This commission is discussed in more detail in Chapter Three. The relationships within the Home must be understood within broader relations of racialized and gendered power that were operating in and that underpinned the creation of Victoria. Power, here, operated in a myriad of ways. First, the Home as a domestic space increased white women’s power spatially within white society as it extended outside of the private realm. Second, power functioned productively to define not only the Other but also whiteness itself.15 The self-interests of white women as well as their deployment of racial discourse was varied and mired in ambiguity. While the self-interests of the white dominant group in British Columbia were arguably to exclude certain racialized groups such as the Chinese and Japanese, which many successfully did, here, the interests of white missionary women were served through the inclusion, or at least partial inclusion of these same populations. Their investment in rescuing Japanese and Chinese women and children lauded them a certain degree of power and prestige as benevolent works were viewed as evidence of moral superiority, but also as a mark of higher social and economic class. Within the Home itself, white women utilized their relatively privileged positions as part  14  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee,” March 1901, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 15  For more on the relational nature of race, see, “Race Prejudice as a Sense of Group Position,” (Blumer 1958, 4) and Black Skin, White Masks (Fanon 1967).  50  of Victoria’s elite to ‘rescue’ Japanese and Chinese women and to transform them through Christian conversion and domestic training. White women used their privilege as capital which they ‘invested’ in charity or benevolent work but which also offered returns in other forms of prestige and power. This was an investment that took the form of both time and money. The work that they accomplished not only reflected their privilege, because they could afford to have others fulfil their own domestic duties, but reinforced existing hierarchies of power, thus ensuring the hierarchy’s maintenance. Not surprisingly, given that the WMS was committed to mission work, the records are filled with discourses of Christian charity and benevolence. However, this benevolence often manifested in ways which, although motivated by discourses of inclusion, especially inclusion into the ‘family of God’, reinforced and reified existing hierarchies of race by marking off whiteness as superior. These women utilized their white privilege to gain entry into the homes of Japanese and Chinese women under the guise of evangelistic missions. Here, the domestic realm was opened to white women, not as an intimate familial space, but as an evangelical one. Entering homes was useful not only for advancing the evangelistic work that these women were committed to doing, but also for ‘recruiting’ new residents for the Chinese Rescue Home. In reports to the various WMS Advisory Committees in both Vancouver and Victoria, home visits, whether welcomed or not, were seen as markers of evangelical success. In addition to home visits, workers in the Home encouraged women to come into the Home by offering English lessons and  51  by admitting women whose husbands requested that they learn service skills or ‘English ways.’16 In Vancouver, the WMS sponsored cooking classes for Japanese and Chinese women as a way to ingratiate themselves with the women in these communities.17 The assumptions held by white women were that ‘English ways’ of cooking and cleaning in particular, and of white domesticity in general, were superior to those practiced by Japanese and Chinese women, and that the women who took these classes would also feel compelled to learn other important lessons, specifically religious ones. For Japanese and Chinese women, however, taking these classes had less to do with their belief in the superiority of English cooking and more to do with opportunities to learn skills that might benefit them materially—opening up opportunities for other types of work, such as cooking or service work. These types of recruitment strategies suggest that the WMS also engaged in benevolent practises that were aimed at encouraging voluntary admittance to the Home. Yet, these more ‘empowering’ strategies, it must be remembered, coincided with maternalistic and repressive tactics directed at less cooperative ‘inmates’. It was quite common for reports and records to refer to the residents of the Home as inmates, despite the emphasis on free will, for instance. ‘Inmates’ of the Home Within the Home, inmates were not afforded the autonomy that white women claimed for themselves. As in society at large, both race and gender determined who was deemed fit to make  16  “Oriental Home Register”, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives). 17  “Minutes from the Advisory Committee of Japanese (Oriental) Missions,” July 1919, Methodist Church BC Conference fonds, 1908–1923, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives).  52  choices, and to what extent their free will was allowed to reign. While documents often referred to a resident’s choice to be in the Home, those who entered the Home did so under a wide range of conditions. While some were recruited by the WMS women and thus came voluntarily, others were coerced. The power of Home officials to make choices for and to deny choices of the residents functioned at multiple levels. As Foucault (2003) points out, “[w]hat makes power hold good, what makes it accepted, is simply the fact that it doesn’t only weigh on us as a force that says no; it also traverses and produces things, it induces pleasure, forms knowledge, produces discourse” (308). Admission and recruitment worked through both coercion and benevolence, producing the desire for domestic betterment among Chinese and Japanese women. These new desires were based on western cultural standards of acceptable femininity and domesticity. In the Home, race functioned ambivalently as a discourse and practice of benevolence. Those who ran the Chinese Rescue Home relied on common sense definitions of race when admitting women, although definitions of race were not always straightforward. Despite that the women of the WMS believed that Japanese and Chinese women could be saved, a sentiment not shared by many whites in the province, the fact that they saw these women as in need of moral and spiritual salvation was evidence of their own beliefs in white superiority. Further, understandings of race contributed to the infantilization of Japanese and Chinese women and justified coercive and paternalistic strategies. Although the goal of racial betterment was viewed as a practice in benevolence, this often required force or coercion until the required transformation could take place. Understanding the types of women that were admitted to the Home, by whom, and under what circumstances, is important for three reasons. First, understanding who was admitted and who was refused entry provides insight into how race operated, both with respect to its limits and its possibilities. While Japanese and Chinese women, as well as mixed raced children were 53  admitted to the Home, there was some concern about admitting a ‘Hindu’ (this descriptor was a euphemism for Indian) woman to the Home, for instance. Second, knowing who brought the women to the Home provides context for understanding not only relations of gender, but also the relationships between state agencies and the Home. While the Home was run by women, many of the women who were admitted to it were brought there by men: some of these men were family members, some clergy, and others were state officials. Lastly, understanding the circumstances under which women entered the Home provides context for understanding the relationship between the Home, the community, and the state. If, as I argue, some of the women did not enter the Home voluntarily, the relationships and practices that were forged in the Home must be understood within a broader racialized and gendered context than that of missionary and convert. While there was a myriad of reasons why women and children were admitted to the Home, the one main criterion for admittance was racial difference. The name of the Home itself, first called the Chinese Rescue Home and later the Oriental Home and School, suggests that the race of the residents mattered. Although some white women did stay at the home temporarily, this was rare and was usually limited to female missionaries who were in need of a place to stay during their travels, or workers in the Home who required a place of domicile. Race, although significant, did not always function in narrow or biologically prescribed ways. Mixed-race children were also admitted to the Home, suggesting that while race mattered, racial ‘purity’ did not. While it is impossible to know for sure how many mixed-race children or women gained  54  admittance to the Home, the Home register makes explicit reference to three children who were of mixed-race parentage. Emily18 was described as having an ‘Indian’ mother and a Chinese father,19 while in a second case, a six year old girl was described as half Irish with a Japanese father.20 In the third case, a child was admitted with her mother, Mrs. Lim,21 who was described as being Swiss. What these cases suggest is that while race was important when it came to admission, in the case of mixed-race children or women, race functioned in ambivalent ways. The presence of these individuals in the Home suggests that they were seen as ‘Oriental’ enough to gain admittance. Yet, the fact that these distinctions were made in the record books at all suggests that racial hybridity mattered. It was not enough to allow them admittance based on their ‘Oriental-ness’. Their ‘Indian-ness’ or ‘Irish-ness’ or their ‘Swiss-ness’ needed identification in admission documents. References to hybridity were, thus, a critical part of record books and suggested not the superiority of whiteness but its vulnerabilities in a racially diverse city. The admittance of Mrs. Lim, the Swiss mother mentioned above is, thus, worthy of some discussion. One of the few white women who stayed in the school, Mrs. Lim was married to a “Chinaman.”22 The Home register book explains that her husband had a first wife in China,  18  Emily is a pseudonym. Names not associated with public records have been changed to ensure anonymity.  19  “Record 40,” Oriental Home Register and Biog. 1888–1908, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives), p. 16. 20  “Record 204,”Oriental Home Register, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives). 21  Mrs. Lim is a pseudonym. Names not associated with public records have been changed to ensure anonymity.  22  “Record 145,” Oriental Home Register, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives).  55  which, in addition to her ailing health, may have been a reason for her admittance. The WMS Report in 1906–1907 explained that Mrs. Lim “was in very poor health, but she finally decided to return to her husband in Vancouver. She is a Swiss woman who married a Chinese man, and the unfortunate circumstance is that he also had a wife in China.”23 After their initial stay in 1906, her daughter returned three years later and lived in the Home for a seven-month period. Both mother and daughter returned again in 1932, staying for almost a year. It is clear from this case that racial criteria for admittance did not always function in simple and straightforward ways. The Lim’s residence in what was then the Chinese Rescue Home suggests that for those who regulated admission, mixed-race children and a white woman who married a Chinese man could not be considered ‘white’. Although many cases were brought before the board before the women in question were allowed admission as residents, the case of the Swiss woman was handled by the matron alone. This suggests that either admitting a white woman was viewed as less dangerous or that it was simply accepted by virtue of her marriage to a ‘Chinaman’ that she could also be considered Chinese by association. Another possibility was that her mixed-race daughter was considered to be Chinese and thus gained them both admission. However, this seems less likely, as many children were admitted without their mothers. While racial difference was certainly an important consideration for the admittance of women and children to the Home, how they were admitted was also significant. According to  23  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1907–1908. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. xciii.  56  admission records, early residents of the Home were often spirited away24 through pretence or subterfuge from their lives of slavery or prostitution. This work was accomplished mostly by John Gardiner and Reverend Starr, the founders of the Home, and with the help of ‘friendly Chinamen.’ This trend of women being ‘spirited’ into the Home was one that continued over the years. However, the list of men who brought women and children to the Home broadened to include police officers, Canadian and American immigration officials, officials from the Japanese Consul, doctors, husbands, and fathers. In all of these cases, it was the domesticity of the Home that likely made it such an attractive and appropriate option. Husbands and fathers, thus, routinely sent their wives and daughters to receive training or obtain shelter in the Home. Records from the Home show that in the first fifteen years, of the seventy-three women who were listed in the register, forty-seven were Chinese women and twenty-six were Japanese women. Clearly, the name Chinese Rescue Home was not an accurate descriptor, but it remained the official name until 1909, hinting that authorities invested little in formally distinguishing Japanese from Chinese women. Of these cases, there were fourteen whose admission records were ambiguous as to their reason for admission. Of the remaining fifty-nine, forty-seven were brought into the Home by men, three brought forward by a man and woman team, three were brought in by women alone and the remainder (nine) admitted themselves to the Home (see Table 1). For many of the women admitted into the Home, it was clear that they may have had little choice. While it cannot be assumed that they were unwilling or that they did not participate  24  J.E. Starr to E.S. Strachan, September 1887, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives).  57  in the decision, the decision was usually not solely their own, as many were admitted by men. Even for those women who entered voluntarily, their choices in such a hostile climate were very limited. Leaving their own homes, whether they were escaping abusive ‘owners,’ husbands, fathers, or a life of prostitution, opened the risk of deportation. Thus, even for many of those who entered ‘voluntarily,’ their choices were severely constrained and the Home was one of the few places that they could turn. Admittance by:  Unspecified Male or Maleinvolved  Number of Residents 14  47  Female Only  Self  Total  3  9  74  For the period 1886–190125 Table 1: Admissions to Chinese Rescue Home, 1886–1901 For Chinese women, all but one were placed in the Home either as a result of a ‘rescue’ or were described as fleeing from lives of slavery or prostitution. Of the twenty-six Japanese women who were registered in the Home during this fifteen-year period, the reasons for admittance varied considerably. Four were placed in the Home due to their suspected involvement or vulnerability to becoming involved in prostitution. Two were sent by a doctor so that they could receive treatment in the Home. Ten were placed in the Home due to familyrelated issues such as poverty or the absence of a husband or father due to work-related travel. A further six women were admitted or admitted themselves for educational reasons, the most  25  “Oriental Home Record Book and Register, 1886–1929,” Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives), p. 21.  58  common being to learn English (see Table 2). Although the reasons differed significantly for their admission, the majority of the girls and women were admitted either through compulsion or at the very least, through the influence of another person, usually a man. This is particularly significant for Japanese women in the years that followed these early admissions, as immigration officials began placing many more Japanese women in the Home. After 1909, the focus shifted away from rescue and toward education, especially English language and domestic training. Not only was how women entered the Home important, but so too was how they were categorized. Reason for Prostitution FamilyAdmission or Slavery related Chinese 46 Japanese 4 10 Total 50 10 26 For the period of 1886–1901  Education Medical  6 6  2 2  Other 1 4 5  Total 47 26 73  Table 2: Reason for Admission to Chinese Rescue Home, 1886–1901 Although race was used as a descriptive category in the Home register, it was not a prominent discourse within other Home documents. However, there are a number of points that need to be made about how race operated as an organizational category which served to legitimize the power of white men and women over ‘Oriental’ women and children. Religious missions such as the Home can be understood as interventions meant to alleviate a threat to social order (Asad 1993, 45). The Home’s mandate was to order race and racial bodies. Although white women certainly engaged in evangelical missions to other white women, the degree to which they could utilize their power to constrain these women was considerably less than was  26  “Oriental Home Record Book and Register, 1896–1914,” Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives), p. 21.  59  the case in the Home. For instance, in one case Chinese community members objected to the confinement of two ‘slave girls’ in the Home. According to the matron’s report, when threatened with legal proceedings, they simply “told them we did not bear expenses alone, and mentioned the names of our Advisory Board.”27 The advisory board were clearly thought to be powerful in the community, but this declaration was not enough to discourage these Chinese community members. The Chinese men and women from whom these girls and women were ‘spirited away’ did not simply bend to the pressure that these women exerted. However, the advisory board was able to convince the lawyer representing this group of Chinese not to take on the case. Thus, as this case and court records show, even when the seizure of women was contested by Chinese men, both in and out of the courts, white women’s authority usually held fast. White women were involved in many types of benevolent work, yet racial hierarchies guaranteed that greater control was exerted over racialized populations than over other populations. This control depended not only on racial hierarchies, but on the exploitation of ambiguities of race. On the one hand, there was a seemingly egalitarian doctrine of brotherhood and sisterhood, which was meant to erase race. On the other hand, was the assumption of racial superiority, that the “Anglo-Saxon ‘race’ was … much more capable of controlling their instincts than other races” and therefore any “moral regulation brought to bear on these [other races] would have to be external and coercive” (Valverde 1991, 105). Moral regulation included a number of different lessons, which were applied with varying levels of force and coercion. That  27  Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1902–1903. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. lxxxiv.  60  the moral lessons which were ‘brought to bear’ on Japanese and Chinese women who resided in the Home arose out of concerns with their sexuality ties in to common racial assumptions at the time that associated Asian women with sexual excess. Although many reasons existed for women to enter the Home, the control that white women exerted over them often took the form of control over the body, sometimes even through physical constraint. Barbed wires on fences and locks on windows and doors indicated that the ‘inmates’ at least occasionally required physical constraint.28 This concern with the body was often deemed protective (for instance, the workers were protecting women’s bodies from the threat of sexual exploitation), but also took the form of coercion or constraint. Despite the fact that the women’s sexuality held such a prominent place in the work done in the Home, control over these women was not limited to moral instruction around sexuality. When the WMS took control of the Home in 1888, five of the ‘girls’ who were in the Home were adult women, over the age of 21. All of these residents were considered ‘rescued’ or had run away from lives of slavery or prostitution. Although for many of the women, their age was not indicated in the Home register, most can be assumed to have been adults. For instance, in most of these cases the residents were women who travelled to Canada alone, and were married or widowed. Despite that most residents were adults, this did not diminish the control that was exerted by white women—there was a reason they were colloquially referenced as ‘inmates’ of the institution. That the women who ran the Home fought for guardianship of children left in the  28  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee,” November, 1898, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896– 1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives.  61  Home is not surprising, given the responsibility that they bore for their care. However, it was not possible to gain legal guardianship of the adults in the same way. Their authority over these women in many cases was legitimated through their placement there by men, who did have some form of legal control or social authority over them, as husband, father, or immigration official. The women of the WMS often viewed these women as dependents, thus justifying their maternalistic role. The spatial representation of the Home as a domestic space further legitimized maternalistic roles. The treatment of the women in the Home was based on racial and religious assumptions which held, first that the Anglo-Saxon race was superior, and second that maturation for inferior races could only happen through Christian instruction. The infantalization of these women through discourses of mother and child, meant, therefore, that not only were the residents in the Home expected to follow the rules of conduct set out by the Home ‘mother’ or matron; they were also expected to give over their very autonomy in crucial decision-making processes. Portrayed as a benevolent work and as a sanctuary for victims, the Home, by acting as parens patriae,29 also took on a distinctly paternalistic30 dimension. Meaning ‘parent of the nation’ or ‘parent of the country,’ this doctrine was used to justify the state’s interventions into the family in cases of abuse. The state’s role as benevolent parent was mimicked by those who ran the Home. Here, however, I argue that the Home took on this role, not only over children, but  29  See Chapter Seven for a discussion of the courts use of this doctrine as it was applied in the courts.  30  Although the Home was run by women and thus the term ‘maternalistic’ might seem more appropriate, the connotations associated with maternalism and motherhood fall short of the mark here. The spirit of paternalism, as it has been applied to men’s power and authority over both children and adult women, seems more appropriate here.  62  over adult women as well. This treatment of women as children meant that freedoms that would normally be associated with adulthood were not afforded to women in the Home. In this way, the Home functioned paternalistically, both in the protective sense of the word and the disciplinary one. The women who ran the Home prided themselves on freeing the women they saved from lives of prostitution and slavery, although, arguably, some saved themselves by running away from their ‘masters’ or ‘mistresses’, sometimes in the dead of night with nothing but the clothes on their backs. However, once liberated from these conditions, the women were subjected to a different type of ‘master’ and to new rules and regulations. This in itself was not necessarily problematic, as voluntary compliance with rules was an expectation of all institutions. However, the line between voluntary compliance and coercion was not always clear cut at the Home. While isolation and incarceration were not formally recognized objectives of the Home, a number of incidents and events highlight the use of coercion and constraint in the Home. First, courts, police, and immigration officials placed women and children in the Home, thus calling into question the voluntary nature of at least some residents’ stays. Second, reviewing records and minutes, there were multiple references to inmates ‘running away,’ ‘escaping.’ and ‘slipping out’ of the Home. Third, physical measures were taken to secure the Home and the women within it. Even those who entered the Home of their own accord did not always find leaving easy. The records do not reveal whether residents were required to stay for any set length of time, only that stays in the Home were described as voluntary. Certainly, garnering support for the Home  63  would have been difficult if it came to light that many of the women did not wish to be rescued or that once in the Home, the types of lessons being taught were not welcome. The following examples from Home records are a clear indication that, for some at least, Christian transformation was not as welcome as the WMS often suggested. In August of 1897, Elsie31, a sixteen-year-old woman, was rescued from Vancouver by police and brought to the Home. Despite the fact that this case was described as a ‘rescue,’ Elsie did not easily adapt to her new life in the Home. In the following year Elsie was reported to have ‘run away’ from the Home on three different occasions. Despite the considerable effort that the WMS exerted on her behalf, including fighting for legal custody of her and filing a subsequent appeal, Elsie continued to run away. When she grew tired of her ‘freedom’ she would send a message to the matron of the Home, who would, upon the promise of better behaviour, come and retrieve her and bring her ‘home.’ While it was not always clear where Elsie went or why she left, she was at least on one occasion “harboured by ‘Laura’s’ husband” under circumstances that the WMS deemed ‘peculiar’32 This story belies common narratives that positioned Chinese women and girls as virtual prisoners of Chinese masters or mistresses. Elsie, while rescued by police from her ‘master’, ran at least on one occasion, to another woman’s Home, suggesting that she had ties to this woman, her husband or both, prior to her entry into the Home. These were ties that were discouraged once the women were in the Home, as evinced by later Advisory Board minutes.  31  Elsie is a name given to Quai Shing by those who ran the Home. Her case is one of four analyzed in Chapter Six.  32  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee,” March 1899, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives.  64  When ‘Laura’ sought entry into the Home, the Advisory Committee advised that given her and her husband’s involvement in harbouring Elsie, “it was thought best not to permit her to come, except on very short visits.”33 Thus, this case shows that although it was clearly not an easy task to keep the women in the Home, the advisory committee used whatever tactics possible to have them returned or to prevent other escapes, including severing their ties to their communities and relying on police involvement or that of other officials to bring the fleeing women back into the fold. In yet another case, a Japanese woman was placed in the Home by her husband “to remain [for] one year.”34 For Japanese men, the Home offered a way to dispose of or discipline errant wives. While the records only show that she was placed in the Home by her husband for what was to be a one-year period, during which he would pay the Home for her board, it is likely that he placed her there due to his suspicions of infidelity. The woman, however, was able to use the Home as a means of escape. According to the Home register, the woman subsequently escaped three weeks later, from a window and with the help of a man who had “before twice decoyed her from her husband.”35 It is clear that whatever the agendas of the women of the WMS, Japanese men and women had their own motives for using the Home. Dealing with these many motives meant that the women who ran the Home had to keep tight reins on those who stayed within its walls. This is evidenced by the lengths to which women needed to go in order to  33  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee,” March, 1899, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 34  “Record 72,” Oriental Home Register and Biog. 1888-1908, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives), p. 30. 35  Ibid.  65  leave. Had this woman been permitted the freedom to come and go as she pleased, there would have been no need to escape through a window. Clearly, some women entered the Home out of choice and were likely aware of the rules that would be applied against their movements. But what these examples show is that women were not free to leave of their own accord, which raises important questions about voluntary admissions and the basis of consent. There were other indications that suggested residence in the Home was not based on the consent of the women involved. For instance, in November 1898, the Advisory Committee passed a motion to “replace the fence and put two or three strands of barbed wire on the top to prevent the girls escaping.”36 In January of the following year, it was reported to the Board that the fences were repaired, as were the doors and locks.37 This emphasis on security and on preventing escape is suggestive of the carceral nature of the Home. It is also evidence that the women and girls who stayed there did not readily comply with the wishes of those who ran the Home. Moreover, the women who ran the Home were not above using coercive measures to either obtain or retain their residents. In May 1908, the Advisory committee was “called together to consider the receiving of [two young girls] into the Home. … [The mother] came to the Chinese Home bringing with her the eldest and youngest daughters [aged fourteen and four] and asked permission to leave them saying she could manage the other two at home. She promised to  36  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee,” November 1898, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896– 1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 37  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee,” January 1899, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896– 1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives.  66  pay for their board if possible at the rate of $50 each per year.”38 It was only after the woman signed a paper agreeing that, should she be unable to pay the board, she would leave the girls to help in the Home for two years after they “had attained the age of 14,” that the Advisory Committee agreed to receive the two girls into the Home.39 Here, the women did not consider the rights of the girls to consent to these measures. Instead, they imposed a possible two-year sentence of labour (help in the Home) upon them. Despite signing the contract, however, the woman came back one year later and removed her children from the Home without interference. Clearly, the Home functioned on more than rescue alone. The assumptions that motivated this work were clearly evangelistic, but evangelistic motivations do not provide an explanation for why such extreme measures were often necessary to constrain the residents of the Home. Drawing from the work of Uday Mehta, Bashford and Strange (2003) posit that isolation and other exclusionary practices were motivated by the conflicting rationales of “[p]rotection, punishment, prevention, cure, correction, restoration, and purification” (6). Many of these rationales certainly underwrote the interventions that took place in the Home. Rescue work was designed to protect Chinese and Japanese women from the evils of prostitution and slavery. Further, it had the added benefit of also protecting vulnerable white populations. As Bashford and Strange (2003) contend, “forced isolation … was implemented both to protect the confined and to provide protection from the confined” (6). Additionally, as one record book labelled “Bad  38  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee,” May 1908, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 39  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee,” May 1908, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives.  67  Women” suggests, the Home also had a distinctly punitive function which necessitated the distinction between vulnerable victims, reformable women, and ‘bad women.’ Further, Home registers show many women were admitted into the Home as a means to prevent them from falling into prostitution. For instance, one record states that the woman in question “came into the home to escape going to San Francisco into an immoral life.”40 While these types of records may suggest that those who ran the Home acted to prevent immorality by participating in ‘confinement-as-prevention,’41 it may also suggest that many of the women and children were in fact put into the Home because they were viewed as potentially dangerous.42 What I am suggesting is that Japanese and Chinese women and children were viewed as posing a potential threat to the social fabric and therefore this danger or threat had to be stemmed. While it is true that some of the women and girls that were rescued were living as prostitutes or slaves, this was certainly not the case for all or even most of the residents. Given that Japanese and Chinese women and children came to the Home for many different reasons, only the commonality of racial difference has explanatory power for understanding the perceived threat that these women and children posed. Here, ideas of ‘Oriental’ excess or deviance marked Japanese and Chinese bodies off as potentially dangerous. Thus, even those women who came to learn English or domestic service skills were subjected to moral scrutiny.  40  “Record 47,” Oriental Home Record Book and Register, 1886–1929, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives), p. 21 41  For more on confinement as prevention, see Alison Bashford and Carolyn Strange, “Isolation and exclusion in the modern world: an introductory essay” in Carolyn Strange and Alison Bashford eds. Isolation: Places and Practices of Exclusion, New York: Routledge, 2003, p. 7. 42  Bashford and Strange (2003) make clear that by “the twentieth century, an array of legally mandated exclusionary practices classified and contained not only the bad, the sick and the mad but those deemed racially inferior, the intellectually unfit and, importantly, the potentially dangerous” (3).  68  Some women came into the Home because of the threat of domestic violence, while a few Japanese women were placed in the Home by the Japanese Consul with only the explanation that they “needed the help and training of the Home.”43 Others were placed in the Home by immigration until it could be determined if they were to be allowed to stay in the country. Usually they were released only after they were married in the Home, or deported back to Japan. Other women were accepted into the Home at the request of husbands or brothers, either for educational purposes or because of the danger of possible or perceived immorality. All of these women were seen as potentially dangerous, some by virtue of their ignorance, but most were viewed as sexual or moral threats. This threat was best addressed through domestic interventions, Christian conversion, or, in some instances, through legal marriage. Sometimes, however, training, conversion, and marriage were not deemed to be sufficient forms of regulation. According to the Home’s register, one woman was deported after being married in the Home because she was thought to be “living a doubtful life,”44 likely, because it was suspected that she was sexually promiscuous or unfaithful to her husband. Some children were also placed in the Home because of the danger that their mothers were thought to pose to them. For instance, several children were admitted by fathers under the rationale that the mother was ‘bad,’ thereby putting the children at risk to also become ‘bad.’ The assumption was that if left to their own devices, Chinese and Japanese women were potential  43  “Record 42 and 43,” Oriental Home Record Book and Register, 1886–1929, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives), p. 19. 44  “Record 191,” Oriental Home Record Book and Register, 1886–1929, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives), p. 67  69  (sexual) threats not only to themselves, but also to their children and to wider society.45 In her study of the Chinese rescue mission in San Francisco, Pascoe (1990) found that mission workers ignored evidence that some Chinese women entered prostitution knowingly, preferring to believe they were “powerless victims of evil men” (53). However, the records of the Chinese Rescue Home, are more ambivalent than what Pascoe (1990) reports. While the ‘victim’ discourse was a common one, so too was that of the ‘bad woman.’ Descriptions of the ‘bad woman’ or ‘bad mother’ were evident both in lists kept of these types of women, but also in the descriptions of those who refused help or ran away. The links between proper domesticity and morality were evident in that ‘improper’ sexuality was often equated with the inability to properly mother. The Home, in some ways, parallels the sanatoriums that Alison Bashford (2003) discusses in “Cultures of confinement: Tuberculosis, isolation and the sanatorium.” In the sanatorium, those confined were both infected patients and carriers—those who were infected and suffered from the ailment, but also those who showed no sign of disease. Like the sanatorium, the Home confined both the dangerous prostitute and the potentially dangerous women—the morally and sexually ‘fallen’ but also those who were deemed by courts, police, husbands, or immigration agents to be at risk of becoming prostitutes. This risk was not simply the risk that a prostitute posed to herself, but also the risk she posed to the wider community and the nation. Therefore, like tuberculosis, immorality was viewed as a disease. The danger of contagion, for instance a ‘bad’ or immoral mother, was enough of a risk to justify confinement or isolation of contagion.  45  In the following Chapter, I discuss how prostitution was seen as a risk not only to the women who were viewed as victims of this trade, but also to white men as well.  70  Once in the Home, the women and children underwent treatment or inoculation against immorality, not through medical interventions, but through religious and domestic ones. The disease of immorality was associated with so-called ‘inferior races’ but was understood as treatable through the transformative powers of the Christian faith coupled with domestic training of the body. As one of the Home’s journal entries explained, the residents were brought to church each Sunday and a “morning worship opened the school” each day.46 Here, “correction, restoration and purification” (Bashford and Strange 2003, 6) were central goals of the matrons. Even the mentally ill were thought curable through the religious ministrations of those who ran the Home. In the minutes of December 1913, for instance, the advisory committee described what they called a “great case” in which “a girl … had been brought down from Chilliwack suffering from some mental trouble, [and] we decided to keep her for a few months in order to do her good and reclaim her.”47 Clearly, Christianity was deemed an antidote to the gendered and raced threats that Japanese and Chinese women were seen to pose. This spiritual antidote was paired with physical domestic training to further inoculate these women against future immoral behaviour. Conclusion In this chapter, my goal has been to provide the historical foundations for this dissertation, as well as to provide some organizational context for the Home. By providing a  46  Oriental Home Register and Biog. 1888–1908, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives). 47  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, December, 1913, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896– 1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives.  71  brief history of Japanese and Chinese immigration, I have highlighted the ways in which immigration policy provided the bedrock upon which the Home was built. Given the Home’s location, I have also provided some of the historical and geographical context which dictated not only where the Home would stand, but who would build it and inhabit it. Geography alone does not sufficiently explain the power relations that took place in the Home. Thus, I have also provided a brief overview of the Home’s objectives: how (and by whom) Japanese and Chinese women were admitted and how they were received once admitted. Having laid the historical and geographical foundation for this dissertation, Chapter Three interrogates the gendered, national, and global discourses of domesticity and delinquency that legitimized and grounded the work of the WMS. These discourses would eventually become the pillars upon which the Home would rely for strength and support.  72  Chapter Three: Pillars of Domesticity and the ‘Chinese Problem’ A free people will never be constituted or held together by any iron band. They must be held together by something that is powerful enough to assimilate and purify and elevate and unify all those discordant elements that may come within its range. (Lemuel Moss, Baptist minister, cited in Chang 2004, 137) In the opening chapter, I argued that discourses of domesticity and the domestic realm were enmeshed in the relations and the regulatory practices within the Home. In this chapter, I ask how and why the nation was invested in this work and question the underlying discourses that made it possible. I use the term ‘domestic’ in two ways. Drawing on two Royal Commissions, and a letter written by Reverend John Edward Starr, one of the founders of the Home, I first use the term to make connections between state concerns and religious ones. The chapter begins with a brief overview and analysis of the two Royal Commissions to highlight the perceived domestic delinquency of Chinese and Japanese men and women. Here, I use the term domestic to think about nation as a domestic space that is juxtaposed against the foreign bodies of Chinese and Japanese women. Both the Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration (1885) and the Royal Commission to Investigate Chinese and Japanese Immigration into British Columbia (1900) investigated concerns raised by white community members about Japanese and Chinese populations, the threat they were seen to pose to the (white) nation, as well as the growing hostility towards them. The Report on the 1885 commission was 731 pages and included testimony from many of Victoria’s clergy and missionaries. The report of the second commission was 430 pages and, like its predecessor, included transcripts of evidence taken during a two-and-a-half month inquiry. Although these commissions have received a great deal of scholarly attention (See Mawani 2009; Roy, 1989), they form the backdrop for my analysis and provide some crucial context to an intriguing proposition sent by Starr to Mrs. E.S. Strachan, president of the Woman’s Missionary Society (WMS). 73  Second, I use the term ‘domestic’ as a way of engaging with the letter that Starr wrote to the WMS. Here, Starr asked the society to take control over the Chinese Rescue Home. Throughout this letter, Starr highlights what I refer to as the ‘four pillars’ of the Home. These pillars were religion, nation, whiteness, and gender. These pillars provided strength and support for the Home. Starr’s elucidation of the goals of the Home provides entry into how the same discourses that were prevalent in the Royal Commissions also came to inform the moral regulation of racialized bodies. Within the Home, these pillars were tethered together by domesticity. Thus, I examine how those who ran the Home were keen to transform the lives of domestically delinquent Chinese and Japanese women through religious imperatives that would allow them to be assimilated into the ‘family of God,’ and in some cases, the nation itself. Gender played an important role in defining these goals and in prescribing who should carry them through. Although the Home had initially been the vision of two men, Reverend Starr and John Gardiner, it was crucial that women fulfilled the promise of this work. Thus, the women of the WMS were the ones who ultimately defined the ‘moral citizen’ and applied this definition in both an evaluative and a regulatory way upon Chinese and Japanese women’s bodies. Thus, the very subjects who were framed by the Royal Commissions as domestically delinquent were to be domesticated within the domestic realm of the home and the nation. Reading these three documents in tandem thus allows for connections to be drawn between global discourses, national imperatives, and local practices. Domestic Delinquents In Drawing the Global Colour Line, Marilyn Lake and Henry Reynolds (2008) contend that the “nineteenth century was the great age of global mobility” (23). They explain that “[a]lthough the freedom to ‘dwell in any country’ was … a privilege increasingly reserved for whites, more than 50 million Chinese embarked for new lands in these decades, an equal number 74  of Europeans and about 30 million Indians” (23). In their ground-breaking book, Lake and Reynolds (2008) explore how ‘white men’s countries’ were created through the “transnational circulation of emotions and ideas, people and publications, racial knowledge, and technologies” (4). While their goal is to track this transnational circulation and movement of racial discourses, this chapter focuses on their sedimentations and settlings. The types of racial discourses that appeared in the Royal Commissions, for example, dealt with ‘foreign’ bodies, both within Canada and beyond it. The distinction between foreign bodies and domestic ones is important, as Lake and Reynolds (2008) remind us. ‘White men’s countries’ were created not only by barring ‘foreign’ bodies, but by defining them as foreign. Assimilability was a question of whether the foreign could be made domestic (23). In the two Royal Commissions, there was considerable disagreement on how to deal with foreign bodies. However, many agreed that Chinese and Japanese populations were inassimilable. Writing about Orientalist discourses, Edward Said (1978), explains that “texts can create not only knowledge but also the very reality that they appear to describe” (94). The reality that racial knowledges produced or created was constructed in relation not only to national imaginaries but also global ones. The Chinese Rescue Home was built on and engaged with similar national and global questions of moral character to those found in the Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration and the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration. This section will examine how domestic compatibility was measured through national and global discourses of race. The first commission, the Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration (1885) drew extensively on discourses of ‘racial problems’ such as the ‘Chinese problem,’ which were transported from other national jurisdictions. The second, the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration (1900) drew on similar discourses. However, there was considerable ambivalence as to whether Canada should allow continued immigration 75  from China and Japan. Two rationales underwrote support for their continued entry. First, it was argued that ‘foreign’ bodies should be allowed entry into Canada so that white missionaries could continue to enter ‘foreign’ lands. Second, ‘foreign’ bodies were deemed acceptable within domestic borders under certain conditions, none of which included assimilation into white society. Even those who supported Chinese and Japanese immigration to Canada did not support their assimilation, as evidenced by the two Royal Commissions discussed here. Commissions of Inquiry have recently become an object of social, historical, and legal investigation. As Mawani (2009) argues, Royal Commissions were part of “legal-knowledge production and of juridical power” (26), identifying Chinese as internal and external enemies. Writing on the problem of Chinese prostitution, Mawani (2009) explains that, by 1914, “prostitution had been newly conceptualized as a racial threat that was both internal and external to the settler regime. … The biopolitcal concerns of the colonial state became increasingly fixated on the (foreign) yet internal enemies” (109, emphasis in original). Chinese prostitutes were framed as domestic insurgents and as domestically delinquent. The foreignness of these internal enemies was borne out in the approach adopted by the Royal Commission in 1885. Here, the ‘Chinese problem’ was framed as a national problem, one that Canada was forced to deal with, but one whose origins were to be found outside of the nation. In fact, although the first three considerations of the 1885 Royal Commission were concerned with social and trade relations in British Columbia, concerns that were of a global nature, the fourth and final consideration is illuminating as it related to “the moral considerations which arise out of the  76  residence and contact of the white people with Chinese here and elsewhere.”48 These moral considerations, especially as they related to the ‘residence’ of Chinese, centered on their perceived assimilability. If they could not be assimilated, the Commissioners argued, the Chinese must be dealt with in such a way that would not obstruct the work of missionaries who travelled abroad. In the Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration, the Chinese were defined as both a national and global problem. As the preface to the 1885 Royal Commission indicates, commissioners consulted with governments and witnesses from across the world. During “the enquiry at San Francisco in 1876, evidence was taken respecting the Chinese immigrant in all parts of the world from San Francisco to Melbourne; the subject literally surveyed ‘from China to Peru;’ and the Commission of the Canadian Commissioners called for all information attainable respecting it.”49 This commission was quite clear that the ‘Chinese Problem’ was not solely a Canadian one, but one that spanned the globe. As Lake and Reynolds (2008) observe in their discussion of Chinese migration, “[n]ineteenth-century migration created new identities and new ways of being in the world. Opponents of Chinese migration forged a sense of transnational community, identifying white men under siege, men whose sovereign right of self-government was threatened, not just by the Chinese, but by distant metropolitan centres of power” (28). Given their presumed similarities, the ‘Chinese problem’ in the United States was to serve as a model and prescription for Canada, “for the present of California may prove the likeness of the future of British  48  “Report on the Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration report and evidence” Printed by order of the Commission, 1885.p. vii. Emphasis mine. 49  Ibid. p. 1–2.  77  Columbia.”50 The United States was, thus, a model that was often referenced in both Royal Commissions, as well as in missionary literature. The response of the US to Chinese immigration was seen both as a series of mistakes that needed to be avoided as well as a model to emulate. The distinction between a domestic problem and a foreign one was blurred for although Chinese were viewed as racial problems within Canada, they were also viewed as a problem that spanned the globe. That Chinese bodies were problems even in China is evidenced by both the discussion of Chinese ‘character’ and by discourses that maintained that it was the duty of whites to improve the moral character of these problem subjects. The 1885 Royal Commission contained a large section which described in detail the “character of the Chinese in China.”51 Especially relevant here were discussions of Chinese women as victims of the tyrannical ‘Chinaman’. Here, the Commission argued that the ‘Chinese Problem’ was not a uniquely Canadian one, but was transplanted or imported. According to the Commission, “The position of women in China is deplorable; the oppression of the system of concubinage… is so great that affianced maidens have committed suicide to save themselves from marriage with its tyrannies and jealousies. … They can be discarded; sold; and made the slaves of keepers of houses of prostitution.”52 Although it was in March 1887 that the plight of Chinese girls and women was first brought to the attention of the readers of The Missionary Outlook, a publication of the Methodist Church of  50  Ibid. p. xi.  51  “Report on the Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration report and evidence” Printed by order of the Commission, 1885.p. xxxix. 52  “Report on the Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration report and evidence” Printed by order of the Commission, 1885.p. liii.  78  Canada, it is clear that the 1885 Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration had already anticipated that such a problem would eventually emerge. In fact, their report seemed to foreshadow the circumstances that led to the eventual publication of this story. The commissioners had warned the Canadian government that the “Chinese are the only people coming to the continent the great bulk of whose women are prostitutes (sic).”53According to the Royal Commission, the “evidence is that Chinese prostitutes are more shameless than white women who follow the same pursuit, as though the former had been educated for it from the cradle.”54 The innate immorality of Chinese women was especially evident in mothers, who ensured even their children’s immorality. Focused on San Francisco, the Royal Commission framed Chinese prostitutes as threats to white populations both in terms of disease and their corruption of “little boys.” 55 Women were clearly a concern to the commission, not only because of their supposed immorality and domestic delinquency and their lack of conformity to white standards, but also because of the threats that they posed to the sexual propriety of white families and homes. Although Chinese women’s bodies constituted a problem within the nation, a larger problem was believed to exist outside of the nation. The state was concerned with foreign bodies within the nation and with facilitating a more global moral suasion. The globality of the Chinese problem arose in a different context in the 1902 Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration. Discussing the ‘moral and religious aspects’ of immigration, the Commissioners  53  Ibid.  54  Ibid.  55  Ibid.  79  drew on testimony from a number of witnesses belonging to the Christian community, including ministers from the Presbyterian, Anglican, Methodist and Baptist churches in Vancouver and Victoria as well as from a teacher at the Chinese Rescue Home. The Commission found that “the ministers and clergy… with very few exceptions were opposed to further immigration of Chinese or Japanese labourers.”56 Given that most of these men and the sole woman were interviewed precisely because of their long histories working with Chinese men and sometimes women, this was somewhat surprising. What is most interesting, however, was not their rejection of would-be Chinese and Japanese immigrants, but the ways in which the discussion was framed around global issues of white mobility and dominance. Here, the concerns with borders were not limited to those who could be admitted, but also centered on the free movement of white bodies. Thus, the moral issue of refusing entry to Chinese or Japanese immigrants stemmed not from questions of racial exclusion, but from how missionaries could then justify their own excursions into China and/or Japan. After going on record to say that “as a matter of self-preservation some steps ought to be taken immediately to limit their coming or to prohibit them altogether,”57 Rev. W. Leslie Clay, minister of the Presbyterian Church in Victoria, was questioned by the Commissioners in the following way: Q. Would not the whole race be much better off if the Chinese were left alone and kept within their own walls in China? – A. I do not see how we could keep them within their own walls and seek to enter within those walls ourselves. …  56  Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration : session 1902. Ottawa : Printed by S.E. Dawson, 1902. p. 22. 57  Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration : session 1902. Ottawa : Printed by S.E. Dawson, 1902. p. 23.  80  Q. Would they not be justified in asking us to leave them alone when we exclude them? – A. I think they would. Q. Would it be desirable in the interests of the white race to have the Chinese remain within their own walls and have no intercourse with the white people in any shape or form? – A. No, I do not think that would be desirable. I do not think we would be working for the best interests of the world at large in adopting that course. Q. I should like to know how you can reconcile the one thing with the other; that is how you can expect to go into China unless in justice you should allow them to come into your country. – A. Certainly. I say we cannot stop them coming in when we wish to go into their country. I have suggested that the whole matter might be arranged by a treaty between the two Empires; that the number of labourers passing from one country to the other should be limited to a certain number in each year.58 Here Clay’s testimony illustrates that the issue of Chinese immigration was an issue that had to be considered not only in terms of domestic interests, but also global ones. Clay’s suggestion that limits be placed on immigration in both directions was framed as one of justice and fairness. However, this suggestion was also firmly entrenched in classed and raced assumptions. The Chinese labourers who were to enter Canada from China were clearly of a different sort than the white labourers who were proposed to enter China from Canada. In both cases, the Chinese were framed as a population in need; in the case of Chinese immigrants, this population was in need of moral and economic sustenance in the West, and in the case of Chinese nationals the need was for spiritual nourishment from the West. Thus, the policing of borders was tightly bound up with concerns regarding global racial dominance and white superiority, concerns which were also prevalent, although on a smaller scale, in the Home. The testimony of Reverend Elliot Sproule Rowe, a Methodist minister in Victoria, who  58  Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration : session 1902. Ottawa : Printed by S.E. Dawson, 1902. p. 24.  81  advocated the prohibition of Chinese immigration, also focused on global concerns. When asked: “Do you think having regard to the same amount of labour expended that you are any more likely to get converts here than in China?” Rowe responded, “I think there is as much chance of converting the Chinese in China as there is for converting them in Victoria.”59 Thus, if Chinese could be easily converted in China, there could be no reason to allow them entry into the country. Bishop Perrin of Victoria took a similarly global approach to the issue. While he did not advocate outright prohibition of Chinese immigration, he explained that he thought “the present immigration [was] … not a desirable one for the country, because they are not the best representatives of the race.”60 Here, the issue of immigration was framed not only as a racial problem, but a class one as well. However, he did contend that, “we have a distinct mission to go to China because our religion is the universal religion. If they are here we have a duty to perform. The majority of white people are higher in morality than the Chinese.”61 Equating whiteness and Christianity with morality served to set the Chinese population apart as immoral and in need of white intervention. As Joseph Henning (2000) has argued in his discussion of Japanese mission work, “the only alternative to Christian missions was perpetual heathenism. These beliefs gave purpose and power to the missionaries. They, and they alone, had been chosen; only they could convert and civilize the heathen” (Henning 2000, 40). Both Rowe and Bishop did not wish to lose contact between China and Canada, but contended that it was  59  Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration : session 1902. Ottawa : Printed by S.E. Dawson, 1902. p. 25. 60  Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration : session 1902. Ottawa : Printed by S.E. Dawson, 1902. p. 27. 61  Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration : session 1902. Ottawa : Printed by S.E. Dawson, 1902. p. 26.  82  Canada who must breach the border between the two nations for the moral betterment of China. Although this was an opinion that was shared by many clergy, for those who worked with Chinese in Canada, the global possibilities of home missions were, in fact, important considerations of their work. While it was clear that many of the clergy felt that they had a global obligation with regards to the conversion of non-Christian peoples, this global obligation did not prevent them from viewing Chinese immigration as a problem. Even Miss F. Kate Morgan, a teacher and evangelist in the Chinese Rescue Home, agreed. “I don’t think immigration unrestricted is advisable. It is not so to the Chinese, and I know it is bad for the country. From what I know of Oriental character, I think better Christian teachers can be made in China than here.”62 Again, recommendations to limit Chinese immigration were linked to something in the character of Chinese immigrants which dictated that they were better left in China. That Miss Morgan continued to work in the Home, however, suggests that Chinese women might have been viewed as more amenable to domestic interventions. Reverend Canon Beanlands of Victoria, although he did not oppose immigration, had a similar view. However, while he believed that more success might be found in converting Chinese populations in China, he did not oppose their coming to Canada, and in fact advocated a very distinct type of immigration. Like Miss Morgan, he was also concerned with the domestic realm. When asked if it was “in the interests of a country to have an immigration of her people here who will not assimilate”, Rev. Beanlands replied that it was, as he “should always like to see them as a servile class.”  62  Ibid. p. 38  83  Q. From which you could draw help? – A. Yes. Q. No intention of elevating? – A. I do not see it is our business in the least. Unlike Perrin and Rowe who saw it as a Christian duty to elevate the Chinese, at least in terms of their religious training, Beanlands was less concerned with this aspiration. But, when asked if he thought this servile class could go to heaven, Beanlands magnanimously replied “Oh, yes; we have no class distinction there.”63 That Chinese should be allowed in heaven clearly did not mean that they should be allowed full citizenship within Christian nations. These discussions were more than discursive interventions into how Chinese and Japanese populations were to be understood, but would eventually become part of the larger project which tested these claims upon their bodies. This larger project included limiting immigration in the case of Japanese immigrants and head taxes and outright prohibition in the case of Chinese (Miki 2004; Roy 1989; Ward 1990). It was not only the state who was implicated in these projects. As Taylor (2010) contends, the “state, though not the only agent of moral geography … sets the stage and the terms for competing or complementary actors” (307). The roles of the state, especially as they took the form of Royal Commissions, were crucial in shaping how the those who ran the Home and others outside of it worked as agents who contributed to the shaping of moral geographies. Pillars of Domesticity The first Royal Commission discussed here took place just two years before Reverend John Edward Starr wrote his September 1887 letter to the Woman’s Missionary Society (WMS)  63  Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration: session 1902. Ottawa : Printed by S.E. Dawson, 1902. p. 29.  84  requesting their help. Although the letter was signed by Starr, there was very little in the document that spoke directly to and of the author himself. Other sources, however, indicate that he was a Methodist minister, was married, had contributed financially to the Home, and had helped in the rescue of at least one girl who resided there by the time this document was written. His involvement in the founding of the Home was only the beginning of his advocacy work on behalf of children. According to Hogeveen (2007), Starr was appointed as the first commissioner of Toronto’s juvenile court in 1911. He describes Starr as “a large bodied man with a sympathetic heart who was a friend to all who knew him. Given the court’s mandate and the novel principles of social welfare inspired justice embedded in the JDA [Juvenile Delinquents Act], it is fitting that a minister would be appointed judge” (613). Although Starr would eventually become a representative of the state, prior to assuming this role he was “the pastor of the Berkeley Street Methodist Church. He had been interested in children’s work for most of his life. In addition to his pioneering efforts with organizing Toronto’s Children’s Aid Society, Starr was actively involved with the YMCA” (Hogeveen, 2007, 613). Intertwined throughout both Royal Commissions were discourses of religion, nationhood, and whiteness. Gender was also central to the discussion. These discourses became the pillars which shored up, strengthened and supported the Home. Although based on similar ideologies as those demonstrated in the Royal Commissions, in the Home, these discourses were tied together explicitly by a common element: domesticity. In the Royal Commission’s discussion of immigration, the nation was juxtaposed against the foreign threat, the ‘Chinese Problem.’ The nation was also one of Starr’s concerns, but for Starr, the juxtaposition of foreign and domestic could be bridged through processes of domestication. This domestication took whiteness as its model. Thus, although the Royal Commissions privileged whiteness as a basis for exclusion, the same privileging of whiteness in the Home became the standard for inclusion. In order for 85  Chinese, and later Japanese, women to embody whiteness, a (racial) transformation needed to first take place through religious conversion. Certainly, religious considerations were of paramount importance during the Royal Commissions, discussion revolving around the opening of borders to support evangelistic endeavours. Within the Home, Christian evangelism was also seen as a fundamental imperative, but this was an imperative which would begin within Canadian borders and which, at the same time, would challenge them. While many of those who were interviewed during the Royal Commissions did not view Chinese and Japanese as compatible with the nation, Starr believed that Chinese and Japanese women could be transformed through religious conversion. Thus, gender was an important consideration in the success of the Home. If Japanese and Chinese were viewed by the Royal Commissions as incompatible with the domestic, the Home had the corrective. Domestication was tied to gendered ideologies of proper domesticity which were instrumental in creating domestic citizens and thus, women were instrumental in this process. In what follows, I will provide examples from Starr’s letter and the Home’s records to draw connections between these pillars of domesticity and what often seemed like contrary discourses in the Royal Commissions. The National Pillar of Domesticity Just as the origins of the ‘Chinese problem’ became fodder for public debate, so too did potential remedies. While many, including a missionary who worked in the Home, called for the expulsion of Chinese prostitutes from the nation, others were committed to overseeing their redemption and transformation within the nation. As in the Royal Commissions, the nation was a theme that took on primary importance in defining the Home. Starr’s report highlighted two important assumptions that underpinned the founding and the maintenance of the Chinese Rescue Home. First, by locating the ‘Chinese Problem’ outside of the nation, his letter signalled the foreignness of this mission, despite its location in Victoria. Second, the letter suggested that 86  possible solutions to the Chinese problem included expulsion and/or transformation and domestication through the powers of God. The Home was posited as a site of transformation, not only to save the souls of this ‘heathen’ population, but also to domesticate their minds and bodies. These religious interventions would guarantee at least partial entry into the nation, for once domesticated, Chinese and Japanese women could presumably find spaces of belonging within the nation. The goals of the Home can provide insight into what it meant to be properly domestic, as the Chinese Rescue Home was seen as one solution to the problem of foreign bodies. Unlike some ‘home missions’ which were directed at white women or white communities (such as missions directed at the French or missions for ‘delinquent’ women), the Chinese Rescue Home addressed questions of foreignness. This particular mission work offered the women of the WMS an opportunity for cultural ‘travel’ and an engagement with Otherness without ever leaving home. Although the Chinese problem was conceived as a global one, the women of the WMS were afforded opportunities to deal with ‘foreigners’ within their own communities. The significance of foreignness was evident, for instance, in early reports of the WMS which initially included local work with Japanese and Chinese populations under the headings of “The Chinese Work” and “The Japanese Work”— headings which were previously reserved for work in Japan and China. It was not until 1902 that the reports listed this work under the heading “Chinese Work, British Columbia”.64 Often mission work undertaken with  64  “Twenty Second Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of The Methodist Church, Canada (1902-1903)”, Toronto: William Briggs, Methodist Book and Publishing House in the United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives).  87  Chinese and Japanese populations was sandwiched between ‘foreign’ work and ‘Home missions,’ which also included French and ‘Indian’ (First Nations) populations. Given that the Home was located in Victoria, missionaries did not constitute it as ‘foreign.’ Yet, they did not initially view the Home as a home mission, as its focus was directed at a ‘foreign’ population. In other words, the Home occupied another ambivalent space between the national and the domestic. Starr’s letter also provided ample evidence that Chinese women who were housed there were viewed as inherently ‘foreign.’ Unlike the Royal Commissions, however, he expressed some ambivalence as to their perceived inassimilability. In the Home, discourses of the ‘domestic,’ as both home and nation and as opposed to the foreign were intertwined. In her discussion of antebellum America, Amy Kaplan (1998) makes the argument that “the domestic has a double meaning that not only links the familial household to the nation but also imagines both in opposition to everything outside the geographic and conceptual border of the home” (581, emphasis in original). Here, Kaplan (1998) contends that the domestic, in both senses of the word, was defined against foreignness, in particular against “racial demarcations of otherness” (582). However, the Home was a much more ambivalent domestic space. While the Home defined itself in opposition to foreignness, it also housed the very foreignness that it defined itself in opposition to. In order to address this contradiction, Chinese and Japanese women were required to undergo processes of ‘domestication,’ which were deemed possible only through the transformative powers of God. Domestication, according to Kaplan (1998) “is related to the imperial project of civilizing, and the conditions of domesticity often become markers that distinguish civilization from savagery” (582). Kaplan argues that in addition to demarcating the foreign from the domestic, the home also “contains within itself those wild and foreign elements that must be 88  tamed” (582). Civilizing the ‘savage’ and making the foreign body into a domestic one meant engaging processes of assimilation. While many argued that Chinese and Japanese were not assimilable, once in the domestic realm these processes of assimilation had to be engaged. In some cases, the success or failure of these processes was used to determine whether Chinese and Japanese women would be allowed to stay in Canada. Their suitability was determined, not by Canada’s willingness to accommodate foreign bodies, but through assessments of whether these bodies could successfully be transformed into domestic subjects. Japanese and Chinese women in the Home were evaluated on their domestic (national) compatibility through assessments of their willingness to embody familial domesticity. Successful transformations did not guarantee that the women could, or even should, stay within the nation’s borders, however. An important goal of the Home, according to Starr, was to “train and educate such of these girls as evince an aptitude for the work to become Bible Women among the Chinese Women either here or in China.”65 Here, Starr focused on the important role that Chinese ‘Bible Women’ might hold both in their home communities and in China. The journey from prostitute to Christian missionary, in this case, was not a journey toward domestic citizenship. It was clear that these new Christian missionaries would take a circuitous and global journey which would return them to their communities in China and Japan, albeit in new form. There was no question of them evangelizing in white communities. Despite their transformation, Chinese women could only evangelize in ‘foreign’ (as measured against whiteness) fields. While the ability to perform missionary work was evidence that the transformation of the Chinese prostitute was complete,  65  J.E. Starr to E.S. Strachan, September 1887, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives).  89  Chinese women could never aspire to the moral authority afforded to white women within the nation. The initial transformation of the Chinese prostitute or slave girl was only possible through the interventions of white men and women, including Starr and the WMS. The suggestion that Chinese and Japanese women could now be trusted to take on this important evangelical work (albeit in a limited way) was clear evidence of their acceptance into the ‘sisterhood’ of God, if not always into the nation. Invisibility of Race: Whiteness as the Second Pillar The privileging of whiteness was evident not only in the Royal Commissions, but in the segregation of Victoria as well. That the Home, which openly promoted cross-racial contact, was able to exist in such a racially and economically divided Victoria was not due to a weakening of white privilege, but was, rather, a direct result of it. Certainly, the Home was a site where the everyday regulations of race were suspended, at least partially. But, cross-racial contact was only tolerated so that Chinese and Japanese women could be remade into the white image. Therefore, the work of the Home demanded an understanding of the malleability of race. Although prostitution and slavery were framed as gendered and racial problems associated with Chinese women and with their domestic delinquency, in the documents and reports of the Home race rarely appeared in obvious or straightforward ways. While it could be argued that the actions of the WMS originated in racist beliefs about Chinese and Japanese populations as inferior and in need of saving, direct and explicit references to race were uncommon. Very rarely were Chinese and Japanese women explicitly described as racially inferior to whites. Yet the absence of these discourses did not mean that race was absent from the work that female missionaries did in the Home. While in the Royal Commissions, race was seen as an immutable category and thus justified claims that Chinese and Japanese populations were 90  foreign and incapable of assimilation, the work of the WMS was concerned primarily with their domestication and inclusion in the ‘family of God.’ One tactic to deal with this incommensurability was to claim that race did not matter in God’s family. At the same time, religious missions arose out of beliefs in the cultural and religious inferiority of other ‘races.’ Therefore, the work of missionaries was shot through with fundamental tensions that appeared as they sought to subvert, transform, and reify race. Writing of the American Baptist Home Mission Society (ABHMS), Derek Chang (2004) argues that “Even as movements toward segregation, disfranchisement, and exclusion called on a somatic, or biological definition of race to demarcate the boundaries of citizenship, … the ABHMS articulated an alternative vision of the nation in which Christianity stood as the primary standard for inclusion” (134-135). Inclusion, however, did not mean an outright dismissal of discourses of difference. As Chang explains: Although missionaries rejected the growing movement toward restriction and exclusion, they often found themselves caught in a process that required the delineation of social and religious hierarchies. Conversion was predicated on the ‘inevitably pejorative nature of missionary constructions of heathenism’ at the core of evangelical calls for social and religious uplift and transformation. The emphasis on difference threatened ultimately to undermine missionaries’ more egalitarian aims (135). Although the focus shifted away from discourses of race, home missionary discourse on racial questions focused around changeable social or cultural factors (138). Thus, biological racial discourses were seldom or overtly employed. Yet differences from whiteness demanded a transformation in order to be resolved, so missionary work continued to reinforce racial difference (141), with biological understandings of race manifesting as a focus on cultural behaviours (see also Stoler 2002). If cultural behaviours could be transformed or reformed, then racial inferiority, while it 91  would not and perhaps could not be fully erased, could at least be somewhat ameliorated. Cultural differences, as racial differences, were mobilized to mark the inferiority of Chinese and Japanese women. For Chang (2004), who draws on the work of Ann Laura Stoler (1992), “[c]ultural attributions—provide the observable conduits, the indexes of psychological propensities and moral susceptibilities seen to shape which individuals are suitable for inclusion in the national community” (139). While the term ‘cultural difference’ did not appear verbatim in the documents I studied, it was clear that missionaries preferred this type of distinction that focused on ‘culture and environment’ to distinctions of biological racial difference. For instance, Reverend Alexander Brown Winchester, in his testimony to the Royal Commission, explained that making comparisons between Chinese and whites was difficult to do, because any differences were due to different moral standards and to the conditions under which they were expected to survive in British Columbia, especially the “isolation and social ostracism”66 that they faced. Further, he explained that the superiority of Chinese immigrants in Toronto to those on the West Coast was due largely to their better treatment by white society.67 In other words, moral superiority was, for him, determined environmentally. It was, however, largely measured against white, western standards. That white women were chosen as the racial model to emulate was an assumption of unquestioned and Eurocentric privilege (see Pascoe 1990; Singh 2000). Even when Chinese or  66  Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration: session 1902. Ottawa : Printed by S.E. Dawson, 1902. p. 36. 67  Report of the Royal Commission on Chinese and Japanese Immigration: session 1902. Ottawa : Printed by S.E. Dawson, 1902. p. 37.  92  Japanese women went on to careers as missionaries, this was seen as simply a continuation of the original work that white men and women oversaw. Japanese and Chinese women, thus, were characterized as a new generation of missionaries. In this way, the work of white women might be seen as simply an extension of their reproductive labour; here they produced a new generation, not of white children, but of Christ’s children. It was their whiteness that guaranteed their fitness to be the mothers of the nation. It was this whiteness which was to be the model to emulate within the Home. Even in its earliest incarnation, transformations were already evident within the Home. The changes in the residents were initially described as physical transformations. Dressing the girls in European clothing was one of Starr’s earliest suggestions to the WMS. According to Starr, the women’s clothing had been exchanged for donated ‘European’ clothes. Their physical masquerade, then, as white women was the first step in their moral and cultural domestication. The girls in the San Francisco Chinese Rescue Home, he reported, were not dressed in European clothes. Starr insisted that not only did the girls in the Home prefer these clothes, but it was also cheaper and had the added benefit of producing invisibility and disguise. Thus, for Starr, race seemed to be easily transformed through the adoption of western clothing. When Mr. Gardner “took them the other day thro (sic) The City for a row on ‘Th Arm’ … their own people did not recognize them in their European clothes,” he wrote.68 Thus, the goal of physical transformation had two important effects. First, the transformation of these women moved them closer to white  68  J.E. Starr to E.S. Strachan, September 1887, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives).  93  domesticity through their emulation of it, and secondly, it had the effect of severing them from their former selves and their former lives. If they could no longer be recognized, they could not easily return to the ‘foreignness’ of the Chinese community. Western clothing became a tool of domestication, marking the boundaries not only between the foreign and domestic, but, as will be argued in the next chapter, between the domain of female domesticity and the predominantly male public realm. The privileging of whiteness was also apparent in another way. The first goal of the Home that Starr revealed in his letter was concerned with how the Home would protect the white community from the corrupt influences of Chinese men. This goal was to strike at the economic system which supported slavery and prostitution and was aimed at bankrupting the procurers (or procuresses) and Highbinders69 who subjected these girls to such conditions. This was accomplished by removing the source of their income, their slaves and their prostitutes. Starr explained that the “[c]ash value of the girls we have now in the home to their procurers, is over $10,000.00.” 70 ‘Rescuing’ the girls did not only reduce the cash flow that procurers made through the prostitution of these girls, but also depleted their inventory. Starr’s initial focus on the effects as they were felt outside of the Home was an indication that the most important goal of the Home was to rid white Victoria of the racial threat that Chinese posed. That Chinese women might be transformed into national citizens was a by-product of this process.  69  This allegedly criminal organization, according to the 1885 Royal Commission, was particularly sinister, as it “would be disposed to aid the law, protects the keepers of brothels, and undertakes, it is said, for money, assassinations” (Report on the Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration report and evidence” Printed by order of the Commission, 1885. p. lxxxii). 70  J.E. Starr to E.S. Strachan, September 1887, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives).  94  Global Transformations: Christianity as the Third Pillar While the privileging of whiteness was the grounds for racial transformation, Christianity was the tool for ensuring the success of such a transformation. With the second goal Starr shifted his attention away from economic matters and directed it instead to religious ones. Here, he focused on the transformations that had already taken place in the Chinese women and girls in the Home. According to Starr, “In their habits they are clean—in their tastes even refined and quick to learn alike household duties and the English language” and their gratitude “is enough to wring tears from a stone.”71 Although their movement to the Home was crucial for this process to begin, the changes were brought about not through a change in geography, but through religion and, as Starr’s focus on ‘household duties’ suggests, through domestic training as well. Here, it was Christian love that was believed to hold the potential for change, while training solidified it. The Chinese, and later Japanese, were seen by missionaries as assimilable only through Christian faith. Only once Japanese and Chinese women had embraced Christianity could they enter into the ‘family of God’ and become part of the nation as domestic citizens. Religious language of brotherhood (and sisterhood)72 was prevalent throughout Starr’s letter. On the third page, Starr referred to the rescued girls as “Christ’s sisters and mine”, the following page he referred to them as “our Almondeyed (sic) sisters”, and in the final paragraph, he appealed to the WMS in the following way: “The god who is Your father and the father also of your yelloskinned (sic) sisters guide you in your deliberations upon this new pressing work,  71  Ibid.  72  These familial metaphors will be taken up more fully in the next chapter.  95  stimulate your faith and nerve you to sturdier efforts and grander endeavors on behalf of Heathen Womandom.”73 Although two of these three instances referenced race in describing their new ‘sisters’, it was clear that once in the Home, the transformation of these Chinese women and girls from ‘heathen’ to ‘sister’ meant a religious transformation from foreign to domestic. It was only through religious conversion that the racialized body could become transformable, controllable, and easily subjected to moral regulation. Without moral regulation, there would be no way for these women to enter into the family of God or the nation. While the change that was to take place was a spiritual one, the physical transformation was important, as changes to the body meant that the body was then more amenable to its place in the ‘family of God.’ True sisterhood was only possible once both physical training and spiritual conversion were complete. Much like a pet is ‘domesticated’ into the family home through physical training, the foreign body here, was made domestic through physical, religious, and spiritual training. As one might expect, the second goal of the Home was to Christianize and convert the girls who were rescued. This goal highlighted an important and sometimes contentious issue, and that was the issue of consent and free will. Central to the transformation was the girls’ desire to be converted. According to Starr’s letter, “they are all anxious to hear about Jesus.”74 Christian conversion and Godly transformation, then, had to be desired by the subject and was not something that could be imposed. With their desire assured, the field had been readied and now the transformation was simply a matter of the planting the seeds.  73  J.E. Starr to E.S. Strachan, September 1887, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives). 74  J.E. Starr to E.S. Strachan, September 1887, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives).  96  The Christian metaphor of sowing seeds, which would later bear the fruits of one’s labour, was a common one. In the 1923–1924 report, for instance, the Home matron referred to the Home as “part of the Master’s vineyard.”75 This metaphor also appeared in the minutes of both the WMS in Vancouver and in Victoria. In the context of a domestic and familial space, this metaphor took on distinctly sexual undertones, as women planted the (male) seed of Christianity into the passive and receptive (female) bodies of Japanese and Chinese women. The WMS vigilantly watched for signs that their ‘seeds’ had borne fruit. The seed here, of course, was Christianity, the soil the mission field generally and Japanese and Chinese bodies in particular, and the fruit, new Christian subjects. Further, the planting of seeds was seen as only the beginning of a process, whereby the eventual fruits of their labour would themselves plant seeds which would in turn bear fruit. In this way, the work of the Home became, in a sense, global. The seeds that they planted were expected to bear fruit and reseed not only the Chinese and Japanese communities in Victoria and British Columbia, but also in China and Japan. Another poignant example of the harvest metaphor was found in an obituary published in 1898, a clipping of which was found in the Home Register, 1888–1908. The clipping began with the following: “There is always something especially interesting in the first flowers, first-fruits of any season. But when the Master walks in his garden, and selects from among those he has given us to tend, how our hearts thrill and our heads bow in worship and wonder! Christ has  75  Forty Third Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1923–1924. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p.cxx.  97  chosen Daisy from among the ‘Chinese girls’ in Victoria”76 Here, the mission field was represented as a garden which white women had been chosen to tend, and the young woman, Daisy and the other Chinese girls, as the fruits (or flowers) of their labour. Thus, even the name ‘Daisy’ which had been given to the girl by an agent of the Home was significant. This language was an indication that white women considered themselves to be authorized by God to tend to and cultivate these Chinese ‘girls.’ Once the seeds of Christianity were planted, evaluation would become one of the goals of the Home. As alluded to earlier, this evaluation was, in many instances, legitimized and required by the state, especially where the state had been instrumental in the placement of Japanese and Chinese women in the Home. Here, candidacy for citizenship (social, if not legal) was measured through two of the ‘sacred performances’ of religion which were of great concern to the women of the WMS. These included baptism and Christian marriage. Baptism, perhaps one of the most prominent symbolic metaphors of transformation in the Christian religions, was clearly a marker of success for the WMS. For believers, baptism signalled the washing away of sin, and the clean (and pure) body which arose (symbolically, if not literally) from the water. As applied to Chinese and Japanese women, this symbolic cleansing may have had even greater nationalistic implications as it was a marker of Christian brotherhood (or sisterhood) in the family of God. It was, therefore, a washing away of colour (and race) in an attempt to unite all believers into this colourless (white) family. That baptism was one of only seven categories used to identify  76  “Daisy” in the Oriental Home Register and Biog. 1888–1908, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives).  98  residents and track their progress shows its importance to those who ran the Home. However, of all of the categories which were used to track the progress of the residents though their stays in the Home, baptism was perhaps the least used column. In the first fifteen years of the Chinese Rescue Home (1886–1911), only 15 of the 156 residents who stayed in the Home were baptized. The rejection of baptism by Japanese and Chinese women suggests that while in the Home, Japanese and Chinese women were not simply passive subjects. These women made significant choices, perhaps chief among them their rejection of baptism, despite its importance to Christianity and to the women who ran the Home. Although the number of baptisms was relatively few, when they did occur, baptisms were celebrated as markers of success and were used to justify increases in funding to missions and missionaries themselves.77 After two baptisms were reported in Vancouver, for instance, the advisory board for the Home recommended a grant be given for a “native worker” in this area.78 The Vancouver WMS group also focused on baptisms as markers of success. Again referencing the seed sowing metaphor, one report stated that the “first fruits are being gathered at Steveston and Sap [Sapperton], a woman having been baptized at each place.”79 Baptism, thus, signalled the maturation of the Other into the brother/sisterhood of Christ. Baptism and Christian marriage as markers of success were also a form of mimicry.  77  Oriental Home Register, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives). 78  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee,” December, 1903, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896– 1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 79  “Minutes from the Advisory Committee of Japanese (Oriental) Missions,” January, 1913, Methodist Church BC Conference fonds, 1908–1923, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives).  99  According to Bhabha (1994), “in order to be effective, mimicry must continually produce its slippage, its excess, its difference” (122). Baptism marked the Other as “almost the same, but not quite” at the same time that it marked the triumph and superiority of whiteness. Japanese and Chinese converts could, as Bhabha (1994) suggests in another context, repeat the rituals of Christian baptism and marriage, but they could not represent them (125-126). Domestication was always a partial project. Chinese and Japanese women might learn English and ‘English ways’ but never be English, nor could they be considered fully Canadian even if they were allowed to enter or remain within the nation’s borders. Despite that Chinese and Japanese girls and women could never achieve nor embody true whiteness, success of mission work was measured through the degree to which these women could and did mimic not only Christian beliefs and what Asad calls “the sacred performance” of religion (Asad 1993, 53), but also the degree to which they could attain the trappings of ‘Canadian’ (read white) domesticity and citizenship. Thus, religious conversion continued to be the primary concern of those who ran the Home. Of those who were raised in the Home, some went on to become missionaries in their own right, and it was often reported that young children who attended the kindergartens in Vancouver and the school at the Home influenced their parents’ beliefs. In Vancouver, for instance it was reported that “good work had been accomplished, perceptible in one way by the interest taken by the Chinese Mothers where formerly they seemed entirely indifferent.”80 In Victoria, “some of the parents are ready to  80  “Minutes from the Advisory Committee of Japanese (Oriental) Missions,” July 1918, Methodist Church BC Conference fonds, 1908–1923, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives).  100  acknowledge the Christ’s love, as seen in their little ones”81 Not only were children fertile grounds for the seeds of Christianity, they were a way to gain access to parents, and mothers in particular. Norman Knowles (1995) documents a similar situation in his discussion of Japanese missions. He explains that the “superintendent of Japanese missions, Rev. F.W. CassillisKennedy, viewed the arrival of women and the creation of family units as an ideal opportunity for evangelization” (64). The superintendent was cited as saying that the children “will in ten years time be the parents of the new generation and if the Canadian church does her duty by the oriental [sic] children entrusted in her care now, the future generation will have a strong leaven of Christianity. Through the children the present day mothers and fathers can be influenced and some of them Christianized” (in Knowles 1995, 64). Here, the family unit was seen as a key site of intervention for the Canadian church to access and shape new domestic citizens. The Canadian church was feminized as it intervened into the familial and the domestic realm in order to reach these children who might potentially influence not only their parents, but were also expected to sow the (biological) seeds for a whole new generation of Christian Canadians. The metaphor of seed planting can be understood as an ultimate transformation—that of barren soil to growing and reproducing fruit or trees. The transformation, thus, was not only about the overcoming of a congenital deviance, but extended to the giving of life itself.  81  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee,” August 1914, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives.  101  Pillars of the Community: Women and Domesticity While missionaries routinely engaged in seed planting metaphors, this type of metaphor took on particularly gendered meanings in relation to women. The planting of seeds was reproductive work which was to be tied to the domestic realm. Given that this work was concerned with Chinese and Japanese women, domestic spaces were integral to these endeavours, as were the white women who would reign over them. The late nineteenth century, as well as the early twentieth century marked a time where clear gendered lines were drawn in public space. Especially in urban environments, men occupied the public sphere and women were restricted to the private sphere for much of their adult lives. As Barbara Riley (1992) has argued, the idea of a ‘domestic science’ was introduced or considered as early as 1900 as a way to ensure not only that women remained in the home, but that they took seriously their role there. Thus, clearly the state had an investment in policing the boundaries of the home, as well as what was acceptable behaviour within it. For many women, the only years in which they were able to work outside of the home were the years between finishing their formal education and before marriage. Acceptable careers for these women were often limited to teaching, nursing, and other ‘caring’ professions. Thus, becoming a missionary was, for some women, an opportunity for travel and to acquire independence that they might not have experienced otherwise. The Methodist Woman’s Missionary Society (WMS) provided this opportunity for some. The intention to form a missionary society for women was made public in the periodical  102  The Missionary Outlook in January 1881.82 The Methodist women made clear their intentions both here, and later in the WMS constitution, to bow to the authority of the male-dominated Missionary Society and to “raise funds in such a way as will not lessen the General Income. Conflict of authority would be disastrous.”83 Therefore, it was suggested that “any Branch Society … devote its funds to the support of some existing interest” and only when “the Branches become sufficiently numerous to warrant the organization of a General Society, the objects of such Society can be widened and the funds be more completely at its own disposal.”84 Only after the women could prove themselves through grassroots organization were they to be permitted to formalize their own organization. That the Methodist women in Canada were anxious to gain this autonomy was clear. In April of the same year, the “Woman’s Work” section of The Missionary Outlook contained the following missive: We are waiting, as patiently as we can; for tidings that Women’s Branch Societies have been established in many of our Circuits. What are the women of our churches doing in this matter? Almost every denomination in the United States has its Woman’s Missionary Society. The Baptists and Presbyterians in Canada are following suit, and the Methodists are lagging behind. We utter no needless warning when we say that unless the Methodist Church bestirs herself, her preeminence in missionary zeal and liberality will soon be a thing of the past. Other denominations will outstrip us in the race.85 This call to action highlights not only the women’s anxiousness to gain autonomy and formal  82  This intention arose out of a proposal which was introduced at the General Conference of the Methodist Church in 1878. See “The Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada” in The Missionary Outlook, Vol. I., No. 5. May, 1881, p. 13. 83  Sutherland, A., “A Woman’s Missionary Society” in The Missionary Outlook, Vol. I., No. 1.January, 1881, p. 3.  84  Sutherland, A., “A Woman’s Missionary Society” in The Missionary Outlook, Vol. I., No. 1.January, 1881, p. 3–4.  85 “  Woman’s Work” in The Missionary Outlook, Vol. I., No. 4. April, 1881, p. 10.  103  recognition, but also to establish supremacy denominationally. Thus, the missionary ‘race’ provided women with an outlet, not only to fulfil their desire for autonomy, but to participate in this global race for souls. Only one month later, the waiting was over. Although their grassroots organizing was not initially successful, the women were not willing to abandon their desire for a Woman’s Missionary Society. The Methodist women, therefore, resolved that “Whereas, experiment has proved that Branch Societies are not likely to be formed to any large extent, until there is a General Society through which they can operate directly in the Mission-field; … That immediate steps be taken to organize an Association to be known as The Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada.”86 Despite hopes that Branch Societies would, for some time, fall under the purview of the larger Missionary Society, the WMS was formed to “employ suitable female labourers for Mission work as occasion may require; apportion the funds of the Society for the support of its agents.”87 Power was not absolute, however, as Article VI of the provisional constitution provided that the “Society shall work in harmony with the authorities of the Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada and be subject to their approval in the employment and remuneration of Missionaries or other Agents, the designation of fields of labor, and in the general plans and designs of the work.”88 The WMS, their decisions and their finances, would fall under the purview of the male dominated Missionary Society. The gender  86  “The Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada” in The Missionary Outlook, Vol. I., No. 5. May, 1881, p. 54. 87  Ibid.  88  Ibid.  104  segregation of missionary societies would also influence the types of work that could be accomplished by each group. The goals of the WMS, according to its constitution, were to “engage the efforts of Christian women in the evangelization of heathen women and children; to aid in sustaining female missionaries and teachers, or other special laborers in connection with mission work, in foreign and home fields; and to raise funds for the work of the Society.”89 Further, separate auxiliaries were to be formed with the same goals, with all money sent directly into the coffers of the General Society. Women’s Missionary Societies, according to Henning (2000), “counted more members than any other mission-movement and were among the largest reform organizations of the nineteenth century” (48). In the United States the “Methodist Episcopal Church alone counted 50,817 auxiliary members in 1878 and 123,488 in 1894” (49). Likewise, in Canada, the Woman’s Missionary Society (WMS) would soon have an active membership, and like their American sisters, Canadian women would find in these organizations “important new professional opportunities. In mission boards and auxiliaries, women drafted constitutions, elected officers, raised funds and published magazines”(48). While many women were content to participate in auxiliary work at the local level, raising funds through membership drives or fundraisers, writing to and receiving letters from missionaries overseas, or putting together gift hampers for various home missions, others took more active roles in the women’s branch of the General Society. This sometimes afforded them opportunities for extensive travel to oversee  89  Constitution from the Eighth Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church, Canada, 1888–89, Toronto: William Briggs, p. 165.  105  home mission work across Canada and report to the board. Others still took on the role of missionary, travelling extensively to foreign fields with the goal of evangelizing the ‘heathen races.’ But foreign missionary work was not a career that was accessible to all. Potential candidates were required to meet several stringent requirements. According to the constitution of the WMS, a missionary candidate had to meet seven criteria. First, she had to believe herself to be called by God into foreign mission work. Second, her ability to work as a missionary in a foreign field had to be demonstrated through her “Christian usefulness at home” (emphasis mine).90 Third, she was required to “declare her intention to make foreign missionary work the service of her effective years, and agree to give at least five of these years of continuous service, as a single woman, to the work of the Woman’s Missionary Society, unless prevented by ill health” (emphasis mine).91 She was also required to provide references regarding her scholarship and it was preferred that she have experience in either medicine or teaching. Age requirements required candidates to be between twenty-two and thirty years of age, although “intellectual training, with facility in acquiring languages, a remarkable ability for Christian work, may be considered as a sufficient deviation from this rule.”92 The sixth requirement was that candidates should show “financial and executive ability and power of adaptation to circumstances” and  90  Constitution from the Eighth Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church, Canada, 1888–89, Toronto: William Briggs, p. 172–73. 91  Ibid.  92  Ibid.  106  lastly, her health must be deemed satisfactory before she could be accepted.93 It is clear that becoming a missionary through the WMS was not an easy or straightforward process. These requirements meant that only women who were young, healthy, formally educated, or who at least demonstrated intelligence, could apply to the missionary field overseas and all of the criteria were in line with societal expectations regarding women’s work. For instance, by allowing only single women to apply, missionary work would not disrupt a woman’s ‘natural’ calling to her home and family. Yet at the same time, missionary work for women was to be modelled on her ‘natural’ or biologically endowed abilities associated with home and family. Given these requirements, only a few privileged women were afforded the opportunity to travel overseas and to engage in missionary work with the WMS. For others who did not qualify, membership in a WMS auxiliary or advisory committee was often a way to participate, albeit from a distance. Participation in home missions also provided opportunities to women who often did not qualify for foreign missions. For those who were not in excellent health or were already past an age which was considered ideal for women missionaries, less glamorous and arguably less prestigious opportunities were to be found in home missions. The WMS sponsored a number of home missions before Reverend Starr approached them about taking on the Chinese Rescue Home. Reverend Starr’s letter to the WMS emphasized the importance of domestic spaces. He began with a description of the physical structure itself. The building was described as “a onestory 8 room frame building situated upon Fredrick St. in close proximity to the parsonage… this  93  Ibid.  107  plainly and only partially furnished but withal comfortable and as rents run cheap.”94 The Home was a plain and unremarkable place, but one that was presumed to offer safety, hope and most importantly, domesticity. Despite its humble and plain aesthetic value, the domestic realm was to be a safe haven, insulated from the dangerous conditions outside of it.95 An important goal of the Home was to prepare the girls for “household duties in case of marriage.”96 Starr reported that there were seven girls in the Home between the ages of eight and nineteen, that two more, age seven and nine, he hoped would be rescued again. Another girl had been married to an “industrious Christian Chinaman who helped to rescue her”97 and provided her with a good home. Training the girls in household duties, thus, was meant to prepare them for their hopeful destinies as wives of ‘Christian Chinamen.’ But it also had the added benefit of making them more marketable as domestic servants. Inclusion could only come after conversion—a change manifest not only by a profession of faith but by the subject’s adherence to Christianity and middle-class values (Chang, 2004, 137). In the Home, these values were feminized as they took the form of domesticity. It is also impossible to discount the usefulness of this training to the Home itself, as there would then be no need to hire someone to do the household chores. Given his focus on the domestic realm, it is not surprising that Reverend Starr appealed to  94  J.E. Starr to E.S. Strachan, Sept 1887, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives). 95  For a more comprehensive discussion of the house itself, see Chapter Four of this dissertation.  96  J.E. Starr to E.S. Strachan, Sept 1887, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives). 97  Ibid.  108  women to run the Home. In this report, Mr. Starr implored the WMS to take on an active and important role in the running of “‘The Home’ for rescued Chinese girls in Victoria”. The outlook of this fledgling work, he said, was “dreary enough unless the Women of the Methodist Church in Canada come to the Home’s Help [sic].”98 It is significant that Starr did not appeal to the General Missionary Society, but instead directed his pleas to the women’s branch. Although founded by Starr and John Gardiner, it was clear from the outset that reforming women was the domain of women’s work. Even before the WMS took over the Home, a matron had been hired to deal with all aspects of the domestic realm and of domesticity itself. Not only would white women significantly affect the lives of women in the Home, they also influenced the type and degree of state support. In his letter, Reverend Starr described the withdrawal of state support to the Home. The first ‘rescue’ was accomplished by Gardiner, who Starr described as a deeply religious man, a son of missionaries and himself a “missionary of the Methodist Church among the Chinese.” 99 This ‘rescue’ was of a nine-year-old slave girl, who “had her wrists broken, her back whipped until it ran sores and the sores irritated and burned with lighted tapers by an old hag of a procuress because the girl failed to bring in as much money by soliciting and prostituting herself as her procuress or keeper thought she should.”100 Gardiner, with the help of the Chairman of the Police Committee rescued both the nine-year-old and a second girl. As a result, word spread of a “‘Jesus Man,’ … who would help them away  98  J.E. Starr to E.S. Strachan, September 1887, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives). 99  J.E. Starr to E.S. Strachan, September 1887, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives). Gardiner would later be implicated in a number of very public court cases, which is the subject of Chapter Five. 100  Ibid.  109  from their slavery and protect them.” However, after this first rescue, police refused to assist Gardiner and instead he was forced to rely on “friendly Chinamen” to “make an appointment with the girls and spirit them away.”101 Once the women of the WMS took over this project, however, the state’s support of and interventions into the Home increased, indicating the state’s protective stance toward white women and their support and recognition of women’s authority in the domestic realm. It was beyond the domestic realm, however, that their moral reach extended. For many women engaged in this type of outreach, benevolent work was not only about imposing moral order on other women, but also providing moral guidance to white men (Pascoe 1990). In British Columbia, Adele Perry (2001) argues that white women were seen as having the potential to “reconstruct individual white men and, in doing so, transform British Columbia’s colonial society as a whole” (139). Moreover in The Age of Light, Soap, and Water: Moral Reform in English Canada, 1885–1925, Marianna Valverde (1991) makes a similar argument about central Canada. In the west, home mission projects, as Pascoe (1990) maintains, “began to symbolize, not just female benevolence, but also female opposition to the male-dominated social order that characterized emerging western cities” (13). Starr’s discussion of the chief of police’s refusal to help likely would have signalled a need for the moral authority of women and therefore may have encouraged the participation of women in the administration of Chinese rescue. Thus, through the fracturing of the moral authority associated with whiteness, white  101  Ibid.  110  women were interpellated102 by a call for their special brand of moral authority. By shifting the domain of morality to the domestic, Starr propped up the moral authority of Christian women over and above men. For the WMS women, this provided an opportunity to increase their authority, not only in the private sphere, but outside of it as well. The job of matron was a highly responsible position; as an institutional setting the Home required a keen manager. Instead of emphasizing a managerial role, however, Starr described the matron in distinctly gendered language. The requirements for the matron were linked to professions that were deemed suitable for women; mothering, teaching, nursing, and missionary work. As mother of the Home, the matron was to act as both housekeeper and moral authority, training the young girls and women to be ‘good women.’ As teacher, she was required to ensure that the female residents were schooled in the English language, and her missionary work would require her to Christianize and then train the interested residents to become Bible Women. Not only was the role of matron limited—if not in actual power then certainly in definition—to traditional female roles, but these traditional roles were to be transmitted with alacrity to the Chinese and Japanese residents as well. Thus, it was not enough for any white woman to fill this position. This position needed a woman who could fulfill religious, racial, and gendered expectations. If the matron was to be the citizen after whom Chinese and Japanese bodies were to be modelled, then she had to be the epitome of Victorian womanhood.  102  Here, I am borrowing from Althusser to underscore how the space of the Home functioned as ideology to ‘call’ some and exclude others. See Althusser’s (2001) chapter, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes towards an Investigation)” in Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays.  111  Conclusion British Columbians were invested in building a white province and nation, and the Royal Commissions are certainly evidence of this (Ward, 1990). However, Starr’s letter compels us to consider that the influence of whiteness, Christianity, and gender upon the nation was much more complex than readings of the Royal Commissions might suggest. In his letter, Starr offered several suggestions for running the Home, should the WMS agree to take control of it. The first suggestion regarded the selection of a “good Matron,” the current matron being “not as tidy as she might be and has not the ability to give the girls even the rudiments of English education.”103 Instead, Starr contended, the Home required a “whole souled warm hearted consecrated Christian woman… [so that] these girls could be speedily Christianized and converted.”104 In this single suggestion, it is clear that the Home was to be defined by four important pillars. The privileging of nation is evident in Starr’s discussion of how Chinese girls and women were to be transformed from foreign to domestic. This required a ‘whole souled’ woman who was fully devoted to the Home. The Home therefore, was not simply to be an employer, but a calling. This was further emphasized through Starr’s use of the word ‘consecrated’, implying not only Christian belief, but a deep commitment. The matron’s ability to educate the ‘girls’ in English is an indication of the privileging of whiteness. Further, the future matron was required to be warm hearted, signifying an emotive, and thus feminized, role that she would be expected to take on.  103  J.E. Starr to E.S. Strachan, September 1887, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives). 104  J.E. Starr to E.S. Strachan, September 1887, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives).  112  In Victoria, the interventions of white men and women into the lives of Chinese and Japanese women were directed at their domestication. First, Chinese and Japanese women, through Christian salvation, were to be made into domestic citizens. Although no one offered full or unconditional acceptance into the nation, Christian salvation, it was argued, would transform these women into models of white Victorian womanhood and thus allow them to stay within the nation. Second, women were also domesticated in another sense of the word. Japanese and Chinese women were initially viewed as domestically delinquent. Seen as sexually deviant, Japanese and Chinese women were, therefore, constructed as outside of proper (domestic) womanhood. Their presence in the (sexual) marketplace needed to be controlled and managed through their re-placement and training within the domestic realm. The Chinese Rescue Home was a project that would both challenge and reinforce what it meant to be a woman in British Columbia. In the next chapter, I examine how the spaces of the Home constructed the type of work that women could pursue, while also shaping the various aspirations of white, Chinese, and Japanese women.  113  Chapter Four: Crossing the Threshold: Interrogating the Space and Place of Victoria’s Chinese Rescue Home In the previous chapter, I outlined how the Chinese Rescue Home built on and challenged contemporaneous discourses of the ‘foreign body’ and its relation to domestic spaces. In this chapter, I develop this point further, to show how the physical structure of the Home supplemented the institution itself, especially the ways in which it challenged the binaries of foreign and domestic. Crossing the threshold of the Home allowed white women access to foreign bodies within the national (domestic) context. But it did more than this. The Home constituted a threshold between the foreign and domestic. The Home also challenged the public/private binary. Although the Home was formulated as a domestic space, it was also an institutional setting. The material spaces of the house produced the Home as what Blunt (2005a) calls both a “material and an affective space” (506). Thus, the Home provides space for an analysis of how gendered discourses, especially discourses of motherhood and family, acted as discursive viaducts through which the spatiality of the Home was transformed into embodied practice. Shelley Mallett (2004) writes that, “Home is variously described in the literature as conflated with or related to house, family, haven, self, gender, and journeying” (62). Inspired by her observations, this chapter teases apart several of these concepts as a way to foreground the importance of the domestic realm in the work of the Woman’s Missionary Society (WMS). Specifically, I analyze both house and home using structuralist and poststructuralist approaches. Here, I examine the spaces of the Victoria’s Chinese Rescue Home as material and symbolic spaces of reproduction and resistance, which I argue were bound up with women’s moral authority. Below, I provide an analysis of both house (physical space) and home (discursive space) to draw connections between racialized and gendered spaces and discourses. To do so, I 114  first perform analyses of four of the images found in the British Columbia Archives which were taken of the Home and of those who dwelled within it. The goal is to ground my later discursive analysis in a more material one. I examine not only photographs, but also the architectural design of the house to elucidate the links between meaning making and material practices. My second mode of reading is to draw links between these physical spaces and the types of discourses and practices that were found within them. I pursue this through an examination of Home record books, Advisory Committee minutes and official Woman’s Missionary Society reports. In this chapter, I offer a genealogy of the Home. Foucault (2003) describes genealogy as operating “on a field of entangled and confused parchments, on documents that have been scratched over and recopied many times” (351). These documents are used to record events, “not in order to trace the gradual curve of their evolution but to isolate the different scenes where they engage in different roles” (351). My goal, here, is to trace the disjuncture, discontinuity and multiple meanings of the Chinese Rescue Home. Instead of tracing a linear narrative through time, I look for both connections and ambivalences through an examination of multiple sources. Useful here is Lefebvre’s (1991) spatial triad of perceived, conceived and lived space. Although each theorization of space is unique, these must be understood in dialogue with one another in the production of material and symbolic spaces. As a material and symbolic space, the Chinese Rescue Home was certainly not a new or unique type of institution. Protestant women in the American West joined together in the 1870s “to try to establish female moral authority” (Pascoe 1990, xvi). Rescue homes were one of the projects that allowed white women a degree of power and moral authority that they could not obtain elsewhere. Modeled after a Victorian Christian home, these rescue homes did not openly disrupt the “‘separate spheres’ that middle-class Victorians assigned to men and women” (33) as they simply extended the ‘natural’ influence of women as wives and mothers. These homes, 115  therefore, extended women’s power, primarily in ways that did not challenge the power or authority of white men. White women’s power, thus, was mostly limited to the power they had over racialized women and to a lesser extent, men. Conceiving Mother-land: ‘Constructing’ the Home as a Signifying Mechanism Over the last decade, the home has become a site of intervention for many scholars, including cultural geographers, historians, anthropologists, and sociologists. Duncan and Lambert (2004) describe the home as “perhaps the most emotive of geographical concepts, inextricable from that of self, family, nation, sense of place, and sense of responsibility toward those who share one’s place in the world” (395). The house, as a physical manifestation of home, was tied to family and nation. It was a conceived space, planned and ordered in very particular ways. How the Home was constructed is important, as it was the space of the Home that allowed for the crossing of both physical and symbolic thresholds. The house, itself, stood as a gendered material site and metaphor of empire (motherland) and of family (mother). Although it is impossible to completely tease apart ‘house’ from ‘home’, here I will be referring to the house as the physical building (structure) in which members of a home, usually a family, reside. In defining ‘home’, I build on one standard definition which states that the home is: “the focus of one’s domestic attention” (Merriam Webster Dictionary, Home 2010). The home is simultaneously the space to which one’s domestic attention is addressed and the act of focusing one’s domestic attention. A house (the structure) only becomes a home once domestic attention is directed toward it through action (agency) and/or through language or ideas (discourse). Although it is clear that home and house are mutually constitutive and thus impossible to fully separate, I make this distinction as an analytical one, meant to identify the ways in which structure shaped discourse and action and how these same discourses and actions also helped to shape the ‘construction’ of the structure itself. 116  Pascoe (1990) has argued that “Home mission women interpreted the ‘home’ as the ideal Christian home of Victorian rhetoric” and that “women had a special ‘mission’ to sustain Protestant moral values by rescuing female victims and teaching them to emulate the family and gender roles of white, middle-class Victorian culture” (6). Building on this point, I examine the house, as the materiality of home spaces, to uncover how the physical space of the home played a role in furthering these goals. Drawing on the work of Foucault, Razack (2002) argues that space is “fundamental in any exercise of power” (10). She points to the importance of space, explaining that “to denaturalize or unmap spaces…. we begin by exploring space as a social product, uncovering how bodies are produced in spaces and how spaces produce bodies” (17). Thus, the spaces of the Home organized and enabled certain social practices, allowing possibilities for what could and could not take place within its walls. It was precisely the materiality of the Home that influenced how it would be run, by whom, and also who could reside within it. In other words, the building produced meanings for those who encountered and resided within that space, including the emotive and affective ties that ‘home’ elicited during this time. Little is known about the first structure that accommodated the Chinese Rescue Home. The only information available pertains to its size. The initial structure was described to be a small, “one-story 8 room frame building situated upon Fredrick St.”105 In January 1888, the WMS moved their residents to the house shown below (see Figure 2). It was from this house, at  105  J.E. Starr to E.S. Strachan, September 1887, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives).  117  100 Cormorant Street, that the WMS would operate the rescue mission for the next 20 years. Although very little was written about how this site was chosen, it is clear from the picture below that it was originally constructed as a ‘home.’ While it is probable that the WMS chose to use a house, as opposed to a more institutional type of building, because amenities, such as bedrooms and cooking and cleaning facilities, would already be present in a house, the decision to pursue this site and not another was not inconsequential or accidental.  Figure 2: Chinese Rescue Home—British Columbia Archives C-07913 In the earliest report of the Home, Reverend Starr suggested that should the WMS take on this project, that there was “a house better located and in every way better adapted for a ‘Home’  118  which the owner would divide into the compartments necessary.” 106 What is significant here is that Starr did not suggest a ‘building’ but specifically referred to a house. A house, according to Starr, was “in every way better adapted for a ‘Home.’”107 While this use of the word ‘Home’ may not seem surprising given that throughout the document Starr referred to the rescue mission as ‘The Home,’ this is the only place in the document where he referred explicitly to the mission as a ‘Home.’ Here, he was not referring to the actual institution, but instead to the function of the institution. There seemed to be no question that the more appropriate space for rescued women was in the home. According to Perry (2001), it was not uncommon for men in early British Columbia to live in group households. However, the conditions of these households were very different from those in the Home. Men who shared a residence with other men were more likely to live in rough bunkhouses, tents, or cabins where domesticity took the form of simple survival. Cooking was often done outdoors over fires and cleaning took place on the river’s banks (Perry 2001, 21–36). A house for women, however, was always already imbued with the discourses and practices of home and domesticity, as the physical structure of the house was mobilized to produce gendered ways of behaving. The house shown in the photo above, taken on 24 May 1906 (Figure 2), was well maintained and had a simple charm with its wide decorative veranda and the ivy covered posts flanking the front entrance way. The colonial style of the Home was a reminder of the historical legacy of empire, the wide veranda and decorative finishing reminiscent of Victorian values of  106  J.E. Starr to E.S. Strachan, September 1887, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives). 107  Ibid.  119  home and hearth. The small picket fence in front of the house was most likely a later addition to the Home. In 1898, a motion was passed to replace the original fence and put strands of barbed wire atop to prevent escape.108 On the fence bordering the left side of the house, remnants of what appears to be the barbed wire remained. The remnants of a carceral past were abridged, but not erased from view, a reminder perhaps, of how tenuous the residents’ freedom really was. While the house itself was the central feature of the photo, spilling out onto the front veranda and into the street were the residents and staff of the Home. Unlike some of the later photos which resembled school pictures, this photo had a less formal or institutional feel. Although the women and children were properly dressed, they were lined up somewhat haphazardly, much like they might have been in an informal family photo. The children were not organized by age cohort as they would have been in a school photo. Instead the children were foregrounded, with the women taking their place outside of, but always in the shadow of the house. Thus, the photo highlighted the house as a place to which the women were tied, sometimes harnessed to the home by the babies or small children they carried. What the photo also highlighted were the possibilities embodied in the children who stood not only outside of the house’s shadow, but outside of the fence altogether. As is clear from this photo, the building that housed this institution was far from institutional in form. It resembled in every aspect a home space. Only two years after this photo was taken, on 8 December 1908, the women and girls  108  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, November, 1898, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives.  120  were moved to a new and larger facility, built on the same lot as the first on Cormorant Street. (The numbering system in Victoria changed sometime after 1905 and thus the new address was 732 Cormorant St.).109 This building was designed by prominent architects Hooper and Watkins and built for the WMS for the purpose of housing the Chinese Rescue Home, which was renamed after the move. The minutes of the November 1909 meeting of the advisory committee explained that “in view of the fact that we have Japanese as well as Chinese in the Home, and that the term ‘Rescue’ has a tendency to prejudice certain classes, especially the merchants, against our work, it was proposed by Mrs. Snyder that the name be changed from ‘Chinese Rescue Home’ to ‘Oriental Home and School’”110 Although the idea of a ‘rescue’ mission had lost favour with the merchants, the word ‘home’ had obviously not lost its currency. Significantly, the word ‘home’ was the only remnant of the original name that remained. If the previous house was reminiscent of colonial times, the second house, built expressly for the purpose of housing the residents of the Home had a much grander appeal. This house, which was to become the home of the Oriental Home and School until it closed,111 was designed in the style of the Georgian manor home. By the time the house was being planned and constructed in 1907 and 1908, Georgian architecture had long since gone out of fashion. However, its appeal was most likely not just fashion, and perhaps not even function. The appeal of Georgian architecture was also likely emotional. Most popular during the eighteenth century,  109  “History of Japanese in Oriental Home, Victoria BC”, WMS Bob Stewart Archive, 1959.  110  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, November, 1909, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896– 1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 111  The Home closed its doors during WWII when its residents were moved to Saskatchewan as part of the Japanese Canadian internment process. By this time, the Home only housed Japanese women and children.  121  the Georgian manor elicited memories of colonial conquest, but was also a material reference to the metropole. As Morgan (2004) explains, Georgian homes were “less about shelter than what a house looked like, and the more it looked like England the better” (38). Here, there were different types of global connections at play within the Home: in this case these connections had to do with the Home’s ties with England. The rescue home was certainly not the only example of Georgian architecture in Victoria, but the symbolism of its design was, in some ways, unique from the other Georgian houses.  Figure 3: Oriental Home and School—British Columbia Archives C-07927 Another Georgian style house in the area was the historic Craigflower Manor (See Figure 4). Built in Victoria, in the 1850s, as part of “Hudson’s Bay Company’s obligations to Britain to support colonization,” ( 2010) this Georgian Manor house had direct ties to British colonization. Built almost fifty years after what is now recognized as the end of the Georgian era of architecture (Morgan 2004), this house was styled to reflect those strong ties to the metropole through the signifying of colonial ties that the Hudson’s Bay Company had to England. Although Victorian architecture, the architectural ‘fashion’ during this period, would have also signalled the company’s ties to the metropole, the use of Georgian architecture was 122  most likely the result of both cultural and aesthetic factors. First, a certain amount of architectural ‘lag’ in Canada might be expected, as much of Victoria’s architectural aesthetic was influenced by American and English design. As Segger (1979) notes, design was often borrowed from the United States through the transplantation of American and British architects as well as through their architectural travels, especially to the south. However, this lag may reflect more than a reluctance to embrace changes in architectural styles. Second, then, the shift to Victorian architecture in the United States was reflective of a period of “explosive change. … the growth of democracy and nationalism, technology and the transformation of old agricultural economies, the movement of people to cities and across oceans” (Morgan 2004). It was a reflection, not only of change, but of prosperity. ‘Stick Style’ homes, popular across the border in Seattle during this period, were deliberately more decorative than Georgian architecture. In Victoria, it seems that nationalism was less about prosperity and independence from the metropole. An infant city, Victoria depended on the motherland in ways that cities such as Seattle did not. Segger (1979) explains that “in the post-World War One years … the popularity of neo-Georgian and Eastern Colonial house types is indicative of an age struggling to find security and identity by reaffirming the historical roots of Western society as a civilization with dignity and traditions” (47). Thus, Craigflower Manor’s architecture reflected the colonial moment, embodied by Georgian architecture.  123  Figure 4: Craigflower Manor - British Columbia Archives A_01435 That the Chinese Rescue Home, built over fifty years later, was also styled after a Georgian Manor home seems more surprising. This home was funded by a charitable organization and not a colonial company. One must ask, then, why the same style of architecture, which was now a full century out of fashion, was chosen as the architectural design. The answer, I suggest, was also to establish links to the metropole. Architecturally, Craigflower Manor found its ties in the company’s economic relations to England, while the Home was tied to England by its moral imperatives. Missionary women’s investments in establishing in themselves a Victorian moral authority resulted in the material form of the Georgian Manor. The Georgian Era directly preceded the Victorian Era and was a time of Christian revival. For Methodists, the Georgian era marked the period in which the denomination of Methodism had its roots. What this house represented was not only Victorian moral values associated with the home, but also the values of Methodism that predated the Victorian era. Thus, both the motherland of empire and the fatherland of religion were ‘married’ through the physical structure. Christian aspirations, identity and practice, were quite literally built into the material space of the Home. The Georgian Manor house may have conjured up ties to both colonialism and to religious roots, but it also 124  conveyed something more. A closer comparison of these two Georgian houses also reveals a few obvious differences. While the Georgian home that was built as part of the Hudson’s Bay project had strong architectural features, the later constructed Home took these features and only intensified them. The box-like style of the Georgian Manor house was exaggerated, as was its grandeur. Instead of a wooden construction, the Home was constructed out of brick, perhaps signalling the strength of commitment of those who built it. What is more remarkable, however, was how overstated the home was, both in its size and detail. While the double porch, dormers, balustrades, and decorative trim did make the house more homey, these features also connoted wealth. Given that this was a Christian charitable institution, the scale was overly extravagant. The records, however, suggest that the exterior of the house was not intended to represent wealth, but to represent the scale of benevolence. In the “Report of the Chinese Rescue Home” (1907–1908) Matron Ida Snyder reported as follows: We express our gratitude for the beautiful and roomy new home and school which is being built for us, and are looking forward with pleasure to the time when it will be ready. I am sure any of you who are privileged to come west and visit our school will be proud of the building, and we workers hope that the work will grow to all the possibilities of the building.112 Not only did she see this house as a place of hospitality, but also as representing the increased potential for evangelistic work. Thus, space reflected and shaped the aspirations of the women who ran the Home.  112  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1907–1908 Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. xciii  125  This house represented far more than Christian benevolence, however. The home’s brick walls and high fences did more than keep the residents sheltered; they also represented safety and sanctuary. Crossing the threshold into the house meant entering a home. The decorative trim and the plethora of windows transformed what might otherwise have been seen as an institution into a home. Thus, the spatiality of the home acted as both a mode of governance and as a space of opportunity for white, Japanese, and Chinese women. First, a house represented the Victorian ideals of home and family, ideals that the women sought to instil in their ‘inmates’: in this way, the Home worked to govern and instil Victorian type familial relationships in the girls and women, while also reinforcing the importance of these same ideals to the women who enforced them. Second, the construction of a home space also acted as a mode of governance through the reproduction of racialized, gendered, and classed roles. This was achieved through the Home’s use as a training facility for Chinese and later Japanese women as wives and/or servants. Lastly, the Home functioned as a site in which the aspirations of both white women and their charges could take place. It served as a sanctuary not just for the Chinese and Japanese women who sought shelter there, but also for white women who sought to escape the confines of the private sphere. White women and their Japanese and Chinese charges crossed the threshold into this pseudo-domestic realm for many reasons and although their choices were limited by the spatial context of the Home, many found room within its walls to internalize the transformations imposed on them, learning new skills in the process. Hearth, Home, and Motherhood Perceived The physical space of the Home facilitated certain roles and was open to only certain residents. Razack (2002) explains that perceived space “emerges out of spatial practices, the everyday routines and experiences that install specific social spaces. … Through these everyday routines, the space comes to perform something in the social order, permitting certain actions and 126  prohibiting others” (9). Thus, the numerous discourses of house and home allowed for both the reproduction of racialized and gendered roles as well as their potential subversion. If the Home functioned much like the private sphere, both materially and metaphorically, how did white women engage the public sphere? Metonymy was a tool that facilitated the crossing of thresholds between the public and the private realms. Metonymy is “a figure of speech consisting of the use of the name of one thing for that of another of which it is an attribute or with which it is associated” (Merriam Webster Dictionary, Metonymy 2010). While the house signalled a deep and enduring relationship between the metropole and colony, its reference to home also metonymically signalled another gendered relationship, that of mother and child. The distinction between house and home was complex and often difficult to make. While these two terms were often conflated in the texts I examined, with both house and home representing the material building, the word ‘home’ conjured up associations or attributes that reproduced gendered relations. The home was an affective space which influenced and in some cases dictated the types of behaviours and emotions that were acceptable and to be cultivated. Despite that the residents of the Home were often referenced in the records as “inmates,” they were also considered as part of a larger family. These discourses of filial relations are manifest in the photograph below (Figure 5) which represents some of the early workers and residents of the Home. The formality of the photo, with a backdrop of trees and nature, a decorative carpet, and a plant to the right, suggests that the Home did not fully mirror an institutional setting, but was modelled on a familial and domestic one. Taken in 1910, this photo represented the ideals of the Victorian home and family. For one, the modest dress of the white workers was evident on a smaller scale in the young women and children in the photo—thereby highlighting the influence of these women. So too were the hairstyles and postures. The three white women on the right of the photo stood tall, towering above their subjects, clearly 127  representing authority. The only other white woman in the group was shown seated with an infant cradled in her arms, representing and modeling motherly behaviours and expectations. However, this ‘family’ also subverted the values of Victorian morality (see Pascoe, 1990), in that Victorian ideals did not include the mixing of races that was taking place in these photographs.  Figure 5: Home and School Group—British Columbia Archives C-07926 Within the context of a British Columbia that was marked by anti-Asian sentiment (Roy 1989; Ward 1990) and fears surrounding mixed race contact (Mawani 2009), this photo stood in stark opposition to these realities. In his influential discussion of colonialism, particularly the relationship between sex, culture, and race, Robert Young (1995) describes colonialism as a ‘desiring machine’ which “produced its own darkest fantasy—the unlimited and ungovernable fertility of ‘un-natural’ unions” (98). The resulting ‘hybrid’ was evidence of the ambivalence of discourses of race which simultaneously marked out the Other as both repulsion and desire. Framing the ‘hybrid’ as a product of this ‘dark fantasy’ provides a compelling departure from contact narratives that have focused on inclusion and exclusion. Here, the Other was transformed from Other, not into self, but into a hybrid, into something different. The missionary’s 128  relationship with the Other had to move beyond contact in order for such a transformation to take place. Thus, in the case of the Home, the relationships were not a product of the ‘dark fantasy’ of colonialism but of a ‘white fantasy.’ This fantasy entailed a non-sexual relationship that would (re)produce the racial hybrid in the white image, not through birth, but through a religious rebirth and transformation. The racial Other was to be introduced into the ‘family of God’ through the adoption of a white ‘mother’ and a celestial father. This was best accomplished within the realm of domesticity associated with a home-like institution. Domesticity was tied to women’s moral authority, but also to their (re)productive capacity. The home (and the Home), therefore, was the ideal space to produce new Christian subjects. The physical space of the Home shaped the types of (familial) relationships that could be formed within its walls. Examples of this were abundant in the many familial references in the minutes of the advisory committee, publications written about the work, and in the formal reports of the WMS. Although the Home family may have threatened ideals of whiteness as the foundation of the Victorian (and Canadian) ideal family, heteronormativity was still its foundation. In the absence of a man in the house, a surrogate father stood in his stead. The Home completed the family metaphor by substituting God as father to all. Thus, the racial Other had the potential to become reborn not through sexual mixing, but through an adoptive relationship. This blended family meant a partial erasure of race, save for its physical manifestation, a washing of the racialized soul that made it ‘white as snow.’ Of course, adoption into the family of God certainly did not mean equality between Chinese and Japanese women and their white  129  ‘sisters.’ Racial equality would mean the work of the WMS was no longer necessary. Regardless, references to God’s family and Christian sister/motherhood were pervasive in documents and reports. One report, for instance, claimed that “We try to impress on all that this is God’s Home, and that we must act as His children.”113 That God stood in place of man as head of the house was due to the fact that the male figure in the Home was limited to a celestial one. Indeed any adult male was seen to be out of place in this realm of domesticity. The sanctity of the home was constantly at risk from outside (male) threats to the women’s sexual purity. According to Victorian familial ideals, the only acceptable male in the home was husband, father, or brother. Given that no blood relationship tied these women together, any male was viewed by the matrons as a potential sexual threat to those who were not daughter, sister, or wife. Thus, the sexuality of the girls and women was governed and protected through the Home’s expulsion or rejection of even male children of a certain age. While the WMS did on occasion accept male children into the Home, they did so only reluctantly and circumspectly. For instance, one father applied to have his children, “four boys and four girls between the ages of 2 months and 11 years”114 admitted to the Home, as their mother had recently died. In the agreement that the father signed, he “promised to leave the boys in the Home two years and the girls 6 years at the close of which period he was at liberty to take them to China with him for a visit.”115 The Advisory Committee asked that a new agreement be  113  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1916–1917 Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. , xcix 114  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, August, 1909, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896– 1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 115  Ibid.  130  drawn up, whereby “the four girls and the boys of 3 yrs and 7 yrs be admitted”, however, it was “thought unwise to admit the eldest boy, he being ten years of age”116 Despite that the oldest child, a girl aged eleven, was to stay in the Home for six years, or until she was seventeen, the decision was to refuse entry to the younger, ten-year-old boy, who would only be in the Home for two years. Likewise, in another case, Joe,117 two and a half years old, was admitted with his two sisters after it was determined that their “mother was bad.” Although his older sisters stayed in the Home until the ages of twenty-one and twenty-five, respectively, Joe was required to leave at age eleven because he was deemed “too old for the Home”.118 These gendered decisions were clearly based on the perceived need to govern and protect the sexuality of the young women in the Home. Thus, the domestic spaces of the Home were preserved through the exclusion of all males, save very young children. This male threat also points to the ambivalences around Chinese and Japanese femininity. Although many painted these women as threats to men and boys, here they were vulnerable and in need of protection, especially the younger girls and women. These familial relationships should not be reduced to religious discourses of God as father and all others as His children. There was much more to these familial discourses than Christianity. To begin, these discourses were highly gendered. White women were aspiring to model their Victorian family values to their ‘inmates.’ Further, the sense of family likely  116  Ibid.  117  Joe is a pseudonym. Names not associated with public records have been changed to ensure anonymity.  118  “Records 80,81,82” Oriental Home Record Book and Register, 1886-1929, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives), p. 32–35.  131  provided Japanese and Chinese women with a sense of community and inclusion which may have tempered the fact that they were also being tightly regulated. Thus, family was a term that was frequently applied to the residents of the Home. The photo below (Figure 6), for instance, was labelled “The Oriental Home Family”. Interestingly, as highlighted in Chapter Three, Reverend John Edward Starr, writing to the WMS used the familial discourse of sisterhood in his petition to this group. Yet, once the WMS took over the running of the Home, a shift took place to a different type of familial discourse, that of mother and children—marking a new hierarchy of power.  Figure 6: Oriental Home Family—British Columbia Archives C-07922 Mothering, although it was of vital importance to those who ran the Home, was not a discourse that was evenly or consistently utilized. Nor was it grounded in common sense understandings of biology or nature. Here, motherhood was deployed as a mode of governance, affording white women a way to reproduce Victorian womanhood in their charges. Joan Sangster (2004) writing on the Toronto Elizabeth Fry Society (EFT), explains that “[m]aternalism is a flexible and fluid ideological concept that underpins and justifies a wide variety of political and social agendas” (231). Further, she explains that EFT reformers saw “women’s familial roles as 132  ‘essential to the social order’ and believed their socialization as women and mothers gave them ‘special insights in reform campaigns directed at women’” (Sangster 2004, 231-232). Maternalism, thus, was both a justification of white women’s roles and a skill which was to be instilled in the girls and women in the Home. Discourses of motherhood, however, were not always straightforward. When one resident of the Home, Jeanie,119 requested that her child be allowed to enter the Home, the discussion was concerned with whether or not her husband would be willing to pay board for the child.120 In fact, when Matron Ida Snyder “failed to make any satisfactory arrangements with Jeanie’s husband about their little daughter” the child was not allowed to enter the Home.121 There was no discussion of moral issues such as the ethics of keeping a mother from her child, nor of the naturalness of this mother’s desire to be near her child. Perhaps this was because the Home had become surrogate mother to Jeanie, thus marking her not as mother but as child. Alternatively, it may have been assumed that motherhood was something only white women naturally experienced, making it necessary for them to model it for their racialized charges. What is clear is that her role as mother was secondary to the cost of allowing the child to enter the Home. The final decision may have been due to the advisory board’s recommendation, but was enforced by the determined matron, Snyder. Snyder, who was more drawn to working with children than working with the more challenging adult women, refused to let the child enter  119  Jeanie is a pseudonym. Names not associated with public records have been changed to ensure anonymity.  120  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, May 1901, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 121  Ibid.  133  without promise of board being paid.122 It was almost a year before records show that Jeanie’s daughter had been allowed to enter the Home. “Mrs. Snyder reported that [Jeanie’s] little girl was an inmate of the Home and that her father paid $2 dollars a month towards her board.”123 Her admittance set an important precedent and another child was reunited with her mother on the same terms. Although the payment of board seemed to be the deciding factor in both of these cases, the matron provided an additional rationale. She explained that “the presence of the little children made the place seem more natural and home like for the elder girls beside it gave them an opportunity of training them in the care of children.”124 The matron’s reference to the naturalness of children in a home is interesting for two reasons. First, she did not state that the presence of children made the place more natural and homelike, but instead that it made it seem more natural and homelike. This distinction shows clearly that despite efforts to make the house a home, this was a process that required labour. It was an environment that needed to be created by Chinese, Japanese, and white women. Second, and related to the first point, the admittance of these children was intended to facilitate the training of these young women in mothering. Mothering, thus, was not understood as inherent in the biological relationship between mother and child, but instead was a particularly Western trait (See for instance, Diduck, 1993) which needed to be imparted to the Home’s residents in order to make their transformations complete.  122  Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1902–1903. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p lxxxv. 123  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, April 1902, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 124  Ibid., emphasis mine.  134  The familial language of mother and home was apparent in the WMS Reports as early as 1896. In an article entitled “Chinese in British Columbia” the author reported that the “Girl’s Home in Victoria has had a year of checkered experiences, as to numbers, but has abundantly shown the value of its existence, if only as the gathering place for the spiritual nurture of those who have married from it, and who constantly need and receive a motherly oversight.”125 Likewise, two years later, the WMS reported that “[u]nremitting care and toil have been the portion of the Home-Mother, but she has not been without evidence of the Lord’s presence and acceptance of her labours.”126 Here, the discourses of both home and Christian motherhood were joined, bringing together the institutional with the familial. The ‘unremitting care and toil’ echoed discourses of the Victorian wife and mother. It also made clear that this type of mothering was not seen as natural, but as a labour that required constant and continuous care. In 1899–1900, once Ida Snyder took on the role of matron, the family metaphor was often used in yearly reports. Snyder, a no-nonsense woman, accepted the challenges of running the Home, often with unconventional techniques. For instance, Gagan (1992) recounts a story of how Snyder developed her own strategy for weaning one Chinese woman from opium. Her approach was to substitute cigarettes for opium, which she then rationed so that she could gradually wean the woman off of the tobacco. Her strategy worked well until the woman stole Snyder’s secret supply. The woman was punished by Snyder consigning “the remaining tobacco  125  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1896–1897. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. lxxiv, emphasis mine. 126  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1898–1899. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. xxviii, emphasis mine.  135  to the stove.” (174). Despite her abrupt and strict demeanour, Snyder still referred to the women in the Home as family. In 1898, she reported that there was only one girl in the Home when she arrived but “in January, [she] had a family of nine, six of them Chinese, and three Japanese.”127 Sometimes, her references to family were not as straightforwardly endearing. “The year began with seven and closes with eleven inmates,” Snyder began in her 1902–1903 report. She continued her tallying of the ‘inmates’ but exchanged a carceral language for a more familial one, stating that “there have been five additions to our family”128 The following year, Snyder opened her report again with reference to family, reporting that “we have a family of thirteen dependent upon us for protection.”129 Here, family was certainly not about sisterly relationships, but about a mother and her dependents. The family became a site and a practice of governance. This trend of reporting family size continued to be a yearly practice for many years to come. In fact, in some cases the annual reports took on the tone of family letters, reporting the seemingly mundane and private, rather than taking on the tone of an institutional report. The 1906–1907 report began as follows: “We took our family of thirteen out camping for six weeks and found the tent very acceptable, and especially so as tents could not be rented here this summer”130 The 1913–14 report, written by Matron Maggie Smith, closed with “We have all  127  Ibid.  128  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1902–1903. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. lxxxiv. 129  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1904–1905. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. lxxvi. 130  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1906–1907. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. lxxxviii.  136  been kept busy with our large family of happy children, and kept happy ourselves”.131 Again, the discourse of mother and children is prevalent, if not entirely clear. Although the matron referred only to the children in the Home, in 1913 of the twenty five residents admitted, forty percent were women over the age of nineteen. Clearly, infantilizing the residents helped to secure the metaphor of mother and children as a reality. But family was not simply a discourse that was employed to describe the residents of the Home. It was also a device used to justify the placement and regulation of women and children in the Home. In the 1909–1910 report, Matron Snyder told the story of a young suicide victim who never made it to the Home, describing her as a “[p]oor little homesick, motherless waif! Taken from her own family and sold from one family and city to another till death set her free”. 132 The matron highlighted the case of this young ‘motherless waif’ not as a way to emphasize the dangers and traumas faced by this young woman, but to highlight the importance of the Home in sparing others from this same fate. Loss of family, she implied, especially one’s mother, was tantamount to death without the intervention of institutions such as the Home. Having family to care for them was not enough for the young children. A father, for instance, despite his familial relationship to his children was not viewed as an appropriate caregiver by those who ran the Home, even when he had a home and access to the necessary financial resources for their care. A mother, particularly a ‘good mother’ was key. In homes where a ‘good mother’ could not be  131  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1912–1914. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. xcviii. 132  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1909–1910. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. lxxi, emphasis mine.  137  found, the Home became a substitute. This privileging of white women as the appropriate guardians is compelling given that during this period, the courts often deemed the father to have ultimate rights and responsibilities over his children and their mothers, as is discussed in Chapter Six. The discourse of motherhood and home often went hand in hand. As the following report highlighted, those who ran the Home took motherhood very seriously. Families, as Strong-Boag (1995) suggests, “have always proved sites of negotiation. … Family relationships have attracted attention from clergy, doctors, psychologists, social workers, and politicians.” Fitness to parent was based on a diverse set of criteria from experts who promoted the ideal of the nuclear family (Strong-Boag 1995). Having (or being) a biological mother was not enough. According to the 1923–1924 report, “the Children’s Aid Society placed in our Home two little Chinese girls whose mother is entirely unfitted to be their guardian.”133 While the report did not indicate why the mother was deemed unfit, Matron Annie T. Martin, clearly identified the ‘bad mother’ as a fate worse for a child than one who was deceased. Our hearts went out in a very special manner to these poor little helpless ones, who cannot yet realize the tragedy of their home. An orphan with sweet home memories is blessed indeed beside these worse than motherless children, whose memory of home must always bring shame and resentment – Truly the Lord is mindful of His own, for it is marvelous how pure these little ones seem to have been kept. They remind one of water-lilies growing in a stagnant pool, which, in spite of their sordid surroundings, retain their snowy whiteness.134 It was only through the benevolence of the Lord that these ‘water-lilies’ could remain pure in the  133  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1923–1924. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. cxix. 134  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1923–1924. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. cxix, emphasis mine.  138  presence of a mother who, like the stagnant pool, was deemed unclean and thus unworthy of motherhood. It was the Christian God who was the true father of the child; the flower plucked from the stagnant pool leaving no ripple as it was transplanted from one home to another. The paragraph that followed this passage highlighted a more preferable scenario. Matron Martin explained that “[m]ore fortunate in their home life were two sweet little Chinese girls ..., who if they remember at all, will think of a mother who was tender, kind and pure, though not a professing Christian at the time of her death.”135 For those who ran the Home, an orphaned child was seen to be more fortunate than one whose mother was morally ‘bad.’ Children were considered ‘orphaned’ even if they had lost only their mother, as mothers were viewed as primarily responsible for the well-being of children. See, for instance, Swift’s (1995) discussion for a detailed analysis of women’s roles in ‘child neglect.’ In 1916–1917, six young girls were admitted to the Home after the death of their mothers.136 While many children were placed in the Home after the loss of both parents, others were also admitted by fathers who had either lost their wives to illness or who deemed their living spouses to be incapable, either through illness or moral defect, of raising their children. Given the familial atmosphere of the Home, it was probably much easier to convince fathers to place their children there. Acting as a surrogate home for children, rather than an orphanage, the placement may also have seemed a less permanent solution. Other children were ‘rescued’ either by state officials or Home workers. Much like the Children’s Aid Society in nineteenth century  135  Ibid.  136  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1916–1917. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. xcviii.  139  Ontario, many of the children in the Home “were not orphaned, abandoned, or abused, but rather were from ‘undesirable’ homes” (Diduck 1993, 466). Further, as Diduck (1993) and others have argued, the ‘desirable’ home and family was based on the “promotion of a ‘model’ mother” which was “performed by middle-class, and consequently usually white, women” (466). Although some ‘wayward’ parents were able to eventually reclaim their children, many remained in the Home for most or all of their childhood and/or adolescence. The following passage from the WMS reports of 1920–1921 highlighted the successes of one such orphaned child, Abby137, who had been in the Home since she was only ten months old. Her mother was admitted by her husband in March 1901, while he was trying to secure enough money to travel to San Francisco. She stayed only one month, but returned with her daughter in January of the following year when the baby was six months old, remaining four more weeks. In May of the same year, the baby was placed in the Home when her mother was taken to hospital. The mother died the same night. Her father paid the child’s board until his death, when the girl was nine years old. The following report was written when Abby was approximately 20 years of age:138 [Abby]…, who graduated from the Normal School in May, has entered upon her duties as public school teacher of our Home. She holds a first-class certificate and has taken up her work in a very capable and earnest manner. We have been delighted with the spirit of helpfulness she has shown and feel she will make a true missionary. Perhaps we may be forgiven if we have a little feeling of pride, for she is truly a product of our Home, having been here since she was a few  137  Abby is a pseudonym. Names not associated with public records have been changed to ensure anonymity.  138  Oriental Home and School Record Book, Record 75, page 30–31 Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives).  140  months old.139 The women who ran the Home took great pride in Abby’s success. Abby was truly a testament to the motherly care that she received in the Home. In fact, Abby’s case was not unique among children who were raised from a young age in the Home. Although many of the women educated in the Home did not receive the type of education that Abby did, for some, especially ones who spent all or most of their childhoods in the Home, missionary work was a goal that was encouraged and celebrated. In the following account by Matron Annie Martin, it becomes evident just how deeply engrained this project was. Perhaps the most interesting addition to our family was our dear little adopted baby … who was left motherless when only one month old. Though such a little mite she pleaded strongly for herself by her very helpfulness. We could not say no. ... We hope our dear baby may grow up to be a joy to all who are interested in her. We call her our ‘little missionary.’140 This child stayed in the Home from 1920 until 1939, but existing records do not indicate under what circumstances she left. When she was only months old, this little’s girl’s future was already charted by the matron and staff. But not all ‘family members’ received the same education or opportunities. Domesticity and the Domicile Although there were certainly a number of ‘success stories’ where young women  139  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1920–1921. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. cxxiv. 140  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1920–1921. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. cxxiv.  141  graduated into gendered professions, working as nurses, teachers, or missionaries, most of the women who passed through the Home did not follow this course. For many young women, especially those who came to the Home as adolescents or adults or who were deemed to lack the aptitude for higher education, training in service work was intended to provide them with useable life skills that would allow them to generate an income, and which had the added benefit of making them more attractive as marriage prospects. For them, the threshold between the private and public realms would be much more difficult to cross. Even work skills would guarantee that they would remain confined to the private realm as they performed service work in other women’s homes. Thus, cultivating these work skills became a central mandate of the Home. Here, work included the performance of domestic duties and thus provided free labour within the Home, allowing it to ‘partly sustain itself.’ As one administrator suggested early on, if the girls were “clever at fancy work or were a knitting machine secured, there would be money in knitting.”141 Putting the women and girls to work was always framed as voluntary helpfulness, or in some cases, as a way to fill their leisure hours. Miss Bowes was matron of the Home from 1895–1898. Before becoming matron, Miss Bowes was president of the Victoria Branch of the WMS. In her 1895–1896 WMS reports, she explained that “in winter the girls spend their leisure filling orders for knitting, children’s underclothing, etc. In summer they mend and help make articles for the Home.”142 Gendered  141  J.E. Starr to E.S. Strachan, September 1887, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives). 142  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1895–1896. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. 24.  142  expectations were literally built into the spatial organization of the houses in the form of kitchens, parlours, and sewing rooms. The adage ‘a woman’s work is never done’ was doubly so in the Home. The work that the women and girls were expected to do arose out of two imperatives. First, given that the Home was envisioned not as an institution or even a boarding house, but as a domestic space, the women and girls were expected to contribute as family members to its cleaning and maintenance. Work such as sewing and knitting were regarded to be useful training for the women. Thus, even during holidays when the girls and women were away from the confines of the house, work remained a central component of their daily lives. In 1916–17, for instance, Maggie Smith reported that the girls’ training continued during their summer camping trip. “We are not idle,” she explained, “for besides the ordinary work, there are always improvements to make, sewing (we bring a machine), Red Cross knitting, and this year, the girls have already earned over $20 picking fruit. We feel our summer at camp fits us for our year’s work, and keeps us strong and well.”143 There was no mention of whether the ‘girls’ were allowed to keep their earnings, but what was made clear was that work was an important component in their transformation. Here, the bodies of Chinese and Japanese women and girls were transformed through their docility (Foucault 1995, 136), but in very gendered ways. Thus, transformations were not viewed as instantaneous, but instead as ongoing projects which required constant work—both on the part of the transforming Chinese and Japanese women and on the part of white women.  143  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1916–1917. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. xcviii.  143  The women in the Home were trained in a number of innovative ways which contributed to the financial upkeep of the Home. Weddings, for instance, became an important source of revenue for the Home. It had long been a site for many Japanese and Chinese weddings. But, in 1911, the Home began hosting receptions as well. According to Matron Smith, in 1911 the Home “had three Japanese wedding receptions in the Home; they furnish everything, we lay the tables, and our girls serve.”144 Here, the expertise of white women in ‘laying the tables’ was supplemented by the labour of the Home’s residents. The following year, three large receptions were held. Although some of the weddings that took place were those of residents from the Home, most of these marriages included Japanese or Chinese brides and grooms from the larger Victoria community. The labour of Japanese and Chinese women helped to sustain the Home financially, although it was more often framed as part of the women’s ongoing training. The privileging of western practices was apparent in the training that Japanese and Chinese women received. Dressing the women and girls in ‘English clothes’ became not only an important assimilation tactic, but also a training exercise in skills such as sewing, for instance.145 In 1899, Ida Snyder referred in her report to the women in the Home as workers and identified her own role as that of superintending. She explained that she quickly “began to realize the real difficulties a matron has to contend with in superintending work, when the workers do not know what to do or how to do it, and added to that, do not understand one word of what is said to  144  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1911–1912. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. lxxxvi. 145  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1899–1900. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. xciv.  144  them.”146 In other words, the instruction of these transformative domestic skills was often impeded by their lack of English language skills. Nonetheless, the language barrier was not the only barrier. The matron explained that it “is a very practical piece of work even teaching them to make fires. One of my Japanese girls was two weeks learning that simple process, for Oriental-like, she persisted in putting in the coal first.”147 The work of unlearning would work to dissociate the girl from her ‘Orientalness’. The physical space of the house became a training ground for the cultural and racial ‘whitening’ that was to take place. The geographical and historical context in which the house was situated deemed that western ways of approaching both gender and work would and should be adopted. Further, the very process of transformation further buttressed these processes: the western, or ‘English’ way of approaching work was necessary, not only to legitimate the mandates of transformation, but to facilitate the successful transition of the young women to the outside world, especially for serving work in other English homes. The Home mimicked the Victorian home both through its structure and through the discourses and practices which were produced therein. Creating a family was not only discursive. Much physical and emotional labour went into creating the home and the family within it. Despite the familial discourse within the Home and the instillation of practices of westernization, the young women who left the Home, were never seen as fully Western or white. Their transition to the outside world was tied to the realities of race, gender, and class outside of  146  Ibid.  147  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1899–1900. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. xciii.  145  the Home. This is not to say that these realities did not exist to a lesser degree within the walls of the Home itself. Yet, these realities were buffered or softened by the familial discourses within its walls. Ambivalence was apparent in these familial discourses: despite being included as part of the Christian family, they would never become part of the white one. Therefore, the protection of the Home could only extend so far. Moreover, the training that took place within the house was meant to prepare the girls and women for very specific roles outside of the Home. In 1899 Matron Snyder of the Home reported that “Most of the Japanese women who were with us have taken positions as servants when leaving the Home.”148 One young woman, ‘Belle’ entered the Home after being rescued from a brothel at the age of nineteen. She stayed for two years, and was then “hired out” as a servant and it was reported that she was “giving satisfaction” in the home where she worked. She eventually left the Home for the East, to work for a Mrs. Snyder in the East, and she was eventually married there.149 Other women having been hired out to do domestic or service work were also described as “proving most efficient helps”150 or “giving good satisfaction,”151 although some were “a great disappointment.”152 Records show that in many cases, the matrons of the Home negotiated servant positions for the residents of the Home for whom suitable marriage partners could not be found. Training women  148  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1899–1900. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. xciv. 149  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, July 1905, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 150  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, April, 1913, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 151  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, June, 1897, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914 Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 152  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1899–1900. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. xciv.  146  to be servants, however, was not only the prerogative of those who ran the Home. Many Japanese women, for instance, were placed in the Home by husbands or fathers to learn service skills, or as one report put it, “English and English ways,”153 so that the women could work with their husbands or fathers in English homes. Despite the classed and racialized assumptions that underpinned the mandates of the Home, Japanese and Chinese men and women utilized the services offered in the Home as a way to improve their own economic and social positions. The Home also offered white women ways of advancing their own aspirations. Completing Lefebvre’s triad, then, the next section will examine how the women who resided within the Home lived this space as they interpreted “perceived space (spatial practices), and conceived space (representations of space)” (Razack 2002, 9) in ways which both embraced and challenged gendered, racialized and spatialized norms.  153  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1913–1914. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. xcvii.  147  Beyond the Threshold: Aspirations in the Lived Spaces of the Chinese Rescue Home  Figure 7: Woman’s Missionary Society - British Columbia Archives E-01216 The women pictured in the above photo (Figure 7) were delegates to the Woman’s Missionary Society conference in 1912. Far from being confined to their homes, these women were involved not only in running missions such as the Chinese Rescue Home, but in other forms of charitable work as well. Certainly for those who were involved in administering the Home, the house itself conjured up expectations regarding the roles that white women were to play, roles of surrogate mother, nurse and teacher. However, the house also offered spaces from which to resist gender imperatives of the time and aspire to new heights. Despite its size, the house was not fundamentally different from the private spaces where many women lived and worked. It was precisely the home-like atmosphere that allowed the women working there to further their aspirations without disrupting common expectations of a woman’s place in social and economic hierarchies. At times the women of the Home used ‘social skills’ that had been developed in the private realm to further their objectives in the public one. In order to maintain their power and prestige, the WMS women who oversaw and ran the 148  Home participated in an active campaign to establish the importance of their work both internally, at the level of the Missionary Society, through the recording and reporting of ‘success stories,’ and externally, through the publication of their work. Every success of the Home resulted in prestige for the women who ran it. Therefore, white women were quick to promote their successes. The women of the Home used creative strategies to earn them the recognition they desired. For instance, Miss Bowes of the Home submitted a marriage announcement to a local newspaper. This announcement described the dress of the bride and groom, as well as particulars about those in attendance. The second half of the wedding announcement, however, said less of the marriage and more of the Home and its mandate: Mr. and Mrs. Sam are the eighteenth couple married from the Home, all of whom are comfortably settled and in the enjoyment of the blessings of Christian citizenship. This speaks well for the work of the Home and affords a strong claim for the continued support and sympathy on the part of the Christian people of this city and province at large. Every one of the 18 women thus settled in peaceful and reputable homes of their own, have been won from a state of slavery to which death itself would have been infinitely preferable.154 Framed as a wedding announcement, this article was about far more than the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Sam. The announcement strategically applauded the work of the WMS, while at the same time attempted to garner support from the ‘Christian people’ of Victoria and British Columbia. This evangelistic project depended on white women’s ability to juxtapose these newly transformed Chinese and Japanese women against the foreign Others that they once were, through the equation of Christianity with citizenship. The record book also included other such  154  Victoria Daily Times, Thursday, December 26, 1895, p. 5.  149  clippings of events at the Home. Although the women of the WMS probably did not have influence in the (typically male dominated) realm of print journalism, this strategic form of advertising drew on and promoted skills that women, as social planners, had acquired through a lifetime of domesticity. By utilizing avenues that were typically the domain of women, such as wedding announcements and other social events, the WMS were able to publicize their work, subverting, but not entirely disrupting, gender boundaries. The publicity was important for two reasons. First, funding for the Home, although primarily obtained through the Missionary Society, was also dependent on local donations and support. The Home required support from the local community, as it was into the community that many of their charges went as domestic servants. Second, the publicity of the work fed the aspirations of the white women for whom the Home offered independence and prestige in a community where white women often lacked both. Interest in the work that the WMS did in Victoria did not just earn them prestige in their local communities, but nationally as well. The Mission Board in Ontario, for instance, sent a letter to the Advisory Committee inquiring into the work being done in Victoria. At another meeting, letters were read from women in Plainfield and Claremont, Ontario, expressing interest in the work being done in the West. These letters garnered much attention by the advisory board and this interest in their work sparked an additional plan, the discussion of which occupied the board for five months. It was proposed by the board that they “get some photos of the girls as well as the Home and [offer] … them for sale to the Mission Boards and auxiliaries in the east as a possible means of bringing the Home and its work more prominently before the friends, at the  150  same time affording a source of income to the society.”155 The women also suggested that they advertise the sale of these photos in the “Guardian and Outlook”156. The inclusion of the ‘girls’ in the photos would likely have made this ‘home mission’ much more ‘marketable’ through the introduction of this ‘foreign’ element, especially in a context where racial hierarchies underpinned the very logic that sustained such work. The success of mission work offered the women of the WMS both recognition and respect in their communities. Therefore, making their work public often occupied these women’s time. The question becomes, how was this success measured? Measuring Success While the public narration of ‘success stories’ was a prominent feature in the work of the WMS in both Vancouver and Victoria, what is also interesting here is how success was conceived and measured. ‘Success’ was often measured in creative ways that reflected some of the motivations of the WMS women as well as their assimilationist assumptions. Success stories were prominent throughout the various reports and the Home registers, but so was their quantification. Many of the reports offered to the Advisory Committee of the Home included the numbers of women that were visited in the community and the numbers of houses entered for these purposes. The following is an excerpt from Matron Morgan’s report in June 1897:  155  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, May, 1896, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 156  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, August, 1896, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896– 1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. (The Guardian probably referred to The Christian Guardian a weekly Methodist Newspaper and The Outlook may have referred to the British publication Church Missionary Outlook which was published from 1841–1972).  151  [D]uring [Morgan’s]…recent visit to the mainland she found 10 Chinese women in Vancouver, and entered 3 new homes. She also found 7 Japanese women and arranged with Mrs. [illegible] to meet with them once a month. In Westminster she visited 5 homes. At Steveston she met 13 Japanese women with whom she held a meeting. She also visited 2 Japanese women in Moodyville.157 In January of the following year, her report took on a similar tone showing that she had, “made two trips to the Mainland and Nanaimo during the [quarter] and entered 6 new homes in Victoria following to circumstances over which she had no control she only visited 42 families altogether. Total number of visits made 366.”158 Here, the use of numbers told a particular story of the expansiveness of outreach—while, in significant contrast, the reception or responses of the women visited was rarely mentioned. This tendency to quantify success through the number of home visits erased the potential subject of conversion, and instead objectified her; the success here was that of the white woman missionary, not of the outreach work itself. In addition to outreach work, the running of the Home, its financial undertakings and the maintenance of working relationships with local auxiliaries and boards, as well as the General Board in the East, occupied much of the time of the women involved in the WMS. The matrons also worked closely with teachers and evangelists within the Home as well as with the residents and community members. Additionally, matrons and advisory committee members dealt with tradespeople during the construction of the new Home. The influence of the various matrons and other Home workers often extended outside of the spaces of the ‘home’, as they were often called upon to work closely with lawyers as they took up court cases seeking to retain  157  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, June 1897, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 158  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, January 1898, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896– 1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives.  152  guardianship over some of the residents. Although not a government-funded institution, the administrators of the Home worked closely with many government agents. They interacted regularly with police, immigration officials, and, as mentioned in the previous chapter, one representative was called to testify at the Royal Commission on Chinese Immigration. These relationships were important not only for the success of the work—for instance many of the women in the Home were placed there by government agents—but also for adding legitimacy and prestige to the work. Rescue work was not always purely altruistic; many of the women involved in reform work or rescue work were often already influential women in their communities and many saw this type of work as a way to gain or increase status and influence (Pascoe 1990). The work that white women did cultivated whiteness as authority and power, despite that there were limits for white women. While the women who oversaw the running of the Home were certainly able to exert only limited power, their moral authority had few limits. As Pascoe (1990), Burton (1994), and Perry (2001) have argued, although women may have had limited or in some cases no power in other realms such as political or economic realms, in the area of morality, women’s authority usually went unchallenged. This moral authority found its roots in the domestic roles that women played. According to Hunt, The association of women and morality was readily linked back to the more prosaic domesticity when women were ordained to have responsibility for the moral training of the young. Yet this distinctive moral identity of women also offered a form of intervention in the public realm on condition that the public dimension be conceptualized in religious or moral terms (Hunt 1999, 95). White women, thus, benefited economically and socially from their mission work. However, white women were not able to escape gendered expectations completely. In January of 1908, when the General Society donated a lot for the purpose of expanding 153  the Home, the women felt it necessary to appoint two new ‘associate members,’ both men, to the executive. When in April of the same year a special meeting was called to accept tenders for this project, the men took control of the meeting, including opening the meeting in prayer, a task routinely done by the chair of the committee. Likewise, in May of 1911, when the discussion of selling land was brought up, “a committee of gentlemen were named to consult” with the Advisory Committee.159 In November of the same year, another special meeting was called regarding the sale of the lots, with all members present. Also in attendance were “a committee of gentlemen composed of Mesrs. [sic] Spencer, Burkholder, Adams and Pendray, the opinion of the gentlemen being needed regarding the sale of two fifty feet [sic] lots,” and the gentlemen were further “empowered to communicate with different agents.”160 These men, then, acted as bridges between the domestic or private realm, and the market or public realm. Despite that the women felt inclined or compelled to consult with and ‘empower’ men on financial matters, these women continued to wield a great deal of power in even these matters. When in the following year their real estate agent approached the Committee, stating that “he found it difficult to find a buyer on account of the deal being such a large one and advised the committee to allow it to be divided into two lots in order to make the sale an easier matter”, the committee gave him the authority to do so, without any of the previously named gentlemen present.161  159  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, May 1911, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896– 1914Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 160  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, November 1911, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896– 1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 161  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, March 1912, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896– 1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives.  154  Although the women of the WMS might bow to the authority or expertise of men in some regards, their public deferral to men was not always quite what it seemed. When the Advisory Committee brought men into the meeting to discuss financial matters, their advice was sometimes sought on other matters and was not always taken. In June, 1907, when the Committee discussed the “necessity for larger and more improved premises” they brought in a “Dr. Sutherland, Revs. Dean Thomson, Turner and Adams, also J.W. Hooper the architect” to advise them on the matter.162 While still in the meeting, a discussion took place regarding the admittance of a ‘Hindu woman’ into the Home. During the discussion ‘Dr. Sutherland’ offered them a “word of caution” on this matter, after which the women decided to turn the matter over to the Executive board to make this decision.163 Given that these women routinely made these types of decisions on their own, this decision to turn the matter over to the Executive board may have been a tactic designed to placate Dr. Sutherland, as the decision to admit this woman had already been made at an earlier meeting and she was subsequently invited into the Home, an invitation she eventually declined. Sometimes, the relationships forged within the Home or in relation to the work done there afforded women opportunities for work outside of the Home. In 1898, for instance, the Home lost a valuable member of their staff when the matron, Miss Bowes, took a position in Vancouver  162  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, June, 1907, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 163  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, June, 1907, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives.  155  as “police matron and City Missionary.”164 White women were also able to extend their power by challenging Chinese and Japanese men’s legal rights as slave owners, guardians and parents or their matrimonial rights as husbands.165 The domesticity of the Home, thus, provided legitimacy to white women’s sometimes very public roles. But, the walls of the Home also provided spaces which supported the aspirations of Japanese and Chinese women as well. Escaping Oppression/Escaping the Home While the Home offered an escape from the private realm for many white women, it also offered a means of escape for Japanese and Chinese women. Thus, crossing the threshold of the Home often meant freedom from oppressive circumstances, whether slavery or prostitution, for many of the early residents. Once in the Home, they were certainly subjected to other relations of power, as white women sought to evangelize and train them in Victorian morals and Christian values. For many, however, these interventions, while not always welcome, were often regarded to be preferable to prostitution, slavery, domestic abuse or unhappy marriages. One woman, Margaret Chan, recounts her journey to the Home in the following way: My aunty was not good to me—always beat me, made me do all the work. My uncle was good. My aunty’s so cruel. … Finally, they were going back to China, and they going to sell me to some people with a lot of children—so I run away to the Oriental Home. I was thirteen and a half, maybe fourteen (Women's Book Committee 1992, 28).166  164  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, November 11th and November 21st, 1908, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 165  See Chapter Six for a discussion of some of these cases.  166  In the book Jin Guo, from which her story is taken, Margaret Chan gives her birth year as 1902. However, the records of the Home indicate she was only eleven years at the time, having given her birthday as April 1906. If her birthday was indeed 1902, she was likely 15 years old when she was admitted in April of 1917. It is possible that she hoped she would be treated better in the Home if she was thought to be younger, as younger women were often offered more educational opportunities.  156  Chan travelled alone from Vancouver to Victoria and was admitted to the Home in 1917. She recounts that she was required to attend church three times a day. Chan remained in the Home until she graduated from high school in 1923. While Chan does not disclose how she came to hear about the Home from Vancouver, once there she used the opportunity to obtain an education, eventually going on to ‘normal school’ to obtain her teaching certificate. She was even able to borrow $50 from the Home’s teacher so that she could return to Hong Kong to get a teaching job (Women's Book Committee 1992). In this case, life in the Home offered opportunities that would not have been possible for Chan had she not run away from Vancouver. For many Japanese women, the Home may have offered a door to autonomy. In her book Hiroshima Immigrants in Canada, 1891-1941, Michiko Midge Ayukawa (2008) explicates some of the reasons why Japanese women from Hiroshima came to Canada. While a variety of factors certainly contributed to the influx of Japanese women, for many, becoming a picture bride was a way to fulfill dreams of adventure (40-42). According to Ayukawa (2008), for some at least, the men who met them at the docks were not their motivations for travelling to Canada. Marriage was the only way for most Japanese women to travel to the West. Ayukawa (2008) recounts the following story of Ishikawa Yasu: Until the age of twenty—which was old by the standards of the day—Ishikawa Yasu, whose siblings teased her about her homeliness, had not had any marriage proposals. She made up her mind to go overseas to practise midwifery, to earn a lot of money, and to prove her worth. However, … she learned that she could go only as a bride. … She recalled: ‘I had no idea what kind of person I had married, and what kind of life he was leading. Anyway, I had my heart set on coming here, and that was all I could think of. That was my dream, and I thought things would turn out all right. I was just a child, you see.’ (Ayukawa 2008, 41) Most who travelled to Canada as picture brides had never seen the men who were to become their husbands and knew of them only through letters or recommendations by family members and friends. While most were not surprised by the men who met them, some were. Some of these 157  men were older; others were ‘feeble-minded’ (Ayukawa 2008, 41). Others were also abusive or neglectful. What surprised many of these women was the isolation and back-breaking work that was expected from them. “Isolation and hard work was their common experience. They faced harsher lives than they had ever imagined in Japan,” writes Ayukawa (2008, 46). It was these conditions that sometimes led women to seek shelter in the Home, for not only did the Home offer the means to escape abusive relationships, it also held the promise of sociality and a break from the physical toil that was their daily lives. While some women voluntarily sought shelter in the Home in order to escape unhappy lives, others came to further their own aspirations in a white dominated nation. Some of these women exited the Home’s threshold quickly after they entered. This dual-crossing of thresholds is an indication that for some the Home was a stop-gap measure, allowing Chinese and Japanese women a space of refuge while they planned other types of escape. Once freed from their lives outside of the Home, some wives, prostitutes and ‘slave girls’ also used the Home as a temporary shelter from which they would soon escape, some to other men, others to Japan or China, and still others to cities like San Francisco, which the Home workers believed to be a hotbed of prostitution. Although the Home clearly privileged marriage and Victorian moral authority, it also offered some women respite to leave the confines of their domestic lives when it was deemed to be unhappy and dysfunctional. For women who found themselves without husbands, either through death, divorce, or abandonment, the Home also provided an alternative approach to isolation or widowhood, broadening the very few options that were available.  158  Many of the residents entered into the Home for reasons that were not deemed acceptable to those who administered and managed it. According to the minutes of 30 March 1900, “A Japanese woman had been taken into the home, but it was found her only motive was to learn English & lead others astray. She was therefore allowed to go after a trial of ten days.”167 While it is unclear what led the Advisory Committee to believe she was there to lead others astray, clearly her motives for being in the Home were not compatible with the motives of those who ran it. The fears of the matron that this woman might lead others astray points to real concerns about alliances that were forged within the Home. This is borne out in the multiple stories of women who fled from the Home together. Thus, the Home might be surmised as a place where social relations and alliances were forged between the women who resided there. The advisory board minutes also told the story of one woman who was brought to the Home against her will by her husband and then subsequently used the opportunity to make her escape. In 1919–20 one matron reported that “A Chinese woman, a third wife, came to us in the fall, but as we had every reason to believe she wished to go with another man, who had a wife in China, we encouraged her to return to her husband after two months stay here.”168 As this example indicates, the policy of privileging marriage was not as straightforward as might be expected. On the one hand, those in the Home decried the practice of Chinese men having multiple wives. On the other, they encouraged this woman to leave the Home and return to such  167  “Minutes of the Oriental Home and School Advisory Committee”, March 1900, Oriental Home and School fonds: 1896–1914, Record Number MS-2439, British Columbia Archives. 168  Annual Report of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the Methodist Church of Canada, 1919–1920. Toronto: The Ryerson Press, p. cxi.  159  a scenario because of fears that she might be tempted into an adulterous relationship. Chinese women used the Home to empower themselves in other ways as well: in at least one case a woman, while in the Home, was able to negotiate a contract with her husband and his family before she agreed to return to her own home.169 Claiming that she was badly treated by her mother-in-law, this young woman, “Mary”, who the Home’s records show to be twenty years old, was taken by her father to the Home for shelter. Nine days later, a contract was signed by her, her husband, and her father-in-law, after which time she left the Home. The four-page document, kept within a folder marked “Miscellaneous” in the Home’s records, promised that the father-inlaw would “provide a home and domestic arrangements” for his son and the young woman, including “furniture, furnishings and equipment … as will be approved of by the party of the third part [“Mary”] as sufficient and satisfactory.” Further, the document promised a monthly stipend be paid to the couple. Under these conditions and upon promises that they would be free from interference and cruelty, the woman returned to her husband.170 Given that many in the province believed Chinese and Japanese populations to be inassimilable, the interventions by WMS women and other mission workers offered the women the promise of belonging.171 The Chinese Rescue Home was a space of ambivalence, imposing restrictions upon Japanese and Chinese women while simultaneously affording them a space/site of community and sociality. The Home was not simply about providing services for Chinese and  169  “Agreement” in (Miscellaneous) Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives) 170  “Agreement” in (Miscellaneous) Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives) 171  For more on belonging and religious affiliation see Knowles (1995).  160  Japanese women, but it was about the imagining and re-imagining of the self in a national domestic context. It was about erasing difference as a way to assert superiority of the self through its embracing and transformation of difference into sameness. Japanese and Chinese women could never fully be at ‘home’ or equal within the Home without undermining the project itself. Welcomed into the Home, they were required to mimic and revere those who welcomed them, as well as distance themselves from that which made them ‘strangers’ in the first place. But they could never be released from the ‘strangeness’ upon which the project had been founded. Thus, the transformation was less about movement from stranger to friend, than it was about the redefinition of the stranger as the ‘friendly stranger,’ one who might be trusted, but never fully known. This promise of being accepted, albeit as a friendly stranger, may have been an important motivation for Japanese and Chinese participation in mission activities. However, despite what was seen as mimicry or assimilation by many, as Knowles reminds us, participation in mission programs did not necessarily mean that Japanese and Chinese communities embraced Christianity wholeheartedly or uncritically.172 As has been shown, mimicry or adherence to rules in the Home may have been less about the values instilled in the women who resided there, and more about the opportunities that these women embraced in exchange for their compliance.  172  According to Norman Knowles, these programs were “designed to introduce Japanese women to the basics of Christianity and Canadian techniques in everything from parenting to sewing. … The success, however, reflected less an acceptance of Christianity than a desire to escape the isolation and loneliness of domesticity” in “Religious affiliation, demographic change and family formation among British Columbia's Chinese and Japanese Communities: A Case Study of Church of England Missions, 1861-1942”, in Canadian Ethnic Studies, 1995, Vol. 27, Issue 2. Kindergartens were especially appealing as, “For Japanese [and Chinese] families in which both parents worked, the mission kindergartens and day schools provided an inexpensive form of day care and a quality education for their children” in Knowles, “Religious affiliation”.  161  While the success of the Home may have been measured by white women by the numbers of women they reached, success for Chinese and Japanese women was achieved through availing themselves to opportunities for education and skills that often translated into respectability and financial rewards. Conclusion Blunt (2005a) aptly describes the home as “a material and an affective space, shaped by everyday practices, lived experiences, social relations, memories and emotions” (506). Despite its public mandate, the Chinese Rescue Home was no exception. Constructed in its material form as a Georgian manor house, the Home reflected and transmitted values associated with the British motherland and the Methodist fatherland. Offering an easily traversed threshold between the private and public realms, the Home conjured up notions of family and motherhood, which were reproduced in the training of Chinese and Japanese women as wives, nurses, teachers, missionaries, and servants. However, the Home also provided shelter for both white women and their charges while they dreamed and aspired to reach new places where they might otherwise have never been allowed to go. Those who crossed the threshold into the Home were afforded certain freedoms precisely because the Home was situated on the threshold between the foreign and the domestic and between the public and the private. Built as a house, the Home encouraged women to model highly gendered roles for their charges. However, the space also provided white, Japanese, and Chinese women opportunities to further their own goals and aspirations. The women of the WMS used their moral authority to both police and protect the sexuality of Japanese and Chinese women through their confinement in the Home. Once in the Home, these white women had the power to make important decisions regarding not only the behaviours of the women while they were there, but regarding their futures as well. Decisions regarding when the girls and women were ‘allowed’ 162  to pass back across the threshold to enter into service and to what homes they could go were made by the Home, as were decisions regarding who they might marry. The women of the WMS acted as guardians, albeit not always legal guardians, and, in some cases, took on decidedly maternal roles to these girls and women. Thus, home spaces allowed for increased power for white women. Although much of this power was limited to domestic spaces, the Home allowed women to cross the threshold from the domestic relationships to more formal relationships of institutional guardianship and moral reform. Likewise, despite their appearance of dependence, Japanese and Chinese women engaged in dual-crossings of thresholds as they used the spaces of the Home to serve their own ends. Within the Home, the domestic realm, thus, played multiple roles, limiting and empowering the women within its walls. The work here was largely supported by those outside of the Home, as will be shown in the two chapters that follow. In the next chapter, I will argue that despite the support and prestige often offered to those in the Home, the relationships that were formed within the walls were seen as special and did not translate into support for similar ‘projects’ outside of the Home. Asian-white relations that were forged outside of the Home were viewed with considerable suspicion. Here, the state and her citizens worked together to delineate what was acceptable with regards to cross-racial contact, as well as familial ties.  163  Chapter Five: Outside the Walls of the Home: Men, Marriage, and Morals in the Public Arena The space of the Home was an exceptional one173 in that it allowed for carefully managed and intimate cross-racial contact. Within the walls of the Home cross-racial contact was seen as not only acceptable, but desirable and necessary to fulfill the project of Christian conversion and transformation. Ideologies of nation coalesced with discourses of gender, whiteness, and Christianity to produce domestic spaces of moral and racial transformation. Cross-racial contact was legitimized for two reasons. First, women were viewed as moral authorities and it was in their roles as moral regulators that they were able to intervene into the lives of Japanese and Chinese women. Second, the domestic realm was viewed as the most appropriate place for such interventions. The domestic realm was not only crucial because it reinforced the private/public divide. It was also the ideal space to domesticate these women, as it allowed for the physical training in proper womanhood/domesticity. Dealing with cross-racial relationships outside of these walls was more complex and therefore required further negotiations. Moving outside of the Home and following its relationships and representations in newspapers and other documents provides a clearer picture of how and why the Home was exceptional when it came to cross-racial contact. By examining public responses to the work done in the Home, as well as the reactions of the community and the state to one man who attempted to take on a similar role, this chapter highlights how the absence of women’s moral authority delegitimized these attempts. This chapter examines three related cases, two hearings  173  See Balibar 2010 for a discussion of spaces of exception.  164  and one high-profile ‘kidnapping’ case, to highlight how state and civil agents worked to closely police cross-racial endeavours outside of the Home. The cases cover an eighteen month period, from February 1887 to August 1888.174 The first two hearings dealt with accusations of police corruption. John Gardiner, one of the founders of the Home, on two separate occasions accused Police Commissioner Charles Bloomfield of failing to carry out his duty. The first accusation stemmed from the Commissioner’s failure to help the Home in its rescue of two women and the second concerned Bloomfield’s failure to detain or arrest Walter Menzies, once a ‘friend’ of the Home, following accusations of kidnapping levelled against him by Gardiner. The third case focuses on the Menzies case. After he was finally apprehended, Menzies was charged with kidnapping two of the Home’s residents and then selling them, one in the US and one to a Chinese man in Victoria, although these charges would later be amended. By providing a discursive analysis of the coverage of these three cases in two newspapers, The Victoria Daily Times and the British Colonist, I first show how the state’s role in rescue work was ambivalent during the period when the Home was run primarily by men.175 Second, I examine the public’s role in policing racial and gendered boundaries when the state failed to intervene in what was seen to be unsanctioned cross-racial contact. Lastly, the importance of marriage to the Home is juxtaposed against the court’s treatment of it to draw attention to the shifting meaning of ‘rescue work’ and the ways in which this work was legitimized through its association with women. These cases all highlight just how  174  See Appendix for a timeline of the events discussed in this chapter.  175  While court records are not available for the cases discussed here, a more thorough discussion of other court proceedings follows in the following chapter.  165  important discourses of the domestic and of domesticity were to this type of work. The relationships between the state, the public and the Home, as this newspaper coverage reveals, were not unidirectional. While the state played an active role in defining the domestic, this chapter also highlights the complex ways in which citizens attempted to discipline the state and other citizens, while at the same time being defined and disciplined by the state. It is important to emphasize here that the state applied its force not only through its power to act, but also through its refusal to intervene. Within the walls of the Home, racial difference was contained, managed, and, by some accounts, transformed through the formation of familial ties. Thus, very little intervention was necessary from outside of the Home’s walls, unless women and girls left before the supposed transformation was deemed complete. In these cases, attempts were made, sometimes with the assistance of the police, to bring these women back, to keep them at ‘home.’ Once the women and girls were deemed ready to leave the Home, gendered, racial, and class boundaries were maintained through their placement in service positions or back into the Chinese, and later Japanese, communities, most often as wives to Christian Chinese or Japanese men. However, in the absence of white women’s (Christian) moral authority, similar forms of cross-racial contact were treated with fear and suspicion. This fear and suspicion required that more force be applied (and from more directions) in order to police the boundaries of race. Thus, outside of the protective walls of domesticity the preservation of boundaries of race and gender meant that those who crossed these boundaries were subject to moral regulatory projects in the form of both  166  public censure and state intervention. Defining the limits of the outside ‘walls’ of the Home also tell us much about how the inside was defined. The State of Ambivalence176 In February of 1887, a police committee inquiry was launched, seven months before Reverend Starr would write to the Woman’s Missionary Society (WMS) asking for their assistance with running the Home. A key player in this case was John Vrooman-Gardiner, henceforth referred to as Gardiner. Gardiner, the son of missionaries,177 was known as a deeply religious man who in addition to being a “missionary of the Methodist Church among the Chinese,”178 described himself as employed in the customs house. “I teach the Chinese, and was the principal person to start the home for Chinese girls,” he explained.179 Gardiner also acted as an interpreter and translator; in one instance, he translated documents for the courts which were subsequently used as evidence in a case in which he was the purported victim. In his capacity as collector of customs, Gardiner had the “power to refuse the landing of a prostitute”180 and thus was able to easily persuade or coerce Chinese women to enter the Home. His practice of ‘spiriting’ women away from ‘prostitution dens,’ as well as his control over their entry into the  176  Given this chapter’s reliance on news accounts, it is important to note that I do not view newspapers as neutral sources. Their actions, whether they took the form of reporting or exposé, were practices of power. Drawing on Foucault’s (2003) definition of power as “a productive network that runs through the whole social body” (307), I suggest that the newspaper not only produced accounts of these cases, but shaped public opinion about them and more specifically about what constituted appropriate crossracial contact, such as was to be found within the Home. Conceived in this way, newspapers might thus be considered as active texts, as both shaping and shaped by public opinion and sentiment (Smith 1990). 177  Both of Vrooman-Gardiner’s parents were missionaries for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) in China. 178  J.E. Starr to E.S. Strachan, September 1887, Oriental Home and School fonds, The United Church B.C. Conference Archives (Bob Stewart Archives). 179  “Police Court” British Colonist, January 18, 1888 p. 1.  180  Ibid.  167  country made him an enemy to some Chinese community members. In fact, two Chinese men were accused of conspiring to murder Gardiner for these very reasons. Eventually, the men were acquitted, largely because questions were raised regarding the validity of Gardiner’s translations. In addition to attending raids on houses of prostitution, Gardiner also made use of connections at the local jail in order to interview Chinese women who were arrested by police. The subject of the first police inquiry was as follows. It seems that Mr. Gardiner, who had begun to ‘rescue’ Chinese women and girls from ‘slavery’ or ‘prostitution,’ upon learning that two young Chinese women had been taken into custody, went to the barracks and interviewed the two women. What he discovered was “that they were girls who had been brought here a year before by a procuress and that they were kept in a house of prostitution.”181 Gardiner then communicated these facts to Police Commissioner Bloomfield, explaining that it was his intention to “rescue these girls from the dens.”182 It was Bloomfield’s reluctance to aid Gardner in his quest to rescue these women that caused Gardiner to levy charges of corruption against him, resulting in this hearing. During the inquiry that was launched to deal with these accusations, Gardiner testified that after discussing his intentions with Bloomfield, Gardiner then proceeded to obtain an order of guardianship from the Supreme Court. But as Gardiner explained, despite his requests that Bloomfield sign an affidavit, Bloomfield failed to show up for the meeting. Subsequently, when the young women did not appear in court, Bloomfield led Gardiner to believe that they were released on bail. Only after Gardiner sent his lawyer to ask  181  “Police Committee Inquiry” British Colonist, February 20, 1887, p. 4.  182  Ibid.  168  Bloomfield to forfeit the bail bonds, did Bloomfield explain that the bonds had never been signed and they were thus of little use. Gardiner requested that warrants be issued for the women’s arrest, but at the time of the committee inquiry, they had yet to be found.183 Gardiner pled his case to the Police Committee, complaining that “these girls were of great value; I had a bill of sale showing their value; it is my intention to break up this system of slavery and asked Mr. Bloomfield to help me: but what assistance do I get?”184 His lawyer, Thornton Fell,185 further went on to explain that after preparing the papers requesting guardianship “amongst which was an affidavit of Mr. Bloomfield in support of the order”,186 he had sent a draft of the affidavit to Mr. Bloomfield. His clerk returned, explaining that Bloomfield would be at the “office in five minutes to swear it.”187 Despite efforts to locate Bloomfield, it was not until the following day that the document was sworn, after he was tracked down at the police court by the clerk of Gardiner’s lawyer. When called to testify to the inquiry, Bloomfield explained that the women had been released by mistake and that despite many attempts to find them, he had been unable to do so. The inquiry continued a week later. Counsellor Higgins, who chaired the inquiry, concluded that: the charge of corruption had fallen to the ground. There had been great carelessness – he would not say culpable carelessness. The superintendent  183  Ibid.  184  Ibid.  185  Thornton Fell is discussed in more detail in the next chapter, as he was not only Gardiner’s attorney but the Home’s as well.  186  Ibid.  187  “Police Committee Inquiry.” British Colonist, February 27, 1887, , p. 4.  169  admitted that he had made an error in liberating the girls and, in absence of any evidence that he had been bribed to do so, the committee was bound to clear him of the charge of corruption.188 Although Gardiner believed that Bloomfield was purposefully subverting his work with Chinese women, the inquiry found that the actions of the superintendent were attributable to carelessness, not maliciousness. Very little concern was raised in the hearing about Gardiner’s claims that Bloomfield was undermining the work of the Home. The committee’s decision in the case instead focused on whether Bloomfield was guilty of corruption in his dealings with the Chinese. The committee did not seem to find Bloomfield’s reluctance to aid Gardiner’s work the least bit disturbing—an indication that in its early stages, the Home was not viewed favourably by the police, nor by the committee that governed the police. This perception would change once the WMS took over, with police actively assisting in the return of run-away girls as well as placing many women within the Home’s walls. Bloomfield’s failures to support Gardiner’s work through his unwillingness to sign affidavits and through his inaccessibility were dismissed. The only question that remained was whether or not Bloomfield’s reluctance to support Gardiner in his attempts to save the two women could be attributed to bribery by Chinese community members. Once it was clear that there was no evidence of bribery, the case was dismissed. Despite clearing the superintendent of the charges, however, the committee did not close their meeting immediately. Instead, Commissioner David Higgins, Chair of the Committee, commended Mr. Gardiner for his  188  Ibid.  170  fearlessness in coming forward. Here, Higgins made three important points worth exploring. First, Commissioner Higgins decried the practice of the “sale of female children for immoral purposes”189 and called upon not only police officers to stop it, but also upon the public to do what they could to stop this trade. Thus, the commissioner brought to the fore the importance of civil policing as an additive to formal policing in the moral regulation of (racial) problems. In reporting the commissioner’s comments, the newspaper called citizens to action.190 Here, the police, as an arm of the state, in a matter that was not directly related to the trafficking of Chinese women and children, not only underscored its own authority, but also deputized the public to take up the charge to end this human trade. Although unwilling to chastise Bloomfield for not supporting this work, Commissioner Higgins took this time to applaud those who helped stop ‘this trade’ as well as to publicly shame those who participated in trafficking women. The second point Higgins made was that for “those who aided and abetted ... [the sale of female children for immoral purposes], hanging was too good.”191 Higgins not only denounced the sale of these women, but then went on to juxtapose these actions against the actions of those moral citizens who tried to stop it. Those who “contributed ever so little to stop it, deserved the public thanks,”192 Higgins explained, but for those who aided it in any way, even death was too lenient. Thus, Higgins utilized this inquiry into the accusations of police corruption to stand as a warning to those who abetted the so-called morally inferior Chinese and who perpetuated this  189  “Police Committee Inquiry.” British Colonist, February 27, 1887, p. 4.  190  “Police Committee Inquiry.” British Colonist, February 27, 1887, p. 4.  191  Ibid.  192  Ibid.  171  trade. Although corruption was not proven in the case of Bloomfield, Higgins’ warning implied that police corruption in Victoria remained a possibility, as he encouraged others to report their suspicions regarding officials.193Although I was unable to find other formal complaints of police corruption during this period, Higgins’ warning implied that bribery and corruption were not farfetched. Higgins’ final point emphasized the duty of the public in preventing corruption. Not only were the Chinese to be policed aggressively by private citizens, but so too were the police themselves. Higgins, and subsequently the press, encouraged the example that Gardiner had set, emphasizing that if all other citizens of Victoria would follow this example to “come forward and publicly state their suspicions against officials, instead of slander and back-biting to damage character, the moral tone of the community would be much improved.”194 The implication was clear. In Higgins’ perception at least, Victoria was a community where moral problems extended beyond the conventional accounts of Chinese depravity. Rather, the problem was much wider: slander and back-biting threatened the integrity of the white community. If this police inquiry was any indication, the best way to end the divisions in the white community was to publicly discredit the charges of police corruption. Outright denial of corruption was not necessary. Neither was the condemnation of the man, Mr. Gardiner, who instigated the investigation. Instead, Higgins applauded Gardiner and by doing so championed the success of the investigation.  193  Ibid.  194  “Police Committee Inquiry.” British Colonist, February 27, 1887, p. 4.  172  As this and the next cases show, although the Police Committee took Gardiner’s complaint seriously, very little attention was paid to the Chinese girls’ fates. This was something that would change dramatically once the Woman’s Missionary Society took over the running of the Home. Court cases and public attention became much more focused on protecting the domestic realm and cementing the place of Japanese and Chinese women within its walls. However, men and their public responsibilities became central once more as Bloomfield and Gardiner faced off again at a second inquiry. Bloomfield was once more accused of a failure to act, but this time the accusations were concerned with his failure to arrest Walter R. Menzies. Walter Menzies, by all accounts, appeared to be a well-respected member of the Victoria community. Usually addressed as ‘Professor Menzies,’ the man represented himself as a magnetic healer. 195 He was also active in the church community and was an avid supporter of the Home. In fact, his mother-in-law, Mrs. Hopkins, was one of the early matrons who worked in the Home, prior to the era of the WMS. Given that Menzies was an early supporter of the Home, the relationship between Gardiner and Menzies most likely began as a positive one. What caused the rift between the two men is difficult to determine, but what transpired in May and June of 1888 would make clear that any friendship that once existed was now over. It was Gardiner, with the support of two clergymen, who evoked his role as ‘concerned citizen’ to publicly accuse Menzies of kidnapping and selling two Chinese girls who resided in  195  Although the term ‘magnetic healer’ might easily suggest Menzies was a charlatan, prior to this case, Menzies’ trade seemed to be well respected. For instance, one article published in May 1886, stated that although the many marvellous cures cited by Menzies may have seemed impossible, “the facts remain unchallenged, and the persons whose statements have been made public have fully verified every case presented; many of the people are well-known residents, and their testimony cannot be denied.” “Seeming Impossibilities.” British Colonist, May 13, 1886, p. 3.  173  the Home. The charges against Menzies alleged that he sold one of the girls across the border in the United States, and the other to a Chinese man in Victoria as his wife. These accusations were directed at Menzies through a newspaper article entitled “Trafficking in Girls” which appeared on 30 May 1888.196 Whereas this initial exposé did not name its sources, it would become evident in the inquiry that followed that this story had been brought forward by Mr. Gardiner, Reverend Starr, and Reverend Fraser. The newspaper report that first brought to light these accusations against Menzies did not, initially, produce any formal state actions. The police did not move to arrest Menzies, nor did they prevent him from leaving the city. In fact, the first state actions took the form of an investigation and inquiry into the dual failures of those concerned citizens who targeted Menzies in the press and the police who failed to act on their accusations. The Times article that initially exposed Menzies was quickly followed by an article in the rival newspaper, the Colonist the following day. The article explained that the chief of police had written a communication questioning why the information in the Times had not been reported to the police before being leaked to the newspaper. The following day, on 1 June 1888, the Colonist reported that it seemed “strange that the police were not informed of the matter; or that the gentlemen having knowledge of the affair should not have sworn out an information against the offender.”197 The Times responded to the accusations made by the Colonist that the matter should have been laid before the police:  196  “Trafficking in Girls.” Daily Times, May 30, 1888, p. 4.  197  “The Chinese Case: The ‘Times’ Charge Against Prof. Menzies of Selling Chinese Girls.” The British Colonist, June 1, 1888, p.1.  174  The Colonist, which awoke this morning to the realization of the importance of the subject, expresses surprise that the facts were not laid before the police. The Times laid the matter very fully before the police on Wednesday evening, and Menzies was still in the city at midnight—six hours after Chief Bloomfield asked the Council to hold an investigation. An ‘investigation’ of the steamer between 12:30 and the time she sailed would have resulted in the capture, if such were desired, of the culprit.198 The implications here were that the police might have been more concerned with clearing their own names than with the apprehension of Menzies. This was a theme that was quickly picked up in the Colonist—it was not only their writers who followed this line of thinking, but also Mr. Gardiner. In a letter to the editor, Gardiner asked the question: “What did the police do when they were communicated with?” He then answered his own question stating, “they had ample time to detain him, and failed to do so. How is that for the efficiency of the police? Strange, is it, that the police were not informed of this matter? The wonder is that after such an act of gross negligence in the performance of his duties, public opinion has not compelled the Chief of Police to join Menzies in his meanderings.”199 On the same page, the Colonist formed a reply. Pritchard and Berkowitz (1991) have argued that letters to the editor must be understood not only as reactions, but as themselves responsive to the past and as shaping future content of news reporting. Understanding the newspaper as an active text that is in dialogue with the social body and that is a form of action and re-action, of production and re-production, points to the rhizomatic qualities of moral regulation, and the role of the newspaper in creating and shaping reality. Although not  198  “‘Professor’ Menzies.: Left the City Thursday Morning—A Few More Incidents.” The Daily Times, June 1, 1888, p. 4.  199  “The ‘Menzies’ Affair” (a). The British Colonist, June 2, 1888, p. 4, emphasis in original.  175  mentioning Gardiner’s accusations directly, the Colonist included a short, twelve-line column which bore the same heading as Gardiner’s letter. Entitled “The ‘Menzies Affair,’” the column began as follows: It is trusted that action will be taken by the Police Committee and that a searching inquiry will be instituted into the charges proffered against Prof. Menzies of kidnapping and selling a Chinese girl for base purposes. It is true Menzies has departed, but as the Chief of Police is charged with being derelict in his duty in not detaining Menzies, the whole matter should be thoroughly sifted and the evidence of all concerned in the matter obtained.200 Here, the newspaper made clear its faith in the state to deal with its official’s failure to act. That a man should be detained based entirely on the merits of a newspaper account was not questioned here, an indication that the press held a great deal of power and leverage in the community. Instead, a formal investigation took place to probe “the alleged failure of the police to do their duty.”201 While the British Colonist framed this as an inquiry into police misconduct, the initial request for an investigation came from Chief Bloomfield himself, who asked that the three men behind this exposé “be communicated with as to whether they reported the facts [regarding their initial accusations against Menzies] to the police or called their assistance … [and] their reasons for not doing so.”202Although Bloomfield had called for the initial investigation into the failure of citizens to act, very quickly the focus began to shift to Bloomfield’s own failures. In the investigation, the three gentlemen explained why they chose to expose Menzies in  200  “The ‘Menzies’ Affair” (b). The British Colonist, June 2, 1888, p. 4.  201  “The ‘Menzies’ Affair.” British Colonist, June 5, 1888, p. 4  202  “‘Professor’ Menzies: An Investigation to be Held on Monday Next.” The Daily Times, June 2, 1888, p. 4.  176  the press. Their motivations were explained by Gardiner in the following way: “The reason was because we have lost confidence in the Chief and for reasons that we can substantiate.” Gardiner then went on to explain that “This very case proves it, as there was time to detain Menzies after the Times appeared with the exposure.”203 Both the newspaper and Gardiner claimed that the police knew of Menzies’ situation, did not act, and purposefully refused to intervene even as Menzies left the city. The police’s failure to act was an indication that while the police did not actively support the work of the Home in these early stages, neither were they willing to become involved with adjudicating the right of the Home or of Menzies to detain Chinese or Japanese women, something the courts would later become involved with in various habeas corpus cases.204 However, the Police Committee did take such public accusations seriously. Present at the meeting to investigate the alleged failures of the police were Mayor Grant, Aldermen S.T. Styles, Charles Penwill, and John Coughlan, Superintendent Bloomfield, and unnamed members of the police committee. Also in attendance were Reverends D. Fraser and J.E. Starr, and Mr. Gardiner. The three men, including Gardiner, expressed concerns that the investigation was directed at finding wrongdoing in their actions. In fact, Gardiner initially refused to testify unless formal charges were brought against him, but once reassured that the investigation was to be focused on the police, he replied “if that is the lines you are going on, we are here at your service.”205 Gardiner then went on to openly accuse the police chief of knowing “perfectly well that Menzies  203  “‘Prof’ Menzies Case: An Investigation Before the Police Committee About Menzies” The Daily Times, June 5, 1888, p. 4.  204  Habeas corpus cases will be discussed in more detail in the chapter that follows.  205  “‘Prof,’ Menzies Case: An Investigation Before the Police Committee About Menzies.” The Daily Times, June 5, 1888, p. 4.  177  was in town.”206 He continued, explaining that they could “prove that the chief knew Menzies was in town the night of the exposure, and that the police knew an hour and a half before the Yosemite started that Menzies was on board of her.”207 Whether or not the superintendent was aware of the matter forged the basis of the discussion to follow. The matter was left unresolved, but two days later when the board met again, discussion resumed, this time in the absence of those who had testified. It was resolved and subsequently reported in the British Colonist that given Menzies had yet to be convicted and “not having been brought to trial the police were not much to blame as if Menzies had been tried and convicted.”208 The investigation was considered to be closed, as the police could not be seen to be guilty of letting a criminal escape their jurisdiction unless it was proven that Menzies was in fact a criminal. The resolution of this case was interesting both because it did not seem to consider the past investigation, despite the fact that many similarities existed, and because of the logic by which the investigation was resolved. Gardiner was called to testify in this investigation and yet the previous investigation that he initiated was not referenced in his testimony. Gardiner did, however, comment that he had lost all confidence in Bloomfield, a loss that was most likely informed by the previous case. This investigation, like the previous one, also dealt with Chinese women who were at one time accused of being prostitutes and who had contact with Mr. Gardiner. This contact occurred while he was in an official capacity as an administrator of the Home. Like the previous case, the committee did not seem to be concerned with the protection of  206  Ibid.  207  Ibid.  208  “Board of Aldermen.” British Colonist, June 7, 1888, p. 4.  178  Chinese women. Nor did they address Bloomfield’s alleged disregard for their protection. By focusing only on Menzies, the committee deemed that Bloomfield was not at fault. The dismissal of the investigation was premised not on whether or not Bloomfield knew enough to act, but on whether or not Menzies was guilty, a fact only knowable subsequent to a court case. The irony was that this case had to be dropped because Bloomfield had allegedly allowed Menzies to leave the jurisdiction. Thus, the reason that he had been investigated in the first place became his saving grace in the resolution of this case. This circular logic allowed Bloomfield to escape investigation once more. Although Menzies was eventually found guilty, the investigation into Bloomfield’s actions was never reopened. The press, while instrumental in exposing Menzies, could not bring him to trial. Despite the fact that Gardiner and his colleagues acted in concert with the newspaper in order to publicly expose Menzies in such a way that the police would have no choice but to act, the police still refused to intervene, forcing Gardiner and the Times to then expose the police for failing to act on this information. The state was then forced into acting, if not in support of the Home, then certainly in clearing the police of wrong doing. It is also likely that it was the subsequent, almost unrelenting attention that the press paid to this case that was instrumental in convincing Menzies that he had no recourse but to return to face the charges. There was little chance that he could return unnoticed to resume his life in Victoria. Thus, the ‘moral geography’ (Taylor 2010, 307) of Victoria was mapped in such a way that the city was closed off to Menzies unless he was able to prove himself innocent of these charges. Transformation or Trafficking: The Search for (Male) Moral Authority The Daily Times exposed Menzies and his alleged crimes with sensational headlines: “Trafficking in Girls” appeared as the bold headline, followed by two sub-headlines which were even more sensational. “A Trafficker in Human Flesh—A Magnetic Healer Turned Slave Dealer” 179  reads one, while the second reads “An Unprecedented Case of Villainy—Details of the Plot Laid Bare.”209 Throughout the story, the newspaper sensationalized the case, portraying Menzies as an opportunistic magnetic healer who, driven by greed, kidnapped and then sold Chinese girls, upon whom his “magnetism was being exerted with more than usual vigor”.210 This description of him not only called into question the legitimacy of his profession but also hinted at the possibility that he might be involved in sexual relationships with these girls. While these points were never substantiated, they exacerbated existing anxieties surrounding sexuality and racial mixing. In what follows, I will argue that although Menzies’ actions were not substantially different than those routinely practiced within the walls of the Home, Menzies lacked the moral authority necessary to ‘transform’ the young women and therefore was accused, instead, of trafficking them. The scandal that followed was premised on the distinction between transformation and trafficking. This distinction is important, as the line between the two would be instrumental in defining the limits and possibilities of the Home. The newspaper used various tactics to draw their readers into the scandal of this particular case. Throughout the article, the author emphasized key words such as ‘slavery’ and ‘shame’ in order to draw the reader in, again hinting at sexual aspects of the case which were never to be corroborated (See Figure 8.)  209  “Trafficking in Girls.” Daily Times, May 30, 1888, p. 4.  210  Ibid.  180  Figure 8: “Trafficking in Girls.” Daily Times, 30 May 1888, p. 4. By calling attention to the “slavery and shame” from which the two Chinese women were rescued by Mr. Gardiner, the newspaper legitimated the existence of the Chinese Rescue Home. Although cross-racial contact was also evident between Gardiner and these women, here, the contact was authorized by his role in administrating the Home and through the domestic spaces that would house the women. Domesticity, Christian purity, and benevolence, therefore, were seen to inoculate Gardiner and were juxtaposed against characterizations of Menzies as a sexualized ‘magnetic healer.’ Further, Gardiner’s contact with the women he rescued was shortterm and always buffered by the matron of the Home. In addition, this article juxtaposed the work that Gardiner did against the actions of Menzies through the following phrases: “MARRY THE CHINAMAN”, “HAVE THE GIRL FOR $150” and “SMUGGLING LOI HO.”211 The newspaper accused Mr. Menzies of selling the Chinese girl, Ah Lin, to the ‘Chinaman’ for $150. Further, the newspaper indicated that it was Reverend Starr, another founder of the Home, who uncovered this plot to sell the Chinese girl  211  “Trafficking in Girls.” Daily Times, May 30, 1888, p. 4.  181  under the guise of marriage. According to this account, Reverend Starr “refused to perform the ceremony, unless Mr. Gardiner or some trustworthy interpreter could be present, giving as his reason that the majority of Chinese marriages in this country had been farcical in the extreme.”212 However, given that the young woman, Ah Lin, had claimed abuse at the hands of the matron of the Home, avoiding contact with Gardiner was likely an important consideration. The Chinese man, Ah Chee, and the two women, Loi Ho and Ah Lin, were framed as victims of Menzies, but the greater problem seemed to be the propensity of the Chinese (and Menzies) to disregard or worse yet, misuse, the sanctity of Christian marriage. Menzies’ crime, then, was that he facilitated an already inherent Chinese depravity. The sensational nature of this article rested on the newspaper’s ability to create the problem as a foreign, dangerous, and exotic one. One objective of such sensationalism was to inform and protect Victoria’s white readership. The Times began its story of the Menzies case by explaining that it was their “painful duty to publish the detailed account of certain operations, the like of which is not in the memory of the oldest resident of this province, and for vileness of purpose, for the audacity of the operator, and the utterly revolting nature of the crime, has never been surpassed.”213 Although there had been many crimes whose severity far exceeded the ones that Menzies was accused of, his crimes resulted in no loss of life or physical assault, the newspaper placed this particular crime as having never been surpassed in terms of ‘vileness of purpose.’ Moreover, Menzies was accused of crimes no greater than crimes that were frequently attributed to the Chinese  212  “Trafficking in Girls,” Daily Times, May 30, 1888, p. 4.  213  Ibid.  182  population in Victoria. His accusers claimed that he kidnapped and sold young Chinese women into the slave trade in one case, and into a false marriage in another. Certainly these were crimes that were routinely attributed to Chinese men, as the Home was in fact built on these assumptions. Thus, one must ask why Menzies’ crimes were seen as unsurpassed in the province. The answer, I believe, lies not in the nature of the crimes, but in the fact that they were allegedly committed by someone who had previously been viewed as a respectable white citizen, and by virtue of the supposed effects of these crimes on the white population. Menzies challenged not only racial boundaries, but the suggestion was that he also violated sexual and gendered ones. This violation took place, not through contact with Chinese women, for as others in this case were quick to point out, within the walls of the Home the WMS also facilitated marriages and held Chinese women, sometimes against their will. The contamination took place, instead, through the unsanctioned contact with Chinese women and the facilitation and perversion of white rites of marriage. Menzies’ contact with the women was not part of the transformative project that the Home was engaged in, but instead was seen as a relationship between a white man and Chinese women. Further, it was a relationship which perverted a Christian institution, marriage, a point that the judge would emphasize in his ruling once the case went to trial. Gender and gender boundaries were central to this case. Although the alleged victims in this case were Chinese, the newspaper repeatedly emphasized that they were women, thus pointing to their vulnerability as women. The ‘Chinese girls’ were first described as “two young girls of this city” and only belatedly as Chinese girls. In fact, the newspaper account references  183  the Chinese-ness of these girls in an almost apologetic way, explaining that they were “Chinese girls, to be sure, but girls nonetheless.”214 The newspapers, by emphasizing the gendered nature of the crime, implied that the risk was not isolated to the Chinese community. Yet, the newspaper’s readers were not likely to fall victim to Menzies’ alleged trafficking scheme, both because his victims were Chinese and because Menzies himself had left town. White readers, the newspaper implied, were at risk in other ways. First, their trust in Menzies was misdirected; even his “legitimate art of healing” had to be questioned so that white readers would not be duped by this man. Second, the newspaper’s readers were at risk from the Chinese population as well. The crimes were framed as having their origin in the Chinese community. Thus, the white audience needed to be educated as to the threat posed by this purportedly deviant population. The newspaper, therefore, was quick to point out not only Chinese attitudes towards marriage, but the rebellious nature of the Chinese girls themselves that were at the root of this crime. The newspaper explained that after Mr. Gardiner had rescued the Chinese girls from their lives of shame, “these two[,] disliking the rules and discipline of all well regulated institutions of a like reformatory nature, preferred leaving the ‘Home’ and hiring themselves to two European families in this city.” It was partly their greed and rebellion, therefore, that caused them to be “taken advantage of by the ‘Professor’”215 Although framed as ingratitude, the motivations behind the movement of these two young women outside of the Home can also be understood as strategic. Once freed from their  214  “Trafficking in Girls.” Daily Times, May 30, 1888, p. 4.  215  “Trafficking in Girls.” Daily Times, May 30, 1888, p. 4.  184  former lives as ‘prostitutes’ or ‘slave girls,’ these young women were likely not content to be subjected to new forms of domination. Their freedom won, these young women were determined to make the most of it, even if it meant leaving the security of the Home. However, as they would quickly learn, outside of the Home their chances for success were far from certain. Their contact with whites outside of the Home not only put the girls at risk, but Victoria’s white populace as well. Menzies’ crimes were considered so great that they were to be understood as “a terrible outrage upon society, an infamous wrong upon humanity, and a scandal and disgrace to the community in which, in the broad glare of day and under the very noses of the guardians and enforcers of the law, it has so brazenly been enacted.”216 Here, the newspaper underscored the outrageousness not only of the crime, but of the scandal and disgrace that it caused the white population. White society was at risk not only from exposure to the vile crimes of Menzies, but from the contamination that was brought into the white community through the intermixing of Chinese and European populations. Lending Legitimacy: The Women Weigh In The newspapers that reported on the Walter Menzies case became sites where competing truth claims were negotiated in a public forum. These struggles over truth unfolded in the publication of editorials, letters, and even affidavits of those involved in the case. To this end, women actively participated in the discussions, using their moral authority to lend legitimacy to each side. Once Menzies had left the country, the state, through the courts, could not act. Therefore the case would be ‘tried’, at least initially, in the press. One of the first people to weigh  216  Ibid.  185  in on this case was Jennie Menzies, the wife of Menzies. In her letter, Jennie Menzies not only championed her husband’s innocence, but also levelled some accusations of her own against Gardiner and the Home. That it was Jennie Menzies who wrote the letter to the newspaper and not her husband suggests two things. First, white women’s moral authority was utilized not only within the Home’s walls, but outside of them as well, as Jennie Menzies condemned the behaviour of both John Gardiner and the matron in the Home. Second, Jennie Menzies’ ‘testimony’ was meant to bring the cross-racial contact back into the more legitimate domestic realm. On 4 July 1888, an explanatory article accompanied Menzies’ letter in The British Colonist. The article explained that the Times’ reporting was one-sided, that it was only right that the other side of the story be told, and thus it was publishing the letter from Mrs. Menzies. The article did not stop there. While it did not defend Menzies’ actions directly, it did point out that his actions were, according to “some people who claim to be well-informed on the matter,” not substantially different from the actions of Mr. Gardiner, his accuser. The article claimed that “Mr. Gardner has been in the habit of demanding and receiving from Chinese who married girls out of the house monies on account of board, etc.”217 Jennie Menzies’ letter continued in this vein. Dated 26 June 1888, the letter was sent from Oakland, California. Menzies’ wife laid out her account of the events that culminated in the accusations levelled at Menzies. In her version of events, she carefully documented her role in aiding her husband’s ‘rescue’ of one of the Chinese girls around whom this case revolved. Written almost a month after Menzies had been  217  “The Menzies Affair.” The British Colonist, July 4, 1888, p.4.  186  accused of skipping town in order to dodge investigation, Menzies’ wife claimed to be “much surprised to see ... an account of the inveigling—so-called—of two girls from the ‘Chinese Home’ by Professor Menzies.”218 Jennie Menzies quickly followed this with her claim that there “are many people in Victoria who know how untruthful that statement is, none better than Mr. Gardiner himself.”219 Immediately placing herself in opposition to Mr. Gardi