Skip to main content Accesibility Help


  • Joshua Paddison (a1)

In 1891, a moral reformer named Alzire Chevaillier launched an aggressive crusade to destroy Fountaingrove, a spiritualist utopian colony in Northern California with white and Japanese members. Chevaillier accused the colony's leader, Thomas Lake Harris, of promoting “disorderly doctrines” with sexual practices “worse than those of Mormonism.” This essay uses the little-known Fountaingrove scandal to examine the interrelationship of religion, race, and sexuality in California. As a mixed-race new religious movement accused of sexual immorality, Fountaingrove transgressed prevailing norms in multiple ways. The colony became Orientalized in the public imagination, showing how new religions and non-normative sexual practices were coded as racially other. Yet media representations of Fountaingrove reflected more than straightforward “yellow peril.” The Japanese members of Fountaingrove inhabited several unstable categories at once, viewed as neither “heathen” nor Christian, neither adults nor children, neither white nor Chinese, shedding light on the uncertain religio-racial status of early Japanese immigrants to the United States. The scandal also reveals the racist dimensions of white female reformers' attacks on male dominance. The wide range of public response to Chevaillier's campaign, from moral disgust to amusement to apathy, gives evidence of the cultural fissures beginning to break open in fin de siècle America.

Corresponding author
Hide All

I thank Quincy D. Newell, Jane H. Yamashiro, Jeff Wilson, Kathryn Gin Lum, James T. Campbell, James B. Bennett, Valerie Matsumoto, Geneva Gano, and this journal's editors and anonymous reviewers for their help and suggestions.

Hide All


2 Kayane Nagasawa to Edwin Markham, Nov. 29, 1891, reel 8, item 235, Thomas Lake Harris and the Brotherhood of the New Life: Books, Pamphlets, Serials and Manuscripts, 1854–1942, microfilm (New York: New York Times, 1974) [hereinafter cited as TLHBNL]. For consistency, I have rendered all Japanese names in U.S. fashion (given name preceding surname), following Nagasawa and Arai's own usage.

3 San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 13, 1891, 10, Jan. 14, 1892, 12; San Francisco California Illustrated World, Mar. 1892, reel 14, item 320, TLHBNL.

4 The most complete account of the Chevaillier-Harris controversy appears in Herbert Wallace Schneider and George Lawton, A Prophet and a Pilgrim: Being the Incredible History of Thomas Lake Harris and Laurence Oliphant (New York: Columbia University Press, 1942), 465–70, 534–58; see also Santa Rosa journalist Gaye LeBaron's Serpent in Eden: The Final Utopia of Thomas Lake Harris and What Happened There,” Markham Review 4 (Feb. 1969): 1424. More recently, a few historians have briefly discussed the controversy, not always accurately; see Robert V. Hine, California's Utopian Colonies (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983), 30–32; Philip Jenkins, Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 39; John E. Van Sant, Pacific Pioneers: Japanese Journeys to America and Hawaii, 1850–80 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000), 90; and Arthur Versluis, “Sexual Mysticisms in Nineteenth Century America: John Humphrey Noyes, Thomas Lake Harris, and Alice Bunker Stockham” in Hidden Intercourse: Eros and Sexuality in the History of Western Esotericism, eds. Wouter J. Hanegraaff and Jeffrey J. Kripal (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 341.

5 I have located more than one hundred articles on the scandal published in American and British periodicals between Dec. 1891 and Mar. 1892, the most intense portion of the scandal; the actual number was surely much higher. Press coverage was the most extensive in San Francisco, but the controversy captured wider, international interest; see, for example, New York Tribune, Dec. 13, 1891, 4; New York Sun, Feb. 20, 1891, 4; Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 27, 1891, 6; London Morning Light, Jan. 9, 1892, 15–16; London Echo, Jan. 13, 1892; Washington Post, Feb. 5, 1892, 1; and Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette, Feb. 13, 1892, 7.

6 See, for example, the San Francisco Call's full-page “obituary” for Fountaingrove, May 19, 1901, 5.

7 Altina L. Waller, Reverend Beecher and Mrs. Tilton: Sex and Class in Victorian America (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1982); Wallach, Glenn, “A Depraved Taste for Publicity’: The Press and Private Life in the Gilded Age,” American Studies 39 (1998): 3157; Barbara Goldsmith, Other Powers: The Age of Suffrage, Spiritualism, and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998); Richard Wightman Fox, Trials of Intimacy: Love and Loss in the Beecher-Tilton Scandal (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999).

8 See especially Craig R. Prentiss, ed., Religion and the Creation of Race and Ethnicity (New York: New York University Press, 2003); Henry Goldschmidt and Elizabeth McAllister, eds., Race, Nation, and Religion in the Americas (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004); Sylvester A. Johnson, The Myth of Ham in Nineteenth-Century American Christianity: Race, Heathens, and the People of God (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004); Edward J. Blum, Reforging the White Republic: Race, Religion, and American Nationalism, 1865–1898 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2005); Paul Harvey, Freedom's Coming: Religious Culture and the Shaping of the South from the Civil War through the Civil Rights Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005); Eric L. Goldstein, The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and American Identity (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006); Colin Kidd, The Forging of Races: Race and Scripture in the Protestant Atlantic World, 1600–2000 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006); Jennifer C. Snow, Protestant Missionaries, Asian Immigrants, and Ideologies of Race in America, 1850–1924 (New York: Routledge, 2007); Curtis J. Evans, The Burden of Black Religion (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008); Ussama Makdisi, Artillery of Heaven: American Missionaries and the Failed Conversion of the Middle East (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009); Derek Chang, Citizens of a Christian Nation: Evangelical Missions and the Problem of Race in the Nineteenth Century (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010); David J. Silverman, Red Brethren: The Brothertown and Stockbridge Indians and the Problem of Race in Early America (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2010); Rebecca Anne Goetz, The Baptism of Early Virginia: How Christianity Created Race (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012); and Joshua Paddison, American Heathens: Religion, Race, and Reconstruction in California (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press and Huntington Library, 2012).

9 Maria Monk, The Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk (New York: Howe & Bates, 1836); Jenny Franchot, Roads to Rome: The Antebellum Protestant Encounter with Catholicism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994); Frink, Sandra, “Women, the Family, and the Fate of the Nation in American Anti-Catholic Narratives, 1830–1860,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 18 (2009): 237–64; Kara Maureen French, “The Politics of Sexual Restraint: Debates over Chastity in America, 1780–1860” (PhD diss., University of Michigan, 2013).

10 Terry L. Givens, The Viper on the Hearth: Mormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 121–52; Ertman, Martha M., “Race Treason: The Untold Story of America's Ban on Polygamy,” Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 19 (2010): 287366; Richard V. Francaviglia, Go East Young Man: Imagining the American West as the Orient (Logan: Utah State University Press, 2011), 87–125; J. Spencer Fluhman, “A Peculiar People”: Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth-Century America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012), 110–17; W. Paul Reeve, Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015).

11 David J. Pivar, Purity Crusade: Sexual Morality and Social Control, 1868–1900 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1973); Gail Bederman, Manliness and Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880–1917 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995); John D'Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman, Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America, 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997), 139–67; Beryl Satter, Each Mind a Kingdom: American Women, Sexual Purity, and the New Thought Movement, 1875–1920 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999); Siobhan B. Somerville, Queering the Color Line: Race and the Invention of Homosexuality in American Culture (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000); Gaines M. Foster, Moral Reconstruction: Christian Lobbyists and the Federal Legislation of Morality, 1865–1920 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002); Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, Rereading Sex: Battles over Sexual Knowledge and Suppression in Nineteenth-Century America (New York: Vintage Books, 2002).

12 Sarah Barringer Gordon, The Mormon Question: Polygamy and Constitutional Conflict in Nineteenth-Century America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002); Peter Boag, Same-Sex Affairs: Constructing and Controlling Homosexuality in the Pacific Northwest (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003); Timothy M. Matovina, Guadalupe and Her Faithful: Latino Catholics in San Antonio, from Colonial Origins to the Present (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 2005); Todd M. Kerstetter, God's Country, Uncle Sam's Land: Faith and Conflict in the American West (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2006); Rani-Henrik Andersson, The Lakota Ghost Dance of 1890 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008); Jean Pfaelzer, Driven Out: The Forgotten War against Chinese Americans (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008); Nayan Shah, Stranger Intimacy: Contesting Race, Sexuality and the Law in the North American West (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011); Paddison, American Heathens.

13 The few biographers who have studied the lives of Thomas Lake Harris's Japanese followers have not delved into the scandal of 1891–1892, despite the fact that Nagasawa and Arai loomed disproportionately large in Chevaillier's initial accounts and in the media coverage; see Ivan Parker Hall, Mori Arinori (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973); Gaye LeBaron, The Japanese “Baron” of Fountaingrove (Santa Rosa, CA: Santa Rosa Junior College, 1976); Paul Akiria Kadota and Terry Earl Jones, Kanaye Nagasawa: A Biography of a Satsuma Student (Kagoshima, Japan: Kagoshima Prefectural Junior College, 1990); Andrew Cobbing, The Satsuma Students in Britain: Japan's Early Search for the “Essence of the West” (Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 2000); and Van Sant, Pacific Pioneers, 79–96.

14 Peggy Pascoe, Relations of Rescue: The Search for Female Moral Authority in the American West, 1874–1939 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990); Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, Doctor Mom Chung of the Fair-Haired Bastards: The Life of a Wartime Celebrity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 13–17; Shah, Stranger Intimacy, 105–19.

15 New York Times, Dec. 19, 1879, 2; Nov. 25, 1880, 3; Dec. 7, 1880, 12; July 31, 1881, 2; June 23, 1882, 2; Aug. 6, 1890, 8; Dec. 11, 1890, 3; New York World, Sept. 13, 1890, 1; Sept. 22, 1890, 1; A. A. Chevaillier, “White Child Slavery: A Symposium,” The Arena 1 (Apr. 1890): 601; A. A. Chevaillier, Woman's Place in the Great Reform Movements of this Age (New York: Unity Publishing Co., 1891); A. A. Chevaillier to Christian Science Board of Directors, June 29, 1932, Reminiscence File, Mary Baker Eddy Library, Boston.

16 A. A. Chevaillier to Mary Baker Eddy, n.d. [ca. Mar. 1885]; A. A. Chevaillier to Mary Baker Eddy, May 3, 1889, Miss A. A. Chevaillier file, folder 388, Incoming Correspondence, Mary Baker Eddy Library, Boston.

17 A. A. Chevaillier to Mary Baker Eddy, Nov. 4, 1885, Miss A. A. Chevaillier file, folder 388, Incoming Correspondence, Mary Baker Eddy Library, Boston; Benjamin R. Tucker, “The Life of Benjamin R. Tucker, Disclosed by Himself in the Principality of Monaco at the Age of 74,” 1928, Benjamin R. Tucker Papers, Rare Books and Manuscript Division, New York Public Library.

18 International Magazine of Christian Science 3 (Oct. 1888): 143–44; Robert Peel, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Trial (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971), 172–73.

19 San Francisco Chronicle, June 11, 1891, 7; A. A. Chevaillier to Septimus J. Hanna, Mar. 30, 1900, Incoming Correspondence, Mary Baker Eddy Library, Boston.

20 Catherine L. Albanese, A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of Metaphysical Religion in America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007).

21 William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature (New York, 1902), 12; Doyle, Arthur Conan, “Thomas Lake Harris: A Strange Prophet,” Quarterly Transactions of the British College of Psychic Science 7 (Apr. 1928): 512; David S. Reynolds, Walt Whitman's America: A Cultural Biography (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995), 264–71.

22 On Utica's role in the Second Great Awakening, see Whitney Cross, The Burned-Over District: The Social and Intellectual History of Enthusiastic Religion in Western New York, 1800–1850 (New York: Harper & Row, 1950), 63–64; Ryan, Mary P., “A Woman's Awakening: Evangelical Religion and the Families of Utica, New York, 1800–1840,” American Quarterly 30 (1978): 602–23; and Barry Hankins, The Second Great Awakening and the Transcendentalists (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004), 45, 88–89.

23 New York Universalist Union, Nov. 11, 1843, 827–29; Utica Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate, Oct. 18, 1844, 334; Boston Universalist Miscellany, Apr. 1846, 404; Boston Trumpet and Universalist Magazine, Sept. 12, 1846, 49–50; Andrew Jackson Davis, The Magic Staff: An Autobiography (New York: J. S. Brown & Co., 1857), 342; Richard McCully, The Brotherhood of the New Life and Thomas Lake Harris (Glasgow: John Thomson, 1893), 1–22; Arthur A. Cuthbert, The Life and World-Work of Thomas Lake Harris, Written from Direct Personal Knowledge (Glasgow: C. W. Pearce & Co., 1908), 86; Thomas Lake Harris, “An Autobiographic Letter from T. L. Harris,” 1896, reel 7, item 55, TLHBNL.

24 Thomas Lake Harris, A Lyric of the Morning Land (New York: Partridge and Brittan, 1854), 56, 208, 244–46. Belief in fairies was rare but not unknown among spiritualists; see Emma Hardinge, Modern American Spiritualism: A Twenty Years' Record of the Communion Between Earth and the World of Spirits (New York: 1870), 158.

25 Harris, A Lyric of the Morning Land, 49, 99; Harris, A Lyric of the Golden Age (New York: Partridge and Brittan, 1856), 4; S. B. Brittan, ed., The Spiritual Telegraph, library ed. (New York: Partridge and Brittan, 1854), 405.

26 Thomas Lake Harris, “Some Ways of the Evil Woman,” n.d., reel 8, item 203, TLHBNL.

27 Schneider and Lawton, A Prophet and a Pilgrim, 20. Harris had previously been married to Mary Van Arnum from Albany, New York, with whom he had two sons.

28 Thomas Lake Harris, Arcana of Christianity: An Unfolding of the Celestial Sense of the Divine Word, Part III—The Apocalypse, vol. 1 (New York: Brotherhood of the New Life, 1867), 32.

29 William Alfred Hinds, American Communities (Oneida, NY: Office of the American Socialist, 1878), 146.

30 John Bright, The Diaries of John Bright (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1931), 305.

31 Kadota and Jones, Kanaye Nagasawa, 41, 52–53, 89–90, 95; Cobbing, The Satsuma Students in Britain; Van Sant, Pacific Pioneers, 82–84.

32 Mitziko Sawada, Tokyo Life, New York Dreams: Urban Japanese Visions of America, 1890–1924 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), 13–16.

33 Laurence Oliphant to William F. Cowper, Sept. 29, 1867, box 2, folder 8, Harris-Oliphant Papers, Columbia University Library; Hall, Mori Arinori, 113–14.

34 Thomas Lake Harris, “The Bridal Word,” n.d., p. 213, box 6, Harris-Oliphant Papers.

35 Thomas Lake Harris to C. M. Berridge, Jan. 25, 1884, in Schneider and Lawton, A Prophet and a Pilgrim, 426.

36 Thomas Lake Harris, “A Prophecy of Japan,” n.d., p. 3, box 21, folder 23, Harris-Oliphant Papers.

37 Kanaye Nagasawa, diary, 1871, Gaye LeBaron Collection, Sonoma State University Library; Jane Lee Waring to Mrs. P. and Miss N., Mar. 18, 1883, Thomas Lake Harris Correspondence, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library.

38 Sonoma Democrat, Jan. 11, 1879, 4.

39 An Illustrated History of Sonoma County, California (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1889), 366.

40 San Francisco Pacific Rural Press, Apr. 16, 1881, 276; “Party at Fountain Grove,” June 28, 1882, Hahman Scrapbook, Local History Annex, Santa Rosa Public Library.

41 Chicago New Church Independent, Aug. 1892, 316; “Tribute to Sir Thomas Lake Harris,” Santa Rosa Commandery, July 4, 1906, reel 9, item 242, TLHBNL.

42 Thomas Pinney, A History of Wine in America: From the Beginnings to Prohibition (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989), 334.

43 San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 10, 1885, 5; Schneider and Lawton, A Prophet and a Pilgrim, 462–64.

44 Margaret Oliphant W. Oliphant, Memoir of the Life of Laurence Oliphant and of Alice Oliphant, His Wife, vol. 2 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1891), 21.

45 London Times, June 6, 1891, 7. Media discussion of the book was widespread; see, for example, Glasgow Herald, May 27, 1891; New York Times, June 7, 1891, 19; London National Observer, June 13, 1891, 96; Mumbai Times of India, June 20, 1891, 4; San Francisco Chronicle, June 21, 1891, 4; Philadelphia Inquirer, June 29, 1891, 7; London Academy, July 11, 1891, 27–30; and London National Review, July 1891, 681–91. For Harris's response, see Thomas Lake Harris, Brotherhood of the New Life: Its Fact, Law, Method and Purpose (Santa Rosa, CA: Fountaingrove Press, 1891).

46 San Francisco Chronicle, June 11, 1891, 7; Santa Rosa Daily Democrat, Sept. 13, 1891: 1; Problem of Life and International Magazine of Truth, 3 (Sept.–Oct. 1891): 395.

47 San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 13, 1891, 10.

48 Ruth Le Prade, “Angel of the Jails,” 1952, p. 342–43, box 25, folder 24, Poets Garden Records, Special Collections Library, University of Southern California; Arthur A. Cuthbert to Jane Lee Waring, Nov. 22, 1891, reel 13, item 302, TLHBNL; Schneider and Lawton, A Prophet and a Pilgrim, 462–64.

49 San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 13, 1891, 10; San Francisco California Illustrated World, Mar. 1892, reel 14, item 320, TLHBNL.

50 A. W. Manning to John Whitehead, Mar. 19, 1913, A. W. Manning File, Swedenborg House of Studies Library and Archive, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley.

51 “Experiences of a Sister in the New Life,” 1881, in Schneider and Lawton, A Prophet and a Pilgrim, 519.

52 Jane Lee Waring to George E. Waring, Dec. 18, 1891, reel 8, item 235, TLHBNL.

53 Kanaye Nagasawa to Robert M. Hart, Aug. 17, 1925, reel 13, item 304, TLHBNL.

54 In her personal papers on “religious fanaticism,” Hannah Whitall Smith gave the account of a Miss X who claimed that Jane Lee Waring told her that Harris urged the women of the colony to “get into bed” with him as he was inhabited by Lily Queen; see Ray Strachey, ed., Religious Fanaticism: Extracts from the Papers of Hannah Whitall Smith (London: Faber & Gwyer Limited, 1928), 234. As with other non-firsthand accounts, I find the authenticity of this tale dubious.

55 Lawton and Schneider, A Prophet and Pilgrim, 152, 342.

56 Kadota and Jones, Kanaye Nagasawa, 89; E. Manchester Boddy, Japanese in America (Los Angeles: E. M. Boddy, 1921), 191.

57 Jane Lee Waring to George E. Waring, Dec. 18, 1891, reel 8, item 235, TLHBNL.

58 Thomas Lake Harris to C. H. Thompson, Feb. 18, 1892, reel 13, item 302; Samuel Clark to “a lady friend,” Jan. 16, 1892, reel 13, item 302; Thomas Lake Harris to J. S. Weller, Feb. 11, 1892, reel 9, item 238, TLHBNL; Chicago New Church Independent, Mar. 1892, 135; Jane Lee Waring to Miss ______, n.d., reel 9, item 238, TLHBNL; Chicago Flaming Sword, Jan. 30, 1892.

59 San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 20, 1891, 4.

60 San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 13, 1891, 10.

61 San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 27, 1891, 1.

62 Pascoe, Relations of Rescue, 150–51; D'Emilio and Freedman, Intimate Matters, 179–80; Sharon R. Ullman, Sex Seen: The Emergence of Modern Sexuality in America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997), 151.

63 Joanne E. Passet, Sex Radicals and the Quest for Women's Equality (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003), 135–51; Leigh Eric Schmidt, Heaven's Bride: The Unprintable Life of Ida C. Craddock, American Mystic, Scholar, Sexologist, Martyr, and Madwoman (New York: Basic Books, 2010).

64 San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 17, 1892, 5.

65 San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 20, 1891, 4; Chicago New Church Independent, July 1892, 337; A. A. Chevaillier, “Laurence Oliphant and the Primate,” p. 5, reel 14, item 319, TLHBNL; “Mysticism and Harrisism: Secrets of the Sonoma Eden Unveiled” advertisement, Feb. 10, 1892, Faith Chevaillier Papers, Poets Garden Records.

66 Philip J. Ethington, The Public City: The Political Construction of Urban Life in San Francisco, 1850–1900 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 209–18; Gayle Gullett, Becoming Citizens: The Emergence and Development of the California Women's Movement, 1880–1911 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000); Rebecca J. Mead, How the Vote Was Won: Woman Suffrage in the Western United States, 1868–1914 (New York: New York University Press, 2004), 18–25; Linda Frost, Never One Nation: Freaks, Savages, and Whiteness in U.S. Popular Culture, 1850–1877 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005), 165–88.

67 San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 13, 1891, 10, Dec. 25, 1891, 7.

68 San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 27, 1891, 1.

69 Dennis M. Ogawa, From Japs to Japanese: An Evolution of Japanese-American Stereotypes (Berkeley: McCutchan, 1971); Masao Miyoshi, As We Saw Them: The First Japanese Embassy to the United States (1860) (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979); Sheila K. Johnson, The Japanese through American Eyes (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1988); Robert A. Rosenstone, Mirror in the Shrine: American Encounters with Meiji Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988); Joseph M. Henning, Outposts of Civilization: Race, Religion, and the Formative Years of American-Japanese Relations (New York: New York University Press, 2000).

70 Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Issei, Nisei, War Bride: Three Generations of Japanese American Women in Domestic Service (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1986), 22–31; Ronald Takaki, A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1993), 246–47; Eiichiro Azuma, Between Two Empires: Race, History, and Transnationalism in Japanese America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 17–33; Hochschild, Jennifer L. and Powell, Brenna Marea, “Racial Reorganization and the United States Census, 1850–1930: Mulattoes, Half-Breeds, Mixed Parentage, Hindoos, and the Mexican Race,” Studies in American Political Development 22 (2008): 5996.

71 San Francisco Call, June 15, 1892, 8.

72 Takaki, A Different Mirror, 45; Tomás Almaguer, Racial Fault Lines: The Historical Origins of White Supremacy in California (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), 184–86.

73 Sacramento Daily Record-Union, July 7, 1892, 3; Roger Daniels, The Politics of Prejudice: The Anti-Japanese Movement in California and the Struggle for Japanese Exclusion (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1962); Almaguer, Racial Fault Lines, 183–204. On the earlier but still ongoing anti-Chinese movement, see Stuart Creighton Miller, Unwelcome Immigrant: The American Image of the Chinese, 1785–1885 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969); Alexander Saxton, The Indispensable Enemy: Labor and the Anti-Chinese Movement in California (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971); Ronald T. Takaki, Iron Cages: Race and Culture in Nineteenth-Century America (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979); James S. Moy, Marginal Sights: Staging the Chinese in America (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1993); Robert G. Lee, Orientals: Asian Americans in Popular Culture (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1999); John Kuo Wei Tchen, New York Before Chinatown: Orientalism and the Shaping of American Culture, 1776–1882 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999); Najia Aarim-Heriot, Chinese Immigrants, African Americans, and Racial Anxiety in the United States, 1848–82 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003); Helen Heran Jun, Race for Citizenship: Black Orientalism and Asian Uplift from Pre-Emancipation to Neoliberal America (New York: New York University Press, 2011), 15–32; and Paddison, American Heathens.

74 San Francisco Morning Call, Mar. 21, 1891, 1, Mar. 22, 1902, 6; Los Angeles Herald, Mar. 24, 1896, 2, June 19, 1898, 11; Sacramento Record-Union, Oct. 18, 1899, 6.

75 San Francisco Daily Alta California, Sept. 6, 1885; Trip Through Japan (San Francisco: Deakin Bros. & Co., 1886).

76 John MacKenzie, Orientalism: History, Theory, and the Arts (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995), 124; Mari Yoshihara, Embracing the East: White Women and American Orientalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003); Birkle, Carmen, “Orientalisms in ‘Fin-de-Siècle’ America,” Amerikastudien/American Studies 51 (2006): 323–42; Josephine Lee, The Japan of Pure Invention: Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010).

77 Thirteenth Census of the United States: 1910, Population, vol. 1 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1913), 212, 225.

78 Kanzō Uchimura, The Diary of a Christian Convert (New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1895), 101, 108.

79 Japanese immigrants would be barred from naturalization until 1952.

80 Quoted in Yuji Ichioka, The Issei: The World of the First Generation Japanese Immigrants, 1885–1924 (New York: The Free Press, 1988), 191.

81 Los Angeles Herald, May 9, 1892, 8; San Francisco Call, Dec. 16, 1894, 11; Thomas A. Tweed, The American Encounter with Buddhism, 1844–1912: Victorian Culture and the Limits of Dissent (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992), 31–32. The Chinese “joss house” was viewed similarly; see Laurie Maffly-Kipp, “Engaging Habits and Besotted Idolatry: Viewing Chinese Religions in the American West” in Race, Religion, Region: Landscapes of Encounter in the American West, eds. Fay Botham and Sara M. Patterson (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2006), 60–88.

82 San Francisco Call, Dec. 3, 1894, 10. On Japanese Protestants generally, see Ichioka, The Issei, 16–19; Ryo Yoshida, “A Socio-Historical Study of Racial/Ethnic Identity in the Inculturated Religious Expression of Japanese Christianity in San Francisco, 1877–1924” (PhD diss., Graduate Theological Union, 1989); and Paul Spickard, Japanese Americans: The Formation and Transformation of an Ethnic Group, rev. ed. (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2009), 59–61.

83 Mari Yoshihara has shown how Orientalist-minded white women of the era used male Asian “native informants” in similar fashion; see Yoshihara, Embracing the East, 194.

84 William Wu, The Yellow Peril: Chinese Americans in American Fiction, 1850–1940 (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1982); Sheng-Mei Ma, The Deathly Embrace: Orientalism and Asian American Identity (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000), 8–11.

85 Ala Alryyes, ed., A Muslim American Slave: The Life of Omar Ibn Said (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2011), 32.

86 San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 25, 1891, 7.

87 Van Sant, Pacific Pioneers, 90.

88 San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 13, 1891, 10, Dec. 25, 1891, 7.

89 Chevaillier was born in 1850; Nagasawa in 1852; Arai in 1857.

90 Osui T. Arai, Inward Prayer and a Few Notes and Fragments (Kyoto, Japan: Horii Printing House, 1941), 47.

91 Kanaye Nagasawa to Edwin Markham, Mar. 14, 1921, reel 13, item 304, TLHBNL; “Kanaye Nagasawa Life History,” July 18, 1924, box 26, document 145, Survey of Race Relations, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University.

92 The only Japanese Californian who was more financially successful than Nagasawa in the nineteenth century was probably his friend George Shima, the “potato king” of the Central Valley; see Don, and Hata, Nadine, “George Shima: ‘The Potato King of California,’Journal of the West 25 (1986): 5563.

93 Lee, Orientals, 88, 97–105. See also Jennifer Ting, “Bachelor Society: Deviant Heterosexuality and Asian American Historiography” in Privileging Positions: The Sites of Asian American Studies, eds. Gary Y. Okihiro et al. (Pullman: Washington State University Press, 1995), 271–80; Henry Yu, “Mixing Bodies and Cultures: The Meaning of America's Fascination with Sex between ‘Orientals’ and ‘Whites’” in Sex, Love, Race: Crossing Boundaries in North American History, ed. Martha Hodes (New York: New York University Press, 1999), 444–63; Karen J. Leong, “‘A Distinct and Antagonistic Race’: Constructions of Chinese Manhood in the Exclusionist Debates” in Across the Great Divide: Cultures of Manhood in the American West, eds. Matthew Basso, Laura McCall, and Dee Garceau (New York: Routledge, 2001), 131–48; Shah, Stranger Intimacy, 77–104; and Mary Ting Yi Lui, The Chinatown Trunk Mystery: Murder, Miscegenation, and Other Dangerous Encounters in Turn-of-the-Century New York City (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005).

94 See, for example, San Francisco Call, Mar. 24, 1909, 2; June 20, 1910, 12; Sept. 23, 1910, 8.

95 Examples include Harper's Weekly, June 12, 1869, 384; San Francisco Thistleton's Illustrated Jolly Giant, Nov. 18, 1876, 333; and San Francisco Wasp, Nov. 18, 1876, 138.

96 Theodore H. Hittell, ed., Supplement to the Codes and Statutes of the State of California, vol. 3 (San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft and Company, 1880), 209; Peggy Pascoe, What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 87–89.

97 Lui, The Chinatown Trunk Mystery, 111–42.

98 Harris, Arcana of Christianity, Part III, vol. 1, 47.

99 Charles D. Hunter to his sister Mary, Dec. 1, 1881, Thomas Lake Harris Correspondence, 1881–1899, Syracuse University Library.

100 George Henry Preble, The Opening of Japan: A Diary of Discovery in the Far East, 1853–1856 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1962), 181.

101 Joseph Rogala, A Collector's Guide to Books on Japan in English (Richmond, Surrey: Japan Library, 2001), 82.

102 Henning, Outposts of Civilization, 23–24.

103 San Francisco Call, Sept. 22, 1898, 5, Apr. 6, 1899, 2; Scott Clark, Japan: A View from the Bath (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1994), 33–35.

104 San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 25, 1891, 7.

105 San Francisco Call, Feb. 17, 1892, 8; Lee, Orientals, 108.

106 San Francisco California Illustrated World, Mar. 1892, reel 14, item 320, TLHBNL; San Francisco Chronicle, Mar. 4, 1892, 1.

107 San Francisco Chronicle, Dec. 13, 1891, 10. On Leighton's painting, see Mary Roberts, Intimate Outsiders: The Harem in Ottoman and Orientalist Art and Travel Literature (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007), 90.

108 San Francisco Wave, Feb. 13, 1892; San Francisco Call, Feb. 16, 1892, 4.

109 Harrisburg (Penn.) Patriot, Dec. 14, 1891, 4.

110 New York Times, Jan. 10, 1892, 4.

111 Southern Literary Messenger, July 1853, 392; Auburn Wisconsin Chief, Aug. 10, 1852, 2; Belmont (Ohio) Chronicle, Jan. 28, 1853, 1.

112 Twentieth Century, n.d. [ca. Mar. 1892], reel 14, item 320, TLHBNL.

113 Harper's New Monthly Magazine 84 (Feb. 1892): 481.

114 San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 14, 1892, 12; Sandra Sizer Frankiel, California's Spiritual Frontiers: Religious Alternatives in Anglo-Protestantism, 1850–1910 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), 140.

115 Karen Lystra, Searching the Heart: Women, Men, and Romantic Love in Nineteenth-Century America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989); Ullman, Sex Seen; D'Emilio and Freedman, Intimate Matters, 171–235; Horowitz, Rereading Sex.

116 Gordon, The Mormon Question, 37.

117 See, for example, Los Angeles Times, Apr. 25, 1889, 2, July 13, 1895, 8; May 19, 1907, 15; Mar. 8, 1908, 13. A precursor to such stories was the William Sharon-Sarah Althea Hill saga of the mid-1880s; see Hudson, Lynn M., “‘Strong Animal Passions’ in the Gilded Age: Race, Sex, and a Senator on Trial,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 9 (2000): 6284.

118 Ann Eliza Young, Wife No. 19, or the Story of a Life in Bondage (Hartford, CT: Dustin, Gilman & Co., 1876), 32; Gordon, The Mormon Question, 112–13.

119 Barbara Epstein, “Family, Sexual Morality, and Popular Movements in Turn-Of-The-Century America” in Powers of Desire: The Politics of Sexuality, eds. Ann Snitow, Christine Stansell, and Sharon Thompson (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1983), 117–30; Brumberg, Joan Jacobs, “‘Ruined’ Girls: Changing Community Responses to Illegitimacy in Upstate New York, 1890–1920,” Journal of Social History 18 (1984): 247–72; Linda Gordon, The Moral Property of Women: A History of Birth Control Politics in America, rev. ed. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2002); Christina Simmons, Making Marriage Modern: Women's Sexuality from the Progressive Era to World War II (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009).

120 Santa Rosa Daily Republican, Feb. 22, 1892, 4; San Francisco Call, Mar. 4, 1892, 8; San Francisco Chronicle, Mar. 4, 1892, 1; Jane Lee Waring to Richard M'Cully, May 17, 1892, box 1, folder 4; V. Valta Parma Collection, Hamilton College Library; San Francisco Chronicle, Mar. 4, 1892, 1; Sonoma Democrat, June 4, 1892, 5; Le Prade, “Angel of the Jails,” 367.

121 San Francisco Morning Call, Sept. 3, 1892, 8.

122 A. A. Chevaillier to Septimus J. Hanna, Mar. 30, 1900, Incoming Correspondence File, Mary Baker Eddy Library, Boston.

123 Los Angeles Times, Apr. 27, 1930, B20; Feb. 23, 1933, A5; Apr. 27, 1935, A1.

124 Kadota and Jones, Kanaye Nagasawa, 137, 141–44; San Bernardino County Sun, Dec. 26, 1936, 3.

125 Hall, Mori Arinori, 205–6; Ōsui Arai to Edwin Markham, May 5, 1902, reel 9, item 235, TLHBNL.

1 I thank Quincy D. Newell, Jane H. Yamashiro, Jeff Wilson, Kathryn Gin Lum, James T. Campbell, James B. Bennett, Valerie Matsumoto, Geneva Gano, and this journal's editors and anonymous reviewers for their help and suggestions.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
  • ISSN: 1537-7814
  • EISSN: 1943-3557
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-gilded-age-and-progressive-era
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed