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Errata and Addenda

Copyright Page

Page iv: Since the publication of the book, several additional photographs of Wong Chin Foo have been authenticated. The description on this page of the photograph on the back cover should therefore now read, "One of the few confirmed photographs of Wong Chin Foo known to exist..."


Page x: See above. Line 8 in the first full paragraph should now read, "There are only a few confirmed photographs."


Page xvii: See above. Line 4 in the second paragraph should now read, "...as well as the photograph of Wong that appears on page 21."

Wong Chin Foo Chronology

Page xxiii: In the chronology, 1881 is given as the year in which Wong Chin Foo cut off his hair queue. As reader Richard Chang has pointed out, a March 23, 1879 Chicago Tribune article states that before that date he had "removed the hirsute braid." That item, therefore, ought to appear under the year 1879 on the same page.

Dramatis Personae

Page xxvii: Further research has revealed the Chinese characters for Wong Sa Kee, Wong's childhood name. The first entry on that page should read:

Wong Chin Foo
(王清福; Wang Qingfu)

Chinese American author, lecturer, editor, and social activist. Aliases: Wong Sa Kee, Wong Sakhe (王歲奇), Wong Yen Ping (王彥平), Huang Ching Foo (黃清福), Ah Wong, Charlie Wong.

Page xxxix: Birth and death years for Sallie Little Holmes and her formal name have been provided by Donald Little, author of a 2009 biography of her brother, his great-grandfather Samuel Trawin Little. Her entry on that page should read:

Sara Jane (Sallie) Little Holmes


The Arid Land of Heathenism (1847-67)

Page 11: The sketch of Sallie Little Holmes that appears on this page was the only image of her available when the book was published. Since that time, however, additional photographs of Sallie have come to light. One of them, at right, is Sallie's wedding photo, courtesy of Deborah Chamblee, daughter of Elizabeth Hart Guiher, who compiled Sallie's letters into the booklet Bonds of Friendship Love & Truth in 1987, and who, in turn, is a distant cousin of both J. Landrum Holmes and of Julia Davis Adams, who inherited the letters from her grandmother, Anna Kennedy Davis.

Figure 5

Page 21: Because several additional photographs of Wong Chin Foo that reside in private collections have been authenticated since the book was published, the caption should now read, "This image, one of only six confirmed photographs of Wong Chin Foo known to exist..." 

The Chinese in New York (1887-89)

Page 162: In light of the discovery of additional articles by (or likely by) Wong Chin Foo since the book was published (see below), the second sentence in the last paragraph on this page should be revised as follows:

From 1887 through 1889, he published more than 60 articles for American readers, more than half of which dealt with the Chinese in America and the rest with those in the old country.

Wong Chin Fooʼs Published Works

Pages 297-303: Thanks to additional digitization of historic documents, improvements in search engines and new search strategies, many additional articles by (or very likely by) Wong Chin Foo have come to light since the publication of the book, and one was known but inadvertently omitted from the Appendix. The following should be added to the list:

"War News from Chinatown," New York Sun, April 24, 1883.

"Arrested Over Their Opium," New York Sun, May 12, 1883.

"Another Challenge from Wong Chin Foo," New York Sun, July 26, 1883. Letter to the Editor.

"Conflagration in Chinatown," New York Sun, September 20, 1885.

"Joss in Chatham Square," New York Sun, December 6, 1885.

"A Naturalized Chinaman's Opinion," (Orangeburg, SC) Times and Democrat, March 4, 1886.

"Christ Preached Before Joss," New York Sun, October 24, 1887.

"Chinese Food for New Yorkers," New York Sun, March 9, 1888.

"The Chinese Against the Mayor," New York Sun, March 21, 1888.

"Some Chinese Dishes," Logansport Journal, April 13, 1888. Appeared elsewhere. (Unsigned, but likely authored by Wong Chin Foo).

"A Chinese Pedestrian," New York Sun, May 21, 1888.

"A Chinese Wood Carver's Workshop," New York Sun, November 18, 1888.

"Money for the Joss," New York Sun, December 17, 1888.

"A Political Row in Chinatown," New York Sun, March 26, 1889.

"A Chinaman in a Bad Fix," Philadelphia Inquirer, August 31, 1889.

"Training Chinese Wrestlers," New York Sun, November 10, 1889.

"Wong and Fong Want Electricity," New York Sun, December 15, 1889.

"China Wouldn't Miss a Few Linemen," New York Sun, December 17, 1889.

"Anarchy in Chinatown," New York Sun, December 26, 1889.

"A New God for Chinatown," New York Sun, January 3, 1890.

"Wong Dow Lung Was a Mandarin," New York Sun, January 5, 1890.

"The Hermit of Mott Street," New York Sun, January 12, 1890.

"Keeping the Chinese New Year," New York Sun, January 20, 1890.

"A Delirium of Firecrackers," New York Sun, January 28, 1890.

"A Chinese Rosalind," New York Sun, February 6, 1890.

"A Mott Street Proclamation," New York Sun, April 1, 1890.

"Sinn Quong On's Joy and Pride," New York Sun, December 16, 1890.

"Look Out for Them, Senator Blair," New York Sun, March 25, 1891.


The Remarkable
Life of 

Wong Chin Foo


This 1858 wedding portrait of Sallie and the Rev. J. Landrum Holmes was provided through the courtesy of Deborah Chamblee.  

Joseph Silva  brought an 1883 letter signed by Wong Chin Foo to the Chinese Historical Society of America book talk on June 20, 2013.


 Wong delivered a lecture at Morgan's Hall in Camden, New Jersey in April 1875. Proceeds went to the benefit of the Camden Home for Friendless Children.

A photo of Wong from the Philip Chen collection identified after the publication of the book was featured at a 2014-2015 exhibition at the New York Historical Society.

© 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 Scott D. Seligman