"A revelatory history of the trafficking of young Asian girls that flourished in San Francisco during the first century of Chinese immigration (1848-1943) and the "safe house" on the edge of Chinatown that became a refuge for those seeking their freedom From 1874, a house on the edge of San Francisco's Chinatown served as a gateway to freedom for thousands of enslaved and vulnerable young Chinese women and girls. Known as the Occidental Mission Home, it survived earthquakes, fire, bubonic plague, and violence directed against its occupants and supporters--a courageous group of female abolitionists who fought the slave trade in Chinese women. With compassion and an investigative historian's sharp eyes, Siler tells the story of both the abolitionists, who challenged the corrosive, anti-Chinese prejudices of the time, and the young women who dared to flee their fate. She relates how the women who ran the house defied contemporary convention, even occasionally broke the law, by physically rescuing children from the brothels where they worked, or snatching them off the ships smuggling them in, and helped bring the exploiters to justice. She has also uncovered the stories of many of the girls and young women who came to the Mission and the lives they later led, sometimes becoming part of the home's staff themselves. A remarkable story of an overlooked part of our history, told with sympathy and vigor"-- Provided by publisher.