Tag Archives: Donaldina Cameron

Update on Donaldina Cameron and the Ming Quong Home

Elena B. Wong Viscovich, Ed.D, sent me a clarification and update on the original 3/21/2016 blog entry on Donaldina Cameron and the children at the Ming Quong Home.

Ming Quong Home was established 1925 for girls that were orphans, half-orphans, children of divorce, unwanted by a step-parent, or because of mental, physical health of parents, and of refugee status, etc. The children at Ming Quong Home were not prostitutes, orphans of prostitutes, nor illegitimate children. 

Photo from The Story of the Ming Quong Home website

For a more complete story about the Ming Quong Home, please go to “The Story of the Ming Quong Homes” and its citations by Elena B. Wong Viscovich, Ed.D, a Ming Quong alumna. While researching the Ming Quong Home, Dr. Wong Viscovich found the original log listing the names of the girls at Ming Quong. She then helped redesign the contents of the Ming Quong Museum Room at the Pacific Clinics property in 2021. The log listed the reasons for placement which is mentioned above.

Dong Suey Heong (Rose Dong) of Sacramento

Photo of Miss Rose Dong (Dong Suey Heong)
“Dong Suey Heong (Rose Dong) statement photo,” 1936, Chinese Exclusion Act case files, RG 85, National Archives-Seattle, Dong Suey Heong file, Seattle, Box 700, Case 7030/8867.

Miss Rose Dong (Dong Suey Heong) left Sacramento, California for Canton, China in June 1936 with her American teacher, Miss Hartley. She left before her application for her Form 430, Native’s Return Certificate, was completed and approved. Her mother, Quan Shee, died in Sacramento on 15 November 1934 and her father, Dong Haw, was unable to help her with her paper work before she left. Donaldina Cameron, Special Director Chinese Case Work at Presbyterian Mission Home in San Francisco, a friend of Miss Dong’s late mother helped with the necessary forms, certificates and affidavits so Miss Dong could get back into the United States. Miss Cameron was well known on the West Coast for her work with the Chinese. She wrote letters to Mr. Raphael P. Bonham of the Seattle Immigration office and Mr. Philipps Jones of Angel Island Immigration Service. Rose Dong was only gone one month and needed to get back on time to start the autumn semester for the Junior College at Sacramento. Miss Cameron testified that Rose had three younger sisters: Ella, Laura and Evelyn, and a younger brother, Richard; that she had been friends with Rose’s mother for many years and first met Rose about five years previously.
Rose Wong’s father Dong Hoo (Dong Haw), a merchant and manager of Yick Chong Company in Sacramento swore in an affidavit that Rose Wong was his lawful blood daughter, born 24 March 1916 in Sacramento. Immigration authorities requested affidavits of supporting witnesses willing to give testimony in Rose’s behalf and a copy of her mother’s death certificate. A copy of Rose’s birth certificate is also in the file.
Rose returned through San Francisco on 19 August 1936 and was admitted six days later. She was paroled to Miss Cameron. Rose’s paper work was completed and approved with the assistance of Donaldina Cameron.

Donaldina Cameron – “The Angel of Chinatown” in San Francisco

Photo of Donaldina Cameron
Donaldina Cameron

[Correspondence from Donaldina Cameron is included in many Chinese Exclusion files but she is not the subject of a file.]
Donaldina Cameron (1869-1968), the superintendent of the Presbyterian Mission Home in San Francisco from 1899-1934, rescued more than 3,000 Chinese woman and girls from the sex slave trade. Because the Chinese Exclusion Act made it very difficult for Chinese women to enter the United States, young woman were recruited and brought here thinking they would be working as domestic servants. Instead they were sold as prostitutes by the Chinese Tongs. The girls were held captive and Cameron would find them, smuggle them out and give them a safe place to live at the Mission Home.
At the Home the girls had lessons on Christian religion, English language and American housekeeping skills but they were taught very little about their Chinese culture.
To raise money for the Home, Cameron published articles in various religious and women’s journals and a pamphlet, “The Yellow Slave Traffic.” Donaldina founded the Chung Mei Home for orphans boys and Ming Quong Home for orphan girls.
Donaldina retired in 1934 and in 1942 the Presbyterian Home became known as the Donaldina Cameron House. It is located at 920 Sacramento Street in San Francisco, CA.
Miss Cameron died at age 98 on 4 January 1968. 1
1. “Donaldina Cameron,” Wikipedia, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donaldina_Cameron : accessed 16 March 2016.)
More information can be found at:
http://cameronhouse.org/, http://www.findagrave.com/, https://stargazermercantile.com/woman-mission-donaldina-cameron/, http://noehill.com/sf/landmarks/sf044.asp