Return to Frederick Bee History Project.
Ah Oie's story in Wanton West: Madams, Money, Murder, and the Wild Women of Montana's Frontier
Entry in Log Book of Presbyterian Occidental Board Mission Home
May 19, 1884
was born in Fat San, China, her parents dying when she was a child her grandmother sold her to a woman named Ah Tai for $130. Ah Tai passed her over to Ah Que (who is known among her neighbors as pockmarked Ah Que), brought her to San Francisco for immoral purposes, but was not permitted to land her with charge. A writ of habeas corpus was issued by the woman and a party of highbinders, to take her from the steamer. Ah Oie was taken to the court of the U.S. Customs House. Judge Hoffman ordered her sent to the house of the Chinese Consul General, who requested us to take her to the Home, and care for her till her case was heard in court.
May 26, 1884
Took Ah Oie to court, accompanied by John E. V. Gardner as interpreter, and Ti Choi, one of the inmates of the Home, The Chinese Vice-Counsel, and Their Secretary, with Col. Bee of the Consulate, Secretary Hunter of the Soc. PCC. After hearing the case, Judge Coffey granted me letters of guardianship
NOTE: Soc. PCC was the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
July 17, 1889
Ah Oie was married to Low Ah Fook
Ceremony by Rev Dr. Loomis
Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 51, Number 79, 23 May 1884
Colonel Bee placed Chinese girl in Presbyterian Occidental Board Mission Home after judge gave custody to Colonel Bee.
Eleventh Annual Report
Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society
As an addenda to Miss Culbertson’s report, she has furnished items, enabling us to give the history of a new little girl in the Home, which we hasten to place in our annual report at the last moment, that it can be inserted. The peril that our little treasure has passed and her escape is especially thrilling.
Ah Oie, born in Fat Son, China is now fourteen years old. When between three and four years of age both parents died, leaving her to the care of her grandmother, who afterwards sold her to a woman named A Tie for $130. Ah Tie was an unkind mistress punishing her frequently. A favorite mode of Chastisement was to make her fall upon her knees, place a bucket of water upon her head and then assume an upright position without spilling any of the water upon the floor. If not successful a beating was the consequence. An old Pioneer named A Que, familiarly known among the denizens of Chinatown as “Pock marked Ah Que” left San Francisco for China one year ago. While in Canton, she entered into an arrangement with A Tie to bring the child to California, where she would realize a large sum of money for her by reason of her pretty face and sweet voice for singing. On arriving in San Francisco on the 16th of this month (May), the Chinese Consulate visited the steamer and gathered the foregoing facts from the child, and also that she was brought for immoral purposes. It is also asserted that $2,730 has been offered for her possession by the owners of a house of ill fame, and also that a wealthy Chinaman offered $500 if she would sing at a feast he was to spread for his guests in Chinatown. The old woman was not allowed to land her chattel. Then she sought to gain possession of her by a writ of habeas corpus. With threats she compelled the child to disclose to the Court that she was her mother, the child meanwhile shrieking and crying and refusing to be separated from her. Chinese highbinders were present and they intimidated her. The Court placed the little girl in the care of the Counsel, and this proved for him a perilous responsibility, as the highbinders crowded around the Counsel, threatening him with violence and thrusting their fists in his face, making it necessary for him to call to his aid the services of policemen. This demonstration on the part of the highbinders was a daring one, as severe penalties are inflicted upon subjects who offer an insult to a high official appointed to by their own Government. These men have since found it necessary to make very humble acknowledgements to the Consul, accompanied with prostrating themselves before them.
The American Consul, Col. Bee, the Chinese-Consul General and Vice-Consul, their Secretary, with the President of the Chinese Humane Society and the President of one of the “Six Companies” have called at the Home, in their desire to secure to the little girl her best interests. By their request, Miss Culbertson applied immediately for letters of guardianship, which have been granted, much to the satisfaction of the child, who joined in this request, and who has already begun to realize that there is a happier life in store for her.
It is reported that every Chinese woman going from here to China lately has had a stipulation entered that she may bring a girl when she returns, and Ah Oie says that over a dozen girls are on the way to this port now. The girls in the Home and the Missionaries and Christian women have prayed to the Lord to send more little girls to this Home. This is one answer – may there be many more.
List of Girls now Supported in the Mission Home
The amount necessary to support a scholar in the Occidental School is $40 for one year.
The amount necessary to support a girl in the Mission Home is $75 for one year.
Twenty-five dollars constitutes any one a life member of the Occidental Board.
One hundred dollars constitutes any one an honorary life director.
Thank you to the San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, California
||By whom supported
|Ah Oie (new)
||Foong Hay (new)
||Ah Ho No. 1
||Ngun Choi (new)
||Ute Cheng (new)
||Loy Hoe (new)
||Ah Yute No. 1
||Ah Yute No. 2
||Dr. Cuylers Church, NY
||San Rafael Society
||Mrs. Whiting, Jeffersonville, Pa
||S.S. Calvary Church
||Ah Hoe No. 2
||Lewis Band, Howard Church
||Richardson Band, Detroit , Mich
||Mrs. McLachlen, Montreal, Ca
||Calvary Church, S.F., and Willing Workers, Groveland, NY
||Niagara Falls, NY
||Young Ladies’ Band, Springfield,Mo
||Brooklyn Memorial Church, N. Y.
Ah Oie is entry 2951 in Index to Habeas Corpus Cases for the US District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco
Case number 2951
Thank you to Marisa Louie of the National Archives, San Bruno, CA
Original entry in Log Book of Presbyterian Occidental Board Mission Home
Thank you to Doreen Dor-McLeod
The Chinese Mission House was operated by Dr. Loomis at the northeast corner of Stockton and Sacramento Street and the Presbyterian Occidental Board Mission Home was run by Maggie Culbertson at 933 Sacramento Street.
1884 Langley San Francisco City Directory
Fat San - Fat Shan - city in Namhoi County, Kwangtung Province, Southern China, about 20 miles southwest of Canton; birthplace of YiHp Gai MaHn, and the home of Wing Chun; in Mandarin: Foshan.
Map of Foshan, China