Saturday, June 23, 2012

Donaldina Cameron
Fierce Compassion: The Life of Abolitionist Donaldina Cameron, by Kristin and Kathryn Wong

Can one ordinary person truly make a difference? In turn-of-the-twentieth century San Francisco Chinatown, Donaldina Cameron did just that. Fighting against racism, gangs, and her own self-doubt, Miss Cameron freed thousands of Chinese slave girls from prostitution and dealt a huge blow to human trafficking.

From Scottish ancestry and born in New Zealand, Donaldina moved north from Southern California to 920 Stockton Street to teach sewing for a year, but ended up staying for forty-six. She also became an advocate for the Chinese living in America and traveled to many cities speaking on the topic.

This biography by a mother-daughter writing team captures readers' imagination and takes them to the streets of Chinatown exploring not only Miss Cameron's life, but the lives of the many girls and women she saved. Most were tricked or coerced into prostitution or sold as house slaves by desperate parents in China. The book portrays their struggles to escape slavery and adjust to life as free women.

Kathryn (r) and Kristin (l) Wong, Authors
Today, a hundred years later, human trafficking again has risen to the forefront of the public eye. Fierce Compassion is must-reading for anyone interested in modern-day slavery, Chinese-American history, Christian biographies, San Francisco Chinatown, the Presbyterian Church, the abolitionist movement, inspirational stories, women's issues, Donaldina Cameron House and more.


  1. nice writing, Carol! have to add this to my book list. how many pages/ long did it take you to read it?

    1. It took me less than a week. The book is fairly short, only 223 pages.


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