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抗击Geary Act 的“Chinese Guild”

已有 1450 次阅读2023-3-8 11:47 |个人分类:华人历史|系统分类:个人日记

Guy Maine, superintendent , Chinese Guild of St. Bartholomew 
https://stbarts.org/
23 St. Mark’s Place, 2016. Photo courtesy of Google Streetview.

The Chinese Guild was founded in 1889 at 23 St. Mark’s Place. Though it was formed in partnership with St. Bartholomew’s Church at Madison Avenue and 44th Street, the Guild served primarily as a secular social welfare and legal advocacy organization for the city’s Chinese American community. Membership cost $2 to join and $1 for every additional year. Guy Maine, formerly a Chinese tea merchant, served as the organization’s superintendent. The Guild included up to 600 members, many of whom worked as laundrymen and faced frequent discrimination in their daily lives.

The Guild organized a choir, Sunday school, and English lessons for its members, as well as assistance with rental negotiations and legal documentation. It also offered support for individuals contacting doctors, lawyers, and police. In 1891, Guy Maine was involved in 217 court cases regarding crimes committed against the Guild’s members, most of which involved assaults-and-batteries and broken laundry windows. “The Master Laundrymen’s Association,” a group of white steam-laundry owners threatened by the competition of Chinese laundries, would launch frequent attacks on businesses owned by Chinese Americans, vandalizing their storefronts. As a result, insurance companies would not cover damage to plate glass used in Chinese American businesses. In a 1901 report, Maine requested that the Guild be made a corporation, giving it the legal right to protect its members. At this time, the building at 23 St. Mark’s Place included a library, music room, dining room, smoking room, gymnasium, and several bedrooms. It was open all day from 9am until 10pm.

By 1898, The Chinese Guild had moved to the 9th floor of the new St. Bartholomew’s Parish House on East 42nd Street. 23 St. Mark’s Place survives today, albeit in highly altered form.

Asian-American History in Greenwich Village and the East Village - Village  Preservation