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"22 Lewd Chinese Women": A Trial Reenactment
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When: 5/21/2014
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Where: New York City Bar Association
42 West 44th Street
New York

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FREE for  AABANY and NYCBA members
$20 for non-members


In 1874, a ship arrived in the port of San Francisco carrying some 600 Chinese passengers. A state official determined that 22 of them – Chinese women traveling alone – were "lewd," that is, they were prostitutes. Applying state law, the official ruled that the women could not disembark unless the ship's captain paid a bond of $500 each. The captain refused, and the women were ordered detained. Legal proceedings followed, including a four-day trial and appeals reaching the United States Supreme Court, raising issues of federalism and civil and human rights.

This presentation, marking a collaboration between the New York City Bar Association and the Asian American Bar Association of New York, will feature members from both associations in the cast and the Hon. Denny Chin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as narrator and moderator, to tell the story of the women, through narration, reenactment of court proceedings, and historic photographs. CLE credits will be available.

Tentative schedule:

6:00 PM Doors Open
6:30 PM Introductory Remarks/Performance
7:45 PM Talk-back
8:00 PM Reception