Nancy E. Davis's monograph on Afong Moy, the first known Chinese woman to come to America, scrutinizes Moy's journey in the Americas. Davis reflects on how Americans perceived China and the Far East in the early to mid-nineteenth century. Because of the paucity of sources written about Afong Moy, it is hard to draw many concrete conclusions about her characteristics or her experiences in America and Cuba. Davis largely presents Moy's career as a promoter and presenter of Chinese objects on the stage by investigating family papers of Moy's associates, newspapers and periodical sources, and written accounts of Moy's visit from the office of Philip Hone, the mayor of New York City from 1826 to 1827.

Davis highlights Moy's life as a performance for American audiences in two stages (p. 6). After she first arrived in America in 1834, she owned a New York City salon and sold Chinese trade...

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