Notes: A small cabinet card photograph of the United Brethren church's Chinese Christian mission, a large two-story wooden building that was once located at 353 Second Ave NW, in Portland, Oregon, just outside the traditional borders of the city's Chinatown. Some thirty-seven people are posed in front of the building, 31 Chinese men, six Anglo women, and an Anglo man. The tall Anglo man, with a large white beard, has a small asterisk inked next to his head. He is identified on the back (verso) of the photograph as the Rev. George Sickafoose.
The Rev. Sickafoose was the pastor of the Chinese Christian congregation, which numbered about 150 according to Brethren publications of the era. Standing next to him is a woman who may be Ellen Sickafoose, his wife, who was the superintendent of the mission and its school. In fact, she assumed this position in 1883, with her husband joining her a year later. Standing in front of both Sickafooses is a Chinese man with his arm akimbo. Your cataloguer speculates that this is Moy Ling, who started a lay Christian group for Chinese immigrants in Portland in the 1870s. The United Brethren agreed to take it over in 1882, sending Mrs. Sickafoose to Portland the next year. Moy Ling continued to work with the mission for many years.
According to the Oregonian newspaper (June 17, 1908), Moy was the secretary to the Chinese consul in Portland, the superintendent of the Chinese mission (having assumed Ellen Sickafoose's position), and "a wealthy Chinese merchant now retired from active business."
Albumen silver print, roughly 5-3/4 by 4 inches on a slightly larger mount. No photographer identified.
See also History of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ by Daniel Berger (1910), pp. 470ff.
Edition + Condition: This image has good focus and sharp contrast. An attractive and uncommon 19th century image of Portland's Chinese community.
Publication: Portland, OR: (n.p.), (ca. 1890).
Item No: #307724