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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Poker Bride: The First Chinese In The Wild West

The Poker Bride: The First Chinese In The Wild West

14 Ratings: 3.6
The 2010 nonfiction book by Christopher Corbett.

"When the gold rush gripped the globe in 1849 the western frontier of the United States was transformed into a mecca for fortune seekers. In The Poker Bride, Christopher Corbett tells the tale of the little known era of American history when Chinese … see full wiki

Author: Christopher Corbett
Genre: History, Old West
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Date Published: February 2, 2010
5 reviews about The Poker Bride: The First Chinese In The...
review by . April 21, 2010
One of the most curious tales in the history of the Old West.
It's the stuff that legends are made of.  The year was 1872.  A young Chinese girl arrives in San Francisco which at the time was the chief port of entry for those emigrating to this country from China.  The girl known as Polly was around 21 years old when she stepped off that boat.  Life had certainly not been kind to her.  In the midst of a devastating famine in her native land Polly's father was forced to trade her for a mere two bags …
review by . May 02, 2010
One of the things I'm learning during my reading of historical titles is that we tend to forget much of our past. And actually, we *do* end up repeating many of our mistakes and ugly periods. I found some of those forgotten elements when reading The Poker Bride: The First Chinese in the Wild West by Christopher Corbett. While the book would seem to be more about the story of Polly Bemis, a Chinese "working girl" who was won in a poker game, the real story is of how life in the West was lived during …
review by . June 21, 2010
FASCINATING, SOMETIMES TRAGIC, AND TRUEHistory is vivified when seen through the eyes of an individu
   History is vivified when seen through the eyes of an individual, thus it is with Christopher Corbett's story of Polly Bemis, a Chinese concubine sold by her starving parents IN 1872 then smuggled to San Francisco. Next, she was brought by her owner to an Idaho mining camp where he lost her to Charlie Bemis in a poker game.      She lived with Charlie for almost half a century on an isolated ranch in the canyon of the Salmon River, "known as the `River Of …
review by . April 19, 2010
When you study about the Chinese coming to America in the 19th century, the emphasis has always been on those who helped to build the western portion of the transcontinental railroad. As we learn from this excellent book, the railroad was only part of their story.    Chinese came to this country because they were interested in making enough money to go back to China and support themselves and their families at a level not possible if they had stayed in their home country. That …
review by . April 12, 2010
Corbett, Christopher. "The Poker Bride: The First Chinese in the West", Atlantic Monthly Press, 2010.    A Saga of America    Amos Lassen    Here is an aspect of the old West that many of us know nothing about. We know that there were Chinese there during the gold rush but we do not know about the Chinese women who came over to work as concubines. One of these was Polly Bemis who was won in a poker game by Charlie Bemis and he married her. …
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