The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
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  THE CHINESE JOSS-HOUSE - The engraving presents a scene in the exhibit of the Wah Mee Exposition Company at the west end of Midway Plaisance. The company built a theatre, temple, and bazaar, which was kept open during the continuance of the Fair, but went into the hands of a receiver before the summer was half over. It is probable that, if the Ferris Wheel had been placed further westward on the Plaisance, the Chinese exhibit and the panorama of the Hawaiian volcano would have fared better, for both were instructive, entirely novel to most people, and rarely to be seen with safety in the ordinary course of living. The Chinese are so little known to Americans that an attempt to describe their theology, iconography, or ecclesiasticism must nearly always descend to the ridiculous. It is, however, believed to be established that, in the operation of their religion in American cities like New York and Chicago, the right to be priest or sexton is sold at auction each year at a sum less than one thousand dollars. The sexton obtains a certain monopoly of joss candles, incense-sticks, paper, oil, tea and punk. He also makes a weekly call at the laundries and stores of his people, collecting small joss-sums, usually twenty-five cents. In addition, when a worshipper changes his religion, the sexton gives him a personally-conducted tour in the joss-house, for which perhaps a dollar is exacted. It is understood by Americans, at least, that the idols are often reviled and scourged, in cases where they have not obviously changed the luck of their devotees.
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Digital History Collection
Page created: August 26, 1998