The start of the New York CHIRISH: from house-servant to groom

Around the late 1800s, New York's refined middle class was growing tired of their "unreliable" and "too demanding" Irish female house servants. Therefore, the middle class was in search of replacements and Chinese manservants were a solution.

The popularity of the Chinese servants were due to newspapers promoting them. For example, the Evening Post once wrote that "The capability and fidelity (of Chinese) in housework and outdoor labor have been well tested in California and elsewhere and will no doubt be appreciated here... Offerings of employment should go to Mss Goodrich, 140 W. 15th St."

Another example was from the New-York Times in which journalist James Baptiste stated that "...several ladies from Madison Avenue and other fashionable uptown questers" went downtown to Mott Street to search for the agency to hire Chinese workers.

With such demands, the Chinese found a new occupation. However, for the Chinese to be able to serve westerners, they needed to earn English and American culture. Many churches offered Christian programs to the Chinese in the Fourth and Sixth wards (these lessons were offered as a way to lure the Chinese into Christian missionaries).

With many Irish women now out of a job, they turned to the Churches, who hired the Irish to teach English and western culture. Among their students were the Chinese. Many of these single, young, Irish women became romantically involved with said Chinese and the phenomenon of the Chirish began. Though both the Irish and Chinese were outcasted in New York at the time as non-white filth, the Chirish was still a curiosity with many newspapers across the nation writing about said couples in New York.

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