Jessie Juliet Knox

Although there is not a lot of biographical information about Jessie Juliet Knox, her writing and published books should not be overlooked by readers. If anything, she should be considered an author that has contributed in shaping American Literature. The MLA International Bibliography database and the World Cat database do not have any information about Jessie Juliet Knox’s biography, nor do they have any about her receiving any type of scholarly attention for her works. However, one source that highlights her life and her works is the Online Archie of California. Born Jessie Juliet Daily, Jessie Juliet Knox was born in Cleveland, Tennessee to Reverend William Clinton and Julia Daily in 1867. Knox was educated in various public and private schools in Tennessee where she studied music. After graduating high school in 1884, Knox moved to San Jose, California where she married Charles Williams Knox, who was a banker and singer, on June 4, 1890. Beginning her writing career in 1900, Knox became the President of the Short Story Book Club in California, and became a prominent writer and lecturer on Pacific Coast Chinese. Knox began writing stories and articles in a kindly and sympathetically matter about the Chinese of her time. Because of her writing style and position on portraying Chinese people, her writing attracted Ho Yow who was a Chinese Consul General in San Francisco. Through this relationship, Knox was able to gain many opportunities where she was able to enrich her knowledge in Chinese culture. Thus, she also became a patron of the San Jose Chinese community.1

In 1899, Knox adopted a nine year old Chinese girl named Lynne Shew. Inspired by her mother’s writing and interaction with the Chinese community, Lynne became an expressive writer, a beneficial fundraiser, an able administrator, and finally a teacher. In 1925, Lynne moved to China where she established a hospital, and then moved back to California in 1940. Knox divorced her husband, Mr. Charles Knox, and later moved from San Jose to Oakland where she became a welfare worker. Knox died in Oakland; however, she is still remembered by the various works she wrote that supported Chinese people, culture, and values. Besides In the House of the Tiger which was written in 1911, Knox also wrote two other novels, Bunnyville and Little Almond Blossoms that captured Chinese traditions and life through the literary genre of children’s literature. 1

Works Cited :

  1Jabloner, Paula, and Leilani Marshall. Jessie Juliet Knox Collection. Online Archive of California, Dec. 2001. Web. <>.


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