Tye Leung was the first Chinese woman to vote for President, and first to work in a civil service job. In 1899, her parents arranged a marriage for her older sister. When the sister ran away, her parents decided that 12-year-old Tye would take her place. Instead, Tye ran away also, to the Presbyterian Mission (later the Cameron House). As a young girl, she worked as a translator and interpreter with Donaldina Cameron to rescue enslaved Chinese girls in Chinatown.
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