My father's automaton

My father's automaton

Nathan Dunn opened his Chinese Museum in 1838, and it shared a building with the Philadelphia Museum, which also housed Charles Willson Peale's collection of Chinese artifacts.

In Orientals: Asian Americans in Popular Culture, Robert G. Lee states that

“Peale particularly wanted to use his collection of memorabilia to refute negative portrayals of the Chinese as barbaric heathens―being circulated by frustrated Christian missionaries―and instead to promote a positive image of the Chinese as potential trading partners.”

Though some or all of Dunn's collection may have been auctioned off at the time of the fire, Silas Weir Mitchell still referred to the building as “The Chinese Museum” in his article "Last of a Veteran Chess-Player."