Nineteenth Century Prostitution in SF : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

Hello, I'm doing research on prostitution in nineteenth century San Francisco, and I was wondering if anyone knew of some good primary resources. Specifically, I'm interested in the history of Morton Street (now Maiden Lane). I'd really love to get a hold of some first hand accounts of some of the women who worked in the industry, or even some of the johns. Thank you, ~misty

-- Misty Dawn Gaubatz (, October 23, 2003


Read Curt Gentry's "The Madams of San Francisco." It's a very good book and quite detailed.

There is also an on-line museum of prostitution (http://www.realm-of- You need to be registered to view it, but it's well worth it. I read through the site before it became restricted. They have lots of historical perspective, documentation and photographs.

-- Rosa (, October 26, 2003.

You should look at SF newspapers from 1850-1880's at the 5th floor of the Main library, I believe from many accounts that prostitution was legal in San Francisco at the time. The South of Market neighborhood is good resource. When you go through this area you find small streets with female names and some these streets were named after prostitutes such as Minna and Annie.

-- Gabrielle O'Connell (, November 14, 2003.

Check out Herbert Asbury's "Barbary Coast". That might hold some answers for you. Also, my website has an old west bibliography that would definitely be helpful to you. I've got an excerpt from his book on the second page of my site. Good luck with your research of San Francisco. Honestly, I'm doing research of that same era in the Fargo, North Dakota region. Now THAT'S a major- league challenge! Got any suggestions for me?

-- Jan Koski (, December 21, 2003.

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