Friday, July 30, 2010


It’s strange that there’s such a brisk and open market for books about female whores in the Frontier West. This list is from: Buckingham Books. Website: A specialty of theirs is books on the West, maps, reports and ephemera. It’s evident that Jay Moynahan is dispersing his personal warehouse. (In Montana most of the writers on this subject have been women.)

“A retired professor of Criminal Justice from Eastern Washington University in Spokane, Washington, Moynahan is continually working on this series of books about prostitution in the American Old West, from 1849 to 1920.

“Over the decades, the author has scoured the American West and Northwest collecting material from vintage diaries, letters, newspapers, photographs, books, magazines, census data, interviews, personal records, police, prison and court records in an effort to separate fact from fiction and has given us an entertaining look at history as it was and not the movie version.

“There were a number of interesting and dynamic women in the ranks of these good time girls. Some were in constant trouble with the law and found themselves in a revolving door between jail and the streets, countless others were addicted to drugs and alcohol. Many were ahead of their time in social matters, consequently their lives are intensely interesting to us and read like an old soap opera, engaging yet almost unbelievable.

“A crusader of sorts, Moynahan's research became more personal when he discovered Anna Moynahan, a distant relative who supported herself in the 1870s by running the Star Adair Bordello in the mining town of Georgetown, Colorado.”

1. MOYNAHAN, JAY. REMEDIES FROM THE RED LIGHTS: CURES, TREATMENTS AND MEDICINES FROM THE SPORTIN' LADIES OF THE FRONTIER WEST. Opposite each cure, treatment or medicine is a story, fact, or observation about prostitution. Cures for a number of ailments are discussed, such as, ear aches, cure for drunkenness, croup, complexion cleanser, burns, stomach aches, wrinkle control, and much more.

2. MOYNAHAN, JAY 1895. LADIES OF EASY VIRTUE. THE GAR SOUVENIR SPORTING GUIDE. This book contains a facsimile reproduction of an 1895 guide book to sporting women in Louisville during the annual Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic. The guide was 28 pages long and provided the reader with a list of houses of prostitution in the area.

3. MOYNAHAN, JAY. BUTTE'S SPORTIN' WOMEN 1880-1920. THE FAMOUS RED LIGHT DISTRICT AND A LIST OF OVER 1200 NAMES. History and photographs surrounding the "sportin' women" of the Montana town of Butte and the ladies of its Red Light District.

4. MOYNAHAN, JAY . FORTY FALLEN WOMEN. WESTERN DOVES AND MADAMS 1885-1920. This book presents a collection of 40 old western photographs of prostitutes and madams who plied their trade in the West. The women pictured worked in a variety of settings that included saloons, cribs, and houses of prostitution. Some of the photographs are of well-known doves as Big Nose Kate Elder, Squirrel Tooth Alice. Della Moore , companion of Harvey Logan (Kid Curry), Etta Place, companion of Butch Cassidy, and many lesser-known women.

5. MOYNAHAN, JAY. THE KLONDIKE TRAVELS OF MATTIE SILKS AND HER SPORTIN' WOMEN. The story of Madam Mattie Silks, eight beautiful prostitutes, and their thrilling and dangerous 1898 trip to the Klondike gold fields. Mattie was a prominent Denver madam who decided to travel north and get her gold by providing sportin' women for the lonely miners. Mattie chose a poor time to travel as there were no trains or roads, only trails and the temperature of the Yukon interior was in the -30F to -50F. Mattie and her group traveled over 500 miles to get there. Some information on Wild Bill Hickok. Mattie and her girls made a great deal of money and left after three months, on her trip home through Skagway, Alaska, Mattie crossed path with an old nemisis, Soapy Smith, who made plans to rob her and the other women. He was unsuccessful in his plan.

6. MOYNAHAN, JAY. GOLD RUSH GIRLS OF THE KLONDIKE 1896-1901. There was a fabulous gold strike in the Klondike at the end of the nineteenth century. In addition to the men coming to the strike, there was a special breed of women who came in search of fortune. They were the gold rush girls, who dispensed their favors upon the men of the gold rush.

7. MOYNAHAN, JAY. PROSTITUTE DICTIONARY OF THE OLD WEST. This book has been completely revised. It was originally published in 2002 under the title TALKIN' ABOUT SPORTIN' WOMEN. The terms used in this third edition were used by prostitutes, their customers, the public, and social reformers in the second half of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century.

8. MOYNAHAN, JAY.. SOUVENIR SPORTING GUIDE. This book contains a reproduction of an 1897 guide book to sportin' women in Los Angeles. The guide was 16 pages long and provided the reader with a list of places where prostitutes could be found. Apparently neither the working women nor the madams were particularly shy about advertising their wares.

9. MOYNAHAN, JAY. FIFTY YEARS OF PROSTITUTE PHOTOS 1870-1920. THREE VOLUMES. The compiler says, "Early photographs of American prostitutes are difficult to find. Most of the women in the profession were reluctant to have their pictures taken. Some of the sportin' women saw their tenure in the field as only temporary. When they returned to their previous life they didn't want to be followed by photographs. On the other hand there were some sportin' women who were interested in using photographs for advertising. These women would have pictures taken and many copies made so that they could be given to customers as a reminder of good times. Some of these ladies were fully clothed while others were without clothing. There were others shown with varying amounts of clothing." These ladies pictured were employed in the West in Colorado, Idaho, Arizona, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, etc.

10. MOYNAHAN, JAY. PHOTOGRAPHS OF RED LIGHT LADIES, 1865-1920. Depicts the working girls in various forms of undress or completely nude. A photographic history of prostitutes who practiced their trade in the Western United States from 1865 through 1920.

11. MOYNAHAN, JAY. SOILED DOVES, SPORTIN' WOMEN AND OTHER FALLEN FLOWERS: PROSTITUTION ON THE AMERICAN FRONTIER. The Introduction says in part, "This book is about soiled doves and their customers, working arrangements and places of business. The author has chosen material and stories from across the West, including Canada and Alaska." Much on El Paso, Texas, with five important madams who operated brothels between 1881 and 1915. Also information on the Bird Cage Theater in Tombstone, Arizona, Sadie Orchard, a "colorful pioneer" of New Mexico, Lois Lovell of Denver, "French Marie" in Dawson City, Yukon Territory, who decided to auction herself and the aftermath of that auction. The stories describe a few phenomenal women who did some interesting and remarkable things on the American Frontier.

12. MOYNAHAN, JAY. BAWDY PHOTOGRAPHS 1870-1930. [Spokane: Chickadee Publishing, 2007]. This book displays amateur and professional photographs of women who worked as prostitutes from 1870 to 1930. Some of the women are fully clothed while others are nude. Along with each photograph is a statement about prostitutes or prostitution.

13. MOYNAHAN, JAY. RISQUE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE SOILED DOVES. This book displays amateur and professional photographs of women who worked as prostitutes during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Some of the women are fully clothed while others are nude. Along with each photograph is a statement about prostitutes or prostitution.

14. MOYNAHAN, JAY. [EDITED BY]. THE BLUE BOOK OF NEW ORLEANS. Storyville, the red light section of New Orleans, was opened in 1897 and officially existed for twenty years. A series of guides were printed during this time and were called red books. these books contained prostitute's names, where they resided, brothel advertisements, and general advertisements. The guide were distributed in bars, barbershops, at the train station, and by a small team of newsboys.

15. MOYNAHAN, JAY. RED LIGHT REVELATIONS. THE SPORTIN' WOMEN OF WALLACE AND THE SILVER VALLEY, 1888 TO 1909. Silver Valley is the name of the old Coeur d'Alene Mining District. It stretches in Idaho about 40 miles along the Osborne Fault from the town of Mullan to Pinehurst. Prostitution first appeared in the Silver Valley in 1883 and remained active for about 110 years. These pioneer prostitutes constituted an important part of the community, leaving a lasting and memorable stamp upon the Valley. Pieces of their life stories are found in this book. Some stories are funny, a few are happy but many are sad. Most of the women did not lead an easy life. Newspaper accounts of 1888 to 1909 provide information on the sportin' life in Idaho's famous Silver Valley.

16. MOYNAHAN, JAY. RED LIGHT REVELATIONS. A GLANCE INTO SACRAMENTO'S BAWDY PAST OF 1885. Book observes prostitution in the city through the 1885 issues of one of the city's newspapers, the SACRAMENTO DAILY BEE. Articles about the ladies are gathered from January to December of that year.

17. MOYNAHAN, JAY. RED LIGHT REVELATIONS. RISQUE LADIES OF DAWSON AND THE KLONDIKE GOLD RUSH, 1898 TO 1902. This book captures the flavor of the gold stampede in Alaska and Northwest Canada through newspaper articles about soiled doves. Of the 30,000 people in Dawson, Yukon Territory, most were men but some women hastened to the call of fortune and excitement. Many of these were professional prostitutes.

18. MOYNAHAN, JAY. RED LIGHT REVELATIONS. A GLANCE AT GREAT FALLS' LUSTY PAST 1889-1918. This book traces prostitution in Great Falls through the newspapers from 1889 through 1918. Activity in the red light section was probably greater than at any other time in the history of the town. The sportin' women were working the streets, saloons, cribs, hotels, boarding houses and brothels of the city. This book is the first known publication to focus on prostitution in Great Falls and the surrounding area. The women who engaged in the world's oldest profession were often colorful and their stories should be told.

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