California Madams

California Madams

by Sherry Monahan


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With the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848, fortune-seekers from around the globe descended on California, among them a sprinkling of enterprising women. As author Sherry Monahan explains, "Living in the wild American West provided women with equal opportunity-for both success and failure. Conventional wisdom suggests that women became prostitutes only because they were desperate…. In fact, many of the women were smart entrepreneurs and saw a way to acquire fast and, in several cases, vast wealth." Rich in details combed from historical archives, California Madams uncovers the enigmatic and salacious lives of twenty-five women who ran houses of ill repute in the Golden State from the 1840s into the 1940s. Here are the hedonistic and sometimes heroic exploits of Margaret Appel, Diamond Jessie, Hattie Wells, Ah Toy, and Lee Francis, but also the unsung sagas of Emily Edwards

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781560376590
Publisher: Farcountry Press
Publication date: 07/10/2019
Pages: 168
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.45(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction v

Chapter 1 Greater San Francisco 1

Catherine Reiter 6

Cora Lee 12

Madam Appel 13

Hattie A. Wells 16

Ah Toy, aka China Mary of Alviso 20

Teresa Susan "Tessie" Donohue-Wall-Daroux 26

Annie May Wyant, aka Diamond Jessie 43

Chapter 2 Sacramento 53

Lucie Octave 55

Lizzie Roberts-Gordon, aka Lizzie the Lively Flea 56

Cora Conway-Lee 57

Chapter 3 Los Angeles and Hollywood 63

Gussie or Jessie Bland, aka Mrs. DeForest 64

Sylvia Daniels 66

Lee Francis, aka Beverly Davis 68

Chapter 4 Fresno 77

May E. Ellis 79

Alma Jewett 82

Chapter 5 Mining Country 91

Madam Mack, aka Mrs. Hanchen Marks 94

Emily Edwards-Casement, aka the Fire Queen 98

Chapter 6 San Diego 107

Edna Russell 110

Sarah Katherine Evans, aka Kate Clark 111

Belle Wentworth 115

Ida Bailey, aka Annie McLendon or "Red-Headed Ida" 116

Chapter 7 San Jose and Santa Clara County 125

Mrs. Eva H. Davis 127

Mabel West 129

Chapter 8 Central Coast 131

Maurisia Duarte 132

Jane Allison 135

Epilogue 137

Endnotes 139

Index 149

About The Author 160

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