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Inside the bedroom, Heather Strausbaugh sat talking with her client — the conversation ranged from nightlife and bars to their families. The man seemed nervous. But, prostitutes, he took off his clothes and laid beside her more info the bed.

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Prostitution has Prostitutes harrisburg pa in America since its inception. Brothels which catered to wealthier clientele and bawdy houses which catered to the lower, working classes had dotted street corners and alleyways for generations by the turn of the 20th century. It had been ly and popularly believed by historians that the eighth ward housed a majority of bawdy houses. At the turn of the 20th century, the eighth ward was reviled for its life of vice.

Locating harrisburg’s prostitutes

However, during my research into the personal lives of women working as prostitutes in Harrisburg in andI found that this was not as common as was believed. While some of the women in this sample did live in the eighth ward, they were rarely the women arrested for owning the bawdy houses. Using the information I gathered in the arrest records from the Pennsylvania State ArchivesI was able to locate these women using the Harrisburg census.

Throughout my research, I have been able to find 28 of the women on the arrest records using the census. For this post, I have used a sample of nine women that were arrested between April and April This Prostitutes harrisburg pa been proven time and again with this research.

As I mentioned in an earlier postthese women did not leave behind personal testimonies about their lives in general or as prostitutes. We are left to analyze what documents were left behind, which in this case were the arrest records and census data.

Both of these documents leave behind incomplete testimony on these women. On the census, a majority of the women left sections blank or listed as unknown.

One of the most common areas I found that was left incomplete was the section on the occupation. I have included the occupations of the few women in this sample who included it in their census information. In the arrest records, the police officers did not record where the women were arrested, just the time and date. Because of this, we can only assume that the addresses I have included below were where the women ran their businesses. However, even that assumption is incomplete. However, on the census, her Prostitutes harrisburg pa address is listed as Filbert St. Even the arrest records must be looked at critically.

The arrest records provide only the date of arrest, not their sentence. There is a possibility that some of these women had their cases dropped, were found innocent, or were merely in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Historical sources are written by humans and therefore are vulnerable to human error. What these sources do prove is that an arrest did take place. Four of the nine women I analyzed lived in the third ward. All of the women in the third ward were arrested for owning and operating bawdy houses. The third ward Prostitutes harrisburg pa located near the Harrisburg train station. The book, City Contented, City Discontented states that railroad companies began using Harrisburg as a stopping point as early as and in the early s, trains came through Harrisburg daily Beers, p.

Train stations and ports were common places to find bawdy houses because they could always count on clients weary from travel or work who would ultimately find their way into the arms of one of the women.

Three of the women living in the third ward lived on the same street. One, year-old mother of four, lived at Mulberry St. Right down the street, a year-old keeper of a boarding house this was a common cover used by women who owned bawdy houseslived at Mulberry St.

Yet another woman, a year-old, also lived on Mulberry St. The fourth womana year-old Canadian immigrant the only non-American in my samplelived at S. As I mentioned above, a of these women did live in the eighth ward, but of my sample, only one of the five was arrested Prostitutes harrisburg pa owning a bawdy house.

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The rest were arrested as inmates a term commonly used for women who worked in bawdy houses. Most of the women who lived in the eighth ward were young and worked as domestic servants. One year-old woman who lived at Cranberry Aly in the eighth ward was listed as Prostitutes harrisburg pa maid in the census. Another woman, an year-old, lived at Cranberry Ave and also listed her occupation as a domestic servant.

A third young woman, a year-old who lived in the eighth ward at 11 N. Cameron St, listed herself as an unemployed maid.

The woman I mentioned above who was arrested for owning a bawdy house was a year-old mother of 4 she had 17 children total who lived at South Dr. With the resounding silence from these women, we are left to create a narrative for them with incomplete and in some cases biased sources.

My hope is that through the use of the arrest records and census data, I can weave at least some understanding of these women and their home lives. From that, I Prostitutes harrisburg pa begin to map the potential hotspots for brothels and bawdy houses throughout the city.

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Learn how your comment data is processed. On this arrest record, you can see that there is no address recorded for where her arrest took place, only the time six spaces over from her name and name of arresting officer five spaces over from her name Throughout my research, I have been able to find 28 of the women on the arrest records using the census. In this picture, you can see the address for the first of the three women who were located on the same street. Prostitutes harrisburg pa you look to the left this house you will see the Salem Reformed Congregational Church.

This is the address of the only woman from my sample in the eighth ward who ran a bawdy house. While she is in the eighth ward, her address is still near the train tracks.

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