Features

Further Reading

Calle Ancha isn't found on any Austin map, but this "wide street" that once ran from the Colorado River to 12th Street, where I-35 is now, was once a vital avenue for Austin's Latinos, a place where people could shop, families could meet, kids could play, and neighbors and friends in from outlying areas could shoot the breeze.

For a fine introduction on the topic of 19th-century American prostitution, see Anne Butler's Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery: Prostitutes in the American West, 1865-1980 (University of Illinois Press, 1987).

Thomas P. Lowry, in The Story the Soldiers Wouldn't Tell: Sex in the Civil War (Stackpole Books, 1994), closely examines the military's intersection with harlotry in the Civil War years. The book's definite highlight is the aforementioned Washington, D.C., roster of brothels, but it also contains many pertinent discussions on syphilis, diaries, and the sale of sexual items during that time.

In his article "Fort Worth and the Fraternity of Strange Women," Richard Selcer talks about whores in Fort Worth during the Guy Town years and provides many enlightening details. In Southwestern Historical Quarterly 96 (July 1992), p.54-86.

The phenomenon of doctors "treating" their hysterical female patients with masturbation is discussed at length in Rachel P. Maines' Technology of Orgasm: "Hysteria," the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction (Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1999). See also Barbara Ehrenreich and Deidre English's Complaints and Disorders: The Sexual Politics of Sickness (Feminist Press, New York, 1991). I am not making this up.

There is no greater champion and learned scholar of the history of Austin prostitution than David C. Humphrey, and I am in debt to him and his wisdom. For a detailed treatment of Guy Town, see his "Prostitution and Public Policy in Austin, Texas, 1870-1915" in Southwestern Historical Quarterly 86 (April 1983), p. 473-516.

All other materials are available at the Austin History Center, UT's Center for American History, or City Hall. You can hold great big books of handwritten police records from the 1870s with your bare hands at the Austin History Center, and the other institutions are similarly generous. All boast plucky, helpful staff, and gave me boundless assistance.

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