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Come On In Dearie: Reclaiming the Stories of Sex Workers in 19th-Century Denver
From its beginnings as an unruly mining town, Denver was described as “most lively…in any and all kinds of wickedness.”
From its beginnings as an unruly mining town, Denver was described as “most lively…in any and all kinds of wickedness.” The writer, prospector William Hedges, went on to doubt that there was ever “a place on this continent where a greater amount of evil to the square acre was so spontaneously and openly developed.” Wickedness ran rampant no more openly than on Market Street, Denver’s notorious vice district, known as The Row. The women of The Row comprised a microcosm of greater Victorian society. This lecture will provide a historical context for sex work in the 19th-century American West and reclaim the stories of women who lived, loved, and died on Denver’s Market Street.
Ann Sneesby-Koch is the Assistant Curator of Serials at History Colorado. She was also the Project Manager of the Colorado Digital Newspaper Project, an NEH-funded project which digitized over 300,000 pages of historical Colorado newspapers for the Library of Congress. Her research and writing interests include the social history of sex work in the 19th century American West, especially as it was reported in the popular tabloids and local newspapers of the time.
The Rosenberry Lecture Series returns for the 2022-2023 season with speakers from around Colorado and the United States to shed new light on topics in Colorado history.
At 1 p.m. on the third Wednesday every month, you can hear from Colorado scholars and authors at History Colorado Center. Find full information on each talk here.