However, a few are not in prison. Most amusing is one which actually says:
"'Thief' Would Dignify Him. To Low For Anything"
Enumerator: "And what does your husband do for a living, ma'am?"On a more serious note, there are many more people recorded as prostitutes, in one term or another. 155 people are described as a "whore" (yes, that actual word was used 155 times), while 4,891 people are reported as a prostitute/prostitution. Another 109 were noted under "house of ill fame/repute" or "sporting house", and one woman even a "bordello." 42 were "harlots", 27 "bawds", and 19 women were called "strumpets". Another 49 had something to do with a "pleasure house" or being a "lady/woman of pleasure" or "pleasure girl", not to be confused with a lady of leisure, but amusingly one said:
Mary Cameron: "He's a good-for-nothing, lowlife scumbag, is what he is."
Enumerator: "I'm sorry, ma'am, that's not an occupation."
Mary Cameron: "Well, that's what he is!"
Enumerator: "How about 'thief'? Would that be close?"
Mary Cameron: "Thief?! Ha! That would dignify him. No, he's too low for anything. Write that down! Too... low... for... anything. That's right."
"Gratifying The Pleasure Of The One Paying Her Board"I wonder who was paying her board? I guess whoever he was, she made it worth his while.
I'm guessing actual numbers were probably even higher than this. There were likely people who lied about their occupation, and there might have been others recorded under some terminologies I'm not thinking of at the moment.
I recommend you stop reading now if you don't want to delve into the more disturbing side of this data: ages.
There were 256 individuals who were 17 and younger. Of those who were 14 and younger, the majority were Chinese. Technically, I even found a few who were 10 years old and younger, but I highly suspect most, if not all of them were actually just children of prostitutes. One of them, 5 years old, had a question mark next to the occupation and the youngest was 8 months, so I think the enumerator often just marked down "prostitute" for everyone living in a brothel without paying attention to their age. As such, it's difficult to tell what the youngest age of an actual prostitute was. Let's hope it was much higher than what this data suggests on the surface.
Apologies if you now feel the need to take a shower.
- 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints © Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. All use is subject to the limited use license and other terms and conditions applicable to this site. Original data: Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. (NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.