Prostitution History

Check out these interesting links related to the history of prostitution!

The FULL Autobiography of 1800s frontier prostitute/madame, Madeleine Blair is available online.

“You are going to catch it, Madeleine,” said the young doctor, one day, as he made his weekly report to me. “There is a Presbyterian minister from Toronto in our midst, and he tells us that unless we suppress the red-light district he will do it single-handed. Evidently there are no sinners in Toronto, so he has come to clean up the country.”
“I wish some one would suppress me,” I answered, “for unless they do I will be doing business in the same old way for the next forty years. I would enjoy being put out of business by a preacher. At any rate, it would be a change from being harassed by the police. Can’t you bring him out to see me?”
“He has boasted that he is going to call on you, and that when he is through telling you of your iniquities you will be on your knees. You’ve been misrepresented to him as several different kinds of monster, and he is girding himself to beard you in your den. I hope you won’t be drunk when he calls. There is no good in antagonizing him.”


Follow her adventures into the Crow’s Nest Pass!

Valuable background and context to further your enjoyment of the program. A 54 minute discussion of a little known name on the landscape of Canadian history…

“She wrote under the pseudonym Madeleine Blair, the same name she used with the hundreds of clients she saw over the course of her 15 years as a prostitute and brothel owner traveling between the American and Canadian mid-west.”
It was the turn of the 20th century – a period of huge transition in Canadian society as things like alcohol and prostitution and so-called ‘vice’ became the focus of social uplift campaigns which gave birth to laws that are still in place today – laws that are currently dangling before the Supreme Court.
Madeleine put pen to paper and wrote about her life and the moral climate and hypocrisy of the time. It is an incredibly rare and vivid document. Published in 1919 Madeleine’s writing provides us with a fascinating snapshot through which we can understand the evolution of laws around what we often refer to as the world’s oldest profession. Ideas producer Nicola Luksic found a dusty old copy of Madeleine’s autobiography and brings us her story.

Check out Madeleine Blair: Nobody’s Victim

Check out this episode of Adam Ruins Everything covering prostitution in the old west