Historical Reprints History History of Prostitution

History of Prostitution

History of Prostitution
Catalog # SKU3781
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 3.00 lbs
Author Name William W. Sanger
ISBN 10: 0000000000
ISBN 13: 0000000000000


History of Prostitution

Two Volumes

Its Extent, Causes, and Effects
Throughout the World

William W. Sanger

This history is one of the most exhaustive and most unusual of a 'forbidden' subject. While some of the author's views are tainted (biased) by his religious views, the history from ancient time and the world over is admirable of such a subject. Arguments are unnecessary to prove the existence of prostitution. "When its extent, its causes, or its effects are questioned, a remarkable degree of ignorance or carelessness is manifested. Few care to know the secret springs from which prostitution emanates; few are anxious to know how wide the stream extends; few have any desire to know the devastation it causes."

Print size, 11 point font



The safety of the community, so far as its sanitary condition is concerned, imperatively demands an inquiry like this. It is no longer necessary to prove that syphilitic taint is propagated by the direct agency of prostitution. That fact has been demonstrated years ago, and, reasoning from it, we rightly infer that the ravages of that poison can be checked by compelling abandoned women to certain judicious observances. One thing is absolutely certain, that the public health can not be endangered by the interference, and there is a moral certainty that it may be materially benefited. The value of this investigation, so far as relates to purely physical questions, consists in not merely pointing out where the evil is, but in showing to what extent it exists, and then contrasting the state of venereal disease, its rapid increase and augmenting virulence in this country, with its condition in those nations where similar investigations have resulted in practical measures.

Public safety imperatively demands this investigation as a means of tracing the habitual resorts of criminals. It is not necessary to inform any man conversant with city life that houses of ill fame are the common resort of the most abandoned of the male part of the community. There the assassin, against whose hand no life is secure, has a safe retreat. The burglar, who commits his depredations under cover of the shade of night; the swindler, who defrauds the honest trader by false representations; the counterfeiter, who earns a precarious living by his unholy trade-these hold there high carnival. There they meet to recount their exploits and divide the spoils; to devise new schemes of wickedness, or lay plans by which simple youths may be allured to vilest practices.

There is another phase of public safety which demands this investigation, namely, the preservation of female honor. Those who frequent these haunts of vice are forever employed in casting about snares to entrap the young, the unwary, or the friendless woman. They tempt her to minister to their libidinous desires, and swell the already overcrowded ranks of frailty. While these resorts are secret, there is every facility for such infamous conduct, with but slight probability of its detection, and still slighter opportunities for prevention. Thither, too, young men, and even boys, are inveigled by those who have grown old in vice, and there are they taught the horrid mysteries of unhallowed passion. Many a promising youth has left such haunts as these not only with a ruined constitution, but with loss of character and honor; many whose names swell the criminal records of the day date their first step in crime from the hour they entered a common brothel.

Again: Public safety demands this investigation because of the superior opportunities it will afford to reformatory measures. Start not at the supposition of reforming courtesans. There is hope even for them, for they are human beings, though depraved. Their hearts throb with the same sympathies that move the more favored of their sex. Their minds are susceptible to the same emotions as those of other females. Few of them become vile from natural instincts: poor victims of circumstances, many of them would gladly amend if the proper means were used at the proper time.


The Esquimaux require but a very short notice. As a race, they are dirty, poor, and immoral.

Dishonesty is a prominent characteristic, especially manifested toward any strangers coming within their reach. The lamented Kane, in his "Arctic Explorations," mentions the trouble to which he was exposed in guarding his stores from their pilfering propensities; but, after he had administered one or two lessons of chastisement, they abandoned this habit, and became of great assistance to him. He says, "There is a frankness and cordiality in their way of receiving their guests, whatever may be the infirmities of their notions of honesty;" and when he parted from them on his perilous journey south, he remarks, "When trouble came to us and them, and we bent ourselves to their habits; when we looked to them to procure us fresh meat, and they found at our brig shelter during their wild bear-hunts, never were friends more true. Although numberless articles of inestimable value to them have been scattered upon the ice unwatched, they have not stolen a nail."

The Esquimaux women are not absolute slaves; their duties are almost entirely domestic, and during the winter especially their life is one of ease and pleasure, so far as their notions can comprehend such advantages. Crowded inside a low hut, two or three families together, they spend their time in eating and sleeping alternately, both sexes being perfectly naked, except a small apron worn by the women as a badge of their sex. This nudity arises from the excessive heat of their cabins, which are rendered impervious to the cold outside. Dr. Kane mentions one occasion on which he was a visitor when the thermometer outside stood at 60º below zero, and inside the temperature mounted to 90º, and says, "Bursting into a profuse perspiration, I stripped like the rest, and thus, an honored guest, and in the place of honor, I fell asleep."

Respecting the morality of the men or the virtue of the women little is known. Parry says that husbands frequently offer their wives to strangers for a very small sum, and also that it is not uncommon for a change of wives to be made for a short time. He adds that in no country is prostitution carried to a greater extent, the departure of the men on an expedition being a signal to their wives to abandon all restraint. Lust rules paramount, and the children are taught to watch outside the hut, lest the husband should return unexpectedly, and find his habitation occupied by a stranger. Their marriage contract is a mere social arrangement, easily dissolved, but this is rarely done, the general custom being for a man to chastise his wife when she displeases him. The usual form of matrimonial discipline consists in forcing her to lead the reindeer while he rides at ease in the sledge. Their laws permit any man to have two wives, and a regal perquisite of the great chief was the privilege of having as many as he could support.

These brides were not uncommonly carried off from their parents by force, the ceremonial rite following at the convenience of the parties. Such attempts are sometimes resisted. An aspirant for the favors of the daughter of a chief succeeded in conveying her to his sledge, but the father pursued with such alacrity that the adventurous lover had to abandon the fair one, and made his escape with some difficulty, leaving the equipage as spoils to the victor.

Softcover, 7 x 8½ , 740 pages
Perfect-Bound - 2 Volumes
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