Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Bawdy City

Bawdy City
Commercial Sex and Regulation in Baltimore, 1790–1915

$59.99 (C)

  • Publication planned for: March 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from March 2020
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108489010

$ 59.99 (C)

Pre-order Add to wishlist

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • A vivid social history of Baltimore's prostitution trade and its evolution throughout the nineteenth century, Bawdy City centers woman in a story of the relationship between sexuality, capitalism, and law. Beginning in the colonial period, prostitution was little more than a subsistence trade. However, by the 1840s, urban growth and changing patterns of household labor ushered in a booming brothel industry. The women who oversaw and labored within these brothels were economic agents surviving and thriving in an urban world hostile to their presence. With the rise of urban leisure industries and policing practices that spelled the end of sex establishments, the industry survived for only a few decades. Yet, even within this brief period, brothels and their residents altered the geographies, economy, and policies of Baltimore in profound ways. Hemphill's critical narrative of gender and labor shows how sexual commerce and debates over its regulation shaped an American city.

    • Presents a history of capitalism that focuses on women's labor and its relationship to the broader urban economy
    • Provides an overview of the sex trade's development
    • Fills a significant gap in the historiography, allowing readers to broaden their ideas about who counted as an agent in economic development
    Read more

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Publication planned for: March 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108489010
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 3 maps
    • availability: Not yet published - available from March 2020
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Rise of Prostitution in the Early Republic:
    1. Selling sex in the early republic
    2. The expansion of prostitution and the rise of the brothel
    3. Brothel prostitution and antebellum urban commercial networks
    Part II. Regulating and Policing the Sex Trade:
    4. Policing the expanding sex trade
    5. 'Our patriotic friends': selling sex in the Civil War era
    6. Prostitution, policing, and property rights in the Gilded Age
    Part III. Change and Decline in the Brothel Trade:
    7. Black Baltimoreans and the bawdy trade
    8. Rise of urban leisure and the decline of brothels
    9. The end of an era

  • Author

    Katie M. Hemphill, University of Arizona
    Katie M. Hemphill is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Arizona.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.