Prostitution was a main stay business of frontier communities and Tucson was no exception. From 1870 to 1910, Tucson prostitutes worked openly without local government interference. However, as Tucson shed its frontier label for respectable city, Tucson began slowly to condemn its ‘soiled doves.” The talk will examine the lives of Tucson’s prostitutes, their struggles, clients, how they contributed to municipal revenues and eventual removal from Tucson’s growing city center. The talk will also highlight the many pressures Tucson’s prostitutes faced as the Women’s Suffrage movement gained momentum.
Bernard Wilson is an independent researcher, who began his humanities research as part of a personal genealogical investigation into his family. He has spent the past twenty-years researching Tucson’s African-American pioneers and community. His first book, The Black Residents of Tucson and Their Achievements: A Reference Guide, exposed that Tucson had a large and thriving African-American community, that included mining millionaires. His subsequent publications derived from the hours of research for his book. Currently, his research focuses on the individual lives of the Old Pueblo’s African-Americans.