The Everleigh Sisters

September 5, 2011

Just finished reading Karen Abbott’s book “Sin In The Second City” and I love love loved it! The book chronicles the story of the Everleigh sisters and most notoriously “The Everleigh Club”, which opened in Chicago in 1900 and lasted 11 years as the self-proclaimed grandest whorehouse in America.


“Chicago, the saying goes, ain’t ready for reform. It certainly wasn’t in 1899, when sisters Ada and Minna “Everleigh” (real name: Simms) opened their brothel. As Abbott’s jaunty history relates, their whorehouse was not a tawdry bang barn for johns with a nickel but a glitzy palace of paid pleasure for plutocrats. Ada and Minna’s Everleigh Club prospered, protected by payoffs to Chicago’s legendary political crooks “Bathhouse” Coughlin and “Hinky Dink” Kenna, but the bordello’s brazenness mobilized moralists alarmed by vice, so-called white slavery in particular. Abbott’s account extends beyond local history because the campaign against Ada and Minna had lasting national effects: the closure of urban red-light districts and the passage of the federal Mann Act concerning prostitution.”

For More Info: http://www.sininthesecondcity.com/

Editorial Review Credit: http://www.amazon.com

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