[Dixielandjazz] Storyville

Patrick Cooke patcooke@cox.net
Thu, 15 Aug 2002 16:16:23 -0500

>>>>Apart from that, the finesse displayed by Alderman
Story in crafting his successful ordinance is to be admired.<<<<
          Alderman Story was quite distressed about the fact that the
district came to be named after him.
          Pat Cooke

----- Original Message -----
From: "drjz" <drjz@bealenet.com>
To: <dixielandjazz@ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Tuesday, August 13, 2002 11:04 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Storyville

> To suggest in the discussion of Storyville that New Orleans passed a law
> "legalizing prostitution within a certain area" is inaccurate. As I
> wrote in the "Introduction" to my book, Jazz and Death, Medical Profiles
> of Jazz Greats - "At an 1897 meeting of the New Orleans Common Council,
> Sidney Story proposed that prostitution should be illegal without
> (outside) a limited area of the city: 'That from the first of October,
> 1897 it shall be unlawful for any public prostitute or woman notoriously
> abandoned to lewdness, to occupy, inhabit, live or sleep in any house,
> room, or closet situated without the following limits.' This quaint
> phrasing silenced opposing moralists, as prostitution was not legal
> within the city's boundaries." The "limits" were those streets that
> enclosed the part of the city "wherein prostitution was to be permitted
> but not actually legalized", as Herbert Asbury so aptly stated in his
> book, The French Quarter.
> Al Rose, in his most admirable book, Storyville, New Orleans, wrote that
> "the ordinances did not actually legalize prostitution in the District.
> This conclusion, though technically correct, is misleading."
> Unfortunately, this point of view has led to even more misleading
> statements, such as Storyville being an "area for licensed prostitution"
> (Clayton and Gammond. The Guinness Jazz Companion), and "there were
> probably between 1,500 and 2,200 registered prostitutes in Storyville"
> (Tirro, Jazz. A History), the implication being that registration bore
> governmental status. The only semblance of a prostitutional register was
> contained in the famous, or infamous and most decidely unofficial, Blue
> Book. Although all this may seem somewhat pedantic, Storyville's
> formation was a significant event in the evolution of jazz, and deserves
> factual presentation. Apart from that, the finesse displayed by Alderman
> Story in crafting his successful ordinance is to be admired.
> Fred Spencer
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