The Hookers’ Balls: 126th Anniversary

March 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

Perhaps — no, probably — the greatest events in Austin social history. Never before, and certainly never again, even in “Weird” Austin.

April 1, 1886

THAT BALL.

THE WILD CIRCEAN ORGIES LAST NIGHT.

As rumored and as was made known to scores of young men by special invitation cards the public ball announced for last night came off. It was given by Georgia Frazer, a Fille de Joie, and mistress of a notorious bagnio of ill repute, and a few days ago she sent out cards of invitation. For the nonce the houses of ill fame in the city were emptied of their evil-minded, unconscionable inmates, and under the protecting wings of the city government, they were permitted to publicly occupy a public hall and engage in wild, dissolute Circean orgies.

A score or more, considerably more of girls were present, rigged out in all the catching frippery tawdriness, paint and tinsel, peculiar to such women. Some few were in gorgeous attire and sparkling diamonds flashed from numerous hands. To make themselves attractive was the object, and all the wiles and cunning of hell itself were invoked to accomplish this end.

“Was the ball attended?”

“Did any body go?”

“Were men there whom I know?”

“Yes, they were there.”

“Fifty were there.”

“Over a hundred were there.”

“Alas, it is safe to say that during the night five hundred were there.”

“Five hundred.”

“Yes, five hundred, from the country, boys from the country attracted by the music and by street reports.”

“Strangers were there.”

“Scores of well known young men were there dancing with girls in all their silkiness.”

For the time, dissoluteness, debauchery, and voluptuous orgies ruled the hour, and all under the protection and by the permission of your city government.

Thus it is under the sanction of your city government are your sons publicly debauched and lured to eternal ruin.

Under the protection of your city government with a police force detailed to do duty at the ball last night, are the lives of your sons marred forever and they hurried on the way to disgrace, and to dishonorable graves. Are you astonished that a long list of violent and mysterious murders have cursed your city? Is it not time to call a halt? Abandoned women and dissolute men cannot be permitted to publicly exhibit themselves. It is a disgrace to the city and dangerous to society.

April 2, 1886

ANOTHER BALL.

Some More Lushy Baccanallan Doings.

Last night the immortal first ward opened out its Cetaroon denizens, who under a permit from Mayor Robertson, took possession of the hall occupied the night before by Madam Frazier, and throughout the night, they and scores of colored admirers, and, alas, some white ones, too, danced, guzzled beer, and turned themselves loose in licentious debauchery. Messalina, herself, would have rejoiced to have been in Austin during last night and the night before. In her day, city government didn’t grant permission for such orgies because it was not necessary, nor did they afford protection, because life was not counted of much value. Now, things have changed. Civilization has advanced, and you have to get permission to carry on, in a public hall, in the center of the city, on a public street, indecorous, dissolute, libertinism. Life is of more value, now, too, and police are detailed to suppress and keep in bounds the maddening passions of drunken lustful men and women, who engage in these evils.

Now, this is all wrong. If it is necessary for the city to grant permission for such orgies as have disgraced this city for the past two nights, by all means confine them to the premises on which these women live. If these balls are kept up, look for more mysterious murders. Lust, licentiousness and consequent jealousy was at the bottom of every murder in Austin last year.

(The reporter, in the last sentence, is referring to the infamous Servant Girl Murders.)

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