The Original Mount Whoredom aka Red Light District 1775

“Mount Whoredom” was a name attached to the place by the occupying British. David McCullough wrote in 1776: “For their part, the British had assigned an experienced cartographer, Lieutenant Richard Williams, who, with the help of a small crew, moved his surveyor’s transit and brass chains from one vantage point to the next, taking and recording careful sightings. The result was a beautifully delineated, hand-colored map showing ‘the True Situation of His Majesty’s Army and also those of the Rebels.’ All fortifications were clearly marked, all landmarks neatly labeled, including ‘Mount Whoredom,’ Boston’s red-light district. Lieutenant Williams had been appalled to find prostitution so in evidence in what was supposedly a center of Puritanism — ‘There’s perhaps no town of its size could turn out more whores than this could,’ he noted in his journal — and accuracy demanded that this, too, be shown on the map.” (p. 27)

Known as Mount Vernon today.


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