Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




Joshua Piker

Committee Member

Simon Middleton

Committee Member

Fabricio Prado


The two papers that comprise this masters portfolio are "The History of Prostitution by William Sanger as a Basis for Modern Studies of Prostitution" and "Vampires in American Newspapers: 1820-1840" "The History of Prostitution by William Sanger as a Basis for Modern Studies of Prostitution" examines how Sanger's work has influenced the historiography of prostitution in New York City. This paper begins by examining William Sanger as an individual, and demonstrates how despite claiming to be objective, his work is clouded by his role as a resident physician on Blackwell's Island. His work is unique because it can be read as a primary and secondary text: the first half of his work is a discussion of the history of prostitution and its causes, while the latter half is documented quantitiative research. The main argument of this paper is that historians should read his text as a primary source: both his quantitative research and reproduced history is inherently biased, making many of his claims difficult to use as a secondary source. This paper points out several historians who cite him, and either do not point out his historical bias and inaccuracies, or in several cases miscite his arguments. "Vampires in American Newspapers: 1820-1840" examines American newspaper articles published between 1820 and 1840 that contain references to vampires. The authors of these articles engaged with vampires for multiple reasons and for multiple purposes: they refer to vampires as literal monsters (such as giant squid), monsters who disguised themselves as men, politicians, and foreigners. This paper demonstrates that "vampires" existed in the United States, and that they had a distinct American nature.



© The Author

Available for download on Thursday, August 01, 2024