History of Women
Published in

History of Women

The Queen of Sin City in 1875 Would Be a Millionaire Today

Ad Cole, legendary Black madam was one of the city’s first

Gif by author. [Map of Peoria by Chicago Lithographing Co. via Library of Congress]

When police dragged Adaline “Ad” Cole to jail as part of a sting on Peoria’s brothels on the night of November 13, 1875, she was slapped with a $28.05 fine, so the legendary madam reached down into her stocking and offered up a $1,000 bill.

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