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Louis Dwight: Sodomy in Boston Prisons, 1824-1826


"Since October, 1824, I have visited most of the prisons on two routes, between Massachusetts and Georgia, and a large number of Prisons besides, in the New England States and New York....and I have found melancholy testimony to establish one general fact, viz., That Boys are Prostituted to the Lust of old Convicts.....the Sin of Sodom is the Vice of Prisoners, and Boys are the Favorite Prostitutes. Sodomy is said to be practiced constantly among them. When a boy was sent to Prison, who was of a fair countenance, there many times seemed to be quite a strife...No art was left untried, to get the boy into the same room and into the same bed.

....I will only add to this testimony, the following conversation which I had with a boy in the Penitentiary: `Was the crime ever committed upon you?--Yes, Sir!--By whom?--Pat!--Why did you submit?--He choked me! He was stronger than I!--Why did you not complain?-- I did, in the room! but they said if I told of it, they would punish me!--Who said so?--They all said, I must not tell any thing out of the room!--Did Pat effect his object?--Yes, Sir.'

Nature and humanity cry aloud for redemption from this dreadful degradation."

Cited by Stephen Donaldon in Testimony at Massachusetts Legislative Hearing of 5/23/94 at
http://www.spr.org/docs/testimony.html

See, for fuller text: Jonathan Katz: Gay American History, (1976), pp.27-28