Homosexuality & Civilization

An archive of poetry, pictures, history, and quotes dedicated to queer individuals before the year 1900.

The title is an homage to a book by Louis Crompton, but the blog will contain content expressing all forms of sexuality and gender identity.

Have a question or request for a certain artist or era? Feel free to leave a message in the askbox. Submissions are open (please provide a date and source).

The manager of this tumblr does not add commentary or provide translations. This blog may be NSFW.



All donations go to purchasing new books and related materials to bring more content to H&C.

In 1848 gold was discovered at nearby Sutter’s Mill in Coloma. The next year nearly 90,000 people journeyed to Northern California, only half of them from the United States. By 1855 the area’s population had swelled by another 300,000. San Francisco’s population grew correspondingly…Housing consisted mainly of rooming houses and cheap hotels, augmented by all-male public baths. In 1849, there were only 300 women, two-thirds of them prostitutes, in a population of 25,000.

In 1850 organized same-sex dancing was perfectly acceptable, as was entertainment featuring cross-dressing. The public social life in San Francisco was so vibrantly nonconformist that British adventurer Frank Marryat, in his 1855 memoir dubbed Mountains and Molehills, dubbed it ‘Sodom by the Sea.’

—A Queer History of the United States, Michael Bronski

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