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Mary Hall: DC Brothel Madam.

Mary Hall: DC Brothel Madam

Field review by the editors.

Washington, DC

Around 1840 Mary Ann Hall opened a brothel in a four-story brownstone in downtown Washington. Her clientele included military officers, wealthy business owners, and politicians, and her brothel was said to be the busiest and classiest in the city. When she died in 1886 she left an estate of over $2 million in today's dollars.

Mary spent some of that fortune on a family plot at Congressional Cemetery. Atop the neighboring grave of her mother and sister is an angel, but Mary's plinth is topped with a woman looking sad, which is commonly described as "a contemplative maiden." Mary's epitaph reads, "Truth was her motto; her creed charity for all," although one wonders how much of that truth and charity reached the young women who serviced Mary's clientele and made her rich.

The site of her establishment is now occupied by the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.

[Grave report by Kurt Deion]

Also see: Congressional Cemetery

Mary Hall: DC Brothel Madam

Congressional Cemetery

1801 E St. SE, Washington, DC
Walk into the cemetery at the intersection of Potomac Ave. SE and E St. SE. Walk to the first cross path and turn left. Follow this path all the way until it ends. Look to the left. You'll see Mary's grave; the tall monument with the sad woman on top.
Daylight daily; gated after hours. Office M-F 9-5. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Save to My Sights

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