Meet the 19th Century Hipster Queen

That would be Ada Clare, a writer and actress who came to New York in the 1850s as a single mother espousing free love. One of the few female regulars at Pfaff’s, the 19th century literary “beer cellar” on Broadway near Bleecker, she was known citywide as the “Queen of Bohemia.” 

Witty and attractive, she regularly contributed to literary journals of the day and remained tight with Walt Whitman until she died in 1874, at age 38, after being bitten by a rabid dog.


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3 Responses to “Meet the 19th Century Hipster Queen”

  1. Quid plura? | "I read about it free in a fifty-cent illustrated guide..." Says:

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  3. The most sensational actress of the 1860s | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] she sure was a colorful one, hanging out with Walt Whitman, Ada Clare, and other bohemians at Pfaff’s saloon on Broadway and Bleecker Street and earning notoriety in a tawdry play that […]

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