|Catalog: The Bahama Queen||
The Bahama Queen
The Autobiography of Gertrude "Cleo" Lythgoe
Including 'With the Whiskey Smugglers' by H. De Winton Wigley
Hardcover, 240 pages w/ 52 photos
One of the most fascinating figures of the Prohibition era was
Gertrude "Cleo" Lythgoe. As the enterprising representative of two
London distillers, she was the only woman to hold a wholesale liquor license in Nassau, Bahamas. Although she never broke the law,
she used her beauty, charm and business acumen to send shipload after shipload of the finest whiskey to thirsty America.
She personally escorted one load of rye to Rum Row, sailing with
renowned rum-runner Bill McCoy, whose liquor could always be
relied upon to be the best..."the real McCoy."
When newspaper reporters learned of her exploits she was crowned
"Queen of the Bootleggers" and "Queen of Rum Row."
Gertrude Lythgoe's story was publicized in syndicated columns in magazines and newspapers and she achieved celebrity status as her photographs appeared in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.
The Wall Street Journal estimated she was worth millions of dollars, but only she really knew.
When she left the Bahamas, the British flag dipped in salute as she
sailed out of the harbor. Originally published in 1964,
her story here is presented to a new audience.
About the author
Gertrude Lythgoe was rumored to be a gypsy, an American Indian, Egyptian, Russian, French and Spanish. She was, in fact,
the daughter of English and Scottish immigrants and was born in Bowling Green, Ohio.
After graduating business school in Indiana, Gertrude became a
stenographer at a San Francisco hotel. With a love for adventure,
she traveled the world. She later held various positions in import and export businesses, and eventually found her way to Nassau,
Bahamas, as the representative of two London distillers.
As the only woman in a man's business, she was boycotted and was
the target of abuse. Gertrude, however, persevered
no-nonsense style and business skills earned her riches and the respect of Prohibition's roughest smugglers.
Impeccably dressed, and always carrying a gun, Gertrude remained ever
a lady. She carried many monikers, but for four years
she reigned supreme "The Bahama Queen."
Copyright © 2007 Flat Hammock Press