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Chicago's Black Traffic 


ite Girls 


An article on the Great " White Slave" Question 



. 3rau QTururr-Zimtttrrtnamt, fH. S. 








President of the 



Superintendent of 


733 Washington Boulevard, CHICAGO 


Superintendent of the Chicago Rescue Mission 


|W[Y SOLE AIM in bringing this little pam- 
phlet to you is to definitely call the 
attention of the men and women of the Central 
Western States, and especially those of the City 
of Chicago into whose hands it may come, to the 
vicious, thoroughly organized white-slave traffic 
of to-day, and its attendant, far-reaching, hor- 
rible results upon the young man and woman- 
hood of our Land. 

During a constant residence covering seven 
years of time in the central slum districts of the 
West and South Sides of Chicago, I have gained 
much actual knowledge of the questions of pov- 
erty, drink and prostitution among the lost men 
and women of these great neigh borhoods, have 
become personally acquainted with very many of 
them, visiting them, listening to their heart stories 
and growing to know much of their inside lives, 
and have learned a real tender interest and pity 
for them in their remorseful, helpless, hopeless 

All incidents, references and statistics (as 
far as possible) herein given are strictly 
authentic, and have been collected with great 
care and fairness either by myself or my 

Statistical references have been taken from 
the writings of United States Attorney Sims, 

6 Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 

Rev. Ernest A. Bell and others engaged in prose- 
cuting and reform work, all of whom I thank 
sincerely and wish well in what they are accom- 
plishing for good where it is so desperately 
needed in this submerged underworld of our city. 

So in bringing this eighth edition of CHICA- 
part of which has already been published under 
the title of CHICAGO'S SOUL MARKET, it is the 
aim of the writer to give more thought and time 
to real, existing conditions descriptions and 
actual facts relative to public prostitution and 
its attendant frightful results, rather than to such 
matter as incidents, "cases," etc., knowledge of 
which can usually be acquired by simply reading 
the daily press of Chicago or New York. All 
descriptions, statistics and photographs are 
taken by the author from actual contact with the 
great underworld and quoted with names, dates, 
etc., of those concerned and are absolutely 
authentic . 

We, together with thousands of others- 
editors, legislators, club women, ministers arid 
everybody else who has the welfare of the girl- 
hood of our Land at heart, believe that the time 
for prudery and concealment is past and that 
honest men and women should know what there 
is to know about this thoroughly organized, 
solidly financed system of White Slavery flourish- 
ing and growing in America to-day a system 
which controls and ruins hundreds of thousands 

Chicago's 11 Jack Traffic in \\liitc Girls 7 

of women in our midst every year and whicli 
requires a constant sacrifice of more than sixty 
thousand young girls annually to feed its death 
and disease dealing machinery. 

Most people think of harlotry or prostitution as 
something secret something to be kept from the 
public eye, something to be ashamed of. Not 
so to the great throng of Chicago whore-mongers. 
Everything that can be done to attract attention 
n nd custom is done by the five thousand men 
and hundreds of hideous, brutish madams who 
in this city exploit the bodies and live off the 
earnings of thirty thousand public women in 
our midst. The twenty-seven hundred (quoting 
from a statement of Chief of Police Stewart) 
houses of ill-fame here are conducted with as 
much publicity and advertising as the grocery 
or meat market nearby. Each adjoining and 
nearby saloon, with its wine rooms and booths, 
is an advertising and recruiting agency; the 
ward politician, the officers on the beat, the 
common "pimp" and the recognized whore- 
mongers, work harmoniously together to exploit 
this vast business. 

Reckoning the number of White Slaves in 
Chicago at thirty thousand, and the average 
number of men entertained by each of these 
unfortunate women nightly at five (a very low 
average) with an average per man of one dollar, 
there is poured monthly Four Million Five 
Hundred Thousand Dollars, blood money, into 
the coffers of these human dealers as the 
rental for profit of the bodies of our American 

8 Chicago's Black Traffic in WJiitc Girls 

girl and her alien sister who has been mercilessly 
trapped, lured from her home and sold into the 
great festering cesspool, without the slightest 
knowledge of our customs and laws, and ruined 

New York City is the great eastern head- 
quarters and westward shipping point for Ori- 
ental and European White Slaves. Mark this 
statement : 

"Seventeen hundred girls, by actual count, were lost 
on the way front New York to Cl tic ago last year, according 
to an investigation now being made by the Commissioner 
of Immigration . Somehow these girls were spirited away 
from the care of the agents to zvhom they were entrusted 
and vvere never seen nor heard of again." 

Isn't that an appalling fact? for fact it is 
seventeen hundred girls lost and gone forever 
just from this one line of travel alone and in 
just one year! These girls, who came to this 
Country to better themselves, to make an honest 
living, broken and rotting to-day behind bolts 
arid bars in some of our cities' foul dives, or 
else shipped on and on until at last in some 
Chinese underground cellar or under the lash of 
a South American or Philippine whore-master, 
Death at last comes to the rescue. 

Please remember, as you read this, that 
America is becoming more and more un-Ameri- 
can every day. Each ship, each train West- 
ward or Eastward bound, is now daily dumping 
into our Land, so lately the goal of the home- 
seeker from Germany, Sweden, Ireland, etc., 

Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 9 

the real future citizen thousands of the scum 
and vice and criminal element of South Eastern 
Europe, Asia and the Orient, and remember 
too that a short five-years of residence here con- 
verts the filthiest criminal from Turkey, Arabia, 
Syria, Italy, or of any place else where vice and 
brutality reign supreme, into an American 
citizen with the right to vote into office men 
who will and are sworn to protect and aid in 
every possible way the Jewish, Russian, French 
or Chinese whore- master as he rents a shanty 
and proceeds to fatten on the very life-blood of 
the young girlhood of this and other lands. 


Open prostitution White Slavery, as it exists 
to-day in Chicago, is almost entirely under foreign 
control. Of the twenty-seven hundred houses 
of ill-fame in Chicago, a very large percentage 
are owned and controlled by foreigners from 
Southeastern Europe, while almost without 
exception all Levee and White Slave resorts in 
the segregated districts are under the direct 
ownership of the moral and civic degenerates of 
the French, Italian, Syrian, Russian, Jewish 
or Chinese races once in a great while you may 
find a German or Swedish whore-master, but 
very seldom an American or an Englishman 
conducting such a business is almost entirely 
unknown. American men raise the girlhood, 
make the laws and elect the officials whereby 
this bloody business may be carried on and 
exploited by a foaming pack of foreign hell- 
hounds, who after their work of death is accom- 
plished and their coffers filled, go home to their 
South Europe or Turkish haunts with their blood 
and soul money, to lives of filth and idleness in 
their own lands. 

I appeal in the name of Jehovah, to the 
Church, to the women's clubs, to the labor 
federations and all honorable Jews and others of 
foreign birth who have come to America for a 
home and a decent, honorable living, to aid in 

Chicago's Black Traffic in \VJiite Girls 11 

cvory possible way the great work now going 
on to eradicate segregated, protected White 
Slavery from our Land. 


Quoting from the Daily Press, May 4, regard- 
ing the recent investigations in New York con- 
cerning the question of White Slavery by the 
Rockefeller jury (which after buying two girls 
themselves, later declared, "there is no traffic 
in women in New York") : 

Harry Levenson, the acknowledged "trader" of 
women who is in the Tombs under $25,000 bail, 
made a startling confession to the District Attorney 
to-night, giving names of men and women whose 
sole occupation is dealing in unfortunates. 

" I know of three places in New York," Levenson 
said, "where five to ten girls are kept constantly at 
hand for sale. At any hour of the day or night one 
of them, two or the whole ten, can be bought by any 
one with the money to pay for them. They can be 
shipped anywhere at an hour's notice." 


The "trader" gave to Mr. Whitman the addresses 
of the three places, which are known as "stockades." 
He also made suggestions as to how their operators 
might be apprehended. 

More than that, Levenson told how the financial 
arrangements of the sales are made and how recruits 
are obtained. 

Agents are continually at work obtaining young 
girls, the prisoner said. The slave sellers do not 

12 Chicago 's Black Traffic in White Girls 

want hardened women, he explained; they want 
pretty, immature girls. The agents are generally 
well dressed women who ingratiate themselves with 
their childish victims at matinees and moving-picture 
shows, and by dining them and painting rosy- 
pictures of a life of ease, win them away from 
their homes or their ill-paid positions. 

"When there is a call for girls," Levenson con- 
tinued, "the buyer hands over the money paid for 
them to the keeper. Then an agent these are 
usually men take the girls to wherever the "order" 
comes from. These agents then collect 10 per cent 
of the girl's weekly earnings." 

Quoting from the National Prohibitionist, 
May 12: 

The Christian voter who reads, and reads with 
blood boiling, as the blood of every honest man 
must, the shameful story of the exposure of the 
traffic in girls especially in New York, must not 
allow his imagination to run away with his reasoning 

Awful as the story is, we invite attention, not to 
its horror the horror of herds of little girls sold at 
a per-head price below the value of pigs but to the 
practical questions of responsibility and cure. 

Why does this infamy exist in our cities? 
How can it exist? 
Who is responsible? 

The answers all come to one point the govern- 
ments that rule our cities. 

The black and white wretches who are the imme- 
diate agents of vice are hardly worth considering. 

Chicago's Black Traffic in WJiite Girls 13 

They are mere incidents. Practically it is a waste 
of time to even prosecute them. 

The trail of the real criminal leads into the 
police headquarters, leads up the steps of the city 
hall, goes across the threshold of the mayor's private 
office, enters the homes of Christian citizens and lies 
broad through the doors of the church. 

For this infamy of the sale of innocent girls for 
vice and the whole wider, deeper, fouler vice system 
is a part of governmental policy, not in New York 
and Chicago alone, but all over the Country, under 
Republican and Democratic administration. 

The very district attorney's office that exposes 
these particular instances of crime is one of the 
strong pillars of the system of which the crime is 
only an outcropping. 

Even now there is not a voice lifted in official 
Chicago and New York in favor of doing the one 
thing that alone can stop the sale of girls, the one 
thing that the law clearly prescribes in the matter 
wiping out the vice preserves, stopping the whole 
system of trade in vice. This fact needs to be 
burned deeply into the hearts of American voters: 
If you want this thing to go on, if you want little 
girls still to be bought and sold like pigs, if you 
want pure young lives to be overwhelmed in 
fathomless shame, all you need to do to help keep 
up the system is to keep on voting for men who 
protect these criminals. 

Quoting from MeClure's (July) Magazine 
concerning the recent investigation of the White 
Slave trade in New York City by a specially 
appointed jury: 

In order to establish the existence of the White 
Slave traffic Assistant District Attorney James B. 

14 Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 

Reynolds arranged to make actual purchases of girls 
in the Tenderloin and other sections of the under- 
world from those reputed to be large dealers. 
Skilled investigators who were not known in New 
York were engaged and put to work in the heart of 
the Tenderloin. 

They were represented as purchasers of girls. 
Friendly and confidential relations were established 
with some of the most influential White Slave 
dealers. By these means valuable first-hand infor- 
mation was obtained regarding the White Slave 
trade. The agents were told the price of girls, th,e 
methods employed in the business, and, in some 
cases, the corrupt relations existing between the 
traders and certain officials. 

Past and present conditions of the traffic were 
contrasted frequently, the trading during the present 
winter being described as exceptionally light because 
of the general alarm caused by the sitting of the 
"White Slave" Grand Jury. One large dealer told 
the agents that though two years ago he could have 
sold them all the girls they wanted at $5 or $10 
apiece, he would not risk selling one in New York 
now for $1,000. 

In spite of this general caution, purchases for 
cash were made of four girls, two through an East 
Side dealer, who boasted of formerly having made 
large sales in other cities, and two from a so-called 
black and tan dealer. Two of the girls are under 18. 

. . . With rare exceptions, not only the inno- 
cent women imported into this Country, but the 
prostitutes as well, are associated with men whose 
business it is to protect them, direct them, and con- 
trol them, and who frequently, if not usually, make 
it their business to plunder them unmercifully. Now 

Chicago's Black Traffic in \Vhitc Girls 15 

this system of subjection to a man has become 
common. The procurer or the pimp may put his 
woman into a disorderly house, sharing profits with 
the "madam". He may sell her outright; he may 
act as an agent for another man; he may keep her, 
making arrangements for her hunting men. She 
must walk the streets and secure her patrons, to be 
exploited, not for her own sake, but for that of her 
owner. Often he does not tell her even his real 
name. If she tries to leave her man, she is threat- 
ened with arrest. If she resists, she may be beaten; 
in some cases, when she has betrayed her betrayer, 
she has been murdered. 

The ease and apparent certainty of profit has led 
thousands of our younger men, usually those of 
foreign birth or the immediate sons of foreigners, to 
abandon the useful arts of life to undertake the 
most accursed business ever devised by man. 

Those who recruit women for immoral purposes 
watch all places where young women are likely to 
be found under circumstances which will give them 
a ready means of acquaintance and intimacy, such 
as picture shows, dance-halls, sometimes waiting 
rooms in large department stores, railroad stations, 
manicuring and hair dressing establishments. 

The strongest appeal to the instincts of humanity 
in every right-minded person is made by a consider- 
ation of the brutal system employed by these traf- 
fickers to in every way exploit their victims, the 
hardened prostitute as well as the innocent maiden. 
It is probable that a somewhat larger proportion of 
the American girls are free from the control of a 
master; and yet, according to the best evidences ob- 
tainable according to the stories of the women 
themselves and the keepers of the houses nearly 
all the women now engaged in this business in our 

16- Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 

large cities are subject to pimps, to whom they give 
most of their earnings, or else they are under the 
domination of keepers of houses, a condition that is 
practically the same. 

It is the business of the man who controls the 
women to provide police protection, either by 
bribing the police not to arrest her, or, in case of 
arrest, to secure bail, pay the fine, etc., to make all 
business arrangements, to decide what streets, res- 
taurants, dance-halls, saloons and similar places she 
shall frequent. 

There are large numbers of Jews scattered 
throughout the United States, although mainly lo- 
cated in New York and Chicago, who seduce and keep 
girls. Some of them are engaged in importation, but 
apparently they prey rather upon young girls whom 
they find on the street, in the dance-halls, and 
similar places, and who, by the methods already 
indicated love-making and pretense of marriage 
they deceive and ruin. Many of them are petty 
thieves, pickpockets and gamblers. They also have 
various resorts where they meet and receive their 
mail, and transact business with one another, and 
visit. Perhaps the best known organization of this 
kind throughout this Country was one legally incor- 
porated in New York in 1904, under the name of 
the New York Benevolent Association. 

It is, of course, difficult to prove by specific 
cases the relation of the police to this traffic, and to 
establish by specific evidence the fact generally 
accepted that the girls of disorderly house keepers 
regularly pay the police for protection; but high 
police officials, prosecuting officers, and social 
workers in all quarters assert that in many, if not 
all of our large cities, much corruption of this kind 

Chicago's Black Traffic in \Vhitc Girls 17 

The importation and harboring of alien women 
and girls for immoral purposes and the practice of 
prostitution by them the so-called "white slave 
traffic" is the most pitiful and revolting phase of 
the immigration question. This business has as- 
sumed large proportions, and it has been exerting 
so evil an influence upon our Country that the Im- 
migration Commission felt compelled to make it the 
subject of a thorough investigation. 

The investigation was begun in November, 1907, 
under the active supervision of a special committee 
of the Immigration Commission; and the work was 
conducted by a special agent in charge, with numer- 
ous assistants. 

The investigation has covered the cities of New 
York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, 
Salt Lake City, Ogden, Butte, Denver, Buffalo, 
Boston and New Orleans. 

There are between seven and eight hundred men 
in Seattle who live from the revenue from the 
"white slave traffic", almost all of whom could be 
reached by the State Courts, if proper efforts were 
made. It was established by the Grand Jury that 
the Federal Government has gone as far as the law 
allows. It is now up to the State authorities, who 
could break up this business in short order. 

What are We Going to Do About 
the Children? 

Levee women, women living in prostitution, 
"madams," etc., do not bring up their chil- 
dren (and most of Chicago's female dealers in 

A Group of Children in the Midst of the "Red Light" District 

prostitution have several of them) in or near 
segregated districts of vice. Like the saloon 
keeper who moved to Evanston to get his chil- 
dren away from the harmful, degenerating influ- 
ences of the saloon and its environing neighbor- 
hoods, so the "madam," that active principal 
in the slavedom of the girls of our Land, in 
almost every case sees to it that her children are 

Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 19 

well brought up, away from the influences and 
knowledge of prostitution, while her agents and 
keepers are out scouring the department stores, 
factories, villages and country homes for girls 
to fill the sickening, festering, shrieking ranks 
of the great death army of publicly protected 
White Slaves. 

The writer has investigated many cases, and 
in every instance has found the children of these 
vultures of girlhood in exclusive colleges or mili- 
tary schools, being excellently prepared to take 
decent positions in business and social life. 
Case after case has recently come to light of 
women supporting their children on the fashion- 
able avenues, in Harvard and military colleges, 
while they themselves with hearts of hell, wring 
the dollars that pay for these luxuries from the 
bleeding, broken bodies of a gang of Levee White 
Slaves your sister and mine younger than her 
own, better born, better raised, but lost forever 
in the crushing, barred and screened gehenna of 
modern harlotry. 

Sixty-nine per cent of the children raised in 
the vast slum neighborhoods surrounding the 
segregated districts of prostitution are ruined 
before reaching the age of eighteen. This 
dreadful, appalling feature has been recently 
brought to light through close investigation by 
the writer and her co-workers, together with the 
sickening fact that little girls scarcely more than 
babies, are being constantly sought, secured and 
sacrificed to satisfy the cravings of abnormal, 
degenerate vice and debauchery abounding in 

20 Chicago 's Black Traffic in White Girls 

every large city. These little children, painted 
and showily dressed, are fast making their 
appearance in such cities as New York and Chi- 
cago, and they are the forerunners of Oriental 
child debauchery. These little girls are seldom 
seen on the streets, but may be recognized when 
seen, by their deformed, bowed legs, bent backs 
and shrivelled little, old faces such faces as we 
find in cripples aged by pain. Our hearts have 
been almost stilled as we have listened to the 
terrible stories of the hundreds of little girls in 
the ghastly fleshmarkets of India and China who, 
by the knife and the insertion into their tender 
bodies of wedges of expanding wood, are thus 
made ready, through months of torture, for the 
use of some inhuman Hindu or Chinese monster 
who for the sum of a few dollars purchases the 
use of their shrieking, quivering bodies, to leave 
them after a day or two of unparalleled debauch- 
ery, dead, or if still living, then with broken 
back or limbs, a human sacrifice indeed. 

We have read and known all this and wished 
that we could die that these children might be 
saved but listen, do we realize that with the 
influx into our midst, into our larger cities, of 
the vilest, most degenerate men and women on 
earth, thousands upon thousands of the most 
hellish brutes of Asia and China men who 
reckon girlhood lower than the female dog, has 
come this very thing this reeking, diabolical 
crime against innocent girlhood. Two especially 
revolting cases have come under the direct 
notice of the writer, yet without sufficient legal 

Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 21 

proof to face in court the organized, thoroughly 
financed band of men and women exploiting 
these dreadful conditions: one, a girl Louise, on 
Custom House Place; the other, Rosie from the 
22nd Street environments. The last named, 
cut, torn and bleeding, made a statement to 
the writer that cannot be put in print; yet she 
was by her owners accused of masturbation. 
Both of these girls were under ten years of age. 

The exploitation of women in Chicago in the 
vast business of White Slavery and segregated 
vice, is carried on very openly and above board. 
Street walkers carry on their nefarious business 
of securing trade for the "house" almost entirely 
unmolested. Women stand in the doors of the 
West Side houses of ill-fame and solicit those 
who pass. 

At 737 Washington boulevard, two doors 
west of the Chicago Rescue Mission, with 
which the writer is connected, a woman* stands 
in the door constantly soliciting each male pas- 
ser-by; boys are invited to come in and take 
their first lesson in vice, and on this block are 
many, many children, boys and girls. One of 
the "girls" kept by this woman was a harlot 
known as "No-nose" whose whole face was so 
sunken with syphilis that her nose was almost 
gone. The writer remembers well when through 
the efforts of a fellow-corker "No-nose" wns 
sent to the County Hospital for medical treat- 
ment, and considers this girl one of the greatest 

* Through the effort of the writer and the aid of the agent of 
the building this woman was made to move a little further west. 

'2'2 Chicago's Black Traffic in Wliitc Girls 

menaces to Chicago boyhood. No man would 
have touched the woman. 

The blocks in this immediate vicinity are all 
thickly peopled by families with many children 
in them. The following group of little girls 
live in their alley-homes within a few doors of 
some of the worst sights and dives in Chicago. 

Children of the Slums 

They see no sights but vice, they hear no 
talk but filth. At the age of ten they are per- 
fectly familiar with all the ins and outs of har- 
lotry, know many prostitutes, many pimps. 

Do you think these girls (each one is known 
to the writer personally) have any chance for 

At 804 Washington Boulevard, almost across 
the street from the writer's office, appears the 

23 Chicago's Black Traffic in Wliite Girls 

following sign on the window of the cigar store 
located there. 

Hundreds of the wreckage of typical White 
Slavery pass this place daily, for it is located 
at the edge of the great VVest Side dumping 
ground for broken, diseased women and young 
girls whose bodies can no longer be profitably 
used in the higher class dives of the South Side 
segregated districts, and who must at the end of 
a year or two become, if they are still living, the 
notorious women of the night who walk the streets 
and alleys, selling the use of their vile bodies 
for twenty-five cents, ten cents, a drink of beer 
or a crust of free lunch, becoming the prey of 
the drunken bum, the low vicious foreigner, the 
negro, or else the ruination of every young boy 
who falls into their vulture-like clutches. 

In all Chicago there could not be a generally 
worse neigborhood than the one in which the 
White Slave Cigar is manufactured and adver- 
tised for sale. Within a few blocks of the fac- 
tory, which is two doors west of the corner of 
Washington Boulevard and Elalsted Street, there 
are a thousand broken, pitiful lost White Slaves. 

"24 CJiicagos Black Traffic in \VJiitc Girls 

Within two or three blocks of this corner, 
five typical White Slaves have been murdered 
(butchered would be a better word) within the 
space of just a few weeks. Here drunken wo- 
men, the outcast element of the better class of 
dives, trail their filthy bodies day and night, 
their sunken, half-starved, syphjletic faces 
staring in your face, seeking the man or the 
young boy who will give them a drink of whiskey 
or a crust of bread in return for the wretched 
commerce they have to offer. Here, too, the 
children play and little girls grow into big girls 
with scarcely a ghost of a chance to be decent, 
and facing all hangs the sign "White Slave 
Cigar," manufactured by George F. Walz. 

It is out of this great outlaw district, this 
vast West Side charnal house of harlotry, that 
the City gets its supply of girls for that class of 
vice known as degeneracy. 

Five years of work in prostitution constitutes 
the life of the average harlot. Many, before the 
time allotted to them in a life of ill-fame expires, 
die; many commit suicide, yet some live on, 
their diseased bodies constituting that class of 
girls known as street walkers and degenerates. 
These women, who are really only young girls, 
hang around the back rooms and cellars of the 
barrel houses, consorting with the drunken, 
crippled, diseased men who congregate in such 
places, and from this vast army of lost girlhood 
is supplied the material for the immoral Oriental 
shows abounding in the segregated districts, 
where with dogs and burros, the bodies of 

Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 25 

ruined, diseased girls are finally used up and 
destroyed, or in the bestial dives in which are 
practiced that horrible crime known as the 
" French method." 

Sixty-nine per cent of the little girls who 
must, through necessity and environment, grow 
up in the neighborhoods immediately surrounding 
the segregated vice districts of such cities as 
Chicago, New York, Seattle, etc., are ruined 
before they reach the age of eighteen years. 
Think of it! These children know little else 
than drink and prostitution, hear little else, see 
little else. To them harlotry is in all its blast- 
ing, withering phases, a familiar story before 
they have reached the age of ten years. Hun- 
dreds of whore mongers, panderers, pimps and 
outlawed harlots, exploit their awful business 
and tell their vile stories as they walk the same 
pathway day by day with these children little 
lost souls they are the children of the poor, 
looked 011 in pity though by one who said "In- 
asmuch as ye have done it unto the least of 
these, ye have done it unto Me." 


Iii this vast underworld another trap almost 
as dangerous as the house of prostitution 
abounds on every hand the so-called "hotel" 
really a mere house of assignation in almost 
every instance. These hotels are a constant 
menace to the girlhood of our Land girls who 
come to the city strangers, and are unable to 
discriminate between the good and bad. Dozens 
of these hotels flourish all around the districts 

26 Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 

of vice in our cities, the abiding place of the 
pimp, the beggar, the criminal, and yet flourish 
under complete political protection. We sincerely 
believe that the time for cleaning up has come 
in such cities as New York, Chicago, etc., and 
we believe that we have with us in this stand, 
not only decent Chicago and New York, but 
decent America, 


Thirteen governments have signed the inter- 
national agreement to fight the traffic in women 
for immoral purposes. The terms have just 
been announced at Ottawa, Canada. 

The list of countries, British colonies and 
protectorates which have decided to adhere to 
the Anti- White Slave Traffic Agreement are: 
Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, 
France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Norway, 
Sweden, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, 
the Bahamas, Barbadoes, British Guiana, Can- 
ada, Ceylon, Australia, Gambia, Gold Coast, 
Malta, Newfoundland, Northern' Nigeria, South- 
ern Rhodesia, Trinidad and the Windward 

Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 


The End of the Way. Where Young Girls, who attend Public Dance* and 

Other Places of Amusement Unattended, are 

Likely to Wind Up 

Escape from a Life of Prostitution 
is Almost Impossible 

After more than four years of experience, 
and after having visited in various capacities, 
disguised, etc., many of the worst haunts of 
vice and houses of prostitution in Chicago, I 
have personally come to this conclusion: 

There is but a small chance for a girl, once 
having been sold into or entered upon a life of 
prostitution, to ever escape therefrom. Invari- 
ably she is kept in debt to her masters ; excessive 
bills for parlor clothes, board, dentistry, laundry 
and all conceivable expenses are kept charged 
up against her. She is under constant threat of 

28 Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 

personal violence and blackmail in every form 
(her owners securing whenever possible, some 
knowledge of her home and friends, and contin- 
ually holding this knowledge as a dagger over 
her), and there is the ever-present whore- 
masters and madams with drugs, drinks and 
bolts and bars, guarding every avenue of escape 
with blows and curses arid brutality beyond 
conception. Very few young girls enter a life 
of prostitution voluntarily, and few, having 
once entered., ever escape therefrom. 


The writer just here wishes to enter vigorous 
protest against houses of prostitution in Chicago 
and in America furnishing the American girl or 
her alien sister for the use of that class of alien 
men who are either excluded from citizenship in 
our Country by law, or who without wife or 
family, are here temporarily and simply to make 
all the money possible, in as short a time and in 
any way possible. 

At 2130 Armour Avenue, Chicago, stands an 
old tenement house filled with girls girls from 
all over the United States a beautiful ruined 
girl from Georgia, girls from Europe. Good 
girls they were a year or two ago, but are now 
the chained, wrecked slaves of festering vice and 
habit. This place is said to be operated by adope- 
fiend by the name of W- - and is exclusively 
for the use of a class of men debarred from the 
United States by law, except for educational 
purposes - -and mercantile interests among their 

Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 29 

own kind, a class of men with whom no white 
laborer will live or work the class of men who 
a year or two ago murdered Elsie Siegel in New 
York the lop-shouldered, smuggled-in, pig- 
tailed opium parched Chinese. It is a crying 
shame to-day against our Churches, our Union 
Labor and our Law that there is allowed to 
exist on a public street, in the second city in the 
United States, a public stock-market for wrecked 
girlhood where the filthy Chinese, in rows, wait 
their turn to rent for thirty minutes of unparal- 
leled Asiatic debauchery, the bruised, bleeding 
wreckage of our American home or the girl 
who came to us a few months ago to the great- 
est Christian Republic the Woi Id has ever builded, 
from some European home and a mother, ask- 
ing only a chance to go to work with her bare 
hands and earn a decent living. 

The American citizen refuses to admit the 
Chinaman, refuses to work with him, refuses 
him all rights accorded other aliens coming to 
us, and yet, for the blood profits of vice and 
politics, allows to be placed to his exclusive 
privilege that which a short time ago was our 
Nation's best and cleanest womanhood. 

For an American girl entering a life of public 
prostitution there is some chance of salvation, 
for the immigrant girl there is indeed little. 
Two years ago I had occasion to visit 21 
Armour Avenue, a "50-cent house" in the 
infamous "bedbug row district." It was about 
three o'clock in the afternoon, just before the 

30 Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 

beginning of regular business hours. In the 
reception room of the place, around a rusty old 
stove, sat eight or ten hopeless, lost girls; sick, 
smoking, cursing girls. Soon they would dress 
up, dope up with whiskey, cocaine or opium, 
dash some bella donna in their eyes and go 
on duty to meet all comers. Shivering by the 
stove sat a little foreign girl. I asked her name, 
the girls told me it was Josie and that she was 
an Italian. Speaking to her in that language, 
I soon learned that she was a young Russian 
Jewess. The house seemed to possess sufficient 
proof, as the law then required, that the girl had 
been in this Country three years ; so there was 
little I could do except give her my card and 
tell her if she ever needed a friend to come to 
me. Less than a year ago there came a riug at 
my door, and opening it, I found a lost woman 
begging me to come at once into the West Side 
"levee'' to see a girl who was dying. I went 
with her, and there, in a mouldy, wretched 
cellar I found "Josie" of the Armour Avenue 
resort, dying with syphilis. In that awful 
underground place I listened to her story and I 
give it to you as she related it to me: 

" I am nineteen years old and my name is Gezie 
Bruvatsky. 1 saw my father bayonetted to the earth 
by Russian soldiers. I saw my mother work over 
the washtub until her hands were bloody that I and 
my little brother might have bread and my virtue be 
protected. One day a man came to our house, who 
was either a Jew or a German, saying he was agent 
for a steamship company and that he had good 
work in America for many girls where they could 

Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 31 

earn as much in one month as they could earn in 
two years in Russia. My heart leaped with joy. 
How could we know he was lying. I packed my 
clothes. I left all my mother, my brother. I 
came to America. Soon I could send for them, for 
I was strong and could work work day and night. 
At New York a man and woman met me and sent 
me on to Chicago. Here I was taken from the Polk 
Street Station to Armour Avenue where by force' 
I was ruined. I was there many months, sick and 
starving, and finally got out and crawled over to 
the West Side where there are many Jews; but now 
I am dying and I want my mother." 


Hon. Edwin Sims, ex-U. S. Prosecuting 
Attorney, in a recent conservative statement, 
says he believes that fifteen thousand immigrant 
girls are brought into this Country every year for 
commercialized prostitution. 

We believe the actual figures are nearer 
Twenty-five Thousand, and we appeal to 
the mothers and fathers of America, in the name 
of God and the heart-broken mothers and 
fathers of other lands, to use their personal influ- 
ence and the money with which God has 
entrusted them, to wipe from our flag the leprous 
blotch of shame which permits the importing 
in' > our Republic every year of thousands of 
helpless girls to be ground up in the murder 
mills of the segregated harlotry of such districts 
as the 22nd Street district of Chicago, for it was 
the blood-covered hand of that district that 
reached across the lands and seas and into that 

32 Cliicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 

Russian home and tore from it little Gezie 
Bruvatsky and led her across the waters and 
under the very shadow of the Statue of Liberty 
itself and pinning to her the little blue ticket of 
immigration, led her past the gates of Ellis 
Island, on past the statues of Washington and 
Jefferson, of Lincoln and Grant, and into the 
burning fire of American public prostitution to 
live a few months, and dying in an underground 
cellar, be cast, scarce cold, into our nation's 
great potter's field of lost women. 

The Wretched, Pitiful Ending of Gezie Bruvatsky, left by Her Hearties* 
Masters to Die Unattended in Filthy, Squlid Surroundings 

Chicago's Black Traffic in Wliite Girls 33 

The Price of a Living Body 

Fifty years ago, down in the Southland of our 
America, we stood a well formed, sound limbed, 
healthy, intact young woman on the auction 
block and sold her to the highest bidder for her 
beauty, her virtue, her heart, her honor, her 
soul and her body, and the established average 
price paid for such a young woman was eighteen 
hundred dollars ($1800.00) . I take for granted 
as I write, that if the heart and soul and body 
of a young black woman of Kentucky, Georgia 
or Mississippi was in the slave market of fifty 
years ago worth intrinsically $1800.00, the soul 
and body of a clean, decent, young Northland 
white woman is to-day worth about the same. 
Assistant State Prosecuting Attorney Roe in his 
speech before the Illinois Vigilance Society, 
Chicago, February 7th, 1909, placed the number 
of women in disorderly resorts in Chicago alone 
at 30,000. 

Stop! Listen: If there are 30,000 young 
women on this City's Soul-Market, and we place 
the average value of one of these young women 


by established, recognized precedent, then 
there is $54,000,000 worth of young womanhood 
in the Slave- Market of our City at the present 
time. In the same statistical speech Mr. Roe 
places the number of young girls necessary 
yearly to recruit the rapidly decimating ranks of 
this vast Death Army at six thousand; hence, 
$10,800,000 worth of innocent girlhood must be 

34 Chicago's Black Traffic in WJiitc Girls 

sacrificed from our stores and factories, our 
homes or firesides all over the Land every 
twelve months to feed and satisfy the horrible 
flesh-market of Human Slavery in the "levee" 
districts of Chicago alone. 

Harry A. Parkin, Assistant U. S. District 
Attorney, in WOMEN'S WORLD, March, 1909, 

"The Federal investigations in Chicago and other 
localities have clearly established the fact that, 
generally speaking, houses of ill-fame in large cities 
do not draw their recruits to any great extent from 
the territory immediately surrounding them ; for vari- 
ous reasons the White Slavers who are the recruiting 
agents of this vile traffic prefer to work in States 
more or less distant from the centers to which vic- 
tims are destined." 

In view of all this, it must be clearly appar- 
ent that the need of the hour is legislation 
which will make it as difficult and dangerous fora 
White Slaver to take his victim from one State 
into another as it is to bring them from France, 
Italy, Canada or any other foreign country, to a 
house of ill-fame in Chicago or any American 
city. Therefore, it is suggested that if each 
State in the Union would enact and enforce laws 
against this importation, this terrible traffic 
would be dealt a blow in its most vulnerable 

One of the strangest results brought about 
by the recent White Slave prosecutions in 
Chicago and the wide publicity which they have 
received has been the astonishment of thousands 

Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 35 

of persons, as evidenced by letters, at the fact 
that such a wholesale traffic is actually in exist- 
ence, but what is still more astounding, not to say 
discouraging, is the reluctance of other thou- 
sands to believe that many hundreds of men 
and women are actually engaged in the business 
of luring young girls and women to their destruc- 
tion and that this infamous traffic is being carried 
on in every state of the Union every day of the 

It is estimated by those who should know, 
that at least five thousand men in Chicago live 
off of the earnings of prostitution. For instance as 
to the plan: A young girl, alien or American, is 
sold into a life of ill-fame for say Two Hundred 
Dollars, as the actual price of her procuring. 
Before she suspects any real harm, she is lured 
into a restaurant or a wine- room, becomes 
intoxicated, is sufficiently doped to become 
passive, is taken to the "house" to which she 
has been consigned and is immediately "broken 
in" in the most violent and nauseating manner, 
perhaps becoming the prey of twenty or thirty men. 
Beaten, threatened with exposure, and, if neces- 
sary, purposely infected with gonorrhea, the girl 
is within twenty- four hours absolutely ruined for 
all time "spoiled," the police say. Oh! what a 
whole world of agony and pain and bruises and 
disease and Hell is embodied in that one word 
"spoiled." She is immediately pressed into serv- 
ice and from that time on until death relieves 
her, or she is rescued by some one enough inter- 
ested to help her, she must receive all comers 
THIRTY DAYS every month. 

36 Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 

This answers the question I have been asked 
a hundred times from all over the Country since 
CHICAGO'S SOUL MARKET was first published, 
as to whether a woman in a house of prostitution 
is allowed any respite from service during the 
Menstrual Period. SHE is NOT ALLOWED A SINGLE 
DAY. The average number of men who must be 
served by each woman in a medium or lower class 
house of ill-fame is thirty-six per day. On entrance 
to the place, if the house be a "Dollar house," 
a metal room-check is purchased from the 
madam or attendant at the door for one dollar. 
This check is taken up by the girl in the room 
and is worth on presentation to the house fifty 
cents, half of its face value being received by 
the house for board, laundry, hair dressing, etc., 
all of which must be paid for at the highest 
possible rates. Of the remaining fifty cents, 
twenty-five cents goes to the man who sold thegirl 
into the house, the remaining twenty-five cents 
going to the girl herself and from this amount 
must be paid all bills for clothes, dentistry, and 
all other expenses. In almost every known 
case, however, with which the writer is at all 
familiar, the entire fifty per cent goes intact to 
the owner of the girl, her necessary expenses 
being paid by him and the balance pocketed for 
his own use. 

Just as the liquor trade is thoroughly and 
carefully financed and organized even in its 
weakest points, making successful prosecution 
against it a thing impossible, just so is the traf- 
fic in young women protected in all its details. 
The writer has in mind the case of Josie E , 

Chicago's Black Traffic in \\ltitc Girls 37 

fifteen years old, who came from her suburban 
home in Illinois, hoping to secure employment 
in the City. Arriving at the Dearborn Street 
Railway Station about nine o'clock, she started 
out to find a hotel in which to spend the night. 
Walking a few steps from the Station, she was 
accosted at State and Polk streets by a young 
man who asked her what she was looking for. 
Replying that she was looking for a hotel, the 
man Thompson told her he was employed at a 
hotel on Polk Street opposite the railway station 
and offered to take the girl there. Unacquainted 
with the City and relying on his word, she 
accompanied him to the hotel, where she was 
outraged and detained for weeks. She was 
finally rescued by the writer and a Y. W. C. A. 
worker. Taking her to my rooms, I found her 
physical condition such that I sent for a detec- 
tive from the Harrison Street Police Station who 
investigated her story and finding it true in every 
particular, arrested Thompson at his place of 
employment, 41 Polk Street. The case coming 
up in the Harrison Street Municipal Court, was 
so manipulated by the defense that in the trans- 
ferring of it to the Criminal Court a technical 
error threw it out altogether. I simply give this 
as an example of how almost utterly impossible 
it is to secure a conviction in these cases. Is it 
any wonder when back of this great evil stands 
at least a hundred million dollars? 

Listen, seventy-five per cent of the women 
and girls entering lives of ill-fame in Chicago 
are from adjoining States and country districts 
they are utter strangers in our City. Every 

38 Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 

hour, day or night, year in and year out, four 
great central railway passenger stations discharge 
their precious human freight within the first 
ward of Chicago, the richest and wickedest 
political ward in the world the ward of Michael 
Kenna (Hinky Dink) and "Bathhouse" John 
Coughlin the ward feeding every district of 
prostitution and gambling and unnatural horror 
in the City the ward with two miles of indecent 
resorts, whole armies of reeking lost women, 
hundreds of pandering men procurers and White 
Slavers the ward of thousands of Turkish, 
Italian and Arabian immigrants, and opium- 
parched pagan Chinese the ward in which 
every day thousands of women, many of whom 
without money or friends, are looking for work, 
are unloaded in this seething cauldron of vice, 
their only refuge being, when without funds, the 
Police Station or the house of ill-repute. 

The horror of conditions surrounding a woman 
without money or friends in Chicago makes the 
living of a moral life almost impossible for her. 
1 have in mind the case of a deserted little 

Italian woman, G. P , living in Plymouth 

Court, south of Polk Street. G. had three little 
baby girls, the eldest only four years, and was 
expecting another child soon. She was deserted 
by her husband and left without a dollar or a 
friend to face life and care for herself and 
babies. The case came into the hands of the 
Mission and she was cared for by them until the 

N.B. G. P.'s is strictly authentic. The Chicago Rescue 
Mission will give you details and take charge of any help you may 
care to give her. 

Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 30 

time of her confinement, when, with her chil- 
dren, she was taken to Dunning Poorhouse 
where she was kindly cared for. A baby boy 
was born to G. Great pressure was brought to 
bear upon this little Italian mother who spoke 
no word of English, to induce her to give up her 
children. Frightened and weeping, she refused 
to do this, declaring she would make a living for 
them, and leaving the Poorhouse, she started out 
taking the baby and another child with her, 
hoping soon to earn the money to care for the 
other two. 

This she was fortunate enough to accom- 
plish, and, taking the four little ones dear to 
her heart, went back to the little room on the 
top floor of the tenement in Plymouth Court. 
G. got work in a sweatshop and made button- 
holes at $2.50 a week. She worked hard to keep 
up, but the baby sickened and died. The other 
children began to get thin and wan. They grew 
hungry before her eyes and the mother's heart 
frightened and sank within her. A fiend in 

human form, J. F , came by and offered the 

half-starved mother bread for herself and babies, 
offered her marriage as soon as it could be 
arranged for. G. took the bread and fed her 
children and to-day up on the top floor of the 
tenement in Plymouth Court, again deserted and 
hungry and helpless, she cr,ies and prays and 
makes button-holes, and waits and waits with 
fear and wretchedness the coming of another 
little child. 

The proprietor of the great resort on the 
<'3rner of 21st and Dearborn streets said not 

40 Chicago's Black Traffic in \\liitc Girls 

From a flashlight photograph showing 2-ton weight 

steel door connecting sound-proof dungeon cell 

with blind passage-way, between 114 

and 116 Custom House Place 

Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 41 

long ago to a co-worker of mine who forced her 
way into his infamous dive: 

"Don't come here to bother my girls; it is of no 

use; they are rotten and ripe for H . Soon I will 

throw them out myself. Goto the department stores 
and the sweatshops and help the underpaid, friend- 
less girl there if you must work. I could write a 
book as large as that (pointing to the City Direc- 
tory) rilled with shrieks and groans of women after 
they are lost, but what good would it do? They are 
gone then forever :" 

In a great measure, the man told the truth. 
It is hard to reach a woman after she has once 
entered a life of prostitution ; for, like the Infer- 
no of old, there should be emblazoned in letters 
of blood above the barred door of every White 
Slave mart in America, the ancient warning: 

"Leave hope behind, all ye who enter here." 

There's many a girl homeless and tempted, 
underpaid and destitute, who might be saved 
from a life of ill-fame if a helping hand and a 
shelter were offered her in her hour of indecision 
and hunger arid despair. 

In the south wall of the basement of 114 
Federal Street, formerly known as Custom House 
Place, that congested, central Redlight District 
of three years ago, there was a blind passage- way 
between 114 and 116 Custom House Place, 116 
being the notorious dive "The California" now 
located at Armour Avenue. On the in- 
side, this door opened into a large dungeon, 
windowless, sound-proof (about 7x10 feet) and 
it is alleged that it was through the alley and 


Chicago's Black Traffic in WJiite Girls 

From a flashlight photograph showing heavy steel 

screen used inside the iron-barred windows 

of the houses of prostitution in the 

old Custom House district 

. .- . Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls .. 43 

into this blind passage- way that the unwilling 
victims of White Slavers (the same syndicate 
now operating with Chicago as headquarters) 
were carried into this little solitary cell to be 
"broken in" by fiendish, brute force to a life of 

The accompanying photograph secured by the 
writer gives at least a faint idea of this frightful 
trap against the pitiless walls of which have, no 
doubt, beat the agonized shrieks of many an 
innocent girl your sister and mine as, bap- 
tising this hell-hole with blood and tears, her 
quivering body was crucified upon a whore- 
monger's cross of gold and then torn down to be 
cast, bruised, bleeding, but yet alive, into five 
years of the awful, seething moral Golgotha of 
prostitution and then into lingering 1 death. 

The Chicago Rescue Mission and Woman's 
Shelter of which the writer is President, has for 
two years occupied the premises at 114 Custom 
House Place. Upon moving into the place we 
found every window incased in heavy iron bars 
while between the bars and the glass of each 
window was mortised a one-half inch steel screen 
(see cut). Entrance or exit from the building 
was as utterly impossible as from a penitentiary, 
excepting by the front door, and to bring the 
place within the requirements of the City law it 
was necessary to bring a suit through the Munic- 
ipal Court against the owner of the building, 
Mrs. Spiegel, against whom through the aid of 
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Oleson, we ob- 
tained a verdict and forced her thereon to put 
in a rear stairway (see Court records). 

44 Chicago s Black Traffic in White Girls 

114 Custom House Place is only one of the 
fifty similarly notorious dens in the old Redlight 
district, and yet it is impossible to make some 
people believe that there is such a thing as 
forcible detention of a woman in a Chicago house 
of prostitution. 

I quote the following incident cited by Assist- 
ant Prosecuting Attorney Roe in an article of 
recent date in WOMAN'S WORLD, illustrating 
some of the schemes and plans for leading a 
girl into a life of ill- fa me. Mr. Roe says: 

"A year ago last summer, 15-year old Margaret 
Smith was working about her simple home near 
Benton Harbor, Michigan. The father, employed 
by the Pere Marquette Railroad, was away from 
home a good share of the time. One day a grapho- 
phone agent came to the house and the family be- 
came interested in one of his musical machines. 
Shortly afterward this agent brought with him to 
the Smith home Frank Kelly, and introduced him 
to Maggie, as she was called by her folks. In a day 
or two Margaret was on her way to Chicago with 
Kelly who promised her an excellent position in the 
City. Upon her arrival Margaret was sold to one 
of the worst dives in Chicago, located on South 
Clark Street and owned by an Italian named Baptista 
Pizza. Here she learned that her captor's name was 
not Frank Kelly, but an Italian whose real name is 
Alphonso Citro. For a year she was kept as a 
Slave in this resort, which was over a saloon, and 
the entrance was through a back alley. The only 
visitors were Italians, who came for immoral pur- 
poses. Learning last summer that Margaret's father, 
who had been hunting relentlessly for his daughter, 

Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 45 

was on the track of her, the girl was taken by 
Alphonso Citro, alias Kelly, to Gary, Indiana. 
When the father came to the resort with a police- 
man, he found that his daughter had gone. She was 
kept in Gary about two months and then returned 
to this disreputable place from which she escaped 
finally, the Monday before last Christmas. A young 
barber took pity on her after hearing her story, and 
enlisted the sympathies of his parents who took her 
to their home. Alphonso Citro (Kelly) looked for 
her almost a week, and at last saw her going from a 
store to this home, where she was staying. He 
went to the house and demanded at the point of a 
revolver that she be given up, as he said: 

"I am losing money every day she is gone." 

"There was a quarrel over the girl during which 
some people from the outside were attracted to the 
house by the commotion. Citro, becoming fright- 
ened, fled down the street, and as he ran, threw 
away the revolver with which he had tried to shoot 
the father of the barber during the quarrel, over the 
fence into a coal yard. After running two blocks, 
he was caught and arrested. Upon these facts this 
procurer, Citro, alias Kelly, was prosecuted and found 
guilty under the new pandering law of Illinois, and 
received a sentence of one year of imprisonment 
and a fine of five hundred dollars. The poor father 
and mother, distressed and heart-broken, were in 
Court during the trial with their arms around each 
other, sobbing with joy because their little girl had 
been found. Pizza, the owner of the place, was 
indicted by the State grand jury, but escaped to 
Italy. This case is told to show how girls leave 
home upon the promise of securing employment and 
are in this way procured for places of ill-repute." 

NOTE. Baptista Pizza, it was discovered, did not go to Italy, 
but after a few months of hiding, again engaged in his nefarious 
business. He was recently arrested for selling an American girl, 
fined $1000.00 and sentenced to two years in the House of 

46 . ^Chicago 's Black Traffic in White Girls.. 

Chicago's Soul Market. 

"O, he keeps a, bunch of 'fillies' in a shanty down 

near the corner, of Monroe and Peoria streets, and 
they're not foreigners, either. They're American 
girls! No wonder he can make a bet like that on a 

mere chance, from a roll of vellow backs." 
/it ^;: H ..-.-., 

The ^speaker was the madam of ,a Peoria 
street resort, the listeners, a motley crowd of 
women gathered in the rear of a popular saloon 
and gambling house not far from the corner of 
Green and Madison streets, on the seething, con- 
gested West Side of Chicago. These women had 
assembled in that screened back room to risk 
their hard earned or evil-gotten money on the 
horses of the Louisville race track. 

There sat a little 18-year old, brown-eyed 
milliner, her dissipated face hollow and drawn 
from worry and lack of sleep and an insufficient 
quantity of nourishing food, while near her a 
white-haired old lady in shabby black was 
tightly grasping two quarters, her entire worldly 
possession. Just across sat a well-dressed 
woman restaurant keeper, a young eastern star 
and half a hundred others, above all of 
whom shone the yellow haired madam of the 
Peoria Street resort, the star patron of that great 
gambling room for women, each one of whom 
was eagerly beckoning the well-groomed book- 
maker, feverishly anxious to get her pittance on 
the race-track favorite, when a connecting 
door was pushed suddenly open and in rushed a 
fashionably dressed, brutal-faced young Russian 

Chicago's Black Traffic in \ \ 'kite Girls 47 

Jew, holding loosely an immense roll of money. 
Tens, twenties, hundreds he counted them 
until three hundred dollars had been placed to 
win upon a "clocker tip" in that day's last race 
in Louisville. 

There was grim, deadly silence eating, un- 
bearable silence in that gambling room as they 
waited the ring of the telephone and the name 
of the winner. Again the yellow haired ma- 
dam's voice screamed shrilly out, for she was 
indeed ill at ease, her money was all on the 
favorite "Yes, a bunch of American 'fillies' 
peddled put; at 50 cents an hour to all comers, 
black or white, sick or sound. I^o wonder. Jtje 
can make a play like that on an outside 

r J -;'(/ , . .1 v 

chance." , . , >, 

Three-hundred dollafs! '-'Mty heart stood still 
almost. The thought flashed through my brain 
that that wager meant hundreds of hours of 
shame arid slavery and horror to those girls in 
the shanties down on Peoria street, some 
mother's girl, every one of them. I sat still for 
a little while and watched the feverish anxious 
throng about me. My heart kept going faster and 
faster until I could bear it no longer. Ameri- 
can "fillies" and body and soul under a brutal 
Russian whore-monger! I slipped quietly out 
into the street; night was coming on, and I 
walked down Madison and south on Peoria. 
Yes, there were the shanties poor, wretched 
hovels, every one of them. Out shone the flick- 
ering red lights, out came the discordant, rasp- 
ing sound of the rented piano, out belched the 

48 Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 

shrieks and groans of drunken harlots mingled 
with the curses of task-masters in a foreign 
tongue, attracting the attention of the hundreds 
of laborers, negroes and boys, as they walked 
home on Peoria street from their day's work. 
On I went until I came to a little shed just north 
of th.3 slum saloon occupied by one Shellstadt 
at the corner of Monroe and Peoria streets, and 
checking my steps, I loak^d around me on the 
squalid, wretched scene. I was in the midst of 
prostitution at its lowest the heart- breaking 
dregs of Chicago's thirty thousand public 
women. Yes, there they were the fair young 
American girl, the stolid Russian Jewess, the 
middle-aged, syphiletic harlot, living, prosti- 
tuting, dying like so many hurt, broken moths 
around that great red-light Chicago's West 
Side Soul Market their poor, wrecked, foul 
smelling bodies sold day and night at from 
twenty-five to fifty cents an hour to all comers 
who could pay the pitiful price demanded by 
their brutal, soulless masters; and, as I looked, 
the burning fire of intense pity entered my soul 
for these drug and drink-sodden, diseased and 
chained slaves my sisters in Christ and this 
great, free American Republic, and so, with a 
heart-consuming desire to know more of the 
lives of these scarlet women and to help them, if 
possible, I began at once a thorough personal 
investigation of Chicago's public Slave Market, 
visiting these people whenever occasion offered ; 
talking with them, gaining their much abused 
confidence, until I gradually learned the inside 
lines of the saddest story America has ever 

Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 49 

known- since the black mothers of our 
Southland were torn from their black and white 
babies and with shrieks of agony and heart 
strings bleeding and soul rent with blackened 
horror were sold to death on the plantations of 
Louisiana and Mississippi, and I want to tell 
you who read this and who think there is little 
truth in the now much agitated question of 
White Slavery in America, that in the dives and 
dens of our City's underworld I have heard 
shrieks and heart cries and groans of agony and 
remorse that have never been surpassed at any 
public slave auction America has ever witnessed, 
as these girls, many of them, oh! so young, 
realizing their awful fate, with scalding tears 
and moans of horror, shut out from their hearts 
and lives father or mother or husband and child, 
and turned their sob-shaken, tortured bodies to 
face the years of final, relentless wretchedness 
and woe, to be at last thrown out sick and 
broken, to die in some alley or to be carted off 
to Dunning poorhouse to gradual physical decay 
and a pauper's burial and grave of obliteration, 
while those who sold them just a few years 
before go out in their diamonds and fine linen 
and their great automobiles to buy up more girls 
(it might be your daughter, father, mother; or 
it might be mine) to fill the vacancy in the ranks 
of this vast army of White Slaves. 

A woman said to me the other day, and it 
was in a lofty, sneering tone, too: "I doubt if 
these women are ever coerced or even imposed 

50 Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 


Sitting in my office one afternoon I listened, 
my blood almost freezing, to the following story 
vouched for by Mr. C , an immigration in- 
spector and brother of a well-known Chicago 
reform worker. Here it is as he told it to me: 

"One evening some time ago I was looking up a 
case down in the Twenty-Second Street red-light 
district, and visited and inspected, looking for im- 
migrant girls held illegally, a certain house of the 
lower class in that neighborhood of prostitution. 
While in the house I noticed a young woman lying 
very ill (in the last stages of pneumonia, if I remem- 
ber the story exactly) and in a semi-conscious con- 
dition, and to my horror upon inquiry I learned that 
in the rush hours of business this helpless, pain- 
racked young woman was open to all comers holding 
an accredited room check." 

Dear friends, there are true stories heard and 
known every day around the City's seething, 
blood-red Soul Market that cannot be put into 
print stories, though, that were they to be- 
come known, would make decent Chicago rise as 
one man and cry with a voice outspeaking Fort 
Sumter, "White Slavery in Chicago and in 
America must cease ! ' ' 

During my years of study of this question of 
prostitution I learned to know personally many 
of the characteristic White Slaves of the West 
and South Side "levees," One "Alice" I shall 
never, never forget. Beautiful aside from her 
dissipation, a high school graduate, grammar 
and syntax perfect, manner exquisite. "Alice," 

Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 51 

seduced at eighteen, was at the age of twenty- 
one away down the line in the West Side levee 
underworld. I used to talk many times with 
Alice as she sat in the back parlor of the 
4 'house" on Peoria street that gave her shelter, 
awaiting her call of "next" to go up stairs with 
whosoever negro, white or Chinese might buy 
for one dollar (one of the dollars of the Republic 
on which is eternally stamped the blessed words, 
"In God we Trust") possession of her beautiful 
body for one hour. Smoking, always smoking 
her doped Turkish cigarette, Alice told me 
much of her life, both in years gone forever 
and of a daily "levee" existence. She told me 
of a father and mother and a beautiful home, of 
a lover who came into it and led her away by 
night into "levee" Slavery of the awful dis- 
grace and disinheritance, of a little baby that 
she only knew an hour, of insane remorse and 
anguish, until at last she would stand and scream 
and scream with mental pain until some whore- 
monger knocked her senseless, and then 
how she would crawl away to some near-by 
shanty saloon and drink herself helpless, to 

As far as I know Alice is still on Peoria 

street, and, oh! men and women, there are 

thirty thousand of these Alices in Chicago's 
great blasting Soul Market to-day. 

United States Attorney Sims puts the aver- 
age life of a prostitute at ten years or less, 
while other excellent authorities put it as low as 
five years, as these women must constantly drink 

52 Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 

any and all drinks purchased for them by 
visitors (as much of the business revenue is 
derived from the sale of these drinks), thus 
forcing them at all times into a half-drunken 
condition, rendering them helpless to control the 
abnormal, sickening, mind and body wrecking 
demands made upon them by the gonorrheal, 
syphilitic, sodden wretches of whom not one in 
ten is capable of normal sexual coalition, yet 
whose debauched, drunken desires and require- 
ments, no matter how unnatural and revolting, 
must be satisfied by the use of the bodies of 
their hopeless victims at fifty or even as low as 
twenty-five cents an hour. 

Very few young women entering this cess- 
pool of prostitution are able to live therein an 
average of eight weeks without becoming 
infected with one or more of the loathsome 
diseases of the underworld, and thus ruined and 
horrible they live on and on for three, four or 
six years, and at the end of that time thirty 
thousand pure young girls, gathered from 
prairie homes and village firesides and from out 
of our own suburban and city families, must 
march out into this great Soul Market to take 
the place of the broken wretches whose decaying 
bodies are cast into the refuse of our alleys and 
sewers to become the menace of every girl and 
boy and drunken man who comes within their 
clutches or sets foot within their alley hovels. 


At about ten o'clock on Saturday evening, 
September 19th, I boarded a West Madison 

Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 53 

street car and, transferring north at Halsted 
street, alighted at Lake and walked west to 
Lewinsky's saloon at the corner of Lake and 
Green streets. Going around to the side entrance 
on Green street, I discovered in the wine and 
back rooms of the wretched place a crowd of 
perhaps fifty drunken, dirty, diseased men and 
women, most of them foul-smelling, young white 
girls huddled in with the worst mob of negroes, 
whites and Chinese I have seen in Chicago's 
slums, all cursing, drinking, singing and blas- 
pheming in plain view and hearing of the street. 
I stopped a moment to make sure I was making 
no mistake in what I saw and then crossed the 
street to interview the dark-eyed little foreign 
girl who at its door was boldly soliciting trade 
for the saloon and its adjacent evils, just 

I walked on down toPeoria and south on that 
notorious street. 

In the row of houses running from Lake to 
Randolph street there are approximately six 
hundred White Slaves, arid diseased, crippled 
prostitutes of the lowest class, dumped from the 
city's cleaner dives, and on that night it was 
almost impossible to push one's way through 
the mass of men and boys whites, negroes, 
Turks, Polocks, etc., gathered in front of these 
places of public abomination. At the corner of 
Randolph and Peoria streets several earnest men 
and women were holding a little gospel meeting, 
and, stopping with them, I counted during the 
thirty minutes I stayed there six hundred and 

54 .Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 

forty (approximately) men and boys stop in 
front of or enter this horrible flesh market. 

As I left the scene, a young girl in a drunken, 
filthy, diseased condition slipped out of an alley 
and followed me, asking me to help her, and as 
we sat on the steps of Saints Peter and Paul 
Cathedral, corner of Washington boulevard arid 
Peoria street, she told me the worst, most heart- 
breaking story of wrong and vice and ruin I 
have ever listened to (see note.)* 

As I left that West Side levee of vice I knew 
I had seen prostitution at its lowest ebb and that 
from these holes of horror finally went those 
awful alley women of the night to sell their 
soul and trail their black disease to any young 
boy or drunken man who could give them a few 
cents or even the price of a drink of whiskey. 

Coming down Custom House Place one night 
about 10:30 o'clock I overtook, without their 
knowledge, six boys, ranging from about twelve 
down to perhaps seven years, three of whom I 
knew fairly well. Following them from shadow 
to shadow, I gathered sufficient of their low- 
voiced conversation to make me certain they had 
been holding an orgy in a nearby cellar or base- 
ment with a drunken harlot, and that together 
they had paid her the small sum of seventeen 
cents for this damning, soul-destroying com- 
merce. One boy, a lad of about nine years, had 

*This girl was turned over to the Chicago Rescue Mission, 
cleaned and clothed and fed and pointed to Jesus Christ. Her story 
was investigated and found true and after receiving medical atten- 
tion she was quietly returned to her country home. 

Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 55 

been wheedled by his companions into paying ten 
cents of this sum and was arguing for the return 
of at least a part of his money, because of the age 
and helplessness of the woman and the extreme 
short time allowed him by his companions in 
his relations with her. 

Mr. J. J. Sloan, when he was superintendent 
of the John Worthy School, which is the local 
juvenile municipal reformatory, reported that 
one-third of the street boys sent to him were 
suffering from the loathsome diseases and dis- 
tempers of the red-light district, nor is this to 
be wondered at when we consider the fact that 
sexual commerce may be purchased almost any- 
where in South State street and in the West 
Side alleys for the remarkably low price of ten 
cents, or even a glass of beer or whiskey, from 
the gonorrheal, syphilitic denizens thrown out 
long ago from the better class houses of prosti- 
tution to live off of the half-drunken men and boys 
to be found in swarms along South State, Hal- 
sted and South Clark streets. 

Almost invariably, the street boy haunting 
these underworld sections of our city is first led 
into sexual sin by one of the crippled, half- rotten, 
yet painted vampires of the streets whose only 
care or hope is a crust of free lunch and enough 
whiskey or "dope' ' to drown for a time at least the 
last throb of heart arid conscience and keep life a 
little longer in the wretched body, and the boy 
having purchased for a small fee his own de- 
struction trails out again into the night and on 

56 Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 

into disease and crime and prison, and finally 

The average parent of to-day has little idea 
of the temptations which constantly surround 
and beset the growing boy. I recall a case in 
Des Moines, Iowa, where a little degenerate girl 
of sixteen caused the moral , and in several cases 
physical, ruin of five young boys, all this hap- 
pening in an exclusive East Side neighborhood 
and under the watchful care of parents 
and friends, so what must be the temptation 
thrown out to the young boys of our city when 
through block after block of our central dis- 
tricts they must come in contact with those 
whose only mission is to ruin and debauch. 

It should be the direct object, morally and 
physically, of every father and mother in this 
city to banish these parasitesthese leeches who 
suck the life blood of our boys from Chicago's 

Listen, father, mother, there are thirty thous- 
and pure, dearly beloved young girls growing 
up in our midst to-day who within five years 
must, under the present business system of 
White Slavery, put aside father, mother, home, 
friends and honor, and march into Chicago's 
ghastly flesh market to take the place of the 
thirty thousand helpless, hopeless, decaying chat- 
tels who now daily, behind bolts and bars and 
steel screens (see note**), satisfy the abomin- 

**Visit any of the great line of abandoned houses in the red- 
light district of Custom House Place or Plymouth Court and note 
the bars and screens and underground steel doors. 

Chicago s Black Traffic in White Girls 57 

able lust of (approximately) two hundred and 
ten thousand brutal, drunken adulterers. 

I believe, as I write, that the final solving of 
this reeking, hideous question lies in the moral 
and Christian teaching and protection of the 
growing girls of our Land. I believe in a rigidly 
enforced law that keeps girls under legal age and 
unattended, off the down town streets at nights 
after a reasonable hour. Harry Balding, the 
convicted White Slaver, in his confession before 
Judge Newcomer and State's Attorney Roe, 

"We would be sent out by resort keepers to work 
up some girls, for whom we were paid from $10 to 
$50 dollars each, though the cash bonus was much 
more. The majority of them were girls we met on 
the streets. We would go around to the penny ar- 
cades and nickel theaters, and when we saw a couple 
of young girls we would go up and talk with them. 
I will say for myself I never took a girl away from 
her home; the girls I took down there I met in the 
stores or on the streets." 

There is a league of Masonry worldwide that 
makes it possible for a Mason anywhere, in trouble 
or distress, to raise his hand toward the heavens 
with a certain sign, and if there be a brother 
Mason within reach, that brother, no matter of 
what nationality, kindred or tongue, is sworn to 
give him all needed protection. Listen, father, 
mother, sister; listen, brother! 

To-day from beneath Chicago's awful moral 
sewerage system, which has sucked their hearts 
and souls under, thirty thousand trembling 

58 Chicago 's Black Traffic in White Girls 

hands are held up to High Heaven and to you 
for help, hands reeking with the blood on which 
some whore monger has fattened, the hands 
though of your sisters and of mine. And I believe 
that here in Chicago, the greatest market for 
White Slaves on the Continent, should be formed 
a league that would become world- wide, of earn- 
est, law-abiding men and women whose efforts, 
united with those of the proper police, municipal 
and Federal authorities, would make it practi- 
cally impossible for a girl to be sold into or 
compelled to lead an immoral life, and through 
whose influence such open, publicly-protected 
flesh markets as our red-light and levee districts 
would be banished forever from Chicago streets. 
And I believe with all my heart that this can only 
be accomplished by education, by agitation, by 
legislation, by the ballot and by the power of 
God, directing a great national army of well in- 
formed, moral and Christian men and women 
against this vast, thoroughly organized, well 
administered and heavily financed public horror 
of our Republic. 

I believe in helping, God knows, with heart 
and hand and money every fallen, or as one has 
put it, every "knocked down" woman in our 
Land whom there is the slightest chance to help 
in any way; but I believe, first of all, in using 
every known measure to keep our girls from 

You and I live beneath the only flag in all the 
world that has never known defeat, and the very 
basic principle upon which that flag is built is 

Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 59 

human liberty and human protection, and so by 
personal work and co-operation with every 
other reform and labor organization for the up- 
lifting of womanhood, by song and by prayer 
and the Power of the Cross, let us set ourselves 
to help these helpless ones in our midst until 
the angels shall take up the story of shame and 
bitterness and wrong and bear to all the world 
and to Heaven itself the swift acknowledgment 
that you are your brother's keeper. 


Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 


Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 61 

The Only Place of 

Its Kind 
In Chicago 

Five 'Hunt sand and Forty NigJifs Lodging and 

over Six Thousand Meals furnished to 

Homeless Women by the 


733-735-737 Washington Boulevard 
(near Halsted) 

during the year ending September 1, 1911. 

Seventy^ per cent of these women have 

been aided into honest employment. 

A Hundred Girls 

have been Saved from Lives of Sin and given a 
chance to earn a Respectable Living. 

Our Doors are Never Closed 

We are in touch with every Slum 
and \ r ice District in the city ever)' 
Prison and Hospital, and with 
the Poorhouse at Oak Forest 

We are Non-Sectarian and Co-operative with all Reform 
and Christian Works 

Chicago s Black Traffic in White Girls 

A dozen Christian Homes and a Municipal 

Lodging House care for the friendless 

down-and-out man. The 

Chicago Rescue Mission's 
Woman's Shelter 

cares for the Friendless "down-and- 
out" Woman. Our Shelter is not a 
"Rescue Home" in the ordinary 
sense of the word, but 

A Place where a Glean Bed, Food, Coffee and Clothing 
may be Obtained by any Homeless Woman 

not a subject for Police interference, 
for One or More nights as she needs ; 
and where she is given Definite Aid 
to Immediate Employment and as- 
sured of shelter until she receives 
her week's wages. 




have been furnished to cold, hungry, 
Stranded Girls and Women this 
year by Our Institution. 

Seventy per Cent of These Have been Aided to Secure 
Honest Employment, 

but scores have been turned away 
because we lacked Equipment, 
Warmth, Funds, etc., to aid them. 

Chicago's Black Traffic in \ \ 'Jiitc Girls 

Our Work Reaches 

Every Slum and Redlight District 

in the City 

the Hospitals, Prisons, Poorhouses, everywhere 
unfortunate women are found 

We co-operate with Churches, Missions, Em- 
ployment Bureaus, Charitable Institutions, 
etc., throughout the City 

Our Institution has Thirty-one Large Rooms 

A Corner in Our Woman's Shelter 

What We Need 

We need to add Forty More Beds. 

We need a better Hot Water System. 

We need a Systematic Employment Bureau. 

We need another good Outside Worker. 

We need Coffee, Clothing, Coal. 

We need Your Help, generously, in a supreme 
effort to raise One Thousand Dollars with which 
to accomplish all these things. 

64 Chicago's Black Traffic in White Girls 

Schedule of Work 

Year ending August 31st, 1911. 

Number of Night's Lodgings Furnished by the 

Chicago 'Rescue Mission's Woman Shelter. 5,040 

Number of Meals '. 5,200 

Special Lodgings '....'. ...... 489 


Special Meals 677 

Calls and Distribution of Fruit at Oak Forest 

Poor House 4,914 

Religious Services White Cross Woman's Shelter 26 

Jail, Court and Slum Visits 1,210 

Reform Literature Distributed, pages, about .300,000 

Yours and His, 


733-735-737 Washington Blvd., 


Mrs. Jean T. Zimmermann, M. D. 

President Chicago Rescue Mission and Woman's Shelter. 
Superintendent Department of Health and Heredity of the Cook 
County and Chicago W. C. T. U.