"We hear of reformed men on all sides: there are reformed criminals of every kind in the pulpits, on the rostrum, in the church, telling the story of their past lives, that all who hear may heed the terrible warning and profit by example; but we hear little or nothing of 'reformed women.' Efforts are constantly being made to elevate and save degraded men, but degraded women are left by the wayside to perish. The author has long pondered over this subject, and wondered why a lost woman isn't just as well worth saving as a lost man, and why she can not be as easily reached as he.

"Fallen women owe their ruin to a variety of causes. A large number of them have a natural tendency to vice, which is born in them, being inherited from their ancestors. Such are, in thought and feeling, prostitutes from youth, and, at the first opportunity, become profligate, either openly or covertly. Many of them remain chase in body, owing simply to a lack of opportunity to indulge their natural propensities, but their minds are without purity, their passions and sentiments are coarse, and the sexual sin they crave is just as much theirs as though actually committed in deed, as it is in thought. These women, who are naturally impure, become prostitutes from choice.

"The class of women whose natural tendencies are lewd, whether they embrace open prostitution or indulge in secret liaisons, or even if, from lack of opportunity, they do neither (and are morally no better than if they did) are, of course, the most difficult to reclaim. Those who are inherently bad, while they can not, of course, be pronounced beyond redemption, are certainly very unpromising subjects, because there is nothing in them to appeal to, no aspirations for better things to cultivate, no learning toward purity to encourage.

"But, happily, a majority of impure women are not of this class. A vast majority of them love virtue better than vice, purity better than lewdness. They have been led astray from various causes, and having taken the one false step which, according to our code of social ethics, makes a woman forever an outcast, find themselves forced into the paths of sin, which they tread until they fill premature and dishonored graves. Many there are whose ruin can be ascribed to an ardent, susceptible nature, which has been worked upon by designing villains whom society gives free license to prey upon the lambs within its ranks. These poor creatures have been deceived and, in a moment of weakness, have been lead astray and fallen never to rise again

Long, Mason. Save the Girls. Fort Wayne: Mason Long, 1883.


 "By the white slave trade is meant commerce in white women and girls for wicked purposes. Most of its history cannot be written, for two reasons: That these crimes are kept secret as far as possible, and that they are so revolting that their details cannot be published and ought not to be read anywhere outside of the bottomless pit.

"Crimes against womanhood are as old as sin. From the day that the serpent beguiled Eve by his craftiness until now, there have been few days or nights when some daughter of Eve has not been deceived or forced into an evil life by some serpent or other.


The First Step

Ice cream parlors of the city and fruit stores combined, largely run by foreigners, are the places were scores of girls have taken their first step downward. Does her mother know the character of the place and the man she is with?

Dangerous Amusements :

The Brilliant Entrance to Hell Itself

Young girls who have danced at home a little are attracted by the blazing lights, gaiety and apparent happiness of the "dance halls," which in many instances leads to their downfall.


Bell, Ernest A. Fighting the Traffic in Young Girls or War on the White Slave Trade. G.S. Ball, 1910.


The Facts "In 1897 and 1893, the writer conducted an examination into the actual number of girls and women who were at that time inmates of houses of ill-fame in the United States...From the facts thus gathered we estimated the number of professional prostitutes in this country at that time to be 300,000, which figure we felt to be conservative, indeed. These figures since their publication have been generally accepted and used by writers and speakers upon the subject. Our highest authority state that the average life of women in prostitution is five years, and our experience leads us to accept this estimate as very nearly correct. We do not state that they always die within five years, though many of them succumb to the horrors of the life and the accompanying disease, drugs and drink in much less time; some leave the life for honorable world or return home, a few are married, some are rescued, but whatever the cause of their departure from the miserable life, the result is always the same -- for every one that gets out of the ranks another victim is required to take her place, and occasionally a new inmate is added to provide for increasing patronage. Accepting these estimates as approximately correct, we see that at least 60,000 girls and women are required every year, or 5,000 every month to provide for the constant demand of the public houses of shame.

"Persons of sound judgement and unquestioned honor may and do differ in their views as to the Social Evil, and while all honorable people deplore it, the possibility of its extermination is questioned. But the White Slave Trade is not a private vice, it is a public business. We cannot for an instance believe that the ungovernable passions of men demand its continuance. It is purely a commercialized institution; its incentive is not lust but greed, and as a business it is and ever must be dependent upon civic recognition, legal or illegal regulation, and police sanction and protection.

"The time has come when to longer remain silent would be a crime. And the hopeful thing about this movement against White Slavery is that our people are ready for this message. We have had revelations of this traffic, some of them sound and good, but by far the larger number have been of a sensational and exaggerated nature. This has turned many from the subject in disgust, and helped to increase doubt as to the accuracy of the statements in truly meritorious works.

"Are you willing to give your daughter to keep up this terrible business?

Roe, Clifford G. The Great War on White Slavery or Fighting for the Protection of Our Girls. Clifford G. Roe, 1911.

Last Updated: 6/27/22