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Chicago's Black Traffic
White Girls

_An article on the Great "White Slave" Question_


Mrs. Jean Turner-Zimmermann, M. D.




_President of the_


_Superintendent of_

733 Washington Boulevard, CHICAGO

[Illustration: REV. R. IRA STONE

_Superintendent of the Chicago Rescue Mission_]


My sole aim in bringing this little pamphlet 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, horrible results upon the young man and womanhood
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 poverty, drink and prostitution among
the lost men and women of these great neighborhoods, 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 condition.

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 assistants.

Statistical references have been taken from the writings of United States
Attorney Sims, Rev. Ernest A. Bell and others engaged in prosecuting and
reform work, all of whom I thank sincerely and wish well in what they are
accomplishing for good where it is so desperately needed in this submerged
underworld of our city.

* * * * *

So in bringing this eighth edition of CHICAGO'S BLACK TRAFFIC IN WHITE
GIRLS to you, a 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 and everybody else who has the welfare of the girlhood 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 flourishing
and growing in America to-day - a system which controls and ruins hundreds
of thousands of women in our midst every year and which 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 and 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 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 forever.

New York City is the great eastern headquarters and westward shipping
point for Oriental and European White Slaves. Mark this statement:

_"Seventeen hundred girls, by actual count, were lost on the way from
New York to Chicago 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 whom they were
entrusted and were 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 and 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-American every day. Each ship, each train Westward or Eastward bound,
the now daily dumping into our Land, so lately the goal of the home-seeker
from Germany, Sweden, Ireland, etc., 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
converts 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.


The "Protected" White Slave Traffic.

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


Quoting from the Daily Press, May 4, regarding the recent investigations
in New York concerning 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 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 continued, "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 faculties.

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

Why does this infamy exist in our cities?

How can it exist?

Who is responsible?

The answers all come to one point - the governments that rule our

The black and white wretches who are the immediate agents of vice are
hardly worth considering. 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 McClure'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. Reynolds arranged to make
actual purchases of girls in the Tenderloin and other sections of the
underworld 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
information was obtained regarding the White Slave trade. The agents
were told the price of girls, the 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 innocent women imported into
this Country, but the prostitutes as well, are associated with men
whose business it is to protect them, direct them, and control them,
and who frequently, if not usually, make it their business to plunder
them unmercifully. Now 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 threatened 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

The strongest appeal to the instincts of humanity in every
right-minded person is made by a consideration of the brutal system
employed by these traffickers 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 obtainable - 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 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

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, restaurants,
dance-halls, saloons and similar places she shall frequent.

There are large numbers of Jews scattered throughout the United
States, although mainly located 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 incorporated 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 exists.

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 assumed large proportions,
and it has been exerting so evil an influence upon our Country that
the Immigration 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 numerous

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?

[Illustration: A Group of Children in the Midst of the "Red Light"

Levee women, women living in prostitution, "madams," etc., do not bring up
their children (and most of Chicago's female dealers in prostitution have
several of them) in or =near= segregated districts of vice. Like the saloon
keeper who moved to Evanston to get his children away from the harmful,
degenerating influences of the saloon and its environing neighborhoods, 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 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

The writer has investigated many cases, and in every instance has found
the children of these vultures of girlhood in exclusive colleges or
military 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 fashionable 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 every large city. These little children, painted
and showily dressed, are fast making their appearance in such cities as
New York and Chicago, 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 debauchery, 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 proof to face in court the
organized, thoroughly financed hand 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[1] stands in the door
constantly soliciting each male passer-by; boys are invited to come in and
take their first lesson in vice, and on this block are many, many

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Online LibraryJean Turner-ZimmermannChicago's Black Traffic in White Girls → online text (page 1 of 4)