Chicago Tribune

Civic Organizations Choose Clifford G. Roe to Crush Out White Slavery in Chicago
Former Assistant State’s Attorney Exposes Evil’s Ramifications; Tell How to Kill It.

Chicago, after being advertised broadcast as the center of white slavery in the United States, is to cauterize its social cancer.

Leading organizations of wealth and progressive inclinations of the city, including the B’nai B’rith, the Jewish organization, and the Commercial club, have retained Clifford G. Roe, formerly as assistant state’s attorney, and one of the best known foes of woman selling in the country, to be general of the campaign. Other organizations are expected to plunge into the fray regardless of church, creed or political affiliation, and help to purge the city of conditions such as were revealed in the McCann trial. Mr. Roe last night summed up the situation when he said:

"Illinois now has the necessary law to fight the white slave traffic, and we mean to exterminate it."

Indicating the imperative necessity of an immediate and remorseless campaign, Mr. Roe cited as a fact that, in addition to the 5,000 inmates of resorts, 20,000 girls are leading partially immoral lives, as a result of working on small salaries.

"Protect the Girl."

The slogan of the movement will be:

"Protect the girl!"

Without protection greater than that given now it is the opinion of the organizers that there is little hope ahead for such a vast percentage of the growing girls for the laboring and middles classes of the community that they hesitate to express their belief in figures.

A vast majority of girls forced into a life of shame, they proclaim, are sent there as the indirect outcome of deeds of violence which should be possible in no civilized land.

They even raise the question whether or not organized bands of procurers do not resort to this violence as a means of securing their victims for the traffic.

A girl once injured against her will they consider to that lost the greater degree of that pride which is the best self-defense against moral fall.

Jewish Leader Suggests It.

The employment of Mr. Roe with the idea of giving him a free hand against procurers and panderers was suggested by Adolph Kraus, head of B’nai B’rith. Leading Jews of the city were stirred by denunciations of Dr. Emil G. Hirsch, Jewish newspapers, and other founts of opinion respecting the numerous divekeepers and fallen women of Jewish extraction to be found on the west side. As a result Mr. Roe expects to have behind him a solid representation of the best that exists in organizations making for civic progress. A fund of $50,000 has been pledged for the work.

In an interview at night with a representative of THE TRIBUNE Mr. Roe when over the field of the white slavery in Chicago. He traced the inception of the traffic and gave an almost diagrammatic presentation of the methods by which girls are trapped.

He cited statistics as to the source of supply of the white slaves and told how innocent country girls are tricked into coming to Chicago.

Also he told how Chicago girls similarly are tricked by appeals to ambition, vanity, and false love.

"Yes, I have been retained to prepare white slave cases for presentation to the state’s attorney and to do what I can to aid him in securing convictions." said Mr. Roe in his office in the Ashland block.

"To give a thoroughly understandable presentation of the situation I desire to state that I resigned from the state’s attorney’s office to take up the practice of law.

"I started to fight the white slave traffic in Chicago in February, 1907.

Taylor Case Gives Precedent

"The first known white slave case which was tried as such was that of Agnes Taylor. She was sold into a house on Armour avenue. She had been taken from a dance hall in the vicinity of Thirty-first street and Indiana avenue.

"I told Judge Newcomer in my argument at the time that I believed the girl’s story. The lawyer on the other side said she was faking the story to right herself with her folks. I told the judge that it was not natural to parade sin in this way, and that I believed her case marked the discovery of a trade in women in Chicago.

"I pledged the judge to investigate, I did so.

"Hardly anybody in Chicago believed that white slavery existed. It sounded visionary, romantic, so to speak. At the time it sounded almost incredible even to me, but I believed what the girl said about her having been held in slavery.

"Early in December, 1906, the new Municipal court judges aided me greatly by giving help. In April, 1907, Judge Going by his personal bailiff summoned thirty-five divekeepers into court. The investigation then carried on by the judge and myself revealed a debt system in the resorts, especially with new girls. The old habitués of such places are not included in my discussion of white slavery.

Girls’ Clothes Stolen

"The girls’ clothes were taken away from them in the houses and were kept so that they could not go out on the street. The poor girls were made to believe that the law permitted the keepers of the house to keep them in until they had paid their debts, which was not true.

"New life came into the police department about the time Edward McCann became captain at the Twenty-second street. We found numerous headquarters of procurers and panderers. In one raid on two flats we got seven procurers. All were convicted. The cases came thick and fast from that time on.

"It was then along in the summer of 1907; I began to receive invitations to speak at ministers’ meetings, as I had been put at the head of white slavery investigation by State’s Attorney Healy. I told the ministers of the white slave traffic and of my prosecutions. Some of them passed resolutions, but did nothing more.

"In February, 1908, they called a meeting of all the ministers of the state of Illinois. Five hundred ministers were present.

"I told the assembled clergy that they

(?) were morally responsible for the white slave traffic inasmuch as they had heard about it from me for six months and had done nothing.

"That same day the Illinois Vigilance association was organized to run down and prosecute white slave cases. I was invited to become president, but official duties made me decline. In that organization, which has its offices in the Association building, there are men of all creeds and faiths — Jews, Catholics and Protestants.

"This fact shows that there is one fight in which all of us can join without conflict among ourselves. We may differ as to whether resorts should exist at all, but all of us are against the recruiting of the ranks of immoral women by selling, enticing, doping, false pretenses, or by the debt method.

"I myself have tried over 200 cases similar to the Taylor case with uniform victory in every case, by I found in the earlier cases it was difficult to secure and adequate sentence because of the loopholes in the law as it then stood.

Traffickers Laughed at Law

"The law was so archaic and inadequate that white slavers practically laughed at it. The laugh was because the law said the woman in question must be an unmarried female and if brought from any other state must be under 17 and previously chaste life and conversation.

"I have had the confessions of scores of procurers, both men and women, made in the state’s attorney’s office, the bridewell, and the jail. And I have had hundreds of statements from their victims, which were awful.

"There was a case where a man said they had a girl under 19, whose first name was Hazel, in a resort. They took her to Hammond, Ind., and one Jack Daly got $10 for marrying her. When she was married the could do as they liked with her.

"Why not go after them for bigamy, you ask ? Well such people changes their names so often and move about so much that it is next to impossible to get them for trial in a bigamy case.

"From the Illinois Vigilance association a committee composed of Robert Catherwood, Daniel Trude, and myself called upon the different clubs and organizations of the city to send representatives to form a committee to formulate new laws against white slavery. The B’nai B’rith, Union League club, City club, Hamilton club, Jefferson club, Iroquois club, Law and Order League, Illinois Vigilance association, Quadrangle club, Commonwealth (Socialist) club and advisory committees from other clubs responded. I was chosen as chairman of the committee thus formed.

All Support New Law

"We supported a pandering law which was drawn up and which received the backing of newpapers. Adolph Kraus, Benjamin Samuels, and others went to Springfield in behalf of the law. The law was passed with the aid of Gov. Deneen and Speaker Shurtleff. It went into effect July 1, 1908, Its strength rests on the fact that it provided that anybody who should entice ‘any female’ into an immoral house should be guilty of pandering. Before the law was passed I lectured widely to get the people to urge their representatives to back up the bill.

"It was found to be a good bill, but the penalty was too light. Also there was a reversal by the United States Supreme court in a federal test case. It was held that the powers involved were conferred upon the federal government, but remained with the states themselves.

"Last spring, Henry P. Helzer, partner of Speaker Shurtleff, and myself went to Springfield as representatives of the same committee to get an amendment to the pandering act and also for a new law making it illegal for girls to incur debts in resorts or to be held by such debts. Both were passed and went into effect in July.

"It was made unlawful to bring a girl into the state or to take her out of the state. The penalty was raised so that violators could not get away with less than six months’ imprisonment and a fine of not less than $400 for the first offense, subsequent offenses making the offenders liable to sentences of from one to ten years in the penitentiary.

Equipped for the Battle

"Prof. Ernst Freund of the University of Chicago was prominent in drawing the amendment. Harry Parking of the United State’s district attorney’s staff was active in drawing the law against keeping girls in houses for debt. Representative Charles Lederer present the law. Illinois now has the necessary law to fight the white slave traffic.

"Six other states have followed the precedent set by Illinois by the enactment of similar laws, and others are engaged in doing so. I hope to see uniform laws covering the subject in all the states of the union.

"I will tell you a few things about the general situation, especially in Chicago.

"In a raid in South Chicago we got two procurers, and one, Abe Weinstein, who was convicted of hiring Jacob Jacobson and Louis Brodsky to procure girls. These cases, along with many other, have stirred the Jews to protect themselves from the stigma of having procurers among their own people. They have been making investigations, and, as Mr. Kraus has said, have found conditions demanding their attention.

Evil Old as Babylon

"White slavery, which in a sense, is as old as Babylon, originated in Galicia, the nothernmost province of Austria, and in Alsace in France, where the poverty of the people is terrible. Mr. Kraus went over there, and found two and three families living in one room with chalk lines on the floor marking off divisions. This condition brought about immorality.

"About fifty years ago thousands of Jewish girls were shipped to the Argentine Republic. They passed through France, and gave rise to the French procurers. The French procurers shipped girls to America. Later, Italians and procurers of other nationalities began sending girls.

"Before the world’s fair of 1903, it was almost impossible to find a Jewish woman in an immoral house. Jewish procurers from New York saw an opportunity here. As a result, at least half the women in resorts on the west side are Jewish, or Russian Jewish. This is the reason that B’nai B’rith for the honor of the Jewish people has been so much aroused.

Methods of Procurers

"Such is the history of the white slave traffic. It has been systematic, and systematic for this reason. The observation of hundreds of cases shows that the girls pass though three stages.

"First, the procurer gets acquainted with the girl in some way. Next, he gets her to the house. After she is there she must be kept there, her clothes being taken away from her. Sometimes a combination of methods is used to get her to the house.

"One is the ‘love’ method. The fellow pretends he is in love with the girl. He gains her confidence, and she runs away with him to marry him.

"Another way is to appeal to her vanity. He praises her good looks, tells her she should wear rich clothes and diamonds, and gets her that way. Wayward girls known to procurers as ‘chicken’ are susceptible to this method.

"The third method is to appeal to the girl’s ambition., and is the most prevalent method. A girl works in a store for $4 or $5 a week. The procurer tells her of a better position, fine dresses, etc. He claims falsely that he is an agent for a theatrical company and will put her on the stage. Procurers never are such agents, but with many stage struck girls in the land it is a successful method for them to use.

Once in House; Hope Lost.

"To get the girls into the houses they use five different methods — deception, false pretense, drugging, force or promises. The process is the same, once the girl is in the house. The girl’s street clothes are taken away from her and locked up. She is not allowed to communicate with her friends as long as she is kept in the house. She either gets in debt or becomes ashamed to get out.

"The South Chicago case in which Weinstein, Jacobson, and Brodsky were arrested is an example of the ‘love’ method.

"Jacobson met Mary McConnell at an amusement park and took her home and made a date to call on her. He met her mother. Later, he brought out Louis Brodsky. The girl was 16 and she introduced Brodsky to another girl, also only 16. The girls were told that they could go to New York and have fine clothes.

"One day the men took the girls to Dunning, the girls thinking it was for the purpose of a runaway marriage. The men stalled around until night without marrying the girls and then, leaving them in a restaurant, called up Weinstein at South Chicago, telling him they had two girls to sell.

"Bob" Cantwell Admits It

"Weinstein responded that he would meet them at the train at South Chicago and take charge of the girls. With his housekeeper, Jennie Sandusky, Weinstein was on hand at South Chicago. The girls were taken to 9010 The Strand. It was shown afterwards by a confession of Brodsky and cross examination of Jacobson that the men had made a previous arrangement with Weinstein to go out upon the street and in the parks to get girls for Weinstein’s place. They were all convicted. "Bob" Cantwell, in making a technical defense for Weinstein, admitted that white slavery existed in Chicago and spoke with feeling about it.

"The way we got the case by one of the girls being transferred to the Twenty-second street levee.

"She was put in the wrong house and the housekeeper was so afraid of the law that she notified the police. She probably didn’t belong to the syndicate that I believe exists, but of which I have no proof.

Plummer Case Example

"Take the Annie Plummer case, which figured in the McCann trial. Two girls came to Chicago and went to the postoffice to get their mail. When they didn’t get any mail, one of them turned away crying. Although the postoffice authorities are doing all they can to prevent such things happening, a procurer stepped up and said:

"You seem to be in trouble, little girl.

"The girls said they had come from the country and had expected money which had failed to arrive. They were broke and had no place to sleep.

"He said he would get them work. He took them out to the Plummer house and sold them. Then he skipped for New York with a companion. By means of a fund provided by the Union League club and some money given by Capt. Rehm and other policemen to tide over a wait in New York, arrests were mad and the men were brought back.

"A girl in Duluth, Minn., became acquainted with a man in front of a hotel. He told her he was a theatrical agent looking for some new girls to go out with a show. She was under age and wanted him to see her folks. He said he was busy and sent her folks a blank contract form which the girl was to sign.

Lesson to Parents

"They rode in a coach to Chicago. He took her to the west side and put her in an immoral house. He was afterwards caught trying to pass a forged check on State street. A detective agency was instrumental in having the girl sent home. That shows how careful parents ought to be in letting their daughters go out.

"From the examination of hundreds of girls I find that more of them come from the Methodist church than from any other church. The Lutheran comes next. The Jews predominate on the west side, but on the south side the percentage of Jews is small.

"In Chicago at the present time there are in the neighborhood of 5,000 inmates of resorts. Probably there are 20,000 more in houses not know as resorts, but who are leading partially immoral lives while working in offices or stores. The average life of a girl in a resort is five years. That means that 1,000 girls a year are needed in the houses for new blood. About one-half get there by being enticed and the other half go by their own free will."

Kraus Outlines Aims.

Mr. Kraus in an interview said:

"There is a movement now on foot by different organizations, regardless of creed, to stamp out his traffic in Chicago. Mr. Roe is expected to prepare the evidence on behalf of the different associations interested and submit it to the state’s attorney.

"Our aim must be to have men and women who engage in pandering understand that they are on the sure road to the penitentiary. When that feeling is well established pandering will stop."


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