Chicago Tribune

Religious Bodies Join Civic Organizations’ Campaign to Rid Chicago of Evil.
Clifford G. Roe, Directing Battle, Blames Parents’ Ambitions for Downfall of Children.

Religious elements enlisted yesterday in the crusade against white slavery started by B’nai B’rith and the Commercial club with the encouragement of other organizations of wealth and influence.

The movement, which originally was fostered by public spirited citizens of Jewish extraction, was promised support by Christian churches and lay organizations. It was indicated that before the week is over a uniform war against vice under the leadership of Clifford G. Roe, former assistant state’s attorney, will sweep the levee districts of the city. Utmost efforts will be made to save the girls enslaved by craft or violence and to put their violators behind prison bars.

Methodists May Act At Once

The first Christian church to take up the fight probably will be the Methodist. The statements of Mr. Roe to the effect that girls claiming former Methodist associations had been found in the resorts will, through the instrumentality of Rev. Abel M. White of Grace church, be laid before the Rock River conference, which will meet at Rockford next Wednesday.

The Rev. Mr. White formerly was chaplain of Joliet penitentiary. He said he would put the matter before the conference through the proper committee, and that, in his opinion, it will arouse animated discussion and result in action being taken.

"If what Mr. Roe says is true, it ought to stir the Methodist church," said the Rev. Mr. White. "If this condition exists it should be prevented. I will go before the committee of ministers handling such matters at the conference and present the matter. I know Mr. Roe, and I believe him to be truthful."

Thinks Roe Is Mistaken

"Mr. Roe can’t prove it," was the flat challenge of the Rev. George H. Trevor, who has been supplying the pulpit of First Methodist church of Austin. "I want to see his facts. I believe his figures lie. I think he is juggling them.

"In the first place, the Methodists form the largest Protestant denomination in the world. More girls have Methodist associations than other religious associations. I don’t believe that girls trained in Methodist home go into such places. The girls may be fifty-second cousins to Methodists, but in my opinion they don’t come out of the church."

The Rev. V. H. Bergstrom, pastor of Augustana Swedish Lutheran church, said he probably would take the matter of fight the slave traffic before the meeting of Swedish Lutheran clergymen scheduled for Oct. 4. Mr. Bergstrom said:

"I am heart and soul in any fight against wickedness. The question may be taken up at the ministers’ meeting."

Syndicate Organized for Crime.

Dean Walter T. Sumner of the Episcopal Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul pledged his support to the fight against men involved in the illegal pursuit. He said that in his opinion a syndicate regularly organized for the destruction of women is in operation in this country.

"Alexander Cleland of New York, an authority on white slavery, told me that there has been uncovered in New York a regularly incorporated organization of procurers whose ostensible business is the operation of a cemetery," said Dean Sumner.

"The situation over here has become acute since the McCann trial. The feeling is bitter and in view of what came out at the trial there is no telling what they may try to do. I want to work with the Jews because this is a Jewish neighborhood. A committee of twenty-five prominent Jews, largely members of the Standard club, were called together last May to hear some facts I had discovered in connection with the district in which the cathedral is located on the west side. Unexpected matters precluded anything being done, but now I am delighted to see that the work is going forward under a new impetus.

Jewish People Incensed

The Frank brothers, Louis and Julius, owners of three saloons on the west side, were the objectives of widespread Jewish agitation during the day. The Jewish population of Chicago seemed imbued with a desire to wipe out the traffic, which is in conflict with all Jewish ordinances.

Not since the massacres of Jews in Russia, some five years ago, has the Jewish district in the west side been so stirred as by the revelations of the McCann trial and by the fact that one of the Frank brothers is the president of one of the leading Jewish congregations in Chicago.

Various religious and civic organizations held meetings throughout the day to devise plans as to how best to wage war upon the plague spots which surround the Jewish district and menace the boys and girls of the vicinity in addition to casting a disgrace upon the Jewish people.

The Forward, which started the crusade against the Frank brothers, has been joined by another Jewish paper, the Daily Jewish Press.

The Daily Press referred to the affairs on the west side as a situation in which "Jewish honor is at stake. It praises Mr. Adolf Kraus and the B’nai B’rith order for their energetic campaign against "this most shameful of all shameful businesses which has infested the Jewish quarter.

Must Educate the People.

The Jewish Courier pointed out editorially that the conviction of McCann will be of little avail toward the betterment of conditions until the people are educated and influenced to such a degree that graft and bribes will be looked upon with abhorrence and will not be condoned as they are today.

The paper expressed its satisfaction of the fact that the Frank brothers have been proved catspaws of the police and have thus saved the Jews from a still greater accusation

(2) that of being conspirators against the guardians of the law.

At the Hebrew institute, which hurled the first broadside against west side vice, it was stated that the indication of the Jews all over the city knows no bounds and that this indignation will crystallize itself into definite resolves and plans for a huge crusade upon vice. That Julius Frank will be deposed from the presidency of Anshe Calavaria congregation is now almost assured. Every effort will be made to bring the moral forces of the west side to the surface.

According to Dr. E. A. Fishkin, president of the institute, that institution will give every possible aid not only in deposing undesirable individuals from offices of trust and honor within the community, but it will help in the constructive work of weeding out vicious elements. The crusade will not only seek to crush white slavery, but will be directed against vote juggling and the selling of political rights. The crusade will be directed toward civic uplift.

"The Hebrew institute," Dr. Fishkin said, "will not content itself with drafting resolutions uttering public condemnation. We will seek to concentrate all the moral forces of the west side and crystalize the feelings of the people into a great wave of public opinion.

"To this end we are now cooperating with other Jewish organizations on the west side. The result of this cooperation will be shown in a short time. The deposition of Julius Frank from the presidency of the Calvaria congregation will be only a minor matter in the general civic crusade."

Seeks Criminal Organization

Mr. Roe, who has been retained to direct the gather of evidence and to prepare cases for presentation to the state’s attorney, yesterday reiterated the hope that he will be able to uncover an organization of men in the slave trade.

"I believe there is a syndicate," said Mr. Roe. "I want to get the evidence. I hope that everybody who has any specific information about white slavery will send the information to me at my office in the Ashland block.

"The tricks of these men are so subtle that parents cannot exercise too much care in preventing their girls from taking up with strangers. A girl may be lured away and put in a resort and them made to write letters to her father and mother, telling them that she is on the stage and gaining rapid promotion. Parents often are to blame for letting their ambition on behalf of their daughters run away with their prudence.

"While girls are procured in Chicago, small towns and country communities are especially fertile fields. The game is to get the girl away from the town she lives in. Chicago is not alone to blame.

"In a summer resort town in Michigan I found a man who said he could name twenty-five girls ready to leave home in answer to any alluring offer.

Fate of Maggie Smith

"The most extraordinary case that has come under my observation developed the day following Christmas, 1908.

"Alphonse Citro was arrested for making an attack upon an old man. When he was brought into court I developed these facts:

"In the summer of 1907 a graphophone agent came to the home of John Smith, who is employed by the Pere Marquette railroad and lives in Benton Harbor, Mich. The agent noticed pretty 16-year-old Maggie Smith.

"Next day he brought Citro and introduced him to the girl. He told Maggie how much money she could make in Chicago in a fine position. He brought her here and placed her in an Italian resort of the lowest character in Clark street, not far from the Harrison street station.

"The usual entrance to this house is through a back alley. It is frequented only by Italians. In it there were twelve or fourteen miserable girls. Maggie Smith was kept in this house until the following summer, the summer of 1908.

"The girl’s father in some way obtained news that she was in a resort. Citro learned that the father was coming to Chicago to search for his daughter. He took her out of the resort and married her legally under the name of Frank Kelly and took her to Gary, Ind.

Girl Makes Her Escape.

"When the old man reached the Chicago resort, he was told that his daughter had just left. After hunting for her a few days he went home broken hearted, giving up the hunt. Citro kept her in Gary two months and then brought her back, putting her in this same Italian house again.

"She escaped from the house the 21st of December last and asked for protection at a nearby barber shop.

"One of the barbers took he out to his home. After she had been at the barber’s house unit the day before Christmas, she was traced there by Citro. Citro say her going from a grocery store to the house.

"At the house Citro found the barber’s aged father. He demanded his ‘wife.’ The barber’s father refused to give up the girl.

"Citro drew a revolver and assaulted the old man. He ran away after the assault, but was captured and brought into court.

"Maggie Smith was brought in and testified she was sold into the house by Citro and that he collected all the money she earned there.

"I had Citro charged with pandering. I prosecuted the case and he was found guilty by a jury in Judge Going’s courtroom. Because of a technicality, he was given a new trial.

"At the second trial, Maggie Smith’s old father and mother came from Michigan and cried with the arms about each other in the courtroom. That was an occasion when I almost broke down and cried myself. A porter who served beer in the resort was one of the witnesses. Citro was found guilty.

"Since then six different lawyers have tried to get him out in different ways. Finally, he was brought before Judge Windes on a writ of habeas corpus. Assistant State’s Attorney Barnett and I went over and fought the case. The writ was denied and Citro was sent back to the house of correction.

"Other lawyers went before Judge Pinckney and again tried to get him out. Judge Pinckney refused the petition. A colored lawyer named Anderson now has him before Judge Brentano or Judge Chytraus, and the judge has the case under advisement at this time.

"Pizzi is under state indictment in the Maggie Smith case and Harry Parkin of the United States district attorney’s office told me that he is under federal indictment for bringing Italian girls to this country.

"There are many cases of drugging girls and taking them to resorts. There was the case of Mona Marshall as an example. She was employed at a ribbon counter. The Agnes Taylor case was another drug case.

"From the court records and a confession I will give an example of how girls are shipped out of Chicago.

"In May 1907, two men, one named William McNamara — the other has reformed since then — received a consignment of fourteen girls from Chicago, presumably to go with a southern musical comedy company. By the confessions of the men they got the girls by going to dance halls and dancing with them.

"McNamara, who was convicted, had met a woman named Myrtle Bellevue, who posed as the leading woman of the theatrical company before the girls in Chicago. The girls were taken to Beaumont, Tex., and to the Bellevue woman’s resort there.

"I repeat that Chicago by no means is the worst city in the country in the white slave traffic, although it has been known as the headquarters. Boston, New York, San Francisco, and other large cities are afflicted with it.

"In Boston most of the men engaged in this business are Canadians from Nova Scotia. Boston at the present time is bad. The most recent cases there show the need of a law such as existed in Illinois.


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