Baltimore Evening Sun (4 February 1913): 6.
From a hot article against the Hon. Satan Anderson in current Labor Leader:
Mr. Anderson richly deserves to be classed with the Pharisee, because * * * he takes upon himself and his religious connections the monopoly of all the sanctity and righteousness of the world when he says that he represents the Christian sentiment of the community.
All the same, I doubt that this claim of the hon. gent.’s is worth getting excited about. His monopoly is hotly disputed, not only by the vulgar, but also by fellow-archangels. The vice crusaders, for example, sneer at him as a mere amateur, a preposterous pretender. The tear- squeezers of the Lord’s Day Alliance look down upon him with contempt. Even the suffragettes and anti-vivisectionists pat his head patronizingly.
No; the Hon. Mr. Anderson is no true monopolist of virtue. He is merely one magnate of many, and competition among them, for sobs and currency, is hot, bilious and murderous. The one advantage that the Hon. Mr. Anderson enjoys is his possession of humor. He is the only crusader in our midst who ever laughs.
THE CITY’S MONEY
I have only one friend among the Baltimore banks--the Calvert Bank--and any proper advantage that I can give that bank you can rest assured that it will get it.--The Hon. Richard Gwinn.
Whether or not Governor Goldsborough’s Vice Commission will accomplish anything of permanent value remains to be seen, but meanwhile it must be obvious that he has chosen its members with considerable care and that it starts out with all assumptions in its favor. Several of those members, true enough, have hitherto shown a disturbing sympathy with the vice crusade now in progress, but they have not been its leaders and they have not publicly ratified its more ridiculous doctrines, and so they may be expected to approach the problems before them with resonably open minds.
It was impossible, of course, for the Governor to find intelligent commissioners with no predispositions at all. The question of the social evil has been so hotly discussed in Baltimore of late that every thoughtful man and woman must have given it more or less attention and come to more or less defensible conclusions about it. But to have an opinion is one thing and to be a fanatic is quite another thing. The Governor has managed to create a commission in which the crusading spirit is reduced to a gratifying minimum.
But though the leaders of the woman-hunt have been thus barred from the jury, they remain formidable as witnesses, and the Commissioners will do well to examine their testimony very carefully. As I have shown time and again in this place, they suffer from a chronic inability to distinguish between what is true and what is merely edifying. Their figures, in the main, are grossly and absurdly inaccurate, and their statements regarding the general conditions of prostitution in Baltimore, and particularly regarding the role played by the police, are full of romance. Let the Commissioners subject all such evidence to the very closest scrutiny, and let them bear in mind that the absence of testimony in rebuttal is not corroboration. Few of the persons who stand against the vice crusade are willing to speak out--first, because their interest in the whole subject is not a passion, and secondly, because they fear, and with good reason, the onslaughts and innuendoes of the crusaders.
How little dependence is to be put in the tales of vice “experts” was lately shown in New York, when a man employed by young John D. Rockefeller made the astounding statement that there were 26,000 white slaves in the greater city--not merely prostitutes, mind you, but white slaves, women “owned” by definite men and regularly robbed of their earnings by these men. A brief examination is sufficient to show the absurdity of such allegations. Go to the figures yourself. The present population of Greater New York, according to the usually accurate estimate of the New York World, is 5,173,064, but this includes the population of two suburban boroughs, Richmond and Queens, in which no white slave trade is alleged to exist. The population of the other three boroughs, Manhattan Brooklyn and the Bronx, comes to 4,476,098.
How many of these New Yorkers are female? According to the census of 1900, the last for which complete figures are available, the population of New York is almost evenly divided between males and females. This gives us, in the three boroughs, 2,373,049 females. But how many of them are of white-slave age? Let us assume, despite the crusaders’ donkeyish theory that a prostitute lasts but five years, that some of the white slaves are as young as 17 years and that others are as old as 34. This gives us a range of 17 years. How many women between these ages live in New York?
Going again to the census of 1900 we find that women between the ages of 17 and 34, inclusive, make up exactly one-third of the female population of the city. Now divide three into 2,373,049 and we get 791,016, which is the maximum number of possible white slaves in New York, counting in married women, college girls, suffragettes and all other indubitably virtuous women. Now divide 791,016 by 26,000 and we get just 30. What does this mean? It means, in brief, that young John D.’s “expert” alleges that one woman in every 30 in New York city, counting in even respectable women, is a white slave.
But ordinary prostitutes are yet to be considered. According to Young John’s “expert,” they greatly outnumber the actual white slaves. How far they outnumber them he doesn’t say: he will come to that by and by. But meanwhile, his statement that there are “many more” justifies the assumption that he means at least half again as many more, That assumption given us 39,000 as the number of ordinary prostitutes. Now add 39,000 to 26,000 and we get 65,000. What does this mean? It means that one woman in every 12 in New York is a prostitute!
Could absurdity further go? And yet such bogus statistics are accepted with the utmost seriousness and published broadcast. The newspapers print them, moralists weep over them, the public is appalled by them. But it seldom occurs to anybody to question them, just as it seldom occurs to anybody in our own dear Baltimore to question the grotesque overstatements of such ludicrous crusaders as Dr. O. Edward Janney and the Rev. Dr. Kenneth O. Murray.