Chicago’s White Slaves

In early 19th Century USA, middle and upper class reformers were anxious about white women in the country’s morally corrupt cities. This concern inspired a wave of conservative literature that warned Americans and women in particular of the dangers they faced in the nation’s growing metropolises.

Slate has posted several captivating illustrations from a 418-page book, “The White Slave Hell, or with Christ at Midnight in the Slums of Chicago” Written by Frederick Martin Lehman, a German-born Midwestern pastor in 1910. According to Slate, the “book combines florid testimony from the minister’s fact-finding missions to the red light districts of Chicago, sermons on temperance, hand-wringing poems, and first-hand stories from madams and prostitutes”. The take-away point seems to be, you sin, you die, and go to hell.



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