Glendive, Mont. Nov. 2nd 1911
My Dear Miss [Addams]: --
I have just read your article in the McClure's Magazine for November, descriptive of certain aspects of the Social Evils, and depicting some of the horrors of White Slavery, and I wish to congratulate you upon the spirit of the article and the admirable plain spoken manner in which you treat the most direful curse of civilization.
I must confess that I am much surprised that the curse of White Slavery [page 2] has gained such a [hold] upon America as your experiences would indicate, and I dare say that ninety nine percent of the men in this country are equally surprised, and shocked that conditions are so bad, as depicted. It is high time that the magazines of the country were making war upon this great crime and that our self sacrificing social workers (God bless them) were [permitted] to describe in plain language conditions as they know them. [page 3]
It is exceedingly gratifying to note an optimistic view in your writing, and the cheerful attitude you take regarding the final outcome of the fight which is being inaugurated in this country to stamp out one of the most revolting of the many crimes that has come to us from the Old Country. It is to suggest an auxiliary means of [combating] this [custom] that this letter is written. It may have occurred to you, or it may not have occurred to you, but I think [page 4] it might prove to be the most potent method of attack in the warfare against the social evil in general. The suggestion is that full advantage be taken of the Innate Chivalry of the average man and youth -- particularly that of the young men and boys of the country, through existing organizations, such as the "Boy Scouts", the Sercret Orders, and [newer?] Societies or Orders whose cardinal tenet shall be an [uncompromising] attitude against White Slavery [page 5] or the degradation of our young women and girls in any manner.
Suppose for instance that each and all of the organizations should require a pledge of all members as follows: -- "I will never seduce an innocent woman or girl, and I pledge the manhood that is in me to protect in every way that is in my power the virtues of our young women of every station of life. I will make it my business to assist in bringing to justice any Procurers or White Slavers [page 6] whose operations come under my observation."
Civilization has reached the stage where it is no longer thought to be the part of manhood and to take every advantage of a lapse of virtue in women, therefore I will endeavor to [control] my animal instincts, and will always act the part of an honorable man. If I must be a brute I swear that no woman under 22 years of age shall suffer (or profit) from my brutishness." [page 7]
If you know the men who are supposed to create the demand for prostitution as I do, you will realize that it would not be difficult to secure such pledges from our young men, and just think what a potent influence for good it would be!
Will you not consider this suggestion and take some action leading to its adoption?
May God bless you in your efforts to subdue this terrible evil. It is for the noble women of this [page 8] country that the greatest good must be expected but please let us <men> help some, and cease to think of us as irredeemable brutes whose animalism must have full sway. We are susceptible of wonderful improvement in this respect, and I am sure that if the innate chivalry of American men is appealed to in this fight wonderful results will ensue.
The subscription below is fictitious, but I wish you to know that the writer is an [page 9] irredeemable "old bachelor" of 40 who has observed your career with great admiration for many years, and wishes you the fullest success in all of your efforts toward she uplift of humanity. God bless you.