Phoebe E. H. Willets to Jane Addams, July 11, 1912

Cold Spring Harbor,
Long Island,
New York.

My dear Miss Addams:--

I have recently read your new book "The Social Evil" and I was deeply grieved, that you who have made a record of womanly worth and work; should stoop to use such a subject for publication. You speak of certain evil places in towns, being exploited for gain, as sight-seeing interests, [page 2] for out of town visitors. Your book is another example of this method of money getting; is it not?

Had you ever been married to a good man and attained a normal view of certain relations, your mind could not have wished to dwell on and most of all, you would not consider publishing – impurity.

Do you not know, that a book exploiting evil, is a far reaching, [insidious] cause of that evil?

No one is benefited by the publishing of these details [page 3] of prostitution.

With regret for the necessity for the appeal, I ask you for the sake of others, to cease the publication, of this menace to purity; which I feel you could not have realized the consequences of, else "Jane Addams," would not have written the book.

I would suggest your reading and I advocate for true spiritual and moral results: "The Richer Life" (Walter A. Dyer) and "The Christian Hope" (William A. [Brown]) as antidotes for, [page 4] "The Social Evil"

Very truly

Phoebe E. H. Willets [signed]

(Mrs. Joseph Hewlett Willets)


July the eleventh