Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
DEATH OR. DEGRADATION IT'S THE FINAL
PRICE THE WAYWARD GIRL MUST PAY
57 . . By Evelyn Nesbitt.
After a few weeks or months of.
unrestrained gayety, the girl who has
strayed from the path must pay the
' Often the man escapes, but the
girl never does. If retribution does
not follow in one form, it will in an
other. "When the young girls who are
"joy-riding" and making merry now
in cabarets and dance halls are shut
up in detention homes or worse, the
men who are now their companions
probably will be still at liberty, enjoy
ing the society of new 'girls.
And these "new girls" are still the
jewels of happy homes. They haven't
been taken yet
Now, what happens after a girl :s
She's usually taken to the juvenile
hahT"That's where I am now.
No fault can possibly be found with
the Home. It is clean and neat and
we have fine beds and rooms and
good food and plenty of fresh air and
time to enjoy ourselves.
But liberty is lacking.
It's a startling change from white
lights, whirring automobiles and gay
cafes. Our clothes are not worn in
the home. Instead we wear plain
garments like painting-aprons. Uni
forms, they call them.
There we stay, being taken to town
occasionally to testify against men.
Our prospect is the reform school,
if we're bad, and probation with some
family if we behave ourselves.
I have described the best possible'
ending- to a career among the cafes
and cabarets. But there are thou-'
sands of taore terrible ones.
'Take a girl from a good home.
Lead her through the gamut of night
rides, rag dances, wine suppers and
other amusements that she strikes
if she falls a victim, and In a shore
time her apparent respectability
a'nishes or becomes at the most a
cloak for a rather ugly and vicious
Suppose the court gets her. Then
she goes to a home.
Suppose it doesn't get her. Then
her prospect is dark indeed. There's
always the chance of capture by
white slavers and introduction to a
life of shameful bondage.
Or else, if she escapes that, she is
often sent to a hospital to die.
Or her people cast her out of their
lives, try to forget her, shut their
doors against her and she becomes a
vagrant, a wanderer from city to city.
Go up to the police court of any
big city and almost any day you'll
see those women come up. They've
spgnt a night in jail and then they're
herded into a railed-off space and,
one by one, stand up when the judge
calls their names.
"Annie Wayne, you are charged
with being a vagrant Are you guilty
or not guilty?" asks the judge, shuf
fling through his papers to see how
many more cases he'll have to dis
pose of before he can get away.
"Guilty, your honor!" she replies.
Annie looks faded and washed out,
yet she may be only 22 years old,
just beyond the juvenile court limit
She stands limp and helpless and
looks desnondently at the magistrate
and his dingy surroundings.
"Well, Annie, if I suspend sentence
will you get out of town?" the judge
wants to know.
"All right, 180 days suspended.
Now, Annie, I want you to under
stand that if you're found inside the
city limits at 6 o'clock tonight this
sentence will be enforced."
She nods and sits down. An hour
later she must be on her way out of
town, afoot, if there's no other way
to go. Where will she go?
A few years or months before,
everybody wanted her. Now nobody
wants her. They say; "Move on,