Josephine Butler to Miss Forsaith

Scope and Content

Photocopy of incomplete letter. Written from Rome.

Would like two copies made of all the letters she sends home, as she thinks it is 'keeping alive a portion of our cause in hearts'. In the London group would be Mrs Thomas (Josephine Butler's sister), Mrs Johnson, Mrs de Selincourt and Miss Whitehead. The other copy to go to Mrs Tanner and she knows what to do with it. She had found Mr Stansfeld's communication deeply interesting, and wonders what the Indian Council will do. Signor Tommasi-Crudell 'our best political man here' came to tell her how much he admired Mr Stansfeld [Incomplete end page or pages missing].

'I wonder what the Indian Council will do'. This referred to what action the Government of India would take following the report of the two American ladies, Dr Bushnell and Mrs Andrew, after their visit to India in the winter of 1891/1892 to enquire into the scandal of the brothels in cantonments maintained contrary to the Act of 1886 [The abolition of the Contagious Diseases Acts]. At the insistence of Stuart and Stansfeld, a small Departmental Committee was set up in 1893 to take evidence. The Chairman was GWE Russell, the Under Secretary at the India Office. The first witnesses called were the two American ladies. By Jul the Committee in India had reported that the ladies' statements were substantially true.

Administrative / Biographical History

'In 1895 the Abolitionists got their way and the Government of India was obliged to order the abolition of all brothels within cantonments and of compulsory medical examination'.

(from E Moberly Bell, 'Josephine Butler' 1962, p 282)

Biog: Mrs Thomas (Josephine Butler's sister), Mrs Johnson, Mrs de Selmcourt, Miss Whitehead, Lady Henry, Miss Willard, Mr Stansfeld