Josephine Butler to Miss Forsaith

Scope and Content

Written from Ewart Park, Wooler, Northumberland.

As she sees that one of the items on the agenda for the next Committee is 'White Slave Trade' Conference now being organised she is writing her views to be given to Mr Wilson before the Committee, but not to be communicated to the Committee. All this zeal and interest are commendable, but her feelings of discomfort are intensified by the fact that 'Governments which uphold and have long upheld the Regulationists are eager to send people to this Conference to condemn the Traffic. 'It is a marked tendency in human nature to attack the seconds and to protect the principals. It is good to expose the villainy of the traffic and the traders, but it would be a gross anomaly to punish the traders while 'we allow governments and municipalities to continue to legalise centres of debauchery for the public use' She hopes someone will point this out at the Conference.

Administrative / Biographical History

'The subject of the 'White Slave Trade' Congress'

For note on this see letter of 9 Mar 1899, Russian ambassador to the British Committee of the Federation. See also letter of 3 Apr 1899 with notes.

JB wrote another letter in a similar tone to Mr Gregory (14 Mar 1899), i.e. the support given to this Congress by Regulationist Governments and men whom she knows to be no abolitionists.

'The subordinate villains The Col. Henrys, The Esterhazys, the Paty du Clams ...'

These were some of the men who bore witness against Dreyfus in the trial and brought about his condemnation and banishment to Devil's Island

(see summary of Case, JB to Mr Johnson, 3 Feb 1898).

JB's feelings of discomfort roused by the unanimity of opinion in all European countries about the White Slave Traffic are to be found in print in: 'Storm Bell' for May 1899.

'The Shield 'Jun 1899 which gives most of the article in the 'Storm Bell' with opening comment under the title 'Mrs. Butler and the International White Slave Conference' (Jun, p 14)

Biog: Mr Cook, M. Louis Comte, Senator Berenger, Mr James Stuart, Prof. Steadman Aldis