Josephine Butler to Mrs Virginia L Minor of St Louis, USA

Scope and Content

Copy of letter. 10pp. At her request she is sending the latest account of the worldwide struggle against legalised prostitution. She points out that in England alone the Regulations are law; but their promoters have brought on unconsciously to themselves the beginning of the end of the whole system. England was the first to lead the European revolt against the slavery of women. Progress in Europe encouraging but it is apparent that the partisans of evil legislation have recently been smitten with a kind of rage. Though progress many seem slow at times a great work is already achieved; sin is now called sin and the equal standard of morality for men and women raised in the face of all nations. 'The legislation of vice...and the institution of the slavery of women is the most open denial which modern times have seen of the principle of the sacredness of the individual human being'. The women of England, she says 'are beginning to understand their responsibilities to their general. Like yourselves we are labouring to obtain the suffrage. The great legislative wrong which has fallen upon us in this legalising of vice has taught us to desire forever to influence the Legislature. Meanwhile the crusade against immorality is educating women for the right use of suffrage when they obtain it. The two movements must go hand in hand.

[This is a 'wet' copy and as such the original is faint, fuzzy and very fragile].