King's Business - 1913-07



ments reached all classes of people— gentlewomen with sisterly hearts who had been sheltered from the knowl­ edge of the sin-seamed side of life; business men with “no time” for sociological conferences or for ser­ mons had the living truth flung into their faces; into the houses where the cry arises, “No man cares for my soul,” was carried this message of brotherly solicitude. The underworld turned with a new and growing fear in its eyes to these pages which it knew the whole city was reading. Re­ sourceful and powerful beyond belief as are the cohorts of vice, they had literally no weapons with which to combat this new engine of publicity. The phrase, “Atlanta should and will close the houses in our midst,” began to haunt many persons. It penetrated into the innermost consciousness of men who had never been suspected of altruistic or Christian sentiments. Everybody knew that something would happen, and the city was on the qui vive to discover where and how the break would come. Chief of Police with Power and Will Acts The outcome was dramatic. The chief of police, by Atlanta’s system, has the power to close up all resorts of evil. He does not have to confer with any authorities higher up. Chief of Police Beavers of Atlanta was at heart a better man than the world with which he had dealings ever sus­ pected. He had fallen into a vicious custom. These advertisements “got him;” they found the real man Beavers. He resolved to stand by his parents, by his own early training and by the best life of Atlanta. He pub­ licly pledged the Men and Religion committee that he would close the houses. Of course he knew where they were. Every police department

in the world knows the evil resorts of its own city. These dens of vice could not survive a week without the friendly connivance of the police. When Beavers said he would close out all the houses of shame in Atlanta the public knew he could do it if he would. His statement revealed a man moved to the depths, and the Christian peo­ ple believed it. Their confidence was not misplaced. At once many persons who had shown no spark of solicitude for the fallen girls in their virtual slavery began to shed maudlin tears in public oyer their fate at being turned adrift without shelter. This ostentatious sympathy was short-lived, for the ad­ vertising campaign was part of a Christian movement. It was bigger and better than politics. Behind it burned the yearning, loving heart of Christ’s compassionate servants. The ensuing advertisements were directed to the women in the evil resorts. The word of the commitee was pledged that every one of them would be of­ fered shelter and help in a new life. All the arguments that the vested in­ terests of evil might offer to their vic­ tims were contravend by this clear, unequivocal statement which could not be kept from the eyes of anybody who read the daily papers, that there was a door of opportunity open to all who sought a better life. Ministers and their members went two by two through the “red light” district. Every fallen woman in Atlanta was personally offered a chance for a bet­ ter life. With this message of prac­ tical service went the gospel of Christ. The women were told that if ill they would be provided with medical care; if they needed training for a career of honest service, it would be sup­ plied; if there were dependent rela­ tives, they would be cared for; if shelter alone were wanted, that would be provided. Whatever was neces-

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