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Chicago Vice Commission Biography

Con to the question "Should Prostitution Be Legal?"

“…[I]t must be remembered that the most serious evils of this traffic in virtue are not physical but moral, and that the most effective means of counteracting them must ever be in the elevation of the moral sentiment of the community to a sense of individual responsibility for upright conduct in behalf of decency and virtue.”

The Social Evil in Chicago, 1911


“In March 1910 Mayor Fred Busse appointed 30 Chicagoans to solve a vexing problem of public policy. Should prostitution remain a regulated business in segregated vice districts, such as the Levee at 22nd and Dearborn? Or, should the districts be outlawed, scattering prostitution throughout the city?

At first, the Chicago Vice Commission members—including Frank Gunsaulus, Ellen Martin Henrotin, Julius Rosenwald, and Graham Taylor—favored segregation. As typical Progressive-era reformers, however, they set out to thoroughly investigate the question. Commissioners spoke to civic, religious, and neighborhood organizations, police officers, and prostitutes. They concluded that segregation and regulation had failed and that the vice districts must be permanently abolished.”

Chicago Historical Society’s Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago, June 29, 2007


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