Resolutions Adopted Urge Voters of Knoxville to "Assert
Their Convictions of Right, and Demand the Enforcement
of the Law"—Meeting Was Called to Protest Against
Commission's Order to Police, Preventing Latter From
Arresting Prostitutes, Unless Guilty of Some Other Offense—Dr. J. E. White, of Atlanta, Was the Speaker.
One Thousand Women Were in Attendance.
Taking the initiative in a movement
to secure the enforcement of the law
against segregated vice, a mass meeting
of women was held at Staub's theater
Sunday afternoon. Opening at three
o'clock the meeting continued until nearly five o'clock. Rev. J. E. White, D. D.,
of Atlanta, one of the most prominent
clergymen in the south, delivered the
principal address. In presenting the
resolutions for adoption by the mass
meeting Mrs. L. Crozier-French made a
few brief remarks. Mrs. A. H. Daiiey,
president of the women's Anti-Vice
The resolutions adopted are rather
mild in tone, appealing in nature, and
are not bitter toward the city oificials,
against whom they are directed, and
merely set out the grievances of the
women and ask the men of Knoxville
to come to the rescue of mortality and
Christianity that a new order may
Speaking from the general theme of
municipal cleanliness, Dr. White said
that Knoxville's shame is held out before the world. He said that the action of the commissioners of Knoxville
in adopting a measure, restraining tne
police from arresting immoral women
except for "independent" offenses against
the law, is the first instance of the
kind he has ever heard of. Knoxville
is advertised to the world, he said, as
a city inviting prostitution and evil.
The commissioners, he said, went on
record as declaring that they desire as
many violations of the law relative to
prostitution in the residential sections as
possible, and prohibit the police from arresting immoral women, violating the
law in the residential sections, except
when "they shoot a fire cracker" or
commit some other "independent offense."
Dr. White Introduced.
Mrs. Daiiey called the meeting to order. Mrs. Matthew McClung opened
it with a brief prayer.
Mrs. Daiiey then introduced Dr.
White, who spoke for over one hour.
His address was eloquent an logical,
driving the points he desired to make
home with oratory that deeply impressed the audience. As he related incidents
of Atlanta's campaign against vice, and
told of the rescue of women of the
underworld from the Atlanta district
when the district was closed two yeais
ago, he brought tears to the majority of
the eyes in the audience.
In beginning his address, Dr. White
declared that one can and should exercise calmness in a good cause. A good
cause is a good cause on the scaffold
still, and leads to victory. A bad cause
is a bad cause on the throne still, he
said. Therefore, in engaging in a campaign against evil, those so engaged
can well afford to exercise calmness. It
is not such bad cause, he said. Those
so engaged can not exercise calmness,
when assailed, he declared.
"The fight against vice is a good
one." he said. "It is the cause of the
home, the heart of our civilization, manhood and womanhood, the boys and girls,
and the kingdom of God. It is the
cause of purity, patriotism, and the
cane of law and order. He discussed
the cause at length, impressing the fact
upon the audience that the "cause against
the social evil, the liquor traffic and
all other modern public evils is one in
which Christian men and women may
The next part of his address has to
do with municipal life from the history
of the world. History is one long record of the wickedness of cities, he declared. Prophecies have been made,
notably one in 1832 that if America
ever fell, it would be because of the
wickedness of the cities that were to
come. The nation has survived loog
enough, Dr. White said, to prove the
possibility of that prophecy being ful-
In the earliest ages, men had dreams
of fair cities, said Dr. White. The
ruins today prove that a city cannot
survive unless its foundation is on God.
There are only three cities in the
world today, he said, which are ruled,
controlled and dominated by Christianity and Christian men and women, Edinburgh, Toronto and Atlanta. This
remark provoked applause from the audience.
He then told the history of the evolution from evil to good in these three
Cities, each gaining over the former
through the personal efforts of individuals. To Henry W. Grady, Dr. White
gave the credit for starting Atlanta's
evolution when, twenty-five years ago,
he sought to instill morality and Christianity into the fibre of Atlanta and the
people of Atlanta.
For several minutes Dr. White discussed Atlanta's successful campaign
for the abolition of the vice district,
paying a tribute to Chief Beavers, of the
Atlanta police department, and holding
him up as a hero of Georgia. "Atlanta
is today controlled by Christian men,
placed in authority by the Christian
forces of Atlanta," he declared.
He said that there are not one hundred decent citizens of Atlanta who
now prefer the segregated district over
the present freedom from organized vice.
'Of those who claim to prefer the old
order, said Dr. White, you will find that
they are dominated by some financial
or other connection with the business.
He told of Atlanta's campaign meth-
ods in dealing with the movement, and
of the success the Christian people of
Atlanta have met with in dealing with
other evils, since the accomplishment of
their anti-vice victory.
Dominant Liquor Power.
The speaker declared that behind the
social vice and all other vice, is the
liquor power. When you strike the
liquor interests, said Dr. White, you
strike a power with a hand at Washington and at every state capital in the
land. It is a power, he said, that fights
for the millions in wealth it returns to
those interested in it. With this power,
he said, the Christian people of Atlanta
are now dealing.
In dealing with the local situation, he
declared that a single church, with a
united front, has power enough to set
a city on fire.
"The situation in Knoxville," he said,
"is one in which there ought to be no
doubt how every Christian stands." The
question involved is larger than the vice
question You will have to shift your
emphasis on the vice question, and make
the paramount question one of law enforcement and civilization. Your commissioners have vacated the law and
have declined to fulfill their oaths of
office. 1 have never heard of an instance like this. I have known lawless
and sinful cities, where the law was ignored and lawlessness reigned, but never
before have sworn officers of the law
published to the world that they hope
the law against prostitution will be violated as much as possible in resident
sections of the city. The police order
they issued invites prostitution, and
prostitutes to come to Knoxville. The
police are restrained from arresting any
prostitute unless she shoots a firecracker
or commits some 'independent' offense."
Dr. White declared he believed that
the majority of the Knoxville police
force feel and that they are conscious of
the fact that they are being made to
violate their oath of office, and would
prefer to do their duty. On this subject, he said that there isn't a community in the south that wouldn't rally
and stand behind a police officer that
did his duty regardless of orders received
from those in authority.
In his closing remarks. Dr. White
discussed the question of segregation.
He said that the question has been thoroughly studied by sociologists, scientists
and government experts, and all have
reached the common verdict that the
segregated district must go and is not
needed. He pointed to Chicago, Minneapolis and other large cities whose
people have driven the segregated districts from their borders.
Following Dr. White. Mrs. French
presented the resolution. She bespoke
the co-operation of every Christian woman in Knoxville in the campaign for the
riddance of social vice from the city.
The resolutions she presented, and
which were unanimously adopted by rising vote, are as follows:—
Whereas, the position taken by
the city commissioners of Knoxville
at the instigation of Mayor Heis-
kell, through his special message in
regard to the nuisance law, is an insult to the womanhood of our city,
"Whereas, the city commissioners
have ignored the repeated appeals
our women that they enforce the
"Whereas, the women of Knox-
ville have no method of redress except through the manhood of our
"Therefore, be it resolved by t(missing)
mass meeting of women that t(missing)
voters of Knoxville are hereby u(missing)
gently requested to assert their con-
victions of right, and demand the
enforcement of the law, or take
such legal steps as may be necessary to secure this end.
"Second, that we deeply regret
that the state of affairs in our city
should necessitate this action on
the part of women." Following the adoption of the re(missing)
tious, cards with pledges printe(missing)
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