Skip to main content

Prostitutes' testimony (Milwaukee, July 13-18, 1914)

@ Wisconsin Historical Society

Wisconsin. Legislature. Committee on White Slave Traffic and Kindred Subjects


In 1913, the Legislature established a committee to investigate the causes of prostitution and other vice in Wisconsin. Chaired by Sen. Howard Teasdale (1855-1936), it sent questionaires to officials throughout the state and held hearings in many cities. During those hearings it questioned working women about their lives, asked religious and civic leaders about vice in their communities, and consulted experts about how to reduce or eliminate the suffering caused by prostitution, alcoholism, and other social problems. It even sent undercover investigators into brothels and taverns around the state, before it issued its final report in 1914. Teasdale's investigation produced hundreds of pages of first-hand evidence about Wisconsin women whose lives otherwise went largely undocumented. Selected photographs from the commission's files are online at Wisconsin Historical Images. In the July 1914 Milwaukee hearings linked below, committee staff questioned several madams and prostitut
We believe that online reproduction of this material is permitted because its copyright protection has lapsed or because sharing it here for non-profit educational purposes complies with the Fair Use provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law. Teachers and students are generally free to reproduce pages for nonprofit classroom use. For advice about other uses, or if you believe that you possess copyright to some of this material, please contact us at
View Original At:

Record Contributed By

Wisconsin Historical Society

Record Harvested From

Recollection Wisconsin