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Sirs ,—To your honorable Board I dedicate the following pages, the result of an investigation into the causes and extent of Prostitution. Yours was the conception, mine has been the execution of the work; to you am I indebted for many valuable suggestions; to your kindness for much encouraging approbation; and now to your hands I confide my labors, in the conviction that they will not be futile; that your patriotism, your philanthropy, and your humanity will be at once enlisted in the cause.
In so noble an endeavor it will be a source of satisfaction to remember that I assisted you in those generous exertions which will add fresh laurels to your names; that I had some share in the effort which will induce future generations to remember with pride that the first blow struck in the Western World at the gigantic vice Prostitution was aimed by the Governors of the Alms-House of the City and County of New York. I am your obliged fellow-citizen, William W.
Sanger, M. It was completed and ready for the press at the close of Among the property destroyed, my library and manuscripts were included. Fortunately, the first draught of this work had been previously removed from my office, and was preserved, and from that the present volume has been prepared.
Advantage has been taken of the opportunity thus afforded carefully to revise the work and introduce some additional facts, bringing the history, of New York especially, to the present time. The chapters describing foreign prostitution are not claimed to be entirely original. They are compilations and condensations from every available source. It is believed that the authorities have been named in most cases where the ideas of others have been used; but, owing to the loss of all the original works, it is highly probable that in some instances this has been overlooked.
Should the reader discover any omissions of this nature, he will be kind enough to understand that accident alone prevents the usual acknowledgements. Arguments are unnecessary to prove the existence of prostitution. The evil is so notorious that none can possibly gainsay it. But when its extent, its causes, or its effects are questioned, a remarkable degree of ignorance or carelessness is manifested. Few care to know the secret springs from which prostitution emanates; few are anxious to know how wide the stream extends; few have any desire to know the devastation it causes.