After reading this ‘letter to the editor’ from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle circa 1902, I stopped to realize how society just doesn’t seem much different today. The focus is on solicitation ads for unscrupulous advertisers out to seduce and harm young women. Is it any different from the salacious adverts you’d find in NYC news rags or now online in places like Craigslist? And then there’s the fact that people can and do get killed after answering the ads. It happens now in horrific ways and it happened then. The reader has M.D. after their name, they were obviously well aware of the dangerous situations after seeing the battered, injured women who had fallen prey to these scoundrels!
The reader pines for the good old days of America where women were safe anywhere in the land. A bit of an exaggeration. Our good old days are always viewed with rose-colored glasses, but things progressively worsened by the turn of the century. And like today, Washington and Government officials get the blame heaped on them by this particular irate reader.
They cry for a population decrease, otherwise we’d become like ‘Western China’ with its “vast population, its misery, and indifference to life.” Ouch. They also rant about labor unions as the tools of foreign anarchists. The reader jumps from one subject to the next, starting off with a simple concern for young innocent women (Are you picturing a top-hat villain twirling a curly, dark mustache?) and then gets increasingly angry at the state of everything else.
Some things never change!