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«BY ELIZABETH W. ANDREW and KATHARINE C. BUSHNELL With Prefatory Letters by MRS. JOSEPHINE BUTLER and MR. HENRY J. WILSON, M.P. “ Remember them that ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

THE QUEENS DAUGHTERS

IN INDIA

BY

ELIZABETH W. ANDREW and KATHARINE C. BUSHNELL

With Prefatory Letters by

MRS. JOSEPHINE BUTLER and MR. HENRY J. WILSON, M.P.

“ Remember them that are in bonds as bound with them.”

LONDON. MORGAN AND SCOTT,

12 Paternoster Buildings, E.C.

To be obtained from the British Committee of the Federation for the Abolition of State Regulation of Vice 17 Tothill Street, Westminister, S.W., And from the American Purity Alliance, United Charities Building, New York, U.S.A.

1899.

Entered in the year 1898, by

ELIZABETH W. ANDREW and KATHARINE C. BUSHNELL

At Stationer’s Hall, London.

2 Dedicated By

JOSEPHINE E. BUTLER,

PROPHETESS OF THE TRUTH OF CHRIST JESUS; LOVER OF HOLY JUSTICE;

FRIEND OF OUTCAST WOMEN; LEADER OF “THE NEW ABOLITIONISTS”;

WHOM GOD HATH ANOINTED WITH HIS OWN PECULIAR JOY;

BECAUSE, IN THE SPIRIT OF HER MASTER, SHE HATH

“LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED INIQUITY”.

3

PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION

This little book is written under a deep sense of obligation to the womanhood of the world, but more especially under a sense of duty to God. A group of women in the British aristocracy have lifted their voices in advocacy of licensed vice; and their sycophants and admirers in England and America are either re-echoing their plea or excusing their conduct. The plea is made primarily for India, but incidentally for all Christendom, and every effort is being put forth, openly or covertly, to contaminate public sentiment on this point.

In five states of America, in a little over a year, the attempt has been made to secure legislation for the compulsory periodical examination of women; and a strong organization exists on both sides of the water to promote this infamous object. Under these conditions it is a matter of grave moment that certain secular, temperance, and religious periodicals which would have sounded a clear note of warning six months ago, are today being deceived. They print the outrageous falsehoods that represent India as having become a menace to the health of England because of the abolition of brothel slavery in that country. Excuses are made for the shallow- brained sophistry of those who pretend that the compulsory periodical examination of women can be divorced from the moral debasement of women, and as though such compulsory examinations were something quite unlike the notorious Contagious Diseases Acts. High titles and famous names are quoted as a warrant for advocating the iniquity; and certain men are being exalted as though famous temperance advocates, who are not themselves total abstainers, and who are well-known public advocates of licensed fornication. Thus is introduced into philanthropic movements of the present day an element of fatal moral confusion, as though a person who boldly defies the principles of ordinary decency in one direction could be received as a trusted and efficient promoter of decency along another line; as though a man could be relied upon as an advocate and apostle of that of which he is not an example. We do not doubt that some of the persons who do these things are well-intentioned; but they expend their benevolence of the wolf and forget the lamb. They would win others to play with them on the asp’s nest.

We have determined on our knees before God that those who advocate the compulsory periodical examination of women shall do so knowing what it means, and knowing also that their friends and neighbors understand what is being advocated.

We offer no apology for our plainness of speech; to employ smooth language and obscure phrases in the present crisis would be to trifle with a deadly enemy – to toy with the Indian cobra.

–  –  –

I wish that every woman in the United Kingdom could read this little book. It tells the truth, the terrible truth, concerning the treatment of certain Indian women, our fellow-citizens and sisters, by the British Government. I believe that if the truth were known throughout the length and breadth of our land, it would become impossible for our rulers to continue to maintain the cruel and wicked Regulations by which these women are enslaved and destroyed.

I am a loyal Englishwoman; I love my country. It is because of my great love for her that I mourn so deeply for her dishonor in the promotion of such legislation and practices as this book exposes, and that I will not cease to denounce the crimes committed in her name so long as I have life and breath.

I thank God that the writers of this book have been raised up to plead the sacred cause of Justice and of Womanhood; and I rejoice to know that God has bestowed on them a measure of the fearless spirit of the faithful prophets and prophetesses of old, to rebuke national sin and to preach repentance to the people.

–  –  –

Dear Friends;





I am glad you intend to reprint “The Queen’s Daughters in India.” It brings home to many who will not read Blue Books the terrible facts about officiallyauthorized vice; and it shows the moral aspects of the “Regulation” system, which Blue Books never show.

I remember very clearly how your first Report, in 1892, of what you had seen, impressed us all as a very careful record of a very careful investigation.

Then, in 1893, I was a member of the Departmental Committee appointed to hear your evidence, when your clear testimony, which no cross-examination could shake, gave abundant evidence of your close observation and the accuracy of your records.

The impression this made on me was only deepened when, in India, in 1894 (on the Opium Commission), I saw one of the places you had described with such remarkable closeness of detail.

It is deplorable that we should have to fight this battle again. But so it is. Princesses and Titled Ladies have added their influence to that of the panic-mongering materialists, in the endeavour to “make the practice of prostitution, if not absolutely innocuous, at least much less dangerous” – that is, in the language of the Royal Commissioners of 1871, the object in view.

I thank God, therefore, that you are able to visit this country again, to help us both by voice and pen in the renewed agitation which is forced upon us.

–  –  –

A GENTLEMAN in India, who had spent many years in military service, told us the following tradition:

-In the year 1856, before the Mutiny, Lady --- was one evening riding out on horseback at Umballa, unattended, when the bridle of her horse was suddenly seized by a British soldier who was possessed of evil designs against her. Most earnestly she protested against his violence, and remonstrated with him that, besides the wrong to her, to injure one of her social rank would utterly ruin his entire future, as he would be flogged and dismissed from the army in disgrace.

Thereupon ensued a conversation in which he pleaded extenuation for such a crime so successfully that she readily accepted his false statement that there was excuse for vice when soldiers were not allowed to marry. After that experience she sought opportunity to talk with high military officials concerning the necessity of protecting high-born ladies from such risks, by furnishing opportunities for sensual indulgence to the British soldiers, and the result was the elaboration and extension of a system for the apportionment of native women to regiments.” We have never been able to verify the exact truth of this incident, but it probably has a basis in fact. Yet it has had its counterpart in a recent movement among the aristocratic women of England to re-introduce the same wicked legislation. It is on this account that the authors have considered it necessary to print a more extended account of the work in behalf of the women of India, in which they have had a large share. If the exceedingly simple style in which they give their story seems to some readers almost an insult to their intelligence, and lacking in the delicacy of touch that could be desired, it must not be forgotten for one moment that they are writing with special regard for those in the humblest ranks of life, who have often had scant opportunities for education; for it is upon the daughters of such that the oppressive laws for the licensing of prostitution fall; and in large part the supposed advantages of licensed prostitution accrue to the upper social classes, which are, in fact, the lower moral classes. The crusade against licensed fornication is a war between respectable daughters of the poor and rich and powerful men and women.

Military Power in the Cantonments

Whether the narrative given above be wholly true or not, the fact remains that when socalled “Christian England” took control of “heathen India,” and plots of ground called Cantonments were staked off for the residence of the British soldiers and their officers, full provision was made for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. A Cantonment is a considerable section of land, sometimes comprising several square miles; and within these Cantonments much more arbitrary law prevails than the civil law by which the rest of the country is governed. There are about one hundred military Cantonments in India. Sometimes these Cantonments have few inhabitants besides the soldiers and a few traders in groceries, etc., for the soldiers; and again in some places a whole city has grown up within the Cantonment, and many Europeans reside therein, feeling more safe in case of threatened trouble from an uprising of the people against the Government, than outside under civil law only. All the land of a Cantonment belongs to the

–  –  –

The system devised for furnishing sensual indulgence to the British soldier, and for protecting him from diseases consequent on such indulgence, was commonly called the Contagious Diseases Acts, but was carried out under Cantonment Regulations, and was as follows in its main features:

-There were placed with each regiment (of about a thousand soldiers) from twelve to fifteen native women, who dwelt in appointed houses or tents, as the case might be, called “chaklas.” These women were allowed to consort with British soldiers only, and were registered by the Cantonment magistrate, and tickets of license were given them.

Besides the “chakla,” i.e., the Government brothel, there was in each Cantonment a prison hospital, in which the patients were confined against their will. To these Lock Hospitals the women were obliged to go periodically (generally once a week) for an indecent examination, to see whether every part of the body was free from any trace of diseases likely to spread from them to the soldiers, as the result of immoral relations. The compulsory examination is in itself a surgical rape. When a woman was found diseased, she was detained in the hospital until cured;

when found healthy she was given a ticket of license to practice fornication and was returned to the chakla for that purpose.

In case a woman tried to escape from the chakla, or from the Lock Hospital, and was apprehended, she would be taken to the Cantonment magistrate, who would punish her with fine or imprisonment.

Even the price of the visits of soldiers to the chakla was fixed by military usage, and was so low that the soldier would scarcely miss what he expended in vicious indulgence. We have frequently heard in England that the officers sent out in the English towns to secure recruits for the army hold out, as an inducement to the young men to enlist, the fact that a licentious life in India is so cheap, and that the Government will see to it that no disease will follow the soldiers’ profligacy. But this last promise is altogether false, for statistics show that with all their efforts diseases increase with the increase of licentiousness, with small regard to the military surgeons’ efforts to make it physically safe.

When a regiment came into a large Cantonment where there were barracks, there was generally a large Government brothel to which all the women were sent for residence, and a guard in uniform looked after them. When the soldiers were camped out in the open field, tents were set up for the women at the back part of the encampment. When the soldiers marched, the women were carried in carts, with British soldiers to guard them, or sent by train to the destination of the regiment. In charge of the women was placed a superintendent or brothelkeeper, called the “mahaldarni.” She also was expected to procure women as desired; and we have ourselves read the official permits granted these women to go out to procure more women when needed.

9 The “Infamous Circular Memorandum.”

On June 17, 1886, a military order, known among the opponents of State regulation as the “Infamous Circular Memorandum,” was sent to all the Cantonments of India by QuartermasterGeneral Chapman, in the name of the Commander-in-Chief of the army in India (Lord Roberts).

But during the course of the enquiry of the Departmental Committee of 1893, its real author was discovered to be Lord Roberts himself, not his Quartermaster-General.



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