Girl Tells of Life in Slavers’ Hands

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

The Atlanta Georgian

Tuesday, July 8, 1913

Hattie Smith Warns Young Women of Atlanta Against the Wiles of Procurers.

The startling expose of vice conditions by Hattie Smith, the prety [sic] 17-year-old girl, one of the alleged victims of the “system,” resulted Tuesday in an aggressive war n [sic] the downtown hotels.

Chief Beavers declared he would stamp out vice if he had to detail a special officer at every one of the hotels in question. Several additional arrests will be made before noon, it is believed.

The Smith girls repeated her story with many additional details of the “system” which is said to be the most completely organized in the history of Atlanta.

Taking a lesson from her own harrowing experience, she has issued a warning to young girls to beware of the women procurers, who, she says, ply the streets with pleasant smiles and entice girls to well-known hotels of the downtown district, where the “system” is so completely organized that there is never a chance of detection or escape for the unfortunate victim.

No Chance to Escape.

“It is terrible,” the Smith girl told Chief Beavers. “You should have your men turn their attention to the downtown hotels, where the ‘system’ is organized so completely that there is no chance of turning away from wrong, once a girl gets there.

“The woman procurer who took me in charge—and she is just like scores of others who walk the streets every day—met me Thursday in a soft drink stand at the corner of Jones and Cone Streets. I told her that I didn’t want to go home again, and she replied that she would get me a nice room in the Cumberland Hotel, where I would not be bothered.

“‘I will give you a new name, too,’ said the woman. ‘I will call you Lucile Evans. Now, isn’t that a nice name?’

“The woman also suggested that she go and register for me, as the appearance of two women would excite suspicion. To all of this I agreed; it was so easy, you know—nothing to do but get fixed.”

To Tell Story in Court.

She told the Chief she had been to two hotels since leaving home last Wednesday and that she found conditions at both the same.

The girl, who will be tried Tuesday afternoon, says she is going to tell the whole truth to Recorder Broyles, because she wants to save other young girls who might meet the fate she did.

Lena Barnhart, the alleged woman procurer who, was surrendered to the police by her attorney Monday night, and Elijah Murray, the elevator boy at the Cumberland Hotel, will be tried Tuesday afternoon also on chages [sic] of disorderly conduct.

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The Atlanta Georgian, July 8th 1913, “Girl Tells of Life in Slavers’ Hands,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)