V-"Prisoners of Poverty: Women wage-workers, their trades and their lives" - Helen Campbell - New York Tribune

V-"Prisoners of Poverty: Women wage-workers, their trades and their lives" - Helen Campbell - New York Tribune

"A Fashionable Dressmaker"

by: Helen Campbell | publication date: November 21, 1886 | Publication: The New York Tribune | pages: 13

"Have you come to answer Madame M 's advertisement ?" the little woman said, as she rose from the steps and laid her hand detainingly on the hurrying figure.

"Yes," the girl answered hesitatingly, pulling away from the hand that held.

"Then, unless you 've got anything else to do and like to give your time and strength for naught, keep away. You'll get no wages, no matter what's promised. I've been there six months, kept on by fair promises, and I know. I 'll let no girl go in there without warning."

"It's a good-looking place," the girl said doubtfully.

"It's a den of thieves all the same. If you don't believe me, come down to the Woman's Protective Union on Clinton Place, and you 'll see my case on the book there, and judgment against this woman, that's no more mercy than a Hottentot and lies that smoothly that she 'd humbug an angel of light. Ah! That's good!" she added, for the girl had shaken off her hand and sped away as swiftly as she had come. " That's seven since yesterday, and I wish it were seven hundred. It's time somebody turned watchdog.

An account of the shoddy and deceptive practices employed by a popular Union-Square-area dressmaker. Campbell describes the efforts of a Women's Protective Union member to dissuade young women from working there.