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Margaret Sanger, "The Old and the New," Aug 1914.

Source: " The Woman Rebel, Aug. 1914, p. 48 Margaret Sanger Microfilm, Collected Documents Series C16:0562."


Blackwell's Island reveals two striking illustrations of the woman of the past and the woman of the future.

Katharine B. Davis is the woman of the past and Rebecca Edelsohn is the woman of the future.

Katharine B. Davis was carefully trained in her youth for college; her college training helped and fortified her to become Police Matron of Bedford Reformatory for Women, and subsequently Commissioner of Corrections of New York. Both worthy offices to uphold the present system.

Katharine is a staunch defender of the present society, despite her experiences among "the fallen" and her knowledge that poverty and destitution has driven them to prostitution.

Becky on the other hand comes from that race of people whose spirit has refused to be enslaved.

Becky has never been to college but she knows more about existing conditions and their causes, about poverty, prostitution and their causes than Katharine learned in all her arduous years of college education. Becky considers such an calling as Police Matron as base and looks upon it with contemptuous scorn.

Her ideals of womanhood are high. Her service to womankind is to free them.

Katharine's position is to keep women in bondage. Becky's idea is to free all womankind.

Katharine aims to keep women tame in submission to the chains of the present slavery.

Becky aims to inspire them with revolt against the chains and the system which has enslaved them.

In the background of these two women stands two greater forces which is a question of time when they too shall be in the death struggle similar to that taking place on Blackwell's Island, Capital on Miss Davis' side and Labor on Becky Edelsohn's side.

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