Committee of Fourteen

The Committee of Fourteen was founded on January 16, 1905 by members of the New York Anti-Saloon League as an association dedicated to the abolition of "Raines law hotels". These hotels were identified in the final report of the Committee of Fifteen in 1902, to be responsible for the spread of prostitution in New York City. New York state's Raines law of 1896 gave hotels the right to sell liquor on Sundays while saloons could not. This led saloon keepers to create rooms for let and apply for a hotel liquor license. The rooms were then used for prostitution. The Committee attacked the problem by lobbying to have the law amended and by making on-site investigations of the "hotels". On February 15, 1905 it was successful in requiring a city inspection before the issuance of a license, and on May 1, 1905 a weakened version of the bill was passed. It presented evidence of violations to the New York State Department of Excise, to the brewers who supplied the saloons, to the surety companies who bonded the saloons, to the real estate owners, the New York City Tenement House Department, and the police. By 1911 most of the Raines Law hotels had closed up and then the Committee worked for the end of other outlets for prostitution. The Committee was dissolved in 1932 when it ran out of money.

Members of the Committee



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