Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 16, 1877Italian Slave Dealers
The shameful trade in Italian children, a practice which has already been revealed in several cities and prosecuted more than once, has also come to light here. Emmanuel Mallelo an Italian living at 527 S. Clark Street, was subjected to a severe grilling in the South Side Police Station for alleged slave dealing in Italian children. Here is what happened: A little boy unable to speak English, freezing and crying, was met by a policeman, who brought him to an Italian man to help as an interpreter. The child said that his father had rented him out to Mallelo for $25 a year. He was forced to walk daily through the streets with a harp on his back and to play music. The money thus collected he had to give to his cruel master in the evening. It fared bad with him every time he did not hand over a certain minimum amount to his torturer. He was then beaten, received nothing to eat and forced out again into the dark night to complete the required sum. If he was again unsuccessful, he had to look for another shelter or sleep in the open.2
The court proceedings revealed that Mallelo was keeping eight boys in similar bondage. He gave the boys shelter and food for one dollar a week. Investigations are continuing. It is to be hoped that charitable people will be found to take care of the little Italian slaves.
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