Case Narrative

A Consenting Juveniles narrative is a first-hand account reporting the words of the research subject on his or her experience.

Roger Baldwin

She knew I was ready for business.

Source:   Roger Baldwin 1-12-72 5555 notes relating to his boyhood in Wellesley Hills
by Joseph P. Lash, January 12, 1972
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, Joseph P. Lash Papers, Container 49

After spending a year in jail for resisting the military draft in World War I, Roger Baldwin joined with two colleagues to found the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). He served as executive director for its first 30 years, from 1920 to 1950. In 1947, at the invitation of General Douglas MacArthur, he visited Japan, where he founded the Japan Civil Liberties Union and was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese government. He was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter in 1981.

In 1971 and ’72, Baldwin was interviewed by historian Joseph Lash for a biography which was, however, never completed. The following account is taken from Lash’s notes of his interviews for the book, which are archived in the FDR Presidential Library.

To consider this account in its historical context, see How Sex Became a Civil Liberty by Leigh Ann Wheeler.1

My first sexual experience was with a maid in the house when I was about 12 or 13. She seduced me. I knew everything that was to be known, even how to prevent getting her pregnant. That lasted for two or three years. Right under the nose of my parents. We had adjoining bedrooms on the same floor. A big mistake to put boys up in the attic with the maids.

She was pretty enough but I don’t think I was making such distinctions. Good enough. She was an Irish maid. She left after a couple of years, went back to Ireland and raised a family. No emotion, a purely physical thing. She knew I was ready for business. She had seen me taking a bath and was aware I was prepared for an experience.

This material is in the public domain. 


1. How Sex Became a Civil Liberty
by Leigh Ann Wheeler
Oxford University Press, November 2012