This thesis is an exploratory case study of white slavery and the accompanying white slavery panic that were flourishing in New York in the 19th to 20th century. The research explores these topics by describing historical evolution of the term white slavery, its racial and gender aspects, and society’s perception of white slavery along with the overwhelming global and societal changes that happened on local and state levels. Moreover, the study analyzes the position of the state government and the double role of a local government in framing white slavery as a moral panic. Furthermore, the findings of this research delve into the careers of the most notorious New York brothel-keepers. The study aims to shed light on the nature of sex work in 19th to 20th century New York and its participants’ motivations to engage in the various aspects of it. The study applies criminological theories including rational choice theory, general strain, and institutional anomie theory to understand the reasoning behind engagement in the commercial sex business. The findings of this study fill a gap in the academic literature about the impact of anomie on different layers of American society that have already gone through a myriad of stress factors, such as economic crises, political polarization and more. A collision between hyperachievement, which is engrained in the US culture, and economic instabilities and societal changes contributed to the white slavery moral panic. The conclusions of the research draw parallel between current instances of moral panic prevalent in US society today and those little more than a century ago. It also offers a possible solution to “relax” the anomie of the US society.