It appears her trip was more an excuse to avoid testifying in a murder trial than it was fact-finding. Her rich family sent her off to try to avoid scandal involving the case of a murdered architect.
Hell's Playground was published in 1912, and ten years later Broadway producers ripped her off, creating the far better known play White Cargo. She sued to be compensated.
The later film version starred Hedy Lamar as Tondelayo, a femme-fatale who I guess tempts the fellows…and then murders one or more. Witchy woman! They darkened her skin so she could appear African. The New York Times called her "mahogany" and Hedy became a star!
Watch the trailer. Then watch the hilarious catchphrase. What are those natives UP to.
Original Photograph collection Jim Linderman