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Addams, Jane.

LETTERS: Four letters. (plus pamphlet: "Propaganda Section of the Chicago Political Equality League 1911-12 'Votes for Women.'"

Letter(s)

Addams, Jane. Four letters signed, "Jane Addams," to various recipients. 1908-1926. As follows:
Autograph Letter Signed "Jane Addams," one page, 8.5" x 11," on Women's International League for Peace and Freedom letterhead, Chicago, May 6, 1926, to Mrs. Leach. Addams thanks Mrs. Leach for her "generous check."
Typed Letter Signed "Jane Addams," one page, on Hull-House letterhead, 5.5" x 8.5," Chicago, April 28, 1908, to Mrs. R. H. Rice, Alliance, Ohio. Addams updates a colleague on suffrage legislation: "The attempt to secure municipal suffrage for women received a tie vote in the charter convention, whereupon the chairman voted against it. The matter was again brought up in the Legislature and lost by one vote. The whole charter, however, was afterwards rejected by the people so we may have another opportunity."
Typed Letter Signed "Jane Addams," one page, on Hull-House letterhead, 5.5" x 7.25," Chicago, June 29, 1910, to Louis R. Ehrich, New York. Addams writes in part of her political affiliation: "I am a Free Trader by conviction, but do not believe I have enough enthusiasm to be of any value in such a position [Vice President of the Free Trade League], and am therefore obliged to decline the proposed honor."
Typed Letter Signed "Jane Addams," one page, on Hull-House letterhead, 5.5" x 5," Chicago, February 3, 1920, to Mr. Hervier. Addams writes on civil liberties: "In general I should say that there was a widespread indifference on the part of both men and women to the question of civil liberties. I believe, however, that the tide is turning slowly."
Together with: a three-page pamphlet published by The Propaganda Section of the Chicago Political Equality League 1911-1912: Votes for Women.
Jane Addams (1860-1935), American settlement house founder and social reformer, was born to a well-off family in Cedarsville, Illinois. Though she had hoped for a degree from Smith College, her father insisted she attend the Rockford Female Seminary. After graduation, she later recalled, "It was quite settled in my mind that I should study medicine and 'live with the poor'," (NAW I, 16), but after a few months at the Women's Medical College in Philadelphia she withdrew due to a chronic spinal illness. After a successful convalescence, she toured Europe in 1883 and 1887 and was deeply affected by her experiences with the urban poor. Plagued by images of a match-girls' strike, and of "others which were already making me so wretched" (NAW I, 17), she undertook a thorough study of the living conditions of the working poor, and vowed to create an American version of the settlement houses she had visited. In 1889, together with lifelong friend Helen Starr, she launched Hull House, a sanctuary offering physical, financial, medical and legal protection to Chicago's urban underclass. By 1893 Addams had opened or inspired 40 other such local clubs, including nurseries, dispensaries and boarding houses, all based at Hull House and devoted to providing higher standards of care than had ever been offered to America's poor, predominantly female at this time. By the late 1890s Addams no longer had to self-fund her endeavors, as she could depend on assistance from wealthy Chicago women. With such backing, Addams, along with Alice Hamilton, Julia Lathrop, Florence Kelley, Sophonisba Breckinridge, and Edith and Grace Abbot, among others, effected not just change in their local community, but lobbied for legislative intervention. Due in large part to their efforts, Illinois passed its first factory inspection act in 1893 and Chicago established the first juvenile court in the United States in 1899; in addition, "the succeeding years saw Hull House influence increasingly exerted in political battles for child labor laws, limitation on working hours for women, improvement in welfare procedures, recognition of labor unions, protection of immigrants, compulsory school attendance, and industrial safety" (NAW I, 18). Addams's battles occasioned opposition from conservative quarters, and her voluble opposition to the Great War won her no friends, but her local infamy was ultimately overwhelmed by her international reputation for pioneering good works.
Addams's local community work led her into political activism on a national and even global scale: in 1909 she became the first female President of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections; in 1911, the first head of the National Federation of Settlements, and Vice-President of the National American Women Suffrage Alliance (1922-14); and in 1912, a vocal member of the Roosevelt for President campaign, on the grounds that "Hull House had been the seedbed for many of the ideas embodied in the Progressive platform" (NAW I, 20). In 1915 Addams became Chairman of the Woman's Peace Party and President of the first Women's Peace Congress at the Hague; in 1919 she presided over the second Women's Peace Conference in Zurich, and remained its president until her death; and in 1920 she became a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union. During the following decade she pursued many of these causes with vigor and a degree of success. In 1931 Addams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in forming the first Women's Peace Party, along with Nicholas Murray Butler.
Today the most widely-read of her copious publications are her two memoirs, Twenty Years at Hull-House, published in 1910 and her most successful book then as it is now; and its less optimistic sequel, The Second Twenty Years at Hull House, brought out twenty years later in 1930. Other works include Newer Ideals of Peace (1907); The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets (1909); A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil (1912), a discussion of prostitution; The Newer Ideals of Peace (1907); Democracy and Social Ethics (1902); and Peace and Bread in Time of War (1922).
Krichmar 4411. NAW, 16-22. 100 Most Influential Women of All Time, 19-22.
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