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Wald, Lillian) Duffus, R.L.

Lillian Wald: Neighbor and Crusader.


Inscribed To An Original Henry Street Volunteer
(Wald, Lillian). Duffus, R.L. Lillian Wald: Neighbor and Crusader. New York: Macmillan, 1938.
8vo.; photographic frontispiece; endpapers lightly darkened; contemporary news clippings pasted onto first blank and rear pastedown; blue cloth. In a specially made cloth box.
First edition of the first biography of the legendary public health and labor activist. A presentation copy, inscribed: "Faithfully yours, Lillian D. Wald, House on the Pond, Westport, Conn." The recipient, Miss Alice J. Phillips of Utica, New York, was one of the original volunteers at the Henry Street Settlement, founded by Wald in 1893.
Soon after its founding the Henry Street Settlement rose to prominence as the most influential settlement house in the United States; for her part, Wald became internationally known for her dedicated efforts on behalf of the hundreds of poor, immigrant, predominantly Jewish families on New York's lower east side. Wald's many decades of advocacy for a decent quality of life for disenfranchised urban dwellers served as a lasting model for later feminist public health educators. This inscribed volume, and the written material that accompanies it, provides a unique documentation of the early years of the Henry Street Settlement and of Wald's intense and lasting friendships with her settlement workers.
Tipped onto the rear endpaper is an original typed letter signed, "Lillian D. Wald" to Miss Alice J. Phillips, recipient of this volume, dated September 13, 1936, on Wald's personalized stationary. The letter is obviously a response to a query from Miss Phillips and is part of a sporadic correspondence between the two. In part:
My dear Miss Phillips, I have received your letter and I think it was an inspiration to let me have the pleasure of it and to renew a tie with an old colleague. I hope things are well with you. I am sorry to say that I am in bed most of the time with a coronary thrombosis, but nothing seems to have affected the upper part of my body and I take joy ability to participate in the things that I really consider important. I am searching my possessions to find a picture suitable to send on... With thanks and repeated expressions of pleasure in your affectionate thought of me, I am, Sincerely yours, Lillian D. Wald.
Also included with the book are a typed 1953 letter from a Henry Street Settlement official to Miss Phillips, thanking her for a recent communication ("It is always a source of pleasure to hear from the people who were connected with the Settlement in the early days and I was glad to get your not"), and inviting her to a gala 60th anniversary celebration dinner, at which Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the keynote speaker and a multicolored calendar commemorating the 60th year anniversary ("Henry Street Settlement 1893-1953, A Good Neighbor for 60 Years"). Also inserted into this volume is perhaps the most intriguing and touching relic: an engraved, hand-addressed invitation inviting Miss Phillips to a party celebrating the Henry Street Settlement's 20th anniversary, held in 1913; the invitation was obviously cherished by Miss Phillips, who saved it until her death.

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