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Title: Woman's work in municipalities
Author: Beard, Mary Ritter
Language: English
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                            WOMAN’S WORK IN



                           MARY RITTER BEARD


                          NEW YORK AND LONDON
                        D. APPLETON AND COMPANY

                          COPYRIGHT, 1915, BY
                        D. APPLETON AND COMPANY




The plan of this volume demands a few words of explanation. It was
originally intended to be a collection of readings illustrating the
varied phases of women’s work in municipalities, but an examination of
the available literature failed to reveal succinct, up-to-date summaries
of the several important branches of that work. It was therefore
necessary to search the records of hundreds of organizations and
societies in order to obtain a just view of the extent and character of
the labors of women for civic improvement of all kinds. Accordingly the
volume as finally drafted combines both readings and original surveys.

The method followed has been dominated by a fourfold purpose: (1) to
give something like an adequate notion of the extent and variety of
women’s interests and activities in cities and towns without attempting
a statistical summary or evaluation; (2) to indicate, in their own
words, the spirit in which women have approached some of their most
important problems; (3) to show to women already at work and those just
becoming interested in civic matters, the interrelation of each
particular effort with larger social problems; and (4) to reflect the
general tendencies of modern social work as they appear under the
guidance of men and women alike.

The task has been difficult owing to the immense amount of material
which months of research accumulated and the limitations of space which
made necessary the compression of important narrative and descriptive
accounts within a narrow compass. This difficulty has been further
increased by the desire to escape the danger of overemphasizing women’s
activities in great cities and of omitting the no less important and
significant work of women in smaller towns. Even at the risk of
distorting the perspective by giving much space to minor cities and to
local club activities, it has seemed worth while to make the book truly
representative of American urban life as a whole. All city dwellers do
not live in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.

Limited as are the purposes of the book and serious as its shortcomings
may be, it certainly contains the material and suggestions which warrant
a new interpretation of that age-worn slogan, “Cherchez la femme,” so
long the final suggestion to those who would do detective work into the
causes of waywardness in men.

One who accepts the challenge of this slogan and attempts an
investigation into the activities of modern women, as here imperfectly
outlined, may come to the conclusion that, instead of being the source
of all evil, woman comes quite as near to being the source of all good.
This does not interfere with the belief that she might be the source of
more good.

The “female of the species” may still be pictured as “more deadly than
the male” but her attack, we find, is not upon man but upon the common
enemies of man and woman. If this new evaluation of woman’s work in
civilization seems to err on the side of woman, we shall be satisfied if
it helps to bring about a re-evaluation which shall include women not in
an incidental way but as people of flesh and blood and brain—feeling,
seeing, judging and directing, equally with men, all the great social
forces which mold character and determine general comfort, well-being
and happiness.

Whichever evaluation is ultimately accepted, the following data are
offered not for the purpose of imparting an inflated sense of woman’s
importance. Indeed, in spite of what she has done, woman must still feel
humble in the presence of the work outlined for the future and of the
human problems that appeal to her for solution. Instead, therefore, of
seeking to inspire an exaggerated ego by means of this story of woman’s
achievements and visions, it is told in the hope that, by the assembling
of hitherto disconnected threads and an attempt at the classification of
civic efforts, more women may be induced to participate in the social
movements that are changing the modes of living and working and playing,
and that those who have watched their own threads too closely, may
perhaps lift their eyes long enough to look at the whole social fabric
which they are helping to weave.

Finally the story is told in the hope that more men may realize that
women have contributions of value to make to public welfare in all its
forms and phases, and come to regard the entrance of women into public
life with confidence and cordiality, accepting in their coöperation, if
not in their leadership, a situation full of promise and good cheer.

                                                                M. R. B.


With a truly remarkable grasp of a widely extended movement, Mrs. Beard
has summarized and emphasized the work that the women of America have
done in behalf of rescuing the city from the powers of evil and
inefficiency, and placing it upon a higher standard of morality and
effectiveness. The story she tells is a striking one and will serve to
enhearten the increasing groups of women who are coming into the field
of civic endeavor through the inspiration of organizations like those
identified with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs and the
lengthening list of associations for specialized effort. Mrs. Beard has
very appropriately stressed the part women have played in the modern
civic movement, and yet she would be the last to maintain that women
were alone responsible for it. As a matter of fact, one of the chief
manifestations of the civic movement has been the proper stressing of
the duties and obligations of a citizenship which knows no sex lines and
enforces no sex obligations. We are all men and women, boys and girls,
alike, members of the community, with common duties and obligations, and
as such should bear our part and do our share. In the march forward,
however, it seems necessary to organize the mass of citizens along
various lines in order that the most productive results may be obtained.

Mrs. Beard’s book illustrates again, if that were necessary, the very
large contribution which the private citizen has made to municipal and
political development and progress in this country. As Mr. Deming
pointed out in his address at Harvard when the National Municipal League
met in Boston in 1902, the chief improvements in our political machinery
have come as a result of the initiative of private citizens and of
organizations of private citizens. Mrs. Beard, quoting Franklin
MacVeagh, one of Chicago’s most effective civic workers, says that it
was the women of Chicago who started every one of the fifty-seven civic
improvement centers in that city. Whether the impulse be feminine or
masculine, but rarely have progressive measures been initiated by public
officials. This is not intended as a criticism of public officials,
because their duties as a rule are so exacting, and are every day
becoming more so, that they have little time except for their discharge.
The impulse for initiative must therefore come from without.

This book is sent forth with the hope that it will stimulate the women
of America to still greater endeavors to make American cities better
places in which to live. Women by natural instinct as well as by long
training have become the housekeepers of the world, so it is only
natural that they should in time become effective municipal housekeepers
as well. This book demonstrates how successfully they may fulfill this
rôle. May the volume prove an inspiration and a guide to those whose
interests it may have stimulated. Mrs. Beard has done her work well. May
the response be a fitting one.

                                                 CLINTON ROGERS WOODRUFF


               CHAPTER                               PAGE

                    I. EDUCATION                        1

                   II. PUBLIC HEALTH                   45

                  III. THE SOCIAL EVIL                 97

                   IV. RECREATION                     131

                    V. THE ASSIMILATION OF RACES      170

                   VI. HOUSING                        199

                  VII. SOCIAL SERVICE                 220

                 VIII. CORRECTIONS                    259

                   IX. PUBLIC SAFETY                  287

                    X. CIVIC IMPROVEMENT              293


                       INDEX                          339

                            WOMAN’S WORK IN

                               CHAPTER I

Women’s connection with the schools and the educational system lies both
in professional, or official, and volunteer service. We shall consider
their professional relation to the schools in the first place, because
it is the older.

The history of the education of women from the early days, when to
educate “shes” was viewed with horror as an immoral proposition, to the
present time when more “shes” graduate from the high schools than “hes,”
is an interesting record in itself. Even more significant, however, is
the fact that both hes and shes are educated largely by women in the
secondary schools which are the schools of the “people.”

The dominance of women in the secondary schools does not meet with
universal approval. The more vigorous of the opponents of the
educational monopoly by women argue that women teachers do not
comprehend the realities of modern business and political and social
life, and are therefore not fitted to give a wide social training to the
young, especially to boys.

There is a certain truth in this contention undoubtedly but women are
facing this objection, as far as it relates to the mental and moral
equipment of teachers, by insisting that women with a broad social
training and enlarged outlook can be found today and that the crux of
the question is one of pay. They incline to the point of view that equal
pay for equal work and better salaries for women teachers generally are
two of the means for securing women equally capable with men of
imparting the type of education demanded by modern industrial and social
conditions. Preparation for such teaching is expensive and can only be
entered upon when there is reasonable hope of something approaching a
suitable reward. The better pay of men teachers gives them an added
stimulus for prolonged study and preparation and the same stimulus will
operate in the same way with women, is the reply to the critics who seek
a sturdier and more virile leadership in education.

Another reply made to those who criticize the monopoly by women of
secondary education is that equal educational facilities for men and
women will promote wider social knowledge and sympathy on the part of
women students. Certainly in those colleges where courses in Politics
and Government, Law, Medicine and technical sciences are now open to
women, they are registering in large numbers, and manifesting a
readiness to fit themselves properly for the occupation of teaching,
among other professions.

This question was recently discussed at length in _The Educational
Review_, where Admiral F. E. Chadwick pleaded for male teachers. Miss
Laura Runyon of the State Normal School at Warrensburg, Missouri, in an
answer to him said:

  Everyone familiar with the history of education knows that men
  predominated as teachers before the Civil War, and, therefore, if
  the American boy has been under woman tutelage for generations, it
  has been the tutelage of his mother.... The American nation has
  developed more in the last fifty years than in the preceding one
  hundred. Does this show the evil of women teachers?...

  Admiral Chadwick is wrong in his conception of what is wrong in
  education. Unquestionably, we have confined the school curriculum
  too closely to a book-course—but throughout the United States
  courses of study are made chiefly by men. The notable exception is
  in the Chicago system, where a woman has introduced most radical
  changes for both boys and girls, and changes which are being hailed
  as the most satisfactory progressive educational work of the
  country, and these are due to Mrs. Ella Flagg Young.

  Our school courses need revising, and the long hours need to be
  spent in vigorous, active occupations as well as book and desk work.
  Along this line should the evolution proceed, not by excluding the
  efficient and cheap workers who have been discovered.

If the teaching by women in the schools has been narrow, ineffective,
and unsuited to the realities of American life, the responsibility lies
in part upon the colleges and normal schools that train them, and these
institutions, in administration and curricula, have been largely
dominated by men. By concentration of attention upon unapplied and
inapplicable natural science, narrative history, English literature, and
empty “methods,” women actually have been deprived of the educational
opportunity for discovering what the world is really like. It will be
only when more women alive to the necessities of modern social life,
industry, and government gain some power in the training colleges and
schools that curricula will be devised to supply the needs of women
teachers for the great tasks that, in present day society, fall upon

In passing from this problem of the influence of women upon the content
and systems of education, it is worthy of note that one of the first
names in the field of education today is that of Maria Montessori. Her
ideals have spread rapidly in the United States. Speaking of her recent
visit to this country, _The Survey_ said:

  Most people in the United States had to wait until Maria Montessori
  came to this country to learn that her educational ideas are being
  applied in scores of schools here and that Rhode Island has
  officially indorsed her methods. Experimentation with Montessori
  practices is being conducted in the Rhode Island Normal School. It
  is declared that out of a class of eighty-odd teachers who took the
  Montessori four months’ course at Rome last year, over sixty were

  Madame Montessori’s brief visit is giving rise to a more active
  discussion of her educational “system” than usual. Those who think
  it is destined to revolutionize child-training and those who see in
  it no advance beyond the ideas of Froebel are giving their reasons
  over again. How much new light will be thrown on the real content of
  her methods remains to be seen.

  Madame Montessori’s way of spreading her gospel during her visit has
  been by public lectures in large cities. At these she has talked
  through an interpreter and has illustrated her work with children by
  motion-picture films. Her visit has been under the auspices of the
  newly formed American Montessori Association, in whose leadership
  are Mrs. Alexander Graham Bell, Margaret Wilson, Frederick Knowles
  Cooper, Anne George (Dr. Montessori’s first American pupil), William
  Morrow, S. S. McClure and others.

Although we talk of equal educational opportunities for men and women,
as a matter of fact in many states, particularly in the East and South,
there is nothing approaching equal facilities. There are many
“opportunities” for education in most states, it is true, but until the
_best_ opportunities are open to women, there is nothing like equality.
In states where adequate facilities are not open, we find women awaking
to the obligation to see that they are soon provided through public or
private funds.

New Jersey club women have been pushing the work for the establishment
of a state college for women “to fit our girls to render the best
service to New Jersey in many lines as well as to fill teaching
positions better, 80 per cent. of which are now filled by women.” The
population of New Jersey is over 2,537,167, of whom 1,250,704 are women,
yet no provision is made for their higher education. Only in Delaware,
Maryland and Virginia, besides New Jersey, is that now true. A state
college with free tuition is demanded. New Jersey has Princeton,
Rutgers, Stevens, for men, but only normal schools for women.

                         SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION

Moreover, when the charge of inefficiency is brought against women
teachers, it must be remembered that the administration of the schools
very largely has been in the hands of men, and the women have been
merely routine agents of the authorities. The type of person always
content to carry out some other person’s orders is not likely to have
either force or initiative. Women seem to have both. Women are no longer
content to be mere agents of school authorities. They are seeking and
obtaining high administrative positions, and demonstrating by their
efficiency and capacity for sustained and unselfish labors their fitness
for such work.

For example, “four states, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, and Wyoming,
have women at the head of their state school systems, and there are now
495 women county superintendents in the United States, nearly double the
number of ten years ago. In some states women appear to have almost a
monopoly of the higher positions in the public school system. In
Wyoming, besides a woman state superintendent and deputy superintendent,
all but one of the fourteen counties are directed educationally by
women. In Montana, where there are thirty counties, only one man is
reported as holding the position of county superintendent. The increase
in the number of women county superintendents is most conspicuous in the
West, but is not confined to that section. New York reports forty-two
women ‘district superintendents,’ as against twelve ‘school
commissioners’ in 1900.”

The most conspicuous battle waged by women for a share in the
administration of schools took place in Chicago. It was thus described
in _The Survey_:

  The struggle over the superintendency and the policy of Chicago
  public schools acutely emphasizes the crises which popular local
  government must meet and turn for better or worse. Coming to the
  superintendency four years ago in the most troublous times the
  Chicago public schools had ever experienced, Mrs. Ella Flagg Young
  brought the badly divided teachers into harmonious relations with
  each other and with her management and secured an equally remarkable
  unanimity in the public support of her administration, after a long
  period of bitterly divisive discussion in the press and among the

  Within the Board of Education, however, whose twenty-one members
  have never been able to agree very well with each other,
  disagreements with Mrs. Young and her policies have come to the
  surface, especially among the members of the board appointed by
  Mayor Harrison. He protests his preference for her administration
  and once before came to the support of her policies when she
  tendered her resignation rather than surrender the superintendent’s
  prerogative in the selection of textbooks. The mayor’s opposition to
  the acceptance of her resignation then kept enough members of the
  Board in line with her to warrant its withdrawal.

  But the divisiveness of that controversy both widened and deepened
  at many points of personal and administrative difference. Except the
  two outspoken opponents, the other disaffected members of the board
  combined their opposition in silence and secrecy. To the surprise of
  the public, which the mayor, many members of the school board, and
  even the opposition itself, claimed to share, Mrs. Young failed to
  receive the eleven votes necessary for her reëlection. Ten members
  voted for her, six against her, and four were recorded as “not
  voting” in the secret ballot.

  Mrs. Young immediately withdrew her name, claiming that no
  superintendent can succeed who requires a second ballot for
  election. The second ballot was taken at once, after reconsideration
  of the first ballot was refused and John D. Shoop, first assistant
  superintendent, was elected by a vote of eleven to five, without
  discussion. The president of the board immediately resigned, as did
  Dean Walter T. Sumner, from the chairmanship of the school
  management committee.

  Instantly teachers’ organizations, parents’ societies, the Chicago
  Woman’s Club, the Woman’s City Club, and many other women’s
  organizations lined up for action. A mass meeting called by them
  crowded the Auditorium with 4,000 women and men on a Saturday
  morning. Rousing and determined speeches were made by many
  representative citizens, among whom were Jane Addams, Jenkin Lloyd
  Jones, Harriet Vittum, and Margaret Haley of the Teachers’

  The meeting adopted resolutions calling upon the mayor to accept the
  responsibility for the reinstatement of Mrs. Young to her place in
  the school system, demanding the immediate resignation of the
  superintendency by John D. Shoop and appointing a committee to urge
  him to withdraw; asserting that two of the remaining members of the
  school board should add their resignation to the four already in the
  hands of the mayor and asking Governor Dunne to call a special
  session of the legislature to enact a law making the membership in
  the school board an elective office and giving the voters the right
  to recall board members.

  Litigation resulted and Mr. Shoop refused to be a party to that and
  so resumed his former position as first assistant superintendent.
  The vote at the newly constituted board recorded thirteen for Mrs.
  Young, seven not voting and one absent.

  While Mrs. Young had accepted, before her reinstatement, the
  position of educational editor of the Chicago _Tribune_ and had
  published her salutatory, she intimated her willingness to be
  reinstated on condition that the board of education should be so
  reconstituted as adequately to support her administration. Although
  the mayor exacted pledges from his new appointees to assure Mrs.
  Young’s reëlection, yet the majority of the board is still so
  negative in its ability and so colorless in its attitude toward
  educational policies that at best Mrs. Young will find inadequate
  support for the continuance or development of her positive program.
  Nevertheless she promptly resumed her duties at the end of December,

  The opposition to Mrs. Young seems to be personal rather than
  political. Her stout stand for the prerogative of the superintendent
  to select textbooks and initiate the educational budget may have
  disappointed the hopes of some members of the board for commercial
  prestige in letting large contracts. Her cautiously planned
  instruction for parents and older scholars in sex hygiene, although
  authorized by a majority of the board, arouses stubborn antagonism,
  especially among the people in certain ecclesiastical circles.

  The most fundamental issue raised by the whole controversy is
  whether the city administration should be recognized to have any
  control over the school board and its policies. To safeguard the
  non-political management of the schools, some are appealing to the
  legislature to make the office of school trustee elective, while
  others are content to leave it within the appointive power of the
  mayor in their hope to make the office of mayor and alderman
  non-partisan by securing their nominations by petition and their
  election by a ballot from which the party circle and column shall be

The Women’s League for Good Government of Elmira, New York, in the
election of November, 1913, was very earnest in its desire to improve
the school conditions. In October, before the municipal election there
were school elections in three districts of the city. As the machine
politicians controlled the schools with other city departments, the
Women’s League nominated strong candidates in two of these districts in
opposition to the candidates of the machine and carried on a spirited
campaign in their behalf. It took the “whole force of the machine” to
defeat the candidates of the women and openly “fraudulent” methods were
used to win. Hundreds of women in open fight against the “gang,” and
almost winning, served as an object lesson to male voters to such an
extent that in the November election following this, the non-partisan
ticket was victorious.

The Committee of Fifteen on “School Efficiency” of the National Council
of Education, to “give heed and guidance to the growing demand for
investigating schools and testing the efficiency of school systems,” has
three women members: Katherine Blake of New York, Mrs. Young of Chicago,
and Adelaide S. Baylor of Indiana, deputy state superintendent.

A league is being organized by Denver women to secure the proper
recognition of women in the management of the schools. Forty women’s
organizations are interested. Three women are wanted on the board, a
woman as medical director of schools, and the repeal of a recent edict
against married women as teachers is demanded.

All through Connecticut in the autumn of 1914 an effort was made to get
women out to vote on school matters and in many towns the results were
unprecedented. Women not only voted in greater numbers but placed their
representatives on school boards in some of the towns. In Norwalk they
agitated for thorough reorganization, improvement and central control
for schools and secured a certain measure of reform.[1]

This contest of women for places of power and for more attention to
educational administration is now gaining momentum. Women serve on
school boards at present in at least thirty cities.

While an analysis of the school vote in Massachusetts as exercised by
women does not indicate any remarkable enthusiasm on the part of women
for that slight franchise, in numerous other places and in certain
special towns even in that state, school elections have been
participated in by women with zest and effect.

Discriminations between the sexes in the teaching profession still
extend in many directions. Politics plays an all too important part in
advancements; remuneration is in general unequal; and celibacy is
sometimes enforced upon women alone. Where women are allowed to retain
their positions upon marriage, the birth of a child is occasionally made
the excuse for dismissal. Such an explanation is not often frankly made,
but in New York, at least, it has been a very thinly veiled excuse, the
issue has been fought out on the real grounds and the women have won.

Of course it will not be claimed that women all agree as to the best
policy in these and kindred administration matters. Women members of
school boards do not always stand as a unit in their attitude toward
equal pay for equal work or toward the question of mother-teachers.
Women are not like-minded any more than men are like-minded, but they
are acquiring positive views very rapidly on all these matters. They are
not only holding decided opinions on questions of school administration,
but they are seeking more and more a voice in that administration on the

Without going further into the many phased history of the contest of
women for a voice in educational administration as well as mute service
under it, we may now consider the various lines of women’s interest in
school improvement and try to illustrate, by example at least, a portion
of the plans which they are supporting in various parts of the country,
and their methods of approach to the educational problem.

                        EDUCATIONAL EXPERIMENTS

The kindergarten idea appealed from the beginning to women and private
experimentation along that line was one of their most successful
endeavors. Boards of education have in instance after instance been
persuaded to incorporate into the public school system the plan of
kindergartens demonstrated to be practical and of social utility by
women in their private capacities. Annie Laws, in the _Kindergarten
Review_, states that she “can trace the social spirit of the
kindergartner as an important factor in stimulating, and in some cases,
even initiating, many of the social movements of today, among them
playgrounds, social centers, vacation schools, public libraries,
mothers’ clubs and school and home gardens.” The New York Kindergarten
Association of today, like many others, is composed of men and women but
largely supported by the latter, financially, as well as by active

Household Arts—cooking and sewing—were first made subjects of
instruction in the public schools about 1876, in Massachusetts, through
the work of Miss Emily Huntington.

From cooking and sewing have developed the whole domestic science
education of today. Women have been supporters of this movement from the
beginning and the Federation of Clubs early took an aggressive position
in favor of such addition to the school curricula.

“What you would have appear in the life of the people, that you must put
into the schools,” is the idea they had in mind. At first, in many
cases, women furnished the equipment and paid for its operation until
school boards municipalized this work.

Model housekeeping flats have been instituted by women in many cities to
supplement the more limited school equipment. Sometimes, as in New York,
the Board of Education itself helps to finance this practical
educational work. Mabel Kittredge, who started the housekeeping centers
in New York, thus explains their purpose: “It is agreed by all that our
immigrants must have better homes. This has been the splendid passionate
appeal of men and women for years, and fight after fight has been won at
Albany: fights for open plumbing, running water in each apartment,
decent sinks, more space; all these measures have been worked for and
many adopted, but while we rejoice that the Italian and the Russian and
the Pole are to realize better home equipment, we forget that these
dazed people have no knowledge as to the way to use the improvements.”

The School of Domestic Arts and Sciences in Chicago was established and
is managed by club women. In 1905 it had 1,100 students. A special
effort is made to bring out labor-saving devices, the underlying idea
being that the common-sense of the American homemaker will in time lift
this work to a professional basis through scientific investigation and
the contact of the theoretical worker and the practical housekeeper.
Young women are trained in the care of children and extension work is
done in homes of the people.

Women everywhere are largely instrumental in establishing courses and
departments of domestic science in educational institutions, from
vocational schools to the university. The Illinois legislature placed
household economics in the five normal schools of the state while all
the high schools of Ohio have it. Correspondence schools have also been

A School of Mothercraft has been established in New York for exact and
scientific knowledge about everything mothers need to know.

“Domestic Education,” too, is a new profession which has been developed
by women to carry into the homes, for immediate use, that training which
schools alone can give to the next generation.

Music, art, and dramatic taste as elements in school study and training,
too, have been created and fostered by women, and each has an
interesting history which lack of space forbids recounting here.

“A thorough textbook study of scientific temperance in public schools as
a preventative against intemperance” was the aim of the Women’s
Christian Temperance Union as early as 1879. Forty-three states
incorporated this instruction into the school system and twenty-four
textbooks on the subject circulate. If the development of scientific
knowledge and psychology leads to an appreciation of the inadequacy or
failure of these textbooks and former methods of teaching temperance,
the fact remains that temperance needs to be taught and improved
textbooks and methods will doubtless appear soon.

Today when the major interest in school instruction centers about
vocational training, it is interesting to go back over the history of
manual training in the schools. “Manual training as a new feature of
education was partly the result of an educational philosophy and partly
a protest against mere bookishness. The first appearance of constructive
work for clearly definite cultural purposes appears to have been in
connection with the classes of the workingmen’s school founded in 1878
by the Ethical Culture Society of New York. In 1880, the St. Louis
Manual Training School was founded in connection with the Washington
University, and in 1882, Mrs. Quincy Shaw of Boston privately supported
experimental classes in carpentry at the Dwight School. Two years later
the city of Boston also experimented, but it was four years more before
manual training was given a place in the curriculum. New York City began
instruction in drawing, sewing, cooking and woodwork that same year.”

In Massachusetts, during this decade, eighteen women’s clubs took the
promotion of vocational training for their special task and the
Federations of Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut urged
this upon their members. In some instances this conflict has to be
renewed every year in order to maintain that which has been secured with
so much labor and expense, owing to new and ignorant or penurious school
boards. Sometimes impatient women have raised the money themselves. The
Chicago Woman’s Club raised $40,000 for the Glenwood Industrial School
for Boys.

Although the charge of lack of virility is so often brought against
women school teachers, it is interesting to record that women have been
among the pioneers in the advocacy of the introduction of physical
training. About 1888, through the efforts of Mrs. Hemenway in Boston,
who had experimented with physical training among teachers, the School
Board arranged for her to try her system in the schools. Finding it a
useful addition to the curriculum, physical training was definitely
adopted the following year.

The Girls’ Branch of the Public Schools Athletic League in New York was
formed by women to insure sufficient and wholesome recreation for school
girls who need outlet for their energies quite as much as boys. While
the coöperation of the Board of Education, the Park Department, the Bath
Department and the Health Department has been obtained, far better
provision is made for athletics for girls by reason of the activity of
these women than would otherwise be secured. The closest coöperation
exists between the Board of Education and the Girls’ Branch. The
President of the Girls’ Branch is a member of the Board of Education, as
are several of its Board of Directors, and the Executive Secretary
(Elizabeth Burchenal) is Inspector of Athletics for the Board of

The idea behind athletics for girls and boys is not solely the
prevention of mischief and of worse things, important as that is. Those
interested in physical training desire that “life shall be lived in its
beauty, romance and splendor.” They thus approach the problem with
positive ideals.

Women have not blindly said: “Physical training shall be an important
element in instruction;” but they have stayed by the task of discovering
what kind of physical training is best suited to young children and
growing boys and girls and whether different training is necessary for
the sexes or a mere question of individual capacity and physique is

One of the women who is giving close attention to this is Dr. Jessie
Newkirk, member of the Board of Education of Kansas City, Kansas. Dr.
Newkirk has been making an extensive educational survey of girls’
schools in the country, particularly to discover whether there are
improved hygienic methods anywhere which have not been as yet used in
Kansas City. In a newspaper interview she said: “I am able to say that I
believe I found one practice a little better in the East than in the
West. In our part of the country we have made the physical work of the
girls too strenuous. If a girl is going to be an athlete, it is all
right for her to take up athletics after she has finished her high
school course, but it is a mistake to subject too rapidly growing girls
to too rigid physical culture.”

From physical training in the schools to allied forms of hygiene has
been an inevitable evolution. Thus we find women supporting and
organizing the instruction in sex hygiene in the schools. Dr. Jessie
Newkirk, whom we have just quoted, describes this type of instruction
and the opposition that it still meets, as follows: “As for our teaching
of sex hygiene, it is meeting considerable opposition. We have
physicians who deliver a certain number of personal lectures, women
physicians to the girls and men physicians to the boys. This we have
been trying only for the last year. As we have three physicians on our
board, you may imagine we are strongly in favor of it. The opposition of
course comes from the parents. I am inclined to think this opposition
springs from the objection to the name of ‘sex hygiene.’ If we were to
put these lectures into the regular course in physiology, I do not
believe the opposition would be anything like as strong. But the term
that has been employed has been made fun of and anathematized. We are
doing what we can in an educative way through our mothers’ clubs, so
that most of the opposition now, I think, comes from the fathers who
want to stand on ignorant ground, to keep their children innocent,
whereas every thinking person must admit that it is better to be wise
and pure than merely ignorant.”[2]

Many of the women still feel that, important as sex hygiene is, it must
first be taught in normal schools or to adults and that the effort to
introduce it into secondary schools is premature.

One who believes in a system of instruction in hygiene or physical
training or what-not is naturally interested in its results when applied
and therefore women have watched the effects of attempts at changed
curricula on the children themselves. Both the teachers and the
promoters of change have had a common interest in these results. It has
not taken long to discover that children represent unequal foundations
in their physical and mental make-ups for grasping instruction of any

First there are the little crippled children for whom hard physical
exercise is an impossibility and upon whose minds their physical
condition has undoubted reactions. Crippled children seem first to have
been given special educational opportunities in 1861 by the efforts of
Dr. Knight and his daughter in their own home in New York City. Their
home became a combination of school and hospital and furnished the
stimulus for the Hospital-School for the Ruptured and Crippled in that
city two years later. This was the first institution in America, it is
claimed, to employ teachers of crippled children.

The next task, and women assumed that eagerly, was that of seeking out
the little patients, and the Visiting Guild for Crippled Children of the
Ethical Culture School was started in 1892 to insure continuance of
instruction when the children were discharged from the hospital. Several
societies developed then to care for crippled children, to feed them,
supply them with orthopedic apparatus, and to carry them to and from
schools. In 1906, “the Board of Education joined forces with two private
guilds. The school equipment and teachers were supplied by the Board of
Education; the building, transportation, nourishment and general
physical care were looked after by the guilds. This attempt proved
successful, and a further advance was made a year later, in 1907, when
classes for crippled children were added to the regular public schools
whenever rooms were available. At present there are twenty-three classes
for crippled children in the public school system of the city of New
York.” Provision was made for crippled children in the Chicago public
schools in 1899, and in the schools of Philadelphia in 1903.

Blanche Van LeLuvan Browne, a crippled woman, told recently in the
_World’s Work_ how she began seven years ago with six dollars in her
pocket and finally built up a hospital school for cripples in Detroit.

Mental defects were as apparent to teachers as physical defects and here
and there sporadic attempts were made to classify and adapt instruction
to individual needs. The rigidity of the school system, however, the
large classes and need of economy led to no large effort on the part of
school authorities to deal with mental defectives until some way was
demonstrated to be practical.

                            SPECIAL SCHOOLS

In New York City mentally defective children were first given special
attention in the public schools in 1900 when a class was formed in old
Public School No. 1 under the Brooklyn Bridge, in charge of Elizabeth
Farrell, who, backed by Josephine Shaw Lowell, had long and earnestly
stressed the needs of these children and the way in which they held back
their companions. So helpful did the work done by Miss Farrell prove to
be that

  At the present time there are 144 classes caring for about 2,300
  children, with a constant increase in the number of applicants from
  the grades....

  In March, 1912, the State Charities Aid Association, through its
  special committee on provision for the feeble-minded, presented to
  the Committee on Elementary Schools of the Board of Education the
  following resolutions:

    “RESOLVED, That the Board of Education shall be urged: (1) To
    classify mentally all children of school age under its
    supervision or brought to its attention by the Permanent Census
    Board or other agencies. (2) To determine as far as possible, by
    scientific methods, the degree of mental deficiency of those
    reported as sub-normal. (3) To keep full and accurate records of
    all sub-normal children, including school work, home conditions
    and heredity data. (4) To send to the proper state authorities
    the names of such children as are deemed to be custodial

  These resolutions were adopted by the Elementary Schools Committee
  and sent to the board of superintendents, that they might determine
  what force would be needed to carry them into effect. After the
  resolutions had passed through their hands and through the Committee
  on By-laws, the Board of Education was asked to ratify the following
  positions: Two assistant inspectors of ungraded classes; two
  physicians on full time and regularly assigned to the department of
  ungraded classes; two social workers or visiting teachers.

  The Public Education Association took up the matter and obtained the
  coöperation of various organizations, among them the City Club, the
  Association of Neighborhood Workers, the Association of Collegiate
  Alumnæ, the Women’s Municipal League, and the local school boards,
  in the effort to induce the Board of Education to take favorable

  After much discussion, ending in a hearing before the Committee on
  Elementary Schools attended by many physicians, most of whom were
  entirely in sympathy with the proposed increase in the department,
  the resolutions ratifying these positions, as well as additional
  clerical assistance, were passed in October, 1912....[3]

This segregation of mental defectives in classes is continuing rapidly
and a normal course for the teachers of ungraded classes is now being
given in the Brooklyn Training School for Teachers.

Miss Farrell, who has been the inspiration of the effort that has been
made in the city of New York to deal with defective children,
continually contributes to the development of the movement in that
direction as her own work among this type expands. The Public Education
Association has also worked for greater attention to the problem on the
part of the authorities. In one of its recent bulletins, the situation
is thus presented:

“We have been told by doctors and psychologists, in terms that we cannot
dispute, that actual feeble-mindedness is incurable, that
feeble-mindedness is hereditary, and, therefore, that institutional care
and constant supervision are the great safeguards against the rapid and
appalling increase of feeble-mindedness. We must all agree that the end
to work toward is permanent custodial care for all the feeble-minded who
have reached the age of fourteen years. Before this age the schools can
do much to develop the incomplete individual and train him to a point of
distinct usefulness in his later institutional life, or, if he must
remain in the community, they will at least have endeavored to develop
his latent possibilities of usefulness to their fullest extent.”

To promote needed legislation, a bill has been drafted along the lines
of a memorandum prepared by the Advisory Council to the Department of
Ungraded Classes. Such women as Lillian Wald and Florence Kelley are
active on this Council. The bill calls for the appointment of a
commission by the governor to study the entire subject of the education
and care of mental defectives of all ages and conditions and recommend
suitable and comprehensive legislation.

Within the Public Education Association of New York City there is a
Committee on the Hygiene of School Children which engaged Elizabeth A.
Irwin to make a study of the situation, as far as defectives are
concerned, in the public schools and the schools subsidized by the city:
the parochial schools, the Children’s Aid Society schools, and the
schools managed by the American Female Guardian Society. In coöperation
with a member of the Children’s Aid Society who came upon her committee,
she made a careful study of the situation in schools of that type where
hitherto classification had been neglected. The breadth of view of these
women is demonstrated in a quotation from their report:

  While the first step seems to be the mental classification and
  recognition of mental defect, the next step is not, in the opinion
  of the committee, to put these children out of school pending their
  possible commitment to an institution. If the schools are able, in
  time, to separate all these children into classes for proper
  instruction and so rid the normal children of this unnecessary
  burden, they will also be taking the first step toward demanding
  institutional care for those unfit to be at large in the community.
  For they will then be showing, as has never been done before, the
  numbers that exist and the definite limits of their educability.
  Surely such a demonstration as this will be a stronger argument for
  institutional care than either leaving them hidden away, as they now
  are, among their normal brothers and sisters, or plucking them from
  school and turning them into the street or back into tenement rooms.
  Once they are excluded, their parents, ashamed to have a child too
  stupid to go to school, often regard them as little outcasts, only
  fit, if indeed they are robust enough for that, to be the family

By means of Binet tests, home visiting for family study, charity and
health records, etc., the investigation revealed enough
feeble-mindedness to cause recommendations for a thoroughgoing medical
and educational examination to be submitted to those in control of the
schools of the Children’s Aid Society. This is of importance to the
whole social fabric and its influence extends to all phases of public
enlightenment for it must reveal certain causes of poverty or change
sentimental ideas about the incapacity of the poor as well as lead to
better guardianship of the unfit to prevent the perpetuation of the
type. The work of Miss Irwin and her volunteer assistants, under the
auspices of the committee on special children, was largely responsible
for the reorganization of the department of ungraded classes in the
school system last year, we are told in a report.

The report on the feeble-minded in New York generally was made for the
Public Education Association by Dr. Anne Moore and published by the
State Charities Aid Association’s Special Committee on Provision for the
Feeble-Minded. This report includes a study of feeble-minded children in
the public schools.

In several cities, women have been active in the study and solution of
this problem. The Civic Club of Philadelphia started the first class for
backward delinquent children. The city saw its value and incorporated
the plan into its school system. Philadelphia now has seventy-five such

Dr. C. Annette Buckel, of Oakland, California, was a director in the
Mary R. Smith Trust for delinquent children from its beginning and took
a personal interest in each little girl in the cottage homes. So keen
was her concern for handicapped children that at her death she gave her
home that the proceeds might help in promoting special training for

Knowing that venereal diseases are responsible for a certain amount of
feeble-mindedness in children, women have backed the legislation in
several states for health certificates for marriage, for one thing. The
prohibition of the marriage of the unfit or feeble-minded adults is a
measure in which they are also interested as well as in proposals and
practices that deal with sterilization and compulsory commitment to

Colored children, although in general they are only slightly behind
white children, are now beginning to receive some of that special
attention which they so much need and deserve. In addition to the
investigation of mentally defective children, a study is being made by
Frances Blascoer of the living conditions of colored children in New
York City whose school progress has been retarded.

Blind children in New York City receive education from their earliest
years as a result of the agitation and legislative work carried on by
Mrs. Cynthia Westover Alden of the International Sunshine Society and
others. This last winter similar educational care of the blind children
of the state was secured through the efforts of Mrs. Alden and the
personal appeal to the legislators by a little blind girl, Rachel
Askenas. Hitherto children under eight years of age had not been
admitted to institutions for the blind. Now during those most receptive
years they will get the necessary foundation for impressions which play
so vital a part in the lives of normal children.

Special schools for foreigners have generally been started by women, we
feel safe in claiming, after a review of all the evidence at hand. The
Civic Club of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, composed of men and women,
inaugurated the work among foreigners in Pittsburgh and Allegheny, but
the women seem to have given most of the time necessary to make it a

Some months ago the judge of one of the courts in Savannah, Georgia,
started the movement for free night schools for those who have to work
by day. “Amid many discouragements, through months of wearying
opposition, he would be inspired to renewed effort in behalf of an
all-embracing education for the poor, by the knowledge of similar work
done on a small scale by a few women in a rector’s study. And every now
and then the helpful assurance would be given that the Woman’s Club was
anxious for the success of the movement. He only learned of this because
his wife was a member of the club.”[4] Night schools are regular
municipal institutions in the larger cities.

Truant and parental schools are incorporated also into the programs of
innumerable women’s clubs today and have been secured in some cities
already by the pressure of these organizations. The truant school in New
York is under a woman principal who is practically a juvenile court

So many organizations claim credit for the first vacation school that we
shall make no effort to locate it. We do know that the Social Science
Club of Newton, Massachusetts, a woman’s club, has maintained a vacation
school for seventeen years. In Chicago the Civic Federation opened one
vacation school in 1896, the first in Chicago. The next was opened by
the University Settlement. In 1898 the women’s clubs took up the work
and opened five schools. By 1906 they had eight. Chicago now has a
vacation school board with a club woman as president and another as
secretary; other members consist of club women and men. From 1898–1906
club women contributed nearly $25,000 annually to these schools, yet
“probably 15,000 children were turned away.” The Civic Club of
Philadelphia organized the first vacation school in that city and
Philadelphia now has many of them under public control.

Newark, New Jersey, was the first city to incorporate vacation schools
into its educational system, but in 1909 over sixty cities had some sort
of vacation work going on in their school buildings.

While women’s clubs have long been interested in the vacation school,
most credit for it is due to the hundreds of women teachers who have
given of their services to make it helpful to the child and to the
community. These teachers have often, and nearly always in the
beginning, given their services without compensation and where they have
been paid a salary they have generally taught for less money than they
would have received for regular winter classes.

With these summer school teachers, women librarians coöperate as do
visiting nurses and other social workers. The children are taken by
their teachers on municipal excursions, often too, to visit places of
public interest and gain some idea of municipal enterprise and

All-year-round schools are projects now in the air which are a natural
combination of regular and vacation schools.

School gardens, an important educational addition to school work, have
been largely fostered by women. In Seattle the Women’s Congress has
coöperated with the Seattle Garden Club in its program to include all
the grammar schools of the city in the garden work; the ultimate hope is
to persuade the city to take up this work in a systematic way. Harriet
Livermore of Yonkers, New York, says of gardening: “It is a happy
mingling of play and work, vacation and school, athletics and manual
training, pleasure and business, beauty and utility, head and hand,
freedom and responsibility; of corrective and preventive, constructive
and creative influences, and all in the great school of out-of-doors. It
is the corrective of the evils of the schoolroom. It is the preventive
of the perils of misspent leisure. It is constructive of character
building. It is creative of industrious, honest producers. In fact there
is no child’s nature to which it does not in some way make a natural and
powerful appeal.”

The Civic Club of Philadelphia seems to have started the first school
garden. That city now has over eight large school gardens, nineteen for
kindergarten scholars, and 5,000 separate gardens including window
boxes, etc. The women of Kalamazoo and Dubuque and Newark are among the
groups who inaugurated this work in their towns. The city took over the
school garden in Newark after it had been organized and operated for a
year by the women. Children’s school gardens in Cincinnati are the
result of work started in 1908 by the civic department of the Woman’s
Club. In three years’ time thirteen schools were promoting home gardens
by distributing seeds among the school children and helping to get
results, and there were eight school gardens. Two community gardens
crown the educational efforts of the women of Cincinnati.

Mrs. Parsons is president of the International Children’s School Farm
League and also director of the Children’s School Farms for the
Department of Parks of New York City. The methods used by her in the
work in the city parks are original with herself.

                          THE VISITING TEACHER

Knowing the vital connection between home life and the proper growth of
children in the schools, women interested in educational matters have,
within recent years, given great attention to visiting the homes of
pupils. The development of the function of the “visiting teacher” is the
result of a recognition that the school cannot thrive if it is
indifferent to the home surroundings of children.

The visiting teacher is akin to the school nurse, and yet distinct in
function. This new office is one of the latest creations in educational
experimentation, though not based on novel ideas of education, since the
sympathetic teacher has always sought to go beyond her pupils to outside
influences that retarded or encouraged development. The visiting teacher
comes as an aid to the regular teacher solely for educational purposes.
Like the school nurse she makes the child the pivotal point on which she
focuses her own experience and training. Like the nurse she may
recommend that a child be placed under the care of a psychologist, a
physician, a more expert teacher, a kindergartner, or that a social
agency be called upon to assist in improving the sanitary, health, or
financial features of the home environment. Her point of view, however,
is ultimately increased intelligence, whereas the school nurse’s primary
aim is health. While the functions of these two public servants are
distinct, therefore, there is very often need of perfect coöperation,
for health may underlie education in some cases and, in others, poverty
may underlie both health and education.

In her report on Visiting Teachers for the Public Education Association
of New York, Mary Flexner records the very high ratio of 45 per cent. of
the cases covered by visiting nurses for the year 1911–1912 as being
“cases” because home poverty retarded the development of the child. In
explanation of the term poverty, Miss Flexner says: “This term is
interpreted broadly to include all cases in which ‘economic pressure’
makes of the child an illegal wage-earner or a household drudge and
forces the family to adopt such a low standard of living that there is
neither proper space for the child to study nor proper food to give it
the stimulus to do so.” Miss Flexner further shows that 57 per cent. of
the cases showed lack of family appreciation of what are the needs of a
normal or an abnormal growing child. A summary of the action taken in
all the cases is a most vital part of the report.

The work of the visiting teacher began in New York City in 1906 when two
settlements managed by women, Hartley House and Greenwich House, placed
two visiting teachers in the field. Richmond Hill House and the College
Settlement, where women also are the headworkers, were at the same time
coöperating with this committee. The Public Education Association became
interested at once and added to the number of such teachers. Other
agencies soon began to join in the support of these teachers until, in
1913 after three years’ effort, two visiting teachers were placed upon
the city’s payroll for ungraded classes.

The Home and School Peace League of Philadelphia has aroused interest in
visiting teachers in that city until several are now supported privately
for this work and are used to a considerable extent by the Bureau of
Compulsory Education to carry out the preventive work in its charge.

In Boston also there are several privately supported social workers of
this character, chiefly working for women’s organizations like the
Women’s Educational Association, the Home and School Association, and
some settlements. Such visitors are connected with a particular school
or district and work there only. Worcester, Massachusetts, and
Rochester, New York, also carry on some of this work to help the
over-burdened teacher get better results in school.

Eleanor H. Johnson of the Public Education Association of New York,
writing in _The Survey_ on “Social Service and the Public Schools,”
demonstrates the usefulness of the visiting teacher if further evidence
were necessary. One of the visitors herself in her report to her Boston
supervisors says: “This new work of visiting the homes of the school
children is one of continual coöperation with principals, teachers,
truant officers, janitors and the children themselves, also with
hospitals, dispensaries, employment agencies, the Associated Charities,
or whatever the emergency may demand. Too often this sort of effort is
scattered and ineffective because of the lack of connection between
agencies. With a visitor working from the school as a starting-point and
not from any private organization, the connection is quickly made and
the influence of each helping agency is strengthened by the added
influence of every other. This has proved to be just as true in the case
of medical social service, particularly that of public hospitals and
institutions, and one might almost prophesy that some day the relief
work of philanthropic agencies will come only in response to calls from
the social service departments of church, hospital, public institution
and school, and that a great clearing house for these agencies, public
and private, will be the best way of organizing charity.”

There is great need of the extension of this work. The regular teachers
do not have the time and strength to do the visiting that is requisite
for successful teaching. Women understand women well enough to know
that. They understand teaching of little folks well enough to know that,
to keep fit for the classroom, the teacher must have her play time too;
and the whole visiting teacher movement which women are fostering is
based on their appreciation of the significance of the regular teacher
and their realization of the need of her 100 per cent. efficiency for
the sake of the child, for the sake of the teacher, for the sake of the
taxpayer even, and for the sake of the future.

                          VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE

Not quite as comprehensive in her function as the visiting teacher, but
extremely valuable, is the teacher-counselor or vocational guidance
visitor. To be able to advise a child intelligently about a preparation
for a later vocation, the advisor must know something at least of the
family history of the child. Visitors therefore are engaged by those
organizations interested primarily in vocational guidance. Miss Marshal,
director of the Boston Trades School for Girls and agent of the
Industrial Commission, in a paper read before the National Society for
Industrial Education, set forth the idea of community responsibility for
letting boys and girls drift into low-paid, mechanical and often
degrading or health-endangering work. She said: “What happens to girls
who must earn their living when they go out from the grammar schools
untrained for any trade? They inevitably drift into low-paid,
mechanical, wearing, or even into dangerous work as packers in
factories, as errand girls in stores, with little chance of rising and
less chance of real life. The trade-school training for girls—definite
preparation for a trade—rapidly increases a girl’s wages and makes her
at once self-supporting and self-respecting.”

There are over one hundred vocational counselors in the public schools
of Boston whose duty it is to guide the child while in school, after
leaving school, and to follow-up the child to ascertain what becomes of
him after he goes to work.

Important work for vocational guidance and education has been done in
Boston by the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union and by the
Women’s Municipal League. The latter supervised the investigations made
by college students into employments for boys and girls in different
districts in Boston as a preparation for the dissemination of knowledge
of educational possibilities in occupations. It also prepared a complete
city directory of vocational schools and classes which is of great value
to teachers, parents, vocational counselors, employers, business
directors, social workers, and to organizations for vocational guidance.
This association has moreover financed research workers like Mr.
McCracken who investigated for it all commercial schools maintained for
profit in Boston.

The Placement Bureau of the Boston Women’s Municipal League developed
into a city-wide employment bureau extending to all the schools of
Boston. This League and the Girls’ Trade Education League, both
interested in, and experimenting with, vocational guidance, realized
that there should be a close connection between a Placement Bureau and
the Employment-Certificate Department, between the Placement Bureau and
the Health Examining Department, and the Placement Bureau and the
Department of Vocational Guidance and Counseling recently established in
the school system. “The Girls’ Trade Education League and the Women’s
Municipal League saw therefore that a Central Placement Bureau was the
inevitable next step, that the value of what we had already done would
be lost unless we carried our work to this further stage and were able
to show to School Committee and employers alike, to teachers and
parents, to the boys and girls, the real worth to the city of vocational
advice, placement, and follow-up. We saw this for the reasons I have
already given and also for other reasons, namely: information in regard
to industries and individual firms ought to be pooled and centrally
filed; for the children also, as well as the employers and the school
authorities, the advantages of a general clearing house are large.”[5]
The women therefore supported the Boston Placement Bureau as a central
board and its directors include representatives of the League and the
Girls’ Trade Education League.

The women went into this work originally because they felt they had a
distinct contribution to make in follow-up work. That contribution they
have carried into the Central Bureau, and its follow-up work is
strengthened through the use of evening recreational centers to which
children are required to report and where they can be guided in other
ways than in the matter of labor only and so correlate the recreation of
the evening with the work of the day.

A connection is also being worked out between the Placement Bureau and
the evening schools.

The money for the Placement Bureau had to be raised last year by the
Girls’ Trade Education League, the Women’s Municipal League and the
employers. “For next year we do not speak,” writes the League, “for some
of us hope that that magic date—1915—is going to mean for the Boston
Placement Bureau a complete official connection with the school,
supported in part by the Boston School Committee.”

The Vocation Bureau of Boston was the first to be established, to our
knowledge, and the men and women who together founded it were moved by
the double conviction that children required a longer period in school
and the employment of that period in vocational education. At the Civic
Service House in the North End of Boston in 1907 a meeting was called to
place this work on its feet and in two years’ time a strong organization
had been built up with the Boston school committee interested and
anxious for coöperation. Very soon the superintendent of schools, the
school board and the Vocation Bureau were working together. Meyer
Bloomfield was made director of this work and his very able assistants
were, many of them, women. Laura F. Wentworth is secretary of the
Vocational Information Department of the Boston Public Schools and
Eleanor Colleton has done valuable work in this direction among the
Italian and other children in the North End of Boston.

In the autumn of 1906 the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union of
Boston established three “Trade School Shops” to supplement the work of
the Boston Trade School for Girls. The object of these shops, according
to May Ayres, who recently described them in the _Boston Common_, is “to
give the girls who have finished their course in the Trade School an
extra year of training in order to fit them more fully for the work of
the business world. They are paid for what they do and each girl is
carefully watched and guided to the end that her individual
possibilities may be developed. Special emphasis is laid on the relation
of employer to employee, the problems which the employer has to face are
explained, and the young workers are given some insight into the general
theory of business. Here also is an opportunity for the woman who wishes
to become a teacher of industrial branches to acquire a practical
knowledge of her subject, through an arrangement with Simmons College.

“A school of salesmanship was next brought about and the leading stores
set the stamp of their approval upon the work of the Union. Experience
has shown that such training as the girls receive at this school makes
them worth much more to the stores which employ them. This idea spread
quickly throughout the country and a demand arose for women trained in
the art of salesmanship to conduct schools similar to that in Boston.
For this reason there has recently been established in connection with
Simmons College, a normal course for the training of teachers in this
work. Simmons gives the theoretical training; the Salesmanship School
the actual experience. For the next few years this will be distinctly
pioneer work and women who have been graduated from this course should
be sure to obtain interesting and lucrative employment.”

Miss Diana Herschler taught salesmanship in Boston for years. Then the
Boston Board of Education introduced the teaching of salesmanship for
girls into the public schools. Miss Herschler traveled from coast to
coast teaching and then came to New York where she taught in stores and
soon organized classes in salesmanship in the evening high schools for
women. In New York, a class has been opened in one of the department
stores at the instigation of women, and is taught by a teacher supplied
by the Board of Education. A Department Store Education Association is
now a national project which women are promoting.

The Research Department of the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union
has made a series of studies of trades and occupations to afford a
background of information for those interested in vocational education
and guidance. Two books on Vocations for the Trained Woman have already
been published. “Millinery as a Trade for Women” has also been
announced. The study for last year on “Office Service as an Occupation
for Women” was published by the Boston School Committee during 1914. Two
studies, “Dressmaking as a Trade for Women,” and “Women in the
Manufacture of Boots and Shoes,” were advertised by the _United States
Bureau of Labor Statistics_ for the summer of 1914.

In Connecticut the Child Labor Committee and the Consumers’ League made
possible a vocational counselor in schools and planned his work from a
previous study of vocational guidance in other countries. In New York
City, Mrs. Henry Ollesheimer and Miss Virginia Potter were leaders in
the establishment of the Manhattan Trade School for Girls. In 1910 the
Board of Education assumed control of the school. The previous year,
however, the Board of Education had established a vocational school for
boys. In that city the Federation of Women’s Clubs repeatedly urged the
Board of Education to appoint a committee on Vocational Schools, and
finally the committee was established with Mrs. Samuel Kramer as

A vocational guidance bureau is to be established in Minneapolis,
Minnesota. A committee of fifteen from women’s clubs and other
associations are to act as advisors to the Board of Education to help
young people to select their life occupation on leaving school. Meyer
Bloomfield, of the Boston bureau, gave a series of lectures in
Minneapolis recently on vocational guidance and crystallized a strong
sentiment already existing in favor of such work.

                          VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

One of the most constructive pieces of work recently done on vocational
education was the survey of the problem made by Alice Barrows Fernandez
under the auspices of the Public Education Association of New York. The
portion of the report of this Survey, presented to the subcommittee on
vocational guidance of the Committee on High Schools and Training
Schools of the Board of Education and submitted at the public hearing of
the Board of Estimate and Apportionment of New York City, June 16, 1914,
shows with what clear analysis of social conditions and forces the
chairman and her committee have studied this question.

The report emphasizes the need of pre-occupational education for
children under sixteen who are to be wage-earners. The incompatibility
between the demands of industry and the education of the child is
recognized and is met by the proposal to train the child in underlying
principles in various processes of work which will enable it to adapt
itself to changes in industry and make it later continually intelligent.
It proposes to study the metal industry first, which comprises forty-one
different branches, and to make an experiment in pre-occupational
training in some schools on the basis of this study. It proposes to do
this under the Board of Education, and if it works, let it lead to
continuation work for employed children.

The question now being discussed is whether this committee of the
Vocational Education Survey shall go on with their work under the
authority of the Board of Education or whether it must remain a private
enterprise. Mayor Mitchel, who made a trip in 1914 through the West to
study vocational training, was greatly interested in the Survey. The
suggestion that the Board of Education take over the work of the Survey
was made by Dr. Ira S. Wile, a member of that board who is also a member
of the Survey.[6] The _New York Evening Post_ in reporting this
discussion said: “This was after the Board had conducted a year’s
general survey of the field of vocational education. In that time the
members came to the conclusion that the subject was too comprehensive to
admit of an adequate knowledge being gained by a general investigation.
Facts, details, painstaking study of varied industries were needed, and
this is what the Vocational Education Survey has been gathering in the
year and a half of its existence. Mrs. Fernandez, the prime mover in
this work, is most practical in her suggestions.”

Women are also actively connected with the National Society for the
Promotion of Industrial Education. Under Miss Cleo Murtland, assistant
secretary of the Society, a study of the dress and waist industry was
made by the New York committee of the Society, and that study together
with a study of the cloak, suit and skirt industry, made under the
direction of Charles Winslow of the United States Department of Labor,
have resulted in a practical program for factory schools which has been
approved both by the unions and the manufacturers.

An illustration of the necessity of the woman’s point of view being
brought into the discussion and organization of vocational training and
guidance is afforded by the criticism made by Alice Barrows Fernandez,
of the Vocational Education Survey, in reviewing the report of Dr.
Schneider, of the School Inquiry, on “Trade Schools.”

  It is unfortunate that Dr. Schneider’s report, which is so valuable
  in regard to boys’ vocational training, is no different from other
  reports on the subject of training for girls. One and all devote
  themselves to what is to be done for boys, and then in an aside
  mention the girls. Out of every four persons at work in this city
  one is a woman, and out of every four women here one is earning her
  livelihood. You can’t dismiss 400,000 women in a parenthesis. This
  will happen as long as there are not more women on the Board of
  Education, more women who are workers engaged in gainful employment.

  Dr. Schneider says in his report that the New York trade schools for
  girls should extend their courses so as to give the girls a chance
  to enter occupations which are not merely humdrum and mechanical,
  but he does not suggest specifically what trades they should enter.
  At such schools now the traditional women’s trades are being taught:
  sewing and millinery, fancy box making, and machine operating. Boys’
  trade schools teach the building trades. Women, as shown by the
  census in New York City, actually work in these trades. There are
  women carpenters, bricklayers, painters, glaziers, paper hangers,
  plasterers, and plumbers. These are the energizing trades, as Dr.
  Schneider himself would call them, and why should girls be fitted
  only for the enervating trades as they are today, especially as
  these trades are already overcrowded?

  Why should girls not be taught the principles of machinery? Such
  knowledge should be useful to them in energizing as in enervating
  occupations. It is only a matter of getting used to the idea. Women
  who own automobiles know how to run and repair them. Why shouldn’t a
  girl who works at a machine have a knowledge of mechanics which will
  enable her to handle the machine better? Women swing golf clubs,
  hockey sticks, and tennis rackets. Why shouldn’t girls swing

  Dr. Schneider brings in the usual double standard idea of fitting
  the boys for the world and the girls for the home. He says girls’
  trade education must be modified by training for the home. He adds
  that this is true because most factory girls stop work at the end of
  seven years. So far as I know, there are no facts to support that
  statement. It is most important to break down this general
  impression that women leave work at the end of seven years. As a
  matter of fact, 50 per cent. of the mothers of boy and girl workers
  in homes I have investigated still work, although they are no longer
  single. Since women work after marriage, it is essential that they
  be given as sound and thorough and concentrated industrial training
  as boys.

  Girls, like boys, should be trained to know the joy of doing a piece
  of work well. It would be interesting to see what effect that would
  have on their wages. Women do not earn as high wages as men. The
  mothers of the children investigated receive only one-half to
  two-thirds the wages of the fathers. If girls were trained to find
  the same joy in work that boys do they would be better workers when
  they returned to work after marriage, and they would respect their
  work enough to demand at least as high wages as men do for the same

  Dr. Schneider’s analysis of why boys and girls leave school typifies
  the usual vague treatment of the girls’ problem as compared with the
  boys’. Boys leave, he says, because “they want to do things, to be
  out-of-doors, to build, to earn money, to assert partial
  independence; they hate books, they crave action.” He says girls
  leave “because their desire for wider social activity is dominant,
  because they want to break away from home ties, because their
  instinct for personal adornment is strong, and because they want to
  earn money to satisfy it.” What is a desire for wider social
  activity? That is vague compared with the statement that boys leave
  because they want to do things, and yet they mean the same thing.
  When these two series of reasons are boiled down they come to the
  same thing for both boys and girls—a desire for activity and for

  Again he seems inconsistent in suggesting that girls should learn
  trades intensively earlier than boys in order that they may get
  higher wages at an earlier age. If early specialization is bad for
  the boys it is even worse for the girls, because at the present time
  industry tends to make them machines. Early specialization will
  increase that tendency and thereby reduce rather than advance their
  wages. Contrary to the usual point of view, a broad and general
  industrial training is perhaps more important for those in the
  automatic trades than in any others, and therefore it is of special
  importance for girls.[7]

                            SCHOOL BUILDINGS

While thus interesting themselves in educational administration and the
content of school curricula, women have not neglected the physical
aspects of school buildings. The movement for sanitary school buildings
in which women have sometimes led, instigated officials to lead, helped
personally, or inspired janitors to act, has been followed up by the
decoration of the buildings. The beneficial effect of artistic interiors
on children, who spend so large a proportion of their waking hours in
school buildings, is incalculable. Their physical comfort and their
moral and artistic natures are advanced in a measure difficult to

Organized first for self-culture of a literary and artistic character,
the expansive nature of club women has expressed itself in the extension
of that acquired culture to the children in the schools. Volumes could
be written if an attempt were made to record the stories of the efforts
made by women to beautify schools and equip them with books for
supplementary reading. That story is one of the best known of all and,
for that reason, needs less attention at this place, not because it has
been of little importance but because almost every hamlet and town has
felt the influence of women in that direction. According to their
incomes and their taste, they have sought to introduce as much beauty
and harmony and as much literary and scientific appreciation as

Believing that the school yard should receive at least as much care as
the town cemetery, women have planted trees, seeds, and bulbs. For the
interior of the school building, they have at times furnished an
inexpensive photographic reproduction for a school wall and a piece of
statuary, or expensive rugs and pictures, or a piano, and many times
they have dominated the whole scheme of inside decoration and even the
architecture itself.

Apparently women can build as well as suggest how schoolhouses should be
built. Miss Alice M. Durkin of New York, who was recently given the
contract to build Public School No. 39 in the Bronx, wonders why more
women do not go into this work. She built a public school in Jersey City
and another in Brooklyn. She employs between 600 and 700 men. In a
competitive contest for the $250,000 extension to the Metropolitan
Museum in Central Park, New York, Miss Durkin came out second and she
was third in the competition for the New York Public Library.

That women have helped to secure better buildings and equipment,
abundant testimony, not only from their own reports but from public men,
shows. For a single example, under the leadership of Mrs. B. B. Mumford
of Richmond, Virginia, former president of the Richmond Education
Association, a magnificent high school building costing $500,000 was
secured. In innumerable letters comes the modest word that “we worked
hard until we got a high school in our town” or “we secured a much
needed addition to the school building” or “we are trying to raise the
money for a new building.” In one instance a high school was only made
possible by the offer of the women to buy the furniture and other needed
equipment if the town would erect the building.

In order to maintain high standards of physical equipment in their
schools club women have often acted as school inspectors. Mrs. George
Steinmetz of Pekin, Illinois, is one of these and of her election she
writes: “At our last election for school inspectors two club women were
nominated on an independent ticket. I was elected, and I am the first
woman in our town to fill that position, but I hope others will be
elected next year. The ticket brought out a large vote, and resulted in
a majority vote for the building of a new high school and a new grade
school and the remodeling of ten others.”[8]

                        EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

In addition to their service along many special lines of educational
development, women are actively interested in the various societies
which concern themselves with the advancement of education.

Schools have been for a long time the object of civic interest among
women partly because of their intimate family relation through little
children and partly because of the fact that women teachers formed an
easy bond for coöperation. Today there exists an incredible number of
organizations whose main purpose is coöperation with the schools in one
way or another. A study of these organizations and their aims justifies
the belief that many of the very best features of the present
educational system owe their existence to private suggestion and
assistance and experimentation.

Miss Elsa Denison in a book called “Helping School Children” has studied
the range of private enterprise in education and throws an interesting
light on the part played by women in that form of social service.

Settlements have demonstrated the need of: recreation; child welfare;
instruction of mothers in the physical basis of well-being and morals;
possible coöperation of home and school; and the need of industrial
training. Miss Denison in the study to which we have referred, by means
of the following table, illustrates the tendency toward the absorption
of these settlement features by the school:

   SETTLEMENT                            SCHOOL

 Study Rooms     Study-recreation-rooms

 Clubs           Clubs

 Entertainments  Social Center Parties

 Kindergartens   Public Kindergartens

 Games           Public School Athletic League

 Relief          School Association

 Clinics         Inspection Medical

 Visiting Nurses School

 Music Gardens   Music Gardens

 Playgrounds     Playgrounds

 Home Visitors   Visiting Teachers and Truant Officers, Vocational and
                   High Schools, Open-air Classes, Popular Lectures,
                   Mothers’ Clubs, Libraries, Defective and Catch-up

This indicates that the school has already in the most progressive
cities become one huge settlement with a thoroughly democratic basis in
place of a philanthropic foundation.

The public education associations in our leading cities are among the
livest of civic organizations. In all these associations, women
participate on equal terms with men, where they do not direct the aims
and activities themselves. More than one such association, like that of
Worcester, Massachusetts, owes its origin directly to the work and
agitation of women.

The Public Education Association of the City of New York is an outgrowth
of the Committee on Schools of the Council of Confederated Good
Governments, a women’s civic organization. Women are very active on the
committees of the Association and Mrs. Miriam Sutro Price is chairman of
the Executive Committee. This organization has grown from a small
committee of women interested in improving the public schools to an
organization of over 850 capable members, men and women, under the
direction of two trained educators, who supervise a regular staff of
trained workers, besides experts employed from time to time and
volunteer workers organized in standing committees. Its programs have
included bills affecting the educational chapter of the city charter,
compulsory education enforcement, truancy and child labor laws,
permanent census laws, oversight of the school budget, and the
initiation, extension or improvement of many new types of schools for
special classes, and the extension of the use of library and school

The Public Education Association of Worcester, Massachusetts, developed
from the Committee on Public Schools of the Woman’s Club. Mrs. Eliza
Draper Robinson was the energetic organizer of this influential

In Philadelphia we have a Public Education Association whose history,
“since its organization, is the history of school progress in
Philadelphia. To date, it has had a busy career of over thirty years,
covering the conspicuously constructive period in the development of
city school administration in all the United States and particularly in

Providence, Rhode Island, has, in its Public Education Association, Mrs.
Carl Barus as secretary, and two of the five members of its executive
committee are women: Dean Lida Shaw King and Mrs. Albert D. Mead. This
association is striving to bring the educational system of Providence up
to the standards set by the majority of other cities in the country. One
of its most valuable publications is entitled “Should Providence Have a
Small School Commission?” It represents a study of school administration
in other cities corresponding reasonably in size with Providence.

The Providence Public Education Association has also been greatly
interested in industrial education, among other things, and in pushing
through a child labor bill. It had written into the measure the
requirement “that every child under sixteen years of age must be able to
read and write simple sentences in English before it can receive a
working certificate” which will undoubtedly increase the regularity and
prolong the school attendance of children as well as increase the demand
for schoolhouses in mill towns if it is enforced. The Association has
worked for medical inspection in the schools, open-air classes, public
lectures in the schools at night and proper provision for assembly rooms
in which to hold them, visiting teachers, better sanitation of
schoolhouses, fire drills, and parents’ education. Many of the
investigations and reform measures in Providence undertaken by this
Association are directly traceable to its women members.

Among the volunteer associations whose aim is the better education of
children, the American Institute of Child Life holds a worthy place. Dr.
Wm. B. Forbush is president but the officers and active workers include
both men and women. Mrs. M. A. Gardiner of Philadelphia and Miss Edna
Speck of Indianapolis are the field secretaries of the Institute and
they go from city to city seeking to interest mothers in the study of
their own children.

The Institute grew out of a conference held at the White House during
the administration of President Roosevelt during which it was argued
that most mothers are too busy with their home tasks to search in books
on child study and in other sources for just the right material to
supply their children’s mental and moral requirements. Hence the need of
an association to assist them.

The object of the Institute is thus explained by Mrs. Gardiner: “Our
Institute of Child Life occupies a unique place among educational
organizations. Its purpose is to collect from the most authentic sources
the best that is known about children and to put such knowledge within
easy reach of busy parents and teachers. The Institute provides expert
help in children’s needs, amusements and varied interests.”

Believing that “women can best overcome the superstitions of women and
men about their children which would prevent their standing for reforms
and proper education,” the Federation for Child Study was recently
formed in New York City with Mrs. Howard S. Gans as president. The board
of managers, composed entirely of women, is divided into the following
committees: reference and bibliography, ways and means, comic
supplements, children’s literature, work and play for children, schools,
and legislative. Conferences are held regularly by the Federation on
matters affecting the nurture and education of children. Well-known
educators often address the conference and the women discuss the issues
raised by such lectures.

Efforts to unify the educational work of the women of each state are
being made by the Department of School Patrons of the National
Educational Association. Members in each state are suggested as follows:
one member Association of Collegiate Alumnæ; one member General
Federation of Clubs; one member Council of Jewish Women; one member
National Congress of Mothers; one member Southern Association of College
Women; and one member at large.

The union of club and college women in Connecticut is called the Woman’s
Council of Education, and affiliated therewith are the W. C. T. U.; the
Congress of Mothers; Holyoke Association; and Teachers’ League. Each
society is assigned a definite line of special study; then all work
together for laws and for better prepared and paid teachers.


No survey of women’s work for education would be complete without some
mention of their part in promoting the circulation of good books. The
educational work which women have done through libraries is both great
and obvious, although the public that profits by them may not fully
realize the number of traveling libraries and stationary and circulating
libraries that women have directly established.

The first large concerted movement on the part of the club women was for
the extension of education through books and scarcely a woman’s club in
the country fails to report an initial activity in that direction. In
little log cabins on the frontiers as well as in splendid buildings in
the cities books have been housed and distributed among readers by the
earnest efforts of women whose culture early ceased to be individual;
that is, they were anxious to pass on to the multitudes such culture as
they themselves possessed.

With their interest in reading and encouraging the reading habit in
others, women have helped to develop a wonderful social service for the
library. As truly as any other group of social workers, librarians are
educators and physicians of mind and body. While too many of them still
are too circumscribed in their thinking and merely reflexes of their
clerical training, there is a rapidly increasing number of library
workers everywhere who realize the effect of reading on social thinking
and sympathies as well as on individual ambitions, and are seeking to
stimulate social forces by encouraging that reading which will increase
the interest in the common good. By means of bulletins, exhibits,
personal suggestions, public lectures, and in many other ways, the
library is developing into a people’s school, beginning with early
childhood and continuing throughout life.

The library can no longer be regarded as a minor educational
institution. Indeed it is closely affiliated in many cities with the
schools: the teacher and the librarian coöperating definitely all the
time. In some cases the library and school are housed together and this
plan is warmly sanctioned by many educators. At any rate the field is
growing so rapidly in connection with the furnishing of reading matter
for the public that the library and the school must stand as a unit in
educational consideration.

Women have kept pace with this library development and have extended the
field appreciably. There is no way of measuring statistically how far
initiative has been due to them, but anyone familiar with the
predominance of women on library forces and governing bodies cannot fail
to recognize their great influence in the library movement.

It would be impossible to enumerate all the reading rooms with library
equipment that women have established. In settlements, Y. W. C. A.’s,
homes for working girls, rescue homes, rural centers, villages,
churches, institutions, and wherever there is the slightest chance,
women have slipped in the books and the magazines. Their interest has
usually been altruistic but now and then it has been augmented by
hobbies of health, science, literature, poetry, art, religion, industry,
and politics, one often being stimulated by observation of the advance
movement of another, the work thus ending in many cases in the creation
of a well-balanced assortment of books.

It is a significant fact at the present time that more girls than boys
are graduating from our high schools. Women, it seems, are both giving
and getting the education.

                               CHAPTER II
                             PUBLIC HEALTH

“The public health is the foundation on which reposes the happiness of
the people and the power of a country. The care of the public health is
the first duty of a statesman.” Such was Lord Beaconsfield’s standard of
public values, and it is that of a veritable army of women health
workers in the United States, who not only share his vision but are
rapidly learning the processes by which the foundation of general
happiness and power may be firmly established on American soil.

It has been through conferences, conventions and publications that women
have gained an appreciation of the manifold activities that must be
included in any comprehensive public health program, but they have been
led up to the point of effective participation in health conferences
through their own practical experiences.

In the first place, the self-preservative interest or the mere instinct
for a proper environment has forced women into public health activities;
in the second place, they have done their health work well considering
their own indirect influences, the opposition of interests, and popular
indifference; in the third place, they have sought to avoid duplication
of effort by establishing clearing houses for information and guidance
for themselves and for the public; in the fourth place, they have moved
step by step into the municipal government itself, pushing in their
activities through demonstrations of their value to the community and
often going with their creations into municipal office; and lastly and
most important of all, as the climax of their wisdom and endeavor, they
now begin to realize that the government itself in towns and cities
should absorb most of their activities, coördinate them and be itself
the agent for public health for the sake of greater economy of time,
money, effort and efficiency, and also for the sake of eliminating all
flavor of charity. In brief, it may be claimed that women have broadened
into the democratic and governmental point of view toward health
problems at the same time that they have been perfecting the machinery
by which democracy may lay its foundation of health, happiness and power
in governmental functions.

This does not mean that even in fundamental matters of physical
well-being the accomplishment of the means to that end have been simple
in any case. There has had to be a strong organization of the women in a
given community who were interested in its health problems. These women
have had to study the most intricate mechanical problems like municipal
engineering. They have had to understand city taxation and budget
making. They have had to educate those less interested to something
approaching their own enthusiasm. Moreover they have had to work for the
most part without political influence, which has meant that they have
had to overcome the reluctance of public officials to take women
seriously; they have had to understand and combat the political
influence of contractors and business men of all kinds; they have had to
enter political contests in order to place in office the kind of
officials who had the wider vision; and they have had to watch without
ceasing those very officials whom they have helped to elect to see that
they carried out their campaign pledges. Sometimes it has happened that
women have campaigned for a non-partisan ticket pledged to put through
certain municipal health reforms and the ticket has been defeated at the
polls. Under such circumstances they have had to renew their courage,
maintain their organization, raise more funds and keep up the fight.
Women who have experienced these political reverses have often become
ardent suffragists, because they realized that the direct way to work
for sanitary municipal housekeeping is through elected officials, and,
having been unable to influence the votes of men, they have acquired the
desire and determination to cast the necessary ballots themselves.

All these educational methods which women have used for their own
development and for the instruction of voters, the political
machinations with which they have had to deal, the necessity they have
been under of “nagging” without mercy until they achieved their desired
results, the sympathy and encouragement on the part of men, the
coöperation of progressive officials, their ways of raising money, their
means of perfecting organization, and their publicity enterprises will
be illustrated in the pages that follow. Some of their failures to
obtain the municipalization of certain proposals will also be recorded.

In spite of all the handicaps under which they have had to labor, women
have steadily forged ahead in medical knowledge and skill. It was the
munificent gift of a woman to Johns Hopkins on the condition that it
admit women as medical students that forced open the doors of that
institution to them. Now Dr. Louise Pearce of that university has been
appointed assistant to Dr. Simon Flexner at the Rockefeller Institute
for Medical Research in New York. Women moreover hold high executive
positions in the leading medical societies of the country today. Only
within the last few years, however, have women been accepted anywhere as
internes in hospitals and yet some municipalities, Jersey City for
instance, have women physicians on the staffs of their city hospitals.
Failing to get experience in other hospitals as internes, women have
often established their own and they serve as superintendents, internes,
consulting physicians in many such institutions.

Large contributions have been made by women for the founding of various
types of hospitals, both private and public. In instance after instance,
the first hospital to make its appearance in a town represents the hard
work of the women of that town in the raising of money or in the
education of public opinion to demand it.

Free dental clinics, dispensaries and women’s clinics for the
dissemination of knowledge of sex hygiene are some of the more recent
results of women’s interest and effort. The first hospital ambulance in
Chicago was bought by a woman’s club. A long list could be given of the
efforts of women to establish adequate public provision for the sick.

In 1910 it was reported at the Biennial of Women’s Clubs that 546
individual clubs had aided in the establishment of camps, sanatoria,
tuberculosis clinics and hospitals; 452 had conducted open-air meetings
for the improvement of health conditions; and 246 had placed wall cards
in public places to convey information about public health ordinances.

The sale of Red Cross Christmas seals alone has produced marvelous
results in increased hospital provision, the work of tuberculosis
clinics, open-air schools, camps and sanatoria. Hundreds of women in
various states act as agents for the sale of these stamps and they sit
at their little tables in shops, post-offices and elsewhere day after
day during Christmas week, raising money for health work. Emily Bissell
of Delaware is responsible for the recent use of these stamps. As
president of the Anti-Tuberculosis Society of Delaware, she writes: “All
our work on tuberculosis has been done by women and men working
together, and while the women’s clubs have done their part, the men, in
their benefit societies, labor unions, Catholic and Jewish associations,
etc., have all had their part, and it will be difficult to disentangle
their activities from ours. All this is as it should be, but it makes
data more difficult when restricted to either sex.”

Another example of effective and direct tuberculosis work is afforded by
the Association of Tuberculosis Clinics of New York City which includes
women on its board of directors and has, for its executive secretary,
Miss F. Elizabeth Crowell. The importance of an association like this
lies in its ideals for prevention and in its stimulation to the
individual clinics composing its membership to increase their work among
children and their family care. It is of comparatively little use to
treat a single adult in a family and neglect the other members. Children
may inherit the tendency to the disease or be infected before the adult
member appears for treatment or the family’s mode of living may create
the same disease for all its members. It is therefore very direct and
effective work to make family care the basis of prevention. Partly as a
result of the conferences held by this Association, “the Department of
Health has enlarged and strengthened its clinical work, has reorganized
its system of registration and has increased both the quantity and
quality of its nursing service.”

In various ways, women have sought to control the spread of this dread
disease. They did much to abolish the common drinking cup and have
worked for the establishment of sanitary drinking fountains in public
squares and sanitary faucets in public schools and public buildings.
They have agitated against spitting in public places, and have seen
their agitations rewarded with anti-spitting ordinances; and they have
organized junior and other leagues to help with their enforcement. They
have pressed upon the attention of the authorities the necessity for
medical inspection in the schools and for open-air schools; and Mrs.
Vanderbilt of New York has built some splendid open-air homes for
tuberculous patients, which have served as models for later attempts to
deal with the housing requirements for the permanent cure of

Testimonials to the initiation and pressure by women along these lines,
all of which are of the utmost importance in checking the ravages of
tuberculosis, come from all quarters.

The Buffalo Federation of Clubs, the organized women of Minneapolis, the
Women’s Municipal League of Boston, and the Civic Club of Allegheny
County, Pennsylvania, are among the groups that have insisted upon
open-air schools for children either infected with the germs of
tuberculosis or so anæmic that they might readily fall a prey to

Mrs. Ella Flagg Young, superintendent of schools in Chicago, brought the
open-air idea into the ordinary schools by seeing that properly devised
window boards were installed so that school children might regularly
study with open windows. This makes possible the wide extension of
preventive health work, and her scheme is being extended to other

                         OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES

In addition to the communicable diseases there are occupational diseases
some of which, like tuberculosis, are communicable, while others are

Women were behind the agitation for the abolition of poisonous
matches—matches which produced sulphur poisoning for those who made
them. In the official organ of the Federation of Clubs was found zealous
advocacy of the Esch-Hughes law until its passage.

Occupational diseases are ills which are quite distinct in causation
from fevers and other epidemics due to germs. Relatively little has been
done in the United States toward the study and prevention of such
diseases, however, and the recent quickening of consciences and interest
in that direction is true of women as well as of men. The reports of Dr.
Alice Hamilton on lead-poisoning and of Mrs. Lindon Bates on mercury
poisoning are excellent contributions to the subject and are among the
rare studies of occupational hygiene in this country.

The widespread interest in industrial accidents may well extend to the
more subtle industrial diseases which may not be as sensational as
cataclysmic events but are not the less sure in their depletion of vigor
and in the hardships they bring into the lives of the workers and
thousands of families. The activity of the Women’s Municipal League of
Boston affords us an example of the way in which women are awakening to
their own and the public responsibility for such occupational diseases.
In their study of these dread enemies of working people, they have begun
with lead-poisoning and, perhaps wisely, since painters come into their
homes and they themselves often share directly in the responsibility for
the infection through their failure to provide hot water and other
cleansing materials at the close of the painter’s day of work. This
League has become interested in the physical troubles of telephone
operators also, such as the loss of voice and hearing.

                           FAMILY VISITATION

As in other branches of social endeavor, we see public health work
tending more and more toward prevention. The ideal now is not merely to
provide more ambulances, but rather to reduce the necessity for so many
ambulances. This need early became apparent as hospitals discharged
patients only to find them soon fallen into sickness again.

In all varieties of hospitals where the poor are admitted as patients,
the follow-up treatment is often as vital as the immediate prescription
and nursing. This involves family visitation and advice and is called by
Miss Katherine Tucker, president of the New York Association of Hospital
Social Service Workers, “a new profession.” Miss Ida M. Cannon,
headworker of the Social Service Department of the Massachusetts General
Hospital, puts these pertinent questions about the social work of

                           OF WHAT USE IS IT—

  If a patient for whom the surgeon orders a back brace starves
  herself to pay the bill?

  If a workman, cured of rheumatism, goes back to his job in the damp
  cellar which caused it?

  If a clerk, fitted to glasses, returns to the dim desk which
  crippled her sight?

  If an unmarried girl, delivered of her child, goes from the
  maternity ward back to the neighborhood that ruined her?

  Medicine and surgery, supplemented by social service, not only cure
  disease but restore to full health and working capacity.

  The theory and practice of this youngest handmaiden of medical
  science are fully, simply and interestingly told in the latest
  Russell Sage Foundation Publication.

Dr. Richard Cabot, of Boston, was one of the first physicians to
emphasize the social background of health; but it is admitted on all
sides that women are proper persons to treat the family and discover its
needs. They are social physicians in a very real sense and their
knowledge must be industrial, economic, psychological, as well as

At the fifteenth annual convention of the American Hospital Association
held in Boston last summer (1914), Dr. Frederick Washburn, president of
the association, insisted that the function of the hospital is not
merely to treat patients acutely sick, but to aid in the prevention of
disease, and to undertake social service and coöperation with community
agencies. Other speakers dwelt on the necessity of better care of the
“out-patient,” the social service side of health work. _The Survey_ had
this to say: “A new note was struck by Elizabeth V. H. Richards,
headworker of the social service department of the Boston Dispensary,
who showed that the social service department is not only of assistance
to individual patients, but that the medical social worker can be of
value to the managing authorities of the institution as a whole, in
studying the efficiency of its clinical work, and in planning the
broader relations which its work may bear to other welfare resources in
the community.”

The home situation clearly has to be considered as well as the physical
ailment in almost every case requiring medical care. Thus the task is a
coöperative one between the social worker and the medical scientist.
Every attempt to improve labor and living conditions is a similar aid to
medical science if not to the medical profession, so that any proper
study of health or physical well-being must lead us on to an examination
of efforts for better housing, a living wage, for social insurance, for
workmen’s compensation, and the many other devices that make a decent
standard of living possible.

After-care is especially imperative in cases of mental disorder.
Patients may be discharged from insane hospitals in some cases if the
physician can trust in the home environment. The social worker is his
aid in these cases and thus helps to keep families together. The
prevention of insanity and the after-care of patients is the object of
the National Committee for Mental Hygiene which numbers Julia Lathrop,
Jane Addams, Mrs. Philip Moore and several other women among its
members. Dr. Thomas Salmon, a leader in this work, writes: “Women are
active in this committee and I can say that we rely very much upon the
wise counsel of these members of the committee.”

                            DISTRICT NURSING

Care of the sick in hospitals, as everyone knows, depends almost as much
upon efficient nursing as upon the skill of the physician—in many cases,
far more. Of the labors of nurses for humanity, it is not necessary to
speak here. But in our present public health campaign, a new type of
nurse has appeared, “the visiting nurse,” who watches homes to guard
against disease as well as to cure, and she is now regarded by competent
observers as the strategic point in the battle for improved health in
our cities and towns.

Ysabella Waters in her examination into the system of visiting nursing
in the United States shows that in 1913 “50 health departments employed
867 visiting nurses, including 345 school nurses, 350 tuberculosis
nurses, 107 infant hygiene nurses and 65 employed in other fields of
sanitary work. At the same time 64 departments of education reported the
employment of 200 visiting nurses in their work and Miss Waters obtained
records of 2,367 nurses taking part in public health work under other
auspices, most of them being engaged in the campaign against

An excellent system of district nursing is that developed by Miss
Lillian Wald from her Nurses Settlement in New York City, and, according
to Professor Winslow, it was due to her far-sightedness and organizing
ability that the application of the educational force of district
nursing was made to the problem of tuberculosis. Miss Wald’s belief that
the hospitals can never cope with disease and that home treatment is
better and more practicable is borne out by the figures given for the
total number of patients treated last year by the district nurses which
indicates that the number visited and cared for was larger than the
number treated by three large city hospitals in the same space of time.
Ten per cent. is the proportion usually cited as the ratio of the sick
taken to hospitals. Miss Wald contends that the treatment of patients in
their homes, especially where children are concerned, is preferable to
hospital care in most cases, and can be carried on in a way that
compares favorably with the treatment accorded in hospitals and by the
private nurse in the homes of the well-to-do.

Miss Wald began her work for public nursing twenty-four years ago and
has steadily pushed its importance into public recognition and changed
the official attitude, as well as the attitude of doctors and laymen,
from that of indifference or contempt to that of sympathy and
understanding and public support.

In other cities, the idea has been taken up and developed in many ways.
The Visiting Nurses’ Society of Philadelphia wants to increase its force
to enter industrial nursing and here as elsewhere in the various aspects
of nursing, the demand for training far exceeds the equipment. Here,
too, just as the hospital nurse soon sees the necessity of economic
backgrounds for cure and prevention of disease, so the industrial nurse
is seeing and writing on the causes and prevention of ills among working
men and women. They are greatly aided in this study by that splendid
contribution by Miss Goldmark on “Fatigue and Efficiency.”

Los Angeles was the first city to municipalize the district nurse, and
this bold step was taken at the instigation of Mrs. Maude Foster Weston
and the College Settlement workers who furnished statistics and reports,
which they themselves had gleaned from their own observations with
private district nursing, to prove that such a step was municipally
advantageous. The first school nurse was also secured in that city
through the efforts of the same women. In 1909 a practical demonstration
was given of the value of the district nurse in daily coöperation with
the city physician in controlling an epidemic of measles.

Mrs. Weston thus explains the woman’s point of view about this work:
“Someone has said that infant mortality is the most sensitive index we
possess of social welfare. It may be that in our fair climate we need
never reach the appalling records of our eastern cities, but we who know
the true state of things in Los Angeles believe that if there is not
more care of our newly-born, that, while the death list may not compare
with the East, we shall produce a sickly, ailing set of children who
will be unable, at maturity, to cope with disease. We are accused of
standing for a sort of social service which has to do with the effects
only and not with the causes which create them.... We approach however
our problems in a modern and scientific manner and we always seek for

The Women’s Municipal League of Boston has made a thorough study of
public nursing and has adopted a scheme whereby the nurse and
houseworker are combined. This system is called Household Nursing and
its aim is to be self-supporting. The nurses are called “attendants” and
the problem of their training has had to be worked out by patient

Significant of the times, too, is the awakening of the women of the
negro race as well as of the white. The negro woman is especially
adapted through her past experiences for the profession of nursing and
now, with the addition of scientific training, a means of skilled
employment, coupled with an opportunity to render public service, in
addition to her age-long domestic service, is open to her.

Women are developing largely for themselves the whole science of
training for public nursing. The National Organization for Public Health
Nursing has a broad social point of view, realizing that upon the
district nurse rests the responsibility of applying in a very practical
way among the people the results of scientific thought and research.

                            INFANT MORTALITY

In this social battle to arrest and prevent disease, the campaign
against infant mortality assumes an ever larger proportion, and as we
should naturally expect, women are also in the front ranks here. More or
less quietly for a long period women have studied and worked on the
problem of infant mortality. In addition to their private efforts to
reduce its amount, they have served in official capacities. In 1908, for
example, a division of Child Hygiene was created in the New York City
Health Department, after careful study of the organization of such an
enterprise; and a competent woman physician, Dr. S. Josephine Baker, was
placed at the head of it. It is believed to be the pioneer—the first
bureau established under municipal control to deal exclusively with
children’s health. There had previously been diverse or scattered
activities in that direction but under the new plan all these were

In Milwaukee, baby-saving on a “hundred per cent. basis” was being
worked out by Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Phillips when the defeat of the
Socialists brought their labors there to an end. Their experiment was
made possible largely by the financial and personal support of Mrs.
Sarah Boyd.

The combination of private and official activities in behalf of Child
Welfare led to the agitation of women for a Federal Children’s Bureau to
study infant mortality and nutrition. The scheme was proposed by the
National Child Labor Committee and supported by the club women. Julia
Lathrop was made Chief of the Bureau.

She was given a very small appropriation however. Furthermore she was
handicapped from the outset by her lack of satisfactory records as a
basis of work. “What do we know of infant mortality when not a single
state or city in the United States has the data for a correct
statement?” was her first query.

While pursuing the Bureau’s first study therefore, that of infant
mortality, Miss Lathrop emphasized the need of better birth and death
registration laws and methods.

It was soon recognized that women’s clubs in the various states were the
most hopeful agencies for bringing about better statistical records.
“The plan [of the Bureau] is to have the actual investigating done by
committees of women—in most instances members of the General Federation
of Women’s Clubs—who will take small areas in which they have an
acquaintance and, selecting the names of a certain number of babies born
in the year 1913, will learn by inquiry of the local authorities whether
the births have been recorded, sending the reports to this bureau. An
investigation dealing with about 5 per cent. of the reported number of
births will probably constitute a sufficient test. The women’s clubs are
responding well and the work is progressing satisfactorily.”

The recent Kentucky vital statistics law is due in a large measure to
the women’s clubs of the state, and the Chicago Woman’s Club was also
instrumental in getting a state bill for the registration of births.

The first monograph of the Federal Bureau was that on Birth Registration
and this was requested by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. Other
bulletins issued by the Bureau up to the present time include Infant
Mortality Series, No. 1; Baby-saving Campaigns—a statement of efforts
made in cities of 50,000 and over to reduce mortality; Prenatal Care—a
study made at the request of the Congress of Mothers which is the first
of a proposed series on the care of young children in the home; A
Handbook of Federal Statistics of Children, giving, in convenient form,
data concerning children which had hitherto been scattered through many
unwieldy volumes; a review of child labor legislation in the United
States and one of mothers’ pensions systems. All of this information is
of the greatest assistance to workers in municipal reforms.

While women in official positions are working to educate the public in
child saving, women physicians and social workers are constantly
emphasizing the value of baby conservation at conferences of one kind
and another. An instance of this among the many that might be cited is
the participation of women in the meetings of the American Association
for the Study and Prevention of Infant Mortality. Dr. Mary Sherwood of
Baltimore, speaking at the last annual meeting, said: “Communities and
individuals must be made to realize the fact that the babies of today
will be the fathers and mothers of tomorrow. Make the babies well,
prevent mortality, and we have strengthened a great weakness. No
community is stronger than its weakest point.”

Dr. Sherwood is chairman of the Association’s committee on prenatal
care, instruction of mothers and adequate obstetrical care; Harriet L.
Lee, superintendent of nurses of the Cleveland Babies’ Hospital and
Dispensary, is chairman of the committee on standards of training for
infant welfare nursing and problems that confront the city and rural
nurses engaged in baby-saving campaigns; and Dr. Helen Putnam, of
Providence, is chairman of the committee on continuation schools of
home-making and training for mothers’ helpers, and for agents of the
board of health, such as visiting nurses, sanitary inspectors, visiting
housekeepers, and others. Included in the membership of this Association
are over one hundred societies which represent organized baby-saving
activities in 53 cities in 27 states. Women are hard workers as well as
scientific contributors in this Association.

One of the most effective ways of stimulating the interest of mothers in
educating themselves in the care and feeding of young children is
through baby contests or shows or “derbies” as they are called in some
places. One of the pioneers of this movement was Mrs. Frank De Garmo, of
Louisiana, who organized a contest at a state fair there, and later, one
in Missouri.

It was Mary L. Watts who so forced the better baby movement upon the
attention of Iowa, through a contest for prize babies held at the state
fair a few years ago, that farmers and their wives began to ask the
question: “If a hog is worth saving, why not a baby?” Baby exhibits with
their attendant instructions to mothers, whose pride and interest are
aroused by the public admiration of fine infants, are now held from
coast to coast.

                               PURE MILK

In the education of public opinion on the question of reducing infant
mortality, it is inevitable that great attention should be given to the
matter of pure milk. One cannot think of a baby without thinking of
milk, so that the effort to provide pure milk is directly associated
with every effort to reduce infant mortality and make children strong.
The problem of milk is twofold: to supply the best possible grade for
bottle-fed babies, on the one hand, and on the other to provide the
mother of the breast-fed baby with necessary conditions for nursing her
infant properly. There is no dispute as to the greater importance of the
latter phase of the problem.

The milk station to supply pure milk to the poor at low cost is an
outgrowth of the knowledge that the greater part of infant mortality
comes in summer months from the feeding of babies upon unsatisfactory
milk. The risk of death among such babies is far greater than it is
among breast-fed babies so that emphasis has perhaps naturally been
placed there to an undue degree. Knowing that bottle babies were subject
to such danger, the first thought was to minimize the peril for such
babies. As Miss Lathrop points out, however, in harmony with the best
scientific teaching: “There may be and in some places there have been
certain attending dangers where the furnishing of milk has been the only
thing attempted. On this account in many, if not most, milk stations,
positive proof is required that the mother either cannot or ought not to
nurse her baby before she can get the pure milk, and this precaution has
been found necessary in order to prevent an increase in bottle feeding
in the community as a result of the feeling of greater safety which the
pure milk station gives to mothers who, while perfectly able to nurse
their children, would prefer, for insufficient reasons, not to do so. It
is never intended that there should be less insistence upon the duty of
breast feeding because of the milk station, for while the death rate
among the bottle-fed is reduced by pure milk, the death rate among the
bottle-fed from the purest milk possible is still much higher than the
death rate among the breast-fed, and if there is any perceptible
increase in bottle feeding as against breast feeding because of the milk
station the latter might thus become an agency to increase rather than
decrease infant mortality.”[9]

Dr. S. Josephine Baker of the Bureau of Child Hygiene of the New York
Health Department also has a large perspective in dealing with this
problem. She says: “The evolution of the infants’ milk station is
essential. Pure milk, however desirable, will never alone solve the
infant mortality problem. Under our system of home visiting to instruct
mothers in the care of babies we have demonstrated that babies may be
kept under continuous supervision at the cost of 60 cents per month per
baby, and the death rate among babies so cared for by us has been 1.4
per cent. The death rate among babies under the care of milk stations
has been 2.5 per cent., and the cost $2 per month per baby. Without
overlooking the value of pure milk, I believe this problem must
primarily be solved by educational measures. In other words, the
solution of the problem of infant mortality is 20 per cent. pure milk
and 80 per cent. training of the mothers. The infants’ milk stations
will serve their wider usefulness when they become educational centers
for prenatal instruction and the encouragement of breast feeding and
teaching better hygiene, with the mother instructed to buy the proper
grade of milk at a place most convenient to her home.”

Here, as in medical prescriptions, it is futile to insist that a mother
who is physically able shall nurse her baby if she is so poor that she
must work under conditions that weaken her and thus reduce the grade and
quality of her milk or that preclude leisure in which to nourish the
infant. The question of poverty, that skeleton in every social closet,
looms up here with an insistency that nothing will banish. No kind of
philanthropy will solve the requirements of infant welfare when poverty
or labor conditions are the root of the problem.

Babies’ milk thus becomes essentially a social-economic problem. It is
so recognized by many women and is becoming more and more recognized as
such by those who work along baby-saving lines. No one sees this fact
more clearly perhaps than Miss Lathrop who joins in the ever-growing cry
for a “war on poverty.” Mothers’ pensions, and every attempt to increase
the wage of the husband or of the wife before the child-bearing
experience has entered into her life, that she may lay by a sum for that
function, reaches infant mortality more fundamentally and directly than
do milk stations. In spite of this truth, milk stations are a useful
supplementary social service and the value of pure milk where mothers
cannot nurse their offspring or secure a competent wet-nurse must not be
underestimated. The milk station, too, for one thing, affords an
acceptable avenue through which to reach mothers and instruct them in
the care of infants, to assist them with a nurse in times of trouble or
crisis, and to prepare them for the hour when milk from the stations
becomes a necessity.

In most cases women now recognize the milk station not as a private but
as a public responsibility. They first demonstrated the wisdom and
practicability of the enterprise as direct health activity, then urged
the municipalities to incorporate the plans into their regular health
department program. Cities have accepted the lesson readily, although
there are still places like our national capital, where the death rate
among infants is disgracefully high and where no provision is made by
the commissioners, during even the hot summer months, to care for babies
in this way.

The superiority of breast feeding is so well-known that the provision of
wet-nurses is recognized as a social advantage. The examination,
registration, pay and care of wet-nurses are matters of increasing
interest to women health workers and the Women’s Municipal League of
Boston is attempting to deal seriously with this social mother.

No more interesting story of women’s help on the problem of general milk
supply is to be found than comes from the Oranges, although it is fairly
typical of the way women have viewed their responsibility elsewhere. In
the spring of 1913, the Civic Committee of the Woman’s Club of Orange,
New Jersey, offered, for the summer, the services of its secretary to
the Orange Board of Health in order that a more thorough study of the
milk supply might be made than was possible with the limited official
staff alone. “Through the courtesy of the Board, Miss Hall was made a
temporary special milk inspector in June, 1913, and has enjoyed the use
of the department’s laboratory in assisting in the test of over 600
samples on which conclusions are based as to the quality of the milk
furnished in the Oranges.” Those conclusions are published in a report
by the aforesaid club in order to give the consumer a better knowledge
of the production and supply of milk “in the hope of arousing citizen
interest in a union of effort among the four municipalities, toward a
more efficient control.”

The joint effort of the Woman’s Club and of the Department of Health led
to their common support of certain proposals dealing with the milk
situation in the four Oranges. In this case, after a careful and
detailed study of all the elements that enter into the provision of milk
for these communities, the women determined upon a citizen support of
the health officers that, among other proposals, they might obtain
better appropriations for the work of inspection. Their publications and
general agitation have been marked by exact information.

From New York on the eastern seaboard to Portland on the western come
countless reports of the activities of organized groups of women in
behalf of pure milk. The “Portland Pure Milk War” was graphically
described by Stella Walker Durham in a recent number of _Good
Housekeeping_. The struggle to secure the kind of milk they wanted meant
a year’s fight for the women who knew and proved that they knew the true
conditions of their city’s milk supply.

Dr. Harriet Belcher, formerly bacteriologist in the Rockefeller
Institute in New York, in her campaign for clean milk, made a close
study of dealers, delivery, refrigeration, balanced rations for cows,
care of cows, process of milking, soils in relation to cost of
production, and many other phases of the problem. She did field work as
well as laboratory work, and is justly entitled to the name of expert.

While the advisability of mothers learning to care properly for milk and
other food in their own homes instead of relying solely upon public
care, is evident and is urged even at the milk stations in their
educational capacities, such right care in the home necessitates the
ability to secure ice easily and cheaply.


A tragic story of the scarcity and cost of ice in summer has come from
more than one large city and the machinations of ice trusts have been
among the most scandalous of business revelations. Here and there in the
United States sporadic attempts have been made to establish municipal
ice plants. Women have been prominent in the agitation for cheaper and
more plentiful ice. An instance of this agitation is afforded by the
following clipping from the _New York Times_, May, 1914:

  More than one hundred mothers attended a meeting yesterday afternoon
  in the offices of the East Side Protective Association, No. 1 Avenue
  B, and discussed plans for the establishment on the east side of a
  municipal ice plant whereby ice could be distributed to mothers
  during the coming summer for their infants. At the conclusion of the
  meeting a letter was forwarded to Mayor Mitchel, signed by Harry A.
  Schlacht, Superintendent of the Association, asking the Mayor to do
  all in his power to aid the project, pointing out that through it
  lives of hundreds of infants would be saved.

A report on Municipal and Government Ice Plants in the United States and
Other Countries was prepared last winter by Mrs. Jeanie W. Wentworth,
who has been assisting Mr. McAneny, president of the New York City Board
of Aldermen, to study the question of ice.

                             CHILD WELFARE

The reduction of infant mortality is only one phase of child welfare.
However imperative it is to save little babies, unless they are watched
over and safeguarded physically during the after years of growth and
nutrition, the earlier work is wasted. It is this conception of the
unity of health work that has resulted in the formation by women of
child welfare associations and of such committees within women’s
associations all over the country.

The General Federation of Women’s Clubs voted several years ago to work
for the following five universal needs of the American child:

1. For better equipped, better ventilated and cleaner school buildings.

2. For more numerous, larger and better supervised playgrounds.

3. For medical school inspection and school nurses.

4. For physical education and instruction in personal hygiene.

5. For instruction in normal schools in wise methods of presenting the
essentials of personal and sex hygiene.

Every medical inspection of the poor children in the public schools of
large cities reveals a state of anæmia from undernourishment. A hungry
child cannot learn rapidly, if at all. Teachers are the ones to see the
connection between hunger and mentality, and the first school lunch in
Cleveland was therefore started by teachers in a neighborhood where many
of the mothers of the children were forced to go out of the home each
day to earn all or part of the family income. Everywhere women have been
largely instrumental in initiating and defending the school lunch.

Promoters of the school lunch often have as competitors the candy
vender, the ice cream man and sellers of adulterated and low dietary
wares of various kinds who stand even at the school gates to wean the
children away from less exciting but more nutritious food. School
lunches cannot be compulsory, or are not compulsory, and the child must
be led to realize that good nutrition is fundamental and desirable. Then
he can be led on to an interest in pure food laws and their enforcement,
and kindred civic matters.

The school lunch is therefore of high social utility and an invaluable
adjunct to the work of the school medical inspector or nurse. Yet it has
its critics.

Mr. Joseph Lee of Boston is one of the more outspoken of these, claiming
that school lunches will disrupt the family.

Mrs. George B. Twitchell of Cincinnati gave a spirited defense of the
school lunch in a letter to _The Survey_:

  I want to ask Mr. Lee how it is possible to disrupt a family when
  our social conditions are such that the mother has to go out to help
  make a living. Isn’t that family already disrupted? We are all
  working to bring about social conditions when it will be possible to
  have a home for all the people, when father will be able to earn
  enough to make it possible for mother to remain at home; but until
  such time the children must be given some good, substantial food,
  not candy, pickles and such trash as they can buy at the candy

  The teachers of Cleveland proved that their pupils could not work on
  a diet of candy and pickles. The school lunch has proved so helpful
  that ten have been established in Boston, all but one in the poor
  districts. The one in the Mt. Auburn school was started by the
  Mothers’ Club because they wished to give their children better food
  than they could get at the candy store at recess time. The mothers
  report that since they have opened the lunch room and the children
  get good food at recess time they have better appetites and eat more
  than they did before.

  Many times children do not eat because they are too hungry and tired
  after the walk home and really have lost their appetites on account
  of that. Children often eat a very light breakfast and need a lunch
  at recess. They are like little chicks, they thrive best if fed
  every three hours. We believe there should be a lunch room in every
  school which should supply the children with good food, rather than
  depend on commercialism, as in that case we know the only interest
  is to make money.

Undaunted by those who fear that the school lunch may pauperize the
poor, some of its defenders would go further. Miss Mabel Parker, of New
York, proposes to unite with the school lunch a “pre-natal restaurant”
in certain districts where poor women in a pregnant condition can get
for five cents a nourishing lunch which they could not get for a great
deal more money at home. With the school plant already equipped for
meeting the extra work, these same women, instead of living on bread and
bologna, could be provided with a nourishing midday meal and child
welfare be promoted from the very start. Her belief is that this
extended work would be self-supporting. Miss Parker says: “We have
learned from our work in the Board of Health milk stations that
education is not enough. The people of the tenement districts simply
cannot afford good food, even if they have learned how desirable it is.
That is why the city is willing to sell them milk at cost and why
mothers must be provided with good food.”

Not only must mothers be taught better care of their infants but the
“little mothers” and “little fathers” upon whose young shoulders
devolves the burden of taking mother’s place, while she goes out to earn
or help earn the family living, must receive the education which will
enable them to preserve the lives intrusted to their care until such
time as the real mothers and fathers can be placed in an economic
situation whereby they themselves are able to assume that burden which
is rightfully theirs alone. Dr. S. Josephine Baker appreciates the value
of this work and through the organization of groups of young guardians
of children, this information is being imparted.

Mrs. Clarence Burns of New York has been among the women who have sought
to make the burdens of the “little mothers” lighter and her “Little
Mothers’ Aid Society” is one of the well-known institutions of that
city. Recently the little fathers have begun to feel that their position
of responsibility was ignored too much in the greater efforts made to
smooth the way of girls who have parental tasks, and their protest has
served to call attention again to the extent to which the oldest child
whether boy or girl is the real person charged with the task of
prolonging infant life and keeping or making baby brothers and sisters
well and strong.

                      CHILDREN BORN OUT OF WEDLOCK

In leaving the matter of women’s interest in the reduction of infant
mortality and the proper preparation of women for motherhood, mention
should be made of the growing recognition of the right of the child to
be well born. Realizing the responsibility of the father, as well as the
mother, for the physical and mental vigor of children, women in many
states are discussing in their associations the proposition for
requiring health certificates for those who seek the marriage license.
In some states such laws have been already passed. The right of the
woman (as well as of the man) to know that her children are to have a
proper physical heritage is now included in the new Declaration of

Mothers there are with no legal husbands and for these and their
children the problem is difficult indeed. Mrs. Weston of Los Angeles
states that the care of such children and their mothers presents a large
and serious question economically and that the ratio of these children
and their mothers is very high among the patients visited by the nurses.
The infant mortality among children born out of wedlock has been
suspected of a high ratio but it remained for the Juvenile Protective
Association of Chicago, of which Mrs. Bowen is president, to undertake
an investigation into child mortality among this group. In its summary
of the investigation which was carefully made, the Association states

“From the facts obtained it is evident that three main causes lie at the
bottom of the prodigious child mortality among the illegitimate.

“First: The lack of method in recording vital statistics, some being
kept at the city health department, the logical repository for such
records, and others by the county clerk, who has no special interest in
the matter.

“Second: The laxity of institutions and individuals in reporting
promptly and fully the items which the law demands.

“Third: The inadequate provision for disposing of children who cannot be
kept by the mothers. This last is perhaps the greatest factor.

“In conclusion, the truth is that thousands of children are lost in
Chicago. Physicians and hospitals are careless in reporting demanded
facts. Some hospitals give children away indiscriminately. Doctors,
midwives and maternity homes do likewise. There is absolutely no check
upon such disposition of babies; many hospitals and doctors and others
do not want any safe supervision.”

Mrs. Stanley King, of Boston, the Secretary of the Conference on
Illegitimacy, is one of the women who insist that the unmarried mother
and her child must receive equal consideration with other mothers and
children in any sincere plans for the reduction of infant mortality. As
for the rest of the Conference, Mrs. King states that[10] “it has faced
the question of segregation (of the feeble-minded of this class) in
institutions and of sterilization as a means of preventing a continuance
of this evil in future generations. They have asked whether it was ever
safe to return a feeble-minded girl to the community. While agreeing
that marriage of feeble-minded persons ought not to be permitted they
have not reached a final conclusion as to the best means of prevention.

“A committee has been appointed to make an investigation of the causes
other than feeble-mindedness that are at the root of illegitimacy. This
committee has already done valuable work as a by-product of its main
purpose in suggesting important points which agencies are apt to omit in
their histories and in aiding in a greater standardization of work. A
full report of this committee is expected next year.

“Study groups are being organized to take up the questions of
legislation, venereal disease, the efficiency and range of existing
institutions, public opinion, feeble-mindedness and statistics.”

The definite proposals of the Juvenile Protective Association and of the
Society for the Study and Prevention of Infant Mortality for proper care
of children born out of wedlock include: better systems of records, a
better system for the legal adoption of infants, provision for
well-organized infants’ homes, better bastardy laws, and a system of
probation for the mother of an illegitimate child during the first year
of its life in order to secure proper nursing and care of the child.

The district nurse becomes again the most important agent in the real
nurture of infants of this group through her supervision of all young
mothers among the poor. Owing to the fact that the deserted mother must
assume the burden of her own support and that of her child and therefore
finds nursing the child extremely difficult if not, in fact, impossible,
the whole question of mothers’ pensions comes to the fore in the
discussion as to whether widows alone should be the recipients or
whether any needy mother should share their benefits. While women do not
stand as a unit for recognition of the unmarried mother where they do
support home pensions, there is evidence of strong advocacy among women
of her inclusion in the benefits of this legislation. At all events
women are opening their eyes to the problem.

                               PURE FOOD

Being principally responsible for the food of the family as well as the
children, women have joined with spirit in what is known as the pure
food movement. In many a city, large and small, women’s associations
have taken up the question of the proper food supply and by concerted
efforts wrought marvelous results. An illustration of an active
municipal campaign for pure food carried on by women is described in the
_American City_ for June, 1914, by Katherine G. Leonard, secretary of
the Pure Food Committee of the Civic League of Grand Forks, North

  What has been accomplished by the Pure Food Committee of the Civic
  League of Grand Forks may be equaled or surpassed by any group of
  determined women in any small city. To be sure, it is somewhat
  easier to keep clean in a climate which has no excessive heat and
  moisture and with a population made up for the most part of
  Americans and Scandinavians. However, vigilance and education will
  more than make up for differences in climate, but efforts must be
  ceaseless if results are to be forthcoming.

  When this committee was organized under the able leadership of Dr.
  May Sanders, chairman, the work was new to all, and methods had to
  be devised. The first step was a consultation with Prof. E. F. Ladd,
  State Pure Food Commissioner, who was of great assistance in
  suggesting just and reasonable methods of dealing with the subject
  of sanitary inspection of foods so that the interests of both
  merchant and consumer might be safeguarded.

  A general educational campaign was inaugurated. The state pure food
  and drugs act was printed in folder form, and a copy, together with
  a personal letter calling attention to the provisions of the law and
  asking coöperation in its enforcement, was mailed to each of the 128
  food merchants then doing business in the city. The portion of the
  law applying to a special class of stores or goods was red-lined
  when sent to a man selling that article. For example, sections
  relating to bakeries were red-lined when sent to bakers; those
  applying to groceries were marked for grocers. Ten days were given
  the merchants in which to clean house and prepare for state

  The state inspection continued five days, of eight hours each, and
  the inspector was accompanied by Mrs. R. A. Sprague, who later
  became local officer. Each merchant was rated on a score card
  provided by the state commissioner for the purpose.

  It became evident that the only way to secure sanitary inspection of
  food at intervals frequent enough to make the city food supply
  reasonably clean was to have a regular city official for the
  purpose. To that end a second petition was presented to the city
  council, with the result that an ordinance was passed providing for
  the office of food inspector. Mayor Murphy was fortunate in his
  choice of Mrs. R. A. Sprague, as she had proved her ability in the
  work of general inspector for the Civic League. The ordinance is an
  excellent instrument and answers many questions that arise in the
  work of inspection.

  Since her appointment as local food inspector, Mrs. Sprague has also
  been made resident food inspector by the state pure food

  The work of the food inspector showed conclusively that the
  education of the public had only begun and that in order to make her
  labors most efficient the pure food committee must devise means of
  keeping the subject before the people. The greatest menace during
  the late summer and autumn is the house fly, and no work along the
  line of sanitary food supply can be effective that does not
  emphasize the necessity of doing away entirely with the breeding
  places of this deadly pest. Grand Forks has a garbage ordinance
  which, if strictly enforced, would go far toward accomplishing this

  However, no matter how good the law, public opinion must be back of
  it to make it effective, and education must be administered in large
  and frequent doses. The newspaper and motion-picture theater are
  excellent teachers, since they reach the largest audience, and the
  one most difficult to interest. Through the courtesy of the _Grand
  Forks Herald_, a fly-page was edited by the pure food committee in
  August, when the fly season is at its height and the dread of
  typhoid is strong with the parents of the less fortunate classes.
  Yellow journalism of the most lurid type was resorted to, and so
  black was the little pest painted in both prose and verse that the
  public seemed roused to the situation.

  Closely following the press exposé of the fly came the climax of the
  season’s campaign for pure food and sanitary conditions. The
  public-spirited proprietor of one of the motion-picture theaters
  gave the pure food committee the use of the theater with all
  proceeds for one day for the presentation of the fly-pest film....

  As a result of complaints from dairymen and confectioners that
  bottle and ice cream cans were returned in bad condition, cards with
  hints to housewives were printed and distributed by milkmen to their

  The subject of a municipal slaughter house was brought before
  various organizations and committees were appointed to coöperate in
  a city-wide effort to solve the problem. The subject of a city
  incinerator for the disposal of garbage was also agitated.

  The pure food committee, through the courtesy of the Minnesota food
  commission, secured the pure food exhibit of the commission, placing
  it in a conspicuous place on the grounds during the state fair, with
  a lecturer in charge. This proved a great attraction, and the space
  in front of the exhibit was crowded with people from the rural
  districts who had heard little of the new gospel of pure food. The
  local food inspector visited each food concession as it was being
  placed, and explained the pure food law, with a hint that it was to
  be enforced on the grounds during the fair. Several later visits
  were made to the concessions, and suggestions were made and many bad
  practices discovered and stopped. For example, lemonade must be made
  from lemons rather than from acid powder was one order enforced. It
  was noticeable that the eating places having screens were the most

  The second season of pure food education is naturally less strenuous
  for the committee, but not so for the inspector, who, if she be the
  woman for the place, continually finds new problems to be solved. No
  small part of her time must be devoted to receiving complaints and
  assisting merchants in planning ways of complying more completely
  with the law. She should be kind, tactful, firm and resourceful,
  with a touch of the Sherlock Holmes quality.

  It is well to invite the members of the city council and board of
  health to take an early spring drive to the city dumping grounds and
  slaughter houses—early enough to find conditions at their worst.

  No one factor can make for the health of a community more surely
  than a strict enforcement of the pure food laws. This enforcement by
  a special officer makes it possible for bad practices of all kinds
  to be traced and eliminated, either by persuasion or fine. It makes
  it possible for the poor to be supplied with clean, pure food, and
  this is really the greatest good that can come of the law, since the
  well-to-do, who buy at large, well-kept stores on main business
  streets, where neatness is an asset, can more easily influence the
  food merchants. The poor, buying in small quantities, patronize the
  small, ill-kept store in the vicinity of the home, and have little
  influence. With food inspectors, one store is as rigidly scrutinized
  as another, and the small buyer at the small, out-of-the-way store
  has equal protection with the large buyer at the large store in the
  center of business.

In response to an inquiry the following report comes later from Mrs.

  The municipal abattoir was built in Grand Forks, and, by dint of all
  the pressure the Civic League could bring to bear, it was put in
  working order after being carelessly constructed. After working for
  years to get the abattoir and telling the Council what features were
  necessary to make it efficient and sanitary, not one of the women
  was put on the advisory committee, even, when it was being built. It
  is still far from perfect and yet scarcely a week passes that the
  food inspector does not receive inquiries for plans and advice from
  towns all over the West, such is the interest in the smaller Western
  cities in doing things for themselves. With all the bad management,
  the abattoir has some months paid expenses, which is an excellent
  showing for so new an institution.

The activity of Indiana women was a large factor in the establishment of
a state laboratory of hygiene under the Board of Health charged with the
examination of food and drugs and assistance in the enforcement of
health laws. The chief of the food research laboratory in Philadelphia
is a woman—Dr. Mary Pennington.

Missouri women pledged their efforts to a pure food crusade some time
ago, while the excellent laws in Texas reflect the interest of the women
of that state. In 1906 the women of Iowa drafted a pure food bill which
they presented to the legislature. In Ohio where fair legislation
existed, the women worked to have it enforced.

In Kansas State Food Commissioner Fricke appealed to the club women to
aid him in enforcing food regulations of that state by acting as
volunteer inspectors. Where they have not been asked by city and state
officials to act, women have often proceeded to act on their own
initiative. An official inspection and report on dairy products were
recently undertaken by Chicago Club women during the session of the
National Dairy Show. Women in Louisiana are active in the inspection of
bakeries, meat markets and dairies. It is largely due to the work of
women that fruit stands and markets are screened in New Orleans, a city
in utmost need of such care. This is true of many other cities.
Louisiana has a woman as state health inspector—Agnes Morris.

In Wheeling, West Virginia, the club women have been asking for a woman
food inspector. Tacoma, Washington, is one of those cities which already
have a woman serving in that capacity. Such a clean food supply is
reported from that city that other communities in the state are
imitating its example. The women of Seattle, Washington, transformed
some old plants into five large modern sanitary bakeries.

Mrs. Sarah Evans was in 1909 Inspector of Markets in Portland, Oregon,
and her publication of clean market requirements was the inspiration of
more than one organization of women for better civic conditions.

The Housewives’ League, organized and directed by Mrs. Julian Heath of
New York, has the twofold aim of securing pure food uncontaminated by
dust and flies and of securing it at a lower cost. In the general pure
food war, Mrs. Heath and her assistant, Miss M. E. McOuat, have, among
other things, sought to interest girls in their teens in the purity and
cleanliness of the candy and soda water they buy. Open-air meetings in
the poorer districts of New York City, where cheap and dangerous wares
are on every hand, have been held to warn young children against poisons
of various kinds. At the same time this organization has assisted those
officials who have sought to induce storekeepers to carry better
varieties. They have also reported violations of the law as they have
been discovered.

The Women’s Health Protective Association of Philadelphia had a Bakeshop
Committee which visited bakeries and consulted with the bakers
themselves over conditions. The state of affairs that was revealed to
the women led to a public agitation and legislation controlling the most
unsanitary features of these places.

A new bakeshop code secured by the women of Cleveland requires absolute
cleanliness and a ten-hour day for employees. A “White List” is
published showing those bakers who best observe the code.

Mrs. E. E. McKibber, chairman of the Food Sanitation Committee of the
General Federation of Clubs, has sent a letter to the clubs of each
state to this effect:

“Do you as club women keep yourselves informed and discriminate against
poor food as you do against poor clothing?

“Have you helped pass an ordinance looking to a better food supply, to
the better handling of food?

“Have you any organization in your town that looks after the food

This pressure by the chairman of the Food Sanitation Committee of the
clubs indicates that hundreds of committees representing thousands of
women are instituting a constructive campaign for better and cleaner

The Women’s Municipal League of Boston has been very active. “The
cleanliness and hygienic condition of markets seems to me to belong
peculiarly to woman’s province,” writes the chairman of its market
committee, “and I confess it gives me a certain feeling of shame that a
comparatively small and new city like Portland should be more civilized
in this respect than Boston. It is, however, encouraging to think that
Portland has been brought to this standard from a lower condition than
Boston’s by the efforts of a few women.”

The Boston League in connection with its market work made a study of
oysters last year in their relation to the transmission of infectious
diseases, and cold storage.

For an investigation of provision shops, twenty-four Radcliff students
were used who conducted the investigations “with enthusiasm and success,
bringing to the committee papers of decided ability. Could this plan,
modified perhaps in some details, be extended successfully over the
whole city there would result from it such a mass of information
respecting the small shops as would cast a very strong light upon the
whole problem of the proper marketing of the food supply in a big city.
As far as we know no such investigation has been undertaken before.”

The Boston League has very positive ideas about legislation and
enforcement, as the analysis in its 1913 report indicates.

Sometimes despairing of securing the sanitary conditions that they deem
essential in the handling of food, women seek to establish public
markets under stricter surveillance. In Pasadena, California, for
instance, the Shakespeare Club sought to persuade the City Fathers to
establish a free public market under conditions satisfactory to
intelligent housewives. The City Fathers ignored the plea and the women
are raising money with which to finance the enterprise themselves. The
Pasadena Elks have donated a lot and the women will pay an overseer and
make rules for the sale of foodstuffs.

Market conditions in New Orleans are being closely studied by a
committee of housewives, headed by that very able woman, Mrs. J. C.
Matthews. Among the recommendations are:

  The repeal of all restricting ordinances which militate against
  healthy competition in the handling of produce—game, fruits, fish
  and meats.

  That the city maintain two or three model sanitary central markets
  for the wholesale and retail handling of supplies.

  That a market commission composed of men and women be appointed to
  coöperate with the commissioner in charge of the markets, so as to
  secure the best possible sanitary and distributing conditions.[11]

                               PURE DRUGS

In connection with this battle for pure food and drugs, it is
interesting to see open credit given, in a conservative and
anti-feminist paper in New York like _The Times_, to a woman for
securing the new drug law in 1914. Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt led the
fight for this new legislation which goes further than any other in
stopping the sale of habit-forming drugs in that it provides a simple
and effective way of discovering and punishing the sellers of such drugs
as cocaine and opium. Chloral, morphine and opium and any compounds and
preparations derived therefrom can no longer be sold except on the
prescription of a regularly licensed medical practitioner or dentist or
veterinarian. Prosecutions have already taken place under the new law.
While the new drug law was due to Mrs. Vanderbilt, according to the
newspaper headlines and the discussion of its passage in the above
mentioned paper, influential men and women were her active aiders and
abettors. Among these were judges of the New York courts, men and women
probation officers, representatives of both sexes from reformatory
institutions, the prison associations, and others. Dr. Katharine B.
Davis, the city commissioner of corrections, worked for the success of
the measure.

                               PURE WATER

Pure water as well as pure food and drugs has been the starting-point of
many a woman’s organization formed for civic purposes or for a
combination of cultural and civic endeavor.

National recognition was won by the women of New Orleans, members of the
Era Club, in their successful efforts for a municipal sewerage, water
and drainage system. The yellow fever epidemic that raged in that city a
few years ago and its attendant sacrifice of life aroused the women even
more than the men to the imperative need of a pure water supply and a
scientific drainage system adapted to the peculiar conditions of that

The women seem to have felt the need; the men to have appreciated the
difficulties in the way of securing the system. The Era Club believed
that, where there is a need, there is a way and the men finally agreed.
Practically every house in the city at the time of the epidemic had a
cesspool. “The drainage system was incomplete and inadequate, dependent
upon a few drainage machines which paddled the water through troughs
into the canals and eventually into Lake Ponchartrain. After a heavy
rainfall the streets were flooded; in some sections the water would
stand for days.”

Still the men hesitated to undertake the kind of an enterprise that
local conditions demanded. For the first and only time the women of New
Orleans, who were qualified, voted, instigated and led by that splendid
Southern woman, Kate Gordon.

_The Survey_ thus describes the attitude taken by the women:

  Under the Louisiana Constitution women property-holders may vote at
  elections for authorizing municipal bond issues, and any woman who
  objects to going to the polls may send a proxy, provided that the
  proxy be given in the presence of two witnesses, which witnesses, by
  a strange mingling of the old and the new order of things, must be
  men. The work undertaken by the Era Club was to get the signature of
  one-third of the taxpayers to a petition praying for a special
  election; to arouse sufficient interest among both men and women to
  induce them to vote at the special election, and to furnish proxies
  to those ladies who feared that by going to the polls they might
  incur the stigma of being called a new woman. And all this the Era
  Club accomplished. The special election was held, the women voted or
  sent proxies, and the necessary sum was authorized. As three-fourths
  of the property-holders of the city were women, the significance of
  this work is apparent.

The area that had to be drained and properly supplied with sewers
comprised 37½ square miles and 700 miles of streets, and it is claimed
even by outsiders that this undertaking was the largest public work of
this character ever put through at one time in the United States.

That the women of New Orleans have not voted since that occasion is no
evidence of their discouragement at their first vote. Municipal bonds
are not issued at every election and these alone entitle any of them to
vote. Suffrage conferences are held in New Orleans and the agitation for
a wider suffrage in Louisiana is being carried on by the same women who
so ably fought to secure pure water for New Orleans.

This would seem like the most direct kind of health work, for we learn
that “the death rate has been reduced 20 per cent., business confidence
has been restored and New Orleans is today one of the healthiest and
most delightful cities of the country,” according to one of the lovers
of the city.

One of the papers on the Pacific Coast, the _Pasadena Star_, recently
reported that:

  [United States] Surgeon-General Blue pays a handsome, but deserved,
  tribute to the efficiency of women in practical aid in making cities
  sanitary, referring particularly to the excellent work of women in
  San Francisco, in their invaluable assistance in eradicating the
  plague from the bay city, a few years ago.

From the southern extremity of the continent we pass almost to the
northern, noting on our way many a successful attempt of women in towns
and cities, to improve water conditions.

In Woonsocket in the dry region of South Dakota the women of a club
requested the Town Fathers to supply them with pure and more abundant
water. Regret was expressed by the fathers that they could not comply
with the request. The women, nothing daunted, organized an Improvement
Association, collected money and hired an expert to drill an artesian
well. When plenty of pure water gushed forth, the town officials
consented to lay mains through the streets and allow the people to
receive water from this excellent source. The women were then successful
also in persuading the fathers to plan a beautiful park, or accept their
own plans for the same, with a charming artificial lake as the crowning

In New Mexico the Woman’s Club of Roswell behaved in much the same way.
It was irrigation that seemed the crying need of that region. The club
had a well dug and erected a tank which holds several thousands of
gallons of water. As the women had previously planted some hundreds of
trees in their town, they were thus able to maintain them also in a
healthy condition.

One who reads the following somewhat casual report of a victory in a
fight for better water might have no appreciation of the fact that it
was the women of New Canaan who did the fighting, and hard fighting it
was, for the filtration plant in their vicinity:

  Agitation by the local Civic League for an improved water supply for
  New Canaan, Connecticut, recently won, through the Public Utilities
  Commission, a victory which may lead to important results throughout
  the state. The League, aided by an engineer and a sanitary expert,
  after a three-day hearing at Hartford, secured an order directing
  the private water company to install a filtration plant and
  equipment to purge the water of all odor and color.

  The lawyer for the water company in his brief declared that if the
  request of the petitioners were granted the previous railroad work
  of the Commission would be small in comparison with what was ahead
  in adjudicating similar appeals relating to water supply in other
  towns. “The Commission,” said one of the petitioners after the
  verdict had been handed down, “has rendered this decision, so let us
  hope that good days are ahead for Connecticut in regard to water
  supply, and that it may lead to an efficient system of state

It was the women who refused to accept the findings of the male
authorities with reference to the purity of the water and proposed
methods for its control. Experts were engaged by them and their activity
at the hearings at Hartford made their determination to have better
water so clear that the men yielded and now New Canaan is proud of its
achievement—so proud that notices of the same necessitate an inquiry
into the personnel of the Civic League for a complete story.

                              PUBLIC BATHS

Women were instrumental in establishing public baths in several cities;
notably in Pittsburgh, where The Civic Club of Allegheny County led in
the agitation. The Woman’s Institute of Yonkers campaigned for baths in
that community and some were secured. In cases where women have been
directly interested in having baths arranged for the people, better
sanitary conditions seem sometimes to have prevailed than in cases where
they just passively approved and the city established the baths. In
Newark, New Jersey, for example, a few women made an examination of the
conditions of the public baths which had been established in that city
for some time. To their horror they found them in a positively infected
condition and their task therefore was the purification of existing
bathing places. This they had to bring about by public sentiment and its
concentration on the officials responsible for the condition of affairs.
A water supply in every home, therefore, interests many women far more
than any public bath proposal.

                            PUBLIC LAUNDRIES

There is more foundation for the arguments in favor of public wash
houses than for the arguments in favor of public baths. Whatever the
equipment in individual homes for bathing, and however excellent the
individual water service, there are health considerations of a very
different character to be met in connection with the family laundry
work. In large towns and even in small towns in congested areas there
are no facilities for drying the clothes and the sanitary conditions
which result from indoor home drying are deplorable and dangerous. In
addition to health considerations, the mental effect of sitting in rooms
filled with damp clothes is so depressing that many a man and many a boy
or girl has fled from home to the saloon and dance hall as a more
cheerful place to spend the evening. The poor mother who has done the
washing must bear its company in solitary submission.

In an effort to alter this pathetic condition of affairs, some attempt
has been made to establish public laundries with drying rooms attached
and every facility for rapid and sanitary disposal of the weekly
laundry. There are economic features which add reasonableness to the
agitation for public laundries, for the waste of fuel and energy
involved in individual fires for washing and ironing is incalculable and
useless, for the most part.

The Civic Club of Allegheny County has laundries in connection with its
bath houses, but their use is a matter of gradual education as the
masses are slow to give up cherished customs, however harmful and
wasteful. Where day nurseries exist side by side with the public wash
house or in close proximity the situation is more easily met as then the
mothers can leave their babies in safe hands while they are at work in
the laundry. Philadelphia, Buffalo, Baltimore and Elmira and a very few
other cities have already these public wash houses.

                             CLEAN STREETS

Woman’s historic function having been along the line of cleanliness, her
instinct when she looks forth from her own clean windows is toward
public cleanliness. Her indoor battle has been against the dirt that
blew in from outside, against the dust and ashes of the streets, and the
particles of germ-laden matter carried in from neglected refuse piles.
Ultimately she begins to take an interest in that portion of municipal
dusting and sweeping assigned to men; namely, street cleaning.

A volume itself could be written on the activities of women for clean
streets and public places. Little towns have needed and received the
treatment even as the great cities—not every little town nor every large
city but countless numbers of them. Lack of space prevents the
recounting here of many significant or typical cases of women’s work for
public cleanliness as an aid to general health.

The Women’s Civic League of Baltimore originated in that city the idea
of a “Clean City Crusade,” and its application was acknowledged by city
officials to have been of great assistance to various departments:
street cleaning, fire and health. Chief Engineer August Emrich of the
Fire Department said, in 1913, that the fire losses for 1912 were less
than they had been for the previous 34 years, and he gave much of the
credit for this result to the Clean City Crusade which led to the
removal of rubbish and other inflammable materials.

That Pennsylvania women generally are alert to the needs of greater
public cleanliness is evidenced by the publication issued by the Civics
Committee of the State Federation of Pennsylvania Women of which Mrs.
Owen Wister was chairman. This is a list of suggestions for the
“Observance of Municipal Housecleaning Day,” and consists of practical
directions for this work with a list of civic activities closely allied
with “housecleaning day” which should be undertaken as rapidly as

The Civic Club of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, says: “It is no longer
necessary for us to maintain at our own cost the practical experiment we
began in street cleaning or to advocate the paving of a single principal
street as a test of the value of improved city highways, nor is it
necessary longer to strive for a pure water supply, a healthier sewerage
system, or the construction of playgrounds for the pleasure of our
fellow-citizens. This work is now being done by city councils or the
Board of Public Works and by the Park Commission.” That was in 1906 and
it proves that, after one or two demonstrations of the possibilities and
practical advantages of cleanings, the city proves ready to assume the
responsibility for them.

The next great problem is how to keep the city clean, for real health
protective work is not a matter of annual and sensational hauling away
of miscellaneous rubbish, but an every-day-in-the-year campaign for the
elimination of disease-breeding germs and dust provokers. As they
volunteered to show the wisdom of better disposal of rubbish and of
street flushing and oiling, so women are volunteering to educate the
people to desire permanent cleanliness. The inherited instincts of the
cleanly housekeeper thus become a valuable municipal asset.

In Philadelphia, Mrs. Edith Pearce, a club woman, is a city inspector of
street cleaning. _The Woman’s Home Companion_ thus described the way she
goes about her work:

  First she planned for making the children her aids, teaching them
  not only to refrain from throwing fruit skins, paper and other
  rubbish into the street, but also to prevent others from so doing.
  She reached the children and awoke in them a wholesome interest in
  the city’s appearance by means of addresses in the public schools
  and the distribution of simple circulars. Then she urged clubs,
  neighborhood groups and whole communities to coöperate with the
  street cleaners. In one week she addressed ten of the city’s leading
  clubs for women on her chosen theme. In the crowded poorer sections
  she speaks from a soap box to corner gatherings of the housekeepers
  of the neighborhood, telling them, often with the aid of an
  interpreter, how to handle their waste, and inspiring them to do
  their part in keeping their surroundings clean and sanitary. She has
  found that the Italian, Polish, and Russian mothers whom she
  addresses become deeply interested in municipal housecleaning; some
  of them “point with pride” to alleys, formerly reeking with filth
  but now clean and orderly.

The _American Journal of Hygiene_ recently printed a paper by Mrs. Ellen
H. Richards of Boston on “Instructive Inspection,” elucidating the
advantages to be derived from the Board of Health’s appointment of a
teacher to be sent with power like any other inspection officer
“wherever ignorance, usually diagnosed as stubbornness,” is found.

Detroit club women are asking to be appointed as instructive inspectors
to do this kind of work while women in the Municipal League of Boston
are already performing a somewhat similar service, clothed with official
authority. Fifty St. Louis club women have volunteered and been accepted
as city inspectors “to help make St. Louis the healthiest city in the

In the sphere of municipal housekeeping, which forms such an easy
transition from domestic housekeeping, women have proved themselves
interested and efficient in suggesting reforms and helping to see them
completed to the minutest detail.

The sanitary survey of a municipality has had to precede, of course, any
large constructive proposals for improvement. One of our leading experts
in this field is Mrs. Caroline Bartlett Crane, who has been pressed into
service far and wide for this purpose. A number of her reports on
sanitary and social conditions have been published, describing such
places as Nashville, Tennessee; Erie, Pennsylvania; Saginaw, Michigan;
Rochester, New York; and seventeen cities in Minnesota. These reports
represent comparative studies on different topics; such as, water works,
sewers, street sanitation, garbage collection and disposal, the smoke
nuisance, milk supply, meat supply, markets and food factories, hygiene
and sanitation of school houses, housing problems, almshouses and jails.
These surveys were made at the request of local associations and
officials, usually instigated, we believe, by women. The surveys in
Minnesota, for example, were made at the invitation of the State Board
of Health and the Federation of Women’s Clubs with the coöperation of
the State Medical Association, the local medical societies, and the
commercial clubs of some of the larger cities. In Rochester the survey
was undertaken at the invitation of the Women’s Educational and
Industrial Union seconded by the mayor and a number of official and
civic organizations. Mrs. Crane has written on “Factors of the Street
Cleaning Problem,” and similar questions, in a way that shows intimate
acquaintance with the technique of road-making and other municipal

The organization of junior leagues for guarding the streets has seemed
to some persons, women included, as a very trivial public activity. They
have had an impression that budget-making or public accounting were far
more intellectual operations and of more social value. Are they?

One of the most expensive of public departments is the street cleaning
one. Shall any sum demanded by the present incumbent in the office of
chief of that department be granted lightly and the books be well kept
and the affair end? Or shall causes of dirty streets be investigated to
the full and the problem of heavy expense for cleaning be tackled
perhaps by some measure for the prevention of dust and refuse? The
education of the people so that they may desire permanent cleanliness
instead of the mere excitement of a spectacular clean-up week is of the
most fundamental concern. No element in that education is too
insignificant to deserve attention.

Children, through ignorance, are habitual misusers of city streets, but
they are also the most enthusiastic clean-up crusaders and rubbish
preventers when they are once aroused. All sections of the country
announce the formation of these children’s leagues to assist the women
and the city officials in cleaning-up enterprises, and in carrying home
the messages of prevention and the feeling of public interest which they
have acquired at school or at their little meetings. In New York,
circulars were printed recently in Yiddish, Italian, and English and
distributed to children by women’s clubs, teachers, churches, and civic
organizations, to aid the Health Department in its annual clean-up

Junior leagues may greatly reduce the cost of the street cleaning
department and the work of the courts in enforcing city ordinances and
thus materially assist in the city budget-making; but it requires tact
and patience and more than a mere bookkeeper’s mind to make them

                            GARBAGE DISPOSAL

Jane Addams and other members of the Woman’s Club of Chicago on their
own initiative gave a practical demonstration of their ability to keep
hitherto neglected streets clean and of the wisdom of the municipal
exercise of such a function. Two members of the Club later were
appointed on the Municipal Garbage Commission which helped to solve
Chicago’s problem in an expert and comprehensive way. Miss Mary McDowell
of the University of Chicago Settlement made effective contributions to
this work through a personal study of refuse disposal systems in Europe.
The story of the efforts of Chicago for a proper refuse disposal system
here reprinted from _The Survey_ is well worth study:

  Recent municipal purchase of a private company’s reduction plant
  provides a temporary plan for the disposal of Chicago’s garbage and
  ends a hard civic struggle to overcome exploitation of the public on
  the one hand and amazing lack of official foresight and planning on
  the other. But it is merely an escape from a bad muddle. The
  struggle is still on to secure for the city a scientific and
  adequate city-wide system of garbage collection and disposal.

  During most of the time prior to this crisis the issue had been
  mainly a plaything of politicians. But it began to assume a new
  aspect when the vote was given to women and they thus came to have a
  voice in municipal housekeeping.

  The care of the city’s waste had been a serious matter to the
  Woman’s City Club, whose committee on the subject had been for three
  years urging the wisdom of preparing for the day, September 1, 1913,
  when the contract with the reduction plant would end. For nineteen
  years the University of Chicago Settlement had protested against
  making the twenty-ninth ward the city’s dumping ground, but without

  In the midst of the intense political fight over the garbage
  question there seemed to be no one with courage to lead toward any
  constructive plan. The administration and the aldermen played
  battledore and shuttlecock with the question of responsibility. At
  this crisis—when the summer’s heat was intense and no definite plans
  were in sight for caring for the daily six hundred tons of
  garbage—the Woman’s City Club’s Waste Committee sent a series of
  pointed questions to the city officials whom they held responsible
  for this situation. The press published these questions and, as the
  questioners had secured the vote, the city officials were much
  disturbed. They then brought the matter before the city’s Health
  Committee, making an adequate and scientific city-wide plan for the
  collection and disposal of the city’s refuse. The chairman of the
  Health Committee, Alderman Nance, backed by Alderman Merriam, from
  that moment became the leader of the movement to secure a scientific
  report and plan.

  The members of the City Council, glad to have a definite thing to do
  to save themselves politically, created a City Waste Commission with
  an appropriation of $10,000. Two women from the Woman’s City Club
  were appointed on this commission, Mrs. William B. Owen, chairman of
  the Clean-up Day Committee, and Mary E. McDowell, chairman of the
  City Waste Committee. The club for the three years had carried to
  every section of the city its welfare exhibit. In connection it gave
  stereopticon lectures showing the city dumps and noxious garbage
  wagons overloaded with reeking garbage and then in contrast the
  motor garbage wagon of the city of Furth, Bavaria, and the model
  incineration plants which Miss McDowell had seen in Germany. By this
  method the average citizen was made more intelligent and wideawake
  than the city government. He had been educated to look upon dumps as
  antediluvian and intolerable.

  The Woman’s City Club has issued bulletins to educate a public that
  will demand the best collection and disposal system known, one that
  will not be an unpleasant industry in any community, and a
  collection system that will make short hauls, with frequent
  collections in wagons that are closed tight and fly-proof. This is
  possible to any people who demand sanitation first and economy
  second, who take municipal housekeeping out of the hands of
  politicians, put at the head of “the cleansing department” a
  sanitary engineer and give the city the right to collect all garbage
  from hotels and restaurants as well as households. According to the
  data shown by the Woman’s Club, the city can in this way make enough
  money to pay for the whole system of collection and disposal.

The movies which are being utilized all along the line have been brought
into play in several places for sanitary education. In Boston one of the
theaters is coöperating with the Women’s Municipal League “by giving an
eight-minute picture act showing striking facts about children playing
on top of sheds, in dark alleys and in the refuse from overturned
garbage cans; about dirty and unsanitary streets and unsightly and
obnoxious dumping at sea and on land; showing, also, better ways of
doing things and better places to play, and giving the theater-goers
something interesting and worth while to think about.”


Perhaps the position taken by the Civic League of St. Paul in demanding
the enforcement of the Smoke ordinance illustrate very well the attitude
of the women toward this nuisance. Its campaign is thus described:

  This occurred quite early in our career and kicked up quite a dust,
  really making the atmosphere almost as murky as the smoke had done.
  We succeeded in doing what no power in the city had hitherto been
  able to do; that is, in getting the ordinance actually enforced—for
  about a week. The mayor’s orders were positive and not to be
  ignored. Several arrests were made, prosecutions by the city were
  conducted with vigor and judgments rendered against several
  offenders. It was proved to most people’s satisfaction that there
  were smoke consumers which consumed and smoke preventers which
  prevented smoke. But on an evil day it fell out that an officer “on
  the force” said unto himself, “Go to, this is my day for arresting
  somebody.” He put his telescope to his eye and, turning his back
  upon the wicked city where burglars and gamblers and such like birds
  of night disport themselves and a forest of chimneys was belching
  furiously, he espied a flying plume of smoke outlined upon the
  horizon of the Sixth Ward. “Ah,” said he, “there is my man,” and he
  went forth and laid rough hands upon him and fetched him into court.

  Now, it happens in this city that there is one whose cry strikes
  terror to all hearts—it is the manufacturer. When the manufacturer
  doesn’t like anything, he says: “If you interfere with me I won’t
  play on your cellar door any more, but I’ll go over and play in
  Minneapolis.” That settles it. It mattered not that in this case he
  bought two smoke consumers on his way home, which people in his
  employ testify not only materially decreased the smoke, but saved
  fuel as well. The mischief was done. The newspapers went into spasms
  and told how there was “money in the smoke,” as the current saying
  runs in Pittsburgh.

  Far be it from the loyal women of the Civic League to interpose a
  barrier to the tide of our city’s prosperity. Rather let our carpets
  lose their patterns and our draperies forget their color—if there’s
  “money in the smoke,” our lords can buy us more. Though the clothes
  we wear are ruined, though the air we breathe is foul, though we
  cannot see the sun, we will wipe our smut-begrimed faces, Oh my
  sisters, and be joyful if there’s “money in the smoke.”

  But is there? Is it not true that 99 per cent. of the smoke which
  pollutes the atmosphere we breathe is belched forth, not from the
  chimneys of factories, not from the smokestacks of producers in any
  capacity, but is the direct result of the carelessness, selfishness
  and indifference of the owners of office buildings, apartment houses
  and—more shame to us—the public buildings of the city. If citizens
  are to be required to put up patiently and peaceably with the smoke,
  it behooves the men of the city who profess to like it so much to
  make their boast good. Let them develop manufactures; let them found
  new industries; let them turn the energy and creative force of our
  people to making things which the world wants to buy—let them put
  “money in the smoke.” Then at least will there be some compensation
  for the inconvenience, the filth and the waste which the people are
  called upon to endure.[13]

The women of Baltimore have been educating their city to see the folly
of smoking chimneys, with considerable success.

From every section of the country come reports of antismoke committees
in women’s organizations and it all points to the fact that women are
just housecleaning as usual.

                        FLIES, MOSQUITOES, RATS

Flies, mosquitoes, and rats as spreaders of disease have been attacked
with avidity by women.

“The anti-fly campaigning is a movement of more far-reaching importance
and more promising of prolonged life and freedom from disease than
perhaps any other single activity going forward in the community,” said
Mayor Baker of Cleveland recently in a letter to the city council.

The leader in the effort for a “flyless city of Cleveland” has been Jean
Dawson, professor of civic biology at the Normal School. In her work
emphasis was as usual these days laid on prevention, and breeding places
were attacked. As it had been estimated that a single pair of flies is
capable of reproducing two million young flies, the necessity of such a
movement was evident. Owners of stables throughout Cleveland were
compelled to clean-up, and keep clean, their premises. The schools were
utilized in an educational campaign and various civic bodies together
with the health officials eagerly coöperated.

The interesting thing about this campaign in Cleveland is that it
started before the flies hatched; in fact, it was directed against the
winter flies before they could lay their eggs. Miss Dawson issued a
“fly-catechism” which helped to win the coöperation of the women of the
city in her effort to eliminate the pest.

The occasional threat of bubonic plague and its actual appearance now
and then in port cities draws the serious attention of the public to the
necessity for the elimination of the rat. “Starve the rat and let him
go” is the war cry of women in New Orleans as well as in other cities,
especially as it becomes recognized that it is not merely the rat but
the fleas which live upon it which are carriers of disease.


The excessive noise in urban communities adds to the nervous tension
under which city dwellers must live. Effort has been made with some
success to reduce the “yelling peril” as it has been called; namely, the
nervous peril that results from trying to study, to sleep, to
convalesce, or to work in the midst of constant uproar.

Mrs. Isaac Rice instigated the anti-noise crusade in New York in the
desire to make her city a better place in which to sleep, for one thing.
Nerve specialists and hospital superintendents and baby doctors have
been among those who have added the weight of their testimony to the
value of a quieter urban life. Through the agitation carried on by Mrs.
Rice and the committee she formed, 80 per cent. of the river whistles
were driven, by means of congressional and municipal legislation, out of
the waters that surround the island-city. New legislation which Mrs.
Rice and her colleagues secured caused certain streets like those in
front of schools and hospitals to be marked as such, and driving laws
enforced to prevent fast driving and the blowing of automobile horns in
the vicinity of such places. “Walk your horses—hospital street” is as
familiar a sign in New York now as “Keep off the grass.”

Mr. Edward A. Abbott, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, who has also worked for
a quieter home city, says of the anti-noise crusade initiated by Mrs.
Rice: “The unfortunates in the hospitals and the babies in the cradles
of the great city, if they knew their benefactress, would canonize her.”
In Chattanooga the campaign was planned to show “by argument and
testimony that noise injures health, disturbs the right development of
infants, destroys the value of property, hinders the growth of cities,
promotes hate and resentment and is useless and silly.” The ringing of
railroad and other bells, crowing roosters, barking dogs and church
chimes were attacked in that southern city.

That many women are not unmindful of the fact that the anti-noise
movement must not be purely a middle-class movement is indicated by
their activity against prolonged hours of work amid the whir of factory
machinery. Noiseless machinery has not yet been a possibility, whatever
the future may hold in store for us in that respect; but any attempt to
limit one’s interest in health to a particular group is short-sighted,
to say the least. Jaded nerves are to be found in large numbers among
the factory men and women and boys and girls, whose daily bread is won
amid the incessant din of wheels and engines during a long work day.
Miss Goldmark has fully established the evils of these conditions, and
she speaks for a vast number of women in her analysis of, and emphasis
upon, overwork amid machinery as a cause of excessive fatigue. Women
physicians also are calling attention to the conditions of factory

                          HEALTH ASSOCIATIONS

Among other miscellaneous health activities of value may be mentioned
the American Posture League, which has been incorporated in New York to
start an organized campaign to secure “correct posture or carriage of
the body as of fundamental importance for health and efficiency.” The
points of immediate attack are to be: school furniture, and seats in
cars, theaters and other public places. Men and women in medical and
educational professions are on the committee.

While women are working in their localities and through their clubs for
improved health conditions, they are also affiliated in large numbers
with general associations interested in the advancement of public and
private hygiene.

The National First Aid Association of America, an inspiration of Clara
Barton, is a life-saving agency of incalculable worth. Young and old are
taught methods by its members to bring quick and proper relief to the
injured, which may preserve their lives until a physician can give them
better care. Policemen and firemen are taught this lesson and Boy Scouts
are becoming adepts in first aid.

A Central Council of Public Health was lately formed by the Academy of
Medicine, in New York, to act “as a medium for concerted action by
various health agencies, when need should arise.” While not distinctly a
woman’s council, it is composed both of women and men representing
women’s and men’s organizations.

Its general aims and purposes are thus set forth:

  1. To provide for conferences of private health organizations,

  2. To act as a clearing house for the exchange of ideas and
  information in reference to the public health of the city,

  3. To coördinate and prevent duplication of the various public
  health activities of the city,

  4. To promote coöperation in the investigation and study of health

  5. To study the city budget in its relation to public health,

  6. To take an active interest in the administration of all such
  branches of the city government as have a direct bearing on public
  health, and

  7. To provide for a combined expression of opinion on matters
  relating to public health.

At the first of their conferences on the city’s health, members of the
Council discussed the problem with the police commissioner and the
health commissioner and there was an exchange of viewpoints that was of
inestimable value.

At the great Hygienic Congress held at Buffalo in 1914 women were
prominent during the sessions and they helped largely to awaken public
interest in the meeting. Report had it that 7,000 representatives of
women’s clubs coöperated to secure the participation of school and civic
authorities in the Congress. At the Fifteenth International Congress of
Hygiene and Demography which was held in Washington, D. C., last year,
women not only participated but furnished one of the most interesting
features of the event—a notable health exhibit.

If Lord Beaconsfield’s test of statesmanship were applied today, women
would be seen to qualify.

                              CHAPTER III
                            THE SOCIAL EVIL

The awakening of women to the low social status of their sex is the most
encouraging fact of the century. With the revelations which have come
both from women and from men physicians, nurses, and scientists of the
causes, spread, and effects of venereal diseases, the conscience and
intelligence of women have fairly leaped in response to the demand made
upon them for recognition of the situation and for remedies and

Their work here as elsewhere has been varied; for the problem of
prevention is complex, many causes more or less combining to produce the
undesirable vice conditions. There are those, for example, who make
underfeeding—malnutrition—responsible for the physical and mental
defects which distort the mind and the will and which feed houses of
prostitution and the clandestine trade. Others lay emphasis upon the
liquor traffic and refer to the obvious connection between bars and
dance halls, between liquor and feeble-mindedness and degeneracy in
general. Yet others see in the commercial spirit of the age and the
avarice for profits and unearned livelihoods the basis of sex vice.
Education, the responsibility of doctors and parents, marriage laws and
customs, recreation, labor conditions and wages all receive their
emphasis in the discussion of the causes of sex irregularities and

In each line of thought and endeavor women will be found today in the
United States as leaders in the crusade against the social evil. The
General Federation of Women’s Clubs some time ago took official
cognizance of the imperative necessity for women to attack the evils
which eat at the heart of womanhood and maternity and thus endanger the
infant and the adult man and woman. At its Biennial Convention in
Chicago in June, 1914, the Federation made all aspects of this question
one of its main considerations for study and action.

As a further evidence of the determination of club women not to shrink
from the discussion of this question, we have _The American Club Woman_,
the organ of the Federation, declaring under the heading, “Women Will
Not Hush Up,” as follows:

  There is deep significance in the fact that women are rejecting the
  idea of keeping silent about vice problems. There is strong
  enthusiasm for the suppression of the social evil. A well-known New
  York club woman said the other day: “I attend committee meetings and
  discuss the facts about the social evil in as impersonal a manner as
  I do child labor or the high cost of living. Twenty years ago I
  would have blushed with embarrassment at the mention of the social
  evil in a mixed company of men and women. I know my mother would
  have been terribly shocked at the idea of my reading a report on the
  white slave traffic.”

  Times change. I believe we may make mistakes, but if we women are
  asking for political equality, we had better know what is happening
  to other women. It is as much our duty to try to suppress the
  so-called social evil as it is to promote higher education or secure
  a living wage for women in employment.

  Apropos of this humane sentiment, we note that women in various
  parts of the country are tackling the problem with a vigor and
  common-sense that astonishes city officials.

  In Detroit recently the club women persuaded the city officials to
  coöperate with civic organizations and order disorderly houses to
  close and stay closed after a certain date.

  A peculiar phase of the situation is that no provision seems to have
  been made for the women who will be turned out of these resorts.
  Being human, even if immoral, they are likely to continue living and
  the presumption is that those who profit by their traffic will
  remove them to some other city—which is not exactly a final solution
  of the evil.

  The club women who have labored so earnestly to improve the morals
  of their city are not to blame. They would be glad to see an asylum
  provided where such women might be cared for and given an
  opportunity to return to a normal life, but the State has not
  provided any such shelter, although the matter has been before the
  legislature more than once. Possibly some effort will be made by
  private subscription to do this work which the State should look

  Michigan is no worse than many other States in this respect and
  Detroit shows courage in attempting to stamp out an evil which is
  usually allowed to flourish without restraint. The case only
  illustrates what confusion exists when practical measures of reform
  are attempted. The study of social hygiene and eugenics inevitably
  leads to the consideration of the ugly problems of life. Any attempt
  at their solution is certainly better than the ignorant or
  indifferent attitude which women have hitherto been encouraged to
  take. Women are beginning to revolt against the atrocities of
  commercialized vice. They do not believe that all this degradation
  is inevitable. Every protest brings us nearer some right solution of
  the whole problem of woman’s place in life.

                          CONGRESS OF MOTHERS

The Congress of Mothers likewise refuses to ignore a matter so vitally
related to motherhood. This organization has for one of its chief aims
the promotion of high ideals of marriage “and the maintenance of its
sacredness and permanence.” Its attitude toward life is primarily
religious, and the leaders believe that more religious education in the
home is the crying need which will prevent immorality. The Congress of
Mothers is active and successful in forming mothers’ circles, fathers’
circles, and parent-teacher associations for the purpose of discussing
the needs of childhood and increasing the sense of responsibility among

Such responsibility undoubtedly can be improved and needs to be
improved. The social evil is not solved thereby, however, for economic
conditions affect that responsibility in varying degrees. The mother who
must work out of the home long hours, or the father who toils on a
night-shift or for ten, twelve or fourteen hours a day has no time or
strength to devote to children, however great the inclination.

Parents who have themselves grown up in a congested area, who have been
overworked and underfed and surrounded from infancy with a vicious
environment cannot be reached always with a religious or moral appeal
and, even if they are, they cannot always persuade their children to
forsake the attractions of the street and the saloon and the resort for
a quiet evening of prayer at home with the father and mother. Many women
accept the judgment and observation of Dr. Abraham Flexner that the
social evil swallows up in greater proportion than any other “the
unskilled daughters of the unskilled classes,” and they would therefore
substitute for, or supplement, the instilling of moral precept, by
industrial training, housing reform, regulation of hours and conditions
of labor, control of recreational facilities, the minimum wage, mothers’
pensions and many other reforms.

In these articles of a social program, the Congress of Mothers would
join forces part of the way. It is when suffragists insist on the need
of political power for mothers that the forces separate, for the
Congress of Mothers inclines to the individualist theory of causation
and responsibility.

The value of the agitation carried on by the Congress of Mothers lies in
its appeal to middle- and upper-class men and women who often lightly
ignore their family duties and entrust the care of children to
incompetent nurses or maids during their formative years. The
organization of parent-teacher associations increases the knowledge of
both of these important agencies in the molding of the child’s character
and is of inestimable value in the sphere where it can be employed. Just
as hospital work has to be supplemented by family treatment of an
economic character, so this work has to be supplemented by
social-economic work to cover larger sections of the community.

This wider social program is now on the horizon of all those women who
supplement individualistic morality by social morality and attempt to
understand the causes which operate on men and women in masses. Where
the women have this larger vision, they are demanding to know the
facts—the plain, unvarnished facts. They will not be put off by a
“There, there, now,” or “The time is not propitious.” We see women
everywhere backing movements for commissions to study the social evil in
all its aspects, individual and social, and where such commissions are
established we frequently find women serving on them or coöperating in
the investigation.

                            VICE COMMISSIONS

While their presence upon state and city vice commissions is of recent
accomplishment, it is one of the striking recognitions of the fact that
women have a vital part to play in the solution of the social evil.

Dr. Mabel Sims Ulrich was appointed a member of the vice commission by
the mayor of Minneapolis in recognition of her pioneer work in
education. She took her medical degree at Johns Hopkins and went to
Minneapolis in joint practice with her husband. Gradually the question
of sex education obtruded itself into her work. She was a mother as well
as a physician and mothers came to her for advice; then the Y. W. C. A.
sent her about to colleges and universities to impart knowledge on this
subject. Thus her experience made her a valuable member of the vice

The Chicago Vice Commission of 1912, the first of its kind appointed by
a municipality and financed by the city treasury, consisted of thirty
well-known men and women. An important part of the investigation was
made by women or under their direction.

Following upon the recommendation of a Baltimore grand jury, the
governor of Maryland appointed in 1913 a commission of fifteen members,
some of whom were women.

Lucia L. Jaquith, superintendent of the Memorial Hospital of Worcester,
Massachusetts, was a member of the Massachusetts Vice Commission which
reported to the legislature in March, 1914. Its recommendations consist
of: a modified form of the Iowa injunction and abatement law, penalizing
the property in which prostitution is carried on rather than the
prostitute; laws giving licensing boards more stringent supervision over
cafés, hotels and saloons and authority to license boarding-houses and
public dance halls; and a measure requiring all persons found in a
building or place used for prostitution to state under oath their true
names and residences. “A constructive plan of favorably modifying the
conditions of prostitution demands definite knowledge of the class of
men who patronize the prostitute,” is the opinion of this commission.
Policewomen were suggested and a state police “untrammeled by local
prejudices and alliances” to coöperate with local officials in
suppressing immoral resorts in small towns and cities.

The Women’s Municipal League of Boston which had made plans for an
investigation of vice conditions turned over much valuable data to this
state commission. Another group of workers, under the chairmanship of
Miss Marion Nickols, had undertaken similar work and also decided to
help the commission.

The most notable report of a vice commission recently issued is,
according to _The Survey_, that of Portland, Oregon (a suffrage state):

  It includes a series of reports issued since the commission’s
  appointment in 1911. One of the series deals with the places of
  public resort and accommodation affected by the social evil. It
  concludes with the famous “tin-plate ordinance,” which requires that
  “on the front of every building used, either in whole or in part, as
  a hotel, apartment house, rooming, lodging, boarding, tenement
  house, or saloon, there shall be, at the principal street entrance,
  a conspicuous plate or sign bearing the name and address of the
  owner or owners of such buildings.” This, of course, greatly
  facilitates the apprehension and conviction of those responsible for
  violating the law against disorderly resorts.

  This ordinance is reported to have had the effect of driving immoral
  people from the buildings they have occupied for years, because the
  owners were afraid to risk the publicity and responsibility of their
  presence and practices. Many of these buildings are now being
  remodeled and occupied by a better class of tenants.

  Another report of the series deals with the legal and police aspect
  of the social evil which led to the enactment of the law for
  enjoining and abating houses of ill fame as nuisances. A bill was
  also recommended creating a morals court. Finding the division of
  responsibility a cause of inefficiency and corruption in the police
  department, the commission recommends the vesting of full authority
  over the department in one man, as the most effective way of
  handling the social evil problem. Study of the juvenile aspects of
  the social evil led to specific sources of vice and the beginnings
  of moral delinquency, and resulted in the recommendation that a
  child welfare commission be appointed, which should be “charged with
  the study of the general subject of juvenile life.”

  While realizing the desirability of requiring vice diseases to be
  reported and registered, the commission doubted whether public
  opinion would support the enforcement of such a law. It considered a
  vigorous campaign of education the most necessary step for the
  control of these diseases. It recommended, however, that all cases
  encountered in dispensaries, hospitals, juvenile and municipal
  courts, penal institutions, maternity hospitals, rescue homes, and
  all places of detention, should be officially reported. The
  commission also urged that the city contribute to the support of
  free dispensaries for the treatment of these diseases and that the
  Department of Health make tests for the diagnosis of these diseases
  without charge.

  Wage scales were examined to determine the economic sources of the
  social evil and much interesting information was gathered. Human
  interest stories were revealed showing the need of a minimum wage
  for women workers, improved sanitation in shops and stores, shorter
  hours of labor and industrial education.

  The commission records its emphatic opposition to segregation in
  Portland for the following reasons:

  “Segregation does not segregate; deals only with a small percentage
  of the sexually immoral; promotes and justifies professional
  prostitution; does not reduce clandestine immorality; helps to
  establish a double standard of morality by stigmatizing the woman
  and ignoring the moral responsibility of the man; rests on the false
  presumption that sexual immorality is necessary; fosters the
  debauchery of the sex instinct; promotes the spread of disease; and
  affords official absolution for illegal and immoral conduct.”

Perhaps the most significant assertion in the whole impressive report is
this sentence: “When any considerable number of men question the
necessity of an evil it marks the beginning of the end. It is here that
this commission rests and finds justification of its labors.”

Portland has since passed the “tin-plate ordinance” recommended by the
commission and so strongly approved by women voters. Indeed this measure
has commended itself to women everywhere in the country.

The Women’s League for Good Government of Elmira, New York, made an
investigation of vice conditions under the American Vigilance
Association during the summer of 1913. The results of this investigation
were first given to the public at a great mass meeting held in one of
the theaters in October. At this meeting a summary of the investigator’s
report was given by one of the clergymen of the city. The theater was
taxed to its utmost capacity, and the overflow filled the largest church
auditorium in the city. The great audiences listened with solemnity to
the startling revelations of the report. The Committee on Public Morals
was at once organized and it was immediately requested by the newly
appointed police commissioners to keep a watchful eye on the cheap
theaters and the “movies.” Copies of the Vice Report were sent to the
newly elected city officials, and additional copies were requested by
the police commissioners, into whose hands was placed the key to the
Report (names of persons and places having been printed in cipher). “We
have reason to believe that the Report has been helpful to the police
commissioners in their efforts to enforce the laws,” say the women of

Valuable reports have issued from the Bureau of Social Hygiene in New
York, at the present time composed of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Dr.
Katharine Bement Davis, the present city commissioner of corrections and
former superintendent of the Woman’s Reformatory at Bedford, Paul M.
Warburg, and Starr J. Murphy. For some time this Bureau had maintained a
laboratory of social hygiene at the Bedford Reformatory whence Dr. Davis
formed her convictions on the causes of sexual immorality. In the first
publication of this Bureau—that of Mr. Kneeland on conditions of vice in
New York City—Dr. Katharine Davis has a summary of the conclusions of
the Bedford laboratory. Her personal convictions she states in this way:
“I say unhesitatingly that in the vast majority of cases she [the
prostitute] is a victim. Prostitution as now conducted in this country
and in Europe is very largely a man’s business; the women are merely
tools in the hands of the stronger sex. It is a business run for profit
and the profit is large. It is my belief that less than 25 per cent. of
the prostitutes in this country would have fallen if they had had an
equally good chance to lead a pure life. That they have been dragged
into the mire in such large numbers is due to a variety of
circumstances, among which are poverty, low wages, improper home
conditions and lack of training, the natural desire for pretty things,
etc. But while all these may be contributing causes, man is chiefly


When commissions make investigations or some crisis forces the issue of
the social evil, women are among the first to demand full publicity and
effective action. A good example of their determination in this matter
is afforded by the battle of the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association
in Hartford, Connecticut, against a conspiracy of silence on the part of
the town council. This interesting episode, which stirred the whole
state, is thus described in _The Survey_:

  The names of the Hartford Common Council will not be lost to memory
  if a six-foot signboard in front of the woman suffrage headquarters
  can prevent oblivion. The sign, which placards with startling
  headlines the attitude of each City Father toward the suppression of
  commercialized vice, is the vigorous protest of the Connecticut
  Woman Suffrage Association [led by Mrs. Thomas Hepburn] against a
  principle which has been largely responsible for the unsavory
  reputation of Hartford.

  In December, 1911, the trial of the notorious white slavers, Morris
  and Lena Cohen, revealed the fact that a policy of toleration,
  extending over many years, had made Hartford a recognized market for
  prostitutes and a center for the white slave traffic between New
  York and points further east. Following this disclosure, Mayor Smith
  ordered all houses of prostitution closed and appointed a vice
  commission that the problem might be attacked still more drastically
  in the future.

  The Common Council refused to appropriate any city funds to make an
  investigation possible, but the vice commission was not deterred
  from its undertaking. It raised its own funds, carried on its
  investigations and in July, 1913, published a report which probes
  ruthlessly into the underworld of Hartford. Among the fifteen
  specific recommendations dealing with local conditions, the most
  emphatic is, “that the present policy of keeping the houses closed
  be adhered to rigidly.” “The experiment,” the report continues, “if
  such we may call it, has certainly had no evil results. Most of
  those best qualified to judge affirm that it has led to better
  conditions. In the face of these facts, a return to the old plan of
  tolerating houses of ill fame would be a deliberate connivance at an
  illegal traffic.” Owing to lack of money but 500 copies of this
  report could be published and the City Council refused to
  appropriate funds for further editions for general distribution to
  make facts known to the whole city.

  But the Council did not count on the determination of the Hartford
  suffragists to procure a widespread dissemination of facts regarding
  the enormity of the vice situation. To the horror of saloon-keepers,
  dive-keepers, complaisant citizens, and the prominent newspapers,
  the Woman Suffrage Association reprinted the report and placed it
  for sale at suffrage headquarters in the midst of the shopping
  district. So much publicity was given to the matter in this way that
  it has become difficult for an immediate return to the old condition
  of a segregated vice district in the city.

  Nevertheless, an aroused public sentiment did not mean an aroused
  Common Council. It has frequently been rumored in Hartford that the
  connection between commercialized vice and politics was closer than
  the average citizen realized. But aside from continued delay there
  was no evidence to show that these suspicions were well founded
  until, at a recent meeting, the majority of councilmen practically
  declared their indifference toward an illegal traffic in women. At
  this meeting Councilman Beadle introduced a resolution “that the
  Court of Common Council register its approval of the policy of
  repression in the regulation of vice as inaugurated by former Mayor
  Edward L. Smith and publicly approved by present Mayor Louis R.
  Cheney and that the same should be rigidly adhered to.” By a vote of
  24 to 5, action on the resolution was indefinitely postponed. In
  other words, of 29 councilmen present Messrs. Beadle, Havens,
  Harger, Watson and Brockway were the only ones willing to go on
  record as inalienably opposed to the toleration of commercialized

  It was this definite committal of attitude by the Common Council
  which precipitated the latest insurrection by the suffrage party. In
  their efforts to secure a cleaner, safer Hartford, the Woman
  Suffrage Association is distributing pamphlets which contain salient
  facts in the history of vice regulation in Hartford and at their
  doors they have erected the sign appealing to the mothers of


After investigations and publicity come remedial measures, legislative
and social. Legislation for the protection of girls is fostered by women
in nearly all the states now and much of it has been initiated by them.
The Protective Agency for Women and Children, an outgrowth of the
Chicago Woman’s Club, has secured legislation in Illinois, making crimes
of indecent offenses against children. One of the most significant
stories is that of the struggle for an adequate age of consent law in
the states.

Lavinia Dock, in her study of “Sex and Morality,” tells of that struggle
in Illinois:

  The other bill, presented in the name of the federated club women of
  the state, amended the existing statute by raising the age of
  consent from 14 to 18. The course of this bill through the
  Legislature affords a good illustration of the difficulties met by
  women when they undertake to create new legislation that affects
  dominant man. At every meeting of the legislature since the year
  1887 an amendment raising the age of consent had been presented and
  had been smothered in committee. This bill narrowly escaped a like
  fate. It was introduced in the Senate and the senators were
  practically unanimous in their promises to vote for it; of course
  their mental reservation was “if it ever gets out of committee.” The
  women in charge of the bill were allowed to plead their cause. Two
  features of the meeting were that many members of the committee who
  had promised support were “unavoidably absent” and that a lawyer
  from Chicago who was not required to disclose the interests he
  represented was allowed to make an elaborate attack on the proposed
  amendment. It quickly became evident that the Committee would not
  favorably consider the raise to 18 years. On a compromise at 16 the
  result hung in doubt until the friendly chairman, Senator Juul, who
  introduced the bill, decided a tie vote on the motion to report the
  bill. Once before the Senate, the senators stood by their promises
  and the bill was quickly passed unanimously.

  In the House the bill met with a reception that was far from
  friendly. The committee refused to hear the women in charge of the
  bill and the program was silence and secrecy. The House Committee,
  however, did not dare to kill the bill and contented itself with
  adding several minor amendments apparently intended to afford
  loopholes of escape to offenders. When the amended bill was returned
  to the Senate, the women, believing the amendments to be innocuous
  and regarding the raising of the age by two years as a substantial
  victory, requested that it be passed. It was.

  This bill has been a great aid to all the organizations interested
  in protecting young girls, and convictions have been frequent under
  it. But the club women were actually obliged to print both the old
  law and the amended law and post them in police stations and police
  courts to secure these convictions.

  In this connection it should be stated that the very first
  legislation undertaken by the Iowa State Federation of Women’s Clubs
  was in 1894, when it petitioned the legislature to raise the age of
  consent in that state from 15 to 18 years; the age was raised to 16.

In practically every state in the Union women have worked for a similar
age of consent but it is by no means yet established at 18 years in many
places. They have also supported all other measures giving more security
to girls.

The way in which California women have striven for remedial legislation
is thus described by Mary Roberts Coolidge in _The Survey_, under the
title of “California Women and the Abatement Law”:

  Women voters, it is now generally conceded, were chiefly responsible
  for the passage by the California legislature of 1913 of two
  important measures dealing with the social evil. One, the bill to
  appropriate $200,000 for a detention home for girls, met with little
  opposition, because perhaps it was preventive in character. The
  other, the red-light abatement bill, was bitterly fought, not only
  upon the floor, but by every secret device known to vicious
  interests throughout the state.

Although it passed the Assembly by a vote of 62 to 17 and the Senate by
a scarcely less significant majority of 29 to 11, it was apparent in the
debates that many of the legislators were yielding to the demands of
urgent constituents rather than to willing conviction. A political
pressure, to which all politicians are accustomed when corporate and
financial interests are involved, made them squirm unhappily when
brought to bear by 50,000 organized women.

The red-light bill had scarcely received the governor’s signature and
the women had scarcely turned their minds to the emergency measures
which would be needed by those who would be thrown out of their
miserable trade by the law, when rumors of a referendum to be invoked
against it began to be heard. The so-called Property Owners’ Protective
Association, with offices in the Phelan Building, San Francisco, became
the distributing center for the referendum petitions. Two months later
it was announced that they had secured over 30,000 names. As only 19,283
signatures of qualified voters were necessary to hold up the law, the
referendum was assured of a place on the ballot of November, 1914.

Although disappointed that the abatement law was not to go into effect
in August, some of the women leaders saw an opportunity in this delay to
educate citizens further in the intent of the law itself. In this way
they could insure more intelligent public support when it should finally
become operative. At this stage of readjustment the questionable methods
and support behind the anti-abatement referendum were suddenly exposed
by the discovery that hundreds—and since then, thousands—of signatures
to the petitions were not genuine. So many, indeed, that, if the facts
had been known before the petitions were certified, there might have
been enough to invalidate the referendum itself.

The Property Owners’ Protective Association had declared that they would
get these signatures outside the bay cities in order to prove that the
country was as much opposed as the cities to the law. But a scrutiny of
the petitions from each county shows that out of a total of 31,930
signatures certified, 53 per cent. (17,119) were from San Francisco
alone and that Alameda and San Francisco counties together furnished 60
per cent. of the whole, while Los Angeles gave only 19 per cent.,
Sacramento less than 5 per cent. and each of the other counties a
negligible hundred or two names.

These figures showed where the enemy lived. The fight against this law
was being made by the vice-and-liquor combination of San Francisco and
Oakland, backed by property owners who were reaping the rentals of the
tenderloin districts but dared not let their names be known. Against
such as these, women citizens had no direct recourse. But they addressed
themselves to the district attorney of San Francisco, whose duty it was
to prosecute the offenders.

But in spite of the fact that forged names appeared on the referendum
petitions, no indictments were made. Early in December it looked as if
nothing further would be done about these frauds. The district attorney
gave little evidence of continuing the cases. But until he definitely
refused to take action, the governor could not be expected to direct the
attorney-general to take the matter out of the district attorney’s

Various committees of women continued to urge action upon the district
attorney, and one group from the San Francisco Center of the California
Civic League made it their business to visit him week after week to
inquire what he intended to do about these forgeries. On each occasion
he refused to commit himself definitely, but he could not put his polite
questioners out of the office—they were women of too much social
backing. Besides, all these committees of women were voters and leaders,
perhaps, of unnumbered feminine electors. An uncomfortable plight
certainly for an official who might not wish to go on record on a
ticklish question.

The district attorney, in search of further evidence, finally sent to
the office of the secretary of state at Sacramento for the original
petitions. Although he declared that he had been shamefully abused by
some of these groups of women, he was nevertheless compelled to take the
forgery cases before a new grand jury. And, meanwhile, the press of the
state was demanding results and insisting that the attorney general
should prosecute the cases if the district attorney failed.

About the middle of February the district attorney again presented the
matter before the grand jury. Indictment of one Belle Weil, who had
circulated one of the referendum petitions, resulted.

In a struggle against entrenched and highly profitable evils, women may
seem to be at great disadvantage. In this case there is also a body of
men—small, perhaps, but of a sort that cannot be pooh-poohed—who have
been carrying on an equally effective campaign of publicity and
education. Women, in fact, have some advantages over men in such a
contest against the powers of evil. They have as yet no party traditions
to hamper them; no direct business relations to be jeopardized; and,
above all, they have a larger amount of daytime leisure in which to do
detail reform work and to convert small groups of people.

The various bodies of organized women who were behind the demand for the
abatement and injunction law last year are now pouring out thousands of
leaflets which defend and explain the cause in a simple and effective
way. They are training women to speak on the subject and providing them
with carefully digested information. In Berkeley the education committee
of the civic center is prepared to send a speaker to any meeting where
the subject may be presented; and is, moreover, asking every social,
civic and religious organization—of which there are over a hundred in
the town—to give time for a statement of the issues involved in the
anti-abatement referendum.

Whatever the fate of the referendum, the campaign of education, which is
now going on, is of the highest value to the citizens of the state. And
since this referendum has been invoked by vicious methods it becomes
evident that the very principles of direct legislation are at stake. If
this law may be held up and perhaps defeated by forgeries, then any
other may be.

Whatever the individual citizen may think of the policy of attacking the
property owner who reaps the profits of commercialized vice—which is the
sole aim of the abatement law—he cannot ignore the duty of guarding the
referendum principle. It should be made unpleasant and unprofitable for
men to tamper with petitions. And at the next legislature the law should
be so strengthened as to make the punishment of such acts swift and

The act was sustained but a test case was soon made in order to bring
the law before the Supreme Court, where its constitutionality must be

Women are equally alert to fight legislation, dealing with the social
evil, which discriminates against the sex. This fight is constantly
carried to the courts, the final place of appeal, if the battle is lost
in the legislature. Women succeeded in having a piece of legislation
declared unconstitutional in New York four or five years ago as a result
of their almost united protest against it; that is, the social workers,
the suffragists, the medical women and nurses, women’s club leaders and
others united in an endeavor to prevent an important measure from being
put into effect after it had passed the state legislature.

The object of their attack was Clause 79 in what is known as the Page
Law, which clause provided for medical examination of convicted
prostitutes and their compulsory detention during treatment. Their
objection to this process of “hygienizing” vice was made by the women on
the ground that the prostitutes were not being imprisoned until
reformed, or until sufficiently punished, but until presumably well,
when they were to be returned to the streets. It was contended that this
clause was utterly worthless from a sanitary standpoint and “its
indirect influence, as has been proved by the history of every
regulative act, will be to increase the evil which its direct influence
will not be competent to cure.”

Pamphlets describing the law and its inevitable consequences were
printed by the women and distributed widely among their organizations.
One of these was signed by the following groups of persons: the Women’s
Prison Association, which took the lead in this struggle; National Woman
Suffrage Association; Hygienic Committee of the Woman’s Medical
Association; Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, State of New York; The
American Purity Alliance; the National Vigilance League (Men’s);
Friends’ Philanthropic Committee; Council of Jewish Women, New York
Section; Woman Suffrage Party, New York City; Equality League of
Self-Supporting Women; Brooklyn Auxiliary of the Consumers’ League; and
the American Federation of Nurses.

The battle for remedial measures is only half won when the desired
legislation is placed on the statute books. It is hardly half won, for
the enforcement of these laws is contested inch by inch by powerfully
organized forces of vice with almost unlimited financial resources and
the aid of the most skilled lawyers. Women are alive to this fact, and
realize the necessity of eternal vigilance in law enforcement. A few
passages of recent history will illustrate their determination not to
relax their efforts simply because good laws have been obtained.

                           JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Commercialized vice is a national problem recognized as such by the Mann
Act which makes it a violation “for any person knowingly to persuade,
induce, coerce, or cause, or to aid or assist any woman or girl to go
from one state to another for prostitution, debauchery or other immoral
purposes, with or without her consent. The maximum penalty if the victim
be over 18 is five years’ imprisonment and $5,000 fine; and twice that
amount if she be under 18.”

The difficulty sometimes is to get judgment in the courts in cases of
arrest under the Mann Act.

  In Minnesota the women’s clubs made a state issue of a case in which
  a married man, deserting his family, took a girl from Wisconsin to
  Minnesota, and was sentenced by Judge McPherson to three months in
  the county jail and a fine of $1,000. The women’s clubs petitioned
  the judge of the United States Court of Appeals, who makes the
  assignments of the district judges, to assign Judge McPherson to
  another district, “lest another case of white slavery be placed upon
  the calendar subject to Judge McPherson’s judgment.” This petition
  was refused, on the ground that the degree of punishment is
  expressly intrusted to the trial judge. It was stated also that the
  United States district attorney who prosecuted the case was
  satisfied with the sentence. The man had pleaded guilty to taking a
  girl under eighteen across state borders for cohabitation. Judge
  McPherson defended his sentence on the ground that there was no
  evidence to show that the girl was coerced. The club women countered
  vigorously with a statement to the effect that coercion was not the
  point; that by the man’s own story, plus all human experience, the
  girl was surely entered on a life of prostitution; what they wanted
  was such punishment as would be the talk of every barroom and a
  specter to any man who contemplated doing it in the future.[14]

The federal judges and attorneys generally take into account the
circumstances in the case and only in clear cases where white slavery is
accomplished by force have the full penalties been imposed. The
transportation of regular prostitutes was not punished, in one instance
the judge saying that thus “our own daughters” are better protected.
Women with a social conscience take the position that all women are
their daughters and that no daughter is safe until the traffic is
suppressed. Moreover they seek to protect their sons wherever they are
and they call upon the national government to help them do it.

That women voters will not tolerate a wide-open indorsement of vice was
proved in the case of the policy pursued by Mayor Gill of Seattle in
1910–1911. It is true that conditions were so flagrantly vile that the
instincts of women were in open revolt, yet Mayor Gill, in his alliance
with the interests that were profiting by the public traffic, seemed
firmly entrenched.

Through the power of the recall, the women of Seattle led a movement
against Mayor Gill and his vice policy which was successful; the mayor
was removed from office; and a reform policy was instituted.

At the last election, however, contrary to the expectation and to the
amazement of women in other parts of the country, Mayor Gill was
reinstated as mayor. Criticism was rife and men joined with women in
attributing the result to the fickleness of women and their
superficiality. They were even accused of worse things.

In explanation of their conduct, the women of Seattle stated that Mayor
Gill pleaded with them for a chance to redeem himself in the eyes of his
neighbors and friends and in the eyes of the citizens of his city among
whom his family had to live and where his son must suffer from the
opprobrium in which his father would be held forevermore unless this
chance was given. Mayor Gill testified that he had thought a wide-open
town was what the people wanted and what would pay best. He found it was
not what the people wanted, least of all the women who now were voters,
and he would bow to their will for their sakes and for the sake of his
family whose respect he must regain. The women claimed that there seemed
more security with Mayor Gill under such pressure and in view of his
knowledge of women’s actual power if he failed to make good this time;
that a big point of view required them to give him a chance to redeem
himself. They gave him the chance and Mayor Gill is carrying out the
wishes of the women during his present administration.

The women of California undertook a similar campaign in San Francisco in
April of 1913. When a police magistrate reduced the bail which another
judge had fixed for a prisoner accused of attacking a young girl and the
prisoner immediately fled when released on the reduced bail, the women
went to work and soon secured the necessary signatures to a petition for
the recall of the magistrate. In the recall election, the erring
magistrate was defeated and an able young lawyer with a wider view of
this grave social problem took his place.

Miriam Michelson, in the _Sunset Magazine_, tells the story:

  Now this threatened recall of a police judge is undertaken, I should
  say, not because the women believe this particular judge to be
  unique in flagrant adherence to a police court system of leniency in
  sex-crimes; not because they think him the worst of his type that
  San Francisco has known; but because they consider him a type and
  because they consider the police court system one that must be
  changed. This recall presents something definite, something to do,
  which feminine hands have been aching for.

                  *       *       *       *       *

  You may talk to women of the futility of figuring social sex sins,
  but they seem to be congenitally incapable of believing you. I heard
  a man talk to an audience in behalf of this measure, and when he
  touched upon that old, old text—_it always has been; it always will
  be_—there came a curious resemblance in every woman’s face within my
  vision; for every face had hardened, stiffened, was marked with the
  family likeness of rebellion. The lecturer was addressing himself to
  deaf ears, to eyes determined not to see.

  And this is at once the weakness and the strength of the new element
  in elections. Those who have watched the ardor of the most eager and
  high-minded reformers burn out in commissions, in barren resolutions
  and recommendations, see in the average woman’s limitations that
  power, that one-idead incapacity to look philosophically on both
  sides of a question which marks Those Who Can Change Things. You may
  object that such qualities produce a Carrie Nation. They do, but
  they also make a Joan of Arc, a Harriet Beecher Stowe....

  Her recently awakened realization of equality, the new broom that
  her conscience is, revolts at a policy that establishes a municipal
  clinic for women prostitutes, yet by a curious, cowardly subterfuge,
  overlooks the male’s share in infection; as though the plague
  created and disseminated in common could have but one source! And in
  addition to all this, she is learning that when she is ready at last
  to attack the vested, organized, recognized institution of
  prostitution, the first result of her activities will mean greater
  misery and perhaps speedier death for the woman who is already at
  the lowest point of the social scale....

  But over against this set this fact: There are seven hundred women
  in San Francisco whose one aim in civic life is to found a state
  training school for girls gone wrong who would go right. This
  association has a representative in Sacramento whose sole business
  it is to further a bill for the establishment of a helping station
  to girls on the way to usefulness and moral health, modeled upon
  similar establishments in other states. Here is work, backed by
  thirty thousand club women of the state, proceeding definitely,
  practically to a solution of one of the most appalling obstacles to
  the crusade against vice.... But the time has not yet come when
  woman will face her individual share of atonement for a social sin
  in which she has acquiesced. Ultimately, with universal suffrage,
  the wheel of time must place at the door of the protected woman
  responsibility for the prostitute. As yet she cannot see herself, in
  her own home, taking up the broken lives, diseased bodies, debased
  minds and deadened souls—the by-product of that which men tell her
  has always been and always must be.


It is not merely by drastic legislation directed immediately at the
social evil that women are attempting to solve the problem. They know
full well the complexity of the disease. They are coming more and more
to the view that the indirect attack on low wages, bad housing
conditions, and the other evils which lower standards of living is more
effective than the frontal assault. They are also attacking the problem
with measures designed to safeguard young girls who for economic reasons
must work out of the home.

In their efforts to trace the whereabouts of immigrant girls, to do
follow-up work, to establish immigrant homes, to secure matrons on
steamers and women inspectors, women are constantly controlling some
portion at least of the social evil. Miss Sadie American, Executive
Secretary of the Council of Jewish Women, states that her organization,
which does so much to safeguard Jewish girls, could do vastly more if it
had the facilities that the government has in the way of registered
lists of newly arrived citizens with their destinations. Certainly the
organization of women as a social service adjunct to the Department of
Immigration would be a step acceptable to women and of incalculable
preventive value to the country.

The women of California are preparing to establish preventive and
assimilative work among the foreigners who will doubtless pour into that
state in a little while as a result of the opening of the Panama Canal.

“A committee for the protection of girls will be organized by Mrs. F. G.
Sanborn, president of the Woman’s Department of the Panama-Pacific
exposition. This work is regarded as very important when it is
remembered that 6,000 girls were lost during the Chicago World’s Fair.
Club women in San Francisco are actively interested in the Woman’s
Department of the exposition.”[15]

Intercommunity and interstate responsibility for the diminution of the
social evil receives increased emphasis in the writings and the civic
work of women. They have learned that suppression of disorderly houses
in one city may only drive evil doers into a neighboring city or a
neighboring state. Even eternal vigilance to prevent the return of the
traffickers and their victims does not satisfy those parents who read of
surrounding iniquity and whose young people travel or work from place to
place. By the organization of travelers’ aid societies, women and men
have sought to protect girls and women in their travel by train and by
boat from kidnapping or allurement on misunderstanding or misdirection.
Such societies exist in every large urban center and are of the greatest
value as preventive work in safeguarding women and girls from criminals.


Among the societies which seek to deal with prostitution, in which women
lead or with which they are affiliated, may be mentioned the Kansas City
Society for the Suppression of Commercialized Vice which has two women
on its board of directors. This organization was the outcome of a
meeting held by the Public Morals Committee of the Church Federation in
September, 1913, when the following resolutions setting forth the
program of the society, were adopted unanimously:

  Whereas the present conditions of tolerated vice in Kansas City are
  undermining the foundation of character in our citizens, promoting
  their physical degeneracy, withdrawing from its proper use an
  enormous sum of money, and casting reproach upon the fair name of
  our city;

  Therefore, be it Resolved:

  That we as citizens of Kansas City in mass meeting assembled,
  unreservedly condemn the policy of the segregation of vice;

  That we abhor the iniquitous fine system by which we as citizens are
  forced to become partners in the profits of vice, and we favor
  whatever proceedings may be necessary to divorce the city from a
  participation in such profits;

  That we call upon the prosecuting attorney to use the full powers of
  his office to enforce the laws against vice;

  That we favor a state-wide campaign in Missouri for the enactment of
  a law similar to the Iowa injunction and abatement law;

  That a committee of representative citizens be appointed with power
  to increase their number to arrange for a permanent organization in
  opposition to commercialized vice in Kansas City.

The objects of the Society are stated as follows:

  The Society is organized to abolish commercialized vice and to
  prevent the recognition of sexual immorality on the part of the city
  or state in any way other than constant opposition to and
  enforcement of laws against it;

  The enactment of further legislation to facilitate the abatement of
  the crime and injunction of property used for the purpose;

  A propaganda which shall by forewarnings cut off both demand and

                  *       *       *       *       *

In writing of results already accomplished, this Society says:

  We closed all of the 63 immoral houses on the police fine list.
  Robert Thornton, resident U. S. officer to enforce the Mann Act,
  stated that about one-third of his list of 559 immoral women in
  Kansas City left town and that of the remainder from 100 to 150
  found respectable employment and would not return to their old ways.
  This shows a reduction of 50 per cent. of the immorality in Kansas
  City due to the 559 prostitutes on the government agent’s list.

  Since the closing of the red-light district in the north end the
  Society has shut up 15 or 20 other houses in various parts of the
  city. W. W. Knight, the newly appointed police commissioner, assures
  us that the town will be cleaned up. We have already given him
  information from our investigators which he says is very helpful.

  In coöperation with eleven other civic and religious organizations
  our society is bringing to Kansas City the next Congress of the
  World’s Purity Federation, which will convene November 5th to 9th,
  and will bring to Kansas City the very best specialists on social
  questions. The Congress will consider causes of the social evil and
  how best to combat them. It is believed that it will be a strong
  factor in molding public opinion on this subject.


The recent merger of the American Vigilance Association and the American
Federation for Sex Hygiene into the American Social Hygiene Association
will doubtless increase the efficiency of the work attempted by the two
former societies and prevent duplication. Charles W. Eliot is president
of the new society and Jane Addams is an honorary vice-president while
the directors include Martha Falconer, Mrs. Raymond Robbins, and the
Rev. Anna Garlin Spencer.

The purpose of the society is thus stated: “To acquire and diffuse
knowledge of the established principles and practices and of any new
methods which promote or give assurance of promoting social health; to
advocate the highest standards of private and public morality; to
suppress commercialized vice; to organize the defense of the community
by every available means, educational, sanitary or legislative, against
the diseases of vice; to conduct, on request, inquiries into the present
condition of prostitution and the venereal diseases in American towns
and cities; and to secure mutual acquaintance and sympathy and
coöperation among the local societies for these or similar purposes.”

The Society for Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis in New York City is one
of the local societies that is doing much to arouse a public sentiment
of a constructive character. While the officers are men, the list of
members includes 579 women, a large number of whom are either physicians
or school teachers and active and valuable members. The lecturers for
the society are chiefly women and the work done is more among women than
among men. Olive Crosby is the office secretary.

The New York Society is one of twenty branches similarly organized in
different cities and states. The work carried on by it is educational;
through lectures, conferences, pamphlets and agitation for better
legislation and proper sex instruction. Among its educational pamphlets
are some prepared by women, like that for teachers on “Instruction in
the Physiology and Hygiene of Sex” by Dr. Helen Putnam, of the American
Medical Association.

The Juvenile Protective Association of Chicago, of which Mrs. Louise De
Koven Bowen is the head, emphasizes the need of labor and other
legislation as a basis for some solution of the social evil. Among the
preventive measures suggested are: the minimum wage law; publicity for
the owners of disreputable houses by means of the tin-plate or card in
the hallway; a law similar to the Albert Law in Nebraska which declares
property used for purposes of prostitution a nuisance and the owner
punishable for maintaining such; better regulations of hotels; medical
certificates before the issuance of marriage licenses; and wider labor
legislation. Mrs. Bowen has made a special study of the department store
girl, among other types of workers, and she agrees with the Illinois
Vice Commission that the economic conditions which surround the
department store girl tend to her moral as well as her physical
breakdown and need remedying as the basis for greater stability.

In November of 1912 a federation was effected in Chicago of nearly forty
societies interested in social well-being and united against the social

While concentrating on preventive measures, women are not neglecting
what is known as “rescue work.” The name of Dr. Kate Waller Barrett is
known to thousands of girls who have passed through the Florence
Crittenton homes scattered throughout the country. Twenty-two thousand
girls, it is claimed, entered these homes last year. In these places of
temporary refuge, efforts have been made by the women in charge to
accomplish the individual reformation of the girls under their care.
Some effort is also made in these missions, under the direction of Dr.
Barrett, to give industrial training to their occupants. The equipment,
however, largely provides for the traditional cooking, sewing, cleaning
and nursing. It is a question whether domestic service or nursing are
the most suitable occupations for this type of girl.

Miss Maud Minor, of New York, who is head of Waverly House, a detention
home for girls, is another woman deeply interested both in the
probationary character of her work and in some of the larger preventive
aspects of the social evil problem.


Recognizing that ignorance in matters of sex is one of the leading
causes of prostitution, women working on the problem of the social evil
have decided that the conspiracy of silence shall be broken all along
the line and that we shall have all the light we can get. They are not
unaware of the danger that comes from quacks and overhasty action, but
they do not intend to be daunted by the collateral evils that seem to
accompany every good. Women are therefore seeking to educate public
opinion to an abhorrence of the social evil and to a realization of the
menaces to health which result from it. Jane Addams by her articles in
the magazines and by her more recent books has done a vast deal to draw
public attention to the social evil. Anna Garlin Spencer has made a
study of state efforts to deal with vice by regulation instead of
abolition and “to protect monogamy by putting vice on a legal footing.”
Miss Lavinia Dock’s “Sex and Morality” has also been widely read and
quoted. There has been a large output of books dealing with woman’s
relation to the problem of prostitution, seeking, on the one hand, to
arouse woman to her own status and to inspire her to enforce right
conduct on the part of man; and, on the other, to arouse men to a sense
of their responsibility toward womanhood. Both English and American
books are widely circulated and read in this country and suffragists may
frequently be seen upon the streets or in meeting halls in various
cities selling such importations as “My Little Sister” by Elizabeth
Robbins or “Plain Facts about a Great Evil” by Crystabel Pankhurst.

By the drama also women and men have sought to teach sex health and
morality. They have supported the Sociological Fund of the _Medical
Review of Reviews_ in presenting “Damaged Goods,” by Eugene Brieux, to
large audiences in the greater towns and cities. At first presented
timidly to audiences carefully selected from ministers, teachers and
social workers, on which occasions the performance was opened with
prayer, the powerful lesson taught by this play has led to braver
adventures and “Damaged Goods” has been witnessed by many thousands of
people who have not only come to see it through invitations but who have
bought their seats at popular prices.

Of course the moving-picture promoters have been quick to seize upon the
popular interest in the white slave traffic and to exploit that interest
at times in a way that may easily be harmful to young boys and girls.
Women have been blamed in the press by other women and by men for
promoting an unholy craving for red-light films but it is difficult to
see how this charge can be substantiated in view of the well-known
commercial methods of the day. Certainly, the exploitation of woman’s
work against the social evil by moving-picture show concerns will not
deter their efforts for an instant.

                        TEACHING OF SEX HYGIENE

It is perhaps in the proper teaching of sex hygiene in the schools, to
working men and women, to college and other groups of young men and
women, and to foreigners, that women expect to accomplish most for the
elevation of moral standards and for the elimination of venereal

In Minnesota the single standard of morals has been widely supported by
the club women and sex hygiene has been urged for the schools.

The Women’s Municipal League of Boston took the high position that
“realizing the physical misery which is resulting from ignorance in
regard to matters of sex, and the spiritual degradation following the
wrong conception of the high purpose of the sex function, to which must
be added the loss of efficiency in human ability, the Committee on
Social Hygiene of the League has set itself the task of awakening the
community to the dangers of a further continuance of this policy of
silence and of arousing the public conscience to do its duty; providing
sex education both for parents and for those whose parents cannot or
will not furnish it for them.” The League was, of course, very careful
to choose the members of this committee from those women whom it
believed to be qualified to lead in this work. From a recent report we

  Because the time left us this season is so limited, we are making
  our work experimental rather than exhaustive, with the idea of using
  the results as a guide to the nature of the work to be undertaken
  next year. We have, therefore, aimed to present the subject through
  lecturers, to the following groups, selected as types: to a group of
  mothers desirous of teaching their children in sex matters, and
  eager to know how to go about it; to a group of teachers, who are
  continually meeting sex problems among their pupils; to a group of
  girls already in industry; to a group of boys organized in a club;
  to a mixed group of men and women representing the present state of
  public opinion, whose support is most necessary; and to
  representatives from a committee from neighboring towns who wish to
  take advantage of our machinery to start similar work at home.

  The committee confronted its first difficulty in securing a
  lecturer, for the work is new and there are few trained speakers
  available. Dr. Frances M. Greene of Cambridge, the president of the
  society which initiated this work in California, who has made an
  intensive study of the question in Europe, was engaged to give a
  course of five lectures in the League rooms.... Announcements were
  sent out to 725 people, most of whom were mothers of young children;
  77 persons attended the first lecture, and this number has increased
  with each succeeding meeting. A charge of $1.00 was made for the
  course. The receipts for the lectures were over $170.00, a sum
  sufficient to pay the expenses of the lecturer, postage and
  stationery. The serious interest shown by those in attendance has
  deepened the conviction of the committee, that the public wishes
  enlightenment in regard to instructing the young in these
  fundamental matters, and that the present generation of parents
  having been brought up in ignorance wishes to give its children a
  better point of view than it ever had itself.

  The committee has arranged to have Miss Laura B. Garrett[16] of New
  York City speak on “Some Methods of Teaching Sex Hygiene” at
  Huntington Hall, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.... In
  addition to League members 500 teachers are to be invited to attend
  this lecture.

  On April 14th the plans of the Committee on Social Hygiene were
  presented, at 41 Brimmer Street, through the courtesy of Miss Ware,
  to a group of one hundred or more, including representative persons
  from Boston, Brookline, Worcester, Lawrence, Lowell, Springfield and
  Providence. Dr. Frances M. Greene, Dr. Abner Post, Dr. William P.
  Lucas and Dr. Hugh Cabot made short addresses. Mrs. William Lowell
  Putnam presided.

  With the results before us of the work carried on this spring, the
  committee will form its plans for next year. The present purpose is
  to hold in October a mass meeting, with speakers representing
  various shades of opinion and various methods of handling the
  subject. Best methods of approach to the smaller groups of girls
  from department stores and factories, boys’ clubs, mothers’ clubs,
  parents’ associations, etc., will be further considered and the type
  of speaker best adapted to be most successful with each individual
  group will be sought out and sent to these various portions of the
  community as may be desired.

  The Committee on Social Hygiene is fully cognizant of the delicate
  nature of the task before it, and of the necessity of moving slowly,
  taking each step in accordance with a well-considered plan, rather
  than of attempting to cover too much ground at the risk of making
  mistakes. Nevertheless, it is fully convinced that the time has come
  for speaking frankly in regard to sex matters and dealing honestly
  with a problem which concerns every one of us. In coöperation with
  the Public Health Education Committee of the American Medical
  Association, we have arranged four lectures on different aspects of
  sex education, to be given at the League. The speakers will be: Dr.
  Edith Spaulding, of Sherburne Reformatory; Dr. Rachel Yarros, of
  Chicago; Dr. Edith Hale Swift, of Boston; Dr. Kate Campbell Mead, of
  Middletown, Connecticut.

All over the country we hear of meetings of women to discuss in a sane
and dispassionate way the problem of education in sex hygiene. For
example, two methods of teaching sex hygiene, the biological and the
physiological, and their adaptation to the needs of different groups,
were the subject of three conferences held last spring (1914) by the
Society for Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis, New York. Dr. Mary Sutton
Macy presented the physiological and Nellie M. Smith the biological
aspect. The third talk on the adaptability of these two methods to
different social groups was given by Harriet McDaniel.

“The Matter and Methods of Sex Education Other Than Instruction in
Schools” was discussed at a later meeting. The main speakers were Dr.
Eugene LaF. Swain, Nellie W. Smith, Laura B. Garrett and Mabel M. Irwin.
The discussion was started by Dr. Ira S. Wile, Dr. Rosalie S. Morton,
Dr. Mary Sutton Macy and Harriet E. McDaniel.

Dr. Rosalie Morton, of New York, speaking at the Sixth Triennial
Convention of the Council of Jewish Women, on this subject, said:

  In the proper understanding of this subject of sex hygiene it is
  quite impossible for either men or women to go very far alone. I am
  sure that through the ages there have been men who have had this
  subject very close to their hearts. They have felt that it was
  basic, that it was most important; but they felt that it was not a
  proper matter to discuss with women and so they have blundered on,
  not getting very far in any solution of it. The subject has also
  been near the heart of every woman. She hopes that her husband will
  be a good man; she hopes that her son will be clean; she sees all
  the wreckage and the heartaches in life that come from ignorance of
  sex hygiene or lack of attention to it. So women have talked
  together as to how the standard of morality might be raised, how
  they might teach their sons and daughters, but they have felt that
  it was not a topic to discuss with men, so they have blundered on.
  They have been too sentimental, they have been too ignorant of the
  limitations in the world of practical affairs; they have lacked
  well-balanced judgment as to how it was best to teach, how it was
  best to help. It is absolutely necessary that earnest men and women
  should modify and guide each other in reaching a solution of the

  No home can be successful in its teaching of this subject unless the
  father and mother agree on the teaching; if the father thinks it is
  not a subject for his wife to consider or to talk about, or if the
  mother imagines that she alone shall tell her child, those children
  will grow up with a feeling that there is discord at the root of the
  family feeling on a most vital subject. Whether the father or mother
  shall tell the child is very immaterial. The opportunity may come to
  one, it may come to the other; both should be ready to meet it when
  it does come.

  This last twenty-five years is the first time in the history of the
  world that any definite effort has been made to teach sex hygiene;
  and if each one of us will do our duty as we see it—and we must see
  it clearly now—and pass on our convictions (because no one has a
  right to receive anything for themselves or their particular group,
  and hold it, but each person has a tremendous responsibility to pass
  on to others their influence, their knowledge), we shall awaken a
  world-wide conscience regarding this thing. The reason that we can
  do so little is because one child is taught and another child is not
  taught. Education must be carried on in a widespread way before it
  can really accomplish what we hope for. That is the reason that a
  conference such as this means such progress in the history of the
  world, because you people will go back to your various communities
  and carry with you that courage of conviction which comes from the
  comradeship which you had here. Each one of us is afraid to broach
  this subject until we have had as the soldiers say, “a shoulder next
  to us to help us up the hill.”

Dr. Morton’s words went home, and a permanent committee on sex hygiene
was established at the convention. The sentiments expressed at the
formation of the committee may fittingly form the conclusion to this

  The advance of preventive medicine and the far better understanding
  of the conditions of health and bodily vigor which obtain today,
  have put the whole subject of masculine chastity in a new light.

  It is now clearly understood that the consequence to offspring of
  lack of chastity in the father are just as grave as those of lack of
  chastity in the mother; and that the happiness and security of
  family life are quite as apt to be destroyed by want of purity and
  honor in the father as in the mother. It is an established fact that
  there never was either physical or moral reason for maintaining two
  standards as regards chastity, one for men and the other for women.

  The children of today are destined to be the units of a society
  whose point of view is to make it unique in the world’s history. It
  will be characterized by a single standard of morality for both
  sexes. The child must be so trained and educated that it will later
  be possible and natural for him to live up to the high standard
  which the women of his age shall demand of him.

  The ideals of society must be so changed that young men may not be
  weakened and corrupted by the passive acceptance of false standards
  of morals. One of the most important factors for the attainment of
  this end is the same education of boys and girls in the matters of
  sex, from which all secrecy, except that which is necessary from
  true modesty and refinement, shall have disappeared.

  We as parents must recognize and help establish the truth of the law
  that the same virtue is needed in both sexes for the happy
  development of that family life on which the security of the race
  and the progress of civilization depend.

                               CHAPTER IV

The old maxim, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” has been
amplified in the past twenty-five years in many ways. All work and no
play may make Jack a sick boy or a delinquent. If Jack plays not at all,
neither can he work. What is true of Jack is true of all the members of
Jack’s family and of all his relatives and neighbors. What is true of
Jack is equally true of Jill. In order therefore to prevent dullness,
illness, crime and delinquency, recreation has been provided in cities
in homeopathic doses, at least, for Jack and Jill and their relatives
and neighbors.

The interest in, and advocacy of, municipal recreational facilities for
the people of the urban districts grew out of the knowledge that, unless
wholesome recreation is provided, unwholesome recreation will be sought
and found. There is no alternative.

  Interesting figures have been compiled by Mrs. Max Thalheimer,
  Assistant Probation Officer of Syracuse, N. Y., which show that in
  one section of the city, where a public playground has been
  established, juvenile delinquency has decreased about 30 per cent.
  in two years. The neighborhood of the Frazer School Playground was
  selected for the study. The records show that during the year
  immediately preceding the establishment of the playground there were
  127 cases from that neighborhood in the Juvenile Court, as compared
  with a total of but 180 cases for the two years which have since
  elapsed. The more time a child spends in well-directed play, the
  less time does he have to get into mischief.[17]

It has also been made clear that municipal prevention of arrests,
illness, unemployment, inefficiency, is cheaper than municipal care of
delinquents and criminals, of the sick, of those illy equipped to earn a
livelihood, and of the vicious whose supervision entails such
administrative expense and anxiety. Even motives of economy therefore
may lead to this form of municipal enterprise.

Because the keynote to all modern social activity is prevention and
because prevention is cheaper than cure always, recreation today is of
public concern. That the public’s interest and belief in municipal
recreation has been guided into faith in its educational advantages is
due in no small degree to the patient work of women in behalf of
amusement facilities. In their recreational work, women have also sought
to make recreation serve the purposes of family unity, community spirit,
and an increase in the real joy of living.

The mother’s appreciation of child psychology began in the days when she
excused baby pranks often misunderstood by others with the statement
that “he is just playing.” Realizing the persistence of that play
instinct all through childish development, and never eliminated in fact,
women have sought to direct play so that it may not react to the injury
of the player. That is the explanation of all the intimate guarding of
children from the moment they learn to walk and then on until the child
leaves the protection of home.

Public recreation is but the effort to provide better and safer places
for babies to play in, for growing boys and girls to combine the work
they later desire with play or to make work their play, as they do
instinctively themselves when conditions are suitable, and for adults to
come together for that conviviality or stimulation through association
which leaves no sting in additional family expenditures or ill health or
misery. From all over the country we hear of women initiating and
carrying through movements to provide play facilities for young and old.


We may cite a single example which may serve as an inspiration to other
public-spirited women.

  A few weeks before her death, Mary Graham Jones, of Hartford,
  Connecticut, who did so much during her life for the betterment of
  child life and neighborhood life in her native city, submitted to
  the city authorities a plan for providing small local playgrounds
  for young children in various parts of the city. Her scheme was that
  each playground should be near enough to its neighborhood to make it
  convenient and safe for the children to reach and use it. The report
  recommended the leasing from the city at nominal rent of a dozen or
  more vacant lots, the preparation of the lots to be in the hands of
  the park department and their supervision in the hands of the
  department of education.

  The juvenile commission of Hartford petitioned the board of aldermen
  for permission to lease these lots and for an appropriation to pay
  for their support. The request was granted, and $2,500 was allowed
  for the first year’s expense. Nearly all this sum was expended and
  the work was carried out under the supervision of the superintendent
  of parks, with various successful results. It seems highly probable
  that the work will be continued another summer and perhaps something
  may be done during the winter to provide for skating and like

  Thus the citizens of Hartford feel that Miss Jones has left their
  children a city-wide playground system as an enduring legacy. The
  Mary Graham Jones Playground is the name given by the North Street
  Settlement of Hartford to a place set aside for all neighborhood
  children under nine years of age. Miss Jones had spent sixteen years
  in settlement and child welfare work in Hartford. In 1900 she became
  headworker of the North Street Settlement.[18]

In a history of the playground movement in America, Herbert H. Weir, one
of the field secretaries of the Playground and Recreation Association of
America, says: “No age has been without its visioners who saw the light
and led the way, so luckily there were men and women, especially women,
who saw and understood and acted.”[19]

The history of their work for playgrounds shows that like almost all
modern social endeavor, there has been, first, private demonstration of
a public utility, then city control, then state-wide legislation to
bring backward communities into line with forward urban movement. Women
have everywhere been largely instrumental in initiating the playground
work, they have followed it in many cases by service on appointed
commissions and as paid city playground employees, and in other cases
they have held positions on state recreation commissions.

Interesting and important as has been the work of individual women in
this great battle for adequate recreation in cities, it is of course the
associations of women that have been most powerful and determined. For
an instance of the associated effort of women, we may turn to the
experience of Winthrop, Massachusetts.

  When the cities and towns of Massachusetts were voting on the
  playground referendum during the fall of 1908 and the spring of
  1909, Winthrop, just outside of Boston, seemed to regret that her
  7,034 people did not entitle her to a similar privilege. The people
  of Winthrop, however, are ingenious, and they set about seeing what
  might any way be done, for they were not willing to give up the idea
  of having playgrounds. They, particularly the women, proceeded to
  agitate along many lines. At a town meeting in the spring, when the
  towns of over 10,000 were voting on the referendum, the people
  inserted warrants for various appropriations for playground
  purposes. A special committee was appointed to consider the entire
  question of parks and playgrounds and report in the fall. The
  committee gave hearings during the summer, and went extensively into
  the question of the town’s development, its future needs, its
  peculiar nature (because of the large areas of marsh land),
  available sites, and so on.

  In the meantime the people kept busy. They decided to conduct an
  experimental playground during the summer so as to gather
  experience, show what could be done and develop public sentiment.
  The Woman’s Club, the Improvement Association, the Arts and Crafts
  Society, the Woman’s Equal Suffrage League, apparently every
  organization got into the action and did valiant work. The School
  Committee gave the use of a convenient school yard, with a pond and
  suitable open area. The societies mentioned provided the apparatus;
  money was raised to employ a supervisor; articles such as magazines,
  books, toys, games, raffia, sewing materials, scissors, shovels and
  hoes, were solicited to give scope to the activities; the meetings
  of many of the societies were devoted to discussions of various
  aspects of the playground movement; the newspapers were kept filled
  with articles, comments, accounts of what other places were doing,
  notes on the local activities; and, finally, the whole was capped
  with an exhibit when the playground was closed. This exhibit was
  witnessed by many people, but particularly by the children, who were
  by then as active as any of their parents in support of the

  When the special town meeting was held in the fall the people were
  interested. The attendance was so heavy that the voting list had to
  be used to check off those who came and admit only voters. When
  business was started every seat was taken. There were other articles
  ahead, but by a vote of the meeting the playground question was
  taken up first, and the extensive report of the special committee
  was read throughout.

  This report was an interesting civic document. It called attention
  to the probable growth of the town, to its peculiar formation, the
  centers of its present and probable development, the needs of its
  people, and particularly to the fact that large areas of marsh land
  had been purchased at low figures to be held till the town would lay
  sewers, construct streets and develop values. It was pointed out
  that the planning of the marsh lands by private owners was poorly
  done, that the lots were small, the houses already built poor, and
  that here was a chance for a development of which the town could
  ever be proud.

  Then came the recommendation that $75,000 be appropriated to buy a
  large area of this marsh land for playground purposes. There was but
  little discussion, and the motion was unanimously carried. By this
  action Winthrop puts herself among the enviable towns of the

Ethel Moore, president of the Board of Playground Directors of Oakland,
California, has the following to say regarding playgrounds in

  The first playground in California was opened as an experiment in
  1898 by the women of the California Club under the leadership of
  Mrs. Lovell White. The experiment proved a success, and in a few
  years the same women educated the public to the point of carrying a
  bond issue of $741,000 and of amending the city’s charter to provide
  for the appointment of a playground committee.

  Again the women of a city took the initiative, under the able
  generalship of Mrs. Willoughby Rodman and Miss Bessie D. Stoddard
  and in 1905 Los Angeles organized its own supervised,
  all-the-year-round playground, the beginning of a model recreation

  In Oakland, due largely to the inspiration of Mrs. John Cushing, the
  women of the Oakland Club opened a vacation playground in a school
  yard as early as 1899. When, nine years later, the Playground
  Commission was created by municipal ordinance, it was appropriate
  that two members of the club that had faithfully provided for the
  children season after season, Mrs. G. W. Bunnell and Mrs. Cora E.
  Jones, should be appointed commissioners by Mayor Mott.

  In 1911 Oakland adopted a charter embodying the commission form of
  government. The Playground Department then fell under a Board of
  Directors (consisting of five members, “not more than three of whom
  shall be of the same sex”) similar to the boards that control the
  Public Library, Park Department and School Department.

  With the growth of these municipal systems there grew up a
  state-wide interest in public recreation. Courses for play-leaders
  were offered at the State University, and under the auspices of the
  San Francisco Branch of the Association of Collegiate Alumnæ, the
  Playground Association of California was organized in 1909. The
  first annual meeting of the Association took the form of a three
  days’ Conference of Playground Workers, the success of the gathering
  being due largely to the efforts of Mrs. E. L. Baldwin and Mrs. May
  Cheney, of the Committee.

  And now each year sees marked advances in both rural and city
  communities; larger appropriation, new sites, better trained and
  better paid supervision, increased attendance, more intensive work,
  greater coöperation with other agencies, wider usefulness in
  promoting the opening of school buildings as well as in developing
  park properties—thus providing recreation for adults as well as for

In a note to Miss Moore’s report, the editors of _The American City_

  Western cities have been the first to make the control of public
  recreation a distinct branch of municipal government. Every
  California municipality of 8,000 inhabitants and over has a
  playground or will have one within the next year or two; all the
  large cities have special playground commissions provided for by
  their charters. Oakland may well be proud of her playgrounds. We
  understand that the city has now spent about half a million dollars
  for this purpose, and has 10 playgrounds, 5 in parks and 5 in school
  yards. The remodeled Moss residence, one of the finest remaining
  specimens of old California architecture, is to become a municipal
  country clubhouse, the only one of its kind in the West.

  Other reports state that Seattle has already spent more than
  $500,000 for playgrounds, and has purchased twenty sites, twelve of
  which have been improved and equipped and are now under supervision.
  The city has three up-to-date recreational field houses and a large
  municipal bathing beach. Tacoma’s fine school stadium is well-known.
  Everett and Bellingham are two other cities of the Northwest that
  are expending much money and attention upon playgrounds.

Far to the South, as well as the West, we hear of woman’s work. The
Civic Club (women’s) of Charleston, South Carolina, started twenty years
ago a vacation playground and the need of this institution was so well
demonstrated that the City Council finally purchased and established in
that city the first playground in South Carolina. Five women were
appointed on the Playground Commission.

It would be impossible to make even the barest mention of the women who
have promoted the playground movement. Mrs. Caroline B. Alexander has
mothered it in New Jersey, especially in Hoboken, a small densely
populated industrial city; Lillian Wald is secretary of the Parks and
Playground Association of New York which welcomed last summer about
300,000 children to the opening exercises of its summer amusement
centers; a Playground Commission in Richmond, Virginia, is made up of
delegates from the City Council and the Congress of Mothers; in Denver
the executive body includes representatives of the school board, of the
playground commission, and of the Congress of Mothers. Miss Julia
Schoenfeld, field secretary of the National Playgrounds Association, is
one of the most inspiring of the women in this movement and she
stimulates activity in this direction throughout the country. A list
given in its year book of the officers of recreation commissions and
associations shows almost equal responsibility assumed by men and women
for the offices of president and secretary of the same.

Having established playgrounds, women seek to maintain some supervision
over them. They are advocating the use of playgrounds as evening social
centers. They are asking for medical inspection and corrective exercises
in the playgrounds. They are asking for experimentation in teaching in
the playgrounds. They are inculcating ideas of good government among the

Inasmuch as in great cities like New York and Chicago there never can be
enough playgrounds on the street level to meet the needs of the
children, there is a decided movement in such municipalities toward the
transformation of roofs into playgrounds. The Parks and Playgrounds
Association of New York, directed by both men and women, has already
opened several of these roof playgrounds and the influence is being felt
in various constructive ways. Private owners of apartment houses are
beginning to supply these facilities for young tenants as an inducement
to mothers to rent homes with them. Schemes for aerial playgrounds over
the streets on platforms are being proposed also.

Another very practical scheme for playgrounds is the provision of
certain streets for play, traffic being shut off from them during
definite hours of the day. A systematic plan is being made of New York
by the present administration to ascertain to what degree this scheme
can be extended and in this work two lines of interest, in which women
are very active, converge: recreation and safety. Frances Perkins and
other women have stimulated interest in public safety to a marked degree
in New York.

                              DANCE HALLS

Since the love of dancing persists without abatement through the
centuries, dancing must be accepted as a human need. Dancing should not,
however, cause the ruin of young men and women. That would seem to be a
trite remark but it has apparently taken infinite pains in investigatory
and publicity work to persuade the public or any considerable portion of
it that unregulated modern dance halls do injure their patrons and that
they must be reformed.

The trail out from the home, when followed by women in urban centers,
has led them in almost every case to the dance hall. Health workers, W.
C. T. U. women, welfare workers, social workers, educators,
propagandists of all kinds have found in the public dance hall their
Waterloo. The number of policewomen in the cities now assigned to these
places to safeguard young girls is a direct response to the demands made
by women that such municipal provision be made for their care.

Both men and women have been needed in the investigation of dance halls
and both have responded to the need, comparing notes and conferring on
the general situation. The men can better gain the confidence of the
male patrons, follow them to their resorts and learn whether the dance
hall is allied with vicious interests. On the other hand, the women can
better gain the confidence of their own sex and find out what motives
actuate girl patrons in frequenting such places, in drinking the liquor
that is almost invariably to be found at dance halls, and in succumbing
to the temptations that are offered at the close of the dance. Among the
skillful and ingenious women investigators of dance halls, Julia
Schoenfeld, now field secretary of the National Playgrounds Association,
perhaps takes first rank. Her study of conditions in New York City,
which she made under the most difficult requirements, paved the way for
the municipalization or municipal control of the dance halls which has
become an accomplished fact, if on a small scale at present.

Mrs. Charles Israels of New York and the members of the Women’s
Municipal League, with the facts obtained by Miss Schoenfeld, were able
to start a substantial movement toward the extension of municipal
functions in New York to cover the recreation of dancing, not entirely,
of course, but to the extent of providing greater facilities for this
recreation under careful supervision and with drinking entirely
eliminated. One hears women in New York state as their hope that before
long their city will boast a municipal dancing master who will preserve
for the foreign colonies, that exist in such, abundance, their
old-country folk dancing, who will have facilities for providing
inspiring music and halls where the young may dance with safety and
freedom. In spite of good beginnings in this direction, however, New
York has been slow to follow the excellent example set by Chicago with
its system of field houses for dancing in the public parks.

The evil resulting from the commercialization of the dance hall can be
destroyed only by eliminating the element of profit-making.
Municipalization is the remedy. Well-informed women are now arguing
this. Mrs. Louise de Koven Bowen, head of the Juvenile Protective
Association of Chicago, is one of the women who are educating the public
to a realization of the fact that profit-making from dancing must be
abolished. In a little pamphlet entitled “Our Most Popular Recreation
Controlled by the Liquor Interests,” she presents a study of the public
dance halls of Chicago which is most convincing in its plea for a
department of recreation in Chicago.

In York, Pennsylvania, the Woman’s Club, in coöperation with the
Associated Charities and Mr. Francis H. McLean, compiled an ordinance
now in effect, putting dance halls under city control. Other clubs and
organizations of women have done the same and scarcely a convention of
women anywhere at any time fails to go on record as in favor of similar
measures of control.

In many places, the women are not waiting on the tardy action of city
councils, but are instituting safeguarded dancing places of their own.
“Sunday dances for young people is an innovation by the Women’s Outdoor
Club of San Francisco. Club women will supervise the affair. The reply
to criticism about encouraging Sunday dancing is that young people will
dance anyway on their only free day, and it is better to provide them
with proper surroundings than leave them to the temptations of the
average dance hall.”[22] It is significant that the Department of
Education of the Civic Club of Allegheny County was the one to institute
dances on Sunday evenings for young people over sixteen years of age.
Bringing the question of amusement home to Bridgeport, Connecticut, Mrs.
Upham, industrial secretary of the Y. W. C. A., said that a petition
circulated in the city had brought in 600 signatures of working girls
demanding dance halls where no liquor should be sold and where they
might enjoy themselves in safety.

Simultaneously with the movement for the regulation of the public dance
halls is the movement to establish girls’ dance clubs, non-sectarian and
open to girls in employment, largely in order to wean them away from the
public dance hall. Mrs. Charles Oppenheim of New York is a promoter of
this movement, which she hopes to make one of national proportions. It
is in a way the direct antithesis of the movement toward
municipalization of recreation, and grows out of the success that
private individuals and organizations have met with in making girls so
interested in their own clubs that they prefer them to the public dance.
The two movements are not necessarily antagonistic, however, as they
allow a freedom of choice and insure wider provision for the needs of
the young.


Clubs offer the follow-up work that is necessary after the dance. The
club and the dance are sometimes combined, but serious class work can
often be secured by the relaxation afforded by the weekly dance. Clubs
conducted by women for young people and for adults are very often
serious educational features in the guise of pleasure, and the results
that have already been felt, as well as the realization that far more
can be achieved if attempted on a big social scale, a municipal scale,
if possible, have led to the movement for the opening of schools as
social centers. In Manchester, New Hampshire, the club women organized
and support a Boys’ Club. They look after more than 100 young boys who
sell papers and black shoes and the like. The boys are taught trades and
the clubhouse affords them recreation and protection. No effort is
spared to arouse the ideal of good citizenship and the boys respond
nobly. The Woman’s Club at Green Bay, Wisconsin, remodeled a building
for a center for working women and transformed it into a recreational
and educational center. The Woodlawn Woman’s Club of Chicago established
an organization for housemaids which is a social center. Such centers
for domestic workers have been founded in several cities and the reports
on waywardness among domestic workers indicate that their neglect in any
scheme of recreation is serious indeed. They are a large factor in the
patronage of public dance halls and any public control that reaches the
hall reaches the domestic worker.

For children too old for the playground and too young for the dance the
club is a vital institution. No type of club has appealed to the hearts
of men and women more than the Newsboys’ Club and work with these little
waifs has led on to an interest in the regulation of street trades for
children, mothers’ pensions, and other reform measures.


Music as an element of recreation has been emphasized by women
everywhere as a public necessity. The Westchester Club at Mt. Vernon,
New York, holds each season a series of high-class educational concerts
for the public and these have proved very popular. This Club is composed
of nearly 400 women. It built and thoroughly equipped a large auditorium
seating 800 people, with smaller halls for recreational uses, greatly
needed in that city.

The women and men of Denver have made municipal concerts a striking
feature of their city. These concerts are held indoors in winter as well
as out-of-doors in summer and are of a very high grade.

San Antonio, Texas, is fast developing into a musical center for the
Southwest, owing to the activity of the San Antonio Musical Club of
which Mrs. B. F. Nicholson is president, and the Tuesday Musical Club of
which Mrs. Eli Hertzberg is president. Besides bringing to San Antonio
some of the best artists that appear in New York and Chicago, San
Antonio is also treated to a good concert every Saturday morning, free
to the public, and given by the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra.

Austin, Texas, is apparently inspired to follow the example of San
Antonio. The Matinée Musical Club, of which Mrs. Eugene Haynie is
president, the oldest musical club there, and the Austin Musical
Festival Association, of which Mrs. Robert G. Crosby is president, are
the leaders in this movement. They are working with others for a
municipally owned auditorium in Austin as there is no satisfactory place
at present where concerts can be given.

  The objects of the Music Festival Association are declared to be the
  improvement of its members and the development of musical taste
  among the people through the presentation of productions by the
  greatest artists. The president and members serve the community
  without stint and with no thought of personal gain. Owing to the
  relative indifference of the business community thus far they are
  obliged to assume considerable financial responsibility. This
  organization is especially interested in the school children, and a
  chorus which the children were permitted to sing to the
  accompaniment of the Damrosch orchestra a year or so ago was highly
  praised by Mr. Damrosch. It is hoped that a similar thing may be
  done when some leading orchestra shall be secured for concerts next
  spring. This feature was omitted when during the present month of
  May the St. Louis Symphony orchestra gave a concert. This
  organization, with its several soloists, was booked at a date too
  late to give time for chorus practice. Here it may be remarked that
  the musical instruction and training in the public schools, given
  under the supervision of Miss Katherine Murrie, is considered a
  large factor in the artistic growth of the community.

In Indianapolis, Mrs. Ona Talbot is given credit for having transformed
that city into the musical center which it is now. It has been largely
owing to her interest that the very best of music has been brought to
the well-to-do people, at least, of Indianapolis: the Metropolitan and
Boston Grand Opera companies; the Boston, New York and Chicago symphony
orchestras; the Russian Ballet; opera singers and instrumentalists.

The Civic Music Association of Chicago, first suggested by Mrs. George
B. Carpenter, was recently launched according to plans made by the
Woman’s Club of Chicago. “Music within the reach of all” is its slogan.
Mrs. Carpenter is president and she has the coöperation of the Chamber
of Commerce and prominent women like Ella Flagg Young. Dora Allen, of
the Association, states the aims in an article in _The Survey_:

  It is hoped that local committees may be organized at recreation
  centers to coöperate, that neighborhood choral and orchestral clubs
  may be formed, that opportunity may be given for lecture recitals,
  initial appearances of young artists, production of works of
  resident composers and all distinctly American music, and that
  annual musical festivals may be held, to bring together the local
  groups. It is further planned to extend the work from the
  playgrounds to the halls in public school buildings, twenty-five of
  which are now open as social centers.

  We cannot think but with a great deal of concern and with some
  humiliation of the effect which America has on some of the best
  capacities of the foreigners who come to us. They come singing
  folk-songs, national songs, and snatches from their operas. We drown
  these beautiful melodies with the tawdry rags and popular songs of
  the saloon, the dance hall and cheap theater.

  That is a dark picture. A bright one was vividly painted to the
  writer by Mrs. Edward McDowell, who is devoting herself to the
  interests which aroused her great husband’s greatest enthusiasm: the
  development and democratization of music in America. The remarkable
  success of the Peterboro pageant is well-known throughout the
  country, and yet as Mrs. McDowell pointed out, the people who worked
  so hard and who so artistically rendered the music and dances and
  dramatic action were the townsfolk and laborers of a small New
  England village. With the achievement of this pageant in mind, Mrs.
  McDowell after a visit to the Chicago playgrounds in the immigrant
  districts was enthusiastic over what might be done with the
  coöperation of the Bohemians, Germans, Scandinavians, Italians and
  Poles and other art-loving nationalities.

  In almost all towns and cities there are free public libraries. In a
  growing number there are institutes in which painting and sculpture
  are exhibited without charge; and do we not see, here and there, the
  beginnings of a movement to present good music, either without
  charge or at a cost so small as to place it within the reach of all?

In this development of the passion for good music through coöperation
among the people, we are just beginning to recognize the needs of the
negroes who, by poverty or the sharp color line, have been excluded from
the proper encouragement of their own talents and tastes. The Music
School Settlement for Colored People in New York City is becoming the
nucleus of a recreation center for colored people in which the dramatic
and musical instincts of the race will be developed in an interesting
and creditable way. But it is not alone in the effect it has on the
colored people that the Settlement may be said to have demonstrated its
usefulness; it has also been the means of interesting an increasing
number of white people in the needs and aspirations of the colored. It
is only by mutual understanding and sympathy that the negro question can
be solved. The Music School Settlement for Colored People is trying in
its own way to help in the solution of this grave social problem. The
officers of the Settlement include men and women, and women have been
generous contributors to the support of its work.

                            MOTION PICTURES

As the moving-picture “show” creeps into every crossroads village and
multiplies in the cities, it becomes the people’s theater. In proportion
as a theater is educational or demoralizing in its influence, the
“movie” becomes the people’s school. What lessons do the people learn
there or is the influence of the movie negative?

“What kind of motion pictures do you like best and why?” was put
recently to more than 2,000 school children in the grammar grades of
Providence, Rhode Island. Mrs. Dwight K. Bartlett, who conducted this
investigation for the Rhode Island Congress of Mothers, classified the
replies as follows:

                     Grade        5   6   7   8  Totals.
               Comedy             85  90  99 100     374
               Western or cowboy 192 211 186 146     735
               Educational        95 183 317 312     907
               Drama              25  34  36  44     139
               Do not attend      20  44  47  45     156
               Crime               5  19  19  29      72

The influence exercised by certain pictures is exemplified by some of
the answers Mrs. Bartlett received.

A sixth-grade child said, “A child that goes in and sees exciting
pictures comes out excited and starts playing what we saw and becomes

“Western pictures sometimes make youths go out West to become cowboys
and run away from home.”

“I like where men has a wife and three children and the wife has a

“I like where the husbun’s go an play pool and then when there money is
gone they go home and take their wife jewels and leave them and never
come back again.”

“If a person goes to a show he goes to laugh and not to cry, for he has
so many troubles at his home.”

“I like love-making picture best. It is exciting when two men want to
marry the same girl.”[23]

A study of moving pictures has been made in other cities by women, and
all over the country they are giving serious attention to the problem of
securing the exhibition of high grade films only. Upon the suggestion of
club women, the Board of Education of Parsons, Kansas, has undertaken to
give two free moving-picture exhibits each month to the school children.
The films are selected by the superintendent of schools assisted by the
manager of the theaters and the subjects are confined to history,
geography and science.

  The Mayor of Wichita, Kansas, has asked the club women to appoint a
  board of three members to serve without pay as censors of
  moving-picture shows, inspectors of theaters, reading rooms and
  street cars. Suggestions for correction of evils will be received
  and acted upon by the Mayor. The board is to be permanent.[24]

  In Pittsburg, Kansas, the club women are working out a censorship
  plan for moving-picture shows, which is proving successful. Mayor
  Graves appointed a commission of women, headed by Mrs. Harvey
  Grandle, president of the Pittsburg Federation of Clubs, which
  confers with the managers of all five- and ten-cent vaudeville and
  moving-picture shows. A most cordial spirit of coöperation is
  reported upon the part of these managers, in eliminating all films
  depicting scenes of crime, drinking scenes, and suggestive “love
  scenes.” If all mayors would appoint similar commissions, whose work
  would be as successful, it would not be long before the
  manufacturers of moving-picture films would take the hint, and cease
  to put out films of the tabooed classes. Wichita is working out a
  similar plan through a commission, and this seems the most practical
  plan. A commission, being clothed with authority, is received with
  courtesy and acting in coöperative not antagonistic spirit, receives
  the assistance of the managers. Local federations or clubs should
  make it a point to bring this work before their city council or city

_The American Club Woman_ declares that “women’s clubs are wisely
deciding to coöperate with the film companies to make them a good
influence upon the millions of young people who patronize them. The
censorship plan is proving successful in many cities. Volunteer boards
of club women who serve without a salary, find that it is not difficult
to secure the rejection of pictures which create a bad impression. Some
tact is useful in persuading the managers of moving-picture shows to use
the right kind of films. Censorship is rather a formidable term, but is
robbed of many of its terrors to managers, when they find that the
approval of the censors means increased business for clean shows.”

The women do not always agree, however, as to the kind of film that
should be shown. New York last winter witnessed a quarrel among women
and also among men as to whether white slave films should be exhibited
or prohibited. “Do they suggest or do they warn?” is the issue that must
be settled by the stronger combatants, for this is destined to be an
issue of increasing insistence.

That the municipality cannot be oblivious to the fact that its
restrictive measures may increase evils elsewhere, is shown by Mrs.
Bowen, of Chicago, who says in a report:

  There should be a state or national censorship committee for motion
  pictures. The motion pictures of Chicago are very well censored, and
  something like one hundred and twenty-six miles of films have been
  condemned and permission to exhibit them refused. In consequence,
  they have been sent outside the city, all over the state, and many
  of the pictures exhibited in the small towns are bad—the rest of the
  state suffering for the virtues of Chicago! A state law should be
  enacted providing that all moving pictures should be shown in
  well-lighted halls, and the posters and advertisements outside all
  theaters and throughout the city should be censored and passed upon
  by the same committee which censors the moving pictures.

Women play a large part in the work of the National Board of Censorship
of Motion Pictures established by the People’s Institute of New York. In
addition to the members of the Censoring Committee which includes many
women, the National Board has some 300 correspondents in different parts
of the country who are more or less officially identified with it and
who work with women’s clubs, civic and social organizations, in addition
to mayors, license bureaus, and others. The work of the national
association is, therefore, fairly equally distributed between men and

It is not the pictures themselves that are necessarily the worst feature
of the motion-picture theater, as the Board brings out and as social
workers generally emphasize. The lack of ventilation, the fire hazard,
the lack of protection for boys and girls are evils comparable with
indecent films. On all those aspects of the problem of the people’s
theater, groups of earnest men and women are working, securing
ordinances, acting as inspectors and policewomen, and seeking to educate
the patrons to demand decencies.

The standard for censorship set up by the Board is thus stated: “Broad
problems, such as the effect of scenes of violence on the juvenile mind,
still rest in an astonishing obscurity. It is impossible to get either
from the lips of psychologists or from the penal statistics of the
country, any conclusive verdict on this subject. In the same way, it is
hard to distinguish between the immediate effect of a vulgar picture on
the audience, which may be presumed to be degrading, and the ultimate
effect which may, through reaction, be that of exciting the audience to
a permanent disgust with vulgarity in all forms. In matters of this
kind, the Board acts on the general assumption of all its members, which
are general assumptions of people at large.”

The National Board does not and cannot relieve any community of its
local responsibility. As “the motion-picture theater is essentially a
form of public service which is licensed by the community for public
welfare, the same kind of scrutiny should be applied to it that is
applied to any public service monopoly, news-stand privilege or park

A compilation of material from all parts of the country as to existing
laws and the methods used in regulating motion-picture theaters in
America and Europe has been made by the National Board and these form a
partial basis for general facts and principles set forth in a Model
Ordinance devised by it with detailed suggestions applicable in all the
cities of the country. This work of securing adequate legislation is
often taken up locally by women’s clubs. For example, the Wisconsin
Federation of Women’s Clubs vigorously supported a bill in the
legislature, providing for a censorship of moving-picture films
throughout the state.

Charlotte Rumbold is the intermediary between the National Board of
Censorship of Picture Films and the St. Louis Police Court. A volunteer
committee of which she was chairman made the St. Louis inspection of
picture shows and dance halls. Officers of the Good Citizenship Club of
Boise, Idaho, a women’s association, act as an advisory committee with
the Law Enforcement League and Ministerial Association in censoring

Private enterprise joins with public-spirited women in securing model
motion-picture shows. In Boston, Josephine Clement is the manager of the
Bijou Dream Motion Picture Theater and has had five years’ experience in
providing the public with a model theater. Plans for similar theaters
are afoot in two cities. Mrs. Clement declares from her experience that
they are self-supporting and a great deal more satisfactory to the owner
than those which invite constant interference.

Motion-picture films are really receiving more attention than the plays
and comic operas and vaudeville shows which are supported by people who
care less for the movies. Thus the percentage of innocuous films
probably is lower or is becoming lower than the percentage of innocuous
plays in other theaters.

                               THE DRAMA

Women are working on the elevation of the drama generally, too.
Sometimes they may be excessively Puritanical in this endeavor; again
they see in the presentation of such plays as “Damaged Goods” by Brieux
the highest use to which the stage can be put. This difference of
opinion is bound to exist but the important thing is to have women care
what is produced, as the first step toward superior drama.

Investigation of five- and ten-cent theaters in Chicago by the Juvenile
Protective Association and the presentation of complaints to the
building department, the Board of Health, the Chief of Police and the
State Factory Inspector have led to important changes in the physical
conditions of this grade of theaters in Chicago. Mrs. Bowen of this
Association finds that one grave evil in connection with these theaters
is their location, which takes many boys and girls and men and women
into sections where they would probably not otherwise go and brings them
thus into close contact with disorderly houses, saloons, and boarding
houses. The phrase in Chicago “A Five-Cent Theater Hotel” has become
current because of the general location of these theaters in transient
rooming houses. The menace of this thing to young girls may readily be
imagined. Mrs. Bowen and her association approve of an ordinance
licensing the place rather than the person who operates it, as is now
done in many places with dance halls. They would also prohibit amateur
nights and extend the censorship of plays to advertisements and posters.

In order that the taste of school children may be educated to seek good
drama, the Educational Dramatic League and other similar organizations
have been started by women. Mrs. Emma Fry, the organizer of the
Educational Dramatic League of New York, has met with enthusiastic
response from women and teachers and her movement is well launched.

The Drama League of America is a women’s and men’s organization with
Mrs. A. Starr Best of Evanston, Illinois, as president. Its object is to
support the drama that manifests a high level of art and morals in order
that the theater may assume its rightful place as an educational and
social force.

                              THE PAGEANT

The pageant is a recent development of the drama in the open-air. The
Deerfield Historical Pageant and the Duxbury pageant were directed by
Margaret MacLaren Eager. In the great pageant of nations, devised by the
People’s Institute in the East Side of New York in 1914, women worked
with vigor. Rose Rosner, a Rumanian girl, now connected with the
People’s Institute, was one most effective organizer, and all the
settlement leaders coöperated with enthusiasm.

The Founding of New Harmony, Indiana, a historical pageant presented by
the school children of that community in June, 1914, was also unique in
its purpose. Mr. W. V. Mangrum, the superintendent of schools, was the
manager and Mrs. Mary H. Flanner the director. Miss Charity Dye who
wrote the “Book of Words,” in her prefatory note explains the object of
the pageant:

  The school children’s historical pageant is a distinct division of
  pageantry in itself, demanding special considerations of time,
  preparation, choice of material, and adjustments to the age and
  development of those taking part. It should be borne in mind that
  children have no large background of experience and hence the
  methods used with adults cannot be used with them. The evolution of
  the school pageant has been in response to the play spirit along
  educative lines, and marks a difference between the mere spectacular
  performance, which is gotten up in haste and dies as soon as it is
  born, and the one that makes permanent impression of what is
  valuable to the development of the pupil, and is presented in
  conformity to the known laws of education. Under the wise management
  of Mr. Mangrum, the superintendent of the schools, who began five
  months in advance, the New Harmony pageant soon proved its
  educational value. It has made community interest and coöperation a
  living reality; it has telescoped the history of the town and the
  region in the minds of the children and taught them of people and
  events more vividly than could have been otherwise possible; it has
  united the entire school system of the place by giving every child
  some active part in preparing for the great historic event of
  celebrating the founding of the town. The very least ones have been
  cutting with the scissors the pageant scenes, outlined by the
  teacher, and making silhouettes; others have been drawing the
  outlines; some naming the birds of the district; others, the trees;
  and still others noting the procession of wild flowers, all to show
  the nature of the region. Older ones are making maps of the town and
  the topography of the land, or drawing posters, and the prominent
  buildings of historical note. The higher grades are using the scenes
  in original composition work of character study and the
  dramatization of events. Music has been a feature all the way along.
  Boys have been heard singing “Lo! I Uncover the Land” from the
  pageant, with happy loud voices. New Harmony is a rural community
  with only three hundred school children; what has been done there is
  possible to some degree in every community in the state. The pageant
  lends itself especially to rural regions wherever there is a school
  or several schools to unite in a festival for honoring those who
  have helped to make public education possible. The near approach of
  the centenary of the statehood of Indiana in 1916 furnishes the
  psychological moment that makes it both a privilege and a duty to
  arouse in every school in the state, a new interest in its own
  environment or local history, thus leading to a wider interest and
  conception of historic growth. The work of the historical pageant in
  the schools of Indiana should begin next September so as to give
  ample time without interfering with the regular work that must
  otherwise be done. Richmond, Vincennes, Fort Wayne, LaFayette and
  many other Indiana cities are especially rich in pageant material,
  to say nothing of the wealth in this respect in the rural
  communities on every side.

Through historical pageants, the dramatic play spirit of whole
communities of people has been aroused and developed and democratic
coöperation achieved. It is only within the past five or six years that
pageants have been held in this country on any large community scale,
but within that time some remarkable performances have been given, and
in all of the pageants women have taken a leading part, in some
instances directing the whole affair. In the future many interesting
pageants are to be held like the one in Redfield, California, which was
suggested by the Contemporary Club of that city.

The pageant given by the town of Arlington, Massachusetts, recently was
started by the Woman’s Club and a guarantee fund of $1,000 was secured
by it. Several hundred of the townspeople participated in the
presentation of the drama.

Charlotte Rumbold was the executive secretary of the St. Louis Pageant
and Masque which attracted national interest, and Mrs. Ernest Kroeger,
the active chairman, with an Executive Committee composed of men and
women. Indeed, this pageant was suggested by Miss Rumbold, Secretary of
the Public Recreation Committee, as a fitting way to celebrate the one
hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the founding of St. Louis. Every
agency of the municipal government coöperated to make it a success. “If
we play together, we will work together,” was the slogan adopted, the
whole object being the development of community spirit and not the
commercial advantage of merchants and business men generally. The 7,500
performers were drawn from all walks of life, the idea being to instill
democracy into St. Louis affairs, even the funds being democratically
raised. Other cities were asked to send official heraldic envoys and
general civic pride was to be augmented by a conference of mayors during
the celebration. No other pageant has had the big democratic community
vision of the St. Louis enterprise or has called for such large scale

                             FOURTH OF JULY

The Safe and Sane Fourth of July has been greatly promoted by women.
Independence Day has been until within five years or so, and is still in
most places, a thoroughly male day. It has been a day on which the deeds
of men have been exploited without conveying the slightest hint that
women have helped to build the nation. Histories of the American people
have regularly consigned women to a line or two and women have a real
grievance there. Their protest against the day, however, has not been
due to omission in the speeches of orators, but rather to the wanton
destruction of life and property which unregulated celebrations induce.
Promiscuous use of fireworks was the object of their organized attack.

Safe Fourths of July are rapidly becoming possible. When the work that
women have done in communities, the states and the nation is equally
recognized with that done by men, the Fourth of July will be a saner and
more patriotic day still. Thus the country’s past and its future will be
interpreted in a way that will appeal more directly to all the people
and arouse in girls as well as in boys a desire for coöperation in

Many women’s clubs have within recent years placed the Safe and Sane
Fourth on their list of demands and objects for which to work. The
Municipal Bureau of the University of Wisconsin has compiled a list of
all the municipal ordinances regarding explosives on the Fourth of July
and we venture to claim that in every case where one has been secured
the advocacy of women has been at least as pronounced as that of men.

Restriction without substitution, however, is usually idle, as we know
very well at last. In advocating ordinances of a restrictive nature,
therefore, women have not been unmindful of the need of directing
pent-up feelings accustomed to noisy and dangerous exuberance on the
Fourth. Pageants, processions, municipally managed fireworks and musical
festivals are some of the ways in which substitutions have been provided
for dangerous celebrations.

Much stimulus has been given to the Safe and Sane Fourth propaganda by
those social workers whose interests extend largely to our newcomers
from the nations of the world. If to them patriotism expresses itself
merely in Independence Day bandages and noise and drunkenness, American
civilization affords little inspiration. Any movement therefore which
has as its goal an historical explanation of the founding and growth of
the nation and the development of our ideals, and which typifies our
hope of ultimate democracy, is sane as well as safe. The participation
of foreign elements, now being assimilated into our national life, has
added to the richness and interest of Fourth of July pageants. Last year
in New York forty-two nations were represented in native costumes;
Chicago also had a great parade of her nations with floats showing the
parts played by various nations in our war for independence. The
entertainment in Jackson Park, Chicago, consisting of music, folk
dances, drills, games, tableaux and pageants was under the direction of
the Chicago women’s clubs. Baltimore had a wonderful naval pageant.

The leadership by women in this general movement was recently described
in _The American City_. “The part which women have taken in creating a
sentiment for a safe and sane Fourth and in providing acceptable
entertainment is very important. The pioneer work of Mrs. Isaac L. Rice,
president of the Society for the Suppression of Unnecessary Noise, New
York City, for this object, is well-known. Her pamphlet on a ‘Safe and
Sane Fourth’ (published by the Russell Sage Foundation) gives letters
from governors, mayors, fire chiefs, commissioners of health, heads of
police departments and presidents of Colleges, endorsing the movement.

“The Committee on Independence Day Celebrations of the Art Department of
the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs has issued a pamphlet
giving suggestions for the management of an Independence Day celebration
and material for pageantry taken from New Jersey history. The
suggestions for management are detailed and practical for other states
than New Jersey and include the formation of an Independence Day
Association and the work of sixteen different committees. The chairman
of the committee last year was Mrs. Wallace J. Pfleger.... The
Department of Child Hygiene of the Russell Sage Foundation reprints this
pamphlet and publishes an excellent set on the same general subject.”

Those who study this movement find that women have contributed largely
to practical programs and plans and have been indispensable factors in
developing the imaginative features and carrying them into execution.
The American Pageantry Board, recently organized in Boston under the
auspices of the Twentieth Century Club, composed of men and women, has
recognized woman’s place in this work by choosing Lotta A. Clark as
executive secretary.

                             SOCIAL CENTERS

It is not by spasmodic effort that full provision can be made for the
gratification of the common instinct for recreation under wholesome
social conditions. Social centers in abundance and embracing a multitude
of recreational features are therefore an essential in modern cities.
They have not been easy to secure, however, except by private
philanthropy. Indeed we still have to have social center conferences and
carry on a publicity campaign, to demonstrate and argue in order to gain
the general consent for the use of school buildings and other public
property as evening social centers for neighborhoods. Nevertheless, the
movement does have real vitality now and most of the larger cities have
taken definite steps to make greater use of their schools and other
plants, like libraries.

In describing its entrance into the field of activity for social
centers, the Women’s Municipal League of Boston, through its Social
Center Chairman, Mary B. Follett, says:

  Because it is our endeavor to make our city a true home for the
  people, it is not enough that we should merely make it a house,
  though it be clean and healthful to live in; for even health, though
  essential, is not all-sufficient. We must also insure that there
  shall be within it recreation, enjoyment and happiness for all. In
  our great house—the city—a great need exists and it is to supply
  this that our Committee for Social Centers was formed.

  In Boston there are 56,000 young people between the ages of 14 and
  18 who are earning their living, working all day, craving amusement
  in the evening, and with no home to provide it. Our committee
  organized, as an experiment, this winter, a social center in the
  East Boston High School, by permission of the Boston School
  Committee, which allowed us the use of the building in the evenings.
  Our aim was to offer educational recreation, and at the same time to
  provide for the working young people an environment which should
  help to prepare them for their future life.

  The League engaged a skilled director and his wife to organize this
  work. They settled in the district three months before the social
  center was opened, making friends of their neighbors, young and old,
  and when October came they were thus enabled to begin work with 14
  clubs already organized. These clubs have continued with a
  constantly increasing membership; there were 300 young people
  enrolled at the beginning, and now, after six months, there are 500
  members. The clubs are called the East Boston Opportunity Clubs and
  are self-governing. The membership consists almost entirely of young
  wage-earners, but one club, the Games Club, is made up of high
  school pupils at the request of their teachers, in order to suggest
  to the girls some other occupation than stenography; they are being
  taught kindergarten work for use in vacation schools or with their
  own future children.

  The list of clubs includes two dramatic and two glee clubs, two
  orchestras, a drum corps, two athletic associations, two sewing
  classes, a folk dancing class, and a junior city council. The clubs
  for boys and girls are kept separate, but on one occasion the Folk
  Dancing Club of girls gave a dance, and the members invited their
  men friends. The clubs often provide the program for the fortnightly
  entertainment given at the Social Center for young and old people.
  The Social Center encourages thrift, for each member of a club must
  pay weekly dues, and in addition many of the boys of the orchestras
  are saving money to buy their own instruments. One young man
  surprised us by saying that he had saved money by attending the
  Social Center, as otherwise he would have spent his time in the
  saloons and poolrooms. The sewing clubs have held a sale, and with
  the proceeds will give themselves a day’s outing.

  The greatest difficulty we have encountered has been the intense
  racial prejudice existing between the different nationalities; but
  the tact and fine judgment of our director have overcome this, and
  today all members of the Social Center recognize the broadening
  influence that comes from being Americans together; in fact, one
  young man tells us that the Social Center is the only place since
  leaving school where he has met the right kind of friends.

  The East Boston Social Center has proved so successful in filling a
  genuine need that the Boston School Committee has decided, not only
  to take over this Center next year, but to start three others in
  different districts, and has engaged our director, Mr. Hawley, to
  organize the work. Our Committee is now occupied in formulating
  plans for a large social center movement throughout Boston, and is
  enlisting the help and coöperation of each neighborhood for its own
  center, because no social center can be established on a permanent
  basis unless the neighborhood community realizes its own
  responsibility in helping to make the plan a success.

  There are not enough settlements and other social agencies to
  provide for more than a small number of our young people. There are
  thousands of young men who have no place to go nights. There are
  thousands of girls who used to stay at home in the country but who
  have been brought by our changed industrial conditions to the cities
  to work in shops and factories. Many of these will be in the streets
  nights unless we provide some decent recreation for them. Thus on
  the one hand there is this urgent need; on the other there are all
  those empty buildings upon which we have spent literally millions
  and millions of our money. Such a waste of capital seems bad
  business management on our part.

The Women’s Municipal League of Boston is one among the many
organizations that urge the planning of future school buildings with
reference to their use as social centers. Many of the old buildings are
difficult if not impossible to adapt to this use. The interest of the
Boston women in this forward movement toward educational recreation has
strongly supported the Boston School Committee which has now in
operation several evening centers for young and old in its school

The little town needs the extension of the use of its school plant quite
as much as the great city as Mrs. Desha Breckenridge shows:

  In the small town which I come from, Lexington, Kentucky, with about
  40,000 inhabitants, we have built a public school in which we take
  much pride. It is in the very poorest section of the town. The
  school board had but $10,000 to put into the school. Some years
  before, the Civic League of Lexington had established a playground
  in this section; then a little vacation school, with cooking, sewing
  and carpenter work; and finally it convinced the School Board of the
  need of a public school there.

  As the years went by and the playground was continued, we began to
  feel that not only a public school, but a public school of a very
  unusual kind was needed in that section. There was no place for
  social gatherings except a saloon or a grocery with saloon
  attachments. The young people were going uptown to the skating rinks
  and the moving-picture shows, and a little later we were dealing
  with them through the Juvenile Court. And more and more it was borne
  in upon us that though we might do our best through the Juvenile
  Court and the Reform School to repair the damage done, a cracked
  vase, no matter how well mended, could never be as good as a whole
  one; and that the sensible thing to do was to keep these children
  out of the Juvenile Court and the Reform School. The School Board
  simply had not the money to build the sort of school we wanted, nor
  had it the necessary conviction and faith that a poor part of the
  town needed so expensive a school. So when we had gotten the Board
  to appropriate the last remaining $10,000, we started out to add to
  that sum $25,000, raised by popular subscription, and went to work
  on the plans for a school building which would not only allow the
  teaching of reading, writing and arithmetic, but would have a
  kitchen, a carpenter shop, a laundry, a gymnasium, shower baths, a
  swimming pool and an auditorium with a stage.

  We went to the “professional philanthropists,” and after we had been
  turned down by most of them we came back to our own people—with just
  enough help from a few generous outsiders to give standing at
  home—and raised a large part of the money by a whirlwind campaign,
  such as the Y. M. C. A. has tried in many places. We could not stop
  at $25,000; the school and grounds have now cost about $45,000, and
  we know so well the places we could use a few thousand more!

  We began teaching school in the new building last September; it is
  full of children and is a joy forever. The swimming pool, the
  crowning glory, is not yet completed, for we had to contract for
  things whenever the money was in bank, and all trimmings were
  postponed as late as possible. The shower baths are in full effect.
  The laundry is being used not only to teach the school children how
  to wash and iron, but the mothers of the neighborhood, who bring
  their washing in, pay so much a wash for the use of the water and
  the steam drier and the beautiful ironing boards, with gas burners
  at the end. The big room, with the stage at the end, which serves
  for kindergarten in the morning and gymnasium in the afternoon, is a
  story and a half high, and is used for theatrical performances and
  dances at night. It is running full blast. We have various night
  clubs already started, but we could have more—and will have more
  when there is a little more money to pay for supervisors, or a
  little more time to drum up and keep in line volunteer helpers. But,
  even now, the school has demonstrated that the evening is the best
  time, not only for reaching the fathers and mothers of the school
  children, but the young people—girls who work in the laundries and
  in the stores at $3.50 a week, and who have no place to go for
  dancing and other recreation, and the young men from 20 to 35,
  working at the distillery or the tobacco warehouses.

  Evening is without doubt the great time to offer recreational
  opportunities to working people. Most of them cannot get these
  except in the evening, and the meeting at the schoolhouse is a
  social event; it is of all others the time when teachers and
  settlement workers may make connection with the parents and those
  over the school age.[25]

In almost every city, women have been behind the movement for social
centers. In Lynn, Massachusetts, for example, the Women’s Political
Science Club persuaded the school board to install electric lights in
the Breed School so that it could be used in the evenings. One of the
leading topics now in the conventions of state federations of women’s
clubs is the use of the schools as social centers; and this movement is
spreading rapidly to country districts which need it quite as much as do
urban communities.

Miss Margaret Wilson, the daughter of the President of the United
States, is one of the most ardent supporters of social centers. She has
added the weight of her influence privately in constructive work and
publicly in propagandist work at conferences and national conventions of
various kinds.

Women are also adding to the literature on the subject of social centers
for publicity value. “The School House as a Local Art Gallery” by Mrs.
M. F. Johnston, and “The Social Center Movement in Minnesota” by Mrs.
Mary L. Starkweather, Assistant Commissioner Women’s Department, Bureau
of Labor for Minnesota, are two of the nine pamphlets issued by the
Extension Division of the University of Wisconsin on Social Centers.

The Social Center Association of America, recently formed, includes
among its vice-presidents, Miss Anne Morgan of New York, Miss Jane
Addams, Mrs. Ella Flagg Young, and Miss Mary McDowell of Chicago.

Wisconsin, California, Indiana, Massachusetts and Ohio have excellent
legislation with regard to the use of schools as social centers; and it
was secured with the help of women in private and organized advocacy,
strengthened by experiments made by them which demonstrated the
advisability of municipal control over educational recreation.

In Detroit two women persuaded the school authorities to grant the use
of a school for evening dances, desiring to make the school a
neighborhood center. The “Buffalo Federation of Women’s Clubs indorses
any plan to make social centers of the public schools along lines so
successful in other cities. An appropriation is asked from the city to
carry on the work.” St. Louis club women have secured the use of several
school buildings as social centers. “A social center in every public
school is the plan of the club women of Syracuse, New York. Plans are
being made to throw open the doors of the school buildings for
neighborhood meetings and entertainments on several evenings of each
week. The school officials are coöperating with the various forces in
favor of social centers.” Women of Chicago asked the coöperation of the
Board of Education in conducting a social center in the winter of
1911–1912. It was open thirty-two evenings with 13,000 people in


Scarcely a town in Illinois and in other states can be found in which a
woman’s club is not planning some wholesome recreation for boys and
girls. Loan collections of games is a practicable method resorted to in
some cases where children have comfortable homes in which to play and
such collections are issued from the library just as books are.

The Good Citizenship Club of Boise, Idaho, a woman’s organization, plans
for municipal entertainment, among other ways, by arranging an address
or various forms of amusement one evening a week in the plaza in the
business district. In planning these entertainments, the women have made
every men’s organization in the city responsible for one evening’s
program: church brotherhoods, labor unions and other non-partisan and
non-sectarian organizations. This Good Government Club is also taking
the initiative in providing for a paid supervisor of the public
playground in the aforesaid plaza for morning and evening play during

Bennington, Vermont, had a community sleigh ride one winter as a part of
the town’s recreation program. Recreation activities there are in charge
of the Civic League, a group of young women, and in one year they
included a summer playground providing for tennis, baseball, volleyball
and other games, popular concerts, a community Christmas tree, a pageant
of patriots on Washington’s birthday, story-telling, a baby contest,
athletic meets, skating in safety for five weeks, and folk dancing
festivals. The town voted $500 that year and the rest was raised
privately. The municipal Christmas tree has grown to be a recognized
institution in the larger cities. Mrs. Louise Bowen, however, takes a
very thoughtful position on the question of this form of recreation. She
would prefer indoor fêtes for the people, owing to the menace to health
and young girls in the winter open-air festivity. In support of her
contentions she cites the fact that the committee having the Chicago
Christmas tree affair in charge promised to provide 50 nurses, 25
doctors, and 500 policemen.

California, so far as we know, was the first state to create a
commission for the study of recreation. Five of the members were
appointed by the Governor; one by the President of the Senate, and one
by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Dr. Grace Fernald, of
the Juvenile Court of Los Angeles, is a member, together with Miss
Bessie Stoddard of the Playground Commission of Los Angeles.

The Public Recreation Commission of St. Louis has broad advisory powers
which include supervision of moving-picture shows, dance halls,
poolrooms, steamboat excursions and other “commercial recreation,” as
well as holiday celebrations and recreation in public schools, parks and
libraries. “It is planned to open public dance halls over the public
markets. The school yards are to be used as playgrounds for children
under ten years of age in the daytime under paid women instructors.
Classes will be sent to the swimming pools every morning and afternoon
under the care of teachers. The Public Schools Athletic League will use
the public playgrounds. There will be public concerts in the schools and
the libraries will have clubrooms and evening lecture courses. The
playgrounds in the parks will be open for children in the daytime and
for adults at night. It is interesting to note the composition of each
of the sub-committees of the Commercial Recreation Committee: one
picture exhibitor, one school man, one clergyman, two women and one
policeman. Is there not here a tribute to the civic influence of
womanhood as such, apart from avocation?”[27]

“New York City now has a federation of associations interested in
recreation. The widest meaning will be given to the word recreation.
Committees will look after both indoor and outdoor amusements from the
viewpoints of health and morality. The new federation will act as a
clearing house for information gathered by societies working for the
same general object, pointing out deficiencies and suggesting plans of


Women formed part of a New York group of public-spirited citizens that,
in the summer of 1914, presented to the Board of Estimate and
Apportionment, the budget-making authority of the city, an important
memorandum dealing with the great problem of financing the urgent
recreational facilities such as those we have outlined. _The Survey_
published the following commentary on this memorandum:

  Beginning with the statement that not more than 5 per cent. of the
  population is reached daily by all the intensive or active
  recreations under public control, the memorandum finds that “the
  mass of the people depend on commercialized amusements, notably
  saloons, motion pictures, and dance halls, and on the street, which
  is the demoralizing and dangerous playground of most of the
  children. We urge that wholesome recreation, publicly controlled, is
  needed by all the people, not by the small fraction now cared for.”

  In other words, the signers of the memorandum regard public
  recreation as being as much a public function as education. “It is
  impossible,” says the memorandum, “for the individual to buy
  wholesome recreation. Wholesome recreation, in which the social and
  civic elements are present, can only be provided through community
  coöperation.” Public recreation is net only for the poor, but for
  everyone, and without it the rich are nearly as helpless as the

  Free recreation made available to the mass of the people would cost
  the city between $30,000,000 and $40,000,000, a sum impossible to
  raise by taxation. Yet, says the memorandum, “the people of New York
  gladly pay $10,000,000 a year for mediocre commercial motion-picture
  shows, but the city takes it for granted that they will or should
  pay nothing at all for amusements more attractive, including motion
  pictures, which can be offered on public properties. The 600 dance
  halls of the city are operated in considerable part by voluntary
  groups who pay for the privilege of using the halls, but the city
  takes for granted that its public properties cannot be operated,
  even in part, by voluntary groups, and that the people will not or
  should not pay.”

  The mass of the people are thus paying for poor recreation which is
  not merely neutral, but often demoralizing. The memorandum goes on:

  “It has been shown through complete investigation that most juvenile
  crime is directly due to the attempt to play in the streets or in
  other forbidden places. There is much evidence that crime among
  women, especially that which leads to the social evil, is due in
  large part to the influences which surround women in their search
  for recreation. Neither commerce nor public effort has provided
  family recreation places, and most wage-earning families in New York
  have no leisure resources beyond what they can find in their
  tenement homes, on the streets, or in a small class of commercial

  In other words, the memorandum is a challenge to the city to go into
  vigorous competition with commercialized amusements and develop all
  public properties to the limit for leisure purposes, as the only
  means whereby crime can be radically controlled, the family held
  together in its pleasures, or civic education carried ahead.

  The memorandum proceeds to lay down a constructive program by which
  this wider use of all public properties can be put into effect in
  line with the social center idea. Its program involves neighborhood
  organization, the shaping of public amusement according to local
  needs. It involves equally self-government in the use of public
  properties for leisure purposes. It goes further and argues that
  local self-support is necessary before self-government can become a

  It urges, in the first place, that public recreation cannot be
  generally developed unless this be done in a partially
  self-supporting way, through dues, entrance fees, or the method of
  private concessions operated on public property. The tax burden
  would be impossible by any other plan.

  It urges also that local self-government in social centers will be a
  mere pretense unless it be accompanied with the power to disburse
  funds. Self-government is desired primarily because it means that
  the local center will, through self-government, begin to take on
  individuality, to develop a neighborhood policy, to seek the
  fulfillment of neighborhood needs.

  For all these purposes a budget will be necessary, and the most
  direct, obvious and disciplinary way to raise the budget is through
  local effort. The natural method, as already demonstrated in several
  New York schools, is to charge an entrance fee to a few popular
  features of the center, preferably those which compete directly with
  the commercialized amusements. Moving pictures and public dancing
  are illustrations. These features, and others such as amateur
  theatricals, athletic meets, sociables and bazaars, the renting of
  rooms in the school building, club dues, etc., can be made not only
  self-supporting but profitable and the surplus can be applied to
  other non-profitable activities. At present, even in New York, some
  social centers, such as the well-known center in Public School 63,
  Manhattan, meet all local expenses, including supervision and
  janitor service, by such means as these.

  The following paragraph from the memorandum is suggestive:

  “Those men and women who are members of private clubs, insist on
  being allowed to spend their social hours with their own group,
  among people who want what they want in the way they want it. The
  great mass of the people, who have no private clubs, are entitled to
  these same privileges. They too are entitled to pay for their own
  recreation, to govern their own recreation, and to spend their
  leisure hours with their own social group. The social center,
  whether it be on school property, park property, or other public
  property, is such by reason of the very fact that it gives this kind
  of right to the average man, woman or child.... The aim of the
  social center is that public money shall provide simply the basic
  physical opportunity for recreation, while the people themselves,
  through the effort of organized voluntary groups, shall make their
  own recreation, govern it and pay for it. The social center is not a
  form of paternalism, for it merely provides the channels through
  which the social life can flow, just as the street provides the
  channel through which the physical city is able to move.”

                               CHAPTER V
                       THE ASSIMILATION OF RACES

One of the unique, if not the one unique, American problem has been that
of assimilating great masses of nearly all the important races of the
earth. As far as European and Asiatic races are concerned the question
of absorption into the American nation has been largely an urban one.
More and more the assimilation of the negro also is becoming an urban
problem, for the migration of negroes to the towns and cities is a
significant part of the general movement of the population cityward. The
Census of 1910 showed that more than one-fourth of the negro population
now dwells in towns of 2,500 population and over. Thirty-nine cities
have ten thousand or more negroes; five northern and seven southern
cities have more than forty thousand negroes each. Negroes are not only
moving to the cities, but the Census further shows that in each of
twenty-seven large cities, negroes form one-fourth or more of the total
population and in four cities they constitute one-half the population.

On one side the question of assimilation of all races in the cities is a
labor problem: one of employment, a living wage, proper housing, and
industrial opportunity. On the other, it is a social problem: one of
education, recreation, common counsel, investigation, publicity, and
protection. It is with the social aspects of assimilation that we shall
deal in this chapter.


As a preparation for constructive work with them, women first studied
the needs, customs, and labor of foreigners as well as they knew how.
Louise Montgomery’s investigation of “Old Country Mothers and American
Daughters” in the stockyards district of Chicago is an excellent example
of such study. It is thus reviewed by Christina Merriman:

  It is a remarkably comprehensive, balanced and interesting survey
  that Miss Montgomery has made, of the industrial and educational
  problems of a district torn by the struggle between the inherited
  standards of the European peasants and those of their American
  daughters, “struggling to keep up with American standards” and
  making every effort to avoid being classed as a “foreigner.” The
  same problem concerns every American city which has a foreign
  industrial community.

  The study is based on the records of 900 families known to the
  University of Chicago Settlement for a number of years, and from
  which was selected a group of 500 girls from whom it was possible to
  secure the most reliable information.

  Taken all in all, it is an indictment of an educational system which
  fails to provide a practical education for these restless young
  daughters, and of an industrial system which permits their
  employment in industries where they “grow dull with a routine that
  calls for no exercise of brain power, and where the general
  stupidity of which many employers complain is increased as the
  months go by.”

  Miss Montgomery contends that the labor of girls under sixteen is
  not necessary to the continuation of any business, and, as a
  buttress for her position, quotes one of the largest employers of
  child labor as saying: “If we could not by law employ the girl under
  sixteen years, we should find some way to make the machine do her
  work,” and points to the frank declaration of another, that: “As an
  employer, I can and do make money out of the work of little girls.
  As a man, I know it would be better for them and for the state if I
  were forbidden by law to employ them.”

  The author, however, recognizes the problems of constantly changing
  and inefficient employees with which the employer is faced, and
  records their “growing sentiment against the employment of

  She tells us of the girl who was so “sot” in her mind and so well
  satisfied with what she was doing that she insisted that “pasting
  labels was her trade and refused to consider anything else”; while
  an example of the other type of mind is cited in one of three girls
  who had held eleven “jobs” in fifteen months, and gave as her excuse
  for one change: “The new boss may have red hair. Anything to change
  the scenery!”

  The report points out again the well-worn but vital problem of
  providing normal amusement for the young girl, “carrying the
  premature responsibility of the wage-earner and asserting her right
  to a feverish search for evening pleasures,” and urges the city,
  through the Board of Education, to provide more nearly adequate
  uncommercialized recreation.

  While the study is, of course, of a specialized class and of a
  community with specialized problems, it includes such a keen and
  sympathetic analysis of the complex factors which influence the
  relations between the employer and the child worker as to make it an
  extremely valuable record.[28]

The Jewish immigrant girl in Chicago was studied by Viola Paradise of
the Immigrants’ Protective League and her conclusion about the girl
whose problems and ideals she has come to know at first hand is this:

  Perhaps no other immigrant is so eager to become Americanized as the
  Jewish girl, and with no other nationality does the Americanizing
  process begin so soon, and continue so consciously. This is not only
  because she feels that it is financially advantageous to know the
  language and customs of her adopted country, but because,
  notwithstanding the much famed “individualism” of the Jew, there is
  ingrained in her nature a passion for conformity. She is quick to
  accept the conventional; she is willing to be better than her
  neighbor, but she dreads being different. This is of course more or
  less true of all people, and this is one reason why the Jewish girl
  accepts so readily the habits and standards of Americans about her.
  She wants to equip herself with what the American takes for granted,
  American fashions, American methods, and the language. Having caught
  up, as it were, with her environment, she is ready to give free rein
  to her individualistic tendencies.

  Perhaps at no time of her adult life is the immigrant girl more
  impressionable, more sensitive to suggestion, than during her first
  few months in America. She is in a state of self-consciousness which
  is propitious or detrimental, as circumstances determine. American
  life can mold her as it will. She brings as her gifts to America
  strength, youth, and enthusiasm, an eager and curious mind, longings
  and ideals, gifts which should be accepted less carelessly and used
  less wastefully. In exchange should we not give her something better
  than long, hard hours, low wages, unhealthful homes and
  neighborhoods, dangerous and vicious recreations? Should we not make
  an effort to justify and realize her boundless faith in America?[29]

Mary Antin, too, has helped Americans to see the immigration problem as
a “vivid human experience.” She says of the Jewish girl: “Such girls as
these know Socialism as the only savior in their distress, since their
only reading has been literature of a Socialistic nature. They do not
realize that although Socialism is one of the agencies for working out
our national problem, it is being supplemented by the aid and interest
of many societies like the Consumers’ League, which are trying to
emphasize the fact that liberty means liberty for all; not liberty to
exist, but to live, to enjoy, to develop.”[30]

Interesting studies have been made by women of the various nationalities
that come to our shores in an effort to interpret them to our people.
“Our Slavic Fellow Citizens” by Emily Green Balch and “Little Citizens”
by Myra Kelly are among the most successful of them. In addition to
these descriptive studies, Anna A. Plass and others have prepared
textbooks for the foreigners to help them, in turn, interpret Americans.
“Civics for Americans in the Making” by Miss Plass is an attempt to
teach English with citizenship.

                            A LITERACY TEST

Kate Holladay Claghorn, of the New York School of Philanthropy, who has
given special study to the problem, believes that one of the first aids
to the proper assimilation of the alien would be a literacy test
designed to exclude many non-assimilable elements. Her reasons are thus
set forth in an article in _The Survey_:

  Any substantial advance in the solution of the immigration problem
  must be looked for through legislation, since private activity, no
  matter how devoted or extended it is, can be expected to make but
  little impression upon a social group constantly augmented at the
  rate of from half a million to a million a year.

  What new legislation is most needed? From the federal government the
  establishment of a literacy test, not for the purpose of restricting
  immigration but for the protection of the immigrant. The true value
  of a literacy test to secure protection has been observed by making
  use of it as a subterfuge to bring about restriction. But it should
  really be regarded as perhaps the best wholesale measure of
  protection that could be devised.

  It has been abundantly shown that the bulk of the immigrant’s own
  burden and our burden because of him are due not to viciousness or
  abnormality of any sort, but to sheer helplessness. He is
  exploitable raw material, and he is exploited, and held, until he
  can push out of it, at a low grade of living detrimental to him and
  to the community. And the one effective measure to help the helpless
  is to bring them to a condition in which they can protect

  The immigrant who has learned to read and write has gained control
  of the tool that brings him out of the stone age, with all its
  associated habits, into the age of bronze, where we live and work
  today. This may be only his own native language—as required by the
  bill which was vetoed last year—but through it he is at least
  brought into an immensely wider circle of communication than is
  afforded by word of mouth only, so that he need not be at the mercy
  of the nearest rascal who wants to take advantage of his ignorance.
  Having this, he is helped a long stage on the way of acquiring the
  use of the more effective tool—reading and writing the English
  language, which would be our next demand for him. For this we should
  ask state legislation, establishing compulsory education for
  non-English speaking adults (immigrant or otherwise).

  The expense of such an undertaking should not be urged against it,
  for expense should be measured in relation to return, and, measured
  in this way, this particular expense would be found a profitable
  investment, as every citizen properly prepared for citizenship is an
  asset to the state. The original purpose of public education in this
  country was to perform this very task.

  Does not the adult immigrant need this preparation much more than
  the native-born child, whose traditions, home surroundings and
  social advantages can supply many deficiencies in formal education?

  Every state where foreign labor is massed in camps or colonies
  should require the establishment of schools in those places. Such
  schools would not only bring their own appropriate benefit, but
  would serve an equally useful purpose in banishing the evil spirits
  of mischief and disorder that infest places where the normal social
  influences are hindered in their free play.

  If it be objected that school attendance could not be secured on
  account of the length of working hours, the obvious answer is that
  hours of labor which shut out all opportunity for exercise of the
  mental faculties or the social instincts, are thereby shown to be
  too long and should be reduced.

  Should these two requirements be met, we need no longer be troubled
  whether immigration is heavy or light. Whether few or many, we
  should have in our immigrants an intelligent working force who can
  help develop our country, and for whom we may be grateful and of
  whom we may be proud.

                            PROTECTIVE WORK

Miss Frances Kellor was one of the leading American women, outside the
settlements, to take hold of the protective work for immigrants. After
studying for some time the destinations of immigrants, and organizing
workers to do follow-up work among foreign women, she became head of the
New York Bureau of Industries and Immigration. Miss Kellor has
accomplished many definite results in her work for immigrants, notably
their better treatment at the hands of employment agents. She has
written much that is pointed on the subject of assimilation and some of
the problems involved.

Miss Kellor is also actively directing the work of the North American
Civic League for Immigrants which was formed to teach law and order to
immigrants, on the one hand, while it also protects them as far as it
can from swindlers. This League is an organization of men and women with
branches in seaboard cities where women are among the number of special
agents who meet steamers and aid immigrants, especially women, in
various ways. Mrs. Rudolph Blankenburg of Philadelphia has been greatly
interested in the work of the League and she secured the coöperation,
for the Philadelphia branch, of women’s aid societies and various civic

In Providence, Rhode Island, Mrs. E. Haight, the headworker of Sprague
House, whose neighbors are largely Italians, has arranged for the North
American Civic League for Immigrants to conduct an information bureau
and English class, and is also working out a plan for boys’ work there.
There are over 40,000 Italians in this colony and no other provision for
even a modicum of assimilation of the foreign element into American

The New York-New Jersey Committee of the League was organized in 1909
for the purpose of developing permanent city, state, and federal
policies regarding conditions created by immigration. Experiments have
been tried since then and as soon as a successful policy of meeting
conditions has been demonstrated, some private enterprise, or the city,
state or federal government, has been urged to pursue the same policy.
The necessity of definite systems of protection, education,
distribution, and assimilation has been continually urged by the League
upon public authorities.

The women of the League have experimented in the field of education,
first in Buffalo and later in other cities. In these cities, hundreds of
foreign-born housewives have been taught domestic science in their own
homes. They have been taken to markets and taught to buy wisely; young
members of the family have been reached as well as the mother. Domestic
education among the foreign women has thus supplemented the work of the
schools in such a way as to secure the coöperation of parents and
teachers in the nurture and protection of their children in the new
country. In order to avoid the stigma of charity, women promoters of
this domestic education have been asking Boards of Education to assume
responsibility for the same.

Begun in Buffalo, domestic education has now extended to New York and
Rochester; to Mineville, a mining community of 3,000; to Barren Island,
New Jersey, an industrial community of 1,400; a canners’ camp at Albion,
New York; and an aqueduct labor camp at Valhalla. Three distinct types
of cities and four distinct types of isolated communities were thus
tried and the results, it is felt, amply justify the expenditure of time
and effort.

The North American Civic League for Immigrants supported for some time
in Rochester a Bureau of Information and Protection for Foreigners,
which was the creation originally of Florence Cross (now Mrs. Kitchelt),
a social worker among the Italians there. Miss Cross explained the need
of this bureau in this way:

“There are in Rochester a large number of foreign-born inhabitants who
are ignorant of our civic institutions, ignorant of the laws of
sanitation and hygiene, ignorant of the protection offered them by our
laws and our various philanthropic institutions. Except through the
influence of their children in the schools, many of these adult
foreigners have little opportunity to understand those municipal
activities which are intended to help rather than to punish. Many of
them know nothing of the Public Health Association, the Legal Aid
Protection Committee, the Provident Loan Association, the evening
schools and similar well-established agencies for reaching just such
needs as theirs.

“Therefore this bureau was established on a modest scale as a clearing
house to bring inquirers to the people who can assist them. The rooms
are open every afternoon and evening, where foreigners who are in any
kind of trouble or perplexity may come for advice. During four months
when the bureau was first opened, the callers averaged 71 per day.”

This bureau received reports from the New York office of the Civic
League for Immigrants about all newly arrived immigrant children whose
destination was Rochester. The children were located on their arrival
and their names sent to the School Census Board. Among these, a number
of cases of child labor have been found and reported. Several positions
for men out of work have also been found. Leaflets on tuberculosis have
been distributed and cases, when discovered, sent to the proper
authorities. A pure milk station has been maintained at the bureau and
its other activities have included the preparation of Italian dances for
the National Playground Congress; a series of articles contributed to
the Italian press on living standards, health, duties of citizens,
school laws, savings banks, honest elections and similar topics; and a
suggestion made to the City Club, which was adopted, that a Fourth of
July banquet be tendered the newly naturalized citizens of Rochester.

The Rochester Bureau came most prominently before the public during the
directorship of Miss Cross while a strike of Italian laborers was going
on in Rochester. The story of this strike illustrates fundamental
elements in the work of assimilation. The Italian laborers’ union some
nine years previously had succeeded in getting a wage increase. The
increased cost of living in the meantime had made their wage inadequate
for a decent standard of living, so the union gave contractors a six
months’ notice of its demand for a second increase. The demand was
ignored and the strike commenced. Mr. Kitchelt thus relates the story:

  Newspapers began their campaign then. Those who had blamed the
  Italians for their low standard of living now criticized them for
  trying to improve it by the only means in their power. The chief of
  police held a conference with the contractors, and groups of
  strikers were attacked by the police.

  Some men were shot and others arrested. The cases of the latter were
  twice postponed in spite of their desire for a speedy trial and they
  were finally discharged for lack of evidence. The strikers appealed
  to the mayor to try to effect a settlement and several conferences
  were held in his office. But he was himself a contractor and the
  results were not apparent. Arbitration through Italian lawyers was
  tried but with no success.

  In this extremity some of the strikers’ executive board turned to
  the Bureau for help. Miss Cross called together a committee of
  prominent citizens and had the men tell them their story. It was
  shown that the wages of the laborers averaged $6.50 a week, an
  amount inadequate to maintain a family in health and strength; that
  the city was being injured by a continually lowering standard of
  living; that the injection into the community of irresponsible
  strike-breakers was a menace to the public peace and welfare.

  The newspapers were induced to print the truth about the strikers.
  Public sentiment gradually changed in favor of the workmen.
  Petitions from residents and shop-keepers along the torn-up streets
  were laid before the mayor. After a strike of four weeks, the
  contractors consented to a conference which resulted in an immediate
  increase of one cent an hour and an agreement to arbitrate the wage
  scale before the next season’s contracts were entered into.

Among the various national associations which aid the immigrant directly
and indirectly is the Council of Jewish Women, organized primarily to
aid Jewish immigrants to adapt themselves to American conditions of life
and labor. It has sections in all the larger cities and towns, with a
central system of organization whereby rapid coöperation is secured
among the sections in times of need.

The Council of Jewish Women seeks, through the promotion of better
housing, labor conditions, recreation, education, health conditions,
vocational guidance, travelers’ aid, probation and other protective work
and institutional care, to throw about Jewish women those safeguards
which will make of them creditable citizens in as short a time as
possible and prevent their becoming the public burdens, delinquents,
insane, and paupers which modern competitive labor conditions all too
readily tend to make of them.

The real test of the sincere desire of Jew and Gentile to live together
in helpful coöperation is demonstrated by the mutual appreciation which
the Council of Jewish Women and the Federation of Women’s Clubs show for
each other’s social services. The National Child Labor Committee, the
Consumers’ League, legislative committees, and charitable organizations
all testify to the helpfulness and efficiency of the Council of Jewish

Like the Y. W. C. A., the Council of Jewish Women is a religious
organization but owing to its peculiar relation to the problem of
immigration it is forced to take a more decided position on the
fundamental labor question than the former organization.

At the Sixth Triennial Convention of the Council, Miss Sadie American
made a statement which indicates the serious spirit of this organization
as far as the white slave traffic is concerned:

  This brings me to the subject of the White Slave Traffic, upon which
  Resolutions were passed by your Executive Committee and sent to your
  Sections (which in response sent many letters praising the action),
  which Resolution instructed your officers to do their utmost to
  combat this traffic, especially to combat against such Jews as might
  be in it. It was in pursuance of this Resolution and the urgent
  invitation of the English Society for the Protection of Girls and
  Women, of which Mr. Claude Montefiore is the President, that I was
  sent to represent you to the Jewish White Slave Traffic Conference
  in London and to the International White Slave Traffic Conference in
  Madrid, and I believe that in this act alone the Council of Jewish
  Women justified its existence. It is impossible in a meeting such as
  this to go into details.

  The English Association had expected only nine or ten people. There
  were twenty-eight delegates from nine countries, and an attendance
  from England that was surprising. These delegates were men and women
  of highest importance not only in philanthropic but in the financial
  and larger social world of Europe. Does not this prove the
  importance of the subject?

  The men of America have not yet waked up on this subject. Jewish
  men, unless they leave a call for themselves, are going to be waked
  up in a way they will not like.

  I take credit to the Council of Jewish Women that it has fearlessly
  taken a stand on this matter, as it is the duty of Jewish women to
  do what they can to protect the good name of the Jewess.

  To go to those meetings and to listen was horror enough in itself,
  to realize that the things there told were true is increased horror,
  to see the victims is horror still more horrible, and only those who
  have given days and nights to this subject can know its full

  When I was sent to England I thought that I had some information. I
  learned many things I would prefer not to have had the duty of

  It had been left to my discretion whether it would be worth while to
  go to Madrid, but this decision was practically taken out of my
  hands in London when, upon talking with the European men and women
  who had attended other international conferences, I became convinced
  there could be no doubt as to its being a duty to go.

  It is a matter of surprise to the leading Jewish men in Europe who
  are so actively interested in this matter to find that the Council
  of Jewish Women has stood alone for so long in this work, that the
  Council of Jewish Women was the only one of the organizations of
  Jews in the United States which thought the matter of sufficient
  importance to send a delegate to confer with those of Europe on the

                        ATTITUDE OF SETTLEMENTS

At the Inter-city Conference of Settlement Workers in Boston last year
it became very clear that some of the leaders were anxious to make their
work among foreigners count for more. Dr. Jane Robbins took the position
that assimilation would be expedited and rendered more stable by means
of the training of young foreigners, Italians and the like, as social
workers in order that they might contribute their own enthusiasm and
knowledge of the traditions and prejudices of their people to the task
of Americanization. Miss Lillian Wald, the president of the National
Federation of Settlements, maintained that the best assimilative work of
all could be done through the settlement which she called “The House of
the Interpreter.” The inculcation of the neighborhood spirit, she added,
stimulates a wholesome rivalry and promotes better housing and social
standards than can be secured by other means. Vida Scudder insisted upon
the vital necessity of rescuing settlement work from philanthropic
tendencies. She suggested that truer democracy and helpfulness in the
work of assimilation of all elements of the national life could be
brought about by greater attention on the part of settlements to all the
forward movements of the working class for whom settlements exist. Miss
Scudder argued that settlement workers ought to perfect the technique of
the settlement organization in such a way that they would be free in
times of crises to assist in all working class movements which have as
their aim the improvement of the conditions of life and labor. In this
position, Miss Scudder would sympathize with and encourage work along
lines similar to that pursued by Miss Cross in her Rochester work, to
which we have referred.

                               THE NEGRO

The problem of fair citizenship for the negro is receiving no little
attention from those women interested in the assimilation of races. The
National League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes is an organization of
men and women with headquarters in New York, formed “to help in
counteracting this migration to the cities and to make efforts for
improving the serious social conditions growing up among the negroes in
the cities.”

This League is a consolidation of the National League for the Protection
of Colored Women formed in 1906, after revelations were made of the
abuses in the employment agencies connected with the emigration of negro
women from the South, and of the Committee for Improving the Industrial
Conditions of Negroes, in New York, which recognized the industrial and
educational handicaps of the negro and sought to equip him better for

The consolidated body is making studies of negroes in cities, seeking to
secure wider recreational, educational, and industrial facilities, and,
what is perhaps most important of all, training negro social workers to
do themselves the needed work for their own race. Among the effective
women workers in this organization is Elizabeth Walton.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is also a
body of men and women. It seeks to secure for the negroes “full
enjoyment of their rights as citizens, justice in all courts, and
equality of opportunity everywhere.” Among the women who are earnest
supporters of this society are Miss Mary White Ovington of Brooklyn,
Jane Addams of Chicago, Mrs. Florence Kelley, Miss Lillian Wald and Mrs.
Max Morgenthau of New York. Miss May Childs Nerney is the secretary.

It is to a woman, Mrs. Louise de Koven Bowen, that we owe one of our
best brief studies of the colored people’s problems in a great northern
city. Her article published in The Survey, entitled, “The Colored People
of Chicago: Where Their Opportunity Is Choked—Where Open,” is such a
trenchant presentation of this problem that it deserves quotation at
length here. She says:

  In the course of an investigation recently made by the Juvenile
  Protective Association of Chicago into the condition of boys in the
  County Jail, the association was much startled by the
  disproportionate number of colored boys and young men there.
  Although the colored people of Chicago approximate one-fortieth of
  the entire population, one-eighth of the boys and young men, and
  nearly one-third of the girls and young women, who had been confined
  in the jail during the year, were negroes.

  The Association had previously been impressed with the fact that
  most of the maids employed in houses of prostitution were colored
  girls and that many employment agencies quite openly sent them
  there, although they would not take the risk of sending a white girl
  to a place where, if she was forced into a life of prostitution, the
  agency would be liable to a charge of pandering.

  In an attempt to ascertain the causes which would account for a
  greater amount of delinquency among colored boys and for the public
  opinion which so carelessly places the virtue of a colored girl in
  jeopardy, the Juvenile Protective Association found itself involved
  in a study of the industrial and social status of the colored people
  of Chicago.

  While the morality of every young person is closely bound up with
  that of his family and his immediate environment, this is especially
  true of the sons and daughters of colored families who, because they
  continually find the door of opportunity shut in their faces, are
  more easily forced back into their early environment, however
  vicious it may have been. The enterprising young people in immigrant
  families who have passed through the public schools and are earning
  good wages continually succeed in moving their entire households
  into more prosperous neighborhoods where they gradually lose all
  trace of their early tenement house experiences. On the contrary,
  the colored young people, however ambitious, find it extremely
  difficult to move their families or even themselves into desirable
  parts of the city and to make friends in these surroundings.

  Although no separate schools have ever been established in Chicago,
  it was found that many colored young people become discouraged in
  regard to a “high school education” because of the tendency of
  employers who use colored persons at all in their business to assign
  to them the most menial labor.

  Many a case on record in the Juvenile Protective Association tells a
  tale of an educated young negro who failed to find employment as
  stenographer, bookkeeper or clerk. One rather pathetic story is that
  of a boy graduated from a technical high school last spring. He was
  sent with other graduates of his class to a big electric company
  where in the presence of all his classmates he was told that
  “niggers are not wanted here.”

The Association has on record another instance where a graduate of a
business college was refused a position under similar circumstances.
This young man, in response to an advertisement, went to a large firm to
ask for a position as clerk. “We take colored help only as laborers,” he
was told by the manager of a firm supposed to be friendly to the

All the leading business colleges in Chicago, except one, frankly
discriminate against negro students. The one friendly school at present,
among twelve hundred white students, has only two colored students, but
its records show as many as thirty colored students in the past,
although the manager claims that his business has suffered in
consequence of his friendliness to the negro.

After an ambitious boy has been refused employment again and again in
the larger mercantile and industrial establishments and comes to the
conclusion that there is no use in trying to get a decent job, he is in
a very dangerous state of mind. Idle and discouraged, his neighborhood
environment vicious, such a boy quickly shows the first symptoms of
delinquency. Even the superintendent of the Illinois Industrial School
for Boys at St. Charles complains that it is not worth while to teach
trades to colored boys in his institution because it is so very
difficult for a skilled colored man to secure employment. The colored
people themselves believe that the employers object to treating the
colored man with the respect which a skilled mechanic would command. As
a result of this attitude, the colored laborer is being driven to lower
kinds of occupation which are gradually being discarded by the white

Certainly the investigators found that the great corporations, for one
reason or another, refused to employ negroes. Department stores, express
companies and the public utility companies employ very few colored
people. Out of the 3,795 men employed in Chicago by the eight leading
express companies, only twenty-one were colored men. Fifteen of these
were porters.

The investigators found no colored men employed as boot-and-shoe-makers,
glove-makers, bindery workers, garment workers in factories, cigar box
makers, elevated railroad employees, neckwear workers, suspender-makers
or printers. No colored women are employed in dress-making, cap-making,
lingerie and corset-making. The two reasons given for this
non-employment by the employers are: first, the refusal of the white
employees to work with colored people; second, the “colored help” is
slower and not so efficient as the white. Some employers solve the
latter difficulty by paying the colored help less. In the laundries, for
instance, where colored people do the same work as white people, the
latter average a dollar a week more.

The effect of these restrictions upon negroes is, first, that they are
crowded into undesirable and underpaid occupations. As an example, about
12 per cent. of the colored men in Chicago work in saloons and
poolrooms. Second, there is greater competition in a limited field with
consequent tendency to lower the already low wages. Third, the colored
women are forced to go to work to help earn the family living. This
occurs so universally as to affect the entire family and social life of
the negro colony.

A large number of negroes are employed on the railroads, largely due to
the influence of the Pullman Palace Car Company. There is a tradition
among colored people that Mr. Pullman inserted a clause in his will
urging the company to employ colored men on trains whenever possible,
but while the investigators found 1,849 Pullman porters living in
Chicago, they counted 7,625 colored men working in saloons and
poolrooms. There is also a high percentage employed in theaters; more
than one-fourth of all the employees in the leading theaters of Chicago
are colored.

The federal government has always been a large employer of colored
labor; 9 per cent. of the force in all the federal departments are
negroes. In Chicago the percentage of colored men is higher. Out of a
total of 8,012 men, 755 are colored, being 10.61 per cent. of the whole,
approximately their just share in proportion to the population. The
negroes, however, do not fare so well in local government. A study made
of the city departments in Chicago showed the percentage of colored
employees to be 1.87 per cent.; in Cook County, 1.88 per cent. Three
colored men have also been elected as county commissioners, and there is
said to be no instance on record in Chicago of a negro office-holder
having betrayed his trust.

The investigators found, in regard to the colored men in business: (1)
that the greater number of their enterprises are the outgrowth of
domestic and personal service occupations; (2) that they are in branches
of business which call for small capital and little previous experience.

In the colored belt on the South Side of Chicago a number of business
houses are managed by colored people. There is also one bank located in
a fine building, of which a colored man is president, but 80 per cent.
of the depositors are white. According to the evidence confirmed by the
figures of the United States census, there is little possibility for a
colored business man to make a living solely from the patronage of his
own people. The census report holds that he succeeds in business only
when two-thirds of his customers are white. This affords another
explanation of the fact that most of his business is of such a character
that a white man is willing to patronize it—barber shops, expressing,
restaurants, and other occupations suggesting personal service.

There is a large proportion of real estate dealers among colored men,
many of whom do business with white people, the negro dealer often
becoming the agent for houses which the white dealers refuse to handle.
Colored people are eager to own their homes and many of them are buying
small houses, divided into two flats, living in one and collecting rent
from the other. The contract system prevails in Chicago, making it
possible for a man with two or three hundred dollars for the first
payment to enter into a contract for the purchase of a piece of
property, the deed being held by the real estate man until the purchaser
pays the amount stipulated in the contract.

The largest district in Chicago in which colored people have resided for
a number of years is the section on the South Side, known as the “black
belt” which includes a segregated vice district. In this so-called
“belt” the number of children is remarkably small, forming only a little
more than one-tenth of the population, and an investigation made by the
School of Civics showed that only 26 per cent. of the houses in the
South Side and 36 per cent. of the houses in the West Side colored
district, were in good repair. Colored tenants reported that they found
it impossible to persuade their landlords either to make the necessary
repairs or to release them from their contracts, but that it was so hard
to find places in which to live that they were forced to endure
insanitary conditions.

High rents among the colored people, as everywhere else, force the
families to take in lodgers. Nearly one-third of the population in the
district investigated on the South Side and one-seventh of the
population in the district investigated on the West Side were lodgers.
This practice is always found dangerous to family life; it is
particularly so to the boys and girls of colored families who, because
they so often live near the vice districts, are obliged to have the
house filled with “floaters” of a very undesirable class, so that the
children witness all kinds of offenses against decency within the home
as well as on the streets. [Similar conditions exist in some of the
colored districts of New York City.]

It was found that the rent paid by a negro is appreciably higher than
that paid by any other nationality. In a flat building formerly occupied
by white people, the white families paid a rent of twelve dollars for a
six-room apartment for which a negro family is now paying sixteen
dollars; a white family paid seventeen dollars for an apartment of seven
rooms for which the negroes are now paying twenty dollars.

The negro real estate dealer frequently offers to the owner of an
apartment house, which is no longer renting advantageously to white
tenants, cash payment for a year’s lease on the property, thus
guaranteeing the owner against loss, and then he fills the building with
colored tenants. It is said, however, that the agent does not put out
the white tenants unless he can get 10 per cent. more from the colored
people. By this method the negroes now occupy many large apartment
buildings but the negro real estate agents obtain the reputation of
exploiting their own race.

When it becomes possible for the colored people of a better class to buy
property in a good neighborhood, so that they may take care of their
children and live respectably, there are often protest meetings among
the white people in the vicinity and sometimes even riots. A striking
example of the latter occurred recently on the West Side of Chicago; a
colored woman bought a lot near a small park upon which she built a
cottage. It was not until she moved into the completed house that the
neighbors discovered that a colored family had acquired property there.
They immediately began a crusade of insults and threats. When this
brought no results, a “night raid” company was organized. In the middle
of the night a masked band broke into the house, told the family to keep
quiet or they would be murdered; then they tore down the newly built
house, destroying everything in it. This is, of course, an extreme
instance, but there have been many similar cases. Recently in a suburb
of Chicago, animosity against negro residents resulted in the
organization of an anti-negro committee, which requested the dismissal
of all negroes who were employed in the town as gardeners, janitors,
etc., because the necessity of housing their families depressed real
estate values.

Supplementary to the previous housing investigations, the Juvenile
Protective Association studied the conditions of fifty of the better
homes occupied by the colored people of Chicago, those in the so-called
“black belts” in the city, those in a suburban district and other houses
situated in blocks in which only one or two colored families lived. The
size of the houses varied from five to fourteen rooms, averaging eight
rooms each. The conditions of the houses inside and out compared
favorably with similar houses occupied by white families.

Classified according to occupation, the heads of the household in nine
cases were railroad porters, the next largest number were janitors, then
waiters, but among them were found lawyers, clergymen and physicians. In
only four instances was the woman of the house working outside the home.
Only four of the homes took in lodgers and children were found in only
fifteen out of the fifty families studied.

The total of thirty-three children found in the fifty homes averages but
two-thirds of a child for each family and but for one family—a janitor
living in a ten-room house and possessing eight children—the average
would have been but half a child for a family. This confirms the
statement often made that while the poorer colored people in the
agricultural districts of the South, like the poor Italians in rural
Italy, have very large families, when they move to the city and become
more prosperous, the birth rate among colored people falls below that of
the average prosperous American family.

From the homes situated in white neighborhoods, only two reported
“indignation meetings when they moved in” and added “quiet now.” One
other reported “No affiliation with white neighbors”; another “White
neighbors visit in time of sickness” and the third was able to say
“Neighbors friendly.” Of the ownership of the fifty homes, thirty-five
were owned by colored men, twelve by white landlords and the ownership
of three was not ascertained. Thirty-four of the houses were occupied by
their owners.

According to the Juvenile Protective Association records, it was found
that out of one hundred poor families, eighty-six of the women went out
to work. Though there is no doubt that this number is abnormally high,
it is always easier for a colored woman to find work than it is for a
man, partly because white people have the traditions of colored servants
and partly because there is a steadier demand for and a smaller supply
of household workers, wash and scrub women, than there is for the kind
of unskilled work done by men. Even here they are discriminated against
and although many are employed in highly respectable families, there is
a tendency to engage them in low-class hotels and other places where
white women do not care to go.

Investigators found from consultation with the principals of the schools
largely attended by colored children that they are irregular in
attendance and often tardy; that they are eager to leave school at an
early age, although in one school where there is a great deal of manual
work this tendency is less pronounced.

Colored children more than any others are kept at home to care for
younger members of the family while the mother is away at work. A
persistent violation of the compulsory education law recently tried in
the Juvenile Court disclosed the fact that a colored brother and sister
had been refused admittance in a day nursery, the old woman who cared
for the little household for twenty-five cents a day was ill, and the
mother had been obliged to keep the older children at home in order to
retain her place in a laundry. At the best the school attendance of her
five children had been most unsatisfactory, for she left home every
morning at half-past six, and the illiterate old woman in charge of the
children took little interest in school. The lack of home training and
the fact that many colored families are obliged to live in or near the
vice districts perhaps accounts for the indifference to all school
interests on the part of many colored children, although this complaint
is not made of those in the high schools who come from more prosperous

The most striking difference in the health of the colored children
compared to that of the white children in the same neighborhood was the
larger proportion of the cases of rickets, due of course to malnutrition
and neglect. The colored people themselves believe the school
authorities are more interested in a school whose patronage is
predominantly white.

It was found that young colored girls, like the boys, often become
desperately discouraged in their efforts to find employment other than
domestic or personal service. Highschool girls of refined appearance,
after looking for weeks, will find nothing open to them in department
stores, office buildings, or manufacturing establishments, save a few
positions as maids placed in the women’s waiting rooms. Such girls find
it continually assumed by the employment agencies to whom they apply for
positions that they are willing to serve as domestics in low-class
hotels and disreputable houses. Of course the agency does not explain
the character of the place to which it sends the girl, but going to one
address after another the girl herself finds that the places are all of
one kind.

Recently an intelligent colored girl who had kept a careful record of
her experiences with three employment agencies came to the office of the
Juvenile Protective Association to see what might be done to protect
colored girls less experienced and self-reliant than herself against
similar temptations. Another young colored girl who, at the age of
fifteen, had been sent to a house of prostitution by an employment
agency, was rescued from the house, treated in a hospital and sent to
her sister in a western state. She there married a respectable man and
is now living in a little home “almost paid for.”

The case of Eliza M., who has worked as cook in a disreputable house for
ten years, is that of a woman forced into vicious surroundings. In
addition to her wages of five dollars a week and food which she is
permitted to take home every evening to her family, she has been able to
save her generous “tips” for the education of her three children for
whom she is very ambitious.

Colored young women who are manicurists and hair dressers find it
continually assumed that they will be willing to go to hotels under
compromising conditions and when a decent girl refuses to go, she is
told that that is all that she can expect. There is no doubt that the
few colored girls who find positions as stenographers or bookkeepers are
much more open to insult than white girls in similar positions.

All these experiences tend to discourage the young people from that
“education” which their parents so eagerly desire for them and also
makes it extremely difficult for them to maintain their standards of

In spite of various efforts on the part of colored people themselves to
found homes for dependent and semi-delinquent colored children the
accommodations are totally inadequate, which is the more remarkable as
the public records all give a high percentage of negro criminals. In
Chicago the police department gives 7.7 per cent., the Juvenile Court
6.5 per cent., the county jail 10 per cent.

Those familiar with the police and the courts believe that negroes are
often arrested on excuses too flimsy to hold a white man, that any negro
who happens to be near the scene of a crime or disorder is promptly
arrested and often convicted on evidence upon which a white man would be
discharged. Certainly the Juvenile Protective Association has on record
cases in which a negro has been arrested without sufficient cause and
convicted on inadequate evidence. A certain type of policeman, of
juryman, and of prosecuting attorney has apparently no scruples in
sending a “nigger up the road” on mere suspicion.

There is the record in the files of the Association of the case of
George W., a colored boy, nineteen years old, who was born in Chicago
and who had attended the public schools through one year at high school.
He lived with his mother and had worked steadily for three years as a
porter in a large grocery store, when one day he was arrested on a
charge of rape.

In the late afternoon of that day a woman eighty-three years old was
assaulted by a negro and was saved from the horrible attack only by the
timely arrival of her daughter, who so frightened the assailant that he
jumped out of a window. Two days later George was arrested, charged with
the crime. At the police station he was not allowed to sleep, was
beaten, cuffed and kicked, and finally, battered and frightened, he
confessed that he had committed the crime.

When he appeared in court, his lawyer advised him to plead guilty,
although the boy explained that he had not committed the crime and had
confessed simply because he was forced to do so. The evidence against
him was so flimsy that the judge referred to it in his instructions to
the jury. The state’s attorney had failed to establish the ownership of
the cap dropped by the fleeing assailant and the time of the attempted
act was changed during the testimony. The description given by the
people who saw the colored man running away did not correspond to
George’s appearance. Nevertheless the jury brought in a verdict of
guilty and the judge sentenced the boy to fourteen years in the
penitentiary. When one of the men who had seen the guilty man running
away from the old woman’s house was asked why he did not make his
testimony more explicit, he replied, “Oh, well, he’s only a nigger

The case was brought to the Juvenile Protective Association by the
employer of George W., who, convinced of the boy’s good character, felt
that he had not had a fair trial. The Association, finding that the boy
could absolutely prove an alibi at the time of the crime, is making
every effort to get him out of the penitentiary.

As remedies against the unjust discrimination against the colored man
suspected of crime, a leading attorney of the race in Chicago suggests

  Generalizing against the negro should cease. The fact that one negro
  is bad should not fix criminality upon the race. The race should be
  judged by its best as well as by its worst types.

  The public press never associates the nationality of a criminal so
  markedly in its account of crime as in the case of a negro. This
  exception is most unjust and harmful and should not obtain.

  The negro should not be made the universal scapegoat. When a crime
  is committed, the slightest pretext starts the rumor of a “negro
  suspect” and flaming headlines prejudice the public mind long after
  the white criminal is found.

  The investigators were convinced that there are not enough places in
  Chicago where negro children may find wholesome amusement. Of the
  fifteen small parks and playgrounds with field houses, only two are
  really utilized by colored children. They avoid the others because
  of friction and difficulty which they constantly encounter with
  white children. The commercial amusements found in the neighborhoods
  of colored people are the lowest type of poolrooms and saloons,
  which are disproportionately numerous because so many young colored
  men find their first employment in these two occupations, and with
  their experience and very little capital are able to start places
  for themselves.

  All colored people are especially fond of music, but almost the only
  outlet the young people find for their musical taste is in
  vaudeville shows, amusement parks, and inferior types of theaters.
  That which should be a great source of inspiration tends to pull
  them down, as their love of pleasure, lacking innocent expression,
  draws them toward the vice districts where alone the color line

  An effort was recently made by some colored people on the South Side
  to start a model dance hall. The white people of the vicinity,
  assuming that it would be an objectionable place, successfully
  opposed it as a public nuisance and this effort toward better
  recreational facilities had to be abandoned.

  In suggesting remedies for this state of affairs, the broken family
  life, the surroundings of a vicious neighborhood, the dearth of
  adequate employment, the lack of preventive institutional care and
  proper recreation for negro youth, the Juvenile Protective
  Association finds itself confronted with the situation stated at the
  beginning of the investigation—that the life of the colored boy and
  girl is so circumscribed on every hand by race limitations that they
  can be helped only as the entire colored population in Chicago is
  understood and fairly treated.

  For many years Chicago, keeping to the tradition of its early
  history, had the reputation among colored people of according them
  fair treatment. Even now it is free from the outward signs of
  “segregation,” but unless the city realizes more fully than it does
  at present the great injustice which discrimination against any
  class of citizens entails, it will suffer for this indifference in
  an ever-increasing number of idle and criminal youths, which must
  eventually vitiate both the black and white citizenship of Chicago.

                               CLUB WORK

Of the local work of women’s associations in behalf of better
opportunities for the alien, the reports are too numerous for the barest
mention. Only an example or two may be cited by way of illustration.
Pittsburgh, the city second to Chicago as a distributing center for
immigrants, has many individuals and organizations alive to the problem
of assimilation. The Y. M. C. A. and the Civic Club of Allegheny County
have coöperated to establish a foreign immigration distributing station
at the railway depot and will do follow-up work with the new residents
of that city. In this work these two organizations will have the
coöperation of the Council of Jewish Women and other important social
agencies in the city.

The Education Committee of the Civic Club arranged conferences in
Pittsburgh on the Americanization of foreign-born families, frankly
accepting Miss Kellor’s program: “The State should take up, at the point
where the Federal government lays aside its responsibility, the real
question of immigration, which is the problem of making the immigrant
into a good citizen, protecting him when he is looking for a job and
helping him to go to the part of the state where he is most needed,
where the best conditions exist, where there is the best standard of
living and where he may find congenial associates.”

Evening classes for foreigners were also undertaken by this club, and
its women members worked hard at that enterprise until the Board of
Education decided to assume responsibility for it.

All over the state of Pennsylvania thoughtful women are turning
seriously to the question of the alien in their midst. _The American
Club Woman_ reports that “the immigration problem is regarded as very
important by Mrs. Samuel Semple, State President of Pennsylvania Clubs.
She has traveled all over the state and observed the vast throngs of
foreign immigrants pouring into the industries. She urges a special
effort to educate the immigrant into a good citizen. The establishment
of social centers in the schools is the first step advocated.” “Women
inspectors at every port where immigrants land is a much needed reform.
The Civic Club of Philadelphia has made a study of immigrant stations
and finds that there is no adequate provision for the proper handling of
women and children, and that no privacy is allowed, and that women are
frequently subjected to embarrassment and distress because of being
entirely at the mercy of male inspectors.”

In Boston, the Women’s Municipal League is a center for all agencies,
including that of the League, which are working for the assimilation of
the foreign elements in the community. We are told that “it has also
reached the point when it can develop, within the League, a plan to
unify all the educational activities of every department until no vital
interest in home or school or social life is left untouched; a plan
which shall include the emigrant woman and thus become the basis of a
genuine democracy.”

In California, the women like many men are beginning to wrestle with the
immigration problem, which has been augmented already by the opening of
the Panama Canal and which will, unless proper safeguards are at once
set up, produce the evil conditions in the western seaports and western
cities that now exist in the eastern ports and other cities.

The Women’s Civic League of Baltimore has made a serious effort to
secure adequate protection for the immigrants that come in such numbers
to that city.


The Women’s Municipal League of New York formed in 1906 a Research
Committee which made an intensive study of a group of immigrants and
reported the need of better public protection. As a result of the
pressure exerted by this Committee, the League itself, and the
Association of Neighborhood Workers, a state immigration bill was passed
in 1908 creating a non-salaried commission of nine members. Miss Frances
Kellor, who had directed the research work among immigrants, was made a
member of this commission and later became head of the State Bureau of

Massachusetts followed with a Commission of Immigration on the lines of
the New York commission, for a study of internal assimilation. Grace
Abbott, director of the Immigrants’ Protective League of Chicago, was
appointed executive secretary.

Governor Johnson recently appointed a similar commission in California
and Mrs. Mary E. Gibson is an active member.


Of the work of Jane Addams of Chicago in the foreign colonies the very
best tribute is that paid her by one of her alien neighbors: “It was
that word _with_ from Jane Addams,” said a working woman, “that took the
bitterness out of my life. For if she wanted to work with me and I could
work with her, it gave my life new meaning and hope.”

Starting in with a simple desire for service to our new citizens,
sometimes enlivened by real missionary fervor and again by a
semi-religious and philanthropic sentiment, women social workers are now
realizing to a gratifying extent that the real basis of assimilation is
economic, because the immigrant comes here as a worker. To prevent
exploitation thus becomes the main endeavor of a large group of workers
in the foreign colonies, and their emphasis on good wages as a basis for
housing reform and other standards of living as well as for social
opportunity and culture proves the capacity of women for intellectual
growth and keenness of penetration. Sometimes in their anxiety to make
good citizens of foreigners, women workers among them, or for them, lay
emphasis on governmental action and are paternalistic in that they work
for legislation more than education among the workers themselves.
Others, while not underestimating the value of legislation, feel that
exploitation will be more permanently removed or prevented by educating
the immigrant to demand those conditions of life and labor for himself
or herself which will make exploitation impossible.

                               CHAPTER VI

It is an interesting fact that among the very earliest pioneers in the
movement for better housing conditions were two women, Octavia Hill, of
London, and Ellen Collins, of New York. Of these two women, it has been
justly said: “They were alike in the fact that before anyone else saw
how bad housing underlies more of the mischief that is abroad in a great
city than do most other causes, they saw and understood. What is more,
they attacked the evil where few in their day had the courage, and fewer
the will, to meet it.”

Guided by the work done by Octavia Hill in England, Miss Fox, Miss
Parrish, and a few others organized, in the pioneer days of housing
reform, the Octavia Hill Association, as a branch of the Civic Club of
Philadelphia, a woman’s organization which had been investigating
congestion in courts and alleys and presenting reports. This association
still exists. The members of the association buy property in the
tenement districts, and either build new houses or improve old ones
which are rented then in the usual way. The shareholders are guaranteed
4 per cent. on their investment and still the houses are kept in
perfectly sanitary condition. It is eleemosynary in its interest though
profit-making in its appearance. It handles property for those who want
it handled by someone who will take more than a pecuniary interest in
the tenants.

The ideals of this association have been copied elsewhere, as in Detroit
and Washington. They were the inspiration for the Women’s Municipal
League of Boston, which now manages the property intrusted to its care
on the same principles. It regards the rent collector as a social worker
of real assistance to the landlord and the tenant.

The attitude that so many people have of placing the blame for bad
conditions upon tenants largely or solely was well answered by a member
of the Octavia Hill Association. After showing that the last annual bill
for repairs due to carelessness of tenants in the Association’s 500
houses was only $50, someone asked to what extent tenants are
responsible for bad housing conditions. Instantly the answer came,

The work done by Miss Ellen Collins in New York is told by Miss Emily
Dinwiddie in “Tenements for a Million People.” Jacob Riis thus had able

Women of wealth have helped to build some of the model tenements which
were, in the earlier stages, regarded as most important contributions to
the housing movement. Mrs. W. K. Vanderbilt, Sr., for example, spent one
million dollars in erecting four model tenements in New York to meet the
needs of tuberculosis patients and their families.

As the housing reform movement assumed wider aspects than the
destruction of limited slum areas or the construction of model
tenements, women were everywhere found active along the new lines of
development. The Housing Problem, it is now recognized, offers different
aspects for different classes in society, although the requirements for
all individuals in the matters of light, air, warmth, sanitation, and
freedom from overcrowding, are similar.

                        HOMES FOR WORKING WOMEN

Homeless working women, for instance, are face to face with a serious
problem, for, as lodgers with very small incomes, they are not only
unable to secure airy and sanitary rooms, but they are often forced into
immoral surroundings and led to supplement their earnings in ways that
menace their own future. Homes for working girls have, therefore, been a
special concern of women in many of our cities.

Edith Hadley, president of the Chelsea House Association, New York,
shows the spirit with which women have generally undertaken this work:
“If we who have privileges and warm, comfortable, clean homes, cannot
say to these girls, ‘My sister, come home,’ surely it rests upon us to
do it in some community way. And if we cannot get the housing of girls
taken up as a community duty, then all the more must we struggle by
private enterprise to find out the way. We must say there shall be no
town throughout the length and breadth of our land where the girl cannot
find safe shelter, a place which, if her need is great, she may call

Even better wages would not alone solve this need and women realize
that. In New York, the census returns show 22,700 wage-earning women and
girls living by themselves in the city; yet there are still only some
forty houses where definite preparation for their home comfort has been
undertaken. Realizing the inadequacy of the housing provision for such
women, a boarding-house bureau was recently organized by certain women,
under the chairmanship of Cornelia Marshall, to investigate and report
on reliable boarding-houses and bring the list to the attention of
working women. This bureau was an outcome of a conference of authorities
in charge of working girls’ houses.

Housing reform, in its larger aspects, however, is a persistent struggle
to control the situation permanently by legislation, efficient
inspection, garden cities, and model small houses in place of tenements.
Added to this is the necessity of assimilation work with foreigners, of
education in personal and public hygiene in schools and homes, and
control of profit-making interests for the sake of homes for the people.


The more thoughtful women interested in housing reform soon came to
realize that mere sentimental talk about housing evils is futile, and
that effective improvements must be based on actually known conditions,
their causes and effects.

Surveys have therefore taken precedence generally of propaganda for
legislation or enforcement of laws; and many of the very best of the
housing surveys in the country have been made by women. Here again it is
because of the greater readiness of women to admit women into the
secrets of the home that investigations carried on by them are apt to be
more successful. Women can best understand women’s and children’s needs
in the way of shelter, for one thing, and how far the labor of one woman
can accomplish housekeeping results. Theirs having been the tasks of
doing the family wash, guarding the babies at sleep and at play, cooking
and serving meals, removing dust and rubbish, they are in a better
position than men to know what conveniences facilitate that work and
what deprivations retard or prevent its accomplishment. No clearer proof
of that fact is needed than the response and testimony which poured into
the Bureau of Agriculture in reply to its query as to how it could best
serve women on the farms. These farmers’ wives cried with pitiable
appeal just for running water. Many instances were given of excellent
shelter and water provision for pigs and cattle while the wife and
babies were deprived of the commonest decencies.

The following is a partial list of housing surveys made by women within
the past five years:[31]

_Mount Vernon._ 1913. Report of Housing Investigation by Miss Udetta D.

_Pittsburgh._ 1909. The Housing Situation in Pittsburgh, by F. Elisabeth
Crowell, _Charities and the Commons_, February 6.

_Sacramento._ 1913. Report of Investigation of Housing Conditions, by
Miss Caroline Schleef. Under direction Chamber of Commerce.

_Newburgh._ 1913. Report of Housing Investigation made by Miss Amy Woods
of the Newburgh Associated Charities for the Social Survey, conducted by
the Russell Sage Foundation. She pointed out opportunities for a better
housing code and will have much to do with the follow-up work.

1913. Housing Investigation by Miss Helen Safford Knowles, supplementing
Report of Carol Aronovici, on the Housing Conditions of the Welcome Hall

_Cambridge._ 1913. Report of Investigation by Miss Flora Burton in First
Report of Cambridge Housing Association.

_Chicago._ 1912. Tenement Housing Conditions in Twentieth Ward, Chicago.
Report of Civics Committee of Chicago Woman’s Club.

1912. The Problem of the Negro. Report of Investigation by Alzada P.
Comstock, for Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy.

1912. Two Italian Districts, by G. P. Norton, ed. by S. P. Breckinridge
and E. Abbott of the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy.
_American Journal of Sociology._ Consists of seven articles on housing
among the different races in Chicago.

_Grand Rapids._ 1913. Housing Conditions and Tendencies in Grand Rapids,
Michigan. Report of Housing Investigations by Miss Udetta D. Brown.
Under the supervision of the Charity Organization Society.

_Portland, Oregon._ A housing survey made by the Consumers’ League which
then drew up a housing ordinance to eliminate slums and presented it for
the consideration of the city council. Club women and welfare
organizations supported it.

_Bridgeport, Connecticut._ Survey of housing made for Housing
Association by Miss Udetta C. Brown.

_Elmira, New York._ 1913. Esther Denton made report on housing
conditions which aroused citizens.

_Hartford, Connecticut._ 1912. Through investigation of housing
conditions by Mary S. Heilman made for the Civic Club, whose president
is Dorothy B. Hillyer, Hartford was aroused and instances of deplorable
conditions of affairs were laid before the Board of Health.

_California Cities._ In 1911 housing conditions were studied and
reported on by Mrs. Johanna von Wagner, an expert of the Los Angeles
Housing Commission. Her report and influence helped to secure the
enactment of the state tenement house law.

In 1908 Charlotte Rumbold prepared for the Housing Committee of the
Civic League of St. Louis a report on tenement house conditions so
vividly written and illustrated that not only St. Louis but many other
localities were stirred and eventually framed reform legislation. It
took five years, however, to win a tenement house law in St. Louis.

In 1904 Miss Emily Dinwiddie made an investigation of three typical
sections of Philadelphia to pave the way for housing legislation,
especially for the enforcement of legislation through adequate
inspection. It was years before the legislation sought by Miss Dinwiddie
and her colleagues was secured, but in 1911 a state provision was
finally obtained. At the present time Miss Dinwiddie is in charge of the
Trinity property, of New York City, which was formerly accused of being
managed solely for profits. She is proving that rookeries can be turned
into homes and made to pay.

Alice S. Griffith, secretary of the San Francisco Housing Association,
emphasizes the need of more housing inspections. “How Social Workers Can
Aid Housing Reform,” by Mary E. Richmond, indicates their value as

The Women’s Municipal League of Boston took for study the Board of
Health’s record of 1,500 basements occupied for living purposes and came
to the decided opinion that basements at best are unfit for human
habitation. The League then petitioned the Legislature to make a law
governing basements erected subsequent to the passage of the acts of
1907, retroactive.

The housing work done by this League has been under the able leadership
of Miss Amelia Ames. The Committee of the League has been enlarged to
include representatives of the Massachusetts Civic League, the Roxbury
Welfare League, the Roxbury Charitable Association, South End House,
Elizabeth Peabody House, Associated Charities, the Homestead Commission,
and the Chamber of Commerce.

The first work of the original Municipal League Committee, as of its
enlarged group, was an investigation carried on largely by trained women
inspectors. The coöperation of the settlements and other organizations
helped materially in this survey, as it enabled a district examination
to be made, and placed the worst conditions in each district as a
definite responsibility on some neighborhood organization, like a
settlement, which could be charged with the duty of securing the
district improvement. None of this work was haphazard. Only trained
investigators were sought and employed. Miss Theodora Bailey, for
example, made over 400 inspections and carefully tabulated over 200. She
was able to interest legislators and reporters in the deplorable
conditions in Boston.


The Women’s Municipal League of New York has also investigated tenements
and reported violations of the law to the Department affected. It helped
to defeat proposed legislation which would remove all three-family
houses from the surveillance of the Tenement House Department, a piece
of reactionary legislation which aroused a successful protest from all
women interested in social welfare, as well as from all men similarly

This League also wishes to have all two-family houses and the rented
room houses placed under the Tenement House Department. It made a study
of the janitor’s situation and discovered that the janitors labor under
such disadvantages that they are responsible for many violations of
Health, Fire and Tenement Department laws. “The janitors should be
decently paid and decently housed; they should be instructed briefly in
the laws,” is the League’s decision.

From across the continent, we hear of women’s associations concerning
themselves with housing reform. _The American Club Woman_ reports: “Los
Angeles is studying the housing problem. It expects a great influx of
laboring population on the heels of the opening of the Panama Canal. The
Woman’s Friday Morning Club therefore has built a model cottage for
$500. The club proposes to acquire lands along the river bed and through
semi-isolated sections and there erect these small houses. Gardens about
the houses will help reduce the cost of living. The dream of the club
is: a city without a tenement; a city spotlessly clean in every nook and
corner; a city where there shall be thousands of small homes, renting at
the same cost as in a court, and in which the individuals shall have
sanitary comforts, the right of personal development and the privacy
which tends toward morality and pride. The Los Angeles Housing
Commission of which Mrs. Johanna von Wagner and other women are members,
has done some interesting housing in the case of Mexicans transferred
from their crude shacks to decently sanitary homes on city land.”

In Chicago, Mrs. Emmons Blaine was one of the founders of the City Homes
Association which started the housing movement there and she is still
one of the leaders in the Chicago work.

In the middle western states, Miss Mildred Chadsey of Cleveland, Ohio,
stands out conspicuously as a housing reformer and in an official
capacity. The Cleveland Bureau of Sanitation, of which she is chief, has
a sergeant, twenty policemen, and an office force under her direction.
Miss Chadsey up to the present has succeeded in demolishing over two
hundred wretched hovels and is demonstrating that bad housing does not
pay the city but is on the contrary frightfully expensive property. Some
of the slogans that have developed from her work are these: “It costs
less to be comfortable than it does to be uncomfortable.” “A good home
is less expensive than a poor one.” “Health and cleanliness come cheap.”
“Dirt and diseases are more costly than frankincense and myrrh.” This
new vision for Cleveland was largely the result of a survey made by
fourteen college investigators, under Miss Chadsey, who went out to
ascertain facts in two sections of Cleveland—one the famous “Haymarket”
district in the congested heart of the city; the other an open section
on the edge of the city. _The Survey_ published the report of that

Indiana has a splendid housing reformer in Mrs. Albion Fellows Bacon, an
officer in the National Housing Association, who started a campaign for
a tenement house law before that association was formed. Her book,
“Beauty for Ashes,” a narrative of discovery out along the road from a
sheltered woman’s threshold, reveals the forces which have drawn most of
the women out into social activity and into governmental interest. No
woman can read this story without being moved to see what effect bad
housing has on the community and woman’s responsibility toward her
fellow-creatures in this as in other civic questions. Mrs. Bacon in her
observations out from her own threshold has been forced to see that the
war on bad homes is a war on poverty and its manifold products, vice and
disease among others. She well illustrates the logic and the
fearlessness with which even the most sheltered women often face facts
when once their human sympathy is awakened and their eyes are opened to
a public question. Mrs. Bacon, almost single-handed, secured housing
laws for the cities of Evansville and Indianapolis. Last year she
secured a still better law than that which crowned her first campaign.

In Allegheny, Pennsylvania, the Civic Club, a woman’s organization, has
been at the forefront in housing reform.

Miss Kate McKnight, of that association, initiated practically every
movement of the club till her death in 1907. Mrs. Franklin P. Adams,
acting president, drafted the tenement house laws governing cities of
the second class in Pennsylvania. Mrs. Adams is chairman of the State
Federation of Women’s Clubs, and of other societies. The Civic Club also
got an increase in the force of tenement inspectors and the chief
inspector was for some time a woman member of the club.

In Providence, Rhode Island, the Federation of Clubs passed resolutions
and sent letters to the legislature urging the enactment of a housing
bill. Moreover, they sent a delegation of women to the hearing before
the Judiciary Committee.

In New Orleans, Miss Eleanor McMain, the head of Kingsley House, was
very influential in securing the law regulating tenements in her city.

                         HOUSING IN WASHINGTON

In Washington, D. C., the housing problem has been forced upon the
attention of Congress which has shown gross neglect all these years in
its care of the national capital’s population and especially of the
negroes there. The voteless citizens of the capital and their
sympathizers from outside attempted for a long time to secure remedial
activity in the city of Washington whose alleys and slums were a
national disgrace from the standpoint of health, morals and crime.
Booklets and reports were published and organizations formed for the
purpose of bringing pressure to bear upon Congress to improve housing

President Roosevelt had appointed a Homes Commission to study and report
on the alley dwellings but nothing had resulted from this except
possibly the conversion of Willow Tree Alley into an interior park.
Women and men felt that such an apparent remedy might cause still
greater evils by leaving many of the poor altogether homeless, and the
agitation was pushed the harder for the creation of a system of minor
streets created out of the alleys.

Last year two pamphlets of a vigorous nature were published by the
Monday Evening Club and by the Women’s Welfare Department of the
National Civic Federation. Public meetings were arranged by the Civic
Federation and conferences of social workers in Washington were called,
one of the biggest of these being held at the White House last winter—an
evidence of the interest taken by the wife of President Wilson in the
housing of the people in Washington.

Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, who had been aroused by visits made to the alleys
under the guidance of Mrs. Archibald Hopkins and Mrs. Ernest Bicknell,
piloted senators and congressmen into the bad areas to make them see and
feel the need of change. As a consequence of this work, bills were
introduced into both houses of Congress for some solution of the alley
problem. How much progress would have been made with the bills it is
difficult to know but the significant thing is that Mrs. Woodrow Wilson,
in almost her last conscious breath, made an appeal for the passing of
that legislation. Her husband, the President, fortunately, sent word
that such was her dying wish and out of sentiment for the “first lady of
the land” this much needed legislation was hurriedly passed by the
Senate of the United States, the lower house promising to add its
approval. Mrs. Wilson was told the good news before she died.

In a case where neither the men of the district involved nor the women
were voters, apparently an affecting sentimental situation saved the day
for the poor families herded in their misery in dark alleys. Certainly
up until this time, congressional land speculators in Washington had
turned a deaf ear to the pleas of the women and the men who sought help
for the slum dwellers.

In commenting on the situation in Washington, _The Survey_ said:

  Washington has long enjoyed the reputation of being the best planned
  city in America, the one large city in the world which from the day
  of its foundation has been built more or less consistently along the
  lines of a carefully thought-out plan. Only recently has it been
  realized that from the beginning this plan has been incomplete.
  While it provided for great public buildings and for dwellings of
  the wealthy and the well-to-do, it not only failed to provide homes
  for wage-earners, but actually offered temptations to house these
  wage-earners in an unwholesome manner. The magnificent wide avenues
  designed by Major L’Enfant, bordered along a great part of their
  distance by very deep lots, led inevitably to the construction of
  winding, branching alleys and the erection of hidden houses which
  had no place in the original plan.

  Modern city planning lays the emphasis less on public buildings and
  boulevards and more on providing sites for homes. So the original
  plan of Washington must be supplemented by a modern plan providing a
  system of minor streets to let the wholesome light of publicity into
  the hidden slums of Washington and to provide economic use for the
  backs of the overdeep lots that line the avenues. They will do away
  with the present temptation to keep the old shacks standing or to
  build houses fronting on the avenues, but extending so far back that
  their middle rooms are dark and airless. Halfway measures at this
  time may wipe out the alley slums of the Capital only to give in
  place of them a far more difficult problem, the deep, unlighted and
  unventilated multiple dwelling.

                            HOMES OF NEGROES

In the South, as well as the North, women are at work on the housing
question. At the 1912 convention of the National Municipal League, in
Richmond, Virginia, it was manifest to the northern delegates that the
South and its women are awaking rapidly to the housing needs. Miss
Elizabeth Cocke in a talk on housing and morals in Richmond said:

  Our local conditions in Richmond have, as yet, nothing which
  approaches the tenement. There are a few old houses occupied by,
  possibly, some half-dozen families to the house, but though these
  show very bad conditions in room overcrowding, there are no
  conditions of lack of light and air, if the windows are opened to
  admit ventilation. In one instance I have found a bedroom, occupied
  presumably by seven people, in which there is no window at all; one
  door opening upon another room with two windows, and a second door
  upon the entry on the upper landing.

  Among the comparatively small foreign population there is a very
  great deal of room overcrowding, but the most extensive of these
  conditions exist among the negroes. These appear to be the most
  squalid and least progressive, but this I believe to be largely due
  to the demoralizing effects of bad housing and surroundings which do
  not tend to any uplift.

  Can children raised in Jail Bottom, whose only outlook is a
  mountain-like dump of rotting rags and rusty tin cans on the one
  side, and on the other a stream which is an open sewer, smelling to
  heaven from the filth which it carries along, or leaves here and
  there in slime upon its banks, have any but debasing ideas? Can
  parents inculcate high moral standards when across the street or
  down the block are houses of the “red-light” district? When a
  dry-closet blocks the one small window of the kitchen, can lack of
  decency be called to account? Is the world so small that there is no
  room left for the amenities of life? Are ground space and floor
  space of more value than cleanliness and health and morality?

  It is certainly a fallacy that the poor do not want good housing. In
  a wonderful address, given last spring at the Child Welfare
  Conference, in Richmond, a negro speaker said in substance: “We
  would use the bath tub as frequently and enjoy it as much as our
  white brother and sister, if we could afford to rent houses which
  have the bath tub in them. We do not prefer dilapidation and
  discomfort, nor being forced to live in districts where there is
  only depravity and low surroundings; but the better ones of us have
  too much self-respect to force ourselves on our white brothers, if
  they do not want us living alongside of them.”

All that Miss Cocke said was indorsed by the chairman, John Stewart
Bryan, who as publisher of one of the most influential newspapers in the
South, _The News Leader_, is in a position to know the facts. “It is an
old story to any engaged in work of this sort,” he declared, “that a
person situated as the negro is in Richmond pays more taxes than the
richest man in Richmond, because the taxes he pays take such a large
part of his income and he gets so little in return. All that Miss Cocke
says is true. They are segregated in Jackson ward, and under a new
ordinance they are being still further segregated. That is radically
wrong, it is economically wrong, and nothing in the world can change it
but an awakening of public sentiment, and it ought to be awakened and it
will be.”[32]

A study of the activities of women and women’s associations along
housing reform lines shows that they are beginning to recognize the
importance of good homes for our colored citizens. Professor Sophonisba
P. Breckinridge, of Chicago University and the Chicago School of Civics
and Philanthropy, has given this subject special study, and it is to her
that we owe the following thoughtful statement of this particular
housing question, published in _The Survey_:

  One of the many serious problems that now confront the negro not
  only in southern communities but also in many a northern city is the
  difficulty he experiences in finding decent housing accommodations
  for his family. In the face of increasing manifestations of race
  prejudice, he has come to acquiesce silently, as various civil
  rights are withheld from him in the old “free North,” which was once
  the Mecca of his race. He rarely protests, for example, at being
  excluded from restaurants and hotels or at being virtually refused
  entertainment at the theater or the opera. There are three points,
  however, which he cannot yield and in regard to which he should not
  be allowed to yield. He must claim a decent home for his family in a
  respectable neighborhood and at a reasonable rental, an equal chance
  of employment with the white man, and education for his children. We
  will consider here only the first of these three demands.

  In a recent investigation of general housing conditions in
  Chicago,[33] the problem of the negro was found to be quite
  different from that of immigrants. With the negro, the housing
  dilemma was found to be an acute problem not only among the poor, as
  in the case of the Polish, the Jewish, or the Italian immigrant, but
  also among the well-to-do. The man who is poor as well as black must
  face the special evil of dilapidated insanitary dwellings and the
  lodger evil in its worst form. But for every man who is black,
  whether rich or poor, there is also the problem of extortionate
  rents and of dangerous proximity to segregated vice. The negro is
  not only compelled to live in a segregated black district, but this
  region of negro homes is almost invariably the one in which vice is
  tolerated by the police. That is, the segregation of the negro
  quarter is only a segregation from respectable white people. The
  disreputable white element is forced upon him. It is probably not
  too much to say that no colored family can long escape the presence
  of disreputable or disorderly neighbors. Respectable and well-to-do
  negroes may by subterfuge succeed in buying property in a decent
  neighborhood, but they are sure to be followed soon by those
  disreputable elements which are allowed to exist outside the
  so-called “levee” district.

  In no other part of Chicago, not even in the Ghetto, was there found
  a whole neighborhood so conspicuously dilapidated as the black belt
  on the South Side. No other group suffered so much from decaying
  buildings, leaking roofs, doors without hinges, broken windows,
  insanitary plumbing, rotting floors, and a general lack of repairs.
  In no other neighborhood were landlords so obdurate, so unwilling to
  make necessary improvements or to cancel leases so that tenants
  might seek better accommodations elsewhere. Of course, to go
  elsewhere was often impossible because nowhere is the prospective
  colored tenant or neighbor welcome. In the South Side black belt 74
  per cent. of the buildings were in a state of disrepair; in a more
  fortunate neighborhood, partly colored, only 65 per cent. of the
  buildings were out of repair, but one-third were absolutely

  Not only does the negro suffer from this extreme dilapidation, but
  he pays a heavy cost in the form of high rent. A careful house to
  house canvass showed that in the most rundown colored neighborhoods
  in the city, the rent for an ordinary four-room apartment was much
  higher than in any other section of the city. In crowded immigrant
  neighborhoods in different parts of the city, the median rental for
  the prevailing four-room apartment was between $8 and $8.50; in
  South Chicago near the steel mills it was between $9 and $9.50; and
  in the Jewish quarter, between $10 and $10.50 was charged. But in
  the great black belt of the South Side the sum exacted was between
  $12 and $12.50. That is, while half of the people in the Bohemian,
  Polish, and Lithuanian districts were paying less than $8.50, for
  their four-room apartments; the steel-mill employees less than
  $9.50, and the Jews in the Ghetto less than $10.50, the negro, in
  the midst of extreme dilapidation and crowded into the territory
  adjoining the segregated vice district, pays from $12 to $12.50.
  This is from $2 to $4 a month more than the immigrant is paying for
  an apartment of the same size in a better state of repair.

  It seemed worth while to collect and to present the facts relating
  to housing conditions in the negro districts of Chicago because one
  must hope that they would not be tolerated if the great mass of
  white people knew of their existence. Most people stand for fair
  play. The persecutions which the negro endures because of race
  prejudice undoubtedly express the feeling of but a small minority of
  his fellow-citizens of the white race. Their continuance must be due
  to the fact that the great majority are completely ignorant of the
  heavy burden of injustice that the negro carries. Ignorance is the
  bulwark of prejudice, and race prejudice is singularly dependent
  upon an ignorance which is, to be sure, sometimes willful but which
  more often is unintentional and accidental. It has come about,
  however, that the small minority who cherish their prejudices have
  had the power to make life increasingly hard for the black man.
  Today they not only refuse to sit in the same part of the theater
  with him and to let him enter a hotel which they patronize, but they
  also refuse to allow him to live on the same street with them or in
  the same neighborhood. Even in the North where the city
  administration does not recognize a black “ghetto” or “pale,” the
  real estate agents who register and commercialize what they suppose
  to be a universal race prejudice are able to enforce one in
  practice. It is out of this minority persecution that the special
  negro housing problem has developed.

  But while it is true that the active persecution of the negro is the
  work of a small minority, its dangerous results are rendered
  possible only by the acquiescence of the great majority who want
  fair play. This prejudice can be made effective only because of the
  possible use of the city administration, and the knowledge that
  legal action intended to safeguard the rights of the negro is both
  precarious and expensive. The police department, however, and the
  courts of justice are, in theory at least, the agents of the
  majority. It comes about therefore that while the great body of
  people desire justice, they not only become parties to gross
  injustice but must be held responsible for conditions demoralizing
  to the negro and dangerous to the community as a whole.

  Those friends of the negro who have tried to understand the
  conditions of life as he faces them are very familiar with these
  facts. But it is hoped that those who have been ignorant of the
  heavy costs paid in decent family life for the ancient prejudice
  that persists among us, will refuse to acquiesce in its continuance
  when the facts are brought home to them.

Among the other women interested in the housing of negro families is
Mrs. John D. Hammond, the wife and coworker of the president of Paine
College in Augusta, Georgia. Believing that a better housed negro can be
better educated, Mr. and Mrs. Hammond have worked out a system for negro
housing in cities with that end in view. Their plan was recently
outlined in _The Survey_. The Society for the Improvement of Urban
Conditions among Negroes, composed of men and women, has a housing
bureau in New York which seeks by lectures, by literature, by personal
instruction, and by legislation, to promote better housing conditions
among the negroes of the city.

                            JUVENILE LEAGUES

As in city clean-up work and other social activities, so in their
housing reforms, women have enlisted the aid of school children, forming
them into juvenile leagues to act as housing inspectors for the more
obvious and outward defects. Boy Scouts have become greatly interested
in certain cities in the work of educating tenants to a sense of
responsibility for obedience to health laws and also in pointing out
violations to the authorities, not only on the part of tenants but of
landlords also. A picture at once comes to mind of a little member of a
Juvenile League pointing out to a tenement owner certain needs and
improvements which she had been taught to regard as requisite—a picture
printed in _The American City_ to illustrate the work accomplished by
children. Both men and women have been earnest in enlisting the sympathy
of children, partly for the actual inspection help rendered by them, and
yet more for the sake of educating the children in proper standards of
living in order that they may demand for themselves decent conditions
through pressure on their parents while they are minors and through
individual, social, and political activity when they are adults.

The importance of far-reaching power for the health officer is realized
by women housing reformers as well as by men. For example, Mrs. Bacon,
who was so instrumental in securing the enactment of the Indiana state
housing law, dealt with this subject at the second national housing
conference held in Philadelphia, in her paper on “Regulation by Law.”
Mrs. Johanna von Wagner of California did the same under her title of
“Instructive Sanitary Inspection.” The spirit of the conference showed
an earnest desire to coöperate with public officials, extend their
powers, and add to the constructive suggestions pointing the way to
improvement in city housing. The women delegates and speakers shared
this spirit and contributed to the practical suggestions as well as to
plans for coöperation.

                          HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS

Women are not only interested in the special or local housing problems
of their own district or city. They are actively affiliated with the
National Housing Association and take part in its national conferences
They thus coöperate with the men in the great work of arousing the
nation to a knowledge of the deadly peril of low standard homes and to a
sense of the immediate urgency of reform.

The New York Congestion Committee has not only been an influential body
but it has made a most careful study of the causes of congestion and has
drafted many, and secured the passage of some, important laws within the
past three or four years. Florence Kelley and Mrs. V. G. Simkhovitch are
members of the small executive board of the Committee, and women have
helped in the campaign of education which has been necessary to place
the evils of congestion and the program of the Committee before the
public. They have also helped in that most essential work, the securing
of signatures to the petition for the referendum on untaxing buildings.
In other ways, too, they have assisted: by making investigations and
writing to members of the state legislature urging the passage of laws.
They also formed the Women’s Society to lower rents and reduce taxes on
homes, similar to the men’s society with the same object. Together these
two societies have carried on a propaganda among the people of New York
which has had a marked influence on public interest in the housing
question. They issue a _Tenant’s Weekly_ in the interest of tenants and
small home-owners, the slogan of which is “The City for the People.” One
of their most effective pieces of work was the Congestion Exhibit, which
presented the economic aspects of housing together with an impression
which awakened horror at prevalent conditions.

A review of women’s activities in housing reform shows that they are
taking no narrow view of the matter. They realize that the problem of
congestion, the main element in the housing question, has many elements
of an economic, social or administrative nature which involve action on
the part of public authorities. Among these elements may be cited the
high cost of land; congestion of factories, warehouses, offices and
shops; low wages and long hours of labor; immigration; poor and
expensive transportation facilities; lack of adequate housing
inspection; ignorance of sanitary standards of living; and greed on the
part of landlords or real estate managers. Another factor is the
temporary foreign dweller who hopes to amass some money quickly and
return to his native land to live upon it. Lack of town planning is
still another factor that often leads to congestion.

As we shall see, women have entered into the town planning movement to
prevent the accumulation of plague spots. They are gradually beginning
to realize, as are men, that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of
cure. As town planning is not a private philanthropy, however, their
usefulness in this movement is limited wherever they do not possess the

Women, therefore, are working in far greater numbers in the next phase
of housing: that of educating badly housed people in the laws of
hygiene. Every social movement which is not strictly evangelical
instills some demand for individual and family privacy, and for the
material bases of healthful and moral living. In congested areas it is
the increase of wants that is essential. More mere things are needed:
water, floor space, light, air, toilet conveniences, cooking and laundry
equipment for individual or coöperative life, refrigerators, fire
escapes, window blinds, wider and safer stairways, and innumerable other
material objects. There is no other important outcome of education in
hygiene or home beauty or housing standards except an increase of wants
and the consequent pressure on the wage standards, without which an
improvement in material possessions is impossible. Whatever individual
exceptions may be found, the general rule is that the poor overcrowd and
do so in order to make their pittances buy a little more food, a few
more clothes, books for their children, the month’s actual shelter, or a
doctor’s services.

Some women are consciously preaching higher standards of living to
foreigners, negroes, and the poor of every race assembled here, knowing
the ultimate pressure their work will have on labor demands. The
settlements which have almost involuntarily helped in this education
from the beginning, are more and more being led into the support of
working class movements having for their goal better wages and steadier
employment, as we discover in the chapter on social service. Other women
are unconsciously creating dissatisfaction with congestion and with that
poverty which underlies bad housing, through the teaching of domestic
science in all its forms, through public school education, health
centers, and the rest. The willingness to pay the price accompanies or
follows the desire for the things which make for health and culture.

                              CHAPTER VII
                             SOCIAL SERVICE

Social service is not an exact science and it does not mean the same
thing to all people. Charity or philanthropy was more definite and has
always been more or less of an official concern in municipalities. In
times of crises, floods, panics, fires, earthquakes, extreme cold or
excessive heat, cities and towns have supplemented the help rendered by
individuals in alleviating hunger, homelessness, illness and want. The
municipality thus often makes charitable doles to the victims of the
elements, regarding the service as necessary, but temporary; remedial,
not preventive.

The social investigations which have been made in recent years, together
with the revelations made by charitable organizations, have driven home
the fact that while intermittent fire and water and industrial crises
and heat and cold undoubtedly add to human helplessness or distress,
there is a steady and constant helplessness and distress based on
underfeeding, homelessness or bad housing, unemployment, lack of
vocational training, low wages, ignorance, occupational diseases and
accidents, sexual irregularity, and other causes for which spasmodic
almsgiving, however tenderly and efficiently applied, is no remedy
whatever. Added to this definite knowledge is the knowledge, based on
the experience of charity workers, of the opprobrium which is cast upon
charity of the personal type, at least, by industrious wage-earners, the
products of whose toil, instead of being used to provide them with the
creature comforts, are, in many cases, consumed by those who toil not,
neither do they spin, but who are active in distributing alms to

Partly to satisfy their own intelligence and partly to overcome the
resentment among working people at the idea of charity, the social
worker has come into being and social service has developed into a
philosophy, an education, and to a certain extent into a science. Step
by step it has been pushed into municipal departments—notably, the
health and educational departments. Where associated charities have been
well developed and the city has the idea of social service in its
charitable work, the tendency is to use the word “welfare” and to
designate this function as “public welfare.”

It is the same development which has characterized all other public
work—the growth from remedy to prevention—and the growth is stable for
the reason that it represents economy in place of the former waste of
money and effort and because popular education is leading to the demand
for prevention and justice rather than charity.

In this expansion of municipal functions there can be little dispute as
to the influence of women. Their hearts touched in the beginning by
human misery and their sentiments aroused, they have been led into
manifold activities in attempts at amelioration, which have taught them
the breeding places of disease, as well as of vice, crime, poverty and
misery. Having learned that effectively to “swat the fly” they must swat
its nest, women have also learned that to swat disease they must swat
poor housing, evil labor conditions, ignorance, and vicious interests.

Sometimes the mere self-preservative instincts have forced women out to
work among their neighbors; for in cities one’s neighbors may murder in
innumerable ways besides with the pistol or dirk.

Middle- and upper-class women, having more leisure than middle- and
upper-class men, have had greater opportunity for social observation and
the cultivation of social sympathies, for the latter accompanies the
former instead of preceding it, as all active emotions are the reflexes
of experience. It is these women therefore who have seen, felt,
experimented, learned, agitated, constructed, advised, and pressed upon
the municipal authorities the need of public prevention of the ills from
which the people suffer. In their municipal demands they have often had
the support of women of the working class and of working men, among
others, whose own preservation is bound up with legislation and
administration to an ever-increasing degree.

Just in the proportion that social service develops into public action,
and away from private philanthropy and personal interference, is the
help of working people secured. With the increase of the demands of
working people for the means with which to prevent their own destruction
and the undermining of the rest of society, will come, many predict, the
absorption of social service into organized public service just as the
absorption of the settlement is gradually being accomplished by the
school center.

Whatever may be the outcome of the present tendencies in social service,
it is certain that women are actively engaged in every branch of it: in
organized charity, in all the specialized branches of kindred work, such
as care for the several types of dependents and delinquents, in
organizing women workers in the industries, in making social surveys and
special investigation, and in creating the literature of social service.


Women have rendered valiant service in various permanent associations
concerned in the improvement of social conditions. The largest gift ever
given by a single donor to such an organization was that of Mrs. Abram
A. Anderson who gave $650,000 to the New York Association for Improving
the Condition of the Poor, for a specific purpose; namely, the founding
of a department of social welfare with experimental and demonstrating
laboratories. In the letter accompanying her gift, Mrs. Anderson
specifically stated that three departments to be established at once
shall relate to public health and hygiene, matters pertaining to the
welfare of school children, and the solution of problems connected with
the food supply.

A study of the work performed by women engaged in the activities of this
Association reveals the fact that they prepare many of its important
publications. Interior pictures inserted in the last report show large
offices filled with women, in one case forty of them preparing their
daily reports on visiting. The advisory committees in the Bureau of
Rehabilitation and Relief are composed of women who assume the burden,
on stated mornings, of meeting applicants and helping with “instruction;
with the correction of defects, physical, mental, moral; with patient,
careful planning; with continued interest and personal service.”

The National Consumers’ League was organized by women and is largely
supported by them. This society “is an association of people who believe
to buy is to have power, to have power is to have responsibility.
Therefore it seeks to better the industrial conditions of the worker,
and to insure sanitary articles to the consumer, by educating the public
to avoid rush orders, to shop early in the day, early in the week, and
early in the Christmas season; by furnishing a label which guarantees
the product bearing it to be made under sanitary conditions and without
hardship to the workers; by assisting in the enforcement of present laws
relating to child labor, women workers, sweat shops, fire hazards, pure
foods, and other matters. Locally it makes investigations and reports
facts to city authorities.”[34] In addition to the direct good which the
League has accomplished, it has incidentally interested hundreds of
women in the conditions of industrial workers.

The Travelers’ Aid Society, a great protective and preventive agency,
which assumes large responsibilities in looking after foreigners, women,
and girls traveling on railways, is helped by personal service and the
financial support of such organizations as the following: the Granges,
the Gideons, King’s Daughters and Sons, Woman’s Christian Temperance
Union, Catholic Women’s League, Council of Jewish Women, other women’s
clubs, missionary societies, the Young Men’s Christian Association and
the Young Women’s Christian Association.

Not only do women coöperate with various agencies for social service.
Their clubs and associations of all kinds are turning more and more to
the consideration of social matters outside of the range of their
immediate interests. Indeed one might say with justice that “social
economy” is now one of the chief studies of women’s societies and that
social service in an ever broader sense is becoming more and more the
goal of their activities.

The women’s clubs, singly and in their federations, have now largely
outgrown the self-improvement stage of their career and are going into
matters of public health, education, recreation, corrections, and labor.
For example, the New England Conference of State Federations of Women’s
Clubs representing over 55,000 women is a permanent organization of
recent formation designed as an alliance for educational and social
service. Speeches at this Conference emphasized the need of better
housing and divorce laws; vocational training; pure food legislation; a
single standard of morality for men and women; the suppression of
“nauseous” news in the daily press; health measures; and the enforcement
of laws for the protection and conservation of womanhood, childhood and
the home.

The general trend of club women’s development in the United States as a
whole is shown by the following resolutions passed at the Biennial
Convention of Women’s Clubs held in Chicago in June, 1914: approval of
equal suffrage; better fire protection; increased appropriations for
city and state boards of health; university extension work for the
prevention of disease; federal bureau of Home Economics; the use of
school buildings as social centers; the support of Miss Lathrop in her
propaganda for better systems of birth registration; and hostility to
the liquor traffic. The social evil question loomed large at the
Convention and drastic measures for dealing with it were discussed.

The large and influential Council of Jewish Women is also concerned with
these lines of social service. Some of their special activities and
interests will be considered in other chapters.

If we turn to localities and study the work of single clubs, we find an
ever-increasing interest in social service and that interest accompanied
by practical action. For instance, the Woman’s Club of Paducah,
Kentucky, proved so efficient in its administration of funds for relief
of the poor that the mayor and council asked its assistance in other
lines: inspection of dairies, slaughter houses, etc.

The social service work of such a specialized society as the Woman’s
Christian Temperance Union reflects a wide range of interests and
activities, its development being an inevitable response to needs
growing out of its study of the evils accompanying the liquor traffic.
It has worked among all races and industrial groups of men and their
families; it has done prison visiting, reformatory and prisoners’ aid
work; it has helped courts and probation work; it has helped to secure
police matrons and policewomen: it has stood for the single standard of
morals and the suppression of the white slave traffic; it has helped to
secure playgrounds and other recreational facilities; it has tried to
teach thrift through school savings banks; it has done rescue work; and
it has drafted and urged and watched the enforcement of legislation
relating to industrial education and vocational guidance, child labor,
liquor and narcotics and cigarettes, gambling, curfew, polygamy,
segregation of prostitutes, labor, and all similar problems. It has
opposed segregated districts and worked whole-heartedly for woman

The National Civic Federation has a woman’s department interested in
“securing needed improvements in the working and living conditions of
women and children wage-earners in various industries and the
governmental institutions throughout the United States.”

                             SOUTHERN WORK

Everywhere among women’s associations the call for social service is
sounding forth. The spirit of this movement is admirably illustrated in
an article bearing the title of “Women and Social Service,” written by
Mrs. R. R. Cotten, of North Carolina, for the _Social Service

  The term Social Service means work for the welfare of humanity, and
  there can be no doubt as to the relation between that work and
  women. Primarily and ultimately it is work for women. As the givers
  of life, as the mothers of humanity, their activities must be
  unremitting in the effort to promote the welfare of humanity. In the
  past their efforts were devoted to the welfare of their families,
  and to a limited extent reached the communities in which they lived,
  but now few fields of service are closed to them.

  The world has realized that the welfare of a _few_ cannot be assured
  except by securing the welfare of _all_, while the security of all
  assures the safety of our own special few. Christian effort is no
  longer limited to the churches. The human heart has overflowed with
  a great yearning to make this earth better by filling it with
  healthier, happier, more human people. In response to this yearning
  everywhere heads are planning and hands are clasping in a determined
  effort to accomplish this result.

  This desire led to the formation of the North Carolina Conference
  for Social Service, the aim of which is “to study and improve
  social, civic, moral, and economic conditions in our State,
  especially conditions that injuriously affect child life, or tend to
  perpetuate preventable ignorance, disease, degeneracy, or poverty
  among our people.” Every woman’s heart responds to this call to
  service for the benefit of the children. Every woman is interested
  in the investigation of the conditions which surround child life,
  and every woman will coöperate in seeking to remedy such conditions
  as are injurious.

  The difficulty lies in reaching women and arousing them to the
  consciousness of their power and the need for their assistance. I
  hope all the women in the state will ally themselves with the work
  and “lend a hand” to the general uplift which it will bring. If they
  cannot all attend the conferences, they can read the Quarterly and
  thus keep in touch with the work, and coöperate in the effort by
  working at home and in their communities. They are interested in
  every line of thought discussed at the conferences, and can select
  those lines in which they are most interested for the bestowal of
  their energies.

  In educational progress; in the promotion of public health, which
  necessarily includes individual health; in prison reform; in the
  study of eugenics; in the improvement of country life, and in all
  social, civic, and economic problems men need and welcome the help
  of women. Neither can accomplish much _alone_; together they must
  strive and overcome, together they must win or lose. Together they
  must attack “the conditions which injuriously affect child life”
  until all children shall have opportunity for development into
  useful citizens. This being true no one can deny that Social Service
  is woman’s work.

  The day is past when we deluded ourselves with the thought that our
  responsibility ceased with the performance of our individual duties.
  We are jointly responsible for the existing conditions, and only by
  a joint effort can they be improved. Our neighbor’s welfare is our
  business and our neighbor is all mankind.

  The power of environment to influence the life of an individual is
  known to all, and it is the natural duty of all women to see that
  all children are surrounded by conditions under which they can
  develop into good men and women. It may be a difficult task, it
  doubtless will require a long, persistent effort, but the object is
  well “worth while.” In the stress of busy lives men may sometimes
  forget these obligations, but women must ever bear them in mind,
  doing their own part toward improving conditions, and stimulating to
  renewed effort on these lines the men who forget. Together they can
  strive and win, remembering that the welfare of the next generation
  should be the very highest ambition of this generation.

The challenge of social service proclaimed by the North Carolina
Conference is vigorous:

  It is a challenge to the Church to prove her right to social mastery
  by a universal and unselfish ministry.

  It is a challenge to fathers and mothers and all social workers to
  lift the burdens of labor from childhood and to make education

  It is a challenge to all citizens to rally to the leaders of social
  reforms, so as to secure for the nation civic righteousness,
  temperance, and health.

  It is a challenge to American chivalry to see that justice is
  guaranteed to all citizens regardless of race, color or religion,
  and especially to befriend and defend the friendless and helpless.

  It is a challenge to the present generation to show its gratitude
  for the heritage bequeathed to it through the toil and blood of
  centuries, by devoting itself more earnestly to the task of making
  the nation a universal brotherhood.

  It is a challenge to the men who make and administer laws to
  organize society as a school for the development of all her
  citizens, rather than simply to be a master to dispose of the
  dependent, defective, and delinquent population with the least
  expense to the State.

  It is a challenge to strong young men and women to volunteer for a
  crusade of social service, to be enlisted for heroic warfare against
  all destroyers of social health and justice, and to champion all
  that makes for an ideal national life.

                          ASSOCIATED CHARITIES

Outside of their own clubs and associations, constructive, organizing
ability in social service has been shown by women, first, in their
desire to consolidate social work for reasons of economy and efficiency.

Josephine Shaw Lowell conceived the idea of a New York Charity
Organization Society and took the lead in establishing it in 1882, but
chose a man for the executive position.

The Woman’s Club of York, Pennsylvania, took the initiative in the
establishment of associated charities.

The Associated Charities of Mt. Vernon, now known as the People’s
Institute, was initiated by women, and they are large factors in it
still. The second vice-president, recording secretary and treasurer are
women, and the Visiting Nurse Association, the Consumers’ League and the
Westchester Woman’s Club are members.

In Denver, the Jewish Social Service Federation has been made a
permanent organization to work in the field covered by United Hebrew
Charities in other cities. Women predominate in this Federation.

Under the inspiration and guidance of Miss McKnight, of the Civic Club
of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, organized charities became an
accomplished fact in Pittsburgh and Allegheny.

Word comes by letter from clubs and civic organizations of women, where
charities are yet to be organized, stating their agitation with this in

When it was discovered in 1907 in New York that the care of babies was
distributed among some fifty societies, a step was taken toward
coördination of activities for babies. Social facts thus attacked at a
thousand points gradually converge in one more harmonious and unified

A plan for “benevolence by coöperation in place of benevolence by
competition” was recently put into effect in Cleveland when the
Federation for Charity and Philanthropy was formed as an alliance of
fifty-three social organizations. In the formation of the alliance three
hundred social workers, mainly women, toured the city to explain its
purpose and secure the concentration of funds in the hands of its board,
as well as wider participation in charity-giving. Economy of time and
effort, it was felt, would thus be coupled with larger gifts when they
came in the bulk. The experiment proved the theory to be sound.

The purpose of the Cleveland Federation is to provide clearing house
facilities through discussion, committees, files of social data and the
like for the interchange of information, ideas and plans relative to
community welfare with a view to preventing duplicated or unrelated
efforts and to recommend to proper agencies or individuals needed work.
Belle Sherwin—prominent in philanthropic work—was elected president of
the council. The initial members of the council include: the Chamber of
Commerce, Federation for Charity and Philanthropy, Cleveland Foundation
of Federated Churches, Catholic Diocese, Academy of Medicine, Western
Reserve University, Case School of Applied Science, Federation of Labor,
Federation of Jewish Charities, Child Welfare Council, City Club, Civic
League, and Chamber of Industry.

The results are more than financial or time saving. What small
organizations cannot accomplish in the way of social investigation and
education, united they can go far toward accomplishing. The women who do
so much of the actual daily labor in connection with social service thus
are getting an economic and educational training by their own
experiences which render them valuable assets to any community.

                          MUNICIPAL CHARITIES

That which some cities attempt to secure through coördinated private
activities, the City of Los Angeles, California, now undertakes as a
municipal experiment in its newly created Municipal Charities
Commission. This Commission, established by city ordinance, “aims not
only to protect the public in its expenditure of money, but to prevent
the overlapping and misdirection of philanthropic endeavor. That this is
made possible is due to the broad power conferred on the Commission and
to the appointment of members who are familiar with all phases of social
work.” Two women are members of this Commission. It will be watched with
interest: hopefully by those who believe in a thorough public
correlation of overlapping agencies; somewhat despairingly by those who
fear political influence and the reëstablishment of the old system of

The skillful organization of private charity and its success in
gathering financial support has led to a comparison of state, county and
municipal charitable institutions with those under private management.
This comparison has generally revealed an astonishing disproportion in
values; in Pennsylvania, for instance, it was shown, “that a single
hospital under private management had received a larger subsidy from the
legislature than the Eastern Penitentiary, with an average of 1,400
convicts; that of $16,000,000 which had been appropriated at the last
session to charitable and correctional institutions nearly half had gone
to 273 agencies under private management, and that 263 of these were
local in sphere and yet received over $6,000,000; and that there was
almost no coördination or articulation among the state, county,
municipal and private agencies that have been multiplying of late, some
of which were declared to be utterly superfluous; the need was felt for
some strong standardizing influence that should bring order out of the
chaos, put the state’s care of its wards on a non-political and
scientific basis and act as the originator of new and modern ways of
fighting poverty, degeneracy and crime.”[35]

To meet this situation men and women came together and formed the Public
Charities Association of Pennsylvania. Private support will still be
necessary but its aim will be to secure united support for a state-wide
plan of charitable distribution. Pennsylvania needs, it is claimed, a
woman’s reformatory, an institution for feeble-minded women, one for
inebriates, and more extensive provision for the insane. This
Association hopes to keep the public informed of these and similar
needs. The organizing committee which becomes the first board of
managers includes Martha P. Falconer, Mrs. Louise C. Madeira, Mrs.
Edward Biddle and Mrs. Sarah Rauh. The board will organize county
committees in the cities of Pennsylvania.

In other states there are state boards of charities for the
establishment of which women have worked and on which they usually serve
officially. The powers of these boards vary greatly, from a pure
advisory function which is of little avail, unrecommended institutions
winning subsidies over its advice, to a department of control carrying
on preventive work against insanity, tuberculosis, inebriety,
feeble-mindedness and similar evils.

                          EFFICIENCY OF WOMEN

The service of women on charity commissions and as public relief
officers has so long been an accepted fact that it scarcely needs notice
here, but the argument for it advanced by the Massachusetts Committee on
Women as Overseers of the Poor, a committee composed of both men and
women, is so emphatic that it deserves special notice:

  The experience of the town of Brookline since 1877 and Winchester
  since 1891 and the city of Boston since 1891 has made it apparent
  that it is desirable to elect women upon the Boards of Overseers of
  the Poor—desirable for the following reasons:

  Because the time necessary for this important work is more often at
  their disposal.

  Because the classes to be aided are largely composed of women and

  Because of their special fitness to advise with the matrons of
  almshouses about the domestic arrangements of these institutions.

  Because of their fitness to discharge the duty now devolving upon
  Boards of Overseers of the Poor of towns, as well as of cities, of
  finding suitable homes outside the almshouse for dependent children.
  The Legislature at its last session enacted that the Overseers of
  the Poor of all towns within the commonwealth shall place every
  child in their charge, and over four years of age, in some
  respectable family in the state, or in some asylum therein. No such
  child, who can be thus cared for without inordinate expense is now
  to be retained in any town or city almshouse in Massachusetts unless
  idiotic, or otherwise so defective in body or mind as to make his
  detention in an almshouse desirable or unless he is under the age of
  eight years and his mother is an inmate thereof and is a suitable
  person to aid in taking care of him.[36]

In many places, women officials in charge of public charities have shown
that directness in action, that promptness, and that efficiency which
characterize the new type of public official generally. For instance,
Kate Barnard, the secretary of the National Conference of Charities and
Corrections, is Commissioner of Charities in Oklahoma. The legal
department conducted under her direction has wrested from incompetent or
dishonest guardians and returned to orphans some $950,000 in cash, in
addition to land probably several times the value of that cash return.
The number of orphans involved is 1,373. The department also acts as
public defender to prevent miscarriages of justice as far as possible
for the poor. This work has been with a very limited appropriation and

Amelia Sears, the Director of the Cook County, Chicago, Bureau of Child
Welfare, has under her direction a corps of assistants trained by her
largely, who are to do personal work with the inmates of public
institutions and their dependent families. The Juvenile Protective
Association will thus be relieved of its volunteer work for prisoners in
the county jail, and their dependents. The families of children
committed to or released from institutions are to be studied in the hope
that their after-care may diminish the “in-andout” cases which are now a
drain upon the expenses of the county.

Whenever there is a single piece of relief work on a large scale to be
undertaken, women are always to be found on the spot. One of the most
conspicuous pieces of immediate relief on a rehabilitation basis was
carried out in Dayton, Ohio, after the recent devastation wrought by the
river floods. Newspaper accounts told of tragic losses, the dashes of
important federal officers to the scene, and the like, but very little
has leaked through the press as to the tedious, yet faithful, skillful,
and intelligent work of rehabilitation which alone has pulled out of the
wreckage the individuals affected and set them on their feet not only
once more, but in many cases more firmly, than they had stood before. Of
this unobtrusive local work, _The Survey_ said:

“While Edward T. Devine and Eugene T. Lies went to Dayton originally for
the Washington Headquarters of the Red Cross, they also are doing their
work under the authority and with appropriations from the local
committee. They are assisted by Amelia N. Sears, secretary of Woman’s
City Club, Chicago, who took part in the San Francisco rehabilitation
work; Rose J. McHugh, secretary of Funds to Parents Committee, Chicago;
Ada H. Rankin and Johanne Bojesen of the New York Charity Organization
Society, who helped in the relief of the victims of the Triangle
shirtwaist fire and the Titanic disaster; Grace O. Edwards of the
Chicago United Charities; Edna E. Hatfield, probation officer, Indiana
Harbor, Ind.; Edith S. Reider, general secretary, Associated Charities,
Evanston, Ill.; Helen Zegar of the Compulsory Education Department,
Chicago, who was in special charge of the relief of Polish and other
immigrant families at the time of the Cherry Mine disaster. These Red
Cross agents are in turn aided by a corps of local citizens, especially
principals and teachers in the public schools, members of spontaneously
organized local committees, and others.”

                          CHARITY TRANSFORMED

Active and efficient as women have shown themselves in high offices in
public and private associations for charitable work, they have not
lagged behind in the movement that is transforming the relief of the
needy into a war on poverty. Little by little as the work of associated
charities has widened, forces within the very organizations themselves
necessitated the expansion of the idea of charity into one with broader
implications. The organization of relief and the centralization of funds
bring about a greater demand for relief because they abolish much of the
personal succor of the old type. Instead of more or less lavish care of
a few families intimately, all cases of relief that come to the notice
of charitably minded persons are, through an organized system of relief,
referred to the central agency which is expected when it receives
thousands of dollars to do marvelous things with them. The very
centralization of charity, however, creates the necessity for offices,
clerks and stenographers, investigators, perhaps a training school,
salaried heads, publications, and the like which consume funds rapidly.
Indeed it has been estimated that in New York City under the system of
the Charity Organization Society, it costs several dollars to distribute
every single dollar in relief. The system of charity therefore breaks
down of its own weight in time, or is transformed, much of the relief
money being used for social workers instead of the poor, and the little
money that is left being spread over a larger group of recipients.

Of course a centralized bureau of charities can make appeal for money
and get responses, but here again it has been estimated that for public
movements it often costs a large portion of a dollar to bring in one,
even when the greatest care is used in selecting probable donors.

Owing to the financial situation within organized charity, the inquiries
into efficiency in relief, and the criticism of almsgiving, charity
workers have sought to alleviate distressing conditions by suggesting
other means of reform than monetary help. In their own defense they have
had to do this, but they have learned by experience that mere monetary
relief may sometimes keep a family or an individual under their care in
perpetuity. Not being able to secure funds to assist all cases
indiscriminately, even had they wished, charity workers began to ask why
relief was needed in each case. Thus they learned by home visiting and
personal investigation that lack of education, unemployment, sickness,
intemperance or poverty, singly or in company, were at the bottom of
dependence as it came under their surveillance.

Gradually they realized that the remedy for lack of education was not
charity, but schools, and many charity workers went over to vocational
education and guidance activity; the remedy for unemployment they found
to be a labor issue and many of them joined the working class movement
or social reform movements having as their goal continuous labor, well
requited; the remedy for sickness they found to be prevention and many
of them went into public health work in all the ramifications described
in Chapter II; the remedy for intemperance they found to be complex and
many of them joined in prohibition or recreational or labor activities
in the hope of checking its ravages; the remedy for preventable poverty
they found to be its abolition and charity workers studied and divided
into groups according as they thought it might be abolished—political
groups for the most part.

For example, Josephine Shaw Lowell, who was for years a member of the
New York State Commission on Lunacy and Charity, saw that “she was
giving the best years of her life to the service of the sick poor in the
public institutions. Meanwhile, honest working people were being made
sick by overwork in the service of the Christmas shopping mob. Mrs.
Lowell proceeded, without loss of time, to invite to her home some
leading retail merchants who were her friends, and some working people
acquainted with the effects of long working hours. She, herself,
represented the shopping public. The Consumers’ League was the

The Association for the Improvement of the Condition of the Poor, soon
after its establishment, formed a Housing and Tuberculosis Committee.
The field workers in all such associations have helped to educate the
executive bodies of the organization and the Executive Committee has
helped to educate the people and municipal officials, and thus the whole
social movement verges toward an increase of public functions.

Indeed, everywhere charity workers are saying: “The people who come to
us should be thrown back upon industry. It is a poor sort of an
industrial system that cannot support those willing and able to work in

                        COMMUNITY RESPONSIBILITY

Finally social workers have come to the conclusion, many of them, that
in most cases these are not private problems at all but socio-economic
ones for which the social system, through government, is responsible.
They therefore talk “community and public responsibility” and insist
more and more that there shall be no public shirking or shrinking.

With the trend toward public social service, organized charity itself
becomes more and more a clearing house for other agencies or, in its
effort to maintain itself through the self-preservative instinct that
all institutions have, it assumes also the task of prevention by
offering employment; opening hospitals and rest homes, milk stations,
day nurseries; circulating educational pamphlets and the like. Thus
duplication of work is occasionally found where the social workers of a
hospital, of a settlement, and of a charity branch visit in the same day
a tenement mother and force her to repeat the story of her problems. The
only way in which such duplication can be avoided is through the
organization of social service and the extension of municipal functions
in that line. When the hospital is a municipal enterprise, its social
service department would seem to be the proper and legitimate one to
have the right of way and of support; and this is especially justified
through the ability of the municipality to coöperate systematically
among its departments: the health department working with the education
and police departments; public works with health and education; and so

The beginnings of the coördinated social service under municipal control
are already on the horizon. Take, for instance, the Board of Public
Welfare of Kansas City, Missouri. This Board is four years old. Women
are active on it as district superintendents, investigators, factory
inspectors; in the social service department, parole department,
department of lunches and unemployed, and women’s reformatory.

The establishment of this Board makes possible an intensive district
study in which is listed every special agency, school, church,
institution, foreign, or negro colony. It provides for the teaching of
sex hygiene in the schools and has all the up-to-date machinery, like
school nurses. The work of the Board comprises studies of housing,
recreation, health, temperance, vice, wage-earning women and women
employed in industries, labor conditions, welfare work and industrial
accidents. In short, its field is as broad as social needs.

“What good does it all do?” asks the Bureau, and then answers the
question itself:

  Well, in the first place, 4,517 people are living in better homes
  today because of the work done by our housing inspectors during the
  past year.

  Daily 40,000 men and women go to safer places to work because of the
  693 orders issued by our factory inspection department and complied
  with by the employers of Kansas City.

  Thirty-one thousand times during the year have eager men looking for
  work been rewarded in their search by our employment bureau.

  Over 3,000 families have been guided, inspired or comforted by our
  social workers in the Social Service Department.

  To over 2,000 prisoners applying for parole our Board has answered
  with freedom and a chance.

  Fifty thousand pleasant evenings were spent in social center
  meetings last winter, and most of these would not have been except
  for the efforts of the Board of Public Welfare.

  Twenty-six hundred public dances, with an aggregate attendance of
  over 500,000, were cleaner and safer because of the presence of
  Board of Public Welfare Inspectors.

  For the past few months there has not been a day when the 25,000
  attendants on our motion-picture theaters have not, many of them,
  been shielded from vulgar or brutal scenes eliminated from the shows
  by the hot educational campaign carried on by our Recreation

  Fifteen hundred people, frightened or worried by some crisis in
  their battle for bread and butter, have turned to the Welfare Loan
  Agency and found relief in a temporary loan.

  About 6,000 people, embittered by fraud, deceit, and oppression,
  turned to our Legal Aid Bureau for justice, which is often sweeter
  than any food.

  If human life, if morality, health and financial prosperity have any
  value, then these paragraphs answer what good has been done.

The accomplishment of large results is due to the fact that organization
on such a plan frees more money for relief than it consumes in salaries.
All employees of the Board are chosen by civil service examinations. The
Board “believes that social action should be based on accurate knowledge
and investigations should both precede and accompany all efforts to
improve social conditions. It strives for harmonious coöperation with
all existing agencies, both public and private, and does not duplicate
the work of any. The Board gives no public outdoor relief except in
cases where the breadwinner of the family is a city prisoner, and then
only on the basis of actual destitution, and upon the recommendation of
the superintendent of the Provident Association.”

The policy of the Board is briefly summarized in its annual report as
follows: “It lays emphasis on justice before charity and on prevention
rather than cure. It agrees that the burden of caring for the poor
should be laid upon the entire community through taxation rather than be
provided for by the voluntary gifts of the generous minority.”

This very gradual transition from private to public control is
especially apparent in the development of child-helping agencies. The
Children’s Clinic in Chicago, for example, was first established by the
Children’s Hospital Society. The county looked upon it, saw it was good,
and assumed responsibility for it. Then social workers backed by
philanthropists went a step further and established a psychopathic
clinic with an alienist in charge to examine the children for mental
weaknesses. “Of course,” says Jane Addams, “women interested in these
children are not more interested in the psychopathic feature, which is
philanthropic, than they are in the medical clinic, which is political.
They are not more interested in the children who are dependent and are
sent to one of the homes which are supported partly by public funds and
partly by philanthropy than they are in those children who are sent to
the homes which are supported altogether by public funds. And there you
are—the whole thing absolutely mixed! Now a child may be paroled in care
of its mother and paid by Court—where it once was dependent on private
charity. We are not quite out of charity for the judge is often assisted
by a committee composed of representatives of various city charities,
but it is hard to tell what is philanthropy and what public service.”

                       ATTITUDE OF SOCIAL WORKERS

The spirit of this whole movement from old-fashioned charity to
coördinated social service was abundantly manifested at the Seattle
Conference of Charities and Corrections in 1913. With the opening of the
Panama Canal problems are arising along the Pacific coast in increased
numbers. As preventive work, the Seattle Charity Organization Society
was anxious to secure, and did secure, the National Conference of
Charities and Corrections in order to arouse local interest in the
impending situation. Of the Seattle Charities, Mr. Richard Hayter is
director and Miss Virginia McMechan, widely known for her social work,
is general secretary—never an insignificant office, and by no means a
purely clerical one.

For the sake of the whole Pacific coast the Seattle charity workers
advertised this conference far and wide.

  Under the Central Council of Social Agencies, representing the
  fifty-six leading public and private social agencies of the
  city—from labor unions to the chamber of commerce, with the mayor at
  the head—active local committees were formed [consisting of men and
  women]. The Rotary Club, a business men’s body, raised the necessary
  $2,000, a corps of speakers was sent to organizations all over the
  city and state, even into Idaho, and a vigorous advertising campaign
  was conducted by means of billboards, 50,000 circulars, and columns
  of newspaper publicity. Country newspapers were reached by
  news-letter service. Letters sent out along the entire coast brought
  in three hundred new conference members.

  In the midst of this glowing setting the fortieth conference camped
  on July 5, registering at the close, July 12, an attendance of paid
  members numbering from outside the state of Washington over 450, and
  from Seattle and Washington 350 more. Seattle people fairly swarmed
  to the evening meetings, and the conference sermon drew a packed
  house of between 3,000 and 3,500. President Tucker estimated the
  total attendance at the thirty meetings during the week at between
  25,000 and 30,000. Enthusiasm was no less remarkable. Through all
  the seven days the conference was “live.” The newspapers gave it
  practically unlimited space, one paper running two extra conference
  pages almost every day containing the important speeches in full.
  This was done, the editor said, “as a good business proposition.”

When the conference got down to work, it was clearly evident that social
welfare, not charity, was the spirit of the delegates and speakers.
Preventive measures, standards of living and labor, the relation of
commercial organizations to social welfare, and the distribution and
assimilation of immigrants were predominant over talk of mere relief.
Courts, city officials, lawyers, and teachers were drawn into the
conference as an evidence of its wider appeal and public importance.

  While the conference program was well rounded and covered every
  accustomed subject and many new ones, the response of the audiences
  brought out the trend of conference thought. And that trend was
  unmistakably economic—the challenge to the industrial order for
  sweeping readjustments. However keen the interest in other topics,
  this was one which never failed to elicit enthusiastic response. It
  broke out at the opening meeting when President Tucker sounded the
  call for a more fundamental and largely economic interpretation of
  social justice; it rose almost thunderously when Dr. McKelway in the
  conference sermon declared that at the bottom of the whole problem
  we now face is the question of wages, and added: “Men do not always
  know what justice is, and their thoughts widen with the process of
  the suns, but if there is any current of American thought today, it
  is the demand among the masses of men for justice. We can tell its
  course by the ripples on the surface, when some obstacle rears its
  head. Privilege of any kind must go down before the rush of that

  The same response rose with every utterance of the slogan “Not
  charity but justice.” Appreciation of the industrial situation was
  voiced by speaker after speaker, even though his topic lay in other
  fields. The new radical labor groups, the I. W. W., Socialism and
  the single tax were frequently brought into discussion as movements
  to be reckoned with practically and studiously by social workers.
  The industrial program was the last ringing note sounded at the
  closing session with an all-around presentation of the minimum wage,
  the essence of which, to quote Mrs. Kelley, is that “the payroll has
  become public property,” and no business can be a going concern
  which does not pay a living wage, any more than if it could not pay
  interest or rent.[38]

Many of the organizations represented at the conference had initiated
valuable civic institutions like public baths, recreational provisions,
medical inspection in schools, and, in discussing development of new
instrumentalities of social welfare, the delegates of such societies
asked for the further extension of municipal functions to meet the needs
of the city’s people. Significant of the new spirit actuating the
charity workers of the country is the fact that three committees were
discontinued at this national convention—Immigration, Commercial
Organizations and Social Welfare, and Church and Social Work—while two
new committees were formed—Social Hygiene and Defectives (including
defective delinquents). The Committee on Families and Neighborhoods was
renamed the Committee on the Family and the Community, including
community programs. A new committee was created on Neighborhood
Development, including recreation, which is a very different thing from
the old type of charity committee in a neighborhood.

The part played by women in this forward movement of social workers, who
began as charity workers, is only partly revealed in the list of
officers and chairmen of standing committees, interesting as they are.
Mrs. John M. Glenn is one of the three vice-presidents and the following
is a list of standing committees for 1914 with their chairmen: Social
Hygiene, Maude E. Miner; Children, Mrs. Mary Vida Clark; Standards of
Living and Labor, Including Social Insurance, Charles P. Neill; Health,
Dr. Richard C. Cabot; Public Charities, Dr. J. T. Mastin; Defectives,
Including Mental Hygiene and Defective Delinquency, Dr. Llwellys Barker;
Family and Community, Eugene T. Lies; Neighborhood Development, Mary
McDowell; Correction, Amos W. Butler.

Charity workers have thus evidently grown into one definite group of
social workers. Another large group is composed of settlement and
neighborhood workers who cooperate with, but are distinct from, charity
workers. A few may have gone into settlement work from motives of pure
philanthropy, but settlements have never been confined to communities of
pauperized people and have often been located in communities of
industrial workers representing many nationalities affected by the ups
and downs of the industrial and social life of our day. Philanthropy,
therefore, has been carefully tabooed as a phrase or an ideal by the
leaders in the settlement movement, however slowly they have actually
been able to lead their colleagues away from instincts of mere pity and

No one can deny that the social functions which have evolved out of the
experiments and studies of settlements are in a very large measure the
work of women. Jane Addams, Louise Bowen, Julia Lathrop, Lillian Wald,
and other social leaders, who have originated many movements, see
distinctly that city functions must be extended to absorb their
activities as well as those more directly connected with charity. An
example is furnished by the work they have done for schools. They feel
that private aid should not obscure public responsibility for the
welfare of all the people of a community, but rather that interested
citizens with constructive programs should but point the way to better
assumption of public duties by the city.

The spirit of all these women workers we see in an appreciation of the
contributions of Lillian Wald written by the late Jacob A. Riis:

  No woman, since Josephine Shaw Lowell, has been able to do what she
  has done. They trust her absolutely, trust her head, her judgment,
  and her friendship. She arbitrates in a strike, and the men listen;
  she sits as one of the Board of Sanitary Control in the cloak and
  suit trade that has wrought such wondrous great good for the
  workers, and her judgment stands. When she pleads for housing
  reform, for playgrounds, for a united stand against child labor, her
  words carry authority. When politics make for better government, the
  Nurses’ Settlement is a recruiting station; when push-cart peddlers
  are blackmailed by the police, she will tell the mayor the truth,
  for she knows. In the plotting and planning and winding ways of life
  on the East Side there is one pilot whose chart can be trusted—Miss
  Wald knows.

  In the strife that rages forever around our public schools her feet
  are planted on solid ground. She pleaded for cooking and
  housekeeping schools and got them; she believes in vocational
  guidance. She labored for medical school inspection and when it did
  only half of what was expected of it, it was Miss Wald who put life
  into it by giving the doctors backing. Perhaps nothing she ever did
  gives one a better grip on the woman and her work.[39]


Having discovered the wide ramification of the social diseases which
call for social service and come more and more to a recognition of
community responsibility in such matters, social workers, men and women,
have realized the necessity of educating the public to a sense of that
responsibility. Hence the “social exhibit” of every type, and wherever
we find an exhibit, even if it be under the direction of men, we also
discover a group of patient, skilled, energetic women workers.

Child welfare exhibits took precedence of some of the constructive
programs for child nurture that are now coming into prominence and in
all these exhibits, from the first to the last, most ardent labor has
been contributed by women toward their success. Often they have
themselves been the instigators and main support of an exhibit.

Through the first large exhibit of the New York Child Welfare Committee
in the 71st Regiment Armory, and since, by neighborhood exhibits, a
wider knowledge of city child life and conditions affecting it prevails
among city people. Public opinion as to what ought to be done has been
aroused so that existing agencies with carefully worked out plans for
child welfare have received a more sympathetic and generous support.

Charles F. Powlison thus summarizes the leading results of Child Welfare

                             NEW YORK CITY

1. The city increased its appropriation to the division of child hygiene
of the health department by $167,705.

2. The Department of Parks set aside an old mansion in Carl Schurz Park
for child welfare work.

3. The city appropriated $235,000 for a new children’s court building.

4. The children of the city were stimulated to a greater use of the
children’s department of the public libraries.


1. Establishment of the Elizabeth McCormick Memorial Fund. The work of
this foundation is primarily child welfare.

2. Introduction of course on Children’s Welfare in the Chicago School of
Civics and Philanthropy.

3. The City Welfare Exhibits conducted in the public schools and
neighborhood centers of Chicago under the auspices of the Woman’s City
Club of Chicago used material shown at the Child Welfare Exhibit.

                            KANSAS CITY, MO.

Two days after the Exhibit closed the citizens were able to get passed
an ordinance requiring the appointment of factory inspectors, thus
making operative the laws regarding child labor, etc.

L. A. Halbert, general superintendent of the Board of Public Welfare,
writes: “I believe that the popular understanding of the work of the
Board of Public Welfare and other social work which was begotten by this
Exhibit has been a very important element in protecting this kind of
work from any sordid political influences.”

                           NORTHAMPTON, MASS.

1. A $25,000 school building is now being constructed in the congested
Polish district. Conditions had been reported for six years without
result. Four photographs in the Exhibit did the work.

2. The formation of a Central Advisory Council (to be made up of one
delegate from each church, civic, charitable or religious organization),
to confer monthly and arrange a program for concerted action in all
problems touching civic and child welfare.

3. Radical change of policy on the part of one large manufacturing
concern relating to work put out in families.

                             ST. LOUIS, MO.

1. A close partnership formed between a newly aroused public and
existing agencies working for the welfare of children.

2. The Exhibit is continued as a part of the traveling libraries
department of the public library.

3. Sections of the Exhibit, dealing with particular subjects, loaned for
circulation in churches, schools, settlements and clubs.

4. The Children’s Agencies and the churches stimulated to a stock-taking
of progress and furnished an exact basis for mapping out the next steps

One of the women social workers at an Exhibit said: “We are all of us
learning, for the first time, what place our work has in the city’s
life. We have worked over our exhibits, trying to state in concrete
terms our purpose and our success; then we see our organization placed
here beside all the others, and we find out how inadequate we all are,
and yet how important, each at our own job. We find out where there is
overlapping and where we can use each other in the future. And then we
walk over to the section on industrial conditions, or on housing, or on
infant mortality, and we see the big underlying problems, that we
haven’t any of us touched yet. And we realize that no private
organization ever can touch those problems. Only all the people, acting
for themselves through their representatives, can begin to make a dent
in them.”

Dr. Anna Louise Strong, the director of exhibits of the National Child
Welfare Exhibit Committee, upholds the service of the Exhibit in the
face of certain critics: “I believe in the exhibit method, whatever its
risks, through the faith that when the widest publicity possible is
secured, truth will win out. The light that beats around a throne is no
fiercer than the light that has beat around disputed statements in a
child welfare exhibit. And because of this, however and whenever
individual exhibitors fail, I feel that the exhibit method is, in spite
of its dangers, one of the safest, just because of the wideness of its
reach, and the many-sidedness of the comments aroused.”


It is not alone in such more or less spectacular educational work as
exhibits of various kinds, that women have participated with such
success. They are helping to create the scientific literature of social
service which is based upon accurate observation and generalization. To
enumerate even the important contributions of women to this literature
would be impossible here, but by way of illustration we may cite simply
the contributions made by women to the studies issued under the auspices
of the Russell Sage Foundation:

_The Evening Post_ of New York said of “Women and the Trades,” by
Elizabeth B. Butler, who made her study in the Pittsburgh Survey, that
it “represents the most complete and careful study ever made in any
country of the actual working conditions of the wage-paid women of a
great city.” Miss Butler has also made a study of saleswomen in
mercantile stores.

_The Scientific American_ said of “Work Accidents and the Law,” by
Crystal Eastman, who made this important study in Pittsburgh and who was
formerly the secretary of the New York State Commission on Employers’
Liability: “The book is one of the finest exponents we have ever seen of
this twentieth century humanitarian interest.”

_The Literary Digest_ said of “Homestead: the Households of a Mill Town”
by Margaret Byington: “Miss Byington brought to the task excellent
training and made her studies after the most approved methods. It is a
book legislators, ministers, editors, and story writers should ponder
before they preach to, or write at or about, the wage-earners and their
wives, from apprentices to superintendents.”

“The Delinquent Child and the Home” by Sophonisba P. Breckinridge and
Edith Abbott, according to the _Boston Evening Transcript_, is “a
storehouse of information to the individual or society seeking to know
better the needs of children and to provide them with decent homes,
fresh air, education and recreation.”

“Fatigue and Efficiency” by Josephine Goldmark furnishes the basis for
arguments in favor of governmental control over health conditions in
industry and has already produced results.

“Among School Gardens” by M. Louise Greene is a valuable propaganda for
open-air exercises for children.

“One Thousand Homeless Men” by Alice Willard Solenberger, until her
death an active leader in the Chicago Bureau of Charities,—a study of
original records—is approved by Ernest P. Bicknell, director of the
American Red Cross as follows: “A confidence-impelling power was hers
which often led to the most unexpected results. Beggars and tramps,
confirmed in their manner of life, gave her the real facts about their
homes and families and transgressions. More than one hardened fellow
became her ally, and helped her search out the young boys and persuade
them to go home to their parents. She had so many sources of information
that her power of securing hidden facts from the lodging houses and
saloons and dark places seemed almost uncanny.”

“Women in Various Trades in New York” by Mary Van Kleeck maintains the
standard set by all the Russell Sage publications.

“Our Slavic Fellow Citizens” by Emily Greene Balch is thus praised by
the Chicago _Record-Herald_: “Miss Balch has given us one of the most
valuable books on immigration that we know of, a work full of guidance,
of truth, of understanding.”

“Visiting Nursing in the United States” by Ysabella Waters completes
these studies at present and is a “convincing argument,” according to
the _Nurses’ Journal of the Pacific Coast_, for nursing and educating in
their homes some of the sick who will not or cannot go to hospitals.

Wherever social welfare work reaches the stage of legislation we find
women supplying data for intelligent action, arguing before legislative
committees, and impressing upon lawmakers their competence to deal with
social problems in a large way. Moreover, in every important battle over
legislation, women have their own special contributions to make. Space
forbids anything like a survey of the legislative work of women in
social service, but some notion of their interest and labors is to be
gathered from the current discussions of mothers’ pension laws.

                           MOTHERS’ PENSIONS

On account of the fact that the major portion of charitable relief has
always gone to poor widows with young children to support, family
rehabilitation has been a main study of social workers. Charity and
institutional relief have combined forces—orphan asylums taking the
children in many cases of destitution while work for her own support was
found for the mother. The slight assistance that could be rendered in
each case to supplement the mother’s earnings and the necessity of her
putting the children to work too early or overtaxing the oldest child in
family labor soon showed the ineffectiveness of this method of family
rehabilitation, for broken-down physiques, undeveloped minds, wrong
associations and delinquency were recognized as the outgrowth of the
enforced neglect of home care and training by mothers.

Thus arose a general demand for public aid for mothers as a preventive
measure, for the sake of the family, and for greater economy, much of
the institutional care of delinquents, sick, orphaned, in day nurseries
and the like being saved thereby. Mothers’ pension laws now exist in
seventeen states, the great majority of which passed the laws within the
past year, a year in which women have been their busiest in urging this
legislation. In Pennsylvania the law creates an entirely new set of
administrative officials—unsalaried boards of women, from five to seven
in number, appointed by the governor—in all counties which elect to make
use of the act.

New York passed a bill for a commission instead of the pension act
itself, being conservative enough to desire further investigation. Two
women who have worked for mothers’ pensions in that state are on this
commission—Mrs. William Einstein and Sophie Irene Loeb. The New York
City Federation of Women’s Clubs asked for this commission.

The Federal Children’s Bureau has taken a great interest in state aid
for dependent mothers with children and has published a study by Laura
Thompson of laws relating to the same in the United States, Denmark and
New Zealand, with all the legislative technicalities so much discussed.

Perhaps more women have agreed on the wisdom of mothers’ pensions than
on any other single piece of social legislation. They have even been
accused of rushing heedlessly into the support of such laws on purely
sentimental grounds, and they are vigorously opposed by many charity
workers. Public relief for mothers strikes at the very vitals of private
philanthropy which makes its most effective appeals for funds for
dependent widows. Dr. Devine, of the New York Charity Organization
Society, vigorously opposed the idea of public pensions, and published
in _The Survey_ his views on the matter. The following spirited defense
by Clara Cahill Park, represents the attitude of a large number of women
workers who support the measure:

  Dr. Devine’s article[40] on mothers’ pensions seems to show that
  even the learned doctors of our social ills may disagree as to this
  matter. So perhaps it is not surprising that a plain mother may
  still go on thinking that such aid is in reality preventive in that
  it reaches the affairs of the home at a crisis, and tides them over
  without loss of self-respect. You see, mothers, in spite of the
  sociologists, feel themselves, for once, on their own ground in this
  matter; and in possession of all their faculties, will continue to
  think that, as far as children are concerned, not they, but the
  learned doctors, are in the amateur class.

  As far as care and time and money for children’s needs are
  concerned, they, and they alone, feel that they know how imperative
  those needs are, and from the mere fact of being able to gain more
  aid for more mothers by state subsidies the idea seems to them of
  value. They, and perhaps they only, can also feel the importance of
  preserving self-respect as an asset to be saved by the new attitude
  of the states. It is not, for them, “a mere sentiment and solemn
  pretense of changing the names of things.”

  Why, to most of us, is a marriage service a wholesome formality, if
  changing the name, if deriving comfort from legal sanction (even
  sometimes of a bad husband), is merely “a solemn pretense”?

  The question seems to me to touch the social evil and the housing
  problem (as shown in Chapter IV of Miss Addams’ “A New Conscience
  and an Ancient Evil”), the menace of child labor, of the sweat
  shops, and neglected childhood and starved motherhood on many sides.
  Why is a free chance to live and grow, for a child, any worse than
  free education? A child does not ask where things come from, at
  first. He only knows that he is cold, or hungry, or neglected. In
  the nature of the case he is dependent on someone.

  Dr. Devine asks one question, which I should like to try to answer.
  He asks: “Who are the sudden heroes of a brand-new program of state
  subsidies to mothers, that they have grown so scornful of poor
  relief administration, of religious alms, of a thousand forms of
  organized benevolence, of the charity which, in all ages, organized
  and unorganized, has comforted the afflicted, fed the hungry,
  succored the widow and the fatherless?”

  They are, if I am permitted to answer what I believe, the
  old-fashioned givers, the passing of whom Dr. Devine goes on to
  deplore. They are the people, too, whom Dr. Devine and _The Survey_
  are waking up, who are not satisfied to go all through life having
  their ideas predigested for them; more than all, they are social
  workers, who have come to distrust some of the methods of social
  work. Starting out with a blind faith in philanthropic methods, I
  have found, time and again, not that the work was so much hampered
  as some have found it, by “investigation, the keeping of records,
  discriminating aid, etc.,” but that the work was not exact, and not
  careful and that its faults were not mitigated by that human
  sympathy which would atone for human faults.

  This is not always true, but it has become proverbial, and we see
  why. If we could have always with us the great people of the earth,
  like Miss Addams, Miss Lathrop, Judge Mack, and others, there would
  be no such proverbs as those the poor now murmur among themselves.

  State aid, to my mind, is an advance, as showing the policy of the
  nation, to conserve its children and its homes, and in recognizing
  the mother as a factor in that campaign, for the welfare of all.[41]

Mrs. Park is a member of the Massachusetts commission on widows’
pensions which proposed legislation on the subject, not all the members
agreeing on public aid, however. The existence of this commission was
largely due to Mrs. Park but Miss Helen Winslow helped by lecturing on
the subject before more than sixty women’s clubs in Massachusetts.

All women, however, are by no means committed to the policy of public
aid for dependent mothers. Grace P. Pollard, for instance, president of
the Liberal Union of Minnesota Women, objects in these terms:

  With indications that the “public” is being swayed by appeals to
  protect motherhood through pensions, the presentation of “Motherhood
  and Pensions” by Miss Richmond is a relief. Aside from the economic
  waste of human energy which a “pension” system may induce, it is
  likely to lessen individual initiative, to reduce its possible
  recipients to the condition of petitioners for favors, and hence to
  weaken the social structure.

  It is unfortunate that our city, state and national treasuries bear
  so impersonal a relation to the members of society. Intelligent
  citizens know that the poor and ignorant pay an indirect tax out of
  all proportion to their resources, that this condition is fostered
  by those who have in hand larger resources, and that poverty and
  ignorance are necessary factors in the explanation of human energy.
  The poor and the ignorant are paying the price of that which is to
  be returned to them as pensions.

  If the time, money and energy now being used to establish pensions
  could be directed into the establishment of fair conditions of
  industry, of sanitary conditions of living, of greater opportunities
  to acquire knowledge, of equal privileges and duties for men and
  women, might not the nation’s integrity be better safeguarded?[42]

Where mothers’ pension laws are enacted, women are called to aid in
their administration. Massachusetts has a “Mothers’ Act,” the
enforcement of which is under the Special Committee of the State Board
of Charity, with Ada Eliot Sheffield as Chairman. Overseers of the poor
administer the law under the direction of this Special Committee, and
Emma W. Lee has charge of a corps of women who will work with the
overseers. Caroline B. Alexander is a member of the New Jersey State
Board of Children’s Guardians which administers the State Mothers’
Pension Law.[43]

In all the states where home assistance has been secured for dependent
mothers, women have agitated and lobbied for the measure. In states
which do not yet have such legislation, women’s clubs and organizations
have this legislation as one of their demands. The Association of
Neighborhood Workers and many leaders in the women’s clubs of New York
are among those who have labored for home assistance in that state.

                           OTHER LEGISLATION

Recognizing the importance of enlightened coöperation in the matter of
law making, a Committee on Social Legislation was recently formed in
Chicago to act as a clearing house for bills intended to improve social
conditions. The constituent organizations include the following:
Anti-Cruelty Society, Associated Charities of Danville, Associated
Charities of Rock Island, Associated Jewish Charities, Bureau of
Associated Civics and Charities of Freeport, Bureau of Personal Service,
Central Association of Charities, Evanston, Central Howard Association,
Chicago Federation of Churches of Christ, Chicago Medical Society,
Chicago Playground Association, Chicago Tuberculosis Institute, Chicago
Woman’s Aid, Chicago Woman’s Club, Citizens’ League, City Club of
Chicago, Committee on Institutional Visitation, Conference of Jewish
Women’s Organizations, Consumers’ League, Elizabeth McCormick Memorial
Fund, Federation of Settlements, Illinois Association for Labor
Legislation, Illinois Children’s Home and Aid Society, Immigrants’
Protective League, Infant Welfare Society.[44]

Jersey social workers have formed a similar bureau, similarly
constituted. “At the meeting there was some sentiment in favor of
lobbying, but those who initiated the plan had no intention that it
should act as a lobbying agency. It was pointed out that members of the
bureau might differ as to the wisdom of legislation. Participation in
the bureau will not commit a member to any definite stand on various
measures. But, it is expected that through the clearing house and
information service of the bureau, those favoring a given measure will
be enabled to conduct their legislative campaign with greater

                          SCHOOLS FOR WORKERS

The development of organized charity and social service with their
investigations and legislative and institutional activities has produced
the need for workers trained for research and the preparation of
data—trained in sociology, economics, and industry; in health, education
and hygiene.

In response to this need have risen schools for the education of social
workers. The New York School of Philanthropy is one of the largest of
these professional schools. A partial list includes the School of Social
Economy of Washington University, St. Louis; the Chicago School of
Civics and Philanthropy; the Boston School for Social Workers; and the
Philadelphia Training School for Social Workers.

In all of these schools, women help to instruct as well as study. Julia
Lathrop is vice-president of the Chicago School and Sophronisba
Breckinridge is dean to assist the president in the educational

                      SOCIAL SERVICE AND POLITICS

As private philanthropy advances to social service and then to public
action, women all over the country are asking, “Shall the control which
we have hitherto been exercising be turned over to the men voters
alone?” They are, in increasing numbers, answering this question in the

Club women and women teachers and doctors last summer (1914) declared
emphatically that social activities must continue to be the joint work
of men and women and that political equality is a prime essential in the
evolution of social service.

Sophronisba Breckinridge succinctly explains this point of view in an
article in _The Survey_ designed to answer Dr. Simon Patten’s strictures
on suffrage and social service:

  In his editorial comment of January 4, Professor Patten not only
  addresses certain questions to the social workers of the country,
  but draws vivid contrasts between “dozens of little coercions” and
  “doses of freedom.” It is not my purpose to undertake to answer his
  questions. The program of the social workers has been so definitely
  outlined by action taken at Cleveland in June at the time of the
  National Conference of Charities and Corrections, and is so
  definitely formulated in the platform of the Progressive Party, to
  which Miss Addams gave her adherence, that further reply seems

  I should be glad, however, to ask Professor Patten in return to
  consider more carefully the nature of certain “small coercions”
  against which the women of the country and the social workers as
  well are now protesting. Professor Patten contrasts the value of a
  “suffragette agitation” with the value of a “clearer vision.” He
  cannot, however, be ignorant of the fact that the efforts of women
  to become politically free have revealed as no other agency has been
  able to do, the nature and extent of the coercion exercised over the
  voters of the community by the organized forces of vice and alcohol.
  The women think that, in their efforts to secure political freedom
  so that they may be able to serve the community, they should have
  Professor Patten’s acquiescence in increased control exercised over
  these common foes of the race. In Professor Patten’s judgment the
  “only effective check to the natural expansion of clear ideas and
  social emotions is offered by the members of the degenerate,
  defective or dependent classes.” Commercialized alcohol and vice may
  be included in these groups; but will the classifications likewise
  include the competitor who remains in the market by adulterating the
  food supply of the people, the unintelligent producers of unclean
  and unsafe milk, the employer of children in the southern cotton
  mills, those who fatten on the labor of underpaid girls in our
  department stores and factories? I fancy these “enemies of the
  people” would be greatly surprised to find themselves so classified.
  Nor is the strength of their position or the disastrous consequences
  of their freedom lessened by so characterizing them. “Little
  coercions” upon them mean “large doses of freedom” to the child, the
  women workers, the men helpless before conditions of physical hazard
  in our industrial establishments.

  Political action without philanthropy is of course like the human
  skeleton equipped perhaps with muscle but lacking the nervous and
  circulatory systems. Philanthropy on the other hand without
  political capacity is like an invertebrate structure, inert and
  incapable of efficient self-direction. It seems entirely in accord
  with her general experience of helplessness when relying on
  philanthropy alone and with her observation of the social
  aimlessness of the older political parties that Miss Addams should
  demand that the strength and stability of one be added to the life
  and persistence of the other.

                              CHAPTER VIII

“Women are vastly more interested than we are in the administration of
the criminal law, in the preservation of law and order, and in the
suppression and punishment of crime,” declared the Hon. Joseph Choate a
few years ago in New York to a large group of women organized to help in
the non-partisan ticket which had Mr. Jerome at its head for district
attorney. Mr. Choate added that Mr. Jerome would owe his election more
to the women than the men. His prediction proved true; but whether the
women who worked so hard for Mr. Jerome were fully satisfied with his
administration is another story.

There are abundant reasons why women take so much interest in the whole
problem of criminal law and correction. A great many crimes are definite
offenses against women and children; their comparative defenselessness
makes them suffer more than men from brutality, neglect, and vices; and
there are certain technical legal requirements of the law that
constitute, in the matter of punishment, sex discriminations which
arouse rebellion on their part.

Perhaps other reasons predominate, however. The interest in public
correction is but a simple and inevitable extension of the function of
private correction which has been generally allotted to women in the
home and in the school. Even over husbands they have been urged by
church and moralists of all kinds to exercise reformatory influences and
their acknowledged sphere of “protection” and “prevention of
delinquency” is evident in the popular explanation of every great man by
the fact that “he had a good mother.”

Again, middle-class women have more leisure than men under modern
conditions of industry, and an army of women choose to spend their
leisure mothering the poor and the friendless or in the prevention of
poverty and dependence. Furthermore women spend more of the world’s
wealth than men spend, and hundreds of well-to-do women are becoming,
with their advancing education and travel and observation, satiated with
material possessions, and are spending their wealth for social
possessions—public health, public ornamentation, public recreation,
protection of girls and boys, infant welfare, and the like. Even the
“sheltered” woman has grown to realize that all children as well as her
own need homes, protection, education, sympathy and justice; that even
self-preservation and self-respect for herself, her husband and her
children are endangered by proximity to vice, crime, neglect, disease,
and immorality.

Moreover, there is no class line in crime or vice and the need of their
correction. No group or class of women has escaped the ravages of these
evils, and thus a feeling of solidarity is evolved in the fight against
the social evil and various forms of delinquency, which is not as yet
developed in the fight against poverty, the sting of which is a class

If, as Abraham Flexner says, “it is the unskilled daughters of unskilled
men” that become the prey of traffickers in human souls and bodies,
someone pays the money, and as a rule it is not the poor who have that
money. The well-to-do pay, not only with silver and gold, but with pain
and suffering, and with syphilitic and degenerate offspring.

The revelations made by men to mankind and by some women to all women
show how large a part sex plays in crime and vice of all kinds; and
women know well that sex cannot be understood by men alone or protected
by men alone. At least it is certain that one sex has failed as the
arbiter of the destinies of the other, and better results already are in
evidence from the combined occupancy of the field of public corrections
by men and women.

The full import of women’s advance into the field of criminal law and
administration is not yet widely appreciated, even by women themselves,
so gradual and unobtrusive has it been, for the most part. Women began
quietly as minor assistants to the courts of law, it being thought that
the mysteries of that great science were too deep for the feminine mind.
As the law schools and the secrets of the guild were opened to women,
they began to bring into the administration of the law here and there
the spirit of social service. As they acquired the technical equipment,
which was soon discovered to be not half as formidable as the gentlemen
of the powdered wig and lordly mien long represented, women began to
assume even judicial functions.


Protective and probationary work naturally fell to women’s share very
early in the growth of their interest in law enforcement. Even to the
most obtuse masculine mind, it became apparent that women were fitted to
look after women and children held temporarily under the tutelage of the
courts.[46] Even this, however, was a great gain for women. Probation
officers were called into daily consultation with judges, members of the
district attorney’s office, the chief of police and his subordinates,
and the opinions, reports and investigations of women officers were soon
shown to be of the highest value to the judges, attorneys and police.
Hundreds of women thus won by sheer efficiency the respect of those in
charge of law enforcement.

Regular probation officers are called upon to influence children, wives
and husbands by members of their families who feel that a formal trial
and sentence can thus eventually be avoided. All such officers seem
eager to respond to human appeals and their spirit is an indication of
the sincerity of their work. It is not only probation officers who thus
save the courts both time and money and promote individual and social
welfare. While official probation work is a part of the judicial
function, a great deal of unofficial probation work is done which,
through its preventive nature, relieves the court of labor. Teachers and
social workers of various types are doing similar work to that of
probation officers in their attempt to prevent crime and delinquency.

There are numerous probation associations and committees in the United
States. Sometimes these are composed of men alone and again of men and

Probation and parole officers have helpful allies in the “Big Brothers”
and “Big Sisters” now coöperating in many cities to prevent further
lapses from grace on the part of young delinquents or offenders. The
work that the Big Sisters in New York regard of prime importance was the
Little Sisters’ Country Home where girls were sent to build up mentally,
physically and morally before they were placed in private homes or in
employment or again in their families. Such a home was established by
Mr. and Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt at Little Neck, Long Island, Mrs.
Vanderbilt being the president of the New York Big Sisters, but
unfortunately it soon burned.

The Council of Jewish Women also does a great deal of protective work in
its various sections. Each section is urged by the national council “to
put itself in connection with the police and magistrates’ courts as well
as the county or city attorney’s office and all officers of the
department of justice and to make it known that wherever a Jewish girl
appears or is arraigned, the section stands ready to do whatever may be
necessary to help the accused or her family or the prisoner if she be a
prisoner.” Preventive correctional work is done by this association
along recreational and educational lines.

The New York Society for the Improvement of Urban Conditions among
Negroes is seeking to train colored men and women for probationary work
among their own race. In the past year 464 cases of adult and juvenile
delinquency were handled. “The Committee takes special pains to secure
thorough follow-up work. Each case is treated as one of special
importance in which the worker handling the same considers herself
personally responsible.” A class of girls which the magistrates’ court
assigned to the Association for care and which other associations have
turned over to it is being instructed in gardening by a teacher
furnished by the Board of Education. The Society also tries to reinstate
discharged employees when mere misunderstandings have led to dismissal
and in other deserving cases. It believes in labor organization as an
aid to this security.

So many other forms of social effort are working toward the same goal as
probation that it is impossible to estimate the number engaged in
preventing individuals from becoming public offenders and public
charges. Probation officers do use, and are urged to use further, all
existing organizations which are established to supply fundamental needs
like shelter, food, clothing, employment, medical help, recreation,
education and the rest. Indeed probation officers are dependent upon the
organized efforts to supply those needs—so dependent that probation work
can proceed only in proportion to the effectiveness of those

Here then we have a condition of a great public service, one of the
greatest, being still dependent on private charity and effort. Many
elements, like competition, intermittency of help, and incompetency
owing to the volunteer nature of the organization, prevent the widest
usefulness of these allied agencies upon which success in probationary
work so largely depends. For that reason there are probationary as well
as other social workers who begin to emphasize the ideal of public
concentration of social effort in the city administration with the aim
of eliminating waste and securing certainty of support and steadiness of
trained effort. All the forces of the community need to be centrally
organized, it is argued, to meet the requirements of the probationary
system and such central organization must be governmental since the
probation function is a governmental one.

Thus probation work leads into social service in the widest sense. Every
disclosure of the shortcomings of the system of imprisonment shows this.
And it is natural that women who are so keenly concerned in every branch
of social service should give attention to the larger aspects of
probation: the reformation of the individual wrongdoer and the
protection of society. That many women probationary officers are not
content with a narrow view of their functions will be discovered by
anyone who takes the pains to read the discussions at the Fifth Annual
New York Conference of Probation Officers, held in Syracuse, in 1912, at
which, for the first time, there was a special meeting for women to
consider the special problems of women.

At the Fourth Annual Conference of the State Association of Magistrates
in Syracuse, in 1912, Dr. Katharine B. Davis, now commissioner of
corrections of New York City, presented a plan, which she had been
urging, for a state commission into whose care all women delinquents
should be given as soon as convicted and for a more rational use of
existing State institutions for women and the establishment of other
institutions needed to carry out the work of the commission. Miss Julia
O’Connor, a probation officer in the New York Children’s Court,
emphasized the need of dealing with defective children and Miss Gertrude
Grasse, Secretary of the Juvenile Protective Association, brought out
the fact that an inspection of school children for feeble-mindedness
would prevent defectives getting into the courts at all.

Women attended the sessions of this conference of magistrates and were
present at the dinner which formed one of the features of the occasion.
At that dinner the president said: “Ladies and gentlemen: For the first
time in the history of our Association, the chairman has to use the word
‘ladies’ in addressing the gathering, which shows that we have joined
the ranks of the progressives.” The Association of Magistrates firmly
believes in the value of salaried women probation officers in juvenile
courts and for women offenders and makes recommendations constantly to
the courts with reference to their appointment.

                             POLICE MATRONS

More difficult than the opening of probation work to women has been the
no less obvious task of installing a sufficient number of police
matrons. An examination of the records shows that these important
officers have been established through the efforts of women in all large
western cities and also extensively through the East. The Women’s Prison
Association of New York is seeking to secure police matrons in all the
stations instead of having women dragged about to different stations to
find them. This association was instrumental in getting patrol wagons,
moreover, so that women might not be taken through the streets by

Boston has a street matron, Mrs. Thomas Tyler, an officer employed by
the Florence Crittenton Mission, who goes about at night wherever girls
are found in streets, parks, theaters, and cafés and gives help to them
where it is needed. The shelter of the Mission is a valuable aid to her
in her work. Mrs. Tyler is a private policewoman supplementing, not
supplanting, other agencies that work with girls.

The employment of women physicians in courts for women is a necessity
strongly urged by women’s probation and other associations. In some
courts they are already serving in that capacity.


From these various official positions occupied by women it was only a
step to secure the appointment of women on the regular police force to
aid in the protection of the young. This step was first taken in Los
Angeles, California, when Mrs. Alice Stebbins Wells was placed upon the
police staff.

The present administration of Syracuse (1914) has appointed a woman as
police officer as a result of a movement begun over a year ago by women
and approved by the Chamber of Commerce. Mrs. Wells, the police officer
of Los Angeles, aroused the club women of Syracuse to the advantages of
such an official and later, when a moral survey of Syracuse was made
under the chairmanship of Miss Arria Huntington, the advice of Mrs.
Wells was more fully appreciated. The work of the policewoman will
involve the training, tact and ability of a social worker and the women
of Syracuse regard her as a constructive element in the city government.
The Women’s Christian Temperance Union, the Women’s Political Union and
the churches assisted in the movement to secure the policewoman. “The
number of cities and towns which have placed women on the police force
with full or partial power is increasing so rapidly that it is no longer
possible to keep count. Chicago, of course, is the recent shining
example. Within the past year San Francisco has changed its charter so
as to admit women to the force without meeting the physical requirements
which apply to men. Three women have already been appointed. Fargo and
Grand Forks, North Dakota; Topeka, Kansas; Ottawa, Illinois; and Kansas
City are other places which have recently intrusted police power to

In Chicago, Mayor Harrison sent Mrs. Gertrude Howe Britton,
superintendent of the Juvenile Protective Association and a member of
the school board, to visit all the police stations of the city to
instruct the regular force of policemen how best to protect and promote
the welfare of the children on their beats. When one realizes the great
number of arrests of children, one will appreciate that a considerable
portion of the policeman’s time is concerned in the oversight of

Under the caption, “Policewomen’s Efficiency in Danger,” _The Survey_
described the situation which prevailed in Chicago in the spring of

  Some of the most influential clubs and civic organizations of
  Chicago have protested vigorously against the action of Chief of
  Police Gleason in regard to the city’s twenty policewomen. Under
  Second Deputy Superintendent Funckhouser, the civilian police
  official, they have proved effective in regulating public dance
  halls. Under Deputy Superintendent Schuettler, to whose command they
  have been transferred, they are assigned to regular police duty
  scattered among various station houses and can no longer be used for
  inspection of dance halls or other pieces of work requiring
  concerted action.

  In making over 1,500 inspections of dance halls, in which they found
  many violations of law for which arrests might have been made, the
  women officers, being more intent upon prevention than punishment,
  determined to make no arrests at first, but to warn the managers and
  to win the girls who patronize the dances. This policy has proved
  successful in securing obedience to law and observance of propriety.

  Such results in the dance halls made the second deputy’s
  administration a shining mark for assaults from the underworld just
  as his strict censorship of motion pictures has attracted opposition
  from those who make and promote films suggestive of evil. Such
  enemies of public safety and common decency are believed to have
  found aid and comfort at the hands of certain police officials and
  of those higher up.

  It is feared that the fine _esprit de corps_ of the new women police
  will suffer by being forced to conform to the varying standards of
  the stations to which they have been assigned.

  The ostensible reason for taking them away from Major Funckhouser is
  that his use of their service transcends his function as the
  civilian deputy and belongs to the active force. But his squad of
  male officers is left under his command apparently without fear of
  inconsistency, perhaps, because, under the surface, it is not
  inconsistent with the purpose dictating the transfer of the women.

The Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners announce that the
policewoman recently appointed by them is to be “the city’s mother to
the motherless.”

The work of Miss Roche in Denver, as described by George Creel, in a
recent number of _The Metropolitan_, illustrates the inestimable value
of the addition of women to the police force of cities.

                            JUVENILE COURTS

Following the example set by Judge Lindsey in Denver, women have been
active in creating the public opinion which has brought about the
creation of juvenile courts in so many cities of the South, as well as
of the North. In Atlanta, the women acted immediately upon the
suggestion of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections, in
session there. It is generally conceded in Pennsylvania that the five
bills passed in that state providing for juvenile courts owe their
passage to the agitation and pressure brought to bear by the
Pennsylvania Federation of Women’s Clubs and its enthusiastic president.
In at least eight states it is claimed that the juvenile court system
owes its inception largely to the work of women. Coupled with their
interest in the court has often gone their desire to accompany the court
work with model reform schools for boys and for girls. In Alabama and
other states these were secured by the insistence of women.

In Iowa the Congress of Mothers took the lead for the Juvenile Court
Law, and this congress has pushed steadily in other states for the same
legislation. The Ohio law, passed in 1904, was due in a large measure to
the fact that the juvenile court was a paramount issue of club work in
that state at that time.

Club women feel that they deserve credit also for the St. Louis and
Kansas City Courts. In Michigan, when the law was declared
unconstitutional, women pledged their effort to the securing of a new

The Civic Club of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, together with the
Civic Committee of the women’s clubs, secured the organization of the
juvenile court of that county. They then sent women and men speakers
into neighboring counties and thus extended the movement. The first
juvenile court was organized and supported entirely by the Club for
several years, until it was legally incorporated and became independent.
The Club also established an industrial and training school for boys, to
solve the question of the care of boys that came before the court.

Detention homes preceded as well as accompanied efforts for juvenile
courts. The Civic Club of Allegheny County secured the proper
enforcement of the Juvenile Court Law in its provision as to rooms of
detention for children under sixteen who are in custody and awaiting
hearing or placement. The same club hopes soon to secure a model
children’s court building along the lines adopted in a few other cities.

By the year 1906 detention homes and a juvenile court law had been
actively taken up by women’s clubs in California and other western
states. Since then many places have been catching up, and these two
issues form part of the propaganda of club women everywhere.

The Municipal League of Utica, composed of men and women, secured
recently an appropriation for a detention home and juvenile court. The
Women’s Civic League, of Meadsville, Pennsylvania, also established a
detention home for juvenile delinquents.

The Woman’s Club, of Orange, New Jersey, through Miss Durgin, made an
investigation at the House of Detention, which was not only the means of
remedying several individual wrongs, but also of supplying the women and
the public generally with knowledge on which to urge the modification of
the prevailing system of dealing with detained boys and girls and also
the establishment of a parental school. Legal steps have been taken for
the parental school, and the present chairman of the Civic Committee of
this club has been named by the Board of Freeholders as one of the Board
of Guardians for the school.

The Chicago Juvenile Court has had a more or less stormy career. Its
whole history is indicative of the spirit and constructive ability of
women. For many years—before 1906—the Chicago Woman’s Club had been
maintaining a school in the Cook County jail. Determined to have the
children separated, they had a bill drawn up, which became a law in
1899, and forms the basis of many of the present juvenile court laws.

Jane Addams, in the _Ladies’ Home Journal_, in 1913, described the
Chicago movement very graphically:

  Years ago the residents of Hull House were much distressed over the
  boys and girls who were brought into the police stations for petty
  offenses and gradually one of the residents gave all of her time to
  these unfortunate children. The police justices in the two nearest
  stations regularly telephoned her in regard to the first offense
  case, and whenever practicable paroled the children in her care.
  When the Juvenile Court was established in Chicago she was engaged
  as the first probation officer with twenty-one other persons.

  For six years this voluntary association called the “Juvenile Court
  Committee” paid the probation officers with a well-known educator as
  chief, and supported the detention home through which passed each
  year twenty-six hundred children who would otherwise have been in
  the police stations.

  In connection with this home the Children’s Hospital Society
  supported a medical clinic through which it was discovered that 90
  per cent. of the sad little procession were in need of medical
  attention. Gradually all of these things have been taken over by the
  county, and now the probation officers, teachers, nurses and doctors
  have become public officials while the Juvenile Court with the
  detention home and quarters for medical and psychopathic clinics and
  for a school under the Chicago Board of Education is housed in the
  building erected for its special use out of the public taxes.

  All went well through various administrations, but recently a
  president of the Board of County Commissioners, realizing that this
  developed apparatus of the Juvenile Court would be most valuable in
  building up party patronage, began a series of attacks upon the
  administration of the Court which, it is evident, will eventually
  destroy its usefulness.

  The positions of probation officers, formerly occupied by those who
  had passed a careful civil service examination, were filled by
  sixty-day appointees, one of whom had been a sewer contractor,
  another a saloon-keeper. The chief probation officer, after a long
  and wearisome trial, was dismissed, having been found guilty of not
  doing those things which under the law he had no authority to do;
  the physician in charge resigned because a so-called trained nurse
  on a sixty-day appointment defied his authority, showing her
  ignorance of nursing by wrapping up the infected leg of a boy in a
  piece of old newspaper. The Funds to Parents Act, by which the judge
  is allowed to give ten dollars a month for the care of a child in
  his own home instead of in an institution, offered, of course, a
  splendid opportunity for building up a political following among the
  poorest people, and only through the action of the wise judge, in
  coöperation with various philanthropic societies, was this
  beneficent law saved from disaster.

  When an aroused public sentiment finally demanded an investigation
  of the Juvenile Court and the report of the Committee proved
  favorable to the Court, the president of the County Board refused to
  have it published and philanthropy, again appearing upon the scene,
  paid for its publication from private funds.

  It was not to be wondered at that a great many public-spirited women
  of Chicago, through their clubs and other organizations, gave of
  their time and best efforts last autumn to promote the election of a
  wiser man as president of the County Board. They would have been
  stupid indeed to sit quietly while their faithful work of years was
  being demolished. Of course they were obliged to enter partisan
  politics because there is no other way, owing to the American system
  of party nominations, to secure the election of any official, good
  or bad....

  The larger plans for meeting these general needs can only be carried
  out with the consent of all the people and the wisdom of such plans
  must be submitted to them during a political campaign.

  Certainly woman’s rôle of non-partisanship needs to be examined
  afresh when a multitude of men and women have come to challenge the
  sincerity and moral value of that combination of reverence and
  disregard which does not permit a woman to fulfill the traditional
  obligations to the community simply because to do this she must
  participate in political life.

  If women would bear their share in those great social problems which
  no nation has yet solved, but which every nation must reduce to
  political action if it would hold its place in advancing
  civilization, they are fairly forced to choose between standing for
  an impossible ideal, quite outside the political field, or upholding
  moral standards within political life itself.

  The entrance of women into the political combat in Chicago helped to
  defeat the régime which was undermining the Juvenile Court. A
  temporary setback was threatened by the decision of the state court
  that probation officers were not included in the officers under the
  civil service law, but until their position under that law could be
  strengthened the situation was met by an advisory committee,
  appointed by Judge Pinckney, in whose hands lay the appointment of
  probation officers, to examine and pass upon all applicants. Louise
  De Koven Bowen, president of the Juvenile Protective Association and
  of the Chicago Woman’s Club, and Leonora Meder, president of the
  Federation of Catholic Women’s Charities, were on this advisory

  In summing up the efforts of women for, and their attitude toward,
  the Juvenile Court, Julia Lathrop, chief of the Children’s Bureau,
  says: “Important as are the immediate services of a Juvenile Court
  to the children who are daily brought before it for protection and
  guidance, painstaking as are the Court’s methods of ascertaining the
  facts which account for a child’s trouble, his family history, his
  own physical and mental state, hopeful as are the results of
  probation, yet the great primary service of the Court is that it
  lifts up the truth and compels us to see that wastage of human life
  whose sign is the child in the Court. Heretofore the kindly but
  hurried people never saw as a whole what it cannot now avoid
  seeing—the sad procession of little children and older brothers and
  sisters who for various reasons cannot keep step with the great
  company of normal, orderly, protected children.”

                              WOMEN JUDGES

In view of all their interest in juvenile courts, their labors to
procure their establishment, and their protective care for the children
passing through the courts, it was only natural that women should take
the next step and mount the bench to deal, particularly, with cases
involving children and girls. Fourteen years ago, Judge Lindsey, in
Denver, called a woman to his assistance, in cases pending before him,
and the experiment was eminently successful.

  The St. Louis Juvenile Court has two women assistant judges to hear
  all cases of girls. The change took effect January 12, 1914, and was
  established by Judge Thomas C. Hennings, who appointed to these
  positions two women probation officers, Mrs. E. C. Runge and
  Catherine R. Dunn. No legislation was necessary to make the
  appointments. The girls are heard by these women privately and then
  their findings are submitted to him and entered as orders of the
  court. Only in cases of disagreement between the two women will the
  judge be called upon to hear the case.

  St. Louis was the third city to take this step. Chicago and Denver
  had already appointed women assistant judges, but the “move” in St.
  Louis came quite independently as the direct result of a baffling
  case which Judge Hennings had to meet. Four girls were brought
  before him, from whom he was unable to get truthful statements even
  after searching inquiry. He put two women probation officers at work
  on the problem, and they got the facts truthfully from the girls at
  once. When Mrs. Runge asked one of the girls, “Why didn’t you tell
  this to the judge?” she said, “Why, I couldn’t tell such things to
  any man.” When Judge Hennings heard this, he was moved at once to
  the decision not to hear any more girls’ cases himself.

  Mrs. Runge has been a probation officer in the Juvenile Court six
  years and Miss Dunn four. Both of them had previously had long
  experience in social work. It is hoped in St. Louis that these
  appointments will lead to the appointment of a woman assistant judge
  to give her whole time to it. At present these women are still
  probation officers.[48]

In 1913, a court for delinquent girls up to the age of twenty-one was
created for Chicago, and Miss Mary Bartelme was appointed judge. As
public guardian of Cook County, Miss Bartelme had had excellent
experience with young people and children in preparation for her work on
the bench. “Miss Bartelme,” said Judge Pinckney recently, “is admirably
fitted for her position. She is an acute and well-trained lawyer, with a
distinctly judicial temperament. Her mind is quick and comprehensive.
She has poise, cool judgment, and a fine, discriminating sense of

Judge Bartelme does not believe that the court can solve the question of
delinquency among children. She holds positive opinions on causes, and
would seek preventive measures, like all progressive men and women
today. The causes of delinquency, in girls, according to her ideas, are:
“Growing luxury of the age, man’s loss of chivalry toward girls who
work, immodest fashions in dress set by women of wealth, bad home
environment, inadequate wages, dance halls with bar attachments, saloons
with family entrances, immoral moving-picture shows, improper police
supervision of skating rinks, ice cream parlors, amusement parks, and
other places of amusement, activity of ‘white slave’ agents of
commercialized vice, laws which permit girls to go to work at an
immature age.”

As an auxiliary to the Municipal Court of Chicago, a psychopathic
laboratory is to be established very soon, on the theory that offenders
may have diseased brains and need mental treatment rather than
punishment. Miss Mary R. Campbell, of Milwaukee, who did research work
at Johns Hopkins and Harvard, will be associate director. The laboratory
will be used for all offenders who seem to need study.

In some of the domestic relations courts now in the larger cities, women
are serving as assistant judges.

                         PRISON INVESTIGATIONS

On the one hand, interested in all that pertains to court procedure and
the judicial function and the prevention of delinquency and crime, women
are, on the other hand, interested in the internal conditions of
correctional institutions of all kinds, and are suggesting remedies and
new experiments all the time.

Many states have their women’s prison associations. Indeed, since the
days of Elizabeth Frye, nearly a century ago in England, women have been
closely associated with prison work. The American name that stands out
in fitting companionship with the name of Elizabeth Frye is that of
Isabel Barrows whose death two years ago laid to rest one of the
foremost prison reformers of the world.

In Chicago, boys in the county jail have been studied by the Juvenile
Protective Association, and a report based on the study is issued by
Mrs. Louise Bowen, who suggests a court for the juvenile adult—the boy
between seventeen and twenty-one years of age, who is too old for the
Juvenile Court—as an effort toward the rehabilitation of boys in the
later stages of adolescence.

In New York, the Women’s Prison Association was organized in 1844 as the
Female Department of the Men’s Prison Association. Members soon
discovered that it existed to raise funds for others to spend. In 1853
they formed a separate society, the Women’s Prison Association, and
founded the Isaac T. Hopper Home. They have brought about many reforms,
such as laws concerning police matrons, patrol wagons, probation
systems, appropriations for Bedford Reformatory, and the State Farm for
women misdemeanants.

The nature of their legislative efforts is indicated by this extract
from their report of 1914:

  It was decided last fall, at a special meeting of the Women’s Prison
  Association, to try to get five bills through the Legislature. They
  failed in toto, but one clause which was incorporated in the
  Goldberg Bill abolishing fines for women misdemeanants was a
  suggestion made by this Association.

  The bills were:

  An Act to provide for the appointment of police matrons for duty in
  places of amusement.

  An Act to change the present method of temporary care of prisoners,
  insane, injured, or dangerously ill.

  An Act to provide a Board of Managers and a Woman Superintendent for
  the State Farm for Women.

  An Act to provide a separate Court for women.

  An Act to provide a resident physician for Blackwell’s Island.

The Women’s Prison Association, the Salvation Army, and charity
societies often coöperate, and are discussing at present a national
association for the promotion of prisoners’ aid.

Such associations are always deeply interested in the advanced
experimental methods aimed to improve, through scientific study and
observation, the systems of dealing with delinquents in private and
public institutions. They are equally interested in extending present
facilities for the care of these wards of the state.

For example, boys’ home and training schools have been inaugurated in
many places by women. The Women’s Municipal League of New York, in
connection with the Cornell Medical College, established a research and
experimental station to develop the best methods of reaching and helping
deficient and delinquent boys—Hillside Farm School. The technique of a
hospital including clinical study has been introduced into penal
institutions, notably women’s, in the last few years. At the
Massachusetts Reformatory for Women at South Framingham this work is
being well developed under the superintendency of Mrs. Hodder. Dr.
Katharine Davis established a laboratory at Bedford Reformatory, when
she was head of it, for the social and psychological study of the

The visitation of jails has been part of the duty assumed by state
federations of clubs as well as other women’s organizations, such as the
Women’s Municipal League of New York. The reform and proper management
of state charitable and penal institutions is taken up by the club women
in state after state. Kentucky clubs are active just at present in
seeking to secure women on the governing boards of public institutions
and proper training for juvenile offenders.

                             OFFICE HOLDING

Many states do have women on their institutional boards, and women are
superintendents, in some cases, of penal institutions for women, and
generally of reform institutions for women. The application of civil
service reform to these institutions is urged enthusiastically and
earnestly by women members of the civil service reform leagues as well
as indorsed by clubs and other women’s organizations.

A public tribute to woman’s ability in correctional work was made in New
York in 1914 by the appointment of Dr. Katharine B. Davis to the post of
city commissioner of corrections. Dr. Davis is a national figure, owing
to her work at the Bedford Reformatory. In answer to critics of her
appointment, it is agreed that her present work “is not a man’s job nor
a woman’s job; it is a job for one who knows how.” Dr. Davis, it was
decided, knew how. Soon after she entered upon her public duties, Dr.
Davis said: “Everybody knows New York’s prison institutions to be little
better than medieval. I hope to bring them up to something nearer to the
modern standard.... The thing for which I hope most earnestly is light
upon the mental and physical causes leading to the production of the
individual human type which commits crime. Such knowledge would lead us
to prevention.”

Dr. Davis, by virtue of her office, is _ex-officio_ member of the New
York City Board of Inebriety, created and established to maintain a
hospital and industrial colony for inebriates—the first municipal
institution for these unfortunates.

It is not merely in public and official capacity that women are helping
in the improvement of the conditions of correction. They are to be found
among the leading students and original investigators who concern
themselves with prison methods.


One of the most courageous and useful pieces of prison investigation was
that undertaken in 1914 in Auburn prison, New York, by Elizabeth Watson
and Madeleine Doty, a member of the State Commission for Prison Reform,
who voluntarily incarcerated themselves in the prison under disguise to
study at first hand the conditions under which women were confined
there. Both of these women were experienced investigators, the former
having worked with child labor committees for years and the latter, a
lawyer, having worked with the juvenile court. They found bad physical
conditions which they were unable to endure themselves for more than a
few days: bad food, commingling of sick and well, and other physical
evils. They also condemned the lack of classification of youthful and
hardened offenders, the inadequacy of the educational system and the
failure to teach such occupations as would enable the prisoners to be
self-supporting on their release. They deplored the fact that the
prisoners were not allowed to form a single tie—social or economic—that
could help them in attempts to live a normal life later. As a direct
result of the report of Miss Watson and Miss Doty, John B. Riley, State
Superintendent of Prisons, ordered a number of changes to be made in
institutional procedure at that prison: the extension of the
letter-writing privilege; more conversation among prisoners; less
confinement; more water; more reading matter. These reforms were to
apply only to that institution. The superintendent will ask the
legislature, however, for a new prison for women.

Another important investigation—that of the convict labor system—was
supported by the Consumers’ League and carried out by Julian Leavitt,
who showed the effect of this system on the outside labor market as well
as on the prison workers themselves. Men were found to be working at
women’s trades and thus undercutting women workers in the regular field
at the same time that they were learning nothing which would serve them
on their release.

That other women in addition to those in the Consumers’ League have been
aroused to this grave evil is shown in the agitation against it by Kate
Barnard, Commissioner of Charities and Corrections of Oklahoma. Martha
Falconer is working to destroy this system in Maryland’s institutions
for delinquent children.

                               LEGAL AID

The difficulties that the alien meets in American courts have been
investigated by Frances A. Kellor, managing director of the North
American Civic League for Immigrants, and described in a late number of
the _Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science_. It
is shown that his fate in smaller communities depends on the character
of the justice of the peace, and that character is not of the highest
order often, owing to the low requirements for the office and the fee
system that prevails. In the higher courts it is frequently difficult
for the immigrant to receive justice because of his ignorance and
inadequate legal defense.

It was to remedy such conditions as those cited by Miss Kellor, for one
thing, that legal aid societies have been formed here and there. The
Legal Aid Society of Chicago is a consolidation of the Bureau of Justice
and the Protective Agency for Women and Children. It is an auxiliary of
the Chicago Woman’s Club. Its objects are: “To assist in securing legal
protection against injustice for those who are unable to protect
themselves; to take cognizance of the workings of existing laws and
methods of procedure and to suggest improvements; and to propose new and
better laws and to make efforts toward securing their enactment.” Women
appear among the officers, directors and counselors as well as among the
financial backers of this society. In 1913, legal aid was given to more
than 15,000 poor people in addition to 2,400 old clients. The
superintendent, Mrs. Wm. Boyes, has to interview about 125 people a day.
She says: “The Society last year investigated 2,700 complaints growing
out of domestic relations. This class of case requires more work than
formerly, as the courts require fuller and fuller investigations. We
have a representative from our Society in the Court of Domestic
Relations all the time. She has handled during the year 473 cases in
that court. The other cases have been advised in the office, and
although they are the most heart-breaking kind, involving the
drunkenness or failure to provide on the part of a husband, or the
insanity of a mother, or custody of a child, we are fortunate in having
on our staff three or four women who are most successful in the
adjustment of these tragedies.”

A plan of the Women’s Committee to give greater publicity to the work of
the Legal Aid Society has been carried on with success in women’s clubs
of Chicago. The superintendent, Mrs. Boyes, does much of the speaking
that this work involves. A young woman lawyer has been placed in the
Boys’ Court to advise those who need defense and are unable to pay
attorney’s fees.

The workers for the Society include many women, as the work is of a
social character with which they are familiar and in which their
interest lies. These workers are akin to probation officers, as the
courts are continually calling upon them to investigate cases. In two
cases these workers are assigned to courts and give their full time
there. Cases are also referred to this Society from other
agencies—police, newspapers, charities, settlements.

The Legal Aid Society has promoted loan shark legislation, among other
reforms. It helps the Wage Loan Society and kindred agencies. Its great
effort now is directed to enlisting the interest of the regular legal
profession in an attempt to make that profession accept social service
in connection with its work, just as hospitals and the medical
profession accept social service in health work. Lawyers should make the
Legal Aid their own work, it is claimed.

A National Alliance of Legal Aid Societies was started in 1912, and this
will doubtless have considerable influence on labor and protective

Of wider scope than the legal aid societies are many other associations
concerned in work that is more or less correctional in character. Of
these only a few can be mentioned here.


The Juvenile Protective Association, of Chicago, to which reference has
been made, is a very forceful group of women and men working together
for the prevention of juvenile delinquency through legislative and
social means. The objects revealed in its charter are:

1. To organize auxiliary leagues within the boundaries of Cook County.

2. To suppress and prevent conditions and to prosecute persons
contributing to the dependency and delinquency of children.

3. To coöperate with the Juvenile Court, compulsory education
department, state factory inspector, and all other child-helping

4. To promote study of child problems and to work to create public
sentiment for the establishment of wholesome, uplifting agencies such as
parks, playgrounds, gymnasiums, free baths, vacation schools, communal
school settlements, etc.

This Association’s vigorous legislative demands and its education of
public opinion are shown by the following proposals: A more adequate
bastardy law making it a crime and extraditable, applying to the
deserted wife as well as to the unmarried woman; a law to make even the
first offense in pandering punishable by a term in the penitentiary and
seduction a felony; an amendment of the marriage law providing for a
period of ten days or two weeks between the issuing of the marriage
license and the ceremony in order to give guardians time to act, the
girl to appear to testify in person to her own age; an amendment to the
adult delinquency law so that a wife can testify against her own husband
in case he is charged with violation of such a law. “As the law stands
at present the man can force his child to do all kinds of disreputable
things—even immoral things—and yet the testimony of the mother, anxious
to save her child, is not admitted. This law should further be amended
so that it will clearly cover all persons even if they are not parents,
if they in any way contribute to the delinquency of the child.
Unfortunately the law is not very clear on that point, and some of the
judges refuse to hold others than parents.”

The Association has made careful studies of theaters, department stores,
and wage conditions in their relations to vice, crime, illegitimacy, and
has definite proposals for remedying evil elements therein. Among these
proposals are those for the regulation of messenger and delivery service
for boys; better regulation of employment agencies, of loan sharks, of
poolrooms; dance halls; separate travelers’ aid for immigrants; liquor
regulation; and inebriate hospitals and farms.

The Woman’s Department of the National Civic Federation took up prison
reform for survey and constructive work during the year 1914 as a
uniform activity for all sections. In New York, conferences on this
subject were held last March by the Metropolitan section at which a
comprehensive legislative program of prison reform and an educational
campaign to promote it were promulgated. The delegates and visitors were
handed circulars of the Prison Association of New York stating why Sing
Sing prison must be abolished and a farm industrial prison established
in its place. A woman’s farm in place of Auburn prison was also


Other women’s associations are giving attention to the problem of
delinquency and its prevention, as these notes from _The American Club
Woman_ indicate: “The City Federation of Clubs of Dallas, Texas, so
changed the street conditions for boys that instead of two-fifths of all
juvenile arrests less than two per cent. now come from the cotton mill
district. Playgrounds largely accomplished this result. A Public Schools
Athletic League now controlled by the Board of Education has helped

“The Atlanta Woman’s Club has been urging the daily papers to refrain
from publishing details of revolting crimes.

“By educating mothers through social centers, the Civic Club of
Philadelphia believes that many juvenile crimes will be averted, because
the mothers will take proper precautions to safeguard their children.
Mrs. J. L. Pickering, chief probation officer of the city, concurs in
this view.

“Mrs. M. Gordon McCouch, a well-known clubwoman, says that properly
supervised playgrounds reduce crime in the neighborhood about one-half,
and that the taxpayers should be interested in them, if only from an
economical standpoint.

“A militant campaign against the illegal sale of liquor has been started
by the clubwomen of San José, Cal. When the police department refused
its coöperation, a committee of women gathered their own evidence.
Already they have done much to improve conditions.

“Prosecutions against violators of the State anti-cigarette law will be
initiated by the Women’s Clubs of Madison, Wis. Cigarette dealers have
been warned of the impending campaign for the enforcement of the law,
also that women detectives have already collected evidence of

“Juvenile courts, uniform child labor laws, anti-tuberculosis
appropriation, women on school boards, restriction of liquor traffic,
also of cigarettes—these are some of the measures which the West
Virginia clubwomen expect from their legislature this year.”


“Reforming the convict by means of education as practiced at the
Moundsville penitentiary meets with the unqualified approval and support
of the West Virginia Federation of Women’s Clubs. At the annual meeting
in Huntington, recently, a resolution was adopted recommending to the
next session of the legislature that steps be taken to enlarge the rooms
and increase the educational facilities at the prison school so that all
prisoners who wish may avail themselves of the instruction provided. The
present facilities at the school limit the enrollment to 125 men.
Another important resolution passed was that petitioning the legislature
to establish a reformatory for women who are beyond the age limit for
admission to the industrial schools and who are now committed to the
county jails for misdemeanors.

“A reformatory for women is greatly needed in Maine, according to Miss
Mabel Davies of the Prison Reform Association. The Woman’s Council of
Portland indorses the plan and asks all women’s organizations in the
state to join in an effort to secure the legislation necessary to
maintain such an institution.

“A woman member on the new state board of control for penal and
charitable institutions is strongly urged by the New Hampshire
Federation of Women’s Clubs.

“Minnesota women’s clubs are working for a woman’s reformatory and one
of their leaders who has had long experience in prison work insists that
reform can only be a success ‘when society makes good its teaching to
unfortunates that it pays to be good.’”

                         THE GUARDING OF A CITY

With the advent of the policewoman, the prevention of harm to women and
children comes as a new note in the protection of a city, and brings
this municipal service into harmony with other services where prevention
is the dominating purpose. Gradually policemen are being converted into
social workers with the idea of controlling those forces that lead to
delinquency in all its forms. Policemen too are sometimes sanitary or
housing or poverty inspectors as well as custodians of the criminal and

As yet the police department is distinctly removed from feminine
control. Policewomen as a rule do not supplant male police, but are an
additional force established for a specific purpose. In Cleveland,
Mildred Chadsey is head of the sanitary police. In Hunnewell, Kansas,
Mrs. Marshal was appointed by Mrs. Wilson, the mayor, as local police
officer. New York has a woman as deputy sergeant, and Dr. Katharine
Davis, the commissioner of corrections, thinks a woman might make an
excellent police commissioner there; but this radical step has not been

By their activities, however, women sometimes affect the number and
distribution of the police force: when they agitate for better
patrolling of parks and playgrounds or other poorly protected districts
and when they influence the number of saloon licenses issued.

Women and policemen are each a problem to the other of the deepest
concern. The uncorroborated testimony of a plain-clothes policeman
against the girl or woman whom he arrests on the street is often
accepted in the court whereas corroborative testimony is required in the
case of a man arrested for sexual irregularity. Voteless women strikers
have been grossly mistreated by the police in industrial centers and the
graft exposures have revealed the all too frequent alliance of the
police with the vice interests to the injury of the city’s womanhood.

Women’s entering wedge into the police department, the policewoman, we
venture to predict, will not be withdrawn, but rather will attacks be
made until, through a constructive program, all human life is better
safeguarded in the communities of this country, and the idea of social
service permeates the police departments, as it does other municipal

                               CHAPTER IX
                             PUBLIC SAFETY

Safety from fire is as necessary as safety from any other danger. When
fire protection is considered, no one would for a moment minimize the
noble daring and self-sacrifice of American firemen. They too have
suffered a needless loss of life and limb as a result of fire hazards
which have been allowed to continue unchecked, but at last fire
prevention is a dominant note in all progressive communities today and
among all progressive civic workers. In the education of the public in
this matter, and even in the practical constructive work in fire
prevention, women have already extended their hands to help and bent
their minds upon the problem.

_The American Club Woman_ has been insistent upon the need of placing
emphasis upon causes of fires and the necessity of their avoidance. In
late numbers, it said:

  An effort should be made to educate men and women and little
  children as to the ordinary methods of fire prevention. In New York
  City a course of education through the medium of the public schools
  has noticeably decreased the fire losses.

  Young women who expect to go into factory and store employment
  should be taught to study the construction of buildings used for
  such purposes and they should refuse to risk their lives in fire
  traps or places where proper precautions are not observed.

  Scores of young girls lost their lives in a factory fire at
  Binghamton, N. Y., recently. It was the old story of a building
  which was inevitably a fire trap. They claim they had fire drills in
  this place, but the girls were burned to death just the same.

  Employers are often willing to expose their employees to fire risks
  to save a few dollars in rent. Ignorant girls do not know the danger
  and would be afraid to protest if they did for fear of losing

  This is one of the reforms which can be brought about by women’s
  clubs. They can insist that factories are placed in fireproof
  buildings. They, and they alone, can create the public sentiment
  which will prevent the awful sacrifice of life which now goes on
  because nobody takes the trouble to secure real fire prevention.

“Will You Be a Fire Warden and Saver of Life” is the heading of a fire
prevention placard which the Texas Federation of Club Women is sending
throughout the State. The card indicates measures for fire prevention in
the home which every housewife can readily observe.

Texas club women are lowering insurance rates by their active fire
prevention work and what is far more important—saving many lives.

  The women’s clubs are being asked in New York to start a campaign of
  education to keep things clean, after the accumulations of rubbish
  have been carted away. The Women’s National Fire Prevention
  Association is distributing leaflets, printed in several languages,
  urging housewives to dispose of waste paper and other inflammable
  refuse daily. Strict cleanliness is one of the best of fire

In Baltimore, the fire chief testified publicly to the fact that the
clean-up crusade carried on by the women had been his greatest aid in
fire prevention work. It is an obvious fact that proper disposal of
rubbish eliminates fuel for the flames.

One of the most vigorous anti-fire campaigns ever carried on by women
was that waged by the working women of Newark, New Jersey, just after a
terrible factory holocaust in that city of numberless factories. The
women’s trade unions of Newark actually brought about changed conditions
in the factories through their splendid organization and fighting
spirit. In New York, soon after the Newark experience, about 150 girls
were burned in the Triangle Factory fire and women again led the
agitation against the evils that exist in shops and factories all over
New York. The Women’s Trade Union League, many of whose members were
burned at this time, started the campaign. A Fire Complaint Committee
was formed and through it circulars were distributed broadcast among the
workers requesting them to observe conditions where they worked and
report certain definite evils to it. Every mail for weeks brought a vast
pile of complaints, intelligent and eager, which were turned over by the
Committee to those in authority, an effort being made to follow-up

A Citizens’ Committee was formed at the instigation of the women of the
Trade Union League which maintained enthusiasm through a typical nine
days of horror, and then largely subsided, although some influence is
undoubtedly seen in the present work of the Fire Prevention Bureau
recently organized in New York. More definite results as far as
factories are concerned seem to have been obtained by the Cloak and Suit
Makers’ Unions through their Board of Sanitary Control. Many of the
women who were so aroused by the Triangle fire feel that better results
would now be seen if they had waged all the public agitation through the
workers themselves whose own interest it is to maintain fire safeguards
in their places of toil.

Among the evils which lead to fire carnage, it was discovered at that
time, were locked doors, doors that swing in, clippings of inflammable
material and threads allowed to accumulate beside the workers, aisles
too narrow for passage, barred windows, rickety fire escapes, or no fire
escapes at all, narrow wooden stairs, ignorance of exits or an
insufficient number, lack of fire extinguishers, proximity of shirtwaist
factories and the like to chemical works or such factories as excelsior
hair works, absence of fire drills and employers’ indifference to
requirements for safety for the workers.

The present Fire Commissioner, Mr. Robert Adamson, is thoroughly intent
upon remedying this evil condition of affairs. The following statement
of his position indicates the spirit with which he entered upon the
duties attached to his office:

  Robert Adamson, New York’s Fire Commissioner, has appointed three
  women on the force. Last week he wrote to John E. O’Brien, counsel
  for the women on the civil service list, eligible for appointment:

  “It is my intention to appoint women as inspectors in the Bureau of
  Fire Prevention, so far as the character of the work of that bureau
  will permit. I understand that Commissioner Johnson felt that the
  work of the bureau in its entirety could be performed by men, and
  that he, therefore, declined to make any appointments from the
  women’s eligible list; whereupon the women on this list applied to
  the court for an order directing the consolidation of the women’s
  eligible list with the men’s eligible list, which application was
  denied by both the Supreme Court and Appellate Division.

  “You now inform me that it is the intention of the women on this
  list to meet in a short time and determine whether they will appeal
  the matter to a higher court. I have always felt that the Bureau of
  Fire Prevention is peculiarly one in which women could, with great
  advantage to the welfare of the city, be employed.

  “Certain classes of the work in this bureau could, in my opinion, be
  performed by women even better than by men. For example, the
  services of women should be particularly available in the inspection
  of factories where women are employed; in moving-picture places;
  perhaps in dance halls, and in other places where this department
  has jurisdiction in prescribing regulations to insure safety in case
  of fire. Generally speaking, I have found that in any work involving
  the welfare and safety of the public, women are most zealous and
  energetic, and I have also found in my experience in the city’s
  service that in positions which women are called upon to fill they
  display a very high grade of ability for the salaries paid.

  “I think the prejudice against the employment of women in these and
  other positions, which they can fill as well as men can fill them,
  is dying out. As soon as my other duties will permit me, I intend to
  make a careful investigation of the work of the Fire Prevention
  Bureau and of the existing vacancies there.

  “If I find that the result of that investigation verifies my present
  view of the matter, I shall appoint women to those vacancies. I
  believe that the appointment of women in this bureau to do such work
  as I have indicated will greatly improve the efficiency and
  usefulness of this most important branch of the fire department, the
  work of which I find has only fairly been inaugurated.”

Mr. Adamson thereupon appointed three women. All are well-known
settlement and social workers.

The Manufacturers’ Association of New York has at last felt the need of
action for the protection of employees to the extent at least of
engaging a fire expert to go through the establishments under its
control and do something toward fire prevention. Mrs. Christopher has
been engaged by this association and she has established excellent fire
drills in many factories and in loft buildings, especially, and in other
ways is insisting upon improvements and better protection for the

Since sanitary and hygiene inspection are so closely allied to fire
protection, a single inspector when trained can care for all three needs
if necessary. Women who make the former inspections well can readily add
the third.

In smaller towns, where lack of fire-fighting apparatus is the chief
trouble, we often find women working to make good the deficiency. A
little club of women in Vallejo, California, for instance, owned and
managed a fire engine until the town authorities grew ashamed and
decided that the city should have a fire department.[49]

Women have helped in the work of the American Museum of Safety of New
York, the motto of which is “Now Let Us Conserve Human Life.” Mrs. W. H.
Tolman, wife of the Director of the Museum, inaugurated the safety
campaign among the school children in New York City. This campaign was
conducted under the Museum’s auspices in coöperation with the Board of
Education. Mrs. Tolman trained the lecturers in this work, and herself
personally lectured to many thousands of school children on the
importance of thoughtfulness and caution in protecting their own lives
and those of their playmates upon the congested streets of our city. In
connection with this school campaign, Safety Stories and Safety Buttons
were distributed by the Museum, with a view to strengthening the
instruction given in the safety talks of the lecturers.

After instruction by lecture was introduced in the schools of New
Jersey, accidents were reduced 44 per cent. within a period of six
months as compared with a previous period before such instruction was

The traffic problem is one of the most troublesome of all in a great
city. Fortunately, upon it, too, women are bringing a salutary influence
to bear. Frances Perkins of the Safety Committee of New York is
generally admitted to be a moving spirit in the safety agitation that is
beginning to produce certain visible results in that city.

Industrial safety is one of the most important aspects of safety in
general, but, aside from the fire and sanitary protection of workers,
and even there, it is largely a state matter rather than a municipal
one, and has to do with laws relative to mechanical devices, age limits,
and other requirements. Industrial safety is, therefore, a larger topic
than can be justifiably introduced here. It is an element not ignored,
however, by women who think of public safety, for luckily in practical
life and in social work there are no page limitations.

                               CHAPTER X
                           CIVIC IMPROVEMENT

The humanitarian and wise planning of beautiful cities and towns is the
climax of municipal endeavor, because it represents the coördination of
all civic movements looking toward the health, comfort, recreation,
education and happiness of urban people.

City planning like all other interests has grown in purpose and scope.
From desire for ornamental lampposts has grown a desire for effective
light, and not too expensive either. Well-lighted streets become
recognized as foes to crime, and out of interest in the lamppost comes
an interest in the causes of crime; proper housing, wholesome amusement,
and employment may thus be intimately connected with an artistic street

City planners have not all begun with a lamppost. Some of them began
with billboards and thought of billboards exclusively for a long time;
then they moved on to municipal art, education, censorship of movies,
recreation, housing and labor. Some began with parks and advanced to
health and transportation.

There is no one thing in city planning that stands out conspicuously
today as the crowning achievement of its purpose. City planning is thus
not a finished ideal, but one capable of, and exhibiting, indefinite
expansion. In fact, city planning is in its infancy in this country, but
its promoters are enthusiasts with a developing sense of values and they
are meeting an increasing response among the people for whose interest
they are working.

Every movement for civic art has been an attempt to make the contrast
“less disgraceful between the fields where the beasts live and the
streets where men live,” in the words of William Morris.

The movement for municipal beauty has been the strongest phase of city
planning up to the present time and the element that has appealed to
women’s civic leagues in their early days very strongly. It is a most
legitimate object of civic endeavor and it is comparatively easy of
accomplishment where it touches no vital economic interests. “The City
Beautiful” only a short time ago was a city with a few wide boulevards,
a civic center, handsome parkways with “Keep Off the Grass” signs in
abundance, statues in public squares, public fountains, and public
buildings with mural decorations. Alleys and indecent river-front
tenements, filthy and narrow side streets, were ignored in the more
ostentatious display of mere ornamentation and no provision was made for
playgrounds and well-located schools and social centers.

                             CITY PLANNING

The new spirit is rapidly permeating conferences on city planning,
however, with an insistence on the elimination of plague spots and
unsightly congestion as well as on the creation of boulevards and civic
centers. This new spirit is being instilled by women as well as by men.
Jane Addams’ “The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets” has helped
arouse the feeling that the children are the first to be considered in
city plans. Women who have worked for shade trees so extensively have
not been unmindful of the fact that mothers have to push baby carriages
up and down through the hot sun, oftentimes to the detriment of both
mother and child, and they have taught us that mothers should be
considered in city plans. In regulating movies women have learned that
men are ready to go with their families to a five-cent show in
preference to the saloon alone, that the movie has made real inroads
upon the saloon, and so they have taught that men should be included in
city plans. Thus city planning is becoming of decided human interest and
is no longer merely a cultural or artistic recreation.

City planning moreover has an economic value even when it is confined to
beauty. Mr. J. Horace McFarland elucidated this point at the annual
meeting of the American Federation of Arts in Washington. He said: “The
ripened civic art of Europe is nowhere better shown than in its
water-fronts and the water approaches. Consider, for instance,
Stockholm, with the Royal Museum, the Houses of Parliament, the Royal
Palace, and the greatest hotels and theaters, all grouped along that arm
of Lake Mälar which gives access to the Baltic. Europeans develop their
water-fronts in this way because they have learned the money and social
values of such things. We spoil all such advantages and ‘when we look at
the approaches to such cities as Hoboken, Newark, New York,
Philadelphia, Camden, and realize that the residents of these prosperous
communities take the money made in making ugly their water-fronts with
which to travel abroad to see beautiful water-fronts, we are confronted
with a most incongruous and uncommercial point of view.’ One hundred and
seventy millions of dollars of American money is spent in Paris every
year, mainly because Paris is beautiful. Ex-Mayor McClellan has well
said that healthy, wealthy and wise cities excite pride, ‘but it is the
city beautiful which retains the love of her people.’... Our best
efforts have on the whole been put into our cemeteries. We are shy on
parks, but strong on cemeteries, in careless, illogical America.”

That women in some cases have concentrated their local activities on
cemeteries is undeniable. Story after story comes in with pride of the
care of a town burial ground, its beautification, its glorification. In
one instance, a woman’s organization bought a plot for the town
cemetery, improved it with their bazaar money and then presented it to
the town. This too has been a legitimate interest on the part of women
as it has just been a case again of caring for loved ones. It is an easy
transition, fortunately, from caring for loved ones who have gone on
ahead to caring for those who remain, and that the step is taken is
illustrated by the testimony of club after club, league after league,
that when they had beautified the cemetery, they began to beautify the
school grounds, and then the library, and strange to say, last of all
the homes of the people.

From small and circumscribed beginnings women have advanced to larger
ideals—just as men have. In the city planning movement, of which we hear
so much today and which is so ably forwarded by the National Conference
on City Planning, women are to be found working side by side with the
men. They are giving serious attention to specific elements of the city
plan, like parks, playgrounds, housing, billboards, street cleaning,
waste disposal, social centers, and so on; and they are helping to
coördinate all of these elements in a more comprehensive way by serving
on commissions and committees, by making surveys, by preparing lectures,
articles, and books, and by aiding in the organization of public
exhibitions, designed to show in graphic form the needs of cities and
possible definite methods of improvement.

Women have hailed with pleasure the new slogan “Know Your City,” which
means that when it is properly known constructive work for improvement
will inevitably set in. A good way to know one’s city is to have a
survey made of it. As we have seen in the chapter on housing reform,
women have often organized and made local surveys. In many cities, like
Pittsburgh, Scranton, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, and Cleveland, women
helped in working out special features of the surveys.

                         PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN

In the national magazines and associations which deal with civic
improvement the work of women in this field is frankly recognized. _The
American City_, a live magazine of municipal advance, published in New
York, has on its advisory board Mrs. Philip N. Moore, of St. Louis,
president of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, who has stimulated
civic work in many cities, and Mrs. Thomas M. Scruggs, who is the moving
spirit in welfare work for children in that city.

That men greatly outnumber women on this board is not surprising, but
numbers do not necessarily determine the relative amount of service, for
Mrs. Moore and Mrs. Scruggs have a country-wide influence and practical
experiences which make them valuable members of the Board. Furthermore
many of the men on the Board like Benjamin Marsh, Irving Fisher, John
Nolen, and J. Horace McFarland have testified to the splendid
coöperation and stimulating work of women in the cities everywhere.

_The American City_ recently devoted one issue, and it was a large one,
to the civic work of women representing phases of modern city planning.
Testimonials and detailed descriptions of the work of women poured in
from all over the country.

Richard Watrous, of the American Civic Association, which is primarily
concerned with the improvement of towns and cities, is not unmindful of
the municipal services of women. He says:

  To the enthusiasm, the untiring efforts and the practical
  suggestions of women, as individuals and in clubs, must be credited
  much of the splendid headway attained by the general improvement
  propaganda. They have been leaders in organized effort and have
  enlisted the sympathy and actual coöperation of men and associations
  of men in their laudable undertakings. Hundreds of cities that have
  distinguished themselves for notable achievements can point to some
  society or several societies of women that have been the first
  inspiration to do things. Hundreds of these women’s clubs are
  affiliated members of the American Civic Association, so that its
  influence is made powerful by having back of it the moral support of
  hundreds of thousands of men and women. Commercial organizations are
  beginning now, as never before, to recognize that it is just as much
  within their province to assist and to originate improvement work as
  it is to promote the industrial growth and power of the communities
  they represent. Thus it is that the most active of these
  organizations in all parts of the United States are identifying
  themselves with the American Civic Association and appointing
  committees on such special improvements as parks, streets,
  illumination, nuisances—the billboard and smoke—and lending material
  assistance to those committees in carrying out various plans for the
  physical development and upbuilding of their cities. These business
  organizations are realizing that in their effort to induce the
  investment of capital and labor with them, they must be in a
  position to offer superior advantages, such as are afforded by ample
  park areas, broad clean streets, intelligently planted and carefully
  kept trees, pure water and sanitary housing conditions.

  With all such admirable enterprises the American Civic Association
  is most intimately connected. It strives to arouse communities,
  large and small, to the necessity of such work and assists them in
  it, whether it be merely an awakening to the desirability of
  maintaining clean back yards, or undertaking a comprehensive
  development along plans laid down by landscape architects, involving
  large bond issues and the rebuilding of cities according to the
  latest and most approved methods of city planning.[50]

The president of the same Association, Mr. J. Horace McFarland, when
introduced, on one occasion, as “the man who made over Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania,” said that it was not he, nor any man or set of men, who
should have the credit for that. “It was the women of Harrisburg who
dinned and dinned into our ears until at last we men got ashamed of our
laziness and selfishness as citizens; and then the women and the men of
Harrisburg made Harrisburg over into the beautiful and favored city that
it is.” The vice-president-at-large, the Hon. Franklin MacVeagh, then
said it was the women of Chicago who had started every one of the
fifty-seven civic improvement centers in that city, and that after they
were started, the men joined in and helped. This he believed to be the
history of civic improvement everywhere.

The civic leagues that have sprung up everywhere in towns and even in
villages in the past decade are often composed entirely of women,
sometimes of both sexes, but rarely exclusively of men. The leagues are
in a great many cases, perhaps the majority of cases, affiliated with
the American Civic Association. To its conferences they send
representatives who bring back fresh ideas and increased fervor as a
result of the mingling of varied views and the leadership of experienced
workers. To those conferences they often carry, on the other hand,
stimulating stories of the rewards of persistence and a steadfast

The National Municipal League, under whose auspices this volume is
published, like _The American City_ and the American Civic Association,
recognizes the work of women in municipal improvement. Women’s
associations are affiliated with it; women attend its annual conferences
and read papers and take part in the discussions; its official organ,
the _National Municipal Review_, contains many articles by women on
civic improvement and on women’s work in cities; and Miss Hasse, of the
New York Public Library, is one of its able associate editors.

Some light is shed on the attitude of women voters toward civic
improvement by an account of their action in a recent election in
Chicago, as related by Llewellyn Jones in the Chicago _Evening Post_ of
April 30, 1914.

  While many of Chicago’s first women voters left the booths with the
  idea that they had done all that was necessary until the next
  election came around, the more far-seeing among them are
  popularizing the idea that women’s participation must be a perpetual
  and not a merely periodical performance.

  The particular plot of the local political field which many of these
  women mean to cultivate is the administration of the city’s parks.
  The parks of Chicago are preëminently the concern of the homemakers
  of the city, as they take up, widen and socialize the best
  activities of the home—the activities of the child and social

  Dancing, music and such festivals as those recently celebrated in
  the parks in honor of Arbor Day; the meeting of the young and old
  for pleasure and the exchange of ideas—these things the park
  managements have fostered, broadened and put on a democratic basis
  which sweeps away racial and other barriers that do more than walls
  and doors to isolate the families that dwell in the crowded parts of
  the city.

  Women who would otherwise lack opportunity to hear and discuss civic
  matters find an opportunity to do so in non-partisan organizations
  that avail themselves of fieldhouse facilities for getting together;
  people who would otherwise not hear good music hear it in the
  open-air of the parks in summer or in the assembly halls in winter;
  while those same halls afford opportunity for lectures to the
  dwellers in their neighborhoods or for debates, dances or other
  activities by those residents.

  All that is in addition to the provision made for the enjoyment and
  physical welfare of the children through swimming, supervised games
  and physical culture.

  The women who have been interested in these activities find,
  however, that political action will be necessary before the parks
  can be used to the greatest advantage. As things are now, there are
  thirteen different park governments in Chicago, and the bill passed
  at the last session of the legislature to consolidate them was
  vetoed. Attorney General Lucey advised the governor that it was
  unconstitutional because the park districts were really separate
  municipalities and could not be eliminated without consent given
  through the ballot of their inhabitants.

  That the park governments should be unified is admitted on all
  hands. Now there are districts in Chicago which are not in any park
  district and so escape taxation while enjoying the privileges of the
  parks, while the crowded districts, not being able to pay for park
  facilities, do not get any to speak of, although there is a crying
  need for them.

  For instance, the South Park area is three times that of either the
  North or West Sides, but there are three times as many children on
  the North and West Sides as there are on the South Side. Meanwhile
  the South Park commission has a surplus in the bank which has
  frequently been over a million dollars, while the other park
  commissions often find it impossible to carry on the projects which
  would mean so much to their constituents.

  With consolidation, too, would come a reform which it is not now
  possible to obtain—the standardization of the services which the
  parks render the public. At the present time, for instance, the
  South Park system employs only three social-play leaders—who perform
  a very valuable social function in bringing the various users of the
  parks together in games and conferences—although it has eleven
  recreation centers, while on the West Side the social-play leader is
  considered as necessary an adjunct to the park staff as are the
  gymnasium directors.

  Women have a further interest in the parks, however, than in their
  consolidation, for they see in their administration the need as well
  as the opportunity for woman’s service.

  At present the park commissioners are men, although the constituency
  they serve is largely one of women and children. Were the women
  represented on every park board—which is an impossibility until
  there is at least some measure of consolidation—the needs of the
  women and children using the parks would be more closely studied,
  the value of the parks in ways now overlooked would be emphasized,
  and the playgrounds would return to the public a larger dividend
  than heretofore on the public’s expenditure.

  As it is hardly practicable to get the voters’ consent in every park
  district before merging them—as Attorney General Lucey says must be
  done—the advocates of consolidation are pinning their hopes to the
  proposal for a constitutional convention. This convention would
  result in a wholesale unification of Chicago’s present chaotic
  welter of nineteen separate governments, and the various park
  boards, thirteen out of the nineteen of those unrelated governing
  and taxing bodies, would undoubtedly be welded without any legal
  trouble arising.

  And then the women of the city will have their chance to put
  efficiency into the Chicago parks.

                             MUNICIPAL ART

To descend to particulars and localities, we may first record that women
are becoming concerned about the transit approaches to cities and about
the hideous stations which are all too frequently to be found in our
towns, villages, and cities. The first approach to a city or village is
of supreme importance in the feeling that residents, if they ever leave
their home town and return, or visitors have about the place. The
railway station therefore assumes a rôle that is by no means
insignificant. A most capable railroad station improver is Mrs. Annette
McCrae, of the American Civic Association, who has worked for the
Chicago and Northwestern. A story illustrating her point of view is told
by Mr. McFarland in _The American City_:

“I remember that ... Mrs. McCrea ... discussed with the president of one
of the eastern railroads the crude, glaring and unreasonably ugly manner
in which his stations were painted. He listened with reasonable
impatience, because Mrs. McCrea is a lady, and finally burst out with,
‘After all, Mrs. McCrea, it is a question of taste, isn’t it?’ To this,
quick as a flash, Mrs. McCrea replied: ‘Yes, Mr. President; it is a
question of taste—of good taste or of bad taste!’ After this the
discussion languished, for there was no defense left to the apologist
for mixing orange and brown before the eyes of the defenseless millions
who had to use his steel highway.” Mrs. McCrae’s work is the result of a
recognized demand on the part of the people, and of women as an
aggressive element among the people, for attractive and inviting front
and back doors to their urban dwellings.

Every section of the country has felt the urge of the request for
attractive stations. In some sections, railroad companies have been
induced to assume the responsibility for the improvement and in new
sections railroads are glad to build attractive stations and beautify
the grounds to draw residents. In other sections, railroads have been
the greatest foe to station improvement and have absolutely prevented
beautification of buildings and the grounds through their ownership of
the surrounding area. Sometimes benevolently minded individuals and
organizations have themselves financed or have aided in the building and
beautification of the railway approach. Again where the villagers were
rich colonists or the size of the center required rebuilding frequently,
as in New York, a suitable station has resulted through the adaptation
of the company to the environment.

Billboards were among the first items on the programs of the women’s
clubs of the country as an evil to be attacked. A campaign for cleaner
billboards in St. Paul, Minnesota, is thus described by Mrs. Backus:

  It is impossible to be a teacher without realizing the tremendous
  influence upon the young of the books they read, the pictures they
  see and the plays they hear.

  Miss Caroline Fairchild, a public school teacher of St. Paul,
  knowing this psychological truth, was very much impressed with the
  influence of poverty of thought and flabby morals exerted by the
  penny parlors, cheap “shows,” and by the billboards with their
  fierce men throttling shrinking girls or stabbing to the heart a
  hated rival.

  She decided to attack first the evil which could be seen by every
  citizen riding in our street cars or walking along our streets—the
  billboard—and that her protest might carry more weight she secured
  the coöperation of the Thursday Club and the public press.

  The first step was a call upon one of the leading theaters, whose
  manager suggested a visit to the local billboard manager; this
  courteous gentleman referred the committee to the eastern theatrical
  managers. New York being almost too far away for a personal visit,
  it was decided that the campaign must be made general, so the
  following letter was drawn up to be sent to all managers of
  theatrical productions:

  “GENTLEMEN: The club women of St. Paul have objected for a long time
  to many of the bill posters, advertising plays in this city. We feel
  that they have a demoralizing influence on the youth, and we would
  urge that posters presenting undesirable scenes, women clad in
  tights, or any pictures that will leave a bad impression on the
  minds of the young, be eliminated. St. Paul is not the only city
  which objects to this class of advertising, and we hope that the
  movement will become nation-wide.”

This step of the Civic Department of the Thursday Club had been indorsed
by the Fourth District of the Federation, and members of other clubs had
pledged their coöperation.

To the joy of the committee, it was met more than halfway by the Poster
Printers’ Association of America and by one or two journals devoted to
the interests of poster printers and theatrical managers.

In March, 1911, the chairman of the Poster Printers’ Association issued
a statement to poster printers, lithographers and theatrical managers,
in which they were urged to use their influence against posters that
might be deemed objectionable because of the titles used or the scenes

The next step was the sending of lists of the leading producing
managers—the men who control nearly all of the first class and popular
priced theaters in the country—to every state president of the General
Federation of Women’s Clubs in the United States, with a request that
each state body take up the campaign for better plays and higher class
advertising and make it a national movement.

Inquiries began to come in from other states in regard to a plan of
work, showing the awakening of public interest. Local theatrical
managers offered assistance, one manager asking that a committee be sent
each week on the opening night to censor the play to run that week,
promising to act upon suggestions made by the women—and he kept his

On November 10, 1911, we find the following notice in one of our daily

  “The civic committee of the Thursday Club is much pleased at the
  very evident results of its recent campaign for cleaner billboards.
  ‘I have noticed nothing objectionable in any of the posters
  advertising theatrical productions in St. Paul this season,’ says
  Miss Fairchild, ‘and the radical change in even the posters put up
  by the burlesque companies shows that the work of the club women of
  the country in appealing to producing managers and poster printers
  has had good results and been well worth while.’ Women have been on
  the lookout in many parts of the city and no protest has been
  disregarded; in one case the objectionable bill was found to be an
  old one which had ‘slipped in,’ but it quickly slipped off.”[51]

The Commercial Club and the Woman’s Civic League of Pensacola, Florida,
have worked together to restrict the billboard industry.

The Civic Club of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, “spent much effort and
thought upon the regulation and taxation of billboards in Pittsburgh.
Two bills and a tentative ordinance were drawn up and submitted to the
proper authorities; the committee on statistics handed in a complete
report covering the city and a number of telling photographs were
taken.” The Civic Club is an organization in which men and women work in
the closest and most responsible coöperation.

The American Civic Association has for years been carrying on a campaign
of education against billboards through lectures, bulletins, and press
work. Its influence has undoubtedly stimulated local activities both of
men and women but anti-billboard work knows no sex. The national
association stands ready to help in local anti-billboard contests and it
is showing now how definite results may be obtained in cities and

                             TREE PLANTING

While seeking to clear our city streets of unsightly and even
demoralizing billboards, women have given equal attention to the
constructive work of beautifying streets by the encouragement of tree
planting. Of woman’s service in this field, one competent to speak, Mr.
J. J. Levinson, Forester of Brooklyn and Queens Parks, New York City,
has written as follows:

  Never before have people cared so much about other people as they do
  today. Social thought and sympathy are growing more intense every
  day, both among men and women. The woman of today is different from
  the woman of yesterday, not so much in her ideals or sympathies as
  in the expression of these ideals. Women have always been naturally
  idealistic and always will be, but the difference between their
  present and past idealism lies in the fact that today it is more
  far-reaching, extending to the interests of their neighbors and the
  community at large.

  There is a new field opening for women as factors in civic
  improvement. Women have always set the moral and esthetic standard
  in the community in which they lived, and when they once get into
  this new field of making our cities more beautiful—a field which is
  really closest to their natural bent, they ought to accomplish
  wonders. Their confined life of former years gave them no chance to
  demonstrate their fitness for this sort of work. But today new
  interest in outdoor life together with new social relations is
  bringing out the wonderful esthetic and moral qualities that have
  been so long diverted from the problems of the city beautiful, and
  are now demonstrating a woman’s superior fitness to do much in this
  new field. The instances where women have helped to improve their
  cities with trees are numerous.

  In Brooklyn it was women who organized a national city tree
  association and who started the first tree clubs among school
  children in this country. The association is located at the
  Children’s Museum in Brooklyn. In my own work, I find that it is
  always the women who fight for the preservation of their trees when
  some public service corporation tries to injure them. It was a woman
  and an energetic one at that who started our Children’s Farms in

  Last winter, I was invited by the ladies of Rome, N. Y., to come to
  that city and tell them what to do for their trees. Those ladies
  formed a civic organization, and collected sufficient funds to care
  for their trees all the year. In less than a year they have
  demonstrated the value of their work, and are now influencing the
  city authorities to appropriate sufficient funds for the
  preservation and planting of their city trees. In Morristown, N. J.,
  the same thing occurred. It was a Massachusetts woman who founded
  the first improvement society in the United States. About ten years
  ago women formed a civic improvement association in South Park,
  Chicago, and within a few years not only changed the esthetic and
  sanitary appearance of their own section, but extended their
  influence to the whole city. At Lincoln, Nebraska, the women started
  their civic work on the school grounds, where they planted trees,
  and tried by this means to inculcate in the children a love for the
  beautiful. How much better are such practical lessons in civics than
  much of our routine teaching! Only the other day, I was in
  communication with the mothers’ club of a public school in Flatbush
  which started a campaign to plant trees around their school and in
  the neighborhood. In California women saved the famous Calaveras
  grove of big trees, a matter that has become a question of national
  interest, and has received the commendation of Congress and the
  leading men of the country.

  I will not cite the hundreds of other cases where women have been
  the prime factors in beautifying our cities with shade trees and
  well-kept parks, but I will say that here is a broad and interesting
  field awaiting the modern woman, a field that tends to make our
  surroundings worth living in and our citizens better and healthier;
  a field that requires every virtue a woman possesses—her good taste,
  her moral instincts, her love of the beautiful, her patience and
  perseverance. Because of these, her natural gifts, she is bound to
  excel man in this field of endeavor, for, after all, man’s sphere of
  influence, in a general way, is his work and this work too often
  tends to become a matter of such routine that there is absolutely no
  inspiration in it. Men too often cannot see the moral issues at
  stake in living on treeless streets or in sections devoid of parks.
  Here we are spending so many millions of dollars on our schools, and
  out of the 166 public schools in Brooklyn, 86 have not even one tree
  in front of them, and only 10 are completely surrounded by trees. I
  do not believe that women would tolerate this if they could help it.
  There is no doubt that women are the natural leaders for the
  realization of the city beautiful—beautiful not with a lot of
  expensive cut stone, formidable fences or marble columns, but
  beautiful with natural parks, with avenues lined with fine trees and
  with front yards covered with verdure and blossoms, and beautiful
  with children, healthy mentally and physically.

  The whole subject of city trees and its vast opportunities for
  helping mankind has been greatly overlooked. Our schools and many
  other forms of civic improvement have received our attention because
  we have realized their importance to our health and development, but
  our trees, both in the parks and on the streets, have been slighted
  in spite of the fact that as a civic problem they are as important
  to our health and development and are as influential in the making
  of our future citizens as any other institution or form of civic
  improvement today.[52]

Women have had to resort to law courts occasionally in their struggle
for shade trees. In San José, California, they won in the courts against
a corporation or mercenary property owner who wanted to override their
love of beauty.

                           VARIED ACTIVITIES

While coöperating with state and national associations for civic
improvement and aiding in specific reforms, such as the removal of
billboard nuisances and the planting of trees, women in many localities
have taken a large view of municipal advance and stirred their towns to
important action. What a few women accomplished in a small community,
New London, Iowa, is thus interestingly related by Mrs. Mary M. Pierson,
president of the local Women’s Improvement Association:

  It would not be correct to speak of the civic work “of the women of
  New London,” for many of them have not approved of women’s taking
  part in such matters. Ours is a town of about 1,400, and only 24
  women belong to our organization.

  One spring morning I was called to the telephone by Mayor T. E.
  Rhoades, who asked, “Will you act with two other ladies in town on
  the Internal Improvement Committee of the City Council?” I replied,
  “Yes, if the Mayor and City Council wish it.” “All right,” said he.
  “I will appoint you, Mrs. C. E. Magers and Miss Anna von Colen
  (assistant editor on our home paper) as members of the City Council
  Improvement Committee.” Thus was the ball set rolling.

  We saw at once a great deal that was necessary to be done for the
  health and comfort of our little city. After counseling together,
  always consulting our Mayor, we called a meeting of the women of the
  town at the City Hall, and organized a women’s improvement
  association. The subject of finance came up at once, and it was
  decided to make the membership fee twenty-five cents. Quite a number
  did not see what we needed money for, and declined to join us.
  However, about 48 paid in their quarters and began work.

  During our first efforts some very laughable things happened, but
  with the coöperation of the Mayor we made progress. By his order a
  clean-up day was appointed, and on that day a tremendous amount of
  boxes, tin cans and trash rolled out of the town.

  We then turned our attention to our little city park. We bought a
  $10 lawn mower and set the City Marshal and his assistants to mowing
  the grass, and finally brought the park into respectable and
  attractive condition. The Council made us a donation of $15.

  Oh, how we worked! Finally, others, seeing that there was no
  stopping us, began to beautify their yards, and before long the town
  was a flower garden.

  Then came the need for more money. Our band had gone to pieces, but
  wished to reorganize. There was a fine bandstand in the park, and we
  ordered it repainted. Then we gave an ice cream social, the proceeds
  of which served to get the band together again. We now have one of
  the best bands in the state, and the weekly band concert, from April
  to November, draws crowds of appreciative listeners.

  As winter came on we saw the necessity of having money with which to
  purchase seats for the park; and as we live in the corn belt of
  Iowa, we decided to give a “Corn Carnival.” This was the biggest
  undertaking of the kind ever carried through in our part of the
  state, and was attended by Governor Cummins, who seemed well pleased
  with our efforts. A substantial sum was realized, and we ordered a
  car load of iron seats. When these were placed on the short-cut
  green grass in the park, facing the bandstand, and were filled with
  people listening to the sweet music of our band, we felt that we had
  indeed accomplished something the first year.

  Our company of workers has dwindled, but our influence is felt and
  respected, and when there is a question of bonding the town for
  schools, electric light, sewerage or water works, we not only go to
  the polls ourselves, but we see that the other women of the city go
  and that they have a right view of the matter under consideration.

  Our electric plant burned down, and for a while there were so many
  objections to bonding again the already heavily burdened town that
  the loss of the plant seemed likely. The Mayor came and talked with
  me, and I called a meeting of the Association, which resulted in our
  starting out electioneering. Election day came, and New London got
  her lights. The City Council was strong in praise of the work done
  by the women.

  The question of water works and sewerage is now before us. It was
  voted on recently, when 143 women cast their ballots. The water
  works question was carried, but the sewerage undertaking was lost by
  23 votes, probably because there are but few modern homes in New
  London. The question will be voted on again in April, and the result
  will probably be different.

  Last summer we were instrumental in organizing our first Chautauqua
  assembly. We pledged the sale of 300 tickets, and advanced $25. We
  sold over $700 worth of tickets, gave the people a fine week of
  instruction and social pleasure, advanced $25 for another Chautauqua
  next July, and cleared $200, which will buy more seats this spring.

  We have had a great many things to discourage us, have been held up
  to ridicule, and have thought many times, “Does it pay?” But when a
  year ago our town was visited by an epidemic of typhoid fever and
  there were 60 nurses here where a professional nurse had never been;
  when so many homes were darkened by death, all because of the filthy
  condition of one drain that ran into an alley and poisoned a near-by
  well that supplied the water for our popular restaurant; then our
  physicians and men of better judgment (and women, too) realized the
  need of getting the help of the Improvement Association in cleansing
  and purifying our town. We are now considered an asset, and I
  believe we have come into our own.[53]

Among the varied activities of women for civic improvement may be listed
the following, paraphrased from _The American Club Woman_ which is
exceedingly rich in such data:

The Woman’s Club of Corte Madera, California, installed street lights
costing $500 and maintained them until the town realized their value and
took over the management and maintenance.

The Woman’s Board of Trade of Santa Fé, New Mexico, founded the town
library, and created an attractive plaza with seats, among other things.

The Women’s League for Good Government of Philadelphia in its
educational campaign has given a series of illustrated lectures urging
public support of such municipal improvements as have already been
obtained in that city and suggesting others that are needed.

About $11,000 has been raised for an art gallery by the Woman’s Club of
Des Moines, Iowa. The balance of the necessary $25,000 for the building
will probably be secured by an extension of the present system of
selling bonds.

Every new town in the state of Idaho is being laid out with a civic
center around a city park or square, and every club is working for a
city park, and planting trees, shrubs and flowers in public places.
Nearly every club specializes in city sanitation and pure food.

Mrs. E. R. Michaux of the North Carolina Federation of Clubs has urged
all the clubs in that state to work for municipal art commissions in the
various towns and make their approval necessary before any public
buildings, statues, etc., can be erected or streets laid off. Elsewhere
women have secured such commissions and in many cities they are now
serving on them.

The Municipal Order League of Chicago, a women’s society, has for its
object the education of the people to the point of insisting upon
health, cleanliness and beauty for the city of Chicago.

Many of the clubs of the various states have forestry committees whose
object is to work both for the conservation of forest lands in the state
and to secure local foresters and tree planting commissions. They have
been responsible in numerous cities for the installation of a municipal
forester and have been his main support in his proposals for shade trees
and shrubs and their proper care. Arboriculture for decorative purposes
has always been an interest of theirs in their own home plots and now
they have extended it to the decoration of their municipal homes. They
have also been largely instrumental in securing the general observance
of Arbor Day by schools and outside agencies.

The State Federation of Club Women of California worked faithfully for
forestry and Big Tree bills, cleaned up vacant yards, removed unsightly
poles from streets, secured the care and beautification of the ocean
front, secured the retention of street flower markets, the purchase and
preservation of Telegraph Hill and of the Calaveras Big Tree Grove, the
parking of the grounds and street about the Mission Dolores, and planted
vines and trees on the barren slopes belonging to the Federal Government
at Yerba Buena Island. In San Francisco they worked against the overhead
trolley system which is so derogatory to the appearance of a city.

Throughout the South the work of civic improvement is being taken hold
of by women with energy and idealism and practical sense. Parks and
gardens that dot the states everywhere now testify to the labor and
enthusiasm of women as well as of men.

The Civic Club of Nowata, Oklahoma, secured a twenty-acre park which now
has 1,000 trees growing on it; in Shawnee, Oklahoma, the park in the
center of the city was laid out by a landscape artist employed by women
who also offered cash prizes for the best lawns and alleys in the city.

The Palmetto Club of Daytona, Florida, raised $75,000 for a public park.

The Quincy, Illinois, Boulevard and Park Association saw fit to elect
Mrs. Edward J. Parker president upon the death of her husband, under
whose skillful and enthusiastic guidance, Quincy obtained results that
are quite famous in that part of the country. Mr. Parker had worked for
a parking system in the face not only of indifference but of hostility
on the part of the public and of the city government. Since that
attitude has not yet been overcome, but is merely in the process of
changing, the election of the wife as president is an indication of the
belief in the wisdom and ability of her leadership.

The club women of Minnesota have recommended town planning commissions
for the beautifying of the villages and cities of the state.

A moving-picture film, “The City Beautiful,” has been prepared and
circulated as educational propaganda by the civics committee of one
enterprising woman’s organization which appreciates the value of public

In Idaho Falls, Idaho, the members of the Village Improvement Society
are called “City Mothers.” “Fifteen years ago,” we are told, “this place
was a treeless, grassless desert village. Today it is a city and an
oasis. The hundreds of trees that line the streets were planted by the
women of the Society. The lawns and flowers have been fostered by them
through the giving of annual prizes. They have bought the land and are
developing a town park. They have established and operated the town
hospital and have founded a library and secured a tax levy for its
support. They have supplied the alleys with garbage boxes and caused the
passage of an anti-spitting ordinance. They have bought the site of a
nest of vile resorts and caused the removal of tenants. They have also
improved the cemetery.”

The Woman’s Town Improvement Association of Westport, Connecticut, laid
2,000 feet of sidewalk and generally beautified the town.

The Good Roads Committee of a woman’s organization in New Canaan,
Connecticut, cut down the undergrowth, leveled hills and set up danger
markers. What they did for the water supply has been told in the chapter
on Health.

The Woman’s Book Club of Osceola, Arkansas, filled mud holes in three
streets and planted trees along the sides.

The Woman’s Improvement Club of Roseville, California, planted 400
trees, set out 1,000 calla lilies and roses and magnolia trees to
beautify the approach to the station, made a park in the triangle formed
by the intersection of three streets and planted it with date palms.

The Woman’s Civic League and the Woman’s Club of Colorado Springs asked
the city for an appropriation of $2,500 for a comprehensive city plan
and at their further instigation Charles Mulford Robinson was engaged to
devise a plan for the improvement of the city. They then arranged a
conference between Mr. Robinson and citizens. When his plan was
submitted it met the approval of the women, but the City Fathers did not
manifest the same concern and the women of the Club have been constantly
urging upon them the wisdom of adherence to the plan. The women also
followed the city budget with this end in view. After conferring with
city planning commissions in other cities, the Civic Club drew up the
plan for a permanent commission for Colorado Springs and secured it from
the Council. Members have been appointed from nominations made by the
Chamber of Commerce, the Federated Trades Council, the Woman’s Club and
the Civic League.

While in many places the work of women for civic improvement has won
marked public favor, the spirit of fair play is not always in evidence
as we learn from letters like this from Mrs. Harmon, vice-president of
the Civic League of Yankton, South Dakota: “At first our existence was
looked upon with much disfavor by the city officials, being regarded as
a standing criticism of their administration. Our speedy demise was
predicted. Now, after a year of existence and a campaign of education,
the Civic League is referred to as an arbiter of difficulties and a
court of complaint. We have largely succeeded in shutting up chickens.
Alleys may no longer be used as dumping grounds. We have become the
sponsors for the development of a new park to be donated to the city. We
have interested the Commissioners in employing a landscape architect to
make a permanent city plan. Further, we are in the field to stay.”

The women of the Lock Haven Civic Club have the distinction of having
raised the money for a city plan for the smallest city in the state of
Pennsylvania in order that it may be prepared for its possible growth
and development. The Board of Trade is energetic in this little town and
the women find coöperation with it pleasant and sincere. The Outdoor
Department of this league of women laid out and planted the Court House
Park and assisted the city government in planting a city parkway. It has
also induced property owners to supplant fences with private hedges and
otherwise beautify home surroundings.

From an adobe pueblo, Los Angeles has grown in some thirty years to a
commercial metropolis. Of city planning in this rapid development there
has been none. Now, however, a Municipal Art Commission composed of five
persons, two women and three men, has undertaken to bring some order out
of chaos in Los Angeles and doubtless in the reorganization of the city
the women who have worked so earnestly there for housing and district
nursing and public health will exert some influence over the plans.

The Wichita, Kansas, Improvement Association began as a woman’s
organization but soon felt that it had made a great mistake in limiting
its membership to women. “Obviously,” it says, “the concerns of any
town-development organization are the concerns of everybody in that town
and the membership should consist of the members of that community.” A
reorganization was therefore effected and men were brought into the
Association. In writing about this change the Association says: “The
keynote of the new society thus became the keynote of all society: ‘The
responsibility of adults for conditions which shall conduce to the
health, morality, happiness and general good citizenship of the young
people.’ For, if the adult society is working for this, then its own
health, morality and happiness are finding promotion.”

Boston has a city planning board on which Emily Greene Balch is serving.
Its duty is to “make careful studies of the resources, possibilities,
and needs of Boston, particularly with respect to conditions which may
be injurious to the public health, and to make plans for the development
of the municipality, with special reference to the proper housing of its
people.” The secretary of the board is Miss Elizabeth M. Hurlihy. The
Women’s Municipal League is rendering valuable assistance to this board.

                          CONTROLLING SUBURBS

Where civic pride and organization promote intelligent efforts in a city
to control real estate speculation, unregulated building and congestion,
it often happens that the area just outside the city accepts all the
evils cast forth by the city. A factory or plant, pushed to the
outskirts where a suburb is quickly developed by land speculators to
meet the new housing situation, may easily, and does often, become the
center of a community totally without plan and where the evils of
congestion appear in their most exaggerated form. In some cases, civic
leagues of men and women are forming to prevent suburbs coming under
such influences, as the city, to which they are neighbor, agitates for
the removal of its factories to the outskirts.

Attention has been directed to this serious matter, and some suburban
planning started in time, by Mrs. Rollin Norris and others in the
suburbs of Philadelphia, organized in the Main Line Housing Association.

The work of this association doubtless had its effect on the legislation
in Pennsylvania which provides metropolitan planning districts for the
cities of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton, in order that they may
control developments at their borders for a radius of twenty-five miles.
Other states—six of them—have made a similar attempt to prevent unwise
expansion at the rims of cities, but Massachusetts now leads with city
planning by its recent law providing for city planning commissions
throughout the state for towns and villages. It is interesting in this
connection to observe how well women have worked in Massachusetts on the
problems of housing and allied questions which are vital elements in
this planning.

At present these schemes and ideals for suburban planning are in the
stage of agitation only and have not been concretely applied on any
extensive scale. A private achievement of notable worth has been
obtained in Roland Park, Baltimore, but it is a high-class residential
neighborhood. The Roland Park Civic League, an incorporated association
of the citizens of this district, maintains a controlling interest in
the Roland Park Roads and Maintenance Corporation and elects nine of the
twelve directors. They prohibit certain nuisances, the erection of any
building for other than residence purposes and the submission and
approval of all construction plans. Women are members of the Civic
League and share equally with the men in the government of this
residential district which is comprehensive enough to include: tax
collection and expenditure, labor employed in the sewerage system, the
repairing and cleaning of roads, care of hedges and sidewalks, removal
of ashes and rubbish and other services. It is a marvelously beautiful
place. “Woman suffrage is in action in Roland Park.”

Forest Hills Gardens, the New York suburb built by the Russell Sage
Foundation, financed by Mrs. Russell Sage, is also a beautiful
middle-class residential district, with the same restrictions that
safeguard Roland Park.

                       VALUE OF CIVIC IMPROVEMENT

From this cursory and necessarily imperfect review of women’s work in
civic improvement, it is evident that whoever labors for the city or
town or village beautiful in the United States may find intelligent and
hearty support on the part of women’s associations, even though they
are, in many places, merely organized for literary or “cultural”
purposes. Thousands of men may loaf around clubs without ever showing
the slightest concern about the great battle for decent living
conditions that is now going on in our cities; but it is a rare woman’s
club that long remains indifferent to such momentous matters. Nor, as we
have seen, is this movement for civic betterment confined to the greater
cities. In thousands of out-of-the-way places which hardly appear on the
map, unknown women with large visions are bent on improving their minds
for no mere selfish advancement, but for the purpose of equipping
themselves to serve their little communities. They form local
associations. These local associations are federated into state and
national associations. The best thought and experience of one community
soon become the common possession of all. Thus we see in the making,
before our very eyes, a conscious national womanhood. Here is a power
that will soon disturb others than the village politicians.

                               CHAPTER XI

The kind of work the government undertakes and the way in which it does
its work depend, in the ordinary course of events, almost entirely upon
public opinion; that is, upon what the people think about political
matters. This obvious truth will be readily admitted, and the inevitable
deduction is that women, in the wide range of their interests and
activities, are valuable factors in government.

By means of lectures, study clubs, and leagues for political and civic
education, women now seek to educate themselves in public affairs, and
learn to coöperate with men in the extension of civic enlightenment.
City Clubs exist for women, like those for men, as forums of free
discussion of public questions, in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston,
while the Twentieth Century Club of Boston is an organization of men and

Women also seek to arouse public opinion by explaining problems of
government to the people. By printing and circulating ordinances,
discussing charters, asking citizens what they need, and helping to show
them how their needs may be met, the development of fundamental
democracy is being aided by women, slowly, perhaps, but none the less

Bulletins and other publications on civic matters, issued by women as
individuals and associated in clubs, are as creditable as any in the
field. Their studies of city budgets and budget-making are beginning to
prove that even the hard technique of government now interests them as
it does men. That their attitude toward some of the technique is still
the woman’s attitude, however, may perhaps be shown at times; for
example, when Martha Bensley Bruère and others suggest that one prime
function of public utilities should be to serve the home in order that
science may supplant excessive drudgery there.

Chambers of Commerce and similar bodies of men have been prominent as
volunteer associations initiating or supporting public activities. In
this connection a curious fact lies in the selection of a woman as
secretary of the Chamber of Commerce in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her
first task was to straighten out the funds so that there might be a
basis for work of any kind. Women serve in auxiliary groups to Chambers
of Commerce and the main group often relies for the success of an
enterprise upon the hard work of its auxiliary members. In Santa Fé the
women have their own Board of Trade.

It is not alone in the advancement of “general enlightenment” on civic
matters that women are interested. Often, through their clubs and
associations, they join actively in municipal campaigns for specific
reforms. Indeed, it may be said that in every recent effort to “clean-up
a city’s politics” in the United States, the enlistment of the women, as
individuals and in organizations, has been a voluntary or requested
factor. Sometimes we find forceful women, single-handed and alone,
leading a fight for the betterment of municipal politics. Such a contest
was waged by Virginia Brooks, in the town of Hammond, Indiana, and it
may well be told here in her own words, taken from the _National
Municipal Review_:

  According to your request I will tell you a few of my activities in
  West Hammond. You have probably read of my long fight, extending
  over a year and a half, to rid West Hammond of a graft ring that has
  been assessing the Poles out of house and home for rotten
  improvements, which represented about 25 cents on the dollar. I
  might run over the incidents briefly. I was a musician by profession
  and knew little of business or property, when I was confronted with
  $20,000 worth of assessments on a little piece of property left to
  my mother by my father upon his death.

  That November, 1910, three days after the receipt of the
  assessments, I put my furniture in storage and with my mother came
  to Hammond, feeling I must do something, but not knowing where to
  begin. No sooner had I stepped into the town, than I was aware that
  the streets were made of inferior material and poor workmanship; in
  fact one street was under construction, and so raw was the poor work
  that the Poles were threatening the lives of the workmen. This
  resulted in my interviewing all the inspectors and workmen on the
  different improvements and collecting evidence which I turned over
  to the state’s attorney, who would not give me any assistance.

  I have stopped election after election, where the grafters tried to
  turn West Hammond into a city. I have stopped rotten paving and been
  kicked by policemen controlled by the clique and thrown into jail
  and persecuted by the friends of the grafters. I have had judgments
  against me by judges that were hired by them and almost every
  indignity waged against me to the naming of the worst dive here, the
  “Virginia” Buffet. In spite of the grafters, I have succeeded in
  electing to office this spring an entire active anti-graft ticket
  and at the coming meeting of the board will close down all of the
  notorious dives in West Hammond. I have saved for the Poles nearly
  $21,000 on reductions of over-charged assessments. I have succeeded
  in ousting an old clique who for years had been grafting on the
  school board, and being elected myself to the office of president.
  This means that I will introduce into the neglected school, manual
  training, domestic science, free night school, free kindergarten,
  and a playground.

  I have established a settlement house in Hammond, Ind., right across
  the state line, where the boys and girls have night classes, and
  where mothers who work can take their babies for care. There are
  some 32,000 Poles in this region and the future looks to great

The logical outcome of the deep and intelligent interest in public
affairs shown by women, the suffragists say, is the possession of the
instrument which crystallizes public opinion into effective governmental
action—the ballot. In as many as twelve states, nearly one-fourth of the
United States, the women now have the suffrage. That they exercise their
rights with as much discrimination and thoughtfulness as men, to say the
least, is the testimony of more than one competent observer. Writing in
_The Survey_, on March 21, 1914, Graham Taylor said of women in

  Illinois and Chicago give the country the most significant test of
  women’s voting....

  As registration is required only in larger places, the figures for
  the state cannot be given at this writing, but in Chicago 217,614
  women registered at their first opportunity. Added to the 455,283
  men on the polling lists, these new voters increased the electorate
  to 672,897 voters, the largest number registered in any city in the
  United States.

  At the primaries the women’s votes came within 1 per cent. of
  equaling the men’s. At the election the women polled, at the lowest
  count of the police returns, before the official revision, 158,686
  or 73 per cent. of their registered voters, while the men’s votes
  numbered 328,987 or 72 per cent. of their registrations This is
  conceded by all concerned to be a very favorable showing for the
  women at their first registration and election. It ought to dispel
  the conjecture that few women want to vote or will not vote, if
  given the right, whether they seek it or not.

  Next as to the test of the way they will vote. In the increased
  number and classification of candidates for the city council and in
  the decision required upon no less than twelve measures of great
  public importance by the “little ballot” measuring no less than 40
  by 12 inches of solidly printed matter, this election exacted of all
  Chicago voters as great discrimination as they had ever been
  required to make. It therefore severely tested the interest and
  intelligence of all new voters, especially women who had hitherto
  had so much less occasion than men to consider closely such
  subjects. How did they stand the test?

  The aldermanic candidates numbered 154, each ward having from two to
  seven names to choose from, and designated as Democrats,
  Republicans, Progressives, Prohibitionists, Socialists, Independents
  and Non-partisans....

  The votes of the women which were awaited with equal eagerness by
  partisan leaders and by the rank and file of those who had hitherto
  constituted the non-partisan balance of power, tended decidedly
  toward non-partisanship. The newspapers agreed with the Municipal
  Voters’ League in crediting the women with electing no less than
  seven of the better candidates and with wielding their power either
  to defeat or lessen the majority of many more undesirable

  While eight women were candidates for the city council no one of
  them expected to be elected, but each entered the lists to make an
  educational campaign. Two of these campaigns were especially
  noteworthy. Marion K. Drake led the forlorn hope in running against
  the notorious alderman, “Bathhouse John” Coughlin who for over
  twenty years has disgraced the first ward and city of Chicago by
  exploiting the floating vote of the lodging houses. Her spirited
  campaign against his character and the conditions for which he
  stands was well supported by many of the most influential men and
  women of the city, and resulted in doubling the vote cast against
  him as compared with that of two years ago. With 7,355 men voting in
  that ward, and only a few more than 3,000 women, this is a good
  showing although nearly 600 more women voted for the discredited man
  than for the worthy woman candidate, which is not surprising in view
  of the dependence of the underworld upon its patrons.

  In the great cosmopolitan tenement house family ward, surrounding
  the Northwestern University Settlement, its head resident, Harriet
  E. Vittum, made a most effective educational campaign. Her slogans
  were “For the babies,” “For the school children,” “For the working
  boys and girls,” “For men and women,” under each of which she
  grouped the better home conditions and municipal policies for which
  she asked votes. A house to house canvass among the foreign people,
  rousing mass meetings with many men speaking for her in the foreign
  languages and a children’s parade of many hundreds of little boys
  and girls were some of the features of the campaign. That any woman
  in such a “man’s world” as this ward has been could have secured
  1,421 votes, the number next highest to that of the reëlected
  alderman speaks highly for her candidacy.

  In deciding the important public measures, including heavy bonded
  issues, the women showed as intelligent discrimination as the men.
  In proportion as these propositions were actually most dangerous or
  doubtful, they were overwhelmingly defeated—notably a discredited
  subway scheme, a suspicious county hospital bond issue, and some
  city bond issues for purposes for which other funds are available.

  Many women served as clerks and judges of election throughout the
  city, with two noteworthy results—that their services were highly
  commended by the election commissioners and that every woman
  official reported the most considerate and decorous speech and
  conduct upon the part of the men during registration and election
  days. The leading election commissioner issued the following
  statement on the morning after election: “Chicago women are again to
  be congratulated as an influence for good in politics. Their
  presence was like oil on the turbulent waters in every precinct of
  every ward in which there were bitter clashes. In no precinct did
  the presence and activity of women in the political contest make
  them mannish. There was less drunkenness around the polling places
  than there has been in years, because the practical politicians knew
  that drunken workers around a polling place would drive away the
  vote of the women for their candidates. Today’s election really
  demonstrated that elections and government have been brought closer
  to the home. The women have shown that. Above all, the women in all
  walks of life and in all parties proved they are interested in and
  appreciate their duty.”

  Mary E. McDowell who led the fight for a better candidate who almost
  won out in the stockyards district had this to say: “After nineteen
  years I thought I knew my ward. But I never really began to know it
  till I came to experience this great new neighborliness which has
  come to all of us women through the political work of the election.”

  Jane Addams, who was judge of election in her own precinct
  surrounding Hull House, said: “I was amazed at the way the women of
  my own ward had informed themselves. Of the 159 women registered in
  the precinct, 139 voted. The women in every ward of the city showed
  that they had an intelligent understanding of the issues. I think it
  was a great thing to have women in Chicago brave enough to run in
  this aldermanic election and to be willing to face the probable
  defeat. There was something very exhilarating, something very young
  and courageous in the willingness of a woman to tackle the fight
  against Alderman Coughlin. It has undoubtedly been a red-letter day
  for women, this first day of voting.”

  Women’s votes down state get full credit from both the politicians
  and the newspapers, not to say the liquor dealers, for having put
  out of business 946 saloons in 114 incorporated cities and villages.
  In 29 more the vote to remain dry rolled up a majority of 8,888,
  aggregating a total dry vote in these districts of 35,462. While the
  liquor forces carried 60 cities and villages and thus kept them
  “wet,” they failed to win a single township which was dry prior to
  the election. In some places, as at Springfield, women’s votes
  helped swell the majority for the saloons. But in a total vote
  estimated at 200,000 cast on the saloon issue outside Chicago, where
  the issue was not raised, the _Chicago Tribune_ figures that 100,000
  were cast by women and that 65 per cent. of these were against the

  Clearly in anticipation of women’s voting in Chicago, an ordinance
  was passed by the Chicago City Council abolishing the “family
  entrance” and “ladies’ entrance” signs from saloons. This action was
  not opposed by the liquor interests represented by the vigilant and
  aggressive United Societies. To the representative women who
  promoted this action, one of the most notorious of Chicago’s
  aldermen, who for many years has led the forces for evil in the city
  council, once a majority and now a hopeless minority, declared: “You
  are doing a noble work, ladies; you should now clean-up the dance

  The handwriting seems to be on the walls, the enemies of the good
  themselves being judges.

Lest Graham Taylor may be considered a partial witness, we submit the
two following extracts from the _New York Times_ on the Chicago women
voters, for no one accuses that paper of being a feminist advocate:

  Chicago’s first election since women could vote there will doubtless
  receive much study and doubtless excite much comment. Doubtless,
  also, the comment will vary as widely as do opinions regarding the
  propriety and the expediency of woman suffrage.

  Some people, of course, will lay much stress on the fact that, of
  the 217,000 women who registered, only 100,000 were sufficiently
  interested in the election, in spite of all the talk there has been
  about it, to go to the polls. The fact, however, that slightly less
  than 50 per cent. of the women voters failed to do their duty—or to
  exercise their privilege, if one chooses to look at it that way—must
  be interpreted in the light of the other fact, that only slightly
  more than 50 per cent. of the registered men took the trouble to
  vote. This, in ordinary circumstances, would be taken as showing
  that popular concern about the result of the election was not keen;
  but the circumstances were not ordinary, and the suffragists will
  find it difficult to explain, and still more difficult to excuse,
  the conduct of their stay-at-homes.

  That all the woman candidates were defeated, and with the biggest
  majorities by their least reputable rivals, is another mystery for
  which many and various solutions will probably be offered.

  But what does stand clearly out of these mists of uncertainty is
  that Chicago has struck a heavy, perhaps fatal, blow at the belief
  so confidently expressed by every suffragist that the woman voters
  in any community would stand together and exert, whether
  successfully or not, all their influence in behalf of the causes
  that especially interested them as a sex. There is no evidence or
  even hint of such solidarity in these returns. The woman vote was a
  divided one, and evidently divided along just the lines, good and
  bad, with which men have made us familiar.

  The stories of women who did and said foolish things at the polls
  could all be paralleled by like stories of men, and are without
  significance. The important revelation is that the women will not
  vote as women—a revelation reassuring or disquieting according to
  whether one wants them to do that or not.

  Is it possible that Gov. Glynn can have kept a straight face while
  he was saying, writing, or dictating the statement that the vote
  cast on the Constitutional Convention question on Tuesday “plainly
  shows that the people desire a revision of the Constitution”? Who
  are the “people”? Can one-fifth of the legal voters of the State of
  New York be called the people? At the Presidential election in 1912
  there were cast in round numbers 1,600,000 votes. On the
  constitutional issue on Tuesday there were cast in round numbers
  300,000. There was nothing lacking either in the importance of the
  issue or in the opportunity for the voter to express his will.
  Certainly, few things are more important than the organic law of the
  State, and the polls were open during the statutory hours. Yet more
  than four-fifths of the voters did not take interest enough in the
  matter to go to the polls.

  The women suffragists are welcome to all the advantage they may
  gain, and any taunts and gibes they may direct against the male
  voters because of Tuesday’s election will be freely forgiven. Women
  would have striven in vain to do anything sillier, and had the
  administration of public affairs been in the control of babes in
  pinafores the ordering of this election on Tuesday would have been
  discreditable to their intelligence.

Where limited suffrage prevails as in Des Moines, Iowa, telegrams like
this in the Chicago _Post_ of March 30, 1914, are illuminating. It is
entitled “Women Prove a Factor in Municipal Vote”:

  Voters were out early in the municipal election here today and by
  noon it was freely predicted in official circles that the largest
  total of ballots since the commission form of government became
  effective will have been cast when the polls close.

  The activity of women in connection with the proposition of
  municipal ownership of the waterworks system was a distinct feature
  of the voting. Under the law, women are permitted the ballot on bond
  questions. In several of the residence precincts women were in line
  when the polls opened at seven o’clock.

In our survey of women’s varied municipal activities, we have had
occasion to mention many instances of their holding official positions
of one kind or another, and no one can be found who would deny the
special aptitudes of women for certain municipal posts. Doubtless there
are some offices for which women are specially fitted, just as there are
some offices for which men are specially fitted. But office-holding in
general is still under dispute. Nevertheless, there are plenty of
advocates who claim that the wider participation of women in government,
through the occupancy of technical positions, is for the public good.

Ten years ago in the San Francisco _Bulletin_ there appeared the
following editorial on “Why Women Should Be in Municipal Offices”:

  The days of chivalry are no more, and though that means that young
  women no longer occupy their days at something called a lattice,
  embroidering sashes to tie about the middles of queer young men in
  boiler plate, it is probable that even they do not regret the loss,
  though He is now nothing more than a member in good standing of the
  Retail Clerks’ Union.

  Men have been willing, for a wonderfully long time, that women
  should work—provided it was for small pay and did not imply any
  reputation or a possible swelling up beyond the nice, faithful
  limits of their sphere. And this not because men are mean—but
  because they are slow. They have even permitted certain emoluments
  and rewards of merit to accrue to certain professions—like those of
  nursing sick or spoiled children of larger and smaller growth, and
  school ma’aming—for which they had neither much taste nor aptitude.

  It has also been cheerfully and generously conceded that in the
  matter of minor housekeeping affairs women could be trusted to get
  along, and the abominable lack of spirit shown by the weak
  provisions of the civil service, that do not seem to take natural
  laws into consideration, has proven that these fair creatures can so
  far forget themselves in their heavenand-man-appointed task of
  ministering angel as to actually take and pass common and vulgar
  examinations, and to follow up their effrontery by accepting and
  holding certain places of public trust and drawing their pay
  regularly therefor. What wonder then that when the very old story of
  the inch and the ell is being enacted men of tender municipal
  conscience tremble and turn pale.

  Men expect “graft” in their city halls; they do not look for the
  enforcement of ordinances in disfavor with the “gang”; they expect
  to have the streets swept when the winds come; they bear witness
  that a man is a good fellow when he remembers his friends and
  relatives by place and power; they are accustomed to suffer with
  much noise and pay their taxes in silence; above all they constantly
  make good their calling as the sex that recognizes logic with the
  naked eye. For when a notorious politician follows his luck with a
  notorious political régime in the institutions of his state they
  actually hold him and his appointer responsible, and strangely
  enough seldom say anything about his sex.

  Let but another individual—a woman individual—make the mistakes
  inherent in human nature—in an appointive position—and the most
  logical and the kindest man one knows will refer the whole thing
  finally and forever to—her sex.

  If, however, it were possible that logic was not the inborn and
  native possession of every man and might have to be learned, a
  little tale from an English schoolroom can be warmly recommended,
  for out of the mouth of babes and little girls cometh occasional

  The little girl was given the following proposition as a “test of
  her reasoning powers”:

  French people are excitable, so are Italians; so all foreigners are
  excitable. Is this true?

  And this little illogically sexed miss replied: “It does not follow
  that every member of a family is mad because two are.”

  There is perhaps nothing a man does with such good will and in which
  good will counts for so little as his struggle to be fair to
  womankind. He often succeeds admirably when they are not his own.
  Freedom of opportunity, the development of the individual common
  fair play, all, all find shipwreck against convention and instinct
  when it is the wife or the daughter.

  Women have not been either kind or considerate in the matter. Quite
  an appreciable number have wholly ceased to cry aloud about their
  rights or wrongs and have quietly prepared themselves for holding
  higher positions of trust. In rashly independent cities like
  Chicago, or sexless ones like Boston, they are holding them freely.
  They are calmly, almost judicially, inspecting factories and
  collecting statistics of child labor. They are inspecting tenements,
  garbage, streets and schools. They are sitting unmoved and silent
  upon boards of all sorts, almost as if they were useful and
  comfortable there. They are getting parks placed and playgrounds
  graded and drinking cups sterilized and foods purified and milk
  renovated and babies fed—officially. The fact of this wider
  employment of women in the higher municipal duties marks a certain
  state of growth and an emergence from crudity.

  When a municipality has arrived at the stage when it really wants
  the best return for its money it always has employed some of the
  pottering sex. It does not get sentimental and expect or want any
  perfection. It has entirely discarded the “ministering angel—thou”
  attitude. It assumes that under a true democracy a part of the
  people who pay its taxes may have a not unreasonable wish to take an
  active part in its administration, and when it can get such
  people—fairly faithful, often amply efficient and willing—it takes
  them where they stand.

  For five years the city of Los Angeles has had a municipal nurse. It
  is only justice to her to say that she neither knew nor intended it.
  But when three women who knew the ardent need of such a person
  appeared before the supervisors and asked for one they forgot to be
  logical and used their common-sense.

  There are trained women in San Francisco who are ready today to
  conduct school inspection after the manner in which it has been done
  in New York and with like wonderful results could they be sure—not
  of money reward—but of simple recognition and authority. For herein
  is the ultimate triumph of man. He has loved to have womankind work
  for so long that at last she has learned her abiding task, the
  famous “work that is never done”—to work for love.

  The hour must come when women will occupy in proportion all these
  higher municipal posts. They will be found ready as soon as the men
  are found who are ready to give them their opportunity. It is not
  contended that they will be better or wiser, but that they will take
  a more intelligent and lasting interest and that there will always
  be certain things where children are concerned which they will know
  more and care more about than men.

  The chief good will come finally in the chance for freedom and for
  growth under a democracy where a few mistakes are counted of less
  moment than lack of fair play.

The prediction that women would be found in all manner of offices has
come true. The following is an incomplete list of offices which women
have held or are now holding:[54]

 City Treasurer.
 County Treasurer.
 City Comptroller.
 City Recorder.
 City Clerk.
 County Clerk.
 Judges                        │Juvenile Court.
                               │Of the Peace.
                               │Deputy Probate.
                               │Police Magistrate.
 City Attorney.
 Deputy Clerk of the U. S. District Courts.
 Health officer.
 Medical                       │City chemist.
                               │City bacteriologist.
                               │City physician and quarantine officer.
                               │Head of hospital.
                               │School inspector and physician.

 Police Matron.
 Civil Service Commissioner.
 City Factory Inspector.
 City Market Inspector.
 Street Inspector.
 Superintendent of Public Buildings.
 Members of special commissions│Library.
                               │Civic Improvement.
                               │Municipal Housekeeping.
 Members of school boards.
 School Superintendent (495 in 1912 were women).
 City Commissioner.
 Members of election boards and clerks of election.
 Fire Inspector.
 Commissioner of Corrections.
 Examining Inspector for Bureau of Municipal Investigation and
 Advisory Council to Mayors.
 Confidential Secretary to the Mayor.

Even in the field of technical finance, which is supposed to be somewhat
outside of woman’s interest (although in view of her household budgetary
experience, we know not why) we find women doing efficient and telling
work. To select a single example, we may take Mrs. Mathilde Coffin Ford,
of New York City, whose labors are thus described in a recent issue of
_The American City_ by Frank Parker Stockbridge:

  In the government of New York, the greatest city of the western
  world, women play a much more important part than is known to the
  public—a more important part than they have in the government of any
  other city in this country. Their part in and influence upon the
  government of New York is constantly increasing, and the results are

  A woman is superintendent of schools in Chicago, but she hasn’t a
  word to say about spending the taxpayers’ money upon the schools.
  She has to take what is voted to her. A man is superintendent of
  schools in New York City, but here it is a woman who tells him how
  much money he can have to run his schools with. And she isn’t
  stingy, either, because she lets him have something over forty
  million dollars each and every year to compete with the motion

  The woman who exercises such an amazing financial power is Mrs.
  Mathilde Coffin Ford, examining inspector for the Bureau of
  Municipal Investigation and Statistics. Forty millions a year for
  one woman to spend—and she receives a salary of $3,500 a year! Judge
  Gary, head of the Steel Trust, gets $100,000 a year for spending
  less, and certainly accomplishing less.

  Of course, strictly and legally speaking, Mrs. Ford doesn’t have the
  whole say-so of those forty millions a year; but in reality that is
  just what she does. Not one dollar is spent by the Board of Estimate
  upon the school system unless Mrs. Ford has looked into the proposed
  expenditure, studied the possible educational result, reported
  favorably upon it, and drafted (for the Comptroller to sign) a
  resolution authorizing it. Thus, you see, Mrs. Ford knows what every
  woman knows, how to keep the purse strings firmly and to let the man
  think he is really doing the spending. Mrs. Ford is the housewife of
  the city’s educational system, a kind of magnified housewife, simply
  doing on a huge scale and with marvelously sharpened feminine powers
  what any janitor’s wife in any schoolhouse under Mrs. Ford’s control
  does for her household.

  Take an instance. Mrs. Ford is now drafting the corporate stock
  budget for the educational system. The Superintendent of Schools has
  asked for forty-six new buildings in the five boroughs and named the
  sites that he wants. His requests have been referred to Mrs. Ford.
  All the requests of parents and neighborhood improvement clubs on
  the same subject have been referred to Mrs. Ford. In three months
  Mrs. Ford has found time to slip out of her office and go shopping
  on the matter of new schools. She has gone to every one of the
  proposed sites. She has studied the educational need of the given
  neighborhoods. Her judgment outweighing the Superintendent’s, she
  has, with her woman’s small hands, lifted some of the proposed
  buildings bodily out of the proposed sites and placed them
  elsewhere, where schools seemed to her to be more needed. In each
  case she framed up a report embodying her reasons, which the
  Comptroller solemnly signed without more ado, and which the Board of
  Estimate will act upon without much ado. Thus Mrs. Ford did about
  twelve million dollars’ worth of shopping.

  In the fall Mrs. Ford spends a great deal more money. That is the
  time for drafting the tax budget, or maintenance budget. Something
  over thirty millions of dollars are spent annually in maintaining
  the schools at their given efficiency. Last fall the Department of
  Education asked for thirty-three millions, submitting a detailed
  report of how they intended to spend the money. Mrs. Ford had to go
  over every item. When she got through she had pared down the
  estimate to thirty millions, and that was after she had allowed for
  a more liberal expenditure in some items where she thought the
  policy of the department niggardly.

  These two instances do not begin to show Mrs. Ford’s complete range
  of authority. She fixes compensation for all employees of the
  Department of Education, save those of the teachers. She keeps track
  of all the funds and accounts of the Department, recommends changes
  from time to time in the financial arrangements for spending the
  money voted. She follows the course of the legislation at Albany
  which affects the school system in the city. In short, she more than
  any other person is the public school system of New York City.

  Back of all this power are years of experience in school work. Mrs.
  Ford has headed nearly every sort of school in the country, and was
  for years nominally Assistant Superintendent and really
  Superintendent of Schools of Detroit. She has delivered over four
  thousand lectures to teachers’ associations, telling them then, as
  now she tells New York, how to run a school system. Mrs. Ford knows
  how. It was no fluke that gave a woman such a strategic position in
  the city’s administration.

Whether or not they are concerned in holding offices themselves, women
have taken an interest in the character of the officers charged with
every kind of public function. Civil service reform is one of the
earliest changes espoused by women. Their first paths beyond the home
threshold led them into fields of relief, correction, and labor where
their home training in thrift was rudely shocked at the extravagance and
irresponsibility which they met among officials in public institutions
and in city positions.

In 1896 women appeared before the annual meetings of the National Civil
Service Reform League to make addresses. In that year Mrs. Charles
Russell Lowell spoke on the “Relation of Women to the Movement for
Reform in the Civil Service,” and her speech helped to stimulate the
belief in men that the help of women was of importance, and to inspire
women to a sense of their own usefulness in this direction. Soon after
that women like Mrs. Oakley of the Federation of Clubs appeared at the
sessions to report work of clubwomen and carry back to them from the
National Civil Service Reform League some inspiration for further
effort. It was not long before women as well as men began to urge
greater interest in civil service reform at conferences of charities and
corrections and similar assemblies. Women’s auxiliaries to civil service
reform associations are now quite common. There are also committees on
civil service reform connected with the Association of Collegiate
Alumnæ, patriotic societies, and kindred associations. The Women’s
Municipal League of New York and the Women’s Auxiliary of the National
Civil Service Reform League have a joint committee for the promotion of
education along this line and for the continual study of the problem.

A definite impetus to join in the movement for civil service reform was
given to club women in 1900 at their Biennial Convention in Milwaukee
when the following plea for their activity in this direction was made:

  How cowardly and shallow a cry is this one we raise from time to
  time—“Keep out of politics our school systems, our public
  institutions for the dependent and unfortunate citizens of our
  cities and states.” What does this mean? It means, keep these great
  moral responsibilities out of the hands of those elected to assume
  such responsibility.

  Is this the attitude of a people free to choose those who are to
  serve them?

  Even if you should deliberately plan to withdraw from politics the
  great interests of which we have spoken, responsibility for which is
  the training of the individual and the race; if you could wish to
  condemn our political life to dry rot, you cannot do it. The
  tendency is to put those things more and more under the jurisdiction
  of governments.

  Let us change our cry. Let us say, “Purify and strengthen our
  political life that it may be the worthy custodian of our deepest

It was such a natural, inevitable step for the women who had taken such
an interest in industrial and sanitary problems to see that the
enforcement of the laws relating thereto must be in the hands of
competent men and women. A Committee on Civil Service was added as one
of the standing committees of the general federation and it was not long
until each state, as well as some of the city federations, had its civil
service committee.

While individual clubs have continued to report that this movement
proceeded slowly owing to the insistence of many women that civil
service work meant politics, an ever-increasing number of women, whether
they believe in women entering politics themselves or not, have felt
that they must agitate for proper responsibility on the part of those
chosen as guardians of every interest the women have developed.

While insisting upon proper civil appointments, women have not been
indifferent to the need for trained men and women for public service.
The Women’s Auxiliary of the Civil Service Reform Association and the
New York Bureau of Municipal Research have taken up the problem of a
closer relation of the public educational system and public service with
a view to the development of the training for public service in
municipal schools and colleges.

Naturally such movements do not ignore the opportunities for women in
the public service and the necessity of providing adequate training for
them. Indeed the work of women in bureaus of municipal research in New
York and elsewhere is an evidence of the desire on the part of women for
training in public service and demonstrates woman’s ability to adapt
herself to the requirements of that training. The New York Bureau has
had nineteen women in the two and a half years of its existence and its
last report (1914) tells of their assignments and the positions they now
fill. As city positions are generally accorded first to men, their
present offices are no final estimate of comparative efficiency. The
“Budget and the Citizen” by Mary Sayles and “Helping School Children” by
Elsa Denison are two of the noteworthy contributions of the New York
Bureau. Finally, it is to a woman, Mrs. E. H. Harriman, that the
Training School for Public Service connected with the Bureau owes its

With woman’s interest awakened to every need of modern municipal life
and her mind trained to do high and efficient public service, may we not
look forward with firmer confidence to the day when Mayor Baker’s dream
shall be fulfilled:

                       “The patriot’s dream
                     That sees beyond the years
                       Thine alabaster cities gleam
                     Undimmed by human tears.”


 Abatement law, 109

 Abattoir, municipal, 73

 Administration, 319

 Aid, first, 95;
   legal, 279

 Aliens. _See_ Immigrants and Assimilation of races

 Art, in schools, 12;
   municipal, 293

 Assimilation of races, 170

 Associations. _See_ Leagues and Women’s clubs

 Babies. _See_ Child welfare and Infant mortality

 Baths, public, 82

 Blind, education of, 21

 Budget, city, 88, 96, 166, 332, 337

 Child welfare, better baby contests and, 59;
   children born out of wedlock, 68;
   delinquency and, 281, 282;
   elements of, 65;
   ice and, 64;
   milk and, 59;
   mothers’ pensions and, 252;
   social service and, 226, 233.
   _See also_ Exhibits

 Children’s bureau, 57

 Civil service, in general, 335;
   in public welfare work, 239

 City planning, 218, 293

 Clean-up crusades, 84

 Clinics, dental, 48;
   medical, 270;
   psychopathic, 276;
   tuberculosis, 48

 Clubs, women’s, and assimilation of aliens, 196;
   and child welfare, 65;
   and civic improvement, 303;
   and clean-up, 85;
   and fire protection, 287;
   and food, 74;
   and garbage, 88;
   and housing, 208;
   and juvenile delinquency, 269;
   and laundries, 83;
   and milk, 62;
   and prison reform, 285;
   and public baths, 82;
   and sanitation, 87;
   and smoke, 92;
   and the social evil, 97;
   and social service, 224;
   and vital statistics, 57;
   and water, 79

 Commissions, charity, 232;
   food, 77;
   housing, 206;
   immigration, 197;
   mothers’ pensions, 251–253;
   playground, 136;
   recreation, 165

 Corrections, 259

 Crime. _See_ Corrections

 Cripples, education of, 16

 Dance halls, 139

 Defectives, education of, 17;
   marriage and parenthood of, 69;
   and probation, 264

 Delinquents, literature on, 249.
   _See also_ Corrections, Juvenile courts, and Recreation

 Democracy, in health, 46;
   in schools, 39;
   political, 321;
   social and industrial, 182

 Detention homes, 261

 Disease, contagious, 48;
   occupational, 50

 Dispensaries, 48

 Domestic science, among foreign women, 177;
   in schools, 11, 12

 Drama, in general, 152;
   in schools, 12;
   in suppression of social evil, 124

 Drugs, pure, 78

 Education, 1–44;
   associations in, 40;
   curricula in, 11;
   equal pay for teachers, 3;
   equal, 3;
   experiments in, 10–39;
   influence in methods of, 4, 6, 9;
   in school administration, 6;
   women teachers and, 3;
   libraries and, 43.
   _See_ each succeeding chapter for education of public in special

 Employment, Boston Bureau of, 28

 Enforcement of laws, with respect to food, 73;
   with respect to health, 96;
   with respect to smoke, 91;
   with respect to vice, 114;
   with respect to housing, 216;
   with respect to good government, 320

 Federations. _See_ Leagues and Clubs

 Finance, city, 332

 Fire, clean-up crusades and, 84;
   protection from, 287

 First aid, 95

 Flies, 72, 92

 Food, pure, 70

 Foreigners, education of, 22, 171;
   protection of, 177

 Fourth of July demonstrations, 156

 Garbage, 88

 Gardens, school, 23

 Government, 319

 Health, civic improvement and, 293;
   housing and, 52;
   public, 45–96

 Homes, and sex hygiene, 128;
   family visitation for health, 51;
   in mill towns, 249;
   homelessness, 249;
   of negroes, 210;
   pre-natal visiting of, 60;
   for working women, 201

 Hospitals, 47;
   social service work of, 51

 Housing, 199–219;
   health and, 52;
   literature on, 249;
   and mothers’ pensions, 252;
   of negroes, 187

 Hygiene, and housing, 218;
   opposition to sex, 113;
   sex, 15, 48

 Ice, 63

 Immigrants, legal protection of, 279.
   _See_ Assimilation of races

 Infant mortality, district nurse and, 55;
   federal bureau and, 57;
   ice and, 63;
   milk and, 59;
   poverty and, 61;
   official control of, 56;
   of illegitimate children, 68;
   study of, 58

 Inspectors, of fire peril, 290;
   of food, 71;
   of housing, 204;
   of sanitation, 86

 Investigations, of prisons, 278.
   _See also_ Surveys

 Judges, women as, 273

 Juvenile courts, resemblance of, to truant school, 22;
   work for establishment of, 268

 Juvenile leagues, housing, 216.
   _See also_ Leagues

 Kindergartens, 10

 Labor, attitude of settlements toward, 182;
   of the child, 41;
   and child welfare, 100;
   and city government, 320;
   conditions of, 94;
   and fire protection, 287;
   food of workers, 74;
   immigrant and, 170;
   immigrant girl and, 171;
   in times of strike, 178;
   literature of, 248;
   and mothers’ pensions, 252;
   of the mother, 61;
   negro and, 170, 184;
   public responsibility for conditions of, 242;
   social evil and, 118

 Laundries, public, 83

 Leagues, and assimilation of races, 196;
   and charity, 228;
   and civic improvement, 297;
   and clean streets, 84;
   and housing, 204;
   junior, 87, 95;
   and pure food, 71;
   and pure water, 81;
   and recreation, 134;
   and smoke, 91;
   and vice, 102, 125

 Legislation, for blind, 20;
   and corrections, 276;
   for defectives, 19;
   and housing, 250;
   for safety, 156;
   social, 255;
   and the social evil, 101, 281;
   and social welfare, 250

 Librarians, social work of, 23

 Libraries, 43

 Literature, on aliens, 171;
   on education, 20–42;
   on health, 51–96;
   on housing, 208;
   on pageantry, 158;
   on social centers, 163;
   on the social evil, 124;
   on social and industrial investigations, 248. (In no sense a

 Manual training, introduced into schools, 13

 Milk, bottle, versus breast feeding, 60;
   as an economic question, 61;
   elements of problem, 63;
   municipalization of sale of, 62;
   pure, 59

 Milk stations, 60

 Movies, censorship of, 148;
   effects of, 147;
   in sanitation, 90;
   and the social evil, 125

 Music, in schools, 12;
   for public recreation, 143

 Negroes, assimilation of, 183;
   in cities, 170;
   defective, 21;
   and housing, 21;
   recreation for, 146

 Noise, in cities, 93, 94

 Nurseries, day, 84

 Nursing, colored women and, 56;
   district, 53;
   household, 55;
   industrial, 55;
   municipal, 55;
   and pre-natal care, 60;
   school, 55;
   wet, 62

 Occupations, diseases of, 50;
   medical care in, 51;
   of negroes, 184.
   _See also_ Vocations and Labor

 Organizations. _See_ Leagues

 Office-holding, 328

 Pageants, 153

 Parental schools, 22, 270

 Parks. _See_ Art, municipal

 Physical training, for girls, 14;
   in general, 13

 Playgrounds, 131

 Police matrons, 265

 Police women, 266, 286

 Politics, charity and, 231;
   city government and, 319;
   civic improvement and, 298;
   corrections and police and, 266;
   health and, 46;
   juvenile courts and, 271;
   probation and, 264;
   schools and, 9, 10, 38;
   social service and, 237;
   vice and, 106;
   water and, 79.
   _See also_ Social evil

 Posture, 95

 Poverty, charity and, 240;
   education and, 25;
   extent of interest in, 260;
   food and, 67;
   health and, 83;
   housing and, 218;
   infant mortality and, 61;
   the social evil and, 100;
   some results of, 236

 Prevention, among Jewish immigrants, 180;
   of charity, 221;
   of delinquency, 132;
   of dependency, 250;
   of disease, 49;
   of the social evil, 118

 Probation, 261

 Prostitution. _See_ Social evil

 Recreation, 131–169;
   and delinquency, 282

 Red Cross seals, 48

 Safety, in general, 287;
   on streets, 139

 Sanitation, inspection, 86;
   of manufactured goods, 223;
   surveys on, 86.
   _See also_ Clean-up crusades

 School buildings, 36

 Schools, decoration of, 37;
   for delinquents, 276;
   and immigrants, 175;
   inspection of, 37;
   lunches in, 65;
   open-air, 49;
   for public servants, 337;
   as social centers, 158

 Settlements, 39, 182

 Sex hygiene, 15, 48, 125

 Smoke, 91

 Social centers, 158

 Social evil, 97, 180, 252;
   and corrections, 260;
   and courts, 273;
   and legislation, 282

 Societies. _See_ Leagues

 Social service, 220–258;
   among aliens, 182;
   and corrections, 266;
   in hospitals, 51;
   as prevention of social evil, 118;
   and probation, 264;
   through milk stations, 61

 Streets, factors in problem of, 87.
   _See also_ Clean-up crusades

 Suffrage for women, activity of suffragists, 106;
   argument for, 321;
   and civic improvement, 299;
   defense of voters, 322;
   and juvenile delinquency, 272;
   needs of, 47, 80;
   and social service, 257;
   voters and the social evil, 109

 Surveys, of aliens, 171, 196;
   of housing, 202;
   of negroes, 183;
   recreational, 140;
   sanitary, 86

 Temperance, in school study, 12;
   work of W. C. T. U., 225

 Truant schools, 22

 Tuberculosis, clinics for treatment of, 48;
   hospital provision for, 48;
   prevention of, 49

 Vacation schools, 22

 Vice. _See_ Social evil

 Visiting teachers, 24

 Vital statistics, 57

 Vocational guidance, 27

 Vocational training, 13–36;
   reasons for, 236

 Voters, women. _See_ Politics and Suffrage

 White slave traffic, 180.
   _See also_ Social evil


Footnote 1:

  This movement, however, is by no means recent. One of the most
  exciting school campaigns in a great city was waged by the Civic Club
  of Philadelphia, a reform organization of women, nearly twenty years
  ago, in 1895. The story of that campaign is told in a pamphlet edited
  by Mrs. Talcott Williams and printed as a publication of the American
  Academy of Political and Social Science.

Footnote 2:

  _New York Times._

Footnote 3:

  Bulletin of Public Education Association.

Footnote 4:

  _The American Club Woman._

Footnote 5:

  Annual Report of the Women’s Municipal League.

Footnote 6:

  This question is still pending.

Footnote 7:

  _New York Evening Post._

Footnote 8:

  _The American City._

Footnote 9:

  U. S. Dept. of Labor, Children’s Bureau—Infant Mortality Series.

Footnote 10:

  _The Survey._

Footnote 11:

  _The American Club Woman._

Footnote 12:

  _The American Club Woman._

Footnote 13:

  Lenora Austin Hamlin in _The St. Paul Courant_.

Footnote 14:

  _The Survey._

Footnote 15:

  _The American Club Woman._

Footnote 16:

  After hearing her once, a large group of working women in New York
  City eagerly offered to pay $1.00 apiece for a course of lectures.

Footnote 17:

  _The American City._

Footnote 18:

  _The Survey._

Footnote 19:

  _The American City._

Footnote 20:

  _The American City._

Footnote 21:

  _The American City._

Footnote 22:

  _The American Club Woman._

Footnote 23:

  _The Survey._

Footnote 24:

  _The American Club Woman._

Footnote 25:

  From a paper read at the Recreation Congress in Richmond, Va., May,
  1913, and printed in _The American City_.

Footnote 26:

  _The American Club Woman._

Footnote 27:

  _The American City._

Footnote 28:

  _The Survey._

Footnote 29:

  _The Survey._

Footnote 30:

  _The American Club Woman._

Footnote 31:

  _National Municipal Review._

Footnote 32:

  _National Municipal Review._

Footnote 33:

  See Housing Conditions in Chicago, VI. _American Journal of
  Sociology_, Vol. XVIII, p. 241.

Footnote 34:

  Annual report of the Consumers’ League.

Footnote 35:

  _The Survey._

Footnote 36:

  From circular sent out by Committee on Women as Overseers of the Poor.

Footnote 37:

  Report of the Consumers’ League.

Footnote 38:

  _The Survey._

Footnote 39:

  _The Survey._

Footnote 40:

  “Pensions for Mothers” by Edward T. Devine, _The Survey_, July 5,
  1913, p. 457.

Footnote 41:

  _The Survey._

Footnote 42:

  _The Survey._

Footnote 43:

  An interesting development in this protection of child life is the
  desire being expressed by groups of women that children born out of
  wedlock shall be protected as well as the children of married mothers.
  The International Council of Women, in its convention last June,
  stated the position of such women clearly when it said: “There is no
  such thing as an illegitimate child.”

Footnote 44:

  The Board of Directors consists of: Chairman, James H. Tufts, Illinois
  Association for Labor Legislation; Vice-Chairman, Mrs. Arthur Aldis,
  Visiting Nurses’ Association; Secretary, E. T. Lies, United Charities
  of Chicago; Treasurer, Charles L. Hutchinson, Corn Exchange Bank,
  Chicago; Executive Officer, James Mullenbach; Jane Addams, Gertrude
  Howe Britton, Rudolph Matz, Sherman C. Kingsley, Minnie F. Low, James
  Minnick and W. R. Stirling.

Footnote 45:

  _The Survey._

Footnote 46:

  Parole and probation are so similar in purpose that no distinction
  will be made here between the two functions. Women figure as parole
  officers in women’s and children’s institutions just as they figure as
  probation officers in the courts. The Los Angeles district of the
  California Federation of Women’s Clubs has established a Psychopathic
  Parole Society for the “prevention of insanity and to secure homes for
  unfortunate women confined in Patton, many of whom were fit to be
  discharged and others rightly and justly able to be paroled if right
  homes could be found.”

Footnote 47:

  _The American City._

Footnote 48:

  _The Survey._

Footnote 49:

  _The American Club Woman._

Footnote 50:

  _The American City._

Footnote 51:

  _The American City._

Footnote 52:

  _The American City._

Footnote 53:

  _The American City._

Footnote 54:

  For further important statistics see _The National Municipal Review_.


                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES

 1. Silently corrected typographical errors and variations in spelling.
 2. Retained anachronistic, non-standard, and uncertain spellings as
 3. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.

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