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The Philanthropy Classics Access Project 

Over the past three decades more than two hundred 
institutions world-wide have established research centers, 
programs, and courses relating to philanthropy, voluntarism, 
nonprofit organizations, and civil society. Unfortunately, many of 
the classic books and articles, essential to understanding these 
fields, are long out or print. 

New material in this edition, copyright © 2006 by the Hauser 
Center for Nonprofit Organizations, John F. Kennedy School of 
Government, Harvard University 02138. 
Originally published in 1911 by the MacMillan Company. 

This on-line reprint project, sponsored by Harvard's Hauser 
Center for Nonprofit Organizations and funded by the Charles 
Stewart Mott and Surdna Foundations, hopes to make many of 
these texts available free to students, scholars, and the general 
public. Each will be accompanied by a new introduction by a 
leading contemporary scholar, explaining the circumstances under 
which the original text was produced and its significance to our 
understanding of philanthropy and related fields. 

The editors are particularly grateful to our Editorial Board, 
a group of distinguished scholars who recommended works worthy 
of inclusion in the series, and to the funders who have generously 
supported the project. 

Peter Dobkin Hall 

Richard Magat 


Introduction to the Philanthropy Classics Access 
Project Edition 

The Philanthropic Work of Josephine Shaw Lowell: 
Containing a Biographical Sketch of her Life Together with a 
Selection of Her Public Papers and Private Letters contains a rich 
set of primary documents for scholars and students of the history 
of social welfare. The volume provides a fascinating insight into 
the evolution of both the ideology and practice of social welfare 
from the dawn of the first great spurt of industrial growth of the 
Gilded Age to 1905. It has been profitably used and widely cited 
since its publication in 1911.^ It is also valuable for the wealth of 

^ William Rhinelander Stewart, ed.. The Philanthropic Work of Josephine Shaw 
Lowell (New York; The Macmillan Company) 1911. Hereafter, Stewart. Three 
contemporary reviews are found m American Economic Review , v. 2, n. 3 
(September 1912): 6M-5, American Journal of Sociology, \. 18, n. 3 (November 
1912): 402; The Nation.v. 94, no. 2440 (April 4, 1912): 340-41. One reviewer 
predicted that the volume will be a "classic in the libraries of students in the 
history of our country ..." Another declared "The story of Mrs. Lowell's social 
activities, beginning in her girlhood during the Civil War and continued till her 
death in 1905, typifies and illuminates the social development of the period, a 
development which she took a noteworthy part m shaping." The first quote from 
AER: 684, the second from AJS . Noteworthy as well is the large number of 
scholars and historians of welfare history who have found Stewart's volume 
valuable. A small selection includes Dorothy Becker, Lillian Brant, and Frank 
D. Watson. Much later, Robert Bremner, Paul Boyer and Michael B. Katz 
profitably used The Philanthropic Work of Josephine Shaw Lowell in their 
discussions of scientific charity and its application in New York by Lowell and 
the COS. Dorothy Becker, "The Visitor to the New York City Poor, 1843- 
1920." Social Service Review 35 (December 1961): 382-396; Lillian Brant, 
Growth and Development of the AICP and COS (New York: Community 
Service Society of New York, 1942); Frank D. Watson, The Charity 
Organization Movement in the United States: A Study in American Philanthropy 
(New York: The Macmillan company, 1922); Robert Bremner, From the 
Depths: The Discovery of Poverty in the United States (New York: New York 
University Press, 1956); Paul Boyer, Urban Masses and Moral Order in 
America 1820-1926 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978); Michael 

biographical material on Josephine Shaw Lowell ~ philanthropist, 
social reformer and a leader of the American scientific charity, or 
"charity organization" movement. Charity organization societies, 
the institutional expression of that movement, were by far the most 
important shapers of the country's welfare politics in the era.^ This 
introductory essay identifies the editor and compiler, William R. 
Stewart, and discusses Lowell's life and work, interwoven and 
contextualized with the charitable and reform world in the late 
nineteenth century United States. 

Largely unknown today, William Rhinelander Stewart 
(1852-1929) was a leading architect of the New York State welfare 
system from 1882 to 1929. He was born into a venerable and 
wealthy New York family and attended Columbia University, 
where he received a law degree in 1873. Unhappy with his chosen 
career, Stewart devoted himself to public service, while tending to 
his many business concerns. He was an active force in the cultural 
life of New York City, raising money for the building of the 
Washington Arch in Greenwich Village and enjoying a successful 
tenure as Chair of the committee to finish Ulysses S. Grant's 
magnificent tomb on Riverside Drive. A Republican Party 
supporter, Stewart also dabbled in reform politics, working to 
overthrow the Tammany Hall machine that dominated New York 

In 1882 Stewart was appointed by Governor Andrew 
Cornell to the New York State Board of Charities, a post-Civil War 
creation that was designed to oversee all the state's welfare 
responsibilities for dependent populations. He was on the Board 
for forty-seven years - serving as its president for twenty-four of 

B. Katz, In the Shadow of the Poorhouse: A Social History of Welfare in 
America (New York: Basic Books, 1986). 

' 1 found Stewart's work an indispensable aid for my biography of Lowell. This 
introduction is based on Joan Waugh, Unsentimental Reformer: The Life of 
Josephine Shaw Lowell (Boston: Harvard University Press, 1998). 


those years - before retiring in 1929, a few months before his 
death. Stewart's major achievement was the promotion of humane 
care for juvenile delinquents, who were previously lumped in with 
older offenders. He pursued "abandoning a system based upon 
punishment and retribution" and advocated replacing it with "one 
which would provide for proper classification, open grounds for 
play and exercise, proper industrial and scholastic education, and 
care of the boys and girls in separate institutions."' At Stewart's 
retirement. Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt provided a tribute: 
"Your record is unique in the annals of the State's history, both in 
length of time and in the variety and scope of your activities.""^ 

Teacher and Mentor 

Josephine Shaw Lowell preceded Stewart on the State 
Board by seven years, and upon his arrival, cultivated him as an 
ally and a friend. Younger than Lowell, Stewart openly considered 
her his teacher and mentor. "The story of her life," he claimed, "is 
full of inspiration, and the knowledge it affords of the amazing 
results attained by one woman, almost empty-handed, should 
encourage many to follow where she had led the way."^ Indeed, 
Lowell commands an important place in the history of social 
welfare reform. Brilliant and ambitious, she seized boldly the reins 
of leadership of the scientific charity movement and changed the 
way many citizens thought about relief and charity, whether they 

Quoted in "William Rhinelander Stewart," Dictionary of American Biography, 
Dumas Malone, ed., v. 9 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons): 15. 

"* Quote from New York Times, September 5, 1929, 29. "William Rhinelander 
Stewart," m Biographical Dictionary of Social Welfare in America (Westport, 
Connecticut: Greenwood Press Inc.), 1986: The role of State Boards is discussed 
in W. R. Brock, Investigation and Responsibility: Public responsibility in the 
United States, 7S(55-7i'00 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press) 1984. 

^Stewart: 11. 

agreed with her or not. Her book Public Relief and Private Charity 
(1884) set out the intellectual theory for "industrial welfare," and 
in addition remained the most used textbook for the next 
generation of charity workers.'' 

The Philanthropic Work of Josephine Shaw Lowell covers 
three decades in which Lowell sought to bring charitable practices 
into accord with the industrial age. She served as the first woman 
commissioner on the New York State Board of Charities, and was 
the founder and guiding spirit of the Charity Organization Society 
of the City of New York. Within a few years of its establishment in 
1882, Lowell's organization became a major part of New York 
City's governing structure, and a trendsetter in social welfare 
policy. Under Lowell's direction the Society pioneered important 
research on poverty, developed and refined the "casework" 
approach to social welfare, cultivated fresh leadership, and 
promoted the professionalization of social work. The volume's 
documents reveal a dynamic connection between reform, politics 
and charity in New York City through the life of one of its 
principal players. 

After her death in 1905 the courtly Stewart spent five years 
collecting and arranging a selection of eighty of Lowell's 
published and unpublished works ~ reports, speeches, articles, and 
conference papers - into a treasure trove of valuable material. 
There are also many personal letters from Lowell to family 
members, colleagues and friends.^ Stewart's intention was "to 
provide a new handbook of reference for the ever growing army of 
students of social subjects in our schools of philanthropy, colleges, 
and settlements, which they may find explained in her own 

"^ Josephine Shaw Lowell, Public Relief and Private Charity (New York: G.P. 
Putnam's and Sons, 1884). 

' Lowell's sister-in-law, Annie Haggerty Shaw, is the most cited correspondent. 
See Stewart, Chapter V. 

writings the sound principles which underlay all Mrs. Lowell's 
benevolent worked."^ Students and readers will find notable 
differences as well as some similarities contrasting the 
aforementioned "sound principles" of the last three decades of the 
19* century, as articulated by Lowell, alongside those of the 21**^ 
century welfare activists and reformers. 

The chapters, with explanatory narrative provided by 
Stewart, examine Lowell's contributions to the field of 
philanthropy. Her thirteen years as a commissioner on the Board of 
Charities, and her leadership of the Charity Organization Society 
necessarily command a large part of the book. Other parts cover 
her wide-ranging interests in labor reform, civil service reform, 
and women's issues. Stewart intended his twenty-two chapter 
volume to serve as a tribute to Lowell's life and career, and he 
succeeded. "This record of Mrs. Lowell's life and work," he wrote, 
"will serve to perpetuate her memory as one of the most useful and 
remarkable women of the nineteenth century."^ Clearly his 
admiration for Lowell influenced his interpretation; but that 
admiration does not diminish the book's value. 

Family, War and Marriage 

Stewart' s Philanthropic Work of Josephine Shaw Lowell 
begins with three short chapters that provide fascinating 
background on Lowell's personal history. ^'^ 

Lowell was born into a wealthy abolitionist family from 
New England. Lowell's Boston-born parents, Francis George 
Shaw and Sarah Blake Shaw enjoyed prominence in the worlds of 

Stewart: xi. 


Stewart: 1-47. 

reform, culture, and philanthropy. Their wide social circle included 
poet James Russell Lowell, philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, 
writer Nathaniel Hawthorne and novelist and anti-slavery activist 
Lydia Maria Child. The benefits of wealth, privilege and education 
flowed from the parents to their five lively children, Anna, Robert, 
Josephine (nicknamed "Effie"), Susannah and Ellen. Stewart 
provided a charming anecdote of Lowell's earliest years. 
"Josephine was always a brilliant child," he gushed. As evidence, 
Stewart quoted Sarah Shaw, who described her ten-year-old as "the 
genius of the family. She can cook, cut out things, trim hates and 
caps, speak French, German and Italian, and write poetry. ^^ Effie 
received her education in Boston, Staten Island, New York (the 
Shaws' new residence) and various places in Europe, where the 
family spent several happy years in the 1850s. They returned to 
America only to be caught up in the sectional turmoil that preceded 
the Civil War. 

When war broke out in 1861, the teen-aged Josephine took 
pen in hand and recorded her thoughts on the conflict. Josephine's 
sisters and daughter allowed Stewart to include excerpts of the 
diary in the volume, a sign of their great trust in him. "A Young 
Girl's Wartime Diary" above all preserved for posterity Lowell's 
intense commitment to slavery's abolition as the main goal of the 
war, next to preserving the Union. ^^ Josephine's earnest entries 
revealed that, along with female friends and family, she 
volunteered her services to the United States Sanitary Commission. 
"The Sanitary" taught Lowell the virtues of organization and 
efficiency in dispensing aid to the northern soldiers. One of the 
many pleasures of the Stewart volume is the knowledge gained 
regarding the careers of Lowell's philanthropic colleagues - 

Stewart: 6. 

■'A Young Girl's Wartime Diary," in Stewart: 10-37. 


especially Louisa Lee Schuyler - from their youthful Sanitary days 
through the Gilded Age when they figured so prominently in New 
York charity/'' 

Josephine anxiously followed her bother Robert's wartime 
career, first as an officer with the Second Massachusetts Regiment, 
and then as the colonel of the first northern black unit, the fifty- 
fourth Massachusetts Regiment. Her diary ended before Rob 
Shaw's heroic death leading his regiment at the assault of South 
Carolina's Fort Wagner in July of 1863/"^ Comfort from this 
tragedy came from her betrothal and marriage to Colonel Charles 
Russell Lowell of the Second Massachusetts Cavalry/^ Charles 
Lowell, a nephew of the poet James Russell Lowell, was a good 
match for Josephine Shaw. The couple shared many interests, 
including an idealistic vision for a reunited America. They lived 
together briefly in Virginia from their marriage, in October, 1863, 
to the early summer of the next year. At that time, the twenty-year- 
old Josephine returned to her family's beautiful estate in Staten 
Island to await the birth of their child. Colonel Lowell died at 
twenty -nine in the battle of Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864. 
Afterwards the grieving young widow gave birth to her daughter, 
and contemplated her options for the future. ^^ 

'' Stewart: 543-44. 

^'' Selected letters between Robert Shaw and Effie, his favorite sister, are printed 
in Russell Duncan, editor, Blue-Eyed Child of Fortune: The Civil War Letters of 
Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1992). 

^^ Information on Charles Russell Lowell can be found in Edward Emerson, Life 
and Letters of Charles Russell Lowell, Introduction by Joan Waugh (Columbia: 
University of South Carolina Press, 2005, repr, 1907) and Carol Bundy, The 
Nature of Sacrifice: A Biography of Charles Russell Lowell, Jr., 1835-64 (New 
York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005). 

^'^ Accounts of the Shaw family and the war can be found in: Joan Waugh, 
Unsentimental Reformer, pp. 37-97; Waugh, "It Was A Sacrifice We Owed: The 
Shaw Family and the Fifty -fourth Massachusetts Regiment," in Hope and Glory : 

At first, Josephine continued in the path of her activist 
parents, whose Staten Island residence she shared. With their warm 
support, the attractive and personable Lowell joined the New York 
branch of the Freedmen's Relief Association. From 1866 to 1871, 
she supervised the establishment of public schools for African- 
American children in Virginia, often traveling south to visit, 
inspect, and write reports. She thrived in her new role, but was 
force into retirement when the organization collapsed. In 1872 
Lowell turned to charity, traditionally women's work, but a field 
that was undergoing an exciting transformation in the postwar 

Changing Charity 

By the time Lowell began her career private charity was no 
longer the exclusive domain of the church and good-hearted 
philanthropists. Public welfare - usually provided by local 
government - came under increased scrutiny because of its close 
association with the corrupt practices of urban political machines. 
Leaders of a reform movement, called "scientific charity," or 
"charity organization," advocated placing all relief- whether 
private or public - on an efficient, scientific, and businesslike basis 
to cope with the destabilizing forces of industrialization in the late 
nineteenth century. The problems of urban poverty especially - a 
growing homeless population, masses of people thrown out of 
work by frequent economic depressions, and uncontrolled 
immigration - called for a recasting of welfare policy for a 
dangerous age. The practitioners, who adopted the label of "social 
scientists," represented a new breed of educated experts whose 

Essays on the Legacy of the 54 ^ Massachusetts, eds, Martin H. Blatt, Thomas J. 
Brown and Donald Yacovone (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press) 
2001 : 52-75; Lorien Foote, peeking the One Great Remedy: Francis George 
Shaw and Nineteenth Century ReformfAthen, Ohio: Ohio University Press) 


goal was to identify, investigate, and solve serious social problems 
roiling the country 


Lowell was one such eager young social activist who 
joined with other charity professionals to discuss and debate 
strategy and objectives. She presented papers entitled "One Means 
of Preventing Pauperism," and "The Economic and Moral Effects 
of Public Outdoor Relief," at annual meetings in newly minted 
groups such as the National Conference of Charities and 
Corrections or the American Social Science Association/^ In 1873 
Lowell volunteered for the New York State Charities Aid 
Association, founded one year earlier by Louisa Schuyler. Lowell 
served as a visitor for the Association's Richmond County (Staten 
Island) committee. She embarked on an energetic round of 
inspections to poorhouses, almshouses, and jails, becoming an 
expert on "pauperism," considered a massive social problem 
throughout the 1870s. Much later, Lowell connected the Civil War 
years with the origins of the SCAA: "Our great national sin, 
slavery, was answerable for manifold and various evils, among 
others for the barbarous condition of the poor houses and jails of 
our country, so far behind those of other civilized nations. . . As 
soon as the war was over, however, and strength could be gathered 
for fresh work, these lesser evils were attacked, and in this State 
especially, the very men and women who had contended against 
slavery, and who later had 'enlisted for the war' under the Sanitary 
Commission were gathered together again by their old leaders for 
the next fight."^^ 

In 1876 New York's Governor Samuel Tilden heard 
Lowell's SCAA report read at a meeting detailing the findings of 
her investigation into the effects of pauperism in Westchester 
County, New York. Impressed with Lowell's analysis and 
recommendations, the governor appointed her to a position on the 
New York State Board of Charities. Lowell, the first woman to 
occupy a state office, solidified her growing reputation as a well- 
known specialist on charity and welfare concerns during her 
thirteen-year tenure on the SBC. Commissioner Lowell inspected, 
reported on, and recommended reforms for hundreds of institutions 
housing dependent populations. She was especially interested in 
changing the condition for young women either in jail or confined 
because of mental retardation, advocating separate female asylums 
and reformatories. Lowell was distressed by "the prisonlike [sic] 
character of some of our reformatories." 


Her relentless ten-year campaign resulted in the 
establishment of state reformatories for women at Hudson, Albion, 
and Bedford, as well as a new State Custodial Asylum for Feeble- 
Minded Women. For Stewart, Lowell's "labors to rescue the erring 
and feeble-minded of her sex," were her greatest achievements as a 
commissioner; other chapters of the book reveal that she was 
active in additional areas - such as the care for dependent 
children. ^^ Lowell's impressive record was tied directly to her 
abilities to work closely and successfully with various interest 
groups as well as state legislators with the goal of making New 
York's welfare operate more efficiently and humanely. She proved 
an able politician and was consistently eloquent in pressing for 

Dorothy Ross, The Origins of American Social Science (Cambridge: 
Cambridge University Press, 1991). 

^^ Papers listed in Stewart: 552, 556. 

^' Quote from Stewart: 77-78; See also Stewart, Chapter VI "Work for the State 

Charities Aid Association:" 72-86. 

-" Stewart: 87. 

■' Quote in Stewart: 115; Her State Board work is covered in chapters Vll, Vlll, 


reform recommendations to public authorities on a local, city and 
state level 


Not too long after she was appointed a commissioner, 
Lowell felt that her work on the State Board was not really 
addressing the confusion in the private realm of charities. There 
were too many charities in New York City providing what Lowell 
termed as "indiscriminate relief" To solve this problem, she 
founded the Charity Organization Society of the City of New York 
in 1882. New York's COS, like Baltimore's, Boston's, Chicago's, 
and Philadelphia's (among others), advocated placing charitable 
relief on an efficient, scientific, and businesslike basis. In an 
attempt to guide and control social welfare practices in America's 
largest city the thirty-eight-year old Lowell assumed charge of the 
Society, while at the same time keeping her position on the Board. 

Lowell believed that charity organization should preserve 
the best of the old style philanthropy infused with new ideas and 
new methods. She argued that the goal of an industrializing society 
is to bring about a stable social order at whose center is the 
productive individual. A critical step in that direction would be to 
make a clearer dividing line between charity (private) and relief 
(public). This could be done by abolishing all outdoor relief 
(defined as cash or other assistance given to the needy so that they 
could remain at home). "It is not right," Lowell declared "to take 
one part of the community for the benefit of another part, it is not 
right to take money from one man and give it to another, unless for 
the benefit of both. "^'' This abolition was not unconditional. Lowell 
observed that many groups - the aged, widows with small children, 

~ Lowell frequently was called as an expert witness in Albany, as when she 
testified to a New York State legislative committee looking into department 
stores' labor politics. See Stewart, Chapter XVI, and Waugh, Unsentimental 
Reformer: 198. 

l^oweW, Public Relief and Private Charity: 1-2 

the mentally ill, the disabled - must be taken care of by public 
agencies, such as those she was used to overseeing as 
commissioner for the New York State Board. 

A Scientific Approach 

But the majority of people currently receiving public relief, 
according to Lowell, would be better served in every way by 
private charities run under the principles of scientific charity. 
Charity Organization Societies, Lowell asserted, should step up 
and assume a new and expanded role for private charity, which she 
defined as "a voluntary, free, beneficent action performed toward 
those who are in a more destitute circumstance and inferior in 
worldly position."^** Lowell admitted that the immense wealth 
created by the industrial economy was also creating great poverty, 
and with it, a widening gap between the rich and the poor. How to 
bridge the gap? Charity organization proposed to encourage the 
prosperous members of the community to acknowledge the 
mutuality of society, in a thoughtful and earnest manner through 
"friendly visiting" under the auspices of the Society. 

Lowell reviewed the functions of the volunteer worker in a 
pamphlet published by the Society entitled "Duties of Friendly 
Visitors," whose motto was "Not Alms, but a Friend. "^^ The visitor 
was a trained volunteer whose job it was to screen the applicants, 
evaluate their situation, and recommend intelligent action to be 
taken by carefully selected agencies. By the 1890s, however, much 
of charity organization work was done by salaried employees, the 
majority of whom were women. The first professional school for 
social work, founded under the auspices of Lowell's COS, was 

'Ibid, ^9. 

Stewart: 142-150. 


established in 1898. Later, the school was taken over by Columbia 


Lowell's stellar reputation was critical to the achievements 
of the U.S. charity organization movement; she shared ideas and 
advice with other COS leaders such as Robert Treat Paine and 
Annie Adams Fields of Boston and Mary Richmond of Baltimore. 
She personally recruited two notable figures in the City's social 
welfare history, Robert Weeks de Forest and Edward T. Devine 
into the Society. Lowell, Paine, Fields, and DeForest were upper 
class philanthropists who did not accept salaries. Yet their 
advocacy of the professional social worker would transform 
radically welfare delivery by the early twentieth century. Largely 
because of their vigorous leadership. Charity Organization 
Societies became influential in the university classroom, the 
business boardroom, and the legislative hall 


At first, Lowell and the COS pushed for programs focused 
on punitive solutions to poverty, such as the elimination of the 
homeless from the city streets through enforced "beggary laws," 
the exposure of charitable fraud, and a careful separation of the 
"worthy" from the "unworthy" supplicants for relief through the 
case method. The New York's COS tough image was reinforced 
by a "Committee on Mendicancy," which maintained a special 
department for the control of vagrancy and beggary on the city's 

■ For an illuminating and enjoyable account of COS history see Edward T. 
Devine, When Social Work was Young (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1939). 
A very small selection of scholarly works on charity organization include: 
Elizabeth N. Agnew, From Charity to Social Work: Mary E. Richmond and the 
Creation of Social Work (University of Illinois Press, 2003); Frank D. Watson, 
The Charity Organization Movement in the United States: A Study in American 
Philanthropy; Dawn M. Greeley, "Beyond benevolence: Gender, class and the 
development of scientific charity in New York City, 1882-1921," (Ph.D. diss.. 
State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1997); Michael B. Katz, In the 
Shadow of the Poorhouse: A Social History of Welfare in America.5^-\09; Joan 
Waugh, Unsentimental Reformer: 149-183. 

Streets. The Society established woodyards and lodging houses 
with the goal of removing the homeless from the streets and 
providing them with a small income from work and a safe place to 
live, while ensuring their reentry to the productive labor force. The 
emphasis on punishment and repression meant that the COS often 
found itself under attack from the press, churches, labor unions, 
other charitable societies and the public for its supposedly harsh 
and cold-hearted approach to poor relief and the problem of 
poverty. Critics chastised the movement for being more of "an 
organization for the prevention of charity" than for the relief of 
genuine distress. An equally damming, but more humorous 
assessment was provided by the Boston poet John Boyle O'Reilly: 
"The organized charity scrimped and iced/In the name of a 
cautious, statistical Christ." 

Lowell's views on the benefits of charity organization were 
refined, and in some ways, modified throughout the 1880s and 
early 1890s in speeches, articles, and newspaper interviews, many 
of which are included in the Stewart volume. By the last decade of 
the century, charity organization's emphasis on solving poverty 
through individual reform was complemented by "preventive 
philanthropy." Lowell was the leader of this trend, just as she was 
in formulating the harsher programs. The New York Society 
became known for projects that not only encouraged self-help; but 
also promoted the establishment of community-based social 
services that provided incentives for people to seek the benefits of 
independence. In 1885 Lowell gave a speech in front of the 
Congregational Club of New York in which she pleaded for a fresh 
understanding of the causes of poverty. Heed the call of "The 
Bitter Cry of the Poor in New York," she advised the audience, and 
she warned that that the causes are both individual and societal. 

The remedies, Lowell concluded, are not going to come easily or 

Reform Advocate 

The depression of 1893 was a watershed event for both 
Lowell and the organization she led in terms of an even great 
emphasis on preventive philanthropy. The needs of the jobless 
poor in that year and the next overwhelmed the capacity of both 
private and public welfare agencies. For the first time, Lowell 
acknowledged that relief, under extraordinary circumstances, 
might be a right for working people. She designed and 
implemented the "East Side Relief committee" a special work- 
relief unit set up to combat the effects of the depression. It was a 
flexible and innovative response by Lowell and the COS that both 
reflected experience and prefigured the more "progressive" future 
slant of the Society. Shortly after the depression ended, the Society 
joined with settlement houses to push laws that would address the 
problems of the City's tenement slum buildings. Lowell and the 
COS played a key role in supporting state legislation ameliorating 
industrial poverty. ^^ 

Lowell was aware of scientific charity's inadequacies well 
before the depression hit the working people of New York. In 
1889, much to Stewart's dismay, she resigned her position on the 
New York State Board of Charities. In a private letter - included 
in the volume - Lowell sought to explain her decision in the face of 

■ Lowell "The Bitter Cry of the Poor in New York: Some of Its Causes and 
Some of Its Remedies," Christian Union 31 (March 1885): 6-7. 

'^ There are many examples from Stewart; see also Joan Waugh, "Give This 
Man Work! : Josephine Shaw Lowell, the Charity Organization Society and the 
City of New York, and the Depression of 1893," Social Science History 25:2 
(Summer 2001): 217-46. 

some family opposition. "Five hundred thousand wage-earners in 
this city, 200,000 of them women and 75,000 of those working 
under dreadful conditions or for starvation wages," she began. 
Then, she asserted strongly: "That [the plight of wage-earners] is 
more vital than the 25,000 dependents, counting the children. If the 
working people had all they ought to have, we should not have the 
paupers and criminals. It is better to save them before they go 
under than to spend your life fishing them out when they're half- 
drowned and taking care of them afterwards. . . Exactly what I can 
do, I do not know, but I want the time to try, and as my term is up 
now, I had to seize the opportunity to leave the Board. There! "^^ 
Lowell's quest for solutions to the labor question brought her into 
the Working Women's Society; it compelled her to begin writing 
on the need for reconciliation and fairness between capitalists and 
workers, to advocate the right to strike and organize, and to 
champion the virtues of the working class. From the late 1880s on 
she embraced an extensive, even dazzling, agenda of reform, 
energizing and reaching out to movements that spoke of social 
justice and equality of condition. By no means did Lowell abandon 
her belief in the efficacy of charity organization. She simply 
realized that it was only one among many weapons available in the 
reformers' arsenal. 

Thus, Lowell worked tirelessly for labor arbitration, 
supported specific strikes and the "living wage," organized the 
Women's Municipal League, founded the Consumer's League of 
the City of New York in 1892, and played a prominent part in the 
anti -imperialist movement of the early twentieth century. Her 
papers on these topics are thoughtful and passionate. Lowell was 
always seeking new insights into social problems, while still 
maintaining conservative positions on issues like pauperism and 
uncontrolled relief Overall, Lowell's priorities t/z'J change as her 
frustration level over the injustices of economic inequality rose 

' As quoted in Stewart: 358-9. 


noticeably. "I feel myself. . .almost obliged to apologize for 
belonging to the charity organization society," Lowell declared in 
response to an attack on labor at an 1895 charities conference. "If 
the charity organization societies of the country are going to take 
the position of defenders of the rich against the poor which I do 
think is the danger which stands before us, then I shall be very 
sorry that I ever had anything to do with the work."'" 

Lowell's clashes with the City's ruling Democratic 
machine, whose appeal to immigrants distressed her generation of 
reformers, are also amply documented in Stewart. "Tammany 
[Hall] killed the children of the poor by hundreds last summer," 
she asserted in a speech designed to drive home the need for 
improved civil service standards that would hire qualified workers 
- in this case trash collectors who let refuse pile up with serious 
threats to public health ~ to actually do their jobs, instead of 
simply being rewarded for political favors.'^ Lowell pressed for 
Charity Organization Societies and like minded groups to demand 
city governments improve its services to the poor. Most politicians, 
she worried, seemed only concerned with reelection, and not with 
the well being of the people.''^ In mounting her opposition, Lowell 
mobilized women in such groups as the Women's Municipal 

As quoted in Charities Review 4 (1895): 465-92, 465; Examples of Lowell's 
position on labor are found in Stewart, Chapter XVll, "The Work for the 
Emancipation of Labor." Lowell's anti-imperialism is shown in Ibid., "Moral 
Deterioration Following War:, 466-470; Examples of her firm position on relief 
can be seen in Ibid., Chapter XIX, "Tramps:" 446-459. 

^' Quoted in "Wrongs of the Poor: Lack of Room in Schools, Unclean Streets, 
and Crowded Tenements Due to Tammany's Misrule," New York Daily Tribune 
17 October 1901. In Stewart, see "The Economic and Moral Effects of Public 
Outdoor Relief," 158-174, and Chapters XVIII and XXI. 

^' Quote from Stewart: 495; her political work is in Ibid., Chapters XVI, XVIII, 
and XXI. 

League and the Consumer's League, urging them to make their 
presence felt in the political realm by ensuring that their poorer 
"sisters" and their children were protected from economic and 
sexual exploitation. '■' 

Gender formed a central preoccupation for Lowell. A 
survey of Stewart's thorough chronological bibliography of her 
writings as well as his helpful topical index reveals that this 
preoccupation was present from the beginning to the end of her 
career.'"^ Lowell's service on the SBC and in the COS always 
demonstrated a strong concern for poor women. Distinguishing her 
from many other adherents of scientific charity, she supported 
generous relief measures to poor mothers who were not "morally 
deficient," which, as she admitted, were most of them. "This sort 
of help is not demoralizing nor pauperizing," she stated, "because 
it only places the family in a natural position. Women and children 
ought to be supported, and there is no sense of degradation in 
receiving support."'^ 

Lowell's concern for women and children reflected a 
traditional view of the family, in which the father provided for, and 
protected, his wife and children. Violations of this natural order, 
either by individuals or by the failure of the state, propelled Lowell 
into radical positions. She proposed, for example, to build 
government funded "model tenements" for widows with 
children."'"' Thus, Lowell was a vigorous advocate for protecting 
the groups she identified as capitalism's most vulnerable and 
blameless victims. When she rallied to their causes as she did for 

' Stewart, Chapters XVI and XVIII. 

' Stewart: 551-561 and 562-574. 
'Ibid. 273. 

' Ibid: 473-74. 


the female department store clerks, Lowell also called on upper- 
and middle-class women to support her actions. She insisted that 
women were citizens too, and their combined power, could and 
should affect policy, especially in the realm of welfare. 

Lowell was no feminist. She did not favor equal roles for 
men and women. But she did favor equal rights, supporting the 
suffrage movement. Lowell's activism was based on using 
women's distinctive moral qualities. In an address entitled 
"Relation of Women to Good Government," Lowell observed that 
"Whatever other advantages or disadvantages may have come to 
the human race, and to women themselves from their being shut 
off in the main from the struggle for existence, it seems to me that 
there has been one great gain, their more acute moral sense." She 
explained that philanthropic women had a duty to use this "acute 
moral sense because as a class they have a more sensitive moral 
instinct than men as a class, and I therefore hold them to a stricter 
moral responsibility."'''' 

This statement reveals a paradox embedded in Lowell's life 
and thinking. The more she expanded the scope of her own power, 
the more she made it possible for other women to consider 
alternative career choices. From the 1870s, she promoted female 
professionalism in many areas - social work, police matrons, 
teachers, and so on. She also tied the benefits of civil service 
reform to increased employment opportunities for women. On a 
personal level, clearly she considered herself a professional 
woman, even if later generations defined her as a "lady bountiful," 
in the elite volunteer tradition.'^ 

Josephine Shaw Lowell died in New York City on October 
12, 1905, a beloved and well respected citizen. The news of her 
passing was widely reported, and her accomplishments extolled in 
several noteworthy commemorative ceremonies. Stewart's final 
chapter, "Memorials" records the high regard in which she was 
held by her contemporaries.^^ Subsequently, Lowell's historical 
reputation has experienced an uneven trajectory. Early 
examinations of her work were largely appreciative, but modern 
scholarship has tended to condemn her (as well as the entire 
scientific charity movement) for her advocacy of harsh politics 
toward the poor. Lowell's impressive record of developing and 
sustaining preventive programs addressing the roots of poverty has 
often been ignored or downplayed, as has her embrace of labor.'**' 
A reasonable assessment of Lowell's career would acknowledge 
her strengths as well as her fiaws. The Philanthropic Work of 
Josephine Shaw Lowell provides the tool to evaluate critically the 
attitudes and the actions of one of the principal leaders of an earlier 
generation of charity reformers. The wealth of primary documents 
offered in Stewart's volume give students, scholars, and interested 
readers the opportunity to render their own judgment of her 

^'ffii J: 444-445. 

^^ Dorothy Becker explores this theme in "Exit Lady Bountiful: The Volunteer 
and the Professional Social Worker," Social Service Review 38 (1964): 57-72; 
See also Kathleen D. McCaiihy J^oblesse Oblige: Charity and Cultural 

Philanthropy in Chicago, 1849-1929 (Chicago: The University of Chicago 
Press, 1982. 
^'Stewart: 517-549. 

""^ A small sample of her many modem critics include: Paul Boyer, Urban 
Masses and Moral Order in America, 1826-1926; George M. Fredrickson, The 
Inner Civil War: Northern Intellectuals and the Crisis of the Union (New York: 
Harper and Row, 1965); Lori D. Ginzburg, Women and the Work of 
Benevolence: Morality, Politics and Class in the Nineteenth-Century United 
States (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1990); for a refutation, see 
Waugh, Unsentimental Reformer: 1-15. 


Author Biography 

Joan Waugh is Associate Professor of History at UCLA History. 
Her first book was Unsentimental Reformer : The Life of Josephine 
Shaw Lowell (Harvard University Press, 1998). Waugh' s next book 
is a study of the character and legacy General Ulysses S. Grant. 
She just published as co-editor with Alice Fahs The Memory of the 
Civil War in American Culture (University of North Carolina 
Press, 2004). 


Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following per- 
sons, and others who have supplied information or offered 
suggestions for the preparation of this volume : 

Miss Sadie American, Mrs. Francis C. Barlow, Charles C 
Burlingham, Miss Ellen Collins, Mrs. George William Cur- 
tis, Dr. Annie S. Daniel, Miss Katherine Bement Davis, 
Miss Jean Disbrow, Charles S. Fairchild, Mrs. NicoU Floyd, 
James H. Foster, Richard Watson Gilder,iMiss Gertrude E. 
Hall, Robert W. Hebberd, Miss Sarah Cooper Hewitt, Major 
Henry L. Higginson, Dr. Robert W. HiU, Wellington D. 
Ives, Charles D. Kellogg, Franklin B. Kirkbride, William 
Pryor Letchworth,i Miss Carlotta Russell Lowell, George 
McAneny, Miss Anna E. H. Meyer, Robert Shaw Minturn, 
Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, Miss Amelia R. Moore, Mrs. Fred- 
erick Nathan, Miss Clara M. Paquet, Miss L. S. W. Perkins, 
Mrs. William B. Rice, Jacob A. Riis, Mrs. Henry S. Russell, 
Mrs. William H. Schieffelin, Miss Louisa Lee Schuyler, 
Dr. Stephen Smith, Frank S. Witherbee, James Wood. 

1 Since deceased. 


iii ';?'. 






A DOUBLE purpose has impelled the undertaking which 
this volume represents. Seven years' association with 
Mrs. Lowell on the New York State Board of Charities 
early convinced me of the originaUty and value, both of 
the work she accomplished and the oflBcial papers which 
she from time to time presented to the Board, and this 
impression was afterwards strengthened by evidences of 
her active and useful work in other fields of social service. 
While many of her papers are preserved in the records of 
the State Board, and others might be discovered scattered 
in the reports and proceedings of the different charitable 
organizations to which she belonged, not a few, of no less 
interest and merit, had never been printed and were in 
danger of being lost. The rescue from oblivion of these 
fugitive writings, and their inclusion with a selection from 
those already published elsewhere, under the covers of 
one volume, would, it seemed manifest, be a worthy task. 

Not long after Mrs. Lowell's death, the sentiments ex- 
pressed above were explained to Miss Lowell, and I was 
commissioned to discover some literary friend of her 
mother, both competent and willing to compile such a 
work. The search proving unsuccessful, leave was given 
me to carry out this plan, which was undertaken with 
a justifiable diffidence born of inexperience in literary 




work, but with the resolution to spare neither time nor 
pains in the attempt to present as satisfactory a collection 
of Mrs. Lowell's writings and outline view of her varied 
philanthropic work as might be expected from so untried 
a pen. 

Much of my leisure for the last five years has been de- 
voted to this task, which has proved not only more en- 
grossing, but also more extensive than at first seemed 
probable. More than one hundred and fifty of Mrs. 
Lowell's public papers and five hundred of her letters 
were assembled, and it became immediately apparent that 
if the publication was to be restricted to the limits of one 
volume of reasonable size, — as seemed desirable, — it 
would be necessary to exclude all long and technical 
papers, and such as might be readily consulted elsewhere, 
and also those which possessed mainly a passing uaterest. 
For this reason, none of the numerous and able papers 
presented to the State Board of Charities has been ad- 
mitted. It would be diflficult, however, to overestunate 
the importance of Mrs. Lowell's work as a Commissioner 
of the Board, and the attempt has been made to give in 
narrative form the history of several noteworthy achieve- 
ments which added lustre to her fame, and to enrich the 
story by occasional quotations from her reports to the 
Board, and the insertion of some of her letters. This 
part of my work has mainly consisted in " stringing things 
together," as Mrs. Lowell herself once said of her own 
work in compiling a book she published on " PubUc Re- 
lief and Private Charity." 

The endeavor has been made to compress introductions 



and explanations, and indeed aU of my own composition, 
in order to leave more space for Mrs. LoweU's writings; 
and this plan has been so far successful that nearly two 
score of her papers and addresses are included in the fol- 
lowing pages. More than half of these relate to one or an- 
other of three subjects of general and continuing interest, 
of all of which she was an early and profound student, — 
Charity Organization, Labor Questions, and Civil Service 
Reform. To the chapters under these titles, nearly half 
this volume has been devoted. 

The first and controUmg purpose in mind during the 
preparation of this work has been to provide a new hand- 
book of reference for the ever growmg army of students 
of social subjects in our schools of philanthropy, colleges, 
and settlements, in which, they may find explamed in her 
own writings the sound principles which underlay aU 
Mrs. Lowell's benevolent work, and learn something at 
least of its results. The story of her life is fuU of inspira- 
tion, and the knowledge it affords of the amazing results 
attained by one woman, ahnost empty-handed, should 
encourage many to follow where she has led the way. 

If my aim to contribute a helpful volume to the Utera- 
ture of philanthropy has not failed, the other purpose 
always held in view will also be reahzed, — for this re- 
cord of Mrs. Lowell's Ufe and work will serve to perpetu- 
ate her memory as one of the most useful and remarkable 
women of the nineteenth century. 

W. R. S. 

New York, October 12, 1910. 




Introduction ix. 

I. Eably Years 1 

n. A Young Girl's Wartime Diary 10 

in. Marriage 38 

IV. The Worker ......... 48 

V. Letters to Mrs. Kobeet Gould Shaw .... 62 

VI. The State Charities Aid Association .... 72 

County Visiting Committees 77 

VII. The State Eeformatory for Women .... 87 

VIIL State Cahe foe Feeble-minded Women . 115 
IX. The Charity Organization Society of the City op 

New York 122 

Duties of Friendly Visitors 142 

Sunday School Talk to ChUdren 150 

The Economic and Moral Effects of Public Outdoor Relief 158 
Poverty and its Relief : the Methods Possible in the City 

of New York 175 

Charity Problems 189 

The True Aim of Charity Organization Societies . . 196 

The Evils of Investigation and Relief .... 207 

The Uses and Dangers of Investigation .... 217 

Emergency Relief Funds 223 

X. Improved Care for the Insane 228 

XI. Work for Dependent Children 244 

A Paper Read before the New York State Association of 

Teachers 257 

Children 267 

Report upon the Care of Dependent Children . . 276 
Xil. Special Investigations for the State Board of , 

Charities 284 





XIII. Work to Improve the Condition of the Almshouses 

OF THE State of New York .... 294 

XIV. The Women's Reformatories at Albion and Bed- 

ford 306 

XV. Police Matrons for New York City .... 820 

XVI. The Consumers' League 334 

XVII. Work for the Emancipation of Labor . . 357 

Papei- read to the Working Women's Society . . 372 

Industrial Peace . . . . . . . . 880 

Workingmen's Rights in Property Created by Them . 390 

Industrial Conciliation 394 

The Rights of Capital and Labor and Industrial Con- 
ciliation 400 

The Living Wage 409 

XVIII. The Woman's Municipal League .... 416 

What can Young Men do for the City? . . 422 

Relation of Women to Good Government . . . 435 

XIX. Tramps 446 

Letter to Commander Booth Tucker .... 446 
The Influence of Cheap Lodging Houses on City Pau- 
perism 453 

XX. Miscellaneous Papers 460 

Imprisonment of Witnesses 460 

Tlie Elmira Reformatory 461 

Inspection of Private Charities 462 

Moral Deterioration following War .... 466 

Booker T. Washington 471 

Model Tenements for Widows with Small Children . 473 

XXI. Work for Civil Service Reform 475 

The Reform of the Civil Service and the Spoils System 483 

Civil Service Reform and Public Charity . . . 496 

The Ethics of Civil Service Reform .... 500 

Spain and Civil Service Reform 506 

A Hard Lesson in Reform 509 

Report of Committee on Civil Service Reform . . 512 

XXn. Memorials . - 517 

Chronological Bibliography of Mrs. Lowell's Writings . 551 

Topical Index 562 

Index 575 


Josephine Shaw Lowell, by Saint Gaudens, 1899 . • Frouti^iece 


The Shaw Homestead on Staten Island 

Josephine Shaw and Colonel LoweU, 1863 

CoL Robert Gould Shaw, 1863 

Mrs. Lowell, from a crayon portrait taken in 1869 .... 48 

The Home near the Kill van KuU 

The Houses 120 and 118 East Thirtieth Street 52 

Monument to Col. Shaw on Boston Common, by Saint Gaudens . 70 

George William Curtis 


Early Yeaes 

Heredity was kind to Josephine Shaw, who, on Decem- 
ber 16, 1843, was born at West Roxbury, Massachusetts, 
for both her parents belonged to New England famihes 
of distinction and culture. Her father, Francis George 
Shaw, was of the fifth generation of a widely known and 
honorable mercantile family of Boston, eldest of the eleven 
children of Robert Gould Shaw, a respected and prosperous 
shipping merchant, whom an old cynic praised, saying : 
"There are only two honest men in all Boston — Mr. 
Adams and Mr. Shaw." He was a great-nephew of Major 
Samuel Shaw, of the Revolutionary Army, afterward ap- 
pointed by President Washington to serve the new re- 
public as its first diplomatic representative in China, and 
whose ship, the Empress of Japan, first displayed in the 
Pacific and the Far East the flag of the United States. 

Francis George Shaw was a man of distinguished ap- 
pearance and unusual character. An original thinker, 
philosopher, linguist, and philanthropist, he was so modest 
withal, that the general public had fittle opportimity to 
penetrate his reserve. Within the circle of his family and 
intimate friends, however, he discovered a nature simple 
and religious, inspired by lofty ideals, patriotic motives, 
and the love of humanity, and untainted by selfishness. 
While still a young man, he found commercial fife so un- 
fl 1 I 


congenial that he withdrew from business and retired to 
a farm at West Roxbury, content, within the limitations 
of the moderate income then at his command, to devote 
his days to the care of his wife and children, and the 
ptirsuit of his favorite studies, especially such as related 
to social questions. For this purpose, the choice of West 
Roxbury as his residence was wisely made, as the socialistic 
community of Brook Farm had recently been estabUshed 
there, and his inquiries were stimulated by the intellectual 
companionship of the brilliant group of colonists who there 
followed the precepts of Fourier, among whom was George 
WilUam Curtis, — afterwards to become his son-in-law. 
In later life, by inheritance from his father, Mr. Shaw be- 
came possessed of a comfortable fortune, which he received 
and administered with an earnest feeling of stewardship. 
Voluntarily avoiding the ownership of a greater estate 
which once seemed within his grasp, to the end of his life 
he gave his thoughts and means to the spiritual and 
physical welfare of his fellow-men, and to those especially 
whose poverty, ignorance, or servitude seemed to him the 
result of unfair conditions or oppressive laws. The hope 
held out in Henry George's "Progress and Poverty," that 
a way might yet be found to restore to their rights the 
disinherited of civihzation, brought comfort to his decUning 
years. The loss of his only son during the civil war 
he bore with an external Spartan cahn, and few reahzed 
the depth of his grief. 
Long after Mr. Shaw's death, Joseph H. Choate ^ paid 

' At the Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Meeting, United Charities 
Building, November 13, 1905. 



this tribute to his memory: "He was a man among ten 
thousand. Born to wealth, he treated his wealth very 
largely as a trust for the use and benefit of suffering man- 
kind. To every good cause he lent his sympathy, his 
advocacy, and his material support, — and yet he always 
exercised a wise and sound discretion." Endowed by 
nature with many similar gifts, Mr. Shaw and his son-in- 
law were inspired by the same motives, and united in 
an intimacy which led Mr. Curtis thus to eulogize him : 
"The strength, simpUcity, and sweetness of his nature, the 
lofty sense of justice, the tranquil and complete devotion 
to duty, the large and human sympathy, not lost in vain 
philanthropic feeling, the sound and steady judgment, 
the noble independence of thought, the perfect courage 
of conviction, the unity of sympathy with understanding, 
. . . and a character without a flaw, seemed to belong 
to what we call the ideal man." The quaUties exhibited 
by her father and thus eloquently described descended 
to his daughter, and his influence upon her life and its 
results cannot be overestimated! 

Josephine's mother, Sarah Blake Sturgis, one of the 
twelve children of Nathaniel Russell Sturgis, a Boston 
merchant, in her twentieth year married her cousin, 
Francis George Shaw, their mothers being half sisters, 
daughters of Samuel Parkman, one of the leading men of 
Boston. Her ancestors were people of strong, original, 
and upright character, and so from girlhood she was con- 
trolled by established principles and an exalted sense of 
duty. Yet, notwithstanding her unbending strength, the 
dominating impression received from companionship with 


Mrs. Shaw was that of a woman with whose good breed- 
iug were bleuded sympathy, cultivation, and charm. 
To these admirable quahties, she added the graces of 
generosity and hmnor; her deeds of kindness were con- 
stant, whUe abounding humor sweetened and softened all 
she did. Whatever things were best in art, Uterature, or 
music instantly appealed to her, and were loved from the 
time she first saw or heard them ; and with the aid of a 
retentive memory, she was able - even towards the close 
of a hfe prolonged to her eighty-seventh year — to recite 
whole pages of Shakespeare and Milton, her favorite poets. 
As Josephine survived her mother only two years, having 
always Uved with or near her, Mrs. Shaw's constant com- 
panionship and example must also have proved continuaUy 
helpful in the formation of her daughter's character and 

in her later career. 

The possession by both Mr. and Mrs. Shaw of so many 
attractive quaUties of heart and mind drew within the 
famiUar circle of their friends many interesting and not- 
able people; among these were Margaret FuUer, Lydia 
Maria Child, James RusseU LoweU and his first wife, 
the Storys, Mrs. Brownmg, ' Francis Paxkman, Agassiz, 
and Beecher. The wartime Massachusetts people of 
note — Governor and Mrs. Andrew, Charles Sumner, 
Theodore Winthrop, and others — were household friends. 
The long hst of their acquaintances included such dis- 
tinguished and different people as Mme. Mohl, Fanny 
Kemble, Charlotte Cushman, Thoreau, Emerson, Long- 
fellow, Thackeray, Browning, Charles Kingsley, Wendell 
Phillips, William Lloyd Garrison, Ole Bull, Theodore 


Thomas, and Henry James, Sr. When a little girl, Mrs. 
Shaw had known John Adams, and as a young woman 
she had met Andrew Jackson in the White House, — "A 
rough old fellow, wearing carpet slippers," she used to say. 

When Josephine was three years old, Mr. Shaw brought 
his family from West Roxbury to Staten Island, New 
York, where for three years they occupied a rented 
house near Sailors' Snug Harbor. ^ This change of resi- 
dence was occasioned by the failing sight of Mrs. Shaw, 
and her desire to be near a specialist. Dr. Samuel Elliott, 
under whose treatment she entirely recovered. It is 
interesting now to reflect that but for this physical dis- 
ability of her mother, Josephine might have lived, and 
worked, and died, as she was bom, a Massachusetts 

In 1851, Mr. Shaw took his family abroad, and they 
remained in Europe for nearly five years. These were 
years of rapid development for Josephine. She had a 
marked facility for the acquisition of languages and be- 
came proficient in Italian, French, and German. She 
attended school in Paris for several months during their 
last year abroad. Her uncle, Joseph Coolidge Shaw, 
from whom Josephine derived her Christian name, was 
a Roman Catholic priest,^ and Josephine and her sister 
Susannah, during a winter spent in Rome, were allowed 
to attend a convent school at which they were the only 

' Sailors' Snug Harbor. A private charitable institution, founded in 
1807 under the will of Captain Richard Randall for aged and decrepit 
sailors, at New Brighton, Staten Island. 

' In 1851 he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Frederick, Md., where 
he died before completing his studies. 


Protestants. The affection which Josephine then formed 
for the nuns remained with her through life, and on sub- 
sequent visits to Rome as a woman, she returned to the 
convent to be warmly welcomed by them. In the varied 
works of philanthropy to which her life was afterward 
devoted, Mrs. Lowell must have been aided by the spirit 
of religious toleration which she thus early acquired. 

Mr. and Mrs. Shaw had five children, — Anna, who 
afterward married George William Curtis ; Robert Gould, 
who was killed at Fort Wagner ; Susannah, later Mrs. 
Robert Bowne Minturn ; Josephine ; and Ellen, who 
married General Francis Channing Barlow. Josephine 
was always a brilliant child. Her mother, writing of her 
when she was ten years old, said: "Effie is the genius 
of the family. She can cook, cut out things, trim hats 
and caps, speak French, German, and Italian, and write 
poetry." Within her own home and to her intimates 
Josephine was always known by the diminutive name 
used by her mother in this letter. 

In 1855, Mr. Shaw brought his family home, and after 
a summer spent at Newport, they settled in a house which 
he built on Bard Avenue near West New Brighton, Staten 
Island. The marriage, on Thanksgiving Day, 1856, of 
Josephine's sister Anna to George William Curtis, was an 
event which exercised a marked influence on her future 
life, for Mr. Curtis became for many years a member of 
the household, and she had the inestimable advantage 
of close companionship with that scholarly and patriotic 
man during some of her most impressionable years. To 
her Mr. Curtis's library was always open, even though 



■A $^^, K 

'^•% I 





he might be there reading or working. And this was true 
also in later years when he moved into a house of his own 
near by. While Uving on Staten Island, Josephine went 
to Miss Gibson's school in New York. In her seventeenth 
year she went to school in Boston, and the winter of her 
eighteenth year was also spent in that city. 

As a young girl, Josephine was pretty and charming 
and fond of general society. This was before the days of 
golf and tennis, but she had her horse and rode well. 
Croquet was the only lawn game, and she played it with 
skill. The earliest recorded indication of the hfe of de- 
votion to others, which was afterwards to be Mrs. Lowell's, 
was given when she was thirteen years old. Near her 
father's home on Staten Island was a settlement of poor 
Irish families. She became interested in them and used 
to have the mothers and childreii come to spend the after- 
noon on her father's lawn, where she would give them ice- 
cream and cake — a custom which she continued for 
many years. 

The fifties were years of preparation for the great 
struggle for the preservation of the Union. The Shaws 
were abolitionists, and the atmosphere of their home was 
so intensely patriotic that their children naturally grew 
up with a sense of responsibility for public affairs and the 
desire to serve their countrj'. Before the war broke out 
in 1861, Robert Gould Shaw had enlisted in the famous 
Seventh Regunent of the New York National Guard. 
When President Lincoln called for seventy-five thousand 
men, the Seventh volunteered, and on the 19th of April, 
1861, Shaw marched off in its ranks and reached Baltimore 



soon after the Sixth Massachusetts had passed through 
that city on its way to the defence of the national capital. 
These two regiments were the first to arrive in Wash- 
ington. Shaw's Harvard biographer thus describes his 
personal appearance at that time: "A pale, thoughtful- 
looking young man, with a manner so quiet as to seem 
almost lazy, — such was Robert Gould Shaw to a casual 
observer, but his well-defined nose, firm, clear-cut mouth, 
and the steadfast glance of the peculiarly colored light 
gray eye, together with his alert, quick, decided step as 
he moved, showed that beneath his quiet exterior lay all 
the qualities that belong to a man of more than common 
character." Thirty-five years later, the New York Sev- 
enth went to Boston to take part in the dedicatory cere- 
monies of the Shaw Monument on Boston Common. 

After her brother had left for the war, Josephine, then 
in her eighteenth year, joined the Woman's Central As- 
sociation of ReUef for the Army and Navy of the United 
States. In this, the earliest organized charitable work 
of her life, she was associated, among others, with Miss 
Ellen Collins, of New York City, her friend and co-worker 
in many benevolent movements ; also, with Miss Gertrude 
Stevens, afterwards Mrs. William B. Rice, Mrs. Lowell's 
friend and colleague in the State Charities Aid Associa- 
tion and other philanthropic enterprises. Of their early 
patriotic work, Mrs. Rice gives the following account : 

"We worked together, from morning until night, in 
the office of the Woman's Central Relief Association. 
This was a branch of the Sanitary Comnaission covering 
several states and having its headquarters in New York 


City. This branch had over nineteen hundred contribut- 
ing societies scattered over the states of New York, New 
Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island. 

"We girls unpacked and repacked the boxes of clothing, 
special goods, &c., sent for the soldiers, wrote letters, and 
made ourselves generally useful. Mrs. Lowell was greatly 
interested in the work, which we used to refer to familiarly 
as the 'San. Com.' She was so young, — I think it must 
have been her first public work, and she gave it up only 
a few days before she was married. I found a little note 
from her among some old papers a few years ago, asking 
if I could take her day at the office that week as she could 
not come, and neither could her sister. That was the 
day of her marriage to Colonel Lowell, October 31, 1863." 


A Young Girl's Wartime Diary 

In the eventful days immediately after the battle of 
Bull Run, Josephine Shaw, then a young girl of seventeen, 
began a diary, the only personal record she left behind 
of her daily life. The four httle old-fashioned copy- 
books in cardboard and paper covers, containing nearly 
three hundred pages of pencil entries, including the period 
from July 23, 1861, to November 9, 1862, are full of 
interest, for in them are set down not only the feelings 
and opinions of the sensitive and intelligent writer, at 
that time of national crisis, but also those of the patriotic 
and cultivated New England family to which she belonged. 

July 23d, 1861. Yesterday was the saddest day this 
country has ever experienced. In the morning the papers 
said that we had gained a great victory at Bull's Run, 
taken three batteries and were pushing on to Manassas 
Junction. We found afterwards that these accounts 
were exaggerated, and that the action at Bull's Run was 
merely the beginning of a battle, which appeared to be 
favorable to the Federal forces. About half past three, 
Anna and Mother had gone to drive and I was sitting 
in Mother's room, when Nellie came up crying, and said, 
"Our whole army has been cut to pieces and entirely 
routed." "Which army?" I asked. I immediately 
thought that we had been driven from Virginia and the 
three divisions of our army completely destroyed. I went 
down to ask Anna, but she could tell nothing excepting 




that our men had run from the enemy and lost everything. 
In a few moments Father, George and Mother (who had 
met them and walked back with them) came in and we all 
sat on the piazza in a most unhappy state of mind. The 
report was that a panic had taken possession of our army 
as they were attacking the batteries at Manassas Junction 
and they had all run, with no regard to anything else but 
saving their own lives. Our loss was said to be about three 
thousand and that of the enemy very severe also. Father 
had brought down a letter from Rob, saying they (Patter- 
son's Column) were about to march somewhere from 
Charlestown, but we have heard this morning that Pat- 
terson was expected to make a junction with McDowell 
and would have saved the day had he done so. As we 
sat all together on the piazza feeling very miserable, 
George didn't enliven us much by saying, "The next 
thing they will do will be to march on Washington, take 
possession of it, and then Jeff Davis will issue his con- 
ditions from the Capitol and offer us peace." After talk- 
ing it over we all felt better and prepared to hear that it 
wasn't quite so bad as the reports said. 

In the evening Mr. Appleton (a neighbor) came in to 
George's and told us that Patterson's forces were supposed 
to be engaged at Manassas. We didn't tell Mother, 
although we all knew it, for it would have caused her 
useless anxiety. Lou Schuyler (who is staying here with 
her sister) heard of the report on the boat but didn't 
speak of it. In the evening Sam Curtis and I went to 
Mrs. Oakey's and Mr. Oakey demonstrated in a very 
scientific manner that this couldn't possibly be true. In 
spite of his cheering remarks, we all felt very badly and 
merely hoped we might hear better news in the morning. 
Our hopes proved true, although even today the news is 
so humiliating that we feel as if we couldn't trust our own 



men again. They ran with no one pursuing ! The enemy 
didn't even know such a direful rout had occtured. In 
their reports they say only that they have gained the 
battle, but with fearful loss on both sides. It was evi- 
dently the battle on which everything depended for them. 
Theii- four best generals, Beauregard, Johnston, Davis 
and Lee, were there with ninety thousand men, while our 
force was only twenty-five thousand. I can conceive 
what must be the feelings of the men under Patterson ; 
they might have turned the fortune of the battle and were 
doing nothing f Poor fellows ! Our men ran as far as 
Fairfax Court House and the Rebels took possession of the 
territory as we left it. McClellan is called from Western 
Virginia and we shall have to retake by slow degrees what 
we have lost in one day. This morning our loss was said 
to be only five hundred, but what are we to believe ? 

This afternoon all the most humiliating circumstances 
of our defeat proved to be false. Our men behaved with 
the greatest courage and bravery, charging and carrying 
the batteries and fighting with as much intrepidity as the 
most veteran troops could display, until the force of the 
enemy became overpowering by the junction of Johnston 
with Beauregard. Then, and not imtil then, they re- 
treated in good order. Mr. Russell, of the London Times, 
is said to have said that nowhere in the Crimean War 
had he seen men make such splendid charges. This 
morning I and the Oakeys went down to the sewing meet- 
ing and worked hard until three o'clock, when we came 
home and heard the joyful tidings that our men were not 
cowards. The false reports were from the exaggerated 
statements of civilians who had witnessed the battle and 
been very much frightened themselves, and all the agony of 
yesterday was occasioned by the readiness of newspaper 
reporters to transmit any stirring news to their employers. 



One little incident showed the difference of feeling be- 
tween today and yesterday. A few days ago Mother 
bought Frank a uniform and George had promised to buy 
him a knapsack yesterday, but when he came down from 
town he said to Frank: "My dear little boy, you must 
forgive me this time for when I got to New York, I heard 
such terrible news that I had no heart to buy your knap- 
sack." This afternoon Frank came over in great glee, 
with knapsack and fez. 

I know a great many men in the army who are : My 
brother, and first cousin, H. S. Russell, in Gordon's Regi- 
ment (2d Mass. Vol.), Capt. Curtis, Lieut. Motley, Lieut. 
Morse, Capt. Tucker, Lieut. Bangs, Lieut. Robson in 
the same Regiment ; Joe and Ned Curtis, the former 
belonging to the Ninth Regiment, N. Y., the latter, a 
surgeon in the Georgetown Hospital. My cousin, Harry 
Sturgis, in Raymond Lee's Mass. Regiment. My uncle, 
Wilham Greene, Colonel of the 14th Mass. ; Dr. Elliott 
and his three sons of the Highland Regiment; Capt. 
Lowell of the XJ. S. A., and Theodore Winthrop, who died 
for his country at Great Bethel, June 10th, 1861. Also, 
Rufus Delafield, a surgeon U. S. A. Twenty brave men, 
— nineteen living and one dead. — O. Wendell Holmes, 
Caspar Crowninshield. 

Aiigust 2d, 1861. Today I went up to the Cooper 
Union instead of Susie, as she was not quite well and 
could not go. Lou Schuyler and Miss Collins were there 
and I copied lists of donations for the papers, while 
they unpacked, arranged and repacked articles for 

August 3d. I stayed at home all day and ga--. e out work 
to twelve women. Fifteen have been here today. More 
anecdotes of BuU Rvm. Arthur Dexter (the husband 
of one of the Curtis cousins) is captain of a Rhode Island 



Company and in marching had hurt his foot very badly ; 
in fact, so badly that he could not bear a boot, so he went 
into action with one boot and one shpper and leaning on 
a cane, which he did not throw away until the charging 
began. That's the right spirit. Mr. Dana came here 
this evening and told us of a man who was going down to 
Manassas to reconnoitre as the men came back. He said 
they came on pell-mell, well frightened and disordered, 
by hundreds, with no pretence at command or obedience, 
so that it was melancholy to see, when suddenly turning 
a corner they came upon a whole company, marching 
quietly up, ranks close and eyes to the front, with the 
Captain marching in front. The sight was really sublime, 
in the midst of the flight, and he called out "What com- 
pany?" but the only words he heard were, "Steady, my 
men," and the brave fellows passed on without his being 
able to identify them. Yesterday, someone told me the 
following : In the battle the Captam of one of the com- 
panies ran away, the First Lieutenant fell and the Second 
was wounded, of course leaving the men without officers, 
when the Furst Sergeant stepped out of the ranks and say- 
ing a few words to the men, led them on ! Where we fail 
is in the commissioned oflScers. The men are splendid. 

August 7th. Tomorrow it will be decided whether 
Dan Oakey can obtain a commission in de Trobriand's 
Regiment (55th) . If he goes, I have promised to knit him 
a pair of stockings. 

August 9th. It is just a month since Rob's Regunent 
left New York, and Uncle WilUam's went today, bound 
also for Harper's Ferry. Our last sight of Rob was from 
the Flora; he was standmg on the paddlebox of the 
Kill Van Kull waving his handkerchief to us, and we saw 
him imtil the steamboat rounded the point between 
Snug Harbor and Factoryville. I pray God that the next 



month may pass as safely for him and Harry. Mother 
had a letter from Mr. Ohnsted, taking rather a gloomy 
view of the state of affairs. George, also, is rather de- 
pressed and everybody generally wants Lincoln to change 
his Cabinet. I don't see the use of being depressed ; if 
Washuagton had been depressed, our country would never 
have been born. The true spu-it is, "If new difficulties 
arise, we must put forth new exertions and proportion our 
efforts to the exigencies of the times." And we should 
feel as our dear old Uncle Sam ^ writes in a letter to his 
father : " I have so much faith in the justice of our cause, 
and am so sure that Providence, in its own good time will 
succeed and bless it, that were twelve of the States over- 
run by our cruel invaders, I should know that the remain- 
ing one would not only save herself, but also work out the 
redemption of the others." Bravo, Uncle Sam ! That's 
the spirit of the Revolution and the spirit we need now. 
For my own part, I believe (to put it rather strongly) that 
if we had no soldiers and all the officers were drunkards, 
the Cause, by its own force of right, would run without 
help from anybody. No matter if everything isn't going 
on just right, "Our cause can't fail," because it's God's 
cause as well as ours. 

August 15th. Spent the whole day cutting out shu-ts 
at home. This evening we hear (through the Rebels) 
that Lyon has been killed and our forces defeated in 
consequence of our attempting to stand the attack 
of 21,000 men with 5,000. Bull Run over again. As 
the news comes from the Secessionists, it is, of course, 
exaggerated and we may hope that it is only a check, 
if it be a reverse at all. The pubHc mind appears to 
be in a very despondmg state ; all the news from every- 

' Major Samuel Shaw, who was on General Knox's staff in the 
Revolution and first United States Consul to China. 



where is uncomforting, our army is said to be in a dreadful 
condition and every responsible person at Washington, 
from Lincoln down, is either "a knave or a fool," as a letter 
from the Capital to Mr. Gay said today. George wrote 
a very fine letter to Mrs. Gaskell (24 pages) and read it to 
us this evening; also some splendid resolutions he has 
formed for the committee of Richmond County. Eng- 
land and France are to have a consultation as to the course 
they shall pursue in regard to us, and Father and George 
say that if they say we must absolutely make some settle- 
ment, we shall of course do so, because we cannot possibly 
fight all the world. Ah, well ! We shall see. These are 
extraordinary times and splendid to live in. This war 
will purify the country of some of its extravagance and 
selfishness, even if we are stopped midway. It can't help 
doing us good ; it has begun to do us good already. It will 
make us young ones much more thoughtful and earnest, 
and so improve the country. I suppose we need something 
every few years to teach us that riches, luxury and com- 
fort are not the great end of life, and this will surely teach 
us that at least. Mother had a nice letter from Rob 
today. He still enjoys himself, although he does have 
to sleep on the bare ground in a little tent of boughs and 
has hard work to do. He says a Connecticut Regiment 
came there a few days ago, and on their arrival the men 
dispersed and got drunk, whereupon one of the officers 
was not ashamed to ask Rob to send a guard of Gordon's 
men to make them behave, which he did, and since that 
time they have had chief charge of the Conneeticutians, 
who don't mind their officers in the least. 

August 17th. Mr. Field and the Curtises took tea 
here. Mr. Gay' was to have come but for some reason 
didn't. These fearful times make us so suspicious! I 

1 Sidney Howard Gay, managing editor, New York Tribune. 




know that we all go to bed tonight fearing that he had 
bad news and wanted to let us pass a quiet night and not 
hear it until tomorrow. It seems always as though we 
were walking over mines, which may at any moment blow 
up and destroy all we love most. 

We never knew before how much we loved our country. 
To think that we suffer and fear all this for her ! The 
Stars and Stripes will always be infinitely dear to us now 
after we have sacrificed so much to them, or rather to the 
right which they represent. What can be the end of all 
this misery ? Nothing seems to be done by us and every- 
thing is done by the Rebels. Discontent with the Ad- 
ministration is growing fast, and if they don't do some- 
thing, there are many people who will be disgusted with 
war and ask for peace. " How long, oh Lord, how long ? " 
It is true what Mrs. Child ' says : "The Lord is tedious, 
but He's sure." We must do something soon. It's im- 
possible that this inaction should continue much longer. 
This suspense is horrible. 

August 19th. Mrs. Tweedy kindly asked Susie, Nellie 
and me to spend a week or two at Newport and perhaps 
Nellie and I shall go. I think we should enjoy ourselves 

for a week. 

August 2Jfih. On Thursday (22d) NelUe, Howard^ 
and I left New York at 12 : 15 and coming by the Shore 
Line reached Newport at 9 p.m. Yesterday we walked 
down to the beach in the morning and in the afternoon 
went to see the ComtUution, the ship where the Cadets 
live. We took a sailboat and when we had gone over the 
ship, visited the fort. It was a very pleasant trip and 
with pleasant people. Wherever we go we hear pleasant 
things of Rob. Yesterday a young Mr. Tuckerman in- 

1 Lydia Maria Child, author. 

2 WilUam Howard White, a cousin, brought up in the family. 



quired after him, saying: "Mother will be so pleased to 
hear something of Rob ; we can't help calling him Rob, — 
yon know everybody does, he's such a general favorite." 
And then Minnie Temple says that Gus King (who was 
in Rob's tent in Washington in April), upon seeing his 
photo, exclaimed, "Oh, do you know Rob Thaw? Why 
he'th the beth fellow I ever thaw !" It is so pleasant to 
hear such things of the dear fellow. 

August 26th. There is not much news to be had in 
Newport, and the minds of the people here are occupied 
with other things to the exclusion of the war as an all 
pervading thought. 

August 31 St. Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! The Tribune 
says today that Fremont has declared Missouri to be un- 
der martial law and granted freedom to all the slaves. I 
rather think Mother feels well tonight ; I only trust that 
it's true. Uncle WiUiam went on tonight, so Nell and I 
wait until Tuesday to go with the Wards. This afternoon 
we went on board the Constitution to a hop and danced 
with the "middies." Oh ! if Fremont only has freed the 
slaves, what a step it will be. Joy ! Joy ! Joy ! Hurrah ! 
Hurrah ! Hurrah ! 

September 1st, 1861. It was only confiscation, but that's 
better than nothing. 

September 4th. We left Newport yesterday at 11 o'clock 
A.M. and arrived here (Naushon) ' at 6 p.m. Fremont's 
proclamation is of great importance as a sentence of death 
is passed among all men found armed against the United 
States and it frees all the negroes belonging to the Rebels. 
This morning we had a bath and after dinner took a splendid 
ride. Our party consisted of Misses Webster, Watson, 
Ward and Shaw, and Messrs. Grey, Ware and Winter. 

' An island off Martha's Vineyard, where John M. Forbes had his 
country home. 



September 8th. Cousin John ^ read a sermon. Lilly 
Ward and I swam across Mary's Lake, with the occasional 
aid of Will Forbes ^ in a boat. Tried shooting at a mark 
for the first time in my Hfe. Hit the target five times out 
of six at 100 yards. Took a long walk and ended the day 
by a row in the harbor. Two boats raced. We beat. 

September 16th. Yesterday there was a letter from the 
President to Fremont sajdng that he wished him to modify 
his proclamation in regard to slaves and that he expressed 
his desire publicly at the request of Gen. Fremont, whom 
he had privately informed of it before. Today those 
nasty papers say that Fremont will resign. I wish they 
might all be cut off in the midst of their career and not be 
allowed to publish a single issue for sk months. 

September 19th. Spent today and yesterday in 
collecting contributions for our Society, $110.00. Mr. 
William Winthrop spent the evening here and states 
It as his opinion that the war is to last three years, 
while Father and Uncle Jim think that it will be over in 
three, or at most six, months. May they prove the truer 

September 22d. Yesterday it was two months since 
the Battle of Bull Run and we have had no general 
action yet. . . . Gen. Fremont's failmg appears to be a 
desire to act independently. It was for that he was 
court-martialled, and for that that Lincoln blamed him 
in issuing his proclamation. It is a verj' natural desire 
in a true lover of his coimtry to take the way he thinks 
best to save her, but a subordinate officer should obey 
the orders of the Conamander-in-Chief. 

' John M. Forbes, a Boston merchant doing business with the East, 
and a great helper of the Union cause in Massachusetts. 

' Son of John M. Forbes, and afterward Lieutenant Colonel of the 
2d Mass. Cavahry of which Charles Russell Lowell was Colonel. 



September 25ih. Gen. Fremont is to be allowed by the carry out his own plans unmolested 
and he is going to take the field himself, which is a 
good move as his reputation is at stake. Mother had 
a lovely letter from Mrs. Fremont, telling her, among 
other things, to "Watch my Chief," and speaking of 
"Our General." It is really delightful to see a woman 
so much in love with her husband. 

September 26Lh. Today was the National Fast and 
Mother and I went over to Brooklyn to hear Mr. Beecher, 
but behold ! when we reached the Church we found it 
shut and the sexton said that Mr. Beecher would not 
preach today, as he had said all he had to say on the state 
of the country, and didn't know what to preach about, 
liis daughter Hattie was married last evening. 

After the disappointment, "ma chere mere" and I 
betook ourselves to Mr. Chapin's ^ where we heard a 
.splendid sermon. One thing he said particularly pleased 
me. Speaking of the Nation, he said: "God Almighty 
doesn't thresh chaff ; it's wheat he takes the trouble with." 
It was so true and exactly what I had thought myself 
that the Lord would not give us so much suffering if it 
were not to purify us in the end. 

September 29th. Mother and Howard went to hear 
Mr. Beecher, and tallcing of Fremont, etc., etc., he told 
her she must have trust in God. "But I do," she an- 
.swered. " What good does it do you ?" he asked. "You 
trust in God and worry all the time. It's just as if I 
should pay my passage through to Albany in the cars and 
then walk up all the way." 

October 3d, 1861. Everything goes on as usual. We 
have no battle yet, although September has passed, the 

• Rev. Edwin Hubbell Chapin, 1814-1880, minister of Universalist 
Church, Fifth Avenue. 



month in which they were to take place. The weakness 
of the Rebels is shown, I should think, by that one fact 
and they keep having doleful accounts of the condition 
of their army. Uncle William Greene says that "Peace 
will come upon us like a river." Would to God it 

October 17th. Letter to Father from Rob. They have 
very stormy weather and the tents are not of the most 
comfortable under such circumstances. Cousin Annie 
Greenough wrote to Aunt Katie that Dr. Sargeant (2d 
Mass. Vol. Reg.) has just come up and left Rob with a very 
bad cough. He advised him to ask for a furlough, but 
our dear soldier would not, considering, I suppose, that 
his duty required his presence, and I like it much better 
that he should realize the responsibility of his position. 

October 29th. We heard today various things to make 
us proud of Massachusetts men. A man who saw the 
fight at Balls Bluff says that whenever one of then- number 
fell, he was instantly brought within the lines by some of 
his comrades who rushed out to get him. The men fought 
all the way to the Une and retired in excellent order. Alice 
Forbes writes to MoUie: "Wendell Holmes was knocked 
over, but, jumping up, he waved his sword and was cheer- 
ing his men on when he received another wound which 
disabled hun. Tell his friends of his gallantry." 

November 2d, 1861. Dear old Scott has resigned ! 
Touching scene, war-worn veteran, farewell speech, sur- 
render of command, etc., etc. Mother and Father feel 
rather badly tonight, for we see in the Post (a truthful 
paper, the only one we beheve) that a messenger was sent 
out about a week ago with an order for the superseding 
of Fremont by Hunter. This, added to a violent storm, 
suggestive of fleets wrecked, makes us rather gloomy, 
though to speak the truth, I don't see why Lincohi should 



supersede Fremont when he is in the field pui-suing Price 
with great energy. If his command is taken from him, 
Father prophesies that he will be our next President. 
Who can tell ? It is a year day after tomorrow since Old 
Uncle Abe was elected, and he has not made himself 
despised by the people yet. If he is a little too good- 
natured, he knows how to hold his tongue, — one of the 
first and cardinal virtues. 

November 12th. ... I began knitting mittens last 

November Hih. And have already knit four pairs. 

November 30th. All has been quiet for the last fortnight, 
but now we hear reports of a bombardment of Pensacola. 
They come through the Rebels and so we have no reasons 
for beUeving them, and great ones for not beUeving them. 
We must wait for reliable information. 

An order has been issued by Cameron to Gen. Sher- 
man commanding him to use the negroes at Beaufort to 
pick the cotton and then to ship it to New York to be sold 
on account of the Government. Free cotton, I rather 
think, will be as good as slave. Who one short year ago 
would have imagined that we should have shiploads of 
cotton picked by paid negroes? 

December 4lh, 1861. The latest, best and most ardently 
wished for Republican triumph has been achieved. Fer- 
nando Wood is defeated and George Opdyke is Mayor of 
New York. Hurrah ! We scarcely hoped for such de- 
lightful news. A Republican Mayor of New York ! 
The idea is positively an almost inconceivable one. 

December 16ih. Today is my birthday, — 18 years. 
Sent today 42 pairs of mittens to Rob. 

April 3d, 1862. No news today excepting that the House 
and Senate have both passed Lincoln's bill offering to buy 
the slaves from the border States. A very great advance. 





One anecdote of President Lincoln, on very good au- 
thority, I must repeat. Mrs. Andrew being introduced, 
he immediately began : "Well, Mrs. Andrew, how do the 
Governor and Butler get on?" "You probably know 
more about it than I do, Mr. Lincoln," was the reply. 
"Well," answered Abe, "the more I hear of it the madder 
I get with both of them," and upon her endeavoring to 
say a word for her husband, he reassured her in the follow- 
ing words : "Oh, you know I never get fighting mad with 
anybody." Mrs. Andrew told the story to Mr. Gay the 
day it occurred and Mr. Gay told me, so it came du-ect. 
The next anecdote Mr. Gay gives on his own authority, 
i.e., the President said it to him. He was speaking of 
some little charge brought against him by the Tribune, 
and after saying it was neither just nor fair, he pro- 
ceeded: "But I don't care what they say of me. I 
want to straighten this thing out and then I don't care 
what they do with me. They may hang me." Dear old 
fellow ! The following I cannot vouch for, although a 
Unitarian minister told it. It shows Mr. Lincoln's 
quickness in escaping questions and conversations which 
wouldn't be agreeable. Bishop Clarke having been to 
see him on business, thought he would consider it 
peculiar if he didn't speak of religious matters before 
leaving, so he began: "Mr. Lincoln, you have a heavy 
responsibility. I hope you have strength to bear it." 
"Oh, yes," interrupted old Abe. "Mrs. Lincoln was 
just saying this morning that I was growing fatter every 
day. Why, when I was inaugurated I could meet my 
fingers and thumb around my ankle, but I noticed today 
when I was putting on my stockings that I couldn't do 
it now by an inch." Bishop Clarke left. 

April 9th. Father goes to Washington tomorrow on 
behalf of the Contraband Society, to try and persuade 



the Government to take the matter in hand. They have 
so much to do that it will be a difficult matter to get them 
to do anything. Dr. Hooper * goes with him, representing 
the Boston Society. 

April 12th. A year ago today the first shot was fired 
at Fort Sumter. One year of war ! and here we are 
with 700,000 men under arms, great battles fought and 
to be fought ! George was counting over this evening, 
what we had accomplished this year in Freedom's cause, 
and he named the following five great steps : 1st, The 
Government of the United States has entered into a 
treaty with England for the more effectual repression 
of the slave trade. 2d, This year has witnessed the 
first capital punishment of a slave trader. 3d, Steps 
have been taken for faciUtating general emancipation. 
4th, Slavery is abolished in the District of Columbia (a 
thing which has been petitioned for since Mother was 
23 years old and which only the war had power to accom- 
plish). 5th, Negroes are permitted to carry mail bags. 
Ten common years might have effected that, not to speak 
of what makes such things possible, — the great revulsion 
in pubhc feeUng on the questions of freedom and slavery. 
It is exactly like a revival — a direct work of God, so 
wonderful are some of the conversions. 

April 15th. A year since Lincoln's Proclamation, in 
which he says that the object of the 75,000 men was 
to repossess the forts of the United States, and today we 
hear of the unconditional surrender of Pulaski, one of 
the strongest, and the defense of Savannah. Yorktown 
is still untaken and we hear nothing of the Merrimac, 
except reported bursting of shells, running ashores, etc., 
etc., none of which are probably true. I heard today 

' R. W. Hooper, a physician of Boston, who took great interest in 
the war. 





of Wendell's promotion to a captaincy. He told me in 
Boston that he only wanted to be captain for the sake of 
leading the men in battle, and now he will soon have his 
wish. Poor Mother is very low spirited and of course 
must be, for Rob is in continual danger, as his Regi- 
ment is acting as skirmishers, scouts, etc. She was 
speaking yesterday of not being able to do anything 
"until she had heard." I suppose it is to hear that Rob 
is shot. 

April 18th. Father says that they (the Committee) 
had various interviews with the President and were very 
much charmed with him. He was much perplexed in 
regard to the contrabands, and said "He prayed that if it 
were possible that cup might pass from them." He 
seemed favorably impressed with the plan they proposed, 
but the main object they had in view (to have Mr. Olmsted 
nominated as Military Governor) had failed, as Mr. Chase 
had already offered the place to someone else. They 
succeeded, however, in causing the Administration to take 
a more active interest in the question. 

April SI St. Letters today from Rob for Mother and 
me, dated 11th and 16th instant. He seems rather blue, 
owing, I suppose, to his doing nothing, and the feeling 
that at Corinth and Yorktown laurels may be won. We 
hear today that Banks pushes on and has occupied New 
Market. I hope for the boys' sake that they may be in 
action before the war is finished, for they would feel dread- 
fully to come home without seeing a battle. George read 
his new lecture this eve, "The Way of Peace," and it is 

May 9th, 1862. Today Mother received a note from 
Dr. Walser, the physician of the Hospital at Quarantine, 
saying that 250 woimded and sick are expected to- 
morrow and that his provisions were most insufficient. 



so we have been very busy trying to get some new things 
to help him. The letter came at 5 p.m., and now at 
10:30 A.M., we have already got $100. to pay sewing 
women, seven pieces of cotton, 12 made shii-ts, 22 cut out, 
slippers, etc. This is doing pretty well, I think. 

May 16lh. Yesterday a letter from Rob for Father, 
saying he had made up his mind to enter the regular army 
and asking him to do all in his power to get him a com- 
mission. I should be very sorry if I didn't know that Rob 
knows what he's about and wouldn't undertake such a step 
without thought. He says he thinks the war is to be a 
long one. 

May 19th. Rob came home tonight. In the first 
place, when Father came down this afternoon he brought 
a letter from Rob, dated Washington, where he said he was 
with Copeland,' who was trying to get permission to raise 
a regiment and wished to make him major. Father upon 
receipt of this telegraphed asking how long he was to 
remain in Washington, with the intention of going on to- 
night in case he stayed long enough. Apparently in an- 
swer to this came a telegram from Copeland : "Lieut. 
R. G. Shaw's leave of absence extended ten days by order 
of Major General Banlcs." We thought then that he had 
much business on hand and might possibly get home, but 
otherwise Nellie, Clover ^ and I were going on with Father. 
We thought of it, that is. After tea as we sat in the parlor, 
a man came up on to the piazza and we said: "Who's 
that?" The door opened and Rob stood there. The 
confusion was extreme, as may be imagined, but we 
calmed down shortly. 

May 20th. Yesterday we had a beautiful and touching 
proclamation from Lincoln, rendering General Hunter's 

' Morris Copeland, Quartermaster 2d Mass. Infantry. 
* Miss Hooper, daughter of Dr. Hooper. 



order freeing the slaves of North Carolina, South Carolina 
and Georgia null and void. One of the most extraordinary 
things that has happened for a long time was the calmness 
with which that order was received. We have certainly 
advanced twenty years. The confidence in the President 
was shown by the entire acquiescence in everything he does. 
We feel that he is earnest and means to do right. A 
unique man. Rob's attempt to get a commission is fruit- 
less. Mr. Sumner told him it is impossible. 

May 22d. Rob started to go back todaj' at 7 a.m. and 
now his visit seems ahnost like a dream. A thing I had 
been longing for for eight months passed so quickly! 
Well, all human affairs are the same, the unhappy mo- 
ments are long and the happy ones short. That's all 
bosh, though, for they all seem, short to me. Rob is very 
much dissatisfied with the little prospect of fighting they 
seem to have and has two plans on hand for leaving the 
regiment. One to enlist in the regular cavalry, if he can- 
not get a commission, and the other to try to get a place 
on Fremont's staff. Mr. Gay has written to him to ask 
him, and I have little doubt of his saying yes, for Mother's 
and Father's sakes. 

May 27th. Rob and HaP both safe. The Boston 
Transcript says: "Captain Carey telegraphs for pubUca- 
tion the following account of the regiment: Captain 
Mudge and Lieut. Crowninshield wounded slightly; 
Major Dwight and Dr. Leland probably prisoners. All 
the other officers safe." I didn't feel yesterday as if any 
misfortune had or would take place, so the news didn t 
create a great revulsion in my feelings, but poor Mother, 
who had been really waiting to see Lieut. R. G. Shaw 
killed, was, as everyone would expect, very much affected. 

May 29th. First letter from Rob since the battle. 

^ Colonel Henry 8. Russell. 



"Quite a fight " he calls it. A bullet struck his watch and 
made a dent in it, else his stomach would have received 
it. As it was, liis thigh was bruised. The papers give an 
account of very severe fighting, fatiguing and harassing. 
The Second behaved very well and covered the retreat. 
Dear follows ! 

June Sd, 1862. Rob's watch came today. The blow 
was exactly on the edge and a quarter of an inch farther 
out would have been fatal. The hands are lost and it is 
broken apart. 

June 6th. Letter from Rob giving a description of 
a cavalry charge on two of their companies, before he 
reached Winchester, and then of their march through 
Winchester. Short but graphic, and Father thinks of 
having it printed as being interesting. All the account 
of brave deeds, bayonet charges, calmly receiving the fire 
of the enemy and withholding their own, and all the 
stirring accounts of courageous men, make one so long 
to be with them. I should of all things enjoy a forlorn 
hope (I think). Well put in, I suppose, but still I really 
do think so, for I'm not an atom afraid of death and 
the enthusiasm of the moment would be sublime. An 
immense body of brave men is grand and I would give 
anything to be one of them. I cannot express what a sense 
of admii-ation and delight fills my soul when I think of the 
noble fellows advancing, retreating, charging and dying, 
just how, when and where they are ordered. God bless 
them ! Mother says she hates to hear me talk so, but I 
think one loses sight of the wounds and suffering, both 
of the enemy and one's own force, in thinlcing of the sub- 
Hme whole, the grand forward movement of thousands of 
men marching "into the jaws of death," calmly and coolly. 
God bless them ! I say again. I saw today the report 
of a Lieutenant in the First Massachusetts expelled for 



cowardice in the face of the enemy. Such a thing I can- 
not understand. I should think a man would be afraid 
to be a coward in front of his men, all looking to him for 
example. I should think he'd go and shoot himself. 
I remember hearing it said that . . . would never have 
been taken prisoner if he had behaved well. And then, 
think of a man, with consciousness of such conduct, dar- 
ing to come home and show his face in Boston ! Bah ! 
Perhaps he did behave well after all, though. 

June 10th. This is the anniversary of Theodore Win- 
throp's death, and we've just got used to missing him. 
As Mother said today, "It doesn't seem a year since he 
died, but it seems as if he had been dead years." Think 
of his falling with Nellie's and my photographs in his 
watch ! I can't realize it ; a man who will be known in 
all history and who is now spoken of as a second Sir 
Philip Sidney. 

June 25th. Today New York was in a fever and stocks 
went down, down, down, because Lincoln and General 
Pope went up to West Point by special train last night to 
see General Scott, who it was reported was going back to 
Washington with them, which also occasioned intense 
excitement, when, behold ! he went as far as Jersey City 
and there remained at one of the stations. Lincoln being 
called upon to make a speech came upon the platform and 
told the people that if they could only know the object 
of his visit, they would find it much less important than 
they supposed, but that he couldn't tell them what it was, 
because Stanton was very particular about the press, and 
he didn't know what would happen to him if he should 

July 2d, 1862. McClellan, quoting old Dr. Beecher, 
might have said to me last night : "Don't return thanks 
for me; I'm a good deal hurt," for instead of Richmond 



being in our possession, we are 27 miles from it and our 
Fourth will be a very sad one. Looking at it from a 
military view, as I did at first, I still insist it's not so 
very bad, but Father reminded me of the 50,000 killed 
on both sides, of the numberless wounded and of their 
friends tonight, and the thought is indeed dreadful. 
Oh, the agony of hundreds of thousands in our land 
at this hour ! God help them, for nothing else can. At 
first I only thought of the whole result and felt as 
Father says he does, that it is in Our Father's hands and 
if it is good for us to suffer we must bear and it matters 
little what the end is. So we grow through it, but oh ! 
the thought of those poor suffering boys and men, in the 
hands of the enemy, too, and the cold young faces turned 
up to the beautiful stars ! It is enough to break our hearts. 
Every new battle makes one feel how wicked, wicked it is, 
the desolate homes and empty hearts, created by men's 
evil deeds. Young boys going out to die for their country 
willingly and joyfully are grateful to the heart and mind, 
but the men who made it necessary that they should do 
so are base, and oh, so wicked ! 

July 4ih. Our loss this morning is reported at 15,000 
and that of the Rebels at 40,000. Jimmy Lowell was 
killed,' and his mother sees it for the first time this morn- 
ing. I didn't kjiow him before last winter, when he was 
introduced to me at the Agassiz's and much to my grati- 
fication asked me to dance. What rendered it pleasanter 
was that, being lame from his wound, he hadn't danced 
at all that evening. Poor Mother ! I won't say poor 
Son, for he died for his country and such martyrs are not 
to be pitied. 

11 :30 P.M. Just come home from Col. Howe's (Agent 
of N. E. Regs.) where, in spite of troublous times, we 
1 At the battle of Glendaie, Virginia, June 30, 1862. 


went to see the fireworks. There was a soldier there 
spending the night who had been wounded and Col. 
Howe brought him down because he'd heard him say: 
"Oh ! How I wish I could be in the country today." 
I talked to him all the firework time and he told 
me about his wound, the battle, etc. He was only 
17 years old when he enhsted last August in the 
Third New York Reg. and had been at Edisto Island 
all wmter until the attack on James Island in which he 
was wounded in the jaw, or rather the front part of the 
lower jaw. Teeth and all were knocked right out by 
a bullet passing in behind under the tongue. All his upper 
front teeth were gone, too, and one would have supposed 
that he couldn't talk, but he managed very well with his 
face plastered up. After he was hit he walked by himself 
half way to the hospital and two drummer boys helped 
him the rest of the way. When he got there the pieces 
of bone hanging out were cut off. The fireworks and our 
brightness seemed so incongruous in his sight and in the 
thought of thousands suffering tonight. 

July 8th. Col. Howe told us of one poor boy shot 
through the head who, in a fit of delirium, imagined him- 
self a prisoner and all his nurses rebels, and so railed at 
and abused them, ending with : "I don't care what you 
do with me. You may cut me in pieces, you may kill me, 
but I will hurrah for the Stars and Stripes." Dear Boy \ 
Oh, I wish I were old enough to go on a hospital ship or 
offer my services as nurse. When I hear of these poor 
fellows, I feel so dreadfully mean to be dressed up in 
white muslin and enjoying myself. 

July ISth. I feel as blue as blue can be tonight. 
Everybody seems down and altogether it's doleful. 
Father says he has a presentiment that some great blow 
is coming and didn't feel quite comfortable this morning 



when I mentioned that it was Just a week to Bull 

Nalmni, August lllh, 1862. After that comparatively 
long time of inaction it begins again, and near home this 
time. We get the news late here, and we were at the 
"Sanitary" when Eugenia Mifflin told of a battle in the 
Shenandoah Valley, in which she said Major Savage and 
Captain Abbott were killed and Sam Quincy taken 
prisoner. Rob's safe, as I was sure from the beginning, 
for being a Staff Officer, any accident would have been 
reported. There are only two or three officers untouched 
in the Second, Richard Carey, Dan Oakey and many 
others being among the wounded. 

August 12th. This has been a sad day for the three 
houses that stand on the Nahant shore, with the moon 
looking so calmly down on them, the moon who knew all 
Saturday night and yet wouldn't tell. Richard Carey 
is dead and his poor young wife has been crying bitterly 
all the afternoon, left with her one Uttle girl to whom she 
has taught her father's name and kept him always in her 
mind. She had her trunk packed and was much excited 
this morning, expecting to go soon to nurse him, when 
came a telegram to her Father from Col. Andrews, 
saying: "Captains Carey, Abbott, Williams and Good- 
win, and Lieut. Perkins were found dead on the field of 
battle. Send your son on for their bodies." ^ 

August 29th. After thirteen months' hard fighting, 
pouring out of blood and money, and all alternations from 
hope to fear, from fear to hope, here we are back at Bull 
Run and Manassas Gap again, with the Rebels within 
twelve miles of Washington. We hear nothing definitely, 
only contradictory reports of attacks, defeats, retreats, 
repulses, etc., first on one side and then on the other, 

' This fight was at Cedar Mountain. 




but on the whole things look black enough for us. Soon 
we may expect an Emancipation Proclamation. (I hope.) 

Naushon, September 5th, 1862. It doesn't seem very 
pleasant, after eighteen months of anxiety, loss and sorrow, 
to be back in the forts around Washington with the Rebel 
Army besieging us, but such is the case. There have been 
sundry battles, skirmishes, etc., and that's the result, — 
we've got into such a custom of masterly retreat, that we 
don't know how to advance. Of course, all our friends are 
constantly in danger now, because the army is concentrated 
in front of Washington, and besides that, things look dark 
enough, for the Rebels are very energetic. 

September 8th. The Rebels are in Frederick, James- 
town and Poolesville. There's no hope of our cutting 
them off because they never go anywhere without leaving 
means of retreat, and we are so slow we never catch any- 

September 9th. Notliing looks bright and cousin John 
who went up yesterday and returned today, said all 
Boston is as "blue as indigo." The enemy has been 
reinforced and now they say they intend to march on 
Pliiladelphia and New York, though I think that's all 
talk, for how can they get North if we couldn't get 
South ? 

September 20th. On the 25th of the month a procla- 
mation is due from Mr. Lincoln and everyone looks for 
emancipation. If he issues such an edict of course the 
pro-slavery generals must either resign or fight for freedom 
with a will, because if slavery is extinct, not to be revived 
under any circumstances, all their hopes of preserving 
it are past and they will be tired of shilly-shally when 
there's no object to be gained by it. Oh, that the Lord 
would only put it into Lincoln's head to do something 
strong and decided ! We must ride this time through. 



flection that it was New York and only the upper gallery 
at that. I suppose waiting is wholesome and trust that 
it is as Mr. James said, that "When the people do wake 
up and know themselves, we shall have blessed happy 
peace forever." We, as a Nation, are learning splendid 
lessons of heroism and fortitude through it that nothing 
else could teach. All our young men who take their lives 
in their hands and go out and battle for the right grow 
noble and grand in the act, and when they come back 
(perhaps only half of those who went) I hope they will 
find that the women have grown with them in the long 
hours of agony. Mr. James brought Nellie and me today 
two photographs of Wilkie,' who had gone off in the 44th 
as Sergeant, and on the back was somebody's or some- 
thing's escutcheon with the motto, "Vincere vel mori." 
It seemed a very fitting one for a young soldier going forth 
in all the ardor of a first campaign. Dear boys ! How 
noble they are, and yet how can they help being noble? 
I have longed so to go myself that it seemed unbearable, 
and Emmie Russell ^ wrote me from Florence that it 
always made her cry to see soldiers, partly for thinking 
of our army, and partly for chagrin that she was not a man 
to go too. We can work though if we can't enlist, and 
we do. It is very pleasant to see how well the girls and 
women do work everywhere, sewing meetings, sanitary 
hospitals and all. Lou Schuyler told me at the Sanitary 
yesterday that there were 150,000 sick and wounded now 
in the different hospitals to be cared for ! and I suppose, 
poor fellows, they are cold and tired and miserable, even 
after all that's been done for them ! God help us all. 

October 29th. Rob is home again for tomorrow. That 
dear General Gordon, feehng that he ought to be at home 

' Wilkie James, brother of Professor William James. 
' Afterwards Mrs. Charles L. Pierson, of Boston. 


for Sue's wedding, and not being able to get him a fur- 
lough, sent him to New York on official business. We 
thought he was on the advance, far away, when suddenly 
at 2 o'clock he appeared, having come down with Annie 
Haggerty,^ whom he had gone to see in New York. He 
looks splendid and seems in good spirits. To have him 
at home is lovely. We were saying this morning that we 
were all together but one, and now that one has come 
He said tomght, poor boy, that he wished we were done 
with this fighting and expected to be "slaughtered before 
It was over." I suppose they must all feel so, seeing 
so many of their friends and companions dying around 
them. Tomorrow, Harry and he meet. They've not 
seen each other since Cedar Mountain. So far the Lord 
has been very merciful to us, in turning all our sorrows 
to joy. 

October SOth, 1862. Well f Sue's gone and we've had 
a perfect success in the wedding, with only one thing to mar 
our enjoyment of the day. This morning three gentle- 
men appeared and asked Father, for the Governor to be 
Provost Marshal of Richmond, Queens and Suffolk 
Counties, and he refused the offer. Mother, NeUie and 
I felt dreadfully because we thought of the great good he 
might do, and of the dreadful rascal who will probably 
be put in, but he felt he couldn't do it well (of course he'd 
do it better than anyone else they give it to), and I think, 
too, that Rob's advice had something to do with it, for he 
said that it required a military man and that he knew 
Father couldn't do it. 

Rob went back this afternoon, not much wanting to 
certainly, dear boy. It must be dreadfully hard to go 
away from this nice, homey house into cold, weariness and 

' Afterwards Mrs. Robert Gould Shaw. 



The diary ends abruptly as it began. Among the 
entries for the first day, — July 23, 1861, — is a list of her 
friends in the army, including the name of " Capt. Lowell 
of the U. S. A." It is a remarkable and characteristic 
fact, that this is the only mention made, in all the papers 
of Mrs. Lowell which I have examined, of the man whose 
name she bore for more than forty years. Their acquaint- 
ance must, when this entry was made, have been only 
a slight one. In the spring of 1863 when Lowell was 
organizing the Second Massachusetts Cavalry in Boston, 
he again met Josephine Shaw, and became engaged to her 
after he had seen her only nine times. Miss Elizabeth 
C. Putnam, a friend of Mrs. Lowell's, said : " It was in 
the spring of 1863 that I first saw Effie Shaw. She was 
sitting on a packing box at the Camp at Readville, 
the afternoon sun striking across the feather on her 
hat, and lighting up her delicate complexion, her fine 
hair and fair brow. She was staying with Mrs. John 
Forbes at Milton, and Lowell had asked her to be his 

Her love was most worthily bestowed. The necessary 
limitations of space permit only brief mention of Lowell's 
family, and the important incidents of his career. Charles 




,.J.i-iV/C ) .L-dBi-l 

■h ^i^-' • •■'■■si"' :•■■■-': 

.;; .'*i* V 


m i 

I ■ 



Russell Lowell, Jr./ was born iii Boston, January 2, 1835, 
the eldest son of Charles Russell Lowell and Anna Cabot 
Jackson, his wife, and grandson of Rev. Charles Lowell, 
D.D. The poet, James Russell Lowell, was his uncle. 
Entering Harvard in 1850, he graduated at the head of 
the class of '54. Duiing his college years Lowell held 
a leading position, being especially noted for his inde- 
pendent intellect arid commanding will. Much of his 
time was devoted to sociological studies, and his com- 
mencement oration showed deep and intelligent interest 
in the welfare of the people. He took with him from 
college the reputation of a thoughtful and brilliant youth 
of whom much might be expected in the future. 

Lowell immediately began to earn his own living, and 
the year after his graduation, at the age of twenty, was 
already in a position of trust and promise, at the rolling- 
mill of the Trenton Iron Company of New Jersey. While 
thus employed, the shadow of a grave disease fell upon him. 
A friend found him in his room: bleeding at the lungs, and 
it became necessary for him to resign his position, stop 
work, and seek health outdoors in a mild climate. Then 
followed three years of travel, of which more than two 
were spent in foreign coimtries, much of the time on horse- 
back, so that he became an expert rider. By 1858 he was 
suflficiently recovered to return to America, but not at 
first for life on the Atlantic coast. In 1860, feeling 

' Much of the information relating to General Lowell given here 
was obtained from his biography by Professor James M. Peirce. 
Harvard Memorial Biographies, Vol. I. " The Life and Letters of 
Charles Russell Lowell," by Edward W. Emerson, has also been 



stronger, he took charge of the Mt. Savage Iron Works, 
Cumberland, Maryland, where the opening of the war 
found him at the head of a small city of workingmen. 

When Lowell heard the news of the attack on the Sixth 
Massachusetts in Baltimore, he resigned his position at 
Cumberland, and went immediately to Washington, being 
obliged to walk from Baltimore, as the railroad track had 
been torn up. Arriving thus among the first comers at 
the capital, April 21, 1861, he made personal application 
for a commission, both to President Lincoln and General 
Sherman. He was a man of striking appearance and 
manner, and having created a favorable impression, was 
commissioned Captain of the Third — afterwards Sixth 
— Regiment of U. S. Cavalry, May 14, 1861, and at once 
began recruiting and drilling his company in preparation 
for the field. 

The Third Cavahy was with the Army of the Potomac 
in the Peninsular Campaign of 1862, as part of Stoneman's 
command, and Lowell was nominated for the brevet of 
Major for distinguished services at Williamsburgh and 
Slatersville. His brother James, wounded at Glendale, 
June 30, died a prisoner, July 4 of that year. As aide on 
the staff of General McClellan, Lowell was conspicuous 
for bravery at Malvern Hill and South Mountain, and 
also at Antietam, where his horse was shot under him; 
in this battle a bullet passed through his coat, and another 
broke his sabre. In recognition of his gallantry General 
McClellan selected Lowell to carry to President Lincoln 
at Washington thirty-nine captured colors, the trophies 
of the campaign — a high honor, and equivalent to a rec- 



ommendation for promotion. November of '62 found 
Lowell in Boston, organizing the Second Massachusetts 
Cavalry, of which on April 15, 1863, he was appointed 
Colonel. It was at this time that he again met and be- 
came engaged to Josephine Shaw, whose brother Robert 
was his friend. 

When Lowell's new regiment was ready to take the field, 
he led it from Boston and was given command of the 
cavalry of the Department of Washington, with head- 
quarters at Vienna, Virginia, fifteen miles from the 
capital, where he was kept busy watching Mosby and 
preventing his raids. On starting for the front Lowell 
gave his fianc6e a horse which had been wounded under 
him at Antietam and from fright was useless in battle, 
a big Virginia roan named Berold, which she rode during 
the summer and autumn of 1863, and for many years 
afterwards, the horse living to a great age. Lowell is 
said to have had thirteen horses shot under him before 
he himself was killed. 

The career of young Shaw in the army should be 
traced as well as that of Lowell. His promotion had been 
rapid. From the ranks of the New York Seventh he had 
applied for, and on May 28, 1861, received a commission as 
Second Lieutenant in the Second Massachusetts and started 
for the war with that regiment; he was commissioned 
First Lieutenant July 8, 1861, at the Battle of Cedar 
Mountain served as an aide on General Gordon's staff, 
and on August 10, 1862, was promoted Captain. Early 
in 1863, when the Government decided to form negro 
regiments, Governor Andrew, by letter, offered Shaw the 



colonelcy of one to be raised in Massachusetts. At this 
time Shaw was in camp at Stafford Court House, to which 
place the letter was carried by his father. After some 
hesitation due to misgivings as to his ability to fill so im- 
portant a position, he accepted the commission of Colonel 
of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, 
which bears date April 17, 1863, and immediately gave 
all his energy to the organization of his new command, 
the first regiment of colored troops, from a free state, 
mustered into the Federal service. On the 2d of May, 
1863, he married Anna Kneeland, daughter of Ogden 
Haggerty, Esq., of New York, and on the 28th of the 
same month, he left Boston for the seat of war, at the head 
of his command. Their triumphal march through Boston 
has often been described. Early in July Shaw wrote 
from St. Helena Island, South Carolina, to General Strong, 
expressing a desire to be in his brigade, a wish which was 
soon after gratified. On July 18, the day of the battle of 
Fort Wagner, Shaw wrote home from Morris Island : 

"We're in General Strong's Brigade. We came up here 
last night, and were out again all night in a very heavy 
rain. Fort Wagner is being very heavily bombarded. 
We are not far from it. We hear nothing but praise of 
the Fifty-fourth on all hands." 

After writing this letter, which was his last. Colonel 
Shaw received orders to report with his regiment at Gen- 
eral Strong's headquarters, and there he was offered the 
post of honor, because of greatest danger, the advance, 
that evening, in the assault on Fort Wagner. Here was 
the opportunity he had waited for, "when his men could 

COL. liOBi'urr uould sii.vw, isos 


fight alongside of white soldiers, and show somebody be- 
sides their officers, what stuff they' were "raad!i of." ■' " 

The closing incidents of Colonel Shaw's life we!re well 
described in a letter written shortly" aft&i the battle by 
the surgeon of the regiment : 

"General Strong had been impressed with the high 
character of the regiment and its officers, and he wished 
to assign them the post where the most severe work was 
to be done, and the highest honor was to be won. I had 
been his guest for some days, and know how he regarded 
them. The march across Folly and Morris Islands, was 
over a very sandy road, and was very wearisome. When 
they had come within six hundred yards of Fort Wagner, 
they formed in line of battle, the Colonel leading the first, 
and the Major the second battalion. 

"At this point the regiment, together with the next 
supporting regiments, the Sixth Connecticut, Ninth Maine, 
and others, remained half an hour. Then at half past 
seven, the order for the charge was given. The regiment 
advanced at quick time, changing to double-quick when 
some distance on. When about one hundred yards from 
the fort, the Rebel musketry opened with such terrible 
effect, that for an instant the first battalion hesitated ; 
but only for an instant, for Colonel Shaw, springing to the 
front, and waving his sword, shouted 'Forward, Fifty- 
fourth ! ' and with another cheer and a shout, they rushed 
through the ditch and gained the parapet on the right. 
Colonel Shaw was one of the first to scale the walls. He 
stood erect to urge forward his men, and while shouting 
for them to press on, was shot dead and fell into the fort. 
I parted with Colonel Shaw, as he rode forward to join 
his regiment; as he was leaving, he turned back and 
gave me his letters and other papers, telling me to 



keep t.l-.f.m jnd forward them to his father if anything 
occurrad " 

"Bv?/,e!y be led the men, and fell as a brave and noble 
soldi.'.r shctil'i, Ia tho very front, into the fort, and now 
sleeps there with the brave fellows who were with him 
in his Ufe, anxiouH to shield hira, to rescue, to avenge." 

Two days after the assa\ilt on Fort Wagner, Colonel 
Lowell wrote to Miss Shaw : 

"A. has just sent me a report about dear Rob, and it 
does not seem to me possible that it should be true. We 
have been talking over the good fellows who have gone 
before in the war. There is none who has been so widely 
and dearly loved as he." 

In another letter he wrote : 

"Everything that comes about Rob, shows his death 
to have been more and more completely that, which 
every soldier, and every man must long to die. But it 
is given to very few, for very few do their duty as Rob 
did. I am thankful that they buried him with his 'nig- 
gers,' for they were brave men and they were his men." 

The heroic death of Colonel Shaw profoundly stirred 
the hearts of northern people, and brought many touching 
proofs of sympathy to his young widow and his father's 
family; his bodj' was not recovered, and was probably 
buried where he died "with his niggers," as his ad- 
versaries said. The people of his native city, with the 
aid of Augustus Saint Gaudens's art, have worthily com- 
memorated his name and fame, and also made record of 
the officers and men of his command who died with him, 
in the monument on Boston Common. 



Lights and shadows, in swift succession, brought joy and 
sorrow into the life of Josephine Shaw in the fateful year 
1863. The spring and summer had witnessed her only 
brother's marriage and death ; the autimin saw her union 
with the man to whom she had given her heart. Although 
Mrs. Shaw at first preferred that the marriage be post- 
poned until the close of the war, she was persuaded to 
change her mind, and in her twentieth year Josephine 
became the wife of Colonel Lowell at the Unitarian Church 
on Staten Island, on the 31st of October, 1863, and went 
to live with her husband, at his headquarters, a little 
farm-house at Vienna, Virginia. This was a tranquil 
interval in the war, and so it was possible for the young 
couple to pass much of the winter of '63-i together, and 
Mrs. Lowell devoted many hours to the care of the sick 
and wounded soldiers, in the military hospitals near by. 

Emerson, in his life of Lowell, says : 

"Chaplain Humphreys wrote home of the kindly and 
refining influence of Mrs. Lowell's presence in the camp, 
and of the hospitality that welcomed the officers in turn, 
at the little home which the colonel and she had estab- 
lished there. . . . With the foreigners in the hospital I 
was greatly assisted by the wife of the Commander, who 
visited the patients verj'^ frequently. She delighted the 
Frenchmen, Italians and Germans by conversing with 
them in their own languages, that so vividly recalled their 
early homes. She often assisted in writing letters for 
the disabled soldiers, and when I sought to give comfort 
to the dying, her presence soothed the pangs of parting, 
with a restful consciousness of woman's faithful watching 
and a mother's tenderness." 






But the brief period of happiness with her husband in 
the camp at Vienna soon passed, for in July, 1864, orders 
called Colonel Lowell to more distant and dangerous duty, 
and his young wife returned to her father's home. On 
the 20th of the same month, Colonel Lowell was given 
command of a new Provisional Brigade, and at Winchester, 
September 19, when in command of a Reserve Brigade 
by appointment of General Sheridan, he participated in 
a superb charge. On the 15th of October, the army was 
surprised at Cedar Creek, in the absence of General Sheri- 
dan, and, after his historic ride from Winchester, saved 
by his return. 

Emerson gives this touching extract from one of Lowell's 
letters to his wife : "I don't want to be shot till I've had 
a chance to come home. I have no idea that I shall be 
hit, but I want so much not to be now that it sometimes 
frightens me." But it was ordered otherwise; Lowell's 
wish was not to be granted. The following account of 
his last fight is taken from the Harvard Biographies, and 
Emerson's "Life." On the 18th of October, 1864, Colonel 
Lowell was ordered to make a reconnaisance, and, at the 
head of the Reserve Brigade, led the Cavalry Corps into 
action. Of this movement, General William Dwight, 
commanding the First Division of the Nineteenth Corps, 
wrote: "They moved past me, that splendid Cavalry; 
if they reached the pike I felt secure. Lowell got by me 
before I could speak, but I looked after him for a long 
distance. Exquisitely mounted, the picture of a soldier, 
— erect, confidant, defiant — he moved at the head of 
the finest Brigade of Cavalry that today scorns the earth 

it treads." And so Lowell rode into action. Soon a horse 
was shot under him. Then at 1 p.m., on October 19, 
he was wounded by a spent ball in the right breast, the 
lung collapsed and hemorrhage ensued. For an hour 
and a half the wounded man lay on the ground, under 
temporary shelter, until he heard an order to advance, 
when with assistance he remounted his horse, sitting firm 
and erect, but the voice was gone, — he could only whisper. 
In the hail of fire, in which Lowell sat his horse, he re- 
ceived his second mortal wound; a bullet severed the 
spine at the neck, paralyzing the body. The wounded 
officer giving no sign of suffering, and retaining a clear 
mind, dictated loving messages for his wife and family, 
and gave orders for his command. Early next morning, 
October 20, 1864, at Middletown, Virginia, in his thirtieth 
year, he died. "We all shed tears," said Custer, "when we 
knew we had lost him. It is the greatest loss the Cavalry- 
Corps has ever suffered. " Sheridan said of him : " I do not 
think there was a quality which I could have added to 
Lowell. He was the perfection of a man and a soldier." 
For a year Colonel Lowell had done the full work of 
a Brigadier General of Volunteers, and by a sad coinci- 
dence his conmiission to this rank, determined on days 
before, was signed on the 19th of October, 1864, the day 
on which' he received his death wound at Cedar Creek, 
and too late for him to wear the higher honor he had 
earned so well. The funeral of General Lowell took place 
on Friday, October 28, at the College Chapel, Cambridge, 
and his remains were afterwards interred at Mount 
Auburn Cemetery, with the appropriate military honors. 



The Worker 

After the death of General Lowell, his widow, not yet 
twenty-one years old, lived with her parents on Staten 
Island. There her daughter, Carlotta Russell, — named 
for her father, — was born, November 30, 1864. The 
power to rally from the tragedy which had clouded her 
life did not come at first. A friend describes her at that 
time as "going about the house with her little girl in her 
arms, not sad but with a quiet look as if she were living 
in another world. Time afterward softened the poignancy 
of her grief, and those nearest to her felt that her life was 
a happy one." She had a sitting room in her father's 
house in which she kept near her Lowell's sword and 
other treasures, and there she used to work. Berold, 
his favorite horse, was cared for in her father's stable until 
his death, and she and her little daughter spent part of 
each year with General Lowell's family in Massachusetts. 

But grief at her husband's loss was not permitted to 
paralyze Mrs. Lowell's energies, and she soon began her 
wonderful work for the alleviation of human misery, 
which was to last for more than forty years. Shortly 
after the close of the war, the Freedmen's Association 
was formed, with which Mr. Shaw was actively identified, 
and his daughter joined one of its committees having 
an office in Bible House on lower Fourth Avenue, New 
York City. Among the objects of this association was 



^•Cs-iE-i^;; :i-r-\ . 





the establishment of schools for the colored people in the 
South, and in furtherance of this work, when she was only 
twenty-three, Mrs. Lowell and IMiss Ellen Colhns went 
to Virginia in 1866, and visited many schools for colored 
children in Richmond, Petersburg and other places, 
stopping as they journeyed, at little country homes. 
There was much active opposition at that time to this 
kind of educational work, so that the position of the 
teachers was difficult. Most of them were young women, 
and lived with white famiUes willing to help the freedmen. 
The visit of the two young northern women brought 
needed encouragement to the teachers, and because of it 
more schools were opened. The friendship between Mrs. 
Lowell and Miss Collins continued until Mrs. Lowell's 
death. Miss Collins, on Mrs. Lowell's nomination, was 
appointed a "Viisitor" by the State Board of Charities 
in 1876, and was annually reappointed for many years. 
Her visits to the public charities of New York City, and 
reports of the conditions found in them were thoroughly 
practical and useful to the Board, and directly contributed 
to bring about reforms which have made life less hard for 
the city's poor, sick and unfortunate. 

In December, 1869, having sold the homestead on Bard 
Avenue to his son-in-law, Robert B. Minturn, Mr. Shaw 
removed with his little family, then comprising only Mrs. 
Shaw, Mrs. Lowell and her little girl, to a smaller house 
near by on the shore of the ICill Van KuU. All of Mrs. 
Lowell's letters subsequently dated from Staten Island 
were written at this later home. 

Mrs. Lowell revisited Europe in 1870 with her daughter, 



a cousin, and a friend, and letters of introduction made 
thera known to many distinguished people. They visited 
the Kingsleys at Eversley, and also in the Inner Cloisters 
of Westminster, and were hospitably entertained at 
the homes of Dean Howson and his wife at Chester, and 
of Canon Venables at Lincoln. They also made the ac- 
quaintance of Canon Benson, afterwards Archbishop of 
Canterbury, of Hughes, and of Carlyle. The sympathies 
of the latter were with the South in the Civil War, and 
Mrs. Lowell, who had several interesting conversations 
with him about the great Rebellion, thought he did not 
fully appreciate either the quality or the patriotic motives 
of the young men who had fought in the armies of the 
North. Wishing to influence his opinion on a subject 
so sacred to her, Mrs. Lowell afterwards sent him a set of 
the Harvard Memorial Biographies, containing, among 
others, sketches of the lives of her husband and her brother, 
northern men who had laid down their lives for their 
country. In acknowledgment of this volume she received 
the following letter : 

Chelsea, 10 March, 1870. 
Dear Madam : 

I received your gentle, kind and beautiful message and 
in obedience to so touching a command, soft to me as 
sunlight, or moonlight, but imperative as few could be, I 
have read those lives you marked for me ; with several of 
the others ; and intend to read the whole before I finish 
— many thanks to you for those volumes and that note. 

It would need a heart much harder than mine not to 
recognize the high and noble spirit that dwelt in those 
young men, their heroic readiness, complete devotedness, 
their patience, diligence, shining valor and virtue in the 

r \ 


cause they saw to be the highest, while alas ! any difference 
I may feel on that latter point, only deepens to me the 
sorrowful and noble tragedy each of their hves is. You 
may believe me, Madam, I would strew flowers on their 
graves along with you, and piously bid them rest in Hope ! 
It is not doubtful to me that they also have added this 
mite to what is the eternal cause of God and man ; or that, 
in circuitous but sure ways, all men, Black and White, 
will infallibly get their profit of the same. 
With many thanks and regards, dear Madam, I remain, 
Yrs. sincerely T. Carlyle. 

The necessities of the war had drawn many women into 
hospital work, and after it was over, their interest in such 
work continued, although the military hospitals soon 
ceased to exist. On the invitation of Miss Louisa Lee 
Schuyler, a number of these New York women, including 
Mrs. Lowell, met at her house in 1872, and formed the 
"Visiting Committee of Bellevue and other Hospitals." 
This started such a stream of well-known women, down 
East Twenty-sixth Street, to Bellevue, that it was said 
to be the fashionable promenade of the City of New 
York, and Mrs. Lowell then began her acquaintance with 
the public charities of New York City, whose adminis- 
tration she strove for a generation to improve. It was 
at this time also that she became interested in the 
Richmond County Poorhouse on Staten Island. 

Mrs. Lowell spent the winters at her father's house on 
Staten Island tmtil 1874 when, as she wished her daughter 
to attend school in New York, Mr. Shaw bought her the 
house No. 120 East Thirtieth Street. For many years she 
used to return to Staten Island for the week ends, and fre- 




quent visits were paid in summer to her husband's sister, 
Mrs. George Putnam at her home at Ponkapog near 
Boston. After the death of Mr. Shaw in 1882 her mother 
rented the house next door, No. 118, and Uved there until 
her death in 1902. The houses were made to connect on 
the first floor, and there was constant going and coming ; 
the three women, Mrs. Shaw, Mrs. Lowell, and her daugh- 
ter were one family. A friend said of them "I had never 
before been with people who talked over the affairs of city 
and State exactly as they would those of their own family, 
and on Decoration Daj', when the flag hung across the 
doors of these two houses, one knew what it meant to the 
women within." 

Governor Tilden's appointment of Mrs. Lowell in 1876, 
when she was only thirty-two years old, as the first woman 
commissioner of the New York State Board of Charities, 
came as a well merited recognition of the pubUc services 
she had already performed; the circumstances which 
obtained her this distinction are elsewhere described. 
Mrs. Lowell accepted the appointment, and her official 
position afjforded opportunities for the prosecution of her 
work in a wider field. The publication and circulation 
of her able reports as state papers, not only preserved 
them in the archives of the Board, but also gained for 
the writer increased influence and a larger following. Mrs. 
Lowell was reappointed by Governor Cornell May 25, 
1881, for a full term of eight years, at the close of which, 
in 1889, she retired from the Board, to be free to take 
up other work, notwithstanding the expressed wish of 
her colleagues that she accept another term of office. 






No commissio: .er of the State Board of Charities ever 
rendered more faithful and efficient service than did Mrs. 
Lowell during the thiiteen years of her membership, and 
her retirement was regarded by her associates as both 
a personal and a pubhc loss. 

Work, effective and continuous, was easy and natural 
to Mrs. Lowell ; she was endowed with a strong constitu- 
tion, and all her habits of life were such as to fit her for 
instant response to any call for service ; she was an early 
riser, and retired early, and no petty cares were allowed 
to make demands upon her time. The years of her great- 
est activity were before the drudgery of correspondence 
and the preparation of papers had been diminished by the 
assistance of the private stenographer ; and typewriting 
machines and manifolding inventions, now in common 
use, were then little known ; so she early learned to 
rely entirely upon her own hand, and depended upon it 
throughout her life. Her handwriting was large, rapid, 
even, and strong, and the interlineations or erasures in 
her letters or papers were few. By dint of constant 
practice, she became a clear and concise writer, and to 
the habit of logical and orderly statement, she soon added 
an easy and finished hterary style. In a letter which she 
wrote to her sister-in-law, Mrs. Shaw, on the last day of 
1893, she said: "I have just counted the record of my 
letters since January 1, 1893. I find this is the 1899th ! 
That's rather good for my own hand, isn't it? Or per- 
haps bad? I only hope that half have been of some 
use to somebody ! " Unfortunately for the success of the 
task of the biographer Mrs. Lowell retained no copies of 



the letters she wrote, and with the exception of the diary, 
some manuscript papers, and a few letters addressed to her, 
to which she attached special value, practically nothing 
helpful in the preparation of this work was found at her 
house and search for it elsewhere thus became necessary ; 
she had evidently labored for daily results, entertaining no 
idea, or refusing to be influenced by any, that her work 
was of great historical interest and value, and that she was 
really breaking a path in many fields of philanthropy. 

The house. No. 120 East Thirtieth Street, which Mrs. 
Lowell and her daughter occupied from 1874 until 1905, 
was not large, having but two rooms on the first floor, 
and it was her custom to receive visitors in the sitting 
room which fronted on the street. Because the light 
was better and room for her papers more abundant in the 
dining room, in which her desk was placed, much of her 
writing was done there ; she frequently received intimate 
friends in this room, and many important consultations 
were held there, while, in true womanly fashion, she used 
to poke the fire, whose fitful hght illumined her noble face. 
Good books were Mrs. Lowell's constant companions ; she 
possessed a considerable library, and habitually read aloud 
to her mother in the evenings. She had a lively sense of 
humor, a gift so helpful when life is devoted to serious 
work, laughed heartily, and would often lay aside her corre- 
spondence to read aloud a comic story or an account of 
some heroic act, and then resume her work. While not a 
musician, she had an inherited love of good music, which 
she cultivated, and frequently attended concerts ; she was 
fond of the theatre, but always avoided tragedies. 



In her attendance at committee meetings, Mrs. Lowell 
was absolutely punctual, coming just before the ap- 
pointed hour, and wasting no time in unnecessary talk. 
She had a retentive memory, which was strengthened by 
careful training, and kept herself well informed upon 
the sociological subjects of the day. Her vocabulary was 
large, and although she was quite proficient in three 
European languages, she never yielded to the temptation 
to display superior knowledge by quotations from them, 
but habitually and skilfully made use of the purest and 
simplest English words she could find in which to express 
her meaning. She had rare moral courage, being entu-ely 
without either self-consciousness or fear ; and by practice 
became a ready, fluent, and convincing speaker, equally 
effective in persuasion on the platform of a great hall, 
or with a friend by her own fireside. While she had 
unusual gifts of eloquence at conomand, she was never eager 
to speak, but if the subject under consideration was opened 
by others, and progressed satisfactorily, was content to sit 
with folded hands, and depart without opening her lips. 
But if, on the contrary, the cause which she had come 
prepared to advocate seemed in danger, she would seize 
the first opportunity to speak, and earnestly take part in 
the debate, in a manner which showed both her thorough 
understanding and her preparation for the discussion. 
She was a courteous and cheerful antagonist; and her 
espousal of any cause generally carried it to victory. 
During the Uves of her brothers-in-law, George Wilham 
Curtis and General Barlow, she often consulted them 
about her work, and it was her invariable custom to read 



her papers to her mother and daughter, and to welcome 
their suggestions and advice. 

Her official position as a commissioner of the State 
Board of Charities, and her long and active work for the 
Charity Organization Society of the City of New York, 
had identified Mrs. Lowell in the public mind as the friend 
and promoter of organized and systematized public and 
private charities ; but she nevertheless believed first in the 
home, and its influence, and strongly disapproved of any- 
woman undertaking public work, or charitable interests, un- 
til even the smallest home duty had been fully discharged. 
She was always at heart opposed to what is called insti- 
tutionalism, and strove to preserve the home, stoutly 
maintaining that even a poor home, if its conditions were 
endurable, was preferable to a good institution ; and she her- 
self never became institutionalized, as happens to so many 
who are officially connected with charitable administration. 

No self-interest entered into Mrs. Lowell's character ; 
she lost herself in the people she loved, or whom she was 
trying to help. Flattery could not touch her, and the 
complimentary things which people said, or wrote about 
her, made no apparent impression ; when she was a girl, 
she was not indifferent to admiration, but after her hus- 
band's death she did not hear its appeal. From that 
time until the end of her life she was always dressed in 
black, but did not wear crepe ; and her dresses, while sim- 
ple, were always suitable for the occasion. Her hair was 
neatly coiled quite close to her head, and not ungracefully, 
for it was naturally slightly waved. Of medium height and 
weight, and exceedingly refined in her personal appearance, 





Mrs. Lowell was not beautiful, although her fine head, in- 
telligent eyes and clear skin made her very attractive. 
She was in everything feminine, and unhke many other 
women who have attained prominence in pubhc affairs, she 
never for a moment lost any of her womanly charm. 

There was about Mrs. Lowell's home a simplicity which 
made every one, rich or poor, feel welcome there, and it 
was a sanctuary to many perplexed and troubled souls. 
The arrangement of her rooms was such as to suggest, 
to persons of small means, new ways to make their own 
humble apartments more attractive. Mrs. Lowell was 
not rich, as wealth is estimated now, but her circumstances 
were comfortable. Although she had a fine sense of beauty 
she cared little for the personal possession of things, 
futilities they seemed to her, and allowed herself no 
extravagances; so, as her wants were few, her income 
proved more than sufficient for her needs, and she always 
had something to give, when her heart and judgment im- 
pelled her to open her purse. Had she restrained her hand, 
she might have ridden in her own carriage ; but she pre- 
ferred to give to worthy objects, and contentedly walked 
or rode in the street-cars, as she went busily about the 
great city, whose streets she trod so long. Full well she 
reaUzed the truth of Joaquin Miller's lines ' : 

For all you can hold in your cold dead hand, 
Is what you have given away. 

The simple charm of Mrs. Lowell's daily life was re- 
flected in her personality. Her step was quick and firm, 

' From his memorial poem to Peter Cooper, 1791-1883, phil- 
anthropist and founder ot Cooper Institute, New York. 




and all her movements so well adjusted as to show the 
full control exercised over her body by her mind. Even 
toward the end of her life, her eyes were bright and sym- 
pathetic, and her abundant brown hair only faintly tinged 
with gray ; her skin remained fresh and clear as a girl's ; 
and some one beautifully said of her face "that it always 
seemed like an alabaster vase with the Ught shining 
through." She was sweet with an inward peace, and 
strong for any task. 

In her religious beUef Mrs. Lowell was firm and sincere, 
but liberal and without bigotry. She was brought up in 
and always held to the Unitarian faith, and while living 
on Staten Island attended regularly the little Unitarian 
church at Sailors' Snug Harbor. 

Here her brother-in-law, George WiUiam Curtis, for 
many years conducted the simple services when there 
was no pastor. " This service," says her daughter, " was, 
I think, more congenial to my mother than any other. 
She was a great beUever in going to church and always 
went wherever she was." She made the Sabbath a day 
of rest, except when work seemed to her an evident duty ; 
and chose such recreations for the day as did not involve 
the labor of others. Throughout her life she loved to 
read the Bible. 

An aristocrat by birth and culture, all doors to which 
these qualifications give entrance were open to Mrs. 
Lowell, but she went seldom into general society, pos- 
sibly because experience of it had taught her that the 
time might be better employed, and moved only in the 
higher aristocracy of usefulness. She was democratic 




by nature and training, and was content to live and 
work with everyday people, whose names did not ap- 
pear in the social columns of the daily papers. It was 
not only Mrs. Lowell's to do, but to inspire ; she was a 
quickening spirit, and breathed the breath of life into 
many others. And she was always a spur — sometimes 
an uncomfortable, pricking spur — to the laggard; and 
she was a standard-bearer to those who tried to lead. 

Always reticent in personal matters, few except the 
members of her own family knew of the attack of a painful 
and mortal disease, which advanced steadily until, after 
a few months of uncomplaining suffering, she passed to 
her reward. The rector of Grace Church, Dr. William 
Reed Huntington, conducted the funeral service at her 
residence,' and she was buried beside her husband in 
Moimt Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge. Left a widow 
at twenty for her country's sake, Mrs. Lowell had for 
forty years, with consecrated purpose, waged a continual 
battle against ignorance, vice, and crime ; and in the effort 
to right the wrong had unflinchingly, with clear eyes and 
a tender heart, followed where duty seemed to lead. This 
was a sure preparation for her saintly and heroic end. 
We who shared in her work now hold her in loving and 
thankful remembrance. 

One of the most interesting, significant, and hopeful 
phenomena of the nineteenth century is the birth and 
growth of organized philanthropy. The history of this 
world movement will some day be written, and the his- 

' Shortly before Mrs. Lowell's death, she moved to 43 East SLxty- 
fourth Street because the erection of high business buildings had shut 
out the light and air from her residence in Thirtieth Street. 





torian cannot fail to make prominent mention in it of 
five women, all of the English-speaking race, leaders in 
as many benevolent crusades, whose humane activities 
were embraced within its span. 

Elizabeth Fry,' under whose dauntless leadership the 
prisons and jails of Great Britain were reformed in its 
opening years, will first command his praise. Nor mil 
he neglect to pay tributes to the humane services of two 
heroic women who simultaneously, toward the middle of 
the century, successfully contended against official igno- 
rance and neglect in hospital management. One of these 
was Florence Nightingale,'' whose ministrations in the field 
hospitals of the Crimea not only brought reUef to the thou- 
sands of wounded and dying soldiers there, but also devel- 
oped the profession through which women trained nurses 
have come, with their skilled and gentle services, to cheer 
and reUeve the sick and wounded, and comfort the dying of 
the civilized world. The other was our own country- 
woman Dorothea Lynde Dix,* the early apostle of State 
care for the insane, whose labors in this cause were bi'ought 
to a successful issue in twenty states and in Canada. 

Of the women who rendered distinguished service to hu- 
manity during the last quarter of the century, Octavia 
Hill,'' the devoted English woman whose long, unselfish, 
and intelligent efforts for the improvement of the homes 

' Elizabeth Fry, an English Quaker minister and prison reformer, 

^ Daughter of William E. Nightingale of Derbyshire, England, 1820- 

' Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, 1802 ; died. 1887. 

* Still living at Marylebone Road, N. W. London, in^lQlO. 


of the London poor, continued into the twentieth century, 
have inspired an army of settlement workers to follow 
in her footsteps, will surely receive the commendation 
so richly deserved. On the shining roll will be emblazoned 
also for generations yet unborn, the name and fame of the 
"City's Saint" of New York, the story of some of whose 
charitable undertakings this volume all too imperfectly 
narrates. Should the judgment of the future historian 
accord with the estimate now entertained by those best 
acquainted with Mrs. Lowell's work, he will claim as her 
most useful achievement the success of her long labors 
to rescue the erring and feeble-minded of her sex. She 
early recognized the temptations and dangers to which 
young women of wayward tendencies or defective will 
were exposed, all the more severe in the metropolis be- 
cause of the swiftly changing social conditions, floodtide 
of imnaigration, and congested population centering there, 
and devoted years of her life to secure them refuges. 

When, as the result of her indomitable championship 
of their needs, the State of New York, in 1878 established 
the first custodial asylima for feeble-minded women in the 
United States, if not in the world, and in 1881 the first 
house of refuge for women in the State, thus adopting 
as wards of the State all young women of these classes 
needing its care, Mrs. Lowell's greatest victory for hu- 
manity was won. Since that time, other states and 
countries, following the example set by New York, have 
opened similar doors of hope and shelter to thousands of 
young women, all of whom, and multitudes besides, have 
reason to bless the name of Josephine Shaw Lowell. 


Letters to Mrs. Robert Gould Shaw 

For many years Mrs. Lowell carried on an affectionate 
correspondence with her sister-in-law, Mrs. Robert Gould 
Shaw — the Annie Haggerty of her girlhood diary, who 
after long residence as an invalid abroad died in Boston 
in 1907. Mrs. Shaw preserved many of Mrs. Lowell's 
letters, from some of which extracts are here tran- 
scribed, as they exhibit not only varying phases of her 
character, but also give her opinion of some public 
men, and explain her reasons for undertaking different 
kinds of philanthropic work. A few other letters to Mrs. 
Shaw are reserved for insertion in following chapters, for 
which they seem particularly appropriate. 

West New Brighton, June 17, 1878. 
Dearest Annie : 

I have got home today from what has been an interest- 
ing and busy little journey of a week. 

Last Monday I left here at eight and went, by train, to 
Binghamton, arriving at 5 p.m. I at once procured a 
buggy and went off two miles to visit an Inebriate Asylum 
and stayed till eight, when the Superintendent drove me 
back to my boarding house. Tuesday at nine I called 
on a lady on business (about poorhouse work), and then 
went off to a Convention of Superintendents of the Poor ; 



there were about a hundred, I should think, and I was 

the sole and solitary woman ! They talked away until 

twelve, when we scattered for dinner and returned at two 

and stayed till five. There were some other ladies there 

then, so it was pleasanter — in the morning I felt as Robbie 

Barlow did once at the circus, when a great many guns 

were fired off, and he kept ejaculating : " Oh, I wished I 

hadn't came! I wished I hadn't came !" 

At five I drove out to an Orphan Asylum, with one of 

the Managers, and then to his house to tea and back again 

to the convention, where again there were no other ladies, 

and where I addressed the meeting on the subject of 

tramps. A httle after ten the session came to an end, but 

the next morning at nine, they were at it again and sat 

until twelve. Then I got my dinner and at one went off 

in a buggy to the Poorhouse and there remained for a 

couple of hours — came back and took the train at 4 : 30 

for Rochester to attend the meeting of the State Board of 

Charities on Thursday. Luckily for me several of the 

members were on the train, for we were left and never got 

in until one o'clock a.m. ! Thursday we were in session 

13 hours, with one hour for dinner and one for tea and I 

got to bed about twelve o'clock. Friday I spent the 

morning at a Reformatory and at 4 : 30 left for Syracuse, 

reaching there at 7, when I went straight to the asylum 

— went all over the house and saw the children in bed. 

Next day I was up at six and saw them at breakfast and 

after breakfast I went all over the institution and saw the 

schools and left for New York at eleven and got to Thirtieth 

St. at 7 P.M. 

July 9, '82. 
Dearest Annie : 

Bob Minturn began to talk to a colored man on the » 
horse-cars the other day at Cambridge and fou'- ' V j^a^j 



been in Rob's regiment. He said: "Our Colonel wasn't 
like dem colonels dat says: 'Now, boys, go and take 
dat fort and I'll stay just hyar ' — No, our Colonel says : 
' Now, boys, dere's Rebs in dat fort ; will you follow me ? ' 
And we pokes out our heads and says : 'Yes sah !'" 

(Date missing. Written early in '85.) 
Dearest Annie : 

4c * * * * St: * 

On the train coming from Albany Thursday, I had a 
long talk with Theodore Roosevelt about poUtics. He 
acknowledges that the best part of the Republican party 
supported Cleveland, and I think his reasons for vot- 
ing for Blaine are rather mixed, but he is so young 
that he will get over the bad effect and will do good ser- 
vice yet. 

He said he couldn't help wishing he was " in the fight " 
when he goes to Albany, but it was a wise thing to refuse 
renomination under the circumstances, because, otherwise, 
everybody would have said more even than they did that 
it was his political ambition that dictated his course. He 
is going to work in the State Charities Aid this winter 
and do some writing. He has quite a literary turn, you 
know. He says his baby is as sweet as can be. Anna 
Roosevelt takes care of her. She is nearly a year old. 

120 E. 30th St., Feb. 12, '88. 
Dearest Annie : 

Here during the week, at the Metropolitan Opera House, 
we have been having the " Trilogy" and heaps of Boston 
people have come on to hear them. I am going to give 
you a list of the friends we had here yesterday. Friday, 
Howard White slept here so he was at breakfast. At 10 
— young lady from Iowa on business; at 11 — Amy 


White and Lucy Russell ; at 1 — Rose Howard (from 
Brookline) she and Amy to lunch ; at 4 — Nannie Cod- 
man ; at 4.30 — Mrs. Wister and two young cousins of 
hers, McAllisters; at 5 — May Minturn and at 6 — 
G. W. C. (Nannie, May and George to dinner) ; at 8 — 
Rob Minturn; at 8.30— Mr. and Mrs. Burlingham — 
and it was snowing and sleeting all day ! On Thursday 
I had a very different kind of a day, but equally lively — 
I will rehearse its history. 

At 10.30 I went to our "Charity Woodyard" at 19th 
Street and Ave. B., at 12 to 32 Nassau Street, to meet 
Mrs. Barney from R. I. and four gentlemen of the Prison 
Assn. to talk over Police Matron Law ; at 1.30 — to office 
of my colleague, Mr. Stewart, and then to lunch with 
him at a down town restaurant ; at 2.30 to the C. 0. S. 
office and received "applicants" — at the same moment 
came in two men from Canada and a man from Florida — 
all three had come with money to look for work and had 
spent it all and needed help ! At 4.30 — to my Com- 
mittee meeting — two ladies and six men and most lively 
discussions, and at 5.30 home ! I had a most interesting 
day, of course. 

George was here Tuesday night and again last night 
on his way to and from Boston. He had been invited 
to a dinner by the "Tavern Club" and had a beautiful 
time. The members are all young professional men and 
the only "old ones" were Charles Norton, Harry Lee, 
Mr. Osgood, Henry Higginson, Uncle James Lowell and 
George. Mr. Norton presided and made a most eulogistic 
speech about George — as the principal guest — to this 
George responded, and then Uncle James read a poem to 
George, which is to be published soon. George says it is 
"the greatest honor of his life." There was much clap- 
ping and cheering and then music and then an end. 




March 18, '88. 
Dearest Annie: 

I have sent you some little accounts of our "BUzzard" 
— and suppose your Semi-Weekly Evening Post will tell 
you the story. It was really the most amazing storm 
we have ever had here — Monday no one went down 
town — there were no trains, no horse cars, no mail, no 
way of getting out. May Minturn was in Philadelphia 
(just to see Gertrude) meaning to come home Monday, 
and it was not until Friday morning that she could come ! 
Edith was at the Codmans' in Boston and she has not 
come yet. We had no milk from Monday to Friday, and 
had to hve on condensed milk and were lucky to get that, 
as our grocer went out of it Tuesday and the streets were 
so packed with snow that it could not be brought up town. 
However, now things are all right again — every one 
turned to on Tuesday and the sidewalks were cleared and 
on Wednesday all the gutters and culverts had been 
opened and Thursday and Friday and Saturday the snow 
had been melting pretty steadily. I was told that men 
made from $10. to $20. on Tuesday shovelling snow, and 
Mother paid $6. — for the work Monday, Tuesday and 
Wednesday, in front of these little houses. 

On Thursday George came up to pass the night and 
we went that afternoon to the reception to Mr. Irving, 
of which I send you an account. It was very interesting 
and Mr. Irving appeared very well. George told us 
thrilling tales of the storm on the Island — how one gentle- 
man (Mr. K. his opposite neighbor) went to St. George 
to take the morning boat, found none and stayed all 
day at the station, the storm being too severe to go 
home. And how another of our friends, who did get 
to town earlier, was foolish enough to come back by a 
late boat and spent the night at the station ! Anna was. 


of course, most interested in the storm and could not re- 
sist going out to do a little sweeping of the piazza in the 
midst of it. 

Have you followed the new Emperor's '■ course with the 
pleasure that we feel? It is a most pathetic situation, 
isn't it — this man under sentence of death, working to 
do what he can in the short time before him — it gives 
all he does and says a sacredness. 

March 3, '89. 

Dearest Annie: 


Today is Mr. Cleveland's last day as President, a real 
misfortune to this counti-y, I truly believe. He has stood, 
a firm rock, opposed to the folly and extravagance of 
Congress and his very last veto (of a bill to pay back to 
the states a war tax of 1861 !) is perfectly splendid — so 
wise and clear and full of principle. He is a great man 
and a true patriot. 

Naples, May 7, '92. 

Dearest Annie : 

We took the most beautiful drive to Sorrento. The 
weather was heavenly and the blue sky and blue mountains 
were like a dream, so soft, so misty, so indescribable. 
The two girls were enchanted with Sorrento and we stayed 
there until Friday, taking the Capri excursion by steamer 
Thursday. Our windows hung over the water almost, 
and Venus set opposite to Vesuvius and into the Bay, 
upon which the moon, from behind out of sight, cast a 
most mysterious white light. 

' Frederick III, Emperor of Germany, and King of Prussia, March 
9-June 15, 188S. 



Dearest Annie 

Florence, May 21, '92. 

We have been in Florence ten days now and I find it as 
lovable as ever. We lived here two winters, once in the 
Casa Ricasoli, now taken down, just at the corner of the 
Carraja Bridge, and once in the Villa Lustrini, near the 
Porta Romana, so I feel much at homo here. We are 
now at the other end of the Bridge, on the North side, so 
it is cool and lovely all day and we see the hills and the 
Duomo and Campanile and the Palazzo Vecchio tower, 
with the river at our feet. It is beautiful. 

We go out in the afternoons here and drive in the en- 
virons. Such beautiful views — the only drawback being 
that our dinner is at seven and interferes with the sunset. 
The other day we got them to give it to us at six and then 
went to the Cascine in the train and then up to the Piazzale 
Michael Angelo, near San Miniato. The City, lighted 
under our feet, with the river glancing all through the 
valley, was most beautiful. 

Dearest Annie : 

London, Sept. 3, '92. 

You have seen that all our hopes were in vain and that 
our dear George died on the 31st. George is an awful 
loss to us. He has been a constant happiness to us for 
more than thirty seven years — never a break or an 
unpleasant thought or word has come between us. As 
Lotta says : "Besides our loving him so much, he was the 
hfe of eveiy thing." 

Well, dearest Annie, Goodbye — it must be one loss 
after another to the end — Goodbye. 



West New Brighton, Jan. 7, '93. 
Dearest Annie : 

Last Sunday, after I had written to you, Mr. Saint 

Gaudens came down to look at Rob's pictures. He is 

full of enthusiasm about the monument, which he has 

decided is to be as follows : A great bas-reUef, 12 ft. X 14 

ft., the background a mass of soldiers with muskets and 

bayonets, and Rob on horseback riding beside them, his 

figure and the horse pretty much fiUing the whole space, 

life size. 

March 5, 1893. 

Dearest Annie : 

Last night mother had an inauguration dinner, — Mr. 
and Mrs. Charles S. Fairchild, her mother, Mrs. Lincklaen 
(Gov. Seymour's sister) and Mrs. George Ward. We 
had each a small flag, and coffee out of Uncle Sam Shaw's 
Cincinnati cups. You know Mr. Fairchild took the most 
prominent part in the movement against Hill last spring. 
He told me that IVIrs. Fairchild started him by asking 
him what he meant to do about it, and by her scorn when 
he said he didn't know. He remarked that he had to go 
out that evening, and she told him that he had better go 
and stay until he found out what to do ! He thereupon 
set to work and he and others gave the first impetus to 
the great popular movement that nominated Cleveland. 
He said when they came back from Chicago, Mr. Cleve- 
land wrote him that the work of the convention "would 
be the admiration of all men who believe in morals as a 
force in politics, and the wonder of all who do not." 

120 E. 30th St., Nov. 26, '93. 
Dearest Annie : 

Mr. Saint Gaudens was delighted to find the photo- 
graphs of Dick, and said he was just the horse he wanted, 



and he thought Rob's pictures were beautiful. He very- 
much wants a suit of clothes — have you any ? Coat, 
trousers, shoes, would all be useful. Mother has only 
the cap and overcoat, you know. He was much pleased 
to have the little photograph with you, because it shows 
the whole figure and the proportions. He says Rob was 
always a great hero of his, and that he feels that this is 
the best chance he shall ever have to do anything great. 
Mother did not like the idea of having a monument, you 
know, but she is very much pleased, likes Mr. Saint 
Gaudens (who is very simple and luiaffected) and also 
the little rough sketch he has made for the monument. 
I wish Father could have seen it — he would have been 
pleased, too, I am sure. 

Dearest Annie 

Feb. 25, '94. 

I wonder if you are much distm-bed about the bomb- 
throwers? What a crazy, dreadful set of creatures, and 
how all the newspaper talk only serves to set off some other 
lunatic to do the same thing. Certainly the modern 
newspaper is a verj'' "mixed good." The view a reporter 
takes of things is generally the wrong view, but it helps 
to make public opinion. Well, there's no use talking 
about it — only I am glad you and Aunt Anna Greene do 
not take your dinner at a caf6. 

120 East 30th St., Sept. 25, '98. 
Dearest Annie : 

We (I especially) are most intensely interested in 
Theodore Roosevelt's campaign for Governor — it is a 
misfortune that it is a "machine" nomination, but the 
fact is that the popular demand forced it on the machine, 
■ind it really is a triumph over Flatt, although he supports 




it. Mr. Roosevelt has done great service in every place 
he has held, and his moral tone acts like a tonic wherever 
he is. He has tremendous force and life in httn, and many 
people, who never do anything themselves, complain of 
him as lacking "judgment," but I think the results of 
his action show that he has been pretty nearly right 
every time. I have a great respect and admiration for 
him in every way. For six years he was U. S. Civil 
Service Commissioner and did fine work, and it is said 
that Dewey's victory at Manilla was due to his orders when 
Assistant Secretary of the Navy. ' 


Work for the State Charities Aid Association 

The patriotic work of the Woman's Central Relief 
Association, an auxiliary of the United States Sanitary 
Commission, in which Miss Louisa Lee Schuyler, Josephine 
Shaw, Miss Ellen Collins, Miss Gertrude Stevens, and 
others were engaged, has already been mentioned. Soon 
after the close of the war, many of its contributing societies 
in New York State were reorganized as Visiting Com- 
mittees for the public charitable institutions, under the 
leadership of Miss Schuyler, and many of the active mem- 
bers of the Relief Association interested themselves in 
this new work. From these Visiting Committees as a 
nucleus, the State Charities Aid Association was formed in 
1872. Mrs. Lowell immediately joined the new Associa- 
tion, and soon afterwards, in 1873, became a member of 
the Richmond County Visiting Committee. From 1875 
to 1876 she was successively member, secretary, and chair- 
man of one of the Association's four Standing Committees, 
— that on "Adult able-bodied paupers," which had head- 
quarters in New York City. She was also in 1876 elected 
a member of the Executive Committee. 

The Richmond County Poorhouse near Castleton, on 
Staten Island, was not far from her home, and Mrs. Lowell 
made herself familiar by frequent visits with its condition, 
and gave her practical sympathy continuously to its aged 










inmates, among whose average population, at that time of 
about one hundred, there were a dozen or more insane, 
and an occasional idiot, epileptic, or blind person. 

Under her chairmanship of the Committee on "Adult 
able-bodied paupers," the following resolution was adopted : 

"That an investigation be made as to the methods, 
expenses, extent and results of poor law administration 
and relief in the several towns in the County of West- 
chester, with a view of ascertaining how near the same 
come to the greatest practical efficiency and economy, 
and that the investigation extend over a period of ten years 

The time to be covered by this investigation was 
afterwards changed to include the years from 1864 to 
1873, and the burden of the work of making the investiga- 
tion devolved upon Mrs. Lowell, who also wrote the 
report for the committee. When the work of gathering 
statistics was undertaken, in part by local correspondents, 
and in part by special agents, it was found that contrary 
to the express provisions of the law no records were kept 
in most of the towns of the amount spent for outdoor 
relief, or of the persons relieved, though the amounts 
appropriated, as shown by the reports of the Supervisors, 
were very considerable. 

In regard to the entertainment of tramps, grave abuses 
were discovered. Although the methods varied in detail 
in the different towns, it was everywhere true that tramps 
were lodged at public expense, and that the oflScial profits 
of the overseers bore a direct relation to the number 
reUeved. Mrs. Lowell in her report says : 



"Each overseer is thus a centre of pauperism and va- 
grancy and his interests are directly opposed to tliose of 
every other member of the community, the paupers and 
vagrants included, though they may not think so. . . . 
The only persons who have any official relations with 
pauperism and vagranc.y are constantly under temptation 
to foster these evils." 

The report suggests that the remedy may be found in a 
change in the character and position of the overseers, 
and maintains that the persons receiving aid directly from 
these officials should not help to elect them, that their 
term of office should be long enough to enable them to 
gain some experience, and that their compensation should 
not depend upon the number of paupers and vagrants 
whom they can collect around them. This conclusion, 
based upon the conditions found to exist in Westchester 
County, is confirmed and supported by letters from 
Superintendents of the Poor of various other counties, 
to whom the Committee appealed for opinions. 

Although Mrs. Lowell was unavoidably absent, her 
report was presented and read at the Fourth Annual 
Meeting of the State Charities Aid Association, held in 
Masonic Temple, on the corner of Twenty-third Street 
and Sixth Avenue, on February 24, 1876. The President 
of the Association at this time, and until 1882, was 
Miss Louisa Lee Schuyler; but she yielded the chair- 
manship of the annual meeting to the distinguished 
leader of the New York bar of that day, Mr. Charles 
O'Connor, just then recovered from a dangerous illness. 
A newspaper report of the meeting in a city paper of the 


following day observes that the large and hrilUant audience 
feared that the great lawyer might not be able to come. 
"But this fear was dispelled before eight o'clock by the 
appearance at the foot of the central aisle of Mr. O'Connor, 
accompanied by Governor Tilden, Dr. Austin Fhnt, Jr., 
and Mr. Joseph H. Choate. As soon as the audience was 
fully aware of his presence, it greeted him with a round of 
hearty applause." Continuing its report of the meetmg, 
the paper noted the presence on the platform, besides 
those named, of Howard Potter, Benjamin H. Field, 
James Roosevelt, John Crosby Brown, Alexander Hamil- 
ton, Jr., George L. Schuyler, Robert J. Livingston, Theo- 
dore Roosevelt, member of the State Board of Charities, 
President Barnard of Columbia College, and others. 

After brief introductory addresses by Mr. Potter, Vice 
President of the Association, and Mr. O'Connor, in which 
the objects of the association were commended and the 
public invited to further its philanthropic work, the princi- 
pal address was delivered by Mr. Choate, afterward, from 
1895 to 1899, President of the Association, and reelected to 
that office in December, 1905, upon his return from Eng- 
land. In the course of his remarks, he congratulated the 
Association upon the presence on the platform of the dis- 
tinguished reform governor, and in the inimitably smooth, 
serio-comic vein for which he was ah-eady famous, said 
of him : 

"If like Alexander, he is seeking new worlds to con- 
quer, and new rings to break, why, if he will lend us 
his ears we can show him foemen worthy of his steel. 
We can point hun out hospital rmgs, and poorhouse rings, 



rings of overseers of the poor with tramps whom they will 
entertain, rings of able-bodied paupers in all the counties 
of the 8tute." Changing his tone to one entirely serious 
he continued; "The association found what is known 
as the poorhouse system a gross, degrading, abominable 
system of plague spots — nothing less, dotted throughout 
the State, one assigned to each of the sixty counties. 
Children and abandoned women, the old and the young, 
the rich and the poor, the sane and the insane, the innocent 
and the criminal, huddled and jumbled together into these 
poorhouses, to the complete and utter degradation and de- 
struction of all of them. They found too, throughout the 
State, able-bodied paupers as if by special legislative en- 
actment, fostered by the good treatment they receive ; they 
found millions, actually millions of money, distributed in 
outdoor relief, wasted, thrown away upon the undeserving. 

"Now we come next to the subject of able-bodied 
paupers. That is a grand historical subject. I do not 
understand how these women grappled with it. I can 
see very well how Mr. Roosevelt, or Mr. Schultz, might 
undertake to grapple with one sturdy beggar. But here 
the curiosity of women, that unfailing tower of strength, 
comes in. They propo.sed to find out the facts, and in the 
masterly report read here tonight, signed by Mrs. Lowell, 
you have the whole subject. 

"What do we find in this report of Mrs. Lowell ? That 
tramps and able-bodied paupers are encouraged in their 
idleness in this State. Hotels, open houses, are kept 
for them by overseers, ring politicians who dispense 
the public money in such a way as to encourage tramping. 
These overseers have a motive for this; they are paid 
so much a head for every tramp they entertain. If they 
give a tramp a ten cent breakfast, they draw twenty 
cents from the State. It turns out that they have realized 


from this source in Westchester County more than the 
average county doctor or average lawyer in that county ! 
Well, it is no wonder that tramps are numerous." 

It requires little stretch of the imagination, even after 
the lapse of thirty years, to think what must have been 
the effect upon the audience, when, toward the conclusion 
of his address, Mr. Choate remarked: "The Association 
is adopting Mr. Greeley's views and saying to the tramps 
'Go West.' Let them go to Montana, and Colorado, 
and New Mexico, and Washington, and Oregon. The soil 
is pining for them ; the forests are waving them a welcome ; 
the rivers are waiting to wash their feet." 

Shortly after this meeting. Governor Tilden, who had 
been deeply impressed by Mrs. Lowell's paper and her 
personality, appointed her to a vacant seat on the State 
Board of Charities, whereupon her official work as a 
member of the Association terminated. 

Many years later, in 1895, Mrs. Lowell deUvered the 
foUowing hitherto unpubUshed address, to the members of 
the State Charities Aid Association, in which she described 
the evils existing in 1872 in the poorhouses and jails of 
New York. 

County Visiting Committees 
Our great national sin, slavery, was answerable for 
manifold and various evils, among others for the bar- 
barous condition of the poorhouses and jails of our country, 
so far behind those of other civiUzed nations. The thirty 
years during which reforms were steadily growing else- 
where, were here devoted by the reformers to the one 



great fight ; it absorbed all their time and strength, and 
meanwhile all lesser evils took firm root. 

As soon as the war was over, however, and strength 
could be gathered for fresh work, these lesser evils were 
attacked, and in this State especially, the very men and 
women who had contended against slavery, and who later 
had "enlisted for the war" under the Sanitary Commis- 
sion were gathered together again by their old leaders for 
the new fight. 

The reports made of the condition of the poorhouses of 
New York in the fifties and sixties seem scarcely credible 
— insane men and women, chained naked in outhouses ; 
children born, growing up and bringing forth more chil- 
dren in the poorhouses ; the sick, the insane, the idiots, 
the babies, men, women and children, all together, with 
no care and no control ; the whole thing was frightful. 

The decent people living in the counties in which these 
horrors existed knew nothing of them ; never for a mo- 
ment felt that they had any obligation towards the poor 
creatures within those dreadful buildmgs, or any interest 
m cutting ofT the stream of misery, pauperism, vice and 
crime that had its rise within their walls. The State had 
been roused and shocked by the horrors depicted by Dr. 
Willard and Miss Dix, to the point of establishing an 
asylum for the chronic insane,' but very much the same 
things went on, after the asylum was full to overflowing, 
the individual sufferers only being changed, and the 
pubUc was quite satisfied that its duty was done. 

' The Willard Asylum, established 1865, at WiUard, Seneca County, 
New York, and opened October 13, 1869. 





The State Board of Charities was established in 1867, 
and among its manifold duties was that of visiting the 
county poorhouses once in every two years. There were 
fifty-eight poorhouses and only eight Commissioners, 
but nevertheless they have done good service in discover- 
ing and reporting many fearful evils. Still their work 
would have been slow indeed had not Miss Louisa Lee 
Schuyler organized the State Charities Aid Association 
to carry on a more constant, thorough and continued at- 
tack tlirough its County Visiting Committees. 

Beginning with her own county of Westchester in 
January, 1872, and the Bellevue Visiting Committee for 
New York, before the Association itself was formed. Miss 
Schuyler established a system, which during the past 
twenty-three years Has done untold good and been the 
cause of an incalculable gain to the State and its people 
in many different ways. 

The plan was a simple one : to form in each county a 
local committee for the purpose of visiting the county 
poorhouse, encouraging county officials in a conscientious 
discharge of their duties, detecting and remedying wrongs, 
securing the moral and physical welfare of the inmates 
and gradually bringing the whole poorhouse administra- 
tion up to a civilized standard, which I think it safe to 
say was nowhere found in this State in the year 1872 or 
for many long years thereafter. 

The worst poorhouse I ever saw myself was in one of 
the central counties of the State, and an irresistibly 
grotesque element was added to its horrors by the naive 
hospitality with which the good-natured superintendent 



showed us the sights ; from the very clean dairy, of which 
he wavS proud, to the filthy bunk, of which he was not 
ashamed, where "John pigged in" as he expressed it. 
"Yen," he explained, as he poked at the bundle of rags 
covering John, "he's half-witted and he'll swear awful 
if you stir him up. — Here! John! John!" Then as 
we hurriedly escaped from John and the broken plaster, 
black laths and Ijedbugs of the poorhouse itself, into the 
yard surrounded by broken-down outhouses, and asked 
about a miserable family, man, woman and three young 
children sitting there, he answered: "Oh! they've been 
here about four or five years. Oh, yes, them children, the 
two littlest was born here." 

It was evident that he had no doubts in regard to any 
part of his dominion, and no idea that there was room or 
reason for improvement. In many poorhouses, to this 
condition of things was added also neglect and cruelty, 
and it has been a long and weary task, not yet finished, 
to instruct local public opinion as to what common decency 
and common sense demand in a poorhouse, and to arouse 
public opinion to secure it. As usual, in our unhappy 
State, "politics" is at the bottom of these evils as of most 
others, and this too has rendered the task of the local 
Committees much harder to accomplish. 

But in 1893, after twenty-one years of work, the Associ- 
ation was able to write concerning its County Visiting 
Committees : 

"The central idea of the State Charities Aid Association 
is the visitation of public charitable institutions by unpaid, 

To this end it aims to organize 




unofficial local visitors. 


in every county a Local Visiting Committee, unsectarian, 
non-partisan, composed of both men and women, includ- 
ing representatives of various professions and occupa- 
tions, thus claiming fairly to represent the people of the 
county, and collectively the people of the entire State. 
In forty-eight of the sixty counties of the State there now 
exist such Visiting Committees, with a roll of seven hun- 
dred and fifty members. During the ten months ending 
September 30, 1893, thirty-two committees have made 
two hundred and twenty-five visits to the poorhouses and 
almshouses of the State, exclusive of the very large num- 
ber of visits made by the Committee of New York County. 
These figures can convey but little impression of the work 
which they represent. To appreciate theii- real meaning 
one must accompany a group of these workers on their 
visit to the poorhouse, note the minuteness and thorough- 
ness of their examinations, the evident harmony and spirit 
of cooperation that exists between those in charge of the 
institutions and the visitors, the brightness which lights 
up the faces of the inmates as one by one they are pleas- 
antly greeted by the \dsitors with kindly words and often 
presented with a paper or book, the consultation between 
the visitors and those in charge as to what should be done 
with some new arrival whose case deserves special atten- 
tion, how this or that difficulty may be adjusted, and 
observe that evils that cannot be remedied under exist- 
ing conditions are noted by the secretary and reported 
to the Central Association. Bearing in mind that these 
visits are made by these same people at varying intervals 
throughout the year, and that in forty-seven other coun- 
ties this sort of work is being done with more or less 
regularity, we may thus form a truer conception of the 
tremendous step that has been taken by the State Charities 
Aid Association, not only toward bringing the public 



charitable institutions to a high standard of efficiency 
but also toward bridging the chasm between the fortunate 
and the^most unfortunate, toward developing that truest 
01 all chanty, personal interest in persons. 

'At the time of the organization of the Association, in 
.1872, so many flagrant evils existed in the almhouses, the 
results of bad systems and no oversight, that the work 
of the committees was in many cases necessarily largely 
in the line of correcting active abuses of various kinds 
At the present time it may be said that in most of the 
counties comparatively little remains to be done in this 
hne. The removal of the insane and the children has done 
away with the occasion of many of the most serious evils 
Ihere has also been a steady improvement in the con- 
struction and arrangement of buildings, the separation 
ol the sexes, cleanliness of inmates and provision for read- 
ing and amusement. Much indeed remains to be done 
but in only rare cases is it in the line of correcting the old- 
time abuses. For this reason there has been a tendency 
on the part of a few of the committees to relax their efforts 
and cease visiting, or to visit less frequently. In most 
cases, however, a broader view of the work is being taken. 
The merely negative side of the work of visitation and 
inspection is, after all, the least important. A wide and 
ever increasing field of positive constructive work opens 
before such a body of local workers in every county The 
study of the causes of dependency through the history of 
individual inmates, which in some counties has been un- 
dertaken, leads to a truer conception of the real nature of 
the poorhouse and who should be its inmates, and a deeper 
sense of personal responsibility for the well-being of the 
merely unfortunate inmate and the reformation, if possible, 
ot the pauper. Such a sense of personal responsibility 
may find a wide field for exercise not only in the improve- 


ment of the lot of the inmates of the poorhouse, but also 
in the visitation and supervision of dependent children 
who have been placed in famiUes by officials, the after- 
care of the insane, and, in general, a personal oversight 
and befriending of all who for any reason have needed 
special care or treatment, which has, for the time, deprived 
them of normal relations to family, home and- neighbor- 

One very encouraging and interesting fact in regard to 
the visiting committees is that their personnel has con- 
tinued without great change, except by death or change 
of residence, from the time of their organization. 

Besides then- own work of visiting the poorhouses, 
many of these committees have become the centres of 
local charitable work, and many individual members having 
been led first by their membership in these committees 
to study the grave questions of pauperism and crime, 
have extended their work in other directions, accomplish- 
ing good in fields outside and far removed from those 
nominally covered by the work of the State Charities 
Aid Association. 

The founding of the Working Girls' Clubs by Miss Grace 
Dodge is one of the most interesting instances of this, and 
also the establishment of the Hospital Book and News- 
paper Society, and the society for Instruction in First Aid 
to the Injured ; the establishing of the Bellevue Training 
School for Nurses by the Hospital Committee of the New 
York County Committee of the Association is directly in 
the line of the work of the State Charities Aid Associa- 
tion, and has blessed many people who never heard 



of the State Charities Aid Association, never saw, 
and never will see, the inside of a public institution even 
as visitors, while it has conferred untold benefits upon 
the inmates of hospitals all over the country. The 
work of the Bellevue Visiting Committee began in L872, 
some months before the Association itself, and it was after- 
wards called the New York County Committee, it has 
perhaps done more work and accomplished more results 
than all the other county committees combined, leaving 
out those for Kings and Erie counties which have had, 
of course, kindred problems to solve. 

At the time that the Bellevue Committee first entered 
on its work, I remember well the scorn with which two 
young physicians, both internes of the hospital, spoke to 
me of the folly of those "silly women," who expected to 
accomplish any reforms in Bellevue ; one of them adding : 
"To begin with, no decent woman ought to be seen inside 
the gates." Pardon me if I pause here to protest against 
this curious but common masculine argument — that men 
and indecent women may freely associate anywhere, but 
no "decent woman" is to enter in, even to save and re- 

But to return to Bellevue, I remember also hearing Dr. 
James Wood (who, for thirty years, with other leading 
physicians, had held official positions in the Hospital, 
while not one of them, apparently, had ever attempted 
any reform) describe the condition of things in the past. 
He said: "We could not prescribe stimulants, for the 
pauper nurses drank them all, -indeed they used to 
dnnk the alcohol out of the spechnen bottles — and one 




morning during a typhus epidemic, when I went early to 
the hospital, I found in one ward three corpses in the beds 
among the sick, and the nurses all drunk on the floor." 

These were the kind of women, too, who were taking 
charge of the hundreds of children, sick and well, living on 
Randall's Island under the fostering care of the city when 
the Randall's Island Visiting Committee was formed in 
February, 1873, and the "Children's Law," of 1875, 
removing children from poorhouses and forbidding them 
being received in them, was the result of this Committee's 
work in conjunction with the State Board of Charities. 

But I need not go on ; time would fail me to tell of all 
the work done by the New York and Kings County Visit- 
ing Committees and the Visiting Committees of the 
County Poorhouses. 

The point to be dwelt on is that there still remains any 
quantity of work to do ; that the State Charities Aid 
Association has hundreds of trained and intelligent volun- 
teers, ready to do it ; that they need, however, the sup- 
port, moral and financial, of the great body of their fellow- 
citizens, whom they are serving and whose interests they 
are defending. 

As Mrs. Lowell shows in this paper, conditions in 
the almshouses and other charitable and reformatory 
institutions of New York State a generation ago were 
such as to give ample employment for the reforma- 
tory efforts, not only of the State Board of Charities, 
but also of the State Charities Aid Association, and 
other private philanthropic agencies, all earnestly seek- 



mg, each as best it might, to raise the standai'd of care 
for tlie sick, unfortunate, and delinquent wherever they 
were found. Early in the field, and always ably led bv 
devoted men and women, the work of the State Chari- 
ties Aid Association has prospered, and it has rendered 
many important public services, which it is a pleasiu-e to 
acknowledge here. 



£ i 

f '^1 

i ii 



The State Refoematory for Women at Hudson 

When Mrs. Lowell took her seat as a member of the 
State Board of Charities, April 29, 1876, John V. L. Pruyn 
of Albany was President of the Board. Early and 
interesting evidence of the promptness and sympathetic 
intelligence with which she entered upon her official 
work is shown by the following letter addressed only a 
few days after her appointment, and before she had yet 
attended a meeting, to Commissioner Letchworth, of the 
Eighth District, then Vice President of the Board. 

West New Brighton, May Ibth, '76. 
My dear Mr. Letchworth : 

I am glad to see that you object to the prisonlike charac- 
ter of some of our reformatories. I was shocked at the 
cells and general jail look of parts of the House of Refuge. 
It can never be a fit place for young children and ought 
to be converted into a juvenile prison, which it really 
is now. 

I have never thanked you for your kind note of welcome 
to the State Board of Charities. I hope I shall be able 
to be useful. 

The hope that her services might be useful was more 
fully realized by her work in and out of the State Board 
than any mortal knows, and indicated the dominant pur- 
pose of her life. 

••■ 87 



She immediately began a series of thorough inspections 
of the jails, penitentiaries, and almshouses to which at 
that time young women were committed as criminals, 
vagrants, or paupers, and familiarized herself with con- 
ditions in those institutions. She also began a pains- 
taking inquiry into the treatment of young criminals and 
vagrants in other states of this country, in England, and 
in the countries of continental Europe. 

Within less than a year Mrs. Lowell was prepared to lead 
in a crusade for refoimed methods of caring for young 
women of the delinquent and vagrant classes, and pre- 
sumably at her instance, a bill was introduced in the Legis- 
lature of 1877, "To provide for the custody and reformatory 
treatment of vagrants." This bill was considered by the 
State Board at a meeting held June 14, 1877, and on 
motion of Mrs. Lowell, it was 

"Resolved, That the act to provide for custody and re- 
formatory treatment of vagrants be referred to a committee 
of this board to consider, and that they suggest such legis- 
lation on that subject as they deem expedient, and report 
at the next meeting of the board." 

Pursuant to this resolution, a committee of three was 
appointed with Mrs. Lowell as chairman. The minutes 
of the Board omit the names of her associates. This 
committee at the next meeting of the Board, held Septem- 
ber 7, presented two reports, Mrs. Lowell submitting that 
of the majority; the Board, having considered both re- 
ports, added Commissioners Foster and Donnelly to the 
committee, thus increasing its membership to five, and 



instructed the committee to report at the next meeting 
of the Board. 

Meanwhile Mrs. Lowell continued her work in the 
institutions and with her pen, and when the Board met 
January 3, 1878, presented a "Report on pauperism in 
regard to vagrant, feeble-minded, and idiotic inmates of 
the almshouses of the State." The Board received the 
report and ordered one thousand copies printed. The 
minutes of this meeting contain no reference to any 
report by the committee of five. At the meeting of 
March 14, 1878, the Board approved the report on va- 
grancy, above mentioned, and adopted the following 
resolution : 

"Whereas, The poorhouses and jails of the several coun- 
ties of this State contain a large number of vagrant, dis- 
orderiy and idle persons for whose employment no ade- 
quate provision is made, therefore, 

" Resolved, That the Legislature be and is hereby re- 
quested to provide for the establishment of workhouses for 
the detention and employment of these classes, and for 
such able-bodied vagrants known as tramps, as are not 
provided for by the proposed amendments to the State 
Pauper Law, and to prohibit the commitment of able- 
bodied persons of these several classes to poorhouses, jails 
or other places of idle detention." 

During the session of the Legislature of 1878, a bill was 
introduced in the Senate which provided for the estabUsh- 
ment of workhouses to which delinquent women might be 
committed. This bill was noticed by Mrs. Lowell, who 
always followed closely legislation affecting charities or 
social subjects, brought to the attention of the State 




Board at a meeting held June 14, 1878, and on her 
motion the following resolution was adopted : 

"Resolved, That Senate Bill 322, year 1878, be referred 
to a committee to be appointed by the President, with 
directions to report at the next stated meeting." 

Commissioners Lowell, Foster, and Ropes were there- 
upon designated as such committee. 

When the State Board met November 12, 1878, Mrs.. 
Lowell presented a report for the special committee 
thus appointed. This report was considered of such 
importance that, contrary to custom, it was ordered 
printed in full in the minutes of that meeting. 

The report, which bears Mrs. Lowell's signature alone, 
opens with a statement that since the last meeting of the 
Board the committee hud conferred with the Board of 
Managers of the Elmira Reformatory, and after consider- 
ing the view of that Board are of opinion : 

"That the wisest course in regard to the great reform 
contemplated by bill 322 is to press upon the Legislature 
the necessity for a reformatory for women, and request the 
passage this winter of a bill providing for the purchase of 
a site for such an institution. 

"The probability that the plan proposed of hiring 
buildings and using them as workhouses for women, 
would prove a failure, owing to the difficulty of finding 
suitable buildings, has influenced your committee and in- 
duced them to advocate placing the contemplated re- 
formatory on a more permanent basis. It is better to 
wait even many years, if that prove necessary, in order to 
niake a good beginning, rather than to accept some half 


measure at once, and bring discredit on the whole plan 
by failure." 

Thus Mrs. Lowell, wise and watchful, defeated, single- 
handed, an impracticable and ill-considered measure,— 
one which, viewed from the present standpoint of the 
ordinary student of applied philanthropy, seems ridiculous. 
Included in this report was a proposed address to the 
Legislatm-e which, Mrs. LoweU writing for the committee, 
modestly said, "your committee has prepared, and asks 
that it may be printed and transmitted to the Legislature." 
It began by reminding the Legislature that by concurrent 
resolution of May 27-29, 1873, it had "directed the State 
Board of Charities to examine into the causes of the m- 
crease of crime, pauperism and insanity in this State." 
Mrs Lowell, close student of human natiure, withm and 
without legislative halls, well knew that the Legislature 
did not care to be told its duty, or to be addressed 
on such uninteresting subjects as reformatory measures, 
but that it did Uke to have its directions complied with 
and respected. Having thus secured the attention of 
the Legislature, the report referred to the examination 
made, pursuant to this legislative resolution, by the Secre- 
tary of the Board, with the assistance of some of the Com- 
missioners, into the antecedents of every inmate of the 
almshouses of the State, and reminded the Legislature, 
that the results of this inquiry were submitted to the Leg- 
islature in the tenth annual report of the Board (1877) , and 
that "even a casual perusal of that report will convince the 
reader that one of the most important and most dangerous 
causes of the increase of crime, pauperism and insanity is 



unrestrained liberty allowed to vagrant and degraded 
women." Continuing, Mrs. Lowell gave the details of 
many almshouse cases taken from the records, all showing 
"too clearly what is the common fate of vagrant girls when 
committed to our poorhouses." 

The proposed address to the Legislature concludes as 
follows : 

"There are two distinct and separate objects to be 
arrived at in dealing with these women : to reform them if 
that be possible, but if that cannot be done, at least to cut 
off the line of hereditary pauperism, crime and insanity 
now transmitted mainly through them. Neither of these 
objects can possibly be attained while this class of women 
is left under the control of county authorities, whose 
action is necessarily, from the constant change of individual 
officers, spasmodic and uncertain. 

"No argument can be advanced against the policy of 
withdrawing this class of offenders from the care of local 
officials, that will not be equally strong against the prac- 
tice of maintaining certain classes of criminals by the 
State. State prisons were established, no doubt, because 
it was found that no local machinery was fitted to cope 
with the more dangerous offenders against law and order. 
The incompetency of local machinery to deal with habitual 
offenders of what is supposed to be a less dangerous type, 
is equally proved by the facts quoted above. 

"In order to grapple with this gigantic evil and to 
stop the increase of pauperism, crime and insanity in 
this community, a reformatory for women, under the 
management of women, governed on the same principles 
as those which control the managenent of the State Re- 
formatory at Elmira is required. 

" We therefore, strongly urge the passage of a bill provid- 



'<■ , 9, 

t "-^ 

W f 



ing for the selection of a site, and the adoption of plans 
for such an institution." 

Mrs. Lowell wrote, and she alone signed, as chairman, the 
foregoing report, whereupon "discussion ensued" in the 
State Board upon the report with its proposed address 
to the Legislature, and it was accepted, ordered printed 
in the minutes and considered at the next stated meeting. 
The minutes of the State Board show that on January 15, 

"Commissioner Ropes called up the special order, 
being the report of the Committee on Senate Bill 322 

(year of 1878). 

" Commissioner Lowell offered the following : 
" Resolved, That the report of the Committee on a re- 
formatory for women be accepted, and the address to the 
Legislature contained therein be adopted by the Board, 
prmted and transmitted to the Legislature and that 
the substance of it be also incorporated in the annual 


" Commissioner Miller moved the followmg amendment : 

" Strike out all after the word ' resolved' and insert ' That 

the report of the Committee on Reformatory for Women 

be accepted and adopted, the Committee discharged and 

the report published as an attached paper m the annual 


" Discussion ensued. 

" The President put the question on the adoption ot 
Commissioner MUler's amendment and it was decided m 

the affirmative. , ■, ^- t ,.u 

" The President put the question on the adoption ot tne 
resolution as amended, and it was decided in the affirma- 



The State Board was evidently not inclined to follow 
Mrs. Lowell's lead at that time, in her crusade for a 
woman's reformatory, if this took it into legislative halls. 
The discharge of the Committee relieved it from further 
consideration of this subject, but Mrs. Lowell's belief 
in the righteousness of her cause was not diminished, and 
she continued her propaganda. At a Board meeting held 
September 10, 1879, on motion of Commissioner Lowell, 
it was 

"Resolved, That a committee be appointed to prepare 
a paper upon the subject of a State reformatory for 
women for the annual report, to be presented at the next 

and the President appointed Commissioner Lowell as 
such committee. The report thtxs called for was presented 
and read by Mrs. Lowell, at a Board meeting held January 
13, 1880, and ordered printed in the annual report of the 
Board, as an appended paper. 

How hard Mrs. Lowell must have worked, for the thou- 
sands of young women whose cause, all unknown to them, 
she was championing with such ardor ! Within six months 
she prepared two papers, "One Means of Preventing Pau- 
perism and Crime" and "Reformatories for Women," both 
duected to the same object, — the removal of all young 
women from the almshouses of the counties and then- fu- 
ture care in suitable State institutions. They are so char- 
acteristic of the wi'iter and her style, and were so helpful 
in bringing about the great reform she advocated in chari- 
table administration, and the establishment of the State 
reformatories at Hudson, Albion, and Bedford, and of the 


1 -■ 
I 1 


custodial asylums at Newark and Rome, that liberal 
quotations are made from them. 

The first of these papers to be published, "One 
Means of Preventing Pauperism," was written for the 
National Conference of Charities and Correction at 
Chicago, June 12, 1879, and before the Conference as- 
sembled, Mrs. Lowell addressed to the President of the 
Board, who attended it, the following letter : 

120 E. 30th Street, June 7th, '79. 
My dear Mr. Letchworth : 

I have written a paper for the Conference which I 
should have sent to you had I been quite sure of your 
address. Being unwilling to risk its non-arrival, I have 
mailed it to Mr. F. H. Wuies, Grand Pacific Hotel, 
Chicago, and hope it will arrive safely. Will you be so 
kind as to inquire of him if he has it and see that the right 
thing is done with it ? 

It is, of course, on the subject of a reformatory for 
women, and if it is printed by the Conference of Charities, 
I shall want a thousand copies struck off for use m our 
next campaign! If it is not printed, I shall have it 
printed myself, I think, and therefore it is important 
for me to know what disposition is made of it. May I 
ask you to "keep an eye" on it, and write me about the 
paper after the Conference ? 

I hope that the meeting will be a success. 

This interesting paper opens thus : 

"The Legislature of New York, by concurrent resolu- 
tion of May 27-29, 1873, directed the State Board of 
Charities to examine into the causes of the uicrease of 
crime, pauperism and insanity in that State. In com- 



pliance with this resoUition, an examination which occu- 
pied the Secretary of the Board, with the assistance of 
various commissioners, for the greater part of two years, 
was made into the antecedents of every inmate of the 
poorhouses of the State, and the result submitted to the 
Legislature in the tenth annual report of the State Board 
of Charities." 

[Then follow the shocking histories of a few only of the 
women found in the almshouses of New York State.] 

"Women who from early girlhood have been tossed from 
poorhouse to jail, and from jail to poorhouse, until the 
last trace of womanhood in them has been destroyed." 

"These women and their children, and hundreds more 
like them, costing the hardworking inhabitants of the 
State annually thousands of dollars for their maintenance, 
corrupting those who are thrown into companionship 
with them, and sowing disease and death among the 
people, are the direct outcome of our system. The com- 
munity itself is responsible for the existence of such 
miserable, wrecked specimens of humanity. These 
mothers who began life as their own children have begun 
it, inheriting strong passions and weak wills, born 
and bred in a poorhouse, taught to be wicked before they 
could speak plainly, all the strong evil in their nature 
strengthened by their surrovmdings and the weak good 
crushed and trampled out of life, hunted and hounded, 
perhaps committed to jail while their tender youth had 
yet some germs of virtue remaining, dragged through the 
mire, exposed to the wickedness of wicked men and women 
whose pleasure it is to sully and drag down whatever is 
more innocent than themselves, in the power of brutal 
officials, — what hope could there be for them ? And 
how shall we cast a stone at them, whom we ourselves 







reproduce their kmd, anu oriub i ^ thpmqplves 

whose existence must be one long misery to th«™- We 

fnctitution sometimes continually changmg from one to 

not sDend years, if necessary, m mstitut ons aescnoe 
by Vr-or Haikes of New Jersey in the follow: ^ords^ 
'Preventive and reformatory institutions are not o be 

ZZ a. Places of P-^-^r t^e t^t n1 Zl 
rectional education. . • • In *^^°^ ^'^J .Peered 
taught, the vicious ^^''^'\X^^'CLy becomes 
and the hopeless encouraged. I^^^^^^^^^T^^^ ^^o would 
habitual, and good -^^ ^^^^l'^; ^ t^^^^^ own 

and designing offenders. ^^_ 

Stty pauper^m aad dise«, but it must not be tor- 



gotten that the treatment here prescribed for them should 
also be appUed to the reformation of the men whose evil 
propeasitics may be likewise handed down from one gen- 
eration to another." 

[Continuing, Mrs. Lowell gives statistical information, 
evidently gathered with much care, showing that in the 
year 1878, in the State of New York, outside of the coun- 
ties of New York and Kings, there were sentenced to the 
county jails, or to penitentiaries, or admitted to alms- 
houses, "662 women between the ag&s of fifteen and 
thirty, guilty of what are called 'minor offences,' and 
dependent for longer or shorter periods on the public for 
maintenance, 254 of whom are prostitutes and 276 drunk- 
ards. More than a third of these women are under 
twenty-one years of age, so that probably for them, at 
least, many years of a shameful life are in store, during 
which time the public will maintain them." The names 
and histories of the 662 young women were obtained from 
the official records.] 

"The presence of these women in the poorhouses, peni- 
tentiaries and jails, under the circumstances, renders it 
certain that they have less than the average self-control. 
They have entered on the downward course. In neither 
jail, poorhouse nor penitentiary, will they find anything 
to help them turn back ; on the contrary, all the surround- 
ings will force them lower, and this would be the case, 
were they much more able to resist than they are. In the 
jail and penitentiary every door to virtue is closed, and 
every avenue to vice and crime is open. In the poorhouse 
they find others like themselves, and although the de- 
grading influences may not be so strong as in jails and 
penitentiaries, they are there, and strong enough to pre- 
vent any chance of rescue. Having an inherited and 



deep-seated repugnance to labor, these women, both m 
the poorhouse and jail, are supported in absolute idleness, 
without even the bodily exercise which is necessary for 
health. They are shut up in poisonous air, suffermg a 
physical degeneration only to be compared with the 
ruin wrought at the same time in their minds and souls. 
"To rescue these unfortunate beings and to save the 
industrious part of the community from the burden of 
their support, reformatories should be established to 
which all women under thirty, when arrested for mis- 
demeanors, or upon the birth of a second illegitimate 
child, should be committed for very long periods, not 
as a punishment, but for the same reason that the insane 
are sent to an asylum, and where they should be subject 
to such physical, moral and intellectual training as would 
re-create them. Such training would be no child's play, 
since the very character of the women must be changed 
and every good and healthy influence would be rendered 
useless without the one element of time. It is education 
in every sense which they need, and education is a long 
process, tedious and wearing, requiring unfaltering hope 
and unfailing patience on the part of teacher and pupil. 
Consequently these reformatories must not be prisons 
which would crush out the life from those unfortunate 
enough to be cast into them; they must be homes,— 
homes where a tender care shall surround the weak and 
fallen creatures who are placed under their shelter, where 
a homelUce feeling may be engendered, and where, if 
necessary, thev may spend years. The unhappy beings 
we are speaking of need, first of all, to be taught to be 
women ; they must be induced to love that which is good 
and pure, and to wish to resemble it ; they must learn all 
household duties; they must learn to enjoy work; they 
must have a future to look forward to; and they must 




be cured, both body and soul, before they can be safely 
trusted to face the world again. 

"The following description will give some idea of an in- 
stitution where the necessary circumstances might be 
obtained : 

" 1st. —A comparatively large tract of land (frem two 
hundred and fifty to five hundred acres), to allow of free 
out of door life without any communication with the outer 

" 2d. — A series of buildings, each to accommodate from 
fifteen to twenty-five women, and so arranged as to afford 
ample means of classification. 

' "3d. —These buildings to be under the charge of 
women officers. 

"4th. — The inmates to be trained in as many kinds of 
labor as possible, all household work, sewing, knitting, 
cooking, washing and ironing, inside the house ; and out- 
side to work in gardens and greenhouses, to take care of 
cows, to be dairy maids, etc. ; the object being theu- im- 
provement in every respect, and also theu- being finally 
fitted to support themselves by honest industry. 

" 5th. — Besides this education in labor, their mental 
and moral faculties should be enlarged by constant teach- 
ing, a school being one of the main features of the re- 

"6th. — The endeavor should also be made to restore 
the physical health of the women, and they should be 
kept under the care of a physician of their own sex. 

"7th. — The diversity of buildings would afford means 
of grading the inmates, and a transfer from one to another 
would mark a step in advance, or a temporary fall to 
a lower grade. By this means, the constant 'looking 
forward' necessary to a hopeful life would be obtained. 

"8th. — The board of managers, which should be com- 


posed of both men and women, should have power to 
place out the women committed to their charge, in situa- 
tions where their wages should belong to themselves, but 
where they would still be under guardianship and liable 
to recommitment to the reformatory in case of ill conduct. 

"Under such a system many of the women, who with 
our present jail and poorhouse education are doomed, 
might without doubt be rescued. They need to be saved 
from temptation, wliich assails them from within and 
without, and to be guided aright, and many of them will 
respond joyfully to the efforts for their improvement. 

"If, however, there were no hope of reforming even one 
of the thousand of young women now beginning what may 
be a long Ufe of degradation and woe, if the State owed 
no debt to those whom it has systematically crushed and 
imbruted from their earliest years, even then it would 
be the wisest economy to build houses for them, where they 
might be shut up from the present day till the day of their 
death. They will all live on the public in one way or 
another for the rest of their lives, many of them will con- 
tinue to have children, and to cut off this baneful entail 
of degenerate propensities would be economy, even though 
the term of guardianship ended only with the unhappy 
hfe itself. For self-protection, the State should care for 
these human beings who, having been born, must be sup- 
ported to the end ; but every motive of humanity, justice 
and self-interest should lead to the extinction of the line 
as soon as possible." 

Mrs. Lowell lived to see three State reformatories for 
young women estabUshed on the lines she projected in 
1879, in this report, — Hudson, Albion, and Bedford. In 
all of them, seven of the eight conditions which she con- 
sidered essential to their successful operation have at least 



in part been met ; the State has not, however, provided 
any of these three institutions with a site of adequate size. 
The second paper above referred to is Mrs. Lowell's 
report on "Reformatories for Women," which was pre- 
sented to the State Board of Charities at a meeting held 
January 3, 1880. This shows careful study and a mastery 
of the subject which merit even fuller quotation than 
space allows. She begins in her usual direct manner : 

"In compliance with your resolution, I respectfully 
submit this paper on 'Reformatories for Women.' Such 
reformatories are needed foi- women who are now almost 
constantly inmates of public institutions, whether jails, 
penitentiaries or poorhouses, and who perpetuate the 
classes of criminals and paupers, themselves belonging 
alternately to both. Under the present plan of providing 
for them, they are constantly sinking deeper and deeper 
into the abyss of vice and crime, they are a serious burden 
upon the hard-working part of the community, and are, 
moreover, continually adding to that burden by pro- 
ducing children who are almost sure to inherit their evil 
tendencies. These women are the same individuals 
whether they be committed to jails and penitentiaries as 
criminals or to poorhouses as vagrants and paupers. It 
is as the inmates of poorhouses only that the State Board 
of Charities, as such, encounters them and becomes aware 
of their dangerous and corrupting influence, but as all 
attempts by government authority in other countries and 
states to reform this class of women have dealt with them 
in their alternate character of criminals, it is from the 
history of such attempts and from the records of experience 
gained thereby in prisons and concerning prison discipline 
that I must draw my principal facts and arguments in 






favor of a change of system in our own State. My object 
is to show that the project of reformatories for women 
supported by public funds is neither a new or untried one." 
Then she refers to the work of Mrs. Elizabeth Fry in 
1817, for the reformation of women prisoners in Newgate 
Prison, London, and of a committee of ladies she formed, 
which, after twenty years' work, unproved the whole 
prison system of England. English jails in 1821 were 
then described in almost the same words as those Mrs. 
Lowell used in 1880 to describe the jails of the State 
of New York. Excerpts to- emphasize her points are 
freely made by Mrs. Lowell, from Mrs. Fry's reports, 
and from the English Jail Act of 1823. She notes that 
by 1841 the reforms were generally approved, and had 
also been adopted by the French government. Continu- 
ing, she says in her report : 

"It appears by the above extracts that more than fifty 
years ago the English jails were redeemed from the disgrace 
of imprisoning men and women together under the charge 
of male officers, and I doubt if such a legalized inde- 
cency could be found today in any civilized community of 
Europe. The United States is half a century behind in 
the care of her jail inmates, and in the State of New York 
at any rate, men and women, the innocent and the guilty, 
are still imprisoned together in degradation and idleness. 
"Fortunately for the good name of the United States, 
however, two of the states have, within the past few years, 
adopted Elizabeth Fry's recommendation and have each 
'one prison appropriated solely to female prisoners.' 
In 1873 a 'Reformatory Institution for Women' was 
opened by the State of Indiana. It is governed by a board 
of three women, and all the officers, except the physician 



and the steward, are women. The superintendent, in the 
report for 1878, writes as follows : 

The success in the prison is without a parallel in prison 
history; a well-organized family performing their daily 
duties willingly and cheerfully ; the most hardened soon 
submitting to the influence of Christian kindness and 
forbearance, and at the expiration of their terms are pre- 
pared to reenter society as good servants, or the lost places 
in the family circle. Eighty-two per cent of those dis- 
charged have been reformed and are now useful members 
of society ; no runaways and only one recommittal in five 

"In November, 1877, the 'Reformatory Prison for 
Women' was opened in Massachusetts. The Board of 
Prison Commissioners and the Advisory Board, consist- 
ing, respectively, of three men and three women, in a joint 
report made to the governor of the State in October, 1878, 
spealc as follows : 

The first year of the existence of the Reformatory 
Prison for Women has come to an end and has been 
marked by none of the catastrophies foretold by those who 
were faithless as to the success of such an institution. 
Women have proved themselves entirely adequate to the 
control and management of women. No disturbance 
worthy of notice has taken place, and no prisoner has 
escaped. Turbulent and insolent prisoners have been 
subdued and reduced to obedience as successfully as if they 
had been under the control of men, and we believe with 
better results to the character of those under discipline. 
A large majority of the prisoners have been habitually 
orderly and industrious, and easily controlled.' " 

The report concludes with the statistical information 
relating to women inmates of jails, penitentiaries, and 



almshouses in 1878, which was included in the paper read 
to the Chicago Conference, and the folloNving paragraph: 
"Such being the experience of England, Indiana, Massa- 
chusetts and Ontario in regard to female prisoners, the 
citizens of the great State of New York may well d^-aiad 
of their legislature that some steps be taken to place her 
in the rank of states which deal wisely and humanely with 
their dangerous classes. Having set an example to tjie 
whole world in the Elmira Reformatory for men, it would 
be a like act of wisdom to establish an institution of a cor- 
responding character for women." 

Mrs Lowell continued, both in the State Board and 
out of it, her campaign for women's reformatories ; a few 
of her letters written on this subject have been preserved, 
-all are worth printing, but space will not allow; her 
efforts at length led to the adoption of the foUowmg pre- 
amble and resolution, which she presented at a meeting 
of the Board, March 8, 1881 : 

"Whereas, In the inquiry made by the State Board of 
Charities into the causes of the increase of pauperism, it 
was conclusively proved that vice, pauperism, idiocy and 
insanity are to a great degree hereditary ; and 

"Whereas, The present organization of the poorhouses 
of the State renders it impossible that the vicous and 
pauper women, who become the «^°;thJ^« . ^^^?«^^."^,^^ 
pauper children, should be trained and disciplined m those 

'" "^;t::;: vL . systematic course of instruction 
a certain number of such women might be reclaimed and 
the State saved from great future expense ; therefore, 

"Resolved, That the State Board of Chanties recommend 
that the Legislature establish an institution for the custody 



and discipline of vagrants and disorderly women, under 
the charge of officers of their own sex." 

The State Board of Charities henceforward stood be- 
hind Mrs. Lowell in her great enterprise. A preUniinary 
skirmish only in her campaign for a woman's reformatory 
had now been gained ; the final victory must yet be won 
in the Legislature, and she now endeavored to convince 
it of the righteousness of her cause. 

Shortly after the State Board adopted Mrs. Lowell's 
resolution, she published another pamphlet, "Some Facts 
concerning the Jails, Penitentiaries and Poorhouses of the 
State of New York," in which she pointed out, in proof of 
her statements, the shocldng conditions then prevailing in 
these institutions, and quoted more recent statistics from 
the latest report of the New York Prison Association, 
and a plea by Bishop Huntington in behalf of the female 
prisoners in the Onondaga County penitentiary. 

Distribution of this pamphlet of Mrs. Lowell's was 
made to the members of the Legislature of 1881 upon the 
introduction of a bill for the estabUshment of a reforma- 
tory for women. It was also widely circulated through- 
out the State, where it helped increase the number of 
those who were interested in social questions, and enUsted 
a large and active following in support of the bill. 

Mrs. Lowell had made many friends among the leading 
men in the Senate and Assembly during her success- 
ful work of 1878 for the Asylum for Feeble-minded 
Women, and to these she now again appealed, encouraged 
by one great victory for humanity, and supported by 
public sentiment and the press. Success in the Legis- 

»% 1-' 




lature was not long delayed, for on May 2, 1881, the bill 
she had framed was enacted as " An Act to provide for the 
establishment of a House of Refuge for Women." The act 
provided for the establishment of the new institution at 
some point outside the counties of New York and Kings, 
and for the appointment by the Governor, with the con- 
sent of the Senate, of five managers to serve without 
compensation. Section 5 of the act directed the man- 
agers to organize within six months from their appoint- 
ment, and to purchase land and one or more buildings 
suitable for the detention and employment of such women 
as might be committed to their charge. 

"In case no land and buildings thereon, suitable for the 
purpose, can be purchased, the said managers are hereby 
authorized to select and purchase an ehgible site, withm 
the limits of the State as aforesaid, and to cause to be 
erected thereon appropriate buildings with accommoda- 
tions for two hundred and fifty inmates, together with such 
household accommodations for the superintendent and 
family, and for subordinate officers, as said managers may 
deem necessary." 

This act, a model of its kind, made careful provision 
for the protection of the State from financial loss in the 
construction of the buildings, appropriated $100,000, 
for the land and buildings, and directed the Board to 
appoint a woman superintendent. 

Section 8 provided that when the House of Refuge shall 
be ready for the reception of inmates,, all justices of the 
peace, poUce justices, and other magistrates may sentence 
and commit "all females between the ages of fifteen and 





thirty years, who have been convicted of petit larceny, 
habitual drunkenness, of being common prostitutes, fre- 
quenters of disorderly houses or houses of prostitution, 
to the said House of Refuge for a term of not more than 
five years, unless sooner discharged therefrom by the 
board of managers." 

Other sections of the bill made it the duty of the mana- 
gers to provide for the employment of the inmates, for 
the formation in them "of habits of self-supporting in- 
dustry," and for "their mental and moral improvement 
and good order," and authorized a system of credit by 
which a possible balance for work performed above the 
cost of maintenance might be paid the inmates on dis- 
charge. By all of these provisions the legislative sanction 
to Mrs. Lowell's views on the best methods of reformatory 
treatment for young women was given, and there is strong 
reason for the belief that the bill became law substantially 
as drawn by her, embodying in concrete form her con- 
victions, slowly matured during years of almshouse in- 
spection, as to what the State ought to do for its own 
protection, and for the reformation of the classes of young 
women to whom the doors of the new institution were 
soon to swing open. 

Governor Cornell appointed a board of five managers, 
of whom two were women, in May, 1881, who subsequently 
reported to the Legislature that after diligent inquiries 
and examinations, they were unable to purchase land 
with buildings thereon, suitable for the purposes of the 
institution ; but during the year a plot of thirty acres on 
the northerly side of the city of Hudson was purchased 

i ■ 



for $3000 and premiums were offered for suitable plans 
for buildings. Delay ensued, and in the meantime, to- 
ward the close of 1882, a much more eligible and desirable 
site of about forty acres, lying on the southerly side of 
the city of Hudson, was offered for the institution, which 
the managers thought it best for the State to purchase. 
The appropriation being about to lapse, a bill was intro- 
duced in the Assembly of 1883, reappropriating S95,000 
and making an additional appropriation of $25,000, but 
this failing to pass the Senate, all proceedings under the 
law of 1881 were necessarily ended. 

How extremely disappointing this delay, suspense, and 
legislative indifference must have been to Mrs. Lowell ! 
It must at times almost have seemed to her that she 
would not Uve long enough to witness the fruition of her 
work for the young inmates of the almshouses and jails, 
whose need for more hopeful care she had for so many 
years been pleading. But she did not lose heart, and 
her letters of that period show her still at work for the 

The House of Refuge bill was again introduced in the 
Legislature of 1884, early in the session, and shortly after- 
wards Mrs. Lowell wrote as follows to Mr. Fanning : ^ 

February 22, 1884. 
My dear Mr. Fanning: 

I have yours containing Judge Cadman's letter and the 
copy of the bill relating to House of Refuge for Women. 
I should wish to make an amendment, substituting the 

'Asastant Secretary of the State Board of Charities. 



approval of the State Board of Charities for that of the 
Comptroller. Could not this be done? 

In thinking more of Judge Cadman's letter and the bill, 
I have become quite enthusiastic for our poor House of 
Refuge, and want to start out on a new crusade for it ! I 
shall write a note to each member of the Legislature and 
send to yon to be delivered at the Capitol, together 
with copies of the enclosed papers and my paper on Re- 
formatories for Women, if you consider the addition of that 
a wise thing. 

Please let me know, and have large envelopes addressed 
to each of the members of Assembly and Senate to be kept 
until I send you my notes and papers like enclosed. 

Have you plenty of 'Reformatories for Women'? 
I have, and will send them if needed. Meanwhile, please 
send me at once, list of Senators and 150 large half sheets. 

This bombardment of the Legislature was effective, 
and by the passage on May 21, 1884, of Chapter 314 of 
the laws of that year, the board of managers was given 
the means to purchase the site on the southerly side of 
the city of Hudson, where the institution now stands, and 
to erect the necessary buildings. 

Although the original appropriation for the House of 
Refuge had lapsed, as we have seen, the hfe of the board 
of managers was continuous, and it held meetings from 
time to time. The great importance of a strong and up- 
right board, under whose immediate supervision the build- 
ings of the institution should be erected, rules for discipline 
and administration adopted, and the staff of officers 
appointed, was fully realized by Mrs. Lowell who kept 
herself well informed on all that concerned the reformatory. 







Two years elapsed after the passage of the second act 
establishing the House of Refuge, before the buildmgs were 
ccmpleted by the contractor and turned over to the State 
in May, 1886. Another year was taken by the managers 
in furnishing the buildings and appointing the officers 
and employees, and the institution was finally opened April 
15, 1887, the first inmate being received May 7. 

A few months before Mrs. Lowell had written the follow- 
ing letter to her sLster-in-law : 

West New Brighton, 

December 19th, '86. 
Dear Annie : 

You will be interested to know that another step has 

been taken towards the opening of the 'Women's House 

of Refuge' at Hudson (my reformatory that I worked so 

hard for for so many years). I stopped there on my way 

to Albany week before last and found the furniture almost 

all in, the fence put up, and the Superintendent and two 

of her assistants already at work, preparing to open within 

a month or two. There is no doubt that the buildings 

are excellent — cheap, simple, suitable, pretty, all but 

the prison. 

The Superintendent has just the right ideas, it seems to 
me, and is a woman of character and experience. For- 
tunatelv, we put into the law that she should appoint her 
own subordinates, so she is choosing them slowly and 
wisely. Altogether I feel much encouraged, and am glad 
things are going slowly, for there will be all the more 
chance of their going right. I have had many disappoint- 
ments about this thing, but they all turned out right m the 
end, and there is nothing to regret now, unless Governor 
Hill puts in some new managers to upset things, — and 
he has two more years to stay in office. . . . 




The work of the House of Refuge at Hudson, now 
known as the New York State Training School for Girls, 
has continued for nearly twenty yeai's, and during all this 
time, until her death, Mrs. Lowell retained her earnest 
and intelligent interest not only in the institution and its 
inmates, but in all legislation which might affect it and 
them. The institution, which had an original capacity of 
two hundred and fiftj', was soon filled ; from time to time 
its enlargement has been considered. Amendatory acts 
affecting the inmates and the government of the re- 
formatory have been introduced in the Legislature. Mrs. 
Lowell was always on the watch to further good and to 
prevent ill-advised legislation, as this letter to Mr. Fan- 
ning shows : 

120 East 30th Street, 
Feby. 17th, 1892. 
Dear Sir: 

I have just received a copy of Senate Bill 367, intro- 
duced by Mr. Osborne to amend the laws establishing the 
House of Refuge for Women, and although, probably, the 
bill was framed by the Managers, it seems to me that 
there are some provisions which ought not to become law. 

As the amendments are not printed in italics, and as I 
have only had the bill for an hour, I shall probably omit 
several things that ought to be noticed, and I write at 
once in order to call your attention to those which have 
struck me in a hasty reading. 

Page 2, section 8 of the present law is amended so that 
"any female between the ages of twelve and twenty-five 
years " may be committed. This seems to me a very great 
mistake; the present limits of age are fifteen and forty 
years and were intended to include women lilcely to have 





children. By excluding women over twenty-five, large 
numbers of this dangerous class could not be restrained m 
the House of Refuge, while on the other hand to mclude 
girls between twelve and fifteen is quite unnecessary, 
because the House of Refuge at Randall's Island receives 
girls up (and this is my impression but I have no copy 
of the law) to sixteen years and that institution answers 
every purpose for the training of these girls without the 
disadvantage of their being associated with women much 
older than themselves and of course much more deeply 
experienced in vice. I protest strongly against this change 
which has, so far as I can see, not one argument in its 

favor. , ^ ,- 

On page 6 it is provided that the Board of Managers 
of the House of Refuge for Women shall have power to 
place the children of inmates in " any asylum for children 
in this State" and to pay for them at a rate not to exceed 
S2.50 a week. I am. not at all sure that it is necessary 
that the children should be by law a charge upon the 
counties from which the women come, and that the 
county would be responsible for their board m any insti- 
tution within its limits to which the Board of Manag«^ 
should commit them. In any event the payment of 32.50 
a week is too much smce some of the counties pay only $1 
a week for children in institutions and none that I know 
of pays as much as $2.50 a week. It would seem as if this 
provision, giving the authority to pay this excessive rate 
of board, to "any asylum in the State" were intended to 
pave the way for the opening of a special asylum m the 
neighborhood of the House of Refuge for Women to re- 
ceive these children and be maintained by these payments 
for board There is no reason that the State should start 
any such institution and relieve the counties of the care 
of those children. 



On the same page in section 11, it ought to be provided 
that the persons employed to convey women from the place 
of conviction to the House of Refuge should be women. 

On page 7, the appropriation of $150,000 I should say 
was a very large sum and should not be made without 
its being specified what use is intended to be made of it. 

Several years of work were required to secure the enact- 
ment of an amendment to the law recommended by Mrs. 
Lowell, that women and not men should be charged with 
the duty of conveying the young women from the place 
of commitment to the Refuge. Serious abuses in transit 
had emphasized the necessity for this change, and these 
compelled the LegLslature to provide that women officers 
should have entire charge of delinquent women after 
commitment. Subsequent laws have provided for police 
matrons to take charge of women when arrested, and for 
women probation officers to attend the sessions of the 
courts and secure the parole of women, who, in the opinion 
of the magistrate, can be restored to good habits through 
the aid and counsel of such officers. 

It must be evident from the story told in this chapter 
that to Mrs. Lowell, more than to any person, is due not 
only the establishment at Hudson of the first reformatory 
for women in New York State, but also as a consequence, 
the adoption of the important and benevolent principle 
of State care for erring young women, who through the 
training and opportunities of such institutions may be 
saved and restored as useful members to society. 




State Care for Feeble-minded Women 

The history of the establishment of the House of Ref- 
uge for Women at Hudson illustrates the willingness of 
the people of the State of New York to assume any reason- 
able philanthropic responsibility. Mrs. Lowell's thorough 
exposition of the cruelty, injustice, and folly of sending 
young women of the vagrant and delinquent classes either 
to the almshouses or the county jails, and her campaign 
of ten years' duration, induced the State to assume the 
guardianship of such young women as Hudson, Albion, 
and Bedford reformatories now shelter in large numbers. 

Side by side with these unruly young women, Mrs. 
Lowell found in the almshouses many others of feeble 
naind, or idiotic ; who were, from weak will or defective 
intellect, unable to distinguish between right and wrong ; 
for whose safety and that of the community greater cus- 
todial care was necessary than the county almshouses could 
give. Simultaneously with her campaign for a State re- 
formatory for women, she carried on another for a State 
custodial asylum. Commissioned to the State Board 
in 1876, she was, as the records show, at work for such an 
asylmn the following year. At a meeting of the Board 
December 4, 1877, " Coromissioner Lowell presented a 
paper in which she had collected the facts stated in 





the Secretary's report on pauperism in regard to vagrant, 
feeble-minded, and idiotic inmates of the almshouses of 
the State. A. discussion ensued in regard to the care of 
unteachable idiots, . . . and Commissioners Devereux, 
Letchworth, and Lowell were appointed a committee 
to consult with Dr. Wilbur, the superintendent, and with 
the trustees of the State Asylum for Idiots at Syracuse, 
as to the best means of securing proper custodial care for 
unteachable idiots." One thousand copies of Mrs. Lowell's 
report were oi'dered printed. 

Some of Mrs. Lowell's letters preserved in the files of 
the State Board show that she was continually at work 
for the future asylum. Thus under date of March 15, 
1878, she wrote to the Assistant Secretary : 

"Please do not send away those copies of the 'Extracts' 
unless you think that there are plenty more for the 

" Will you also remember that the Board desires an ap- 
propriation of S15,000 for 1878 and the same amount for 
1879 to be used to establish and carry on a custodial 
asylum for idiots, and when you have the opportimity, 
speak of the subject to members of the Assembly and 

Again on March 23, 1878, to Dr. Hoyt : 

"I thought you were present when the Committee re- 
ported in regard to the custodial asylum for idiots. The 
Board of Trustees of the idiot asylum at Ss^racuse at the 
request of the State Board has agreed by formal resolu- 
tion to take charge of the proposed custodial institution, 
provided the State Board can obtain an appropriation 



■I i 

'ii & 


from the Legislature of fifteen thousand dollars for 1878 
and the same for 1879. 

" No place has been yet decided on for the institution 
nor any particulars as to the management agreed upon. 
The idea is that the institution should be an experiment 
for the present, and one proposal was to limit the age 
of female inmates to the years between sixteen and 

" The matter has been presented by letter to the Chair- 
man of the Committee on Ways and Means and the 
Chairman of the Finance Committee, and I hope there 
will be no objection to it. I am very glad you have 
already interested yourself about it and also that Messrs. 
McGonegal and Loomis have spoken of it to their repre- 

Victory in this campaign was not long delayed, for at 
the Board meeting of June 13, 1878, "Commissioner 
Lowell, from the Committee on a custodial asylum for 
adult idiots, submitted a report which was read, accepted, 
and ordered filed. The report stated that the efforts of 
the Committee to secure an appropriation from the Legis- 
lature for the purposes of a custodial asylum had been 
successful, that an appropriation of $18,000 had been in- 
serted in the supply bill for this purpose, and that this sum 
was placed at the disposal of the Board of Managers of the 
State Idiot Asylum, who now have the matter in charge." 

Within less than two years Mrs. Lowell had successfully 
led the State Board to secure the adoption by the State, 
as its wards, of feeble-minded or idiotic young women, 
who up to that time had been exposed to the dangers of 
county almshouse care. 



The managers of the State Idiot Asylum at Syracuse 
acted with commendable energy under this legislative 
sanction, and in the summer of 1878 secured the lease of a 
vacant seminary building at Newark, in Wayne County, 
which they opened in Se])tember of that year, with a 
superintendent, matron, and two inmates, as the Custodial 
Asylum for Feeble-minded Women. Mis. Lowell inter- 
ested herself from the beginning in the new branch, and 
contributed in every possible way to make the experi- 
ment at Newark the success she believed it should be. 

At the request of the State Board, made by a formal 
resolution at a meeting held February 12, 1884, Mrs. 
Lowell prepared and presented at the April meeting a 
memorial to be transmitted by the Board to the Legis- 
lature, recommending "the establishment of further and 
definite provision for the custodial care and sequestration 
of idiotic and feeble-minded girls and women, for their 
protection and the protection of the State from hereditary 
increase of that class of dependents on public charity." 

After serious delays and opposition, a bill was passed 
establishing the Custodial Asylum at Newark as a per- 
manent and separate State institution, and not as a branch 
of the asylum at Syracuse, which on May 14, 1885, took 
its place among the statutes of the State. The first sec- 
tion provides that "The asylum established by the State 
Board of Charities at Newark, Wayne County, for feeble- 
minded women, is hereby continued and shall be a body 
corporate, and shall be known as 'The State Custodial 
Asylum for Feeble-minded Women at Newark, New York,' 
and shall be under the management and control of a 







Board of Trustees to be appointed as hereinafter pro- 
vided, and shall be under the general supervision of the 
State Board of Charities." 

The Governor appointed a board of nine managers which 
organized at the Asylum June 2, 1885, and entered upon 
the discharge of its responsible duties in the administration 
and development of the new institution. The mana- 
gers have in their annual reports to the Legislature traced 
the healthy growth of the asylum and given account of the 
beneficent work carried on within its walls for the educa- 
tion and care of the inmates. Although appropriations by 
the Legislature for new dormitory cottages have not been 
made as rapidly as needed, there has been a very sub- 
stantial increase in the size of the asylum which on October 
1, 1910, sheltered 792 inmates, classified according to their 
degree of intelligence, in the enlarged original building, 
and in several outlying cottages, erected on a fertile and 
beautiful upland site of forty acres. 

At the dedication of the Custodial Asylum at Newark, 
June 10, 1890, the President of the Board of Trustees, 
Hon. S. S. Peirson, dehvered an interesting historical 
address with details relating to the origin and develop- 
ment of the institution not elsewhere narrated. He re- 
called that prior to 1851 the pubhc charities of the State of 
New York comprised only those for the care of the insane, 
the deaf and dumb, and the blind, and outhned the growth 
of a movement for the assumption by the State of the care 
also of the idiotic and the feeble-minded, which resulted in 
the establishment in 1857 of the New York Asylum for 
Idiots at Syracuse. Dr. H. B. Wilbur, Superintendent of 



that institution for many years, had said in one of his 
first reports to the Trustees : "Tlie design and objects of 
this asylum are not of a custodial character," and after 
twelve years of experience, he again reported : "Tliere is 
one class, constituting twenty per cent of the whole 
number, who, in the absence of any proper custodial in- 
stitution, are suffered to remain with us," and he recom- 
mended that the Willard Asylum for the Insane should be 
allowed to receive them. The State Board of Charities 
took up substantially the same thought, and, continued 
Mr. Peirson: 

" The joint action of the Syracuse Board and the State 
Board is shown in the following minutes of the Secretary, 
at a special meeting of the Board of Trustees held at 
Syracuse, March 12, 1878. The object of the meeting 
was to be the consideration of the question of a custodial 
institution for the idiotic. A committee of the Board of 
Charities, consisting of Mrs. J. S. Lowell, Mr. W. P. 
Letchworth, and Mr. J. C. Devereux, was heard at length 
on the subject. After full discussion by the Board of the 
whole matter, it was : 

'Resolved, That we are willing to assume the respon- 
sibility of the management of a custodial institution.' 

"It is well known that Mrs. J. S. Lowell of New York, 
a lady well known throughout the State and nation for 
her philanthropy, was the moving spirit. The result of 
their joint labors was an act of the Legislature in 1887, 
appropriating $18,000 'for the support and maintenance 
of adult idiotic and feeble-minded females at an experi- 
mental custodial asylum, under the management of the 
Trustees of the New York State Asylum for Idiots.' 




Before November, 1878, a building intended originally for 
a collegiate institute had been rented at Newark, and nine 
inmates received from county poorhouses and eighteen 
from the asylum at Syracuse." 

Mr. Peirson then related that the experiment at Newark 
having proved successful, the State Board and the Trustees 
of the State Asylum at Syracuse united in recommending 
tlie purchase of the site and buildings; but there was a 
difference of opinion as to whether the institution should 
be established as a new State charitable institution or 
continued as a branch of the State Asylum at Syracuse. 
The State Board and I\Irs. Lowell strongly supported the 
former plan, but a bill had been presented sanctioning the 
latter plan, and after "the hottest fight of the session, 
was defeated. ... In 1885, this district was again repre- 
sented by a Wayne County member, the Hon. E. K. Burn- 
ham ; ... his first act was to introduce the bill that had 
been prepared the previous session. . . . After fierce debate, 
and the true merits of the bill had been fully demonstrated, 
opposition ahnost vanished, ... the Governor's signa- 
ture in due time was attached, and on the 14th day of May, 
1885, one of the noblest charities in the State was per- 
manently established." 

When the asylum became a separate State institution, 
the managers suggested that, as Mrs. Lowell had carefully 
watched over its experimental days, and was regarded by 
them as its founder, it should bear her name ; but she 
declined this honor. 


The Charity Organization Society op the City of 

New York 

" It is an unhappy circumstanco that one might give away fivo hun- 
dred pounds a year to those that importune on the streets and not do 
any good." — Samuel JonNSON. 

The Charity Organization Society of the City of New 
York, one of the most useful organizations in the whole 
range of philanthropic work in the United States, was 
founded in 1882, on the initiative of the State Board of 
Charities and through the continued efforts of Mrs. 
Lowell, then a Comniissiouer of the Board. As early as 
1843, the New York Association for Improving the Con- 
dition of the Poor had pointed out in its first annual re- 
port, that "without cooperation too little will be gained 
in the contest with the forces of experienced and crafty 
pauperism ; with it, the walls of Jericho will fall down." 
But no practical steps had ever been successfully taken 
to insure such cooperation between the charitable societies 
oaring for the poor in New York. 

The minutes of a meeting of the State Board of Chari- 
ties held July 15, 1877, a year after Mrs. Lowell took her 
seat, contain the following entry : 

"Commissioner Lowell stated her intention to investi- 
gate during the present year the system of administering 
temporary or outdoor rehef in the several counties of the 



State, and submitted for the approval of the Board a form 
of blank to be used for the purpose of collecting from the 
superintendents of the poor information and statistics 
upon the subject." 

Although the minutes, for more than three years, 
contain no reference to the investigation undertaken by 
Mrs. Lowell, she no doubt made it, as time permitted, 
for at a meeting held July 15, 1881, she presented a 
"Report in Relation to Outdoor Relief Societies in New 
York City." In this paper she said that seventy-one 
societies, exclusive of dispensaries, were asked by letter, 
accompanied by blank, to furnish information as to 
their mode of work; that forty responded; that sta- 
tistics respecting some others were obtained from 
outside sources; and that for this reason, the figures 
given in tables appended to the report were incomplete. 
Statistics for 1880 were given ; then followed a classifica- 
tion of outdoor relief societies into four classes : (1) those 
giving general relief; (2) the dispensaries; (3) those 
which care for the sick only; (4) those which are 
primarily educational and reUgious. Note is made that 
few church societies are reported, "although it is to be 
presumed that every church in the city had some organ- 
ized means of distributing ahns." Statistics were ob- 
tained from sixty-six organizations in all, by which it 
appeared that in 1880 an aggregate of $546,832 was dis- 
tributed in charity among the poor, while about 525,155 
cases were reported as having received some form of 
charitable relief. Then Mrs. LoweU made the foUowing 
strong argument for organized charity : 



The f oregOHig figures, whether we regard them from a 
financial or humanitarian point of view, are sufficient to 
convmce us that so important a business as the administra- 
tion of chanty has become in New York City requires to 
be carried on on business principles, if the great evils of 
wasted funds and corrupted and pauperized citizens are 
to be avoided. Some system is required to enable these 
various societies and organizations to work in harmony 
to attain the end they all aim at -some plan by whicii 
each may be helped by the knowledge and experience of 
all. That there is not already some such system in 
New York is a matter of regret to many of the wisest and 
most thoughtful persons who have practical experience 
m dealing with the poor, especially as almost all the other 
large cities in this country and in England have proved 
the value of associated work in diminishing pauperism 
and poverty in their midst." 

Mrs. Lowell supported her plea by apt quotations from 
the first annual report of the New York Association for 
Improving the Condition of the Poor, from a paper pre- 
sented in 1878 by Mr. Henry E. Pellew of that Associa- 
tion to the National Conference of Charities held in 
Cincinnati, and from the reports of several outdoor 
charities of New York City. Writing for the three New 
York Commissioners who formed the committee, Mrs. 
Lowell concluded as follows : 

"We have been able to collect only very imperfect 
statistics, and we have studied these statistics in a neces- 
sarily superficial manner, and yet we are led to the h-resist- 
ible conclusion that there is at present inevitably great 
waste of energy, effort and money, owing to the want of 


cooperation among the societies which administer the 
charities of New York City, while the same cause operates 
to encourage among the poor, pauperism and degrada- 

" It is becoming that the State Board of Charities should, 
so far as possible, assist in an effort to remedy the evils 
apparent to all thoughtful students of the facts presented 
in this report, and we propose the following preamble and 
resolution for the consideration of the Boai'd : 

" Whereas, There are in the City of New York a large 
number of independent societies engaged in teaching 
and relieving the poor of the city in their own homes, 

" Whereas, There is at present no system of cooperation 
by which these societies can receive definite mutual in- 
formation in regard to the work of each other, and 

" Whereas, Without some such system, it is impossible 
that much of their effort should not be wasted, and even 
do harm by encouraging pauperism and imposture, there- 

"Resolved, That the Commissioners of New York City 
are hereby appointed a committee to take such steps 
as they may deem wise to inaugurate a system of mutual 
help and cooperation between such societies." 

Whereupon, "on motion of Commissioner Craig the 
report was accepted and Commissioner Lowell requested 
to furnish a copy for the annual report of the Board. 

" On motion of Commissioner Stephen Smith, the pre- 
amble and resolution proposed by Commissioner Lowell 
in her report were adopted by the Board, and Com- 
missioner Lowell was designated to act as chairman of 
the committee." 



Under the authority conferred by the foregoing resolu- 
tion of the Board, the committee, under Mrs. Lowell's 
leadership, formed an association of representative men 
in the City of New York interested in philanthropic work, 
and knowing by personal experience the waste of time, 
energy, and money resulting from the lack of cooperation. 
The active support of such leading citizens as Abram S. 
Hewitt, James C. Carter, Charles S. Fairchild, and Seth 
Low was secured , and many leading clergymen of different 
denominations, CathoUc, Hebrew, and Protestant, gave 
their counsel and aid to the movement. The delibera- 
tions of this association or commission resulted in the 
formation of the Charity Organization Society of the City 
of New York, which was organized by the election of 
officers on February 8, 1882, Samuel Oakley Vanderpoel, 
M.D., being the first President. The Legislature shortly 
afterwards incorporated the society by special act May 
10, 1882, and its constitution was adopted at a special 
meeting of the society June 5, 1882. In drafting this 
constitution, Rev. S. H. Gurteen of the Buffalo Charity 
Organization Society was helpful. Throughout the form- 
ative period of the society's work Mrs. Lowell's was the 
directing mind. 

An interesting sidelight is thrown upon the earnestness 
and efficiency of her work for the Charity Organization 
Society at this time, and upon other sociological subjects 
to which much of her thought and energy were afterwards 
given, in the following extracts from letters written to 
her sister-in-law Mrs. Robert Gould Shaw: 






Dear Annie : 

October 30th, '81. 

The next day was all business, arranging for a small 
meeting in the evening to discuss the best means of charity 
organization in New York City. We had invited several 
clergymen and others, but had not many present. Dr. 
John Hall (who I thought was a CathoUc priest) and Mr. 
Heber Newton representing the clergy, Mr. Pellew and 
Mr. Gibbons the laity, and Mrs. Rice, Ellen Collins and 
Mrs. Lockwood the femality. We discussed for an hqur 
and the outcome was that they thought the best way to 
do the work in New York was to have the State Board 
take up the matter, which means 'a very long and hard 
struggle for the next year, I suppose. I am ready to do 
it, however, for I think it the most important thing there 
is, next to Civil Service Reform, of course. . . . 

March 19th, '82. 
Dear Annie : 

All the week it seems to me I have been busy folding 
up circulars ! I agreed to see to the distribution of 
fifteen thousand papers (three different kinds) so I have 
had to have the five thousand envelopes addressed, and 
on Friday and Saturday I had four young women folding. 
They were precious slow, I think, compared to my rate 
of work, and I expect to have them on hand for a day or 
two more at least. It is for our new Charity Organization 
Society, and of course I shan't do it again, but now we 
have no office and no secretary, so I undertook it. I 
don't know whether I sent the circulars to you, but think 
I didn't, so I shall. We have a good set of workers and 
we have just engaged the secretary of the Philadelphia 
society to come to us, so I think we shall get along very 
well, though the work is going to be something tremendous. 



Did you see that an old lady (Miss Burr) has died in 
New York leaving three million dollars to charity? If 
she had only asked me I would have told her what to do 
with it. One million ought to go to public libraries and 
one million to build and partly endow an insane asylum 
for poor people who aren't paupers. Those two things 
would do an immense amount of good. I wish I had three 
million ! And why couldn't she have left some for model 
lodging-houses, like Mr. Peabody ? She has put a great 
share of it into the common charities, orphan asylums 
and sick, and left a good deal to women's seminaries out 
west, which is a good thing, of course. About public 
libraries, however, with reading rooms and sitting rooms 
attached, 1 am beginning to feel very strongly. People 
ought to have decent places to go to on week-day evenings 
and on Sundays. The one Nellie belongs to does a great 
deal of good and they have $30,000 to build with, but 
that will only put up one building, and they need six, 
they say, and I say twenty or thirty. There ought to be 
such libraries all over the city. . 

^ . March 28th, '82. 

Deae Annie : 

We are working on with our charity organization schemes, 
and last week Gertrude Rice (Stevens you know) and I 
went round to the various charities to ask them to co- 
operate and found all the officers very cordial and ready 
to do all we wanted. Gertrude is a most satisfactory 
person to work with, very efBcient and full of sense and 
no personal feelings to interfere. She takes a great part 
of the Association work on herself when Louisa Schuyler 
is away, as at present, in Florida. Mr. John Jay also 
is quite active in the Association now, being Vice-Presi- 
dent. . . . 




Dearest Annie : 

May 23d, '82. 

I have been having a busy charity organization week — 
annual meeting last Monday, committee meeting Tues- 
day, hunting up workers Wednesday, small conference 
Friday, and another meeting last evening. We are doing 
as well or better than we could have expected, finding 
much interest and encouragement. We need more money 
and more people to "take hold" at the top, however, and 
lead the others. I see many pleasant people, especially 
men, upon whom we are trying to throw the responsibility 
of this work, so as to bring the business faculty to bear 
on the charity problem. What we need are more men of 
leisure with the tradition of public service like so many of 
the "nobility and gentry" of England. Our young men, 
those that we catch, are very good, but usually too busy. 
However, I can't complain for we have had very good 
fortune so far. It is interesting to see how much runs 
in families, however; the Roosevelts and the Dodges, 
for instance, you can depend on every time, — they are 
most satisfactory wherever you meet them ; being all rich, 
too, they have time to work, which is decidedly a good 
thing. . . . 

February 18th, '83. 
Dearest Annie : 

I begin "way up" at the top as if I had a good deal to say, 
but I don't know that I have, unless an account of the 
various poor people who are being brought to our notice 
by our Charity Organization Society. They all want 
work, work, work ; many are widows with young children ; 
many are men who have had accidents ; so far, we have 
not really found many "unworthy," or at least, those are 
not the ones that make an impression. I more and more 



feel, the moie I see of these suffering people, that things 
are all wrong. It cannot be right that men should slave 
all their days for bread and butter. They do need time 
for some amusement, or at least for I'est, and they do 
need money enough for their labor to enable them to lay 
by for a sick time or for old age without giving up all that 
makes life worth living. 

Whether Hcnrj'- George and Father are right and that 
plan will help to make things straight I can't say, but that 
they need putting straight I am very sure of. . . . 

May 5th, '83. 
Dearest Annie : 

I cannot think of any news for you, — I don't do much 
but chai'ity oi"ganization work and not much of that, and 
feel as if I might do a great deal more. I am learning 
all the time and am going to write two or three papers 
this sunamer, which I hope will tend to disseminate right 
views of charity, and that seems to be my only field of 

Common charity, that is, feeding and clothing people, 
I am beginning to look upon as wicked ! Not in its in- 
tention, of course, but in its carelessness and its results, 
which certainly are to destroy people's character and 
make them poorer and poorer. If it could only be 
drummed into the rich that what the poor want is fair 
wages and not little doles of food, we should not have 
all this suffering and misery and vice. 

Good-by and excuse this tirade. 

Mr. Charles D. Kellogg, the first general secretary of 
the society, fresh from four years' similar service in in- 
augurating the Society of Organized Charity of Philadel- 
phia, says : 





"I was surprised to find at the outset so many well- 
devised and far-sighted preliminaries already initiated, 
which were easily traceable to Mrs. Lowell's forethought, 
so that the task before me was at once shorn of much of 
its anticipated difficulty. The principles laid down at 
the outset were so wise as to require but trifling new 
adaptation for many years, and the high character and 
thoroughly representative capacity of the citizens who 
worked with Mrs. Lowell to found the Charity Organiza- 
tion Society, and their unity of purpose, were such that 
the inauguration of the society was accompanied by far 
less distrust and jealousy than was encountered in other 
of the large cities." 

On October 10, 18S3, Mrs. Lowell, as chairman of a 
special committee appointed by the State Board, pre- 
sented a report on "The Organization and Work of the 
Charity Organization Society of the City of New York," 
in which she communicated the facts above mentioned, 
relating to the founding and incorporation of the society, 
and continued : "Almost at the beginning of the active 
work of this society, thirty-five relief-giving societies and 
nine churches agreed to use .it as a mediima through Avhich 
to exchange information in regard to their mutual bene- 
ficiaries. The Department of Public Chai-ities and Cor- 
rection also agreed to give all the mformation which it 
might have about those who received city coal, and money 
appropriated for the relief of the adult blind, and about 
those persons conomitted to the penitentiary and to the 
workhouse ; $2500 for current expenses was contributed 
before the society had fairly begun work. . . . 

"The effort to get more cooperation has been so far 



successful that on March 31 the charitable agencies which 
had agreed to report to this society had increased from 
forty-four to one-hundred and thirty-eight. They can 
be classified as follows : 

Thirty general societies for temporary outdoor relief 
Six national societies for temporary outdoor relief 
Fourteen asylums and institutions for indoor relief 
Eighty-eight churches and religious congregations. 

"District committees have been organized in six districts, 
five of which cover that portion of the city on the east 
side, between Houston and Seventy-second streets, and 
one on the west side from Houston to Fourteenth streets. 
These committees are composed of earnest men, sixty- 
eight in all, who have faithfully given time and labor in 
seeking a solution of the great difficulties which surround 
the questions of poverty and charity in this city. Each 
committee has a plain office located conveniently in its 
district, properly furnished, and each has its paid district 
agent. The society has found one hundred and sixty- 
seven men and women willing to act as friendly visitors 
to those needing them. . . . The support given to the 
society in money has been very generous. The amount 
collected for the general work of the society to March 
31, 1882 inclusive, was §15,659.25. . . . 

"The most striking facts brought to light by the work 
of the Charity Organization Society are those relating to 
the number of people reported to them as having had 
relief or being criminals, sentenced to the workhouse or 
penitentiary, and those relating to the houses in which 
these people live. 



"From January 1, 1882, to October 1, 1883, the names 
of about 45,000 individuals were reported to the society, 
representing a population (at the small average of four 
persons to each family) of 180,000, or more than the popu- 
lation of Buffalo, Pittsburg or Washington. 

"In relation to the houses inhabited by this large num- 
ber of persons, the annual report of the society says : 

'"A street register has been made by taking all the 
names from the alphabetical cards and putting them on 
other cards, according to streets and street numbers^ 
These cards are arranged by the street numbers, and each 

street is kept in a package by itself These reports 

show that ahns have gone into, or that crimmals have 
resided at 12,336 street numbers during the past fifteen 
months The houses would make a street six and 

five-sixths times the length of Broadway from the Battery 
to Fifty-ninth Street, or thirty-three miles m length. 

" ' We find also from this street register that ahns-gettmg 
families tend to congregate together. A dozen such 
families are often reported as Uving at one street number. 
The greatest number of famiUes reported from one house 

during fifteen months is eighty-three We beheve 

that this teaches that the habit of looking to charity for 
support is contagious, that it rapidly becomes the fashion 
in locaUties.' 

"The above statement that 'looking to charity for sup- 
port is contagious,' should cause those who administer 
charity funds to consider well the wide-spreading evU 
that may follow the relief given even to persons really in 
need and really worthy, and to reflect whether, after all, 
it might not be wiser and more charitable to restrict all 





dinict relief to that given inside of institutions, which has 
this advantage that it does not corrupt others while 
relieving the sufferer. 

"Another feature of relief-giving which has been 
brought to light by the registration system of the Charity 
Organization Society is the large proportion of able-bodied 
men who appear on the lists of the charitable societies. 
A circular of the conunittee of the society on cooperation, 
dated May 18, gives the following facts : 

"'Of 6964 cases, 4577, or over 65 per cent, were men 
with or without children, and so far as appeared, able- 
bodied. And but 1908 cases out of the 6964, or less than 
27^ per cent, were widows with children, or families where 
the bread-winner was reported to be sick.' 

"I have given this brief statement of the work of the 
Charity Organization Society to show the Board its general 
character, because the society is the outgrowth of the 
action of the Board taken two years ago." 

The cordialitj'' and measure of cooperation between the 
different relief societies and the Charity Organization So- 
ciety were well illustrated bj'^ the fact that the society was 
the guest, during the second and third years of its active 
work, of the Association for Improving the Condition of 
the Poor, which generously gave the free use of the second 
and third stories of its house at 79 Fourth Avenue, until 
the quarters became too narrow for the rapidlj' expanding 
needs of the Charity Organization Society. 

The following letters to Mrs. Robert Gould Shaw, give 
further illustrations of Mrs. Lowell's work for the Charity 
Organization Society during its early history. 


May 15th, '87. 

Dearest Annie : 

Mr Munroe belongs to a small and modest, but, 
I think, an important association of which I am president 
the "Labor Bureau Association." We have a Labor Test 
Wood Yard," where men asking for charity are given work, 
and we hope to develop it into something very useful in 
time Mr. Bannard^ (a lawyer) and Henry Iselm (the 
youngest of the family that used to live next us on Staten 
Island) and two or three more have worked very hard this 
past winter to make it a success, and they have formed 
very good plans for next year. 

I consider it of the greatest importance, for relief to 
able-bodied men is one of the worst and most dangerous 
phases of charity, and our object is to make this work 
a condition of relief, and the relief societies and mdl^ad- 
uals are coming more and more to use our yard. We 
have many safeguards and conditions to prevent the 
abuses that charity employment is apt to lead to, and 
we go on slowly and carefully, but, I am sure wisely, and 
I feel encouraged and happy about it. . • • 

February 5th, '88. 

Dearest Annie : 

I do not think we have had any occurrences 
lately, -personally I am doing nothing but Charity Organ- 
izat on Society work. I am getting to be nothing but a 
schoolma'am. Every Thursday at a committee meet- 
n. I tTlk and lecture, and I am going to give talks abou 
" Friendly Visiting " among the poor at various meetings 
this month. 

1 Otto T. Bannard. Vioe-president of the Oharity Organization Society 
since 1899. 



Last Thursday I read a paper to a small " Working 
Women's Society," which Miss Perkins has joined and 
which, we hope, may do great things in time. Many of 
the women spoke afterwards and were very interesting 
and intelHgent. They have had a practical education in 
life, which shows in their faces which are strong and in- 
dividual, but of course they need a great deal of advice, 
and I am thankful that Miss Perkins is with them and 
ready to work with them. The meeting was a small one 
at Cooper Union, and Miss Perkins presided. 

April 29th, '94. 
Dkabest Annie : 

Usually I allow no business on Sunday, keeping the 
day for friendly letters, but I have been at it all day. At 
10 to 11 :30 visit and talk with an agent of the Charity 
Organization Society; at 11 : 30 to 1 to Mary Putman 
Jacobi's to talk about Woman Sufifrage and a little speech 
I am to make next Thursday evening ; at 3 the president 
of the Charity Organization Society came to talk business, 
and then till 6 I wrote "C. 0. S." things, so I have not 
read nor written any letters until now, 8 : 45. 

Besides this, I am .still busy finishing up our East Side 
Relief work, and with "C. 0. S." affairs. Meanwhile 
the trees are all in leaf, and the spring days are so tempt- 
ing that I ran down to see Anna and Mrs. Gay last 
Wednesday. Anna was full of an election for School 
Trustees she had just been attending the night before, 
voting for the first time in her life. Women can vote on 
school questions here and . in fifteen other states. . . . 

Women have always been influential in the manage- 
ment of the Society, and Mrs. Lowell and her friend Mrs. 
Rice, who had been closely associated in its work from 






the beginning, long served on the Central Council and 
Executive Committee, Mrs. Rice being the official rep- 
resentative of the State Charities Aid Association. 

Much of Mrs. Lowell's work for the Charity Organiza- 
tion Society was so quietly done that only those associated 
with her knew it. 

"She was," says Mr. Kellogg, "active in the early 
efforts of the Society to secure from Congress favorable 
action upon a system of postal savings, so successful in 
England, which soon led the Society to estabUsh its off- 
shoot, now under independent management, the Penny 
Provident Fund, with its more than three hundred sta- 
tions and ninety thousand depositors. 

" She was equally earnest in the Society's efforts to in- 
duce the city government to establish municipal lodging 
houses abeady authorized by the State Legislature, for 
men and women temporarily stranded in this great city ; 
failing in which, the Society at its own cost established its 
own lodging house and wood yard on West Twenty-eighth 
Street,— now so well known to the community— which the 
tardy city fathers supplemented some years later by the 
Municipal Lodging House on First Avenue, the predeces- 
sor of the present institution in East Twenty-fifth Street, 
said to be the best in the world of its kind. The Society's 
laundry and work rooms for unskilled women also were 
results of her earnest endeavors to aid the poor by educat- 
ing them up to higher earning powers, rather than to 
weaken their moral fibre by unearned alms. In these 
and all related efforts she was generous with her own 
private means to aid in their fulfihnent; and many a 
benevolent project was seconded, and many a struggUng 
soul was lifted into hope and victory by her unrevealed 
liberality. She emphasized the work and strove to en- 



large the number of the volunteer friendly visitors, by 
whose loving ministries in the dwellings of the poor then- 
home life might be elevated, their habits improved, their 
temptations lessened, their courage stimulated, and their 
social relations sweetened. By such contact she felt also 
that the producing causes of dependence and distress 
could be the better discovered and counteracted." 

Another of her associates in the work of the society, Miss 
Alice M. Decker, writes thus of Mrs. Lowell's methods of 
work : 

"Mrs. Lowell joined the Third District, now Corlears, 
Committee in 1891, and for over ten years she was chair- 
man of the sub-committee, meeting each Friday morning 
for the consideration of the applications for assistance. 
She was most punctual and regular in attendance, remain- 
ing away only for illness, or for some other meeting which 
she thought of equal importance. She gave to all per- 
sons in distress the greatest thought and care, not only 
for their immediate need, but for their future betterment. 

"Her very presence was an inspiration and none could 
attend the district meetings without raising their desires 
and trying to better their life's work. Her judgment, 
arguments and personality'- made these meetings of the 
greatest value ; her sympathy was so large that she her- 
self often said that she could not do friendly visiting. 
As an instance, when she came to the ofRce one afternoon 
during holiday week, when four widows with their children 
were enjoying the Christmas tree, she immediately gave 
them each some money as she thought they looked so 
poor. Frequently after attending a meeting she would 
telephone after reaching home, fearing she had not been 
sufficiently explicit, and thereby some person might suffer. 







"In passing along the streets she was constantly on the 
alert, and no crippled child, or person in need of help, or 
any violation of the law escaped her notice and attention. 
I find it is impossible for me to tell how much the district 
committee, the agent and the neighborhood workers 
owe to the judgment, advice and loving kindness of Mrs. 

Another of Mrs. Lowell's fellow-workers in the society, 
Mrs. Louise F. Ford, pays this tribute to her associate : 

"I remember when I first came to the Charity Organiza- 
tion Society in 1888. Mrs. Lowell was on the central 
office committee where I was employed. In a talk 
with her about taking up the work, she emphasized the 
fact that it should only be entered into with a feeUng of 
consecration. The confidence which she placed in me and 
in any workers who came in contact with her, made the 
responsibility not only more acceptable, but sweeter and 
a privilege. I think one of the most beautiful and up- 
lifting influences which Mrs. Lowell created was through 
her belief in people, and this was an incentive to live up 
to her high standard. Her tenderness for the poor and 
troubled, and her ability to enter into any part of human 
life which needed thoughtfulness and kindness, as well as 
material help, were beyond any one's else whom I have 
ever known. 

"I am acquainted with a number of Mrs. Lowell's 
beneficiaries and it is remarkable what an impression she 
made upon them. They have come to me and talked 
about her, and how much she has been a part of their 
lives, what an inspiration she was, and how strongly she 
impressed upon them the real meaning of true friendship 
for those in a different class in life, but whose strong good 
characters she seemed to understand and appreciate. 



The absolute justice of Mrs. Lowell, the purity of her life, 
the truth which was imprinted upon every word she said 
and every look she gave, and her every act, will never be 
effaced from the memories of those who knew her. Her 
example I know will hve always." 

When Mrs. Lowell died in 1905, the Charity Organiza- 
tion Society had for twelve years occupied offices in the 
United Charities Buildmg, erected on the northeast corner 
of Fourth Avenue and Twenty-second Street by Mr. John S. 
Kennedy as a home for this society and other philanthropic 
organizations. During these years its work had steadily 
broadened and increased. Among the noteworthy ac- 
tivities of the society, the Joint Application Bureau 
deserves mention. This Bureau, maintained in co- 
operation with the Association for Improving the Con- 
dition of the Poor, greatly increased the facilities for 
serving the poor and is kept open every day in the year 
from nine in the morning until midnight for the receipt 
of applications for relief, and for the prompt supply of 
pressing needs, and in it the care of homeless men and 
women by the two organizations is concentrated. 

Another useful department is the Registration and In- 
vestigation Bureau through which confidential informa- 
tion about all the families ever known to the society is 
avaUable to persons having a legitimate interest in them. 
The society also maintains ten district offices covering 
the Boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx, each with its 
own staff and under the supervision of a local committee. 
It still maintains its wood yard and laundry in a separate 
building at 516 West Twenty-eighth Street, to provide tera- 





porary employment for men and women. In 1905, some 
fifty thousand visits were made to the poor in their homes 
by agents of the society and about fifty thousand dollars 
was expended for the relief of families under its care. 
The Tenement House Committee and the Committee for 
the Prevention of Tuberculosis recently formed have done 
good work. 

The Charities Du-ectory of the City of New York, one 
of the pubUcations of the society, had in 1905 reached 
fifteen annual editions, and Charities, the weekly pub- 
lication of the society, now continued as The Survey, 
was in the eighth year of its existence; the School of 
Philanthropy, begun in 1898 as a summer course of six 
weeks, was then entering upon its second year as a full 
course and had been established upon a permanent basis 
by the endowment of Mr. Kennedy. A reference library, 
always open to the public, had grown until it contained 
several thousand bound volumes and as many pamphlets. 

The foregoing outline of the present-day activities of 
the Charity Organization Society, under the able ad- 
ministration of Mr. Robert W. de Forest, who has now 
been at its head for twenty-two years, will convey 
some idea of its immense usefulness not only in the reUef 
of the poor in the City of New York, but also in the educa- 
tion of trained charity workers, and in the circulation of 
in.structive literature on current sociological topics. 

For a longer period than she uninterruptedly devoted 
to any other branch of her philanthropic work, Mrs. 
LoweU was actively and closely identified with the 
Charity Organization Society. She died on the twenty- 





fourth anniversary of the meeting of the State Board at. 
which the first steps were taken for its formation. "On 
her initiative," said Edward T. Devine, now the General 
Secretary of the Society, "it came into existence, and 
since its birth in 1882, she has been its guiding spirit 
and its most faithful, untiring and efficient member. 
She served continuously on its Central Council and its 
Committee on District Work, and at different times also 
on other committees." 

In the development and expansion of the work of the 
society, Mre. Lowell was always active and influential, 
and it is impossible either to overestimate the value of 
her service, or the usefulness of the society to the city, 
in the general progress in charitable methods and resources 
since 1882, when on her initiative, the steps were taken 
which brought it into being. 

Duties of Friendly Visitors ^ 

" Charity organization i.s not a work to which any man should put 
his hand, unless he is prepared to give to it some measure of devotion.'; 

This is the motto I should be glad to see adopted by cm- 
society, for it contains a truth which we must all bear in 
mind, whether we be members of the central council or 
of the district committees, or friendly visitors. It is 
hard work which we have undertaken; work requiring 
time, and thought, and patience and judgment. T have 
been asked to speak of the duties of friendly visitors, 

' Printed by the Charity Organization Society of the City of New 
York, May, 1883. 


and though I shall be able to make only a few suggestions 
on this all-important subject, still I am glad to do it, 
and I must say at the outset that the best success of our 
Charity Organization Society will depend eventually upon 
the devotion and the wisdom of the members of our 
district committees and their visitors. We at the 
central ofRce may form all sorts of vdse plans, and may 
do the very best we can, but the practical carrying out 
of the principles of the society depends on the district 
workers. It is they who come into personal contact 
with those we seek to aid, and it is they whose influence 
will raise or degrade them. 

And first, we must make a distinction between classes 
of cases. We are constantly coming on Chronic Cases, so 
to speak, old or permanently sick people who can never 
hope to earn a living. The only thing to be done for 
such, unless we simply pass them by, as perhaps in the 
early stages of our work we must, is to provide for them 
permanent rehef of one kind or another — either put them 
into a suitable institution or secure from individuals such 
regular relief as will place them above the need of casual 
help, and then see to it that they do not beg. 

Then come cases of temporary sickness. Here the 
object must be to effect a cure as soon as possible. Per- 
haps a change of rooms may be necessary; perhaps the 
sick member of the family should be removed to a hospital ; 
perhaps work must be suggested, and, if possible, found 
for some of the others. Each case will need different treat- 
ment, and many different societies and people may have 
to be asked to help in the cure. The great danger to be 





avoided is the formation of permanent habits of depend- 
ence by means of the temporary help procured. 
/ The third class, out of work cases, are the most difficult 
of all, and the most important, perhaps. "The distress 
of those capable of work," to quote from an account of 
the Elberfeld system, "is not to be treated as if it were 
an incurable disease, and as if it were only necessary to 
keep the patient alive from day to day, no matter how ; 
but as an exceptional condition, the cure of which should 
be carefully and scientifically considered, that the patient 
may return to the normal condition of self-support." I 
have said these out of work cases ai-e the most difficult 
of all, and they are so because the suffering is often very 
real and the famQy in much distress of body and mind, 
and yet the chances of doing a permanent injury to the 
character by unwise action are a hundred to one. 

And here we are brought face to face with the hard' 
question of relief-giving. The first impulse of many 
visitors is to exclaim : "If I cannot give relief, what can I 
do ? How can people be helped who are hungry and cold J 
unless they can be fed and warmed?" It seems at 
first as if there could be no answer, and, provided the 
hunger and cold do actually exist, they must, of course, 
be first removed. Our visitors must remember, however, 
that usually the hunger and cold are not so pressing or so 
sharp as they are represented to be ; that the suffering 
family is not living in a desert, but among human beings, 
who do not look on and see their next-door neighbors 
starve ; that, as a fact, the daily supplies are forthcoming 
day by day. They must judge more by their eyes and 


intellects than by their hearts, and if they see stout and 
healthy-looking people, with children who appear good- 
natured and in a measure contented, they must accept 
the statement that there has been nothing eaten for twenty- 
four hours rather as a fanciful way of describing the general 
poverty than as the exact truth. However, whether they 
feel constrained to supply temporary relief or not, they 
must bear in mind that the final aim of the visitor must 
always be to discover by inquiry, thought and consultation, 
some means of helping the family permanently on to its 
feet ; and they must remember that, if it can possibly be 
avoided, it is well, while the plans for permanent improve- 
ment are being matured, not to procure temporary relief 
from any source, because the fact that it is supplied will 
tend merely to keep up false hopes in the hearts of the re- 
cipients that something will happen to enable them to 
avoid the great exertion which may, perhaps, be required 
of them in seconding the plans made for their good. One 
distinguishing trait of almost all people who have sunk low 
enough to have to seek alms is the baseless hope that in a 
week or so things will be sure to go better with them, and 
any reUef given them merely serves to confirm them in this 
shiftless "waiting for something to turn up." A visitor-'l 
can usually, if he or she will only take trouble enough, find 
some sort of means of letting the head or some member of 
the suffering family earn a dollar to provide for their im- 
mediate necessities. Some chopping of wood, scrubbing of 
floors, sweeping the yard, a dozen clothes to wash, errands 
to run, anything to avoid teaching the dreadful lesson that 
it is easy to get a day's Uving without working for it. 




The first requirement for a good visitor is that he should 
really give his mind to the case of the family placed in his 
charge, that he should study it in every way, considering 
what plans he himself would be likely to try were he in 
a like situation. Often it is brains more than anything 
else that is lacking to the poor, and the visitor must not 
only supply the brains in the formation of plans, but must 
spend time and hard work in persuading his poor friend 
that the plans are the best that are practicable for him. 
A great part of the work will be educational ; the visitor 
will find extravagance, shiftlessness, perhaps vice. All 
sorts of influences must be brought to bear. We are for- I 
bidden to give any spiritual teaching, in order to avoid / 
all suspicion of proselyting, but one of the first things 
a visitor should do is to find out what church the family 
even nominally belongs to, and try to strengthen its re- 
lations with that church. Should there be no response 
on the r)art of the family to these efforts, he should go 
to some member or to the minister of that church, that 
he may search them out and, if possible, bring them back 
into their own fold again. 

One very important point for a visitor to aim at is to 
find out all about the man of the familj--, where there is one. 
Charities and charitable people are too prone to deal ex- 
clusively with the woman, accepting her statement that 
the man is looking for work. Now, perhaps he is and per- 
haps he is not ; but it should be fully established, first, 
that he has no work ; second, that he would be glad to get it. 
The man and the woman should be seen and advised with 
together in regard to their present condition and future 


.'■* ■ 

■ it :V. 

■ .* ;■■ 

■■ J.. 

.^ - 




plans. Wliere there is a real desire to help themselves, 
the man will be ready to accept his proper place as head 
of the family, responsible for its support ; and where he 
keeps out of the way and lets his wife do the running and 
the begging, the visitor may well :4uspect that all is not as 

it should be. 

In regard to seeking for work, a visitor can often help 
wth suggestions and letters of introduction, after he 
thoroughly knows his family ; but, as a rule, no one has so 
much time to look for work as the man himself. If he is 
ready to work ten hours a day, let him spend the ten hours 
looking for work. The great lesson we want to teach 
people is to depend on themselves, and not to look to any 
one for anything except friendly advice and counsel. 

Another matter to be considered in connection with work 
is that anything which encourages the wife of an able- 
bodied man to become the breadwinner of the family is 
injurious. A woman's whole time is not too much for her 
to devote to the care of her children ; and the children of 
decent, industrious women often grow up to be vagabond 
and vicious because their mother has had to leave them to 
the education of the streets. Where the woman is a widow, 
this becomes sometimes a sad necessity, from the evil 
effects of wliich charity may well help her to guard her 
children ; but where there is a husband and father able 
to work, he should feel it a disgrace that his overburdened 
wife should be called upon to earn even fifty cents a week 
toward the support of the family. After the slack time 
is past and the man is again at work, the opportunity comes 
for the visitor to make special efforts to persuade the 




family to prepare for the future and to lay by for the idle 
time of the next year; he can then inculcate lessons in 
economy and in saving which may be the means of lifting 
the family permanently on to a higher level than they 
would ever have attained without his friendly encourage- 
ment. If he has made them really look upon him as their 
friend, they will be willing to put their weekly savings 
into his hands, so that they need not be tempted to spend 
them. No family that has been in want, and been helped 
out of it, should be deserted by their visitor until he has 
seen them safely past the dangerous period in the following 

An unending field of labor for visitors is to be found in 
the instruction of children and the encouraging of their 
parents to put them at trades requiring skill, which will 
insure them a fair Uvelihood. Poverty and crime, in our 
country at least, are to be found almost entirely among 
the people who have no habits of steady occupation and 
no regular means of earning a living. They can do any- 
thing, they say, which usually turns out to mean noth- 
ing. Now, if the children in every shiftless family could 
be taught to do some one thing well, could be taught 
even to keep their own lodgings in decent order and to live 
economically, a great step would be gained. The visitors 
might perhaps persuade their own servants to train a 
young gii-I to fit her to be a good servant and to earn good 

Widows and women with disabled husbands who have 
young children form a class by themselves, and may 
receive direct relief if only it is guarded and graded in ac- 


cordance with their circumstances. The condition of a 
woman who must perform the part of both father and 
mother to her children is indeed pitiful, and hero i,s a field 
where a friendly visitor may expend care and thought 
for years perhaps. The right plan to adopt is the follow- 
ing : 1st, Find what the woman can live on decently. 
2d, What she can earn without neglecting her children. 
3d, Secure for her regular help, which she can depend 
on receiving on a fixed day of the week or month, and 
which is to be sent to her, so that she need waste no time 
in going for it, and which, with her own labor, will make 
up the svun absolutely required for her family. 4th, As 
the children come to an age to help, see that they are 
trained to do so in the best way, and gradually diminish 
the reUef until it is entirely withdrawn. 

A very good plan with widows with young children is 
to induce two to live together ; one to go out to work, the 
other to care for both families at home. This saves rent 
and other expenses, and the children are not neglected and 
allowed to grow up worthless and idle. In such cases 
the amount of outside aid needed is reduced to the 

The difficulty is, not that there are not hundreds of 
ways of helping people, but that we will not take the 
trouble to carry them out. If you choose to say: "I 
can't be bothered by giving my clothes out to be washed ; " 
"I can't have a man coming every day to run errands;" 
"I can't have a httle girl in my house breaking the things 
and troubling the servant," that is all right perhaps. 
You must do what you think best, but do not deceive 



yourself by saying that you do not know how to help 
poor people without giving them money. Acknowledge 
frankly that you will not or cannot take the trouble to do 
it, and that, consequently, you have not the faculty to be 
a friendly visitor of the Charity Organization Society. 

Finally, all of us who ever attempt to have any dealings 
with the poor would do well to bear in mind the follow- 
ing admonition of Miss Octavia Hill, "Let us never weakly 
plead that what we do is benevolent ; we must ascertain 
that it is really beneficent too." 

Among Mrs. Lowell's unpublished papers are copies 
of five addresses she delivered in 1888 to the children of 
a Sunday school in Harlem. Although written for the 
comprehension of youthful minds, they contain many 
valuable observations on "Charity and Relief-giving." 
The first only of the series is here included. 

Sunday School Talk to Children 

I have gladly availed myself of the invitation of your 
Superintendent to meet you for a few Sundays to talk 
about "Our Duties in Connection with Charity and Relief- 
giving," because I believe these duties to be very definite, 
very plain and very imperative, and I Icnow that there is 
a wide difference of opinion in regard to these duties 
among intelUgent and benevolent people. I am glad to 
know also, however, that these differences of opinion are 
to be found only among inteUigent people who have not 
given much thought to these subjects, while, on the con- 
trary, among the students of the problems presented by 


charity and relief-giving there are practically no differ- 
ences of opinion. 

Today I want to clear the ground by giving an ex- 
planation of my terms, and by telling you what it seems 
to me should be our attitude of mind and heart in dealing 
with these subjects. I have used the two terms "Char- 
ity" and "Relief -giving," which are often accepted as 
synonymous, because to me they mean widely different 
things, sometimes diametrically opposite things, although 
undoubtedly relief-giving is frequently a part of charity. 
Charity is wishing well and doing good to those who 
have no legal claim upon us. Relief-giving is supplying 
them with material help, food, clothing, etc., which 
may be done without either wishing them well or doing 
them good. 

Under these definitions, "Public Charity" is a mis- 
nomer, if it is intended to describe by that term the relief 
of a certain part of the community by a tax on the rest. 
The money raised by taxation for the support of those in 
want is simply a public fund, paid from self-interest in 
the same spirit and for the same purpose as the far larger 
amounts spent for the police. It is for the public pro- 
tection, and there is no element of charity in it, since the 
persons whose money is spent are actuated by no feeling 
of kindliness towards those who receive it, but, on the 
contrary, pay their taxes grudgmgly and in an unwilling 
spirit. Public officers not unfrequently justify them- 
selves in extravagance in the use of public funds for the 
relief of the poor, on the ground that they must be chari- 
table, but this they cannot be. No one can be charitable 



with another person's money. A person in expending 
public funds may be honest and conscientious ; he cannot 
be charitable, and the sooner it is understood that ex- 
travagant expenditure of the people's money is no charity, 
but a breach of trust, the better it will be for the com- 

Public relief, then, must of necessity lack one of the 
requisites of charity, for the givers of it do not wish well 
to those who receive it. It often lacks also the other 
requisite, for it not infrequently does harm and not good. 
It is given in two ways : to families in their homes, called 
outdoor rehef ; and to individuals in public institu- 
tions, called indoor relief. When given to families, 
it too often acts as a premium on idleness and vice, and 
ends by creating generation after generation of paupers, 
who look to the public fund as to a family inheritance upon 
which they may always depend. In some of the counties 
of New York the fifth generation of paupers is now receiv- 
ing public relief. 

Relief in public institutions may do good if properly 
administered, and it certainly has its element of charity, 
though the charity is not to be found in the hundreds of 
thousands of dollars paid by the tax-payers. It is found 
among the paid officers and subordinates who spend their 
hves in unselfish work for those committed to their charge. 
It was found in the little Irish woman who for eighteen 
years, at a salary of eight dollars a month, received and 
washed and cleaned every woman who came into the 
almshouse on Blackwell's Island, so deUghted to be able 
to change disorder into order, to make clean that which 




was unclean, that, when she died, I was sure thaf she 
would hear: " Well done, good and faithful servant; thou 
hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee 
over many things," and would receive some great work 
of purification to do. 

There was charity in the heart of the matron at the 
Lunatic Asylum, an Irishwoman too, who for thirty years 
gave all her time and thought to the poor benighted 
creatures around her, teaching and helping them. There 
is charity among the nurses who are faithful and full of 
patience with the lunatics, the crippled, the idiots, bear- 
ing almost more than could be expected were these un- 
fortunates of their own blood. No one should be unmind- 
ful of the great charity to be found among all these. 

Besides public relief of these two kinds, we have private 
reUef-giving ; that is, money given by those who do own it, 
to those whom they do wish to help ; very different from 
public relief, and often as I have said, a part of charity, 
but not always, by any means ; for charity, besides being 
benevolent, must also be beneficent ; it must, as I have 
said, not only wish well, but it must do good ; and rehef- 
giving is not at all sure to do this ; it may often do — it 
does often do incalculable harm, harm so cruel that the 
benevolent relief-givers would be appalled could they 
realize it. 

You will see now why I have made my subject cover 
both charity and relief-giving ; charity, the wishing well 
and doing good to those who have no legal claim upon us ; 
pubhc rehef-giving, which can never be charity, and pri- 
vate relief-giving, which may or may not be charity. 



I have divided our subject into three parts, one of which 
we shall consider on each of the three following Sundays. 
They are as follows : 

"Our opportunities for Charity." 

"The dangers of Relief -giving." 

"Our personal obligation to those in trouble." 

And now I want to speak of what I believe should be our 
attitude of mind and heart when we imdertake to study 
these questions. 

First, we should always regard them in relation to the 
welfare of the whole community, not as being con- 
cerned merely with the people whom we think we want 
to help, or whom we suppose ourselves to be helping. 
It is the habit, I fear, of a great many people to divide the 
population of the world, of the country, of the state or of 
the city into two classes : the rich and the poor ; and 
they have a theory that the rich support the poor; but 
Mr. Hewitt once gave the correct view in the following 
remarks made at a public meeting of the Charity Organiza- 
tion Society of this city : 

"Here are the rich and there are the poor, separated 
by the great mass of honest, hard-working, prosperous, 
well-to-do people. The problem is to reduce the number 
of the poor by finding channels of occupation for them, 
so that they maj'' not feed and prey upon the product of 
the industrious. The problem is to take the idle rich — 
they are not all idle, but some are — and to develop in 
them the sense of trust, that they hold these profits which 
have been taken from the earnings of the great mass, and 
are taken every day from the earnings of the great mass 


(for you know perfectly well that whatever the rich have 
has to be earned day by day by those who work) to develop 
in them a sense of trust, and so to organize the channels 
of communication between those who are consumers 
otherwise of the fruits of human industry, and these 
deserving laborers who have drifted out of the ordinary 
channels of occupation ; — to bring these two agencies to- 
gether, and make them useful to each other so that the 
great working class may accumulate still more, and not be 
shorn of their proper earnings, as they otherwise will be, 
by the consumption of the poor and of the rich." 

Mr. Hewitt is right, I am sure, in the classification he 
makes of the population of the world; — in the centre 
the great mass of workers, on each side the consuming 
idlers. This great mass of workers, whether by hand or 
brain makes no difference, are those who keep the world 
going, who clothe, feed, house, teach and train them- 
selves and everybody else; — they are the only people 
who are needed ; — the idle poor and the idle rich live on 
them, and are equally dangerous and troublesome on 
whichever side they may happen to be consuming the 
product of the workers. 

Now, the interests of the workers are the important 
thing to be considered, both because they so far out- 
number the others, and also because it is they upon whom 
all depend, it is they whom the community has to thank 
for all it is and all it has, and whatever time or thought 
we may be giving to the idle poor or to the idle rich, our 
constant object must be to reUeve the workers of the bur- 
den of their support, for the sake of the workers them- 



selves, and for the sake of the idlers as well, whose man- 
hood and womanhood demand that they be raised from 
this pitiful and degrading dependence in which they live. 

Everything we do and abstain from doing should be 
with the view of diminishing the ranks of the idlere and 
adding to the great army of workers. We must always 
keep in mind a picture of the normal, the ideal com- 
monwealth, where all its members are useful, supporting 
themselves and adding to the common stock. We must 
resent and refuse to accept as permanent a condition 
of things where some of the people, because of illness, 
because of incompetence, because of vice, are dependent 
on the rest. 

Instead of being proud of our hospitals we should look 
upon them with shame as showing how many sources of 
ill-health are to be found in our city ; our asylums for 
children should cause us to hang our heads because of the 
thousands of homes destroyed by ill-doing, the parents 
deserting their children and casting off the first duties of 
life. Let us always remember that whatever the cause of 
dependence (I am speaking, of course, of dependence other 
than that which is natural and right, of children upon 
parents and of parents upon children) the state is bad and 
is productive of bad results. A man ought to support 
himself, and he ought moreover to support his family; 
and those two simple facts are never to be forgotten 
by any one who tries to help his fellow-man. 

Every idler transformed into a worker is a double gain, 
of course, for not only is the common stock relieved of 
the support of one dependent, but he, in his turn, adds 


to that stock, and thus there is moie for everybody, 
which is not an unimportant consideration, since there 
is not now enough wealth in the world to make every- 
body decently comfortable. 

So much for our attitude of mind in regard to these 
questions. Equally important is our attitude of heart. 
We must believe in, we must feel, the "Brotherhood of 
Man." We cannot be just, we cannot be charitable, we 
cannot be anything we should be without this. If we talk 
of "the poor," if we say what "they do," if we judge 
ourselves by one standard and oiur brothers by another, 
we cannot help them. To feel the brotherhood of man 
is the first, the second and the third requisite. This is 
what makes Walter Besant's book so full of sympathy; 
this is the secret of Tolstoi's power. They each feel the 
brotherhood of man and each is inspired by it, though 
the practical results are so different. 

The Russian sees that men are brothers, and says : 
"Education and cleanliness keep us from our brothers; 
we must be near to them ; they are dirty and ignorant ; 
we must break down the wall ; we must be dirty and 
ignorant too." He is appalled by the mass of dirt and 
ignorance and sees no other hope of getting near to his 
brothers but to sink to their level. 

The Englishman sees that men are brothers ; he says : 
"Dirt and ignorance keep us from our brothers ; we must 
be near to them ; we must break down the wall ; we must 
make them clean and educate them." It is the English- 
man whom we must follow in practice, but we must fill 
our hearts with the self-sacrifice of the Russian. 




And what is this feeUng of the brotherhood of man 
but the recognition of the dignity of human nature ? No 
matter how low, how degraded, how brutish may be the 
man or woman, we need all the more to recognize in them 
the immortal soul. The less they know and feel their 
divme origin, the more must we be penetrated by the con- 
sciousness of it. 

The Economic and Moral Effects of Public 
Outdoor Relief ' 

I have not been able to assent to the report of the Chair- 
man of the Committee on Indoor and Outdoor ReUef, only 
because, as it seems to me, he does not draw the distinc- 
tion which is necessary between public and private relief. 

I admit, of course, that there are persons who need relief, 
that is, help, in their own homes, and that both Pitt's 
argument and Mr. Sanborn's argument apply to such : 
"Great care should be taken, in relieving their distresses, 
not to throw them into the great class of vagrant and 
homeless poor." Such people however, are, to my mind, 
not proper subjects for public relief at all ; for what is 
pubhc relief, and upon what grounds is it to be justified? 
Public relief is money paid by the bulk of the community 
(every community is of course composed mainly of those 
who are working hard to obtain a hvelihood) to certain 
members of the community, not, however, paid volun- 
tarily or spontaneously by those interested in the individ- 

' Reprinted from the 17th Annual Report of the National Con- 
ference of Charities and Correction, held at Baltimore, May 14-21, 







uals receiving it, but paid by public officers from money 
raised by taxation. The only j ustification for the expendi- 
ture of public money, money raised by taxation, is that 
it is necessary for the pubhc good. That certain persons 
need certain things is no reason for supplying them with 
those things from the public funds. Before this can be 
rightly done, it is necessary to prove that it is good for 
the community at large that it should be done. 

It is always necessary, also, in considering the expendi- 
ture of public funds, to give up the vague notion that these 
funds come from an indefinitely large central source of 
supply, which can be drawn upon constantly without affect- 
ing any one. There is no such central source of supply. 
Every dollar raised by taxation comes out of the pocket of 
some individual, usually a poor individual, and makes him 
so much the poorer, and therefore the question ia between 
the man who earned the dollar by hard work, and needs it 
to buy himself and his family a day's food, and the man 
who, however worthy and suffering, did not earn it, but 
wants it to be given to him to buy hunself and his family 
a day's food. If the man who earned it wishes to divide it 
with the other man, it is usually a desirable thing that he 
should do so, and at any rate it is more or less his own 
business ; but that the law, by the hand of a pubUc officer, 
should take it from hun and hand it over to the other man, 
seems to be an act of gross tyranny and injustice, which, if 
earned far enough and repeated often enough, leads to a 
condition of things where there is not sufficient produced 
for everybody, and therefore all suffer, the men who earn 
the dollars as well as those who do not earn them. 



It is good for the community that no one should be 
allowed to starve ; therefore, it is a legitimate thing that 
the public money should be used to prevent such a possi- 
bility, and this justifies the giving of public relief in ex- 
treme cases of distress, when starvation is imminent. 
Where, however, shall be found the proof that starvation 
is imminent ? Only by putting such conditions upon the 
giving of public relief that, presumably, persons not in 
danger of starvation will not consent to receive it. The 
less that is given, the better for every one, the giver and 
the receiver ; and, therefore, the conditions must be hard, 
although never degrading. On the contrary, they must 
be elevating, and this is by no means incompatible with 

To those who object that, because the community re- 
lieves a person, that person should not therefore be reduced 
to pauperism by being placed in an institution, the only 
answer is that the receiving of relief from the community 
constitutes pauperism, and the refuge from pauperism is 
either in self-support or else in the giving of help from 
private sources. Because certain persons think that cer- 
tain other persons need help is no doubt the best reason 
why they should help them, but not a good reason why 
they should require the community to help them. 

There are undoubtedly many, many persons who do 
need help, and many, many more who would be glad to 
get it, and who think they need it ; and many, many more 
who do not think they need it, but who still would take 
it if olTered to them. Where is the line to be drawn? 
If there were a store of public property created by no 



individuals, the result of no personal exertion or labor, — 
for instance, were the United States still possessed of all 
the property, lands, mines, etc., which have in the past 
belonged to the people, and were all these now rented, 
and the surplus income not required for the expenses of 
government divided per capita among the citizens of the 
United States, is there any individual, rich or poor, 
who w^ould refuse to receive his share ? And, if not, why 
not ? Simply, because there would be no unpleasant con- 
ditions attached to receiving it. There would be no 
stigma connected with it, because every one would rec- 
ognize that he had a right to receive it, that it was public 
property, and that he was in exactly the same position as 
every other citizen of the United States. Then, further, 
what would be the effect of this payment upon the char- 
acter and upon the conduct of the people of the United 
States? Excuse the extravagance of the supposition, 
and say, for the sake of illustration, that the sum paid to 
each man and woman over twenty-one years of age was 
$500 a year. Would there not be quite a large proportion 
of the community who now earn $500 a year who would, 
upon being assured of this income, cease to work for a 
living? Some of these, so ceasing, would devote them- 
selves to higher pursuits than earning a living, to study, 
to art, to philanthropy. Some, on the contrary, would 
spend their substance in riotous living, and would become 
much less worthy, much less decent, than ever before in 
their lives. But all who ceased to work for a Uving would, 
undoubtedly, very soon become less fitted to earn a living, 
would become less energetic, less skilled in a money-mak- 



ing direction, less able to succeed. And what would be the 
effect on the children ? Would they, with the assurance 
of $500 yearly income upon reaching their majority, 
probably be as energetic, as self-reliant, as fitted to earn a 
living, as they would have been without this assurance ? 
Does experience prove that the children of persons who 
do not have to exert themselves have the same indepen- 
dence and the same power to support themselves as the 
children of those differently situated? 

We have been speaking of an income paid to every 
member of the community, regardless of his own exertions 
or character, and we have assumed that this income came 
from a source of wealth, the rent of public property, not 
created by individuals ; but could there be any such 
source of wealth? The rents of public property would 
have to be derived from the energy and industry of the 
men who used it ; and were these and those who followed 
them to content themselves with the $500 coming to each 
of them from the pubhc treasury, and therefore cease to 
produce, very soon the lands and the mines themselves 
would lose value, the rents would fall because of the want 
of industry of the people, and the community would lose 
a part, at least, of its regular income, and be driven to 
earn its own Uving again by the sweat of the brow; but 
it would have lost many of the qualities upon which 
success in earning a living depends. The people would 
earn a worse living than they used to, and would be dis- 
tinctly less well off than before the distribution of the 
public property began, until they recovered their energy 
and indust^3^ Now, this is, as I have said, simply an 



extravagant supposition; but, considering what human 
nature now is, were these conditions possible, are not such 
the results which must follow the general acquisition of an 
income which would accrue to each citizen of the United 
States without any exertion on his part ? At any rate, ex- 
perience shows that this is exactly the effect on those who 
receive public relief, except that to the unfortunate di- 
minishing of the energy and earning capacity of the re- 
cipients is also added a moral degradation, because there 
is a stigma attached to pubUc relief, arising from the fact 
that the money received is actually the property of in- 
dividuals taken from them against their will and not be- 
longing to the pubUc; and it is necessary to overcome 
a sense of shame before any one is content to become a 
pauper, and the loss of this sense of shame in itself con- 
stitutes a distinct moral degradation, and leads to still 
further deterioration of character. 

If the advocates of public relief contend that there 
should be no stigma attached to its receipt, the answer is 
that, in that case, the tendency would be toward the con- 
dition where the whole people would be ready to accept 
an income from so-called public funds, and that the re- 
sulting loss of energy and industry would be sufficient to 
plunge any nation into a greater poverty than any now 
suffers. Public reUef does not have an enervating effect 
upon the character of those who receive it because they 
are different from other human beings, but because they 
are human beings, and are actuated by exactly the same 
motives as the rest of the race. It is not because paupers 
are primarily more lazy than other people that they will 

J : 



not work for a living if they can be supported without 
working. If you will consider, you will find that you do 
not know any one, or, if you do, you regard him or her as 
a most extraordinary individual, who works for a living 
when it is not necessary, when the living is supplied from 
some source without any conditions which are dishonor- 
able or irksome. The whole difference between a pauper 
and any of the rest of us who do not earn our own living 
is that he wants and gets very little, while we want and 
get a great deal, and that our views of what are honorable 
and dishonorable conditions differ materially from his. 

Of course, to be logical, I ought to go on to the position 
which Dr. Chalmers took, that it would be better for the 
community that there should be no public relief, indoor 
or outdoor, none in the poorhouse and none outside the 
poorhouse ; but I am not prepared to go quite so far as 
this, for I do think that, besides energy and the power of 
work, there are other human faculties which need develop- 
ing, and that the community should acknowledge an obliga- 
tion to succor, and even to support, those of its members 
who are absolutely unable to fight the battle of life, and 
that there should be a sure refuge from starvation. So far 
as this refuge is furnished from the funds raised by taxation, 
however, I am persuaded, as I have said, that the only 
safe way to provide it, is under such stringent conditions 
that no one shall be tempted to accept it except in an ex- 
tremity, and under such conditions, also, as will as soon 
as possible make the recipient of help able to support 
himself again and do his part in supporting others. I 
mean that public rehef should be indoor relief, inside the 


doors of an institution, where cure and education should 
be the primary objects aimed at, — cure of disease, moral, 
mental and physical, and education in self-control and self- 
dependence. The community may well say to any of 
its members: "If you cannot support yourself by your\ 
own work, it is a pity. We will support you by our work ; \\ 
but we will not make it so pleasant for you that you will \ 
desire to continue the condition, and we will train your I 
mind and body so that you will be able soon to undertake / 
the care of yourself." / 

You see my argument is that the work of the mass of i 
every community is an absolute necessity, in order to pro-'i 
vide for it the means of hving ; that no human being will \ 
work to provide the means of living for Mmself if he can j 
get a living in any other manner agreeable to himself (you 
will observe that I do not say men will not work, but that 
they will not work for a living) ; and that the community 
cannot afford to tempt its members who are able to work 
for a living to give up working for a living by offering to 
provide a living otherwise ; and that public relief must be 
confined to those who cannot work for a living, and the 
only way to test whether they can or cannot is to make 
the living provided by the public always less agreeable 
than the Uving provided by the individual for himself, and 
the way to do this is to provide it under strict rules inside 
an institution. 

The practice of any conamunity in this particular is a 
matter of great importance, for there can be no question 
that there is an inverse ratio between the welfare of the 
mass of the people and the distribution of relief. What 



some one has called "the fatal ease of living without work 
and the terrible difficulty of living by work" are closely 
interrelated as cause and effect ; and, if you will permit 
me, I will try to show by a short allegory what this re- 
lation is. 

Once upon a time there lived in a valley, called the Val- 
ley of Industrj^ a people who were happy and industri- 
ous. All the goods of this life were supplied to them by 
exhaustless subterranean springs of water, which they 
pumped up into a great reservoir on the top of a neigh- 
boring hill, the Hill of Prosperity, from which it flowed 
down, each man receiving what he himself pumped up, 
by a small pipe which led into his own house, a moderate 
amount of pumping on the part of every one keeping the 
reservoir well filled. 

Finally, a few of the inhabitants of the Valley, more 
keen than the rest, reflected that it was unnecessary to 
weary themselves with pumping, so long as every one else 
kept at work. The Hill of Prosperity looked very at- 
tractive; and they therefore mounted to a convenient 
pomt, and put a large pipe into the reservoir, through 
which they drew off copious supplies of water without 
further trouble. The number of those who gave up pump- 
ing and withdrew to the HUl was at first so small that the 
loss did not add very much to the work of the mass of the 
people who still kept to their pumping, and it did not 
occur to them to complain ; but those who could, followed 
the others up the Hill until it was all occupied, and by this 
tmie, although those who remained in the Valley did find 


their pumping a good deal harder than it was when all 
who used the water joined in the work, yet every one had 
become so accustomed to some people using the reservoir 
water without doing any pumping that it had come to be 
considered all right, and still there were no complaints. 
Meanwhile, the people on the Hill of Prosperity having 
nothing to do but enjoy the prospect, some of them began 
to explore the neighboring country, and soon discovered 
another valley at the foot of the Hill, running parallel with 
the Valley of Industry, and called the Valley of Idleness, 
and in it were a few people who had wandered from the 
former Valley (for the two were connected at the farther 
end), and who were living in an abject misery, with no 
water, and apparently no means of getting any, so long 
as they stayed where they were. The people from the 
Hill of Prosperity were very much shocked at the suffering 
they found. "Wliat a shame !" they cried. "The poor 
things have no water ! We have plenty and to spare, 
so let us lead a pipe from the reservoir down into their 
Valley." No sooner sa-id than done ; the pipe was carried 
into the Valley of Idleness, and the people were made more 
comfortable. But as soon as the news was brought into 
the Valley of Industry, some of the pumpers who were 
tired or weak, and some who were only lazy, left their 
pumping, and hastened into the neighboring Valley, to 
enjoy the free water ; but the pipe was not very large, 
and soon there was want and suffering again, and the 
people from Prosperity Hill were much disturbed, and 
decided to lay down another small pipe, which they did. 
But the result was the same, for the new supply of water 



attracted more people from the Valley of Industry. 
And so it went on, new pipe, more people, new pipe, more 
people, until the inhabitants of Prosperity Hill were full 
of distress about it, and exclaimed, "It seems a hopeless 
tav«k to try to make these people happy and comfortable ! " 
And they would have given up in despair, but a new idea 
occurred to them; and they said, "They do not seem to 
know how to take very good care of their children, and we 
will therefore take their children from them, and teach 
them to be comfortable and happy." So they built large, 
fine houses for the children, and they carried water in 
large pipes into the houses. And some of them said, "Let 
us put faucets, so as to teach them to turn on the water 
when they need it," But others said: "Oh, no! How 
troublesome it is to have to turn a faucet when you need 
water f Let them have it as we do, free. " And sometimes 
one or other would suggest that, after all, perhaps it was 
not quite right to waste so much of the water from the 
reservoir, and that the large pipe itself, which supplied 
the Hill of Prosperity, ought to have some means of check- 
ing the flow; but the answer was, "It is necessary and 
right that the water should be wasted ; for otherwise the 
people in the Valley of Industry would have nothing to 
do, and they would starve." Usually, however, the Pros- 
perity Hill people were too much engaged in taking care 
of the inhabitants of the Valley of Idleness to give much 
thought to those of the Valley of Industry; and their 
anxiety was quite justified, for they had to keep up a per- 
petual watchfulness, the people increasing so fast that it 
was necessary constantly to lay more pipe to keep them 

-11 !'. 

>■ !.'' 




r ■ 


from the most abject suffering, and even this device never 
succeeded for very long, as I have said. 

In fact, no one thought much about the Valley of 
Industry, or its people. Those in the Valley of Idleness 
only thought of them long enough to reflect how silly 
they were to keep on pumping all the time and making 
their backs and arms ache, when they might have water 
without any exertion, by simply moving into their Valley. 
The children born in the Valley of Idleness did not even 
know there was a Valley of Industry, or any pumps, or 
any pumpers, or any reservoir ; they thought the water 
grew in pipes, and ran out because it was its nature to. 
As for the people on the Hill of Prosperity, they were, as 
we have seen, rather confused in their views in this par- 
ticular ; and, besides thinking that their waste of the water 
from the reservoir was what kept the people in the Valley 
of Industry from starving, they used also to say some- 
times : "How good it is for those people to have such nice, 
steady work to do ! How strong it makes their backs and 
arms ! How it hardens their muscles ! What a nice, in- 
dependent set of people they are ! And what a splendid 
quantity of pure, life-giving water they get out of our 
reservoir !" 

Meanwhile, you can imagine, though they could not, 
that it was rather hard on the men in the Valley of 
Industry, not only to have the water they pumped up 
drawn off at the top to supply two other communities, 
but also to have thehr own ranks thmned and their work 
increased by the loss of those who were tempted into the 
Valley of Idleness, to live on what the Prosperity Hill 



people and the Valley of Idleness people liked to 
call euphemistically free water, because they got it 
free, though actually it was not free at all; for the 
Valley of Industry people paid for it with their blood 
and muscle. 

I might go on to tell you how the situation was still 
further complicated and made harder for them, and indeed 
for almost every one, when a few of them obtained con- 
trol of the inexhaustible subterranean springs ; but here, 
I think, the allegory may end for the purposes of this Con- 
ference, and it seems to me to teach a lesson which we 
may well heed. 

I have so far considered only the effect of relief upon the 
character of the recipient, from the point of view of the 
public welfare and the mjury done to the community, as 
a whole, by the lowering of the producing power, the energy 
and industry of its members. This view is the most im- 
portant ; but because of its very importance, because it 
deals with the welfare of the whole community, it is not 
apt to appeal so strongly to our sympathies as considera- 
tions which affect individuals, and I shall therefore turn 
now to the effect on individual men and women of pre- 
senting to them the temptations of relief. You will ob- 
serve that I no longer say public relief ; for I do not wish 
here to discriminate between public and private relief, 
the evil effects upon the individual man or woman receiv- 
ing any relief, as distinguished from the help of friends, 
being about equal. We have seen that it is not in human 
nature to refuse any gift which comes hampered by no 


■'! • 



disagreeable or dishonorable conditions; we have seen 
also that energy and the power of self-support must be 
diminished, as are all other faculties, by disuse; and, 
these two statements being accepted as facts, it follows 
that no greater injury can be done to a human being 
whose whole success and happiness in life consist in 
his power of exerting himself and supporting himself, 
than to tempt him by the offer of gifts, which will not 
support him, but which will lead him to suppose that 
he need not support himself, and therefore will induce 
him to give up the use of his self-supporting faculties. 
Can anything more certain be devised for destroying 
manhood ? 

As it is now given, relief seems to have all the disad- 
vantages it possibly can have, and none of the advantages. 
It serves to weaken the character, to excite the gambling 
spirit, the recklessness and extravagance which come of 
chance gains; but it does not give the quiet and peace, 
the power to live for worthier objects than mere physical 
support, which an assured income supplies, while it also 
destroys all the incentive to activity, energy and in- 
dustry which are usually supplied by the struggle to 
make a living. 

I am becoming more and more strongly convinced that 
the giving of relief in the manner which is now the custom 
is a cruel injury to those who receive it, both because it 
does produce such ruin of all the faculties which constitute 
what we call character, and also because it offers what to 
any but a heroic nature must be an overwhelming tempta- 



Wlien we consider the hardships, the struggles, the suffer- 
ings of the mass of those who are commonly called the 
working people, of those who earn from day to day the 
support of themselves and their families, when we remem- 
ber how much hard work it takes to earn one dollar, and 
often how hard it is even to get the hard work to do, and 
then think of the reckless way in which a dollar is given 
here, there and everywhere, often simply for the asking, 
can we wonder that many succumb to the temptation to 
ask ? The contempt for charity (I hate to so debase the 
beautiful word, but that is the use to which it has come) 
which the mass of honest and hardworking people most 
fortunately feel is their only shield and defence against the 
temptation so constantly held out to them ; but the tempta- 
tion is potent enough to decoy its thousands within the 
baleful influence of relief-getting, and, once under the 
spell, the salvation of the victim seems impossible, for 
the rewards are too great on that side and the struggle too 
severe on this. Imagine a poor, sickly woman, with little 
children to support. By hard work, which makes her back 
and head ache to the limit of endurance, she may earn a 
dollar a day, and keep her children from starvation. By 
asking for relief, by begging from door to door, she can 
make more in one day than a week's work will bring. 
Except for her pride, except for her self-respect, what can 
weigh with her in favor of the badly paid work as against 
the well-paid begging ? Has any human being the right, 
instead of going to her assistance in her extremity, so to 
tempt her to degradation ? Or imagine the man who by 
a month's work can earn fifty or sixty dollars. He has a 


4< J 


sick wife. He has three or four little children. He knows 
there is plentyof money in the hands of benevolent persons. 
He writes a letter, setting forth his straits. He receives 
S25 in return. Can that man ever again be free from the 
temptation to gain another $25 by the writing of another 
letter, instead of spending twelve weary days in getting 
it ? You see, these people are not in comfortable circum- 
stances. They cannot have what they want, often not 
what they need, even by maldng all the exertion of which 
they are capable. Then, if to them comes the tempta- 
tion to get it all without any exertion, is it not, as I 
have said, heroic, if they resist, and is it possible that 
any one with a heart and a conscience and an imagina- 
tion can be wilUng to stand as the tempter where the 
temptation is so dire and the results of giving way mean 
moral ruin? 

It seems imnecessary to say that, if it were a question of 
giving an income sufficient to live decently upon to certain 
persons for life, the moral effect would not be so bad, 
would often not be bad at all ; but the trouble here is as 
to the choice of the favored persons and the danger of in- 
definitely enlarging the number of pensioners until the 
resources for their support and for the support of the com- 
munity as a whole are brought so low as to cause extended 
and general suffering, and therefore, the only way for the 
public to supply any such comfortable hving is to supply 
it under conditions which so far detract from or at least 
counterbalance its comfort as to make the number of per- 
sons ready to accept it self-limited. As to what may and 
ought to be done in this direction by those persons who. 



having a large share of the goods of this world, are 
called upon to help those who have less, I can only 
say that I think there are many poor, feeble, suffer- 
ing women now struggling for their daily bread, whom 
it would be a very desirable thing to supply with an 
income sufficient to keep them in comfort to the end 
of their lives, and that the injury to their characters 
would be no more and no other than the injury of 
resting in comfort to the characters of the many strong 
and happy women who now live on incomes which they 
do not earn. 

Finally, the real condemnation of reUef-giving is that 
it is material, that it seeks material ends by material 
means, and therefore must fail, in the nature of things, 
ever to attain its own ends. For man is a spiritual 
being, and, if he is to be helped, it must be by spiritual 
means. As Mazzini has said: "The human soul, not 
the body, should be the starting-point of all our labors, 
since the body without the soul is only a carcass ; while 
the soul, wherever it is found free and whole, is sure to 
mould for itself such a body as its wants and vocation 

Those who claim that relief must be given, even though 
it does destroy the character, because without it they fear 
that there may be physical suffering, besides forgetting 
the fact that it makes more suffering than it ciu-es, forget 
also the awful question : 

"What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world 
and lose his own soul ? Or what shall a man give in ex- 
change for his soul?" 



-. : 




Poverty and its Relief: the Methods Possible in 
THE City of New York^ 

Wherever any body of Americans interested in the 
question of poverty and its relief meet together this spring, 
the first thing they should do is to rejoice. During the 
winter of 1893-1894 we were forced by the emergency to 
do many things which seemed to us dangerous, and we 
dreaded to meet in the winter of 1894-1895 the evil con- 
sequences of our actions ; but from all the cities comes the 
same report, — the evil consequences have not ensued. 
This means that we did the good we meant to do and did 
not do the harm we feared we were doing. It means that 
our earnest desire not to hurt the souls of those in need, 
while we helped their bodies, was so strong and so genuine 
that our influence upon them was good ; and it may well 
give us renewed faith both in human nature and in the 
spirit in which we have tried to do our work. I believe 
the secret was that we did care more for the souls and 
characters of the people we tried to help than for their 
bodies, and that we did therefore treat each one as an 
individual person ; and, even though we had to deal with 
hundi-eds, we never lumped them and treated them whole- 
sale as a class. 

It has been most remarkable that the people, hard 
pressed as they have been again this winter, have not suc- 
cumbed to the temptation to turn for help where they got 
it so freely last year. The Secretary of the University 
Settlement in New York, who himself gave out hundreds 

'In "Proceedings of the National Conference of Charities and 
Correction " held in New Haven, Connecticut, May 24-30, 1895. 


of relief-work tickets in 1893 and 1894, and who watched 
carefully the special relief-work given from the Settlement 
to the striking cloak-makers this winter, said he found 
only six of last year's applicants among the five hundred 
who came this year. At the Charity Organization Society 
District Offices, where relief-work tickets were also dis- 
tributed in 1893 and 1894, there has been this year the 
same remarkable absence of applications from those who 
were helped then. 

And, as I have said, the account is the same from other 
sources. To take only three of the largest societies in 
New York : 

The number of "cases treated" by the United Hebrew 
Charities during the first three months of the years 1894 
and 1895 was as follows : 

1894 1895 

January 3,625 4,447 

February 4,175 3,449 

March 4.592 2,997 

12,392 10,893 

The number of applicants to the Association for Im- 
proving the Condition of the Poor during the same period 

^^- 1894 1895 

January 4,797 3,883 

February 5,560 3,539 

March 5,021 2.920 

15,378 10.342 

and the number of applicants to the Charity Organization 

^""''^^y- ^891 _189^ 

January 5,091 2.569 

February 4,651 2,317 

March 4,005 2,230 

13,747 7,106 

3 i 

■I r- 





•ft !^ 



Thus, as I have said, we do well to rejoice ; for a great 
danger has been escaped and a great lesson has been 

I But let me make now a practical apphcation of the lesson 
learned, and try to sketch the rough outlines of a plan by 
which, in ordinary times, people in distress may be helped 
physically without bemg hurt morally. 

To turn to the special field assigned me. New York City, 
the problem of reUef in New York is the same as in other 
large cities, — how to provide such help as is needed for 
the people who belong in the city without attracting to 
it persons from outside, and how to help effectively such 
of these last as do come. 

The problem would be simple enough if there were only 
a given number of people in the city suffering from poverty 
and want, which number could not be increased, and could 
be decreased by every individual lifted out of misery; 
but the truth is the exact opposite to this. While the 
conditions continue which bring people to distress, while 
the great city attracts from all quarters and corrupts those 
who come, the suffering and misery will continue, no mat- 
ter how many are relieved. 

It is not only or chiefly selfishness wliich should lead 
every large city to dread an influx of the homeless and 
unemployed ; for, in the nature of things, little can be 
done for them which will not finally be more of an injury 
than a benefit both to them and to others. The natural 
attraction of the city is felt not only by the most intelli- 
gent and energetic of country men and women, who rightly 
believe that their chances of rising are infinitely greater in 



the metropolis than at home, but by the happy-go-lucky, 
who hope that something will turn up every time they 
make a change, and by the purely lazy or vicious. 

Every charity, notwithstanding the best efforts of 
those who conduct it, adds to this attraction ; and the 
result is sad beyond expression. 

As Edward Denison said thirty years ago : 

"A prominent characteristic of our social economy, and 
a main cause of its unsatisfactory condition, is the igno- 
rant rush of population from the villages and smaller 
towns toward the great industrial centres. ... It will be 
objected that, if the people flock to the towns, it is be- 
cause they find themselves better off there than in the 
country. But do they ? My complaint is that the rush 
is an ignorant rush, which carries its dupes over the 
precipice into the gulf of pauperism, of crime, of disease, 
of starvation, of despair. ..." 

The problem is to drain a poisonous marsh into which 
run streams of pure water to be polluted in its depths. 
Shall pumps be applied to suck out the poisonous stuff 
and suck in still larger floods of fresh water to absorb the 
deadly miasm, and so create an unending task of pumping, 
or shall the streams be cut off? 

Practically, what solution of the problem do I propose ? 

That the chronically homeless and unemployed shall 
be dealt with almost entirely by a system of public relief, 
the exception being made only in favor of such private 
relief agencies as will bind themselves to take sole care, 
and permanent care, of such individuals as they undertake 
to deal with at all, — to provide home and work and educa- 
tion and religious teaching for them. 



■> - 

■■v " 


The public relief I advocate would consist of three 
stages : the first, a decent lodging place, where cleanliness 
and strict order and discipline should be enforced, and 
where, at the discretion of the pubUc authorities, men or 
women might remain from one to seven days, while ar- 
rangements for their permanent disposal could be made ; 
second, a farm school, where a training lasting from six 
months to two years should be given to fit its inmates for 
country work and country life ; and, third, what General 
Booth has called "an asylum for moral idiots," where men 
and women who have proved themselves incorrigible shall 
be shut away from harming themselves and others. As 
General Booth says, "It is a crime against the race to 
allow those who are so inveterately depraved the freedom 
to wander abroad, infect their fellows, prey upon society 
and multiply their kind." 

I fear that to many my scheme of public relief will seem 
harsh and cruel; but I believe it to be far more kind than any 
other, both to the unhappy beings themselves, who are now 
by mistaken leniency lured into a life which surely leads to 
physical and moral death, and to the community at large. 

Having now described what I think public relief should 
do for the chronically homeless and unemployed, I 
must take up the question of how private charity can help 
others in distress, — really help them, I mean, — help 
their characters and their souls as well as their bodies. 

Three things are necessary : 

1. Knowledge of the facts. 

2. Adequate relief for the body. 

3. Moral oversight for the soul. 



In New York City it seems to me that we have the means 
of supplying all three, if only we would use them. 

We have the Charity Organization Society to supply 
the knowledge of the facts. We have rich relief societies 
to supply the adequate relief for the body. We have 
churches, synagogues and devoted private individuals 
who long to help, to supply the moral oversight of the soul. 
Besides these positive means of effective work, we are 
also favorably situated, because we are almost entirely 
free from the complications of public outdoor relief, which 
is reduced to a minimum in New York City. Without 
indulging in any extravagant fancy, I shall try to draw a 
picture of what might easily be done with our available 

The Charity Organization Society is, of course, one of 
the latest societies established, but it was the natural out- 
growth of the charitable effort of the city. AH those who 
were seeking to improve the condition of the poor, and to 
Uft them morally and physically, felt that they must no 
longer work independently and at cross purposes, but must 
join themselves together in some representative body, 
where delegates from all the different benevolent societies 
should meet and consult and keep constantly in touch 
with each other. For this reason the Association for 
Improving the Condition of the Poor, the German Society, 
the French Benevolent Society, the St. Vincent de Paul 
Society, the Hebrew Benevolent Society, and many others, 
upon the suggestion of the State Board of Charities, united 
to form the Charity Organization Society, — the society 
to organize charity ; and representatives from all became 



I I 


i } 

:ii ^ 




'•; . 


members of the Council, and inaugurated a system by 
which not only the societies which established this new 
society, but all others in the city, and all churches and in- 
dividuals, could get reliable knowledge of the facts about 
e\'ery individual whom they wanted to help in any way, 
thus furnishing a sure foundation upon which to base their 
plans of help. If thoroughly carried out, this would have 
three most fortunate effects. It would prevent all "over- 
lapping," since, if the names of all persons applying any- 
where for relief were sent in to the registration bureau of 
the Charity Organization Society immediately, no two 
societies and no two individuals could be helping the same 
person in ignorance of each other's action ; it would pre- 
vent deceit on the part of those needing relief, because de- 
ceit would be immediately discovered ; and it would effect 
a decided saving of money by the relief societies, partly 
because all investigation at then- own expense would be 
unnecessary, since the work is done without charge by 
the Charity Organization Society, and also because they 
would cease to give relief to those not really needing it. 

Through this saving it would be possible for them to 
give adequate relief in every case ; and this is undoubtedly 
one of the things most needed in any good system of relief, 
although it is a necessity but little recognized in prac- 
tice, even by those who most loudly advocate the value 
of relief in theory. Yet can any one really approve of 
inadequate relief ? Can any one really approve of giv- 
ing fifty cents to a man who must have five dollars, 
trusting that some one else will give the four and a half 
dollars, and knowing that, to get it, the person in distress 



must spend not only precious strength and time, but 
more precious independence and self-respect ? Is it not 
a pity that all relief societies give to so many people, and 
give so little to each ? Would it not be far better if each 
were to concentrate upon a smaller number of persons, and 
to see that each one of those was really helped, that the 
relief given to them really relieved them ? 

There are many families in every cit}-- who get relief 
(only a little to be sure, but enough to do harm) who ought 
not to have one cent, — families where the man can work, 
but will not work. The little given out of pity for his 
poor wife and children really intensifies and prolongs their 
suffering, and often prevents the man from doing his duty 
by making him beUeve that, if he does not take care of 
them, some one else will. On the other hand, there are 
many families who ought to have their whole support given 
them for a few years, — widows, for instance, who cannot 
both take care of and support their children, and yet who 
ought not to have to give them up into the blighting care 
of an institution ; and these families get nothing, or get 
so little that it does them no good at all, only serving 
to keep them also in misery and to raise false hopes, or else 
to teach them to beg to make up what they must have. 

Ought not charitable people to manage in some way to 
remedy these two opposite evils — to do more for those 
who should have more, and to do nothing for those who 
should have nothing, saving money by discriminating, and 
thus having enough to give adequate relief in all cases ? 

The knowledge which the Charity Organization Society 
can give would help societies and churches to distinguish 



more carefully than they do now between the people who 
should not have any reUef at all and those who should have 
a great deal. 

All relief-giving, however, is such an unnatural way of 

remedying the evils from which our fellow-creatures suffer 

that, even when it is necessary, as it too often is, it tends 

to pervert and injure the character of those who receive 

it. Therefore, in order to make it as little dangerous as 

possible, moral care must always go with it. Even the 

widow with the little children, if she finds that everything 

is made easy for her, may lose her energy, may even, by 

being relieved of anxiety for them, lose her love for the 

children ; and the children themselves growing up without 

feeling the necessity of exerting themselves, may be ruined. 

Therefore, a watchful friend must always be on hand to 

see that these evils do not follow \ipon the receipt of the 

physical help which must be given ; and this friend ought 

logically to come from one of the reUgious bodies, and 

ought to have a special training to prepare him or her for 

this work of moral oversight. Already in some churches 

in New York there are bodies of visitors who receive such 

training. There are also small bodies of visitors in the 

various districts into which the Charity Organization 

Society has divided the city ; but these bodies of visitors 

are far too small, and the districts are far too large. 

Instead of eleven district committees there should be 
forty local centres, whether established by the Charity Or- 
ganization Society or otherwise it matters very little; 
but in each of these local centres committees should be 
formed, and here delegates from all the local charities and 



from churches should meet each week or oftener to consult 
together, not only as to the welfare of the whole of their re- 
spective districts, seeking always to make the work of the 
various societies and churches as effective as possible by 
thorough cooperatjpn, but also to consider and consult 
as to the best means of helping any person or family in 
distress, who had applied for help or about whom any one 
came to ask advice. To these meetings should also come 
any individual who is especially interested in trying to 
help and raise families of unworthy and shiftless and 
disreputable character, and they should receive such 
advice and assistance as the members of the committees, 
from their study of such matters, ought to be exception- 
ally competent to give. Thus, in the case of a person ap- 
plying to any church society for assistance, the regular 
course pursued should be as follows : First, all the particu- 
lars known should be sent to the Charity Organization Soci- 
ety, and a thorough investigation requested. Then, upon 
receiving all the information as to the person concerned 
that could be supplied in this way, if it were found that no 
one had the care of the family, the church should appoint 
an especially intelligent and sympathetic man or woman 
to take the moral oversight ; and he should at once go to 
the district committee meeting nearest to his own house, 
lay the facts before the committee, and ask their advice 
and help. If physical relief were required, the best 
source from which to obtain it would be pointed out; 
and, in any event, the visitor would at least have the ad- 
vantage of talking over the possible ways of helping, and 
would get encouragement from the experience of persons 






who were constantly considering the needs of just such 

In regard to physical relief to able-bodied men and 
women the experience of 1893-1894 would seem to show 
that, while relief-work as a regular annual means of giving 
relief would probably be very bad for the community as a 
whole and be encouraging the less efficient and energetic 
workers to depend on it, yet its influence on the character 
of the individual may be good, and if very carefully 
guarded, it may be the best means of giving such relief 
as is absolutely necessary and inevitable. 

But I do not wish to be supposed to be presenting an 
ideal relief system. There is no ideal system of relief. 
For relief-giving by system is an evil ; and even though a 
necessary evil, as at the present stage of our social de- 
velopment it seems to be, yet the only ideal in connection 
with it is that it may in time render itself or be rendered 
unnecessary. I think no one yet knows how this can 
be done; but the means by which we shall reach the 
knowledge of how to do it I believe to be evident, and that 
is by the patient and careful study by educated men and 
women who go to live as neighbors of the poor workers 
in the crowded parts of the city, of the actual people who 
must be helped and of the conditions that must be changed. 
The fact that such educated neighbors can do a great 
deal to make those around them happier and better is 
self-evident ; for, however wonderfully the overruling 
and omnipotent "Power that makes for Righteou.sness '^ 
may turn what seem to us fatal surroundings into a means 
of grace to the human soul, yet there are many ways in 

•' ?■ 



which pleasure and beauty can be brought to toilers in 
swarming tenement houses by those who have had larger 
opportunities. In daily intercourse with the children, with 
the bo3'-s and girls, and with the young men and women, 
much can be done to awaken nobler ambitions and create 
higher ideals. But, important as this personal work is, 
I do not think it the most important work to be done. 
The chief value, to my mind, of the colonizing of the 
more highly educated and, from a worldly standpoint, 
more favored individuals among those who hve in densely 
crowded neighborhoods, and work hard for a good part of 
every twenty-four hours, is that they come to know them, 
to know their lives and to know their needs, and can report 
them to the people who have the power to supply what is 

Experts are required now in every field. Most people 
have not time to attend to more than their own immediate 
surroundings and business. So many things press for 
attention that much which is of the greatest importance 
is pushed aside, and therefore it is necessary that each 
part of the pubhc weal should be especially studied by 
those who devote themselves to personal observation and 
the collection of facts ; and such students and collectors 
of facts in sociology are, or ought to be, the men and 
women who take up their residence among the plain 
people, as Lincoln called them, and observe their daily 
life near at hand and all day long and every day. 

The reason charity, so called, although it is sad to 
degrade a beautiful word, is so often discredited, and 
more often so discreditable, is that it has usually worked 


1 b 



without any knowledge of this daily life. It has kept 
out of the way of it, and has tried in a feeble and ineffectual 
manner to deal with the broken fragments, the failures, 
thrown out by it. When men and women have broken 
down because of long hours of overwork and horribly 
bad surroundings to work in, charity has put them into 
hospitals, and has either never thought or said anything 
about the causes of the breakdown, or it has complacently 
remarked that it was a pity that such conditions were 
necessary for business reasons. 

When charity has found men and women drunkenX 
and shiftless and unable to care for their children, charity \ 
has taken their children away from them, and has said l 
"That's the way poor people are" ; but it has not asked |^ 
why they are so or tried to prevent their being so. 

When girls have gone wrong and boys have stolen, 
charity has provided refuges for the girls and has put the 
boys into prison, and has talked as if such ruin of lives, 
and what looks like ruin of souls, were inevitable, never 
even wondering what other outlet for the natural love of 
pleasure and adventure, so carefully provided for in the 
case of other boys and girls, there was for these boys 

and girls. 

Now, that is all changed or is changing ; and it js, I 
believe, because men and women are learning the actual 
life of the mass of workers who do not break down, but who 
only die ; who are not drunken and shiftless, but who lead 
lives of such heroic self-sacrifice and devotion as we cannot 
lead because the demand is not made on us, and of the 
lives of the boys and girls, who grow up brave and pure 




through and in the midst of circumstances which, as I 
have said, seem to us fatal. 

But, notwithstanding all the virtues and all the heroism 
of the mass of the people, they do need and ought to have 
a great many things they do not have, and the whole 
community ought to help them to get them ; but the first 
step toward helping them to get them is to know exactly 
what they need, and this knowledge the residents in 
college settlements and the individual residents in tenement 
houses must get for us. They must report the neglect of 
the city government to do its duty, whether as street- 
cleaners, as police or as educators. They must report the 
oppression of employers, whether the oppression be the re- 
sult of individual carelessness or, as is often the case, the 
result of trade conditions. They must cry aloud for more 
air, more space, for a larger and better life in every way 
for the great masses of men and women in our cities. 

Not only does self-interest require that we help to 
lift our fellow-men, to make them useful citizens, law- 
abiding, and industrious, but no one can escape re- 
sponsibility for the intellectual and moral development 
of the race. As Drummond says : 

"The directing of part of the course of evolution has 
passed into the hands of man. A spectator of the drama 
for ages, too ignorant to know that it was a drama, and 
too impotent to do more than play his little part, . . . 
Nature meant him to become a partner in her task, and 
share the responsibility of the closing acts. It is not given 
him as yet to bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades or 
to unloose the bands of Orion. In part only can he make 
the winds and the waves obey him or control the falling 





rain But in a far grander sphere and in an infinitely 

profounder sense has the sovereignty passed to him. For 
he finds himself the guardian and the arbiter of his per- 
sonal destiny and of that of his fellow-men . The moulding 
of his life and of that of his children's children m measure 

lies with him He shapes the path of progress for 

his country and his time. The evils of the world are 
combated by his remedies, its passions are stayed, its 
wrongs redressed, its energies for good or evil directed 
by his hand. For unnumbered millions he opens or 
shuts the gates of happiness, and paves the way for 
misery or social health. Never before was it known and 
felt with the same solemn certainty that man . . . must 
be his own maker and the maker of the world." 

Chaeity Problems 1 

What is the ideal of charity ? It is the good Samaritan, 
who took infinite pains to help one stranger whom he 
chanced upon by the way, and if every one should be 
neighborly in this sense to any one who falls into distress 
and comes naturally into his life, no one would have to go 
about hunting for people to help, or, in other words, 
there would be no need of "chanties" 

Charity is not an occupation ; it is not even a piece of 
life. It is life. It pervades all relations. A man cannot 
be charitable and yet overwork and underpay his em- 
ployee; a woman cannot be charitable and yet browbeat 
and scorn her servants or back-bite her acquaintances. 

If the nature is charitable, it will show itself in charity to 
all, rich and poor alike. If the nature is uncharitable, 
to 'be a member of twenty boards, to know all about the 
1 Published ia the CharUies Review, Jauuary, 1896. 



dangers of pauperizing and the advantages of organized 
charity, \vill not make it otherwise, but will probably 
intensify the hardnass. And because charities are con- 
founded with charity, because to be connected with 
charities does in some unaccountable manner satisfy the 
conscience which thus fails to feel its own selfishness and 
cruelty, are among the reasons why charities do inter- 
fere with true charity. It seems often as if charities 
were the insult which the rich add to the injuries which 
they heap upon the poor. But people usually are not to 
blame for substituting charities for charity, at least 
not entirely to blame. They do not see the world as it is 
because they have not been brought up to do so, and not 
having much imagination, they do not for themselves 
discover the truth, and it is necessary to understand the 
facts if this error is to be avoided. 

The facts are that the great mass of the population in 
any community is working hard to keep that community 
alive. They work primarily for themselves, but they 
work also for all the idlers, who, though they do nothing 
to keep themselves alive, yet are kept ali\-e and are fed 
and clothed, some at but little expense per head to the 
workers, and others at a large expense per head. Of course 
it is this great mass of men and women who work who 
ought to be the objects of charity, of love, partly because 
they are the great mass, partly because they are the 
workers, partly because their lives are very hard and 
could be made much easier by a Mttle charity, even by a 
very little thought, on the part of their fellow-men. 
Strangely enough, however, this great mass of the people, 



these men who work all night in cellars to give us our 
daily bread, these men who bring the milk and the vege- 
tables to us every day, these men who dig out from dark 
caverns the coal that warms us, who, by their faithfulness 
and intelligence, carry us safely on thundering railway 
trains, to whose watchfulness we confide our Uves without 
a thought ; these women who cook for us and wait upon 
us and clothe us; all these men and women without 
whom we could not Uve in comfort for one day, without 
whom we could not live at all for one month, we forget. 
We seldom think of them at all, unless we are forced to. 
When they undertake to seek some slight improvement 
in their lot, we have to think of them, but it is with some- 
thing of the feeling, perhaps, which the slaveholder felt 
upon hearing of an insurrection of slaves. Their hard- 
ships, their suffering, their weary bones and aching heads 
are nothing to us ; we accept all the benefits they confer 
on us and never even give them a thought, far less our 
love, our charity. 

They usually do not complain or ask for sympathy, 
and they seldom receive any. They struggle and work, 
they live and die, and very few people trouble themselves 
about them, little reahzing that instead of helping them, 
they are often sadly hindering them, and even adding 
to their hardships by their vain efforts to help an entirely 
different set of people — the people who are the "benefi- 
ciaries of charities." These are the poor idlers, the 
failures, the broken-down men and women who could not 
stand the strain of the working Ufe because of some special 
weakness either of body or mind or character. These 




people do appeal to charity, they do ask for help, 
they do enlarge upon their distress; and though, as I 
have said, to try to help them, though vainly, often re- 
sults in increase of suffering to the great mass of men and 
women who work, j'et charities still continue and still 
are supported by thoughtless people who pride themselves 
on their kindheartedness. This harm is done in various 
ways. Charities sometimes tempt their beneficiaries 
to idleness, and sometimes they do not. In the first case 
the harm done is directly to the persons so tempted, who 
thus lose character, independence, and the means of self- 
support, and indirectly only to the mass of the workers, 
who thereby have a larger number of idlers to support, 
while their own numbers are also diminished by deser- 
tions to the ranks of the idlers. 

On the other hand, the charities which do not tempt 
to idleness often do not do much harm and sometimes even 
do good to the persons they undertake to help, while 
they do a great deal of injury to large bodies of workers. 
This harm is done by giving relief in aid of wages, as 
it is technically called ; that is, by giving small sums to 
persons who, in consequence, are enabled to work for less 
wages than they otherwase could live on, so that they, 
competing for work, underbid other workers, and gradu- 
ally, if their number is large enough, and unfortunately 
a very few comparatively can produce this effect, bring 
down the wages for all the workers in their particular 

A simple illustration will show how this happens. Let 
us imagine a small town where twenty women go out to 


-5^ i: 


scrub at $L50 a day, for four days a week, having a hard 
time, of course, but managing to live. Some charitable 
ladies in this town, full of conomiseration for four or five of 
these women whom they employ, think it would be kind 
to get up a charitable society to help them. Strangely 
enough, it does not occur to them that perhaps the best 
way to help them would be to pay $2 for scrubbing. No, 
that would "raise wages," which to some people seems the 
wickedest thing in the world ; but a charitable society 
founded on the most approved modern lines, which will 
not " pauperize" these poor women, is exactly the thing ; 
so it is organized, and each woman can get $2 worth of 
sewing a week, to be paid for from the funds of the society. 
What will probably happen ? There being some competi- 
tion for the scrubbing, the women who secure the relief 
work offer to do scrubbing at $1.25 a day instead of 
$1.50; the ladies, charitable and others, are not loath 
to pay less than formerly, and employ those who 
work the cheapest ; then gradually, the others are told 
by their employers that Mrs. So-and-So works for $1.25 
and they must do the same, and so the result is that the 
women who scrub and also do charity sewing, instead of 
earning $6 a week as formerly, earn $7, while the rest, who 
only scrub, earn $5 instead of $6. That is, instead of 
$120 paid in wages each week to twenty women, the 
twenty women get $110 a week, of which $100 is wages 
earned for real work and $10 is money paid for reUef 
work, and the good of the extra dollar a week to the five 
charity workers is but a poor offset to the loss of a dollar 
a week to the other fifteen women. 



Nor is it likely that the harm mil end here. For prob- 
ably the number getting charity work will increase and the 
wages go still lower until they are all working at scrubbing 
at II a day and getting $2 worth of sewing a week, which 
would mean that each woman earned, as before, $6 a week, 
but it would be $4 in wages and $2 for relief work; 
that is, there would be $80 paid in wages each week 
for the same amount of scrubbing as formerly, and $40 
m relief, the gain to the women being nothing, the loss 
being the added work of sewing besides the loss of indepen- 

This is no hypothetical case ; it is exactly what happened 
all over England from 1792 to 1834, during the years 
when relief in aid of wages was given to all working 
men from the public funds until wages were brought 
down so low that there were no working people in England 
who were not also paupers. 

But although charities are dangerous, especially the 
large charities which attract all the weak and the incom- 
petent to depend on them, charity is necessary, and also 
some kinds of charities. Charity must feel for the great 
world of working men and women, must earnestly desire 
their welfare, listen to their wrongs, and do its best 
to help them in their efforts to shorten their hours of 
work and increase their wages, never forgetting also that 
nothing will really help them which does not also help to 
raise their characters, to make them more honest, more 
industrious, more intelligent. 

Charity must be extended to a man's own immediate 
employees and to all who work for him, to servants, 


clerks, saleswomen, and demands consideration for their 
welfare, their health, their feelings. Educational chari- 
ties are always good. Too much money and time and 
thought cannot be given to teaching of all kinds— knowl- 
edge to the ignorant, wisdom to the foolish, skill to the 
helpless, goodness to the wicked, that is, in teaching 
people to be and to do something. Emerson says : "He 
who gives me something does me a low benefit ; he who 
teaches me to do something of myself does me a high 


Finally, it is necessary to protest against a most lament- 
able misunderstanding of what is called organized charity ; 
people suppose it to mean apparently that they are 
each to put a little money into a machine, and that 
from this machine there will come out a great quantity 
of money, which will be wisely and kindly distributed 
to a great many people. They do not pause to consider 
how wisdom and kindness are to be developed by a 
machine or to reflect that these attributes can be exer- 
cised only by human beings in their relations to human 
beings. Organized charity means, in fact, only that 
charity,, real charity, love, if it is meant to reach stran- 
gers, those outside the natural lines of our own lives, 
must be organized, that is, must be properly ordered, 
because if not, if it be disorganized and disorderly, it 
will do harm where it was meant to do good in the ways 
already described. 

Organization does not dispense with human sympathy. 
It only prepares the way for it. As a system of water 
works in a city does not make the life-giving water unneces- 



ary, but only offers a means by which it shall reach 
those who need it, so a system of organized charity 
merely provides the means by which sympathy and the 
desire to do good may bring hfe and hope to the desolate 
and oppressed. It relieves the charitable of no duty 
It only makes their duty more imperative, because clearer 
and more effective. 

The True Aim of Charity Organization Societies ^ 
A Charity Organization Society means a society for 
orgamzmg charity; it means the attempt to put intelli- 
gence and order in the place of ignorance and chaos. 
The first society of the kind was estabUshed in London in 
1869 by men and women who had spent their whole lives 
m worldng for the poor in London, and who, having given 
time and thought and life to the work, had become con- 
vinced that they were not doing any good, but on the con- 
trary were doing harm. They found that they were 
working at cross-purposes; that those in one part of 
London were ignorant of what was being done in the 
other parts; and they came to the conclusion that what 
was needed was more intelligence, not more feeling and 
heart; that earnest workers who were tiying to help 
those m distress should come together, compare notes, 
and help each other to accomplish their common purposes 
Ihe example of London was followed by Buffalo in 
1877, and later by Philadelphia, Boston, New York and 
other cities, and there are now about one hundred and 



ten societies in the United States that work on this prin- 
ciple of associated charity. The idea has never been 
that a new society should be formed to do new work, 
but that the existing societies should unite to do their 
work better and accomplish their primary object — the 
helping of people in distress. 

The cause of the great difference in the new way of 
doing the old work in London was that the men and 
women who established the Charity Organization Society 
believed that poverty could be cured ; they beheved, as a 
result of their lifelong study of it, that poverty was due 
to certain causes which were removable ; and that has 
always been the fundamental distinction between the 
old and the new charity. The old charity accepted 
the idea that the distress of poverty and pauperism Is 
necessary. The new charity rejects this idea; it says 
that poverty and distress are due to certain causes which 
usually have their roots in the character of the people 
who are in distress, and therefore its great aim is to influ- 
ence the character of those whom it seeks to help. 
And if in England, where the struggle for existence is so 
much more severe than it is in the United States, men 
and women who had given their lives to charitable work 
were able to agree that the usual cause of poverty is to be 
found in some deficiency, moral, mental, or physical, in 
the person who suffers, it certainly can be accepted as 
still more generally true in this country. And this, 
which makes the daily work of charity discouraging, is, 
rightly looked at, an encouragement. If it could be said 
that there were in the United States numbers of honest, 



industrious, intelligent, and energetic people who were in 
a chronic state of distress and suffering, that would be a 
horrible situation; and yet it would be a situation which 
would make the helping of them easier and more encourag- 
ing than is the helping of the people that now have to be 
dealt with; for, since their distress is due to inherent 
faults, either physical, mental, or moral, it becomes very 
difficult to cure it. 

But besides the weaknesses which make difficult the 
helping of people who want help, there are weaknesses of 
the would-be helpers which make it far more difficult. 
The development of character is not easy. It requires a 
great deal of intelligence, patience and sympathy; and 
it requires, moreover, as a foundation, a correct concep- 
tion, not only of the people who need help at the moment, 
but of the whole population of the world in general. This 
may seem an extreme statement, but it is true. The 
theory that there are two classes of people, the rich and the 
poor, and that the rich support the poor by giving them 
work and money, is contrary to the truth ; and those who 
hold that view are incapacitated from being of very much 
use to their fellow-men. 

The fact is that the population of the world is divided 
into two classes, two very important classes, but poverty 
and riches are not the distinction between them. The 
distinction is one of character and life. The workers 
and the idlers constitute the two classes into which 
human beings are divided. The workers are those who 
usefully serve their fellow-men; and they are workers, 
whatever be their occupation, if this condition of useful 


■■z X 


service is complied with. They may spend all night 
mixing bread ; they may lie for ten hoiu-s every day on 
their backs in the dark, hundreds of feet under ground, 
picking out coal ; they may set type all night in a news- 
paper office ; they may sew all day, or wait on table, or 
wash clothes, or cook, or run errands; they may plan 
railroads; they may superintend factories; they may 
write poems ; they may sing, or act, or preach, or teach ; 
they are always workers, if what they do is of use to the 
world. The idlers are the people w;ho live on the workers. 
They may be rich or they may be poor ; and one peculiar- 
ity of the poor idler is usually absolute degeneration of 
character. It is a sad fact that a worker is easily converted 
into an idler, and it is this fact which makes the attempt to 
help unfortunate people so difficult a matter. The truth 
is that, looked at from a temporal amd material poijit of 
view, the mass of the world's workers have a hard time of 
it. There is little room for enjoyment, often no room 
for self-culture, for the common worker. He has to forego 
many of the pleasures and some of M^hat many people 
call the necessaries of life; and often the uncommon 
worker, the captain of industry, or the genius in any de- 
partment of work, has also to toil terribly, as Sir Walter 
Raleigh puts it. To the uncommon worker, the genius 
whose high intelligence and noble nature enable him to 
see the real value of things, to live laborious days is 
not a hardship, and he cannot be tempted by the offer of 
any of the lower pleasures to give up what is in reality the 
highest fimction of his nature. But alas ! the common 
mass of men and women is not made of such stuff. They 



seem to need the pressure of necessity to force them to 
exercise their faculties. 

And in the different meanings to different people of this 
word necessity is to he found, in a great degree, the cause 
of the great differences in their condition. I am ignoring, 
of course, the pressure of unjust social laws and legislative 
enactments which produce hardship and cause more 
people to become idlers than would otherwise be the 
case. But while acknowledging this unfortunate effect 
of unjust conditions, I still believe that one principal cause 
of the great differences in the material comfort of different 
classes of persons hes in their standard of living, or, in 
other words, in their view of what are the necessaries 
of life. The e.x-slave of some of the West India islands, 
where there is much common land, where the climate 
makes clothing unnecessary, and where one bread-tree 
will furnish sufficient food for a family, has so far 
lowered his standard that he desires nothing ; and so he 
plants his bread-tree, makes his hut, and will not work for 
himself or any one else, having all the necessaries of his 
life without working. Nor does the pauper work in 
those other countries where clothes are required, and 
food ready to eat does not grow on trees which can be 
had for the planting, but where food, clothing, and shelter 
can be got from the public without any unpleasant ac- 
companiments; for, although he wants more than the 
black man, still he can get all he wants without work. 
And going higher up the social ladder and coming to the 
man who wants a good house, good clothes, and good food, 
but who gets all these from his father, we find that he does 





not work for exactly the same reason that keeps the black 
man and the pauper from working. He gets aU he 
wants without working. Such being the tendency of 
human beings not to work when they can get what are to 
them necessaries without it, a high standard of hving is 
one of the most important factors in raising the condition 
of>e people. And one of the great dangers to be guarded 
against in this country is the lowering of the standard of 
living by the influx of foreigners. This also points to the 
most important service that can be done for these for- 
eigners, which is to raise their standard of living until 
they will not live in filthy tenement hoiises, or allow their 
children to go without education for the sake of the pit- 
tance that they can earn, or work for wages upon which it 
is unpossible to live decently and bring up a family to be 
healthy, intelligent and self-re.specting members of the 


Now, by this long and rather roundabout road I have 
come back to the various things which charity organiza- 
tion societies attempt to do for the people who are 
unfortunate and who need help. The object is to 
make them workers and not idlers, and to educate them 
to a higher standard of living if they happen to have a 
low one. But, in order to come to any decision as to the 
kind of help which any person or family will require, it is 
necessary first to learn to know each of them, to find 
out whether each individual is a worker or an idler, to 
know the character, history, and general tendency of 
each; and this cannot be done except by really sym- 
pathetic study. It is impossible, when they are in mis- 



(fortune, to find out the truth by a few questions. The 
desire to help them and to help them in the best way 
must be sincere, and they must believe that it is. Then, 
having learned about them, it is always necessary to re- 
member how easy it is to tempt the average human 
being to become an idler. In the case of a family where 
the misfortune is of a temporary nature, where want of 
work has brought want of bread, it does not do to take 
the course that seems so easy and natural and so right at 
first sight. It does not do to send groceries, coal, and 
clothes, recklessly pouring out before those tempted 
people what to them represents the results of two or three 
hard daj's' work, and giving them perhaps the first lesson 
in the terrible truth that it is very easy to get a hving 
without work, and this just when they are suffering 
from the torturing difficulty of getting work to make a 
living. Instead of this, it is necessary to tiy in every 
way to devise some means by which what is needed may 
be worked for by some one in the family, by the husband 
or father, if it is in any way possible. Of course, some- 
times there may be absolute destitution, requiring iimne- 
diate relief, though this is rare in any community; and 
even where this is so, it is possible, by supplying what 
is needed for one day, to gain time to think over some 
plan by which the head of the family can provide, as he 
ought to, for the next day, the next week and for all the 
weeks thereafter. 

There are many men and women who are suffering be- 
cause they are confirmed idlers, and who are idlers partly 
because they can do no work well enough to secure decent 


wages for it, and partly because they have no energy and 
no ambition ; that is, they suffer from radical deficiencies, 
both of character and education, which act and react 
upon each other, each evil only aggravating the other. 
Such people as these are the most difficult and dishearten- 
ing to help, for there seems no foundation to build upon. 
But if there are children, it does not do to turn away 
discouraged ; it does not do to take the easy course and 
supply with gifts of money and necessaries all the defi- 
ciencies left by their want of character and skill, for this 
is to educate the children in exactly the same way that 
the parents have been educated, to rely on other people, 
— to be, in a word, paupers. Such families as these will 
furnish hard work for years to any one who is sufficiently 
courageous and unselfish to undertake their care. Of 
course, the objective point is the proper education of the 
children, to make them feel the responsibilities that 
their parents never felt ; to teach them the skill that their 
parents never learned ; to give them the character their 
parents never had ; — a long, hard task, requiring courage, 
devotion, and the realizing sense that every little bit of 
improvement which may be put into the souls of those 
children is just so much gain to them for eternity. 

There are dangers that beset the work of a charity 
organization society, as there are in all other fields of 
human effort ; and one is the making a fetich of investiga-^ 
tion. Investigation of this kind is not a good thing in 
itself ; it is an catI. It is not desirable to try to learn all 
the facts about other human beings, if they do not want 
to tell them ; the only excuse for investigation is to learn 



the way to help them. Investigation is and must be one 
of the cornerstones of all the work of scientific charity, 
but the tendency to look upon it as a thing to be carried 
on almost for its own sake should be resisted, lit is an 
invasion of privacy which ought not to be undertaken 
except with the object of helping people ; that is its reason 
and justification. If a person comes a-sking help, and con- 
tinues to ask it after it has been explained that he cannot \ 
be helped unless inquiry is made into his antecedents and 
present condition, he puts himself into the hands of the 
society to be investigated, and he must be investigated, 
because he cannot be helped without that knowledge. 
What a person needs cannot be known without finding 
out what he is ; for how otherwise can one help him, give 
him what he needs or keep from him what he ought not 
to have ? The thing to be constantly kept in mind is, that 
investigation is not an end in itself nor a good thing in 
itself, but that it is the means to a good end, which is the 
helping of persons in distress. 

Still another danger is that of taking short views, of 
tliinldng only of the people in distress ; it is necessary 
to think also of the effect of what is done upon other people. 
Sometimes helping the individual may be objectionable 
because it will injure other people. For instance, it is said 
that one reason of the very low wages of working women 
m Paris, which makes it impossible for any woman to earn 
a living there by needlework, is the work that is done in 
mstitutions for poor women and sold at low rates ; that 
is, those good people who have charge of institutions for 
poor women are so possessed with a desire to maintain 



then- institutions and to teach the few women they have 
in them, that they injure thousands of working women 
for the sake of the few hundreds they have directly under 
their eyes ; and this lowering of wages is one of the most 
disastrous effects of any extended relief system. 

Another mistake is made in taking a negative position; 
in telling people not to give carelessly and selBshly, in- 
stead of teUing them that they must give carefuUy and 
thoughtfully; in constantly saying don't, instead of do. 
The societies thereby expose themselves to the charge of 
telling people that they must not help the poor, when 
their one object is to help the poor and make other peo- 
ple help them. 

The charity organization societies fail also to explain 
another important matter. It is often difficult (o under- 
stand how careless giving actually increases physical 
suffering and distress, and how it may, and often actually 
does, make people poorer. But it does so by undermining 
the independence, self-reliance, and energy of persons 
whose only capital consists in those invaluable qualities. 
It takes from them their only source of income and 
support, and does not give them enough to make up for it. 
If any one were to say, "I will pick out a certain family, 
and I will give them a hundred doUars a month for the 
rest of their natural lives,"— that would not hurt them any 
more than a hundred dollars coming from any other source. 
Such income often prevents people from working for their 
living; but it also often leaves them free to do somethmg 
that is better worth their while. The trouble with indis- 
criminate and careless giving is that it prevents people 




from making the exertion necessary for their own support, 
while it does not give them enough to hve on — only enough 
to starve on ; and by and by gets tired of giving them 
even that. If a man makes eight dollars a week and 
four are given him, and he stops making the eight, as he 
is almost sure to do, he is certainly very much poorer 
and suffers a great deal more than while he made the eight ; 
and iu the nature of things he is soon left without either. 
The aim of a charity organization society should be 
to get people to do far more in every way for those in dis- 
, tress than they have ever thought of doing. It should 
teach them that people ought to give more time, thought 
and money than they are in the habit of giving. To take 
only one example, the case of a widow with young children. 
A working man dies and leaves a Uttle money, and his' 
widow tries to get along with it and succeeds for a little 
while ; then it is gone, and she and the children are de- 
pendent. What is the usual course of things? People 
give her a httle money here, a little money there, and she 
spends almost all her time running around for the money 
until she gets to be a regular beggar, and the children beg 
and the whole family goes to destruction. People have 
given them money because, as they truly say, it was such 
a pitiful case. What ought to have been done? First, 
all the relatives should have been made to give something 
regularly ; then what the woman could have earned, with- 
out neglecting her children, should have been taken into 
consideration; and then somebody should have given 
her enough to make up the rest of her support in a decent 
way, so that the children would not have been left to starve 

> . 




and freeze or have been forced to beg. But there are very 
few people who are willing to give one woman ten dollars 
a month for ten years, diminishing it, of course, as the 
children grow older, and watching over them, all that time. 
That is the way, however, in which dependent widows 
and children should be taken care of. It is a question of 
letting them become beggars or of watching over them 
and giving them enough to make sure that the children are 
brought up properly ; the watching being more important 
and more difficult than the relief. 

Every different case of distress can be dealt with in the 
same spirit, but it is not necessary to go into details. The 
principles of the charity organization societies can be 
summed up in two texts: "Man shall not live by bread 
alone," which applies to the poor as much as to the rich , 
and "What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world 
and lose his own soul?" 

The Evils op Investigation and Relief' 

There are two fundamental axioms which every charity 
organization society established during the past twenty- 
nine years in any part of the world has tried to learn, to 
put into practice and to teach : 

1. That, in order to help any person who is in chronic 
distress, you must find out the cause of the distress. 

2. That, having found the cause, you cannot remove it, 
or cure the distress, except by careful, intelligent, patient, 
personal work. Or, to put it in other words : 

' A paper read before the Training Class ia Practical Philauthropio 
Work, June 21, 1898. Published in Charities for July, 1898. 



Assuming that the distress is a disease, in order to cure 
it yon must learn what it is and then use skill and con- 
• science in its treatment. 

Surely these are reasonable axioms, and they appear 
to be so closely connected, so mutually interdependent, 
that it seems evident that one is of no use without the 
other. That is, if you are not prepared to give careful, 
conscientious treatment, the inquiry into the causes of the 
trouble is useless, and to give careful treatment, unless 
you know what the trouble is, is sheer waste of time and 

But, notwithstanding the fact that these two hands 
of charity, so to speak, must necessarily lose their useful- 
ness and power unless they work together, there is great 
danger that this may be forgotten even by charity organi- 
zation workers themselves, since the two" functions have 
to be performed often by different individuals, and it is 
certain that the teaching of the charity organization 
societies has been misunderstood, and most grievously 
misunderstood, by many people who have adopted the 
perverted opinion that to inquire into the cause of the 
trouble afflicting a poor man or woman is in itself a good 
thing, no matter what use is made of the knowledge 
obtained, and who think that in holding this opinion and 
carrying it out they are only doing what the charity organi- 
zation societies tell them to. Therefore, it seems to me 
that all charity organization people should protest against 
this idea, than which nothing could be more false to what 
we really do believe and trj^ to practice. 
We had in New York, in the hard times of 1893 and 


1894, a most painful experience in this regard. The very 
word investigation seemed then to have been made a 
sort of shibboleth by the newspapers, and, in too many 
cases, by the ministers also. To every remonstrance 
against methods of relief-giving which were injurious to 
the character of those who were supposed to be helped 
by them, and cruel in their entire disregard of their com- 
fort, happiness, and moral and physical well-being, it 
seemed to be considered a sufficient answer to say, "All 
the cases have been thoroughly investigated," and it was 
evidently thought that this answer ought to be entirely 
satisfactory to the charity organizationists, even though 
the investigations were made, not for the purpose of fm- 
nishing guidance and knowledge for a long course of 
treatment by which weak wills might be strengthened, 
bad habits be cured and independence developed, but in 
order that a ticket might be given by means of which, 
after a long, weary waiting in the street in the midst 
a crowd of miserable people, whose poverty and beggary 
were pubUshed to every passer-by, some old clothes or 
some groceries might be got. 

Think of the destruction of self-respect, the crushing 
out of aU shame, the fostering of every unworthy feeling, 
which such an experience must result in. Yet this was 
what, in too many cases, investigations were made for dur- 
ing that winter in New York, and both newspapers and 
ministers seemed alike to accept the theorj' that so long as 
the people were found upon investigation to be worthy, 
it mattered not how much their characters were injured, 
provided only their bodies were fed, or, in other words, 

ry 1 



how thoughtlessly the work of making them unworthy 
was carried on. 

Since such dreadful results can come from a failure to 

recognize the true uses and limits of investigation, and 

since they have arisen from a misunderstanding of the 

teaching of charity organizationists, I believe it to be our 

duty to declare that investigation, in itself, is bad ; 

that the only excuse for trespassing upon the privacy of 

other human beings, for trying to learn facts in their Uves 

which tbo;y prefer should not be known, for seeking to 

discover the weak spots in their characters, for trying to 

find out what pitiful personal sorrows their nearest and 

dearest have brought upon them — the only justification, 

I say, for doing all these painful things, which are too often 

included in the single word investigation, is that the 

person in distress has asked you to help him, and that you 

mean to help him, to help his soul and not only to feed 

his miserable body, and that you cannot help him unless 

you do know all about him. 

But I must turn now to the other subject in regard to 
which the views of the Charity Organization Society have 
been almost as much misunderstood as they have been in 
regard to investigation, that is, the subject of relief. 

Relief is, equally with investigation, held by us to be an 
evil, but m our present state of society to be also a neces- 
sai-y evil. That is, we consider both to be essential, but 
both to be very dangerous, and, therefore, that both must 
be guarded and managed so as to do as much good and as 
little harm as is possible in the nature of things. 
The reason the charity organizationists have been sup- 


posed to recommend investigation in toto, and to con- 
demn relief-giving in an equally wholesale way, is because 
in every community where a charity organization society 
is started, no one, as a rule, believes in any iiort of investi- 
gation, and every one does believe in every kind of reUef, 
and, therefore, the advantage of the former has been 
dwelt on, and attempts have been made to show the dan- 
gers that are inseparable from the latter. 

When Edward Denison went to live in the East .End of 
London during the great "East End Distress," he wrote 
to a friend words to the following effect, "Every shilling 
I give away does fourpence worth of good by helping to 
keep their miserable bodies alive, and eightpence worth 
of harm by helping to destroy their miserable souls." 

I believe that this is the very best that can be said of 
relief, and of relief under the best circumstances, for this 
relief was not given by a public official sitting in his office 
and dispensing orders to persons who applied for them, 
nor was it given by the agent of a charitable society sent 
out to try to discover during a half-hour's visit whether 
a family she has never seen or heard of before requires 
relief. This relief was money given by Edward Denison 
himself, a man of exceptional intellectual and moral power, 
who was giving his life as well in trying to learn how to 
help the starving people, for whose sakes he had left 
a home of luxury and culture to live in the dreary waste of 
East London ; and it was given to people whom he knew, 
whom he was studying day and night. And if this was 
the result of his almsgiving, what must be the results of 
the common, careless reUef-giving that we know? 



Personally, I believe that relief is an evil always. 
Even when it is necessary, I beUeve it is still an evil. One 
reason that it is an evil is because energy, independence, 
industry, and self-reliance are undermined by it ; and since 
these are the qualities which make self-support and self- 
respect possible, to weaken or undermine them is a serious 
injury to inflict on any man. Self-support is the normal 
condition of all. A man who does nothing in return for his 
living, whether he hves in misery or in luxury, is despi- 
cable, but to a poor man the injury is greatest, for his power 
of self-support is his only capital ; he has absolutely noth- 
ing else to depend on ; if he is deprived of this we cannot 
give him anything to make up for what we have taken 
from him, even on the side of material well-being, while 
of the fatal moral injury done we can have no doubt on 
comparing a pauper or tramp with a self-respecting man. 
To go a step farther : besides supporting himself, a man 
ought to support his wife and children, and his indepen- 
dence is destroyed if he cannot, and to do it for him is to put 
him in an unnatural and degraded position, which, if con- 
tinued, will surely deprive him of both the desire and the 
^ ability to do his duty. If we could only thoroughly rec- 
ognize that, whatever be the cause of dependence, whether 
It be sickness, want of work, laziness or vice, the state of 
dependence is bad, and produces bad results in the 
character, which reappear as bad results in the surround- 
ings, that is, in more and more poverty and suffering — 
if, I say, we could only see and feel how baneful, morally 
and physically, dependence is, we should be so possessed 
with the dangers surrounding the giving of relief that we 


should be willing to take any pains, to suflFer ourselves, 
and even to see our poor friends suffer temporarily, for 
the sake of saving them from those fearful permanent evils. 
The trouble is that we exaggerate the importance of physi- 
cal suffering. 

But do not misunderstand me. I am talking of relief. 
Do not go away and say that I have said we must not help 
people. We must help people; we all need help, and 
always shall. Being finite beings, it is impossible to im- 
agine that, in any future existence even, we should ever 
reach a point where we should be self-sufficient and 
need no help from others. Since, then, every human being 
needs help, it is of course the duty of every human being 
to give help ; but, unhappily, we often do not know how 
to help, and there are many ways in which we can hurt 
people even when we mean to help them. It is a pleasant 
truth that the bulk of mankind is obliged, by the very 
fact of living, to help other people, whether they want to 
or not. Every one who works at what is useful to man- 
kind is helping his fellow-men every day of his Ufe. We 
do not think about it very often, but we should be badly 
off if the butchers and bakers and milkmen and brick- 
layers and tailors all stopped helping us for any length of 
time. Human beings have come to rely so entirely on 
each other for their daily means of living, that they would 
soon (that is, those of us who live in cities where we cannot 
supply our own daily wants) perish miserably if they were 
not helped to a living by others. Enamanuel Swedenborg 
makes real charity to consist in this work of supplying 
the needs of oxu- fellow-creatures by the discharge of our 



daily duty. The great mass of the men and women who 
earn their hving, whether by working with the head or 
the hands, may feel the joy of a sense of helping their 
. fellow-men ; the fact that they are paid for their work is 
proof that they are doing something that somebody wants 
done, that is, something that may be presumed to be use- 
ful. Of course, there is a very sad exception. People who 
keep saloons or gambhng houses, or other places where vice 
IS encouraged and indulged, are paid for their work and 
are supplying what some people want; but so far from 
bemg useful it is ruinous; it destroys instead of helping. 
Now, in all our attempts to help other people we must 
remember that this distinction exists : we may do for 
them what they want us to do, and yet it may be the veryV 
most cruel thing that could be done for them. We see \ 
it often in the case of parents and children. The parents 1 
give the children all they want, and instead of being 
helped they are really destroyed by it. They grow up lazy / 
selfish, shiftless, unfit for life. We see it often between 1 
sisters and brothers; the sisters will work and slave, and / 
let theu- brothers live on them; and the sisters are unsel- 
fish and noble and industrious, and the brothers are selfish 
and mean and dissipated. It may seem kmd, but can any- 
thmg be more cruel than to destroy the character, the soul 
of another person ? What is a little ease or comfort or 
pleasure worth, compared to nobility of character ? And 
yet, as I have said, parents who think they love their 
children, sisters who think they love their brothers, will, 
to give them a Uttle passing happiness, do them this great 



Now, is not this the very wrong that relief does? 
To give people a Uttle temporary physical help, and to 
please ourselves, we are willing to do an immense moral 
harm to the people we think we want to help, and also 
a great economic harm to the whole community, for relief- 
giving does without doubt encourage idleness and make 
idlers, Now, to be an idler is a very bad thing — bad 
for the man himself, whether he be rich or poor, because, 
as I have said, he loses energy, intelligence, and persever- 
ance, and finally the power of work, and becomes, by the 
disuse of these faculties, a distinctly lower creature than he 
was before, or than he might have been had they been de- 
veloped by exercise ; and bad for the community, also, for 
if the workers of a community have to support many per- 
sons in idleness, they have to work harder and to fare worse 
themselves than they otherwise would. 

Mazzini says somewhere : " The human soul, not the 
body, should be the starting-point of all our labors, since 
the body without the soul is but a carcass, and the soul, 
wherever it is found free and holy, is sure to mould for 
itself such a body as its wants and vocation require." 
Then is not teaching 'a charity wide and broad enough to 
employ every one with a head and a heart who is not 
already busy in some other part of the work of the world ? 
To teach some one something— that is a charity in which 
there is no danger ; it is a charity where there can be no 
overlapping ; it is a charity of which there cannot be too 
much, and the good results of which will never end. No 
matter who it is, no matter what you teach, whether it be 
sewing to a Httle girl, cooking to a big girl, honesty and 




purity to a youth, neatness and thrift to a woman, in- 
dustry and self-control to a man, temperance, morality, 
or religion, you have done a service, and a service which 
will never end. 

To give material aid is nothing ; food, clothes, fuel, rent 
— all these pertain to the body and are perishable ; even 
if they do no harm, they certainly do little good. You 
give one month ; the next month you must give again ; 
and finally there is no result to show except usually the 
need of more fuel, more food, more rent. 

But once teach sometliing of value, and you have started 
an unending succession of benefits ; you have learned in 
teaching ; those you teach will teach again ; and so on, 
in ever widening circles of good. Mr. Emerson says: 
"If a man give me aught, he has done me a low benefit; 
if he enable me to do aught of myself, he has done me a high 
benefit." Then teach, teach, teach. Teach some one 
to do something of himself, to return to the community at 
least as much as he receives from the commimity. 

I cannot speak more strongly than I feel on this subject 
of the evils of relief, for I believe that among the many 
causes of poverty one of the most potent is careless relief- 
giving, whether by what are called charitable societies, 
by private individuals, or from public funds. I believe 
that no society should exist for the purpose of giving reUef ; 
I beUeve that no money should be collected and kept on 
hand for that purpose ; but that societies should be formed 
to help, and that when material aid proves to be needed 
in any special case, special requests should be made 
for it. Being convinced that all material aid is bad, even 







when it must be given, I think that the giving of it ought 
to be made as difficult as possible ; and I also think that if 
there were no reUef funds to stand as a constant tempta- 
tion to poor people, and if the giving of relief were nobody's 
business, and a very special effort had to be made whenever 
it was found to be required, many kmd people would be 
surprised and delighted to find how very seldom any 
reUef at all was needed. 

To sum up : the principles which I have tried to make 
clear in the foregoing pages are : first, that we must help 
people ; second, that in order to help them we must find 
out what the matter is ; third, that in trying to help we 
must beware of doing harm ; fourth, that we must take 
thought and trouble to help them ; fifth, that no help is 
real which does not develop the character and make the 
person helped more able to take care of himself; and, 
finally, that the distinction to be kept in mind is that 
between the body and the soul. If we help the body only, 
our help is worth nothing ; like the body itself, it perishes 
daily and has to be daily renewed. If we help the soul, 
if we teach something, our help is eternal, like the soul, 
and there is no end to the good we have done. 

The Uses and Dangers of Investigation in Public 
AND Private Charities' 

The uses of investigation in the work of charity are 
obvious. The first is so obvious that it seems almost need- 

• Read before the New York Medical League at its meeting at the 
Academy of Medicine, January 20, 1899. PubUshed in the Medical 
News, February 4 of that year. 




less to mention it, especially to an audience of medical 
men. It would be as reasonable to ask what is the use 
of a diagnosivS, as what is the use of an investigation. 
The use is to find out what is the matter, because if we do 
not know, we cannot do any good at all. There is always 
a cause for the distress of those who come asking for help, 
and we cannot really help them, unless we know what the 
cause is and at least try to remove it. And yet there are 
many people who are benevolent and who want to help, 
but who go on blindly without getting any thorough 
knowledge of the actual condition of those who come to 
them. To talce the commonest and perhaps the most 
natural form of this error as an example — many benevo- 
lent people know only the women of the families they 
are trying to help. They want to elevate their physical 
and moral condition, but how can they elevate them 
if they are only brought in contact with one half of each 
family, leaving out of account the person whose duty it is 
to do for his wife and children what they are undertakmg 
to do for them ? How do they know that the husband 
of the woman they are supporting is not at work ? How 
do they know that he is not spending all he can earn, and 
all he ought to devote to his family, at the comer grog 
shop ? How do they really know anything of the family, 
if they ignore the existence of the head of it, of the man 
responsible before God and man for its well-being? 

The second use of investigation is that it prevents the 
growth of great moral evils, for its absence tends to the 
speedy demoralization of decent people. What I mean 
will be perfectly clear to you if you will consider what 

a terrible temptation is presented to unhappy people in 
distress, if they can go roimd from church to church, 
from person to person, repeating a story of misery and 
distress, obtaining from each twenty-five cents, fifty cents, 
or a dollar, and sure that not one of them will ever make 
any real inquiry into the facts, sure that none of them will 
ever know that the others are giving also. Let me give an 
illustration. A decent but improvident man dies and 
is buried by his club, or his friends, or by charity, and 
the newly made widow is left with a number of young 
children dependent upon her for support and care. She 
must act the part of both father and mother, and her state 
is pitiful indeed. She has no relations, and she turns to 
the members of her church. She touches the sympathy 
of those she applies to, but no one feels any sense of re- 
sponsibility, no one feels obliged to make an investigation, 
no one recognizes the great danger with which the woman 
and her children are confronted, the danger of becoming de- 
graded and corrupted into beggars and hars, and so every 
one does just enough to quiet his own sense of pity, gives 
a dollar, or five, or ten according to the more or less touch- 
ing nature of the woman's story,— and then dismisses it from 
his mind. The poor woman, truly in distress, finds that 
the recital of her sufferings brings in a sum of money which 
ten days of hard work would not earn, and most natiu-ally 
she is content, when the proceeds of her first appeal are 
spent, to make another. Why should she not ? It would 
be stupid to seek for washing or scrubbing at a dollar and a 
haif a day, when she can get five or ten dollars in an hour by 
telling the truth to two or three kind-hearted people. She 





finds, however, that as the truth becomes less sad, as her 
loss affects her less and the urgency of her appeal is dimin- 
ished, the proceeds are diminished also ; therefore she does 
not confine herself to the truth. She colors and exagger- 
ates ; she takes one or two of her children with her to help 
her emphasize the story ; she teaches them to cheat and to 
lie, and she finds it pays ; and thus she is tempted into a hfe 
of deceit, and her children follow in her path ; and it is the 
neglect and carelessness of benevolent people who will not 
take the trouble to find out the real condition of the family, 
and to make and carry out a plan by which they can be 
rendered self-supporting, that bring them to this horrible 

But investigation is of use not only in preventing the 
demoralization of decent people, but in the detection of 
those who have become expert deceivers, and this is 
important because it too has a bearing on pubUc morals. 
It would certainly not be worth while to take any trouble 
to save the sums which rich people waste on ill-considered 
alms ; but it is worth while to take a great deal of trouble 
to save the poor from the temptations which beset them 
when they see the rewards reaped by successful knavery. 
It would not be worth while to pursue impostors and 
punish frauds, were the only advantage gained the saving 
of money to extravagant and selfish people ; but it is 
worth while to prove that lying and cheating are not an 
easier and pleasanter way to get a liveUhood than working. 
Let me sum up, then, the uses of investigation I have 
named. First : Investigation is the only means of learn- 
ing how really to help those in distress. Second: It 


•"I t. 



prevents the demoralization of decent people by remov- 
ing the temptations to beggary. Third : By the discovery 
of fraud, investigation makes a life of deceit less attractive. 
But to offset these uses, I must now turn to the dangers 
of investigation, for it is a dangerous tool, which may 
wound cruelly if used without thought and care. . • ■ 
[Here Mrs. Lowell referred to the painful experiences of 
the winter of 1893-1894 in terms similar to those used in the 
preceding paper, and continued.] . . .. Everything that is 
said against investigation by its critics is true, and no one 
feels the truth of it more strongly than we who believe in its 
necessity. We know that it is a necessary evil, and we try 
to make it as little evil as we can, and we justify it, as I have 
said, only because it is the preUminary to the real work of 
helping those in distress by careful, conscientious, patient, 
painstaking, personal work, just as the torture of a sick 
man by the physician's examination can be justified only for 
the same reason, that he has to know what the matter is 
before he can take one step in trying to cure the man. 

The necessary invasion of the privacy of the lives of 
other men and women is one of the great evils of in- 
vestigation; it is a sort of outrage upon the dignity 
of a human soul, and ought not to be undertaken if the 
object of the investigation Ls not a nobler one than the 
mere feeding of the body, for the soul. should not be 
sacrificed to the body. "What wiU it profit a man, if he 
gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?" 
■ In all such work the best rule is to " do unto others as ye 
would they should do unto you," and to try to realize what 
would be the effect on one's self of the contemplated action, 





and also to remember that, the object being to help, one 
must do as little harm as possible in the process of helping. 

The thorough investigation and study of the character 
and needs of persons who ask for help, and the attempt to 
educate and develop them, even by means which may not 
be very pleasant to them, is sometimes called the new 
charity ; but it seems to me it is only obedience to the old 
teaching I have already quoted. For, after all, would 
we not each one of us prefer to be dealt with, were we in 
the place of an applicant for relief, in such a maimer as 
would elevate us morally and physically? Would any 
one of us deliberately choose such treatment from another 
as would undermine our moral strength and power, even 
though it should save us from suffering ? 

Does not God deal with \is in what we choose to call 
the new way ? Are we not driven by necessity to exert 
ourselves ? Do we not suffer the results of our own acts ? 
Can we by any means escape from the consequences of our 
sins and mistakes? And is not the common way of 
rehef-giving and what we call chaiity so far as possible 
an interference with God's education of his people ? We 
relieve men and women of the necessity of working, we 
reward them for idleness, we encourage them in vice, we 
take their children from them when they are young and 
troublesome and care for them in institutions, and when 
they are old enough to labor, we give them back to those 
who claim a parent's rights, although they never dis- 
charged a parent's duties. We tempt our poor weak 
brothers and sisters to give up the struggle which has been 
appointed to make them strong and brave. We accept 


every invention they use to work upon our feelings; we 
lead them to Ue to us aiid become cheats. 

Emergency Relief Funds' 
To the Editor of Charities: 

Will you give space to the accompanying statement 
in re-ard to the suffering caused by the severe cold and 
storms of February, and by the efforts to relieve it? 

We take the liberty of addressing your readers upon 
this subject, because we have aU of us had opportunities 
of knowing a good deal about the facts, and we believe 
that the efforts to relieve the distress wiU result m creating 
much more distress; and although it is too late now to 
avoid the evils we deprecate, we hope that a repetition 
of the conduct leading to them may be prevented, when 
it is understood that the consequences are cruel to those 
whom It was intended to help. Our prayer to the chari- 
tably disposed is that, whether in times of supposed emer- 
gency, or from day to day, they will, in the words of Miss 
Octavia Hill, of London, not rest content with benevolent 
feelings, but assure themselves that their actions are 

beneficent as well. ,, , • v „„„, 

The special lesson to be gathered from the lavish gener- 
osity with which money has been poured out to meet the 
present emergency is that sympathy ought to be con- 
tinuous, and that the money which can be spared so readily 
should be given year by year to the hundreds of societies 
which are always working to prevent, as well as to relieve, 
the suffering of the poorer partof the population o the city. 
Money is always necessary, not only for rehef , but for 
the education of the rising generation, to develop then- 
character and their powers, so that they ^vlll not have to 
1 Published in Charities of February 25, 1899. 




turn to strangers for help, even in much more serious 
emergencies than that of the past week. 

But far more than money, men and women are necessary 
who will give time and thought to the constant daily needs, 
material and spiritual, of that part of the population upon 
whom the burden of life rests very heavily, because they 
have not the strength and ability to carry it. 

That the very extraordinary weather we have had 
should have caused much suffering of various kinds was 
inevitable. All men whose busmess required them to 
face the severe cold, policemen, motormen, cab drivers, 
firemen, etc., must have suffered intensely, and in many 
cases their health may have been permanently injured 
by exposure. No sympathy for them and no effort to 
mitigate their sufferings could have been misplaced or 
mistaken, or would have been likely to injure them. 
That men, women and children who did not have to leave 
their houses suffered, too, must also be true, but so long 
as they kept under shelter and were provided with some 
food and fuel, tlieir distress was not, as a rule, extreme. 
Among the things to be di-eaded for the poorest people 
among us, whose clothing was necessarily not a sufficient 
protection against the cold and snow and wet, was lest 
they should be tempted out of the houses and expose them- 
selves to the inclement weather. 

Until last Monday this was avoided. The visitors and 
agents of the charitable societies bravely faced the cold 
themselves to carry help to the people whom they feared 
might be in need ; but they found no exceptional distress. 
Indeed, it is usually found that people in the tenement 
houses are not allowed by their neighbors to suffer, for 
those who have food and fuel share it with those who 
have none, especially when such emergencies arise as we 
have just experienced ; and many of the landlords and 






small shopkeepers are also most charitable. Until Mon- 
day, then, this natural sympathy and neighborly kindness, 
supplemented by the usual efforts of churches and chari- 
table societies, sufl&ced to meet whatever special need there 
was. The heavy snowstorm following upon the severe 
cold, however, appealed forcibly to the sympathy and 
imagination of persons not themselves acquainted with the 
unending charity of poor people for each other, and larjie 
sums of money were deposited here and there to furnish 
relief, and the fact was widely advertised. 

The natural consequences have followed. Poor people, 
especially women and children, though ill-prepared to face 
either the snow or the rain, were attracted by the news- 
paper accounts of large sums to be spent in charity, 
and have for the past four days been tramping through 
the snow, the rain and the slush, and standing or sitting 
for hours in the places where they have been told they 
would get orders for food and fuel. The consequence 
must be great suffering, and probably illness and death 
in not a few instances. Of course it is natural to argue 
that those who did not need relief very badly would not 
go to seek it through such difficulties ; but we are sure that 
if they did need it, they would have got it, either from their 
neighbors or from others who knew them and their needs, 
had they been left at home to receive it from what may 
be called their natural sources of help. Take, for instance, 
two of the individual cases which we have observed. 
On Monday morning in the snowstorm a woman walked 
from Fifty-ninth Street to Twenty-second Street to ask 
for help, spending from two to three hours in the journey, 
because, as she said, she had seen in the paper that they 
were giving relief there. She knew the Charity Organiza- 
tion Society office at Sixty-thurd Street, and would un- 
doubtedly have gone there for help, and have received it 



there, had she not unfortunately seen this statement in 
the paper. On Wednesday an old woman, who, with her 
daughter and grandchildren, has been for years under the 
care of the Charity Organization Society committee, the 
office of which is in Broome Street, and who constantly 
comes to the Society when they need anything, walked from 
Water Street to Twenty-sixth Street to get a coal ticket. 
The agent of the society, calling on her Thursday, found 
the family with the coal ticket, but without coal or food, 
and in five minutes provided them with both, as she would 
have done the day before had the woman come, as she 
usually does, to the office, instead of walking three miles 
in a vain search for help. When asked why she had not 
come, she answered : "You have done so much for us I 
did not like to, and I saw tliis in the paper." 

Our contention is that it is cruel to tempt poor people 
by offers of help to leave their homes to seek it and that 
what is needed, beyond what their own relations, friends 
and neighbors can supply, should be taken to them quietly, 
and even secretly, if possible, by those who Icnow them 
well. That these people who are now seeking rehef all\ 
over the city have not been without food and fuel, as has \ 
been claimed, is proved by the fact that they are able to go 
on these long journeys through the slush and to stand 
for hom-s waiting in line with the hope of getting a little 
coal ; for if they had been frozen and starved for a week, 
they would not have strength to bear the ordeal to which 
the charity of the benevolent is now subjecting them. 

As to the statement that there were niunbers of persons 
homeless in the city during the storm, the mere fact that 
there were none found frozen, except men who were kept 
outdoors as watchmen, shows that the statement was with- 
out foimdation. That men flock to any free shelter opened 
is no proof of actual homelessness, for there are from 


•■■ :' 





10,000 to 15,000 men sleeping nightly in cheap lodging- 
houses in this city, and a few thousands of these can be 
drawn at any time into a free shelter, especially if food 
is provided also. 

It is to be remembered, also, that during and after 
a snowstorm, these men are better able than at any other 
time to pay for their lodgings, owing to the work supphed 
by the snow itself, and that the opening of new free shelters 
is especially unnecessary at such times. 

We protest against the undeserved shame brought upon 
our city by the false impression given to the world that 
it is full of starving, homeless people. 

We do not say that there was no additional suffering 
owing to the storm, nor that all the suffering there was 
would have been relieved ; but we do say that the forming 
of emergency funds and the advertising of them have 
increased it rather than diminished it. 

Finally, we must repeat that the true way to make sure 
that people will not suffer when an emergency arises is to 
strengthen the societies which are constantly busied in 
trying to help them, by providing these societies with 
plenty of money and with plenty of workers who will learn 
to know the individuals, and so be able to succor them 
effectively whenever they need help, whether the emer- 
gency is one which strikes only the single family, or one 
which reaches the whole population of the city. 

Josephine Shaw Lowell, 
3d Dist. C.O.S. Com. 

TiTT.T.TATJ D. Wald, 

Nurses' Settlement. 
Elizabeth S. Williams, 

College Settlement. 
February 18, 1899. 


Improved Cake for the Insane 

At the first meeting of the State Board of Charities 
which Mrs. Lowell attended, held June 8, 1876, Com- 
missioner Theodore Roosevelt having called attention 
to inadequate accommodations for the insane women in 
the asylums of New York City, the subject was by reso- 
lution referred to the New York members of the Board, 
with request to call the attention of the proper authorities 
to the conditions found. This received the prompt con- 
sideration of the Commissioner.?, who, under date of 
October 20, 1877, m a communication to the Mayor of 
New York in regard to the official charities of the city, 
protested against the insufficiency of the estimate of the 
Department of Public Charities and Correction for the 
year 1878. This communication, evidently written by 
Mrs. Lowell, calls the Mayor's attention in turn to the 
condition of the city's hospitals, asylums, and other 
charitable institutions, and asserts that they — the State 
Conmiissioners — "had frequently pressed upon the at- 
tention of the (City) Commissioners the dangerously over- 
crowded condition of the Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell's 
Island, and had anticipated from them a request to the 
Board of Estimate and Apportionment for an appropria- 
tion to buy a farm upon which inexpensive buildings for 




the chronic insane could be erected, but of this no mention 
is made in their estimate." 

Two months later, December 24, 1877, Mrs. Lowell 
and Mr. Donnelly addressed another letter to the Board 
of Estimate and Apportionment, in which they made "one 
more appeal" for the full amount of the appropriation 
asked by the Commissioners of Public Charities and Cor- 
rection, for the city asylums for the insane on Ward's 
and Blackwell's Islands and even a larger appropriation 
for salaries than the Commissioners themselves requested. 
Attention was called to the crowded condition of the wards, 
the insufficient number of physicians and attendants, and 
the suffering incident thereto, both for attendants and 


This communication was followed by another, also 
addressed to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment 
by Commissioners Roosevelt and Lowell, under date 
January 14, 1878. After furnishing information in sup- 
port of their recommendation, they again urged the Board 
to ask for a law authorizing the City of New York to 
buy land for the purpose of establishing an insane asylum 
outside of the city. In the minutes of the State Board 
of Charities, many entries show Mrs. Lowell's continued 
activity for the welfare of the insane throughout the 
State as well as of those in the island asylums maintained 
by the City of New York. 

It is refreshing to introduce here a letter from Mrs. 
Lowell's pen, addressed to WiUiam Pryor Letchworth, 
at that time the President of the State Board of Char- 
ities : 



Deah Sie : 

120 East 30th Street, 
June 7th, 1880. 

and U„ ™l°L^^SeTe:.^r:',l\-'-. 

ae attention oTtL aittT/ ^ ** ' "'^'^ '° *" 

the Asvlum W °L' n ''°'"""J^°« ?> «>» grounds of 
have expected K Dr tlTn^'u "' "'•^''^' ' *-» 
the fact that aU i ^fl";"^ .LT'™''™ °' 

means of emDlovin,r fh« ^""^'^ -^"ord the very best 

pectedhimtTvaStlt ^f ' ^^'^ ^^'^"^^ ^^^'« ex- 
hour's labrof anrk ' d?h r' '^'u"'^^ *' ^^^^'^ «^«^>' ^-^^ 
until thesis th 'l^^^^^^^^^^ ^^ P^^-*^> 

mained ten years in a ro^Zml ^ '"f*"*^''" '■^- 
tion to a number of palSs ^f m^ "'^^"^ °^^"P^- 
regret, and I have no doubt t'hlt "' I "' "^""^^ ^^ 
work might after Z.Tf '"'"'" °*^"'' ^^"^^^^^ o^ 
them to do «o^«^derat>on, be also found for 

tent^t'of^L^^rstis. '^^^^^^^'^ — ^'^ *° ^^« ^t- 
Respectfully yours, 

J. S. Lowell, Comniis.sioner 
Rumors of abuses in the management of the asylums 

a Senate Committee of Investigation, of which sltL 



Woodin was Chairman. This Committee made a tour 
of inspection of the asylums maintained by the City of 
New York on Blackwell's and Ward's Islands, and on 
December 3, held a public hearing at which Mrs. Lowell 
spoke. She recommended that the power of appoint- 
ment and removal of subordinates should be given to the 
superintendents, condemned political interference with 
management, recommended increased salaries, and called 
attention to the overcrowding of the institutions, the in- 
adequacy of the island sites, and the need for more hospital 
accommodation elsewhere. At the close of her address 
the Chairman remarked that she had made some of the 
most valuable suggestions the Committee had received. 

At a meeting of the State Board, held January \5, 1881, 
Mrs. Lowell presented a "Report upon the Condition 
and Needs of the Insane of New York City," which was 
accepted and ordered transmitted to the Legislature with 
the annual report of the Board. Extracts from this report 
are included in this chapter. 

About this time Mrs. Lowell effected a most important 
and far-reaching reform, in the early care and observation 
of the alleged insane. Bellevue Hospital had long re- 
ceived persons who, from intemperance or a sudden out- 
break of insanity, had become disturbers of their homes or 
the pubUc peace. In these emergencies patients were 
committed indiscriminately to what were known as the 
"Cells," a series of dark, ill-ventilated rooms in the base- 
ment, where they often remained for several days, poorly 
fed and unable to sleep, owing to the disturbance created 
by the insane and drunkards suffering from delirium 



tremens. Mrs. Lowell appealed to the Commissioners 
of Charity to erect a small pavilion on the groxinds, to 
which patients suspected of insanity should be committed, 
where they would be under the immediate observation of 
members of the medical staff. The Commissioners finally 
consented to erect such a building, provided the necessary 
appropriation of $10,000 was secured. A committee was 
formed, consisting of Dr. Stephen Smith of the State 
Board of Charities, Dr. James R. Wood of the Medical 
Board of Bellevue Hospital, and Bishop Henry C. Potter 
of the State Charities Aid Association, to attend the meet- 
ing of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment and 
present the matter. The appropriation was made, the 
pavilion built, and a well-organized service created, con- 
sisting of a special physician from the medical staff of the 
hospital and nurses from the Training School. Commis- 
sioners in Lunacy daily visited the institution, examined 
each patient, and discharged to the street those found not 
to be insane, and to the asylum for the insane those found 
to be insane. The number of persons conunitted as insane 
to this pavilion, but who were found, on careful observa- 
tion by expert physicians, to be not insane, has been in- 
credible. The success of this innovation has had much 
to do with the establishment of observation wards and 
psychopathic buildings in connection with hospitals and 
asylums for the insane. 

Some idea of the painstaking performance by Mrs. 
Lowell of her official duties may be gathered from the 
following paragraph from a letter of hers written that year 
to her sister-in-law : 


West New Brighton, 

February 6, 1881. 

Dear Annie : . j 4.„ 

I am all in a whirl of business, present and to 
come ■ Last week I finished off our report on New York 
C^y Charities, which, although it does not look like^^ 
has kept me busy for six months, and it went to the 
L^sllreon Thursday. ThenI hadto takeup a c.y o 
abuse of a patient at the Lunatic Asylum, and on Wed 
nesdiy (mercury at zero) I and a lady stenographer went 

::f iLckwe^U's ^^-taT tShl^^^^^^^^^^ 

make them see that such things will not be overiooked^ 
Hm also W about the Women's Reformatory Bill and 
pe'^ions in favor of it; and altogether, as usual, I should 
Ske be fifty people, and could lead fifty very pleasant 
ut s ! Did I teU you that Father had organised a Rich- 
A r.nntv Societv for Prevention of Cruelty to Chil- 
rn'r^L'ot of Mother's industrial school w^k 
and will be very useful. The school goes on beautifully, 
tuel or twenty children to dinner daily, and all learn- 
ing to be clean and decent and helpful. 

Mrs. Ix>well's vigilance in regard to legislation for the 
care of the insane was shown in the following letter ad- 
dressed to the President of the State Board: 

120 East 30th Street, 

March 14th, 1881. 
My dear Mr. Letchworth : 

There is a French pamphlet for you here. May I keep 
it to read before forwarding it? 
I do not know whether you have recognized the danger 



that there is in a bill introduced by Senator Bixby and 
Mr. Browning granting to the Commissioners of Charities 
and Correction of New York City permission to transfer 
insane patients to State and county lunatic asylums. 

The danger Ues in the words I have underlined, and 
county (the rest is all right), for although the bill qualified 
this authority by saying that the county asylums must 
be duly licensed by the State Board of Charities, what 
I fear is that an agreement might be entered into by the 
Commissioners of Charities and Correction with some 
asylums now taking 500 New York patients at $2.50 each 
week — putting up cheap buildings and then keeping 
the patients in poorhouse style, and we might find it diffi- 
cult to prevent it. 

Please explain the matter to Senators and Assemblymen, 
as at first sight the bill is all right. It will be necessary 
to act at once — the bill has passed both Houses and only 
needs to ha^'e some slight Assembly amendment concurred 
in by the Senate. I spoke to Senator Bixby about it. 

Truly yours, 

J. S. Lowell. 

June 17, 1881, was a red letter day for the State Board 
of Charities, for on that date Governor Cornell appointed 
Dr. Stephen Smith of New York City, Commissioner from 
the First Judicial District, and he was thus introduced 
to a public ser\'ice with which he has been prominently 
identified nearly ever since, now for a period of almost 
thirty years. After a brief first term on the State Board, 
Dr. Smith was appointed State Commissioner in Lunacy, 
May 21, 1882, and resigned his seat on the Board to accept 
that position. 




Being familiar with the origin of his office in the State 
Board of Charities, and recognizmg the intimate relation 
of his duties to those of the Board, Dr. Smith, reversing 
the pohcy of his predecessor, proposed to its President 
that, although he was required by law to make his annual 
report to the Legislature, he would report the results of the 
current work of his office to the Board at its regular meet- 
ings, if the members approved. Accordingly, by resolution, 
the Commissioner was invited to attend the meetings of the 
Board and to participate in the discussion of subjects 
relating to the insane. Mrs. Lowell took an active part 
in securing this cooperation of the two branches of a com- 
mon service, and while she remained on the Board, gave 
unfaUing support to the Commissioner in his efforts to 
improve the care of the insane. 

At a meeting of the State Board October U, 1881, 
Mrs. Lowell and Dr. Smith were appointed a committee 
to report upon the condition of the asylums for the insane 
in New York County, and to suggest such measures for 
reform as in then- opinion would improve the service. 
Mrs. Lowell, on behalf of this committee, presented at 
a special meeting March 16, 1882 a report which was 
printed in full in the Board's minutes. The report urges 
that the Board prepare a bill : 

"Providing that New York County, together with Kings, 
Monroe and Genesee Counties, which all now retam their 
acute insane, should be required, as are the other counties 
in the State, to place their acute insane m State hospitals. 
This plan has the advantage of placing all the counties 
of the State on the same footing; it would simply be 



the consistent carrying out of the poUcy deliberately 
adopted by the State, that it is for the public good that 
the acute insane should be cared for in State institu- 
tions. . . . 

"This plan is undoubtedly directly in line of the past 
policy of the State Board of Charities, and there are no 
arguments to be made against it which do not equally 
tell against the whole scheme of State care for the acute 
insane. ... It is acknowledged by all experts that 
the care of recent cases of insanity to be efficient must be 
costly, and in order to protect the insane from the false 
economy of county authorities, State hospitals for the 
insane were built in the State at great expense, and are now 
ready to receive all the recent cases which occur. Mean- 
while, the two most powerful of the counties have been 
enabled to retain their acute insane, not because they have 
made adequate provision for them, but because they did 
not choose to pay for their care the amount required of the 
smaller counties. 

"Your Committee recommend that the Board adopt 
the last of the three plans submitted, and appoint a 
Committee to draft a bill to be presented at the next 
meeting of the Board." 

This report was accepted by the Board, and on motion 
of Commissiomer Carpenter, it was : 

"Resolved, That this Board deems it desirable that the 
proper authorities of New York take immediate measures 
to remove the acute insane from institutions of that county 
to the State asylums above mentioned, and that the Com- 
missioners from New York be requested to bring this 
subject to the attention of the proper authorities of that 
city and coimty." 




At the January meeting of the Board in 1882, President 
Letchworth appointed as the Standing Committee on 
the Insane, Commissioners Smith, Craig, and Lowell. In 
May, the resignation of Dr. Smith created a vacancy in 
the Board, which to my surprise I was appointed to fill. 
Some unknown friend had suggested my name to Governor 
Cornell, whom at that time I had never met, and thus 
began a service which still occupies much of my time 
and thought, and which associated me with Mrs. Lowell 
in her work as a Commissioner of the State Board. Im- 
mediately upon my appointment, I was much pleased by 
the receipt of the following letter, which illustrates the 
writer's unfailmg courtesy and promptness : 

120 East 30th Street, 
May 31, 1882. 
Deak Sib ; 

I see that the Governor has nominated you as a member 
of our Board, and I hope the nomination will be confirmed. 
I shall be very glad to give you any information in my 
power in regard to the duties of the office, and meanwhile 
I enclose the Constitution, etc., of the Charity Organiza- 
tion Society, of which you are an ex-officio member, and 
in which I hope you may take an interest. 
Truly yours, 

Josephine Shaw Lowell. 

My first attendance at a Board meeting was on July 11, 
1882, when by resolution, I was assigned to the vacancies 
in the standing committees, occasioned by the resignation 
of Dr. Smith. I thus found myself in the anomalous 
position of Chairman of the Comimittee on the Insane, 



never yet having been within the walls of an asylum. 
Mrs. Lowell wished nae to familiarize myself at once, by 
personal inspection, with the condition of the city asylums 
on the islands, and when my first visits to them were 
made in her company, I received useful object lessons of 
what official inspections should be. Nothing escaped Mrs. 
Iiowell's watchful eye, and it was immediately evident 
that she was hold in great r&spect by the asylum officials. 
Nothing disturbed her serenity or was allowed to hasten 
or to retard the orderly course of her inspections. On 
my first visit in her company to the insane asylum for 
men on Ward's Island, in the course of our rounds we 
came to a ward filled to overcrowding with a class of 
senile dements, many of them suffering from paresis in 
its advanced stages. I had never until then been in so 
repulsive a place. The sights were no worse than the 
odors, and I sought fresh air at an open window. Mean- 
while, Mrs. Lowell, quite unmoved, stood with the Super- 
intendent in the middle of the ward, pencil in hand, 
making notes of the conditions revealed to her practised 
eye. The first impression of her perfect courage remained, 
and was strengthened by my later experience of the con- 
duct of her work. 

Mrs. Lowell continued to call attention to the over- 
crowding in the asylums of New York City, and in October, 
1882, the State Board of Charities adopted a resolution 
she offered directing the New York Commissioners to 
present the facts to the Board of Estimate and Apportion- 
ment. Meanwhile, she and Dr. Smith endeavored to find 
a suitable site on Long Island for a farm colony for the 





able-bodied insane, with the intention, at that time, of 
having it conducted as a branch of the insane asylum for 
men on Ward's Island. 

At the close of the year 1882, the New York Commis- 
sionei-s, with the approval of the Board, held several 
conferences with the City Commissioners of Public 
Charities and Correction, endeavoring, but without success, 
to secure their active support of the application for the 
farm, and in December twice appeared before the Board 
of Estimate and Apportionment, urging an appropriation 
for this purpose of .twenty-five thousand dollars. Mrs. 
Lowell at the State Board meeting of January 11, 1883, 
presented a report on "The Insane and Lunatic Asylums 
of New York City," which was adopted and ordered 
transmitted to the Legislature. 

In April, 1883, I was, at my request, relieved from 
further service on the Committee on the Insane, to take 
up reformatory work, which more particularly interested 
me. Mrs. Lowell also retired from the Committee in July 
of that year. We both continued, however, as State 
Commissioners residing in the city, to urge the improve- 
ment of its asylums, and to exert pressure for the estab- 
lishment of the farm colony for the insane. 

It was not easy to discourage Mrs. Lowell ; she had 
learned to wait perseveringly. In December, 1883, the fol- 
lowing resolution which she offered was adopted by the 
State Board : 

"Resolved, That the New York Commissioners be re- 
quested to go before the Board of Estimate and Apportion- 
ment of the City of New York and draw then: attention 



to the fact that three thousand acres of land in Suffolk 
County, suitable for a farm for the clironic insane of the 
city, are now for sale at fifty thousand dollars, and to 
recommend that an examination of the land be made with 
a view of purchasing it for the purposes above named." 

The State Commissioner in Lunacy was requ&sted to 
join in this application. The minutes of the State Board 
for the years 1884-1886 show Mrs. Lowell's persistence in 
calling attention to the needs of the insane in the State, 
and especially to the need for increased accommodation for 
the insane of New York City, and for the establishment of 
another State asylum for clironic cases. During this 
period tlie Board of Estimate made an appropriation of 
twenty-five thousand dollars, for the purchase of more 
land for the insane. 

Mr. Letchworth in 1880 made an extensive European 
tour devoted to the study of the care and treatment of 
the feeble-minded and insane on the Continent and in 
England, as the result of which he subsequently published 
an important work which has since been regarded as 
authoritative. He was favorably impressed with the 
colony plan of treatment given at Alt Scherbitz, near 
Leipzig in Saxony, and at his own expense had plans and 
drawings of the colony made in the hope of procuring 
their adoption by asylums in the United States. These 
plans Mr. Letchworth generously placed at the disposition 
of the Commissioners of Public Charities and CoiTection 
of New York City through Mrs. Lowell in March of 1886. 

In July, 1887, Mrs. Lowell informed the Board that 
the New York Commissioners had recently appeared 




before the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, and 
requested the transfer of sixty thousand dollars for the 
erection of buildings, and the preparation of the Long 
Island Farm for inmates, and that ten thousand- dollars 
was available. At the October meeting of that year, Hon. 
Henry H. Porter, Commissioner of Public Charities and 
Correction of the City of New York, with Dr. A. E. Mac- 
Donald, General Superintendent of the city asylums for the 
insane, appeared before the State Board and presented a 
general plan for the erection of asylum buildings, for the 
quiet and orderly chronic insane of the city, upon the land 
recently acquired by it near Central Islip, Long Island, 
which after discussion was approved by the Board. At 
the next meeting, a special committee was appointed to 
confer with the Mayor of New York City, and in their 
discretion, to act with him to secure better relief in the 
care of the insane. 

The conference with the Mayor was attended on Decem- 
ber 22, 1887, by Commissioners Craig, Lowell, and Stewart. 
The Mayor expressed his appreciation of the mvestiga- 
tions and reports the State Board had made, and an- 
nounced that in consequence, the Board of Estimate and 
Apportionment had voted to the Department of Public 
Charities and Correction all the appropriations it had asked 
for, including the sum for the farm colony for the insane at 
Central Islip. In October, 1888, pursuant to a resolution 
adopted by the State Board, at its njeeting that month, 
Commissioners Milhau and Lowell had a conference with 
the Commissioners of Public Charities and Correction, and 
also appeared before the Board of Estimate and Apportion- 




ment. They presented resolutions adopted by the State 
Board, advocating the erection on the farm at Central Islip 
of two or three more colonies for men, and increased accom- 
modation for women at Hart's Island, and this they re- 
ported to the Board at the November meeting. Twelve 
years had elapsed since Mr. Roosevelt and Mrs. Lowell 
began to urge \ipon the authorities of New York City the 
necessity of a farm colony for the chronic insane, when 
in May, 1889, the doors of the Central Islip Asylum were 
opened for the reception of patients. 

Meanwhile, the abuses, inadequacy, and lack of system 
of county care had become so apparent to thoughtful 
persons interested in the care of the insane, that under the 
wise and energetic leadership of Miss Louisa Lee Schuyler, 
the State assumed in 1889 the guardianship of all the in- 
digent insane, by what is now commonly called the 
State Care Act. By this statute the State Commission in 
Lunacy was established, to consist of three persons, one a 
physician, one a lawyer and the other a citizen, and the 
office of State Commissioner of Lunacy was abolished. 
This law became effective with the approval of the Gover- 
nor May 14, and his appointees. Dr. Carlos F. MacDonald, 
Goodwin Brown, and Henry A. Reeves organized tmder 
the chairmanship of Dr. MacDonald, on June 5. Dr. 
Stephen Smith, who served as State Commissioner of 
Lunacy until May 9, 1888, being then superseded by 
Dr. Samuel Wesley Smith, was reappointed to the State 
Board of Charities in 1893, and elected Vice-President of 
the Board in 1903, a position which, although now in 
his eighty-eighth year, he still fills with energy and dis- 
tinguished abiUty. 






The State Commissioners in Lunacy had under super- 
vision April 1, 1910, nearly thirty thousand indigent in- 
sane, maintained in fifteen State hospitals, of which tAVO 
are for the criminal insane. The State Hospital at Central 
Islip, Long Island, in the establishment of which Mrs. 
Lowell was so influential, then cared for in comfort on a 
farm site of one thousand acres, beautified and made fer- 
tile by their labor, more than four thousand men, and has 
proved an inestimable blessing to the poor of the City of 
New York. 

The system of State care for the insane of New York, 
now in operation nearly eleven years, has proved thor- 
oughly successful. It is probably true that nowhere else 
in the world are so many patients so uniformly well 
maintained and scientifically treated, as in the State of 
New York today. During the years of Mrs. Lowell's 
official work, while county and municipal care were the 
rule, and State care the exception, and while there was 
much doubt in the public mind as to the merits of the dif- 
ferent systems, she early came to the conclusion that 
State care was the best, and was the active and consistent 
advocate of the uniform system which now happily pre- 
vails, and her services in this cause have far exceeded any 
mention of them here made. Her heart must have re- 
joiced at the final victory of the friends of State care. 




Work for Dependent Children 

An important reform in the care of the dependent 
children in the State was secured by the enactment of 
what is now often referred to as the Children's Law. In 
1868, the year following the establishment of the State 
Board of Charities, an examination of the county and city 
poorhouses, as these almshouses were then called, made 
by members of the Board showed that they then housed 
2261 children under sixteen years of age. The Board 
at once pubhcly took the position that the almshouses 
were unfit places in which to rear chUdren, and that these 
institutions "should be maintained exclusively as retreats 
or infirmaries for sick, aged or helpless indigents." The 
influence of the Board, supported by private charitable 
organizations, and reenforced by pubhc opinion, had by 
October 1, 1873, caused the reduction of the number of 
children in the almshouses to 1015. 

William Pryor Letchworth, of Portage, then Vice- 
President of the State Board, visited the almshouses at 
the request of the Board during the year 1874 and ex- 
amined the children still retained in them. Assisted by 
the late Dr. Charles S. Hoyt, then Secretary of the Board, 
Mr. Letchworth led a movement to have all the children 
promptly removed from these institutions. For several 
years much of his time and thought were devoted to this 





task, and while he no doubt had the sympathy of the State 
Board, nevertheless he did the work. At first he appeared 
before many Boards of Supervisors and advocated the 
voluntary removal of the children. Afterward, when 
the plan of keeping the children in ahnshouses was 
abandoned by many of the counties, Mr. Letchworth 
conceived the idea of a law forbidding the commitment 
of children to the almshouses of the State. The Chil- 
dren's Law framed by him with the assistance of Dr. 
Hoyt, was enacted in 1875. This Act prohibited, from 
and after January 1, 1876, the commitment of children 
over three and under sixteen years of age to almshouses, 
and directed the removal to family care, orphan asylums, 
or other appropriate institutions, of all children between 
the ages named whom the almshouses then sheltered. 

This reform accomplished, Mr. Letchworth, desiring to 
ascertain the condition of the other institutions in the 
State of which children were inmates, made in 1875 a 
comprehensive and painstaking series of visits to them. 
His "Report on Orphan Asylums, Reformatories and 
other Institutions of the State having the Care and Cus- 
tody of Children," dated January 11, 1876, was published 
in the Ninth Annual Report of the State Board, covering 
the year 1875. This useful and momunental public 
paper, the first of its character ever presented, com- 
prised over five hundred printed pages and exhibited 
a complete survey of the conditions prevailing in the 123 
children's homes reported upon, which at that time 
sheltered 17,791 inmates. The author was immediately 
recognized as the leading authority in the State of New 



York OD questions relating to the care of dependent 

An examination of the minutes of the State Board 
during the thirteen years of Mrs. Lowell's membership 
discloses many entries showing lier continual interest in 
the welfare of dependent children. At a meeting held 
March 8, 1877, "on the statement of a case by Mrs. 
Lowell, the Board expressed the opinion that the loca- 
tion of orphan asylums on the grounds of the county 
poorhouses and under the charge of poorhouse officials 
is not in conformity with the act of 1875 'For better pro- 
tection of pauper and destitute children.'" 

On February 6, 1878, Mrs. Lowell presented and read 
a "Report on the Condition of the Dependent Children of 
"Westchester County, recently removed from the House of 
the Good Shepherd by the Superintendent of the Poor." 
This report w£is probably presented in manuscript, not 
printed, and afterwards lost. At a special meeting of the 
Board, May 12, 1880, on motion of Mr. Letchworth, Mrs. 
Lowell was assigned to membership on a special commit- 
tee of three, appointed in comphance with the request of 
the Directors of the New York Juvenile Asylum, to 
examine the affairs and management of that institution. 
Mrs. Lowell, in behalf of this committee, submitted and 
read a report at the Board meeting September 15, in that 
year, which was accepted and a copy ordered sent to the 
President of the Board of Directors of the Asylum. 

On motion of Mrs. Lowell, the Board, on January 13, 
1881, resolved: "That in the opmion of this Board, the 
establishment of homes under county care for dependent 



\ 1 


children is opposed to the spu-it and reason of Chapter 
173, Laws of 1875, the Childi-en's Law and Chapter 404, 
Laws of 1878." The second statute cited modified the 
original Children's Law by changing the age limits from 
three to sixteen years, to two to sixteen years and ex- 
tended its provisions so that it became unlawful to commit 
such chUdren to jails as vagrants, truants, or disorderly 
persons. The violation of the law was made a misde- 
meanor, and the second section made it possible to se- 
cure the transfer of children not properly cared for by 
institutions or families. 

The following letter addressed to the Assistant Secretary 
of the State Board, shows Mrs. LoweU's early solicitude 
at the increasing number of dependent children under in- 
stitutional care. 

Manchester-by-the-Sea, July 21, 1885. 
My dear Mr. Fanning : 

Can you have a table made for me, sho^sang the exact 
number of dependent children supported by public and 
private funds in New York City in 1874 (if the Children's 
Law went into effect Jan. 1st, '75) and in 1884 ? 

The number, for instance, on Randall's Island and 
in each of the then existing private institutions in 1874, 
and the same (giving all the new institutions) in 1884, 
with the cost in each and the proportion of public money 
appropriated to each. Of course what I want to show is 
the increase in the number of children and in the cost 
to the city during the past ten years. It seems to me 
that what we must insist on is that chUdren supported 
by pubUc funds shaU belong to the State, the parents to 



have no claim on them. If parents do not want to 
give up their children they must support them or put 
them on private charity to maintain. 

Shortly afterwards the same concern was shown in a 
letter addressed to the President of the State Board. 

West New Brighton, December 1, 1885. 
My dear Mr. Letchworth : 

I have just received youi' letter and hasten to answer it, 
because I do not want you to suppose, as you seem to' 
that I do not approve of the Children's Law and do 
approve of mixing innocent children with boys already 
experienced in vice. I heartily agree with you in your 
views on both these points, but I did not believe the way 
to prevent the latter evil in the House of Refuge was to 
make that institution a perfectly acceptable place to 
which to commit innocent children. I think the Houses 
of Refuge ought to remain the reformatories to which 
bad boys shall be conunitted, and that homeless and truant 
b03's should be sent to entirely other and distinct institu- 
tions, when it is necessary that they should be sent to 
institutions at all. I would join you in approving the 
submitting of a biU to the Legislature to accomphsh this. 
As to the Childi-en's Law, of course I agree that it was 
of immense value in getting the children out of the poor- 
houses, but I think that the great increase of dependent 
children that has followed its enforcement is a great evil 
and that we must find some remedy for it. I am writing a 
report which I shall present at the meeting on the 15th 
recommending the approval of a bill for the creation of a 
new officer for New York City, who shall have the entire 
charge of all the institutions on Randall's Island which 
contain children, and who shall also have power to commit 



children to private institutions and discharge them from 
them. In this way the advantages gained by the Brooklyn 
Law will be attained in New York without the great 
di-awback of putting the dependent children back into the 
hands of the Commissioners of Public Charities and 


With an officer whose duty it should be to investigate 
the status of parents bringing children for commitment, 
and a preliminary stay on Randall's Island in quaran- 
tine, of all children before their final admission to private 
institutions, many, if not all of the troubles we now sufTer 
from would be remedied. 

Of course I would have the city property on Randall's 
Island entirely devoted to the children, and no inmate or 
employee of the department of Public Charities allowed on 

I should be very glad to know before the meeting 

what you think of this sketch. 

The minutes of a meeting of the State Board, held 
December 15-17, 1885, record the presentation and read- 
ing, by Mrs. Lowell, of a "Report on the Orphan Asylum 
Societies of the City of New York," which was accepted 
and ordered transmitted to the Legislature with the 
Annual Report of the Board. 

Pursuant to provisions of the Membership Corporation 
Law, the approval of the State Board of Charities to 
certificates of incorporation of private charitable institu- 
tions for the care of orphan, pauper, or destitute children 
has since 1883 been a condition precedent to the fifing of 
the certificate. This is one of the most useful functions 
of the Board, and has prevented many unnecessary or 



ill-considered incorporations. It is the practice of the 
Boaid to act upon such applications after reference to 
and written report from a Commissioner or committee. 
At a meeting of the Board held July 11, 1889, Mrs. 
Lowell presented the following preliminary report upon 
an intended application of this character, which was con- 
sidered of such value by the Board that it was inserted in 
full in the minutes of that meeting : 

To THE State Boabd of Charities : 

A few weeks since, Monsignor Donelly, one of the 
vicars-general of New York, requested me to interest 
myself in the plans of some Italian Sisters of the Order 
of St. Francis of Sales, who had come to this city for the 
purpose of opening an asylum for Italian children. 

I met the Superior of tlie Order, who intends shortly 
to return to Italy, and two of the sisters, at St. Michael's 
rectory, on June 15, and learned that they had been 
here about two months, and desired to establish an asy- 
lum (for girls at first, later for boys also) to receive orphan, 
half-orphan and deserted children of Italians; that they 
had hired a home (No. 43 East Fifty-ninth Street), and 
intended also to teach a day school in Roosevelt Street. 
They said they desired to be incoi-porated, in order to 
be enabled to receive committed children and public 
money for their support. I explained to them and to the 
vicar-general, that I thought it necessary to be very careful 
in acting in this matter; that it would be a dangerous 
precedent to grant a charter to foreigners coming here for 
the purpose of opening an asylum for foreign children, to be 
supported by money raised by taxation. I said that it 
seemed to me to be necessary to secure responsible resi- 
dents of New York City as incorporators, and to have very 




strict limits as to age, length of residence in the United 
States and in New York State and City, abiUty of parents 
to pay, numbers to be supported, length of time for which 
supported, and probably as to other points, m order to 
avoid the estabhshment of such an asylum acting as a 
temptation to poor Itahans to immigrate. I told them 
that, at present, there was a strong inclination on the part 
of Italians to place their children in institutions ("al 
Collegio," as they called it), and that I heard in two 
different institutions of the practice on the part of Italians, 
able to maintain their children, of paying brokers of their 
own nation to secure admission for them. 

I called at the house of the Sisters on June 18th and went 
over it. Finding that they already had four children as 
inmates, and were ignorant of the necessity of any Ucense, 
I advised their applying to the Board of Health for per- 
mission to receive children. I was received with much 
kindness, and the superior seemed to appreciate the force 

of all I had said. 

I make this report at present, in order to suggest that 
when the application is received, it be very closely scruti- 
nized, as it will serve as a precedent and model for others 
to be framed in the future. I would also suggest that 
it is weU, when foreign children are supported m this 
country by pubUc funds, that they should be brought up 
as Americans, and not as foreigners. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Josephine Shaw Lowell. 
New York, July 6, 1889. 

Her second comprehensive "Report upon the Care of 
Dependent Children in the City of New York and Else- 
where" was presented at a meeting of the State Board 



"ecfrt"/'' ''''' '""^^^^ -^ -d-d trans- 
mitted to the Legislature. A dieest of fl,; 1 

i^inc^ded .„ «,3 chapter. XhiT?: l^^'^ljr,: 

aat appearance at a meeting „f the State Board of^Ia^ 

child en wlh '''^"' """•"' '" «■» "-"f"- "I 

ch Idrcn »ai however, continned ; this is illnstrated by the 

Crag, of R„ch«,ter, who in April, ,889, succeeded Mr 
letehworth as President of the State Board. 

Bi.VS,"Jt'SeX' Mr t 'T ? '""^ °' ^--"'^ 
Judicia^; C„») L^alttt?!"'' "'""^ "" "" 

pauper children ) ^"V"^^''' ^^ °"*door relief of al 

to have cha ge of tS f^^^^^^^^ *° ^^ ^ -«* Pe-on 
putting any such chndfh t " ""^^'"^"'^^ ^^^^ds the 

its motherinto an n V> ^ ''' T "^^'^ dependent upon 
all autSy w thr ^'°f ""^ ^^d, taking away 

Of court von v T^^^ "^'^^^'^ ^^ tJ^e ^^tter. 
Put^^^nroTSrerLo ".1 T^^"^ °' the wholesale 




120 East 30th St., New York, July 8th, 1891. 
My dear Mr. Letchworth : 

I have yours of July 4th, and write you again because 
it seenas to me, as you say, that very little information 
of value can be obtained, unless each particular child in 
each institution is reported on separately, and I want to 
beg you to insist upon having the schedules made out in 
that way. 

If the United States census can be taken by individuals, 
there is no reason why the ceasus of otir institutions 
could not be taken in the same way, and I should think 
it would be much better to defer the inquiry, if necessary, 
until you can obtain a special appropriation for extra 
clerical force, rather than to collect imperfect statistics. 

120 East 30th St., July 4th, 1893. 

My dear Mr. Fanning : 

I received yours of June 19th at Bath with my paper, 
and I was rather disappointed to find that you did not 
think I had laid stress on the duty of parents to care 
for their own children, for I thought that was the 
special point I made. However, it cannot be too much 
insisted upon, and I quoted your letter the next day 
in the debate. It is a fact that the preaching of duties . 
is what is needed now. If everybody did what duty I 
demands to their family and fellow-citizens, charity would 
not be needed. Selfishness and the shrinking from 
hardship of every kind, softness of character, is what is 
doing most of the harm now. People seem to think that 
physical suffering is the worst thing that can happen 
to anyone, and mushy sympathy is responsible for a great 
deal of demoralization. I was sorry you were not at the 




Convention, but was glad to see Mr. Letchworth and 
Dr. Hoyt. 

Rock Harbor, Westport, N. Y., 

June 28, 1894. 
My dear Mr. Letchworth : 

I have been asked my opinion as to appropriations from 
public funds to sectarian institutions by a member of the 
Constitutional Convention, and I have replied that I 
recommend : 

1st : That appropriations from public funds be allowed, 
never to exceed, however, $1 per week per capita. 

2nd : That these appropriations be made to all institu- 
tions, sectarian and others, which reach a certain standard 
of excellence. 

3rd : That their condition be ascertained by annual 

4th : That the amount appropriated be diminished by 
one-half for every child in excess of 300 in any given insti- 

Of course this leaves many points unsettled, but it 
seems to me to cover what is fundamental. 

It would be a misfortune to have sectarian institutions 
discriminated against, and our present position is certainly 
a misfortune. 

If you think there is any radical error in the above, so 
far as they go, please let me know, for I do not want to do 
harm by my advice. The State Board ought to have 
adopted some principles to guide the Constitutional 
Convention ; it is a shame to have so much knowledge 
and devotion as there is in the Board ignored and wasted 
at this important juncture. 





120 East 30th Street, New York, 
January 7th, 1895. 
My dear Mr. Stewart : 

I have just given your address to Dr. Moreau Morris, of 
the Board of Health, who has really done a great deal 
to improve the children's institutions in this city, and I 
think you could not find a better inspector. 

As to the rules, — how would one do requiring that 
children supported by public money (unless in a Reforma- 
tory) must go to the public school after they reach six 
years? Going out of the institution and mixing with 
other children does more to counteract the institution 
influence than any other one thing. 

The value of play and outdoor recreation for the health 
and normal development of all children, but especially 
for those of the tenements of our great cities, was early 
recognized by Mrs. Lowell, and she was among the first 
through whose efforts a playground under private manage- 
ment was opened for children in New York City. In the 
spring of 1890, she secured control of a plot of vacant land 
on West Fiftieth Street, between Eleventh and Twelfth 
Avenues, and had it suitably fenced and protected at a 
gate by a man who saw that no older boys or giris were ad- 
mitted. This playgroimd, known as the "Sand Park, " was 
open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from June to September for two 
years, and was in charge of a directress and two assistants, 
of whom one was a kindergartener and the other a regular 
teacher; Boys were admitted in the mormng and girls 
in the afternoon ; sand was provided and pails and shovels 
given to the younger children, who were placed under the 




care of the older boys and girls ; turning bars and swings 
were also set up for them. Industrial training, principally 
in woodwork, was given the boys, and the girls were in- 
structed in sewing. All the children were taught games and 
songs used in kindergarten work. Mrs. Lowell not only 
established this park, but raised the money needed to carry 
on the work described, regularly spent part of two days 
a week there, and visited it almost daily. 

More of Mrs. Lowell's work for children was done 
through the agency of the Outdoor Recreation League, 
of which organization she was treasurer. In 1898 the 
following enterprises of the League were mentioned in a 
circular : a sumnner camp for working boys in Pelham Bay 
Park ; a playgiound for children at Ninety-fourth Street 
and Amsterdam Avenue ; cooperation with the Board of 
Education in visiting achool playgrounds ; open-air gym- 
nasiums at Hester Street Park and in a lot at Fifty-second 
Street and Twelfth Avenue; increasing the number of play- 
grounds. The movement for parks and playgrounds for 
children is now widespread, and has resulted in the for- 
mation of the national, and many state associations. 

From conversations had with Mrs. Lowell on the sub- 
ject of recreation piers, before any of them had been built 
and opened to the public, I know that she was also one of 
the first, if not the first, to urge the city authorities 
to build and set apart second stories to some of the piers 
on each of the river fronts for the recreation of the people. 
These piere are now an inestimable blessing to many 
thousands, especially to the dwellers in the crowded tene- 
ments as refuges from the torrid heat of summer. 


A Paper Read before the New York Association 
OP Teachers, 1880' 

Mr. President and Members of the New York State 
Association of Teachers: 

I very gladly accepted the invitation to write a paper 
to be read before you, because I cannot count it other 
than a privilege to be allowed to speak to men and women 
holding positions of such responsibiUty and trust. 

It is not an uncommon fault to overrate one's own im- 
pori;ance and the weight of one's own influence and power, 
but it is a fault which is impossible to a school teacher, 
for I do not believe that the most exalted opinion of the 
dignity and responsibility of the profession could place 
it higher than it should stand. Remembering that you 
have in yoiu: hands the task of moulding the future of 
more than six mUlion men and women, that the character 
of the people of the State of New York is to take its im- 
press from your minds, can any task be more noble or 
more fearful than the one you have undertaken? Your 
work is not, Uke that of the minister and preacher, the 
ahnost hopeless task of counteracting on one day of the 
week all that selfishness teaches on the other six ; you are 
at work day after day, with fine upon Une, precept upon 
precept, graduaUy shaping the minds of your pupils. 
Yours is not the difficult labor of the philanthropist, to 
reform the characters of adults, hardened by years of bad 
habits ; it is your work to form the character while it is yet 

' Published in pampMet form by PiUsbury. 680 Sixth Avenue. New 
York City, in 1886. 



plastic, to turn the delicate young mind this way or that. 
If you are noble and high-minded, if you love the truth 
above all things, if you take the right views of life, you will 
train up noble and true men and women, and your pupils 
will be a blessing to themselves and others. If you are 
false and base, if you value the things that are temporal 
more than the things that are eternal, your pupils will be 
mean and worldly, will be dishonest and degraded, and 
you may one day feel that it were better for you that a 
millstone had been hanged about your neck and you had 
been cast into the sea rather than to have made one of 
those little ones to offend. 

BeUeving as I do that "you are given this great influence 
for good or evil, and believing too, that there are some 
radically wrong views which have become generally ac- 
cepted by you, and which are, unliappily, also partly 
because of your holding them, very deeply rooted among 
the American people generally, I cannot help, as I have 
said, being very grateful for the opportunity given me to 
point out to you some of these errors and tell you some 
facts which may startle you and lead you to consider more 
deeply the whole question of what is the object of sending 
a child to school and what should be the result of his ten 
or twelve years of schooling. 

I have said that I do not think any teacher could think 
any more highly of his office than it deserves ; but by that 
I mean of his office as it should be, not as it too often is. 
My ideal of a teacher's duty is to fit the boys and girls 
entrusted to his care to be useful citizens, to make them 
men and women who shall be able to take care of them- 


selves and others, who shall do their duty to God and their 
neighbor. Compared to this, the object which seems too 
often to be set before the teacher, is too insignificant ahnost 
to be mentioned in the same breath ; the aim seems to be 
to teach his pupils to shine on exhibition day, to learn to 
read and spell gUbly and write a composition which may 
be published in the county paper. In fact, while educa- 
tion should mean the training of the body, mind and soul, 
we Americans too often forget both body and soul and 
devote ourselves to a miserable one-sided development 
of the mind. Whether the error began with the teachers 
and spread to parents and children, or whether the teachers 
share it only because they are part of the people, I do not 
know, but I do know that it exists and that it is not an 
uncommon thing for devoted, hard-working parents to 
believe that they are doing their best for their much be- 
loved children by keeping them at school or college, while 
in fact they are training their minds at the expense not 
only of their physical strength, but of their abihty to earn 
an honest Uving and of every noble and generous feeling 
of their natures, and this mistake is often fostered by 
teachers; they will encourage men and women whose 
strength is daily failing under the strain of life, to give 
their son or daughter an "education," while if there were 
one spark of right feeUng or nobility in the souls of those 
chUdren, they would scorn to take an advantage for them- 
selves at such a cost to their parents. 

With aU our education and our pubUc school system 
and our immense expenditures for the young, we find that 
year by year, in tins country, insanity and pauperism and 




crime are increasing out of proportion to the increase of 
the population, and it behooves us to ask not only whether 
our schools are doing all they should and could to prevent 
so fearful a state of things, but also whether there may 
not be some causes in the schools themselves which may 
help on these evils. We have accustomed ourselves to 
believe that what we have called an education was the 
safeguard against poverty and vice, but unfortunately 
our limited kind of education does not prove so ; we must 
adopt the real education physical, mental and moral, if 
we really desire to stem the current of insanity, pauperism 
and crime which is attaining such alarming strength in 
our country. 

Under the head of physical education I include the 
training of the body itself and all its members, and would 
not only have the pupils of our schools compelled to keep 
themselves in health while in school, but they should be 
taught the laws by which they could, through their whole 
Uves, maintain their bodies in good working order, and 
they should, moreover, be given the power and ability to 
earn a Hving and support themselves and their children. 
This sounds like a formidable innovation, perhaps, but in 
reality it would not prove so. As to bodily health during 
school years, it would be easy to so conduct our schools 
that they should not overtax the strength of the pupils 
or teachers ; and that should be my first reform. Of the 
three morning hours, one should be devoted to exercise, 
gymnastics or drilling, and there should be two hours' 
recess before the afternoon session, and no studyuig before 
breakfast or by lampUght out of school. All the conamon 




laws of health regarding food, cleanUness, fresh air and 
exercise should be taught and enforced in every school, 
and should never be broken for the sake of forcing bright 
scholars to greater attainment or punishing backward 
scholars for laziness or dulness. I was much struck 
latelv with some statements regarding the causes of in- 
sanity, made in the annual report of the Medical Superin- 
tendent of the Insane Asylum, at Toronto, Ontario, which 
apply unhappily to the United States, as well as to the 
neighboring province, and therefore I quote it : 

"There is a serious source of mental and physical de- 
terioration, which, in a secondary way, seriously affects 
the adult population as well as the youth of our land; 
it is the senseless mental overstrain to which the school 
cMldren are subjected. . . . An examination of the hst of 
studies required of children and youths up to the age of 
twenty-one and beyond it in our schools and universities, 
shows that no young and growing brain can undertake 
the work laid out for it without great and permanent 
injury to this delicate and complex organ. Children are 
put in the worst ventilated houses which can be found in 
the country, and these often are Uterally crammed with 
them. In this foul air they study for hours at a tune. 
Evening brings no relaxation for them, for a task needing 
several hours' study must be done before bedtime or early 
in the morning; and this becomes a dreary unmvitmg 
round. They successfully or vamly endeavor, accordmg 
to their strength, to overcome these daUy burdens and 
obstacles to health, by a constant effort which produces 
mental tension. The result is, many never recover from 
the struggle during the remamder of a lengthy hfe. Night 
or day, except a few hours of sleep, from the age of seven 



up to manhood or womanhood, the susceptible and tender 
brain is on the rack, and this strain is at a time when only 
moderate exercise is healthy to this impressionable organ. 
The brain must, hke the rest of the body, in its early days, 
gather tone, fibre and capacity for the great struggle of 
life. The young are not permitted to do hard manual labor 
because of the tenderness of the body, until maturity is 
almost reached, but the most important organ of our 
physical system is urged onwards to the utmost extent 
of its powers from babyhood upwards. It needs no 
prophet to see that this hothouse growth in a foul at- 
mosphere, and a uniform system of forced training, with 
long hours of study, means nervousness, lassitude, peri- 
odic headaches, a lax prostrated physical and mental 
system. A tendency to, and an invasion of, insanity may 
end the chapter of blunders, especially if a hereditary 
predisposition exists. Such are the recuperative powers 
of the body that it will, in a majority of cases, come off 
victorious against a legion of such foes, yet an alarming 
section of the rising generation thus educated carry into 
after life, in some form of nervous or brain disorder, the 
effects of the prevailing ignorance and persistent efforts 
to produce a precocious race by a short cut, and this in 
spite of ruined constitutions." 

As I have said, under the head of physical education 
I would include such a training of the body as would 
enable the large proportion of pupils graduating from 
school who cannot earn a living by head work, to earn it 
by hand work, and would create and foster a spirit among 
teachers and pupils which should recognize that to follow 
the exariiple of Jesus Christ and learn and practise a trade 
is not unworthy of any boy. I do not advocate the teaching 



of trades in our schools, but the teaching of the use of tools, 
which would give such control of the hands and body as 
would make it easy to learn whatever trade a boy might 
choose after leaving school. To introduce such a plan of 
industrial training in our pubUc schools would not be 
difficult or expensive ; one competent master could teach 
three classes a day of twelve boys each, or fifteen classes 
a week. Such industrial training has been strongly ad- 
vocated in Boston, and will shortly, it is hoped, be intro- 
duced there. 

The argument which I advance in support of this 
proposition to introduce industrial training into our public 
schools, is the only one which I acknowledge to be of aay 
weight in favor of a public school system of any kind ; 
and that is, that it is for the advantage of the state to 
expend its money in this way. The state owes no one an 
education, no one has a claim on the state for an educa- 
tion, but in self-defence, the state has adopted the policy 
of educating its future citizens, in order to ensure its own 
safety and prosperity. Such being the case, if it can be 
proved that an industrial training for its citizens is as 
important or more important to the state than the mental 
training which has until now generally been considered 
sufficient, it requires no further argument to show that 
such training should be made a part of our educational 


The statistics of our prisons and those of other states 
prove beyond a question that the fact of being able to 
read and WTite does not deter from crime or ensure the 
performance of pubUc and private duties, while on the 



contrary, they seem to prove that an ability to earn one's 
living and the habit of steady industry are great safe- 
guards against evil practices. . . . 

It is unnecessary, however, to dwell longer upon the 
aspect of the educational question which deals with that 
small proportion of the graduates of our schools who be- 
come criminals. We may confidently hope that the day 
will never come when the great majority will not surely 
be honest, earnest, and hard-working ; and I am sure that 
the influence of school teachers will be all-powerful in 
this direction. The teachers themselves must beheve, 
in order to instil the beUef into the minds of their pupils, 
that good steady work is worthy and noble, and they must 
teach this to gu-ls as well as boys ; and that the girls may 
share with the boys the advantage of industrial learning, 
I should give to every girl educated in a public school — 
and could I have my way, every girl in the State should 
have her first years of schooUng in a public school — 
such teaching as would prepare her to be a good house- 
wife and mother. Sewing and cooking should be taught 
in every school. 

We shall, I think, be a much wiser and happier people 
when our young men and women learn in our pubUc schools 
the arts which will help them to bring up and support their 
families comfortably and thriftily. 

I may pass over the subject of mental or book education, 
simply saying that, in my view, it should be made more 
simple and more thorough ; that fewer subjects should be 
taught, and those should be better taught than at present. 
The great aim of the public school teacher, at least, should 


be to give such a training as should serve as a foundation 
for any superstructure that could be put upon it. 

I do not believe that it is the province of the State to lift 
any of its children to great heights of learning. The 
education given, and given to all, should be such as 
to open the door to learning to those who wish to enter, 
and to elevate and strengthen the general intelligence. 

Instead of spending the people's money upon higher 
education for a few, I believe it should be spent upon 
broader education for all, including in this broader educa- 
tion, as I have said, physical, mental and moral training. 
This last, the most important, is also the most difficult 
and the most dependent on the individual teacher. Al- 
most the whole duty of the teacher under this head seems 
to me to be comprised in giving to the pupils a right view 
of life, and by this phrase I mean a great deal. I mean that 
the chUdren shall be taught what things are of real and 
lasting value and worthy of a struggle with adverse cir- 
cumstances, and what are unsatisfying and useless and 
not worth a second thought ; that they shaU learn to set 
truth, moral and inteUectual truth, above aU things, and 
to know that to see truly is to see what God has made 
and intended us to see, and that self-interest and cowardice 
can never see truly. 

Moral training is of infinite importance for the individ- 
ual, for the state and for the nation ; and the following 
words of Sir Henry Maudsley, a distinguished English 
authority on insanity, may well cause parents and teachers 
to tremble at the thought of the responsibility laid upon 



"The aim of a good education should be to develop 
the power and habit of what the events of Hfe will not 
fail to rudely enforce, renunciation and self-control, and 
to lead to the continued transference of thoughts and 
feeUngs into external action of a beneficent kind. By 
the habitual encouragement of self-feeling, and by an ego- 
tistic development in all the relations of life, a character 
may, by imperceptible degrees, be so framed that insanity 
is the natural and consummate evolution of it, while every 
step taken in such deterioration will so far predispose to 
insanity under adverse circumstances of Hfe." 

A school is no place for theological discussion or the 
teaching of sectarianism, but fortunately all parents will 
unite in wishing that their children shall be taught to love 
God, and to know their responsibiUty to him and their 
duty to their fellow-men. 

I cannot better close mypaper than by quoting thewords 
of a teacher ^ speakmg to teachers upon waste of labor 
in the work of education: 

"But last of all there is a waste that brings loss and 
sorrow to the world ; this is neglect of moral and religious 
instruction in connection with intellectual training. Who 
are the men who are causing humanity to blush by their 
dishonesty and corruption, poisoning the world at the same 
time that they are cheating and astonishing it? Why, 
men who are educated, but who despise the slow methdds 
of honest gain and reject the old-fashioned morality of the 
Bible. There must be a searching for the foundation; 
and that instruction or that education which does not make 
prominent justice as weU as benevolence ; law as well as 
Hberty ; honesty as weU as thrift, and purity of life as 

' President of Williams College. 


well as enjoyment ; should be stamped by every true edu- 
cator as a waste and a curse, for so it will prove in the end. 
We understand the importance of our work, the value of 
mental and moral culture, we see the inviting fields that 
call the student to labor, and the waiting world that needs 
his time and the strength of his best cultured powers. 
Let us see to it that no old notions, no routine of duty, 
no shrinking from work or responsibility, shall spoil our 
harvest, so that at last we shall look back on a waste of 
energy and time. Let us work while the day lasts, with 
our might. Let us see that all our work is of the best 
kind. Let us train our students for the study, for the 
family, for the state, for the world. If we send them forth 
with the ability to labor, with a love of truth and justice, 
and with a spirit of self -sacrifice, our work will be a bless- 
ing to them and to the world." 

Chiij)ren 1 

It is a truism to say that the most important work to 
be done among the poor is for the children, and I am 
almost inclined to declare that nothing else is of any im- 
portance at all, as compared with it, for every other 
branch of charitable work produces but small results and 
for only short periods of time, while what is done for the 
children may make the difference for each child between 
a whole long life of virtue or of vice, and may make the 
difference for the community between a large or a small 
number of paupers for hundreds of years. 

It is kind and it is pleasant and it is a duty to relieve 
physical suffering ; and yet more or less of physical suffer- 

•An address delivered on November 18, 1898, in Harlem, before 
volunteer workers of tlie Charity Organization Society. 



ing is not a matter of vital importance. The patient, 
if left alone, will usually either get well or die before very 
long. It is a duty to help the aged ; and yet, whatever 
the suffering may be, it cannot last very many years, 
and it leaves no bad results when it is over. If one can 
reclaim the man or woman who is leading a vicious hfe, 
it is a blessed work ; and yet how hard it is, and how often 
it proves fruitless ! 

It is far otherwise with what is done for children. They 
may be easily influenced, and the influence acquired over 
them may be powerful and may be felt even for generations. 
There is thus every reason for a concentration of effort 
upon the children, and as I have said, in comparison with 
this work it seems as if no other were of any importance. 
But smce this work for children is so important, since 
the material to be moulded is so ductile for a few years, 
and yet carries the impress it has received through life 
and on to future generations, it becomes of tremendous 
moment to do the right thing for them, to do the best 
thing for them, and not to injure them under the mistaken 
view that we are guiding them rightly. 

I am going to speak today only of what should be done 
for children abnormally situated, and of course I want it 
to be fuUy understood that I recognize that the training 
and education of the children of the great mass of the 
people is to be left to their parents, to the public schools, 
and to such other agencies as the community may devise 
to forward their full and well-rounded development in 
body, mind and soul. 
What then can be done by private benevolent societies 



and by private benevolent individuals for children whose 
parents are unable to bring them up properly ? What can 
be done wliich shall be beneficent as well as benevolent ? 
One very natural answer will occur to a great many people 
— that these children should be taken away from their 
parents and put with persons who can bring them up 
properly ; and the fact that there are in the old City of 
New York today eighteen thousand children who have 
been taken away from their parents and placed with others 
to be brought up shows how generally this solution of the 
difficulty is considered the best, and how easy it is supposed 
to be to find those who can bring children up better than 
' it is possible for their parents to do. 

But unhappily the problem is by no means so simple 
as it appears when first considered, and it is not so easy 
to decide upon the comparative value of a home and a 
strange bringing up. To begin with, there is a great variety 
both in the degree and in the kind of incapacity on the part 
of the parents. They may only be incapable physically, 
they may be ill or weak, or the father may be dead and 
the mother left alone to take the place of both father and 
mother, and yet they may love their children dearly and 
be eminently fit to bring them up worthily. Surely in 
such cases, it cannot be right to tear the children away ? 
They may be foolish, weak and over-indulgent, they may 
be wicked and cruel, they may degrade and corrupt their 
children; and while there is no question that children 
should be saved from parents who will maim them physically 
or morally, there is a decided question as to whether it is 
good for them to be taken away from foolish and weak 




parents, for there is every degree of fooUshness and 
weakness, and it is difficult to decide when the evU of 
the foohshness and weakness outweighs the good of the 
unconscious discipUne of faniily life and of family affection. 
On the other hand, also, it is necessary to consider what 
the alternative is. To what influences and training are 
the children to be subjected? Just as there is a gi-eat 
variety in the character of incompetent parents, so there 
Is a great variety in the methods by which children 
may be educated when taken away from their parents. 
Children may be put in an institution where there are 
many hundreds of inmates, where they must live by rule, 
and in crowds, without personal affection, without natiu-al 
outlet of any kind, where their health, their feelings, and 
their minds and souls must be stultified, because the life 
is absolutely unnatural. They may also be put in an in- 
stitution where there are only a few children and where, 
so far as is possible, every effort is made to teach them the 
ways of family life, from which they go out to the public 
school and mix with children hving in their own homes, 
and are thus stimulated mentally and morally, and escape 
some of the very bad results of institution hfe. They may 
also not be put in an institution at all, but be boarded out 
in an everyday decent family, where they will be subjected 
to all the natural influences, pleasant and unpleasant, of 
common family life, and so become fitted to take their 
part in such hfe in the future. This unconscious educa- 
tion in the little daily duties of life is what no institution 
can give, and therefore, if children must be taken from 
their own homes, the best substitute is another home, 



unless indeed they are abnormal children and need 
special training or discipline. 

But I have only touched on this question of home vs. 
outside training to call attention to the fact that even 
though children may be poorly placed with their own 
parents, it is a very serious question whether they should 
be removed, and also that it is very important to choose 1 
wisely the substitute for their homes, if it is necessary to] 
separate them. In deciding the question of removal, 
it is also necessary to consider not only the direct effect 
on the child itself, but also upon the parents and upon 
other children and other parents, and therefore, as I have 
said, the problem in each case is not simple, but very 
complicated. But I shall not speak further of the children 
who have to be taken away from their parents, but 
rather of the comparatively large class who ought not to 
be taken away and who yet cannot be properly brought 
up without outside help ; and I will hastily sketch some 
of the kinds of help they need. Take first the families 
where there is no moral deficiency, where the sickness 
or death of the father has removed the natural bread- 
winner and has made it necessary for the mother to sup- 
port the family, in whole or in part, besides caring for 
their daily well-being. Some women can do both, but 
not the average woman whom we meet. They must be 
helped, as Mrs. Tenney' said last week, and I feel sure 
that in all such cases the help must be given upon the prin- 
ciples adopted by the first benevolent society established 

'Mrs. Sarah E. Tenney, for many years District Secretary in the 
Northern or Williamsburgh District of the Brooklyn Bureau of Charities. 



by women in New York one hundred and ten years ago, 
the Society for the Relief of Poor Widows with Small 
■Children. By that society a regular monthly pension is 
given, and the family is placed under the care of a special! 
member of the society, and the help is often continued 
from the time of the death of the father until all the chil- 
dren are over ten years of age. Unhappily, however, the 
society does not give the help throughout the whole year, 
and therefore the principle of regular help is not carried 
out by them ; nor do they usually give large enough pen- 
sions, so that a family receiving aid from the society has 
often to get aid from elsewhere also. I fear, too, that often 
the visitors cannot give as much time and care to the 
family as is needed. Still these are all failm-es to live up 
to their own principles, and the principles are, as I have 
said, those upon which help to such families should be 
given. Regular help, friendly supervision, the help to be 
as much as is needed to supplement the earnings of the 
mother, and the supervision to be continued until the 
children have been trained in some means of self-support — 
these are the essentials, and it takes a great deal of money 
for each family, at least ten dollars a month, and a fair 
share of time and trouble ; but the results are worth it, and 
it ought to be considered cruel and wicked to take children 
away from a decent mother just for want of money to sup- 
port them and friends to look after them. In these cases 
the money and the friend are er|ually necessary, and the 
work is very simple indeed, requiring only kindness and per- 
severance. It is necessary to see that there is money 
•enough, regularly supplied, so that the family does not 


suffer; that the mother does not overwork herself, but 
does work so far as she is able; that her work does not 
prevent her giving the proper care to the children ; that 
the latter go to school and to church regularly ; that when 
old enough, they begin to learn some good trade ; that they 
get work and keep at it ; and finally that, as their earnings 
increase, the money given to the mother diminishes 
gradually until the family is self-supporting. 

This sort of help is not demoralizing nor pauperizing, 
if properly watched, because it only places the family in 
a natiu-al position. Women and children ought to be 
supported, and there is no sense of degradation in receiv- 
ing support. The woman has plenty to do in caring for 
her family ; and when the duty of supporting them also 
comes upon her, it is an unnatural strain, and results dis- 
astrously unless she can be helped. 

With families where there is plenty of earning power 
and where the deficiencies are moral and not physical, the 
case is very different ; here the friend is of paramount im- 
portance and the giving of money is not only unnecessary, 
but usually very hurtful, and the work is very hard indeed, 
requiring devotion and consecration. If, however, such 
work were undertaken by a number of people with con- 
scientious persistent zeal, it would go far to make the next 
generation very much better than the present one. If 
for ever}' family where the parents are weak, inefficient, 
shiftless, improvident, lazy, foolish, in fact everything short 
of downright vicious, a wise, kind, patient friend could be 
found, who would undertake the task of seeing that the 
children were trained so that they should grow up without 



these faults and with the contrary \drtues, you can see 
what a tremendous moral force it would be in the com- 
munity. Of course to achieve such results requires the 
charity which beareth all thmgs, endureth all things, 
hopetli all things ; and equally, of course, the moral ob- 
jects to be attained must be constantly kept in view, and 
striven for. If people who want to do good would give 
up some of the many varieties of charities upon which 
they expend time and strength, and would each concen- 
trate their force upon one family, they would accomplish 
a great deal more than they can by their present scattering 
manner of working. 

Of course the care of a family, where the parents can 
work and won't work, or where, though they work, they 
squander what they earn, involves a constant attempt 
to induce them to do their duty, a constant struggle, 
I may say, to make the father support the family, and to 
make the mother care for them properly, and, also ac- 
companying this, an unfaltering devotion to the work of 
developing the children individually, educating them for 
life by personal influence, seeing that they go to school, 
seeing that they go to church, seeing, when they are old 
enough, that they learn to work, seeing that they get 
work, seeing that they keep it, seeing, as a whole, as I 
have said, that they grow up entirely different from 
their parents. 

Of course it is of paramount importance that, in such 
work as this, reUgious influence should be brought to bear, 
and therefore each person should choose a family to care 
for of the same religious faith as her own, and this makes 


such educating work peculiarly fitting for church mem- 

The want of such work thu^y years ago we are seeing 
now in the people applying for help to the Charity Organiza- 
tion Society. We are coming across an appalling number 
of young couples, quite unfit to bring up children, who 
will grow up equally unfit for the duties and responsibilities 
of life unless some one takes them in hand. I will give 
you a few examples to show you the kind of people I 

mean. . . . 

[The examples are omitted.] 

. Whether it would be possible to find friends who 
could hope against hope in these particular cases and follow 
the families round as they are dispossessed from one place 
to another, and whether, if such could be found, they could 
save these children, are questions which only experience 
can answer. Naturally one longs to take those poor little 
children away ; but is it right to leave the parents ab- 
solutely free to Uve as they choose by reUeving them of the 
children as fast as they are bom, and putting them in 
institutions at a cost to the taxpayers of New York of one 
hundred and four dollars a year for each child, and then 
permitting the parents to take them home again and make 
slaves of them as soon as they are of an age to earn ? Is not 
such a course as likely as any other to drive the children 
into early loveless marriages, like those of their parents, 
just to escape the tyranny at home ? The whole problem 
is one of human weakness and human vice. What is 
needed is better education of every kmd. 

I should personally be glad if we could have a law by 



which, when parents had proved themselves entirely in- 
competent to care properly for their children, the children 
might be taken from them and given to other people to 
bring up, and by which the parents themselves should be 
subjected to a thorough course of education and not al- 
lowed to continue to produce children whom others must 
care for. I should like to have two large farms bought, 
one for men and one for women, and on these farms I 
should like to have such poor creatures as I have depressed 
you by describing shut up for one, two, five, or ten years, 
as might prove necessary, to train and fit them for normal 
life, and when they were prepared for liberty, I would, 
return their children to them, but not before. 

I have not kept to my subject, but I hope you will for- 
give me, and I hope you will feel with me, how great is our 
responsibility to try to mould the children while we may, 
and not let them grow up, as we have their parents, without 
a helping hand to guide them. 

Report upon the Care of Dependent Children in 
THE City of New York and Elsewhere ^ 

To THE State Board of Charities: 

In a report upon institutions for the care of destitute 
children of the City of New York, presented to the Board 
in January, 18S6, I made the following suggestions : 

"First. Some means should be provided by which the 
responsibihty for all admissions to all institutions de- 
pending in whole or in part on the public funds for support 

' This Report, dated December 10, 1889, of 75 printed pages, was 
included in the 23d Annual Report of the State Board. Extracts only 
are given. 


should be placed where it can be adequately discharged ; 
no pubUc money should be spent except for the good of the 
community, that is, in cases where it is a necessity that 
parents should be reUeved of the care of their children. 

"Second. It should be made the duty of some city 
ofi&cial to remove children from an institution when they 
are likely to suffer in health or character by being longer 
retained, and such official should also have the power to 
guard the public treasury, by placing dependent children 
in places where they may be self-supporting as soon as 
they are old enough to work." 

Since that date no change has been made in relation to 
these matters. New York City supports an average 
population of about fourteen thousand boys and girls,^atan 
expense of one and one half million dollars annually, in 
institutions controlled by private individuals. That is, 
one of the most important of the duties of the city, that 
of the care of its dependent children, has been delegated to 
persons who are not personally designated by law to exercise 
it, but have voluntarily undertaken it. Were the question 
simply one of pubUc expenditure, this would show a strange 
carelessness on the part of the people in regard to their own 
interests ; but not only is the spending of hundreds of 
thousands of dollars of the public money yearly left to the 
discretion of a large number of practically unknown per- 
sons, but the education and training of an increasing num- 
ber (about fourteen thousand, as I have said, at any given 

1 Owing to the changes of population in the institutions, the number 
of individuals yearly coming under their care is much greater than 
fourteen thousand, that being the average nimiber .supported at any 
given time. 



date) of the future men and women of New York is placed 
in their hands, so that they may carry out all their own views 
concerning them, and there is even no inquiry made as to 
what these views may be. There is no official of New 
York City who knows, or has the right to know, whether 
thousands of children are being trained in idleness or 
industry, in virtue or vice. 

As to the selection of the children who are to be sup- 
ported by the pubUc, in a certain number of the institutions 
this also is left absolutely to the decision of private per- 
sons, who have the right to receive as many as they wish, 
with the right to demand, also, the public money for their 
maintenance, which rights have been conferred upon them . 
by the Legislature. The city authorities can control 
neither children nor money. The admissions to certain 
other institutions are made nominally by the magistrates 
of the city, but these gentlemen have neither the time nor 
the facilities for making a personal inquiry into the cir- 
cumstances of each case, and a practice has grown up by 
which the entire responsibility for the investigation as 
to the facts is placed by them upon the officers of a private 
society, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to 

As to the length of time during which children shall be 
retained as dependents upon the city, this is a matter 
which is also practically left entirely to private persons. 
The Consolidation Act of 1884, Chapter 438, Section 4, 
reads as follows ; 

"WTiile any child which shall have been placed in such 
asylum, or other institution, as a pauper, in pursuance 


of the second section of this act, shall remain therein at 
the expense of the county or town to which such pauper 
child is chargeable, the superintendents of the poor of 
such county or the overseer of the poor of such town, 
may, in their discretion, remove such child from such 
asylum or other institution and place such child in 
some other such institution, or make such other disposition 
of such child as shall then be provided by law. The name 
of no such child shall be changed while in such institution, 
as in this section aforesaid. But no parent of such pauper 
child, so in such asylum or other institution as in this 
section aforesaid, shall be entitled to the custody thereof, 
except in pursuance of a judgment or order of a court or 
judicial officer of competent jurisdiction, adjudging or de- 
termining that the interest of such child will be promoted 
thereby, and that such parent is fit, competent and able 
to duly maintain, support and educate such child." 

The Commissioners of PubUc Charities and Correction 
would, under this act, probably have the right to remove 
children supported by the city from institutions to which 
they have been committed, but practically such a course 
would be quite out of the question, as the Commissioners 
of Public Charities and Correction have too many other 
duties to be able to give any time or thought to this 
subject. As a fact, there is no one who is able to protect 
the child or the pubUc. Even though the life in the insti- 
tution may be unfitting him for future self-support, 
even though there may be a good home available for him 
among strangers; there is no one except the managers 
of the institution in which he is, empowered to find such 
a home and put him into it. The interests of the child 



and of the city are left unreservedly in the hands of 
persons who are, as a rule, all of them benevolent and 
desirous of doing right, but many of whom have not the 
knowledge which would enable them to judge what those 
interests are, while some of them do not think it their 
duty to inquire. 

Ahnost all the institutions in which these children are 
housed are far too large to allow of any mdividual love or 
oversight being bestowed upon the mass of the inmates, 
and they suffer from the many evils, physical, mental and 
moral, which are known to affect chUdren congregated 
in large masses. . . . 

That any community should subject thousands of the 
children upon whom its future virtue and prosperity are to 
depend to influences which are almost sure to have such 
results, is an anomaly, but this anomaly exists in the City 
of New York, where there are fourteen child-caring insti- 
tutions with more than three hundred inmates each, eleven 
of which have more than five hundred, and two of these 
latter more than one thousand each. The actual proof of 
these evils and the effects of the artificial training upon the 
character and success in after life of the children cannot be 
very readily traced with us, because usually there is no 
one to foUow them up after they leave the institutions, 
and inquire into their failure or success. 

The physical evils of the congregation of large masses of 
children have been so marked as to attract the attention 
of physicians and others, and as a consequence there has 
been much improvement m this direction ; but it is pitiful 
to see the drooping, spiritless look of a child whom one has 


known outside of an institution, after a few months' 

In regard to ophthalmia, which formerly worked such 
havoc in several of the institutions of New York, per- 
manently injuring hundreds of children, besides blmding 
many, there has been a very marked improvement since 
my last report to you, which is undoubtedly due to the 
passage of Chapter 633, Laws of 1886, entitled "An Act 
for the better preservation of the health of children in 
institutions," a copy of which is appended. This law was 
widely circulated among the officers of the institutions by 
the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and 
has been enforced by the Board of Health of New York, 
over such institutions as come under its authority. By 
constant and efficient inspection, that Board has checked 
ophthalmia to a remarkable degree, and the inspector has 
also effected many other improvements in the institutions, 
most beneficial to the health and general welfare of the 
children. These reach directly, however, only children in 
institutions within the city itself, and New York taxpayers 
support many thousands of children outside its own lim- 
its. .. . 

The children from certain institutions attend the pub- 
lic schools. . . . This, no doubt, does a great deal to 
coxmteract the dulling influences of institution life, and 
it is greatly to be desired that all the institutions in the 
city should send their children to the public schools, in 
order that they might associate with those differently 
situated. In the other institutions supported by public 
money, the children receive such schooling as the author!- 



ties think best, and there are no examinations by any- 
city officers. . . . 

I would not be understood, however, as recommending 

for New York City the method adopted in any of these 

counties. The problem in New York is too serious to be 

so disposed of and the difficulties are too great. There 

must be a new department created to have charge of the 

fourteen thousand children now dependent on the City of 

New York, to see that they are cared for and educated in 

the way best for the community and best for them ; to see 

that the money of the taxpayers is expended for the care of 

dependent children only when it is necessary so to expend 

it, and to save the community from the disgrace of having 

.one child in every one hundred of its population deserted 

by its parents and relatives, and a pauper, dependent on 

public support. . . . 

Of the twenty-nine institutions receiving public money 
for the support of New York children, I visited seventeen 
in April and May. Seven of these have two buildings in 
different localities, and I therefore present twenty-four 
reports of inspections. I have not been able to inspect 
the remaining twelve institutions tliis year, but I present 
the statistics for all. . . . 

Another point in regard to the future of our fourteen 
thousand dependent children which causes anxiety is that 
where industrial training is carried on, and the effort to 
give them at least some means of earning a livelihood is 
made, the teaching is such, both for boys and girls, as will 
inevitably lead them to seek employment in the city. 
The influx from the country to the city which goes on in 
this, as in other countries, is a subject of regret to students 


of social phenomena ; the need of agricultural laborers and 
of women to help in housework is recognized and deplored, 
not only by those who suffer directly from the want of 
them, but by all thoughtful persons. Yet, here we have 
theanomalyof fourteen thousand boys and girls, supported 
and educated by the public, and scarcely an effort made to 
fit them for country Uf e ; but, on the contrary, scarcely one 
hundred boys of all the eight thousand, even where they 
are brought up in the country on a farm, are given the 
inestimable blessing of the good healthy body and mind, 
and the safe future, which a thorough scientific training in 
farm work would go far to assure to them. 

Surely our communism is, of all the communisms ever 
dreamed of by social reformers, the most foolish and un- 

We take children from their parents and support them 
at public expense, not to bring them up to be useful and 
happy citizens, but to stint and cramp them, and to return 
them at the end of five or six years to work for those who 
would not work for them, to be the support of those who 
ignored all duties and responsibiUties toward them when 
they were helpless and dependent. 

Is it not time that the interests of the pubUc, and the in- 
terests of these fourteen thousand children, were intrusted 
to the care of some responsible man, or men, in New York 
City, to see to it, not only that one and one half million 
dollars of the taxpayers' money is not worse than wasted 
every year, but to study the whole question, to devise 
means to save parents from the temptation to desert their 
chUdren, and to save the children from a life of dependence, 
not only now, but in the future? 


Special Investigations foe the State Boabd of 


One of the most important obUgations devolved upon 
the State Board of Charities by statute is that of investi- 
gatmg the affairs and management of any institution 
society or association, subject to the general supervision 
of the Board, when this seems necessary to protect the 
public or mdividuals from wrong. Such an investigation 
IS of comparatively rare occurrence, and is usually under- 
taken by a special committee appointed by the Board as 
best qualified to make the particular examination. The 
history of two investigations is interesting to follow in 
some detail, as a large share of the credit for the sub- 
stantial results obtained is due to Mrs. Lowell 

In 1872 Professor Theodore W. Dwight, Vice-President 
of the Board, had made a report adverse to the worthi- 
ness and management of the New York Juvenile Guardian 
bociety, a private outdoor relief organization of New York 
City; but notwithstanding this unfavorable report, the 
society had not been deprived of its incorporation, and it 
continued to collect money from the public. In 1877 
when Mrs. Lowell had but recently been appointed a Com- 
missioner, she was associated with Commissioners Theo- 
dore Roosevelt and Henry L. Hoguet as the third member 




of a special committee of three to make an investigation 
and report upon the affairs and management of this society. 
The store of information respecting the private charities 
operating in the city and general experience in philan- 
thropic work which Mrs. Lowell brought with her, made 
her a valuable help to her colleagues, both men of well- 
known standing and abiUty, and her influence was con- 
stantly felt and appreciated in their common work. Her 
brother-in-law and intimate friend. General Francis C. 
Barlow, acted as counsel to the committee, brought 
into the controversy no doubt by her interest and influence 
and aided by her suggestions and special knowledge. 

A summary of the proceedings of this special committee 
is given in the text of the Eleventh Annual Report of the 
Board, transmitted to the Legislature January 17, 1878, 
in the following words : 

"In February last a committee of the Board, com- 
posed of Commissioners Roosevelt, Hoguet, and Lowell, 
was appointed to inquire into and examine the affairs of 
the New York Juvenile Guardian Society, in the City of 
New York, in the management of which great abuses 
were believed to exist. The committee soon thereafter 
visited and inspected the buildings of the society, and 
examined . . . several of its officers and other persons. 

"The officers of the society objected to the examination, 
denied the right of the committee to subpoena witnesses, de- 
manded that specific charges be made against the society, 
and claimed the privilege of being present if the investiga- 
tion was continued, and the right of appearing by counsel, 
cross-examining the witnesses, and producing and examin- 
ing witnesses on their own behalf. 



The committee overruled these objections, continued 
the mvestigation, and reported the testimony and facts 
regardmg the matter to the Board, March 8, 1877. The 
society thereupon brought an action against the com- 
mittee, requesting the court by injunction to restrain the 
committee from pubhshing their report. The matter 
came up before Hon. Charles P. Daly, Chief Justice of the 
Court of Common Pleas, June 15, 1877, ... and he de- 
hvered an elaborate opinion upon the matter, fully sustain- 
ing the position of the committee." 

Chief Justice Daly's interpretation of the powers and 
duties of the Board, in cases of special investigation, still 
guides the committees of the Board charged with such 
responsible inquiries ; and since his opinion was delivered, 
the powers of the State Board of Charities in making 
investigations have never been successfully questioned, 
while all those it has undertaken have been satisfactorily 

The proceedings in the case were reported by the Board 
to the Attorney-General, and while the investigation did 
Jiot lead to the immediate annulment of the charter of 
the New York Juvenile Guardian Society, it had far-reach- 
ing results, as it was not only a strong link in a chain of 
attacks against the society, but also firmly established 
the Board's power of investigation. 

Soon after the completion of the work of the special 
committee, the sudden death of Theodore Roosevelt,^ 
its chairman, occurred, and at the first meeting held there'- 
after,= the Board adopted a resolution of regret and appre- 

■ February 7, 1878. 2 Mo^ch 14, 1878. 



ciation of his services, while a letter from Mrs. Lowell, 
dated February 12, 1878, and addressed to Dr. Charles S. 
Hoyt, Secretary of the State Board of Charities, expressed 
her deep grief at the loss of her valued colleague. 

"... I went yesterday to Mr. Roosevelt's funeral. 
His death is an incalculable loss to this city, and indeed 
to our work all over the State. He gave his whole time 
almost to matters connected with the duties of the Board, 
and his place cannot be filled. 

"To me the loss is a personal one, — he was ready to ad- 
vise and assist me always, and my efforts to improve the = 
condition of things here will lose more than half their 
efficacy. ..." 

That Mrs. Lowell was determined to put an end to the 
society condemned by the report of the special committee, 
was manifest from the close attention she gave to all its 
proceedings. The following letter shows this watchful- 
ness : 

April 29, 1878. 

Deae Dr. Hoyt: 

From what Mr. Devereaux writes me, there seems still 
to be some danger of the passage of the bill amending the 
charter of the Juvenile Guardian Society, which would be 
a direct insult to the Board. Certainly you ought to be 
able to prevent the passage of any such bill, even if Mr. 
Fanning cannot. You were acquainted with the char- 
acter of that society long before Mr. Fanning was con- 
nected with the Board, and if there is the slightest danger 
that the bill will go through, you should make an official 
statement of the facts to the Legislature. I hope no such 
thing will be necessary, but I am disappointed that the 
matter is not yet settled. 



"This matter," in the words of Mrs. Lowell, was not 
settled for many years, and was the cause of much con- 
troversy and violent refutations by the society. In 
July, 1885, it published a small pamphlet entitled "Needed 
Exposures of Base Insinuations and Brazen Falsehoods," 
in which it related with gusto the "thirteen defeats" 
of its base accusers, namely, a city commission "falsely 
claiming to be the State Board of Charities," and alluded 
to Mrs. Lowell as publishing falsehoods and defamation 
a,gainst it. It was not until 1894 that the committee of 
the State Board of Charities, and especially Mrs. Lowell, 
were vindicated in their attack on the New York Juvenile 
Guardian Society, by a judgment given August 1 of that 
year by the Supreme Court, annulling the corporate rights 
of the society, and thus ending this long battle, in which 
Mrs. Ijowell, acting in the interest of justice and honesty, 
was one of the chief participants. 

The second special investigation with which Mrs. 
Lowell was connected was ordered by the Board at its 
meeting, December 11, 1883, to inquire into the affairs and 
management of the New York Infant Asylum, an impor- 
tant semi-pubhc institution, incorporated in 1865 for the 
care of foundlings, and other infant children under two 
years of age. For several years prior to this action of the 
Board, there had been discord and contention in the board 
of managers, and an inquiry in 1879 by three New York 
Commissioners of the State Board had brought to light 
defects of importance. This led the Board to address a 
communication to the board of managers, recommend- 
ing reformed methods, but no action was taken ; the strife 



among the managers increased, and new and serious evils 
of administration appeared. 

Under these circumstances, on October 16, 1883, written 
charges were presented to me as the Commissioner of the 
First Judicial District, in which the institution is situated, 
alleging grave mismanagement of the New York Infant 
Asylum; the complaint was signed by two members of 
the board of managers, Theodore Roosevelt,^ son of the 
former Commissioner of the State Board, and as such well 
informed respecting its work and powers, and Theodore 
Kane Gibbs, a retired army officer, well known for his 
philanthropic work in the city. 

The principal cause of contention seems then to have 
been the illegal election, "by a most unscrupulous device," 
of a large number of additional managers, who then "pro- 
ceeded to deprive the medical members of the board of 
a participation in the medical management of the asylum." 
Then followed charges that undue and absolute authority 
was conferred upon the president of the board of managers, 
and that he had appointed to take charge of the country- 
branch a physician "who has just been declared by a 
Coroner's jury incompetent to perform the duties required 
of a physician in charge of such an institution." 

At the request of the New York Commissioners of the 
State Board, supplementary charges were submitted in 
detail, covering nine pages of closely written manuscript, 
in the forcible English of Mr. Roosevelt, and bearing his 
signature. It was alleged that the change of medical 
control was followed by a rapid and marked increase in 
' Then twenty-five years old, member of Assembly. 



the death rate among the infants, due in part to the 
spread of an epidemic of measles, which should have been 
controlled ; and extracts from the verdicts of the Coroners' 
juries, censuring the management of the Asylum, were 
quoted. The financial management of the Asylum was 
also complained of, and among other things the state- 
ment made that the funds of the institution were kept with 
a business firm of which the Treasurer was a member, 
notwithstanding the fact that in 1879 the State Board 
of Charities had requested the discontinuance of this 
practice. In view of the number and the serious char- 
acter of these charges, the State Board appointed a special 
committee of investigation composed of Commissioners 
Stewart, chairman, Lowell and Milhau, the latter being 
an ex-surgeon-general of the regular army, whose medical 
knowledge proved of great value. 

Concerning such requests for investigation from in- 
stitutions throughout the State, Mrs. Lowell wished the 
Board's position to be well understood, as appears from 
a letter written about that time : 

120 East 30th St., October 12, 1883. 
My dear Mr. Stewart : 

Will you allow me, as an older member of the Board 
than yourself, to make one or two suggestions in regard 
to the investigation you are about to undertake, or rather 
in regard to the general question of investigations of private 
charities? I think it quite important that we should 
always adopt, and keep to, the position that no society 
has a right to demand an investigation, and that we never 
undertake one for the purpose of clearing a society that 



has been attacked. That is their own office. We under- 
take investigations when we consider them necessary to 
protect helpless persons from injury or the pubhc from 
fraud. That is what we have always asserted, and we even 
went so far as to refuse to investigate, except in a very 
superficial manner, charges made against so important 

an institution as the . You will see that if we 

were to place ourselves at the call of any society that was 
attacked, we might spend all our time in defendmg the 
good name of one or another. 

It seems to me very desirable to explain this to the 

persons composing the , showing them that it was 

because the charge of fraud was serious, and not because 
they demanded it, that the Board appointed a committee 
to make the inquiry. 

I send you an opinion of Judge Daly in relation to our 
rights in case of investigations, which will probably be 
useful to you. . . ■ 

This thoughtful letter illustrates the orderly and logical 
working of the writer's mind, and her thorough apprecia- 
tion of the position the State Board should maintain 
toward the pubhc, and the charitable institutions ui the 
State. Experienced in committee work, and familiar with 
the broad principle underlying it, Mrs. Lowell was desirous 
that precedents should be followed by her colleagues, and 
the investigations kept %vithm proper bounds. Weekly 
sessions of the committee were held for four months, at 
my private office, the State Board not then having an 
office in New York City. Mrs. Lowell was regular in her 
attendance at the meetings, and took part in the examina- 
tion of witnesses. Her intimate acquaintance with the 
Asylum, and her long and varied experience in the man- 





agement of private charitable institutions, were very 
helpful. Mr. Roosevelt gave testimony, and followed 
the course of the investigation closely; and with the 
able cooperation of Dr. Henry D. Nicoll, formerly of the 
medical board, actively led the contest of the minority 
members of the board, for a thorough reformation of the 
affairs and management of the Asylum. 

Coincidently with the examination by the State Board, 
the publication of the charges of Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. 
Gibbs in the New York Tribune began a newspaper con- 
troversy of much acrimony, between the managers of the 
Asylum and the two complainants, which gave publicity 
to the matter, and awakened general interest. Mean- 
while the special committee was carrying on the investiga- 
tion, and finally presented its report, which was adopted 
by the Board December 16, 1884. It appeared therein 
that the charges were in general well founded, and it con- 
cluded with these words: "Your Committee is of the 
opinion that Messrs. Theodore Roosevelt and Theodore 
Kane Gibbs, in calling the attention of the State Board 
of Charities to the mismanagement of the New York 
Infant Asylum, have performed a public duty." 

It is pleasant, while noting Mrs. Lowell's activity as a 
member of this investigating committee, to find her as- 
sociated with one, who, like herself, so often showed his 
fearlessness of public opinion and his courage when fighting 
for justice and equity. Theodore Roosevelt must then 
have realized, if never before, the importance of having 
only high-minded, unselfish, and experienced men and 
women on the boards of State charitable institutions; 

and later when as Governor of the State of New York, it 
became his duty to appoint managers of these institutions, 
he secured the services of many such, unusuaUy well 
qualified by training and inclination for their positions. 

It should be said in conclusion, that the New York 
Infant Asylum has, ever since the State Board's investiga- 
tion, been under an harmonious administration, managers 
and'officers all laboring together for the success of their 
humane work. 


Work to Improve the Condition of the Almshouses 

It will be remembered that when Mrs. Lowell was a 
young woman her sympathetic interest was given to the 
inmates of the Richmond Comity Poorhouse, as it was 
then called, not far from her father's home on Staten 
Island, and that it was her report on "Adult Able-bodied 
Paupers" which led to her appointment in 1876 by 
Governor Tilden as the first woman commissioner on the 
State Board of Charities. At that time the State Board 
had not, as now, an organized Department of State and 
Alien Poor with inspectors whose duty it is to keep the 
county almshouses under systematic and thorough in- 
spection. The commissioners of the Board were then 
required to make reports upon the conditions in the ahns- 
houses of their respective judicial districts, which usually 
include several counties. Servmg without salary, and 
some of them men of large affairs, they found it practically 
impossible personally to make the frequent and careful 
inspections necessary to insure the welfare of the inmates 
of these numerous institutions. 

The Legislature of 1873 recognized this condition, and 
provided a measure of rehef by conferring upon the State 
Board power to designate for the several counties visitors 
"of all poorhouses and other institutions in said county 
subject to the visitation of the said Board under the said 



act, in aid of and as a representative of the Board, except 
such institutions as have a board of managers appointed 
by the State." The records show Mrs. Lowell's im- 
mediate and useful exercise of the power of selection and 
nomination of visitors under the act. On December 5, 
1876, the Board designated as visitors for New York 
County, on Commissioner Lowell's nomination. Miss 
Ellen M. Collins, Dr. W. Gill Wylie, Mr. Temple Prime, , 
and Mr. Henry E. Pellew. 

Early appreciation by the Board of Mrs. Lowell's knowl- 
edge of almshouses was shown by the adoption, Januarj' 
12, 1877, of a resolution requesting all the county visiting 
committees in the State to send their reports to her, and 
asking her to forward duplicates or synopses of such reports 
to the commissioner of the judicial district in which the 
institution reported upon was located. Mrs. Lowell thus 
became the State Board's clearing-house for all reports 
on coimty charitable institutions, and she from time to 
time reported to the Board upon the work of the visitors. 
These continued to render efficient aid to the Board until 
1896, when the employment of salaried inspectors rendered 
the further designation of unpaid visitors not only un- 
necessary, but inexpedient. 

Both before and after the appointment of the county 
visitors, Mrs. Lowell took an active personal interest in 
these public institutions, and her official visits to them, 
especially to that maintained by the City of New York 
on Blackwell's Island, early convinced her that the 
commingling in these institutions of the feeble-minded, 
idiotic, and insane, and the morally depraved of both sexes. 



was in large measure responsible for the great increase 
in numbers of the defective, dependent, and delinquent 
classes for the public to protect and maintain. In January, 
1878, she submitted a report on pauperism based upon 
a report previously made by the Secretary of the Board, 
Dr. Hoyt, in which she pointed out that "the State should 
in the interest of humanity, moraUty, and the common 
good, provide separate institutions for their care ; that is, 
custodial asylums for adult idiots and the feeble-minded 
of each sex, and reformatories for depraved and vagrant 
women." The Board accepted this report, and ordered 
one thousand copies printed. During the following 
month, Mrs. Lowell submitted a special report on the 
Westchester County Poorhouse, showing carelessness of 
the local authorities in the matter of records. The facts 
ascertained by her were brought to the attention of the 
County Supervisors throughout the State, with a request 
for the immediate introduction by them of a system of 
proper records of all inmates of almshouses. During the 
same year her visits to the almshouses of Richmond, Rock- 
land, and Herkimer counties were also reported. 

Much of Mrs. Lowell's best work was that intended 
to exclude from the almshouses all but the sick and aged 
poor, for whom alone they are suitable homes. These 
institutions then, as now, were the resort of tramps and 
vagrants in large numbers ; and Mrs. Lowell also recom- 
mended the establishment of State labor colonies, to which 
they should be committed, as the only reasonable means 
for the repression of trampery : a method which has since 
been approved by many public officials and others en- 


gaged in relief work, and a reform certain of accomplish- 
ment in the near future. 

The following letters from the files of the Board, re- 
lating to the Riclunond County Poorhouse, recall the 
usual conditions in such institutions less than a generation 
ago. Miss Sarah M. Carpenter, to whom one of the letters 
was addressed, was appointed by Governor Cornell, in 
1880, the second woman commissioner on the State Board, 
and represented the second judicial district, which in- 
cludes the county of Richmond. She was a faithful 
official, and, having served with credit, retired in 1893. 

AprH 21, 1882. 
My deak Miss Carpenter: 

I was yesterday at the poorhouse, and am more than 
ever impressed with the necessity of removing some, at 
least, of those inmates I wrote you of, if only they are 


Fanny, who has the epileptic fits, had been so impudent 
to the keeper that he had locked her up. She had three 
or four fits just before, and of course the unpudence is 
due to the same cause that makes the fits, but, as the 
keeper says, when she insiUts him before the others, he has 
to punish her to maintain discipline whether she is respon- 
sible or not. 

I was at the poorhouse only a little while, as I went 
merely to carry some books to the little library, but I 
talked to the matron about having lost her temper and 
thrown the water at Margaret. ... She cried, and said 
she was so tried by them, etc. The Superintendents had 
heard all about it and have given the keeper the nght to 
shut up the inmates on bread and water and then report 




to the board each week. I suppose this is necessary, as 
the matron says they do not care at all about being shut 
up if only they get then- meals. 

There was a man brought in some days before insane. 
He was lying on the floor in the basement cell with wristlets 
and belt on to be sent off Tuesday. That cell is a horrible 
place to keep them. 

I forgot if any action was taken on your report as to 
the insane. Cannot you get Dr. Hoyt to come down 
and see these cases and decide if they are msane ? 

120 East 30th Stkeet, September 25, '82. 
My deak Mk. Letchworth: 

... I suddenly discovered yesterday afternoon that 
the new Richmond County Poorhouse was to be an im- 
portant matter, and meeting one of the supervisors, he 
told me the plan was to be adopted this morning ! . . . 
I begged him to defer it until the next meeting. ... He 
said he would do what he could, and I said that I would 
do my best to persuade you to be at that meeting. 

He said their idea was to build two wings, with a con- 
necting building, but when I suggested day-rooms, etc., 
he confessed they had never thought of anything of the 
kind. They seem amenable to advice and I hope you 
can be at the meeting. 

West New Brighton, July 4, 1885. 
Dr. C. S. Hoyt. 
Dear Sir: 

I have written to Miss Carpenter to-day, suggesting 
that it would perhaps be useful if you and she could visit 
the Richmond County Poorhouse on Wednesday, July 8th, 
when the Board of Supervisors is to meet there (or a 


committee), in order to present to them the necessity of 
putting up at least one new building and providing for a 
better separation of the sexes and more room. I fear that 
the Supervisors may vote to spend money on a separate 
building for the insane, instead of remodelling the whole 
poorhouse. The Grand Jury has recommended that the 
county build an asylum. Last winter the poorhouse was 
much overcrowded. 

December 30, 1886. 
My dear Mr. Letchworth : 

Have you ever been able to do anything with our 
Richmond County Superintendents of the Poor ? I have 
never heard of it if you have. 

I was at the Poorhouse last week and found five children 
there ranging from three to thirteen years of age, besides 
the babies and the older children who were sick. It is 
trying to have men in office who care so little to obey 
the laws. . . . 

No wonder that almshouse discipline and good order 
were difficult, if not impossible, with the mixed population 
received under the operation of the Poor Laws of New York 
State as they were at that time. The returns of the Super- 
intendents of the Poor to the State Board for the year 
ending November 1, 1881, shortly before Mrs. Lowell's let- 
ters were written, gave the whole number of inmates of the 
fifty-eight county almshouses, city almshouses excepted, 
on that date as 6,174, of whom there were insane, 1,754; 
idiots, 253 ; epileptics, 171 ; blind, 131 ; deaf mutes, 36 ; chil- 
dren under two years old, 129 ; children between two and 
sixteen years, 93. Richmond County Poorhouse was thus 
not exceptional, and, because of Mrs. Lowell's watchful 



care over it, probably one of the best. After the letters 
quoted were written, it improved so much that before 
she laid down her work she was able to visit it with sat- 
isfaction, all the more genuine because of her long 
acquaintance with bad conditions prevailing, and her suc- 
cessful efforts to improve them. 

In the chapters relating to the work for the Women's 
Eeformatory and for a Custodial Asylum for Feeble- 
Minded Women, further and more particular mention is 
made of the great reforms which resulted in the establish- 
ment by the State of these two institutions and of the 
assumption by the State of the duty of making suitable 
provision for both delmquent and feeble-minded women, 
who until that time found their only asylum in the alms- 

Massachusetts Paupers 

Inspections of the county ahnshouses and other chari- 
table institutions in New York State made by the ofBcers 
of the State Board revealed the fact that they maintamed 
a large number of paupers or vagrants who had no legal 
or moral claim for support upon the taxpayers of New 
York, but came from other states, many of them from 
Massachusetts. The subject received the consideration 
of the Board in 1877 and 1878, and a correspondence ensued 
between it and the Board of Health, Lunacy and Charity 
of the State of Massachusetts. The New York Board 
expressed the opinion that this State should not be bur- 
dened with certain classes of dependent persons sent from 


Definite action began when the New York Board, at a 
meeting held May 14, 1879, requested Commissioner 
Lowell "to inquire into the facts concerning the transfer 
of paupers from Massachusetts to this State and report at 
the next meeting of the Board." Mrs. Lowell promptly 
took up the work thus confided to her, prepared a report 
and addressed a communication to the Massachusetts 
Board, both of which she mentioned in the following 
letter to the President of the New York Board. 

PoNKAPOG, Mass., August 22, 1879. 
My dear Mr. Letchworth : 

I have yours with note to Dr. Folsom,' which I have 
forwarded. I agree with you that the Board should hear 
and consider my report and appoint a committee to pre- 
pare a plan of action before we can meet the Massachu- 
setts Committee. I shall not write again to Dr. Folsom, 
as I think the matter stands as it should now. 

I am glad you thought well of my conmiunication to the 
Massachusetts Board. I felt I was discharging a delicate 
office, and was anxious to say exactly the right thing. 

The report was presented and accepted by the Board 
September 10, 1879, and resolutions offered by Mrs. 
Lowell were adopted, expressing satisfaction at the appoint- 
ment by the Massachusetts Board of a Committee of 
Conference, and inviting a conference meeting in the 
City of New York the following November. She also 
at this meeting presented a paper to serve as a basis for 
discussion, which was accepted and a copy ordered sent 

» Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Health, Lunacy, and 



to each member, and President Letchworth was by resolu- 
tion requested to prepare a paper embodying the views 
of the Board. 

The conference in the City of New York between 
the two State Boards began on November 12, 1879, 
and lasted two days. Thus within six months from the 
reference to Mrs. Lowell of the subject of controversy, 
during which period summer had intervened, she had 
succeeded in bringing about a conference. It was quite 
characteristic of her usual attitude that having by her 
papers and personal efforts secured the conference, she 
was almost a silent member ; evidently the discussion was 
going as she washed, and so she reserved her ammunition. 
In relation to what she thought about two instances of 
individual hardship cited, she said : 

"In this case the welfare of the pauper himself ought 
to be considered. The claims of common humanity are 
to be taken into consideration apart from the great in- 
terest of the State. Massachusetts has, in these two cases 
read for the information of the gentlemen, not only pur- 
sued a selfish pohcy, but has been utterly negUgent of the 
welfare of the individual. If it be true, as stated, she has 
pushed these persons out of the limits of Massachusetts 
with no regard whatever for their welfare. Both of these 
cases were of decent respectable people. If Massachusetts 
chose to support them it would be perfectly proper to do 
so, but she had no right to send them to New York un- 
der the circumstances. . . ." 

At another time she said: "Is not the injury done 
to New York measured by the advantage secured to 
Massachusetts? From your own reports it appears that 


in eight or nine years past there were about 2,000 paupers 
or lunatics removed from the state. Does not that serve 
to prove that this is a class of people who, if they were 
dependent in Massachusetts, would be likely to be depend- 
ent in New York? Whether they went to Blackwell s 
Island or to the poorhouse does not matter for the purposes 
of this argument. We recognize that some laws need to 
be changed, and the question is, which laws need changing 
and who is going to change them. We want to get at the. 
right principle as to what each state ought to do, and then 
perhaps we can form some plan of action. . . ." 

An abstract of the record of the proceedings, which on 
the request of the New York Board was prepared by 
]VIr. Letchworth, was printed in the anmial report for the 
year 1880, and closed with the expression of the hope that 
a more liberal and harmonious policy would be hence- 
forward pursued by the Massachusetts Board, a wish 
which has since been realized. A final and important 
reference to the conference found in the records of the 
New York Board appears in a "Special Report of the 
Standing Committee on the Insane in the matter of the 
Investigation of the New York City Asylum for the In- 
sane," by Commissioners Craig, Ivlilhau and Foster, 
dated August 12, 1887, written by Oscar Craig, of Roches- 
ter, at that time President of the State Board. 

"The effects of all deportations by foreign local authori- 
ties, charitable societies, famiUes and individuals of alien 
criminals,"lunatics and paupers upon the City of New 
York, as the port of entry, are both direct and indirect, 
and thus doubly disastrous. Those who stay become 



charges upon the city ; those who go to other states may- 
be assisted by the authorities of such states to return to 
New York City, as was often done in former years. Such 
breaches of interstate comity by Massachusetts resulted 
in the conference between the Commissioners of Health, 
Lunacy and Charity of that State and our State Board of 
Charities, held in the city of New York, November 12, 

"Among the points brought out by this conference are 
the following : 

" 1st. Massachusetts had deported by state authority, 
exclusive of those sent out by its towns and cities, during 
the period from 1870 to 1878, seven thousand and five 
Paupers to the State, and mainly to the City of New 

"2d. Massachusetts held New York responsible for the 
support of persons who have become dependent in that 
State, but had no settlement in New York, and had 
never been in New York, except as passengers in transit 
for Massachusetts. 

"It is difficult to say how far benefit has resulted from 
that conference ; but if Massachusetts still continues 
such deportations to any great extent, they are secret 
and indirect, through other doorwaj-s into the State, 
though the intended and ultimate destination of such as- 
sisted foreign paupers may be the City of New York, as 
the original port of entry." ^ 

The taxpayers of New York State and the large number 
of paupers and vagrants, who in consequence of the 
more liberal policy pursued by Massachusetts since the 

' Twenty-first Annual Report of the State Board of Charities, for 
the year 1887, pp. 252-253. 


conference of 1879 are now sent through New York State 
to their homes or places of settlement, have good reason 
for gratitude to Mrs. LoweU for the work she did for 
Massachusetts paupers. 


The Women's Reformatories at Albion and Bedford 

Two years after its opening, the House of Refuge for 
Women at Hudson sheltered nearly two hundred inmates, 
and its work was a demonstrated success. Demands 
for admission were received in such numbers as to indi- 
cate that unless outside relief was speedily provided the 
institution would perforce grow to a size not originally 
contemplated, a condition which would prevent the 
large measure of individual care necessary for the genuine 
reformation of the inmates. Hence a demand sprang 
up among the leaders in reformatory work for two similar 
refuges, one to be located in the metropolitan and the 
other in the western section of the State, each designed 
to receive commitments from the neighboring counties. 
By this means it was believed the pressure upon the in- 
stitution at Hudson would be diminished, and all three 
could be kept within the limits of the best reformatory 

Mrs. Lowell and Mrs. Abby Hopper Gibbons, who 
had worked together in 1886 and subsequently for poUce 
matrons in station houses, early recognized the need of 
such other reformatories for women, and 1889 found 
them each laboring for this end. 



In a letter addressed by Mrs. Gibbons to Anna Powell, 
March 12, 1889, she wrote : 

"I gathered my fragments, secured the necessary ma- 
terial, sent to Hudson for a copy of the report of the 
'Refuge for Women,' and decided to have a bill ready 
by the day of our meeting, asking for a Reformatory for 
Women of New York and Kings County. I added to 
this some strong points showing the need. We took it 
(the Hudson report) for our guide. I sent it to Hon. 
Hamilton Fish to present." 

The Legislature passed the bill, and this information 
being communicated by Mrs. Gibbons to Mrs. Lowell 
brought forth prompt congratulations in the following 
letter : 

New York, May 17, 1889. 
My dear Mrs. Gibbons : 

Thank you for your good news about the Reformatory 
Bill. I was very glad that the trip to Albany did not 
do you any harm, and sorry not to see you when I was at 
your house this week. 

I congratulate you on the great work accomplished this 
winter, for it will be a great blessing to have that reforma- 

But the end was not to be reached that year, for the 
reason given in a letter written by Mrs. Gibbons to 
Rachel H. Powell, June, 1889: "Please convey to thy 
beloved parents the non-approval of our Women's Re- 
formatory Bill. ... I hoped the bill would pass, but 
why I should hope for any good thing from David B. Hill, 



or expect it, I do not know." Like the first Hudson 
Refonnatory bill, it was killed by executive veto. 

Meanwhile Mrs. Lowell, as Commissioner of the State 
Board of Charities, was helping on the movement for the 
new institutions. She was acting Chairman of the Board's 
Standing Committee on Reformatories, and presented 
to the Board in 1889 a report in which she called attention 
to the fact that the House of Refuge at Hudson was already 

"It is most desirable that a second reformatory for 
women should be established in the western part of the 
State to receive young women guilty of misdemeanors, 
from the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth judicial districts. 
. . . Such an institution should be established at 
once; it would relieve the State Industrial School at 
Rochester of the older girls now committed there, and 
who ought to be removed, besides receiving those now 
sent to the House of Refuge at Hudson from the western 
part of the State. For New York City and Kings County 
such a reformatory is also needed. These locaUties cannot, 
xmder the law, commit to the House of Refuge for Women 
at Hudson; and though there is room in the House of 
Refuge on Randall's Island for girls under sixteen years, 
for those older there is no public institution but the work- 
house in New York, and the jail and penitentiary in ffing's 

"The committee requests the Board to recommend to the 
Legislature the establishment of both these new reforma- 
tories." ^ 

Mrs. Lowell's accessible papers covering this period 
contain nothing farther relating to the Bedford Reforma- 

» Report of the State Board of Charities for 1889, p. 124. 



tory, and Mrs. Gibbons appears to have been henceforward 
the leader in the movement which resulted in the establish- 
ment of that uastitution. 

Success, however, sooner attended the effort to secure 
a women's reformatory for the western part of the State. 
On this subject Hon. William Pryor Letchworth has sup- 
plied the foUqwing letter, addressed to him as President of 
the State Board of Charities by Mrs. Lowell : 

120 East 30th Street, January 24, 1890. 
My dear Mr. Letchworth : 

As you know, the Board recommended in its report this 
year the establishment of a new reformatory for women, 
on the Hudson plan for the western part of the State, . . . 
and the bill for that purpose is to be introduced this 


The proposed institution is to be exclusively for women 
committed from the 6th, 7th, and 8th Judicial Distncts, 
and I write to ask most earnestly that you will present the 
matter very strongly to your Senators and Assemblymen. 

The Board has reason to be proud of the success of the 
experiment at Hudson, and there is no doubt that if that 
institution is enlarged, or overcrowded without being 
enlarged, as it will inevitably be, unless another one of 
the same kind is provided for the western part of the 
State, its usefulness will be almost destroyed. . . . 

The bill referred to in the foregoing letter became law 

without the approval of Governor Hill, April 30, 1890.^ 

It estabUshed as a new State institution the Western 

House of Refuge for Women, soon afterwards located at 

» Chapter 238, Laws of 1890. 





Albion in Wayne County, near Rochester. This reforma- 
tory, mainly conducted on the cottage plan, has rendered 
valuable service, and at the close of 1909 sheltered 270 

Mrs. Gibbons, disappointed but not discouraged by the 
veto of the bill for a reformatory for young women of the 
metropolitan district, renewed her efforts for this institu- 
tion, and for nearly three years indefatigably continued 
them. "In February, 1892, when she was past ninety 
years of age, she went once more to Albany with two other 
members of the Women's Prison Association, and appeared 
at a hearing before the Ways and Means Committee, to 
advocate the measure. This had the effect to carry the 
bill in the Assembly without a dissenting vote." ' After 
passing the Senate, it was approved by Governor Flower 
May 16, 1892. Mrs. Gibbons received valuable aid in 
her campaign from Miss Louisa Lee Schuyler, Joseph H. 
Choate, James C Carter, and John H. Finley. She lived 
to see the purchase of the site at Bedford, where one 
of the principal buildings has since been named in her 
honor, and died in 1893. 

Work upon the buildings proceeded slowly for want of 
appropriations and other causes. The act which estab- 
lished the reformatory provided that the construction 
work should be upon plans and specifications approved by 
a special commission composed of the Superintendent of 
State Prisons, the Commissioners of the new Capitol, and 
the Comptroller. This commission seldom met, and its 

' "Life of Abby Hopper Gibbons,'! by Sarah M. Emerson, Vol. I, 
p. 253. 


approval of plans and specifications was thus delayed, and 
building operations prevented for a considerable period. 
Mrs. Lowell no doubt did what she could to expedite it ; 
the following letter addressed to Mr. Robert W. Heb- 
berd, at that time Secretary of the State Board of Chari- 
ties, of which she was no longer a member, is an evidence 
of her interest : 

120 East 30th Street, December 21, 1898. 
My dear Mr. Hebberd : 

I hope the Board is going to help this year in securing 
the appropriation needed to open and operate the Bedford 
Reformatory. We need the institution, and not for young 
girls and children, but for the older and more hardened 
offenders. The House of Refuge and the private rescue 
homes should take care of the younger and more in- 
pressionable, and let us keep the reformatories for the 
less manageable. I hope the Board will not cause delay 
by insisting on the buildings being altered, for we ought 
to have the institution for use. 

I wrote to Gov. Roosevelt, and think he will appreciate 
the seriousness of the matters referred to. . . . 

I sent Mr. Stewart what you wrote to me about him, 
as I thought he deserved the gratification, and enclose you 
his reply for the same reason.^ . . . 

Nine years elapsed from the establishment of the re- 
formatory at Bedford until its opening, for the first inmate 
was not received until May 11, 1901. None of the New 

1 My first intention to omit this personal allusion has been changed 
because of a desire to show Mrs. Lowell's characteristic thoughtfulness 
for the gratification of others. 



York State institutions of a charitable or reformatory 
character has had so tardy a beginning, but with the 
opening began an uninterrupted career of useful and in- 
telligent development. Mrs. Lowell became a member of 
the board of managers in 1899, upon appointment by Gov- 
ernor Roosevelt, and was most influential in planning for 
the success of the work now carried on there. 

Immediate and cordial support by the State was not 
accorded the new institution, and the work was at first 
prosecuted amid many discouragements. Shortly after it 
was opened, and when it contained few inmates, the re- 
formatory was visited by Governor Odell, who, from his 
subsequent attitude, evidently then reached the conclusion 
that it was not needed. On the recommendation of this 
Governor, the office of Fiscal Supervisor of State Charities 
was created by the Legislature in 1902, to assume the func- 
tions of supervision exercised at that time over the financial 
affairs of the State charitable and reformatory institutions 
by the State Comptroller. The Governor appointed as the 
first Fiscal Supervisor Mr. Harry H. Bender of Albany, 
then Superintendent of Pubhc Buildings. This official 
soon took the position that the reformatory at Bedford 
was superfluous, and did not favor requests made from time 
to time for the employment of additional officers thought 
by the managers to be needed at the institution. A cor- 
respondence ensued between him and Mrs. Lowell on this 
subject, as appears from the following letter addressed to 
Mr. Robert W. Hebberd : 


120 East 30th Stkeet, November U, '02. 
My dear Mr. Hebberd : , ■ u;„i, 

i, reply to my -'f"-"^!. 0" TdlZ^r^ an'd the 



Wishing to be free so that she might more eSectiv* pr- 

letter, also addressed to Mr. Hebberd : 

120 East SOTh Steeet, November 22, '02. 

'"' TSr"^ "^^ Bedford Board, teUing the 
GovernorTdBL wsh to i-lve^e^^^^^ 
in responsibiUty for my action m condemnmg 

Mr James Wood of Mount Kisco, near Bedford, was 

such occasions as to merit insertion verbatim . 
1 February, 1910. 



"Governor Odell visited the institution at Bedford but 
once during his governorship when we had but eighteen in- 
mates, and he never seemed to reaUze that that number had 
been mcreased but kept it in mind continually and thought 
that the State was incurring heavy expense in caring for a 
small number of inmates. State hospitals for the insane 
were sorely pressed for room at that time to receive those 
requiring their care ; the lease of the Flatbush Hospital by 
the City of Brooklyn to the State was about to expire, and 
it became necessary to provide accommodations for the in- 
mates of that hospital. Governor Odell, considering that 
the work at Bedford was not making adequate return to 
the State for the amount expended there, proposed to close 
the mstitution as a reformatory and convert it into a hos- 
pital for the insane, it being all ready to receive the in- 
mates of the Flatbush Hospital. For this purpose he had 
a bill mtroduced into the Legislature which was referred 
in the Senate to the Finance Committee, and in the Assem- 
bly to the Committee on Ways and Means. As it involved 
a change of law, it was also referred to the Judiciary Com- 
mittee of the Senate. For the first time in many years, a 
jomt session was held for these committees to hear the 
advocates and opponents of the bill. 

"Wishing to present the needs for the reformatory 
properly, the management put themselves in touch with 
the State Board of Charities, the W^omen's Prison As- 
sociation of New York, the Supervisor of Catholic Chari- 
ties, the United Hebrew Charities, the Hebrew Women's 
Association, and other organizations. It was a matter of 
great satisfaction to the management that every one of 
the institutions and organizations thus approached sent 
a representative to Albany for the hearing, except the 
United Hebrew Charities, whose President sent a very 
strong letter to the Committees. 



"At the hearing the Governor's representative in 
advocacy of the bill was the Fiscal Supervisor, Mr. Bender. 
The attendance of the members of the Committees at the 
hearing was unusually large, and it was presided over 
by the Chairman of the Finance Committee of the Senate, 
George R. Malby. During this hearing, the Governor's 
representative attacked the reformatory in every way 
possible, using a great variety of detailed information 
obtained through the inspectors of the Fiscal Supervisor's 
Department. Among other things, it was charged that 
the treatment of the inmates was inhumane, a special point 
being made of the fact that on one occasion the fire hose 
was turned upon one of the inmates. Mrs. Lowell sat 
in the audience and immediately arose and addressed the 
Chairman of the hearing and stated that this charge should 
not be laid against the management of the institution 
as a whole but only against herself individually, as she 
was present on the occasion and herself directed the super- 
intendent to use the hose as stated. The facts were, she 
said, that the inmate was a desperate character who had 
acknowledged the commission of three murders in the City 
of New York, and had escaped pimishment therefor on 
the claim of self-defence. She had been guilty of a number 
of violent acts while at the reformatory, and in this case 
had taken refuge in a room and had armed herself with 
such appliances as she could lay her hands on and was 
making desperate resistance to the officers. As a pro- 
tection to the inmate from what appeared to be neces- 
sarily severe treatment, which might do her personal 
injury, and also for the protection of the officers, Mrs. 
Lowell deemed it best that the hose should be used. 

"This statement by Mrs. Lowell made a deep impres- 
sion upon the members of the Legislative Committees, and 
her magnificent bearing and courageous admission of all 



responsibility had the effect to disconcert the Governor's 
representative and doubtless had much to do with the 
result of the hearing. The result of the hearing was that 
no member of the Committees named voted to report the 
bill. It was turned down by the unanimous vote of all 
the Committees. The representatives of all the institu- 
tions named were very emphatic in their testimony as to 
the need of the institution and the value of its work." 

When, as has been mentioned, appropriations for the 
salaries of needed officers were withheld by the State, be- 
cause of lack of sympathy with the work of the reforma- 
tory, Mrs. Lowell made provision from time to time from 
her own modest income for the most pressing needs. In 
1902, she paid the salarj'' of a young woman experienced 
in college settlement work, who devoted much of her time 
to the girls isolated for bad conduct, and also the salary of 
an instructor in amusements. The following year the 
managers called attention in their report to the need of 
a teacher of calisthenics and gymnastics, and again Mrs. 
Lowell supplied the needed instructor, the State at that 
time being unwiUing to provide for the salary. Practically 
all the inmates were taught in the gymnastic classes, and 
the results were soon found so valuable, both for health 
and discipline, that this branch of reformatory work was 
adopted by the State, not only at Bedford, but also at 
the other reformatories at Hudson and Albion. A special 
matron was employed, also at Mrs. Lowell's expense, to 
take charge of the gardening and other outdoor work, 
under the direction of this officer much of the planting 
and weeding and gathering of crops being done by the 


In their report to the Legislature covering the year 1902, 
the managers of the reformatory paid the f oUowing tribute 
to Mrs. Lowell's services as a member of the Board : 

"One change in the membership of the Board of Mana- 
gers has occurred during the past year. Mrs. Charles 
Russell Lowell, who had been a manager for nearly three 
years, resigned in November, 1902. Mrs. Lowell has been 
widely known for many years for her devotion to the work 
of social reform in various aspects, and she was pre- 
eminently suited for the office of a manager. Her interest 
in the success of this institution did not end with the 
faithful and efficient discharge of her official duties, but 
she constantly supplemented the work carried on by he 
State by providing at her own private expense for the 
salaries of' special' teachers which the State authorities 
had not seen fit to allow, and continues to do this up to 
the present time. She has also contributed in various 
ways to the encouragement and benefit of the mmates, 
as will be more fully shown by the report of the superm- 
tendent. The managers regarded her separation from 
the board as a most serious loss to the institution. 

In reply to a request to the superintendent of the in- 
stitution for some details of Mrs. Lowell's worlc as a 
manager, a letter was received from which the following 
extracts are given : 

Bedford, N.Y., November 1, 1905. 

Mr DEAR Mr. Stewart : , ^ , tvt 

It is difficult for us to express how keenly we feel Mrs. 
Lowell's loss. As you knew, at the time of the opening 
of the institution she was a member of our Board of Mana- 
ged When the time approached, Mrs. Lowell was one 



of the Board who was most anxious concerning the secur- 
ing of a Superintendent and staff. She desired that the 
educational and reformatory side be made especially strong 
and was anxious to secure a Superintendent who was in 
touch with modern educational methods, who was not in 
institution ruts, and who had received academic training. 
This led her to correspond with presidents of women's 
and coeducational colleges and universities and with the 
Association of Collegiate Alumnte. 

Mrs. Lowell's personal visits to the institution from the 
time of its opening were frequent. She not only advised 
with the Superintendent, but made the acquaintance of 
the inmates, especially those who were more refractory. 
She was in the habit of spending the night at the in- 
stitution, occupying a room in one of the cottages or in 
the Reception House, in order that she might become 
personally famiUar with the methods of discipline at night. 
She gained the confidence and affection of individual 
inmates and from time to time corresponded with a num- 
ber of these. She also interested herself in their families. 
In one instance, she bore the expense of the journey of a 
young French woman whom we desired to return to her 
mother in France, an expense which the authorities did 
not deem necessary. The last letter received from her 
after the beginning of her final illness was one concerning 
the employment of the girls in the lowest grade. This was 
accompanied by a letter to one of the inmates whom she 
had befriended and who sent Mrs. Lowell a basket which 
she had made. Although Mrs. Lowell was seriously ill at 
the time, she personally wrote a note of thanks to the girl 
saying how much she appreciated being thus remembered. 

One of our cottages, the Lowell, was named in her 
honor. In this she was particularly interested. She was 
always anxious to have things done immediately. On 


one visit she was especially pleased with the painting and 
de oration of the sitting and dming rooms of th.s cottag 
which had been done by the inmates She wanted the 
Torndors painted at once to make the work complete 
when told that we must wait a month to ^^^^^'^ ^^'J^^ 
necessary materials, she immediately gave the money to 
buvthem begging that the work be not interrupted. On 
Mrl "s'reL^^^^ from the Board of Managers^ 
not only the managers and officers of the mstitution^ bu 
the Trls as well, felt her loss keenly. Her merest did not 
eas^with her retirement from the Boaxd As before 
mentioned, she kept in touch with us until her death 
and her gi^ts in money continued to be a very great W 
In every^stance when the thing for which she paid had 
proved^tself , we were able to make it permanent by con- 
vincing the authorities that it had been of value. 

oTthe Sunday following her death, memorial services 

were held for her in the Chapel of the Reformatory 

Very sincerely yours, 

Katharine Bement Davis. 




Work for Police Matrons 

The indignities to which it was alleged women were 
subjected in the poMce stations and prisons of the City of 
New York, in which at that time no matrons were em- 
ployed, of such a nature that they cannot weU be men- 
tioned here, induced Mrs. LoweU, in the spring of 1886, to 
request Dr. Annie S. Daniel to make an investigation and 
to report to her the findings. Dr. Daniel, who was then 
attending physician to the Isaac T. Hopper Home of the 
Women's Prison Association, was an associate of Mrs. Lowell 
in the Working Women's Society, and had made some in- 
vestigations for the Tenement House Commission, of which 
Dr. FeUx Adler was chairman. Mrs. LoweU's famiharity 
with Dr. Daniel's reports of these investigations, and her 
knowledge of the great interest which she manifested in 
the condition of women prisoners, led to the request for 
her assistance m this new undertaking. Necessary per- 
mission for this investigation was obtained by Mrs. Lowell 
for three persons, and it was her intention to join in the in- 
spections, but the pressure of other official work prevented. 
Dr. Daniel informs me that Mrs. Weidemeyer, of the 
Charity Organization Society, visited the Essex Market 
prison with her, and that to all the other station houses 
and prisons she went alone. The written report, made 
by Dr. Daniel to Mrs. Lowell, substantiated the allega- 
tions of abuses, and resulted in a conference of pubUc- 



spirited women, which assembled on Mrs. Lowell's in- 
vitation in the autumn of 1886, for the consideration of the 
need of police matrons in station houses, and of other 
social questions of municipal interest. At a session of this 
conference, held in November and December of that year, 
Mrs. Abby Hopper Gibbons, President of the Women's 
Prison Association of the City of New York, asked for 
the report for publication in the proceedings of the As- 
sociation, there to be made the basis of public agitation 
on its part for police matrons in station houses. To this 
Dr. Daniel and Mrs. Lowell consented, and the move- 
ment for this important reform was thus begun. Dr. 
Daniel became the instrument in Mrs. Lowell's hands for 
this beneficent pmpose. She has informed me that her 
report was received too late for publication in 1886. 
In sUghtly modified form, with the statistics brought down 
to the year 1887, it found place in the proceedings of the 
Women's Prison Association for that year. 

Free lodgings in the station houses were then given 
indiscriminately to homeless or vagrant men and women, 
a practice which, Mrs. Lowell beheved, increased the evils 
and abuses found in them. The charitable and cor- 
rectional institutions of the city were then administered 
by one Commission, and any one applying for a night's 
lodging was given shelter wherever it was sought, so that 
the same building served for correction and charity, and 
the station houses, being numerous and accessible, were 
resorted to, especially in bad weather, by the idle, the 
vicious, and the unfortunate in large numbers, beside hous- 
ing those arrested for crime. 



Followng the conference of women, which was continued 
m 1887, Mrs. Lowell acti\'ely engaged, with other benevo- 
lent and pubhc-spirited women, in securing three reforms, 
which aimed to prevent the recurrence of the disgraceful 
conditions then found to exist in the station houses : 

1. The division of the Department of Charities and 
Correction into two departments. 

2. The appointment of police matrons for all station 
houses and prisons. 

3. The establishment of a municipal lodging house, 
or houses, for homeless men and women. 

Practical and useful reforms, all three, and aU of them 
long since accomphshed ; but the need of pohce matrons 
seemed the most pressing, and received Mrs. Lowell's first 

The Women's Prison As.sociation, formed in 1844, was 
simultaneously at work under the able leadership of Mrs. 
Gibbons,' to secure reformed adnunistration of the city 
station houses and prisons, and it was largely due to this 
Association that Chapter 420 of the Laws of 1888, enti- 
tled "An Act to provide for Police Matrons in Cities" 
was placed among the statutes of New York State, May 
28 of that year.2 Under the provisions of this law, the 

' "Life of Mrs. Gibbons," Vol. I, p. 25L 

' Ibid. Vol. 11, p. 262. Letter from Mrs.' Josephine Shaw Lowell : 
Mt dear Mrs. G.bbons : Cambridge, June 5th, 1888. 

Thank you very much for your kind thought of me. The passage 
woi«n ^^^%'' '"''^* '*'P ^^'''^'^ ''^ ^^^ «'™^S'« ^ ^^^ degraded 
TyT: an^Dr' D™ '''^°°^ ^''^"^'^ ""^'* ^ "^ ^^^ ^^'^ 

Sincerely and gratefully yours, 

J. S. Lowell. 



Board of Commissioners of PoUce of the cities of New 
York and Brooklyn was directed within three months 
after the passage of the act, to designate one or more 
station houses within their respective cities for the de- 
tention and confinement of all women under arrest, upon 
the appropriation of funds therefor; the Commissioners 
were further directed to appomt for each station house 
thus designated not more than two respectable women, to 
be known as police matrons. When only one police 
matron was attached to a station house, she must reside 
there, or near by, and respond to any call therefrom at 
any hour. The law further provided that the police 
matron, subject to the officer in charge, should have the 
immediate care and charge of all women held under arrest 
at the station house to which she was attached ; also, that 
women and men should be kept separate and apart in the 
station houses. 

Although the city prisons then had matrons, they were 
sometimes incompetent, or their services did not cover all 
the hours of the day. On this subject. Dr. Daniel men- 
tions the following instance of Mrs. Lowell's method of 
work: "Mrs. Lowell's abiUty to act promptly was de- 
monstrated when conditions, proved to exist in one of the 
city prisons, were told her. At the particular prison, 
a matron was in attendance from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ; the 
remainder of the twenty-four hours this woman's prisoners 
were entirely in the care of men keepers. Facts were dis- 
closed, which could neither be talked of openly nor pub- 
lished. Mrs. Lowell, hearing this shocking story, went at 
once to the Commissioners' office and was told that 



nothing could be done, owing to the lack of appropriations. 
Within half an hour, she convinced the Commissioners 
that women prisoners must be protected, and a w^ay was 
opened by them to appoint an additional matron. From 
that day to this, prisoners in that prison have had the 
protection of a woman." 

Notwithstanding the mandatory provisions of the act 
of 1888, by which the Commissioners of Police of New 
York and Brooklyn were directed to appoint police matrons 
within three months from the passage of the act, those 
officials disobeyed the law for more than two years, until 
a pubUc scandal in a station house called forth the follow- 
ing letter from Mrs. Lowell, at that time a Commissioner 
of the State Board of Charities : 

No. 120 East 30th Street, August 5, 1890. 

To THE Board of Police of the City of New York : 
Gentlemen : 

When I and many other women made an appeal to 
you some months since to appoint police matrons to have 
charge of women detained in the station houses, we based 
our argument on the ground that common decency de- 
manded that drunken and degraded women should be 
removed from the sight and hearing of the men and boys 
who for various causes are held in the station houses. 

We said that we deemed it a great wrong that such 
women should be allowed to contaminate by their evil 
conduct and language, men and boys, arrested perhaps 
for some trivial offence, or perhaps entirely innocent. 

We did not say that we thought the women in the station 
houses unsafe while under the care of officers appointed 



by you, for although we had heard such accusations, 
personally, I could not, I confess, believe them. 

Within two months, however, one of your officers has 
pleaded guilty and been sentenced to imprisonment for 
attempted assault on a girl of fifteen, whUe under the 
protection of your Board in one of your station houses. 
As your Board has had the power for the past two years 
to keep all women in the station houses safe from such 
wrongs, by placing them under the charge of matrons, 
it does not seem unjust to say that you are responsible 
for the fearful experience of this young girl, and also for 
the ruin of the life of the man whom you placed in a posi- 
tion, the temptation of which he could not resist. Of 
him or his past I know nothing, but I see it stated that his 
fellow-officers testified to his good character, by which 
they presumably meant that he was a man whom they 
should not have supposed capable of so vile and unmanly 
a crune, and therefore it appears that it was actually the 
circumstances which have changed him from a respected 
officer to a convicted felon. 

In the name of the women who, in the station houses, 
are still exposed to this horrible danger, in the name of 
your officers to whom temptation is presented by the exist- 
ing system, I write to beg you to use at once your power 
to designate certain station houses where all women shall 
be detained and placed under the charge of matrons. 


Josephine Shaw Lowell. 

This letter was published in full, in one or more of the 
daily papers of New York City, with the statement that 
it had been received by the Board of PoUce. But the 
Board continued to neglect its duties in this particular, 




and the pressure upon it was continued by Mrs. Lowell 
and her earnest associates, in a memorial addressed to the 
Grand Jury of the City of New York, a draft of which, 
found among her papers, is evidently in Mrs. Lowell's 

Beginning with the charge that the Board of Police 
Commissioners of New York City had persistently neg- 
lected to carry out the pro^'isions of the act to provide for 
poUce matrons in cities, the memorial recites the provi- 
sion of that law requiring the Board to designate one or 
more station houses for the detention or confinement of 
all women under arrest, and the passage on September 7, 
1888, by the Board, of a resolution designating all the 
station houses for the purpose mentioned, for lack of funds 
to carry out the provisions of the law, and then charges, 
that the adoption of this resolution was merely an eva.sion 
of law, as shown (1) "By the fact that no funds were re- 
quired to enable the Board of Police Commissioners to des- 
ignate certain station houses for the detention of women, 
which in itself would have been a great reform," and (2) 
"By the fact that since the adoption of that resolution, 
the Commissioners of Police have submitted to the Board 
of Estimate and Apportionment the estimates for the ex- 
penses of their Department for the years 18S9, 1890, and 
1891, and have ncA'er included, although repeatedly re- 
quested to do so, any estimate for funds to enable them 
to carry out such provision of the law as did require an 
appropriation, that is, those relating to the appointment 
of poUce matrons." 

Continuing, the memorialists offer to prove also, (1) the 




impossibility of observing common decency in the sta- 
tion houses of the city, in at least fourteen of which 
the cells were so constructed, that women imprisoned 
in them could not be kept out of hearing of men and boys 
also confined there, while in four, the cells were so placed 
that any women imprisoned would probably also be in 
sight of other prisoners; (2) that at present women 
prisoners were searched either by irresponsible women 
or police officers ; (3) that being imder the care of men, 
women were exposed to danger from which the city should 
protect them; to sustain this charge, the conviction 
of a police officer of the 22d Precinct referred to in Mrs. 
Lowell's letter to the Board of Police was cited ; (4) that 
the police officers themselves were unnecessarily exposed 
to temptation as proved in the same case. 

The memorial quotes the police statistics for 1889 in 
further support of its contentions : 

"In that year, 147,634 lodgings in station houses were 
furnished to indigent persons, 69,111 to women, 78,523 to 
men ; an average of 189 women and 215 men each night. 
The women were under the sole charge of men. . . . 
During the same year, there were 82,200 arrests, of which 
19,926 were of women, an average of 54 each day, and 
62,274 were of men, an average of 170 a day ; of the 82,200, 
9,514 were of boys under twenty years and 991 of girls 
under twenty years. 

" It is not too much to say that to put these ten thousand 
boys and girls, many of whom are innocent, into com- 
panionship in the station houses for hours at a time with 
the most degraded men and women of the city, within 
hearing, often within sight of much that is wicked and 



debasing, is a crime against humanity, and must be pro- 
ductive of great moral injury to them. The confinement of 
the women in special station houses and the appointment 
of police matrons would in some measure protect these 
children and mitigate the e%dls to which they are now 

The Grand Jury apparently took cognizance of this 
strong appeal, for among Mrs. Lowell's papers is a printed 
copy of an act amending the Police Matrons Law of 188S, 
which provides, in Section 7, that the "Board of Estunate 
and Apportionment in said City of New York is hereby 
authorized and empowered to reopen the budget for the 
year 1891 in order to include therein the estimates neces- 
sary to carry out the provisions of this act in said city." 

At this time, some of the leading New York papers 
came to the support of the women's crusade for police 
matrons. The Sun, under the caption "Women's Side 
of It," published in its issue of January 4, 1891, a strong 
and ably written two-column article, in which are described 
the scenes of degradation and misery discovered by a 
philanthropic woman, a member of the Women's Chris- 
tian Temperance Union, in the station houses of Phila- 
delphia three years before, and of her successful efforts 
there for the appointment of police matrons, and adds 
"In New York, such women as Mrs. Josephine Shaw 
Lowell, Mrs. Mary T. Burt, Miss Grace Dodge, Mrs. 
E. B. Grannis, and others equally well known, are inter- 
esting themselves in this work. They have visited the 
station houses and seen scenes of depravity and misery 
which, if decency would permit being printed in detail, 




would arouse the indignation of all humane people." 
Further reference was made in this article to conditions 
in the station houses of New York, and to the brutal 
treatment recently experienced in one of them by a young 
girl picked up insensible in the street. "All night she sat 
with wild frightened eyes, Ustening to the oaths and ribald 
jests of the women in the corridor. The next morning, 
Mrs. Lowell saw her standing behind the bar and listening 
to the charge against her. ... She was sent back to 
the cell on false charges for another night, and then 
allowed to go back to her husband and baby rumed in 
reputation. . . . Mrs. Lowell investigated the case and 
found the woman in every way thoroughly respectable and 
above reproach." 

Courage and perseverance triumphed, the budget for 
1891 was reopened to make provision for the appointment 
of police matrons, and the good women of New York had 
won another notable victory for humanity, over official 
ignorance and neglect. Since it was essential to the suc- 
cess of the experunent that suitable women should be 
appointed, Mrs. Lowell and her associates prepared the 
examination papers, which, pursuant to the Civil Service 
regulations, were to be filled out and submitted by the 
apphcants, and drafted the rules to be observed by the 
matrons appointed. 

Miss Ellen Collins, who was associated with Mrs. Lowell 
in this as in others of her philanthropic activities, recalls 
that she and Mrs. Lowell were requested to attend the 
first examination conducted under the Civil Service rules, 
at which a number of capable women who had followed 





the movement with sympathy, presented themselves as 
candidates. The questions were intended to bring out, 
in strong rehef, the individual characters of the appUcants. 
Memoranda made as the examination progressed were 
compared and tabulated on its conclusion. Mrs. Lowell 
and Miss Collins paid particular attention to the per- 
sonality of the women, and endeavored to ascertain their 
motives in applying for the appointments. Then- reports 
were presented, and included in the records from which 
the first appointments of poUce matrons in New York 
City were made. Reference to this examination was 
made in a letter from Mrs. LoweU to her sister-in-law : 

120 East 30th Street, May 1, 1891. 
Dear Annie : 

Last week Ellen ColUns (a friend of ours ever since the 
war, when we were together in the Sanitary Committee 
work) and I, spent three days helping the Civil Service 
Board examine 120 women applicants for Police Matron- 
ship, of which there will probably be twelve appointed 
at most. We talked to each one and asked her questions, 
based on her written answers in an examination paper, 
and you may imagine that we were pretty well exhausted! 
There were 28 who were really first rate, about 30 who 
were good, and the rest were "fau- to middling" only. It 
was interesting and encouraging to see the way in which 
the work of the Civil Service Board is carried on. All 
Police oSiceis have to go through a severe examination, 
and only those who pass the highest are sent to the Board 
of Police, 75, if they want 50, and if the Board skips 
anyone, they are obliged to give their reasons in writing. 
The Secretary told us that the character of the appUcants 



had risen 100 per cent since they first began, about six 
years ago. The worthless ones find they cannot go through 
and so they stay away. 

The Sun continued to the poUce matrons the valu- 
able support it gave to the movement for their appoint- 
ment, and on November 1, 1891, pubUshed an article, 
"What the Matron Does," describing an inspection made 
of the Ehzabeth Street Station, by a representative of that 
newspaper, accompanied by the matron on duty, in which 
a favorable account was given of the improved care given 
the women prisoners, and from which the following ex- 
cerpts are made : 

Mrs. Josephine Shaw Lowell's recent letter to the 
Police Commissioners, complaining that the work required 
of the Matrons recently appointed to several police sta- 
tions, to look after women prisoners, was too severe, and 
that their hours of duty were too long, has brought up the 
question whether or not the new system is a failure. The 
Matrons are on duty fourteen hours consecutively, and 
this means twenty-eight rounds among the cells, and the 
climbing of many flights of stairs each night. The rooms 
assigned them, Mrs. Lowell says, are cold and cheerless 
and too near the men's quarters. . . . The Commis- 
sioners did not look with favor upon the Police Matron 
project when it was first urged by charitable women ; . . . 
however, they made the experiment, and now regard 
Mrs. Lowell's complaint with Uttle sympathy. . . . The 
Matron who led the way was bright-faced and cheerful. 
She was very neat in a well fitting street dress. She seemed 
to take some pride in her Uttle room, poor as it was. She 
pulled out the drawer of the table and displayed stores of 



cotton cloth torn to the size and shape of small towels, 

and reels of coarse cotton thread with needles stuck in 

them. "For the poor women," she said smiling. "Mrs. 

Lowell keeps us supplied with this. Almost all the women 

prisoners who come here are poor unfortunates, you know. 

Most of them are drunk and their clothes — what they 

have, poor things — are often torn and dreadfully ragged. 

I sew up the rents enough to make them respectable 

before they go out in the streets again, and then I give 

each of them some of this thread and a needle or two, 

so they do some patching themselves. These cloths are for 

towels. Mrs. Lowell supplies us with thetn too." Then 

the matron took down from a shelf a number of packages. 

"Smell that," said she laughing. "Isn't that good?" 

The package contained coffee. "And here is a supply of 

sugar," she continued, "and here is tea and here are cans 

of condensed milk. Oh, we have lots of good things here 

for the poor women, and you've no idea how much good 

it does them. Mrs. Lowell sends them all ; and just read 

that little letter she sends us, telhng us to let her know 

when we want more." 

The friendly interest of Mrs. Lowell in the matrons 
and their charges was continued by subsequent visits 
to the station houses, for many years, and by interviews 
and meetings at her own house ; and there as everywhere, 
her strong and attractive personality was helpful to all she 
met. A semi-official character was given these visits 
by Mrs. Lowell's membership of the Women's Prison Re- 
form Committee, and she preserved her card of admission 
to the city prisons, bearing date March 25, 1904, signed 
by W. McAdoo, Police Commissioner. Among her 
papers on the subject of Police Matrons, is the following 




brief statement, written in ink in her large, firm hand, to 
which she had given additional and imusual emphasis, for 
such a paper, by her signature : 

The change in the station houses where the matrons 
are, since their appointment is simply indescribable. 
Now everything is quiet, orderly, almost pleasant. It used 
to be horrible to find the drunken men and women pris- 
oners in contiguous cells, perfectly audible to each other, 
and under the charge of men. 

There are fourteen ( ?) station houses in New York City 
and eight (?) in Brooklyn, designated to receive women 
prisoners, each with a matron constantly on duty. The 
majority of the matrons have been in the service six or 
seven years, and do very well. They have all been ap- 
pointed after competitive examinations. There are no 
female lodgers (or men either) now received in the station 


August, 1898. J- S- I^owELL. 

With which song of thanksgiving is closed the chapter 
of Mrs. Lowell's work for Police Matrons. 




The Consumers' League 

The bad conditions under which many working women 
and cash girls were earning their living in the City of 
New York led them to hold a series of meetings in 1886 
for the discussion of these evils, with the hope of finding a 
way to end them. Mrs. Lowell and her friend, Miss L. S. 
W. Perkins, hearing of this movement on the East Side 
of the city, attended one of the first meetings, and because 
of their interest and helpfulness, although not themselves 
wage-earners, were welcomed at the succeeding discussions 
to which no other outsiders were invited and no reporters 

Women of different trades and occupations told directly 
and simply of their daily experiences, of many things in 
their places of employment done in defiance of law, of the 
dangers, moral and physical, amid which they worked, 
and of their fears of loss of position, or threatened loss 
of character, keeping them silent, even when to bad sur- 
roundings was added personal insult. These stories were 
heard with sympathy and with respect for the stalwart 
and upright views expressed, and for the high standard 
of honor and generosity which characterized both the 
speakers and their fellow-workers assembled at these 
meetings. The helplessness of these women to cope 





unorganized with the grave problems confronting them, 
and without the force of well-informed public opinion 
behind them, seissed upon Mrs. Lowell at this time and 
engaged her lasting interest. Out of these meetings grew 
the Working Women's Society, organized in 1886, of which 
she was a friend and counsellor. 

Being convinced that some of the existing evils might 
be remedied by the appointment of women factory in- 
spectors, to whom women might freely speak of things 
they shrank from telling a man inspector, Mrs. Lowell was 
active in securing the passage by the Legislature of New 
York of the first law on any statute book giving working 
women such protection. While the measure was under 
consideration, letters were received by Mrs. Lowell and 
others telling of unlawful working conditions ; pitiful tales 
they were, of locked doors in tenement house factories 
with workers on the sixth floor, with no fire-escapes, and 
no water above the third floor, of narrow, unsafe stairs, 
of unsanitary conditions, and of insult. Mrs. Lowell was 
active and helpful, both with her time and her means, 
especially in some of the early strikes for improved con- 
ditions, and often presided at meetings, both public and 
private. No complaints were disregarded, and for many 
abuses remedies were found. 

The work of the Society continued, and in the winter 
of 1889-1890 it investigated the conditions under which 
saleswomen and cash girls were working in the City of 
New York, and in its report showed them to be unsatis- 
factory in many of the large stores. Thereupon the So- 
ciety interested clergymen and philanthropists in the sub- 



ject, and under their auspices was held a large pubhc 
meeting in May, 1890, at Chickering Hall, on the corner 
of Fifth Avenue and Eighteenth Street, "to consider the 
condition of working women in New York retail stores." A 
report was made to the meeting by Miss Alice Woodbridge, 
for the Society, embodying the results of the investigation 
and presenting the following conclusions : 

"First. We find the hours are often excessive, and em- 
ployees are not paid for overtime. Second. We find they 
often work under unwholesome sanitary conditions. Third. 
We find numbers of children under age employed for ex- 
cessive hours, and at work far beyond their strength. 
Fourth. We find that long and faithful service does not 
meet with consideration ; on the contrary, service for a 
certain number of years is a reason for dismissal. It has 
become the rule in some stores not to keep any one over 
five years, fearing that the employees may think they 
have a claim upon the firm, or in other words, that they 
will expect to have their salaries raised. Fifth. The wages, 
which are low, are often reduced by excessive fines. Sixth. 
We find the law requiring seats for saleswomen generally 
ignored ; in a few places one seat is provided at a counter 
where fifteen girls are emploj'-ed, and in one store seats 
are provided and saleswomen are fined if found sitting. 
In all our inquiries in regard to sanitary conditions and 
long hours of standing, and the effect upon the health, 
the invariable reply is that after two years the strongest 
suffer injury." 

It was the sentiment of those present at this mass 
meeting that the working girls themselves would be un- 
able to secure needed reforms, for if they made complaint, 



others would be found to take their places, and that they 
were, as a class, too young and unskilled to make the 
formation of trades-unions among them either practicable 
or useful. The remedy could be foimd by the organization 
of shoppers or consumers. The meeting therefore adopted 
the following resolution : 

"Resolved, That a committee be appointed to assist 
the Working Women's Society in making a Ust which 
shall keep shoppers informed of such shops as deal justly 
with their employees, and so bring public opinion and pub- 
lic action to bear in favor of just employers, and also in 
favor of such employers as desire to be just, but are pre- 
vented by the stress of competition from following their 
own sense of duty." 

Authority was also given to the chairman of the mass 
meeting to appoint a committee to sit with a committee of 
the Workmg Women's Society to consider and take action 
upon the subject. The joint committee decided to form 
an association to be called " The Consumers' League of the 
aty of New York," and spent much time in the work of 
organization and in the formulation of principles. These 
were fully set forth in a pamphlet of some thirty-one 
pages written by Mrs. Lowell, entitled "Consumers' 
Leagues," and published by the Christian Social Union, 
February 15, 1898, in which she explained the situation 
of the working girls, and the objects of the League. 

"Employers may be divided into two classes: those 
who employ directly and those who employ indirectly. 
The direct employers, those who pay the wages and who 





seem to fix the conditions under which their employees 
work, are often as helpless as the employees themselves to 
change those conditions, because of the demands of the 
indirect employers. These last are the consumers, that 
is, the whole purchasing pubhc, and, little as they think 
it, they have the power to secure just and humane con- 
ditions of labor if they would only use it. In order to 
induce them to use this power, it is necessary to show 
them how, and as a first step they must be made to feel 
their responsibiUty, must be made to realize that it is 
for the supply of their wants that all business of the world 
is carried on, and that their demands, however uncon- 
sciously to themselves, are actually the cause of the evils 
from which working-men, women and children sufTer. 
The rage of the purchasing public for cheap goods is 
the awful power which crushes the life out of the working 
people, and it is strange that men and women who would 
shrink with horror from buying stolen goods will congratu- 
late themselves on buying cheap goods, one necessary 
element of whose cheapness is that part of the working 
time of other men and women, and even of children, 
has practically been stolen. 

"The great difficulty which has presented itself to 
conscientious individuals who desire not to take part in 
the oppression of their fellow-men by buying goods made 
and sold under inhuman conditions has always been that 
of learning what those conditions were. It was easy 
enough for the abolitionists to give up the use of sugar 
and cotton, because these were known to be slave-made, 
but the conditions of so called free labor are more com- 
plicated, and in order to learn where and how the goods 
they desire to purchase -are made, it is necessary to have 
concerted action, and from this necessity was developed 
the idea of the Consumers' League. " 


In the practical work of forming the League, Mrs 
Lowell was active, and was elected its first Pres.dent^ 
Cooperating with her on the committee were, among 
others Dr Mary Putnam Jacobi, Mrs. Helen Campbell, 
and Mr! Fredenck Nathan, now President of the Leagu. 
In a letter dat.d March 7, 1898, Mrs. Ix^well said . I 
wonder if I wrote you about the ' Consumers' League, our 
lop ociety 7 I am President of that and I never mean 
to be and I mean to be out of it next January without 

^"^ Early in 1891 the League was ready to begin operations^ 
Before Its formation, the Working Women's Society had 
drL up a "Standard of a Fair House," founded upon 
business methods of some of the best firms in New 
York This, with some modifications, was adopted by 
the League as the standard of cxceUence by wh.h ^ 
would test all shops before placing them on a Wh te 
List " which was to contain the names of such retail mer- 
tltile houses only a. m the opinion of the Go--^ 
Board of the League should be patronized by its membe s 
and wa. to be published at stated intervals m he da^Y 
papers At the time of the adoption of the standard, 
thL were only eight of the large department stores m 
ire City of New York apparently entitled under its rules 
to a place on the white list. 

Printed notices had been sent to all the firms m he 
business directory of dry goods ^^ores. fajicy notions e^^^^^^ 
asking if they would permit their conditions to be inves 
lated IB order that they might be placed on a white hst 
anfl'rtised a. houses which treated their employees 



k ndly, and approached nearest to the League's standard 

a fair house. As satisfactory raphes to the circular 

were -t received in sufficient nun^bers, Mrs. Lowell and 

Pla n the objects of the League more fully, and to invite 

t ons which they had found m operation in eight of the 
leading dry goods firms, which in the opinion of the League 
were reasonable and fair, and took the position that it 
was only just that all competing firms should adopt the 
same fair conditions for their employees 

mentl^'l 'T" '"' '''' ^"^''^^^^ ^ - advertise- 
ment m a jeadmg newspaper, and copies sent broadcast 
those interested in working girls, asking their help m the 
ellort of the League to raise the standard of conditions 
list D-t^'u- "^ patronising only those on the white 
Tl ,.^'®'"'''^^ ^'^^« encountered however, and it was 
sometimes reported that certain firms did not wish to be 
put on the white list. When this occurred, Mrs 
Lowell IS quoted as having said: "We can't help that,' 
we are sorry they don't approve of the League. But w^ 

Tnd ffl! rT" '"" ''^ "°^^^'^» S'^1^ themselves, 
and If the firms have good conditions and are just, they 
must go on the white list." 

Mrs^ Nathan recalls a conversation that occurred on a 

VI it^of investigation she and Mrs. Lowell were making 

or the League to a dry goods firm. They ascertained that 

week /m T ^"' '"'^ ^"^ ^°"- -"d a half a 

dTd nott-T;.^"'" "'^' °"^ «^ ^^^ P-*-- ^f he 
did not think that was very httle. He said : "It is a 





question of economics. If we can hire girls at one dollar 
and a half, why should we pay any more ? Plenty are 
willing to come for that price." Mrs. Lowell then asked : 
"Do you think that is a fair wage to pay for a week's 
work? One dollar and fifty cents a week will scarcely 
pay for their shoe leather." He replied: "Well, I tell 
you, if I see they are very ragged or poor looking, or 
need shoes, I give them a pair of shoes." To which Mrs. 
Lowell rejoined: "Would it not be better to pay them 
a fair wage and let them buy their own shoes, better for 
their self-respect?" "We never confuse our charity and 
our business," he replied. Mrs. Lowell closed the con- 
versation with the remark : "It seems to me that you are 
confusing them in a very peculiar way. I think it would 
be a great deal better for you to pay a fair wage." 

The Consumers' League of the City of New York, whose 
beginnings have been here outUned, has grown in useful- 
ness, and now receives a large measure of public support. 
International recognition was accorded it by the award 
of a Gold Medal at the Paris Exposition of 1900. To the 
pioneer work of this little group of humane women must 
be credited the formation of some sixty-four consumers' 
leagues in other states and cities of the Union, and also 
of the National Consumers' League, whose chief object 
is the abolition of the sweat-shop with all its attendant 
evils, such as child-labor, long hours of work, starvation 
wages, unhygienic environment, and the menace to the 
consumer of purchasing germ-infested garments. 

The National Consumers' League gives the use of its 
label to those manufacturers who agree in writing to have 




all their goods made on their premises, to employ no chil- 
dren under sixteen, and to exact no night work. This 
label is the best guarantee that the goods in question have 
been made under clean and wholesome conditions. 

The first consumers' league in England was organized 
in 1890, coincidently with the similar movement in New 
York in which Mrs. Lowell was a leader. France, Holland, 
and Switzerland now have such leagues, and efforts are 
being made to organize one in Germany. Mrs. Lowell 
expressed her satisfaction with the work of the League 
when in February, 1894, she wrote and published the 
following paragraphs in her report as President of the 
Governing Board : 

"The part of the community which the Consumers' 
League is intended to serve is a very important part. 
Almost all people who take an interest in helping their 
fellow-men have to deal with people who have failed in 
life, with people who are sick or weak or wicked, people 
who have not been equal to the struggle, but have fallen 
by the way for one reason or another. But these work- 
ing women have not failed ; they are bravely working and 
bravely striving. They belong to the class, who by head 
work and hand work, by intelligence or strength or skill, 
are keeping the world alive, clothing, feeding, housing 
themselves and everybody else. Of course we must not 
fall into the error of thinking that the handworkers pro- 
duce all the wealth of the world, but it is simply a truism 
to say that the workers produce all the wealth, since those 
who do not work produce nothing, and the working women 
do at least their share in the work of the world. 



"Besides our gratitude, however, tor the services they 
rende , they deserve our pity, because of the,r helpkss- 
:l a^d thlpecuhar hardships to which they are e.posed^ 
They are helpless because they are women, and they are 
S^ess also because they are young, and they are rnor. 
over exposed to peculiar temptafons from the fact that, 
when wages fall below the living point, the wages of s,n 
are always ready for them. . 

'There are said to be two hundred thousand workmg- 
women in New York City, and if the Consumers League 
can help to raise the standard of the cond.t.ons among 
which those who work in retail shops are reqmred to labor^ 
it will have done something towards raismg the standard 
for all." 

The report of the Governing Board for 1895 also pre- 
sumably written by Mrs. Lowell, presents clearly the 
"Ins for the existence of the League, shows the progress 
ofTwork, and contains a discussion of the relations of 
IpWe. and employees too valuable to be omitted 
here : 

..It may be s.ked why, it the Consumers' League 
believes in the organisation of wage-earners for sel. 

of r tail clerks to do for themselves exactly what he 
consumers- Ua^e undertakes to do for *;- *ou^* * 
Consumers' League continue m existence? The answer 
I to be found in the peculiar circumstances and condi- 
tions of large numbers of the wagc^amers m this par 
ttalr kind of employment, and aUo in the direct contact 



sible. ^ ^""^^ necessary and pos- 

exfate are three. ' Consumers' League 

U3u2r:-ij:r,::i:i'j--^ -« eo„3e,ue„t,y 

"Second Th '™'""° '^"■'■ited action. 

^SesTllZl ^r '"'"'^' '"'""' '^™e between the 

wSo:;r;rorehre:i or '''''"" ^"''"^ *^ 

».h,e the„ t! act rn" t^SrorhlT™' *"'' ™"^<' 

de„»;r"'7^'"'' '"^''' "'"""'S'' " >"« highly skilled 
depart ts. ,3 mostly unskilled, and therefore ther is 
an ahnost unl.nuted supply of applicants for thei si 
IT '^ ""^^ "^ ""' '-•" *^ -*«or. oCd 

Co'IT,;.t:gu? "' '^°" '"' «■= -^'»- °' *e 

£f:^:::i;:::t:r— - 

tionl'ut'ntZr- 'r ''^° "'^'' ■" " "°°'-^ *- 

the StZ I uf "^ "■""''""S *e protection of 

the State, which ha. been extended over women and girl 



working in factories. Because they were constantly in 
the pubUc gaze, the conditions of their work could not 
become so very bad as those possible in factories ; there- 
fore the attention of philanthropists and labor leaders 
was not attracted to them until the standard in regard 
to factory workers had been so far improved by factory 
laws and factory inspection that the long hours and fa- 
tiguing work of saleswomen seemed bad by contrast, 
and then attempts to improve their conditions were under- 
taken and the struggle to give them the benefit of State 
inspection and State protection has now been going on 
in New York for four years. . . . 

"The Governing Board has made special efforts to 
increase the number of names on its White List during 
the past year. It has appealed to firms which almost 
reached the necessary standard, hoping that they might 
be persuaded to do the few things which are absolutely 
required in order to be placed on the List, and it has also 
been more active in inspecting shops. One of the members 
caused to be prepared a list of ' Retail Stores in New York 
City where are employed twenty-five saleswomen or 
over,' which shows that there are 73 houses in this class ; 
of these, 56 have been inspected by Committees of the 
Consumers' League, and there are only 19 of these larger 
shops on the White List. To facilitate the work of the 
Committee, a printed form has been drawn up, and it 
is now required that reports be made on these forms. 
In this way there is uniformity of information gathered 
about each establishment, and general statements are 
not accepted by the Board. The large establishments 



of dressmakers and milliners have not as yet been visited 
at all by the Committees of the Board. 

"Special efforts have also been made to advertise the 
"White List. Besides being advertised in the daily papers, 
it was printed on postal cards, and 4000 were sent to 
selected names taken from the Social Register in June. 
In December it was printed, with the 'Standard of a 
Fair House,' and the names of the Governing Board, 
and 7000 copies were distributed in the daily newspapers 
by dealers. At the same time it was placed, by permis- 
sion of the managers of twenty of the largest hotels, 
in the ladies' parlors, in a neat cover, marked with the 
name of the League. 

"The Board has again devoted special attention to the 
question of overtime, and has made repeated efforts to 
persuade all the largest houses to pay for all work required 
of their female employees after 6 p.m., whether on Satur- 
days throughout the year or at the holiday season. 

"An interesting computation of the number of hours 
of unpaid work given by the employees to their employers, 
in the case of sixteen of the largest dry goods houses 
in the city, has been made by a member of the Board. 
She has multiplied the number of employees of each firm 
by the number of days at the holiday season, diu-ing 
which, according to their advertisements, their respective 
shops would be open in the evening, and this again by 
four (the number of hours from 6 to 10 p.m.), and the result 
is very astonishing. It shows that in the aggregate these 
sbcteen firms demanded and received at the holiday 
season of 1S95 at least 600,200 hours of free labor — or 



60 020 working days of 10 hours each, which is 191 years 
and some months. This is the Christma^s present made 
by the employees to their employers. . . • Besides this, 
many shops received also from each of their employees 
a gift of four hours every Saturday evening throughout 

the year. 

"The large employers will say it is untrue to call this 
work at the holiday season a gift to them, contending, 
as they do, that the extra hours' work on Saturdays 
throughout the year and for one or two weeks at the holi- 
day time are 'nominated in the bond,' or are, at least, 
considered in the wages paid ; but as many of these yomig 
girls receive fifty cents a day or less for an ordinary day s 
work from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (with half an hour for lunch), 
it seems but reasonable to contend in their name that the 
wages could scarcely be lower, even were there no over- 
work. If bricklayers, whose wages are fifty cents an 
hour, call all work after 5 p.m. overtime, for which they 
receive double pay, it is not inadmissible to call the hours 
demanded of cash girls and saleswomen after 6 p.m. on 
Saturdays and at the holiday season overtime, and ask 
that they shall have for those hours at least the same pay 
they receive for four hours of work by daylight, and enough 
besides to pay for the extra supper they must buy when 
kept after 6 p.m., since they cannot go home to eat it. . . . 
"The Board would suggest to all owners of bmldmgs, 
in which business is carried on, that they are morally 
responsible for the manner in which it is conducted and 
for the welfare of the men and women employed m them, 
at least while they are not able to protect themselves. 





It is especially necessary that the interests of the employ- 
ees of shops should be considered by private individuals, 
because from the peculiar relation of the large shopkeepers 
to the newspapers and the dependence of the latter upon 
the former it is impossible to secure any public statement 
of their case, the editors being unable to publish facts 
that would injure the interests of their advertisers. 

"The purchasing public is undoubtedly responsible 
for the long hours of labor demanded of thousands of 
women and girls in this city, and the Governing Board 
appeals to shoppers in the closing words of an address 
read by one of its members to a church society of ladies, 
as follows : 

" To sum up, what we ask you to do is this : Shop during 
reasonable hours — when possible, early in the morning, 
when saleswomen are fresh and not tired out and nervous. 
Avoid making purchases of a Saturday afternoon, so that 
eventually the shops may all give a half hohday. Make 
your hohday purchases early in the season if possible. 
Make constant inquiries as to proper provision of seats, 
and request floor walkers to encourage saleswomen to 
sit down when not waiting on customers. Report to 
the League any information gleaned outside the shops 
from working girls, whether favorable or unfavorable 
to employers. Become members of the League and per- 
suade your friends to join also. If at any time you may 
feel irritated or annoyed by the apparent indifference or 
carelessness of saleswomen, stop and consider what it 
means to be on one's feet from ten to fourteen hours a 
day, in a crowded space, shoved and pushed about, lift- 


ing heavy boxes at times, waiting on impatient customers 
and cusTomers who wish to be helped to know the. o.^ 
minds, keeping accounts of sales and stock, takmg ad^ 
dresses often given hurriedly and carelessly, and fined 
in many instances if they are written down mcorrectly, 
and all this for salaries ranging from $3 to $8 a week 
and obliged to dress neatly and fairly well, and to pay out 
of it for one's meals, lodging, washing, clothmg, and car- 

^''' ' But while we make this appeal to the women who shop 
to consider the feelings and comfort of those who sdl, 
we must also appeal to saleswomen themselves to do 
their duty to the public and to their emp oyers. Our 
Efforts to secure for all the women and g.rls who work 
In retail shops in this city the same conditions which exi 
in the shops on the White List of the Consumers' Leagu 
are hampered by the fact t^at the ser-ce is often beU^ 
in the shops which are not on the White List. The sales 
women in the shop which of all others in New York gives 
its employees the greatest number of pri^dleges have been 
o notoriously rude in their treatment of the pubhcthat 
ladies have given that reason for not patromzmg it, and 
tt a very strong moral as well a. business argument 
can be made in favor of fines and severity of d.ciphne^ 
If punctuality, fidelity, and conscientious ^-charg of 
thel duties can be secured only by punishment, then 
punishment should be resorted to until the -r^l dev^loP; 
raent of the saleswomen is so improved that they will 
respond to kindness. , 

-The Governing Board desires to call the attention of 



members of the League to the paper by Dr. Mary Putnam 
Jacob, read at the la«t annual meetmg of the Leagu^ 
wh.h was sent to all members m November. Its sub: 
ect IS The Property Rights of Employees/ and it con- 
tarns a statement of the relation of employees to employers, 

which cannot be too often repeated, since it is the true 
The Bo. 7\: 'T '"" '^'"^ " ''' ^''^'y --Snized. 

ii^th'r^rptr "^^ - --- ^- --- - 

tini t '^'Zr ^''"^'' ^"^"^'""^ "P<^^^*^«^« f«^ the crea- 
tion of weal h and the production of exchangeable values 
were originally carried on by slaves. What a man needed 
or his own use he first contrived to make. Then, when 
the chances of war threw prisoners into his hands, especiaUy 
women, whose time and strength ceased to be ;hdr own 
these could be utilized by the man who owned themani 

UnderTh . f '' ^"^" ^^^^^^ ^^^ *^- labor. 

Under this system there were but two factors in industry 
the owners and the owned. Gradually this one pair of 

teZ^rTT"""'''^ "'° '"° ^'^^^ P^'^' -hich are 
a. essentia ly distinct from each other as both are from 

«.e o„g,„al couple, the owner and the slave. These two 

TntTr' r T *'' °"' '^"'' ^^^ --*- -d t^e ser- 
vant , on the other hand, the employer and the employed. 

These two couples are radically distinct from each other 

thouirr '' "'''"" ^'' ^" ^^« ^--g« «™t 

thel . "^r "°' ^'^^-q^^^^y confounded. Thus, 
theother day Iheard aladyremark, aproposof themotor: 
«ien engaged m the Brooklyn strike: 'It would be 



as absurd to allow the men to dictate what the manage- 
ment shall do as for me to allow my servants to tell me 
how to run my house.' 

" This remark embodies the stubborn conviction still 
naively entertained by thousands of people that the workers 
in any industrial enterprise are and must always be the 
servants of those who conduct this enterprise. This as- 
sumption is naive and unhistorical ; ^but in it is contained 
the gist of much that is fallacious in theory and singularly 
harsh and unjust in practice. The fallacy is in placing a 
household in the same category as an industrial enterprise. 
The function of the industrial business is the creation of 
wealth; the function of the household is the fulfilment 
of personal satisfactions, the creation, if possible, of happi- 
ness. The business makes money ; the household spends 
it. Labor in a household is personal service ; work in a 
business is industrial investment. Recompense for the 
first is a fixed stipend calculated upon the income of the 
person benefited and served ; recompense for the second 
consists in a share in the profits which the work secures, 
and is therefore not fixed, and should not be, but varies 
with the success of the business. . . . 

" It is not a sentimental, but an economic classification, 
it is that of the census, which ranks in one class the pro- 
fessions and the domestic servants ; physicians, lawyers, 
clergymen, architects, soldiers, teachers, with manicures, 
nurses, coachmen, gardeners, cooks. The common bond 
of union between the different members of this class which 
seems so heterogeneous is the fact that the work in each 
case is directed toward the personal welfare of some in- 

• ^■^ 



dividual who is relatively helpless and often unable to 
test or estimate the intrinsic value of the service ; that is 
to know whether it is well done or not, or, at all events' 
how it should be done; and, further, that the pecuniary 
reward of such work can rarely be much more than the 
hving expenses of the workers, and cannot, unless invested 
m strictly industrial enterprises, procure wealth. Hence, 
as a substitute for wealth, the special rewards of personal 
service are personal affection, appreciation of fidelity, 
trust, social honor. ... 

"Every detail of this situation is in contrast with 
that of the industrial enterprise, .^most at the outset 
of the growth of this, the element of personal contact dis- 
appears, and at the maximum of expansion, in huge con- 
glomerations of factory labor, personahties themselves 
are swamped. The servant, whether domestic or pro- 
fessional, contributes nothing to the income of the person 
he serves and out of which he is paid. The employee is 
constantly helping to create the fund which is partly re- 
turned to him in wages. On this account he cannot prop- 
erly be said to be employed by a master. He follows 
a leader in carrying on an enterprise for their common, 
definite, pecuniary benefit. 

"The wage fund doctrine is, I need hardly say, a very 
famous theory which has had and has extremely practical 
and far-reaching consequences. In this theory, which is 
now rapidly beginning to be discredited, industrial wages 
are paid out of capital, just as domestic wages are paid 
out of income. The capitalist does not purchase a labor 
product, but the time of a laborer, which has often been 
equivalent to the purchase of the laborer. 



" But there is another theory, and this seems to me the 
true one, namely, that industrial wages are not paid from 
the capital invested in the work, but from the product or 
profits of the work. The payment of wages is only a form 
more or less convenient for distributing a share of the 
product to those who have helped in the production. On 
the theory that the capitahst personally pays the wages 
out of his own property, it is conceivable that he should 
try to keep these wages as near the Umit of subsistence 
as possible, and try to regulate them exclusively by the 
faciUty of procuring laborers ; in common parlance, by the 
demand of the labor market. The laborer's subsistence 
is then, reckoned in the cost of production, and should be 
regulated on the same principle as other items of cost; 
that is to say, kept down as much as possible in the in- 
terest of thrift and economy, and so as to leave the profits 
as large as possible for the single owner or group of owners 
of the concern. On the other theory, that all the workers 
in a business are creating the wealth out of which their 
subsistence is to be drawn, the whole principle of owner- 
ship is shifted. While the possession of the inherited or 
acquired capital and of the brain power which initiated 
the business confers a primary ownership, a first hen on 
the product, it does not justify the permanence of absolute 
control, because it does not exclusively sufiice for the 
maintenance of the business. This necessitates the co- 
operation of many other people, often hundreds or even 
thousands, each of whom, with his own hands and brains 
and vital forces, has created a certain share of the product, 
and is therefore to that extent its owner. The right of 

2 a 



private property means nothing else than the right to own 
the product of one's own labor. Yet the right of private 
property was once invoked as a justification for ownership 
in the slave; and only within this generation has this 
monstrous right been finally and forever banished from 
recognition among civihzed nations. Today we may go 
a step beyond the mental conquest of thirty years ago and 
paraphrase the pungent words of Emerson : 

'Pay the profits to the owner, 

And fill up the bag to the brim. 
Who is the owner ? Who works is the owner, 
And always was. Pay him! ' 

'A man may be said to own a diamond absolutely. It is 
a material entity, whose properties are fixed and depend 
upon nothing external, not even on the activities, physical 
or mental, of its o^mer. An industrial enterprise is quite 
other than this. It is a complex spiritual organism, whose 
constituent parts are the vital actions of human beings. 
The relations to consider are primarily those of these 
human beings to the business or to the product which is 
the tangible proof of their different activities. The re- 
lations of the larger group which obeys to the smaller 
group, or individual, who directs, are of secondary im- 
pori;ance. Yet these relations, or, as they are commonly 
called, the relations of the employer to the employed, or 
of the master to the hands, are usually put forward as not 
only of prime, but even of exclusive importance. 

" It is not necessary for our present purpose to do any- 
thing further than enunciate this principle of partial 
ownership in the product as the real recompense for all in- 
dustrial labor. . . . 



" How the ownership may be recognized and expressed 
is a second question. The first question to be settled 
is the fact of the ownership, and at this moment I can 
hardly do more than suggest this fact. 

"It is possible that at a given moment the adoption of 
the principle of diffused ownership among the employees 
of an establishment might not increase the amount of 
money they were ah-eady receiving. Nevertheless, it 
would radically change their position. It would be im- 
possible to stigmatize any claims of workers as impertinent. 
They might be unreasonable; it might be necessary to 
resist them for the sake of the coromon welfare. But with 
the disappearance of the notion that the business was 
absolutely owned by one man, and that every one else 
was simply employed by him at his good will, would dis- 
appear the other notion that every arrangement involving 
the rights, the comforts, or even the pleasure of the 
workers must be left absolutely to the control of a master. 
We should hear no more of such phrases : 'I must manage 
my own business m my own way.' 'I will not be dic- 
tated to by my employees,' etc. The transformation I 
have supposed apphed to business organizations is pre- 
cisely what has already been effected on a large scale in 
the political organization. Little more than two centuries 
have elapsed since a king could declare and be believed, 
'L'6tat, c'est moi.' No one questions today that the 
state consists not of the king, but of the people. We 
should try as fast as possible to bring about the regime 
where every business and industrial organism will also be 
seen to consist not of a single man, but of all the people, 



men and women, in it, each of whom has the right to speak 
the rmnimum right of a single vote, upon such topics as 
tney have demonstrated a capacity to discuss " 

During her presidency of the Consumers' League, 
which, notwithstanding her intended early retirement, 
contmued m.til 1896, the meetings of its Governing Board 
were held at Mrs. Lowell's residence in New York, and 
at the time of her death she was one of the Honorary Vice- 


Work for the Emancipation of Labor 

Mrs. Lowell left the State Board of Charities, not- 
withstanding the earnest wishes of the members of the 
Board and of her family and friends that she should re- 
main a member, for reasons best told in two of her letters, 
of which one was addressed to Mrs. Henry S. Russell, 
daughter of John M. Forbes of Boston, a lifelong friend, 
and the other to her sister-in-law, Mrs. Robert Gould 

120 East 30th Street, April 7, 1889. 
Dearest Mollie : 

Of course your remarks about my plans for future work 
interested me, and I was much pleased that you should 

But, to begin with, I never meant to have the matter 
talked about. I have not resigned from the State Board 
yet, and shall not, until the end of my term, a couple of 
months hence, I believe. Then what I want to do is, 
with others, to try to prevent strikes, by various means 
already successfully tried elsewhere, and here ignored 
by both employers and unions. I don't think that the 
strong inteUigence of business men has made such a success 
of their relations with their work people (either for them- 




believe a;t sotS,f Z SoT" T""''*^^' ^-"^ ' 
cha„ge eha. feeU.,, ^T^. Ma"^:",?, ^1^-' ■, '» 
and M. Hughe. d.d 30 ™oh i„ E^ Ja'd'^for^-.^L" 

try to Lip them ?T"""'Vr'"^ '° «^« ^^^ I mus^ 

paupers t!foS. Read whTt m" P ''^ '^^'^° ^°- 
our relations toward Vh ? ^"^"''^^ '^>^« ^bout 

Reformer" '^' ^°'^"^S people in "Man the 

Dearest Aknie : ^^^ ^^'^ ^^™ ^^-^ ^ay 19, '89. 

but f SThT.V'"^ 'r'""' '° ^°"*i-« - the Boaxd 
dot ffr torktVp:!^^^ '^rT ^"^^^*^^* --k to b 
earne. m th^'e ty' 2^^^^^^^ thousand wage 

of those working under dLadfulet^-r""'" 7^ ^''^^^ 
tion waees Thnf °^^^^"' conditions or for starva- 

all they ought to hivi w!' J ,. """'^^^ P^«P^« ^^^d 
y ougnt to have, we should not have the paupers 


and criminals. It is better to save them before they go 
under, than to spend your Ufe fishing them out when 
they're half drowned and taking care of them afterwards ! 
Exactly what I can do, I do not know, but I want the 
time to try, and as my term is up now, I had to seize the 
opportunity to leave the Board. There ! . . . 

While still a member of the State Board, Mrs. Lowell 
began to study questions commonly called those of labor 
and capital, and letters addressed to her, which she pre- 
served, showed that she obtained information at first 
hand by active correspondence, in this country and abroad, 
with writers on economic subjects, with master builders 
and other large employers of labor, and with leaders of 
organized labor. Hon. Abram S. Hewitt and Colonel 
George E. Waring ' wrote freely to her, and evidently- 
relied upon her judgment. Dr. Jane E. Robbins has 
said that some of Mrs. Lowell's papers on industrial 
conciliation which she sent to Colonel Waring during 
a labor crisis at the beginning of his services as Com- 
roissioner of Street Cleaning led him to form a permanent 
Board of Conciliation which helped him to work out suc- 
cessfully many of the problems of his department. Some 
exceedingly interesting letters from Colonel Waring, 
endorsed in Mrs. Lowell's own handwriting "Not for pub- 
lication," were laid aside with regret. 

The following strong and helpful letter of Mr. Hewitt's 

' George E. Waring, Jr., 1833-1898. Colonel in Civil War. Sani- 
tary Engineer. Commissioner of Street Cleaning, New York City, 



is not only interesting reading, but has supplied the title 
for this chapter : 

New York, June 5, 1885. 
Dear Mrs. Lowell: 

I am much obliged to you for your pleasant note of the 
4th instant . The speech on the ' ' Emancipation of Labor ' ' 
has already had a wide circulation among the trades union 
people. I do not know that any copy of it ever reached 
Mr. Phillips, but if I have fifty copies to spare I will send 
them to him in the course of a day or two. I have great 
pleasure in sending to you two copies. of the "Century of 
Mining" and a dozen copies of the "Emancipation of 

I do not think that this kind of work ever receives from 
the parties most interested the recognition which it ought 
to have ; certainly it ought never to be done in the hope 
of receiving any such recognition. My experience is 
that the demagogue who deliberately deceives the working- 
men gets their support, while those who tell them the truth 
and labor assiduously to discover it, are usually regarded as 
enemies. In my own case the only candidate who has of 
late years been run against me for Congress has been a 
nominee of the labor organizations. Of course he never 
got many votes, but it was evidence of the total ignorance 
of these organizations on the subject which most concerned 
them, and to which I had given the labor of my life. 
Nevertheless the work must be patiently and conscien- 
tiously done, and I see very clearly in the changes which 
are going on throughout the world steady progress toward 
the knowledge of sound principles and their appUcation 
to the great business of life. Mankind is better than it 
ever has been, and the fruits of industry are more justly 
distributed than in any previous period of the world. 


This ought to encourage us to continue our work, for "it 

is not in vain." 

Yours smcereiy, 

Abram S. Hewitt. 

The New York Times of December 2, 1892, published 
the following letter from Mrs. Lowell, and the extracts 
to which it referred, and in an editorial observed, that 
she was correct in thinking that they have a particular 
interest at the present time : 
To THE Editor of the New York Times: 

I am very glad that you have called the attention of the 
directors of the railroads to their responsibility for the 
prevention of strikes among raikoad employees next year. 
I desire to refer you and your readers to an article 
published in Scrihrm's Ma^o.ine in 1889 by Charles 
Franci-s Adams, then President of the Umon Pacific Rai - 
way Company, under the title, "The Prevention of Rail- 
road Strikes," and to ask you to pubhsh the inclosed 
extracts from that article. 

The only solution of the labor question for railroads 
as well as for all other branches of industry, hes m the 
recognition that there are two parties interested, and that 
each party has aright to be heard on all questions which 

concern both. . , 

The fact that it is an Adams who again speaks for 
justice and the representative system cannot fai to be ot 
interest to those who care to see the great qualities of a 
great family transmitted from generation to generation. 

Josephine Shaw Lowell. 

The winter of 1893-1894 was one of extraordinary 
severity in the City of New York. Industrial conditions 




were then depressed and the unfortunate combination 
caused much suffering and distress among working people. 
Organized efforts for their reUef were promptly begun, 
Mrs. Lowell, as usual, being one of the leaders. Several 
papers from her pen, on the methods and satisfactory 
results of this emergency relief work, were published at 
the time and are noted in the index ; limitation of space 
permits the admission of only one of them, "Poverty and 
its ReUef, the Methods Possible in the City of New York," 
which is included in the chapter on the Charity Organiza- 
tion Society. 

Among Mrs. Lowell's associates in this work was Miss 
Lillian D. Wald, who, in a memorial address, made the 
following mention of her manner and methods in the 
emergency : 

"In the early summer of 1893 the lower East Side gave 
evidence of the terrible winter which was to follow. 
It was not easy to pass the summer and see actual want of 
food among people, who in almost every instance appeared 
to be wholly respectable ; to see the unemployed organize 
almost spontaneously and storm an empty hall in their 
desire to get in for the purpose of conferring about their 
need, because they had no money to pay for a meeting 
place ; to see the battle between the people who wished 
to talk over their matters which they were not allowed 
to do on the street, and the police who naturally wished 
to guard property. AU New York seemed to be away 
durmg the summer, and the little group at the College 
Settlement, where I was then in residence, was anxious 
and bewildered, as were the other people of the neigh- 
borhood. With the autumn came public recognition of 


the hardships upon the working people, and the desire and 
ability to help them personified in Mrs. Lowell. 

"I must be pardoned for injecting a memory of my first 
acquaintance and personal experience with her at that time. 
She seemed to reaUze the condition of mind of young and 
untried people in an experience so bitter as the season of 
1893 to 1894 was to them. Inexperienced as I was, and un- 
accustomed to thinking of troubles so grave and great, she 
treated me like a comrade, and in the midst of the gigantic 
work entailed upon her as administratrix of much of the 
reUef for the unemployed, she found time to write many 
notes asking my counsel, climbing the five flights of stau-s 
to the tenement where I was at that time Uving, inviting 
me to publish letters with her concerning the situation, 
treating me as a comrade in the responsibility and the ser- 
vice of the winter. I think because she was so simple about 
it, one took it in the same way and talked freely without 
self-consciousness, or perhaps it was her deeply thought- 
out plan to encourage the beginner by dignifying her. 

"The special work for the unemployed, called the East 
Side Relief Work, was organized by Mrs. Lowell, and 
was composed of representatives from churches, settle- 
ments, philanthropic societies and individuals. Con- 
sideration of the work to be done was started the latter 
part of October, 1893. ... Of course there were able 
and devoted men and women working with Mrs. Lowell, 
but she was the animating spirit and all of those associated 
with her at the time did, I am sure, carry a life-long mem- 
ory of her patience, intelligence and ability. She modestly 
said: 'I beUeve that through this relief as little moral 
harm as was possible has come to those whose physical 
needs have been supplied.' The payment for all of the 
work was in money, Mrs. Lowell believing that it would 
go back into the natural channels of trade in the poor 



neighborhoods in which the people Uved, thus doing 
double good. . . . Perhaps Mrs. Lowell's lasting in- 
fluence over those fortunate enough to be with her was 
due to the conviction that all of her social help was con- 
sidered by her head as well as by her sympathy — both 
equally alert to respond to every human call. ..." 

Some of airs. Lowell's letters written to her sister-m- 
law at this time of industrial distress refer to this emer- 
gency, and show the sympathetic and humorous touch 
which illumined even her most trying work. 

120 East 30th Street, Nov. 26, 1893. 
Dearest Annie : 

You wUl be interested in the enclosed. It has absorbed 
most of my time for the past two weeks. We have had 
Committee meetings at the College Settlement about four 
times a week, to make our plans, and now they are just 
about being consummated and we hope to have both kinds 
of work going by Wednesday. We shall hire an idle shop, 
163 Attorney Street, up five flights in a rear building, and 
the idle owner to act as foreman, and we shall put our poor 
"Hebrew Jews" at work to clothe the poor Negroes of the 
Sea Islands. We have engaged a good woman to be our 
Supenntendent and look after the women and also the 
peace and comfort of the men. Besides this, we have a 
street sweeping Superintendent who has been for years 
with the best private cleaner in this City and we expect 
to make the streets "as clean as von pin." It is interest- 
ing meeting the Committee people, for they are all good 
workers, and give their lives to trying to help, so that they 
know a good deal more than the usual well-to-do folks who 
serve on Committees. Mr. Elsing and Mr. Devins have 
the churches right down among the tenement houses, and 


the latter told me the other day that he was a poor boy in 
this city, so he knows how to feel for them. Dr. Jane Rob- 
bins has lived two years in a tenement house among the 
Italians in Mulberry Street, and she says she loves them. 
What we ought to have are settlements in every 
street, to help civilize and lift the people. There is one 
interesting man living down in Forsyth Street, Charles B. 
Stover ^ — educated for a Lutheran minister, but deciding 
not to take orders, he devotes himself to pubhc work. 
He is a school trustee and gives lots of time to that, and, 
besides, he keeps himself so busy that he does not go to bed 
but two or three times a week I He sleeps in a chair the 
other nights. 

Dec. 17, 1893. 
Dearest Annie : 

My excuse for my silence is to be found in the enclosed 
papers, for I have been spending the last three weeks in 
trjring to get this plan into working order. It has been 
a very interesting experience and I have learned a great 
deal. We have had meetings of the Committees to get 
the thing started, and now I am Chairman of the Com- 
mittee that nms the shop and also a member of the Ex- 
ecutive Committee that runs the whole thing, so I have 
still to be down town three times a week nearly all day. 
We have a shop meeting at 12, and then I go to a Charity 
Eating House to take lunch, and to the Executive Com- 
mittee at 2 : 30. Our shop is full of poor, thin Jews, who 
have been months without work and many of whom can- 
not speak English, and our street sweeping company is 
composed of all nationalities. We had ninety men on 
last week and we expect to have hundreds before the end. 

1 Commissioner of Public Parks, in Mayor Gaynor's Administration 



Dearest Annie : ^^^ ^^ ^^ ^''■' ^^^'''^' ^894. 

whLT/''""^,^"^*' ''^''^' ^^'^S finished compmx). 

Sfs "nd ti'.U '"" ""T- '^"^''' ^^''^^^ -d Boston 
of Mfwet 'S^^^ ^"^'"^-^- — t of son.e 
vpr,.. '*^^"^^^ P'ans. It IS very interesting to me and 
very encouraging, as it is a record of real justice^ndt 
telJigence tnumphing over selfish brutal pis on 1 1": 
to see It published, as few people know anything of tS 

e"x:ra:^j::s^ ^^ ^- - - --^"^^ 

Mr. Charles S. Fairchild has supplied the following in- 
^atation from Mrs. Lowell to attend a meeting with the 
object of arranging a settlement of the tailors' strike. 

120 East 30th Street, New York, Sept. 3, 1894. 
My DEAR Mr. Fairchild : 

It may have escaped your notice that the garment 
makers of New York qnrt -r^-,^! i . . sarment- 

wa,r«e ^ 1 . Brooklyn are asking for higher 

tTefarrrtftr '^""' '^' '^'^ ^^*^"^-^ ^ ^ 

That they should be forced to strike would be a great 

misfortune, but a still greater misfortune to the city woufd 



be to have them continue to work at the present rates. 
Good workmen have been earning six dollars a week 
by fifteen hours work a day, which means that they are 
overworked and that they and their families are underfed 
and their health being undermined. 

The situation is one which no power except the workers 
themselves can improve; if three-fourths of the con- 
tractors desired to advance wages they could not do it 
so long as the workers accept the low wages, and charity 
would only make matters worse by encouraging the people 
to think that they could continue to work for wages in- 
sufficient to sustain life decently. The outlook has been 
very dark, because there seemed no remedy, as one could 
not hope that the workers, after all the sufferings and 
privations of the past year, would dare to take any risk. 
They have, however, had the courage to do so, and now 
the duty of all public spirited men and women is to 
support them in their demands and to render a strike 
unnecessary, or, at least, make it as short as possible. 

It is stated in the Times of Sunday that in Brooklyn 
the contractors have asked for a conference with the 
workmen, while in New York, the Contractors' Protec- 
tive Union is to hold a meeting on Tuesday evening, 
at 200 East Broadway, to arrange plans to protect their 

The gentlemen and ladies named in the enclosed list 
are invited by Dr. Jane E. Robbins, Head-worker of the 
College Settlement, and me to meet us at 95 Rivington 
Street, at 6 p.m., on Tuesday, the 4th inst., where we can 
talk over the situation and, afterwards, if so decided, 
attend the meeting of the Contractors' Protective Union, 
for the purpose of requesting them to confer with their 
workmen and make a settlement without forcing a strike. 

I hope very earnestly that you will be able to be present. 



Deaeest Annie: Sept. 9, '94. 

I don't seem to have much to tell that will be interesting, 

though I have had a very interesting week. The poor 

sweated tailors struck last Monday, aslcing for ten hours' 

work a day and weekly pay, instead of fifteen hours' 

and piece work, and everything went beautifully for the 

sweaters and the wholesale manufacturers and the 

newspapers were all agreed that the men were quite right 

and that the change must be made. Now, holever, Se 

men seem to have got puffed up by too much success, and 

they are askmg unreasonable things and there is to be 

of^Ihl!? '" '^r^^^'^'^ that it wa. the righteousness 
of then- cause and not then- strength that won approval 

n. ; r'.u'!? """""'"^ '°^^^' '^^^^ ^^"0"« people con- 
nected with the trade and having a very good time but 
now. there wiU be harder work. I wasl^^'t, becTu^e o 
my mteres m the tailors, and because we had a meeting 
at the College Settlement to help them and the papeJ 
took It up and we thought it was all lovely, when behold ' 
the poor things do this ! 

Speaking after Mrs. Lowell's death of this strike, one of 
her associates in this work. Dr. Jane E. Bobbins, said : 

"I have known Mrs. LoweU since the winter of the un- 
employed 1893-1894. Living through that winter ^s 
know W "' f^'^'f''' «° that I had special chance to 
know her great mind and her splendid heart. It was a 
wonderful revelation of the possibihties of womanhood 
^-.iTaT^'^t^ *^'^°'''' '*"^^ ^° the fall of 1894, I went 

rTnt^r 'T'l '' T^" ^*^ ^° --"*-« ---t - 
representing the l^ge clothing houses on lower Broadway. 

The presidmg officer was markedly discourteous, but 




Mrs. Lowell entirely ignored his rudeness and quietly pre- 
sented the cause of the poor tailor. She never seemed 
to have any time to think about herself. What she said 
was so convincing that before we left the meeting the 
executive committee had given us a message to take back 
to the strikers. We were to tell them to stand together 
firmly for a shorter work-day and for a living wage. I 
learned to depend upon Mrs. Lowell's judgment in all 
labor questions. In this particular strike I held back at 
first, because I knew so little of the pros and cons of the 
struggle; but she said wisely that all we really needed 
to know was that the poor tailors were making a brave 
fight, and that we must help them. She saw the reporters 
of all the influential papers, and she inspired several fine 
editorials. The tailors won their poor Uttle struggle for 
better conditions." 

Mrs. Lowell was always glad of an opportunity to 
bring more comfort and pleasure into the lives of working 
people. Not long before her death she addressed a letter 
to the president of an important raining corporation, with 
whom she was not acquainted, in which she said that in 
passing through the miners' village she had noticed with 
satisfaction the admirable homes erected by the company 
for the miners' families, but was sorry to observe that so 
few shade trees had been planted ; and suggested that not 
only the greater comfort of the residents would be secured, 
but also the general appearance of the village improved 
by more liberal plantations, which have since been made. 

An instance of Mrs. Lowell's championship of labor, and 
of her readiness in debate, occurred at a session of the 
Twenty-fifth National Conference of Charities and Correc- 




tion, which convened in the City of New York under my 
chairmanship in May, 1898, and was noticed in the New 
York Sun of May 21, under the caption "SpMt on Prison 
Labor." Hon. Carl Schurz had presented a paper on the 
Spoils System, which, with the subject of which it treated, 
was open to discussion in the Conference. Mr. Charlton 
T. Lewis, President of the Prison Association, then called 
the attention of the Conference to the evil effect of politics 
in prisons, and emphasized the necessity of keeping pris- 
oners, the wards of the State, at labor, and of wisely direct- 
ing their work to make it both productive and educational. 
He complained that the amendment to the constitution 
of New York State relating to prison labor made it nec- 
essary that these considerations should be disregarded and 
left the laborers free only to make something to be used 
in other charitable, reformatory, or penal institutions of 
the State. And he continued : 

"Why? Because there are half a dozen men who call 
themselves par excellence labor men, the representatives 
of labor in this State, and who prove it by doing no 
work, but hve by hanging around legislatvu-es in order to 
lobby measures through which shall enable them to report 
something like success to the workingmen who have paid 
them for this legislative service. These men went to the 
party leaders, and said, 'Unless you accept this amend- 
ment and put it into the constitution, your party will get 
no votes from the labor unions in this State at the next 
election.' Under that pressure, this provision was put 
into the fundamental law of the State. Do I complain of 
the knot of those who regard themselves as entitled to 
speak for the laboring interest ? " 


The report of the meetings says : "Before Mr. Lewis had 

inerepui ^^^^ j^^q t^e 

taken his seat Mrs. I^jeU ^^^ ^^^^,^^^ 

audience after her speecu, wu. beain- 

stairs and asktag for a chance to .eply. ^^-"J''^^^^ 

"™f 1 ttS"' Sfr ledl pWor.. 'that if 
Mr clree?redmt.eakin| of the amendment in too 
Mr. Choate erre ^ ^ speaking of it 

favorable terms, Mr. ^^^"^ ' ^^^ jj j, t^^ best 

in too eondenmato^y t«ms. I b*ve ^ ^^^^^^ ^ ^^^^ 

itStt thS^rr No^mber, 1894 when it was 

db lb mig," „„, 1 QQA when it went mto enect, tne 

adopted, -^ J«, 8%,^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^ ^^^^^^^^.^^ 

tune was used by ^^^^ P"^°" ^ • ^o secure a repeal, 

for the new arrangements, but m xryuig t „,.;cnn- 


ers, as ivij. . defending themselves against 

r„:ri:dn™:f ci;^- < ^^^ -or., j:;: 


„™^ "Jactaon waii in accord with hK generation 
occurs. JacBson ".,,. ,i^„g j^i ions arc not 
■ He had a clear perception that the to^^E ^^ 

I *' '". felt arg'e^^ttwd exUt only for the 
knew and felt that 6"'™° ^^ strong only 

»"The True Andrew Jackson, by oyrus io«" 


jlTr °'""'°'^ ""^ '""^^ ■« '° *« position Mr, 
Lowel then took, she evidently by her words andTcttas 
and also by the sentiments expressed in her paprr„' 
abor .ueations, always held exactly to Jackso , „Sr 
and no one can reasonably question her absolute srerit"' 
Pap-=h to.n „ ^HE F,„BT P„BL,o Me^no o. the 
WoKKiNo Women's Society' 
As you have asked me to speak to you tontaht for 
whrch mark of confidence I thank you very Zch ,/ 
not presumptuous to a^ume that you' thm T hi' 
tag to say which may help you somewhat m tleZt" 
work upon which you have entered, which « Z ^T 

rreiXfT '° '"" °-««-''o ir: 

system" ""^' '"""^ •" *^ »'-<"'' '""or 

gJtiot"o^' "''°, \'™ P™'""" »™"'™'= and sug- 
gestions on some of the features of your declaration !f 

Pr-ncples, contained in this preamble! aLttnpt „" 
second prmciple you announce is : 

SoZytuchstnltf"! ""T '= ^"^ °' - Central 
to the'^cause o : gf^StlnT " ""^= "'^^"'^ "'™"='' 
statistics and publrfCshaT bt =1^' ' t'^"' 

formation and advice anr] \k ^e ready to furnish in- 

increase agitation on Ihlfsubtcl'''' ^''" ^^^^'""^ ^^^ 

4"aJ;^s::v°"'^"*^ ^°"^-^- ^^^ -trai so. 

I; c "^'"^ ^''^^"'^^ ^° ^"^'^i^h information 

lettef to'pT/i.^gr' ^^"^-^ ^- ^««« ■• Miss Peridns presided ^^ 


and advice and to continue and increase agitation. Let me 
beg of you to make yourselves ready to do this work wisely. 
These questions which you are taking up are not new ; thej' 
have been discussed and written about even in their present 
forms for more than one hundred years. There are many 
wise books, and unhappily many foolish books too, already 
written upon them, and in order to makeyoxirselves author- 
ities upon them, you must study what has already been 
said, and learn what has already been done about them. 

It seems to me that the appointment of a Committee 
on Reading to mark out a course of study for the mem- 
bers of the Society, and to procure the books from Ubraries 
and supply them to the members in turn, would be a very 
wise step. You need to saturate yom- minds with the 
subjects connected with the aims of your Society. You 
cannot know too much of what has been said and of what 
is being said by students of the labor problems. You 
must make yourselves masters of the subject. 

The first of the "Specific Objects of the Society" is 
stated as follows : 

"To found trade organizations in such trades where 
they do not exist, and to encourage and assist existing 
labor organizations, to the end of increasing wages and 
shortening hours." 

Now it seems to me a mistake to have given the increas- 
ing of wages precedence over the shortening of hours. The 
latter I believe to be the more important object, and it is 
also the one upon which you can the more easily secure 
public sympathy. I beUeve it to be the more important 
because securing leisure affords the opportunity for im- 



provement in intelligence and in character, and, as the 
Jiatural consequence, improvenaent also in work and in 
wages. It is a reasonable object, and can be proved to 
be so to the public if the right steps are taken. There is 
no question that, up to a certain point, more work can be 
done in short than in long hours, and the shorter hours 
are therefore, up to that point, as much for the benefit 
of the employers and of the public, as of the hand workers. 
What is that point ? That is for you to discover. 

That, even in piece-work, as much can be done and 
earned in ten hours as in eleven was proved in some large 
woolen mills in New England, where the owners desired 
to reduce the hours from eleven to ten, and the hands 
objected, but were persuaded to try it, and found they 
earned as much as before. Whether the same rule would 
hold good as between ten hours and nine, I do not know, 
but I believe that it probably would, as the natural result of 
more leisure would be increased health, strength, energy, 
mtelligence, and, I think, increased conscientiousness also. 
Nothing could be better than the first part of your 
second object : 

"By using all the means in our power to enforce the 
existing laws relating to the protection of women and 
children in shops and factories; investigating and pro- 
testing against all violations of said laws; also, whenever 
possible, promoting legislation on this subject." 

And a committee to be charged with the duty of spread- 
ing the knowledge of the present laws, and teaching those 
who need their protection how, and to whom, to make 
complaints of their violation, would do great good. 


The framing of new laws is a still more important mat- 
ter, but one not to be lightly entered upon, until you 
have prepared yourselves by serious study to suggest and 
support wise measures which will not produce more harm 
than good, as is too often the case with many laws, the 
objects of which are of the best. 

In your fourth object, which reads : 

"To investigate and protest against all cases that are 
credibly brought to ovu* notice of cruel and tyrannical 
treatment on the part of employers and their managers, 
open robbery by withholding pay, or underhand theft in 
imposing fines and docking wages on trivial grounds, 
shameful indecency in the arrangement of shops, and 
abusive or insulting language to the helpless and defence- 
less women employees," 

we come to the most dangerous ground upon which you 
will have to tread, full of snares and pitfalls for your 
feet, and where you will surely be engulfed unless you 
guard yourselves by the highest sense of duty. You will 
have to do what it is very hard for anyone to do, —what, 
unhappily, women almost never do. You must look at 
both sides; you must be just. Justice is the highest 
attribute of man, for to be just is to see and do the truth. 
As I have said, women are seldom just, because they 
allow personal feelings, whether of selfishness, friendship 
or sympathy to blind them to the other side ; they even 
pride themselves on saying, where their better feelings are 
engaged, that there is no other side. Now this is the 
weakness you must guard yourselves against. Knowing, 
as you do, the wrongs and sufferings of one side, which are 



often so great as almost to overpower all possibility of 
seeing anything else, seeing, as you do, injustice which 
fills you with horror and indignation, yet you must for 
the sake of righting those wrongs, in the hope of de- 
stroying that injustice, constrain yourselves to pause, to 
consider what excuse there may be on the other side, and 
you must hear and try patiently to study the difficulties 
which beset the employer. You know, if you stop a 
moment to remember, that he has difficulties, for he often 
succumbs to them. I believe it is said that a great many 
more than half the men who go into business fail, which 
means that the difficulties are so great that half the 
employers cannot conquer them. Remember, too, that 
apart from all considerations of justice, it is bad policy 
to increase too far the difficulties of employers. The 
employers are now, and will be until we reach manufactur- 
ing cooperation, far more important to the people they 
employ, than they are to them, and you know that every 
failure throws work people out of employment and causes 
much distress. I believe in the right to strike ; but re- 
member that a strike is like war ; it brings great misery 
with it ; and remember that there are some places where 
the work people by striking have driven the employers 
away, and have left themselves with no means of living. 
Remember that you must not place yourselves in the 
position of enemies attacking, but of judges, hearing and 
weighing evidence, and remember, above all, that your 
sympathies are all, inevitably, on one side, and that, there- 
fore, you must try to lean towards the other, if you would 
even approach a just decision. 



And now I want to say something about what seems to 
me the great possibilities of your Society. The sufferings 
and the wrongs of working women have for years been 
described and talked about, and have excited pity and 
indignation, and yet no one has had the sUghtest power 
to remedy them. The great machine, of which we are all 
a part, has rolled on, crushing the happiness and life out 
of hundreds of thousands of women ; and many other 
women, who would gladly have given their lives to have 
saved their sisters, have themselves helped to trample 
them still lower in the dust. It is not, as I say, that they 
are careless, but that they are ignorant; they do not 
know what causes the injustice ; they do not know how 
it is to be remedied ; they do not even know, in any dis- 
tinct way, what the injustice is, what the sufferings are. 
They are as helpless on their side as the working women 
who have to suffer are on theirs. 

Now you ca;n put an end to this ignorance and help- 
lessness, you, who have joined yourselves together to 
help working women, you, who are working women your- 
selves and know the conditions amid which you work, 
you, who ah-eady have the knowledge of facts, and are 
going to bring your intelligence to bear upon these facts, 
and study them, until you learn what they mean, why 
they exist, and how they can be changed. You are going 
to stand between your sisters on the one hand, and on the 
other, between the toilers who are underpaid and over- 
worked, and the women who are pining for want of work 
and are supported in enforced idleness, and you are going 
to open a pathway between the two. 



And, now, how can you fit yourselves for this noble 
part of interpreters between sets of people so far apart 
that, without you, or some one in your place, it seems as if 
they could never understand each other? As I have 
already said, you must, first of all, be just, and then you 
must set yourselves to discover the causes of the wrongs 
which exist today in our social fabric, and the remedies 
which may be apphed to them. But you must remember 
that it is not individuals who are to blame, that they, 
as well as you, that we all are parts of a system which has 
grown up, which binds us aU, and for which no man, no 
hundred men, no thousand men, are to blame, but which 
sweeps all men and women along, unable to resist its 
mighty current, and that the problem before us is to study, 
all together, how to change the system, how to keep what 
is good in it, and leave behind us what is bad. 

If the present system is harder on some people than on 
others, as it most certainly is, it is natural that those who 
suffer from its weaknesses and maladjustments should 
reaUze them strongly, and that those who do not suffer, 
but who even profit by them, should scarcely reahze 
them at all, and should be inclined, until they are taught 
better, to think it a pretty good system after all, and to 
dread changes. 

It is your work to teach them better ; you must show 
them the evils that exist, and, without claiming that they 
are responsible for what they never made and cannot 
unmake, point out to them what are the weaknesses 
and maladjustments of the present system. 
As an organization of women, it behooves you especially 


to maintain each one of you her own independence of 
thought and character. Do not blindly follow any leader. 
Discuss and consult and strive each one to cherish in her- 
self a sense of her own personal responsibility for the acts 
of the Society. In that way you will reap the advantage 
of association ; you will strengthen and help each other, 
and your joint action will have the force of all its com- 
bined members. Whereas, if, without thought, you blindly 
follow wherever one or two of the most impetuous among 
you may lead, you will not only fail to attain your objects, 
but your failure will bring renewed discredit on the efforts 
both of women and labor organizations. 

As women, also, you need to be especially on your guard 
against scolding. However j ust the cause she may defend, 
a scolding woman is a terror to all men; no one will 
listen to her, no one will sympathize with her ; she only 
injures her own cause. You must conciliate and not 
antagonize. You must be dignified, generous, noble. 
You must make yourselves respected by your wisdom, 
your patience, your fairness, by the cheerful courage with 
which you press on to attain your high objects, — and 
that they are high, who can doubt? To help to raise 
labor, what is it but to help to raise mankind? 

You must be inspired by the highest patriotism, for it 
is true, as an English author says, that 

"The American RepubUc is founded on the sovereignty 
of the people, and it will prosper or perish according as 
the mental and moral status of the sovereign people is 
high or low. The question whether labor in America will 
in future sustain, improve upon or degrade from its once 



high condition is one beside which every other national 
problem, social, religious or political, is a matter of trifling 
moment, for upon this depends the destiny of the greatest 
state, and the life of the most beneficent government which 
the world has ever seen." 

But you must be inspired by a higher motive than 
patriotism — by the love of your fellow-men — of all 
your fellow-men, rich and poor. Do not love the poor and 
hate the rich, but have as much patience with the rich as 
you have with the poor. Feel the brotherhood of man, 
and do not, in your thoughts, shut any one outside that 
brotherhood. Emerson says : 

"Hostility, bitterness to persons, and to the age, indi- 
cate infirm sense, unacquaintance with men, who are really 
at top selfish, and really at bottom fraternal, alike, iden- 
tical," and Jesus says: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor 
as thyself." 

Industrial Peace ' 

What is extraordinary and abnormal and, consequently, 
unusual, of course catches and holds the attention more 
readily than a continuous and orderly development, al- 
though the latter may be of vastly more intrinsic value 
to mankind than the disturbances which startle and terrify 
by their violence. It is therefore natural, but none the 
less to be regretted, that public attention is constantly 
attracted to all the painful and deplorable episodes of the 
movement for the emancipation of the workingman, 

' Published in The Charities Review for January, 1893. Reprinted 
in pamphlet form. 


while the great forward march of the last twenty-five years 
in England, and more lately in this country, the tre- 
mendous triumphs of justice and right, the victories of 
inteUigence and equity over ignorance and greed, are quite 
unknown to the mass of employers, as well as to the public 
generally, and their records buried in official reports, or 
in books read only by workingmen and students. 

The Labor Question is, after all, only another phase of 
the Liberty Question, which has confronted the human race, 
in one form or another, in all its contests since history be- 
gan ; it is simply a question of justice as opposed to tyranny, 
and the only solution, the acknowledgment of equal rights. 
As Mr. Charles Francis Adams, with the old Adams spirit, 
said in an article published in ScHbner's Magazine in 1889, 
entitled "The Prevention of Raikoad Strikes " : 

"It is, of course, impossible to dispose of these difficult 
matters in town-meetmg. Nevertheless the town-meeting 
must be at the base of any successful plan for disposing 
of them. The end in view is to bring the employer, 
who in this case is the company, represented by its pres- 
ident and board of directors, and the employees into 
direct and immediate contact through a representative 
system. When thus brought into direct and immediate 
contact, the parties must arrive at results through the 
usual method, that is, by discussion and rational agree- 
ment. . . . The movement follows the lines of action 
with which the people of this country are most familiar. 
The path indicated is that in which for centuries they have 
been accustomed to tread. It has led them out of many 
difficulties; why not out of this difficulty?" 

Personal despotism has been driven out of all civilized 



countries as a form of government, simply because the 
people rendered despotism too uncomfortable for the des- 
pot. Representative government has been forced upon 
Europe, not adopted because the governing classes wished 
to give up their prerogative ; and in like manner, rep- 
resentative government in many important industrial 
fields has been forced upon employers, although it is to be 
said to their honor that in some cases, the employers have 
welcomed it and have recognized its moral as well as its 
material advantages. 

There is little doubt also that the representative system 
m the conduct of an industry requires higher moral and 
intellectual qualities in all the parties represented than 
are necessary in the realm of government, and this ex- 
plains why its adoption in this new field is less rapid. 
The very fact that it must be voluntarily adopted, even 
though under the pressure of circumstances, and that its 
maintenance is due to moral sanctions only, shows that 
it can be established only by and among men of high moral 
and intellectual development. It requires justice and 
intelligence, that is, the will, and also the power, to see 
the other side, and it requires good faith ; and these are 
noble quaUties, and qualities which we like to think are 
peculiarly American. 

It is, therefore, not pleasing to learn that while the 
representative system has for twenty-three years been a 
signal success in some of the great English trades, and has 
been steadily gaining ground in that country, with no 
conspicuous failure anywhere, with us very many efforts 
toward it have been tried and have proved abortive. 


and that we have no instance of a successful attempt that 
is more than eight years old. 

The defeat of justice which has disgraced much of our 
labor history is due, it is fair to say, almost equally to 
employers and employees ; whichever side has had the 
power has unfortunately used it tyrannically. The ex- 
ceptions to this rule are, however, all the more worthy 
of honor ; and it is for the sake of acknowledging our debt 
to the men who have done justly, and also of presenting 
them as an example to their fellow-employers and fellow- 
employees, that I wish to give at least a sketch of the 
development of an equitable system in two important 
trades in our own country. 

During the sunomer of 1884, there was a two months' 
strike of bricklayers in New York City which caused great 
loss to both the bricklayers themselves and the builders, 
and left many questions unsettled when it was ended. 
Experience had taught both sides a lesson, however, and 
in March, 1885, a conference was held between the Master 
Builders' Association and the Committee of the General 
Good of the Bricklayers' Unions to discuss the various 
matters of mutual interest ; the results were so satis- 
factory that a permanent representative body was created, 
composed of an equal number of delegates from both sides, 
duly elected each year. The official name of this body 
is "The Joint Arbitration Committee of the Mason 
Builders' Association and the Bricklayers' Unions," and 
at its organization provision was made, in case of non- 
agreement upon any point, for the selection of an umpire, 
whose decision should be binding on both sides. There 



could be no stronger proof of the justice and good sense 
which have ruled in the dehberations of this self-con- 
stituted body than the fact that, during the eight years 
of its existence, it has never been necessary to appoint an 
umpire, every question having been decided by the com- 
mittee itself. 

At first, weekly meetings were held, and at these meet- 
ings the general interests of the trade were frequently 
discussed. Then there was business only for a meeting 
once a month, and latterly meetings are held still less 
frequently, except in the spring, when the committee 
meets often to discuss and agree upon the wages for the 
year, and to draw up the mutual agreement between the 
Association and the Unions. This agreement covers 
the hours to be worked, the amount of pay for overtime, 
the frequency of payments, and other matters of impor- 
tance, besides the amount of wages. When the Joint Com- 
mittee was first organized, the bricklayers' wages were 
forty cents an hour, and nine hours was the working day 
every day except Saturday. Now the wages are fifty 
cents an hour, and the working day is eight hours. There 
has not been a strike among the bricklayers since 1884. 
Even during the past season, when, to speak mildly, every 
other trade was at least very much unsettled, there was 
no trouble between the bmlders and the bricklayers. All 
difficulties are settled at the meetings of the delegates of 
the Builders' Association and the Bricklayers' Unions, 
being discussed until an agreement is reached. 

Remembering what a strike means ; what misery and 
want it entaUs upon those who take part in it ; what loss 


to the whole community ; what bitter feeling, what anger 
and hatred, it arouses ; one cannot but feel a deep sense 
of gratitude and an admiration for the men, employers 
and employees, who have had the wisdom and self-control 
to establish and maintain so reasonable, so Christian, a 
method of settling the questions of mutual interest to them. 

The second instance of a successful understanding be- 
tween employers and employees which I shall describe 
is that between the manufacturers and the various unions 
of hat-makers of Danbury, Connecticut. For thirty-five 
years before the year 1885 there had been almost a con- 
stant warfare between the manufacturers and the work- 
men ; but in the autumn of that year the Directors of the 
National Associations of Fur-Hat Finishers and Makers 
appointed a committee of five to confer with the manu- 
facturers of fur hats in regard to the present state of trade, 
and the way to improve it and the condition of those em- 
ployed in it. This committee respectfully invited the 
fur-hat manufacturers to unite in an organization to act 
in concert with our associations in the adoption of such 
measures as will tend to establish and maintain harmonious 
relations between the manufacturers and their employees, 
and promote the best interests of both parties. 

The manufacturers responded to this invitation, and 
a convention, at which sixty-three were present, was held 
in New York, on October 25, 1885. Mr. Edmund Tweedy, 
of Danbury, in an address to the Convention, spoke as 
follows : 

"I will venture to say that the situation in which we 
find ourselves is without precedent in this or any other 




country. For the workingmen in a trade to ask their 
employers to organize themselves into an association is 
a fact so surprising that we may well question its signif- 
icance. The fact itself seems to me to place the sincerity 
of the journeymen beyond all doubt ; for labor is naturally 
distrustful of organized capital, and they cannot be un- 
conscious of the power which such an organization will 
give us ; and it also shows their confidence that the power 
will not be unjustly used against them. They are entitled 
to equal sincerity and confidence on our part. 

"What, then, does this invitation mean ? It means, as 
I understand it, that the journeymen believe it is for the 
best interests of both parties that they and we should 
Hve in peace and harmony together, and that by mutual 
mterchange of views and by concert of action it is possible 
to improve the condition of trade, remove many of its 
difficulties, and make it more profitable to all parties. 
They perceive that to attain these ends it is necessary that 
there should be thorough organization of the employers 
as well as of the workingmen, and they invite us to form 
such an organization, and pledge themselves to cooperate 
with us in all reasonable and proper efforts to accomplish 
the desired objects. Their plan contemplates, as I am 
advised, the admission of all those at present employed 
at the trade into their association, the bringing of inde- 
pendent shops under reasonable association rules, the 
appointment of committees of conference, representing 
both parties, to consider matters of interest to the trade, 
and the adoption of joint measures which will give to the 
joint organizations the practically absolute control of the 
business. Of course, the primary object that the work- 
man has in view is the increase of wages, but he is willing 
that it should be accompanied by increase of profit to the 
manufacturer. Are these objects desirable ? To me they 


appear eminently so. If by means of such organizations 
the relations between employers and employed could be 
adjusted upon an enduring and satisfactory basis, all 
causes of strife and contention removed, the wages of the 
workingmen and the profit of the manufacturer increased, 
strikes and turnouts prevented, "shop calls" regulated, 
differences settled by arbitration, stated times for fixing 
prices for labor estabUshed, reasonable regulations for the 
employment of apprentices provided, the health and com- 
fort of the workmen looked after, and other matters of like 
character discussed and regulated, who would say that 
such results would not be worth any sacrifice that they 
might cost? . . ■ 

"Our action here today will have consequences of great 
moment to the trade, which may be felt for years to come, 
and may, perhaps, reach far beyond the limits of our own 
trade, and have an important influence on the relation of 
capital and labor in other industries. It behooves us to 
act with deliberation and judgment, casting aside all 
prejudices, and remembering that the benefits of organiza- 
tion can only come through the surrender, on the part of 
each, of some amount of individual freedom." 

Owing to the opposition of manufacturers in New 
Jersey, the organization of a national association was 
prevented and the Danbury members of the Convention 
organized a local association. Any person or persons en- 
gaged in the manufacture of fur hats in the town of Dan- 
bury were eligible to membership. 

This local association has continued in harmonious re- 
lation with the several unions of the trade for nearly seven 
years, and the following account of the manner in which 
their mutual interests are dealt with is dated November 
12, 1892 : 



"Any differences which have arisen other than those 
relating to wages have been adjusted by the conference 
committees of the associations interested, each association 
having a standing committee of five members elected 
annually. There is no permanent joint board. ... In 
case any charge is to be considered against either associa- 
tion or any of its members for violation of existing agree- 
ments, this charge is formally made in writing and de- 
livered to the president of the association against which, 
or the members of which, the charge is alleged, so that 
full opportunity may be given for its dehberate considera- 
tion. Any party accused has full opportunity to be heard 
before the conference. 

"When it is proposed by either party to amend existing 
agreements, a copy of the proposed amendments is pre- 
pared and served in the same way. If the matters to be 
decided are beyond the powers of the conference com- 
mittees, they report the same to their respective associa- 
tions, with their recommendations in relation thereto, 
and receive instructions from their associations for their 
guidance in future conferences upon the same subject 
matter. It rarely happens of late that it becomes neces- 
sary to take an appeal to the associations, as the plan has 
been so long in operation that all matters liable to lead 
to any serious differences have been definitely adjusted. 

"All differences in regard to wages axe settled by arbi- 
tration committees appointed by the presidents of the 
associations interested, which committees are appointed 
in each case of disagreement. If the joint arbitration 
committee cannot agree, that representing each associa- 
tion selects a disinterested arbitrator, and these two select 
a third, and the decision of this board is final. 

"This system has now been in operation in Danbury 
for nearly seven years, and I believe that both manufac- 


turers and journeymen have found it to be productive of 
great good in preventing serious disturbances, m maintain- 
ing harmonious relations between employer and employed, 
and in placing the rights and interests of both upon a safe 
and secure footing ; and I think all are convinced that x 
is one of the most successful attempts ever made to adjust 
the labor question on the lines of reason and eqmty. 

There are other instances where the same spirit ha^ been 
exemplified, but these two are sufficient to show what can 

be done. 

Before closing, however, I wish to say that in thus 
dwelling upon the blessings which have been brought about 
by peaceful methods of settling differences between em- 
ployers and employees, I must not be understood as con- 
demning the methods of force when these are really 
necessarjr, as, unhappily, they sometimes are, on account 
of the want of intelhgence, education, and principle on one 
side or the other. A strike or a lockout may be absolutely 
unavoidable, but the very fact that it is so shows a low 
state of intellectual and moral development on the part 
either of the employers or employees concerned, or, per- 
haps, on the part of both. If both sides are just, if both 
sides are wise, there can be no question that peaceable 
methods can and will be adopted, and there can be no 
doubt that they %vill succeed. 

It is a most remarkable fact that, while this great and 
beneficent movement, which seeks and finds industrial 
peace in various ways, has been going on with accel- 
erated speed and success in England and m this coun- 
try for the Ufetime of a generation, very httle is 



"Any differences which have arisen other than those 
relating to wages have been adjusted by the conference 
committees of the associations interested, each association 
having a standing committee of five members elected 
annually. There is no permanent joint board. ... In 
case any charge is to be considered against either associa- 
tion or any of its members for violation of existing agree- 
ments, this charge is formally made in writing and de- 
Uvered to the president of the association against which, 
or the members of which, the charge is alleged, so that 
full opportunity may be given for its deUberate considera- 
tion. Any party accused has full opportunity to be heard 
before the conference. 

"When it is proposed by either party to amend existing 
agreements, a copy of the proposed amendments is pre- 
pared and served in the same way. If the matters to be 
decided are beyond the powers of the conference com- 
mittees, they report the same to their respective associa- 
tions, with their recommendations in relation thereto, 
and receive instructions from their associations for their 
guidance in future conferences upon the same subject 
matter. It rarely happens of late that it becomes neces- 
sary to take an appeal to the associations, as the plan has 
been so long in operation that all matters Uable to lead 
to any serious differences have been definitely adjusted. 

"All differences in regard to wages are settled by arbi- 
tration committees appointed by the presidents of the 
associations interested, which committees are appointed 
in each case of disagreement. If the joint arbitration 
committee cannot agree, that representing each associa- 
tion selects a disinterested arbitrator, and these two select 
a third, and the decision of this board is final. 

"This system has now been in operation in Danbury 
for nearly seven years, and I believe that both manufac- 


turers and journeymen have found it to be productive of 
great good in preventing serious disturbances, m maintain- 
ing harmonious relations between employer and employed, 
and in placing the rights and interests of both upon a safe 
and secure footing ; and I think all are convinced that it 
is one of the most successful attempts ever made to adjust 
the labor question on the lines of reason and eqmty. 

There are other instances where the same spirit has been 
exemplified, but these two are sufficient to show what can 

be done. , ^ w-u 

Before closing, however, I wish to say that in thus 
dwelling upon the blessings which have been brought about 
by peaceful methods of settling differences between em- 
ployers and employees, I must not be understood as con- 
demning the methods of force when these are really 
necessarj^ as, unhappily, they sometimes are, on account 
of the want of intelUgence, education, and pnnciple on one 
side or the other. A strike or a lockout may be absolutely 
unavoidable, but the very fact that it is so shows a low 
state of intellectual and moral development on the part 
either of the employers or employees concerned, or, per- 
haps, on the part of both. If both sides are just, if both 
sides are wise, there can be no question that peaceable 
methods can and will be adopted, and there can be no 
doubt that they will succeed. 

It is a most remarkable fact that, while this great and 
beneficent movement, which seeks and finds industrial 
peace in various ways, has been going on with accel- 
erated speed and success in England and in this coun- 
try for the lifetime of a generation, very Uttle is 




known about it outside the circles of individuals whose 
interests it directly affects. Even the very men whose 
business success and daily peace of mind would be assured 
by joining it are ignorant of it, and as to the general public 
and the newspapers, one might imagine from their tone 
in speaking of the Labor Problem that it had never been 
solved and was iasoluble, whereas, here, in the practice 
of justice on both sides, the solution has been already 

"Workingmen's Rights in Property Created by Them ^ 

The strength of thought and expression in the following letter is 
a justification for its reproduotion. The novelty of the view taken by- 
Mrs. Lowell, the fact that it is so pronounced and vigorously stated by 
a woman, deserves that the production should have some permanent 
shape, in order that it may be rescued from the oblivion of a daily 
paper, to which it was first contributed. Mrs. Lowell's long and 
most effective ) work ia relation to charity in and about New York, 
makes it all the more interesting that she should employ her leisure 
in trying to think out one of the most serious problems of the time, and 
endeavor to throw light upon the mute appeal of the workingman in 
the sullen stubbornness, or the blind fury of a strike. 

— Brastcs Wiman. 

To THE Editor of the New York Tribune. 

Sir : — The underlying conception of their own rights 
and wrongs which inspired the recent action of the men at 
Homestead, and which is also the animating principle 
of members of labor organizations who strike but yet 
refuse to allow others to do the work which they will not 
do, although it has often been stated more or less clearly, 
is certainly not understood by the generality of thinking 

' Published in pamphlet form in 1893 by the Farrington Company 
of New York. 







Members of labor organizations, who are often intelli- 
gent men and men who have studied both the history and 
prfnc^les of the labor question, regard themseAves as 
contending for liberty against tyramiical power, and as the 
nherTtors of the spirit of all the men in the past who have 
defended their own rights and the rights of oth-s a^a^-t 
oppressors. Ridiculous as this view appears to those who 
regard them simply as violent l^-^reakei-s and thieves 
it is well for persons who desire to be fair-minded and o 
do u'tice to Lir fellow-men, to look a little -ore closely 
into their claims and to compare their -nd-^ ^f ^^^J 
of others who in times past were regarded by those 
whom tTey Listed in exactly the same light, although now 
it is the custom to call them heroes. „„„^nwn 

To go no further back than the men who began our own 
Revolution; in Massachusetts, Samuel Adams wa^ out- 
kwed and a price set on his head by the authorities he 
dXd. and the'men who threw overboard the tea from ^^^ 
ships in Boston Harbor allowed no consideration for f 
sacredness of private property to restram them - ^^.^_ 
they thought a patriotic duty, but they wfj^jn^ quq. 
regarded as thieves by the unhappy merchants w ^u. 

^'Thl'lTnt-Massachusetts were fighting against the 
existing order of things ; they were rebels and revol^tion- 
i^s • they intended, most of them unconsciously at first, 
to substitute for the form of government they were resist- 
^g a new one, and one which has since then bee-cknowl- 

edged by a large part of the «-;l^==«\^tthat rime^o 
and ideal form of government, although at that tune jo 
the bulk of mankind it seemed to be the craziest sub 
version not only of what was natural and safe, but of 

"" Now r trade union men of today are also contending 



for a new order of things, not in the political, but in the 
industrial world ; they are also rebels and revolutionists, 
whom the existing industrial authorities will, of course, 
seek to overcome, but who are justified in using force in 
defence of what they consider their rights, on the same 
grounds that have justified all rebels from the beginning 
of history. Legally they are wrong; morally they are 
right ; intellectually they may be right or wrong. The 
fact that they hold a theory of their rights and of the 
rights of private property in general quite different from 
that held by their employers and by most thinking and 
unthinking men and women, does not prove, judging from 
analogy, that their view is necessarily wrong. 

The theory to which I refer, and which, whether put 
into words or not, is firmly fixed in the minds of all trade 
unionists, is that the man who by his labor for a series of 
years helps to build up a great business, be it factory, 
mine or raih-oad, thereby acquires a distinct right of 
^perty in that business, while the general view is that 
in trying^ the man who helps to build up the business by 
endeavor towho has a property right in it. While always 
l^li'Jvledging the right of an employer to discharge a 
workman for just cause, the trade unionist has his own 
view of what constitutes a just cause, and does not include 
under that head the exercise of the legal right to belong 
to political, religious or trade associations, nor does he 
acknowledge that taking part in a strike is a just cause 
of discharge, or that by reason of such action (belonging 
to a trade union or taking part in a strike) a workman 
loses his property right in the business he has helped to 
build up by his labor. This view is the ground upon 
which workingmen, locked out as at Homestead, or even 
on strike, refuse, so long as they can, to allow other 
men to come in and take possession of what they call, 


to the scornful amusement of their employers, their 


This is evidently a new conception of the rights of pri- 
vate property, and no especial means by which it might 
be put into practice have as yet, so far as I know, been 
pointed out, even by the men who defend the principle 
itself with their lives, as did the men locked out at Home- 
stead. The fact that the wages of only three hundred out 
of the three thousand men employed in the Homestead 
mills were to be affected by the proposed reduction proves 
that the resistance on the part of the whole body was one 
of principle, and presents a spectacle of industrial public 
spirit which could not have been found, probably, in any 
trade less weU organized ; that is, in any trade the mem- 
bers of which were not educated to a recognition of the 
fact that men who will not defend the rights of then- 
fellows will soon lose their own. 

The suggestion that the laws relating to private property 
may in the future be materially changed will be new to 
many persons who have not studied carefully the prm- 
ciples underlying those laws ; to such the following quo- 
tation from a letter written in 1870 by the distinguished 
thinker, Chauncey Wright, will be very instructive : 

"The rapacity of wealth is, of course, the taproot of 
aU these evils, the source of the hostility which threatens 
social institutions. We have got to amend the great 
Roman invention, the laws of property. • • • Looked at 
rationally and from a utilitarian point of view, the right 
of private ownership — the protection of the individual 
in the possession, accumulation, consumption, productive 
administration and posthumous disposal of his surplus 
gain — is founded simply and solely in the motives they 
afford to his making such gains, and adding them, as he 
really does, in spite of his seeming private appropriation 




of them, to the store of public wealth. . . . But so 
far as the laws of property are inherently, or through 
changed circumstances have come to be, productive, not 
of increased gains, but of a large and permanent class of 
unproductive consumers, so far they are legaUzed robbery, 
and must be abrogated or amended if justice is ever to be 
effected by legislation, through whatever poUtical powers. 
"It is perhaps unfortunate that the problem will have 
to be solved through democratic agencies and the un- 
avoidable ascendency of the will of the masses in poUtical 
matters. But, after all, it is a real question which is the 
more untoward instrument for the really just and wise 
philanthropist to work with, the ignorant and prejudiced 
masses, whose benefit is sought, or the equally prejudiced 
aristocracies, blinded by self -interest, whose unjust privi- 
leges must be curtailed. . . . Democracies and aristocra- 
cies are both bUnd, and if led by men of their own sort, 
must inevitably carry the state with them to destruction. 
But do not let us dwell despondingly on the powers and 
tendencies of the instruments we have to deal with. . . ." 

Josephine Shaw Lowell. 
Geneva, Switzerland, 

July 15, 1892. 

Industrial Conciliation » 

Whenever a strike or lockout is of sufficient importance 
to attract public attention, after it has continued for a 
few^^days, there begins to be talk of arbitration on the 
part of the press and of the workingmen who are engaged 
in the contest. 

If arbitration is resorted to, the questions in dispute are 

' For Live Question Bureau, January, 1896. 

? - 

.V " 

referred to one or more arbitrators, who hear both sides 
and decide between them. This is of course a judicial 
process, except that the submission of the question on 
both sides is purely voluntary, as neither can force the 
other into court, and the obligation to abide by the deci- 
sion is moral only, so that there is nothing legally binding 
in it. 

Usually strikes and lockouts are settled in a less formal 
way by the intervention of persons inspked either by 
private or public interest, who act as go-betweens and run 
from one side to the other, gaining a Mttle concession first 
here and then there, smoothing away one difficulty after 
another, and finally arranging matters with as little loss 
of dignity as possible to the contending parties. 

But between civiUzed bodies of men whose services are 
vitally important to each other, who make their hving 
by the help of each other, it is a disgrace that there should 
be these constantly recurring contentions. 

They arise only from the selfishness and tjrranny of 
men, unrestrained by nobler qualities, and selfishness and 
tyranny are equally hateful and mischievous, whether ex- 
hibited by employers or employed. Unfortunately which- 
ever side has had the power has usually exercised it in so 
arrogant a manner and with such unrelenting harshness 
as to goad the other side to resistance, resulting often in a 
state of open warfare which has continued until either one 
side or the other is quite conquered, when the old series 
of acts is begun again, to end in the same way, or until 
both sides are exhausted. 

The fact needs to be emphasized that the same qualities 



have been exhibited by both sides, that human nature, 
when undiscipHned, is very much the same thmg in mas- 
ters and in men, in employers and employed, and that 
neither side has a right to cast stones, but both should 
cry, "Mea culpa ! Mea culpa !" At some times and in 
some places it is the labor organizations which are dicta- 
torial, while the employers cringe and relinquish all their 
rights to maintain peace, but more frequently the em- 
ployers are arbitrary and tyrannical, asserting loudly 
that they intend to manage their own business as they 
choose and will not be interfered with by their workmen. 

Here is the weak point. There will never be justice 
between employers and employees, and consequently there 
will never be a lasting peace, until the public and the 
employers recognize the claim of the employees to a voice 
in the settlements of questions relating to wages and to 
hours and conditions of labor. All these questions are 
of vital importance to the employees, and do, in fact, 
more nearly concern them than they do the employers, 
for in the case of the latter it is only their business success, 
or their living, which is involved, while with the employees 
their living, their health and indeed the happiness of their 
whole hves are at stake. It can scarcely be expected that 
American citizens who have been born and bred with the 
instincts of freemen will submit tamely to a system which 
places their welfare entirely in the hands of others. 

This suggestion that the employees have a right to a 
voice in what is called their employers' business will be 
new to many, and will at first seem to be unreasonable, 
but the more it is considered, the more just it will show 




itself to be, and it will finally be acknowledged to be true. 
As Mr. William H. Sayward, Secretary of the National 
Association of Builders, an association of employers, says, 
in a lecture on the "Relation of Employer and Workman " : 

"The labor question has two component parts, the 
employing or profit-labor, and the performing or wage- 
labor, and it is folly to attempt to deal with the question 
at all unless both parties are united in the consideration. 
Neither party to the joint interest can handle the ques- 
tion alone." 

The next question which presents itself is the practical 
one, how can employees be thus taken into the councils 
of their employers, and the answer made by Mr. Charles 
Francis Adams, for many years State Railroad Commis- 
sioner in Massachusetts, and for many years also President 
of the Union Pacific Railroad, in an article entitled "The 
Prevention of Railroad Strikes" is one which must cause a 
responsive thrill in every American breast : 

"... It will be impossible to estabhsh perfectly good 
faith and the highest morale in the service of the railroad 
companies, until the problem of giving this voice to em- 
ployees and giving it effectively, is solved. It can be 
solved in but one way: that is, by representation. To 
solve it may mean industrial peace." 

[Mrs. Lowell here repeated a quotation from Mr. 
Adams' article which she used in an earlier paper entitled 
"Industrial Peace."] 

Mr. Adams' solution is, however, unhappily, so far as 
American railroads are concerned, purely theoretic, and if 



" m 

there were not in other industrial fields proof that the 
principle he advocates is correct, arguments might be 
presented against it, which now, however, are invahd, 
since experience has demonstrated that the representative 
system is as useful in business as in government. For 
the last twenty or thirty years in many large industries 
in England, all questions of wages, hours and conditions 
of work have been settled, without .strike or lockout, by 
"Joint Boards," "Boards of Conciliation" or "Arbitra- 
tion Boards," on which the associations of employers and 
employees have been represented by delegates duly 
chosen and empowered to legislate foi- their constituents, 
and on these boards the employers and employees have 
always had an equal representation. In our country, 
also, and in Belgium, such boards are known and have 
met with equal success, but the practice of justice with 
us has been neither so long nor so widely extended as in 
England, and strangely enough employers here, instead 
of instinctively recognizing that this is the only solution 
of the difficulties of the labor question, assume a tone 
of arbitrary ownership and proclaim their right to issue 
orders which must be obeyed. 

From business men one might have expected more 
practical conduct, since it is very evident that those 
who adopt this position do not succeed in avoiding labor 
conflicts and disturbances which cause them great loss and 
trouble, while the employers who recognize the justice 
of their employees' claim to a joint control in questions of 
conamon interest do escape them. 
In the cases where "Joint Boards" are formed, the pre- 


■i M 


liminary step usually is the mutual recognition that both 
sides are about equal in strength, that each can injure the 
other seriously, but that neither can conquer the other. 
The proof of this necessarily comes from the experience 
of a long series of alternating strikes and lockouts, the 
employees making unreasonable demands when trade is 
good, the employers doing the same when trade is bad, 
a system mutually predatory. Finally, it occiu-s to a 
few men on one side or the other that the whole thing is 
foolish, wasteful and wicked and xmworthy of intelligent 
men who make their living by the help of each other. 
Tentative overtures are made, the most reasonable and 
fair-minded men on each side talk over the matter among 
their fellows, a conference is proposed, and is held, and 
with much difficulty at last a "Joint Committee," a 
"Wages Board" or a "Board of Concihation" is formed, 
with equal representation from both sides, to which is 
delegated the power to settle all questions relating to 
wages, and conditions of work. 

This sounds simple enough, and to a disinterested ob- 
server seems the only reasonable method of settling ques- 
tions which are of the greatest importance to both em- 
ployers and employed, which cannot be settled except by 
mutual consent, either forced or voluntary, and which 
must be settled if business is to go on at all. 

And yet, the obstinacy and arrogance of men makes 
this reasonable arrangement a very difficult one to accom- 
plish and at first a very difficult one to carry out. 

As I have said, the two sides must be about equal in 
strength, or in other words, both must be well organized ; 




there must be a strong association of employers and 
a strong trade imion or other labor organization, both 
of which shall represent either the majority of the em- 
ployers and workmen in the trade or else the most success- 
ful and best paid. This is necessary because the "Joint 
Committee" or "Wages Board" must be composed of 
representatives who are authorized to bind their con- 
stituents, otherwise their agreements would be empty 

Besides this, however, both representatives and the 
organizations they represent must in the main be honest 
men, honorable men, intelligent men, or the plan will 
fail. The employers' association and the employees' 
union must enter into the arrangement in good faith, 
trusting their own representatives, trusting the repre- 
sentatives of the other side, really wishing to have justice 
done and not wishing for unfair advantages. With these 
conditions success is sure. 

The Rights of Capital and Labor and Industrial 
Conciliation ' 

When the rights of Capital and Labor are spoken of, 

capital does not, of course, mean money, for money can 

have no rights, nor does labor mean work, for work can 

have no rights ; capital really means men who have money 

which they wish to employ in productive industry, and 

labor means men who have strength and skill which they 

wish to employ, in productive industry. Since, then, it 

' Digest of a pamphlet published by the Church Social Union, Boston, 
June 15, 1897. 

is the rights of men which are to be considered, it will be 
simpler and tend to a better understanding of the subject 
to ignore the confusing formula, capital and labor, and 
talk about the men who own the capital and labor and 
who wish to find a market for them, and thus reach the 
consideration of their rights. 

As regards the men themselves, there is one fundamental 
conception which is essential to all rational and just think- 
ing about them and their relations, and that is the 
recognition that they are economically equals imder our 
present social conditions; the man with the money 
which he desires to employ productively is helpless to ac- 
complish his purpose unless he can find men to work; 
the man with strength and skill which he desires to employ 
productively is equally helpless, unless he can find men 
to pay him for his work. You will note that I said the 
men are economically equals under our present social 
conditions, because in a state of natmre the man with 
the strength and skill would be able to dispense with 
money, while the man with the money would never be able 
to dispense with strength and skill, his own or those of 
some one else. I am also ignoring the men who combine 
capital and labor in their own persons, who possess at 
once money, brains, strength and skill, for those can be 
classed for our purpose either with one side or the other, 
and there is no necessity to compUcate the question by 
considering them separately. . . . 

Although the need of capital and labor, or money and 
strength, for each other is mutual and in the long run 
equal, the supply of capital has always been limited, and 




the supply of labor has usually been excessive, which in 
itself would have given capital the power to dictate terms. 
In addition to this, however, capital was usually in the 
hands of men of intelligence and of men who, by means of 
their capital, could live while they bargained, and labor 
was in the hands of ignorant men, with no property but 
their strength, who must therefore suffer unless they could 
dispose of it daily, and must die if they failed entirely to 
dispose of it, which gave to capital a despotic power over 
individual laborers, even though as a whole labor was 
always more essential to capital than capital to labor. 

But with the development of the trade union, the sit- 
uation had gradually changed, to a great degree, in all 
the trades where that new force has had a direct influence, 
and to some degree in all the rest ; and the theoretical 
economic equaUty of the men who possess capital and 
of those who possess labor has become to some extent an 
actual equality ; for now, in those trades which have been 
long "organized," labor, as well as capital, is in the hands 
of intelligent men, who have accumulated means upon 
which to subsist while they bargain, and thus the two 
contracting parties can meet on equal terms and settle 
their business relations as other buyers and sellers settle 
them, by a consideration of the actual situation and a 
reasonable discussion and give and take between men of 
equal intelligence, knowledge and resource. 

Thus we are brought to the question of their rights, or 
what they may reasonably and rightly demand of each 
other when they thus meet to settle matters between 
them. If my position is correct, then they are in exactly 

)' ■.;! 

the same position as other buyers and sellers, and they 
have the right to demand of each other nothing beyond 
honest and courteous dealing. They are equals, and they 
go into the market and bargain with each other, and each 
has the right to take or leave what the other has to sell, 
according as the bargain suits him or does not suit him. 
It is absurd to talk as if it were morally wrong to ask high 
wages or morally wrong to offer low wages. Within the 
limits of honesty and fair dealing, it is merely a matter 
of business. I say within the hnaits of honesty and fair 
dealing, because, of course, if the bargainers are not equal, 
if for some reason, one side has the power to fix the terms, 
and uses that power unjustly, either to exact ruinously 
high wages, or to insist that men shall work at wages upon 
which they and their famiUes cannot live, then it is not a 
question of business, but of morals. It is dishonest, 
exactly as other unjust and forced bargains are dishonest ; 
and it may also be cruel, as for instance, where promises 
of work are broken and wages intermittent. . . . 

After their bargain has been fairly adjusted, the owners 
of capital and labor become employers and employed, and 
then a new set of rights comes into existence, and these 
are the rights which most people have in mind when they 
talk of the rights of capital and labor, and it is the 
attempt to settle these rights which causes a large propor- 
tion of the labor difficulties that so distress us. 

And now I am going to take the liberty of turning the 
whole question around, and instead of trying to define 
the rights of employers and employed, I am going to try 
to define their duties. It will amount to the same thing 

i :^''M 



in the end, of course, for no one can have a right to any- 
thing which is not somebody's duty to supply. Perhaps 
it may be his own duty to supply it, but there is no right 
without a corresponding duty on somebody's part. 

I think all the duties of employers and employees as 
such may be classed under three heads. Their antagonis- 
tic duties, those which may bring them into antagonism 
with each other; theu: common duties, those they owe 
in common to the commimity ; and their mutual duties, 
those they owe to each other. . . . 

First, then, the antagonistic duties of employers and em- 
ployed are those which each owes to the men of his own class, 
so to speak, the duties the employer owes to his fellow- 
employers and the workman to his fellow-craftsmen. 

An employer should not follow his own immediate in- 
terests selfishly and blindly, destrojdng others engaged in 
the same business as himself ; he should not make such 
agreements with his employees as will redound to his own 
advantage and ruin his competitors. There is a limit be- 
yond which competition even will not drive an honest 
and conscientious man, and that limit measures his duty 
to his fellow-employers. In the same manner, a work- 
man has duties towards his fellow-workmen, and, to his 
credit be it said, he feels these duties far more strongly 
than the employer usually feels the corresponding duty. 
It is the duty of a workman to consider the effect of his 
action upon the welfare of his fellows; he should not 
accept wages and conditions of work which, even though 
they be good for him at the moment, will tend to injure 
other workmen. . • . . 


The duties which employers and employees have in 
common are of course those they owe to the public for 
whom they work together and from whom they draw 
the return for their joint labor. They owe to them an 
honest product, work worth what they ask for it, fair 
measure and full time. . . . 

The mutual duties, or rights, of employers and em- 
ployees relate, of course, to the giving of a fair day's 
wage for a fair day's work, and the giving of a fair day's 
work for a fair day's wage, and they include from each 
to each honesty, justice and courtesy. But even assuming 
these quaUties to exist on both sides, the difficulty Hes 
in deciding what is a fair day's work, and what is a 
fair day's wage. . . . 

The technical name for the representative system of 
trade government is "Industrial Conciliation," and the 
distinguishing features of the system are: 

1. Its recognition that the two sides have an equal 
right to a voice in the decision of all questions of common 
interest ; and 

2. The permanent character of the machinery employed. 

In every case of industrial conciliation employers and 
employees have an equal number of representatives, and 
the representatives have equal powers. 

In all cases of industrial conciliation there is estab- 
lished a permanent board or committee, called a "Board 
of Conciliation," or "Joint Board," or a "Wages Board." 

The most successful instance of a board of concihation 
in this country is that formed in 1885 between the Mason 
Builders' Association, representing fifty firms of employers 




in New York City, and the Bricklayers' Unions, which 
have a membership of about four thousand. The Asso- 
ciation of Builders chooses each year eight representatives 
to serve on the Joint Board, and the Bricklayers' Union 
choose the same number and the sixteen men settle by 
discussion and agreement every question which arises be- 
tween any employer and employee in their respective or- 

This Joint Board holds monthly meetings, if necessary, 
during the year, but its most important work is the drawing 
up of the yearly agreement, which is done in the spring. 

A comparison of the first agreement, made in 1885, with 
the last one, made in 1896, is sufficient to show the de- 
velopment of the Board since its inauguration, and also 
the gains made by the bricklayers in shorter hours and 
higher pay, while the fact that there has been no strike 
or lockout between the members of the Builders' Associa- 
tion and the Bricklayers' since the Board was established 
shows as plainly the gains of the employers and of the 
community at large. . . . 

When this Joint Board was first constituted, it was agreed 
that should it be impossible on any occasion for the mem- 
bers to come to an agreement, an umpire should be chosen 
whose decision should be binding on both sides. The fact 
that, during the twelve years in which this Board has met 
and has discussed questions of great importance to all its 
members personally and to the thousands of men repre- 
sented by them, it has never yet been necessary to apj5oint 
an umpire, speaks strongly in favor both of the intelligence 
and justice of the men chosen to act as members. . . . 

During the ten years that have elapsed since the first 
agreement was signed, many changes have been made, 
questions of a very grave character have been presented 
for action, and although it sometimes appeared as if a very 
determined effort was being made to bring about a dis- 
ruption of the good feeling that existed between the two 
bodies, yet in the end both parties would give way a little, 
and finally the question would be settled amicably — 
and that was done without once calling in an umpire. 
This fact alone shows that men banded together for a 
common cause can do justice, one to the other. 

The history of the Bricklayers for the past ten years 
could be that of every organized trade in our community. 
A still more successful board is that of the North of 
England Iron and Steel Conciliation Board, which has had 
an existence of thirty years and settles all questions of 
wages, etc., for the whole trade. It is thoroughly repre- 
sentative in character : one employer and one delegate 
elected by the workingmen from each firm in union with 
the Board constitute its membership. The Board meets 
twice a year, but it has a Standing Committee which meets 
once a month or oftener, and has power to settle all 
questions, except a general rise or fall of wages, or the 
selection of an arbitrator to fix such rise or fall. These 
matters the Board itself must act on. There are two 
secretaries, one chosen by the employers and one by the 
workingmen of the Board. 

Mr. E. Trow, secretary of the workingmen, in a speech 
of March, 1894, explains the reason and maimer of its 
establishment, and describes the way it has worked. 




Mr. Trow said that in 1866 he had had experience of a 
twenty-two weeks' lockout. In 1866 the men were starved 
into submission, and in 1867 and 1868 the employers took 
advantage of their weakness and forced down the wages 
to compensate them for the cessation. ... In 1868 the 
men met to consider the advisabiUty of forming a "Board 
of Arbitration and Conciliation." They succeeded in estab- 
lishing that Board, and from the year 1869 up to the pres- 
ent there had not been more than half a dozen meetings 
either of the Board or Committee which he had not atten- 
ded. They found at first that they had many grievances 
withwhichtheir employers were not thoroughly conversant. 
When they first met there was jealousy and suspicion on 
both sides. But the employers afterwards found that the 
representatives of the workmen were not unreasonable 
men, and the workmen's representative found that when 
face to face the employers were amenable to reason. It 
was a positive fact that before that time they thought 
the employers were not amenable to reason, and looked 
upon them as enemies and tyrants. They were cautious 
at first, but the employers and workmen met around the 
board on an equality. The workmen's representative 
had the same voting power as the employers', the same 
speaking power ; and from that day to this not a single 
man had been taken advantage of for daring to differ 
publicly from this employer. 

[The remaining pages of the pamphlet are devoted to 
a description of methods of conciliation inaugurated in 
1869 by Brewster & Co., carriage builders, of Broome 
Street, New York City, and carried out for three years.] 


The Living Wage ^ 

Any manufacturing business which is to continue in 
existence must receive as the price of its product a sum 
which in the long run, year in and year out, will provide 
for the following payments : 

1. A living wage for those who do the mechanical 
part of the work ; because if they do not receive a hving 
wage they will cease to work, either because they will die, 
or because they will seek a living wage elsewhere. 

2. The usual rate of interest on the capital invested in 
the daily output ; because otherwise it wiU be withdrawn 
and will be placed where it will receive the usual rate. 
Of course this is not an absolute necessity for the capital 
invested in the plant, because that is fixed and cannot be 
taken out. 

3. A due return to the managers of the business that is 
sufficient to repay them for their time and trouble, or 
they will give it up and imdertake some better paying 

Thus every business must strive, in order to exist, to 
keep up the price of its product. Meanwhile, there is 
a constant attack by the purchasers, or consumers, to 
lower the price, and the competition between manufacturers 
for business, and between work people for work, leads 
them, in the absence of combinations among themselves, 
to seek business and work by underbidding each other ; 
and thus prices, profits, interest and wages all tend to 
fall, to the disadvantage of manufacturers, stockholders 
and working people and to the advantage of consumers, 
» Delivered at Cooper Union, June 1, 1898. 



who aro after all only the manufacturers, the stockholders, 
and the working people themselves appearing in another 
character, that is, as buyers of each other's products. 

Th(; world of business presents thus the curious spectacle 
of the very same people contending as producer to keep 
up prices, wages, etc., and as consumers contending to 
keep them down. There is one great difference, however, 
l)ctwc;en the two characters thus assumed by the same 
individuals. .-Vs producers they work in comparatively 
small groups, and can agree together upon a certain policy 
by which they can attain their object, while as consumers 
they nnist in the very nature of things be disorganized ; 
and they constitute indeed only a great machine which 
sometimes does horrible mischief without intending to, 
and indeed against its will, if it can be said to have a will, 
certainly against the will of its individual members. 
The way this machine works is this. Everyone by neces- 
sity purchases what he needs at the lowest price he can 
find. The retail dealers seeking business lower prices to 
meet this demand of the buyers ; the wholesale dealers 
are forced, in consequence and for the same reason, to 
lower their prices ; in order to do this, they must lower 
the cost of production. They have three ways of accom- 
plishing this. (1) They can give up part of their own 
receipts. (2) They can diminish the interest on their 
capital. (3) They can cut down wages. Of course they 
may also be able to improve their methods, and so diminish 
the cost of production without any of these other steps ; 
and this they often do ; but I am now concerned only with 
the cases where such improvements are not made. 


Now, if the working people have made a combination 
among themselves, if they have a strong labor organi- 
zation, they can withstand the attack on their wages, and 
either force the manufacturers to put the loss on the other 
two partners in the business, or else they can so strengthen 
the hands of all the manufacturers in the trade timt these 
can resist the tendency to lower prices, and so enable the 
retail dealers to resist the demand of the public, and force 
the consumers to pay a price which will give not only 
a living wage, but also the usual return to capital and 
a fair payment for the management of the business. This 
was apparently what the coal miners accomplished in the 
last great coal strike in England. The coal owners pro- 
posed to lower wages, using as an argument that they 
could not pay the usual wages because they had made 
contracts for coal at certain low prices. The reply of the 
strikers was that they must have a living wage and that 
the coal owners must not make contracts which rendered 
it impossible for them to pay a living wage, for otherwise 
they, the miners, would not mine the coal at all. After a 
contest of several months, during which the English people 
supported the strikers in this position, the latter carried 
the day, and the principle that workers are entitled to a 
living wage, and that business must be so conducted as 
to give it to them, was established in England. 

Their success was due primarily, of course, to their 
strong trade union, and there is no other means, except 
a trust among manufacturers, which can prevent a con- 
stant lowering of prices and wages from the pressure of 
competition among work people themselves underbidding 



each other, and among manufacturers underbidding each 

Having got so far in my attempt to show how, and how 
only, a living wage can be secured, it seems pertinent to 
stop to inquire what a hving wage is. 

A living wage is the sum per day which any given 
group of working people has agreed upon, whether the 
agreement be expressly made or not, as the sum they must 
have to secure what they have learned to consider the 
necessaries of life, and it varies according to the stan- 
dard of living of each group of working people. What 
is a living wage to many is a dying wage to others. 

The great object to be striven for, both for a nation as 
a whole, and for the individual working men and women, 
is that this standard of hving should be constantly rising, 
in order that the condition of the people may rise con- 
stantly. It will be a good thing for the American nation 
when a piano and a bicycle are regarded as necessaries 
of life by everybody, provided that the truth is also 
recognized that the neces.saries of life are to be earned 
by honest hard work, and not by gambling and cheating, 
whether on a large scale on Wall Street, or on a small 
scale on Hester vStreet. 

One of the great dangers which threaten this country 
from the influx of uneducated foreigners is that the stan- 
dard of living should be lowered among us, and the only 
means we have to counteract this danger, if we receive 
them into the country, is to raise their standard by educa- 
tion, to develop them in all directions, until they will not 
work for wages that make a decent life impossible, until 


they will not live in filthy, dark rooms, until they will not 
let their children go to work when they ought to be at 
school, until they will demand conditions suitable for self- 
respecting American men and women. 

Education is the one means by which the standard of 
living can be raised, education of every kind — by the 
public schools, by the churches, by labor organizations, 
by such institutions as this great and beneficent one in 
which we stand, founded by the large-hearted Peter Cooper 
in order that the young men and women of New York 
might have the advantages of which he himself felt the 
lack, when, a poor boy, he sought to educate himself. 
This very series of meetings is due in part to his public 
spirit, for the hall is given to the People's Institute in order 
to carry out Peter Cooper's direction that instruction 
should be given in the Cooper Union on social and political 
science, meaning thereby not merely the science of 
political economy, but the science and philo.sophy of a just 
and equitable form of government, based upon the great 
fundamental law that nations and nun should do init.o 
others as they would be done by. 

We must depend, then, on education to induce the 
coming generations to raise their standard of living, and 
thus to make their living wage high enough to enable 
them really to live, that is, so that their bodies, their 
minds, and their souls may reach the highest development ; 
and we must depend on labor organizations, and organiza- 
tions of manufacturers to resist the constant pressure of 
the purchasing public to lower prices to a point which 
makes this living wage an impossibility. 



When labor organizations and organizations of em- 
ployers act together in joint boards of conciliation, they 
are, of course, far more effective for this purpose than when 
the two bodies act alone, and often in opposition to each 
other. We have in New York City a very good example 
of the good results of one of these joint boards, that of 
the bricklayers and mason builders, in many directions, 
among others, in keeping up wages to a very respectable 
point as wages go — fifty cents an hour. I heard one of 
the Mason Builders' Association say last year : "Supply 
and demand have nothing to do with the wages of the 
bricklayers who work for our members; if there were 
two thousand bricklayers looking for work in New York 
and I wanted ten only, I should have to pay the wages 
fixed upon in our yearly agreement." It is interesting to 
note that on May 5 of this year the fifteenth annual agree- 
ment was signed, and that there has been neither strike 
nor lockout between the eight bricklayers' unions of New 
York and the Mason Builders' Association since 1884. 

One more point, and I have done. It is greatly to be 
desired for every reason, moral and material, that the 
efficiency of labor should be increased ; and while it is true 
that high wages are one means of making labor more 
efficient, it is also true, and exactly as important, that 
efficient labor makes high wages possible, while it also de- 
velops and fosters the moral qualities without which high 
wages will be of but very Uttle use. If labor organizations 
demand for their members, as they should, a fair day's 
wage, they should also guarantee from their members 
a fair day's work. 


Professor Thorold Rogers, in his great book on "Work 
and Wages,"— that splendid plea for an adequate Uving 
wage,— says in closing his Chapter XIV (and I will close 
also with this quotation) : 

"The joint action of working men is only in its infancy 
yet. As association becomes wider and more coalescent, 
many steps which have not yet been taken will become 
natural and easy; as, for instance, the maintenance of 
a standard of honor and efficiency in work, and the protec- 
tion of the pubUc against the roguery of producers, of 
which at present workmen are the silent witnesses, but 
should not be the willmg accomplices. I know nothing 
which would exalt the reputation and justify the action 
of trade combinations more than the establishment of a 
rule that members of such vmions should denounce and 
expose dishonest and scambUng work, and protect those 
of their order who may suffer ill usage for having re- 
ported and checked such nefarious practices. 

"As yet the rules of trade unions are principally con- 
fined to the process of bettering the whole class. Here- 
after they will or should extend toward purifying the class 
and making it a potent instrument for the moral and 
material advancement of all. Other professions exclude, 
either formally or informally, misbehaving, disreputable 
or incompetent persons from their ranks. It cannot be 
doubted that in time to come artisans and laborers will 
elaborate the necessary regulations, by which they will 
increase the usefulness, elevate the reputation and culti- 
vate the moral tone of those who ply the craft whose in- 
terests they seek to serve, and whose character they ought 
scrupulously to maintain." 


The Woman's Mtjnicipal League of the Citt op 

New York 

Early in September, 1894, an organized movement was 
begun to overthrow the municipal control of the City of 
New York, long exercised by Tammany Hall, and shown 
by the recent exposures of the Lexow Committee ' to be both 
corrupt and criminal. In this movement the Rev. Charles 
H. Parkhurst was a prominent leader, and the organiza- 
tion took the form of a non-partisan Committee of 
Seventy, pledged to a campaign for the honest, economi- 
cal, and businesslike administration of municipal affairs 
without regard to national or State politics. William L. 
Strong 2 was selected as the candidate for Mayor, and 
numerous reform clubs and other auxiliaries sprang into 
being to lend theu- aid. Among these was the Woman's 
Municipal League, which was organized early in October 
by Mrs. Lowell, in response to the appeal of Dr. Park- 
hurst. The evidence brought out by the Lexow Com- 

' Hon. Clarence Lexow. Senator from the Sixteenth District, offered 
a resolution. January 29, 1894, for the appointment of a committee 
to investigate the Police Department of New York City of which 
committee he became Chairman. 

.,.^^1' ^'^""^ ^^^ ^^^^^'^ ^*y°^' November 6, 1894, receiving 
154 094 votes against 108,907 for Hugh J. Grant, the Tammany 
candidate. ^ 




mittee had made plain not only the protection of immo- 
rality by the police, but also a systematized traffic in vice, 
in which women were the helpless victims. In their behalf, 
the help of the women of the community was therefore 
invoked. The general plan of action was to hold meetings 
of women both uptown and downtown, to be addressed 
by women; and the League also arranged for a mass 
meeting of men and women at Cooper Union, which was 
addressed by prominent citizens, including Dr. Parkhurst, 
Henry George, Seth Low, and Charles S. Fairchild. 

After the victory of the municipal reform movement of 
1894, the League became inactive and practically dis- 
banded, but it was revived in 1897 to aid the Citizens' 
Union in its contest of that year for a non-partisan city 
government, and has since maintained its organization.^ 
The constitution adopted in March, 1898, declares as the 
object of the League : "To secure active support for such 
movements and candidates as may give promise of the best 
government for the city, without regard to party lines." 

During the administration of Mayor Van Wyck, vice 
again became so notorious in the city that Mrs. Lowell re- 
entered the field at the head of the League in the interest 
of reform. In this municipal campaign, which resulted 
in the election of Seth Low as Mayor,^ effective use was 
made, by sending a copy to every voter, of a pamphlet 
by Bishop Potter, entitled "Facts for Fathers and 
Mothers," in which he showed how the lack of police 
protection and the venality of the police courts were in- 

' In 1910, under the presidency of Mrs. Edward Ringwood Hewitt. 
' Mayor Low was elected in 1901 on a fusion ticket. 



juring the home. Mrs. Lowell's active work as Secretary 
of the League was terminated because of impaired health 
in 1902. The League pubhshes a monthly Bulletin in 
which prominent mention is made that it was "Founded 
1897 by Mrs. Charles Russell Lowell" ; it has its head- 
quarters at 46 East Twenty-ninth Street. The present 
purpose of its members is to devote the energies of the 
League between elections to developing among women an 
increasing interest in the government of the city. It is the 
belief of the League that what is needed to secure good 
government is a comprehension by the people of its direct 
bearing upon their own health, happiness, and moral wel- 
fare, and also of the impossibility of securing good govern- 
ment unless the business of the city is put into the hands 
of experts. If the work of the city departments can be 
presented in such a way as to make its complexity and 
difficulty understood by the people, they cannot fail in 
the course of time to demand that this work shall be con- 
fided to persons fitted by character and education to per- 
form it, and that it shall not be given out as spoils at the 
expense of the interests of the public. 

The plans for this work of education have not yet been 
perfected, but in general they are to take advantage of 
existing associations of various kinds, which already hold 
meetings for social and educational purposes, and to offer 
to present at such meetings matters connected with the 
government of the city, as, for example, by illustrated 
lectures on the various city departments, talks upon civil 
service reform, or upon such other kindred subjects as may 
seem appropriate to the special audience addressed. 


Mrs. Lowell contributed a history of the League to 
Municipal Affairs for September, 1898, and her helpful 
pen brought aid, through the League, to the cause of 
municipal reform in the campaign of 1903 in the two able 
letters which follow. 

To THE Editor of the Woman's Municipal League 
Bulletin : ^ 

I congratulate you sincerely on your exposure of the 
fallacy that Tammany cannot be beaten twice in suc- 
cession. The statistics given by you in your September 
issue prove that New York has shown itself in the last 
three mayoralty elections to be an anti-Tammany city, 
and this fact should be repeated over and over again 
from now until November 3, in order that all the time- 
servers who desire above all things to be on the winning 
side may fully understand that in voting the Tammany 
ticket they are putting themselves on the side of a hopeless 

I congratulate the League also upon its intention to 
appeal to the indifferent to register, and above all, to vote 
after having registered. Such appeals will affect many. 
Individual women, however, can do more by reminding 
the men with whom they have influence of the great issues 
at stake in the coming election, and begging them to do 
their duty as citizens of no mean city. We have now, 
as Mr. Jerome has truly said, an administration of city 
affairs far better than any that New York has ever known, 
and, as he might have added with equal truth, far better 
than that of almost any other city in the country ; and it 
behooves gill good citizens to give the Mayor who has done 
us this grfeat service the opportunity to continue, to im- 

• From the Woman's Municipal League Bulletin, October, 1903. 



prove, and to perfect his work, which is but just 

For the sake especially of the hundreds of thousands of 
helpless people hying in our crowded tenement districts, 
those who have votes should feel it a sacred duty to con- 
tinue the present administration in power. To the well- 
to-do it is of little personal moment what sort of city 
government we have. A man with money can make him- 
self quite comfortable under any kind of administration, 
provided he has no care for the good name of his city, and 
no sympathy for his suffering fellow-citizens. 

If the water supply gives out or becomes polluted, the 
well-to-do can buy plenty of pure water; if the streets 
they live on are filthy, they can hire men to clean them • 
a bad pohce force never troubles the rich ; then- food is not 
adulterated; they need no Health Department to save 
them from disease; theh- houses are not invaded by 
prostitutes ; they can get fresh air and sunhght without 
the help of the Tenement House Department ; the Fire De- 
partment is not their only protection against being burned 
m their beds ; their children are educated whatever may 
be the condition of the public schools ; if a pestilence o'f 
typhus fever or cholera threatens the city, they with their 
families can leave it. 

Far otherwise is it with the mass of tenement house 
dwellers. They are dependent for everything that makes 
life bearable, for everything that makes life possible, upon 
upnght, intelligent and devoted city officials. 

Let women realize this, and let them appeal to the voters 
to register and to vote for the sake of these helpless people 
who hve so near to us, but yet whose hves are so cruelly 
different from ours. 

„ , , Josephine Shaw Lowell. 

September 10, 1903. 



To THE Editor of the Woman's Municipal League 
Bulletin : ^ 

Last week a young girl came into the office of the 
Woman's Municipal League, and asked to see one of the 
ladies there alone. She had evidently been pretty once, 
but now, in her shabby-gay clothes, she had lost most 
of her beauty, with her youth and her health. She had 
come to beg the Woman's League to reprint the pamphlet 
entitled "Facts for Fathers and Mothers." She was told 
that it was not regarded as wise to reprint this pamphlet. 
She then told her story. 

She had dearly loved the man she married, but a few 
days after the wedding he had placed her in a disorderly 
house. She was kept there five months, and she was never 
allowed to go out. Once she got where she could call a 
poUceman, but he passed along without paying any atten- 
tion to her. Finally, she grew so ill that they let her go. 
Her health shattered, she had tried to earn money, but had 
failed everywhere except on the street. "I have come," 
she said, "to save other girls. If Tammany gets back, 
there will be a lot more of us out there." She was asked 
if she would not give her name so that the officers of the 
Woman's Municipal League might try to help her. "I 
have no name, and you'll never see me again. There's 
nothing you can do for me," she said, and with that she 
left. To-night she is out on the street. 

It may or may not be wise to reprint the pamphlet, 
"Facts for Fathers and Mothers," but must we not face 
the question of whether we, by our indifference, are not 
risking the return of this awful collusion between the pohce 
and ^^ce ? One can help by giving his time and strength, 
or by sending money to R. Fulton Cutting, the Citizens' 

* From the Woman's Munidpal League BiMetin, November, 1903. 



Union, 18 East Sixteenth Street. Will not the man or 
woman who reads this letter follow this poor woman's 
lead, and help to save the other girls ? 

Josephine Shaw Lowell. 
New York, October 17, 1903. 

What can Young Men do for the City' 
Looking back through history, up to a very late time, 
cities are by far the most important political divisions '; 
indeed, one hears very little of nations until after the Middle' 
Ages. It was in the cities of the world that all the in- 
telligence and power were collected, and it was the cities 
that controlled the world. How many great and wonder- 
ful cities have grown up, fought, conquered, flourished 
and been destroyed within only four thousand years. 
Babylon with her marvellous walls and hanging gardens 
is now only a name. Thebes was built and destroyed 
before the beginningof history, and the story of her mag- 
nificence is so marvellous that it was supposed to be a myth 
until the mighty remains of her hundred gates, her colossal 
temples and statues, buried for thousands of years by the 
sands of the Egyptian desert, have in our own century 
proved the truth of the old traditions of her glory. 

Memphis took the place of Thebes, and stretched for 
eight miles on each bank of the Nile. Her ruins are now 
almost lost, but in the twelfth century were described as 
still, after four thousand years of decay, holding "works 
so wonderful as the most eloquent could not describe." 
Sparta, forever associated with the great name of 
' Dated March 28, 1898. 


Leonidas and his three hundred, who held the pass of 
Thermopylae against the hosts of Persia, and though 
defeated saved the whole of Greece, is now lost. 

How many cities have been great which now are small ] 
Athens with her wonders of art, her statues, her temples, 
all more beautiful than any that man has since created, 
with her tragedians, and her philosophers, to whom the 
world of letters still turns for inspiration — that marvel of 
the world, that little city which in one hundred and 
fifty years produced more great men, men great in every 
direction, than any other country in a like period, has 
since shrunk into insignificance. 

Jerusalem, with her magnificent temple, Jerusalem, 
the scene of the event which has had more influence on 
human history than any other since history began, what 

is she now ? 

Rome, the Mistress of the World, through her great 
martial force and her power of organization, with such 
a genius of government that Roman Law is the foundation 
of the Law under which the civilized world still lives, 
what influence has the present Rome ? 

Alexandria, built by Alexander the Great, for hundreds 
of years leading the world in learning, with her great 
schools and her Library, one of the seven wonders of the 
world, three times destroyed by ignorant barbarians, 
three times again filled with the treasures of the literature 
of Greece and Rome, do we even hear the name of 
Alexandria now ? 

Constantinople, built by that wonderful man Constan- 
tine the Great to be the capital of the earth, from 



which he governed the world and the church, righting 
ancient wrongs, dispensing justice to the poor, and even to 
men cast into prison as criminals; issuing a decree 
permitting complaints to be made against his officers, and 
promising redress if they were found to have inflicted 
wrongs ; diminishing taxes with one hand and encouraging 
science and the arts and religion with the other; what 
is Constantinople now but the seat of the worst despotism 
that disgraces the world ? 

But, although the glory and the power of these cities 
and of many lesser cities have passed, yet to them man- 
kind owes its civilization. 

In the beginning men roamed over vast tracts of lands 
as nomads, following their flocks and herds from pasture 
to pasture ; then a few weaker families, needing protec- 
tion against more powerful clans, settled in one spot, and 
they built walls around their rude huts to prevent the 
inroads of the wandering tribes. Then arose in the cities 
division of labor and the refinements of social intercourse ; 
laws were required to decide between the conflicting inter- 
ests of many people living so close together; and then 
patriotism, the love of the city, was developed from the 
sense of the advantages enjoyed, and of the exertions 
required to preserve them. And so came civilization and 
political government, the very names of which explain their 
origin. Civilization, from d-vis, Latin for a citizen, means 
the dhj-fying of a people. Political, from polis, Greek 
for city, means only city-fied government. By the way, 
civil and polite, polished and urbane, all words describing 
pleasing manners and meaning only city-fied, show how 


the city people developed beyond the heathen of the ^ 
country, the dwellers on the heaths, in all that makes 
men agreeable and pleasant, as well as in the arts of 


But mankind owes more than civilization itself to 
cities ; it owes to them the principles of civil and religious 
liberty, the great birthright of mankind from which it has 
so long been shut out, but for which cities have for many 
hundreds of years contended. 

In antiquity, even, the rise of cities was the most im- 
portant source of republicanism, especially in Greece and 
Italy, and in the turmoils and contests for the city govern- 
ment' were developed the great qualities which made the 
cities so powerful. Athens and Sparta and Rome were 
great because their citizens were great, and their citizens 
were great because they were citizens and not slaves. 

In the Middle Ages, the cities of Italy and of Germany 
were so many fierce republics, fighting with each other, 
fighting against popes, emperors, kings and princes, inde- 
pendent, self-governing, developing citizens whose names 
and works are still the wonder and admiration of man- 

In Germany the cities strengthened themselves to resist 
the assaults of the feudal lords, and finally made common 
cause; and in 1239 Hamburg, Lubeck and Brunswick 
formed the Hansa or League, called in English the 
Hanseatic League, to protect themselves from pillage, to 
extend their commerce, to prevent injustice, and to main- 
tain their rights; and at one time there were eighty-five 
cities in the League; and from them, and from other 



less well-known leagues, wealth, industry, knowledge, and 
equal laws spread through the nations of Europe. 

In Italy, meanwhile, the great republican cities, Milan, 
Genoa, Florence, Perugia, Pisa, Lucca, and others, also 
held their own against popes and princes who longed to 
conquer them; they were fierce, fighting cities; they 
struggled with each other as well as with theii- would-be 
oppressors, and they produced wild fighting men, and great 
painters, and marvellous architects, and intellectual giants, 
and mighty preachers, and saints, all in rich profusion, 
men who created pictures, statues, cathedrals, which still 
draw thousands of pilgrims to Italy yearly to gaze in awe 
and wondering admiration at these treasures of peaceful and 
beautiful art produced in the midst of turbulent times. 

But with the development of luxury and self-indulgence 
in the cities, the citizens became unwilling to exert them- 
selves to defend their liberties. Single families grew 
rich, and with their money they corrupted the people, 
and gradually, both in the German and in the Itahan 
cities, the republican form of government vanished ; the 
rich families in Italy and the provinces of Germany, with 
the consent of the people, destroyed their liberty, and 
with their hberty they lost their greatness. The excite- 
ment of the public life and the greatness of the public 
interests had developed men's minds and characters, 
but when they were governed from outside, when public 
affairs were no longer their business, they shrank in body 
and in soul, and Napoleon Bonaparte found them an 
easy prey when he built up modern Europe and gave the 
finishing blow to the free cities of the Middle Ages. 


But though the age of the ancient free cities and of the 
free cities of the Middle Ages has passed, we in this 
modem time and in this modern world are entering upon 
a new age of mighty cities, cities mighty in numbers and 
in wealth, and which will be mighty in spirit and in 
power, if their citizens are worthy. The fierce, fighting 
little cities are no longer the champions of freedom; 
civilization and civility are no longer to be found only 
within walled towns ; but our cities are of tremendous 
importance, nevertheless, because of the great masses of 
people congregated within them. In the United States it 
will be very soon true, if it is not so now, that half 
the population is living in cities, and the condition and 
life of these cities is therefore of vital importance from 
two points of view. First, because the welfare of so 
many hundreds of thousands of people is involved ; and 
second, because if the majority of the people of the country 
are residents of cities, then the cities will control the nation, 
and the nation will be what the cities are. Thus both 
local patriotism and national patriotism must be aroused 
by an appeal in behalf of the welfare of our great city, 
just entering on its new life. 

Few people realize how helpless the inhabitants of a 
city are to secure their own well-being except by placing the 
management of public business in the hands of competent 
and honest men. In the country a family can control its 
own life and secure its own comfort. It makes but little 
difference to a country family whether the public affairs are 
well or ill-managed. No matter how stupid or cornipt 
may be the supervisors of a county, the individual residents 



can lead healthy and happy lives, and usually the only evil 
that will touch them at all nearly, will be a slight increase 
m their taxes. They can have fresh water, fresh air and 
good food, and every year they have a chance to change 
the men who are cheating them if they choose. But it is 
not so m the city ; the comfort, the health, the life, and 
to a great extent, even the character of the people of a 
city, depend upon the kind of men who have control of the 
public affairs. 

Consider how vital to city people is a supply of pure 
water, and how helpless they are to get it for themselves 
An insufficient supply of water means constant discomfort 
and trouble ; bad water means disease and death. Thou- 
sands of people die every year in Philadelphia and in 
other cities of the United States from typhoid fever 
because they have bad water to drink, and they have bad 
water to drink because their city officers are corrupt and 
Ignorant, and do not care and do not know how to get a 
supply of good water. Think of the awful suffering from 
disease and death, the loss of wages, the widows and 
children left helpless, that come to the people of those 
cities because they place the care of their pubhc affairs in 
the hands of men who may be good Republicans or good 
Democrats, but who are not good men and good engineers 
Consider again the helplessness of city people to protect 
their health against the evils that come from dirt of all 
kinds, dirty streets and foul houses, and from bad food • 
suffenng, disease and death in its most fearful forms' 
small-pox, typhus fever, cholera, yeUow fever, the plague' 
These are the things that afHict cities that have ignorant 



and corrupt men at the head of their affairs, and these are 
the things which are entirely banished from cities whose 
business is managed by men of intelligence and honest 
devotion to the public good. 

Passing over many other matters which affect the comfort 
and happiness of the residents of a city, but which the 
individuals cannot themselves control from day to day, 
let us for a few moments consider the tremendous influence 
the schools have upon the welfare of a city. If the schools 
are of the right kind, and teach the children what they 
ought to know, and if there are enough schools so that all 
children can have the advantages they offer, then the 
citizens will be noble, upright, intelligent men and women, 
taking care of themselves and their children, doing their 
duty, good, prosperous and happy. If, on the other 
hand, the schools are bad, or if there are not enough 
schools, then the city will have many poor, miserable, 
incompetent, inefficient citizens, and there will be much 
unhappiness and wickedness. Yet how helpless are the 
people of the city to influence the schools, except by 
choosing disinterested, honest, honorable, intelligent men 
to manage them. 

If, then, as is the undoubted truth, the health, happiness 
and moral welfare of the people of a city depend upon the 
kind of men to whom is entrusted the control of the city 
government, how mighty is the responsibility of the voters 
of a city for the use of the power put into their hands on 
Election Day ! Oh young men ! Upon you and your 
fellows depends the future of this great city and the wel- 
fare of her three million people, more than two million 



of them women and children whose very helplessness 
should be their strongest appeal to you to protect them 
and to give them the health and happiness that they 
cannot have if you do not do your duty as good citizens. 
But even more imperative than the duty we owe to our 
fellow-citizens in this great city is the duty we owe to our 
country and to the world. Even more inspiring than the 
cry of the three million people of New York for protection 
IS the cry of mankind that we shall not allow their hopes 
for a larger and nobler Ufe to be blighted. 

All through history there has been but one great cause 
in human affairs,— the cause of liberty. In a thousand 
contests mankind has struggled for more liberty ; under 
a thousand names the fight has been waged. There have 
always been two parties in history, the party that stands 
for freedom and the party that stands for despotism. 

The object of human government is to secure liberty, 
for the end of government is the improvement of the 
race, and the race cannot grow without the Uberty which 
gives to individuals the free use of their faculties. There- 
fore liberty is the condition of human progress, and liberty 
IS the worthy cause for which all the great sacrifices of 
history have been made. 

This country sprang from the love of hberty combined 
with the ability to organize hberty into institutions. 
America was the protest against the spirit of despotism. 
Democracy is the putting into government the principle of 
the brotherhood of man. "All men are bom free and 
equal" are the words upon which the government of 
America is founded. When these words were written in 


July, 1776, they were a new declaration in politics. Reli- 
gious liberty had been asserted and was making progress, 
but political liberty for all men was a revolutionary 
thought. Americans declared it and they fought and died 
to establish it. They carried on their revolution through 
seven years to defend their right to liberty, and they 
conquered, and established the United States government. 

Our country led the whole world in this declaration, 
and it opened the new path to the hopeless races of Eu- 
rope. The down-trodden and sufi"ering people of the old 
country took hope from our words and from our deeds. 
This was our first great service to liberty ; but eighty 
years later we again spent hves and treasure for liberty, 
this time for the liberty, not of ourselves, but of a cruelly 
tortured race, crushed to the earth by our own people. 
The sin of slavery had darkened all our land and threatened 
to destroy our nation, and we fought and conquered a sec- 
ond time, and stood before the world as real behevers in 
liberty for all men, for black men as well as for white 

This country, then, has been the hope of all nations ; 
the lovers of Uberty have looked to this country from all 
over the world for inspiration in their struggle ; they have 
appealed to our success to confound the advocates of 

But, alas ! we, we, the people of the City of New York, 
have failed the lovers of liberty. Our city, with its in- 
competent and corrupt government, instead of standing 
as an example to the peoples of Europe, instead of 
inspiring the men who are seeking to establish the forms 




of popular government in the old countries, has become a 
shameful warning, and when in other countries men desire 
to prevent the spread of democratic government, when 
they desire to preserve old forms, they point to us and 
say: "Beware! or our city will become a second New 

And not only does our neglect of our duties to our 
fellow-citizens thus dishearten the lovers of hberty all 
over the world. There is danger, as our cities, this city 
and other cities, come to control the country more and 
more that, having surrendered our civic liberties, we shall 
surrender our national liberties, and the United States 
of America will sink back and lose its proud position as 
leader in the progress of the world and as the vanguard of 

Do you ask me what I mean by losing our liberties? 
I mean putting the government of our city and of our 
country into the hands of selfish and self-seeking men at the 
direction of party bosses, whether they be of one party or 
the other. Men must either be free men or they must be 
slaves. To be free men they must have their own opinions 
and must follow them ; they must not go to the primary 
and go to the polls and vote as some one else has told them 
to. They must vote according to their own consciences, 
according to what they think is right, right for the city ; 
only if they do this are they free men ; only if they do this 
will they have a free government ; only if they do this 
will the country continue to be a free country. If men 
vote because they are paid to vote, or because they want an 
office, or because their employer tells them to vote as he 




f 'l 

does, or because their friend asks them to vote as he does, — 
then they are slaves, and though the government continues 
to be democratic in name, it is actually a despotic govern- 

If we hope to preserve our nation, it must be bj- re- 
awakening the spirit of liberty in our people ; and that 
spirit must be exercised in our local affairs, because they 
are the affairs with which we have to do from day to day, 
and the affairs which influence us most and which we can 
most influence. 

And what are these affairs, and how can we influence 
them ? Let us consider some of them. Take first that 
which concerns the health and comfort of every man, 
woman and child in the city every day — the cleaning of 
the streets. If you are good citizens, citizens who 
love our city and care for her welfare, you should watch 
that the men whom the city pays to clean the streets, 
and to carry away the garbage, do the work they are paid 
to do, and do it well. It is good for them, as well as good 
for us, that they should be self-respecting, honest work- 
men, and it will help them to be so if they are watched, and 
encouraged when they do well, and remonstrated with 
when they do badly. If you are good citizens you should 
watch the course of the judges and see that the poor and 
friendless, who cannot protect and defend themselves, are 
not oppressed, and that justice is done. You should 
know how the prisoners are treated in the prisons, and 
how the men and women arrested and awaiting trial are 
treated in the station houses. 

If you are good citizens, you should know how the poor 




people in the institutions of the city, in.the almshouses, 
the hospitals and the asylums, are cared for, and know 
whether they have enough food and kind care and tender 

If you are good citizens, you should care about the 
public schools and know whether they are good and whether 
there are enough of them, or whether there are children in 
the city who are being deprived of the teaching which 
will make the difference to them between success and 
failure in life. 

If you are good citizens, you should care to have the 
laws enforced, and you should learn what the laws are, so 
that you may help to enforce them. The voters elect the 
members of the Legislature who make the laws, and the 
voters ought to know what their representatives are 
doing, and support them if they do right and condemn 
them if they do wrong. 

If you are good citizens, you should join in the move- 
ments to get playgrounds and parks and public baths and 
pubhc Ubraries, and all the things that are needed to make 
the lives of the people of the city happy and healthy and 
noble and good, and you should demand of the men elected 
to office that they provide the city with all these things. 
Above all, if you would be good citizens, you must use 
your own intelligence, your own judgment, your own 
conscience, in regard to all these vital matters. Every 
American voter owes it to his country to educate himself 
to understand pubUc affairs, and the more he studies 
them, the more intelligent he will grow, and, as I have 
said, it is these local affairs which are the most important 

■. :3 


to us, for those are the affairs that are nearest at hand 
and which influence us most and for which all citizens, 
and especially all voters, are responsible. 

What young men can do for the city and for the country 
may be summed up then in the exhortation to be good 
citizens. And finally, let me repeat, a good citizen must 
study the needs of the city conscientiously, decide what 
men and what measures are for the best interest of the 
city, and support those with courage and independence be- 
fore election and at the polls. A good citizen must feel 
the responsibility that rests upon every voter in a demo- 
cratic country to do his part in governing from day to day, 
and as a freeman he must scorn all dictation from others 
as to his course, and above all he must remember that 
upon his good citizenship depends the future of this great 
country. To the hands of the young men of this city 
is confided the welfare of her three million inhabitants, 
and the destinies of the United States of America. Be 
true to these great trusts, and you will deserve the love and 
gratitude of your fellow-men. 

Relation of Women to Good Government* 

The fact that women cannot vote, and have therefore 
no direct influence in the selection of those who control 
the government, has given rise to the false beUef that they 
can exert no influence upon pubhc questions, and to the 
still more false belief that the character of the government 
is of Uttle importance to them. The moment any thought 

' Digest of address delivered at the Young Women's Christian Asso- 
ciation, February 6, 1899. 




is given to the subject, however, it is impossible not to 
see that good government is really more important to 
women than it is to men, for the same reason that it is 
more important to poor men than to rich men, because 
they have less power to protect themselves from the ef- 
fects of bad government. 

I will show you that this is true by illustrations taken 
from our own condition. 

We in New York hve under three different governments 
— the National or United States Government, of which 
President McKinley is now the head, the State Govern- 
ment, of which Colonel Roosevelt is the head, and the 
City Government, of which Mayor Van Wyck is the head. 
Each one of these governments has different duties, and 
takes care of a different part of our lives, but there is not 
a woman or a child in this city who is not influenced, 
whose life is not made harder or easier, by the things done 
by these three governments of ours. 

The National Government, among other functions, 
decides whether the country is to be at war or at peace 
with other nations ; it decides upon the tariff to be im- 
posed on goods we want to buy from other countries ; it 
decides how large our armies and navies are to be in time 
of peace, and it decides many other matters which affect 
the wages of everj^ man, woman and child in the country 
who works for a living, and whether it makes decisions 
which are wise and right, or decisions which are foohsh 
and wrong, is therefore something which is vitally impor- 
tant to all the people of the country, whether they can 
vote or not. 

Think how intimately all these things influence our 
lives. When the nation is at war many women and chil- 
dren are deprived of those who should support and care 
for them. There are many widows and orphans made. 
The people have to bear heavy taxes and pay for the 
support of the government, money which otherwise would 
support themselves in comfort, and this forces women 
and children into the labor market. 

High tariffs on foreign goods deprive the people of the 
chance of having many things which would conduce to 
their comfort and welfare ; large armies and large navies 
in time of peace cost so much that the people suffer from 
the weight of taxation just as if there were a constant 
condition of war, and starvation and misery result, as 
in Italy and Spain today ; and it is the weak women and 
children who suffer most, for they have to bear what is 
put upon them, and cannot get away, as the men often 

Our second kind of government, our State Government, 
has also a great deal to do with our well-being or our want 
of it. It has different functions from our National 
Government, and they are not so tremendously important 
as those, but they are important enough, and here again 
they affect women and children more vitally than they 
affect men , and poor men more vitally than rich men . The 
State Government has a great deal to do with education ; 
it has a great deal to do with all the sick and defective 
people of the State, with the insane, with the blind, the 
deaf, the idiotic, with all the institutions where poor chil- 
dren are cared for ; it has to do with fire insurance and with 

1. i 



banks, with all the prisons, and with many other matters 
that concern the welfare of the people. The State Govern- 
ment ought to watch over aU these poor and unhappy 
people and see that they are not abused and injured, but 
are kindly caied for and taught and reformed and helped 
and cured ; and as women and children are more tender and 
suffer more from ill treatment and neglect than men, it 
is more important to them to have a good State Govern- 
ment. The State makes all the laws — the factory laws, 
the health laws, among others. Consider how closely 
these laws touch the lives of women and their children. 
In states where there are no such laws, women and little 
children work sixteen and eighteen hours a day; their 
lives are crushed and destroyed. They get no time to 
eat or to sleep, they get no time to study or to grow. It 
is the government, good or bad, upon which their fate 
depends. And even after the good laws are made, if there 
is not a good government which conscientiously carries 
out the good laws, they can of course accomplish nothing. 
Remember how long the law requiring that women and 
girls in shops should have seats and be allowed to use 
them was on the statute book before it was of any use to 
them. For thirteen years there was hardly a shop-keeper 
in this city who even pretended to obey the law, because 
there were no officers to enforce it. 

Then as regards the third Wnd of government under 
which we Uve, our City Government, it is of the utmost 
unportance to the welfare and happiness of aU the people, 
and especially of the people who are not rich, and of course 
to the women, as part of the people. 


[Mrs. Lowell then continued her address with a de- 
scription of the comparatively independent conditions of 
family life in the country, an argument which she used 
effectively in one of her papers on the Reform of the Civil 
Service, to emphasize the gi-eater importance of good 
government for cities. Municipal control over the water 
supply, the food supply, public health and the cleanliness 
of the city streets she again maintains can be so exer- 
cised as to be a blessing or a curse to the inhabitants. 
Stress also is laid upon the duty of the city authorities 
to provide adequate fire protection, and the best possible 
public schools. It is important to all dwellers in cities to 
have good government, "or in other words Civil Service 
Reform." Several of the following pages of this unpub- 
lished address are devoted to a closely reasoned state- 
ment of the necessity of Civil Service Reform in the United 
States, and the great advantage.s to be derived from it, 
and it then continues :] 

To return now from this rather long digression, I think 
you will all agree that, even if I have not proved that 
good government is more important to women than to 
men, at least I have shown that it is all-important to 
both if they live in a city. I have also shown you that 
good government depends upon having intelligent and 
honest men and women to do the public work. My next 
effort will be to show how women may help to secure the 
appointment of such men and women to public office. 

I think that there can be no doubt that if women could 
vote they would have more power, and could help more 
directly than they can now, especially in secm-ing the 
enforcement of the laws which most concern themselves. 



Take for instance the law of 1881, of which I have already 
spoken, which requires that employers shall provide suit- 
able seats for their female employees, and shall permit 
the use of them. Although this law had been on the 
statute book for thirteen years, in many of the largest 
shops in this city, where hundreds of girls and young 
women were employed, the law was a dead letter, and these 
tired young creatures stood, at certain seasons of the year, 
from eight in the morning until ten at night, with only 
short intermissions. It is hard to believe that, were 
these women voters, their needs, and the law enacted to 
protect them, would not be more regarded. 

Agam, I do not expect, and I do not desire, legisla- 
tion fixing any minimum rate of wages for women ; but is 
it unreasonable to hope that with the added dignity and 
sense of personal importance and the increased public 
spirit which the suffrage would create in women, there 
would come also the capacity for self-protection by 
organization ? The only possible means by which in the 
last resort wages can be raised is by union among the 
wage-earners, by labor organization. Tlie fierce competi- 
tion among retail dealers caused by the great consuming 
public in its quest for cheapness forces them, willingly or 
unwillingly, to press hai-dly on the wholesale dealers, 
who m their turn are forced to drive the workers to kilUng 
work at starvation wages; and the only power that can 
strike back, and stop the horrible pressure that crushes 
out life, is a strong trade union at the bottom. This, it 
seems, women cannot now have, for lack of self-confidence, 
and for lack of the sense of class obligation, of class pubUc 


spirit which would lead them to stand by each other and 
to consider the interests of their fellow-workers as well as 
their own. This tendency to think only of their own 
needs and to forget the needs of other women is un- 
doubtedly a strong influence in keeping women's wages 
down. "Were women trained in class public spirit, in an 
vmselfish regard for the common interests of their fellows, 
they would reflect upon the effect of their own actions upon 
the latter, and we should not hear of an educated young 
woman who wants to add a little to her income taking 
a clerk's place, but refusing to accept more than half a 
clerk's salary because she does not need more. She 
would think of the women who do need more and whom 
her selfish unselfishness is helping to starve. If women 
thought more of the needs of other women, we should 
not hear of their taking neckties to embroider at one 
dollar and a half a gross "and find their own silk," to 
get pin money. They would think of the widows and 
children who have to sit from four in the morning until 
ten at night to make a living out of the same embroidery. 
I believe that the qualities, needed to help women win 
good wages for themselves and for each other, courage, 
self-confidence, public spirit, would be fostered by the 
suffrage, and that is one reason why I want women to have 
the suffrage. 

I also believe that the vote would be an actual protection 
to women who are personally at the mercy of brutal men. 
There are not a few men who have no regard for women at 
all, who look upon them only as things to be injured, in- 
sulted, maltreated and abused at the will of men. The law 



perceive the extraordinary lapses from truth on the part 
of lawyers and doctors, yet themselves stray very far from 
what non-business men think square dealing. Politicians 
are at least as fjir as the other professions from following 
the strict line of honesty, and as for corporation conscience, 
it seems the most perverted of all, for it has a morbid 
sensitiveness in one direction, that of the stockholders, 
and an amazing callousness in all other directions. How- 
ever, I only refer to these facts concerning the profes- 
sional conscience as a proof that the consciences of men 
are greatly influenced by the circumstances under which 
they must earn their livings, and to show that it is en- 
tirely natural that women, not having been subject to the 
strain of such circumstances, should have a normal con- 
science, and consequently a clearer moral sense than men. 

This clearer moral sense has, however, not been as useful 
in raising the standards of the human race as it ought to 
have been because of the very reason which has created it, 
because women have been shut out from the general life 
of the world. 

Now, however, that they are coming forward into the 
struggle of life, that they are taking part in pubUc work 
and in movements for the public good, they should prize 
this power which their sheltered Uvea have given them, 
and feel to the full the responsibility which its possession 
imposes upon them. The danger is lest they should cast 
it away as one of the trammels which have hampered them 
in the past ; but if they do, they will commit a great sin, 
for it should be an inestimable blessing to them and to the 
world, and they should realize that it is a sacred trust. It 


is another instance of the contrast between evolution and 
effort. Through the past ages since the human race ex- 
isted, the priceless faculty has been evolving in women, 
unconsciously to themselves ; but now that they have come 
to a higher intellectual development and recognize the 
quality in themselves, unless they consciously preserve 
and use it, applying it as a test to every plan of action 
presented for their acceptance, they will lose it. 

In reform movements, as in other undertakings, the great 
service which women can render is the maintenance of 
uncompromising ideals. 

They can do this now more easily than men, because they 
stDl have the more acute moral sense and see the ideal 
more clearly, and because they are still in a measure re- 
moved from the necessity of accommodating the ideal to 
the details of the actual. In other words, women may have 
the privilege if they will, of pointing to the higher aim to 
which all action should be directed, and of ignoring the 
means by which the aim is to be reached. But they will 
not long continue to hold these advantages unless they 
consciously and conscientiously exercise them. The 
temptation to give up the ideal wiU assail them also as 
they are more and more drawn into the strife, and to give 
up the ideal means to give up working with the eternal 
laws of Right, and to work against them, to give up 
working with God and to struggle against Him. 

"i ';;3 

■a" a 




September 30, 1896. 


Commander Booth Tucker, 

Salvation Army. 

In asking you to appoint a time when we could explain 
to you our views and plans in regard to the best way of 
deaUng with homeless men in New York City, we did not 
say why we regarded ourselves as having any particular 
claim to be heard on the subject, so that you will now 
excuae us if we introduce ourselves more at length. 

We are members of a body which, since its organization 
two years ago, has devoted especial attention to the best 
way of diminishing vagrancy in this city, and, as individuals, 
we have each studied the whole subject in its wider aspects 
for a much longer period. 

New York City, among its other peculiarities, has been 
peculiar in never making any decent public provision for 
the care of homeless men until within the past year, when a 
beginning, to be described later, was made. 

In place of any such provision, there grew up the most 
pernicious system ever known in any civilized commu- 
nity, the police lodgings, whereby men and women were 
received for the night in the precinct station houses, 
without examination of any kind, kept practically without 

' Written by Mrs. Lowell for the committee. 

■? =1 

* m 

supervision, given no bath, no bed, no food, and turned 
out each morning, to return at night to the same or some 
other station house, and continue this life for years. 
No one has ever been found to defend this practice ; 
during the past twenty years at least it has received fre- 
quent and strong condemnation from many quarters ; but 
it was not until March 15 of this year, that the last 
lodging room was officially closed. 

The essential evils of the poUce lodgings system were 

three : 

1. Danger of physical contagion. 

2. Certainty of moral degradation. 

3. Encouragement of vagrancy. 

A proper system should avoid all three, and substitute 
for them the corresponding advantages : 

1. Cleanliness and safety from disease. 

2. Moral improvement. 

3. Gradual diminution of vagrancy. 

It has been during the past two years the object of the 
Committee to which we belong to introduce such a system 

in this city. 

In 1895 we issued a small pamphlet, "How to Help 
Homeless People," a copy of which we leave with you ; and 
in consequence of our efforts, the Department of Chanties 
and Correction undertook to receive homeless men at East 
Twenty-sixth Street and lodge them over night, with the 
intention, as we hoped, of disposing of them the following 
morning in accordance with their own statement, sending 
men not resident sixty days in this city to the care of the 
State Board of Charities as State paupers, and sending 
self-confessed city vagrants to the institution provided 
by the city for the care of homeless men — the Workhouse. 

The intention was never carried out, however, and 
gradually, during the a^mmer of 1895 there grew up on 



the East Twenty-sixth Street dock a lodging room which 
was almost as bad as the police lodgings and to which hun- 
dreds of men came night after night to lodge as a matter 
of course. There was practically no more examination 
than at the precinct station houses ; there was not much 
more supervision ; and, as in the latter, here also vagrancy 
was directly encouraged, the dock lodging house of the 
Commissioners of Public Charities and Correction being 
only another evil added to the pohce lodging rooms. 

In consequence of this condition, the Committee on 
Vagrancy, of which we are members, applied to the Board 
of Estimate and Apportionment on December 26, 1895, 
in support of the request of Commissioner Faure of the 
new Board of Charity Commissioners, for an appropriation 
to provide a proper system of caring for homeless men by 
that department. Stress was laid on the fact that the 
principal thing required was inquiry into the actual con- 
dition of each individual who apphed for lodgings as home- 
less, in order to discriminate in disposing of him, so that 
men with homes in other cities should be returned to them 
by the State Board of Charities under the State Pauper 
Law; that actual city vagrants should be committed 
to the Workhouse ; and that young beginners in the de- 
grading life of vagrancy might be referred to private 
charity and some hope of salvation be offered them, the 
object in all cases being to stop the homelessness. 

Inquiry being the first step, money to pay inquiry 
officers was needed, and properly qualified officers. The 
money asked for ($10,000) was appropriated, on the un- 
derstanding that this provision by the Department of 
Charities for the proper care of homeless men was to take 
the place of the Pohce Lodging Houses, and on March 11, 
1896, the City Lodging House was opened and, as we have 
said, on March 15, the Pohce Lodging Houses were closed 



.and one stain removed from the name of our city. The 
City Lodging House was kept open for nearly tliree 
months, and the result was very encouraging, despite the 
imperfections incident to an entirely new imdertaking. 

We were not at all satisfied either with the amount or 
thoroughness of the inquiries made, and yet even the 
imperfect work done more than confirmed our previous 
opinion as to its value. The statistics collected were very 
striking, showing among other things that out of a total of 
9,386 lodgers, 3,622 had been in the city less than sixty 
days and 968 more less than one year, while 4,678 were 
under 30 years of age, and in good health. From these 
figures our conclusions are that what is needed for our city 
is a temporary lodging house maintained by the Depart- 
ment of Charities, where men accidentally homeless may 
be received and kept so long as is necessary to determine 
as to the appropriate disposition of each one, but that there 
is no need to supply any permanent resort for homeless 
men in the city, since we beheve that such a place would 
serve only to encourage men in a hfe of vagrancy, than 
which nothing, in our opinion, could be more cruel. 

And it is upon this ground that we are disturbed by 
what we understand to be your plan to estabhsh cheap 
or free lodging houses, and we have asked for this meet- 
ing iri order to beg that you will not put it into operation. 
Unfortunately there are in the city already 104 cheap 
lodging houses for men, with 15,368 beds, the cost per 
bed per night running from 7 cents to 35 cents. These are 
acknowledged by all persons, we believe, to be an unmiti- 
gated evil, and although we know that such lodging houses 
as you would control would have many features not to be 
found in the existing houses, yet we are firmly convinced 
that even your lodging houses would, in the end, serve to 
increase vagrancy. 




The number of vagrants in any city or country is not at 
any time fixed, but fluctuates with conditions and temp- 
tations, and every additional provision, good, bad, or in- 
different, made to shelter homeless men, will serve to draw 
men, who have homes, but who for any reason do not like 
them, from their homes into a homeless state. Instead of 
substituting your lodging houses for the existing lodging 
houses, you will only add them to them just as the lodg- 
ing at East Twenty-sixth Street was in 1895 added to 
the police lodgings, and the number of homeless men will 
correspondingly increase. 

Instead then of creating a few thousand more vagrants 
for the purpose of trying to raise them morally afterwards, 
will you not bring the great power of the Salvation Army 
to bear on the vagrants who now Uve in our New York 
lodging houses? Hire rooms or buildings next to lodg- 
ing houses now in operation and fit them up with every 
appliance for moral and spiritual care, and attract the 
lodgers of actual lodging houses into meetings, for instruc- 
tion, for pleasant social evenings, for religious teaching ; 
but do not tempt from the country the innocent, honest 
lads who are longing to try their luck in the great city and 
who, when they hear that the Salvation Army has cheap 
lodgings, will think it right to come and live in them, for, 
if you do, the souls of those who go to destruction ih this 
city will far outnumber any that you can save, and you 
will do them and all of us a great injury, which all the 
good you have done cannot outweigh. We shall, of course, 
continue our efforts to secure for the city such a system 
for the care of homeless men as we believe to be needed, 
including a temporary shelter in the city and a Farm 
School for vagrants to take the place of the Workhouse, 
as soon as it can be estabhshed and we hope that we shall 
have your help in this. As to shelters for homeless women, 



we can only quote from our published report of last Spring, 
when we said : 

"To turn now to the more difl&cult problem of homeless 
women — the committee beUeves that the added de- 
gradation which must almost inevitably chng to that 
unhappy creature, a homeless woman, even beyond that 
of a homeless man, and the fact that she is a constant 
danger and injury to all around her, makes it still more 
cruel to provide shelters for such than for men. There 
is less excuse for them also, because, unless a woman is 
a confirmed drunkard, she can usually find some home 
whereat least her board will be gladly given for her services ; 
and if she is a confirmed drunkard, she had far better, 
for every reason, be placed in the care of an institution 
than encouraged to remain at large. 

"The effort should be to force all homeless women 
either into the workhouse, the almshouse, or into per- 
manent homes, where they can be watched over and pro- 
tected from themselves and others, and from which they 
can be sent to situations in famiUes. Such places (like 
the 'Hopper Home,' 'House of the Good Shepherd,' 
'Magdalen Benevolent Society' and others) are a blessing, 
but not homes which allow their inmates the Uberty to 
come and go at will. 

"In the September 1895 number of the London 
Charity Organization Review, is an article on 'Cheap 
Shelters,' from which the following extracts are very 
suggestive : 

'The good intention in starting "Women's Shelters" 
is to help the poorest and lowest, and, by providing 
decent lodging free, or for the smallest payment, 
to clear the streets of women who, though homeless, 
will not go to the workhouse. So far are these shelters, 
in fact, from accomphshing this, that the actual result 






is precisely the reverse of that intended, and instead 
of clearing the streets, a women's shelter has the effect 
of considerably increasing the number of bad women 
who haunt them. 

'To put the matter plainly, women's shelters give dis- 
tinct encouragement to immorality by making a Ufe of 
sin more easy to women and girls, through the casual 
shelter afforded them. Women of bad character ad- 
mitted for the night are turned out next morning to spend 
the day and evening in the streets or as they can, and are 
again admitted at night. This enables them to carry 
on their shameful trade freely, making use of the shelters 
when it suits their convenience. 

'Nor is this all. Besides the faciUties to women of 
the neighborhood, others of the lowest class are attracted 
from a distance, thus increasing the special evil a shelter 
is designed to remedy. 

'The question of the harm done by women's shelters 
is altogether too large a one to be discussed on the narrow 
basis of benefit to a percentage of those admitted. The 
harm done outside can never be precisely reckoned up : 
but it is of a nature so calamitous and enduring in its effects 
that the worst injury from dirt or small-pox is as nothing 
in comparison.' 

"There are, of course, and must be, some casual cases 
of homelessness of women and children, and the practical 
way to manage these is not to encourage the cruelty which 
turns helpless creatures into the street, by providing per- 
manent places for them, but to treat each such case on its 
own merits, and with strangers, to send or much better to 
take them to the Joint Application Bureau at the Charities 
Building, 105 East Twenty-second Street, which is open 
from 9 A.M. to midnight every day, excepting Sunday, 
and from 6 p.m. to midnight on Sunday, where each case 


■I -ftS 


will be carefully considered and provided for in some 


(Signed) Josephine Shaw Lowell, 

Charlotte Lindley Cotjper, 

John A. McKim, 


Wm. H. Tolman, 

Jno. Lloyd Thomas, 

Jacob A. Riis, 

Homer Folks. 

The Influence op Cheap Lodging Houses on City 

Pauperism ^ 

There are two ways of looking at the problems pre- 
sented by city vagrancy and homelessness. They are 
exactly opposite in every respect, and result, naturally, 
in exactly opposite conduct. 

The first, which is held by a large company of most in- 
telUgent and philanthropic men and women all over the 
world, is that the present condition of things is susceptible 
only of mitigation, never of radical change. They appear 
to think that because vagrancy and homelessness have in 
every civilized community always been one of the worst 
of evils, therefore they must continue, and that all the 
community can do is to make their evil less evil ; for even 
they, I think, do not contend that vagrancy and homeless- 
ness can be changed into benefits either to the unhappy 
victims or to the community. 

^ Written for the Baltimore, Maryland, Charity Organization Society, 
February, 1897. 



The course of action they advocate is that decent pro- 
vision shall be made for homeless and vagrant men and 
women, that they shall be recognized as a necessary 
part of the body politic, and that both private charity and 
the municipal authorities shall buUd for them cheap or 
free lodging houses, where they may hve clean, healthy, 
decent, and even comparatively comfortable lives, in order 
that they may themselves not be miserable and also that 
the community may be protected from the contagion of 
moral and physical disease which they spread about them, 
when they are neglected and ignored. 

There is, of course, much to be said in support of this 
view and this course of conduct; but the other party dis- 
sents from it in toto and thinks the providing of cheap and 
free lodging houses as places of permanent, or anything 
approaching permanent, residence is a great economic 
mistake, and that though it is undoubtedly benevolent, 
it is not beneficent, but on the contrary does harm and is 

Those who hold this view, among whom I desire to be 
counted, beUeve that vagrancy and homelessness need not 
be permanent evils, and that they ought not to be allowed 
to be permanent evils; that they can be cured, and that 
they ought to be cured. 

We think that the life in a cheap lodging house, under 
whatever management it may be, is a life not fit for a man 
to lead ; and further that a hfe without duties, without ties, 
without afifection, without home influences is a Hfe which 
is demoraUzing, whether it is led in a luxurious clubhouse 
on Fifth Avenue, or in a miserable ten cent lodging house 



on the Bowery; and that therefore people who are trying 
to do good to their fellow-men should establish neither 
lodging clubs nor lodging houses, although both will 
unfortunately be established by people who are seeking 
pleasure and gain. 

Pray do not misunderstand me. The lodging houses we 
object to are such as make men contented with this miser- 
able isolated life; which make a man physically com- 
fortable without raising his moral and mental standards ; 
which provide lodgings and food, and allow the lodgers 
entire liberty to procure the money to pay for them in any 
way they can ; which allow men to settle down for years, 
accepting these lodging houses as substitutes for homes. 
A home which takes entire charge of its inmates, which 
teaches them and raises their standard and makes them 
hate the life they are leading; which keeps them only 
so long as is necessary to train them for self-support; 
which pushes them on and up continually, is not what I 

refer to. 

The trouble is that the usual free or cheap lodging 
house, instead of raising the moral and intellectual stan- 
dard of its inmates, descends to then- standard, except 
physically, accepts their view that the homeless life 
is a natural and necessary one, and by making it more 
bearable, tends to confirm them in their love for it. The 
cheapening of the means of living, although a blessing to 
persons whose standards are high enough to make them 
desire and strive for something better than a bare existence, 
is a curse to many who are satisfied with merely living, if 
they can accompUsh that without any exertion. This 



living without exertion and with liberty to indulge the 
lowest propensities makes up for many deprivations, and 
it is this that makes cheap lodging houses so attractive 
and so fatal. The only way to counteract the temptations 
presented by this life is not to present facilities for carrying 
it on, but on the contrary to force, to drive, to spur all 
those who are inclined to it into a better way. 

There are in this city already 105 cheap lodging houses, 
with beds for sixteen thousand men, the cost per bed 
per night running from 7 cents to 35 cents, and these 
are acknowledged by all persons, we beheve, to be an 
unmitigated evil ; and yet the first of these was established 
by the advice of a City Missionary, who thought that to 
provide one or two such houses would be a great blessing 
to homeless men. He certainly never looked forward to 
providing for sixteen thousand men in such places. 

The former Chief of Police, Superintendent Byrnes, said 
of them : "It is undeniable, that the lodging houses have 
a powerful tendency to produce, foster and increase crime. 
In nine cases out of ten the stranger who drifts into a lodg- 
ing house turns out a thief or a burglar, if indeed he does 
not, sooner or later, become a murderer. Thousands of 
instances of this kind occur every year." 

I am aware that one principal object of cheap lodging 
houses established by municipaUties or by private charity 
is to supersede the common lodging houses, or force them 
to improve by the competition ; but I contend that the 
object cannot be attained by this means and that the 
improvement of common lodging houses must be accom- 
plished by law and by strict inspection. 



This, then, is our first charge against cheap lodging 
houses : that they do not really help, but on the contrary, 
that they keep down those who frequent them. But we 
believe that they have also to answer for a worse sin, and 
that every new lodging house, under whatever manage- 
ment, increases the number of vagrant and homeless 

It is because young people think there are so many 
chances of getting on in the great city that they now 
flock into it, and everything which makes them think it 
still easier to find food and shelter without much trouble 
but adds to their number. 

You may well ask me what measures we, who believe 
that vagrancy and homelessness can be cured, do ad- 
vocate? How do we propose to cut off the streams? 

First we believe in treating each one of these unhappy 
men and women, so far as it is possible, as an individual, 
finding out about them and using the knowledge gained 
to do what is best for him or her. Speaking broadly, 
there are three classes of persons styled homeless in any 
great city. 

To begin at the end, there are those who choose to be 
homeless. For them to be shut up away from the over- 
powering temptations which destroy them would be a 
mercy. They should be arrested as vagrants and kept 
in what General Booth has called "An Asylum for Moral 
Lunatics," and failing such a refuge, in the workhouse for 
the longest terms allowed by law. 

In the second class are the honest seekers for work who 
come to the city, ignorantly thinking to find the means 





of self-support here, and fail entirely, being forced to seek 
charitable aid within a few days of their arrival. They 
will in an incredibly short time become demoralized if they 
are encouraged to hope ; and they should be snatched up 
and sent home as soon as possible ; at any rate, it is 
cruel to do anything to keep them in a life which leads to 
the lowest depths. 

The third class is of young fellows who either do not know 
how to earn their living, or do not care to do it, who are 
ignorant, or else lazy, or only without any settled habit 
of work. Whether they have homes or not, they certainly 
should never be allowed to live permanently in free or 
cheap lodging houses if it can be helped. If charity has 
to support them, it should be in some place where they 
would be under control and where they should be taught 
to work steadily every day and all day long. 

One of the great evils of cheap lodging houses, whether 
commercial or charitable, is that a man who gets good 
wages can earn by one or two days' work enough to pay his 
way for a week, and a man who works two days each week 
and idles four is not a desirable person, whether regarded 
as an individual or as a member of the community. There- 
fore the benevolent should not provide houses where men 
may live in this way, but should, by all means, provide 
places where they shall be obliged to work hard and reg- 
ularly. Farm schools are the best places and are in- 
tended to receive and educate the young men who claim 
to be homeless in this city. Of the 9,386 lodgers who in 
two months last year were received in the City Lodging 
House, 4,678 were under thirty and were strong men. 

Surely it is only cruel to encourage such men to lead an idle, 
worthless Ufe and to become confirmed vagrants. 

The Committee on Vagrancy of the Conference of 
Charities, which holds the views I have been trying to 
explain, advocates the maintenance by the city of a 
lodging house to be used as a distributing centre for the 
three classes I have described, and of a farm school where 
those who cannot be otherwise provided for shall be 



Miscellaneous Papers 
Imprisonment op Witnesses 
Mr dear Mr. Fairchilb : ' 
I have an uncomfortable feeling that I wrote to you 

Zle^Jf: r ' ".'^t^' ^°" ^°"^^ ^-^ ^« th« chapter 
Tl^TVuil^^"' ""^'^ y°^ ^^'^ instrumental in having 
St" te kndt ?"' *'' -P-onment of witnesses in Ms 
btate, and that you were unable to do so 

This does not deter me, however, from asking again if 
you can help me to find the law in question, for I have Lt 
heard of a most flagrant case, that of a xxirwegian saUor 
whose pocket was picked by a companion, an^whohTs 

«s'^^ "'",' "/ ^''^^yy-' f"" of criminals and 
vagrants, for thirty days, and unless something can be 
done abou him, he is to stay there another month I 
he should turn anarchist, or nihilist, and murder every- 

get ouH w 1;^''. 'u' ''^ ""^ ^^^^^"--^ -hen he IJes 
get out. It would not be a surprising result ! 

Sincerely yours, 
November 2nd, 1891. "^' ^^ ^^^• 

■ Letter to Hon. Charles S. Pairehild. 


The Elmira Reformatory ^ 

To THE Editor of the Evening Post. 


May I say a few words more about the Elmira Re- 
formatory inquiry ? I wish to call attention to one of the 
worst results of this whole deplorable business, that is, 
the discredit which will fall upon the system upon which 
the State reformatory was established, and upon which 
it was successfully conducted during the first years of its 

Mr. Brockway's principle that moral means are the most 
efficacious in reforming criminals is sound, but Mr. Brock- 
way himself has dealt it the most fatal blow by abandon- 
ing it for 30 per cent of the population of the reformatory, 
and the danger is that this will be accepted as proof that 
the principle itself is false. As a fact, however, what has 
been proved is that Mr. Brockway was right when he said 
the reformatory should not contain more than five hundred 
inmates, and his own failure is due to the fact that, despite 
the protest of the State Board of Charities, made yearly 
since 1886, the managers have, nevertheless, allowed the 
institution to be extended until it now contains fourteen 
hundred inmates, and this number, Mr. Brockway says 
in his testimony, cannot be managed by one man with- 
out recourse to the old brutal methods which the re- 
formatory was established to supersede. 

Mr. Brockway is himself the most pitiable victim of this 
misuse of the reformatory, for it has made him false to the 
very principle to which he has devoted his life. 

Josephine Shaw Lowell. 

New York, September 26, 1894. 

1 Published in New York Evening Post, September 27, 1894. 


Inspection of Private Charities ^ 

The recent decision of the Court of Appeals in the case 
of the State Board of Charities vs. the New York 
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is not 
of extreme importance so far as regards the nominal ques- 
tion involved, for, whether the State Board of Charities 
inspects or does not inspect the building of the society, 
the welfare of only a comparatively small number of per- 
sons will be affected in a small degree, if at all. There are 
two other aspects of the decision, however, which seem 
to me to be of very great importance to the people of the 
State of New York, and these have received so far too 
little attention from the public press. 

The State Board of Charities was established in 1867 
by Chapter 951, and was required by that law to visit "all 
the chaiitable and correctional institutions of the State, 
excepting prisons, receiving State aid." By Chapter 571, 
Laws of 1873, the powers of the Board were enlarged, and 
the Board or any of its commissioners was thereby au- 
thorized, whenever they deemed it expedient, "to visit and 
inspect any charitable, eleemosynary, correctional or 
reformatory institution in the State, excepting prisons, 
whether receiving State aid or maintained by municipaUties 
or otherwise." 

After the passage of this law the Board exercised this 
power whenever in its opinion any institution in the State 
which had the care of dependent persons, whether men, 
women or children, was suspected of not giving proper 

' Published ia Charities of January 27, 1900. 



care to those dependent persons. During the twenty-five 
years from 1873 to 1898 the only important society, if I 
remember rightly, which protested against the right of the 
State Board to inspect was the New York Hospital, and 
this upon the ground that the charter granted by King 
George III to that society protected it from inspection 
by a board created only by the State of New York. But 
the present decision now, after twenty-seven years, plainly 
declares that the State Board of Charities has the power 
to inspect only institutions which receive pubhc money 
for use or distribution as charity, and thus all institutions 
which do not receive public money are withdrawn from 
its supervision, and the dependent inmates are left with- 
out the protection which the State has afforded them for 
more than a quarter of a century. 

This aspect of the decision which affects the welfare of 
thousands of dependent and helpless men, women and 
children is certainly important enough to attract public 
attention, were there no other. There is another aspect 
of this decision, however, which is still more grave, for it 
tends to undermine respect for the opinion of the majority 
of the judges of the Court of Appeals, and that certainly 
would be a pubhc calamity. As stated above, the law of 
1867, estabUshing the State Board of Charities, did pro- 
vide that it should inspect only institutions receiving 
State aid ; but the law of 1873 swept away that restriction, 
giving it power, in its discretion, to inspect others, and 
Article VIII of the Constitution of 1894, with the laws of 
1895 (Chapter 771) and of 1896 (Chapter 546) made it the 
duty of the Board to inspect all charitable institutions, 



for they provided that the State Board of Charities "shall 
visit and inspect all institutions, societies and associations, 
whether State, county, municipal, incorporated, or not 
incorporated, private or otherwise, which are of a chari- 
table, eleemosynary, reformatory, or correctional char- 
acter or design." 

Now, m the face of this expUcit statement of the con- 
stitution and the laws that the State Board of Charities 
shall visit and inspect all institutions coming under the 
above description. Judge O'Brien states, and Judges Parker, 
Gray and Bartlett concur, that 

"The powers of the board over charitable institutions 
originated in the abuses supposed to exist in the appro- 
priation and expenditure of public money for charitable 
purposes. . . . The charity with which the State is con- 
cerned . . . consists in the distribution of relief or public 
aid, the fruit of taxation levied aUke upon the willing and 
the unwilling. The right of visitation and regulation ap- 
plies only to those institutions, public or private, through 
which the State fulfils this function. They alone are 
within the reason of the law, and, consequently, within 
its scope and operation. One of the most familiar rules 
of statutory construction is that general words must be 
limited to the particular purpose or end which the law- 
makers had in view. They must be understood and ap- 
plied in the special sense in which they are used by legis- 
lators. What may be called governmental charity, or 
charity based upon pubhc taxation and administered by 
a system of statute law, is a very different thing from the 
charity that moved the good Samaritan and prompted the 
widow's mite. The pKjwer of visitation and regulation 
appUes to those institutions administering charity of the 



former kind, in whole or in part, but not to those volun- 
tarily engaged in some good work of the latter character. 
They are left by the State to manage their own affairs m 
their own way, or, at all events, are not within the juris- 
diction of the State Board of Charities. That jurisdiction 
can then be defined by the application of a very just 
and simple test. If the particular institution, whether 
public or private, receives public money for use or dis- 
tribution as charity, and not for some other reason and 
some other purpose, that institution is subject to visitation 
by the Board, but this system of State supervision does 
not extend to the efforts of private benevolence. That 
may flow in various channels not subject to State regula- 
tion, since the government is in no way concerned with 

Now, the opinion is quite correct, so far as the first 
sentence refers to the law of 1867 (Chapter 951) estabhsh- 
ing the State Board of Charities ; by that law the Board 
was empowered to visit and inspect only institutions re- 
ceiving State 'aid ; but what explanation is there of the 
fact that the decision is based on this law, which was in 
force only five years, and practicaUy ignores its amend- 
ment twenty-seven years ago, by the law of 1873 (Chapter 
571), empowermg the Board and its commissioners to visit 
aU institutions receiving State aid, or maintamed by 
municipalities or otherwise, and further ignores the 
Constitution of 1894 and the laws of 1895 (Chapter 771) 
and of 1896 (Chapter 546), making it the duty of the Board 
to visit all institutions, enumerating even those "not in- 
corporated," which certainly never received any State 
aid ? It is no light matter that the confidence of the 




public in the intelligence of the majority of the judges of 
its highest court should be put to such a test. 

Josephine Shaw Lowell. 
New York, January 22, 1900. 

Moral Deterioration Following War 

I cannot speak on this subject without making a dis- 
tinction between different kinds of wars. 

A war which requires personal sacrifice, a war which 
makes a whole people place patriotism and public duty 
above private comfort and ease, which forces men and 
women out of self-indulgent devotion to material wealth 
— such a war does not as a whole cause moral deterioration, 
but on the contrary moral development in a nation. 

Such a war was the Civil War in this country forty years 
ago, and yet even that war, fought for noble pm-poses, 
and lifting the nation in some ways to a much higher 
moral plane than it had ever reached before, even that 
war was the cause of moral deterioration in many individ- 
uals, and dishonesty and recklessness were without any 
doubt fostered by it among the people at large. 

But if that is unhappily true of a war in which the motives 
were to preserve the life of the nation and to free from 
slavery four million men and women, what, can be said of 
a war in which the nation makes no sacrifice, does not 
even feel the weight of added taxation, goes about its 
own selfish business and its own selfish pleasures exactly 
as if not in any sense responsible for the war ? Not only 
can no moral good come from such a war, but great moral 
evil must ensue. 



To our disgrace, it is in such a war that the people of the 
United States are now engaged in the Philippine Islands ; 
and I shall not ask you and the promoters of this meeting 
to excuse me for devoting the rest of my time to a con- 
sideration of this concrete instance of the "Moral Deteri- 
oration following War," because I believe it could not be 
more profitably spent. 

The history of the introduction of the United States to 
the Phihppine Islands is a disgraceful one. 

In April, 1898, Admiral Dewey was ordered to prepare 
to take Manila from the Spaniards, and our Consul at Hong 
Kong arranged with him that a young Fihpino named 
Emiho Aguinaldo, who had been at the head for one or 
two years of a revolutionary party in the PhiUppines fight- 
ing against Spain, but who at that time was resident in 
Hong Kong, should meet him for the purpose of securing 
Aguinaldo's help, and that of his former co-revolutionists 
against Spain. A friendly agreement was entered into by 
Admiral Dewey and Aguinaldo, whereby the latter was 
encouraged and aided in every way to raise and equip a 
Filipino army, and he soon had from fifteen to thirty 
thousand men assembled, who invested Manila on the land 
side, while the Navy of the United States besieged it from 
the harbor. A revolutionary government was proclaimed 
by Aguinaldo, who declared himself Dictator, but who also 
sent out orders all over the Philippine Archipelago to 
hold elections, the result of which was that a legislative 
body was soon assembled at Malolos, thirty miles from 
Manila ; and Aguinaldo was by this body elected President 
of the Filipino RepubUc, a Fihpino flag was raised and 





saluted by Dewey's vessels, and the Filipinos were filled with 
enthusiasm and with gratitude towards the United States. 
In December, 1898, however, the President of the United 
States proclaimed sovereignty over the PhiUppine Archi- 
pelago. This naturally aroused the anger of the Filipinos, 
who had been treasuring for six months or more the hope 
that the United States intended to help and protect their 
young republic against the attacks of other nations, and 
the feeling became more and more bitter, and finally cul- 
minated in a fight between the outposts of the two armies 
on February 4, 1899; and from that time the United 
States devoted itself to the task of crushing out what was 
called the insurrection of the Filipinos. 

That is, the United States having obtained a foothold 
in a foreign country by professing friendship for the in- 
habitants, calls those inhabitants rebels because the people 
resist the invasion and try to defend their country. We 
direct our army to crush out all resistance. The Filipino 
people prefer death to subjugation, saying, as did 
Patrick Henry, the American patriot, "Give me liberty or 
give me death." Our unhappy army set to do such an 
un-American, such a wicked task, tries to obey orders, be- 
comes gradually more and more cruel. I cannot do better 
than quote the account of President Schurman, who was 
himself a United States Commissioner there, of the 
gradual moral deterioration of our Army in the Philippines 
and its causes. 

[Then Mrs. Lowell quotes at considerable length from an 
article pubUshed in The Independent under the title 


"The Philippines Again," presumably by President 
Schurman, and continues : ] 

It is incredible that the American people should have 
been so ignorant and so careless in regard to the great 
wrong which has been done in their name ; but now at 
last we are awakening, we are beginning to realize the 
facts. The opposition in Congress, with the help of such 
liberty-loving Repubhcans (all honor to them !) as Senator 
Hoar of Massachusetts, Senator Wellington of Maryland, 
Mr. Littlefield of Maine, and Mr. McCall of Massachusetts 
are speaking again the words that seem natural to the 
men of our country. Now at last the question must be 
brought before the country at the next Congressional 
election ; and during the intervening six months every man 
and every woman who cares not only for the liberty of the 
Filipinos, but for the liberty of the United States of 
America, should, in season and out of season, press this 
vital matter upon the indifferent, until they must in self- 
defence think of it, and make up their minds about it. 
I said that the liberties of the United States are at stake 
equally with the Uberties of the Filipino people, for it is 
inevitable that should we willingly become the tjTants 
of these helpless millions, should we turn our backs so 
completely upon the principles which have made this 
country a world power, moulding and influencing the 
character of all the governments of the world during the 
past hundred and twenty-five years, as to make it possible 
for us to do such a thing, our moral deterioration would 
be so rapid, our conscience must become so hardened in the 



process, and our love of liberty so absolutely dead, that 
we should become fit subjects for a tyrauny ourselves. 
' There is no other nation upon whom so dire moral injury 
could be inflicted, for there is no other which has so pre- 
cious a heritage to lose. No other nation has ever laid 
down the principle that aU men are equal, or that 
governments derive their just powers from the governed, 
or that taxation without representation is tyranny' 
To Ignore these principles and deny them by their acts 
would not therefore scar the conscience of Englishmen 
Frenchmen or Germans, but it is impossible for us to do 
such things and preserve the moral quahties of which in 
past years we have been most proud. 

We should do well to remember the words of Abraham 
Lincoln m 1850, the man who as President twelve vears 
later freed four million slaves. In answer to an invita- 
tion to attend a celebration in honor of Jefferson, the 
author of the Declaration of Independence, the man who 
first said "All men are created equal," Mr. Lincoln 
wrote: "This is a world of compensations, and he who 
would be no slave must consent to have no slave. Those 
who deny freedom to others deserve it not for them- 
selves, and under a just God cannot long retain it 
All honor to Jefferson ; to the man who, in the concrete 
pressure of a struggle for national independence by a 
smgle people, had the coolness, forecast and capacity to 
mtroduce into a merely revolutionary document an 
abstract truth, appUcable to all men and all times, and so 
to embahn it there that today, and in all coming days, it 
shall be a rebuke and a stumbling block to the very har- 
bingers of reappearing tjTanny and oppression." 



Booker T. Washington * 

There is probably not an intelligent man or woman in 
the United States who does not know the name of Booker 
T. Washington ; but comparatively few of us know how 
great Mr. Washington really is, or how great is the service 
he is rendering to both blacks and whites. For the inter- 
ests of the two races are inextricably bound together. 
The ten millions of colored people are as truly and vitally 
a part of the nation as are any other ten million Americans ; 
if they suffer, it is the nation that suffers; if they are 
degraded, it is the nation that is degraded. 

The only sure cure for the evils that come through the 
brutal and degraded members of the negro race is their 
moral development, just as the only cure for the evils that 
come through the brutal and degraded members of every 
other race is that they shall be elevated morally. There- 
fore Mr. Washington is one of the greatest living bene- 
factors of our whole people, since his life is devoted to the 
moral elevation of thousands who are struggling against 
tremendous odds to grow into higher and nobler men and 
women, who in their turn will pass on to others the light 
they have received. 

Last spring in Virginia we heard an interesting account 
of the inevitable results of no education and of education 
among the colored people of that state. In one of the 
counties in the neighborhood of Richmond, the resident 
physician said he should soon move, as he feared for the 

1 August 20, 1903. 

Evidently an address to introduce Mr. Wash- 



safety of his family, the negroes were so lawless and 
vicious, — much deteriorated, he thought, since the aboli- 
tion of slavery. 

Replying to this Dr. Frissell, principal of Hampton, 
said that such were doubtless the facts in that particular 
county, for there had been but few schools in it, and very 
poor ones, but that he could show the doctor many coun- 
ties where exactly the opposite was true ; where the negroes 
had much improved since the aboUtion of slavery, and 
were decent law-abiding men and women, and good 
citizens, and naturally so, for in those counties they had 
had good schools, and, what was far more important, good 
industrial and agricultural training for the people. 

And this reminds me that we owe gratitude to Mr. 
Washington not only for his invaluable service to the cause 
of education in general, for he shares with General Arm- 
strong, who taught and inspired him, and whose shining 
example he is following, the credit of being among the first 
educators in this country to make industrial training an 
essential part of education. 

It is an interesting fact that we owe the practical 
demonstration of the value of industrial education, which is 
coming more and more to be considered as an indispensable 
part of the training of every child, to the efforts of these 
two great men to guide the bewildered freedmen up from 
slavery, and to fit them to be worthy citizens of the 

But I will keep you no longer. Mr. Washington has 
planned and created and controlled a great educational 
institution at Tuskegee in Alabama; but besides this 



stupendous labor he is obliged also to perform the more 
trying task of finding the money wherewith to maintain 
and extend it. In both these fields of work his wife is his 
worthy helpmate. 

Model Tenements for Widows with Small Children 

To the Editor of Charities :' 

I have often wondered that no one thought of building 
Mills Hotels for widows with small children. 

The hves of these women are peculiarly hard, in that 
they must perform the part of both father and mother, 
must support their children as well as care for them. 

A building provided with day nursery, kindergarten, 
restaurant and laundry, where widows could have their 
children with them at night, and leave them safe in the 
care of good nurses and teachers while they were out at 
work, would be an incalculable blessing. The women 
could probably pay at least enough to cover all expenses, 
while similar buildings for widowers with young children 
would no doubt be a good investment. 

Josephine Shaw Lowell. 

To the Editor of Charities : ^ 

The disapproval of my plan for helping widows in the 
care of their children expressed by your correspondent 
X. Y. Z. is doubtless due to my mistake in speaking of 
the proposed buildings as "Mills Hotels" instead of "Model 
Tenements," for I do not contemplate that the meals 
should be taken in common, or that anything approaching 
an institution should be established. 

On the contrary, my idea is that each widow should hu-e 
from one to three rooms for herself and her children, which 

Charities, May 3, 1902. 

2 Charities, May 24, 1902. 



should be as truly their own home as the rooms in any ordi- 
nary tenement house, but that she should have the follow- 
ing advantages : (1) That, when she goes out to work she 
should be able to place her children in a day nursery or 
kindergarten in the house, instead of being obliged to carry 
them to one four or five blocks away. (2) That, before go- 
ing and on returning from work, and on Sundays, she should 
be able to buy the family meals from the common kitchen, 
instead of having to cook them. (3) That she should also 
be able to have her washing done at the common laundry, 
instead of taxing her own small strength to do it. 

A widow in such a Model Tenement would thus be with 
her children when she is not obhged to be absent earning 
their support, and she would have the necessary assistance 
in her home duties, which no working woman can ade- 
quately perform without entirely overtaxing her strength. 
The strain put upon widows who support their children is 
more than human beings should be required to bear. 

Josephine Shaw Lowell. 

Work for Civil Service Reform 

On Thanksgiving Day, 1856, George William Curtis/ 
who had the year before dehghted American readers with 
his "Prue and I," and was then in his thirty-third year, 
married Anna Shaw and went to live with the Shaws at 
their residence on Staten Island. At that time, Effie, as 
Josephine was called by her [family and intimate friends, 
was thirteen. The influence of Curtis' personaUty upon 
the expanding mind of his Uttle sister-in-law was far-reach- 
ing. Sensitive, intelligent, energetic, and patriotic by 
nature, she must have been stimulated in her mental 
growth by intimate association with one of the most 
cultivated and useful public men of his generation. 
Too much stress cannot be laid, in estimating the causes 
which produced the wonderful woman Mrs. Lowell after- 
wards became, upon the influence of her brother-in-law; 
she must literally have sat at his feet. In the diary 

>For many of the facts relating to George William Curtis I am 
indebted to Ma life by Edward Gary, published in 1894 in the series 
of "American Men of Letters.", 




which she kept in 1861 and 1862, she mentions that George 
read his paper aloud, and that it was "splendid." 

Mr. Curtis went as a supporter of the candidacy for the 
presidential nomination of Governor Seward to the 
Repubhcan National Convention of 1860 which nomi- 
nated Lincoln. Wiien the Civil War broke out, he de- 
voted his time and thought to the cause of the Union in 
the press, and in 1863, when the war was half fought, be- 
came editor of Harper's Weekly, and continued in control 
of the editorial policy of that influential paper until his 
death in 1892. During all the years of his direction of 
that journal, he resided near the Shaws on Staten Island. 
How much pleasure and instruction Mrs. Lowell, who 
married the same year Mr. Curtis' long editorship began, 
and retained her residence with her father's family, must 
have derived from hearing the policies of Harper's famil- 
iarly discussed at the fireside at that critical period of 
our history ! No wonder that in later years it was easy 
for her to write to the press on public questions and to 
feel at home in the company of newspaper men, many of 
whom she numbered among her friends. 

Mr. Cary, in his life of Curtis, already mentioned, gives 
two quotations from his letters which make touching 
wartime mention of relatives and friends referred to in 
Josephine Shaw's diary. 

20 April, 1861. 
Anna and the baby are perfectly well. Her brother 
Rob and my brother Sam marched yesterday with their 
regiment, the 7th, both the Winthrops, Philip Schuyler, 
and the flower of the youth of the city. 





April, 1865. 
Here upon the mantel are the portraits of the three 
boys who went out of this room, my brother, Theodore 
Winthrop and Robbie Shaw. They are all dead, the 
brave darlings, and now I put the head of the dear Chief 
among them. I feel that every drop of my blood, and 
thought of my mind, and affection of my heart, is conse- 
crated to secure the work made holy, and forever impera- 
tive, by so untold a sacrifice. May God keep us all as 
true as they were ! , 

The war over, other questions than those of uaiion or 
disunion, freedom or slavery, now forever settled, began 
to engross the attention of the people. Among these 
was civil service reform, in advocating which Mr. Curtis 
with voice and pen became a leader. He attacked the 
evils of the apoUs system, and organized a crusade which 
assumed national importance for the establishment in 
our public service of as high a standard as was already 
attained in England. Under the provisions of a clause 
of the Sundry Civil Appropriation Act of March 3, 1871, 
President Grant was authorized to appoint a commission 
to inquire what rules and regulations for admission to 
the public service which the President could enforce under 
existing laws would best promote its efficiency. The 
President nominated Mr. Curtis to membership in this 
commission of seven, on March 4, 1871. He accepted 
the nomination, and was at once made Chairman. "Mr. 
Curtis' real object in undertaking this work," says Mr. 
Gary, "was the abolition of the spoils system, abuses 
under which he had already been studying for several 




In the first report of this comniission, submitted Decem- 
ber 18, 1871, Mr. Curtis said : "In obedience to this sys- 
tem, the whole machinery of the government is pulled to 
pieces every four years," and that the object of the com- 
mission was "to drive poUticsout of the civil service and 
to drive patronage out of politics." The commission sub- 
mitted, and the President approved, the rules for com- 
petitive examinations, and completed its work with 
their promulgation April 16, 1872. ^ 

Mr. Curtis was a born reformer, and his abilities as a 
leader were always recognized. When the New York Civil 
Service Reform Association was organized in 1880, he was 
elected President, a position which he held until his death, 
and in 1881, he was, by conunon consent, chosen the first 
President of the National Civil Service Reform League. 
So engrossed did he become in the promotion of this reform, 
and his other public educational work, that during the 
administration of President Hayes he twice declined the 
coveted honor of representing his country at the Court 
of St. James. "I have been told," said Mr. E. S. Nadal, 
in an article on "Our Representatives in London," ^ "that 
he declined solely because he did not wish to relinquish the 
work he was doing at home." His interest in the reform 
of the civil service was sustained without interruption 
until his death in 1892 at his Staten Island home. 

Not long after the assassination of President Garfield 
by a disappointed spoils seeker, enraged because of a 
question of party patronage, a bill for the reform of the 
civil service, which had been introduced by Senator 

' Century Magazine, July, 1909. 


George H. Pendleton of Ohio, was passed by Congress, 
and signed by President Arthur, January 16, 1883. All 
appointments to the national civil service were made 
subject to the provisions of this bill, which became opera- 
tive July 16, 1883. Curtis and his allied reformers had 
won a notable victory. 

Among Mrs. Lowell's papers there are a few letters 
which relate to the subject of civil service reform. The 
following extract from one dated January 7, 1883, addressed 
to her sister-in law, Mrs. Robert Gould Shaw, refers to the 
first election of President Cleveland, a friend of the re- 
form : 

Deab Annie : 

Two months today since we lost Papa, and two months 
since the wonderful election which would have so delighted 
him, if he could only have known of it. He was intensely 
interested in the reform movement, and one of the last 
things he said on Monday was that he wanted to see the 
Post, " to find out what the probabihties of the election 
were." You know how it went — a perfect revolution, and 
the result has been most wonderful. The Civil Service 
Reform bill which George and his Association prepared and 
have been working for for a year, and which was sneered 
at and laughed at last winter, has now been passed by the 
very same Congress by great majorities in both Houses ! 
It is a wonderful triumph, and Father would have been 
perfectly dehghted with it. Poor Garfield's death has 
had a wonderful effect in opening people's eyes — if he 
had lived, we never should have got on so fast. 

Other work occupied Mrs. Lowell's busy days, and it 
was not until 1894 that she gave active attention to this 




subject. In that year, Carl Schurz, who succeeded 
Mr. Curtis as President of the Civil Service Reform Asso- 
ciation of New York State, called on Mrs. Lowell and in- 
duced her to form a Women's Auxiliary to the Association. 
The meeting for organization was held on Mrs. Lowell's 
call in May, 1895, at the residence of Bishop Henry C. 
Potter, 10 Washington Square. Mrs. William H. Schieffe- 
lin, President of the Auxiliary, says that Mrs. Lowell re- 
fused an election as President, giving the reason that peo- 
ple were tired of seeing her name in print. She consented, 
however, to serve as Vice President, and was also Chairman 
of the Executive Committee. Mrs. Lowell's pen was busily 
engaged for the Auxiliary in its formative period; she 
framed the constitution, and in 1900 she suggested the 
plan of holding annual competitions for prizes for essays 
on civil service reform subjects, restricted to the women 
members of the clubs in the State Federations, or in the 
general Federation in states having no State Federations. 
The papers for the first three annual competitions — those 
of 1901, 1902, and 1903 — were prepared by Mrs. Lowell, 
and the essays were sent to her. The judges of the first 
competition were Charles J. Bonaparte of Baltimore, Lu- 
cius B. Swift of Indianapolis, and Mrs. Lowell. The 
winner of the first prize on this occasion, one hundred 
dollars in cash, was Marion Couthouy Smith, of the 
Women's Club of Orange, New Jersey. 

The second competition, which was open to women at 
large, was judged in 1902 by George McAneny, Mrs. 
Lowell, and Miss A. J. Perkins. The winner, Annie 
Jackson Evans, belonged to the New York Branch of 

the Association of Collegiate Alumnje. Pupils of the 
New York and Brooklyn public high schools contended 
for the prizes offered in the third competition held in 1903, 
in which the winner was Joseph H. Kohan, student in the 
Commercial High School of Brooklyn, who shortly after- 
wards won a scholarship in Harvard University. The 
prize essays are published in pamphlet form by the Auxili- 
ary, and the annual competitions are still held. 

A seal for the Women's Auxiliary was designed by Miss 
Frances Grimes, a pupil of Saint Gaudens, according to 
suggestions made by Mrs. Lowell, who also chose the 
motto, "The best shall serve the State." This seal 
reduced in size, is used on the paper of the Women's 
Auxiliary, and medals of gold, silver, and bronze have 
been struck to be given as prizes for essays on topics of 
government administration. It appears at the head of 
this chapter. 

The cause of civil service reform was also advanced by 
Mrs. Lowell through her membership in the New York 
State Federation of Women's Clubs. In 1900, at her 
suggestion, a committee of five was appointed to study 
the subject and report ways in which individual clubs 
might further the reform. This was afterwards consti- 
tuted a standing committee of the Federation under Mrs. 
Lowell's chairmanship. She wrote the reports of this 
committee for the years 1903 and 1904, and herself pre- 
sented and read the first of these at the annual meeting 
held in Utica. Both these reports were published in 
pamphlet form. The close of 1904 found Mrs. Lowell still 
at work for this cause in the Federation. 




So much for details ; but Mrs. Lowell's larger work was 
the preparation of a series of papers under different titles 
on the evils of the spoils system, and the urgent need of 
the general adoption of civil service regulations in this 
country, which she read at mass meetings, or other public 
gatherings, both in New York and other states. A list of 
all known to me is given in the index ; some of the more 
important are, in whole or in part, included in this chapter. 
All were written within the decade 1896-1905. In the 
selection of the papers here published, I have had the 
benefit of the advice of Hon. George McAneny,* for many 
years a leader in the reform. 

Of the paper entitled "The Reform of the Civil Service 
and the Spoils System," Mr. McAneny writes : "The first 
in the series, which bears the date of December 30, 1896, 
and which, I believe, was given as the concluding number 
in a course of papers on Civil Service Reform at the Berke- 
ley Lyceum, I regard as one of the best presentations of 
the theory of the reform that has ever been given anywhere. 
The other lecturers in that Lyceum course, I remember, 
were Theodore Roosevelt, Charles J. Bonaparte, Richard 
Henry Dana, John R. Proctor, then United States Civil 
Service Commissioner, Herbert Welsh, and myself." 

The last paper Mrs. Lowell ever wrote was her report as 
Chairman of the Committee on Civil Service Reform, of 
the New York State Federation of Women's Clubs, finished 
shortly before her death, and presented in her behalf 
two weeks after she had passed away, by Miss Miriam 

' President of the Borough of Manhattan of the City of New York, 


Mason Greeley, at the Eleventh Annual Meeting held 
October 30-November 3, 1905. So dear wa^ the cause 
of the reform to Mrs. Lowell, that as she lay on her death- 
bed, she wrote in pencil on a pad the names of women she 
hoped might be persuaded to join the Women's Auxiliary. 
This list was found afterward, and because of it nearly 
all whose names it bore joined the Auxiliary. 

The Refobm of the Civil Service and the Spoils 

System > 

^ The Civil Service is defined in the dictionary to mean 
"the body of persons in the pay of the State, as distin- 
guished from the naval and miUtary services." 

The reform of the Civil Service, then, is a very com- 
prehensive reform, smce it must include the reform of 
the whole machinery of the United States Government 
besides that of all the State Governments, and the hun- 
dreds of City and County Governments of the country, in 
which are employed approximately six hundred thousand 
persons, as follows : 

In the United States Government, two hundred thou- 
sand. In the State, City and County Governments, about 
four hundred thousand. 

That the Civil Service Reform Association recognized 
that they were aiming at a fundamental reform is proved 
by the language of the second article of their Constitution, 
in which it is stated that "The object of the Association 

' A paper read to the Women's Auxiliary of the Civil Service Reform 
Association and the League for PoUtical Education, December 30 1896 
and published in pamphlet form. 




shall be to establish a system of appointment, promotion, 
and removal in the Civil Service, founded on the principle 
that pubhc office is a public trust, admission to which 
should depend upon proven fitness, and the Association 
will advocate all other appropriate measures for securing 
integrity, inteUigence, efficiency, good order, and due 
discipline in the Civil Service." 

But why, an innocent person might naturally ask, should 
it have been necessary in 1S77, nearly one hundred years 
after the United States Government had been founded by 
some of the best and greatest men the world ever saw, — 
why should it have been necessary for a few private citizens 
to form an association to secure integrity, inteUigence, 
efficiency, good order, and due discipline in the Civil 
Service of this country, when these qualities would seem 
to be a matter of course, or at least would seem to be the 
first business of the men elected to the control of the 
Federal, State, and City Governments ; for how could any 
of the ends for which these governments were established 
and carried on be attained, without integrity, intelligence, 
efficiency, good order, and due discipline? Or again, 
why should the Civil Service need to be reformed any more 
than the Naval and Military Service? 

To answer the last question first. The Naval and 
Military' Services were protected from the deterioration 
which befell the Civil Service by the fact thatasevere train- 
ing was required at the West Point and AnnapoUs Acad- 
emies before an appointment could be received ; and con- 
sequently we never had in our army or navy the condition 
described by Macaulay as existing in the English Navy 

under Charles II. He says that at that time high naval 
commands were distributed "among landsmen who, even 
on land, could not safely have been put in any important 
trust. Any lad of noble birth, any dissolute courtier for 
whom one of the King's mistresses might speak a word, 
might hope that a ship of the line, and with it the honor 
of the country, and the lives of hundreds of brave men, 
would be conamitted to his care. It mattered not that 
he had never in his life taken a voyage, that he could 
not keep his feet in a breeze, that he did not know the dif- 
ference between latitude and longitude." And Macaulay 
adds: "The same interest which had placed him in a 
post for which he was unfit, maintained him there." 

The answer to the first question is a much longer one. 
The same corrupt condition which Macaulay describes 
as existing in the Navy existed also in the Civil Service in 
England at that time, and for many years later, and it was 
by no means a new evil in that country or elsewhere ; on 
the contrary, it was one of the very oldest. The use of 
the public offices for the benefit, not of the people, but 
of the Emperor, King, Duke, or tor the benefit of whoever 
had the power to use them to strengthen himself and 
his party, was the common way in which tyranny ex- 
hibited itself, or rather it was the very essence of tyranny. 
" L'etat, c'est moi," meant indeed that there were no public 
offices at all, but that they all were the private property 
of the King, and that the people, although they had to pay 
taxes to support the officers appointed at the King's 
pleasure, had no authority or right in regard to them. 

The foxmders of otir RepubUc knew this ; they knew 





that all the nations of history had suffered from oppression, 

from extortion, and from manifold other evils resulting 

from the abuse of the appointing power by their rulers, 

but they provided no safeguards against this abuse because 

unfortunately, they ascribed it, not to human nature, weak 

when exposed to the temptations of power, but to the 

monarchical and aristocratic form of government, and 

they believed that a government that was democratic even 

to so limited an extent as the one they established would 

be protected against these especial evils by its very form. 

Madison said in Congress, during General Washington's 

administration, that any president who should remove a 

competent officer for political reasons would be impeached. 

The Fathers of the Repubhc were sure that the people 

would guard their own interests when they had the power 

to do so. They overlooked the fact that private interests 

in contest with public interests are apt to conquer, because 

they are supported by concentrated and individual effort, 

while the efforts opposed to them are apt to be scattered 

and far less intense. 

For this reason they failed in the Constitution to protect 
the new government from the old evils ; and the old evils 
crept in and assumed even exactly the old shapes so well 
known in history. 

For the spoils system -so well known, alas, to us also, 
is only the old tyranny, with the party put in place of the 

Spoilsmen repeat Louis XIV's assertion, but instead 
of saying "L'etat, c'est moi," they say, "To the victors 
belong the spoils." In each case the people, who pay the 

taxes, are ignored, and the offices are used for the benefit, 
not of the people, but of individuals and factions. In the 
old times and in the old countries the individuals benefited 
used to be the King and his favorites, while in these new 
times and in this new countrj', it is the party in power 
and its favorites who are benefited, and therefore, the evU 
is far greater ; for whereas the corruption used to be con- 
fined to a small nimiber of men closely connected with the 
King, with us it has eaten into the character of the people 
itself. There wei'e, comparatively, only a few persons in 
a monarchy who felt the fatal effects of the bribery of 
pubUc office, for it was only a few who had any chance 
of being rewarded for unworthy political work by an ap- 
pointment, but here, in both parties, the men who will 
serve the party without conscience may all hope at least 
for the reward, and the moral evil is proportionately more 

Of the many evils which follow the adoption of the spoils 
system I will enumerate only a few. It demoralizes the 
whole mass of the people by teaching them that honest 
work and conscientious devotion to duty are not the road 
to success in the United States; it degrades the public 
oflScers themselves, who, whether honest and conscientious 
or not, have to depend on the personal and poUtical favor 
of this or that person to retain their offices; it causes 
inefficiency and extravagance in the service, because of 
the changes of officers consequent upon the "clean sweep" 
which follows a change of administration ; it brings dis- 
grace and loss to the nation abroad by reason of the ap- 
pointment of men as consuls, and even as foreign ministers, 

\ :' 



not because they are fitted to fill the honorable places into 
which they are forced, but because they have proved them- 
selves adroit political managers and wire-pullers, or, in 
other words, have proved themselves unfit to fill any 
public place ; and it creates a fearful danger to the liber- 
ties of the people at home because of the encroachments 
made possible by the action of venal legislative bodies 
bribed to betray the people by corrupt combinations 
of capital, the election of such men to our legislative 
bodies being made possible by the use of offices as party 

At first, so far as regarded the Federal service, the 
founders of the Republic seemed justified in their hopes. 
For more than a generation the government of the United 
States was probably the purest that had ever been known ; 
only fit men were appointed to office, and no one was 
removed for political or personal reasons, but during all 
that time the poison of the spoils system, nurtured by 
Aaron Burr and Tammany Hall, was at work in this 
unhappy State, which has been politically corrupt almost 
from the moment of its birth ; and finally the fatal virus 
spread to the nation itself. That the beginnings of danger 
were recognized is amply proved by the warning voices 
that were raised, long before the evils themselves had 
assumed any very great proportions. 

From many I select only two. In 1832 Van Buren's 
nomination as Minister to England was opposed by Web- 
ster, Calhoun and Clay, because of his attempts to per- 
suade the President to adopt the " New York system of 
party removals." 



"It is a detestable system," cried Henry Clay, "drawn 
from the worst periods of the Roman Repubhc, and if it 
were to be perpetuated, if the offices, honors, and 
dignities of the people were to be put up to a scramble, 
and to be decided by the results of every Presidential 
election, our govermnent and institutions, becoming 
intolerable, would finally end in a despotism as inexorable 
as that of Constantinople." 

In 1840 Horace Bushnell said : 

"Only conceive such a lure held out to this great peo- 
ple, and all the little offices of the Government thus set 
up for the price of victory, without regard to merit or 
anything but party service, and you have a spectacle of 
baseness and rapacity such as was never seen before. No 
preaching of the Gospel in our land, no parental disci- 
pline, no schools, not all the machinery of virtue together, 
can long be a match for the corrupting power of our po- 
litical strifes, actuated by such a law as this. It would 
make us a nation of apostates at the foot of Sinai. . . •" 

What is the remedy? The disease is plain. How can 
it be cured? First by the reform of the whole Civil 
Service ; by the destruction of the great bribery fund, 
consisting of the salaries of the six hundred thousand 
offices, amounting to at least three hundred milUon dollars, 
which, for three generations, has been used to corrupt our 
people ; the removal from the domain of poUtics of these 
six hundred thousand offices, from heads of departments 
in the United States Government to the woman who cleans 
the station house in a country village ; the honest and 
energetic enforcement of the principle that a pubUc 
officer is appointed to do public work, and that, so long 

\ .tii 

ill! li 

!'(' 1 

i' ■ '5 i 



as he does that work well, the public will keep him in his 
place ; that is, by the substitution of the "Merit System" 
for the "Spoils System." 

This is being slowly carried out by the passage and en- 
forcement of United States and State laws, requiring that 
appointments to subordinate executive offices shall be 
made from persons whose fitness has been ascertained by 
competitive examinations open to all applicants properly 
qualified. But it sometimes seems as if this Civil Service 
Reform, this simple device of guarding the entrance to 
the public service by examinations, were a very inefficient 
and a very inadequate weapon for accomplishing the great 
reforms which must be accomphshed if the honor of our 
country, if the morality of our country and of our in- 
dividual citizens are to be saved. 

But as the evil came about through the misuse of the 
petty offices as a means of bribing men to support this or 
that candidate or party, so the beginning of the rooting 
out of the evil must be in rescuing the petty offices from 
this misuse. We must then turn to the Civil Service 
laws, whether Federal or State, to make the beginning 
of reform ; and the way in wliich these laws are carried 
into practice is the following : 

A central body, called the Federal, or the State, or the 
City Civil Service Commission, as the case may be, has 
the direction and control of the applications and examina- 
tions of candidates for positions in the Civil Service, or in 
that part of it which has been classified, as the term is, 
that is, which has been brought under the law ; but this 
body has nothing whatever to do with appointments. 


It receives the applications of those desiring to enter an 
examination, and requires that these applications shall be 
accompanied by the written reconmiendation of three or 
four reputable persons who know the applicant ; and if 
these are satisfactoiy, he or she is summoned to take part 
in the competitive examination of candidates for the posi- 
tion sought. This examination is in writing, and is care- 
fully prepared to show the general attainments of the com- 
petitors, and in each case also to show his or her especial 
fitness for the particular position in question. The names 
of candidates are not known to the examiners who mark 
the papers; and from these marks an eligible list is 
made up, the candidates' names appearing upon it in the 
order of their standing. The Conmiission also makes 
private inquiries of the references concerning the appUcant 
and whatever further character investigation seems to 
be necessary, and if anything transpires during this 
character investigation to show that the appUcant is in- 
eligible for the position he seeks, he is not put on the list. 
When the head of any department wants to fill a vacancy 
or vacancies, he sends to the Civil Service Commission 
for names, stating how many vacancies there are ; the rule 
as to the number of names to be sent in for each vacancy 
differs in the diflferent services, but in this city there are 
two extra names sent in ; that is, three for one vacancy, 
four for two, five for three, etc., to allow the appointing 
officer some latitude of selection. 

The men appointed under the Civil Service law are re- 
ceived on probation only for six months, as it is recognized 
that a man might pass a good examination and yet not 



be practically a good officer. No one, therefore, is finally 
appointed, until he has proved his fitness by a six months' 

You will see that this system is a very good one, if 
honestly carried out, and that the separation of the ex- 
amining from the appointing power tends to secure honesty, 
for in order that dishonest appointments shall be made it 
is necessary that there be collusion between the examin- 
ing department and the other departments of the govern- 
ment. Nevertheless, during several years of Tammany 
rule in this city, notwithstanding the fact that we had 
a Civil Service Commission with some reputable men as 
commissioners ; notwithstanding the fact that competitive 
examinations were held and that nominally the Civil Ser- 
vice law was carried out, and appointments were made 
from the names appearing on the eligible lists furnished 
to the heads of departments by the Civil Service Com- 
mission ; yet the whole system was rotten and the heads 
of departments "got the men they wanted," and every- 
body knew it. 

No system is good if dishonestly applied; and unless 
competitive examinations are open to all and are fairly 
held, and unless the men who pass the highest receive 
the appointments, the whole system is, of course, a 
sham, and adds hj^ocrisy to the other evils of the spoils 

What we want then, is, first, a real reform of the Civil 
Service, an honest system, honestly carried out. We 
want ovu- Civil Service, National, State, and Municipal, to 
be filled by men who have been tested by competitive 


examinations and by a probationary period of service, 
and from whose appointments all question of personal or 
party favor has been absolutely eliminated. 

But this is not enough. The evil originated with politi- 
cal corruption, but it has not stopped there ; in the nature 
of tilings it could not. A nation which for three genera- 
tions has acquiesced in a system of dishonest appoint- 
ments to public office, in dishonest work of public officers, 
in dishonest removals fi-om public office, could not remain 
honest in other relations ; the poison has worked into the 
very thoughts and into the very life of our people. We are 
a dishonest nation. We do not do honest work anywhere. 
You will find, if you look around you, that, even in private 
corporations, influence is beheved to be more potent 
than good work to ensure promotion and advancement of 
salary. I was asked only last week to write in behalf of 
a hard-working employee to the directors of the corpora- 
tion in which he had been employed for ten or fifteen 
years to ask for an increase of salary, and I was told that 
only influence could secure it. 

No, we cannot expect any thorough reform in this coun- 
try until the present generation has died off, and another 
has grown up under an honest systen of public work, a 
generation which believes in honesty because it sees it, 
which this generation never has. 

Our Street Cleaning Commissioner is giving us daily a 
lesson in honest work, and the fact that the men who 
are now cleaning our streets and making Eleventh Avenue 
and First Avenue and the tenement house streets, which 
used to hold festering heaps of rotten refuse all winter 



long, cleaner than Fifth Avenue and Broadway,— that 
these street-sweepers are the very same men, most of 
them, who used to stand round our filthy streets leaning, 
on their brooms, shows what can be effected by a change of 

In the old times those men were not appointed to work 
at street cleaning, but at dirty politics, and they knew it, 
and every man and boy in the city knew it, and the fact 
that they received their wages from the public funds for 
street cleaning affected no one. Of course they did the 
work they were appointed to do, not the work they were 
paid to do. But now they know they are retained ta 
clean the streets, and that if they do not clean the streets 
they will go, and therefore they do the work for which the 
public pays them ; and again, every man and boy in the 
city know.s this, and, as I say, the difference in the moral 
effect is immense. 

And now, how can women help in destroying the evils of 
which we have been hearing, and how can we help to 
bring in an honest, fair enforcement of our national and 
state civil service laws, and thereby regenerate our 
people? The duty which lies nearest to our hands just 
now is the salvation of our own city. And there are two 
sides to the duty. One is to save the city from the bad 
government that threatens it, and the other to help to 
secure a good government for it. 

To save the city from bad government is simply t» 
keep out of power the men, whether Tammany's men or 
Piatt's men, who want the oflSces for selfish purposes.. 
If we consider how Tammany Hall gained its power,. 


and why it wanted its power, this will show us also how 
that power can be entirelj' destroyed. 

Tammany Hall is a corporation which wants to hold the 
control of the New York City Government, not to serve 
the people of the city, not to give the city clean streets, 
pure water, efficient protection for life and property, 
smooth pavements, beautiful parks, or any other thing 
that it is necessary for the people to have, but because the 
yearly expenditure of the city for these and other purposes 
is more than forty million dollars. If Tammany Plall 
and the Republicans who have exactly the same desire can 
be prevented from getting possession of this forty million 
dollars a year to spend in strengthening themselves, they 
will, they must, cease in time to be dangerous, for they 
have no other way of keeping a following except the actual 
possession of the offices, or the hope that they will soon 
regain them. They are not like a political party which 
has principles and objects, to attract men to its standard ; 
to succeed is their only object, and if they fail often 
enough, they must break asunder and scatter. 

What, then, can each of us do to help to keep them out ? 

First, we must want to keep them out. 

Second, we must have faith that the right must, 

Third, we must speak the truth about them. 

But, as I have said, besides sa\ing the city from a bad 
government, oiu* duty is to try to secure for it a good 
government. The people need all sorts of things, ma- 
terial, moral and spiritual, but they need a good system 
of government as the first condition towards obtaining 



these things. We need such governments as many 
foreign cities have, where the best men are put at the 
head of each department and kept there. We want no 
two years' terms nor four years' terras to upset and de- 
morahze the business of the great city at regular intervals. 
We want common sense, common honesty and high civic 
patriotism in our city government, and we want, on the 
part of the people, the recognition that it is their duty to 
demand these qualities from those they put in power. . . . 

Civil Service Reform and Public Charity' 

I beheve that of all the pubhc ojffiicers elected in our 
State, the Superintendents of the Poor are the least tram- 
melled by poUtical pledges, and the least controlled by 
political considerations in their actions. The people of 
the counties cannot help recognizing that a man to whom 
is entrusted the welfare of hundreds of pecuUarly helpless 
fellow-creatures should have at least a certain fitness for 
his position, and they therefore as a rule choose men who, 
although in the dominant party, are not party slaves, and 
sometimes they even go so far as to entirely disregard 
party in the choice of the man most fit. But unhappily it 
is not common to disregard party considerations, even in 
the election of Superintendents of the Poor. 

The people of the State of New York have so long 
been accustomed to the ownership of the public officers 
by whichever political party happens to be in power, or 
even to their ownership by a particular member of the 

' Digest of paper sent June 29, 1897, to Convention of Superin- ' 
tendents of the Poor of New York State. 


successful party, that they have lost all sense of the actual 
wrong and dishonesty of such a condition of things, and 
also of the absurdity. 

That the public officers, appointed to the public 
work, and paid by the public money, should not be the 
servants of the pubhc, but should be the slaves of a 
small number of persons, and sometimes of one person, 
who can force them for their own ends to neglect 
the pubhc work, seems natural enough in Russia, 
where the people are themselves almost slaves, but it is 
most unnatural in the State of New York, where the people 
think that they are free and that they govern them- 

Civil Service Reform is the rescuing of the public 
ofiicers from this unnatural control, placing them at the 
service of the people at large, and requiring them on pain 
of instant dismissal to do the work for which they are 
paid. . . . 

Our State charitable institutions have, for many years 
at least, been kept out of politics. We have never de- 
scended as a state to the depth of mean dishonesty 
which has been reached in too many of the other states of 
the Union, of sacrificing the insane, the idiotic, the deaf and 
dumb, and the bhnd, who are wards of the State, to the 
demands of party politicians. . . . Our State Board 
of Charities, also, has been always free from political 
influence, and here again we have been far more fortu- 
nate than many of our sister states. But we all know 
that this cannot be said of most of our county and city 
charities, nor of our jails and prisons. . . . 



Civil Service Reformers ask that political opinions 
of local officers, whether elected or appointed, shall be 
ignored, and that they shall be chosen only because they 
are fitted to discharge the duties of the places they seek. 
And certainly nothing can be more reasonable, especially 
as regards Poor Law officers ; for what can politics have to 
do with the proper care of paupers, whether in or out of 
institutions? . . . There is no peculiarly protectionist 
method of caring for dependent children, no especially 
free-trade way of giving outdoor relief, no gold or silver 
plan for treating the evils of vagrancy, and therefore it is 
wrong to admit the consideration of these great questions 
when officers are to be elected whose special and only 
duty it is to attend to these and other local matters, be- 
cause it will inevitably lead the voters to disregard the 
qualifications which are needed in these important posi- 
tions. . . . 

There should be two objects, and only two, in the 
mind of every officer connected with the administration of 
public relief. 

First : To diminish the burden laid upon the pubhc, by 
such wise economy as will result in preventing any increase 
in the number of persons to be supported by the commu- 
nity, either in or out of institutions— that is, to prevent 

Second : To deal with each individual man, woman and 
child who is brought under his care so that their physical, 
mental and moral condition shall be improved, in order that 
if possible they may be lifted out of the dependency in 
which they are — that is, to cure pauperism. 


These two objects cannot be attained except by 
officers who possess a certain degree of intelligence and 
public spirit to begin with, and who are ready to study 
the history of the administration of public relief, and to 
learn from the experience of others, and their own experi- 
ence ; and it makes no difference whether they are Repub- 
hcans, Democrats, Populists, or Prohibitionists. . . . 

The only questions considered should be as to the charac- 
ter, intelligence and knowledge of the candidates, and in 
the case of Superintendents and Overseers of the Poor, 
they should be asked also what they intend to do with the 
dependent children, the tramps, the people in the alms- 
houses and the applicants for outdoor relief. 

There are methods of dealing with all these people 
which will double and treble and quadruple their numbers, 
or in other words, which will entice four times as many 
persons as need be into the degradation of pauperism, 
and keep them in misery, and crush the hard-working tax- 
payers by the burden of their support ; and there are other 
methods which will free these unhappy victims from the 
bonds of dependence, and make them independent and 
happy, while at the same time the public is also relieved 
of their support. ... Any community which allows 
part of its people to be tempted into the ranks of pauperism 
and the rest to be burdened by unnecessary taxes for the 
support of pauperism has itself to blame, because it does 
not choose to apply the principles of Civil Service Reform 
to the administration of its public charities and leave poli- 
tics out of consideration in matters with which politics 
have not the slightest concern. 



The Ethics of Civil Sekvice Reform » 

There are three different ways in which the ethics or 
moral aspect of Civil Service Reform must be considered. 
First, as regards the community, the city, the state, or 
the nation, as the case may be, in its character of 
employer ; second, as regards the community as composed 
of possible office holders, and third, as regards the indi- 
vidual office holder. . . . 

The reason we in the United States require only to re- 
form our civil service and not also our military and naval 
services, as was necessary in England, is that we started the 
two latter in the beginning upon the plan which was right ; 
and in fact the object of Civil Service Reform is to apply 
in the civil service the very same plan which has worked 
so admirably in the Army and the Navy. 

That plan is simply to select good material from which 
to make officers of the Army and Navy, to train them 
especially for the work the pubhc wishes them to do, to 
treat them honorably while they are in the service, and to 
expect them to behave honorably, and to give them every 
motive for honorable conduct, and to see that they do not 
starve when too old for further public work. This system 
has given us the men who have brought glory to the name 
of the United States duringour late war ; and if we had the 
same system in the ci^il service, we should have exactly 
the same kind of men in the civil offices, and we should be as 
proud of them as we now are of our Army and Navy heroes. 

■ Summary of address delivered in 1898, at the Broadway Taber- 
nacle, and believed to be unpublished. 


Now as regards the ethical aspect of the question. 
There is no doubt that it would be good policy if we could 
get such men into all the civil offices of the United States, 
and of the states, counties and cities. Is it equally 
clear that it is dishonest and wrong not to have them ? 
It seems to me still more clear. The public offices 
belong actually to the people as a whole, because they 
pay the taxes from which are paid the salaries of these 
public officers, and it is due to the people that the 
work of these officers should be well done, and that 
the money which they pay should not be wasted. 
When the work is badly done and when the money 
of the people is wasted, the people are defrauded. . . . 
But it is an acknowledged fact, known to us all, that, 
as a rule, our public work is not so well done as pri- 
vate work ; that, with the rarest exceptions, we do not 
succeed in filling our offices with our best men ; and that, 
unhappily, we often do get very inefficient men and some- 
times very dishonest men into some of them. . . . 

Politics has a great deal to do with the choice of the in- 
dividual to fill an office. When a man is wanted, say for 
clerk in a public office, instead of finding the best man 
who can be persuaded to take the place, it is given to some 
one who has been out of work for a long time, some one 
who has been active as a politician, some one whom no 
private employer would take ; and thus the public work 
is badly done and the public money is wasted. . . . This 
man rehes more on his political influence to keep him in 
office than on his efficiency and industry ; his place is 
insecure, and he enjoys it while he has it, and works for 



his boss, on whom Ms welfare depends, and not for the 
people who pay his salary. Finally, if his boss gets into 
trouble, he is thrown out of employment and is left to 
starve or not, as happens. The system is a very cruel one 
to the individual office holder, besides being a wasteful one 
for the pubhc. 

Civil Service Reform, so far as it is related to the com- 
munity as an employer, to the nation, to the state, to the 
county and to the city, consists in securing for the pubUc 
a body of well trained and efficient men and women to 
do the public work; in rewarding them for their honesty 
and efficiency by promoting them to better offices with 
higher salaries ; in making them secure in their places as 
long as they do their work well, and dismissing them when- 
ever they do it badly ; and in providing for them when they 
have spent their hves in the pubhc service. That is, Civil 
Service Reform consists in getting the public work done 
as honestly and as efficiently as it is possible to do it, and 
in giving the people a good return for the money they pay ; 
and this constitutes its ethical aspect so far as the pubhc 
as employer is concerned. ... 

As to the ethical aspect of Civil Service Reform as 
regards the people at large considered as possible office 
holders, it involves questions of equal rights, of fair play, 
or, in other words, of democracy. Offices in old times, in 
all countries, were the personal property of the king. 
They are so now in countries which have a despotic form 
of government. The king gave away the offices to his 
favorites, who sold them to strangers, and the only view 
of office was that it was a privilege given to those who had 


influence, which enabled them to get power and money out 
of the people. It never entered anybody's head that 
a pubhc officer was a servant of the people and required 
to do work for the people. . . . Now this old despotic view 
of pubhc office, as the property of the person in power, be 
he czar, emperor or king, is, curiously enough, the view 
taken by a very large section of the people of this repubUc, 
the only difference being that, instead of thinking that the 
offices belong to one permanent despot, they are supposed 
to belong to the particular party which is in power, and 
often to the particular boss of that party. . . . 

Now Civil Service Reform means exactly the opposite 
of this view, and where it is hone,stly enforced, no one party 
or person has any control whatever over the great bulk 
of the public offices. A real reform of the civil service 
means that every man and woman in the country has a 
right to serve the public if he or she is qualified to do so, 
and that the right is conceded and acted upon. Every per- 
son who chooses to apply for an office is given a perfectly 
fair chance with every one else to prove that he has the 
qualities and capacity and character needed in that office. 
He does not have to go to a particular district leader or 
to a particular boss and ask, as a personal favor, to be 
appointed to an office, but he goes to the Ci\al Service 
Commission, makes his application, is notified when he 
can be examined, takes his examination, and if he is the best 
qualified, is appointed and enters on his term of probation, 
sure that if he does his work well, and is industrious and 
honest, he will in six months, receive his appointment, 
and that nothing but dishonesty or incompetence can 

1 1| 



prevent his remaining in the pubhc service and receiving 
promotion. . . . Thus as concerns the community as a body 
of possible office holders, the moral side of Civil Service 
Reform consists in substituting a democratic system for 
a despotic system, a fair and just system for one con- 
trolled by personal and partisan favoritism. 

As regards the individual office holder, the ethical aspects 
of Civil Service Reform are almost more important, if that 
is possible, than in the two aspects I have considered. 
Picture to yourselves the position of the office holder under 
the two systems. Let us imagine a young man seek- 
ing a subordinate position in the civil service under 
the spoils system, a young clerk, with a wife and child 
to support. He is competent, but has found it hard to get 
employment, and is in extremity. A friend tells him that 
he knows the boss and wiU give him a note of introduction. 
In a general way he disapproves of the boss and of the ways 
of the boss, but he has no very strong principles, and 
he does need work. So he takes the note and goes to the 
house of the boss ; his friend has a pull and he is ad- 
mitted to an interview, is graciously promised a place 
and receives a note to the head of a department, calls 
with the note on the Commissioner, has a talk, is promised 
an appointment, is told also that he is expected 
to join the district organization of the party to which 
the boss and Commissioner belong and to subscribe 
to the various chowders and balls that are given by the 
organization, and to work and vote with the boss and 
Commissioner. He accepts the place with the conditions 
attached. At first he tries to do his work honestly for the 


public ; he is sneered at by his colleagues in office as a fool 
who wastes his pains. . . . Then there comes to his knowl- 
edge something actually dishonest done by his superior in 
office, and he is asked to do his share in furthering it. 
He is shocked ; he would like to be honest, but he is 
weak ; he knows of no other employment if he resigns ; 
he knows that he has no one to appeal to, that every man 
in the public service above and below him depends, as he 
does, for a livelihood, on the boss, that the boss reaps 
part of the product of this dishonesty ; he becomes a thief, 
not for himself, but for others. Finally his friend fails to 
please the boss, or the claims of some one else must be 
attended to, and one morning he receives a note from his 
superior requesting his resignation, and he is turned out, 
hopeless, helpless, dishonest, degraded in his own sight, 
without faith in himself, in his country, or his God. This, 
you and I know, has been the history of many a victim of 
the spoils system in this country during the past hun- 
dred years, and this must be the history of many more until 
the real reform of the civil service has been adopted. 

[Describing in detail the competitive examination for 
the appointment by which the candidate is certified to 
the appointing power and enters on his six months' pro- 
bation, Mrs. Lowell concluded as follows : ] 

We will assume that this successful candidate is our 
capable young man : he begins his duties in an office with 
other young men who have passed the same examinations ; 
each clerk knows that every other clerk is there, as he is, 
because of proved capacity and recognized good character ; 



each clerk respects himself and respects his colleagues. 
Every one knows that, as he obtained his position by 
his own good qualities, so he will be retained for the 
same qualities; all depends upon himself; there is no 
favoritism, no pull, no boss to fear or fawn upon. So these 
young men are happy in their work and proud of the 
service of the city ; they know they are doing good work, 
and every good quality is fostered, every evil quality 
repressed. After six months' probation, our young man 
receives his permanent appointment, and in due time he, 
with the other energetic young clerks, competes for a higher 
place, gains it in honest competition ; and so, as the years 
pass, he goes from place to place, receiving the approval 
of his own conscience and of his superior officers, respected, 
honorable, happy, a noble civil servant of the noble city 
he loves. 

Spain and Civil Service Reform ^ 

The dying of a nation is a tragic sight. The dying of 
Spain, the discoverer and once the owner of the greater 
part of the western hemisphere, her death throes upon the 
vcrj' spot where Columbus landed and w'here he Ues buried, 
is a tragedy which this nation could not watch unmoved, 
even were it not the instrument used to give the death 
blow. But Spain presents not merely a tragic spectacle 
to the people of the United States, it furmshes also a lesson 
and a warning. 

This country is called upon to end the long agony ; but 
Spain has been wounded unto death by her own sons. She 
» Letter to Evening Post, May, 1898. 


is a dying nation because of internal corruption and dis- 
honesty, and the description of the causes of her ruin has 
an ominously familiar sound to American ears. We have 
in Spain the spectacle of a nation which conducts its govern- 
ment upon the principles which control Tarmnany Hall 
and the RepubUcan and Democratic machines. Not only 
its ci^il service, but its Army and its Navy, have for genera- 
tions been treated as "Spoils," and the result is before us. 
We know well what incompetency, what weak inefficiency, 
are the necessary outcome of such principles, and it is not 
to be wondered at that Spain has failed in every direction. 

[In support of her contention that the humiliation of 
Spain in her war of 1898 against this country was inevitable 
because of her four hundred years of government by the 
spoils system, Mrs. Lowell made apt use of quotations 
on this very subject from addresses dehvered, a few days 
before her letter was written, by Don Carlos in Brussels, 
by Charles Bonaparte at a Civil Service Reform meet- 
ing in New York, by Carl Schurz at the same meeting, 
and by James Russell Lowell, her husband's uncle, in 
letters written in 1879 from Madrid and later from London. 
Said Mr. Bonaparte: "The corruption of her pubhc 
service, civil and military, has cost Spain a world." 
Said Mr. Schurz : "The battle that has just been won at 
Manila was a battle between a ' Civil Service Reform' navy 
and a 'Spoils' navy. I hope that, whatever may result 
from this war, undesirable as it is, it will at least convey 
this lesson to the American people." Writing from Lon- 
don, Mr. Lowell said : "Spain shows us to what a civil 



service precisely like our own will bring a countrj'' that 
ought to be powerful and prosperous. It was not the 
Inquisition, nor the expulsion of the Jews and Moriscos, 
but simply the boss system, that has landed Spain where 
she is." 

After quoting also from an article by John Foreman, 
"Europe's New InvaUd," from the National Review, 
September, 1897, in which the evil effects of the spoils 
system in Spain and her colonies were pointed out, Mrs. 
Lowell concluded her letter, which was widely reprinted 
and commented upon, as follows : ] 


can people reap the glory. There is no question that, had 
the American people so willed it, they could have had just 
such men to fill their civil service and their diplomatic 


The question now is, will the people take to heart the 
lesson and join England in her advance to civilization, 
humanity, and honor or will they follow Spain? Shall 
we have all our pubUc work, naval, military, civil, and 
diplomatic, done by our Deweys, our Hobsons, and our 
Merritts, or by the henchmen of our Hannas, Quays, and 

As I have said, the djing of Spain is a tragedy, but to 
the people of the United States it is more than a tragedy. 
The lesson is writ large that all may see. The destruc- 
tion of two fleets because of incompetency and dishonesty, 
because of moral rottenness producing physical ruin, 
is a demonstration which none can fail to understand. 
But we have also the corollary, far more welcome and 
more glorious. The American people see in their own 
Navy the result of a careful selection of men for a special 
service, the result of the long and arduous training of these 
men for the work they have to do, and the result of the 
assurance given them by their country that the service they 
enter on in their youth and to which they devote their 
manhood is an honorable service. In the United States 
Army we find the same results from the same system. 
The people have heard but little of either Army or Navy 
for a generation ; and yet now, when they are needed, heroic 
men stand forth ready to do heroic deeds, and the Ameri- 

A Hard Lesson in Refoem ' 



In the Tribune of October 10 were printed on the same 
page three statements in regard to physicians in pubUc 
employment, which, read in connection with each other 
contain a lesson of vital import to the people of the United 


The first quotation, from the Journal of Kansas <^ity, 
states that the Medical Superintendent of the State Insane 
Asylum at Topeka has resigned, and accompanied his 
resignation by a letter to the Governor of Kansas giving 
the reasons for his action. This letter tells an astound- 
ing story of alleged cruelty, inhumanity, and debauchery 
at that institution, and the writer placed the responsi- 
bility for these conditions upon the Governor when he 

said- "You will probably recall that President J 

installed his father-in-law, Dr. W , a doctor without 

• Abatract of letter to New York Tribune, dated October 15, 1898. 



a diploma, in the position of assistant physician and 
that when it was shown that he was not a fit and proper 
person for the service, he was not discharged, but was 
transferred to the Asylum at Osawatomie. ... It is a well- 
known fact that Dr. W was a street fakir, a dealer in 

patent medicines, and an all-round professional quack. 
In the opinion of yourself and the Board, he seems to pos- 
sess the qualifications necessary to entitle him to care for 
the insane of Kansas." 

[The second statement Mrs. Lowell quotes in this letter 
is from a report of Colonel L. M. Maus, cMef surgeon of 
the Seventh Corps of the United States Army, in regard 
to the regimental surgeons under his command, who 
wrote : "A number of them had not been required to 
pass examinations at all. None of them had any knowl- 
edge at all of administrative duties such as were required 
successfully to run division hospitals. ... I feel quite sure 
that the medical service has suffered more on the score 
of inexperience on the part of regimental surgeons than 
for any other reason. These men were unable to appre- 
ciate the great value of sanitation." 

The third statement quoted was an extract from the 
annual report of the Surgeon-General of the Navy, William 
K. Van Reypen, showing the care exercised to secure good 
material for the Medical Corps. "In the last fiscal year 
829 applications for information concerning the appoint- 
ments of assistant surgeons in the Navy were received, 
and 248 permits were issued to doctors to appear for ex- 
amination. Of the above number 65 candidates appeared 
before the Examining Boards, of whom 17 were rejected 
physically, 19 rejected professionally, 12 withdrawn for 
further examination, and 17 were found physically and 
professionally qualified for admission as assistant surgeons 
in the Medical Corps of the Navy." 


Mrs. Lowell's letter continues : ] 

It seems almost unnecessary to point the moral. We 
have in these extracts an explanation of the causes of the 
deep disgrace that has often stained our public service, of 
the sorrow which is now wringing the heart of the nation, 
and of the glory which has turned the eyes of all the 
civilized world upon the United States with admiration. 

The Navy has done great service to the nation since 
May 1, but' the greatest of all . . . is the lesson the Navy 
has given the nation of the value of efficient, conscientious 
training. . . . What we really need is to follow throughout 
our whole system, in our federal civil service, in our 
volunteer army and in our state and city governments, 
the example of our Navy, to select our pubhc officers care- 
fully and to train them thoroughly. 

The lesson has been a severe one, but it would seem as 
if at last the people of the United States must have 
learned it. For thirty years a small handful of patriots 
have been warning them of the wickedness and folly of 
the spoils system — for thirty years the prophets of 
Civil Service Reform have shown how political and per- 
sonal influence in appointments to public office eat out, in 
time, the character and capacity of a nation. 

But the people did not heed. Their ears were dull of 
hearing. The people did not seem to care when it was 
only paupers who died of official neglect, when it was only 
helpless idiot children who had the scurvy, when it was only 
physicians to take charge of public insane asylums who 
were appointed mthout examination. 

But now, now that from Maine to Alabama, from 
Virginia to California, there is not a state where hearts 
are not bleeding for the lives of husbands, sons, and 
brothers lost and blasted by official ignorance and neglect ; 
now, when the blighting touch of poUtical and personal 



influence in appointments to public office has fallen upon 
the flower of our youth, surely now, at last, the people 
of the United States will have ears to hear. 

The voters of the State of New York are especially 
fortunate above those of the rest of the country ; at this 
moment they have the opportunity of electing as Gov- 
ernor, Theodore Roosevelt, a man identified with the re- 
form of the civil service, so far as it has yet been adopted, 
and conversant with the Navy methods as few other men in 
the country can be, and whose character and past history 
as a public officer are a guarantee that the principles upon 
which these methods are founded will, if he is elected, be 
the principles which will control the State government. 

Civil Service . Reform ' 

Your Committee on Civil Service Reform has continued 
to give especial attention to the investigation of the opera- 
tion of the reform law in the public institutions of New 
York State. The visits we have made have been not only 
interesting and instructive in the view they have given 
of actual administrative methods, but suggestive of im- 
portant lines of new work that may be profitably taken up. 

We find striking confirmation of the correctness of the 
theory of the merit system. There is, however, in some 
important institutions a certain impatience, on the part 
of the superintendents or other executive officers, of what 
they call the restrictions placed upon them by the re- 
quirements and prohibitions of the law, or its subsidiary 
rules. This impatience, and the accompanying criticism, 

' Report of Committee on Civil Service Reform, presented at the 
Eleventh Annual Meeting of the New York State Federation of 
Women's Clubs held October 30 to November 3, 1905, at Binghamton, 
N. Y. This report represents the last public work of the chairman, 
Mbb.Charles Russell LowELL,whose death occurred two weeks earlier. 


spoken or tacit, seemed to your Committee to indicate 
a misapprehension of the nature and intent of the law. 
But this attitude, which, if not openly hostile, is quite 
surely not friendly, is, nevertheless, a matter for serious 
consideration in any study of the working or results of the 
law. It is in itself a factor that must modify results. 

Objection to the law on the part of administrative officers 
is traceable, usually, to either one of two causes, the in- 
ability of the officer to use his subordinate service for po- 
litical purposes or his honest belief that the rules establish 
too many technical restraints of a sort that hinder his 
work rather than help it. We believe that the institutional 
heads referred to belong to the latter class. It is not un- 
natural that some among these should hold the view that 
their own judgment of the fitness of candidates for sub- 
ordinate appointments should be the basis of selection 
rather than the impersonal judgment of Boards of Ex- 
aminers. Theoretically, there is much to support that 
view, but we are convinced that those who do hold it, fail 
to take into account two fundamentally important prac- 
tical facts : first, that without the protection of the com- 
petitive system no public institution can be safe from the 
baleful intrusion of petty partisan politics, — a far greater 
embarrassment to the freedom of action of appointing 
officers than any code of rules could ever be ; and, second, 
that the methods of selection under the civil service rules 
are not yet perfected, that the examination system may 
be greatly improved through the cooperation of the very 
officers who so often complain of it, and that the tests of 
examination and probation, scientifically developed, have 
been shown byabundant experience to make the best sifting 
process as yet devised for any large body of employees. 

That these facts are not unrecognized was strikingly 
shown by one of the later experiences of your Committee, 




in visiting a State institution having the care of a large 
number of transgressors and degenerates. There we 
found the superintendent frankly grateful for the pro- 
tection the law afforded him. Nowhere is intelUgent and 
sympathetic cooperation on the part of all officers and 
employees required more urgently than here. The work of 
the institution is difficult and complex, for it aims alike at 
the physical, mental, and moral improvement of its wards. 
In other words, no State institution would so quickly feel 
hampering restrictions upon its work, if such existed. 
Yet this superintendent declares that the freedom from 
importunity and dictation in the matter of appointment, 
and the resultant relief from any sense of obligation or 
responsibility not immediately concerned with the work of 
the institution, are an immense aid to the success the in- 
stitution is achieving. If, now and then, the pri\alege of 
direct appointment of a particular person to a particulai' 
position may seem desirable, and the methods prescribed 
by the law cumbrous in comparison, the superintendent 
finds that the advantage, in the long run, far outweighs 
the benefit in the occasional instance, and that the process 
of sifting, under the probation rule, is in itself invaluable. 
In our experience as visitors no institution seemed to us 
so effectively administered as this. The general idea 
upon which its work is based is at once scientific and 
sympathetic, and the details of its development are ad- 
mirably planned and carried out. 

In these contrasted cases, representing as they do clear 
differences of opinion on the point which it is especially 
our interest to study, the intelligence and zeal of the chief 
officials may be said to be equally admirable. In the case 
we have just noted, however, the superintendent is of the 
younger generation, to whom the civil service law is not 
a new thing, to be regarded distrustfully because it sub- 


V t i\.c. nlfl order but a condition met at the 
verts much of the old order ^ ^^^^^^^^ 

outset of a career, an^l ^^cepted oeca ^^^^ 

has proved it an axd f'^^^'^'l^^^^Tw.^^^^ ex- 
differences in age and ^^^^^;^^^Z:^,%, ^e be- 

r;Sa>"t-.''1tt theo. . Y whi.h we 
Its pracuoai uc f further observations. 

Lns, previous «™-f/"f .^'J^uhe b«t a^aLle 



the movement. The committees of various local bodies 
in the National Federation, in cooperation especially with 
the Women's Auxiliaries of the Civil Ser\ice Reform 
Associations of New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland, 
have done a great deal of useful work in this direction. 
Many thousands of pamphlets have been placed in the 
hands of high-grade school children. Prizes have been 
given for essays submitted in competition, and speakers 
have been secured for public meetings. We suggest to in- 
dividual members of clubs that, through the reading room 
of public libraries and the classes in history and civil 
government of the Christian Association, the interest of 
many other young people might be enlisted. We have 
found librarians and the officers of such associations very 
friendly to suggestions we have made. We believe that 
actual visits, not only to institutions or departments 
where the merit rules are in force, but to the offices of the 
Civil Service Commissions, where the machinery of ex- 
amination may be seen, will prove of advantage to all 
students of the system. 

No great political reform wrought in America repre- 
sents the triumph of pubhc opinion as does this. Its 
extension must depend on the same force, and there are 
branches of high importance, in both State and nation, to 
which it does not yet apply. We should help by every 
moans within our power, and particularly through educa- 
tion, to create a public opinion so much stronger that the 
principle will be established in every place in which it 
does not now prevail. 



The general feeling of loss occasioned by the death of 
Mrs Lowell was expressed not only in the public press, 
but also at memorial meetings. Under the auspices of 
the Charity Organization Society of the City of New 
York the most important of these meetings was held m 
the assembly hall of the United Charities Building, on 
the evening of November 13, 1905. 

Before the appointed hour, the hall was crowded with 
representative people, and many others could not obtam 
entrance. Robert W. de Forest, President of the Chanty 
Organization Society, presided and deUvered the opemng 
address, while among the speakers who followed him were 
Joseph H. Choate, Felix Adler, Jacob A. Riis.and SethLow. 
Their addresses, together with many other eulogies of Mrs. 
Lowell, not only in prose, but also in poetry, are included 
in a memorial volume published m 1906 by the Chanty 
Organization Society. Considerations of space permit 
the inclusion only of some extracts from this volume, and 
in chronological order other memorial notices which it 

omits. „ 

Robert W. de Forest 

We have met tonight in memory of a noble woman — 
a woman whom we all honor for what she did and whom we 






all love for what she was. I know of no one of the present 
generation in our city and State who has been a more 
potent force for social uplift than Josephine Shaw Lowell. 
I know of no one who has been so beloved and whose 
memory will be so tenderly cherished by all kinds and con- 
ditions of men. Whatever inequalities there be among 
those who are assembled here — whether of station or 
learning or opportunity - we are here on an equal plane 
of friendship for her ; man to man, and woman to woman. 

[Mr. de Forest here mentioned Mrs. Lowell's work for 
the Charity Organization Society, and many other so- 
cieties or movements of a humanitarian character, more 
particularly referred to elsewhere in this volume, and 
continued : ] 

Mrs. Lowell was every inch a woman. Unlike most 
women who have sought to be, or who have been, actors in 
pubhc affairs, she never for one instant yielded a particle 
of her woman's charm or of her woman's tenderness. With 
the strength and courage of a man, she never hesitated to 
strike, and strike hai-d, when duty called to strike, but 
her woman's gentle touch bound up the wounds, and the 
blow left no sting behind. 

Wliat must it have been to her hero husband to have 
had the love of such a woman, even for a few short 
months ! . . . 

In her dealings with others, Mrs. Lowell was absolutely 
smcere. She spoke out all she thought. She held back 
nothing of the truth as she saw it. No consideration of 
policy ever weighed with her. She would have thought 

policy inconsistent with truthfulness. Herein was one 
of the greatest charms of intercourse with her. Herein, 
perhaps, was her greatest source of strength. . . . 

Had Jv'Irs. Lowell lived in mediieval times, she would 
long since have been canonized as a saint. Had she lived 
at a still earlier period in our Christian era, she would have 
been among the martyrs. But living as she did in our 
times, she suffered more than forty years ago the cruelest 
martyrdom that could ever befall a wife and sister ; and 
whether because of that martyrdom, or rather, as I tliink, 
in spite of it, because she was herself, she has for all these 
succeeding years emanated that intense sympathy for all 
humankind, and particularly for all humankind that 
needs and suffers, which ancient art, for want of better 
vehicle, has pictured with the halo. 

Felix Adler 

We meet together tonight as those who have suffered 
a common bereavement. I believe that if it had been 
deemed wise to select the Cooper Institute for this meeting, 
the Cooper Institute would have been filled to overflowing. 
The first citizens of the State and the laboring people would 
there have united in paying homage to the memory of 
Mrs. Lowell. 

It seems almost incredible that she has gone from us. 
But a few months ago she took counsel with us, and was 
actively interested in all reform movements. We had no 
warning of the peril. Of a sudden she has disappeared 
from our mortal view, and coming together here tonight 
it is the first opportunity that many of us have to exchange 




may be permitted to LsTl h t ' ™™"- " ' 

about W that I had TC\m:„"^ XhTcr ^ 


Ueala that exist Lit ZT T ,""" "''° "™ '" "• "■« 

City is .0 ,a, dt^te r: l^^f r " ^"^' '"^ 
that the very object of ,v ^ " ^"^"^ '<> ™ 

- the ca«f a^dl *f.,rT'"' ''.•'"' '"= *'" »»' 
earthly „aib a.d ,^t t tu T'''^'^ '™"' »" 
«.e cty by a P^ane'nt .:: ^I oir^rar't 
by havmg a care that the value of her life AaH „ f K, 
for us, by making sure that (h. ° , ' '"' '"' 



do sometWng for oursdv^l , , \ ' "" ""^ ">"= " 

at thismomenf and 2 ""''' P'"'^^^* ^^^ "« 

her spirxturS ' " '"^"^'^ *^^ Hnean^ents of 

^^^Wima.H. Baldwin. 1863-1905; railroad president and philan- 




Of the living we have but inadequate portraits. We 
see them at different times, in different relations, in differ- 
ent aspects ; but perhaps we never have the mental quiet 
and occasion to combine these portraits, to combine them 
as the artist would, and to fashion a portrait true to the 
character. The advantage and purpose of a memorial 
meeting is that we should add this portrait to our mental 
picture gallery. Each of us on the platform will en- 
deavor to contribute something to the fashioning of that 
portrait ; and then we shall take it with us and keep it in 
holy memory and consider it in quiet moments, and think 
of her as she was to us. 

I have always had a reverential feeling toward Mrs. Low- 
ell. It seemed to me that I never approached her without 
hearing the words : "Take off the shoes from thy feet, for 
the ground thou approachest is holy ground." Whether 
it was the unconscious idealizing influence of that sorrow of 
which she never spoke, or whether it was something else, her 
charm, her sweet dignity, her simplicity, the sense of close 
human relations with the poorest and humblest himian 
beings, and at the same time a sense of elevation above the 
strongest and most capable of those who approached her, 
— whatever may have been the secret of the influence, it 
was, above all, the personality which counted. And if I am 
to express in a few words what in particular seemed to me 
the peculiar nature of her life, apart from this indefinable 
and unanalyzable sense of a lofty personaUty, so near as 
to be near the lowUest and so high and strong as to be 
above the strongest and most competent, I should say it 
was in her case the effect of the harmony of opposites. 

L ' 

• - 



She was an idealist of the purest kind. And yet she was 
always the most practical of realists. The partial list which 
Mr. de Forest has read to us is evidence of that practical 
realism, that strong common sense and sagacity which 
distinguished her in every movement in which she took 
part. She was a harmonizer of the ideal and the realistic. 
She was a harmonizer of opposites. She was an intense 
enthusiast for certain causes. Above all, she dwelt with 
motherly sympathy, with the motherhood that embraces 
all mankind; she dwelt upon the sufferings and the 
miseries of the world. But more than by the sufferings 
and the miseries of the world was she touched by the 
wrongs. It was injustice in any form that called out her 
keenest feeling. It was this that made her for so long a 
time, with one other, the only support of the movement 
in this country for justice to the Filipino people. And 
yet, despite her capacity for righteous indignation, she 
was never one-sided. I could not say at this moment, 
truthfully, that she was on the side of the Filipinos, that 
she took the side of the Filipinos ; nor could I say truth- 
fully that she took the side of the laboring people, for the 
reason that she also felt so genuinely and intensely how 
cruel the oppressor is to himself. If ever any one loved 
the wrongdoer, it was Mrs. Lowell when she protested 
against his wrongdoing. 

Longfellow has shown us in one of his poems how 
Florence Nightingale visited the beds of the sick at Scutari, 
a,nd how they loved her for coming to them, and how they 
thought of her as the Lady of the Lamp. I think of Mrs. 
Lowell also as the Lady of the Lamp. Mr. de Forest said 



that many envied the poor for the ray she cast into their ^ 
life ; may I add that no one had need to be poor to have 
the blessed touch of that ray. 

Among many others, I am here tonight to express grati- 
tude for the ray she cast into my Ufe, the ray of a true, 
spiritual presence, of fine American womanhood, and of 
noble humanity. She was the Lady of the Lamp for many 
of us. She carried aloft the lamp of hope and of pity 
and of a beautiful faith in us all, in all humanity. 

Father Huntington * 

Memory goes back at once to what Mrs. Lowell 
was to a large body of young women in this city in the 
feather workers' strike; and when I speak that word, 
I speak a word that rings of contention, of opposing in- 
terests, and perhaps of violent antagonism ; a word that is 
likely to be felt as a hostile word by some people who are 
here. And yet I must say, quite frankly, that I never have 
been able to understand how the moral side of a strike — 
perhaps its moral greatness — can be so ignored by gen- 
erous men and women. 

Consider what it means. However mistaken men and 
women may be, however foolish their effort, is there not 
something magnificent in seeing those who have work 
and are supporting their famUies giving up their chance 
of earning a living, surrendering their positions, and 
beggaring themselves, in the hope of securing for those 
who are less fortunate, those who have no employment — 
> Rev. James O. S. Huntington, Protestant Episcopal Order of the 
Holy Cross. 




or those who are poorly paid -more poorly paid than 
themselves - of securing for them fairer treatment and 
juster pay ? 

... Mrs. Lowell did see this, and she acted accordingly 
She was as quick as any one to see the futility of many 
of the efforts of working people and the ignorance that 
exists among them; but she saw deeper than that, and 
felt mtense sympathy with that which was noble and true 
in the hard struggle. 

So she came forward in this strike of the feather workers 
as naturally and simply as she took her pai-t with the work- 
ing people in the events that I remember distinctly so 
many years ago. She did not offer patronage ; that word 
IS mconsistent with our memory of her. She did not come 
playmg the part of Lady Bountiful, that half-pathetic 
half-romantic figure. She came in her own natural way' 
She did not attempt to lay aside the advantages of the 
position that belonged to her ; she did not try to transport 
herself mto their conditions; there was nothing unreal or 
unnatural m her or her work. She came to the work with 
her clear intellect and her generous heart; and how she 
did put strength into those who were working imder almost 
desperate odds ; how she lifted up the cause ; how she saw 
the amusing and the humorous side of affairs; how she 
would point it out, while feeling at the same time the 
pathos and the tragedy; and how with the buoyancy of 
her hfe she carried all along with her. 


Joseph H. Choate 


If you should ask me to sum up in one word the life and 
character of Mrs. Lowell, I should call it "Consecration." 
Other women, who have done and suffered much less than 
she did, have been canonized; but she was consecrated 
to a glorious and tender memory, consecrated to duty, con- 
secrated to charity in its largest and noblest sense — the 
effort to do all in her power for the relief and help of her 
fellow men and women. . . . 

I think it is very largely to her father and her husband 
that we should look for a certain inspiration that guided 
her subsequent steps. You know that very often our own 
dead exercise a much more potent and effective influence 
upon our lives and conduct than any living associates. 
Time cannot loosen their hold upon our hearts and minds. 
In one sense they never have come back ; they never do 
come back ; but in another and a very actual sense, they 
are always coming back to us ; ^specially in hours of stress 
and peril they are always with us, and we gain more sup- 
port from them sometunes than from any Uving compan- 
ions. We oft.en hear their voices with absolute distinct- 
ness. You put your ear to the telephone, and you hear 
the voice of a loved friend in Boston, or Chicago, or St. 
Louis, with perfect distinctness, the quality, the tone, and 
the expression. You can tell by the sound in addition to 
the words they speak whether they are joyful or sorrow- 
ful, whether they are well or ill. And so through the long- 
distance telephone of time we hear the voices of our de- 
parted with equal distinctness. They startle us with 
their familiar reality. 







In dreams, if they are dreams, we see their actual forms,, 
just as they moved before us in hfe, and in moments of 
peril and sorrow and danger, we are consciotis sometimes 
of their attendant footsteps, and really feel the support 
of their loving arms. 

When you come to know more of Mrs. Lowell's early 
days, you learn the wonderful advantages which crowned 
her life, and how trial and suffering made her what she was. 
[Mr. Choate then made interesting and touching references 
to Mr. Shaw and Colonel Lowell, and continued :] With 
such an inheritance from the father, and an alhance with 
such a man, can anybody doubt that the inspiration she so 
derived from them set her in motion at least on the great 
and splendid career of which you have all heard so much 
tonight, and that it sustained her heart and courage 
through it all ? . . . 

I hope this memorial meeting, expressive of our admira- 
tion of this most valuable woman, will not end in empty 
breath. It seems to me, as Professor Adler has intimated, 
that there should be some permanent memorial for this 
woman who has done so much for us. . . 

Jacob A. Riis 

Perhaps one excellent way of making future generations 
remember Mrs. LoweU would be to call one of the small 
parks now coming into existence all over the city after 
her. There is a distinct need of attaching the influence of 
such a name to one of the parks on the East Side. 

I have been trying to think back to the time when I 
_ first knew Mrs. LoweU, but I cannot remember. I came in 

course of time to pay almost daily visits to her house. In 
those days she lived in East Thirtieth Street, quite near to 
the ferry which brought me over to New York when I 
came in from Long Island, and I fell into the habit, espe- 
cially when anything troubled me, of ringing her doorbell 
when I passed the house. She was never "out," always 
ready to sit down and listen and give advice and opmion. 
It was then I learned what a patient, sweet, wise and 
lovable woman she was. 

Mr. Stewart spoke of her courage. Yes, she was coura- 
geous. I think the only thing in the world she was afraid 
of -we were not -was of not following her own con- 
viction and conscience to the end. 

You have spoken about her cheerfulness. She was cheer- 
ful and hopeful because she believed in God, and could 
wait. That was often the friendly contention between us. 
She could wait. I was young then and impetuous, impa- 
tient She believed in her fellow-man and could wait, 
because she saw the image of God in him, and was sure 
that given the chance, it would work out. She was 
patient because life and her faith had taught her wisdom ; 
and she had that God-given sense of humor that gets us 
over so many rough spots. I recall an occasion when we 
had gone to Mayor Grant to see him about the police 
station houses. We had nagged and nagged the Mayor 
until he was tired of it, and when we told him for the 
fiftieth time, I suppose, that in Boston they had municipal 
lodging houses, he cried out in impatience: "Boston, 
Boston ! I am sick of the name of Boston." I suppose 
he did not know what "Boston" meant to her; I turned 




to her in some apprehension to see how she took it but 
she was leaning back in her chair and laughing heartily. 

Speaking of her patience, I remember another occasion 
when we had gone to Albany to argue for something 
that we had up before an assembly committee. I was 
speakmg. I wa.s filled up with arguments which she had 
given me on the way up, and not those which I had thought 
out for myself, and was trying to keep my mind on them 
when one of the assemblymen interrupted me: "Pro- 
fessor," he said, "you people come here year after year 
arguing for these things ; let me ask you, what do you get 
for It?" For the moment I was nonplussed. "What 
do you mean?" I asked. 

"I mean," he said, "this," holding out one hand, "what 
do you get, do you understand ? " I could have throttled 
the man. He was the only one I ever knew to or 
question Mrs. Lowell's motives. But when I glanced at 
her, I saw her sitting with that patient, far-away look in 
her face. Those things meant nothing to her. She was 
there m a cause. It was God's cause, and it was bound to 
prevail. The rest didn't matter. 

[Referring to Mrs. Lowell's early work with Theodore 

Roosevelt, President of the United States at the time of her 

death, Mr. Riis said : ] . . . Long before she died, she 

knew what Theodore Roosevelt stood for in the nation's 

lie. I thmk I was the last of you all to see her. She sent 

tor me to come out to Greenwich where she was, a very few 

weeks before she died, and I came quickly. . . She 

spoke of Roosevelt, and she sent the last message of 

love and cheer. When I gave it to him he said : "She had 



a sweet, unworldly character ; and never man or woman 
ever strove for loftier ideals." . . . 

Seth Low 

I remember to have heard Colonel Higginson, of Boston, 
speak of IVIrs. Lowell's husband as one of a group of young 
men whom he had known at Harvard, "who threw away 
their lives like a fiower" for our country. I have seldom 
heard a phrase that moved me more. It seems to present 
the picture of a gallant group of young men, full of the 
hope and the enthusiasm and the fancy of youth, each 
asking no greater privilege than to lay them all at the feet 
of his country, as a lover gives a bud to the lady of his love. 
It was not given to Mrs. Lowell to throw away her life 
like a flower ; but for forty-one long years, to use her own 
words, her character grew in this community; she had 
always an inspiring and uplifting influence, and shed abroad 
a delightful fragrance as she moved along our streets. 

... I like Mr. Choate's suggestion for a permanent 
memorial of her ; and I hope that this meeting will ask that 
a committee be appointed by the chairman to arrange for a 
suitable memorial to Mrs. LoweU at the hands of the people 
of this great city. 

I suppose Mrs. Lowell may have felt that her name stood 
for something among the poor people of this city. I do 
not know whether she could realize how much it meant, 
not to them only, but to all of her fellow-citizens. Profes- 
sor Adler spoke of her as a Lady with a Lamp. She was, 
indeed, the Lady of the Lamp ; and she went before us 
always carrying that shining light. She does not need 



any memorial at our hands ; but for our own sakes we want 
to prove and establish before the world that we not only- 
saw in her the light of her character, but that from the 
flame of her spirit we also have lit a light in our own 

William R. Stewart" 

[Mr. Stewart, complying with a request which had been 
made him, spoke of Mrs. Lowell's work as a Commissioner 
of the State Board of Charities, in which he was associated 
with her from 1882 to 1889. The memorial volume pub- 
lished by the Charity Organization Society of the City of 
New York in 1906 gave place to the address in full. 
Mr. Stewart concluded as follows : ] 

Among Mrs. Lowell's characteristics which impressed 
me most strongly were her promptness, constant cheerful- 
ness, dauntless courage, and tireless industry in her work. 
She was always sincere and direct, and no one could doubt 
for a moment the position she took on any subject. These 
qualities and her total absence of self -consciousness account 
in large measvu^e for the wonderful success of her work. 

The world will miss Mrs. Lowell, for good men and good 
women are needed on every hand to carry on its work. 
This State will miss her ; this city will miss her ; but we 
who knew her best will miss her most of all. 

The memorial volume also contained the following 
articles : 

"Mrs. Lowell's Services to the State," by Edward T. 
Devine ; 


«Mrs. Lowell and the Unemployed," by John Bancroft 
""^TJ^. Wl and the Consumers' League," by Maud 
"" <'^: Lowell and the New York Charity Organization 

'ISLst included the following editorial paragraphs 
JTcZues for October 14, 1905, after the announce- 
ment of Mrs. Lowell's death : 

^, •. • r,^ nf the New York Charity Organ- 
We of Chanties and ot tne rsew iu 

.aUon S^iety have indeed *e right^to s^e m a. - 
mession of personal bereavement. Mrs. Lowcu w 
S of the Charity Organization Society and or the 
twenty-three years since, as a Comrmssioner of the State 
ZTof ChLes. she caUed the Society mto exrstence 
The hal been its most faithful, untiring, and effio.en 
t ste more than any other person -although It 
Tn^er L^.Td she an/her associates were always 
d'e^ned thai it should never be, a one-man sooety - 

nheTas'lred''— usly on its Central CouncU and 
Hs E etf^e Committee, and has also worked aU-a^ on 

days before her death Ae h ^^^^^ 

expressmg regret that she could ^ 


:re place cannot be fflled, whose services wdl never be 
forgotten, whose work wiU remam. 



The Independent for October 20, 1905, published the 
following : 

In the death of Josephine Shaw Lowell last week the 
United States loses one of its noblest and greatest women 
For forty years there has been nobody in New York whose 
charitable and social reform effort has resulted in greater 
and more lasting achievement than hers. Her monument 
IS built in the Charity Organization Society which she 
founded twenty-three years ago, in the constitution 
and statutes of New York, in the successful fight for Civil 
Service Reform, in her impress on the labor movement, on 
the college settlements, and in fact on every good endeavor 
for CIVIC reform. Her beloved young husband, Charles 
Russell Lowell, was killed in the Civil War at Cedar Creek • 
her patriot brother, Robert Gould Shaw, perished at Fort 
Wagner, at the head of his Negro regiment, and was buried 
with them. No wonder, with the example of two such 
sacnfices to treasure in her memory, Mrs. Lowell became 
what she was. Her work will remain. 

The Outlook for October 21, 1905, contained the follow- 
ing editorial : ^ 

The City of New York is poorer by reason of the death 
of Mrs. Josephine Shaw Lowell at her home in this city 
on Thm-sday of last week, for it has rarely numbered among 
Its citizens a finer character or been the witness of a more 
high-mmded and fruitful life. Connected by blood and 
marriage with some of the finest men of her time, - the 
' Not included in the memorial volume. 



Lowells, George William Curtis, Francis C. Barlow, 
— the daughter of a man of unusual quaUties of mind 
and character, and the sister of Colonel Robert G. 
Shaw, Mrs. Lowell embodied in herself the best traditions 
and the highest aims of American life. After the terrible 
tragedy which the Civil War brought upon her in the 
death of her husband, her brother, and her brother-in-law, 
all graduates of Harvard College and young men of singular 
mental and moral distinction, Mrs. Lowell consecrated her- 
self, in the truest sense of the word, to philanthropic work. 
Free entirely from the passion of publicity which has in- 
fected many women as well as many men of the time, she 
put her hand at the start to some of the most perplexing 
problems in the administration of the charities of the 
State. For thirteen years she served as Charities Commis- 
sioner. Twenty-three years ago she founded the Charity 
Organization Society, one of the most useful organizations 
in the whole range of charitable philanthropic work in this 
city ; and almost up to the time of her death she was an 
active worker in its behalf. Her interest in the Prison 
Association bore fruit in the separation of the sexes in 
prisons. She was one of the founders of the Woman's 
Municipal League, and no movement looking to the higher 
life of the city failed to secure her interest and sjmapathy, 
and in many cases her active support. 

Her calm courage, self-forgetfulness, practical sagacity, 
and high-mindedness gave her great influence with the 
men and women with whom she was brought into contact, 
and it is safe to say that no woman of her time has received 
higher regard in this city, nor has any been more useful. 



than this quiet, unassuming woman f i 

--1 were opiTjt T " *'' ^^^^^«* 

with rare self-forgetfulness Z7 ^^^^ ^''''^^' 

- P-iie .thout ^^^ hef :or C.^- , 

A Woman of Sorrows 

Josephine Shaw Lowell 

n ceaseless labor, swift, unhuP^W,/"* 
She sped upon her Wreless ministries "^^ 
Clmbrng the staire of poverty «nT' 

Se W to build in every human heart ' 


J- ove through human seKshness. 
■inat now seemed dreamintrnffi, u • 





Drooped, saddened by the pain of humankind, 
Though resolute to help where help might be, 
And with undying faith illuminate. 

She was our woman of sorrows, whose pure heart 
Was pierced by many woes. And yet long since 
Her soul of sympathy entered the peace 
And calm eternal of the eternal mind. 
Inheritor of noble Uves, she held 
Even to the end, a spirit of cheerfulness 
And knowledge keen of the deep joy of being 
By pain all unsubdued. Sister and saint, 
Who to life's darkened passage-ways brought light ; 
Who taught the dignity of human service ; 
Who made the city noble by her life ; 
And sanctified the very stones her feet 
Pressed in their sacred journeys. 

Most high God ! 
This city of mammon, this wide, seething pit 
Of avarice and lust, hath known thy saints, 
And yet shall know. For faith than sin is mightier, 
And by this faith we live, — that in thy time, 
In thine own time, the good shall crush the ill ; 
The brute within the human shall die down ; 
And love and justice reign, where hate prevents — 
That love which in pure hearts reveals thine own 
And lights the world to righteousness and truth. 

Richard Watson Gilder. 
December 3, 1905. 
From Charities and The Commons, January 6, 1906. 


A City's Saint 

■'"''Phine Shaw Lowell 
■A woman li^edaad now a woman dies" 


Some saints have lived who on ,1, 

'^"lied with the balm „f\ , ™'''°«-""«'i feld 
^d not nntil the eye To w"'"' '^ "" ''•»*; 

Some woman with her ^ 7^ "'""' « '™P - 

B^t^n that sorrow's self-forgetfulness 

"Sing these e.v,cmghts to highest n«,n 


S'-esiii.e a beacon where the city stands. 


This shall outlive its mortar and its stone, 

This shall be told where cities rise and fall ; 
A woman working in its way alone 
With loving hands built bastions round its wall. 

Joseph Dana Miller. 
From The Outlook, January, 1906. 

Josephine Shaw Lowell and the Peace Movement '■ 

A stanza in the beautiful poem in memory of Mrs. 
Josephine Shaw Lowell, by Joseph Dana Miller, re- 
printed in a recent number of Charities and The Commons, 
prompts me to a word of tribute to Mrs. Lowell in con- 
nection with a most important aspect of her service, which 
in the numerous and impressive testimonies to her great 
and varied ministry which you have published, has not, 
I think, found recognition. It was the side of her zeal 
and consecration which I personally came into closest 
touch with ; it was a remarkable work ; and the mere fact 
that it should not have been emphasized at all, if even 
mentioned, by the multitudes of fellow-workers expressing 
their gratitude for her wonderful life, is a striking witness 
to the opulence and comprehensiveness of that life's 

" And she to whom War's tragedy of pain 

Had brought its tears — whose husband, brother, 
Passed in the cannonading to the slain — 
Walked with her lonely sorrow to the end." 

» From Charities and The Commons, February 17, 1906. 

li . 





ii! I 



Mr. Conway has well said, in those last solemn pages 
of his autobiography, that the commanding cause of our 
time is the war against war, as the commanding cause half 
a century ago was the war against slavery — the war in 
which Charles Russell Lowell laid down his life. I have 
known no woman in America who personally felt this more 
profoundly than Mrs. Lowell. The present war system 
of nations was to her a monstrous and horrible thing — the 
grossest and most devastating manifestation of what is 
most unjust, wasteful, wicked, irrational, un-Christian, 
and inhuman among men. 

No service or sacrifice against it was for her too great. 
When it was fixed that the International Peace Congress 
m 1904 should be held m Boston, she at once became a 
member of the American committee ; and that committee 
made her a member of its executive committee. In this 
executive committee of twelve were two New York mem- 
bers besides herself, both men of great ability and devotion 
to the peace cause ; yet both of these would be most for- 
ward to endorse any declaration that Mrs. Lowell did more 
than all others in New York together, save only Andrew 
Carnegie by his generous financial assistance, to make 
the Boston Congress and the great meetings which fol- 
lowed in New York the impressive demonstrations which 
they were. I would go farther — and as chairman of that 
executive conmiittee my gratitude to all its members is, 
hke that of its secretary, Dr. Tnieblood, heartfelt and - 
strong — and say that the actual personal cooperation '-; 
given us by Mrs. Lowell was greater than that of all the .,' 
other members of the committee together. It was a -J 



service so conspicuous and rare that its record should not 

^The personal work which Mrs. Lowell did in New York 
in the way of solicitation for contributions to the congress 
fund was extraordinary. 1 find, looking at the record, that 
something over a hundred checks came to us from New 
York. More than three-quarters of these came through 
Mrs. Lowell's effort -seven contributions among them, 
I find of $100 each, as many more of $50, and many more 
almost equal. This was the result of personal conference 
or personal correspondence - a correspondence contmued 
throughout the long summer, much of it mortgagmg her 
time at Ashfield in the vacation so greatly needed and 

so richly earned. 

To the Boston Congress itself, which would have been 
such an inspiration to her, she did not come, because every 
moment of the week was given by her to planmng and 
providing for the great Cooper Union meeting and the 
other meetings in New York the following week, for which 
the great body of foreign delegates went from Boston. 
Oscar S Straus was the force behind the reception by the 
Board of Trade at the Hotel Astor ; Miss Grace Dodge was 
the force behind the meeting at the Teachers College ; 
and others contributed nobly to the splendid result. 
But Mrs. Lowell was in and behind everythmg, givmg 
direction and unity to all. She kept the wires very hot 
between New York and Boston that week; and one 
morning, I remember, an energetic school teacher appeared 
at my office straight from Mrs. Lowell's desk to make 
absolutely sure that the Bishop of Hereford did not fail 



to be present at the principal New York meeting. I think 
she stayed in Boston abnost until the Bishop was actually 
on the train ; and I felt each time she came to me that Mrs. 
Lowell's eyes, so keen for every detail, were looking at me 
through hers. 

There are none of us charged with the peace work here 
in Boston who will not always feel her eyes upon us, en- 
couraging, pleading, and commanding. I trust that the 
same thought of her untiring service, her consecration, and 
her presence may be a perpetual inspiration to the new 
peace society just being organized in New York. Its 
organization would have been to her a joy — that greatest 
of joys to her, a new opportunity and instrument for ser- 
vice. Those in New York who loved her can show their 
gratitude in no way which would have given her greater 
satisfaction than by supporting as she would have done 
this hopeful movement in their city for the warfare against 

Edwin B. Mead. 

Boston, Mass. 

Josephine Shaw Lowell 
In Memoriam 

As now and then a star breaks through the gloom 
With glow so strong, so tender, and serene, 
Dispelling, one by one, the brooding clouds — 
Till midnight shades melt in the glow of morn — 
So, now and then a soul serene and strong 
Shines downward through the clouds of human pain, 
And through the dark of human need and wrong, 


Till, 'neath its patient toil and radiant calm -- 
Evil shrinks back abashed, and good is crowned. 

A star like this is for no land or clime ; 

Each cloud alike its radiance must share 

Md when its light IS lost, the whole earth mourns. 

A soul like hers to the wide world belongs, 

t light, though sometimes hid awhile or quenched. 

Flames ever at the heart of hmnan woes; 

And, kept aUve by those who knew and loved, 

Becomes consuming fire to every wrong 

That holds humanity in suffering s thrall. 

Shme on, Star ! m life's oftK^louded heaven ! 
Bum on, Soul of flame ! in life's sore needs. 
P^oe e'en our sadness.. ^^^ ^^^ ^^^^r^! ^Jf 
To those who glad would follow where ^t leads. 
Who fain would change their love and ^ef to ^^^^^^^^^ 

Mary Lowe Dickinson. 

From the New Ycrrk Evening Post, April 14, 1906. 

The Sebvice-tkee 
To Josephine Shaw Lowell 

There's an old Icelandic rune, 
Chanted to a mournful tune, 
Of the service-tree, that grows 
O'er the sepulchres of those 
Who for others' sins have died, — 
Others' hatred, greed, or pride, — 




Living monuments that stand, 
Planted of no human hand. 

So from her fresh-flowered grave — 
Hers who all her being gave 
Other lives to beautify, 
Other ways to purify, — 
There shall spring a spirit-tree, 
In her loving memory. 
Till its top shall reach the skies. 
Telling of her sacrifice. 

John Finley. 

From the Century Magazine, May, 1906. 

The memorial volume also contains, resolutions of 
regret at Mrs. Lowell's death, adopted by the Sixth 
New York State Conference of Charities and Correction, 
November 16, 1905. Resolutions were also adopted by 
the "Woman's Auxiliary of the New York Civil Service 
Reform Association, November 7, 1905; by the New 
York State Federation of Women's Clubs, and by the 
Woman's Municipal League of New York. 

The New York State Board of Charities at its meeting 
January 10, 1906, unanimously adopted a minute express- 
ing regret at the death of their former colleague, Mrs. 
Lowell. The State Charities Aid Association took appro- 
priate action at the annual meeting, December 6, 1906. 
The Women's Auxiliary of the Massachusetts Civil Ser- 
vice Reform Association adopted resolutions of regret, and 



the Federation Bulletin of January, 1906, published an 
obituary and memorial notices. 

The Woman's Municipal League, in conjunction with 
the Consumers' League and the Woman's Auxiliary of 
the New York Civil Service Reform Association, organiza- 
tions, as we have seen, founded and led by Mrs. Lowell, 
held a meeting in her memory at New York, on April 12, 
1906, under the chairmanship of Miss Margaret L. 
Chanler, President of the Woman's Municipal League. 

The MmUhly BulUtin of that League for May following 
took the form of a memorial number to Mrs. Lowell, and 
the following extracts are made from tributes then paid 
to her : 

Miss Louisa Lee Schuyler 
It gives me much pleasure, as an old friend of Mrs. 
Lowell, a friend from girlhood, although several years 
her senior, to join with you in this tribute of affectionate 
respect to her memory. . . • 

Had she not chosen to give her life to the service of 
others, to the poor and friendless, she would doubtless 
have made her mark in literature, for that life of aspiration, 
earnestness, and industry was destined to leave its impress 
on the world in some form. One thing she could never 
have been, and this too was open to her, a society 
woman, caring for fashionable society alone. Not that 
her social position, always recognized as of the best, 
did not help her in her work, for it did ; but she looked upon 
it and upon her other possessions, as of the things to be 
used for others, if she ever thought of them at all. . . . 

-iii :| 



Those who knew Mrs. Lowell well knew that the ex- 
periences of those years of the war were the abiding in- 
fluences in her life, not of despair or bitterness, but of 
sweetness and strength. One could not be with her — I 
never could — without feehng, through her silence, the 
ever-present background of the war ; without a sense of 
reverence for that supreme sacrifice for country, so nobly 
accepted ; without seeing the halo upon her brow. . . . 

Miss Kate Bond 

Mrs. Lowell was in earnest in whatever cause she under- 
took, and because she was in earnest, men and women 
believed in her and listened to her plans and followed her 
leadership. She considered carefully the methods she 
adopted ; she never wearied in her aims, and the citizens 
of this city took time to consider the practical suggestions 
made by this wise and self-sacrificing wom^ for the public 
good. . . . Behold the membership and influence of the 
Woman's Municipal League as it is today ! It was Mrs. 
Lowell, our strong adherent to the right, who conceived 
the idea of uniting women to consider the city's needs ! 
She never faltered in her interest or in her determination 
to promote an honest city government, in so far as her 
individual power and influence could efi'ect it. Day and 
night, with but few to hold up her hands, in the early days 
of this League, Mrs. Lowell toiled to create interest among 
women and men in our city affairs. I have seen her when 
the early autumn came, previous to the city elections, 
while most of her associates were still out of town, day 
after day, preparing documents for distribution and writing 



notes to absent acquaintances, soliciting the use of draw- 
ing-rooms in which meetings might be held to discuss the 
city's political issues. Great as was the cause to be main- 
tained, she held no detail as too small to receive her 
attention. . . . 

Miss Grace H. Dodge 

Miss Dodge spoke extemporaneously of Mrs. Lowell 
and her relationship to the peace movement, and especially 
emphasized her beautiful service in the fall of 1904, when 
the great National Peace Conference was held in Boston 
and extra meetings in New York City. She also 
further described the spirit of peace and love and gentle- 
ness which always pervaded Mrs. LoweU's personaUty 
and her home surroundings, and said how much this 
peaceful atmosphere had done to rest and help the many 
tired workers and friends who came in to consult her. 

Mrs. William H. Schieffelin* 
In the death of Mrs. Lowell, the Woman's AuxiUary 
of the Civil Service Reform Association has lost its most 

loyal and distinguished member In studying the 

story of Mrs. LoweU's life, from the time when her young 
husband and her brother were killed in the Civil War - 
when she consecrated her life to the cause of humamty - 
we are thriUed at the revelation of the purity and nobihty 
of her character. Mrs. LoweU's absolute abnegation of 
self, her unique unworldliness, her tender sympathy for 

. Minute presented by Mrs. Scbiefielin and adopted by the Woman s 
Auxiliary of the New York Civil Service Reform Association. 






the neglected and suffering, her passionate desire to help 
those longing and struggling for Uberty and independence, 
her burning indignation against all that was unworthy 
and untrue, her patriotism and civic pride, her cheerful- 
ness, helpfulness, and especially her humility, show a 
nature of surpassing purity and strength, a pattern not 
to women alone, but to all Americans. We who have 
been associated with Mrs. LoweU know that her place i 
cannot be filled, for we have lost the inspiration of our 
leader and our dear friend. 

Tributes paid in words, however eloquent, do not alone , 
record the memory of Mrs. Lowell and her work. It was ' 
the privilege of a loving daughter to commemorate the , 
sacrificial Uves of both her parents in providing the first ':, 
of these other memorials. Charles Russell LoweU ac- •' 
quired in 1859 a tract of land containing two hundred and 
one acres, situated about four miles from the city of Dixon, 
Illinois. The purchase is supposed to have been made | 
partly for investment and partly because of the beauty of \ 
the property. On his death, in 1864, Mrs. Lowell inherited ; 
this land from her husband, and for more than forty years, ■' 
refusing either to sell or to lease, she held it in his memory, ; 
carefully preserving the natural beauties he had loved so ,• , 
well. Miss Lowell in turn inherited it from her mother,-' ^ 
soon after whose death in 1905, she carried out her wishes.^ 
by conveying it to the city of Dixon for a pubUc park./ 
There could be no more appropriate memorial. For 
many years a dweller in the most crowded city in the 
world, Mrs. Lowell had always deplored the lack of breathr 

..■* <J 

ing spaces for the people and of playgrounds for children, 
and she herseK had led, or actively supported, several 
movements in New York intended to supply present needs, 
and also to make ample provision of new parks in the sub- 
urbs for the future growth of the metropohs. With the 
deed of the property, Miss Lowell presented a valuable 
report which she had obtained from Olmsted Brothers, 
eminent landscape architects of Boston, in which they 
described the land included in the gift, and made recom- 
mendations for its development and for the manner of its 
future use. The Legislature of IlUnois promptly passed 
a law enabling the acceptance of the land for park purposes 
by the city, which on May 8, 1907, appointed a board of 
five commissioners for the control and improvement of 
"Lowell Park." 

A second memorial to Mrs. Lowell is a fountain at Rad- 
cliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, erected by Ma- 
jor Henry L. Higginson and Mrs. Higginson of Boston. 
The fountain, an old Venetian basin of red granite, was 
dedicated June, 1906, on which occasion a eulogy of Mrs. 
LoWWl was delivered to the students by Major Higginson. 

In the early years of the Charity Organization Society, 
Mrs. Lowell was often associated with Mr. Robert W. 
Hebberd, one of the executive officers, who, after nearly 
ten years' subsequent service as Secretary of the State 
Board of Charities, in 1906 became Commissioner of 
Public Charities of the City of New York, by the ap- 
pointment of Mayor McClellan. Mr. Hebberd had the 
gratification of honoring the memory of his fellow-worker, 
by giving her name to a new hospital steamboat of his 




department. Built at West New Brighton, Staten 
Island, within sight of Mrs. Lowell's old home. The Lowell 
was launched. May 25, 1908, with appropriate ceremonies, 
witnessed by many of her friends, and went into com- 
mission September 1, of that year. Assigned, primarily, 
to the duty of carrying patients from the East Twenty- 
sixth Street pier of the Department to the hospitals and 
other institutions on the islands in the East River, this 
steamboat, which has capacity for two hundred passengers, 
and is provided with several private cabins for the very ill, 
carries on her daily trips a physician, a matron, and a nurse, 
to minister to those in need of special care. A bronze me- 
morial tablet sxxitably inscribed has been placed by Mr. 
Hebberd in the saloon. Long may The Lowell ply 
the waters of the metropolis on her errands of mercy, 
and so continually recall the devoted labors of the noble 
woman whose name she bears, for the relief of the sick 
and unfortunate of the great city. 

It will be remembered that several of the speakers at 
the Memorial Meeting to Mrs. Lowell, held in the United 
Charities Building, suggested that some suitable civic 
monument should perpetuate her name and her services 
to the City of New York. Shortly afterward a com- 
mittee, under the chairmanship of Seth Low, was organized 
to carry out this recommendation. After carefully con- 
sidering a number of plans, the committee decided that 
the memorial should take the form of a fountain,^ to be 
erected in Bryant Park, near the New York City Public 
Library. The fountain of Stony Creek granite consists 
* Designed by Charles A. Piatt, Architect. 



of a large bowl of classic design, from which the water 
flows into a basin of twenty-seven feet in diameter. The 
subscribers to the fund for the erection of the fountain 
numbered nearly three hundred. 

At the New York State Training School for Girls, 
formerly the House of Refuge for Women, at Hudson, an 
institution which in consideration of Mrs. Lowell's 
founder's interest might appropriately in future bear her 
name, and also at the State Reformatory for Women at 
Bedford there are Lowell Cottages. These State institu- 
tions, the Asylum at Newark, and the record of her Hfe 
work are her most enduring memorials. 


1877, Feb. 28. 

Sept. 4. 

Sept. 7. 

Oct. 20. 

Dec. 24. 

1878, Jan. 14. 


Mch. 14. 

Nov. 12. 

A young girl's wartime diary, July 23, 1861-November 
9, 1862. 

Lowell, J. S., Theodore Roosevelt, and Henry Hoguet. 
Report relating to the New York Juvenile Guardian 
Society of the City of New York. Eleventh Annual 
Report, S. B. C.,^ 1878, pp. 99-102. 

Report on Assembly Bill No. 79, 1877, to S. B. C. 
Mrs. Lowell for majority, Samuel F. Miller for 
minority in re : Reformatory treatment of vagrants, 
Pamphlet. 4 p. 

Extracts from a report on pauperism presented by 
Dr. C. S. Hoyt, Secretary of S. B. C, in regard to 
vagrant, feeble-minded, and idiotic inmates of the 
almshouses of the State. 

Roosevelt, Theodore, J. S. Lowell, Edward C Don- 
nelly. Communication to the Mayor of New York in 
regard to the OflScial Charities of the City. Eleventh 
Annual Report, S. B. C, 1878, pp. 207-225. 

Lowell, J. S., Edward C. Donnelly. Communica- 
tion to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment 
of the City of New York. Ibid., pp. 229-230. 

Roosevelt, Theodore, J. S. Lowell. Communication 
to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment of the 
City of New York. Ibid., pp. 231-234. 

Report of a majority of the Committee on Vagrancy, 
Mrs. Lowell, Chairman. Minutes, S. B. C, 1878- 
1885, pp. 16-17. 

Report of Committee appointed to confer with the 
Trustees of the Idiot Asylum. Minutes, S. B. C, 
1878-1885, p. 15. 

Report of the Committee to which was referred the 

•New York State Board of Charities. 






Senate Bill No. 322, 1878, proposing the hiring of 
buildings as workhouses for women. Minutes, 
S. B. C, 1878-1885, pp. 63-66. 

1879, Jan. Lowell, J. S., Edward C. Donnelly. Report relating 

to the pubhc charities of New York City. Twelfth 
Annual Report, S. B. C, pp. 237-256. Also in 
pamphlet form. 
May 28. One means of preventing pauperism, in re: The social 
harm caused by vagrant and degraded women. 
Proceedings of the Sixth Annual Conference of 
Charities and Correction, Chicago, June, 1879, 
pp. 189-200. Pamphlet form, 14 p. 
Commissioners Lowell, Ropes and Foster. Report of 
the Committee on a Reformatory for Women, 
Twelfth Annual Report, S. B. C, 1879, pp. 289-292. 

1880, Jan. 13. Reformatories for women. Thirteenth Annual Report, 

S. B. C, 1880, pp. 173-180. Also in pamphlet form. 
Mch. 29. Pubhc aid for private charitable institutions caring 

for dependent children. New York World, 2 col. 
Paper read before the Members of the New York State 

Association of Teachers, " Relation of education 

to insanity, crime, and pauperism." New York, 

1886. Pamphlet, 18 p. 
Public Charities of New York City;. Thirteenth 

Annual Report, S. B. C, pp. 137-169. Also in 

pamphlet form, 32 p. 

1881, Jan. 6. Report upon the condition and needs of the insane of 

New York City ; Fourteenth Annual Report, S. B. C, 

1881, pp. 177-193. 

July. Considerations upon a better system of public charities 
and correction for cities. Proceedings of the 
Eighth National Conference of Charities and Cor- 
rection, Boston, July 25-30, 1881, pp. 168-185. 
Also in pamphlet form, 18 p. 

Oct. IL Report in relation to out-door relief societies in New 
York City. Fifteenth Annual Report, S. B. C, 

1882, pp. 321-331. 

Some facts concerning the jails, penitentiaries, and 
poorbouses of the State of New York. 
Dec. 6. Report on the State Institutions for the Deaf and 
Dumb, and the Asylum for Idiots. Fifteenth An- 
nual Report, S. B. C, 1882, pp. 117-151. Also in 
pamphlet form, 35 p. 

1882, Jan. 10. Report on the Public Charities of New York City. 

Ibid., pp. 289-317. 

Mch. 16. Lowell, J. S., Stephen Smith, M. D. Report of 
committee to consider the needs of the insane of 
New York City, and to suggest a plan for their care. 
Minutes, S. B. C, 1878-1885, pp. 304-306. 

Dec. 19. Lowell, J. S., John C Devereux. Report of the Stand- 
ing Committee on Idiots. Sixteenth Annual Report, 
S. B. C, 1883, pp. 131-135. 

1883, Jan. 10. Report of the Standmg Committee on the Deaf and 

Dumb. Ibid., pp. 139-148. 

Apr. 11. Resolution opposed to the passage of Assembly Bill 
No. 654, entitled "An Act to make Provision in Aid 
of and for the Support of CerUin Poor in the City 
of New York." Minutes, S. B. C, 1878-1885, p. 391. 

Oct. 10. Report on the organization and work of the Charity 
Organization Society of the City of New York. 
Seventeenth Annual Report, S. B. C. 1884, pp. 135- 
Duties of friendly visitors. Charity Organization So- 
ciety papers. No. 11. 4 p. 
Report on the insane and lunatic asylums of New York 
City. Sixteenth Annual Report, S. B. C, 1883, 
pp. 151-163. 

1884, Apr. 19. Stewart, W. R., J. S. Lowell, J. J. Milhau. Report of 

the Special Committee of the S. B. C. upon the man- 
agement of the New York Infant Asylum. Ordered 
printed by Board, Dec. 16, 1884. Pamphlet, 22 p. 
PubUc Relief and Private Charity. G. P. Putnam's 
Sons, New York and London. Ill p. "Questions 
of the Day," No. XIII. 



Devereux, John C, J. S. Lowell. Report of the Stand- 
ing Committee on the Deaf and Dumb. Seven- 
teenth Annual Report, S. B. C, 1884,' pp. 325-326. 

Commissioners Lowell, Ropes, Ripley. Report of the 
Standing Committee on Outdoor Relief. Ibid., 
pp. 141-161. 

1885, Mch. 16. The bitter cry of the poor in New York. Some of its 

causes and some of its remedies; Christian Union, 
Vol. XXXI, No. 13. 3 col. 
Apr. 1. On the relation of employers and employed. A paper 
read at the Women's Conference of the Philadelphia 
Society for Organizing Charity, April 1, 1885. 
Pamphlet published by the society. 8 p. 

1886, Jan. 12. Report on the institutions for the care of destitute 

children of the City of New York. Nineteenth 

Annual Report, S. B. C, pp. 165-243. 
Sept. Public outdoor relief; Intemalimal Record, No. 7, 

p. 110. 
Dec. 9. Stewart, William R., J. S. Lowell, Robert McCarthy. 

Report of the Standing Committee on Reformatories. 

Twentieth Annual Report, S. B. C, 1887, pp. 165- 

Dec. 15. Report on the Public Charities of New York City. 

Ibid., pp. 217-279. 

1887, Apr. 25. Extracts from a paper read at the Woman's Con- 

ference, " New York City Department of Charities." 
Pamphlet, 5 p. 

July 12. The Work-house, New York City. Twenty-first 
Annual Report, S. B. C, 1888, pp. 335-346. * 

Aug. How to adapt charity organization methods to small i 
conmnmities. Proceedings of the Fourteenth Na-)-;!- 
tional Conference of Charities and Correction, « | 
Omaha, Neb., Aug. 25-31, 1887, pp. 135-143. ' ' 

Dec. 5. Charity Organization. An address delivered before * 
the Women's Christian Conference of New YorkL- 
City. T: 

Dec. 9. Report on the Department of I^lblic Charities and"}i|l 



1888, Feb. 8. 

Nov. 20. 

Dec. 8. 

Dec. 12. 

Dec. 12. 

1889, Jan. 4. 
Feb. 8. 
July 6. 

Deo. 10. 

Correction of the City of New York. Twenty-first 
Aimual Report, S. B. C, pp. 261-271. Also in 
pamphlet form. 
Report on the Work-house, New York City. 
Paper read at first public meeting of the Working 

Women's Society. 
Paper read at third annual meeting of the Charity 
Organization Society of Castleton. " Charity Or- 
ganization Society purposes." Ms. Pamphlet, 3 p. 

Milhau, John J., J. S. Lowell. Report in reference 
to insane in New York City. Minutes, S. B. C, 
188&-1890, p. 175. 

Stewart, William R., J. S. Lowell. Report of the 
Standing Committee on Reformatories. Twenty- 
second Annual Report, S. B. C, 1888, pp. 315-368. 

Report on the Randall's Island Schools for Defective 
Children. Ibid., pp. 431-435. Also in pamphlet 

Report on the Work-house, New York City. Ibid., 
pp. 41&-428. Also in pamphlet form. 

Report of the Standing Committee on Out-door Relief. 
Twenty-third Annual Report, S. B. C, 1888, pp. 349- 

Sunday School Talks. Five papers " Our duties in 
connection with charity and relief giving;" read 
before the Sunday School of the Lenox Ave. Uni- 
tarian Church, New York City. 34 pages. 

Paper read before the League of Unitarian Women. 

Letter to feather manufacturers of New York. Ms. 
3 p. 

Report on proposed organization of an asylum for 
destitute Italian children in the City of New York. 
Minutes, S. B. C, 1886-1890, pp. 209-210. 

Report upon the care of dependent children in the City 
of New York and elsewhere. Twenty-third Annual 
Report, S. B. C, pp. 175-249. 


1890, May. 

Aug. 5. 

1891, Mch. 

1892, Jan. 
July 15. 
Dec. 2. 

1893, Jan. 


LoweU, J. S., Robert McCarthy. Report on the Stand- 
ing Committee on Reformatories. Ibid., pp. 123- 
136. Also in pamphlet form. 
Report of the Standing Committee on the Deaf and 

Dumb. Ibid., pp. 139-163. 
The Economic and Moral Effects of Public Outdoor 
Relief, Proceedings of the Seventeenth National 
Conference of Charities and Correction, Baltimore 
May 14-21, 1890, pp. 81-91. Alao in pamphlet 
form, 11 p. 

Letter to Board of PoUce of New York City, re: PoUce 

Matrons. ^ col. 
Out-door Relief. Its effect upon the recipient. 
Twenty-fourth Annual Report, S. B. C, 1890. 
Also in pamphlet form. 8 p. 
Book review. "In Darkest England and the Way 
Out," by General Booth, 1890. Magazine of 
Christian Literature, March, 1891, p. 440. 3 p. 
Typewritten copy, 11 p. with emendations. 
General Booth's book again. (Incomplete). Type- 

wntten. 5 p. 
Labor organization as affected by law. (Largely 
quotation.) In first number of Charities Reinew, 
November, 1891. 
Need in New York City of Reformatory for Women. 
In 5tate Charities Record, New York, January 1892 
Vol. Ill, No. 3, pp. 26-27. 
Workingmen's Rights in property created by them. 
Letter to editor of New York Times. Also in pam- 
phlet form, 6 p. 
Raikoad Strikes. New York Times, Dec. 2, 1892, 2 col 
The Darkest England Social Scheme. A. brief review ' 

of the first year's work. Typewritten. 10 p. 
The Rights and Wrongs of Strikes. 
Industrial Peace. Reprinted from CharUiea Retdew I 
for January, 1893. Pamphlet. 7 p. J 

A chapter of industrial history. Re: Lidustrial ' 



Conciliation. Mainly translated from the French. 
Reprinted from Charities Review for May, 1893. 
Pamphlet. 6 p. 

June. Felix qui causam rerum cognovit. Charities Review, 
June, 1893. 8 p. 
1894, May. Five Months' Work for the Unemployed in New York 
City. Typewritten. 27 p. 
The Great Coal Strike of 1894. Typewritten. 
8 p. 

Sept. 26. The Elmira Reformatory. A Letter to the Evening 
Post. 1 p. 

Sept. The Unemployed in New York City, 1893-1894. 
Read before the American Social Science As- 
sociation, at Saratoga, September, 1894, and again 
before the Council of the Charity Organization 
Society of Buffalo, Oct. 3, 1894. Printed in 

Oct. 9. 

Buffalo Courier, Oct. 14, 1894. Ij col. 

Oct. 20. 

1895, Apr. 4 

Letter to Frances E. Willard advising how the 
W. C. T. U. can best help the working people. 
Typewritten. 5 p. 

Lowell, J. S., Felix Adler, C. W. Hoadley. Com- 
mittee of New York Council of Mediation and Con- 
ciliation. To Clothing Manufacturers Association 
Contractors Protective Union Brotherhood of 
Tailors. Re: Arbitration. Typewritten. 2 p. 

ReUef for the Unemployed. 

An Example of Arbitration. Reprints from The Voice. 
4 p. 

Poverty and its relief. The methods possible in the 
City of New York. Proceedings of the Twenty- 
second National Conference of Charities and Cor- 
rection, New Haven, Conn., May 24-30, 1895, 
pp. 44-54. 
June 20. Two much-needed county institutions. A paper read 
at the Convention of County Superintendents of the 
Poor, Ogdensburg, N. Y. Re: Farm colony for 
vagrants. 9 p. 



1896, Jan. 

Sept. 30. 
Dec. 30. 

1895, Nov. 15. Industrial Peace. Fragment. 5 p. 
Nov. 15. County visiting committees. 10 p. 

Industrial Arbitration and Conciliation. Publications 
of the Church Social Union, Series B, No. 8. 
Boston. 19 p. 

Charity. To the Sunday School children of the 
Lenox Ave. Unitarian Church, New York City. 
Typewritten. 6 p. 

Industrial Conciliation. 

Some American examples of industrial conciliation. 
For "Live Questions Bureau." Typewritten, lip. 

Lowell, J. S., and others. Homeless men and women. 
A letter to Commander Booth Tucker, Salvation 
Army. Typewritten. 9 p. 

The Reform of the Civil Service and the Spoils Sys- 
tem. Read before the Women's Auxiliary of the 
C. S. R. A. and the League for Political Education. 
Publication No. 2, League for Political Education. 
16 p. 

Charity Problems. 2 ool. reprint from the Chicago 
Record. 7 p. 

Relation of women to the movement for reform in 
the Civil Service. National Civil Service Reform 

The true siim of Charity Organization Societies. The 
Forum for June, 1896. Pamphlet. 7 p. 

Argument on the Department of Public Charities, the 
Department of Correction, and the payment of 
public funds to private institutions. Reprint. 4 p. 

The influence of cheap lodging houses on city pau- 
perism. Partly in Evening Post. Typewritten, with 
emendations in ink. 13 p. 
May. Industrial Conciliation. For Brooklyn Ethical 

Society, May, 1898. Typewritten. 12 p. 

Address to Women's Municipal League. 
June 29. Civil Service Reform and Public Charity. Proceed- 
ings of the Twenty-seventh Annual Convention of-, 

1897, Jan. 14. 

Feb. 16. 



County Superintendents of the Poor, of the State of 
New York. 
Civil Service Reform is the People's Cause. 
On better city government in New York City at close 
of Mayor Strong's administration. Typewritten. 
4 p. 
The Rights of Capital and Labor and Industrial Con- 
ciliation. Publications of the Church Social Union, 
No. 38, June 15, 1897. Boston. Pamphlet. 23 p. 
"Your Committee thought that the offices of the 
Council might be useful in bringing the AflBliated- 
Trades and Mason Builders together." Re : Arbitrar 
tion. 1 p., pencil notes. 
1898, Aug. Benefit from Police Matrons in New York City Station 
Houses. Ms. 2 p. 
City Coal. 
May. Civil Ser\'ice Reform. Proceedings of the Twenty- 
fifth National Conference of Charities and Correc- 
tion, New York, May 1.8-25, 1898, pp. 256-261. 
Sept. Woman's Municipal League of the City of New York. 
In Municipal Affairs, September, 1898. 
The Ethics of Civil Service Reform. Address de- 
livered in Broadway Tabernacle. 
The Evils of Investigation and Relief. A paper read 
before the training class in Practical Philanthropic 
Work, June 21, 1898. Reprint from Charities for 
July, 1898. Pamphlet. 4 p. 
A hard lesson in reform. Letter to New York 

Civil Service Reform, Part I. Typewritten. 10 p. 
Civil Service Reform. Typewritten. 20 p. 
Nov. 18. Children. Typewritten. 27 p. 

Letter to Evening Post on Civil Service. 

The Living Wage. Ms. 

Out-door relief in coal. Report of Committee, Mrs. 

Lowell, chairman. 
Spain and Civil Service Reform. Letter to Evening Post. 





Also in '?■ 


What can young men do for the city? Ms. < 

1899, Feb. 4. The uses and dangers of investigation in public and ;' 

private charities. Read before the New York ^1 

Medical League at its meeting at the Academy of ': 

Medicine, Jan. 20, 1899. In Pvblic and Private 

Charities, Feb. 4, 1899, on p. 135. 4 col. 

Medical News for Feb. 4, 1899. 
Drunkenness and the evil of short sentences. A 

review of the Boston report on the subject. 1 p. 

Ms + 19 typewritten. 
Relation of Women to good Government. Address ' 

to Y. W. C. A. 
Lowell, J. S., L. D. Wald, E. S. Williams. Emergency • 

Rehef Funds. A letter published in Charities, Feb. " 

25, 1899. ■ 

Report of Committee on District Work. Charities, \ 

Sept. 25, 1899. ' 

Inspection of private charities. Charities, Jan. 27, 1900. ;- 
Why day nurseries are needed. 2 p. ; 

Committee reports on Civil Service Reform. 
Letters to editor of Charities in regard to communal .- 

dwellings for widows with children. '. 

Report of Committee on Civil Service Reform, New 'i 

York State Federation of Women's Clubs. > 

1903, June. Letter to President Roosevelt in behalf of Executive ,, 

Committee, Women's Auxiliary, Civil Service Re- * 

form Association, requesting that women steam- '^j 

ship inspectors be appointed from eligible list. K 

Sept., Oct. Letters to Woman's Municipal L ague Bulletin. '■ '.f 

Booker T. Washmgton. Ms. 2 p. 'Ij- 

Nov. 10. Report of Committee on Civil Service Reform, Nev^k 

York State Federation of Women's Clubs, Utica>V 

N. Y. Pamphlet. 11 p. *,, 

1904, Nov. 1. Report of Conunittee on Civil Service Reform, New! 

York State Federation of Women's Clubs, Syracusey 
N. Y. Pamphlet. 6 p. if 


Feb. 6. 

Feb. 18. 

Sept. 15 


Jan. 22, 




Report of Committee on Civil Service Reform, New 
■York State Federation of Women's Clubs. Bing- 
hamton, N. Y. (Last public work of the chairman, 
Mrs. Lowell.) Clippings from "Federation Bul- 
letin" of January, 1905. 4 col. 

England of 1877, — America, 1904. 7 p. 





1877, Sept. 7. Extracts from a report on Pauperism presented by 
Dr. C. S. Hoyt, Secretary of S. B. C, in regard to 
vagrants, feeble-minded, and idiotic inmates of 
the almshouses of the State. 

Chamty Organization Society 
1883, Oct. 10. Report on the organization and work of the Charity 

Organization Society of the City of New York, 

Seventeenth Annual Report, S. B. C, 1884, pp. 

Duties of friendly visitors. Charity Organization 

Society papers. No. 11. 4 p. 
1885, Mch. 16. The bitter cry of the poor in New York. Some of its 

causes and some of its remedies ; Christian Union, 

Vol. XXXI, No. 13. 3 col. 

1887, Dec. 5. Charity Organization. An address delivered before 

the Women's Christian Conference of New York 
City. Newspaper. 4 col. 
Aug. How to adapt charity organization methods to small 
communities. Proceedings of the Fourteenth Na- 
tional Conference of Charities and Correction, 
Omaha, Neb., August 25-31, 1887, pp. 135-143. 
Also Charity Organization Society of the City of 
New York, publication No. 32, 8 p. 

1888, April Paper read at third annual meeting of the Charity 

Organization Society of Castleton. Re: Charity 
Organization Society Purposes. Pamphlet, 3 p. 
The true Aim of Charity Organization Societies. The 
Forum, June, 1896. Pamphlet, 7 p. 




1899, Sept. 25. Report of Committee on District Work. Charities, 
Sept. 25, 1899. 6 p. 


1886, Jan. 12. Report on the institutions for the care of destitute 
children of the City of New York. Nineteenth 
Annual Report, S. B. C, pp. 165-243. 

1889, July 6. Report on proposed organization of an asylum for 
destitute Italian children in the City of New York. 
Minutes, S. B. C, 1886-1890, pp. 209-210. 
Dec. 10. Report upon the care of dependent children in the City 
of New York and elsewhere. Twenty-tlurd Annual 
Report, S. B. C, 175-249. 
Children. . Typewritten. 27 p. 

Civil Service 

1896, Dec. 30. The Reform of the Civil Service and the Spoils System. 

Read before the Women's Auxiliary of the Civil 
Service Reform Association and the League for 
Political Education. Publication No. 2, League 
for Political Education. 
Relation of Women to the Movement for Reform in 
the Civil Service. National Civil Service Reform 

1897, June 29. Civil Service Reform is the People's Cause. 

Civil Service Reform and Public Charity. Pro- 
ceedings of the Twenty-seventh Annual Convention 
. of County Superintendents of the Poor of the 

State of New York. 

1898, May. Civil Service Reform. Proceedings of the Twenty- 

fifth National Conference of Charities and Cor- 
rections, New York, May 18-25, 1898, pp. 256-261. 
Civil Service Reform, 10 p. 
Aug. Benefit from Police Matrons in New York City Station 
Houses. 2 p. Ms. 



Oct. 15. A hard lesson in refonn. Letter to New York 

Tribune. 3 p. 
May. Spain and Civil Service Refonn. Letter to Evening 
1899. Jan. 1. Letter to Evening Post on Civil Service. Ma. 

The Ethics of Civil Service Reform. Address deliv- 
ered in Broadway Tabernacle. 

1901. Committee report on Civil Service Reform. 

1902. Report of the Conunittee on Civil Service Refonn, 

New York State Federation of Women's Clubs. 

1903. June. Letter to President Roosevelt in behalf of Executive 

Conmiittee, Women's AuxiUary, Civil Servive Re- 
form Association, requesting that women steamship 
inspectors be appointed from eligible list. Ms., 
small fragment. 
Nov. 10. Committee report on Civil Service Reform, New 
York State Federation of Women's Clubs, Utioa, 
N. Y. Pamphlet. 11 p. 

1904. Report of Committee on Civil Service Reform, New 

York State Federation of Women's Clubs, Syracuse, 
N. Y. Pamphlet. 6 p. 

1905. Committee report on Civil Service Reform, New 

York State Federation of Women's Clubs, Bingham- 

ton, N. Y. (Last public work of the chairman, Mrs. 

Lowell.) Federation BvUetin, January, 1905. 4 col. 
Annual Report of the Women's Auxiliary to the Civil 

Service Refonn Association. 
Civil Service Reform. Typewritten. 4 p. 
Civil Service Reform. Typewritten. 7 p. , 
Report of Civil Service Conmiittee. No date. Ms. 

13 p. 
Two Systems. Ledger article on Evening Post letter. 
Report of Executive Conunittee of Women's Auxiliary 

to Civil Service Reform Association. Addressed 

to Original Charter Commission. 

CoNsxmERs' Leagues 
Consumers' leagues. 2 p. 




1878, Mch. 14. Report of Committee appointed to confer with Board 
of Trustees of the Idiot Asylum, Minutes, S. B. C, 
1878-1885, p. 15. 

1881, Dec. 6. Report on the State Institutions for the Deaf and 

Dumb, and Asylum for Idiots. Fifteenth Annual 
Report, S. B. C, 1882, pp. ^117-151. Also in 
pamphlet form, 35 p. 

1882, Dec. 19. Lowell, J. S., John C. Devereux. Report of the Stand- 

ing Committee on Idiots. Sixteenth Annual Report, 
S. B. C, 1883, pp. 131-135. 

1883, Jan. 10. Report of the Standing Committee on the Deaf and 

Dumb. Ibid., pp. 139-148. 

1884, Devereux, John C, J. S. Lowell. Report of the 

Standing Committee on the Deaf and Dumb. 
Seventeenth Annual Report, S. B. C, 1884, pp. 

1888, Dec. 12. Report on the Randall's Island Schools for Defective 

Children. Twenty-second Annual Report, S. B. C, 

1888, pp. 431-435. Also in pamphlet form. 

1889. Report of the Standing Committee on the Deaf and 

Diunb. Twenty-third Annual Report, S. B. C, 

1889, pp. 139-163. 


Depabtment of Public Chakittes 

1877, Oct. 20. Roosevelt, Theodore, J. S. Lowell, Edward C.Donnelly, 
Communication to the Mayor of New York in re- 
gard to the Official Charities of the city. Eleventh 
Annual Report, S. B. C, 1878, pp. 207-225. 

1879, Jan. Lowell, J. S., Edward C. Donnelly. Report relating 

to the public charities of New York City. Twelfth 
Annual Report, S. B. C, 1879, pp. 237-256. Also 
in pamphlet form. 

1880. PubUc Charities of New York City. Thirteenth 

Annual Report, S. B. C, 1880, pp. 137-169. Also 
in pamphlet form, 32 p. 





1881, July. Considerations upon a better system of public 

charities and correction for cities. Proceedings 
of the Eighth National Conference of Charities and 
Correction, Boston, July 25-30, 1881, pp. 168-185. 
Also in pamphlet form, 18 p. 

1882, Jan. 10. Report on the Public Charities of New York City. 

Fifteenth Annual Report, S. B. C, 1882, pp. 289-317. 

1886, Dec. 15. Report on the Public Charities of New York City. 

Twentieth Annual Report, S. B. C, 1887, pp. 217- 

1887, Apr. 25. Extracts from a paper read at the Woman's Conference. 

Re: New York City Departments of Charities. 
Pamphlet, 5 p. 
Dec. 9. Report on the Department of Public Charities and 
Correction of the City of New York. Twenty-first 
Annual Report, S. B. C, 1888, pp. 261-271. Also 
in pamphlet form. 
1897, Jan. 14. Argument on the Department of Public Charities, the 
Department of Correction, and the payment of 
public funds to private institutions. Pamphlet. 4 p. 
Suggestions regarding the Chapters on Charities and 
Correction in the proposed Charter for Greater New 
York. No date. Typewritten. 4 p. 


1 1861-1862. A young girl's wartune diary; July 23, 1861-Novem- 
ber 9, 1862. 


1877, Deo. 24. Lowell, J. S., Edward C. Donnelly. Conmxunication 

to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment of 
the City of New York. Eleventh Annual Report, 
S. B. C, 1878, pp. 229-230. 

1878, Jan. 14. Roosevelt, Theodore, J. S. Lowell. Communication 

to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment of 
the City of New York. Ihid., pp. 231-234. 

1881, Jan. 6. Report upon the condition and needs of the insane of 

New York City. Fourteenth Annual Report, 
S. B. C, 1881, pp. 177-193. 

1882, Moh. 16. Lowell, J. S., Stephen Smith, M. D. Report of com- 

mittee appointed to consider the needs of the insane 
of New York City, and to suggest a plan for their 
care. Minutes, S. B. C, 1878-1885, pp. 304-306. 

1883, Report on the insane and lunatic asylums of New York 

City. Sbrteenth Annual Report, S. B. C, 1883, 
pp. 151-163. 
1888, Nov. Milhau, John J., Lowell, J. S. Report in reference to 
insane in New York City. Minutes, S. B. C, 
1886-1890, p. 175. 


1885, Apr. 1. On the relation of employers and employed. Read at 
the Women's Conference of the Philadelphia Society 
for Organizing Charity. Pamphlet. 8 p. 

1888, Feb. 8. Paper read at first pubUc meeting of the Working 

Women's Society. Ms. 

1889, Feb. 8. Letter to feather manufacturers of New York. Re : 

Union. Ms. 3 p. 

1891, Nov. Labor organization as affected by law. (Largely 

quotation.) Typewritten. 8 p. 

1892, July 15. Workingmen's Rights in property created by them. 

Pamphlet. Reproduced from letter to editor of 
New York Times. 
The rights and wrongs of strikes. 
Nov. 8. Raikoad Strikes. New York Times, Dec. 2, 1892. 
2 col. 

1893, Jan. Industrial Peace. Reprinted from Charities Review, 

January, 1893. Pamphlet, 7 p. 
May. A chapter of industrial history, fie; Industrial Con- 
ciliation. Mainly translated from the French. 
Pamphlet. Reprinted from Charities Review, May, 
1893. 6 p. 



1894, Oct. 20. 

Oct. 9. 

1895, Apr. 4. 

Nov. 15. 
Nov. 15. 

1896, Jan. 

1897, May. 
June 15. 



Lowell, J. S., Feli.\ Adler, C. W. Hoadley. Com- 
mittee of New York Council of Mediation and Con- 
ciliation. To Clothing Manufacturers Association 
Contractors Protective Union Brotherhood of 
Tailors. Be: Arbitration. Typewritten. 2 p. 

The Great Coal Strike of 1894. Typewritten. 8 p. 

Letter to Frances E. Willard ad\'ising how the 
W. C. T. U. can best help the working people. 
Typewritten. 5 p. 

An example of arbitration. 4 pages of reprints from 
The Voice. 

Industrial Peace. Fragment. 5 p. 

Industrial Arbitration and Conciliation. Publications 
of the Church Social Union, Series B, No. 8. Boston. 
19 p. 

Industrial Conciliation. 

Some American examples of industrial conciliation. 
For "Live Questions Bureau." Typewritten. 11 p. 

Industrial Conciliation. For Brooklyn Ethical Society, 
May, 1898. Typewritten. 14 p. 

The Rights of Capital and Labor and Industrial Con- 
ciliation. Publications of the Church Social Union, 
No. 38. Boston. Pamphlet. 23 p. 

" Your Committee thought that the offices of the Coun- 
cil might be useful in bringing the Afl&liated Trades 
and Mason Builders together." Re: Arbitration. 
1 p., pencil notes. 

The Living Wage. Ms. 

Address to Industrial Union of Employers and Em- 
ployed, in re : Conciliation. Revision of an article 
published in Industrial Peace. Later than 1884. 5 p. 

Regarding strike in mines, Sept. 12-Nov. 3, 1885. A 
fragment. 1885 ( ?) 

The Coal Strike. A letter to the New York Eoening 
Post, June 25, 1893. i col. 

The Coal Strike of 1893-4. A letter to the New 
York Evening Post, Sept. 27, 1893. } col, 



Some American Examples of Industrial Conciliation. 
Address to "The Industrial Union of Employers and 
Employed." A fragment. Ms. 2 p. 

Lowell, J. S., Felix Adler, and C. W. Hoadley. Effort 
to estabUsh Board of Conciliation and Arbitration 
in Clothing Trade of New York City. Typewritten 

The rights of capital and labor. No date. Typewrit- 
ten. 13 p. 


1880, Mch. 29. Public aid for private charitable institutions caring for 
dependent children. New York World. 
Paper read before the Members of the New York State 
Association of Teachers, in re: Relation of education 
to insanity, crime, and pauperism. Pamphlet, New 
York, 1886. 18 p. 

1883, Apr. 11. Resolution opposed to the passage of Assembly Bill 
No. 654, entitled "An Act to make Provision in 
aid of and for the support of certain poor in the 
City of New York." Minutes, S. B. C, 1878-1885, 
p. 391. 

1889, Jan. 4. Paper read before League of Unitarian Women. Ms. 

1897. On better city government in New York City at close 

of Mayor Strong's administration. Typewritten. 
4 p. 
Address to Women's Municipal League. 

1898. What can young men do for the city ? Ms. 

Sept. The Women's Municipal League of the City of 
New York. Municipal Affairs, September, 1898. 
pp. 465-466. 

1899. Feb. 4. The uses and dangers of investigation in public and 

private charities. Read before the New York 
Medical League at its meeting at the Academy of 
Medicine, Jan. 20, 1899. In "Public and Private 
Charities," Feb. 4, 1899, on p. 135. 4 col. Also in 
Medical News for Feb. 4, 1899. 





The Relation of Women to Good Government. 
1900, Jan. 22. Inspection of private charities. In Charities, Vol. 4, 
No. 9, for Jan. 27, 1900, on p. 4. 2 p. 
Why day nurseries are needed. 2 p. 

1902. May. Letters to editor of Charities, in regard to communal 

dwellings for widows with children. 

1903. Booker T. Washington. Ms. 2 p. 

Letters to Woman's Municipal League Bvlletin, Octo- 
ber and November, 1903. 

1904. England of 1877, — America 1904. 7 p. 
Business administration of a city. 3 p. 
Introduction of Dr. Parkhurst and Mr. John Brooks 

Leavitt at a Woman's Municipal League meeting. 
No date. Typewritten. 4 p. 
Small Towns : Civic activities. No date. Type- 
written. 12 p. 

OuTDooa Relief 

1881, Oct. 11. Report in relation to Outdoor Relief Societies in New 
York City. Fifteenth Annual Report, S. B. C, 
1882, pp. 321-331. 

1884. Commissioners Lowell, Ropes, Ripley. Report of the 

Standing Committee on Outdoor Relief. Seven- 
teenth Annual Report, S. B. C, 1884, pp. 141-161. 
Public Relief and Private Charity. G. P. Putnam's 
Sons, New York and London. Ill p. "Questions 
of the Day," No. XIII. 

1886, Sept. Public outdoor relief. In IntemeUwnai Record, No. 7, 
p. 110. 

1888. Report of the Standing Committee on Outdoor Relief. 

Twenty-third Annual Report, S. B. C., 1888, pp. 

1890, May. The Economic and Moral Effects of -Public Outdoor 
Relief. Proceedings of the Seventeenth National 
Conference of Charities and Correction, Baltimore, 
May 14-21, 1890, pp. 81-91. Also pamphlet. 11 p. 

Outdoor Relief. Its effect upon the Recipient. 
Twenty-fourth Annual Report, S. B. C, 1890. 
Also in pamphlet form. 8 p. 

1891, Book review. "In .Darkest England and the Way 

Out," by General Booth, 1890. In Magazine of 
Christian Literature, March, 1891, p. 440. 3 p. 
Also typewritten. 11 p. with emendations. 
General Booth's book again. (Incomplete.) "Type- 
written. 5 p. 

1892, The Darkest England Social Scheme. A brief review 

of the first year's work. Typewritten. 10 p. 

1893, June. Felix qui causam rerum cognovit. From Charities 

Review, June 1893. 8 p. 

1894, May. Five Month's Work for the Unemployed in New York 

City. Charities Review, May, 1894. 

Relief for the unemployed. Typewritten. 

The Unemployed in New York City, 1893-1894. 
Read before the American Social Science Associa- 
tion, at Saratoga, September, 1894, and again before 
the Council of the Charity Organization Society of 
Buffalo, Oct. 3, 1894. Printed in Buffalo Courier, 
Oct. 14, 1894. IJ col. 

1895, May. Poverty and its Relief. The methods possible in the 

City of New York. Proceedings of the Twenty- 
second National Conference of Charities and Cor- 
rection, New Haven, Conn., May 24-30, 1895, 
pp. 44-54. 

1896, Jan. Charity Problems. Reprint from the Chicago Record " 

7 p. 

1898. Out^ioor Relief in Coal. Report of Committee, Mrs. 

LoweU, chairman. 
City Coal. 
June 21. The Evils of Investigation and Relief. A paper read 
before the training class in Practical Philanthropic 
Work. Pamphlet. Reprint from Charities for 
July, 1898. 4 p. 

1899. LpweU, J. S., L. D. Wald, E. S. William. Emer- 




gency ReUef Funds. A letter published in C7ion<ie«,| | 
Feb. 25, 1899. '- ^ 

Starving because of alms-giving. No date. 



i >'-~' 

Police Matbons 

- 1' 

1890, Aug. 5. Letter to Board of Police of New York Gity, Re: 

1878, Nov. 12. 

1879, May 28. 

1880, Jan. 13. 


1886, Dec. 9. 

1887, July 12. 

1888, Dec. 8. 

Police Matrons. fS 

Reformatohies , ,j, 

Report of the Committee to which was referred iM 
Senate BiU No. 322, 1878, proposing the hiring\of- 
buildings as workhouses for women. Minutes, 
S. B. C, 1878-1885, pp. 63-66. .V 

One means of preventing pauperism, in re : The social 
harm caused by vagrant and degraded womeni 
Proceedings of the Sixth National Conference of 
Charities, Chicago, June, 1879, pp. 18^200". 
Pamphlet form, 14 p. 

Commissioners Lowell, Ropes, and Foster. Repor^of 
the Committee on a Reformatory for Women, 
Twelfth Annual Report, S. B. C, 1879, pp. 28.9- 
292. ' /. 

Reformatories for women. TMrteenth Annual Report 
S. B. C, 1880, pp. 173-180. Also in pamphlet 
form. ' ' ••• 

Some facts concerning the jails, penitentiaries an;d_ 
poor-houses of the state of New York. 4 p. ■' -- ■- 

Stewart, William R., J. S. Lowell, Robert McCarthy. 
Report of the Standing Committee on Reformatories. 
Twentieth Annual Report, S. B. C, 1887, pp. 165- 

214- "*. m 

The Work-house, New York City. Twenty-first 

Annual Report, S. B. C, 1888, pp. 335-346. ^ .; 

Stewart, William R., J. S. LoweU. Report of 'the 

Dec. 12. 


1892, Jan. 


Standing Committee on Reformatories. Twenty- 
second Annual Report, S. B. C, 1888, pp. 315-368. 

Report on the Work-house, New York City. Ibid., 
pp. 419-428. Also in pamphlet form. 

Lowell, J. S., Robert McCarthy. Report of the 
Standing Committee on Reformatories. Twenty- 
third Annual Report, S. B. C, 1889, pp. 123-136. 
Also in pamphlet form. 

Need in New York City of reformatory for women. 
Instate Charities Record, New York, January, 1892, 
Vol. Ill, No. 3, pp. 26-27. 

The Elmira Reformatory. Letter to the Evening Post. 

Drunkenness and the evil of short sentences. A 
review of the Boston report on the subject. 1 p. 
Ms. -I- 18 typewritten. 

Are labor colonies needed in the United States? 
Not earlier than 1887. Typewritten, 14 p. 

Spanish War Papers 

Moral deterioration following war. Ms. 
Our duties to the Fihpinos. (Incomplete.) 

Special Istvestigations 


1877, Feb. 28. Lowell, J. S., Theodore Roosevelt, and Henry Hoguet ; 
Report relating to the New York Juvenile Guardian 
Society of the City of New York. Eleventh Annual 
Report, S. B. C, 1878, pp. 9^102. 

1884, Apr. 19. Stewart, W. R., J. S. LoweD, J. J. Milhau. Report 
of the Special Committee of the State Board of 
Charities upon the management of the New York 
Infant Asylum. Ordered printed by Board, Dec. 
16, 1884. Pamphlet. 22 p. 

State Charities Aid Association 
1895, Nov. 15. County visiting committees. 10 p. 

:i y 






1877, Sept. 4. 

1878, Meh. 5. 


1896, Sept. 30. 

1897, Feb. 16. 

Sunday School Talks 


Sunday Talks, in re: Our duties in connection with.;"*'- 
charity and relief giving. Five Sundays. Deliv-'v. 
ered before the Sunday School of the Lenox Ave.:''.'i 
Unitarian Church. Typewritten. 34 p. ■ .^ 

Charity. To Sunday School Children of the Lenox ■•'{ 
Ave. Unitarian Church. Typewritten. 6 p. '' ; " 


Report on Assembly Bill No. 79, 1877, to State Boardg- 
of Charities. Mrs. Lowell for majority ; Samuel F.'*- 
Miller for minority, in re: Reformatory treatment| 
of vagrants. Pamphlet, p. 4. ^ 

Report of a majority of the Committee on Vagrancy. 
Mrs. Lowell, Chairman. Minutes, S. B. C, 1878-^; 
1885, pp. 16-17. 'i 

Two much-needed county institutions. A paj)er 
read at the Convention of County Superintendents 
of the Poor, Ogdensburg, N. Y., June 20, 1895^ 
Re: Farm colony for vagrants. Typewritten. 9p. 

Lowell, J. S., C. L. Couper, J. A. McKim, R.''^. , 
McBumey, W. H. Tolman, J. L. Thomas, Jacob Riis, 
H. Folks. Homeless men and women. A letter'to 
Commander Booth Tucker, Salvation Army. (Mra! 
Lowell believed to be the author.) Typewrittraa,, 

9 p. -:^ 

The Influence of cheap lodging houses on city pau; 
perism. Partly in Evening Post. Tsrpewrittcn^^ 
with emendations in ink. 12 p. •; 



Adams, Charles Francis, mention of, 
by Mrs. Lowell, 381, 397. 

Adler, Dr. Feliic, 320; address of, at 
memorial meeting in honor of Mrs. 
Lowell, 519-523. 

Adult Able-bodied Paupers, Mrs. 
Lowell chairman of committee on, 
72-73 ; report on, in almshouses, 73- 

Agassiz, Louis, 4. 

Albion, House of Refuge at, mentioned, 
101, 115; account of establishment 
of, 309-310. 

Almshouses, study of question of, by 
Mrs. Lowell, 72-73; description of 
evil conditions in, 79-80; investi- 
gations of, 88 B. ; report on vagrant, 
feeble-minded, and idiotic inmates 
of, 89; the removal of children 
from, 244-246; work to improve 
condition of, 294 fF. 

Andrew, Governor John A., 4, 41. 

Andrew, Mrs., and President Lincoln, 

Association for Improving the Condi- 
tion of the Poor, 140. 

Baldwin, William H., 520. | 

Bannard, Otto T., 135. 

Barlow, Francis C, 49, 285. 

Barlow, Mrs. Francis C., 6. 

Barnard, President, 75. 

Bedford, N.Y., reformatory for women 
at, 101, 306-309 : act establishing the, 
310 ; opening of, and demonstrated 
need, 311-312; Mrs. Lowell's sup- 
port of, against political influences, 
312—317 ; as an enduring memorial 
to Mrs. Lowell, 549. 

Beecher. Henry Word, 4, 20. 

Bellevuc Hospital, reform in regard to 
so-called insane patients at, 231- 

Bellevue Training School for Nurses, 

Bellevue Visiting Committee, 51, 84-85. 

Bender, Harry H., 312, 313, 316. 

Berold, the horse, 41, 48. 

Besant, Walter, reference to, 167. 
Blackwell's Island, almshouse on, 295. 
Blaokwell's Island lunatic asylum, 

228, 229, 230-231, 233, 238. 
Blaiue, James G., 64. 
Blizzard of 1888, description of, 66. 
Boards of conciliation, 369 ; discussion 

of, 398-400, 405-408, 414. 
Bond, Kate, tribute paid by, to Mrs. 

Lowell, 544-545. 
Booth, General, quoted, 179. 
Brockway, Superintendent, and the 

Elmira Reformatory, 461. 
Brook Farm, 2. 
Brown, Goodwin, 242. 
Brown, John Crosby, 75. 
Browsing, Robert, 4. 
Bryant Park fountain in memory of 

Mrs. Lowell, 548-549. 
Bull, Ole, 4. 
Bulletin, Woman's MunieiptU League, 

founded by Mrs. Lowell, 418; 

letters by Mrs. Lowell to, 419-422. 
Bull Run. Mrs. Lowell's diary concern- 
ing battle of, 10-14. 
BuiUngham, Mr. and Mrs., 65. 
Bumham, E. K.. 121. 
Burt, Mary T., 328. 
Byrnes, Superintendent, quoted on 

evils of lodging houses, 466. 

Campbell, Helen. 339. 

" Capital and Labor, Rights of, and 

Industrial Conciliation," pamphlet, 

" Care of Dependent Children in the 

City of New York ond Elsewhere, 

Report upon," 276-283. 
Carlyle, Thomas, letter from, to Mis. 

Lowell, 60-51. 
Carpenter. Sarah M., 297. 
Carter, James C, 126, 310. ' 
Gary, Edward, "Life of George Wil- 
liam Curtis," by, 475 n. ; quoted, 

Gary, Richard, 32. 
Central Islip, feum colony for tlie 

insane at, 241-243. 

- 'i\ 




. , '.J 





Chapin, Rev. E. H., 20. 

Charities, weekly publication of the 
Charity Organization Society, 141 ; 
artiolei) in, quoted, 207-217, 223-227. 

Charities Directory of the City of New 
York, 141. 

Charity and Relief-giving, series of 
papers on, by Mrs. Lowell, 150. 

"Charity Organization Societies, The 
True Aim of," paper by Mrs. Lowell, 

Charity Organization Society of the 
City of New York, founding of, 122- 
126 ; organization and work of the. 
130 ff. ; oflSoes in the United Chari- 
ties Building, and increasing work of, 
140; Joint Application Bureau, 
Registration and Investigation Bu- 
reau, and other departments, 140- 
141 ; purposes and aims pointed out 
in paper by Mrs. LoweU, 180-184. 

■ ' Charity Problems," paper on, by Mrs. 
LoweU, 189-196. 

Chicago, paper by Mrs. Lowell pre- 
sented before National Conference 
of Charities and Correction at, 96- 

Chicago convention of 1892, 69. 

Child, Lydia Maria, 4, 17. 

Children, work for dependent, 244 ff. : 
playgrounds for, 255-256; papers 
pertaining to, by Mrs. Lowell, 257- 

" Children's Law" of 1875, mentioned, 
85; enactment of the, 244; modi- 
fications of, 247, 248-249. 

Choate, Joseph H., tribute paid to 
memory of Francis G. Shaw by, 
2-3 ; speech of, at meeting of State 
Charities Aid Association, 75-77; 
mentioned, 310: address by, at 
memorial meeting to Mrs. Lowell, 

"Civil Service Reform, The Ethics of," 
address on, 600-606. 

Civil Service Reform, work of George, 
William Curtis in behalf of, 477-479 ; 
Mrs. Lowell's activities in aid of, 
480 S. ; prize essays in cormection 
with, 480-481 ; papers by Mrs. 
Lowell on the spoils system and, 

"Civil Service Reform and Public 
Charity," paper on, 496-499. 

Civil War diary. Mrs. Lowell's, 10- 

Clarke, Bishop, 23. 

Cleveland, Grover, opinions of, 64, 67, 
69; effect of election of, on Civil 
Service Reform, 479. 

Codroan, Nannie, 65. 

CoUins, Ellen, 8, 13, 72, 127 ; appointed 
a "Visitor" by State Board of 
Charities, 49 : works with Mrs. 
Lowell in connection with Freed- 
men's Association, 49 ; appointed 
county visitor of poorhouses, 295, 
329-330: mentioned in connection 
with first examination conducted 
under Civil Service rules, 329-330. 

Colony treatment, of the insane and 
feeble-minded, 238-243 ; for paupers, 

Committee for the Prevention of 
Tuberculosis, of the Charity Organ- 
ization Society, 141. 

Committee of Seventy, the, 416. 

Consumers' League, the, 334 ff. ; Mrs. 
LoweU as president of, 339, 356; 
establishment of national and for- 
eign leagues, 341-342. 

Copeland, Morris, 26. 

County Visiting Committees, Mrs. 
LoweU's address on, 77-86. 

Craig, Oscar, 252, 303. 

Crowningshield. Lieutenant Caspar, 
13, 27. 

Curtis, George WiUiam, at Brook 
Farm, 2 ; marriage of Atma Shaw to, 
6; mentioned, 13, 15, 16, 25, 66; 
services conducted by, at Sailors' 
Snug Harbor. 68; Tavern Club 
dinner described. 65 ; death of, 68 ; 
importance of influence of, on Mis. 
LoweU as a young girl, 475-476; 
editor of Harper's Weekly, 476; 
work in aid of Civil Service Reform, 

Cushman, Charlotte, 4. 

Custer, General, on the death of 
Colonel LoweU. 47. 

Custodial asylums for women, 61, 89, 
101, 306-317. 

Daniel, Dr. Annie S., 320. 

Davis. Katharine Bement, letter by, 

on Mrs. LoweU's work in cormection 

with Bedford reformatory, 317-319. 
Decker, Alice M., quoted regarding 

Mrs. LoweU, 138-139. 
De Forest, Robert W., 141 ; eulogy on 

Mrs. LoweU delivered by, 617-619. 




Delafield, Rufus, 13. 

Denison, Edward, quoted, 178, 211. 

Deportation of paupers from other 

states to New York, 300-305. 
Devereux, J. C, 120. 
Devine, Edward T., quoted, 142. 
Dexter, Arthur, 13-14. 
Dickinson, Mary Lowe, poem by. in 

memory of Mrs. Lowell, 540-541, 
District committees of the Charity 

Organization Society, 132, 183-184. 
Dix, Dorothea Lynde, 60, 78. 
Dixon, lU., tract presented to, for a 

park. 546-547. 
Dodge, Grace H., 83, 328; remarks 

by, on Mrs. LoweU, 545. 
Dodge family as charity workers, 129. 
DonneUy, Commissioner, 88, 229. 
Drummond, Henry, quotation from, 

Duties of Friendly Visitors, paper on, 

by Mrs. LoweU, 142-150. 
Dwight, Theodore W., 284. 
Dwigbt, WUder, 34. 

East Side Relief Work. 361 ff. 
"Economic and Moral Effects of Public 

Outdoor ReUef," paper on, 158- 
Education of children, a paper on, 

Elmira Reformatory, letter concerning 

Mr. Brookway and the, 461. 
."Emergency Relief Funds," article 

on, 223-227. 
Emerson, Edward W., "Life and 

Letters of Charles RusseU LoweU," 

by, 39 n. ; quoted, 45, 46. 
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 4; quoted 

apropos of rights of employees, 354. 
"Emidoyeee, Property Rights of," Dr. 

Jacobi's paper on, quoted, 350i-3S6. 
England, consumers' league in, 342. 
." Ethics of Civil Service Reform," 

address on, 600-506. 
Europe, consumers' leagues in, 342. 
European visits, Mrs. Ix)weU'8,,6, 50; 

letters to Mrs. Shaw regarding 

(1892), 67-68. 
Evans, Annie Jackson, 480-481. 
"Evils of Investigation and Relief," 

paper by Mrs. LoweU, 207-217. 

"Facts for Fathers and Mothers," 
Biahop .Potter's pamphlet, 417-418, 


Fairohild, Charles S., 69, 126, 417; a 

letter to, 366-367. 
Fanning, Mr., letters to. 109, 112-114, 

247, 253. 
Farm colonies, for the insane, 238-239, 

240-243 ; for paupers, 295. 296-297. 
Feeble-minded women, first asylums 

for. the results of Mrs. LoweU's 

efforts, 61 ; account of establishment 

of custodial asylums, 89. 101, 116- 

121, 306-317. 
Field, Benjamin H., 75. 
Finley, John H.. 310; poem by, in 

memory of Mrs. LoweU, 541-542. 
IFlint, Dr. Austin, Jr., 76. 
Florence, a letter from Mrs. LoweU in, 

Floyd, Mrs. NicoU, 366 n. 
Forbes, Alice, 21. 
Forbes, John M., 18 n., 19. 
Forbes, WiUiam, 19. 
Ford, Louise F., quoted regarding Mrs. 

LoweU, 139-140. 
Forum, article by Mrs. LoweU, 196- 

Foster. Commissioner, 88. 
Fountains erected as memorials to Mrs. 

LoweU, 547, 548. 
Freeduien's Association, formation of, 

and work of Mrs. LoweU for, 48-49. 
Fremont, General, 18. 19, 20. 
Friendly visitors, 132, 138; paper on 

duties of, by Mrs. Lowell, 142-150. 
Fry, Elizabeth, 60; work of, referred 

to by Mrs: Lowell, 103. 
FuUer, Margaret, 4. 

Garrison. William. Lloyd, 4. 

Gay, Sidney Howard, 16, 23. 

George, Henry, 417. 

Gibbons, Abby Hopper, 306, 307, 309, 

321, 322 ; work of, in securing estab- 

Ushment of reformatory for women 

at Bedford, 310. 
Gibbs, Theodore Kane, 289. 
Gilder, Richard Watson, poem by, on 

"Josephine Shaw LoweU," 534-535. 
Grannis, Mrs. E. B.. 328. 
Greeley, Miriam Mason. 482-483. 
Greene. Colonel Wflliam. 13, 21. 
Greenough, Annie, 21. 
Grimes, Frances, seal designed by, 481. 
Gurteen, Rev. S. H., 126. 

Haggerty, Anna (Mrs. Robert Gould 
Shaw), 37, 42. 


I 1 ■» 





Hall, Dr. John, 127. 
Hamilton, Alexander, Jr., 75. 
Harpern Weekly. G. W. Curtiss 

editorship of, 476. 
Hart's Island, insane asylum on, 242. 
Hebberd, Robert W., 311, 313; hos- 
pital boat named after Mrs. LoweU, 
by. 647-548. 
Hewitt, Abram S., 126, 359; quoted, 
164-155; letter from, to Mrs. 
Lowell. 360-361. 
Hewitt, Mrs. E. H., 417 n. 
Higginson, Henry L., 65; presentation 
of memorial fountain to RadcUffo 
College by Mrs. Higginson and, 547. 
HiU, David B.. 307. 
Hill, Octavia, 61 ; references to, 150, 

Hoguet. Henry L.. 284-285. 
Holmes, Oliver