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Copyright, 1915, by 



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

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

The task has been difficult owing to the immense amount 
of material which months of research accumulated and the 
limitations of space which made necessary the compression 
of important narrative and descriptive accounts within a 
narrow compass. This difficulty has been further increased 
by the desire to escape the danger of overemphasizing wom- 
en's activities in great cities and of omitting the no less 



important and significant work of women in smaller towns. 
Even at the risk of distorting the perspective by giving 
much space to minor cities and to local club activities, 
it has seemed worth while to make the book truly repre- 
sentative of American urban life as a whole. All city 
dwellers do not live in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. 

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

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

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

Whichever evaluation is ultimately accepted, the following 
data are offered not for the purpose of imparting an inflated 
sense of woman's importance. Indeed, in spite of what she 
has done, woman must still feel humble in the presence of 
the work outlined for the future and of the human problems 
that appeal to her for solution. Instead, therefore, of seek- 
ing to inspire an exaggerated ego by means of this story of 
woman's achievements and visions, it is told in the hope that. 


by the assembling of hitherto disconnected threads and an 
attempt at the classification of civic efforts, more women 
may be induced to participate in the social movements that 
are changing the modes of living and working and playing, 
and that those who have watched their own threads too 
closely, may perhaps lift their eyes long enough to look at 
the whole social fabric which they are helping to weave. 

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

M. R. B. 


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

Mrs. Beard's book illustrates again, if that were necessary, 
the very large contribution which the private citizen has 
made to municipal and political development and progress in 
this country. As Mr. Deming pointed out in his address at 
Harvard when the National Municipal League met in Bos- 
ton in 1902, the chief improvements in our political machin- 



ery have come as a result of the initiative of private citizens 
and of organizations of private citizens. Mrs. Beard, quot- 
ing Franklin MacVeagh, one of Chicago's most effective 
civic workers, says that it was the women of Chicago who 
started every one of the fifty-seven civic improvement cen- 
ters in that city. Whether the impulse be feminine or mas- 
culine, but rarely have progressive measures been initiated 
by public officials. This is not intended as a criticism of 
public officials, because their duties as a rule are so exacting, 
and are every day becoming more so, that they have little 
time except for their discharge. The impulse for initiative 
must therefore come from without. 

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

Clinton Rogers Woodruff 




I. Education i 

II. Public Health 45 

III. The Social Evil 97 

IV. Recreation 13^ 

V. The Assimilation of Races . . . .170 

VI. Housing i99 

VII. Social Service 220 

VIII. Corrections 259 

IX. Public Safety 287 

X. Civic Improvement 293 

XI. Government and Administration . . . 319 

Index 339 




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

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

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

There is a certain truth in this contention undoubtedly 
but women are facing this objection, as far as it relates to 
the mental and moral equipment of teachers, by insisting 
that women with a broad social training and enlarged out- 
look can be found today and that the crux of the question is 
one of pay. They incline to the point of view that equal 



pay for equal work and better salaries for women teachers 
generally are two of the means for securing women equally 
capable with men of imparting the type of education de- 
manded by modern industrial and social conditions. Prep- 
aration for such teaching is expensive and can only be 
entered upon when there is reasonable hope of something 
approaching a suitable reward. The better pay of men 
teachers gives them an added stimulus for prolonged study 
and preparation and the same stimulus will operate in the 
same way with women, is the reply to the critics who seek 
a sturdier and more virile leadership in education. 

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

This question was recently discussed at length in The 
Educational Review, where Admiral F. E. Chadwick pleaded 
for male teachers. Miss Laura Runyon of the State Nor- 
mal School at Warrensburg, Missouri, in an answer to him 

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

Admiral Chadwick is wrong in his conception of what is 
wrong in education. Unquestionably, we have confined 
the school curriculum too closely to a book-course — ^but 
throughout the United States courses of study are made 
chiefly by men. The notable exception is in the Chicago 


system, where a woman has introduced most radical 
changes for both boys and girls, and changes which are 
being hailed as the most satisfactory progressive educational 
work of the country, and these are due to Mrs. Ella Flagg 

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

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

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

Most people in the United States had to wait until Maria 
Montessori came to this country to learn that her educa- 
tional ideas are being applied in scores of schools here and 
that Rhode Island has officially indorsed her methods. Ex- 
perimentation with Montessori practices is being conducted 
in the Rhode Island Normal School. It is declared that out 


of a class of eighty-odd teachers who took the Montessori 
four months' course at Rome last year, over sixty were 

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

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

Although we talk of equal educational opportunities for 
men and women, as a matter of fact in many states, partic- 
ularly in the East and South, there is nothing approaching 
equal facilities. There are many "opportunities" for educa- 
tion in most states, it is true, but until the best opportunities 
are open to women, there is nothing like equality. In states 
where adequate facilities are not open, we find women awak- 
ing to the obligation to see that they are soon provided 
through public or private funds. 

New Jersey club women have been pushing the work 
for the establishment of a state college for women "to 
fit our girls to render the best service to New Jersey in 
many lines as well as to fill teaching positions better, 80 
per cent, of which are now filled by women." The popula- 
tion of New Jersey is over 2,537,167, of whom 1,250,704 are 
women, yet no provision is made for their higher education. 
Only in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, besides New Jer- 
sey, is that now true. A state college with free tuition is 


demanded. New Jersey has Princeton, Rutgers, Stevens, for 
men, but only normal schools for women. 

School Administration 

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

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

The most conspicuous battle waged by w^omen for a share 
in the administration of schools took place in Chicago. It 
was thus described in The Survey: 


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


The opposition to Mrs. Young seems to be personal rather 
than political. Her stout stand for the prerogative of the 


superintendent to select textbooks and initiate the educa- 
tional budget may have disappointed the hopes of some mem- 
bers of the board for commercial prestige in letting large 
contracts. Her cautiously planned instruction for parents 
and older scholars in sex hygiene, although authorized by a 
majority of the board, arouses stubborn antagonism, espe- 
cially among the people in certain ecclesiastical circles. 

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

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

The Committee of Fifteen on "School Efficiency" of the 
National Council of Education, to "give heed and guidance 
to the growing demand for investigating schools and testing 
the efficiency of school systems," has three women members : 


Katherine Blake of New York, Mrs. Young of Chicago, 
and Adelaide S. Baylor of Indiana, deputy state superin- 

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

All through Connecticut in the autumn of 1914 an effort 
was made to get women out to vote on school matters and 
in many towns the results were unprecedented. Women 
not only voted in greater numbers but placed their repre- 
sentatives on school boards in some of the towns. In Nor- 
walk they agitated for thorough reorganization, improve- 
ment and central control for schools and secured a certain 
measure of reform.^ 

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

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

Discriminations between the sexes in the teaching profes- 
sion still extend in many directions. Politics plays an all 
too important part in advancements; remuneration is in 
general unequal; and celibacy is sometimes enforced upon 
women alone. Where women are allowed to retain their 

* This movement, however, is by no means recent. One of the most ex- 
citing school campaigns in a great city was waged by the Civic Club of 
Philadelphia, a reform organization of women, nearly twenty years ago, in 
1895. The story of that campaign is told in a pamphlet edited by Mrs. 
Talcott Williams and printed as a publication of the American Academy 
of Political and Social Science. 


positions upon marriage, the birth of a child is occasionally 
made the excuse for dismissal. Such an explanation is not 
often frankly made, but in New York, at least, it has been 
a very thinly veiled excuse, the issue has been fought out 
on the real grounds and the women have won. 

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

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

Educational Experiments 

The kindergarten idea appealed from the beginning to 
women and private experimentation along that line was one 
of their most successful endeavors. Boards of education 
have in instance after instance been persuaded to incor- 
porate into the public school system the plan of kindergar- 
tens demonstrated to be practical and of social utility by 
women in their private capacities. Annie Laws, in the 
Kindergarten Review, states that she "can trace the social 
spirit of the kindergartner as an important factor in stimu- 
lating, and in some cases, even initiating, many of the social 


movements of today, among them playgrounds, social cen- 
ters, vacation schools, public libraries, mothers* clubs and 
school and home gardens." The New York Kindergarten 
Association of today, like many others, is composed of men 
and women but largely supported by the latter, financially, 
as well as by active service. 

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

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

"What you would have appear in the life of the people, 
that you must put into the schools," is the idea they had in 
mind. At first, in many cases, women furnished the equip- 
ment and paid for its operation until school boards munici- 
palized this work. 

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

The School of Domestic Arts and Sciences in Chicago 
was established and is managed by club women. In 1905 it 


had 1,100 students. A special effort is made to bring out 
labor-saving devices, the underlying idea being that the com- 
mon-sense of the American homemaker will in time lift 
this work to a professional basis through scientific investi- 
gation and the contact of the theoretical worker and the 
practical housekeeper. Young women are trained in the 
care of children and extension work is done in homes of the 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


take up athletics after she has finished her high school 
course, but it is a mistake to subject too rapidly growing 
girls to too rigid physical culture." 

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

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

One who believes in a system of instruction in hygiene 
or physical training or what-not is naturally interested in 
its results when applied and therefore women have watched 
the effects of attempts at changed curricula on the children 
themselves. Both the teachers and the promoters of change 

^ New York Times. 


have had a common interest in these results. It has not 
taken long to discover that children represent unequal foun- 
dations in their physical and mental make-ups for grasping 
instruction of any kind. 

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

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

Blanche Van LeLuvan Browne, a crippled woman, told 
recently in the World's Work how she began seven years 


ago with six dollars in her pocket and finally built up a 
hospital school for cripples in Detroit. 

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

Special Schools 

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

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

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

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


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

The Public Education Association took up the matter and 
obtained the cooperation of various organizations, among 
them the City Club, the Association of Neighborhood Work- 
ers, the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, the Women's 
Municipal League, and the local school boards, in the 
effort to induce the Board of Education to take favorable 
action. . . . 

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

This segregation of mental defectives in classes is con- 
tinuing rapidly and a normal course for the teachers of 
ungraded classes is now being given in the Brooklyn Train- 
ing School for Teachers. 

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

"We have been told by doctors and psychologists, in 
terms that we cannot dispute, that actual feeble-mindedness 

1 Bulletin of Public Education Association. 


is incurable, that feeble-mindedness is hereditary, and, 
therefore, that institutional care and constant supervision 
are the great safeguards against the rapid and appalling 
increase of feeble-mindedness. We must all agree that 
the end to work toward is permanent custodial care for 
all the feeble-minded who have reached the age of fourteen 
years. Before this age -the schools can do much to develop 
the incomplete individual and train him to a point of dis- 
tinct usefulness in his later institutional life, or, if he must 
remain in the community, they will at least have endeavored 
to develop his latent possibilities of usefulness to their 
fullest extent." 

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

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

While the first step seems to be the mental classification 
and recognition of mental defect, the next step is not, in the 


opinion of the committee, to put these children out of school 
pending their possible commitment to an institution. If the 
schools are able, in time, to separate all these children into 
classes for proper instruction and so rid the normal children 
of this unnecessary burden, they will also be taking the first 
step toward demanding institutional care for those unfit to 
be at large in the community. For they will then be showing, 
as has never been done before, the numbers that exist and 
the definite limits of their educability. Surely such a demon- 
stration as this will be a stronger argument for institutional 
care than either leaving them hidden away, as they now are, 
among their normal brothers and sisters, or plucking them 
from school and turning them into the street or back into 
tenement rooms. Once they are excluded, their parents, 
ashamed to have a child too stupid to go to school, often 
regard them as little outcasts, only fit, if indeed they are 
robust enough for that, to be the family drudge. 

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

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


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

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

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

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

Blind children in New York City receive education from 
their earliest years as a result of the agitation and legis- 
lative work carried on by Mrs. Cynthia Westover Alden of 
the International Sunshine Society and others. This last 
winter similar educational care of the blind children of the 
state was secured through the eflforts of Mrs. Alden and 
the personal appeal to the legislators by a little blind girl, 
Rachel Askenas. Hitherto children under eight years of 
age had not been admitted to institutions for the blind. Now 


during those most receptive years they will get the necessary 
foundation for impressions which play so vital a part in 
the lives of normal children. 

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

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

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

So many organizations claim credit for the first vacation 
school that we shall make no effort to locate it. We do 
know that the Social Science Club of Newton, Massachu- 
setts, a woman's club, has maintained a vacation school 
for seventeen years. In Chicago the Civic Federation 
opened one vacation school in 1896, the first in Chicago. 
The next was opened by the University Settlement. In 1898 
the women's clubs took up the work and opened five schools. 
^ The American Club Woman. 


By 1906 they had eight. Chicago now has a vacation school 
board with a club woman as president and another as sec- 
retary; other members consist of club women and men. 
From 1898- 1906 club women contributed nearly $25,000 
annually to these schools, yet "probably 15,000 children were 
turned away." The Civic Club of Philadelphia organized 
the first vacation school in that city and Philadelphia now 
has many of them under public control. 

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

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

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

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

School gardens, an important educational addition to 
school work, have been largely fostered by women. In 
Seattle the Women's Congress has cooperated with the 
Seattle Garden Club in its program to include all the gram- 
mar schools of the city in the garden work ; the ultimate 
hope is to persuade the city to take up this work in a 
systematic way, Harriet Livermore of Yonkers, New York, 
says of gardening: 'Tt is a happy mingling of play and 
work, vacation and school, athletics and manual training, 


pleasure and business, beauty and utility, head and hand, 
freedom and responsibility; of corrective and preventive, 
constructive and creative influences, and all in the great 
school of out-of-doors. It is the corrective of the evils of 
the schoolroom. It is the preventive of the perils of mis- 
spent leisure. It is constructive of character building. It 
is creative of industrious, honest producers. In fact there 
is no child's nature to which it does not in some v^ay make a 
natural and powerful appeal." 

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

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

The Visiting Teacher 

Knowing the vital connection between home life and the 
proper growth of children in the schools, women interested 
in educational matters have, within recent years, given great 
attention to visiting the homes of pupils. The development 


of the function of the "visiting teacher" is the result of a 
recognition that the school cannot thrive if it is indifferent 
to the home surroundings of children. 

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

In her report on Visiting Teachers for the Pu'blic Educa- 
tion Association of New York, Mary Flexner records the 
very high ratio of 45 per cent, of the cases covered by 
visiting nurses for the year 1911-1912 as being "cases" be- 
cause home poverty retarded the development of the child. 
In explanation of the term poverty, Miss Flexner says: 
"This term is interpreted broadly to include all cases in 
which 'economic pressure' makes of the child an illegal 
wage-earner or a household drudge and forces the family 
to adopt such a low standard of living that there is neither 
proper space for the child to study nor proper food to give 
it the stimulus to do so." Miss Flexner further shows that 
57 per cent, of the cases showed lack of family apprecia- 


tion of what are the needs of a normal or an abnormal 
growing child. A summary of the action taken in all the 
cases is a most vital part of the report. 

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

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

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

Eleanor H. Johnson of the Public Education Association 
of New York, writing in The Survey on "Social Service and 
the Public Schools," demonstrates the usefulness of the vis- 
iting teacher if further evidence were necessary. One of 
the visitors herself in her report to her Boston supervisors 
says: "This new work of visiting the homes of the school 
children is one of continual cooperation with principals, 
teachers, truant officers, janitors and the children themselves, 
also with hospitals, dispensaries, employment agencies, the 
Associated Charities, or whatever the emergency may de- 


mand. Too often this sort of effort is scattered and inef- 
fective because of the lack of connection between agencies. 
With a visitor working from the school as a starting-point 
and not from any private organization, the connection is 
quickly made and the influence of each helping agency is 
strengthened by the added influence of every other. This 
has proved to be just as true in the case of medical social 
service, particularly that of public hospitals and institutions, 
and one might almost prophesy that some day the relief 
work of philanthropic agencies will come only in response 
to calls from the social service departments of church, hos- 
pital, public institution and school, and that a great clearing 
house for these agencies, public and private, will be the 
best way of organizing charity." 

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

Vocational Guidance 

Not quite as comprehensive in her function as the visit- 
ing teacher, but extremely valuable, is the teacher-counselor 
or vocational guidance visitor. To be able to advise a child 
intelligently about a preparation for a later vocation, the 
advisor must know something at least of the family history 
of the child. Visitors therefore are engaged by those organ- 
izations interested primarily in vocational guidance. Miss 


Marshal, director of the Boston Trades School for Girls 
and agent of the Industrial Commission, in a paper read 
before the National Society for Industrial Education, set 
forth the idea of community responsibility for letting boys 
and girls drift into low-paid, mechanical and often degrad- 
ing or health-endangering work. She said: "What hap- 
pens to girls who must earn their living when they go out 
from the grammar schools untrained for any trade? They 
inevitably drift into low-paid, mechanical, wearing, or even 
into dangerous work as packers in factories, as errand 
girls in stores, with little chance of rising and less chance 
of real life. The trade-school training for girls — definite 
preparation for a trade — rapidly increases a girl's wages and 
makes her at once self-supporting and self-respecting." 

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

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

The Placement Bureau of the Boston Women's Municipal 
League developed into a city-wide employment bureau ex- 
tending to all the schools of Boston. This League and the 
Girls' Trade Education League, both interested in, and ex- 


perimenting with, vocational guidance, realized that there 
should be a close connection between a Placement Bureau 
and the Employment-Certificate Department, between the 
Placement Bureau and the Health Examining Department, 
and the Placement Bureau and the Department of Voca- 
tional Guidance and Counseling recently established in the 
school system. "The Girls' Trade Education League and 
the Women's Municipal League saw therefore that a Cen- 
tral Placement Bureau was the inevitable next step, that the 
value of what we had already done would be lost unless 
we carried our w^ork to this further stage and were able 
to show to School Committee and employers alike, to teach- 
ers and parents, to the boys and girls, the real worth to 
the city of vocational advice, placement, and follow-up. We 
saw this for the reasons I have already given and also for 
other reasons, namely : information in regard to industries 
and individual firms ought to be pooled and centrally filed; 
for the children also, as well as the employers and the school 
authorities, the advantages of a general clearing house are 
large." ^ The w^omen therefore supported the Boston Place- 
ment Bureau as a central board and its directors include 
representatives of the League and the Girls' Trade Educa- 
tion League. 

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

A connection is also being worked out between the Place- 
ment Bureau and the evening schools. 

The money for the Placement Bureau had to be raised 
last year by the Girls' Trade Education League, the Wom- 
en's Municipal League and the employers. ''For next year 

1 Annual Report of the Women's Municipal League. 


we do not speak/' writes the League, ''for some of us hope 
that that magic date — 191 5 — is going to mean for the Bos- 
ton Placement Bureau a complete official connection with 
the school, supported in part by the Boston School Com- 

The Vocation Bureau of Boston was. the first to be estab- 
lished, to our knowledge, and the men and women who 
together founded it were moved by the double conviction 
that children required a longer period in school and the 
employment of that period in vocational education. At the 
Civic Service House in the North End of Boston in 1907 
a meeting was called to place this work on its feet and in 
two years' time a strong organization had been built up 
with the Boston school committee interested and anxious 
for cooperation. Very soon the superintendent of schools, 
the school board and the Vocation Bureau were working 
together. Meyer Bloomfield was made director of this work 
and his very able assistants were, many of them, women. 
Laura F. Wentworth is secretary of the Vocational Infor- 
mation Department of the Boston Public Schools and Elea- 
nor Colleton has done valuable work in this direction among 
the Italian and other children in the North End of Boston. 

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


teacher of industrial branches to acquire a practical knowl- 
edge of her subject, through an arrangement with Simmons 

"A school of salesmanship was next brought al)0ut and 
the leading stores set the stamp of their approval upon the 
work of the Union. Experience has shown that such 
training as the girls receive at this school makes them 
worth much more to the stores which employ them. This 
idea spread quickly throughout the country and a demand 
arose for women trained in the art of salesmanship to 
conduct schools similar to that in Boston. For this reason 
there has recently been established in connection with Sim- 
mons College, a normal course for the training of teachers 
in this work. Simmons gives the theoretical training; the 
Salesmanship School the actual experience. For the next 
few years this will be distinctly pioneer work and women 
w^ho have been graduated from this course should be sure 
to obtain interesting and lucrative employment." 

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

The Research Department of the Women's Educational 
and Industrial Union has made a series of studies of trades 
and occupations to afford a background of information for 
those interested in vocational education and guidance. Two 
books on Vocations for the Trained Woman have already 
been published. "Millinery as a Trade for Women" has 
also been announced. The study for last year on "Office 
Service as an Occupation for Women" was published by the 


Boston School Committee during 1914. Two studies, "Dress- 
making as a Trade for Women," and "Women in the Manu- 
facture of Boots and Shoes," were advertised by the United 
States Bureau of Labor Statistics for the summer of 1914. 

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

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

Vocational Education 

One of the most constructive pieces of work recently done 
on vocational education was the survey of the problem made 
by Alice Barrows Fernandez under the auspices of the Public 
Education Association of New York. The portion of the 
report of this Survey, presented to the subcommittee on vo- 
cational guidance of the Committee on High Schools and 
Training Schools of the Board of Education and submitted 
at the public hearing of the Board of Estimate and Appor- 


tionmcnt of New York City, June i6, 1914, shows with what 
clear analysis of social conditions and forces the chairman 
and her committee have studied this question. 

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

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

iThis question is still pending. 


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

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

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

Dr. Schneider says in his report that the New York trade 
schools for girls should extend their courses so as to give 
the girls a chance to enter occupations which are not merely 
humdrum and mechanical, but he does not suggest specifically 
what trades they should enter. At such schools now the tra- 
ditional women's trades are being taught : sewing and millin- 
ery, fancy box making, and machine operating. Boys' trade 
schools teach the building trades. Women, as shown by the 
census in New York City, actually work in these trades. 
There are women carpenters, bricklayers, painters, glaziers, 
paper hangers, plasterers, and plumbers. These are the 


energizing trades, as Dr. Schneider himself would call them, 
and why should girls be fitted only for the enervating trades 
as they are today, especially as these trades are already over- 

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

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

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

Dr. Schneider's analysis of why boys and girls leave 
school typifies the usual vague treatment of the girls' prob- 
lem as compared with the boys'. Boys leave, he says, be- 
cause "they want to do things, to be out-of-doors, to build, 
to earn money, to assert partial independence; they hate 


books, they crave action." He says girls leave "because 
their desire for wider social activity is dominant, because 
they vi^ant to break away from home ties, because their in- 
stinct for personal adornment is strong, and because they 
want to earn money to satisfy it." What is a desire for 
wider social activity? That is vague compared with the 
statement that boys leave because they want to do things, 
and yet they mean the same thing. When these two series 
of reasons are boiled down they come to the same thing for 
both boys and girls — a desire for activity and for independ- 

Again he seems inconsistent in suggesting that girls should 
learn trades intensively earlier than boys in order that they 
may get higher wages at an earlier age. If early specializa- 
tion is bad for the boys it is even worse for the girls, be- 
cause at the present time industry tends to make them ma- 
chines. Early specialization will increase that tendency and 
thereby reduce rather than advance their wages. Contrary 
to the usual point of view, a broad and general industrial 
training is perhaps more important for those in the auto- 
matic trades than in any others, and therefore it is of spe- 
cial importance for girls.^ 

School Buildings 

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

Organized first for self-culture of a literary and artistic 
character, the expansive nature of club women has expressed 

^ New York Evening Post. 


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

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

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

That women have helped to secure better buildings and 
equipment, abundant testimony, not only from their own 
reports but from public men, shows. For a single example, 
under the leadership of Mrs. B. B. Mumford of Richmond, 
Virginia, former president of the Richmond Education As- 
sociation, a magnificent high-school building costing $500,000 


was secured. In innumerable letters comes the modest word 
that "we worked hard until we got a high school in our 
town" or "we secured a much needed addition to the school 
building" or "we are trying to raise the money for a new 
building." In one instance a high school was only made 
possible by the offer of the women to buy the furniture and 
other needed equipment if the town would erect the building. 
In order to maintain high standards of physical equip- 
ment in their schools club women have often acted as 
school inspectors. Mrs. George Steinmetz of Pekin, Illinois, 
is one of these and of her election she writes : "At our last 
election for school inspectors two club women were nomi- 
nated on an independent ticket. I was elected, and I am 
the first woman in our town to fill that position, but I hope 
others will be elected next year. The ticket brought out a 
large vote, and resulted in a majority vote for the building 
of a new high school and a new grade school and the 
remodeling of ten others." ^ 

Educational Associations 

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

Schools have been for a long time the object of civic 
interest among women partly because of their intimate fam- 
ily relation through little children and partly because of the 
fact that women teachers formed an easy bond for coopera- 
tion. Today there exists an incredible number of organiza- 
tions whose main purpose is cooperation with the schools 
in one way or another. A study of these organizations and 
their aims justifies the belief that many of the very best 
features of the present educational system owe their exist- 

1 The American City. 


encc to private suggestion and assistance and experimenta- 

Miss Elsa Denison in a book called "Helping School Chil- 
dren" has studied the range of private enterprise in educa- 
tion and throv^s an interesting light on the part played by 
women in that form of social service. 

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


Study Rooms Study-recreation-rooms 

Clubs Clubs 

Entertainments Social Center Parties 

Kindergartens Public Kindergartens 

Games Public School Athletic League 

Relief School Association 

^,. . T .• fMedical 

Clinics Inspection I j^^^^^j 

Visiting Nurses School 

Music Gardens Music Gardens 

Playgrounds Playgrounds 

Home Visitors Visiting Teachers and 

Truant Officers, Vocational and High Schools, 
Open-air Classes, Popular Lectures, Mothers' Clubs, 
Libraries, Defective and Catch-up Classes. 

This indicates that the school has already in the most 
progressive cities become one huge settlement with a thor- 
oughly democratic basis in place of a philanthropic foun- 

The public education associations in our leading cities 
are among the livest of civic organizations. In all these 


associations, women participate on equal terms with men, 
where they do not direct the aims and activities themselves. 
More than one such association, like that of Worcester, 
Massachusetts, owes its origin directly to the work and agi- 
tation of women. 

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

The Public Education Association of Worcester, Massa- 
chusetts, developed from the Committee on Public Schools 
of the Woman's Club. Mrs. Eliza Draper Robinson was 
the energetic organizer of this influential association. 

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

Providence, Rhode Island, has, in its Public Educa- 
tion Association, Mrs. Carl Barus as secretary, and two of 


the five members of its executive committee are women : 
Dean Lida Shaw King and Mrs. Albert D. Mead. This 
association is striving to bring the educational system of 
Providence up to the standards set by the majority of other 
cities in the country. One of its most valuable publications 
is entitled "Should Providence Have a Small School Com- 
mission?'' It rq^resents a study of school administration in 
other cities corresponding reasonably in size with Provi- 

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

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

The Institute grew out of a conference held at the White 
House during the administration of President Roosevelt 
during which it was argued that most mothers are too busy 


with their home tasks to search in books on child study and 
in other sources for just the right material to supply their 
children's mental and moral requirements. Hence the need 
of an association to assist them. 

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

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

Efforts to unify the educational work of the women of 
each state are being made by the Department of School 
Patrons of the National Educational Association. Members 
in each state are suggested as follows: one member Asso- 
ciation of Collegiate Alumnae; one member General Federa- 
tion of Clubs; one member Council of Jewish Women; one 
me!rtiber National Congress of Mothers; one member South- 
ern Association of College Women; and one member at 

The union of club and college women in Connecticut is 
called the Woman's Council of Education, and affiliated 
therewith are the W. C. T. U. ; the Congress of Mothers; 


Holyoke Association; and Teachers' League. Each society 
is assigned a definite hne of special study; then all work 
together for laws and for better prepared and paid teachers. 


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

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

With their interest in reading and encouraging the read- 
ing habit in others, women have helped to develop a won- 
derful social service for the library. As truly as any other 
group of social workers, librarians are educators and phy- 
sicians of mind and body. While too many of them still 
are too circumscribed in their thinking and merely reflexes 
of their clerical training, there is a rapidly increasing num- 
ber of library workers everywhere who realize the effect of 
reading on social thinking and sympathies as well as on 
individual ambitions, and are seeking to stimulate social 
forces by encouraging that reading which will increase the 
interest in the common good. By means of bulletins, ex- 
hibits, personal suggestions, public lectures, and in many 


other ways, the library is developing into a people's school, 
beginning with early childhood and continuing throughout 

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

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

It would be impossible to enumerate all the reading rooms 
with library equipment that women have established. In 
settlements, Y. W. C. A.'s, homes for working girls, rescue 
homes, rural centers, villages, churches, institutions, and 
wherever there is the slightest chance, women have slipped 
in the books and the magazines. Their interest has usually 
been altruistic but now and then it has been augmented by 
hobbies of health, science, literature, poetry, art, religion, 
industry, and politics, one often being stimulated, by ob- 
servation of the advance movement of another, the work 
thus ending in many cases in the creation of a well-balanced 
assortment of books. 
■ It is a significant fact at the present time that more girls 
than boys are graduating from our high schools. Women, 
it seems, are both giving and getting the education. 



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

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

In the first place, the self-preservative interest or the 
mere instinct for a proper environment has forced women 
into public health activities; in the second place, they have 
done their health work well considering their own indirect 
influences, the opposition of interests, and popular indif- 
ference; in the third place, they have sought to avoid 
duplication of effort by establishing clearing houses for 
information and guidance for themselves and for the public; 
in the fourth place, they have moved step by step into the 
municipal government itself, pushing in their activities 
through demonstrations of their value to the community and 
often going with their creations into municipal office ; and 



lastly and most important of all, as the climax of their 
wisdom and endeavor, they now begin to realize that the 
government itself in towns and cities shpuld absorb most 
of their activities, coordinate them and be itself the agent 
for public health for the sake of greater economy of time, 
money, effort and efficiency, and also for the sake of elimi- 
nating all flavor of charity. In brief, it may be claimed 
that women have broadened into the democratic and gov- 
ernmental point of view toward health problems at the same 
time that they have been perfecting the machinery by which 
democracy may lay its foundation of health, happiness and 
power in governmental functions. 

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


political reverses have often become ardent suffragists, be- 
cause they realized that the direct way to work for sanitary 
municipal housekeeping is through elected officials, and, 
having been unable to influence the votes of men, they have 
acquired the desire and determination to cast the necessary 
ballots themselves. 

All these educational methods which women have used 
for their own development and for the instruction of voters, 
the political machinations with which they have had to 
deal, the necessity they have been under of "nagging" with- 
out mercy until they achieved their desired results, the 
sympathy and encouragement on the part of men, the coop- 
eration of progressive officials, their ways of raising money, 
their means of perfecting organization, and their publicity 
enterprises will be illustrated in the pages that follow. Some 
of their failures to obtain the municipalization of certain 
proposals will also be recorded. 

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

Large contributions have been made by women for the 
founding of various types of hospitals, both private and 
public. In instance after instance, the first hospital to make 


its appearance in a town represents the hard work of the 
women of that town in the raising of money or in the 
education of public opinion to demand it. 

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

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

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

Another example of effective and direct tuberculosis work 
is afforded by the Association of Tuberculosis Clinics of 
New York City which includes women on its board of 
directors and has, for its executive secretary. Miss F. Eliza- 
beth Crowell. The importance of an association like this 


lies in its ideals for prevention and in its stimulation to the 
individual clinics composing its membership to increase their 
work among children and their family care. It is of com- 
paratively little use to treat a single adult in a family and 
neglect the other members. Children may inherit the ten- 
dency to the disease or be infected before the adult member 
appears for treatment or the family's mode of living may 
create the same disease for all its members. It is therefore 
very direct and effective work to make family care the basis 
of prevention. Partly as a result of the conferences held 
by this Association, "the Department of Health has enlarged 
and strengthened its clinical work, has reorganized its sys- 
tem of registration and has increased both the quantity and 
quality of its nursing service." 

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

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

The Buffalo Federation of Clubs, the organized women 
of Minneapolis, the Women's Municipal League of Boston, 
and the Civic Club of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, are 
among the groups that have insisted upon open-air schools 
for children either infected with the germs of tuberculosis 


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

Occupational Diseases 

In addition to the communicable diseases there are occu- 
pational diseases some of which, like tuberculosis, are com- 
municable, while others are not. 

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

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

The widespread interest in industrial accidents may well 
extend to the more subtle industrial diseases which may not 
be as sensational as cataclysmic events but are not the less 
sure in their depletion of vigor and in the hardships they 
bring into the lives of the workers and thousands of fam- 
ilies. The activity of the Women's Municipal League of 
Boston affords us an example of the way in which women 
are awakening to their own and the public responsibility for 


such occupational diseases. In their study of these dread 
enemies of working people, they have begun with lead- 
poisoning and, perhaps wisely, since painters come into 
their homes and they themselves often share directly in the 
responsibility for the infection through their failure to 
provide hot water and other cleansing materials at the close 
of the painter's day of work. This League has become in- 
terested in the physical troubles of telephone operators also, 
such as the loss of voice and hearing. 

Family Visitation 

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

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


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

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

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

If an unmarried girl, delivered of her child, goes from 


the maternity ward back to the neighborhood that ruined 

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

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

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

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

The home situation clearly has to be considered as well 
as the physical ailment in almost every case requiring med- 
ical care. Thus the task is a cooperative one between the 
social worker and the medical scientist. Every attempt to 


improve labor and living conditions is a similar aid to 
medical science if not to the medical profession, so that 
any proper study of health or physical well-being must lead 
us on to an examination of efforts for better housing, a 
living wage, for social insurance, for workmen's compensa- 
tion, and the many other devices that make a decent standard 
of living possible. 

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

District Nursing 

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

Ysabella Waters in her examination into the system of 
visiting nursing in the United States shows that in 1913 
"50 health departments employed 867 visiting nurses, includ- 
ing 345 school nurses, 350 tuberculosis nurses, 107 infant 


hygiene nurses and 65 employed in other fields of sanitary 
work. At the same time 64 departments of education re- 
ported the employment of 200 visiting nurses in their work 
and Aliss Waters obtained records of 2,367 nurses taking 
part in public health work under other auspices, most of 
them being engaged in the campaign against tuberculosis." 

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

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

In other cities, the idea has been taken up and developed 
In many ways. The Visiting Nurses' Society of Philadelphia 
wants to increase its force to enter industrial nursing and 
here as elsewhere in the various aspects of nursing, the 
demand for training far exceeds the equipment. Here, too, 
just as the hospital nurse soon sees the necessity of economic 


backgrounds for cure and prevention of disease, so the in- 
dustrial nurse ' is seeing and writing on the causes and 
prevention of ills among working men and women. They 
are greatly aided in this study by that splendid contribution 
by Miss Goldmark on "Fatigue and Efficiency." 

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

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

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


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

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

Infant Mortality 

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

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


by the financial and personal support of Mrs. Sarah Boyd. 

The conil)ination of private and official activities in behalf 
of Child Welfare led to the agitation of women for a Federal 
Children's Bureau to study infant mortality and nutrition. 
The scheme was proposed by the National Child Labor Com- 
mittee and supported by the club women. Julia Lathrop was 
made Chief of the Bureau. 

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

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

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

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

The first monograph of the Federal Bureau was that on 
Birth Registration and this was requested by the General 
Federation of Women's Clubs. Other bulletins issued by 


the Bureau up to the present time include Infant Mortality- 
Series, No. I ; Baby-saving Campaigns — a statement of ef- 
forts made in cities of 50,000 and over to reduce mortality; 
Prenatal Care — a study made at the request of the Congress 
of Mothers which is the first of a proposed series on the 
care of young children in the home; A Handbook of Fed- 
eral Statistics of Children, giving, in convenient form, data 
concerning children which had hitherto been scattered 
through many unwieldy volumes; a review of child-labor 
legislation in the United States and one of mothers' pensions 
systems. All of this information is of the greatest assist- 
ance to workers in municipal reforms. 

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

Dr. Sherwood is chairman of the Association's committee 
on prenatal care, instruction of mothers and adequate obstet- 
rical care; Harriet L. Lee, superintendent of nurses of the 
Cleveland Babies' Hospital and Dispensary, is chairman of 
the committee on standards of training for infant welfare 
nursing and problems that confront the city and rural nurses 
engaged in baby-saving campaigns; and Dr. Helen Putnam, 
of Providence, is chairman of the committee on continua- 
tion schools of home-making and training for mothers' 
helpers, and for agents of the board of health, such as visit- 
ing nurses, sanitary inspectors, visiting housekeepers, and 


others. Included in the membership of this Association 
are over one hundred societies which represent organized 
baby-saving activities in 53 cities in 27 states. Women are 
hard workers as well as scientific contributors in this 

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

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

Pure Milk 

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

The milk station to supply pure milk to the poor at low 


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

Dr. S. Josephine Baker of the Bureau of Child Hygiene 
of the New York Health Department also has a large per- 
spective in dealing with this problem. She says: "The 
evolution of the infants' milk station is essential. Pure 
milk, however desirable, will never alone solve the infant- 
mortality problem. Under our system of home visiting to 
instruct mothers in the care of babies we have demonstrated 

lU. S. Dept. of Labor, Children's Bureau — Infant Mortality Series, 


that babies may be kept under continuous supervision at the 
cost of 60 cents per month per baby, and the death rate 
among babies so cared for by us has been 1.4 per cent. The 
death rate among babies under the care of milk stations has 
been 2.5 per cent., and the cost $2 per month per baby. 
Without overlooking the value of pure milk, I believe this 
problem must primarily be solved by educational measures. 
In other words, the solution of the problem of infant mor- 
tality is 20 per cent, pure milk and 80 per cent, training of 
the mothers. The infants' milk stations will serve their 
wider usefulness when they become educational centers for 
prenatal instruction and the encouragement of breast feed- 
ing and teaching better hygiene, with the mother instructed 
to buy the proper grade of milk at a place most' convenient 
to her home." 

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

Babies' milk thus becomes essentially a social-economic 
problem. It is so recognized by many women and is becom- 
ing more and more recognized as such by those who work 
along baby-saving lines. No one sees this fact more clearly 
perhaps than Miss Lathrop who joins in the ever-growing 
cry for a "war on poverty." Mothers' pensions, and every 
attempt to increase the wage of the husband or of the 
wife before the child-bearing experience has entered into 
her life, that she may lay by a sum for that function, reaches 
infant mortality more fundamentally and directly than do 
milk stations. In spite of this truth, milk stations are a 
useful supplementary social service and the value of pure 


milk where mothers cannot nurse their offspring or secure a 
competent wet-nurse must not be underestimated. The milk 
station, too, for one thing, affords an acceptable avenue 
through which to reach mothers and instruct them in the 
care of infants, to assist them with a nurse in times of 
trouble or crisis, and to prepare them for the hour when 
milk from the stations becomes a necessity. 

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

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

No more interesting story of women's help on the problem 
of genei-al milk supply is to be found than comes from the 
Oranges, although it is fairly typical of the way women 
have viewed their responsibility elsewhere. In the spring 
of 1913, the Civic Committee of the Woman's Club of 
Orange, New Jersey, offered, for the summer, the services 
of its secretary to the Orange Board of Health in order 
that a more thorough study of the milk supply might be 
made than was possible with the limited official staff alone. 
"Through the courtesy of the Board, Miss Hall was made a 
temporary special milk inspector in June, 1913, and has 
enjoyed the use of the department's laboratory in assisting 
in the test of over 600 samples on which conclusions are 
based as to the quality of the milk furnished in the Oranges." 


Those conclusions are published in a report by the aforesaid 
club in order to give the consumer a better knowledge of 
the production and supply of milk "in the hope of arousing 
citizen interest in a union of effort among the four munici- 
palities, toward a more efficient control." 

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

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

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

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



A tragic story of the scarcity and cost of ice in summer 
has come from more than one large city and the machina- 
tions of ice trusts have been among the most scandalous 
of business revelations. Here and there in the United States 
sporadic attempts have been made to establish municipal 
ice plants. Women have been prominent in the agitation 
for cheaper and more plentiful ice. An instance of this 
agitation is afforded by the following clipping from the 
New York Times, May, 191 4: 

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

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

Child Welfare 

The reduction of infant mortality is only one phase of 
child welfare. However imperative it is to save little babies, 
unless they are watched over and safeguarded physically 
during the after years of growth and nutrition, the earlier 
work is wasted. It is this conception of the unity of health 


work that has resulted in the formation by women of child 
welfare associations and of such committees within women's 
associations all over the country. 

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

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

2. For more numerous, larger and better supervised play- 

3. For medical school inspection and school nurses. 

4. For physical education and instruction in personal hy- 

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Undaunted by those who fear that the school lunch may 
pauperize the poor, some of its defenders would go further. 
Miss Mabel Parker, of New York, proposes to unite with 
the school lunch a "pre-natal restaurant" in certain districts 
where poor women in a pregnant condition can get for five 


cents a nourishing lunch which they could not get for a 
great deal more money at home. With the school plant al- 
ready equipped for meeting the extra work, these same 
women, instead of living on bread and bologna, could be pro- 
vided with a nourishing midday meal and child welfare be 
promoted from the very start. Her belief is that this ex- 
tended work would be self-supporting. Miss Parker says: 
"We have learned from our work in the Board of Health 
milk stations that education is not enough. The people of 
the tenement districts simply cannot afford good food, even 
if they have learned how desirable it is. That is why the 
city is willing to sell them milk at cost and why mothers 
must be provided with good food." 

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

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


Children Born Out of Wedlock 

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

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

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

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

"Second: The laxity of institutions and individuals in 


reporting promptly and fully the itenis which the law 

'Third: The inadequate provision for disposing of chil- 
dren who cannot be kept by the mothers. This last is 
perhaps the greatest factor. 

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

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

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

"Study groups are being organized to take up the ques- 
tions of legislation, venereal disease, the efficiency and range 

^ TJic Survey. 


of existing institutions, public opinion, feeble-mindedness 
and statistics." 

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

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

Pure Food 

Being principally responsible for the food of the family 
as well as the children, women have joined with spirit in 
what is known as the pure food movement. In many a 
city, large and small, women's associations have taken up 
the question of the proper food supply and by concerted 
efforts wrought marvelous results. An illustration of an 
active municipal campaign for pure food carried on by 
women is described in the American City for June, 1914, 


by Kathcrine G. Leonard, secretary of the Pure Food Com- 
mittee of the Civic League of Grand Forks, North Dakota: 

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

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

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

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

It became evident that the only way to secure sanitary 
inspection of food at intervals frequent enough to make the 
city food supply reasonably clean was to have a regular city 


official for the purpose. To that end a second petition was 
presented to the city council, with the result that an ordi- 
nance was passed providing for the office of food inspector. 
Mayor Murphy was fortunate in his choice of Mrs. R. A. 
Sprague, as she had proved her ability in the work of gen- 
eral inspector for the Civic League. The ordinance is an 
excellent instrument and answers many questions that arise 
in the work of inspection. 

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

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

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

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

As a result of complaints from dairymen and confectioners 


that bottle and ice cream cans were returned in bad condi- 
tion, cards with hints to housewives were printed and dis- 
tributed by milkmen to their customers. 

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

The pure food committee, through the courtesy of the 
Minnesota food commission, secured the pure food exhibit of 
the commission, placing it in a conspicuous place on the 
grounds during the state fair, with a lecturer in charge. This 
proved a great attraction, and the space in front of the ex- 
hibit was crowded with people from the rural districts who 
had heard little of the new gospel of pure food. The local 
food inspector visited each food concession as it w^as being 
placed, and explained the pure food law, with a hint that it 
was to be enforced on the grounds during the fair. Several 
later visits were made to the concessions, and suggestions 
were made and many bad practices discovered and stopped. 
For example, lemonade must be made from lemons rather 
than from acid powder was one order enforced. It was no- 
ticeable that the eating places having screens were the most 

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

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

No one factor can make for the health of a community 
more surely than a strict enforcement of the pure food laws. 
This enforcement by a special officer makes it possible for 
bad practices of all kinds to be traced and eliminated, either 
by persuasion or fine. It makes it possible for the poor to be 


supplied with clean, pure food, and this is really the greatest 
good that can come of the law, since the well-to-do, who buy 
at large, well-kept stores on main business streets, where 
neatness is an asset, can more easily influence the food mer- 
chants. The poor, buying in small quantities, patronize the 
small, ill-kept store in the vicinity of the home, and have 
little influence. With food inspectors, one store is as rigidly 
scrutinized as another, and the small buyer at the small, 
out-of-the-way store has equal protection with the large 
buyer at the large store in the center of business. 

In response to an inquiry the following report comes later 
from Airs. Leonard: 

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

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

Missouri women pledged their efforts to a pure food 
crusade some time ago, while the excellent laws in Texas 
reflect the interest of the women of that state. In 1906 the 
women of Iowa drafted a pure food bill which they pre- 


scnted to the legislature. In Ohio where fair legislation 
existed, the women worked to have it enforced. 

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

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

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

The Housewives' League, organized and directed by Mrs. 
Julian Heath of New York, has the twofold aim of securing 
pure food uncontaminatcd by dust and flics and of securing 
it at a lower cost. In the general pure food war, Mrs. 
Heath and her assistant, Miss M. E. McOuat, have, among 
other things, sought to interest girls in their teens in the 
purity and cleanliness of the candy and soda water they 
buy. Open-air meetings in the poorer districts of New 
York City, where cheap and dangerous wares are on every 
hand, have been held to warn young children against poi- 


sons of various kinds. At the same time this organiza- 
tion has assisted those officials who have sought to in- 
duce storekeepers to carry better varieties. They have also 
reported violations of the law as they have been discov- 

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

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

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

"Do you as club women keep yourselves informed and 
discriminate against poor food as you do against poor cloth- 

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

"Have you any organization in your town that looks 
after the food supply?" 

This pressure by the chairman of the Food Sanitation Com- 
mittee of the clubs indicates that hundreds of committees 
representing thousands of women are instituting a construc- 
tive campaign for better and cleaner food. 

The Women's Municipal League of Boston has been very 
active. "The cleanliness and hygienic condition of markets 
seems to me to belong peculiarly to woman's province," 
writes the chairman of its market committee, "and I con- 
fess it gives me a certain feeling of shame that a com- 
paratively small and new city like Portland should be more 
civilized in this respect than Boston. It is, however, encour- 
aging to think that Portland has been brought to this stand- 


arcl from a lower condition than Boston's by the efforts of 
a few women." 

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

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

The Boston League has very positive ideas about legisla- 
tion and enforcement, as the analysis in its 1913 report 

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

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

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


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

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

Pure Drugs 

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

Pure Water 

Pure water as well as pure food and drugs has been the 
starting-point of many a woman's organization formed for 

^ The American Club Woman. 


civic purposes or for a combination of cultural and civic 

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

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

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

The Survey thus describes the attitude taken by the 
women : 

Under the Louisiana Constitution women property-holders 
may vote at elections for authorizing municipal bond issues, 
and any woman who objects to going to the polls may send 
a proxy, provided that the proxy be given in the presence of 
two witnesses, which witnesses, by a strange mingling of 
the old and the new order of things, must be men. The work 
undertaken by the Era Club was to get the signature of one- 
third of the taxpayers to a petition praying for a special elec- 
tion ; to arouse sufficient interest among both men and women 


to induce them to vote at the special election, and to furnish 
proxies to those ladies who feared that by going to the polls 
they might incur the stigma of being called a new woman. 
And all this the Era Club accomplished. The special elec- 
tion was held, the women voted or sent proxies, and the 
necessary sum was authorized. As three-fourths of the 
property-holders of the city were women, the significance of 
this work is apparent. 

The area that had to be drained and properly sup- 
plied with sewers comprised 371^ square miles and 700 
miles of streets, and it is claimed even by outsiders 
that this undertaking was the largest public work of this 
character ever put through at one time in the United 

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

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

One of the papers on the Pacific Coast, the Pasadena Star, 
recently reported that : 

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


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

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

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

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

Agitation by the local Civic League for an improved water 
supply for New Canaan, Connecticut, recently won, through 
the Public Utilities Commission, a victory which may lead to 
important results throughout the state. The League, aided 
by an engineer and a sanitary expert, after a three-day hear- 
ing at Hartford, secured an order directing the private water 

'^Thc American Chib IVotnan. 


company to install a filtration plant and equipment to purge 
the water of all odor and color. 

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

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

Public Baths 

Women were instrumental in establishing public baths in 
several cities; notably in Pittsburgh, where The Civic Club 
of Allegheny County led in the agitation. The Woman's 
Institute of Yonkers campaigned for baths in that com- 
munity and some were secured. In cases where women 
have been directly interested in having baths arranged for 
the people, better sanitary conditions seem sometimes to have 
prevailed than in cases where they just passively approved 
and the city established the baths. In Newark, New Jer- 
sey, for example, a few women made an examination of 
the conditions of the public baths which had been estab- 
lished in that city for some time. To their horror they 
found them in a positively infected condition and their task 


therefore was the purification of existing bathing places. 
This they had to bring about by public sentiment and its 
concentration on the officials responsible for the condition 
of affairs. A water supply in every home, therefore, inter- 
ests many women far more than any public bath proposal. 

Public Laundries 

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

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

The Civic Club of Allegheny County has laundries in 
connection with its bath houses, but their use is a matter of 
gradual education as the masses are slow to give up cher- 
ished customs, however harmful and wasteful. Where day 


nurseries exist side by side with the public wash house or in 
close proximity the situation is more easily met as then the 
mothers can leave their babies in safe hands while they 
are at work in the laundry. Philadelphia, Buffalo, Balti- 
more and Elmira and a very few other cities have already 
these public wash houses. 

Clean Streets 

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

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

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

That Pennsylvania women generally are alert to the 


needs of greater public cleanliness is evidenced by the pub- 
lication issued by the Civics Committee of the State Fed- 
eration of Pennsylvania Women of which Mrs. Owen Wis- 
ter was chairman. This is a list of suggestions for the "Ob- 
servance of Municipal Housecleaning Day," and consists of 
practical directions for this work with a list of civic activ- 
ities closely allied with "housecleaning day" which should be 
undertaken as rapidly as possible. 

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

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

In Philadelphia, Mrs. Edith Pearce, a club woman, is a 
city inspector of street cleaning. The Woman's Home Com- 
panion thus described the way she goes about her work: 

First she planned for making the children her aids, teach- 
ing them not only to refrain from throwing fruit skins, paper 


and other rubbish into the street, but also to prevent others 
from so doing. She reached the children and awoke in them 
a wholesome interest in the city's appearance by means of 
addresses in the public schools and the distribution of simple 
circulars. Then she urged clubs, neighborhood groups and 
whole communities to cooperate with the street cleaners. 
In one week she addressed ten of the city's leading clubs for 
women on her chosen theme. In the crowded poorer sections 
she speaks from a soap box to corner gatherings of the 
housekeepers of the neighborhood, telling them, often with 
the aid of an interpreter, how to handle their waste, and 
inspiring them to do their part in keeping their surroundings 
clean and sanitary. She has found that the Italian, Polish, 
and Russian mothers whom she addresses become deeply in- 
terested in municipal housecleaning ; some of them "point 
with pride" to alleys, formerly reeking with filth but now 
clean and orderly. 

The American Journal of Hygiene recently printed a 
paper by Mrs. Ellen H. Richards of Boston on "Instructive 
Inspection," elucidating the advantages to be derived from 
the Board of Health's appointment of a teacher to be sent 
with power like any other inspection officer "wherever ig- 
norance, usually diagnosed as stubbornness," is found. 

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

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

The sanitary survey of a municipality has had to precede, 
of course, any large constructive proposals for improve- 
ment. One of our leading experts in this field is Mrs. Caro- 


line Bartlett Crane, who has been pressed into service far 
and wide for this purpose. A number of her reports on 
sanitary and social conditions have been published, describ- 
ing such places as Nashville, Tennessee; Erie, Pennsylvania; 
Saginaw, Michigan; Rochester, New York; and seventeen 
cities in Minnesota. These reports represent comparative 
studies on different topics; such as, water works, sewers, 
street sanitation, garbage collection and disposal, the smoke 
nuisance, milk supply, meat supply, markets and food fac- 
tories, hygiene and sanitation of school houses, housing 
problems, almshouses and jails. These surveys were made 
at the request of local associations and officials, usually in- 
stigated, we believe, by women. The surveys in Minnesota, 
for example, w^ere made at the invitation of the State Board 
of Health and the Federation of Women's Clubs with the 
cooperation of the State Medical Association, ' the local 
medical societies, and the commercial clubs of some of the 
larger cities. In Rochester the survey was undertaken at 
the invitation of the Women's Educational and Industrial 
Union seconded by the mayor and a number of official and 
civic organizations. Mrs. Crane has written on ''Factors of 
the Street Cleaning Problem," and similar questions, in a 
way that shows intimate acquaintance with the technique of 
road-making and other municipal enterprises. 

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

One of the most expensive of public departments is the 
street-cleaning one. Shall any sum demanded by the pres- 
ent incumbent in the office of chief of that department be 
granted lightly and the books be well kept and the affair 
end? Or shall causes of dirty streets be investigated to the 
full and the problem of heavy expense for cleaning be 
tackled perhaps by some measure for the prevention of dust 
and refuse? The education of the people so that they may 


desire permanent cleanliness instead of the mere excitement 
of a spectacular clean-up week is of the most fundamental 
concern. No element in that education is too insignificant 
to deserve attention. 

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

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

Garbage Disposal 

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


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

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

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

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

The members of the City Council, glad to have a definite 
thing to do to save themselves politically, created a City 
Waste Commission with an appropriation of $10,000. Two 


women from the Woman's City Club were appointed on this 
commission, Mrs. William B. Owen, chairman of the 
Clean-up Day Committee, and Mary E. McDowell, chairman 
of the City Waste Committee. The club for the three years 
had carried to every section of the city its welfare exhibit. 
In connection it gave stereopticon lectures showing the city 
dumps and noxious garbage wagons overloaded with reeking 
garbage and then in contrast the motor garbage wagon of 
the city of Furth, Bavaria, and the model incineration plants 
which Miss McDowell had seen in Germany. By this method 
the average citizen was made more intelligent and wide- 
awake than the city government. He had been educated to 
look upon dumps as antediluvian and intolerable. 

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

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



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

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

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

Far be it from the loyal women of the Civic League to 


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

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

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

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

Flies, Mosquitoes, Rats 

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

"The anti-fly campaigning is a movement of more far- 
reaching importance and more promising of prolonged life 

iLenora Austin Hamlin in The St. Paul Coiirant. 


and freedom from disease than perhaps any other single 
activity going forward in the community," said Mayor 
Baker of Cleveland recently in a letter to the city council. 

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

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

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


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


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

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

That many women are not unmindful of the fact that the 
anti-noise movement must not be purely a middle-class 
movement is indicated by their activity against prolonged 
hours of work amid the whir of factory machinery. Noise- 
less machinery has not yet been a possibility, whatever 
the future may hold in store for us in that respect ; but any 
attempt to limit one's interest in health to a particular group 
is short-sighted, to say the least. Jaded nerves are to be 
found in large numbers among the factory men and women 


and boys and girls, whose daily bread is won amid the inces- 
sant din of wheels and engines during a long work day. 
Miss Goldmark has fully established the evils of these con- 
ditions, and she speaks for a vast number of women in her 
analysis of, and emphasis upon, overwork amid machinery as 
a cause of excessive fatigue. Women physicians also arc 
calling attention to the conditions of factory labor. 

Health Associations 

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

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

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

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


Its general aims and purposes are thus set forth: 

1. To provide for conferences of private health organi- 

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

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

4. To promote cooperation in the investigation and study 
of health problems, 

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

In each line of thought and endeavor women will be found 
today in the United States as leaders in the crusade against 
the social evil. The General Federation of Women's Clubs 



some time ago took official cognizance of the imperative 
necessity for women to attack the evils which eat at the 
heart of womanhood and maternity and thus endanger the 
infant and the adult man and woman. At its Biennial 
Convention in Chicago in June, 1914, the Federation made 
all aspects of this question one of its main considerations 
for study and action. 

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

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

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

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

In Detroit recently the club women persuaded the city offi- 
cials to cooperate with civic organizations and order dis- 
orderly houses to close and stay closed after a certain date. 

A peculiar phase of the situation is that no provision seems 
to have been made for the women who will be turned out of 
these resorts. Being human, even if immoral, they are likely 
to continue living and the presumption is that those who 


profit by their traffic will remove them to some other city — 
which is not exactly a final solution of the evil. 

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

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

Congress of Mothers 

The Congress of Mothers likewise refuses to ignore a 
matter so vitally related to motherhood. This organiza- 
tion has for one of its chief aims the promotion of high 
ideals of marriage "and the maintenance of its sacredness 
and permanence." Its attitude toward life is primarily 
religious, and the leaders believe that more religious educa- 
tion in the home is the crying need which will prevent 
immorality. The Congress of Mothers is active and suc- 
cessful in forming mothers' circles, fathers' circles, and 
parent-teacher associations for the purpose of discussing 
the needs of childhood and increasing the sense of respon- 
sibility among parents. 


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

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

In these articles of a social program, the Congress of 
Mothers would join forces part of the way. It is when suf- 
fragists insist on the need of political power for mothers 
that the forces separate, for the Congress of Mothers in- 
clines to the individualist theory of causation and respon- 

The value of the agitation carried on by the Congress 
of Mothers lies in its appeal to middle- and upper-class 
men and women who often lightly ignore their family duties 
and entrust the care of children to incompetent nurses or 
maids during their formative years. The organization of 
parent-teacher associations increases the knowledge of both 
of these important agencies in the molding of the child's 
character and is of inestimable value in the sphere where 


it can be employed. Just as hospital work has to be sup- 
plemented by family treatment of an economic character, 
so this work has to be supplemented by social-economic 
work to cover larger sections of the community. 

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

Vice Commissions 

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

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

The Chicago Vice Commission of 1912, the first of its 
kind appointed by a municipality and financed by the city 
treasury, consisted of thirty well-known men and women. 


An important part of the investigation was made by women 
or under their direction. 

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

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

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

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

It includes a series of reports issued since the commis- 
sion's appointment in 191 1. One of the series deals with 
the places of public resort and accommodation affected by 


the social evil. It concludes with the famous "tin-plate 
ordinance," which requires that "on the front of every 
building used, either in whole or in part, as a hotel, apart- 
ment house, rooming, lodging, boarding, tenement house, or 
saloon, there shall be, at the principal street entrance, a con- 
spicuous plate or sign bearing the name and address of the 
owner or owners of such buildings." This, of course, greatly 
facilitates the apprehension and conviction of those responsi- 
ble for violating the law against disorderly resorts. 

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

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

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


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

The commission records its emphatic opposition to segre- 
gation in Portland for the following reasons: 

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

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

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

The Women's League for Good Government of Elmira, 
New York, made an investigation of vice conditions under 
the American Vigilance Association during the summer of 
1913. The results of this investigation were first given to 
the public at a great mass-meeting held in one of the 
theaters in October. At this meeting a summary of the 
investigator's report was given by one of the clergymen 
of the city. The theater was taxed to its utmost capacity, 
and the overflow filled the largest church auditorium in the 
city. The great audiences listened with solemnity to the 
startling revelations of the report. The Committee on 
Public Morals was at once organized and it was immedi- 


ately requested by the newly appointed police commission- 
ers to keep a watchful eye on the cheap theaters and the 
"movies." Copies of the Vice Report were sent to the 
newly elected city officials, and additional copies were re- 
quested by the police commissioners, into whose hands was 
placed the key to the Report (names of persons and places 
having been printed in cipher). "We have reason to be- 
lieve that the Report has been helpful to the police com- 
missioners in their efforts to enforce the laws," say the 
women of Elmira. 

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



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

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

In December, 191 1, the trial of the notorious white slavers, 
Morris and Lena Cohen, revealed the fact that a policy of 
toleration, extending over many years, had made Hartford a 
recognized market for prostitutes and a center for the white 
slave traffic between New York and points further east. Fol- 
lowing this disclosure. Mayor Smith ordered all houses of 
prostitution closed and appointed a vice commission that the 
problem might be attacked still more drastically in the future. 

The Common Council refused to appropriate any city funds 
to make an investigation possible, but the vice commission 
was not deterred from its undertaking. It raised its own 
funds, carried on its investigations and in July, 1913, pub- 
lished a report which probes ruthlessly into the underworld 
of Hartford. Among the fifteen specific recommendations 
dealing with local conditions, the most emphatic is, "that the 
present policy of keeping the houses closed be adhered to 
rigidly." "The experiment," the report continues, "if such 
we may call it, has certainly had no evil results. Most of 


those best qualified to judge affirm that it has led to better 
conditions. In the face of these facts, a return to the old plan 
of tolerating houses of ill fame would be a deliberate con- 
nivance at an illegal traffic." Owing to lack of money but 
500 copies of this report could be published and the City 
Council refused to appropriate funds for further editions for 
general distribution to make facts known to the whole city. 

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

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

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


regulation in Hartford and at their doors they have erected 
the sign appealing to the mothers of Hartford. 


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

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

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


tie vote on the motion to report the bill. Once before the 
Senate, the senators stood by their promises and the bill 
was quickly passed unanimously. 

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

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

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

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

The way in which California women have striven for 
remedial legislation is thus described by Mary Roberts Cool- 
idge in The Survey, under the title of "California Women 
and the Abatement Law": 

Women voters, it is now generally conceded, were chiefly 
responsible for the passage by the California legislature of 
1913 of two important measures dealing with the social evil. 
One, the bill to appropriate $200,000 for a detention home for 
girls, met with little opposition, because perhaps it was pre- 
ventive in character. The other, the red-light abatement 


bill, was bitterly fought, not only upon the floor, but by 
every secret device known to vicious interests throughout 
the state. 

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

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

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

The Property Owners' Protective Association had declared 
that they would get these signatures outside the bay cities 
in order to prove that the country was as much opposed as the 
cities to the law. But a scrutiny of the petitions from each 
county shows that out of a total of 31,930 signatures certified, 
53 per cent. (17,119) were from San Francisco alone and 


that Alameda and San Francisco counties together furnished 
60 per cent, of the whole, while Los Angeles gave only 19 
per cent., Sacramento less than 5 per cent, and each of the 
other counties a negligible hundred or two names. 

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

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

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

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

About the middle of February the district attorney again 


presented the matter before the grand jury. Indictment of 
one Belle Weil, who had circulated one of the referendum 
petitions, resulted. 

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

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

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

Whatever the individual citizen may think of the policy 
of attacking the property owner who reaps the profits of 
commercialized vice — which is the sole aim of the abate- 
ment law — he cannot ignore the duty of guarding the referen- 
dum principle. It should be made unpleasant and unprofitable 
for men to tamper with p'etitions. And at the next legisla- 
ture the law should be so strengthened as to make the punish- 
ment of such acts swift and easy. 


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

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

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

Pamphlets describing the law and its inevitable conse- 
quences were printed by the women and distributed widely 
among their organizations. One of these was signed by 
the following groups of persons : the Women's Prison Asso- 
ciation, which took the lead in this struggle; National 
Woman Suffrage Association ; Hygienic Committee of the 
Woman's Medical Association; Woman's Christian Tem- 
perance Union, State of New York ; The American Purity 
Alliance; the National Vigilance League (Men's) ; Friends' 
Philanthropic Committee; Council of Jewish Women, New 


York Section; Woman Suffrage Party, New York City; 
Equality League of Self-Supporting W^omen; Brooklyn 
Auxiliary of the Consumers' League; and the American 
Federation of Nurses. 

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

Judicial Decisions 

Commercialized vice is a national problem recognized as 
such by the Mann Act which makes it a violation "for any 
person knowingly to persuade, induce, coerce, or cause, or 
to aid or assist any woman or girl to go from one state to 
another for prostitution, debauchery or other immoral pur- 
poses, with or without her consent. The maximum penalty 
if the victim be over i8 is five years' imprisonment and 
$5,000 fine; and twice that amount if she be under i8." 

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

In Minnesota the women's clubs made a state issue of a 
case in which a married man, deserting his family, took a 
girl from Wisconsin to Minnesota, and was sentenced by 
Judge McPherson to three months in the county jail and a 
fine of $1,000. The women's clubs petitioned the judge of the 
United States Court of Appeals, who makes the assignments 
of the district judges, to assign Judge McPherson to another 
district, "lest another case of white slavery be placed upon 
the calendar subject to Judge McPherson's judgment." This 
petition was refused, on the ground that the degree of pun- 
ishment is expressly intrusted to the trial judge. It was 


stated also that the United States district attorney who prose- 
cuted the case was satisfied with the sentence. The man had 
pleaded guilty to taking a girl under eighteen across state 
borders for cohabitation. Judge McPherson defended his 
sentence on the ground that there was no evidence to show 
that the girl was coerced. The club women countered vig- 
orously with a statement to the effect that coercion was not 
the point; that by tlie man's own story, plus all human ex- 
perience, the girl was surely entered on a life of prostitution; 
what they wanted was such punishment as would be the talk 
of every barroom and a specter to any man who contemplated 
doing it in the future. ^ 

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

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

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

At the last election, however, contrary to the expectation 
and to the amazement of women in other parts of the 

1 The Surrey. 


country, Mayor Gill was reinstated as mayor. Criticism 
was rife and men joined with women in attributing the 
result to the fickleness of women and their superficiality. 
They were even accused of worse things. 

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

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

Miriam Michelson, in the Sunset Magazine, tells the 
story : 

Now this threatened recall of a police judge is undertaken, 
I should say, not because the women believe this particular 


judge to be unique in flagrant adherence to a police court 
system of leniency in sex-crinics; not because they think him 
the worst of his type that San Francisco has known ; but be- 
cause they consider him a type and because they consider the 
police court system one that must be changed. This recall 
presents something definite, something to do, which feminine 
hands have been aching for. 

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

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

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

But over against this set this fact : There are seven hun- 
dred women in San Francisco whose one aim in civic life is to 
found a state training school for girls gone wrong who 


would go right. This association has a representative in 
Sacramento whose sole business it is to further a bill for 
the establishment of a helping station to girls on the way to 
usefulness and moral health, modeled upon similar establish- 
ments in other states. Here is work, backed by thirty thou- 
sand club women of the state, proceeding definitely, practi- 
cally to a solution of one of the most appalling obstacles to 
the crusade against vice. . . . But the time has not yet come 
when woman will face her individual share of atonement for 
a social sin in which she has acquiesced. Ultimately, with 
universal suffrage, the wheel of time must place at the door 
of the protected woman responsibility for the prostitute. As 
yet she cannot see herself, in her own home, taking up the 
broken lives, diseased bodies, debased minds and deadened 
souls — the by-product of that which men tell her has always 
been and always must be. 


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

In their efforts to trace the whereabouts of immigrant 
girls, to do follow-up work, to establish immigrant homes, 
to secure matrons on steamers and women inspectors, 
women are constantly controlling some portion at least of 
the social evil. Miss Sadie American, Executive Secretary 
of the Council of Jewish Women, states that her organiza- 
tion, which does so much to safeguard Jewish girls, could 
do vastly more if it had the facilities that the government 
has in the way of registered lists of newly arrived citizens 


with their destinations. Certainly the organization of 
women as a social service adjunct to the Department of 
Immigration would be a step acceptable to women and of 
incalculable preventive value to the country. 

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

"A committee for the protection of girls will be organized 
by Mrs. F. G. Sanborn, president of the Woman's Depart- 
ment of the Panama-Pacific exposition. This work is re- 
garded as very important when it is remembered that 6,000 
girls were lost during the Chicago World's Fair. Club 
women in San Francisco are actively interested in the 
Woman's Department of the exposition." ^ 

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


Among the societies which seek to deal with prostitution, 
in which women lead or with which they are affiliated, may 
be mentioned the Kansas City Society for the Suppression 

^The American Club Woman. 


of Commercialized Vice which has two women on its board 
of directors. This organization was the outcome of a 
meeting held by the Public Morals Committee of the Church 
Federation in September, 1913, when the following resolu- 
tions setting forth the program of the society, were adopted 
unanimously : 

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

Therefore, be it Resolved: 

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

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

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

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

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

The objects of the Society are stated as follows: 

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

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


A propaganda which shall hy forevvarnings cut off both 
demand and supply. 

In writing of results already accomplished, this Society 

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

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

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


The recent merger of the American Vigilance Association 
and the American Federation for Sex Hygiene into the 
American Social Hygiene Association will doubtless in- 
crease the efficiency of the work attempted by the two 
former societies and prevent duplication. Charles W. Eliot 
is president of the new society and Jane Addams is an 
honorary vice-president while the directors include Martha 


Falconer, Mrs. Raymond Robbins, and the Rev. Anna Garlin 

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

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

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

The Juvenile Protective Association of Chicago, of which 
Mrs. Louise De Koven Bowen is the head, emphasizes 
the need of labor and other legislation as a basis for some 
solution of the social evil. Among the preventive measures 


suggested are: the minimum waj^c law; publicity for the 
owners of disreputable houses by means of the tin-plate 
or card in the hallway; a law similar to the Albert Law in 
Nebraska which declares property used for purposes of 
prostitution a nuisance arid the owner punishable for main- 
taining such; better regulations of hotels; medical certifi- 
cates before the issuance of marriage licenses; and wider 
labor legislation. Mrs. Bowen has made a special study of 
the department store girl, among other types of workers, 
and she agrees with the Illinois Vice Commission that 
the economic conditions which surround the department 
store girl tend to her moral as well as her physical break- 
down and need remedying as the basis for greater sta- 

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

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

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



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

By the drama also women and men have sought to teach 
sex health and morality. They have supported the Socio- 
logical Fund of the Medical Review of Reviews in pre- 
senting "Damaged Goods," by Eugene Brieux, to large audi- 
ences in the greater towns and cities. At first presented 
timidly to audiences carefully selected from ministers. 


teachers and social workers, on which occasions the per- 
formance was opened with prayer, the powerful lesson 
taught by this play has led to braver adventures and "Dam- 
aged Goods" has been witnessed by many thousands of 
people who have not only come to see it through invita- 
tions but who have bought their seats at popular prices. 

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

Teaching of Sex Hygiene 

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

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

The Women's Municipal League of Boston took the high 
position that "realizing the physical misery which is result- 
ing from ignorance in regard to matters of sex, and the 
spiritual degradation following the wrong conception of the 
high purpose of the sex function, to which must be added 
the loss of efficiency in human ability, the Committee on 
Social Hygiene of the League has set itself the task of 
awakening the community to the dangers of a further con- 


tinuance of this policy of silence and of arousing the public 
conscience to do its duty; providing sex education both for 
parents and for those whose parents cannot or will not 
furnish it for them." The League was, of course, very 
careful to choose the members of this committee from those 
women whom it believed to be qualified to lead in this work. 
From a recent report we learn: 

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

The committee confronted its first difficulty in securing a 
lecturer, for the work is new and there are few trained speak- 
ers available. Dr. Frances M. Greene of Cambridge, the 
president of the society which initiated this work in Cali- 
fornia, who has made an intensive study of the question in 
Europe, was engaged to give a course of five lectures in the 
League rooms. . . . Announcements were sent out to 725 
people, most of whom were mothers of young children; yy 
persons attende(^ the first lecture, and this number has in- 
creased with each succeeding meeting. A charge of $1.00 
was made for the course. The receipts for the lectures were 
over $170.00, a sum sufficient to pay the expenses of the lec- 
turer, postage and stationery. The serious interest shown by 
those in attendance has deepened the conviction of the com- 
mittee, that the pubhc w^ishes enlightenment in regard to 
instructing the young in these fundamental matters, and that 
the present generation of parents having been brought up 


in ignorance wishes to give its children a better point of view 
than it ever had itself. 

The committee has arranged to have Miss Laura B. Gar- 
rett 1 of New York City speak on "Some Methods of Teach- 
ing Sex Hygiene" at Huntington Hall, Massachusetts Insti- 
tute of Technology. ... In addition to League members 500 
teachers are to be invited to attend this lecture. 

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

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

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

1 After hearing her once, a large group of working women in New York 
City eagerly offered to pay $i.oo apiece for a course of lectures. 


Swift, of Boston; Dr. Kate Campbell Mead, of Middletown, 

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

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

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

In the proper understanding of this subject of sex hygiene it 
is quite impossible for either men or women to go very far 
alone. I am sure that through the ages there have been men 
who have had this subject very close to their hearts. They 
have felt that it was basic, that it was most important; but 
they felt that it was not a proper matter to discuss with 
women and so they have blundered on, not getting very far 
in any solution of it. The subject has also been near the 
heart of every woman. She hopes that her husband will be a 
good man; she hopes that her son will be clean; she sees all 
the wreckage and the heartaches in life that come from igno- 
rance of sex hygiene or lack of attention to it. So women 
have talked together as to how the standard of morality might 
be raised, how they might teach their sons and daughters, but 
they have felt that it was not a topic to discuss with men, so 


they have blundered on. They have been too sentimental, 
they have been too ignorant of the limitations in the world of 
practical affairs; they have lacked well-balanced judgment 
as to how it was best to teach, how it was best to help. It is 
absolutely necessary that earnest men and women should 
modify and guide each other in reaching a solution of the 

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

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

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


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

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

The children of today are destined to be the units of a 
society whose point of view is to make it unique in the world's 
history. It w411 be characterized by a single standard of 
morality for both sexes. The child must be so trained and 
educated that it will later be possible and natural for him to 
live up to the high standard which the women of his age shall 
demand of him. 

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

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



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

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

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

^ The American City. 


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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

In a history of the playground movement in America, 
Herbert H. Weir, one of the field secretaries of the Play- 
ground and Recreation Association of America, says: **No 

^ The Survey. 


age has been without its visioners who saw the light and 
led the way, so luckily there were men and women, espe- 
cially women, who saw and understood and acted." ^ 

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

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

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

In the meantime the people kept busy. They decided to 

^ The American City. 


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

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

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

Then came the recommendation that $75,000 be appropri- 
ated to buy a large area of this marsh land for playground 


purposes. There was but little discussion, and the motion 
was unanimously carried. By this action Winthrop puts 
herself among the enviable towns of the country.^ 

Ethel Moore, president of the Board of Playground Di- 
rectors of Oakland, California, has the following to say 
regarding playgrounds in California: 

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

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

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

In 191 1 Oakland adopted a charter embodying the com- 
mission form of government. The Playground Department 
then fell under a Board of Directors (consisting of five 
members, "not more than three of whom shall be of the 
same sex") similar to the boards that control the Public 
Library, Park Department and School Department. 

With the growth of these municipal systems there grew 
up a state-wide interest in public recreation. Courses for 
play-leaders were offered at the State University, and under 
the auspices of the San Francisco Branch of the Association 
of Collegiate Alumnae, the Playground Association of Cali- 

1 The American City. 


fornia was organized in 1909. The first annual meeting of 
the Association took the form of a three days' Conference of 
Playground Workers, the success of the gathering being due 
largely to the efforts of Mrs. E. L. Baldwin and Mrs. May 
Cheney, of the Committee. 

And now each year sees marked advances in both rural 
and city communities ; larger appropriation, new sites, better 
trained and better paid supervision, increased attendance, 
more intensive work, greater cooperation with other agencies, 
wider usefulness in promoting the opening of school build- 
ings as well as in developing park properties — thus providing 
recreation for adults as well as for children. 1 

In a note to Miss Moore's report, the editors of The 
American City add: 

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

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

Far to the South, as well as the West, we hear of woman's 
work. The Civic Club (women's) of Charleston, South 

^ The American City. 


Carolina, started twenty years ago a vacation playground 
and the need of this institution was so well demonstrated 
that the City Council finally purchased and established in 
that city the first playground in South Carolina. Five 
women were appointed on the Playground Commission. 

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

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

Inasmuch as in great cities like New York and Chicago 
there never can be enough playgrounds on the street level 
to meet the needs of the children, there is a decided move- 
ment in such municipalities toward the transformation of 
roofs into playgrounds. The Parks and Playgrounds Asso- 


elation of New York, directed by both men and women, has 
already opened several of these roof playgrounds and the 
influence is being felt in various constructive ways. Pri- 
vate owners of apartment houses are beginning to supply 
these facilities for young tenants as an inducement to 
mothers to rent homes with them. Schemes for aerial play- 
grounds over the streets on platforms are being proposed 

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

Dance Halls 

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

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


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

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

The evil resulting from the commercialization of the dance 


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

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

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

^ The American Club Woman. 


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


Clubs offer the follow-up work that is necessary after 
the dance. The club and the dance are sometimes com- 
bined, but serious class work can often be secured by the 
relaxation afforded by the weekly dance. Clubs conducted 
by women for young people and for adults are very often 
serious educational features in the guise of pleasure, and 
the results that have already been felt, as well as the reali- 
zation that far more can be achieved if attempted on a big 
social scale, a municipal scale, if possible, have led to 
the movement for the opening of schools as social centers. 
In Manchester, New Hampshire, the club women organized 
and support a Boys' Club. They look after more than loo 
young boys who sell papers and black shoes and the like. 
The boys are taught trades and the clubhouse affords 
them recreation and protection. No effort is spared to 
arouse the ideal of good citizenship and the boys respond 
nobly. The Woman's Club at Green Bay, Wisconsin, re- 
modeled a building for a center for working women and 
transformed it into a recreational and educational center. 


The VVoodlawn Woman's Club of Chicago established an 
organization for housemaids which is a social center. Such 
centers for domestic workers have been founded in several 
cities and the reports on waywardness among domestic 
workers indicate that their neglect in any scheme of recrea- 
tion is serious indeed. They are a large factor in the 
patronage of public dance halls and any public control that 
reaches the hall reaches the domestic worker. 

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


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

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

San Antonio, Texas, is fast developing into a musical 
center for the Southwest, owing to the activity of the San 
Antonio Musical Club of which Mrs. B. F. Nicholson is 
president, and the Tuesday Musical Club of which Mrs. 
Eli Hertzberg is president. Besides bringing to San An- 
tonio some of the best artists that appear in New York 
and Chicago, San Antonio is also treated to a good concert 


every Saturday morning, free to the public, and given by 
the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra. 

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

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

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


Chicago symphony orchestras; the Russian Ballet; opera 
singers and instrumentalists. 

The Civic Music Association of Chicago, first suggested 
by Mrs. George B. Carpenter, was recently launched ac- 
cording to plans made by the Woman's Club of Chicago. 
"Music within the reach of all" is its slogan. Mrs. Car- 
penter is president and she has the cooperation of the 
Chamber of Commerce and prominent women like Ella 
Flagg Young. Dora Allen, of the Association, states the 
aims in an article in The Survey: 

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

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

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


what might be done with the cooperation of the Bohemians, 
Germans, Scandinavians, Italians and Poles and other art- 
loving nationalities. 

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

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

Motion Pictures 

As the moving-picture "show" creeps into every cross- 
roads village and multiplies in the cities, it becomes the 
people's theater. In proportion as a theater is educational 
or demoralizing in its influence, the "movie" becomes the 


people's school. What lessons do the people learn there or 
is the influence of the movie negative? 

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

Grade 5678 Totals. 

Comedy 85 90 99 100 374 

Western or cowboy 192 211 186 146 735 

Educational 95 183 317 312 907 

Drama 25 34 36 44 139 

Do not attend 20 44 47 45 156 

Crime 5 19 19 29 y2 


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

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

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

"I like where men has a wife and three children and the 
wife has a fellow." 

*T like where the husbun's go an play pool and then when 
there money is gone they go home and take their wife 
jewels and leave them and never come back again." 

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

"I like love-making picture best. It is exciting when 
two men want to marry the same girl." ^ 

A study of moving pictures has been made in other 
cities by women, and all over the country they are giving 

^ The Survey. 


serious attention to the problem of securing the exhibition 
of high-grade films only. Upon the suggestion of club 
women, the Board of Education of Parsons, Kansas, has 
undertaken to give two free moving-picture exhibits each 
month to the school children. The films are selected by the 
superintendent of schools assisted by the manager of the 
theaters and the subjects are confined to history, geography 
and science. 

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

In Pittsburg, Kansas, the club women are working out a 
censorship plan for moving-picture shows, which is proving 
successful. Mayor Graves appointed a commission of women, 
headed by Mrs. Harvey Grandle, president of the Pittsburg 
Federation of Clubs, which confers with the managers of all 
five- and ten-cent vaudeville and moving-picture shows. A 
most cordial spirit of cooperation is reported upon the part 
of these managers, in eliminating all films depicting scenes of 
crime, drinking scenes, and suggestive *1ove scenes." If all 
mayors would appoint similar commissions, whose work 
would be as successful, it would not be long before the manu- 
facturers of moving-picture films would take the hint, and 
cease to put out films of the tabooed classes. Wichita is 
working out a similar plan through a commission, and this 
seems the most practical plan. A commission, being clothed 
with authority, is received with courtesy and acting in co- 
operative not antagonistic spirit, receives the assistance of 
the managers. Local federations or clubs should make it a 
point to bring this work before their city council or city com- 

The American Club Woman declares that "women's 
clubs are wisely deciding to cooperate with the film com- 
^ The American Club Woman. 


panics to make them a good influence upon the millions of 
young people who patronize them. The censorship plan is 
proving successful in many cities. Volunteer boards of club 
women who serve without a salary, find that it is not diffi- 
cult to secure the rejection of pictures which create a bad 
impression. Some tact is useful in persuading the managers 
of moving-picture shows to use the right kind of films. 
Censorship is rather a formidable term, but is robbed of 
many of its terrors to managers, when they find that the 
approval of the censors means increased business for clean 

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

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

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

Women play a large part in the work of the National 
Board of Censorship of Motion Pictures established by the 


People's Institute of New York. In addition to the mem- 
bers of the Censoring Committee which includes many- 
women, the National Board has some 300 correspondents 
in different parts of the country who are more or less 
officially identified with it and who work with women's 
clubs, civic and social organizations, in addition to mayors, 
license bureaus, and others. The work of the national asso- 
ciation is, therefore, fairly equally distributed between men 
and women. 

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

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

The National Board does not and cannot relieve any 
community of its local responsibility. As "the motion-pic- 
ture theater is essentially a form of public service which is 
licensed by the community for public welfare, the same 
kind of scrutiny should be applied to it that is applied to 


any public service monopoly, news-stand privilege or park 

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

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

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

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


The Drama 

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

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

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


The Drama Lea.cfue of America is a women's and men's 
organization with Mrs. A. Starr Best of Evanston, Ilhnois, 
as president. Its object is to support the drama that mani- 
fests a high level of art and morals in order that the theater 
may assume its rightful place as an educational and social 

The Pageant 

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

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

The school children's historical pageant is a distinct di- 
vision of pageantry in itself, demanding special considera- 
tions of time, preparation, choice of material, and adjust- 
ments to the age and development of those taking part. It 
should be borne in mind that children have no large back- 
ground of experience and hence the methods used with 
adults cannot be used with them. The evolution of the 
school pageant has been in response to the play spirit along 
educative lines, and marks a difference between the mere 
spectacular performance, which is gotten up in haste and dies 
as soon as it is born, and the one that makes permanent 
impression of what is valuable to the development of the 
pupil, and is presented in conformity to the known laws of 


education. Under the wise management of Mr. Mangrum, 
the superintendent of the schools, who began five months in 
advance, the New Harmony pageant soon proved its educa- 
tional value. It has made community interest and cooperation 
a living reality; it has telescoped the history of the town and 
the region in the minds of the children and taught them of 
people and events more vividly than could have been other- 
wise possible; it has united the entire school system of the 
place by giving every child some active part in preparing for 
the great historic event of celebrating the founding of the 
town. The very least ones have been cutting with the scis- 
sors the pageant scenes, outlined by the teacher, and making 
silhouettes; others have been drawing the outlines; some 
naming the birds of the district; others, the trees; and still 
others noting the procession of wild flowers, all to show the 
nature of the region. Older ones are making maps of the 
town and the topography of the land, or drawing posters, and 
the prominent buildings of historical note. The higher grades 
are using the scenes in original composition work of char- 
acter study and the dramatization of events. Music has been 
a feature all the way along. Boys have been heard singing 
*'Lo ! I Uncover the Land" from the pageant, with happy 
loud voices. New Harmony is a rural community with only 
three hundred school children; what has been done there is 
possible to some degree in every community in the state. 
The pageant lends itself especially to rural regions wherever 
there is a school or several schools to unite in a festival for 
honoring those who have helped to make public education 
possible. The near approach of the centenary of the state- 
hood of Indiana in 1916 furnishes the psychological moment 
that makes it both a privilege and a duty to arouse in every 
school in the state, a new interest in its own environment or 
local history, thus leading to a wider interest and conception 
of historic growth. The work of the historical pageant in 
the schools of Indiana should begin next September so as to 
give ample time without interfering with the regular work 
that must otherwise be done. Richmond, Vincennes, Fort 
Wayne, LaFayette and many other Indiana cities are 
especially rich in pageant material, to say nothing of the 
wealth in this respect in the rural communities on every 


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

The pageant given by the town of Arlington, Massachu- 
setts, recently was started by the Woman's Club and a 
guarantee fund of $1,000 was secured by it. Several hun- 
dred of the townspeople participated in the presentation of 
the drama. 

Charlotte Rumbold was the executive secretary of the 
St. Louis Pageant and Masque which attracted national in- 
terest, and Mrs, Ernest Kroeger, the active chairman, with 
an Executive Committee composed of men and women. In- 
deed, this pageant w^as suggested by Miss Rumbold, Sec- 
retary of the Public Recreation Committee, as a fitting 
way to celebrate the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary 
of the founding of St. Louis. Every agency of the munici- 
pal government cooperated to make it a success. "If we 
play together, we will work together," was the slogan 
adopted, the whole object being the development of com- 
munity spirit and not the commercial advantage of mer- 
chants and business men generally. The 7,500 performers 
were drawn from all walks of life, the idea being to instill 
democracy into St. Louis affairs, even the funds being dem- 
ocratically raised. Other cities were asked to send official 
heraldic envoys and general civic pride was to be aug- 
mented by a conference of mayors during the celebration. 
No other pageant has had the big democratic community 
vision of the St. Louis enterprise or has called for such 
large-scale planning. 


Fourth of July 

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

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

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

Restriction without substitution, however, is usually idle, 
as we know very well at last. In advocating ordinances of 
a restrictive nature, therefore, women have not been un- 
mindful of the need of directing pent-up feelings accus- 
tomed to noisy and dangerous exuberance on the Fourth. 


Pageants, processions, municipally managed fireworks and 
musical festivals are some of the ways in which substitu- 
tions have been provided for dangerous celebrations. 

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

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

'The Committee on Independence Day Celebrations of 
the Art Department of the New Jersey State Federation of 


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

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

Social Centers 

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


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

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

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

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

The list of clubs includes two dramatic and two glee clubs, 
two orchestras, a drum corps, two athletic associations, two 


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

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

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

There are not enough settlements and other social agencies 
to provide for more than a small number of our young people. 
There are thousands of young men who have no place to go 
nights. There are thousands of girls who used to stay at 
home in the country but who have been brought by our 
changed industrial conditions to the cities to work in shops 
and factories. Many of these will be in the streets nights 
unless we provide some decent recreation for them. Thus on 


the one hand there is this urgent need; on the other there are 
all those empty buildings upon which we have spent literally 
millions and millions of our money. Such a waste of capital 
seems bad business management on our part. 

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

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

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

As the years went by and the playground was continued, 
we began to feel that not only a public school, but a public 
school of a very unusual kind was needed in that section. 
There was no place for social gatherings except a saloon or 
a grocery with saloon attachments. The young people were 
going uptown to the skating rinks and the moving-picture 
shows, and a little later we were dealing with them through 
the Juvenile Court. And more and more it was borne in 
upon us that though we might do our best through the 
Juvenile Court and the Reform School to repair the damage 
done, a cracked vase, no matter how well mended, could 
never be as good as a whole one; and that the sensible thing 


to do was to keep these children out of the Juvenile Court 
and the Reform School. The School Board simply had not 
the money to build the sort of school we wanted, nor had it 
the necessary conviction and faith that a poor part of the 
town needed so expensive a school. So when we had gotten 
the Board to appropriate the last remaining $10,000, we 
started out to add to that sum $25,000, raised by popular 
subscription, and went to work on the plans for a school 
building which would not only allow the teaching of reading, 
writing and arithmetic, but would have a kitchen, a carpenter 
shop, a laundry, a gymnasium, shower baths, a swimming 
pool and an auditorium with a stage. 

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

We began teaching school in the new building last Sep- 
tember; it is full of children and is a joy forever. The 
swimming pool, the crowning glory, is not yet completed, for 
we had to contract for things whenever the money was in 
bank, and all trimmings were postponed as late as possible. 
The shower baths are in full effect. The laundry is being 
used not only to teach the school children how to wash and 
iron, but the mothers of the neighborhood, who bring their 
washing in, pay so much a wash for the use of the water and 
the steam drier and the beautiful ironing boards, with gas 
burners at the end. The big room, with the stage at the end, 
which serves for kindergarten in the morning and gymnasium 
in the afternoon, is a story and a half high, and is used for 
theatrical performances and dances at night. It is running 
full blast. We have various night clubs already started, but 
we could have more — and will have more when there is a 
little more money to pay for supervisors, or a little more time 
to drum up and keep in line volunteer helpers. But, even 
now, the school has demonstrated that the evening is the best 
time, not only for reaching the fathers and mothers of the 
school children, but the young people — girls who work in 


the laundries and in the stores at $3.50 a week, and who have 
no place to go for dancing and other recreation, and the 
young men from 20 to 35, working at the distillery or the 
tobacco warehouses. 

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

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

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

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

The Social Center Association of America, recently 
formed, includes among its vice-presidents, Miss Anne Mor- 

1 From a paper read at the Recreation Congress in Richmond, Va., May, 
1913, and printed in The American City. 


gan of New York, Miss Jane Addams, Mrs. Ella Flagg 
Young, and Miss Mary McDowell of Chicago. 

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

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


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

1 The American Club Woman. 


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

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

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


Stoddard of the Playground Commission of Los Angeles. 

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

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

Financing of Public Recreation 

Women formed part of a New York group of public- 
spirited citizens that, in the summer of 1914, presented to 

^The American City. 


the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, the budget-mak- 
ing authority of the city, an important memorandum deal- 
ing with the great problem of financing the urgent recrea- 
tional facilities such as those we have outlined. The Survey 
published the following commentary on this memorandum: 

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

In other words, the signers of the memorandum regard pub- 
lic recreation as being as much a public function as education. 
"It is impossible," says the memorandum, "for the individual 
to buy wholesome recreation. Wholesome recreation, in which 
the social and civic elements are present, can only be pro- 
vided through community cooperation." Public recreation 
is not only for the poor, but for everyone, and without it the 
rich are nearly as helpless as the poor. 

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

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

"It has been shown through complete investigation that 


most juvenile crime is directly due to the attempt to play in 
the streets or in other forbidden places. There is much evi- 
dence that crime among v^omen, especially that which leads 
to the social evil, is due in large part to the influences which 
surround women in their search for recreation. Neither com- 
merce nor public effort has provided family recreation 
places, and most wage-earning families in New York have no 
leisure resources beyond what they can find in their tene- 
ment homes, on the streets, or in a small class of commercial 

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

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

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

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

For all these purposes a budget will be necessary, and the 
most direct, obvious and disciplinary way to raise the budget 
is through local effort. The natural method, as already 
demonstrated in several New York schools, is to charge an 


entrance fee to a few popular features of the center, pre- 
ferably those which compete directly with the commercialized 
amusements. Moving pictures and public dancing are illus- 
trations. These features, and others such as amateur the- 
atricals, athletic meets, sociables and bazaars, the renting of 
rooms in the school building, club dues, etc., can be made not 
only self-supporting but profitable and the surplus can be 
applied to other non-profitable activities. At present, even 
in New York, some social centers, such as the well-known 
center in Public School 63, Manhattan, meet all local ex- 
penses, including supervision and janitor service, by such 
means as these. 

The following paragraph from the memorandum is sug- 
gestive : 

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



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

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


As a preparation for constructive work with them, women 
first studied the needs, customs, and labor of foreigners as 



well as they knew how. Louise ]\Iontgomcry's investiga- 
tion of "Old Country Mothers and American Daughters" in 
the stockyards district of Chicago is an excellent example 
of such study. It is thus reviewed by Christina Merriman: 

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

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

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

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

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

She tells us of the girl who was so "sot" in her mind and 


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

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

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

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

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

1 The Survey. 


environment, she is ready to give free rein to her individual- 
istic tendencies. 

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

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

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

* The Survey. 

^The American Club Woman, 


A Literacy Test 

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

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

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

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

The immigrant who has learned to read and write has 
gained control of the tool that brings him out of the stone age, 
with all its associated habits, into the age of bronze, where 
we live and work today. This may be only his own native 
language — as required by the bill which was vetoed last year 
• — but through it he is at least brought into an immensely 
wider circle of communication than is afforded by word of 
mouth only, so that he need not be at the mercy of the nearest 
rascal who wants to take advantage of his ignorance. Having 


this, he is helped a long stage on the way of acquiring the use 
of the more effective tool — reading and writing the English 
language, which would be our next demand for him. For 
this we should ask state legislation, establishing compulsory 
education for non-English speaking adults (immigrant or 

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

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

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

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

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

Protective Work 

Miss Frances Kellor was one of the leading American 
women, outside the settlements, to take hold of the pro- 


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

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

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

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


education, distribution, and assimilation has been continually 
urged by the League upon public authorities. 

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

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

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

"There are in Rochester a large number of foreign-born 
inhabitants who are ignorant of our civic institutions, ig- 
norant of the laws of sanitation and hygiene, ignorant of 
the protection offered them by our laws and our various 
philanthropic institutions. Except through the influence of 
their children in the schools, many of these adult foreigners 
have little opportunity to understand those municipal activ- 
ities which are intended to help rather than to punish. Many 


of them know nothing of the Public Health Association, the 
Legal Aid Protection Committee, the Provident Loan Asso- 
ciation, the evening schools and similar well-established 
agencies for reaching just such needs as theirs. 

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

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

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


mand for a second increase. The demand was ignored and 
the strike commenced. Mr. Kitchelt thus relates the story: 

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

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

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

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

Among the various national associations which aid the 
immigrant directly and indirectly is the Council of Jewish 
Women, organized primarily to aid Jewish immigrants to 
adapt themselves to American conditions of life and labor. 
It has sections in all the larger cities and towns, with a 


central system of organization whereby rapid cooperation 
is secured among the sections in times of need. 

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

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

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

At the Sixth Triennial Convention of the Council, Miss 
Sadie American made a statement which indicates the seri- 
ous spirit of this organization as far as the white slave traf- 
fic is concerned: 

This brings me to the subject of the White Slave Traffic, 
upon which Resolutions were passed by your Executive Com- 
mittee and sent to your Sections (which in response sent 
many letters praising the action), which Resolution instructed 
your officers to do their utmost to combat this traffic, espe- 
cially to combat against such Jews as might be in it. It was 
in pursuance of this Resolution and the urgent invitation of 
the English Society for the Protection of Girls and Women, 
of which Mr. Claude Montefiore is the President, that I was 


sent to represent you to the Jewish White Slave Traffic Con- 
ference in London and to the International White Slave 
Traffic Conference in Madrid, and I believe that in this act 
alone the Council of Jev^ish Women justified its existence. 
It is impossible in a meeting such as this to go into details. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Attitude of Settlements 

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

The Negro 

The problem of fair citizenship for the negro is receiv- 
ing no little attention from those women interested in the 


assimilation of races. The National League on Urban Con- 
ditions Among Negroes is an organization of men and 
women with headquarters in New York, formed "to help in 
counteracting this migration to the cities and to make efforts 
for improving the serious social conditions growing up 
among the negroes in the cities." 

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Although no separate schools have ever been established in 
Chicago, it was found that many colored young people be- 
come discouraged in regard to a "high-school education" 
because of the tendency of employers who use colored persons 


at all in their business to assign to them the most menial 

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

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

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

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

Certainly the investigators found that the great corpora- 


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

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

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

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

The federal government has always been a large employer 
of colored labor; 9 per cent, of the force in all the federal 
departments are negroes. In Chicago the percentage of col- 


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

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

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

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

The largest district in Chicago in which colored people 


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

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

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

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


ment buildings but the negro real estate agents obtain the 
reputation of exploiting their own race. 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Colored children more than any others are kept at home 
to care for younger members of the family while the mother 
is away at work. A persistent violation of the compulsory 


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

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

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

Recently an intelligent colored girl who had kept a careful 
record of her experiences with three employment agencies 
came to the office of the Juvenile Protective Association to see 
what might be done to protect colored girls less experienced 
and self-reliant than herself against similar temptations. An- 


other young colored girl who, at the age of fifteen, had been 
sent to a house of prostitution by an employment agency, was 
rescued from the house, treated in a hospital and sent to her 
sister in a western state. She there married a respectable 
man and is now living in a little home "almost paid for." 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Generalizing against the negro should cease. The fact that 


one negro is bad should not fix criminality upon the race. 
The race should be judged by its best as well as by its worst 

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

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

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

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

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

In suggesting remedies for this state of affairs, the broken 
family life, the surroundings of a vicious neighborhood, the 
dearth of adequate employment, the lack of preventive insti- 
tutional care and proper recreation for negro youth, the Juve- 
nile Protective Association finds itself confronted with the 
situation stated at the beginning of the investigation — that 


the life of the colored boy and girl is so circumscribed on 
every hand by race limitations that they can be helped only 
as the entire colored population in Chicago is understood and 
fairly treated. 

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

Club Work 

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

The Education Committee of the Civic Club arranged 
conferences in Pittsburgh on the Americanization of foreign- 
born families, frankly accepting Miss Kellor's program: 
"The State should take up, at the point where the Federal 
government lays aside its responsibility, the real question 
of immigration, which *is the problem of making the immi- 
grant into a good citizen, protecting him when he is looking 
for a job and helping him to go to the part of the state 
where he is most needed, where the best conditions exist, 


where there is the best standard of living and where he may 
find congenial associates." 

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

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

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

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


western cities that now exist in the eastern ports and other 

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


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

Massachusetts followed with a Commission of Immigra- 
tion on the lines of the New York commission, for a study 
of internal assimilation. Grace Abbott, director of the Im- 
migrants' Protective League of Chicago, was appointed 
executive secretary. 

Governor Johnson recently appointed a similar commis- 
sion in California and Mrs. Mary E. Gibson is an active 


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

Starting in with a simple desire for service to our new 


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



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

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

The ideals of this association have been copied elsewhere, 
as in Detroit and Washington. They were the inspiration 



for the Women's Municipal League of Boston, which now 
manages the property intrusted to its care on the same 
principles. It regards the rent collector as a social worker 
of real assistance to the landlord and the tenant. 

The attitude that so many people have of placing the 
blame for bad conditions upon tenants largely or solely 
was well answered by a member of the Octavia Hill Asso- 
ciation. After showing that the last annual bill for repairs 
due to carelessness of tenants in the Association's 500 houses 
was only $50, someone asked to what extent tenants are 
responsible for bad housing conditions. Instantly the 
answer came, "None." 

The work done by Miss Ellen Collins in New York is told 
by Miss Emily Dinwiddle in 'Tenements for a Million 
People." Jacob Riis thus had able assistants. 

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

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

Homes for Working Women 

Homeless working women, for instance, are face to face 
with a serious problem, for, as lodgers with very small 
incomes, they are not only una-ble to secure airy and sani- 
tary rooms, but they are often forced into immoral sur- 


roundings and led to supplement their earnings in ways that 
menace their own future. Homes for working girls have, 
therefore, been a special concern of women in many of our 

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

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

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



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

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

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

Mount Vernon. 1913. Report of Housing Investigation 
by Miss Udetta D. Brown. 

Pittsburgh. 1909. The Housing Situation in Pittsburgh, 
by F. Elisabeth Crowell, Charities and the Commons, Feb- 
ruary 6. 

Sacramento. 191 3. Report of Investigation of Housing 

1 National Municipal Review. 


Conditions, by Miss Caroline Schleef. Under direction 
Chamber of Commerce. 

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

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

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

Chicago. 1912. Tenement Housing Conditions in Twen- 
tieth Ward, Chicago. Report of Civics Committee of Chi- 
cago Woman's Club. 

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

1912. Two Italian Districts, by G. P. Norton, ed. by 
S. P. Breckinridge and E. Abbott of the Chicago School 
of Civics and Philanthropy. American Journal of Sociol- 
ogy. Consists of seven articles on housing among the dif- 
ferent races in Chicago. 

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

Portland, Oregon. A housing survey made by the Con- 
sumers' League which then drew up a housing ordinance 
to eliminate slums and presented it for the consideration 
of the city council. Club women and welfare organiza- 
tions supported it. 

Bridgeport, Connecticut. Survey of housing made for 
Housing Association by Miss Udetta C. Brown. 

Elmira, New York. 191 3. Esther Denton made report 
on housing conditions which aroused citizens. 


Hartford, Connecticut. 1912. Through investigation of 
housing conditions by Mary S. Heilman made for the Civic 
Club, v^hose president is Dorothy B. Hillyer, Hartford was 
aroused and instances of deplorable conditions of affairs 
v^ere laid before the Board of Health. 

California Cities. In 191 1 housing conditions were studied 
and reported on by Mrs. Johanna von Wagner, an expert 
of the Los Angeles Housing Commission. Her report and 
influence helped to secure the enactment of the state tene- 
ment house law. 

In 1908 Charlotte Rumbold prepared for the Housing 
Committee of the Civic League of St. Louis a report on 
tenement house conditions so vividly written and illustrated 
that not only St. Louis but many other localities were 
stirred and eventually framed reform legislation. It took 
five years, however, to win a tenement house law in St. 

In 1904 Miss Emily Dinwiddle made an investigation of 
three typical sections of Philadelphia to pave the way for 
housing legislation, especially for the enforcement of legis- 
lation through adequate inspection. It was years before the 
legislation sought by Miss Dinwiddle and her colleagues 
was secured, but in 191 1 a state provision was finally ob- 
tained. At the present time Miss Dinwiddle is in charge 
of the Trinity property, of New York City, which was 
formerly accused of being managed solely for profits. She 
is proving that rookeries can be turned into homes and 
made to pay. 

Alice S. Griffith, secretary of the San Francisco Housing 
Association, emphasizes the need of more housing inspec- 
tions. "How Social Workers Can Aid Housing Reform," 
by Mary E. Richmond, indicates their value as inspectors. 

The Women's Municipal League of Boston took for 
study the Board of Health's record of 1,500 basements 
occupied for living purposes and came to the decided opinion 
that basements at best are unfit for human habitation. The 
League then petitioned the Legislature to make a law gov- 


erning basements erected subsequent to the passage of the 
acts of 1907, retroactive. 

The housing work done by this League has been under the 
able leadership of Miss Amelia Ames. The Committee of 
the League has been enlarged to include representatives of 
the Massachusetts Civic League, the Roxbury Welfare 
League, the Roxbury Charitable Association, South End 
House, Elizabeth Peabody House, Associated Charities, the 
Homestead Commission, and the Chamber of Commerce. 

The first work of the original Municipal League Com- 
mittee, as of its enlarged group, was an investigation car- 
ried on largely by trained women inspectors. The coopera- 
tion of the settlements and other organizations helped ma- 
terially in this survey, as it enabled a district examination 
to be made, and placed the worst conditions in each dis- 
trict as a definite responsibility on some neighborhood or- 
ganization, like a settlement, which could be charged with 
the duty of securing the district improvement. None of this 
work was haphazard. Only trained investigators were 
sought and employed. Miss Theodora Bailey, for example, 
made over 400 inspections and carefully tabulated over 200. 
She was able to interest legislators and reporters in the de- 
plorable conditions in Boston. 


The Women's Municipal League of New York has also 
investigated tenements and reported violations of the law 
to the Department affected. It helped to defeat proposed 
legislation which would remove all three-family houses 
from the surveillance of the Tenement House Department, 
a piece of reactionary legislation which aroused a success- 
ful protest from all women interested in social welfare, as 
well as from all men similarly interested. 

This League also wishes to have all two-family houses 
and the rented room houses placed under the Tenement 


House Department. It made a study of the janitor's situa- 
tion and discovered that the janitors labor under such dis- 
advantages that they are responsible for many violations of 
Health, Fire and Tenement Department laws. "The jani- 
tors should be decently paid and decently housed; they 
should be instructed briefly in the laws," is the League's 

From across the continent, we hear of women's associa- 
tions concerning themselves with housing reform. The 
American Club Woman reports: "Los Angeles is studying 
the housing problem. It expects a great influx of laboring 
population on the heels of the opening of the Panama 
Canal. The Woman's Friday Morning Club therefore has 
built a model cottage for $500. The club proposes to acquire 
lands along the river bed and through semi-isolated sections 
and there erect these small houses. Gardens about the 
houses will help reduce the cost of living. The dream of 
the club is: a city without a tenement; a city spotlessly 
clean in every nook and corner; a city where there shall 
be thousands of small homes, renting at the same cost as in 
a court, and in which the individuals shall have sanitary 
comforts, the right of personal development and the pri- 
vacy which tends toward morality and pride. The Los 
Angeles Housing Commission of which Mrs. Johanna von 
Wagner and other women are members, has done some 
interesting housing in the case of Mexicans transferred 
from their crude shacks to decently sanitary homes on city 

In Chicago, Mrs. Emmons Blaine was one of the found- 
ers of the City Homes Association which started the hous- 
ing movement there and she is still one of the leaders in the 
Chicago work. 

In the middle western states, Miss Mildred Chadsey of 
Cleveland, Ohio, stands out conspicuously as a housing re- 
former and in an official capacity. The Cleveland Bureau 
of Sanitation, of which she is chief, has a sergeant, twenty 
policemen, and an office force under her direction. Miss 


Chadscy up to the present has succeeded in demolishing 
over two hundred wretched hovels and is demonstrating that 
bad housing does not pay the city l)ut is on the contrary 
frightfully expensive property. Some of the slogans that 
have developed from her work are these: "It costs less to 
be comfortable than it does to be uncomfortable." "A good 
home is less expensive than a poor one." ''Health and 
cleanliness come cheap." "Dirt and diseases are more 
costly than frankincense and myrrh." This new vision for 
Cleveland was largely the result of a survey made by four- 
teen college investigators, under Miss Chadsey, who went 
out to ascertain facts in two sections of Cleveland — one 
the famous "Haymarket" district in the congested heart of 
the city; the other an open section on the edge of the city. 
The Surrey published the report of that investigation. 

Indiana has a splendid housing reformer in Mrs. Albion 
Fellows Bacon, an officer in the National Housing Asso- 
ciation, who started a campaign for a tenement house law 
before that association was formed. Her book, "Beauty 
for Ashes," a narrative of discovery out along the road 
from a sheltered woman's threshold, reveals the forces 
which have drawn most of the women out into social activ- 
ity and into governmental interest. No woman can read 
this story without being moved to see what effect bad 
housing has on the community and woman's responsibility 
toward her fellow-creatures in this as in other civic ques- 
tions. Mrs. Bacon in her observations out from her own 
threshold has been forced to see that the war on bad homes 
is a war on poverty and its manifold products, vice and dis- 
ease among others. She well illustrates the logic and the 
fearlessness with which even the most sheltered women 
often face facts when once their human sympathy is awak- 
ened and their eyes are opened to a public question. Mrs. 
Bacon, almost single-handed, secured housing laws for the 
cities of Evansville and Indianapolis. Last year she secured 
a still better law than that which crowned her first 


In Allegheny, Pennsylvania, the Civic Club, a woman's 
organization, has been at the forefront in housing reform. 

Miss Kate McKnight, of that association, initiated prac- 
tically every movement of the club till her death in 1907. 
Mrs. Franklin P. Adams, acting president, drafted the tene- 
ment house laws governing cities of the second class in 
Pennsylvania. Mrs. Adams is chairman of the State Fed- 
eration of Women's Clubs, and of other societies. The 
Civic Club also got an increase in the force of tenement 
inspectors and the chief inspector was for some time a 
woman member of the club. 

In Providence, Rhode Island, the Federation of Clubs 
passed resolutions and sent letters to the legislature urging 
the enactment of a housing bill. Moreover, they sent a 
delegation of women to the hearing before the Judiciary 

In New Orleans, Miss Eleanor McMain, the head of 
Kingsley House, was very influential in securing the law 
regulating tenements in her city. 

Housing in Washington 

In Washington, D. C, the housing problem has been 
forced upon the attention of Congress which has shown 
gross neglect all these years in its care of the national cap- 
ital's population and especially of the negroes there. The 
voteless citizens of the capital and their sympathizers from 
outside attempted for a long time to secure remedial activity 
in the city of Washington whose alleys and slums were a 
national disgrace from the standpoint of health, morals and 
crime. Booklets and reports were published and organiza- 
tions formed for the purpose of bringing pressure to bear 
upon Congress to improve housing conditions. 

President Roosevelt had appointed a Homes Commission 
to study and report on the alley dwellings but nothing had 
resulted from this except possibly the conversion of Willow 


Tree Alley into an interior park. Women and men felt 
that such an apparent remedy might cause still greater 
evils by leaving many of the poor altogether homeless, and 
the agitation was pushed the harder for the creation of a 
system of minor streets created out of the alleys. 

Last year two pamphlets of a vigorous nature were 
published by the Monday Evening Club and by the Wom- 
en's Welfare Department of the National Civic Federation. 
Public meetings were arranged by the Civic Federation and 
conferences of social workers in Washington were called, 
one of the biggest of these being held at the White House 
last winter — an evidence of the interest taken by the wife of 
President Wilson in the housing of the people in Wash- 

Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, who had been aroused by visits 
made to the alleys under the guidance of Mrs. Archibald 
Hopkins and Mrs. Ernest Bicknell, piloted senators and 
congressmen into the bad areas to make them see and feel 
the need of change. As a consequence of this work, bills 
were introduced into both houses of Congress for some 
solution of the alley problem. How much progress would 
have been made with the bills it is difficult to know but the 
significant thing is that Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, in almost 
her last conscious breath, made an appeal for the passing 
of that legislation. Her husband, the President, fortunately, 
sent word that such was her dying wish and out of senti- 
ment for the "first lady of the land" this much needed 
legislation was hurriedly passed by the Senate of the United 
States, the lower house promising to add its approval. Mrs. 
Wilson was told the good news before she died. 

In a case where neither the men of the district involved 
nor the women were voters, apparently an affecting senti- 
mental situation saved the day for the poor families herded 
in their misery in dark alleys. Certainly up until this time, 
congressional land speculators in Washington had turned a 
deaf ear to the pleas of the women and the men who sought 
help for the slum dwellers. 


In commenting on the situation in Washington, The 
Survey said: 

Washington has long enjoyed the reputation of being the 
best planned city in America, the one large city in the world 
which from the day of its foundation has been built more or 
less consistently along the lines of a carefully thought-out 
plan. Only recently has it been realized that from the begin- 
ning this plan has been incomplete. While it provided for 
great public buildings and for dwellings of the wealthy and 
the well-to-do, it not only failed to provide homes for wage- 
earners, but actually offered temptations to house these wage- 
earners in an unwholesome manner. The magnificent wide 
avenues designed by Major L'Enfant, bordered along a great 
part of their distance by very deep lots, led inevitably to the 
construction of winding, branching alleys and the erection of 
hidden houses which had no place in the original plan. 

Modern city planning lays the emphasis less on public 
buildings and boulevards and more on providing sites for 
homes. So the original plan of Washington must be supple- 
mented by a modern plan providing a system of minor streets 
to let the wholesome light of publicity into the hidden slums 
of Washington and to provide economic use for the backs of 
the overdeep lots that line the avenues. They will do away 
with the present temptation to keep the old shacks standing 
or to build houses fronting on the avenues, but extending so 
far back that their middle rooms are dark and airless. Half- 
way measures at this time may wipe out the alley slums of 
the Capital only to give in place of them a far more difficult 
problem, the deep, unlighted and unventilated multiple 

Homes of Negroes 

In the South, as well as the North, women are at work 
on the housing question. At the 1912 convention of the 
National Municipal League, in Richmond, Virginia, it was 
manifest to the northern delegates that the South and its 
women are awaking rapidly to the housing needs. Miss 
Elizabeth Cocke in a talk on housing and morals in Rich- 
mond said: 


Our local conditions in Richmond have, as yet, nothing 
which approaches the tenement. There are a few old houses 
occupied by, possibly, some half-dozen families to the house, 
but though these show very bad conditions in room over- 
crowding, there are no conditions of lack of light and air, if 
the windows are opened to admit ventilation. In one in- 
stance I have found a bedroom, occupied presumably by 
seven people, in which there is no window at all; one door 
opening upon another room with two windows, and a second 
door upon the entry on the upper landing. 

Among the comparatively small foreign population there is 
a very great deal of room overcrowding, but the most ex- 
tensive of these conditions exist among the negroes. These 
appear to be the most squalid and least progressive, but this 
I believe to be largely due to the demoralizing effects of 
bad housing and surroundings which do not tend to any 

Can children raised in Jail Bottom, whose only outlook is 
a mountain-like dump of rotting rags and rusty tin cans on 
the one side, and on the other a stream which is an open 
sewer, smelling to heaven from the filth which it carries 
along, or leaves here and there in slime upon its banks, have 
any but debasing ideas? Can parents inculcate high moral 
standards wdien across the street or down the block are 
houses of the "red-light" district? When a dry-closet blocks 
the one small window of the kitchen, can lack of decency 
be called to account? Is the world so small that there is no 
room left for the amenities of life? Are ground space and 
floor space of more value than cleanliness and health and 

It is certainly a fallacy that the poor do not want good 
housing. In a wonderful address, given last spring at the 
Child Welfare Conference, in Richmond, a negro speaker 
said in substance: "We would use the bath tub as fre- 
quently and enjoy it as much as our white brother and sister, 
if we could afford to rent houses which have the bath tub in 
them. We do not prefer dilapidation and discomfort, nor 
being forced to live in districts where there is only depravity 
and low surroundings ; but the better ones of us have too 
much self-respect to force ourselves on our white brothers, 
if they do not want us living alongside of them." 


All that Miss Cocke said was indorsed by the chairman, 
John Stewart Bryan, who as publisher of one of the most 
influential newspapers in the South, The News Leader, is in 
a position to know the facts. "It is an old story to any 
engaged in work of this sort," he declared, "that a person 
situated as the negro is in Richmond pays more taxes than 
the richest man in Richmond, because the taxes he pays 
take such a large part of his income and he gets so little in 
return. All that Miss Cocke says is true. They are segre- 
gated in Jackson ward, and under a new ordinance they are 
being still further segregated. That is radically wrong, it 
is economically wrong, and nothing in the world can change 
it but an awakening of public sentiment, and it ought to be 
awakened and it will be." i 

A study of the activities of women and women's asso- 
ciations along housing reform lines shows that they are 
beginning to recognize the importance of good homes for 
our colored citizens. Professor Sophonisba P. Breckinridge, 
of Chicago University and the Chicago School of Civics 
and Philanthropy, has given this subject special study, 
and it is to her that we owe the following thoughtful 
statement of this particular housing question, published in 
The Survey: 

One of the many serious problems that now confront the 
negro not only in southern communities but also in many a 
northern city is the difficulty he experiences in finding decent 
housing accommodations for his family. In the face of in- 
creasing manifestations of race prejudice, he has come to 
acquiesce silently, as various civil rights are withheld from 
him in the old "free North," which was once the Mecca of 
his race. He rarely protests, for example, at being excluded 
from restaurants and hotels or at being virtually refused en- 
tertainment at the theater or the opera. There are three 
points, however, which he cannot yield and in regard to 
which he should not be allowed to yield. He must claim a 
decent home for his family in a respectable neighborhood and 
at a reasonable rental, an equal chance of employment with 

^National Municipal Review. 


the white man, and education for his children. We will con- 
sider here only the first of these three demands. 

In a recent investigation of general housing conditions in 
Chicago, 1 the problem of the negro was found to be quite 
different from that of immigrants. With the negro, the 
housing dilemma was found to be an acute problem not only 
among the poor, as in the case of the Polish, the Jewish, or 
the Italian immigrant, but also among the well-to-do. The 
man who is poor as well as black must face the special evil 
of dilapidated insanitary dwellings and the lodger evil in its 
worst form. But for every man who is black, whether rich 
or poor, there is also the problem of extortionate rents and 
of dangerous proximity to segregated vice. The negro is not 
only compelled to live in a segregated black district, but this 
region of negro homes is almost invariably the one in which 
vice is tolerated by the police. That is, the segregation of 
the negro quarter is only a segregation from respectable 
white people. The disreputable white element is forced upon 
him. It is probably not too much to say that no colored 
family can long escape the presence of disreputable or dis- 
orderly neighbors. Respectable and well-to-do negroes may 
by subterfuge succeed in buying property in a decent neigh- 
borhood, but they are sure to be followed soon by those dis- 
reputable elements which are allowed to exist outside the so- 
called "levee" district. 

In no other part of Chicago, not even in the Ghetto, was 
there found a whole neighborhood so conspicuously dilapi- 
dated as the black belt on the South Side. No other group 
suffered so much from decaying buildings, leaking roofs, 
doors without hinges, broken windows, insanitary plumbing, 
rotting floors, and a general lack of repairs. In no other 
neighborhood were landlords so obdurate, so unwilling to 
make necessary improvements or to cancel leases so that 
tenants might seek better accommodations elsewhere. Of 
course, to go elsewhere was often impossible because no- 
where is the prospective colored tenant or neighbor welcome. 
In the South Side black belt 74 per cent, of the buildings 
were in a state of disrepair; in a more fortunate neighbor- 

1 See Housing Conditions in Chicago, VI. American Journal of Sociology, 
Vol. XVIII, p. 241. 


hood, partly colored, only 65 per cent, of the buildings were 
out of repair, but one-third were absolutely dilapidated. 

Not only does the negro suffer from this extreme dilapida- 
tion, but he pays a heavy cost in the form of high rent. A 
careful house-to-house canvass showed that in the most run- 
down colored neighborhoods in the city, the rent for an ordi- 
nary four-room apartment was much higher than in any 
other section of the city. In crowded immigrant neighbor- 
hoods in different parts of the city, the median rental for the 
prevailing four-room apartment was between $8 and $8.50; 
in South Chicago near the steel mills it was between $9 and 
$9.50; and in the Jewish quarter, between $10 and $10.50 
was charged. But in the great black belt of the South Side 
the sum exacted was between $12 and $12.50. That is, while 
half of the people in the Bohemian, Polish, and Lithuanian 
districts were paying less than $8.50, for their four-room 
apartments; the steel-mill employees less than $9.50, and the 
Jews in the Ghetto less than $10.50, the negro, in the midst 
of extreme dilapidation and crowded into the territory ad- 
joining the segregated vice district, pays from $12 to $12.50. 
This is from $2 to $4 a month more than the immigrant is 
paying for an apartment of the same size in a better state of 

It seemed worth while to collect and to present the facts 
relating to housing conditions in the negro districts of Chi- 
cago because one must hope that they would not be tolerated 
if the great mass of white people knew of their existence. 
Most people stand for fair play. The persecutions which the 
negro endures because of race prejudice undoubtedly express 
the feeling of but a small minority of his fellow-citizens of 
the white race. Their continuance must be due to the fact 
that the great majority are completely ignorant of the heavy 
burden of injustice that the negro carries. Ignorance is the 
bulwark of prejudice, and race prejudice is singularly de- 
pendent upon an ignorance which is, to be sure, sometimes 
willful but which more often is unintentional and accidental. 
It has come about, however, that the small minority who 
cherish their prejudices have had the power to make life in- 
creasingly hard for the black man. Today they not only 
refuse to sit in the same part of the theater with him and to 
let him enter a hotel which they patronize, but they also 


refuse to allow him to live on the same street with them or 
in the same neighborhood. Even in the North where the city 
administration does not recognize a black "ghetto" or "pale," 
the real estate agents who register and commercialize what 
they suppose to be a universal race prejudice are able to en- 
force one in practice. It is out of this minority persecution 
that the special negro housing problem has developed. 

But while it is true that the active persecution of the 
negro is the work of a small minority, its dangerous results 
are rendered possible only by the acquiescence of the great 
majority who want fair play. This prejudice can be made 
effective only because of the possible use of the city adminis- 
tration, and the knowledge that legal action intended to safe- 
guard the rights of the negro is both precarious and expen- 
sive. The police department, however, and the courts of 
justice are, in theory at least, the agents of the majority. It 
comes about therefore that while the great body of people 
desire justice, they not only become parties to gross injustice 
but must be held responsible for conditions demoralizing to 
the negro and dangerous to the community as a whole. 

Those friends of the negro who have tried to understand 
the conditions of life as he faces them are very familiar with 
these facts. But it is hoped that those who have been igno- 
rant of the heavy costs paid in decent family life for the 
ancient prejudice that persists among us, will refuse to ac- 
quiesce in its continuance when the facts are brought home 
to them. 

Among the other women interested in the housing of 
negro families is Mrs. John D. Hammond, the wife and co- 
worker of the president of Paine College in Augusta, 
Georgia. Believing that a better housed negro can be better 
educated, Mr. and Mrs. Hammond have worked out a system 
for negro housing in cities with that end in view. Their 
plan was recently outlined in The Survey. The Society 
for the Improvement of Urban Conditions among Negroes, 
composed of men and women, has a housing bureau in 
New York which seeks by lectures, by literature, by per- 
sonal instruction, and by legislation, to promote better hous- 
ing conditions among the negroes of the city. 


Juvenile Leagues 

As in city clean-up work and other social activities, so in 
their housing reforms, women have enlisted the aid of 
school children, forming them into juvenile leagues to act 
as housing inspectors for the more obvious and outward 
defects. Boy Scouts have become greatly interested in 
certain cities in the work of educating tenants to a sense 
of responsibility for obedience to health laws and also 
in pointing out violations to the authorities, not only on 
the part of tenants but of landlords also. A picture at 
once comes to mind of a little member of a Juvenile League 
pointing out to a tenement owner certain needs and im- 
provements which she had been taught to regard as 
requisite — a picture printed in The American City to illus- 
trate the work accomplished by children. Both men and 
women have been earnest in enlisting the sympathy of 
children, partly for the actual inspection help rendered by 
them, and yet more for the sake of educating the children 
in proper standards of living in order that they may de- 
mand for themselves decent conditions through pressure on 
their parents while they are minors and through individual, 
social, and political activity when they are adults. 

The importance of far-reaching power for the health 
officer is realized by women housing reformers as well as 
by men. For example, Mrs. Bacon, who was so instru- 
mental in securing the enactment of the Indiana state hous- 
ing law, dealt with this subject at the second national 
housing conference held in Philadelphia, in her paper on 
"Regulation by Law." Mrs. Johanna von Wagner of Cali- 
fornia did the same under her title of "Instructive Sanitary 
Inspection." The spirit of the conference showed an ear- 
nest desire to cooperate with public officials, extend their 
powers, and add to the constructive suggestions pointing 
the way to improvement in city housing. The women dele- 
gates and speakers shared this spirit and contributed to the 
practical suggestions as well as to plans for cooperation. 


Housing Associations 

Women are not only interested in the special or local 
housing problems of their own district or city. They are 
actively affiliated with the National Housing Association 
and take part in its national conferences They thus coop- 
erate with the men in the great work of arousing the 
nation to a knowledge of the deadly peril of low standard 
homes and to a sense of the immediate urgency of reform. 

The New York Congestion Committee has not only been 
an influential body but it has made a most careful study 
of the causes of congestion and has drafted many, and 
secured the passage of some, important laws within the past 
three or four years. Florence Kelley and Mrs. V. G. 
Simkhovitch are members of the small executive board of 
the Committee, and women have helped in the campaign of 
education which has been necessary to place the evils of 
congestion and the program of the Committee before the 
public. They have also helped in that most essential work, 
the securing of signatures to the petition for the referendum 
on untaxing buildings. In other ways, too, they have as- 
sisted: by making investigations and writing to members 
of the state legislature urging the passage of laws. They 
also formed the Women's Society to lower rents and reduce 
taxes on homes, similar to the men's society with the same 
object. Together these two societies have carried on a 
propaganda among the people of New York which has had 
a marked influence on public interest in the housing ques- 
tion. They issue a Tenant's Weekly in the interest of ten- 
ants and small home-owners, the slogan of which is "The 
City for the People." One of their most effective pieces 
of work was the Congestion Exhibit, which presented the 
economic aspects of housing together with an impression 
which awakened horror at prevalent conditions. 

A review of women's activities in housing reform shows 
that they are taking no narrow view of the matter. They 


realize that the problem of congestion, the main element in 
the housing question, has many elements of an economic, 
social or administrative nature which involve action on the 
part of public authorities. Among these elements may be 
cited the high cost of land; congestion of factories, ware- 
houses, offices and shops; low wages and long hours of 
labor; immigration; poor and expensive transportation fa- 
cilities; lack of adequate housing inspection; ignorance of 
sanitary standards of living; and greed on the part of land- 
lords or real estate managers. Another factor is the tem- 
porary foreign dweller who hopes to amass some money 
quickly and return to his native land to live upon it. Lack 
of town planning is still another factor that often leads to 

As we shall see, women have entered into the town plan- 
ning movement to prevent the accumulation of plague spots. 
They are gradually beginning to realize, as are men, that 
an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. As town 
planning is not a private philanthropy, however, their use- 
fulness in this movement is limited wherever they do not 
possess the ballot. 

Women, therefore, are working in far greater numbers 
in the next phase of housing: that of educating badly 
housed people in the laws of hygiene. Every social move- 
ment which is not strictly evangelical instills some demand 
for individual and family privacy, and for the material 
bases of healthful and moral living. In congested areas 
it is the increase of wants that is essential. More mere 
things are needed: water, floor space, light, air, toilet con- 
veniences, cooking and laundry equipment for individual or 
cooperative life, refrigerators, fire escapes, window blinds, 
wider and safer stairways, and innumerable other material 
objects. There is no other important outcome of education 
in hygiene or home beauty or housing standards except an 
increase of wants and the consequent pressure on the wage 
standards, without which an improvement in material pos- 
sessions is impossible. Whatever individual exceptions may 


be found, the general rule is that the poor overcrowd and 
do so in order to make their pittances buy a little more 
food, a few more clothes, books for their children, the 
month's actual shelter, or a doctor's services. 

Some women are consciously preaching higher standards 
of living to foreigners, negroes, and the poor of every race 
assembled here, knowing the ultimate pressure their work 
will have on labor demands. The settlements which have 
almost involuntarily helped in this education from the be- 
ginning, are more and more being led into the support of 
working class movements having for their goal better wages 
and steadier employment, as we discover in the chapter on 
social service. Other women are unconsciously creating 
dissatisfaction with congestion and with that poverty which 
underlies bad housing, through the teaching of domestic 
science in all its forms, through public-school education, 
health centers, and the rest. The willingness to pay the 
price accompanies or follows the desire for the things 
which make for health and culture. 



Social service is not an exact science and it does not 
mean the same thing to all people. Charity or philanthropy 
was more definite and has always been more or less of an 
official concern in municipalities. In times of crises, floods, 
panics, fires, earthquakes, extreme cold or excessive heat, 
cities and towns have supplemented the help rendered by 
individuals in alleviating hunger, homelessness, illness and 
want. The municipality thus often makes charitable doles 
to the victims of the elements, regarding the service as 
necessary, but temporary; remedial, not preventive. 

The social investigations which have been made in recent 
years, together with the revelations made by charita- 
ble organizations, have driven home the fact that while 
intermittent fire and water and industrial crises and heat 
and cold undoubtedly add to human helplessness or distress, 
there is a steady and constant helplessness and distress based 
on underfeeding, homelessness or bad housing, unemploy- 
ment, lack of vocational training, low wages, ignorance, 
occupational diseases and accidents, sexual irregularity, and 
other causes for which spasmodic almsgiving, however ten- 
derly and efficiently applied, is no remedy whatever. Added 
to this definite knowledge is the knowledge, based on the 
experience of charity workers, of the opprobrium which is 
cast upon charity of the personal type, at least, by indus- 
trious wage-earners, the products of whose toil, instead of 
being used to provide them with the creature comforts, are, 
in many cases, consumed by those who toil not, neither do 



they spin, but who arc active in distributing alms to pro- 

Partly to satisfy their own intelligence and partly to 
overcome the resentment among working people at the idea 
of charity, the social worker has come into being and social 
service has developed into a philosophy, an education, and 
to a certain extent into a science. Step by step it has been 
pushed into municipal departments — notably, the health and 
educational departments. Where associated charities have 
been well developed and the city has the idea of social 
service in its charitable work, the tendency is to use the 
word "welfare" and to designate this function as "public 

It is the same development which has characterized all 
other public work — the growth from remedy to prevention 
— and the growth is stable for the reason that it represents 
economy in place of the former waste of money and effort 
and because popular education is leading to the demand for 
prevention and justice rather than charity. 

In this expansion of municipal functions there can be 
little dispute as to the influence of women. Their hearts 
touched in the beginning by human misery and their senti- 
ments aroused, they have been led into manifold activities 
in attempts at amelioration, which have taught them the 
breeding places of disease, as well as of vice, crime, pov- 
erty and misery. Having learned that effectively to "swat 
the fly" they must swat its nest, women have also learned' 
that to swat disease they must swat poor housing, evil labor 
conditions, ignorance, and vicious interests. 

Sometimes the mere self-preservative instincts have forced 
women out to work among their neighl)ors; for in cities 
one's neighbors may murder in innumerable ways besides 
with the pistol or dirk. 

Middle- and upper-class women, having more leisure than 
middle- and upper-class men, have had greater opportunity 
for social observation and the cultivation of social sympa- 
thies, for the latter accompanies the former instead of 


preceding it, as all active emotions are the reflexes of ex- 
perience. It is these women therefore who have seen, felt, 
experimented, learned, agitated, constructed, advised, and 
pressed upon the municipal authorities the need of public 
prevention of the ills from which the people suffer. In their 
municipal demands they have often had the support of 
women of the working class and of working men, among 
others, whose own preservation is bound up with legislation 
and administration to an ever-increasing degree. 

Just in the proportion that social service develops into 
public action, and away from private philanthropy and 
personal interference, is the help of working people secured. 
With the increase of the demands of working people for 
the means with which to prevent their own destruction and 
the undermining of the rest of society, will come, many 
predict, the absorption of social service into organized pub- 
lic service just as the absorption of the settlement is grad- 
ually being accomplished by the school center. 

Whatever may be the outcome of the present tendencies 
in social service, it is certain that women are actively en- 
gaged in every branch of it : in organized charity, in all the 
specialized branches of kindred work, such as care for the 
several types of dependents and delinquents, in organizing 
women workers in the industries, in making social surveys 
and special investigation, and in creating the literature of 
social service. 


Women have rendered valiant service in various perma- 
nent associations concerned in the improvement of social 
conditions. The largest gift ever given by a single donor 
to such an organization was that of Mrs. Abram A. Ander- 
son who gave $650,000 to the New York Association for 
Improving the Condition of the Poor, for a specific pur- 
pose; namely, the founding of a department of social wel- 
fare with experimental and demonstrating laboratories. In 


the letter accompanying her gift, Mrs. Anderson specifically 
stated that three departments to be established at once shall 
relate to public health and hygiene, matters pertaining to 
the welfare of school children, and the solution of problems 
connected with the food supply. 

A study of the work performed by women engaged in 
the activities of this Association reveals the fact that they 
prepare many of its important publications. Interior pic- 
tures inserted in the last report show large offices filled 
with women, in one case forty of them preparing their 
daily reports on visiting. The advisory committees in the 
Bureau of Rehabilitation and Relief are composed of women 
who assume the burden, on stated mornings, of meeting 
applicants and helping with "instruction; with the correc- 
tion of defects, physical, mental, moral; with patient, care- 
ful planning; with continued interest and personal service." 

The National Consumers' League was organized by 
women and is largely supported by them. This society "is 
an association of people who believe to buy is to have 
power, to have power is to have responsibility. Therefore 
it seeks to better the industrial conditions of the worker, 
and to insure sanitary articles to the consumer, by educat- 
ing the public to avoid rush orders, to shop early in the day, 
early in the week, and early in the Christmas season; by 
furnishing a label which guarantees the product bearing it 
to be made under sanitary conditions and without hardship 
to the workers; by assisting in the enforcement of present 
laws relating to child labor, women workers, sweat shops, 
fire hazards, pure foods, and other matters. Locally it 
makes investigations and reports facts to city authorities." ^ 
In addition to the direct good which the League has accom- 
plished, it has incidentally interested hundreds of women 
in the conditions of industrial workers. 

The Travelers' Aid Society, a great protective and pre- 
ventive agency, which assumes large responsibilities in look- 
ing after foreigners, women, and girls traveling on railways, 

^ Annual report of the Consumers' League. 


is helped by personal service and the financial support of 
such organizations as the following: the Granges, the 
Gideons, King's Daughters and Sons, Woman's Christian 
Temperance Union, Catholic Women's League, Council of 
Jewish Women, other women's clubs, missionary societies, 
the Young Men's Christian Association and the Young 
Women's Christian Association. 

Not only do women cooperate with various agencies for 
social service. Their clubs and associations of all kinds 
are turning more and more to the consideration of social 
matters outside of the range of their immediate interests. 
Indeed one might say with justice that "social economy" 
is now one of the chief studies of women's societies and 
that social service in an ever broader sense is becoming 
more and more the goal of their activities. 

The women's clubs, singly and in their federations, have 
now largely outgrown the self-improvement stage of their 
career and are going into matters of public health, educa- 
tion, recreation, corrections, and labor. For example, the 
New England Conference of State Federations of Women's 
Clubs representing over 55,000 women is a permanent or- 
ganization of recent formation designed as an alliance for 
educational and social service. Speeches at this Conference 
emphasized the need of better housing and divorce laws; 
vocational training; pure food legislation; a single standard 
of morality for men and women; the suppression of 
"nauseous" news in the daily press; health measures; and 
the enforcement of laws for the protection and conserva- 
tion of womanhood, childhood and the home. 

The general trend of club women's development in the 
United States as a whole is shown by the following resolu- 
tions passed at the Biennial Convention of Women's Clubs 
held in Chicago in June, 1914: approval of equal suffrage; 
better fire protection; increased appropriations for city and 
state boards of health; university extension work for the 
prevention of disease; federal bureau of Home Economics; 
the use of school buildings as social centers; the support of 


Miss Lathrop in her propaganda for better systems of 
birth registration; and hostility to the liquor traffic. The 
social evil question loomed large at the Convention and dras- 
tic measures for dealing with it were discussed. 

The large and influential Council of Jewish Women is 
also concerned with these lines of social service. Some of 
their special activities and interests will be considered in 
other chapters. 

If we turn to localities and study the work of single clubs, 
we find an ever-increasing interest in social service and 
that interest accompanied by practical action. For instance, 
the Woman's Club of Paducah, Kentucky, proved so effi- 
cient in its administration of funds for relief of the poor 
that the mayor and council asked its assistance in other 
lines: inspection of dairies, slaughter houses, etc. 

The social service work of such a specialized society as 
the Woman's Christian Temperance Union reflects a wide 
range of interests and activities, its development being an 
inevitable response to needs growing out of its study of 
the evils accompanying the liquor traffic. It has worked 
among all races and industrial groups of men and their 
families; it has done prison visiting, reformatory and pris- 
oners' aid work; it has helped courts and probation work; 
it has helped to secure police matrons and policewomen; 
it has stood for the single standard of morals and the sup- 
pression of the white slave traffic; it has helped to secure 
playgrounds and other recreational facilities; it has tried 
to teach thrift through school savings banks; it has done 
rescue work; and it has drafted and urged and watched the 
enforcement of legislation relating to industrial education 
and vocational guidance, child labor, liquor and narcotics 
and cigarettes, gambling, curfew, polygamy, segregation of 
prostitutes, labor, and all similar problems. It has opposed 
segregated districts and worked whole-heartedly for woman 

The National Civic Federation has a woman's depart- 
ment interested in "securing needed improvements in the 


working and living conditions of women and children wage- 
earners in various industries and the governmental institu- 
tions throughout the United States." 

Southern Work 

Everywhere among women's associations the call for social 
service is sounding forth. The spirit of this movement is 
admirably illustrated in an article bearing the title of 
"Women and Social Service," written by Mrs. R. R. Gotten, 
of North Carolina, for the Social Service Quarterly: 

The term Social Service means work for the welfare of 
humanity, and there can be no doubt as to the relation be- 
tween that work and women. Primarily and ultimately 
it is work for women. As the givers of life, as the 
mothers of humanity, their activities must be unremitting in 
the effort to promote the welfare of humanity. In the past 
their efforts were devoted to the welfare of their families, 
and to a limited extent reached the communities in which 
they lived, but now few fields of service are closed to them. 

The world has realized that the welfare of a few cannot be 
assured except by securing the welfare of all, while the se- 
curity of all assures the safety of our own special few. 
Christian effort is no longer limited to the churches. The 
human heart has overflowed with a great yearning to make 
this earth better by filling it with healthier, happier, more 
human people. In response to this yearning everywhere 
heads are planning and hands are clasping in a determined 
effort to accomplish this result. 

This desire led to the formation of the North Carolina 
Conference for Social Service, the aim of which is "to study 
and improve social, civic, moral, and economic conditions in 
our State, especially conditions that injuriously affect child- 
life, or tend to perpetuate preventable ignorance, disease, de- 
generacy, or poverty among our people." Every woman's 
heart responds to this call to service for the benefit of the 
children. Every woman is interested in the investigation of 
the conditions which surround child life, and every woman 
will cooperate in seeking to remedy such conditions as are 


The difficulty lies in reaching women and arousing them 
to the consciousness of their power and the need for their 
assistance. I hope all the women in the state will ally 
themselves with the work and "lend a hand" to the general 
uplift which it will bring. If they cannot all attend the con- 
ferences, they can read the Quarterly and thus keep in touch 
with the work, and cooperate in the effort by working at 
home and in their communities. They are interested in every 
line of thought discussed at the conferences, and can select 
those lines in which they are most interested for the bestowal 
of their energies. 

In educational progress ; in the promotion of public health, 
which necessarily includes individual health ; in prison re- 
form; in the study of eugenics; in the improvement of coun- 
try life, and in all social, civic, and economic problems men 
need and welcome the help of women. Neither can accom- 
plish much alone; together they must strive and overcome, 
together they must win or lose. Together they must attack 
"the conditions which injuriously affect child life" until all 
children shall have opportunity for development into useful 
citizens. This being true no one can deny that Social Service 
is woman's work. 

The day is past when we deluded ourselves with the 
thought that our responsibility ceased with the performance of 
our individual duties. We are jointly responsible for the exist- 
ing conditions, and only by a joint effort can they be im- 
proved. Our neighbor's welfare is our business and our 
neighbor is all mankind. 

The power of environment to influence the life of an indi- 
vidual is known to all, and it is the natural duty of all women 
to see that all children are surrounded by conditions under 
which they can develop into good men and women. It may 
be a difficult task, it doubtless will require a long, persistent 
effort, but the object is well "worth while." In the stress of 
busy lives men may sometimes forget these obligations, but 
women must ever bear them in mind, doing their own part 
toward improving conditions, and stimulating to renewed 
effort on these lines the men who forget. Together they can 
strive and win, remembering that the welfare of the next 
generation should be the very highest ambition of this gen- 


The challenge of social service proclaimed by the North 
Carolina Conference is vigorous: 

It is a challenge to the Church to prove her right to social 
mastery by a universal and unselfish ministry. 

It is a challenge to fathers and mothers and all social work- 
ers to lift the burdens of labor from childhood and to make 
education universal. 

It is a challenge to all citizens to rally to the leaders of 
social reforms, so as to secure for the nation civic righteous- 
ness, temperance, and health. 

It is a challenge to American chivalry to see that justice 
is guaranteed to all citizens regardless of race, color or re- 
ligion, and especially to befriend and defend the friendless 
and helpless. 

It is a challenge to the present generation to show its grati- 
tude for the heritage bequeathed to it through the toil and 
blood of centuries, by devoting itself more earnestly to the 
task of making the nation a universal brotherhood. 

It is a challenge to the men who make and administer laws 
to organize society as a school for the development of all her 
citizens, rather than simply to be a master to dispose of the 
dependent, defective, and delinquent population with the least 
expense to the State. 

It is a challenge to strong young men and women to volun- 
teer for a crusade of social service, to be enlisted for heroic 
warfare against all destroyers of social health and justice, 
and to champion all that makes for an ideal national life. 

Associated Charities 

Outside of their own clubs and associations, constructive, 
organizing ability in social service has been shown by 
women, first, in their desire to consolidate social work for 
reasons of economy and efficiency. 

Josephine Shaw Lowell conceived the idea of a New 
York Charity Organization Society and took the lead in 
establishing it in 1882, but chose a man for the executive 


The Woman's Club of York, Pennsylvania, took the 
initiative in the establishment of associated charities. 

The Associated Charities of Mt. Vernon, now known as 
the People's Institute, was initiated by women, and they 
are large factors in it still. The second vice-president, re- 
cording secretary and treasurer are women, and the Visit- 
ing Nurse Association, the Consumers' League and the 
Westchester Woman's Club are members. 

In Denver, the Jewish Social Service Federation has 
been made a permanent organization to work in the field 
covered by United Hebrew Charities in other cities. 
Women predominate in this Federation. 

Under the inspiration and guidance of Miss IMcKnight, of 
the Civic Club of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, organ- 
ized charities became an accomplished fact in Pittsburgh 
and Allegheny. 

Word comes by letter from clubs and civic organizations 
of women, where charities are yet to be organized, stating 
their agitation with this in view. 

When it was discovered in 1907 in New York that the 
care of babies was distributed among some fifty societies, 
a step was taken toward coordination of activities for 
babies. Social facts thus attacked at a thousand points 
gradually converge in one more harmonious and unified 

A plan for "benevolence by cooperation in place of benev- 
olence by competition" was recently put into effect in Cleve- 
land when the Federation for Charity and Philanthropy 
was formed as an alliance of fifty-three social organizations. 
In the formation of the alliance three hundred social work- 
ers, mainly women, toured the city to explain its purpose 
and secure the concentration of funds in the hands of its 
board, as well as wider participation in charity-giving. 
Economy of time and effort, it was felt, would thus be 
coupled with larger gifts when they came in the bulk. The 
experiment proved the theory to be sound. 

The purpose of the Cleveland Federation is to provide 


clearing-house facilities through discussion, committees, 
files of social data and the like for the interchange of in- 
formation, ideas and plans relative to community welfare 
with a view to preventing duplicated or unrelated efforts 
and to recommend to proper agencies or individuals needed 
work. Belle Sherwin — prominent in philanthropic work — 
was elected president of the council. The initial members 
of the council include: the Chamber of Commerce, Federa- 
tion for Charity and Philanthropy, Cleveland Foundation of 
Federated Churches, Catholic Diocese, Academy of Medi- 
cine, Western Reserve University, Case School of Applied 
Science, Federation of Labor, Federation of Jewish Chari- 
ties, Child Welfare Council, City Club, Civic League, and 
Chamber of Industry. 

The results are more than financial or time saving. What 
small organizations cannot accomplish in the way of social 
investigation and education, united they can go far toward 
accomplishing. The women who do so much of the actual 
daily labor in connection with social service thus are get- 
ting an economic and educational training by their own 
experiences which render them valuable assets to any 

Municipal Charities 

That which some cities attempt to secure through co- 
ordinated private activities, the City of Los Angeles, Cali- 
fornia, now undertakes as a municipal experiment in its 
newly created Municipal Charities Commission. This Com- 
mission, established by city ordinance, "aims not only to 
protect the public in its expenditure of money, but to pre- 
vent the overlapping and misdirection of philanthropic 
endeavor. That this is made possible is due to the broad 
power conferred on the Commission and to the appointment 
of members who are familiar with all phases of social 
work." Two women are members of this Commission. It 
will be watched with interest: hopefully by those who be- 


Heve in a thorough pubHc correlation of overlapping agen- 
cies; somewhat despairingly by those who fear political 
influence and the reestablishment of the old system of 

The skillful organization of private charity and its success 
in gathering financial support has led to a comparison of 
state, county and municipal charitable institutions with those 
under private management. This comparison has generally 
revealed an astonishing disproportion in values; in Penn- 
sylvania, for instance, it was shown, "that a single hospital 
under private management had received a larger subsidy 
from the legislature than the Eastern Penitentiary, with 
an average of 1,400 convicts; that of $16,000,000 which had 
been appropriated at the last session to charitable and cor- 
rectional institutions nearly half had gone to 273 agencies 
under private management, and that 263 of these were local 
in sphere and yet received over $6,000,000; and that there 
was almost no coordination or articulation among the state, 
county, municipal and private agencies that have been mul- 
tiplying of late, some of which were declared to be utterly 
superfluous; the need was felt for some strong standard- 
izing influence that should bring order out of the chaos, 
put the state's care of its wards on a non-political and 
scientific basis and act as the originator of new and modern 
ways of fighting poverty, degeneracy and crime." ^ 

To meet this situation men and women came together and 
formed the Public Charities Association of Pennsylvania. 
Private support will still be necessary but its aim will be to 
secure united support for a state-wide plan of charitable 
distribution. Pennsylvania needs, it is claimed, a woman's 
reformatory, an institution for feeble-minded women, one 
for inebriates, and more extensive provision for the insane. 
This Association hopes to keep the public informed of these 
and similar needs. The organizing committee which be- 
comes the first board of managers includes Martha P. 
Falconer, Mrs. Louise C. Madeira, Mrs. Edward Biddle and 

1 The Survey. 


Mrs. Sarah Rauh. The board will organize county com- 
mittees in the cities of Pennsylvania. 

In other states there are state boards of charities for 
the establishment of which women have worked and on 
which they usually serve officially. The powers of these 
boards vary greatly, from a pure advisory function which 
is of little avail, unrecommended institutions winning sub- 
sidies over its advice, to a department of control carrying 
on preventive work against insanity, tuberculosis, inebriety, 
feeble-mindedness and similar evils. 

Efficiency of Women 

The service of women on charity commissions and as 
public relief officers has so long been an accepted fact that 
it scarcely needs notice here, but the argument for it ad- 
vanced by the Massachusetts Committee on Women as 
Overseers of the Poor, a committee composed of both men 
and women, is so emphatic that it deserves special no- 

The experience of the town of Brookline since 1877 and 
Winchester since 1891 and the city of Boston since 1891 has 
made it apparent that it is desirable to elect women upon the 
Boards of Overseers of the Poor — desirable for the follow- 
ing reasons: 

Because the time necessary for this important work is more 
often at their disposal. 

Because the classes to be aided are largely composed of 
women and children. 

Because of their special fitness to advise with the matrons 
of almshouses about the domestic arrangements of these 

Because of their fitness to discharge the duty now devolving 
upon Boards of Overseers of the Poor of towns, as well 
as of cities, of finding suitable homes outside the alms- 
house for dependent children. The Legislature at its 


last session enacted that the Overseers of the Poor of 
all towns within the commonwealth shall place every 
child in their charge, and over four years of age, in some 
respectable family in the state, or in some asylum 
therein. No such child, who can be thus cared for with- 
out inordinate expense is now to be retained in any town 
or city almshouse in Massachusetts unless idiotic, or 
otherwise so defective in body or mind as to make his 
detention in an almshouse desirable or unless he is under 
the age of eight years and his mother is an inmate 
thereof and is a suitable person to aid in taking care 
of him.i 

In many places, women officials in charge of public char- 
ities have shown that directness in action, that promptness, 
and that efficiency which characterize the new type of 
public official generally. For instance, Kate Barnard, the 
secretary of the National Conference of Charities and Cor- 
rections, is Commissioner of Charities in Oklahoma. The 
legal department conducted under her direction has wrested 
from incompetent or dishonest guardians and returned to 
orphans some $950,000 in cash, in addition to land probably 
several times the value of that cash return. The number 
of orphans involved is 1,373. The department also acts as 
public defender to prevent miscarriages of justice as far as 
possible for the poor. This work has been with a very 
limited appropriation and equipment. 

Amelia Sears, the Director of the Cook County, Chicago, 
Bureau of Child Welfare, has under her direction a corps 
of assistants trained by her largely, who are to do personal 
work with the inmates of public institutions and their de- 
pendent families. The Juvenile Protective Association will 
thus be relieved of its volunteer work for prisoners in the 
county jail, and their dependents. The families of children 
committed to or released from institutions are to be studied 
in the hope that their after-care may diminish the "in-and- 

1 From circular sent out by Committee on Women as Overseers of the 


out" cases which are now a drain upon the expenses of 
the county. 

Whenever there is a single piece of relief work on a 
large scale to be undertaken, women are always to be 
found on the spot. One of the most conspicuous pieces of 
immediate relief on a rehabilitation basis was carried out 
in Dayton, Ohio, after the recent devastation wrought by 
the river floods. Newspaper accounts told of tragic losses, 
the dashes of important federal officers to the scene, and the 
like, but very little has leaked through the press as to the 
tedious, yet faithful, skillful, and intelligent work of re- 
habilitation which alone has pulled out of the wTeckage the 
individuals affected and set them on their feet not only 
once more, but in many cases more firmly, than they had 
stood before. Of this unobtrusive local work. The Survey 

"While Edward T. Devine and Eugene T. Lies went to 
Dayton originally for the Washington Headquarters of the 
Red Cross, they also are doing their work under the au- 
thority and with appropriations from the local committee. 
They are assisted by Amelia N. Sears, secretary of Woman's 
City Club, Chicago, who took part in the San Francisco 
rehabilitation work; Rose J. McHugh, secretary of Funds to 
Parents Committee, Chicago; Ada H. Rankin and Johanne 
Bojesen of the New York Charity Organization Society, 
who helped in the relief of the victims of the Triangle shirt- 
waist fire and the Titanic disaster; Grace O. Edwards of 
the Chicago United Charities; Edna E. Hatfield, probation 
officer, Indiana Harbor, Ind. ; Edith S. Reider, general sec- 
retary, Associated Charities, Evanston, 111.; Helen Zegar 
of the Compulsory Education Department, Chicago, who 
was in special charge of the relief of Polish and other immi- 
grant families at the time of the Cherry Mine disaster. 
These Red Cross agents are in turn aided by a corps of 
local citizens, especially principals and teachers in the pub- 
lic schools, members of spontaneously organized local com- 
mittees, and others." 


Charity Transformed 

Active and efficient as women have shown themselves in 
high offices in public and private associations for charitable 
work, they have not lagged behind in the movement that is 
transforming the relief of the needy into a war on poverty. 
Little by little as the work of associated charities has wid- 
ened, forces within the very organizations themselves neces- 
sitated the expansion of the idea of charity into one with 
broader implications. The organization of relief and the 
centralization of funds bring about a greater demand for 
relief because they abolish much of the personal succor of 
the old type. Instead of more or less lavish care of a few 
families intimately, all cases of relief that come to the 
notice of charitably minded persons are, through an or- 
ganized system of relief, referred to the central agency 
which is expected when it receives thousands of dollars to 
do marvelous things with them. The very centralization 
of charity, however, creates the necessity for offices, clerks 
and stenographers, investigators, perhaps a training school, 
salaried heads, publications, and the like which consume 
funds rapidly. Indeed it has been estimated that in New 
York City under the system of the Charity Organization 
Society, it costs several dollars to distribute every single 
dollar in relief. The system of charity therefore breaks 
down of its own weight in time, or is transformed, much 
of the relief money being used for social workers instead 
of the poor, and the little money that is left being spread 
over a larger group of recipients. 

Of course a centralized bureau of charities can make ap- 
peal for money and get responses, but here again it has 
been estimated that for public movements it often costs a 
large portion of a dollar to bring in one, even when the 
greatest care is used in selecting probable donors. 

Owing to the financial situation within organized charity, 
the inquiries into efficiency in relief, and the criticism of 
alms-giving, charity workers have sought to alleviate dis- 


tressing conditions by suggesting other means of reform 
than monetary help. In their own defense they have had 
to do this, but they have learned by experience that mere 
monetary relief may sometimes keep a family or an indi- 
vidual under their care in perpetuity. Not being able to 
secure funds to assist all cases indiscriminately, even had 
they w^ished, charity workers began to ask why relief was 
needed in each case. Thus they learned by home visiting 
and personal investigation that lack of education, unemploy- 
ment, sickness, intemperance or poverty, singly or in com- 
pany, were at the bottom of dependence as it came under 
their surveillance. 

Gradually they realized that the remedy for lack of edu- 
cation was not charity, but schools, and many charity work- 
ers went over to vocational education and guidance activity; 
the remedy for unemployment they found to be a labor 
issue and many of them joined the working class movement 
or social reform movements having as their goal continuous 
labor, well requited; the remedy for sickness they found to 
be prevention and many of them went into public health 
work in all the ramifications described in Chapter II; the 
remedy for intemperance they found to be complex and 
many of them joined in prohibition or recreational or labor 
activities in the hope of checking its ravages; the remedy 
for preventable poverty they found to be its abolition and 
charity workers studied and divided into groups according 
as they thought it might be abolished — political groups for 
the most part. 

For example, Josephine Shaw Lowell, who was for years 
a member of the New York State Commission on Lunacy 
and Charity, saw that "she was giving the best years of her 
life to the service of the sick poor in the public institutions. 
Meanwhile, honest working people were being made sick by 
overwork in the service of the Christmas shopping mob. 
Mrs. Lowell proceeded, without loss of time, to invite to her 
home some leading retail merchants who were her friends, 
and some working people acquainted with the effects of 


long working hours. She, herself, represented the shopping 
public. The Consumers' League was the result." ^ 

The Association for the Improvement of the Condition 
of the Poor, soon after its establishment, formed a Housing 
and Tuberculosis Committee. The field workers in all such 
associations have helped to educate the executive bodies of 
the organization and the Executive Committee has helped to 
educate the people and municipal officials, and thus the 
whole social movement verges toward an increase of public 

Indeed, everywhere charity workers are saying: "The 
people who come to us should be thrown back upon indus- 
try. It is a poor sort of an industrial system that cannot 
support those willing and able to work in it." 

Community Responsibility 

Finally social workers have come to the conclusion, many 
of them, that in most cases these are not private problems 
at all but socio-economic ones for which the social system, 
through government, is responsible. They therefore talk 
"community and public responsibility" and insist more and 
more that there shall be no public shirking or shrinking. 

With the trend toward public social service, organized 
charity itself becomes more and more a clearing house for 
other agencies or, in its effort to maintain itself through 
the self-preservative instinct that all institutions have, it 
assumes also the task of prevention by offering employ- 
ment; opening hospitals and rest homes, milk stations, day 
nurseries; circulating educational pamphlets and the like. 
Thus duplication of work is occasionally found where the 
social workers of a hospital, of a settlement, and of a 
charity branch visit in the same day a tenement mother and 
force her to repeat the story of her problems. The only way 
in which such duplication can be avoided is through the or- 

* Report of the Consumers' League. 


ganization of social service and the extension of municipal 
functions in that line. When the hospital is a municipal en- 
terprise, its social service department would seem to be the 
proper and legitimate one to have the right of way and of 
support; and this is especially justified through the ability of 
the municipality to cooperate systematically among its de- 
partments: the health department working with the educa- 
tion and police departments; public. works with health and 
education; and so on. 

The beginnings of the coordinated social service under 
municipal control are already on the horizon. Take, for 
instance, the Board of Public Welfare of Kansas City, Mis- 
souri. This Board is four years old. Women are active on 
it as district superintendents, investigators, factory inspec- 
tors; in the social service department, parole department, 
department of lunches and unemployed, and women's 

The establishment of this Board makes possible an inten- 
sive district study in which is listed every special agency, 
school, church, institution, foreign, or negro colony. It pro- 
vides for the teaching of sex hygiene in the schools and 
has all the up-to-date machinery, like school nurses. The 
work of the Board comprises studies of housing, recrea- 
tion, health, temperance, vice, wage-earning women and 
women employed in industries, labor conditions, welfare 
work and industrial accidents. In short, its field is as broad 
as social needs. 

"What good does it all do?" asks the Bureau, and then 
answers the question itself: 

Well, in the first place, 4,517 people are living in better 
homes today because of the work done by our housing in- 
spectors during the past year. 

Daily 40,000 men and women go to safer places to work 
because of the 693 orders issued by our factory inspection 
department and complied with by the employers of Kansas 

Thirty-one thousand times during the year have eager 


men looking for work been rewarded in their search by 
our employment bureau. 

Over 3,000 famiHes have been guided, inspired or com- 
forted by our social workers in the Social Service Depart- 

To over 2,000 prisoners applying for parole our Board has 
answered with freedom and a chance. 

Fifty thousand pleasant evenings were spent in social cen- 
ter meetings last winter, and most of these would not have 
been except for the efforts of the Board of Public Welfare. 

Twenty-six hundred public dances, with an aggregate at- 
tendance of over 500,000, were cleaner and safer because of 
the presence of Board of Public Welfare Inspectors. 

For the past few months there has not been a day when the 
25,000 attendants on our motion-picture theaters have not, 
many of them, been shielded from vulgar or brutal scenes 
eliminated from the shows by the hot educational campaign 
carried on by our Recreation Department. 

Fifteen hundred people, frightened or worried by some 
crisis in their battle for bread and butter, have turned to the 
Welfare Loan Agency and found relief in a temporary loan. 

About 6,000 people, embittered by fraud, deceit, and op- 
pression, turned to our Legal Aid Bureau for justice, which 
is often sweeter than any food. 

If human life, if morality, health and financial prosperity 
have any value, then these paragraphs answer what good has 
been done. 

The accomplishment of large results is due to the fact 
that organization on such a plan frees more money for 
relief than it consumes in salaries. All employees of the 
Board are chosen by civil service examinations. The 
Board ''believes that social action should be based on ac- 
curate knowledge and investigations should both precede 
and accompany all efforts to improve social conditions. It 
strives for harmonious cooperation with all existing agen- 
cies, both public and private, and does not duplicate the 
work of any. The Board gives no public outdoor relief 
except in cases where the breadwinner of the family is a 
city prisoner, and then only on the basis of actual destitu- 


tion, and upon the recommendation of the superintendent 
of the Provident Association." 

The poHcy of the Board is briefly summarized in its 
annual report as follows: "It lays emphasis on justice be- 
fore charity and on prevention rather than cure. It agrees 
that the burden of caring for the poor should be laid upon 
the entire community through taxation rather than be pro- 
vided for by the voluntary gifts of the generous minority." 

This very gradual transition from private to public con- 
trol is especially apparent in the development of child- 
helping agencies. The Children's Clinic in Chicago, for 
example, was first established by the Children's Hospital 
Society. The county looked upon it, saw it was good, and 
assumed responsibility for it. Then social workers backed 
by philanthropists went a step further and established a 
psychopathic clinic with an alienist in charge to examine 
the children for mental weaknesses. "Of course," says Jane 
Addams, "women interested in these children are not more 
interested in the psychopathic feature, which is philan- 
thropic, than they are in the medical clinic, which is po- 
litical. They are not more interested in the children who 
are dependent and are sent to one of the homes which are 
supported partly by public funds and partly by philanthropy 
than they are in those children who are sent to the homes 
which are supported altogether by public funds. And there 
you are — the whole thing absolutely mixed! Now a child 
may be paroled in care of its mother and paid by Court — 
where it once was dependent on private charity. We are 
not quite out of charity for the judge is often assisted by a 
committee composed of representatives of various city 
charities, but it is hard to tell what is philanthropy and 
what public service." 

Attitude of Social Workers 

The spirit of this whole movement from old-fashioned 
charity to coordinated social service was abundantly mani- 


fested at the Seattle Conference of Charities and Corrections 
in 1913. With the opening of the Panama Canal problems 
are arising along the Pacific coast in increased numbers. 
As preventive work, the Seattle Charity Organization So- 
ciety was anxious to secure, and did secure, the National 
Conference of Charities and Corrections in order to arouse 
local interest in the impending situation. Of the Seattle 
Charities, Mr. Richard Hayter is director and Miss Virginia 
McMechan, widely known for her social work, is general 
secretary — never an insignificant office, and by no means a 
purely clerical one. 

For the sake of the whole Pacific coast the Seattle 
charity workers advertised this conference far and wide. 

Under the Central Council of Social Agencies, represent- 
ing the fifty-six leading public and private social agencies 
of the city — from labor unions to the chamber of commerce, 
with the mayor at the head — active local committees were 
formed [consisting of men and women]. The Rotary Club, a 
business men's body, raised the necessary $2,000, a corps of 
speakers was sent to organizations all over the city and 
state, even into Idaho, and a vigorous advertising campaign 
was conducted by means of billboards, 50,000 circulars, and 
columns of newspaper publicity. Country newspapers were 
reached by news-letter service. Letters sent out along the 
entire coast brought in three hundred new conference mem- 

In the midst of this glowing setting the fortieth conference 
camped on July 5, registering at the close, July 12, an at- 
tendance of paid members numbering from outside the state 
of Washington over 450, and from Seattle and Washington 
350 more. Seattle people fairly swarmed to the evening 
meetings, and the conference sermon drew a packed house of 
between 3,000 and 3,500. President Tucker estimated the total 
attendance at the thirty meetings during the week at between 
25,000 and 30,000. Enthusiasm was no less remarkable. 
Through all the seven days the conference was "live." The 
newspapers gave it practically unlimited space, one paper 
running two extra conference pages almost every day con- 


taining the important speeches in full. This was done, the 
editor said, "as a good business proposition." 

When the conference got down to work, it was clearly 
evident that social welfare, not charity, was the spirit of 
the delegates and speakers. Preventive measures, standards 
of living and labor, the relation of commercial organiza- 
tions to social welfare, and the distribution and assimila- 
tion of immigrants were predominant over talk of mere 
relief. Courts, city officials, lawyers, and teachers were 
drawn into the conference as an evidence of its wider 
appeal and public importance. 

While the conference program was well rounded and cov- 
ered every accustomed subject and many new ones, the re- 
sponse of the audiences brought out the trend of conference 
thought. And that trend was unmistakably economic — the 
challenge to the industrial order for sv/eeping readjustments. 
However keen the interest in other topics, this was one 
which never failed to elicit enthusiastic response. It broke 
out at the opening meeting when President Tucker sounded 
the call for a more fundamental and largely economic inter- 
pretation of social justice; it rose almost thunderously when 
Dr. McKelway in the conference sermon declared that at the 
bottom of the whole problem we now face is the question of 
wages, and added: "Men do not always know what justice 
is, and their thoughts widen with the process of the suns, but 
if there is any current of American thought today, it is the 
demand among the masses of men for justice. We can tell 
its course by the ripples on the surface, when some obstacle 
rears its head. Privilege of any kind must go down before 
the rush of that current." 

The same response rose with every utterance of the slogan 
"Not charity but justice." Appreciation of the industrial 
situation was voiced by speaker after speaker, even though 
his topic lay in other fields. The new radical labor groups, 
the I. W. W, SociaHsm and the single tax were frequently 
brought into discussion as movements to be reckoned with 
practically and studiously by social workers. The industrial 


program was the last ringing note sounded at the closing 
session with an all-around presentation of the minimum 
wage, the essence of which, to quote Mrs. Kelley, is that 
"the payroll has become public property," and no business 
can be a going concern which docs not pay a living wage, 
any more than if it could not pay interest or rent.i 

Many of the organizations represented at the conference 
had initiated valuable civic institutions like public baths, 
recreational provisions, medical inspection in schools, and, 
in discussing development of new instrumentalities of social 
welfare, the delegates of such societies asked for the further 
extension of municipal functions to meet the needs of the 
city's people. Significant of the new spirit actuating the 
charity workers of the country is the fact that three com- 
mittees were discontinued at this national convention — Im- 
migration, Commercial Organizations and Social Welfare, 
and Church and Social Work — while two new committees 
were formed — Social Hygiene and Defectives (including 
defective delinquents). The Committee on Families and 
Neighborhoods was renamed the Committee on the Family 
and the Community, including community programs. A new 
committee was created on Neighborhood Development, in- 
cluding recreation, which is a very different thing from the 
old type of charity committee in a neighborhood. 

The part played by women in this forward movement of 
social workers, who began as charity workers, is only partly 
revealed in the list of officers and chairmen of standing 
committees, interesting as they are. Mrs. John M. Glenn is 
one of the three vice-presidents and the following is a list 
of standing committees for 1914 with their chairmen: 
Social Hygiene, Maude E. Miner; Children, Mrs. Mary 
Vida Clark; Standards of Living and Labor, Including So- 
cial Insurance, Charles P. Neill ; Health, Dr. Richard C. 
Cabot; Public Charities, Dr. J. T. Mastin; Defectives, In- 
cluding Mental Hygiene and Defective Delinquency, Dr. 
Llwellys Barker; Family and Community, Eugene T. Lies; 

^ The Survey. 


Neighborhood Development, Mary McDowell; Correction, 
Amos W. Butler. 

Charity workers have thus evidently grown into one 
definite group of social workers. Another large group is 
composed of settlement and neighborhood workers who co- 
operate with, but are distinct from, charity workers. A few 
may have gone into settlement work from motives of pure 
philanthropy, but settlements have never been confined to 
communities of pauperized people and have often been lo- 
cated in communities of industrial workers representing 
many nationalities affected by the ups and downs of the 
industrial and social life of our day. Philanthropy, there- 
fore, has been carefully tabooed as a phrase or an ideal by 
the leaders in the settlement movement, however slowly 
they have actually been able to lead their colleagues away 
from instincts of mere pity and charity. 

No one can deny that the social functions which have 
evolved out of the experiments and studies of settlements 
are in a very large measure the work of women. Jane 
Addams, Louise Bowen, Julia Lathrop, Lillian Wald, and 
other social leaders, who have originated many movements, 
see distinctly that city functions must be extended to absorb 
their activities as well as those more directly connected with 
charity. An example is furnished by the work they have 
done for schools. They feel that private aid should not 
obscure public responsibility for the welfare of all the peo- 
ple of a community, but rather that interested citizens with 
constructive programs should but point the way to better 
assumption of public duties by the city. 

The spirit of all these women workers we see in an ap- 
preciation of the contributions of Lillian Wald written by 
the late Jacob A. Riis: 

No woman, since Josephine Shaw Lowell, has been able 
to do what she has done. They trust her absolutely, trust 
her head, her judgment, and her friendship. She arbitrates 
in a strike, and the men listen; she sits as one of the Board 
of Sanitary Control in the cloak and suit trade that has 


wrought such wondrous great good for the workers, and her 
judgment stands. When she pleads for housing reform, for 
playgrounds, for a united stand against child labor, her 
words carry authority. When politics make for better gov- 
ernment, the Nurses' Settlement is a recruiting station ; when 
push-cart peddlers are blackmailed by the police, she will tell 
the mayor the truth, for she knows. In the plotting and 
planning and winding ways of life on the East Side there is 
one pilot whose chart can be trusted — Miss Wald knows. 

In the strife that rages forever around our public schools 
her feet are planted on solid ground. She pleaded for cook- 
ing and housekeeping schools and got them; she believes in 
vocational guidance. She labored for medical school in- 
spection and when it did only half of what was expected of 
it, it was Miss Wald who put life into it by giving the doctors 
backing. Perhaps nothing she ever did gives one a better 
grip on the woman and her work.i 

Educating the Public by Exhibits 

Having discovered the wide ramification of the social 
diseases which call for social service and come more and 
more to a recognition of community responsibility in such 
matters, social workers, men and women, have realized the 
necessity of educating the public to a sense of that respon- 
sibility. Hence the "social exhibit" of every type, and 
wherever we find an exhibit, even if it be under the direc- 
tion of men, we also discover a group of patient, skilled, 
energetic women workers. 

Child welfare exhibits took precedence of some of the 
constructive programs for child nurture that are now com- 
ing into prominence and in all these exhibits, from the first 
to the last, most ardent labor has been contributed by 
women toward their success. Often they have themselves 
been the instigators and main support of an exhibit. 

Through the first large exhibit of the New York Child 
Welfare Committee in the 71st Regiment Armory, and 

^ The Survey. 


since, by neighborhood exhibits, a wider knowledge of city 
child life and conditions affecting it prevails among city 
people. Public opinion as to what ought to be done has 
been aroused so that existing agencies with carefully worked 
out plans for child welfare have received a more sympa- 
thetic and generous support. 

Charles F. Powlison thus summarizes the leading results 
of Child Welfare Exhibits: 

New York City 

1. The city increased its appropriation to the division of 
child hygiene of the health department by $167,705. 

2. The Department of Parks set aside an old mansion in 
Carl Schurz Park for child welfare work. 

3. The city appropriated $235,000 for a new children's 
court building. 

4. The children of the city were stimulated to a greater 
use of the children's department of the public libraries. 


1. Establishment of the Elizabeth McCormick Memorial 
Fund. The work of this foundation is primarily child welfare. 

2. Introduction of course on Children's Welfare in the 
Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy. 

3. The City Welfare Exhibits conducted in the public 
schools and neighborhood centers of Chicago under the aus- 
pices of the Woman's City Club of Chicago used material 
shown at the Child Welfare Exhibit. 

Kansas City, Mo. 

Two days after the Exhibit closed the citizens were able 
to get passed an ordinance requiring the appointment of fac- 
tory inspectors, thus making operative the laws regarding 
child labor, etc. 

L. A. Halbert, general superintendent of the Board of Pub- 
lic Welfare, writes : "I believe that the popular understand- 
ing of the work of the Board of Public Welfare and other 
social work which was begotten by this Exhibit has been a 
very important element in protecting this kind of work from 
any sordid political influences." 


Northampton, Mass. 

1. A $25,000 school building is now being constructed in 
the congested Polish district. Conditions had been reported 
for six years without result. Four photographs in the Ex- 
hibit did the work. 

2. The formation of a Central Advisory Council (to be 
made up of one delegate from each church, civic, charitable 
or religious organization), to confer monthly and arrange a 
program for concerted action in all problems touching civic 
and child welfare. 

3. Radical change of policy on the part of one large man- 
ufacturing concern relating to work put out in families. 

St. Louis, Mo. 

1. A close partnership formed between a newly aroused 
public and existing agencies working for the welfare of chil- 

2. The Exhibit is continued as a part of the traveling 
libraries department of the public library. 

3. Sections of the Exhibit, dealing with particular sub- 
jects, loaned for circulation in churches, schools, settlements 
and clubs. 

4. The Children's Agencies and the churches stimulated 
to a stock-taking of progress and furnished an exact basis 
for mapping out the next steps ahead. 

One of the women social workers at an Exhibit said: 
"We are all of us learning, for the first time, what place 
our work has in the city's life. We have worked over our 
exhibits, trying to state in concrete terms our purpose and 
our success ; then we see our organization placed here beside 
all the others, and we find out how inadequate we all are, 
and yet how important, each at our own job. We find out 
where there is overlapping and where we can use each other 
in the future. And then we walk over to the section on 
industrial conditions, or on housing, or on infant mortality, 
and we see the big underlying problems, that we haven't 
any of us touched yet. And we realize that no private 
organization ever can touch those problems. Only all the 


people, acting for themselves through their representatives, 
can begin to make a dent in them." 

Dr. Anna Louise Strong, the director of exhibits of the 
National Child Welfare Exhibit Committee, upholds the 
service of the Exhibit in the face of certain critics: 'T be- 
lieve in the exhibit method, whatever its risks, through the 
faith that when the widest publicity possible is secured, 
truth will win out. The light that beats around a throne 
is no fiercer than the light that has beat around disputed 
statements in a child welfare exhibit. And because of this, 
however and whenever individual exhibitors fail, I feel that 
the exhibit method is, in spite of its dangers, one of the 
safest, just because of the wideness of its reach, and the 
many-sidedness of the comments aroused." 


It is not alone in such more or less spectacular educa- 
tional work as exhibits of various kinds, that women have 
participated with such success. They are helping to create 
the scientific literature of social service which is based upon 
accurate observation and generalization. To enumerate 
even the important contributions of women to this litera- 
ture would be impossible here, but by way of illustration 
we may cite simply the contributions made by women to the 
studies issued under the auspices of the Russell Sage Foun- 
dation : 

The Evening Post of New York said of "Women and the 
Trades," by Elizabeth B. Butler, v/ho made her study in the 
Pittsburgh Survey, that it "represents the most complete and 
careful study ever made in any country of the actual working 
conditions of the wage-paid women of a great city." Miss 
Butler has also made a study of saleswomen in mercantile 

The Scientific American said of "Work Accidents and the 
Law," by Crystal Eastman, who made this important study 


in Pittsburgh and who was formerly the secretary of the 
New York State Commission on Employers' Liability: "The 
book is one of the finest exponents we have ever seen of 
this twentieth century humanitarian interest." 

TJie Literary Digest said of "Homestead: the Households 
of a Mill Town" by Margaret Byington: "Miss Byington 
brought to the task excellent training and made her studies 
after the most approved methods. It is a book legislators, 
ministers, editors, and story writers should ponder before 
they preach to, or write at or about, the wage-earners and 
their wives, from apprentices to superintendents." 

"The Delinquent Child and the Home" by Sophonisba P. 
Breckinridge and Edith Abbott, according to the Boston 
Evening Transcript, is "a storehouse of information to the 
individual or society seeking to know better the needs of 
children and to provide them with decent homes, fresh air, 
education and recreation." 

"Fatigue and Efficiency" by Josephine Goldmark furnishes 
the basis for arguments in favor of governmental control 
over health conditions in industry and has already pro- 
duced results. 

"Among School Gardens" by M. Louise Greene is a 
valuable propaganda for open-air exercises for children. 

"One Thousand Homeless Men" by Alice Willard Solen- 
berger, until her death an active leader in the Chicago 
Bureau of Charities, — a study of original records — is ap- 
proved by Ernest P. Bicknell, director of the American 
Red Cross as follows: "A confidence-impelling power was 
hers which often led to the most unexpected results. Beg- 
gars and tramps, confirmed in their manner of life, gave her 
the real facts about their homes and families and trans- 
gressions. More than one hardened fellow became her ally, 
and helped her search out the young boys and persuade 
them to go home to their parents. She had so many sources 
of information that her power of securing hidden facts 
from the lodging houses and saloons and dark places seemed 
almost uncanny." 


"Women in Various Trades in New York" by Mary Van 
Kleeck maintains the standard set by all the Russell Sage 

"Our Slavic Fellow Citizens" by Emily Greene Balch is 
thus praised by the Chica.go Record-Herald : "Miss Balch has 
given us one of the most valuable books on immigration that 
we know o£, a work full of guidance, of truth, of under- 

"Visiting Nursing in the United States" by Ysabella 
Waters completes these studies at present and is a "con- 
vincing argument," according to the Nurses^ Journal of the 
Pacific Coast, for nursing and educating in their homes some 
of the sick who will not or cannot go to hospitals. 

Wherever social welfare work reaches the stage of legis- 
lation we find women supplying data for intelligent action, 
arguing before legislative committees, and impressing upon 
lawmakers their competence to deal with social problems 
in a large way. Moreover, in every important battle over 
legislation, women have their own special contributions to 
make. Space forbids anything like a survey of the legis- 
lative work of women in social service, but some notion 
of their interest and labors is to be gathered from the cur- 
rent discussions of mothers' pension laws. 

Mothers* Pensions 

On account of the fact that the major portion of chari- 
table relief has always gone to poor widows with young 
children to support, family rehabilitation has been a main 
study of social workers. Charity and institutional relief 
have combined forces — orphan asylums taking the children 
in many cases of destitution while work for her own sup- 
port was found for the mother. The slight assistance that 
could be rendered in each case to supplement the mother's 
earnings and the necessity of her putting the children to 
work too early or overtaxing the oldest child in family 
labor soon showed the ineffectiveness of this method of 


family rehabilitation, for broken-down physiques, undevel- 
oped minds, wron^ associations and delinquency were recog- 
nized as the outgrowth of the enforced neglect of home 
care and training by mothers. 

Thus arose a general demand for public aid for mothers 
as a preventive measure, for the sake of the family, and 
for greater economy, much of the institutional care of 
delinquents, sick, orphaned, in day nurseries and the like 
being saved thereby. Mothers' pension laws now exist in 
seventeen states, the great majority of which passed the 
laws within the past year, a year in which women have been 
their busiest in urging this legislation. In Pennsylvania 
the law creates an entirely new set of administrative offi- 
cials — unsalaried boards of women, from five to seven in 
number, appointed by the governor — in all counties which 
elect to make use of the act. 

New York passed a bill for a commission instead of the 
pension act itself, being conservative enough to desire fur- 
ther investigation. Two women who have worked for moth- 
ers' pensions in that state are on this commission — Mrs. 
William Einstein and Sophie Irene Loeb. The New York 
City Federation of Women's Clubs asked for this commis- 

The Federal Children's Bureau has taken a great interest 
in state aid for dependent mothers with children and has 
published a study by Laura Thompson of laws relating to 
the same in the United States, Denmark and New Zealand, 
with all the legislative technicalities so much discussed. 

Perhaps more women have agreed on the wisdom of 
mothers' pensions than on any other single piece of social 
legislation. They have even been accused of rushing heed- 
lessly into the support of such laws on purely sentimental 
grounds, and they are vigorously opposed by many charity 
workers. Public relief for mothers strikes at the very 
vitals of private philanthropy which makes its most effective 
appeals for funds for dependent widows. Dr. Devine, of 
the New York Charity Organization Society, vigorously 


opposed the idea of public pensions, and published in The 
Survey his views on the matter. The following spirited 
defense by Clara Cahill Park, represents the attitude of a 
large number of women workers who support the measure: 

Dr. Devine's article^ on mothers' pensions seems to show 
that even the learned doctors of our social ills may disagree 
as to this matter. So perhaps it is not surprising that a plain 
mother may still go on thinking that such aid is in reality 
preventive in that it reaches the affairs of the home at a 
crisis, and tides them over without loss of self-respect. You 
see, mothers, in spite of the sociologists, feel themselves, for 
once, on their own ground in this matter; and in possession 
of all their faculties, will continue to think that, as far as 
children are concerned, not they, but the learned doctors, are 
in the amateur class. 

As far as care and time and money for children's needs are 
concerned, they, and they alone, feel that they know how 
imperative those needs are, and from the mere fact of being 
able to gain more aid for more mothers by state subsidies 
the idea seems to them of value. They, and perhaps they 
only, can also feel the importance of preserving s<^1f-respect 
as an asset to be saved by the new attitude of the states. It 
is not, for them, "a mere sentiment and solemn pretense of 
changing the names of things." 

Why, to most of us, is a marriage service a wholesome 
formality, if changing the name, if deriving comfort from 
legal sanction (even sometimes of a bad husband), is merely 
"a solemn pretense" ? 

The question seems to me to touch the social evil and 
the housing problem (as shown in Chapter IV of Miss Ad- 
dams' "A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil"), the menace 
of child labor, of the sweat shops, and neglected childhood 
and starved motherhood on many sides. Why is a free chance 
to live and grow, for a child, any worse than free education ? 
A child does not ask where things come from, at first. He 
only knows that he is cold, or hungry, or neglected. In the 
nature of the case he is dependent on someone. 

^ "Pensions for Mothers" by Edward T. Devine, The Survey, July 5, 
1913, p. 457. 



Dr. Dcvine asks one question, which I should hke to try- 
to answer. He asks : "Who are the sudden heroes of a 
brand-new program of state subsidies to mothers, that they 
have grown so scornful of poor relief administration, of re- 
ligious alms, of a thousand forms of organized benevolence, 
of the charity which, in all ages, organized and unorganized, 
has comforted the afflicted, fed the hungry, succored the 
widow and the fatherless?" 

They are, if I am permitted to answer what I believe, the 
old-fashioned givers, the passing of whom Dr. Devine goes 
on to deplore. They are the people, too, whom Dr. Devine 
and The Suri'cy are waking up, who are not satisfied to go 
all through life having their ideas predigested for them; 
more than all, they are social workers, who have come to 
distrust some of the methods of social work. Starting out 
with a blind faith in philanthropic methods, I have found, 
time and again, not that the work was so much hampered as 
some have found it, by "investigation, the keeping of rec- 
ords, discriminating aid, etc.," but that the work was not ex- 
act, and not careful and that its faults were not mitigated by 
that human sympathy which would atone for human faults. 

This is not always true, but it has become proverbial, and 
we see v/hy. If we could have always with us the great peo- 
ple of the earth, like Miss Addams, Miss Lathrop, Judge 
Mack, and others, there would be no such proverbs as those 
the poor now murmur among themselves. 

State aid, to my mind, is an advance, as showing the policy 
of the nation, to conserve its children and its homes, and in 
recognizing the mother as a factor in that campaign, for the 
welfare of all.'^ 

Mrs. Park is a member of the Massachusetts commission 
on widows' pensions which proposed legislation on the sub- 
ject, not all the members agreeing on public aid, however. 
The existence of this commission was largely due to Mrs. 
Park but Miss Helen Winslow helped by lecturing on the 
subject before more than sixty women's clubs in Massachu- 

All women, however, are by no means committed to the 

1 The Survey. 


policy of public aid for dependent mothers. Grace P. Pol- 
lard, for instance, president of the Liberal Union of Minne- 
sota Women, objects in these terms: 

With indications that the "public" is being swayed by ap- 
peals to protect motherhood through pensions, the presenta- 
tion of "Motherhood and Pensions" by Miss Richmond is a 
relief. Aside from the economic waste of human energy 
which a "pension" system may induce, it is likely to lessen 
individual initiative, to reduce its possible recipients to the 
condition of petitioners for favors, and hence to weaken the 
social structure. 

It is unfortunate that our city, state and national treas- 
uries bear so impersonal a relation to the members of so- 
ciety. Intelligent citizens know that the poor and ignorant 
pay an indirect tax out of all proportion to their resources, 
that this condition is fostered by those who have in hand 
larger resources, and that poverty and ignorance are neces- 
sary factors in the explanation of human energy. The poor 
and the ignorant are paying the price of that which is to 
be returned to them as pensions. 

If the time, money and energy now being used to estab- 
lish pensions could be directed into the establishment of fair 
conditions of industry, of sanitary conditions of living, of 
greater opportunities to acquire knowledge, of equal privi- 
leges and duties for men and women, might not the nation's 
integrity be better safeguarded ? i 

Where mothers' pension laws are enacted, women are 
called to aid in their administration. Massachusetts has a 
"Mothers' Act," the enforcement of which is under the 
Special Committee of the State Board of Charity, with Ada 
Eliot Sheffield as Chairman. Overseers of the poor ad- 
minister the law under the direction of this Special Com- 
mittee, and Emma W. Lee has charge of a corps of women 
who will work with the overseers. Caroline B. Alexander 
is a member of the New Jersey State Board of Children's 

1 The Survey. 


Guardians which administers the State Mothers' Pension 

In all the states where home assistance has been secured 
for dependent mothers, women have agitated and lobbied 
for the measure. In states which do not yet have such legis- 
lation, w^omcn's clubs and organizations have this legisla- 
tion as one of their demands. The Association of Neigh- 
borhood Workers and many leaders in the women's clubs of 
New York are among those who have labored for home 
assistance in that state. 

Other Legislation 

Recognizing the importance of enlightened cooperation 
in the matter of law-making, a Committee on Social Legis- 
lation was recently formed in Chicago to act as a clearing 
house for bills intended to improve social conditions. The 
constituent organizations include the following: Anti- 
Cruelty Society, Associated Charities of Danville, Asso- 
ciated Charities of Rock Island, Associated Jewish Chari- 
ties, Bureau of Associated Civics and Charities of Ereeport, 
Bureau of Personal Service, Central Association of Chari- 
ties, Evanston, Central Howard Association, Chicago Fed- 
eration of Churches of Christ, Chicago Medical Society, 
Chicago Playground Association, Chicago Tuberculosis In- 
stitute, Chicago Woman's Aid, Chicago Woman's Club, 
Citizens' League, City Club of Chicago, Committee on In- 
stitutional Visitation, Conference of Jewish Women's Or- 
ganizations, Consumers' League, Elizabeth McCormick 
Memorial Eund, Federation of Settlements, Illinois Associa- 
tion for Labor Legislation, Illinois Children's Home and Aid 

^An interesting development in this protection of child life is the desire 
being expressed by groups of women that children born out of wedlock 
shall be protected as well as the children of married mothers. The Inter- 
national Council of Women, in its convention last June, stated the positior* 
of such women clearly when it said: "There is no such thing as an 
illegitimate child." 


Society, Immigrants' Protective League, Infant Welfare 

Jersey social workers have formed a similar bureau, 
similarly constituted. "At the meeting there was some senti- 
ment in favor of lobbying, but those who initiated the plan 
had no intention that it should act as a lobbying agency. 
It was pointed out that members of the bureau might differ 
as to the wisdom of legislation. Participation in the bureau 
will not commit a member to any definite stand on various 
measures. But, it is expected that through the clearing 
house and information service of the bureau, those favoring 
a given measure will be enabled to conduct their legisla- 
tive campaign with greater efficiency." ^ 

Schools for Workers 

The development of organized charity and social service 
with their investigations and legislative and institutional 
activities has produced the need for workers trained for 
research and the preparation of data — trained in sociology, 
economics, and industry; in health, education and hygiene. 

In response to this need have risen schools for the educa- 
tion of social workers. The New York School of Philan- 
thropy is one of the largest of these professional schools. 
A partial list includes the School of Social Economy of 
Washington University, St. Louis; the Chicago School of 
Civics and Philanthropy; the Boston School for Social 
Workers; and the Philadelphia Training School for Social 

In all of these schools, women help to instruct as well as 

iThe Board of Directors consists of: Chairman, James H. Tufts, Illinois 
Association for Labor Legislation; Vice-Chairman, Mrs. Arthur Aldis, Visit- 
ing Nurses' Association; Secretary, E. T. Lies, United Charities of Chicago; 
Treasurer, Charles L. Hutchinson, Corn Exchange Bank, Chicago; Executive 
Officer, James MuUenbach; Jane Addams, Gertrude Howe Britton, Rudolph 
Matz, Sherman C. Kingsley, Minnie F. Low, James Minnick and W. R. 

2 The Survey. 


study. Julia Lathrop is vice-president of the Chicago 
School and Sophronisba Breckinridge is dean to assist the 
president in the educational administration. 

Social Service and Politics 

As private philanthropy advances to social service and 
then to public action, women all over the country are ask- 
ing, "Shall the control which we have hitherto been exer- 
cising be turned over to the men voters alone?" They are, 
in increasing numbers, answering this question in the 

Club women and women teachers and doctors last summer 
(1914) declared emphatically that social activities must 
continue to be the joint work of men and women and that 
political equality is a prime essential in the evolution of 
social service. 

Sophronisba Breckinridge succinctly explains this point 
of view in an article in The Survey designed to answer Dr. 
Simon Patten's strictures on suffrage and social service: 

In his editorial comment of January 4, Professor Patten 
not only addresses certain questions to the social workers of 
the country, but draws vivid contrasts between "dozens of 
little coercions" and "doses of freedom." It is not my pur- 
pose to undertake to answer his questions. The program 
of the social workers has been so definitely outlined by action 
taken at Cleveland in June at the time of the National Con- 
ference of Charities and Corrections, and is so definitely 
formulated in the platform of the Progressive Party, to which 
Miss Addams gave her adherence, that further reply seems 

I should be glad, however, to ask Professor Patten in re- 
turn to consider more carefully the nature of certain "small 
coercions" against which the women of the country and the 
social workers as well are now protesting. Professor Patten 
contrasts the value of a "suffragette agitation" with the 
value of a "clearer vision." He cannot, however, be igno- 


rant of the fact that the efforts of women to become politi- 
cally free have revealed as no other agency has been able to 
do, the nature and extent of the coercion exercised oyer the 
voters of the community by the organized forces of vice and 
alcohol. The women think that, in their efforts to secure 
political freedom so that they may be able to serve the com- 
munity, they should have Professor Patten's acquiescence in 
increased control exercised over these common foes of the 
race. In Professor Patten's judgment the "only effective 
check to the natural expansion of clear ideas and social emo- 
tions is offered by the members of the degenerate, defective or 
dependent classes." Commercialized alcohol and vice may 
be included in these groups; but will the classifications like- 
wise include the competitor who remains in the market by 
adulterating the food supply of the people, the unintelligent 
producers of unclean and unsafe milk, the employer of chil- 
dren in the southern cotton mills, those who fatten on the 
labor of underpaid girls in our department stores and fac- 
tories? I fancy these "enemies of the people" would be 
greatly surprised to find themselves so classified. Nor is the 
strength of their position or the disastrous consequences of 
their'^freedom lessened by so characterizing them. ^"Little 
coercions" upon them mean "large doses of freedom" to the 
child, the women workers, the men helpless before condi- 
tions of physical hazard in our industrial establishments. 

Political action without philanthropy is of course like the 
human skeleton equipped perhaps with muscle but lacking the 
nervous and circulatory systems. Philanthropy on the other 
hand without political capacity is like an invertebrate struc- 
ture, inert and incapable of efficient self-direction. It seems 
entirely in accord with her general experience of helplessness 
when relying on philanthropy alone and with her observation 
of the social aimlessness of the older political parties that 
Miss Addams should demand that the strength and stability 
of one be added to the life and persistence of the other. 



"Women are vastly more interested than we are in the 
administration of the criminal law, in the preservation of 
law and order, and in the suppression and punishment of 
crime," declared the Hon. Joseph Choate a few years ago 
in New York to a large group of women organized to help 
in the non-partisan ticket which had Mr. Jerome at its 
head for district attorney. Mr. Choate added that Mr. 
Jerome would owe his election more to the women than the 
men. His prediction proved true; but whether the women 
who worked so hard for Mr. Jerome were fully satisfied 
with his administration is another story. 

There are abundant reasons why women take so much 
interest in the whole problem of criminal law and correc- 
tion. A great many crimes are definite offenses against 
women and children; their comparative defenselessness 
makes them suffer more than men from brutality, neglect, 
and vices ; and there are certain technical legal require- 
ments of the law that constitute, in the matter of punishment, 
sex discriminations which arouse rebellion on their part. 

Perhaps other reasons predominate, however. The in- 
terest in public correction is but a simple and inevitable 
extension of the function of private correction which has 
been generally allotted to women in the home and in the 
school. Even over husbands they have been urged by church 
and moralists of all kinds to exercise reformatory influ- 
ences and their acknowledged sphere of "protection" and 
"prevention of delinquency" is evident in the popular ex- 



planation of every great man by the fact that "he had a 
good mother." 

Again, middle-class women have more leisure than men 
under modern conditions of industry, and an army of women 
choose to spend their leisure mothering the poor and the 
friendless or in the prevention of poverty and dependence. 
Furthermore women spend more of the world's wealth than 
men spend, and hundreds of well-to-do women are becom- 
ing, with their advancing education and travel and obser- 
vation, satiated with material possessions, and are spending 
their wealth for social possessions — public health, public 
ornamentation, public recreation, protection of girls and 
boys, infant welfare, and the like. Even the "sheltered" 
woman has grown to realize that all children as well as 
her own need homes, protection, education, sympathy and 
justice; that even self-preservation and self-respect for her- 
self, her husband and her children are endangered by prox- 
imity to vice, crime, neglect, disease, and immorality. 

Moreover, there is no class line in crime or vice and the 
need of their correction. No group or class of women has 
escaped the ravages of these evils, and thus a feeling of 
solidarity is evolved in the fight against the social evil and 
various forms of delinquency, which is not as yet developed 
in the fight against poverty, the sting of which is a class 

If, as Abraham Flexner says, "it is the unskilled daughters 
of unskilled men" that become the prey of traffickers in 
human souls and bodies, someone pays the money, and as a 
rule it is not the poor who have that money. The well-to- 
do pay, not only with silver and gold, but with pain and 
suffering, and with syphilitic and degenerate offspring. 

The revelations made by men to mankind and by some 
women to all women show how large a part sex plays in 
crime and vice of all kinds ; and women know well that sex 
cannot be understood by men alone or protected by men 
alone. At least it is certain that one sex has failed as the 
arbiter of the destinies of the other, and better results al- 


ready are in evidence from the combined occupancy of the 
field of pubHc corrections by men and women. 

The full import of women's advance into the field of crim- 
inal law and administration is not yet widely appreciated, 
even by women themselves, so gradual and unoljtrusive has 
it been, for the most part. Women began quietly as minor 
assistants to the courts of law, it being thought that the 
mysteries of that great science were too deep for the femi- 
nine mind. As the law schools and the secrets of the guild 
were opened to women, they began to bring into the ad- 
ministration of the law here and there the spirit of social 
service. As they acquired the technical equipment, which 
was soon discovered to be not half as formidable as the 
gentlemen of the powdered wig and lordly mien long repre- 
sented, women began to assume even judicial functions. 


Protective and probationary work naturally fell to wom- 
en's share very early in the growth of their interest in law 
enforcement. Even to the most obtuse masculine mind, it 
became apparent that women were fitted to look after 
women and children held temporarily under the tutelage of 
the courts.^ Even this, however, was a great gain for 
women. Probation officers were called into daily consulta- 
tion with judges, members of the district attorney's office, 
the chief of police and his subordinates, and the opinions, 
reports and investigations of women officers were soon 
shown to be of the highest value to the judges, attorneys 
and police. Hundreds of women thus won by sheer efficiency 
the respect of those in charge of law enforcement. 

1 Parole and probation are so similar in purpose that no distinction will 
be made here between the two functions. Women figure as parole officers 
in women's and children's institutions just as they figure as probation 
officers in the courts. The Los Angeles district of the California Federa- 
tion of Women's Clubs has established a Psychopathic Parole Society for 
the "prevention of insanity and to secure homes for unfortunate women 
confined in Patton, many of whom were fit to be discharged and others 
rightly and justly able to be paroled if right homes could be found." 


Regfular probation officers are called upon to influence 
children, wives and husbands by members of their families 
who feel that a formal trial and sentence can thus eventu- 
ally be avoided. All such officers seem eager to respond 
to human appeals and their spirit is an indication of the sin- 
cerity of their work. It is not only probation officers who 
thus save the courts both time and money and promote in- 
dividual and social welfare. While official probation work 
is a part of the judicial function, a great deal of unofficial 
probation work is done which, through its preventive nature, 
relieves the court of labor. Teachers and social workers 
of various types are doing similar work to that of probation 
officers in their attempt to prevent crime and delinquency. 

There are numerous probation associations and com- 
mittees in the United States. Sometimes these are com- 
posed of men alone and again of men and women. 

Probation and parole officers have helpful allies in the 
"Big Brothers" and "Big Sisters" now cooperating in many 
cities to prevent further lapses from grace on the part of 
young delinquents or offenders. The work that the Big 
Sisters in New York regard of prime importance was the 
Little Sisters' Country Home where girls were sent to 
build up mentally, physically and morally before they were 
placed in private homes or in employment or again in their 
families. Such a home was established by Mr. and Mrs. 
William K. Vanderbilt at Little Neck, Long Island, Mrs. 
Vanderbilt being the president of the New York Big 
Sisters, but unfortunately it soon burned. 

The Council of Jewish Women also does a great deal of 
protective work in its various sections. Each section is 
urged by the national council "to put itself in connection 
with the police and magistrates' courts as well as the 
county or city attorney's office and all officers of the depart- 
ment of justice and to make it known that wherever a 
Jewish girl appears or is arraigned, the section stands ready 
to do whatever may be necessary to help the accused or her 
family or the prisoner if she be a prisoner." Preventive 


correctional work is done by this association along recrea- 
tional and educational lines. 

The New York Society for the Improvement of Urban 
Conditions among Negroes is seeking to train colored men 
and women for probationary work among their own race. 
In the past year 464 cases of adult and juvenile delinquency 
were handled. "The Committee takes special pains to secure 
thorough follow-up work. Each case is treated as one of 
special importance in which the worker handling the same 
considers herself personally responsible." A class of girls 
which the magistrates' court assigned to the Association 
for care and which other associations have turned over to 
it is being instructed in gardening by a teacher furnished 
by the Board of Education. The Society also tries to rein- 
state discharged employees when mere misunderstandings 
have led to dismissal and in other deserving cases. It be- 
lieves in labor organization as an aid to this security. 

So many other forms of social effort are working toward 
the same goal as probation that it is impossible to estimate 
the num.ber engaged in preventing individuals from becom- 
ing public offenders and public charges. Probation officers 
do use, and are urged to use further, all existing organiza- 
tions which are established to supply fundamental needs 
like shelter, food, clothing, employment, medical help, recre- 
ation, education and the rest. Indeed probation officers 
are dependent upon the organized efforts to siipply those 
needs — so dependent that probation work can proceed only 
in proportion to the effectiveness of those organizations. 

Here then we have a condition of a great public service, 
one of the greatest, being still dependent on private charity 
and effort. Many elements, like competition, intermittency 
of help, and incompetency owing to the volunteer nature of 
the organization, prevent the widest usefulness of these allied 
agencies upon which success in probationary work so largely 
depends. For that reason there are probationary as well as 
other social workers who begin to emphasize the ideal of 
public concentration of social effort in the city administra- 


tion with the aim of eliminating waste and securing cer- 
tainty of support and steadiness of trained effort. All the 
forces of the community need to be centrally organized, it 
is argued, to meet the requirements of the probationary 
system and such central organization must be governmental 
since the probation function is a governmental one. 

Thus probation work leads into social service in the widest 
sense. Every disclosure of the shortcomings of the system 
of imprisonment shows this. And it is natural that women 
who are so keenly concerned in every branch of social 
service should give attention to the larger aspects of pro- 
bation: the reformation of the individual wrongdoer and 
the protection of society. That many women probationary 
officers are not content with a narrow view of their func- 
tions will be discovered by anyone who takes the pains to 
read the discussions at the Fifth Annual New York Confer- 
ence of Probation Officers, held in Syracuse, in 1912, at 
which, for the first time, there was a special meeting for 
women to consider the special problems of women. 

At the Fourth Annual Conference of the State Associa- 
tion of Magistrates in Syracuse, in 1912, Dr. Katharine B. 
Davis, . now commissioner of corrections of New York 
City, presented a plan, which she had been urging, for a 
state commission into whose care all women delinquents 
should be given as soon as convicted and for a more rational 
use of existing State institutions for women and the estab- 
lishment of other institutions needed to carry out the work 
of the commission. Miss Julia O'Connor, a probation officer 
in the New York Children's Court, emphasized the need of 
dealing with defective children and Miss Gertrude Grasse, 
Secretary of the Juvenile Protective Association, brought 
out the fact that an inspection of school children for feeble- 
mindedness would prevent defectives getting into the courts 
at all. 

Women attended the sessions of this conference of mag- 
istrates and were present at the dinner which formed one 
of the features of the occasion. At that dinner the presi- 


dent said: "Ladies and gentlemen: For the first time in 
the history of our Association, the chairman has to use the, 
word 'ladies' in addressing the gathering, which shows that 
we have joined the ranks of the progressives." The Asso- 
ciation of Magistrates firmly believes in the value of sal- 
aried women probation officers in juvenile courts and for 
women offenders and makes recommendations constantly to 
the courts with reference to their appointment. 

Police Matrons 

More difficult than the opening of probation work to 
women has been the no less obvious task of installing a 
sufficient number of police matrons. An examination of 
the records shows that these important officers have been 
established through the efforts of women in all large west- 
ern cities and also extensively through the East. The Wom- 
en's Prison Association of New York is seeking to secure 
police, matrons in all the stations instead of having women 
dragged about to diiTerent stations to find them. This asso- 
ciation was instrumental in getting patrol wagons, more- 
over, so that women might not be taken through the streets 
by policemen. 

Boston has a street matron, Mrs, Thomas Tyler, an officer 
employed by the Florence Crittenton Mission, who goes 
about at night wherever girls are found in streets, parks, 
theaters, and cafes and gives help to them where it is 
needed. The shelter of the Mission is a valuable aid to her 
in her work. Mrs. Tyler is a private policewoman sup- 
plementing, not supplanting, other agencies that work with 

The employment of women physicians in courts for women 
is a necessity strongly urged by women's probation and 
other associations. In some courts they are already serving 
in that capacity. 



From these various official positions occupied by women 
it was only a step to secure the appointment of women on 
the regular police force to aid in the protection of the 
young. This step was first taken in Los Angeles, California, 
when Mrs. Alice Stebbins Wells was placed upon the police 

The present administration of Syracuse (1914) has ap- 
pointed a woman as police officer as a result of a movement 
begun over a year ago by women and approved by the 
Chamber of Commerce. Mrs. Wells, the police officer of 
Los Angeles, aroused the club women of Syracuse to the 
advantages of such an official and later, when a moral survey 
of Syracuse was made under the chairmanship of Miss 
Arria Huntington, the advice of Mrs. Wells was more fully 
appreciated. The work of the policewoman will involve 
the training, tact and ability of a social worker and the 
women of Syracuse regard her as a constructive element in 
the city government. The Women's Christian Temperance 
Union, the Women's Political Union and the churches as- 
sisted in the movement to secure the policewoman. "The 
number of cities and towns which have placed women on 
the police force with full or partial power is increasing so 
rapidly that it is no longer possible to keep count, Chicago, 
of course, is the recent shining example. Within the past 
year San Francisco has changed its charter so as to admit 
women to the force without meeting the physical require- 
ments which apply to men. Three women have already been 
appointed. Fargo and Grand Forks, North Dakota; Topeka, 
Kansas; Ottawa, Illinois; and Kansas City are other places 
which have recently intrusted police power to women." ^ 

In Chicago, Mayor Harrison sent Mrs. Gertrude Howe 
Britton, superintendent of the Juvenile Protective Associa- 
tion and a member of the school board, to visit all the 
police stations of the city to instruct the regular force of 

^ The American City. 


policemen how best to protect and promote the welfare of 
the children on their beats. When one realizes the great 
number of arrests of children, one will appreciate that a 
considerable portion of the policeman's time is concerned 
in the oversight of children. 

Under the caption, "Policewomen's Efficiency in Danger," 
The Survey described the situation which prevailed in Chi- 
cago in the spring of 1914: 

Some of the most influential clubs and civic organizations 
of Chicago have protested vigorously against the action of 
Chief of Police Gleason in regard to the city's twenty police- 
women. Under Second Deputy Superintendent Funckhouser, 
the civilian police official, they have proved effective in regu- 
lating public dance halls. Under Deputy Superintendent 
Schuettler, to whose command they have been transferred, 
they are assigned to regular police duty scattered among vari- 
ous station houses and can no longer be used for inspection of 
dance halls or other pieces of work requiring concerted ac- 

In making over 1,500 inspections of dance halls, in which 
they found many violations of law for which arrests might 
have been made, the women officers, being more intent upon 
prevention than punishment, determined to make no arrests 
at first, but to warn the managers and to win the girls v/ho 
patronize the dances. This policy has proved successful in 
securing obedience to law and observance of propriety. 

Such results in the dance halls made the second deputy's 
administration a shining mark for assaults from the under- 
world just as his strict censorship of motion pictures has 
attracted opposition from those who make and promote films 
suggestive of evil. Such enemies of public safety and com- 
mon decency are believed to have found aid and comfort at 
the hands of certain police officials and of those higher up. 

It is feared that the fine esprit de corps of the new women 
police will suffer by being forced to conform to the varying 
standards of the stations to which they have been assigned. 

The ostensible reason for taking them away from Major 
Funckhouser is that his use of their service transcends his 
function as the civilian deputy and belongs to the active 


force. But his squad of male officers is left under his com- 
mand apparently without fear of inconsistency, perhaps, be- 
cause, under the surface, it is not inconsistent with the pur- 
pose dictating the transfer of the women. 

The Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners an- 
nounce that the policewoman recently appointed by them 
is to be "the city's mother to the motherless." 

The work of Miss Roche in Denver, as described by 
George Creel, in a recent number of The Metropolitan, illus- 
trates the inestimable value of the addition of women to the 
police force of cities. 

Juvenile Courts 

Following the example set by Judge Lindsey in Denver, 
women have been active in creating the public opinion which 
has brought about the creation of juvenile courts in so many 
cities of the South, as well as of the North. In Atlanta, the 
women acted immediately upon the suggestion of the Na- 
tional 'Conference of Charities and Corrections, in session 
there. It is generally conceded in Pennsylvania that the 
five bills passed in that state providing for juvenile courts 
owe their passage to the agitation and pressure brought to 
bear by the Pennsylvania Federation of Women's Clubs and 
its enthusiastic president. In at least eight states it is 
claimed that the juvenile court system owes its inception 
largely to the work of women. Coupled with their interest 
in the court has often gone their desire to accompany the 
court work with model reform schools for boys and for 
girls. In Alabama and other states these were secured by 
the insistence of women. 

In Iowa the Congress of Mothers took the lead for the 
Juvenile Court Law, and this congress has pushed steadily 
in other states for the same legislation. The Ohio law, 
passed in 1904, was due in a large measure to the fact that 
the juvenile court was a paramount issue of club work in 
that state at that time. 


Club women feel that they deserve credit also for the St. 
Louis and Kansas City Courts. In Michigan, when the law 
was declared unconstitutional, women pledged their effort 
to the securing of a new bill. 

The Civic Club of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, to- 
gether with the Civic Committee of the women's clubs, 
secured the organization of the juvenile court of that county. 
They then sent women and men speakers into neighboring 
counties and thus extended the movement. The first juvenile 
court was organized and supported entirely by the Club for 
several years, until it was legally incorporated and became 
independent. The Club also established an industrial and 
training school for boys, to solve the question of the care of 
boys that came before the court. 

Detention homes preceded as well as accompanied efforts 
for juvenile courts. The Civic Club of Allegheny County 
secured the proper enforcement of the Juvenile Court Law in 
its provision as to rooms of detention for children under 
sixteen who are in custody and awaiting hearing or place- 
ment. The same club hopes soon to secure a model chil- 
dren's court building along the lines adopted in a few other 

By the year 1906 detention homes and a juvenile court 
law had been actively taken up by women's clubs in Cali- 
fornia and other western states. Since then many places 
have been catching up, and these two issues form part of 
the propaganda of club women everywhere. 

The Municipal League of Utica, composed of men and 
women, secured recently an appropriation for a detention 
home and juvenile court. The Women's Civic League, of 
Meadsville, Pennsylvania, also established a detention home 
for juvenile delinquents. 

The Woman's Club, of Orange, New Jersey, through Miss 
Durgin, made an investigation at the House of Detention, 
which was not only the means of remedying several indi- 
vidual wrongs, but also of supplying the women and the 
public generally with knowledge on which to urge the 


modification of the prevailing system of dealing with de- 
tained boys and girls and also the establishment of a paren- 
tal school. Legal steps have been taken for the parental 
school, and the present chairman of the Civic Committee of 
this club has been named by the Board of Freeholders as 
one of the Board of Guardians for the school. 

The Chicago Juvenile Court has had a more or less stormy 
career. Its whole history is indicative of the spirit and 
constructive ability of women. For many years — before 
1906 — the Chicago Woman's Club had been maintaining a 
school in the Cook County jail. Determined to have the 
children separated, they had a bill drawn up, which became 
a law in 1899, and forms the basis of many of the present 
juvenile court laws. 

Jane Addams, in the Ladies' Home Journal, in 1913, de- 
scribed the Chicago movement very graphically: 

Years ago the residents of Hull House were much dis- 
tressed over the boys and girls who were brought into the 
police stations for petty offenses and gradually one of the 
residents gave all of her time to these unfortunate children. 
The police justices in the two nearest stations regularly tele- 
phoned her in regard to the first offense case, and whenever 
practicable paroled the children in her care. When the 
Juvenile Court was established in Chicago she was engaged 
as the first probation officer with twenty-one other persons. 

For six years this voluntary association called the "Juve- 
nile Court Committee" paid the probation officers with a well- 
known educator as chief, and supported the detention home 
through which passed each year twenty-six hundred chil- 
dren who would otherwise have been in the police stations. 

In connection with this home the Children's Hospital So- 
ciety supported a medical clinic through which it was dis- 
covered that 90 per cent, of the sad little procession were in 
need of medical attention. Gradually all of these things have 
been taken over by the county, and now the probation offi- 
cers, teachers, nurses and doctors have become public offi- 
cials while the Juvenile Court with the detention home and 
quarters for medical and psychopathic clinics and for a 


school under the Chicago Board of Education is housed in 
the building erected for its special use out of the public 

All went well through various administrations, but re- 
cently a president of the Board of County Commissioners, 
realizing that this developed apparatus of the Juvenile Court 
would be most valuable in building up party patronage, be- 
gan a series of attacks upon the administration of the Court 
which, it is evident, will eventually destroy its usefulness. 

The positions of probation officers, formerly occupied by 
those who had passed a careful civil service examination, 
were filled by sixty-day appointees, one of whom had been a 
sewer contractor, another a saloon-keeper. The ch'iel proba- 
tion officer, after a long and wearisome trial, was di:.misseu, 
having been found guilty of not doing those things which 
under the law he had no authority to do; the physician in 
charge resigned because a so-called trained nurse on a sixty- 
day appointment defied his authority, showing her ignorance 
of nursing by wrapping up the infected leg of a boy in a 
piece of old newspaper. The Funds to Parents Act, by which 
the judge is allowed to give ten dollars a month for the care 
of a child in his own home instead of in an institution, 
offered, of course, a splendid opportunity for building up a 
political following among the poorest people, and only 
through the action of the wise judge, in cooperation with 
various philanthropic societies, was this beneficent law 
saved from disaster. 

When an aroused public sentiment finally demanded an in- 
vestigation of the Juvenile Court and the report of the Com- 
mittee proved favorable to the Court, the president of the 
County Board refused to have it published and philanthropy, 
again appearing upon the scene, paid for its publication from 
private funds. 

It was not to be wondered at that a great many public- 
spirited women of Chicago, through their clubs and other 
organizations, gave of their time and best efforts last au- 
tumn to promote the election of a wiser man as president of 
the County Board. They would have been stupid indeed to 
sit quietly while their faithful work of years was being de- 
molished. Of course they were obliged to enter partisan poli- 
tics because there is no other way, owing to the American 


system of party nominations, to secure the election of any 
official, good or bad. . . . 

The larger plans for meeting these general needs can only 
be carried out with the consent of all the people and the wis- 
dom of such plans must be submitted to them during a politi- 
cal campaign. 

Certainly woman's role of non-partisanship needs to be 
examined afresh when a multitude of men and women have 
come to challenge the sincerity and moral value of that com- 
bination of reverence and disregard which does not permit 
a woman to fulfill the traditional obligations to the com- 
munity simply because to do this she must participate in 
political life. 

If women would bear their share in those great social 
problems which no nation has yet solved, but which every 
nation must reduce to political action if it would hold its 
place in advancing civilization, they are fairly forced to 
choose between standing for an impossible ideal, quite out- 
side the political field, or upholding moral standards within 
political life itself. 

The entrance of women into the political combat in Chi- 
cago helped to defeat the regime which was undermining the 
Juvenile Court. A temporary setback was threatened by the 
decision of the state court that probation officers were not 
included in the officers under the civil service law, but until 
their position under that law could be strengthened the situ- 
ation was met by an advisory committee, appointed by Judge 
Pinckney, in whose hands lay the appointment of probation 
officers, to examine and pass upon all applicants. Louise De 
Koven Bowen, president of the Juvenile Protective Associa- 
tion and of the Chicago Woman's Club, and Leonora Meder, 
president of the Federation of Catholic Women's Charities, 
were on this advisory council. 

In summing up the efforts of women for, and their atti- 
tude toward, the Juvenile Court, Julia Lathrop, chief of the 
Children's Bureau, says: "Important as are the immediate 
services of a Juvenile Court to the children who are daily 
brought before it for protection and guidance, painstaking 
as are the Court's methods of ascertaining the facts which ac- 
count for a child's trouble, his family history, his own physi- 
cal and mental state, hopeful as are the results of probation, 


yet the great primary service of the Court is that it lifts up 
the truth and compels us to see that wastage of human life 
whose sign is the child in the Court. Heretofore the kindly 
but hurried people never saw as a whole what it cannot now 
avoid seeing — the sad procession of little children and older 
brothers and sisters who for various reasons cannot keep 
step with the great company of normal, orderly, protected 

Women Judges 

In view of all their interest in juvenile courts, their labors 
to procure their establishment, and their protective care for 
the children passing through the courts, it was only natural 
that women should take the next step and mount the bench 
to deal, particularly, with cases involving children and girls. 
Fourteen years ago. Judge Lindsey, in Denver, called a 
woman to his assistance, in cases pending before him, and 
the experiment was eminently successful. 

The St. Louis Juvenile Court has two women assistant 
judges to hear all cases of girls. The change took effect 
January 12, 1914, and was established by Judge Thomas C. 
Hennings, who appointed to these positions two women 
probation officers, Mrs. E. C. Runge and Catherine R. Dunn. 
No legislation was necessary to make the appointments. The 
girls are heard by these women privately and then their find- 
ings are submitted to him and entered as orders of the court. 
Only in cases of disagreement between the two women will 
the judge be called upon to hear the case. 

St. Louis was the third city to take this step. Chicago 
and Denver had already appointed women assistant judges, 
but the "move" in St. Louis came quite independently as the 
direct result of a baffling case which Judge Hennings had 
to meet. Four girls were brought before him, from whom he 
was unable to get truthful statements even after searching 
inquiry. He put two women probation officers at work on 
the problem, and they got the facts truthfully from the girls 
at once. When Mrs. Runge asked one of the girls, ''Why 
didn't you tell this to the judge?" she said, "Why, I couldn't 
tell such things to any man." When Judge Hennings heard 


this, he was moved at once to the decision not to hear any- 
more girls' cases himself. 

Mrs. Runge has been a probation officer in the Juvenile 
Court six years and Miss Dunn four. Both of them had 
previously had long experience in social work. It is hoped 
in St. Louis that these appointments will lead to the ap- 
pointment of a woman assistant judge to give her whole time 
to it. At present these women are still probation officers.^ 

In 1913, a court for delinquent girls up to the age of twen- 
ty-one was created for Chicago, and Miss Mary Bartelme 
was appointed judge. As public guardian of Cook County, 
Miss Bartelme had had excellent experience with young 
people and children in preparation for her work on the 
bench. "Miss Bartelme," said Judge Pinckney recently, "is 
admirably fitted for her position. She is an acute and well- 
trained lawyer, with a distinctly judicial temperament. Her 
mind is quick and comprehensive. She has poise, cool judg- 
ment, and a fine, discriminating sense of justice.^' 

Judge Bartelme does not believe that the court can solve 
the question of delinquency among children. She holds posi- 
tive opinions on causes, and would seek preventive meas- 
ures, like all progressive men and women today. The 
causes of delinquency, in girls, according to her ideas, are : 
"Growing luxury of the age, man's loss of chivalry toward 
girls who work, immodest fashions in dress set by women 
of wealth, bad home environment, inadequate wages, dance 
halls with bar attachments, saloons with family entrances, 
immoral moving-picture shows, improper police supervision 
of skating rinks, ice cream parlors, amusement parks, and 
other places of amusement, activity of 'white slave' agents 
of commercialized vice, laws which permit girls to go to 
work at an immature age." 

As an auxiliary to the Municipal Court of Chicago, a 
psychopathic laboratory is to be established very soon, on the 
theory that offenders may have diseased brains and need 
mental treatment rather than punishment. Miss Mary R. 

^ The Survey. 


Campbell, of Milwaukee, who did research work at Johns 
Hopkins and Harvard, will be associate director. The labo- 
ratory will be used for all offenders who seem to need study. 
In some of the domestic relations courts now in the larger 
cities, women arc serving as assistant judges. 

Prison Investigations 

On the one hand, interested in all that pertains to court 
procedure and the judicial function and the prevention of 
delinquency and crime, women are, on the other hand, in- 
terested in the internal conditions of correctional institu- 
tions of all kinds, and are suggesting remedies and new ex- 
periments all the time. 

Many states have their women's prison associations. In- 
deed, since the days of Elizabeth Frye, nearly a century ago 
in England, women have been closely associated with prison 
work. The American name that stands out in fitting com- 
panionship with the name of Elizabeth Frye is that of 
Isabel Barrows whose death two years ago laid to rest one 
of the foremost prison reformers of the world. 

In Chicago, boys in the county jail have been studied by 
the Juvenile Protective Association, and a report based on 
the study is issued by Mrs. Louise Bowen, who suggests a 
court for the juvenile adult — the boy between seventeen and 
twenty-one years of age, who is too old for the Juvenile 
Court — as an effort toward the rehabilitation of boys in 
the later stages of adolescence. 

In New York, the Women's Prison Association was or- 
ganized in 1844 as the Female Department of the Men's 
Prison Association. Members soon discovered that it existed 
to raise funds for others to spend. In 1853 they formed a 
separate society, the Women's Prison Association, and 
founded the Isaac T. Hopper Home. They have brought 
about many reforms, such as laws concerning police ma- 
trons, patrol wagons, probation systems, appropriations for 


Bedford Reformatory, and the State Farm for women mis- 

The nature of their legislative efforts is indicated by this 
extract from their report of 1914: 

It was decided last fall, at a special meeting of the Wom- 
en's Prison Association, to try to get five bills through the 
Legislature. They failed in toto, but one clause which was 
incorporated in the Goldberg Bill abolishing fines for women 
misdemeanants was a suggestion made by this Association. 

The bills were: 

An Act to provide for the appointment of police matrons for 
duty in places of amusement. 

An Act to change the present method of temporary care of 
prisoners, insane, injured, or dangerously ill. 

An Act to provide a Board of Managers and a Woman Su- 
perintendent for the State Farm for Women. 

An Act to provide a separate Court for women. 

An Act to provide a resident physician for Blackwell's 

The Women's Prison Association, the Salvation Army, 
and charity societies often cooperate, and are discussing at 
present a national association for the promotion of prison- 
ers' aid. 

Such associations are always deeply interested in the ad- 
vanced experimental methods aimed to improve, through 
scientific study and observation, the systems of dealing with 
delinquents in private and public institutions. They are 
equally interested in extending present facilities for the care 
of these wards of the state. 

For example, boys' home and training schools have been 
inaugurated in many places by women. The Women's Mu- 
nicipal League of New York, in connection w^ith the Cornell 
Medical College, established a research and experimental 
station to develop the best methods of reaching and helping 
deficient and delinquent boys — Hillside Farm School. The 
technique of a hospital including clinical study has been in- 


troduced into penal institutions, notably women's, in the last 
few years. At the Massachusetts Reformatory for Women 
at South Framingham this work is being well developed 
under the superintendency of Mrs. Hodder. Dr. Katharine 
Davis established a laboratory at Bedford Reformatory, 
when she was head of it, for the social and psychological 
study of the inmates. 

The visitation of jails has been part of the duty assumed 
by state federations of clubs as well as other women's or- 
ganizations, such as the Women's Municipal League of New 
York. The reform and proper management of state char- 
itable and penal institutions is taken up by the club women 
in state after state. Kentucky clubs are active just at pres- 
ent in seeking to secure women on the governing boards of 
public institutions and proper training for juvenile offenders. 

Office Holding 

Many states do have women on their institutional boards, 
and women are superintendents, in some cases, of penal in- 
stitutions for women, and generally of reform institutions 
for women. The application of civil service reform to 
these institutions is urged enthusiastically and earnestly by 
women members of the civil service reform leagues as well 
as indorsed by clubs and other women's organizations. 

A public tribute to woman's ability in correctional work 
was made in New York in 1914 by the appointment of Dr. 
Katharine B. Davis to the post of city commissioner of 
corrections. Dr. Davis is a national figure, owing to her 
work at the Bedford Reformatory. In answer to critics of 
her appointment, it is agreed that her present work '*is not 
a man's job nor a woman's job; it is a job for one who 
knows how." Dr. Davis, it was decided, knew how. Soon 
after she entered upon her public duties. Dr. Davis said: 
"Everybody knows New York's prison institutions to be 
little better than medieval. I hope to bring them up to 


something nearer to the modern standard. . . . The thing 
for which I hope most earnestly is light upon the mental 
and physical causes leading to the production of the indi- 
vidual human type which commits crime. Such knowledge 
would lead us to prevention." 

Dr. Davis, by virtue of her office, is ex-ofUcio member of 
the New York City Board of Inebriety, created and estab- 
lished to maintain a hospital and industrial colony for in- 
ebriates — the first municipal institution for these unfor- 

It is not merely in public and official capacity that women 
are helping in the improvement of the conditions of cor- 
rection. They are to be found among the leading students 
and original investigators who concern themselves with 
prison methods. 


One of the most courageous and useful pieces of prison 
investigation was that undertaken in 1914 in Auburn prison, 
New York, by Elizabeth Watson and Madeleine Doty, a 
member of the State Commission for Prison Reform, who 
voluntarily incarcerated themselves in the prison under dis- 
guise to study at first hand the conditions under which 
women were confined there. Both of these women were 
experienced investigators, the former having worked with 
child labor committees for years and the latter, a lawyer, 
having worked with the juvenile court. They found bad 
physical conditions which they were unable to endure them- 
selves for more than a few days: bad food, commingling of 
sick and well, and other physical evils. They also con- 
demned the lack of classification of youthful and hardened 
offenders, the inadequacy of the educational system and the 
failure to teach such occupations as would enable the pris- 
oners to be self-supporting on their release. They deplored 
the fact that the prisoners were not allowed to form a 
single tie — social or economic — that could help them in at- 


tempts to live a normal life later. As a direct result of the 
report of Miss Watson and Miss Doty, John B. Riley, State 
Superintendent of Prisons, ordered a number of changes to 
be made in institutional procedure at that prison: the ex- 
tension of the letter-writing privilege; more conversation 
among prisoners; less confinement; more water; more read- 
ing matter. These reforms were to apply only to that in- 
stitution. The superintendent will ask the legislature, how- 
ever, for a new prison for women. 

Another important investigation — that of the convict 
labor system — was supported by the Consumers' League and 
carried out by Julian Leavitt, who showed the effect of this 
system on the outside labor market as well as on the prison 
workers themselves. Men were found to be working at 
women's trades and thus undercutting women workers in 
the regular field at the same time that they were learning 
nothing which would serve them on their release. 

That other women in addition to those in the Consumers' 
League have been aroused to this grave evil is shown in the 
agitation against it by Kate Barnard, Commissioner of Char- 
ities and Corrections of Oklahoma. Martha Falconer is 
working to destroy this system in Maryland's institutions 
for delinquent children. 

Legal Aid 

The difficulties that the alien meets in American courts 
have been investigated by Frances A. Kellor, managing di- 
rector of the North American Civic League for Immigrants, 
and described in a late number of the Annals of the Amer- 
ican Academy of Political and Social Science. It is shown 
that his fate in smaller communities depends on the char- 
acter of the justice of the peace, and that character is not 
of the highest order often, owing to the low requirements 
for the office and the fee system that prevails. In the higher 
courts it is frequently difficult for the immigrant to receive 


justice because of his ignorance and inadequate legal de- 

It was to remedy such conditions as those cited by Miss 
Kellor, for one thing, that legal aid societies have been 
formed here and there. The Legal Aid Society of Chicago 
is a consolidation of the Bureau of Justice and the Pro- 
tective Agency for Women and Children. It is an auxiliary 
of the Chicago Woman's Club. Its objects are: "To assist 
in securing legal protection against injustice for those who 
are unable to protect themselves; to take cognizance of the 
workings of existing laws and methods of procedure and to 
suggest improvements; and to propose new and better laws 
and to make efforts toward securing their enactment." 
Women appear among the officers, directors and counselors 
as well as among the financial backers of this society. In 
1913, legal aid was given to more than 15,000 poor people 
in addition to 2,400 old clients. The superintendent, Mrs. 
Wm. Boyes, has to interview about 125 people a day. She 
says: "The Society last year investigated 2,700 complaints 
growing out of domestic relations. This class of case re- 
quires more work than formerly, as the courts require fuller 
and fuller investigations. We have a representative from 
our Society in the Court of Domestic Relations all the time. 
She has handled during the year 473 cases in that court. 
The other cases have been advised in the office, and although 
they are the most heart-breaking kind, involving the drunk- 
enness or failure to provide on the part of a husband, or 
the insanity of a mother, or custody of a child, we are for- 
tunate in having on our staff three or four women who are 
most successful in the adjustment of these tragedies." 

A plan of the Women's Committee to give greater pub- 
licity to the work of the Legal Aid Society has been carried 
on with success in women's clubs of Chicago. The super- 
intendent, Mrs. Boyes, does much of the speaking that this 
work involves. A young woman lawyer has been placed in 
the Boys' Court to advise those who need defense and are 
unable to pay attorney's fees. 


The workers for the Society include many women, as the 
work is of a social character with which they are familiar 
and in which their interest lies. These workers are akm to 
probation officers, as the courts are continually calling upon 
them to investigate cases. In two cases these workers are 
assigned to courts and give their full time there. Cases are 
also referred to this Society from other agencies— police, 
newspapers, charities, settlements. 

Hie Legal Aid Society has promoted loan shark legisla- 
tion, among other reforms. It helps the Wage Loan Society 
and kindred agencies. Its great effort now is directed to 
enlisting the interest of the regular legal profession in an 
attempt to make that profession accept social service in con- 
nection with its work, just as hospitals and the medical pro- 
fession accept social service in health work. Lawyers 
3hould make the Legal Aid their own work, it is claimed. 

A National Alliance of Legal Aid Societies was started 
in 1912, and this w'U doubtless have considerable influence 
on labor and protective legislation. 

Of wider scope than the legal aid societies are many other 
associations concerned in work that is more or less correc- 
tional in character. Of these only a few can be mentioned 


The Juvenile Protective Association, of Chicago, to which 
reference has been made, is a very forceful group of women 
and men working together for the prevention of juvenile 
delinquency through legislative and social means. The ob- 
jects revealed in its charter are: 

1. To organize auxiliary leagues within the boundaries 
of Cook County. 

2. To suppress and prevent conditions and to prosecute 
persons contributing to the dependency and delinquency of 


3. To cooperate with the Juvenile Court, compulsory 
education department, state factory inspector, and all other 
child-helping agencies. 

4. To promote study of child problems and to work to 
create public sentiment for the establishment of wholesome, 
uplifting agencies such as parks, playgrounds, gymnasiums, 
free baths, vacation schools, communal school settlements, 

This Association's vigorous legislative demands and its 
education of public opinion are shown by the following 
proposals : A more adequate bastardy law making it a 
crime and extraditable, applying to the deserted wife as 
well as to the unmarried woman; a law to make even the 
first offense in pandering punishable by a term in the peni- 
tentiary and seduction a felony; an amendment of the mar- 
riage law providing for a period of ten days or two weeks 
between the issuing of the marriage license and the cere- 
mony in order to give guardians time to act, the girl to 
appear to testify in person to her own age; an amendment 
to the adult delinquency law so that a wife can testify 
against her own husband in case he is charged with viola- 
tion of such a law. "As the law stands at present the man 
can force his child to do all kinds of disreputable things — 
even immoral things — and yet the testimony of the mother, 
anxious to save her child, is not admitted. This law should 
further be amended so that it will clearly cover all persons 
even if they are not parents, if they in any way contribute 
to the delinquency of the child. Unfortunately the law is 
not very clear on that point, and some of the judges refuse 
to hold others than parents." 

The Association has made careful studies of theaters, de- 
partment stores, and wage conditions in their relations to 
vice, crime, illegitimacy, and has definite proposals for rem- 
edying evil elements therein. Among these proposals are 
those for the regulation of messenger and delivery service 
for boys; better regulation of employment agencies, of loan 
sharks, of poolrooms; dance halls; separate travelers' aid 


for immigrants; liquor regulation; and inebriate hospitals 
and farms. 

The Woman's Department of the National Civic Federa- 
tion took up prison reform for survey and constructive work 
during the year 1914 as a uniform activity for all sections. 
In Ne\\; York, conferences on this subject were held last 
March by the Metropolitan section at which a comprehensive 
legislative program of prison reform and an educational 
campaign to promote it were promulgated. The delegates 
and visitors were handed circulars of the Prison Association 
of New York stating why Sing Sing prison must be abol- 
ished and a farm industrial prison established in its place. 
A woman's farm in place of Auburn prison was also 


Other women's associations are giving attention to the 
problem of delinquency and its prevention, as these notes 
from The American Club Woman indicate: 'The City Fed- 
eration of Clubs of Dallas, Texas, so changed the street 
conditions for boys that instead of two-fifths of all juvenile 
arrests less than two per cent, now come from the cotton 
mill district. Playgrounds largely accomplished this result. 
A Public Schools Athletic League now controlled by the 
Board of Education has helped also. 

"The Atlanta Woman's Club has been urging the daily 
papers to refrain from publishing details of revolting 

"By educating mothers through social centers, the Civic 
Club of Philadelphia believes that many juvenile crimes 
will be averted, because the mothers will take proper pre- 
cautions to safeguard their children. Mrs. J. L. Pickering, 
chief probation officer of the city, concurs in this view. 

"Mrs. M. Gordon McCouch, a well-known clubwoman, 
says that properly supervised playgrounds reduce crime in 
the neighborhood about one-half, and that the taxpayers 


should be interested in them, if only from an economical 

"A militant campaign against the illegal sale of liquor has 
been started by the clubwomen of San Jose, Cal. When 
the police department refused its cooperation, a committee 
of women gathered their own evidence. Already they have 
done much to improve conditions. 

"Prosecutions against violators of the State anti-cigarette 
law will be initiated by the Women's Clubs of Madison, 
Wis. Cigarette dealers have been warned of the impend- 
ing campaign for the enforcement of the law, also that 
women detectives have already collected evidence of vio- 

"Juvenile courts, uniform child labor laws, anti-tubercu- 
losis appropriation, women on school boards, restriction of 
liquor traffic, also of cigarettes — these are some of the 
measures which the West Virginia clubwomen expect from* 
their legislature this year. 


"Reforming the convict by means of education as prac- 
ticed at the Moundsville penitentiary meets with the un- 
qualified approval and support of the West Virginia Fed- 
eration of Women's Clubs. At the annual meeting in 
Huntington, recently, a resolution was adopted recommend- 
ing to the next session of the legislature that steps be 
taken to enlarge the rooms and increase the educational 
facilities at the prison school so that all prisoners who wish 
may avail themselves of the Instruction provided. The 
present facilities at the school limit the enrollment to 125 
men. Another important resolution passed was that peti- 
tioning the legislature to establish a reformatory for women 
who are beyond the age limit for admission to the Indus- 
trial schools and who are now committed to the county 
jails for misdemeanors. 


"A reformatory for women is greatly needed in Maine, 
according to Miss Mabel Davies of the Prison Reform 
Association. The Woman's Council of Portland indorses 
the plan and asks all women's organizations in the state to 
join in an effort to secure the legislation necessary to 
maintain such an institution. 

"A woman member on the new state board of control for 
penal and charitable institutions is strongly urged by the 
New Hampshire Federation of Women's Clubs. 

"Minnesota women's clubs are working for a woman's re- 
formatory and one of their leaders who has had long experi- 
ence in prison work insists that reform can only be a success 
'when society maJies good its teaching to unfortunates that 
it pays to be good.' " 

The Guarding of a City 

With the advent of the policewoman, the prevention of 
harm to women and children comes as a new note in the 
protection of a city, and brings this municipal service into 
harmony with other services w^here prevention is the domi- 
nating purpose. Gradually policemen are being converted 
into social workers with the idea of controlling those forces 
that lead to delinquency in all its forms. Policemen too 
are sometimes sanitary or housing or poverty inspectors as 
well as custodians of the criminal and vicious. 

As yet the police department is distinctly removed from 
feminine control. Policewomen as a rule do not supplant 
male police, but are an additional force established for a 
specific purpose. In Cleveland, Mildred Chadsey is head of 
the sanitary police. In Hunnewell, Kansas, Mrs. Marshal 
was appointed by Mrs. Wilson, the mayor, as local police 
officer. New York has a woman as deputy sergeant, and 
Dr. Katharine Davis, the commissioner of corrections, thinks 
a woman might make an excellent police commissioner there ; 
but this radical step has not been taken. 


By their activities, however, v^omen sometimes affect the 
number and distribution of the police force: when they 
agitate for better patrolling of parks and playgrounds or 
other poorly protected districts and when they influence the 
number of saloon licenses issued. 

Women and policemen are each a problem to the other of 
the deepest concern. The uncorroborated testimony of a 
plain-clothes policeman against the girl or woman whom he 
arrests on the street is often accepted in the court whereas 
corroborative testimony is required in the case of a man 
arrested for sexual irregularity. Voteless women strikers 
have been grossly mistreated by the police in industrial 
centers and the graft exposures have revealed the all too 
frequent alliance of the police with the vice interests to the 
injury of the city's womanhood. 

Women's entering wedge into the police department, the 
policewoman, we venture to predict, will not be withdrawn, 
but rather will attacks be made until, through a constructive 
program, all human life is better safeguarded in the com- 
munities of this country, and the idea of social service 
permeates the police departments, as it does other municipal 



Safety from fire is as necessary as safety from any other 
danger. When fire protection is considered, no one would 
for a moment minimize the noble daring and self-sacrifice 
of American firemen. They too have suffered a needless 
loss of life and limb as a result of fire hazards which have 
been allowed to continue unchecked, but at last fire preven- 
tion is a dominant note in all progressive communities 
today and among all progressive civic workers. In the 
education of the public in this matter, and even in the 
practical constructive work in fire prevention, women have 
already extended their hands to help and bent their minds 
upon the problem. 

The American Club Woman has been insistent upon the 
need of placing emphasis upon causes of fires and the 
necessity of their avoidance. In late numbers, it said: 

An effort should be made to educate men and women and 
little children as to the ordinary methods of fire prevention. 
In New York City a course of education through the medium 
of the public schools has noticeably decreased the fire losses. 

Young women who expect to go into factory and store 
employment should be taught to study the construction of 
buildings used for such purposes and they should refuse to 
risk their lives in fire traps or places where proper precau- 
tions are not observed. 

Scores of young girls lost their lives in a factory fire at 
Binghamton, N. Y., recently. It was the old story of a 
building which was inevitably a fire trap. They claim they 



had fire drills in this place, but the girls were burned to 
death just the same. 

Employers are often willing to expose their employees to 
fire risks to save a few dollars in rent. Ignorant girls do not 
know the danger and would be afraid to protest if they did 
for fear of losing employment. 

This is one of the reforms which can be brought about by 
women's clubs. They can insist that factories are placed in 
fireproof buildings. They, and they alone, can create the 
public sentiment which will prevent the awful sacrifice of life 
which now goes on because nobody takes the trouble to secure 
real fire prevention. 

"Will You Be a Fire Warden and Saver of Life" is the 
heading of a fire prevention placard which the Texas Fed- 
eration of Club Women is sending throughout the State. 
The card indicates measures for fire prevention in the home 
which every housewife can readily observe. 

Texas club women are lowering insurance rates by their 
active fire prevention work and what is far more important 
— saving many lives. 

The women's clubs are being asked in New York to start a 
campaign of education to keep things clean, after the accu- 
mulations of rubbish have been carted away. The Women's 
National Fire Prevention Association is distributing leaflets, 
printed in several languages, urging housewives to dispose 
of waste paper and other inflammable refuse daily. Strict 
cleanliness is one of the best of fire preventives. 

In Baltimore, the fire chief testified publicly to the fact 
that the clean-up crusade carried on by the women had been 
his greatest aid in fire prevention work. It is an obvious 
fact that proper disposal of rubbish eliminates fuel for the 

One of the most vigorous anti-fire campaigns ever carried 
on by women was that waged by the working women of 
Newark, New Jersey, just after a terrible factory holo- 
caust in that city of numberless factories. The women's 


trade unions of Newark actually brought about changed 
conditions in the factories through their splendid organ- 
ization and fighting spirit. In New York, soon after the 
Newark experience, about 150 girls were burned in the 
Triangle Factory fire and women again led the agitation 
against the evils that exist in shops and factories all over 
New York. The Women's Trade Union League, many of 
whose members were burned at this time, started the cam- 
paign. A Fire Complaint Committee was formed and 
through it circulars were distributed broadcast among the 
workers requesting them to observe conditions where they 
worked and report certain definite evils to it. Every mail 
'for wrecks brought a vast pile of complaints, intelligent and 
eager, which were turned over by the Committee to those 
in authority, an effort being made to follow up results. 

A Citizens' Committee w^as formed at the instigation of 
the women of the Trade Union League which maintained 
enthusiasm through a typical nine days of horror, and then 
largely subsided, although some influence is undoubtedly 
seen in the present work of the Fire Prevention Bureau 
recently organized in New York. More definite results as 
far as factories are concerned seem to have been obtained 
by the Cloak and Suit Makers' Unions through their Board 
of Sanitary Control. Many of the women who were so 
aroused by the Triangle fire feel that better results 
would now be seen if they had waged all the public agitation 
through the workers themselves whose own interest it is to 
maintain fire safeguards in their places of toil. 

Among the evils which lead to fire carnage, it was dis- 
covered at that time, were locked doors, doors that swing 
in, clippings of inflammable material and threads allowed 
to accumulate beside the workers, aisles too narrow for 
passage, barred windows, rickety fire escapes, or no fire 
escapes at all, narrow wooden stairs, ignorance of exits or 
an insufficient number, lack of fire extinguishers, proximity 
of shirtwaist factories and the like to chemical works or 
such factories as excelsior hair works, absence of fire drills 


and employers' indifference to requirements for safety for 
the workers. 

The present Fire Commissioner, Mr. Robert Adamson, 
is thoroughly intent upon remedying this evil condition of 
affairs. The following statement of his position indicates 
the spirit with which he entered upon the duties attached 
to his office: 

Robert Adamson, New York's Fire Commissioner, has ap- 
pointed three women on the force. Last week he wrote to 
John E. O'Brien, counsel for the women on the civil service 
list, eligible for appointment: 

"It is my intention to appoint women as inspectors in the • 
Bureau of Fire Prevention, so far as the character of the 
work of that bureau will permit. I understand that Com- 
missioner Johnson felt that the work of the bureau in its 
entirety could be performed by men, and that he, therefore, 
declined to make any appointments from the women's eligi- 
ble list; whereupon the women on this list applied to the 
court for an order directing the consolidation of the wom- 
en's eligible list with the men's eligible list, which application 
was denied by both the Supreme Court and Appellate Divi- 

*'You now inform me that it is the intention of the women 
on this list to meet in a short time and determine whether 
they will appeal the matter to a higher court. I have always 
felt that the Bureau of Fire Prevention is peculiarly one in 
which women could, with great advantage to the welfare of 
the city, be employed. 

"Certain classes of the work in this bureau could, in my 
opinion, be performed by women even better than by men. 
For example, the services of women should be particularly 
available in the inspection of factories where women are em- 
ployed; in moving-picture places; perhaps in dance halls, and 
in other places where this department has jurisdiction in pre- 
scribing regulations to insure safety in case of fire. Gen- 
erally speaking, I have found that in any work involving the 
welfare and safety of the public, women are most zealous and 
energetic, and I have also found in my experience in the city's 
service that in positions which women are called upon to fill 


they display a very high grade of abihty for the salaries paid. 

"I think the prejudice against the employment of women 
in these and other positions, which they can fill as well as men 
can fill them, is dying out. As soon as my other duties will 
permit me, I intend to make a careful investigation of the 
work of the Fire Prevention Bureau and of the existing 
vacancies there. 

"If I find that the result of that investigation verifies my 
present view of the matter, I shall appoint women to those 
vacancies. I believe that the appointment of women in this 
bureau to do such work as I have indicated will greatly im- 
prove the efficiency and usefulness of this most important 
branch of the fire department, the work of which I find has 
only fairly been inaugurated." 

Mr. Adamson thereupon appointed three women. All are 
well-known settlement and social workers. 

The Manufacturers' Association of New York has at last 
felt the need of action for the protection of employees to 
the extent at least of engaging a fire expert to go through 
the establishments under its control and do something toward 
fire prevention. Mrs. Christopher has been engaged by this 
association and she has established excellent fire drills in 
many factories and in loft buildings, especially, and in other 
ways is insisting upon improvements and better protection 
for the workers. 

Since sanitary and hygiene inspection are so closely allied 
'to fire protection, a single inspector when trained can care 
for all three needs if necessary. Women who make the 
former inspections w^ell can readily add the third. 

In smaller towns, where lack of fire-fighting apparatus 
is the chief trouble, we often find women w^orking to make 
good the deficiency. A little club of women in Vallejo, 
California, for instance, owned and managed a fire engine 
until the town authorities grew ashamed and decided that 
the city should have a fire department.^ 

Women have helped in the work of the American Museum 

^ The American Club Woman. 


of Safety of New York, the motto of which is "Now Let 
Us Conserve Human Life." Mrs. W. H. Tolman, wife of 
the Director of the Museum, inaugurated the safety cam- 
paign among the school children in New York City. This 
campaign was conducted under the Museum's auspices in 
cooperation with the Board of Education. Mrs. Tolman 
trained the lecturers in this work, and herself personally 
lectured to many thousands of school children on the im- 
portance of thoughtfulness and caution in protecting their 
own lives and those of their playmates upon the congested 
streets of our city. In connection with this school cam- 
paign, Safety Stories and Safety Buttons were distributed 
by the Museum, with a view to strengthening the instruc- 
tion given in the safety talks of the lecturers. 

After instruction by lecture was introduced in the schools 
of New Jersey, accidents were reduced 44 per cent, within 
a period of six months as compared with a previous period 
before such instruction was given. 

The traffic problem is one of the most troublesome of all 
in a great city. Fortunately, upon it, too, women are bring- 
ing a salutary influence to bear. Frances Perkins of the 
Safety Committee of New York is generally admitted to be 
a moving spirit in the safety agitation that ^is beginning to 
produce certain visible results in that city. 

Industrial safety is one of the most important aspects 
of safety in general, but, aside from the fire and sanitary 
protection of workers, and even there, it is largely a state 
matter rather than a municipal one, and has to do with 
laws relative to mechanical devices, age limits, and other 
requirements. Industrial safety is, therefore, a larger topic 
than can be justifiably introduced here. It is an element not 
ignored, however, by women who think of public safety, 
for luckily in practical life and in social work there are no 
page limitations. 



The humanitarian and wise planning of beautiful cities 
and towns is the climax of municipal endeavor, because it 
represents the coordination of all civic movements looking 
toward the health, comfort, recreation, education and hap- 
piness of urban people. 

City planning like all other interests has grown in pur- 
pose and scope. From desire for ornamental lampposts 
has grown a desire for effective light, and not too expen- 
sive either. Well-lighted streets become recognized as foes 
to crime, and out of interest in the lamppost comes an 
interest in the causes of crime; proper housing, whole- 
some amusement, and employment may thus be intimately 
connected with an artistic street lamp. 

City planners have not all begun with a lamppost. Some 
of them began with billboards and thought of billboards 
exclusively for a long time; then they moved on to municipal 
art, education, censorship of movies, recreation, housing and 
labor. Some began with parks and advanced to health and 

There is no one thing in city planning that stands out 
conspicuously today as the crowning achievement of its 
purpose. City planning is thus not a finished ideal, but one 
capable of, and exhibiting, indefinite expansion. In fact, 
city planning is in its infancy in this country, but its pro- 
moters are enthusiasts with a developing sense of values and 
they are meeting an increasing response among the people 
for whose interest they are working. 



Every movement for civic art has been an attempt to 
make the contrast ''less disgraceful between the fields where 
the beasts live and the streets where men live," in the words 
of William Morris. 

The movement for municipal beauty has been the strong- 
est phase of city planning up to the present time and the 
element that has appealed to women's civic leagues in their 
early days very strongly. It is a most legitimate object of 
civic endeavor and it is comparatively easy of accomplish- 
ment where it touches no vital economic interests. "The 
City Beautiful" only a short time ago was a city with a 
few wide boulevards, a civic center, handsome parkways 
with "Keep Off the Grass" signs in abundance, statues in 
public squares, public fountains, and public buildings with 
mural decorations. Alleys and indecent river- front tene- 
ments, filthy and narrow side streets, were ignored in the 
more ostentatious display of mere ornamentation and no 
provision was made for playgrounds and well-located schools 
and social centers. 

City Planning 

The new spirit is rapidly permeating conferences on city 
planning, however, with an insistence on the elimination of 
plague spots and unsightly congestion as well as on the 
creation of boulevards and civic centers. This new spirit 
is being instilled by women as well as by men. Jane 
Addams' "The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets" has 
helped arouse the feeling that the children are the first to 
be considered in city plans. Women who have worked for 
shade trees so extensively have not been unmindful of the 
fact that mothers have to push baby carriages up and down 
through the hot sun, oftentimes to the detriment of both 
mother and child, and they have taught us that mothers 
should be considered in city plans. In regulating movies 
women have learned that men are ready to go with their 
families to a five-cent show in preference to the saloon 


alone, that the movie has made real inroads upon the saloon, 
and so they have taught that men should be included in city 
plans. Thus city planning is becoming of decided human 
interest and is no longer merely a cultural or artistic recre- 

City planning moreover has an economic value even when 
it is confined to beauty. Mr. J. Horace McFarland eluci- 
dated this point at the annual meeting of the American 
Federation of Arts in Washington. He said : "The ripened 
civic art of Europe is nowhere better shown than in its 
water-fronts and the water approaches. Consider, for in- 
stance, Stockholm, with the Royal Museum, the Houses of 
Parliament, the Royal Palace, and the greatest hotels and 
theaters, all grouped along that arm of Lake Malar which 
gives access to the Baltic. Europeans develop their water- 
fronts in this way because they have learned the money and 
social values of such things. We spoil all such advantages 
and 'when we look at the approaches to such cities as 
Hoboken, Newark, New York, Philadelphia, Camden, and 
realize that the residents of these prosperous communities 
take the money made in making ugly their water-fronts 
with which to travel abroad to see beautiful water-fronts, 
we are confronted with a most incongruous and uncommer- 
cial point of view.' One hundred and seventy millions of 
dollars of American money is spent in Paris every year, 
mainly because Paris is beautiful. Ex-Mayor McClellan has 
well said that healthy, wealthy and wise cities excite pride, 
'but it is the city beautiful which retains the love of her 
people.' . . . Our best efforts have on the whole been put 
into our cemeteries. We are shy on parks, but strong on 
cemeteries, in careless, illogical America." 

That women in some cases have concentrated their local 
activities on cemeteries is undeniable. Story after story 
comes in with pride of the care of a town burial ground, 
its beautification, its glorification. In one instance, a wom- 
an's organization bought a plot for the town cemetery, 
improved it with their bazaar money and then presented it 


to the town. This too has been a legitimate interest on the 
part of women as it has just been a case again of caring 
for loved ones. It is an easy transition, fortunately, from 
caring for loved ones who have gone on ahead to caring 
for those who remain, and that the step is taken is illus- 
trated by the testimony of club after club, league after 
league, that when they had beautified the cemetery, they 
began to beautify the school grounds, and then the library, 
and strange to say, last of all the homes of the people. 

From small and circumscribed beginnings women have 
advanced to larger ideals — just as men have. In the city 
planning movement, of which we hear so much today 
and which is so ably forwarded by the National Confer- 
ence on City Planning, women are to be found working 
side by side with the men. They are giving serious atten- 
tion to specific elements of the city plan, like parks, play- 
grounds, housing, billboards, street cleaning, waste dis- 
posal, social centers, and so on; and they are helping to 
coordinate all of these elements in a more comprehensive 
way by serving on commissions and committees, by making 
surveys, by preparing lectures, articles, and books, and by 
aiding in the organization of public exhibitions, designed to 
show in graphic form the needs of cities and possible definite 
methods of improvement. 

Women have hailed with pleasure the new slogan "Know 
Your City," which means that when it is properly known 
constructive work for improvement will inevitably set in. A 
good way to know one's city is to have a survey made of 
it. As we have seen in the chapter on housing reform, 
women have often organized and made local surveys. In 
many cities, like Pittsburgh, Scranton, Newburgh, Pough- 
keepsie, and Cleveland, women helped in working out special 
features of the surveys. 

Participation of Women 

In the national magazines and associations which deal 
with civic improvement the work of women in this field is 


frankly recognized. The American City, a live magazine of 
municipal advance, published in New York, has on its ad- 
visory board Mrs. Philip N. Moore, of St. Louis, president 
of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, who has stim- 
ulated civic work in many cities, and Mrs. Thomas M. 
Scruggs, who is the moving spirit in welfare work for 
children in that city. 

That men greatly outnumber women on this board is 
not surprising, but numbers do not necessarily determine 
the relative amount of service, for Mrs. Moore and Mrs. 
Scruggs have a country-wide influence and practical ex- 
periences which make them valuable members of the Board. 
Furthermore many of the men on the Board like Benja- 
min Marsh, Irving Fisher, John Nolen, and J. Horace 
McFarland have testified to the splendid cooperation and 
stimulating work of women in the cities everywhere. 

The American City recently devoted one issue, and it was 
a large one, to the civic work of women representing 
phases of modern city planning. Testimonials and detailed 
descriptions of the work of women poured in from all over 
the country. 

Richard Watrous, of the American Civic Association, 
which is primarily concerned with the improvement of towns 
and cities, is not unmindful of the municipal services of 
women. He says: 

To the enthusiasm, the untiring efforts and the practical 
suggestions of women, as individuals and in clubs, must be 
credited much of the splendid headway attained by the gen- 
eral improvement propaganda. They have been leaders in 
organized effort and have enlisted the sympathy and actual 
cooperation of men and associations of men in their laudable 
undertakings. Hundreds of cities that have distinguished 
themselves for notable achievements can point to some so- 
ciety or several societies of women that have been the first 
inspiration to do things. Hundreds of these women's clubs 
are affiliated members of the American Civic Association, so 
that its influence is made powerful by having back of it the 


moral support of hundreds of thousands of men and women. 
Commercial organizations are beginning now, as never be- 
fore, to recognize that it is just as much within their province 
to assist and to originate improvement work as it is to pro- 
mote the industrial growth and power of the communities 
they represent. Thus it is that the most active of these or- 
ganizations in all parts of the United States are identifying 
themselves with the American Civic Association and appoint- 
ing committees on such special improvements as parks, 
streets, illumination, nuisances — the billboard and smoke — 
and lending material assistance to those committees in carry- 
ing out various plans for the physical development and up- 
building of their cities. These business organizations are 
realizing that in their effort to induce the investment of cap- 
ital and labor with them, they must be in a position to offer 
superior advantages, such as are afforded by ample park 
areas, broad clean streets, intelligently planted and carefully 
kept trees, pure water and sanitary housing conditions. 

With all such admirable enterprises the American Civic 
Association is most intimately connected. It strives to arouse 
communities, large and small, to the necessity of such work 
and assists them in it, whether it be merely an awakening to 
the desirability of maintaining clean back yards, or under- 
taking a comprehensive development along plans laid down 
by landscape architects, involving large bond issues and the 
rebuilding of cities according to the latest and most approved 
methods of city planning.^ 

The president of the same Association, Mr. J. Horace 
McFarland, when introduced, on one occasion, as "the man 
who made over Harrisburg, Pennsylvania," said that it was 
not he, nor any man or set of men, who should have the 
credit for that. "It was the women of Harrisburg who 
dinned and dinned into our ears until at last we men got 
ashamed of our laziness and selfishness as citizens ; and then 
the women and the men of Harrisburg made Harrisburg 
over into the beautiful and favored city that it is." The 
vice-president-at-large, the Hon. Franklin MacVeagh, then 
said it was the women of Chicago who had started every 

1 The American City. 


one of the fifty-seven civic improvement centers in that 
city, and that after they were started, the men joined in 
and helped. This he believed to be the history of civic 
improvement everywhere. 

The civic leagues that have sprung up everywhere in 
towns and even in villages in the past decade are often 
composed entirely of women, sometimes of both sexes, but 
rarely exclusively of men. The leagues are in a great 
many cases, perhaps the majority of cases, affiliated with 
the American Civic Association. To its conferences they 
send representatives who bring back fresh ideas and in- 
creased fervor as a result of the mingling of varied views 
and the leadership of experienced workers. To those con- 
ferences they often carry, on the other hand, stimulating 
stories of the rewards of persistence and a steadfast vision. 

The National Municipal League, under whose auspices 
this volume is published, like The American City and the 
American Civic Association, recognizes the work of women 
in municipal improvement. Women's associations are af- 
filiated with it; women attend its annual conferences and 
read papers and take part in the discussions; its official 
organ, the National Municipal Review, contains many arti- 
cles by women on civic improvement and on women's work 
in cities; and Miss Hasse, of the New York Public Library, 
is one of its able associate editors. 

Some light is shed on the attitude of women voters 
toward civic improvement by an account of their action in a 
recent election in Chicago, as related by Llewellyn Jones in 
the Chicago Evening Post of April 30, 1914. 

• While many of Chicago's first women voters left the booths 
with the idea that they had done all that was necessary until 
the next election came around, the more far-seeing among 
them are popularizing the idea that women's participation 
must be a perpetual and not a merely periodical performance. 
The particular plot of the local political field which many 
of these women mean to cultivate is the administration of the 
city's parks. The parks of Chicago are preeminently the 


concern of the homemakers of the city, as they take up, widen 
and socialize the best activities of the home — the activities 
of the child and social intercourse. 

Dancing, music and such festivals as those recently cele- 
brated in the parks in honor of Arbor Day; the meeting of 
the young and old for pleasure and the exchange of ideas — 
these things the park managements have fostered, broad- 
ened and put on a democratic basis which sweeps away racial 
and other barriers that do more than walls and doors to 
isolate the families that dwell in the crowded parts of the 

Women who would otherwise lack opportunity to hear and 
discuss civic matters find an opportunity to do so in non- 
partisan organizations that avail themselves of fieldhouse 
facilities for getting together; people who would otherwise 
not hear good music hear it in the open air of the parks in 
summer or in the assembly halls in winter; while those same 
halls afford opportunity for lectures to the dwellers in their 
neighborhoods or for debates, dances or other activities by 
those residents. 

All that is in addition to the provision made for the enjoy- 
ment and physical welfare of the children through swim- 
ming, supervised games and physical culture. 

The women who have been interested in these activities 
find, however, that political action will be necessary before 
the parks can be used to the greatest advantage. As things 
are now, there are thirteen different park governments in 
Chicago, and the bill passed at the last session of the legisla- 
ture to consolidate them was vetoed. Attorney General Lu- 
cey advised the governor that it was unconstitutional because 
the park districts were really separate municipalities and 
could not be eliminated without consent given through the 
ballot of their inhabitants. 

That the park governments should be unified is admitted 
on all hands. Now there are districts in Chicago which are 
not in any park district and so escape taxation while enjoying 
the privileges of the parks, while the crowded districts, not 
being able to pay for park facilities, do not get any to speak 
of, although there is a crying need for them. 

For instance, the South Park area is three times that of 
either the North or West Sides, but there are three times as 


many children on the North and West Sides as there are on 
the South Side. Meanwhile the South Park commission has 
a surplus in the bank which has frequently been over a million 
dollars, while the other park commissions often find it im- 
possible to carry on the projects which would mean so much 
to their constituents. 

With consolidation, too, would come a reform which* it is 
not now possible to obtain — the standardization of the ser- 
vices which the parks render the public. At the present 
time, for instance, the South Park system employs only three 
social-play leaders — who perform a very valuable social func- 
tion in bringing the various users of the parks together in 
games and conferences — although it has eleven recreation 
centers, while on the West Side the social-play leader is con- 
sidered as necessary an adjunct to the park staff as are the 
gymnasium directors. 

Women have a further interest in the parks, however, than 
in their consolidation, for they see in their administration the 
need as well as the opportunity for woman's service. 

At present the park commissioners are men, although the 
constituency they serve is largely one of women and chil- 
dren. Were the women represented on every park board — 
w^hich is an impossibility until there is at least some measure 
of consolidation — the needs of the women and children using 
the parks would be more closely studied, the value of the 
parks in ways now overlooked would be emphasized, and the 
playgrounds would return to the public a larger dividend than 
heretofore on the public's expenditure. 

As it is hardly practicable to get the voters' consent in 
every park district before merging them — as Attorney Gen- 
eral Lucey says must be done — the advocates of consolidation 
are pinning their hopes to the proposal for a constitutional 
convention. This convention would result in a wholesale 
unification of Chicago's present chaotic w^elter of nineteen 
separate governments, and the various park boards, thirteen 
out of the nineteen of those unrelated governing and taxing 
bodies, would undoubtedly be wTldcd without any legal 
trouble arising. 

And then the women of the city will have their chance to 
put efficiency into the Chicago parks. 


Municipal Art 

To descend to particulars and localities, we may first 
record that women are becoming concerned about the transit 
approaches to cities* and about the hideous stations which 
are all too frequently to be found in our towns, villages, and 
cities. The first approach to a city or village is of supreme 
importance in the feeling that residents, if they ever leave 
their home town and return, or visitors have about the 
place. The railway station therefore assumes a role that is 
by no means insignificant. A most capable railroad station 
improver is Mrs. Annette McCrae, of the American Civic 
Association, who has worked for the Chicago and North- 
western. A story illustrating her point of view is told by 
Mr. McFarland in The American City: 

"I remember that . . . Mrs. McCrea . . . discussed 
with the president of one of the eastern railroads the crude, 
glaring and unreasonably ugly manner in. which his stations 
were painted. He listened with reasonable impatience, be- 
cause Mrs. McCrea is a lady, and finally burst out with, 
'After all, Mrs. McCrea, it is a question of taste, isn't it?' 
To this, quick as a flash, Mrs. McCrea replied: 'Yes, Mr. 
President; it is a question of taste — of good taste or of bad 
taste!' After this the discussion languished, for there was 
no defense left to the apologist for mixing orange and 
brown before the eyes of the defenseless millions who had 
to use his steel highway." Mrs. McCrae's work is the result 
of a recognized demand on the part of the people, and of 
women as an aggressive element among the people, for 
attractive and inviting front and back doors to their urban 

Every section of the country has felt the urge of the 
request for attractive stations. In some sections, railroad 
companies have been induced to assume the responsibility 
for the improvement and in new sections railroads are glad 
to build attractive stations and beautify the grounds to 


draw residents. In other sections, railroads have been 
the greatest foe to station improvement and have absolutely 
prevented beautification of buildings and the grounds 
through their ownership of the surrounding area. Sometimes 
benevolently minded individuals and organizations have 
themselves financed or have aided in the building and beau- 
tification of the railway approach. Again where the vil- 
lagers were rich colonists or the *size of the center required 
rebuilding frequently, as in New York, a suitable station 
has resulted through the adaptation of the company to the 

Billboards were among the first items on the programs 
of the women's clubs of the country as an evil to be attacked. 
A campaign for cleaner billboards in St. Paul, Minnesota, 
is thus described by Airs. Backus: 

It is impossible to be a teacher without realizing the tre- 
mendous influence upon the young of the books they read, the 
pictures they see and the plays they hear. 

Miss Caroline Fairchild, a public-school teacher of St. 
Paul, knowing this psychological truth, was very much im- 
pressed with the influence of poverty of thought and flabby 
morals exerted by the penny parlors, cheap "shows," and by 
the billboards with their fierce men throttling shrinking girls 
or stabbing to the heart a hated rival. 

She decided to attack first the evil which could be seen by 
every citizen riding in our street cars or walking along our 
streets — the billboard — and that her protest might carry more 
weight she secured the cooperation of the Thursday Club and 
the public press. 

The first step was a call upon one of the leading theaters, 
whose manager suggested a visit to the local billboard man- 
ager; this courteous gentleman referred the committee to the 
eastern theatrical managers. New York being almost too 
far away for a personal visit, it was decided that the cam- 
paign must be made general, so the following letter was drawn 
up to be sent to all managers of theatrical productions : 

"Gextlemen : The club women of St. Paul have objected 
for a long time to many of the bill posters, advertising plays 


in this city. We feel that they have a demoralizing influence 
on the youth, and we would urge that posters presenting un- 
desirable scenes, women clad in tights, or any pictures that 
will leave a bad impression on the minds of the young, be 
eliminated. St. Paul is not the only city which objects to this 
class of advertising, and we hope that the movement will be- 
come nation-wide." 

This step of the Civic Department of the Thursday Club 
had been indorsed by the Fourth District of the Federation, 
and members of other clubs had pledged their cooperation. 

To the joy of the committee, it was met more than half- 
way by the Poster Printers' Association of America and by 
one or two journals devoted to the interests of poster printers 
and theatrical managers. 

In March, 191 1, the chairman of the Poster Printers' As- 
sociation issued a statement to poster printers, lithographers 
and theatrical managers, in which they were urged to use 
their influence against posters that might be deemed objec- 
tionable because of the titles used or the scenes illustrated. 

The next step was the sending of lists of the leading pro- 
ducing managers — the men who control nearly all of the first- 
class and popular priced theaters in the country — to every 
state president of the General Federation of Women's Clubs 
in the United States, with a request that each state body take 
up the campaign for better plays and higher class advertising 
and make it a national movement. 

Inquiries began to come in from other states in regard to 
a plan of work, showing the awakening of public interest. 
Local theatrical managers offered assistance, one manager 
asking that a committee be sent each week on the opening 
night to censor the play to run that week, promising to act 
upon suggestions made by the women — and he kept his word. 

On November 10, 191 1, we find the following notice in one 
of our daily papers: 

"The civic committee of the Thursday Club is much pleased 
at the very evident results of its recent campaign for cleaner 
billboards. T have noticed nothing objectionable in any of 
the posters advertising theatrical productions in St. Paul 
this season,' says Miss Fairchild, 'and the radical change in 
even the posters put up by the burlesque companies shows 


that the work of the club women of the country in appealing 
to producing managers and poster printers has had good 
results and been well worth while.' Women have been on the 
lookout in many parts of the city and no protest has been dis- 
regarded; in one case the objectionable bill was found to be 
an old one which had 'slipped in,' but it quickly slipped off." ^ 

The Commercial Club and the Woman's Civic League of 
Pensacola, Florida, have worked together to restrict the 
billboard industry. 

The Civic Club of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 
"spent much effort and thought upon the regulation and 
taxation of billboards in Pittsburgh. Two bills and a tenta- 
tive ordinance were drawn up and submitted to the proper 
authorities; the committee on statistics handed in a complete 
report covering the city and a number of telling photo- 
graphs were taken." The Civic Club is an organization in 
which men and women work in the closest and most respon- 
sible cooperation. 

The American Civic Association has for years been carry- 
ing on a campaign of education against billboards through 
lectures, bulletins, and press work. Its influence has un- 
doubtedly stimulated local activities both of men and women 
but anti-billboard work knows no sex. The national asso- 
ciation stands ready to help in local anti-billboard contests 
and it is showing now how definite results may be obtained 
in cities and states. 

Tree Planting 

While seeking to clear our city streets of unsightly and 
even demoralizing billboards, women have given equal atten- 
tion to the constructive work of beautifying streets by the 
encouragement of tree planting. Of woman's service in 
this field, one competent to speak, Mr. J. J. Levinson, For- 
ester of Brooklyn and Queens Parks, New York City, has 
written as follows: 

^The American City. 


Never before have people cared so much about other peo- 
ple as they do today. Social thought and sympathy are grow- 
ing more intense every day, both among men and women. 
The woman of today is different from the woman of yester- 
day, not so much in her ideals or sympathies as in the ex- 
pression of these ideals. Women have always been naturally 
idealistic and always will be, but the difference between their 
present and past idealism lies in the fact that today it is 
more far-reaching, extending to the interests of their neigh- 
bors and the community at large. 

There is a new field opening for women as factors in civic 
improvement. Women have always set the moral and es- 
thetic standard in the community in which they lived, and 
when they once get into this new field of making our cities 
more beautiful — a field which is really closest to their natural 
bent, they ought to accomplish wonders. Their confined life 
of former years gave them no chance to demonstrate their fit- 
ness for this sort of work. But today new interest in out- 
door life together with new social relations is bringing out 
the wonderful esthetic and moral qualities that have been so 
long diverted from the problems of the city beautiful, and 
are now demonstrating a woman's superior fitness to do much 
in this new field. The instances where women have helped 
to improve their cities with trees are numerous. 

In Brooklyn it was women who organized a national city 
tree association and who started the first tree clubs among 
school children in this country. The association is located 
at the Children's Museum in Brooklyn. In my own work, 
I find that it is always the women who fight for the preserva- 
tion of their trees when some public service corporation tries 
to injure them. It was a woman and an energetic one at that 
who started our Children's Farms in Brooklyn. 

Last winter, I was invited by the ladies of Rome, N. Y., 
to come to that city and tell them what to do for their trees. 
Those ladies formed a civic organization, and collected suffi- 
cient funds to care for their trees all the year. In less than a 
year they have demonstrated the value of their work, and are 
now influencing the city authorities to appropriate sufficient 
funds for the preservation and planting of their city trees. 
In Morristown, N. J., the same thing occurred. It was a 


Massachusetts woman who founded the first improvement 
society in the United States. About ten years ago women 
formed a civic improvement association in South Park, Chi- 
cago, and within a few years not only changed the esthetic 
and sanitary appearance of their own section, but extended 
their influence to the whole city. At Lincoln, Nebraska, the 
women started their civic work on the school grounds, where 
they planted trees, and tried by this means to inculcate in 
the children a love for the beautiful. How much better are 
such practical lessons in civics than much of our routine 
teaching ! Only the other day, I was in communication with 
the mothers' club of a public school in Flatbush which 
started a campaign to plant trees around their school and in 
the neighborhood. In California women saved the famous 
Calaveras grove of big trees, a matter that has become a 
question of national interest, and has received the commen- 
dation of Congress and the leading men of the country. 

I will not cite the hundreds of other cases where women 
have been the prime factors in beautifying our cities with 
shade trees and well-kept parks, but I will say that here is a 
broad and interesting field awaiting the modern woman, a 
field that tends to make our surroundings worth living in and 
our citizens better and healthier; a field that requires every 
virtue a woman possesses — her good taste, her moral in- 
stincts, her love of the beautiful, her patience and persever- 
ance. Because of these, her natural gifts, she is bound to 
excel man in this field of endeavor, for, after all, man's 
sphere of influence, in a general way, is his work and this 
work too often tends to become a matter of such routine that 
there is absolutely no inspiration in it. Men too often cannot 
see the moral issues at stake in living on treeless streets or in 
sections devoid of parks. Here we are spending so many mil- 
lions of dollars on our schools, and out of the 166 public 
schools in Brooklyn, 86 have not even one tree in front of 
them, and only 10 are completely surrounded by trees. I do 
not believe that women would tolerate this if they could help 
it. There is no doubt that women are the natural leaders for 
the realization of the city beautiful — beautiful not with a lot 
of expensive cut stone, formidable fences or marble columns, 
but beautiful with natural parks, with avenues lined with 


fine trees and with front yards covered with verdure and 
blossoms, and beautiful with children, healthy mentally and 

The whole subject of city trees and its vast opportunities 
for helping mankind has been greatly overlooked. Our 
schools and many other forms of civic improvement have 
received our attention because we have realized their im- 
portance to our health and development, but our trees, both 
in the parks and on the streets, have been slighted in spite 
of the fact that as a civic problem they are as important to 
our health and development and are as influential in the 
making of our future citizens as any other institution or form 
of civic improvement today.^ 

Women have had to resort to law courts occasionally in 
their struggle for shade trees. In San Jose, California, they 
won in the courts against a corporation or mercenary prop- 
erty owner who wanted to override their love of beauty. 

Varied Activities 

While cooperating with state and national associations 
for civic improvement and aiding in specific reforms, such 
as the removal of billboard nuisances and the planting of 
trees, women in many localities have taken a large view of 
municipal advance and stirred their towns to important 
action. What a few women accomplished in a small com- 
munity. New London, Iowa, is thus interestingly related by 
Mrs. Mary M. Pierson, president of the local Women's 
Improvement Association : 

It would not be correct to speak of the civic work "of the 
women of New London," for many of them have not ap- 
proved of women's taking part in such matters. Ours is a 
town of about 1,400, and only 24 women belong to our or- 

One spring morning I was called to the telephone by Mayor 

* The American City. 


T. E. Rhoades, who asked, "Will you act with two other 
ladies in town on the Internal Improvement Committee of the 
City Council ?" I replied, "Yes, if the Mayor and City Coun- 
cil wish it." "All right," said he. "I will appoint you, Mrs. 
C. E. Magers and Miss Anna von Colen (assistant editor on 
our home paper) as members of the City Council Improve- 
ment Committee." Thus was the ball set rolling. 

We saw at once a great deal that was necessary to be done 
for the health and comfort of our little city. After counsel- 
ing together, always consulting our Mayor, we called a meet- 
ing of the women of the town at the City Hall, and organized 
a women's improvement association. The subject of finance 
came up at once, and it was decided to make the membership 
fee twenty-five cents. Quite a number did not see what we 
needed money for, and declined to join us. However, about 
48 paid in their quarters and began work. 

During our first efforts some very laughable things hap- 
pened, but with the cooperation of the Mayor we made prog- 
ress. By his order a clean-up day was appointed, and on that 
day a tremendous amount of boxes, tin cans and trash rolled 
out of the town. 

We then turned our attention to our little city park. We 
bought a $10 lawn mower and set the City Marshal and his 
assistants to mowing the grass, and finally brought the park 
into respectable and attractive condition. The Council made 
us a donation of $15. 

Oh, how we worked ! Finally, others, seeing that there was 
no stopping us, began to beautify their yards, and before long 
the town was a flower garden. 

Then came the need for more money. Our band had gone 
to pieces, but wished to reorganize. There was a fine band- 
stand in the park, and we ordered it repainted. Then we gave 
an ice cream social, the proceeds of which served to get the 
band together again. We now have one of the best bands 
in the state, and the weekly band concert, from April to 
November, draws crowds of appreciative listeners. 

As winter came on we saw the necessity of having money 
with which to purchase seats for the park; and as we live in 
the corn belt of Iowa, we decided to give a "Corn Carnival." 
This was the biggest undertaking of the kind ever carried 


through in our part of the state, and was attended by Gov- 
ernor Cummins, who seemed well pleased with our efforts. 
A substantial sum was realized, and we ordered a car load of 
iron seats. When these were placed on the short-cut green 
grass in the park, facing the bandstand, and were filled with 
people listening to the sweet music of our band, we felt that 
we had indeed accomplished something the first year. 

Our company of workers has dwindled, but our influence is 
felt and respected, and when there is a question of bonding 
the town for schools, electric light, sewerage or water works, 
we not only go to the polls ourselves, but we see that the 
other women of the city go and that they have a right view 
of the matter under consideration. 

Our electric plant burned down, and for a while there were 
so many objections to bonding again the already heavily 
burdened town that the loss of the plant seemed likely. The 
Mayor came and talked with me, and I called a meeting of 
the Association, which resulted in our starting out electioneer- 
ing. Election day came, and New London got her lights. 
The City Council was strong in praise of the work done by 
the women. 

The question of water works and sewerage is now before 
us. It was voted on recently, when 143 women cast their 
ballots. The water works question was carried, but the sew- 
erage undertaking was lost by 23 votes, probably because 
there are but few modern homes in New London. The ques- 
tion will be voted on again in April, and the result will prob- 
ably be different. 

Last summer we were instrumental in organizing our first 
Chautauqua assembly. We pledged the sale of 300 tickets, 
and advanced $25. We sold over $700 worth of tickets, gave 
the people a fine week of instruction and social pleasure, ad- 
vanced $25 for another Chautauqua next July, and cleared 
$200, which will buy more seats this spring. 

We have had a great many things to discourage us, have 
been held up to ridicule, and have thought many times, "Does 
it pay?" But when a year ago our town was visited by an 
epidemic of typhoid fever and there were 60 nurses here 
where a professional nurse had never been; when so many 
homes were darkened by death, all because of the filthy con- 


dition of one drain that ran into an alley and poisoned a 
near-by well that supplied the water for our popular res- 
taurant; then our physicians and men of better judgment 
(and women, too) realized the need of getting the help of the 
Improvement Association in cleansing and purifying our 
town. We are now considered an asset, and I believe we have 
come into our own.i 

Among the varied activities of women for civic improve- 
ment may be listed the following, paraphrased from The 
American Club Woman which is exceedingly rich in such 

The Woman's Club of Corte Madera, California, installed 
street lights costing $500 and maintained them until the 
town realized their value and took over the management 
and maintenance. 

The Woman's Board of Trade of Santa Fe, New Mexico, 
founded the town library, and created an attractive plaza 
with seats, among other things. 

The Women's League for Good Government of Philadel- 
phia in its educational campaign has given a series of illus- 
trated lectures urging public support of such municipal im- 
provements as have already been obtained in that city and 
suggesting others that are needed. 

About $11,000 has been raised for an art gallery by the 
Woman's Club of Des Moines, Iowa. The balance of the 
necessary $25,000 for the building will probably be secured 
by an extension of the present system of selling bonds. 

Every new town in the state of Idaho is being laid out 
with a civic center around a city park or square, and every 
club is working for a city park, and planting trees, shrubs 
and flowers in public places. Nearly every club specializes 
in city sanitation and pure food. 

Mrs. E. R. Michaux of the North Carolina Federation of 
Clubs has urged all the clubs in that state to work for 
municipal art commissions in the various towns and make 
their approval necessary before any public buildings, statues, 

^ The American City. 


etc., can be erected or streets laid off. Elsewhere women 
have secured such commissions and in many cities they are 
now serving on them. 

The Municipal Order League of Chicago, a women's 
society, has for its object the education of the people to 
the point of insisting upon health, cleanliness and beauty 
for the city of Chicago. 

Many of the clubs of the various states have forestry 
committees whose object is to work both for the conserva- 
tion of forest lands in the state and to secure local foresters 
and tree planting commissions. They have been responsible 
in numerous cities for the installation of a municipal for- 
ester and have been his main support in his proposals for 
shade trees and shrubs and their proper care. Arboricul- 
ture for decorative purposes has always been an interest of 
theirs in their own home plots and now they have extended 
it to the decoration of their municipal homes. They have 
also been largely instrumental in securing the general 
observance of Arbor Day by schools and outside agencies. 

The State Federation of Club Women of California 
worked faithfully for forestry and Big Tree bills, cleaned 
up vacant yards, removed unsightly poles from streets, se- 
cured the care and beautification of the ocean front, secured 
the retention of street flower markets, the purchase and 
preservation of Telegraph Hill and of the Calaveras Big 
Tree Grove, the parking of the grounds and street about 
the Mission Dolores, and planted vines and trees on the 
barren slopes belonging to the Federal Government at 
Yerba Buena Island. In San Francisco they worked against 
the overhead trolley system which is so derogatory to the 
appearance of a city. 

Throughout the South the work of civic improvement is 
being taken hold of by women with energy and idealism 
and practical sense. Parks and gardens that dot the states 
everywhere now testify to the labor and enthusiasm of 
women as well as of men. 

The Civic Club of Nowata, Oklahoma, secured a twenty- 


acre park which no\v has 1,000 trees growing on it; in Shaw- 
nee, Oklahoma, the park in the center of the city was laid 
out by a landscape artist employed by women who also 
offered cash prizes for the best lawns and alleys in the city. 

The Palmetto Club of Daytona, Florida, raised $75,000 
for a public park. 

The Quincy, Illinois, Boulevard and Park Association saw 
fit to elect Mrs. Edward J. Parker president upon the death 
of her husband, under whose skillful and enthusiastic guid- 
ance, Quincy obtained results that are quite famous in that 
part of the country. Mr. Parker had worked for a parking 
system in the face not only of indifference but of hostility 
on the part of the public and of the city government. Since 
that attitude has not yet been overcome, but is merely in the 
process of changing, the election of the wife as president 
is an indication of the belief in the wisdom and ability of 
her leadership. 

The club women of Minnesota have recommended town 
planning commissions for the beautifying of the villages 
and cities of the state. 

A moving-picture film, "The City Beautiful," has been 
prepared and circulated as educational propaganda by the 
civics committee of one enterprising woman's organization 
which appreciates the value of public opinion. 

In Idaho Falls, Idaho, the members of the Village Im- 
provement Society are called ''City Mothers." "Fifteen 
years ago," we are told, "this place was a treeless, grassless 
desert village. Today it is a city and an oasis. The hun- 
dreds of trees that line the streets were planted by the 
women of the Society. The lawns and flowers have been 
fostered by them through the giving of annual prizes. They 
have bought the land and are developing a town park. They 
have established and operated the town hospital and have 
founded a library and secured a tax levy for its support. 
They have supplied the alleys with garbage boxes and 
caused the passage of an anti-spitting ordinance. They have 
bought the site of a nest of vile resorts and caused the 


removal of tenants. They have also improved the ceme- 

The Woman's Town Improvement Association of West- 
port, Connecticut, laid 2,000 feet of sidewalk and generally 
beautified the town. 

The Good Roads Committee of a woman's organization in 
New Canaan, Connecticut, cut down the undergrowth, lev- 
eled hills and set up danger markers. What they did for 
the water supply has been told in the chapter on Health. 

The Woman's Book Club of Osceola, Arkansas, filled mud 
holes in three streets and planted trees along the sides. 

The Woman's Improvement Club of Roseville, California, 
planted 400 trees, set out 1,000 calla lilies and roses and 
magnolia trees to beautify the approach to the station, made 
a park in the triangle formed by the intersection of three 
streets and planted it with date palms. 

The Woman's Civic League and the Woman's Club of 
Colorado Springs asked the city for an appropriation of 
$2,500 for a comprehensive city plan and at their further 
instigation Charles Mulford Robinson was engaged to 
devise a plan for the improvement of the city. They then 
arranged a conference between Mr. Robinson and citizens. 
When his plan was submitted it met the approval of the 
women, but the City Fathers did not manifest the same con- 
cern and the women of the Club have been constantly urging 
upon them the wisdom of adherence to the plan. The 
women also followed the city budget with this end in view. 
After conferring with city planning commissions in other 
cities, the Civic Club drew up the plan for a permanent 
commission for Colorado Springs and secured it from the 
Council. Members have been appointed from nominations 
made by the Chamber of Commerce, the Federated Trades 
Council, the Woman's Club and the Civic League. 

While in many places the work of women for civic im- 
provement has won marked public favor, the spirit of fair 
play is not always in evidence as we learn from letters like 
this from Mrs. Harmon, vice-president of the Civic League 


of Yankton, South Dakota: "At first our existence was 
looked upon with much disfavor by the city officials, being 
regarded as a standing criticism of their administration. Our 
speedy demise was predicted. Now, after a year of existence 
and a campaign of education, the Civic League is referred to 
as an arbiter of difficulties and a court of complaint. We 
have largely succeeded in shutting up chickens. Alleys may 
no longer be used as dumping grounds. We have become the 
sponsors for the development of a new park to be donated 
to the city. We have interested the Commissioners in 
employing a landscape architect to make a permanent city 
plan. Further, we are in the field to stay." 

The women of the Lock Haven Civic Club have the dis- 
tinction of having raised the money for a city plan for the 
smallest city in the state of Pennsylvania in order that it 
may be prepared for its possible growth and development. 
The Board of Trade is energetic in this little town and the 
women find cooperation with it pleasant and sincere. The 
Outdoor Department of this league of women laid out and 
planted the Court House Park and assisted the city govern- 
ment in planting a city parkway. It has also induced prop- 
erty owners to supplant fences with private hedges and 
otherwise beautify home surroundings. 

From an adobe pueblo, Los Angeles has grown in some 
thirty years to a commercial metropolis. Of city planning 
in this rapid development there has been none. Now, how- 
ever, a Municipal Art Commission composed of five persons, 
two women and three men, has undertaken to bring some 
order out of chaos in Los Angeles and doubtless in the 
reorganization of the city the women who have worked so 
earnestly there for housing and district nursing and public 
health will exert some influence over the plans. 

The Wichita, Kansas, Improvement Association began as 
a woman's organization but soon felt that it had made a 
great mistake in limiting its membership to women. "Ob- 
viously," it says, "the concerns of any town-development 
organization are the concerns of everybody in that town and 


the membership should consist of the members of that com- 
munity." A reorganization was therefore effected and 
men were brought into the Association. In writing about 
this change the Association says: "The keynote of the new 
society thus became the keynote of all society : The respon- 
sibility of adults for conditions which shall conduce to the 
health, morality, happiness and general good citizenship of 
the young people/ For, if the adult society is working for 
this, then its own health, morality and happiness are finding 

Boston has a city-planning board on which Emily Greene 
Balch is serving. Its duty is to "make careful studies of the 
resources, possibilities, and needs of Boston, particularly 
with respect to conditions which may be injurious to the 
public health, and to make plans for the development of the 
municipality, with special reference to the proper housing 
of its people." The secretary of the board is Miss Elizabeth 
M. Hurlihy. The Women's Municipal League is rendering 
valuable assistance to this board. 

Controlling Suburbs 

Where civic pride and organization promote intelligent 
efforts in a city to control real estate speculation, unregu- 
lated building and congestion, it often happens that the 
area just outside the city accepts all the evils cast forth 
by the city. A factory or plant, pushed to the outskirts 
where a suburb is quickly developed by land speculators 
to meet the new housing situation, may easily, and does 
often, become the center of a community totally without 
plan and where the evils of congestion appear in their most 
exaggerated form. In some cases, civic leagues of men and 
women are forming to prevent suburbs coming under such 
influences, as the city, to which they are neighbor, agitates 
for the removal of its factories to the outskirts. 

Attention has been directed to this serious matter, and 


some suburban planning started in time, by Mrs. Rollin 
Norris and others in the suburbs of Philadelphia, organized 
in the Main Line Housing Association. 

The work of this association doubtless had its effect on 
the legislation in Pennsylvania which provides metropolitan 
planning districts for the cities of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, 
and Scranton, in order that they may control developments 
at their borders for a radius of twenty-five miles. Other 
states — six of them — have made a similar attempt to prevent 
unwise expansion at the rims of cities, but Massachusetts 
now leads with city planning by its recent law providing 
for city planning commissions throughout the state for 
towns and villages. It is interesting in this connection to 
observe how well women have worked in Massachusetts on 
the problems of housing and allied questions which are vital 
elements in this planning. 

At present these schemes and ideals for suburban plan- 
ning are in the stage of agitation only and have not been 
concretely applied on any extensive scale. A private 
achievement of notable worth has been obtained in Roland 
Park, Baltimore, but it is a high-class residential neighbor- 
hood. The Roland Park Civic League, an incorporated 
association of the citizens of this district, maintains a con- 
trolling interest in the Roland Park Roads and Maintenance 
Corporation and elects nine of the twelve directors. They 
prohibit certain nuisances, the erection of any building for 
other than residence purposes and the submission and ap- 
proval of all construction plans. Women are members of 
the Civic League and share equally with the men in the 
government of this residential district which is comprehen- 
sive enough to include : tax collection and expenditure, labor 
employed in the sewerage system, the repairing and clean- 
ing of roads, care of hedges and sidewalks, removal of 
ashes and rubbish and other services. It is a marvelously 
beautiful place. "Woman suffrage is in action in Roland 

Forest Hills Gardens, the New York suburb built by the 


Russell Sage Foundation, financed by Mrs. Russell Sage, is 
also a beautiful middle-class residential district, with the 
same restrictions that safeguard Roland Park. 

Value of Civic Improvement 

From this cursory and necessarily imperfect review of 
women's work in civic improvement, it is evident that who- 
ever labors for the city or town or village beautiful in the 
United States may find intelligent and hearty support on 
the part of women's associations, even though they are, in 
many places, merely organized for literary or "cultural" 
purposes. Thousands of men may loaf around clubs with- 
out ever showing the slightest concern about the great 
battle for decent living conditions that is now going on in 
our cities; but it is a rare woman's club that long remains 
indifferent to such momentous matters. Nor, as we have 
seen, is this movement for civic betterment confined to the 
greater cities. In thousands of out-of-the-way places which 
hardly appear on the map, unknown women with large 
visions are bent on improving their minds for no mere 
selfish advancement, but for the purpose of equipping them- 
selves to serve their little communities. They form local 
associations. These local associations are federated into 
state and national associations. The best thought and ex- 
perience of one community soon become the common pos- 
session of all. Thus we see in the making, before our very 
eyes, a conscious national womanhood. Here is a power 
that will soon disturb others than the village politicians. 



The kind of work the government undertakes and the way 
in which it does its work depend, in the ordinary course of 
events, almost entirely upon public opinion; that is, upon 
what the people think about political matters. This obvious 
truth will be readily admitted, and the inevitable deduction 
is that women, in the wide range of their interests and 
activities, are valuable factors in government. 

By means of lectures, study clubs, and leagues for polit- 
ical and civic education, women now seek to educate them- 
selves in public affairs, and learn to cooperate with men in 
the extension of civic enlightenment. City Clubs exist for 
women, like those for men, as forums of free discussion 
of public questions, in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston, 
while the Twentieth Century Club of Boston is an organiza- 
tion of men and women. 

Women also seek to arouse public opinion by explaining 
problems of government to the people. By printing and cir- 
culating ordinances, discussing charters, asking citizens 
what they need, and helping to show them how^ their needs 
may be met, the development of fundamental democracy is 
being aided by women, slowly, perhaps, but none the less 

Bulletins and other publications on civic matters, issued 
by women as individuals and associated in clubs, are as 
creditable as any in the field. Their studies of city budgets 
and budget-making are beginning to prove that even the 
hard technique of government now interests them as it does 



men. That their attitude toward some of the technique is 
still the woman's attitude, however, may perhaps be shown 
at times; for example, when Martha Bensley Bruere and 
others suggest that one prime function of public utilities 
should be to serve the home in order that science may 
supplant excessive drudgery there. 

Chambers of Commerce and similar bodies of men have 
been prominent as volunteer associations initiating or sup- 
porting public activities. In this connection a curious fact 
lies in the selection of a woman as secretary of the Cham- 
ber of Commerce in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her first 
task was to straighten out the funds so that there might 
be a basis for work of any kind. Women serve in auxiliary 
groups to Chambers of Commerce and the main group often 
relies for the success of an enterprise upon the hard work 
of its auxiliary members. In Santa Fe the women have 
their own Board of Trade. 

It is not alone in the advancement of "general enlighten- 
ment" on civic matters that women are interested. Often, 
through their clubs and associations, they join actively in 
municipal campaigns for specific reforms. Indeed, it may 
be said that in every recent effort to ''clean up a city's 
politics" in the United States, the enlistment of the women, 
as individuals and in organizations, has been a voluntary or 
requested factor. Sometimes we find forceful women, sin- 
gle-handed and alone, leading a fight for the betterment of 
municipal politics. Such a contest was waged by Virginia 
Brooks, in the town of Hammond, Indiana, and it may well 
be told here in her own words, taken from the National 
Municipal Review: 

According to your request I will tell you a few of my 
activities in West Hammond, You have probably read of 
my long fight, extending over a year and a half, to rid West 
Hammond of a graft ring that has been assessing the Poles 
out of house and home for rotten improvements, which repre- 
sented about 25 cents on the dollar. I might run over the 
incidents briefly. I was a musician by profession and knew 


little of business or property, when I was confronted with 
$20,000 worth of assessments on a little piece of property 
left to my mother by my father upon his death. 

That November, 1910, three days after the receipt of the 
assessments, I put my furniture in storage and with my 
mother came to Hammond, feeling I must do something, but 
not knowing where to begin. No sooner had I stepped into 
the town, than I was aware that the streets were made of 
inferior material and poor workmanship; in fact one street 
was under construction, and so raw was the poor work that 
the Poles were threatening the lives of the workmen. This 
resulted in my interviewing all the inspectors and workmen 
on the different improvements and collecting evidence which 
I turned over to the state's attorney, who would not give me 
any assistance. 

I have stopped election after election, where the grafters 
tried to turn West Hammond into a city. I have stopped 
rotten paving and been kicked by policemen controlled by the 
clique and thrown into jail and persecuted by the friends of 
the grafters. I have had judgments against me by judges 
that were hired by them and almost every indignity waged 
against me to the naming of the worst dive here, the "Vir- 
ginia" Buffet. In spite of the grafters, I have succeeded in 
electing to office this spring an entire active anti-graft ticket 
and at the coming meeting of the board will close down all of 
the notorious dives in West Hammond. I have saved for the 
Poles nearly $21,000 on reductions of over-charged assess- 
ments. I have succeeded in ousting an old clique who for 
years had been grafting on the school board, and being 
elected myself to the office of president. This means that I 
will introduce into the neglected school, manual training, do- 
mestic science, free night school, free kindergarten, and a 

I have established a settlement house in Hammond, Ind., 
right across the state line, where the boys and girls have 
night classes, and where mothers who work can take their 
babies for care. There are some 32,000 Poles in this region 
and the future looks to great achievement. 

The logical outcome of the deep and intelligent interest 
in public affairs shown by women, the suffragists say, is 


the possession of the instrument which crystallizes public 
opinion into effective governmental action — the ballot. In 
as many as twelve states, nearly one-fourth of the United 
States, the women now have the suffrage. That they exer- 
cise their rights with as much discrimination and thought- 
fulness as men, to say the least, is the testimony of more 
than one competent observer. Writing in The Survey, on 
March 21, 1914, Graham Taylor said of women in elections: 

Illinois and Chicago give the country the most significant 
test of women's voting. . . . 

As registration is required only in larger places, the figures 
for the state cannot be given at this writing, but in Chicago 
217,614 women registered at their first opportunity. Added 
to the 455,283 men on the polling lists, these new voters in- 
creased the electorate to 672,897 voters, the largest number 
registered in any city in the United States. 

At the primaries the women's votes came within i per cent, 
of equaling the men's. At the election the women polled, at 
the lowest count of the police returns, before the official re- 
vision, 158,686 or 73 per cent, of their registered voters, while 
the men's votes numbered 328,987 or yz per cent, of their 
registrations This is conceded by all concerned to be a very 
favorable showing for the women at their first registration 
and election. It ought to dispel the conjecture that few 
women want to vote or will not vote, if given the right, 
whether they seek it or not. 

Next as to the test of the way they will vote. In the in- 
creased number and classification of candidates for the city 
council and in the decision required upon no less than twelve 
measures of great public importance by the "little ballot" 
measuring no less than 40 by 12 inches of solidly printed 
matter, this election exacted of ail Chicago voters as great 
discrimination as they had ever been required to make. It 
therefore severely tested the interest and intelligence of all 
new voters, especially women who had hitherto had so much 
less occasion than men to consider closely such subjects. 
How did they stand the test? 

The aldermanic candidates numbered 154, each ward hav- 
ing from two to seven names to choose from, and designated 


as Democrats, Republicans, Progressives, Prohibitionists, So- 
cialists, Independents and Non-partisans. . . . 

The votes of the women which were awaited with equal 
eagerness by partisan leaders and by the rank and file of 
those who had hitherto constituted the non-partisan balance 
of power, tended decidedly toward non-partisanship. The 
newspapers agreed with the Municipal Voters' League in 
crediting the women with electing no less than seven of the 
better candidates and with wielding their power either to 
defeat or lessen the majority of many more undesirable can- 

While eight women were candidates for the city council 
no one of them expected to be elected, but each entered the 
lists to make an educational campaign. Two of these cam- 
paigns were especially noteworthy. Marion K. Drake led the 
forlorn hope in running against the notorious alderman, 
"Bathhouse John" Coughlin who for over twenty years has 
disgraced the first ward and city of Chicago by exploiting 
the floating vote of the lodging-houses. Her spirited cam- 
paign against his character and the conditions for which he 
stands was well supported by many of the most influential men 
and women of the city, and resulted in doubling the vote 
cast against him as compared with that of two years ago. 
With 7,355 men voting in that ward, and only a few more than 
3,000 women, this is a good showing although nearly 600 
more women voted for the discredited man than for the 
worthy woman candidate, which is not surprising in view of 
the dependence of the underworld upon its patrons. 

In the great cosmopolitan tenement house family ward, 
surrounding the Northwestern University Settlement, its 
head resident, Harriet E. Vittum, made a most effective edu- 
cational campaign. Her slogans were "For the babies," 
"For the school children," "For the working boys and girls," 
"For men and women," under each of which she grouped the 
better home conditions and municipal policies for which she 
asked votes. A house to house canvass among the foreign 
people, rousing mass meetings with many men speaking for 
her in the foreign languages and a children's parade of many 
hundreds of little boys and girls were some of the features 
of the campaign. That any woman in such a "man's world" 


as this ward has been could have secured 1,421 votes, the 
number next highest to that of the reelected alderman speaks 
highly for her candidacy. 

In deciding the important public measures, including heavy 
bonded issues, the women showed as intelligent discrimina- 
tion as the men. In proportion as these propositions were 
actually most dangerous or doubtful, they were overwhelm- 
ingly defeated — notably a discredited subway scheme, a sus- 
picious county hospital bond issue, and some city bond issues 
for purposes for which other funds are available. 

Many women served as clerks and judges of election 
throughout the city, with two noteworthy results — that their 
services were highly commended by the election commis- 
sioners and that every woman official reported the most con- 
siderate and decorous speech and conduct upon the part of 
the men during registration and election days. The leading 
election commissioner issued the following statement on the 
morning after election: "Chicago women are again tu be 
congratulated as an influence for good in politics. Their 
presence was like oil on the turbulent waters in every pre- 
cinct of every ward in which there were bitter clashes. In 
no precinct did the presence and activity of women in the 
political contest make them mannish. There was less drunk- 
enness around the polling places than there has been in years, 
because the practical politicians knew that drunken workers 
around a polling place would drive away the vote of the 
women for their candidates. Today's election really demon- 
strated that elections and government have been brought 
closer to the home. The women have shown that. Above 
all, the women in all walks of life and in all parties proved 
they are interested in and appreciate their duty." 

Mary E. McDowell who led the fight for a better candidate 
who almost won out in the stockyards district had this to say: 
"After nineteen years I thought I knew my ward. But I 
never really began to know it till I came to experience this 
great new neighborliness which has come to all of us women 
through the political work of the election." 

Jane Addams, who was judge of election in her own pre- 
cinct surrounding Hull House, said: "I was amazed at the 
way the women of my own ward had informed themselves. 


Of the 159 women registered in the precinct, 139 voted. The 
women in every ward of the city showed that they had an 
intelligent understanding of the issues. I think it was a 
great thing to have women in Chicago brave enough to run 
in this aldermanic election and to be willing to face the prob- 
able defeat. There was something very exhilarating, some- 
thing very young and courageous in the willingness of a 
woman to tackle the fight against Alderman Coughlin. It has 
undoubtedly been a red-letter day for women, this first day 
of voting." 

Women's votes down state get full credit from both the 
politicians and the newspapers, not to say the liquor dealers, 
for having put out of business 946 saloons in 114 incorporated 
cities and villages. In 29 more the vote to remain dry rolled 
up a majority of 8,888, aggregating a total dry vote in these 
districts of 35,462. While the liquor forces carried 60 cities 
and villages and thus kept them "wet," they failed to win a 
single township which was dry prior to the election. In some 
places, as at Springfield, women's votes helped swell the ma- 
jority for the saloons. But in a total vote estimated at 
200,000 cast on the saloon issue outside Chicago, where the 
issue was not raised, the Chicago Tribune figures that 100,000 
were cast by women and that 65 per cent, of these were 
against the saloon. 

Clearly in anticipation of women's voting in Chicago, an 
ordinance was passed by the Chicago City Council abolishing 
the "family entrance" and "ladies' entrance" signs from 
saloons. This action was not opposed by the liquor interests 
represented by the vigilant and aggressive United Societies. 
To the representative women who promoted this action, one 
of the most notorious of Chicago's aldermen, who for many 
years has led the forces for evil in the city council, once a 
majority and now a hopeless minority, declared: "You are 
doing a noble work, ladies ; you should now clean up the 
dance halls." 

The handwriting seems to be on the walls, the enemies of 
the good themselves being judges. 

Lest Graham Taylor may be considered a partial witness, 
we submit the two following extracts from the Nezv York 


Times on the Chicago women voters, for no one accuses 
that paper of being a feminist advocate: 

Chicago's first election since women could vote there will 
doubtless receive much study and doubtless excite much com- 
ment. Doubtless, also, the comment will vary as widely as 
do opinions regarding the propriety and the expediency of 
woman suffrage. 

Some people, of course, will lay much stress on the fact 
that, of the 217,000 women who registered, only 100,000 were 
sufficiently interested in the election, in spite of all the talk 
there has been about it, to go to the polls. The fact, how- 
ever, that slightly less than 50 per cent, of the women voters 
failed to do their duty — or to exercise their privilege, if one 
chooses to look at it that way — must be interpreted in the 
Hght of the other fact, that only slightly more than 50 per 
cent, of the registered men took the trouble to vote. This, in 
ordinary circumstances, would be taken as showing that popu- 
lar concern about the result of the election was not keen ; but 
the circumstances were not ordinary, and the suffragists will 
find it difficult to explain, and still more difficult to excuse, 
the conduct of their stay-at-homes. 

That all the woman candidates were defeated, and with the 
biggest majorities by their least reputable rivals, is another 
mystery for which many and various solutions will probably 
be offered. 

But what does stand clearly out of these mists of uncer- 
tainty is that Chicago has struck a heavy, perhaps fatal, blow 
at the belief so confidently expressed by every suffragist that 
the woman voters in any community would stand together and 
exert, whether successfully or not, all their influence in behalf 
of the causes that especially interested them as a sex. There 
is no evidence or even hint of such solidarity in these returns. 
The woman vote w^as a divided one, and evidently divided 
along just the lines, good and bad, with which men have 
made us familiar. 

The stories of women who did and said foolish things at 
the polls could all be paralleled by like stories of men, and 
are without significance. The important revelation is that 
the women will not vote as women — a revelation reassuring 


or disquieting according to whether one wants thera to do 
that or not. 

Is it possible that Gov. Glynn can have kept a straight face 
while he was saying, writing, or dictating the statement that 
the vote cast on the Constitutional Convention question on 
Tuesday "plainly shows that the people desire a revision of 
the Constitution" ? Who are the "people" ? Can one-fifth of 
the legal voters of the State of New York be called the peo- 
ple? At the Presidential election in 1912 there were cast in • 
round numbers 1,600,000 votes. On the constitutional issue 
on Tuesday there were cast in round numbers 300,000. There 
was nothing lacking either in the importance of the issue or 
in the opportunity for the voter to express his will. Cer- 
tainly, few things are more important than the organic law 
of the State, and the polls were open during the statutory 
hours. Yet more than four-fifths of the voters did not take 
interest enough in the matter to go to the polls. 

The women suffragists are welcome to all the advantage 
they may gain, and any taunts and gibes they may direct 
against the male voters because of Tuesday's election will be 
freely forgiven. Women would have striven in vain to do 
anything sillier, and had the administration of public affairs 
been in the control of babes in pinafores the ordering of this 
election on Tuesday would have been discreditable to their 

Where limited suffrage prevails as in Des Moines, Iowa, 
telegrams like this in the Chicago Post of March 30, 1914, 
are illuminating. It is entitled "Women Prove a Factor in 
Municipal Vote": 

Voters were out early in the municipal election here today 
and by noon it was freely predicted in official circles that the 
largest total of ballots since the commission form of govern- 
ment became effective will have been cast when the polls close. 

The activity of women in connection with the proposition 
of municipal ownership of the waterworks system was a 
distinct feature of the voting. Under the law, women are 
permitted the ballot on bond questions. In several of the 


residence precincts women were in line when the polls 
opened at seven o'clock. 

In our survey of women's varied municipal activities, we 
have had occasion to mention many instances of their hold- 
ing official positions of one kind or another, and no one can 
be found who would deny the special aptitudes of women 
for certain municipal posts. Doubtless there are some offices 
for which women are specially fitted, just as there are some 
offices for which men are specially fitted. But office-holding 
in general is still under dispute. Nevertheless, there are 
plenty of advocates who claim that the wider participation 
of women in government, through the occupancy of tech- 
nical positions, is for the public good. 

Ten years ago in the San Francisco Bulletin there ap- 
peared the following editorial on "Why Women Should Be 
in Municipal Offices" : 

The days of chivalry are no more, and though that means 
that young women no longer occupy their days at something 
called a lattice, embroidering sashes to tie about the middles 
of queer young men in boiler plate, it is probable that even 
they do not regret the loss, though He is now nothing more 
than a member in good standing of the Retail Clerks' Union. 

Men have been willing, for a wonderfully long time, that 
women should work — provided it was for small pay and did 
not imply any reputation or a possible swelling up beyond the 
nice, faithful limits of their sphere. And this not because 
men are mean — but because they are slow. They have even 
permitted certain emoluments and rewards of merit to accrue 
to certain professions — like those of nursing sick or spoiled 
children of larger and smaller growth, and school ma'aming 
— for which they had neither much taste nor aptitude. 

It has also been cheerfully and generously conceded that 
in the matter of minor housekeeping affairs women could be 
trusted to get along, and the abominable lack of spirit shown 
by the weak provisions of the civil service, that do not seem 
to take natural laws into consideration, has proven that these 
fair creatures can so far fors^et themselves in their heaven- 


and-man-appointed task of ministering angel as to actually 
take and pass common and vulgar examinations, and to follow 
up their effrontery by accepting and holding certain places of 
public trust and drawing their pay regularly therefor, \yhat 
wonder then that when the very old story of the inch and the 
ell is being enacted men of tender municipal conscience 
tremble and turn pale. 

Men expect "graft" in their city halls; they do not look for 
the enforcement of ordinances in disfavor with the "gang"; 
they expect to have the streets swept when the winds come; 
they bear witness that a man is a good fellow when he re- 
members his friends and relatives by place and power; they 
are accustomed to suffer with much noise and pay their taxes 
in silence; above all they constantly make good their calling 
as the sex that recognizes logic with the naked eye. For 
when a notorious politician follows his luck with a notorious 
political regime in the institutions of his state they actually 
hold him and his appointer responsible, and strangely enough 
seldom say anything about his sex. 

Let but another individual — a woman individual — make the 
mistakes inherent in human nature — in an appointive position 
— and the most logical and the kindest man one knows will 
refer the whole thing finally and forever to — her sex. 

If, however, it were possible that logic was not the inborn 
and native possession of every man and might have to be 
learned, a little tale from an English schoolroom can be 
warmly recommended, for out of the mouth of babes and little 
girls cometh occasional wisdom. 

The little girl was given the following proposition as a "test 
of her reasoning powers" : 

French people are excitable, so are Italians; so all foreign- 
ers are excitable. Is this true ? 

And this little illogically sexed miss replied: "It does not 
follow that every member of a family is mad because two 

There is perhaps nothing a man does with such good will 
and in which good will counts for so little as his struggle to 
be fair to womankind. He often succeeds admirably when 
they are not his own. Freedom of opportunity, the develop- 
ment of the individual common fair play, all, all find ship- 


wreck against convention and instinct when it is the wife or 
the daughter. 

Women have not been either kind or considerate in the 
matter. Quite an appreciable number have wholly ceased to 
cry aloud about their rights or wrongs and have quietly pre- 
pared themselves for holding higher positions of trust. In 
rashly independent cities like Chicago, or sexless ones like 
Boston, they are holding them freely. They are calmly, 
almost judicially, inspecting factories and collecting statistics 
of child labor. They are inspecting tenements, garbage, 
streets and schools. They are sitting unmoved and silent 
upon boards of all sorts, almost as if they were useful and 
comfortable there. They are getting parks placed and play- 
grounds graded and drinking cups sterilized and foods puri- 
fied and milk renovated and babies fed — officially. The fact 
of this wider employment of women in the higher municipal 
duties marks a certain state of growth and an emergence from 

When a municipality has arrived at the stage when it really 
wants the best return for its money it always has employed 
some of the pottering sex. It does not get sentimental and 
expect or want any perfection. It has entirely discarded the 
"ministering angel — thou" attitude. It assumes that under 
a true democracy a part of the people who pay its taxes may 
have a not unreasonable wish to take an active part in its ad- 
ministration, and when it can get such people — fairly faithful, 
often amply efficient and willing — it takes them where they 

For five years the city of Los Angeles has had a municipal 
nurse. It is only justice to her to say that she neither knew 
nor intended it. But when three women who knew the ardent 
need of such a person appeared before the supervisors and 
asked for one they forgot to be logical and used their com- 

There are trained women in San Francisco who are ready 
today to conduct school inspection after the manner in which 
it has been done in New York and with like wonderful results 
could they be sure — not of money reward — but of simple 
recognition and authority. For herein is the ultimate triumph 
of man. He has loved to have womankind work for so long 


that at last she has learned her al)iding task, the famous 
"work that is never done" — to work for love. 

The hour must come when women will occupy in proportion 
all these higher municipal posts. They will be found ready 
as soon as the men are found who are ready to give them their 
opportunity. It is not contended that they will be better or 
wiser, but that they will take a more intelligent and lasting 
interest and that there will always be certain things where 
children are concerned which they will know more and care 
more about than men. 

The chief good will come finally in the chance for freedom 
and for growth under a democracy where a few mistakes are 
counted of less moment than lack of fair play. 

The prediction that women would be found in all manner 
of ofiices has come true. The following is an incomplete 
list of offices which women have held or are now holding: ^ 

City Treasurer. 
County Treasurer. 
City Comptroller. 
City Recorder. 
City Clerk. 
County Clerk. 

■Juvenile Court. 
Of the Peace. 
Deputy Probate. 
Police Magistrate. 
City Attorney. 

Deputy Clerk of the U. S. District Courts. 
Health officer. 

'City chemist. 
City bacteriologist. 

City physician and quarantine officer. 
Head of hospital. 
School inspector and physician. 

^ For further important statistics see The National Municipal Review. 





Police Matron. 

Civil Service Commissioner. 

City Factory Inspector. 

City Market Inspector. 

Street Inspector. 

Superintendent of Public Buildings. 



Civic Improvement. 


Municipal Housekeeping. 



Members of special commissions- 

Members of school boards. 

School Superintendent (495 in 1912 were women). 

City Commissioner. 


Members of election boards and clerks of election. 

Fire Inspector. 

Commissioner of Corrections. 

Examining Inspector for Bureau of Municipal Investiga- 
tion and Inspection. 

Advisory Council to Mayors. 

Confidential Secretary to the Mayor. 

Even in the field of technical finance, which is supposed to 
be somewhat outside of woman's interest (although in view 
of her household budgetary experience, we know not why) 
we find women doing efficient and telling work. To select 
a single example, we may take Mrs. Mathilde Coffin Ford, 
of New York City, whose labors are thus described in a re- 
cent issue of The American City by Frank Parker Stock- 
bridge : 

In the government of New York, the greatest city of the 
western world, women play a much more important part than 
is known to the public — a more important part than they have 


in the government of any other city in this country. Their 
part in and influence upon the government of New York is 
constantly increasing, and the results are good. 

A woman is superintendent of schools in Chicago, but she 
hasn't a word to say about spending the taxpayers' money 
upon the schools. She has to take what is voted to her. A 
man is superintendent of schools in New York City, but here 
it is a woman who tells him how much money he can have 
to run his schools with. And she isn't stingy, either, because 
she lets him have something over forty million dollars each 
and every year to compete with the motion pictures. 

The woman who exercises such an amazing financial power 
is Mrs. Mathilde Coffin Ford, examining inspector for the 
Bureau of Municipal Investigation and Statistics. Forty 
millions a year for one woman to spend — and she receives 
a salary of $3,500 a year ! Judge Gary, head of the Steel 
Trust, gets $100,000 a year for spending less, and certainly 
accomplishing less. 

Of course, strictly and legally speaking, Mrs. Ford doesn't 
have the whole say-so of those forty millions a year; but in 
reality that is just what she does. Not one dollar is spent 
by the Board of Estimate upon the school systerh unless Mrs. 
Ford has looked into the proposed expenditure, studied the 
possible educational result, reported favorably upon it, and 
drafted (for the Comptroller to sign) a resolution authorizing 
it. Thus, you see, Mrs. Ford knows what every w^oman 
knows, how to keep the purse strings firmly and to let the man 
think he is really doing the spending. Mrs. Ford is the 
housew^ife of the city's educational system, a kind of magni- 
fied housewife, simply doing on a huge scale and with mar- 
velously sharpened feminine powers what any janitor's wife 
in any schoolhouse under Mrs. Ford's control does for her 

Take an instance. Mrs. Ford is now drafting the corporate 
stock budget for the educational system. The Superintendent 
of Schools has asked for forty-six new buildings in the five 
boroughs and named the sites that he wants. His requests 
have been referred to Mrs. Ford. All the requests of parents 
and neighborhood improvement clubs on the same subject 
have been referred to Mrs. Ford. In three months Mrs. 


Ford has found time to slip out of her office and go shopping 
on the matter of new schools. She has gone to every one of 
the proposed sites. She has studied the educational need of 
the given neighborhoods. Her judgment outweighing the 
Superintendent's, she has, with her woman's small hands, 
lifted some of the proposed buildings bodily out of the pro- 
posed sites and placed them elsewhere, where schools seemed 
to her to be more needed. In each case she framed up a 
report embodying her reasons, which the Comiptroller sol- 
emnly signed without more ado, and which the Board of 
Estimate will act upon without much ado. Thus Mrs. Ford 
did about twelve million dollars' worth of shopping. 

In the fall Mrs. Ford spends a great deal more money. 
That is the time for drafting the tax budget, or maintenance 
budget. Something over thirty millions of dollars are spent 
annually in maintaining the schools at their given efficiency. 
Last fall the Department of Education asked for thirty-three 
millions, submitting a detailed report of how they intended to 
spend the money. Mrs. Ford had to go over every item. 
When she got through she had pared down the estimate to 
thirty millions, and that was after she had allowed for a more 
liberal expenditure in some items where she thought the 
policy of the department niggardly. 

Thpse two instances do not begin to show Mrs. Ford's com- 
plete range of authority. She fixes compensation for all em- 
ployees of the Department of Education, save those of the 
teachers. She keeps track of all the funds and accounts of 
the Department, recommends changes from time to time in 
the financial arrangements for spending the money voted. 
She follows the course of the legislation at Albany which 
affects the school system in the city. In short, she more than 
any other person is the public school system of New York 

Back of all this power are years of experience in school 
work. Mrs. Ford has headed nearly every sort of school in 
the country, and was for years nominally Assistant Superin- 
tendent and really Superintendent of Schools of Detroit. She 
has delivered over four thousand lectures to teachers' asso- 
ciations, telling them then, as now she tells New York, how 
to run a school system. Mrs. Ford knows how. It was no 


fluke that gave a woman such a strategic position in the city's 

Whether or not they are concerned in holding offices them- 
selves, women have taken an interest in the character of the 
officers charged with every kind of public function. Civil 
service reform is one of the earliest changes espoused by 
women. Their first paths beyond the home threshold led 
them into fields of relief, correction, and labor where their 
home training in thrift was rudely shocked at the extrava- 
gance and irresponsibility which they met among officials in 
public institutions and in city positions. 

In 1896 women appeared before the annual meetings of 
the National Civil Service Reform League to make ad- 
dresses. In that year Mrs. Charles Russell Lowell spoke 
on the "Relation of Women to the Movement for Reform 
in the Civil Service," and her speech helped to stimulate 
the belief in men that the help of women was of impor- 
tance, and to inspire women to a sense of their own useful- 
ness in this direction. Soon after that women like Mrs. 
Oakley of the Federation of Clubs appeared at the sessions 
to report work of clubwomen and carry back to them from 
the National Civil Service Reform League some inspiration 
for further effort. It was not long before women as well as 
men began to urge greater interest in civil service reform 
at conferences of charities and corrections and similar 
assemblies. Women's auxiliaries to civil service reform 
associations are now quite common. There are also com- 
mittees on civil service reform connected with the Associa- 
tion of Collegiate Alumnae, patriotic societies, and kindred 
associations. The Women's Municipal League of New 
York and the Women's Auxiliary of the National Civil 
Service Reform League have a joint committee for the 
promotion of education along this line and for the continual 
study of the problem. 

A definite impetus to join in the movement for civil 
service reform was given to club women in 1900 at their 


Biennial Convention in Milwaukee when the following plea 
for their activity in this direction was made: 

How cowardly and shallow a cry is this one we raise from 
time to time — "Keep out of politics our school systems, our 
public institutions for the dependent and unfortunate citizens 
of our cities and states." What does this mean? It means, 
keep these great moral responsibilities out of the hands of 
those elected to assume such responsibility. 

Is this the attitude of a people free to choose those who 
are to serve them? 

Even if you should deliberately plan to withdraw from 
politics the great interests of which we have spoken, respon- 
sibility for which is the training of the individual and the 
race; if you could wish to condemn our political life to dry 
rot, you cannot do it. The tendency is to put those things 
more and more under the jurisdiction of governments. 

Let us change our cry. Let us say, 'Turify and strengthen 
our political life that it may be the worthy custodian of our 
deepest interests." 

It was such a natural, inevitable step for the women who 
had taken such an interest in industrial and sanitary prob- 
lems to see that the enforcement of the laws relating thereto 
must be in the hands of competent men and women. A 
Committee on Civil Service was added as one of the stand- 
ing committees of the general federation and it was not long 
until each state, as well as some of the city federations, had 
its civil service committee. 

While individual clubs have continued to report that this 
movement proceeded slowly owing to the insistence of many 
women that civil service work meant politics, an ever-in- 
creasing number of women, whether they believe in women 
entering politics themselves or not, have felt that they 
must agitate for proper responsibility on the part of those 
chosen as guardians of every interest the women have 

While insisting upon proper civil appointments, women 


have not been indifferent to the need for trained men and 
women for public service. The Women's Auxiliary of the 
Civil Service Reform Association and the New York Bureau 
of Municipal Research have taken up the problem of a 
closer relation of the public educational system and public 
service with a view to the development of the training for 
public service in municipal schools and colleges. 

Naturally such movements do not ignore the opportunities 
for women in the public serv'ice and the necessity of pro- 
viding adequate training for them. Indeed the work of 
women in bureaus of municipal research in New York 
and elsewhere is an evidence of the desire on the part of 
women for training in public service and demonstrates 
woman's ability to adapt herself to the requirements of 
that training. The New York Bureau has had nineteen 
women in the two and a half years of its existence and 
its last report (1914) tells of their assignments and the 
positions they now fill. As city positions are generally 
accorded first to men, their present offices are no final 
estimate of comparative efficiency. The "Budget and the 
Citizen" by Mary Sayles and "Helping School Children" 
by Elsa Denison are two of the noteworthy contributions 
of the New York Bureau. Finally, it is to a woman, Mrs. 
E. H. Harriman, that the Training School for Public Ser- 
vice connected with the Bureau owes its origin. 

With woman's interest awakened to every need of mod- 
ern municipal life and her mind trained to do high and 
efficient public service, may we not look forward with 
firmer confidence to the day when Mayor Baker's dream shall 
be fulfilled: 

"The patriot's dream 
That sees beyond the years 

Thine alabaster cities gleam 
Undimmed bv human tears." 


Abatement law, 109 
Abattoir, municipal, '/:iy 
Administration, 319 
Aid, first, 95; legal, 279 
Aliens. See Immigrants and 

Assimilation of races 
Art, in schools, 12; munic- 
ipal, 293 
Assimilation of races, 170 
Associations. See Leagues 
and Women's clubs 

Babies. See Child welfare 

and Infant mortality 
Baths, public, 82 
Blind, education of, 21 
Budget, city, 88, 96, 166, 332, 

Child welfare, better baby 
contests and, 59; children 
born out of wedlock, 68; 
delinquency and, 281, 282; 
elements of, 65 ; ice and, 
64; milk and, 59; mothers' 
pensions and, 252; social 
service and, 226, 233. See 
also Exhibits 

Children's bureau, 57 

Civil service, in general, 335 ; 

in public welfare work, 

City planning, 218, 293 
Clean-up crusades, 84 
Clinics, dental, 48; medical, 
270; psycopathic, 276; tu- 
berculosis, 48 
Clubs, women's, and assimi- 
lation of aliens, 196; and 
child welfare, 65; and civ- 
ic improvement, 303; and 
clean-up, 85; and fire pro- 
tection, 287; and food, 74; 
and garbage, 88; and hous- 
ing, 208; and juvenile de- 
linquency, 269; and laun- 
dries, 83; and milk, 62; 
and prison reform, 285; 
and public baths, 82; and 
sanitation, 87; and smoke, 
92; and the social evil, 97; 
and social service, 224; 
and vital statistics, 57; and 
water, 79 
Commissions, charity, 232 ; 
food, yy ; housing, 206 ; im- 
migration, 197; mothers' 
pensions, 251-253; play- 
ground, 136; recreation, 





Corrections, 259 
Crime. See Corrections 
Cripples, education of, 16 

Dance halls, 139 

Defectives, education of, 17; 
marriage and parenthood 
of, 69; and probation, 264 

Delinquents, literature on, 
249. See also Corrections, 
Juvenile courts, and Rec- 

Democracy, in health, 46; in 
schools, 39; political, 321; 
social and industrial, 182 

Detention homes, 261 

Disease, contagious, 48; oc- 
cupational, 50 

Dispensaries, 48 

Domestic science, among 
foreign \vt)men, 177; in 
schools, II, 12. 

Drama, in general, 152; in 
schools, 12; in suppression 
of social evil, 124 

Drugs, pure, 78 

Education, 1-44; associations 
in, 40; curricula in, 11; 
equal pay for teachers, 3; 
equal, 3 ; experiments in, 
10-39; influence in meth- 
ods of, 4, 6, 9; in school 
administration, 6; women 
teachers and, 3; libraries 
and, 43. See each suc- 
ceeding chapter for educa- 

tion of public in special 

Employment, Boston Bureau 
of, 28 

Enforcement of laws, with 
respect to food, yT, ; with 
respect to health, 96; with 
respect to smoke, 91 ; with 
respect to vice, 114; with 
respect to housing, 216; 
with respect to good gov- 
ernment, 320 

Federations. See Leagues 
and Clubs 

Finance, city, 332 

Fire, clean-up crusades and, 
84; protection from, 287 

First aid, 95 

Flies, y2, 92 

Food, pure, 70 

Foreigners, education of, 22, 
171 ; protection of, 177 

Fourth of July demonstra- 
tions, 156 

Garbage, 88 
Gardens, school, 23 
Government, 319 

Health, civic improvement 
and, 293; housing and, 52; 
public, 45-96 

Homes, and sex hygiene, 
128; family visitation for 
health, 51 ; in mill towns, 
249; homelessncss, 249; of 



negroes, 210; pro - natal 
visiting of, 60; for work- 
ing women, 201 

Hospitals, 47; social service 
work of, 51 

Housing, 199-219; health and, 
52; literature on, 249; and 
mothers' pensions, 252; of 
negroes, 187 

Hygiene, and housing, 218; 
opposition to sex, 113; sex, 
15. 48 

Ice, 6s 

Immigrants, legal protection 
of, 279. See Assimilation 
of races 

Infant mortality, district 
nurse and, 55 ; federal bu- 
reau and, 57; ice and, 6^; 
milk and, 59; poverty and, 
61; official control of, 56; 
of illegitimate children, 68; 
study of, 58 

Inspectors, of fire peril, 290; 
of food, 71 ; of housing, 
204; of sanitation, 86 

Investigations, of prisons, 
278. See also Surveys 

Judges, women as, 2^^ 
Juvenile courts, resemblance 

of, to truant school, 22; 

work for establishment of, 

Juvenile leagues, housing, 

216. See also Leagues 

Kindergartens, 10 

Labor, attitude of settlements 
toward, 182; of the child, 
41 ; and child welfare, 100; 
and city government, 320; 
conditions of, 94; and fire 
protection, 287; food of 
workers, 74; immigrant 
and, 170; immigrant girl 
and, 171 ; in times of 
strike, 178; literature of, 
248; and mothers' pensions, 
252; of the mother, 61; 
negro and, 170, 184; public 
responsibility for condi- 
tions of, 242; social evil 
and, 118 

Laundries, public, 8;^ 

Leagues, and assimilation of 
races, 196; and charity, 
228; and civic improve- 
ment, 297 ; and clean 
streets, 84; and housing, 
204; junior, 87, 95; and 
pure food, 71 ; and pure 
water, 81 ; and recreation, 
134; and smoke, 91; and 
vice, 102, 125 

Legislation, for blind, 20; 
and corrections, 2/6; for 
defectives, 19; and hous- 
ing, 250; for safety, 156; 
social, 255; and the social 
evil, loi, 281 ; and social 
welfare, 250 

Librarians, social work of, 23 



Libraries, 43 

Literature, on aliens, 171 ; on 
education, 20-42; on health, 
51-96; on housing, 208; on 
pageantry, 158; on social 
centers, 163; on the social 
evil, 124; on social and in- 
dustrial investigations, 248. 
(In no sense a bibliogra- 

Manual training, introduced 
into schools, 13 

Milk, bottle, versus breast 
feeding, 60; as an eco- 
nomic question, 61 ; ele- 
ments of problem, 6^; mu- 
nicipalization of sale of, 
62; pure, 59 

Milk stations, 60 

Movies, censorship of, 148; 
effects of, 147; in sanita- 
tion, 90; and the social 
evil, 125 

Music, in schools, 12; for 
public recreation, 143 

Negroes, assimilation f , 
183; in cities, 170; defec- 
tive, 21; and housing, 21; 
recreation for, 146 

Noise, in cities, 93, 94 

Nurseries, day, 84 

Nursing, colored vi^omen and, 
56; district, 53; household, 
55; industrial, 55; munic- 

ipal, 55 ; and pre-natal care, 
60 ; school, 55 ; wet, 62 

Occupations, diseases of, 50; 
medical care in, 51; of ne- 
groes, 184. See also Vo- 
cations and Labor 

Organizations. See Leagues 

Office-holding, 328 

Pageants, 153 
Parental schools, 22, 270 
Parks. See Art, municipal 
Physical training, for girls, 

14; in general, 13 
Playgrounds, 131 
Police matrons, 265 
Police women, 266, 286 
Politics, charity and, 231 ; 
city government and, 319; 
civic improvement and, 
298 ; corrections and police 
and, 266; health and, 46; 
juvenile courts and, 271 ; 
probation and, 264 ; schools 
and, 9, 10, 38; social ser- 
vice and, 237; vice and, 
106; water and, 79. See 
also Social evil 
Posture, 95 

Poverty, charity and, 240; 
education and, 25 ; extent 
of interest in, 260; food 
and, 6y; health and, 83; 
housing and, 218; infant 
mortality and, 61 ; the so- 



cial evil and, loo; some re- 
sults of, 236 

Prevention, among Jewish 
immigrants, 180; of char- 
ity, 221 ; of delinquency, 
132; of dependency, 250; 
of disease, 49; of the so- 
cial evil, 118 

Probation, 261 

Prostitution. See Social evil 

Recreation, 131-169; and de- 
linquency, 282 
Red Cross seals, 48 

Safety, in general, 287; on 
streets, 139 

Sanitation, inspection, 86 ; of 
manufactured goods, 223 ; 
surveys on, 86. See also 
Clean-up crusades 

School buildings, 36 

Schools, decoration of, 37; 
for delinquents, 276; and 
immigrants, 175 ; inspection 
of, 37; lunches in, 65 ; open 
air, 49 ; for public servants, 
337; as social centers, 158 

Settlements, 39, 182 

Sex hygiene, 15, 48, 125 

Smoke, 91 

Social centers, 158 

Social evil, 97, 180, 252; 
and corrections, 260 ; and 
courts, 273; and legisla- 
tion, 282 

Societies. See Leagues 

Social service, 220-258; 
among aliens, 182; and 
corrections, 266; in hospi- 
tals, 51; as prevention of 
social evil, 118; and pro- 
bation, 264; through milk 
stations, 61 

Streets, factors in problem 
of, 87. See also Clean-up 

Suffrage for women, activity 
of suffragists, 106; argu- 
ment for, 321 ; and civic 
improvement, 299; defense 
of voters, 322; and juve- 
nile delinquency, 272; needs 
of, 47, 80; and social ser- 
vice, 257; voters and the 
social evil, 109 

Surveys, of aliens, 171, 196; 
of housing, 202; of ne- 
groes, 183; recreational, 
140; sanitary, 86 

Temperance, in school study, 
12; work of W. C. T. U., 

Truant schools, 22 

Tuberculosis, clinics for 
treatment of, 48; hospital 
provision for, 48; preven- 
tion of, 49 

Vacation schools, 22 
Vice. See Social evil 



Visiting teachers, 24 
Vital statistics, 57 
Vocational guidance, 2.^ 
Vocational training, 13-36 
reasons for, 236 

Voters, women. See Politics 
and Suffrage 

White slave traffic, 180. See 
also Social evil 



HQ1236.B3 ^^^^ 

Woman's work <n municipalities 

1 17n DDEMe bE3^ 






771 Commonwealth Ave. 
Boston, Mass. 02215