Quotations From JANE ADDAMS


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  • [The Settlement House] must be grounded in a philosophy whose foundation is on the solidarity of the human race, a philosophy which will not waver when the race happens to be represented by a drunken woman or an idiot boy.
    Jane Addams (1860-1935), U.S. social worker and social reformer. Twenty Years at Hull-House, ch. 6 (1910). From a lecture, "The Subjective Necessity for Social Settlements," delivered in 1892 at a summer school run by the Ethical Culture Society. Addams was the founding director of Hull-House, a pioneer "settlement house" in a poor, largely immigrant, Chicago neighborhood.

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  • I dreamed night after night that everyone in the world was dead excepting myself, and that upon me rested the responsibility of making a wagon wheel.
    Jane Addams (1860-1935), U.S. settlement house founder and social reformer. Twenty Years at Hull-House, ch. 2 (1910). Describing an experience that she had at age six, in her hometown of Cedarville, Illinois.

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  • A Settlement is above all a place for enthusiasms, a spot to which those who have a passion for the equalization of human joys and opportunities are early attracted.
    Jane Addams (1860-1935), U.S. social worker and social reformer. Twenty Years at Hull-House, ch. 9 (1910). Addams was the founding director of Hull-House, a pioneer "settlement house" in a poor, largely immigrant, Chicago neighborhood.

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  • We fatuously hoped that we might pluck from the human tragedy itself a consciousness of a common destiny which should bring its own healing, that we might extract from life's very misfortunes a power of cooperation which should be effective against them.
    Jane Addams (1860-1935), U.S. social worker and social reformer. Twenty Years at Hull-House, ch. 7 (1910). Addams, the white middle-class cofounder twenty-one years earlier of the first American "Settlement House"—Hull-House—in a Chicago tenement district, was recalling her and her colleagues' idealistic, naive early expectations.

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  • Hospitality still survives among foreigners, although it is buried under false pride among the poorest Americans.
    Jane Addams (1860-1935), U.S. social worker and social reformer. Twenty Years at Hull-House, ch. 11 (1910). Addams was the founding director of Hull-House, a pioneer "settlement house" in a poor Chicago neighborhood populated largely by immigrants from Italian and Bohemian peasant backgrounds.

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  • ... this dream that men shall cease to waste strength in competition and shall come to pool their powers of production is coming to pass all over the earth.
    Jane Addams (1860-1935), U.S. social worker and social reformer. Twenty Years at Hull-House, ch. 7 (1910). Addams was the founding director of Hull-House, a pioneer "settlement house" in a poor, largely immigrant, Chicago neighborhood.

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  • With all the efforts made by modern society to nurture and educate the young, how stupid it is to permit the mothers of young children to spend themselves in the coarser work of the world!
    Jane Addams (1860-1935), U.S. social worker and social reformer. Twenty Years at Hull-House, ch. 8 (1910). Addams was the founding director of Hull-House, a pioneer "settlement house" in a poor, largely immigrant, Chicago neighborhood. Here she had in mind poor women who worked long hours in factories out of economic necessity. This is not to say, however, that she would necessarily have approved of more affluent mothers working outside the home at more congenial jobs.

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  • ... if the Settlement seeks its expression through social activity, it must learn the difference between mere social unrest and spiritual impulse.
    Jane Addams (1860-1935), U.S. social worker and social reformer. Twenty Years at Hull-House, ch. 9 (1910). Addams was the founding director of Hull-House, a pioneer "settlement house" in a poor, largely immigrant, Chicago neighborhood.
  • I had a consuming ambition to possess a miller's thumb. I believe I have never since wanted anything more desperately than I wanted my right thumb to be flattened as my father's had become, during his earlier years of a miller's life.
    Jane Addams (1860-1935), U.S. settlement house founder and social reformer. Twenty Years at Hull-House, ch. 1 (1910). Of her early-childhood yearning to be like her father, her mother having died when she was a baby.

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