Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction

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pp. ix-xxi

Grace Abbott led a lifelong fight for justice on behalf of those least able to claim justice for themselves—a cause that she saw as crucial to a larger “struggle for fundamental change” within society as a whole. This belief was central to...

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Edith Abbott and “A Sister’s Memories”

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pp. xxiii-xxvi

Edith Abbott (1876–1957) was the elder sister and lifelong comrade and professional colleague of Grace Abbott. She was also Grace Abbott’s primary biographer (and occasional Boswell) and the source of much information and material...

Grace Abbott: A Biographical Timeline

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pp. xxvii-xxxv

Part I: Immigrants

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Introduction: Hull House Days

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pp. 3-6

“Jane Addams” and “Hull House” were almost magic words to people back in the spring of 1908 when my sister Grace—by now a young political science student at the University of Chicago—was unexpectedly offered the opportunity of a great...

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1. The Immigrant Girl

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pp. 7-9

Any woman can understand the nervous apprehension which the immigrant girl must feel as she comes into one of Chicago’s bewildering railroad stations, but very few realize how well grounded her fears are. Friends and relatives find it impossible...

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2. The Education of Foreigners in American Citizenship

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pp. 10-17

The importance of the task of preparing for American citizenship our yearly additions of foreigners is little appreciated by the American public. In Chicago we have something like thirty-six nationalities represented in our population, and Chicago’s population...

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3. The Immigrant as a Problem in Community Planning

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pp. 18-24

In the discussion of immigration during the past century attention has been concentrated almost wholly on what immigrants we should exclude from the United States and little attention has been given to the admitted immigrant. Since the beginning...

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4. Problems of the Immigrant Girl

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pp. 25-30

As one thinks of this great stream of Polish, Russian, Jewish, Italian, Ruthenian, Lithuanian, and all the other girls who have been coming from the country districts of southern and eastern Europe, one wonders how they had the courage to undertake...

Part II: Children

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Introduction: The Maternity and Infancy Revolution

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pp. 33-38

On a hot Washington day in August 1921, my sister Grace Abbott officially became the highest ranking woman in the United States government, taking her place in the “temporary” make-shift wood-frame building which had been put up...

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5. A Constitutional Amendment

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pp. 39-42

You are shocked to discover that there are more than a million children between ten and fifteen years of age whom census enumerators recorded as “gainfully employed”; that this child labor is confined to no one section of the country, and to no...

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6. Public Protection for Children

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pp. 43-49

I have chosen to speak tonight on the subject of public protection for children not because I have a new program to offer but because, first, public provision is so fundamental in a child-welfare program, and second, . . . legal and political questions...

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7. Perpetuating May Day

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pp. 50-52

The first proclamation made by Mr. Hoover after he became President of the United States was that which he issued on March 25 setting May 1 as National Child Health Day, an occasion for “mobilizing the goodwill of the country toward...

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8. The Next Steps

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pp. 53-56

We look back tonight, not to celebrate the end of child labor—your President has already told you of the work that lies ahead of you. As a matter of fact, we meet at the end of this quarter of a century of effort to take counsel together about the...

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9. Boarding Out

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pp. 57-58

All children are dependent. And all children are problem children. But special provision must be made for those who are dependent upon public or private assistance because of poverty, neglect, ill-treatment, or abandonment by their...

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10. The Challenge of Child Welfare

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pp. 59-62

I am very glad to have a chance this morning to greet the Red Cross in national assembly. . . . I am supposed to speak to you this morning about “The Challenge in Child Welfare.” I suppose that when a child is born it is always a challenge to its parents and...

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11. The Real American Vice

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pp. 63-67

Instead of reading a formal paper on the subject of the “Future Plans for Protection of Maternity and Infancy,” I am going to do what I think will be more profitable—discuss quite informally what seems to be the present outlook for continuing...

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12. The Washington Traffic Jam

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pp. 68-71

. . . Mr. Folks . . . is quite right, I think, in indicating that there is no one in Washington that has been given a more important job to do than has the Chief of the Children’s Bureau, although she is not so ranked in the news of the day nor in...

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13. Why Did Child Labor Ever Develop in America?

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pp. 72-73

In signing the Cotton Textile Code, the first to be agreed to under the National Recovery Act, President [Franklin] Roosevelt declared that the prohibition of the employment of children under sixteen years of age which it...

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14. Promoting the Welfare of All Children

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pp. 74-76

It was thirty-five years ago that Miss Wald and Mrs. Kelley had a vision of a national service for children and set out to tell others of the light they had seen.1 Miss Wald persuaded people of the usefulness of a Children’s Bureau; Mrs. Kelley spurred...

15. Children and the Depression

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pp. 77-80

Part III: Women

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Introduction: How Women Achieve in Government

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pp. 83-86

Grace Abbott I regard as one of the greatest women we have ever produced in the United States of America. Perhaps the best answer I could give to a question of “how women attain real achievements in government” is to say why...

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16. Dorothea Dix

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pp. 87-93

. . . Is there a technique to be followed in securing social legislation? . . . For the sake of perspective I should like to go back nearly a hundred years to consider the methods of Dorothea Dix because her method of work and the obstacles she encountered...

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17. Women

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pp. 94-95

They are, of course, neither angels nor amazons. These women of whom Inez Haynes Irwin writes had a little more courage, some more ability or a greater concern over injustices than, shall we say, the median woman. That their story has been...

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18. The Changing Position of Women in Government

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pp. 96-104

It is approximately ten years since the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, and this is perhaps why my subject has been included at this 1930 Annual Meeting of the National Women’s Republican Clubs. Some of you...

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Postscript

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pp. 105-106

From the beginning, Grace and Edith Abbott knew that others would need to be engaged in “the struggle.” And from their earliest days of working and living at Hull House, they started to...

Source Acknowledgments

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pp. 107-110

Notes

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pp. 111-122

Bibliography

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pp. 123-128

Index

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pp. 129-132