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women, to be good and useful citizens, or it will merely make intellectual invalids, educated vice, and intelligent crime.


Another great evil, the sire of many evils, is drunkenness. only has the habit cursed numberless individuals, but the places strangely created and licensed by public authority for its indulgence have become a menace to society and the storm centre of municipal and political corruption, whence issue blasphemies which appall Heaven and iniquities which are damning the human race.


Many antidotes are already at work. The kindergarten is stimulating the imagination of the children, teaching them the love of the good, the beautiful, and the true. Child study circles, based on the new and practical literature on the subject, are being formed among the mothers; and a scientific study of the difficult, every-day problems which confront the parent is being entered upon with almost desperate earnestness. This movement bids fair to become one of the important factors in the coming social revolution.

Another great poverty preventive is insurance. Within the last thirty years over $2,500,000,000 has been paid out as insurance, by the American companies alone; while about $200,000,000 has been thus distributed during the last year. The chief points at which insurance touches the question of poverty is in the operations of industrial and fraternal insurance companies. Of the 12,000,000 policies of all kinds, 7,000,000 are chiefly carried by the poorer classes, who pay the premiums in weekly or monthly instalments. The growth of this kind of insurance has been phenomenal. It has come to that pass that an insurable man with a family who does not provide such protection in some amount is almost considered guilty of criminal carelessness.

The charity organization movement is one of the most potent and practical agencies at work, bringing order out of chaos in the realm of charity.

All charitable efforts are either public, private, or personal. Public charities are those conducted at the expense of and under the direction of the public authority. They are, or should be, largely institutional, for the benefit of the permanently delinquent, dependent, and defective classes. Private charities are those conducted

at private expense by persons associated together for the purpose. These agencies should principally confine their efforts to those considered to be but temporarily delinquent, dependent, or defective; those whom there is some prospect of restoring to their normal status in society. Personal charities are those administered by the individual at his own expense. These are threefold: 1. Mere contributions to private charitable agencies; 2. Mere contributions to the individual subjects of charity; 3. The gift of time, thought, and service to charity. The first is usually commendable; the second seldom so, unless accompanied by the third; while the third is the highest order of benevolence and the most valuable to humanity.

The proper organization of these various kinds of charities along scientific and practical lines is the need of the hour. We need, first, light. The Congress of the United States should authorize the President to appoint a commission to seek out, tabulate, and publish all the obtainable facts bearing on the situation. State boards of charities and correction now exist in most States, and are organizing State public charities along scientific lines.

Appropriate literature should be made to educate public support. Facilities for the proper training of expert workers for the various departments of charitable activity are imperative.

Foremost among these modern agencies are the associated charities and charity organization societies, the chief mission of which is to systematize and harmonize existing charities, and see that they are administered intelligently, with the permanent welfare of their beneficiaries constantly in mind.

In the charities of many cities chaos reigns supreme. Outdoor relief is limited only because there are no more applicants. Children are made beggars by being regularly sent to the poor office for public alms. The poor office supply store is the place on which dishonest aldermen give orders to pay corrupt to pay corrupt political debts. Worthy poverty is given to understand that assistance will be given only in return for partisan support. Work is never supplied, as that would not be regarded as dispensing "charity." Investigation is looked upon as harsh and unchristian. No records are necessary. The almshouse is unsanitary and unclean. At the jail, small boys, incarcerated for some simple offence, such as catching fish with a pin-hook out of season, are herded with hardened, profane criminals. Young girls, only beginners in transgression, are helped on

their downward career by being locked up with confirmed female depravity.

Private charities also share in this disastrous confusion. Competition for public applause seems their chief aim. They constantly seek subjects on which to practise charity. They discover a family, poor, but honest. They rush in with sentimental gush, and by coddling and sympathizing, and "relieving," finally succeed in convincing the family that it really needs charity, and in due time pauperize them, and thus create a new spring to feed the widening stream of vice, pauperism, and crime. Charity hospitals, where experimenting physicians can hold frequent clinics, with the bodies of suffering poverty as the subjects; rescue homes, missions, and free soup kitchens, all rush madly to accumulate statistics to make a favorable showing in their annual reports. Tramp lodging-houses are established, where the newly initiated can learn the higher degrees of hardened mendicancy from the oral teachings of experienced vagrants. Thanksgiving celebrations are held, the success of which is measured by the number of citizens who can be induced to lower their manhood by standing in line to receive that most subtle soul-poison,— unmerited alms.

Personal charity is equally primitive. There prevails an unbridled charitable sentiment, which induces numberless honest but misguided persons to give "hand outs" at their back doors, on the mistaken theory that it is better to pauperize ninety-nine with careless alms than let one anti-work sluggard go to bed hungry.

The agency now at work trying to harmonize and utilize these valuable though bewildering sociological elements is the charity organization society, or associated charities. Formed as it usually is of representatives of these various interests, its influence at once becomes potent. It prevents waste, duplication, imposition, and fraud, and installs the new and higher ideals of charity, educates the public judgment and conscience, and welds the public and private charitable instinct into an intelligent fabric of human usefulness, sheltering worthy poverty against both misfortune and temptation, and teaching the divine truth that we are our brother's keeper, and that by personal service alone can our sacred duties to humanity be discharged.

A hand-to-hand conflict is going on between the powers of light and darkness. The struggle is not in some distant ethereal sphere.

It is around and about us. We see it in the fight of the school against ignorance, the church against sin, law against crime, and charity against poverty and pauperism. Is it a battle royal hastening the millennium? Is it the dawn of a better civilization? Is it the break of a new morn of hope and peace, prosperity and happiness? Is it not the herald of the future, announcing the approach of perfection along the multitudinous highways of the great social evolution?



There is a certain correspondence between the logical and the historical order of development of any subject. This correspondence is especially marked in the organization of national and State charities. Nearly all our older State charities were originally private institutions. They have gradually grown to be parts of the great system of public charities maintained at the expense of taxpayers and controlled by the national, State, and municipal governments. They were at first subsidized by appropriations made for their support from the public treasury, which were expended, and the affairs of the institution were administered, by boards of trust, which were independent, self-perpetuating corporations. Some of the charities now included in the circle of State charities are still, in their organization and management, independent of any but a supervisory and nominal governmental control. In this way the “mixed” system of support and control originated.

As the usefulness of these institutions came to be recognized, and ́ the demand for others like them was more and more felt, it became apparent that the mixed system, while it has certain advantages to recommend it, contains nevertheless certain inherent elements of confusion and disturbance which render it objectionable. The doctrine is now pretty well established and generally received that the State should control absolutely all institutions in aid of which it is asked to make appropriations. The States in which appropriations

from the public treasury are made payable to institutions under private control are States conspicuous for the abuse or failure of their charitable systems. In the early history of Illinois, when the capital was at Vandalia, it is related that a member from a rural district said one day to his most intimate friend in the legislature, "John, I want you to take a walk with me." So they walked down to the river, where he said, "Let us cross over." They took a skiff, and rowed across. On the other side there was an unbroken forest. He said again, "Let us go into the timber a little way." Then this unsophisticated countryman looked cautiously all around, to make sure that no one was in sight or hearing, and said, in a low tone of voice, for fear of being overheard, "John, I am afraid that there is log-rolling going on in the legislature." Unquestionably, there is log-rolling in the legislatures of States which appropriate money in aid of private charitable institutions; and it is the occasion of much extravagance and injury. The constitution of Illinois forbids the appropriation of moneys in aid of any private enterprise. Private and public charities are there entirely distinct, and both do best when each stands exclusively on its own feet.

The institutions owned and controlled by the States were for a long time managed as purely individual and separate establishments, not as parts of a system of institutions having a common motive and a common aim. When, in 1869, the Illinois State Board of Charities was created, following the precedent established by Massachusetts and New York, the distribution of appropriations made for charitable uses was practically controlled by the superintendent of one of the State charitable institutions, a man of unusual ability, energy, and aggressive force, who seemed to regard this fund as a pie to be cut in slices. By his skill and audacity he did the slicing, taking care to reserve the largest piece for himself. A State sena

tor once said to me that this method of dealing with the appropriation question reminded him of the raising of the city grade in the early history of Chicago, where the grade was changed long after the city had been built. Under the hotels and other large edifices jack-screws were placed, and the buildings went slowly up from six to eight feet in the air, while people were coming and going and business was transacted, as if the houses were on an immovable foundation. My friend said of this superintendent that, when once he got a jack-screw under the edge of an appropriation, it always

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