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Monday night, July 12.
The Conference was called to order by the President at 8.25 P.M. The report of the Committee on Organization was read by the chairman, Mr. Philip C. Garrett.
Some discussion rose as to the committees to be included in the report, and on motion of Mr. Crozier it was voted to postpone action on the report until Tuesday morning.
The subject for the evening, "Organization of Charity," was under the charge of the Committee on Organization of Charity, Mr. Alfred O. Crozier, chairman. The first address was by Mr. Crozier, on "Organized and Unorganized Charity" (page 154).
A telegram from Governor Pingree was read, regretting his inability to be present; also a letter from Mr. John Addison Porter, secretary to President McKinley, expressing the deep regret of President McKinley that the pressure of his official duties and his engagements prevented him from accepting the cordial invitation to be present at the Conference.
"The President," wrote Mr. Porter, "wishes me to say that his interest in the work of the Conference has not flagged, and that he hopes that its coming session may be a most successful one, and productive of much good."
A paper was read by Professor Francis G. Peabody, entitled "Developing the Social Up-draught" (page 225).
The last paper of the evening was on "The Abolition of Poverty," by Rev. S. S. Craig, Oakville, Can. (page 272). Adjourned at 10 P.M.
Tuesday morning, July 13.
The Conference was called to order by the President at 9 A.M. A paper was read by Mr. Michel Heymann, superintendent of the Jewish Orphans' Home, New Orleans, on "Jewish Child-saving Work in the United States" (page 108).
Mr. Heymann was asked if he received into his home only Jewish children. He replied that they were received if one parent was a
Jew, that he himself should make no discrimination on account of religion, his religion was a belief in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.
Miss A. M. Machar, Kingston, Ont., asked for an opportunity to read a paper which she had prepared for the Conference, but which had been omitted, owing to a misunderstanding. She brought the greetings of the Women's National Council, whose work she described as in line with that of the Conference, its aim being the application of the Golden Rule to law, custom, and society.
Mr. José F. Goday was introduced as the first representative from Mexico. Mr. Goday was from the Mexican legation at Washington, and had been commissioned by President Diaz to attend the Confer
Mr. GODAY.—Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,— It was the purpose of the Mexican government in accepting your kind invitation to send a representative to be present from the beginning of the sessions, and it was my intention to be here; but, owing to illness, I have not been able to be present before. I come to say that Mexico is grateful for your kind invitation, and hopes your work may be most successful. There is a great deal of interest in Mexico in work of this kind. President Diaz sends his greetings, and wishes for you the greatest success both in this national body and in your several States; and he hopes that your work may be productive of good to the civilized world.
The report of the Committee on Organization was again brought before the Conference. Mr. W. C. Ball, Indiana, whose name had been proposed as chairman of the section referring to delinquent children, declined to serve, and asked that Mr. Peter Caldwell might be put in his place. This was done, and the report was adopted unanimously (see page x).
The rules were read as revised and adopted (page xiv).
Mr. BRACKETT.— There are some people who feel that it is rather hard to require members to print their papers at their own personal expense. I hope the Executive Committee will so change the wording that it shall read, "No paper of over ten minutes shall be read; and, if possible, it shall be printed and circulated beforehand.” I offer that as a substitute.
This was accepted by the Executive Committee.
The subject of the morning, "Social Settlements," was then taken up, Professor F. G. Peabody, chairman, presiding (page 329).
Miss Jane Addams, of Hull House, Chicago, was introduced as the next speaker (page 338).
Rev. Robert E. Ely, of Prospect Union, Cambridge, was introduced (page 332).
DISCUSSION ON SOCIAL SETTLEMENTS.
Miss MARY A. JORDAN, of Smith College, spoke of the great good of settlement work, not alone to the people among whom the settlement exists, but to the residents in the settlement, those persons who are likely to fall under the tyranny of ideas. Any one who leads an exclusively intellectual life learns that outside of the life of refinement and delicacy and absence of brutal temptation there is another life in which jealousy, an undue sense of one's importance, a totally undue value attached to one's own way of doing things, exist; and there is no remedy more potent than to share, even for a short time, in the life of one of these settlements, and to come into contact with other lives, even if those lives are in themselves painful and depressing.
The constitution of society based on family life of the prosperous sort tends to foster selfishness of a subtle sort in women. A mother feels that within certain limits she has a definite place, and that her word should be law, and her decisions should in the main be followed and loved. Against the dangers and weakness resulting from such experience the settlement protests by its laudable lack of definiteness. A person finds, even in a short time, that he cannot say: "This piece of work is mine. I began it, I carried it forward to completion." He has to say: "I did begin it, but I found I was. wrong. My friend showed me a better way. I did not finish it, because I was busy about something else."
It presents, too, to the persons living in such relations an extraordinary demonstration of the superiority of persons who never struck them as being interesting.
They tell a story of Whittier, that once, while driving in the country, he saw a tall farmer leaning on his hoe, and looking contemplatively over his fields. Mr. Whittier thought it unusual for a man to hold such an attitude so long, and decided to talk with him. He found him a man of strong personality and of unusual power in the expression of his ideas. He felt that he would like to improve the man by a little book culture. So he lent him a translation of Plato. Some time afterward he saw the old farmer again, leaning on his hoe, and asked him if he had read the book. "Yes," said the farmer, "I read some of it." "What did you think of it?" asked Mr. Whittier. Wall, I thought that man had some o' my idees.”
Now I think that we almost always find, however brief may be our acquaintance with the life of the settlements, that the best ideas we hold have been shared by the people in them, and oftentimes by the very ones for whose benefit the settlements are intended.
Rev. D. C. MILNER, Chicago, said the thing that had impressed him about the Chicago settlements was that they had effected such reforms in the community by political means,—in the matter of health, in the care of alleys, etc. The clubs for men are also a marked feature. Some people have been alarmed because these clubs discuss single tax and all manner of isms, but it shows the good sense of the settlements in encouraging these men to give free expression to their extreme opinions. By so doing they come in contact with people who think on other lines. He would have been glad to hear more about the religious side.
Miss RICHMOND, Baltimore. May I say a word about settlements from the point of view of the professional charity worker? I have noticed for a good many years, when a new idea first gets hold of the charitable world, that immediately after the first enthusiasm has worn off it begins to be copied by people who do not half understand it. I remember charity organization suffered from this. A good many people had heard there was a new kind of society. So, whenever they started a new charity, they called it a charity organization society. And when working-girls' clubs got to be pretty well known, if any one wanted to start a missionary band for girls, opening its meetings with prayer and closing with the doxology, they called it a working-girls' club. Now the settlements have suffered from this same difficulty, the tendency of people to take up the idea, and misapply it. I do not say this as a criticism of real settlement workers,— for none realize this difficulty more than they,— but as a word of warning to those who are going home inspired by this meeting with the desire to establish settlements and see them grow up in their several communities. I have seen people, who wanted really to start nothing but an old-fashioned mission, who said they were going to have a settlement like Hull House. Hull House has a great reputation. People are caught by names, and a great deal of money and misapplied enthusiasm have been dissipated in imitations that have not succeeded. No one suffers more from this than the charity worker, because, under the name of settlement, the oldfashioned mission, distributing a cheap and sprinkling sort of charity, can do more harm than under its right name. It can pretend to be scientific, when it is nothing of the kind.
Then the settlements bring to them young people who have a "burning desire to do good," who have just left college, often after a classical course, with no training whatever in social theory. These young graduates come in contact with workingmen who have a stock of theories of a certain sort, and they are at the mercy of the crude theories of the workingmen. On workers who stay only a short time say six weeks the settlement often has a disastrous effect.
It sends them out with the idea that they know it all; that they can learn nothing from us charity workers, for instance. Whether they are prepared, like the Englishman Miss Addams quotes, to say good
by to others, I cannot say; but it is quite certain that they are determined to say good-by to us.
Finally, as a member of this Conference for a number of years, I wish to say that nothing can be of greater help than the ideas, the point of view, which the settlement leaders can bring to us. Heretofore we have been like an arm with a cord tied tightly round the middle, preventing free circulation. This meeting has cut the cord, has given us a freer circulation of ideas upon the important questions which concern us. We need all the light that the settlement workers can bring; and I hope that no morbid prejudice against the name "charity" will prevent them from understanding this, that they will try not only to get the point of view of the workingman, but of the charity worker as well. Through all this complex social life of ours, through all the difficulties which beset us, we need their help in securing the free, unprejudiced interplay of the thought and experience of the best minds and most devoted students. It is possible that they may learn a little from us, and it is quite certain that we shall learn much from them. We are delighted to have them here, and hope that they will come every year.
QUESTION.— How does Hull House interest young men between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five?
Miss ADDAMS.— You can always interest them if you allow them to join a girls' club or if you give them some work to do. One evening a month is given to serious work, and two evenings are social.
Mr. CLARK.— How much time is given to the religious element in the work to which Mr. Ely has referred? Is there preaching service or Sunday-school?
Mr. ELY.- None. We believe it is our religious duty to be unreligious in that sense. In beginning our work at Prospect Union, it was my privilege to say to those who thought they were being lured into an educational institution, that they might be preached to, that they were mistaken. I said it should be my duty as a preacher to see that no preaching was done. In order that this may not be misunderstood, I would like to say that there are people who will have nothing to do with any religious service whatever; and, if you do not meet those people on their own ground, you will not meet them at all. We have men in the Prospect Union who, when I first knew them, hated the very sight of a church, and had greater antipathy to à parson than to any living creature; but we tried successfully to learn together. But we find in ourselves a common sense of right and a common sense of duty. Many of these men, I am convinced, cannot be reached by ordinary religious methods, but the religious spirit must be the motive of it all.
QUESTION. Are the clubs made up of boys and girls?
Miss ADDAMS.- Almost all of them are of boys and girls. The clubs themselves decide who shall be members. We allow dancing