Interview with Topeka Daily Capital, December 8, 1905



[image: Miss Jane Addams, the Founder of Hull House.]

Miss Jane Addams of Hull House, Chicago, who lectured at the Auditorium last night is of the opinion that the same principles that are applied in the social settlement work of Chicago and other large cities can be applied in the cities of the size of Topeka with success in working with the poor.

"The social settlement plan", said Miss Addams to a Capital reporter, "is to have people of all classes meet together on a common footing and I see no reason why the principle [cannot] be employed for the betterment of the poor in cities of this size as well as in larger cities. Of course some things would have to be different to meet local conditions just as we have things different to meet conditions in the various settlements in Chicago. The settlement in the Jewish quarters is not the same as that among the Poles.

"By having people of all classes meet together each is benefited by an exchange of thoughts. People in different positions see things in different ways and when the thoughts from all of these different view points are presented and discussed it means progress.

"The causes of poverty are various and should not be attributed to ignorance. There are a great number of reasons for people being poor. Some are handicapped by inability to speak our language. Others get started wrong. There are a dozen causes for poverty and I do not think that it would be correct to say that ignorance is the chief cause of these.

"Our settlement work is non-sectarian or it might be better to say non-religious. In most of the settlements we have nothing to do with religion. We simply ignore that subject. This is especially true with our work in the Jewish quarters. In some of the more intelligent Protestant quarters we foster religious interests."

"Yes", she said in reply to a question. "I was the first person on this continent to take up social settlement work. That was in 1889. The same month that I began the work in Chicago similar work was begun in New York. Social settlement work in the past ten years has experienced a remarkable growth. It has in that time extended to almost every large city in the country."

Miss Addams is no longer the slender young woman that her pictures represented her to be when her work first came to the notice of the public. Her figure is well rounded. She is a handsome woman with deeply set hazel eyes and dark hair. There is a suggestion of solidarity in her bearing. There is an expression of firmness about her mouth that gives the impression that she would not be easily "worked" by one asking for charity. That person's needs would more likely be subjected to scientific analysis instead of easily wrought sympathy. The cause of a man's condition would likely receive as much thought as his immediate needs.

Miss Addams spoke very enthusiastically of the work being done in Chicago Commons by Rev. Henry Burt, the Wabaunsee County young man, who is well known in Washburn College circles and in Topeka.

Miss Addams will leave this morning at 8 o'clock for Girard, Kansas, where she will lecture. She regretted that she would not be able to visit Rev. Charles M. Sheldon, whom she has met several times.

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