William Isaac Thomas to Jane Addams, October 14, 1922

1535 East 60th St
Chicago, October 14, 1922

My Dear Miss Addams:

In connection with the plan for social research in settlements, I offer the following suggestions:

Instead of appointing a director of the work I think it is desirable that the work should be in charge of a committee composed of the heads of settlements, or others who are resident in settlements. The person appointed to do the organizing could be on this committee, and do the work, but would be responsible to the committee and benefit by the committee. He could be called director if that is thought desirable, but I think he might just as well operate simply as member of the committee.

If I am connected with the work I should wish to meet those who are to do the research work and give some preliminary talks on method -- at least in New York and Chicago.

[It] would be important also that I should prepare some mimeographed materials to be used as basis of the work. In preparing the budget a certain sum, perhaps $200 or $300 should be set aside for mimeographing and postage.

I think it is desirable that the work should not be limited to racial questions, but extended to any subjects that can be most [favorably] studied in a settlement environment. Work of this type, properly organized, would attract to the settlements persons who have already a preparation for research work, an inclination to be in settlements and an opportunity to do a definite piece of work.

The volume I wish to prepare on the races could be regarded as a part of the settlement work or as something entirely separate, as is thought desirable. The latter plan would probably be better. And if there is no objection I should like to feel free to accept funds from other sources to carry on the investigation, if I find that necessary. The materials I am preparing could be used in the work before publication, but I should like to take my time in preparing them for the press, so that I may be free to do some other work at the same time.

I am now planning to stay in Chicago until about December 1st, and then go to New York.

Very sincerely yours,

W I Thomas [signed] [page 2]


It would not even be necessary to have me a member of the committee.

If it seems desirable I could visit all the settlements involved and organize the work, but that would imply expense for travel.

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