How Votes Could Help, September 27, 1913 (excerpt)



Jane Addams and [Katharine] Davis Speakers at Last Session.

The two weeks' suffrage school of Mrs. Chapman Catt was brought to a close last evening with the final talk at the Hotel McAlpin where a big crowd filled the ballroom, at the top of the house, to capacity. Many stood up at the back of the room. Miss [Katharine] Bement Davis of the Bedford Reformatory for Girls, and Miss Jane Addams of Chicago, were the speakers. Mrs. Catt presided. Miss Davis told of illiteracy and lack of development, mental and physical, which brought her girls to their present condition of life, and Miss Addams, throwing aside her prepared address, told what it was hoped could be done in Chicago in the segregation of the feeble-minded and protection to the weak. Two questions of general interest were asked and answered. One was concerning the women of the underworld and the ballot box.

"We had Miss Sylvia Pankhurst speak to us when she was here," said Miss Davis, "and we were interested later to learn the stand the girls took in regard to suffrage. They were almost unanimously against it. They said it was too unladylike. One of our girls was heard to ask: 'What is all this about votes for women? I am sure if I had the ballot I should vote for men.'"

Dr. Anna Shaw asked if Miss Addams would agree with Miss Chittenden, the anti-suffragist, that the politicians paid more attention to the opinions of women without the vote.

"We have not all voted yet," said Miss Addams, "but women have been put on commissions and committees, things we have been asking for for years have been given us; policewomen have been appointed; women once received with discourtesy at City Hall are now welcomed with cordiality, and the politicians are running up large paper bills asking us to join their parties."