Dear Miss Addams:
I heartily thank you for your little book on "The Spirit of Youth", for the inspiration and help it has given me. So often, in the old days when I was able "to go ↑in and↓ out among men," people would say to me "We are so glad you are so much interested in education" -- or "in industrial reforms." To which I could only reply "I am not really interested in anything but children."
I begin more and more to say that there is much danger in a certain [page 2] ethical and social isolation of the child that some of our writers have unconsciously adopted -- that child labor itself must be viewed in its relation to mother-labor and father-labor, that everything is a part of everything; and that society itself becomes the curse or the deliverance of the child; -- but for the spring and impulse of the larger effort I confess I have always had to come back to the children themselves. Your book has greatly cheered and helped me: I thank you sincerely.
In the "Basis of Ascendancy" I left the story of statistics (which seemed inopportune on the eve of a new census) and attempted to go back to the principles that must always underlie what [page 3] men calls "the facts". Of the letters that have come to me those from negroes like Moton and Mr. Booker Washington have touched me most. Moton is the leading negro at Hampton: I wonder if you know him? I wish there were a chance for me to talk over the question with you: you are without the indifferentism that is slowly creeping over the North -- you really care, and yet you possess a generous detachment of spirit that would make your suggestions of great help. I do not think the movement represented by Mr. Villard or Dr. DuBois will prove quite the remedy for the indifferentism of the [page 4] North; it is so extreme (its exploitation of Manning of Alabama, who openly advocates war as a remedy illustrates what I mean) that average Northern opinion is likely to react too far in the direction of "the South" (using that term in its controversial cause). But the old deep moral solicitude of the North for the negro ought not to die; it is one of the most sacred and most truly useful of our social impulses in America. I am sending you a recent article of mine that I trust may be of interest.
Edgar Gardner Murphy.
"Backward or Forward" (The South Atlantic Quarterly)