Settlement Work Lecture to Minnesota Federation of Women's Clubs, October 21, 1905 (excerpt)




The entertainment subcommittee of the committee on arrangements for the convention of the Minnesota Federation of Women's Clubs this morning gave the delegates a treat in the form of a lecture on settlement work by Miss Jane Addams of Hull House, Chicago. This was given in the ballroom of Mrs. William Donaldson's residence, which was thronged.

Miss Addams expressed the settlement ideal and aim in a way that impressed her audience. She said that people got tired of hearing about settlements because they did not fully appreciate their function.

"Women's clubs," said Miss Addams, "represent broadly speaking, the more public-spirited portion of the community and they are coming more and more to the concrete things. The needs of the community are often brought to their attention [through] the personal study of conditions made by the settlements."

Miss Addams wanted the proverb, "charity begins at home," revised for city use, as here conditions demand a going forth to learn the needs of the poorer classes and [cooperation] in meeting them. The power of seeing things in their larger relations Miss Addams took as the test of cultivation and this is needed in coming to an understanding of the foreign populations that colonize portions of large cities that is necessary in meeting their problems.

The vicinity of Hull House has settlements of twenty-six nationalities, with a Greek community of 5,000 and an Italian city of 10,000 persons. These people are not adjusted to their surroundings and in order to help them to that adjustment a knowledge of their previous environment and life is necessary. This Hull House seeks to illustrate to public-spirited Americans in its labor museum and other agencies, while [through] other means it seeks to inculcate the American ideal by dealing with the foreigners [through] channels which they are capable of understanding.

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