Statement on Hull House Speakers, February 1, 1915 (excerpt)

Jane Addams Bars Blacklist.jpg


Radical Speakers Make Best Citizens in Future, Like Schurz, She Says.

There will be no curtailment of free speech and no ban placed on any speakers at any of the meetings at Hull house because of the "capture" of Sunday's "unemployed" meeting by a group of radicals.

Miss Jane Addams, head resident of the settlement house, asked THE TRIBUNE last night to correct the impression which seemed to prevail that the speakers at future meetings of the unemployed were to be picked with a view to eliminating radicals.

No Blacklist on Hull House.

"The preparation of a list of speakers to be barred from addressing meetings at Hull house," said Miss Addams, "would strike at the very foundation of the institution and be only another blow at free speech.

"It is realized, of course, that Sunday's meeting as conducted by the group of radicals who seized it was managed unfairly and without regard to the freedom of speech. It would not rectify the condition for Hull house to do likewise and bar such speakers.

"I am very well acquainted with the types of young radical that captured the meeting. In the group there were four or five young Russians and two young Irishmen. Twenty-five or fifty years ago this same type of young radicals was coming to America from Germany.

"Among them were such men as Carl Schurz.

"Let them talk it out. They come from lands of oppression and they bring with them new and often crude ideals of freedom. It is only harmful when it is suppressed. I have found that they lose their radicalism in a few years and make highly respectable citizens.

"Hull house will try, however, to exercise care in the management, so the meetings cannot be seized like the last one."

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