Florence Kelley to Jane Addams, October 11, 1924



Dear J. A.

Evidently the flu which came when you left destroyed my last remaining will. Certainly I never meant to give you that useless work! I think the enclosed is correct, and I know the money is in the bank.

The periodicals are promising cheeringly. Delineator and designer, Pictorial and Good Housekeeping are definite. ↑Their own people are doing their articles.↓ Also Today's Housewife, a queer sheet. Hopeful but not final are Farm and Fireside and McCall's and Ladies' Home Journal. [page 2] There is this vicious circle in the way. The periodical wishes to see the article. Also the writer wishes to know for what periodical. So it is hard to start the contributors.

The point to be covered is as follows: -- Since the amendment was sent to the states, the misrepresentation of the purpose and content of the amendment [have] increased in virulence and in circulation in the rural regions unbelievably.

They are circulated chiefly in magazines published here to sell goods to the farmers such as Farm and Fireside, the Rural New Yorker, etc.

They sing Ellery Sedgwick's song about the girl who need never again wash dishes, when her mother asks her to help; the boy who cannot drive the [page 3] cows to pasture until he is 18; and the ensuing ruin to their characters.

The Rural New Yorker says we wish to nationalize the children 'a la Russe.

Almost all agree that Congress will use all the power it gets [through] the Amendment all the time. Otherwise why give it power to prohibit labor to the 18th birthday?

Of course, Congress believed, always, that it had all this new power, all the time. But it never attempted to do all these fool things with the power it turned out not to have.

Why this fear of Congress?

Can it be because Congress had those investigations? And passed bills over the President's veto? Because it was independent and unafraid in a Congressional [page 4] year?

But you know far better than I do how to reach the rural and the small town mind. That is what this particular crusade is aimed at -- to reassure the legislators and their constituents that the amendment is not a law, and that Congress consists of men like themselves elected every two years, who can be kept at home if they pass a bad law; while the law is amended or repealed if it is found unfit. The amendment is a means to the end of letting Congress help the children in backward states.

The evil thing is [having?] the children without the equal protection of the law which they so urgently need!

Yours always F. K.