Jane Addams et al. to Elizabeth Montgomery Sharpe, December 4, 1914


American Association for Labor Legislation

131 East 23d St., New York City, Dec. 4, 1914.

Dear Miss Sharpe: --

For the first time in its history the American Association for Labor Legislation will hold one of its national conferences in Pennsylvania. The two principal subjects to be considered will be Workmen's Compensation and Unemployment. Leading authorities from all parts of America will join with Pennsylvanians in discussing these problems.

Knowledge on these matters is crystallizing. Massachusetts, New York and Ohio, competing with your state, already have good laws. Why should Pennsylvania lag behind? At present she has neither a compensation law nor a single public employment bureau. With roundly 30,000 manufacturing establishments -- to say nothing of mines and railroads -- should she not enact legislation for the protection of her more than a million industrial workers?

The Pennsylvania legislature will open its biennial session in January. All political parties are now pledged to workmen's compensation legislation. The new administration is committed to it. A like opportunity may not present itself for many years. We have a right to assume that there will be action.

The kind of a law enacted depends greatly upon earnestness and energy at this time. The December conference should be a strong force in rousing and developing sound and wide-spread public opinion.

With this unusual opportunity to serve your own state in a very real way, will you not contribute from $5 to $25 towards defraying the necessary expenses of this meeting and the promotion of an active campaign to aid the [page 2] Pennsylvania legislature to enact laws that will prevent industrial accidents and diminish unemployment?

An early reply will be appreciated, that we may know on whom to count in making preparations.

Sincerely yours,

Jane Addams [signed]
First Vice President
Henry R. Seager [signed]
John B. Andrews [signed]
Lucy Dorsey Iams [signed]
Francis Fisher Kane [signed]
Membership Committee