Jane Addams Nonpartisan, December 16, 1913



One of the most attractive features of the Progressing uprising in Chicago, last year, was the activity of Miss Jane Addams. Miss Addams, owing to the excellent social work she has been doing at Hull House, was a valuable acquisition to the uplift movement, and the chorus of "Onward Christian Soldiers" rang all the louder because of her conversion. It was pointed out at the time by a [considerable] number of newspapers -- among them this one -- that a woman in Miss Addams's position had no place in politics, certainly not in politics of the third party sort. Now we are informed that Miss Addams has left the Progressive party, or at least left it in the degree necessary to attach herself to a nonpartisan movement.

Miss Addams spoke Saturday at a "citizens' conference" in Chicago, the object of the meeting being to agitate for the removal of municipal affairs from party politics. It is planned to nominate nonpartisan aldermanic candidates next spring. The passing of Miss Addams from the Progressive to the nonpartisan movement ought not to excite much surprise. The Progressive movement, to employ a rough but effective phrase, has "not panned out" so well as many of the enthusiasts had hoped. The third party was not three weeks old, and was still attracting new recruits, when some of the mature persons who had already [endorsed] it were looking about for ways and means to withdraw.

Doubtless attempts will be made by the loyal "uplifters" to minimize the effects of Miss Addams's defection to nonpartisanship. Doubtless it will [be] said that she never amounted to much and so her loss [cannot] be deeply felt. The same was said many times of Mr. Prendergast, whose withdrawal from the Progressive party in New York was a staggering blow to the whole organization. But the fact that Miss Addams believes nonpartisanship to be more effective in coping with municipal errors than Progressivism is significant.