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Jane Addams

Jane Addams (1860 - 1935) was an American social campaigner, suffragette and peace worker, and in 1931 she was the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Addams was co-founder of Hull House in Chicago, a ‘settlement house’ in a working class neighbourhood. Staffed mainly by women, Hull House aimed at improving the lives of working class people by offering a range of services including continuing education classes, clubs for children, a library and an art gallery, and it was also a powerful centre for social research, with most of the women and some of the key men in the University of Chicago Sociology Department associated with it. Addams was an outspoken pacifist and during the First World War she became involved in the Women’s Peace Party, and in 1915 she was elected as president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She attended the International Women’s Conference at The Hague in 1915, and with Aletta Jacobs, Addams visited Schreiner in April that year as part of WILPF’s international peace activities. It is likely that some letters were exchanged between Schreiner and Addams, although none have been traced. In a letter to Betty Molteno written shortly after Addams's visit, Schreiner described the “beautiful calm & strength” of Addams’s face, and wrote admiringly of her as “one who has done so much actual practical work for her fellows”.  Addams visited Schreiner again in June 1915.

For further information see:
Robin Kadison Berson (2004) Jane Addams: A Biography Greenwood
Victoria Bissell Brown (2004) The Education of Jane Addams: Politics and Culture in Modern America Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press
Gioia Diliberto (1999) A Useful Woman: The Early Life of Jane Addams New York: Scribner
Maurice Hamington (ed) (2010) Feminist Interpretations of Jane Addams Pennsylvania State University Press
Louise W. Knight (2005) Citizen: Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Katherine Joslin (2004) Jane Addams: A Writer’s Life University of Illinois Press
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