The Cyclopædia of American Biography/Addams, Jane

The Cyclopædia of American Biography  (1918) 
James E. Homans, editor
Addams, Jane

ADDAMS, Jane, sociologist, b. at Cedarville, Ill., 6 Sept., 1860, daughter of John H. and Sarah (Weber) Addams. She was graduated at Rockford College in 1881, and then entered upon the study of sociology, which she pursued (1883-5) in both Europe and in this country. In 1889, in association with Ellen G. Starr, she founded the famous Hull House, a social settlement center, on South Halsted Street, Chicago, of which she has since been head resident. This institution is unique in its scope, and of immense value in meeting the problems of poverty and ignorance in the heart of the foreign quarter of the city. It provides entertainment and educational facilities for old and young, club rooms for men and women, gymnasiums, a temporary lodging house, a labor bureau, and a penny savings bank. Concerts, lectures, and plays are also provided. The weekly attendance approximates 10,000 persons. The work of Hull House, which is largely supported by private subscriptions, has made Miss Addams one of the most prominent women in America. Her influence has thus been much extended, and she has been enabled to inaugurate several notable movements for social betterment. Her able advocacy of women suffrage and international peace is well known. She is now (1917) chairman of the women's peace party and president of the National Conference on Charities and Correction. Miss Addams has lectured extensively and contributed articles on sociological topics to the periodical press, notably: “The Subjective Necessity for a Social Settlement” and “The Objective Value of a Social Settlement.” She is also author of several important books: “Democracy and Social Ethics” (1902); “Newer Ideals of Peace” (1907); “Spirit of Youth and the City Streets” (1909); “Twenty Years at Hull House” (1910); and “A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil” (1912). She has been honored with the degrees of LL.D., from the University of Wisconsin in 1904 and of A.M. from Yale University in 1910.