Her closest adult companion and friend was Mary Rozet Smith (December 23, 1868 - 1934), who supported Addams's work at Hull House, and with whom she shared a romantic friendship. Together they owned a summer house in Bar Harbor, Maine.
In 1889 she and her college friend and intimate partner, Ellen Gates Starr, co-founded Hull House in Chicago, Illinois, the first settlement house in the United States.
Jane Addams was a pioneer settlement social worker, public philosopher, sociologist, author, and leader in women's suffrage and world peace. Addams became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Her closest adult companion was wealthy philanthropist Mary Rozet Smith, who supported Addams's work at Hull House, and with whom she shared a romantic friendship. "Mary Smith became and always remained the highest and clearest note in the music that was Jane Addams' personal life".
Jane Addams & Mary Rozet Smith in the 1930s
©George de Forest Brush (1855-1941)/National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Jane Addams, 1906 (©4)
Mary Rozet Smith in a portrait at Hull House
The run-down mansion had been built by Charles Hull in 1856 and needed repairs and upgrading. Addams at first paid for all of the capital expenses (repairing the roof of the porch, repainting the rooms, purchasing the furniture) and the bulk of the operating costs. But gifts from individuals supported the House from its first year and over time, Addams was able to reduce the proportion of her contributions, although the annual budget grew rapidly. A number of wealthy women became important long-term donors to the House, including Helen Culver, who managed her first cousin Charles Hull's estate, and who eventually allowed them to use the house rent free, Louise deKoven Bowen, Mary Rozet Smith, Mary Wilmarth, and others.
Addams and Starr were the first two occupants of the house, which would later become the residence of about twenty-five women. At its height, Hull House was visited each week by around two thousand people. Its facilities included a night school for adults, kindergarten classes, clubs for older children, a public kitchen, an art gallery, a coffeehouse, a gym, a girls' club, a bathhouse, a book bindery, a music school, a drama group, and a library, as well as labor-related divisions. Her adult night school was a forerunner of the continuing education classes offered by many universities today. In addition to making available social services and cultural events for the largely immigrant population of the neighborhood, Hull House afforded an opportunity for young social workers to acquire training. Eventually, Hull House became a thirteen-building settlement complex, which included a playground and a summer camp (known as Bowen Country Club).
The Hull House neighborhood was a mix of various European ethnic groups that had immigrated to Chicago around the start of the twentieth century. The Bethlehem-Howard Neighborhood Center Records that mix of immigrants which comprised the social laboratory upon which the social and philanthropic elitists comprising Hull House's inner sanctum tested their theories and based their challenges to the establishment. "Germans and Jews resided south of that inner core (south of Twelfth Street) [...] The Greek delta formed by Harrison, Halsted, and Blue Island Streets served as a buffer to the Irish residing to the north and the Canadian–French to the northwest." Italians resided within the inner core of the Hull House Neighborhood [...] from the river on the east end, on out to the western ends of what came to be known as Little Italy. Greeks and Jews, along with the remnants of other immigrant groups, began their exodus from the neighborhood during the early part of the twentieth century. The Italians were the only ethnic group to continue as an intact and thriving community through the Great Depression, World War II, and well beyond the ultimate demise of Hull House proper in 1963.
Hull House, as Addams named it, became America's best known settlement house. She used Hull House to generate system-directed change, on the principle that to keep families safe, community and societal conditions had to be improved. The neighborhood was controlled by local political bosses. At one point Addams ran for alderman against the local boss, Johnnie Powers, and lost!
Addams kept up I heavy schedule of public lectures around the country, especially at college campuses. In addition, she offered college courses through the Extension Division of the University of Chicago. She declined offers from the university to become directly affiliated with it, including an offer from Albion Small, chair of the Department of Sociology, of a graduate faculty position. She declined in order to maintain her independent role outside of academia. Her goal was to teach adults not enrolled in formal academic institutions, because of their poverty and/or lack of credentials. Furthermore, she wanted no university controls over her political activism.
Addams was a charter member of the American Sociological Society, founded in 1905. She gave papers to it in 1912, 1915, and 1919. She was the most prominent woman member during Her lifetime.
Ellen Gates Starr (March 19, 1859, near Laona, Illinois – February 10, 1940, in Suffern, New York) was an American social reformer and activist. (P: Chicago Daily News collection located at the Chicago History Museum. Ellen Gates Starr,
Ellen Starr was born in Laona, Illinois. She was a student at the Rockford Female Seminary (1877–78), where she met Jane Addams; their friendship lasted many years, although some historians have suggested that Starr was a lesbian who had a particularly close relationship with Addams. Starr taught for ten years in Chicago before joining Addams in 1888 for a tour of Europe. While in London, they were inspired by the success of the English Settlement movement and became determined to establish a similar social settlement in Chicago.
They returned to Chicago and co-founded Hull House as a kindergarten and then a day nursery, an infancy care centre, and a center for continuing education for adults. Starr was also active in the campaign to reform child labor laws and industrial working conditions in Chicago. She was a member of the Women's Trade Union League and helped organize striking garment workers in 1896, 1910, and 1915. However, by belief she was firmly anti-industrialisation, idealizing the guild system of the Middle Ages and later the Arts and Crafts Movement. She taught such writers as Shakespeare, Dante and Robert Browning in the slums of Chicago to children who could not afford school education. She practiced her preachings about community labour to the extent of traveling to Britain to learn bookbinding. She was arrested at a restaurant strike.
Chicago Daily News collection located at the Chicago History Museum. Ellen Gates Starr and Mrs. F. R. Lillie (Frances Williams Crane),
Ellen Gates Starr (March 19, 185 – February 10, 1940) was an American social reformer and activist. She was a student at the Rockford Female Seminary (1877–78), where she met Jane Addams; their friendship lasted many years, although some historians have suggested that Starr was a lesbian who had a particularly close relationship with Addams. Starr taught for ten years in Chicago before joining Addams in 1888 for a tour of Europe. They returned to Chicago and co-founded Hull House.
Although Starr possessed an interest in Roman Catholicism for many years, it was only when she believed the Church was seriously teaching social justice that she converted in 1920. Even after that, her work in campaigns against child labour met with much opposition from inside the Church. In 1931, seriously ill, Ellen Gates Starr retired to a Roman Catholic convent in Suffern, New York, where she died on February 10, 1940. She was cared for by the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus, but she was not a member of their religious community (or any other).
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=e
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=e
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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