Survey Associates.

The Survey (Volume 58) online

. (page 61 of 130)
Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesThe Survey (Volume 58) → online text (page 61 of 130)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


At home they used equally coarse into the offices and shops of Chi- workers.

sharp needles for sewing buttons on cago, and Illinois passed a factory The bill created a state factory in-

garments. The contrast was a hide- act and set Mrs. Kelley at the task spection department on whichwascon-

ously painful one to witness, espe- O f enforcing it the first and the ferred power, with regard to tenement-

cially when the children fell asleep only woman to be a chief state in- ma( ^ e goods found on infected pre-

spector of factories It was there mises> unic l ue in this country in 1893.
' '



at their work in their homes.

Out of this enquiry, amplified by



Illinois changed, at a single stride,



ut o ts enqury, ampe y -^ ^ background Q f #,/_ nos cange, at a snge stre,

Hull-House residents and other vol- j4 , ,, ^ ,, ,' from no legislation restricting work-

unteers rew the volume ublished *> '** ?. Kelley began her |n hours in manufacture for men



|ng hours in manufacture for men>



, >

under the title Hull-House Maps and uninterrupted work for wage-earn- women or children, by day, by night,

Papers. One map showed the dis- ing women and children which is or by the week, to a maximum eight-

tribution of the polyglot peoples. An- here set forth as the fourth chap- hours day for girls and for women of

other exhibited their incomes (taken ter of her Notes of Sixty Years, all ages, in all branches of manufacture.



WUKK



Hospitality akin to that of Hull-House, established long
efore Miss Addams made her home in Chicago, was still

llractised in 1892 and many years thereafter, sixteen miles

Jut on the north shore of Lake Michigan, at Winnetka.
This was in the home of Henry Demarest Lloyd and

Jessie Bross Lloyd, his wife. Their house, the home life
vithin which is an exquisite memory, stood on high ground

lacing eastward toward the lake, across a sloping field. The

futlook was symbolic.

"'HITHER Miss Addams convoyed me the day after
my arrival at Hull-House, and there my three city-
pred little children and their nurse spent the rest of their
st western winter, well and happy under Mrs. Lloyd's
rise, unwearied kindness and exhilarated by unimagined
xperiences of country freedom and outdoor winter play,
/hen spring came it was possible to install them com-
rtably, and well cared for, close to the little Winnetka
day school where the sons of the Lloyd family had made
jthe change from home teaching to school. Winnetka was
vithin easy commuting distance, and I was in constant touch
nth my bairns. That thrice blest winter began for us
friendships which, like those born of my Cornell experience,
ontinue in the third generation.

Mr. Lloyd was preparing his work, published in 1894,
on Wealth Against Commonwealth, the epoch-making be-
jjginning of the long series of enquiries into the social and
industrial effects of great monopolies of our natural re-
sources. He was already gathering material for his later
volume Newest England: Notes of a Democratic Traveler
in New Zealand, and for several others. He carried on a
continuous international correspondence, with students of
the incipient transition toward the present phase of the
world-wide struggle for democracy in industry, for demo-
cratic control of government, for the collective spirit in
I human affairs.

Delicate, sensitive, reticent, a student and a man of let-
| ters, Mr. Lloyd had suffered deeply during the horrors of
the Haymarket trials. He saw clearly that that iniquitous
precedent must distort the course of the law in Illinois for
generations to come. The remnant of his life was animated
by zeal to make available to the American people the ex-
perience of other nations in removing remediable evils such
as, when not remedied, lead to anarchy and Communism.
Within the world-wide circle of friends and acquaintances
of the Lloyd household was Governor John Peter Altgeld.
When the new law took effect, and its usefulness depended
upon the personnel prescribed in the text to enforce it,
Governor Altgeld offered the position of chief inspector to
Mr. Lloyd, who declined it and recommended me. I was
accordingly made chief state inspector of factories, the first
and so far as I know, the only woman to serve in that
office in any state.

There had been suspiciously little opposition in the press
or the legislature while our drastic bill was pending. It
had passed both houses, and was signed by Governor Altgeld
fairly early in the spring. Indeed the enactment of this
measure, destined to be a milestone in the national history
of our industry and our jurisprudence, was almost unnoticed.
For this absence of timely opposition the reasons are inter-
esting and significant.

Illinois still thought of itself as agricultural, although it
ranked then as it does today, third among manufacturing
states when measured by the value of its output. But neither



273



manufacture nor the entrance therein of women and girls
monopolized the imagination of Illinois in 1893. Nearly
every American-born family in Chicago owned a farm in
the background, in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa or Kentucky

lllmo,s was, in fact, a state and Chicago was a city chiefly
f mens industries, Chicago being then as now the pre-
dommant, vast, unique, inland center of freight transporta-
tion by lake and rail in this hemisphere. Illinois coal and
Minnesota iron had long since been united by great corpora-
tions to produce steel, the employes being of course ex-
clusively men and boys. Rapid development of agricultural
machinery (plows, reapers and threshers) was as natural
as the growth of a whole city of Pullman carshops, now in-
corporated with Chicago, or as the stockyards.

The growing, important and permanent part played by
women in Illinois industry was not widely recognized,
although their role in Elgin, a city already famed for
watches, was an indispensable one. Not less so was it in
the vast, ever-expanding Chicago Western Electric works
which rivalled the World's Fair as an attraction for foreign
visitors, European and Oriental alike. The needle trades,
though well started, hardly promised their present dimen-
sions, and the typewriter was just beginning to introduce
women and girls to the offices where commerce, wholesale
and retail, was so soon to become preeminently the field of
their activities.

The only child labor law was a city ordinance of Chicago
prohibiting the employment of any child below the age of
ten years at any gainful occupation, unless it had dependent
upon it a decrepit adult relative. So no one had been an-
noyed by any law akin to ours.

Chicago, the undisputed center of finance, commerce and
manufacture in the Mississippi Valley, was itself hardly
aware that the problems of labor were inevitably permanent
and integral in its life for generations to come.

THE Haymarket riot, followed in 1888 by the hanging
of the Anarchists, the Pullman strike, the great ensuing
railroad strike of 1894, with the regular army patrolling
the Post Office, and soldiers traveling on mail trains, were
treated as they came along, by the press, the public and the
government, not as a series of vitally significant occurrences
incidental to the sudden, overwhelmingly rapid development
of capitalism in this vast rural area; they were treated as
disagreeable episodes to be ended somehow and forgotten
as quickly as possible.

As for social palliatives or preventives for injustice, hard-
ship and labor disturbances, there were none. Workmen's
compensation was not yet under discussion. It did not ar-
rive for twenty years. The Illinois Constitution of 1872
forbade the payment of more than $5,000 for a life. It
was actually cheaper to kill a worker than to injure one,
because the jury might vote punitive damages to the in-
jured person.

The final decisive reason for the bewildering absence of
contemporary hostility to the enactment of the Illinois
factory law of 1893 was probably the universal indifference
to enforcement of laws of any kind. A statute was put on
the books and nothing happened. Or if an attempt at
enforcement was made, the State Supreme Court was relied
upon to annul the law. Or the ensuing legislature repealed it.

This latter fate had befallen a compulsory education law
enacted by the legislature of 1891, requiring instruction in
English in all schools throughout the state. After a virulent



274



1 GO TO WORK



political campaign this measure was wiped out by the
legislature of 1893. The feeling was, however, very strong
that something must be done for the children. Our provision
that they could not be employed for wages in manufacture
before the fourteenth birthday or longer than eight hours,
or at night, or without a certificate, was for this reason
not wholly unwelcome.

My appointment dated from July 12, 1893. The ap-
propriation for a staff of twelve persons was $12,000 a year,
to cover salaries, traveling expenses, printing, court costs,
and rent of an office in Chicago. The salary scale was, for
the Chief $1,500 a year; for the first assistant, also a woman,
Alzina P. Stevens $I,OOO; and for each of the ten deputies
of whom six were men $720. Needless to say this had been
voted by a legislature predominantly rural.

It was Governor Altgeld's definite intent to enforce to
the uttermost limit this initial labor law throughout his
term of office. He was a sombre figure; the relentless hard-
ship of his experience as boy and youth had left him embit-
tered against Fate, and against certain personal enemies, but
infinitely tender towards the sufferings of childhood, old
age and poverty. He was an able, experienced lawyer, and
his sense of justice had been outraged by the conduct of the
trial of the Anarchists. Indeed, no one yet knows who
threw the fatal bomb in the Haymarket riots. The men
who were hanged were charged with conspiracy to do a deed
of which no one has ever known the actual doer. All the
evidence against them was circumstantial, and in this respect
the trial is, so far as I know, still unique in the history of
American jurisprudence, the only trial closely resembling it
in any considerable degree being that of the Molly Maguires
in the mining regions of Pennsylvania in the early seventies
of the Nineteenth Century. To Governor Altgeld's mind
the whole Illinois retributive procedure presented itself as
terrorism.

To the personnel of the newly created department for
safeguarding women and children who must earn their liv-
ing in manufacture, Governor Altgeld showed convincingly
a passionate desire to use every power conferred for the
benefit of the most inexperienced and defenseless elements
in industry in Illinois.

MY first effort to apply the penalty for employing chil-
dren below the age of sixteen years without the
prescribed working paper, led me to the office of the district
attorney for Cook County. This was a brisk young poli-
tician with no interest whatever in the new law and less in
the fate of the persons for whose benefit it existed. The
evidence in the case I laid before him was complete. An
eleven-years-old boy, illegally engaged to gild cheap picture
frames by means of a poisonous fluid, had lost the use of his
right arm, which was paralyzed. There was no compensa-
tion law and no prohibition of work in hazardous occupa-
tions. There was only a penalty of twenty dollars for em-
ploying a child without the required certificate. The young
official looked at me with impudent surprise and said in a
tone of astonishment:

"Are you calculating on my taking this case?"
I said: "I thought you were the district attorney."
"Well," he said, "suppose I am. You bring me this
evidence this week against some little two-by-six cheap
picture-frame maker, and how do I know you won't
bring me a suit against Marshall Field next week?
Don't count on me. I'm overloaded. I wouldn't reach



this case inside of two years, taking it in its order."
That day I registered as a student in the Law School of
Northwestern University for the approaching fall term, and
received in June, 1894, a degree from that University whose
graduates were automatically empowered to practice before
the Supreme Court of Illinois. Credit was given for my
reading law with Father in Washington in 1882, my study
in Zurich, and one year in the senior class in Chicago. The
lectures were given in the evening and did not interfere with
my administrative work.

In Chicago, in the winter and spring and summer of 1893,
all available public spirit and creative energy were centered
upon the World's Fair. The name was not an exaggeration.
World-wide publicity had brought together works of all the
arts in such profusion, and of such superior quality as have
never since been assembled on this continent. Like its Phila-
delphia predecessor, the Exposition was opened on July 4.
Here was gloriously celebrated, as has been said before, the
coming of age of American industry. Certainly no one who
saw that marvellous achievement of art, architecture and
enterprise unified for a common, noble purpose, can ever
forget it.



A^AS for its ephemeral effect upon the community which
produced it! When it vanished, Chicago was out-
wardly as though the Fair had never been. A lovely vision,
an entrancing mirage had come and gone. Smoke, soot,
crude, uncoordinated building of clumsy structures without
common plan or civic forethought, remained and long con-
tinued as they had been before the Fair. The Field Museum
and the broad avenue named the Midway were exceptions
that proved this rule.

Two less famous occurrences of 1893 in Chicago were
the financial and industrial panic with protracted unemploy-
ment and wretched suffering, and the epidemic of smallpox
which followed a neglected case on the Midway of the Ex-
position. These horrors carried over throughout the year
1894, and with the latter I was excitingly identified.

At the close of the Fair, the hideous fact could no longer
be concealed that smallpox had been gradually spreading
from the Midway to the homes of some garment workers
on the West Side. It was mandatory upon us to seek, as
soon as we learned this, all clothing in process of manufac-
ture in such places and, if exposure to the presence of the
infection was clearly provable, to destroy the goods on the
premises. We could never learn with any approach to ac-
curacy how nearly all of the exposed goods we ultimately
found.

Daily reports to the Board of Health with requests for
immediate vaccination of the exposed dwellers in tenements
placarded with the yellow smallpox card, produced no re-
sults. Milkmen came and went as usual. The families of
patients, vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, visited the cor-
ner grocery and went their way to the factories. Among
the immigrants who were the bulk of the garment-making
home workers, the only really safe ones were those who
had had smallpox in the old country, or who had been vac-
cinated at Ellis Island as a preliminary to admission to this
country. Babies born after landing had little chance of sur-
viving, for the vaccination ordinance was as little enforced
as any other law. Many infants and little children we found
concealed on closet shelves, wrapped in bundles, sometimes
to keep them from being vaccinated, sometimes to keep them
with the disease so fully developed (Continued on p. 301)



Horizon Lines

A Monthly Survey of Our International Frontiers

By JAMES G. MCDONALD



PEECHES rather than actions, pronounce-
ments rather than deeds, have occupied the
center of the international stage during re-
cent weeks. At Geneva the Preparatory
Disarmament Commission discontinued its
prolonged and not very fruitful debates,
'ithin a few days it was succeeded by the International
momic Conference, which, after but a brief week of
iratory, resolved itself into sections to study technical prob-
Thus do economists and financiers improve upon the
rhnique of diplomats ! In China factional strife within the
iuomintang checked its amazing advance while the foreign
mics in Shanghai exulted : "We told you so." But
Iritain, following the United States' example, quietly an-
lounced that it would not now forcibly compel complete
Iress for the Nanking incident. In Washington Senators
id other officials commented on, and it is to be hoped
studied, M. Briand's extraordinarily interesting proposal of
in outlawry-of-war treaty between the United States and
'ranee. Meanwhile Charles Evans Hughes read pacifist
militarist theorists a stinging but salutary lecture. In
New York President Coolidge, holding out the olive branch
to Mexico and China, enunciated in the gentlest of tones
far-reaching imperial doctrines. The past fortnights have
been filled with words, but words pregnant with good and
evil.

A*I admirable summary of the latest effort under League
auspices to prepare a program for an international
disarmament conference is the following extract from a
confidential memorandum dated April 28 from a Geneva
observer very much in-the-know:

The Preparatory Commission of the Disarmament Confer-
ence has finally adjourned. It was time. If it had sat a few
more days, there would have been nothing left of the original
agreement. . . . There is a feeling of frustration here partic-
ularly because of the failure to come to an agreement on con-
trol. It is considered in the Secretariat of the League of
Nations that in that lies the really essential part of the con-
vention. Not that one imagines one can control efficiently the
armaments of the different countries or that one would wish
to intervene in their domestic affairs. The Secretariat as a
whole is too prudent to have such aims, but it is believed that
the existence of an international organization charged with fol-
lowing armaments problems, added to the principle of pub-
licity, would suffice to cause armaments to pass from the do-
main of absolute national sovereignty, in which they are today,
into the domain of international obligations, which admit of
mutual control and national points of honor.

It is not believed, however, that the present session has
been completely useless. It has encouraged the growth of
what has previously been lacking, that is, the active interest
of public opinion in disarmament. European opinion has
hitherto been interested only in security.

In all the delegations except the Italian, which was di-
rected by a general and whose instructions were uniformly
negative, there was noticeable a duality of mind among the
delegates, those from civil life were generally more favor-



were nrl 7 TT' ^ '^ mi ' itSry T " aval *
vere inclined to declare every concession impossible. It is be-
Ueved that , the course of time the civil will overcome the

Ltary element and that some of the certain differences which
may still appear insurmountable, will disappear between now
and autumn.

Finally, Count Bernstorff has pointed out, although in
ve,led terms, that the German Government believed that it
had rece.ved a formal promise in the preamble of Part V of
the J reaty of Versailles that its enforcement was but a pre-
liminary to general disarmament, and that if this promise
were not kept, his Government might have to reconsider its
own armaments. Thus one sees how the question is presented'
Limit the armaments of all countries or risk seeing the
former German army again organized. The day when public
opinion shall have understood this dilemma clearly, the limita-
tion of armaments will have made a great advance.

It would perhaps advance still more if it were possible to
connect the question of disarmament, in some way, with that
of inter-allied debts. It is said on many sides that American
public opinion would be more disposed to make concessions in
the debts problem if Europe showed herself, on her side, in-
clined toward a limitation of armaments. I believe, myself,
that it is a little late for the United States to influence Europe
by means of the debts.

THE International Economic Conference which con-
vened May 4 is the League's major spring and summer
attraction. The attendance of about seventeen official dele-
gations and their experts, a large number of journalists,
technicians, business men, etc. give to the gathering all the
appearances of a regular League Assembly. Its rules are
those of the Assembly. Its meetings are held in the Salle
de Reformation. Perhaps the American delegation seated in
the center of the Assembly Hall surrounded by representa-
tives from all parts of the world is an augury of 'full cooper-
ation with the League.

For the first time Moscow has accepted an important
League invitation. Frankly analyzing from the economic point
of view the commercial and political needs of the world,
the Soviet delegates appealed for cooperation in the com-
mon problem of world reconstruction. The skeptic's com-
ment that all this would be a bid for common loans ignores
what may be the larger significance of this latest evidence
of the Soviet New Economic Policy.

The delegates are of two kinds. By far the largest part
have been named by, but do not represent officially, the
governments. Others, however, have been selected by the
Council of the League which reserved itself the right to
select supplementary delegates. For example, the Council
added four women delegates since but one was government-
ally appointed. Labor, however, though it has no delegate
in the American group, is so well represented in the other
national groups that the Council did not feel called upon
to add additional workers' spokesmen. Delegates are also
present from the International Chamber of Commerce, the
International Labor Office and the International Institute
of Agriculture at Rome.



275



276



HORIZON LINES



Public understanding of the Geneva discussion is likely
to be confused by one of two basic misinterpretations : Either
by the expectation that the Conference will attempt to con-
clude draft treaties with the purpose among others of end-
ing high or prohibitive tariffs, or by the fear that its results
will be wholly academic and therefore of no real value.

Immediate and tangible results must not be expected.
The delegations cannot propose treaties. But they can sug-
gest programs of action. They can propose subsequent con-
ferences by official representatives empowered to draft bind-
ing agreements.

As one student of the conference writes:

Heretofore public opinion has been interested in economic
problems only from the purely national angle. ... It is now
a question of convincing the leaders of opinion that political
policies are closely connected with problems of peace and
security and that a domestic or foreign policy, which appar-
ently may be advantageous, is not so if it results in weakening
a region or a continent as a whole. The Conference will
doubtless become, from this point of view, a manifestation of
European solidarity.

PERSONAL clashes between Chinese leaders and con-
flicts about methods and strategy rather than funda-
mental differences as to objectives seem to be the causes
of the present dissensions in the Kuomintang. These have
been worse than was hoped but less than was feared by
friends of the Nationalists. Despite tirades which Hankow
and Nanking have hurled at each other, rumors of recon-
ciliation persist. In the meantime reports of the complete
disintegration of the Nationalist movement may be dis-
regarded. There is no evidence that the basic principles
of Sun Yat-sen are less popular than before, or that the
cries " Down with the unequal treaties" and "Give us back
our territory" have lost their potency.

It would not be surprising if a century hence historians
wrote of the Chinese revolution much as present-day his-
torians write of our War of Independence. Then, as now,
there were almost unbridgeable dissensions between the rad-
icals and the moderates, between the leaders of laborers and
the farmers and the representatives of the gentry and the
merchants. Only a heritage of centuries of self-government
and the unselfish leadership of men like Washington pre-
vented disastrous cleavages between the left and the right.
Far-reaching revolutions are never the orderly and har-
monious affairs depicted in our text books.

The attitude of the powers has become less truculent.
Refusing to yield to the pressure 'for strong arm methods,
President Coolidge on April 25 hinted at a conciliatory
policy. This was confirmed a few days later by the official
announcement that this government would not be a party
to any ultimatum which might lead to forcible measures



Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesThe Survey (Volume 58) → online text (page 61 of 130)