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I was still, as a convalescent, absent from Cornell, I spent
with Father in the mild climate of Washington, working
upon it. There I found in the Library of Congress all the
authorities on the common and statutory law affecting
children ; and quite as much to my purpose, the official
reports of the few state bureaus of labor statistics.

These revealed the pre-eminence, since sadly lost, of
Massachusetts over other industrial states as to school laws,
and labor legislation for women and children employed in
factories. As early as 1876 Massachusetts had a ten-hours
law for women, promptly upheld by her Supreme Court.
The one permanently valuable state report was that of
Carroll D. Wright, for many years chief of the Massa-
chusetts Bureau of Labor Statistics and later United
States Commissioner of Labor. In it he showed incontro-
vertibly that in Massachusetts, after women and children
were drawn into cotton textile manufacture in com-
petition with men, the weekly earnings of father, mother
and children were no more than fathers alone had pre-
viously received. Even in New York, then as now the
leading industrial state, the first state factory inspector was
not appointed until 1884.

The deplorable meagerness of American official informa-
tion about women and children in industry led me to search
the English records. The facts as they then presented
themselves in the two countries afforded a firm basis for
the conclusion that the future of American children de-
pended upon the further development of steam-driven
machinery and the slowly growing power of women as
citizens.

This has proved true in an unforeseen and sinister sense.
Little did we foresee that women in the United States
would not everywhere have suffrage for nearly forty years.
Still less could we anticipate that, meanwhile, the strides
of industry would be so inconceivably vast that in 1920,
the year of the census and of ratification of the federal
suffrage amendment, more than a million children between
ten and sixteen years of age would be employed. Nor could
America's bitterest critic have foretold the cynical oppo-
sition which, to this day, frustrates every effort to establish
for wage-earning children the equal protection of the law
throughout the Republic.

In the autumn following my bachelor's degree at Cornell,
I had my first experience in dealing with wage-earners.
Deprived by the adverse decision of the University of Penn-
sylvania of the opportunity of going on with serious study
while living at home, I set about starting an evening school
for working girls in Philadelphia, and was given rooms for
meetings by the New Century Club. This was in Sep-

* Published in 1882 under the title. On Some Changes in the Legal Status
of the Child Since Blackstone, in the International Review, whose editor
was Robert P. Porter, later in charge of the U. S. Census.



tember, 1882. Instruction was free, chiefly bestowed by
the younger members of the club. Two interesting aspects
of the undertaking developed immediately. Candidates were
so numerous that we overflowed before the end of the first
month all available space, including stairways and halls.
It soon appeared that the pupils, who were chiefly from
fourteen to seventeen years old, all wished to study arith-
metic and French. Most of them being department store
employes, they hoped to improve their wages by learning
more arithmetic, and the French language was desired as
an accomplishment. Many ill-paid little growing girls went
supperless twice a week, or ate two cold meals on the days
when their classes met.

My share in this undertaking came to an abrupt end at
Thanksgiving, when my older brother was ordered to the
Riviera and I was the only available person to go with
him on four days' notice. Fortunately, Mrs. Turner, a
leading founder of the New Century Club, adopted the
classes as her permanent activity, organizing them as the
New Century Guild, and remained actively interested untfl
her death, when she bequeathed it the sum of $20,000.
For more than forty years it has been a useful center, com-
bining self-government, education and recreation, having
had 5,000 members since its modest beginning.

Later in the summer of Miss Anthony's London visit,
Father and I journeyed by train, by carriage and on foot
in the Midland counties, with a detour to Hereford. An
enlightening and most agreeable episode of this journey was
a visit to Albert D. Shaw,* consul at Manchester, in whose
home we were entertained. From this visit I learned more
than I could have gathered from dozens of volumes about
protective laws then in force in England for wage-earning
men, women and children. As chairman of the Committee
on Ways and Means, Father was more than ever interested
in what he believed to be a scientific basis for a protective
tariff for American industry. His formula was simplicity
itself. It was the free admission of all goods that we were
not prepared to produce for home consumption, and high
tariff rates on all goods that we were ; in order to prevent
undercutting our prices through what he called "the pauper
labor of Europe."

IT was, therefore, for Father a startling discovery when
Mr. Shaw produced evidence that hours were materially
shorter for employes in English cotton-textile mills (nine
hours a day and fifty-four hours a week for adults) than
they were in any American state; and that the equipment
of the English mills was technically so superior to that of
American textile mills, even in his own Congressional
district, that English employes were not materially worse
off as to real wages than Father's own neighbors.

This latter statement had to be interpreted. Mr. Shaw
maintained that it followed obviously from the greater
purchasing power of money in England under free trade,
than in America under the tariff in force in 1883. The
backward state of the American cotton textile industry Mr.
Shaw, himself a Republican and a protectionist, attributed
to the policy of excessively high rates in force in the United
States.

While English textile manufacturers, subjected to the
competition of France and Germany, were compelled to



* Father of Dr. Henry L. K. Shaw, of Albany, former head of the
American Child Hygiene Association.



MY NOVITIAT:



keep their machinery up to date, ours behind their high
tariff wall, could safely defer making heavy investments in
improved machines. As to buildings, there was little to
choose between the two countries. In both they were small
and ill-lighted compared with those of today.

S a part of this pilgrimage in the Black Country, we
visited the nail and chain-makers. Their pitiful occu-
pation was in 1910, twenty-seven years later, when minimum
wage laws were first introduced in England, still one of
the four most wretched employments, and was accordingly
included in the new act, with box-making, the manufacture
of Nottingham lace curtains, and of men's and women's
ready-to-wear outer garments.

Never to be forgotten was the first of our visits in the
Black Country. A poor woman working in a lean-to at
the back of her two-room cottage, was hammering chains
on an anvil. The raw material was brought to her by a
man driving a wagon-load to be distributed throughout
the neighborhood, and the chains were collected and paid
for by him when finished for the owner. Her tears fell on
her anvil as she told us, without pausing to look up, how
she had been arrested and taken before the justice of the
peace, who sent her to jail for her third failure to send her
children to school under the compulsory education law
which had then been in force thirteen years. Not until
1870 had England provided elementary education, and then
not free.

Father asked why a justice sent a mother of three chil-
dren to jail instead of the father. She replied: "But Sir,
that was an act of mercy, because he earns more than I do,
and the loss to the family was less when I was sent away."

Father asked why she did not send her children to school
while they were too little to work and help her. She said :
"I could not earn enough to pay the fees and give them
porridge even without milk, and I dared not send them
empty. I tried giving food and the fee to one and keeping
two at home, but that broke the law too, and nothing was
gained." This cruelty continued several years until the
scandal became so great that fees were abolished, the justices
having refused to enforce them.

There was no limit to the hours of work when the un-
happy women had material and the order had to be rushed.

The owners kept wages at the lowest conceivable notch
by lengthening the lists of workers and pitting them against
each other. We were told by one woman after another
that the uniform answer of the bringer of the raw material
to complaints of the workers was, "If you don't want this
work, there's plenty that does."

From 1883 until 1910 no effective step was taken in
England to improve these industrial conditions, which fur-
nished Father during the remnant of his life evidence of
the evil working of free trade carried to its ultimate pos-
sible limit, with no restraint upon the "sweating" employ-
ers. He had, I learned, converted himself to protection
many years before in a debate in which he had undertaken
to defend free trade; and every social or industrial wrong
in England directly or indirectly attributable to free trade
had an abiding fascination for him.

During the campaign in England for control of sweat-
ing by a minimum-wage law, the cry of employers was that
tens of thousands of working people would starve if it were
passed because industry would be driven wholesale out of



33

the country. What happened, however, was that the worst
known quality of worthless hand-made chains, produced
solely for export, gradually vanished from English trade;
and the women who had made them worked thereafter upon
the next better quality of chain, and earned a minimum
livelihood in contrast with the unhappy mother a type of
thousands of home-workers whom we had seen at work
upon this trash.

Here in the Black Country I first saw life under the
sweating system, under free trade, under capitalism. I was
to come to close quarters with it later behind our Amer-
ican protective tariff, under equally unrestrained capitalism.
Thirteen years after our pilgrimage Victoria, Australia,
made in 1896 the first successful experiment in control of
the sweating system by means of minimum-wage laws which
restrain the capitalist employer from operating below levels
which the community sanctions. This procedure has now
spread in various forms throughout all industrially developed
countries, free trade and protectionist alike, except our own
where it has been temporarily checked since April, 1923, by
the reactionary decision of the United States Supreme Court
in the District of Columbia minimum-wage case.

The old debate between English free traders and Amer-
ican tariff devotees in so far as it hinged on overwork and
underpay of workers at the bottom levels of industry, was
shown to be unreal ; neither had supplied a remedy. In-
stead, from the youngest and farthest flung of the Anglo-
Saxon commonwealths came this constructive proposal oi
a new type of protective legislation within the sphere of
internal government.

IN September, 1883, following our visit to the Midlands,
Mother, my brother Albert, and I journeyed to Zurich,
where he attended school and I entered the university.

We had visited Oxford, but 'found little offered to an
American woman student. Incidentally I lost, at Rugby
Junction, on the Oxford trip, my trunk containing my
Cornell degree. I saw it put off the train and besought the
guard to put it back; but it was left there, and I never
recovered it. The loss of the degree caused anxiety because
it might lead to refusal to admit me as a student at Zurich,
or to delay of several months.

At the Polytechnicum, the Swiss equivalent 'for dean was
Herr Pedell, and this functionary was as immobile as any
English beadle celebrated by Dickens. Anxiously I laid be-
fore him my bereft state without my Cornell degree, and
asked whether I might perhaps be present at lectures as a
listener, while waiting the long time required before the
issuance of a duplicate degree by Cornell. Slowly he re-
plied :

"You may listen and you may study. When you are
ready, you may present yourself for examination. An
American degree has no value." I listened and studied,
but never presented myself for a degree.

My absence from the United States lasted about four
years. While a student I translated and, with the author's
permission, later published in New York the first of that
long series of studies of English industrial conditions cover-
ing more than three quarters of a century (beginning in
1844), of which the latest is a massive work entitled Wages
and the State.* Incidentally our contemporary author
points out that necessary legislation, providing facilities for
minimum-wage rates, has nowhere encountered such difficul-



ties as in the United States through judicial interference.

The slender volume that I translated in 1884 in Zurich
was entitled The Condition of the Working Classes in Eng-
land in 1844, by Friedrich Engels, a German whose adult
life was spent in England closely identified as an eminently
successful manufacturer with the textile industry and, while
both lived, with Karl Marx.

When the first book appeared in 1844, in Germany in
the German language, Engels was not yet twenty-four
years old. Published almost half a century before Charles
Booth's monumental work on The Life and Labor of the
People in I-ondon, it is an amazing achievement, a museum
specimen of painstaking, laborious, precise observation set
forth in language so vivid that a Frenchman of high literary
standing could hardly have excelled its clarity. It takes
nothing from the value of his portrayal of facts as they
then were, that a youth picturing in his first book conditions
which he saw, that were incident to the Industrial Revolu-
tion in England and are now universally recognized as
having been unbearable, ventured upon prophecies which
have not been fulfilled in England.

Great English philanthropists, Lord Shaftesbury first of
all, have one after another confirmed Engels' statements of
facts. Our conservative American university libraries have
slowly added to their shelves this foundation work of de-
scriptive social and industrial history. It has been refer-
ence reading in more than one institution of the higher
learning. Issued in English, in London, by Swan, Sonnen-
schein in 1887, it has appeared in successive editions. The
author I saw but once. That was in London on our way
to America.

ZURICH in those days was a small and simple city, with
many steep and narrow streets, some of them beautifully
curved, and lined with impressive remnants of old walls.
There was abundant music, and a little repertory theater sub-
sidized by the city. The forest, owned by the canton and
maintained according to the highest standards of forestry
then known, extended down from the top of the Zurichberg
almost to the Polytechnicum. It was an enchanting forest
with broad allees cut as fire safeguards, and between the
endless rows of pines, wild flowers such as I had never
seen. Here we students walked by the hour arguing in
English, French or German. For me, conversation in Rus-
sian was a dead loss because I have never succeeded in
learning the language.

From the edge af the woods there was visible on
every clear day a group of snowcaps, since, alas!
concealed at that point by apartment houses, Zurich having
become Switzerland's most important commercial center.
Then, however, it was a joke among the polyglot students
that the Russians were so busy with the future that they
never knew whether the snowcaps were clear and lovely or
shrouded in fog, any beauty that survived despite our modern
capitalist civilization being unworthy their notice.

Like all Continental universities then and now, the Poly-
technicum was without dormitories. It had no drinking
and duelling clubs like the German Burschenschaften, nor
fraternities or sororities. There were no boatraces or other
athletics, though Lake Zurich was in sight from the win-
dows. In the vacation, some Swiss students went off with



Published in 1926 by P. S. King and Son, for E. M. Burns, assistant
<n the Department of Economics of the London School of Economics.



packs on their backs, tramping among their mountains or
down to Italy. Barring the absence of athletics, they more
than any of the others were like American students. Hav-
ing no political or social grievances, and the most nearly
universal educational system the world had yet seen, they
shared in no political interest. They were young men grave-
ly preparing to earn a livelihood in the professions or as
technicians in business, and frankly bored by the large
number of foreigners. Swiss people were the freest in
the whole range of civilization. It was their proud boast
that they, like England and the United States, could admit
the oppressed of all the earth. How long it seems since
we withdrew from that noble companionship and made the
name of Ellis Island a horror!

THE women students were almost all Russians, candidates
for degrees in medicine and the sciences. There had been
one American woman graduate in medicine, Dr. Culbertson
from Boston. A Swiss, Dr. Marie Kempin, enjoyed an
already growing practice in Zurich. Dr. Anita Augsburg,
from Bavaria, was a candidate in the faculty of law; with
a Zurich degree she became a lifelong, active suffragist in
her own country. Two very beautiful and talented Rus-
sian sisters were studying, one medicine, the other chemistry,
intending to come to America; a third sister was studying
medicine in Berne. The only American woman student
beside myself was Frances Mitchell, a Philadelphian, in the
Faculty of Philosophy, who married Dr. Hans Froelicher,
a fellow student, and like him was for many years on the
faculty of Goucher College.

Among the Continental students I met occasionally a
Viennese, a man of brilliant gifts, in the late thirties. His
childhood had been one of bitter desolation. He had been
boarded out by his guardian in the home of a poor shoe-
maker, and fed almost exclusively on potatoes and goat's
milk, this meager diet registering in his slender physique
and conspicuous predisposition to tuberculosis. He described
plaintively his badgered existence between the Austrian po-
lice, through whom he received a pension as the illegitimate
son of a noble at the Court of Franz Josef and, on the
other hand, the Austrian Socialists, by writing pamphlets
and editorials for whom he eked out the meager insufficiency
of that loathed pension. The Socialists seemed to him so
unreasonable that he withdrew more than once from their
activities, only to be driven back by the chicanery of the
Austrian police. Nowhere could he find rest for his soul.

There was also a Russian exile, a student of chemistry,
who translated Marx, put his manuscript into a small
trunk and traveled as far as Fribourg on his homeward
way. While he was gone to the consul to get his passport
viseed, the landlord pried open the trunk and turned over
to the Russian consul the manuscript intended for the
underground press. The student was forthwith arrested,
delivered to the Russian police and thrown into the
Peter Paul 'fortress, held there several years and sent
to Siberia. Ultimately he escaped and crossed Behring
Strait. Having acquired in prison an excellent command
of English, he quickly found work as chemist in the Board
of Health of a city in the Middle West where he remained
for many years a much respected official. I was astonished
to meet him in the course of my duties as chief state factory
inspector, in Illinois in the "nineties."

Coming to Zurich, the content of my mind was tinder



awaiting a match. Stowed in it were those earliest serene
childhood experiences, and the tragic oppression of the re-
cently emancipated Negroes, by disfranchisement and lynch-
ing. There were pictures of pastyfaced little working child-
dren in jail-like textile mills in Manayunk, whom I saw
in the streets year after year as I drove in the phaeton
between my homes in West Philadelphia and Germantown.
In England, only a few weeks before, there had been the
pitiable toiling mothers in the chain-makers' cottages, and
the diminutive men and women in the streets of the textile
manufacturing cities of the Black Country. All these were
baffling, human problems ; and now here in Zurich among
students from many lands, was the philosophy of Socialism,
its assurance flooding the minds of youth and the wage-
earners with hope that, within the inevitable development
of modern industry, was the coming solution.

Of this I had had two stimulating foretastes before leav-
ing America. In my sophomore year I was at home sev-
eral weeks because of illness. Beside our own invalid we
had with us a friend from a western city, convalescent but
compelled to remain in Philadelphia for rest and observa-
tion. My duties were chiefly to play third at dummy whist,
and to keep our crippled guest from going home before his
cure was complete. For me Mr. Livingston was a visitor
from Mars. As an importer of fine laces he was in constant
contact with several foreign countries, making business jour-
neys thither at what were then short intervals. His father
had been a friend of Karl Marx and when the First Inter-
national, rent by inner dissension, had had its headquarters
transferred to Hoboken to save it from suppression by Euro-
pean governments, Mr. Livingston had taken a languid
interest in it. Just before his accident he had purchased,
partly as curiosities, sample pamphlets printed in English on
cheap paper in bad type, and bound in flaming paper covers.

By way of inciting a discussion he urged me to read
these queer looking pamphlets. They were as startling to
me, a sophomore, as my discovery had been years before of
the reason Grandaunt Sarah ate no sugar and always wore
linen. (Sugar and cotton were products of slave labor.)
Here were ideas and ideals undreamed of, and the head-
quarters of this world movement was as near as Hoboken!

WHEN I went back to Cornell and the invalids re-
sumed their normal lives, Mr. Livingston presented
us gifts of lasting value in memory of that winter, mine being
Vasari's Lives of the Painters. Keenly as I appreciated being
expected to interest myself in the painters, his abiding in-
fluence on my mind was rooted in those fugitive leaflets.
Intellectually that sojourn was a profitable exchange for a
share, at least, of the lost Cornell work for which I was
booked. This consisted of logic, economics, the history
of philosophy, and the philosophy of history, the whole vast
complex of learning set forth in four small square black
books, especially prepared for our students by a superannu-
ated minister who purported to elucidate all four subjects.
The other foretaste of Zurich was a lecture on Bismarck
in my last term at Cornell. President White, recently re-
turned from Berlin a devoted admirer of the creator of the
German Empire, lectured to the seniors on current history
in Europe. Incidentally he interpreted Socialism which
the Iron Chancellor was striving to repress by methods
that the German workers characterized as "sugar and the
knout." The various forms of insurance against old age,



sickness and industrial injuries they called "sugar" and
the suppression of the Socialist press and political meetings
they called the "knout." I do not know who would have
been more astonished, Bismarck or Marx, at the picture of
Socialism presented to our imagination! It was as follows:

"This class comes, I assume, from families whose heads
are more or less responsible for carrying on the activities of
the people of this state, the professions, agriculture, the in-
dustries, education, the press, transportation, and manufac-
ture. Now if Socialism were introduced here, your fathers
would be deprived of all that. It would all be handed
over to the legislature at Albany." So unsophisticated were
we that not one question was asked!

President White's interpretation and Mr. Livingston's
pamphlets were tangents in my intellectual background on
entering the Polytechnicum at Zurich to study law. The
Socialist press, driven out of Germany, had headquarters
in Zurich, and thither came frequently leaders of the move-
ment who were members of the Reichstag.



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