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A nation at work in human uplift




Superintendent of the
Bethlehem Institutions, Los Angtles, Cat.

Author of "The Better City"



Copyright, 19 1 r

Botton, Massachusetti



and that group of constructive workers in our government

service who, during the past decade, have stood for

Justice and Equality of Opportunity, and who

have always " set the common good of all of

us above the private gain of some of us,"

iSooii 10 Dettitatett



The vital welfare of a nation is of larger import than
the physical extension of its borders. The effort to
raise life to its highest value once the work of the
individual or the group is now recognized of such im-
portance that the government itself has entered into
social service and the nation has acknowledged the
work of human uplift as its highest prerogative.

The purpose of this book is to point out some of the
lines along which our nation is moving toward a
larger co-operation in the interest of all the people,
the plain people as well as the prosperous; to show a
nation at work in internal improvement rather than in
foreign conquest; to exhibit real democracy in the

This is not intended to be an exhaustive study of all
of the uplift work of the nation, but rather illustrative
as to methods employed and somewhat suggestive
as to what more can be done.

In order to trace the development of National
Social Service, it has been necessary to include the
description of many of the successful efforts along
state and municipal lines.

I wish to acknowledge the courteous treatment on
the part of all government officials when approached
for information. The readiness of response on their
part and the completeness of the facts which they
furnished makes research work in government matters
a pleasure. I am greatly indebted to various federal
departments for the loan of many of the illustrations
used in this book.

Los Angeles, Cal.

January, 1911


Chapter Page















A nation at work in human uplift Frontispiece

Desert land made valuable by irrigation 76

Frederick Haynes Newell, Director of U. S. Reclamation

Service 83

Old way Logs cut and left together, Lodgepole pine,

Colorado 98

Gifford Pinchot, former chief of U. S. Forest Service 104

The land logged with care and protected from fire. The

timber and wood keep coming 119

Digging canals to carry water to distant water valleys 126

James Wilson, Secretary of Agriculture 140

Future homesites for the people 156

Clay road, Eastover, South Carolina 200

The government hospital on the Panama Canal 229

Teaching the people how to build good roads 238

The government is building good roads 241

The oxygen helmet in life-saving 259

View of Fort Stanton, New Mexico 283

Wallipai school boy at Hackberry. Trained in a govern-
ment school 317

Educating the Indians 326

Statute of Liberty on the Dome of Capitol, Washington,

D. C 445

In the Yosemite National Park 450

The design of the Hague Peace Palace which received the

First Prize. By L. M. Coronnier, of Lille 470

A Fourth of July fiesta at Iwahig, 1907, each division

with float showing work 485

Los Angeles makes its own cement for the great acqueduct 491


Social Service

A nation at work in human uplift that is the
ideal, yet we have as a people fallen short in
our treatment of the hungry, the naked, the
stranger, the sick and the prisoner. At last
we are beginning to understand the meaning
of poverty, the number of those who are living
below the poverty line, the amount of wretch-
edness and misery which is to be found in every
city. In fact, now for the first time we are
beginning to learn how the other half lives. It
took Booth to show us darkest England and
its submerged tenth in Whitechapel. It took
Jacob Riis, by turning the limelight upon the
reeking New York tenement, to show us its
squalor and breeding places of disease. We
have heard the cry of the outcast children,
voiced in pitiless wail. Social settlements
have sprung up, every one of which has bec6me
a center for the gathering of facts regarding
poverty and disease.

So we have been forced to take notice of


conditions and ask ourselves the way out from
this wilderness of despair.

It was Huxley who said: "It is certain that
there is an immense amount of remediable
misery among us. Unless this is effectually
dealt with, the hordes of vice and pauperism
will destroy modern civilization as effectually
as uncivilized tribes of another kind destroyed
the great social organization which preceded


In this the one word to be emphasized is
"remediable," and if this is so then we need not
lose heart, but learn how to apply the remedy,
believing that in time the misery of the world
will decrease.

As we have been learning our lesson, what
have been the steps by which we have gone
forward? It is a far cry from the time when
the aged and the weak were exposed to die, to
this day with its hospitals and homes for the
infirm, and the progress has been slow through-
out the weary years.

The first movement toward the better way
came to the world when a few rare souls moved
by the spirit of loving service gave themselves
in gentle ministry to the poor and needy.
They could not check the plague, but they
could cheer the dying and bury the dead; they


could not furnish employment, but they could
divide the loaf of bread with the hungry; they
could not stay the ravages of war, but they
could be nurses on the battlefield.

This spirit of loving service has not grown
less but has rather increased as the years have
passed by and the deaconess, the sister of
mercy, the Salvation Army lassie, and the
mission worker have given all that they had
to "the least of these."

While these loving souls have labored, others
have given their money, asking only that the
sight of wretchedness and misery be kept far
from them. Helpful as were these ministra-
tions they afforded no final solution of the
problem of poverty, for the great crowd of
needy ones never grew less and the clamorous
cry for help rose and fell in ever increasing

That something more had to be done was
very evident, and the leaders in the great
humanitarian movements said: "System is
what we need ." And so the next great step was
in organizing charity.

This was certainly a gain, for duplication
was avoided. There was less of pauperizing
and more of the personal touch of the friendly
visitor. Men who had fallen behind were


taught thrift and self-reliance and aided in
their movement to a larger manhood.

But organizing charity did not seem to lessen
greatly the amount of poverty and wretched-
ness. We were handling results, and failing
to reach the cause which lay farther back.

A new type of worker came forth as a search-
er for this cause. Usually he was found in
some settlement, not as an old-fashioned
sociologist, studying outward conditions, but
rather as a brother of the helpless who was
seeking to answer for them the almost in-
articulate cry of their hearts.

Those who have spent years in the very
centers of unrest, with one accord are saying
that much of the disease and death, crime and
poverty, is preventable yes, that is the word,

The mission worker tenderly comforts the
mother in the tenement, who has lost her babe.
That is good, but better still is the work of
the city nurse who through the long, hot sum-
mer cares for the children in other tenements,
instructing the mothers in the proper use of
clothes and food, and perhaps sending both
mother and babe into the country for a week,
thus saving their lives.


Perhaps the tenement inspector discovers
the deadly sewer gas and warns the owner to
make repairs, and thus keeps one more of
"the least of these" from being buried in the
potter's field. Better still, because Jacob
Riis has spoken, the city itself has moved to
the destruction of the death-dealing tenement
and a play-ground takes its place, and new
sanitary dwellings house the dispossessed.

We call this a part of a great social move-
ment, yet we must also call it a spiritual
movement, as it stirs the hearts of men in
every land. Tolstoy says : "Mankind is about
to be seized with a frenzy, a madness of love."

"This will not, of course, happen smoothly
or all at once; it will involve misunderstand-
ings even sanguinary ones, perchance so
trained and so accustomed have we been to
hatred, even by those, sometimes, whose
mission it was to teach us to love one another.
But it is evident that this great law of brother-
hood must be accomplished some day, and I
am convinced that the time is commencing
when our desire for its accomplishment will
become irresistible."

Inspired by this message, let us read again
the familiar words of the Christ descriptive of


the judgment day: "When I was hungry ye
gave me food; when I was thirsty you gave me
drink; when I was a stranger you took me to
your home; when I was naked you clothed me;
when I fell ill you visited me; when I was in
prison you came to me. Lord, when did we
all these things to you? As often as you did
it to one of these, my brothers, however lowly,
you did it to me."

A new spirit is taking possession of many
students of the social problem. The old way
of tenderly caring for the sick in hospital and
dispensary is being reinforced by the new view
that disease is something to be studied, over-
come and prevented.

We once said that crime was normal, that
heredity was a constant factor and that the
best we could do was to build a prison, em-
ploy a chaplain, and endeavor to reform the
prisoner. The new view is that crime is not
necessary, that environment means more than
heredity, and that most crime can be pre-
vented if you only give the boy and the man a
chance to live right.

In the old days we pitied the poor, but the
new view that poverty itself may be blotted
out, crystallizes our pity into remedial action.


Changed economic, political and social con-
ditions may help to lift the burdens which
have grown almost too heavy to bear.

The truest friend of "the least of these"
gives more than a passing sympathy, or a coin
tossed into the outstretched hand, or even a
gentle word of cheer. He is a constructive
and preventive worker, who, first of all, seeks
to find out the cause of existing evils and then
wisely applies the remedy.

He who would fulfill the social service needed
today must not be like the one who taught the
ragged school a half century back, for the de-
mand of the modern world is deeper than
clothes ; deeper than daily bread ; it is a demand
for opportunity a cry for a chance to be a

True social service means each for all, and
all for each. It means working together for
the good of all. It is altruistic in spirit; yea,
deeper than that; it is vicarious; it has in it the
element of sacrifice, the sacrifice of the lower
for the higher, the sacrifice of ease and comfort
and position, the sacrifice of the world's most
coveted prizes, that mankind may be brought
nearer the divine ideal.


Not alone to Jesus came the vision of per-
fected society. Many men throughout the
centuries have dreamed of a day when right-
eousness and justice would take the place of
oppression and fraud, and love would bind
men into a real brotherhood. In increasing
numbers men and women throughout the
world are saying: " 'Count me as one who loves
his fellow -men,' and let me serve or suffer if by
that means I can ease the pain of those who
have so long suffered without friend and help-
er," and they are saying this because of the
vision of a new social order which their eyes

Perhaps we may more clearly understand
the meaning of social service if we trace the
growth of the communal idea. In the early
days of the world's life the individual was
lost in the family or the tribe. Each fought
for the other against their common foes.
Uniting into larger groups, the tribes became
the nation, which was surrounded by a larger
and stronger wall of defense against the hostile
hordes pressing upon it from every side.

Later on the organization of society changed,
and a few feudal over-lords ruled their serfs
with a rod of iron. This was the beginning of


a rude and cruel individualism. The world
moved on, men began to think, and the great
value of the individual human soul laid hold
of them. Then dawned the day of a new in-
dividualism. Each man as an individual
stood upon a footing of equality before his
God and his fellows. It was the day of oppor-
tunity for church and school. Each man
could now make of his life what he chose.
The way was at length opened to him for at-
taining the highest efficiency.

Church and school might have succeeded
in saving the world had there not entered into
the world's life certain great unsocializing
forces. An intense individualism reacted upon
democracy, upon industrial life, and even
upon religious life. The great nineteenth
century movement toward a pure democracy
was checked because men were too busy with
their own affairs to give attention to govern-
ment, or they chose to make popular govern-
ment serve their own advancement. Thus by
criminal greed and misuse of public funds
many officials became enemies of the republic.
Treason was to be found in senate and state
legislature and city hall.


Individualism in industrial life produces
swollen fortunes without regard to the rights of
others. A new industrial feudalism, with new
serfs and new retainers, took the place of the
simpler industrial life of an earlier century.
The results of the new industrialism were seen
in the growth of the slum, the importation
of ignorant, unskilled workmen, the intense-
competition which largely destroyed individ-
ual initiative and brought men into masses to
be controlled as "hands" by a common head.
These unsocializing forces brought about a
condition in city, state and nation which has
continued to grow ever since; and which now
calls for change. Social service, then, the
service which the present situation demands,
means individual and collective effort to bring
about a change in government, in industry
and in social relations, which will make for
righteousness and justice.

Because we are not all agreed as to the
proper method of procedure in order to bring
about the change desired, we are divided into
schools and parties, ofttimes warring one
against another; and yet if we only knew it,
we are all workers together after a common


object, although approaching, it may be from
a somewhat different angle.

One man writes the literature of exposure,
thinking that it is enough to reveal the sin
and grief and misery and greed of the modern
world. Another belongs to a group that
thinks that law enforcement and prohibition of
evil will certainly make men good. Another
works for constructive legislation and the
establishment of institutions that will make
the good attractive. Another becomes in-
terested in some minor part of service for the
community, often blind to the fact that others
working in different ways are brothers of the
common good.

To one man the reform of party politics is
the one great end to be sought; to another the
better day cannot be brought in except by a
new party based on wiser social principles; to
the settlement worker, city congestion is
looked upon as a source of many of the cities'
ills; to another the overthrow of the saloon, of
gambling hells, and of the social evil, are the
things for which he*is giving his life.

These groups of social workers, like the
different branches of the church, are divided


by sect and creed; but as the fences which
have separated workers in the religious world
are slowly going down, so in this newer field of
service, the barriers are falling, and the allied
forces are working together with ever increasing
intelligence for the common welfare.

And this is necessary, for it is no easy task to
raise the standard of living to the ethics of
the law of love and the golden rule, even with
the combined effort of all who are laboring for
social uplift.

This movement for the improvement of ex-
isting conditions is world-wide. It is seen in
China, in its awakening from the sleep of
centuries; in Persia and Turkey, in the revolt
of the people from the rule of tyrants; in
Russia, in the heroic struggle for liberty which
grows more determined every day.

In our own land the feeling of responsibility
for the solution of problems relating to the
social order is increasing. Men who have
simply been money-makers have had a moral
awakening, and are stirred to action by the
facts which reveal man's inhumanity to man,
and show, too, the moral corruption of modern


There are many men who are freely using
their talents and their money for a cleaner Los
Angeles, a cleaner San Francisco, a cleaner
New York, a cleaner society a better world.

Reform is in the air. Men whose names
have become household words are making a
national fight in local fields. The same fight
is everywhere on to restore the government of
the people to the people, and to bring about
reform in industrial life. These reforms must
go hand in hand; for nothing has been shown
more clearly than that behind bad politics there
is bad business bad business as seen in pro-
tected vice and bad business as seen too often
in the bribery and debauchery practiced by
the big interests.

But bad business has found something to
reckon with at last. The conscience of our
people is now awake. The wave of reform
now sweeping over the country is a "demand
welling up from the hearts of the people for
higher ideals in politics, for better standards
in public morals, for civic righteousness and
for better government all along the line.'*

But social service to be effectual must be


constructive, as well as destructive. Not
only must the bad be destroyed; not only
must the better way be pointed out, but
actual work must be undertaken and institu-
tions organized that will crystallize in perma-
nent form the best which has been revealed.

No better illustration of the right sort of
social service can be found than that seen in
our cities in the care of the child in school and
playground; in the provision made for public
baths; in the making of the city beautiful by
definite plans, including the laying out of
parks, the planting of trees, and the erecting
of beautiful buildings; in the effort toward
prison reform, where the making of the man is
more thought of than the punishment of the
criminal; in establishing, wherever possible,
juvenile courts, parental schools, reformatories,
the probation system, the indeterminate sen-
tence and the parole.

Social service is also seen at its best in the
efforts to safeguard life and limb in factory and
on railroads, and in the conserving of the
nation's health by making war upon the
mosquito and thereby destroying yellow fever;
by making a nation-wide campaign against


tuberculosis the dread white plague; by
guarding the sources of water supply and de-
manding pure milk, that typhoid may not
sweep as a scourge over our cities in fact
by putting into use every remedial agency
which science has to offer.

The best thinkers of today are saying that
much of disease, accident, death, crime and
poverty is preventable. If that is so, then in
a measure each one of us is responsible if we
do not work for prevention. The church as
well as the social settlement is recognizing the
necessity for preventive measures. Char-
acter-building will always be the chief work
of the clergy; yet in every church there is an
increasing number of those who are workers in
the cause of civic righteousness and justice for
all the oppressed.

The time is not far distant when the young
men of the nation will enter social service as
eagerly as they now seek public office through
the ordinary devious ways of politics. And
surely to work for the good of the people
supplies a nobler incentive than the emolu-
ments of office or the pride of political power.


Raising The Standard

The citizen is at last coming to his own, and
the word "citizen" is now written large.

A few years ago this nation had a rude
awakening when the people discovered that
the great mass of voters had abdicated their
rights as citizens and had allowed the affairs of
government to pass into the hands of self-
seeking politicians. Why was it that so many
good men became careless, and without pro-
test allowed bad men to rule in city and state?
It seems to have been the result of an intense
individualism, combined with a desire for
wealth and personal pleasure which made
many money-mad, and blinded their eyes to
all else of social import.

If a city is composed of one hundred thou-
sand such self-seeking individuals, each seeking
his own aggrandisement, regardless of the wel-
fare of others, then the common good will be
without a champion, and the democracy that
speaks for liberty, equality and fraternity will


cease to have a following. But even this in-
tense individualism so evident in the pioneer
might not have produced such evil results had
not the growth of modern industrialism with
its keen competition forced men into un-
scrupulous methods in order to win financial

To some this government was only a means
to the end of enabling them to win more gold,
even though every dollar of their swollen
fortunes was a dishonest dollar. In order to
secure in office men that were susceptible to
bribery, the owners of monoplies and quasi-
public corporations entered into politics and
used every effort to corrupt the electorate. In
this way they became enemies of every reform
demanded by justice and public sentiment.
In city and state, the majority of legislators
were no longer servants of the people, but
puppets of a corrupt boss.

To the average man the word "politician"
had become unsavory ; therefore, he could not
afford for the sake of his business or good name
to enter into a campaign for a public office.
Had this condition gone on without protest,
our vaunted democracy would have proved a


But, at the dawn of the new century, a
mighty change came over the minds and hearts
of the people. Who can explain this great
awakening of conscience, this arousing of
interest in the common good? Who were the
leaders who went before the people in this
crusade for the right, and gave the word
"responsibility" a new import to thousands of
citizens? It may not be difficult to call the
roll of these new crusaders, but after all may
they not have been the product rather than
the cause of the mighty awakening?

A change has come not complete, it is true,
but a beginning. Not all business men are
seeking the almighty dollar only; and some
among the rich are coming to socialize their
wealth. The unsocial forces are weakening
and the bad is slowly giving away to the good.

Governor Folk emphasizes this point when
he says: "The present political awakening
marks the beginning of a new age. The next
few years will be distinguished as the time in
which industrial problems are solved, the
reign of special privilege brought to an end,
and the doctrine of equal rights fixed in poli-
tics and in the conscience of mankind."


An aroused people are at last undertaking
to solve the problem of real democracy. While
most of the effort is put forth along what
might be termed social service lines, yet the

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