Louise de Koven Bowen to Wallace L. de Wolf, July 30, 1916


July 30th.

Bar Harbor, Maine.

My dear Mr. de Wolf.

Miss Addams gave me your letter <to read> as I am Treas. <and Trustee> of Hull-House and during Miss Addams illness I have been trying to raise the necessary funds to carry on our various activities, the majority of them having to do with the education, health, recreation, comfort and happiness of the ten thousand people who come every week to Hull-House.

When we see hundreds of underfed and wretched little children who need the good food and fresh air of our country place, and when we are obliged to leave these little children in the stifling [page 2] city because there is not enough money to take them away, we naturally regret that because a donor does not approve of a all our methods the children are <have> made to suffer.

I do not live at Hull-House but I have worked there <continuously> for twenty one years and although I do not always approve of every action of all of the forty six residents living there yet I know them to be on the whole an self-sacrificing <able> conscientious body of people who have voluntarily and without compensation chosen to live in an unattractive part of the city in order that they might enter more fully and sympathetically into the lives of the people of that neighborhood.

It is the policy of the house in strikes or labor troubles which concern [page 3] its constituents to find out if possible the difficulties on both sides and to make every effort to [adjust] differences. Whether it succeeds or not it always does what it can to help and sympathize with the mothers and children, the non-combatants. It would be as unnatural for it to turn away from its neighbors in trouble as it would be for a mother to turn her children out of doors if they happened to be behaving badly.

You referred in your letter to the strike of the waitresses, while we thought that strike ill advised it was impossible not to sympathize with the girls who were not receiving a living wage and who were s so roughly treated by the police that in several instances they were severely injured.

I regret to trouble you with so long a letter but I feel sure that did you know more of Hull-House and its activities and of the happiness it brings to thousands of people you would appreciate its value to the community and be proud of the fact that it is a part of our city.

Miss Addams does not know that I am writing this letter but I cannot help protesting against the unjust and unfounded charges in your letter.

Sincerely Yours

Louise de Koven Bowen [signed]

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