James Weber Linn to Jane Addams, May, 1908


Dear Aunt Jane:

I have just read today your article in "Charities & the Commons" -- no thanks to an aunt who does not let me know what she writes. I think it is a very fine thing, and calculated to do much good. I wrote, by the way, an article for the Transcript here, and for the Herald -- a brief letter on the Chicago situation -- which both papers declined to print on the ground that [page 2] it was inadvisable to complicate the situation with rumor and allegation. Your article has been made the basis of a couple of editorials in the Companion; and the editorial writer made a comment on it which as it affects your style, of which you often complain, I thought you might not mind hearing. "To read that article" he said, "if one had never heard of Miss Addams, would be enough to demonstrate [page 3] that she was the most skillful writer on social subjects in America".

I have finally made up my mind to return to Chicago. I was offered $2500 a year here at first, with increase later. I go back to $2000 a year. But that is for a 9 months year, and they seem to think I have a chance there. Judson wrote very kindly, and Mr. Vincent came on from New York to talk it over. He says they will almost certainly give me $2500 next year, and $3000 in three years from then and an opportunity to succeed Lovett as manager of the department of composition. (This by the way is confidential.) I like teaching, and I like Lovett, Manly & Vincent very much; and as they all urged me to return and spoke very highly of my work, I have determined to risk [page 4] the return. It practically means determining to stick to the teaching profession. I have tried to consider the case thoroughly, and Mary agrees with me I think in deciding that it is wise to come back. What you say about the bureaucracy is true, and not true. Teaching is narrow; James is perfectly right in the paragraph of his which you quote. But Chicago is no [page 5] worse than the others (Harvard for instance) and better than most, and as Vincent & Lovett, who are second and third in command, are decidedly personal friends of mine. I think I shall have a freer hand than most. I daresay we are very wasteful and all that, but with our best efforts we shall find living on $2000 with two babies very hard sledding; still we hope to pull along all right somehow. I had hoped at 32, which I shall be on May 11th, to be a bit more of a financial success than I am, [but] --

Mary and Jane are splendidly well, and send you much love. Jane was two a week ago today. Give Stanley my love, and don't overwork if you can help it.

Always your loving nephew,