James E. Tower to Jane Addams, May 15, 1911


NEW YORK MAY 15TH, 1911.

Miss Jane Addams,
Hull House,
Chicago, Ill.

Dear Madam:

By the recommendation of our mutual friend, Mrs. Kretsohmar, I am writing you of a plan which I have very much at heart, and in which I hope to have your cooperation.

I have been reading Graham Taylor's report, in the Survey, of Chicago's Vice Commission, and am surprised to learn therefrom, that the ranks of women employed in domestic service furnish the largest percentage of victims of the shameful conditions revealed in the investigation of our great "social" problem.

Have not the employers of these women and girls a considerable responsibility in this matter? May not their attitude, or their actual behavior, influence the maids?

I know of no one else in the United States whose views on the servant problem seem to me as sound and helpful as yours. I am fully aware of how burdened with work you are, yet I feel as if an expression from you, brief though it might be, would reach through our magazine an audience which would profit by it -- an audience which you might not otherwise have.

We are setting about giving our readers the plain truth about some difficult problems, and are seeking the cooperation of the women and men who we believe will deal with them in the largest, most inspiring and helpful manner. The topic I here suggest is a phase, in our plan, of the larger study of sounder relations between the sexes. Should another phase of this question seem to open for you a more promising avenue of expression, we should accept any change or amendment which you might make.

The matter of money compensation we should feel like leaving to you. I am sure this could be arranged without difficulty.

Hoping to hear favorably from you, I am

Sincerely yours,
James E. Tower [signed]

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