Interview with Jane Addams, August 30, 1923 (excerpts)


Government Regulation of Coal Mines Coming Belief of Jane Addams

MISS JANE ADDAMS, one of the founders of Hull House, Chicago, and Dr. Alice Hamilton, only woman member of the faculty of Harvard University, photographed just after they landed here today from the liner President Cleveland.


Another War Unthinkable Says Visitor

America's Foremost Woman to Spend Time Here Quietly Recuperating From Illness Which Attacked Her in Japan.

HEART weary from the spectacle of a world gone [mad] with the blood lust of war, ravaged by illness which brought her close to death recently in Japan, Miss Jane Addams justified the [appellation] "America's foremost woman" when she landed in Honolulu yesterday from the liner President Wilson.

Saddened and physically a mere shadow of the dynamic social worker of a few years ago, Miss Addams has lost none of the spiritual fire which for nearly half a century has been a world marvel; in fact, with her waning temporal force she seems to have been imbued with added inspirational power.


Miss Addams does not believe there will be another world war; she can't conceive of civilized peoples being so utterly unreasonable as to countenance a repetition of the recent slaughter. But she does not make the statement as a result of her observations on her present trip around the world, she did not attempt to make a political survey, confining herself to the progress of social work in the various countries she visited.

She does expect governmental regulation of coal mining in the United States.

Three distinguished women comprise the Addams party, which is to remain in Honolulu until September 8. With Miss Addams are Dr. Alice Hamilton, assistant professor of industrial [page 2] medicine at the Harvard College of Medicine, and Miss Mary Rozet Smith, a trustee of Hull House, the famous settlement founded by Miss Addams and Miss Ellen G. Starr at Chicago in 1889. Dr. Hamilton is the only woman member of the faculty of Harvard. She joined Miss Addams in Japan when she received word that the famous social worker was ill there.


"Harvard hasn't any women students; but Dr. Hamilton is one woman who is teaching the men there something," smiled Miss Addams.

Miss Smith has been the traveling companion of Miss Addams on several trips abroad. She joined the Hull House founder at Paris on the present trip, after Miss Addams had attended the convention of the Women's International League at The Hague. They traveled together through India, China, The Philippines and Japan.


Hawaii's "Bill of Rights" is of the greatest interest to Miss Addams and she said yesterday [that] she intended to study it [thoroughly] before leaving Honolulu. Governor Wallace R. Farrington promised last [night] to see that Miss Addams [is?] supplied with copies of the Bill. While Miss Addams does [not] interest herself directly in [politics] under ordinary [circumstances] it is hoped that her [influence] can be enlisted towards [gaining] for the Territory justice from the federal government.

Miss Addams' physical condition will not permit her any great activity during her visit here but she has consented to give a five-minute informal talk at the Central Union Church next Friday evening when Chester Rowell is to address the Pan-Pacific Union and the League of Women Voters.


She will also, in all probability, meet members of the Honolulu Social Service Workers Association informally at the Pleasanton Hotel, where she is stopping, next Thursday evening. Definite plans for the affair have not yet been concluded. The public will not be invited to this meeting.

War psychology still exists in Europe, Miss Addams says, and because it does conditions are still badly unsettled there. But she believes from superficial observation that a gradual improvement is to be noted. She distinctly was not pessimistic.

"It is only natural that there should be [quarreling] among the nations," she said.


As to the French occupation of the Ruhr, Miss Addams said she had only scraps of information through dispatches and the view of British subjects with whom she had talked in India.

"The British feel that until the old war hatred is allowed to die not much progress can be made towards restoration of world peace," she said.

Her information regarding the industrial situation on the mainland is meager, too, she said. When asked what she thought of the statements of President Coolidge and Governor Pinchot that coal strikes could not be permitted, she remarked:


"I hardly think either one of them would have made an unconsidered statement." Then she added:

"I believe that eventually coal will be mined under some sort of governmental regulation; it is so vital to the welfare of the nation."

Miss Addams was met at Quarantine by Dr. F. F. Bunker, executive secretary of the Pan-Pacific Union, and was greeted at the pier by Mrs. Harriet Castle Coleman and Miss Ermine Cross, director of the Castle Kindergarten.