Address to the National Conference of Charities and Correction, May 9, 1903 (excerpt) Also known as: Child Labor and Pauperism, May 9, 1903 (excerpt)


Child Labor and Pauperism.

We may trace a connection between child labor and pauperism not only for the child and his own family, bringing on premature old age and laying aside [able-bodied] men and women in the noontide of their years; but also the grievous charge is true that it pauperizes the community itself. I should also add that it debauches our moral sentiment, it confuses our sense of values, so that we learn to think that a bale of cheap cotton is more to be prized than a child properly nourished, educated and prepared to take his place in life. Let us stand up to the obligations of our own age. Let us watch that we do not discount the future and cripple the next generation because we were too indolent, I was going to say because we were too dull, to see all that it involves when we use the labor of little children. -- Jane Addams.