Katharine Coman to Jane Addams, December 9, 1913

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Calle de los Angeles 5, Seville, Spain.
December 9th, 1913.

My dear Miss Addams,

You will be interested to know that I spent the month of October at the International Institute studying its achievements and its needs. The school is a brilliant success so far as our Spanish constituency is concerned. Every bed in both houses is occupied and the number of day students is greater than ever before. There are four students in the new normal course and thirteen in the institute course, and the girls as a whole are of a more mature and promising type than in previous years. Such an education as we offer does not appeal to the rich and fashionable, but the daughters of university professors etc. the "intellectual proletariat" come to the International Institute as to an academic haven. A liberal education without religious bias is the ideal toward which the leaders of the progressive movement in Spain are looking.

No one who has not lived in Spain can know how great is the need of educated women who will undertake work along the lines of social and economic reform.

The other day I visited several factories with the official inspector, and he was explaining how difficult it was to enforce the really excellent laws for the protection of women and children. The law provides for local committees who are expected to support the factory inspector in the correction of abuses, but these committees are unfortunately made up of men who care little about the working conditions and who are ready to compromise with the manufacturers. I said, "You should have women on these committees. They would be less amenable to political considerations than the men." He said, "Alas, there are no such women in Spain." I reminded him of the wonderful work for prison reform done by [ConcepciĆ³n] Arenal, but he seemed to think that she was a miracle never to be [recreated].

I want to provide a series of lectures at the International Institute on working-class conditions and the methods of reform, in the hope of developing such women among the bright and eager student constituency. Professor Posada, the well-known sociologist and secretary of the Bureau of Social Reform would be well able to do this, but we cannot ask him to do so for nothing. Could you help me to get together $100 for this purpose?

Very cordially your friend,

Katharine Coman. [signed]

[written on left margin] Can you not interest Mrs. Emmons Blaine in this project?

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