Women's Clubs and Public Progress, June 10, 1914
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Miss Jane Addam's Speech.
"When I recall the first meeting of the General Federation of Women's Clubs held in Chicago in 1892," said Miss Addams in her address, "it stands out through two vivid personalities, one of them the president, Charlotte Emerson Brown, whom I had known from my college days, the other a charming page, Jenny Down Harvey, who attended the ladies sitting upon the platform in Central Music hall. That building has been torn down, and both my friends, the president and the page, have died.
"Twenty-two years have elapsed with their inevitable changes, and yet this meeting so reproduces the other that I catch again the purple vision of women united in a gigantic quest for the essential elements of culture which my shortsightedness I supposed belonged to the irrevocable season of beginnings. The settlements also were young in those days, and we, too, expected through a social regrouping and the liberation of energies hitherto unused, a notable enrichment of the pattern of human culture.
"Filled with a New Joy."
"In that first meeting in Chicago, on the eve of the world's fair, we were made freshly conscious of the subtle and impalpable filaments that secretly bind our thoughts and moods into cosmopolitan relations. We were filled with a new happiness analogous to the simple joy that comes to little children when they are first taught to join hands together in ordered play.
"Twenty-five years ago American women were only beginning to recognize the fundamental difference between individual and social, between what a child inherits from its parents and what he derives from a social group; what he shares with his blood relations and what he has in common with the men of his own generation.
"As housewives, women had taken little interest in the life of industry and business because it was their sole and only aim to bring together the products in order to transmute and harmonize them into a home.
Sense of Responsibility.
"So when women first responded to social claims, in the same spirit they merely selected from the methods of educationalists from the foresight of statesmen, what they considered needful for the social environment of their children, and felt no responsibility beyond that of a wise selection.
"The earliest clubs were chiefly valuable because they revealed to women the use of that great tool, human intercourse, and the marvel that the solitary joy of individual effort may be supplemented by its due social sequence of communication. In the decade
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