Jane Addams to Myra Harriet Reynolds Linn, November 27, 1916


My dear Myra:

I have been thinking quite solemnly about the milk question and am quite convinced that a goat or goats would be a mistake. I have several friends who have tried them on abandoned New England farms, and they say that unless they are fenced in very strongly they destroy everything that grows on the farm. They are quite terrible in the amount and variety of food they seize upon!

Then, too, I doubt if the parents who send their children to the Montessori School would care to have them drink the goat's milk and you would doubtless have all sorts of trouble on that score ↑not because the milk wouldn't be good for them but because they wouldn't be used to it.↓

I should think it would be very much better to get the dairy company to bring the daily dole of milk to the nearest point -- Arlington, isn't it? -- and then pay a small boy to bring it on the trolley every day. It would probably only be a makeshift until the dairy company would be able to deliver it, or until there would be access to a neighboring cow. I know that you would have no end of trouble with a goat; it would [page 2] probably eat up your own lemon trees, as well as those of your neighbors; while a fence strong enough to keep them in or a [goatherd] would be too expensive. I could go into more detailed stories concerning the experiences of my New England friends -- for I have three who have been interested in goat farms -- but I will spare you the harrowing details.

I am getting this off and will write you later about the other things. It was very sweet of you to return the money and I am sure the chairs will be well painted by your own hands. I think you have done awfully well in the house to have changed but one cupboard. I am quite eager to see it as well as all the happy family.

Always affectionately

Jane Addams [signed]

November 27, 1916

↑P.S. I don't know why I feel so strongly about the goats. Of course you have considered all sides better than I can here.↓

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