Jane Addams to Helen Culver, February 28, 1923


Feby 28" 1923


My dear Miss Culver --

We have had such interesting time in Calcutta with a group of women who represent the Brahmo Samaj -- the Unitarian sect who were represented at the World's Fair in Chicago by [Moojawdar?] I recall him very clearly and wanted to look up his followers here but quite unprepared to find them much advanced and delightful people as they proved to be. [page 2]

They gave up caste 90 years ago and at last are not being prosecuted for it and of course they took their women out of "purdah." The group of women whom we [met] were very public spirited, were carrying on a model girls school and doing all sorts of things. I spoke [for] them twice, once in a library hall where largely men came and again in a walled garden to women alone some of whom were [guests?] who could only come to such a meeting. I am sending you a [blank] invitation to the purdah meeting which might interest you and also a book [written?] by Dr Sen's daughter (who [page 3] was married to an Indian Prince) because the English so admired her advanced training.

Lord Lytton, the Governor of Bengal with whom we lunched and every one else spoke of this very small group as the leading liberal influences in Calcutta but unfortunately like all Unitarian bodies they seem to be growing less and less.

India is a curious mixture of old and new, we lunched one day with Mr [Bose] who kept an old fashioned household of three generations containing more than a hundred people. [page 4]

We lunched with him alone and were afterward taken to the woman's quarters. His wife seemed contented but there was a very restless daughter-in-law there who had been educated in English schools and had tried purdah "too late" as she sadly remarked.

We are on our way to Burma for ten days then back to South India and Ceylon before we finally sail for China & Japan -- I will have lots of time to visit with you when I get back. Love to Mrs Thomas & the rest of your family. Always lovingly yours Jane Addams