Jane Addams et al. to Dear Sir, [October 15, 1909]


American Association For Labor Legislation

Chicago, Illinois.
Madison Wis.

Dear Sir, -

The People of Illinois are confronted with a grave crisis in social legislation. After careful consideration the last General Assembly passed a law limiting the working hours of women in industries, manufacturing and mercantile establishments, to ten a day, and sixty a week. The law went into effect July 1.

Hundreds of the best employers, assured of protection from long-hour competition, cheerfully prepared to obey the law. But a manufacturer of paper boxes presents affidavit from one of his skilled women workers of 32 years experience to show that she is unable to make a living in his factory without working more than ten hours a day! On his petition Judge Tuthill of Chicago has issued an injunction restraining the State Factory Inspector from instituting proceedings against violators of the law, and also prohibiting the State's Attorney from prosecuting such violators. The Judge gives it as his opinion that the law is unconstitutional, and he sets it aside. 

A similar law has been upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States. Illinois, of twenty-two ↑[seven]↓ states having similar laws, is the only state in which a Supreme Court has declared it void. This was [some] 14 years ago. It is hoped that the present court will find that the present law has been drafted on scientific and constitutional lines and that they will reverse Judge Tuthill. 

The two-fold object of our Association is scientific legislation enforced by wide-awake public opinion. We ask you to join now and [cooperate] in this educational campaign The dues are but $1 a year and we supply you with literature on social investigations and legislation that costs twice the amount for printing ↑alone↓ that you pay in dues.

Fill out the application blank at once, mail it in the enclosed envelope, and become active in this effort to protect the women and future children of our country.

Sincerely yours,

Jane Addams,
Charles R. Henderson,
Graham Taylor,
Mrs. Raymond Robins,
Towner K. Webster,
Edwin R. Wright.

Membership Committee for Illinois