Ben B. Lindsey to Jane Addams, May 26, 1911

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BEN B. LINDSEY
DENVER

May 26, 1911.

Personal.

Miss Jane Addams,
Hull House,
Chicago.

My dear Miss Addams:

I am enclosing herewith an editorial from The Rocky Mountain News. The editors of the News, Frank J. Cannon, Managing Editor, and Dr. Knapp, Editorial Writer, are two of my warmest and most intimate personal friends. And they have said exactly what I would have liked to have said in answer to the very foolish criticisms that were passed around at the recent Methodist Conference here in Denver.

I rejoice in the Christianity and the religion of Hull House, and I do not care who knows it.

I so much regretted that some lecture engagements that were impossible for me to fill at another time came just at the time of the Child Welfare Exhibit in Chicago. As it was I managed to stop over in Chicago for two or three hours between trains on my way to Denver and visited the Exhibit, but I was unable to get you by telephone, and since my time was so limited I felt I must put in every minute of it with the Exhibit, and I do want to congratulate you and Mrs. McCormick and the others in charge for [page 2] the splendid work you have done.

I would like very much to have such an Exhibit in Denver as I know others would, but I am wondering if Denver is quite large enough or with problems sufficiently developed enough to justify such an elaborate Exhibit. Somehow, I believe that much good would come of it in case we could arrange for such an Exhibit here. Will you kindly let me know as soon as convenient if we could get any part of the Exhibit there? I presume that some of the Exhibit came from the New York Child Welfare Exhibit held in February. I regretted so much that I was unable to attend that Exhibit, since I was provisionally on the program, but it came just in the midst of a legislative fight here that was largely an attack upon me, growing out of "The Beast and the Jungle" expose of the big crooks, and I was compelled to stay at home.

I have regretted more than I can tell you that somehow I haven't seemed able to get any time in Chicago for a contemplated visit with you to discuss a number of things that have concerned me much. Twice I passed through the city during the last year and you happened to be away during each time.

I have been very anxious to explain to you my position in reference to stage children. Of course I believe in the most stringent kind of regulations which I think if they can be carried out will eliminate practically all children from the stage except those who have any right or reason to be there, and that under a supervision that somehow I believe you would not object [page 3] to.

I really think that there is so much difference between the stage child and the factory child that we are justified in making a distinction if it can be done -- of course, without injury to the child. And I have a scheme that I wanted to propose to you, and I hope sometime within the next few weeks to get it in some sort of shape. I have come to the conclusion, after much investigation and reading, that we may do an unnecessary injustice to many children by absolutely prohibiting the child from the stage. Of course I may be wrong, and if I am convinced that I am wrong, I shall certainly, cheerfully, change my views.

 

With kind regards, I am

Sincerely yours,
Ben B. Lindsey [signed]