Alice N. Lincoln to Jane Addams, June 29, 1902

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Manchester, Mass.
June 29th 1902

Dear Miss Addams,

I have just read your book "Democracy and Social Ethics", and I want to thank you for putting into words what I have long felt.

More and more it has been borne in upon me that "the poor"  as they are technically called, are just like ourselves; I do not recognize any distinctions [page 2] except external ones <between us>  and after they are superior in moral virtues, to their richer neighbors. What you say about giving relief also impressed me. At the Detroit Conference a new note was struck, and some of those who in former days and years have upheld the strictest principles of the C. O. S. admitted that relief must be given. Why not, when it is needed? More and [page 3] more I have learned to dread the absolute rule which preserves the letter, but forgets the spirit which should underlie all the help we try to give to others. More and more I feel how much we have to learn from [these] people whom too often, we had <are> expected to teach. They are braver, simpler, better than we are; more generous, more helpful  and it is because they are daily doing the things of which we <are> only [page 4] thinking. So your book has cheered and encouraged me, and I thank you for it. I am one of those who are not "analytical" as you wisely say, and therefore it was a great pleasure to find your views coincided with mine.

I hope you may come to Atlanta next year, and that you will speak to us out of your long experience. If you do come, I want to enter a plea now on behalf of the Committee, of which I am Chairman, on "Disease and Dependence; Housing and Sanitary Inspections", that you would be present at our meetings, [page 5] and tell us something relating to the work of Hull House, or of your own work as Inspector. I know that every member of the Committee would endorse this request.

May I add that I trust you have recovered entirely from your recent accident? We were most sorry to hear of it.

Sincerely yours

Alice N. Lincoln

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