Interview with Mrs. Anna V. Morrison, December 26, 1911

Interview with Mrs. Anna V. Morrison.
Dec. 26, 1911.
Mrs. Ida White Parker.

During an interview with Mrs. Anna V. Morrison, dramatic agent, this morning, she informed me that several influential women in Illinois are concentrating all their efforts and influence on Miss Jane Addams, with the hope of winning her over to the stage-interest side in the stage child controversy. They feel that if they can secure the cooperation of Miss Addams, or if they can get her to agree not to appear actively on our side of the controversy that their cause will be won in Illinois, and that they will be successful in breaking the child labor law in its application to stage children. Mrs. Morrison informed me that these women are being especially nice and agreeable to Miss Addams. She also tells me that the law is regarded as being very easily broken in Illinois; and she cited the instance of Mary Miles Minter (real name Julia Reilly, sometimes known as Juliette Shelby) as illustration of the point in question. Her own little girl, the elder Morrison child, (12 1/2 years) is now to start out with Shorty McCabe a dramatization of the Shorty McCabe stories; and that [her] little girl, though decidedly under 16, is to appear in the Chicago production. She tells me it was not necessary for her to get a birth certificate nor to change the child's name; that the management of Shorty McCabe told her they would assume all the responsibility, and see that everything was "fixed" satisfactorily. She is allowing her little girl to do this, conniving at the child becoming a law breaker; and that she fully realizes the responsibility was shown by her remarking to me that if her little girl got put in jail for it she would kill the management.

When the stage interests gave the benefit performance at the Metropolitan Opera House and raised somewhere near thirty-five thousand dollars to conduct the campaign in Illinois and Massachusetts to break the child labor laws, Mrs. Morrison furnished the 500 children who took part in the benefit; and was actively interested in the collection and distribution of the fund raised. She told me that most of [page 2] that money is being used quietly as a "hush fund" in order to get children under age in to Illinois in dramatic productions.

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