Addams, Jane

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Addams, Jane

Jane Addams, 1860–1935, American social worker, b. Cedarville, Ill., grad. Rockford College, 1881. In 1889, with Ellen Gates Starr, she founded Hull House in Chicago, one of the first social settlements in the United States (see settlement house). Based on the university settlements begun in England by Samuel Barnett, Hull House served as a community center for the neighborhood poor and later as a center for social reform activities. It was important in Chicago civic affairs and had an influence on the settlement movement throughout the country. An active reformer throughout her career, Jane Addams was a leader in the woman's suffrage and pacifist (see pacifism) movements, and was a strong opponent of the Spanish-American War. She was the recipient (jointly with Nicholas Murray Butler) of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize. Her books on social questions include The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets (1909), A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil (1912), and Peace and Bread in Time of War (1922).

See her autobiographical Twenty Years at Hull-House (1910) and The Second Twenty Years at Hull-House (1930); the selected works in The Jane Addams Reader (ed. by J. B. Elshtain, 2001); biographies by J. W. Linn, her nephew (1935), A. F. Davis (1973), G. Diliberto (1999), and L. W. Knight (2005); studies by D. Levine (1971) and J. B. Elshtain (2001).

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