Pioneering on Social Frontiers

Pioneering on Social Frontiers

Pioneering on Social Frontiers

Pioneering on Social Frontiers

Excerpt

To have lived while the great changes of the past fifty years have been taking place, to have dwelt on frontiers of the social order where these changes have registered their most marked effects, and to have associated with those whose lives bore the waymarks of the trend of events has been the experience of a life lived over again in retrospect.

To share the impressions thus gleaned with those who have lived through only parts of this great transition, or whose observation and experience have been limited to some of the shore lines and eddies of the mighty current, may be the privilege of one whose working life spans the whole tidal movement as it swept through the main channels of these years.

Perhaps the distance between the whence and the whither, through which the flood tides of human life surge, may be reckoned more vividly from the extremes that met in the experiences to be narrated. Locally they were as far apart as was my eastern college town from my country parish in the valley of the Hudson; as was my New England city parish in Hartford from my field of action in Chicago and the Middle West.

In all these places my life has swung like a pendulum, almost every twenty-four hours, between the privileged few and the struggling many; between town and gown while at school and college; between landowning farmers and tenant farm hands, while for seven years working and fellowshiping with both; between the crowded tenements of the day laborers and the homes and offices of captains of commerce; between industrial wage-earners and their employers; between trade unions and manufacturers' associations; between academic circles and the masses of the people; between the . . .

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