THE SNARE OF PREPARATION
JANE ADDAMS LIVED A quintessentially public life; there are no mysterious lost periods in her story. Records are sparse from the six months she spent bedridden following back surgery performed by her brother-in-law Harry Haldeman—probably due to her relative inactivity during this period and to her state of mind (she had reportedly suffered a nervous breakdown). But apart from this six-month period, her whereabouts and her actions are well documented. Born September 6, 1860, she was christened Laura Jane Addams; but throughout her childhood and youth, she was called Jennie by her close family members and friends. She was the eighth of nine children of John Huy and Sarah Weber Addams, and one of only four (three girls and one boy) to reach adulthood. Her mother died when she was two years old. She was cared for by her older sisters until 1868, when her father married Anna Haldeman, a widow with two children. Jane Addams entered the Rockford Female Seminary in 1877, and graduated in 1881. She was retroactively awarded a bachelor's degree in 1882, when Rockford Seminary became Rockford College and gained the right to confer that degree on students who had completed qualifying work in science.
The most important event of her young adult years was the death of her father in August 1881—an event that plunged her into a paroxysm of self-doubt ending in the breakdown of her own health and a long period of psychosomatic invalidism. During her early adulthood—the years that she called "the snare of preparation"—she made two trips to Europe: one in 1883-1885, and a second in 1887-1888. Her European trips were punctuated by a winter in Baltimore in 1884, where her step