Jane Addams

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Jane Addams Essay, Research Paper

Founder of Hull-House in Chicago, first president of the Women’s International League for Peace and

Freedom, and co-winner of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize, Jane Addams was a dedicated crusader for

social justice.

Her lifes’ work was to fight for the under priviliged and oppressed, also for the rights of workers, women

and children.

Jane Addams was born on September 6, 1860 in the small town of Cedarville, Illinois. As a child, Jane

often felt like an outcast. She was “an ugly, piegon-toed little girl whose crooked back obliged her to walk

with her head held very much upon one side.” Even though she grew-up in a nice, well-kept community she

felt overwhelming sorrow for those in other communities who lived in “horrid little houses,” she was always

asking herself what could be done to make them less horrid. Feeling like a misfit herself, Jane could

sympathize with the misfits and outcasts of society.

Jane studied at Rockford Seminary, a school for girls where the emphasis was on religion and Good

Works. After having a breakdown, Jane was sent to Europe to “drink up the culture of the Old World,” but

instead Jane visited the factories and slums with her companion Ellen Starr. During one of her visits to

London’s East Side she came upon Toynbee Hall, a religious settlement house for London’s poor. It was

then that she decided to have her own settlement house one day, but without the emphasis on religion.

When Jane and Ellen returned to Chicago they found an old mansion that was built by the merchant,

Charles Hull and owned by Helen Culver, a woman known for her generosity. Jane bought the mansion and

opened it as a settlement house on September 18, 1889, Hull-House was Chicago’s first

settlement house. Jane Addams started one of…

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