Filling a void in Jane Addams scholarship, this first volume of The Selected Papers of Jane Addams collects extant documents from the formative years of the major American historical figure, intellectual, social activist, and author. Documenting the early development of Addams's social principles, the documents reveal the leadership skills that led her into a life of public commitment.
For all her public compassion and visibility as an outspoken pacifist, Progressive reformer, and founder of Hull-House, Addams was an intensely private person who revealed her personal side only to family and close friends. Drawing on letters, diaries, and other writings from her childhood in Cedarville, Illinois, and her education at the Rockford Female Seminary, this volume provides heretofore unavailable insight into her developing ideas, educational experiences, and personal relationships.
More than just biographical records, The Selected Papers of Jane Addams defines the era in which Addams lived. Unique yet representative of the spiritual ideals and political sensibilities of post-Civil War women and society, Addams's lesser-known, personal writings are necessary reading for scholars and historians. The volume explores important themes, including the migration of families westward, the first generation of college women, and the religious and domestic lives of nineteenth-century Americans. The editors' rich annotation of individuals and events featured in the documents and appendix of biographical profiles represent a trove of primary research and place the documents in historical context.