Twenty Years at Hull House; With Autobiographical Notes

Author: Jane Addams

Chapter XVII. Echoes of the Russian Revolution

The residents of Hull-House have always seen many evidences of the Russian Revolution; a forlorn family of little children whose parents have been massacred at Kishinev are received and supported by their relatives in our Chicago neighborhood; or a Russian woman, her face streaming with tears of indignation and pity, asks you to look at the scarred back of her sister, a young girl, who has escaped with her life from the whips of the Cossack soldiers; or a studious young woman suddenly disappears from the Hull-House classes because she has returned to Kiev to be near her brother while he is in prison, that she may earn money for the nourishing food which alone will keep him from contracting tuberculosis; or we attend a protest meeting against the newest outrages of the Russian government in which the speeches are interrupted by the groans of those whose sons have been sacrificed and by the hisses of others who cannot repress their indignation. At such moments an American is acutely conscious of our ignorance of this greatest tragedy of modern times, and at our indifference to the waste of perhaps the noblest human material among our contemporaries. Certain it is, as the distinguished Russian revolutionists have come to Chicago, they have impressed me, as no one else ever has done, as belonging to that noble company of martyrs who have ever and again poured forth blood that human progress might be advanced. Sometimes these men and women have addressed audiences gathered quite outside the Russian colony and have filled to overflowing Chicago’s largest halls with American citizens deeply touched by this message of martyrdom. One significant meeting was addressed by a member of the Russian Duma and by one of Russia’s oldest and sanest revolutionists; another by Madame Breshkovsky, who later languished a prisoner in the fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul.

In this wonderful procession of revolutionists, Prince Kropotkin, or, as he prefers to be called, Peter Kropotkin, was doubtless the most distinguished. When he came to America to lecture, he was heard throughout the country with great interest and respect; that he was a guest of Hull-House during his stay in Chicago attracted little attention at the time, but two years later, when the assassination of President McKinley occurred, the visit of this kindly scholar, who had always called himself an "anarchist" and had certainly written fiery tracts in his younger manhood, was made the basis of an attack upon Hull-House by a daily newspaper, which ignored the fact that while Prince Kropotkin had addressed the Chicago Arts and Crafts Society at Hull-House, giving a digest of his remarkable book on "Fields, Factories, and Workshops," he had also spoken at the State Universities of Illinois and Wisconsin and before the leading literary and scientific societies of Chicago. These institutions and societies were not, therefore, called anarchistic. Hull-House had doubtless laid itself open to this attack through an incident connected with the imprisonment of the editor on an anarchistic paper, who was arrested in Chicago immediately after the assassination of President McKinley. In the excitement following the national calamity and the avowal by the assassin of the influence of the anarchistic lecture to which he had listened, arrests were made in Chicago of every one suspected of anarchy, in the belief that a widespread plot would be uncovered. The editor’s house was searched for incriminating literature, his wife and daughter taken to a police station, and his son and himself, with several other suspected anarchists, were placed in the disused cells in the basement of the city hall.

It is impossible to overstate the public excitement of the moment and the unfathomable sense of horror with which the community regarded an attack upon the chief executive of the nation, as a crime against government itself which compels an instinctive recoil from all law-abiding citizens. Doubtless both the horror and recoil have their roots deep down in human experience; the earliest forms of government implied a group which offered competent resistance to outsiders, but assuming no protection was necessary between any two of its own members, promptly punished with death the traitor who had assaulted anyone within. An anarchistic attack against an official thus furnishes an accredited basis both for unreasoning hatred and for prompt punishment. Both the hatred and the determination to punish reached the highest pitch in Chicago after the assassination of President McKinley, and the group of wretched men detained in the old-fashioned, scarcely habitable cells, had not the least idea of their ultimate fate. They were not allowed to see an attorney and were kept "in communicado" as their excited friends called it. I had seen the editor and his family only during Prince Kropotkin’s stay at Hull-House, when they had come to visit him several times. The editor had impressed me as a quiet, scholarly man, challenging the social order by the philosophic touchstone of Bakunin and of Herbert Spencer, somewhat startled by the radicalism of his fiery young son and much comforted by the German domesticity of his wife and daughter. Perhaps it was but my hysterical symptom of the universal excitement, but it certainly seemed to me more than I could bear when a group of his individualistic friends, who had come to ask for help, said: "You see what becomes of your boasted law; the authorities won’t even allow an attorney, nor will they accept bail for these men, against whom nothing can be proved, although the veriest criminals are not denied such a right." Challenged by an anarchist, one is always sensitive for the honor of legally constituted society, and I replied that of course the men could have an attorney, that the assassin himself would eventually be furnished with one, that the fact that a man was an anarchist had nothing to do with his rights before the law! I was met with the retort that that might do for a theory, but that the fact still remained that these men had been absolutely isolated, seeing no one but policemen, who constantly frightened them with tales of public clamor and threatened lynching.

The conversation took place on Saturday night and, as the final police authority rests in the mayor, with a friend who was equally disturbed over the situation, I repaired to his house on Sunday morning to appeal to him in the interest of a law and order that should not yield to panic. We contended that to the anarchist above all men it must be demonstrated that law is impartial and stands the test of every strain. The mayor heard us through with the ready sympathy of the successful politician. He insisted, however, that the men thus far had merely been properly protected against lynching, but that it might now be safe to allow them to see some one; he would not yet, however, take the responsibility of permitting an attorney, but if I myself chose to see them on the humanitarian errand of an assurance of fair play, he would write me a permit at once. I promptly fell into the trap, if trap it was, and within half an hour was in a corridor in the city hall basement, talking to the distracted editor and surrounded by a cordon of police, who assured me that it was not safe to permit him out of his cell. The editor, who had grown thin and haggard under his suspense, asked immediately as to the whereabouts of his wife and daughter, concerning whom he had heard not a word since he had seen them arrested. Gradually he became composed as he learned, not that his testimony had been believed to the effect that he had never seen the assassin but once and had then considered him a foolish half-witted creature, but that the most thoroughgoing "dragnet" investigations on the part of the united police of the country had failed to discover a plot and that the public was gradually becoming convinced that the dastardly act was that of a solitary man with no political or social affiliations.

The entire conversation was simple and did not seem to me unlike, in motive or character, interviews I had had with many another forlorn man who had fallen into prison. I had scarce returned to Hull-House, however, before it was filled with reporters, and I at once discovered that whether or not I had helped a brother out of a pit, I had fallen into a deep one myself. A period of sharp public opprobrium followed, traces of which, I suppose, will always remain. And yet in the midst of the letters of protest and accusation which made my mail a horror every morning came a few letters of another sort, one from a federal judge whom I had never seen and another from a distinguished professor in the constitutional law, who congratulated me on what they termed a sane attempt to uphold the law in time of panic.

Although one or two ardent young people rushed into print to defend me from the charge of "abetting anarchy," it seemed to me at the time that mere words would not avail. I had felt that the protection of the law itself extended to the most unpopular citizen was the only reply to the anarchistic argument, to the effect that this moment of panic revealed the truth of their theory of government; that the custodians of law and order have become the government itself quite as the armed men hired by the medieval guilds to protect them in the peaceful pursuit of their avocations, through sheer possession of arms finally made themselves rulers of the city. At that moment I was firmly convinced that the public could only be convicted of the blindness of its course, when a body of people with a hundred-fold of the moral energy possessed by a Settlement group, should make clear that there is no method by which any community can be guarded against sporadic efforts on the part of halfcrazed, discouraged men, save by a sense of mutual rights and securities which will include the veriest outcast.

It seemed to me then that in the millions of words uttered and written at that time, no one adequately urged that public-spirited citizens set themselves the task of patiently discovering how these sporadic acts of violence against government may be understood and averted. We do not know whether they occur among the discouraged and unassimilated immigrants who might be cared for in such a way as enormously to lessen the probability of these acts, or whether they are the result of anarchistic teaching. By hastily concluding that the latter is the sole explanation for them, we make no attempt to heal and cure the situation. Failure to make a proper diagnosis may mean treatment of a disease which does not exist, or it may furthermore mean that the dire malady from which the patient is suffering be permitted to develop unchecked. And yet as the details of the meager life of the President’s assassin were disclosed, they were a challenge to the forces for social betterment in American cities. Was it not an indictment to all those whose business it is to interpret and solace the wretched, that a boy should have grown up in an American city so uncared for, so untouched by higher issues, his wounds of life so unhealed by religion that the first talk he ever heard dealing with life’s wrongs, although anarchistic and violent, should yet appear to point a way of relief?

The conviction that a sense of fellowship is the only implement which will break into the locked purpose of a half-crazed creature bent upon destruction in the name of justice, came to me through an experience recited to me at this time by an old anarchist.

He was a German cobbler who, through all the changes in the manufacturing of shoes, had steadily clung to his little shop on a Chicago thoroughfare, partly as an expression of his individualism and partly because he preferred bitter poverty in a place of his own to good wages under a disciplinary foreman. The assassin of President McKinley on his way through Chicago only a few days before he committed his dastardly deed had visited all the anarchists whom he could find in the city, asking them for "the password" as he called it. They, of course, possessed no such thing, and had turned him away, some with disgust and all with a certain degree of impatience, as a type of the ill-balanced man who, as they put it, was always "hanging around the movement, without the slightest conception of its meaning." Among other people, he visited the German cobbler, who treated him much as the others had done, but who, after the event had made clear the identity of his visitor, was filled with the most bitter remorse that he had failed to utilize his chance meeting with the assassin to deter him from his purpose. He knew as well as any psychologist who has read the history of such solitary men that the only possible way to break down such a persistent and secretive purpose, was by the kindliness which might have induced confession, which might have restored the future assassin into fellowship with normal men.

In the midst of his remorse, the cobbler told me a tale of his own youth; that years before, when an ardent young fellow in Germany, newly converted to the philosophy of anarchism, as he called it, he had made up his mind that the Church, as much as the State, was responsible for human oppression, and that this fact could best be set forth "in the deed" by the public destruction of a clergyman or priest; that he had carried firearms for a year with this purpose in mind, but that one pleasant summer evening, in a moment of weakness, he had confided his intention to a friend, and that from that moment he not only lost all desire to carry it out, but it seemed to him the most preposterous thing imaginable. In concluding the story he said; "That poor fellow sat just beside me on my bench; if I had only put my hand on his shoulder and said, ’Now, look here, brother, what is on your mind? What makes you talk such nonsense? Tell me. I have seen much of life, and understand all kinds of men. I have been young and hot-headed and foolish myself,’ if he had told me of his purpose then and there, he would never have carried it out. The whole nation would have been spared this horror." As he concluded he shook his gray head and sighed as if the whole incident were more than he could bear—one of those terrible sins of omission; one of the things he "ought to have done," the memory of which is so hard to endure.

The attempt a Settlement makes to interpret American institutions to those who are bewildered concerning them either because of their personal experiences, or because of preconceived theories, would seem to lie in the direct path of its public obligation, and yet it is apparently impossible for the overwrought community to distinguish between the excitement the Settlements are endeavoring to understand and to allay and the attitude of the Settlement itself. At times of public panic, fervid denunciation is held to be the duty of every good citizen, and if a Settlement is convinced that the incident should be used to vindicate the law and does not at the moment give its strength to denunciation, its attitude is at once taken to imply a championship of anarchy itself.

The public mind at such a moment falls into the old medieval confusion—he who feeds or shelters a heretic is upon prima facie evidence a heretic himself—he who knows intimately people among whom anarchists arise is therefore an anarchist. I personally am convinced that anarchy as a philosophy is dying down, not only in Chicago, but everywhere; that their leading organs have discontinued publication, and that their most eminent men in America have deserted them. Even those groups which have continued to meet are dividing, and the major half in almost every instance calls itself socialist-anarchists, an apparent contradiction of terms, whose members insist that the socialistic organization of society must be the next stage of social development and must be gone through with, so to speak, before the ideal state of society can be reached, so nearly begging the question that some orthodox socialists are willing to recognize them. It is certainly true that just because anarchy questions the very foundations of society, the most elemental sense of protection demands that the method of meeting the challenge should be intelligently considered.

Whether or not Hull-House has accomplished anything by its method of meeting such a situation, or at least attempting to treat it in a way which will not destroy confidence in the American institutions so adored by refugees from foreign governmental oppression, it is of course impossible for me to say.

And yet it was in connection with an effort to pursue an intelligent policy in regard to a so-called "foreign anarchist" that Hull-House again became associated with that creed six years later. This again was an echo of the Russian revolution, but in connection with one of its humblest representatives. A young Russian Jew named Averbuch appeared in the early morning at the house of the Chicago chief of police upon an obscure errand. It was a moment of panic everwhere in regard to anarchists because of a recent murder in Denver which had been charged to an Italian anarchist, and the chief of police, assuming that the dark young man standing in his hallway was an anarchist bent upon his assassination, hastily called for help. In a panic born of fear and self-defense, young Averbuch was shot to death. The members of the Russian-Jewish colony on the west side of Chicago were thrown into a state of intense excitement as soon as the nationality of the young man became known. They were filled with dark forebodings from a swift prescience of what it would mean to them were the oduim of anarchy rightly or wrongly attached to one of their members. It seemed to the residents of Hull-House most important that every effort should be made to ascertain just what did happen, that every means of securing information should be exhausted before a final opinion should be formed, and this odium fastened upon a colony of law-abiding citizens. The police might be right or wrong in their assertion that the man was an anarchist. It was, to our minds, also most unfortunate that the Chicago police in the determination to uncover an anarchistic plot should have utilized the most drastic methods of search within the Russian-Jewish colony composed of families only too familiar with the methods of Russian police. Therefore, when the Chicago police ransacked all the printing offices they could locate in the colony, when they raided a restaurant which they regarded as suspicious because it had been supplying food at cost to the unemployed, when they searched through private houses for papers and photographs of revolutionaries, when they seized the library of the Edelstadt group and carried the books, including Shakespeare and Herbert Spencer, to the city hall, when they arrested two friends of young Averbuch and kept them in the police station forty-eight hours, when they mercilessly "sweated" the sister, Olga, that she might be startled into a confession—all these things so poignantly reminded them of Russian methods that indignation fed both by old memory and bitter disappointment in America, swept over the entire colony. The older men asked whether constitutional rights gave no guarantee against such violent aggression of police power, and the hot-headed younger ones cried out at once that the only way to deal with the police was to defy them, which was true of police the world over. It was said many times that those who are without influence and protection in a strange country fare exactly as hard as do the poor in Europe; that all the talk of guaranteed protection through political institutions is nonsense.

Every Settlement has classes in citizenship in which the principles of American institutions are expounded, and of these the community, as a whole, approves. But the Settlements know better than anyone else that while these classes and lectures are useful, nothing can possibly give lessons in citizenship so effectively and make so clear the constitutional basis of a self-governing community as the current event itself. The treatment at a given moment of that foreign colony which feels itself outraged and misunderstood, either makes its constitutional rights clear to it, or forever confuses it on the subject.

The only method by which a reasonable and loyal conception of government may be substituted for the one formed upon Russian experiences is that the actual experience of refugees with government in America shall gradually demonstrate what a very different thing government means here. Such an event as the Averbuch affair affords an unprecedented opportunity to make clear this difference and to demonstrate beyond the possibility of misunderstanding that the guarantee of constitutional rights implies that officialism shall be restrained and guarded at every point, that the official represents, not the will of a small administrative body, but the will of the entire people, and that methods therefore have been constituted by which official aggression may be restrained. The Averbuch incident gave an opportunity to demonstrate this to that very body of people who need it most; to those who have lived in Russia where autocratic officers represent autocratic power and where government is officialism. It seemed to the residents in the Settlements nearest the Russian-Jewish colony that it was an obvious piece of public spirit to try out all the legal value involved, to insist that American institutions were stout enough to break down in times of stress and public panic.

The belief of many Russians that the Averbuch incident would be made a prelude to the constant use of the extradition treaty for the sake of terrorizing revolutionists both at home and abroad received a certain corroboration when an attempt was made in 1908 to extradite a Russian revolutionist named Rudovitz who was living in Chicago. The first hearing before a United States Commissioner gave a verdict favorable to the Russian Government although this was afterward reversed by the Department of State in Washington. Partly to educate American sentiment, partly to express sympathy with the Russian refugees in their dire need, a series of public meetings was arranged in which the operations of the extradition treaty were discussed by many of us who had spoken at a meeting held in protest against its ratification fifteen years before. It is impossible for anyone unacquainted with the Russian colony to realize the consternation produced by this attempted extradition. I acted as treasurer of the fund collected to defray the expenses of halls and printing in the campaign against the policy of extradition and had many opportunities to talk with members of the colony. One old man, tearing his hair and beard as he spoke, declared that all his sons and grandsons might thus be sent back to Russia; in fact, all of the younger men in the colony might be extradited, for every high-spirited young Russian was, in a sense, a revolutionist.

Would it not provoke to ironic laughter that very nemesis which presides over the destinies of nations, if the most autocratic government yet remaining in civilization should succeed in utilizing for its own autocratic methods the youngest and most daring experiment in democratic government which the world has ever seen? Stranger results have followed a course of stupidity and injustice resulting from blindness and panic!

It is certainly true that if the decision of the federal office in Chicago had not been reversed by the department of state in Washington, the United States government would have been committed to return thousands of spirited young refugees to the punishments of the Russian autocracy.

It was perhaps significant of our need of what Napoleon called a "revival of civic morals" that the public appeal against such a reversal of our traditions had to be based largely upon the contributions to American progress made from other revolutions; the Puritans from the English, Lafayette from the French, Carl Schurz and many another able man from the German upheavals in the middle of the century.

A distinguished German scholar writing at the end of his long life a description of his friends of 1848 who made a gallant although premature effort to unite the German states and to secure a constitutional government, thus concludes: "But not a few saw the whole of their lives wrecked, either in prison or poverty, though they had done no wrong, and in many cases were the finest characters it has been my good fortune to know. They were before their time; the fruit was not ripe, as it was in 1871, and Germany but lost her best sons in those miserable years." When the time is ripe in Russia, when she finally yields to those great forces which are molding and renovating contemporary life, when her Cavour and her Bismark finally throw into the first governmental forms all that yearning for juster human relations which the idealistic Russian revolutionists embody, we may look back upon these "miserable years" with a sense of chagrin at our lack of sympathy and understanding.

Again it is far from easy to comprehend the great Russian struggle. I recall a visit from the famous revolutionist Gershuni, who had escaped from Siberia in a barrel of cabbage rolled under the very fortress of the commandant himself, had made his way through Manchuria and China to San Francisco, and on his way back to Russia had stopped in Chicago for a few days. Three months later we heard of his death, and whenever I recall the conversation held with him, I find it invested with that dignity which last words imply. Upon the request of a comrade, Gershuni had repeated the substance of the famous speech he had made to the court which sentenced him to Siberia. As representing the government against which he had rebelled, he told the court that he might in time be able to forgive all of their outrages and injustices save one; the unforgivable outrage would remain that hundreds of men like himself, who were vegetarians because they were not willing to participate in the destruction of living creatures, who had never struck a child even in punishment, who were so consumed with tenderness for the outcast and oppressed that they had lived for weeks among starving peasants only that they might cheer and solace them,—that these men should have been driven into terrorism, until impelled to "execute," as they call it,—"assassinate" the Anglo-Saxon would term it,—public officials, was something for which he would never forgive the Russian government. It was, perhaps, the heat of the argument, as much as conviction, which led me to reply that it would be equally difficult for society to forgive these very revolutionists for one thing they had done, their institution of the use of force in such wise that it would inevitably be imitated by men of less scruple and restraint; that to have revived such a method in civilization, to have justified it by their disinterestedness of purpose and nobility of character, was perhaps the gravest responsibility that any group of men could assume. With a smile of indulgent pity such as one might grant to a mistaken child, he replied that such Tolstoyan principles were as fitted to Russia as "these toilettes," pointing to the thin summer gowns of his listeners, "were fitted to a Siberian winter." And yet I held the belief then, as I certainly do now, that when the sense of justice seeks to express itself quite outside the regular channels of established government, it has set forth on a dangerous journey inevitably ending in disaster, and that this is true in spite of the fact that the adventure may have been inspired by noble motives.

Still more perplexing than the use of force by the revolutionists is the employment of the agent-provocateur on the part of the Russian government. The visit of Vladimir Bourtzeff to Chicago just after his exposure of the famous secret agent, Azeff, filled one with perplexity in regard to a government which would connive at the violent death of a faithful official and that of a member of the royal household for the sake of bringing opprobrium and punishment to the revolutionists and credit to the secret police.

The Settlement has also suffered through its effort to secure open discussion of the methods of the Russian government. During the excitement connected with the visit of Gorki to this country, three different committees of Russians came to Hull-House begging that I would secure a statement in at least one of the Chicago dailies of their own view, that the agents of the Czar had cleverly centered public attention upon Gorki’s private life and had fomented a scandal so successfully that the object of Gorki’s visit to America had been foiled; he who had known intimately the most wretched of the Czar’s subjects, who was best able to sympathetically portray their wretchedness, not only failed to get a hearing before an American audience, but could scarcely find the shelter of a roof. I told two of the Russian committees that it was hopeless to undertake any explanation of the bitter attack until public excitement had somewhat subsided; but one Sunday afternoon when a third committee arrived, I said that I would endeavor to have reprinted in a Chicago daily the few scattered articles written for the magazines which tried to explain the situation, one by the head professor in political economy of a leading university, and others by publicists well informed as to Russian affairs.

I hoped that a cosmopolitan newspaper might feel an obligation to recognize the desire for fair play on the part of thousands of its readers among the Russians, Poles, and Finns, at least to the extent of reproducing these magazine articles under a noncommittal caption. That same Sunday evening, in company with one of the residents, I visited a newspaper office only to hear its representative say that my plan was quite out of the question, as the whole subject was what newspaper men called "a sacred cow." He said, however, that he would willingly print an article which I myself should write and sign. I declined this offer with the statement that one who had my opportunities to see the struggles of poor women in securing support for their children, found it impossible to write anything which would however remotely justify the loosening of marriage bonds, even if the defense of Gorki made by the Russian committees was sound. We left the newspaper office somewhat discouraged with what we thought one more unsuccessful effort to procure a hearing for the immigrants.

I had considered the incident closed, when to my horror and surprise several months afterward it was made the basis of a story with every possible vicious interpretation. One of the Chicago newspapers had been indicted by Mayor Dunne for what he considered an actionable attack upon his appointees to the Chicago School Board of whom I was one, and the incident enlarged and coarsened was submitted as evidence to the Grand Jury in regard to my views and influence. Although the evidence was thrown out, an attempt was again made to revive this story by the managers of Mayor Dunne’s second campaign, this time to show how "the protector of the oppressed" was traduced. The incident is related here as an example of the clever use of that old device which throws upon the radical in religion, in education, and in social reform, the oduim of encouraging "harlots and sinners" and of defending their doctrines.

If the under dog were always right, one might quite easily try to defend him. The trouble is that very often he is but obscurely right, sometimes only partially right, and often quite wrong; but perhaps he is never so altogether wrong and pig-headed and utterly reprehensible as he is represented to be by those who add the possession of prejudices to the other almost insuperable difficulties of understanding him. It was, perhaps, not surprising that with these excellent opportunities for misjudging Hull-House, we should have suffered attack from time to time whenever any untoward event gave an opening as when an Italian immigrant murdered a priest in Denver, Colorado. Although the wretched man had never been in Chicago, much less at Hull-House, a Chicago ecclesiastic asserted that he had learned hatred of the Church as a member of the Giordano Bruno Club, an Italian Club, one of whose members lived at Hull-House, and which had occasionally met there, although it had long maintained clubrooms of its own. This club had its origin in the old struggles of united Italy against the temporal power of the Pope, one of the European echoes with which Chicago resounds. The Italian resident, as the editor of a paper representing new Italy, had come in sharp conflict with the Chicago ecclesiastic, first in regard to naming a public school of the vicinity after Garibaldi, which was of course not tolerated by the Church, and then in regard to many another issue arising in anticlericalism, which, although a political party, is constantly involved, from the very nature of the case, in theological difficulties. The contest had been carried on with a bitterness impossible for an American to understand, but its origin and implications were so obvious that it did not occur to any of us that it could be associated with Hull-House either in its motive or direction.

The ecclesiastic himself had lived for years in Rome, and as I had often discussed the problems of Italian politics with him, I was quite sure he understood the raison d’etre for the Giordano Bruno Club. Fortunately in the midst of the rhetorical attack, our friendly relations remained unbroken with the neighboring priests from whom we continued to receive uniform courtesy as we cooperated in cases of sorrow and need. Hundreds of devout communicants identified with the various Hull-House clubs and classes were deeply distressed by the incident, but assured us it was all a misunderstanding. Easter came soon afterwards, and it was not difficult to make a connection between the attack and the myriad of Easter cards which filled my mail.

Thus a Settlement becomes involved in the many difficulties of its neighbors as its experiences make vivid the consciousness of modern internationalism. And yet the very fact that the sense of reality is so keen and the obligation of the Settlement so obvious may perhaps in itself explain the opposition Hull-House has encountered when it expressed its sympathy with the Russian revolution. We were much entertained, although somewhat ruefully, when a Chicago woman withdrew from us a large annual subscription because Hull-House had defended a Russian refugee while she, who had seen much of the Russian aristocracy in Europe, knew from them that all the revolutionary agitation was both unreasonable and unnecessary!

It is, of course impossible to say whether these oppositions were inevitable or whether they were indications that Hull-House had somehow bungled at its task. Many times I have been driven to the confession of the blundering Amiel: "It requires ability to make what we seem agree with what we are."


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Chicago: Jane Addams, "Chapter XVII. Echoes of the Russian Revolution," Twenty Years at Hull House; With Autobiographical Notes, trans. Macaulay, Thomas Babington Macaulay, Baron, 1800-1859 in Twenty Years at Hull House; With Autobiographical Notes (London: Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange, 1831), Original Sources, accessed November 29, 2022,

MLA: Addams, Jane. "Chapter XVII. Echoes of the Russian Revolution." Twenty Years at Hull House; With Autobiographical Notes, translted by Macaulay, Thomas Babington Macaulay, Baron, 1800-1859, in Twenty Years at Hull House; With Autobiographical Notes, London, Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange, 1831, Original Sources. 29 Nov. 2022.

Harvard: Addams, J, 'Chapter XVII. Echoes of the Russian Revolution' in Twenty Years at Hull House; With Autobiographical Notes, trans. . cited in 1831, Twenty Years at Hull House; With Autobiographical Notes, Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange, London. Original Sources, retrieved 29 November 2022, from