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Twenty Years at Hull-House By Jane Addams Jane Addams was from a large wealthy family in the small town of Cedarville Illinois She was born in 1860 the fifth surviving child of eight Her mother and sibling died during childbirth when Jane was two years old Her father John Addams was a Quaker a prosperous sawmill owner and a state senator for sixteen years He was a staunch supporter and friend of Abraham Lincoln He encouraged education sending his daughters to boarding school and impressed Jane with the virtues of merit tolerance and a strong work ethic These virtues were the foundation she built her life on Jane was one of the first and fortunate generations of college graduates from Rockford Female Seminary After her fathers death in 1881 she attempted study in the Womens Medical College and was forced to withdraw due to illness This was the catalyst for a trip abroad to recuperate She toured Europe for two years It was during her second tour of Europe in 1887 that she witnessed a frightening scene of the poor scavenging for food in London I received an ineradicable impression of the wretchedness of East London A small party of tourists were taken to the East End by a city missionary to witness the Saturday night sale of decaying vegetables and fruit we saw two huge masses of ill-clad people clamoring around two hucksters carts They were bidding their farthings and hapennies for a vegetable held up by the auctioneer which he at last scornfully flung with a gibe for its cheapness to the successful bidder In the momentary pause only one man detached himself form the groups He had bidden in a cabbage and when it struck his hand he instantly sat down on the curb tore it with his teeth and hastily devoured it unwashed and uncooked as it was p61 This scene had quite an affect on Jane with her
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