Chainsaw History - Bonus Episode: The Value of Jane Addams

Episode Date: April 5, 2023

Podcasting duo Jamie and Bambi are back at it, diving into the ValueTales series with The Value of Friendship: The Story of Jane Addams. Join them as they explore the baffling portrayal of a social re...form powerhouse, questioning the book's focus on a terrifying imaginary friend named Marjorie instead of Addams' groundbreaking work. Listen in as they highlight Jane's significant contributions—including Hull House, child labor laws, and women's suffrage—while lamenting the missed opportunity to showcase her as a truly inspiring and influential figure.Get ready for a wild ride as Jamie and Bambi uncover the unsettling aspects of this peculiar children's book, all while appreciating the real Jane Addams and her impact on history. Don't miss their candid thoughts and insights on this bizarre take on a feminist icon's life story.Keep up with us on social media and discover more on our website:

Discussion (0)
Starting point is 00:00:00 Hello and welcome everybody to the bonus episode of chainsaw history. This time my sister and I are doing the value of series where we talk about the children's books that our parents inflicted on us when we were kids. And they're really bad. The idea was to be biographies of inspirational heroes, largely from American history, but not always. And they were meant to teach us the values that we were supposed to know as good Americans. Citizens.
Starting point is 00:00:42 Yeah. So digging these out of the closet of doom, we're now bringing them to you and reacting to them again after not having looked at them for a really long time. So what have you brought me today? I have brought you the value of friendship, the story of Jane Adams. Jane Adams. I already know that name. We talked about Jane Adams a little bit when we covered Frances Perkins.
Starting point is 00:01:09 Yes, we did. All those like 5,000 years ago. So I didn't know a lot about this lady. In fact, when I first just looked at it, I thought it was like an Adams president's wife or something and I had zero interest. But it turns out this lady is actually pretty fucking badass. The forgotten member of the Adams family. She just looks like she just looks like this like just school marm.
Starting point is 00:01:34 Yes, and it's done very directly. She's in a very horrible red and pink gown that is some kind of like. But she's smiling. Periodly ambiguous because it doesn't really tell you much. It could literally be from 100 years ago or 500 years ago. No one knows. My all seems sort of self conscious, but yeah. So this one was read or written by Ann Dunnigan Johnson.
Starting point is 00:02:03 She's the same shitty lady who wrote the Nellie Ply. Oh boy. So she's already it's like feminist heroes. Let's talk about them. I'll also taking a shit on them. Buckle up. Let's let's find out what we learn about Jane Adams. So we'll start out like all true biographies with once upon a time, a little girl named
Starting point is 00:02:25 Jane Adams lived in a lovely house in a town called Cedarville in Illinois. Jane was a thin little girl and her back wasn't quite straight. She had to carry her head tilted to one side whenever she looked into the mirror. She sighed, I wish I weren't quite so homely, she said to herself. Now they don't say in this book, but when she was four, she contracted tuberculosis of the spine, which caused her curvature and health problems that it kind of she got like plagued with her whole her whole life scoliosis essentially hit her and she had all these other problems and stuff and yes, but she wasn't is.
Starting point is 00:03:05 So at least in this storybook version where she's like, Dear diary, I am ugly. That sucks. I wish I could be pretty like a real girl supposed to be. Yeah, well, apparently that's one of the things that was is historically accurate. Like she was really like, especially as a child, like she didn't want to embarrass her father by being seen with him. That's kind of sad and that's really fucking sad. Yeah, but they they brighten it in this book because so they go on to tell you that Jane's
Starting point is 00:03:41 mother died and they did and her family didn't think that she was homely and too thin and ugly, but you know, everybody else gets implied. Just the world. Just the world. No, but not us, but everyone else will ever meet will be will be reacting horror to the side of your face. Sorry. So instead of talking about some of the cool shit that she actually did, they're going
Starting point is 00:04:05 to give you an antidote about her eating breakfast and going on a trip with her father in the wagon. And this particular day, her father, who by the way, I'm going to, it was like a fucking pretty big deal. He was a founding member of the Republican Party. He served as an Illinois senator. He was a friend and supporter of Abraham Lincoln. He was very rich.
Starting point is 00:04:29 He owned large timber, cattle, flower, wool, all kinds of refineries. He was also the president, the president of the second national bank of Freeport. This is a reminder that is a rich fucking dude. And it's a reminder that, you know, once upon a time, you know, Republicans had slightly different core values than they do in today's world. So yeah, so yeah, they like being talked about. They love talking about how they're the party of Lincoln, but they want to be the party of Jane Adams because I know some of the shit she was up to.
Starting point is 00:05:04 And I think it's pretty cool. I think it's funny as hell. So going on, she and her father, this particular day, instead of driving through the town, they went into this kind of shantier, shittier, poorer part of. Shantytown. Yeah. Lovely. We've never gone this way before, said Jane.
Starting point is 00:05:27 Father, what's the matter here? Whispered Jane. Why is everything so ugly? Like me. These people are very poor, said Mr. Adams. They can't afford nice houses in pretty clothes. Jane thought about this for a moment. Then she smiled.
Starting point is 00:05:44 When I grow up, she announced, I'm going to build a big, fine house like the one we live in. I'm going to build it near all these ugly little houses and the children can come play in my yard and I'll be their friend. Oh, okay. I'm sure it's darling. I mean, it's, you know, a little kid. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:06:04 Well, it gets more horrifying from here. Okay. So she goes home and she starts talking to her doll, which is fucking nightmare. Jesus Christ. No, you didn't need to do that. All right. We are definitely putting this picture online. It is horrible.
Starting point is 00:06:20 And I am sorry for the emotional trauma because that is Jesus. Pennywise the clown would shit his pants. I don't know why. This is her favorite doll. And she pretends to talk to it because, you know, all of these need pretending. Oh, and it even says dolls don't really talk. She said, when I'm listening to you, I'm pretending, aren't I? Because it's always a good idea to ask yourself questions.
Starting point is 00:06:49 Am I crazy? Am I crazy? No. Am I pretending? Oh, that's nice. Isn't that darling? I'm crazy. No, no, no, it's all, it's all fine.
Starting point is 00:06:59 It's all fine. It's just pretend. No, she says she's butt ugly and a raving lunatic as a little girl. Her favorite doll is something out of fucking nightmares. And you know, when she's sitting next to the, like, you can see a teddy bear, but it's sort of like. Oh, my God. It's got a thousand yards stare that the teddy bear seems some shit.
Starting point is 00:07:22 It's pretty disturbing. Please flip the page. But yeah, so she told Marjorie that she wanted, how she wanted to help the poor children when she got older. I went to harvest the souls of the poor for my doll. Oh God. Continue. So anyway, um, she got a new mom.
Starting point is 00:07:43 Yay. Yay. Yeah. Rich dudes never seem to have a problem replacing those wives, do they? No. And apparently, um, again, not brought up in the book, but Jane's mother died during her ninth pregnancy. Oof.
Starting point is 00:07:58 Yeah. It's like, maybe could you stay off my mom for once and I could have cat her for longer? Yeah. Well, thanks, dad. That didn't happen. So he marries a widower who had, um, who also had children. She was ready for her 12th pregnancy. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:08:15 Um, so she had the new Mrs. Adams had two sons of her own, Harry, who was 18. And he seemed terribly grown up to Jane, but George was just Jane's age. He was an open friendly little boy and he liked to share things. So they went on childhood adventures and she didn't notice how like miserable and ugly and in pain she was when she hung out with George. He made her feel good. Okay. So any who, Jane and her new stepbrother go on many adventures and he doesn't think
Starting point is 00:08:48 she's ugly and she doesn't realize that she's miserable and in pain all the time and I'm legally boring. It's fine. And then she would also, you know, talk to her imaginary doll friend. And so she grew up in a pretty happy household and the Adams children had the disappearance of the small pets and the, and the blood stains in the doll were never spoken of. No, apparently they just sang songs and played guitar and had family games and it was how fucking wholesome wholesome as shit all the time.
Starting point is 00:09:25 Great. So. Being rich is awesome. Okay. And then to quote the book, but life wasn't all parties and plays for Jane. There was schoolwork too. And there were quiet times when Jane sat alone with Marjorie and read books from her father's library.
Starting point is 00:09:41 She should not take this doll with her everywhere. It's very upsetting. Do not fill this doll's head with dark knowledge. Do not. Such a big book for such a little girl said her father one day. Was it the Necronomicon? No, it was the Necrobly. But that's all right, Jane.
Starting point is 00:09:58 I like to see you reading. In fact, I'll give you five cents for every book you finish. What an offer, whispered Marjorie. You love to read anyway. You'll make lots of money. So Jane, her interest in reading was lucrative and she made a bunch of money off of her father. So a long before Pizza Hut started bribing kids to read, Mr. Adams was on it with a nickel. And this is what?
Starting point is 00:10:24 This is like a nickel back in like we're still are we still we're like the early 20th century or late 19th century at this point? Um, yeah. Hold on. Let me flip to the back. You can see the. Yeah. She was born in 1860.
Starting point is 00:10:39 Okay. So we're still well in the 19th century. So five cents ain't nothing. No, it's not. But then again, she's a rich kid. So yeah, she's a super rich kid, but now she's like all all shiny nickel for reading a book. That would have bought me one and a half jelly ranchers when I was a little kid. Yup.
Starting point is 00:10:58 And we go on to read that Jane grew older and taller. She wasn't so thin and she was very bright. In fact, she was so bright. She passed the entrance exams and was accepted as a student by Smith College in New Hampshire, Massachusetts. Nice. Very nice. And I wouldn't let her go because he was on a trustee at, um, at the Rockford Women's
Starting point is 00:11:23 College. Oh, he's like, no, no, no, there's not the right college. Yeah. She has to go to the Rockford Feminine Seminary College. Oh, the women religious. The women religious college. So instead of getting an actual degree, she went to this women's college, but she made the most of it and she actually like went on to do cool things with it.
Starting point is 00:11:44 So yeah. This is the part where I actually know a little bit about her, their life, but keep going. So yeah, she went off to college and does she take her terrifying doll with her to college? Apparently, because there it is right here in this picture. She didn't have many friends. Uh, well, except for she does Jamie, because this is where the story takes a hilarious turn. Okay.
Starting point is 00:12:07 Jane had many classmates in seminary, but before long, she had a special friend too. A girl named Ellen Gates star, a special friend, a special, a special friend is how they phrase it. Uh huh. Yes. Apparently these women were notorious lesbians, but of course we're not going to say that here. That's her special friend.
Starting point is 00:12:29 She's definitely jumping into college the way lots of women jump into college. Yeah. The Christian missionary school where you learn more than the missionary position. Oh yeah. We're at least these two ladies did. Woohoo. Good for them. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:12:45 They made lifelong friends. I bet they did. Yup. So Jane studied very hard and she took math and science courses and was that frightened most of the girls. Oh no math. Oh no math. But, and she earned good grades when she finished her regular three years at seminary.
Starting point is 00:13:07 She got permission to stay a whole extra year and take advanced courses. Gosh, really? And she took her examinations and qualified for a college degree. So she got her, her for real college degree like she wanted. Quote. All right. Cool. You did it Jane called her imaginary doll friend who shouldn't be here to begin with.
Starting point is 00:13:26 I knew you'd find a way if you really tried. I knew if I killed all of your enemies along the way you'd succeed. Oh. All right. Keep going. So good. So good she's a college graduate and now she's ready to make her mark on the world. So Jane decided she wanted to go off to women's medical college and to become a doctor.
Starting point is 00:13:51 Oh nice. There were not many of those. Yeah. There was just, because I want to say that it was the women's medical college in Philadelphia and it was one of the few in the country. So it was like basically her and Dr. Quinn and that's it. Yeah. So it depends on your, your like your fictional literature, Jamie.
Starting point is 00:14:09 There's lots of female, I do understand this. But in for real life, she wanted to become a doctor, but then a very sad thing happened. I don't know. We hate sad things happening. In August. Doll burned in a fire. In August, just as Jane was getting ready to leave for medical school, John Adams died. So she lost her daddy.
Starting point is 00:14:31 So the nice rich dude. Is gone. However, again, don't mention it in there, but at her father's death, she inherited the equivalent of $1.4 million dollars in 19, 19 or 2016 money. Okay. So not, not too shabby, a little nest, little thing, little starter money. A little, a little $50,000 inheritance and at the turn of the century, ain't bad. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:15:00 For her, for real. So she got some for real money after, after daddy Warbucks died. So what's she gonna do with this newfound wealth? She cried as if her heart would break. Oh, Marjorie. What will I do? She sobbed. My wonderful handsome father.
Starting point is 00:15:15 He was the best friend I ever had. I will miss him so much. Not a lot of jokes to be made at her being sad about her dad dying. I mean that, yeah. And crying to her imaginary friend. Agreed. Your dad dying sucks. Unless you were one of those people who had a really shitty dad, but you know, I get it.
Starting point is 00:15:33 She said her dad's gone and all she has left is this soul devouring, you know, homunculus that she, she keeps around with her. Yup. So September came and Jane left for Philadelphia. Soon she was busy with her work at medical school. There was still an empty place in her heart, but she didn't have time to think about it. But then trouble came that she had to think about. Jane's old problems with her back returned.
Starting point is 00:16:02 Uh-oh. That's... Yeah. So Jane started having really bad problems with her back and so she decided to go to see her step-brother, Harry, who was a physician. He got to become a doctor. He got to become a doctor. She was going to become a doctor.
Starting point is 00:16:22 But... There's a whole, like this whole Adam's family blended thing, lots of doctors. Yes, lots of doctors. So you need an operation, Harry said after he examined Jane. I can fix what is hurting you, but it will take a long time to regain your strength. Oh God, you really want spinal surgery in the very early 20th century? Yeah. It worked out for her though.
Starting point is 00:16:50 Oh good. I'm glad you did. And while she was recovering, she decided to take a trip to Europe. And so her, she went with her step-mother. And recovering from back surgery. So international travel is just the thing. Yeah. Well, apparently it's like this was almost like over six months past the surgery.
Starting point is 00:17:10 So she's into the healing stage. Sure. Okay. So once she was moving about... You're spending some of that, you know, on a boat. So she packs up, goes on a boat with her step-mom. And so they tell you all about the boat trip and landing in Ireland and some of her. And they went to Ireland and Scotland and England.
Starting point is 00:17:37 Nice. Yeah. So she traveled the world and she apparently traveled the world for a couple years. I recommend travel for young people. So, so far so good. Yeah, so young Jane and her step-mom are, are off having adventures. Sweet. You see them castles and eating bland British food.
Starting point is 00:17:57 Yep. And then quote from the book. They saw great buildings and beautiful fountains and green parks. They saw narrow, mean streets too, where haggard, unshaven men and thin, hungry women lived. They saw ragged, half-starved children. They even saw a market where wilted, half-rotten vegetables were auctioned off to these poor people. What is this poverty thing?
Starting point is 00:18:20 We don't have that back in America. They did. She was, she was exposed to poverty that once and then she was like these poor, ugly children. Her parents were like, well, never gonna let her see that part of town again. And now suddenly her dad's dead and they were like, go over the world. Oh, this is a thing everywhere. Yeah. It turns out sometimes things suck for people.
Starting point is 00:18:38 So apparently instead of talking to her real-life step-mother who was with her, she talked to her imaginary doll. It was terrible, she told the doll. Those people were spending their last pennies on cabbages that weren't fit to eat. Oh, Marjorie, I have to do something for the poor people. I don't know what, but I can't let them go on like that. So Jane was really affected by poor people. So she's like, I gotta do something about this whole poverty thing.
Starting point is 00:19:05 So she spent two years in Europe. She traveled to many countries. She saw people in need of help and friendship. And so when she returned home, she wrote to her good friend, Ellen, I feel like such a failure, she told Ellen. For years, I have thought about helping needy people, but I really haven't done a thing. And so then she remembers this place she saw in London. It was called Tonyby Hall.
Starting point is 00:19:34 It was in the slums and it was quote, it was this, it was called a settlement house. And it was very much like the house that Jane had dreamt about when she was a child. It was a nice place to set down among dirty little cottages. It was a place where poor people could come and enjoy themselves. So she was like, that motherfucker stole my idea that I had when I was a little kid. I'm going to go burn his house down. No, she was like, I'm going to have one just like it. So her and her friend, Ellen, they go to Europe together.
Starting point is 00:20:04 They go on a lesbian adventure to go check out the lesbian European adventure to go check out the house that helps the poor people. Excellent. And then that could be a really like fun and possibly hot movie could be, although if you like feminists of turn of the century, feminist turn of the century, feminist, lesbian, like progressive adventures sounds actually like, yeah, you're like a tot give it to me. When Jane and Ellen returned again to America, Jane had made up her mind. She would have a lovely big house right in the middle of the slum.
Starting point is 00:20:44 She would invite the neighborhood people to her house and she would share with them all the things she had learned at school and on her travels. So she goes and she looks at these houses because she decides she wants to do it in Chicago. But notice that the houses have faces. Yes. The houses have faces and they're very sad and they have moustache. These are indeed sad houses and old.
Starting point is 00:21:05 These are old sad houses, big noses and beards and moustaches. Yeah, it's horrifying. The slum is the scariest place imaginable. Do not take us like a deli can read this book. It will fuck you up. Okay. So they look and look and then they finally find a house that is suitable for their needs. Not a sad house, but a happy house, but a happy house.
Starting point is 00:21:31 It was it was run down. Oh, there it is. She cried. It is just what I've been looking for. Oh, stop, stop right here. Mr. Pond stopped and stared at that house. He said, why that's the old whole mansion. It's pretty run down.
Starting point is 00:21:49 But it's a lovely house and it can be fixed up. Tell me about the holes. Will they rent me? So she went and she talked to Ms. Culver, who was the lady who owned the house and she agreed to rent the house to them for a mere dollar a year. So she was like, we like, we like the cut of your jib. I think we like the work you're going to do. So we're just going to give you this for dirt cheap.
Starting point is 00:22:15 Pretty much. So Holstead Street was an elegant one. My cousin Charles built it that house, she said. So they decided, okay. So the old lady, she went to go visit this old, this old biddy and she decides to rent her the house and also later becomes one of the sponsors of this house. So Jane agrees to pay for all the repairs that it needs. And she agrees to pretty much rent to her rent free.
Starting point is 00:22:44 What are you going to call the place? It already has a name, Jane said. It's Hall House. Yep. And this is the part I know about. So these two ladies start fixing up this house and building up the neighborhood and bringing all her lovely expensive furniture. So I want to say, was she really on her hands and knees doing all this work or was she mostly
Starting point is 00:23:07 using her money to get people to do this work for her? I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure she did a lot of it. I mean, that would try. From what I know about the real woman, she would track that she got her hands dirty quite a bit. This woman got her hands dirty quite a bit in real life. I just didn't know if like this stage. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:23:24 I mean, they show her on her hands and knees scrubbing the floors. And what I could gather on her Wikipedia page, this tracks with who she was. It tracks what I know about her, which is later in life. I know more about her when she was like middle and later age. Yeah. This is her humble beginnings. So she starts lavishly furnishing this house so she could have a nice place for the neighborhood together.
Starting point is 00:23:50 Jane did her shopping in a little grocery store down the street and she told the grocer that she hoped neighbors would come visit her. As she came and went from the grocery store, she spoke to the children. She asked if they would like to come and play at her house. The children were polite, but they were very suspicious. Yeah. Why does this old lesbian want to talk to me? But anyhow, eventually this lady shows up with her children.
Starting point is 00:24:18 A dark-haired young woman stood on the steps. She had a baby in her arms and a little girl clung to her skirts. The grocer said, you might help me, she said. Her voice was low and soft. She spoke with an accent. Jane knew right away that she was Italian. I have to work, said the young woman. If I miss work, I will be fired.
Starting point is 00:24:39 My friend who takes care of my children, today she is sick. I have no place to leave my baby and my little girl. You do have a place, said Jane. You can leave them with us, but we'll be glad to look after them. After all, we are neighbors, aren't we? So Jane started with just kind of like babysitting. Yeah. It's like I'll babysit for immigrant worker women because yeah, that idea that I always
Starting point is 00:25:05 laugh whenever people talk about how it's like in modern times, you know. After World War II, and women started having jobs, and then this idea of having a two income household. It's like, yeah, you're talking about middle class and up. Poor women have been had jobs and been working their ass off since the beginning of civilization. So it's like these poor immigrant women had horrible jobs, working long hours for nothing. Oh yeah. And it gets worse from here.
Starting point is 00:25:35 So the book kind of just makes it seem like it was a nice, happy place that they kind of babysat. Take care. We're running. Yeah. I see a little boy with like a dress up as a knight with a sword. Yeah. Woohoo.
Starting point is 00:25:52 So yeah, they started recruiting more people. Their friend Jenny came to stay and help with them. Abduct more children. Soon, other friends came, and there were other projects at Hall House. There were clubs where the older children could learn sewing and cooking and dancing. There were games for the older boys so they wouldn't get into mischief. There were plays and songs for everyone. Hall House was the beginning of what Jane had dreamt it to be, a place where the people
Starting point is 00:26:22 came to visit and relax, to get to know one another and enjoy themselves and learn interesting things. Okay. And that's all well and good. But let me tell you a little bit about this house. Yeah. I mean, I know a little bit about Hall House and what it was like, what its mission was. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:26:41 Well, now granted, again, this is the beginning of it, but in its heyday, the house had 25 residents and was visited by about 2,000 people per week, which is a good numberly amount of people. Yeah. The women at Hall House were well educated and committed to labor unions, the National Consumers League and the suffrage movement. Hall House included a night school, clubs, public, a public kitchen, an art gallery, a gym, a public library.
Starting point is 00:27:11 Hall House used its methodology to study things like overcrowding, truancy, typhoid fever, cocaine, children's reading, news boys, infant mortality and midwifery. Midwifery. Midwifery. Midwifery. And newsies. Newsies. Because they wanted these kids to stay out of trouble.
Starting point is 00:27:32 And so again, she's talking to her imaginary friend. You've done so much for them, Jane, said Marjorie. They've done just as much for me, Jane answered. They've accepted me. I'm a real neighbor now, and that means a lot. Now I can harvest their souls from my dark master. So time goes on and the Hall House became better known and people in wealthier areas came to work.
Starting point is 00:28:00 So more and more people came in. And in December, when the cold winds rustled through the corners of the street, gifts began to arrive at Hall House. We're going to have a marvelous Christmas, cried Jane. Look at the turkeys and the potatoes and barrels of apples and boxes and boxes of candy. Won't the children love it? So they're getting ready for Christmas. They have all this extravagant shit.
Starting point is 00:28:29 They're really excited. And so they decided to have a party two days before Christmas. There was a party for the girls. They all came. Jane thought they looked very tired, but was glad to see them once again. They sang carols and they exchanged little gifts. And then it was time for supper. Jane had planned everything carefully.
Starting point is 00:28:53 There was sandwiches and cookies, and there was hot chocolate, and of course, there was plenty of candy. After all, boxes and boxes of sweets had been sent to Hall House. But then Jenny Dahl frowned and Jane looked puzzled. The girls won't touch the candies. They didn't seem very happy about the cookies and hot chocolate either. Finally, Jane and Ellen and Jenny learned what had happened. The girls had been working in the candy factory nearby.
Starting point is 00:29:22 14 hours a day, six days a week. They had been sitting in a crowded, airless room, wrapping caramels. They were sick of the sight and sick of the smell. This just reminds us of our bleak, horrible lives. Yes, actually. Yeah. At first, they see the kids wrapping candy and eating candy happily, which I'm sure that's exactly what happened.
Starting point is 00:29:45 Yeah, everybody knows those factories were just great for the 10-year-olds who worked at them. Yeah. So anywho, Jane didn't like this for shit. This child labor is bullshit. Child labor is bullshit. So Jane and her friends began to write letters and legislate about what had happened. Girls have to be passed against this sort of thing Jane said, children have to be protected.
Starting point is 00:30:12 No, that's just interfering with the free market. Yeah. And they said, you know, that the factories wouldn't like it. And she said, fuck the factories, child labor bad. So she actually went and passed and went and changed labor laws. But don't you worry, those labor laws are being loosened right now and the kids are the children, the immigrant children who are being working at the meatpacking plants. Oh, yeah, like they're like, those were the good old days.
Starting point is 00:30:46 We need to get back to them. All right. Anyway, back to this adorable children's book. Yes. So they kind of gloss over it, but yeah, Jane and her colleagues founded the Juvenile Protection Agency, or I'm sorry, Juvenile Protection Association in 1901. The GPA. JPA.
Starting point is 00:31:07 JPA. I see a trash cat. So she passed new labor laws and she was very happy. And the factory owners were not happy. Yep. Now that that's taken care of, maybe I can do something about the garbage in the streets, said Jane. It's unhopeful and it smells terrible.
Starting point is 00:31:25 She's just here to solve one problem at a time. The garbage men simply aren't doing their job. So Jane being Jane got a job as the garbage inspector for her area and started making them clean up the streets like all your lazy assholes, lazy assholes. And so yeah, she became a garbage inspector and would take no shit from no one. And the streets got cleaner and health conditions improved. She made the garbage men her bitch. Pretty much.
Starting point is 00:32:01 Remember that Jane never stopped fighting. She worked all her life for the poor people who were her friends. It was because of Jane that the first playground was built into Chicago. It was because of Jane that more schools were built in the city. And it was partly because of her that women got the right to vote. Which by the way, that's all we get for the suffrage movement. That's not like, that's not that a noteworthy accomplishment. No, not at all.
Starting point is 00:32:29 Jane had very advanced ideas for the time. She even tried to get people to organize country camps so that city children could have a vacation in the open fields and in the forest. In time, Jane became became famous. People in other cities copied her ideas and began to build settlement houses in poor areas. Senators and prime ministers and princes and princes came to visit Hall House and to talk to Jane once even the president of the United States. So apparently she was a supporter of Teddy Roosevelt and was called the mother of social
Starting point is 00:33:12 work. Yep. And as we discussed in our epic two part Francis Perkins series, a huge influence on Francis Perkins. Yeah, she was a pretty bad ass lady. And I am horribly disappointed that this tale doesn't end with her, you know, accepting Jesus and tossing her satanic doll into a bonfire. Now she didn't need to accept Jesus.
Starting point is 00:33:38 She was a member of the social Christian movement. Yes. I'm actually aware of that in real life. I was making a joke about the horrifying doll in the kids book. Yeah. No, actually the Christian social movement is one of those things that people don't talk about much that once upon a time there was a very strong movement in American Christianity that was all about the Bernie Sanders style of getting things done.
Starting point is 00:34:02 Yeah. And again, this woman was totally bad ass, but she also had some really shitty ideas about eugenics and prohibition. Well, there there is. So no one's all good ever. Well, there is all that. But I did love that they called her first. They mentioned her first lesbian lover, but she actually had a second one who she later
Starting point is 00:34:25 referred to as her wife, like they were considered themselves a married couple. And that was Mary Rosart Smith. But again, we're not getting that little antidote in the children's book. The children's book doesn't want to talk about her lesbian adventures in the whole house. It really does. I imagine that instead we just get the fucking clown doll. We get the fucking clown doll and we don't understand the clown doll and we'll close out with you may decide that it's important to be able to give friendship.
Starting point is 00:34:54 It's also important to be able to accept it just like our good friend, Jane Adams. Okay. Well, okay. So the first part that I'm going to say in the historical facts, it says Jane Adams was born in Cedarville. First of all, her name was Laura Janes Adams. Her first name was actually Laura, but went by her middle name of Jane. So that's the first thing that they cut out.
Starting point is 00:35:17 Okay. Do you have any other notables from the biography? Honestly, they didn't give a biography like they did in the last one. It's literally just a sum up of what they already told you in the book. It's just like more. This is just this. It's more of the same. The only thing they had Jane soon found that there were needs of the slums, which settlement
Starting point is 00:35:38 houses could not meet. Children were working in sweet shops. So Jane sweatshops maybe. Yes. Sorry. Well, no, they did work in sweet shops. But yes, it actually says sweatshops, but I read it as sweet because they were in the candy factory.
Starting point is 00:35:53 First, I thought I was wasting. I actually corrected you and then it may not be corrected because it was a sweet shop. It was a sweet shop and a sweatshop. It was both. So she changed. She fought for child labor laws and like so they glossed over her, the whole women's suffrage thing. They glossed over that because maybe the people who wrote the book and think that was maybe
Starting point is 00:36:14 quite as a big deal. People were being injured in factories. So she urged Congress to pass laws governing safety conditions. She campaigned for American education, day nurseries, better houses, better housing and women's suffrage. Her fame and influence spread. She became a recipient of the first honorary degree ever bestowed on a woman by Yale University and President Theodore Roosevelt called her America's most useful citizen.
Starting point is 00:36:45 Nice. In 1931, Jane was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She died four years later on May 21st, 1935. She was almost 75 and still a resident at a Hall House and a friend to her neighbors on Halstead Street because that's the value of friendship, not the value of working your ass off for I believe it. I mean, it's like the value of friendship. There's really not like a single strong overriding friendship with a friendship of her and her
Starting point is 00:37:16 doll. Yeah. I mean, again, she had strong friendships. I mean, she was totally, I mean, it's her special friend, Ellen, which is hilarious. The value of lesbians is really what we should get out of this. Lesbian, progressive lesbians rock and we need more of them. Yeah. I mean, she was totally cool.
Starting point is 00:37:37 Yeah. So like one of the things about Hall House that I remember was this whole idea that everything wasn't just about giving material aid, but it was literally about giving dignity and quality of life and enriching the lives of people and letting know you're allowed to have as rich a life as it shouldn't just be all you do as work and then you then you sleep and then you die. And it was awesome. I mean, they provided night schools for the adults, educational opportunities, lots of
Starting point is 00:38:02 social activities and encouragement for, for the wealthier people to come and actually like socially mingle with the poor people in a way that wasn't at all normal or a thing in the regular. No, when it humanized them and it also, they taught trade so they could get higher paid jobs. And also in the sheer networking thing, it's like eventually some of these poor people could meet wealthier people who could give them opportunities to realize, Hey, there's a lot of value in these people.
Starting point is 00:38:30 So it was, it was a number of levels of what was going on with the settlement houses. And she was the one who started them here in the United States. Yeah. She was a really badass chick who was really just reduced to talking to her imaginary psychotic doll. She's just the ugly, crazy woman of this book. Pretty much. As opposed to the badass lesbian who helped women get the right to vote.
Starting point is 00:38:52 Yeah. Oh, well, well, I guess we did it. We covered another one of these damn books. Yeah. I mean, I can't wait for anyone to actually scroll through and see the pictures of Marjorie Vidal. It's so unsettling. If you, yeah, if you follow us on any of our social media accounts, which is basically
Starting point is 00:39:13 chainsaw history on everything, you will, we'll post some pictures and video clips. You follow us on Tik Tok for some of the little, is it going there? We will show the horrifying doll. The horrifying doll is really the most horrifying thing I've seen in these books so far. And they've been pretty scary. So this is a bonus episode off of our regular, the big scripted, full topic ones, but you are hearing this on the main chainsaw history feed. But if you like the value of series or want to hear what we're doing in the world of Indiana
Starting point is 00:39:44 Jones versus history, come and check us out at and consider a membership. If you put $5 a month or more, you're going to get access to all kinds of extra episodes and bonus content and cool behind the scenes tidbits as we grow. And if you want to help us out right now, we are trying to kind of hit our first big benchmarks on all of our social media and accounts. So without spending a dime, you can still follow us on Subscribe for free just to make sure you get updates. All we're going to do is email you to tell you when there is new content.
Starting point is 00:40:19 Make sure you're subscribed on your favorite podcast feed, rate and review us, especially on Apple podcasts because that helps us rise in the rankings and helps people discover us for the first time. Special thanks to our sound engineer, Kevin. Yes. And the amazing setup we've got here at Raven Sound Studios. This is our home until he kicks us out. Yeah, hopefully we'll never be kicked out.
Starting point is 00:40:42 I like my home. And with that in mind, you will hear us in your ear holes again next week. We'll be talking about more interesting people, good, bad and different. Oh, there's so much of all of that. Bye. I'll pick a kid's book. See ya. Bye.
Starting point is 00:40:58 Bye.

There aren't comments yet for this episode. Click on any sentence in the transcript to leave a comment.