September 6, 1860 Jane Addams is the eighth child born to Sarah Weber Addams and John Huy Addams, natives of Pennsylvania who had settled in Cedarville, Illinois. Addams’s father, a farmer, also developed a prosperous gristmill in Cedarville and a bank in Freeport, Illinois. He served in the Senate of the Illinois General Assembly between 1854 and 1870. He helped to organize Abraham Lincoln’s debate with Stephen A. Douglas in Freeport, Illinois on August 27, 1858 and remained a staunch Unionist and supporter of Lincoln after he was elected president in 1860.
January 14, 1863 Addams’s mother dies in childbirth. Sister Mary Catherine Addams, age 17, and family friend and nurse “Polly” Beer, help raise the youngest Addams siblings, Jane, age two; Sarah Alice, age nine, and John Weber, age ten.
February 23, 1867 Addams sister Martha dies of typhoid fever while a student at Rockford Female Seminary, Rockford, Illinois, located thirty miles from Cedarville.
Fall 1867 Addams begins her formal education in the Cedarville Public School, a two-room schoolhouse, where she is known as “Jennie” Addams.
November 17, 1868 John Addams marries forty-year-old widow Anna Hostetter Haldeman of Freeport, Illinois. Anna brings to Cedarville her seven-year-old son, George Haldeman, who becomes Jane Addams’s primary playmate and intellectual peer. As stepmother, Anna Addams sets high standards for intellectual achievement and behavior and shares her love of books, plays, poetry, musical events, and travel.
March 1871 Jane Addams helps to found a literary society in her public school.
September 1877 Addams matriculates at Rockford Female Seminary. Three of her sisters, Sarah Alice, Martha, and Mary, had attended the boarding school, founded in 1849 by Anna P. Sill.
1877 At Rockford, Addams begins her lifelong friendship with Ellen Gates Starr. Because of economic hardship, Starr leaves the Seminary after a year to become a schoolteacher. By the fall of 1879 she is living and teaching in Chicago where her aunt, Eliza Allen Starr, is among the city’s most well-known lecturers on religious art.
Summer 1879 Addams becomes literary editor of the Rockford Seminary Magazine which had presented her first published essay, “Plated Ware” in 1878.
June 22, 1881 Addams graduates from Rockford Female Seminary. She uses the opportunity as class valedictorian to deliver a speech in which she implores the Board of Trustees to take seriously the students’ “increasing demands” that the Seminary become a fully accredited college and grant bachelor’s degrees to its graduates. She reminds her classmates, “the glorious Seventeen” that they stand “united to-day in a belief in beauty, genius and courage, and that these can transform the world.” Addams makes plans to pursue pre-medical education at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
July 2, 1881 Addams, along with the rest of the nation, learns that President James A. Garfield has been shot by Charles Guiteau, the stepbrother of her lifelong friend, Flora Z. Guiteau of Freeport, Illinois.
August 17, 1881 Addams’s father dies, probably from a ruptured appendix, in Green Bay, Wisconsin, during a family vacation that included investigating mining and real estate opportunities in the Lake Superior region. A large crowd attends his funeral in the family home in Cedarville three days later.
October 17, 1881 Addams enrolls with her sister, Sarah Alice Addams Haldeman, in the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, an institution devoted to the education of women physicians and their right to practice medicine. Although Addams successfully passes her comprehensive exams at the end of the first session, including the dissection of a portion of a human cadaver, her own physical and emotional health decline. She is treated by Dr. Silas Weir Mitchell, a nationally known expert on spinal maladies and nervous disorders who prescribes bed rest as a cure for what he may have diagnosed as” neurasthenia” or “hysteria” (as women’s depression was then known).
March 1882 Addams and her stepmother return to Cedarville.
June 21, 1882 Addams is awarded one of the first bachelor of arts degrees granted by Rockford Female Seminary. (The school officially changes its name to Rockford Seminary in June 1887 and to Rockford College in 1892).
November 1882—Spring 1883 While recovering from an operation on her spine performed by her brother-in-law, Dr. Henry “Harry” Winfield Haldeman, who is also her stepbrother, Addams reads widely, including Carlyle’s biography of Frederick the Great and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein.
May 1883 Addams becomes an honorary trustee at Rockford Female Seminary.
August 12, 1883 On the eve of her two-year “Grand Tour” of Europe, Addams confides to Ellen Gates Starr her worries about holding “to full earnestness of purpose.” With her stepmother, family relatives, and friends she visits Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and Greece.
August 29, 1883 Addams arrives in Queenstown, Ireland, and spends the next month touring the country and Dublin. For the first time in her life, she encounters child beggars living in “wretched places” near huge estates owned by wealthy British and Anglo-Irish landlords.
October 27, 1883 During a visit to the East End of London, the neighborhood made famous by the investigative report, “Bitter Cry of Outcast London,” Addams watches from atop an omnibus as poor residents rush to purchase meat and vegetables before the market closes for the weekend.
November 1883—May 1885 Addams witnesses and writes back home about the conditions under which women work in Europe, but especially in the fields and in breweries in Germany.
April 1884 Addams spends Palm Sunday and Easter at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome where she observes “an incessant stream of the devout were constantly kissing the bronze toe of St. Peters statue.”
May 1884 Addams becomes one of the first women appointed to the Rockford Female Seminary Board of Trustees, a policy change she advocated while still a student.
June 1884 On her trip to Athens, Addams discovers that she “knew enough Greek to read streets & signs and an occasional inscription—but not much else.”
May 17, 1885 During her five-month-long stay in Paris, in addition to visiting art galleries, museums, and palaces, Addams attends a McCall mission. Founded by Robert and Elizabeth McCall of England, the storefront Protestant missions brought the bible to the Catholic poor.
June 1885 Addams arrives in New York City and returns briefly to Cedarville with her stepmother after visiting relatives in Philadelphia.
December 1885—April 1886; October 1886—February 1887 Twenty-six-year old Addams takes up residence in Baltimore where Anna Haldeman Addams has moved to be closer to her son, George, a student at Johns Hopkins University. In addition to meeting prominent men and women in Baltimore society, Addams becomes involved in charitable work for the first time in her life, visiting the Shelter for Aged and Infirm Colored Persons, 515-517 West Biddle Street, and the Johns HopkIns Colored Orphan Asylum next door.
March–July 1887 Addams assumes family responsibilities as helpmate to sisters Mary Catherine Linn with her six children and Sarah Alice Haldeman during the birth of her first child.
December 22, 1887—July 1888 During her second tour of Europe with Rockford professor Sarah Anderson and her friend, Ellen Gates Starr, Addams is confident enough to serve as a guide in Paris and Florence. She reveals a special interest in early Christian beliefs, positivism, and Christian art and architecture. She also travels and lodges alone for the first time.
December 30 1887 Addams’s visit to Ulm Cathedral prompts her to reflect on the role of women of the Old and New testaments, her appreciation for Albrecht Dűrer’s art, and Leo Tolstoy’s ideas on Christianity as nonviolent resistance to evil.
February 1888 As a result of Ellen Gates Starr’s Chicago connections, she and Addams secure passes to visit the Vatican. Addams attends a beautification ceremony and the special exhibit of Pope Leo XIII’s jubilee gifts. Recoiling at the “relic worship” she encounters in Rome, Addams spends time studying and exploring the catacombs of early Christians.
February 16, 1888 Addams is stunned to receive word of the death of her two-year-old niece, “Little Mary” Addams Linn. As she grieves, she experiences a bout of sciatica which confines her to bed in Rome.
April 22, 1888 Addams travels to Spain and attends a bullfight in Madrid, an event she later characterizes in her autobiography, Twenty Years at Hull-House, as a watershed. Writing in 1910, she claimed that the bloodshed she had witnessed left her unable to justify the “continued idleness” of indefinite study and travel.” Addams travels on to Morocco, France, and England.
May 1888 Addams meets Chicago civic leader Bertha Honore Palmer in Paris; Palmer later achieves international recognition for her role as president of the Board of Lady Managers of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
June 1888 In London, Addams attends the World Centennial of Foreign Missions conference and listens to papers on the Opium Trade in China and the Liquor Traffic in the Congo. Armed with a letter from Canon William Fremantle, Addams tours Toynbee Hall, the model for the social settlement movement throughout the world. In a letter to her sister, she proclaims this visit “the most interesting thing we have done in London.” Addams also begins reading Henry Besant’s novel, All Sorts and Conditions of Men, which details the adventures of a college-educated brewery heiress who establishes her home among the poor of London’s East End. On July 19, 1888, she sails aboard the Furnessia, arriving in New York ten days later.
September 26, 1888 Addams helps found and becomes president of the Cedarville chapter of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.).
October 14, 1888 Addams is baptized, becoming a member of the Presbyterian Church.in Cederville
February 1889 Addams and Ellen Gates Starr move into a boardinghouse across the street from Chicago’s Washington Square Park on the city’s Near North Side, and begin to marshal support for their “scheme” among leading Protestant ministers and club women, especially Mary J. Hawes Wilmarth and Lydia Avery Coonley. During Addams’s meeting with the full board of Armour Mission, architect Allen B. Pond expresses enthusiasm for her plan, predicting that it will have great appeal for young women who are “dying from inaction and restlessness.”
February 1889 Addams begins teaching boys classes on Wednesday evenings at the Industrial School on Chicago Avenue, operated in connection with the Moody Church.
February 1889–1892 Addams teaches a variety of subjects at the Chicago Training School for City, Home, and Foreign Missions, opened by Lucy Rider Meyer in 1887 at Dearborn and Ohio streets.
March 1889 Addams organizes a social club for girls at the W.C.T.U. Anchorage on Third Ave. [later Plymouth Court], near the city’s South Side vice district.
May 1889 Addams secures a lease from Helen Culver for the use of a portion of the Charles J. Hull family home at 335 South Halsted Street [later 800 S. Halsted]. This would be the first of many leases negotiated by Jane Addams with Culver who became a major financial supporter of the settlement.
May 8, 1889 Addams and Starr become members of the Chicago Woman’s Club, the leading organization of women reformers in the city.
June 8, 1889 Writing in the Chicago Evening Journal, Rev. David Swing of Central Church announces that Addams and Starr will establish a kindergarten and open the parlors of 335 S. Halsted Street to their neighbors. He predicts that this new social movement will be as valuable as London’s Toynbee Hall.
September 18, 1889 Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr open their settlement house in rented quarters in the 1856 mansion built by Charles Hull at Polk and Halsted streets on Chicago’s West Side. Together with their housekeeper, Mary Keyser, they furnish the brick structure with reproductions of European paintings from their trips abroad, especially Madonnas, and welcome their Italian neighbors and middle-class colleagues of Starr’s from Miss Kirkland’s School into the newly painted parlors. The Chicago press quickly dubs the settlement Chicago’s “Toynbee Hall.”
1889—1890 Addams meets wealthy Chicagoan Mary Rozet Smith, who becomes her lifelong partner and major financial supporter. A former pupil of Ellen Gates Starr and friend of Hull-House kindergarten teacher Jennie Dow, Smith helps Addams to expand the settlement complex and pay its bills.
June 2, 1890 Addams and Starr organize college extension courses which enroll upwards of 250 men and women taught by twenty-five volunteers. The educational courses featuring literature, languages, art, history, and music remain a major focus of the settlement programs for the remainder of Jane Addams’s life.
June 21, 1891 Addams dedicates the Butler Art Gallery, located on Halsted Street just south of the original Hull mansion. Donated by businessman Edward A. Butler and designed by the architectural firm of Pond & Pond, the building is the first new construction in what became the Hull-House complex of thirteen structures.
1891 Julia Lathrop and Edward L. Burchard become residents at Hull-House. Lathrop, a native of Rockford, Illinois, attended Rockford Female Seminary and graduated (1880) from Vassar. In 1893, Governor John P. Altgeld appointed Lathrop to the Illinois State Board of Charities, a position that enabled her to investigate charitable institutions in Chicago and Cook County. Burchard, an 1891 graduate of Beloit College, joins the settlement after hearing Addams speak about Toynbee Hall in the Freeport Presbyterian Church.
1891 Addams transfers her membership from the Cedarville Presbyterian Church to the Ewing Street Congregational Church, later known as Firman Congregational.
December 3, 1891 Addams’s seminal talk, “The Outgrowths of Toynbee Hall,” at the Chicago Woman’s Club, is the genesis for her essay, “The Subjective Necessity of Social Settlements,” published in Philanthropy and Social Progress (Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1893).
December 1891 Addams helps Florence Kelley find work as a special agent of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics. The single mother of three children, Kelley was a graduate of Cornell who had studied at the University of Zurich and translated into English Frederich Engels’s Conditions of the Working Class in England. Her advocacy on behalf of sweatshop workers and the 8-hour-day deepened Hull-House’s commitment to social justice.
May 1, 1892 The Jane Club, named for Addams, opens in rented quarters at 253  W. Ewing Street . Mary Kenney, a bookbinder from the neighborhood, is president of the cooperative residence which provides pleasantly furnished parlors and bedrooms for young working women at a cost of $3 per week.
July 1892 In two addresses at the School of Applied Ethics in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Addams establishes herself as a leader of the emerging national settlement movement. Her career as an influential writer and thinker begins with the publication in the fall of 1892 of “Hull-House, Chicago: An Effort Toward Social Democracy,” and “A New Impulse to an Old Gospel” in the prestigious Forum magazine.
May—October 1893 The visibility of Addams—and Hull-House—increases dramatically as a result of her participation at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, particularly in the World’s Congress of Representative Women; the Social Settlement Congress; and the Labor Congress. Among the thousands of visitors to Hull-House during the Fair are national and international labor leaders, journalists, religious leaders, and men and women closely associated with the developing social settlement movement.
May 1893 Addams adds to the settlement complex a two-story Pond & Pond-designed gymnasium and coffee house building, located at 240  W. Polk Street.
June 1893 Addams joins Mary Kenney and Florence Kelley and successfully lobbies the Illinois Legislature to create an Office for the State Factory Inspector. Governor John Peter Altgeld subsequently appoints Florence Kelley, who drafted the legislation, as chief factory inspector, and she opens an office at 247  W. Polk Street, in rented space near the Hull-House complex.
August 23, 1893 Hull-House Kitchen, based on the pioneering work of Ellen G. Richards, provides New England-style cuisine to neighborhood residents.
May 5, 1894 The Hull-House Playground, considered the first of its kind in Chicago, opens for its second year at Polk and Mather streets on property donated by philanthropist William Kent. Three houses were demolished to ready the site in 1893 and Addams spent several hundred dollars for sand and swings and a shelter for parents and children. When the city assumes control of the playground in 1906, it is renamed after Chicago Fire Marshal Denis Swenie, and continues to operate until 1910 when Kent sold the property.
1894 Muckracking English journalist and clergyman William T. Stead highlights Hull-House as “the greatest social center of the city” in his book, If Christ Came to Chicago!
June 1894 Addams, a founding member and trustee of the Civic Federation of Chicago, is appointed to the organization’s six-member Arbitration Committee for the Pullman Strike. She pays a personal visit to the town of Pullman to investigate living conditions but is unable to meet with the railroad magnate himself. George M. Pullman had provided $500 to furnish the Men’s Club in the gymnasium/coffee house building erected in 1893. Addams testifies before the U.S. Strike Commission on August 18, 1894.
July 6, 1894 Following the death of her sister, Mary Catherine Addams Linn, Addams is appointed legal guardian of the two youngest Linn children, Esther, age 14, and Stanley Ross, age 11. Stanley comes to live for a time at Hull-House with his Aunt Jane.
1895-1898 Addams supports the Hull-House Men’s Club in its unsuccessful campaigns to unseat John Powers as alderman of the Nineteenth Ward. On December 7, 1897, she delivers a powerful speech on “Ethical Survivals in City Immorality,” to the New York City Social Reform Club. Addams receives widespread coverage for her talk to the Chicago Ethical Society on January 23, 1898, and it is published in April by the Outlook as “Why the Ward Boss Rules.” Another version, titled “Ethical Survivals in Municipal Corruption,” appears in the April 1898 issue of the International Journal of Ethics.
April 24, 1895 Addams becomes Chicago’s first female garbage inspector in the Nineteenth Ward.
May 1, 1895 Helen Culver, Charles Hull’s niece and business manager, grants Addams a 25-year lease rent free, in return for incorporating the settlement as the Hull-House Association. Addams serves as president and treasurer; Mary H. Wilmarth as vice president; Allen B. Pond as secretary; William H. Colvin as auditor; and Gertrude Barnum as assistant treasurer. Culver is also named a board member.
May 3, 1895 During a speech on settlements in New York City, Addams compares railroad magnate George Pullman to King Lear. Although her essay version of the speech is rejected by several periodicals, she continues to speak about the bitter Pullman railroad strike. Not until 1912 is “A Modern Lear” published by the Survey.
September 1895 Hull-House Maps and Papers, written by Jane Addams, Ellen Gates Starr, Florence Kelley, Julia Lathrop, and other settlement residents, is published and establishes Hull-House’s reputation for pioneering social science research. In addition to contributing an essay on “The Settlement as a Factor in the Labor Movement,” Addams edited the volume with Kelley.
December 17, 1895 The Children’s Building at Hull-House opens. Financed by Mary Rozet Smith’s father, Charles Mather Smith, the four-story structure includes space for children’s clubs, day nurseries, kindergarten classes, and music rooms. Mrs. Nancy Foster provides financing to add a third story to the Charles J. Hull home.
May 6—September 18, 1896 Addams visits London, where she is entertained by settlement and labor leaders, and then travels to Russia with Mary Rozet Smith. In a meeting with Leo Tolstoy, she attempts to explain the pioneering social settlement on Halsted Street. The Russian novelist, dressed in peasant clothes, admonishes Addams that the sleeve of her black outfit contained enough material “to make a frock for a little girl.”
October 1897 Dr. Alice Hamilton begins her long residency at Hull-House. She conducts pioneering investigations in the neighborhood, including a typhoid epidemic in 1902; a house-to-house tuberculosis survey in 1905; and a study correlating high infant mortality rates with high birth rates in 1909. In 1919, she is appointed assistant professor of industrial medicine at Harvard Medical School and becomes the nation’s leading expert on industrial toxicology and an early advocate against the dangers of lead and radium poisoning.
Fall 1898 Addams hires Pond & Pond to design a permanent home for the Jane Club. The three story brick building at 223  W. Ewing Street, financed by Mary Rozet Smith and her aunt Sarah Porter Smith, provides bedrooms for more than thirty working women and parlors for socializing.
April, 30, 1899 Addams presents her first public anti-war speech, “Democracy and Militarism” at the Chicago Liberty meeting held under the auspices of the Central Anti-Imperialist League. She argues that warfare uses precious resources that have better use in “beneficent development of national life,” and that it is time for the peace ideal for prevail.
May 1, 1899 Florence Kelley moves to New York following her appointment as secretary of the National Consumers’ League. Under her leadership, the organization achieves national recognition for its efforts on behalf of protective legislation for women and children.
May 15—17, 1899 Addams welcomes delegates from more than eighty social settlements to the first national convention held at Hull-House.
July—August, 1899 Kelley returns to Chicago and joins Addams in presenting a series of twelve lectures at the University of Chicago. Addams’s are published in March 1902 as Democracy and Social Ethics.
October 25, 1899 Addams and Starr celebrate the tenth anniversary of Hull-House by opening a new building on Polk Street which contains a spacious auditorium/theater on the second floor and expanded quarters for the Coffee House on the first floor. Among their early supporters who return for the event are Helen Culver, who donated the Polk Street property, and Dr. Frank Gunsaulus, pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church and president of Armour Institute in Chicago.
May—August 1900 Addams travels to Europe with Julia Lathrop and serves as vice-president of the Jury of International Awards, Universal Exposition, Paris.
Fall 1901 Addams works with Northwestern University Settlement director Raymond Robins to free Jewish immigrant Abraham Isaaks from prison where he has been incarcerated on charges of disseminating “radical and dangerous literature” as editor of Free Society.
1901 The Hull-House complex expands with the addition of a third story to the original gymnasium and Coffee House. The imposing brick buildings are all designed by the prominent architectural firm of Pond & Pond.
1902 Hull-House complex expands with Residents’ Apartments on Ewing Street.
March 1902 Addams’s first book, Democracy and Social Ethics, published by Macmillan, introduces the American public to the life of the settlement and its engagement with democracy. In her final chapter, Addams recounts her unsuccessful struggle to unseat Johnny Powers as alderman of the Nineteenth Ward.
1903 Hull-House complex expands with Men’s Club Building on Halsted Street.
Fall 1903 Addams is elected vice president of the National Women’s Trade Union League, organized in Boston through the efforts of former Hull-House resident Mary Kenney O’Sullivan. The Chicago branch of the W.T.U.L. is formed at Hull-House on January 4, 1904 with former settlement residents Mary McDowell as president and Gertrude Barnum as secretary.
June 9, 1904 Addams receives a Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Wisconsin, her first honorary degree.
December 20, 1904 Addams becomes the first woman to deliver a convocation address at the University of Chicago. Her speech, “Recent Immigration: A Field Neglected by the Scholar,” challenges the idea that continued immigration threatens American institutions. Despite Addams’s reputation as a pioneering sociologist, the University of Chicago does not grant her an honorary doctorate until 1930.
1905 Hull-House expands with the Woman’s Club Building on Polk Street and Music School.
March 15, 1905 Hull-House benefactor Louise de Koven Bowen presents Addams with the key to the new Woman’s Club on Polk Street, just west of the gymnasium. Bowen expresses her hope that the elegant building will bring together the rich and poor for dancing classes as well as lectures on “right living and good citizenship.” The club’s anthem, “A House Stands on a Busy Street” features lyrics by Addams and music by Eleanor Smith. Participating in the ceremony is Mary McDowell, head of the University of Chicago Settlement, who served as first president of the Hull-House Woman’s Club in 1892.
March 20, 1905 Addams’s stepbrother and brother-in-law, Dr. Henry Haldeman, dies in his home in Girard, Kansas, after years as an alcoholic. He disapproved of Addams’s work, believing she had neglected her family responsibilities
July 1905—July 1908 Addams serves as a member of the Chicago Board of Education. As chairman of the School Management Committee she angers Chicago Teachers Federation President Margaret Haley when she votes for a compromise decision to keep a promotional exam for teachers.
March, April, May 1906 The Ladies’ Home Journal publishes Addams’s “own story of her work” at Hull-House.
1906 Hull-House complex expands with the Boys’ Club on Polk Street.
November 1906 Addams is named “the best woman in Chicago,” following a telephone poll of 421 club women.
1907 Hull-House complex expands with Residents’ Dining Hall.
January 1907 Addams’s book, Newer Ideals of Peace, is published by Macmillan. Harvard philosopher Henry James praises Addams and her views on peace, but President Theodore Roosevelt, who fought during the Spanish-American war, criticizes her as “Foolish Jane.”
January 12, 1907 Addams accepts keys to the new Boys’ Club from Hull-House trustee Louise de Koven Bowen, who financed the building. Helen Culver, who donated the property at 248  West Polk Street and provided a yearly endowment of $2,000, speaks about the legacy of Charles Hull and his interest in children.
August 7, 1907 Addams officiates at the dedication of Chicago’s Juvenile Court at 771 West Ewing Street, the first juvenile court building in the world. Addams helped organize the Children’s Court in 1899 and Hull-House resident Alzina Stevens served as first probation officer. In 1909, the Juvenile Court Committee changed its name to the Juvenile Protective Association of Chicago.
December 28, 1907 The Mary Crane Nursery on Ewing Street between Halsted Street and Blue Island Avenue is dedicated and Addams joins in the celebration with Hull-House trustee Louise de Koven Bowen; philanthropist Richard T. Crane; Juvenile Court Judge Julian W. Mack; and officials of the Chicago Relief and Aid Society.
March 1908 The Ladies’ Home Journal declares Addams as “America’s foremost living woman.”
June 1908 Addams serves as second vice president of the newly formed League for the Protection of Immigrants, directed by Hull-House resident Grace Abbott. The League continues the work begun by a committee of the Chicago W.T.U.L. branch which called for protective measures to assure the safety immigrant girls and women making their way from Ellis Island to Chicago. The I.P.L. shares space with the Juvenile Protective Association at the corner of Halsted Street and Gilpin Place in the Hull-House complex.
June 14, 1909 Addams is elected first woman president of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections (subsequently known as the National Conference of Social Work).
November 1909 The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets, published by Macmillan, confirms Addams’s reputation as a social thinker who understands the attractions—and drawbacks—of urban life for children and young adults.
1909 Addams writes a fundraising appeal, asking the public for financial support to aid the nine thousand men, women, and children who “avail themselves of the educational, civic and social advantages of Hull-House” each week. In its twentieth year, there are 45 self-supporting residents and 200 volunteer assistants who travel to the settlement each week from other Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs.
November 14, 1909 George Bowman Haldeman dies at the age of 48. A near recluse in Cedarville, his life was filled with failure, from his student days at Johns Hopkins and Leipzig, to his unsuccessful attempts to marry his stepsister, Jane Addams.
March—December 1910 Addams organizes relief efforts for workers during the Garment Strike called by Sidney Hillman against Hart, Schaffner, and Marx, and attempts to plead their cause to owners Joseph Schaffner and Harry Marx, generous contributors to Hull-House.
June 22, 1910 Addams becomes the first woman awarded an honorary degree in the history of Yale University. However, while railroad magnate James J. Hill receives the Ph.D., Addams receives a Master of Arts degree, prompting the Boston Transcript to assert that she deserved a doctorate. John de Koven Bowen, son of Hull-House trustee Louise deKoven Bowen, is a member of the Yale class of 1910.
October 5, 1910 Addams receives an honorary L.L.D. degree from Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts.
November 1910 Macmillan Company publishes Twenty Years at Hull-House With Autobiographical Notes, which quickly becomes an American classic that has never gone out of print. Addams’s memoir includes drawings by Norah Hamilton, sister of Hull-House resident Dr. Alice Hamilton. Nationally acclaimed photographer Lewis Hine provides images for the American Magazine installments of Addams’s autobiography that appear between April and September 1910.
1911—1914 Addams serves as vice president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and conducts speaking tours throughout the United States, especially along the East Coast, to promote woman suffrage.
January 14, 1912 Addams, a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.), presides at a meeting at Hull-House to organize the Chicago chapter. The N.A.A.C.P. delegates are photographed at the settlement on April 30, 1912, during the fourth annual convention in Chicago.
February 4, 1912 A fire at Bowen Hall (the Woman’s Club) attracts a crowd of Hull-House Neighbors worried about Addams’s safety. She learns of the blaze while at Mary Rozet Smith’s home on Walton Street, where she has been residing.
April 1912 One year after the Vice Commission of Chicago released its report and recommendations for combating “The Social Evil in Chicago,” Addams publishes A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil.
April 17, 1912 Hull-House resident Julia Lathrop becomes the first woman ever appointed to direct a federal agency, the newly created Children’s Bureau in the Department of Commerce and Labor. The high point of her career is the drafting and passage of the Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infancy Act in November 1921, the first social welfare legislation ever passed in the United States.
June 22, 1912 Addams presides at the opening of the 78-acre Hull-House Bowen Country Club summer camp near Waukegan, Illinois, established through the financial support of Louise de Koven Bowen.
August 7, 1912 Addams seconds Theodore Roosevelt’s nomination for President of the United States at the newly formed Progressive Party convention at the Chicago Coliseum. She writes and campaigns vigorously for the Progressive Party and the cause of woman suffrage.
February 18—July 2, 1913 Addams departs New York aboard the Adriatic, travels extensively in the Middle East and Europe with Mary Rozet Smith, and returns home on the Olympic.
June 17, 1913 Addams delivers a major speech, “The Need of Woman’s Vote,” at the Seventh Congress of the International Alliance of Women for Suffrage and Equal Citizenship in Budapest, Hungary. While the conference is in session, Addams receives three cablegrams announcing that the state of Illinois has granted suffrage to women, becoming the first state east of the Mississippi to extend the franchise to females.
May 1, 1914 Addams and Smith move into their summer home that they have purchased together at Hull’s Cove near Bar Harbor, Maine, to which they return almost every summer until they sell it in 1932.
January 10, 1915 As the war in Europe rages, Addams and a group of 3,000 women adopt a Women’s Peace Party platform, calling for neutral nations to engage in “continuous mediation.” Addams is elected president of the group.
March 19, 1915 The death of Sarah Alice Haldeman leaves Addams and her brother, John Weber, as the only surviving Addams siblings.
April 28—May 1, 1915 Despite submarine threats, Addams and a party of peace activists travel to The Hague for the International Congress of Women where women representing twelve countries meet in support of world peace. She is selected as the leader of the International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace, the organization founded at the gathering to actively pursue the peace platform known as the Manifesto that the women from the warring and the neutral countries gathered there produced.
May—June 1915 As an envoy from the International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace, Addams travels to London, Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Rome, Berne, and Paris, presenting the Manifesto and trying to persuade prime ministers, government officials, academics, and ordinary men and women that a conference of neutral nations could bring an end to the war.
July 9, 1915 Addams is hailed as a peacemaker by a crowd of several thousand men and women in New York’s Carnegie Hall. She tells the audience that hundreds of soldiers now fighting in trenches in Europe are there “against their own will and conscience.” War correspondent Richard Harding Davis refutes her assertion that French and English soldiers are given liquor before bayonet charges and despite clarifications of her statement, Addams is unable to persuade the American public that the United States “must lead the fight for peace and disarmament.”
November 1915 Addams co-authors Women at the Hague with Emily Greene Balch and Alice Hamilton, recounting the resolutions passed by the International Congress of Women and her travels through war-torn Europe.
January 1916 Addams is treated for tuberculosis of the kidney with diabetic complications.
October 1916 Drawing on her recent travels in Egypt and ideas about the afterlife, Addams publishes The Long Road of Woman’s Memory. The book includes “The Devil Baby on Halsted Street,” one of the enduring myths she encountered among Italian and Jewish women living in the Hull-House neighborhood.
1917-1918 At the request of the U.S. Food Administration, Addams lectures throughout the United States on food conservation.
April 12 and 14, 1917 Addams gives a statement on conscription and on the Espionage Bill during Congressional hearings by the Committee on Military Affairs and the Judiciary Committee.
June 1917 In speeches delivered in Chicago weeks after the United States declares war against Germany, Addams maintains her convictions as a pacifist—and patriot. However, the Survey refuses to publish her address and she is stung by the loss of support from former Hull-House friends and residents.
March 6, 1918 Addams’s last sibling, John Weber Addams, dies of dementia and chronic nephritis in the Illinois Hospital for the Insane in Watertown, Illinois, where he had been a patient since 1906.
January 1919 Archibald Stevenson includes Addams as a “Radical and Pacifist” on the “Traitors List” he presents to the Overman Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee investigating German propaganda during the World War.
April 23, 1919 Addams’s stepmother, Anna Hostetter Haldeman Addams, dies at the age of 91.
May 12-19, 1919 The International Committee of Women for Permanent Peace meet in Zurich, Switzerland, and form the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (W.I.L.P.F.). Addams is elected president by 150 women from sixteen countries and helps negotiate resolutions denouncing the proposed treaty of Versailles and demanding an end to the blockade of Europe, with immediate relief measures for Europe. However, her attempt to personally present President Woodrow Wilson with the Zurich resolutions fails. When Addams returns home after investigating food conditions in Germany, she faces more criticism from the American public and press.
December 1919—November 1920 Addams testifies before the Chicago Commission on Race Relations about heightened racial and ethnic tensions in the Hull-House neighborhood in the aftermath of the July 1919 Race Riot on the city’s South Side.
January 1920 Addams becomes a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union.
January 22, 1920 In Chicago, Addams defends the rights of aliens and radicals who are being arrested and deported by the United States government because of their political opinions. In a letter to the Chicago Tribune published on February 24, 1920, she challenges the “flagrant misrepresentation” of her views, questioning the arrest of aliens—but not the arrest of men in Chicago who had planted bombs “in order to destroy the homes of colored people or of white men who had rented houses to colored people.”
December 21, 1921 In a scathing editorial, the Chicago Tribune asserts that Addams’s public involvement with W.I.L.P.F. has “spoiled a great humanitarian to become a rather indifferent statesman.”
1922-1923 On her world tour through Asia, large crowds turn out to greet Addams for her role as a peace advocate.
February 1922 In writing Peace and Bread in Time of War, published by Macmillan, Addams explains her pacifism and the backlash she experienced between the time the United States Congress declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917 and the Armistice of November 11, 1918.
June 1923 Addams has a mastectomy in Tokyo, Japan.
April 30, 1924 In welcoming delegates to the Fourth Congress of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Jane Addams apologizes to women from Europe who might experience “certain currents of intolerance” on the streets of Washington, D.C. Invoking her father, Addams reminds the group assembled that she was raised “in the belief that [Abraham] Lincoln’s kindliness and tolerance and understanding of all men, including his official enemies, represented the highest point of achievement on the American continent.”
1924 Addams supports Progressive Party candidate, Robert M. LaFollette, Sr., for president.
March-April 1925 Addams and Mary Rozet Smith travel in Mexico.
August 1926 Addams has first known angina attack after presiding at the fifth Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Congress, Dublin, Ireland.
January 20, 1927 Chicago civic and religious leaders hail Jane Addams as the “First Citizen” and Mayor William E. Dever asserts that, “She has done more to promote the real welfare of Chicago than all our political organizations.”
Summer 1927 Addams joins efforts to prevent the execution of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Italian immigrants accused of a murder in South Braintree, Massachusetts, in 1920. The petition bearing her signature is presented to Governor Alvan Fuller hours before the execution on August 23rd.
1928 During the presidential election, Addams supports Republican Herbert Hoover, who had championed efforts by American women from W.I.L.P.F. to distribute food in Germany, rather than Al Smith, a Catholic Democrat who believed Prohibition should be outlawed.
August 1928 Addams presides at the first Pan-Pacific Women’s Association Conference, Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii.
November 16, 1928 Addams signs a petition to President Calvin Coolidge asking that civil rights be restored to Americans citizens convicted of espionage during the World War.
August 1929 Addams becomes honorary president for life at the sixth International Congress of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in Prague, Czechoslovakia. It is the last congress she will ever attend.
May 9—11, 1930 Addams and former Hull-House residents, workers, and neighbors, celebrate the 40th anniversary of the settlement on Halsted Street. Among the featured speakers are John Dewey, philosopher; Julia Lathrop, former chief of the Children’s Bureau; Dr. Alice Hamilton; Edith Abbott, dean of the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration; and Florence Kelley, Secretary of the National Consumers’ League. Because of spinal paralysis, Hull-House co-founder Ellen Gates Starr is unable to attend, but sends best wishes to Addams from her bed in New York City’s Orthopaedic Hospital.
November 1930 Macmillan publishes The Second Twenty Years at Hull-House, in which Addams reflects on changes to the settlement and its role in the neighborhood—and the nation—since 1909. She also offers clear perspective on the effects of the First World War, Prohibition, and restrictive quotas against immigrants.
December 8, 1931 Addams becomes the first American woman awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, a vindication of her steadfast adherence to pacifism during the First World War. News that Addams was sharing the honor with Columbia President Nicholas Murray Butler, who had supported America’s entry into the war, prompted Julia Lathrop to observe that, “She should have had the whole loaf.”
January 1932 Recovering from ovarian cyst surgery performed during December 1931 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Addams redoubles her activities on behalf of international peace. She earmarks $12,000 of her Nobel prize money ($16,367) to fund the central Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom office in Geneva, Switzerland, with the remainder to be used for general expenses and debts.
March 1932 In her most personal book, The Excellent Becomes the Permanent, published by Macmillan, Addams honors the lives of several important women connected to Hull-House, including Jenny Dow, Mary Wilmarth, and Sarah Smith, mother of Mary Rozet Smith.
1933 Addams plays a crucial role in the creation of a peace exhibit and a social settlement exhibit for the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago and delivers frequent lectures.
February 22, 1934 Mary Rozet Smith dies unexpectedly from pneumonia in her Chicago home. Addams, near death herself from a second heart attack, is unaware of the tragedy taking place in the spacious house at 12 West Walton Street where she is presently convalescing. Jane Addams remains bedridden in her second floor room with Dr. Alice Hamilton in attendance while the funeral for her dearest friend is conducted on the first floor. The Hull-House Music School performs at Smith’s funeral before her burial in Graceland Cemetery.
1934 Despite being confined to bed, Addams serves as a board member of the National Committee for Immigration Welfare and chairman of the Illinois Committee on Old Age Pensions. During her convalescence at Dr. Alice Hamilton’s summer home in Hadlyme, Connecticut, she continues work on a biography of Hull-House resident Julia Lathrop.
Winter 1935 At the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona, as a guest of Louise deKoven Bowen, long a close Addams friend and financial supporter of Hull House, Addams reads and edits the first nine chapters of the biography of her written by her nephew, University of Chicago professor James Weber Linn, and completes the manuscript for My Friend, Julia Lathrop.
March 23, 1935 Addams receives an honorary law degree from The University of California at Berkeley, the last of her thirteen honorary degree awards.
May 2, 1935 Addams is feted by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and more than twelve hundred guests at a dinner in Washington, D.C., marking the 20th anniversary of the Women’s International League. Among the former Hull-House residents joining in the tribute to the League’s founder and honorary president are Dr. Alice Hamilton and Gerard Swope, president of General Electric Company. Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes calls Addams a “field marshal in the war that is being waged for peace” and reminds the audience that, “Jane Addams has dared to believe that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States were written in good faith and that the rights declared in them are rights that are available to the humblest of our citizens.”
May 3, 1935 The public tribute to Addams continues with the world’s first radio “peace program.” Gathered in Washington’s McPherson Square, ambassadors from Britain, Japan, and Russia and the French Charge D’Affairs introduce speakers in London, Toyko, Moscow, and Paris. Because of her health, Addams joins the program from a radio broadcast station. Setting aside her prepared remarks, she speaks extemporaneously about the legacy of the Women’s International League and its goal of substituting “law for war [and] political processes for brute force.”
May 5, 1935 Addams returns to Chicago in good spirits. Over the next few days she continues working on the book manuscript about Julia Lathrop, presides at dinner for residents at Hull-House, travels to Bowen Country Club, and visits ailing Chicago friends, including Frances Crane Lillie in Hyde Park.
May 15, 1935 During her stay at Louise de Koven Bowen’s home at 1430 N. Astor Street, Addams experiences abdominal pain and her doctors advise surgery which takes place on May 18th at Chicago’s Passavant Hospital. She is not informed that she has inoperable cancer. She rallies briefly and then slips into a coma. Keeping vigil at Addams’s bedside are longtime Hull-House residents, Dr. Alice Hamilton, and Ida Mott-Smith Lovett, who sometimes served as Addams’s secretary and companion. Newspapers across the country carry updates on her condition and editorials of praise after her death.
May 21, 1935 Addams dies at the age of seventy-four. The Chicago Tribune, which had lambasted her pacifism and support of civil rights during the “Red Scare” after World War I, lauds Addams as a veteran social worker and claims that her “practical work in behalf of the poor won widest acclaim.” As a mark of respect and honor accorded great heroines, a death mask is made of Addams’s face.
May 23, 1935 Chicagoans and dignitaries from around the country crowd the Hull-House courtyard to attend Addams’s funeral.
May 24, 1935 The body of Jane Addams is taken by hearse from Hull-House to the Twelfth Street Station of the Illinois Central Railroad for the final trip to Cedarville. When the train stops at Freeport, Illinois all the church bells toll as the procession passes through the town. Once in Cedarville, Addams’s coffin is placed in the room of the house in which she was born in 1860 so that the neighbors might pay their respects. School children line the path to the cemetery where Addams is buried in the family plot.
November 1935 My Friend, Julia Lathrop, is published posthumously by Macmillan.
Hull-House settlement continues to operate after Jane Addams’s death for more than twenty-five years in the physical setting she constructed until its destruction in 1963 to make way for the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois.