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(caption) The Organized Work of Women in One State. From The Journal of Social Forces 1, no. 1 (November 1922): 50-55; no. 2 (January 1923): 173-177; no. 5 (September 1923): 613-615
(title page) The Journal of Social Forces Volume I November 1922--September 1923 Numbers 1-5
no. 1 (November 1922): 50-55; no. 2 (January 1923): 173-177; no. 5 (September 1923): 613-615
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[no. 1 (November 1922): 50-55]
WHEN MARY Wollenstonecraft shocked conservative England in 1792 with her "Vindication of the Rights of Women," Rousseau in France with his ideas of social equality had already paved the way for the belief in the abstract rights of human beings, Tom Paine had stirred the world by championing the cause of individual freedom, and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the American Declaration of Independence had established the rights of the individual. Naturally upon a world waking up to the rights of mankind the legal and economic position of women became a burning question. This broadening of human sympathy, this emancipation from the tyranny of tradition opened up a new world to women who had suffered from the oppression of custom. Educational opportunities were demanded and received by women who realized that knowledge is power. The opportunity came to them through the change in the world's point of view and they were not slow to grasp it. The world became a place of life and enjoyment for them, while before it had been a place of retirement from all matters of public concern. Since the days of Mary Wollenstonecraft great changes have taken place and a woman has only to prove her ability to be recognized. Limitations of sex are no longer an insuperable barrier to progress.
The one powerful agency through which a woman has been able to express her individuality is through the woman's club movement. It came into existence in America at the same time as the growth of the idea of individual freedom. As early as the 18th century women all over the country were in the habit of gathering together for purposes of sewing and reading, as well as for attending to philanthropic and church affairs. But it was not until the 19th century that the woman's club movement was a recognized force.
One of the pioneer clubs now in existence is the Sorosis Club of New York City, founded in 1868. It had an interesting beginning as a sort of indignation meeting. When Charles Dickens came to America, the Press Club of New York City gave him a dinner which many women active in literary work were anxious to attend but to which they were refused admittance except as spectators. Their exclusion from the celebrated event led them to express their resentment by organizing a club of their own which they called the "Sorosis". In 1873 these New York women called together from all over the world a meeting which they termed a "Congress of Women." Thousands of women including many sovereigns of Europe endorsed the movement and the congress held at the Union Square Theatre, New York City, was the beginning of an "Association for the Advancement of Women" which met annually until it was replaced by the General Federation of Women's Clubs. We have the story of this first club written by one of the founders and the first president, Mrs. Jennie Cunningham Croly, in 1898. She writes in her "History of the Woman's Club Movement": "The early half of the century was marked by a crusade for the cause of better education of women. . . The woman's club was not an echo, it was not the mere banding together for social and economic purposes like the clubs of men. It became at once, without deliberate intention or concerted action a light-giving and seed-sowing centre of purely altruistic and democratic activity. It had no leaders. It brought together qualities rather
than personages; and by a representation of all interests, moral, intellectual and social, created an ideal basis of organization, where everyone has an equal right to whatever comes to the common centre."
The general club movement in North Carolina began late in the 20th century but from the time the women of Edenton organized the famous Tea Party to the present time the movement has gradually become one of vital importance to the State. In telling the story of women's organized activities in North Carolina, an effort is being made to give recognition to their influence and the effectiveness of their work in helping to solve problems affecting the home and family, the church, the school and education, the government, and industry. The enormous extent and power of religious and missionary societies make it impossible to give deserved attention here to their work except to express appreciation of it but a separate paper later on will deal exclusively with this phase of organized woman's activities. Not counting the church societies, there are about twenty distinct state organizations under national supervision, representing about fifteen hundred local clubs composed of over 75,000 women in the state. Besides these state organized clubs, there are uncounted local clubs working independently of any state or national organization. The work of these clubs is as valuable to society as the federated clubs are but there is no way to get information about all of them, as they are not responsible to a state or national body. Some of the well-known organizations in North Carolina include: American Association of University Women, Business and Professional Women, Camp Fire Girls, Colonial Dames, Colored Women's Clubs, Daughters of the American Revolution, Daughters of the Confederacy, North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs, Girl Scouts, Home Demonstration Agents, North Carolina Branch of the King's Daughters, Federation of Music Clubs, League of Women Voters, Mothers' Leagues, Nurses' Association, War Mothers, Woman's Betterment Association, Woman's Auxiliary of the American Legion, Women's Christian Temperance Union, and the Young Women's Christian Association. These organizations are represented throughout the state by local clubs, composed of memberships all the way from ten to five hundred. They are occupied with every branch of human activity. Those tending to influence home and family life are engaged in studying problems of home economics, health, social service, child-welfare, art, literature and music; those influencing school and education devote themselves to aiding schools, bringing about friendly coöperation of parents and teachers, originating and maintaining libraries, perpetuating the memory of the dead, giving scholarships, training for better citizenship, and the study of art, literature and music; the missionary societies devote themselves to church and religious matters; there are also clubs whose main purpose is to serve the state and government by bringing about proper legislation, educating for citizenship and influencing public sentiment for legislation; and finally, there are clubs whose main objects are to attend to industrial affairs of women, to see that equal pay for equal work is given, to attend to living conditions of working women and to establish a bond of fellowship between all business and professional women.
This article will be an attempt to reveal the activities of those clubs directly influencing home and family. From a survey of the purposes of all organizations in the state, it seems that the following are most actively engaged in discussing and improving conditions of home life: The North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs, with a membership of over ten thousand, representing over two hundred local clubs; The North Carolina Parent-Teacher Association, composed of over one hundred local organizations after a three-year's existence; The Home Demonstration Division with a membership of over ten thousand, representing over five hundred women's club and as many girl's clubs; The North Carolina Branch of the King's Daughters and Sons, having twenty-six circles with a membership of over one thousand, besides eight Junior Circles; The North Carolina Federation of Music Clubs, representing about twenty-five local clubs; and The North Carolina State Nurses' Association which covers the whole of the state through its ten district associations. These organizations are attempting to raise the standard of living in North Carolina through the channels of home economics, health work, social service, child-welfare work, art, literature and music. Among the poor, conditions
are being studied and every possible effort is being made to brighten their home life, whether in family or in institutions.
In home economics, the Home Demonstration Division and the North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs, through its home economics department occupy the first place. The Home Demonstration work is a part of the State Department of Agriculture and is carried on by 544 women's clubs with an enrollment of 10,821 and 539 girls's clubs with an enrollment of 8,453, assisted by 108 community clubs with an enrollment of 6,096, making a total of 1,191 clubs with a total enrollment of 25,370, according to the report of the State Demonstration Agent for North Carolina. These clubs furnished a total attendance at club meetings last year of 146,646; with this huge force behind it, it is not surprising that this division does a great deal for the improvement of home conditions every year. The programs for the women's clubs include discussions of food, health, gardening, beautifying premises, poultry work, dairy work, clothing, household furnishings and conveniences, household management and income earning features; the programs for the girls' clubs include discussions of cookery, sewing, poultry, household furnishing, basketry, club encampment of boys and girls, and income earning features. Every club does not attempt to carry out the entire program but each club concentrates on the subjects in which it is most interested.
The one subject of interest to practically every woman's club in the Home Demonstration Division is nutrition, with clothing, which includes millinery, remodelling, home dyeing, plain sewing, and dress designing, coming second. The State Agent in her report says: "In 1921, 2,341 demonstrations in the care, selection and preparation of food with special emphasis on nutrition were given by home agents. Nutrition booths were established at community, county, and state fairs. Another feature of nutrition work was the better-bread campaigns which were put on in 16 counties last year." Although 1921 was a year of almost continued drought, a good record in canning was made. There were 1,816,373 cans of fruits, vegetables, meats, preserves, jellies, jams, pickles, etc., valued at $381,747.40. There were 19,139 bottles of fruit juices filled, valued at $6,328. The agents put on 1,194 demonstrations in the preservation of foods. These figures show the vast amount of work done in the home demonstration clubs. The reports on dressmaking, millinery, household furnishings, home dairy work, poultry work, and marketing show an unabated interest in this part of the division. Twenty-five hundred and sixty demonstrations in clothing were given by home demonstration agents. Five hundred and thirty-nine club girls' rooms were improved and in 917 living-rooms the furniture was done over and artistically rearranged. A big feature in the home dairy work was the campaign for the use of more milk and the demonstrations showing the value of milk in the diet. Further mention will be made of this in the health work of the clubs. An interesting phase of this division is the beautification of the home grounds. At club meetings a plant exchange was established at the proper seasons and plants, seed, shrubs, and trees transferred from one farm to another.
Coöperating with the Home Demonstration Division in home economics is the North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs. This organization was effected at Winston-Salem in 1902, joined the General Federation in 1903, incorporated in 1913. The motto, "The Union of All for the Good of All" summarizes its aims and purposes. The simplicity and completeness of the organization make appeal to all women interested in club work. Any group of ten women may organize for any worthy cause and become a member of this powerful body. The nine departments into which the work is cast cover the range of the average woman's interests: art, civics, conservation, education, health, home economics, library extension, literature, music, and social service. These are the channels through which the work is conducted. It is through the department of home economics with its sixty clubs that a point of contact is made with the Home Demonstration Division, reaching both rural and urban communities. This department also stresses the value of nutrition, especially properly cooked food. Many clubs started courses in home economics in the schools and established milk stations for the children. Through the activity of this department many towns have opened curb markets, for example, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Kinston, Charlotte, New Bern, Elizabeth City, Chapel Hill, and others
All these markets give promise of being a great help to the communities in which they are operated. Other interests of this department are more courses of study, rather than isolated subjects, wholesome school lunches, coöperation in the "Live-at-Home" campaign, and the budgeting of the family income.
In health, the North Carolina Parent-Teacher Association, the North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs and the Nurses' Association have accomplished great good. The North Carolina Parent-Teacher Association was organized November 5, 1919 at Charlotte, for the purpose of bringing into closer relations the home and the school, for the good of future citizens. There are now over one hundred local organizations. Parents and teachers of a community gather at the school house at intervals to discuss problems relating to the child and the teacher. These meetings are frequently of a social and recreational nature.
The Parent-Teacher Association has been instrumental in putting on the "Milk for Health" campaign in the schools. Together with the Home Demonstration Division and civic organizations they have emphasized the importance of the use of milk as a food, especially for children. One particular object is to raise the consumption of milk to a pint a day for adults and a quart a day for children under sixteen. In one town in which the health crusade has been inaugurated by the Parent-Teacher Association, a survey showed that 319 children in a school of 398 have been induced to drink milk regularly. In another community the Parent-Teacher Association worked out a plan by which the children in school could be supplied with milk every morning at their desks.
The Federation through its department of health, has done good work during the last year. They have undertaken to support a bed at the McBrayer Sanatorium in memory of Mrs. McBrayer who was chairman of the department of health at the time of her death. It is the aim of the department to have this bed used for tubercular children whenever possible and this plan has been carried out. A scheme is under way to give special study to the subject of the disease of cancer and social hygiene for the coming year. Open air schools are being established wherever they are needed to take care of the undernourished children and fresh air camps are being provided for tubercular patients. Local clubs have done a great work in health. One city club has maintained a health nurse for the community from the proceeds realized from the sale of tuberculosis Christmas seals. This club has employed a nurse to undertake health instruction under the auspices of the local club and in coöperation with the county health department. They have encouraged the organization of Mothers' Leagues for instruction in the care of babies, classes in home hygiene and the care of the sick. A class for the instruction of colored girls is conducted weekly by the same club. The local tuberculosis problem is one in which club women are always actively interested. Through the influence and efforts of the department of health a specialist in physical culture will come to the state and give physical instruction in many towns. Through the exercises she gives she plans to replace old faulty habits of living with good, healthy common-sense habits of posture, breathing, diet, and relaxation. It is through the health departments of local clubs of the federation and all others interested in health matters that the head of the section on maternal and infant information works. She is making a special appeal to them to bring the work of her bureau to individual groups. Her work was endorsed by the state convention of the Federation in 1922 and the State Agent of the Home Demonstration Division has undertaken to enlist the interest of 25,000 women in rural clubs to help carry on this work. The aims of this new bureau are to hold conferences with mothers, educating them in the care of children, to organize Little Mothers' Leagues in industrial centers and to initiate this health campaign in women's clubs and other organizations. Statistics show that many deaths of children are due to the lack of intelligent care of the mothers and the head of the maternity and infancy bureau urges the coöperation of women's organizations throughout the state in dispelling ignorance and disease by giving to the mother proper educational information regarding the care of herself and baby.
It is very difficult to try to give the proper appreciation of what the Nurses's Association has contributed to the health work of the state. They are the health work. Someone has referred to the nursing profession as being the guardian
of the sick and the well alike. The State Nurses' Association was organized in 1902 when about fifteen women gathered together to draw up a constitution and a state law regulating nursing in North Carolina. This law was passed on March 3, 1903 and revised in 1917, making it compulsory to have a state license to practice the profession of nursing in North Carolina. As an organization this association coöperates with the State Health Department in an endeavor to maintain the highest standards of health. One important phase of their work is the holding of baby clinics where children are registered and carried through different tests and measurements and the mothers are notified of defects in the children and advised as to how to remedy them. At the last convention of the Nurses' Association, they planned to assist in the $50,000 fund for the erection of a memorial to Jane A. Delano who recruited the organization of the American Red Cross for the period of the world war and who gave 11 years of service to the Red Cross without receiving any compensation for her work. Whenever there is a question of health the Nurses' Association is the one center to be relied upon at all times. The vastness of their work makes it impossible to do justice to it in a short summary of women's work.
One of the most important contributions to the betterment of home and family life has been through the channel of social service. Those organizations actively engaged in this service are the Federation of Women's Clubs and the King's Daughters. The North Carolina Branch of the King's Daughters and Sons was organized in 1890 and now has twenty-six circles with a membership of over one thousand besides eight Junior Circles. The official magazine is the Silver Cross. As soon as the branch was organized the members undertook to build a training school for delinquent boys and after much labor they secured an apropriation from the legislature and established the Stonewall Jackson Training School near Concord. The correspondence between the Daughters and the Legislature shows how determined these women were to provide adequate training for wayward boys and how the legislature willingly coöperated with them. The operation and maintenance of this school has been the pride of the North Carolina Branch since its organization and has been officially adopted as its main work. Some of the other undertakings are the building of a memorial bridge at the industrial school as a memorial to the boys from the school who died in France; coöperation with the Travelers' Aid; working with the Red Cross, making surgical dressings, etc., aiding orphanages; nursing the sick and supporting them in hospitals; all sorts of rescue and relief work; aiding the Salvation Army; educating girls; and providing homes for aged women. One of its most recent undertakings is the erection of a chapel at Samarcand, the home for delinquent girls. For this purpose several hundred dollars have already been subscribed and it is proposed to open it to ministers of all denominations. All the circles are wide-awake and doing a great work. One circle reports: "The principal interest is the taking care of 18 or 20 old ladies and looking after the upkeep of the home. This home is our principal thought, though we have rescued quite a number of boys and girls and found suitable homes for them, furnished wood, coal, clothing and food for several needy families, sent one hundred dollars to famine sufferers and given one hundred and fifty dollars to the Stonewall Jackson Training School, visited hospitals and homes of the sick and administered to them as best we could." Another writes: "We maintain a home for seven old ladies at a nominal board. It requires most of our time and attention to look after these old ladies, keep them warm in winter and comfortable in summer." This same circle is making plans to build a new home for aged women. It is proposed to build it of brick with a capacity for 26 bed rooms, a large living room, a dining room, baths and every modern convenience. Other circles report relief of poor, visiting sick, contributing to Stonewall Jackson Training School, adopting Armenian babies, visiting county homes. relieving sorrow, sickness and distress of all kinds, making special drives for the Near East Relief, Red Cross work, coöperation with Y. W. C. A., Y. M. C. A., Travelers' Aid, and clothing orphans at Barium Springs.
The work of the Federation in social service may be counted as one of its most important contributions to the state. Child-welfare, Samarcand, Near East Relief, friendly coöperation with ex-service men, county detention homes and supporting French and Belgian orphans are some
of the interests. This organization together with the Parent-Teacher Association coöperates with the state chairman of the bureau of child welfare. They are striving to bring about a day when every individual in North Carolina shall have the fullest opportunity for complete self-development and self-expression. The state director of the child welfare division is looking to the women's clubs to help support the state's 2,500 dependent children now in institutions and to save those not in any state home, and the women's clubs throughout the state are gladly responding. County detention homes are springing up in North Carolina and are being assisted by the women's clubs. One club in the state gave up its annual reception and donated the money saved, about $100, to its county detention home where wayward boys are taken care of Another pride of the Federation is Samarcand, the home for delinquent girls. It was largely through the work of the chairman of the legislative committee of the State Federation that the bill creating Samarcand was passed. Coöperating with superintendents of public welfare, they are doing all they can for the delinquent girls and their problems.
(CONTINUED IN THE JANUARY JOURNAL)
[no. 2 (January 1923): 173-177]
IN the first article an attempt was made to show the influence of women's clubs on home and family, grouping the activities under the headings: home economics, health, and social service. This article will be an endeavor to recognize the influence of women's clubs on schools and education, arranging the discussion under the headings: aiding schools, originating and maintaining libraries, and studying literature, art and music.
The organizations that have given decided proof of their value as educational factors in the life of the state are: The North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs, through its departments of education, literature, art and music, the North Carolina Federation of Music Clubs, the American Association of University Women, the Parent-Teacher Association, the Woman's Betterment Association, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, through its department of education, the Daughters of the American Revolution, through its work in patriotic education, the Colonial Dames the War Mothers, the American Auxiliary Legion, and the Home Demonstration Division.
The American Association of University Women is comparatively new in North Carolina and needs a few words of introduction. According to literature sent out from headquarters, it is a national organization composed of women graduates from about one hundred American colleges and universities and was founded in 1882 for the purpose of uniting the alumnae of different institutions for practical work, for the collection and publication of statistical information concerning education, and for the maintenance of higher standards of education in general, fulfilling these purposes through the national organization and through the local branches. Until 1921 the organization was known as the Association of Collegiate Alumnae. At the National Convention in Washington in 1921 a union of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae with the Southern Association of College Women was effected. The name chosen for the combined organizations is the American Association of University Women. The membership is small in North Carolina and during the short time the organization has been in existence here, there has been little opportunity to judge its accomplishments. The members are working along all lines of educational betterment such as urging upon young women the importance of a college education, assisting them with loans and scholarships and acting as sponsors for them while in college. There is every reason to expect great things from this infant organization, but nothing more can be expressed than a prophetic confidence in it.
The North Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs, too well known to need further introduction, has always regarded its work with the schools of prime importance and through its department of education, has undertaken the following projects: raising the educational standard in North Carolina by urging the lengthening of
the school year, extending the course of study through the twelfth grade, arousing greater interest in higher education, contributing to the Sallie Southall Cotten Loan Fund and supporting the state director of community schools in her efforts to reduce adult illiteracy. In summing up the work of the clubs during the past year, the chairman of education reports: "Seventy clubs have reported special work on educational lines, such as furnishing books and supplies to schools, including playground equipment, and beautification of school grounds. Prizes have been offered for excellence in various lines. Special education programs have been given in clubs and public lectures of a similar character have been presented by clubs. Five were instrumental in securing an educational movie, 'The Lost Colony.' At least four clubs were active in gaining the passage of a school bond issue. Receptions to teachers have been given in several places; Raleigh has a teacher housing committee and the Henderson club welcomes the teachers at the train on their arrival in the fall. Efforts are being made to bring about better understanding and coöperation between teachers and parents."
One of the most interesting phases of the department of education is the committee on the Sallie Southall Cotten Loan Fund. This is an educational loan fund for girls, created in 1909 by the department of education of the federation and named in honor of the honorary president, Mrs. Sallie Southall Cotten. In 1913 the first loan was made and in the nine years thirty-nine young women have been helped to attend college by loaning the money without interest, provided the principal is repaid within two years; otherwise interest at six per cent is charged from the date of the note. Last year sixteen applications for loans were made, seven of whom had to be refused because of lack of funds. Not one girl has failed in her obligations.
Another important phase of the department is the work with illiterates. The state director of community schools for adults is a member of the federation and chairman of the committee on illiteracy. She has the federation actively interested in her splendid effort to blot out adult illiteracy in North Carolina. She always attends the federation conventions and council meetings and talks to appreciative audiences, who not only listen to what she says but help her to carry out her plans in one section of the state where she was recently conducting a summer school for adults, the club women raised $1,500 to help with the work.
While the federation is rendering excellent service to the cause of education in North Carolina, there is another organization whose one function is working with the schools. The Parent Teacher Association, referred to in the preceding article is considered by the state superintendent of public instruction to be one of the most valuable educational forces in the state today. He gives the following recognition to it: The Parent Teacher Association is a unifying force. It supplies the cooperative spirit, it brings the school and the home closer together, it can introduce the efforts of the teacher to the patrons of the school and answer individual protests. It can acquaint the teacher with the individual peculiarities of children and the handicap of the borne and help the teachers avoid social mistakes. Every city and every rural community should have its association in order to secure a united purpose for community progress and social welfare. North Carolina has felt the force of this organizations in many ways, such as effecting a better understanding between the parents and the teachers in communities where strong parent teacher associations have been formed. The standard of home-life has been raised through the education of parents in child-study and the teachers' knowledge of the child's home environment has been enlarged. The material benefits felt are the establishment of circulating libraries in connection with schools, establishment of lunch rooms at minimum cost to the children, furnishing rest rooms for teachers, improvement of sanitary conditions in the buildings, purchase of good pictures and of musical instruments, and the planting of trees and shrubs for the beautification of school grounds. Many parent-teacher associations have been instrumental in passing school bonds. The Raleigh association undertook to pass a $1,000,000 bond issue for new school buildings and the women of Raleigh were influential in putting across a special school tax election to increase the salaries of the teachers.
There are several organizations in the state whose work is largely educational, although they were organized primarily to perpetuate the memory of the dead and to be of service to war veterans.
The most important of these organizations are the Daughters of the American Revolution, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Colonial Dames, the War Mothers and the North Carolina American Legion Auxiliary. The North Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy was organized in Wilmington on April 28, 1897, to assist descendants of worthy confederates in securing proper education by scholarships, to collect and preserve the material for a truthful history of the War Between the States and to see that same is taught in our schools, also to record the part taken by southern women in patient endurance of hardship and patriotic devotion during the struggle, as in uniting efforts after the war during the reconstruction of the South. There are now 110 chapters and 43 children's chapters and these local societies have faithfully performed the duties assigned to them by the state organization. They contribute $1.15 per capita to the Hero Fund of $50,000 the interest of which is to be used for two or three years as a gift fund for soldiers, after which it will revert to the original purpose as a loan fund for girls and boys of Confederate lineage. This scholarship has been used to send one law student to the University, and six to the North Carolina College for Women during the past year. Another loan sent a boy to the State College in Raleigh and another to Trinity in Durham. Besides these scholarships there were six state prizes all amounting to $745 in 1920-1921. At the last convention $620 then in the treasury was turned over to the Hero Fund. The chapters are doing much to further the study of southern literature, both prose and poetry, and to place helpful books on southern history in school libraries.
A work similar to the Daughters of the Confederacy is that of the Daughters of the American Revolution. It is a society composed of women who are descendants of ancestors, any of whom "with unfailing loyalty rendered material aid to the cause of independence as a recognized patriot, as soldier or sailor, or as a civil officer in one of the several colonies or states." It was organized in Washington, D. C., October 11,1890. Its objects are "to perpetuate the memory of the spirit of the men and women who achieved American independence; to promote institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge; to cherish, maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom; to foster true patriotism and love of country; and to aid in securing for mankind all the blessings of liberty." Such are the aims set forth by the constitution. There are now 39 chapters in North Carolina with a membership of over 1,600 all working along the lines mapped out by the national society. Their work in education has consisted largely in giving scholarships to worthy students. Besides the scholarships given by many individual chapters, a memorial scholarship is maintained at the University. At the last state convention of the Daughters of the Revolution a conference passed a resolution that each chapter in the state contribute $2.00 annually to the fund used in Americanization work at Ellis Island, and endorsed the Dr. Mary Martin Sloop School, an educational institution for mountain children at Crossnore and the Southern Industrial Institute at Charlotte, recommending that the chapters send money and clothes to these schools.
Another patriotic society doing educational work for North Carolina is the North Carolina Society of the Colonial Dames of America. The president has summarized its aims as follows: "This society was organized in 1894 and incorporated on June 20, 1894. It is one of the great historic-patriotic societies, and its aims are as follows: 'The objects of this society shall be to collect and preserve manuscripts, traditions, relics, and mementos of by-gone days ; to preserve and restores buildings connected with the early history of our country, to diffuse healthful and intelligent information concerning the past, to create a popular interest in our Colonial history, to stimulate a spirit of true patriotism and genuine love of country, and to impress upon the young the sacred obligation of honoring the memory of those heroic ancestors whose ability, valor, sufferings, and achievements are beyond all praise.'"
Along these prescribed lines, each society works locally and nationally, the work falling naturally under two main heads, namely, historical and educational. Along the latter line they have offered prizes in many high schools throughout the state for papers on Americanization, in which work they are deeply interested. The society is trying to introduce dignified ceremonies in connection with naturalization of foreigners, thus endeavoring to stimulate a spirit of true patriotism
and a realization of the meaning of good citizenship.
Other educational work recently undertaken included the presentation of tableaux relating to the story of Virginia Dare and the early history of Roanoke Island, and coöperating with the federation in presenting a patriotic pageant in Wilmington. Through county committees, the Colonial Dames have been intrumental in having a film of the Lost Colony shown in a number of towns in the state. These and many other activities for furthering education in the state have been undertaken successfully by this patriotic society.
In this connection may be mentioned two new organizations which have not accomplished a great deal but give promise of interesting educational work. They are the outgrowth of the recent World War: the North Carolina American Legion Auxiliary and the War Mothers. They have held their first conventions and part of their work will be educational in influence.
To the federation recognition must be given for its interest in securing libraries for North Carolina. Women's clubs are usually the fountain source of our public libraries. Eighty per cent of all the public libraries in New York state were started and fostered by women's clubs. In Oklahoma all but eight libraries in the state owe their existence to club women. In North Carolina it has been estimated that at least eighty per cent of all the libraries in the state were originated and kept alive by North Carolina club women. They have been engaged in library extension work since the organization of the state federation and most of the libraries of the state were established through their efforts. Most of the clubs engaged in library extension have concentrated on the public library. Five clubs last year succeeded in opening libraries and two others will be opened within the next few months. One club contributed $300 to the Public Library Fund, and a committee secured pledges amounting to almost $5,000. Another arranged an historical pageant and raised $1,500 which was given to the Public Library Building Fund. Some of the clubs contribute annually either books or money to public libraries already established. One club was instrumental in changing a subscription library to a free library and reported that the use of the library had increased three-fold. The chairman of the library extension committee of the federation is also director of the North Carolina Library Commission and she is doing a great work not only on her own account but through working with the women's clubs. She is urging in every club more children's books in school and in home, reference books in high school libraries, a strong public library in every community and more traveling libraries.
Three of the departments of the federation are devoted to the study of art, literature and music, each in charge of a chairman whose duty it is to encourage and assist all clubs interested in these subjects.
One of the main interests of the art clubs of which there are thirteen in the federation has been the work in traveling art exhibits which were taken to nineteen communities during the past year. As a further stimulation in the interest of art, three prizes were given through the art department to the schools. A movement is now on foot for the clubs to offer blue ribbons for the best local work in art and thus encourage local talent. Many of the clubs have had the opportunity to listen to inspiring talks on art. One club had a lecture on the "Possibilities of Industrial Art in North Carolina" and had an exhibit of handmade articles from Crossnore, toys from Tryon and from various city schools, as well as exhibits showing specimens of interior decoration, dress designs, needlework and other forms of sewing. The club women are urged to offer larger prizes to schools for superior work in industrial art, and in this way it is hoped that the toy-making in Tryon and the weaving in Crossnore, and the work in schools will attain a high standard.
The clubs are doing fine work in music as well as in art. There are two organizations interested in the subject: The North Carolina Federation of Music Clubs and the music department of the federation, There are fifty-four clubs in the music department of the federation. The chairman reports as follows: "Fourteen clubs have helped place music in the schools, a music memory contest was successfully used in twelve different towns, there are eleven junior music clubs under
the supervision of senior clubs, some of whom have purchased pianos. Community sings have been popular and seventeen clubs conducted sings in surrounding communities. Christmas carols were sung by clubs in nine communities. The Euterpe Club of Greensboro deserves especial mention as being the largest club, having 144 enrolled members. They have organized a junior chorus, helped to support the music festival and have a concert course for junior clubs. Two prizes are given through the music department as an encouragement in musical composition.
While music and art have a large place in the work of club women, literature claims more attention in clubs both large and small. There are one hundred and thirty clubs reporting the study of literature. The North Carolina clubs have been engaged in seriously studying subjects prepared by professors for the past five years, among the subjects being studies in American literature Southern literature, modern drama and contemporary literature. Out of one hundred and thirty, one hundred and four registered with the university last year for extension programs. These clubs had a membership of 1,602 who were privileged to send to the university library for books for club programs and to them were sent 3,123 books and pamphlets; pertaining to the subjects they were studying. The University Extension Division, the North Carolina College for Women Extension Division, and the Library Commission in Raleigh are agencies ready to help women's clubs with their literary programs. The University Extension Division began work with women's clubs in 1916, starting with twenty-five clubs. The North Carolina College for Women opened its office for assistance in 1921, and the Library Commission was created in 1909 to loan books but does not attempt to prepare programs.
The literary clubs are not only engaged in studying literature but they are attempting original work themselves. As an incentive to this sort of work some clubs are offering cash prizes and several loving cups are offered by the federation. Last year not only were there a large number of entries but material of real literary merit was presented. In the short story contest twelve towns were represented with twentyone entries and twenty-two towns with sixty-seven entries were registered in the poetry contest.
That women's clubs are an important factor in the educational life of the state is undeniable. In the words of Edward Kidder Graham: "What the movement means it is unnecessary to enlarge upon. It means what every successful movement in the right sort of education means: a widely spread elevation of the general culture of the state, direct and indirect influence upon home life, and the consequent effects, wholly good, upon civic welfare. Of course the work of some of the clubs should not be taken too seriously. Neither should it be thoughtlessly belittled. These weaker clubs labor under the usual disadvantages of misguided effort at study, and the usual results of a blind attack upon a big matter follow. But even the blindest seekers find their way out and learn as individuals learn the processes of true study. In the better clubs the courses, systematically pursued as they are from year to year, are quite worthy of a place in a college curriculum."
The next article will show the influence of women's clubs on state and on industry. The federation through its department of legislation, the League of Women Voters, the patriotic societies and the Women's Christian Temperance Union will be discussed from the standpoint of shaping sentiment in state affairs and the federation and business and professional women will be studied for their influence on industry.
[no. 5 (September 1923): 613-615]
THE CONCLUDING article in a series of three, showing the influence of women's clubs on home, school, state, and industry, deals with the part women's clubs have taken in shaping legislation and in improving conditions of women in industry. Since the readers of the first two articles are familiar with the history and organization of all the groups under discussion in this article, it is unnecessary to repeat it. For this
reason, less space is given to the discussion than to the other two but this by no means indicates that less importance is attached to this branch of club work.
The legislative program of women's clubs in North Carolina is in the hands of representatives of five major organizations, formed into what is known as the Legislative Council. They are the State Federation of Women's Clubs, the State League of Women Voters, the Women's Christian Temperance Union, the State Federation of Business and Professional Women, and the North Carolina Branch of the Parent Teachers Association. Four women represent each organization in the council, the purpose of which is to conserve good legislation and to initiate and support such good legislation as is necessary. The measure they have fought for and in some cases, won, are equal guardianship of both parents of the children; minimum age of consent, sixteen years; the mothers' aid bill; the eligibility of women for jury duty with certain exceptions; the return of the state-wide primary law; the Australian ballot; state censorship of moving pictures; and the revival of state prohibition laws so that they will harmonize with the national laws. The council has been rewarded for its labors in having passed the equal guardianship bill, the minimum age of consent bill, and the mothers' aid bill. These first two measures were on the program of the Legislative Council of Women; the last is a part of the program of the public welfare department, but the women were keenly interested in promoting the law; in fact, they sponsor all of the welfare measures that the department advocates. In presenting the nine measures constituting the legislative program of the women, one of the main points of argument was the fact that 100,000 women in North Carolina were sponsoring the measures. It was cause for great rejoicing on the part of the legislative council when three of their nine measures were passed by the Legislature of 1923.
Those groups of women interested in legislation have usually been interested in training for citizenship, which has been the work of the civics department of the North Carolina Federation and of the League of Women Voters, and, in a less formal way, of most other women's organizations. The work in the Federation consists in stimulating an interest in the political world and in satisfying this interest by helping to make women factors in this political world. Through the local civics clubs regular studies in citizenship have been undertaken. The University Extension Division for several years has been assisting in this study by preparing outlines and supplying reference material. At the request of the civics department a program on Studies in Citizenship for Women was prepared by the University and studied by hundreds of women. At the request of the League of Women Voters the Extension Division has recently prepared an outline on Town Studies which is intended to furnish helpful suggestions in acquiring an acquaintance with the local town and its government. Another phase of citizenship that has recommended itself to women's approval is the movement for World Peace through the Washington Conference for the limitation of armament. Such matters as the censorship of moving pictures have given the clubs much concern and they have done much to raise the standard of the films by registering their protest against certain types of pictures.
The Business and Professional Women, while coöperating in many ways, especially in the legislative program and education for citizenship plans of the other major organizations, have been chiefly concerned with matters directly affecting the life of the business woman. Although this organization is not five years old in North Carolina, the membership is large and active and the association has done valuable work in the state. The members have taken an active part in everything promoting the welfare of women. Such measures as the appointment of a woman as commissioner of the state board of charities and public welfare; the eligibility and willingness of women to serve as jurors; the need of a woman's dormitory at the State University; the disarmament of all nations; the Sheppard-Towner maternity bill; and the Towner-Sterling educational bill are some of the things for which the Business and Professional women of North Carolina have worked, and they have been true to the ideals for which the organization was founded at
Charlotte four years ago when they pledged themselves to protect and promote the interests of women in the business, professional and civic world, to encourage cooperative effort among women, to gather and distribute information relative to vocational opportunities and to recognize the universal sisterhood of women.
So far-reaching is the work of the women's clubs in North Carolina that it has been impossible to cover it all under one heading or a group of headings. It is hoped that some one will take up the idea and show the part individual women have played in the life of the state and also the part church organizations have had in public welfare.