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Prisoners of Poverty Women Wage-Workers, Their Trades and Their Lives   By: (1839-1918)

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PRISONERS OF POVERTY

WOMEN WAGE WORKERS, THEIR TRADES AND THEIR LIVES.

By HELEN CAMPBELL

AUTHOR OF "MRS. HERNDON'S INCOME," "MISS MELINDA'S OPPORTUNITY," ETC.

BOSTON LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY 1900

Copyright, 1887 , BY HELEN CAMPBELL

University Press: JOHN WILSON AND SON, CAMBRIDGE

PRISONERS OF POVERTY.

" Make no more giants, God, But elevate the race at once. We ask To put forth just our strength, our human strength. All starting fairly, all equipped alike, Gifted alike, all eagle eyed, true hearted, See if we cannot beat Thy angels yet. "

" Light, light, and light! to break and melt in sunder All clouds and chains that in one bondage bind Eyes, hands, and spirits, forged by fear and wonder And sleek fierce fraud with hidden knife behind; There goes no fire from heaven before their thunder, Nor are the links not malleable that wind Round the snared limbs and souls that ache thereunder; The hands are mighty were the head not blind. Priest is the staff of king, And chains and clouds one thing, And fettered flesh with devastated mind. Open thy soul to see, Slave, and thy feet are free. Thy bonds and thy beliefs are one in kind, And of thy fears thine irons wrought, Hang weights upon thee fashioned out of thine own thought. "

PREFACE.

The chapters making up the present volume were prepared originally as a series of papers for the Sunday edition of "The New York Tribune," and were based upon minutest personal research into the conditions described. Sketchy as the record may seem at points, it is a photograph from life; and the various characters, whether employers or employed, were all registered in case corroboration were needed. While research was limited to New York, the facts given are much the same for any large city, and thus have a value beyond their immediate application. No attempt at an understanding of the labor question as it faces us to day can be successful till knowledge of its underlying conditions is assured.

It is such knowledge that the writer has aimed to present; and it takes more permanent form, not only for the many readers whose steady interest has been an added demand for faithful work, but, it is hoped, for a circle yet unreached, who, whether agreeing or disagreeing with the conclusions, still know that to learn the struggle and sorrow of the workers is the first step toward any genuine help.

ORANGE, NEW JERSEY, March , 1887.

CONTENTS.

PAGE

CHAPTER FIRST. WORKER AND TRADE 7

CHAPTER SECOND. THE CASE OF ROSE HAGGERTY 18

CHAPTER THIRD. SOME METHODS OF A PROSPEROUS FIRM 30

CHAPTER FOURTH. THE BARGAIN COUNTER 43

CHAPTER FIFTH. A FASHIONABLE DRESSMAKER 55

CHAPTER SIXTH. MORE METHODS OF PROSPEROUS FIRMS 66

CHAPTER SEVENTH. NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE GOSPEL 76

CHAPTER EIGHTH. THE TRUE STORY OF LOTTE BAUER 88

CHAPTER NINTH. THE EVOLUTION OF A JACKET 100

CHAPTER TENTH. BETWEEN THE RIVERS 113

CHAPTER ELEVENTH. UNDER THE BRIDGE AND BEYOND 126

CHAPTER TWELFTH. ONE OF THE FUR SEWERS 139

CHAPTER THIRTEENTH. SOME DIFFICULTIES OF AN EMPLOYER WHO EXPERIMENTED 150

CHAPTER FOURTEENTH. THE WIDOW MALONEY'S BOARDERS 160

CHAPTER FIFTEENTH. AMONG THE SHOP GIRLS 173

CHAPTER SIXTEENTH. TWO HOSPITAL BEDS 186

CHAPTER SEVENTEENTH. CHILD WORKERS IN NEW YORK 199

CHAPTER EIGHTEENTH. STEADY TRADES AND THEIR OUTLOOK 210

CHAPTER NINETEENTH. DOMESTIC SERVICE AND ITS PROBLEMS 221

CHAPTER TWENTIETH. MORE PROBLEMS OF DOMESTIC SERVICE 233

CHAPTER TWENTY FIRST. END AND BEGINNING 244

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