The substance of this volume has grown out of the writer's experience as special agent for the Bureau of Labor Statistics of Illinois for an investigation of the needle-trades in the tenements of Chicago, in 1892; as Chief Inspector of Factories of that state from 1893 to 1897; as agent in charge of the Chicago division of the investigation of the "Slums of Great Cities” for the Department of Labor at Washington; and as Secretary of the National Consumers' League from 1899 to the date of publication; but chiefly as a resident for thirteen years beginning in 1892, first at Hull-House in Chicago and afterward at the Nurses' Settlement in New York. Lest it seem strange that one of the laity should discuss statutes and the decisions of courts of last resort, it may be well to state that the writer has for many years been a member of the bar of Illinois.

The subject matter has been presented in part to the students of several universities and colleges; and published, also in part, in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the American Journal of Sociology, the Chautauquan and Charities, to which acknowledgment is due for courteous permission to reprint. Thanks are due also to the West Publishing Company for the text


of decisions; and to patient friends whose searching criticism has led to many modifications both of substance and form.

While the present volume was in press, Mayor Dunne of Chicago appointed to the Board of Education of that city, Miss Jane Addams of HullHouse, Mrs. Emmons Blaine and Dr. Cornelia De Bey. It remains to be seen how far these able and public spirited citizens may disprove the argument advanced in chapter V.

That portion of this book which is of permanent value is to be found in the appendices. These are commended to the careful attention of the reader because, without a full understanding of the judicial decisions thus brought together, it is impossible to comprehend the difficulties which have been overcome in the sadly incomplete process of freeing the conscience of the purchasing public from participation in gross industrial evils; and to estimate justly the obstacles which still beset the path of the growing body of citizens of the Republic who elect to pursue this discouraging yet indispensable line of civic duty, the permanent establishment of ethical gains through legislation.


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