FLORENCE KELLEY QUOTES

“The child labor clause of the Constitution, it seems to me, is one of the few really progressive achievements of our constitutional past.”

“No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from flood the great summer hotels at Narragansett Pier, the commonwealth of Massachusetts has no right to permit such injustice.”

“It is not practical to inspect all the mail-order houses in the country and to exact from each the wisdom that by right ought to be the collective wisdom of society.”

“In the sweatshops of New York and Chicago, the deaths of the poor depend upon the avarice and the greed of individuals.”

“The kindly despotism of the State governments, answerable in the last resort to the tutelage of the federal government, can accomplish so much more than the discourtesy, neglect, and sheer selfishness of the communities themselves.”

“I wish to ask you to pass a law which will secure better conditions for states like Massachusetts than they have been exerting their strength to get. That means, practically, a national law to stop competition between the individual states in the matter of child labor.”

“The testimony was that all the employees were under fourteen years of age, although at least one-third of them did not look to be over twelve.”

“It is not necessary to emphasize the consequences of child labor upon the health, the morals, and the character of the young citizens growing up under this system.”

“All I say is that the present system enriches the very few at the expense of the many, and that in the richest country of the world this is now a necessary evil, necessary on pain of disaster.”

“They disappear in the mines; they disappear from the poverty-stricken homes and tenements of the working class; and some of them disappear even from the middle class families.”

“If we give better conditions for children to grow up in politically, we change our whole social structure so that the struggle will not be between the house and the workshop, it will be between the school and the workshop.”

“What the community gets out of a child for five dollars a week is, in many cases, productive the first year. What the child gets out of the community is the ruin of his whole life.”

“There must be some strong economic reasons behind this zealous crusade of gossip against the children.”

“We stand about as high on the business-like scale in taking care of our future citizens as we stood in medicine seventy-five years ago.”

“The children are underpaid and overworked and soon grow old and old-looking. The young ones do not grow old in looking to me as in the city where they live; they just become worn-out little old men and women.”

“The real work of a child of fourteen in a cotton mill is of such a character that its evil tendencies are not half so dangerous to our next generation as those of a monopoly corporation.”

“This barrier of unreality would overthrow one of the most desirable forms of co-operation and the simplest and most democratic form of the trade union organization.”

“There is a motherless girl who has married a man with a good position. He likes children and plans, of course, to have a large family.”

“Even in Massachusetts, even in the case of Clark & Co., as we have heard, where constant employ√©s bring in the very money they earn, families are still separated.”

“All the industrial processes that are to have effects on society need to be humanized before they are made permanent.”

“What I am asking for is an outlawry, a violation of their rights forever ensuring the children to men.”

“I can see no excuse for men in general, and not one particle of pity for women.”

“It is sufficient that it is dangerous; enough for us if it is the appalling public scandal that it undoubtedly is.”

“Nor should it be necessary for me to dwell on the physical deformities, the wrecked and stunted childhood, the ruined youth of the children who are thus used.”

“The whole benefit of their telephone business has been largely absorbed in its construction.”

“The protection of children and other weak people is, in a primitive state, mainly carried on by women, first by the mother, and later, as the community grows, by the old woman.”

“The women of Chicago have found the opposition to their ordinance to be what they had known it would be.”

“This disease would spread itself just as surely in the Temple Schools of the rich as in the public schools.”

“One hundred years went by during which the majority of grown men and women in Massachusetts were wholly indifferent to the new life which was springing up in the factories.”

“On three sides of our civilization evil books have possessed the souls of our children.”