Julia Lathrop Collection

An inventory of the collection at the University of Illinois at Chicago




Collection Summary

Creator:Lathrop, Julia
Title:Julia Lathrop Collection
Dates:1898-1921
Abstract: Julia Lathrop was a pioneering social worker and activist who was instrumental in the creation of the Illinois juvenile court system. The collection consists of an article about Julia Lathrop, correspondence from Lathrop, newspaper clippings, some of Lathrop's writings, and a copy of her "Pass on the Torch" address from the National Suffrage Convention.
Quantity: 0.25 linear ft.
Identification: JLathrop

Biographical Sketch

Julia Clifford Lathrop (1858-1932) attended Rockford Seminary where she met Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr. After graduating from Vassar College in 1880, Lathrop worked in her father's law office for the next ten years. In 1890, she moved to Chicago and took up residence in the Hull-House settlement where she joined Jane Addams, Ellen Gates Starr, and other social reformers. In 1893, Governor John P. Atgeld appointed her as the first woman member of the Illinois Board of Charities. Lathrop immediately began a personal inspection of the 102 county almshouses and farms in Illinois. Her inspections of these and other Cook County charity institutions such as the Cook County Infirmary and asylum led to their description in a chapter of Hull-House Maps and Papers (1895).

As a result of her efforts, Lathrop helped introduce several reforms including the appointment of female doctors in state hospitals and the removal of the insane from state workhouses. In 1899, she campaigned with Lucy Flower to secure the creation of the world's first juvenile court system in Cook County. In 1903-1904, she joined Graham Taylor in his efforts to organize the Chicago Institute of Social Science. In 1908, she joined Sophonisba Breckinridge and Grace Abbott in forming the Immigrant's Protective League. In 1912, Lathrop was appointed by President William Taft as the first director of the U.S. Children's Bureau.

During the next nine years, Lathrop developed a plan for uniform birth registration and directed research into child labor, infant mortality, mother mortality, juvenile delinquency, mother's pensions, illegitimacy, nutrition, and the treatment of the mentally retarded. From 1918-1919, Lathrop also was president of the National Conference of Social Work. In 1921, Lathrop resigned as director of the Children's Bureau because of poor health. In 1922, she was elected president of the Illinois League of Woman Voters. From 1925-1931, she served as an assessor for the Child Welfare Committee of the League of Nations. She died in 1932.


Scope and Contents

The collection consists of an article about Julia Lathrop, correspondence from Lathrop, newspaper clippings, some of Lathrop's writings, and a copy of her "Pass on the Torch" address from the National Suffrage Convention.


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Subjects:
Lathrop, Julia Clifford, 1858-1932 --Sources
Hull-House and Settlement House History
Midwest Women's History


Detailed Description/Box and Folder Listing

Series I: Julia Lathrop Collection

BoxFolder
11Abbot, Edith. "The First Chief of the Children's Bureau," Life and Labor, February 1912
2Correspondence - Evelina Belden and L.A. Halbert, 1916-1921
3Clippings - U.S. Children's Bureau and suffrage, 1911
4Correspondence - Fred and Fanny Wines, [photocopies], 1898
5Lathrop, Julia. "Children's Year and the Children's Era," The Survey, May 1915
6Lathrop, Julia. "The Defective Child and the Juvenile Court," The Child in the City Conference, Chicago Child Welfare Exhibit. Chicago: Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy, Department of Social Investigation, Hollister Press [photocopy],, 1912
7Latrhop, Julia, "Income and Infant Mortality," American Journal of Public Health [reprint], 1919
8Lathrop, Julia, "Public Protection of Maternity," The American Labor Legislation Review. [reprint], 1917
9Lathrop, Julia, "Pass on the Torch", National Suffrage Convention, undated