Julia Lathrop collection
MSLath03

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

Summary Information

Repository
Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives
Creator
Lathrop, Julia Clifford, 1858-1932
Title
Julia Lathrop collection
ID
MSLath03
Date [inclusive]
1898-1921
Extent
0.25 linear ft.
Language
English
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.

Preferred Citation

Julia Lathrop collection, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago

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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.

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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.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Richard J. Daley Library Special Collections and University Archives October 2005

801 S. Morgan Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60607
312.996.2742

Revision Description

  07/15/2010

Restrictions on Access

None

Restrictions on Use

None

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Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Lathrop, Julia Clifford, 1858-1932 -- Archives

Subject(s)

  • Hull-House and Settlement House History.
  • Midwest Women's History.

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Collection Inventory

Series I: Julia Lathrop Collection 

Box Folder

Abbot, Edith. "The First Chief of the Children's Bureau," Life and Labor, February 1912 

1 1

Correspondence - Evelina Belden and L.A. Halbert, 1916-1921 

1 2

Clippings - U.S. Children's Bureau and suffrage, 1911 

1 3

Correspondence - Fred and Fanny Wines, [photocopies], 1898 

1 4

Lathrop, Julia. "Children's Year and the Children's Era," The Survey, May 1915 

1 5

Lathrop, 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 

1 6

Latrhop, Julia, "Income and Infant Mortality," American Journal of Public Health [reprint], 1919 

1 7

Lathrop, Julia, "Public Protection of Maternity," The American Labor Legislation Review. [reprint], 1917 

1 8

Lathrop, Julia, "Pass on the Torch", National Suffrage Convention, undated 

1 9

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