Jane Addams And The Establishment Of Hull House
Jane Addams was born in Cedarville, Illinois on September 6, 1860, and when she was four, she contracted Pott disease, which is tuberculosis of the spine. This caused a curvature in her spine and led to lifelong health problems.
She read Charles Dickens, which was part of her inspiration to become a doctor and help the poor. In 1881, she graduated from Rockford Female Seminary, and her father died that summer. After this, she moved with her family to Philadelphia so that she could pursue her medical education, but because of health issues, was unable to complete her degree. Her stepmother also became ill, so the family returned to Cedarville.
After her brother-in-law surgically straightened her back, he advised her to travel instead of returning to her studies, and so, in 1883, she embarked on a two-year tour of Europe with her stepmother, which helped her to realize that she didn’t need to become a doctor to help the poor. Upon her return to Cedarville, she began to be inspired by Democracy as a whole and began to question the pressures on women to marry and care for a family.