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Helen Stuart Campbell
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 176 pages of information about Women Wage-Earners.

A generation ago Mazzini wrote:—­

“The human soul, not the body, should be the starting-point of all our efforts, since the body without the soul is only a carcass, whilst the soul, wherever it is found free and holy, is sure to mould for itself such a body as its wants and vocation require.”

It is this soul-moulding that is given chiefly into the hands of women.  It is through them that the higher ideal of life, its purpose and its demands, is to be made known.  No present scheme of general philanthropy can touch this need.  It is growth in the human soul itself that will mean justice from the employer to each and every worker, and from the worker in equal measure to the employer; and this justice can be implanted in the child as certainly as many another virtue, into the knowledge and love of which we grow but slowly.

Never has deeper interest followed every movement for the understanding and bettering of conditions.  Never was there stronger ground for hope that, in spite of the worst abuses existing, man’s will is to join hands at last with natural evolution toward higher forms.  Faith and hope alike find their assurance in the increasing sense of the solidarity of human kind, and the spirit of brotherhood more and more discernible, which, as it grows, must end all oppression, conscious and unconscious.  The old days of darkness are dying.  Man knows at last that—­

  “Laying hands on another,
     To coin his labor and sweat,
  He goes in pawn to his victim
     For eternal years in debt;”

and in knowing it, the first step is taken in the new life wherein all are brothers; and the law of love, slowly as it may work, ends forever the long conflict between employer and employed.

FOOTNOTES: 

[49] Transactions of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science, 1857, p. 554.

[50] July, 1893.

APPENDIX.

* * * * *

FACTORY INSPECTION LAW.

PASSED MAY 18, 1886; AMENDED MAY 25, 1887; AMENDED JUNE 15, 1889; AMENDED MAY 21, 1890; AMENDED MAY 18, 1892.

* * * * *

CHAPTER 409, LAWS OF 1886 (AS AMENDED BY CHAPTER 673, LAWS OF 1892).

     An act to Regulate the Employment of Women and Children in
     Manufacturing Establishments, and to Provide for the Appointment of
     Inspectors to Enforce the Same.

* * * * *

The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows

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