Addams, Jane

Addams, Jane

Addams, Jane, 1860-1935, American social worker, b. Cedarville, Ill., grad. Rockford College, 1881. In 1889, with Ellen Gates Starr, she founded Hull House in Chicago, one of the first social settlements in the United States (see settlement house). Based on the university settlements begun in England by Samuel Barnett, Hull House served as a community center for the neighborhood poor and later as a center for social reform activities. It was important in Chicago civic affairs and had an influence on the settlement movement throughout the country. An active reformer throughout her career, Jane Addams was a leader in the woman's suffrage and pacifist (see pacifism) movements, and was a strong opponent of the Spanish-American War. She was the recipient (jointly with Nicholas Murray Butler) of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize. Her books on social questions include The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets (1909), A New Conscience and an Ancient Evil (1912), and Peace and Bread in Time of War (1922).

See her autobiographical Twenty Years at Hull-House (1910) and The Second Twenty Years at Hull-House (1930); the selected works in The Jane Addams Reader (ed. by J. B. Elshtain, 2001); biographies by J. W. Linn, her nephew (1935), A. F. Davis (1973), G. Diliberto (1999), and L. W. Knight (2005); studies by D. Levine (1971) and J. B. Elshtain (2001).

(born Sept. 6, 1860, Cedarville, Ill., U.S.—died May 21, 1935, Chicago, Ill.) U.S. social reformer. Addams graduated from Rockford Female Seminary in Illinois in 1881 and was granted a degree the following year when the institution became Rockford College. During a trip to Europe in 1887–88 she visited the Toynbee Hall settlement house in London, which sparked her interest in social reform. Determined to create something like Toynbee Hall in the U.S., in 1889 she cofounded Hull House in Chicago, one of the first settlement houses in North America to provide practical services and educational opportunities for the poor. She subsequently championed social reforms such as juvenile-court law, justice for immigrants and African Americans, worker's rights and compensation, and women's suffrage. In 1910 she became the first female president of the National Conference of Social Work. An ardent pacifist, she served in 1915 as chair of the International Congress of Women and helped form the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and the American Civil Liberties Union. In 1931 she shared the Nobel Prize for Peace with Nicholas M. Butler.

Learn more about Addams, Jane with a free trial on

Jane is a female given name. It is one of the many feminine forms of John. It is also a Catalan last name, spelled as Jané or Janè. For more information on the origin of the name, see Jane (given name).


Jane can be used to identify a generic public person. It is often used in conjunction with its male counterpart John. See the following:


  • "Jane," an underground Chicago abortion service in the late 1960's and early 1970's (before Roe vs. Wade).




  • Jane (band), a German progressive rock band from the 1970s
  • Jane (Panda Bear band), an American duo consisting of Scott Mou and Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear of the Animal Collective)
  • Jane (Finnish band), a Finnish Pop Girl Band
  • Jane's Addiction, an American alternative rock band
  • Saving Jane is a band from Columbus Rock, alternative rock


Print media





  • Jane (cosmetics), a cosmetics company owned by the Estée Lauder Companies. The cosmetics are available at drugstores.
  • Jane Collective, an organization providing illegal abortions in the Chicago area in the 1960s and early 1970s
  • Jane's Information Group, often called Jane's, which publishes books and trade magazines that are considered the de facto public source of information on warfare and transportation systems


Fictional characters named Jane


Comic books


TV, film, & theater

Video games

Real people with Jane as a given name





News media





Real people with Jane as a surname


  • Jane (ship), a ship that disappeared near Australia in 1816.


See also

Search another word or see addams, janeon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature