Skip to Main Content

Jane Addams: Topics in Chronicling America

A guide for researching the topic of Jane Addams, progressive social reformer and activist, in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


Photograph of Jane Addams. April 19, 1908. New-York Tribune (New York, NY), Image 28. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Named the foremost living woman in America by the Ladies’ Home Journal, Jane Addams originally garnered fame and admiration for her Hull House settlement, opened in 1889, that served the underprivileged in Chicago. Around the turn of the century, Addams expanded her attention to other realms of reform, including suffrage and pacifism, and even co-founded the American Civil Liberties Union in 1920. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


1905 Already well known for Hull House, Jane Addams intervenes in a Chicago teamsters’ strike. Supreme Court Justice Brewer also says in a speech that she would make a good mayor of Chicago.
1907 Addams serves as a delegate to a contentious peace conference.
1908 Ladies’ Home Journal names Addams ‘the foremost living woman in America’ for her “practical reform” work.
1909 Addams attends the second National Peace Congress.
1911 Addams starts to speak out on behalf of girls forced into sex slavery.
1912 Addams’ backs Roosevelt and his pro-suffrage Progressive Party.
1913 Readers select Jane Addams as the most influential woman in America.
1914 Addams urges the passage of laws forbidding child labor and becomes increasingly involved in the peace movement at the outbreak of World War One.
1915 Addams becomes President of Woman’s Peace Party, which she represents at a well-publicized peace conference at the Hague held in the summer of 1915.
1916 Addams backs President Wilson’s reelection effort.
1920 Addams and other activists form the American Civil Liberties Union.