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Frances Kellor 1922 | by puzzlemaster
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Frances Kellor 1922

Progressive activist




"Frances Alice Kellor (October 20, 1873 – January 4, 1952) was an American social reformer and investigator, who specialized in the study of immigrants to the United States and women.


Frances Alice Kellor was born October 20, 1873 in Columbus, Ohio. She grew up in Ohio and then in Michigan. She received her law degree in 1897 from Cornell Law School, joining the small group of women professionals, and studied at the University of Chicago and at the New York Summer School of Philanthropy. She believed that if the people listened to the poor living in the most diminishing areas, there could be great change in society for the better. Kellor, a progressive, thought that environment was principal the cause of crime.

She was secretary and treasurer of the New York State Immigration Commission in 1909 and chief investigator for the Bureau of Industries and Immigration of New York State in 1910-13. She became managing director of the North American Civic League for Immigrants and a member of the Progressive National Committee.

She directed the National Americanization Committee (NAC), the most important private organization promoting Americanization during World War I. Speaking for the NAC in 1916, proposed to combine efficiency and patriotism in her Americanization programs. It would be more efficient, she argued, once the factory workers could all understand English and therefore better understand orders and avoid accidents. Once Americanized, they would grasp American industrial ideals and be open to American influences and not subject only to strike agitators or foreign propagandists. The result, she argued would transform indifferent and ignorant residents into understanding voters, to make their homes into American homes, and to establish American standards of living throughout the ethnic communities. Ultimately, she argued it would "unite foreign-born and native alike in enthusiastic loyalty to our national ideals of liberty and justice.

Kellor never married. She maintained a long-term relationship with another woman, Mary Dreier, one of two wealthy sisters who played leading roles in the progressive movement in New York. They shared a home from 1905 until Kellor's death.

She died in New York City on January 4, 1952."

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Taken on February 19, 2012