Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Sadie American 1862 ~ 1944


The splendid work done by Miss American should be the pride not only of her own race, but of all American women. She was born in Chicago, March 3, 1862, and educated in the public schools of that city. She has been a frequent speaker at clubs and conventions on the subject in which she is so deeply interested, philanthropy, civic and educational subjects; has occupied the pulpits in synagogues and churches; was secretary of the Congress of Jewish Women at the World's Fair in 1893; one of the founders of the Council of Jewish Women, 1893, an organizer of many sections of this association, and its executive secretary in 1893; president of the New York section. Council of Jewish Women; speaker and delegate representing Council of Jewish Women at the International Congress of Women; also at the Atlanta Exposition, 1896; London, 1899, Speaker Vacation Schools; Berlin, 1904, Toronto, 1909, Speaker Playgrounds; Chairman of the Press Committee of Council of Jewish Women, 1899-1904. Jewish Societies: Was instrumental in the formation of the Jewish Study Society, 1899, and later in the formation of the Union of Jewish Women Workers, England. Assisted in the formation of the Bund Judischer Frauen, Berlin, 1904. Council of Women of the United States. Member of the Executive Committee of the Council of Women of the United States since 1898. Speaker Triennial Council of Women of the United States, 1895, 1898, 1902. Committee on Peace Propaganda, Council of Women of the United States, 1899-1904. Chairman Committee on Immigration and Emigration 1911. Federation of Women's Clubs. Speaker at Biennial of General Federation of Clubs, Denver, 1896. Member of Industrial Committee, New York State Federation of Women's Clubs, 1905. Speaker on Play-grounds at the General Federation of Women's Clubs, Boston, 1908. Woman's Municipal League. Director Woman's Municipal League New York City, 1901. Chairman of Woman's Municipal League Tenement House Committee, 1 902- 1 903. Member Executive Committee Intermunicipal Association for Household Research, 1904. Consumers' League: Vice-president, 1898-1899 and director, 1899, Illinois Consumers' League. President of Consumers' League of New York State, 1901-1905. Member Executive Committee National Consumers' League, 1901-1906. Chicago Activities: Club Leader Maxwell Street Settlement, Chicago, 1894-1898. Teacher Sinai Temple Sunday School, Chicago, 1894-1899. Member Executive Committee, Civic Federation of Chicago, 1895-1899. Founder Vacation Schools, Chicago, 1896. President League for Religious Fellowship, Chicago, 1896. Founder and Chairman Permanent Vacation School and Playground Committee of Chicago Women's Clubs, 1896-1900. Member of Executive Committee of South Side District Bureau of Charities, Chicago, 1896-1899. Director Cook County League of Women's Clubs, 1897-1898. Member of committee in Chicago which drew and secured the passage of the Illinois Juvenile Court Law. Member of Executive Committee of Committee of One Hundred to revise laws regulating education in Illinois, 1897- 1898. Member Executive Committee and one of the founders at the call of the Governor, Army and Navy League of Illinois during the Spanish-American War, 1898. National Association of Charities and Corrections. Speaker National Association of Charities and Corrections, 1895. Member of Committee on Neighborhood Improvement, National Association of Charities and Corrections, 1903. Play-ground Association of America: One of the founders of Playground Association of America. Member of Executive Committee and Secretary of Board of Directors. Chairman of Committee on Playgrounds in Institutions, 1908. Public Education Association : Member of Committee on night school and Social Centers, Public Education Associations, New York City, 1 899- 1903. National Educational Association: Member of Executive Committee, Department of Women's Organizations, 1907. Delegate to the National Education Association, Department of Superintendents, Washington, 1908. Delegate Department of Women's Organizations, National Educational Association, Washington, 1908. Delegate to Department of Women's Organizations, National Education Association, Cleveland, 1908 and Denver, 1909. International Congress on Tuberculosis: Delegate and speaker at the International Congress on Tuberculosis, Washington, 1908. Immigrant Aid: Member of Executive Committee of societies co-operating to secure United States' women inspectors to protect girls coming in first and second class cabins since 1903. Founder and chair-man of the Committee on Immigrant Aid, Council of Jewish women. Publications: Reports of Council of Jewish Women. Articles on Vacation Schools and Playgrounds, among them two in the Journal of Sociology, University of Chicago, November, 1898, and January, 1899. Reports of Vacation Schools and Playground Committee, Chicago Woman's Club, 1897-1899. Plan of Work Committee on Immigrant Aid, Council of Jewish Women. Many fugitive lectures and articles on social subjects.

Miss American is particularly proud of founding the vacation schools and playgrounds in the city of Chicago. These, Colonel Parker of Chicago stated, "could hardly have gone forward without her; that the method and conduct was so unique he considered it epoch making in education.' While vacation schools were first started on philanthropic lines in New York City, these schools in Chicago were purely educational, and were conducted under a Board of Education of the best educators and social service workers of that city, and this work has since been incorporated in the schools of Chicago. Today vacation schools and playgrounds are common, but when Miss American started this work in 1897, in Chicago there was neither literature nor activity on the subject in the sense of its being a great movement and hers was really the pioneer work in this direction. One of the special features of these schools was that provision was made for the deaf, the dumb and the blind. A school for these unfortunates was conducted in a summer camp.

In 1900, while Miss American and her mother were enroute to New York to establish a home, she met with a severe railroad accident and since that time her health has been such that her activities and the great work that she has accomplished in these various lines has been conducted from her home.

Miss American is at present greatly interested in vacation schools and welfare work for the blind, among the Jews in the city of New York and has organized a national association and work has been commenced in New York, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Another problem which has been forced upon her attention is the question of the care and provision for the Jewish immigrant girl and she has organized a committee on immigration aid which follows every Jewish immigrant girl who comes to this country, no matter what her destination and this has aroused a general interest in that of other immigrant girls which has been taken up by other philanthropic societies.

Long before the white slave traffic appalled the country. Miss American had been doing work in the interest and protection and saving of these young women. She was a delegate to the International White Slave Convention and has been active in associations which are aiding the individual work and work done by the government in this question. Miss American attended the conference on children called by President Roosevelt and did splendid work in the interest of the illegitimate child.

The Lakeview Home for wayward girls and unmarried mothers was founded by Miss American in the city of New York. The varied and important character of Miss American's charitable work has not received, thus far, the appreciation which it so justly deserves. In future generations, hundreds of thousands will enjoy the benefits of work of which she has been the initial spirit, and which never could have been brought to realization without her energy and ability.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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