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A Biography of America

The New City

Professor Miller explores the tension between the messy vitality of cities that grow on their own and those where orderly growth is planned. Chicago -- with Hull House, the World's Columbian Exposition, the new female workforce, the skyscraper, the department store, and unfettered capitalism -- is the place to watch a new world in the making at the turn of the century.

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Program 15: The New City/Planned Order and Messy Vitality

Donald L. Miller


Miller: The end of the 19th century. American cities come of age.

The reigning question of the time was, can these cities be controlled? Are they growing in such a way that they’re creating problems that will bring down the country?

Chicago, rising triumphant from the ashes of the Great Fire, the city of the century.

I mean, they are, what I said before, great opportunity centers. But within the cities, there’s this churning, constant social process that no one knows how to control. These are places of tremendous creativity and tremendous volatility. And I think they represent what the 19th century was all about as a time of crisis, but also opportunity.

Today, on A Biography of America, “The New City.”

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Chicago — City of Speed

In the summer of 1893, Chicago put on one of the spectacles of the century, the World’s Columbian Exposition. It was a fair to celebrate, one year late, the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of the New World. And it drew 27 million people from every part of the globe.

The fair marked America’s emergence from the Civil War as a reunified nation of unrivaled power and prosperity. The imperial architecture of the exhibit buildings and their impressive displays of new science and invention announced that the approaching century would be the American Century. But if this was America’s fair, it was even more so Chicago’s. A declaration that it had arrived as a city of global consequence.

In 1830 there was no Chicago. Sixty years later, it was the second-largest city in America. And amazingly, in between these years, in 1871, it was almost totally destroyed by a colossal firestorm.

To make the fair truly spectacular, Chicago’s master builder, Daniel Burnham, constructed a miniature city of gleaming white buildings on former swampland along Lake Michigan. The buildings looked like those of Ancient Rome, but the White City had an ultra-modern infrastructure, including the most advanced urban transit system in the world. And the grounds were magnificently landscaped by Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of New York’s Central Park. It was to be a vision of the urban future.

But many Chicagoans saw their own city of smoke and steel as the true model of a new kind of metropolis. Chicago was loud and dirty, but full of energy and modern advancements; and Chicagoans wanted the world to see it. The 19th century was the Age of Cities. In 1860, only one American in six lived in a city; by 1900 one in three did.

And no city had grown faster or was more representative of the age than Chicago. Chicago had won the right to hold the fair in a bitter competition with New York that was decided in Congress. The Windy City’s lobbyists convinced Congress that Chicago should be awarded the fair because it, not New York, was the most American of the country’s largest cities. Like America itself, Chicago was young and aggressively confident, a product of both frontier and technological expansion, a place of hustlers and visionaries disdainful of tradition and committed to the future.

It was a place that did things on a big scale, rising bigger and better, in a mere ten years, from the ashes of the Great Fire of 1871. Chicago was the Queen City of the Machine Age. Its vast slaughtering mills and mail-order houses were the incarnations of speed and efficiency. And its rebuilt downtown was a technological wonder, with streets lit by electricity, serviced by rapid-running streetcars, and lined by solid rows of office skyscrapers.

New York built the world’s first skyscrapers in the 1870s, but by the 1880s Chicago had more of them, and they were built with greater technical audacity than New York’s, making Chicago the world’s first vertical city. This prairie colossus was a foretaste of the future in another way. In 1893, it was laid out like no other city on earth; yet soon all big industrial cities would look like it.

It was at the same, a vertical and a horizontal city, a city of steel-frame skyscrapers ringed by suburbs linked to the downtown by steel rails. The skyscraper was a completely American, and a completely commercial, creation. No other country built skyscrapers, and there were no skyscrapers that were not office buildings.

Chicago’s architecture mirrored the character of the place, a city built for business. After visiting Chicago, a New York writer thought it curious that the image of the downtown that remained fixed in his mind was made up exclusively of business buildings. As he wrote: “Not a church enters into it; scarcely a public building enters into it.”

Every age brings forth cities that embody the spirit of its time. In industrial America, the Land of the Dollar, it was Chicago. As a French writer remarked: “In New York, business is the big word. In Chicago, it is the God, the last reason for every action and thought.”

Most visitors were unprepared for Chicago. It was that spectacular, and awful. Steaming toward the heart of Chicago in one the country’s new express trains, tourists passed through an industrial amphitheater bigger and blacker than Pittsburgh, endless reaches of factories and freight yards, and slag heaps and coal piles that looked like small mountains. And everywhere, covering everything, were wind-driven clouds of black and gray smoke.

Walking out of one of Chicago’s cavernous train stations, strangers entered the busiest and noisiest downtown in the world, a place that, twenty years before, was a cemetery of fallen, fire-scorched buildings. Visitors were overwhelmed by the velocity of Chicago, because so much of its commercial energy was confined to a one-square-kilometer Loop, named for the iron ring of transit lines that circled it. The terrific crowding and noise there were shocking, even to New Yorkers, whose city’s commercial activity was strung out for miles along its lengthy avenues.

They called Chicago the City of Speed. Cable cars pushing through heavy traffic slammed into slow-moving drays, lifting them into the air and overturning wagons and teams. Signs hanging over office doors read: “Away for Lunch: Back in Five Minutes.” And the movement of the crowds on the streets reminded one tourist of “an infantry attack.” Everything in the Loop was organized for the efficient conduct of capitalist enterprise.

Cable cars and electric trolleys brought shoppers from the city’s far-flung suburbs right to the doors of State Street department stores. And in skyscraper offices, rows of women typists performed clerical work faster than it had ever been done before, their rapid-moving fingers connected to their machines as if they were physical parts of them. The typewriter brought women workers into the capitalist office space and made office work more specialized and mind-dulling, like factory work in Armour’s meat mills.

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The Skyscraper

Factories in the sky, that’s what the skyscrapers were for the new and growing female work force. Yet these vertically organized buildings were marvelously convenient ways to do business. Within a single tall building, with its array of legal, advertising, and commercial services, world-shaping deals were made in a matter of minutes, to the amazement of European businessmen.

The skyscraper was also a technological wonder. The first skyscrapers of New York and Chicago were built with traditional construction techniques. They were supported by heavy masonry walls, which were especially thick at the base. Window space was at a premium, and no one dared build a wall-bearing building over ten stories. It would have collapsed in a heap.

Then, in the mid-’80s, Chicago architects, following the lead of William Le Baron Jenney, began building skyscrapers supported by wind-braced, iron and steel frames, or “cages” as they were called. The thin walls of brick and terra-cotta, lined with long rows of windows, were not part of the building’s support system. The steel frame did all the work. The wall was a mere curtain.

Chicago’s skyscrapers evoked the no-nonsense, business style of the city. They were clean-featured buildings, with a minimum of surface decoration. That’s what made them distinctive, a truly American architecture. They looked like what they were supposed to be; business buildings, while New York skyscrapers looked like Greek temples or Roman baths.

Chicago skyscrapers looked this way because they were built by developers interested in cutting costs, not showing off. Louis Sullivan, the first architect to make tall buildings beautiful, argued that form must follow function. But in Chicago, form usually followed finance.

The skyscraper was the first building in history to depend on machines for its operation. It needed elevators to carry passengers to its upper floors, and telephone and telegraph systems to put tenants in the air in touch with the city below. The skyscraper couldn’t have existed without another gigantic machine, an urban transit system capable of moving its small army of workers in and out of the city.

The Department Store

This is equally true of another great commercial invention of the age, the department store, with its even larger army of salesclerks and customers. The department stores of America’s big cities were crowded from morning ’til night with customers, as many as a quarter of a million a day. And some of them had workforces larger than steel mills.

Marshall Field, who rose from stock boy to the richest man in Chicago, built the country’s most opulent department store, a Palace of Desire that catered almost exclusively to women. In the department stores along State Street, women accounted for 99% of the purchases. When Chicago lit its department stores with electricity, many of these women shoppers stayed in town into the evening, without male escorts.

Traditionalists complained about this; and also about what they called the new vice of shopping. A cranky editorial in the New York Times called shopping a “purse-destroying addiction every bit as bad as male drinking.” Yet the accepted place of Victorian women in a male-dominated society, in the home all day, taking care of children, sewing, cleaning, cooking, and entertaining, made shopping a liberating escape from domestic drudgery.

In the great Chicago novel Sister Carrie, Indiana-born Theodore Dreiser captures this oncoming consumption culture. Carrie Meeber, his central character, leaves her home in rural Wisconsin at age eighteen, drawn to the lights of Chicago, as young Dreiser had been, like a moth to a flame. There she enters a glittering department store and finds herself wanting things she’s never seen before the very moment she sets eyes on them.

There is also in Sister Carrie a brilliant sensitivity to the changing nature of dress as an indicator of class and social station. A salesgirl at Marshall Field’s making $6 a week could save her money and buy one or two ready-to-wear outfits that could instantly place her on a level with her middle-class customers. In the city, it was possible to move up in life simply by buying the right clothes; or as Carrie does, by having her lover buy them for her.

Listen to Dreiser: “When a girl leaves her home at eighteen [for the city], she does one of two things. Either she falls into saving hands and becomes better, or she rapidly assumes the cosmopolitan standard of virtue and becomes worse.” Here Dreiser describes how many Americans felt about cities, then, as well as now. There was the enticement of a better life, but the equal threat of moral corruption.

The Transit System

In Chicago, moving up in life usually meant moving out — outward, that is, to the suburbs. We think of suburbia as a 20th century creation. But the suburbs, like the central business district, came into being at the end of the 19th century; both of them made possible by mass transportation.

Before 1800, Chicago had a transit system dependent on 75,000 horses. Teams of them pulled passenger cars along tracks in the streets. The horse, like the modern automobile, was a heavy noise and air polluter. When it rained, the city’s gutters flowed with rank-smelling brown streams.

In dry weather, pulverized manure blew into the faces of downtown shoppers. The constant drumming sound of iron-shod hooves on the city’s streets was deafening. And as many as 10,000 dead horses a year had to be removed from the streets, where they’d been left to swell and rot in the gutters.

In 1880, the cable car, a San Francisco invention, began to replace the horse as a passenger conveyance in Chicago. It was twice as fast as a horse, and was clean and relatively quiet. But just as cable cars were being extended, the electric trolley came along. It was faster, quieter, and less expensive to install than a steam-driven cable system.

By 1900, almost every American city had adopted the trolley. In the Gilded Age, urban transit was owned and operated not, as today, by municipalities, but by powerful, and power-hungry, capitalists. The transit czar of Chicago was an ex-convict named Charles Yerkes, who Dreiser made into the central character of his novel, The Titan. Yerkes had served jail time in Philadelphia for stock fraud, and he led a scandalous lifestyle with half-a-dozen mistresses.

He’d come to Chicago, he brazenly announced, for one reason only: to make a fortune. Employing corruption and fraud on a colossal scale, they called him the Goliath of Graft. Yerkes built a far-flung transit system. In the process, he made a million in land speculation.

Yerkes built tracks out to empty land on the edge of the city, land he’d secretly bought, in advance, for a song. Then, when his transit lines were in place, he made a killing selling it to housing contractors. But Yerkes couldn’t get along without a little help from his friends. He needed franchises from the city to operate his transit lines on public streets, and to get them he bribed almost the entire city council.

He was finally driven out of Chicago after he tried to muscle through legislation that would have given him a long-term monopoly of Chicago’s transit system. Yerkes returned to New York and then went abroad to build the London Underground. Chicago was glad to get rid of him, but he left behind one of the finest urban transportation systems in the world.

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The Shaping of Suburbia

In joining town and country, Yerkes helped bring into existence something entirely new, and now long forgotten, the Streetcar City. The Streetcar City altered the social landscape of the American city. Since the time cities were first built in America, the rich and powerful lived in the center, and the poor and powerless on the periphery. That’s the way it had been in cities all over the world for thousands of years.

In America, two things combined to change this: the streetcar and the increasing desire of upward-bound people to escape the city. The catalyst for it all was immigration. European immigrants, fleeing poverty and persecution, had been pouring into American cities since the early 1800s. In Chicago, first it was the Germans and the Irish; then toward the end of the century, tremendous numbers of Southern and Eastern Europeans: Italians, Poles, Slovaks, and Russian Jews.

Many of these immigrants joined labor unions and radical political parties; and their politics, their poverty, their alien religion and language, deeply frightened older, predominately Protestant city-dwellers. Earlier in the century, the rich and the middle class had no choice but to remain in town, close to their work. But cable cars and trolleys allowed them to escape to the borders of the city, yet to remain a short streetcar ride away from work, and from theaters, department stores, circuses, baseball parks, and all the myriad wonders of the Victorian city.

Thus began the greatest internal migration in the history of cities, the exodus to the suburbs. Soon, even the better-paid working class headed for the booming subdivisions — older immigrants, as has always been the American practice, running away from newer ones. In this way, the streetcar turned the American city “inside out,” shifting the center of population and prestige from the center to the edge.

That’s why American cities today, are different from the cities of continental Europe, where the well-to-do continue to live in the urban core, and great numbers of the poor reside in the suburbs. In the 20th century, urban sprawl would lead to the abandonment of the city, as both people and jobs headed for the borderlands. But at the end of the 19th century, city and suburb complemented one another, as cities became, at the same time, more centralized and dispersed.

Slums and Sweatshops

With jobs and so many attractions downtown, a nickel ride away, nobody worried about the suburbs killing the city. In their constant movement in and out of the central city, the middle class rarely came into contact with the poor. This was a divided city.

Chicago’s worst slum, Packingtown, was located far to the south of the downtown; but most of the city’s ethnic ghettos were close to the downtown, yet hidden from it by a belt of industry. In the Jewish quarter, multi-story tenements served extra duty as small factories, or “sweatshops” as they were called. Here men, women, and children labored up to sixteen hours a day in their gloomy apartments making the inexpensive dresses that gave instant status to those Marshall Field’s shop girls.

Sickness was rampant in these unheated, unventilated places: smallpox, cholera, consumption, tuberculosis, and scarlet fever. Milk arriving in non-refrigerated wagons was often dangerously spoiled. So, mothers gave their children beer from the local saloon, which at least was pasteurized.

Were these conditions untypical? Well, in 1900, almost 400,000 Chicagoans in a city of 1.7 million lived in squalor. Government turned a blind eye to these problems, until reformers began to push and prod.

In 1889, a young, partially crippled woman from rural Illinois arrived in Chicago and established Hull House, one the country’s first settlement houses. Her name was Jane Addams. Addams turned a run-down mansion in an Italian slum into a refuge for neighborhood women and their children.

She set up a daycare center, a playground, a gymnasium, and a bathhouse, along with a reading club. And she put reproductions of great works of art on the walls to bring some refinement into the lives of her new neighbors. Addams tried to Americanize these people, urging them to shed their old-world customs for middle-class ways.

Her smothering paternalism alienated some immigrants, but she began to change, thanks to the influence of Florence Kelley. Kelley arrived at Hull House with her three young children in 1891, fleeing an abusive husband. A fiery socialist, she laughed at Hull House’s decorous tea parties and art receptions, and challenged Addams to alter the direction of the settlement’s work from moral uplift to social change.

Kelley’s investigations of sweatshop conditions led to the passage of landmark Illinois labor legislation and got her appointed as the state’s first factory inspector. She and Addams then published a comprehensive social survey of the Hull House neighborhood. This was an effort to make an unassailable case for tenement reform.

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The White City

While they were laboring in the slums, the White City opened to tremendous national fanfare. The Fair took place at a critical juncture in the nation’s history. Many Americans saw their country’s future bound up with the future of its industrial cities, and these cities appeared to be flying apart. These Americans feared that the unsettling changes urban growth had brought with it: socialism and labor unrest, spreading slums, waves of Catholic and Jewish immigrants, and a new and freer morality, were tearing apart the old Protestant republic.

A young American historian raised a further concern. In an essay he read at a meeting of historians at the Chicago Fair, called “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” Frederick Jackson Turner announced the closing of the frontier of free land, the nurturing source of America’s democracy, and a safety-valve for urban discontent.

Reading Turner’s essay gave some people the sense that the country was about to explode.

But this was also a decade of confidence, and Daniel Burnham’s White City was a reassuring expression of faith in the nation’s future. Its message was that cities could be saved, not by settlement workers and socialists, but by civic-minded businessmen.

Built by Chicago’s commercial kings, the White City was their vision of what a great city could be like. There were no beggars or garish signs, and the streets were immaculately clean. Picturesque walkways and waterways connected the magnificent exhibition halls. And these buildings were filled with the newest inventions of the age: among them, electric kitchens, calculating machines, and a gadget for viewing motion pictures, Thomas Edison’s Kinetoscope.

The builder of this place understood the American mind. In Daniel Burnham’s city, tradition and change, order and innovation, were in perfect harmony, suggesting to anxious Americans that they could enjoy all the conveniences of the Machine Age without changing their old values and habits. Visitors came away wondering why every American city couldn’t be made over in the image of the White City. The writer William Dean Howells called it “a glimpse of utopia”; the black leader Frederick Douglass pronounced it a national scandal.

The White City excluded the accomplishments of African-Americans. And when fair directors held a special Colored People’s Day, they added a note of ridicule to the occasion by providing watermelons to the crowd. Douglass and his young friend, the black activist Ida B. Wells, wrote a protest pamphlet and passed it out at the fair.

But while Wells boycotted Colored People’s Day, Douglass, who was seventy-five and in failing health, used the occasion to give an electrifying speech, over the shouts of hecklers. “We Negroes,” he said, “love our country. We fought for it. We only ask that we be treated as well as those who fought against it in the Civil War.” Douglass pointed out the paramount problem of the White City; it failed to acknowledge not only the accomplishments, but also the existence, of the kind of powerless people Hull House workers were trying to help.

The White City’s richest legacy is the confidence of its builders in the possibilities of urban life, their conviction that the modern metropolis, with its enormous problems, could be made over into a work of art. But a great city is not a work of inspired scene painting, static and splendid. It’s a living drama with a huge and varied cast of characters, and with a plot full of conflict, tension, and spectacle.

People will always disagree about how to make cities better. Dreiser speaks for those who insist that cities should be allowed to grow freely and naturally, achieving a kind of messy vitality; while Burnham speaks for those who lean toward order and planning. But both Dreiser and Burnham ignored the lesson their own city provided: that a great city is an uneasy balance between order and energy, planning and privatism, capitalism and community, Jane Addams and Philip Armour.

What Dreiser did understand is the meaning of the White City. He loved the fair, and took his dying father there in a wheelchair to see it. But he, like most street-smart Chicagoans, saw it for what it was; a summer city, not the real thing.

Dreiser took Chicago, and later New York, for what they were, the good and the bad, and brought them back to us in prose portraits that rival those of the outstanding urban interpreters of the age: Honore Balzac and Charles Dickens. And he caught the significance of what he witnessed. Chicago was an unequaled place to watch what he called “a new world in the making.”

The White City

What vision of the future city did the fair present?

Title: Buildings and Court of Honor at the World’s Columbian Exposition
Artist: Frances Benjamin Johnston
Date: 1893

  1. A series of lagoons connected the fair grounds by water, reminiscent of Venice. The water provided open vistas, a calming influence, and architectural harmony.
  2. The use of electricity on a large scale was one of the main attractions of the Columbian Exposition that made it an exciting place at night. Thomas Edison’s General Electric Company was less than a year old when the fair opened.
  3. The wide-open spaces of the White City were in stark contrast to the narrow, crowded streets in many parts of Chicago and other major cities. These were spaces for people.
  4. The 150 buildings of the Columbian Exposition gleamed as if they were made of marble, but they were really made from a compound called “staff,” a mixture of plaster of paris and jute fiber which produced a marble effect.
  5. The architects and artists created elaborate neoclassical designs, filled with ornate statues and classic features that would be too expensive if the material and the buildings were to be permanent structures. Was this ancient Greece, Renaissance Italy, Victorian America, or all of these?

The City Beautiful

The World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893 was one the greatest fairs ever assembled. More than 27 million people visited the fair and its 60,000 exhibits.

The American architect Daniel H. Burnham planned the White City, as it was called. It was the first large area of Chicago to be illuminated with electric lights. The neoclassic buildings were gleaming white. The lagoons were filled with lovely blue water that reflected the magnificent white buildings, doubling their impact on visitors. Moving about the fair grounds on gondolas provided relief for tired feet.

The landscaping provided beautiful green vistas. The landscape architect of the Exposition was none other than Frederick Law Olmsted, the chief architect of New York’s Central Park as well as great parks in other cities. In a tribute to Olmsted at the fair, Charles Eliot Norton said Olmsted was a great artist who gave expression to the “life of our immense and miscellaneous democracy.”

Was this a vision of the future of cities in America? Its builder, Daniel Burnham, thought so. He saw the design of the buildings and grounds as a challenge to future city planners. City transformation was so important, Burnham thought, it would be the “third great debate in our country’s history” after the American Revolution and the Civil War.

Yet, the Exposition was a temporary flight into a possible future city. Visitors to the fair grounds in January 1894 saw the formerly great white buildings dingy with coal dust. Plaster peeled from their facades. Windows were shattered. Chicago city officials hired wreckers to tear it all down. But before they could do so, arsonists in the summer of 1894 set the White City on fire. More than 100,000 Chicagoans gathered near Jackson Park to watch as the formerly magnificent buildings burned to the ground in a colossal blaze that lasted for hours.

Within a few years, however, many of the same people who helped build and design the great fair, including Daniel Burnham and Frederick Law Olmsted, helped launch the City Beautiful Movement, which carried forth in new ways the ideas of improving American cities and making them more livable. This movement, which peaked in the first decade of the twentieth century, never completely transformed any American city, but it was an important force in improving the outward beauty of cities (aesthetics) and also improving important practical matters that did not show, such as sewage and sanitation systems (infrastructure).

City Beautiful planners sought to promote civic pride while bringing the city and nature into better harmony. Cities from Boston to Kansas City to Seattle all benefited from these new urban planners who designed parks, civic centers, wide boulevards, and improved roads and highways.

Questions to Ponder

An enduring legacy of the World’s Columbian Exposition was the statement it made about the future of city life – the possibility for something better than the squalid, overcrowded, polluted, largely unplanned industrial cities of the 19th century, where machines and factories seemed more important than the quality of human life.

1. Do you think Daniel Burnham was right when he said making cities livable would be “the third great debate in our country’s history” after the American Revolution and the Civil War?

2. How do you think most Americans feel about living and working in big cities?

3. What are some of the positive and negative aspects of city life?

4. Is there something odd about the way Americans speak fondly of rural life and open spaces while they continue to flock to cities?

5. Is the American suburb a compromise between life in cities and life in rural America? Or is it something new and different altogether?


Daniel, Pete and Raymond Smock. A Talent for Detail: The Photographs of Miss Frances Benjamin Johnston 1889-1910. New York: Harmony Books, 1974.

Gilbert, James. Perfect Cities: Chicago’s Utopias of 1893. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991.

Miller, Donald L. City of the Century, The Epic of Chicago and the Making of America. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996; paperback, 1997.

Wilson, William H. The City Beautiful Movement. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989.


Daniel Burnham

Today in History – September 4
Biographical information on Burnham with illustrations and related links.

Daniel H. Burnham
Biographical information on Burnham with photos and related links.

The City Beautiful Movement
A history of Chicago in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Includes information on Daniel Burnham and his role in the City Beautiful movement.

Louis Sullivan

Louis Sullivan
A biography of Sullivan with a few photos of his work.

Louis Sullivan
A brief profile of Sullivan and photos of the buildings he designed.

Louis Sullivan
Background and photos of Sullivan’s works.

Today in History: September 3
Biographical information on Sullivan with photos and related links.


William Dean Howells

The 1893 Columbian Exposition
An account of the 1893 Wold Fair with a Howell quote.

World’s Columbian Exposition: Idea, Experience, Aftermath
Provides links to a virtual tour of the Fair, the legacy of the Fair, etc. Includes a reference to Howells’ A Traveller from Altruria.

The William Dean Howells Society Site
A photo of Howells and a page of links to Howells related sites.

A Traveller from Altruria – W. D. Howells
The text of A Traveller from Altruria, sections of which focus on the meaning of the Columbian Exposition.

The Reason Why the Colored American Is Not in the World’s Columbian Exposition
Background information on the Exposition and the Wells/Douglass pamphlet.


Marshall Field

People in the West – Marshall Field
A brief biography of Field.

Jazz Age Chicago – Marshall Field and Company
An illustrated account of the origins and growth of Marshall Field.


Dreiser, Sister Carrie

Theodore Dreiser – Sister Carrie
The text of the novel Sister Carrie, by Theodore Dreiser.

Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
The text of the novel Sister Carrie, by Theodore Dreiser.


Charles Yerkes

Yerkes Observatory -Virtual Museum – People -Yerkes
A photo of Yerkes and links to three Yerkes biographies.

Astronomical Figures, University of Chicago Magazine, February 1997
A biography of Charles Yerkes.


Jane Addams

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum Home Page
The home page for the Hull-House Museum. Provides links to a biography of Jane Addams, a chronology of Jane Addams, works by Jane Addams, etc.

Women in History – Jane Addams Biography
A biography and a photo of Jane Addams with links to more Addams sites.

Jane Addams, “Why Women Should Vote,” 1915
The text of Jane Addams pamphlet, “Why Women Should Vote.”


Florence Kelley

Florence Kelley — A Woman of Fierce Fidelity
A photo of Kelley and an outline of her role in social reform.

Florence Kelley, “Working Woman’s Need of the Ballot,”
The text of Florence Kelley’s, Working Woman’s Need of the Ballot.


 Frederick Jackson Turner

The Frontier In American History
A photo of Turner and the text of The Frontier In American History.

People in the West – Frederick Jackson Turner
Biographical information on Turner with a summary of his thesis, The Frontier In American History.


Series Directory

A Biography of America


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