Children's Literature

In a Southern Cotton Mill

Elbert Hubbard (1859-1915)

First Published: ????
Source: The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest, Edited by Upton Sinclair, John C. Winston Company, 1915
HTML Markup: For in 2001.

I thought to lift one of the little toilers to ascertain his weight. Straightaway through his thirty-five pounds of skin and bones there ran a tremor of fear, and he struggled forward to tie a broken thread. I attracted his attention by a touch, and offered him a silver dime. He looked at me dumbly from a face that might have belonged to a man of sixty, so furrowed, tightly drawn, and full of pain it was. He did -- he did not know what it not reach for the money was. There were dozens of such children in this particular mill. A physician who was with me said that they would all be dead probably in two years, and their places filled by others -- there were plenty more. Pneumonia carries off most of them. Their systems are ripe for disease, and when it comes there is no rebound -- no response. Medicine simply does not act -- nature is whipped, beaten, discouraged, and the child sinks into a stupor and dies.