Mary Rozet Smith

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Mary Rozet Smith

Immediate Family:

Partner of Jane Addams

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Immediate Family

About Mary Rozet Smith

She was supposedly Jane Addams life partner and big supporter of Hull House.

The Love of Jane's Life: Mary Rozet Smith:

The term lesbian was coined in 1890, one year after Addams founded Hull House. Although she would not have used the term to define herself, by today's standards, Jane Addams would be a lesbian. Mary Rozet Smith arrived at Hull House one day in 1890, the daughter of a wealthy paper manufacturer. Over the years she became Jane's devoted companion, virtually playing the role of a traditional wife: tending to her when she was ill, handling her social correspondence, making travel arrangements.

Jane and Mary's Relationship:

Unfortunately, we will never know the full extent of Jane's relationship with Mary Smith. Toward the end of her life, Jane destroyed most of Mary's letters to her. Perhaps she was trying to cover up a sexual component of their relationship. "I miss you dreadfully and am yours 'til death," Addams wrote to Smith. Smith wrote back, "You can never know what it is to me to have had you and to have you...I feel quite a rush of emotion when I think of you."

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