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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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this day.

For instance, Harriet Laidlaw became a great friend of mine. She was a much older person, but we became intimate friends. I was so unimportant in the suffrage movement that I was just one of the young things that could be sent on errands and to make speeches everywhere, while Harriet was the core of it, and Mrs. Vira Whitehouse the same way. Those people were the people who would stand by me when I was in trouble after I got to be a public officer many years later.

It was a most peculiar and amazing kind of friendship, of a loyalty that never cracked. I never knew any backbiting among them. It lasted right straight through the rest of their lives. I don't say they'd do it blindly, but you could count on them for the support of the various social projects - private projects, improving the standard of living project, developing a settlement house project, increasing the district nurse service, as well as legislation for reformed hours, wages, and child labor. You could count on them. They would do it out of a kind of a solidarity and a loyalty.

That was very important to women. I don't think up until that time that women had thought of the possibility of having deep and true friendships with other women except on a basis of propinquity. You were good and loyal friends with your neighbor because she was your next-door neighbor.

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