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Celebrating Julia Lathrop, America’s “First Official Mother”

Posted by Sean Catino on Jun 28th 2022

Celebrating Julia Lathrop, America’s “First Official Mother”

The Queen’s Treasures not only offers a rich collection of heritage-inspired pioneer doll collections. We also offer a chance to celebrate the pioneering spirit that built the West into a global hub for culture, art, science, and innovation. It’s no secret that all of this was built through the hard work and determination of pioneering women. In honor of the brave and courageous women that have come before us, we begin our celebration series with Julia Lathrop!

Often discounted in history lessons, Lathrop offered so much to the United States in terms of outreach work for improving quality of life for children, mothers, and individuals who were institutionalized for mental-health conditions. For her work with these groups of people, she’s nicknamed “America’s First Official Mother” as reported by Vassar College’s biographic entry on her life.

Lathrop spent time after college working at her father’s law firm. Her father, William Lathrop, also worked on drafting the first bill that allowed women to practice law legally in the United States, priming the legal stage for his daughter to exercise change within the nation. Studying at Vassar college, Lathrop took on a course load of curated subjects that are now considered basics for any student studying subjects related to social work.

In 1890, Lathrop moved to one of the poorest sections of Chicago to work under Jane Addams at the Hull House, a settlement for the poor and immigrants alike. From there, Lathrop surveyed the living conditions of the residents, detailing “abysmal living conditions.” For her work, she was soon later appointed to the Illinois State Board of Charities where she would follow further work in inspecting a number of orphanages, mental health organizations, shelters, and soup kitchens. In a time where America was making vast leaps towards progress, general society had the tendency to ignore the pleas of children, women, and the poor. Lathrop’s work brought light to the struggles and sought to make sure everyone had decent living conditions and care.

Later in her career, she even established the first Juvenile court in Chicago and America, and moved on to being named chief of the Children’s Bureau by President Taft, making her the first woman appointed to be a bureau chief in American history.

Although her career went on to many more high points of success and championing the causes of the poor, sickly, and discouraged, these are just a few reasons The Queen’s Treasures is taking the day of her birthday to celebrate her pioneering spirit in building a better America for all of us.

Want to know more about Julia Lathrop? Consider reading more about her in the Vassar College Encyclopedia or Britanica’s biographical entry.

At The Queen’s Treasures®, we believe that imagination is the key to unlocking a whole new world outside of the digital age we’ve been thrust into. The aim of our products is to help inspire and nourish creative play that begins in a child’s mind so they can grow their imagination and fuel creativity. With toys designed to be memorable, they are lovingly made to be in your family for years to come so that generations from now, that imaginative fun can still flow. Our products are tested to meet or exceed testing standards in the USA, and Canada so that you and your children can play with peace of mind.

Thus, we cordially invite you to enter the great hall and begin your perusing of our finest treasures, made just for you!

The Queen’s Treasures®. All Rights Reserved. Not affiliated with American Girl®, Reg. Trademark of American Girl®, LLC.

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