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THE SUN. SUNDAY, JULY 21, ""8.
Dr. Annie Daniel, the East Side's Friend Ministering Angel "Tells of Patients' Gratitude and Pleads for Better Sanitation and Care of Children 10 Modest Little Physi - cian Adored by the Poor She Has Aided ' for Years and Hon- ored by Fellows By EILEEN O'CONNOR. AN observer of the East Side, one who has been watching it with friendly eyes for forty years, sees its continuous regeneration. Forty years of observation Lave registered deeply imbedded impres sions. That it is not true that the East Sidcr lives in the congested submerged part of the city from choice. He wants to escape those conditions and docs as quickly as be can. " Tliat the East Side is not static, bnt in a state of flux. It is as restless, of movement as constant, as the sea. That in forty years she has seen 75 per' cent of the population of the East Side move to more hygienic and congenial regions in and about New York. That the East Side is richer per capita this year lhan it has ever been before. Riches in this instance do not mean a plenitude of possessions, but that state which is its forerunner, freedom from debt. That the East Side is ia a continuous stage of evolution. The third generation marks the transition into a purely Ameri can type of good citizen. That the regions to which the gradu ated East Sider removes are The Bronx, Staten Island and New Jersey. -v Honored by 300 Physicians. The friend, apologist, counsellor and guide of the East Side is Dr. Annie St urges Daniel. At the banquet tendered her by the women physicians and surgeons of New York, and at which 300 of the most eminent healers in the city paid the tribute of their presence and their speech to her, Dr. Abraham Jaeobi, who has been called the Nestor, of the medical profession of New York, said: "Our distinguished and unselfish little friend has learned more in the East Side tenements than have some of us in Fifth avenue mansions." Dr. Gertrude Kelly said of her: "So dear has Dr. Daniel become to the residents of the East Side that her patients refer in the same breath and tone to 'God and Dr. Daniel.'" Round the brilliant boardat which sat men and 'women whose nanus arc house hold words in the temple of medicine went the whisper: "I doh't believe the dear little doctor ever wasted the time getting into a low necked frock before." She looked verjA serious, very sur prised, a little frightened,, and to her neighbors at the tabic she said: "I really don't know why vou are doing all this for me." Made Her Understand at Last. " The three hundred doctors tried to cn lighten her. By the time they had reached Bts and coffee they had made her under stand at least in what light th'ey saw her uninternptcj minktrations to the crowded poor in t most congested part of the largest city i, thc rid. They toasted her in wine she TOUu not drink as "Thc Friend of the Poor and "The Ministering Angel of the East Siat" "How have you accustouod yourself to the evil smells?" asked a dainty practi tioner. "I didn't notice any smells," responded the little doctor. "How have you kept your limbs whole on those rickety stairs V asked a physician who gos on his professional tours in his limousine. "They were always strong -enough to bold me," was the reply of the little doctor. "Why have you never tired of work among thc poor and taken up more lucra tive practice?" asked many. To all of the questioners she made the same answer: "It has always interested me." "Don't-you grow very tired f" "I am seldom tired." She did not quote from thc hospital records, as others did, that she and her assistant visited 22,000 homes of sick poor in New York in one year. Her official title is head of the outdoor work of the New York Infirmary for Womrin and Children. The fine old hos pital, with sixty-five years of usefulness bchind it, has been closed by war ex igencies and pending repairs and the success of. the $200,000 drive, which it will begin in the autumn. But the dispensary is still open and there the little doctor goes each morning before she starts on her rounds. The old fash ioned rectangle of dull red brick, that is the "shadow" of the two noble sisters, Elizabeth and Emily Blackwcfl, who founded it, has sent forth 300 alumna; from its college. These include Dr. S.' Josephine Baker, the head of the bureau of child hygiene of the Health Department of New York; Dr. Marie Volkstein, who is with the Rockefeller Institute; Dr. Sarah J. McXutt, one of its senior physi cians; Dr. Yamei Kin, the Chinese doctor, yid Dr. Annie Sturgcs Daniel. It has sheltered 700 women and new born babies . each year. Six Times the Danger of War. "It is six times more dangerous to be a baby in a crowded home in New York than to be a soldier in thc trenches in France," is the slogan of the female prac titioners from this the only institution for and by women in New York. Because summer is the season of menace to chil dren Dr. Daniel, friend of the poor and Understanding Friend of thc East Side, will take no vacation this summer. "We're a little anxious about Spanish influenza,"" said thc little silver haired woman in black, whose gray eyes and clear voice are equally direct. "It is not dangerous, but it is an epidemic and an annoying one. Influenza may leave so many weaknesses and tendencies to graver diseases behind it." "Vigilant hut hopeful," should be thc motto on thc Little Doctor's family crest. 1 suspect that she sleeps with one eye open, in her cosey, a bit old fashioned apartment near Stuyvcsant Square, where tney sav they never know when she will come home n.r how soon she will be away oirain. Forty year? of vigilance at her post lias registered in the health and manner of living of the ilt Side. She has imprcsed the tenants willi their dutv to themselves and their children v: not living in crowded conditions. To her i due a large part ji the exodus to more sanitary portions f the city, and sur rounding country. Landlords she con fesses she has not deeply impressed save as a scold. For she admits that the ten ements are as noisome as ever, a little fouler, she thinks, this summer. Perhaps because labor is at a premium. "I notice a great deal of paper and rubbish thrown into cellars,"' she says, "and thc streets have their usual amount of littering stuff." But in Dr. Daniel's heart hope is su preme. She is hopeful of thc future be cause she has witnessd thc evolution ot the East Side in thc past "Since I began my out of door prac tice, as it is called at the infirmary, I have seen three-fourths of the population move away. The families have gone as soon as they could. Once on their feet, that is r.ut of debt, and with enough money to pay for the moving, they emigrate to more healthful environment. It is a cruel untruth that they prefer to stay on the East Side. Not one of them does. Their 'chief thought is to pay what they owe ' so that they can get to a more healthful spot to bring up their children. I know no exception to this save among parents who are so sick that thev have lost all hope." "Arc times better or worse on thc East Side since the wart" I asked. "They are better. I sec an improve - ment in the condition of most. of the fam ilies. There have been fewer evictions this year. Families have been able to pay old debts. They arc at least 'even.' That does not mean that they have any thing uhcad, but it is wealth to them to he rid of thc burden of debt. Some fam ilies are bnying Liberty bonds by paying a dollar a week for them." "You have been called the friend of the immigrant. You see no danger in the influx of strange peoples t" "I am the friend of the immigrant be cause I have watched him develop. He constitutes) no menace to this country. The -third generation of his family can he guaranteed to be a purely American type of citizen. I have watched families grow up to new standards. The first gen eration might rear its children and die in the environment of thc East Side. But thc struggle to get out of it was manifest in the second. Sometimes thc second gen eration has struggled up and out of the congestion and taken new root in The IJronx or in Staten Island or in New Jersey. But the third generation is guar anteed to live and flourish in better soil than that between thc Bowery and East River, Fourteenth stsect and Brooklyn Bridge. Boy Became Member of the Bar. "Some typical instances recur to me. T was in the Supreme Court Building one daj on some legal business. A dark eyed, dark li.-ired. oung man came up to me and said: 'You don't remember me, Dr. Daniel, but 111 never forget you. You attended my father apd mother fifteen years ago on Forsythc ktreet.' I recalled the name as soon as he mentioned it. They had been immigrants. Their battle to get on in the new land had been hard. I recalled the boy, bright eyed, energetic, keenly alert. I asked about his parents. Slowly but surely conditions had improved for them, and they had disappeared from the East Side. He told mo his father had died. "But mother is splendid.' He took a picture of her from Ids wallet and showed it to me. She was tVearing n fine silk gown and a broad collar that looked as though it were real lace. 'I'm taking care of her,' ho told me with pride. He was a lawyer with a' good practice. He was waiting to try a case in thc Supreme Court that day. I went into the court room to watch his handling of it. The Judge complimented him for the thorough manner in which he did it." "Are your patients grateful V "Nearly always. There was that young couple who married two years ago. I had attended the parents of both. They lived across a dark hall from each other, this boy and girl. She went into a store as soon as she could get working papers. So did he. Because they were intelligent and industrious both did well. Like all of the young folk of the East Side they help'ed the folks at home. They waited until they had helped their families Uito better homes and greater comfort before they became engaged. The day before they were mar ried they came to me and said : 'Dr. Dan iel, we have heard you say that you cams from Buffalo and that your parents are buried there. Will you tell us their names!' I did, and talked to them of my girlhood before I came to thc College of the Woman's Hospital. Houored Her Father and Mother. "They said they were going to Niagara Falls for their wedding tAp and that they would be sightseeing in Buffalo. While they were there thc bride wrote me that they had visited the cemetery and laid flowers on father's and mother's graves. "One day I tried to cross Fourth ave nue. Twice I had to dodge thc same au tomobile. I looked up at the driver and saw a friendly face laughing at me, and realized that thc manoeuvres of thc auto mobile were deliberate. I stopped. The man at thc wheel laughed. " 'You don't remember me, of course, Dr. Daniel. But, thirty years ago you treated my father and mother, who were poor immigrants. You may be sure I haven't forgotten you.' "You sec, if year after year I were treating the same families I might be dis couraged about tbeir progress, but X don't. Or if I had the children and grandchildren of those I used to treat lm should become despondent for the fu ture of the East Siders, but I don't. The poor immigrants of forty years ago are well to do persons and taxpayers of to day, or their children are. Every one of tlicm is worth the chance we giv? him." "What arc thc worst menaces of the East Side!" Crowds to Lessen Shortly. "The crowded and unsanitary conditions of living and home manufactures," she answered. "Since thc landlords show no signs of relenting the hope of the cmi- grant is the exodus. With more and more means of rapid transit you will sec the crowds on the East Side lessening. "The other menace of home manufac ture is harder to check. We have been trying to meet it with legislation, but the last bill was left in the committee at Al bany. Home manufacturing is serious, because wherever it exists there is sure to behild labor. Children about 3 years of ag?are kept at work for four or five hours at a stretch." "What can such a baby do that is gainful V "Sew buttoas and make artificial flowers. I had a case of a child of 3. It had suf fered in the typhoid epidemic. As soon as it was able to sit up it was put to work. Not being strong enough to sew on but tons they put it at threading needles. It threaded needles for its elders until it fainted. "I found one baby 18 months old help ing its mother make artificial flowers. The. child assorted the cut forms from which thc flowers were made. I had two eases of infantile paralysis in which both victims, though slowly dying, were at work. I remember a child of 18 months who earned 50 cents a day for its family Continued on following page.) J