This memo reported
on an ongoing investigation by the U.S.
Children’s Bureau of the Sunshine Nursery in Kensington,
Memorandum for Miss Lathrop:
Miss Emery called yesterday morning and was here for three hours.
She spoke of Miss Washington’s place being quite a dreadful
place and I asked her to be specific and wrote down her statements
and read them back to her. They are as follows:
Screens inadequate. Many flies. Most of the babies’ beds
were built with screens, however.
One little child was tied in bed.
A filthy rug was noticed by Miss Emery on a bed. She lifted it
and found a baby beneath it. The housekeeper said the rug had been
put there because the baby would not sleep in the light.
While Miss Emery was at this nursery from one to five o’clock
on Monday July 15th, she said only one pillow was changed.
The nose and mouth of one child were covered with a mass of flies.
The children had no playthings.
An uncovered slop jar on the porch afforded the only toilet facility
for the children.
Miss Emery asked for water for the little girl in whom she is interested.
The housekeeper said, “We do not give water because water
poisons the children.”
Miss Emery said she picked up the little girl, Catherine, in whom
she is interested and her legs were numb. She said this little child
15 months old was chaffed and bruised as though it had been whipped.
Miss Emery told the housekeeper the little girl needed a bath and
the housekeeper said she did not. Miss Emery asked for water to
bathe the child and the housekeeper refused to give it to her, saying
that all their water had to be heated in a kettle.
The little girl in whom Miss Emery is interested was given a cup
of milk to drink. Miss Emery noticed that the milk was cold (just
off the ice) and asked that it be heated. The tin cup was put upon
the stove and in a few moments the housekeeper gave it to the child
and burned the child’s lips with it. . . .