An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Keyser, Harriette Amelia

(July 27, 1841-Oct. 9, 1936). Social reformer who lived and worked in New York City for almost a century. She was active in the labor movement and the campaign for women's suffrage. From 1896-1926 she served as executive secretary of the Church Association for the Interests of Labor (CAIL), at times also editing its journal, Hammer and Pen. She published her investigations of the working conditions and labor practices of industries ranging from New England fisheries to New York garment factories. Keyser led numerous reforms. She championed tenement house regulation and prohibition of child labor. Her books included two novels-On the Borderland, which featured the use of music as therapy for mentally ill patients, and Thorns in Your Side, which highlighted unfair labor practices. She also wrote Bishop Potter, the People's Friend, a biography of Bishop Henry Codman Potter of New York. An active member of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross, she joined other members of that society in petitioning the 1907 General Convention to involve the church more effectively in issues of social justice. This led to the appointment of the Joint Commission on Social Service.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.