Emily Hobhouse to Aletta Henriëtte Jacobs, August 21, 1915


Aug 21. 15


Keizersgracht 467

Dear Dr Jacobs

I can't help feeling that the cable, being sent to you [today], which will greet you on yr arrival, will upset your plans & your mind and prove very disconcerting. It was extra bad that it should have been sent the very day yr card arrived from Falmouth expressing the underlined wish that we three should all remain at this post till your return. Miss Manus & Mme Hubrecht and I all did our best but without avail. You know however what yr friend Rosika is, and what she will do when her mind is made up. Miss [Macmillan] who is & should be immersed in the Report was more than half dubious but was overpowered by Frau Schwimmer's [insistence]. I cannot see how the Report can possibly be finished & the proofs corrected in time for her to start on the 28th & I fear the delay may greatly impede you. I nourish however the hope that you & Miss Addams will go your own way & disregard the cable, for from what was said it would [page 2] appear that the motive of the journey is more to make an effect on the American public than for any further contribution <of great import> that can be brought to put before Wilson.

I felt, as you can imagine aghast when it was proposed that I would stay & do the work of the office alone -- and hoping it would act as a deterrent I demurred to this & said I could not consent to work <idle> my time in an office where there was no one to direct affairs & I myself was devoid of authority. They at once obviated this difficulty by proposing to elect an assistant secretary & clothing me with official authority, and of course this does give me power to sign letters & to carry on the work with greater confidence, & I hope all will be found in good order by yr return. However before I was elected to the executive the question of this joint journey to U.S.A. [page 3] was put to the vote -- 2 voted for it & 2 against. Then, as this decided nothing, it was proposed that Rosika who was Chairman should have a second vote & in this way I believe it was carried. Mrs Ramondt was present but had no vote, and my opinion which was asked was given against but was of course valueless.

Not only does it necessitate doing the Report in a hurried way, but it is another heavy cost -- yet to my mind neither of those is so important a drawback as the fact that you & Miss Addams may be seriously upset in your plans and delayed. My hope is you won't change or delay or modify your plans.

I am writing late in bed & very tired so please pardon incoherence.

Hoping you rested well en voyage.

Yours affectly

Emily Hobhouse