Lucia Ames Mead to Jane Addams, July 13, 1915


July 13th, 1915.

Miss Jane Addams,
553 -- 5th Ave.,
New York City.

My dear Miss Addams: --

I am sending this to New York to be forwarded, as I am not quite sure whether you are at Bar Harbor.

Let me congratulate you on the magnificent audience that greeted you and on your words of wisdom. I am awaiting eagerly your revised copy of them, that I may incorporate them in the little book which has been so long delayed. I shall probably include also your address at The Hague, unless both of these prove too long. Each writer is to have about 3,000 words.

I [regretted] at your meeting that no resolutions were presented, though I suppose it was thought best by the Committee to be cautious in view of the German note about to appear, but I feel that at every such great meeting the opportunity should not be missed to send the audience away with the understanding that there is something definite to do and work for.

I wish that Professor [Kirchwey] had said a strong ringing word about the immediate program which we should all have in mind. This seems to me to be opposition to war preparations, at least until the war is over, and universal study of constructive work for permanent peace. I hope that at your meeting in Chicago and other meetings some resolutions of this kind may be presented even if nothing is said about calling the neutral nations or in regard to mediation. I feel that the public need a program. They need to have those who have had most experience in the peace work tell them definitely that there is something to do and what it is.

I was sorry that Mr. [Kirchwey] said such a censorious word about the League to Enforce Peace. It seems to me it has accomplished a great end already in getting such [reactionary] men as President Lowell enlisted in doing something positive and progressive, for six months ago his mind was in chaos and he deprecated anyone doing anything. I cannot see how Professor [Kirchwey] can maintain that under any circumstances this League of Peace would lead to further armament. I was especially disturbed because he is such a good and important man and we need his support. I thought that Mr. London's contribution was an anti-climax and was sorry that Mrs. Benedict arranged for him.

Since our meeting, I have consulted with various people in regard to her judgment and abilities and am convinced that while she is an able, good, enthusiastic woman, she has given very little study to this question and is such an extreme [page 2] socialist that she cannot greatly help the movement. I wish very much that we had such a woman as Miss Neuman, who is Mr. Lynch's secretary, a Vassar graduate, and who Mr. Lynch would be willing to relinquish for that purpose, Mrs. Andrews says, who, if put in Mrs. Benedict's place, could be a powerful force.

In thinking over our discussion about Mrs. Benedict's desire to be Chairman, I wondered whether she really was desirous to be State Chairman, which was the only matter that we had a right to discuss officially, as the City organization will doubtless select its own Chairman if Mrs. Pinchot resigns. Miss Wald and some others feel that Mrs. Whitehouse would be the best woman, if we can wait until the suffrage question is settled in November.

I have just been discussing with Mrs. Evans the very serious condition of our National Treasury. She does not see where we are to look for any more funds and spoke of your statement to her in the spring that possibly our organization would not prove permanent but might merge into the work of the Emergency Committee. I feel that all our Peace Organizations are at present in a very unsettled state. The American Peace Society is looking for an able head. I may say confidentially that it has been suggested by some of the Carnegie Foundation that Mr. David J. Hill might be asked to be either a highly paid Secretary or perhaps the President. I understand the Carnegie Foundation would be willing to give more money if some prominent man could be secured to put it on a strong basis. It is evident that we must have another organ than the Peace Advocate.

The League of Peace idea is to be presented to all the Chambers of Commerce through the country and I surmise that Mr. Filene will finance this. The World Court idea is to be presented in various large cities, as was done some weeks ago at Cleveland. How this is to be financed I do not know. In addition to our own Woman's Peace Party there is, as you know, the Christian Woman's Party which is working along its own lines and has, I understand, declined to unite with us on account of our suffrage plank.

These different movements make our own Party's efforts to secure funds more difficult, as those who are already interested in the peace cause and are giving in other directions cannot be relied on to support us. Mrs. Evans said that you did not seem much disturbed in regard to the matter of funds and she thought that possibly you knew of some resources that we did not, but I hardly think this is so. If it is, I shall be most thankful.

Miss Hyers wrote me asking what was to be our plan of action and I replied that I could not speak officially until after our Executive session. We had no time then to consider it but it seems to me that it should be formulated as soon as possible. I wrote to her that my own feeling was there were two lines of action for us to press. One was the calling a halt in increase of war preparations, at least until the war is over. The other is the call for the neutral nations. This call has already gone out from the Chicago headquarters, though not worded exactly as I should have preferred. The assurance which is printed at the head that "your signature will help stop the war" seems to me not valid and I am not at all sure at this time that we want all the neutral nations called.

I enclose report of our session which, as I say, was, without precedent, informal, as I think we took no vote on anything. [page 3]

Hoping that you are at last getting a little much needed rest and that you will be able to send me your address in a very few days, I remain

Yours most cordially,

Lucia Ames Mead [signed]