Jane Addams to Florence Kelley, December 1915


Dear Sister Kelley: --

You know, perhaps, that each country connected with our "International Committee for Permanent Peace" has a permanent committee of five women who are supposed to rush to Europe the very minute the war is declared over, to begin to make arrangements for the Congress "to be held at the time and place the terms of settlement are made".

The two original people selected are Mrs. Fanny Fern Andrews and myself; to ourselves we have added Miss Balch and Mrs. Mead. The fifth place was to be filled by a Socialist or [Labor] representative and you have been elected to it by the National Board of the Woman's Peace Party of America.

These five people are all considered members of the permanent International Committee and are invited to the meetings of that body. A meeting was to have been held in December; this was postponed until the 15th of January on the supposition that I would be in Europe at that time, as of course I should have been had I sailed on the Ford ship. When they found [page 2] that I was not coming, Dr. Jacobs and other people at headquarters insisted on postponing the meeting again. I cabled the other day that possibly I might be there the last of February unless it was feasible to postpone for the annual meeting to be held in April. I have not heard from them since as to what they have decided to do.

However, it would be awfully nice if you could go to this Committee meeting, were it held either in February or April.

I think I have never told you how touched I was by your willingness to go on the Ford boat. I have seldom had anything happen to me which more truly pleased me as I knew something of your "feelins" about that boat. But it would have made all the difference in the world, of course, if you could have gone. Alice Hamilton, however, had made up her mind to sacrifice herself so I let you off then, but it would be awfully nice if you could go to the committee meeting.

Heaven only knows, of course, how near that meeting will be in point of time to the Congress to be held at the end of the war. You do believe enough, do you not, [page 3] in the whole woman's Peace effort, to want to be a member of this Committee of Five. If you do not I am sure you will be frank about it, won't you?

In the event that you would not, you would consent to be one of the twenty delegates who are to be selected with ten alternates to go over to the Congress, wouldn't you? The only other person thought of in your place was Helen [Marot] and she will be approached next if you will not go, so perhaps you will write me as soon as you can what your decision is.

I am sending you a copy of "Women at The Hague" with my love and best wishes for a "merry Christmas."

Always devotedly yours,

Jane Addams. [signed]

P.S. Are you planning to come to Washington to our meeting of the Woman's Peace Party on the 9th, 10th and 11th of January. Please do come and let's have a reunion with J. Lathrop! Please thank your daughter in law, or whoever the kind angel was, who sent me those pictures of the children. They were quite enchanting and I enjoyed them greatly.