Jane Addams to Rosika Schwimmer, February 18, 1916



Feb. 18, 1916

My dear Madam Schwimmer: --

It was a very great pleasure to have letters directly from you, from Mr. Lochner and from Miss [Wales].

Please do not think that we have been [misled] by the newspaper stories. There have been all kinds of course but they are getting better as the most substantial members of the party are returning and I think we are able to understand the situation fairly well, with all its trials and difficulties.

I wish I could take your advice to come to Europe and stay in a good climate where I might still be available, but it is not only a matter of climate -- it is active treatment and I am being sent on to different physicians with whom Dr. Herrick is in correspondence. I have had a relapse here and I am quite convinced it would be folly for me to try to leave the country now. There is nothing "diplomatic" about this illness -- it is unfortunately genuine. If it were a matter of nerves or a general breakdown I could perhaps delay [illegible] <treatment,> but it is a perfectly well defined organic trouble. However, I hope to sail in April, although if the International Committee could be postponed until May, I would be more certain of my movements. I hope very much arrangements can be made between Miss Balch and myself to hold one of the positions and that she will be able to get away within the next few weeks. I was very much chagrined about the misunderstanding of my cablegram. It was sent from the hospital before the diagnosis had been completed [page 2] when I expected to sail on the Rotterdam on Dec. 28th. I stated that <and> in the same cablegram asked the Committee meeting to be postponed until the 15th of January and then added "until then keep the International Committee distinct from Ford enterprise". When the cable was sent, in the interests of brevity, the words "until then" were left out, but the conclusion was perfectly obvious that we could do nothing until the meeting was held. I would not have stated even than if I had not been so prominently identified with the <Ford> expedition and feared it might lead to inconvenience <misunderstanding> simply because I was chairman of the Woman's International Conference. The statement in the little paper "The Internationaal" issued Jan. 1st 1916, it seems to me makes my position quite clear. I have never for a minute wavered in my desire to be of service to the Ford expedition, and I think I have had various opportunities in Washington and elsewhere to help public opinion in regard to it.

As I have had no communication with Mr. Ford about his gift to the International Committee, I had never written nor cabled anything about it. I hope, as you suggest, to have an opportunity to talk it over with you. It would make an enormous difference, of course, in the value of our Congress at the "peace settlement" if we could have enough money for publications and other such expenses. The fact that his gift was cabled to Europe seems to me ought to hold it, irrespective of what any individual may have said or done afterwards. I am sure you know how sympathetically we have followed the difficulties of your way and how hard it has been for me to have been out of it all. It seems to me there is no time of my life when I [page 3] would rather not have had such a severe illness, but apparently I was given no choice in the matter.

With all sorts of good wishes, I remain,
Faithfully yours,

Jane Addams. [signed]

P.S. -- I shall be very grateful for any material you may send me, both for my own knowledge and edification, and also because I may be able occasionally to straighten out misunderstandings.