Crystal Eastman to Jane Addams, December 26, 1916



December 26, 1916.

Miss Jane Addams,
Hull House,
Chicago, Illinois.

Dear Miss Addams:

Since coming back from the convention in Washington, I have reported both to the board and to the membership meeting your proposal that we should put in about a month in a preliminary attempt at organizing the state and then arrange with Mrs. Williams for the calling of the convention, at which officers will be elected, and the New York City Woman's Peace Party should be merged into a larger, more representative organization. In both cases the suggestion was unanimously approved, and it was agreed that we should go ahead and undertake the preliminary organization, planning to hold the convention in February.

An organization committee has been appointed by the board, of which Miss A. Evelyn Newman is chairman, and at the membership meeting it was voted to ask Mrs. Williams of Buffalo to be an ex-officio member of that organization committee.

This committee has not adopted final plans yet, but it is quite generally agreed that our plan will be to send Mrs. Lane on a short trip through the state to accomplish this preliminary organization, and we have already engaged an office assistant for her, whose presence will make this possible. I have not written Mrs. Williams yet, as I rather expected some written confirmation of our conversation in regard to <the plan.> this.

There has been a little confusion because some of the delegates returning from Washington have brought back a different impression of the action of the National Executive Board with regard to our request. As I understand it from our conversation, the answer of the National Board to our rather "simple" request that we might be made a state organization is <was> that that is of course possible, but that you would be glad to have us undertake some brief preliminary organization work through the state covering not much more than a month's time and then arrange with Mrs. Williams for the calling of the <a> state convention at some place convenient for the majority [page 2] of the members, at which there will be actual representation from different sections of the state, and at this convention to effect a state organization, elect officers, and so forth. It is further understood, I believe, that if Mrs. Williams should not call the convention after a reasonable length of time we should call it ourselves.

Although memories of a conversation are <sometimes> not reliable, I feel pretty sure I have this right, especially as Mrs. Kent gave Mrs. Lane the same account of the action of the National Executive Board in this matter.

I am anxious to write Mrs. Williams and get her [cooperation] in this plan if possible and, especially, ask her to meet at least once with our organization committee, but before I do this I think I should like to have a letter from you reassuring me that I have stated the case correctly above, or correcting it in any particular.

Mrs. Lane has <made> a special contribution of $500. <for> from the state organization and has plans for raising more if it is needed. She is eager to begin, and considering the legislative contest we have ahead of us it seems as though we should lose no time.

Mrs. Rublee tells me the hearings were exceptionally fine in Washington. I hope the whole thing was not too much for you.

Can you let me have an answer by Tuesday if possible, as our board meets on Wednesday? We should all appreciate a written word of confirmation and approval.

Very sincerely yours,

Crystal Eastman [signed]