Alice Thacher Post to Jane Addams, March 17, 1917

2513 Twelfth Street, Washington.
17 March, 1917.

My dear Miss Addams:

Both Mrs. Thomas and I saw Mrs. Spencer's letter before it reached you as she sent it via Mrs. Thomas. I thought and still think that the activities she attributed to you in Washington as a result of her newspaper reading had reference to the emergency committee reported in the papers as being sent from the peace groups which met in New York on the 22nd and 23rd of February. I do not think you have been reported as working with the Emergency Committee which has headquarters in the Munsey Building, since its parade and mass meeting when they first came. We have heard but little from them lately. We understand they are retrenching and are about to give up two of their rooms, and I had heard that Mr. Lochner had been here very little. After receiving your letter I went to their rooms to call on Mr. Lochner if he should be there. A Miss Muller was there representing Miss Freeman who was up at the Capitol. Neither, I think are regular peace people but have been drafted into the service in haste. Mr. Lochner had been in New York for a week and his mail was piling up. They did not know when he would come back. The stenographer had been dismissed for lack of funds, or at least for economic reasons. They had been putting out some printed matter that some gentleman who happened in, Miss Muller did not know his name, had written for them.

The other letter I delivered to the Union against Militarism.

I am all over my grip but have not yet got my strength. Thank you very much for asking so kindly. I am so very glad you yourself are in a place <where> you can look for your last steps toward recovery. Perhaps you will want to be well soon. Doesn't it look as if the war would have to end soon? The news from Russia has made Louis and me happier than anything since the war began. On the surface the Russians wanted the change because of the inefficiency and pro-Germanism of the bureaucracy, but when the [page 2] Germans take heart from this to rise against their own dynasty, and when English Liberalism feels strengthened by the falling of Junkerdoms over seas, we may look for "peace by negotiation" as the English Liberals call it.

I am going to enclose a fine editorial from a London Nation now old, but which I only happened to read a few days ago. They call the thing we all want "a peace by contentment," and they have such a strong sense that freedom for energy is needed for contentment.

Now as for what we are to do here in Washington. As you know, Congress is called for a month from now. In face of that fact we here have thought it best to keep our little office in the Munsey Building and the telephone, but we can give either up on a month's notice, or perhaps less. I am very hopeful that Mrs. Thomas will be sent back. She has been of incalculable value here; she is simply wonderful. And I believe that it will be very important for here to be here. I understand that Mr. Hallinan thought the Woman's Peace Party ought to send Mrs. Thomas through the South to counteract Mr. Taft's speeches there. It is natural that he should think so for that kind of work is all in the day's work for the Union against Militarism, but I don't think it is so much our job as the kind of thing that is likely to lie before us right here in Washington this spring. For one thing, if it looks as if after all there were influences being exerted to get Congress to declare war I think we might try to get a perfectly immense simple expression against war by postal cards asking just one [straight] question, from as much of the West as we could get money to cover. For another, if war should be declared against us by Germany, we might find we could do a great deal of work against our <the U.S.> making any alliances with the Entente powers, both in Congress and through the country. And [there] will of course be other things. So I hope that if Mrs. Thomas can possibly be spared from Chicago, and if she can with any propriety as far as her own comfort and health are concerned see her way clear to coming to us again, we shall have the privilege of having her with us when Congress meets April 16th. I am going to send her a carbon of this letter, also carbons to Mrs. Mead and Mrs. Spencer.

Faithfully yours,

Alice Thacher Post [signed]