Nancy Lucas Turner Pope to Jane Addams, June 30, 1917


<Denver Col.>

June 30th

1119 Pearl Street

My dear Miss Addams --

A few weeks before war was declared I ventured to write to you, and your secretary replied to me as you were in Washington. I take the liberty of writing again, because I cannot rest under the responsibility of aiding this awful crime by my passivity. I feel that, in a Democracy, no one of us can free his or her conscience until they have done [page 2] their "bit" towards peace & some kind of justice. Every nation has given its peace terms, and, all but Russia seem as grasping as when the carnage began. Can not we women, under your leadership, demand respect freely and decidedly that our terms of peace be given now, today?

I voted for President Wilson and have followed him with faith and hope but can a President do anything unless his people show that they [page 3] want it?

Even the Russian people, under the most autocratic government in the world secured peace when they would have it.

Every conscientious individual feels afraid of his own [judgment] and his own will in a time like the present. Every mother fears to deflect her son from the line of duty, or to play upon a conscience which is his, not less.

It has, therefore, occurred [page 4] to me that perhaps the women who were not mothers were more free to act than those whose vision was clouded by their personal equation.

There are hundreds of women, throughout the country, who only need a clear cut command to have the courage to adopt a definite stand. It is not only the suffering they fear for their boys, it is the unspeakable sin. If our men have protected us it seems to me that we owe them protection now. [page 5] They are afraid of being called "cowards" & "shirkers" and their conscience is played on, just as in old times women's maternal conscience was said to make them "bear & bear again" under every kind of hideous environment. While every day we delay action, one of our sons dies of thirst or the [agony] of loneliness [or] [illegible]. Emma Goldman is, unfortunately, too associated with doubtful enterprises to accomplish [page 6] much, but your character is such that your word carries weight -- all of us who feel a kinship with your ideals look towards you.

For myself, I am growing hysterical with inaction & futilities. So I take my courage & write you.


Nancy Turner Pope

Mrs Horton Pope