Lucia Ames Mead to Alice Thacher Post, November 17, 1917

19 Euston St. Brookline, Mass.
Nov. 17, 1917

My dear Mrs. Post,

In reply to your letter of the 15th I write to say that the Tentative Program drawn up last summer was laid aside on the last afternoon of our Conference and a short one hurriedly substituted which contained the sentence which I am glad to see you agree with me would better be omitted. I enclose to you a copy of our full statement and you will recall it no [doubt.] I had supposed that a copy had been sent to you.

I am very sorry that you can not go as far as I did in the additional statement that I think we ought to propose. I wish that you and Mrs. Spencer [would reach for something?] for substitute and send it at once to each of us. I assure you that the situation here is serious. Unless we come out pretty strongly in supporting the government and showing that we are loyal, you will see after the annual meeting that in Massachusetts our branch will either vote to withdraw or else will lose its most influential members who chiefly sustain it. We could hardly raise money for a secretary to say nothing of rent and other matters if we were to be left without this support. All are most conscientious and devoted women and would hate very much to have to take such steps, but they look at the whole matter somewhat differently from what we do.

I think it very desirable that some statement be made in regard to the Randolph Bourne pamphlet that it was not issued with our stamp as in any way committing the organization to its point of view. Personally, I stand midway between two extremes and do not feel that I can satisfy either.

Mrs. Evans has drawn up some resolutions that she will present to our Mass. board and will send to Miss Addams. They are [shrewdly] worded and I hope will satisfy all, but I think in addition to the resolutions, our statement should say something more than we put into it. [page 2]

You say that you do not think that we should call any people in the world such hard names as I did. I was careful to say "forces" and "despotic power". I might just as well have said government. I distinguish as does Pres. Wilson between the German people and the Pangermanists and the Tirpitz, [Hindenburg] authorities. I do not think it is "playing to the galleries" for us to make it unmistakable that we call the Prussian policy ruthless and despotic. At this time when people are so hysterical, one must not stand on one's dignity too much and take it for granted that they will understand. For the sake of our work we may have to be more explicit than we should need to be under ordinary circumstances.

I should not urge all this did I not feel much amazed and grieved over the prospect here. Our printed statement is considered weak and dodging the issue.

Hoping to hear from both you and Mrs. Spencer to whom with you and Miss Addams, I send copies of [this] letter.

I remain yours, cordially,

Lucia Ames Mead. [signed]