Alice Thacher Post to Jane Addams, December 20, 1918


Carbon for E. G. B. from A. T. P.

2513 Twelfth Street, Washington.
December 20, 1918.

My dear Miss Addams:

I have carbon of Mrs. Spencer's letter of the 19th to you. I should judge from this that it would not be likely that I could get a passport, but nevertheless I will try as soon as I get word from you, (if I should get it,) that I am wanted as one of the "Five."

I also have carbon of Mrs. Mead's letter of 19th to you. I conclude from this that a telegram from you that I have been elected as one of the "Five" will not be enough, and that I ought to have a certification from you. I think I will not try using the telegram for the purpose, since it will probably not be sufficient, and in that case its use might be taken to mean too much of a hurry.

I have today received a letter from Miss Nichols, and I enclose a carbon of my reply. Will it not be necessary for you and Mrs. Mead to sign certifications for all the Delegates? If so, and if it should turn out that you and Mrs. Mead have to go over in a hurry after all, I suppose it would be well to have the certifications in readiness as far as possible. Later ones might be signed, I should think, by Mrs. Spencer as first Vice Chairman, and by Mrs. Karsten as Executive Secretary. If it should also turn out that I go over early I suppose Mrs. Karsten will have to take up my work as Secretary of the Delegates from the U.S.A. How does this seem to you? I am merely thinking on paper because so much has to be thought out beforehand, and perhaps you have better plans for it all.

I have received from Mrs. Karsten Miss Macmillan's cable, and am much interested. How have the Five American members voted?

I have received yours of 17th, and am returning Miss Vincent's letter and your reply, as you request. Of course the information contained in Mrs. Spencer's letter seems to make it inadvisable to hold the Annual Meeting as soon as our New York friends would like.

I also return the extract from Mrs. Kelley's letter. Of course Mr. Baker might give a different opinion now, though I have no reason to think that he would.

If I am elected I shall be glad to serve as one of the Five, and it might be easier for me to do everything (as to passports and so on) than if I were called her alternate, which I suggested, but which you do not seem to regard as necessary. But I should want it understood that I would give her place back to her whenever that seemed feasible.

You speak of a vacancy in Mrs. Kelley's place. You know we elected Miss Hamilton as her alternate. Does not Miss Hamilton wish to act? You speak of Mrs. Cothren as just coming back. Would she not be a good person?

I forwarded the Australian letter to Miss Balch as you requested.

Dear Miss Addams, I have not wanted you to get your passport any earlier than you felt it was wise to try for it, and I do not know that I am right in thinking that it would be well for as many of the Five to get over soon, as can get there. I have been only expressing a kind of urge that was in me, which was fostered by Judge Siddons's [page 2] talk with me over the telephone a little more than two weeks ago. Since then I have had the interview reported in my letter to you of the 17th. I would think that a group of women such as you and Mrs. Catt had in mind, including some of the Five as a nucleus, and especially yourself, would answer Judge Siddons's conception of what is needed. And if you applied after January 1st, wouldn't that answer very well for the plan, and also fall in with what you yourself consider the best plan in regard to your getting a passport? I do not think you ought to run any unnecessary risks as to not getting a passport. I only meant as to risks to be run, that to leave it all until spring would be to be too cautious, as it seemed to me. You suggest Mrs. Andrews and myself as a nucleus. I do not think that would do, for Mrs. Andrews does not want to be hampered with general and perhaps somewhat radical projects, and I am not known internationally, nor even among the American people over there with whom it would be necessary to affiliate.

You speak of coming about the first of January. We would be delighted to have you come here to us. If then you applied for a passport, if at that time it seemed wise to do so, and made reservations as soon as possible, you could probably get over there early in February. If as many of the Five who could go, should go with you, and a few more representative women, say like Mrs. Moore, if possible, it seems to me that it would be on the lines of Judge Siddons's suggestions, and would be [worthwhile]. Of course it looks now as if the Congress would not be held until May, and in that case some of the Five might have to come back, and some of them could not go over again. But that would give a chance to get in some new and perhaps younger blood when perhaps passports might not be so difficult to get. I do not wish to urge this. I do not know that it is wise. I am not a wise woman. I am only making suggestions as to what might possibly be done.

I am sending carbons to Mrs. Mead and Miss Balch.

Faithfully and affectionately yours,