Henrietta Octavia Rowland Barnett to Thomas Adams and W. Thomas Buckley, March 1, 1920



March 1st, 1920.

Dear Mr. [Adams] and Mr. Buckley,

Your cablegram, or rather Marconigram, safely arrived, and now I have your letter of January 29th seriously delayed -- with one from Miss Addams of February 3rd. First let me thank you very sincerely for all you have done, and propose to do for me, and for all the kindness which your words exhibit. I will try and repay it all by saying doing my best when I come.

If all goes well, I will hope to leave England in early September, and if I can get two berths in a boat that goes up the St Lawrence I should enjoy it. When we went round the world in the early nineties we visited California, Vancouver, the [Yosemite], and had a long, often stopping-off journey through the Rockies. It is so beautiful that it often calls to me, but I doubt if I am strong enough to do now such long journeys. You must not think from that remark that I am ill. Indeed I am what is called a "wonderful old lady", but my health and strength depend, humanly speaking, on the [organization] of time and efforts to obtain enough rest. I have received a kind invitation from a lady at Brandon who has read my book on my husband -- but I do not think I will go further west than Chicago where I should be the joyful guest of Miss Jane Addams, for I cannot imagine America without her and Hull House.

But Canada will be my first objective.

In your -- Mr Adams' -- letter of Dec. 23rd, 1919, you say "I do not doubt that we can arrange for your expenses in Canada to the extent of your railway and living expenses while in Canada"… and you add you "might be able to get some fees in addition to the actual expenses".

In your -- Mr Buckley's -- letter postscript of Dec. 16th, 1919 you say " I should think that you could earn your expenses by judicious advance managements here and proper advertising, and I should be very glad to do this with Mr Adams' [page 2] consent. This I would of course, do voluntarily as thousands of others would for you".

These words and that offer touched me deeply, and my reception last week at the International Conference reminded me of what you had said. If that offer still holds good, had we not better arrange that Miss Paterson and I arrive at Quebec about the 10th of September, and become your friends' guests until we leave Canada and go to Chicago four weeks later. During the four weeks in Canada I will lecture 6 times and have 2 weeks freedom, when of course I would live at my own expense. But I would love to again see Niagara, and see it slowly till its soul strengthens and cleans mine.

Then when I reach Chicago 4 weeks after landing at Quebec, I would propose to place myself in Mr Pond's hands and lecture 6 to 8 times as appears useful, for such fees as he deems me worthy to receive.

I would leave New York on, say the 10th of November, having had two months in the world of the future. I have friends in New York who will claim a few days of freedom.

A copy of this letter will go to Miss Addams, Mr Pond of Chicago, and Mr. P. W. Wilson of New Yok; so that you need not have the trouble, if you write to either of my friends, of repeating my proposals.

If you think that September 10th is too early to arrive I could put it all one week or ten days later, but I want to avoid the cold weather possible in November, and I want to see the "fall" [coloring] please.

I owe you one cable cost, but may I have another just saying Sept. 10th or 20th for I must take berths both to go and to return, and it all takes time. Barnett, C/o Putnam, London.

Concerning the subject of my lectures, I still think "Housing" is what I can be most useful in. But I will do as Miss Addams wishes as to the Settlements. [page 3]

As to [airplane] photographs, I was lunching with the Aircraft firm who had produced most of them, and the Director offered to take more, and me up to select them!!! but I doubt if I have enough courage to maintain sufficient intelligence to select wisely. Of the other sort of slides I have some quite good, and you have still more.

I am sending you some cuttings which Miss Paterson has prepared, but as there is only one copy will you register it to Mr Pond please.

Now I trust I have replied to all your helpful letters, and very much hoping I shall be of some use,

I am, Yours very truly,


I hear that the Very Revd John A Ryan of the Roman Catholic University, Washington is anxious to be useful.

As you will see I have suggested in Messrs Pond's letter that they should pay fees in Canada. If they accept it will make the Canadian responsibility less.