Henrietta Octavia Rowland Barnett to Jane Addams, June 19, 1920



June 19th, 1920.

To Miss Jane Addams,

My dear Friend,

I have been so rushed at home that I have come here for a few days to try and get quiet, and among the things I want to do in my quiet days is to write to you.

First, second, third, let me thank you for all you have done for me. I fear I shall not be worth all your efforts, but I am not ungrateful. Evidently Messrs Pond do not think me worth while and I quite agree with him! I always agree with the people who don't think much of me. But his not taking me on will not prevent me coming, though you know, I shall have to consider expenses very carefully.

I have taken the tickets for Marion Paterson and myself for the "Megantic" sailing from Liverpool on September 4th for Quebec. Dr. Helen Boyle and her Secretary, Miss Hingston are going also as you know.

We get out at Quebec from whence Mr Thos. Adams and Mr Buckley will be so kind as to befriend me. We go up the St Lawrence where I shall lecture on Housing at various places, and reach the Federation of Settlements somewhere near [Buffalo] on September 25th. After that we shall go to Niagara and enjoy it, and then go to Toronto where I speak in relation to the new Town Planning Association of which Mrs Hamilton writes me. The date is uncertain [page 2] but after that is over, we plan to come to you and spend a few days in your house, and sitting at your feet. We should also dearly like to have, if only one night, with Miss McDowell at her work house. Then we shall go back by degrees to New York and Boston and leave New York about November 11th.

All this may be altered if Messrs Pond take me over and when I hear. I have seen Mr Thos. Adams who will advise me on all Canadian invitations, and try and get me free passes on the railway.

I have seen Mr [Elliott], the Chairman of the Federation of Settlements who gave me much advice and offered help. I have seen Mr and Mrs [Veiller] of New York who invited us to stay with them. They heard me speak, and think I have something to say to the Americans, but he says that October and early November are bad times, as the big election will be on, and women will be specially taken up by it, and won't want more lectures.

As this is so I expect I had better be useful in Canada rather than in America. Mr [Veiller] also advised that I place such offers of lectures as I am prepared to give, in the hands of the Federation of Women's Clubs. I think I am an Honry member of that as I often hear from their officers. Mr [Veiller] also begged me not to accept anything like all the invitations to speak which I shall get, and also to try and stay with people, not in Hotels which he said were noisy and tiring for my 69 years. He seemed to think that for me to [see] rich and important people who could do housing schemes if they were roused to do so, would be more useful than promiscuous lecturing. He said there was also an anti-English feeling and that I was unknown in the U.S.A. which would both militate against my getting good audiences. He at the same time is most wishful that I should do what I [page 3] can to awaken people to ideals on housing, but he said there was a feeling that they did not want to be taught by England, and I should need much tact and also knowledge of American conditions.

All this points to rather a different tour than what I at first planned. More pleasure, less work, more freedom to go where I am asked, and to see beauty.

One friend suggests that I tell [everyone] about the Institute as a necessary part of town extension, and dwell on education. However! we shall see. Let me again thank you dear, dear. We are looking forward very very much to it all.

Ever yours with love and reverence,

P.S. Dr Helen Boyle has been to see me since this letter was written. Yes! certainly she will speak without pay, and has much to say on the early treatment of mental cases, information which all settlement workers should have. She also has been to Serbia war nursing and doctoring, and would lecture [with] slides on that sad subject. She is a very alive woman.