Anna Garlin Spencer to Jane Addams, April 27, 1920

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

7 High St White Plains N. Y. April 27th 1920

My dear Miss Addams, Miss Breckinridge and Miss Abbott

I arrived at my home late last evening rather the worse for wear but feeling glad for the successful meeting at Chicago.

I wrote you, Miss Addams, a note on the cars but could not get a stamp or [envelope] on the train and hence mailed it after arrival in N.Y. City.

↑I↓ want to rewrite the main points lest my hasty pencil-marks should be illegible.

In thinking over [our] discussions and reviewing the conditions I wish to advise strongly not only the effort to secure the acceptance by Mrs Leach of the Chairmanship but also the joint listing of Mrs Thomas and Miss Rankin for the office of Executive Secretary.

I wrote it as follows: --


Mrs Henry G. Leach New York City


Mrs Lucy Biddle Lewis Lansdowne Penna.

Treasurer and Chairman of Finance Committee

Mrs Marion B Cothren New York City

Executive Secretaries: --

Mrs Harriet P Thomas (Resident in Washington D.C.)

Miss Jeannette Rankin, Montana, (Field Organizer)

Office Secretary, Mrs [↑x x x↓] Allender with name of street and number of office at Washington D.C.

Then a list of Regional Vice Chairman: --

(something like this)

The Middle Eastern States, Mrs Hannah Clothier Hull

The New England States, Miss Helena Dudley or Mrs Charles Bond, Boston Mass

The Southern States, Mrs Frederick Taussig, St Louis Mo.

The Middle Western States, Mrs Frederick Holt, Detroit Mich.

The North Western States [illegible]

Miss Jeanette Rankin or some one she may select

The Pacific Coast States, Mrs C. E. Cumberson California,

If Mrs Kent elects her husband, and Mrs Leach should desire it very much, she ↑[illegible]↓ could take the Chairmanship as a resident of Washington for much of the year and in any case could act as the special representative at the Headquarters. She might be now listed as [from] California and Washington, [page 2] among the Regional Vice Chairmen.

I said in my letter from the train that I felt we should not ask Miss Rankin to be Chairman, both because we should not ask her to serve without any compensation (as it was agreed the Chairman should do in accord with custom) and also because she should be in a position which she would feel free to leave at once should it transpire that she could again seek office in a political campaign. We want her back in some official ↑[political]↓ position and she should serve ↑us↓ only in such capacity as would admit of a flexible adjustment to that end. At the same time we want as much aid from her as we can get during any free time she may have and in some position that indicates our appreciation of the importance of her contribution. It seemed to me that to bracket her with Mrs Thomas as Executive Secretary would give both the flexibility and the dignity of position and would at the same time make it easier for Mrs Thomas to feel she could undertake the responsible position.

To offer Miss Rankin $100. a month and expenses is of course not what we should be able to do but considering the high cost of travel all we would ↑dare↓ at this point. To offer Mrs Thomas $100. per month, with only the appropriation of expenses for short trips and as occasion seemed to demand, is also adequate, but since she would at first be mostly in Washington where she would like to be and expenses of living there are less than in N.Y. she might be glad to begin in that small way.

We can properly make arrangements for six months with each of these. I think, [although] I am sure that in the case of Mrs Thomas, who is not likely to have a rival opportunity of political election, it will be a permanent task for peace and freedom.

To offer Mrs Allender $125. per month in accordance with Mrs Kent’s suggestion seems small for whole time, but as it must ↑be↓ for a year at [page 3] least and the office expense must be reckoned in, it seems all we can now pledge.

I do not think the Washington office should be attached to any other peace or protest organization. We have enough to carry on our own account. Some small room should be obtained quite independently and the [furnishing] will be a small matter for the local people to provide.

I feel much gratified with our meeting at Chicago. On return I learned from Mrs Karsten that we are now 445 in numbers and memberships coming in each day.

The demonstration that a “will to live” was all we needed to revive after the war’s submergence is now so clear that I feel no doubt of our ability to secure the funds needed for a really effective American Section.

I am sorry that I was so croaky at Chicago. It is so uncommon an experience to have anything the matter with my voice that it seemed to me I was placing a heavy burden upon my hearers.

But I have carried our banner to Detroit, to Syracuse, to Buffalo, to Boston, to [Providence], to New Jersey in several towns, to many groups in New York and Brooklyn (quite outside of any frictional area in N.Y.), to Phila., to Washington D.C., to two towns in Illinois, to six Club meetings as incidental mention, and have written many letters at home to ease Mrs Karstens work. The returns from these all ↑too↓ small efforts have been so promising that I am sure had I had twice the strength, time and money I had at command, I could have doubled easily the returns of the present memberships.

I have made charge for only a small portion of the expense incurred in travel and postage etc but we should I believe establish as soon as possible the precedent of full travel expense for the Chairman, as that makes it ↑is↓ difficult for people to serve as long as we would like them to do unless they are wealthy, if they add to their time and strength expenditure, much money.

I thank all the friends in Chicago for their hospitality and am especially grateful to Mrs Lloyd for her fine and generous service of preparation for the meeting and [management] of its details.

↑With constant regards↓,

Anna Garlin Spencer [signed]