June 12th, 1922.
Dear J. A.:
You will have had my telegram but of course there are many more things that I wish to say. I called up Graham Taylor as soon as I got here and he begged me to come at once to his office to talk with him and Allen Burns. I found them both very eager about the whole matter, indeed I think that Graham has done little else during the past six weeks but push it and in a very able and disarming way. I am afraid that Edith Abbott has made the situation much more difficult but probably by now she realizes that. At any rate if she does not I am sure Julia Lathrop could make her see it.
It seems that the people who have [been] [backing] ↑bombarding↓ Homer Folks were doing so because they were opposed to Mary Richmond, not as president for [any] ordinary year, but as not big enough for this anniversary year. Allen Burns is one of them and then G. Taylor went to him and spoke of you he said at once that they would be for you and that Homer Folks would keep in the field as a sort of blind, ready to throw his support to you on the convention floor. Miss Richmond, apparently, wants it very much and is not ready to surrender anything yet, but if it comes to [a] question between you and her, they feel she will, from sheer good sense and hope for a second chance, give way to you. They say the feeling in favor of a man as against a woman is negligible and although Mr. Parsons and a few others are not for you, they are for Folks and will be met by the withdrawal of their chief, without any prominent candidate to put in at the last moment. Mr. Folks understands perfectly and they are careful to see that Mr. Parsons does not. If at the last moment things in Providence should turn out unfavorably, someone could be instructed to withdraw your name. They think that nothing hostile would be allowed to happen, and they say so many people feel that your name is the one [to give] prestige to this [anniversary] meeting and to bring in the [wider] interests of the Conference. Alan Burns says Barry Smith of the Commonwealth Fund is for you.
Could you come on about that time, perhaps to Boston where you could camp out with me at 227, or with [Katharine] Taylor at the Henry Copley Greene’s house in Cambridge, or if you did not want to be so near, you could stay in Hadlyme, just two and a half hours away. And meantime, if you are willing, aren’t you, to authorize G. T. And A. B. to go ahead, promising not to withdraw for the time being. They have filled me with confidence so that I too am eager to have you take the [page 2] risk, or rather I am convinced that the risk is very small. Mr. Burns says that on his committee you are first choice to Norton of Detroit, [Bookman] of Cincinnati, Alex. [Fleisher] and John Shillady and of course himself. The new member of [G.] Taylor’s committee, Alice Waldo who took Vida Clark’s place and who, Edith Abbott insisted should not be allowed to vote, is for you. Homer Folks has been in it from the beginning solely in order to keep Mary Richmond from getting it and will be only too glad to have you chosen. The one thing they want is for you to let them go on, no, they also want you in the east, near enough to get at. I shall be in Boston anyway and can do any sort of chore down in Providence that was needed.
Of course this is all [deadly] confidential. I am sending a copy to Julia and I do hope Graham’s telegram and letter will persuade her to come on too. There is very little time left, because Mr. Parsons has so far refused to let it be generally known that former presidents could be considered, so that many delegates have not been informed except [personally] and may not have thought of you. This [works against his candidates] and was not [done] in malice, only in stupidity.
[Do let me] know at 227 Beacon Street what you think of it all and I will promise to write you whatever I hear.
If you will come to Providence we will go down together and see if we can help swing it. Graham is sure you can. He and Allen Burns said exactly what you did, that it is the psychological moment for J. A. to come back and "give the social movement in the United States a statesmanlike presentation." Don’t tell her, but Roberts [Archey] Woods is acting just like Mrs. Bowen and G. Taylor is as mad about it as you are about L. deK. B. But both men are sure they can win through, especially with Mr. Folks taking this friendly attitude.