Burt R. Shurly to the Detroit Clergy, May 21, 1924


Copy of circular letter sent to the clergymen of Detroit by Dr Burt R. [Shurly].

For several years since the war, I have quietly subdued my feelings and carefully watched and investigated some of the peculiar antics of a collection of women whose evident nervous and mental commotion would sanely classify them scientifically among the border-line insane members of our so-called human family and who have not succeeded yet in entering one of the large asylums.

These women under some extraordinary and peculiar internal irritation are now traveling about the country with a propaganda that nearly approaches treason that those of us who have spent some of our time and energy in [defense] of this country feel that the day has come when work of this kind should be prohibited.

I refer to a group of members who call themselves the Womans International League for Peace and Freedom, who are now touring the country in a special car to relieve their nerve tension, and who plan to arrive in Detroit about June first and start some of their performances that are certainly intended viciously and maliciously to interfere with the work of the Patriotic Societies of this country.

If this country is endeavoring to carry out the wise council of George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt -- "In time of peace prepare for war" -- the time has come to act promptly -- if our city is to be invaded by those who would disturb law and order and who would render the country defenseless under some delusion of a collection of queer minds.

I believe it is time that the Patriotic Societies of the City and those who believe in the [defense] of this country before danger overwhelms us should rally round the flag and expel those wild women from our city before their [propaganda] and activities appear.

According to their statement they will come to Detroit and elsewhere to collect funds for a special campaign for action on World Peace in the State of every doubtful Senator and Congressman.

I believe that these people should not be allowed to stage any meetings that are fully intended to disrupt and destroy the proper functioning of all organizations that have to do with the [defense] of our country and the preservation of our Constitution.

Will you not take some definite action and join me in a public notification that they are not wanted here?

Very truly yours

Burt R. Shurly
Colonel Medical Reserve Corps
Commander -- Detroit Chapter Military Order of the World War.