Carrie Chapman Catt to Hannah Clothier Hull, January 30, 1925



Washington, D.C.,
January 30, 1925.
Mrs. Hannah Clothier Hull,
504 Walnut Lane,
Swarthmore, Penna.

My dear Mrs. Hull: --

I am in receipt of your letter. I only made the statement referred to in order to show what line of attack was being made by the persons attempting to discredit any and every work in the interest of peace. The anti-suffragists, through Mr. Eichelberger, some time before we got the vote, used to send out regularly all over the country a statement to the effect that Rosika Schwimmer and I organized the International League for Peace and Freedom which advocated peace at any price; that she was a German spy, and that I brought her over here. I supposed this statement was published literally thousands of times throughout the United States and put in different words. I do not know why they left Rosika Schwimmer out of the statement this time, but I thought a little clearing up of the matter might not be out of place. I did not make it as full as I would have liked.

Yes, I know it was the auxiliary -- and I stated that -- of the National Peace Party that expelled me. You are mistaken, I think, in saying that it only protested. At the time, I wrote Miss Addams that I considered that a person expelled from a local branch was literally expelled from the entire society, but that if there was any doubt about it I would withdraw and therefore cause no further embarrassment to anybody. I did not know that that group had withdrawn from the League for Peace and Freedom.

[written in left margin] ↑Begin here↓ The objection that I have to the general program of the League is that it has advocated steps which are, in my judgment, impractical and therefore mean waste motion; as, for instance, a revision of the Treaty of Versailles. Of course this was strongly urged by delegates from all the former enemy countries; [written in right margin] ↑Is it worth while to quote this?↓ but that Treaty can only be revised when the Allies give their consent, and that I am sure they will not do. It seems to me a waste of energy to protest against something which is unlikely to be changed. The general tone of the aims of the League seem to me to indicate idealism without a practical road to achieve it. My impression about the psychology of peoples is that it is best to graft on to any present state of mind a next step, and thus lead onward to the ideal. We are pretty well agreed as to the principles of what ought to be, and we know pretty well that is; but the road from the present to that future state of mind is so very controversial that it blocks our way. I wish we might all come nearer together than we are now.

If you thought that I meant in any way to discredit the League, you are greatly mistaken. [written in right margin] ↑omit↓ ↑(↓ I believe that the things which are objectionable in the League to any other Peace advocate are to be found in the fact that it has drawn to it a good many of the hysterical variety, in what Mr. Roosevelt called the "lunatic fringe," and that those speak rather too loudly for it. All movements have suffered from what has also been called their "fool friends." This would have made little difference had there not [page 2] been the Eichelberger group to continue its attack in [the] way it had found useful, and that is through discrediting individuals. Since that group attacks me, and also attacks the League, I think it is best for both of us that I am not a member of it.↑)↓ I think the League is more likely to be the power that will blaze the trail than any other group in the field, but when the trail is blazed a road must be found out of it, and the more conservative groups will have to do that.

Before the peace of the world is established, the many groups in this country now working at cross purposes will have to come together and form one great Peace movement -- of this I am certain.

Very truly yours,