Rosika Schwimmer to Jane Addams, January 1, 1915

Hotel McAlpin
Greeley Square
New York City

New York, Jany. 1, 1915.

Miss Jane Addams,
Hull House,
Chicago, Ill.

My dear Miss [Addams]:

After a fine rest in Wyoming I came to New York, and to the Hotel McAlpin, which will be my permanent headquarters during my stay in this country.

Having heard from Mrs. Catt all the amazing news of the Militants of Washington, <who> though they promised cooperation, are now exploiting the whole thing as their own affair, and seeing from the London paper of Mrs. Pethick Lawrence (Votes for Women) that she informs the world of a start of a "Militant Peace Movement," I feel that I should not cooperate with a movement in which I have to be either insincere or fighting my fellow-workers, or compromising or doing anything that is not straight or do anything that is not straight, clearly and cleanly for the sake of humanity, for the sake of real and safe peace. I think as my line and my work has been pretty unsuccessful, -- because I cannot count it as a success when people tell me that they never heard better speeches and things like that, -- I felt I had better retire and keep away. I try now to harden myself against the terrible things that happen <in Europe> every moment. I will sit here until I have made enough money to be able to go home, and I think it is best when I go that I take my part in the sufferings of my fellow-Europeans. I feel absolutely hopeless because I see that the world has not learned anything from this terrible disaster. The people who have personal ambitions and private interests have exploited this horror so as to be of personal use to them, and those who are filled with the pains and ugliness of this disaster have no longer an raison d'ĂȘtre. I do not believe any more in Womans Suffrage if suffragists can do what the militants are doing now, to make a farce of the greatest tragedy the world ever saw. I cannot be an actor in this play. I am physically perfectly rested so my pessimism is purely a mental one and not the result of being tired, which would soon pass away. I am sure it <my standing aside> will also be a great relief to all of you who felt that you owed me the meeting at Washington. I think I shall now make a report to those countries which commissioned me to come over and tell them [page 2] that I have stopped working. It is surely breaking my heart but I cannot avoid seeing that there is no sense in my going on. I did not want to wait until I returned to Chicago to tell you this because I suppose you are preparing your program for the Washington meeting where I was supposed to speak, so that you may know in advance that I shall not take part in the work at Washington. At the same time I think I shall be there for the meeting, but only as a reporter for European papers, and will only beg for a press ticket for the meeting with a seat at the press table.

I hear from Mrs. Catt that the Washington Militants have resolved to have the business meeting, that we in Chicago meant to have after the Public Meeting on Monday, on Saturday before the public meeting. I am sure that Miss Thomas from Bryn Mawr will not be able to attend this meeting as she has to preside at a meeting on Saturday evening at her College where I am to speak.

I have Press clippings from all over the country and <publishing> [dispatches] from Washington quoting me as having said the silliest things on earth; for instance, that I myself said that I was bringing "the most startling plans to end the war," and that "I selected a Committee" to be sent over to Europe, and very naturally some of these papers remarked that it was the best way for me to receive notoriety and get my name printed. I wish I could find the source in Washington from which these [dispatches] emanated. Any way, with all the European [pain] in your mind and in your heart, it is a little too much to bear this also, so you will understand my motives in leaving a work which, obviously, [will]  [illegible] <goes in directions which my conscience does not allow me to follow.>

With very best wishes, I am,

Cordially yours,

Rosika Schwimmer [signed]

By mistake I took with me your copy of Jus Suffragii, which I am returning under separate cover.