Ada Lois James to Jane Addams, May 28, 1912


May 28, 1912.

Miss Jane Addams,
Hull House,
Chicago, Ill.

Dear Miss Addams:

As a member of the National Board and the Illinois board you ought to have facts and figures relating to our campaign.

We are obliged to file monthly statements so graft is impossible, as Miss Wagner knows. At present we are employing eight workers,

Mrs. Benedict at $166.66 -- Campaign Manager,
Miss Flora Gapen 108.00 -- Office Manager,
Miss Alice Curtis, 100.00 -- Organizer,
Miss Mabel Judd, 75.00 -- Organizer,
Miss Sarah James, 50.00 -- Organizer,
Mrs. Rex McCreery, 50.00 -- Organizer,
Miss Sharpe, 45.00 -- Stenographer,
Miss Iverson, 25.00 -- Stenographer,

These young women are capable and inspire confidence, best of all they are gentlewomen and strong praise follows in their wake wherever they go. They have definite plans and always succeed in raising the money to carry out their plans, -- last month our contributions amounted to $1,424.45 [our] expenses to $1,013.36. Our postage alone the last three or four months averages $85.00 a month. Last month our order for literature to distribute amounted to $157.05 this did not include $17.00 worth of Woman's Journals, or the bulletin.

Miss Curtis, Miss Judd and Miss Gapen resigned good positions as teachers to work in the Campaign. Miss Curtis received $120.00 a month and they offered her an extra $300.00 a year to remain. Really she is giving much to the campaign.

I may be all wrong in the way I look at [the] question, but this is my point of view.

Men would not carry on a state wide campaign and depend on intermittent volunteer help. They employ experts -- and pay them well, asking for substantial contributions from those who can best give financial support. This work calls for the expenditure of more nervous energy and enthusiasm than any other kind of work, there is no getting away from it. It is on our minds night and day, and although I am not one of the women drawing a salary -- I know those who do, more than earn every dollar -- besides the [page 2] men and women who are contributing, seem to prefer to have the work handled in a business like way.

Mrs. Benedict was the first woman we employed on a salary -- I had been told she had great ability and we urged her to accept the position of Campaign Manager. I knew that I was not capable of running a campaign, the most I could do was to find women specially fitted for the various positions -- and I have succeeded beyond my expectations and they take entire charge of the field. I do not think it would have been possible to have found a finer group of women. We are to be congratulated on every name on our stationery.

Mrs. Benedict, Mrs. Youmans, Miss Curtis and Miss Judd gave proof of their work at the conference. Miss Gapen was in charge here, she has great ability. She is quiet but she can move mountains.

These young women all have their volunteer helpers.

It is pathetic that there is any ill feeling at all, but I am Oh, so grateful that in our own camp the relations are not only friendly -- but they continue to grow more and more cordial, not a trace of jealousy exists.

I do not think Miss Wagner is exactly responsible for what she says, and if not she is to be pitied. She tried to induce the National to pay her $200.00 a month; April 16th 1911 she wrote to me and said "If these women were business like and could offer me about $150.00 a month, I would stay here." This was before we had any money. One of our girls thought I ought to have told this Thursday night -- but I was only too glad to leave it to your judgment, I knew they would be satisfied too if I said it was your advice. With Miss Wagner as excited as she was, it might have resulted in a "wrangle."

A member of the men's league thinks we ought to publish a news item to the effect that Miss Wagner asked the National for $200.00 and us for $150.00. I have written to Miss Shaw and asked her if it was best to quote the National.

It is too bad to trouble you with all of this but it may be of great benefit to us to have you posted.

If any of you who have done so much for us already, have any suggestions or criticisms to make at any time I shall be grateful for them.

Sincerely yours,