William Jennings Bryan to Jane Addams, June 28, 1916


↑I think pressure should be brought to bear on the Pres. I am communicating with some near him.↓


The Commoner

June 28

My Dear Miss Addams --

Pardon pencil, please but I am compelled to write on the train. Your telegram was rec'd & answered today. I appreciate very much the seriousness of the situation & am anxious to do any thing I can to prevent war but my position is peculiar in this: I have to consider the construction that I've placed upon what I attempt by an unfriendly press. If I attempted any thing different from the ↑his↓ plans I would be accused of trying to interfere with the government.

I at once made enquiry to see if the government was sympathetic [page 2] toward any unofficial effort & found -- I will tell you in confidence -- that it is not. If there was any reasonable prospect of doing any good I would be willing to act with out regard to the President's opinion because I am sure he would be glad to have the effort succeed but to go contrary to his judgment without prospect of accomplishing anything is any other matter.

Besides, when secretary I had to deal quite energetically with [Carranza] & he express a good deal of feeling. I doubt whether I would be a good man to approach him or any one representing him. I fear he wants war as a means of uniting his peoples & is glad to have us furnish him an excuse. Shall be glad to act if way opens.

[very truly yrs] W J Bryan

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