Jane Addams to Rosika Schwimmer, August 23, 1916


My dear Mde Schwimmer --

I thank you very much for your long letter and the material [enclosed] which I shall of course regard as confidential.

I am returning the [enclosed] letter as you request. I can quite realize how painful it was for you to receive it and I am sure you know how sorry I am to refuse any request of yours at this moment when you are having such a hard time. [page 2]

I certainly stand for direct action in peace efforts and am most favorably impressed with the beginnings you have made, but when I am able to go to Europe -- which may not be for some months -- I shall feel committed first of all to the I.W.C.P.P. and if there is more I can do, to the Neutral Conference which I hope will hold to its immediate aims of mediation <in spite of other [activities]>.

Of course I feel very much at sea about it, and think that your new effort ought to go on [page 3] whatever the Neutral Conference does, but I dread belonging to any things more for which I can do nothing and which in these troublous times are so easily detached from their moorings. I too am discouraged about getting money for Peace efforts and about American apathy.

I quite agree with you that there are many advantages in calling the committee of the I.W.C.P.P. together, but as none of the officers could be present and none of the English women -- Miss Macmillan of course has [put] her government on record <about passports> -- it seemed better to try the referendum vote. I think we might add a question on <having> a committee meeting later -- the referendum has not gone out as I held it up because of a long letter from Miss Macmillan which contained some suggestions. We have no power to call more than the executive committees of five -- to call the full national committees would be to anticipate the Congress to be held at the end of the war -- [Although] [how] that might be of value, I should have to be empowered. [page 4]

I am very grateful for your advice in the matter. You know that I have always deeply regretted that you cut yourself off of the Hungarian Committee and have always hoped that you would reconsider.

I am awfully sorry about the money difficulty with Miss Wales and Mr Kliefoth but I do not see how I have any possible right to interfere.

I have had absolutely nothing to do, as you know, with the financial arrangements of the expedition or the Conference, [page 5] and I have no possible claim to authority and no right of intimate friendship with either of them.

I am afraid this will seem to you a very ungracious and negative letter but one can only use one's best judgment in such matters even when it seems counter to one's wishes.

I had already seen the newspaper clippings of the removal to The Hague before Miss Balch's letter came [page 6] yesterday. You were certainly absolutely right about it. I have quite given up trying to follow.

I shall be very glad to hear from you again before you start and to know that you have at least enough money for your immediate plans for mediation.

Always Faithfully yours

Jane Addams

Aug 23d 1916