Laura Caroline Marian Hughes to Jane Addams, November 21, 1915


Nov 21

My Dear Miss Addams:

Someway I want to write and tell you how splendid you have been all this summer in the face of all this unkind [criticism]. Poor people they don't understand, and they cannot see things.

But when the history of this time is written their little talk will [page 2] have vanished and you will stand out vindicated.

Florence Nightingale went alone & with all the vile names that could be hurled at her, to the Crimea & in 60 years, she has found her place. That was Woman's first step in beginning to live up to her primal ancestors function. Florence Nightingale [page 3] tried to make the battle fields less horrible. Yours is the name that says "Let us not have battle fields." You are not alone in this I know but you led us, and you saved the day that last morning at The Hague.

And you dared to go and ask the governments to stop.

I am sure the duration [page 4] of this war will be lessened because you did that.

I so prayed this would all stop, for all your reasons and one very [small] one. My only brother was in it. But last [Monday?] a shell freed him. He was an engineer and his work was mending trenches not killing. We are [so] glad of that. And the man [page 5] who fired the shell doesn't know what it did.

He <Brother> thought he was fighting for peace & democracy, & he thought there was no other way to gain that. He looked at life as a man and man's <primary> function has always been "[defense]." It lies with women, whose task has been nurturing [page 6] the race, to show the other way, for there is a better way. We have proved it in personal & civic disputes.

You, because of your work and your life, have brought much to the cause of peace. And [your] followers [page 7] must thank you.

I wanted to tell you this because since we have been getting the letters about Brother, we so want to tell him the things his friends say.

In this [living] of ours we seem to say the unpleasant rather than [page 8] the pleasant things we are afraid to tell people when we admire them.

Very sincerely

Laura Hughes.

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