Alice Thacher Post to Lucia Ames Mead, November 15, 1917


Carbons of this letter go to Miss Addams and Mrs. Spencer, from A. T. Post.

November 15, 1917.

My dear Mrs. Mead:

Yours of 13th today received. I will write in regard to the speakers for the banquet tomorrow. I only write now in regard to the statement we are to offer to the Annual Meeting. I evidently have not seen this for the sentences you quote are not in the tentative programs we discussed last summer, at least not in the first or second drafts, and I do not think I have seen anything else except the Statement of the Executive Board, put out as of October [25]. I was under the impression at our Board meeting that the tentative program of last summer was to be the basis at least of a program which we were to offer to the Annual meeting for discussion and adoption if agreed to.

You quote the following sentence:

"We long for an assurance that American soldiers will not be permitted to fight for the territorial ambitions of other nations with whom we are [cooperating]."

I agree with you that this is most inexpedient now.

You ask: "Might we not use a stronger expression then 'We are in sympathy with,' and say, perhaps, 'We are grateful to our President for his recent statement'?"

I think the first is really stronger than the second, and is more dignified.

You ask: "Might we not end with something like this:

"'At this dark hour, when the malevolent forces that threaten civilization seem to be gaining ground, we pledge our loyal support to our country in its great task of overthrowing ruthless, despotic power and in helping to make the world safe for peace loving peoples. We recognize that there can be no peace until the military domination of Prussia is destroyed'."

I would not like to end with that, or anything so strong. I might not vote against it, however, but I would not vote for it. I don't think it is up to us as an international group to call any people in the world such hard names. You may say that you are only thinking of their rulers, but in a way the rulers are the people themselves, to a certain extent. As soon as a people becomes absolutely divorced from its rulers the government breaks down. For us to use such language as the above would be, it seems to me, playing to the galleries. My husband would not in the least agree with me; I know he would be very glad if we would come out as strongly as that. But I would not. Affectionately yours,