Anna Marcet Haldeman-Julius to Jane Addams, September 21, 1918


Cedarville, Illinois,

September 21, 1918.

Dearest Auntie:

One of the reasons why I ran off here to Cedarville was to catch up with my personal correspondence and [thereby] make peace with various justly irate friends.

Auntie I have just worked like a nigger all summer and Alice has used up every spare minute. A baby of her age is a consummate time absorber. You know while William English Walling is the Secretary of the Social Democratic League, Manuel is Acting Secretary at Girard which is the National Headquarters and he was simply so overworked that he had to have help. So I was roped in and as I draw a salary of $35 a week must give full value received. What I don't get done, Manuel who gives his services does and the Appeal gives the stenographer. But I have been doing the big end of it. Max hasn't been at the bank for weeks, having had a long [siege] of fever.

You remember the friend of mine who was expecting a baby? It came -- a little girl with spinal cord outside instead of inside the spinal column. Mabel used to telephone for me nearly everyday to come and dress it -- a delicate and [nerve-trying] process. I mean dress the baby's back, not the baby herself. Finally a [hydrocephalus] head developed and at last, mercifully, the little thing died. It took up every extra spare moment I had, because Mabel wouldn't let anyone besides me do anything for Betty.

In the midst of all this [feeling] ran deep about the matter of Manuel's classification. I will tell you about it when I see you. Honestly it sounds too much like a dime novel to write it. [page 2]

The extra work [and] worry brought on a miscarriage. I was awfully disappointed at first but it probably was all for the best and there might have been a more serious disaster later. Mary, of course, doesn't dream there ever was anything doing so please never mention it to anyone. You know the queer secretive quirk in me when [it] comes to such matters.

I came on for two days at the time of Grandmother's birthday. I left Alice at home. When I got back I found she had refused to take milk and too solid food had resulted in a large boil which ran the way painful course ofall pa of all boils. It also upset her stoach stomach which made her have a sty which in due course of time came to a head, all of which pulled her down and made her seem quite un-Alice like.

In the midst of all this arrived A. Benson who was a house [guest] making my usual household of six well to seven. He is the kind of man who looks you sternly in the eye and asks you every single meal if you are sure the water is boiled, I mean Has been boiled. He is a has a fine mind but it is such a heavy [lumbering mind]. I thought him a very tiresome person, though I think Manuel quite enjoyed him.

Meanwhile, I forgot to tell you, the evening after Mabel's baby died was buried she and Alice and Ruthie and I were over in the courthouse square where Alice discovered a little eight year old girl locked in the jail in the [pit-like] basement of the courthouse where they keep "the lady prisoners". I was so outraged that a little girl should be treated so and I was so struck and moved by the striking and heartbreaking contrast between the two children with the bars between them that my heart quite flamed. And there was Mabel mourning for her lost baby who never could have grown to a healthful maturity and there was I still quite a bit [page 3] upset over our little disappointment. It seemed to me we were both rather absurd when there were so many healthy children already here who were so desperately in need of mother love.

So, to make a long story short, I took her. Josephine Wettstein is her name. We call her Joey. It was a mistake, an a foolish, impulsive, ill-advised action. But I did it and I'm going to stick by it and we shall work out all right. Emanuel is a saint from Heaven. He is certainly the most patient, the best, the most understanding old Dear who was ever married to a wife like me.

Now, Auntie, thoug through it all that Alice has gone right on nursing. Ruthie Bob says she has a terrible feeling Alice will go right on nursing till the Judgement Day. Which sounds much worse and not funny as it does when Ruthie Bob herself says it. [It's] a terrible libel on both Alice and me. I am in process of weaning her now. Reason 2 for coming.

Ruthie Bob came on with me. She has been with me since the 10th of July. I simply couldn't have got through the summer without her. I don't think I e In the event that Manuel and I should both die before Alice or other children we may have you and Ruthie Bob are, according to my Will will duly appointed her or their joint guardians.

Grace Michelson and Robin arrive this evening to stay until Thursday. Reason 3 for this trip. We are going to get acquainted with each other's children and let them get acquainted with each other. I keep constantly having to justify this trip to myself because Max isn't back yet at the bank and the Liberty Loan is coming on and I somehow was foolish enough to get the north two thirds of the county wished on me. I use Labor saving devices such a stalking through the papers, but [it's] a big job and [page 4] I ought to be back on it. But I simply had to get off so I could arrange and tabulate the data and send it on to Topeka.

Now, Auntie darling, if you can forgive your bad child for not writing and for not acknowledging the wonderful happy sweater that arrived like a gorgeous burst of sunshine, and if you can forgive possibly persuade Clara Landsberg too to forgive me, can and will the two of you please, please, please plan to come out for the next [weekend] that is for over a week from tomorrow. If not then when could you come? I can come into Chicago but Alice is just at the age when [traveling] is too rough on her. She runs on a routine and I feel that I just haven't the moral right to upset it and cause the consequent mental, physical and moral confusion that follows as "the night the day." She is at such an adorable stage! [Oh] please don't miss her if you can [possibly] come. Besides I am really heart hungry for a glimpse of you myself Auntie.

I don't need to tell you that we would love to have Miss Smith come too and Grandmother would be delighted. We can a sleep all of you nicely. And it is lovely out here now. I plan to go back a week from this next Friday but can stay over that Sunday if you could come better then. The day after I get back Manuel will get away for five days or so -- if he can get his card. He is in Class 2 to which the District Board returned him on August 8 but the Local Board won't or does not give him any card at all. I had a session with the District Board, my dear, and I see clearly I am going to have to have one with the Local Board before we get through with it, but Manuel always avoids trouble and discord as long as possible. It his nature. It is not mine. When I once get my dander up and am sure of my ground I thoroughly enjoy [page 5] giving certain types of people a good solid piece of my [mind]. It gives me a delicious physical sensation.

Auntie darling, I love you more than tongue can tell and to no one in this world does your courageous consistency and unflinching sincerity mean more and bring more sheer comfort of soul than it does to me. Just to know you are in this world -- that this world can produce a consistent, entirely sincere person makes life more worth living and helps to keep one's faith alive in such qualities as consistency and sincerity.

Do come out, [if] you possiblcy possibly can, won't you? [It's] worth the effort, honest Injun, just to see Alice.

She sends you a kiss and so does