Henry Rowland Curtis to Jane Addams, February 23, 1920


OAK PARK, Illinois, February 23rd. 1920.

Miss Jane Addams.
Hull House,

Dear Madam:

I have noted, with disgust, your speech of yesterday, in which you presume to [criticize] the action of our government in deporting undesirable aliens, disloyal to this country.

If your "mouthings" were not so ludicrous, or if they emanated from an important source, they would be a stench in the nostrils of all decent people. Thank God, we are not afflicted with many citizens of your type.

It is the general opinion, among all good Americans, that our government has been too patient and has waited altogether too long in taking drastic action against the scum of Europe, who come here for better earnings and obtain better living conditions than they ever dreamed of, and then want to revolutionize a government built up in the last one hundred and forty years, with the life-blood of our forefathers for its foundation.

From my point of view, the federal authorities have made but three mistakes: the first, in not including you among the passengers on the first "Soviet Ark", the second, in not deporting about one hundred times the number slated for return, and third, in not shooting Emma Goldman and Alex Berkman for treason. The more, of the discontented, who go, the better [page 2] for the country, as we will get more desirable ones in their places. Further, six months in Europe (under any conditions, to say nothing of the present), will be ample for the malcontents and they will be just as anxious to get back here to "God's country" as they were to leave it. Any of them who stay away longer than six months, should never be allowed to return to this country under any condition. As a matter of fact, a large percentage of the outflow consists of foreigners, who, during the war, have accumulated more money in this (?) "undesirable country" than they ever expected to earn and are going back to pauperized Europe to spend it.

So far as you are concerned, you certainly belong in Orr's "N.E.C." gallery, as I know of no one born under the Stars and Stripes, whose pernicious activities are so wholly out of proportion to the very small amount of use you have ever been towards the common good. Hull House is, and always has been, a breeder of socialism and discontent (run by mouth socialists, of the parlor variety, for cheap newspaper notoriety), and the more of your "graduates" who are returned to "their own" the better for America. It is to be hoped that our federal government will soon curtail your own activities; action in that direction is long past due.

↑Yours Truly↓

H. Rowland Curtis [signed]