Jane Addams to Henrietta Octavia Rowland Barnett, May 26, 1920


May 26th, 1920

My dear Mrs. Barnett:

I am enclosing a very disappointing letter from Mr. Pond. Evidently things have gone bad with him since he wrote before because his other letter was much more encouraging. I can not understand why it should have been lost as it was certainly put in with my last letter to you. I cabled you as follows on receipt of your letter: "Deeply regret Pond indefinite -- Promises certainty next week -- So much the best man advise waiting". Every one who has had experience with the placing of lecturers agrees that the Pond Bureau has been by far the most successful with lecturers from Europe. I very much dislike to change unless it is absolutely necessary. If, however, the reply from him next week is still unsatisfactory I will cable you, and await your instructions either to secure another Bureau here or, if you prefer, to [cooperate] with whatever you do in securing a Bureau from over there.

There has been so much speaking of late -- during the war and after -- by English and French people without fees that the public is a little spoiled in regard to paying adequately for lectures. I have just been consulting Mary McDowell on the subject and she agrees with me that "Housing" -- a theme on which we are both most anxious to have you speak -- is just beginning to be really popular. Mr. Kennedy of Boston, Secretary of the National Federation of Settlements, is working on the Boston end ↑so that↓ with the Pond Bureau or none you may be sure of a goodly number of arranged lectures.

I am keenly aware that the whole situation looks as if I had been careless in regard to it but perhaps you will see from the enclosed ↑letter↓ [page 2] how much of the responsibility for the uncertainty must be shared by the Pond Bureau. Your good friend, Mr. Allen Pond, is just now out of town but he is doing everything possible to expedite matters.

I am quite discouraged about Dr. Helen Boyle. I could do much better ↑for Dr. Helen Boyle↓ if the writings along scientific lines which you sent me had been of more recent date. All the people whom I have consulted seem to agree that she takes the most advanced lines but she is not well known in America and it is hard to get her lectures for money. I am sending you under separate cover two letters I have recently received. Will you write me as to whether she cares to give lectures before groups of her colleagues, as it were, without pay?

All this sounds like a very hard-headed letter but the Pond Agency has been so annoying that I find it difficult to be patient with it.

The arrangements for the Settlement meeting have been made with great enthusiasm and I am quite sure you will feel as if you are coming among your own children.

Always affectionately yours,

Jane Addams [signed]