Martha Carey Thomas to Jane Addams, October 05, 1908


October 5, 1908.

Dear Miss Addams,

Miss Shaw, Mrs. Avery, and Mrs. Park spent Sunday at the Deanery talking over plans for our Equal Suffrage Council of College Women which is to meet in Buffalo on Saturday, October 17th, and plans for the general meetings of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Miss Shaw told us of their great disapppointment in your refusal to speak for them at their industrial mass meeting on Sunday afternoon, and asked Miss Garrett and me to beg you once more to reconsider your decision. Personally it is a great disappointment to us because we had hoped that you would consent to be the guest of [honor] at the luncheon the Council delegates are to give on Saturday.

On Saturday morning we will meet from ten to half past twelve to consider the constitution of the National Equal Suffrage League and a model constitution for the state branches and the college equal suffrage chapters, and at half past three on Saturday afternoon we will meet to discuss a plan of work for the various branches and chapters. Did you realize that there are fifteen state branches already organized, or in process of organization, and a large member of college chapters.

We thought that it would be very pleasant for the delegates, of whom there will be about twenty, comprising some of the most influential [illegible] engaged in college work in the east and west, to meet one another and the officers of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, together with some of the prominent college women of Buffalo, at one o'clock, and we hoped very much that you would consent to be our guest of [honor] and to have the invitations to luncheon bear your name. If this is possible it would be charming, and would give point and interest to our luncheon for all of those present; but if it is impossible for you be away both Saturday and Sunday, we regard it as of the greatest importance that you should be able to be the chief speaker [page 2] at the industrial mass meeting on Sunday afternoon, which will be devoted to women's work for women and the necessity of the ballot to enable them to work satisfactorily and obtain a living wage.

Miss Shaw authorized me to say that the National Association would be only too glad to meet your [traveling] and hotel expenses and to allow one hundred dollars for your Sunday address. We all of us feel that it would make the greatest possible difference in the success of the meeting at Buffalo if you were able to be with us. Buffalo is so near Chicago that it would only mean the loss of Sunday. If necessary, could you not leave Chicago on Saturday night and leave Buffalo Sunday evening? But if you do this, could you not also share Saturday so as to be present and help at our College Equal Suffrage Day? I feel very strongly that equal suffrage is now in a position where those of us who believe in it and especially those -- if there are any others -- whose name carries the weight your name carries, can help it greatly. The movement is now at a critical stage, and if we can help it for a few tears, those of us who are older can withdraw and let the younger college women carry on the good work.

Will you not telegraph me collect whether you are not able, for the sake of the cause, to reconsider your refusal? Please come if you can.

Miss Garrett joins me in most cordial regards, and says that she hopes very much that you will be willing to do in Buffalo what you did for woman suffrage in Baltimore.

Very sincerely yours,

As I am leaving my office for New York, I have asked my stenographer to sign this letter for me.

Miss Jane Addams.