Jane Addams to Esther Margaret Linn Hulbert, May 2, 1919


My dear Esther --

We have just come back from our five days tour in the devastated regions ↑through which we were [sent] by the Red Cross people↓ and I want to write you at once about John's grave and that we finally found it. Alice Hamilton is writing a full account of the journey to her family at Baltimore, they will send the letter on to Mary Smith who will send it to you -- perhaps there will be a chance for Weber to see if also. [page 2] On the afternoon of the 3d day we met an American Capt who told us that we could go from [Menehould] where we then were up through the Argonne forest and come out at Apremont, coming down to the Quaker villages where we were to spend the night on the other side of the forest. I at once caught at the name Apremont, which the chaplain gave as the nearest village to the [Chaudrun] farm and we finally decided to go out of our course to that extent -- the Capt. [page 3] insisting that we could then follow the entire drive of the American forces. We had had bad weather all of the time but long before we reached Apremont it was raining in torrents. [Chaudrun] farm was not on our map and [although] I had marked it from a war map in Paris, it was quite impossible to find it without inquiring. It never occurred to us that we couldn't find some one but we passed [through] Apremont without finding a soul there -- it was completely devastated and [although] we afterward discovered that a few people were living in the ruined cellars -- no one was visible. The soldiers on guard knew nothing of the farm and by the time we reached some peasants plowing, we were miles away with a steep hill between which our nice Red Cross driver -- a soldier who had been in the Argonne battle with the [illegible] -- was afraid to venture -- [page 4] I was awfully disappointed to give it up when we were apparently so near -- but there was nothing else to be done -- we had met two other parties searching for graves, one a Y.M.C.A. man in a motor & the other a French priest with a "desolated" father, & they had both been obliged to give up.

We spent the night with the Quakers at their headquarters [page 5] at Grange le Comte and in the morning a Philadelphia Quaker Henry Scattergood insisted that he could find it.

Our own machine had broken down but we went in one of theirs -- three of us, Jeanette Rankin, Alice Hamilton & I with Mr Scattergood & a young man to drive. By that time the storm had turned into a blizzard, but we had least had a sure guide and a detailed map. [page 6] We turned into the farm on the road of the sort of much described in all the war stories the motor stuck ↑in the mud↓ and we walked on [through] the fields and along the road showing every evidence of recent fighting. On the way we found two graves for which the bodies had been removed -- all the Americans are being taken up from the entire district to a cemetery of 24000 at Romagne.

Near the shattered farm buildings we finally found the little graveyard of about 100 graves, and easily found John's. It was not [95] as the chaplain said [for they] had all evidently been renumbered, this one was 47 but had the name distinctly written on one arm of the cross. I am enclosing the sketch Mr Scattergood made on the back of the chaplain's letter. Please keep it. He took some photographs [page 7] which he will send on to me at H.H. Please ask Mrs Karsten to send them to you. It was all fearfully desolate, the "fox holes" described in one of the letters were easily identified. I have some helmets and bayonets for Winthrop & Eri, & am [enclosing] a few spring flowers which were there in the midst of the snow & sleet. [page 8] There is much more to tell when I see you. I am [enclosing] a copy of our itinerary. Please keep that for me, the children may want to find it on the map.

With love to the family

Always your loving aunt

Jane Addams


Our Congress has been postponed until May 12th I leave for Switzerland Sunday. [page 9]

[dried pressed flowers] [page 10]

Mrs Chas. E. Hulbert
7131 Princeton Ave
Chicago Ill
U.S.A. [page 11]

J.A. Linn

8th grave back row from right end.