Henrietta Octavia Rowland Barnett to Jane Addams, September 5, 1923

Wednesday 5th-9-23

Dear, oh, much loved Dear.

I could bear it no longer, & was just starting off through the pouring rain to send a cable to Hull House when your letter came -- dated Aug 7th. I trembled so I cld hardly open it, & then I wept & laughed & kissed every one in the house [page 2] including Mr & Mrs  Nunn not because I loved them a bit, but because I loved you, & you were out of the country through this overwhelming [catastrophe] -- all that my heart has ached for you since I heard the news of your illness wld sound like exaggeration, & as to Mr Spencer Miller I hate him! He first told me, so he saw & knew how I cared. He promised by letter on Aug 4th from the ship to write or cable the moment he reached USA, & never one word has he sent, I hate a few more people to whom I have appealed for news -- but this day I am [page 3] only grateful & grateful & grateful that your body is not buried in Japan. Your soul will never die "in the choir invisible."

But beloved though you have written I learn nothing of the nature of your illness. What was it? One lady, a missionary from China who had seen you on May 7th spoke of a mosquito bite, another of a dislocated shoulder, & a fall out of a ginrickeyshaw, a third report was [of] a [tumor] [page 4] & that got exaggerated, & was denied in the papers, but what was really the trouble I have never heard. May I be bold? & will you please dictate a letter however short, as soon as you get this, to tell me how you got home, & how you are, & what you plan to do?

Dr Alice is a dear to go after you, & take care of you. How is Miss Smith? I wrote both to you & her to Hull House [page 5] but I got no reply from any one there either. I have felt much sympathy for her in your illness.

I am quite well, and building a new wing, weighed by poverty of those who care for education, & by the indifference of those who cld help it, & do not do so.

All the public things are too unsatisfactory to write about, & all change so rapidly that letters lose [page 6] interest before they arrive.

I wrote an article about you a few weeks ago -- [illegible] told to write on what I liked best I selected you! but my article, like my painting [illegible words], but amuse me. I am here mainly to give poor Fanny a sea side change, but I am resting out of doors a good deal too. My love -- & oh I am so pleased you are safe -- I still feel foolish about it

H O Barnett