Linda W. Crawford to Jane Addams, October 29, 1924


October 29, 1924

My dear Miss Addams:

Mrs. Olmsted, the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Branch, Mrs. Benton, the Secretary Pro. Tem., and myself, Chairman of the Monthly Meetings for Members have given your letter thoughtful consideration.

We find it hard to ask you to give us of your time and service while you have any doubt of the wisdom of doing it; but, after trying to look at the matter disinterestedly, we have jointly concluded that it is actually necessary.

The accidental grouping of other peace occasions in Philadelphia in November has nothing to do with our Monthly Meetings; in fact, under other circumstances then your presence, would make it almost impossible to gather together an audience. I mentioned the other incidental peace occasions in my letter to you only to make you feel you were coming into a hopeful and not a depressing atmosphere.

Getting an audience for a single meeting for peace propaganda is not easy in Philadelphia or elsewhere, but organizing a whole series, from October to May, not for propaganda, but for the education of a large [uncoordinated] membership is still more difficult. For two years, my fellow workers have said we could not get out audiences; I have said that we must get them; so it has fallen on my ↑[own?]↓ experience to shoulder the task.

Our first audience, October 20th, was large because so many of my fellow workers temporarily put aside other regular work and helped me get out the membership; I knew I could not reasonably expect all this support [page 2] to continue. We did get together an audience made up of people who belong to us by name, but who seldom meet with us in person. It was a tentative audience, mildly favorable; but the workers wondered if they could ever get it together again.

The second meeting is critical for us; your letter makes us acknowledge it to ourselves. We can only get that audience together again with a stronger incentive for coming. As we all realize, there is only one Jane Addams in the world; we should not press our claim for our share of her service, if we did not think it would be well invested at this point.

Please believe we are not asking you to do this just to get up a successful meeting for propaganda; it is to help initiate an educational series which we have been discussing for at least two years. We have had one successful meeting, and we don't want the next to fall flat. We think we can see clearly how we can call the members together and have a helpful program in December and January; at least, we have "prospects," but for November, we have not turned our thoughts and expectations to any one but you. We should like to have you speak on "The Need of a Women's International League for Peace and Freedom," as we think that phase has not been and cannot be discussed by any one else.

If you can stay over on Monday, November 17th, for only a few hours after that noon train you had in mind, we shall be glad to make any adjustment you wish us to make. It is just the help of your presence for an hour or two that we seem to need. Your speech may be as long or as short; as formal or as informal as you please.

Will you kindly send us a telegram, at our expense, letting us know if you find it possible to decide in our favor?

Very sincerely yours,