Mary E. Collson to Jane Addams, November 14, 1924

320 Am. Trust Bldg
Evansville, Ind
Nov. 14, 1924

My dear Miss Addams,

I have written out a form which I might use as an outline. I realize my limitations and know I am not scholarly or clever but I do think a great deal on subjects that deeply stir me, and the suffering in the world has been very difficult for me to understand or to be [page 2] reconciled to. In my work in C.S. I have done my best to help people who were miserable. Also I [thought] I was helping to build up a movement that would make people more loving and kind and that the strong institution would stand on the plain direct teachings of Jesus. I am disappointed and my interest is now so dimmed that I fail to make good which is convincing argument that I must give it up.

I never have been greatly considerate of the money side of things and that is probably why I am now not able to do voluntary work. All I have in the world is a little savings account of $500 and I am quite sure I ought not to spend that unless forced to do so.

One difficulty is that the [page 3] work I am in keeps me out of touch with other work; so I have no contact by which I could gradually get started in something else. An abrupt departure is necessary and that makes it a financial problem.

I have been interested in the problem of peace since 1914. I never has quite understood what war meant until then. I was so confused I could not find a way to do [page 4] anything [although] I made [spasmed?] attempts. I helped the radicals and conscientious objector all I possibly could financially but that is as far as I got.

I believe I could be useful if I could get started. I [thought] if I could arouse interest [enough] to form groups as centers for carrying on work that we could raise money [enough] to pay expenses but in such communities as Evansville the anti-pacifist [page 5] prejudice is already strong and is receiving plenty to feed upon. Even the C.S. Monitor in an editorial spoke of "extreme pacifists" as "enemies of their country." I know the work would be difficult and perhaps the plan is wholly impossible.

If you learn of any place I could fill or any work I could do I am sure you will let me know. However I truly do not wish to burden you with the personal side of my problem.

Sincerely with love

Mary E. Collson

P.S. I have not yet been able to get Mr. [Nasmyth's] book. It is not in Evansville library.