Mary Moore Flint to Jane Addams, August 23, 1913


Miss Jane Addams,
Hull House,

My Dear Miss Addams,

Under separate cover a "Jane Addams Chorus Founder's Certificate" and a "Jane Addams Chorus Members' Certificate" are being sent you. These certificates, warmly prized by all who possess them, were of great assistance to us in the strenuous days of last fall's campaign. 

When last August (1912) [page 2] Mrs. Florence Collins Porter called [together] twenty-five Progressive women to form a "Woman's Campaign Committee" a nucleus for a permanent Progressive women's organization, we were informed that Miss Addams might be among us the following month.

Mrs. Frank A. Gibson being appointed as Chairman, a Reception Committee was at once formed. The beautiful gardens of Mrs. John D. Hooker were tendered for the occasion and arrangements for an afternoon Reception well under way when word came that [page 3] it would be impossible for Miss Addams to come to California. Keen disappointment was felt and plans were about to be abandoned when the information came that Gov. Johnson, en route to his Eastern Campaign tour would be in Los Angeles for an evening mass meeting the last week of August.

Mrs. O. Shepherd Barnum of this city, who had been present at the memorable first Progressive Convention, had sent the words of the songs sung at this convention to Mrs. Oliver P. Bryant of [page 4] this city.

Mrs. Bryant, upon hearing of the proposed visit of the Governor consulted with Mrs. Gibson as to the advisability of gathering [together] as large a body of women as possible, who should form a chorus to sing at the "Johnson meeting" the First National Progressive Convention songs. "A splendid idea," exclaimed Mrs. Gibson, and it shall be called "The Jane Addams Chorus."

Thus under the inspiration of these two brilliant women, was begun [page 5] the chorus which has had to honor of bearing your name.

Mrs. Frank A. Gibson -- a woman of rare executive genius -- was Chairman of the Rally Committee, which committee of sixteen members worked with untiring zeal, holding daily sessions for several consecutive weeks for the purposes of organizing and developing choruses in the various towns of Southern California.

Mrs. Oliver P. Bryant as Chairman of the Music Committee arranged for the direct work of the chorus itself -- rehearsals, printing of song leaflets etc. [page 5]

I would not have you feel it fulsome praise when I say that the name of the chorus wielded as great an influence as any other factor. Women of all classes when enrolling would say "we know little of politics, but we do know what Jane Addams stands for, and we wish to enlist under her standard."

The singing at the mass meeting for Gov. Johnson was a tremendous success; the Chorus grew rapidly in numbers and when, in September, Col. Roosevelt came to Los Angeles, it became necessary to close [page 7] the membership, owing to the limited capacity of seats in the Auditorium.

The Rally Committee had arranged for that night a processional and the Choruses from outlying towns (their members dressed in white and each headed by a standard-bearer carrying a yellow banner which denoted the town from which each chorus came), marched two abreast down the long aisles to the seats provided.

These choruses, with the addition of the Los Angeles chorus, totaled between fifteen and eighteen hundred members, and was an inspiring sight indeed. 

In addition to the banners mentioned, in the [page 8] procession were standards bearing the inscription "Votes for Women," and the planks from the Progressive Platform as enumerated upon the back of the Jane Addams Chorus Founder's Certificates, i.e. "Child Labor Laws," "Minimum Wage Laws for Women," etc.

None of those who were fortunate enough to gain entrance to that wonderful Roosevelt meeting will ever forget the earnestness of the speaker, his consecration to the great principles for which he stood. We are proud of Col. Roosevelt, and of Gov Johnson -- two noble leaders in a noble [page 9] fight. And we are proud also of the woman under whose name we assembled that night -- a name synonymous with the uplift of humanity.

You will be interested to know that a Finance Committee called the "Woman's Voluntary Committee," with Mrs. John D. Hooker as chairman, was enabled, largely through the purchase and sale of the Certificates bearing your name, to place in the hands of the Roosevelt Progressive Republican League of Los Angeles County the sum of five thousand dollars for their use toward defraying the general campaign expenses.

This [page 10] was particularly gratifying to us, as in two weeks after the "Woman's Voluntary Committee" had pledged themselves for that amount, we were able to redeem that promise in full.

In the eyes of California Progressives, women vindicated their right to Suffrage during last fall's campaign.

To the Progressive women it was a lesson in courage, in patriotism, in devotion to a mighty Principle. It was welcomed by them as a further opportunity for sharing in the duties and responsibilities (even as had been [page 11] granted them the privileges) of equal suffrage.

Therefore, while as a National party we met with "victorious defeat," the women of California continue ready and eager to do their part, knowing that in the end the Right must prevail, and glorying in this opportunity of allying themselves with a cause which is in its truest sense, "worth while."

Respectfully Yours,
Mary Moore Flint,
Sec'y Woman's Rally Com.
of R. P. R. L.  1912.

(Mrs. J. Powers Flint)

August twenty-third,
Nineteen thirteen.