May Wright Sewall to Jane Addams, February 23, 1915


February 23, 1915

<N. B. Please return Mrs. De Voe's letter
M. W. S.>
Miss Jane Addams,
Hull House,
800 Halsted St., South,
Chicago, Ill.

My dear Miss Addams:

Enclosed you will find a letter from Mrs. De Voe, which indicates the condition of mind that I wrote you about a few days ago. It is really very necessary that you should announce your relation to this conference; announce the conference, and express an interest in it. Just as I express my interest in the [Woman's] Peace Party here, in order that neither one of us, may injure the other.

Probably your movement in that section of the country is so far advanced that it would make no difference to your movement, whether it is harmonious with mine or not; but it would there make a difference to my movement, and here it would make a very great difference to the success of the [Woman's] Peace Party, if this confusion should not be cleared up; but here it certainly will be cleared up; for I make the statement on every opportunity that I have, and presently I am sending out a statement to the press, and I shall prepare a leaflet upon it, emphasizing the fact that the conference is not an organization; that the only organization in which I am interested in increasing <its membership> on this Coast is the [Woman's] Peace Party. But that The conference will give an opportunity, for the platform of the peace party and all other measures that have been submitted to the public for discussion, and approval, that the conference will give an opportunity to discuss all these measures.

Here, we shall try, as I have often said, to bring together representatives of other countries, resident here, as well as those who may be coming here, during the Exposition period. There is no doubt that this is the chosen moment to work for peace, and surely this is the chosen place to focus all the influences that can be brought to converge here.

I am receiving very great encouragement, from over the country. But I feel it most important that whatever occasion there is for confusion, in the fact of the organization of the [Woman's] Peace Party and the organization of this Conference should be removed from the public mind. It is far better to say nothing about it, and when I speak of the [Woman's] Peace Party, and of my relation to it and announce that you are a member of the Organizing Committee of this Conference, I say nothing whatever about the possibility of the relation being misunderstood. But many people [page 2] speak to me about it. To all whom I <similar> explain it clearly. And I have had at least a score of letters to those that I am sending you. Mrs De Voe's letter enclosed a letter quite in the spirit of the one I sent you the other day; but it is not necessary to send Dr. Kendall's second letter to you, as you already have the first.

I shall send you a night letter announcing this conference which I hope you will read before your great mass meeting in Chicago. It is intended to organize a Peace tour for this conference, and the preparations seem to be going on well in the different parts of the country, for it. I am not ready for the public announcement of this, yet, but you should know it. You know how difficult it is to get the very last word that one wishes to incorporate in a circular announcement. But if the last word that I wish does not arrive before the 1st of March, I shall prepare my next circular without waiting longer, and that I think, will give much information of interest to you, as well as to other people.

Mrs Lawrence is speaking today in Los Angeles, and I have two engagements here today, of importance. We are to have a big meeting here in San Francisco, on March 9th; where Mrs Lawrence, and myself both speak.

Hoping that your demonstration in Chicago, on the 27th and 28th, will be very successful, I am,

Cordially yours,

May Wright Sewall [signed]
International Conference of Women Workers