Edward William Bok to Jane Addams, September 1, 1912


September 1, 1912

My dear Miss Addams:

Your letter has come to me here, my summer home.

Unfortunately, my November number has gone to press: my December issue will not be out until November 20 when the first Progressive campaign will be over. So it is too late for such an article as you propose apropos of the new campaign.

But, curiously enough, I was turning over in my mind the whole question of the Progressive movement and its relation to women, and home and social economics when your letter came.

I am a Progressive and intend to vote for Colonel Roosevelt this November. But my feeling is that the Progressive movement is far bigger in what it will mean for women during the next four years than it [page 2] will in the next two months, and what I would like to propose to you is this:

That beginning with the next January issue of The Ladies' Home Journal, that you write for us a regular page for some weeks to come: a page which will be in the nature of an Economical Education page for women, and explain to women what these questions mean: the relation of the high cost of living, the conditions of working women,  etc: the questions, in other words, that you have stood for and worked for, the questions of social welfare and betterment that women are asking what they mean, etc. This, to my mind, is what is needed. If equal suffrage is to come, women should know what the questions mean that they are to become a part of.

This, to my mind, is the big hole in the Progressive platform: that it has brought forward these big ethical questions that are upon us. And whether I believe in woman suffrage or not, I am anxious that women [page 3] should understand these questions & their relation to the civic body.

I would rather have you than any other woman in the land do this mindful Educational work for us because it must be done right so that the women may see them right and understand them correctly. What it calls for is an essay, popular explanatory style: not suffrage; not Progressive; not political, but non-partisan Educational. My idea would be simply to call the page "Miss Addams": give you perfect freedom to discuss what you choose, including equal suffrage: limit is to 2500 words a month, so as not to give them too much to digest at one time, and pay you $250. for each article.

I think the page should begin with January, which means I should have the first copy by October 1, and each succeeding manuscript on the first of each succeeding month.

Don't you think this is worth doing? [page 4]

If you wish to talk it over, in case my idea is not dear to you, pray let me come now and talk it over with you. I shall be here until September 9th.

I am glad you are getting a rest in this exhilarating Maine air and hope it may do you a world of good.

Believe me,

Very cordially yours,

Edward Bok

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