Sophia Sturge to Jane Addams, February 11, 1916


Birmingham Feb. 11

Dear [Miss] Addams

I am told that this letter will reach you safely if it goes round by Canada. You will not remember me, I expect but we met in [illegible] at [Pa.?] [Erwin's?] & I was one of the 24 who were to have [page 2] gone to The Hague. My father was a friend of Whittier's & some of his most beautiful poems were written to him. We have been working for peace, as a family, for nearly one hundred years now. I am very anxious now about some of our [societies?] working for peace. [They] will have a terrible struggle to keep going at all & I want to get some help for them from [page 3] America. I think the brunt of the battle will fall on the U.D.C. that is the Union of Democratic Control. The reason of this is that the leaders are men of absolute honesty & cannot be bribed in any shape or form. They are the men on whom the whole future of England must now [depend]. If I could write you fully I could explain to you why this is. Practically everyone else ([I mean] amongst leaders) have [page 4] lowered the flag to the waves of passion now sweeping over our country. I want these men to have the financial help just to pull them through the dark times. A better, & a saner England, will then put them into power. I did write to Mr. Ford but he only thought it one of many begging letters I expect. I want someone to lay the whole case before him & explain to him the need. I am quite sure [page 5] there is no way the cause of peace can be so greatly helped here now. Our no-conscription boys are just splendid. They have the real spirit of Christ, & they are going to save our spiritual life, even if they go to death to do it. We are filled with admiration of these young men, some of them quite [page 6] poor men, and yet prepared to face everything, but never to kill. A young, working electrician said to me the other day, they can take us out to France & shoot us but they cannot make us kill! These young men are the bright spot in the dark night into which we are plunged. I wish so much that I could tell you how all our liberty has gone & warn America from the same fatal downward plunge. If you take one wrong step you have to go on [sliding?] down the abyss! If you can do anything to lay our case before Mr. Ford I shall [margins of page 1] be so grateful. We are all fighting the same great battle & we only ask America to help us to pull through the darkest days we have ever known. 

[Yrs] Sincerely

Sophia Sturge