Dear Miss Addams: --
The peril of the present situation due to the armed ship controversy is so patent, that all that can be done to strengthen the position of the peace forces in Congress, by way of petitions, memorials, and resolutions from all parts of the country merits consideration.
Last week 1,800,000 requests for copies of the great speeches of Senator Tavenner of Illinois, in response to Mr. Fords "Preparedness" press propaganda, bore eloquent testimony to the effectiveness of such appeals.
Several of us are approaching Mr. Ford, suggesting that he include an appeal for petitions to Congress in behalf of warning Americans from travel on armed merchant ships of the belligerents, save at their personal risk, in his next article for the 15,000 periodicals in which he operates.
Will not you add your influence in this, and also write him at once [page 2] in behalf of this urgent need.
Doubtless your great national organization is alive to the critical days which must be in store for our nation, due to President Wilson's determination to take the armed ship question into his own hands.
The simple and effective measure of warning all Americans from travel upon armed belligerent ships of all classes would sacrifice no established international principle, and would relieve the tension between this nation and Germany to a great extent.
As all ships armed at all are offensively armed against [submarines], President Wilson has failed to keep abreast of the times, and is exposing the nation to momentary danger due to loss of American life on merchantmen which should be disarmed, or travel without neutral [passengers]. Several Scandinavian countries have warned their [nationals] from travel under peril of precipitating war over a questionable right.
Our hope lies in the strong peace sentiment at length secured due to our efforts, in Congress itself, where sentiment is overwhelmingly in favor of the warning. As an issue under its jurisdiction alone, the question of the warning may be precipitated, and decided if the peace forces but operate speedily, and effectively in arousing public sentiment. [page 3]
Petitions are appearing already favoring the warning, in the Congressional Record, holding next place <to> those favoring a neutral nation mediation Conference, those favoring anti-preparedness leading.
Within thirty days war with Germany has been averted as by a hair's breadth, and certainly now if ever is the time we should act with great effect, to save our national peace, through securing the required warning.
Yours for peace,
840 Cass Avenue.