Katherine Davis Cumberson to Harriet Park Thomas, April 4, 1916


Palo Alto, Cal. April 4, 1916.

My dear Mrs. Thomas: --

I was indeed glad to hear from you personally for it has seemed a long time since you sent me one of your bright [encouraging] letters that make on glad to be alive and work for the Peace Party. I was very sorry however to hear of your illness but I trust that you have completely recovered, [although] I am wondering if you do not need California. One thing sure Cal., need you, and I do wish you could come to us. I think if you could it would be far better than sending [a] entire stranger here for you know and understand the women and conditions far better here than an entire stranger, and that means a great deal.

It was a wonderful treat to meet Miss Addams; quite a "red letter" day in my life, for she has always been such a source of inspiration to me [ever] since I began reading of her, and the work of Hull House many years ago.

As she will no [doubt] tell you we talked about having someone come here from the east to organize. Miss [Burritt] was spoken of in particular. I saw quite a bit of Miss [Burritt] while in New York a year [ago] last winter, and while I personally think a great deal of her and found her a very charming and capable woman with her subject well in hand, still I think if you could come yourself it would be far better.

Mrs. Richardson is very anxious to travel over the state too, and do organization work. She would give her time if her expenses could be paid, at least her railroad expenses. Mrs. R--, is a splendid enthusiastic woman; the one and about the only one I have been able to depend upon during these very trying months. She has been invaluable to me. I cannot say enough in her praise, or half express my appreciation of her splendid service, at the same time I do not think she is the woman to do organization work alone. She lacks in personal appearance, education, and the ability to properly present her subject that would be pleasing to an audience. I have made her chairman of a committee to bring about a joint commission representing the Orient and the U.S. as outlined in our Congressional platform. In this work I need her right in S. F. and I think that upon that subject she is well informed, and I know deeply interested and enthusiastic. Therefore, personally I would like to keep her where she is, for think she will do splendid work, and moreover it is difficult, or would be to get someone else to take charge of that committee, for as you know it is not a popular subject.

I know my dear Mrs. Thomas you will understand that this letter is in strict confidence and will guard its contents accordingly.

I am in hopes at the next meeting which will be election of officers Mrs. R-- will be given a place upon the Executive Council to reward her in part for the work she has done this winter.

I want to say that if you think there is any [likelihood] of your coming out I would interview [Miss] Stewart and see what rate I could get for [page 2] you at the Hotel. I think I could get quite a reduction as Miss Stewart is very liberal and very interested in the Peace Party. The Hotel Chancellor has closed its doors.

When you were here last summer you [illegible] expressed a desire to see me occupy the position that Mrs. Cowles now has on the Peace Committee of the G.F.W.C. It did not appeal to me at that [time], but it is different now. I have a splendid [woman] who could take my position in the G.F.W.C. and leave me free to accept the other, and in that way we could be sure of the active force here upon the coast where it is needed almost more than any other part of the country on account of the Japanese Problem.

One thing of which I would ask that your office make note is that when the time comes for the G.F.W.C. to be notified of their dues for the coming year that it be sent to me for presentation. I fear they may try to cancel it this year and I want to be prepared to prevent it. In connection with this I would kindly ask if you will let me know if the General Fed., have ever endorsed the work of the Party, and if they have not will it not be brought up at the coming Convention, the biennial in New York in May?

Kindly send me a line concerning this immediately for I desire to include this in my report before the state meeting this month.

My birthday brought me this machine for which I am most grateful. I hope to have one in the office very shortly.

We are enjoying our new home so much, and I can assure you I can offer you most comfortable quarters when you visit me this summer which I hope you will do.

We are both enjoying the best of health, and Mr. C-- joins me in kindest regards to you, and best wishes for your good health.

Most cordially yours,

Mrs. C. E. Cumberson. [signed]