Alice Thacher Post to Jane Addams, February 3, 1917




2513 Twelfth Street, Washington.
February 3, 1917.

Dear Miss Addams:

I blame myself for not having written to you immediately on my return from New York, but everything had seemed so satisfactory there that I deferred writing while pressing matters were attended to.

Miss Eastman is certainly a splendid woman and we surely ought to be able to work with her. I think it is her very energy which has made my little talk with Mrs. Lane loom large. I had a very nice talk over a luncheon, and finding how well we agreed about various matters I pointed out that I had been nervous over a letter she had sent around, and while that was not important in itself asked if it would not be well where possible to consult you about policies which might involve the W.P.P., especially as their name could be misunderstood for the name of the national party, especially if something they got out were cabled abroad. She understood, I think, and was very desirous that no trouble should be made by them. She asked if we could not make a list of things that could not or should not be done. I told her that of course we would not want to interfere in that way, and that we would want to rely entirely on their discretion. She also proposed changing their name, but I deprecated that since they were already known by it, only suggesting that on account of their name they had to be more careful. I made it clear that I was not speaking officially, and it really was a little friendly talk.

The next evening I dined at the Warbasses and had a lovely time there, and I think everything got cleared up there. I should think from what they both said (Mrs. Lane and Mrs. Warbasse) that we had been under a misapprehension as to the N.Y. Branch wishing to call a convention over the head of Mrs. Williams.

I think the letter to Miss Eastman is admirable, but my talk was even milder for [page 2] I didn't advise the change of name, only suggested that they should be careful when in doubt. As I said before, I think Miss Eastman's energy made the talk loom large.

Moreover, you have suggested that the Washington office might be used as a clearing-house, which is more drastic than anything I should have had any right to suggest.

Now I am going to make a suggestion which may not have any value, and if so just let it go.

How would it do just at this crucial juncture, when so much is happening, especially in <exciting to> our Eastern groups, to add Miss Eastman or one other woman from New York, and Mrs. Malcolm Forbes from Boston, as advisory temporary members to the Executive Board, of course without votes; and then have started once more the kind of referendum correspondence we had more or less of the first year? Whether votes or advice were given would not so much matter, but we would all get better and broader views in common, and there are so many dreadful questions likely to come up that this might be very valuable. New York and Boston are very important just now, and that would be our reason for putting Mrs. Forbes and Miss Eastman on our referendum list. But it might bring us into actual direct [cooperation] with Miss Eastman in a way that would be useful all around; she could help us and we might help her. We might associate them with the Legislative Committee, but that would involve a great deal of writing just on their account, for the rest of us confer personally.

I will send a carbon of this letter with the foregoing paragraph [bluepenciled], to Mrs. Thomas, and I shall have an extra carbon which I can send to Mrs. Mead if you should write me that you would like to have me do so.

Faithfully and affectionately yours,

Alice Thacher Post [signed]