Ernest Flagg Henderson to Jane Addams, June 24, 1917

Monadnock N.H
June 24 1917

Dear Miss Addams,

I am greatly obliged for your kind note and am ashamed that the article was presented to you in such a difficult form to read. I shall first revise it and then have a try at the Review of Reviews.

I sympathize with every word you said in your splendid address to the city club, although I have [page 2] never called myself a pacifist largely because universal military training does so much for the young men themselves and teaches them so much that is useful (discipline, thoroughness, subordination of self etc) I am heartily for peace now. Even in our own country it <war> has brought out all that is ugliest in human nation and our people have become as blind, as unreasoning and as credulous as savages. [page 3]

At a spee Red Cross meeting here two or three days ago a Y.M.C.A man asserted that to his positive knowledge the Germans had already drawn up a systematic plan to mutilate our children when they got to this country and spoke of it as an accepted fact that they had purposely inoculated the French with tuberculosis. Mrs. Schuyler van [Rensselaer], at our club last summer, read letters from the French front, one of which asserted that the German bullets were dipped in some substance [page 4] that induced the quick formation and spread of gangrene, and our educated people never wince at such statements.

It seems to me that our government lost the greatest opportunity in all history when, after bringing the proudest and most powerful nation in the world to [terms] on the submarine question, it brought no pressure to bear on the other side. It is disheartening is it not to see us egging on war-weary Russia when [page 5] the terms are the very ones we ourselves have been advocating.

The "New Republic" is wonderful, though I think it has some sins to its credit. But its frank criticism of Mr Wilson's policy since the Balfour visit is delightful. I am afraid as Mr Dennis said in 1912 that the study of English politics is still "part of him, the marrow of his being". What glorious opportunities he has lost! And are we not, directly [page 6] or indirectly <responsible>, for the prolongation of the slaughter?

Hoping I have not presumed on your patience by this long tirade I remain Yours very truly

Ernest F. Henderson