Emily Greene Balch to Jane Addams, October 11, 1917

110 Morningside Drive
October 11, 1917

Dear Miss Addams

I cannot tell you how sorry I am to hear you have been having that horrid old [bronchitis]. It is such a slow beast.

I got my [mss] polished off after a fashion Monday at 5.30 a.m. and have been getting [breath] and catching up with what has been swept aside during these last weeks, [page 2] ever since.

I am planning, after all and much as I should like to be at Hull House, to spend the winter here. I am taking some courses at Columbia on the side, and proposing to have some Current History classes under the [Woman's] Peace Party and now I have had the bright idea (!) of offering my services to Colonel House. I took the liberty of saying that he might refer to you. I have had no reply ↑from him↓ as yet.

I am much interested in the prospects of the reorganized American Union. Mr. Amos Pinchot chairman, Crystal Eastman (I hope) to remain as Secy though the People's Council wants her & she likes their side of the work. Mr. Hallinan has been let go to serve La Follette, which seems an excellent combination. The idea is, as I understand it, for the American Union now to be the organ of the Liberal as opposed to the Radical group and [draw] in & make use of even those who are in a [reasonable] [page 3] way favorable to the war. I believe it has a place to fill. I am interested to find Scott Nearing feels the same way. I find him unexpectedly gentle, broad & tolerant.

About the Peoples Council I feel (all things considered) very happy. They seem to have turned the worst corner and be getting their feet well under them. They need help now to pay off about $8000 deficit -- the Minneapolis opposition turned what would have [page 4] been an opportunity to get money into a very expensive business. Apart from that they don't propose to ask any big contributions but depend wholly on local support. If that does not suffice pretty soon then the thing simply isn't a go, and that time must prove. But it looks promising.

Such a fine dinner-meeting last night, some 200 people, just the right kind for the most part. The Dinner (though this [page 5] is not to be given any publicity) was in honor of Norman Angell who spoke interestingly though not at his best. He urges a policy of no opposition to the war but concentrating on efforts to make peace take the desired shape -- incidentally pressure for his plan of an Inter-Allied Conference. This was the tone of the whole thing -- most reasonable.

Dr. Dana had an oration. I do like him so much -- courageous, modest, intelligent. Things are happening on the Col. faculty but I don't yet know just what. Henry Mussey made a fine outspoken [illegible] statement to his class. (largely made up of Orientals). Undergraduate ↑protest↓ demonstration very young, unorganized, and "rough house"y.

What do you think of the Burleson powers? I happened to be humming over half consciously what used to be our national anthem and it sounded like an echo from [illegible] ↑another↓ age [page 6] age "Author of Liberty." Now it is a question of "insubordination" when the government used to be our servant. Walt Whitman's "never ending audacity of elected persons"!

Well, our liberty and democracy were "hand-me-downs" and when we work them out anew they will mean more again, till the work has to be done again, on another turn of the spiral.

I often remind myself of the parable of a teacher asked if she is not discouraged -- after because [page 7] ↑after↓ all these years of teaching her classes still don't know the alphabet. It is so easy to forget that it is always a new set of pupils in the act of living and that what can be inherited is very limited.

I have had such a nice letter from Mrs Evans explaining her position. If you have not seen it I should like to send it to you. It is [illegible] a copy of a letter to Mrs [illegible name] in England.

Also I have English clippings on Mr Morel's sentence. Would you like to see these?

Maybe I ought not to write to you about all these things but I trust you are not ill enough to [have] that the case.

With all the breakers and rough weather I see no reason at all to be cast down. It is only that the process is so costly.

With so much love, from your proxy

Emily G. Balch.

[written in left margin] over [page 8]

I see I have not answered your questions.

Mr Lochner after a little vacation putting his wife into the St Clemens (?) sanitarium for her rheumatism is with the Peoples Council looking very well & happy. I think he & Nearing pull well together. Miss Secor is married and resting & wholly out of the P's Co & Miss Shelly is out as any sort of official tho' still a member of the Ex. Com. I am anxious to see her [now] take a big & impersonal [attitude]. I [illegible] was not put on the Executive Com. [page 9] again and have decided not to accept a place on the General Committee of Fifty for a good many different reasons. I hope not too many of my friends will think me a "quitter" in consequence.


I don't see how I [could] be in Chicago for the WPP meeting. I may get in at Xmas time for the meeting of the University Professors -- it ought to be interesting this year.