Mary Norton to Jane Addams, August 23, 1917

Gladstone Hotel

My dear Miss Addams,

Will you pardon me for intruding on your already over-occupied time, to ask you a question?

I am, and have been for many years, a believer in peace, and a strong, though obscure, opponent of war. Now, with every one about me interested in war and war work, I feel not only "out of things" in my views, but also hopelessly useless. The women I see [page 2] about me are enthusiastically engaged in various forms of war-work, but even those activities which are called "relief," are really, many of them -- (or possibly it only seems so to my harassed mind) such as appear calculated to prolong the conflict, so to justify it in the minds of people by accentuating the charity and devotion which motivate the gathering up of scraps after the deadly waste.

[Someone] has told me that one of the organizations opposed to war, -- I do not know which one -- has gotten up a list of suggestions for activities which may be honestly engaged in by projects in war times, and which do not in any way, direct or indirect, aid militarism or <assist in> the destruction of human life. Do you know where I can obtain this list, and if so, will you be so good as to inform me? I enclosed self-addressed envelope.

Being a public school teacher, I am barred at present, from any work which would entail publicity, practically barred from any expression of pacifist opinion, unless I am willing to lose my place in the schools. (I feel like a shameful coward in this silence, and all this adds extra irritation and confusion to one's feelings).

Again apologizing for imposing on your kindness, I am,

Yours sincerely,

Mary Norton.

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