Alice Thacher Post to Jane Addams, December 13, 1918

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REEL0011_1354.jpg
↑Copy for E. G. B. from A. T. P.↓
2513 Twelfth Street, Washington.
December 13, 1918.

Dear Miss Addams:

I received yours of the 9th. When Mrs. Fels spoke with me about being a Delegate she said she ought not to be put down on the list for her first duty was to the Zionist Conference, but she would come if she could, and I told her that if she did and there were a vacancy we would want her to fill it. But I agreed that we ought not to keep a place for her.

You say that we ought to have a Jewish woman. Would Miss Wald be so counted? If not, would the Miss Alice [Lewisohn] who was proposed in New York, answer?

Do you remember Mrs. Reid Cory who was a member of the America group at the 1915 Conference? I do not mention her for this Congress, but bring her up merely to report that I had a letter from her a little while ago in which she explained that she had resigned from the Party when we went into the War in order to be able to speak with greater freedom. She felt now that she would like to report to some one of her activities during the War. She seems to have spoken a great many times for many organizations, and says she has always been loyal to our principles. She warns us against the pro-Germanism of the New Jersey Branch. She sends her highest regard to you, and wishes she could serve you in some special way. I have already answered the letter, including the New Jersey [Branch] part, and can show a copy of my letter if it should ever be desired. I will not inflict it on you here.

Yours of 10th came yesterday, with copies of Miss Daugaard's telegram and Miss Willis's letter.

You say you may come to Washington during week of December 16th. I may have the Graveses of Chicago with me during a part of the week, most likely the first part. But if so Mrs. Kent thinks she will be delighted to have you after the 16th. So between us there will be hospitality, and it will be a very affectionate hospitality that awaits you, as always.

You say that your whole instinct is for a little delay on the passport question. Mrs. Mead writes me that she and Mrs. Andrews are disposed to favor postponement until May of the meeting of the Congress.

My judgment is that if you are expecting to go ↑to a↓ [illegible] Congress to be held the first week in February you had better apply very soon for a passport. If you wish to get over in advance to such a Congress, as is expected of you as one of the "Five", I think you had better apply immediately.

To wait until you hear from Dr. [Jacobs] will, it seems to me, make it impossible for you to get over to a February Congress if Amsterdam decides in the meantime to have it then. Realizing that, they may decide to have it in May, or they might decide to have it in May anyway. On the other hand, they might think it was a good plan to have the February meeting, leaving us out, and perhaps have an adjourned meeting in May, or a meeting a year hence, to consider future matters.

I am going to send a copy of this letter to Mrs. Mead and one to Miss Balch, and will state here frankly my own instinct in the matter. [page 2]

It seems to me that just NOW, while the forces of democracy are coping with reactionism, is the time when we ought to be meeting, even if only a few of us get together.

A May meeting will do a different business than we planned to do when we separated in 1915. The world was then at grips; it is now at grips just as profoundly with the same struggle. By spring the struggle will be a different one. Perhaps that will call for different delegates -- younger ones who are arranging a new world and are to carry it on.

My instinct is that the Five, or all of them who can get passports, should go over as soon as they can, without waiting to hear from Dr. [Jacobs]. If the Amsterdam office has in the meantime decided to wait until June, let the Five go to Paris and join the Peace people and the Internationals there for a general watching for the sake of public opinion. Let all of them who can, wait until May, and the others come home even if they don't go back for the Congress proper. I think they would do more good in being over there at this time even without a Congress than they could by going to the Congress in May only.

Of course [they] run the risk of not getting passports now, when perhaps they might get them later. It seems to me that this is a risk to be taken. Why not let Mrs. Mead try first, then Mrs. Andrews and Miss Balch, then Miss Addams and Dr. Hamilton?

Of course all this is simply my own instinct, and I don't feel wise.

Very affectionately yours,