Helen Cheever to Jane Addams, March 31, 1920


My dear Miss Addams,

I have been happily settled with Emily Balch two weeks, & we have had two Sundays in the country walking, picking wild flowers & enjoying the mountain views.

Emily had one illness ↑(of a few days)↓ this winter, & had not quite recovered her normal health when I arrived, but has about done so now -- of course she has gone two winters & a summer without a vacation. At any rate, she seems disposed to take the weekend rests quite seriously. The office closes Saturday at one, [page 2] & by night she & I get a few miles out into the country & have two nights & a day there. Emily's love of nature, & her ability to absorb herself in the happiness of the country life, enable her to make it really restful. I am aware that her head is tired, because I have to choose the time very carefully when I can talk to her at length about American or my own affairs.

It is good to see what a happy & devoted group she has in her office --, & various people of various nationalities came in, & make one feel that the interests of the office are truly international.

We seem terribly close to the suffering of the starving people.

Last week Frau Nettlebeck [page 3] left us to shortly return to her home in Münich. She has helped in the office since November -- & her stories of her life at home show her to have been a person of great helpfulness & benevolence, especially to children. One can see she feels very sad at what she is going back to.

Last week Mrs Robert, a Swiss lady whose daughter-in-law is an Armenian lunched with us & with Miss C. MacMillan to tell of the needs of the Armenian women confined in Turkish harems.

Yesterday a Ukranian lady called. She says her head is still suffering because of the bombardments she has been in.

I am impressed with the opportunity in such a [center] as [page 4] this secretariat makes --, & you may be sure that the spirit enumerating from that [center], is just what we should know [w'd] be expressed by Emily B.

Her second copy of Pax is sent off today -- & she is also well advanced on the Report. I do not know all the difficulties she has had to contend with; but I can see the difficulties that came up day by day in the printing, & they seem to me enormous --, & chiefly concerned with making the printers render three languages correctly. The mistakes & delays & crudenesses are amazing to me, & E’s patience a marvel.

I have been able to be of some use reading English proof with her, & have not made any connections outside the office. E has a small group of friends, & is inclined to [page 5] entertain & to extend the group as she can. In certain directions she has not got far as yet. I suppose partly other people are as busy as she is.

Elizabeth Balch hoped to sail in a few weeks & remain in Italy till July with friends & then join E. That would be very fair & satisfactory to [me]. But she is now encountering the first of the many difficulties of travel, passports & steamer passage. I hope she will not get discouraged.

At any rate I shall be in Geneva somewhere during the summer & shall see [page 6] something of them both

E’s work seems to me so worthwhile. Any difference of opinion I have evaporates when I am with her. She is so reasonable & so loving & her standards are such a comfort to be living near, to physically, at any rate, even if one cannot reach them spiritually.

E’s home is comfortable & well chosen, & the office is large, sunny, airy, with two large rooms, -- & well situated.

The library is largely pamphlets [etc.], but books also. I must close. Thank you for the help & encouragement you gave me about coming. This spring is early & [remainder of paragraph written at the top of page 1] flowery, very different from last year. Yours with sincere affection,

Helen Cheever.

March 30. 1920. 19 B’d Georges Favon Genève, Swiss.