Robert Alexander Gunn to Jane Addams, February 18, 1920

Charles II. Fuller Company

February 18, 1920.

Miss Jane Addams,
800 S. Halsted St.,
Chicago, Illinois.

Dear Miss Addams:

I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of February 3rd which I should have answered sooner. I have been out of the city for some time and only yesterday was able to get the data you asked for in your letter.

The clipping you sent me was the first I had seen of my talk in La Porte. I was not quoted correctly, as so frequently happens, but in substance the report is correct.

I did not refer to Hull House specifically or its work. I did, however, in classifying the several groups of radicals, refer to what is sometimes called the "Hot-House Hull-House Variety of Parlor Bolshevists", a term not original and though somewhat facetious, is fairly descriptive. Again in the course of my remarks I was asked from the floor if in my opinion Jane Addams was regarded in Chicago as a loyal American. I answered that to my own personal knowledge she was not so regarded by many of the city's foremost citizens.

For your information I may say that from March, 1917 to February 1, 1918 I was an official of the American Protective League in Chicago and latterly, its Chief. I recall a number of instances in which your name was mentioned as having been associated with pacifists and radicals. I believe you were known to have been a member of the Ford Peace Ship fiasco, the history of which is familiar to most Americans. It was afterward reported that on July 30, 1915 you were expelled from France because of your suspected American loyalty. The "Chicago Tribune" of August 24, 1918 refers to you specifically as a pacifist. After the close of the war your associations with the radical elements of Chicago have been frequently mentioned in reports and press notices. The Union of Russian Workers and certain anarchistic elements are reported to have held a joint conference at Hull House on August 23, 1919. In May, 1918 you were [page 2] announced by the American Liberty Defense League as cooperating with that organization, which during the war opposed the operation of the Selected Service Act and encouraged conscientious objectors. On January 30, 1920 you spoke at the West Side Auditorium, Chicago, where you described the starving condition of the French children and related various experiences during your visit to France. The meeting was held under the auspices of the Jewish Socialist Central Committee. On Sunday, February 8, 1920 you are said to have occupied a seat on the platform at the All Chicago Liberty demonstration at the Coliseum, which meeting was called to protest against the recent raids on the radicals and to urge the release of so-called "political prisoners".

I am perfectly willing to admit that it is your privilege to so conduct yourself and it is quite possible that I am old-fashioned and out of date in my Americanism and a "tool of the capitalists and paid press", as such who think as I do are referred to so frequently by those of your belief. At the same time I should be permitted to believe that pacifists and radicals, sometimes referred to as Bolshevists, are dangerous to the community. As stated above I may be wrong but I have too much faith and respect for the form of government of the United States to believe for one moment that it should be changed. I cannot but feel you must admit that in view of the numerous occasions on which you have been present at radical meetings you are at least open to suspicion. This alliance must have come after deliberate thought and if you are subjected to criticism thereby it should call for no resentment when the criticism comes.

Very sincerely yours,

R. A. Gunn [signed]