Marion Tilden Burritt to Jane Addams, August 11, 1908

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534 West 124th St.

Miss Jane Addams –
Hull House
Chicago.


My dear Miss Addams,

In carrying on Equal Suffrage discussions with people, which I find myself constantly called upon to do, there is no argument which [page 2] stands me in better stead at this stage of public feeling, than a statement which I understand you were the first to make, namely, that many of the so-called ignorant, foreign-born women to whom we are so fearful of extending the Suffrage, have exercised in the countries from which they came certain political privileges which they were forced to [page 3] give up when they came to this "land of freedom".

This never fails to make an impression, for I find that the fear of the result of giving the vote to the immigrant woman keeps more people, among the intelligent and reasonable, from joining our ranks than any other obstacle.

The point would have more force, however, if I could specify exactly what [page 4] those privileges were and in what countries they were exercised.

Could you give me the information – briefly – or can you refer me to anything you have in print upon the subject? Just now, too, it would be useful to refer to it in something I am writing. Of course I have read your chapter on [page 5] "Women in City Government" in "Newer Ideals of Peace".

May I take the opportunity of saying to you what a remarkable book that seems to me to be, and how I marvel that one who has such a deep human sympathy and love and such a wonderful gift of practical accomplishment, should at the same time [page 6] have such a keen philosophical insight into the causes and bearings of a problem which is bewildering and befogging the brains of our – supposedly – wisest public men.

You are one of those great ones, however, whom it seems almost an impertinence to praise. As George Meredith [page 7] says somewhere, "One does not pay compliments to transcendent merit, as one does not hold candles to lamps".

Thanking you in advance for any trouble you may take in answering my question, I am

Yours very truly,

(Miss) Marion Tilden Burritt.

August 11, 1908.

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