Emily Greene Balch to Jane Addams, January 8, 1921



6, rue du Vieux-Collège

↑Coraggio! This letter is not really terribly long. It is written very large & on all only 1 side!↓

Jan 8/21
(Sat pm with the office to myself)

Dear Miss Addams

I have your cable and letter of about the Nobel Prize. I am sorry but apparently it is the best we can do. Thank you.

We are just about to send out a circular letter with various items of news in it, including this

[written in the left margin] Summer Meetings

After much correspondence and consideration of all the elements involved the best practicable plan for our summer meetings seems to be

Congress: Vienna July 10-16

Summer School: Salzburg, first 2 weeks of August.

I think the interval is to be deplored but [page 2] it seemed the best we could do.

[written in left margin] [Maison Internationale?]

We want to have more guests come here to the house. Do you think we could advertise it without expense (or very economically) in any way that would pay?

[written in left margin] Personal

Everything is going well. I took quite a Christmas holiday -- 2 weeks -- & went down to the Riviera with Helen Cheever, who is still here, and came back feeling so much more energy than I have enjoyed a sense of for many months.

[written in left margin] Organizing Tour

One of the things that puzzles me most is the question of an [organizing] journey which was talked of for last autumn at our June Ex. Com. meeting, when Miss Courtney and I hoped to go together to the Balkan Countries. [page 3] [It] was voted we should try to go if we could procure funds. I estimated that $750 would apiece would be an outside allowance -- going by George Nasmyths' data. Mr Noel Buxton said he would give something and we have from Miss Lloyd $100 and a little other money. I have hesitated to campaign for funds ↑(1)↓ being so uncertain if we could realize the plan, (2) thinking that getting furniture enough so we could make use of the Maison [Internationale] came first, and (3) being afraid of spoiling our drive for [100,000] francs for the Congress and continuation of our work. I have felt very doubtful whether I was well and strong enough to make the journey and whether Miss Courtney could & would really go and whether she & I would make a good team, neither [page 4] [of] us being at all a magnetic speaker nor of the type perhaps to attract women of that part of the world.

Now that time draws near when I must either plan it out and realize it if possible, or drop it.

What is your advice?

I think if we could get women together from those countries where there have been the persistent border feuds, fomented by the Great Powers, it might have a real value -- perhaps even an historical significance -- and I think going and drumming them up would help.

I think in Bulgaria and Athens we should find a welcome. In [Serbia] we are not wanted as they want to get suffrage and are afraid of women pacifists just as Mrs Catt was. [page 5]

I don't get much encouragement in general. People think it "too early." But it is always too early for pacifism everywhere. We are used to that.

Our Italian section [illegible] ↑doesn't amount to anything↓ now and it ought to. Dr Dobelli-Zampetti has left Rome for 2 years for her health and Signora Lollini is perfectly without hope or energy apparently. Vida Scudder who speaks Italian and who is favorably known in some Italian circles at least (by her Life of St Cath of Siena for instance) is coming over in April and I have made a tentative suggestion to her of going to Italy together & trying to get some Italian women together. I have not yet had her answer. What do you think of the plan? [page 6]

[If] you think well enough of it you might write to her about it, & encourage her to do it. I think such a journey as this, with exchange what it is, I could pay for out of my salary all right.

I shall like to go to Agram, Vienna, Prague & Budapest either before or after Italy.

The further radius of Belgrade, Sofia Athens, Constantinople, Bucharest, Sofia is what I should love to do but feel less sure about. Perhaps Mlle Mélin could go with me if Miss Courtney doesn't. Or Mrs. Pethick-Laurence? Yella [Hertzka] would be too busy I think and the fact that she is Jewish would complicate things. While we all feel alike about [Anti-semitism] we don't want to see our movement become [page 7] [an] exclusively Jewish one in the S.E. of Europe and I think there is some danger of that.

The Ath Greek women are having a Congress in March and want us to send a representative and of course it would be nice if I could take that in and speak there.

As to the financial side of ↑all this larger plan↓ the only chance would be, I think, if the idea really appealed to one or m a few people who would give reasonably large sums. If 2 people would give $500 each we should be all right. I have been afraid -- among other reasons -- to write to people in the US for fear of rendering the other efforts harder. If Mrs Forbes and Mrs Charles Rhoads would see us through in this wouldn't it be nice?

I do want your judgment on this. [page 8]

Another thing that I must be setting is whether or not to go on as Secretary for another two years after the Congress, in case I am wanted. If I do I should like to have a leave of absence without salary for a number of months and go home. This would mean [illegible] I should like to go the end of the summer; perhaps I could be returning with you. This would mean missing the Assembly meeting in September but if Miss Marshall were here, with someone else to replace me, it would be very good [though] I should regret being away. But I suspect that after a possible Balkan journey and a midsummer Congress and two weeks of Summer School I shall need a rest. [page 9]

There are family complications. My oldest sister who has always taken care of everything had a serious nervous breakdown in May and can probably never again be under much strain. My aunt ([abt.?] 82) had a serious illness in the summer and is frail and rather a problem. My youngest sister is not strong, Bessie is neither strong nor [mostly free?]. There is money but with present prices not enough to make things easy. I do not know whether I ought to carry the home care now or whether it is better for me to stay here and be self supporting. I may have to go home but I hardly think so. [page 10]

And beyond all this looms the question of the future of our [organization]. It is weak everywhere unless in Germany as far as I can judge. Radicals want to work with Socialists or, in England, the Labour Party. Conservatives want to do relief work. Feminists want to work together with men. Nobody wants either to work or to give, anyway!

Shall we ultimately try to create an [organization] of men & women? Affiliate with the U.D.C.? Try to get the 3 middle class [organizations] of women to affiliate together, the Alliance taking suffrage and womens rights (legal equality [etc.]), the Council taking social and moral reform, and we taking education & internationalism. Mm Chaponnière Pres. of the ICW is a nice [page 11] old lady who hasn't had a new idea for many years and may never again -- have one -- very limited.

What do you think we ought to concentrate on at the Congress? I shall be soon [be] sending out a letter consulting our Sections. Our Ex. Com. voted in June to give half the time to education but if as seems possible the Summer School is given to that subject I think the plan must be altered.

Well here is a whole Pandora's box not of troubles but of questions and you with all Ireland on your hands!

With so many and loving wishes for the New Year yours

Emily G Balch [page 12]


Yes the Bulletin was sent to all International members. I am so glad you like it.

The Alliance board decided that they did not want to give us space as Jus afraid of hurting national susceptibilities!