Anna Garlin Spencer to Lucia Ames Mead, November 1917


Dear Mrs. Mead,

I have your letter and share your deep anxiety about the statement that will get us safely through the Annual Meeting. I think we should not try to settle upon any form until we meet in Ex. session of the Board at Phila. on the 5th. of December. I will as you ask "try my hand at a form of a statement" to be presented for consideration at that time. I am also more than ever convinced that we must disentangle the National Board from any responsibility for Branch action and relieve the Branches from the feeling of moral responsibility for the National Board action. We can't have a censorship on publications from remote points of the country if the National office is to do any straight-out critical and appreciative work of comment and guidance at this troubled time. While we were getting permission from opposite ends of the moral universe from New York and Mass. the occasion would be gone. We are not able now to be either a light horse cavalry or a heavy artillery. Beside we run the risk of going to pieces with a show of antagonism between the two extremes among us that will make the N.Y. Times and such papers send up a howl of delight. We must prevent friction if it is possible but not in a way to make us all dumb because we can't agree on what to say together. I will do my best to get [something] ready for discussion in our Board meeting, perhaps to send around in advance so we can be making up our minds. It is such an awful time that one almost feels the need of speaking on sole responsibility in order to take responsibility and relieve others of it for one's own sentiments and convictions.

I am so sorry that you have so many different kinds of anxiety all at once.

Yours A. G. Spencer [signed]

↑P.S: I agree with Mrs Post in refusing to call "hard [names]." Others are doing it in plenty. It is not our job.↓