George Woodward Wickersham to Jane Addams, May 12, 1924




May 12, 1924

Miss Jane Addams,
Chicago, Ill.

My dear Miss Addams:

The recent precipitate action of the Senate in adopting drastic and humiliating provisions in the immigration bill, so far as it bears upon Japan, has done serious damage to the cause of goodwill and mutual consideration between that country and our own.

Whatever adjustments President Coolidge may secure, friends of fair and friendly relations have an urgently important task ahead. There is pressing need of educating the responsible citizenry of the United States in regard to the facts and in support of constructive programs for the solution of the problems, due to the presence on our Pacific Coast of about a hundred thousand Japanese. The activities of anti-Japanese agitators and the attitude of the editorial writers of our sensational press constitute a serious menace. They bid fair to give trouble for at least a decade to come.

In view of the situation that has taken such an unfortunate turn during the past few weeks, we feel it important to strengthen and enlarge the work of this Committee. It has been decided to form a committee of One Thousand outstanding American citizens in every part of our country -- composed exclusively of American citizens -- and to enter upon a plan of constructive education in order to make widely known the essential facts in regard to Japanese in America and the laws dealing with them, and also to promote wide acceptance of concrete proposals in line with the statement of our purpose and program, as embodied in the enclosed folder.

We have appreciated highly your [cooperation] in permitting the use of your name as one of our Honorary Members. In order to make our work more effective, may we ask three favors:

1st. Does the enclosed Statement of Purpose and Program express in substance what friends of justice and goodwill should stand for in American relations with Japan? Your suggestion or criticisms will be highly appreciated. [page 2]

2nd. May we place your name on the list of our regular membership? We feel that advantage will be gained if the entire membership is on the same basis.

3rd. Will you kindly suggest the names of men and women of influence who, you think, might be glad to have a part in this movement for promoting right and friendly relations with Japan.

Again thanking you for your [cooperation] in the past, I am

Very sincerely yours,

George W. Wickersham [signed]