Jane Addams to Carrie Chapman Catt, December 21, 1914

( C O P Y )

Chicago, December 21, 1914.
My dear Mrs. Catt:--

I have delayed replying to your letter of December 16th, hoping that the situation would clear itself. In the meantime, I have had letters, telegrams, and one long-distance telephone from Mrs. White in Washington. In the latter I promised to attend the meeting there on January 10th.

Could we not get together a number of representative women for that meeting, perhaps looking toward the organization of the women throughout the country in a peace movement? If you approve of the plan which has gradually worked itself out in my mind will you please telegraph me immediately upon receipt of this letter?

Our Emergency Peace Committee, organized in Chicago only a few weeks ago after the lectures given here by Madame Schwimmer and Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence, has grown into a lusty organization. it is composed of both men and women, but the men see the point of calling together a women's meeting.

I quite agree with you as to the masculine management of the existing Peace Societies. I have been identified with them for years, and while I believe that men and women work best together on these public measures, there is no doubt that at this crisis the women are most eager for action.

If you agree, it seems to me better that we should not issue a general "call" now, but that I should write letters, in your name and mine, to the Emergency Committees and other groups who have been organized and stirred as the result of the lectures given by Mrs. Pethick Lawrence and Madame Schwimmer, and who are now clamoring for action in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Nashville and St. Paul, and that I should ask them to unite in the meeting which the Washington group are arranging for January 10th.

That, in addition to this, I write -- again informally and using your name as well as my own -- to the national organizations of women who have standing Peace Committees, such as the National Federation of Women's Clubs; the National Council of Women; the Women's Department of the World's Peace Foundation, 40 Mt. Vernon Street, Boston; the National Socialist Women's Committee; the National Inter-Collegiate Alumnae Association; the National Women's Christian Temperance Union; the National Suffrage Association; the National Women's Trade Union League; the National League of Teachers' Organizations; the Young Women's Christian Association; the Daughters of the American Revolution (who ask to be included); the Mothers' Congress; the National [page 2] Federation of Settlements; the National Association of Charities and Corrections. We must of course include the American Peace Society, the Association for International Conciliation and Arbitration, the World's Peace Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace, and the Church Peace Union, asking them to send women representatives; and certainly we would wish to include in such a gathering, the Peace Parade Committee of New York, in which Mrs. Villard and Miss Wald were so active.

I am writing at once to Mrs. Lucia Ames Mead and Mrs. Anna Garland Spencer, who have been active for years in the organized peace movement and to whom one naturally appeals in any such matter. They will doubtless be very useful in formulating plans.

With this I am enclosing a copy of the resolutions which we adopted at our meeting on Saturday and which we might easily use as the basis of discussion; but if it is better to keep it more distinctly a woman's movement, we would discuss Madame Schwimmer's resolutions and Mrs. Pethick Lawrence's terms of peace, or a third and simpler proposition which I am also sending.

I am undertaking all this with a certain sinking of the heart, knowing how easy it is to get a large body of women together and how difficult it is to take any wise action among many people who do not know each other well. The demand however has been tremendously spontaneous, and widespread, which should give us confidence.

Very sincerely yours,