Carrie Chapman Catt to Jane Addams, March 16, 1915


International Woman Suffrage Alliance

7, Adam Street, Adelphi, London.

March 16, 1915.

My dear Miss Addams,

I have received this morning a letter from Miss Sheepshanks Editor of JUS SUFFRAGII. I quote the following paragraph from it just to show you how things are going on in England, and I enclose a copy of my letter, which I am sending today to Dr. Jacobs.

"You will have received all the documents from Holland about the Dutch Conference, so I will merely report to you what has happened here. A very successful public meeting of women was held on February 26th with Miss Macmillan in the chair. Speeches were made by Margaret Bondfield (Shop Assistants' Union, Women's Cooperative Guild, Women's Labour League), Miss C. E. Marshall and representatives of the Quakers. The meeting was unanimous and enthusiastic, and passed resolutions in [favor] of supporting the international Conference and guaranteeing the necessary funds and appointing an Executive. The members on the Executive are: Miss Macmillan, Miss Marshall, Miss Courtney, Miss Leaf, Mrs. Alfred Salter (Women's Labour League), Miss Lilian Harris (Women's Co-operative Guild), Miss Sophie Sanger, (Int. Labour Legislation), Miss Theodora Wilson-Wilson (Quakers) and myself. Ten more will be [coopted] from representative women's organizations throughout the country. A very large and representative general council was elected, and they will start Committees in various parts of Great Britain to further the work of the Conference. About [illegible] 300 was raised at the first meeting, and there is not the slightest doubt that the full amount will be raised without any difficulty. Offices have been secured and assistants engaged, and in a few days the work will be in full swing. Miss Macmillan is the Secretary, and there is no doubt the whole thing will be a great success. The Conference will probably take place about the third week in April. I think it will be a very good opportunity for "Jus Suffragii", and I am inviting all our correspondents to send me articles from their countries. Women of all kinds will gather together, and as they will all be internationally-minded it is an opportunity to get them into the I.W.S.A. and to spread the paper. I of course am only helping in my individual capacity outside office hours, but I hope you will agree that it will be a useful thing for me to attend the Conference, just as I did the Conference in Rome last year in Alliance time, though at my own expense. [page 2] I should be glad if you would give your formal consent to this to the Committee. I think I ought to consult you as well as the Committee on the point."

Let me know if you want the copy of the minutes of the Amsterdam meeting.

I received your letter of February 18th while I was absent from New York and I fear I did not make reply. In order to save you the trouble of looking up that correspondence, I will quote from your letter.

"In regard to the Foreign Relations Committee, we are very anxious that you should be Chairman and Madame Schwimmer Corresponding Secretary. It would greatly strengthen us if you would accept this appointment and I should feel much more comfortable in acting upon your suggestions rather than hers. We are getting out a list of the full committees. May I not put you down, please, as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee?"

If it is any comfort to you, I am perfectly willing to act as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee provided it is with the understanding that I shall not be expected at this present time to do a very great deal of international correspondence. In this connection I will say that I had quite a batch of accumulated international correspondence, and I am making reply to all these letters today. I am telling all of these people of the meeting at The Hague and begging them to be present if they possibly can. Please regard me as a movable, elastic sort of figure. If my name is of any use to you in any way, use it; if not, drop me out. I have no feelings in the matter.

Most cordially yours,

Carrie Chapman Catt [signed]