Response to Mabel Thorp Boardman, August 14, 1912

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I quite agree with much of what Miss Boardman says concerning Pres. Taft. I have never criticized his administration and have no wish to do so now. Nevertheless I claim my right as an individual to sit as a delegate at <in> a convention whose platform embodies the measures for which I have worked for many years. I imagine [Miss] Boardman refers to Hull House <when she says> that I am using unfairly the influence of an institution but those who know Hull House realize that it has little value to the community save as it has been able to express certain principles, <and that it has always stood for freedom of speech.> Much of my time has always <long> been given to the prevention of child labor, to bettering [page 2] the condition of working girls, to securing suffrage for women and similar causes. but At times these measures have been matters for political action in the Illinois legislature and in Congress itself. They are now taken up systematically by the Progressive Party, it seems to me quite as consistent that I should follow <advocate> them there as that I should have appeared before Congressional Committees. In so doing <this> I have followed my best judgment & conscience and can't agree with [Miss] B that I have violated any obligation to Hull House or to any <other> societies <associations> with which I may be connected.

It is a question whether any society or institution has a right to stultify its officers, where [page 3] on the contrary <since an institution> reveals its own weakness when it cares more for its position <and> influence than for the very cause it serves.

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