May Wright Sewall to Jane Addams, August 4, 1915




August 4, 1915.

Miss Jane Addams,
Hull House, 800 Halsted St.,
Chicago, Ill.

My dear Miss Addams:

Since your return to this country I have been too busy even to send you my congratulations and my welcome, but I am sure you know that I felt both.

I now write a word to make a request in respect to the report of our Conference. It was understood and announced, of course, that unless for extraordinary reasons no paper would be included in the report which was not given by the person who had prepared it. That is, no American paper. It was equally understood that foreign women who were kept at home by the war, and who sent letters or papers to this Conference, should be represented in it, as the war was a sufficient reason for their not being here.

Now it turns out that our Conference was really a very great success when one takes into account the circumstances under which it was organized and the place where it was held. There were people entirely unacquainted with the conditions who were disappointed in the numbers, but those who had been here long enough to know anything about the conditions were surprised by the attendance and by the character of the work. So far as papers and addresses were concerned, and reports I think they were of unusually of high merit.

A report of this Conference which will include a summary of all of the work done in different parts of the country in preparation for it, will be published and distributed very largely, both in foreign countries and at home, and I wish, of course that you as the first member chosen on the Organizing Committee, and as one who has done an extraordinary work, whose conditions and circumstances have enabled her to do an extraordinary work during these months of war, shall be directly represented in the report. I therefore write to ask if you will give your permission for the republication of your address in this report, or will <you> serving us still better, write a brief summary of your work abroad and of your own impressions of the attitude of different countries? I should like very much that your letter or paper in response to this should indicate a statement of the <attitude of> women in the different belligerent countries whom you met.

I think that would be equally interesting and perhaps [equally] <no less> valuable in the end <than> the report which you make of your interviews [page 2] with Prime Ministers, and Rulers.

May I ask Miss Addams what you can do for us in this respect? And I am asking this not merely in my own name but in the names of all of our Organizing Committee who were actively associated. You may be interested in knowing that ten members of our sixteen organizers were present during the Conference. I believe that this would give to your report a wide distribution and also a place of permanence in the libraries of all Peace workers, and in public libraries and Universities of Educational institutions as well. <It> is in the latter that our report is to be placed.

Congratulating you on all that you have been able to do, and <on> the rich experiences that you must have gathered up in the process of doing it, and hoping that this report may be enriched by a record of them, I am, with cordial regards,

Very sincerely yours,

May Wright Sewall [signed]


I take much pleasure in telling you what an excellent impression Mrs William I. Thomas has made on all those who have come in contact with her here, and on her audiences. She was an admirable worker, and an admirable influence, as well as a good speaker.


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