Antoinette Funk to Jane Addams, March 29, 1915

National Congressional Committee
National American Woman Suffrage Association

March 29, 1915.

Miss Jane Addams,
Hull House,
Chicago, Ill.

My dear Miss Addams: --

I have had it in mind to write you this letter ever since my trip to Indianapolis to attend the Mississippi Valley Conference. While there Mme. Schwimmer and I were entertained for dinner at the same house. After dinner Mme. Schwimmer talked to the guests, and there was a sort of open discussion upon the peace situation.

I presume it is not necessary for me to say how heartily I endorse the peace movement, nor to express my feeling and anxiety over the terrible situation that has come upon the world through the war. I had listened to Mme. Schwimmer deliver her instructive and inspiring address in the afternoon, the same, I think, that she has been giving over the country. I take it that she was exceedingly tired and nervous after a long and strenuous journey to the West, but in any event she seemed to me to lose control of herself entirely when evening came. She made a great many personal remarks about Bryan and President Wilson and others in authority, and exhibited a degree of bitterness toward the American people that surprised me very greatly.

It appears that she has had some trouble with Mrs. John Jay White and others in Washington. I of course knew nothing about it, but she seemed to feel that because I came from Washington I was in some way responsible. During the course of the conversation some one asked her (I do not recall now who it was, but I think it was Mrs. Upton) whether she believed this peace conference would result in ending the war. She said emphatically that it would. [page 2]

Without intending in any way to [criticize] or disagree with the peace conference, which I endorse and which I am helping in every way possible, I said that it would not end the war; that I did not think it wise that we should go into it feeling that it would, it being my understanding that a movement of this sort would reach its greatest usefulness when the war was ended, in aligning the nations -- all of them -- in a movement for universal and unending peace.

I think I did not realize how nervous and hysterical Mme. Schwimmer was, or I should not have ventured even this much, but she thereupon insisted that people who believed as I did and made such statements as I had just made were unfriendly to the peace movement and out of sympathy with everything looking toward permanent peace. The following day when I met her at the Conference she expressed her regret that I was not for peace, and I did not say anything more about it, I just let it go. I thought by some chance if she remembered it she might mention it to you. I understand she is going to be with you in Europe, and I want you to know exactly what did happen.

I am hoping for great results in the future relationship between nations from this new conscience that has grown up among the people in the last few years. I think when this European war is over the women of the country can do much to strengthen real friendship among the nations on the American continent.

We certainly regret not having you with us for the early part of the campaign, but we can afford to lose you, I guess, in so good a cause.

Sincerely yours,

Antoinette Funk [signed]