William Jennings Bryan to Jane Addams, January 22, 1916


Jan. 22nd. 1916.

Miss Jane [Addams],
Chicago, Ills.

My Dear Miss [Addams],

I write to thank you for having taken upon yourself the burden of appearing before the committee to protest against the preparedness program. Your very presence was an argument, and the manner in which you answered the questions put to you must have impressed the committee.

The reports that come to me all indicate a growing sentiment against preparedness. The papers which formerly spoke of preparedness as a matter of course are now discovering that there are all kinds of reasons why there is going to be difficulty.

I wonder if you have ever read the address on preparedness by Rev. Martin D. Hardin, 205 South Ashland Ave. Chicago. It is the most powerful appeal to the Christian conscience of the nation that I have ever read. If you have not read it I am sure you will be greatly pleased with it. It should be laid before every preacher in the United States for it irresistible in spirit and logic. I cannot understand how a preacher of the Gospel can fail to see in the military spirit back of preparedness a challenge to all that the Christian education has been able to accomplish in years.

I am informed that I am one of the five persons selected by the Ford party for a permanent peace commission -- you, Mr. Ford, Mr. Aked, and Mrs. Fels being the other members. I have accepted upon condition that it is not necessary to go at once <and> that I shall not be required to stay long at any one time. When are you going, if at all?

Am conferring to Mr. Ford as to his plans,

Very truly yours,

W. J. Bryan [signed]