Marcet Haldeman to Jane Addams, March 11, 1916 (fragment)

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Dearest Auntie --

Julius wants me to marry him and, unless you find some sound and strong reason against my doing so, I shall.

When Julius first told me how much he cared, three weeks ago tomorrow, I answered that I did love him deeply but that I was not in love with him. And that was exactly how I felt.

Followed thereupon much conversation. I told him, honestly that I was too burnt out emotionally to feel anything very keenly -- anything: love hate, joy or suffering. He said this was his first great love and [page 2] that worried me. I told him why -- because he had no way of correlating this experience and so giving it its real relative value whereas I could "place" my love for him almost exactly.

He is one of the best comrades I have ever had. Father, Tom and Euterpe are the only other people with whom I have ever had anything like so comfortable a sense of natural harmony and have enjoyed such splendid adventures of the mind. And although he is quite as self centered as I am, he is extraordinarily fair minded and has my own notions of personal liberty. I like to be with him. I invariably give him my best self and seem to draw out all that [page 3] is best in him.

But of course, I knew that while this was all very lovely, it was hardly fair to Julius who was having his song of songs. And through it all I felt such a yearning for Tom I thought I should die.

I'll never forget that week. I was writing a letter that has to go to all the non-member state banks, was trying to think of a good caption for my address at Topeka next month at the K.S.B.A. convention (will be my first formal speech & I feel quite excited to be on the same program with the governor -- though to be sure he comes the first day & I the second -- I come right after Mr. Cobb who is very technical & heavy -- so I thought I'd take something [page 4] quite human & make an address I can use at clubs and other places as well & finally decided on "The People's Bank and the Bank's People." It is going to be good, I think.), was working over an abstract that was a mess (two marriages -- ten children in all -- each instead of giving a quit claim to any & all interest in the whole trust -- just gave for their <his or her> part -- nearly drove me crazy getting it straightened out, was getting my campaign for a new county jail started and trying to visualize what kind of a life Julius and I would have together -- not to mention managing another big public dance on Saturday -- pay day -- and getting another club for my half grown girls started!

One way and another, [page 5] it was impossible for me to see him <Julius> alone for a whole week. Then we had Sunday supper up here and talked -- at great length. I made Julius <him> understand exactly how I felt. Exactly. We discussed the details of our life if we should marry. Everything was entirely tentative. I began to see that a marriage between us might be a very constructive and developing step for each of us. But something in me held back. Something had not gone click.

Julius said he felt that I did love him. And I said "It's just as I told you from the beginning. I do love you. I have a profound tenderness toward you. I feel a beautiful sense of being at home with [page 6] you. I trust you. And it gives me happiness to be with you. But I am certainly not in love with you. I have been in love and I know the difference. I have a feeling I may grow to be in love with you and then I may not. I honestly can't tell."

I asked if he had ever been ill from any sex experiences and he said no. I believed him absolutely, for he is temperamentally truthful, but I have lived too long in this world to have faith in my belief in anyone and I explained this to him and said I should, if I did decide to marry him; have to have a doctor's certificate corroborating his statement.

I said "Julius, if I do make up my mind, I shall not ask you any questions about your [page 7] past emotional life and you must promise me not to ask me any questions about mine. We each are exactly who we are because of what we have experienced and the fact that I care about you, justifies your past to me -- and the fact that you care about me evidently justifies my past to you. Or perhaps it doesn't!" Julius already knew that I had had an unhappy love mix up last winter -- and I said -- "whether we just stay friends or whether we marry Tom will never come into your life through me -- except that I shall always love him. I could no more stop loving him than I could stop loving Euterpe." But you must promise me, never to ask me who he is. Honestly, Aunt Jane, if Julius hadn't agreed to that I would have stopped everything right there. [page 8] But he did and I felt he did so sincerely -- because he loves me deeply enough to reach through his love real [heights?] of understanding. Somehow, at the end of that evening we seemed very much closer than at the beginning.

And the next evening Julius appeared with two letters which I enclose. They are both from very good doctors -- one here in Girard, a young ambitious chap and the other a tried old veteran in Pittsburg. It was so typical of Julius to go at once and get them and to bring two instead of one that I just sat down and laughed. I said "if I decided to marry" I reminded him -- if -- if -- if.

"I know you said 'if'" he agreed good-temperedly -- "If -- if -- if -- you have them anyway." [page 9]

You know, Aunt Jane, or rather you don't know, but there is a quality in him that makes you simply know, he can always be depended upon to make good. He is an artist, a poet, -- a gypsy, but there is something there that always rings as true as steel -- that is solid and to be trusted.

He had set his heart on my going up to Kansas City with him to see the Russian dancers. I knew how this town would talk but I did want to make Julius happy. So I wired Aunt Mercy Brown (and did it from the bank where they could all hear) to ask her if she would take dinner with me, go to see the dancers and spend the night with me at the [Muehlebach]. She wired back she would -- and I took care that casually -- oh quite [page 10] casually every one at the bank saw her answer -- Julius went up Friday at 3.30. P.M. I went to a Republican caucus at 7. P.M and was elected one of seventeen from this ward to go to the county convention. Different people made speeches and they called on me. At first I felt I couldn't get up before that <crowd -- we were in the --> court-house [illegible] and then I decided I would and I did. I made a good speech -- about two [minutes] long. Told them a few things about their own county. I forgot to tell you that I go every Sunday afternoon to read and make a little talk to the men in our county jail. It was built for 8 and has had just now 30 <men> in it. Bugs thick as hops, -- no heat but an old stove. The Sunday after they had all received their sentences I read them "The Man Without [page 11] a Country" and you could have heard a pin-drop. I sit up against the bars so that those who are in the inner section (the men in for murder, man-slaughter & assault & battery.) can hear as well as those in the outer section (those in for breaking the prohibitory law -- petty larceny -- forgery etc.). The men in the cells have a way of leaning their foreheads against the bars and pushing their fingers partly through & closing them over other bars. So when I look up to make a point, I see just intense eyes & hands. It's very strange. I talk to them straight from the shoulder out of the depths of my own sufferings and victories. And that Sunday -- it was how to fight Self-Pity and Bitterness. Now I'm in Tom Sawyer and it did <does> my heart good to hear those men <[laugh?] &> chuckle. I cherish [page 12] those laughs as much as any that ever came to me across the footlights. Also I keep the men supplied with magazines. <(so now they have stopped breaking the window lights.)> Wonderful old Mark Twain! How wonderful <glorious> to be able to lift souls out of their troubles as he does. I have half a mind to write out <my talks> and see if other prisoners would like my talks <them> as well as these do. Blind leading the blind alright. -- Well -- anyway it did me good to stand up before that crowd -- I mean the Girard people -- lots of whom have been ripping me up and down behind my back and tell them a few plain truths. I must tell you when I write next of how the Christian minister preached about me and against me. His remarks were the one topic of conversation here for about <[illegible]> a week. He said [page 13] I was "tearing down the Church of Christ" by my influence. Pleasant wasn't it!! All my friends were furious and my boys at the camp said if I'd say the word -- they'd "lay for him and learn him a lesson." But I didn't care much.

As I was saying, the caucus was over by a little before nine and I caught the car to the camp -- danced until twelve came home and went up to Kansas City at 4. A.M. Took Getha with me. Mrs Shoemaker has been very ill and I have Getha instead. She is even more satisfactory than Mrs Shoemaker.

Julius and I had a wonderful time. So did Aunt Mercy Brown, I believe. Julius and I have the same kind of love of beauty and of beautiful [page 14] things. It was lovely watching all that riot of color and grace and motion together -- I shall never forget how my hand ached for his as we sat watching it. How amused my mind was that my hand should ache so -- and how I wondered why on Earth and how I could love him so much and yet not be able to feel any of the glory and joy I used to feel and still do feel in my love for Tom.

We came home together the next day at eleven. And we talked. Julius said he was beginning to feel we really should be married. I was too -- but I said that there were several things which if I were more sure of it we would have to talk about but if we were not that they were not <any> of my business. Julius said [page 15] "what were they". And I told him -- he would have to give me a much clearer idea of his family. If they were not in his life in such a way that they would be likely to ever come into our common life -- then I was not interested beyond knowing that they were sound in mind and body -- but for instance, I knew both his parents were living, was it likely or even at all probable that they would ever want to live with us he had a younger sister -- how much obligation did he feel toward her. And I said I should certainly want to see them. He was clear, explicit and detailed in his answer. It satisfied me on that score. Also he said that their family name is Zamost -- that his father simply dropped it -- & his children went on using the name of Julius -- as the Barrymores went on using the one their [page 16] father took. -- I told him that I thought that was a messy way to do -- that he ought to have his family name reestablished. He said as it was his grandfather's and his uncles, in fact everyone's but his fathers, <who had deliberately dropped it,> he doubted if he would have to <reestablish it> -- but he would see Judge Smith and if it were necessary to take any legal steps -- he would. He said he didn't know why he hadn't done so before that he would go on using Emanuel Julius for his pen name for his popular things -- but for his higher class work would use Emanuel Julius Zamost.

We got home just in time for me to go to the jail. And in the evening Julius came down again. We had a wonderfully beautiful evening, but when Julius said "I feel that you do love me deeply and fully", [page 17] I told him truthfully "I do love you deeply, but I do not love you fully. There is something in me you haven't won."

Then Tuesday we had the big <Republican> county convention. It was terribly exciting!! Band playing. Court-house packed. I was elected one of 27 delegates from the county to go to Independence next week to the Congressional district convention where we select two men (from the nine counties) to go to Chicago.

Mr. [Brinkerhoff] was speaking. He used a clipping from the Appeal to Reason as an argument against socialism. It was by Jack London. I was thoroughly in sympathy with Mr. [Brinkerhoff], but my mind registered what a good article that was of London's. How the [page 18] conservative element in this county does hate the socialists. I could scarcely make you realize how bitter and intense the feeling is. Suddenly it came to me that if I should not marry Julius and wished to, that I could become a big woman politically in this state. It's the truth, Aunt Jane. I do know it. But I doubt if, when I do marry Julius I can hold my own altogether. People here are not educated up to thinking of a husband and wife as [separate] entities. And suddenly I found myself weighing Julius against all the others -- He seemed to me of so much finer a caliber with his clean mind, his sensitive, beauty loving soul and his sincere search for truth (though I do not see [page 19] the latter as he does) -- So much finer than this rabble that gobbled down things whole -- & made every thing they touched a little sordid -- I could just see what a bomb it would be -- hear all the things people would say to my marrying -- a socialist!!! And a Jew!! And then quite simply and surely something went click in me. I knew that I didn't care what they all said -- what any one individually or the whole world collectively said. He meant more to me than they did or anything they could give me did.

I was put on the Committee of Resolutions. They were already written out when we went into the committee room. One of the men read them off glibly and [page 20] someone moved we adopt them. I said "Goodness no! I should hope not -- let's take it paragraph by paragraph." -- and after some discussion that is what we did. But you ought to have seen some of the men's faces -- though most of them thought we should take it piecemeal. We went over it carefully and we cut out a lot of truck. Some of the things I had to fight to get out -- but I never once thought of having the universal suffrage plank put in -- Can you beat that. Never thought of it. I could kick myself. Well, live and learn!!

Aunt Jane, when they read the resolutions, amongst those we had endorsed, was the name of a man we had never even mentioned in the Committee meeting at all. A man I never would have endorsed & those men knew it, and were afraid [last page(s) missing]