Harriet Park Thomas to Jane Addams, September 11, 1916

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September
Eleventh
1916

My dear Miss Addams:

I am sorry to bother you again about affairs which ought to be attended to in this office, but there is a comical little mix-up in connection with Mrs. Schütze's bibliography -- comic unless it proves tragic by wounding her feelings and alienating her interest and financial support which have been more significant than that of any of our Committee workers, with the exception of the Legislative Committee.

In the first place all the technical requirements in the matter had been met, that is, the material was offered to the Board for approval at the meeting at Mrs. Bowen's on the 9th of June. It is down on my typewritten list among matters to be brought up for consideration that day. When I mentioned it you stated that as we had a Publications Committee, represented there by Mrs. White, the material should be turned over to her which was straightway done. Mrs. Karsten and I saw the humor of this transaction because both during the first year when she was a member of this Committee and for the first six months of this year, when she has been Chairman of the Arts Committee, Mrs. White has done absolutely nothing except propose the circulation of some pictures representing peace, which drew out ironic comments from Mrs. Mead.

When she was made Chairman of the Arts Committee at the Annual Meeting in January, Mrs. Schütze, who, you remember at the <was in> Washington at the time, remarked sardonically to me, "I don't know but that it would have been better to keep Holbrook. She at least put on peace pageants in her school and influenced other teachers to do peace work in the schools."

During the last year Mrs. Schütze compiled and published entirely at her own expense Lists for Distribution and Supplementary Lists which brought up to date through several months of last summer the war literature. This was approved by the Executive Board and no question was raised as to the over-stepping of the function of the Arts Committee since in our literature it was [defined] as "A Committee for the Encouragement of Artists, Musicians and Writers to Productions promoting Peace." There was a wide demand for these Lists so the entire publication is practically exhausted and nothing left [page 2] of the Supplementary Lists except a few copies for purposes of record in the office.

Perhaps you remember that Mrs. Schütze made pictures of the Fuller Sisters and stated that the proceeds of her sales on these were to be devoted to the work of her Committee.

When Miss Nichols referred this last list to Miss Breckinridge for approval during Mrs. Karsten's and my recent absence from the office, it was merely in connection with final proof correction and not for censorship. I cannot quite see how we can now hold up Mrs. Schütze's activities when they proceeded unrestrained for an entire year, for which she was publicly thanked at the Annual Meeting in January. Also the list compiled by Mrs. Quackenbush and issued by Miss Gale's Committee for the Federation meeting in June was not submitted to the Board for approval. The time for printing was so short that the proof was never even sent back to Miss Gale, but Mrs. Karsten and I did the necessary corrections here in the office.

The answers from members of the Board in regard to Miss Breckinridge's questions about the completeness of Mrs. Schütze's bibliography vary very much. Evidently they all think of this bibliography as being in the same class with the quite academic one which she prepared for study by the delegates to the Congress After the War. Mrs. Schütze's lists have never been of this sort, but have contained a variety of reading which she thought might appeal to our membership at large, some of whom would want one kind of reading and some another.

Miss Gale's reply to Miss Breckinridge seems to me the most comprehending one. She says "I see no objection to the Arts Committee issuing this, but then I never think it makes much difference who does what, so that they do not overlap."

Also I prefer to trust Miss Gale's feeling and her literary instinct when she says that a tremendous quotation that is from Rossetti, rather than to be guided by Mrs. Mead's cautious statement in regard to it -- "I asked a teacher of some training what she thought it meant and she said she did not know."

Dear, precious Miss Addams, don't you see how funny all this is and how little it matters whether we go just "by the book" or not in our work, which we have always characterized as loosely organized."

Shall I now make this explanation to all the members of the Board, omitting, of course, the confidential comments about Mrs. White's relation to the Committee, or will you just order me to go ahead with this printing? Mrs. Schütze has been quite impatient over the delay -- it was sometime after the meeting in June before we were able to extract this material from Mrs. White. If Mrs. Karsten and I had <not> both been off the job at the same time this innocent little thing would have gone through just as the others did and would probably have [proved] valuably suggestive to many of our readers who are scattered throughout the country.

I must add that in sending the list back, although, she was Chairman of the Arts Committee, Mrs. White made no comment either of approval or [page 3] disapproval so that the matter seems to have passed automatically out of her hands.

I believe Mrs. Karsten wrote you about sending the money for "The Radical" directly to Lucien Price. I have not yet disposed of the diamond ring because I didn't feel sure whether the proceeds should best be applied to "The Radical" or to some other needy person suffering for his principles. You may remember that this was never definitely settled. Shall I sell the ring for seventy-five dollars and send the money to Mr. Price? I know I am not supposed to be able to communicate with the lady who gave the ring, though I guessed who she was.

As always, affectionately yours

Miss Jane Addams,
Bar Harbor, Maine.

P.S. Shall I send a copy of this letter to Miss Breckinridge or will you straighten the thing out with her?