Harriet Park Thomas to Jane Addams, September 28, 1916


My dear Miss Addams:

I have not yet received an answer to the telegram I sent you this morning in regard to my attendance at the Board Meeting next week. I feel as if you were due some explanation in this connection.

Mrs. [Albion] W. Small will probably not live through the next week. Perhaps you know that she has been suffering all summer with an incurable and inoperable disease. Mr. Thomas and I seem to be the only ones left of the "old guard" of the Sociology Department and I should dislike very much to have to be away from Chicago at a time when I might be of a little use and comfort in Mr. Small's home. This is of course, however, a sentimental consideration and I should not be willing to have to interfere in the least with my obligations to the Woman's Peace Party as my presence at the Board meeting is at all necessary.

I had expected to go and Mrs. Karsten and I were planning on it, but the knowledge of Mrs. Small's rapid decline has made her a little unwilling to start away just now.

I want to tell you exactly what I did in connection with Mrs. Schutze's bibliography. The printer, of course, could not hold the type indefinitely and there had already been considerable delay in connection with it, so I gave the prior to have the type broken up and also returned to Mrs. Schutze the check for fifty dollars which she had sent. Some of the letter from members of the Board were quite severe and all of them were [asking?] in regard to sending this list out as it was. I [know Mrs. Schutze?] so well that it seemed best to us to be quite direct with her in regard to the whole affair, though I tried to be as gentle as possible. She is very [dour] and generous in her spirit and even if she should be a little sore about the matter at first, I feel sure that she will [two illegible words] all right.

In case I do not go to the Board meeting, I think the question of the function of the Arts Committee would better be brought up. Also another problem has [come?] to us in connection with Mrs. Mead's letters sent out occasionally to State Chairman and to our membership in general. Once before the question arose as to whether the Board approved what Mrs. Mead wrote in these letters. Just now an objection has been raised to Mrs. Mead's advocacy of President Wilson, stated quite strongly in her last letter, sent out September 12th. Although she distinctly states that [page 2] the Woman's Peace Party is a non-partisan organization, unhesitatingly advises our membership to support him and announces that she intends to do so. I think the point is well taken that such a statement should not have been issued under our official letterhead and in a communication which Mrs. Mead was sending out in her capacity as Secretary. This has probably not done very much harm and I am sure Mrs. Mead will see the necessity of having her letter passed on by at least some members of the Board.

I have fully decided to come out for Mr. Wilson, but have not quite prepared my statement. Mary McDowell sent a splendid letter to Mr. Cole last week. He is the Chairman of the Woodrow Wilson Independent League of Illinois. I think Grace Abbott, also, intends to come out for Mr. Wilson and probably Miss Breckinridge.

It is good to know that you are heading back toward Chicago provided your coming home does not mean that you are going to work too hard.

Please let me know as exactly as possible what material you want from the office for the Board Meeting, in addition to the Office Report and Financial report. Mrs. Karsten and I are preparing a little agenda.

As always,

Faithfully yours,

Miss Jane Addams,
Bar Harbor, Maine.

HPT: [MI?]