Zona Gale to Jane Addams, June 16, 1917


Dear Miss Addams: ---

I have thought much of our talk that morning in Henry Street. And always the wish grows in me that we might keep the Peace party, as a party, clear of all save that for which it was organized. In all this raising of $100,000,000 for the Red Cross, in all the enhancement of effort toward organized relief, [cannot] the Party, as a party, stand single for it purpose, its reason for being. The people who now believe are going to need strengthening, as the days come. [Cannot] we stand only to give this strength, to [reiterate] ceaselessly that which we are born, as a party, to say and to strive toward?

I enclose some notes as a basis for a possible letter, to the members of the Party, and to others. For it seems to me, with deep conviction, that in this insistence our duty lies, rather than in such suggestion as that of "showing loyalty and patriotism by offering our service for new work" .... of it being "eminently fitting that some part of our work should now be diverted to channels of relief"; of "each state Branch entering on some form of public service and thus let our opponents perceive our readiness to serve our country and to [cooperate] with all workers whose objectives we approve."

-- Those suggestions were made in April to the state chairman, but now, following the New York conference, might not some such letters as I enclose go to our membership and to others? Or, if this is not possible, might not my committee send it out -- but the other way of issuing it would be infinitely preferable. I cannot bear that the Woman's Peace Party, as a party, should do relief work in war-time. It seems to me far worse than the suffrage party, as a party, rolling bandages. [It] is vitally important that a strong anti-war party should persist; and if the woman's branch of that anti-war party slips into woman's ancient work of relief and conservation as now invited by war, surely it will lose some great indefinable strength and spirit.

In the stress of all those days in New York, after I saw you in Chicago, I never have written to you how dear and prized was that meeting in Chicago, over that sumptuous lunch table. I trust you to know. But I have waked in the night with deep horror at the frankness of what I said [page 2] about the futility of pacifists. To me you were set somewhere there above us, and I was grieving that we might not have borne you out and held you up. The accident of your being chairman of the Peace Party never occurred to me! I think though, that you must have understood that as well. It was our futility in not [having seconded] you better over which I was brooding.

As soon as "Patriotism and Pacifism" is published, I want to know -- will Mrs. Karsten tell me? Meanwhile, if you wish me to send back this copy that I have, perhaps she will let me know. It is a great word -- I want to help to let everyone whom I know, hear it.

Affectionately yours,

Zona Gale [signed]

<Portage, Wisconsin
June 16.


And cannot we issue Emerson's Essay on War, from The Miscellanies? No one can accuse him of being pro-German!>