Lillian D. Wald to Jane Addams, November 13, 1917


November 13, 1917.

Dear Lady: --

The reason you did not have an immediate answer to your note of November 2nd is because I have been experimenting with the Dictaphone and I have been trying to speak my letters into it, but thus far it has not been successful. The letters go in but they do not seem to come out.

We are nearly bursting over our citizenship. It is probably an old thing to you by this time but I had no idea that I could thrill over the right to vote. Of course, it is not the right to vote, but the reassurance that we are really democratic in the New York State.

Mary McDowell was here last evening and filled me with joy. She reports that you are not likely to have any more trouble with your old trouble and that you have almost a clean bill of health. It is as good as the election returns!

I have resigned from the Executive Committee of the American Union, and though I have busied myself in the interest of the problems of the American Union and the Civil Liberties Bureau, I have, and this is just between us, no confidence in Crystal's judgments that I did not wish to share the responsibility and I believe that nothing short of being in the office every day would have been satisfactory. There are so many other things that I must plead for that I feel that I could not throw away any part of my reputation for good judgment. I am sure that a Committee of liberals is needed and if it is not the American Union it must be some other union. Amos Pinchot was elected in my place and I think that he is a good chairman under the circumstances because he will not be so very much on the job -- that is for [page 2] any length of time and in consequence I do not believe that he will be as punctilious about the way things are done or just what is said. I sent my resignation in as you remember, because I believed that the Civil Liberties Bureau ought to be separate from the American Union and because I did not believe that there should be interlocking directorates particularly with the People's Council. The Civil Liberties Bureau has been separated and there has been a vote not to have the interlocking directorates and so much that I have struggled for was accomplished perhaps because I insisted on resigning.

We are going to be terribly busy from now on trying to educate the voter. I thought when the vote was won that I would have a minute or two a day, but it seems not to be working that way.

My dearest love to you and Mary. Please confirm Mary McDowell's good news.

Always affectionately yours,

Lillian D. Wald [signed]

Miss Jane Addams,
Hull House,
Chicago, Ill.

P.S. When next we meet I can tell you more clearly some reasons for the opposition against the American Union. As you know the newspapers tried to eliminate criticism of me. Max has not been fastidious in his [behaviors] in some ways and Crystal too comes in for criticism, but I do not credit the criticisms of her. I fear they are true of her brother.