Alice Thacher Post to Lucia Ames Mead and Hannah Clothier Hull, November 16, 1917


A carbon of this letter goes to Miss Addams from A. T. Post.

December 16, 1917.

Dear Mrs. Mead and Mrs. Hull:

Thanks to your kind promptness we are getting on famously with our program for the banquet. I am now going to ask ↑Mrs Hull↓> if the banquet is pretty certain; have you found out whether you can arrange for one?

I have heard from you both as to speakers. Mrs. Mead advises six or seven speakers besides Miss Addams to close. She apparently advises ten minutes for each except Miss Addams to be unlimited, and Miss Abbott to have twenty minutes. Mrs. Hull advises no more than seven speakers, and a limit of only seven or eight minutes. I suggest that if we have only a short list of speakers and they are limited to a very short time each there may be calls from the floor for other speakers, and we might have some embarrassing experience. Therefore --

1. Don't you think we had better have, say, eight speakers, with a time limit of ten minutes for all but Miss Abbott and Miss Addams?

Mrs. Mead suggests in place of the rather general title of "Internationalism," "The Rebuilding of the World." I myself like this very much. Therefore --

2. Shall we take the general title, "The Rebuilding of the World," or would Mrs. Hull prefer some other form?

Mrs. Hull suggests: Mrs. Mead, Miss Abbott, Mrs. Forbes, Miss Breckinridge, Miss Gale, Mrs. Falconer, Mrs. Lewis.

Mrs. Mead thinks Mrs. Falconer a good suggestion. She further suggests: Miss Abbott, Miss Balch, Mrs Cothren, Miss Gale, Mrs. Lewis and Mrs. Buttenheim, and Mrs. Crane if she is a good speaker. Mrs. Crane is really not a speaker at all but she is very erect on a platform, and she is profoundly interested in internationalism and is backing our international work. I thought it would be very nice to have just a few words from her if she could be persuaded to give them, even if all could not hear her. Miss Gale, as you both know, does not exactly make a speech; she is more likely to give a parable, and perhaps since we cannot have everybody we ought to keep to the persons who will make little addresses to the subject. After writing in regard to the foregoing Mrs. Mead wrote [page 2] that Mrs. Evans was back in Boston and that it seemed a very good plan for her to speak for the Boston group, and that Mrs. Evans was willing to do so. This I think will be all right.

As I have written you both, I caught Mrs. Ella Flagg Young, one of our Honorary Chairmen, just as she was leaving Washington, and ventured to ask her without consulting either of you, for she is so valuable to us and is so attractive a speaker that I felt sure we ought not to lose the chance of getting her. She promised to come if she could, and is to let me know as soon as possible. I have already asked Miss Abbott, since we were all agreed on her, but told her I could not yet tell her the time limit. I asked ↑her↓ to take small and oppressed nationalities. She has agreed to do so. Now what do you think of the following list, of course not in this order?

3. Miss Abbott -- accepted.
Mrs. Young -- probable.
Mrs. Evans (Boston) -- accepted.
Mrs. Martha P. Falconer, (Superintendent of the Girls' Reformatory, Philadelphia).
Mrs. Frank Cothren (New York).
Miss Emily G. Balch, Member International Committee.
Mrs. Harold Buttenheim, (N.J.)
Mrs. Lucy Biddle Lewis, to make a money speech.
Mrs. Charles R. Crane, for a few words as to Russia.
Miss Addams to close.

There are nine in this list besides Addams. This will allow for a declination or two. I confess that I would like to add to it the name of Miss Richards, or at least have the opportunity of asking her. She very likely would not want to come, or could not come. It is true that she is said to be militaristic now, but she feels that she was in at the beginning, and she is growing deafer and is far from well. It seems to me that it would be nice to ask her, but I will not do it unless you also think well of it.

In replying to this, if you approve of the suggested names will Mrs. Hull please give me Mrs. Falconer's address, and Mrs. Mead give me the addresses of Mrs. Cothren, Miss Balch and Mrs. Buttenheim, and I will write to them immediately. I am sorry to have had to trouble you with so long a letter.