Ida Minerva Tarbell to Jane Addams, May 7, 1908


May 7th, 1908

Miss Jane Addams,
Hull House,
Chicago, Ills.

My dear Miss Addams:

On returning to New York at the end of last week, I found that Mr. Phillips had written a letter to me in Chicago, containing certain things which he wanted me to say to you. Through a misunderstanding of my address, I did not get this letter until it was returned to me to-day. Mr. Phillips seemed to feel that I could say what he wanted to say better than he could write it.  I do not agree with him, so I have taken the liberty of cutting out from his letter to me the points that he wanted to take up with you.

You will see the first paragraph refers to your address at the Humphrey Ward dinner, which I was so anxious that we should have a chance to consider for the magazine. I had a feeling that just what Mr. Phillips says here would prevent our taking it, that is, that it was really an address for an occasion, rather than for a large body of general readers; but the general message was to my mind so wonderful and so poignant, that I felt that I would stretch my editorial conscience in order to get it into the magazine. You will see from Mr. Phillips' letter that it is no lack of appreciation that makes him decide as he does; it is, perhaps, a larger editorial conscience than I have.

I was much interested to find that he was writing me about your autobiography just about the time that I was talking to you about it.  I have told him what your idea was, and it is exactly what he has in mind. I was careless enough to leave the articles from The Ladies' Home Journal which you gave me, but we have them here, and I am going to take them up at once. They would not, of course, in any way conflict with the piece of work which you have on hand. We have no book publishing house, you know, so that would bring no conflict of interest with your regular publisher who is, I believe, [Macmillan]. I believe that we could give you as thoughtful and as well-worth-while an audience as any periodical in the country, and I know it would be to us the greatest inspiration to have your story in our pages. It would say a thousand things to our readers that we want [page 2] above all to say and cannot.

I want to thank you for the trouble you took for me at Hull House. I hope I was not too much of a nuisance. It was all splendid and I am looking forward with eagerness to the time when I can go back and spend a month as a "boarder." You will let me come, won't you?

With kindest regards to Miss Lathrop, Mrs. [Hamlin], the doctor and his wife, and all the rest, believe me,

Faithfully yours,

Ida M. Tarbell [signed]