Lucy Biddle Lewis to Jane Addams, January 28, 1920

Lansdowne, PA.
Jan. 28. 1920.

Dear Miss Addams.

How we miss you at our Board meetings, it does not seem the same without you. However we are trying to do all we can to forward the work and cause. We have organized our Pa. branch over too so as not to interfere with the National yet go on with our work here and are going to secure quite a membership we believe. I am to speak before the large Jewish Sisterhood on Wednesday of next week where they think we can get members: I am to tell of The Hague and Zurich Congresses, the hopes and aspirations there, and our national plans especially in an educational lines. It is one of the biggest openings we have secured so far and I hope I shall not fall down. I am also to speak in a German church outside of Phila. on Sunday, to appeal for funds and make clear our purpose and the needs. It is strange how much explanation it required. Have you heard the over $120,000 has come to A.F.S.C. from Germans in each of the past ↑two↓ weeks? It is encouraging after a time of [rather] dull outlook.

I sent the Hoover letter to the address I had for Miss [Cumming], but I do not know if she is there still or not, have not heard from her for a month. Our American attitude is hard to understand in other countries, yet I see how Mr. Hoover feels with his efforts at organization and the big things America is doing, which are not very well known, even here. I astonished people by quoting ↑him↓ as saying we are spending $7,000,000 in relief, as an argument of ↑as to↓ the need. Do you think it would be a wise thing for me as Chairman of our Fight the Famine Com. to write to him as [to] our best means of cooperation to secure good results? It might strengthen us to be able to say we trying to help in his efforts to feed a hungry world, and I have had so many interviews with [page 2] him in Paris and when we organized the German relief that I would feel free to do this, not as a stranger. I wish it were possible for two or three of us to have an interview to discuss it. I am thinking of it seriously as a means of showing leading men as well as women we are aiming high in our outlook.

Now I have a "concern" to lay before you. Next summer is the time of our biennial conference. As you do not know much of it I will first say that it represents all the seven Yearly Meetings of the so-called "Hicksite" branch of Friends. It is governed by a committee of one hundred members appointed by the Yearly Meetings and has subcommittees on various live matters as education, peace, colored people, purity of press and many others. Every two years these conferences are held at different places, lasting a week, morning and evening sessions, with afternoons free for recreation, a special committee having this ↑latter↓ in charge, bearing in mind needs of old and young, with the desire that the week shall be looked forward to by all, and families shall take their vacations in that way. We have from eight hundred to two thousand in attendance, depending on the accessibility of place selected. Two years ago on account of the war it was omitted, so great interest in centering in this. It is to be at Cape May and we [look] for the largest company we have ever collected, with some ↑members↓ of the other branches with us also. We are aiming high in our program, higher than ever before, hoping to bring the broadest outlook possible to our people. Doubtless you begin to suspect what I am leading to, that we want you one evening to address us. The date proposed for you is July 13th, but if that does not suit you we could doubtless arrange differently. The Conference begins on the 7th, or 8th. I am ashamed to say I forget which and we would love to have you presence with us as much of the week as you could spare. ↑[written in margin] Mr. Hoover is being asked for July 8th↓ I am sure you would find [page 3] it an interesting experience if you could be there a few days at least. But whether you could do this or not will it be possible for you to give us the evening address? The subject can be decided upon later, better to fix that nearer the date when we know more what will be the livest issue then. We would of course expect to meet your expenses and whatever you felt was right beside, and I cannot tell you what a pleasure and satisfaction it would be to think you will be with us. We hope for a favorable reply as soon as you can conveniently decide. Please come to us if it is at all possible. The Society of Friends is awakening from its lethargy and we are doing all in our power, some of us to make it a force in the world, as it should be with its underlying principles, that are though all too poorly lived up to.

Since writing the first of this letter the morning mail has come with this letter from Miss [Cumming]. It is too bad that these misunderstandings come amongst people who are sincerely working for a common end, but I know that it is most difficult to plan by cable, misunderstandings are so apt to occur. You have it our [W.I.L.] international work and we are constantly experiencing it in A.F.S.C. communications. It does not alter my desire to communicate with Mr. Hoover, in whom I believe, though I differ from him fundamentally often.

This is a long letter, I hope you will not be tired before you get it read. I could not seem to say it in less.

I had a few sheets of this paper left over so I am economizing on you.

Always affectionately yours

Lucy Biddle Lewis [signed]

Have you Keynes new book The Economic Consequences of the Peace? It is fine.