My dear Miss Addams,
I do not know whether the extreme importance the committee attaches to your participation in this first conference could possibly change your decision. Mary insisted that you ought to preside.
We invited you and cannot give up hope. If this is utterly impossible could we get Mr. Jones? He is absolutely right on this question, I am sure, a great speaker, and a man of weight with the whole [page 2] country. Even if he has an engagement, this matter of superlative importance might bring him to us.
We expect to have at least two Southerners on our program for the public meeting besides several at the private conference. Could you, Mr. Jones, & Rabbi Hirsch each urge two or three persons to come from Chicago or neighboring cities for participation in the latter. We expect to have some two hundred [page 3] carefully chosen participants of whom more than half will of course be from New York and vicinity. We ought also to get nearly a hundred from New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Baltimore & Washington. We must add to these a dozen suitable persons, at least, from the West. Next year the Conference may be held in Chicago and the proportions reversed. Then you will need some aid from us. Now we must lean on you.
Can't you get two one [page 4] or two or three less busied persons in Chicago to undertake to help us in this matter? They could relieve you or any details that might need attending to. It is a very great cause and next year the [center] of action will doubtless be Chicago. It may be necessary to approach fifty people before ten would consent to come, but in view of the importance of the matter you probably could get persons to undertake it under your direction & possibly that of Mr. Jones & Dr. Hirsch.
Kindly let me hear from you are the <your> very earliest convenience
Wm English Walling