Graham Romeyn Taylor to Julia C. Lathrop, June 12, 1922

American Association of Social Workers

[June] 12, 1922.

Miss Julia C. Lathrop,
1204 National Avenue,
Rockford, Ill.

Dear Miss Lathrop:

Your night letter of June 11 is at hand and I have sent you a response by wire tonight as you will note by the enclosed confirmation copy.

As I say, I have explained the entire situation to Dr. Hamilton. At the very start of the Folks candidacy I got in touch with those who [were] leading it, Allen Burns, Barry Smith, John Shillady and Alex Fleisher. All of them said they would be glad to see Miss Addams as the next president but had some doubts as to whether Miss Addams would want to have her name presented in view of the fact that the nominating committee is required to nominate two persons, and in view of the [likelihood] that Miss Richmond would be the other candidate. They thought that Miss Addams might not, as one who had already been president, like running for a second term against Miss Richmond who had never been president.

Their advocacy of Mr. Folks was primarily based upon their feeling, which Mr. Folks shared, that Miss Richmond, however preeminent she is in one specialized field of social work, would not be a sufficiently all 'round for this special occasion.

I got Allen Burns in the office this morning to discuss the situation, and read him your telegram. While we were talking Dr. Hamilton called up and she came right up. I asked Mr. Burns to explain to Dr. Hamilton the attitude which he and the other advocates of Mr. Folks had, and he again expressed the assurance which I had already gotten from him and his group, that they would have Mr. Folks withdraw his name if Miss Addams would really consent to run. This should be kept exceedingly confidential, for the knowledge of Mr. Folks withdrawal should not come until sometime during the Conference in Providence, a day or two prior to the election. In my estimation his action would be very likely to lead Miss Richmond to withdraw also. But even if Miss Richmond does not withdraw, my own belief is that the Conference would overwhelmingly vote for Miss Addams. But Miss Addams would of course [page 2] have to be willing to let the matter go to a vote if by any chance Miss Richmond does not withdraw.

I am very confident that we can handle the situation at Providence in such a way that there will be no unpleasantness ↑except, showing attitude toward J. A.↓ We are much farther away from the war situation than the Atlantic City Conference was and moreover there is no such specific thing as Mr. Lovejoy's letter to Debs which could be seized upon by any people who might be inclined to attack Miss Addams. All of these people will be for Mr. Folks and if they do not know of Mr. Folks withdrawal until very near the last day there will ↑be↓ no opportunity for creating unpleasantness.

In the remote possibility however, of an unpleasant contest arising, I would be the first friend of Miss Addams to save her from such unpleasantness by suggesting the withdrawal of her name. The judgment on this point would be most reassuring to her if you as well as Dr. Hamilton should be in Providence. I strongly urge your coming. Your help would be a great factor in handling both the Folks and Richmond situations.

I shall be leaving New York Thursday or Friday evening of this week, June 15 or 16th, and can be addressed in care of my sister Katharine who will be staying in the house of Mr. Henry Copley Greene, 14 Kirkland Place, Cambridge, Mass. Mr. and Mrs. Greene are leaving town and have placed their house at Katharine's disposal from June 15 to June 30. Florence and I will make our headquarters there until Thursday morning, June 22, when we go to Providence. During those days I shall be in touch with Mr. Parsons and shall size the situation up more carefully so far as he is concerned.

I will appreciate ↑it↓ if you will advise me at once as to your plans, and particularly where I can reach you at any time. But especially I trust that you will say that we may expect you at Providence.

I have just read this letter to Dr. Hamilton and she suggests that I send a carbon copy to Miss Addams. It is going forward by this same mail.

Very sincerely yours,

Graham Romeyn Taylor. [signed]

P.S. Since this letter was written I have been thinking about Miss Addams' presence at the Conference. I am inclined to believe that, all things considered, it would be the best for her to be on hand at least during the first 2 or 3 days. It might make the situation as regards Miss Richmond distinctly easier, and, also she would be right at hand so there could be immediate decisions passed ↑based↓ upon personal consultation with her. There is another strong reason, namely, that her presence would be an effective demonstration of her continued and earnest interest in the Conference for ↑and in↓ social progress in this country. At the very least I trust she will hold the time so that nothing would prevent her being present.

↑P. S. I [illegible words] read the enclosed reprint & give me any comments↓