Edward Menkin to Jane Addams, May 12, 1911


CHICAGO, May 12, 1911

Miss. Jane Addams,
Hull House,

My dear Miss Addams:-

Your esteemed and kind favor of the 11th instant to hand and have noted [contacts] very carefully. You have a magazine called the survey, and if you would be kind enough to write an article entitled the American Passport, and in that article express your opinion as to what you think about the Government of Russia, supposed to be on friendly relations with the U.S. refuses to honor and American Passport when held either by a Jew or a Catholic. An article by you on this subject will have great weight with the people of the U.S. As it is my aim to arouse Public sentiment, so that a voice powerful enough could be found to raise it from one continent to the other and proclaim to the world that this country will not permit discriminations to be made against its citizens in a country founded upon religious toleration. You know American Citizenship has hitherto been considered and regarded as a priceless treasure. Men have gladly given for it their lives and all their material possessions. It has meant to them, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It has been to them a badge of honor and distinction, and the richest guerdon of all their hopes and aspirations. It has peopled the wilderness, and lighted the torch of progress and civilization. It has challenged universal respect, and has gained for itself the good will of well-nigh all the peoples of the earth. And yet there rests a stain on the honor of our nation and on the integrity of American citizenship, for the passport issued by the State Department of the U.S., bearing the great seal of our country, and which vouches for the citizenship of him to whom it is issued, is dishonored, rejected, and arbitrarily disregarded by the Russian Government whenever the citizen by whom it is presented happens to be a Jew. I have written a great deal on the subject of the American Passport and I am advised by U.S. Senator Culberson, that he is going to press his resolution, and by Congressman W. [Sulzer] of New York that he will press his joint resolution, and if you will write an article on the subject in the SURVEY, your Magazine or give it to any Chicago Paper it will be copied by others. And if you will send me a copy of your article. I will see to it that the papers with which I am interested will publish every word you write as holly. I know you are very busy now as I heard you last Night when you and Judge Mack spoke, but this subject of American Passport is so dear to me and I pray daily that the U.S. abrogate that treaty. Just think of it the Hon. Oscar Straus. A member of the Pres. Cabinet was not allowed to go to Russia, even your friend Judge Mack could not go, if they found out he was a Jew, although Mack has been taken for the Irish. Thanking you for your kind letter and whenever the opportunity affords me to [reciprocate] I am at your service. With best wishes Child Welfare Exhibit. I remain, yours,

Very faithfully,
Edward Menkin [signed]