July 3, 1912.
Dear Mr. DeForest:
Prof. Taylor and Miss Addams were at the Cleveland conference and my brother and I took the opportunity to go over with them in detail the plans for separate incorporation. Mr. Graham Romeyn Taylor was also present. Mr. Devine had notified Prof. Taylor of the action of the Central [Council], the names of the proposed board of trustees and other points which we went over together at the Century Club.
All were appreciative and hopeful for the new basis for the venture. The present one has worked smoothly and to good purpose -- largely, they believed, because of the personal relationships and confidence existing between Mr. Devine and you, and you and the Society. They all appreciated the serious responsibilities involved in the change; and even more seriously now that a change is actually to be made, they felt that it should be one which would have the very least of a make-shift element in it but would afford a true, natural and permanent base for The Survey and what it stands for.
You will perhaps remember that at various times in our conference, I consciously attempted to look at the proposed plans through the eyes of those who were not there; and to hold an especial brief for the rank and file of people whose personal interest and [cooperation] has meant so much to The Survey and from whom the active editors are constantly receiving and asking gifts of service, etc. In this Chicago meeting, my position was rather the [page 2] reverse; that of interpreting the spirit in which the proposed plans were drafted by those who have borne the heaviest responsibility for the venture, in a way which would show their strength and sanity over alternative proposals. I could tell Prof. Taylor and Miss Addams with utter sincerity of the open mindedness and personal forethought and willingness to do what seemed best with which each matter was approached in our conference, and each conclusion reached; and I assure you the same spirit was true of this informal breakfast conference in Chicago and the suggestions and criticisms there made. So much am I impressed with this common spirit that I believe that had Prof. Taylor and Miss Addams been at our Century Club conference, entire agreement as to the best course to pursue on each point would have been arrived at; and I believe further, from the attitude shown on both occasions that even at this stage certain adjustments can be made which would add to the unanimity and wholeheartedness with which the entire working combination throws itself into the new team play. With the major outlines of the plan, I think all are agreed. The response of the Western members of the editorial group was prompt and hearty. There remain certain points which were fairly raised and on which I found myself unable to carry conviction even in my own mind; so that it is with my personal endorsement and support that I transmit them to you, remembering the cordial spirit in which you were disposed to give due consideration and weight to each suggestion at our meeting.
The hope was expressed at Cleveland that perhaps a conference could be arranged at the end of June between Miss Addams and yourself; and perhaps all the Western members, as Mr. Rosenwald and Judge Mack, were coming on here [for] some meetings last week; a personal conference being less liable to misunderstanding than a letter. This proved impracticable and Miss Addams is, I [page 3] believe, writing you.
Prof. Taylor had only just received Mr. Devine's letter while at Cleveland and Miss Addams learned of some of the details at our breakfast; so that what they said was their first thought, freely and frankly spoken out loud. As I analyzed the conversation afterward, the points concerned membership in the board of trustees and were five in number. The trustees named in Mr. Devine's letter were DeForest, president, Glenn, vice president, Tucker, Patten and Brewster (all members of our present Executive Committee), Mack of our present general committee, White, Macy, Warburg, contributors to the educational fund, and Kirchwey.
The first point was that we are going outside of those primarily identified with The Survey in the past in making this group. You and Mr. Glenn have been permanently so identified. Mr. White is known as your life long friend and in much the same way that Dr. Patten is known as Mr. Devine's; and while neither have taken an active part in the national currents of social movements, this relationship and their standing in their own fields would make them wholly acceptable. The remaining members of our present Executive Committee, Mr. Brewster and Mr. Tucker, are rather unknown quantities. Mr. Tucker's acquaintance is largely limited to New York and while he has served as a wise counselor with journalistic experience on our Committee, his contribution to The Survey scarcely ranks with that of Mr. Robinson, Mrs. Kelley and others who have made a consecutive and unstinted investment of time and energy over long periods. Mr. Macy and Mr. Warburg have made generous gifts to The Survey, like Mr. Brewster; but the names of none of these awaken such associations of large service in philanthropy or in connection with The Survey as to make it clear why they should be selected out of all possible choices as stewards for this venture which is so rich in associations and personal interest. That is, they were rather unknown quantities to those two associate editors; who might be supposed to have more intimate acquaintance with The Survey and its group of natural supports than most of our friends. Their names are not known in Boston and Chicago, St. Louis and Philadelphia, among those engaged in social work, to the degree that say Judge Mack is known in New York. The attitude toward them was not antagonistic but the names by themselves did not carry conviction. Still more was Dean Kirchwey an unknown quantity and why at this critical juncture we should go outside the sphere of those who have thrown their lot in with The Survey in the past was not clear at first mention. [page 4]
2. I explained what I know of the standing, service and outlook of the different men suggested and the elements which we thought they would bring into the working combination. The second point grew naturally out of this; viz., that three out of four of the men now not members of our Publication Committee, who were being added to the trustees, brought what might be presupposed to be a business point of view to its deliberations. Of course, we in New York associate these men with other matters. The point, I think, was a fair one and one which Mr. Devine himself expressed in urging the inclusion of Dean Kirchwey and Dr. Lindsey. It was not brought forward in a narrow spirit. It was somewhat the same sort of concern frequently expressed by Miss Richmond lest the creation of Charities Endorsements Committees and the various chambers of commerce would lead to a situation in which business men, whose social experience is fragmentary, shall dominate the relief work of our cities carried on by our charity organization societies. It was felt that in making these additions, they should not be limited largely to those whose approach to social problems was from the same angle but should be more representative.
In the third place, it was felt the Committee was too overwhelmingly Eastern. After all, the outlook on life west of the Alleghenies is different and The Survey is a national educational undertaking. I explained that the determining factor was the ["meetability"] of the Committee.
I explained that the trustees would be assuming heavy responsibility and that monthly meetings would be necessary; that Judge Mack rather than any other Chicago person was added because as he was now a resident in Washington he could possibly come over to New York more readily.
It seems that Miss Addams comes East each month to another board meeting of which she is a member; similarly, Mr. Rosenwald attends Tuskegee's trustee's meeting pretty regularly; Miss Lathrop is now also in Washington; and Prof. Taylor hopes to come on frequently to New York. While a point of local assemblage was deemed important, it was not felt that the obstacles to out of town membership were insuperable where so important an undertaking was at stake and that the truly national character of the governing board is of such large importance as to over-weigh this other consideration.
In the fourth place, they both believe that the staff should be represented on the board of trustees. They spoke less in terms of themselves than of Mr. Devine. I explained that you have been quite willing to have editorial representation and that Mr. Devine had taken the ground he had found it better not to be a voting member of the various boards under which he was serving. The point was made, however, that after all, The Survey is different from executive employment in a city or philanthropic association; that the editors bear a special relation of stewardship to the entire clientele of The Survey; that, as Mr. Devine and Prof. Taylor get only a fraction of their salaries from the magazine and Miss Addams none at all, the financial relationship does not stand in the way.
Both Prof. Taylor and Miss Addams are voting members of their own boards, Miss Addams being chairman of the Hull House Board. Their feeling is that this voting relationship is essential in such a [cooperative] undertaking. They made [page 5] drafts on their own experience in making this point and it is with them a matter of profound conviction. They were quite willing, I take it, to have the representation limited to the editor-in-chief, Mr. Devine. But of the necessity of having such editorial representation there was, to their minds, no question. No one, they rightly said, is more entirely identified in the minds of the readers of The Survey with the undertaking than Mr. Devine, no one to whom they look with more confidence for well considered and disinterested policies. It would insure great reserves of strength to the venture if it was felt that he had voting part in its working decisions and was not merely executing the legislation of others with whom these readers necessarily bear no such consecutive relationship. More than that, such a plan would lift the venture from the realm of hired employment to the cooperative plane on which, so far as practicable, they felt it should be placed in this new stage of its development.
The fifth and last point bears intimate relationship to all the others.
It is, that after all The Survey is the expression of those who are putting in their lives in social work and [that they] should bear a man's part in its organic make-up. If you will run through the board of trustees as named, you will see that with the possible exception of Mr. Glenn, the major business in life of the ten members is outside this field. They may give largely of time and means or may have at one time served full time in philanthropy; but at present, their chief vocational base is in law or teaching or banking in one form or another.
The point would be clearer if we were to suppose that in launching the Journal of the American Medical Association, the physicians of the country were to go outside their own profession for the responsible publishing board. Either our committee as named is not adequately representative of those who are enlisted in social work for life, or else the profession which the various schools of philanthropy are encouraging the young people of this generation to go into has not reached a point where it can command the full time energies of first rate men and women but is only a secondary or by-time profession; without stamina and resources enough to maintain a publication.
The letter is, of course, not the case but the statement of the alternative puts in relief the fact that in devising a board of trustees for our journal of social work we have not made it up of social workers or even included a representative number of them. This, I feel, [is] a fundamental flaw; due, I believe, to the fact that some of those whose limited interests are in other fields give so unstintedly not only of their leisure but of their working hours to social work.
To meet those five points I have one very simple suggestion to make and one which I can make quite freely in that it does not concern myself. It is this: Add Mr. Devine, Prof. Taylor and Miss Addams to the voting board. Whether this should be done by dropping some of those already considered [page 6] or by increasing the size of the board to thirteen, you would be in the best position to judge. These three editors will not bring money resources into the board of trustees like some of the proposed new members; but their ability to raise money has been demonstrated in the past as it will in the future. Like [you] and Mr. Glenn, they would bring resources both of means and mind to the responsible group. They, above all others, have and are investing themselves steadfastly in The Survey. They stand for it in people's minds. They will bring to its councils distinctly the point of view of those whose daily work is with human needs and democratic aspiration -- is with people; they are all three Westerners, yet they will be able to meet monthly with fair regularity, while only one out of ten of the board named are Westerners. They will hold joint membership in the editorial and legislative groups; and they are social workers of the first caliber.
If we were launching <The> Survey as a new undertaking, we would consider ourselves fortunate beyond measure if at the outset we could enlist these three people in the venture. Let's conserve this [resource.] In you and Mr. Glenn and Mr. White, the large investment which the C.O.S. and the Russell Sage Foundation have made in The Survey will have most exceptional stewards; and I should be eager to resist any effort to fail to give those contributions and investment of judgment and resources adequate representation. Such representation is essential if the parent body is to safely entrust a venture freighted with such possibilities as The Survey to a new and independent board.
In the same way, I feel that Mr. Devine, Prof. Taylor and Miss Addams will stand in a special sense for the great body of fellow contributors who have made the venture possible and give it its reach. To those two groups we may add recruits to give the venture breadth and backing; but in them lie the inherent sources of its strength. They give assurance as [page 7] to its fruition; not only in that they will relate the new venture naturally to the organic elements which have gone into it, but in the constructive elements they have to offer which will project it into the future.
My brother agrees with me heartily in all this. He reminds me that your original suggestion at the Century was that "Devine and the two Kelloggs" be voting members of the board. The two Kelloggs agree with you as to Mr. Devine's membership, and urge that Miss Addams and Prof. Taylor be the other two staff members.