Graham Taylor to Jane Addams, February 15, 1913


Chicago, February 15, 1913.

My dear Miss Addams: --

With so many of your friends, I have fallen into the habit of telling myself what I think of you out aloud. And this is what I confide today to the readers of the Daily News, which you may not chance to see. Referring to the great tribute so spontaneously given you last evening, (but writing of it the day before it occurred,) I ventured these words, While the fear of you was not before my eyes --

But a greater host of her fellow citizens of every race and residence, in every condition and status, are whispering in their hearts, "Good-by and God bless you." No one could be more missed from Chicago than she. Every good cause, especially the hardest to promote, will lack something of strength and courage while she is gone. She has humanized, idealized, united, fraternalized, put to work and set forward so many of us. No one among us is so Lincoln-like in spirit. Perhaps it is because her father was Lincoln's personal friend -- "the Addams with the two D's" -- he called him. Like Lincoln she is as all-human as she is all-American. [America] accounts for her, but humanity claims her. She is ours, yet belongs to [everyone] else. Back to us may she come to work with us all more than ever. "It was that word 'with' from Jane Addams", said a working woman, "that took the bitterness out of my life. For if she wanted to work with me and I could work with her, it gave my life new meaning and hope." The hope of democracy roots in that word with."

This last reference is to what Mary [Kenney] said of you when I first met her at Henry D. Lloyd's. As for others, you can be sure that those who know you best mean what they say of you and know that you are too strong and simple to care for what others say, good or bad, that means nothing. So you can sail away in peace to rest awhile with your heart full of a "burden which is light." The more grateful for your friendship, as life deepens and broadens in its flow to the open sea, and with heartiest hope for the best of good times to you (and Miss Smith.)