Carrie Chapman Catt to Jane Addams, January 27, 1915


Jan. 27, 1915.

Miss Jane Addams,
Hull House,
Chicago, Ill.

My dear Miss Addams:

I was truly sorry not to see you in New York. Of late I have had no end of trouble over certain suits of the Leslie Estate. The executors have not acted very fairly and they have occasioned me considerable anxiety. My evenings and Sundays have been occupied with consultations with lawyers for some time back. This difficulty, plus the exceedingly heavy burden of the regular campaign, has tied my hands for the present. It was the legal business which engaged me on Sunday last.

I did not receive a receipt for Mrs. Wilmarth, but your letter will do as well; and as it contains nothing private, I will forward it to the lady who has made the contribution.

I am very glad you have made such good arrangements for the management of the National Park. [page 2]

I feel very strongly that even were I free to lead <here> just now, it is better that I should not do so. Someone a little on the outskirts of the suffrage cause would make a better flank movement than could I.

The meeting, as you know, is being planned for the initial organization and I think it will come along all right.

Have you read The War Brides in the January Century? It has been put on in vaudeville here with the names changed so that it is not anti-German. As the British have done exactly the same thing as the Germans, it may be regarded as neutral. It is something worth considering, if the Trojan women are to be used as helpers.

Personally, I feel very happy over the outlook of the Peace Party, for all the difficulties which seemed to many of us as almost unsurmountable at Washington were smoothed away, and the sea is apparently calm and smooth.

I want to report to you that the vote which has been in the process of being taken for some weeks past as to a possible international meeting -- first, of the Alliance and second of different international organizations -- is not coming on well. I am unable to get any response from a large number of the countries and suppose they have never received my letter. I have had no replies from Germany, Austria or Hungary. The International Union in Great Britain are favorable to a meeting, but Mrs. Fawcett is very much opposed. Every other country, except Holland, votes against it.

What would you think of this proposal: Let us take up correspondence, I with the Auxiliaries of the Alliance, you <Mrs Barrett> with the International Council of Women and <Miss Gordon> the International Women's Christian Temperance Union. Let us make the proposal that as soon as the war is closed, and settlements are to be arranged, an international conference of women shall be held which shall present resolutions, appeals, or whatever may seem best at the time, to the group or groups determining the terms of peace. If this was to be done at all, all the arrangements would have to be made in advance and the women of the different countries would have to give their approval. I doubt very much if we can get word or delegates from many of them, but we ought to be able to gather the women from the chief of the warring countries. This looks to me to be more satisfactory than to attempt any international action at this time. If, meanwhile, we have developed our own American Women's Peace Party to a status of real influence, it would go far as an international power. In any event, I am going to propose this as a tentative plan to the National Union of Great Britain. It would be only a private proposal.

Most cordially yours

Carrie Chapman Catt [signed]