October 8, 1914.
Dear Miss Addams:
This has been like pulling teeth. I understand all that you have said or may ever say as to inhibition in writing for The Survey. I regret more than I can express the delay in getting this to you; but last week was the close of one year with us and the beginning of the next, and broken time confirmed my writer's cramp.
Enclosed is a first draft; together with my notes on the matter <meeting>; and you will see how diverse were the judgments there expressed as to what ought to go into the presentation. If two ideas cropped out more than any others, they were that it should be something that would strike fire, like the Declaration of Independence, or Lincoln's Gettysburg speech. I had no illusions about matching those documents; to paraphrase them seems stupid; then the rather daring idea occurred to me to use their very words, with the notion that the Europe of our times ought to be ready for them, and that it would make the document historically true to American tradition. So you see the result.
There was entire dislocation of judgment expressed at the meeting as to what should go into the presentation. Everyone wanted a recapitulation of the social reactions of the war (and there your interview with the Evening Post has given me more material than the whole afternoon's discussion) and some wanted constructive suggestion thrown out as to the way of peace, and of the reconstruction after peace. I have tried to embody both, with what measure of success you will see. The use of the Declaration offered a chance to swing back into the preachment of democracy, but the presentation could stop at the close of the recapitulations of the results of war, which ends in your comparison of war with human sacrifice. You spoke rapidly, and my notes were very [meager]; and I hope very much you have written out at length what you said there. For we all unite in thinking it the one strong utterance of the day. In my original outline I was for putting that as the introduction of all we had to say, and if the use of the Declaration does not commend itself to you, I hope you will follow that plan.
You will see that the various paragraphs are a mosaic of suggestions brought out at the meeting, or derived from other sources. This makes me quite without any "literary feelings" on the manuscript, and it is [page 2] entirely for you to judge whether any or all of it is [usable]. I hope you yourself have prepared far more than I in drafting something.
Mr. Gavit, who helped me in getting together various of the "social reactions", raised the point as to who should put out this statement, and to whom it should be addressed. He feels strongly that it would be a mistake to put out a statement from social workers, in the way that a statement was put out by the British authors. But he believes it would be most effective to have it signed by five or six representative Americans whose names would stand for most here and abroad. He was pretty sure of wanting you, Mr. Howells and Mr. Edison to sign it; less sure of Dr. Adler, William R. Nelson, Charles E. Hughes, Elihu Root and Bryan, the public officer of the last three standing in their way. I agree with Mr. Gavit -- if we can get them to do it.
Our common judgment was that it should be addressed not to particular nations or even to the warring nations, but to all mankind.
I am sending out copies of this draft to half a dozen of those present at the meeting, asking them to criticize and return to me. I can get you the results of this process by the middle of next week, which I am afraid will find you on your journeys. Mr. Gavit was in Washington Wednesday, and I see that he says the judgment is there that the war may keep up until a second winter. If that is so, perhaps my lost time is not as serious an injury as I have feared.