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Set up and printed. Published February, 1922. 

Press of 

J. J. Little & Ives Company 
New York, U. S. A. 

This book is dedicated in affectionate gratitude 


Whose understanding mind and magnanimous 

spirit have never failed the writer either in 

times of peace or war. 



The following pages are the outgrowth of an 
attempt to write a brief history of the efforts for 
peace made by a small group of women in the 
United States during the European War, and of 
their connection with the women of other coun- 
tries, as together they became organized into 
the Women's International League for Peace and 

Such a history would of course be meaningless, 
unless it portrayed the scruples and convictions 
upon which these efforts were based. During the 
writing of it, however, I found myself so in- 
creasingly reluctant to interpret the motives of 
other people that at length I confined all anal- 
ysis of motives to my own. As my reactions were 
in no wise unusual, I can only hope that the auto- 
biographical portrayal of them may prove to be 
fairly typical and interpretative of many like- 
minded people who, as the great war progressed, 
gradually found themselves the protagonists of 
that most unpopular of all causes peace in time 
of war. 

I was occasionally reminded of a dictum found 



on the cover of a long since extinct magazine en- 
titled "The Arena," which read somewhat in this 
wise: "We do not possess our ideas, they pos- 
sess us, and force us into the arena to fight for 
them." It would be more fitting for our group 
to say "to be martyred for them," but candor 
compels the confession that no such dignified fate 
was permitted us. Our portion was the odium 
accorded those who, because they are not allowed 
to state their own cause, suffer constantly from 
inimical misrepresentation and are often placed 
in the position of seeming to defend what is a 
mere travesty of their convictions. 

We realize, therefore, that even the kindest 
of readers must perforce still look at our group 
through the distorting spectacles he was made to 
wear during the long period of war propaganda. 

As the writing progressed I entitled the book 
"Peace and Bread in Time of War." Not because 
the first two words were the touching slogan of 
war-weary Russian peasants, but because peace 
and bread had become inseparably connected in 
my mind. 

I shall consider myself fortunate if I am able 
to convey to the reader the inevitability of the 







SHIP 26 






SLOGANS , , 91 









APPENDIX . . . . -. 253 






WHEN the news came to America of the open- 
ing hostilities which were the beginning of the 
European Conflict, the reaction against war, as 
such, was almost instantaneous throughout the 
country. This was most strikingly registered in 
the newspaper cartoons and comments which ex- 
pressed astonishment that such an archaic institu- 
tion should be revived in modern Europe. A pro- 
cession of women led by the daughter of William 
Lloyd Garrison walked the streets of New York 
City in protest against war and the sentiment thus 
expressed, if not the march itself, was universally 
approved by the press. 

Certain professors, with the full approval of 
their universities, set forth with clarity and some- 
times with poignancy the conviction that a war 
would inevitably interrupt all orderly social ad- 


vance and at its end the long march of civilization 
would have to be taken up again much nearer to 
the crude beginnings of human progress. 

The Carnegie Endowment sent several people 
lecturing through the country upon the history of 
the Peace movement and the various instru- 
mentalities designed to be used in a war crisis such 
as this. I lectured in twelve of the leading col- 
leges, where I found the audiences of young 
people both large and eager. The questions 
which they put were often penetrating, sometimes 
touching or wistful, but almost never bellicose or 
antagonistic. Doubtless there were many stu- 
dents of the more belligerent type who did not at- 
tend the lectures and occasionally a professor, in- 
variably one of the older men, rose in the audience 
to uphold the traditional glories of warfare. I 
also recall a tea under the shadow of Columbia 
which was divided into two spirited camps, but I 
think on the whole it is fair to say that in the fall 
of 1914 the young people in a dozen of the lead- 
ing colleges of the East were eager for knowledge 
as to all the international devices which had been 
established for substituting rational negotiation 
for war. There seemed to have been a somewhat 
general reading of Brailsford's "War of Steel and 
Gold" and of Norman Angell's "Great Illusion." 

It was in the early fall of 1914 that a small 
group of social workers held the first of a series 


of meetings at the Henry Street Settlement in 
New York, trying to formulate the reaction to 
war on the part of those who for many years had 
devoted their energies to the reduction of de- 
vastating poverty. We believed that the en- 
deavor to nurture human life even in its most 
humble and least promising forms had crossed 
national boundaries; that those who had given 
years to its service had become convinced that 
nothing of social value can be obtained save 
through wide-spread public opinion and the co- 
operation of all civilized nations. Many mem- 
bers of this group meeting in the Henry Street 
Settlement had lived in the cosmopolitan districts 
of American cities. All of us, through long ex- 
perience among the immigrants from many na- 
tions, were convinced that a friendly and cooper- 
ative relationship was constantly becoming more 
possible between all peoples. We believed that 
war, seeking its end through coercion, not only in- 
terrupted but fatally reversed this process of co- 
operating good will which, if it had a chance, 
would eventually include the human family itself. 

The European War was already dividing our 
immigrant neighbors from each other. We could 
not imagine asking ourselves whether the parents 
of a child who needed help were Italians, and 
therefore on the side of the Allies, or Dalmatians, 
and therefore on the side of the Central Powers. 


Such a question was as remote as if during the 
Balkan war we had anxiously inquired whether 
the parents were Macedonians or Montenegrins 
although at one time that distinction had been of 
paramount importance to many of our neighbors. 
We revolted not only against the cruelty and 
barbarity of war, but even more against the re- 
versal of human relationships which war implied. 
We protested against the "curbed intelligence" 
and the "thwarted good will," when both a free 
mind and unfettered kindliness are so sadly needed 
in human affairs. In the light of the charge made 
later that pacifists were indifferent to the claims of 
justice it is interesting to recall that we thus early 
emphasized the fact that a sense of justice had be- 
come the keynote to the best political and social 
activity in this generaton, but we also believed that 
justice between men or between nations can be 
achieved only through understanding and fellow- 
ship, and that a finely tempered sense of justice, 
which alone is of any service in modern civiliza- 
tion, cannot possibly be secured in the storm and 
stress of war. This is not only because war in- 
evitably arouses the more primitive antagonisms, 
but because the spirit of fighting burns away all 
those impulses, certainly towards the enemy, 
which foster the will to justice. We were there- 
fore certain that if war prevailed, all social efforts 
would be cast into an earlier and coarser mold. 


The results of these various discussions were 
finally put together by Mr. Paul Kellogg, editor 
of The Survey, and the statement entitled 
"Toward the Peace that Shall Last" was given a 
wide circulation. Reading it now, it appears to 
be somewhat exaggerated in tone<because we have 
perforce grown accustomed to a world of wide- 
spread war with its inevitable consequences of 
divisions and animosities. 

The heartening effects of these meetings were 
long felt by many of the social workers as they 
proceeded in their different ways to do what they 
could against the rising tide of praise for the use 
of war technique in the world's affairs. One type 
of person present at this original conference felt 
that he must make his protest against war even at 
the risk of going to jail in fact two of the men 
did so testify and took the consequences; another 
type performed all non-combatant service open to 
them through the Red Cross and other agencies 
throughout the years of the war although private- 
ly holding to their convictions as best they might; 
a third, although condemning war in the abstract 
were convinced of the righteousness of this par- 
ticular war and that it would end all wars; still 
others felt, after war was declared in the United 
States, that they must surrender all private judg- 
ment, and abide by the decision of the majority. 

I venture to believe, however, that none of the 


social workers present at that gathering who had 
been long identified with the poor and the disin- 
herited, actually accepted participation in the war 
without a great struggle, if only because of the 
reversal in the whole theory and practice of their 
daily living. 

Several organizations were formed during the 
next few months, with which we became identified; 
Miss Wald was the first president of the Union 
Against Militarism, and I became chairman of 
what was called the Women's Peace Party. The 
impulse for the latter organization came from 
Europe when, in the early winter of 1914, the 
great war was discussed from the public platform 
in the United States by two women, well known 
suffragists and publicists, who nationally repre- 
sented opposing sides of the conflict. Mrs. Peth- 
ick Lawrence of England first brought to Ameri- 
can audiences a series of "War Aims" as defined 
by the "League of Democratic Control" in Lon- 
don, and Mde. Rosika Schwimmer, coming from 
Budapest, hoped to arouse American women to 
join their European sisters in a general protest 
against war. Occasionally they spoke from the 
same platform in a stirring indictment of "the 
common enemy of mankind." They were unwil- 
ling to leave the United States until they had or- 
ganized at least a small group pledged to the ad- 


vocacy of both objects; the discussion of reason- 
able terms of peace, and a protest against war as 
a method of settling international difficulties. 

The Women's Peace Party itself was the out- 
come of a two days' convention held in Washing- 
ton concluding a series of meetings in different 
cities addressed by Mrs. Lawrence and Madame 
Schwimmer. The "call" to the convention was is- 
sued by Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt and myself, 
and on January 10, 1915, the new organization 
was launched at a mass meeting of 3000 people. 
A ringing preamble written by Mrs. Anna Garlin 
Spencer was adopted with the following platform : 

1. The immediate calling of a convention of 
neutral nations in the interest of early peace. 

2. Limitation of armaments and the national- 
ization of their manufacture. 

3. Organized opposition to militarism in our 
own country. 

4. Education of youth in the ideals of peace. 

5. Democratic control of foreign policies. 

6. The further humanizing of governments 
by the extension of the suffrage to women. 

7. "Concert of Nations" to supersede "Bal- 
ance of Power." 

8. Action towards the gradual re-organization 
of the world to substitute Law for War. 

9. The substitution of economic pressure and 
of non-intercourse for rival armies and navies. 

10. Removal of the economic causes of war. 


n. The appointment by our government of a 
commission of men and women with an adequate 
appropriation to promote international peace. 

Of course all the world has since become 
familiar with these "Points," but at the time of 
their adoption as a platform they were newer and 
somewhat startling. 

The first one, as a plan for "continuous media- 
tion," had been presented to the convention by 
Miss Julia G. Wales of the University of Wiscon- 
sin, who had already placed it before the legis- 
lature of the State. Both houses had given it 
their approval, and had sent it on with recom- 
mendations for adoption to the Congress of the 
United States. The plan was founded upon the 
assumption that the question of peace was a ques- 
tion of terms; that every country desired peace at 
the earliest possible moment, that peace could be 
had on terms satisfactory to itself. The plan sug- 
gested an International Commission of Experts 
to sit as long as the war continued, with scientific 
but no diplomatic function; such a commission 
should explore the issues involved in the struggle 
in order to make proposals to the belligerents in 
a spirit of constructive internationalism. Miss 
Wales not only defined such a Commission, but 
presented a most convincing argument in its be- 
half, and we deliberately made the immediate 


calling of a Conference of Neutrals the first plank 
in our new platform. 

The officers of the newly formed society were : 
Mrs. Anna Garlin Spencer and Mrs. Henry Vil- 
lard of New York, Mrs. Lucia Ames Mead and 
Mrs. Glendower Evans of Boston, Mrs. Louis 
F. Post and Mrs. John J. White of Washington. 
From Chicago, where headquarters were estab- 
lished, were Mrs. Harriet Thomas as execu- 
tive officer, Miss Breckenridge of the University 
of Chicago as treasurer, and myself as Chairman. 

All of the officers had long been identified with 
existing Peace organizations, but felt the need of 
something more active than the older societies 
promised to afford. The first plank of our plat- 
form, the Conference of Neutrals, seemed so im- 
portant and withal so reasonable, that our officers 
in the month following the founding of the or- 
ganization, with Louis Lochner, secretary of the 
Chicago Peace Society, issued a call to every public 
organization in the United States whose constitu- 
tion, so far as we could discover, contained a plank 
setting forth the obligations of internationalism. 
These organizations of course included hundreds 
of mutual benefit societies, of trade unions and so- 
cialist groups, as well as the more formal peace 
and reform bodies. The call invited them to at- 
tend a National Emergency Peace Conference at 
Chicago in March, and to join a Federation of 


Peace Forces. A very interesting group re- 
sponded to the invitation, and the Conference, 
resulting in the formation of the proposed 
Federation, also held large mass meetings urging 
the call of a Conference of Neutrals. 

The Women's Peace Party, during the first few 
months of its existence, grew rapidly, with flour- 
ishing branches in California and in Minnesota, 
as well as in the eastern states. The Boston 
branch eventually opened headquarters on the first 
floor of a building in the busy part of Boylston 
Street, and with a membership of twenty-five 
hundred, carried on a vigorous campaign among 
the doubting, making public opinion both for 
reasonable peace terms and for a possible shorten- 
ing of the war. A number of the leading or- 
ganizations of women became affiliated branches 
of the Women's Peace Party. Women every- 
where seemed eager for literature and lectures, 
and as the movement antedated by six months the 
organization of the League to Enforce Peace, we 
had the field all to ourselves. 

In the early months of 1915, it was still com- 
paratively easy to get people together in the name 
of Peace, and the members of the new organiza- 
tion scarcely realized that they were placing them- 
selves on the side of an unpopular cause. One 
obvious task was to unite with other organizations 
in setting out a constructive program with which 


an international public should become so familiar 
that an effective demand for its fulfillment could 
be made at the end of the war. This latter un- 
dertaking had been brilliantly inaugurated by The 
League of Democratic Control in England, and 
two months after our Washington Convention, 
"The Central Organization for a Durable Peace" 
was founded in Holland. The American branch 
of the "Association for the Promotion of Inter- 
national Friendship Among the Churches" also 
was active and maintained its own representative 
in Europe. As a neutral, he at that time was able 
to go from one country to another, and to meet 
in Holland with Churchmen from both sides of 
the conflict. We always found him most willing 
to cooperate with our plans at home and abroad. 
His successor, George Nasmyth, was also a 
sturdy friend of ours, and we keenly felt the 
tragedy of his death at Geneva, in 1920. 

Through the very early spring of 1915, out of 
our eagerness, we tried all sorts of new methods 
of propaganda, new at least so far as peace so- 
cieties were concerned. A poem which had ap- 
peared in the London Nation portraying the be- 
wilderment of humble Belgians and Germans sent 
suddenly to arms, was set to Beethoven's music 
and, through the efforts of the Women's Peace 
Party, sung in many towns and cities in the 
United States by the Fuller sisters, three young 


English women, whose voices were most appeal- 
ing. The Carnegie Endowment for International 
Peace gave us a grant of five thousand dollars 
with which we financed the Little Theatre Com- 
pany of Chicago, in the production of Gilbert 
Murray's version of the Trojan women by 
Euripides. The play was given throughout the 
country, including the Panama Exposition at San 
Francisco. The beautiful lines were beautifully 
rendered. An audience invariably fell into a 
solemn mood as the age-old plaint of war-weary 
women cheated even of death, issued from the 
darkened stage, reciting not the glory of War, 
but "shame and blindness and a world swallowed 
up in night." 

In March, 1915, we received an invitation 
signed by Dutch, British and Belgian women to 
an International Congress of Women to be held 
at The Hague, April 28 to May I, at which I was 
asked to preside. The Congress was designed as 
a protest against war, in which it was hoped 
women from all nations would join. I had pre- 
viously met several of the signers at the Interna- 
tional Suffrage Conference and elsewhere. I 
knew them to be women of great courage and 
ability, and I had long warmly admired Dr. Al- 
letta Jacobs of Amsterdam, whose name led the 

A delegation of forty-seven women from the 


United States accepted the invitation, most of 
them members of the new Women's Peace Party. 
All of the delegates were obliged to pay their own 
expenses, and to trust somewhat confidingly to the 
usefulness of the venture. We set sail for Hol- 
land in the middle of April, on the Dutch ship 
Noordam, in which we were almost the only pas- 
sengers. We were thus able to use the salon for 
daily conferences and lectures on the history of 
the Peace Movement. As the ship, steadied by 
a loose cargo of wheat, calmly proceeded on her 
way, our spirits rose, and all went well until, with- 
in four days of the date set for the opening of the 
Conference, the Noordam came to a standstill in 
the English Channel directly off the cliffs of 
Dover, where we faintly heard booming of can- 
non, and saw air and marine craft of every con- 
ceivable make and kind. The first English news- 
papers which came on board informed us of the 
sharp opposition to the holding of our Congress, 
lest it weaken the morale of the soldiers. We 
were called "Peacettes" and the enterprise loaded 
with ridicule of the sort with which we later be- 
came only too familiar. During the three days 
the ship hung at anchor there was much tele- 
graphing to all the people of political influence 
whom any one of us knew in England and several 
cables were sent to Washington. 

\Vhether due to these or not, the Noordam 


finally received permission to proceed on her way 
and we landed in Rotterdam two hours before the 
opening of the Congress. We from the United 
States were more fortunate than the English del- 
egation. The North Sea had been declared 
closed to all traffic the very day they were to start, 
and eighty-seven of them waited at a port during 
the entire session of The Hague Congress, first 
for boats and later for flying machines, neither of 
which ever came. Fortunately three English- 
women had arrived earlier, and made a small but 
most able delegation from Great Britain. 

The delegates at the Congress represented 
twelve different countries; they were all suffra- 
gists and believers in the settlement of interna- 
tional disputes by pacific means. Belligerent as 
well as neutral nations were represented, with 
sometimes two thousand visitors in attendance, all 
of whom had paid an entrance fee but were not al- 
lowed to participate in the deliberations. The 
sessions were characterized by efficiency and 
scrupulous courtesy, not without a touch of dig- 
nity, as became the solemn theme. All discussion 
of the causes of the war and of its conduct was 
prohibited, but discussions on the terms of peace 
and the possible prevention of future wars, were 
carried on with much intelligence and fervor. 

Gradually 'the police, who filled the galleries at 
the first meetings, were withdrawn as it became 


evident that there was to be no disturbance or un- 
toward excitement. A moment of great interest 
was the entrance of the two Belgian delegates, 
who shook hands with the German delegation be- 
fore they took their places beside them on the 
platform, dedicated to "a passionate human sym- 
pathy, not inconsistent with patriotism, but tran- 
scending it." All the women from the belligerent 
countries in leaving home to attend the Congress 
had dared ridicule and every sort of difficulty; 
they had also met the supreme test of a woman's 
conscience of differing with those whom she 
loves in the hour of their deepest affliction. For 
men in the heat of war were at the best sceptical 
of the value of the Congress and many of them 
were actually hostile to it; in fact the delegates 
from one of the northern German cities were put 
in jail when they returned home, solely on th$ 
charge of having attended a Congress in which 
women from the enemy countries were sitting. 

A series of resolutions was very carefully drawn , 
as a result of the three days' deliberations. A 
committee, consisting of two women from each 
country, called "The Women's International Com- 
mittee for Permanent Peace," was organized and 
established headquarters at Amsterdam. 

At its last session, the Congress voted that its 
resolutions, especially the one on a Conference of 
Neutrals, should be carried by a delegation of 


women from the neutral countries to the Premier 
and Minister of Foreign Affairs of each of the 
belligerent countries, and by a delegation of 
women from the belligerent countries to the same 
officials in the neutral nations. As a result four- 
teen countries were visited in May and June, 
1915, by delegates from the Congress. 

As women, it was possible for us, from belliger- 
ent and neutral nations alike, to carry forward an 
interchange of question and answer between 
capitals which were barred to each other. Every- 
where, save from one official in France, we heard 
the same opinion expressed by these men of the 
governments responsible for the promotion of the 
war; each one said that his country would be ready 
to stop the war immediately if some honorable 
method of securing peace were provided; each one 
disclaimed responsibility for the continuance of 
the war; each one predicted European bankruptcy 
if the war were prolonged, and each one grew pale 
and distressed as he spoke of the loss of his gallant 
young countrymen ; two of them with ill-concealed 
emotion referred to the loss of their own sons. 

We heard much the same words spoken in 
Downing Street as those spoken in Wilhelm- 
strasse, in Vienna as -in Petrograd, in Budapest as 
in Havre, where the Belgians had their tem- 
porary government. "My country would not 
find anything unfriendly in such action by the neu~ 


trals," was the assurance given us by the Foreign 
minister of one of the great belligerents. "My 
Government would place no obstacle in the way 
of its institution," said the Minister of an oppos- 
ing nation. "What are the neutrals waiting 
for?" said a third. 

Our confidence as to the feasibility of the plan 
for a Conference of Neutrals also increased. 
"You are right," said one Minister, "it would be 
of the greatest importance to finish the fight by 
early negotiation rather than by further military 
efforts, which will only result in more and more 
destruction and irreparable loss." "Yours is the 
sanest proposal that has been brought to this 
office in the last six months," said another Prime 

The envoys were received by the following 
representatives of the belligerent nations: 

Prime Minister Asquith and Foreign Minister 
Grey, in London. 

Reichskanzler von Bethmann-Hollweg, and 
Foreign Minister von Jagow, in Berlin. 

Prime Minister Stuergkh, Foreign Minister 
Burian, in Vienna; Prime Minister Tisza, in 

Prime Minister Salandra and Foreign Minister 
Sonino, in Rome. 

Prime Minister Viviani and Foreign Minister 
Delcasse, in Paris. 

Foreign Minister d' Avignon, in Havre. 


Foreign Minister Sasonoff, in Petrograd. 

And by the following representatives of neu- 
tral governments: 

Prime Minister Cort van der Linden and For- 
eign Minister Loudon, in The Hague. 

Prime Minister Zahle and Foreign Minister 
Scavenius, in Copenhagen. 

King Haakon, Prime Minister Knudsen, For- 
eign Minister Ihlen, and by Messrs. Loevland, 
Asrstad Castberg and Jahren, the four presidents 
of the Storthing in Christiania. 

Foreign Minister Wallenberg, in Stockholm. 

President Motta and Foreign Minister Hoff- 
man, in Berne. 

President Wilson and Secretary of State Lan- 
sing in Washington. 

While in Rome, the delegation went unofficially 
that is to say, without a mandate from the Con- 
gress, to an audience with the Pope and the 
Cardinal Secretary of State. 

As I recall those hurried journeys which Alice 
Hamilton and I made with Dr. Alletta Jacobs and 
her friend Madame Palthe to one warring country 
after another, it still seems marvelous to me that 
the people we met were so outspoken against war, 
with a freedom of expression which was not al- 
lowed later in any of the belligerent nations. 
Among certain young men, such as those editing 
the Cam-Magazine in Cambridge University, 
there was a veritable revolt against war and 


against the old men responsible for it who, they 
said, were "having field days on their own," in 
appealing to hate, intolerance and revenge with- 
out fear of contradiction from the younger gener- 

We were impressed with the fact that in all 
countries the enthusiasm for continuing the war 
was largely fed on a fund of animosity growing 
out of the conduct of the war; England on fire 
over the atrocities in Belgium, Germany indignant 
over England's blockade to starve her women and 
children. It seemed to us in our naivete, al- 
though it may be that we were not without a 
homely wisdom, that if the Press could be 
freed and an adequate offer of negotiations 
made, the war might be concluded before another 
winter of the terrible trench warfare. However, 
the three "envoys" from the United States, Emily 
Balch, Alice Hamilton and myself, wrote out our 
impressions as carefully as we were able in a little 
book, so that there is no use in repeating them 

Shortly after our return the delegates from 
Holland, England and Austria met with us in the 
United States, and we issued what we called a 
manifesto, urging once more the calling of a Neu- 
tral Conference and giving our reasons therefor. 
This document is long since forgotten, lost in the 
stirring events which followed, although at the 


time it received a good deal of favorable com- 
ment, in the press of the neutral countries on 
both sides of the Atlantic, perhaps because it was 
difficult openly to oppose its modest recommenda- 
tions. We were certainly well within the truth 
when we said that "we bear evidence of a rising 
desire and intention of vast companies of people 
in the neutral countries to turn a barren disin- 
terestedness into an active goodwill. In Sweden, 
for example, more than 400 meetings were held 
in one day in different parts of the country, calling 
on the government to act. 

"The excruciating burden of responsibility for 
the hopeless continuance of this war no longer 
rests on the will of the belligerent nations alone. 
It rests also on the will of those neutral govern- 
ments and people who have been spared its shock 
but cannot, if they would, absolve themselves from 
their full share of responsibility for the continu- 
ance of war." 

The first annual meeting of the Women's Peace 
Party was held at Washington in January, 1916. 
The reports showed that during the year mass 
meetings had been held all over the country, much 
material had been sent out from the central office 
for speeches arranged for by other public bodies, 
and in addition to the state branches there were 
one hundred and sixty-five group memberships, 
totaling about forty thousand women. In becom- 


ing a section of the Women's International Com- 
mittee for Permanent Peace we were securely 
committed to an international body which at that 
time had well defined branches in fifteen countries. 

The Congressional program adopted at the an- 
nual meeting included measures to oppose uni- 
versal, compulsory, military service; to secure a 
joint commission to deal with problems arising be- 
tween the United States and the Orient; and to 
formulate the principle that foreign investments 
shall be made without claim to military protection. 

The third annual meeting was held at the end 
of eleven months, in December of 1916, again in 
Washington. The most important feature of it 
was a conference on Oppressed and Dependent 
Nationalities, arranged by Miss Grace Abbott, 
one of our members, who had had long experience 
as Superintendent of the Immigrant Protective 
League of Chicago. 

The invitations to this special conference called 
attention to the fact that as Americans we be- 
lieved that good government is no substitute for 
self-government, and that a federal form offers 
the most satisfactory method of giving local self- 
government in a country great in territory or com- 
plex in population. How America's international 
policies might support or express these principles 
was the problem before the conference. It was 
believed that valuable advice could be given by 


those citizens of the United States who by their 
birth belonged to the dependent or oppressed na- 
tionalities and who, through their American "ex- 
perience, were familiar with the workings of our 
federal form of government. 

Prominent representatives of the Poles, Czecho- 
slovaks, Lithuanians and Letts, Ukrainians, Jugo- 
slavs, Albanians, Armenians, Zionists and Irish 
Republicans were, for this reason, the speakers 
at the Conference. All the problems of conflict- 
ing claims and the creation of new subject minor- 
ities as a result of any territorial changes which 
might be made, were developed in the course of 
the Conference. Disagreement also developed 
as to the weight which should be given to historic 
claims in the righting of ancient wrongs in con- 
trast to the demands of a present population. 

This experimental conference had behind it a 
very sound theory of the contribution which 
American experience might have made toward a 
reconciliation of European differences in advance 
of the meeting of the Peace Conference. Pro- 
fessor Masaryk, later President of Czecho-Slo- 
vakia, attempted to accomplish such an end in the 
organization of the Central European nationali- 
ties, which actually came to a tentative agreement 
in Philadelphia more than a year later. 

Had the federal form of government taken 
hold of the minds of the American representatives 


of various nationalities as strongly as did the de- 
sire for self-determination, or had the latter been 
coupled with an enthusiasm for federation, many 
of the difficulties inherent in the Peace Conference 
would have been anticipated. A federation 
among the succession states of Austria would have 
secured at the minimum a Customs Union and 
might have averted the most galling economic diffi- 

It was at this third annual meeting in Washing- 
ton, the last held before the United States en- 
tered the war, that we discussed the inevitable 
shortage of food throughout the world which long- 
continued war entailed. For three years we, like 
many other sympathetic citizens of the United 
States, had been at times horribly oppressed with 
the consciousness that widespread famine had 
once more returned to the world. At moments 
there seemed to be no spot upon which to rest 
one's mind with a sense of well being. One re- 
called Serbia, where three-fourths of a million 
people out of the total population of three million, 
had perished miserably of typhus and other dis- 
eases superinduced by long continued privations; 
Armenia, where in spite of her heart-breaking 
history, famine and pestilence had never stalked 
so unchecked; Palestine, where the old horrors of 
the siege of Jerusalem, as described by Josephus, 
had been revived ; and perhaps the crowning hor- 


ror of all, the "Way of the Cross" so called by 
the Russians because it was easily traced by the 
continuous crosses raised over the hastily dug 
graves beginning with the Galician thorough- 
fares, and stretching south and east for fourteen 
hundred miles, upon which a distracted peasantry 
ran breathlessly until stopped by the Caspian Sea, 
or crossed the Ural Mountains into Asia, only to 
come back again because there was no food there. 

We pointed out in our speeches what later be- 
came commonplace statements on hundreds of 
platforms, that although there had been universal 
bad harvests in 1916, the war itself was primari- 
ly responsible for the increasing dearth of food. 
Forty million men were in active army service, 
twenty million men and women were supporting 
the armies by their war activities, such as the 
manufacture of munitions, and perhaps as many 
more were in definite war industries, such as ship- 
building. Of course, not all these people were 
before the war directly engaged in producing 
food, but many of them were, and others were 
transporting or manufacturing it, and their 
wholesale withdrawal wrought havoc both in agri- 
culture and in industry. 

The European fields, worked by women and 
children and in certain sections by war prisoners, 
were lacking in fertilizers which could not be 
brought from remote ports nor be manufactured 


as usual in Europe, because nitrates and other such 
materials essential to ammunition were being di- 
verted to that use. The U-boats constantly de- 
stroyed food-carrying ships, and many remote 
markets had become absolutely isolated, so that 
they could no longer contribute their food supplies 
to a hungry Europe. 

Mr. Hoover, at the head of the American Re- 
lief Committee, was then feeding approximately 
10,000,000 people in Belgium and northern 
France, but at that time little more was attempted 
in the feeding of civilian populations. Yet 
thousands of Americans were already finding this 
consciousness of starvation among European 
women and children increasingly hard to bear. 



IN the fall of 1915, after we had written our 
so-called "Manifesto," a meeting of the Woman's 
Peace Party was called in New York City, at 
which we were obliged to make the discouraging 
report that, in spite of the fact that the accredited 
officials of the leading belligerent nations, namely, 
Great Britain, France, Russia, Belgium, Italy, 
Germany, Austria and Hungary, had expressed a 
willingness to cooperate in a Neutral Conference, 
and while the neutral nations, Norway, Sweden, 
Denmark, and Holland had been eager to partici- 
pate in the proposed conference if it could be 
called by the United States, our own country was 
most reluctant. There seemed to us then to be 
two reasons for this reluctance; first that the 
United States could not call a neutral conference 
and ignore the South American countries, although 
to include even the largest of them would make 
too large a body, and secondly, that as the Cen- 
tral Powers had at that moment the technical 
military advantage, such a conference, if convened 

at all, should not be summoned until the military 



situation was more balanced. We thought that 
we had adequately replied to both of these ob- 
jections, but because of them or for other reasons 
President Wilson would not consider the proposi- 
tion, nor was his attitude in the least changed 
later when one of our members came from a small 
European neutral country with the accredited 
proposition that her nation would call such a con- 
ference if it could be assured of the participation 
of the United States. 

We seemed to have come to an impasse there- 
fore, so far as calling a conference of neutrals was 
concerned unless we could bring to bear a tremen- 
dous pressure of public opinion upon the officials 
in Washington. The newspapers were, of course, 
closed to us so far as seriously advocating such 
a conference was concerned, although they were 
only too ready to seize upon any pretext which 
might make the effort appear absurd. We made 
one more attempt to induce the President to act, an 
attempt made possible through the generosity of 
Mrs. Henry Ford. She sent us a contribution of 
$5,000.00 which she afterwards increased to 
$8,000.00 and the entire sum was spent upon tele- 
grams issued from New York and Chicago to 
eight thousand women, every one of whom was 
either the chairman or secretary of a woman's 
organization, asking her to urge the President to 
call a conference of neutrals as an attempt to end 


the slaughter in Europe. These women's organ- 
izations included mutual benefit societies, all 
sorts of Church organizations, women's clubs and 
many others. The telegrams we sent averaged 
in cost $1.00 each. Of course we did not pay for 
the telegrams which we asked should be sent to 
President Wilson. He received about two thou- 
sand more than the number of our requests; they 
poured in at such a rate for three days that the 
office in Washington was obliged to engage two 
extra clerks who doubtless possessed the only pairs 
of eyes which ever saw the telegrams. Neverthe- 
less, ten thousand women's organizations had 
learned that there was a project for a conference 
of neutrals and they had for a moment at least the 
comfort of knowing that a suggestion was being 
made which might result in arresting the blood- 

At this time an unexpected development gave 
the conference of neutrals only too much publicity 
and produced a season of great hilarity for the 
newspaper men of two continents. Madame Ro- 
sika Schwimmer, who still remained in the United 
States, had lectured in Detroit where she had 
been introduced to Mr. Henry Ford. For many 
months Mr. Ford had maintained a personal rep- 
resentative in Washington to keep him informed 
of possible openings for making peace with the 
understanding that such efforts "should not be 


mere talk nor education." During a long inter- 
view which Madame Schwimmer held with Mr. 
Ford and his wife, he expressed his willingness 
to finance the plan of a neutral conference and 
promised to meet her in New York in regard to 
it. He arrived in New York the very day the con- 
ference of the Women's Peace Party adjourned 
and he met with a small committee the same eve- 
ning. Up to that moment all our efforts had 
been bent towards securing a conference supported 
by neutral governments who should send repre- 
sentatives to the body; but as it gradually became 
clear that the governments would not act, we 
hoped that a sum large enough to defray all the 
general expenses of such a conference might ini- 
tiate it as a private enterprise. 

It is easy to forget the state of the public mind 
at the end of the first year of the great war. At 
that moment much was said in regard to the un- 
willingness of both sides to "dig in" for another 
winter of trench warfare, and a statement was 
constantly repeated that, on the western front 
alone during an average day when no military posi- 
tion had been changed, the loss was still three 
thousand men. We knew how concerned the re- 
sponsible statesmen in each country were about 
this destruction of young life, and there were 
many proofs that the very sense of modern effi- 
ciency so carefully fostered in one industrial coun- 


try after another, was steadily being outraged. 
The first Christmas of the war the Pope had 
made a touching, although futile appeal for a 
cessation of hostilities; it might be possible that 
as the second Christmas approached, men's minds 
would be open to a proposition looking towards 
the gradual substitution of adjudication for mili- 
tary methods. It is very difficult after five years 
of war to recall the attitude of most normal peo- 
ple during those first years. Such people had not 
yet acknowledged the necessity and propriety of 
war, their mental processes were not yet so in- 
hibited but that many of them still believed that 
it might be possible to clarify the atmosphere, and 
to find a way out of the desperate situation in 
which Europe found itself. At least the begin- 
nings of a solution might be found by the constant 
exercise of such judgment as carefully selected 
men from the neutral countries might be able to 
bring to bear. Such a conference sitting continu- 
ously would take up one possibility after another 
for beginning peace negotiations. It was further 
hoped by the most sanguine that such a confer- 
ence, if successful, might undertake the interna- 
tional administration of the territory conquered 
by either side until its final disposition was deter- 
mined upon; thus the allied side would turn over 
to it the German colonies in South Africa, the 
Central Powers such parts of Belgium and North- 


ern France as they then occupied, and Russia the 
portions of Galicia she was then holding. At the 
end of the war there would be in actual operation 
an international body similar to that constituted at 
Algeciras or to that since advocated by the League 
of Nations in regard to the determination of man- 
dates. It would be developed into the beginnings 
of a de facto international government. It might 
bring hope to certain soldiers on both sides of the 
conflict who were confessedly fighting on dogged- 
ly day after day because they saw no one able 
to detach them from it. There were thousands 
of "loyal" Americans who in 1915 sincerely 
wished to see the carnage stopped and Europe 
once more reconstructed; they knew that the 
longer the war lasted the harder it would be to 
make peace and that each month of war inevitably 
tended to involve more nations. They were 
amazed at the futile efforts of European states- 
men, at their willingness and at moments their 
apparent eagerness to hand their functions over 
to military men, and at their craven acceptance 
as inevitable of much which might conceivably 
be changed. Many people went about day after 
day with an oppressive sense of the horrible dis- 
aster which had befallen the world and woke up 
many times during the night as from a hideous 
nightmare. Men must have felt like this during 
the time of pestilence, in the fourteenth century 


for instance, when the bubonic plague destroyed 
about thirty-five million people in Europe, and no 
determined and intelligent effort was made to stop 
it. The youth in many of the belligerent countries 
had been sent to war by men put in office through 
slight majorities won in elections based upon pure- 
ly domestic issues. Yet here they were at the be- 
hest and determination of the men thus elected, 
often against their own convictions and instincts, 
ranged against each other in long-drawn battle 
with but one inevitable issue. There must be a 
residuum of kindliness and good sense somewhere 
in the world! It was customary at that time to 
ask the opponent of war what he would have done 
had he been in France when the German war ma- 
chine threatened her very existence. We could 
only reply that we were not criticizing France, 
that we had every admiration for her gallant cour- 
age, but that what we were urging at that mo- 
ment was the cessation of hostilities and the sub- 
stitution of another method. Was a group of men 
living in Prussia, who had urged the development 
and perfection of a military machine which, from 
the very nature of the case must in the course 
of time be put into operation, to be allowed to 
determine the future of all the young men in 
Europe? Would not the system of conscription, 
spread to England and her colonies overseas, but 
increase the practice of militarism? 


Our hopes were high that evening in New York 
as we talked over the possible men and a few 
women from the Scandinavian countries, from 
Holland and Switzerland, who possessed the inter- 
national mind and might lend themselves to the 
plan of a neutral conference. We were quite 
worldly enough to see that we should have to be- 
gin with some well-known Americans, but we were 
confident that at least a half dozen of them with 
whom we had already discussed the plan, would be 
ready to go. Mr. Ford took a night train to 
Washington to meet an appointment with Presi- 
dent Wilson, perhaps still hoping that the plan 
might receive some governmental sanction and 
at least wishing to be assured that, as a private 
enterprise, it would not embarrass the government. 

During the day, as I went about New York in 
the interest of other affairs and as yet saying noth- 
ing of the new plan, it seemed to me that perhaps 
it was in character that the effort from the United 
States should be initiated not by the government 
but by a self-made business man who approached 
the situation from a purely human point of view, 
almost as a working man would have done. On 
the evening after his return from Washington Mr. 
Ford reported that the President had declared 
him quite within his rights in financing a neutral 
conference and had wished all success to the enter- 


The difficulties, however, began that very eve- 
ning when Mr. Ford asked his business agent to 
show us the papers which chartered the Nor- 
wegian boat Oscar II for her next trans-Atlantic 
voyage. Some of the people attending the com- 
mittee meeting evidently knew of this plan, but I 
was at once alarmed, insisting that it would be 
easy enough for the members of the conference 
to travel to Stockholm or The Hague by various 
steamship lines, paying their own expenses; that 
we needed Mr. Ford's help primarily in organiz- 
ing a conference but not in transporting the peo- 
ple. Mr. Ford's response was to the effect that 
the more publicity the better and that the sailing 
of the ship itself would make known the confer- 
ence more effectively than any other method could 
possibly do. After that affairs moved rapidly. 
Mr. Louis Lochner came on from Chicago to act 
as secretary to the undertaking, which was estab- 
lished with its own headquarters in New York. 
An attempt the very first day to organize a com- 
mittee who should be responsible for selecting the 
personnel of the conference proved difficult. Mr. 
Ford himself was eager to issue the invitations and 
had begun with two of his oldest and best friends, 
John Burroughs and Thomas A. Edison. At the 
very first, a group of college young people pre- 
sented a list of students, limited to two from each 
of the leading colleges and universities whom they 


wished to have invited. We pointed out that these 
could hardly hope to be of direct value to the 
conference itself, but it was hard to set aside the 
reply that what was needed was not only efforts 
at adjudication by a well-considered conference 
of elders but also the warmth and reassurance 
which youth would bring to the enterprise. The 
youthful advocates also believed that their 
demonstration might evoke a compunction among 
the elderly statesmen responsible for the war who, 
by calling any such remonstrance treason, had ab- 
solutely inhibited pacifist youth in Europe from 
expression of opinion. There was also much feel- 
ing at the moment among certain students in Amer- 
ican universities over the suppression in England 
of the Cambridge Magazine whose editorial policy 
had been consistently anti-military, and over the 
fact that Bertrand Russell had been asked to re- 
sign from Cambridge University. 

A college group was finally invited and later 
proved a somewhat embarrassing factor in the 
enterprise. I left for Chicago before the flood of 
invitations were sent; many of them were ad- 
dressed to honest, devoted, and also distinguished 
people, although the offer of a crusading journey 
to Europe with all expenses paid could but at- 
tract many fanatical and impecunious reformers. 

Almost immediately upon my return to Chi- 
cago, ten days before the Oscar II sailed, the 


newspaper accounts from New York began to be 
most disquieting. We had not expected any ac- 
tual cooperation from the newspapers, but mak- 
ing all allowances for that, the enterprise seemed 
to be exhibiting unfortunate aspects. The con- 
ference itself was seldom mentioned, but the 
journey and the ship were made all important and 
mysterious people with whom Madame Schwim- 
mer was said to be in communication, were con- 
stantly featured. The day when Mr. Ford's slo- 
gan "Get the Boys out of the trenches by Christ- 
mas" was spread all over the front pages of the 
dailies I spent large sums of money telephoning 
to the secretary in New York begging him to keep 
to the enterprise in hand, which I reminded him 
was the conference of neutrals. Having so re- 
cently traveled in Europe under wartime regula- 
tions, I knew that such propaganda would be con- 
sidered treasonable and put the enterprise in a 
very dangerous position. Mr. Lochner reminded 
me of Mr. Ford's well-known belief that direct 
appeal to the "the boys" was worth much more 
than the roundabout educational methods we were 
advocating. Almost simultaneously with this un- 
toward development the secretary received the 
resignations of three leading internationalists 
who had seriously considered going, and of two 
others who had but recently accepted. They had 
all been convinced of the possible usefulness of 


a conference of neutrals, at least to the extent of 
giving "continuous mediation" a trial, but they 
had become absolutely disconcerted by the ex- 
traneous developments of the enterprise. On the 
other hand, the people in New York in charge of 
the enterprise believed that the anti-war move- 
ment throughout its history had been too quiet- 
istic and much too grey and negative; that the 
heroic aspect of life had been too completely 
handed over to war, leaving pacifists under the 
suspicion that they cared for safety first and cher- 
ished survival above all else ; that a demonstration 
was needed, even a spectacular one to show that 
ardor and comradeship were exhibited by the non- 
militarists as well; in fact, it was the pacifists 
who believed that life itself was so glorious an 
adventure that the youth of one nation had no 
right to deprive the youth of another nation of 
their share in it; that living itself, which all youth 
had in common, was larger and more inclusive 
than the nationalistic differences so unfairly 
stressed by their elders. 

I was fifty-five years old in 1915 ; I had already 
"learned from life," to use Dante's great phrase, 
that moral results are often obtained through the 
most unexpected agencies; that it is very easy to 
misjudge the value of an undertaking by a criti- 
cal or unfair estimate of the temperament and 
ability of those undertaking it. It was quite pos- 


sible that with Mr. Ford's personal knowledge of 
the rank and file of working men he had shrewdly 
interpreted the situation, that he understood the 
soldier who was least responsible for the war and 
could refuse to continue only if the appeal came 
simultaneously to both sides. The bulk of the sol- 
diers in every army are men who ordinarily work 
with their hands in industry, in transportation and 
in agriculture. We had been told, only the month 
before, of the response on the part of the Eng- 
lish soldiers when governmental officials had been 
sent to France to go through the trenches in order 
to find skilled mechanics to work in the arsenals 
and munition factories which had been found to 
be such an important factor in modern warfare. 
How eagerly the men confessed, when there was 
no question of lack of patriotism involved, that 
they had longed for the feel of tools in their 
hands, that they had felt disconnected and un- 
happy. Possibly what Mr. Veblen calls "the in- 
stinct of workmanship" asserted itself in mute but 
powerful rebellion through their very muscles and 
nerves against the work of destruction to which 
their skilled hands were set. Was the appeal 
which Mr. Ford was making more natural and 
normal, more fitted to the situation than that 
which we had so eagerly been advocating? At 
any rate the situation was taken quite out of the 
hands of the original promoters, for among other 


things which Mr. Ford had gained from his wide 
experience was an overwhelming belief in the 
value of advertising; even derision was better 
than no "story" at all. Partly in pursuance of 
this policy, partly because they themselves were 
clamorous, no fewer than sixty-four newspaper 
men finally sailed on the Oscar II. 

During the days of my preparation for the 
journey, which was largely an assembling of warm 
clothing, for there was little fuel in the Scandi- 
navian countries even then and we were to land 
in December, I tried to make my position clear 
to remonstrating friends. Admitting the plan had 
fallen into the hands of Mr. Ford who had long 
taken an inexplicable position in regard to peace 
propaganda, and that with many notable .excep- 
tions, a group of very eccentric people had at- 
tached themselves to the enterprise, so that there 
was every chance for a fiasco, I still felt com- 
mitted to it and believed that at the worst it would 
be a protest from the rank and file of America, 
young and old, learned and simple, against the 
continuation of the war which in Europe was more 
and more being then regarded as inevitable. I 
was so convinced of the essential soundness of the 
conference of neutrals and so confident of Euro- 
pean participation, that I was inclined to consider 
the sensational and unfortunate journey of the 
American contingent as a mere incident to the 


undertaking, for after all the actual foundations 
of the conference itself would have to be laid on 
the other side of the Atlantic. It became clearer 
every day that whoever became associated with 
the ship would be in for much ridicule and social 
opprobrium, but that of course seemed a small 
price to pay for a protest against war. Even in 
Mr. Ford's much repeated slogan to "come out 
of the trenches" there was a touch of what might 
be called the Christian method, "cease to do evil," 
you yourself, just where you are, whatever the 
heads of the church and state may dictate. Whole 
pages of Tolstoy's reaction to the simple Chris- 
tian teaching raced through my mind; was this 
slogan a slangy 2Oth century version of the same 
decisive appeal? 

What my interpretation of the enterprise would 
have been, had I become part of it, is of course 
impossible to state, for on the eve of leaving 
home, a serious malady which had pursued me 
from childhood reappeared and I was lying in 
a hospital bed in Chicago not only during the 
voyage of the Oscar II, but during the follow- 
ing weeks when the Neutral Conference was ac- 
tually established in Stockholm. 

It is useless to speculate on what might have 
occurred at various times but for our physical limi- 
tations; we must, perforce, accommodate our- 
selves to them, and it is never easy, although I 


had had the training which comes to a child with 
"spinal disease," as it was called in my youth. 

Madame Schwimmer, who, as a journalist and 
suffrage organizer, had had wide experience in 
many European countries outside of Hungary, was 
convinced that the neutral conference would not 
succeed unless it had back of it the imaginative 
interest of the common people throughout Europe. 
She therefore arranged that formal receptions 
should be accorded to the party in the four neutral 
countries of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Hol- 
land. The entire expedition, so far as she con- 
ducted it, was in the grand manner for she be- 
lieved, rightly or wrongly, that the drooping Peace 
Movement needed the prestige and reassurance 
that such a policy would bring to it. Unfortunate- 
ly the policy exposed her both to the charge of 
extravagance and of having manufactured a 

Difficulties developed during the journey; Mr. 
Ford left a few days after the group arrived in 
Norway, in the midst of journalistic misrepre- 
sentations and Madame Schwimmer resigned 
from the Conference, during the early months of 
its existence. But in spite of disasters the Neu- 
tral Conference was finally set up at Stockholm, 
on January 26, 1916, after the Burgomaster of 
the city had introduced an interpellation in the 
Rikstag, of which he was a member, asking the 


Swedish Government to define its attitude on neu- 
tral mediation. 

Gradually the personnel was completed by five 
representatives each from Denmark, Holland, 
Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, with three from 
the United States. Among the Europeans were 
Professors of International Law, of Economics, 
of Philosophy, the legal advisor to the Nobel In- 
stitute, men and women who were officers of Na- 
tional Peace Societies, members of Parliament and 
city officials. They first issued a carefully con- 
sidered appeal addressed "To the Governments 
and Parliaments of the Neutral Nations repre- 
sented at the second Hague Conference" begging 
them to offer official mediation, and quoting from 
The Hague Conventions to show that such an 
offer could not be construed as an unfriendly act. 

This appeal was given general publicity by the 
European Press, even in the belligerent countries, 
and at least served to draw attention once more 
to the fact that a continuation of the war was not 
necessarily inevitable. Resolutions based on the 
appeal were considered by three National Parlia- 
ments, and the appeal itself was discussed at a 
formal meeting of the Prime Ministers of the 
three Scandinavian countries. 

At Easter, 1916, the Conference issued an ap- 
peal to "The Governments, Parliaments and Peo- 
ple of Belligerent Nations." This was the result 


of much study, and was founded upon an intelli- 
gent effort to obtain the various nationalistic 
points of view. An enormous correspondence on 
the subject had taken place, and representatives 
of many nationalities had appeared before the 
Conference; these ranged from the accredited 
governmental officials to the Esthonian peasant 
who came on skiis, many miles over the ice and 
snow, crossing the frontier at the risk of his life, 
not daring even to tell his name, and wishing the 
bare fact of his appearance to be suppressed, until 
he should have had time to return to his own 
country. He added one more to the tragic peti- 
tions, received from all parts of Europe. This 
official appeal to the belligerent nations, foreshad- 
owing the famous fourteen points, was also widely 

The Conference of Neutrals, reorganized into 
an International Commission devoted to promot- 
ing the public opinion necessary for a lasting peace 
whenever the governments should be ready to act, 
had much to do with stimulating general meetings 
held in all the neutral countries on Hague Day, 
May 1 8th, and again on the second anniversary 
of the war in August. George Brandes of Den- 
mark, wrote a stirring appeal for Peace, as did 
the poets and writers of various countries, in- 
cluding Ellen Key and Selma Lagerlof. For the 
moment a demand for the cessation of the war be- 


came vocal, at least in those countries where such 
demands were not officially suppressed. 

Because the beginning of actual mediation, 
founded upon visits between citizens from the bel- 
ligerent nations with those from the neutral must 
of necessity be conducted quietly, the Conference 
finally left two of its members in each of the five 
neutral countries, with its headquarters at The 
Hague, where the two delegates from the United 
States were established. 

When Louis Lochner came back to the United 
States in October, 1916, he was able to give an 
enthusiastic report. He arrived in the midst of 
the "he kept us out of war" Presidential campaign. 
The Democratic Party in the very convention 
which re-nominated President Wilson and drew 
the Party Platform, had endorsed a League of 
Nations policy. Mr. Lochner reported that even 
the Germans were ready for international dis- 
armament, and that the question on everybody's 
lips was "how soon will Wilson act?" We were 
sure that Mr. Wilson would act in his own best 
way, and were most anxious not to take the atti- 
tude towards him by which the Abolitionist so 
constantly embarrassed President Lincoln during 
the Civil War. 

Mr. Ford at that time was guaranteeing to the 
Conference a steady income of ten thousand dol- 
lars a month, the first difficulties had subsided 


and the movement was constantly gaining prestige. 
The Norway delegation, for instance, then con- 
sisting of Christian Lange, general secretary of 
the Interparliamentary Union; Dr. Horgenstierne, 
president of the University of Christiania, and 
Haakon Loeken, state's attorney for Christiania. 
This personnel was not unlike that of the other 

On December 10, 1916, President Wilson is- . 
sued his famous Peace Note, and it seemed as if 
at last the world were breathing another air. For 
the time being the pacifists were almost popular, 
or at least felt a momentary lift of the curious 
strain which inevitably comes to him who finds 
himself differing with every one about him. 

In January of 1917, Mr. Lochner returned 
again to the United States in company with the 
man who had been engaged in negotiations with 
Great Britain, and saw the President twice. I 
was ill and confined to my room at this time. But 
in a long conversation which I had with Mr. Loch- 
ner in Chicago, as he reported recent interviews 
with Mr. Ford and his secretaries, it was evident 
that the benefactor of the Neutral Conference was 
reflecting the change in public opinion, and like 
many another pacifist, who does not believe in 
war as such, was nevertheless making an excep- 
tion of "this war." In February Mr. Ford's 
changed position was unmistakable. He an- 


nounced that he would give no more support to 
the European undertaking after March first, and 
he withdrew from the Neutral Conference plan 
almost as abruptly as he had entered it. 

Thus came to an end all our hopes for a Confer- 
ence of Neutrals devoted to continuous mediation. 
Our women's organizations as such had had noth- 
ing to do with the "Ford Ship," but of course we 
had assiduously urged the Conference which it was 
designed to serve, and our members in many coun- 
tries had promoted the de facto Conference. Cer- 
tainly no one could justly charge us with "passiv- 
ity" in our efforts to secure it. 

During my long days of invalidism in California 
the following spring, I had plenty of time to anal- 
yze the situation. Had we been over-persistent, 
so eager for the grapes that we were willing to 
gather thistles, had our identification with the 
sensational Peace Ship been an exhibition of moral 
daring or merely an example of woeful lack of 
judgment? When I contrasted the Ford under- 
taking with another International Peace Move- 
ment absolutely free from any sensationalism, I 
found that the latter had been scarcely more suc- 
cessful : The Minimum Program Committee had 
been supported by pacifists from many countries. 
It was inaugurated in the spring of 1915 at a con- 
ference composed of distinguished men and women 
held at The Hague, where it established perman- 


ent headquarters. It had put forward a rational 
program, and had kept alive the hopes for an or- 
dered world, functioning throughout the war and 
for two years following with no act of indiscretion. 
It was, in fact, so cautious that at a dinner in 
New York which I attended as a member of the 
American Committee of 100, certain officers, 
alarmed at the remote connection with the Ford 
Ship which Mr. Lochner's presence there indi- 
cated, asked him to resign. To them, as to so 
many millions of their fellow citizens, the slogan 
that "this is a war to end war" and the hope that 
the Peace Commission would provide for an en- 
during peace, were convincing. They did not real- 
ize how old the slogan was, nor how many times 
it had lured men into condoning war. 

California also afforded time for reading books 
in which it was easy to discover that never had 
so much been said about bringing war to an end 
forevermore, as by the group of Allied Nations 
who waged the last campaign against Napoleon. 
They declared in the grandiloquent phrases they 
used so easily that their aims were "the recon- 
struction of the moral order," "a regeneration of 
the political system of Europe," and "the estab- 
lishment of an enduring peace founded upon a just 
redistribution of political forces." But Napoleon 
was "crushed" and none of their moral hopes were 
fulfilled. They too were faced at the end of the 


war, as are the victors and vanquished of every 
war, by unimaginable suffering, by economic ruin, 
by the irreparable loss of thousands of young men, 
by the set back of orderly progress. 

As the Great War incredibly continued year 
after year, as the entrance of one nation after an- 
other increased the number of young combatants, 
as the war propaganda grew ever more bitter and 
irrational, there were moments when we were ac- 
tually grateful for every kind of effort we had 
made. At such times, the consciousness of social 
opprobrium, of having become an easy mark for 
the cheapest comment, even the sense of frustra- 
tion were, I am certain, easier to bear than would 
have been the consciousness that in our fear of 
sensationalism we had left one stone unturned to 
secure the Conference of Neutrals which seemed 
at least to us a possible agency for shortening the 



WE heard with much enthusiasm the able and 
discriminating annual message delivered by the 
President in December, 1915. It seemed to lay 
clearly before the country "the American strategy" 
which the President evidently meant to carry out; 
he had called for a negotiated peace in order to 
save both sides from utter exhaustion and moral 
disaster in the end. We were all disappointed that 
when he asked for a statement of war aims both 
sides were reluctant to respond, but Germany's flat 
refusal put her at an enormous disadvantage and 
enabled the President in his role of leading neu- 
tral to appeal to the German people over the 
heads of their rulers with terms so liberal that 
it was hoped that the people themselves would 
force an end to the war. Naturally, a plea for 
a negotiated peace could only be addressed to the 
liberals throughout the world, who were probably 
to be found in every country involved in the con- 
flict. If the strategy had succeeded these liberals 
would have come into power in all the parliamen- 



tary countries and the making of the peace as 
well as the organization of the international body 
to be formed after the war, would naturally have 
been in liberal hands. The peace conference it- 
self would inevitably have been presided over 
by the President of the great neutral nation who 
had forced the issue. All this in sharp contrast 
to what would result if the United States, with its 
enormous resources, entered into the war, for if 
the war were carried on to a smashing victory, 
the "bitter enders" would inevitably be in power 
at its conclusion. 

We also counted upon the fact that this great 
war had challenged the validity of the existing 
status between nations, as it had never been ques- 
tioned before, and that radical changes were being 
proposed by the most conservative of men every- 
where. , As conceived by the pacifist, the construc- 
tive task laid upon the United States at that mo- 
ment was the discovery of an adequate moral 
basis for a new relationship between nations. The 
exercise of the highest political intelligence might 
hasten to a speedy completion for immediate use 
that international organization which had been so 
long discussed and so ardently anticipated. 

Pacifists believed that in the Europe of 1914* 
certain tendencies were steadily pushing towards 
large changes which in the end made war, because 
the system of peace had no way of effecting those 


changes without war, no adequate international 
organization which could cope with the situation. 
The conception of peace founded upon the balance 
of power or the undisturbed status quo, was so 
negative that frustrated national impulses and sup- 
pressed vital forces led to war, because no method 
of orderly expression had been devised. 

The world was bent on a change, for it knew 
that the real denial and surrender of life is not 
physical death but acquiescence in hampered con- 
ditions and unsolved problems. Agreeing sub- 
stantially with this analysis of the causes of the 
war, we pacifists, so far from passively wishing 
nothing to be done, contended on the contrary 
that this world crisis should be utilized for the 
creation of an international government able to 
make the necessary political and economic changes 
which were due; we felt that it was unspeakably 
stupid that the nations should fail to create an 
international organization through which each one, 
without danger to itself, might recognize and even 
encourage the impulse toward growth in other 

In spite of many assertions to the contrary, we 
were not advocating the mid- Victorian idea that 
good men from every country meet together at 
The Hague or elsewhere, there to pass a resolu- 
tion that "wars hereby cease" and that "the world 
hereby be federated." What we insisted upon 


was that the world could be organized politically 
by its statesmen as it had been already organized 
into an international fiscal system by its bankers. 
We asked why the problem of building a railroad 
to Bagdad, of securing corridors to the sea for 
a land-locked nation, or warm water harbors for 
Russia, should result in war. Surely the minds 
of this generation were capable of solving such 
problems as the minds of other generations had 
solved their difficult problems. Was it not ob- 
vious that such situations transcended national 
boundaries and must be approached in a spirit 
of world adjustment, that they could not be peace- 
fully adjusted while men's minds were still held 
apart by national suspicions and rivalries. 

The pacifists hoped that the United States 
might perform a much needed service in the inter- 
national field, by demonstrating that the same 
principles of federation and of an interstate tri- 
bunal might be extended among widely separated 
nations, as they had already been established be- 
tween our own contiguous states. Founded upon 
the great historical experiment of the United 
States, it seemed to us that American patriotism 
might rise to a supreme effort because her own 
experience for more than a century had so thor- 
oughly committed her to federation and to peace- 
ful adjudication as matters of every-day govern- 
ment. The President's speech before the Senate 


embodied such a masterly restatement of early 
American principles that thousands of his fellow 
citizens dedicated themselves anew to finding a 
method for applying them in the wider and more 
difficult field of international relationships. We 
were stirred to enthusiasm by certain indications 
that President Wilson was preparing for this diffi- 
cult piece of American strategy. 

It was early in January, 1916, that the Presi- 
dent put forth his Pan-American program before 
the Pan-American Scientific Congress which was 
held in Washington at that time. His first point, 
"to unite in guaranteeing to each other absolute 
political independence and territorial integrity" 
was not so significant to us as the second, "to set- 
tle all disputes arising between us by investiga- 
tion and arbitration." 

One of our members had been prominently 
identified with this Congress. I had addressed its 
Woman's Auxiliary and at our Executive Com- 
mittee meeting, held in January, 1916, we felt that 
we had a right to consider the Administration 
committed still further to the path of arbitration 
upon which it had entered in September, 1914, 
when treaties had been signed in Washington with 
Great Britain, France, Spain and China, each pro- 
viding for commissions of inquiry in cases of diffi- 
culty. Secretary Bryan had stated at that time 
that twenty-six nations had already signed such 


treaties, and that Russia, Germany and Austria 
were being urged to do so. Then there had been 
the President's Mexican policy which, in spite 
of great pressure had kept the United States free 
from military intervention, and had been marked 
by great forebearance to a sister republic which 
as yet was struggling awkwardly toward self-gov- 

But it was still early in 1916 that the curious 
and glaring difference between the President's 
statement of foreign policy and the actual bent of 
the Administration began to appear. In the treaty 
with Haiti, ratified by the United States Senate 
in February, 1916, the United States guaranteed 
Haiti territorial and political independence and 
in turn was empowered to administer Haiti's cus- 
toms and finances for twenty years. United 
States Marines, however, had occupied Haiti since 
a riot which had taken place in 1915 and had set 
up a military government, including a strict mili- 
tary censorship. All sorts of stories were reach- 
ing the office of the Woman's Peace Party, some 
of them from white men wearing the United 
States' uniform, some of them from black men in 
despair over the treatment accorded to the island 
by "armed invaders." We made our protest to 
Washington, Miss Breckenridge presenting the 
protest in person after she had made a most care- 
ful investigation into all the records to be found 


in the possession of the government. She re- 
ceived a most evasive reply having to do with a 
naval base which the United States had estab- 
lished there in preference to allowing France or 
Germany to do so. In response to our suggestion 
that the whole matter be referred to the Central 
American Court we were told that the Court was 
no longer functioning, and a little later indeed the 
Carnegie building itself was dismantled, thus 
putting an end to one of the most promising 
beginnings of international arbitration. 

In February, 1916, came the Nicaraguan treaty 
including among other things the payment of $3,- 
000,000 for a naval base, seemingly in contradic- 
tion to the President's former stand in regard 
to Panama Canal tolls and the fortification of the 
Canal. Again the information given in response 
to the inquiry of the Woman's Peace Party was 
fragmentary and again responsibility seemed to be 
divided between several departments of the gov- 

In the late summer of the same year there came 
the purchase of the Virgin Islands from Denmark. 
A plebiscite had been taken in Denmark in regard 
to this sale but none was to be taken on the islands 
themselves that the people living there might say 
whether or not they wished to be transferred. 
When the Woman's Peace Party urged such a 
plebiscite, we were told that there was no doubt 


that the Virgin Islands people did wish such a 
transfer, but there was no reply to our contention 
that it would make it all the easier therefore, to 
take the vote, and that the situation offered a won- 
derful opportunity actually to put into practice on 
a small scale what the President himself would 
shortly ask Europe to do on a large scale. This 
opportunity, of course, was never utilized and 
thousands of people were transferred from one 
government to another without a formal expres- 
sion of their wishes. 

In November, 1916, military occupation of the 
San Dominican Republic was proclaimed by Cap- 
tain Knapp of the United States Navy and a mili- 
tary government was established there under con- 
trol of the United States. Again we made our 
protest but this time as a matter of form, having 
little hope of a satisfactory reply although we 
were always received with much official courtesy. 
We were quite ready to admit that the govern- 
ment was pursuing a consistent policy in regard 
to the control of the Caribbean Sea, but we not 
only felt the danger of using the hunt for naval 
bases as an excuse to subdue one revolution after 
another and to set up military government, but 
also very much dreaded the consequences of such 
a line of action upon the policy of the United 
States in its larger international relationships. We 
said to each other and once when the occasion of- 

fered, to the President himself, that to reduce 
the theory to action was the only way to attract 
the attention of a world at war; Europe would 
be convinced of the sincerity of the United States 
only if the President was himself actually carry- 
ing out his announced program in the Caribbean 
or wherever opportunity offered. Out of the long 
international struggle had arisen a moral problem 
the solution of which could only be suggested 
through some imperative act which would arrest 
attention as a mere statement could not possibly 
do. It seemed to us at moments as if the Presi- 
dent were imprisoned in his own spacious intel- 
lectuality, and had forgotten the overwhelming 
value of the deed. 

Up to the moment of his nomination for a sec- 
ond term our hopes had gradually shifted to the 
belief that the President would finally act, not so 
much from his own preferences or convictions, but 
from the impact upon him of public opinion, from 
the momentum of the pressure for Peace, which 
we were sure the campaign itself would make clear 
to him. I was too ill at that time for much cam- 
paigning but knew quite well that my vote could 
but go to the man who had been so essentially 
right in international affairs. I held to this posi- 
tion through many spirited talks with Progressive 
friends who felt that our mutual hopes could be 
best} secured through other 'parties, and as I 


grew better, and was able to undertake a mini- 
mum of speaking and writing, it was all for Presi- 
dent Wilson's reelection and for an organization 
of a League of Nations. My feeble efforts were 
recognized beyond their desert when, after the 
successful issue in November I was invited to a 
White House dinner tendered to a few people who 
had been the President's steadfast friends. 

The results of the campaign had been very 
gratifying to the members of our group. It 
seemed at last as if peace were assured and the 
future safe in the hands of a chief executive who 
had received an unequivocal mandate from the 
people "to keep us out of war." We were, to be 
sure, at moments a little uneasy in regard to his 
theory of self-government, a theory which had re- 
appeared in his campaign speeches and was so 
similar to that found in his earlier books. It 
seemed at those times as if he were not so eager 
for a mandate to carry out the will of the peo- 
ple as for an opportunity to lead the people 
whither in his judgment their best interest lay. 
Did he place too much stress on leadership? 

But moments of uneasiness were forgotten and 
the pacifists in every part of the world were not 
only enormously reassured but were sent up into 
the very heaven of internationalism, as it were, 
when President Wilson delivered his famous 
speech to the Senate in January, 1917, which 


forecast his fourteen points. Some of these 
points had, of course, become common property 
among Liberals since the first year of the war 
when they had been formulated by The League 
for Democratic Control in England and later 
became known as a "union" program. Our Wom- 
an's International Congress held at The Hague 
in May, 1915, had incorporated most of the Eng- 
lish formula and had added others. The Presi- 
dent himself had been kind enough to say when I 
presented our Hague program to him in August, 
1915, that they were the best formulation he had 
seen up to that time. 

President Wilson, however, later not only gath- 
ered together the best liberal statements yet made, 
formulated them in his incomparable English and 
added others of his own, but he was the first re- 
sponsible statesman to enunciate them as an ac- 
tual program for guidance in a troubled world. 
Among the thousands of congratulatory telegrams 
received by the President at that time none could 
have been more enthusiastic than those sent offih. 
cially and personally by the members of our little! 
group. We considered that the United States was \ 
committed not only to using its vast neutral power \ 
to extend democracy throughout the world, but 
also to the conviction that democratic ends could | 
not be attained through the technique of war. In 
short, we believed that rational thinking and rea- 


sonable human relationships were once more pub- 
licly recognized as valid in international affairs. 

If, after the declaration of his foreign policy, 
it seemed to our group that desire and achieve- 
ment were united in one able protagonist, the phil- 
osopher become king, so to speak^ this state of 
mind was destined to be short lived, for almost 
immediately the persistent tendency of the Presi- 
dent to divorce his theory from the actual conduct 
of state affairs threw us into a state of absolute 
bewilderment. During a speaking tour in Janu- 
ary, 1917, he called attention to the need of a 
greater army, and in St. Louis openly declared 
that the United States should have the biggest 
navy in the world. 

We were in despair a few weeks later when 
in Washington the President himself led the Pre- 
paredness parade and thus publicly seized the 
leadership of the movement which had been 
started and pushed by his opponents. It was an 
able political move if he believed that the United 
States should enter the European conflict through 
orthodox warfare, but he had given his friends 
every right to suppose that he meant to treat the 
situation through a much bolder and at the same 
time more subtle method. The question with us 
was not one of national isolation, although we 
were constantly told that this was the alternative 
to war, it was purely a question of the method the 

United States should take to enter into a world 
situation. The crisis, it seemed to us, offered a 
test of the vigor and originality of a nation whose 
very foundations were laid upon a willingness to 

It was at this time that another disconcerting 
factor in the situation made itself felt; a factor 
which was brilliantly analyzed in Randolph 
Bourne's article entitled "War and the Intellec- 
tuals." The article was a protest against the 
"unanimity with which the American intellectuals 
had thrown their support to the use of war tech- 
nique in the crisis in which America found her- 
self," and against "the riveting of the war mind 
upon a hundred million more of the world's peo- 
ple." It seemed as if certain intellectuals, editors, 
professors, clergymen, were energetically pushing 
forward the war against the hesitation and dim 
perception of the mass of the pople. They 
seemed actually to believe that " a war free from 
any taint of self-seeking could secure the triumph 
of democracy and internationalize the world." 
They extolled the President as a great moral 
leader because he was irrevocably leading the coun- 
try into war. The long established peace societies 
and their orthodox organs quickly fell into line 
expounding the doctrine that the world's greatest 
war was to make an end to all wars. It was hard 
for some of us to understand upon what experi- 


ence this pathetic belief in the regenerative results 
of war could be founded; but the world had be- 
come filled with fine phrases and this one, which 
afforded comfort to many a young soldier, was 
taken up and endlessly repeated with an entire 
absence of the critical spirit. 

Through the delivery of the second inaugural 
address the President continued to stress the re- 
construction of the world after the war as the 
aim of American diplomacy and endeavor. Cer- 
tainly his pacifist friends had every right to be- 
lieve that he meant to attain this by newer and 
finer methods than those possible in warfare, but 
it is only fair to say that his words were open 
to both constructions. 

It will always be difficult to explain the change 
in the President's intention (if indeed it was a 
change) occurring between his inaugural address 
on March 4th and his recommendation for a de- 
claration of war presented to Congress on April 
2nd. A well known English economist has re- 
cently written : "The record shows Mr. Wilson up 
to 1917 essentially a pacifist, and assailed as such. 
There is nothing in the external evidence to ex- 
plain his swift plunge into materialism. His 'too 
proud to fight' maxim was repeated after the Lusi- 
tania incident. There is no evidence that the peo- 
ple who had elected him in the previous fall be- 
cause he had 'kept us out' wanted to go in 


until Mr. Wilson made them want. Why did he ? 
What was the rapid conversion which it is com- 
monly supposed Mr. Wilson underwent in the 
winter of 1916-1917?" 

The pacifists were not idle during these days. 
A meeting of all the leading peace societies was 
called in New York in March and a committee of 
five, of which two were members of the Woman's 
Peace Party, was appointed to wait upon the Presi- 
dent with suggestions for what we ventured to 
call possible alternatives to war. Professor Hull 
of Swarthmore College, a former student of the 
President's, presented a brief resume of what 
other American presidents had done through 
adjudication when the interests of American 
shipping had become involved during European 
wars; notably, George Washington during the 
French Revolution and John Adams in the 
Napoleonic War, so that international adjudica- 
tion instituted by Chief Justice Jay became known 
in Europe as "the American plan." The Presi- 
dent was, of course, familiar with that history, as 
he reminded his old pupil, but he brushed it aside 
as he did the suggestion that if the attack on 
American shipping were submitted to The Hague 
tribunal, it might result in adjudication of the 
issues of the great war itself. The Labor man 
on the committee still expressed the hope for a 
popular referendum before war should be de- 


clared, and we once more pressed for a con- 
ference of neutrals. Other suggestions were pre- 
sented by a committee from the Union Against 
Militarism who entered the President's office as 
we were leaving it. The President's mood was 
stern and far from the scholar's detachment as he 
told us of recent disclosures of German machina- 
tions in Mexico and announced the impossibility 
of any form of adjudication. He still spoke to us, 
however, as to fellow pacifists to whom he was 
forced to confess that war had become inevitable. 
He used one phrase which I had heard Colonel 
House use so recently that it still stuck firmly in 
my memory. The phrase was to the effect that, 
as head of a nation participating in the war, the 
President of the United States would have a seat 
at the Peace Table, but that if he remained the 
representative of a neutral country he could at best 
only "call through a crack in the door." The ap- 
peal he made was, in substance, that the foreign 
policy which we so extravagantly admired could 
have a chance if he were there to push and to de- 
fend them, but not otherwise. It was as if his 
heart's desire spoke through his words and dic- 
tated his view of the situation. But I found my 
mind challenging his whole theory of leadership. 
Was it a result of my bitter disappointment that I 
hotly and no doubt unfairly asked myself whether 
any man had the right to rate his moral leadership 

so high that he could consider the sacrifice of 
the lives of thousands of his young countrymen 
a necessity? I also reminded myself that all the 
study of modern social science is but a revelation 
of the fallacy of such a point of view, a discredit- 
ing of the Carlyle contention that the people must 
be led into the ways of righteousness by the ex- 
perience, acumen and virtues of the great man. 
It was possible that the President would "go to 
the people" once more as he had gone years before 
with a brilliant formulization of democracy in 
education when he wanted his Princeton policy 
confirmed; or as he had appealed to the peace 
loving people during his campaign, solely in order 
to confirm what he wanted to do and to explain 
what he thought wise. In neither case had he 
offered himself as a willing instrument to carry 
out the people's desires. He certainly did not 
dig the channels through which their purposes 
might flow and his own purpose be obtained be- 
cause it had become one with theirs. It seemed 
to me quite obvious that the processes of war 
would destroy more democratic institutions than 
he could ever rebuild however much he might de- 
clare the purpose of war to be the extension of 
democracy. What was this curious break between 
speech and deed, how could he expect to know the 
doctrine if he refused to do the will? 

Some of us felt that this genuine desire on the 


part of the President, to be in a position to do 
great good was perhaps the crux of the difficulty 
later when he actually took his place at the Peace 
Table, sitting in fact at the head of a table, at 
which no umpire could have taken a seat, since 
only those on one side of the great conflict were 
permitted to sit there. The President had a seat 
at the Peace Table as one among other victors, 
not as the impartial adjudicator. He had to drive 
a bargain for his League of Nations, he could not 
insist upon it as the inevitable basis for negotia- 
tions between two sides, the foundation of a 
"peace between equals." 

Were the difficulties of the great compromise 
inherent in the situation, and would they still have 
been there even if both sides had been present 
at a conference presided over by a fair minded 
judge? Certainly some of the difficulties would 
have yielded in such an atmosphere and some of 
the mistakes would have been averted. Twenty- 
six governments of the world stood convicted of 
their own impotence to preserve life and property, 
they were directly responsible for the loss of ten 
million men in military service, as many more peo- 
ple through the disease and desolation following 
war, for the destruction of untold accumulations 
of civilized life. What would have been the result 
had the head of one nation been there to testify to 
a new standard in national government? What 


might have happened if President Wilson could 
have said in January, 1919, what he had said in 
January, 1917, "A victor's terms imposed upon 
the vanquished . . . would leave a sting, a resent- 
ment, a bitter memory upon which terms of peace 
would rest not permanently but only as upon 
quicksand," or again, "The right state of mind, 
the right feeling between nations, is as necessary 
for a lasting peace as is the just settlement of 
vexed questions of territory, or of racial and na- 
tional allegiance." At that very moment the wind 
of idealism was blowing strongly across Europe, 
there were exaggerated hopes of a new and better 
world from which war should be forever banished. 
Europe distrusted any compromise with a monster 
which had already devoured her young men and 
all but destroyed her civilization. A man who had 
stood firmly against participation in war could 
have had his way with the common people in 
every country. The President became the center 
of the world's hopes because of the things he had 
said against war, and because people believed that 
he expressed their own abhorrence. Did the 
League of Nations fail to win their hearts not be- 
cause it was too idealistic or too pacifistic but 
because it permitted war in too many instances, be- 
cause its very structure and functioning is per- 
vaded by the war spirit, the victorious disciplin- 


ing the defeated, whereas the people had dreamed 
of a League of Peace lifting up all those who 
had been the victims of militarism? 

General Smuts has said that the Paris Peace 
in destroying the moral idealism born of the sacri- 
fices of the war, did almost as much as the war 
itself to shatter the structure of western civiliza- 
tion. But the disastrous Peace came about, to 
quote the words of General Smuts himself, be- 
cause "in the end not only the leaders but the 
people themselves preferred a bit of booty here, 
a strategic frontier there, a coal field or an oil 
well, an addition to their population or their re- 
sources to all the faint allurements of an ideal." 
It was indeed the human spirit itself which failed, 
but the human spirit under a temptation which an 
earlier peace might have diminished. An impar- 
tial judge who could have insisted that there 
should be "no discriminations to those to whom 
we wish to be just, and those to whom we do not 
wish to be just," might in a measure have cooled 
the nationalistic passions inevitably aroused by a 
long and disastrous war, might have substituted 
other hopes for those so long deferred, for the 
glittering promises which must of necessity remain 
unfulfilled. Or was the difficulty more funda- 
mental? Did the world expect two roles from 
one man, when experience should have clearly indi- 
cated that ability to play the two are seldom com- 


bined in the same person? The power to make 
the statement, to idealize a given situation, to for- 
mulate the principle, is a gift of the highest sort, 
but it assumes with intellectual power a certain 
ability of philosophic detachment; in one sense 
it implies the spectator rather than the doer. A 
man who has thus formulated a situation must 
have a sense of achievement, of having done what 
he is best fitted to do ; he has made his contri- 
bution and it is almost inevitable that he should 
feel that the thing itself has been accomplished. 
To require the same man later on to carry out his 
dictum in a complicated, contradictory situation 
demands such a strain upon his temperament that 
it may be expecting him to do what only another 
man of quite another temperament could do. Cer- 
tainly international affairs have been profoundly 
modified by President Wilson's magnificent contri- 
bution. From one aspect of the situation he did 
obtain his end; to urge "open covenants, openly 
arrived at" as a basic necessity for a successful 
society of nations, cuts at the root of a prolific 
cause for war by simply turning on the light. But 
the man who would successfully insist upon such 
a course of procedure in actual negotiations is not 
only he who sees the situation but he who is bent 
upon the attainment of a beloved object, whose 
cause has become his heart's desire. Nothing can 
ever destroy the effect of the public utterance of 


the phrase, and the President may well contend 
that to have aided in the establishment of a 
League of Nations Secretariat where all treaties 
must be registered before they are valid is, in 
fact, the accomplishment of his dictum, although 
he must inevitably encounter the disappointment 
of those who believed it to imply an open discus- 
sion of the terms of the Peace Treaty, which to 
his mind was an impossibility. Such an interpreta- 
tion may explain the paradox that the author of 
the fourteen points returned from Paris, claiming 
that he had achieved them. 

Naturally, during the war, there was little that 
pacifist organizations could do ; from time to time 
we put out suggestions, sending them directly to 
those government authorities who were respon- 
sible for the policies recommended. Our small 
group was much disturbed as were other Ameri- 
can citizens, by what became increasingly obvious 
as the war progressed, that the policies of the war 
as well as its actual conduct were falling into the 
hands of the militarists. 

We proposed at our fourth annual meeting that 
a beginning be made by the Allies to form an Ex- 
ecutive Council not only for political action at the 
present but for the future as well. We suggested 
that Great Britain, France and the U. S. A. each 
appoint three delegates to an Allied Political 
Council; that Italy and Japan each appoint two 


delegates; that the other nations associated in 
military opposition to Germany each appoint one 
delegate; that these delegates meet in London 
and organize in a deliberative and advisory capa- 
city. We hoped that it could assume as much posi- 
tive authority as the Versailles Military Council 
was at that moment exercising, not only in mili- 
tary matters but ultimately in civil affairs as well. 
Some such policy did later of course develop, 
through the Supreme Economic Council, although 
a travesty of what we had hoped for. 

As pacifists were in a certain sense outlaws dur- 
ing the war, our group was no longer in direct 
communication with the White House, which 
was of course to be expected, although curiously 
enough we only slowly detached ourselves from 
the assumption that the President really shared 
our convictions. He himself at last left no room 
for doubt, when in November he declared before 
the American Federation of Labor that he had 
a contempt for pacifists because "I, too, want 
peace, but I know how to get it, and they do not." 
We quite agreed with him that he knew how if he 
meant to secure peace through a League of Na- 
tions, but we could not understand how he hoped 
to do it through war. 

I heard President Wilson speak in New York 
in Carnegie Hall in February, 1919, just before 
he returned to Europe for the continuance of the 


Peace Conference, where he stressed the fact that 
the treaty and the League would be inextricably 
woven together. Later in the same speech, when 
he said "that those who oppose the League must 
be deaf to the demands of the common man the 
world over," I could not but speculate why, there- 
fore, must the League depend upon the treaty? 
How far had it been his war experiences which 
had led him to place his trust in treaties, above 
his trust in the instincts of humble people, in 
whose hearts the desire for peace had at last taken 
sanctuary ? 



As the European war continued and new relief 
organizations developed for the care of the 
wounded and orphaned, the members of our group 
felt increasingly the need for the anodyne of work, 
although it was difficult to find our places. For 
instance, the American Red Cross, following the 
practice of the British society, had become part 
of the military organization as it had never done 
before and its humanitarian appeal for funds had 
fully utilized the war enthusiasms. Such a com- 
bination made it not only more difficult for pacifists 
to become identified with the Red Cross, but all 
war activities which were dependent upon public 
funds became very timid in regard to pacifist co- 
operation. This was, of course, quite natural as 
the newspapers constantly coupled the words 
traitor and pro-German with the word pacifist, 
as if they described one and the same person. 
There were in fact many examples arising from 
the fear of imperiling a good cause by having a 
pacifist identified with it, that resulted in indi- 



vidual pacifists withdrawing from organizations 
which they had themselves founded or fostered. 
But although our feelings were sometimes hurt 
at the moment when it was made obvious that one 
or another was persona non grata, I think, on the 
whole, we frankly recognized the instinct for prac- 
tical politics as responsible for certain incidents; 
at any rate, we learned to take our rebuffs without 
a sense of grievance. Personally, I found these 
incidents easier to bear than the occasional perse- 
cutions which came the other way around; when 
enthusiastic and fanatical pacifists openly chal- 
lenged the honesty and integrity of their former 
associates who had become convinced of the ne- 
cessity for the war. 

With many other Americans I, therefore, ex- 
perienced a great sense of relief when Congress 
finally established a Department of Food Ad- 
ministration for the United States and when Mr. 
Hoover, who had spent two and a half years in 
Europe in intimate contact with the backwash of 
war, made his first appeal to his fellow country- 
men in the name of the food shortage of the en- 
tire world, insisting that "the situation is more 
than war, it is a problem of humanity." 

Certainly here was a line of activity into which 
we might throw ourselves with enthusiasm, and 
if we were not too conspicuous we might be per- 
mitted to work without challenge. The latter 


was perhaps too much to hope for. But although 
the challenge came from time to time, in my 
case at least it did not prove a deterrent and I was 
soon receiving many more invitations than I could 
possibly accept to speak on food conservation in 
relation to European needs ; some of these invita- 
tions were under the auspices of the Federal De- 
partment of Food Administration, and in Califor- 
nia, Texas, Colorado and other states under the 
auspices of the State. But what I cared most for 
was an opportunity to speak to women's organiza- 
tions, because I not only believed, as I somewhat 
elaborately stated, that "in this great undertaking 
women may bear a valiant part if they but stretch 
their minds to comprehend what it means in this 
world crisis to produce food more abundantly 
and to conserve it with wisdom," but I also be- 
lieved that we might thus break through into more 
primitive and compelling motives than those in- 
ducing so many women to increase the war spirit. 
There was something as primitive and real about 
feeding the helpless as there was about the fight- 
ing and in the race history the tribal feeding of 
children antedated mass fighting by perhaps a mil- 
lion years. Anthropologists insist that war has 
not been in the world for more than 20,000 years. 
It is in fact so recent that existing remnants of 
primitive people do not understand it. They may 
be given to individual murder but not to the col- 


lective fighting of numbers of men against other 
masses of men. Could not the earlier instinct and 
training in connection with food be aroused and 
would it be strong enough to overwhelm and 
quench the later tendency to war. Each individual 
within himself represented something of both 
strains: I used to remind myself that although 
I had had ancestors who fought in all the Ameri- 
can wars since 1684, I was also the daughter, 
granddaughter and the great granddaughter of 
millers. My earliest recollection was of being 
held up in a pair of dusty hands to see the heavy 
stone mill wheels go round. The happiest occu- 
pation of my childhood was to watch the old 
foaming water wheel turning in the back of the 
mill. I could tell by the sound of the mill when 
the old wheel was used, which occurred occasion- 
ally long after the turbines were established. 
Watching the foaming water my childish mind fol- 
lowed the masses of hard yellow wheat through 
the processes of grinding and bolting into the piled 
drifts of white flour and sometimes further into 
myriad bowls of bread and milk. 

Again, those two strains of War and Bread 
mingled in my memory of months of travel. Cer- 
tainly drilling soldiers and the constant review- 
ing of troops were seen in all the capital cities of 
Europe but there were also the peasant women 
who, all the world over, are still doing such 


a large part of the work connected with the grow- 
ing and preparation of foods. I recalled them 
everywhere in the fields of vast Russia as in the 
tiny pastures of Switzerland; by every roadside in 
Palestine they were grinding at the hand mills; 
in Egypt they were forever carrying the water of 
the Nile that the growing corn might not perish. 

The newspapers daily reported the changing 
fortunes of war on both fronts and our souls 
turned sick with anxiety and foreboding because 
all that the modern world held dear hung upon 
the hazards of battle. But certainly the labor for 
bread, which to me was more basic and legitimate 
than war, was still going on everywhere. In my 
desire to uncover it, to make clear woman's tradi- 
tional activity with something of its poetry and 
significance, I read endlessly in Fraser's "Golden 
Bough," two large volumes of which are given 
over to the history and interpretation of the in- 
numerable myths dealing with the Spirits of the 
Corn. These spirits are always feminine and are 
usually represented by a Corn Mother and her 
daughter, vaguely corresponding to the Greek 
Demeter the always fostering Earth, and her 
child Persephone. 

At the risk of breaking into the narrative of 
this book, so far as there is one, I am venturing 
to repeat some of the material which brought a 
touch of comfort to me and which, so far as I 


was able at that moment, I handed on to other 
women. Fraser discovers that relics of the Corn 
Mother and the Corn Maiden are found in nearly 
all the harvest fields of Europe; among many 
tribes of North American Indians; the Eastern 
world has its Rice Mother, for whom there are 
solemn ceremonies when the seed rice, believed to 
contain "soul stuff," is gathered. These deities 
are always feminine, as is perhaps natural from 
the association with fecundity and growth, and 
about them has gathered much of the poetry and 
song in the sowing of the grain and the gathering 
of the harvest, and those saddest plaints of all, 
expressing the sorrows of famine. 

Myths centering about the Corn Mother but 
dimly foreshadowed what careful scientific re- 
searches have later verified and developed. Stu- 
dents of primitive society believe that women were 
the first agriculturists and were for a long time 
the only inventors and developers of its processes. 
The men of the tribe did little for cultivating the 
soil beyond clearing the space and sometimes sur- 
rounding it by a rough protection. The woman 
as consistently supplied all cereals and roots eaten 
by the tribe as the man brought in the game and 
fish, and in early picture writing the short hoe 
became as universally emblematic of woman as the 
spear of the hunter, or the shield and battle axe 
of the warrior. In some tribes it became a fixed 


belief that seeds would not grow if planted by a 
man, and apparently all primitive peoples were 
convinced that seeds would grow much better if 
planted by women. In Central Africa to this day 
a woman may obtain a divorce from her husband 
and return to her father's tribe, if the former 
fails to provide her with a garden and a hoe. 

It is said that every widespread myth has its 
counterpart in the world of morals. This is cer- 
tainly true of the "fostering Mother." Students 
in the origin of social customs contend that the 
gradual change from the wasteful manner of no- 
madic life to a settled and much more economic 
mode of existence may be fairly attributed to these 
primitive agricultural women. Mothers in order 
to keep their children alive had transplanted roots 
from the forest or wild grains from the plains, 
into patches of rudely cultivated ground. We can 
easily imagine when the hunting was poor or when 
the flocks needed a new pasture, that the men 
of the tribe would be for moving on, but that the 
women might insist that they could not possibly 
go until their tiny crops were garnered; and that 
if the tribe were induced to remain in the same 
caves or huts until after harvest the women might 
even timidly hope that they could use the same 
fields next year, and thus avert the loss of their 
children, sure to result from the alternation of 
gorging when the hunt was good and of starv- 


ing when it was poor. The desire to grow food 
for her children led to a fixed abode and to the 
beginning of a home, from which our domestic 
morality and customs are supposed to have origin- 

With such a historic background, it seemed to 
me that women might, in response to the food 
saving and food production appeals issued in one 
country after another, so enlarge their conception 
of duty that the consciousness of the world's needs 
for food should become the actual impulse of their 
daily activities. 

It also presented another interesting aspect; 
from the time we were little children we have 
all of us, at moments at least, cherished over- 
whelming desires to be of use in the great world, 
to play a conscious part in its progress. The diffi- 
culty has always been in attaching our vague pur- 
poses to the routine of our daily living, in making 
a synthesis between our ambitions to cure the ills 
of the world on the one hand, and the need to 
conform to household requirements on the other. 

It was a very significant part of the situation, 
therefore, that at this world's crisis the two had 
become absolutely essential to each other. A 
great world purpose could not be achieved with- 
out woman's participation founded upon an intel- 
ligent understanding and upon the widest sym- 
pathy, at the same time the demand could be met 


only if it were attached to her domestic routine, 
its very success depending upon a conscious change 
and modification of her daily habits. 

It was no slight undertaking to make this syn- 
thesis, it afforded probably the most compelling 
challenge which has been made upon woman's con- 
structive powers for centuries. It required all her 
human affection and all her clarity of mind to make 
the kind of adjustment which the huge scale of the 
situation demanded. 

It is quite understandable that there was no 
place for woman and her possible contribution in 
international affairs under the old diplomacy. 
Such things were indeed not "woman's sphere." 
But it was possible that as women entered into 
politics when clean milk and the premature labor 
of children became factors in political life, so 
they might be concerned with international af- 
fairs when these at last were dealing with such 
human and poignant matters as food for starving 
peoples who could be fed only through interna- 
tional activities. 

I recall a great audience in Hot Springs, Ar- 
kansas, made up of the members of the General 
Federation of Women's Clubs. It seemed to me 
that every woman there might influence her com- 
munity "back home," not only to produce and to 
save more food, but to pour into the war torn 
world such compassion as would melt down its 


animosities and bring back into it a gregarious 
instinct older and more human that the motives 
responsible for war. I believed that a generous 
response to this world situation might afford an 
opportunity to lay over again the foundations for 
a wider, international morality, as woman's con- 
cern for feeding her children had made the begin- 
nings of an orderly domestic life. We are told 
that when the crops of grain and roots so pains- 
takingly produced by primitive women began to 
have a commercial value their production and ex- 
change were taken over by the men, as men later 
turned the manufacturing of pottery and other of 
woman's early industries into profit making activi- 
ties. Such a history, suggested that this situa- 
tion might be woman's opportunity if only be- 
cause foods were, during the war, no longer con- 
sidered primarily in regard to their money-mak- 
ing value but from the point of view of their hu- 
man use. Because the production of food was, 
for the moment, dependent upon earlier motives, 
it had fallen back into woman's hands. There 
had developed a wide concern for the feeding of 
hungry people, an activity with which women were 
normally connected. 

As I had felt the young immigrant conscripts 
caught up into a great world movement, which 
sent them out to fight, so it seemed to me the 
millions of American women might be caught up 


into a great world purpose, that of conservation 
of life; there might be found an antidote to war 
in woman's affection and all-embracing pity for 
helpless children. 

Certainly compassion is not without its social 
utility. Up to the present moment the nations, in 
their foreign policies, have conspicuously lacked 
that humane quality which has come in their do- 
mestic policies through the increasing care for the 
poor, and the protection of children. These have 
been responsible for all sorts of ameliorative legis- 
lation during the later years, in one nation after 
another. In their relations to each other, how- 
ever, nations have been without 'such motives of 
humanitarian action until the Allied nations, dur- 
ing the war, evolved a strikingly new foreign 
policy in their efforts to relieve the starvation and 
distress throughout widespread areas. 

There are such unexpected turnings in the paths 
of moral evolution that it would not be without 
precedent that a new and powerful force might 
be unloosed in the world when the motive for pro- 
ducing and shipping food on the part of great na- 
tions was no longer a commercial one but had for 
the moment shifted to a desire to feed hungry 
people with whose governments they had entered 
into obligations. Such a force might in the fu- 
ture have to be reckoned with as a factor in inter- 
national affairs. 


In those dark years, so destructive of the old 
codes, the nations were forced back to their tribal 
function of producing and conserving food in 
contrast to the methods of modern commerce. 
All food supplies had long been collected and 
distributed through the utilization of the com- 
mercial motive. When it was commercially valu- 
able to a man, to a firm or nation, food was ship- 
ped; when it was not commercially valuable, food 
was withheld or even destroyed. At that mo- 
ment, however, the Allied Nations were collecting 
and conserving a common food supply and each na- 
tion was facing the necessity of making certain 
concessions to the common good that the threat 
of famine for all might be averted. A new in- 
ternationalism was being established day by day; 
the making of a more reasonable world order, so 
cogently urged by the President of the United 
States, was to some extent already under way, the 
war itself forming its matrix. 

There was a substitution of the social utility 
motive for that of commercial gain, energized pity 
for that of business enterprise. Mr. Hoover had 
said : "The wheat loaf has ascended in the imag- 
ination of enormous populations as the positive 
symbol of national survival." It seemed as if the 
age-long lack of organization between the na- 
tions, the dearth of human relationships in world 
politics, was about to be corrected, because an 


unspeakable disaster had forced the nations to 
consider together the primitive questions of fam- 
ine and pestilence. It was possible that a new 
international ethic was arising from these humble 
beginnings, as the defense and feeding of the de- 
pendent members of the tribe had laid the founda- 
tions of tribal loyalty and of national existence 
itself. In spite of the great mass of social data 
accumulated in the last century, in spite of wide- 
spread intellectual training, there has been no suc- 
cessful attempt to reduce the chaos of human 
affairs into a rational world order. Society failed 
to make a community of nations and was at last 
tragically driven to the beginnings of one along 
the old primitive folkways, as if in six thousand 
years no other method could have been devised. 
It seemed, therefore, a great historic achieve- 
ment that there should have been devised a work- 
able method for the collective purchase of food, 
to prohibit profiteering in "the precious stuff that 
men live by," even for the duration of the war. 
We had all been much impressed by the methods 
of food distribution in Belgium. Fifteen million 
dollars each month were lent to that unhappy na- 
tion by the United States, which had taken over 
the responsibility of feeding her beleaguered 
population. This amount was spent in the United 
States for food and its value was carefully con- 
sidered by the Division of Research in Nutritive 


Value in the Department of Food Administration. 
This Division undertook to know, as well as sci- 
ence could tell, what were the necessary daily ra- 
tions to maintain health and strength in the sev- 
eral occupations, and how the requirements could 
best be met from the stores on hand. Such words 
as "adequate nutrition" and "physiological values" 
had been made practical issues and the adminis- 
trative world represented by governmental officials 
was then seriously considering the production of 
food and the feeding of human beings in the light 
of pure science. 

As a result, the political relations at least be- 
tween Belgium and her Allies had completely 
shifted from the commercial to the humanitarian. 
To quote again from a speech of Mr. Hoover's: 
"For tnree years three million bushels monthly of 
North American wheat, largely from the charity 
of the world, has been the daily bread of ten mil- 
lion human beings in Belgium and Northern 
France. To those who doled out this scant al- 
lowance, wheat became indelibly the precious sym- 
bol of life." 

To transfer this concern for food into the in- 
ternational field was to enlarge its functions enor- 
mously as well as to increase its proportions. The 
Allied Nations had seriously undertaken to solve 
the problem of producing with the utmost econ- 
omy of human labor the largest amount of food 


and of distributing that food to the points of 
greatest need, they had been forced to make in- 
ternational arrangements for its distribution, ex- 
actly as intelligently as they were producing war 

It was easier to do this because each of the 
Allied Nations, in additions to feeding the sol- 
diers and the munition makers who were directly 
concerned in the tragic business of "winning the 
war," had also become responsible for feeding its 
entire civilian population. The appointment of 
food controllers, the issuing of bread cards and 
the system of rationing, was undertaken quite 
as much in the interest of just dealing in food sup- 
plies as for food conservation itself. The British 
government, in the winter of 1916, when we were 
constantly speaking on food conservation as such, 
had undertaken the responsibility of providing the 
British Isles with all its imported food, and other 
belligerent and neutral nations had been obliged 
to pursue the same course in order to avert starva- 
tion. Commercial competition had been sup- 
pressed, not in response to any theory, but be- 
cause it could not be trusted to Teed the feeble 
and helpless. The European governments had 
been compelled to undertake, as the consequence 
of the shortage in materials, the single-handed 
purchase of their supplies both for civil and mili- 
tary purposes. There had grown up an enormous 


consolidation of buying for a hundred and twenty 
million European people a phenomenon never 
before witnessed in the economic history of the 

With this accomplishment, it seemed reasonable 
to hope for world order in other directions as well. 
Certainly some of the obstructions were giving 
way. An English economist had said in 1917: 
"The war has, so far, in Europe generally, thrown 
the customs tariff flat." Were they, perhaps, dis- 
appearing under this onslaught of energized pity 
for world-wide needs, and was a motive power, 
new in the relations between nations being evolved 
in response to hunger and dependence as the 
earliest domestic ethics had been? It was becom- 
ing clear that nations cannot oppose their political 
frontiers as an obstacle to free labor and exchange 
without suffering themselves and causing suffer- 
ing; that the world was faced with a choice be- 
tween freedom in international commerce or in- 
ternational conflicts of increasing severity. Under 
this new standard of measurement, preferential 
tariffs would inevitably disappear because the na- 
tion denied the open door must suffer in its food 
supplies ; the control of strategic waterways or in- 
terstate railroad lines by any one nation which 
might be tempted to consider only the interest of 
its own commerce, would become unthinkable. 
All that then would be necessary to secure the in- 


ternationalization of the Straits of Bosphorus 
would be a demonstration of the need in Western 
Europe for Russian wheat, which had hitherto 
been exported so capriciously; the international 
building and control of a railroad into Mesopo- 
tamia would depend, not upon the ambition of 
rival nations, but upon the world's need of the 
food which could again be secured from the ca- 
pacious valley of the Euphrates by the restoration 
of the canal system so long ago destroyed. Serbia 
would be assured a railroad to the sea through a 
strip of international territory, because ready ac- 
cess to sea-going ships is so necessary to a nation's 
food and because one of the principal causes of 
the economic friction that so often lies behind 
wars is the fear of countries that have no ports 
lest the neighboring country through which their 
export and import trade has to pass should hamper 
and interrupt the transit. 

Certainly during the winter of 1916-17 I, per- 
sonally, came to believe it possible that the more 
sophisticated questions of national grouping 
and territorial control would gradually adjust 
themselves if the paramount human question of 
food for the hungry were fearlessly and drastically 
treated upon an international basis. I ventured 
further, that the League of Nations, upon which 
the whole world, led by President Wilson, was 
fastening its hopes, might be founded not upon 


broken bits of international law, but upon min- 
istrations to primitive human needs. 

Much had been said during the war about primi- 
tive emotion and instinctive action, but certainly 
their use need not be reserved to purposes of de- 
struction. After all, the first friendly communi- 
cation between tribe and tribe came through the 
need of food when one or the other was starving 
and too weak to fight; primitive human compas- 
sion made the folkway which afterward developed 
into political relationships. I dared to believe 
that this early human instinct to come together in 
order to avert widespread starvation could not be 
forever thwarted by appeals to such later sepa- 
ratist instincts as nationalism and therefore urged 
that the gates be opened and that these primitive 
emotions be allowed to flood our devastated 
world. By all means let the beneficent tide be 
(directed and canalized by the proposed League of 
Nations which was, after all, the outgrowth of 
century old dreams. 



IT was at the end of the winter of 1916-17 that 
the astounding news came of the Russian Revolu- 
tion. Perhaps it was because this peasant revolu- 
tion reminded me of Bondereff's "Bread Labour," 
a sincere statement of the aspirations of the 
Russian peasants, that the events during the first 
weeks of the revolution seemed to afford a sharp 
contrast between the simple realities of life and 
the unreal slogans with which the war was being 
stimulated. Years of uncertainty, of conflicting 
reports, and of disillusionment, which have fol- 
lowed the Russian Revolution of March 1917, 
make it difficult to recall our first impressions of 
the most astounding phenomenon in this astound- 
ing world as the two thousand miles of Russian 
soldiers along the Eastern Front in the days fol- 
lowing the abdication of the Czar talked end- 
lessly to their enemy brothers in the opposing 

During their long conversation the Russian 
peasant soldiers were telling the East Prussian 


peasant soldiers what Bondereff and other peasant 
leaders had told them : that the great task of this 
generation of Russians is to "free the land" as a 
former generation had already freed the serfs and 
slaves; that the future of the Russian peasant de- 
pends not upon garrisons and tax gatherers but 
upon his willingness to perform "bread labor" on 
his recovered soil, and upon his ability to extend 
good will and just dealing to all men. With their 
natural inference that there was no longer any 
need to carry on the Czar's war was an over- 
whelming eagerness to get back to the land which 
they believed was at last to be given those who 
actually tilled it. They doubtless said that the 
peasants had long been holding themselves in 
readiness for the great revolution which would 
set men free from brutal oppression. They be- 
lieved that this revolution must, before all, repair 
"the great crime," which in their minds was al- 
ways the monopolization of the land by a few 
thousand men with the resulting enslavement of 
millions of others. The revolution must begin in 
Russia because no people are so conscious of this 
iniquity as the Russian people. Their absorption 
in the revolution and their inveterate land hunger 
caused many Russian peasants to regard the world 
war itself as a mere interruption to the fulfillment 
of their supreme obligation. 

It was certainly the wisdom of the humble, the 


very counsel of imperfection, which was exempli- 
fied by this army of tattered men, walking so 
naively in the dawning light. But they may have 
been "the unhindered and adventuring sons of 
God," as they renounced warfare in favor of their 
old right to labor in the ground. Some of them 
in the earliest days of the revolution made a pil- 
grimage to Tolstoy's grave in the forest of Kadaz 
and wrote these words upon a piece of paper which 
they buried in the leaf mold lying loosely above 
him: "Love to neighbors, nay the greatest love 
of all, love to enemies, is now being accomplished." 
In the Russian peasant's dread of war there has 
always been a passive resistance to the reduction 
of the food supply, because he well knows that 
when a man is fighting he ceases to produce food 
and that the world will at length be in danger 
of starvation. Next to the masses of India and 
China, the Russian peasants feel the pinch of 
hunger more frequently than any other people on 
earth. Russia is the land of modern famines; 
the present one was preceded by those of 1891, 
1906, and 1911. The last, still vivid in the 
memory of men at the front, affected thirty 
million people, and reduced eight million people 
to actual starvation. The Russian peasant saw 
three and a half years of the Great War, during 
which time, according to his own accounting, 
seven million of his people perished and the 


Russian soldiers, never adequately equipped with 
ammunition, food and clothing, were reduced 
to the last extremity. To go back to his village, 
to claim his share of food, to till the ground as 
quickly as possible, was to follow an imperative 
and unerring instinct. In his village, if anywhere, 
he would find bread. Prince Kropotkin in his 
"Conquest of Bread" written nearly twenty 
years ago predicted that so soon as The Revolu- 
tion came, the peasant would keep enough bread 
for himself and his children, but that the towns 
and cities would experience such a dearth of grain 
that "the farmers in America could hardly be able 
to cover it." But he adds : "There will be an in- 
crease of production as soon as the peasant 
realizes that he is no longer forced to support the 
idle rich by his toil. New tracts of land will be 
cleared and improved machines set agoing .... 
Never was the land so energetically cultivated as 
by the French peasants in 1792." 

In line with these peasant traditions, the first 
appeal issued by the All Russian Peasant Union 
to the soldier still at the front read in this wise : 

"Remember, brothers that the Russian army is 
a peasant army, comprising now the best men of 
the whole peasantry; that the Russian land is the 
peasant's land; that the peasant is the principal 
toiler on this land he is its master, therefore, 
without the master it is impossible to solve 
properly the land question." 


Peasants all over the world magnify and con- 
sider obligatory labor in the ground, but the Rus- 
sian peasant adds to this urge for bread labor a 
religious motive revealed in his formal greeting 
to his fellow-workman in the field : "To every man 
his measure of grain, and may every man in the 
world be a Christian." This mystic connection 
between piety and bread labor has, of course, been 
expressed in many forms; to quote from an 
English poet: 

"And when I drove the clods apart 
Christ would be plowing in my heart." 

Or from a French one : 

"Au milieu du grand silence, le pays 
se recusille soucieusement, tandis que, pas 
a pas, priante, la Lucie laisse, un a un, 
tomber les grains qui luisent." 

Or from a Norwegian : 

"The sower walked bare-headed in Jesu's name. 
Every cast was made with care in a spirit of kindly 
resignation; so it is throughout all the world 
where corn is sown. . . . little showers of grain 
flung at famine from the sower's hand." 

Certainly tilling the soil, living a life of mutual 
labor has been at the bottom of many religious 
orders and mystic social experiments. From this 
point of view, Tolstoy had rejoiced that groups of 


Russian peasants had never owned land but had 
worked it always with the needs of the whole vil- 
lage in mind, thus keeping close to Christian teach- 
ing and to a life of piety. 

That this instinct of bread labor, the very an- 
tithesis of war, is wide-spread may be easily de- 
monstrated. A newspaper clipping on my desk 
contains a dispatch from Bressa in Asia Minor, 
which reads as follows : "The country had been 
revived by rains with the awakening of spring, and 
peasants are seen working in the fields, kissing the 
earth and thanking Allah for the blessed rain and 
also praying for peace and the riddance from the 
lands of the soldiers marching across to war." 

When we were in Austria-Hungary in 1915, we 
were constantly told stories of Russian soldiers 
who throughout the spring had easily been taken 
prisoners because they had heard that war prison- 
ers in Austria were working upon the land. These 
Russian peasant soldiers had said to their captors, 
now that spring had come they wanted to get 
back to work, and so they would like to be made 
prisoners at least long enough to put the seed into 
the ground. They wished to put seed into the 
ground irrespective of its national or individual 

I recall an evening years ago when I sat in the 
garden at Yasnaya Polyana, that Tolstoy begged 


us to remember that the Russian peasant did not 
change his nature when he shed his blouse and put 
on the Czar's coat. Tolstoy predicted that the 
Russian peasants in thjir permanent patience, 
their insatiable hunger for bread labor, may at 
last make war impossible to an entire agricultural 
people. It is hard to determine whether the Rus- 
sian soldiers who, in 1917, refused to fight, had 
merely become so discouraged by their three years 
of futile warfare and so cheered by the success of 
a bloodless revolution in Petrograd and Moscow 
that they dared to venture the same tactics in the 
very trenches, or whether these fighting men in 
Galicia yielded to an instinct to labor on the land 
which is more primitive and more imperative than 
the desire for war. 

During the early days of the Russian revolu- 
tion it seemed to me that events bore out the as- 
sumption that the Russian peasants, with every 
aspect of failure, were applying the touchstone of 
reality to certain slogans evolved during the war, 
to unreal phrases which had apparently gripped 
the leading minds of the world. It was in fact 
the very desire on the part of the first revolution- 
ists in the spring of 1917 to stand aside from 
political as well as from military organizations 
and to cling only to what they considered the tan- 
gible realities of existence, which was most diffi- 


cult for the outside world to understand. The 
speculation as I recall it, evolved in my mind some- 
what as follows : 

The many Allied nations in the midst of a 
desperate war, were being held together by cer- 
tain formulae of their war aims which had grad- 
ually emerged during long years of mutual effort. 
Such stirring formulae or statements could be 
common to all the diverse Allies, however, only if 
they took on the abstract characteristics of gen- 
eral principles. This use of the abstract state- 
ment, necessary in all political relationships, be- 
comes greatly intensified in time of war, as if il- 
lustrating the contention that men die willingly 
only for a slogan. The question inevitably sug- 
gested itself: Had the slogans this is a war 
to end war and a war to safeguard the world for 
democracy become so necessary to united mili- 
tary action that the Allies resented the naive at- 
tempt on the part of the Russian peasants to 
achieve democracy without war? They so firmly 
believed that the aims of the war could only be 
accomplished through a victory of the Allies that 
they would not brook this separation of the aim 
from the method. Apparently the fighting had 
become an integral part of the slogan itself. 

The necessity for holding fast to such phrases 
suggests one of those great historic myths which 
large bodies of men are prone to make for them- 


selves when they unite in a common purpose re- 
quiring for its consummation the thorough and 
efficient output of moral energy. Mankind is so 
fertile in virtue and heroism, so prone to transcend 
his own powers, that the making and unmaking of 
these myths always accompanies a period of great 
moral awakening. Such myths are almost cer- 
tain to outlast their social utility, and very often 
they outlive their originators ; as the myth of The 
Second Coming evolved by the Early Christians 
held for a thousand years. 

Had this myth of our contemporaries that De- 
mocracy is to be secured through war, so obsessed 
the Allies that they were constrained to insist that 
the troops fight it out on the eastern front as else- 
where, in spite of the fact that fraternal inter- 
course, which the Russians were employing, is the 
very matrix of Democracy? Had war so mili- 
tarized and clericalized the leading nations of the 
world that it was difficult for them to believe that 
the Russian soldiers, having experienced that puri- 
fication of the imagination and of the intellect 
which the Greeks believed to come through pity 
and terror, had merely been the first to challenge 
the myth, to envisage the situation afresh and re- 
duce it to its human terms ! 

Vernon Lee contends that it is the essential 
characteristic of an historic myth that so long as it 
does not attempt to produce its own realization, 


it begets unhesitating belief and wholesale action 
and that as men go on expressing it with sufficient 
self-denying fervor} they secure a great output of 
sanctity and heroism. The necessity for con- 
tinuing this output, of unifying diverse nations, 
may account for the touch of fear easily detected 
on the part of the ardent advocates of war, when 
they were asked not to ignore the fact that at 
least on one front war was actually ending under 
conditions of disarmament and free trade. They 
did not admit that democracy could be established 
throughout one-sixth of the earth's surface only 
if the Allies would recognize the fact that the 
Russian soldiers had ceased to fight; Kerensky's 
group, or any other remaining in power, would at 
length have been obliged to acknowledge it for no 
governmental group could have been upheld by the 
Russian people unless it had declared for peace 
and for free land. 

Did the Allies fear to jar the abstraction which 
had become so dear to them? Did they realize 
instinctively that they would cripple the usefulness 
of a slogan by acknowledging its partial achieve- 

It was perhaps to be expected that Russia 
should be the first nation to apply the touchstone 
of reality to a warring world so absorbed in ab- 
stractions. If Tolstoy may be considered in any 
sense the prototype of his countrymen, it may be 


permitted to cite his inveterate dislike of ab- 
stractions, whether stated in philosophic, patriotic 
or religious terms; his firm belief that such ab- 
stractions lay the foundation for blind fanaticism; 
his oft-repeated statement that certain forms of 
patriotism are inimical to a life of reason. 

At that time the Allied nations were all learn- 
ing to say that the end of this war would doubtless 
see profound political changes and democratic re- 
construction, when the animalistic forces which 
are inevitably encouraged as a valuable asset in 
warfare, should once more be relegated to a sub- 
ordinate place. And yet when one of the greatest 
possible reconstructions was actually happening be- 
fore their very eyes, the war-weary world insisted 
that the Russian soldier should not be permitted 
to return to the land but should continue to fight. 
This refusal on the part of the Allied Govern- 
ments suggests that they were so obsessed by the 
dogmatic morality of war, in which all humanly 
tangible distinctions between normal and abnormal 
disappear, that they were literally blind to the 
moral implications of the Russian attempt. 

The Russian soldiers, suddenly turned into pro- 
pagandists, inevitably exhibited a youthful self- 
consciousness which made their own emotional ex- 
perience the center of the universe. Assuming 
that others could not be indifferent to their high 
aims, they placidly insisted upon expounding their 


new-found hopes. But all this made the war- 
ring world, threatened with defeat if the German 
army on the eastern front were released, still more 

Possibly, as a foolish pacifist, wishing to see 
what was not there, I gave myself over to idle 
speculation. It may be true that the spiritual 
realism as well as the real politik was with the 
Allied statesmen who forced Kerensky to keep his 
men at war even at the price of throwing Russia 
into dire confusion. 

These statesmen considered the outcome of the 
Russian Revolution of little moment compared to 
the future of civilization which was then imper- 
illed by the possibility of a German victory if the 
men on the eastern front were allowed to reinforce 
the west. But such an assumption based on the 
very doctrines of war, was responsible for Brest 
Litovsk; for "peace after a smashing victory;" 
for the remarkable terms in the Versailles treaty ; 
for Trotsky's huge army; for much of the present 
confusion in the world. Did the Russians, for 
one golden moment, offer a way out? or was the 
present outcome inevitable? 

Three times in crucial moments in the world's 
history and with a simple dramatic gesture have 
representatives of Russia attempted to initiate 
the machinery which should secure permanent 
peace for all nations. 


First: the proposals of the Russian Czar, Alex- 
ander I, in 1815, at the Peace Conference follow- 
ing the Napoleonic Wars, for "An All-Embracing 
Reform of the political system of Europe which 
should guarantee universal peace" and the result- 
ing Holy Alliance which, according to historians, 
did not succeed "owing to the extremely religious 
character in which it was conceived." 

Second: the calling of the first Hague Confer- 
ence by Nicholas II, in 1899. His broad outline 
of the work which such a conference ought to do 
was considered "too idealistic" by the other 
powers, who tried to limit the function of the 
Hague Conferences to the reduction of arma- 
ments and to the control of the methods of war- 

Third: the spontaneous effort of the first Rus- 
sian revolutionists to break through the belief that 
any spiritual good can be established through the 
agency of large masses of men fighting other large 
masses and their naive attempt to convert in- 
dividual soldiers. The string of Russian soldiers 
talking to their recent enemies stretched from the 
Baltic sea to the Carpathian Mountains. These 
simple men assumed that men wished to labor in 
the soil and did not wish to fight, while all the rest 
of the world remained sceptical and almost re- 
joiced over the failure of the experiment, before 
it had really been tried. Certainly the world was 


in no mood just then to listen to "mere talk." It 
was resounding with a call to arms. 

With our Anglo-Saxon crispness of expression 
we are prone to be amused at the Russian's in- 
veterate habit of discussion and to quote with tol- 
erant contempt the old saying: "Two Russians 
three opinions," without stopping to reflect that 
the method has in practice worked out excellently 
for the self-governing administration of village af- 
fairs throughout an enormous territory. 

When the first detachment of Russian Doukho- 
boritsi were settling in Western Canada, they dis- 
cussed for two and a half days and two nights the 
location of the three villages into which the de- 
tachment was divided. One possible site was very 
much more desirable than the other two and the 
Anglo-Saxon onlooker feared that this factor 
alone might indefinitely prolong the difficulty of 
decision. But not at all the discussion came to 
a natural end, the matter was settled and never 
again reopened nor was the disparity and the de- 
sirability of the locations ever again referred to 
by anyone concerned. The matter had been satis- 
factorily settled in the prolonged discussion by all 
the "souls" entitled to participate. It proved 
after all to have been a very good way. 

We forget that to obtain the "inner consent" 
of a man who differs from us is always a slow 
process, that quite as it is quicker to punish an un- 


ruly child than to bring him to a reasonable state 
of mind; to imprison a criminal than to reform 
him; to coerce an ignorant man than to teach him 
the meaning of the law, so it is quicker to fight 
armies of men than to convince them one by one. 

A curious and very spontaneous manifestation 
of good-will towards Russia occurred in Chicago 
in the spring of 1918. A society was organized 
with the slogan : "Ten Million Pairs of Shoes for 
Russia," and ten thousand old shoes were actually 
collected and placed in a warehouse. The pro- 
motors contended that all of the Russian peasants 
knew how to work in leather and could make their 
own shoes if they but had the material with which 
to work. In response to the objection that even 
if it were practicable to send the shoes they might 
easily fall into the hands of the Germans, the reply 
was always the same; that although there might 
be a risk of Germany's seizing the goods sent into 
Russia, if the United States did nothing at all in 
Russia's period of greatest distress and need, we 
ran the risk that Germany would obtain the good- 
will of all Russia and that America would suffer 
an alienation and misunderstanding from which 
we might never recover. Of course, Anglo-Saxon 
good sense prevailed in the end and the collected 
shoes were never sent, although there is no doubt 
that even such a homely expression of good-will 
would have been most valuable for the future re- 


lations between the two countries. Throughout 
the discussion I sometimes remembered what a 
famous British statesman wrote to Charles Sum- 
ner in 1862 concerning the cotton spinners of Lan- 
cashire who were starving owing to the with- 
drawal of Southern cotton, but who nevertheless 
held to their principle that slave-grown cotton was 
an infamy: "Our people will be kept alive by the 
contributions of this country but I see that some- 
one in the States had proposed to send something 
to our aid. If a few cargoes of flour could come, 
say 50,000 barrels, as a gift from persons in your 
northern states to the Lancashire workmen, it 
would have a prodigious effect in your favor 

No one will be able to say how much it might 
have affected the sentiment toward the United 
States if such a humble cargo of good will had 
early left our shores for Russia, how it might have 
become the harbinger of other cargoes so long de- 
layed 1 



THE first meeting of our national Board, con- 
vened after the declaration of war, was in Octo- 
ber, 1917, in a beautiful country house at which 
the members, arriving from New York, Boston, 
Philadelphia, St. Louis and Chicago, appeared as 
the guests at a house party, none of the friends of 
the hostess ever knowing that we had not been 
invited upon a purely social basis. 

It was a blessed relief to be in communication 
with likeminded people once more and to lose 
somewhat the sense of social disapprobation and 
of alienation of which we had become increasingly 
conscious. After three days' deliberation the 
Board issued a special manifesto to the various 
branches, beginning with the statement: 

"All the activities of the Woman's Peace Party 
have been, of course, modified by the entrance of 
the United States into the World War. * * * 

"We have avoided all criticism of our Govern- 
ment as to the declaration of war, and all activities 
that could be considered as obstructive in respect 



to the conduct of the war, and this not as a counsel 
of prudence, but as a matter of principle." 

Because we saw even then that there was an 
element of hope in the international administra- 
tion of food supplies and of other raw materials 
and clutched at it with something of the tra- 
ditional desperation of the drowning man, the 
manifesto ended as follows : 

* * * "We recognize that an alliance between 
seventeen nations in both hemispheres cannot be 
confined to military operations. We rejoice in 
the fact that the United States of America has 
already taken common action with the Allies in re- 
gard to the conservation and distribution of food 
supplies and other matters, quite outside the mili- 
tary field, which require international cooperation. 
We venture to hope that conferences of this type 
may be extended until they develop into an inter- 
national organization sitting throughout the war. 

"An interparliamentary conference thus de- 
veloped might from the nucleus of a permanent in- 
ternational parliament eventually open to all na- 
tions. Such an organization of a World Parlia- 
ment, arising in response to actual world needs, is 
in line with the genesis and growth of all perma- 
nent political institutions." 

We could not then realize how very difficult it 
would be to make our position clear, and not for a 
long time did we sense the control of public opin- 


ion and of all propaganda, which is considered nec- 
essary for the successful inauguration and conduct 
of war. What we were perhaps totally unpre- 
pared for as the war continued was the general un- 
willingness to admit any defect in the institution 
of war as such, or to acknowledge that, although 
exhibiting some of the noblest qualities of the hu- 
man spirit, it yet affords no solution for vexed in- 
ternational problems; further we believed that 
after war has been resorted to, its very existence, 
in spite of its superb heroisms and sacrifices which 
we also greatly admired, tends to obscure and con- 
fuse those faculties which might otherwise find a 
solution. There was not only a reluctance to dis- 
cuss the very issues for which the war was being 
fought, but it was considered unpatriotic to talk 
about them until the war had been won. 

Even in the third month of the war, when asked 
to give an address before the City Club of Chicago 
on "Patriotism and Pacifists in War Time," I 
tried quite guilelessly to show that while the posi- 
tion of the pacifist in time of war is most difficult, 
nevertheless, the modern peace movement, since 
it was inaugurated three hundred years ago, had 
been kept alive throughout many great wars, and 
that even during the present one some sort of 
peace organization had been maintained in all of 
the belligerent nations. Our own Woman's In- 
ternational Committee for Permanent Peace had 


organized branches since the war began in such 
fighting nations and colonies as Australia, Austria, 
Belgium, Canada, Finland, Germany, Great 
Britain, Ireland, Hungary, British India, Italy, 
France, Poland and Russia. I ventured to hope 
the United States would be as tolerant to pacifists 
in time of war as those countries had been, some 
of which were fighting for their very existence, 
and that our fellow-citizens, however divided in 
opinion, would be able to discuss those aspects of 
patriotism which endure through all vicissitudes. 

It is easy enough now to smile at its naivete, 
but even then we were dimly conscious that in the 
stir of the heroic moment when a nation enters 
war, when men's minds almost without volition 
are driven back to the earliest obligations of 
patriotism, the emotions move along the worn 
grooves of blind admiration for the soldier and of 
unspeakable contempt for him who, in the hour of 
danger, declares that fighting is unnecessary. We 
were not surprised, therefore, when apparently 
striking across and reversing this popular con- 
ception of patriotism, we should be called traitors 
and cowards, but it seemed to us all the more nec- 
essary to demonstrate that in our former advo- 
cacy we were urging a reasonable and vital alter- 
native to war. Only slowly did the pacifist real- 
ize that when his fellow countrymen are caught up 
by a wave of tremendous enthusiasm and are car- 


ried out into a high sea of patriotic feeling the 
very virtues which the pacifist extols are brought 
into unhappy contrast to those which war, with its 
keen sense of a separate national existence, places 
in the foreground. 

Yet in spite of this sober reasoning it was a 
distinct shock to me to learn that it had been diffi- 
cult to secure a chairman to preside over the City 
Club meeting at which I spoke, and that even my 
old friends were afraid that the performance of 
this simple office would commit them to my pacifist 
position. I later lectured on the same subject at 
the University of Chicago, trying to be as "sweetly 
reasonable" as possible, but only to come out of 
the hall profoundly discouraged, having learned 
the lesson that during war it is impossible for the 
pacifist to obtain an open hearing. Nevertheless, 
we continued to talk, not from a desire of self- 
defense or justification, I think, for we had 
since abandoned any such hope, but because 
longed actually to modify the headlong course 

In the general mass of misunderstanding and 
deliberate misrepresentation some things were 
harder to bear than others. We were constantly 
accused of wishing to isolate the United States 
and to keep our country out of world politics. We 
were, of course, urging a policy exactly the reverse, 
that this country should lead the nations of the 


world into a wider life of co-ordinated political 
activity; that the United States should boldly 
recognize the fact that the vital political problems 
of our time have become as intrinsically interna- 
tional in character as have the commercial and 
social problems so closely connected with them. 
It seemed to us that the United States had to her 
credit a long account for the spread of democratic 
institutions during the years when she was at peace 
with the rest of the world. Her own experiment 
as a republic was quickly followed by France, and 
later by Switzerland, and to the south of her a vast 
continent contains no nation which fails, through 
many vicissitudes, to maintain a republican form 
of government. We also hoped to make clear 
that it has long been the aim of our own govern- 
ment and of similar types throughout the world 
to replace coercion by the full consent of the gov- 
erned, to educate and strengthen the free will of 
the people through the use of democratic institu- 
tions; that this age-long process of obtaining the 
inner consent of the citizen to the outward acts of 
his government is of necessity violently interrupted 
and thrown back in war time. 

Then some of us had once dreamed that the 
cosmopolitan inhabitants of this great nation 
might at last become united in a vast common en- 
deavor for social ends. We hoped that this fus- 
ing might be accomplished without the sense of 


opposition to a common enemy which is an old 
method of welding people together, better fitted 
for military than for social use, adapted to a 
government resulting from coercion rather than 
one founded by free men. 

We had also hoped much from the varied popu- 
lation of the United States; for whether we will 
or not, our very composition would make it easier 
for us than for any other nation to establish an 
international organization founded upon under- 
standing and good will, did we but possess the re- 
quisite courage and intelligence to utilize it. There 
were in this country thousands of emigrants from 
Central Europe, to whom a war between the 
United States and the fatherland meant exquisite 
torture. They and their inheritances were a part 
of the situation which faced the United States in 
the spring of 1917; they were a source of great 
strength in an international venture, as they were 
undoubtedly a source of weakness in a purely na- 
tionalistic position of the old-fashioned sort. 
These ties of blood, binding us to all the nations 
of the earth, afforded, it seemed to us, a unique 
equipment for a great international task if the 
United States could but push forward into the 
difficult area of internationalism. Then too, the 
great war had already demonstrated that modern 
warfare is an intimately social and domestic affair. 
The civilian suffering and, in certain regions, the 


civilian mortality, were as great as that endured 
by the soldiers. There were thousands of our fel- 
low citizens who could not tear their minds away 
from Poland, Galicia, Syria, Armenia, Serbia, 
Roumania, Greece, where their own relatives were 
dying from diseases superinduced by hardship and 
hunger. To such sore and troubled minds war 
had come to be a horror which belonged to Europe 
alone, and was part of that privation and oppres- 
sion which they had left behind them when they 
came to America. Newly immigrated Austrian 
subjects of a dozen nationalities came to their 
American friends during the weeks of suspense 
before war was declared, utterly bewildered by 
the prospect of war. They had heard not three 
months before that the President of the United 
States did not believe in war for so the campaign 
had been interpreted by many simple minds and 
they had concluded that whatever happened, some 
more American way would be found. Pacifists 
hoped that this revolution in international re- 
lationships which had been steadily approaching 
for three hundred years and was already long 
over-due, could best be obtained after the war, if 
the United States succeeded in protecting and pre- 
serving the higher standards of internationalism. 
We were not unmindful of the hope for an inter- 
national organization to be formed at the end of 
the war. But it seemed to us that for thirty- 

three months Europe had been earnestly striving 
to obtain through patriotic wars, that which could 
finally be secured only through international or- 
ganization. Millions of men, loyal to one inter- 
national alliance, were gallantly fighting millions 
of men loyal to another international alliance, be- 
cause of Europe's inability to make an alliance in- 
cluding them all. 

We also realized that ever since the European 
war began, the United States had been conscious 
of a failure to respond to a moral demand; she 
had vaguely felt that she was shirking her share in 
a world effort toward the higher good; she had 
had black moments of compunction and shame for 
her own immunity and safety. Could she hope 
through war to assuage the feverish thirst for 
action she had felt during all those three years? 
There is no doubt that she made the correct diag- 
nosis of her case, of her weariness with a selfish, 
materialistic life and of her need for concerted, 
self-forgetting action. But was blood-letting a 
sufficiently modern remedy for such a diagnosis? 
Would she lose her sense of futility and her con- 
sciousness of moral failure, when thousands of 
her young men were facing the dangers of war? 
Would she not still feel her inadequacy unless she 
was able to embody in a permanent organization 
the cosmopolitanism which is the essence of her 
spirit? We feared she would not be content when 


she was obliged to organize food supplies solely 
for one group of nations, for the United States 
owed too much to all the nations of the earth 
whose sons had developed her raw prairies into 
fertile fields, to allow the women and children of 
any of them to starve. 

At that moment the final outcome of the war 
was apparently to be decided quite as much by food 
supply as by force of arms. Two terrible questions 
were in men's minds. Could Germany hold out 
during the spring and early summer until the new 
crop was garnered? Could England feed herself 
were the U-boat campaign in any degree success- 
ful? For decades civilized nations had confidently 
depended upon other nations for their supply of 
cattle and of grain until this long continued war 
had brought the primitive fear of starvation back 
into the world with so many other elemental ter- 

Again and again we came back for comfort to 
the fact that the creation of an international or- 
ganization of the Allies and Associated Powers 
for the control of their common food supply, was 
clearly transcending old national bounds. It 
might be a new phase of political unification in ad- 
vance of all former achievements, or it might be 
one of those shifting alliances merely for war 
purposes, of which European history affords so 
many examples. 


After war was declared, events moved with sur- 
prising rapidity. We had scarcely returned from 
Washington where we had been advocating a re- 
ferendum on the declaration of war before we 
were back there again, this time protesting before 
the Military Affairs Committee that the measure 
of conscription should not be passed without an 
appeal to the country, without an expression of 
opinion from the simple people who form the rank 
and file of the soldiery in every war. 

The most poignant moment during the war and 
the preparations for it, so far as I personally was 
concerned, came upon me suddenly one morning 
after a wretched night of internal debate. For 
many years one of the large rooms at Hull-House 
had been used for a polling place of the precinct, 
one election after another had been held there for 
some of which, after the women of Illinois had 
secured a large measure of the franchise, I had 
served as a judge of election. The room that 
morning was being used to register the men for 
the first draft. In they came somewhat heavily, 
one man after another, most of them South Ital- 
ians. I knew many of them had come to this 
country seeking freedom from military service 
quite as much as they sought freedom of other 
sorts, and here they were about to be securely 
caught once more. The line of dull workmen 
seemed to me to represent the final frontier of the 


hopes of their kind, the traditional belief in 
America as a refuge had come to an end and there 
was no spot on the surface of the earth to which 
they might flee for security. All that had been 
told them of the American freedom, which they 
had hoped to secure for themselves and their 
children, had turned to ashes. I said nothing be- 
yond the morning's greeting, but one of the men 
stopped to speak to me. He had been in the Hull- 
House citizenship classes, and>only a few months 
before I had delivered a little address to those of 
the class who had received their first papers, com- 
bining congratulations with a welcome into the citi- 
zenship of the United States. The new citizen 
turned to me and spoke from the bitterness of his 
heart: "I really have you to thank if I am sent 
over to Europe to fight. I went into the citizen- 
ship class in the first place because you asked me 
to. If 1 hadn't my papers now I would be ex- 
empted." I could only reply that none of us knew 
what was going to happen and added, for what 
comfort it might give him, that at any rate he 
would be fighting on the side of Italy. But the 
incident did not add to my peace of mind. 

Partly because one of the residents of Hull- 
House served as secretary to the local Draft 
Board, partly because the men were accustomed 
to come to the settlement for help of various 


kinds, we assisted many hundreds of them to fill 
out their questionnaires. The docility of the men 
was surprising; they were only too familiar with 
the whole process and had long ago accepted it as 
a part of life. The women sometimes begged us 
not to put down the ages of the little boys lest it 
might make it easier later for the government to 
conscript them, and they sometimes added: 
"They did this way over there, but we did not 
think it would be this way over here." When we 
served luncheons at Hull-House to the young men 
about to entrain for camp, the women folk were 
not admitted but hung in great crowds about the 
door, men and women alike entangled in a great 
world process of which they had no conception; it 
seemed to me at moments as if the whole theory 
of self-government founded upon conscious par- 
ticipation and inner consent, had fallen to the 

Later there were many cases of the immigrant 
bewildered and angered by the tax upon his former 
wages an ex post facto arrangement which was 
equally trying to the employer and the immigrant, 
and proved so unworkable that it finally had to be 
abandoned. It was, however, a visible sign to the 
immigrant that he was suspect and undesirable, 
although he had come to the country in good faith 
and sincerely loved America, but loved it perhaps 


as Lincoln once said of Henry Clay, "partly be- 
cause it was his own and partly because it was a 
free country." 

It is impossible to live for years among immi- 
grants and to fail to catch something of their 
deep-seated hopes for the country of their adop- 
tion, to realize that the thought of America has 
afforded a moral safety valve to generations of 
oppressed Europeans. War and its conscriptions 
were something which belonged to the unhappy 
Europe they had left behind. It was as if their 
last throw had been lost. Of the 450,000,000 
people in Europe 400,000,000 were already in- 
volved in the war. Could the United States do 
nothing more intelligent than to add its quota of 
100,000,000 people more? 

When it became evident that the measure for 
conscription would pass, those of us who had 
known something of the so-called conscientious 
objector in England hoped that we might at least 
obtain similar provisions for him in the United 
States. Although the English tribunals had 
power to grant absolute exemption from military 
service, there were in England at that time ap- 
proximately six thousand men imprisoned or in- 
terned in addition to the number who were per- 
forming non-military service on the continent in 
such organizations as the Friends' Ambulance 


A committee of us waited upon the Secretary 
of War, begging him to recommend like provision 
in the conscription measure then under considera- 
tion. The Secretary was ready to talk to our 
committee, each member of which could claim 
either acquaintance or friendship with him in the 
years before the war. He seemed so sympathetic 
and understanding that possibly we made too 
much of his somewhat cryptic utterance that 
"there would be no conscientious objector prob- 
lem in the United States," and we left his office 
more reassured perhaps than we had any right 
to be. 

It became evident in a very few weeks that no 
provision of any sort was to be made for the con- 
scientious objector as such. Each man who ob- 
jected to war could choose his own method of mak- 
ing his protest and be punished accordingly. If 
he failed to report for his assigned camp he was 
tried as a "deserter," if he refused to put on the 
uniform, the charge was insubordination; if he de- 
clined to drill or to obey an order, he might be 
court-martialed under the charge of resisting an 
officer, with a wide range of penalties, including 
imprisonment at Fort Leavenworth. Thus each 
camp had opportunity to treat the conscientious 
objector according to its own standard, but above 
all he was to be given no opportunity to make a 
dignified statement of his own case, no chance "to 

play the martyr or to hang out the white 

I saw the Secretary of War twice again on the 
matter, once with a committee and once alone, but 
it was evident that he had taken the same stand 
later formulated by the Administration in regard 
to other political prisoners, that there could be no 
such thing as a political offense in a democracy; 
each man was arrested for breaking a law and 
tried as a criminal. Any other course might have 
laid the government open to the charge of suppres- 
sing a minority, which was to be avoided. The 
reformer in politics knew only too well how to deal 
with the reformer out of politics. The latter was 
hoist by his own petard. 

Only after hundreds of men had been placed in 
military prisons and separated in military camps 
under charge of violation of various sections of 
the military code, was a board appointed to re- 
view their cases, beginning work in June, 1919. 
This federal board endeavored to undo some of 
the injustices of the camps and to work out a sys- 
tem which, however vulnerable, was removed 
from the whim of individuals. 

The word conscientious objector did not exactly 
apply to many of these young men whom I came 
to know, it is too rigid and too individualistic. 
Many of them felt that war was archaic and they 
were enveloped in a profound scepticism as to the 


possibility of securing democracy for the world 
through destruction of other young men possibly 
holding the same ideals for the future which they 
themselves cherished. They believed that any in- 
ternational league would have the best chance of 
success if it were started when the currents of 
brotherhood were flowing more strongly between 
the nations than is possible immediately after war. 

In various ways I met many of them. I always 
urged each one if possible to conform to the mili- 
tary regulations. When a man himself decided 
that it was impossible I invariably heard his decis- 
ion with a sinking of the heart. I recall a man 
who was one of three to object to war out of five 
thousand students in his college. He was segre- 
gated in an eastern camp and afterwards allowed 
to work unHer the Friends' Service Committee in 
France, but finding that even non-combatant 
service did not bring him relief, returned from 
abroad preferring imprisonment to what seemed 
to him a dodging of the issue. Another had 
worked among war prisoners for nine months 
under the auspices of the Y.M.C.A. He found 
that he was being suspected of pacifism and was 
constantly watched and challenged by what 
amounted to a secret service system within the or- 
ganization itself; it was a great relief for him to 
come home and "face the music," as he put it. 

The sort of appeal to which he and his high- 


minded kind were most persistently subjected 
could but recall the remark attributed to the em- 
peror Diocletian as he saw the lions in the arena 
rip the throat of a young Christian: "that youth 
refused the military oath because his superstition 
commanded its followers not to bind themselves 
by swearing not to resist evil. These pitiful 
wretches enjoy the peace and splendor of Rome 
but will not move a finger to protect or to extend 
either." In all the centuries since, the state had 
found no better argument with which to coerce its 
minority who disapproved through religious 
scruple. But the early Christian could at least 
frankly call himself a martyr, and although he 
did not know that his blood would become the 
seed of the Church, he did know that he was bear- 
ing testimony to a new religion destined in time 
to supersede that of Diocletian; and the emperor 
himself, if he derided the new religion, at the 
same time more or less accurately defined it. Such 
satisfaction as that knowledge might have given 
to the young Christians of Rome was persistently 
denied the conscientious objector in the United 
States, and thousands of our fellow citizens to this 
day quite honestly confuse them with slackers. 

Their history as inmates of federal prisons is 
being written and may yet inaugurate a chapter in 
prison reform, as the strike so successfully led by 
them in Leavenworth resulted in a brief trial of 


self-government for the entire prison. The tests 
in psychiatry showed that the average mentality 
of the conscientioius objector had registered well 
above that of the drafted men throughout the 
country in spite of the fact that many of their 
number had inherited their objections to war from 
teachings of simple religious sects and had never 
individually thought out their positions. Perhaps 
these latter at moments tasted martyrdom, but the 
more sophisticated men would have none of it. 
Even the man tied by his wrists to the barred door 
of his cell for eight hours a day endeavored to 
keep free from self-pity. In a letter written to me 
from Leavenworth prison I find this statement: 

"We do not think we are martyrs any more 
than a soldier taken prisoner by the enemy is a 

Because years before I had been somewhat 
identified with the immigration of the Doukho- 
bortsi, a non-resistant Russian sect in whom Tol- 
stoy had been much interested, I found myself ap- 
pealed to on behalf of a frightened little widow 
who was at the moment desperately holding at bay 
the entire military prison system. Her husband 
had been one of "those obstinate cases who cling 
to a scriptural text and will not listen to reason." 
During his long imprisonments he had been 
treated in all sorts of barbarous ways and finally, 
after a prolonged ducking under a faucet in the 


prison yard on a freezing day, had contracted 
pneumonia and died. He had originally and con- 
tinuously taken his stand against putting on the 
uniform, and when his wife arrived at Leaven- 
worth to take away the body, to her horror she 
found that body, at last unable to resist, dressed 
in a soldier's uniform. Her representative who 
came to see me, with his broken English, could 
convey but feebly the sense of outrage, of unfair- 
ness, of brutal disregard of the things of the 
spirit, of the ruthless overriding of personality 
which this incident had aroused among thousands 
of Doukhobortsi. 

In camp and even in prison the conscientious 
objectors were constantly subjected to tremendous 
pressure by the chaplains to induce them to change 
their position, although in a sense they were de- 
nied the comforts of religion. Certainly the rest 
of us were. I recall going to church one beautiful 
summer's day in 1917 when the family whom I 
was visiting urged me to hear a well known Bishop 
preach in the village church. The familiar words 
of the service could not be changed but the bishop 
was belligerent from his very first utterance and 
his peroration ended with the statement that if 
"Jesus were living to-day he would be fighting in 
the trenches of France." Not a word of the anx- 
ious, pitying, all-embracing love for lack of which 
the world was perishing! 


It was inevitable under these circumstances that 
new religious organizations should develop. The 
Fellowship of Reconciliation had, during 1915, 
attracted to its membership in Chicago a score of 
people, a few clergymen, one or two publicists and 
others who felt the need of meeting with like- 
minded people, and at least comparing their 
scruples and religious difficulties. We usually met 
in private houses on a social basis, as it were, not 
so much because we felt that a meeting discussing 
the teachings of Jesus could be considered "se- 
ditious," but from a desire to protect from pub- 
licity and unfriendly discussion the last refuge that 
was left us. We did not succeed even in that, al- 
though the unfair and hostile publicity came in 
a very curious way through the office of the 
Woman's Peace Party, which one would suppose 
to be more open to attack than the Fellowship. 
Throughout the war the national office of the 
Woman's Peace Party was kept open in a down- 
town office building in Chicago. We did not re- 
move any of our records, being conscious that we 
had nothing to hide, and our list of members with 
their addresses was to be found in a conspicuous 
card catalogue case. It was often far from pleas- 
ant to enter the office. If a bit of mail protruded 
from the door it was frequently spat upon, and al- 
though we rented our quarters in a first class office 
building on Michigan boulevard facing the lake, 


the door was often befouled in hideous 

The secret service men finally entered the office 
in search of material not directly against us, but 
against the Fellowship of Reconciliation, which 
they considered as designed to lessen the morale 
of war. I have just read over some of the news- 
paper clippings; it is easy now to smile at their ab- 
surd efforts to give a sinister meaning to two 
such innocuous words as Fellowship and Recon- 
ciliation, but at the moment we all knew that it 
meant one more group put upon the index, as it 
were, and one more successful attempt to dis- 
credit pacifists. The only defense which in the 
least appealed to the newspaper men was made 
by one of themselves to the effect that the word 
reconciliation was very like in sound and purport 
to the word conciliation and that Nicholas Murray 
Butler was chairman of an organization to pro- 
mote international arbitration and conciliation, 
and that every one knew he was for the war I 

The Fellowship of course continued and for- 
tunately was never disturbed in New York where 
its national office was located. As a member of 
the executive board I attended its meetings as 
often as possible and always found a certain heal- 
ing of the spirit. 

The conception of solidarity, of a new heaven 
and a new earth to be achieved by a band of 


brothers leagued against the world, is in a certain 
measure always found among the adherents of an 
unpopular cause. At the annual meeting in 1919, 
held at a boys' school on the Hudson, it was clear 
from the addresses of the members and their con- 
ferences together, that the .teachings of Jesus 
might well lead to difficult positions in regard to 
the industrial conflict as well as to international 
wars, and that the use of violence was as inadmis- 
sible in one place as in the other. One of the 
young clergymen there had played a leading role 
in the Lawrence strike, another had identified him- 
self with a group of striking workmen in Patter- 
son, New Jersey. No one there who had been a 
pacifist in war time minimized the difficulties 
ahead of these young men, yet they received only 
congratulations upon the fact that they had been 
able to clarify their positions and to find a clear 
line of action. One group was publishing a 
journal, another announced the opening of a new 
school, a third was still doing all possible to secure 
legal protection for men upon whom the espionage 
act had fallen with unusual severity. 

The fourth annual meeting of the Woman's 
Peace Party was held in Philadelphia, at the 
Friends' Meeting House, in December 1917. 
Again we urged each other to promote the spirit 
of good will : "Let those of opposed opinions be 
loyal to the highest that they know, and let each 


understand that the other may be equally patri- 
otic;" to work for a League of Nations and to 
carry on the old effort to substitute law for war. 

It was interesting to observe at the Phila- 
delphia meeting in how many ways the members 
of the Woman's Peace Party had found "the ano- 
dyne of work" as a help to holding fast to their 

The national secretary, Mrs. Mead, reported 
her wartime addresses in many states where, with 
the use of tact, she found no difficulty "even in a 
very super-heated atmosphere 1 ' in speaking upon 
"The New Preparedness," "After the War, 
What?" "Civic Efficiency in Wartime," and simi- 
lar topics. Many others were lecturing on the 
food question; Miss Balch had published a book 
entitled "Some Approaches to the Great Settle- 
ment," but for the most part work was difficult 
and decreased in volume. 

It was only at the very closing hour of the meet- 
ing that an agent came from the Department of 
Justice. The little Quaker lady who was acting 
as doorkeeper for the conference politely asked 
him to wait a few minutes, as the conference was 
devoting its closing minutes to silent prayer, fall- 
ing into the custom of the meeting house under 
whose hospitable roof it was gathered. When he 
showed his credentials, she of course allowed him 
to open the door, but one look apparently satis- 


fied him, and but for the headlines in the papers 
next morning we should never have known of his 

From the same source we learned that the agent 
meant to listen to my talk about "America's Obli- 
gation and the World's Food Supply" in the 
chapel of the Friends College at Swarthmore the 
next day. Candor compels me to state that al- 
though he was pointed out to me I quickly forgot 
all about him, as I looked over the goodly group 
of young people, many of whom were preparing 
to enter the reconstruction work in France which 
the Friends Service Committee had inaugurated. 
Some of them were sent to Russia and Poland, and 
later on under the Hoover organization, fed the 
hungry in many countries of Europe. They were 
trying to find "the moral equivalent of war," al- 
though many of them with divided convictions and 
with heavy hearts. 



AFTER the TTnitp^ St atpg t^ pnfprpj^hp war 

there began to appear great divergence among 

th^m-my ryprn "f p-Hf^, from the extreme left, 

composed of non-resistants, through the middle- 

of-the-road groups, to the extreme right, who 

could barely be distinguished from mild militarists. 

There were those people, also, who although they 

felt keenly both the horror and the futility of war, 

yet hoped for certain beneficent results from the 

opportunities afforded by the administration of 

war; they were much pleased when the govern- 

ment took over the management of the railroads, 

insisting that governmental ownership had thus 

been pushed forward by decades; they were also 

sure that the War Labor Policies Board, the Coal 

Commission and similar war institutions would 

make an enormous difference in the development 

of the country, in short, thatjaiilLtajcism might be 

used as an instrument f-nr advanflrd 'snrial fnrfc 

Such justifications had their lure and one found 

old pacifist friends on all the war boards and 

even in the war department itself. Certainly we 



were all eager to accept whatever progressive 
social changes came from the quick reorganization 
demanded by war, and doubtless prohibition was 
one of these, as the granting of woman suffrage 
in the majority of the belligerent nations, was 
another. But some of us had suspected that social 
advance depends as much upon the process 
through which it is secured as upon the result it- 
self; if railroads are nationalized solely in order 
to secure rapid transit of ammunition and men to 
points of departure for Europe, when that gov- 
ernmental need no longer exists what more natural 
than that the railroads should no longer be man- 
aged by the government? 

My temperament and habit had always kept me 
rather in the middle of the road ; in politics as well 
as in social reform I had been for "the best pos- 
sible." But now I was pushed far toward the 
left on the subject of the war and I became grad- 
ually convinced that in order to make the position 
of the pacifist clear it was perhaps necessary that 
at least a small number of us should be forced into 
an unequivocal position. If I sometimes re- 
gretted having gone to the Woman's Congress at 
The Hague in 1915, or having written a book on 
Newer Ideals of Peace in 1911 which had made 
my position so conspicuously clear, certainly far 
oftener I was devoutly grateful that I had used 
such unmistakable means of expression before the 


time came when any spoken or written word in the 
interests of Peace was forbidden. 

It was on my return from The Hague Con- 
gress in July, 1915, that I had my first experi- 
ence of the determination on the part of the press 
to make pacifist activity or propaganda so absurd 
that it would be absolutely without influence and 
its authors so discredited that nothing they might 
say or do would be regarded as worthy of atten- 
tion. I had been accustomed to newspaper men 
for many years and had come to regard them as a 
good natured fraternity, sometimes ignorant of 
the subject on which they asked an interview, but 
usually quite ready to report faithfully albeit some- 
what sensationally. Hull-House had several 
times been the subject of sustained and inspired 
newspaper attacks, one, the indirect result of an 
exposure of the inefficient sanitary service in the 
Chicago Health Department had lasted for many 
months; I had of course known what it was to 
serve unpopular causes and throughout a period of 
campaigning for the Progressive Party I had 
naturally encountered the "opposition press" in 
various parts of the country, but this concerted 
and deliberate attempt at misrepresentation on 
the part of newspapers of all shades of opinion 
'was quite new in my experience. After the 
United States entered the war, the press through- 
out the country systematically undertook to mis- 


represent and malign pacifists as a recognized part! 
of propaganda and as a patriotic duty. We came 
to regard this misrepresentation as part of the war 
technique and in fact an inevitable consequence of 
war itself, but we were slow in the very beginning 
to recognize the situation, and I found my first 
experience which came long before the United 
States entered the war rather overwhelming. 

Upon our return from the Woman's Interna- 
tional Congress at The Hague in 1915, our local 
organization in New York City with others, 
notably a group of enthusiastic college men, had 
arranged a large public meeting in Carnegie Hall. 
Dr. Anna Howard Shaw presided and the United 
States delegates made a public report of our im- 
pressions in "war stricken Europe" and of the 
moral resources in the various countries we visited 
that might possibly be brought to bear against a 
continuation of the war. We had been much im- 
pressed with the fact that it was an old man's war, 
that the various forms of doubt and opposition to 
war had no method of public expression and that 
many of the soldiers themselves were far from en- 
thusiastic in regard to actual fighting as a method 
of settling international difficulties. War was to 
many of them much more anachronistic than to 
the elderly statesmen who were primarily responsi- 
ble for the soldiers' presence in the trenches. 

It was the latter statement which was my un- 


doing, for in illustration of it I said that in prac- 
tically every country we had visited, we had heard 
a certain type of young soldier say that it had 
been difficult for him to make the bayonet 
charge (enter into actual hand to hand fighting) 
unless he had been stimulated; that the English 
soldiers had been given rum before such a charge, 
the Germans ether and that the French were said 
to use absinthe. To those who heard the address 
it was quite clear that it was not because the young 
men flinched at the risk of death but because they 
had to be inflamed to do the brutal work of the 
bayonet, such as disembowelling, and were obliged 
to overcome all the inhibitions of civilization. 

Dr. Hamilton and I had notes for each of these 
statements with the dates and names of the men 
who had made them, and it did not occur to me 
that the information was new or startling. I was, 
however, reported to have said that no soldier 
could go into a bayonet charge until he was made 
half drunk, and this in turn was immediately com- 
mented upon, notably in a scathing letter written 
to the New York Times by Richard Harding 
Davis, as a most choice specimen of a woman's 
sentimental nonsense. Mr. Davis himself had 
recently returned from Europe and at once be- 
came the defender of the heroic soldiers who were 
being traduced and belittled. He lent the weight 
of his name and his very able pen to the cause, 


but it really needed neither, for the misstatement 
was repeated, usually with scathing comment, 
from one end of the country to the other. 

I was conscious, of course, that the story had 
struck athwart the popular and long-cherished 
conception of the nobility and heroism of the sol- 
dier as such, and it seemed to me at the time that 
there was no possibility of making any explana- 
tion, at least until the sensation should have some- 
what subsided. I might have repeated my more 
sober statements with the explanation that 
whomsoever the pacifist held responsible for war, 
it was certainly not the young soldiers themselves 
who were, in a sense, its most touching victims, 
"the heroic youth of the world whom a common 
ideal tragically pitted against each other." 
Youth's response to the appeal made to their self- 
sacrifice, to their patriotism, to their sense of duty, 
to their high-hearted hopes for the future, could 
only stir one's admiration, and we should have 
been dull indeed had we failed to be moved by 
this most moving spectacle in the world. That 
they had so responded to the higher appeals only 
confirms Ruskin's statement that "we admire the 
soldier not because he goes forth to slay but to be 
slain." The fact that many of them were 
obliged to make a great effort to bear themselves 
gallantly in the final tests of "war's brutalities" 
had nothing whatever to do with their courage 


and sense of devotion. All this, of course, we 
had realized during our months in Europe. 

After the meeting in Carnegie Hall and after 
an interview with President Wilson in Washing- 
ton, I returned to Chicago to a public meeting ar- 
ranged in the Auditorium ; I was met at the train 
by a committee of aldermen appointed as a result 
of a resolution in the City Council. There was an 
indefinite feeling that the meeting at The Hague 
might turn out to be of significance, and that in 
such an event its chairman should have been hon- 
ored by her fellow citizens. But the bayonet 
story had preceded me and every one was filled 
with great uneasiness. To be sure, a few war 
correspondents had come to my rescue writing 
of the overpowering smell of ether preceding cer- 
tain German attacks; the fact that English sol- 
diers knew when a bayonet charge was about to be 
ordered because rations of rum were distributed 
along the trenches. Some people began to 
suspect that the story, exaggerated and grotesque 
as it had become, indicated not cowardice but 
merely an added sensitiveness which the modern 
soldier was obliged to overcome. Among the 
many letters on the subject which filled my mail 
for weeks, the bitter and abusive were from 
civilians or from the old men to whom war ex- 
periences had become a reminiscence, the larger 


number and the most understanding ones came 
from soldiers in active service. 

Only once did I try a public explanation. After 
an address in Chautauqua, New York, in which I 
had not mentioned bayonets, I tried to remake my 
original statement to a young man of the associ- 
ated press only to find it once more so garbled that 
I gave up in despair, quite unmoved by the young 
man's letter of apology which followed hard upon 
the published report of his interview. 

I will confess that the mass psychology of the 
situation interested me even then and continued 
to do so until I fell ill with a serious attack of 
pleuro-pneumonia, which was the beginning of 
three years of semi-invalidism. During weeks of 
feverish discomfort I experienced a bald sense of 
social opprobrium and wide-spread misunder- 
standing which brought me very near to self pity, 
perhaps the lowest pit into which human nature 
can sink. Indeed the pacifist in war time, with 
his precious cause in the keeping of those who con- 
trol the sources of publicity and consider it a 
patriotic duty to make all types of peace propa- 
ganda obnoxious, constantly faces two dangers. 
Strangely enough he finds it possible to travel 
from the mire of self pity straight to the barren 
hills of self-righteousness and to hate himself 
equally in both places. 


From the very beginning of the great war, as 
the members of our group gradually became de- 
fined from the rest of the community, each one 
felt increasingly the sense of isolation which 
rapidly developed after the United States entered 
the war into that destroying effect of "aloneness," 
if I may so describe the opposite of mass conscious- 
ness. We never ceased to miss the unquestioning 
comradeship experienced by our fellow citizens 
during the war, nor to feel curiously outside the 
enchantment given to any human emotion when it 
is shared by millions of others. The force of the 
majority was so overwhelming that it seemed not 
only impossible to hold one's own against it, but 
at moments absolutely unnatural, and one secretly 
yearned to participate in "the folly of all man- 
kind." Our modern democratic teaching has 
brought us to regard popular impulses as possess- 
ing in their general tendency a valuable capacity 
for evolutionary development. In the hours of 
doubt and self-distrust the question again and 
again arises, has the individual or a very small 
group, the right to stand out against millions of 
his fellow countrymen? Is there not a great 
value in mass judgment and in instinctive mass en- 
thusiasm, and even if one were right a thousand 
times over in conviction, was he not absolutely 
wrong in abstaining from this communion with his 
fellows? The misunderstanding on the part of 


old friends and associates and the charge of lack 
of patriotism was far easier to bear than those 
dark periods of f aint-heartedness. We gradually 
ceased to state our position as we became con- 
vinced that it served no practical purpose and, 
worse than that, often found that the immediate 
result was provocative. 

We could not, however, lose the conviction that 
as all other forms of growth begin with a varia- 
tion from the mass, so the moral changes in human 
affairs may also begin with a differing group or in- 
dividual, sometimes with the one who at best is 
designated as a crank and a freak and in sterner 
moments is imprisoned as an atheist or a traitor. 
Just when the differing individual becomes the 
centro-egotist, the insane man, who must be 
thrown out by society for its own protection, it is 
impossible to state. The pacifist was constantly 
brought sharply up against a genuine human trait 
with its biological basis, a trait founded upon the 
instinct to dislike, to distrust and finally to destroy 
the individual who differs from the mass in time 
of danger. Regarding this trait as the basis of 
self-preservation it becomes perfectly natural for 
the mass to call sucR an individual a traitor and 
to insist that if he is not for the nation he is 
against it. To this an estimated nine million peo- 
ple can bear witness who have been burned as 
witches and heretics, not by mobs, for of the peo- 


pie who have been "lynched" no record has been 
kept, but by order of ecclesiastical and civil courts. 

There were moments when the pacifist yielded 
to the suggestion that keeping himself out of war, 
refusing to take part in its enthusiasms, was but 
pure quietism, an acute failure to adjust himself to 
the moral world. Certainly nothing was clearer 
than that the individual will was helpless and ir- 
relevant. We were constantly told by our friends 
that to stand aside from the war mood of the 
country was to surrender all possibility of future 
influence, that we were committing intellectual sui- 
cide, and would never again be trusted as responsi- 
ble people or judicious advisers. Who were we to 
differ with able statesmen, with men of sensitive 
conscience who also absolutely abhorred war, but 
were convinced that this war for the preservation 
of democracy would make all future wars impos- 
sible, that the priceless values of civilization which 
were at stake could at this moment be saved only 
by war? But these very dogmatic statements 
spurred one to alarm. Was not war in the in- 
terest of democracy for the salvation of civiliza- 
tion a contradiction of terms, whoever said it or 
however often it was repeated? 

Then, too, we were always afraid of fanaticism, 
of preferring a consistency of theory to the con- 
scientious recognition of the social situation, of a 


failure to meet life in the temper of a practical 
person. Every student of our time had become 
more or less a disciple of pragmatism and its great 
teachers in the United States had come out for the 
war and defended their positions with skill and 
philosophic acumen. There were moments when 
one longed desperately for reconciliation with 
one's friends and fellow citizens; in the words of 
Amiel, "Not to remain at variance with existence 
but to reach that understanding of life which en- 
ables us at least to obtain forgiveness." Solitude 
has always had its demons, harder to withstand 
than the snares of the world, and the unnatural 
desert into which the pacifist was summarily cast 
out seemed to be peopled with them. We sorely 
missed the contagion of mental activity, for we 
are all much more dependent upon our social en- 
vironment and daily newspaper than perhaps any 
of us realize. We also doubtless encountered, al- 
though subconsciously, the temptations described 
by John Stuart Mill : "In respect to the persons 
and affairs of their own day, men insensibly adopt 
the modes of feeling and judgment in which they 
can hope for sympathy from the company they 

The consciousness of spiritual alienation was 
lost only in moments of comradeship with the like 
minded, which may explain the tendency of the 


pacifist in war time to seek his intellectual kin, his 
, spiritual friends, wherever they might be found 
in his own country or abroad. 

It was inevitable that in many respects the 
peace cause should suffer in public opinion from 
the efforts of groups of people who, early in the 
war, were convinced that the country as a whole 
was for peace and who tried again and again to 
discover a method for arousing and formulating 
the sentiment against war. I was ill and out of 
Chicago when the People's Council held a national 
convention there, which was protected by the city 
police but threatened with dispersion by the state 
troops, who, however, arrived from the capital 
several hours after the meeting had adjourned. 
The incident was most sensational and no one was 
more surprised than many of the members of the 
People's Council who thus early in the war had 
supposed that they were conducting a perfectly 
legitimate convention. The incident gave tre- 
mendous "copy" in a city needing rationalizing 
rather than sensationalizing at that moment. 
There is no doubt that the shock and terror of the 
"anarchist riots" occurring in Chicago years ago 
have left their traces upon the nervous system of 
the city somewhat as a nervous shock experienced 
in youth will long afterwards determine the action 
of a mature man under widely different circum- 


On the whole, the New York groups were much 
more active and throughout the war were allowed 
much more freedom both of assembly and press, 
although later a severe reaction followed ex- 
pressed through the Lusk Committee and other 
agencies. Certainly neither city approximated 
the freedom of London and nothing surprised me 
more in 1915 and again in 1919 than the freedom 
of speech permitted there. 

We also read with a curious eagerness the stead- 
ily increasing number of books published fromt 
time to time during the war, which brought a re- 
newal of one's faith or at least a touch of comfort. 
These books broke through that twisting and sup- 
pressing of awkward truths, which was encour- 
aged and at times even ordered by the censorship. 
Such manipulation of news and motives was doubt- 
less necessary in the interest of war propaganda 
if the people were to be kept in a fighting 
mood. Perhaps the most vivid books came from 
France, early from Romain Holland, later from 
Barbusse, although it was interesting to see how 
many people took the latter's burning indictment 
of war merely as a further incitement against the 
enemy. On the scientific side were the frequent 
writings of David Starr Jordan and the remark- 
able book of Nicolai on "The Biology of War." 
The latter enabled one, at least in one's own mind, 
to refute the pseudo-scientific statement that war 


was valuable in securing the survival of the fittest. 
Nicolai insisted that primitive man must neces- 
sarily have been a peaceful and social animal and 
that he developed his intelligence through the use 
of the tool, not through the use of the weapon; 
it was the primeval community which made the 
evolution of man possible, and cooperation among 
<'men is older and more primitive than mass com- 
bat which is an outgrowth of the much later prop- 
icrty instinct. No other species save ants, who also 
j possess property, fights in masses against other 
masses of its own kind. War is in fact not a 
natural process and not a struggle for existence 
in the evolutionary sense. He illustrated the 
evolutionary survival of the fittest by two tigers 
.inhabiting the same jungle or feeding ground, the 
.one who has the greater skill and strength as a 
ihunter survives and the other starves, but the 
strong one does not go out to kill the weak 
one, as the war propagandist implied; or by two 
varieties of mice living in the same field or barn; 
Jin the biological struggle, the variety which grows 
a thicker coat survives the winter while the other 
variety freezes to extinction, but i'f one variety 
of mice should go forth to kill the other, it would 
be absolutely abnormal and quite outside the evolu- 
tionary survival which is based on the adjustment 
of the organism to its environment. George Nas- 
myth's book on Darwinism and the Social Order 


was another clear statement of the mental con- 
fusion responsible for the insistence that even a 
biological progress is secured through war. Mr. 
Brailsford wrote constantly on the economic re- 
sults of the war and we got much comfort 
from John Hobson's "Toward International Gov- 
ernment," which gave an authoritative account 
of the enormous amount of human activity actu- 
ally carried on through international organiza- 
tions of all sorts, many of them under govern- 
mental control. Lowes Dickenson's books, espe- 
cially the spirited challenge in "The Choice Before 
Us," left his readers with the distinct impression 
that "war is not inevitable but proceeds from defi- 
nite and removable causes." From every such 
book the pacifist was forced to the conclusion that 
none save those interested in the realization of 
an idea are in a position to bring it about and 
that if one found himself the unhappy possessor 
of an unpopular conviction, there was nothing for 
it but to think as clearly as he was able and be 
in a position to serve his country as soon as it was 
possible for him to do so. 

But with or without the help of good books 
a hideous sensitiveness remained, for the pacifist, 
like the rest of the world, has developed a high de- 
gree of suggestibility, sharing that consciousness 
of the feelings, the opinions and the customs of 
his own social group which is said to be an inheri- 


tance from an almost pre-human past. An in- 
stinct which once enabled the man-pack to survive 
when it was a question of keeping together or of 
perishing off the face of the earth, is perhaps not 
underdeveloped in any of us. There is a distinct 
physical as well as moral strain when this instinct 
is steadily suppressed or at least ignored. 

The large number of deaths among the older 
pacifists in all the warring nations can probably 
be traced in some measure to the peculiar strain 
which such maladjustment implies. More than 
the normal amount of nervous energy must be 
consumed in holding one's own in a hostile world. 
These older men, Kier Hardie and Lord Court- 
ney in England, Jenkin Lloyd Jones, Rauchen- 
busch, Washington Gladden in the United States, 
Lammasch and Fried in Austria, had been hon- 
ored by their fellow citizens because of marked 
ability to interpret and understand them. Sud- 
denly to find every public utterance wilfully mis- 
construed, every attempt at normal relationship 
repudiated, must react in a baffled suppression 
which is health-destroying even if we do not accept 
the mechanistic explanation of the human system. 
Certainly by the end of the war we were able to 
understand, although our group certainly did not 
endorse the statement of Cobden, one of the most 
convinced of all internationalists : "I made up my 
mind during the Crimean War that if ever I lived 


in the time of another great war of a similar kind 
between England and another power, I would not 
as a public man open my mouth on the subject, so 
convinced am I that appeals to reason, conscience 
or interest have no force whatever on parties en- 
gaged in war, and that exhaustion on one or both 
sides can alone bring a contest of physical force 
to an end." 

On the other hand there were many times when 
we stubbornly asked ourselves, what after all, has 
maintained the human race on this old globe de- 
spite all the calamities of nature and all the tragic 
failings of mankind, if not faith in new possibil- 
ities, and courage to advocate them. Doubtless 
many times these new possibilities were declared 
by a man who, quite unconscious of courage, bore 
the "sense of being an exile, a condemned crimi- 
nal, a fugitive from mankind." Did every one 
so feel who, in order to travel on his own proper 
path had been obliged to leave the traditional 
highway? The pacifist, during the period of the 
war could answer none of these questions but he 
was sick at heart from causes which to him were 
hidden and impossible to analyze. He was at 
times devoured by a veritable dissatisfaction with 
life. Was he thus bearing his share of blood- 
guiltiness, the morbid sense of contradiction and 
inexplicable suicide which modern war implies? 
We certainly had none of the internal contentment 


of the doctrinnaire, the ineffable solace of the 
self-righteous which was imputed to us. No one 
knew better than we how feeble and futile we were 
against the impregnable weight of public opinion, 
the appalling imperviousness, the coagulation of 
motives, the universal confusion of a world at 
war. There was scant solace to be found in this 
type of statement: "The worth of every convic- 
tion consists precisely in the steadfastness with 
which it is held," perhaps because we suffered 
from the fact that we were no longer living in a 
period of dogma and were therefore in no posi- 
tion to announce our sense of security ! We were 
well aware that the modern liberal having come 
to conceive truth of a kind which must vindicate 
itself in practice, finds it hard to hold even a sin- 
cere and mature opinion which from the very na- 
ture of things can have no justification in works. 
The pacifist in war time is literally starved of any 
gratification of that natural desire to have his own 
decisions justified by his fellows. 

That, perhaps, was the crux of the situation. 
We slowly became aware that our affirmation was 
regarded as pure dogma. We were thrust into 
the position of the doctrinnaire, and although, had 
we been permitted, we might have cited both his- 
toric and scientific tests of our so-called doctrine 
of Peace, for the moment any sanction even by 
way of illustration was impossible. 


It therefore came about that ability to hold out [ 
against mass suggestion, to honestly differ from 
the convictions and enthusiasms of one's best I 
friends did in moments of crisis come to depend / 
upon the categorical belief that a man's primary/ 
allegiance is to his vision of the truth and that he 
is under obligation to affirm it. 



IN line with a resolution passed at our Hague 
Congress in 1915, "that our next Congress should 
be held at the time and place of the official Peace 
Conference," each of the national sections had ap- 
pointed a committee of five, who were to start for 
the place of the Peace Conference as soon as the 
arrangements were announced. They were then 
to cable back to the selected twenty delegates and 
ten alternates in each country, who were to follow 
as quickly as preparations could be made. It was 
assumed in 1915, not only by ourselves, but largely 
by the rest of the world, that the Peace Conference 
would be held in a neutral country, probably at 
The Hague, and that both sides would be repre- 
sented there. 

In planning a congress of women it was borne 
in mind that the official Conference at the end 
of the war determining the terms of peace would 
be largely composed of diplomats who are neces- 
sarily bound by the traditional conventions which 
have so long dominated all intercourse between 
nations. Because in every country such men are 



seldom representative of modern social thought 
and the least responsive to changing ideas, it was 
considered supremely important that when the 
conference of diplomats should come together, 
other groups should convene in order to urge the 
importance of certain interests which have hith- 
erto been inarticulate in international affairs. This 
need had been recognized not only by the women 
but by international organizations of labor, by 
the Zionists and similar groups, who were also 
planning to hold Congresses at the same time 
and in the same place as the official Peace Con- 
ference After the War. 

The tremendous movement for a League of Na- 
tions, the gathering together of experts and schol- 
ars as aids to the official Peace Commissioners had 
of course all developed after our Congress at 
The Hague in 1915, but all the more did we hope 
for a great spiritual awakening in international 
affairs. We recalled that it was at the Congress of 
Vienna in 1815 after the Napoleonic wars that the 
nations represented there, as part of their over- 
whelming demand for a more highly moralized 
future, insisted that the diplomats should make 
international provision for abolishing the slave 

When it was announced that the Peace Confer-, 
ence would assemble in Paris all the plans for our 
Woman's Congress fell through. It was neces- 


sary, of course, for us to meet in a neutral country 
as naturally the women from the Central Powers 
could not go to France. This inevitable change 
of place involved much cabling and delay, and 
there were also some difficulties in regard to pass- 
ports even for neutral Switzerland. 

The group of American delegates arriving in 
Paris at Easter, 1919 found that the English pass- 
ports had been delayed and that the brilliant presi- 
dent of our French Section and her fellow officers 
had been refused theirs. After various meetings 
in Paris, at which the French, English and Ameri- 
can sections were well represented, the Congress 
was finally arranged for May 12, at Zurich. Curi- 
ously enough, after our many delays, we at last 
met in the very week when the Peace Conference 
in Paris had become enlarged beyond the member- 
ship of the Allied and neutral nations by receiving 
the delegates from the Central Powers, and when 
in a sense the official Peace Conference as such 
had formally begun. Our fortnight of delay in 
Paris was spent in conference with our French 
colleagues, in interviews with various persons con- 
nected both with the Peace Conference and the 
Food Administration, and by some of us in a five- 
days' visit to the devastated regions, which was 
made by automobile, kindly arranged for us by the 
American Red Cross. 

Day after day as rain, snow and sleet fell 


steadily from a leaden sky, we drove through 
lands laid waste and still encumbered by mounds 
of munitions, exploded shells, broken down tanks 
and incredibly huge tangles of rusty barbed wire. 
The ground was furrowed in all directions by 
trenches and shell holes, we passed through ruined 
towns and villages in which no house had been 
left standing, although at times a grey head would 
emerge from a cellar which had been rudely 
roofed with bits of corrugated iron. It was 
always the old people who had come back first, 
for they least of all could brook the life of refu- 
gees. There had not yet been time to gather the 
dead into cemeteries, but at Vimy Ridge colored 
troops from the United States were digging rows 
of graves for the bodies being drawn toward them 
in huge trucks. In the Argonne we still saw 
clusters of wooden crosses surmounting the heaps 
of clay, each cross with its metal tag for inscrip- 

I had a personal interest in these graves for my 
oldest nephew had fallen in the Argonne. We 
searched for his grave through one long afternoon 
but, owing to the incompleteness of our map and 
the fact that there was no living soul to consult 
in the village nearest the farm on which the battle 
had been fought, we failed to find it. We met; 
other people on the same errand, one a French 
Cure who knew the ground with a sad intimacy. 


We spent the following night at the headquar- 
ters of the reconstruction work of the Friends' 
Service Committee in devastated France, where 
the work of both the English and American units 
was being supervised by Edward Harvey, who 
had been Canon Barnett's successor as Warden, 
of Toynbee Hall. After an evening of talk to 
which the young men had come in from all the out- 
lying villages where they were constructing tem- 
porary houses for the refugees who had returned, 
or plowing the fields for those who had not yet 
arrived, or supplying necessities to those who had 
come back too ill to begin their regular course of 
living, four of us who had long been identified 
with settlements sat by a small open fire and tried 
to disentangle the moral situation into which the 
war had thrown those who could not consider it 
legitimate, yet felt acutely the call to service on be- 
half of its victims and the full measure of pity 
for the colossal devastation and helpless misery. 
In the morning one of the Friends went with us 
to the region we had searched the day before, and 
although we early abandoned the motor in the 
shell wrecked road, he finally found the farm and 
grave we sought, the third in one of three long 

/* On May 6, 1915, the Executive Committee of 
I the Woman's International Committee for Per- 
\jnanent Peace met in Zurich to prepare the agenda 


of the Congress. The members represented 
groups of women who, living in fourteen differ- 
ent nations of the neutral, the Entente and the 
Central Powers, had found themselves opposed 
to the full tide of public opinion throughout the 
war. That a curious fellowship had developed 
between these widely scattered groups was re- 
vealed from time to time when committee mem- 
bers recounted, merely by way of explanation in 
regard to incomplete records or absent delegates, 
such similar experiences with governmental espion- 
age as to demonstrate without doubt that war 
methods are identical in all nations. Without ex- 
planation or asseveration we also discovered how 
like-minded we were when resolutions on the same 
subject, coming in from one country after another, 
were so similar in intent that the five sub-com- 
mittees who sorted and combined and translated 
the material were often perplexed to decide which 
resolution most clearly expressed that which was 
common to them all, which one best reflected some- 
thing of what we had learned and hoped through 
the poignant suffering of the past five years. In 
one sense these resolutions gave a cross-cut section, 
although in a business-like form, as it were of 
the hopes maturing in many countries, including 
those so lately at war, for "permanent arrange- 
ments that justice shall be rendered and peace 
maintained." We knew that there would be diffi- 


culties in holding an international Congress so 
soon after the war, but in all humility of spirit we 
claimed that we essayed the task free from any 
rancorous memories, from wilful misunderstand- 
ing or distrust of so-called enemies. 

Therefore in reply to the often repeated predic- 
tion that the Congress was premature and that 
the attempt would end in disaster, which was made 
not only in the United States but still oftener by 
American women in Paris who were sensitive to 
the hostility still prevailing during the peace nego- 
tiations, we could only state our conviction that 
the women eligible to membership in the Congress 
had suffered too much during the war, had been 
too close to the clarifying spirit of reality to in- 
dulge in any sentimental or unconsidered state- 

Yet inevitably we felt a certain restraint self- 
consciousness would perhaps be a better word 
when we considered seeing the "alien enemy" face 
to face. I imagine many of the experiences were 
similar to my own when walking the streets of 
Zurich the day we arrived I turned a corner and 
suddenly met one of the Austrian women who had 
been a delegate to The Hague Congress and had 
afterwards shown us every courtesy in Vienna 
when we presented our Neutral Conference plan. 
She was so shrunken and changed that I had much 
difficulty in identifying her with the beautiful 


woman I had seen three years before. She was 
not only emaciated as by a wasting illness, look- 
ing as if she needed immediate hospital care she 
did in fact die three months after her return to 
Vienna but her face and artist's hands were cov- 
ered with rough red blotches due to the long use 
of soap substitutes, giving her a cruelly scalded 
appearance. My first reaction was one of over- 
whelming pity and alarm as I suddenly discovered 
my friend standing at the very gate of death. This 
was quickly followed by the same sort of indigna- 
tion I had first felt in the presence of the starving 
children at Lille. What were we all about that 
such things were allowed to happen in a so-called 
civilized world? Certainly all extraneous differ- 
ences fell from us as we stood together in the 
spring sunshine and spoke of the coming Congress 
which, feeble as it was, yet gave a demonstration 
that a few women were to be found in each coun- 
try who could not brook that such a state of af- 
fairs should go unchallenged. At the evening 
meeting preceding the opening of the Congress 
this dying woman told us that many Austrian 
women had resented not so much the starvation 
itself as the fact that day after day they had been 
obliged to keep their minds steadily on the sub- 
ject of procuring food until all other objects for 
living were absolutely excluded. To the horror 
and anxieties of war had been added the sordid- 


ness of sheer animal hunger with its inhibitions. 
She spoke in the white marble hall of the Univers- 
ity of Zurich. The same meeting was addressed 
by a German delegate and by an American who 
had both come back to the University which had 
given them doctor's degrees. What a welcome 
they received from the Swiss people! We had 
almost forgotten what it was like to be in a neu- 
tral country where it entailed no odium to be a 

After the formal opening of the Congress had 
been disposed of, the first resolution proposed 
was on the famine and blockade. It was most 
eloquently presented by Mrs. Pethwick Lawrence 
of England and went through without a dissenting 

"This International Congress of Women 
regards the famine, pestilence and unemploy- 
ment extending throughout the great tracts 
of Central and Eastern Europe and into Asia 
as a disgrace to civilization. 

"It therefore urges the Governments of 
all the Powers assembled at the Peace Con- 
ference immediately to develop the inter- 
allied organizations formed for purposes of 
war into an international organization for 
purposes of peace, so that the resources of the 
world food, raw materials, finance, trans- 
port shall be made available for the relief 
of the peoples of all countries from famine 
and pestilence. 


"To this end it urges that immediate ac- 
tion be taken : 

"i. To raise the blockade; and 

"2. If there is insufficiency of food or 
transport ; 

"a. To prohibit the use of transport from 
one country to another for the conveyance 
of luxuries until the necessaries of life are 
supplied to all peoples; 

"b. To ration the people of every country 
so that the starving may be fed. 

"The Congress believes that only immedi- 
* ate international action on these lines can 
save humanity and bring about the perma- 
nent reconciliation and union of the peoples." 

The resolution in full was telegraphed to Paris 
and we received a prompt reply from President 
Wilson. The public reception of this telegram 
was one of the most striking moments of the Con- 
gress and revealed once more the reverence with 
which all Europe regarded the President of the 
United States. As the university hall was too 
small for the increasing attendance, we held our 
last evening meetings in the largest church in the 
city. As I stood in the old-fashioned high pulpit 
to announce the fact that a telegram had been re- 
ceived from President Wilson, there fell a hush, 
a sense of tension on the great audience that is 
difficult to describe. It was as if out of the con- 


fusion and misery of Europe one authoritative 
voice was about to be heard. Although the tele- 
gram itself but expressed sympathy with our 
famine resolution, and regret that the Paris Con- 
ference could not act upon its suggestions, there 
arose from the audience a sigh of religious resig- 
nation, as if a good man were doing his best and 
in the end must succeed. 

As the Congress had received through our press 
correspondent an advance copy of the treaty and 
was in actual session the very day the treaty was 
made public, we were naturally in a position to be 
the very first public body to discuss its terms. 
We certainly spoke out unequivocally in a series 
of resolutions, beginning as follows: 

"This International Congress of Women 
expresses its deep regret that the Terms of 
Peace proposed at Versailles should so seri- 
ously violate the principles upon which alone 
a just and lasting peace can be secured, and 
which the democracies of the world had come 
to accept." 

"By guaranteeing the fruits of the secret 
treaties to the conquerors, the Terms of 
Peace tacitly sanction secret diplomacy, deny 
the principles of self-determination, recog- 
nize the right of the victors to the spoils of 
war, and create all over Europe discords and 
animosities, which can only lead to future 

"By the demand for the disarmament of 


one set of belligerents only, the principle of 
justice is violated and the rule of force con- 

"By the financial and economic proposals 
a hundred million people of this generation 
in the heart of Europe are condemned to 
poverty, disease and despair which must re- 
sult in the spread of hatred and anarchy 
within each nation. 

"With a deep sense of responsibility this 
Congress strongly urges the Allied and As- 
sociated Governments to accept such amend- 
ments of the Terms, as shall bring the peace 
into harmony with those principles first enu- 
merated by President Wilson upon the faith- 
ful carrying out of which the honor of the 
Allied peoples depends." 

It was creditable to the patience of the peace 
makers in Paris that they later received our dele- 
gation and allowed us to place the various resolu- 
tions in their hands, but we inevitably encountered 
much bitter criticism from the Allied press. Only 
slowly did public opinion reach a point of view 
similar to ours : Keynes' epoch-making book was 
not published until a year later, but so widely was 
his position ratified that on the second celebration 
of Armistice day in Kingsbury House in London at 
a meeting of ex-soldiers and sailors, one of the lat- 
ter who had been sorely wounded, spoke as fol- 
lows : "For every man who a year ago knew and 
said that the Peace Treaty was immoral in con- 


ception and would be disastrous, there are thou- 
sands who say it now." 

There was much discussion at the Zurich Con- 
gress on the League of Nations; the first commit- 
tee made a majority and minority report, another 
committee reconciled them and resolutions were 
finally passed but the Zurich Congress took no 
definite position for or against the League of Na- 
tions. As the formal organization of the League 
was open to change by the Peace Conference still 
sitting, a number of careful suggestions were for- 
mulated and sent to Paris by a special committee 
from the Congress. Two of the English members 
discussed them with Lord Robert Cecil, I saw 
Colonel House several times, our committee 
through the efforts of an Italian member was re- 
ceived by Signor Orlando and we also had a hear- 
ing at the Quai d'Orsay with the French minister 
of foreign affairs, and with the delegates from 
other countries. In Paris at that time the repre- 
sentatives of the smaller nations were already ex- 
pressing their disappointment in the League but 
its proponents were elated over its adoption and 
hopeful for the future. They all received our 
resolutions politely and sometimes discussed them 
at length, but only a few of the journalists and "ex- 
perts" were enthusiastic about them. 

Throughout the meetings of the Zurich Con- 
gress the delegates, secure in their sense of good 


will and mutual understanding, spoke freely not 
only of their experiences during the trial of war, 
but also of the methods which they were advocat- 
ing for the difficult period of social and industrial 
re-adjustment following the war. Some of our 
delegates represented nations in which revolutions 
with and without bloodshed had already taken 
place. The members of our organization had 
stood against the use of armed force in such do- 
mestic crises as definitely as they had protested 
against its use in international affairs. The paci- 
fists had already played this role in the revolu- 
tions in Bavaria, in Austria, in Hungary. Having 
so soon come together under the shadow of the 
great war itself, we had an opportunity to hear 
early of the courageous and intelligent action tak- 
en by our own groups in the widespread war after 
the war. 

The Congress ending with a banquet given by 
the town officials, was attended by delegates from 
fifteen different countries, many of whom had 
come under great difficulties. Despite sharp dif- 
ferences as to terms in the Treaty, the meetings 
were absolutely harmonious and many delegates 
confessed to each other that they felt as if they 
were passing through a rare spiritual experience. 
In addition to a long list of resolutions on interna- 
tional affairs, a woman's charter and an education 
program were drawn up. The name of the or- 


ganization was changed to iiWonjaji^s Interna- 
tional League for Peace and FreedonV 7 ~and Ue- 
neva, as the seat of Tlie~League uf Nations, was 
made the headquarters. Emily Balch, from the 
United States, a professor of economics in Welles- 
ley College became secretary, agreeing to remain 
in Europe for the following two years. 

On our return to Paris there were many symp- 
toms of the malaise and confusion for which the 
peace terms were held responsible although it 
would be difficult to say how much of it was the 
inevitable aftermath of war. In the midst of it 
all only the feeding of the hungry seemed to offer 
the tonic of beneficent activity. During our stop 
at Paris in May we had talked with Dr. Nansen, 
who was keen on the prospect of entering Russia 
for the sake of feeding the women and children, 
but upon our return we found that the Nansen 
plan had been indefinitely postponed in spite of 
the popular reports that thousands of people in 
the aftermath of war were starving in the indus- 
trial centers of Russia. Mr. Hoover's office 
seemed to be the one reasonable spot in the midst 
of the widespread confusion; the great maps upon 
the wall recorded the available food resources and 
indicated fleets 'of ships carrying wheajt from 
Australia to Finland or corn from the port of New 
York to Fiume. And yet even at that moment the 
food blockade, hitherto regarded as a war meas- 


ure, was being applied both to Hungary and Rus- 
sia as pressure against their political arrange- 
ments, foreboding sinister possibilities. The Zu- 
rich Congress had made a first protest against this 
unfair use of the newly formulated knowledge of 
the world's food supply and of a centralized meth- 
od for its distribution. There was a soviet regime 
in Hungary during our meeting in Zurich. Of 
our two delegates from Hungary, one was in sym- 
pathy with it and one was not, but they both felt 
hotly against the blockade which had been insti- 
tuted against Hungary as an attempt to settle the 
question of the form of government through the 
starvation of the people. 

On our return to Paris after the Zurich Con- 
gress, Dr. Hamilton and I accepted an invitation 
from the American Friends' Service Committee 
to go into Germany. In explanation of our jour- 
ney it may be well to quote from a "minute" 
passed at a meeting held in Devonshire House, 
London, the central office of the Society of 
Friends, July 4th, 1919: "We are thankful to 
learn that certain members of the Religious So- 
ciety of Friends are now proceeding to Germany 
under a deep sense of the need which exists for 
mutual friendly intercourse and fellowship be- 
tween those who all belong to the same great hu- 
man family and who have been separated during 
these sad years of war. 



"Our friends are traveling on behalf of the 
Committee which has under its care the arrange- 
ments for sending 'Gifts of Love' to Germany, 
in the form of food, clothes and other necessaries, 
a work that is shared in by many other persons 
not associated with Friends in membership." 

The four English members of the Committee 
traveled through the occupied region, entered Ger- 
many via Cologne, and reached Berlin July 6th; 
the three American members who traveled through 
Holland and crossed the border on the first civ- 
ilian passports issued there since the signing of 
peace, arrived in Berlin July 7th. Dr. Aletta 
Jacobs, who had been asked as a neutral to make 
observations on health conditions in Germany, was 
the fourth member of the second party. Dr. 
Elizabeth Rotten, of Berlin, who had been acting 
as the representative in Germany of the work of 
the English Friends and was also head of the 
Educational Committee of the Germany Asso- 
ciation for the Promotion of the League of Na- 
tions, was naturally our guide and advisor. 

We were received everywhere in a fine spirit 
of courtesy. Doctors, nurses and city officials, 
who were working against tuberculosis, to keep 
children healthy, to prevent youthful crime and 
foster education, had long passed the mood of 
bitterness. What they were facing was the ship- 
wreck of a nation and they had no time for resent- 


ments. They realized that if help did not come 
quickly and abundantly, the coming generation in 
Germany was largely doomed to early death or, 
at best, to a handicapped life. 

We had, of course, seen something of the wide- 
spread European starvation before we went into 
Germany ; our first view in Europe of starved chil- 
dren was in the city of Lille in Northern France, 
where the school children were being examined 
for tuberculosis. We had already been told that 
forty per cent of the children of school age in 
Lille had open tuberculosis and that the remaining 
sixty per cent were practically all suspects. As we 
entered the door of a large school room, we saw 
at the other end of the room a row of little boys, 
from six to ten years of age, passing slowly in 
front of the examining physician. The children 
were stripped to the waist and our first impres- 
sion was of a line of moving skeletons; their little 
shoulder blades stuck straight out, the vertebrae 
were all perfectly distinct as were their ribs, and 
their bony arms hung limply at their sides. To 
add to the gruesome effect not a sound was to be 
heard, for the French physician had lost his voice 
as a result of shell shock during the first bombard- 
ment of Lille. He therefore whispered his in- 
structions to the children as he applied his stetho- 
scope and the children, thinking it was some sort 
of game, all whispered back to him. It was in- 


credibly pathetic and unreal and we could but ac- 
cept the doctor's grave statement that only by 
a system of careful superfeeding, could any of 
these boys grow into normal men. We had also 
seen starved children in Switzerland : six hundred 
Viennese children arriving in Zurich to be guests 
in private households. As they stood upon the 
station platforms without any of the bustle and 
chatter naturally associated with a large number 
of children, we had again that painful impression 
of listlessness as of a mortal illness; we saw the 
winged shoulder blades standing out through their 
meagre clothing, the little thin legs which scarcely 
supported the emaciated bodies. The committee 
of Swiss women was offering them cakes and choc- 
olates, telling them of the children at home who 
were waiting for them, but there was little re- 
sponse because there was no vitality with which to 
make it. 

We were reminded of these children week after 
week as we visited Berlin, or Frankfort am Main, 
or the cities of Saxony and the villages throughout 
the Erzgebirge in which the children had been 
starved throughout the long period of the war 
and of the armistice. Perhaps an experience in 
Leipzig was typical when we visited a public play- 
ground in which several hundred children were 
having a noonday meal consisting for each of a 
pint of "war soup," composed of war meal stirred 


into a pint of hot water. The war meal was, as 
always, made with a foundation of rye or wheat 
flour to which had been added ground vegetables 
or sawdust in order to increase its bulk. The chil- 
dren would have nothing more to eat until supper, 
for which many of the mothers had saved the 
entire daily ration of bread because, as they some- 
times told us, they hoped thus to avert the hard- 
est thing they had to bear; hearing the children 
whimper and moan for hours after they were put 
to bed because they were too hungry to go to 

These Leipzig children were quite as listless 
as all the others we had seen ; when the playground 
director announced prizes for the best gardens, 
they were utterly indifferent; only when he said 
he hoped by day after tomorrow to give them milk 
in their soup did they break out into the most 
ridiculous, feeble little cheer ever heard. The 
city physician, who was with us, challenged the 
playground director as to his ability to obtain the 
milk, to which the director replied that he was not 
sure that he could, but that there was a prospect 
for it, and that the children must have something 
to hope for, that that was the prerogative of the 
young. With this uncertain hope we left them to 
visit day nurseries, child welfare stations, schools 
and orphanages where the midday meal was prac- 
tically the same war soup. We were told by 


probation officers and charity workers of starved 
children who stole the family furniture and cloth- 
ing, books and kitchen utensils in order to sell 
them for food, who pulled unripe potatoes and 
turnips from the fields for miles surrounding the 
cities, to keep themselves alive. 

Our experiences in the midst of widespread 
misery, did not differ from those of thousands of 
other Americans who were bent upon succor and 
relief and our vivid and compelling impressions of 
widespread starvation were confirmed by the high- 
est authorities. Mr. Hoover had recently de- 
clared that, owing to diminished food production 
in Europe, approximately 100,000,000 Europeans 
were then dependent upon imported food. Sir 
George Paish, the British economist, repeated the 
statement when he said that 100,000,000 persons 
in Europe were facing starvation. All this was 
made much worse by the rapid decline in the 
value of European money in the markets of the 

One turned instinctively to the newly created 
League of Nations. Could it have considered this 
multitude of starving children as its concrete prob- 
lem, feeding them might have been the quickest 
way to restore the divided European nations to 
human and kindly relationship. Was all this de- 
vastation the result of hypernationalism and might 
not the very recognition of a human obligation 


irrespective of national boundaries form the na- 
tural beginning of better international relation- 

My entire experience in Europe in 1915 was in 
marked contrast to my impressions received thirty- 
four years earlier, inij^Si^ Nationalism was also 
the great word then, but with quite another con- 
tent. At that moment in all political matters the 
great popular word had been Unity; a coming to- 
gether into new national systems of little states 
which had long been separated. The words of 
Mazzini, who had died scarcely a decade before, 
were constantly on the lips of ardent young ora- 
tors, the desire to unite, to overcome differences, 
to accentuate likenesses, was everywhere a ruling 
influence in political affairs. Italy had become 
united under Victor Emanuel; the first Kaiser and 
Bismarck ruled over a German Empire made of 
many minor states. It rather smacked of learn- 
ing, in those days, to use the words Slavophile and 
Panslavic, but we knew that the movement stood 
for unity in the remoter parts of Europe where 
Bohemia was the most vocal, although she talked 
less of a republic of her own than of her desire 
to unite with her fellow Slavs. The,j3]U]iststrik- 
ing characteristic of all these nationalistic move- 
ments h^d hf pn thr\r burning hiinunlt^ianisnr, a 

sense that the new groupings were but a prepara- 
tion for a wider synthesis, that a federation of at 


least the European states was a possibility in the 
near future. 

In 1885 I had seen nationalistic fervor pulling 
scattered people together, but in 1919 it seemed 
equally effective in pushing those apart who had 
once been combined a whole ring of states was 
pulling out of Mother Russia, Bavaria was threat- 
ening to leave Germany, and Italy, in the name 
of nationalism was separating a line of coast with 
its hinterland of Slavs, from their newly found 
brethren. Whereas nationalism thirty years ear- 
lier had seemed generous and inclusive, stressing 
likenesses, it now appeared dogmatic and ruth- 
less, insisting upon historic prerogatives quite in- 
dependent of the popular will. Had the national- 
istic fervor become overgrown and over-reached 
itself, or was it merely for the moment so self- 
assertive that the creative impulse was submerged 
into the possessive instinct ? Had nationalism be- 
come dogmatic and hardened in thirty-five years? 
It was as if I had left a group of early Christians 
and come back into a flourishing mediaeval church 
holding great possessions and equipped with well 
tried methods of propaganda. The early spon- 
taneity had changed into an authoritative imposi- 
tion of power. One received the impression every- 
where in that moment when nationalism was 
so tremendously stressed, that the nation was 
demanding worship and devotion for its own sake 


similar to that of the mediaeval church, as if 
it existed for its own ends of growth and power 
irrespective of the tests of reality. It demanded 
unqualified obedience, denounced as heretics all 
who differed, insisted that it alone had the truth, 
and exhibited all the well known signs of dogma- 
tism, including a habit of considering ordinary 
standards inapplicable to a certain line of conduct 
if it were inspired by motives beyond reproach. 

We saw arriving in Rotterdam, from the Ger- 
man colonies in Africa and the Pacific, hundreds of 
German families who had been driven from their 
pioneer homes and their colonial business under- 
takings, primarily because they belonged to the 
outlaw nation; in many of the railroad stations in 
Germany there were posted directions for the 
fugitives coming from Posen, from Alsace, from 
the new Czecho-Slovakia and from the Danzig 
corridor. As we had opportunity to learn of their 
experiences, they told of prohibition of language, 
of the forced sale of real estate, of the confiscation 
of business, of the expulsion from university fa- 
culties and the alienation of old friends. There 
was something about it all that was curiously ana- 
chronistic like the expulsion of the Jews from 
Spain, or Cromwell's drive through Ireland when 
the Catholics took refuge in the barren west coun- 
try, or of the action by which France had made 
herself poorer for generations when she banished 


her Huguenots. It is as if nationalism, through 
the terms of the Peace Conference itself, had 
fallen back into an earlier psychology, exhibit- 
ing a blind intolerance which does not properly 
belong to these later centuries. 

After all, the new Nationalism even counting 
its rise as beginning three hundred years ago is 
still in its early history. It might be possible for 
its representatives to meet in frank and fearless 
discussion of its creeds as the early church in its 
first centuries called its Ecumenical Councils. 

These creeds would easily divide into types: 
the hypernationalism, if one may call it such, of 
the suppressed nations, as Ireland, Poland or Bo- 
hemia; the imperialistic nationalism of empires 
like Great Britain in which colonial expansion had 
become the normal expression and is no longer 
challenged as a policy; the revolutionary type, 
such as Russia attempting an economic state. 
Every nation would show traces of all types of 
nationalism, and it would be found that all types 
have displayed the highest devotion to their 

It is possible that such a hypothetical Council 
would discover that as the greatest religious war 
came at the very moment when men were decid- 
ing that they no longer cared intensely for the 
theological creeds for which they had long been 
fighting, so this devastating war may have come 


at a similar moment in regard to national dogmas. 
The world, at the very verge of the creation of 
the League of Nations may be entering an era 
when the differing types will no longer suppress 
each other but live together in a fuller and richer 
comity than has ever before been possible. But 
the League of Nations must find a universal 
motive which shall master the overstimulated 
nationalism so characteristic of Europe after the 

We came home late in August, inevitably dis- 
appointed in the newly formed League, but eager 
to see what would happen when "the United States 
came in I" 


A FEW months after our return from Europe 
the annual meeting of the Woman's Peace Party 
was held in Philadelphia, again at the Friends' 
Meeting House. The reports showed that during 
the war the state branches had modified their ac- 
tivities in various ways. The Massachusetts 
branch had carried on war relief of many kinds, 
such as the operation of a plant for desiccating 
vegetables. The New York Branch on the other 
hand, had become more radical and in defense of 
its position published a monthly Journal entitled 
The Four Winds, which was constantly chal- 
lenged by the Federal authorities. The annual 
meeting adopted the somewhat formidable name 
of Woman's International League for Peace and 
Freedom, Section for the United States, the Zu- 
rich resolutions were accepted for substance of 
doctrine and recommended for study. 

We made a careful restatement of our policies, 
but the bald outline gave no more than a hint of 
the indomitable faith of the women gathered 
there who, after nearly five years of anxiety and 



of hope deferred, still solemnly agreed to renew 
the struggle against the war system and to work 
for a wider comity of nations. 

Two of the new officers, Mrs. Lucy Biddle 
Lewis and Mrs. Wm. I. Hull, belonged to the 
Society of Friends, without whose help it would 
have been hard to survive. It is difficult for me 
adequately to express my admiration for Mrs. 
Anna Garlin Spencer who was president of the 
National League during the most difficult period 
of its existence. With the help of two able execu- 
tive secretaries, she deliberately revived an organ- 
ization devoted to the discredited cause of Peace 
at a moment when the established peace societies 
with which she had been long connected had care- 
fully stripped themselves of all activity. 

In some respects it was more difficult at that 
time to be known as a pacifist than it had been dur- 
ing the war, and if any of us had ever imagined 
that our troubles would be over when the war 
ended, we were doomed to disappointment. There 
were many illustrations of our continued unpopu- 
larity. In the early days of the armistice, for 
instance, a group of German women, distressed 
over such terms as the demand for the immediate 
restoration of 3000 milch cows to Belgium, cabled 
to Mrs. Wilson at the White House and also to 
me. My cable was never delivered and I knew 
nothing but what the newspapers reported con- 


cerning it, although the incident started an inter- 
minable chain of comment and speculation as to 
why I should have been selected, none of which 
stumbled upon the simple truth that I had presided 
over a Congress at The Hague attended by two 
of the signatories of the cable. 

The incident, however, was but a foretaste of 
the suspicions and misinterpretations resulting 
from the efforts of Miss Hamilton and myself to 
report conditions in Germany and so far as pos- 
sible to secure contributions to the fund the 
Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia was 
collecting for German and Austrian children. 
There was no special odium attached to the final 
report which we made to the Friends upon our 
return nor upon its wide distribution in printed 
form; it was also comparatively easy to speak to 
the International Committee for the Promotion 
of Friendship between the Churches and to similar 
bodies, but when it came to addressing audiences 
of German descent, so-called "German-Ameri- 
cans," the trouble began. The first Chicago meet- 
ing of this kind was carefully arranged, "opened 
with prayer" by a popular clergyman and closed 
by a Catholic priest, and it went through without 
difficulty although, of course, no word of it ap- 
peared in any Chicago newspaper printed in Eng- 
lish. Milwaukee, St. Louis and Cleveland, how- 
ever, were more difficult, although my theme was 


purely humanitarian with no word of politics. I 
told no audience that our passports had been 
viseed in Frankfort in the city hall flying a red 
flag, that housing space was carefully propor- 
tioned with reference to the need of the inhabi- 
tants and other such matters, which would have 
shocked the audience of prosperous German- 
Americans quite as much as any one else. We 
always told these audiences as we told many 
others who invited us, about the work of the 
Friends' Service Committee in Northern France 
and over widespread portions of Central and 
Eastern Europe irrespective of national bound- 
aries. Some money was always sent to Philadel- 
phia for Germany but quite often it was carefully 
marked for one of the Allied countries in which 
the Friends' Service Committee was also at work. 
I was equally grateful for those contributions but 
I often longed to hear some one suggest that 
"to feed thine enemy if he hunger" might lead 
us back to normal relations with him, or to hear 
one of the many clergymen pray that we might 
forgive our enemies. No such sentiment was 
uttered in my hearing during that winter, al- 
though in the early Spring I was much cheered 
at a meeting in Denver when a club woman 
quoted apropos of feeding German children, from 
Bojer's "The Great Hunger" : "I sow corn in the 


field of mine enemy in order to prove the exist- 
ence of God." 

It was a period or pronounced reaction, char- 
acterized by all sorts of espionage, of wholesale 
raids, arrests and deportations. Liberals every- 
where soon realized that a contest was on all over 
the world for the preservation of that hard won 
liberty which since the days of Edmund Burke 
had come to mean to the civilized world not only 
security in life and property but in opinion as 
well. Many people had long supposed liberalism 
to be freedom to know and to say, not what was 
popular or convenient or even what was patriotic, 
but what they held to be true. But those very 
liberals came to realize that a distinct aftermath 
of the war was the dominance of the mass over 
the individual to such an extent that it constituted 
a veritable revolution in our social relationships. 
Every part of the country had its own manifesta- 
tions of suspicion and distrust which to a surpris- 
ing degree fastened upon the immigrants. These 
felt, some of them with good reason, that they 
were being looked upon with suspicion and re- 
garded as different from the rest of the world; 
that whatever happened in this country that was 
hard to understand was put off upon them, as if 
they alone were responsible. In such a situation 
they naturally became puzzled and irritated. 
With all the rest of the world America fell back 


into the old habit of judging men, not by their 
individual merits or capacities, but by the cate- 
gories of race and religion, thrusting them back 
into the part of the world in which they had been 
born. Many of the immigrants, Poles, Bohem- 
ians and Croatians, were eager to be called by 
their new names. They were keenly alive to the 
fresh start made in Poland, in Czecho-Slovakia, in 
Jugo-Slavia and in other parts of Eastern and 
Southern Europe. They knew, of course, of the 
redistributions in land, of the recognition of peas- 
ant proprietorship occurring not only in the vari- 
ous countries in which actual revolutions had taken 
place as in Hungary and Russia, but in other coun- 
tries such as Roumania, where there had been no 
violent revolution. These immigrants were very 
eager to know what share they themselves might 
have in these great happenings if they returned. 
They longed to participate in the founding of a 
new state which might guarantee the liberties in 
search of which they themselves had come to 
America. They were also anxious about unto- 
ward experiences which might have befallen their 
kinsfolk in those remote countries. For five years 
many of them had heard nothing directly from 
their families and their hearts were wrung over 
the possible starvation of their parents and some- 
times of their wives and children. 

Had we as citizens of the United States made a 


widespread and generous response to this over- 
whelming anxiety, much needed results might have 
accrued to ourselves; our sympathy and aid given 
to their kinsmen in the old world might have 
served to strengthen the bonds between us and 
the foreigners living within our borders. There 
was a chance to restore the word alien to a righte- 
ous use and to end its service as a term of re- 
proach. To ignore the natural anxiety of the Rus- 
sians and to fail to understand their inevitable re- 
sentment against an unauthorized blockade, to 
account for their "restlessness" by all sorts of 
fantastic explanations was to ignore a human situ- 
ation which was full of possibilities for a fuller 
fellowship and understanding. 

It was stated in the Senate that one and a half 
million European immigrants had applied in the 
winter of '19 and '20 for return passports. In 
one small Western city in which 800 Russians were 
living, 275 went to the Western Coast hoping for 
an opportunity to embark for Siberia and thus to 
reach Russia. Most of them were denied pass- 
ports and the enforced retention of so many peo- 
ple constantly made for what came to be called 
social unrest. We would sometimes hear a Rus- 
sian say, "When I was in the old country I used to 
dream constantly of America, and of the time I 
might come here, but now I go about with the 
same longing in my heart for Russia, and am 


homesick to go back to her." In Chicago many of 
those who tried in vain to return, began to pre- 
pare themselves in all sorts of ways for usefulness 
in the new Russian state. Because Russia needed 
skilled mechanics they themselves founded schools 
in applied mathematics, in mechanical drawing, 
in pattern work, in automobiling. 

It was one of these latter schools in Chicago, 
where they were so cautious that they did not 
teach any sort of history or economics, which was 
raided in the early part of January, 1920. A 
general raid under the direction of the federal 
Department of Justice "ran in" numbers of Chi- 
cago suspects on the second of January, but an 
enterprising states attorney in Chicago, doubtless 
craving the political prestige to be thus gained, 
anticipated the federal action by twenty-four hours 
and conducted raids on his own account. The im- 
migrants arrested without warrant were thrust 
into crowded police stations and all other avail- 
able places of detention. The automobile school 
was carried off bodily, the teachers, the sixty-four 
pupils, the books and papers ; the latter were con- 
sidered valuable because the algebraic formulas 
appeared so incriminating. 

One Russian among those arrested on January 
ist, 1920, I had known for many years as a 
member of a Tolstoy society, which I had attended 
a few times after my visit to Russia in 1896. The 

society was composed of Russians committed to 
the theory of non-resistance and anxious to ad- 
vance the philosophy underlying Tolstoy's books. 
I knew of no group in Chicago whose members 
I should have considered less dangerous. This 
man, with twenty-three other prisoners, was thrust 
into a cell built for eight men. There was no 
room to sit, even upon the floor, they could only 
stand closely together, take turns in lying on the 
benches and in standing by the door where they 
might exercise by stretching their hands to the 
top bars. Because they were federal prisoners the 
police refused to feed them, but by the second day 
coffee and sandwiches were brought to them by 
federal officials. But the half-starved Tolstoyan 
even then would not eat meat nor drink coffee, but 
waited patiently until his wife found him and 
could feed him cereals and milk. As a young man 
he had edited the periodical of a humanitarian so- 
ciety in Russia and it was as a convinced humani- 
tarian that he began to study Tolstoy. Because 
the grand jury held him for trial under a state 
charge he could not even be deported if the fed- 
eral charge were sustained. It was impossible, 
of course, not to "stand by" old friends such as 
he and others whom I had known for years, but 
the experience of securing bail for them; of pre- 
siding at a meeting of protest against such viola- 
tion of constitutional rights; of identification with 


the vigorous Civil Liberties Union in New York 
and its Chicago branch, did not add to my respect- 
ability in the eyes of my fellow citizens. 

And yet the earlier Settlements had believed 
that the opportunity to live close to the people 
would enable the residents to know intimately 
how simple people felt upon fundamental issues 
and we had hoped that the residents would stand 
fast to that knowledge in the midst of a social 
crisis where an interpreter would be valuable. 
Could not such activity be designated as "settle- 
ment work?" It was certainly so regarded by a 
handful of settlement people in Boston and New 
York as well as Chicago. There were two con- 
tending trends of public opinion at this time which 
reminded me of the early Settlement days in the 
United States, one the working man's universal 
desire for public discussion and the other the em- 
ployer's belief that such discussion per se was 

In the midst of the world-wide social confusion 
and distress, there inevitably developed a pro- 
found scepticism as to the value of established n 
stitutions. The situation in itself afforded a chal- 
lenge, for men longed to turn from the animosi- 
ties of war and from the futility of the peace i / 
terms to unifying principles, and yet at that very 
moment any attempt at bold and penetrating dis- 
cussion was quickly and ruthlessly suppressed as if' 


men had no right to consider together the social 
conditions surrounding them. 

This dread and fear of discussion somewhat ac- 
counted for the public sentiment exhibited toward 
the hundred members of the I. W. W. who were 
tried in Chicago for sedition. They were held 
in the Cook County jail for many months await- 
ing trial. Our jail conditions, which are always 
bad, were made worse through the inevitable over- 
crowding resulting from the addition of so many 
federal prisoners. One of the men died, one be- 
came insane, one, a temperamental Irishman, fell 
into a profound melancholy after he had been 
obliged to listen throughout the night to the erec- 
tion of a gallows in the corridor upon which his 
cell opened where a murderer was "to meet the 
penalty of the law at dawn." Before the drop fell 
the prisoners were removed from their cells, but 
too late to save the mind of one of them. Eleven 
of the other prisoners contracted tuberculosis and 
although the federal judge who was hearing the 
case lowered the bail and released others on their 
u own recognizance" in order to lessen the fearful 
risks, the prisoners were then faced with the neces- 
sity for earning enough money for lodging and 
breakfast, before the long day in court began. 
Fortunately the judge allowed them a dinner and a 
supper at the expense of the government. Some 
of us started a "milk fund" for those who were 


plainly far on the road to tuberculosis and per- 
haps nothing revealed the state of the public mind 
more clearly than the fact that while we did col- 
lect a fund the people who gave it were in a 
constant state of panic lest their names become 
known in connection with this primitive form of 
charity. The I. W. W.'s were not on the whole 
"pacifists" and I used to regret sometimes that 
our group should be the one fated to perform this 
purely humanitarian function which would cer- 
tainly become associated with sedition in the public 
mind. We should however logically have escaped 
all criticism for at that very moment the repre- 
sentatives of "patriotic" societies working in the 
prison camps of the most backward countries at 
war, were allowed to separate the tubercular pris- 
oners from their fellows. 

The Berger trial came in January of the wretch- 
ed winter. I had met Victor Berger first when as 
a young man he had spoken before a society at 
Hull-House which was being addressed by Ben- 
jamin Kidd, the English author of the then very 
popular book on "Social Evolution." I had seen 
Mr. Berger occasionally during the period when 
he was in Washington as a Congressman, and 
knew that many of the Socialists regarded him as 
slow because he insisted upon proceeding from one 
legislative measure to another and had no use for 
"direct action." And yet here he was indicted 


with three Chicago men, one a clergyman whom I 
had known for years, for "conspiring to overthrow 
the government of the United States." 

Later there was the sudden rise of "agents pro- 
vocateurs" in industrial strikes, and the strikers 
believed that they were employed at Gary, by the 
secret service department of the government itself. 
The stories that were constantly current recalled 
my bewilderment years ago when the Russian exile 
Azeff died in Paris. He was considered by one 
faction as an agent provocateur, by another as a 
devoted revolutionist. The events of his remark- 
able life, which were undisputed, might easily 
support either theory, quite as in a famous Eng- 
lish trial for sedition a prisoner, named Watts, 
had been so used by both sides that the English 
court itself could not determine his status. It 
was hard to believe the story that a Russian well 
known as of the Czar's police, had organized 
twenty-four men in Gary for "direct action," had 
supplied them freely both with radical literature 
and with firearms but that fortunately just before 
the headquarters were raided the strike leaders 
discovered "the plot," persuaded the Russians that 
they were being duped by the simple statement 
that any one who gave them arms in a district un- 
der military control, was deliberately putting them 
in danger of their fives. 

So it was perhaps not surprising that the Rus- 


sians became angry and confused and were quite 
sure that they were being incited and betrayed by 
government agents. The Russians were even sus- 
picious of help from philanthropists because a man 
who had been head of the Russian bureau in the 
Department of Public Information and who had 
stood by the discredited Sisson letters, had after 
the discontinuance of the Department been trans- 
ferred to the Russian Section of the American Red 
Cross ; it was suspected that the Settlements even, 
although they were furnishing bail, might be in 
collusion with the Red Cross Society. 

I got a certain historic perspective, if not com- 
fort at least enlargement of view, by being able 
to compare our widespread panic in the United 
States about Russia to that which prevailed in 
England during and after the French Revolution. 
A flood of reactionary pamphlets, similar to those 
issued by our Security Leagues, had then filled 
England, teaching contempt of France and her 
"Liberty," urging confidence in English society 
as it existed and above all warning of the dangers 
of any change. Hatred of France, a passionate 
contentment with things as they were, and a dread 
of the lower classes, became characteristic of Eng- 
lish society. The French Revolution was continu- 
ally used as a warning, for in it could be seen the 
inevitable and terrible end of the first steps to- 
ward democracy. Even when the panic subsided 


the temper of society remained unchanged for 
years, so that in the English horror of any kind 
of revolution, the struggle of the hand-loom 
weaver in an agony of adjustment to the changes 
of machine industry, appeared as a menace against 
an innocent community. 

Was this attitude of the English gentry long 
since dead, being repeated in our so-called upper 
classes, especially among people in professional 
and financial circles ? Among them and their fam- 
ilies war work opened a new type of activity, more 
socialized in form than many of them had ever 
known before, and it also gave an outlet to their 
higher emotions. In the minds of many good 
men and women the war itself thus became associ- 
ated with all that was high and fine and patriotism 
received the sanction of a dogmatic religion which 
would brook no heretical difference of opinion. 
Added to this, of course, were the millions of peo- 
ple throughout the country who were actually in 
the clutches of those unknown and subhuman 
forces which may easily destroy the life of man- 
kind. A scholar has said of them, "morally it 
would seem that these forces are not better but 
less good than mankind, for man at least loves and 
pities and tries to understand." Such forces may 
have been responsible for the mob violence which 
broke out for a time against alien enemies and 
so-called "traitors," or it may have been merely 


the unreason, the superstition, the folly and in- 
justice of the old "law of the herd." There was 
possibly still another factor in the situation in re- 
gard to Russia, the acid test, a touch of the 
peculiar bitterness evolved during a strike where 
property interests are assailed. That typical 
American, William Allen White, once wrote, "My 
idea of hell, is a place where every man owns a 
little property and thinks he is just about to lose 

Was the challenge which Russia threw down to 
the present economic system after all the factor 
most responsible for the unreasoning panic which 
seemed to hold the nation in its grip, or was it that 
the war spirit, having been painstakingly evolved 
by the united press of the civilized world, could not 
easily be exorcised? The way had made obvious 
the sheer inability of the world to prevent terroi 
and misery. It had been a great revelation oJ 
feebleness, as if weakness, ignorance and over-| 
weening nationalism had combined to produce' 
something much more cruel than any calculated 
cruelty could have been. Was the universal 
happiness which seemed to envelop the United 
States as well as Europe an inevitable aftermath 
of war? 

So far as we had anticipated any contribution 
from the non-resistant Russian peasant to the 
cause of Universal Peace, the events in militarized 


Russia during the years after the war threw us into 
black despair. Not only had the Bolshevist lead- 
ers produced one of the largest armies in Europe, 
but disquieting rumors came out of Russia that 
in order to increase production in their time of 
need the government had been conscripting men 
both for industry and transportation. It was 
quite possible that the Russian revolutionists were 
making the same mistake in thus forging a new 
tool for their own use which earlier revolution- 
ists had made when they invented universal mili- 
tary conscription. An example of the failure of 
trying to cast out the devil by Beezlebub, it had 
been used as a temporary expedient when the 
first French revolutionists were fighting "the 
world," but had gradually become an established 
thing, and in the end was the chief implement of 
reaction. It alone has thrown Europe back tre- 
mendously, entailing an ever-increasing cost of 
military establishment and consequent increased 
withdrawal of manpower from the processes of 
normal living. The proportion of soldiers in 
Europe has enormously increased since the middle 
ages; then out of every thousand men four were 
soldiers, now out of every thousand men a hundred 
and twenty to a hundred and fifty are soldiers. 
These were the figures before the great war. 

Even the League of Nations, during the first 
year of its existence brought little comfort. Inci- 


dent to the irritating and highly individualistic 
position which the pacifist was forced to assume 
throughout the war, was the difficulty of combin- 
ing with his old friends and colleagues in efforts 
for world organization which seemed so reason- 
able. Before I went to The Hague in the spring 
of 1915 I had known something of Mr. Hamil- 
ton Holt's plan to organize a league whose propa- 
ganda should relegate the use of military force 
to an international police service. It was while we 
were at The Hague that the great meeting was 
held in Independence Hall in Philadelphia and the 
League to Enforce Peace was organized. The 
program did not attempt to outlaw war but would 
allow it only under certain carefully defined con- 
ditions. It was difficult to resist an invitation to 
join the new league, and I refused only because its 
liberal concessions as to the use of warfare seemed 
to me to add to the dislocation of the times, al- 
ready so out of joint. Had I yielded to my join- 
ing impulse I should certainly have been obliged 
to resign later. The League to Enforce Peace 
held a meeting in New York City soon after the 
United States had entered the war and put forth a 
program hard to reconcile even with its first state- 
ment of principles. But after the armistice had 
been signed, at a meeting held in Madison, Wis- 
consin, in the winter of 1919, their clear statement 
of a League of Nations program brought to their 


banner many of the doubtful, myself among 

The later winter and spring of 1919 afforded 
a wonderful opportunity to talk about the League 
of Nations. It was all in the making and we, its 
advocates, had the world before us with which to 
illustrate "the hopes of mankind." Among my 
audiences in the half dozen states in which I lec- 
tured there would often be a Pole who rejoiced 
that after a hundred and fifty years of oppression 
Poland would be free; an Italian longing impa- 
tiently to welcome back Italia Irredenta; a Bo- 
hemian exulting that the long struggle of his fel- 
low-countrymen had at last reached success; an 
Armenian who saw the end of Turkish rule. Con- 
scious at moments that all this portended perhaps 
too much nationalism, I could only assure myself 
and an audience absorbed in animated discussion, 
that such a state of mind was inevitable after war, 
and would doubtless find its place in the plans 
being developed in Paris. 

I had a sharp reminder in the midst of this hal- 
cyon period of hope and expectation that a pacifist 
could not acceptably talk even of the terms of 
peace to those who most ardently promoted the 
war. I had accepted an invitation from a pro- 
gram committee to address one of the long estab- 
lished woman's organizations of Chicago upon the 
League of Nations, only to find that there was a 


sharp division within the membership as to the 
propriety of allowing a pacifist to appear before 
them. The president and the board valiantly 
stood by the invitation and the address was finally 
given on the date announced to the half of the club 
and their friends who were willing to hear. But 
the incident gave me a curious throw-back into a 
state of mind I was fast leaving behind me, and 
although fortunately a day or two later I spoke 
in Chicago under the direct auspices of the League 
to Enforce Peace with ex-President Taft presid- 
ing, which I afterward learned somewhat restored 
me among the doubting, I concluded that to the 
very end pacifists will occasionally realize that 
they have been permanently crippled in their 
natural and friendly relations to their fellow 

The League of Nations afforded an opportu- 
nity for wide difference of opinion in every group. 
The Woman's Peace Party held its annual meet- 
ing in Chicago in the spring of 1920 and found our 
Branches fairly divided upon the subject. The 
Boston branch had followed the leadership of 
the League to Enforce Peace throughout the year 
and after the Madison meeting others had also, 
always with the notable exception of the Phila- 
delphia branch, composed largely of clear-sighted 
Quakers and of two other branches which were 
more radical. The difference of opinion was 


limited always as to the existing League and never 
for a moment did anyone doubt the need for con- 
tinued effort to bring about an adequate inter- 
national organization. Some of our members co- 
operated with the League of Free Nations Asso- 
ciation (now the Foreign Policies Association) 
which had been organized by liberals in order to 
keep the democratic war aims before the public. 
Even when peacemaking was going forward at 
Versailles the association pointed out vulnerable 
points in the draft at cost of being roundly de- 

We all believed that the ardor and self sacrifice 
so characteristic of youth could be enlisted for the 
vitally energetic role required to inaugurate a 
new type of international life in the world. We 
realized that it is only the ardent spirits, the lovers 
of mankind, who can break down the suspicion and 
lack of understanding which have so long pre- 
vented the changes upon which international good 
order depend. These men of good will we be- 
lieved, would at last create a political organization 
enabling nations to secure without war those high 
ends which they had vainly although so gallantly 
sought to obtain upon the battlefield. 



DURING the first year of the League of Nations, 
there were times when we felt that the govern- 
ments must develope a new set of motives and of 
habits, certainly a new personnel before they 
would be able to create a genuine League; that 
the governmental representatives were fumbling 
awkwardly at a new task for which their previous 
training in international relations had absolutely 
unfitted them. 

In a book entitled "International Government" 
put out by the Fabian Society, its author, Leonard 
Woolf, demonstrates the super-caution govern- 
ments traditionally exhibit in regard to all foreign 
relationships even when under the pressure of 
great human needs. The illustrations I remember 
most distinctly were the "International Diplo- 
matic Conferences" following epidemics of chol- 
era in Europe between 1851 and 1892. Five times 
these Conferences, convened in haste and dread, 
adjourned without action, largely because each, 

nation was afraid to delegate any power to an- 



other, lest national sovereignty be impaired. The 
last European epidemic of cholera broke out in 
1892. Even then national prestige and other ab- 
stractions dear to the heart of the diplomat con- 
fined the quarantine regulations, signed by thirteen 
states, to ships passing through the Suez Canal, 
the governments hoping thus to provide a barrier 
against disease at the point where the streams 
of pilgrim traffic and Asiatic trading crossed each 
other. Mr. Woolf points out that if the state 
had any connection with the people, it was cer- 
tainly of vital interest that cholera should not be 
allowed to spread into Europe; but that these 
genuine human interests were sacrificed to a so- 
called foreign policy, to "a reputation for finesse 
and diplomatic adroitness, confined to a tiny circle 
of government diplomats." In the meantime the 
pragmatic old world had gone on its way, and be- 
cause there was developing a new sense of respon- 
sibility for public health, scientists and doctors 
from many nations had become organized into 
International Associations. In fact there were 
so many of these, that a "Permanent International 
Commission of the International Congresses of 
Medicine" was finally established. Such organiza- 
tions were doing all sorts of things about cholera, 
while the governments under which they lived 
were afraid to act together because each so highly 
prized its national sovereignty. 


Did something of this spirit, still surviving, in- 
evitably tend to inhibit action among the repre- 
sentatives of the nations first collected under the 
auspices of the League of Nations, and will the 
League ever be able to depend upon nationalism 
even multiplied by forty-eight or sixty? Must not 
the League evoke a human motive transcending 
and yet embracing all particularist nationalisms, 
before it can function with validity? 

During the first year of the League the popular 
enthusiasm seemed turned into suspicion, the com- 
mon man distrusted the League because it was so 
indifferent to the widespread misery and starva- 
tion of the world; because in point of fact it did 
not end war and was so slow to repair its ravages 
and to return its remote prisoners; because it so 
cautiously refused to become the tentative instru- 
ment of the longed for new age. Certainly its 
constitution and early pronouncements were disap- 
pointing. During the first months of its existence 
the League of Nations, apparently ignoring the 
social conditions of Europe and lacking the incen- 
tives which arise from developing economic re- 
sources had fallen back upon the political concepts 
of the 1 8th century, more abstractly noble than 
our own perhaps, but frankly borrowed and there- 
fore failing both in fidelity and endurance. 

It may be necessary, as has been said, to turn 
the State and its purposes into an idealistic ab- 


straction before men are willing to fight to the 
death for it, but it was all the more necessary after 
the war to come back as quickly as possible to 
normal motives, to the satisfaction of simple 
human needs. It was imperative that there 
should be a restored balance in human relation- 
ships, an avoidance of all the dangers which an 
overstrained idealism fosters. 

This return should have been all the easier be- 
cause during the world war, literally millions of 
people had stumbled into a situation where "those 
great cloud banks of ancestral blindness weighing 
down upon human nature" seemed to have lifted 
for a moment and they became conscious of an un- 
expected sense of relief, as if they had returned to 
a state of primitive well-being. The old tribal 
sense of solidarity, of belonging to the whole, was 
enormously revived by the war when the strain of 
a common danger brought the members, not only 
of one nation but of many nations, into a new 
realization of solidarity and of a primitive inter- 
dependence. In the various armies and later 
among the civilian populations, two of men's 
earliest instincts which had existed in age-long 
companionship became widely operative; the first 
might be called security from attack, the second 
security from starvation. Both of them origin- 
ated in tribal habits and the two motives are still 
present in some form in all governments. 


Throughout the war the first instinct was util- 
ized to its fullest possibility by every device of 
propaganda when one nation after another was 
mobilizing for a "purely defensive war." 

The second, which might be called security from 
starvation became the foundation of the great or- 
ganizations for feeding the armies and for con- 
serving and distributing food supplies among 
civilian populations. 

The suggestion was inevitable that if the first 
could so dominate the world that ten million 
young men were ready to spend their lives in its 
assertion, surely something might be done with 
the second, also on an international scale, to re- 
make destroyed civilization. 

Throughout their period of service in the army, 
a multitude of young men experienced a primitive 
relief and healing because they had lost that sense 
of separateness, which many of them must have 
cordially detested, the consciousness that they 
were living differently from the mass of their fel- 
lows. As he came home, one returned soldier 
after another trying to explain why he found it 
hard to settle back into his previous life, ex- 
pressed more or less coherently that he missed the 
sense of comradeship, of belonging to a mass of 
men. Doubtless the moment of attack, of danger 
shared in such wise that the life of each man was 
absolutely dependent upon his comrade's courage 


and steadfastness, were the moments of his high- 
est consciousness of solidarity, but on the other 
hand he must have caught an expression of it at 
other times. The soldier knew, that as a mere 
incident to his great cause, he was being fed and 
billeted, and the sharing of such fare as the army 
afforded in simple comradeship, doubtless also 
gave him a sense of absolute unity. Although the 
returned men did not talk very freely of their ex- 
periences, one gradually confirmed what the news- 
papers and magazines were then reporting, that 
the returned soldiers were restless and unhappy. 
I remember one Sunday afternoon when Hull- 
House gave a reception to the members of the 
Hull-House Band, who with their leader had been 
the nucleus of the I49th Field Artillery Band, 
serving in France and later in Coblenz, that the 
young men, obviously glad to be at home, were yet 
curiously ill-adjusted to the old conditions. They 
haltingly described the enthusiasm of mass action, 
the unquestioning comradeship of identical aims 
which army experiences had brought them. 

Throughout the war something of the same en- 
thusiasm had come to be developed in regard to 
feeding the world. It also became unnatural for 
an individual to stand outside of the wide-spread 
effort to avert starvation. He was overwhelmed 
with a sense of mal-adjustment, of positive wrong- 
doing if he stressed at that moment the slowly ac- 


quired and substitute virtue of self support, and 
he even found it difficult to urge the familiar ex- 
cuse of family obligation which had for so long a 
time been considered adequate. 

This combination of sub-conscious memories 
and a keen realization of present day needs, over- 
whelmed many civilians when the grim necessity 
of feeding millions of soldiers and of relieving the 
bitter hunger of entire populations in remote 
countries, was constantly with them. The neces- 
sity for rationing stirred that comradeship which 
is expressed by a common table, and also healed a 
galling consciousness on the part of many people 
that they were consuming too much while fellow 
creatures were starving. 

Did soldiers and civilians alike roll off a burden 
of conscious difference endured from ancestral 
days, even from simian groups which preceded the 
human tribes? In their earlier days men so lived 
that each member of the tribe shared such food 
and safety as were possible to the whole. Does 
the sense of burden endured since imply that in the 
break-up of the tribe and of the patriarchal family, 
human nature has lost something essential to its 
happiness? The great religious teachers may 
have attempted to restore it when they have 
preached the doctrine of sharing the life of the 
meanest and of renouncing all until the man at 
the bottom is fed. 


For the moment, at least, two of the old tribal 
virtues were in the ascendancy and the fascination 
of exercising them was expressed equally by the 
Red Cross worker who felt as if she "had never 
really lived before" and actually dreaded to re- 
sume her pre-war existence, and the returned sol- 
dier who had discovered such a genuine comrade- 
ship that he pronounced the old college esprit de 
corps tame by contrast. 

Human nature, in spite of its marvelous adapt- 
ability, has never quite fitted its back to the moral 
strain involved in the knowledge that fellow 
creatures are starving. In one generation this 
strain subsides to an uneasy sense of moral dis- 
comfort, in another it rises to a consciousness of 
moral obliquity; it has lain at the basis of many 
religious communities and social experiments, and 
in our own generation is finding extreme expres- 
sion in governmental communism. In the face of 
the widespread famine, following the devastation 
of war, it was inevitable that those political and 
social institutions which prevented the adequate 
production and distribution of food should be 
sharply challenged. Hungry men asked them- 
selves why such a situation should exist, when the 
world was capable of producing a sufficient food 
supply. We forgot not only that the world itself 
had been profoundly modified by the war, but that 
the minds which appraise it had also been repolar- 


ized as they were forced to look at life from the 
point of view of primitive human needs. 

To different groups of men all over the world 
therefore the time had apparently now come to 
make certain that all human creatures should be 
insured against death by starvation. They did 
not so much follow the religious command as a 
primitive instinct to feed the hungry, although in 
a sense these economic experiments of our own 
time are but the counterpart of the religious ex- 
periments of another age. 

During the first months of so-called peace when 
everywhere in Europe the advantage shifted from 
the industrial town to the food-producing country, 
it seemed reasonable to believe that the existing 
governments, from their war experiences in the 
increased production and distribution of foods, 
might use the training of war to meet the great 
underlying demand reasonably and quickly. In 
point of fact, during the first year after the war, 
five European cabinets fell, due largely to the 
grinding poverty resulting from the prolonged 
war. Two of these governments fell avowedly 
over the sudden rise in the price of bread which 
had been subsidized and sold at a fraction of its 

The demand for food was recognized and ac- 
knowledged as in a great measure valid, but it was 
being met in piecemeal fashion while a much 


needed change in the world's affairs threatened to 
occur under the leadership of men driven desper- 
ate by hunger. In point of fact, the demand could 
only be met adequately if the situation were 
treated on an international basisj the nations work- 
ing together whole-heartedly to fulfill a world ob- 
ligation. If from the very first the League of 
Nations could have performed an act of faith 
which marked it at once as the instrument of a 
new era, if it had evinced the daring to meet new 
demands which could have been met in no other 
way, then, and then only would it have become the 
necessary instrumentality to carry on the enlarged 
life of the world and would have been recognized 
as indispensable. 

Certain it is that for two years after the war 
the League of Nations was in dire need of an 
overmastering motive forcing it to function and to 
justify itself to an expectant world, even to endear 
itself to its own adherents. As the war had 
demonstrated how much stronger is the instinct 
of self-defense than any motives for a purely 
private good, so one dreamed that the period of 
commercial depression following the war might 
make clear the necessity for an appeal to the much 
wider and profounder instinct responsible for con- 
serving human life. 

In the first years after the cessation of the great 
war there was all over the world a sense of loss in 


motive power, the consciousness that there was no 
driving force equal to that furnished by the hero- 
ism and self-sacrifice so lately demanded. The 
great principles embodied in the League of Na- 
tions, rational and even appealing though they 
were, grew vague in men's minds because it was 
difficult to make them objective. There seemed 
no motive for their immediate utilization. But 
what could have afforded a more primitive, genu- 
ine and abiding motive than feeding the peoples of 
the earth on an international scale, utilizing all 
the courage and self-sacrifice evolved by the war. 
All that international administration which per- 
formed such miracles of production in the prosecu- 
tion of the war was defined by the British Labor 
Party at its annual conference in 1919 as "a world- 
government actually in being which should be 
made the beginnings of a constructive international 

The British Labor Party, therefore, recom- 
mended three concrete measures apart from the 
revision of the Peace Treaty, as follows: 

1. A complete raising of the blockade 


2. Granting CREDITS to enemy and to liber- 
ated countries alike, to enable them to obtain food 
and raw materials sufficient to put them in a posi- 
tion where they can begin to help themselves. 


3. Measures for the special relief of children 
EVERYWHERE, without regard to the political 
allegiance of their parents. 

How simple and adequate these three recom- 
mendations were and yet how far-reaching in their 
consequences ! They would first of all have com- 
pelled the promoters of the League to drop the 
1 8th century phrases in which diplomatic inter- 
course is conducted, and to substitute plain eco- 
nomic terms fitted to the matter in hand. Such a 
course would have forced them to an immediate 
discussion of credit for reconstruction purposes, 
the need of an internationally guaranteed loan, 
the function of a recognized international Eco- 
nomic Council for the control of food stuffs and 
raw material, the world-wide fuel shortage, the 
effect of mal-nutrition on powers of production, 
the irreparable results of "hunger oedema." 

The situation presented material for that gen- 
uine and straightforward statesmanship which was 
absolutely essential to the feeding of Europe's 
hungry children. An atmosphere of discussion 
and fiery knowledge of current conditions as re- 
vealed by war, once established, the promoters of 
the League would experience "the zeal, the tingle, 
the excitement of reality" which the League so 
sadly lacked. The promoters of the League had 


unhappily assumed that the rights of the League 
are anterior to and independent of its functioning, 
forgetting that men are instinctively wary in ac- 
cepting at their face value high-sounding claims 
which cannot justify themselves by achievement, 
and that in the long run "authority must go with 
function." They also ignored the fact that the 
stimuli they were utilizing failed to evoke an 
adequate response for this advanced form of 
human effort. 

The adherents of the League often spoke as if 
they were defending a too radical document 
whereas it probably failed to command wide- 
spread confidence because it was not radical 
enough, because it clung in practice at least to the 
old self-convicted diplomacy. But the common 
man in a score of nations could not forget that this 
diplomacy had failed to avert a war responsible 
for the death of ten million soldiers, as many 
more civilians, with the loss of an unestimated 
amount of civilization goods, and that all the re- 
volutionary governments since the world began 
could not be charged with a more ghastly toll of 
human life and with a heavier destruction of 

During those months of uncertainty and anx- 
iety the governments responsible for the devasta- 
tions of a world war were unaccountably timid in 
undertaking restoration on the same scale, and 


persistently hesitated to discharge their obvious 

It was self-evident that if the League refused 
to become the instrument of a new order, all the 
difficult problems resulting, at least in their present 
acute form, from a world war, would be turned 
over to those who must advocate revolution in 
order to obtain the satisfaction of acknowledged 
human needs. It was deplorable that this great 
human experiment should be entrusted solely to 
those who must appeal to the desperate need of 
the hungry to feed themselves, whereas this de- 
mand, in its various aspects seemed to afford a 
great controlling motive in the world at the pres- 
ent moment, as political democracy, as religious 
freedom, had moved the world at other times. 

There were many occasions during the first year 
of the League's existence when the necessity for 
such action was fairly forced upon its attention. 

At Paris, in May, 1920, when the association of 
Red Cross societies was organized, committing 
itself to the fight against tuberculosis, to a well 
considered program of Child Welfare and to 
other humanitarian measures for devastated 
Europe, a letter was received from Mr. Balfour 
on behalf of the League of Nations. He made 
an eloquent appeal for succor against the disease 
afflicting the war worn and underfed populations 
of central and western Europe. The Association 


of Red Cross Societies replied that it was the 
starving man who most readily contracts ajnd 
spreads disease, and that only if the Allied gov- 
ernments supplied loans to these unhappy nations 
could food and medical supplies be secured; that 
according to a report made recently to them, 
" 'There were found everywhere never-ending 
vicious circles of political paradox and economic 
complication, with consequent paralysis of na- 
tional life and industry.' ' This diagnosis gave a 
clue to the situation, indicating that the League of 
Nations must abandon its political treatment of 
war worn Europe and consider the starving people 
as its own concrete problem. The recognition of 
this obvious moral obligation and a generous at- 
tempt to fulfill it, even to the point if need be of 
losing the life of the League, might have resulted 
in the one line of action which would most quickly 
have saved it. If the coal, the iron, the oil and 
above all the grain had been distributed under in- 
ternational control from the first day of the 
armistice, Europe might have escaped the starva- 
tion from which she suffered for months. The 
League could actually have laid the foundations 
of that type of government towards which the 
world is striving and in which it is so persistently 

The great stumbling block in the way of an 
earlier realization of this dream of a League of 


Peace has been what is the crux of its actual sur- 
vival now, the difficulty in interpreting it to the 
understanding of the common man, grounding it 
in his affections, appealing to his love for human 
kind. To such men, who after all compose the 
bulk of the citizens in every nation participating 
in the League, the abstract politics of it make little 
appeal, although they would gladly contribute 
their utmost to feed the starving. Two and a 
half million French trade unionists regularly taxed 
themselves for the children of Austria ; the British 
Labor Party insisted that the British foreign 
policy should rest "upon a humane basis, really 
caring for all mankind, including colored men, 
women and children;" and the American Federa- 
tion of Labor declared its readiness to "give a 
mighty service in a common effort for all human 
kind." So far as the working man in any country 
expressed himself, it was always in this direction. 
Perhaps it was unfair to expect so much in the 
first years after the establishment of the League, 
when it was crippled by the uncertain attitude of 
the United States. But all the more its friends 
longed to find, or rather to release, some basic 
human emotion which should bring together men 
of good-will on both sides of the Atlantic. A 
close observer of the Paris Peace Conference had 
said that it was an extraordinary fact that starv- 
ing Europe was the one subject upon which it had 


been impossible to engage the attention of the 
"big four" throughout their long deliberations. 
Yet in the popular discussions of the functions of 
the League the feeding of the people appeared 
constantly like an unhappy ghost that would not 

While the first year of the League held much 
that was discouraging for its advocates, the firs! 
meeting of the Assembly convened in Geneva in 
November, 1920, resolved certain doubts and re- 
moved certain inhibitions from the minds of many 
of us. The Assembly demonstrated that after 
all it was possible for representatives from the 
nations of the earth to get together in order to dis- 
cuss openly, freely, kindly for the most part, and 
even unselfishly, the genuine needs of the world. 
In spite of the special position of the Great 
Powers, this meeting of the Assembly had so in- 
creased the moral prestige of the League of Na- 
tions that it was reasonable to believe that an ar- 
ticulate world-opinion would eventually remove 
the treaty entanglements which threatened to 
frustrate the very objects of the League. The 
small nations, represented by such men as Nansen 
and Branting, not by insistence on the doctrine of 
the sovereignty and equality of states, but through 
sheer devotion to world interests, were making the 
League effective and certainly more democratic. 
Perhaps these representatives were acting, not 


only from their own preferences or even convict- 
ions, but also from the social impact upon them, 
from the momentum of life itself. 

In many ways the first meeting of the Assembly 
had been like the beginning of a new era, and it 
seemed possible that the public discussion, the 
good-will, and the international concern, must 
eventually affect the European situation. 

During the following year the League of Na- 
tions itself inaugurated and carried out many 
measures which might be designated as purely 
humanitarian. In the "Report to the Second 
Assembly of the League on the Work of the 
Council and on the measures taken to execute the 
decisions of the First Assembly" in Geneva on 
September yth, 1921, under the heading of Gen- 
eral International Activities of the League was 
the following list : 

C. i. The repatriation of prisoners. 

C. 2. The relief of Russian refugees. 

C. 3. General relief work in Europe. 

C. 4. The protection of children. 

Under "the measures taken in execution of the 
resolutions and recommendation of the As- 
sembly," in addition to the reports of the Health 
Organizations, were others such as the campaign 
against typhus in Eastern Europe, and the relief 
of children in countries affected by the war. From 


one aspect these activities were all in the nature 
of repairing the ravages of the Great War, but 
it was obvious that further undertakings of the 
League must be greatly influenced and directed by 
these early human efforts. 

The International Labor Organization, from 
the first such a hopeful part of the League of Na- 
tions, had just concluded as we reached Geneva in 
August 1921, a conference upon immigration and 
possible protective measures which the present 
situation demanded. For many years I had been 
a Vice President of the American Branch of the 
International Association for Labour Legislation 
and had learned only too well how difficult it was 
to secure equality of conditions for the labor of 
immigrants. The most touching interviews I 
have ever had upon the League of Nations had 
been with simple immigrants in the neighborhood 
of Hull-House, who had many times expressed 
the hope that the League might afford some ade- 
quate protection to migratory workmen, to the 
Italian for instance, who begins harvesting the 
crops south of the equator and, following the 
ripening grain through one country after another, 
finally arrives in Manitoba or the Dakotas. He 
often finds himself far from consular offices, en- 
counters untold difficulties, sometimes falling into 
absolute peonage. 

It was interesting to have the International 


Labour Organization declare in its report that the 
two great "peoples" who had first recognized the 
large part the Office might play in conciliation and 
protection were ( i ) the Shipowners and Seamen, 
as had been shown by the conference at Genoa, 
and (2) "the immense people of immigrants, the 
masses who, uprooted from their homelands, ask 
for some measure of security and protection ap- 
plicable to all countries and supervised by an in- 
ternational authority." 

There was something very reassuring in this 
plain dealing with homely problems with which I 
had been so long familiar. I had always been 
ready to admit that "the solemn declaration of 
principles which serve to express the unanimity of 
the aspirations of humanity have immense value," 
but this was something more concrete, as were 
other efforts on the part of the Office to defend 
labor throughout the world and to push forward 
adequate legislation on their behalf. 

In the reaction, which had gained such headway 
during the two years of peace, against the gener- 
ous hopes for a better world order the Interna- 
tional Labour Organization as well as the League 
of Nations was encountering all the hazards of a 
great social experiment. We could but hope that 
the former might gain some backing from the in- 
ternational congress, to be held in October, 1921, 


of working women, bringing their enthusiasms 
and achievements from all parts of the world. 

The food challenge was put up fairly and 
squarely to the Second meeting of the Assembly 
of the League of Nations by the Russian famine 
due to the prolonged drought of 1921. A meet- 
ing to consider the emergency had been called in 
Geneva in August, under the joint auspices of the 
International Red Cross and the League of Red 
Cross Societies. We were able to send a repre- 
sentative to it from our Woman's International 
League almost directly from our Third Interna- 
tional Congress in Vienna. There was every pos- 
sibility for using the dire situation in Russia for 
political ends, both by the Soviet Government 
and by those offering relief. On the other hand, 
there was a chance that these millions of starving 
people, simply because their need was so colossal 
that any other agency would be pitifully inade- 
quate, would receive help directly from many gov- 
ernments, united in a mission of good-will. It was 
a situation which might turn men's minds from 
war and a disastrous peace to great and simple 
human issues; in such an enterprise the govern- 
ments would "realize the failure of national co- 
ercive power for indispensable ends like food for 
the people," they would come to a cooperation 
born of the failure of force. 


Dr. Fridjof Nansen, appointed high commis- 
sioner at the Red Cross meeting in August, after a 
survey of the Russian Famine regions returned to 
Geneva for the opening of the Assembly on 
September 5th, in which he represented Norway, 
with a preliminary report of Russian conditions. 
He made a noble plea, which I was privileged to 
hear, that the delegates in the Assembly should 
urge upon their governments national loans which 
should be adequate to furnish the gigantic sums 
necessary to relieve twenty-five million starving 

As I listened to this touching appeal on behalf 
of the helpless I was stirred to a new hope for the 
League. I believed that, although it may take 
years to popularize the principles of international 
cooperation, it is fair to remember that citizens of 
all the nations have already received much instruc- 
tion in world-religions. To feed the hungry on an 
international scale might result not only in saving 
the League but in that world-wide religious re- 
vival which, in spite of many predictions during 
and since the war, had as yet failed to come. It 
was evident in the meeting of the Assembly that 
Dr. Nansen had the powerful backing of the 
British delegates as well as others, and it was 
therefore a matter for unexpected as well as for 
bitter disappointment when his plea was finally 


denied. This denial was made at the very mo- 
ment when the Russian peasants, in the center of 
the famine district, although starving, piously ab- 
stained from eating the seed grain and said to each 
other as they scattered it over the ground for their 
crop of winter wheat; "We must sow the grain 
although we shall not live to see it sprout." 

Did the delegates in the Assembly still retain 
the national grievances and animosities so para- 
mount when the League of Nations was organized 
in Paris or were they dominated by a fear and 
hatred of Bolshevism and a panic lest the feeding 
of Russian peasants should in some wise aid the 
purposes of Lenine's government? Again I re- 
flected that these men of the Assembly, as other 
men, were still held apart by suspicion and fear, 
which could only be quenched by motives lying 
deeper than those responsible for their sense of 

This sense of human solidarity for the moment 
seemed most readily obtained by men leading 
lives of humble toil and self-denial, as if they 
might teach a war-weary world that the religious 
revival which alone would be able to fuse together 
the hostile nations, could never occur unless there 
were first a conviction of sin, a repentance for 
the war itself! As long as men contended that 
the war was "necessary" or "inevitable" the world 


could not hope for a manifestation of that re- 
ligious impulse which feeds men solely and only 
because they are hungry. 

A genuine Society of Nations may finally be 
evolved by millions of earth's humblest toilers, 
whose lives are consumed in securing the daily 
needs of existence for themselves and their 
families. They go stumbling towards the light of 
better international relations, driven forward 
because "Man is constantly seeking a new and 
finer adjustment between his inner emotional de- 
mands and the practical arraiigemehts of the 
world in which he lives." 



OUR Third International Congress was held at 
Vienna in July, 1921, almost exactly two years 
after the Peace of Versailles had been signed. 
This third Congress was of necessity unlike the 
other two in tension and temper and in some re- 
spects more difficult. At the first one, held at 
The Hague in 1915, women came together not 
only to make a protest against war but to 
present suggestions for consideration at the final 
Peace Conference, which, as no one could forsee 
the duration of the war, everyone then believed 
might be held within a few months. The second 
Congress was held in Zurich in 1919 and, while 
there was open disappointment over the terms of 
the Treaty, the Peace Commission was still sitting 
in Paris, and it was believed not only that the 
terms would be modified but that the constitution 
of the League of Nations would be developed and 
ennobled. Both of the earlier Congresses there- 
fore were hopeful in the sense that the better in- 
ternational relationships which were widely sup- 
posed to be attained at the end of the war, were 



still in the making. The third Congress was con- 
vened in Vienna, which, as we realized, had suf- 
fered bitterly both from the war and the terms of 
Peace. The women from the thirty countries 
represented there had been sorely disillusioned by 
their experiences during the two years of peace, 
and each group inevitably reflected something of 
the hopelessness and confusion which had char- 
acterized Europe since the war. Nevertheless 
these groups of women were united in one thing. 
They all alike had come to realize that every 
crusade, every beginning of social change, must 
start from small numbers of people convinced of 
the righteousness of a cause; that the coming to- 
gether of convinced groups is a natural process 
of growth. Our groups had come together in 
Vienna hoping to receive the momentum and sense 
of validity which results from encountering like- 
minded people from other countries and to tell 
each other how far we had been able to translate 
conviction into action. The desire to perform the 
office of reconciliation, to bring something of heal- 
ing to the confused situation, and to give an im- 
pulse towards more normal relations between dif- 
fering nations, races and classes, was evident from 
the first meeting of the Congress. This latter 
was registered in the various proposals, such as 
that founded upon experiences of the last year, 
that peace missions composed of women of differ- 


ent nations should visit the borders still in a dis- 
turbed condition and also the countries in which 
war had never really ceased. 

There was constant evidence that the food 
blockade maintained in some instances long after 
the war, had outraged a primitive instinct of 
women almost more than the military operations 
themselves had done. Women had felt an actual 
repulsion against the slow starvation, the general 
lowering in the health and resistance of entire 
populations, the anguish of the millions of 
mothers who could not fulfill the primitive obliga- 
tion of keeping their children alive. There was a 
certain sternness of attitude concerning political 
conditions which so wretchedly affected woman's 
age-long business of nurturing children, as if 
women had realized as never before what war 

In spite of the pressure of these questions the 
first public meeting was a memorial to Baroness 
von Suttner, whose remarkable book "Ground 
Arms" had had a wide reading rivalled by no 
other book perhaps, save "Uncle Tom's Cabin." 
The book had been an important factor in the 
history of European militarism and its Austrian 
author had been honored in many lands. 

The first business sessions of the Congress con- 
cerned themselves with the age-old question of 
education. An extraordinarily illuminating di- 


vergence developed from the conflicting experi- 
ence of Germany and Austria; speakers from Ger- 
many attributed Germany's readiness for war 
largely to their own state monopoly of education, 
which had, for fifty years, consistently fostered 
militarism. Austrian women, on the contrary, in 
whose country one of the most precious gains of 
the revolution is the transfer of the schools from 
ecclesiastical authority to the control of the secu- 
larized state, overflowed with untried confidence 
in their newly acquired power as citizens. Among 
them was the woman member of the National 
Department of Education. This discussion was 
but one of many indications that the delegates 
represented nations in various stages of political 
and social development. At moments we seemed 
to be discussing the same question from the ex- 
periences of its decadent end and its promising be- 
ginnings, as if the delegates to the Congress repre- 
sented the point of view both of the university and 
of the kindergarten. Partly Because the meeting 
was held in Vienna, and partly because the Inter- 
national Secretary, Miss Balch, had recently trav- 
elled in the Balkan States in the interests of our 
League, a large number of women came from the 
immediate territory. Miss Balch, years before 
when collecting material for her book entitled 
"Our Slavic Fellowcitizens," had made many 
friends in Southeastern Europe and because they 


appreciated the unusual insight with which she 
had portrayed the situation then, they were 
ready to trust her again. Some of them, from 
Greece, Bulgaria, Poland and the Ukraine, repre- 
sented organized branches of the League. Other 
groups were from "minorities" in the newly an- 
nexed territories, who frankly came in search of 
aid, hoping to gain some international recognition 
and support from even so small and unofficial a 
Congress as our own. There was an interesting 
group from Croatia, whose reports of the pacifist 
movement among the Croatian peasants were most 
impressive, especially one given by the daughter 
of Radek, the leader of the movement he be- 
lieved destined to reassert the non-resistant char- 
acter of the Slav. The Saxon group from the 
part of Transylvania which had lately been given 
over to Roumania, reported religious difficulties; 
the relation between Bulgaria and Greece with 
reference to the transfer of nationalities under the 
League of Nations plan was set forth by women 
from both countries. At the evening meeting 
these various minorities, fourteen in all, stated 
their own cases and resolutions were presented 
only after the substance had been agreed upon by 
representatives of both nations involved. Thus 
the Polish and German women agreed on a resolu- 
tion about Upper Silesia, the English and Irish 
delegates on the Irish question. Touching ad- 


dresses were made for the Armenians, for the 
Zionists and, by a colored woman from the United 
States, on behalf of her own people who were not 
nominally a minority, although they often suffered 
as such. This evening's program cohered with 
the discussion: "How can a population, feeling 
that it is suffering from injustice, strive to right its 
wrongs without violence?" There was a very 
sympathetic report of the Ghandi movement given 
by Miss Picton Turberville, who had lived in 
India and who preached the following Sunday for 
our Congress in the English Church in Vienna. 
We were also told of a remarkable group center- 
ing about Bilthoven in Holland, with some detail 
as to how Norway and Sweden had accomplished 
their separation without bloodshed, and of the 
earlier non-resistant phases of the Sinn Fein 
movement. Nearly every country represented by 
a delegation brought some report of the "non- 
military movement," in which large or smaller 
numbers of their fellow-citizens had pledged 
themselves to take no part in war or in its pre- 
paration. Four of our own branches, all of them 
in countries recently at war, had made this prom- 
ise of non-cooperation in war a test of member- 
ship in the national organizations. 

This was part of the revolt against the pre- 
cautions the governments of Europe were every- 
where taking in regard to pacifist teaching." Even 


neutral Switzerland had passed a measure in its 
Assembly, which was still however to be submitted 
to a referendum of the people, that anyone teach- 
ing a man of military age in such wise as to lessen 
his enthusiasm for military service should be liable 
to three years' imprisonment. A well-known 
theological professor in a Swiss University had re- 
signed on the ground that he could no longer ex- 
pound the doctrines of the New Testament to the 
men in his classes. Holland was considering simi- 
lar regulations, and even in those countries where 
universal military service was forbidden by the 
terms of the Peace Treaty, as in Hungary and 
Bavaria, the almost military rule temporarily 
established in both of them made any form of 
peace propaganda extremely dangerous. It was 
as if the war spirit itself had to be sustained by 
force, as if its own adherents were afraid of any 
open discussion of its moral bases and social im- 
plications. The military parties seemed more 
and more to confine their appeal to "the sense of 
security" and to use the old "fear of attack" 

We had a brilliant report on what our organiza- 
tion had been able to do from our Geneva head- 
quarters in connection with the League of 
Nations. This report was accepted with ap- 
proval authorizing a continuance of the same 
activity, but there was as usual a minority of the 


delegates who distrusted the imperialistic designs 
of the larger nations, and yet another group who 
believed that, while a useful agency for many in- 
ternational activities, the League of Nations could 
never secure peace until the most basic changes 
were made both in its purpose and personnel. So 
we once more took no official action regarding the 
League of Nations, but went on in a modus vi- 
vendi, allowing the greatest latitude to our Inter- 
national Headquarters and to our National 
Branches. On the other hand, the Dutch Section 
brought a carefully prepared indictment of the 
construction of the League and urged work for 
changes in the Treaty as a paramount obligation. 
The few Communists who were delegates to 
the Congress the word used in Europe in a some* 
what technical sense to designate the members of 
the Left in the Socialist Party were perhaps the 
most discouraged people there, because their 
movement in Russia and elsewhere had become so 
absolutely militaristic. Holding to their pacifist 
principles had cost them their standing in their 
own party. Although they may have "come 
high" to us so far as public opinion was concerned, 
no people in the world at that moment so needed 
the companionship which pacifist groups might 
give them: in the eyes of the bourgeoisie them- 
selves, no one could put pacifism into practice 
more beneficially for all Europe. These few 


Communist delegates were for the most part 
reasonable, but all of them were profoundly dis- 

The resolution which excited the most comment 
in the press, and which apparently aroused that 
white heat of interest attaching to any discussion, 
however remote, of property privileges, was in- 
troduced by a group who felt that, as we constantly 
urged the revolutionist to pacific methods and de- 
nounced violence between the classes as we did be- 
tween the nations, we should logically "work to 
awaken and strengthen among members of the 
possessing classes the earnest wish to transform 
the economic system in the direction of social 
justice." The methods suggested in the resolu- 
tion and voted upon subsequently were "by means 
of taxation, death duties and reform in land laws," 
all of them in operation in many of the countries 
represented in the Congress. The momentary 
sense of panic aroused by this reasonable discus- 
sion, was an indication of that unrestrained fear 
of Bolshevism encountered everywhere in Europe. 
It was hard to determine whether it was the idea 
itself which was so terrifying or the army of the 
Russian Bolshevists threatening to enforce a 
theory regardless of "consent." At any rate, a 
European public found it hard to believe that any- 
thing even remotely connected with private 
property could be discussed upon its merits and 


was convinced that the subject jnust have been in- 
troduced either by agents provocateurs, or by pro- 
pagandists paid with Russian money. The war 
propaganda had demonstrated to the world how 
possible it is "to put over" an opinion if enough 
ability and money are expended and Europeans 
thought they had learned to detect it. We un- 
doubtedly felt for an instant that icy breath of 
fear blowing through Europe from the mysterious 
steppes of Russia. 

Throughout the Congress we were conscious 
that peace theories turned into action won the com- 
plete admiration of the delegates as nothing else 
did. This was instanced when the Congress was 
eloquently addressed by a Belgian delegate, 
Madame Lucie Dejardin. She had been carried 
into Germany in January, 1915, and worked 
there in one camp after another, until, developing 
tuberculosis, she was invalided to Switzerland in 
July, 1918. Upon her return to Belgium she had 
organized an association of those who had been 
imprisoned in Germany, civilians as well as re- 
turned Belgian soldiers, that they might feed Ger- 
man and Austrian children. She reported to the 
Congress that the association had received 2,000 
of these children as guests in Belgium. She gave 
this information incidentally in the speech she was 
making to thank the various nations represented 
there for what they had done for the relief of her 


own compatriots. , This Belgian woman was, 
typical of many women who had touched bottom 
as it were in the valley of human sorrow and had 
found a spring of healing there. 

We found everywhere in Austria the impossible 
situation so often described as "a combination of 
concrete obstacles with psychological deterrents, 
all operating through a degraded and constantly 
falling currency." The effective ability in labor, 
business, domestic and intellectual life, had all 
sustained heavy damages through the war, 
through the blockade, through the Peace terms 
and through the post-war economic policy. All 
the people had been piteously reduced by priva- 
tions. The professional and artistic people had 
gradually lowered their standard of living to that 
below the health line. In addition the insolvency 
threatened to destroy the collective resources of 
culture and education: everywhere we were told 
that there was no money to buy books and periodi- 
cals for long-established libraries, that schools 
were closing, that orchestras were forced to dis- 
band. The students' feeding in various Universi- 
ties which we visited both in Austria and in the 
neighboring states seemed somewhat like the 
students' commons we are all accustomed to see 
in endowed institutions, but it was a distinct shock 
to be invited to a luncheon with distinguished 
professors who were also eating subsidized ra- 


tions. So many of these men were accepting posts 
elsewhere that Austria was threatened with the 
loss of her most brilliant scholars. 

There were many forms of relief throughout 
the city of Vienna. We naturally saw most of 
the American Relief Administration established 
by Mr. Hoover, and of the Friends' Service Com- 
mittee, with which several Hull-House residents 
were identified. The head of the latter, Dr. 
Hilda Clark, from England, had been in Vienna 
during the armistice and had brought back an 
early report of the children in whose behalf she 
had since organized a large unit of relief. This 
fed thousands of children below school age as 
well as groups of the aged in all classes of society 
who had poignantly felt that they had no right to 
live at the expense of food for the young. The 
Quakers were much beloved everywhere, as were 
other groups from all of the neutral, and many 
of the belligerent countries in Europe who were 
coming to the rescue of the Viennese children, 
taking them out of Austria even as far as northern 
Sweden that they might have better care and food. 
They were alleviating the situation in hundreds of 
ways although in spite of these united efforts only 
21 children out of a 100 were as yet approxi- 
mately normal. It was as if the world, aghast at 
what had happened to these children, was putting 


into the situation all the inventiveness and resource 
that human compassion could devise. Out of it 
was developing what might prove to be a new and 
higher standard for the care of children, one which 
might become a norm for the whole world to use. 
Dr. Pirquet's clinic, with its carefully devised tests 
for nutrition and growth, the thousands of school 
children fed by the A.R.A., with the attendant 
medical examination, the huge barracks every- 
where turned into sanatoria for tubercular and 
convalescent children, all suggested a higher 
standard of public care than that obtained in any 
other city. Even the educational requirements 
seemed pushed forward by the dire experience ; I 
have never heard children sing more beautifully, 
nor seen them dance with more grace and charm, 
than those Austrian children celebrating the 4th 
of July in the American Milk Relief Barracks, 
while a new possibility in children's drawing was 
being set by Professor Cizek. That this new 
standard would be Vienna's gift to the world in 
exchange for what the world was trying to do for 
her children was perhaps the one ray of light in 
what could but be a dark future. In talks with 
the Austrian Food Administrator and with the 
Minister of Agriculture; in lectures given to the 
Congress by the economist, Professor Hertz, and 
by the Minister of Public Welfare, there was al- 


ways the inevitable conclusion, although stated 
with restraint, that the Peace Treaty had placed 
Austria in an impossible position. 

Perhaps it was because the Viennese were 
pleased to have their city selected as the seat for 
an international Congress, that they extended us 
such boundless hospitality. The Congress was re- 
ceived in the offices of the Foreign Minister, by 
the President of the Republic and the entire diplo- 
matic corps; in the City Hall by the Mayor and 
the heads of the Administrative Departments ; we 
were entertained by various musical societies, and 
everything possible was done to demonstrate that 
an old cultivated city was making welcome mem- 
bers of an international body. This public 
hospitality, in which women officials took such a 
natural and reasonable place, was in marked con- 
trast to my former experience in Austria. In 
1913 I had attended the Suffrage Meeting in 
Vienna presided over by the mother of the present 
President of the Austrian Republic. At that time 
the Austrian women were prohibited by law from 
belonging to any organization with a political aim. 
I returned eight years later, as I said at a public 
reception in the City Hall, to find full suffrage ex- 
tended to all women over twenty-one years old, 
with eleven women sitting in the lower House of 
Parliament, four in the Upper House, and twenty- 
three as members of the City Council. In the face 


of these rapid changes, who would venture to say 
that peace or any other unpopular cause, was 
hopeless. Even a new basis for bread peace 
seemed not so remote when the large audience, 
containing many Austrian officials, listened with 
profound interest to a Frenchwoman, Mile. 
Melin, who, although her devastated home was 
not yet rebuilt, held war itself as an institution 
responsible for the wretched world in which we 
are all living. She spoke superbly then, as she 
did once more, the Thursday following the Con- 
gress, when again in the City Hall she addressed 
an audience of wounded soldiers who applauded 
to the echo this Frenchwoman telling them there 
could be no victor in modern warfare. 

At the end of the Congress an International 
Summer School was held in the charming old town 
of Salzburg. Students came from twenty differ- 
ent countries, the largest number from Great 
Britain. The lectures, in English, French and 
German, were delivered by men and women from 
a dozen nations on the psychological, the eco- 
nomic, the historic and biological causes of war. 
They were provocative of thought and discussion 
in the class room itself and later among the eager 
students, who constantly arranged special meet- 
ings, one every morning at seven o'clock on a 
mountain top. Again the impression we received, 
as in Vienna at the Congress itself, was one of 


vitality and energy, as of a fresh growth push- 
ing through old traditions. The Movement of 
Youth represented by many of the German stu- 
dents was making a fresh demand upon life for 
reality and simplicity which was in strange con- 
trast to a contention made by one of the lecturers 
on science when he compared "the will to possess 
with the will to live," showing, with a wealth of 
illustration, that the former was apparently be- 
coming stronger than the latter. A discussion at 
the Vienna Congress brought support to this 
theory, contending that it was possible for people 
to oppose the socialization of wealth while at the 
same time they advocated the conscription of life. 
Delegates from two of the war-stricken countries, 
one group from each side of the recent war, were 
quite certain that future wars might be prevented 
if at the very moment that war was declared an 
automatic conscription of property could take 
place similar to the conscription of young men. 
And yet the very ardor and vitality of our 
younger delegates, led by the able and spirited 
young secretary of the German section, Gertrude 
Baer, constantly challenged any theory which 
could balance property in the pan of the scales 
against human life. 

Was it not rather that youth, "fashioning the 
glory of the years to be," was transforming prop- 
erty ! Certainly we felt everywhere in the midst 


of the political depression both urge and zest in 
the efforts of one country after another to restore 
the land to the people, or at least to divide up the 
huge estates into smaller holdings. In Hungary, 
for instance, Barnar Berga, the Minister of Agri- 
culture under the Karoly Government, had been 
succeeded by a peasant named Sabot, who in the 
midst of the reaction was putting through radical 
land reforms of which he talked to us with 

The Czecho-Slovak Government was dividing 
the estates in the annexed territories among the 
returned Russian legionaries and other soldiers, 
and their projected reforms reached much fur- 
ther. Everywhere there was acquiescence if not 
a "consent" to the housing arrangements which 
practically all the. cities had made ; conservative 
women told us with a certain pride of what they 
had done to conform to the municipal regulations 
in making room for other families within their 
houses, and that it was "not so bad." Sometimes 
this sympathetic report and the universal concern 
for the starving children, gave one hope that this 
impulse to care for the victims of the war 
might become as wide-spread as its devastat- 
ing misery, expressing itself not only through the 
care of children but in many other ways, such as 
the governmental subsidy to the bread supply 
which was still regularly made in Austria. Would 


this impulse gradually subside into a "suppressed 
desire," forming the basis of futile and disturbing 
social unrest, would it be seized by the doctrin- 
aires who were already trading so largely upon the 
normal human impulses exaggerated by war, or 
would it finally be captured by the friends of man- 
kind? Could not this impulse to nurture the 
wretched be canalized and directed by enlarged 
governmental agencies, and was not that the prob- 
lem before the statesmen of Europe? 

The conditions in Southeastern Europe as we 
met them that hot summer of 1921 might well 
challenge the highest statesmanship. We saw 
much of starvation and we continually heard of 
the appalling misery in all of the broad belt lying 
between the Baltic and the Black Seas, to say 
nothing of Russia to the east and Armenia to the 
south. Even those food resources which were 
produced in Europe itself and should have been 
available for instant use, were prevented from 
satisfying the desperate human needs by "jealous 
and cruel tariff regulations surrounding each na- 
tion like the barbed wire entanglements around a 
concentration camp." A covert war was being 
carried on by the use of import duties and protect- 
ive tariffs to such an extent that we felt as if eco- 
nomic hostility, having been legitimatized by the 
food blockades of the war, was of necessity being 
sanctioned by the very commissions which were the 


outgrowth of the Peace Conference itself. We 
saw that the smaller states, desperately protect- 
ing themselves against each other, but imitated 
the great Allies with thefr protectionist policies, 
with their colonial monopolies and preferences. 

This economic war may have been inevitable, 
especially between successsion States of the former 
Austrian Empire with their inherited oppressions 
and grievances. Yet we longed for a Customs 
Union, a Pax Economica for these new nations, 
who failed to see that "the price of nationality is 
a workable internationalism, otherwise it is 
doomed so far as the smaller states are con- 

We arrived in Europe in the midst of the pro- 
longed discussion as to the amount of the "repara- 
tions" to be paid by Germany. This discussion 
by the Supreme Council had f ocussed more power- 
fully than ever before the antagonism between 
two conceptions of international trade; one, that 
widest form of cooperation which would afford 
the greatest yield of wealth to the entire world; 
the other, that conflict of activities and interests 
by which the members of one nation may, through 
governmental action, benefit themselves at the cost 
of the members of other nations. The latter 
doctrine was of course openly applied to the 
enemy nations, but naturally it could not be con- 
fined to them. 


We had established our own bakery in Vienna, 
that delegates might not "eat bread away from the 
Viennese," and special food arrangements had 
been made for our students in Salzburg. Yet 
there was always the shadow of the insufficient 
food supply. In the region of Salzburg, children 
were being fed by the A.R.A. throughout a 
countryside which ordinarily exported milk pro- 
ducts. The under-nourished students who filled 
the streets of the music-loving city during the 
Mozart week, which was celebrated by daily con- 
certs during the term of our School, were a silent 
reproach to one's prosperity. We became im- 
patient with the long-delayed action on the report 
of the Economic Commission sent to study 
Austria's needs, and felt that food and raw ma- 
terials must come quickly if Austria were to be 
saved from an economic and moral collapse. 

The situation as we saw it seemed to bear out 
completely Norman Angell's theory of the futility 
of war. As he stated in "The Fruits of Victory," 
published at that time; "The continent as a 
whole has the same soil and natural resources and 
technical knowledge as when it fed its population, 
but there is suffering and want on every hand. 
War psychology is fatal to social living. The 
ideas which produce war the fears out of which 
it grows and the passions which it feeds produce 
a state of mind that ultimately renders impossible 


the cooperation by which alone wealth can be pro- 
duced and life maintained." 

The situation therefore resolves itself into the 
dominance of ideas, into the temper of mind which 
makes war possible. Even the pro-war news- 
papers were then recognizing it. A leading 
journal, a consistent apologist for the great war, 
had written: "Europe will never recover com- 
posure and peace, nor can an acceptable and work- 
able compromise be achieved, until the conse- 
quences of the method of coercion are understood 
and the method itself abandoned in the interest 
of a method of consent." 

And so we came back to what our own organiza- 
tion was trying to do, to substitute consent for co- 
ercion, a will to peace for a belief in war. Like all 
educational efforts, from the preaching in churches 
to the teaching in schools, at moments it must 
seem ineffectual and vague, but after all the ac- 
tivities of life can be changed in no other way 
than by changing the current ideas upon which it 
is conducted. 

The members of the Woman's International 
League for Peace and Freedom had certainly 
learned from their experience during the war that 
widely accepted ideas can be both dominating and 
all powerful. But we still believed it possible to 
modify, to direct and ultimately to change current 
ideas, not only through discussion and careful pre- 


sentation of facts, but also through the propa- 
ganda of the deed. 

In accord with the latter, one German section, 
after our Congress in Vienna had sent a group of 
women into Upper Silesia, which at that time was 
filled with ardent nationalists both for Germany 
and Poland, each hotly presenting the claims of his 
own side. The group of women entered the con- 
tested territory, not to promote either national 
claim but to counsel confidence in the good inten- 
tions of those making the final decision; to preach 
that freedom of exchange in coal or other com- 
modities is more basic to economic life than any 
detail of political boundaries; to abate the hyper- 
nationalistic feeling which was responsible for 
actual warfare between the non-contending 

In fact it seemed to me during that summer as I 
visited one National Section after another, that 
all of our members in their daily walk and con- 
versation had been bearing unequivocal testimony 
against war and its methods. This impression 
was equally vivid at the public meeting at Buda- 
pest where Vilma Glucklich presided sitting next 
to a police officer; as it was later at a meeting in 
London where Mrs. Swanwick, occupying the plat- 
form with a distinguished economist, brilliantly 
inaugurated a frank discussion of post-war con- 
ditions in Europe. 


The International Office of our League was 
established in a charming old house in Geneva. It 
seemed to me that June day of 1921, as I went 
through its rose-filled garden, that we might be 
profoundly grateful if our organization was able 
in any degree to push forward the purposes of the 
League of Nations and to make its meaning 
clearer. Catherine Marshall of England, our 
referent on the League, had prepared a full and 
encouraging report for the Vienna Congress of 
what our office had been able to do in that direc- 
tion. Personal friends and other members of the 
Secretariat had taken great pains to have us see 
and understand the working of that new-found 
device, with its elaborated Sections and Standing 
Committees. An ample building was filled with 
men and a few women, committed to study ques- 
tions in the interest of many nations, not of any 
particular one. They were "paid to think inter- 
nationally," as a member of the Secretariat put it. 
And because they were really thinking and not 
merely falling into mere diplomatic discussion, we 
had a sense of a fresh method of approach, 
whether we talked to Sir Eric Drummond, to Mrs. 
Wicksall of the Mandates Section, or to the 
younger men so filled with hope for the future of 
the League. 

Our Congress in Vienna was arranged in the 
midst of Austria's desolation by a group of high- 


spirited women led by the brilliant Frau Yella 
Hertzka who had never during the long days of 
war or the ensuing peace hesitated to assert that 
war could achieve nothing. 

And although we were so near to the great war 
with its millions of dead and its starved survivors, 
we had ventured at the very opening of the Con- 
gress to assert that war is not a natural activity 
for mankind, that large masses of men should 
fight against other large masses is abnormal, both 
from the biological and ethical point of view. We 
stated that it is a natural tendency of men to come 
into friendly relationships with ever larger and 
larger groups, and to live constantly a more ex- 
tended life. It required no courage to predict 
that the endless desire of men would at last assert 
itself, that desire which torments them almost like 
an unappeased thirst, not to be kept apart but to 
come to terms with one another. It is the very 
spring of life which underlies all social organiza- 
tions and political associations. 


WE returned to the United States in October to 
find the enthusiasm for the International Confer- 
ence on the Limitation of Armaments, convened 
by President Harding for Armistice day, Nov. 
nth, 1921, running at full tide. 

During the autumn and early winter, women's 
organizations of all kinds were eagerly advocat- 
ing limitations of armaments and many of them 
had united with other public bodies in establish- 
ing headquarters in Washington from which in- 
formation and propaganda were constantly is- 

Seldom had any public movement received more 
universal support from American women; an esti- 
mate issued by the National League of Women 
Voters stated that more than a million communi- 
cations had been sent to Washington by individu- 
als and organizations expressing desire for some 
form of an association of nations. 

The Section for the United States of The 
Woman's International League moved its head- 
quarters from New York to Washington for 
the period of the Conference. Many of our Na- 
tional Sections in their respective capitals had held 



public meetings on Nov. nth advocating disarma- 
ment and those National Sections whose govern- 
ments were represented at Washington had sent 
"manifestos" to their own Commissioners in ad- 
dition to the one sent on behalf of the Interna- 
tional body authorized at Vienna. We felt our 
voices but an infinitesimal strain in the chorus 
of praise for the Conference and while we hoped 
for much more than the limitation so finely advo- 
cated by Secretary Hughes we were able to unite 
with millions of fellow-citizens in believing the 
historic gathering to be an earnest of the time 
when friendly conference and joint responsibility 
shall supersede the secrecy and suspicion leading 
to war. 

The disposition to discuss genuine world prob- 
lems in a spirit of frankness and good will, in 
marked contrast to traditional international gath- 
erings, led to a wide-spread hope that the Con- 
ference had inaugurated a precedent that might 
result in the successive throwing off of Com- 
mittees and Commissions as required to deal with 
world situations and so institute a kind of world 
organization which should be a natural growth, 
in contrast although not therefore in opposition, 
to the carefully constituted League of Nations. 
It was also encouraging that the Conference ex- 
hibited an acute consciousness of the hideous state 


of a world facing starvation smcl industrial con- 
fusion. The strong public movement developed 
during its sessions for the immediate calling of 
an international conference to consider Economic 
problems, testified to the currency of this sense of 
world disaster which could no longer be confined 
to Europe. 

Throughout these months we were all con- 
scious of the desperate need of food for millions 
of the starving Russians. But whether I was 
serving on a committee to secure funds, lecturing 
before a State Agricultural Convention, asking 
the farmers for corn to be sent abroad in the form 
of meal and oil or urging congressmen to vote for 
an adequate appropriation with which to buy for 
Russia the surplus crop of grain in this country, 
I was constantly haunted by a sense of colossal 
mal-adjustment, by the lack of intelligence in inter- 
national affairs. An American Quaker who came 
directly from the famine district in Samara told 
us of the desperate people living on powdered 
grass and roots cooked with the hoofs of horses 
that it might stick together in the semblance of a 
flat cake : that they knew full well that even such 
food would be exhausted by the first of the year 
and that unless help came from abroad, few of 
them could survive until spring. She told of the 
farm machinery left on the roadside by desperate 
peasants who could drag it with them no farther 


in their dreary search for food, of the possible 
abandonment of a large acreage which had for 
years supplied millions of people with bread. It 
was as if in the midst of the present starvation, 
dragon's teeth of future misery were being sown. 
In December, 1921, we hailed with relief and 
gratitude the appropriation made by the United 
States Congress toward the feeding of Russia. 
This appropriation of twenty million dollars not 
only maintained the humanitarian traditions of 
the United States but because it openly recog- 
nized the relation between the surplus grain in 
America and the dearth in Russia, acknowledged 
the economic interdependence of nations and the 
necessity for more intelligent cooperation. 

On the whole H. G. Wells doubtless registered 
a widespread reaction when he declared that 
throughout the Conference on the Limitation of 
Armaments, his moods had fluctuated between 
hope and despair. His final words in a remark- 
able series of articles so nearly express what I 
had heard in many countries, from our members 
during the summer, that I venture to quote them 

"But I know that I believe so firmly in this 
great World at Peace that lies so close to our 
own, ready to come into being as our wills 
turn toward it, that I must needs go about 
this present world of disorder and dark- 


ness like an exile doing such feeble things 
as I can towards the world of my desire, 
now hopefully, now bitterly, as the moods 
may happen before I die." 



International Headquarters, 6, rue du Vieux- 
College, Geneva, Switzerland. 

Imagine that you are in Geneva, that you have 
left behind you the lake, and the Jardin Anglais 
with its great fountain and have turned up the 
Rue d'ltalie. In front of you, then, you see an 
old grey wall, overhung with creepers, with the 
date 1777 let into its side, and a broad stone 
stairway leading up to a quaint old house in a 
charming garden. Here are the international 
headquarters of the League. 


It is a federation of women with organized 
sections in 21 of the most important countries, 
and scattered members and correspondents from 
Iceland to Fiji; women pledged to do everything 
in their power to create international relations 
based on good-will, making war impossible; 
women who seek to establish equality between 
men and women, and who feel the necessity of 



educating the coming generations to help to real- 
ize these principles. 

The League is made up of people who believe 
that we are not obliged to choose between violence 
and passive acceptance of unjust conditions for 
ourselves or others ; who believe, on the contrary, 
that courage, determination, moral power, gen- 
erous indignation, active good-will, can achieve 
their ends without violence. We believe that 
experience condemns force as a self defeating 
weapon although men are still so disposed to 
turn to it in education, in dealing with crime, 
in effecting or preventing social changes, and 
above all in carrying out national policies. We 
believe that new methods, free from, violence, 
must be worked out for ending abuses and for 
undoing wrongs, as well as for achieving positive 


What keeps the League together is its common 
program as voted at its Congresses. The first 
of these was held at the Hague in 1915, the sec- 
ond at Zurich in 1919, the last at Vienna in 1921. 
A very successful international Summer School 
was held at Salzburg in August, 1921. 

National Sections. The addresses of our Sec- 
tions organized national branches or corre- 
spondents are as follows: 



Austria: Frau Yella Hertzka, Hofburg, 

Michaelertor, Wien I. 

Australia : Miss Eleanor M. Moore, 40 Eve- 

lina Rd., Toorak, Melbourne. 
Mrs. H. S. Bayley, "Runny- 
mede," Newton near Hobart, 

Mrs. E. A. Guy, Rockhampton, 

Bulgaria: Mme. Anna Theodorova, Obo- 

richte 26, Sofia. 

Mme. Jenny Dojilowa Patteff, 

Canada: Mrs. Harriet Dunlop Prenter, 92 

Westminster Avenue, Toronto. 

Denmark: Miss Thora Daugaard, Danske 

Kvinders Fredsbureau, Kompag- 
nistraede 2, Copenhagen. 

Finland: Miss Annie Furuhjelm, 14 Ka- 

sarngaten, Helsingfors. 

France : Mme. Gabrielle Duchene, 10 Ave. 

de Tokio, Paris. 

Germany: Frl. Lida Gustava Heymann, 12 

Kaulbachstr, Miinchen. 

Gr. Britain: Mrs. H. M. Swanwick, 55 Gower 
St., London W. C. i. 

Greece: Mme. Olga Bellini, c/o Mme. 

Parren, 44 rue Epire, Athene. 

Hungary: Miss Vilma Gliicklich, 41 Katona 

Joszef ut, Budapest V. 

Ireland: Miss Louie Bennett, 39 Harcourt 

St., Dublin. 

Italy: Signora Rosa Genoni, 6 Via Kra- 

mer, Milan. 


Netherlands : 

New Zealand: 
Norway : 
Sweden : 
Switzerland : 
Ukraine : 

Belgium : 
Czecho-Slov. : 

Japan : 

Mexico : 

Mme. Cor. Ramondt-Hirsch- 
mann, 5 Valeriusplein, Amster- 

Mrs. E. Gibson, 56 St. Mary's 
Rd., Auckland. 

Miss Martha Larsen, Sondre 
Huseby, Skoien, pr. Kristiania. 
Mme. Daszynska-Golinska, 
Wspelna79/7, Warsaw. 
Miss Matilde Widegren, Sibyl- 
legatan 59, Stockholm. 
Mme. Clara Ragaz, 68 Gloriastr, 

Mile. Dr. N. Surowzowa, Chi- 
manistr, 29/4, Wien XIX. 
Mrs. George Odell, 1623 H St., 
\Yashington, D. C. 
Addresses of correspondents and 
corresponding societies. 
Mile. Lucie Dejardin, 48 rue St. 
Julienne, Liege. 

Mme. Kovarova-Machova, Pado- 
kalska 1973, Prague II. 
Mme. Pavla Moudra, Neveklov. 
Mr. Isamu Kawakami, Corres- 
pondence and Publicity Bureau, 
10 Omote Sarugaku Cho Kanda, 

Miss Tano Jodai, Jap. Women's 
University Kaishikawa, Tokyo. 
Mrs. George D. Shadbourne, Jr., 
La Mishad Apartment, 1875 
Sacramento St., San Francisco, 


Miss Elena Landazuri, 3* Cor- 
doba 77, Mexico City. 

Peru: Miss Dora Mayer, Loreto altos 

45, Callao. 

Roumania: Mme. Emilian, 59 rue Doro- 
bantzilor, Bukarest. 

Jugo-Slavia: Mme. Dedier, Ministere de Po- 
litique Sociale, Belgrade. 
Dr. Zdenka Smrekar, Kumicic ut, 
III., Zagreb. 

Mme. Aloysia Stebi, Dunajska 
Cesta 25> Ljubljana.