Document 16: Grace H. Brosseau, "National Defense Work of D.A.R. Upheld," DAR Magazine (August 1927), 576.
The DAR officers had little sympathy for Catt and her letter. They maintained that Communism was a dangerous presence in America and it was their duty to combat its influences. President General Grace Brosseau1 explained in her response that combating subversive forces was only one aspect of "national defense." The term had a broad meaning for the Daughters. They employed it to justify everything from increased military expenditures to proper education for immigrants, to scrutiny of school textbooks to insure the right development of loyal young citizens. The very fact that Catt felt threatened by the DAR proved to Brosseau that the Society was doing its job. She offered further proof in the political support for the DAR's activities by noting the approval of Coolidge, whom the WILPF had previously claimed for their own camp, and Secretary of Kellogg, whose Kellogg-Briand Pact sought to end war as a means of international problem solving,
National Defense Work of D.A.R. Upheld
The President General replies to
MRS. CARRIE CHAPMAN CATT
In the July issue of The Woman Citizen, Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt assails the Daughters of the American Revolution for their activities along certain lines. The article is quite some tirade, and as she also released it to the Associated Press it has, of course, been given publicity throughout the country.
For the moment, and just as we are going to press, all that we, as an organization, have to say is that the Daughters of the American Revolution stand for National Defense in all its various phases, and that means in part to fight communistic propaganda and subversive influences, not matter from what sources they emanate.
Mrs. Catt is either sadly misinformed or willfully unobserving if she fails to recognize the evidences of communism in America. Further, she has not impressed us in the slightest degree, nor will she deter us in our efforts along the lines we have chosen. We have the approval of too many leaders of thought in the United States, including President Coolidge and Secretary Kellogg.
If the psychologists find us an "interesting case," as Mrs. Catt states, more power to them. We feel, with pardonable pride, that we are a case of well-directed energy, as evidenced by the fact that she takes occasion to reprimand us. If our work did not speak very loudly for itself, she would never take the trouble to try to counteract our influence. That is the strongest evidence of the fact that we are far from "atrophied."
Furthermore, the pamphlet to which she refers does not mention the names of Jane Addams, Florence Kelly, or Mrs. Catt. If one follows the newspapers from day to day one can obtain very accurate information regarding the activities of the organizations mentioned therein, and also of the individuals to whom Mrs. Catt alludes.
(Mrs. Alfred Brosseau) Grace H. Brosseau,
President General, N.S.D.A.R.
Document 17: "Editorial Comment on the D.A.R.," July 1927
1. Grace Brosseau served as President General from 1926-1929.