Document 5: Helen C. Travis to Jane Addams, May 2, 1924, Swarthmore College Peace Collection, WILPF Papers, Correspondence, US Section (Jane Addams Papers Microfilm reel 16, frames 639-640)

Document 6: Jane Addams to Helen C. Travis, June 5, 1924, Swarthmore College Peace Collection, WILPF Papers, Correspondence, US Section (Jane Addams Paper Microfilm reel 16, frame 800)


      By 1924 tension between pacifist and patriotic organizations increased significantly. In part, this conflict was exacerbated by the decisions of the Washington Conference. While the Five-Power Treaty had placed ratio limits on capital ships, similar limits were not placed on other naval vessels. Among those ships was the "cruiser" which naval strategists preferred anyway. Some military supporters even used the treaty to suggest that the Navy was in a state of deterioration. They demanded immediate appropriations from Congress to bring the American strength up to par with Britain and Japan.[L]
      These tensions manifested themselves as attacks on peace organizations by the DAR and the American Legion. The patriotic societies insinuated that by working to disarm the United States, the peace activists promoted ulterior Communist or Socialist motives. Some of the more right-wing chapters even sought to prevent speakers from lecturing on questionable issues, as demonstrated in this exchange of letters between Helen C. Travis and Jane Addams. The sympathy shown by Travis concerning attacks on the WILPF indicates the presence of a group of Daughters who did not condone the Society's red baiting or its growing expression of militarism.

Iron Mountain, Michigan
Miss Jane Addams,

My dear Miss Addams,

            For a long time I have been interested in the International League for Peace and Freedom. I should like to obtain some of the papers which have been read at the recent meetings. I note the Tribune has taken a policy of ignoring them altogether. We, the local branch of A.A.U.W.,1 had Private Riat(?)2 here to lecture a short time ago. The Chicago American Legion thru special delivery letter and telegrams tried to stop it but the Legion here were not only pleased but endorsed his lecture. I was sorry to hear through friends that the D.A.R., of which I am a member, feel that the movement of the League for Peace and Freedom is not patriotic and should not be encouraged. It seems that we ought to come to an understanding on these international questions. I wish that the public could come to have a vision of the possibilities of the human race and shall do all that I can to help in that.
            Thanking you for any helpful papers you may send I am

                                                                        Yours very sincerely
                                                                        Helen C. Travis
                                                                        (Mrs. M.B.)

2 May 1924


                                                                                                                June 5, 1924

My dear Mrs. Travis,

            I too am a member of the D.A.R. and am happy to report that at the National meeting in Washington they refused to condemn the League. I think it is only some of the local chapters that have indulged in this sport.
            I have given out almost every scrap of material which I have here but am sending your letter on to the office in Washington and I am sure you will get some literature from them.
            Thanking you for your kindness, I am

                                                                        Faithfully yours,
                                                                        [Jane Addams]

Mrs. M.B. Travis
Iron Mountain, Michigan

Document List


Document 7: Letter, Daughters of the American Revolution to Jane Addams, ca. July 1924

1. American Association of University Women

2. Editor is unable to identify.