Document 12: Dorothy Detzer to Lucia Ames Mead, undated, The Records of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, U. S. Section, Swarthmore College Peace Collection (Microfilm, reel 52, #979-80)

Document 12:  Dorothy Detzer to Lucia Ames Mead, undated, The Records of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, U. S. Section, Swarthmore College Peace Collection (Microfilm, reel 52, #979-80)


        This letter by Dorothy Detzer in her capacity as Executive Secretary of WILPF to Lucia Mead discussed the hearing set up by the House Naval Affairs Committee to investigate WILPF. She related how the DAR agreed to make their own investigations into WILPF and described the investigators as "boorish" and "insulting." Detzer felt WILPF had "won the first step" and declared that the DAR "made a big mistake when they began to arouse the 'sleeping pacifists' as they call us."

View of Image of Original Document

U.S. Section, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
522 17th Street N. W., Washington, D. C.
                      [February 1928]


Dear Mrs. Mead-

        Thank you so much for your letter. This has b been [sic] the most exciting week I have ever spent with the W. I. L. You are right about Mr. Hull [A] and Mr. Gordon. No one in the Peace Church Union or World Alliance asked advise of us here on the ground in Washington. We--National Council and I--had discussed a Hearing with the thought of having really big men and a variety of opinion from every type of group, but decided against it as we felt the battle was won with out it and the atmosphere of the committeee [B] unfavorable. This Congress business takes delicacy and technique. It is a job needing trained people. But to our surprise here comes along this Hearing [C] too late for us to stop it. It was terrible and finally degenerated into an attack on Peace groups. The Committe[e] for example took photostatic copies of my circular letters and asked the D. A. R. to bring in a report to be introduced in to the record without again coming before the committee on the W. I. L. activities, finances and my salary. I at once sent up a note to the Chairman saying I was there would be glad to answer all these questions and had with me the Price Waterhouse Auditors statement of our last years [sic] finances and could give th[e] photostatic copy if desired. They would not call on me. My experience at the end with Congressman Britten is tooo [sic] long to write and was an insulting experience. However I at once sent a letter to Camden Branch asking the individual members to protest against the manners of Congressman Wolverton, who had been unbelievable in his boorish rudeness, a letter to Indianapolis regarding the manners of Updike which resulted in an editorial in his own Republican paper against him and an invitation to Dr. Hull and me to speak there at a Conference in May. I sent a wire to Chicago for action on Britten protesting against asking the D. A. R. to investigate us....result fifteen telegrams that night to Britten from members in his district and a number of prominent men and one from Miss Addams. I sent a wire to Penn[sylvania] on the same lines to be directed to Butler and M Mrs. [sic] Lewis as a D. A. R. and Chairman Penn. Br. W. I. L. and from his district wired Butler and storm of telegrams from Penna followed. I enclose a letter from Miss Patterson.[D]

        They made a mistake when they began to arouse the "sleepless pacifists" as they called us.

        Please do not think that we were responsible for the fiasco of the type of people chosen for the first Hearing which started this row. But we’ve won the first step--now we must slash the present bill and we’ll do it. Never has it been so exciting and interesting here. Best wishes to you.


(signed) Dorothy Detzer


A. William Isaac Hull married Hannah Clothier in 1898. He was an associate professor of history and political science at Swarthmore College and shared Hannah Clothier Hull's devotion to the cause of world peace.
        Back to Text

B. House Naval Affairs Committee.
        Back to Text

C. Hearing set up to investigate the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
        Back to Text

D. The maiden name of Mrs. J. A. St. Omer Roy, Office Secretary of WILPF and DAR member. See documents 13 and 15.
        Back to Text

back to top