Document 33: Alma Lutz to Florence Kitchelt, 8 September 1948, Florence Ledyard Cross Kitchelt Papers, 1885-1961, A-61, Box 6, Folder 177, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


   One of a group of dissenters who left the NWP in January 1947, Alma Lutz in this letter endorsed Kitchelt's leadership among ERA supporters, clearly encouraging her to set up an organization in competition with the National Woman's Party (NWP).[33]

   Alma Lutz (1890-1973) served on the editorial board of the NWP journal, Equal Rights. A historian of the suffrage movement, she wrote biographies of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. She became an important advisor and friend to Florence Kitchelt, and helped form a sister organization in Massachusetts. Lutz and Kitchelt developed a long-term friendship and the two women worked together to promote the ERA through the Connecticut Committee for the Equal Rights Amendment and the Massachusetts branch. In the mid-1960s, Lutz had another revealing correspondence with a longstanding social justice feminist, Pauli Murray, and the two women exchanged views at that time on the Equal Rights Amendment. See the document project, "How and Why Was Feminist Legal Strategy Transformed, 1960-1973?" also on this web site.



September 8, 1948

Dear Florence:

    I guess our letters crossed.

    I hope Jane Grant keeps on urging you to form a national committee. Why don't you estimate the cost of an office and a secretary and see if some of us can not raise that amount?

    I think that a new, vital, if small at first, national committee would put new life into work for the Amendment, especially since you are always able to get good publicity. There is no real clearing house of information on the subject. The N. W. P. has never taken the time or appropriated funds for an adequate information bureau or for country-wide distribution of literature. You would be surprised at the small circulation of Equal Rights which of late has come out so irregularly.

    Your idea about circularizing college papers is just the sort of thing that should be done. I think your letter is just right. I don't know of any compilation of college papers, but there must be one. I can try to find out through our Vassar Alumnae Magazine if you can't but I expect you will. The N. W. P.'s has no functioning college section.

    I would ask Caroline Babcock and Jeannette Marks for your committee unless you want to steer clear at first of those who were most active in the N. W. P. rebellion. I haven't heard from Jeannette since we saw her a month ago, but she was then getting better and was working on Dr. Woolley's biography.

    Have you thought of asking Orlo Brees of Binghamton, New York, for your committee? He was a member of the New York Assembly and newspaper editor. You will remember that it was he who was responsible for the New York Legislature's Memorial to Congress on the Amendment. Did you ask Harrison Smith? Other possibilities are some of the men who have given good statements on the Amendment.

Sincerely yours,

[signed] Alma

P.S. Are you sure of Nina Horton Avery? Sure that she isn't one of Alice Paul's girl scouts? For example, I am very fond of Alice Morgan Wright, but I am sure that she is either consciously or unconsciously out scouting for A.P.

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