Document 36A: Alice Hamilton to Florence Kitchelt, 13 May 1952, unsigned carbon copy, folder 11, Alice Hamilton Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. Printed in Barbara Sicherman, Alice Hamilton: A Life in Letters (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1984), p. 385.


   After much negotiation with Kitchelt about the exact wording of her statement, Alice Hamilton did not withdraw her opposition to the ERA, but said that her opposition "has lost much of its force." She did not endorse the amendment, but said that little "would be changed by [its] passage." Nevertheless, this was a signal triumph for Kitchelt's campaign to create a third path between proponents and opponents of the ERA. Kitchelt was excited enough by this development to dash off a letter to the editor of the New York Herald Tribune to publicize Hamilton's statement. (See Document 37)


[May 13, 1952]

Mrs. Florence L. C. Kitchelt
51 Millrock Road
New Haven 11, Conn.

Dear Mrs. Kitchelt:

    If, as I surmise, you intend to quote my statement on the Equal Rights Amendment, I had better make it out carefully. I think this will do.

    My long opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment has lost much of its force during the thirty years since the movement for it started. The health of women in industry is now a matter of concern to health authorities, both State and Federal, to employers' associations, insurance companies, trade unions. I do not believe that this situation would be changed by the passage of the Amendment now. Moreover, it seems best for our contry [sic] to join in the effort of the United Nations to adopt such a principle internationally. I still believe that the legal disabilities of American women could have been lifted years ago had the effort been made State by State.

    Please quote it in its entirety.

Sincerely yours
[unsigned] Alice Hamilton

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