Elizabeth Bass to Woodrow Wilson


Elizabeth Bass to Woodrow Wilson


Bass, Elizabeth Merrill




1918 November 21


Mrs. George Bass writes to President Wilson that she does not wish to go with him to the Paris Peace Conference.


Library of Congress, Woodrow Wilson Papers


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum


Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924--Correspondence
Paris Peace Conference (1919-1920)
Women--Suffrage--United States


Mark Edwin Peterson






Document scan was taken from Library of Congress microfilm reel of the Wilson Papers. WWPL volunteers transcribed the text.


My dear Mr. President:

While I was having dinner last night with Edward Goltra of St. Louis, whom I have known well for many years, he took occasion to tell me that something happened during the afternoon to suggest the matter to him and so he had written you a letter suggesting that you take me with you to the Peace Conference. When I talked to with you on Friday evening the question of women being represented at the Peace Conference had not entered my mind. It was put there the following morning by some telegrams referring to individual women, concerning one of whom I immediately wrote you, and have your reply of yesterday. I have always contended that giving women the vote would not mean that all the women in the country would immediately plunge into political life, any more than the vast bulk of men voters do. In the exuberance of newly acquiring the suffrage, and also because of the important part taken by women in all war work, some of them and their friends are calling for their inclusion in every piece of public work, with apparently considering the question of whether they are specially trained for the task or not. I can see in the near future valuable reconstruction and rehabilitation work in which women shall have a great part, bringing to it civic experiences covering a wide range. I see no one or more outstanding figures among the women of this generation who would seem to me to have any special value which would demand for them a place at the Peace Conference. If there were any such, I think their names would have suggested themselves to me at once. Looking at the matter from another angle, I can very well see, as you doubtless have realized, that your adding one or two women to your party would meet with much public acclaim.

I feel quite sure, however that I do not need to tell you that Edward Goltra wrote you without consulting me. I appreciate the privilege so much which you have accorded me of writing you upon all matters connected with the political education and organization of women, and of seeing and consulting you occasionally in connection therewith, that I regret his suggestion very much and hope you will forget it.

Respectfully yours,
Elizabeth Bass

Original Format



Wilson, Woodrow, 1856-1924





Bass, Elizabeth Merrill, “Elizabeth Bass to Woodrow Wilson,” 1918 November 21, WWP25491, World War I Letters, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.