Letter from Carrie Chapman Catt to Schwimmer

March 4, 1905

Fraulein Rosika Schwimmer,

7 Arena Strasse, Budapest, Hungary

My dear Fraulein Schwimmer:

I have had a letter from Dr. Jacobs and she tells me that there has been organized in Hungary a new society, and that a part of its program is woman suffrage. I am very glad indeed to learn of this movement of progress. I felt sure it would come sooner or later, and now I hope its members will be quite willing to become auxiliary to the International Woman Suffrage Alliance. Very likely they will not see this necessity, nor recognize the benefit. To show the Parliamentary Bodies that there is an International Alliance composed of the women of many countries, who are fighting for their political freedom, is one of the strongest arguments we can use, and although the United States is supposed to be a very progressive land in reference to all things which concern women, we have found it of benefit even here, and I am perfectly positive you will find it of great benefit in Hungary.

Eight countries are now auxiliary and have paid their dues for the past year. These are: England, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Germany and the United States. A new society has perhaps by this time been formed in Switzerland, and its dues have already been paid, but we do not yet count that as auxiliary for I am not sure that the work is quite complete. Before long Canada and France will also be members. I hope before the year is out that there will be an organization in Italy as well, – and so the movement grows. I cannot tell you how happy we should be to welcome Hungary into our Alliance, and I feel sure that in time the Alliance will help Hungary. I have just, today, received a letter from Berlin and one from Copenhagen, and both say that their suffrage work was given quite a boom through the fact of our International Organization.

I enclose a constitution, which unfortunately is in English. You will see that new societies may become auxiliary by paying twenty marks per year when the membership is small, as I presume it is in Hungary. The money could be easily raised by asking each member to pay a trifle toward it. In 1906, we shall hold our next meeting in London, and we shall want a delegate from Hungary to come and tell us all about the new organization, and that delegate will learn what all the other countries are doing and will take home with her new inspiration and courage to continue the work there. I beg you to urge the progressive women of Hungary to join the progressive women of all the world through our International Alliance. Our cause is the same whether it is in Hungary, or Australia, or in the United States, and we can help each other much through this fraternity.

Will you kindly tell me what the new organization is called and also what it proposes to do?

I have very pleasant recollections of your bright face in Berlin, and I shall hope that I may meet you again in London.

With most cordial good wishes, I am,

Yours truly

Carrie Chapman Catt

New York Public Library Manuscripts and Archives Division. Rosika Schwimmer Papers, Box 6.

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