Week 4 of AnniesDiary100 – Chicago #OnThisDay 26 Feb 1924

100 years ago this week, following the ‘high point’ on 21st February 1924 of presenting Wales’ Women’s Peace Petition (with its 390,296 signatories) to the women of America and the White House, Wales’ Peace Delegation spent a couple of days in Washington before continuing on to Chicago. Here we follow Annie’s Diary as they start their historic ‘Peace Tour’ of the United States.

The 1924 Welsh Women's Delegation pictures outside the Women's University Club of Washington: Annie Hughes Griffiths holding the Peace Memorial with Elined Prys front LH and Mary Ellis front RH; accompanied by representatives from the American Women's movements. Photo from the letters and archives of Elined Prys Kotschnig, with thanks to her family.

The 1924 Welsh Women’s Delegation pictures outside the Women’s University Club of Washington: Annie Hughes Griffiths holding the Peace Memorial with Elined Prys front LH and Mary Ellis front RH; accompanied by representatives from the American Women’s movements. Photo from the letters and archives of Elined Prys Kotschnig, with thanks to her family.

Twitter Thread – 21 February 1924, Washington & White House

Annie’s Diary Entries from week of 26 February 1924: Washington and Chicago

Page 27, Page 28, Page 29, Page 30, Page 31, Page 32

Sunday 24 February 1924

Page 28. Mrs. Morgan came to bid us goodbye, her last message being as follows

“Our organisation, the National Council for Prevention of War, is trying to do one definite thing & is arranging an active Campaign to attempt to secure the sanction of the Senate for entrance into the Permanent Court of International Justice. Your visit to us has awakened a great deal of fresh interest, & will help our campaign forward greatly, for the success of such a campaign depends entirely upon popular interest, & your message to us has added that touch of drama which is necessary to arouse that interest.”

Ruth Morgan, National Council for Prevention of War, bidding Annie farewell at Washington rail station.

Over the previous week, Annie had presented Wales’ Peace Petition to the women of America twice, at luncheons in New York and Washington, where she spoke of the ties binding Wales and America in the search for peace. Among her archives, the following excerpts appear to be a record of her speech notes.

Page 29

Sunday – 9.a.m. Feb. 24th: from Washington to Chicago

Washington is very different from New York – in atmosphere and outlook – it is the political centre – & has none of the commercial & business aroma that one smelt round every corner in New York.

We left Washington the White City at 11.45, & journeyed towards Chicago, in our section. At Harrisburg we removed to a compartment in paying 3.50 dollars each extra. We had a comfortable journey via Pittsburgh, where Mrs Mina Kerr got on the train. We had a nice talk together – she being on her way to attend a Conference of Deans of Women’s Colleges which was nearby in Chicago Feb. 25-29th, at the Blackstone Hotel.

At Englewood Station Chicago David met us, in a motor car. We apologized to David for bringing him out so early – why he said you [could] have come 5 hours earlier on such an occasion if necessary. Drove to 4933 Dorchester Avenue where Abbie gave us a great welcome, a beautiful breakfast being ready for us. Spotless linen. Fruit, sausages, buttered toast, & most delicious tea etc.

During their time in Chicago, Annie and Gladys Thomas stayed with Annie’s brother David Charles Davies, who had emigrated from Ceredigion to the States in 1889, and was Director of the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History, still one of Illionois’ formost institutions.

After breakfast & a wash, we had a nice talk, & in the afternoon David took us over the Museum – a splendid pile of buildings – visited many sections of it, & went on to the University Club to dinner – huge slices of beef. Home in motor car – & to bed – dead tired – had letters & news papers.”

Monday Feb 25th

“Had good night. David left at 8.45, as is his custom for the Museum. Abbie, Mrs. T. & I went to Marshall Field’s to meet Lois Poole at 12.30 for lunch. A tremendous conglomeration of food – but we enjoyed it – & then Abbie went home, and Lois, Mrs. Thomas 

Page 30

and I went to the Ten Commandments Picture Show – then Mrs T. & I went back to 4933, & David came in and we had dinner at 7.p.m. at home. Mr. Rees the Druid [periodical] called for an interview & information re. our visit – which I gave him.”

Tuesday Feb 26th

David left as usual. Wrote letters galore. To lunch at University Club as guests of Mrs. Poole – Abbie’s sister in law. Lois also there. Most elaborate luncheon, which I enjoyed. We three drove home in Mrs. Poole’s car, & I went straight to bed, as I was not feeling very well. Slept for 2 hours, awoke refreshed. Got dressed for dinner at Blackstone Hotel, to which Mrs. Thomas & I had been invited to meet the Deans of Women’s Colleges by Mrs. Kerr. Got there in a car ordered by David & arrived in good time. Got to the 2nd floor where the guests, about 400 women were assembled – & got into the most awful Babel of voices it has ever been my lot to hear.

Was introduced to several ladies but never caught the name of one as the noise was so great. Neither did Mrs. Thomas. Abbie had got a bouquet of lovely sweetpeas each for Mrs. T & me –  & we looked so swish.

Went into the Ballroom for dinner – sat on Miss Root’s, the President’s right hand, & on Miss Kerr’s left. One gentleman present, Prof. Merriam of Chicago University. A Dr. [Agnes] Wells, a woman of great distinction & President of the Assoc. of Women Deans, gave her report; then Frau Schreibe [Dr Adele Schreibe Krieger) gave an account of the need for brotherhood, being

Page 31

one of 35 members of the Reichstag 15 of which were school teachers. Then I was called upon to speak of the Memorial, did so for 15 minutes, being time allotted. Met Miss Hurlbate of Cardiff. Deans – _ – story.

Got home by 10.30. Very glad the ordeal was over. Mrs. Thomas said I did allright.

Dr Adele Schreiber-Krieger, Dr Agnes Wells, Professor Charles Merriam, who together with Annie Hughes Griffiths addressed the 1924 US Conference of Deans of Womens Colleges.

Wednesday Feb. 27th

“David went off as usual. I wrote article for S. W. Daily News about our visit to Washington. Then we drove all the way down to Marshall Field’s to lunch, then took a car & drove past the Hotel where Lloyd George stayed. & on to Lincoln Park. Saw statues of General Grant & Lincoln (a replica of which stands outside Westminster Abbey back home). Had tea. Then David came in, & we went to the Kenwood Hotel a short distance away for Dinner. Drove there & back – tho’ only a very short distance. Back & had a very happy evening.”

Thursday Feb. 28th & Friday 29th

“David left as usual. Wrote all morning. Sent articles to S. W. Daily News, Brython Cymraeg. Packed up & left part of luggage in 4933 Dor. Ave. Had lunch at home, & at 5.30 left by car with luggage for Blackstone Hotel, where we met David, who had arranged a very rich & sumptuous dinner for ua. He had also booked a compartment for us as far as Salt Lake City. We went to the Station at 7.30 & Abbie gave us a beautiful basket of fruit, lots of nuts & sweets, & they came to see us off. We got comfortably settled in & slept in B. cocup.”

Next Stop – Salt Lake City, Utah & St David’s Day

Our next post will explore their experience embarking on the transcontinental ‘Union Pacific’ Railroad journey across America..

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