Norman Thomas Collected Papers
Held at: Swarthmore College Peace Collection [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore 19081-1399
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Norman Mattoon Thomas was an American Presbyterian minister who achieved fame as a pacifist and six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America. He was born on November 20, 1884 in Marion, Ohio; he graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1905 and then from Union Theological Seminary. Thomas was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1911; he preached against American participation in the First World War, which brought him some noteriety. Thomas resigned his pastorate, then formally left the ministry in 1931. He was a member of the Socialist Party of America (SPA). Thomas was the secretary (then an unpaid position) of the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation before the war; when the organization started a magazine called "The World Tomorrow" in January 1918, Thomas was employed as its paid editor. In 1921 Thomas moved to secular journalism when he was employed as associate editor of "The Nation" magazine. In 1922 Thomas became co-director of the League for Industrial Democracy; later, he was one of the founders of the National Civil Liberties Bureau, the precursor of the American Civil Liberties Union. Thomas ran for office five times in quick succession on the Socialist ticket. He wrote several books, among them a defense of World War I conscientious objectors "Is Conscience a Crime?" and his statement of the 1960s social democratic consensus "Socialism Re-examined," Norman Thomas died December 19, 1968 in Cold Spring Harbor, New York.
The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is not the official repository for the papers of Norman Thomas.
Gift of Osceola Freear Thomas, August 2018 [acc. 2018-054]
This collection was processed, and finding aid created, by Anne M. Yoder (Archivist)
Item removed: 1 photograph to Photograph Collection
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