American Union Against Militarism Records
Held at: Swarthmore College Peace Collection [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore 19081-1399
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
In 1915 a group of New York pacifists and near-pacifists organized the "Anti-militarism Committee" to combat the war spirit of the time. About January 1916 the name was changed to the "Anti-preparedness Committee" and a program of lobbying in Washington was set up. Later in the year the names was changed again, this time to the American Union Against Militarism. The group was also known for a time as the American Union for a Democratic Peace and the League for an American Peace.
Activities included lobbying, publishing, a lecture campaign, and the establishment of a Civil Liberties Bureau. Out of this latter grew the National Civil Liberties Bureau which later became the American Civil Liberties Union (at the Peace Collection). (See the finding aid for the ACLU Papers at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University.)
Most notable achievements were the work in the successful effort to avert war with Mexico in 1916 and the encouragement of opposition to peacetime conscription following World War I. The office was raided by the government and AUAM publications were sometimes stopped by the postal authorities but the organization continued unintimidated. Among the ost active members were Emily Greene Balch, Crystal Eastman, Oswald Garrison Villard, Charles Hallinan, Paul Kellogg, Amos Pinchot, Henry R. Mussey, Alice Lewisohn, Zona Gale, and Florence Kelley.
All of the known surviving records are deposited in the Peace Collection. The records include minutes, secretary's letters to the Executive Committee, fragmentary records of financial pledges, form letters, press releases, bulletins, printed publications, and some correspondence.
American Union Against Militarism materials are arranged in four boxes. The first three boxes contain administrative records and correspondence. The fourth box contains printed literature and press releases issued by the organization. The fourth box also contains a folder of material that arrived at the Peace Collection after the rest of the records were microfilmed. Posters are stored separately in the SCPC Poster Collection. They are not microfilmed. The arrangement of the microfilmed records is in a different order than the original documents.
Guide to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, 2nd ed., p.9
All of part of this collection is available on microfilm (reels 10.1-10.2). The microfilmed material for this collection is in a slightly different order than the original documents. Microfilm is available on-site by appointment and through interlibrary loan from the Swarthmore College Libraries.
Gift of Donated by Oswald Garrison Villard and James Warbasse, 1940, 1941.
Processed by Peace Collection staff; finding aid revised by Wendy E. Chmielewski (April 1997); Anne Yoder (March 2001); Wendy E. Chmielewski (June 2009)
Twenty-one very large, linen-mounted American Union Against Militarism posters
- Militarism -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Draft -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Peace Movements -- United States -- History -- Sources
- World War, 1914-1918 -- Conscientious Objectors -- United States -- Sources
- World War, 1914-1918 -- Protest movements -- United States -- Sources
- Conscientious Objectors -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Civil rights -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Swarthmore College Peace Collection
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research use.
All or part of this collection is stored off-site. Contact Swarthmore College Peace Collection staff at firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks in advance of visit to request boxes.
- Copyright to the American Union Against Militarism records created by the organization has been transferred to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Copyright to all other materials is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
- Use Restrictions
[correspondents include Jane Addams, Emily Greene Balch, Roger Baldwin, Zona Gale, David Starr Jordan, Frederick Lynch, Scott Nearing, Norman Thomas, Oswald Garrison Villard and Lillian Wald]: Material relating to Bureau activities]
[including orders for "Approaches to the Great Settlement," by Emily Greene Balch]
[from Acc. 89A-001; not on microfilm; may be all duplicates]