Julien D. Cornell Papers
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
Julien Cornell (1910-1994) was a member of the Religious Society of Friends, and a 1930 graduate of Swarthmore College. He practiced law in New York City, with a special interest in civil liberties. During World War II, he handled many cases for conscientious objectors, as well as advising many other COs about their various problems with the legal system. He served as Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union's National Committee on Conscientious Objection (NCCO), and chaired the Lawyers Committee of the Metropolitan Board for Conscientious Objectors. He was the author of The Conscientious Objector and the Law (1943) and a supplement entitled Conscience and the State (1945). He was considered an expert on legal issues regarding conscientious objection and Civilian Public Service, and was consulted by many lawyers throughout the country for his opinions.
It is probable that this collection was arranged by Cornell before he donated his papers to the Peace Collection; for the most part, his arrangement has been adhered to. This collection includes files about many cases handled by Cornell during WWII. He divided them between "Cases Handled" and "Habeas Corpus Cases Handled," though there are some Habeas Corpus cases which were not separated by Cornell out of the "Cases Handled" section for some reason. Habeas Corpus cases were civil suits instituted by the appellant after all avenues had been tried via the court system of appeals. The cases handled by Cornell were for COs released from military prisons because they were illegally inducted despite their refusal to take the oath of induction [see p. 70-71 of Conscience and the State by Julien Cornell]. It should be noted that the General Correspondence files include many letters to/from conscientious objectors and others concerned with them, and some of these refer to COs who have individual folders further on in the collection.
Notes following the names in the "Cases Handled" files were written by Cornell.
Correspondents include Ernest Angell, Roger Baldwin, A.J. Muste, Rosika Schwimmer, Agnes Young, and many others.
In 1968, Cornell donated 10 bound volumes of court records showing the legal treatment of conscientious objectors (1940-1948). Included in some of the volumes are newsclippings about the COs or their cases. Of particular note is volume five which includes reviews of Cornell's books, as well as 1943 correspondence about The Conscientious Objector and the Law from Evan Thomas, A.J. Muste, Clarence Pickett, Julius Eichel, Allen Barr, Roger Barr, Oswald Garrison Villard, John Steinbugler, Judge Edward F. Waite, Eugene Sherpick, John Nevin Sayre, Theodore Neumann and Harrop Freeman. These bound volumes are in the SCPC's book collection [called Legal Papers of Julien Cornell].
Guide to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, 2nd ed., p. 22.
The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for these papers/records.
Gift of Julien Cornell.
For the catalog record for this collection and to find materials on similar topics, search thelibrary's online catalog.
Original checklist prepared in 1966; collection re-processed and checklist revised by Anne Yoder, June 2001. Finding aid created by Wendy E. Chmielewski, September 2009.
Items removed: Legal Papers of Julien Cornell [see tripod record]
- Lawyers -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Civil rights -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Conscientious objection -- History -- Sources
- Conscientious Objectors -- History -- Sources
- Draft -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Draft resisters -- United States -- History -- Sources
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Conscientious Objectors -- United States -- Sources
- Quakers -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Swarthmore College Peace Collection
- Access Restrictions
This collection is restricted until 2020. Information concerning individual conscientious objectors must not be disclosed. Researchers wishing to use the collection must sign a form agreeing to this stipulation. Consult Swarthmore College Peace Collection staff for details.
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 is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
- Use Restrictions
[see also correspondence files]
[see also correspondence files]
[conscientious objector who refused induction; "this is the first, and I believe the only case, of a conscientious objector receiving a suspended sentence in New York City, although California judges suspended sentences in many cases. Glixon was sent by Judge Knox to work in a hospital for the duration of his sentence, and thus received treatment similar to that which he would have gotten in a CPS camp if he had been able to secure IV-E classification. See p. 17 of Conscience and the State ."].
[conscientious objector who refused induction; "Mehr had been discharged from service with the military forces on medical grounds, and was serving with the Merchant Marine when he refused to go into the Army under a second induction notice from his draft board. Although a discharged veteran, who subsequently became a conscientious objector, he received no leniency from the sentencing judge."]