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
Edwin D. Mead (1849-1937) and Lucia Ames Mead (1856-1936) were both leading pacifists, writers, and social reformers. Both Meads were involved in the leadership of the international peace movement. After their marriage in 1898, they worked together on peace related activities and attended many European conferences.
Edwin Mead began his career as a lecturer and writer for numerous literary magazines. In the 1870s he studied at Oxford and Cambridge, and in Leipzig, Germany. He also worked for a year at the British Museum. After 1879 Mead began lecturing in the United States on American literature and politics. He served as director or executive officer of a number of literary and civic organizations. From 1889 to 1901 he edited the New England Magazine .Mead directed the work of the World Peace Foundation (WPF) and wrote or edited may publications printed by its International Library (1902-1914). Keenly interested in international affairs, Edwin Mead attended many of the Hague and other peace conferences in Europe. His participation in international peace congresses and his subsequent involvement in the WPF led to a European lecture tour in 1911, the same year he was named an American delegate to the International Peace Bureau. Mead also helped to found the the School Peace League and gave many addresses under the auspices of the American Peace Society. Although his health failed in 1914, Mead continued to write on various aspects of internationalism throughout his life. Correspondents and others in the collection include Andrew Carnegie, Norman Angell, Rose Dabney Forbes, George Nasmyth, and Woodrow Wilson,.
Lucia Ames Mead was a leading member of many feminist and pacifist organizations. In the 1890s she wrote numerous pamphlets for the Union for Industrial Progress on various economic issues. After the turn of the century Mead concentrated her efforts on women's rights and the peace movement. She was a member of the Woman's Peace Party and a delegate to the founding conference of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom held in Zurich in 1919. Mead also served as Vice President on the board of the National Council for Prevention of War. She also wrote articles and pamphlets on various peace issues. Mead combined her interests in women's rights and peace by serving as chairman of the Department of Peace and Arbitration of the National Council of Women of the United States. She wrote many article on the need for women to gain access to the ballot in order to influence national and international politics and to work effectively for peace. Mead was also involved with other U.S. feminist organizations including the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association and the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and had connections with the British suffrage groups. Mead wrote and spoke on a variety of issues including woman suffrage, social housekeeping, scientific efficiency in the home, women's clubs, and the need for teachers and parents to train children in nonviolence.
Both Meads continued to work on peace and other interests until their deaths. Lucia Ames Mead died in 1936 from injuries sustained when caught in a crowd in the Boston subway. Edwin Mead died a year later in 1937.
Correspondents and others in this collection include Jane Addams, Emily Greene Balch, Alice Stone Blackwell, Carrie Chapman Catt, Hannah Clothier Hull, David Starr Jordon, Ramsay MacDonald, and Rebecca Shelley.
Edwin Mead's papers include correspondence (1876-1935), with many peace leaders. There is a section of correspondence between mead and Andrew Carnegie (1902 to 1910.) In addition to the correspondence there are manuscripts, printed articles, clippings, and memorials issued after his death. Substantial amounts of material by and about Edwin Mead may be found in the records of the World Peace Foundation and the Lake Mohonk Conferences on International Arbitration. Both of these collections are located in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.
The papers of Lucia Ames Mead consist of her diaries, notebooks, and correspondence with numerous organizations, including the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, the Woman's Peace Union (London), and the American Woman's Republic. Many manuscripts and printed versions of her articles, pamphlets, book reviews, and newspaper clippings are included. The collection also contains a file of newspaper clippings on attacks on Mead for her role in the peace movement by the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution. There are also peace cartoons, photographs, and memorials issued after her death.
The materials in this collection are divided into two series. The first series contains the papers of Edwin Mead. Reel one includes correspondence and printed articles by Mead (1877-1910). Reel two also contains printed articles (1911-1935), correspondence between Mead and Woodrow Wilson (1912-1914), and memorials to Mead.
The Lucia Ames Mead materials are more extensive and are located on Reels three to eleven. Mead's correspondence from 1903 to 1936 appears first. This section includes correspondence between Mead and Carrie Chapman Catt (1920-1936.) Diaries and notebooks (1884-1934), , typescripts and manuscripts (mostly undated), of Mead's many writings, printed pamphlets, articles, and book reviews (1886-1936) by and about Mead make up the second section. Additional correspondence, memorials, publicity and attacks on Mead, and photographs make up the last section of material.
Guide to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, 2nd ed. p. 41.
This collection is available on microfilm (reels 78.1-78.11). Microfilm is available on-site by appointment and through interlibrary loan from the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.
Gift of Edwin D. and Lucia Ames Mead, and various others in 1937. Acquisition: a Massachusetts committee composed of Emily Greene Balch, Helen Elliott, and Mrs. George Nasmyth
Checklist prepared by Peace Collection staff. This finding aid was prepared by Chloe Lucchesi- Malone, August 2009.
- American Peace League
- International Peace Bureau
- National Council for Prevention of War (U.S.)
- National Council of Women of the United States
- School Peace League
- Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. International Office
- Woman's Peace Party
- World Peace Foundation
- 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 email@example.com at least two weeks in advance of visit to request boxes.
- Copyright to the resources created by Edwin Mead and Lucia Ames Mead 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