New York Peace Society 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
The New York Peace Society (New York Peace Society), organized by David Low Dodge in the summer of 1815, was the first peace society in the United States. The Society existed in four different stages, beginning in 1815, and lasting until 1940. In 1828, the first New York Peace Society became a branch of the American Peace Society. Subsequent to this merger, a second society was begun in New York City in 1837, lasting until about 1844. This group was active in advocating for arbitration in the dispute of U.S. claims against Mexico. In 1844, a third New York Peace Society was organized, but it soon disbanded (exact dates are unknown). Other forms of a group with the same name existed through the second half of the nineteenth century, one forming a branch of the Universal Peace Union.
In 1906, the New York contingent of the Lake Mohonk Conference on International Arbitration initiated reorganization of the New York Peace Society. In February of that year a constitution was adopted and Oscar S. Strauss was elected President. Charles H. Levermore was Secretary of the organization from 1917 until 1924. Andrew Carnegie was one of its foremost supporters. The name was changed, from the Peace Society of the City of New York, to the New York Peace Society, at the time of incorporation in 1910. In October 1940, the New York Peace Society voted to merge with the World Alliance for International Friendship Through Religion, and in November of that same year the World Alliance agreed to the merger.
Material in the SCPC includes minutes and annual reports, correspondence, yearbooks, membership lists, miscellaneous forms and lists, pamphlets, and four scrapbooks, three of which relate to the National Arbitration and Peace Congress, held in 1907. The material was transferred to the SCPC in 1940, at the time when the Society was merged into the World Alliance for International Friendship Through Religion. Included are the documents of the Society's work in organizing the League to Enforce Peace, during World War I.
The SCPC has treated the various incarnations of the New York Peace Society as one organization in the arranging of the files. The New York Peace Society records from the first half of the twentieth century are the most extensive. Records are arranged into three major sections: the first section contains the nineteenth century material, organized chronologically, and twentieth century administrative records; the second section contains New York Peace Society correspondence from the first half of the twentieth century; the third section of files contains material about various early twentieth century peace congresses and conferences, sponsored or supported by the New York Peace Society.
Guide to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, 2nd ed., p. 49.
Part of this collection is available on microfilm (reels 79.1-79.12). Microfilm is available on-site by appointment and through interlibrary loan from the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.
Gift of The New York Peace Society and the World Alliance for International Friendship through Religion (after the two organizations merged). Gift of Scott Peterson, 1996 [Acc. 96A-060]
Prepared by Peace Collection staff, and updated by Wendy E. Chmielewski in January, 2005. Revised by Anne Yoder in August, 2005. The finding aid was prepared by Chloe Lucchesi- Malone in August, 2009. Finding aid updated by Wendy E. Chmielewski, March 2020.
Four scrapbooks (not filmed) were removed to the Oversized Items Collection: Scrapbooks. These date from 1904-1909, 1909-1911, 1911-1912, 1912, and 1918-1919. A large white-bordered American flag (not filmed) was removed to the Oversized Items Collection: Banners [details: wool and muslim; contains 48 stars; 16 feet, 3 inches x 27 feet 1 inches; border of 32 inches x 45 inches] Oversized photograph of 1912 luncheon at Hotel Astor
- New York Peace Society (1815-1828)
- Peace Society of the City of New York
- New York Peace Society (1837-1844)
- New York Peace Society (1844-18??)
- New York Peace Society (1906-1940)
- Swarthmore College Peace Collection
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
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 New York Peace Socuety materials is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
[includes the Levermore Elms (Memorial)]
[not included on microfilm]
[not included on microfilm; Acc. 96A-060]