Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Daniel A. Seeger Collected Papers, 1958-2008

Collection: CDG-A

Contact Information
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399 U.S.A.
Telephone: (610) 328-8557 (Curator); Fax: (610) 328-8544
Email: wchmiel1@swarthmore.edu (Curator); URL: http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/peace/

Descriptive Summary
The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for these papers.
Seeger, Daniel A. (1935 - )
Daniel A. Seeger Collected Papers
Inclusive Dates
Call Number

Language of Materials
Materials in English
7.5 linear inches [papers only]
Seeger is best known for the 1965 Supreme Court court case regarding his conscientious objector claim without belief in a Supreme Being as grounds for C.O. status.

Administrative Information
Restrictions to Access
Usage Restrictions
Alternate Form of Material
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Daniel A. Seeger, 2014 [acc. 2014-008 and 2014-018]
Processing Information
Processed by Anne M. Yoder, Archivist, April 2014
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Daniel Seeger Collected Papers (CDG-A), Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Copyright Notice
Copyright may have been transferred to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection or may have been retained by the creators/authors (or their descendants), in this collection, as stipulated by United States copyright law. Please contact the SCPC Curator for further information.

Online Catalog Headings
These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online library/archival catalogs.
See tripod record

Related Collections
Student Peace Union Records (DG 065)
American Friends Service Committee Collected Records (CDG-A)

Historical Background
[from Wikepedia]

Daniel Andrew Seeger is a retired American non-profit-business administrator, and a Quaker religion and social-issue writer, who was earlier a defendant in a case on conscription of pacifists that was decided by the Supreme Court.

Seeger had come from a Roman Catholic background, been heavily influenced by Quaker ideas, and volunteered with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). In 1958, he was denied conscientious objector status under the 1948 military-draft law, on grounds that his religious beliefs did not constitute "belief in a Supreme Being"; he was eventually ordered to enter the armed forces, and convicted of draft refusal. In 1965, the Supreme Court ruled in United States vs. Seeger that his conviction was mistaken, because Congress, in its statutory language, "did not intend" using "the usual understanding" of "Supreme Being", but rather an interpretation that extended to Seeger's "compulsion" to "goodness".

Seeger made a career in the administration of the AFSC, and also worked as Executive Director of Pendle Hill, from which he retired in September 2000. On April 1, 2010, Seeger stepped into the role of Interim General Secretary at the AFSC, pending the conclusion of the search for a permanent General Secretary.

Collection Overview
These papers are primarily about Seeger's draft case from 1963-1965. They include FBI files on Seeger, received through the Freedom of Information Act.

One photograph of Seeger with his bride, Betty Jean Adams (January 31, 1960), was removed to the Photograph Collection.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box 1
Biographical information
Autobiographical writings / draft resistance

Work at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) [includes regional responses to statement on C.O.s / the Draft]
Media coverage of Seeger
Correspondence to/from/about, 1958-1959
Correspondence to/from/about, 1960
Correspondence to/from/about, 1961-1962
Correspondence to/from/about, 1963
Correspondence to/from/about, 1964 (January-February)
Correspondence to/from/about, 1964 (March-December)
Correspondence to/from/about, 1965-1966
Correspondence to/from/about, undated

Box 2
Speaking engagements
Broadcasts on radio shows
Writings: article "Reconciling Religious Faith and Democratic Practice: The Problem of the Elusive Definition of Religion" (North Dakota Law Review, vol. 84:1, 2008)
Involvement (?) with the Voluntary Organizations and a World Without War

Attendence at Midwest Voluntary Organizations and a World Without War Conference, January 9-10, 1965
Efforts in South Africa, 1965
Notes / drafts
Mailing lists
Letters to/from government officials
Correspondence with lawyers
Miscellaneous re: court cases
Letters of support to government officials
Non-Seeger correspondence

Daniel Seeger Defense Fund of the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (CCCO)
Daniel Seeger Defense Fund of the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (CCCO): fundraiser / appeal correspondence
Daniel Seeger Defense Fund of the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (CCCO): fundraiser / appeal

Box 3
Trial document, U.S. Supreme Court, October Term, 1963
Trial documents, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, no. 28346, 1963-1964
Trial documents, Southern District of New York, (6.2 Cr. 1003)
(6.2 Cr. 1003) - continued
Trial documents, U.S. Supreme Court, no. 50, October Term, 1964

Trial documents, U.S. Supreme Court, no. 50, October Term 1964, (continued)
Trial documents, "Transcript of Record," U.S. Supreme Court, no. 50, October Term, 1964
Trial documents,
U.S. Supreme Court, no. 50 & 51 & 29, October Term, 1964
Statements and reports, re: court cases [folder 1]
Statements and reports, re: court cases [folder 2]

Box 4 (1/2 box)
FBI file (copies received after Freedom of Information Act request)
Writings by Seeger's mother, Dorothy Seeger
Reference material:
Reference material: trial document of Supreme Ct., re: religion and education (no. 119 & 142), October Term 1962
Reference material: trial documents of Supreme Ct., v. Forest Britt Peter (no. 787) & v. Arno Sascha Johnson (no. --), October Term 1963
Reference material: mss. "The American Peace Movement: A Study of Its Themes and Political Potential" by A.E. Wessel, 1962
Reference material:
article "Defining Religion..." 2007 [with annotations - by Seeger?]
Reference material: mss. "The Effects of U.S. v. Seeger on Selective Service" by Phillip Steinberg
Reference material: article "The Supreme Court, 1964 Term" [mentions Seeger on p.113], 1965
Reference material: article "When is a Religious Belief Religious? U.S. v. Seeger..." by Robert L. Rabin, 1966

This file was last updated on September 30, 2015