Swarthmore College Peace Collection, 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399, USA


PART III: U.S. SECTION
SERIES A,6: LEGISLATIVE OFFICE

Introduction to Collection written by archivist, Eleanor Barr, 198_

Notes re: History & Scope of Collection [MAY NO LONGER BE ACCURATE AS OF 09/2000]
The bulk of the Legislative Office records consists of correspondence ([l947-l978]-l983). Most of it, called Chronological Correspondence and signed by the Legislative Office staff, is copies of letters sent by them to government officials requesting support for peace legislation promoted by WILPF. Correspondence for the time period November l975 to May l977 is missing and there is no correspondence for l979 in this chronological file. Individual staff members' correspondence files are also found. A Literature section contains material published by the WILPF Legislative Office such as circulars mailed to WILPF members, Action cards, printed mailings to government leaders, memoranda, brief statements describing WILPF action, news releases, Political Action Handbooks, and statements and testimony delivered to Congress. There is information about and kits from the Legislative Seminars. Periodicals that were published by the Legislative Office and can be found at SCPC are the Legislative Bulletin (l969- ) and the Washington Newsletter (l949-l970). Also in SCPC are Four Lights (up to l970) and Peace and Freedom (l970 on), both published by the National Office but containing articles by the Legislative Office.

In Section III are files (l964-l975) relating to the Office's legislative actions and interests that contain correspondence, WILPF literature, and reference material. A wide range of topics, arranged chronologically, include WILPF demonstrations in Washington (l969, l970), the Shoppers Stoppage (l970), Middle East Action (l977) and a two-box Indochina File (l97l-l974) with much material about the imprisonment and subsequent release of Madame Ngo Ba Thanh.

Since the papers of Annalee Stewart, the Legislative Secretary from l950 to l964, were incorporated into DG 43, Series A 6, there is a significant amount of material about Stewart and material collected by her. This includes correspondence, biographical sketches, publicity, lobbying reports, and information about her travels for WILPF. An Action File (l948 [l950- l964]-l970) includes correspondence and reference material about Barbara Reynolds and Seymour Eichel, China, Cambodia, Cuba, conferences attended by Stewart, such issues as C-B-W (chemical and biological warfare), disarmament, and civil rights and WILPF supported events such as the Jeannette Rankin Brigade. Part of the series is a reference file on Congressional issues kept by Stewart to use for "activity on the Hill". She sub-divided the file into Threats to the Peace, World Disarmament, World Development, Human Rights, and United Nations. It
contains papers, pamphlets, and periodicals from government organizations and from peace and civil rights groups.

Correspondents for this series include Milnor Alexander, Gertrud(e) Baer, Emily Greene Balch, Libby Frank, Dorothy Hutchinson, Vivian Jennings, Judith Nies McFadden, Jane Midgley, Orlie Pell, Elsie Picon, Jacklyn Potter, Martha A. Powers, Carolyn Ramsey, Nancy Ramsey, Barbara Reynolds,
Rosalie Riechman, Patricia A. Samuel, William S. Samuel III, TriciaSmith, Annalee Stewart, John M. Swomley,Jr., Madame Ngo Ba Thanh, Gladys Walser, and E. Raymond Wilson.

In the spring of l946, a WILPF sub-committee on reorganization was formed. Its five members, Gertrude Bussey, Dorothy Robinson, Annalee Stewart, Katharine Arnett, and Gladys Walser, proposed dividing WILPF activities among three secretaries - administrative, legislative, and promotional. Mildred Scott Olmsted assumed the administrative position and stayed in Philadelphia. Katherine Lee Marshall of Philadelphia became the first Legislative Secretary and took her place in the Washington office at 1734 F Street N.W. on September 23, l946. The November l946 issue of Four Lights reported: "Because the legislative work is so demanding and important, it was considered that all the time of one person should be given to making contacts "on the hill," studying the bills before Congress and making recommendations for action." Early in l949, Annalee Stewart who was also National President of WILPF at that time, assumed responsibility for legislative duties. She formally became National Legislative Secretary in
January l950. A table of succeeding heads of the Legislative Office can be found below. In her report at the National Annual Meeting of l953, Stewart said that the two duties of the Legislative Office were: 1. to "interpret policies and principles in legislation and issues on which we work to Senators, Representatives, and the State Department" and 2. "to interpret what is happening in Washington and to relate the Washington work to work in the local branches."

To implement the above, the Legislative Secretary sent mailings to branches, including numbered memoranda, letters, telegrams, and action cards, pursued "activity on the Hill", discussing priority issues with Senators and Representatives and giving statements and testimony before Congress, made visits to WILPF branches. attended political conventions, published the Washington Newsletter, wrote a column in Four Lights, produced a Political Action Handbook, and assisted the Legislative Committee. The total budget for the U.S. Section of WILPF in l966 was $ll5,000. Of this, approximately l3 per cent went to the Washington-based Legislative Office. After Annalee Stewart's tenure, succeeding legislative secretaries spent less time "on the Hill" and requested that the WILPF national office focus its legislative interests on fewer issues. Judith McFadden Nies, Legislative Director from l967 to l969, reported that she did not feel that "creative lobbying" was getting done and that it was impossible given the many other duties of the legislative director. The greater part of her time was devoted, she claimed, to publication of the monthly Washington Newsletter, preparing for the Legislative Seminar, responding to requests from branches, and attendance at meetings and conferences. She requested a larger staff for the Office and a Legislative Assistant was employed subsequently. In her l969 annual report, Nies wrote that the "new focus" of the Legislative Office would be "furnishing branches with vital information on legislation and working and promoting local legislative activities across the country". In l976, Joan Belknap, head of the Legislative Office, said, "The main function of the Legislative Office is to enable WILPF membership to become well-informed, effective constituent lobbies. Rather than lobbying directly, we are providing WILPF members with legislative information and action suggestions on many issues."

A large portion of the Legislative Office files came directly from Annalee Kyger Stewart, including some of her personal papers and her papers dealing with WILPF. These papers were incorporated into Sections V and VI of Series A 6. Stewart, one of the first women ordained a minister in the Methodist Church, graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in l921, and was married that summer to Alexander Stewart who also became a Methodist minister. The couple had two daughters and a son. In l924, Annalee Stewart was invited by Jane Addams to chair a Youth Mass Meeting for Peace at the 4th International WILPF Congress in Washington DC, and here she met Addams, Emily Greene Balch, and other U.S. and European peace leaders. When the Stewarts moved to Chicago during World War II, she became active in the Chicago WILPF branch and was put on the National Board in l944. She co-chaired and lobbied for the National Women's Committee to Oppose Conscription of Women during these years and contributed to the defeat of peacetime conscription and universal military training. Stewart became President of the U.S. Section of WILPF in l946 and served until l950 when she was formally appointed the National Legislative Secretary. The Stewart family had moved to Washington and she began her "activity on the Hill" by lobbying against the war in Korea. Stewart directed the National Legislative Office until l964 when she went on "half-time" and was titled Legislative and Branch Liaison. She continued to lobby and travel, speaking to and helping organize new branches, especially in the South where WILPF supported the civil rights struggle. She retired in l970.

Stewart attended seven International Congresses and traveled extensively abroad including the USSR, Poland, Vietnam, Japan, India, and Israel. She was the first woman in the history of Congress to serve as guest chaplain in the House of Representatives and received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from her alma mater in l967. She continued to use both her WILPF work and her preaching to promote further a peaceful world. At this writing (l985), she is still living near Washington.

Notes re: Arrangment of Collection
The records now in DG 43, Series A 6, came primarily from the following sources:
- The original DG 43, Series A 6 (l950-l972) which included
1) early material already processed before l985 by SCPC
2) mailings from the Legislative Office to SCPC.
-DG 43, Series C 5, Boxes l-5, which was correspondence (l947-l96l) of the "Washington Legislative Secretary".
-Accession 84A-l46, 6 Paige boxes of chronological correspondence (l975-l978), correspondence of individual staff members (l970-l983), and office files found now in the Program/Activities/Reference Section.
-DG 69, Annalee Stewart's papers, donated in Accessions 7lA-75a and 76A-l0l, which include office, action, and reference files, correspondence, and some personal papers.
-Annalee Stewart's Reference File on Congressional Issues. The correspondence is arranged in chronological order. The time span of the correspondence file from Accession 84A-l46 (l975-l978) was expanded to include correspondence from l947 on, coming mostly from the Stewart papers and from earlier SCPC processing. The individual staff member's correspondence files (Bill Samuel, Rosalie Riechman, etc.) were left as received. Staff minutes were separated from the correspondence section. Branch correspondence was kept together from earlier SCPC processing. In Section IV, Program/ Activities/Reference, the folders contain the original material and were arranged in chronologica. order. If a reference file covered a span of time, the earliest year was used for placing it in order. The original file title was kept when meaningful and all file titles for this section are given in the checklist. The material in the Indochina File was reorganized. The Stewart papers from DG 69, which has now been disbanded, were reorganized more extensively although an effort to keep material within a folder in its original order was made. The travel material was put in chronological order instead of by trip, as found. Many reference pamphlets were moved to the SCPC pamphlet file. Published material from other peace groups or persons about whom collections already exist in SCPC were moved to those collections. Lists of items discarded or moved can be found in a folder at the beginning of section V.

The Reference File on Congressional Issues, kept by Annalee Stewart (Section VI), was reorganized, placing all material under the same heading together chronologically. Original subject headings were kept and a complete checklist giving all file titles can be found in the front of Box l of section VI. Pertinent newsclippings were photocopied for conservation purposes and Congressional material noted and removed. Many records that originated with the WILPF National Office in Philadelphia were moved from A 6 and placed with the records of the WILPF National Office and vice versa. Newsclippings that made no mention of WILPF were destroyed. Periodicals filed elsewhere in SCPC were removed. A list of these can be found with removal sheets in Box l. Similarly, Congressional records that are available in McCabe Library, were noted and removed. New folders were not used in this section. Processing notes and worksheets are at the end of Series A,6.
 






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