Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Wilmer Brandt Collected Papers, 1952-2007

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.
Brandt, Wilmer (1920- )
Wilmer Brandt Collected Papers
Inclusive Dates
Call Number

Language of Materials
Materials in English
2.5 linear inches [papers only]
Brandt was a conscientious objector to war, a Quaker, and interested in peace throughout his life.

Administrative Information
Restrictions to Access
Usage Restrictions
Originals of the Jeannette Rankin letters may only be seen with permission.
Alternate Form of Material
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Wilmer Brandt, 2014 [acc. no. 2014-060, 2014-062]
Processing Information
Processed by Anne M. Yoder, Archivist, June 2016
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Wilmer Brandt 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
Macedonia Cooperative Community Records (DG 071)
Jeannette Rankin Collected Papers (CDG-A)

Historical Background
Wilmer Brandt was born on January 13, 1920. He grew up on a dairy farm in Hershey (Pennsylvania), and was a member of a Church of the Brethren congregation. Brandt was able to go to Junior College because Milton S. Hershey (of Hershey Chocolate) provided a full scholarship in 1938 for anyone who attended there. When Brandt finished, he worked for a year at the chocolate factory before he was drafted for WWII. Brandt declared himself to be a conscientious objector and took part in alternative service, called Civilian Public Service (CPS), from February 1942 to January 1946. He was first in forestry service in Kane (Pennsylvania), then doing hookworm control in Florida. After being discharged, he became a "sea-going cowboy," working on a boat that transported cattle and horses to war-torn Europe; in all, he made three trips for the Heifer Project. This was followed by a stint at the Macedonia Cooperative Community in Georgia, followed by working on the grounds at a graduate school in Putney (Vermont). Then he moved to Goddard, where he graduated from Goddard College in 1955. His major was in elementary education, but a year of teaching convinced him that it was not to be his vocation. He worked thereafter as a cook or gardener / treeman in children's camps and schools, going on to be a forester.
Brandt joined a Quaker meeting, and was interested in peace topics. He admired Jeannette Rankin for being the only person in Congress to vote against U.S. involvement in both WWI and WWII. They met, possibly through both being members of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and corresponded for many years.
Brandt built a house in Marshfield (Vermont), where he still lives.

Collection Overview
This small collection is primarily made up of correspondence with Jeannette Rankin and others, including Round Robin letters sent to (and received from) friends, most likely those who were in CPS with him.

Items removed:
Photos - to the Photograph Collection
Originals of Jeannette Rankin letters - to the Restricted Documents collection

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box 1
Biographical information, etc.
General correspondence [includes photocopies of letters from Jeannette Rankin, circa 1958-1966; originals removed]
Round Robin letter (with CPS friends?), 1952-1991
Round Robin letter (with CPS friends?), 1992-1994
Round Robin letter (with CPS friends?), 1995-1999, 2002-2007
CPS camps and reunions [photocopies; photographs removed]

This file was last updated on September 12, 2016