Swarthmore College Peace Collection
American Peace Society Records, 1828-1947
Collection: DG 003
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399
Telephone: (610) 328-8557 (Curator)
Fax: (610) 328-8544
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Curator)
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
American Peace Society
American Peace Society Records
Language of Materials
Materials in English
10 linear feet [papers only]
In the 1820s William Ladd of the Maine Peace Society suggested that the regional US peace societies become associated in a national organization. As a result, the peace societies of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) merged in May 1828 to form the American Peace Society [APS]. The stated purpose of the American Peace Society was to "promote permanent international peace through justice; and to advance in every proper way the general use of conciliation, arbitration, judicial methods, and other peaceful means of avoiding and adjusting differences among nations, to the end that right shall rule might in a law--governed world."
The headquarters of the Society moved in 1835 from Hartford, Connecticut to Boston, Massachusetts, and in 1911 to Washington, D.C., where it still had offices today (2009).
Restrictions to Access
Yes, parts of this collection are located off site. Please use microfilm in place of the original documents if at all possible. Contact SCPC Curator at least two weeks in advance to discuss access to original documents.
Alternate Form of Material
Yes, part of the collection is available on microfilm 68.1-68.13
Purchased from American Peace Society 1930-1940; gift from Lyra Trueblood Wolkins 1939--1940, 1966; gift from Peter L. and Susan H. Steere 1989
Microfilmed material originally processed and arranged by donors Lyra Trueblood Wolkins and Peter Steere; other material processed and arranged by SCPC staff; and checklist revised and updated, by Anne Yoder, August 1997; this version of the finding aid created by Wendy E. Chmielewski, July 2009.
[Identification of item], in the American Peace Society Records (DG 003), Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law
Online Catalog Headings
These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online library/archival catalogs.
See tripod record
CDG--A Papers of William Ladd
Massachusetts Peace Society Records(DG 020)
New York Peace Society Records (DG 026)
Pennsylvania Peace Society Records (DG 031)
American Peace Society photograph exhibit
William Ladd (1778-1841) suggested in the 1820s to the Maine Peace Society that the regional peace societies, which had grown up in the United States since 1815, become associated in a national organization. As a result, the peace societies of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) merged in May 1828 to form the American Peace Society [APS]. Most local societies also became affiliated, with varying degrees of control from the national office. The political philosophy of the APS was never as radical or pacifist as some reformists would have liked, so some activists broke away to form new organizations, such as the New England Non-Resistance Society in the 1830s, and the Universal Peace Union in 1866. The stated purpose of the American Peace Society was to "promote permanent international peace through justice; and to advance in every proper way the general use of conciliation, arbitration, judicial methods, and other peaceful means of avoiding and adjusting differences among nations, to the end that right shall rule might in a law-governed world."
William Ladd was one of the first to propose a Congress of Nations and a World Court. The APS was instrumental in bringing about many peace congresses at The Hague, beginning in 1843, and in the United States in 1907-1915, as well as the Pan American Congress, out of which grew the Pan American Union.
The APS published Harbinger of Peace, The Calumet, Advocate of Peace, A.P.S. Bulletin, and World Affairs Bulletin. It also published many pamphlets and books to "mold public opinion in this country and abroad on the subject of international friendship" and peace.
The headquarters of the Society moved in 1835 from Hartford, Connecticut to Boston, Massachusetts, and in 1911 to Washington, D.C., where it still has offices today (2009)
The material in the APS Collection consists of meeting minutes and annual reports, official correspondence and documents, as well as pamphlets and periodicals published by the APS. Of particular note are the early pamphlets, especially The Friend of Peace... written by Noah Worcester under the pseudonym Philo Pacificus. The largest group of documents within the APS Collection are the personal papers of Benjamin Franklin Trueblood [Benjamin F. Trueblood] (1847-1916), General Secretary of the Society from 1892 to 1915, and those of his daughter and secretary, Lyra Trueblood Wolkins. This material consists of correspondence, articles, addresses and memorabilia from 1892-1925.
Because the material in the collection came to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection in several accessions, there is some duplication among series.
See also the records of the Massachusetts Peace Society (DG 20), the New York Peace Society (DG 26), and the Pennsylvania Peace Society (DG 31), and the papers of Joshua Pollard Blanchard (CDGA).
--See Button Collection for buttons and ribbons from peace congresses (1891, 1901, 1904, 1906, 1907,
1908, 1909, 1910, 1912), etc.
--See Oversize Area for scrapbook of Lyra Trueblood Wolkins re: World War I
--See Oversize Documents (Misc.) for Petition "A Sa Majeste Imperiale l'Empereur de toutes les Russies
[for] reduction possible des armaments excessifs..." presented to Benjamin F. Trueblood by J.A. Masel (?), Secretary of the Dutch Peace Society, The Hague, June 8, 1899
--See Photograph Collection for all size photographs of Benjamin F. Trueblood, his wife and parents, friends, APS
associates, and American and European peace workers
Periodicals [see bibliographic review of the various titles published by the APS and its affiliates 1815-present]
See Periodicals Collection for the following periodicals [may be duplicates of those in boxes]:
--Advocate of Peace: No. 1-4 ( (June 1837 - March 1838); Vol. 2:5-11 (June 1838-December 1838); Vol.
2:13-3:12 (Feb. 1839 - April 1841); Vol. 4:9-6:9 (1842-1845); Vol. 7 (numbers?) (1847-1856); (Vol.?) 1857-1867; Vol. 1 (1869); Vol. 2:13-24 (1870); Vol. 3-6 (1871-1875); Vol. 7 (1876); Vol. 8-14 (1877-1883); No. 1-94 (1837-1932; scattered issues)
--Advocate of Peace & Universal Brotherhood: Vol. 1:1-12 (1846) [three copies]; Vol. 1:6,9,10,11 (1846)
--American Advocate of Peace: Vol. 1--3 (1834-1836, 1838); Vol. 47-54 (1885-1892)
--The Calumet (Bound Volume): Vol. 1:1-12 (May 1831-April 1833)
--The Calumet (Bound Volume): Vol. 1:13-18 - 2:1-6 (May 1833-April 1835)
--The Friend of Peace (Bound Volume): "A Solemn Review..." (1815); "The Friend of Peace..." (1816);
--"The Friend of Peace" No. 2 (1816) - No. 12 (undated); "Monument of a Beneficient Mission from Boston to St. Johns" as an appendix to Vol. 1 (undated); --"Address Delivered to the Massachusetts Peace Society at Their Third Anniversary, December 25, 1818" by Andrew Ritchie, 1819
--The Friend of Peace (Bound Volume): Vol. 3:1-12 (July 1821-April 1824)
--The Friend of Peace (Bound Volume): Vol. 4:1-14 (July 1824-October 1827);
--The Friend of Peace : Appendix 1 (January 1828); Appendix 2 (April 1828); Appendix 3 (July 1828);
Appendix 4 (October 1828)
--Harbinger of Peace: Vol. 1:1- 12:1 (May 1828 - April 1829); 2:5 (September 1829); 2:12 (April 1830)
--Herald of Peace: Dec. 1823 -1850, 1863-1868; 1883; 1887-1888; 1891; 1893; 1896-1899; 1901-1917;
1920-1921; 1927-1930; 1939 (scattered issues)
--World Affairs: Vol. 95:1 - 151:3 (June 1932 - Winter 1988/1989) [Vol. 145:1- (Summer 1982- ) on
Arrangement of Collection
Boxes 1-5 contain printed material published by the APS organized in a chronological manner. Boxes 6-12 contain the correspondence of Benjamin Trueblood, APS president, and Trueblood family correspondence. Boxes 13/14-19 contain items about Benjamin Trueblood's work for the APS, his writings and speeches, and scrapbooks about his activities. Boxes 20-23 contain various publications by early nineteenth century leaders of the peace movement, many pre-dating the founding of the APS . Boxes 24 and 25 contain later accessions, mostly files of Benjamin Trueblood work for the APS. Some items listed below in boxes 1-20 are included in the microfilmed version, but many items are not included in the microfilm edition, nor are they necessarily marked as such in this finding aid. All items in boxes 1--6 are listed in a chronological manner, but some may be found, out of order on various reels of film. Some of these are marked with actual location on the microfilm.