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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 765

Records of the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War, 1920-1994 (inclusive), 1924-1949 (bulk)

Records of the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War, an umbrella organization of women's organizations which sought to study and determine the causes of war, as well as and promote peace thorough education and legislative methods.

Dates

  • 1920-1994
  • Majority of material found within 1924-1949

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the records created by the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Extent

26.69 linear feet ((69 file boxes, 2 card boxes) plus 2 folio folders, 4 folio+ folders, 1 oversize folder, 1 supersize folder, 9 photograph folders, 3 objects)

The first accession of the records of the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War came to the Schlesinger Library in 1987 and was designated by the accession number 87-M111. A preliminary finding aid for this accession was created in 1990. In 2013, additional records received between 1991 and 1997 (91-M229--97-M99) were added to 87-M111. The order for the original accession was largely retained; these records begin with folder #1.1 and end with folder #63.11. The additional records were added after the first accession and begin with folder #63.12; they are arranged in order of accession, beginning with 91-M229 and ending with 97-M99. Some records in the later accessions are related Hymer's work with other organizations and projects. These records begin with folder #68.2 and end with folder #69.23.

During the processing work in 2013, records were refoldered, reboxed, and assigned folder numbers. Folder titles used in the preliminary inventory were clarified when necessary, and dates were added. Original folder titles created by the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War were retained; new titles created by the processor are in square brackets. Some empty folders were discarded and removed from the finding aid. Clippings not by or about the organization, in addition to other extraneous material and duplicates, were discarded. The second batch of records (91-M229--97-M99) were processed in the same manner. Many records were found loose and unfoldered, and this material was sorted and placed in folders by the processor.

The collection consists of correspondence, reports, minutes, speeches, endorsements, resolutions, and press releases documenting the work of the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War. The collection also contains bulletins, pamphlets, and other printed material created by the organization, as well as printed material and clippings on war, peace, disarmament, and public opinion and propaganda relating to these themes. Much of this printed material was used in the organization's Marathon Round Table program; the collection also includes kits used by the study groups. The collection also includes planning material and publications related to the organization's annual conferences.

In addition to the records of the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War, the collection includes papers of Esther Hymer, which document her involvement with a number of organizations, in particular the American Association of University Women, Church Women United, and the National Federation of Business and Professional Women. Also included are biographical clippings, correspondence, and writings by Hymer, particularly articles for Independent Woman and pamphlets for Lutheran Church Women.

The collection includes a small number of photographs of members of the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War, as well as speakers at conferences and events, including Carrie Chapman Catt and Eleanor Roosevelt. Photographs are listed at the end of the finding aid. Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and made available online.

HISTORICAL NOTE

In 1924, Carrie Chapman Catt convinced nine of the leading national United States women's organizations of the need for a conference on the cause and cure of war. The National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War was founded at a meeting in Washington in 1925. Carrie Chapman Catt served as chair until 1932, and as honorary chair thereafter.

The National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War was an umbrella organization composed of the following women's organizations: American Association of University Women, Council of Women for Home Missions, Federation of Woman's Boards of Foreign Missions, General Federation of Women's Clubs, National Board of the Young Women's Christian Association, National Council of Jewish Women, National League of Women Voters, National Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and the National Women's Trade Union League. In 1940, the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs and the National Women's Conference of the American Ethical Union became members.

Together, these organizations of educated women attempted to understand the causes of war, rather than protest against it. Members wrote letters to members of Congress, gave lectures, and organized petitions, study groups, and round-table discussion groups known as "Marathon Round Tables." The National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War also sponsored state, regional, and annual national conferences. The organization's focus was on education and promoting legislative methods of preventing war, particularly the World Court, the Kellogg-Briand Pact, and disarmament treaties.

In 1943, the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War changed its name to the Women's Action Committee for Victory and Lasting Peace, which after World War II became the Women's Action Committee for Lasting Peace. The goal of the new organization was to "To unite American women to work for full participation by the United States in the United Nations in order to build a world of peace and justice under law." The Women's Action Committee for Lasting Peace had a research arm, the Committee on Education for Lasting Peace, which produced publications including the bulletin Backlog for Action. Carrie Chapman Catt died in 1947, and the Women's Action Committee dissolved in 1949.

Esther (Wanner) Hymer was born in 1898 in Chicago, Illinois. She was graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1920, and studied at Northwestern University, Columbia University, and the Zimmern School of International Affairs in Geneva, Switzerland. She married Howard Hymer, a mining executive, in 1922; they had two children. They lived in Arizona and Montana, finally settling in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. Hymer became involved with the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War in 1934, when she served as a representative from the American Association of University Women. She chaired the Marathon Round Table committee, organized the discussion groups nationwide, and wrote materials for use in the program. Hymer attended the organizing conference for the United Nations in 1945 as an aide to Margaret Hickey, representative for the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs. She later served as a non-governmental representative to the United Nations focusing on women's issues. She was elected chair of the Committee for the International Women's Year and the Decade for Women and served in this position from 1972 to 1982. In addition to her work with the National Federation of Business and Professional Women, Hymer directed the World Relations Program for Church Women United from 1955 to 1964. Hymer died on April 4, 2001.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 87-M111, 91-M229, 93-M116, 93-M147, 94-M139, 97-M99

The records of the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War were given to the Schlesinger Library by Esther Hymer between 1987 and 1997.

SEPARATION RECORD

Donor: Esther Hymer

Accession number: 87-M111--97-M99

Processed by: Paula Aloisio

The following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library books and printed materials collection (pending review by curator):
  1. Circle of Prayer, Vol. 3. Asian Church Women's Conference, 1966?
  2. Hymer, Esther. Nation Building: A Channel to Peace. New York: United Church Women, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, 1963
  3. Hymer, Esther. Channels to Peace in Southeast Asia. New York?: General Dept. of United Church Women, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America., 1962.
  4. Hymer, Esther. The New Nations: Women and the Church. New York: General Dept. of United Church Women, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, 1959?
  5. Hymer, Esther. Peace, Policy and People in a Changing World. New York: General Dept. of United Church Women, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America,1960?
  6. Hymer, Esther. We and the United Nations Charter: Should it be Reviewed or Revised? New York: National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc., n.d.
  7. Report of the Consultation on the Responsibility of Christian Women in Africa Today, Held at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, April 11-19th, 1963
The following items have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library periodicals collection:
  1. AAUW Journal, American Association of University Women, Vol. 64, Nos. 6-7 (1971); Vol. 65, No. 6 (May 1972);
  2. News Bulletin. National Council of Federated Church Women, Vol. I, Nos. 2-3 (1935); Vol. II, No. 1 (July 1935)
  3. Newsletter. Paris, France: International Council of Women, Vol. 5, No. 5 (May 1966)
  4. Widening Horizons. London: International Federation of Business and Professional Women, Vol. 43, No. 3 (1974)
The following items have been transferred to Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School:
  1. Catholic Action. National Catholic Welfare Conference. Vol. XXXIV, No. 5 (May 1952)
  2. Creating and Renewing the Church: Program Book 1961-62. Evangelical and Reformed Church/Congregational Christian Churches, n.d.
  3. Espy, R. H. Edwin. A Perspective on the Needs of the World that Confront the Church: A Statement Presented by R. H. Edwin Espy, Associate General Secretary, Before the General Board of the National Council on the Churches of Christ in the U. S. A., February 24, 1960.
  4. Ross, Roy G. The United Witness of the Churches in a Changing World: A Decade Report to the Fifth General Assembly. National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., December 5, 1960.
The following items have been transferred to Widener Library, Harvard University:
  1. The Big Hand in your Pocket! Philadelphia, PA.: Peace Education Program, American Friends Service Committee, 1960
  2. Chronicle of World Affairs (League of Nations Chronicle). Vol. 7, Nos. 1, 3, 5; Vol. 10, Nos. 6-8, 11-12; Vol. 11, Nos. 1-2
  3. Disarmament: Why? When? How? New York: Foreign Affairs Forum, n.d.
  4. Fradkin, Elvira K. Poison Gas or Peace? Washington, D.C.: National Council for the Prevention of War, 1931.
  5. Graham, Malbone W., Mrs. Survey of Adult Education in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. California Association for Adult Education, 1926.
  6. Haile, Pennington. After the War: Plans and Problems. New York: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, May 1941.
  7. Harris, Paul Jr. This Munitions "Business." Washington, D.C.: National Council for the Prevention of War, n.d.
  8. International Conciliation. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, No. 417 (January 1946)
  9. International Problem of the Month. American University Women. Vol. I, Nos. 1-3, 5-6, 8 (1935-1936); Vol. II, Nos. 1-2, 4, 6-8 (1936-1937); Vol. III, Nos. 2-3 (1937)
  10. Lindeman, Eduard C. Upon What does Peace Depend? New York: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, April 1941.
  11. Plesman, A. Plan for International Cooperation. The Hague, Holland: n.p., n.d.
  12. Study Outline on the Organization of Peace. New York: Commission to Study the Organization of Peace, 1940.
  13. Transition. Institute of World Order, Inc. Vol. 3, No. 1 (February 1976).
  14. Wiese, Mildred. Let's Talk it Over. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1936.

Processing Information

Processed: June 2014

By: Paula Aloisio, Camille Owens, and Julie Seifert, with assistance from Emily Underwood.
Link to catalog
Title
National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War (U.S.). Records of the National Committee on the Cause and Cure of War, 1920-1994 (inclusive), 1924-1949 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Author
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
EAD ID
sch00520

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

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