Scope and Contents
The Ellen Starr Brinton papers consist of personal correspondence (1935-1953), travel journals and address books, as well as notes, manuscripts and typescripts of articles and related correspondence and subject files (1895-1980). Part of her correspondence focuses on Cuban-American relations (1935-1937). Other correspondence includes letters to and from Rosa Kulka, who was Chairman of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (German Group) of the Czechoslovakian branch in Brunn from 1924 to 1938. Kulka and her family were Jewish pacifists who tried unsuccessfully to come to the United States to escape persecution in Czechoslovakia. The correspondence includes Brinton's attempts to locate Kulka and her family after the war.
Topics of Brinton's research include the Daughters of the American Revolution, Elihu Burritt, Benjamin West's painting "Penn's Peace Treaty With the Indians," the Universal Peace Union, and Mexican-American relations; there is a card file of notes for a proposed biography of Jane Addams. Her notes and manuscripts for articles and books, and the manuscript draft ("Dreamer of Dreams") of her unpublished work on the American peace movement are also located in this collection.
Correspondents include Emily Greene Balch, Heloise Brainerd, Benny Cederfeld, A. Ruth Fry, Rosa Kulka, Paul Vanorden Shaw, Phyllis M. Tiller, Herminio Portell Vila, Elizabeth A. Wheeler, and Lyra Trueblood Wolkins, who contributed reminiscences about her father, Benjamin Trueblood.
Majority of material found within 1933-1954
Language of Material
Materials are in English.
Restrictions on Access
Collection is open for research without restrictions.
Copyright and Rights Information
Ellen Starr Brinton (1886-1954), Quaker, feminist and internationalist, served as the first curator of the Jane Addams Peace Collection (later the Swarthmore College Peace Collection) from 1935 until her retirement in 1951.
During World War I, Ellen Brinton assisted with educational publicity work under the Food Administration in Philadelphia and also wrote for a newspaper there. She was a field representative in the Philadelphia office of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom during the 1920s and early 1930s. During this time Brinton was particularly interested in the political situation in Cuba and human rights violations there. She also worked with other WILPF representatives to establish ties with women's organizations in Latin America. When the Daughters of the American Revolution published attacks on WILPF in the 1920s, Brinton was one of the League members who wrote articles in rebuttal. She specifically addressed the DAR's color barrier in the admissions policy of their organization.
As first curator of the Peace Collection, Brinton established collection and arrangement policies for the WILPF papers and other material. Her various historical interests initiated several collections such as the peace seals, stamps, and covers collection and the material pertaining to Benjamin West's painting "William Penn's Treaty With the Indians." Brinton traveled to Europe before and after World War II to secure valuable peace records. During her 1937 trip to Europe, Brinton correctly assessed the growing political turmoil, especially in Germany, where she spent time with peace activists. During this trip she also met Rosa Kulka, a member of the Czechoslovakian WILPF. Brinton's attempts to assist Kulka, her sister and two nieces escape Nazi-occupied Europe are documented in these papers. Brinton's interest in the history of the American peace movement, Quakerism, international relations, and archival theory led her to write many articles on these and other topics.
After her retirement, Ellen Starr Brinton was one of the founders of a venture to promote interracial understanding which became the Media, Pennsylvania, Fellowship House. She died on July 2, 1954.
1.45 Linear Feet (1,45 linear feet)