Scope and Contents
The collected records of the Henry Ford Peace Expedition in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection are neither the official records of the Expedition nor those of the Neutral Conference for Continuous Mediation. The bulk of the materials were donated by various members of the expedition and include scattered correspondence and personal files of Louis P. Lochner, Benjamin W. Huebsch, Arthur L. Weatherly, Theodore A. Hostetler, and John E. Jones. This section of the collection includes diaries, correspondence (1915-1916), statements, speeches, passenger lists and biographies, press releases, pamphlets, the Argosy (a shipboard newsletter), menus, invitations, press credentials and visiting cards as well as clippings (1915-1925), and photographs. Also present is a file of Lochner's on Corda Fratres, an international student organization. Documents of the Neutral Conference for Continuous Mediation include minutes (1916), releases, manifestos, and bulletins. The work of the NCCM is described in the conference publications, most of which are printed in English, but include some items in French, German, Swedish, and Esperanto.
In 1999, Barbara S Kraft, the author of The Peace Ship: Henry Ford's Pacifist Adventure in the First World War, donated her extensive files of materials on the Expedition. Kraft had collected correspondence, published pamphlets, and biographical material on Expedition participants from archival collections in Europe and North America in preparation for her book. These files form Series B. of this collection.
Correspondents in the whole collection, in addition to all those named above, are Katherine Devereux Blake, Katherine Leckie, Lola Maverick Lloyd, Lewis A. Maverick, Gaston Plantiff, Frances Pogany, May Wright Sewall, and Julia Grace Wales.
On December 4, 1915, Henry Ford (1863-1947) and over one hundred delegates and reporters left Hoboken, New Jersey, aboard the steamship Oscar II bound for Christiana, Norway, the first port of call on an itinerary of peace meetings in nonbelligerant Europe. Less than a month before the Oscar II sailed, Rosika Schwimmer (1877-1948), who became the expedition's "general secretary," persuaded Ford to finance the voyage. The purpose of the Henry Ford Peace Expedition was the establishment of a conference of neutral nations which would seek to implement peace proposals through continuous mediation.
Although Ford left the expedition at Christiana (Oslo) for health reasons, the delegation visited European pacifists in Stockholm and The Hague before returning to the United States in January 191 In late February, representatives from the European neutral nations met with a remnant of the Ford Peace Expedition to establish the Neutral Conference for Continuous Mediation (NCCM) at Stockholm. Several months later, the site of the sessions was transferred to The Hague. Work on proposals continued until the end of 1916, with Louis P. Lochner playing a key role in this attempt to encourage peace overtures and establish principles which could serve as the basis for an equitable peace settlement.