Biographical / Historical
Edwin D. Mead (1849-1937) and Lucia Ames Mead (1856-1936) were both leading pacifists, writers, and social reformers. Both Meads were involved in the leadership of the international peace movement. After their marriage in 1898, they worked together on peace related activities and attended many European conferences.
Edwin Mead began his career as a lecturer and writer for numerous literary magazines. In the 1870s he studied at Oxford and Cambridge, and in Leipzig, Germany. He also worked for a year at the British Museum. After 1879 Mead began lecturing in the United States on American literature and politics. He served as director or executive officer of a number of literary and civic organizations. From 1889 to 1901 he edited the New England Magazine .Mead directed the work of the World Peace Foundation (WPF) and wrote or edited may publications printed by its International Library (1902-1914). Keenly interested in international affairs, Edwin Mead attended many of the Hague and other peace conferences in Europe. His participation in international peace congresses and his subsequent involvement in the WPF led to a European lecture tour in 1911, the same year he was named an American delegate to the International Peace Bureau. Mead also helped to found the the School Peace League and gave many addresses under the auspices of the American Peace Society. Although his health failed in 1914, Mead continued to write on various aspects of internationalism throughout his life.
Correspondents and others in the collection include Andrew Carnegie, Norman Angell, Rose Dabney Forbes, George Nasmyth, and Woodrow Wilson,.
Lucia Ames Mead was a leading member of many feminist and pacifist organizations. In the 1890s she wrote numerous pamphlets for the Union for Industrial Progress on various economic issues. After the turn of the century Mead concentrated her efforts on women's rights and the peace movement.
She was a member of the Woman's Peace Party and a delegate to the founding conference of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom held in Zurich in 1919. Mead also served as Vice President on the board of the National Council for Prevention of War. She also wrote articles and pamphlets on various peace issues. Mead combined her interests in women's rights and peace by serving as chairman of the Department of Peace and Arbitration of the National Council of Women of the United States. She wrote many article on the need for women to gain access to the ballot in order to influence national and international politics and to work effectively for peace. Mead was also involved with other U.S. feminist organizations including the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association and the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and had connections with the British suffrage groups. Mead wrote and spoke on a variety of issues including woman suffrage, social housekeeping, scientific efficiency in the home, women's clubs, and the need for teachers and parents to train children in nonviolence.
Both Meads continued to work on peace and other interests until their deaths. Lucia Ames Mead died in 1936 from injuries sustained when caught in a crowd in the Boston subway. Edwin Mead died a year later in 1937.
Correspondents and others in this collection include Jane Addams, Emily Greene Balch, Alice Stone Blackwell, Carrie Chapman Catt, Hannah Clothier Hull, David Starr Jordon, Ramsay MacDonald, and Rebecca Shelley.