Holdings in Tamiment Library: about half the records of the New York Bureau of Legal Advice consist of case histories pertaining to selective service exemption, draft evasion, conscientious objector status, military imprisonment, military discharge, desertion, amnesty, civil liberties and deportations. One third of the collection consists of office files, administrative reports and correspondence, including extensive fundraising correspondence. The remainder of the collection is made up of press releases and newspaper clippings. Correspondents include Mary Beard, Sarah N. Cleghorn, Bina Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Agnes Smedley, Louis Untermeyer, Thorsten Veblen, H.L. Mencken, Sinclair Lewis, Judah L. Magnes, and Stephen Wise.
Biographical / Historical
First known as the New York Bureau of Legal First Aid; operated from April 6, 1917 to the autumn of 1919 when its assets were turned over to the People's Freedom Union; assisted men who were subject to the draft process, defended the legal rights of conscientious objectors, many of whom were socialists and foreign-born aliens from combatant nations; fought against the deportation of members of the International Workers of the World; predated the similar National Civil Liberties Bureau; confined its activities to New York conscientious objection cases.