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Archives & Manuscripts

Anna B. Eckstein Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SCPC-CDG-B-Germany-Eckstein, Anna B.

Scope and Contents

In 1945, Ellen Starr Brinton, Curator of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, corresponded with Eckstein about transferring her papers to the SCPC. No agreement was reached, but Eckstein did show interest. After her death, her papers and books were donated to the SCPC by her nephew in exchange for CARE food parcels.

Dates

  • Majority of material found within 1886-1944

Creator

Language of Material

Materials are in English and German.

Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research without restrictions.

Copyright and Rights Information

None.

Biographical note

Anna B. Eckstein was born in Coburg, Germany in 1868, the daughter of a German officer. Eckstein left Germany in 1886(?) for America, where she became a naturalized American citizen and joined the Boston [Massachusetts] Peace Society. She became a school teacher and later the principal of the School of Modern Languages in Boston.

Eckstein was influenced by various religious and peace thinkers, including Baroness Bertha von Suttner, Boston pastor Carles Gordon Ames, and the American writer Martha Griffith Brown. Eckstein became an ardent champion of world peace, going on many world tours to promote this ideal. She gave numerous lectures and wrote many articles on peace problems of the United States and of Europe. Eckstein was a vice-president of the American Peace Society from 1905 to 1911 (she took an active role in the 2nd National Peace Congress, held in Chicago in May 1909). Edwin Ginn sponsored her after she left the School of Modern Languages in order to engage wholly in peace work.

Eckstein saw as her greatest work the collection of signatures for "The World Petition to Prevent War Between Nations," to be signed by heads of the 44 signatory powers of the Hague Conventions. It was to serve as a "mutual pledge of the 44 nations to respect, as inviolable, every nation's fundamental factors of life and natural liberty. . . ., to adjust all international interests by treaty, and by arbitration reduce the necessity of armaments." She presented the first version of the petition in 1907 to the second Hague Conference with some two million signatures, at which time she was received by the Queen of the Netherlands and her Ministers. Eckstein began to prepare another petition for the 3rd Hague Conference. By 1914 Eckstein had some 6 million signatures, but estimated that local peace groups had collected many more not included in that count. Eckstein's efforts in this regard were ended by the advent of World War I.

Eckstein was an honorary member of the Liberal Christian League in London and of many other social and education societies.

After her retirement, she moved back to Coburg, Germany. During the Nazi regime, she was curbed in her peace activities. In 1942 she tried to have her manuscript "The Will to Power Harmonized" published, but the Nazi authorities refused permission. Eckstein died in Coburg on October 16, 1947.

Extent

0.83 Linear Feet (10 linear in.)

Overview

Born in Coburg, Germany, Anna B. Eckstein eventually became a naturalized American citizen and joined the Boston [Massachusetts] Peace Society. She became an ardent champion of world peace and gave numerous lectures and wrote many articles on peace problems of the United States and of Europe. Eckstein was a vice-president of the American Peace Society (1905-1911), and an honorary member of the Liberal Christian League in London and of many other social and education societies. She collected signatures for "The World Petition to Prevent War Between Nations" for The Hague Conventions. Eckstein had begun to prepare another petition for the 3rd Hague Conference for which she had some 6 million signatures when her efforts were ended by the advent of World War I. Her manuscript "The Will to Power Harmonized" was refused publication by Nazi authorities.

Other Finding Aids

For the catalog record for this collection, and to find materials on similar topics, search the library's online catalog.

Custodial History

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for these papers of Anna B. Eckstein.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Otto Eckstein, 1949.

Alternate Form Available

Box 1 available on microfilm Reel 120. See office file for list of books from the Eckstein Collection. Most are available in the tri-college libraries.

Separated Materials

Photos removed to the SCPC Photograph Collection.

Legal Status

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Processing Information

Processed by SCPC staff; checklist revised by Anne M. Yoder, Archivist, January 1999
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Swarthmore College Peace Collection Library

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