Notes on the Devere Allen Papers by historian Charles Chatfield
Devere Allen died on August 27, 1955. The records of the Worldover Press were removed in filing boxes from an office to his home in Wilton Center, Connecticut. They were stored along with his other papers in the library and in the basement of the study. Each of these buildings is independent of the house. The papers in the library remained in good condition; those in the basement were in fair condition, with slight damage.
Allen had given some papers to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. He had indicated that numerous items of historical interest which he held should eventually be deposited with the Collection. He was one of those on the Advisory Council who were eager to see the Peace Collection expand its activities. It was natural, therefore, that upon his death Mrs. Allen sent a few items to the library.
In connection with research on pacifism, Charles Chatfield contacted Mrs. Allen in the summer of 1960 and requested permission to study the Allen papers. When the size and importance of the collection became apparent, and when Mrs. Allen expressed her desire that it be cared for as a whole, the Advisory Council of the Peace Collection agreed to accept her gift.
Through the generosity of the Clement and Grace Biddle Foundation, the Peace Collection was enabled to sponsor the collecting and classifying of the books and papers at Wilton by Charles Chatfield, a task in which Mrs. Allen graciously assisted. In the fall of 1961 the collection was shipped in its entirety to Swarthmore.
Allen's papers are instructive in the socialist-communist-fascist-patriot conflict of the thirties, the progressive spirit in the twenties, and the history and relationships of pacifism, socialism, and international relations.
Scope and Content Notes by Barbara Addison
The papers of Devere Allen consist of correspondence (bulk, 1910-1955), biographical material, administrative files, minutes of meetings, biographical material, published and unpublished manuscripts, diaries, newspaper clippings, brochures, flyers, leaflets, periodicals, reference material, posters, lapel buttons, stamps, and photographs. The papers reflect his work as a journalist, editor, newspaper correspondent, author of fiction and non fiction, and as a public speaker.
Devere Allen founded and edited the pacifist journal, The Rational Patriot in 1917-1918. Correspondence, manuscripts, and a complete file of this publication are included. From 1918 through 1921, he was secretary of The Young Democracy and editor of its publication of the same name. Records of The Young Democracy (correspondence, financial and membership records) and a set of Young Democracy (1919-1922) are included.
The collection contains substantial reference files in the areas of liberal youth organizations from the immediate post World-War I period.
Correspondence relating to Allen's tenure (1921-1933) as managing editor and editor of The World Tomorrow is included, together with a complete set of this periodical (1918-1934). There are extensive records of the Nofrontier News Service (1933-1941) and the Worldover Press (1942-1955), including correspondence, business, financial, operational, and promotional files, serial publications, news releases, and clippings.
The collection contains information about the many organizations with which Allen was affiliated, including the American Friends Service Committee, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, the War Resisters League, and War Resisters' International. A complete list of the organizations is found in Series C-5 of this checklist.
There is extensive documentation of Allen's involvement with the Socialist Party (U.S.) at the national, state, and local level. (The Socialist Party of Connecticut was forced to change its name to the Labor Party of Connecticut in 1938). Correspondence and organizational material, both primary and secondary, are found throughout Series C-4. Most of Allen's involvement was between the years 1932 and 1940, although there is a small amount of correspondence after 1940.
The many correspondents of Devere Allen include: Dean Acheson, Jane Addams, Friedrich Adler, Gertrude Baer, Emily Greene Balch, Roger Baldwin, Charles Beard, Russel O. Berg, Landrum Bolling, Heloise Brainerd, Ellen Starr Brinton, Vera Brittain, Fenner Brockway, Heywood Broun, Pearl Buck, Corder Catchpool, Carrie Chapman Catt, E. Dixwell Chase, A. Sprague Coolidge, Maurice Cranston, Merle Curti, Dorothy Detzer, John Dewey, Camille Drevet, W.E.B. DuBois, John Foster Dulles, Crystal Eastman, Albert Einstein, H.C. Engelbrecht, Harold Fey, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Lella Secor Florence, A. Ruth Fry, Marcus Garvey, Donald Grant, Anna M. Graves, Philip Gray, Richard Gregg, Paul Harris, Alfred Hassler, John Hayes Holmes, Jessie Wallace Hughan, Hannah C. Hull, Dorothy Hunt (Mrs. S. Foster Hunt), Grace Hutchins, Samuel Guy Inman, Rufus Jones, David Starr Jordan, Abe Kaufman, Muriel Lester, Alfred Baker Lewis, Fred Libby, A.J. Muste, Tracy Mygatt, Ray Newton, Reinhold Niebuhr, Anna T. Nilsson, Mildred Scott Olmsted, Kirby Page, Sylvia Pankhurst, Clarence E. Pickett, Arthur Ponsonby, Mercedes Randall, Jeannette Rankin, Charles Raven, Reginald Reynolds, Anna Rochester, Romain Rolland, Eleanor Roosevelt, Robert Root, Bayard Rustin, Margaret Sanger, John Nevin Sayre, Rosika Schwimmer, Michael Scott, Vida Scudder, Clarence Senior, Rebecca Shelley, Wallace Stegner, Helene Stocker, John Swomley, Norman Thomas, Magda Trocmé, Caroline Urie, Oswald G. Villard, Lillian Wald, Wilfred Wellock, Howard Y. Williams, E. Raymond Wilson, William Worthy, and Art Young. There is an index to significant correspondents.