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Women's Peace Union: U.S. Branch Records

Identifier: SCPC-DG-044

Scope and Contents

The records of the Women's Peace Union in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection are those of the U.S. Branch. Correspondence makes up a large part of the collection. There are also minutes from meetings, reports, form letters, WPU literature, information on the history of the Women's Peace Union, petitions, and material on the Frazier amendment. Correspondents and others in the collection include Jane Addams, Caroline Lexow Babcock, Elizabeth Black, Katherine Devereux Blake, Elinor Byrns, Lynn J. Frazier, Yella Hertzka, Lida Gustava Heymann, Jessie Wallace Hughan, Frieda L. Lazarus, Lola Maverick Lloyd, Tracy D. Mygatt, Rosika Schwimmer, Lydia G. Wentworth, Mary E. Winsor, and Frances M. Witherspoon.


  • Creation: 1921-1940


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Physical Access Note

All or part of this collection is stored off-site. Contact Swarthmore College Peace Collection staff at at least two weeks in advance of visit to request boxes.

Conditions Governing Use


Historical Note

The Women's Peace Union was founded in 1921 at a meeting of American and Canadian women in Niagara Falls. The Women's Peace Union for the Western Hemisphere that resulted from this conference had branches in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and several other Latin American countries. Each group worked for complete disarmament and for the abolition of legal sanction for war. The Women's Peace Union ascribed to a pledge that advocated noncooperation with any war effort. To this end, in 1926, the members of the U.S. section of the WPU drafted an amendment that would make the waging of war unconstitutional. The WPU gained the support of Senator Lynn J. Frazier of North Dakota, who introduced the amendment in every session of Congress from 1927 until 1940. Of the many women who worked in the WPU Caroline Lexow Babcock was especially active in the early Congressional lobbying campaigns. Tracy D. Mygatt, another absolute pacifist, worked with the WPU from its inception and was instrumental in representing the organizations work against conscription from 1939 to 1940.


11.25 linear ft. (11.25 linear ft.)


The Women's Peace Union was founded in August 1921 to encourage the formation of a peace group to encompass all the women of the western hemisphere, to work for complete disarmament and the abolition of all constitutional and legal sanctions for war. Records in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection are those of the United States branch.

Custodial History

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for these papers/records.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Women's Peace Union, via Tracy D. Mygatt, 1942 [Acc. No. 42-056]; via Frances M. Witherspoon, 1947 [Acc. No. 47-016]

Existence and Location of Copies

This collection is available on microfilm (reels 88.1-88.26). Microfilm is available on-site by appointment and through interlibrary loan from the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

Related Materials

For related materials, search the library's online catalog

Bibliographic References

Guide to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, 2nd ed., p. 80.

Bibliographic References

Guide to Sources on Women in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, p. 37.

Legal Status

Copyright was transferred by the staff of the Women's Peace Union to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Other authors of items in these records, or their descendents, have retained copyright, as stipulated by United States copyright law

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Peace Collection staff, and this finding aid was updated by Wendy E. Chmielewski in August, 2011.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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 or requesting repoductions from Swarthmore College Peace Collection Library

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