Dorothy H. Hutchinson Papers
Scope and Contents
Dorothy Hutchinson's papers (l942-l980) document her activities in the peace movement, especially in international affairs, and in civil rights and civil liberties. Since she was known both as a writer and a speaker, her papers contain many articles, pamphlets, and speech notes.
There are several autobiographical memoirs: Living Without a Plan, a l40 page manuscript of her autobiography (l979); "War Record of a Pacifist", a collection of her own views, correspondence, articles and clippings that describe World War II; and "Letters of Friendship" (l954), letters home describing her Journey of Friendship, a trip around the world with Hazel DuBois. Hutchinson requested that no portion of her memoir Living Without a Plan be published.
There is also a small amount of biographical material including publicity newsclippings. Pamphlets written by Hutchinson include"A Call to Peace Now" (l943), published by the Society of Friends; "Must the Killing Go On? A Peace Catechism", (l943), published by the Peace Now Movement; "Toward World Political Community" (l965) and "Proposal for an Honorable Peace in Vietnam" (l968), both published by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.
There is a considerable quantity of notes from speeches about international relations and religious subjects, as well as several unpublished articles.
Approximately a quarter of the Hutchinson papers document the Peace Now Movement (l943, l944). These papers include its literature, partial files of the New York Office, and some files from George W. Hartmann, sent to Hutchinson by Hartmann's widow, in addition to Hutchinson's own correspondence related to PNM. There are many newsclippings about PNM and a letter (l976) to Glen Zeitzer in which Hutchinson tells him her recollections of PNM. SCPC also has material on PNM in its collective document groups.
Since Hutchinson headed both the U.S. and International sections of WILPF during the l960s, there is WILPF-related correspondence and writings and speeches by Hutchinson. A significant amount of this material deals with the peaceful settlement of international disputes.
There is a description of Hutchinson's fast at the Atomic Energy Commission in l958, and material about the World Peoples Conference in Geneva in l960 which she attended.
Finally, the Hutchinson papers include reference material on topics including SALT (l97l), the Save Our Seas Movement (l972), and Vietnam (l969-l972), and a series of general subject files including nonviolent resistence and women's rights.
Correspondents include Gertrud(e) Baer, Edith Ballantyne, Elise Boulding, Henry J. Cadbury, Stephen G. Cary, John A. Collett, Johanne Reutz Gjermoe, George W. Hartmann, Dorothy Hickey, Fujiko Isono, Andree Jouve, Emily Longstreth, A.J. Muste, Dr. Sushila Nayar, Mercedes M. Randall, Mark R. Shaw, Bessie Simon, and Nelly Weiss.
- Hutchinson, Dorothy H. (Dorothy Hewitt), 1905-1984 (Person)
- Baer, Gertrude (Correspondent, Person)
- Ballantyne, Edith (Correspondent, Person)
- Boulding, Elise (Correspondent, Person)
- Cary, Stephen G. (Correspondent, Person)
- Gjermoe, Johanne Ruetz (Correspondent, Person)
- Hartmann, George W. (George Wilfried), 1904-1955 (Correspondent, Person)
- Hickie, Dorothy (Correspondent, Person)
- Isono, Fujiko, 1918- (Correspondent, Person)
- Muste, Abraham John, 1885-1967 (Correspondent, Person)
- Nayar, Sushila, 1914-2001 (Correspondent, Person)
- Randall, Mercedes M. (Mercedes Moritz), 1895-1977 (Correspondent, Person)
- Simon, Bessie (Correspondent, Person)
Language of Materials
Materials are in English.
Limitations on Accessing the Collection
Researchers may only use Hutchinson's autobiography “Living Without a Plan” for publications, including short quotations, with permission from the Peace Collection Curator. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Copyright and Rights Information
Manuscript of Hutchinson's autobiography: "Living Without a Plan" (l979) may not be photocopied.
Dorothy Hewitt Hutchinson (l905-l984) was born in Middletown, Connecticut. Polio at age five left her partially crippled. She received a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in l927 and a Ph.D. In zoology from Yale in l932. In l933, she was married to R. Cranford Hutchinson, a professor of anatomy at Jefferson Medical College in Pennsylvania. The couple adopted and raised three children.
Although she grew up a Methodist, Hutchinson became a member of the Society of Friends when she joined the Falls (Pennsylvania) Monthly Meeting in l940. She began to gain influence in the peace movement when her pamphlet A Call to Peace Now was printed by the Friends in l943. l3,000 copies were printed and sold. That summer, Hutchinson and a small group of people started the Peace Now Movement, using her pamphlet to rally support for the principle of a negotiated settlement rather than unconditional surrender of the Axis powers. This group included George W. Hartmann, a psychology professor at Columbia, then on leave at Harvard, and John Collett, a Norwegian who had left Norway when the Nazis invaded. Bessie Simon, who had supported the America First movement, became the PNM secretary and it was endorsed by Frederick Libby of NCPW and Mark Shaw of FOR. Many Americans regarded the Peace Now Movement as "selling out" to the enemy, and pacifist A.J. Muste criticized it for its efforts, saying the only acceptable peace was one in which the Allies would unilaterally and unconditionally lay down their arms. The PNM files were stolen and turned over to the Dies Committee of the House of Representatives whose investigation resulted in hostile publicity. Hutchinson resigned late in l943 because of health problems, although she remained supportive. Collett proved to be mentally unbalanced and Hartmann suffered a nervous breakdown in l944. PNM formally ended in l944 although an effort was made by a group in Philadelphia to continue its work under the name of the American Peace Terms Committee. . Hutchinson, continuing to raise her young family, was in demand as a speaker and writer on subjects both religious and political. She spoke at Friends gatherings, large and small, as well as at other church and secular gatherings.
When her family moved from Fallsington to Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, Hutchinson joined the Abington Friends Meeting and taught an adult class there.
When World War II ended, she worked to promote the United Nations and helped organize a local chapter of the United World Federalists whose purpose was world disarmament through world law. During the l950s, however, she became convinced that total disarmament as conceived by UWF was unrealistic without the creation of acceptable methods for the peaceful settlement of international disputes.
In l954, she and Hazel DuBois, an eighteen year old black woman, undertook a Journey of Friendship under the sponsorship of the Abington Friends Meeting and travelled 25,000 miles around the world, promoting friendship and peace, especially among women.
In l958, Hutchinson fasted for five days at the Atomic Energy Commission. The aim was "to elicit a human response" against U.S. nuclear tests in the Pacific and protest the detention of the Golden Rule peace ship in Hawaii. She attended the World Peoples Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, in l960.
Hutchinson was active in the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She attended the l4th International Congress in Stockholm in l959 and became president of the U.S. Section of WILPF in l96l, serving until l965. She then served as chairman of International WILPF from l965 until l968, the first American woman to hold that position since Jane Addams. She was one of the American women who attended the Bryn Mawr Conference of American and Soviet Women in l96l.
Representing WILPF, she travelled to Poland in l963, and to Moscow in l964. She continued to be very active in the WILPF Committee on Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes. She urged participation in anti-Vietnam War activities in the late l960s, attending rallies and demonstrations.
Dorothy Hutchinson was an activist in civil rights and civil liberties as well as in the peace movement. In l957, she travelled to Montgomery, Alabama, to celebrate the first anniversary of the bus boycott by blacks, and in l965, she particpated in the Montgomery march for One Man, One Vote, working with Coretta Scott King and handling the switchboard that kept Selma headquarters in touch with the marchers.
In l968, she represented the Quakers in New Delhi at the first International Interreligious Symposium held by the Inter-Religious Committee on Peace, flying from there to Vietnam to meet with Vietnamese government officials.
The Hutchinsons moved from Jenkintown to their retirement home on Jump Off Road near Sewanee, Tennessee, in l969. Dorothy Hutchinson continued to speak and write for peace and to be involved in Friends gatherings. In l977, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Mount Holyoke on the fiftieth anniversary of her graduation.
5.25 Linear Feet (5.25 linear ft.)
Dorothy Hewitt Hutchinson (l905-l984) began to gain influence in the peace movement when her pamphlet A Call to Peace Now was printed by the Friends in l943. That summer, Hutchinson and a small group of people started the Peace Now Movement, using her pamphlet to rally support for the principle of a negotiated settlement rather than unconditional surrender of the Axis powers. This group included George W. Hartmann, a psychology professor at Columbia, and John Collett. Hutchinson also worked to promote the United Nations and helped organize a local chapter of the United World Federalists Hutchinson was active in the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and became president of the U.S. Section of WILPF in l96l, serving until l965. She then served as chairman of International WILPF from l965 until l968. Hutchinson was an activist in civil rights and civil liberties as well as in the peace movement.
In most of the folders in the Hutchinson papers, there is a mixture of different kinds of documents, including correspondence, her own writings or notes, and reference material.
Other Finding Aids
For the catalog record for this collection and to find materials on similar topics, search the library's online catalog.
The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for these papers.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Dorothy Hutchinson, 1981 (Acc. 81A-093, Acc. 81A-096).
Much material printed by WILPF found with these papers was moved to DG 043 (WILPF). Some literature from the Peace Now Movement was moved to the collective document group by that name. Pamphlets, not written by Hutchinson, were noted and moved to SCPCn Pamphlet Collection Periodicals were moved to the SCPC Periodical Collection. Photographs were moved to the SCPC Photograph Collection.
Copyright to the items created by Dorothy Hutchinson have been transferred to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Copyright to all other materials is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Checklist prepared by Martha P. Shane, January l986; This version of the finding aid was prepared by Chloe Lucchesi-Malone, July 2009.
- Civil rights -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Collett, John A. (John Albert), 1911-
- Hutchinson, Dorothy H. (Dorothy Hewitt), 1905-1984
- Peace Now Movement (Organization)
- Quaker women -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Society of Friends -- History -- Sources
- Women and peace -- History -- Sources
- Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. U.S. Section
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- 2017: The file list was standardized in Summer 2017 by Mary Olesnavich in preparation for importing into ArchivesSpace. Tessa Chambers added the notes in Fall 2017.
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