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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Harriet Walker Welling Papers 1939-1959

© 2006 University of Chicago Library

Acknowledgments

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Welling, Harriet Walker. Papers

Dates:

1939-1959

Size:

2 linear feet (4 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

Political activist. Contains correspondence, reports, pamphlets, clippings, publicity, news releases, and other papers relating to Americans United for World Organization, Chicago Chapter; Build for Peace; Civilian Control of Atomic Energy, Chicago Committee; the International Relations Center of Chicago; the Stop Arming Japan Committee; and the Women's League for Lucas. Correspondents include Cordell Hull and Carl Sandburg.

Information on Use

Access

No restrictions.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Welling, Harriet Walker. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Welling, Harriet Walker (1892-1989) was an active leader member of many civic and political organizations in Chicago.

From 1939 to 1940, Welling was secretary of "Stop Arming Japan," a group that aimed to prevent the sale of scrap iron and other materials to Japan by American companies. At Welling's suggestion a Gallup Poll determined that most Americans favored prohibitions on the sale of raw materials to Japan. Welling also encouraged US economic and military aid to Great Britain.

In the fall of 1944, Welling organized an intensive and successful campaign to re-elect Scott W. Lucas to the United States Senate. She explained, "This campaign was undertaken not for party reasons (first time I voted Democratic!) but because Lucas' Senate vote was 100% non-isolationist..."

After the war, Welling served as Chair of the Steering Committee of the Chicago Emergency Committee for Civilian Control of Atomic Energy, organized in March 1946 in response to the proposed Vandenberg Amendment to the McMahon Bill, authorizing military control of atomic energy. The Chicago committee worked closely with the recently organized Federation of American Scientists. Welling organized an intensive campaign to lobby Congress concerning the bill. On July 26, Welling and fellow activists celebrated the final passage by both the House and the Senate of the McMahon Bill. The amendment regarding military involvement in the development of future atomic research had been defeated, and the bill as assured civilian control of atomic energy.

In the spring of 1945, Welling worked to encourage local support for the new United Nations. She participated in the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, and was a charter member and director of the International Relations Center, begun with funding from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Walker died in 1989. She was the daughter of Circuit Court Judge Charles M. Walker, and married John Paul Welling.

Scope Note

The papers contain documents relating to several organizations with which Welling was involved, as well as a small amount of personal correspondence.

The first organization represented in the papers is Stop Arming Japan, of which Harriet Welling was Secretary and a moving spirit of activities during its existence from early in 1939 to January 1942. Included are organizational files, reflecting the group's strong opposition to the supply of war material to Japan and its use of mailing campaigns and personal influence to influence the Congress, which in the spring and summer of 1939 was considering several bills in response to Japan's growing belligerence towards China. Also included are clippings, pamphlets and other publications documenting the military situation in both Asia and Europe and the public pressure groups that arose in response.

Harriet Welling was a charter member and director of the International Relations Center of Chicago, founded as a successor to the International Relations Speakers Bureau in 1943. The Center arranged lectures for public-spirited groups, operated a Pamphlet Shop, arranged for the showing of current and significant films, and sponsored special meetings of various kinds. It had its own radio program for a time, and served as a liaison for organizations with similar aims. The papers contain administrative papers and correspondence related to the Center.

In the fall of 1944, Mrs. Welling organized and carried through an intensive campaign to re-elect Scott W. Lucas to the United States Senate. She explained, "This campaign was undertaken not for party reasons (first time I voted Democratic!) but because Lucas' Senate vote was 100% non-isolationist . . ." Her methods are documented in correspondence, form letters, and other documents collected by Welling as a leader of the Women's League for Lucas. Senator Lucas was re-elected.

Also included in the papers are documents related to the Chicago Chapter of the Americans United for World Organization and the local activist group Build for Peace. Welling's involvement with the former organization seems to have been limited; her work with Build for Peace is documented by correspondence and publications about an approaching San Francisco conference on the United Nations, and other movements directed to building an enduring peace.

Harriet Welling served as Chair of the Steering Committee of the Chicago Emergency Committee for Civilian Control of Atomic Energy, organized in March 1946 in response to the proposed Vandenberg Amendment to the McMahon Bill, which would have authorized military control of atomic energy. The Chicago committee worked closely with the recently organized Federation of American Scientists. Welling organized an intensive campaign to pressure Congress concerning the bill. Other organizations throughout the country rallied to the cause. On July 26, Welling was able to report the final passage by both the House and the Senate of the McMahon Bill. Its crippling amendments had been defeated and the bill as passed provided real civilian control of atomic energy. The work of the Committee continued into the fall, with some effort to encourage high caliber and impartiality in the personnel selected for the new Atomic Energy Commission. The papers contain correspondence, publications and administrative materials reflecting the campaign to influence public policy on atomic energy. The correspondence includes several signed letters from Albert Einstein.

Finally, the papers contain a small amount of personal correspondence, including five notes and letters from Carl Sandburg.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Box 1   Folder 1

Stop Arming Japan, correspondence re finances, January 1940-January 1942.

Box 1   Folder 2

Stop Arming Japan, correspondence re proposed embargo on water materials, June 1939-April 1941

Box 1   Folder 3

Stop Arming Japan, forms, mailing samples, mailing lists

Box 1   Folder 4

Stop Arming Japan, newspaper coverage, January 1939-March 1940.

Box 1   Folder 5

Stop Arming Japan, Congressional amendments, bills, and resolutions, 1939 and 1940.

Box 2   Folder 1

Clippings re economics, mostly trade between China and Japan, 1939-1940.

Box 2   Folder 2

Clippings, re political events particularly in Japan and China, December 1938 - 1940,

Box 2   Folder 3

Newspaper clippings re Gallup Polls on attitudes of Americans towards Japan, 1938-40

Box 2   Folder 4

Clippings, circulars, etc., re American committees interested in the international relations of the United States, 1939-1941

Box 2   Folder 5

Pamphlets and other minor publications, 1939-1941

Box 3   Folder 1

International Relations Center, reports, correspondence and other administrative material, January 1943-December 1945.

Box 3   Folder 2

International Relations Center, designs and samples for center brochure

Box 3   Folder 3

Women's League for Lucas, correspondence, September 1944-January 1945.

Box 3   Folder 4

Women's League for Lucas, publicity, October 1942-October 1944.

Box 3   Folder 5

Women's League for Lucas, form letters, mailing lists, etc., September-October 1944.

Box 3   Folder 6

Women's League for Lucas, newspaper clippings, September to November 1944,

Box 3   Folder 7

Americans United for World Organization, Chicago Chapter, February 1945-May 1945

Box 3   Folder 8

Build for Peace, correspondence, February 1945-August, 1945.

Box 3   Folder 9

Build for Peace, clippings and pamphlets, concerned mostly with the United Nations.

Box 3   Folder 10

Build for Peace, financial and other reports, forms used, lists of names, etc.

Box 4   Folder 1

Chicago Committee for Civilian Control of Atomic Energy, organization and activities of predecessor group, December, 1945-February, 1946.

Box 4   Folder 2

Chicago Committee for Civilian Control of Atomic Energy, reports, mailing lists, mailings, etc., March 1946-July 1946.

Box 4   Folder 3

Chicago Committee for Civilian Control of Atomic Energy, correspondence, June 1946-February 1947.

Box 4   Folder 4

Chicago Committee for Civilian Control of Atomic Energy, Congressional bills and acts, 1945-1946.

Box 4   Folder 5

Chicago Committee for Civilian Control of Atomic Energy, clippings, April 1945-October 1946.

Box 4   Folder 6

Chicago Committee for Civilian Control of Atomic Energy, pamphlets, tear sheets, etc., August, 1945-June, 1946.

Box 4   Folder 7

Personal correspondence

  • "M.D. McC," Miami, to Mrs. J. Paul Welling, Chicago, March 3, 1956. A.L.S., 1 p.
  • "Frank," Palm Springs, to Paul [Welling], undated. A.L.S., 1 p.
  • Carl Sandburg, dedication of gift to Harriet Welling, 1939, vol. one Abraham Lincoln, the War Years, photocopy
  • Carl Sandburg, thank you note to Harriet Welling for lending him her copy of Adams, History of the United States, undated, A.L.S., 1 p.
  • Carl Sandburg to Harriet Welling, Chicago, Illinois, June 3, 1940, postcard, A.L.S., 1 p.
  • Carl Sandburg to Harriet Welling, Chicago, Illinois, September 26, 1940, T.L.S., 1 p.,
  • Carl Sandburg to Harriet Welling, November 20, 1959, A.L.S, 1 p.; enclosure
  • Carl Sandburg to "Rebecca," July 2, 1959, T.L.S., 1 p.