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Mabel Vernon Papers

An inventory of her papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: Sep 1987

Biographical History

Mabel Vernon (1883-1975) was an American Quaker suffragist, feminist, and pacifist. Born in Wilmington, Delaware, she graduated from Friends School in 1901 and from Swarthmore College in 1906. She took a position teaching German and Latin at Radnor High School in Wayne, Pennsylvania, and soon became active in women's rights.

After some time as a member of the American Woman Suffrage Association, Vernon joined with Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, Inez Milholland, Olympia Brown and Crystal Eastman to form the Congressional Union for Women Suffrage (CUWS) in 1913. She was among the more militant suffragists, publicly heckling President Wilson during a speech, organizing huge demonstrations, and coordinating the daily picketing of the White House. After women were granted the vote in 1920, Vernon continued to work for women's causes until the 1930s, when she joined the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and shifted her focus to peace and disarmament.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Mabel Vernon Papers consists of correspondence and printed material.

Incoming Correspondence is addressed to Mabel Vernon in her capacity as member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and as campaign director of one of its committees, the People's Mandate to Governments to End War. (This was also known as the People's Mandate to End War and the People's Mandate Committee; it was later renamed the People's Mandate Committee for Inter-American Peace and Cooperation.) A few of the items are addressed to the secretaries or other officers of these organizations, including Hannah Clothier Hull, Mary Moss Wellborn, Emma Wold, and Mary E. Woolley.

The correspondence centers around the activities of various pacifist organizations, such as fund-raising, petition signature gathering, and despatching delegations concerned with securing world peace through disarmament. Among those correspondents in support of the Women's International League petition to the President were Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Zona Gale, Inez Haynes Irwin, and Samuel Parkes Cadman. Those who were invited but declined to sign the People's Mandate include Temple Bailey, Ruth Bryan Owen, and Martha Carey Thomas. Correspondents who discuss the work of the People's Mandate Committee include Carrie Chapman Catt, Gabriela Mistral, Galo Plaza Lasso, Nelson Rockefeller, and Leo Rowe.

Some of the correspondents write in general support, not specifying a particular cause or organization. In a letter of May 6, 1937, Clare Boothe Luce writes, "Enclosed is the check. May it, the history of human experience to the contrary, do some good." There are also a few personal letters, including those from Pearl Buck, Arthur Capper, and Lillian Wald.

Printed material includes samples of petitions which were mailed out by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, which collected names for the People's Mandate Committee. Two returned petitions are from Clarence Darrow and William Allen White. There is also an example of a petition which includes a list of "distinguished persons" who had signed the People's Mandate.

Arrangement of the Collection

Both series are arranged alphabetically.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Abbott, Grace, 1878-1939.
Addams, Jane, 1860-1935.
Aydelotte, Frank, 1880-1956.
Bailey, Irene Temple.
Baker, Newton Diehl, 1871-1937.
Buck, Pearl S. (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973.
Cadman, Samuel Parkes.
Calderón Guardia, Rafael Angel, 1900-1970.
Capper, Arthur, 1865-1951.
Catt, Carrie Chapman, 1859-1947.
Clapper, Raymond, 1892-1944.
Cochran, Jacqueline.
Daniels, Josephus, 1862-1948.
Davis, Norman H.
Fisher, Dorothy Canfield, 1879-1958.
Flexner, Abraham, 1866-1959.
Gale, Zona, 1874-1938.
Gildersleeve, Virginia Crocheron, 1877-
Glass, Meta.
Graham, Frank Porter, 1886-
Irwin, Inez Haynes, 1873-1970.
Landon, Alfred M. (Alfred Mossman), 1887-
Lewis, Sinclair, 1885-1951.
Luce, Clare Boothe, 1903-
Mistral, Gabriela, 1889-1957.
O'Day, Caroline.
Owen, Ruth Bryan.
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979.
Rowe, Leo S.
Steinhardt, Laurence A.
Thomas, Lowell, 1892-1981.
Thomas, M. Carey (Martha Carey), 1857-1935.
Vernon, Mabel.
Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949.
Wald, Lillian D., 1867-1940.
Willkie, Wendell L. (Wendell Lewis), 1892-1944.
Woolley, Mary Emma.
Ziff, William Bernard.

Corporate Bodies

People's Mandate Committee for Inter-American Peace and Cooperation (U.S.)
People's Mandate to Governments to End War.
Plaza Lasso, Galo, 1906-
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.


Feminists -- United States.
Pacif ists -- United States.
Pacifists -- Political activity.
Social reformers -- United States.

Genres and Forms



Social reformers.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Mabel Vernon Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents


Printed material