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Oswald Garrison Villard Letters

An inventory of his letters at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: Sep 1987

Biographical History

Oswald Garrison Villard (1872-1949) was an American journalist, pacifist, and liberal. Born in Wiesbaden in Germany, he attended Harvard University and upon his graduation in 1893 he began writing for the New York Evening Post and The Nation. He became editor of the latter in 1918. Both papers were owned by Villard's father, German-born journalist and railroad magnate Henry Villard; upon his father's death Villard became the owner.

Throughout his life he supported and promoted civil rights and civil liberties (his mother, Helen Frances Garrison, was the daughter of noted anti-slavery activist William Lloyd Garrison). In 1910 he supported, and donated space in the New York Evening Post to advertise, the formation of what became the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the same year he wrote and published a biography of abolitionist John Brown (John Brown 1800-1859: A Biography Fifty Years After).

Villard's pacifism led him to become an early member of the anti-war America First Committee and a founder of the American Anti-Imperialist League, which opposed American retention of territories captured during the Spanish-American War (in support of this he attempted to organize a third-party ticket in the 1900 presidential election). Villard believed so strongly in non-intervention that he sold the New York Evening Post in 1918 over its position on World War I and severed his ties with The Nation in 1935 when it too supported American intervention in Europe.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Oswald Garrison Villard Letters consists of four outgoing letters written between 1920 and 1921 to Mary Ethel McAuley, journalist and author of Germany in War Time: What an American Girl Saw and Heard (1917).

Arrangement of the Collection

Letters are arranged chronologically.


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


McAuley, Mary Ethel.
Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949.


Editors -- United States.

Genres and Forms




Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Oswald Garrison Villard Letters,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

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