Research


New York State Defense Council Correspondence Files

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
The series consists of correspondence files, maintained by Assistant Secretary Frederic E. Foster, relating to general information and functions of the State Defense Council. The bulk of the records consist of of correspondence with civilian relief organizations, patriotic societies, emergency industrial organizations, advocacy groups, other state councils, and state and national government officials. Also included are circulars, pamphlets, and bulletins; and wartime messages and proclamations by Governor Charles S. Whitman and President Woodrow Wilson.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
1 cubic foot
Inclusive Dates:
1917-1918
Series Number:
A4234

Arrangement

Alphabetical by name of correspondent.

Scope and Content Note

The series consists of correspondence files, maintained by Assistant Secretary Frederic E. Foster, relating to general information and functions of the State Defense Council. The bulk of the records are copies of incoming and outgoing correspondence with civilian relief organizations, patriotic societies, emergency industrial organizations, advocacy groups, other state councils, and state and national government officials. The series also includes copies of circulars, pamphlets, and bulletins produced by various private and governmental organizations; copies of federal laws and congressional acts; and copies of wartime messages and proclamations by Governor Charles S. Whitman and President Woodrow Wilson.

The series documents the work of the State Defense Council and its responsibility (under Chapter 369 of the Laws of 1917) to "render possible immediate concentration and utilization of state resources for military purposes." As reflected in the series, preparedness meant the organization and coordination of the civilian as well as military population, including the important areas of medical services and supervision of aliens. The council controlled appropriations for general mobilization of the state's resources; plans were worked out by the Adjutant General's Office. Governor Charles S. Whitman was chairman, William A. Orr was secretary, and Joseph H. Wilson was auditor of the council. These individuals, offices, and program areas are all represented in the series correspondence.

Topics covered by the correspondence files include: requests for employment and financial assistance; pay allotment and appeals; offers of services, especially for speaking engagements and providing publicity; inquiries about State Defense Council publications, including lists of home defense committees or officers; questions concerning loyalty, recruitment, and the draft; and requests for reports on the loyalty of prospective employees (e.g., for positions in foreign service with the Red Cross).

Examples of records of special interest include: copies of circulars and pamphlets published by the American Red Cross (including issues of the Red Cross Bulletin) containing information on regulations for sending parcels to prisoners of war, cooperative work on legal plans, and descriptions of home service volunteer work and work for civilian relief; copies of federal laws and congressional acts on appropriations for the armed forces and of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Rights Bill; correspondence relating to the American Defense Society's questions on the loyalty of several newspapers and periodicals held in subscriptions by the New York Public Library; pamphlets, bulletins, and copies of addresses or appeals by such groups as the League to Enforce Peace (including its platform), the New York Peace Society, and the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief; a press edition of the "War Information Series" published by the Committee on Public Information in Washington, D.C.; correspondence between the council and the Charity Organization Society of New York regarding the requirements necessary for inclusion of war relief organizations in bulletins of "Approved War Relief Organizations" produced jointly by the council and the society (copies of the listing also included);

messages from the U.S. War Department, including its Commission on Training Camp Activities (on developing community councils), the Office of the Chief Military Censor (on photographing of production plants), and the U.S. Surgeon General (on building a convalescent home, data on disease conditions among troops in the U.S., and a syllabus to instruct "Drafted Men in the Knowledge and Avoidance of Venereal Diseases"); correspondence from Governor Whitman (to exemption boards on diagnosing tuberculous recruits) and gubernatorial proclamations (on public productivity, support for the Liberty Loan program, and fire and waste prevention during wartime); and copies of President Wilson's war message (April 2, 1917), his reply ("America's Terms of Peace") to Pope Benedict XV's peace note (August 28, 1917), proclamations (on licensure of commodities, Liberty Day, manufacture of explosives, regulation of wartime exports and imports, the state of war with the Austro-Hungarian empire, and establishment of a military proving ground), and executive orders (establishing the War Trade Board, providing for requisitioning of food and feed, and establishing defensive sea areas).

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Alternate Formats Available

Microform is available at the New York State Archives through interlibrary loan.

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Detailed Description

Contents Box Folder Roll

Accretion: A4234-78
A 1 1 1
American Red Cross 1 2 1
American Red Cross - Bureau of Personnel 1 3 1
American Red Cross - Pay Allotment Appeals: A - E 1 4 1
American Red Cross - Pay Allotment Appeals: F - L 1 5 1
American Red Cross - Pay Allotment Appeals: M - W 1 6 1
American Red Cross - Persons, W. Frank (Director General, Department of Civilian Relief) 1 7 1
American Red Cross - Printed Material (Part 1 of 2) 1 8 1
American Red Cross - Printed Material (Part 2 of 2) 1 9 1
American Red Cross - Second War Fund 1 10 1
American Red Cross - Tamblyn, Albert T. (Director, Chapter Development) 1 11 1
American Red Cross - Wilson, Alexander M. (Director, Civilian Relief) 1 12 1
B 1 13 1
C 1 14 1
Charity Organization Society of New York 1 15 2
Committee on Public Information 1 16 2
Congressional Acts 1 17 2
D 1 18 2
Engineering and Mining Journal 1 19 2
F 1 20 2
G 1 21 2
H 1 22 2
I 1 23 2
J 1 24 2
K 2 1 2
Landreth, Olin to League to Enforce Peace 2 2 2
Leet, Charles to Lyman Hall High School 2 3 2
M 2 4 2
Nassau County Board of Child Welfare to Naval Inventions 2 5 2
Nebraska Legislative Reference Bureau to Northrup, H.R. 2 6 2
Navy League of the United States 2 7 2
New York State Conference of Mayors 2 8 2
O 2 9 2
Page, L.W. to Perkins, John 2 10 3
Pitkin, James to Public Service Reserve 2 11 3
Q 2 12 3
R 2 13 3
S 2 14 3
T 2 15 3
U 2 16 3
United War Work Campaign 2 17 3
V 2 18 3
Wadsworth Library to Watervliet Arsenal 2 19 3
Weizenecker, Christinia to Wurm, C.J. 2 20 3
War Department 2 21 3
Whitman, Governor Charles S. 2 22 3
Wilson, President Woodrow 2 23 3
Y 2 24 3