Date Awarded


Document Type

Dissertation -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




This study examines the life of Lucia True Ames Mead (1856-1936), one of the American peace movement's most effective publicists. Manuscript sources, including diaries, letters, and other personal papers, provided the necessary primary materials for this biography. Mrs. Mead also left a wide variety of published works, including seven books.;A teacher of adult courses in great literature before 1897, Mead joined the peace movement in 1897. She quickly became a leading participant at peace conferences and member of the major American peace organizations. She emerged as one of the movement's most effective publicists, travelling the United States year after year to spread the "gospel of peace." Her career spanned the pre and post-World War I peace movements. During World War I, she helped found the innovative Woman's Peace Party and later served as the national secretary of this organization.;This study of her ideas and activism reveals the important role played by a woman in a reform crusade dominated by men. She also disagreed with most of her male colleagues regarding the importance of generating mass support for pacifist doctrines. Few peace advocates wished to seek out supporters from among non-elites; but Mead not only called for such a campaign of public education, she devoted more energy to speaking to common people than any other peace activist of the period. She also wrote countless popular pieces for mass circulation journals and daily newspapers. Like all women of the era, she lacked access to the inner channels of policymaking in the United States. Thus, she chose to devote her own efforts to create grass roots support for the cause that commanded her attention. Beginning in the 1920s, most of the pacifist organizations, and most peace advocates of either gender, saw the wisdom in such a course of action.



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