Friday, August 18, 2017

"Why I Must Say No, Again"

Front cover of the May-June 1960 issue of Rights magazine, including a photograph of protestors on the sidewalk holding signs with messages of support for Uphaus. In November 1950, Willard Uphaus, religious educator and executive secretary of the National Religion and Labor Foundation was invited to attend the World Peace Congress in Warsaw as a member of the US delegation. A committed pacifist, Uphaus had been warned that subversive elements, i.e. Communists "were cynically exploiting the passionate desire for peace to gain world domination" and that they would be dominating the Congress. Uphaus, however, disagreed. He knew that churchmen, like himself, would be there as well as many others who, despite being labeled "subversive," had a “deep and genuine desire for peace.” The Congress went well and at the end of it, Uphaus and others had the opportunity to visit Moscow through the Soviet Peace Committee. The trip was an eye-opener for Uphaus, confirming in him the desire to work even harder to foster American and Soviet friendship. Unfortunately, when he returned to the States he found himself "the spinning center of a tornado, one of the tornados spawned in the panic storm that culminated in what has become known to the world as McCarthyism."

An excerpt from the Saturday edition New Haven Evening Register, April 16, 1960, explaining who Dr. Uphaus is, what the World Fellowship is, and fundraising requests for the Fellowship and for Uphaus's legal fees.As a result of his trip to Moscow, Uphaus was forced to resign from the National Religion and Labor Foundation. He soon found another outlet for his peace activism when he became the co-director of the American Peace Crusade. Over the next several years he was “caught up in this great movement, with the war in Korea "lending a terrible urgency” to his cause. And then the World Fellowship of Faiths knocked on his door. Finding their mission completely in sync with his own, he and his wife became co-directors of the World Fellowship Center in Conway, New Hampshire in 1953. It was then that his trip to Russia came to haunt him.

The red and black cover of a publication titled "Excerpts relating to Willard Uphaus and World Fellowship Inc., from Subversive Activities in New Hampshire. Report of the Attorney General to the New Hampshire General Court. January 5, 1955.The case began with two critical articles about the Center in the Manchester Union Leader in September 1953; "Pro-Red Takes over New Hampshire Fellowship Group," proclaimed one. In response, New Hampshire's Attorney General Louis C. Wyman began to investigate the Center and in particular Willard Uphaus under the Subversive Activities Act of 1951. Uphaus was subpoenaed twice in 1954. During his second round of questioning he was asked to turn over the Fellowship's 1954 guest list and the correspondence with prospective speakers. He refused: "I told the Court that I could not in good conscience comply since doing so would be in violation of biblical teachings against false witness, our Bill of Rights which protects freedom of religion and assembly, and the teachings of my church against 'guilt of association'."

A press release by Uphaus for delivery at a rally in support of the First Amendment New York Center on Nov. 5, 1959. It is titled "Why I Must Say 'No' Again."
Uphaus felt that handing over the names "would make him a contemptible talebearer against people who, to his knowledge, had never done anything to injure the state or the country." For a while it looked as if the case could be resolved based on jurisdiction since Uphaus was a resident of Connecticut. However, on December 14, 1959, after several appeals, Uphaus was charged with contempt of court and sentenced to one year in in Boscawan Jail in Merrimack County, New Hampshire. He was released on December 11, 1960.

To learn more about Willard Uphaus’ legal fight and activism, his work with the Fellowship of Faiths, the National Religion and Labor Foundation, and the American Peace Crusade ask for the Willard Uphaus papers (MS-1077).

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Delineating the Eclipse

detail from delineation of eclipse showing local time199 years ago, here in Hanover, a student displayed his mastery over mathematics and astronomy by delineating a solar eclipse as it would appear in Hanover on August 27, 1821. Unlike the total eclipse North America will experience next week, it was an annular eclipse, so there would have been a ring of fire around the moon as it almost blocked out the sun.

Document illustrating the angle of the eclipseBut like the eclipse next week, the one in 1821 would have only been a partial eclipse here in Hanover. The full force of it cut across the southern states as it moved out into the Atlantic. Event here in the North, it still provided a teachable moment that required computational and drafting skill. In this particular case, it was also an excuse to show off impeccable handwriting.

Detail of delineation of eclipse giving attribution to Nathaneal Cogswell
To view this solar eclipse, you don't have to travel far, just ask for MS 818416.1.