Mildred Adams Kenyon Papers, ca. 1939-1976

Immigration History Research Center
University of Minnesota

Abstract | Provenance/Processing | Biographical Sketch | Scope and Content | Subject Inventory | Container List


IHRC #52
Kenyon, Mildred Adams
Papers, ca. 1939-1976
1 linear inch

Abstract

An author and translator, Kenyon began her career writing for Woman's Journal in New York.  She soon became a feature writer for The New York Times and contributed to many other magazines.  She often was on assignment in Europe and witnessed historic events such as Russia's admittance to the League of Nations and the making of the Spanish constitution in 1931.  She also reported on the Spanish Civil War and became involved with relief efforts and work with refugee immigrants.  She continued her work during World War II, aiding refugees from the Nazi regime.  Kenyon specialized in interviewing such notables as Huey Long, Henry A. Wallace, and Calvin Coolidge.

Papers pertain mostly to her work with Spanish Civil War refugees and relief organizations.  Included are correspondence to and from various persons and committees concerning relief work (1939-1942), organizational and special reports (1940-1942), publications, press releases, personal notes, and a diary.  In English.  Inventory available.

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Provenance/Processing

The papers of Mildred Adams were deposited in the Immigration History Research Center in January, 1977. They were presented as a gift by Mildred Adams, and secured through the efforts of Nicholas Montalto. The collection consists of one linear inch of papers and correspondence. It was process during January and February, 1981.  Inventory prepared for the Internet by Student Assistant Jessica Roskoski and Assistant Curator Heather Muir in 2001.

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Biographical Sketch

Mildred Adams Kenyon is an American author and translator. After graduating from the University of California, with a major in economics, she went to New York. There she began writing articles for her aunt, who was then managing editor of Woman’s Journal. Shortly thereafter, Mildred became a feature writer for The New York Times, and a contributor to many other magazines.

Mildred Adams Kenyon spent much time in Europe, often on assignments. She was a witness to such historical events as the admittance of Russia into the League of Nations, and the making of Spain’s constitution in 1931. She also reported from Spain shortly before the Civil War began. One of Mildred’s more favorite forms of reporting is the interview, and she has interviewed such notables as Calvin Coolidge, Huey Long, and H.A. Wallace.

In 1935, Mildred Adams married William Houston Kenyon Jr., a prominent attorney and graduate of Harvard College and Law School. They are both members of the Cosmopolitan Club in New York.

Mildred Adams’ interest in American refugee immigrant work began with the Spanish Civil War, and continued into World War II, aiding German intellectuals, liberals and Jews leaving Germany.

In 1936, the Spanish Civil War began. During the middle of the war, relief committees, of both a national and international scope, began to organize and focus their attention on aiding Spanish refugees and Republicans. These early relief programs centered around the feeding of children and general food distribution. As Franco’s armies advanced and Spain became progressively nationalized, hundreds of thousands of people fled. With the end of the civil war in 1939, the relief organization took on the care and feeding, relocation and protection of the Spanish refugees.

Both during and after the Spanish Civil War, Mildred Adams was very active in Refugee work. She sat on the board of an early committee, the American Friends of Spanish Democracy. She was an advisor for the New World Re-Settlement Fund for Spanish Relief, and in the spring of 1940, became a member of the executive board of the Spanish Refugee Relief Campaign.

In July, 1940, when the Emergency Rescue Committee was formed, the predecessor of the International Rescue Committee, Mildred Adams was named Secretary.

Although Kenyon is Mildred’s married name, she is still referred to as Mildred Adams.

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Scope and Content

The collection as acquired was in two folders. Since there was no apparent reason for this, it was reorganized by the processor into five folders. All of the material in this collection deals specifically with Spanish refugees and relief organizations, their programs and policies. The sections are as follows:
I. Memoir and Diary (folder 1)
II. Correspondence (folder 2)

III. Organizational and Special Reports (folders 3 and 4)

IV. Miscellaneous (folder 5)
Section I.
   
Mildred Adams' memoir and diary notes on refugee relief. 

Section II.
    Correspondence to and from various people and committees concerning Spanish refugee relief from May, 1939, to April, 1942. Also included in this section are some special and organizational reports which were enclosed with some correspondence.

Section III.
    This section consists of organizational and special reports from November 7, 1940, to January 16, 1942. The organizational reports are the minutes and financial reports of the Spanish Refugee Relief Campaign. The special reports concern refugee conditions in Europe, South America, Mexico, and South Africa. There are also reports on conditions in Spain during and shortly after the war.

Section IV.
    The miscellaneous section dates from April, 1940 to December, 1940. It contains miscellaneous publications, publications and press releases from various Spanish refugee relief organizations, and personal notes of Mildred Adams.

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Subject Inventory

The following is a guide, not a complete index, to certain persons, subjects, and associations prominent in the collection.

Allan, Jay
 Folders 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

American Friends Service Committee
 Folders 2, 3, 4, 5

American Friends of Spanish Democracy
 Folder 2

Atholl, Duchess of
 Folder 2

Basque Refugees
 Folder 2

Caballero, Largo
 Folder 2, 3, 4

Cannon, Dr. Walter B.
 Folder 2

Committee in Aid of Refugee Scholars from Spain
 Folders 2, 5

Communism
 Folders 1, 2, 4, 5

Concentration Camps
 Folders 2, 3, 5

Cope, Alfred
 Folder 3

Dos Passos, Juan
 Folders 2, 3, 4, 5

Emergency Rescue Committee
 Folders 1, 2, 3, 4

Extradition
 Folders 2, 3, 5

Fascism
 Folders 2, 3, 5

France- Government and Politics
 Folders 2, 3, 4, 5

Franco, Bahamonde Francisco, 1892-1975
 Folders 2, 3, 4, 5

Fry, Varian
 Folder 1

Gonzalez, America
 Folders 2, 4

Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945
 Folders 2, 3

Imman, Samuel Cry
 Folders 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

International Commission for the Assistance of Spanish Refugees
 Folder 2

International Commission for the Assistance of Child Refugees in Spain
 Folder 5

Jensen, Daniel
 Folder 2

Kingdon, Dr. Frank
 Folders 1, 2, 3, 4

Kirchway, Freda
 Folders 2, 4

McConnell, Bishop Francis J.
 Folders 2, 4

Medical Bureau to Aid Spanish Democracy
 Folders 2, 4

Mexico- Government and Politics
 Folders 2, 3, 4, 5

Musicians Committee to Aid Spanish Refugees
 Folders 2, 5

National Joint Committee for Spanish Relief
 Folder 2

New World Co-Operative Fund for Spanish Refugees
 Folders 2, 5

Oram, Harold L.
 Folders 2, 4

Pantin, Jose
 Folders 2, 4

Prieto, Indalecio
 Folders 2, 3, 4

Quakers
 Folders 2, 3, 4, 5

Reich, John
 Folder 3

Reissig, Dr. Herman
 Folders 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Repatriation
 Folders 2, 3

“Rescue Ship Mission”
 Folders 2, 3, 4

Rich, John
 Folders 2, 4, 5

Rockefeller, Nelson
 Folders 2, 4

Roosevelt, Franklin D.
 Folder 2

Shippler, Guy Emery
 Folders 2, 4

Smith, Francis G., Jr.
 Folder 5

Spain- Government and Politics
 Folders 2, 3, 4, 5

Spain- History- Civil War, 1936-1939
 Folders 2, 3, 4, 5

Spanish Refugees in Casablanca
 Folders 2, 3

Spanish Refugees in Ecuador
 Folders 2, 4, 5

Spanish Refugees in France
 Folders 2, 3, 4, 5

Spanish Refugees in French Morocco
 Folders 3, 5

Spanish Refugees in Great Britain
 Folders 2, 5

Spanish Refugees in Mexico
 Folders 2, 3, 4, 5

Spanish Refugees in Santo Domingo
 Folders 2, 3, 4, 5

Spanish Refugees in United States
 Folders 2, 5

United States- Government and Politics
 Folders 2, 3, 4

World War II, 1939-1945
 Folders 2, 3, 5

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Container List

Box  Folder Contents
1 1 April, 1940, 1976
The folder consists of a letter from H.F. Reissig to Mildred Adams and Mildred Adams’ memoir and diary notes on refugee relief. 
  2 Correspondence, May, 1939- April, 1942
All of the correspondence in this folder deals with the Spanish refugee relief. Many form letters are present among the correspondence, depicting refugee life and asking for contributions. A compilation of information on reprisals by the Franco Government against Republicans in Spain during the war can be found in this folder. A number of letters deal with alleged communist infiltrations of Spanish refugee work, and included in this a brief background of the history of Spanish relief organizations and their alleged communist support bases. There are many letters present from H.F. Reissig, the executive secretary for the Spanish Refugee Relief Campaign, including the background and history of his organizational and the Emergency Rescue Committee. Minutes and financial reports of the Spanish Refugee Relief Campaign can be found enclosed with the correspondence. Many letters concerning the extradition of Spanish Republicans, and the problems of getting refuges out of Europe can be found in this folder. 
  3 Reports, 1939-1942
Reports detailing the Spanish refugee dilemma can be found in this folder. There are also reports on conditions in Spain during the Nationalist take-over, such as one report on the food distribution by Quakers, and a report by Alfred Cope on religious and political conditions.

There are also some detailed reports on concentration camps in France, and relief given to the Spanish there; also reports on the lack of effort in France toward alleviating the refugees’ problems. Included in some of the reports are information on refugees in Santo Domingo, Casablanca, Morocco, and Mexico. Also of interest is a statement by the Spanish Refugee Relief Campaign on the formation of the Emergency Rescue Committee with Dr. Frank Kingdon as chairman and Mildred Adams as secretary. 

  4 Spanish Refugee Relief Campaign, Financial Reports and Minutes, November, 1940- January, 1942
The financial reports and minutes in this folder are from the executive board of the Spanish Refugee Relief Campaign. The minutes are all signed by H.F. Reissig, as executive secretary. Included in the financial reports is the budget from the American Friends for the Spanish Refugee Relief Campaign. Included in the minutes are the appropriation of funds for the Quakers and Emergency Rescue Committee, a protest to the President on the proposed governmental loan to Franco, and the failure of the “Rescue Ship Mission.”
  5 Miscellaneous, April, 1939- December, 1940
Various publications exist in this folder; there are personal notes by Mildred Adams to herself concerning relief work, also a published article, "Spaniards in Exile," which appeared in Nation magazine, and a newspaper article on the food distribution problems of the Quakers and their fight with Franco. Also of interest is a provisional statement by the New World Co-Operative Fund and articles and press releases on the re-settlement of refugees in South America. 

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