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Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies (Hartford and Connecticut Chapters) papers

Call Number: MS 66

Scope and Contents

These papers encompass the activities of the Hartford and Connecticut chapters of the CDAAA between 1940 and 1941 (mostly 1941). Materials pertaining to this organization comprises two-thirds of the collection; the other third consists of materials relating to John Danaher and the Danaher McMahon senatorial contest (Connecticut 1944). The principals of the collection are Walter E. Batterson and Mrs. Arthur V.R. Tilton (Eleanor Taft). In addition there is some correspondence of H.M. Dadourian and material relating to other organizations of the early and mid-forties.

The papers are divided into four series: Correspondence, Speeches and Writings, Subject Files, and Printed Matter.

The National Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies was organized in May, 1940 for the purpose of influencing public opinion and lobbying in favor of United States assistance to the allied powers. William Allen White, an influential Kansas editor, and Clark Mell Eichelberger were prime movers in organizing the CDAAA and served respectively as national chairman. White resigned January 4, 1941. Hence, most of the material pertaining to the national organization in this collection involves Clark Eichelberger. The national CDAAA was prointervention, lobbied in favor of the Lend-Lease Bill, recognition of DeGaulle's government in exile, against the neutrality act, and against the propaganda of the America First group. The national organization is chiefly represented in this collection through correspondence and published material in the "Printed Matter" series.

The Hartford chapter of the CDAAA was organized soon after the national headquarters was established and followed the general national policy. The chairman of the Hartford chapter was Walter E. Batterson a former mayor of that city. With the emergence of a state organization he served similtaneously as the chairman of the Connecticut and Hartford chapters. Batterson retained these two positions until October, 1941 when the state CDAAA merged with an organization of similar purpose, Fight for Freedom Inc. He then served as a co-chairman of the new organization, Fight for Freedom Committee to Defend America, while H. M. Dadourian headed the Hartford organization. The activities of the committees stopped shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Eleanor Taft Tilton was active in both the state and local CDAAA. She served as a vice-chairman of the Hartford chapter and as a member of the state committee-at-large. She was also secretary of Americans United for World Organization in the mid-forties and worked in opposition to the reelection of John Danaher in 1944.

John Danaher, Republican Senator from Connecticut 1939-1945 is the subject of a portion of the material in this collection. Danaher's votes against such acts as the Naval Appropriations Bill, the Selective Service Act and the Lend-Lease Bill made him one of the chief congressional opponents of the program that the CDAAA wanted to promote. The CDAAA opposed Danaher's opinions through meetings, press statements, and letters to the editor. Material related to the anti-Danaher campaign is present in each series of the collection, but is primarily found in "Speeches and Writings", "Subject Files", and "Printed Matter."


  • 1939-1944


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Walter E. Batterson, 1952, and Eleanor Taft Tilton, 1958.


Arranged in four series: I. Correspondence. II. Speeches and Writings. III. Subject File. IV. Printed Matter.


1.5 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Correspondence, speeches, writings, subject files, printed matter, and clippings of the Hartford and Connecticut chapters of the CDAAA, an anti-isolationist organization formed for the purpose of influencing public opinion and lobbying in favor of U.S. assistance to the Allied powers. The principal figures of this organization represented in the collection are Walter E. Batterson, Eleanor Taft Tilton, and H. M. Dadourian. There is also material relating to John Danaher and the Danaher-McMahon senatorial contest (Connecticut, 1944).

Biographical / Historical

Founded in 1940 for the purpose of influencing public opinion and lobbying in favor of U.S. assistance to the Allies; organized by William Allen White and Clark Mell Eichelberger; Hartford chapter chairman was Walter E. Batterson; in 1941 merged with Fight for Freedom, Inc., to form the Fight for Freedom Committee to Defend America.

Guide to the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies (Hartford and Connecticut Chapters) Papers
Under Revision
compiled by David Maslyn and George Cunningham
November 1972
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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