The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo

Finding Aid

David Warren Ryder Papers, 1930-1955

MSS-004

Size: 1 lin. ft.

Provenance: First installment purchased from D.A. Sachs Book in 1984.  Second installment purchased from Michael Good-Books in 2014.

 

Access: Open

Collection Summary:  Papers document the internal workings of the American Social Credit Movement and its pursuit of economic reform in the 1920s and 1930s. This collection consists primarily of correspondence, along with manuscripts, newspaper clippings, and photographs. Topics covered include unions, banking practices, the New Deal, communism, democracy, and the disruption of the American Social Credit Union in 1937.

 

Subject(s):  Politics and Government, Social Welfare

 

Related Collections:

Processing Note: 

 

Copyright: The literary rights to this collection are assumed to rest with the person(s) responsible for the production of the particular items within the collection, or with their heirs or assigns.  Researchers bear full legal responsibility for the acquisition to publish from any part of said collection per Title 17, United States Code.  The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections may reserve the right to intervene as intermediary at its own discretion.

 

Completed by: Barbara A. Shirk, February 1986, last updated by Mark Troknya, Fall 2014

 

 

 

Biographical Sketch

 

David Warren Ryder (1892-1975) was a San Francisco author, journalist, and publicist.  After graduation from Stanford University in 1912, Ryder taught himself law and practiced law until 1920.

During the 1920s, his interest turned to writing and at various times he was a special correspondent for the Springfield (Illinois) Republican, the Baltimore Sun, and the Chicago

Tribune. He also served as contributing editor and columnist for Controversy (San Francisco),

columnist for New Democracy (New York), and west coast representative for the New English

Weekly (London).

Ryder was also the publicity director of the Industrial Association of San Francisco and handled public relations and advertising assignments for the Southern Pacific Railroad and the American Lines Steamship Co. In a 1937 letter to Philip Mairet, Ryder stated that he was in the steamship business for nearly ten years and gave it up to devote himself entirely to writing.

He stated that "Big Business" was not for him and that working for a corporation was like being "caught up in the whirl of a big machine."

In 1942, Ryder served a term in federal prison for being an unregistered Japanese agent. He was convicted after the prosecution showed that he accepted funds from the Japanese Committee on Trade and Information for bulk purchases of his monthly pamphlet, Far Eastern Affairs. During his trial, Ryder insisted that this did not make him a Japanese agent. In fact, he stated that he accepted larger payments from Chinese interests to help defray his publication costs. Throughout the ordeal, he maintained his innocence.

Ryder was an advocate for the Social Credit Movement in the 1920s and 1930s.  The Social Credit Movement was created by C. H. Douglas in 1924.  It advocated for creating a government office to control the wealth and its distribution via a Social Credit policy in which all citizens would have equal economic security, therefore eliminating the class systems entirely.  Douglas collected data from over a hundred large British businesses and found that in nearly every case, except that of companies heading for bankruptcy, the sums paid out in salaries, wages, and dividends were always less than the total costs of goods and services produced each week.  As a result, consumers did not have enough income to buy back what they had made. 

The Social Credit Movement was designed to disperse economic and political power to individuals. Douglas wrote, "Systems were made for men, and not men for systems, and the interest of man which is self-development, is above all systems, whether theological, political or economic."    The policy proposals of the Social Credit Movement attracted widespread interest in the decades between the world wars of the twentieth century because of their relevance to economic conditions of the time.

Scope and Content Note

 

The David Warren Ryder Social Credit Papers document the internal workings of the American Social Credit Movement and its pursuit for economic reform. The papers consist mainly of correspondence which spans the years1930-1955 and covers such subjects as unions, banking practices, the New Deal, communism, democracy, and united British-Americans, etc.

There is correspondence from Major C. H. Douglas, founder of the movement, and a copy of a letter to Eleanor Roosevelt in which Ryder explains the Social Credit theory with the idea of teaching the President, through his wife, that there is a non-violent way to national industrial recovery and improved economy.  Also included are letters dealing with the disruption of the American movement caused by the 1937 defection of the first American Douglasite, Herbert Bruce Brougham, and a confidential document on the Chandos Group.

Other materials found in the papers are manuscripts on the Social Credit theme by Ryder, Harold Mack, and others; clippings; miscellaneous items, including Ryder's handwritten notes; and photographs believed to be those of Major Douglas.  In addition to the above, there are letters from Gorham Munson, Harold L. Mack, Philip Mairet, Herbert Bruce Brougham, Montgomery Butchart, H. C. Dekker, J. A. Dunnage, William Green, Raymond L. Haight, C. Marshall Hattersley, Senator Rush D. Holt, T.E.D. Watson, R. Johnson, Arthur Kitson, and A. de V. Leigh.

 


 

Folder List

 

Box

Folder

Item

1

1

Miscellaneous Notes

1

2

Photographs (believed to be C.H. Douglas)

1

3

Manuscripts  (Colonel Harold L. Mack)

1

4

Manuscripts by others (Armin Arndt, Dr Harold G. Mailton, R. Johnson, C.H. Douglas, Arthur Kitson, A. de V. Leigh, Herbert Bruce Brougham

1

5

Press Clippings

1

6

Miscellaneous

1

7

The New Atlantis for Western Renaissance and World Socialism vol.1 no.1 (October 1933)

2

1

1931-1940 Correspondence (Incoming)

2

2

1931-1940 Correspondence (Incoming)

2

3

1931-1940 Correspondence (Outgoing)

2

4

1931-1940 Correspondence (Outgoing)

3

1

Manuscripts (Probably by David Warren Ryder)

3

2

Manuscripts (Probably by David Warren Ryder)