The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo

Finding Aid

Jan Waggoner Suter Papers, 1954-1985

MSS-059

 

Size: 7 linear feet

Provenance: Marianne G. Nierling

Access: Unrestricted

Collection Summary: Radical libertarian, mathematics instructor, University of Toledo (1938-1986).
Collection consists primarily of newsletters, memoranda, circulars, and flyers issued by the many pacifist, anti-war, anti-draft, and personal rights organizations with which Suter was involved. These groups include the War Resisters League, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors. Minutes of the Draft Information and Counseling Service of the Toledo Area Council of Churches date from 1969 to 1972.

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality, Philosophy and Religion and War, Soldiers, and Veterans

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:  Paul M. Gifford, August 1987, and Emily M. Carter, April 1990.  Updated by Tamara Jones and Arjun Sabharwal, September 2009; last updated: June 2014.

Introduction

            This collection consists largely of newsletters and circulars issued by pacifist, anti-war, and homosexual rights organization, as well as correspondence and miscellany relating to Jan W. Suter’s activity involving those issues.  Most material dates from 1969 to 1980, although some material from 1959 to 1961, including his early pacifist activity in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and from other years in the general time span is contained in the collection.  The collection would be especially useful for those studying the history of the anti-war movement, draft counseling, the gay rights movement, and the “counterculture,” in general, in Toledo and in Ohio during the 1960’s and 1970’s.

 

            The entire collection is now open to researchers.  The only original exception was a single folder containing Suter’s “Gay Hotline” telephone counseling notebook.  Due to the sensitive and personal nature of the material in that folder, it was closed to researchers until 1997.

 

Biographical Outline

 

1938, March 14.

Born in Toledo, son of Walter L. and Genevieve Suter.

1955

Graduated from Maumee High School.

1955-1962.

Student at Harvard College.

1960, Mar.

Married Patsy.

1962-1963.

Took education classes at Bowling Green State University.

1963

A.B. (Mathematics), Harvard College.

1963-1964.

Taught high school English.

1965-1967.

Mathematics instructor, Eisenhower Junior High School, Oregon, Ohio.

1967-1968.

Student at Notre Dame University.

1968

M.S. (Mathematics), Notre Dame University.

1968-1985.

Instructor, Community and Technical College, University of Toledo.

1969-1973.

Counselor, Toledo Area Draft Information and Counseling Service, Toledo Area Council of Churches.

1971

Joined Society of Friends.

1974-1975.

On policy Committee, Friends Committee on National Legislation.

1976, Feb.

His marriage dissolved.

1983

Resigned form Dayton Regional Personnel Committee, American Friends service Committee. Had been Lake Erie Yearly Meeting Representative since 1981.

1986, May 7.

Died in Toledo, Ohio.

 

Scope and Content Note

Jan Waggoner Suter thought of himself as a “radical libertarian” and a “socialist anarchist.”  Although he earned a living for sixteen years as a mathematics instructor at the Community and Technical College of the university of Toledo, his real interest lay in pacifism and nonviolent change and, after 1975, in gay rights.  He had associated himself with Quakers and with pacifist activities in his student days at Harvard and increased his participation in Quaker religious, social, and political affairs after he formally became a member in 1971.  Suter belonged to a large number of national and local pacifist, anti-Vietnam War, and anti-draft organizations.  For the most part, he played the role of a passive, dues-paying member, but he did take part in policy-0making activities in some cases.

 

Much of this collection contains newsletters, memoranda, circulars, and flyers issued by these organizations.  A fair proportion consists of literature in broadside form published by such organizations as the War Resisters League, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, which Suter distributed to those he counseled in his capacity as draft counselor and to the public.  He was something of a pamphleteer himself; although he rarely wrote the words he had printed on flyers, he frequently reprinted them from such sources as Win magazine.  The bulk of the collection, then, consists of such secondary material, though it does have primary evidentiary value as examples of weaponry for the local anti-war and anti-draft movement in Toledo.

 

Material reflecting local activity probably holds the greatest value for researchers.  Suter took an active role in the Draft Information and Counseling Service of the Toledo Area Council of Churches.  Minutes of the meetings of the service date from 1969 to 1972 and provide a good record of the Service’s activities.  Other files consist of the Service’s publicity and Suter’s notes made in counseling individuals.  This service, although ostensibly not political, pacifist, or anti-war, was staffed mainly by anti-war clergymen.  Besides the files labeled “Toledo Area Draft Information and Counseling Service,” the correspondence files contain much material generated by this activity.

 

Toledo anti-war materials include those files pertaining to the Toledo Committee for a Reasonable Settlement in Vietnam, 1966-1967; Peace Action Council of Toledo, 1968-1970; Toledo Coalition; Interfaith Justice and Peace Center, Sylvania, Ohio; Northwest Ohio Nuclear Freeze Campaign; and Fellowship of Reconciliation, Toledo Chapter.  Other local materials can be found in files of Fellowship of Reconciliation; Indochina Peace Campaign; Ohio Council of Churches; Ohio Draft Counseling Association; Ohio Military Project; Ohio Peace Action Council; Ohioans for a Reasonable Settlement in Vietnam; and Vietnam Summer in Ohio.  The files of the American Friends Service committee also relate to local activities. 

 

An interest related to his anti-draft feelings was in prisoner support and visitation.  Suter maintained a correspondence with several Federal prisoners in the early 1970s, and these letters are in the correspondence files.  Other files concerned with this activity include Prisoner Visitation and Support and Federal Correctional Institution, Milan, Michigan. 

 

Suter’s Quaker activities can be found in the Society of Friends series.  This includes files pertaining to the American Friends Service Committee; Toledo Friends Meeting; Friends Committee for National Legislation; and Friends for Gay and Lesbian Concerns.  The content of the files tends to be of a political, rather than purely religious, nature.  Suter served on the Policy Committee of the Friends Committee of National Legislation, and its minutes from the years 1974 and 1975 are included.  Much of the material in this series consists of notices of local meetings, of regional and national conferences, and “testimony” of other Friends prepared for general distribution.

 

From 1975 until his death, Suter, now an avowed homosexual, concerned himself primarily with gay and gay rights activities.  The gay rights series includes files pertaining to gay organizations and activities, most of them in Toledo.  The major organization in Toledo was the Personal Rights Organization.  Its files contain notices of the group’s activities, such as dances, religious services, visiting speakers; a newsletter, 1974 to 1983; and files pertaining to its telephone counseling service, of which Suter was a prime mover.  One folder containing certain counseling material has been deemed too sensitive for public use.  It is closed to researchers until 1997.  Other Toledo gay material includes files pertaining to Dignity Toledo, a Catholic organization; Toledo Gay Community Center; Ohio Gay Rights Coalition; and the Gay Student Association at the University of Toledo.  Suter was instrumental in organizing the last-named group; its file is contained in the University of Toledo series.  Significant material can also be found in the Friends for Gay and Lesbian Concerns files; the views on homosexuality which Suter and other gay Quakers shared did not meet the approval of the Society of Friends in general.

 

Finally, the collection contains other material on the history of the “counterculture” in Toledo.  Although not as developed as in other larger, or academic, American communities, local versions of national trends can be seen in the files of the Earth Food Co-op, Free University of Greater Toledo, and Students for a Democratic Society, Toledo Chapter.

Folder List

Box

Folder

Arrangement

 

 

 

 

 

Correspondence

1

1

     1959-1971

 

2

     1972-1973

 

3

     1974-1976

 

4

     1977-1985

 

5

     The Collegian

 

6

     Society of Friends

 

7

     Win

 

8

Personal – miscellaneous

 

 

 

 

 

Anti-war/peace activity

 

9

     Ad Hoc Coalition for a New Foreign Policy

 

10

     Ad Hoc Toledo Committee for the International Days of Protest

 

11

     Amnesty (topical)

 

12

     Another Mother for Peace

 

13

     Anti-Brass

 

14

     Anti-Vietnam War – miscellaneous

 

15

     Archdiocese of Detroit – Commission for World Justice and Peace

 

16

     Camp News, 2:1 (Feb. 13, 1971) – 3:3 (Mar. 15, 1972)

 

17

     Campaign for a Democratic Foreign Policy

 

 

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

 

25

26

27

     Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors

          General

          Memoranda

          Draft Counselor’s Manual

          Military Counselor’s Manual

          Military Counselor’s Directory

          Western Region – General

          News Notes, 21: 3,4 (May-Aug. 1969) – 28:1 (Winter 1976)

          Newsletter on Military Law and Counseling

               2:1 (Apr. 1970) – 3:10 (Mar. 1972)

               4:1 (Apr. 1972) – 5:8 (Jan. 1974)

               1975 – 1977

 

28

     Chicago Area Draft Resisters (CADRE)

 

 

29
30

     Clergy and Laity Concerned

          Folder 1
          Folder 2

2

1

     Coalition to Stop Funding the War

 

2

     Committee for Nonviolent Action

 

3

     Counterdraft, 1:1 (Jan. 1968) – 3:5 (Mar. – May 1970)

 

 

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

 

     Draft

          Compulsory Work Program (I-W) 1968-1969

          Conscientious Objector Program (I-A-O) 1969

          Emigration to Canada

          Miscellaneous I

          Miscellaneous II

          Prison

          Religious pamphlets

          Religious miscellaneous (Religious II)

       

 

12

     Episcopal Peace Fellowship

 

13

     Equity (newsletter)

 

 

 

14
15

16

17

18

19

     Fellowship of Reconciliation

          General

               Folder 1
               Folder 2

          Boston, Massachusetts, 1954-1957

          Junior ROTC material

          Ohio

          Toledo

 

20

     Help Unsell the War

 

 

21

22

23

     Indochina Peace Campaign

          General

          National Planning Conference on Indochina, Oct. 26-28, 1973,  

               Dayton, Ohio                    

          Ohio Newsletter, 1974

 

24

     Interfaith Justice and Peace Center (Sylvania, Ohio)

 

25

     Michigan Council to Repeal the draft

 

26

     Michigan Draft Information Exchange

 

 

27

28

 

29

30

     Midwest Committee for Conscientious Objectors

          General

          Draft Counseling Memos

      Midwest Committee for Draft Counseling Newsletter

               1969 – 1970

               1971 – 1974

 

31

     Midwest Committee for Military Counseling

 

32

     National Committee to defend the Rights of South Vietnamese

          Students

 

33

     National Council Against Conscription

 

34

     National Council for Universal and Unconditional Amnesty

 


35
36

     National Council to Repeal the Draft

          General
          Newsletter


3


37
1

     National Interreligious Service Board for Conscientious Objectors

          General
          Conscientious Objector Service

 

2

     National Mobilization Committee to End the war in Vietnam

 

3

     National Service Board for Religious Objectors

 

4

     New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam

 

5

     Northwest Ohio Nuclear Freeze Campaign

 


6

7

     Ohio Council of churches

          General

          Task Force on Improving Draft Counseling

 

8

     Ohio Draft Counseling Association – Newsletter

 

9

     Ohio Military Project - OMP Reporter

 

 

10

11

12

     Ohio Peace Action Council

          General

          Ohio Peace Action News, 1:1 (Nov. 1967) – 1:8 (Aug. – Sept.

               1968)        

          OPAC Newsletter, 1 (Apr., 12, 1969) – 12 (Apr. 10, 1970)

 

13

     Ohioans for a Reasonable Settlement in Vietnam

 

14

     Peace Action Council of Toledo (1968 – 1970)

 

 

15

 

16

17

18

19

     Peacemakers

          General

          The Peacemaker

11:5 (Mar. 31, 1958) – 13:11 (Aug. 13, 1960)

               23:11 (Sept. 12, 1970) – 25:15 (Dec. 9, 1972)

               26:1 (Jan. 13, 1973) – 27:15 (Dec. 14, 1974)

               28:1 (Jan. 18, 1975) – 31:8 (Sept. 2, 1977)

 

20

     Pendle Hill Midwinter Institute

 

21

     Promoting Enduring Peace, Inc.

 

 

22

23

     The Reporter for Conscience’s  Sake

     27:7 (July 1971) – 30:12 (Dec. 1973)

          31:1 (Jan. 1974) – 34:9 (Sept. 1977)

 

24

     Reservists Committee to Stop the War

 

25

     Resist

 

26

     SOS News (Support Our Soldiers)

 

27

     Safe Return Amnesty Committee

 

28

     Showdown

 

29

     Southern Conference Educational Fund

 

 

30

31

     Student Peace Union   

          General, 1960-1961

          Bulletin, 1959-1961

 

32

     Students United for Freedom and Peace (Heidelberg College)

 

33

     Tax resistance (topical)

 

 

34

35

36

37

38

     Toledo Area Draft Information and Counseling Service   

          Agenda and minutes, 1969-1972    

          General

          Counselor’s notes

               Folder 1

               Folder 2

               Folder 3

 

39

     Toledo Coalition

 

40

     Toledo committee for a Reasonable Settlement in Vietnam

           (1966-1967)

 

41

     Vietnam Moratorium Committee

 

42

     Vietnam Summer in Ohio

 

43

     Vietnam Veterans Against the War



4

 

44

1

2

     War Resisters League

          General

          Conferences

          WRL News

 

 

3

4

     Washington Area Military and Draft Law Panel Newsletter    

          1:1 (July 1970) – 3:1

          Addenda

 

5

     Women Speak Out for Peace and Justice

 

 

6

7

 

8

9

10

     Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom   

          General

          Ohio and Toledo branches

          Peace and Freedom   

               1971-1974

               1975-1977

               1978-1985

 

11

     World Peace Broadcasting Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

Society of Friends

 

 

12

13

14

15

     Conferences

          General

          General Conference, Richmond, Ind., June 23-30, 1973

          General Conference, 1978

          General Conference, Ithaca, N.Y., June 28-July 5, 1980

 

16

     Toledo Meeting

 

 

17

18

19

20

21

     American Friends Service Committee   

          General

          Memoranda on the draft

          Dayton Regional Office – Memoranda and newsletters

          Lesbian and Gay Rights Task Force

          National Action/Research on the Military Industrial Complex

 

22

     Ann Arbor Friends

 

23

     Friends Lake Community

 

 

24

25

26

     Friends Committee on National Legislation

          Policy Committee – Minutes and memoranda, 1974

          General

          Washington Newsletter

 

 

27

28

     Friends for Lesbian and Gay Concerns

          General

          Newsletter, 1978-1984

 

29

     Lake Erie Yearly Meeting

 

30

     Young Friends of North America

 

 

 

 

 

Gay rights activity

5

1

     Dignity Toledo

 

2

     Free People’s Alliance -- Alliance Advisor, 1983

 

3

     Gay businesses – Toledo

 

4

     Gay organizations – Ohio

 

5

     Gay organizations – Other states

 

6

     Illinois Gay and Lesbian Task Force

 

7

     Lesbian and Gay Pride Week, Boston, 1983

 

8

     Mach 7 story

 

9

     Metropolitan Community Church (Toledo)

 

 

10

11

     Michigan Organization for Human Rights

          General

          MOHR Information 2:4 (Apr. 1979) – 6:5

 

 

12

13

     National Gay Task Force

          General

          Newsletter

 

 

14

15

16

     Ohio Gay Rights Coalition

          General

          Communications workshop, Mar. 15, 1980

          Newsletter

 

 

 

17

18

 

 

19

20

21

 

22

23

      Personal Rights Organization of Toledo

          General

                1978-1979

                1980-1984

           Telephone counseling

               Manual and referral information

                    Folder 1

                    Folder 2

               Schedules

           Newsletter

               1974-1978

               1979-1983

 

24

     Sexuality – handouts

 

25

     TAGALA (Toledo Area Gay and Lesbian Affiliation)

 

26

     Toledo Gay Community Center

 

 

 

 

 

University of Toledo

 

27

     General

 

28

     Ad hoc groups

 

29

     Gay Student Organization

 

30

     Military Affairs Committee

 

31

     Student-Faculty Peace Council, 1969

 

 

 

 

 

Other issues

 

 

32

33

     American Civil Liberties Union

          1971-1975

          1976

 

34

     Black Panther Party – Toledo Chapter

 

 

35

36

     Common Cause

          General, 1975-1976

          Ohio and Toledo

 

37

     Earth Food Co-op – Newsletter

 

38

     Environmental Defense Fund

 

39

     Federal Correctional Institution, Milan, Mich.

 

40

     Free University of Greater Toledo

 

41

     Greater Toledo Council of Teachers of Mathematics

 

42

     Ohioans for Utility Reform

 

43

     Prisoner Visitation and Support

 

44

     Right to Life of Greater Toledo

 

45

     Students for a Democratic Society – Toledo Chapter

 

46

     Toledo Coalition for Safe Energy

 

47

     Washington Office on Africa

 

48

     “Where It’s At: Guide for Community Organizing” 1970

 

49

     World Council of Churches. U.S. Conference  1972 meeting, Toledo

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

 

Miscellaneous

 

 

1

2

     Flyers and handouts – Miscellaneous organizations

          Folder 1

          Folder 2

 

 

3

4

     Miscellaneous

          1959-1961

          1969-1985

  

5

     Petitions

 

6

     Photographs

 

7

     New clippings

 

8

     Newspaper and magazine clippings

 

9

     Newspaper and magazine clippings


7


1*

2

3

4

5

     Artifacts and Oversize materials

          Posters

          Bumper Stickers

          Oversize Magazines

          Miscellaneous Magazines

          Script, “To Whom It May Concern,” with two trays of slides and

               one audio tape

          Rubber Stamp, “Toledo Area Draft and Military Counseling.”

          Painted Jar, “Peace Action Council of Toledo.”

 

 

 

 

* = oversize cabinet, drawer 1

^ = oversize area

** = locked cabinet

R-1 = range four