The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo

Finding Aid

David Warren Ryder Papers, 1930-1955


Size: 3 linear inches

Provenance: purchased from a dealer in 1984.

Access: open

Collection Summary: San Francisco journalist (1892-1975)
Papers document the internal workings of the American Social Credit movement and its pursuit of economic reform. 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.

Subjects: Politics and Government

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: April, 2014


Biographical Sketch


David Warren Ryder (1892-1975) was a pioneer San Francisco author, journalist, and publicist.  After graduation from Stanford University in 1912, Mr. 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).


Mr. 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, Mr. 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, Mr. 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, Mr. 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.


Mr. Ryder has written books and articles on many subjects, but he was especially concerned with the Social Credit movement.  His correspondence is primarily with others involved in the movement.


Author of:      

  What is Wrong With the Newspapers?  [c. 1927]
The Douglas Proposals:  Social Credit Principles Elucidated (1933 - 1939)
Far Eastern Affairs (Pamphlets - 1938)
San Francisco's Emperor Norton (1939)
A Century of Hardware and Steel (1940)
The Story of Moss and the Incredible West (1945)
The Story of Sherman Clay & Co., 1870-1947 (1947)
Memories of the Mendocino Coast (1948)
The Story of Telegraph Hill (1948)
They Wouldn't Take Ashes for an Answer  (1948)
The First Hundred Years (1949)
The Story of Sherman Clay & Co., 1870-1952
Men of Rope (1954)
The Merrill Story  [c. 1958]
Great Citizen:  A Biography of William H. Crocker  (1962)

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 Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt in which Mr. Ryder explains the Social Credit theory with the idea of teaching the President, through her, that there is a non-violent way to national industrial recovery and general well-being.  Included, too, 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 David Ryder, Harold Mack, and others; clippings; miscellaneous items, including Mr. 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, and T.E.D. Watson.


Folder Listing



Folder Title








Correspondence  (Incoming) 1931-1940                   
Correspondence (Outgoing) 1930-1939                                              
Manuscripts (Probably by David Warren Ryder)
Miscellaneous Notes
Photographs (Believed to be C. H. Douglas)                                      
Manuscripts  (Colonel Harold L. Mack)                                               
Manuscripts by Others (Armin Arndt, Dr. Harold G. Moulton)          Clippings                                                                                            




Last Updated: 6/27/22