Emily Balch
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Emily Greene Balch (1867 - 1961)

Emily Greene Balch
Born in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Died at age 94 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
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Profile last modified | Created 18 Nov 2015
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Biography

Notables Project
Emily Balch is Notable.

Emily Balch was born on 8 Jan 1867 to parents Francis Balch, Esq. and Ellen (Noyes) Balch in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.[1] She was an American economist, sociologist and pacifist who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1946 [2]. Emily devoted her life to driving a better world and did not marry, nor had children.

Via her generous biography shown at her Find A Grave Memorial [3], Emily Green Balch was an American pacifist during and after World War I, received international recognition after being awarded the 1946 Nobel Peace Prize. She was the second woman to receive this honor. She jointly shared half of the coveted award with American lay preacher, John R. Mott. According to the Nobel Prize committee, she received this coveted award "for her lifelong work for the cause of peace."

During World War I, she and 1931 Peace Prize Laureate Jane Addams encouraged the governments of neutral countries to intervene to stop the war, thus the ladies were labeled as dangerous dissidents in the United States. In 1935 she became leader of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and nominated the group twice for a Nobel Peace Prize. She warned against fascism, criticizing the western democracies for not attempting to stop Germany's Adolph Hitler's and Italy's Mussolini's aggressive policies. She received 13 nominations for the Nobel candidacy, with one being the 16 members of the Finnish Parliament. After receiving her Nobel Prize, she submitted 12 nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize, including her nomination being one out of the twelve by 1948 for India's Mahatma Gandhi, who was assassinated before the Nobel Prize could be awarded.

Emily Balch was one of six children in a wealthy family, her father was a successful lawyer, who had many political connections. After attending elite private schools, she was among the first graduating class in 1889 at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. For two years, she continued her post-graduate independent studies in sociology, and since she graduated with honors, she received a European Fellowship from Bryn Mawr to study economics at the Sorbonne in Paris from 1890 to 1891. The trip led to the publication of "Public Assistance of the Poor in France" in 1893. She supported Boston's first immigrant settlement house, Denison House. She admitted that she did not know personally anyone that was considered poor, thus an outsider looking in on a problem of others.

She continued formal studies with courses at Harvard University, the University of Chicago and a one-year course in economics starting in 1895 in Berlin, Germany. In 1896 she began her academic career at Wellesley College, a private liberal arts college for women in Massachusetts. Using her sociology knowledge, she addressed social issues such as poverty, women's rights, health care, child labor, juvenile delinquency, racial injustice and anti-immigrant prejudice. After traveling to eastern Europe, she published in 1910 a piece addressing immigrant prejudices, "Our Slavic Fellow Citizens." In 1913, when the position became opened, she was appointed to serve as Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Economy and of Political and Social Science at Wellesley College.

A pacifist since the Spanish-American War, she committed all her energies to the cause of world peace. During World War I, as well as later in World War II, she supported the civil liberties of conscientious objectors, was against the draft, and wanted the United States to not enter the war. She criticized the harsh terms imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles. For all her political involvement, Wellesley College terminated her contract in 1919. She became the editor of a well-known magazine of political commentary, "The Nation." In 1921 she converted to the Quaker faith. She was hired to be the treasurer of the International Congress of Women, which changed its name to the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She held this position for only a short time before poor health issues caused her to resign. The organization was based in Geneva, Switzerland and she donated her monetary portion of the Nobel Prize to the group.

Emily started classes on peace in fifty different countries. She worked closely with the League of Nations. In 1939 she published "Refugees as Assets", urging the United States to accept refugees escaping from Nazis aggression. She also advocated support for Japanese-Americans held in United States detention camps following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

She never married, had limited financial means as she aged, and lived the last five years of her life in Mt. Vernon Nursing Home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There have been several biographies published about her including, "The Improper Bostonian: Emily Greene Balch, Nobel Peace Laureate, 1946" by Mercedes M. Randal in 1964 and "Emily Greene Balch: The Long Road to Nationalism" by Kristen E. Gwinn in 2010.

Sources

  1. "Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F4G3-KFS : accessed 18 November 2015), Emily Greene Balch, 08 Jan 1867; citing West Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, 204; FHL microfilm 741,321.
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Greene_Balch
  3. Find A Grave, database and images
  • "United States Census, 1870," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MDQ7-KZ1 : accessed 18 November 2015), Emily G Balch in household of Francis V Balch, Massachusetts, United States; citing p. 166, family 1266, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 552,136.
  • "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHXY-141 : accessed 18 November 2015), Emily Balch in household of F B Balch, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States; citing enumeration district 767, sheet 513C, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0561; FHL microfilm 1,254,561.
  • "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9YP-VDB : accessed 18 November 2015), Emily J Balch in household of Anne L Balch, Precinct 1 Boston city Ward 23, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States; citing sheet 3A, family 42, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,240,687.
  • "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M224-PPS : accessed 18 November 2015), Emily Balch in household of Annie L Balch, Boston Ward 23, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 1608, sheet 17B, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,374,637.
  • "United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVJP-73SJ : accessed 18 November 2015), Emily Greene Balch, 1915; citing Passport Application, Massachusetts, United States, source certificate #54341, Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925, 241, NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,516,459.
  • "United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV5B-K6NG : accessed 18 November 2015), Emily Greene Balch, 1919; citing Passport Application, New York, United States, source certificate #73442, Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925, 739, NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,605,339.
  • "United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MF9Q-B9W : accessed 18 November 2015), Emily G Balch in household of Anne L Balch, Boston Ward 22, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States; citing sheet 1B, family 19, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,820,739.
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 08 December 2019), memorial page for Emily Greene Balch (8 Jan 1867–9 Jan 1961), Find A Grave: Memorial #6687822, citing Forest Hills Cemetery and Crematory, Jamaica Plain, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Peterborough K (contributor 46537737) .




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