MS 475 - The Karl Pauli Papers
|Title||MS 475 - The Karl Pauli Papers|
The Karl Pauli Papers were donated to the Center for Archival Collections on two separate occasions by two separate donors. The bulk of the collection, about three and one-half linear feet, was donated by Bruce McGarvey on January 5, 1987. The remainder was given to the Center by Dorothy Lindzy, a longtime associate of Pauli's, on April 21, 1988. The collection consists of personal correspondence, literary productions, and published materials, both by Karl Pauli and others. In addition to having a great deal of material of a personal nature, the Karl Pauli papers also provides substantial insight into the political and religious activities of Pauli.
Occupying roughly five linear feet, the collection was processed and registered by Derek Milne, graduate student, and revised by Susan K. Irwin. The papers are open to the public on an unrestricted basis.
Karl Pauli was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 26, 1891 and died December 31, 1977. During a long and productive career as a freethinker, Pauli embraced many social causes and issues. Pauli's family was devout Protestant and perhaps rebellion against this fact accounts for Pauli's life long devotion to Atheism. By age 18 he had left home because of the religious issue. By the following year he was a member in full standing of the I.W.W. and by 1909 had joined both the Toledo Socialist Party as well as the Secular League.
Pauli's life is a fascinating portrayal of devotion to cause with, ironically, religious fervor. In 1910 he ran for office on the Socialist Party ticket, not the last time he would do so. In 1913 he organized the Toledo Rationalist Society and in 1915 the Temple of Reason--a separate group which seemingly had nearly identical aims. As an "alternative to church" these groups jointly offered a Sunday forum. Under the auspices of these two groups Pauli lectured in the soapbox style, participated in debate and published writings on a variety of topics, usually atheism. He also brought in many acclaimed speakers, including Bill Haywood, Emma Goldman, Clarence Darrow, and Eugene Debs.
In 1912 Pauli married Elsie Peters (who died in 1958). The couple had three children.
Karl Pauli was the nineteenth man called for the draft in World War I and claimed exemption as a conscientious objector, the first in Toledo to do so. Throughout his life he sold a great deal of so-called "radical" literature and was arrested for doing so (Pauli was arrested 54 times in the Toledo area alone). When arrested for this particular offense, in the late 1910's, he was actually selling President Woodrow Wilson's book The New Freedom, which Wilson had written several years earlier. Apparently at this point, the President sent Pauli a letter of apology stating that the arrest was a misunderstanding, however, this particular letter is conspicuously missing from the Collection. Indeed, no correspondence predates 1935.
After his illness in 1924 Pauli attempted to open a tire business and ended up losing roughly $5,000. because of an "organized religious boycott". Later in the 1920's he was offered a position as State Organizing Director of the Socialist Party which he left during the Depression because of communist infiltration. Pauli then moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he was given charge of the organization of the Allegheny County Socialist Party. In this endeavor, Pauli himself claims to have been a victim of character assassination. He returned to Detroit in 1937 to became active in and ultimately a national representative of the Mechanics Educational Society of America, a rating as a vociferous alternative to the C.I.O. Pauli's work with M.E.S.A. lasted until 1944.
In the postwar years Pauli did a great deal of work with Rationalist societies and anti-religious groups, including production of writings on these themes, as well as socialism, and later environmental issues and mental health. Strangely, neither Pauli's correspondence nor his own published work concerns itself with the McCarthy-era witch hunts which surely must have affected his life. Also during this time, Pauli devoted a greater amount of time to leisure and business pursuits, selling real estate, breeding rabbits and writing anti-religious poetry. Published writings during this period in Pauli's life included "The Free Humanist" (Pauli served as field representative), and "Grandpappy's Almanac", edited by Pauli and a definitive example of his personal, albeit inconsequential radicalism.
In the years after his wife died, Pauli's own health declined and his activities followed suit. Socialism with its organizational demands, was largely left behind in the last years of his life, though he continued to follow the movement itself. Atheism continued to be an important issue and remained to the last the central cause to which Pauli's radical philosophy was applied.
During his life "the Pauli calling card" became a small pamphlet entitled, "What God has Revealed to Man", filled with blank pages. During his lifetime he estimated giving away or selling more than 100,000 of these. In 1974 he received the award of which he felt the proudest, a Lifetime Achievement plaque given to him at the 1974 American Atheist Conference in Los Angeles. Of personal note in the Collection are a photograph of Karl Pauli with Madalyn O'Hair at this Conference, correspondence from O'Hair and a cassette tape of Pauli's talk on the significance of Phallicism.
|Scope and Content|
The Karl Pauli papers, with a few exceptions, exclude the early years of Pauli's life and instead document his activism from the Depression to the end of his life. The material includes a great deal of correspondence and literary productions, both by Pauli and by others. Many pamphlets and books that obviously influenced him are also included, as is virtually everything he wrote both in published and manuscript form. Magazines and publications by the various groups to which he belonged are also included as are many personal items such as reminiscences, correspondence, snapshots, and poetry.
The Collection begins with correspondence, arranged chronologically, and some of Pauli's reminiscences. Literary productions follow and are arranged by subject: from taxation of the church to phallic "worship", as well as Pauli's poetry. Some background sources directly affecting and contributing to Pauli's work in these specific subjects are included in the literary productions. More indirect influences on Pauli's philosophy may be found in the printed material section, including various subscriptions Pauli held later in his life, and some books and pamphlets. Printed materials are arranged in an essentially chronological manner with those that Karl Pauli had a direct involvement with, preceding those he merely subscribed to and collected. The Karl Pauli papers conclude with photographs of Pauli and his family, a scrapbook, cassette tapes of several of his talks, and a plaque Pauli received.
LEGAL AND FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS
LEGAL AND FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS
PUBLICATIONS BY OTHERS.
--------. What Has Religion Done for Mankind? Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1951.
Adler, Alfred. The Science of Living. World Publishing Company, 1929.
Hurst, John F., D.D. Short History of the Church of the United States. Chautauqua Press, 1890.
Stirner, Max. The Ego and His Own. Thurland and Thurland, n.d.
Watson, John B. and MacDougall, William. The Battle for Behaviorism. W.W. Norton and Company, 1929.