Black Americans and Italo-Ethiopian Relief 1935-1936

By Red Ross

The prospect of an Italo-Ethiopian conflict aroused Americans in the mid-1930s as few – if any – other African-related events ever had. This interest took different forms. For some, primarily Americans of Italian heritage, it meant a renewed pride in Italy’s greatness and a desire to aid the fatherland, even to the point of parting with one’s wedding band. The chief concern for the majority of Americans was that the United States in no way become involved: the public overwhelmingly supported Congressional neutrality legislation which required the strict embargoing of arms and vital war supplies to both belligerents in the event of hostilities. Although most Americans felt sympathy for Haile Selassie and his embattled African empire, they were reluctant to do much in the way of actual support. The only major American group which did genuinely lend support, Americans of African descent, had only limited financial ability and political influence with which to translate their concern into concrete assistance.

The United States Department of State opposed all assistance to Ethiopia except medical relief. Yet even this limitation allowed much diversity in terms of the composition, motives, and objectives of relief-oriented groups. This paper will attempt to examine the total question of American relief to Ethiopia.

The subject presents certain difficulties. For instance, delineating between categories of pro-Ethiopian groups can be somewhat of a problem. Some began as informa- tion-dispensing, pressure bodies and went out of existence after hostilities commenced; others transformed them- selves into relief groups. Still others concerned them- selves primarily with recruiting volunteers for military service in Ethiopia and/or boycotting Italian Americans. Many fly-by-night operations flourished.

The distinction between Caucasian and Negro relief groups, too, becomes blurred. " White " groups, such as the Committee for Ethiopia or the American Com- mittee on the Ethiopian Crisis, invariably had at least token black membership. After the war began in October 1935 many of the black groups, including Dr. Willis N. Huggins’ Friends of Ethiopia, co-operated with the im- portant " establishment " white co-ordinating organisa- tion, American Aid for Ethiopia. However, as a result of an Ethiopian emissary’s year-end visit to America, a number of Negro groups realigned themselves under an all-black umbrella body, United Aid to Ethiopia.

Historians consider the December 5, 1934, skirmish between Ethiopians and Italians at Wai Wai, an isolated water hole sixty miles inside Ethiopia from the Italian Somaliland border, as the first shot of the Italo-Ethiopian War. Mussolini seized upon this incident as his casus belli. Between December 1934 and the following October he fought a virulent propaganda campaign against

Ethiopia. During the period Negro Americans acted as the most important pressure group in the country trying to persuade Roosevelt and Secretary of State Hull to protect Ethiopia from what appeared to be the certainty of a forthcoming Italian invasion.

Blacks in this country knew comparatively little about Ethiopia, except that it stood as the symbol of African achievement. Ethiopia, the sole African kingdom which had managed to retain its independence during the European scramble for colonies at the close of the nine- teenth century, had a long recorded history, an ancient Coptic Christian faith, a monarchy which claimed descent from King Solomon, and internationally recog- nised diplomatic status. Negro Americans did what they could to prevent her destruction.

One of the earliest organised efforts was the Provisional Committee for the Defense of Ethiopia, set up in New York City in February 1935 by delegates from twenty Harlem organisations (the New York division of Garvey’s old Universal Negro Improvement Association, the YMCA’s educational branch, the local Elks lodge, and the League of Struggle for Negro Rights, to name but four) with a claimed membership in excess of 1 5,000.1 This committee called a mass meeting the following month to protest against Italy’s preparations for war with Ethiopia. In response to the call three thousand persons attended the rally, whose speakers included the Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, Joel A. Rogers, a historian and journalist who was to serve as war correspondent in Ethiopia, Dr. Willis N. Huggins, likewise both a historian and an im- portant person in the Ethiopian-related events of 1935-6, Captain A. L. King, President of the U.N.I.A., James W. Ford, head of the Harlem section of the Communist party, and Arthur Reid, leader of the small, but vocal, African Patriotic League. With the conspicuous omission of an NAACP spokesman, and possibly one from the American League against War and Fascism, these men well represented those groups which were most influential in moulding black opinion on the Ethiopian question: clergymen, Garveyites, Communists, teachers, journalists and street corner orators. The resolutions adopted were typical of those of subsequent protest gatherings:

(1)    Ethiopia needs money, arms and munitions rather than man-power.

(2)    Resolutions of protest to be sent to Mussolini, League of Nations, Secretary of State, and Mayor of New York.

(3)   A 50,000 person parade be held in Harlem soon.

(4)    Harlemites spend no money where it might find its way to Italian fascists to be used " to stab our brothers in the back."2

Mass meetings were held during the spring and summer in a number of American cities, with greatest success in New York and Chicago. Chicago activities, spearheaded by Robert L. Ephraim, a former travelling organiser for Marcus Garvey, and his Negro World Alliance, included a June 30th protest march which ended with the police battling the demonstrators. At the very least, the East African crisis sensitised a sizeable number of Negroes to events outside America’s borders.

But Negro awareness, even concern, could not in itself be sufficient to preserve Ethiopian independence. At a summer rally in Harlem Dr. Huggins asserted that this could be done if Negroes of the world aroused the world- wide pro-Ethiopian liberal attitude into a militant mood.3 To this goal several predominantly black organisations dedicated themselves.

As early as December 1934 the Ethiopian Research Council, directed by Howard University anthropologist W. Leo Hansberry, had been set up " for the purpose of disseminating information on the history, civilisation, and diplomatic relations of Ethiopia in Ancient and Modern times."4 Hansberry and his associates, among whom were the three Ethiopian students studying in the United States as well as fellow Howard professor Ralph Bunche, hoped eventually to establish an information bureau, an historical research service, and an Ethiopia digest which would reprint, summarise and analyse world-wide articles on Ethiopia. In Wilberforce, Ohio, members of the Wilberforce University community, in- cluding A.M.E. Bishop Reverdy C. Ransom, President R. R. Wright, Jr., and Miss Hallie Q. Brown, formed what was to be the first chapter of an association with a chapter on every Negro college campus. Its objectives were: to aid in the preservation of the territorial integrity and political sovereignty of the kingdom of Abys- sinia, to spread information and helpful propaganda in its interest, (and) to petition the Government of the United States to use its good offices to the end that the differences between Italy and Abyssinia may be settled by arbitration.5

There existed a genuine need for more information on Ethiopia. Close though Negro Americans might feel towards Ethiopia, they – and the American community in general – were almost totally uninformed as to exactly who the Ethiopians were and what was their history. As Carter G. Woodson, distinguished editor of the Journal of Negro History, would write at the year’s end to the editor of the Afro-American, one of the nation’s most widely read black weeklies:

With the approach of Negro History Week, many teachers are planning to build their programs around Ethiopia, but historians can give them little assistance.

. . . The books which are already available supply little of much needed information and most of those now tumbling in large numbers from the presses are not intended to inform the people but to exploit the gullible American public, which feasts upon falsehoods and scandal.6

The Afro-American, itself, had several months earlier tried to further a knowledge of Ethiopia by recommend- ing to subscribers Drew Pearson and Constantine Brown’s The American Diplomatic Game, Gordon McCreagh’s The Last of Free Africa, L. M. Nesbitt’s Hell Hole of Creation, and the Encyclopedia Britannica.1

If these were the best available references, one can easily account for a prevailing state of misinformation. The American Diplomatic Game dealt generally with American foreign policy in the 1920s and early 1930s rather than with the Ethiopian crisis. Likewise, Hell Hole of Creation referred only peripherally to Ethiopia proper, being a narrative of the exploration of the desolate, sparsely populated Danakil region in the remote north-east. Only in The Last of Free Africa, a collection of pro-Ethiopian articles which first appeared in the late 1920s in Adventure Magazine, could the reader gain a comprehensive picture of the " Island of Christianity in a sea of black pagan- ism." Yet even here the pages expounding Ethiopian history left much to be desired.

Ethiopia was indeed isolated from America in all but a spiritual sense. Annual trade between the United States and Ethiopia amounted to less than $500,000, with Singer Sewing Machine Company and a New York engineering firm the only American concerns with note- worthy concessions.8 Of the 127 Americans in Ethiopia in June 1935, 110 were religious and medical missionaries and their families, one was employed as Financial Adviser to the Emperor, ten were indigent Negro Ameri- cans soon to be evacuated, and three were with the American Legation, one of eight foreign legations in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.9

Not until July did Ethiopia have so much as a single diplomatic representative in this country. In that month she appointed as Consul-General John H. Shaw, a forty- eight year-old " honourable upright and substantial " white English-born American citizen, whose import- export business relations were exclusively with the Ethiopian Government.10 Shaw immediately announced that he had been instructed to stop all collecting of aid funds and recruiting of military volunteers.11 Many months later Shaw confided to a State Department official that since assuming his post he had received neither instructions from the Ethiopia Foreign Office nor any funds with which to operate his Consulate-General – and had advanced over S7,000 from his own pocket for its maintenance.12

The whole question of " volunteering " had been a short, but intense, episode. As early as eight months before the October invasion some American black men had begun offering their services to the Ethiopian army.13 To whom they should apply was unfortunately not certain. The Afro-American directed possible volunteers to Malaku Bayen, the Ethiopian studying medicine at Howard.14 The following week, however, the same paper published a statement by Bayen, expressing thanks for statements of support and hinting that Ethiopia would be willing to accept volunteers providing that a way could be found of keeping within American neutrality legislation, but explaining that his only mission in the United States was to get an education.15

Some American blacks, especially former members of the U.N.I.A., continued pledging their active support. In June, Samuel Daniels, president of the New York-based 30,000 member Pan African Reconstruction Association, and Harold H. Williams, a representative of the Ethio- pian League of America, set out on a nation-wide auto tour to recruit volunteers for Abyssinia.16 By mid-July Daniels boasted he had signed up over 17,500 volunteers from Boston (200), Detroit (5,000), Chicago (8,000), Kansas City, Missouri (2,000), Philadelphia (1,500), and New York (850).17 Daniels reputedly charged a mini- mum of 25 cents per enlistment as a private and higher sums for commissioned and non-commissioned officer positions.18

At the time Daniels was making his inflated claims of volunteer support for Ethiopia, the Pittsburgh Courier scored something of a scoop: it cabled Emperor Haile Selassie concerning potential American troops and received a positive reply.19 As a result thousands of men and women from thirty-eight states wrote to the paper offering to fight.20 Then the bubble burst. Courier editor Robert L. Vann, acting in his capacity as assistant to the Attorney General, contacted the State Department and was reminded of the statute which declared:
United States’ citizens cannot accept or exercise a commission to serve a foreign nation in war against a nation with whom the United States are at peace … If they do they shall be guilty of high misdemeanour and shall be fined not more than $2,000 and imprisoned not more than 3 years.21 Mass transportation of fighters had never been a financial practicality. The State Department’s attitude, coupled with the negative position of the newly appointed Ethiopian Consul General, discouraged further organised efforts of this type. In point of fact only two black Americans, both aviators, did fight in the war: West Indian-born Hubert Julian, " the Black Eagle of Har- lem," and Chicagoan Col. John C. Robinson, " the Brown Condor." Julian grew tired of fighting for Ethiopia and defected to the Italians; Robinson returned home in triumph in 1936.

Shaw had had reason for concern over collections of money for Ethiopia. In July the State Department, fearing anti-Italian outbursts, sent an official to Harlem to investigate certain activities connected with the Italo- Ethiopian dispute. The investigator told of the solicita- tions of a certain Sam Davidson " and a few lesser lights " for 25 cents contributions from persons attending nightly meetings, an operation characterised as "a Sam Davidson racket pure and simple."22 Another State Department official reported:
… on practically every street corner between
125th and 145th Streets speakers were stationed on
stepladders on all four corners of street intersections.
They were haranguing crowds varying in number
from fifty to as many as one thousand. Most of
these speaking displayed an Ethiopian flag as well
as a placard announcing that they were working for
the Ethiopian cause. After speeches were made a
hat was passed and a collection taken up … there
could not have been more than a dollar in each case
since most people dropped in only a cent or two.23
Several newspapers, too, commented on the spirited
activity in the area.24 Reports of similar collections
emanated from such widely distant points as Texas,
North Carolina, and California.26
The Ethiopian Consul General, maintaining that the money collected was being used solely for private pur- poses, opposed all these projects.26 But Shaw seemed especially troubled by the efforts of one particular or- ganisation, Robert F. S. Harris’s Committee for Ethiopia. Harris, a former newsman who privately claimed to have been both a one-time Assistant Managing Editor of the New York Herald as well as a foreign correspondent who years ago had spent time in Ethiopia, had on July 1, 1935, sent out 5,000 circulars to concerned persons, pri- marily clergymen, asking their co-operation in both accepting a place on his Committee for Ethiopia and contributing toward the expenses of printing and distributing materials.27 The committee’s seven-fold program- me included moulding public opinion, setting up a nation-wide day of prayer, " preventing communist ele- ments from taking advantage of the Italo-Ethiopian crisis to further their subversive propaganda and agitation among Americans of African descent," sending medical supplies to Ethiopia, and erecting a modern, short-wave station in Addis Ababa.28 Harris had tried to secure Shaw’s co-operation (as well as $500 with which to launch the publicity campaign) but had been rebuffed on both counts.29

Why Harris undertook this project is not entirely clear. In a New York Times account he explained that letters from Americans in Ethiopia had prompted R. H. Hutchison, general secretary of the United Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, and others to form the committee with the hope of arousing public concern over Ethiopia.30 Apparently Harris was not " actuated entirely by high and lofty motives," for he expected to profit from his venture by obtaining from the Government of Ethiopia concessions for the " wireless " operation and for the growing of mocha coffee.41

By August 15 Harris had received enough response to warrant setting up an executive committee of forty-nine, half of whom were " coloured."32 The Rev. Adam Clay- ton Powell, pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, was named the committee’s vice chairman and a branch office was established in Harlem at 2143 Seventh Avenue from which the work of various pro-Ethiopian groups could be co-ordinated.33 Harris himself had set up head- quarters at the Manhattan Art Press, 228 East 45th Street.34

Harris’s activities, once he had gained sufficient en- dorsement for a decent letterhead, were twofold: organis- ing a petition campaign calling upon the United States to invoke the Kellogg-Briand pact and co-ordinating August 18 prayer activities. As for the former venture Harris printed 235,000 circulars and sent them to various individuals and peace groups throughout the nation.35 Harris held that if Great Britain could count more than ten million citizens who believed in peace, the United States’ total should at least equal the British figure.36

This author is unaware of the outcome of Harris’s petition campaign. The August 18 day of prayer was, however, a well-publicised success with over 3,000 con- gregations in America and the West Indies participat- ing.37 Haile Selassie co-operated by ordering special prayers for peace and national independence in all Ethiopian churches and by attending a particularly impressive ceremony at St. George’s Cathedral in Addis Ababa.38 The date had been settled upon by Harris, after discussion with the Rev. W. W. Van Kirk, secretary of the Federal Council of Churches’ Department of international Goodwill and Justice, as the Sunday prior to the issuance of the League of Nations’ Conciliation Commission report.39

Harris was not alone in trying to awaken American interest in Ethiopia. Soon a second white-led pro- Ethiopian organisation, the American Committee on the Ethiopian Crisis, would be organised, this time by " establishment " philanthropic and religious leaders.

Emory Ross, a white missionary who had spent more than twenty years of service in west and central Africa, had returned to America in 1933 and had subsequently become secretary of the African Welfare Committee of the Federal Council of Churches, a body jointly spon- sored by that organisation’s Department of Race Rela- tions and its Department of International Justice and Goodwill. Ross actively engaged in educational publicity about Ethiopia, contributing an article " Ethiopia – Still Proud and Free " to the Survey Graphic’s August issue. It was he who took the lead in setting up the Provisional Committee on the Ethiopian Crisis.40

To the August 14, 1935, organisational meeting came Emory Ross, Dr. Thomas Jesse Jones, Educational Direc- tor of the Phelps-Stokes Fund, Father John LaFarge, member of the editorial staff of America, Dr. Sidney E. Goldstein, chairman of the Social Service Commission of the American Conference of Rabbis, Dr. George E. Haynes, executive secretary of the Federal Council of Churches’ Race Relations Department and only Negro participant, and Dr. Thomas A. Lambie, founder of the United Presbyterian Mission in Ethiopia and field direc- tor of the Sudan Interior Mission in Ethiopia.41 A week later this group, meeting again at the League of Nations Association’s New York headquarters, transformed itself into the American Committee on the Ethiopian Crisis. It then selected Dr. Jones as chairman, Ross as executive secretary.42 They, like previous groups, adopted a set of noble aims:

(1)    To aid in maintaining peace in the present tense situation between Italy and Ethiopia.

(2)    To aid Ethiopia by peaceful means in preserving her historic and territorial sovereignty.

(3)   To maintain close relations with the Ethiopian Government, and insofar as may be mutually desired to act unofficially between its representa- tives and interested groups outside Ethiopia.43

Plans were made to form a National Committee of 150 to be composed of representatives from the fields of education, international affairs, religion and social service to further the organisation’s aims.

To a somewhat cynical observer this committee of concern seemed more concerned with keeping America out of the coming Italo-Ethiopian War than it did in preserving Ethiopian independence. Thus when Secre- tary of State Cordell Hull forced Standard Vacuum Oil Company, owned jointly by Socony Vacuum and Stand- ard Oil of New Jersey, to relinquish a recently negotiated concession for oil rights in Ethiopia the committee sent a telegram commending the action.44

From its inception The American Committee on the Ethiopian Crisis was at odds with the Committee for Ethiopia. Shaw, who gave the former his full endorse- ment, likewise supported its decision to investigate Ethiopian assistance " rackets."45 And when it came to rackets, Shaw had the Harris committee specifically in mind.46

As of the beginning of September, Harris had received less than $100.47 Yet he was soon to begin actively soliciting funds for medical supplies; by distributing coin cards to churches throughout the nation he hoped to gain individual 10 cent donations.48 Harris claimed to be operating under the direct authorisation of the Ethiopian Minister to Great Britain, Dr. Azaj W. Martin.40 If this were so, he was not alone.

In July the Provisional Committee for the Defense of Ethiopia, in co-operation with the Committee on Ethiopia and the American League Against War and Fascism, had sent Dr. Willis N. Huggins to Geneva with a petition urging that the League of Nations take measure to restrain Italy, assure Ethiopia of the League’s support, and send a neutral commission to report on boundary disputes.50 While in Europe, Huggins met with Ethiopian ministers to both France and Great Britain.51 From the latter Huggins received authorisation to organise activi- ties on Ethiopia’s behalf, principally in securing a public loan through a reputable banking house and in procuring medical supplies and personnel.52

Upon his return Huggins announced the formation of the Friends of Ethiopia of the United States, with head- quarters at 1890 Seventh Avenue in Harlem.53 The exact nature of his contact with Dr. Martin in London is open to some question. On August 19, 1935, the Ethiopian Minister wrote to the Associated Negro Press endorsing Huggins’ plans.54 The A.N.P.’s head, Claude A. Barnett, promptly sent out the story. A month later Dr. Martin again wrote to Barnett this time asking the newsman to " keep a separate account of the money collected and tell Dr. Huggins to send it to me as soon as .$100 has been subscribed . . ."55

As the probability of armed hostilities increased new efforts were made to raise funds for the sending of medical supplies to Ethiopia, both by existing com- mittees and by newly formed ones. In New York City the Medical Committee for the Defense of Ethiopia, a predominantly black group composed of thirty physi- cians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses and technicians, an- nounced " an energetic drive to send immediate medical assistance to the Ethiopian people."56 Harris’s Com- mittee for Ethiopia sent the first shipment of supplies.

On August 4, 1935, the Committee for Ethiopia had begun a nation-wide fund-raising drive in order to buy gas masks, ambulance litters, medical supplies and hospital equipment to be sent to Ethiopia.57 Late that month the Committee for Ethiopia sent on board the steamship Ingria of the Franco-Iberian Line its first – and only – shipment.58 One of the New York papers ran the story accompanied by a photograph showing the Committee’s Medical Director, Dr. L. Shapiro, standing besides a pile of supplies over which had been draped a Red Cross flag.59 The news story failed to mention that the shipment consisted entirely of antiseptic articles furnished by the Squibbs Company, worth a total of $117.60

The news account succeeded in stirring the American Red Cross into action: The Red Cross emblem had been misused. Upon being questioned Dr. Shapiro admitted that he had had no right to use the Red Cross flag, thus giving the impression that an American Red Cross expedition was being sent to Ethiopia.61 The Red Cross protested this action to Harris and received assur- ances that the misuse would not happen again.62 Early in October the American Red Cross was again to protest to Harris, this time over an October 9, 1935, Committee for Ethiopia circular calling itself " The American Auxili- ary of the Ethiopian Red Cross."63 International regu- lations forbade the existence of any Red Cross organisa- tion or unit in the United States except the American Red Cross.

At a September 19, 1935, Central Committee meeting the Red Cross had decided on three points:

(1)   In the event of hostilities the American Red Cross would offer assistance to both belligerents.

(2)    The Red Cross should not, at least at the outset, contemplate sending personnel, only funds.

(3)   The American Red Cross should not appropriate any money for war relief from existing funds since the organisation had already exceeded its esti- mated income for the fiscal year by $600,000.64

On October 3, 1935, Italian planes bombed the Ethiopian cities of Adowa and Adigiat. War had begun. Late in the evening of October 5, 1935, the State Department issued an arms embargo proclamation; the American Government had at last recognised the existence of hostilities. The American Red Cross was now free to act. It cabled its International Committee in Geneva to find out the desires of the Italian and Ethiopian Red Cross societies. The Italian group declined with thanks saying they were sufficiently prepared to cope with the situation. The Ethiopian Red Cross, on the other hand, expressed its desire for assistance.

The Ethiopian Red Cross Society, which had been organised but a few months earlier, was genuinely in need of aid. Its director, Dr. Thomas A. Lambie, and most of its members were foreign doctors connected with missionary activities. The country possessed not a single motor ambulance.65 In an effort to remedy the disadvantageous position Haile Selassie on October 6, 1935, gave to a New York Times correspondent for transmission through that paper to Robert Harris’s Committee for Ethiopia an appeal for American medical volunteers and gifts of hospital supplies.66 The letter, co-signed by Dr. Lambie, listed a wide range of things – hospital tents, surgical kits, camp beds, portable X-ray units on Ford or Chevrolet half-ton trucks, serums, bandages, disinfectants, iodine – needed by the Ethio- pians. The supplies were to be sent via Berbera, a port in British Somaliland, in packages weighing not more than seventy pounds.

Finally on October 9, 1935, Rear Admiral Cary T. Grayson, chairman of the American Red Cross, issued an appeal for funds for the Ethiopian sister society and instructed the Red Cross’s 3,709 chapters to begin accepting the contributions.67 In notifying the Inter- national Committee of its action the American Red Cross warned that large amounts in contributions were not anticipated.68 The prediction proved to be well founded.

The Red Cross announcement had gone on to say that the American society was not contemplating the sending of doctors or nurses to the war zone. Even if they had such would have been an expensive proposition. Consul General Shaw estimated that transportation costs would amount to $350 per person.69 Obviously the Committee for Ethiopia, with its total collection amount- ing to only $291.28, was in no position to promise the sending of personnel.70

Nonetheless, on October 4, 1935, Horace G. Knowles, treasurer of the Committee for Ethiopia and a former United States Minister to Rumania, had told the press that, at a cost of $5,000, a seven doctor fully-equipped medical unit, staffed by Harlem physicians, was to be sent to Ethiopia.71 This would be followed by units from Cincinnati and Cleveland. Plans were supposedly under way to raise a million dollars for medical supplies.72

Where was the Committee to get that kind of money? One possible source may have been a public relations firm which, according to Emory Ross, was to operate on a sliding commission ranging from 50 per cent of the first $50,000 raised to 16f per cent for $600,000.73 Even if the report were true the scheme was never put into operation. In mid-October Harris announced that in order " to avoid confusion and present sporadic fund raising " his committee would cease independent fund collecting and asked instead that Ethiopian sympathisers direct their contributions to local Red Cross chapters.74

Ironically as the Committee for Ethiopia was closing its doors another committee, American Aid for Ethiopia, was being set up. The American Committee on the Ethiopian Crisis had functioned as a pressure group for the preservation of peace. With the outbreak of fighting it ceased having much purpose. That committee dissolved itself to be reborn as American Aid for Ethiopia, the most important Ethiopian relief group of the war. Initially it had a board of directors composed of Dr. Thomas Jesse Jones, Dr. Sidney E. Goldstein, Dr. George E. Haynes, Emory Ross and Citizens Union chairman, Dr. William Jay Schieffelin, which was almost identical with that of the predecessor organisation, the major difference being the addition of Dr. Schieffelin who was named chairman.75

American Aid for Ethiopia set about raising money with which to fill the Emperor’s " want " list. Late in October Dr. Lambie cabled the committee to urge the sending of five trucks to be used as ambulances on the Ogaden front. A month later the first shipment, in- cluding a new Ford ambulance truck and almost a ton of medical and surgical supplies, was sent to Djibuti, French Somaliland, on board the steamer City of Swansea.76 The bandages and dressings had been pre- pared by Harlem volunteers.77

During the early months of the war the two best pub- licised relief groups were Schieffelin’s American Aid for Ethiopia and Willis Huggins’ Friends of Ethiopia. In order to facilitate the setting up of a nation-wide network of chapters Huggins had asked Walter White, secretary of the NAACP to furnish him from membership lists with the names of 300 persons who might co-operate in the venture.78 When a Florida attorney wrote to White asking for advice on organisations aiding Ethiopia, the latter recommended both Scheiffelin’s and Huggins’ organisations. On the other hand, Pittsburgh Courier columnist George Schuyler endorsed only Huggins’ Friends of Ethiopia, preferring it to a group led by "… professional Negrophile busybodies and self-appointed shepherds of the Negro races . . . who believe nothing can be done by or for Negroes unless a white man is directing it."79

The Friends of Ethiopia was affiliated with a variety of national and international organisations – the Associ- ation for the Study of Negro Life and History, the Ethio- pian Research Council, the American Pro-Falasha Com- mittee, the Universal Ethiopian Students’ Association, the International African Friends of Ethiopia (London), La Revue de Monde Noir (Paris), the Women’s Inter- national League for Peace and Freedom (Geneva) and Les Jeunnes Ethiopiennes (Addis Ababa).80 In Novem- ber the U.S. Embassy in London reported that the Inter- national African Friends of Abyssinia planned to send a fund-raising delegation, probably to be composed of George Padmore, Mrs. Marcus Garvey and the Somali leader Ismail Mohammed Said, to New York where Willis Huggins was arranging a programme.81 Another reported instance of planned co-operation between the Friends of Ethiopia and one of its affiliates, this time the Universal Ethiopian Students Association, involved the designation of the first week in December as " National Ethiopian Week," during which a campaign to raise a minimum of $5,000 would be conducted.82

The financial success of the Friends of Ethiopia is difficult to determine, for despite newspaper accounts telling of goals there were no similar announcements relating to shipments. Possibly funds collected were simply turned over to Consul General Shaw, the Red Cross or American Aid for Ethiopia. In December Huggins, who by this time was actively working with Schieffelin’s group, joined the executive committee of American Aid for Ethiopia.83 By January that organi- sation’s letterheads listed as " co-operating chapters " the Save the Children Fund and the American – Pro-Falasha Committee as well as societies in Boston, New- ark, Chicago, Richmond and Harlem.84 Perhaps Huggins1 group was the Harlem organisation in question.

The Pan-African Reconstruction Association, which in October instructed its female members to prepare bandages for Ethiopian wounded, was one Harlem organisation which never affiliated.85 Another was the Medical Committee for the Defense of Ethiopia, led by Dr. J. J. Jones, Dr. P. M. H. Savory and Dr. Arnold Donawa. Late in October this committee placed an ad in the New York Age informing those desirous of making contributions to send cash, bandages, or materials which could be made into bandages to their headquarters at the U.N.I.A. building, 36 West 135th Street.86 A month later Dr. Donawa told the press that two tons of recently shipped medical and surgical supplies had arrived in Ethiopia.87 In January the group was to announce the sending to Ethiopia via the S.S. Steel Age of both another ton of bandages and sterilised dressing as well as a field hospital containing a 90 by 16 feet hospital tent and 50 cots with full supplemental cover- ings.88

The sending of medical personnel was quite another matter. Ethiopia, with not more than six native doctors for the entire country, had been forced to rely almost exclusively on medical missionaries already stationed there and on foreign volunteer units.89 In response to the crisis Red Cross Societies of Sweden, Switzerland, Egypt, France and Great Britain had sent or sponsored units. The American Red Cross, however, never con- templated the sending of personnel to Ethiopia. Ameri- can Aid for Ethiopia expressed interest in sending indi- viduals – cost permitting – who might serve with the Ethiopian Red Cross.90 Into this situation entered the Ethiopian Research Council.

Dr. Hansberry and his colleagues, men characterised by one Red Cross official as representing " the highest type of educated negroes in the country," sought en- dorsement from the American Red Cross for the former’s sponsoring of an American hospital unit.91 The Research Council, for its part, had set up another organisation, Ethiopian Emergency Medical Aid, which was to work out the ways and means of transporting a 50-bed field hospital including a staff of doctors.92 Ethiopian Emer- gency Medical Aid was to be largely a Howard University

project, directed by Hansberry, Dr. G. M. Jones and Howard University President, Dr. Mordecai W. Johnson and supported by Howard alumni.93

The idea of sending a Negro unit under Negro auspices might have been practical had it not been for the ever present problem of finances. The Red Cross failed to give encouragement. Consul General Shaw, rather than support Ethiopian Research Council activities, urged that it convert itself into a local organisation and work in conjunction with American Aid for Ethiopia.91 The plan, like so many other Ethiopian-related projects, never quite got off the ground.

The Red Cross, itself, was doing but little better. As of December 1, 1935, it had received contributions totalling only $5,882, a sum particularly disheartening when one realises that $5,000 of it had been given by a single donor.95 By February Red Cross Vice Chairman Ernest J. Seift reported that the total funds collected had reached $7,103.45.96 To this amount the Red Cross had added an appropriation of $5,000 from its Disaster Relief Fund.97 The campaign of American Aid for Ethiopia was likewise relatively unsuccessful with only $2,000 having been collected by the end of 1935.98 Times may have been hard but they weren’t that hard. By the middle of December the New York metropolitan area, alone, had raised $500,000 for the Italian Red Cross’s African endeavours.99

Swift had told the President of the International Red Cross Committee in Geneva: " Some people abroad have the feeling that our coloured population might rally to the support of Ethiopia but they have shown little interest."108 A more correct assessment would have been that the American Negro population had little desire to work through the Red Cross. One wonders whether Swift was aware of Lij Tasfaye Zaphiro’s American visit.

The young Ethiopian, a private secretary to the Ethio- pian Minister in London, arrived in the United States on December 13, 1935, and immediately set about ad- vancing the Ethiopian cause. In a statement, which was released through Consul General Shaw’s office, Tasfaye stated that one objective of his visit was to convince the American public of the blood relationship between the Ethiopian and the Negro.101 At his first major address, a Christmas Eve gathering at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, Tasfaye, who shared the podium with Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Dr. Willis Huggins, explained to his three thousand listeners:

. . . We were happy when your Dr. Huggins came to see us in London last August and hoped that you would heed the message given him by our Legation. We have found much obstruction and many jeal- ousies from which we wish you to abstain.102 The following week at U.N.I.A. hall Tasfaye succeeded in uniting a number of black-led Ethiopian aid groups into one organisation, United Aid for Ethiopia.103

New York was the first stop on Tasfaye’s fund-raising tour, to be followed by Boston, Newark, Rochester, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia and Brooklyn.104 Rather than work through American Aid for Ethiopia, Tasfaye chose to make his own arrangements.105 During these travels Tasfaye, who claimed to be First Secretary to the Ethiopian Legation in London, raised a good deal of money including $305 from the New York Christmas rally and $350 from a Brooklyn appearance.106

The latter was the greatest amount raised by any city except Chicago.107 Chicago, which had had a functioning Society for the Aid of Ethiopia since October 17, 1935, came alive for the Ethiopian’s two-day visit. The Chicago Defender reported substantial church contribu- tions of $94.50, $106, and $100 from the Olive Baptist Church, the Ebenezer Baptist Church and the Pilgrim Baptist Church, respectively.108 From an audience at the International House of the University of Chicago another $56 was collected " in the form of checks, cash and pledges."109 Nearly a thousand persons attended the mass rally at Wendell Phillips high school.110

After Tasfaye had returned to New York the Chicago committee began wondering whether he was indeed an accredited Ethiopian representative.111 They were not alone in this concern. In order to discover Tasfaye’s actual status the State Department had asked the Ameri- can Legation in Addis Ababa to find out what it could. Cornelius Van H. Engert wired back that the Ethiopian Minister for Foreign Affairs knew nothing of Tasfaye’s journey to the United States.112

Although Tasfaye never presented any credentials to Shaw, the two men initially co-operated with each other.113 Shaw paid Tasfaye’s American expenses.114 Tasfaye, who publicly acknowledged Shaw’s position as an Ethiopian official, in return turned over his lecture receipts to the Consul General.115 By March, however, relations between the two men had greatly deteriorated. The Courier was hardly in error when it reported: Zaphiro’s action in virtually splitting with Consul General John H. Shaw and becoming president of the United Aid to Ethiopia in Harlem appears on the surface as a move to challenge Shaw and set up a twin " Ethiopian Consulate " under all-coloured direction in Harlem.116

For Shaw the final straw was the discovery of a letter to the Ethiopian Legation in London in which Tasfaye had castigated Shaw as "a traitor to Ethiopia " and had implied that the Consul General was obstructing the collection of funds for medical supplies.117 Shaw told the Ethiopian visitor he’d have to return to London. This Tasfaye did.

Shaw tried to gloss over his adversary’s departure. In one interview he explained: "Zaphiro was recalled to London simply because his work was finished here."118 In another he denied knowledge of a feud among Ethio- pian aid groups.119 To prove that he was not hostile toward United Aid to Ethiopia, Shaw declared that the group would have his full approval if it carried out its announced programme.120

As would be expected of a merger, United Aid for Ethiopia was led by individuals who had already gained prominence in Ethiopian relief, with the leadership of the old Medical Committee for the Defense of Ethiopia playing a central role. The new organisation’s program- me, like that of its predecessors, concentrated on the raising of funds for medical supplies to be sent to East Africa. In one of the early United Aid for Ethiopia press releases Dr. P. M. H. Savory, the society’s treasurer, announced that the national headquarters would shortly be sending two tons of medical supplies to Ethiopia.121 By April the group had set a $5,000 goal.122 Unfortunately the total Easter Sunday collection from the larger Harlem churches amounted to only $82.39, eighty per cent of which came from the Rev. William Lloyd lines’ St.

James Presbyterian Church.123 Another Sunday’s col- lection amounted to $20,134 United Aid for Ethiopia claimed to be the only organisation endorsed by both Tasfaye and Shaw. In April Shaw gave his approval to still another fund-raising endeavour, the Pittsburgh Courier’s projected " Ethiopian Role of Honour."125 Under this plan persons who sent money for Ethiopian relief would have their contribu- tions acknowledged in the Courier as well as their names inscribed in a special volume. The war ended before much money could be obtained through this source, but even as late as June 6, 1936, contributions ranging from 6 cents to $10.00, with average donations varying between 25 cents and $1.00 were being received.126

It would seem that by Spring the whole Ethiopian relief scene in the United States was as bogged down as the Emperor’s military force was in Ethiopia. Anyone hoping for great things from American Aid for Ethiopia would have been sorely disappointed. In January the executive committee of American Aid for Ethiopia had decided to embark on a two-fold campaign: persuading the Red Cross to contribute $10,000 per month for the duration of the war from reserve funds and appealing to the general public for $500,000.127 Neither amounted to much. Finally in April, after a change of publicity directors, American Aid for Ethiopia sent out printed folders appealing for additional funds. A month later the Italians were in control of Addis Ababa.

What, besides its November shipment, had American Aid for Ethiopia accomplished during its existence? It had forwarded an unsolicited contribution of 10,000 digitalis tablets from the Minneapolis manufacturer, F. A. Upsher-Smith.128 In late January it had cabled $1,000 to the Ethiopian Red Cross; in late April it had sent a second $1,000 contribution.129 Once Ethiopia had been defeated, the problem was not what to do with surplus funds but rather how to meet the organisation’s $94.90 deficit.130

All told, the exact amount of money raised for Ethio- pian relief is rather nebulous. The American Red Cross transmitted a total of $15,020.45 for Ethiopian relief $3,000 of which was given to the International Red Cross Committee to meet expenses in connection with the crisis.131 The Red Cross sum far exceeded the com- bined total of all Ethiopian-oriented aid groups. One key, but seldom noted, source of money was continued missionary support. The Sudan Interior Mission, for instance, reported having remitted in 1935 between $3,000 and $4,000 for the Ethiopian Red Cross.132

Certainly the State Department had not encouraged Ethiopian assistance projects. It made little difference that the American Charge d’Affaires in Addis Ababa had informed Secretary of State Cordell Hull:

… it is inevitable that we should be embarrassingly conspicuous by our non-participation in Red Cross work through purely local missionary volunteers. It is also difficult to explain insignificance of funds raised in America.133

The unofficial State Department attitude remained one of benevolent neglect. Surely, reasoned one Department of State official, the United States "… should not be expected to do more than a moderate amount in situ- ations which arise as far away as Africa."134

It was not surprising that the general population wasn’t overly excited about potential American relief contributions. In the words of one Red Cross-paid historian:
The muffled, rhythmic beat of distant war drums in the mid-thirties all but failed to reach the listless ears of a self-centred preoccupied American public. The harbingers of World War II wreaked their havoc upon uncounted innocent thousands while, the American people remained generally apathetic. Insulation, and not participation, was the factor motivating American action. Isolationism was per- mitted to run rampant.135

Interested though Americans may have been as the East African crisis developed, once the war broke out their attention shifted to European-related incidents.136

Negroes, on the other hand, supported Ethiopia to an even greater degree than this paper has shown. Most probably blacks in Los Angeles, Kansas City, Atlanta and New Orleans were as concerned about meeting Ethiopia’s needs as were their brothers in Chicago and Pittsburgh. Negroes in southern Alabama organised a Friends of Ethiopia chapter.137 In January a group from Hampton Institute gave $53.00 to American Aid for Ethiopia.138 The Ethiopian Aiding Club of East Chicago, Indiana, checked with the State Department to verify John H. Shaw’s reliability.139

Given the circumstances in America, black accomplish- ments become even more impressive. In the 1930s Southern Negroes, seventy per cent of the nation’s twelve million Afro-Americans, had no political power. That of Northern Negroes still had not become manifest; only one Negro, Representative Arthur Mitchell of Chicago, sat in the United States Congress. In the econo- mic realm an already bad situation was made worse by the depression. Then, too, there were other campaigns besides Ethiopian relief which competed for contribu- tions: efforts to influence Congressional passage of the Costigan-Wagner ant-lynching bill, continuing legal defence manoeuvres in support of the Scottsboro boys and Angelo Herndon, and NAACP-initiated suits against the universities of Maryland, Virginia, Missouri and Tennessee to gain admission for qualified black students. Time and again during the Ethiopian crisis of 1935-6 Negro critics of excessive pro-Ethiopian involve- ment would point to the need for action at home, with the lynch situation particularly in mind.

At the beginning of the war blacks as well as whites felt that this country’s Afro-American population would fer- vently support the Ethiopian cause. The performance failed to meet the expectation. Perhaps pressures from white Americans were responsible for a part of the answer. In Mobile, Negroes were arrested for picketing Italian-American-owned grocery stores.140 What would have been the attitude of officials in the deep South toward Negroes organising on a grand scale? Nonethe- less, in the final analysis the very real poverty of Black Americans was the most effective deterrent against the raising of large amounts of money for Ethiopia.

Blacks were unsuccessful in gaining significant white American material support for Ethiopia. Some black- led organisations made little effort to gain white backing. Although a number of Negro societies co-operated with American Aid for Ethiopia, the extent of Afro-American influence on the parent body is debatable. Early in April, 1936, one of the four Negroes on the executive committee, Charles H. Houston, announced his resignation, explaining that he felt himself to be little more than window dressing.141 As for the Red Cross, the less said the better. It is difficult to imagine blacks actively backing, much less leading, Red Cross programmes in view of the latent Negro antipathy toward that organisation.

Black American pro-Ethiopian activities had taken several forms: protests and appeals to the Italian govern- ment, the League of Nations, the English government and American officials, in addition to manifestations of support which did little more than affirm the commit- ment of the individuals involved; anti-Italian boycotts; and campaigns to raise both financial contributions and armed volunteers. Temporarily Ethiopian concerns had gained a prominent place in Afro-American cultural and religious life. And then the Emperor was defeated.

The Ethiopian affair had been a definite factor in the education of American blacks. Not only did Negroes gain a new awareness of what hitherto had been a remote African land, they also began to follow with increased interest American policies, international as well as domestic. In regard to military recruitment for Ethiopian service a number of writers who were disturbed by the State Department’s ban pointed to the irony of the United States Government, a government which con- doned lynching, not to mention economic exploitation through share cropping and the lien system, disfranchisement and office exclusion, and de jure segregation in schools, on trains, and at drinking fountains, threatening to deprive Afro-Americans of their citizenship rights. When Cordell Hull forced the Standard Vacuum Oil Company to abandon its Ethiopian concession, a Pitts- burgh Courier reporter commented . . . (the deed)" has caused more discussion among Negroes than any single act of the State Department in the history of the race since freedom."142 This was one of the few occasions when large numbers of Negroes denounced an American foreign policy decision. The Rev. James Eichelberger, for example, was almost alone in criticising the neutrality legislation as an abnegation of American responsibility.143 The war enthusiasm resulted in at least two additional ends: the growth of pan-African sentiment and the building of black pride. The first point, as expressed by a New York Age columnist, appeared to be self-evident to many:

. . . Any conflict which arose from such causes as those which are behind the Italian-Ethiopian crisis would be nothing more or less than a clash of races with one fighting oppression on the part of the other. And the success or defeat of the supposedly weaker race would affect other members of that race all over the globe.144

The second item, that of pride in the race, involved more than immediately meets the eye. In January 1936, Dr. Huggins told a Mobile audience that Negroes in the United States might be forced to use Ethiopia and her emergency as a means toward their own salvation.145 What did he mean? Could he not have meant that the activism involved in aiding Ethiopia nourished a sense of self-help and pride in self?

Ralph Matthews, writing in October 1935, told of Negroes in movie theatres laughing at newsreels showing pictures of barefoot black Ethiopian soldiers.146 The blame, claimed Matthews, lay in part with Hollywood for having educated Americans, black and white, that a coloured man on the screen should be laughed at. " Our education is all wrong," lamented the columnist. " We have been taught when to laugh and now we must be taught when to cry . . ." The Ethiopian experience worked toward this end.


1  Amsterdam News (New York), March 2, 1935, p. 3.

2  Amsterdam News (New York), March 9, 1935, p. 1.

3  New York Times, July 25, 1935, p. 11.

4  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 765.84/354, Ethiopian Research Council, Information Series No. 1, April 27, 1935.

5  Pittsburgh Courier, March 9, 1935, section 2, p. 1.

6  Afro-American (Baltimore), December 28, 1935, p. 6.

7  Afro-American (Baltimore), August 10, 1935, p. 10.

8  Brice Harris, Jr., The United States and the Italo-Ethiopian Crisis (Stan- ford, California: Stanford University Press, 1964), p. 30.

9  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 384.ll/71/2, Memorandum "American Nationals in Ethiopia," attached to memo from Wallace Murray to William Phillips, June 25, 1935.

10  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.51/43, "Investigation re: John H. Shaw," July 8, 1935.

11  New York Times, July 19, 1935, p. 3.

12  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.51/50, Department of State to American Legation in Addis Ababa, March 7, 1936.

13  Afro-American (Baltimore), February 23, 1935.

14  Ibid.

15  Afro-American (Baltimore), March 2, 1935, p. 1.

16  Afro-American (Baltimore), July 6, 1935, p. 10.

17  Afro-American (Baltimore), July 20, 1935, p. 1.

18  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.142/25, Memorandum of Paul H. Ailing, Division of Near Eastern Affairs, September 5, 1935.

19  Pittsburgh Courier, July 13, 1935, p. 2.

20  Pittsburgh Courier, July 20, 1935, p. 4.

21  Pittsburgh Courier, July 27, 1935, p. 1.

22  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 765.84/646, A. R. Burr to P. H. Ailing, July 23, 1935.

23  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.142/25, Memorandum of Paul H. Ailing, September 5, 1935.

24  Afro-American (Baltimore), August 3, 1935, p. 8; Pittsburgh Courier, August 10, 1935, p. 4.                                             ‘

25  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, Memorandum of Paul H. Ailing, September 5, 1935.

26  Ibid,

27  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.142/18, A. R. Burr to R. C. Bannerman, September 3, 1935.

28  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 765.84/456, Robert F. S. Harris to Henry A. Lardner, July 1, 1935.

29  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.142/18, A. R. Burr to R. C. Bannerman, September 3, 1935.

30  New York Times, July 16, 1935, p. 5.

31  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.142/18, A. R. Burr to R. C. Bannerman, September 3, 1935.

32  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.142/18-" C," "Exhibit C" attached to the correspondence of A. R. Burr to R. C. Bannerman, September 3, 1935.

33  New York Times, July 22, 1935, p. 9.

34  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.142/18, A. R. Burr to R. C. Bannerman, September 3, 1935.

35  Ibid.

36  New York Times, July 8, 1935, p. 1.

37  Afro-American (Baltimore), August 24, 1935, p. 5.

38  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 765.84/1220, C. Van H. Engert to Secretary of State Hull, August 20, 1935.

39  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.142/18-" A," "Exhibit A" attached to the correspondence of A. R. Burr to R. C. Bannerman, September 3,1935.

40  Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America, Annual Report 1935 (New York, New York: Federal Council of Churches), p. 37.

41  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 765.84/929, "Agenda for the Provisional Committee on the Ethiopian Crisis" attached to memo from Wallace Murray, August 17, 1935.

42  New York Times, August 21, 1935, p. 4.

43  New York Age, August 31, 1935, p. 3.

44  New York Times, September 5, 1935, p. 14.

45  Afro-American (Baltimore), September 7, 1935, p. 3.

46  American Red Cross Archives, 979.01, Mrs. Katherine Lewis to James McClintock, et ah, August 29, 1935.

47  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.142/18, A. R. Burr to R. C. Bannerman, September 3, 1935.

48  American Red Cross Archives, 979.6, from letter from the Committee for Ethiopia attached to letter from James K. McClintock to Robert F. S. Harris, September 14, 1935.

49  Ibid.

50  Afro-American (Baltimore), July 27, 1935, p. 7. Also see National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 765.84/965, " Copy of petition presented to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations by Dr. Willis N. Huggins, Executive Secretary of the International Council of Friends of Ethiopia."

51   National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.51/40, Premiss Gilbert (Geneva) to Secretary of State Hull, August 15, 1935.

52  Library of Congress, NAACP Collection (Administrative File, Subject File: " Ethiopia, August 1935 "), mimeographed letter from the Imperial Ethiopian Legation in London to the Friends of Ethiopia in the United States of America, August 7, 1935.

53   New York Times, October 6, 1935, p. 29.

54  Claude A. Barnett Collection (privately owned, Chicago), W. Martin to

Associated Negro Press of America, August 19, 1935.

55  Claude A. Barnett Collection (privately owned, Chicago), W. Martin to C. Barnett, September 19, 1935.

56  New York Times, September 10, 1935, p. 13.

57  New York Times, August 5, 1935, p. 4.

58  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.142/17, memo of Wallace Murray, August 28, 1935.

59  Ibid.

60  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.142/18, A. R. Burr to R. C. Bannerman, September 3, 1935.

61  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.142/17, memo of Wallace Murray, August 28, 1935.

62  American Red Cross Archives, 041. Ethiopian Red Cross – cc 979.01, James McClintock, " Confidential Report on the Italian-Ethiopian Situation," December 2, 1935.

63  Ibid.

64  Ibid.

65  New York Times, October 21, 1935, p. 12.

66  New York Times, October 7, 1935, p. 7.

67  New York Times, October 10, 1935, p. 17.

68  American Red Cross Archives, James McClintock, " Confidential Report on the Italian-Ethiopian Situation," December 2, 1935, op. cit.

69  New York Times, October 10, 1935, p. 17.

70  Ibid.

71  New York Times, October 5, 1935, p. 6.

72  Ibid.

73  American Red Cross Archives, 979.01 – Ethiopia, James McClintock, " Confidential statement on the Italian-Ethiopian Situation, "October 10, 1935.

74  New York Times, October 14, 1935, p. 8.

75  New York Times, October 13, 1935, p. 32.

76  New York Times, November 27, 1935, p. 13.

77  New York Times, November 17, 1935, p. 38.

78  Library of Congress, NAACP Collection (Administrative File, Subject File: "Ethiopia, September-December 1935"), Willis N. Huggins to Walter White, October 28, 1935.

79  Pittsburgh Courier, December 7, 1935, p. 10.

80  Library of Congress, NAACP Collection (Administrative File, Subject File: " Ethiopia, September-December 1935 "), letterhead of the Friends of Ethiopia in America (Willis N. Huggins to Walter White, November 8, 1935).

81   National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.142/581/2, Confidential Memorandum of the London Embassy of the United States, November 2, 1935.

82  New York Age, November 23, 1935, p. 1.

83  Afro-American (Baltimore), December 14, 1935, p. 12.

84  American Red Cross Archives, 900.02-American Aid for Ethiopia, Letterhead of American Aid for Ethiopia, William J. Schieffelin to Admiral Cary T. Grayson, January 6, 1936.

85  Pittsburgh Courier, October 5, 1935, p. 4.

86  New York Age, October 26, 1935, p. 1,

87  New York Age, November 30, 1935, p. 1.

88  New York Age, January 11, 1936, p. 3.

89  American Red Cross Archives, 979.523, Dr. William Leo Hansberry, " Memorandum for the American Red Cross," November 21, 1935.

90  American Red Cross Archives, 979.523, James K. McClintock to Dr. William Leo Hansberry, December 19, 1935.

91  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.142/66, Memo of Wallace Murray, November 23, 1935.

92  American Red Cross Archives, Dr. William Leo Hansberry, " Memor- andum for the American Red Cross," November 23, 1935, op. cit.

93  Ibid.

94  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.142/69, Memo of Wallace Murray, December 6, 1935.

95  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.142/77, Wallace Murray to R. Walton Moore, December 26, 1935.

96  American Red Cross Archives, 979.21, Ernest J. Swift to Max Huber, February 14, 1936.

97  Ibid.

98  American Red Cross Archives, 900.02, Memorandum of the Executive Committee of American Aid for Ethiopia, January 3, 1936, enclosed in a letter from William J. Schieffelin to Admiral Cary T. Grayson, Janu- ary 6, 1936.

99  New York Times, December 15, 1935.

100  American Red Cross Archives, Ernest J. Swift to Max Huber, February 14, 1936, op. cit.

101   New York Age, December 21, 1935, p. 1.

102  New York Age, January 4, 1936, p. 1.

103  Journal and Guide (Norfolk), January 25, 1936, p. 4.

104  Afro-American (Baltimore), January 4, 1936, p. 12.

105  Library of Congress, NAACP Collection (Administrative File, Subject File: "Ethiopia, 1936"), Harwood B. Catlin to C. H. Houston, Janu- ary 15, 1936.

106  New York Times, December 25, 1935, p. 3; New York Age, February 22, 1936, p. 7.

107  New York Age, February 22, 1936, p. 7.

108   Chicago Defender, February 1, 1936 p. 12

109  Ibid.

110  Ibid.

111   Interview with Dr. Julian H. Lewis, December 12, 1971.

112  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.51/50, Cornelius Van H. Engert to Cordell Hull, December 14, 1935.

113  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.51/50, Department of State to the American Legation in Addis Ababa, March 7, 1936.

114  Ibid.

115  Ibid.

116  Pittsburgh Courier, April 18, 1936, section 2, p. 9.

117  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.51/50, Department of State to the American Legation in Addis Ababa, March 7, 1936.

118  Journal and Guide (Norfolk), April 4 1936 p 4.

119  Pittsburgh Courier, April 18, 1936, section 2, p. 9.

120  Ibid.

121  New York Age, April 4, 1936, p. 12.

122  New York Age, April 18, 1936 p. 1

123  Ibid.

124  New York Age, May 2, 1936, p. 2.

125  Pittsburgh Courier, April 18, 1936, p. 1.

126  Pittsburgh Courier, June 6, 1936, second section, p. 2.

127  American Red Cross Archives, Memorandum and Resolution of the Executive Committee of American Aid for Ethiopia, January 3, 1936, attached to letter from William J. Schieffeliri to Admiral Cary Grayson, January 6, 1936.

128  ibid.

129  American Red Cross Archives, 979.208, Statement of Disbursement of Funds for the Ethiopian Red Cross, April 29, 1936.

130  Library of Congress, NAACP Collection (Administrative File, Subject File: "Ethiopia, 1936,"), Supplementary Statement to May 15, 1936, American Aid for Ethiopia, Inc., Balance Sheet, May 7, 1936.

131  American Red Cross Archives, 979.208, Statement of Disbursement of Funds for the Ethiopian Red Cross, April 29, 1936.

132  Library of Congress, NAACP Collection (Administrative File, Subject File: " Ethiopia, 1936"), Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting of American Aid for Ethiopia, February 15, 1936.

133  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.142/76, Engert to Secretary of State, December 23, 1935.

134  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 884.142/77, Wallace Murray to Judge (R. Walton) Moore, December 26, 1935.

135  Robert Keith Murray, "A Study of American Public Opinion on the American National Red Cross from Newspapers and Periodicals, 1881- 1948," The History of the American National Red Cross, Vol. XXX, (mimeographed), (Washington, D.C.: American National Red Cross, 1950).

136  American Red Cross Archives, James McClintock, "Confidential Report on the Italian-Ethiopian Situation," December 2, 1935, op. cit.

137  New York Times, December 3, 1935, p. 14.

138  Library of Congress, NAACP Collection (Administrative File, Subject File: " Ethiopia, 1936"), Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting of American Aid for Ethiopia, January 30, 1936.

139  National Archives, State Department Decimal Files 1930-1939, 702.8411/21, Mrs. L, C.Ellington to U.S.S. Department, March 3, 1936.

140  Pittsburgh Courier, November 2, 1935, p. 2.

141  Library of Congress, NAACP Collection (Administrative File, Subject File: "Ethiopia, 1936"), Charles H. Houston to American Aid for Ethiopia, April 3, 1936.

142  Pittsburgh Courier, September 12, 1935, p. 5.

143  Pittsburgh Courier, September 21, 1935, second section, p. 10.

144  New York Age, March 9, 1935, p. 8.

145  Pittsburgh Courier, January 11, 1936, p. 2.

146  Afro-American (Baltimore), October 12, 1935, p. 6.


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