David R. Bassett Papers: 1963-2004 (bulk 1972-2000)
Summary Information
Title: David R. Bassett Papers
Creator: Bassett, David R., 1928-
Inclusive dates: 1963-2004
Bulk dates: 1972-2000
Extent: 9 linear feet
Abstract:
Physician and pacifist active in movement of conscientious objectors opposing use of their taxes for military purposes; chairperson and honorary national chairperson of the National Council for a World Peace Tax Fund (name changed in 1985 to National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund). Pacifist Issues series includes materials collected and created by Bassett on a variety of pacifist issues, primarily war tax resistance and conscientious objection; the Peace Tax Fund series consists of chronological files and topological files relating to the work of the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund; and series of manuals, handbooks and reference materials.
Call number: 9466 Aa 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Bentley Historical Library staff, 1994-2005

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection (donor no. 8242) was the gift of David R. Bassett in April 1994. A second gift was received in August 1994. A third gift was received in January 2005.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open to research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, David R. Bassett Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Biography

Born September 7, 1928 in Taunton, Massachusetts, David R. Bassett has been active in pacifist movements, particularly conscientious objection to military taxation, for most of his life. After earning a bachelor's degree in social relations from Harvard College in 1949, Bassett pursued medical training at Tufts University, which he completed in 1953. A registered conscientious objector, Bassett participated in the Alternative Service program, providing health care in rural India from 1955 to 1957. Bassett's experiences in India fostered an interest in preventive medicine. Bassett returned to the United States to complete residency and fellowship training in Philadelphia, where he became a specialist in preventive cardiovascular disease. Bassett served as co-director and director of the Hawaii Cardiovascular Study at Queens Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, from 1963 to 1968, when he joined the Division of Hypertension at the University of Michigan Medical Center. Bassett retired from his position there as chief of the hyperlipidemia program in 1994.

Bassett, who was brought up in the Congregational Church, first began attending meetings of the Society of Friends while a student at Harvard. In 1950, after graduating, Bassett served with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in Mexico. During his years in medical school, Bassett often worked with the AFSC weekend work camps in Boston, and later completed his alternative service in India under the auspices of the AFSC. In 1960, along with his wife, Miyoko Inouye, Bassett formally joined the strongly pacifist faith.

Bassett's convictions led him to become active in the anti-Vietnam War effort during his time in Hawaii. After moving to Ann Arbor, Bassett became increasingly involved in peace-related activities through the Ann Arbor Friends. The U.S. Peace Tax Fund Bill (originally the World Peace Tax Fund Bill), grew out of concern that registration with the government as a conscientious objector did not prevent Bassett's taxes from supporting an ever-growing defense budget. Bassett had already begun working for change on an individual level by deciding to withhold war taxes, but felt that the cause would be more effectively advanced through a legislative route. With the help of University of Michigan Law School Professor Joseph Sax and law student Michael Hall, Bassett drafted the peace tax fund bill. Another University of Michigan professor, Robert Lind of the School of Social Work, assisted by making contacts in the U.S. Congress, particularly members of the Black Caucus and other followers of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Representative Ronald Dellums, of California agreed to sponsor the bill, which was first introduced on tax day April 15, 1972. The bill was not introduced in the Senate until 1977, when Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon agreed to sponsor the initiative.

The National Council for a World Peace Tax Fund (NCWPTF), which began as a small group of supporters in the Ann Arbor area, became, by 1975, an organized campaign on a national level, with a full-time paid staff and offices in Washington D.C. Bassett, after serving for a year as the organization's first chairperson, was named honorary national chairperson in 1976. While other organizations protesting military taxation concentrated on tax resistance and other forms of civil disobedience, Bassett's group focused on a legislative solution to the problem. As stated in the Peace Tax Fund Bill that share of taxes which would ordinarily go to the defense budget could be diverted instead to a special fund if the taxpayer was a registered conscientious objector. Congress would use the fund to foster peace-related activities. In 1985, as part of changes made to the bill in an effort to improve its prospects, the name was changed to the U.S. Peace Tax Fund Bill, and the NCWPTF became the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund (NCPTF). Efforts to pass the legislation continue to the present time.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The David R. Bassett Papers document Bassett's activities in local and national peace-related organizations, most notably the peace tax fund movement from 1963 to 2002. The collection includes correspondence, minutes, agendas, memos, newspaper clippings, articles, interview transcripts, flyers, brochures, handouts, notes and newsletters, as well as a number of handbooks and manuals. The collection divides into four series. Pacifist Issues concern Bassett's peace-related activities. The next series, which makes up the bulk of the collection, contains the organizational records of the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund. The last two series are devoted to related groups, including Other Organizations based in the United States, or International groups devoted to peace tax funds or other peace-related causes.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • Conscientious objectors -- Michigan.
  • Pacifism.
  • War tax resistance -- United States.
  • War tax resistance -- United States.
  • Videotapes.
  • Photographs.
  • Bassett, David R., 1928-
  • National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund.
  • National Council for a World Peace Tax Fund.
  • Bassett, David R., 1928-
  • Dellums, Ronald V., 1935-
  • International Conference on War Tax Resistance (8th : 2000 : Washington, D.C.)
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
Pacifist Issues 1960-2003 [series]

The Pacifist Issues series comprises materials collected and created by Bassett on a variety of pacifist issues, but primarily materials on war tax resistance and conscientious objection. The topical files include correspondence, notes, articles and newspaper clippings. The topical files are followed by a sub-series concerning legal cases, including briefs from trials of war-tax resisters. The next sub-series documents articles written by Bassett, and talks he gave, mainly on the Peace Tax Fund, to various groups around Michigan and the vicinity. A small sub-series contains interviews by and of Bassett, including one cassette tape, two VHS videotapes. There are also several photographs of Bassett and Congressman Ronald Dellums. The articles sub-series includes a draft, along with comments by readers, of "Affirm Life: Pay for Peace," a major article on the Peace Tax Fund, which was later published in Handbook on Military Taxes & Conscience. A copy of the article can be found in the series, National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund, as part of its publications sub-series in Box 6. The Pacifist Issues series also includes issues of The DePaul Law Review and Sojourners with substantial articles on the Peace Tax Fund issue

 
Topical Files [subseries]
Box   1  
Amnesty for draft registers 1972-1974
 
Conscientious objection
Box   1  
Conscientious Objection, Carl Cohen 1979, 1983, 1987
Box   1  
Conscientious Objection, International 1978, 1981, 1983, 1989
Box   1  
Conscientious Objection, Military 1974-1975, 1982-1983
Box   1  
Conscientious Objection, Religious Traditions 1975-1984
Box   1  
Conscientious Objector Act of 1992
Box   1  
Conscientious Objection, War Tax Resistance 1971-1974, 1982-1986, 1992
Box   1  
Economic Analyses 1971, 1975
Box   1  
Kornhauser, Marjorie, Articles and Correspondence 1999-2000, 2002
Box   1  
Militarism, Articles 1981
Box   1  
Report by the Comptroller-General of the U.S.: Illegal Tax Protesters Threaten Tax System GGD81-83 July 8, 1981
Box   1  
War Tax Resistance 1971-1991
Box   1  
War Tax Resistance, Publications 1976-1979, 1982
 
Legal Cases [subseries]
Box   1  
General 1971-1992 (2 folders)
Box   1  
Adams, Priscilla 1997-2003 (4 folders)
Box   1  
Browne, Gordon and Edith 1982
Box   1  
Cumbee, Jack and Judith undated
Box   1  
Packard, Rosa 1997-2003 (5 folders)
Box   1  
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Friends) 2003
 
Articles [subseries]
Box   1  
Bassett, David R., Profiles 1994-1995, 1997-1998
Box   1  
International Movements, Articles and Speeches 1987
Box   1  
Peace Tax Fund, Articles 1987
Box   1  
"War Tax Concerns" (chapter 6 of Handbook of Military Taxes and Conscience, by Linda Coffin) 1985
Box   1  
"War Tax Concerns," Reactions to First Draft 1986
Box   1  
"War Tax Concerns," Bibliography 1987
 
Interviews [subseries]
Box   2  
Amidei, Nancy (interview conducted by David R. Bassett) 1985
Box   2  
Sax, Joseph (interview conducted by David R. Bassett) 1984
Box   2  
World Peace Tax Fund: A History (interview with David R. Bassett)
 
Multimedia [subseries]
 
Eighth International Conference on War Tax Resistance 2000
Box   2  
Highlights of Conference (VHS videotape)
Box   2  
Friday Afternoon April 7, 2000 (VHS videotape)
Box   2  
"Harvey O. on the Metro: Interview with David Bassett," 4/17/1994 (audio-cassette tape)
 
Photographs [subseries]
Box   2  
David R. Bassett and Representative Ronald Dellums 1974
 
Talks by David R. Bassett [subseries]
Box   2  
Ann Arbor Friends Meeting forum, "Conscience and Military Taxes" 3/17/1993
Box   2  
Ann Arbor Friends Meeting; Update on World Peace Tax Fund March 1983
Box   2  
Ann Arbor War Tax Dissidents 1/15/1987, 1/22/1987, 1/29/1987
Box   2  
Berrian County Medical Society 3/19/1987
Box   2  
Cable TV 10/30/1984
Box   2  
Conscience and War Taxes, Ann Arbor Public Library 2/21/1985
Box   2  
Hillsdale, MI (Hillsdale College) 5/3/1983
Box   2  
Minicourses in "Free University" at U-M; Prepared by David R. Bassett 1983
Box   2  
NCPTF address April 1984
Box   2  
Physicians for Social Responsibility article and talk, Henry Ford Community College 12/18/1985
Box   2  
War taxes and the Peace Tax Fund Bill
Box   2  
WUOM 2/17/1987
 
National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund [series]

National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund, the largest series of the collection, includes chronological and topical files, and NCPTF publications.

 
Chronological Files 1963-2003 [subseries]

The chronological files comprise both NCPTF organizational records, and Bassett's personal notes and correspondence as honorary national chairperson. The chronological files contain correspondence, memos, notes, and agendas and minutes from meetings of NCPTF committees. These meetings include the steering committee from 1971 through 1984 (when the campaign was based in Ann Arbor), and the Board of Directors from 1985 to 2003. The 1985 folders document a series of major changes made in the bill, and its name change from World Peace Tax Fund Act to U.S. Peace Tax Fund Act. The folder titled "Legislation for Peace Tax Fund, 1971-1977" contains a rich collection of material documenting early efforts to acquire sponsorship for the fund in the U.S. House of Representatives. There is also a folder titled "Legislation preceding NCPTF (materials received from others), 1963-1969," which has materials from earlier war-tax resistance efforts.

Box   2  
Legislation Preceding NCPTF (materials received from others) 1963-1969
Box   2  
Early Drafts and Information Regarding World Peace Tax Fund 1971
Box   2  
Legislation for Peace Tax Fund 1971-1977
Box   2  
Steering Committee Meetings 1971-1982 (11 folders)
Box   2  
Working Committee 1972
Box   2  
Michiana Regional Meetings 1975-1976, 1981-1983 (2 folders)
Box   2  
National Council 1976
Box   2  
Seminar/Visitation 1976-1977 (2 folders)
Box   3  
Steering Committee Meetings 1983-1984 (4 folders)
Box   3  
Task Force on Taxes 1983
Box   3  
Changes to World Peace Tax Fund Bill 1984-1985
Box   3  
Annual Meetings 1984-1987 (4 folders)
Box   3  
Board Meetings 1985-1992 (13 folders)
Box   3  
Congressional Hearings 1991-1992 (2 folders)
Box   3  
Congressional Hearings, Press Packet 1992
Box   4  
Annual Meetings 1993 (2 folders)
Box   4  
Board Meetings 1993, 1998-2003 (20 folders)
 
Topical Files [subseries]

The topical files cover a variety of issues, such as the reaction of the Internal Revenue Service to the peace tax fund proposals, the campaign's fundraising efforts, and early drafts of the Peace Tax Fund Bill. There are notable folders concerning NCPTF bylaws and policies, and the experiences of individual war tax resisters (such as the parent/son letters of Bob Blood). The folder "Peace Tax Fund Bill, Congressional records, 1975-1991" contains copies of the official versions of the bill as well as excerpts from debate on the bill in the House and the Senate.

Box   4  
Abortion and the Peace Tax Fund 1989
Box   4  
Archives at Swarthmore College 1989
Box   4  
Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws 1984-1985, 1988
Box   4  
Boardman, Elizabeth 1972
Box   4  
Celebration of Conscience, Bryn Mawr 1990
Box   4  
Clearness Committee 1998
 
Congressional District Contacts
Box   4  
Manual 1990
Box   4  
Packet 1984
Box   4  
Tax Day Motivational Packet 1996, 1999
Box   4  
Program 2001-2002
Box   4  
Correspondence with Congressmen 1983, 1985
Box   4  
Eliot, Frances 1974-1975
Box   4  
Finances 2002
Box   5  
Freeman, Harrop (withdrawal of sponsorship) 1983
Box   5  
Fund for Conscience 1989
 
Fundraising
Box   5  
1984-1985
Box   5  
1992
Box   5  
1993

(Letter never sent)

Box   5  
Membership Database 1998
Box   5  
Major Donors 2001
Box   5  
Major Donors, George Wald 1992
Box   5  
Major Donors, Stephen Serafin 2000-2002
Box   5  
Packet 1992
Box   5  
Hawaii Committee 1973
 
Internal Revenue Service
Box   5  
Bassett, David and Miyoko 1980-1981
Box   5  
Blood, Bob 1966-1968
Box   5  
Reagle, Greg, correspondence 2002
Box   5  
Legal Issues 1972-1990
Box   5  
"Legislative Basis of the Peace Tax" (manuscript) 1985-1987
 
Lobbying
Box   5  
Michigan 1975-1979
Box   5  
Michigan 1982-1990
Box   5  
Washington, D.C. 1982-1983
Box   5  
Washington, D.C. 1992
Box   5  
Washington, D.C. 2001
Box   5  
Local Supporters 1980, 1982 (2 folders)
Box   5  
Membership lists 1975-1989 (scattered)
Box   5  
National Council Proposal 1980-1983
Box   5  
New York Times 2002
Box   5  
Peace Tax Foundation Video 1992
 
Peace Tax Fund Bill
Box   5  
Congressional Records 1975-1991
Box   5  
Drafts and Revisions 1971-1992
Box   5  
Lobbying Congress 1982-1985
Box   5  
Petitions 1998-1999
Box   5  
Responses 1970-1975 (2 folders)
Box   5  
Responses 1993, 1995 (2 folders)
Box   5  
Pursell, Carl (U.S. Congress), correspondence 1978-1986
Box   5  
School Curriculum, Peace-making 1979
Box   5  
Slide show for NCPTF 1986
 
Staff
Box   5  
Barouch, Rita 1974
Box   5  
Brown, Chris 1974-1976
Box   5  
Fulton, Leah (initial contact person) 1972-1974
Box   5  
Garren, Bruce 1972-1973
Box   5  
Lauder, Ruth 1974-1975
Box   5  
McNeil, Gelson 1973-1974
Box   5  
Samuel, Bill 1975
Box   5  
Stellard, Ralph (application) 1982
Box   6  
Statement on September 11, 2001
Box   6  
Supporters 1972-1975
Box   6  
Survey on Conscientious Objection 1988
Box   6  
"Visionaries," Documentary Proposal 1998
Box   6  
War tax resistance counselor's packet, prepared by Frances Eliot and David R. Bassett 1984
 
Publications [subseries]

The series concludes with a small collection of publications put out by the NCPTF. Although not a complete run, the Newsletters are particularly useful for their summary of the progress of the campaign. Also included in this sub-series are a number of brochures and handouts created by the NCPTF for informational and publicity purposes.

Box   6  
Activist Guide: Speaking for Conscience 1997
Box   6  
Affirm Life, Pay for Peace: A Handbook for World Peace Tax Fund Educators and Organizers 1981
Box   6  
Manual for Peace Tax Fund Action 1985
Box   6  
Motivational Packet 1983
Box   6  
NCPTF Newsletter (incomplete) 1984-2004 (6 folders)
Box   6  
Pamphlets 1975, 1979-1980, 1990-1992
Box   6  
Pre-Income-Tax-Day Campaign Kit, Dayton Conference 1974
Box   6  
War Tax Resistance Counseling Packets 1984-1985 (2 folders)
 
Other Organizations 1967-2004 [series]
Box   6  
General 1985-1987, 1991-1992
Box   6  
American Civil Liberties Union, Ann Arbor 1983-1986
Box   6  
Ann Arbor Friends Meeting 1991-1992
Box   6  
Ann Arbor Friends Meeting, New Call to Peacemaking 1978, 1980-1984 (2 folders)
Box   6  
Ann Arbor Friends, Peace and Social Concerns Survey 1993
Box   6  
Ann Arbor Life Priorities Fund 1972

(from Frances Eliot)

Box   6  
Ann Arbor War Tax Dissidents, War Tax Resistance Counseling Packet 1982-1983
Box   6  
Ann Arbor Vigils, Federal Building 1986
Box   6  
Ann Arbor War Tax Resistance 1978
Box   6  
Archdiocese of Detroit, Office for Justice and Peace, Gospels and Christian Peace-making Packet 1978
Box   6  
Center on Law and Pacifism, "People Pay for Peace," 1982
Box   6  
Coalition for Peace in Central America, Vigil 1986
 
Conscience and Military Tax Campaign
Box   6  
1982-1986 (2 folders)
Box   6  
Newsletters 1985, 1987-1994
Box   6  
"Peace Tax Fund," 1986
Box   6  
Pearson, Edward 1979, 1982, 1987-1993
Box   7  
Friends Committee on National Legislation, Lake Erie Yearly Meeting 1983
Box   7  
Friends Committee on National Legislation, Washington, D.C. 1995-1999
 
Friends Committee on War Tax Concerns
Box   7  
"Fear God and Honor the Emperor," 1988
Box   7  
Handbook on Military Taxes and Conscience 1988
Box   7  
War Tax Legislation Essay 1985-1987
Box   7  
"Friends Journal," Articles and Debate 1999-2000
Box   7  
Friends Meeting of Washington 2003
Box   7  
Friends Philadelphia Yearly Meeting 1980, 1985, 1989
 
Friends Service Committee
Box   7  
Board Meeting 1998
Box   7  
Conscientious Objection to Military Taxes 1997-1998
Box   7  
Mike Yarrow (Board of Trustees) Statement About International Conciliation undated
Box   7  
Friends World Committee for Consultation, Gwatt Switzer 1979
Box   7  
Historic Peace Church Task Force on War Taxes 1981-1982
 
National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee
Box   7  
General 1984, 1990-1998, 2003
Box   7  
Annual Meeting 1991
Box   7  
Newsletters 1985-2004 (4 folders)
Box   7  
War Tax Alternative Fund Resource Packet 1983
Box   7  
Northern California War Tax Resistance, War Tax Resistance Counseling Packet circa 1983
Box   7  
Peacemaker Movement, Handbook on Nonpayment of War Taxes 1967, 1977, 1981
Box   7  
Peace Tax Foundation November 1986-April 1993
Box   7  
Religious Society of Friends, Committee of Correspondence on War, Tax Concerns, and Support 1998-1999
Box   7  
Religious Witness Against the Violence in South America 1986
 
War Resisters' International
Box   7  
General 1990, 1995, 2001
Box   7  
Conscientious Objector's Guide to the United Nations Human Rights System 2000
Box   7  
Refusing to Bear Arms 1998 (2 folders)
Box   7  
War Resisters' League, General 1990, 1997-2002
 
International Organizations and Activities 1974-2002 [series]
Box   8  
General 1979, 1983-1985
Box   8  
Brett, Rachel. Quaker United Nations Office (Geneva, Switzerland) 2000-2001
 
Conscience and Peace Tax International (Brussels, Belgium)
Box   8  
General 2000 (2 folders)
Box   8  
Mission and Project Proposals 2000
Box   8  
Notes [Taken by David R. Bassett] 2000-2001
Box   8  
Statement to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights 2000-2001
Box   8  
Conscience Canada, Newsletters and Correspondence 1998-2000
Box   8  
Conscience Canada, Jerrilyn Prior 1991
Box   8  
European Network for Peace and Human Rights 2001-2002
 
International Conference of Military Tax Resisters (Tubingen, Germany) 1986
Box   8  
General
Box   8  
Ann Arbor City Council
Box   8  
Hartmut Hanauske-Abel
Box   8  
Physicians
Box   8  
Post-Conference Correspondence
Box   8  
Printed Material
 
International Conference on War Tax Resistance (Vierhouten, Netherlands) 1988
Box   8  
General (2 folders)
Box   8  
Printed Material
 
International Conference on War Tax Resistance (Aosta, Italy) 1990
Box   8  
General
Box   8  
Post-Conference Correspondence 1990-1991
 
International Conference on War Tax Resistance (Brussels, Belgium) 1992
Box   8  
General
Box   8  
Background Notes
Box   8  
Non-Governmental Organization Status
Box   8  
Notes from the Conference [by David R. Bassett]
Box   8  
Personal Reactions [of David R. Bassett]
Box   8  
Post-Conference Correspondence
Box   8  
Preparatory Documents and Proceedings
Box   8  
Printed Material
Box   8  
Report on the Conference 1992-1993
 
International Conference on War Tax Resistance (Hondarribia, Spain) 1994
Box   9  
General
Box   9  
Correspondence and notes
Box   9  
Declaration of Right of Non-Cooperation
Box   9  
Preparatory Documents and Proceedings
 
International Conference on War Tax Resistance (Hoddesdon, United Kingdom) 1996
Box   9  
General 1995-1997
Box   9  
Background Notes
Box   9  
Letter to Family
Box   9  
Location for Next Conference
Box   9  
Proceedings
 
International Conference on War Tax Resistance (New Delhi, India) 1998-1999
Box   9  
General
 
International Conference on War Tax Resistance (Washington, D.C.) 2000
Box   9  
Bibliography
Box   9  
Budget 1999-2000
Box   9  
Conference Packet
Box   9  
Final Report
Box   9  
Final Report, Distribution
Box   9  
Financial Assistance for Attendees
Box   9  
International Attendees and Visa Difficulties
Box   9  
Lawson, James (Civil Rights activist)
Box   9  
Photography
Box   9  
Post-Conference Tasks 1999-2000 (3 folders)
Box   9  
Pre-and Post-Conference Activity
Box   9  
Press Releases
Box   9  
Problematic Attendees
Box   9  
Protest of Internal Revenue Service (Washington, D.C.)
Box   9  
Reactions to the Conference
Box   9  
Registration
Box   9  
Thank-You Letters
Box   9  
Workshop on Conscience
Box   9  
Workshop on War Tax
Box   9  
Japanese Organizations 1974-1975
Box   9  
Millennium Forum, Statement to the United Nations Millennium Summit 2000
Box   9  
Place Research Center (Madrid, Spain) 1994
Box   9  
Quaker Council for European Affairs (Brussels, Belgium) 2000
Box   9  
Second Consultation on Peace and Human Rights. European Parliament (Brussels, Belgium) 2000