Ladd, William

Ladd, William, 1778–1841, American pacifist, b. Exeter, N.H., grad. Harvard, 1797. He commanded sailing vessels until the outbreak of the War of 1812, when he retired to a farm in Maine. In 1820 he began to write and speak against war, and in 1828 he founded the American Peace Society, of which he was president until his death. His Essay on a Congress of Nations (1840; ed. with introduction by J. B. Scott, 1916) proposed a world organization involving both a congress of nations and an international court of arbitration. In popularizing this plan Ladd had the help of Elihu Burritt.

See M. E. Curti, The American Peace Crusade, 1850–1860 (1929); study by G. Schwarzenberger (1935).

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