I always associated the name Carnegie with a very rich man who donated a lot of money to fund the Carnegie Hall in New York, where my wife and I sat in the top tier listening to wonderful classical music. There were times whilst climbing a mountain of steps to our seat, I felt that an oxygen cylinder would have been handy.
The cover with the printed red oval 2½d KGVI stamp had a brown-purple 1d QE stamp added postmarked with a roller MELBOURNE/ 3.30 PM/ 23 JUN/ 1944/ VIC-AUS cancel. It had a red ‘3 Opened by Censor label’ and a purple hand-strike 3 PASSED/ BY / CENSOR/ 83. It was addressed to The Editor, International Conciliations (sic), (Carnegie Endowment for Peace), 405 West 117 th St, New York City N.Y., United States of America. The reverse was not seen (Figure 1).
At the beginning of the 20th Century, Andrew Carnegie renewed his long-standing interest in world peace. “I am drawn more to this cause than to any,” he wrote in 1907. Like other leading internationalists of his day, Carnegie believed that war could be eliminated by stronger international laws and organizations. Between 1900 and 1914, he gave generously in support of this belief, including $1.5 million in 1903 for the construction of the Peace Palace at The Hague. Carnegie’s single largest commitment to this field, however, was his creation of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
On his seventy-fifth birthday, November 25, 1910, Carnegie announced the establishment of the Endowment with a gift of $10 million. He selected 28 trustees who were leaders in American business and public life. Among them were Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot; philanthropist Robert S. Brookings, former Ambassador to the United Kingdom Joseph H. Choate, former Secretary of State John W. Foster, former president of MIT and then-president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Henry S. Pritchett; and Carnegie Institution president Robert S. Woodward.
In his deed of gift, presented in Washington on December 14, 1910, Carnegie charged trustees to use the fund to “hasten the abolition of international war, the foulest blot upon our civilization,” and he gave his trustees “the widest discretion as to the measures and policy they shall from time to time adopt” in carrying out the purpose of the fund. Carnegie chose longtime adviser Elihu Root, Senator from New York and former Secretary of War and of State, to be the Endowment’s first president. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1912, Root served until 1925.
Although World War I shattered the high expectations of turn-of-the-century internationalists, the Endowment persevered with its international conciliation efforts. During the interwar period, the Endowment revitalized efforts to promote international conciliation, financed reconstruction projects in Europe, supported the work of other organizations and founded the Academy of International Law at The Hague. In 1925, Nicholas Murray Butler succeeded Elihu Root as president. Following World War II and Butler’s retirement, the Endowment’s three divisions were consolidated under the direction of President Joseph E. Johnson, and John Foster Dulles led the board.
For the next two decades, the Endowment conducted research and public education programs on a range of issues, particularly relating to the newly created United Nations and on the future of the postwar international legal system. The Endowment provided diplomatic training for some 250 foreign service officers from emerging nations and published the International Conciliation, a leading journal in the field. The European Center moved to Geneva for closer contact with UN agencies and became a focal point for European and American dialogue on international issues. The 1971 inauguration of a new president, Thomas L. Hughes, came at a time of deepening interdependence among nations, new challenges to world security and intensified debate within the United States about the country’s course. The Endowment moved its headquarters back to Washington, D.C., and by 1983 had closed both the New York and Geneva offices. In 1971, the Endowment inaugurated “Face-to Face,” a forum facilitating dialogue among governmental and nongovernmental participants on major international issues. In the early 1970s, the Endowment also acquired ownership of Foreign Policy magazine.
In 1991, Morton I. Abramowitz became president, leading the Endowment during five eventful post-Cold War years under the chairmanships of Charles J. Zwick and Robert Carswell. In keeping with Carnegie’s tradition, they saw new opportunities in the rapidly shifting international landscape. Also during Abramowitz’s tenure, the Endowment built its new, permanent headquarters at 1779 Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D.C.
Jessica T. Mathews took over as president in May 1997. Under Mathews’ leadership, the Endowment experienced rapid growth, partly fueled through increased support from outside funders. The Carnegie Endowment launched in 2007 an ambitious new vision to transform itself to the first truly global international think tank. This new vision expanded the Carnegie Endowment geographically from Washington, D.C. and Moscow to a new presence in Beijing and offices in Beirut and Brussels. The Editor of the International Conciliation could not be found for 1944, but this publication first appeared in 1907 and by 1972 there were 39 books housing the publication of 587 issues, when it ceased publication in March 1972. A drawing of the philanthropist and his autograph is seen in Figure 2.