John C. Cort papers
Scope and Contents
These papers document social activist John C. Court's involvement with the Christian Socialist movement. They consist of a typescript of his book Christian Socialism: An Informal History, which was published in 1988; proceedings from the Congress of Christian Socialists in Sweden in 1983, as well as Cort’s talk and several reports he authored; and the first eight volumes of Religious Socialism, the newsletter of the Religion and Socialism Committee of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, co-edited by Cort and published from his home in Nahant, MA. There are also a few booklets from Christian and Socialist organizations and a group photograph, thought to be of the Congress of Christian Socialists.
- Cort, John C. (Person)
Restrictions on access
Collection is open for research.
Restrictions on use
These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.
Biographical / Historical
John Cyrus Cort was born in 1913 in New York City. Cort attended Harvard, where he developed an interest in Catholicism despite his Episcopalian upbringing. He converted after graduation in 1935. He moved back to New York where he became involved with the Catholic Worker Movement. Cort was active in the organization, writing articles for the group’s publication. His work eventually led him to help create and run the Association of Catholic Trade Unionists (ACTU) and become an agent for the Newspaper Guild Union (Boston). Cort suffered from tuberculosis at this time. He contracted the disease while living in and assisting at a Catholic Worker Movement homeless shelter. Despite the ailment, Court was still able to keep working for The Labor Leader, the International Ladies Garment Union, and the ACTU. In 1943 Cort met fellow ACTU volunteer Helen Haye. The two married in 1946 and went on to have ten children.
During the 1950s Cort continued his work with the ACTU and Newspaper Guild Union. In 1961 he moved to the Philippines with Helen and their children in order to establish a Peace Corps program. They lived there three and a half years. Upon return from the Philippines, Cort began establishing domestic volunteer programs including the Service Corps (state sponsored) and Model Cities Program. Cort moved his family to Roxbury, MA which, at the time, was one of the most impoverished neighborhoods of Boston. This period caused conflict between his family and his desire to avoid hypocrisy and live amongst the disenfranchised. His family eventually left Roxbury in the early 1970s while Cort stayed and visited them intermittently.
Cort became a leader of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) during the 1970s. He worked for thirty years with the DSA as the editor of the organization’s newsletter, Religious Socialism. Cort also wrote for Catholic magazines and journals, and published the book Christian Socialism: An Informal History in 1988 and an autobiography, Dreadful Conversations: the Making of a Catholic Socialist, in 2003. John C. Cort died in 2006.
The Catholic Univeristy of America. "John C Cort." http://archives.lib.cua.edu/findingaid/cort.cfm (accessed 07 November, 2017)
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Language of Materials
These papers document social activist John C. Cort's involvement with the Christian Socialist movement. They consist of a typescript of his book Christian Socialism: An Informal History, which was published in 1988; proceedings from the Congress of Christian Socialists in Sweden in 1983, including Cort’s talk and several reports he authored; and the first eight volumes of the Religious Socialism newsletter, co-edited by Cort. There are also a few booklets from Christian and Socialist organizations and a group photograph, thought to be of the Congress of Christian Socialists.
The papers are organized in five series: I. Typescripts; II. Religious Socialism newsletter; III. Booklets; IV. Congress of Christian Socialists conference proceedings; and V. Photograph.
Because the current accessioning system was not used until January 1986, it is not possible to know exactly the dates of acquisition of materials received before that time.
- John C. Cort Papers
- David Tennant, 2006; and Tyler Press
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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