Polish-American traces of cooperation. The correspondence of Eileen and Florian Znaniecki in the archival collections of the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York, part 1

The article presents the first part of the correspondence of Eileen and Florian Znaniecki, which is located in the Archives of the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York. It shows many unknown threads from the life of Znaniecki family, especially Florian – one of the most outstanding Polish sociologist, a professor at the University of Poznań, who worked for many years in the United States of America. 

The presented edition includes letters with Stefan Piotr Mierzwa, who used the name Stephen Peter Mizwa in English, and Edith Brahmall Cullis-Williams. 

Mierzwa was the founder of the Kościuszko Foundation, a long-term executive director of the foundation, and finally its president. Thanks to his activities for the cultural and scientific rapprochement between Poland and America, he became, if not one of the most important figures in the life of American Polonia in the twentieth century, so certainly among the New York State Poles. 

Cullis-Williams was the founder and president of the Polish Institute of Arts and Literature in New York City and a well known American polonophile in the American environment. 

The archives of the Kościuszko Foundation have survived copies of Mierza’s letters written to Znaniecki. 

Copies of Cullis-Williams letters have not been preserved in this collection, but even those sent to her by Eileen, presented in this edition, perfectly complement the picture of American relationships and social relations of the Znaniecki marriage emerging from other sources.

Chronologically, the letters cover the period 1923–1940 and show the beginnings of Znaniecki’s cooperation with the Kosciuszko Foundation. What is more, the collection brings a little new light to Znaniecki’s presence in New York in 1931–1933 and the first months of the Poznań sociologist’s stay in the United States of America in 1940.

see the article on the SHS website