Text by Candace Kanes
Images from Maine Historical Society and Maine State Library
Americans have talked about and advocated for peace among nations and within nations for many years.
William Penn spoke out for peace in 1693 when European nations were fighting one another over territory and power. Dr. Benjamin Rush deplored the warfare between American settlers and Indians and spoke out for peace in 1790.
Many Mainers also have been involved in the cause for peace within the nation and between nations.
Among the most notable are William Ladd (1778-1841) of Minot, founder of the American Peace Society. Ladd was a reformer who based his philosophy on Christian principles. Ladd came to the cause of peace when he was about 40 years old.
A much younger peace reformer caused as many international ripples and conversations about peace as did her predecessor of about 150 years.
Samantha Smith at age 10 became an ambassador for peace when she wrote to the leader of the Soviet Union in 1982 and expressed her concerns about nuclear war.
While their inspirations and the circumstances of their lives were different, Ladd and Smith brought peace to the forefront during their lives.