In 1921, John Henry Dalton, the owner of Thurnham Hall, was appointed one of 14 Vice-Presidents of the Lancaster branch of the League of Nations Union at the first AGM. He was reappointed the following year. He was able to bring first-hand reports to the Lancaster members of the workings of the League of Nations, as he attended the Geneva Conference in 1921 (presumably about the Silesian crisis) and again in 1926. In 1927 he hosted a ‘garden meeting’ at his mother’s house in Borrowdale Road, Lancaster, where he spoke about his visit to Geneva the previous year, indicating he was very impressed with the ideals of the League as a means to promote world peace. He also supported the Lancaster LNU in a social outing by inviting a large group of members in 1924 to visit the Cockersands Abbey excavations on his Thurnham Hall estate. (1)
John Henry Dalton had been brought up in America where his father had married a Texan. According to members of the Dalton family, John Henry was interested in politics and had studied under Woodrow Wilson who taught politics and law at Princeton University before becoming President in 1913. (2) Woodrow Wilson promoted the idea of the League of Nations. John Henry returned to Thurnham at the end of the War. Back at home, one of his business ventures was the purchase of the ‘Lancaster Reporter,’ a local newspaper, which then failed. He died in 1937.
(1) Lancaster Observer, 28 Sep 1924.
(2) Personal communication with James Houghton who has an extensive knowledge of the Dalton family and their estates.
Lancaster Guardian, 19 Mar 1921, 22 Apr 1922 & 22 July 1927.
S. Ambar. Woodrow Wilson: Life Before the Presidency. University of Virginia Miller Centre.