Jessica Smith (editor)

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Circa 1913-1918

Jessica Smith (1895 – 1983) was an American editor and activist and was the wife of Harold Ware and subsequently John Abt


Daughter of the painter Walter Granville-Smith of New York City, Jessica Granville-Smith, as she was known in her early life, graduated from Swarthmore College and championed women's suffrage. She went to the Soviet Union in 1922 with a Quaker Mission.

In the early 1920s, she visited Russia on behalf of the Quaker famine relief effort, the American Friends Service Committee. In Moscow she met Harold Ware, an agricultural expert and socialist. They tried to establish a model collective farm in the Ural Mountains using American tractors. Back in New York, they were married in January 1925 by Norman Thomas. When Ware returned to Moscow for a time, Jessica Smith remained in the United States and became editor of the Soviet Russia Today, a publication of the organization Friends of Soviet Russia, and held the position for more than twenty years.

Whittaker Chambers mentioned her in connection with Abt to Adolf Berle in September 1939.[1]

Smith was also editor of the New World Review.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Ware died in an automobile accident in 1935. John Abt married Jessica Smith after Ware's death; Abt died in 1991.


At the time of her death in October 1983, Smith was longtime member of the Board of Directors of the National Council of American-Soviet Friendship.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chambers, Whittaker (1952). Witness. Random House. p. 467. ISBN 0-89526-571-0. 
  2. ^ Laibman, David (15 October 2010). "Editor, author, musician".