Scope and arrangement
The bulk of the records of the FTL consist of correspondence. There are some unsorted administrative records, financial records, printed ephemera, and essays on free trade. The correspondence (incoming and outgoing) vis arranged alphabetically by two-year intervals. The bulk of the correspondence is that of George Haven Putnam with officers and members including Richard Rogers Bowker, Kenneth B. Elliman, A. Augustus Healy. George Foster Peabody, Edward J. Shriver, Edward N. Vallandigham, and Irving Winslow. The correspondence relates to membership, annual dinners, the publication of the league's bulletins, rivalries and ideological quarrels between Putnam and other officials, a memorial on free trade that was submitted to the Paris Peace Conference, the London conference (1920) on free trade, congressional tariff policy, the Fordney Tariff Bill, and other matters. The correspondence with Vallandigham relates in part to labor relations during the war period. Other correspondents include Edmund J. Burke, The Cobden Club, John S. Codman, George H. Grubb, and. A few letters by prominent persons are present including James Bryce, Cordell Hull, David Starr Jordan, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ida M. Tarbell, Henry Van Dyke and William Allen White. The administrative records include minutes of meetings, membership lists, constitution, form letters, and some correspondence of Bowker with office secretaries. Some minutes are also filed in the correspondence for 1922-23. The financial records consist of financial statements (1919-29), cash book (1919-23) and a few cancelled checks. The printed ephemera include pamphlets, flyers, press releases, circular letters, clippings some of which was generated by the FTL. The essays on free trade (three items) were prepared by students. The records of the Council for Tariff Reduction consist of correspondence (1931-32) of Trumbull White, its organizing secretary, with businessmen, merchants, scholars, academicians, and others who were requested to sign a printed statement on the need for tariff reduction. Some of the correspondence overlaps with that of the FTL as White was also at the same time corresponding secretary of the FTL. Correspondences include Whidden Graham, George Foster Peabody and F. W. Tausig. Included also are index card files of members (?) of the council.