Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Macedonia Cooperative Community Records, 1937-1958

Collection: DG 071


Contact Information
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399
U.S.A.
Telephone: (610) 328-8557 (Curator)
Fax: (610) 328-8544
Email: wchmiel1@swarthmore.edu (Curator)
URL: http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/peace/


Descriptive Summary
Repository
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Creator
Macedonia Cooperative Community
Title
Macedonia Cooperative Community Records
Inclusive Dates
1937-1958
Call Number
DG 071

Language of Materials
Materials in English
Extent
2.1 linear feet [papers only]
Abstract
The Macedonia Cooperative Community was formed in 1937
northern Georgia by Morris Randolph Mitchell (1895-1976), an educator who later served as the first president of Friends World College. The Macedonia Cooperative Community, which took its name from a nearby Baptist Church, was comprised of families who worked collectively on dairy, agricultural, forestry, and woodworking projects that provided the economic underpinnings of the community. Originally established as an economic cooperative, Macedonia later passed through two distinctive phases before it folded in 1958.

Administrative Information
Restrictions to Access
None
Usage Restrictions
None
Alternate Form of Material
None
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Morris R. Mitchell
and others, 1962-1979 [Acc. 62A-060, Acc. 71A-253, Acc. 75A-141, Acc. 77A-045, Acc. 79A-051]
Processing Information
Processed by Collection processed by Anne Yoder, January 2006; this version of finding aid by Wendy E. Chmielewski, June 2009.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in theMacedonia Cooperative Community Records (DG 071), Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law

Online Catalog Headings
These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online library/archival catalogs.
See tripod record


Historical Background
The Macedonia Cooperative Community was formed in 1937 in Habersham County in northern Georgia by Morris Randolph Mitchell (1895-1976), an educator who later served as the first president of Friends World College. The Macedonia Cooperative Community, which took its name from a nearby Baptist Church, was comprised of families who worked collectively on dairy, agricultural, forestry, and woodworking projects that provided the economic underpinnings of the community.

Originally established as an economic cooperative, Macedonia later passed through two distinctive phases before it folded in 1958. At the end of World War II, an infusion of conscientious objectors, who had been engaged in Civilian Public Service and/or had served prison terms during the war, joined the community, bringing an emphasis on pacifism.
The eighteen pacifists worked at various forms of farming and at a small woodworking factory which they built. The wage system was discarded, and the entire operation was run on a communal, subsistence basis. In 1949 the Macedonia community applied for membership in Peacemakers as a local cell group. The last stage of Macedonia was during the time (1953-1957) when its members explored the possibility of merging with the Society of Brothers (Bruderhof), with whom they had already been working to make toys and other wooden items to sell. In 1958, Macedonia became officially part of the Society of Brothers, and the Community's property was sold at public auction on June 27, 1958.

Morris Mitchell quit his role of financier and public force for the Community in 1948, but retained an active interest in it until its demise.


Collection Overview
This collection is rich in details about what went into the establishment and maintenance of this utopian community, seen especially in the many letters exchanged between Morris Mitchell and Elvin Roberts, which portray Mitchell's intense enthusiasm for all that he hoped to accomplish there, and his great attention to specifics (including sketches of Mitchell's ideas for the cabins to be built, etc.). Other correspondents include Henry W. Dyer, Henrik F. Infield, W. Elmore Jackson, Morris Keeton, Henri Lasserre, George Meany, Edward R. Miller, Barbara Jaynes Mitchell, David Newton, Lucille Roberts, Norman J. Whitney, E. Raymond Wilson, Arthur Wiser, and Wilmer Young.

Researchers may wish to consult the book Searching for a Viable Alternative: The Macedonia Cooperative Community, 1937-1958 by W. Edward Orser, available in the Book Collection.

Items removed:
Photographs were removed to the Photograph Collection. A blueprint of a January 1938 survey of Morris Mitchell's land (826.15 acres) in Habersham County (Georgia) was removed to the Oversized Items Collection: Documents.

Arrangement of Collection
Box 1 contains MCC administrative records and information about Morris Mitchell. Boxes 2-5 contain Mitchell correspondence; and Box 5 also contains reference files about the surrounding Habersham county communities.





Detailed Description of the Collection

Box 1
Purpose (1937- )
Correspondence of Barbara Jaynes re: history of MCC (and her attempt to gather photographs), 1940-1941 [photos removed to Photograph Collection]
Legal records: Articles of Incorporation
Legal records: agreements, etc.
Financial records
Community life and work: reports, etc.
Community life and work: Macedonia Forest Products / Macedonia Co-Op Blocks
Community life and work: Community Playthings (made in association with the Woodcrest Community Society of Brothers)
Community life and work: decision to become part of the Society of Brothers (Bruderhof), and sale of property, 1957-
Community life and work: media coverage; periodical articles about Dr. Mitchell and the MCC
Miscellaneous
Dr. Morris R. Mitchell (1895-1976): biographical information
Dr. Morris R. Mitchell: finding aid for material at University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
Dr. Morris R. Mitchell: personal involvements and work
Dr. Morris R. Mitchell: efforts/work for Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) re: opposition to Universal Military Training (UMT), 1947
Dr. Morris R. Mitchell: correspondence with/about C.O. Henry Dyer in Sandstone Prison and their parole, etc., 1946 [includes his papers written for Community Study Course and critiques/comments by Dr. Arthur Morgan]
Dr. Morris R. Mitchell: correspondence with/about C.O. Charles [Chuck] Worley and C.O. David Newton in Sandstone Prison and their parole, etc., 1946
Dr. Morris R. Mitchell: correspondence with/about the American Federation of Labor (Southern Office) as Director of the Southeastern Cooperative League, 1947-1949

Box 2
Dr. Morris R. Mitchell (and possibly MCC members)
Correspondence, 1938
Correspondence, 1939
Correspondence, 1940
Correspondence, 1941
Correspondence, 1942
Correspondence, 1943
Correspondence, 1944 (January-May)
Correspondence, 1944 (June-December)
Correspondence, 1945 (January-September)
Correspondence, 1945 (October-December)
Correspondence, 1946 (January-June)

Box 3
Dr. Morris R. Mitchell (and possibly MCC members)
Correspondence, 1946 (July-December)
Correspondence, 1947
Correspondence, 1948
Correspondence, 1949
Correspondence, ca. 1940s
Correspondence, 1950-1952
Correspondence, 1953
Correspondence, 1954
Correspondence, 1955
Correspondence, 1956
Correspondence, ca. 1955-1956
Correspondence, 1957

Box 4
Dr. Morris R. Mitchell (and possibly MCC members)
Correspondence, 1958
Correspondence, n.d.
Correspondence with American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) staff persons, 1939-1944
Correspondence to Elvin (and Lucille) Roberts, 1937
Correspondence to Elvin (and Lucille) Roberts, 1938 (January-April)
Correspondence to Elvin (and Lucille) Roberts, 1938 (May-September)
Correspondence to Elvin (and Lucille) Roberts, 1938 (October-December)
Correspondence to Elvin (and Lucille) Roberts, 1939
Correspondence to Elvin (and Lucille) Roberts, 1941-1942 [nothing for 1940]

Box 5
Dr. Morris R. Mitchell (and possibly MCC members)
Correspondence from Elvin (and Lucille) Roberts, 1939
Correspondence from Elvin (and Lucille) Roberts, 1941-1942 [nothing for 1940]
Correspondence with Blanche Rosenberry, 1947
Correspondence White Plains land tract, etc., 1955
Mss. of teaching booklet (?) by ?? re: Habersham County, Georgia
Reference material: misc.
Reference material: mimeographed booklet "History and Resources of the Hills of Habersham County," 1937
Reference material: survey "Conditions in Habersham County, Georgia, As Told By Census Material" by the Community Planning Group of New College, 1937




This file was last updated on December 11, 2009.