Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Lawrence Scott Papers, 1955-1965

Collection: DG 090

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
The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for these papers.
Scott, Lawrence (1908 - 1986)
Lawrence Scott Papers
Inclusive Dates
Call Number
DG 090

Language of Materials
Materials in English
7.5 linear feet
Lawrence Scott was a c
onstruction engineer, Baptist clergyman, and Quaker activist. He worked as an activist against the testing of nuclear weapons and biological weapons research. He was the supervisor for the Friends Mississippi Project, project director of the Appeal and Vigil at Fort Detrick in Maryland, executive secretary of the Peace Action Center and a founder of A Quaker Action Group.

Administrative Information
Restrictions to Access
Usage Restrictions
Alternate Form of Material
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Lawrence Scott, 1975 [Acc. 75A-023]
Processing Information
Processed by Swarthmore College Peace Collection staff; This finding aid was created by Darien Sepulveda, March 2013.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Lawrence Scott Papers (DG 090), Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Copyright Notice
Copyright may have been transferred to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection or may have been retained by the creators/authors (or their descendants), in this collection, as stipulated by United States copyright law. Please contact the SCPC Curator for further information.

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

Historical Background
Lawrence Scott was born in Missouri in 1908. After graduating from high school in central Missouri he attended college for one year at the College of Emporia (Kansas) and two years at the University of Missouri. From 1928 to 1939 (except for two years at the University of Missouri) he worked on Missouri River Improvement (channel and flood control) under the U.S. Engineer Department, resigning as Chief Inspector of Construction in 1939.

In 1940 he attended Central Baptist Theological Seminary for one year, returned to college the following year and received his A.B. degree from William Jewell College, and then returned to Central Baptist Theological Seminary for completion of work on the Master of Theology degree. While in Seminary he was ordained to the ministry in the Southern Baptist Convention and served pastorates in that denomination, and also in the Northern Convention while in college and Seminary.

Upon graduation, he became Executive Director of the newly founded Kansas City Fellowship House, after having been presented the Rabin Award for interracial work in Kansas City the previous year. During the period at Fellowship House (1946-1950) he was Executive Chairman of the Kansas City Institute on International Relations which was under sponsorship of the Des Moines Region of the American Friends Service Committee.

He and his wife, Viola Scott, became members of the Society of Friends in 1948. They directed five student summer projects for the American Friends Service Committee in Indianapolis, Kansas City, Duluth (twice), and St. Louis. In 1951-1952 they experimented, with a group of others, in a Community of Sharing in Fairhope, Alabama. In 1953-1954 he spent a year engaged in research and writing at Pendle Hill, the Quaker Study Center near Philadelphia.

In 1954 he moved to Chicago, becoming Director of Peace Education for the Chicago region of the American Friends Service Committee. He held this position until the spring of 1957, when he reduced his commitment to AFSC to halftime, and worked halftime as the Coordinator for the Peacemakers. With Peacemakers he worked on two issues-support for Koinonia Community in Georgia against which there was violence that spring, and initiating of action against nuclear weapons testing. From the latter effort came the formation of Sane Nuclear Policy and Non-violent Action Against Nuclear Weapons. He ceased to be Coordinator for Peacemakers since they did not want to be involved and became coordinator for Nonviolent Action Against Nuclear Weapons which planned and carried through civil disobedience in Nevada in August 1957. He continued in this capacity through June, 1959. In this time period Nonviolent Action Against Nuclear Weapons organized the Nevada Project, the Washington Prayer and Conscience Vigil, the Voyage of the Golden Rule, and a peace-making project to London, Paris, Bonn, Berlin, and Helsinki, April-May, 1958.

In May of 1959 he became the Project Director of the Appeal and Vigil at Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland (the U.S. Army's biological weapons research and testing center). This project continued until the spring of 1961, when he with others from the project started the Peace Action Center in Washington, D.C.

Lawrence Scott was Executive Secretary of the Peace Action Center from its start until it closed in November, 1963. During this period the center held a vigil in front of the White House most days; distributed thousands of leaflets on the street and at the entrance to government buildings; and acted as the Washington contact and coordinator for projects in Washington by other peace groups, such as the fast at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Witness for World Order by Friends Coordinating Committee for Peace, and the CNVA sponsored walk from Quebec to Quantanamo. As a result of one of the White House vigils Lawrence Scott (and others) was arrested, and served a 30 day sentence in jail.

From June 1964 to June 1965 he represented Philadelphia and New York Yearly Meetings of the Religious Society of Friends in supervising the reconstruction of more than 30 churches of black congregations in Mississippi whose church buildings had been bombed or burned.

In June 1966 Lawrence Scott helped to found, and became a co-chairman of, A Quaker Action Group. Based in Philadelphia, it sponsored many nonviolent direct action projects of national and international scale, including the reading of the names of the Vietnam war dead on the steps of the capitol building; the voyage (three times) of the boat Phoenix to Vietnam with medical supplies; and the march from Washington, D.C. to Fort Detrick and Edgewood Arsenal against chemical and biological warfare.

In the spring and summer of 1971 he was deeply involved in a series of meetings culminating in the decision to lay down AQAG and put its resources and many of its central people into the new Movement for a New Society and the Philadelphia Life Center.

In 1973 Lawrence and Viola Scott moved from Philadelphia to McNeil, Arizona where they became involved with others in the founding of a Friends rural community.
Lawrence Scott died on August 7th, 1986.

Collection Overview
This collection includes biographical material and personal correspondence of Lawrence Scott; and administrative material, correspondence, and financial records concerning his various work and projects. It also includes some reference material about these activities.

Items removed:
Bell and glass fragments from burned Mississippi churches, removed to memorabilia collection.
Photographs, removed to photograph collection.

Arrangement of Collection
This collection is in chronological order, arranged according to the various projects with which Lawrence Scott was involved.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box 1
Work With Friends, 1957-1958
Personal Letters, Biographical Material

Articles, Open Letters, Essays
Action in Chicago, July 1955-March 1957
Sane, 1957-1958
Personal Correspondence and Papers, September 1964-April 1965
Personal Correspondence and Papers, June 1965-September 1965

Box 2
Nevada – Memos, Minutes and Financial Records
Preliminary to Nevada
Nevada Correspondence: May 23, 1957 – June 20, 1957
Nevada Correspondence: July 1, 1957 – July 18, 1957
Nevada Correspondence: July 19, 1957 – July 23, 1957
Background and Related Materials (Nevada)

Box 3
Nevada – Correspondence II
Nevada – Correspondence III
Nevada – Press Releases
Nevada Action – Promotional Materials

Box 4
Press Clippings –Nevada Action -  August 1957
Press Clippings II –Nevada Action -  August 1957
Nevada Action – Personal Notes by Participants

Box 5
Prayer and Conscience Vigil – D.C., November 1957: Memos, Minutes, Basic Documents, Participants and Contributors
Prayer Vigil in Washington, November 1957: Publications and Literature
Prayer and Conscience Vigil: Financial Records
Vigil – Press Clippings and Releases
Prayer Vigil in Washington D.C., November 1957: Correspondence
Project Cheyenne - 1958
Omaha Action: March 1959 – December 1959
Pacific Project

Box 6
European Project of Non-Violent Action Against Nuclear Weapons – Memos, Minutes, Financial Records
European Project – General Correspondence: January 3rd 1958 – March 28th 1958
European Project – General Correspondence: April 1st 1958 – July 7th 1958
European Project: Press Releases, Clippings, Personal Account of Participants

Box 7
European Project – Background Materials and Trip Mementoes
European Project – Publications and Literature
Committee for Non-Violent Action (CNVA)
Committee for Non-Violent Action II (CNVA II)

Box 8
Vigil at Fort Detrick, 1959 - 1961:
Public Statements, Press Releases and Clippings, Articles, Petitions, Newsletters, Memos
Chronological Bound Notebooks:
Volume I, June 15th, 1959 - July 31, 1959
Volume II, Folder 1: August 1st, 1959 – October 5th 1959
Volume II, Folder 2: October 6th, 1959 – January 5th, 1960
Volume III, January 1st, 1960 - March 26th, 1960

Box 9
Vigil at Fort Detrick: 1959-1961:
Chronological Bound Notebook, Volume IV, April 4th 1960 - October 14th, 1960
Notebooks (3 of them), Containing Logs of Projects, Logs of Participants:
Log I: July 1st, 1960 - October 22nd, 1960
Log II: October 23, 1960 - November 11th, 1960
Log III: October 25th, 1960 - December 28th, 1960
News Releases: June 19th, 1959 – November 7th, 1960
Fort Detrick Vigil: Early Promotion Material
Fort Detrick Vigil: Leaflet Distributions
House-to-House Visiting and Interviews
Fort Detrick Vigil: Press Clippings
West Coast Speaking Tour
Quaker Television, NBC

Box 10
Paid Bills I - Miscellaneous Financial Records: 1960
Paid Bills II - Miscellaneous Financial Records: 1960
Paid Bills III - Miscellaneous Financial Records, Assorted 1959-1961
Finance Reports
Cancelled Checks
Income and Expenditures
Money Receipts
Various Receipts and Invoices

Box 11
Vigil at Fort Detrick, 1959-1961:
Minutes of Committee
Master File I - 1960
Master File II - 1961
Training in Non-Violence
Mailing List Material
Frederick County Project
Master File: Vigil Materials, 1959
Special Committee Memos
Bates Affair
Vigil at Newport
Registration Forms

Box 12
Vigil at Fort Detrick, 1959-1961:
Witness for Peace – Easter, 1961:  Mixed Materials I
Witness for Peace – Easter, 1961:  Mixed Materials II
Conference: October 4-5, 1960
Eisenhower Letter I – July 6, 1960
Eisenhower Letter II – July 6, 1960
Letter to Colonel Parks
Inventory Borrowed Items
Miscellaneous Projects of Others
Local Information
Mackley Report on Conference of October 4-5, 1960
Proposal for Longer Range Program
Suggestions for the Vigil and House Visits

Box 13
Vigil at Fort Detrick, 1959-1961:
Correspondence, 1959 [4 folders]

Box 14
Vigil at Fort Detrick, 1959-1961:
Correspondence, 1960 [5 folders]

Box 15
Vigil at Fort Detrick, 1959-1961:
Correspondence Continued, 1960 [5 Folders]

Box 16
Vigil at Fort Detrick, 1959-1961
Correspondence Continued, 1960-1961 [5 Folders]

Box 17
Rebuilding Burned Churches in Mississippi:
Reports, Memos, Minutes: May 31, 1964 – Fall 1965
Mississippi Travel Diaries
Committee of Concern
Civil Rights File
Plainville Burial Club
Correspondence and Reports
Volunteer Correspondence

Box 18
Rebuilding Burned Churches in Mississippi:
Clippings, Press Releases, and Photos
Publications and Literature
Donation Records
Utility Receipts and Auto Papers
Bank Deposits
Additional Loose Donation Records

This file was last updated on August 21, 2015