Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Bennett Andrews and Florence Andrews Papers, 1940-1980

Collection: DG 209


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
Andrews, Bennett (1906-1994) and Andrews, Florence (1913- )
Title
Bennett Andrews and Florence Andrews Papers
Inclusive Dates
1940-1980
Call Number
DG 209

Language of Materials
Materials in English
Extent
20 linear inches
Abstract
Bennett Andrews was an absolutist conscientious objector during World War II. He served a five year sentence Danbury Prison, a federal penitentiary, in Connecticut. There he worked in a number of positions in the prison.. Bennett Andrews was released from prison on July 11, 1946 and received amnesty from President Truman in 1947. Florence Andrews (born in 1913) married Bennett on July 22, 1938. She was also a strong pacifist, who fully supported her husband's C.O. stance.

Administrative Information
Restrictions to Access
None
Usage Restrictions
None
Alternate Form of Material
None
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Florence Andrews, 1998 (acc. 98A-026 and 98A-047); 2002 {acc. 02A-048)
Processing Information
Processed by Anne Yoder, May 1998; updated 2002; this version of the finding aid prepared by Wendy E. Chmielewski, July 2009
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in theBennett Andrews and Florence Andrews Papers (DG 209), 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
Bennett Andrews, a musician from Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), was an absolutist conscientious objector during World War II. His total opposition to war meant for him that neither noncombatant service or Civilian Public Service were options he would consider. Instead, he chose prison with no parole. He was sentenced in April 1943 to five years in a federal penitentiary, and sent to Danbury Prison in Connecticut. There he worked as a farm laborer, librarian, editor of prison publications (The Nutmeg Guidon and Little Nutmeg), truck driver, and finally fireman. This latter position gave him the right to two hours of visitation a month, rather than the former one hour. He was released from prison on July 11, 1946 with no conditions, and received amnesty from President Truman in 1947.

Bennett Andrews, born on September 13, 1906, married Florence (born in 1913) on July 22, 1938. She was also a strong pacifist, who fully supported her husband's C.O. stance. Twice a month Florence traveled ten hours on two trains to visit Bennett for a half hour each visit, all that was allowed. She wrote to him every day while he was in prison, a total of 973 letters, giving him the news of day, telling of her life at home (on a very small budget) and the office, reflecting on her beliefs about God and about peace, and using humorous stories and drawings to help keep up his spirits. These have been excerpted and collected by Florence into a manuscript called "From the Outside." He wrote often to her as well, sharing his opinions about the war, relaying anecdotes about life in prison, and expressing his longing for her. These letters have been excerpted and collected by Florence into a manuscript called "Somewhere in Prison." This collection provides a fascinating and valuable portrait, from both the female and the male points of view, of a devoted couple who were forced to live apart for three and a half years for their beliefs.

Florence worked as a secretary for the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia from 1943-1948, as secretary for the Dean of Haverford College (Pennsylvania) for nine years, and in various libraries through her 84th year. Bennett continued his avocation as a musician, working as both music teacher and organ teacher at the Settlement Music School in Germantown (Philadelphia). He died on May 2, 1994.

Collection Overview
The collection includes some biographical material about Bennett Andrews and Florence Andrews, and various forms of their correspondence while Bennett served a prison sentence between 1943 and 1946.

Items removed:
issues of The Little Nutmeg (SCPC Periodical Collection)
issues of The Nutmeg Guidon (SCPC Periodical Collection)


Arrangement of Collection
Box 1 contains files of biographical material; papers about Bennett Andrew's conscientious objection status; writings by Bennett and Florence Andrews; and edited transcripts of the original letters between husband and wife, typed by Florence. Box 2 contains copies of the original letters numbered 1-970.




Detailed Description of the Collection

Box 1
Biographical information
CO papers of Bennett
Writings of Bennett & Florence
Mss. "Somewhere in Prison": transcript of letters from Bennett to Florence, written from May 1, 1943, to July 10, 1946
Mss. "From the Outside": transcript of letters from Florence to Bennett, written from May 5, 1943 to July 7, 1946

Box 2
Letters of Florence to Bennett (#1-369), 1943-1944

Box 3
Letters of Florence to Bennett (#370-820), 1944-1945

Box 4
Letters of Florence to Bennett (#821-970), 1946
Letters of Bennett to Florence, 1943-1946




This file was last updated on July 8, 2009.