Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Duncan Bassett Murphy, Jr. Papers, 1920-2012

Collection: DG 266



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
The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for these papers.
Creator
Murphy Jr., Duncan Bassett (1920-2012)
Title
Duncan Bassett Murphy Jr. Papers
Inclusive Dates
1920-2012
Call Number
DG 266

Language of Materials
Materials in English
Extent
14.25 linear feet [papers only]
Abstract
Duncan Murphy Jr. was greatly concerned for Native American rights, and was an activist against the U.S. war in Central America and the U.S. build-up of a nuclear weapons arsenal.

Administrative Information
Restrictions to Access
None
Usage Restrictions
None
Alternate Form of Material
None
Acquisitions Information
Gift of David Swift, January 2016 [acc. 2016-006]
Processing Information
Processed by Anne M. Yoder, Archivist; finding aid posted on May 4, 2016
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Duncan Bassett Murphy Jr. Papers (DG 266), 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


Related Collections
Witness for Peace Records (DG 149)

Historical Background
Duncan Bassett Murphy Jr. was born on June 4, 1920, and was raised in Hartfield, Massachusetts. Most people called him Dunc. He was brought up as a Protestant, was deeply religious from youth, and was a pacifist, which would influence his later involvements and activities. A Fellowship of Reconciliation group at the church of his friend, Jean Lawson, was “where convictions formed that led me to register as a C.O.” [page 17 of unpublished autobiography]. In 1942, Murphy joined the American Field Service. During his 40 months of service -- in which he drove an ambulance for an estimated 35,000 miles and transported over 3,000 Allied battle casualties -- he was in Syria Lebanon, North Africa, Italy, and Europe. Murphy was with the Scottish regiment that liberated Belsen concentration camp (Germany) in 1945. He was awarded a British Empire Medal for bravery in evacuating casualties from battles to field hospitals, as well as the 1939-1945 Star Ribbon, the France Germany Star Ribbon, and the Italy Star Ribbon. Though proud of his involvement in the AFS, it also led to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and fueled his later protests and actions against war.

Murphy attended Williams College before and after World War II, graduating in 1947 with a degree in political science. After graduation, he became involved in Shiloh, an interdenominational community in Sherman, New York, whose stated purpose was rehabilitation, service, and religious discovery, as well as the selling of farm produces. Murphy lived about twenty years there; his parents were part of the community as well. For some years Murphy worked as a tree trimmer. He later lived in California.

Throughout his life, Murphy was committed to various religious and peace efforts. Murphy was deeply involved in peace efforts during the 1970s and 1980s, particularly those relating to Native American rights, and to Central America. Murphy participated in many demonstrations, walks, civil disobedience, and delegations.

Murphy’s first trip to Central America was with the Coffee Brigade that went to Nicaragua to help in the coffee harvest. The second was to El Salvador with a small group of veterans. Other trips included Honduras with Ray Bourgeois [spelling?]. Murphy helped to start the veterans' convoys to Nicaragua, which flowered into Witness for Peace [see page 106 of unpublished autobiography]. Murphy engaged in Veterans Fast For Life along with three other veterans (Charles Liteky, George Migo, Brian Willson), fasting for about six weeks on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in 1986. Murphy also fasted for 30 days in 1992, beginning on Columbus Day to highlight 500 years of wrongs against Native Americans. During the Nuremburg Actions in 1987, Murphy and Brian Willson protested at the Concord Naval weapons station in California; while seated on train tracks as a train came toward them and did not stop, Murphy was able to get out of the way in time, but Willson lost parts of both of his legs. [see page 129 of unpublished autobiography]

Murphy was also interested in the transcendental, such as extraterrestrial beings and stone circles.

Murphy lived until the age of 92. He spent the last few years of his life at the Veterans Home of California and Piedmount Court. He died at the VA hospital of Palo Alto on July 28, 2012.

Collection Overview
The Murphy papers came to the SCPC in good order, with meticulous arrangement and a finding aid. The folders were arranged chronologically and included much correspondence (only important correspondent noted is Liz McAllister, wife of Philip Berrigan), diaries, writings and notes, material documenting Murphy’s various involvements, plus an extensive collection of secondary material. Much of the latter was discarded, either because copies already existed in the SCPC or because it was of general interest and could be found elsewhere. Some was kept, however, if it was produced by local groups or by individuals outside of the national sphere, or if it was particularly informative in some way and helpful in understanding Murphy’s interests and involvements.

Items removed to other areas of the SCPC:
Oversized documents
Posters
Photographs (including oversized)
Audiovisual items


Arrangement of Collection
This collection is arranged as follows:
Family history/members
Biographical/autobiographical material
Correspondence
Involvements
Writings/notes
Reference material




Detailed Description of the Collection

SERIES A: FAMILY HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
Box 1
Family history
Ella Bird Murphy (mother)
War service of brother Ted [includes correspondence]
Biographical information: miscellaneous
Autobiography "A Journey Through Time," 2001
Birth; childhood; youth, 1920-1939
Attendance at Boy Scout Jamboree, Washington D.C. and the Netherlands, 1937
College life
College friend Jean Lawson [photos removed]
Williams College reunions/alumni
In American Field Service as ambulance driver, 1942-
In American Field Service: clearing Belsen concentration camp
Citations received for A.F.S. service
Media coverage
Membership and other cards
Astrological chart/horoscope, 1984

Box 2 (1/2 box)
Health
Suffering from PTSD
Receiving V.A. benefits
Finances
Finances: donations
Living at Veterans Home of California at Yountville, 2007-2008
Living at Piedmount Court, circa 2008-2012
Death (July 28, 2012); will; obituaries

Box 3
Diaries, 1943
Diary, 1948
Diary pages, 1957 (May 30 - July 13)
Notebook: diary, 1970 (February 26 - September 25)
Notebook: diary, 1970 (September 25) - 1971 (May 8)
Notebook pages [diary notes?], circa 1971
Notebook: diary, 1971 (May 9) - 1972 (April 18)
Notebook: diary/journal, 1972 (April 19 - November 12)
Notebook: diary/journal, 1972 (November 12) - 1973 (October)

Box 4
Notebook: diary/journal, 1973 (October) - 1974 (June 12)
Notebook: diary/journal, 1974 (June 13 - August 3)
Notebook: diary/journal, 1974 (August 4 - September 29)
Notebook: diary/journal, 1974 (September 30 - October 31)
Notebook: diary, 1974 (November) - 1975 (January)
Notebook: diary, 1975 (January-May)
Notebook: diary, 1975 (May-)
Diary, 1976
Notebook: diary, 1982 (February 5 - March 27)
Notebook: diary, 1982 (December 7) - 1983 (February 4)
Diary/journal pages, 1995 (March 12 - April 17)
Notebook: diary, 1986 (September 1-7)
Notebook: diary, 1993? (July 12-23)

SERIES B: CORRESPONDENCE
Box 5

Correspondence received, 1934-1937
Correspondence received, 1938-1939
Correspondence received, 1940
Correspondence received, 1941
Correspondence written, 1942

Correspondence received, 1942-1943
Correspondence written, 1943
Correspondence written, 1944
Correspondence written, 1945
Correspondence received, 1945
Correspondence received, 1946
Correspondence received, 1947
Correspondence received, 1948
Correspondence received, 1949
Correspondence written/received: fragments, circa 1940s
Correspondence received, 1950

Box 6

Correspondence received, 1951
Correspondence received, 1952
Correspondence received, 1953
Correspondence received, 1954
Correspondence received, 1955
Correspondence received, 1956
Correspondence received, 1957-1959
Correspondence received, 1960
Correspondence received, 1961
Correspondence received, 1962
Correspondence received, 1963-1964
Correspondence received, 1965-1967
Correspondence received, 1968
Correspondence received, 1969
Correspondence received, 1970 (January-April)
Correspondence received, 1970 (May-August)

Box 7
Correspondence received, 1970 (September-December; no month noted)
Correspondence written, 1971
Correspondence received, 1971 (January-April)
Correspondence received, 1971 (May-August)
Correspondence received, 1971 (September-December)
Correspondence written, 1972
Correspondence received, 1972 (January-June)
Correspondence received, 1972 (July-December)
Correspondence written, 1973
Correspondence received, 1973 (January-June)
Correspondence received, 1973 (July-December)
Correspondence written, 1974
Correspondence received, 1974 (January-June)

Box 8
Correspondence received, 1974 (July-November)
Correspondence received, 1974 (December)
Correspondence received, 1975
Correspondence written, 1976 (January-June)
Correspondence written, 1976 (July-December)
Correspondence received, 1976 (January-April)
Correspondence received, 1976 (May-August)
Correspondence received, 1976 (September-December)
Correspondence received, 1976 (no month noted)
Correspondence written, 1977
Correspondence received, 1977
Correspondence received from government officials, 1977

Box 9
Correspondence written, 1978
Correspondence received, 1978
Correspondence written, 1979
Correspondence received, 1979 (January-June)
Correspondence received, 1979 (July-December; no month noted)
Correspondence written, 1980
Correspondence received, 1980
Correspondence written, 1981
Correspondence received, 1981
Correspondence received, 1982
Correspondence received, 1983 (January-March)
Correspondence received, 1983 (April-June)
Correspondence received, 1983 (July-September)
Correspondence received, 1983 (October-December)
Correspondence received, 1983 (no month noted)

Box 10
Correspondence written, 1984
Correspondence received, 1984 (January-June)
Correspondence received, 1984 (July-December)
Correspondence written, 1985
Correspondence received, 1985 (January-May)
Correspondence received, 1985 (June-August)
Correspondence received, 1985 (September-December)
Correspondence written, 1986
Correspondence received, 1986 (January-June)
Correspondence received, 1986 (July-December)
Correspondence received, 1986 (no month noted)
Correspondence received, 1986 (January-June) [re: Veterans Fast for Life]
Correspondence received, 1986 (September) [re: Veterans Fast for Life]
Correspondence received, 1986 (October) [re: Veterans Fast for Life]
Correspondence received, 1986 (November-December) [re: Veterans Fast for Life]
Correspondence received, 1986 (no month noted) [re: Veterans Fast for Life]

Box 11
Correspondence written, 1987
Correspondence received, 1987
Correspondence written, 1988
Correspondence received, 1988
Correspondence written, 1989
Correspondence received, 1989
Correspondence written, 1990
Correspondence received, 1990 (January-April)
Correspondence received, 1990 (May-August)
Correspondence received, 1990 (September-December)
Correspondence received, 1990 (no month noted)
Correspondence received, 1991
Correspondence received, 1992
Correspondence written, 1993
Correspondence received, 1993 (January-June)

Box 12

Correspondence received, 1993 (July-December; no month noted)
Correspondence received, 1994
Correspondence written, 1995
Correspondence received, 1995 (January-June)
Correspondence received, 1995 (July-December)
Correspondence received, 1996 (January-November)
Correspondence received, 1996 (December)
Correspondence written, 1997
Correspondence received, 1997
Correspondence written, 1998
Correspondence received, 1998 (January-June)
Correspondence received, 1998 (July-November)
Correspondence received, 1998 (December)
Correspondence received, 1999
Correspondence written, 2000
Correspondence received, 2000

Box 13
Correspondence received, 2001 ( -October)
Correspondence received, 2001 (November)
Correspondence received, 2001 (December)
Correspondence written, 2002
Correspondence received, 2002 (January-April)
Correspondence received, 2002 (May-August)
Correspondence received, 2002 (September-December)
Correspondence received, 2002 (no month noted)
Correspondence written, 2003
Correspondence received, 2003 (January-April)
Correspondence received, 2003 (May-August)
Correspondence received, 2003 (September-December)
Correspondence received, 2003 (no month noted)
Correspondence received, 2004 (January-May)
Correspondence received, 2004 (June-November)

Box 14
Correspondence received, 2004 (December)
Correspondence received, 2005 (January-April)
Correspondence received, 2005 (May-August)
Correspondence received, 2005 (September-December;
no month noted)
Correspondence written, 2006
Correspondence received, 2006 (January-June)
Correspondence received, 2006 (July-December)
Correspondence received, 2007 (January-June)
Correspondence received, 2007 (July-December)
Correspondence received, 2008
Correspondence received, 2009
Correspondence received, 2010

Box 15

Correspondence written, 2011
Correspondence received, 2011
Correspondence received, 2012
Correspondence written, undated
Correspondence received, undated
Correspondence received, undated (continued x 2)

Box 16
Notes and unsent letters about/to Valerie Brant
Notes and unsent letters about/to Valerie Brant [removed severed letters from Twyleh Nitsch, 1975-1976]

SERIES C: INVOLVEMENTS AND PUBLIC WITNESS
Box 16 (continued)
Miscellaneous involvements, 1940s-1970s
Involvement with Shiloh, 1940s-1970s
"Word of the Lord to Duncan," 1948-1966
Involvement with Shiloh Community/Farm: letters, 1956
Participation in fire training program (New York State), 1963
Participation(?) in Spark of Genius Writers' Workshop, circa 1970s
Participation(?) in prayer therapy classes, circa 1970s
Involvement with Madonna ministry, 1970s
Involvement with Teaching of the Inner Christ [org.], 1970s-1980s
Attendance(?) at Strategy for Disarmament Conference, 1978

Box 17
Efforts re: Seneca Indians, 1970s
Seneca film project: work on script
Seneca film project: work on script (continued)
Seneca film project: work on script (continued)
Miscellaneous involvements and speaking engagements, 1980s
Involvement with Witness for Peace, 1980s
Attendance at People's Convention on Liberty and Justice, Washington (DC), November 15-23, 1980
Involvement with Big Mountain Support Group, 1980s
Membership in The School of Living, 1982-1986
Participation in Interreligious Task Force on Central America Tour of Nicaragua, 1983
Fasting and spilling blood in protest of U.S. war in Nicaragua, 1985
Efforts re: Leonard Peltier, 1985-

Box 18
Participation in protest at U.S. Capitol re: war against Nicaragua, April 14, 1986; arrest and trial
Veterans Fast for Life, 1986: publicity; statements; etc.
Veterans Fast for Life, 1986: Duncan Murphy [see also box 10 for correspondence]
Veterans Fast for Life, 1986: Charles Liteky
Veterans Fast for Life, 1986: George Migo
Veterans Fast for Life, 1986: Brian Willson
Veterans Fast for Life, 1986: letters (statements of support), etc.
Veterans Fast for Life, 1986: vigils, etc. in support
Veterans Fast for Life, 1986: Congressional Record
Veterans Fast for Life, 1986: miscellaneous
Veterans Fast for Life, 1986: news articles, etc.
Veterans Fast for Life, 1986: newsclippings
Veterans Fast for Life, 1986: newsclippings
Involvement[?] with Via Cruci Pilgrimage for Peace in Central America, April 4-17, 1989
Involvement with Veterans Peace Action Teams, 1987

Box 19
Involvement with Nuremberg Action Working Group, 1987
Involvement with Nuremberg action/s: Concord Campaign, 1987 [photos removed]
Involvement with Nuremberg action/s: court case/s
Involvement with Nuremberg action/s: document "The September 1, 1987 Tragedy at Concord, CA Naval Weapons Station (CNWS): Perspective of the People Invoking the Nuremberg Principles at CNWS," by S. Brian Willson
Participation in Accompaniment Delegation to Refugees Repopulating El Salvador from Honduras, 1987
Participation in the Veterans/Citizens Fast For Lives, 1987
Participation in Veterans Peace Convoy to Nicaragua, 1988
Participation in Veterans Peace Convoy to Nicaragua, 1988: media coverage
Participation in Caravan to El Salvador, 1989

Box 20
Miscellaneous involvements, 1990-2001
Civil disobedience / court cases, 1990-2000
Participation in Peace Pilgrimage Along the Rio Grande, 1990: planning, publicity, etc.
Participation in Peace Pilgrimage Along the Rio Grande, 1990: notes
Participation in Peace Pilgrimage Along the Rio Grande, 1990: media coverage
Participation in Veterans Peace Convoy to Big Mountain / Veterans Fast, 1990
Participation in Veterans Peace Convoy to Big Mountain, 1990 (continued)
Participation(?) in events re: 500th Anniversary of Columbus in America, 1992
Trip to Ireland, 1993
Participation in Sancta Sopia Seminary, 1995
Attendance at U.F.O. Conference, 1995 (April)
Participation in CPT delegation to the Middle East, 2002
Engagement calendar, 2006

Box 21
Lobbying: notes re: legislators contended, circa 1983 [for Witness for Peace?]
Lobbying: contact lists; notes
Lobbying: contact lists; notes (continued)
Lobbying: contact lists; notes (continued)
Lobbying: contact lists; notes (continued)

SERIES D: WRITINGS AND NOTES
Box 22

Notes and commentary on news articles, etc.
Notebook pages: notes taken at T.O.C. classes, 1973
Notes/notebook, 1975 (?)
Notebook: notes taken in/about Nicaragua(?), circa 1980s(?) [note list of names and addresses in back]
Writings, 1983-1984
Notebook: notes taken, 1984-
Notebook: notes, etc., circa 1984
Notebook: notes in/about Nicaragua(?), circa 1984-1985(?)
Writings, 1985
Writings and notes, 1986-1989
Writings and notes, 1990-1994
Writings and notes, 2000-2010

Box 23
Fragments of writings, notes, etc., undated
Fragments of writings, notes, etc., undated (continued x 6)

Box 24 (card file box)
Small notebooks, 1950-1974

Box 25 (card file box)
Small notebooks, 1974 (continued) - 1990

Box 26 (card file box)
Small notebooks, 1991-2005

Box 27 (card file box)
Small notebooks, 2006-2008

Box 28 (card file box)
Small notebooks, 2009-2011
Small notebooks, undated

Box 29 (card file box)
Small notebooks: unusual sizes
Address books (pages)

SERIES E: REFERENCE MATERIAL
Box 30 (1/2 box)

Booklet "C.I.A. Conspiracy in Nicaragua," 1983
Booklet "Civil Disturbances" by Department of the Army, 1985
Printing (4th) of "Deadly Radiation Hazards USA Databases," 1997
Booklet "Latin America's Revolution in Reality, in Thought," 1981
Booklet "Los Cristianos Interpelan a la Revolución" [re: Nicaragua], 1981
Booklet "'October Surprise': Selected Documents," 1991
Booklet "Por que lucha el FMLN?"

Box 31
Afghanistan
Central America
Central America: actions/events protesting war [includes El Salvador and Nicaragua]
Cuba
El Salvador
El Salvador (continued)
Grenada
Guatemala
Gulf War, 1990-1991 / protests against war
Honduras
Iran
Iraq: terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001; protests against war
Ireland (Northern)


Box 32
Mexico
Nicaragua
Nicaragua (continued)
Palestine/Israel
Philippines
Puerto Rico
Vietnam
Aerial spraying for moths
Anti-war events, etc.
Anti-war event: Fort Benning Hunger Strike, 1990
Anti-war event: Mass Proletarian War Crimes Tribunal, Los Angeles (CA), May 29, 1987
Anti-war event: Nuremberg
Action/s
Anti-war event: Nuremberg Action/s -- media coverage, 1987-1991
Anti-war event: Nuremberg Action/s -- media coverage (continued)
Anti-war event: Peace Pagoda festivals, etc., 1984-2005
Anti-war event: Veterans Day Witness, November 9-11, 1991

Box 33
Activists: miscellaneous
Acivist/s: Daniel and Philip Berrigan [see correspondence folders for letters from Liz McAlister]
Acivist/s: Bob Canney [anti-war and anti-racism protester]
Acivist/s: Anthony Guarisco [veteran]
Acivist/s: Dr. Charles Hyder -- fasting and other actions, 1986-1987
Acivist/s: Norman Mayer
Activists: John and Carrie Schuehardt
Acivist/s: Brian Willson
Organizations: miscellaneous
Organization/s: American Field Service
Organization/s: Arkansas Peace Center
Organization/s: B'Tselem (Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories)
Organization/s: Central American Peace Action, Fayetteville, Arkansas
Organization/s: CISPES
Organization/s: Coffee Brigade
Organization/s: Committee for Human Rights in El Salvador
Organization/s: CRIPDES (Comit
é Cristiano Pro Desplazados de El Salvador)
Organization/s: Going Home: Interfaith Campaign in Support of Salvadoran Refugees--
Organization/s: IFCO/Pastors for Peace
Organization/s: Long Haul, The, Berkley, California -- "The Megiddo Project"
Organization/s: Mt. Diablo Peace Center
Organization/s: No Business As Usual Network
Organization/s: Peace Army, The
Organization/s: Pledge of Resistance

Box 34 (1/2 box)
Organization/s: Rabbis for Human Rights, Jerusalem
Organization/s: Swedenborgian Church
Organization/s: Veterans Fast for Life
Organization/s: Veterans for Non-Intervention in Central America (VENICA) / No More Vietnams
Organization/s: Veterans for Peace
Organization/s: Veterans of Foreign Wars -- Bill Motto, VFN Post
Organization/s: Veterans Peace Action Team
Organization/s: Vietnam Veterans Against the War: Chapters
Organization/s: Veterans Vietnam Restoration Project
Organization/s: Who Will Save the Children?
Organization/s: Witness for Peace

Box 35
Subject/s: disarmament
Subject/s: drug-smuggling case in Mena, Arkansas, 1991
Subject/s: extraterrestrials
Subject/s: Holocaust -- Nazi propaganda for racial purity
Subject/s: Holocaust -- concentration camps, etc. in World War II
Subject/s: immigration/sanctuary movements
Subject/s: immigration/refugees: Rio Grande refugees
Subject/s: intentional communities
Subject/s: Native American rights
Subject/s: Native Americans -- Wounded Knee (trial, etc.), circa 1973
Subject/s: Native Americans -- The Longest Walk, 1978, 1992 [poster removed]
Subject/s: Native Americans -- resistance to Navajo and Hopi relocation (Big Mountain, A2), 1985-1990
Subject/s: nonviolence

Box 36
Subject/s: nuclear weapons/fallout/energy
Subject/s: nuclear fallout -- Three Mile Island
Subject/s: anti-nuclear actions
Subject/s: actions re: nuclear weapons -- Peace Park Antinuclear Vigil
Subject/s: prisons
Subject/s: Sing Out "Up With People"
Subject/s: Thanksgiving Peace Ship
Subject/s: U.S. government officials
Subject/s: veterans
Subject/s: war tax resistance
Subject/s: women
Miscellaneous
Mailing lists




This file was last updated on January 23, 2017