Swarthmore College Peace Collection, 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081 U.S.A.

Pennsylvania Peace Society (DG 031)

Appendix A: Precursors of the 1866-1928 Pennsylvania Peace Society

The first meeting of the first group named Pennsylvania Peace Society occurred in Dec. 1822. Rev. Henry Holcombe D.D., pastor of the First Baptist Church, is credited with being the founder of the PPS. On the strength of Holcombe's published sermons, a Georgia auxiliary of PPS was formed in that same year. The PPS published The Advocate of Peace [vol. 1:1 (1823) and vol. 1:12 (1824) are owned by the SCPC]. Merle Curti, in his book The American Peace Crusade, 1815-1860, mentions the group's membership composition and schedule of meeting, and concludes that it was "not very active" (p. 33). Edson L. Whitney, indicated in his book The American Peace Society: A Centennial History, that the PPS had been revived again before William Ladd went to Philadelphia in Jan./Feb. 1828 to confer with members about the possibility of starting a national peace organization (which later became the American Peace Society). The PPS publication from this time period was Advocate of Peace and Christian Patriot [issue June 1829 is owned by the SCPC and is also on microfilm reel 82]. Written largely by Henry Holcombe and published in Philadelphia, this publication is assumed to be an organ of the PPS.

Curti delineated a second Pennsylvania Peace Society by noting: "Nor was anything more heard of the Pennsylvania Peace Society, organized in 1839." Nothing more is known about this group. A series in the original organization of the PPS records at the SCPC was created in anticipation of receiving material from the group, but none were ever donated.

Another Pennsylvania Peace Society was founded in 1850, with its first annual meeting held on May 01, 1851. The SCPC holds several items from this group: the "Proceedings of the Convention of Friends of Peace, held at Philadelphia on Thursday, April 4th, 1850, with the addresses of Dr. Patterson, Elihu Burritt, and Rev. A.A. Willets, published by the Central Committee of the Pennsylvania Peace Society"; an invitation to the first annual meeting; and the proceedings of the meeting [all are on microfilm reel 82]. It is unlikely that the group lasted long.


Return to checklist for DG 031: Pennsylvania Peace Society, 1866-1928