J. Stuart Innerst Papers, 1920-1975
Collection: DG 103
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399
Telephone: (610) 328-8557 (Curator)
Fax: (610) 328-8544
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Curator)
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Innerst, J. Stuart (1894-1975)
J. Stuart Innerst Papers
Language of Materials
Materials in English
6.25 linear feet [papers only]
J. Stuart Innerst was a United Brethren in Christ missionary to China in the 1920s. Innerst and his wife Marion Reachard Innerst left China in 1927 with great concerns about the influence of western imperialism in that country. J. Stuart Innerst served as pastor of several churches and joined the Society of Friends in 1943. In addition to his pastoral work, Innerst also served as the Director of the Quaker Friends in Washington Program (1960-1961, lobbied members of Congress regarding China, disarmament and peace, and other issues. His other involvements included participation in various Friends boards and committees, such as the Executive Committee of the Friends Committee on Legislation, the La Jolla Meeting Peace Committee, and the Friend in the Orient Committee of the Pacific Yearly Meeting. Innerst wrote Bible study helps and devotionals, articles and leaflets, and edited the Understanding China Newsletter, published by the American Friends Service Committee. He co-authored the book A New China Policy: Some Quaker Proposals (1965), and his reflections on China were published posthumously in the book China Gray, China Green.
Restrictions to Access
Yes, this collection is stored off-site. Please contact SCPC staff at least two weeks in advance of visit to order boxes from off site storage.
Alternate Form of Material
Gift of Almeda Innerst Neff [Acc. 76A-110]
Checklist prepared by Anne Yoder, October 2003; This finding aid was prepared by Chloe Lucchesi- Malone, July 2009; additions by Wendy E. Chmielewski, December, 2009.
[Identification of item], in the J. Stuart Innerst Papers (DG 103), Swarthmore College Peace Collection
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
J. Stuart Innerst was born in 1894 in Dallastown, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Lebanon Valley College in 1916 and received a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Bonebrake Theological Seminary in 1919. He and his wife, Marion Reachard (whom he had married after graduating from college), became missionaries in Canton in January 1920 through the China Mission of United Brethren in Christ. They lived and worked in the small, rural town of Siulam, but their discomfort with the way the Chinese people were dominated by foreigners -- personally and also systemically through unfair treaties imposed by other governments -- led the Innersts to leave that country in protest in the Spring of 1927. Stuart Innerst did not return to China until May 1972, when he was allowed to enter the country as a guest of the Chinese Peoples Association for Friends with Foreign Countries. He was the first American missionary to be granted a visa to return, and he took full advantage of the privilege by visiting many sites over a five week period, focusing on the social changes achieved since he had lived there five decades earlier. Before that, in 1968, Innerst traveled to the Far East, including Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, to meet with Quaker groups concerning the situation in China. China was of life-long interest and concern for Innerst, and was the subject of much of his writing and lobbying over the years.
Stuart Innerst served as a chaplain at Otterbein College (Ohio) from 1927 to 1939, and then as pastor for the Fairview Church in Dayton (Ohio). In 1943, he joined the Society of Friends, which eventually led him to a pastorship at the First Friends Church in Pasadena (California), where he stayed for many years.
In addition to his pastoral work, Innerst also served as the Director of the Quaker Friends in Washington Program (1960-1961); for thirteen months he lobbied and interviewed members of Congress regarding China, disarmament and peace, and other issues. Concern for his wife's health forced an early departure from Washington, but he returned for brief periods in 1963 and in 1965. His other involvements included participation in various Friends boards and committees, such as the Executive Committee of the Friends Committee on Legislation, the La Jolla Meeting Peace Committee, and the Friend in the Orient Committee of the Pacific Yearly Meeting. He attended four conferences of the World Peace Council in Europe in the early 1960s, and helped plan the 1962 World Congress on Disarmament and Peace.
Innerst was a prolific writer of Letters to the Editor, lobbying letters to government officials, Bible study helps and devotionals, articles and leaflets. Between 1965 and 1970, he edited the Understanding China Newsletter, published by the American Friends Service Committee. From his home in 1971-1973, he produced the China Spectator Papers. He co-authored the book A New China Policy: Some Quaker Proposals (1965), and his reflections on China were published posthumously in the book China Gray, China Green.
Innerst and his wife had four children, Almena [Neff], Dick, Lucille [Nordgren], and Ivan. After wife Marion's death in October 1964, Innerst married Gladis Barber Voorhees and settled in La Jolla (California). He died in his home on August 30, 1975.
The Innerst papers were sorted by daughter Almena Neff, who arranged the folders into loose chronological order and tied or taped up many of the periodicals in which her father's writings had been published. The shipment of five cartons arrived at the Peace Collection in 1976, and a temporary checklist was prepared in 1980. In 2003, the collection was re-sorted, re-foldered and re-boxed according to current preservation standards, and a new checklist was written. The Innerst papers were in good condition, though some had been scorched around the edges in a house fire; the worst burned were photocopied, as were various newsclippings and mimeographed pages. It is not known if any papers were lost in the fire. What is found in this collection allows the researcher to study the witness of a man who cared deeply about peace and social justice issues. His letters to editors, government officials, broadcasters and many others show his wide concerns and his inability to stay silent in the face of injustice. His voluminous sermon notes, as well as published Bible study helps and devotionals, provide a window into his thoughts about faith, which often intersected with his viewpoints on peace and justice.
Innerst's correspondents included Jennifer Haines, Charles Harker, Chet Holifield, Clare Sturges Johnson, A.J. Muste, Reinhold Niebuhr, Kirby Page, Drew Pearson, Edwin Sanders, Ed Snyder, Norman Thomas, Arthur Wadsworth, and E. Raymond Wilson.
Several photographs were removed to the Photograph Collection (including two portraits of Innerst). The 1962 "Directory" of right-wing groups, produced by Group Research Inc. of Washington, D.C. was removed to the CDG-A for Group Research Inc. The newsletter of Group Research Inc. was removed to the Periodical Collection.
Researchers should be aware that there are also Innerst papers at the Mandeville Special Collections Library at the University of California, San Diego. The material (4.9 linear feet) includes correspondence, writings, notes, publications, photographs and audiorecordings, the bulk of which reflect Innerst's interest in China. See the finding aid for this collection at http://orpheus.ucsd.edu/speccoll/testing/html/mss0097a.html.
Arrangement of Collection
Boxes 1 and 2 contained biographical information about Innerst and his family; and materials about his involvement with several organizations from the 1960s onward. Boxes 3-5 contain Innerst's correspondence. Boxes 6-10 contain Innerst's writings in all formats. Boxes 10-14 contain his speeches and sermons. Boxes 14-15 contain reference files on a few of the many topics which interested Innerst.
Detailed Description of the Collection
Box 1 [off-site]
Publicity and/or programs for speaking engagements or presiding over events, 1950-1971, n.d.
Congressional testimony given, 1960-1967
Interviews of members of Congress, 1960, 1969
Efforts re: silent peace vigils, 1960-1967
Efforts as draft counselor, 1968
Involvement with various groups
Involvement in neighborhood canvassing and/or petition drives re: Vietnam
Involvement with Executive Committee of Friends Committee on Legislation (California), 1960-1965, 1967
Involvement with La Jolla Meeting Peace Committee (California), 1965-1975, n.d. [see also general corespondence files]
Box 2 [off-site]
Involvement with Pacific Yearly Meeting (California)
Involvement with Pacific Yearly Meeting (California): Friend in the Orient Committee, 1968-1974, n.d.
Involvement (as Board Member) with the Southern California Library for Social Study and Research, ca. 1970-1971
Attendance at World Congress for General Disarmament and Peace, Moscow (USSR), July 9-14, 1962
Box 3 [off-site]
Correspondence (general), 1928-1975, n.d.
Correspondence with staff of David C. Cook Publishing Company, 1945-1948
Correspondence re: “Friend of the Orient” column, 1961
Correspondence re: “The Communist and I” article/leaflet, 1962-1970
Correspondence (continued) [off-site]
Correspondence re: (and support for) John Robinson of the Nine for Peace, 1968
Correspondence re: (and support for) tour of Hiroshima panels, 1968-1971
Correspondence etc. re: Law of the Sea, 1973-1974
Correspondence etc. re: world hunger, 1974
Correspondence etc. re: World Peace Tax Fund, 1974
Correspondence with/re: Right Sharing of the World Resources [org.], 1974-1975
Correspondence with staff of newspapers and magazines [not Letters to the Editor]
Correspondence with television and radio broadcasters
Correspondence with government officials: White House, 1932, 1940s-1975, n.d.
Correspondence with government officials: State Department
Correspondence with government officials: Congress, 1929-1949
Box 5 [off-site]
Correspondence with government officials: Congress, 1950-1975, n.d.
Correspondence with government officials: misc., 1930-1975, n.d.
Box 6 [off-site]
Letters to the Editor, 1930-1979, n.d.
Bible study helps written for “Young People’s Journal” and for “Young People’s Teacher,” 1943-1944
Bible study helps written for “The David C. Cook Young People’s Journal,” 1947-1953
Box 7 [off-site]
Bible study helps written(?) for “Christian Living for Senior Highs,” 1953-1954
Bible study helps written for “Young People’s Teacher,” 1945-1946
Bible study helps written for “The David C. Cook Young People’s Teacher,” 1947-1953
Bible study helps written for "The New Century Leader,” July 1953
Bible study helps written(?) for “Christian Living for Senior High Teachers,” 1954
Bible study helps written(?) for "David C. Cook Comprehensive Guide for Bible Study,” 1953-1954
Box 8 [off-site]
Devotionals written for “The Quiet Hour,” 1945-1961
Box 9 [off-site]
Articles published or printed, 1920-1975, n.d.
“Chronicle of a Friend in Washington,” 1961, 1966
Leaflets published “What Most Americans Don’t Know About Vietnam” [includes rough drafts and notes]
Mss. “Introduction to the Bible”
Mss. re: Jesus (chapters 1-3)
Mss. articles etc. [3 folders]
Box 10 [off-site]
Mss. articles etc. [2 folders]
Notes on various books of the Bible [2 folders]
Notes etc. re: amnesty for draft evaders
Notes etc. re: anti-war protests
Mss. articles re: China and/or missions, 1920-1923
Notes for and rough drafts of “The Plumb Line and the Atomic Age”
Notes for and rough drafts of “Reflections of a Troubled American”
Transcripts of sermons and addresses
Funeral services: sermon notes etc., 1950s-1960s
Box 11 [off-site]
Notes for sermons given, 1927-1935
Box 12 [off-site]
Notes for sermons given, 1936-1943
Notes for sermons given, 1950-1959
Box 14 [off-site]
Notes for sermons given, 1950s?
Notes for sermons given in more than one year
Notes for sermons given, n.d. [3 folders]
Notes re: worship aids (hymns, poems, prayers, etc.)
Notes for talks given, 1928-1970
Reference material, 1930s-1950s
Reference material: “Fellowship of Prayer Newsletter,” 1956-1958
Reference material, 1960s
Box 15 [off-site]
Reference/Reading Material (continued)
Reference material, 1960s [3 folders]
Reference material re: right-wing groups, 1960s
Reference material: “Okinawa White Paper,” ca. 1969
Reference material, 1970s [2 folders]
Reference material: the sea bed; Law of the Sea, 1973-1975
Reference material, n.d.