Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Horace Gundry Alexander Papers, 1915-1989

Collection: DG 140

Contact Information
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399 U.S.A.
Telephone: 610-328-8557 (curator); Fax: 610-690-5728
Email: wchmiel@swarthmore.edu (curator)
URL: http://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/peace/

Descriptive Summary
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Alexander, Horace Gundry (1889-1989)
Horace Gundry Alexander Papers
Inclusive Dates
Call Number
DG 140

Language of Materials
Materials in English
5.2 linear feet [papers only]
Horace Alexander was born in England in 1889 and died in the United States in 1989. As a life-long member of the Religious Society of Friends, he was interested in Indian rights and worked with Gandhi and others for many years to lobby for it. He wrote books about Gandhi and other subjects.

Administrative Information
Restrictions to Access
Yes, correspondence and other unpublished materials created by Horace Alexander in the boxes marked below are completely closed to all researchers until 2021 or 2040 as noted next to each box.
Usage Restrictions
Yes, boxes are stored off site. Please contact SCPC staff at least two weeks in advance of visit, so boxes may be retrieved.
Alternate Form of Material
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Horace Alexander and Cecilia Sibinga (stepdaughter), 1978, 1984-1986, 1992, 1994, 2007, 2008 (Acc. 78A-085 - 78A-090, 80A-050, 92A-010, 94A-042, 94A-099, 07A-043, 08A-021)
Processing Information
Processed by Peace Collection staff; updated by Wendy Chmielewski, October 2008, and by Anne Yoder, November 2012.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Horace Gundry Alexander Papers (DG 140), Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Copyright Notice
Copyright for Horace Alexander has been assigned to the Religious Society of Friends in Britain in 2006. Otherwise 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

Related Collections
Horace Alexander Book Collection, Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Historical Background
Horace Alexander was born in Croyden (England) in 1889, the son of Joseph Gundry Alexander and Josephine Crosfield. He was the youngest of four brothers; Gilbert was seven years older, Wilfred (W.B.) was four years older, and Christopher (killed in Flanders in 1917) was two years older. Horace Alexander was educated at Bootham School in York and at King's College, Cambridge University, where he graduated with honors in history. He taught at a Cranbrook grammar school (15 miles east of Turnbridge Wells) during the winters of 1917-1918 and 1918-1919. From ca. 1919-1941 he was a lecturer in international relations at Woodbrooke College in Birmingham; he served as the school's director in 1941-1945.

Alexander was a life-long member of the Religious Society of Friends. His father had been involved in working for peace and justice in many areas of the world, and Alexander followed in his footsteps in his wide knowledge and influence. He was active with the League of Nations Union's Opium Traffic Committee (1926-1931), and his concern about Great Britain's profit in the opium trade led to his first visit to India in 1928, where he met Gandhi and stayed with him for a week. Alexander's life-long interest in India involved activities with the India Conciliation Group, which worked for Indian independence from Great Britain; being an advisor(?) to Gandhi at the Round Table Conference in London (England) in 1931; serving with the Friends Ambulance Unit in India in 1942-1943; being an advisor to Gandhi during Cabinet Mission sessions in India in 1946; doing relief work in India with the Friends Service Committee in India and Pakistan in 1948; corresponding with Indians and others around the world to lobby for Indian rights; and, writing and publishing extensively about Gandhi and about India. He estimated that "between 1927 and 1955 he spent twelve years in India in various bits and pieces." Rabindranath Tagore wrote in July 1930: "I have great regard for Professor Horace Alexander who is a personal friend of mine and I am glad to take this opportunity of his visit to India to recommend him warmly to my countrymen. He represents a spiritual community in the West with whom we have deep bonds of affinity and in his tour in India he wll be able to bring to our people the touch of that larger humanity which inspires him and his colleagues in Woodbrooke." Gandhi described Alexander in 1942 as "one of the best English friends India has."

Alexander's other involvements include the Friends Service Committee, 1915-1920; the War and Social Order Committee, 1916-1919; the Meeting for Sufferings (for Sussex, Surrey and Hants Quarterly Meetings), 1920; the Council for International Service, 1921-1927; the Peace Committee, 1915-1930, 1936-1946, 1955-1965; the Anglo-American Collaboration Committee, 1944-1948; and, the Peace and International Relations Committee, 1965-1969.

Alexander became engaged to Olive Graham, a teacher in a girls' school, in September 1917; they married July 30(?), 1918. She died in 1942. Alexander married Rebecca Biddle Bradbeer in 1958. They moved to Swarthmore (Pennsylvania, USA) in 1969. Alexander lived to be 100 years old; he died in October 1989. He had a life-long interest in ornithology and published 70 Years of Birdwatching in 1974. His other books include Consider India: An Essay in Values, Gandhi Through Western Eyes, The India Ferment, Joseph Gundry Alexander, and New Citizens of India.

There are additional collections of Horace Alexander papers and materials at Library, Friends House, London, and at the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology, Oxford University.

Collection Overview
This collection consists mostly of correspondence, both personal and relating to Alexander's intense interest in India, as well as his published and unpublished writings [not a complete set]. Some of the material is original, but much of it consists of photocopies, the originals of which were sent to the Friends House Library in London (England) [note: the SCPC does not have the literary rights to the photocopied material]. The Friends House Library in London also holds 79 family letters (1830-1860), the bulk of which are between Samuel Alexander (1809-1884) and Sarah Gundry Alexander (1809-1860). Note that the 2012 accession added much important original correspondence to the collection. Many of the personal letters and cards were sent to HGA and his second wife, Rebecca.

Alexander donated approximately 250 books, primarily by and about Gandhi, to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection; he also donated important Indian publications: Arunodayam, Gandhi Marg, Visvabharati Quarterly, Young India and Harijan [check tripod for these materials, as well as that owned by the Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College ].

Items removed:
Books and periodicals, as noted above
Photos to the Photograph Collection
Wooden box created at "Tagore's University" (and the hand-woven cap and small flag in it) to Memorabilia Collection

Arrangement of Collection
The original accession of this collection is first organized into Alexander biographical material; activities with international Friends' groups; speeches and writings; correspondence; personal correspondence; and reference files on subjects of interest to Horace Alexander. Later accessions are organized by succession, in a similar manner.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box 1
[off site]
Biographical information
Service with Friends Ambulance Unit in India, 1942-1943
Service in Friends' relief efforts in India, ca. 1945, 1948
Involvement with Peacemakers (England), 1937-1939
Involvement with The Guardian Committee (England), 1942
Involvement with Fellowship of Friends of Truth (India), 1948-1949
Involvement with Fellowship of Friends of Truth (India), 1950-1955
Involvement with Fellowship of Friends of Truth (India), ca. 1948-1955
Involvement with AFSC diplomat conference (Ceylon), 1957
Involvement with World Peace Brigade for Nonviolent Action / Everyman III (England), 1962-1963
General correspondence, 1932-1939
General correspondence, 1940-1945

Box 2 RESTRICTED UNTIL 2040 [off site]
General correspondence, 1946-1949
General correspondence, 1950-1959
General correspondence, 1963-1983
General correspondence, undated
Letters from Mahadev Desai, 1932-1939
Letters to/from Mararji Desai (Prime Minister of India), 1974-1979
Letters from Verrier Elwin, 1932-1939
Letters to/from Indira Gandhi, 1965-1983
Letters from Mahatma Gandhi (or his associates on his behalf), 1927-1948
Letters from Dorothy Hogg, 1956-1983
Letters to/from Krishna Menon, 1941
Letters to/from J.P. Narayan, 1950-1977
Letters to/from Jawaharlal and Motizal Nehru, 1930-1957
Letters to/from Philip Noel-Baker, 1923, 1954-1982
Letters to/from Pyarelal, 1932-1965
Letters from C. Rajagopalachari, 1957-1966
Letters from Robert Steele, 1957-1977
Letters from Marjorie Sykes, ca. 1948, 1951-1983, undated
Letters from Richard Symonds, 1956-1983
Letters from Geoffrey and Judy Wilson, ca. 1955-1960
Correspondence re: Gandhi’s alleged interview in Rome, 1934
Correspondence re: movie on Gandhi, 1963-1968
Correspondence re: Friends Ambulance Unit (India), 1943-1944
Miscellaneous material removed from books donated to the SCPC by HGA

Box 3 [off site]
Letters to Olive Graham (fiancée), 1916
Letters to Olive Graham (fiancée), 1917 (May-August)
Letters to Olive Graham (fiancée), 1917 (September)
Letters to Olive Graham (fiancée), 1917 (October)
Letters to Olive Graham (fiancée), 1917 (November)
Letters to Olive Graham (fiancée), 1917 (December)
Letters to Olive Graham (fiancée), 1918 (January-February)
Letters to Olive Graham (fiancée), 1918 (March-April)
Letters to Olive Graham (fiancée), 1918 (May)
Letters to Olive Graham (fiancée), 1918 (June)
Letters to Olive Graham (fiancée), 1918 (July)
Letters to Olive Graham (wife), 1919 (April); 1919 (July)
Letters to Olive Graham (wife), 1919 (September)

Box 4 [off site]
Letters to Olive Graham (wife), 1919 (October)
Letters to Olive Graham (wife), 1919 (November-December)
Letters to Olive Graham (wife), 1920 (January)
Letters from Olive Graham (fiancée), 1915-1916 [4 letters]
Letters from Olive Graham (fiancée), 1917 (January-October) [became engaged in September 1917]
Letters from Olive Graham (fiancée), 1917 (November-December)
Letters from Olive Graham (fiancée), 1917?
Letters from Olive Graham (fiancée), 1918 (January-March)
Letters from Olive Graham (fiancée), 1918 ( April-May)
Letters from Olive Graham (fiancée), 1918 (June-July)
Letters from Olive Graham (fiancée), 1918?
Letters to Olive Graham from family and friends, 1917, 1919

Box 5 [added to in 2012] RESTRICTED UNTIL 2040 [off site]
Speeches / Addresses
Writings: articles and pamphlets, etc. (published & unpublished) [titles A-F]
Writings: articles and pamphlets, etc. (published & unpublished) [titles G-H]
Writings: articles and pamphlets, etc. (published & unpublished) [titles I-L]
Writings: articles and pamphlets, etc. (published & unpublished) [titles M-O]
Writings: articles and pamphlets, etc. (published & unpublished) [titles P-Z]
Writings: book reviews
Writings: letters to the editor
Writings: tributes / biographical articles (published & unpublished)
Writings re: birds, 1980-1981, 1983

Box 6 (1/2 box) [off site]
Reference material: AFSC relief work in India, ca. 1943-1944
Reference material: Fellowship of Friends of Truth (India)
Reference material: India
Reference material: Jawaharlal Nehru
Reference material: Philip Noel-Baker
Reference material: World Peace Brigade for Nonviolent Action (England), 1962
Reference material: World Peace Brigade for Nonviolent Action (England), 1962-1963
Reference material: miscellaneous

Box 7
RESTRICTED UNTIL 2021 [off site]
Biographical information
Writings: unpublished
Writings: transcripts made of Gandhi’s speeches and interviews, etc, with notes [11 items]
Miscellaneous correspondence, 1953-1954
Miscellaneous correspondence, 1960, 1965-1969, 1971
C. F. Andrews Centennial (1971): correspondence, papers given, C. F. Andrews Fund, etc., 1932, 1940, 1954, 1970-1971
Correspondence with staff at Visva-Bharati ( Bengal, India), 1946-1950 [R. Tagore, S. K. George, etc.], and with Marjorie Sykes
Correspondence etc. re: publishing of books, 1960-1969
Efforts re: Gandhi Centenary (1969): correspondence, 1968-1969
Efforts re: Gandhi Centenary (1969): writings, newsclippings, etc.
Efforts re: Gandhi Centenary (1969): involvement in Gandhi Centenary Working Group, 1968-1969

Box 8 [off site]
Reference material: miscellaneous
Reference material re: Gandhi
Reference material re: Gandhi: transcripts of speeches given at Round Table Conference, London ( England), 1931
Reference material: Gandhi Centenary (1969): events, etc., 1968-1969
Reference material re: India
Reference material re: Kashmir, 1950s

Box 9 (1/2 box) [off site]
Reference material: Kashmir, 1950s (cont.) - 1960s
Reference material: “Mahatma Gandhi: Screenplay by Gerald Hanley,” 1963 (November) [property of Indo-British Films, Ltd.]

Box 10
[off site]
Biographical information
Rebecca Biddle Bradbeer Alexander [second wife]
Family information
Biographical information: writing by others about HGA
Correspondence of Cecilia Bradbeer Sibinga (stepdaughter) re: research on HGA
Miscellaneous involvements
Notes of visits to Java and Malaya, 1928 (January-February)
Involvement with Peacemakers Group/Fellowship of Reconciliation, 1936-1939
Circular reports/letters, 1950-1963
Personal calendar, 1955
Application for status of a permanent resident of the U.S.; correspondence and forms, 1969

Box 11 RESTRICTED UNTIL 2040 [off site]
Correspondence regarding edits of "The Basis of a Just Peace," 1915-1916
Correspondence re: Ireland and visit there, 1916
Correspondence, 1920s
Correspondence, 1930s
Correspondence, 1940s
Correspondence, 1950s
Correspondence, 1960s
Correspondence, 1970-1974
Correspondence, 1975-1979
Correspondence, 1980s

Box 12 RESTRICTED UNTIL 2040 [off site]
Correspondence from Barbara Bowman [Friends Service Council], 1976-1980
Correspondence from K.K. Chandy, 1978, undated
Correspondence with Morarji Desai (Prime Minister), 1977-1979
Correspondence from Vervier Elwin, 1932-1939
Correspondence from Indira Gandhi (Prime Minister), 1965-1983
Correspondence with Agatha Harrison, 1941, 1946-1949 [1950?]
Transcription of letters from Gandhi to Agatha Harrison, 1931-1947
Correspondence with Elmore Jackson, 1953-1954
Correspondence with B.R. Nanda [Nehru Memorial Museum and Library], 1971-1972 [re: HGA material given; includes oral history transcript of HGA]
Correspondence from/about Shri Pyarelalji/Pyarelal [includes other materials], 1956, 1969, 1983
Correspondence to/from Jawaharal Nehru, 1931-1957
Correspondence from/about Reginald Reynolds, ca. 1950s-1959 [includes HGA's tribute to him]
Correspondence with Hugh Richardson, 1914 [includes other material by H.R.]
Correspondence from Robert Steele, 1957-1977
Correspondence from Marjorie Sykes
Correspondence (cards) from Rabindranath Tagore, ca. 1929-1935 [includes pamphlets]
Correspondence with Quakers re: Vietnam, 1965-1966 [includes HGA notes and opinion piece]
Correspondence re: the Panama Canal, 1977-1978 [includes background material]

Box 13 RESTRICTED UNTIL 2040 [off site]
Writings: correspondence re: pamphlet written "India Since Cripps," 1944
Writings: correspondence re: book written about Gandhi, 1944-1952
Writings: correspondence re: pamphlet written on Kashmir, 1952-1953
Writings: correspondence with Asia Publishing House and with Pyarela re: book written Gandhi Through Western Eyes, 1965-1969
Writings: manuscripts/reports/articles
Writings: editorial comments on chapter three of Mike Yarrow's book Quaker Experiences in Conciliation, 1973
Writings: miscellaneous notes/writings
Miscellaneous: postcards (2) with images of opium eaters; Red Cross letter for entering India, 1954
Reference: AFSC / Friends Service Council
Reference: Bangladesh
Reference: Czechoslovakia [includes report by Corder Catchpool and Karlin Capper-Johnson]
Reference: international relations
Reference: Easter Rising, Dublin, 1916
Reference: Pakistan
Reference: peace
Reference: Quaker International Affairs Programme in South Asia
Reference: India
Reference: India (cont.)

Box 14 (1/2 box) [off site]
Reference: India (cont.)
Reference: India -- Gandhi
Reference: India -- "Gandhigram 106h Anniversary Souvenir, 8th December, 1957"
Reference: India -- pamphlets by J.S. Mathur
Reference: India -- "S.V. Ranade's Perpetual Calendar"
Reference: India -- "Abridged and Expurgated Edition, War of Independence, Vol. I and Vol. II" by Savarkar
Reference: India -- "The Calcutta Municipal Gazette, Tagore Memorial Special Supplement," Sept. 13, 1941
Reference: India -- "In the Wake of Indian Ordinances: A Collection of Some Papers" by S. Venkatapathaiya, 1932
Reference: India -- railroad system map, 1892


File last updated on November 27, 2012