Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Lee Stern Papers, 1936-1992

Collection: DG 170



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
Lee Stern (January 21, 1915 - October 9, 1992)
Title
Lee Stern Papers
Inclusive Dates
1936-1992
Call Number
DG 170

Language of Materials
Materials in English
Extent
2 linear feet [papers only]
Abstract
Lee Stern (1915-1992), was a Quaker pacifist, conscientious objector to war, involved in peace groups and organizations, and a teacher of nonviolence.

Administrative Information
Restrictions to Access
None
Usage Restrictions
None
Alternate Form of Material
None
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Fellowship of Reconciliation, 1988 [Acc. 88A-017]; Ruth Stern, 1993 [Acc. 93A-069]; 1996 [Acc. 96A-041]; 2002 [Acc. 02A-013]; Christopher Stern, 1996 [Acc. 96A-002]
Processing Information
Collection processed and finding aid written by Anne M. Yoder, Archivist, May 2014
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Lee Stern Papers (DG 170), Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Copyright Notice
Copyright has been transferred to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

Online Catalog Headings
These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online library/archival catalogs.
See tripod record


Historical Background
Lee Donald Stern, born in 1915 at Cleveland, Ohio, was a Quaker pacifist. While studying at Case Institute of Techology, he joined the Ahimsa Farm Nonviolence Training Center near Cleveland [some sources say he was a founder in 1940 of Ahimsa Farm], which promoted pacifism and racial integration. Stern was a conscientious objector during World War II. He refused to report to Civilian Public Service as ordered, and was imprisoned as a result, in Milan (Michigan) from December 1942 through January 1946. While in prison, he refused to follow rules on racial segregation and sat with black prisoners during meals. His actions, along with those of other conscientious objectors eventually led to integration in the federal prison system.

Stern was with the Bruderhof in Paraguay in 1948-1950, then with Pendle Hill in Pennsylvania in 1951-1956, and the Winterbrook Community in Ontario (Canada) in 1956?-1957. He worked for the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Nyack (New York) as an administrative assistant in 1958?-1968, where he led, circa 1960, a successful campaign against fall-out shelters in that city (he was also jailed for refusing to take cover during an air raid drill). In 1962 he was jailed for participating in integration in Baltimore (Maryland). Stern
was a prominent member of New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), serving as administrator of its Peace and Social Action Program from 1968 to 1980, and as.its Peace Secretary in 1980-1981.

Stern was active in protesting the Vietnam War. He undertook an 84-day fast in 1965 to protest the U.S bombings in Vietnam. Stern participated in a 1967 Easter Sunday pilgrimage to Canada to deliver medical supplies destined for both North and South Vietnam. His interest in nonviolence led him to participate in many peace groups and actions, including the Quaker Projectd on Community Conflict, through which he trained hundreds in peacekeeping and conflict resolution skills. Stern was one of the originators of the Children's Creative Response to Conflict and a founder of Alternatives to Violence and of Peace Brigades International in 1981. From 1989 he taught alternatives to violence in Maryland prisons.

Stern was married to Ruth Hoeniger; the couple had two children. Stern died of cancer in 1992 in Sandy Spring, Maryland.

Collection Overview
This collection provides information on some, though certainly not all, of Stern's interests and involvements, particularly of his fast for peace in Vietnam in 1965.




Detailed Description of the Collection

Box 1
Biographical information
Miscellaneous correspondence, 1936 [1 letter and attachments]
Miscellaneous correspondence, 1960s
Correspondence re: draft deserters, 1960s [includes reference material]
Miscellaneous correspondence, 1970s
Miscellaneous correspondence, 1980s-1990
Correspondence with Roger Axford, 1980s
Miscellaneous correspondence, undated
Correspondence with government officials
Writings
Notes; quotes
Experiences as a conscientious objector
Ahimsa Farm etc., 1940- [memories, etc.]
Ahimsa Farm reunion, 1989 (June)
Ahimsa Farm [material gathered by Paul Hugh Smith?]
Involvement in Food-for-Europe Pilgrimage to the Sea, December 21, 1940 - January 1, 1941
Involvement in Interracial Pilgrimage - Harlem to Lincoln Memorial (Washington, D.C.), 1942 (July)
Difficulties getting passport, 1958, 1964
Involvement in Walk for Peace (to the United Nations), 1958

Box 2
Involvement in Fast for Peace in Vietnam, 1965: official statements and publicity, etc.
Involvement in Fast for Peace in Vietnam, 1965: correspondence from Lee, February-July
Involvement in Fast for Peace in Vietnam, 1965: letters to the President from Lee
Involvement in Fast for Peace in Vietnam, 1965: letters to Lee, March
Involvement in Fast for Peace in Vietnam, 1965: letters to Lee, April
Involvement in Fast for Peace in Vietnam, 1965: letters to Lee, May-July
Involvement in Fast for Peace in Vietnam, 1965: letters about Lee
Involvement in Fast for Peace in Vietnam, 1965: signed petitions asking Lee to stop fasting
Involvement in Fast for Peace in Vietnam, 1965: media coverage
Involvement in Fast for Peace in Vietnam, 1965: fasts by Vo-Thanh-Minh and Horace Champney
Involvement in Fast for Peace in Vietnam, 1965: notes
Involvement with A Quaker Action Group [AGAG], 1967-1968
Involvement with Young Friends of North America conference workshop/s, Kansas, August 24-31, 1969
Involvement with New York Yearly Meeting, 1960s-1980s
Involvement in(?) / advice re: fasts, 1970-1971
Involvement in Quaker daily vigil at the White House, Washington (D.C.), 1971 (June 2 - )
Involvement in Quaker daily vigil at the White House, Washington (D.C.), 1971 (continued)
Involvement with Peace and Social Action Program, New York Yearly Meeting, circa 1968-1977

Box 3
Involvement with New Call to Peacemaking: Christian Peacemaking as a Lifestyle Task Force, 1977
Involvement in Fast for Disarmament, June 21-28, 1978
Involvement with(?) NYYM's peace institutes, 1970s
Involvement with New York Peace Army, 1980-1981
Involvement with Friends Coordinating Committee on Peace, 1980-1981
Participation in WWII C.O. reunion, York (Pennsylvania), July 5, 1981
Involvement with New Call to Peacemaking: correspondence re: peace covenant, 1981
Involvement with Alternatives to Violence (as Vice President and trainer), 1982, 1991
Involvement with June 12 Rally, New York (New York), 1982
Involvement with leading Friends General Conference workshop/s, [1982? - ] 1983
Involvement with leading Friends General Conference workshops, 1984-1985
Correspondence re: Friends General Conference Gathering/s, 1985
Involvement with leading Friends General Conference workshop/s "Creative Responses to Difficult People," 1986
Involvement with leading Friends General Conference workshop, 1988
Involvement with leading Friends General Conference workshop, 1991
Involvement with Montgomery County Citizens for Peace
Involvement with(?) Pledge of Resistance training, circa 1980s
Miscellaneous involvements

Box 4
Attendance at New Call to Peacemaking regional conferences, 1977-1978
Attendance at New Call to Peacemaking 3rd National Conference, 1982
Attendance at conference "Reflections on Christian Response to Violence in Our World," August 8-13, 1982
Interest in questionnaires re: the arms race
Interest in the Christic Institute and CIA cover-up etc., 1989
Interest in Chinese dissidents
Interest in grass as food
Interest in (and involvement in) war tax resistance and the Peace Tax Fund
Interest in building the beloved community in Quaker committees
Interest in Vietnam
Reference material: writings of Lora G. Koomanoff
Reference material: writings of Liane Ellison Norman -- mss. "Simpleton Story," 1980; mss. "A Primer on the arms race for THE BUTCHER, THE BAKER, THE CANDLESTICK MAKER AND THE REST OF US," 1982
Reference material: "A Mindbook for Imaging/Inventing a World Without Weapons" by Warren L. Ziegler
Reference material: "Nerds and Words: A Nerdtale and Manual on Nonviolence and Cooperation Among Young Children" by Michael Kessler and John McLeod, undated [includes letter to "Paul" from John McLeod, May 26, 1976]
Reference material: "Training Manual for Nonviolent Direct Action," 1971
Reference material: active listening [used at Friends House]
Reference material: nonviolence
Reference material: Quaker conscientious objection / draft resistance, circa 1967-1969

Box 5
Reference material: tax resistance
Reference material: teaching peace to children
Reference material: A Quaker Action Group [AQAG]
Reference material: Coalition for a Non-Nuclear World
Reference material: New Manhattan Project, American Friends Service Committee [AFSC]
Reference material: Quaker Project on Community Conflict
Reference material: Quaker Project on Community Conflict (continued)
Reference material: miscellaneous
Reference material: miscellaneous (continued)



This finding aid was last updated on May 23, 2014.
 
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