Swarthmore College Peace Collection, 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399 USA

Expressions of Quaker Conscientious Objection
Research Opportunities at the Swarthmore College Peace Collection


Note: Many of these collections have on-line finding aids.
Check the SCPC's web site to access them.

American Friends Service Committee
DG 002: Civilian Public Service, 1940-1947 (278.25 feet); Service Committee, 1943-1947 (5.75 feet) -- Section 1: CPS Administrative Files [restrictions apply; call ahead for permission to use]; Section 2: Case Files (includes medical files) of Men in CPS [finding aid not available on-line; restrictions apply; many boxes stored off-site. Call ahead for permission to use and for retrieval of boxes]; Section 3: CPS Camp Publications; Section 4: AFSC Prison Service Committee Records [restrictions apply; call ahead for permission to use]; Section 5: Later Accessions; Appendices [not available on-line]: reference lists of (A) CPS camps; (B) CPS project units; (C) religious denominations with number of men in CPS

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) was set up in June 1917 as an outgrowth of and coordination point for the anti-war and relief activities of various bodies of the Religious Society of Friends in the United States. A co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947, the AFSC continues to work to relieve human suffering and to find new approaches to world peace and non-violent social change. The SCPC also holds a small manuscript collection of additional miscellaneous material from the AFSC [CDGA: American Friends Service Committee], but most of the AFSC records are stored at the AFSC archives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Prison Service Committee was established in Dec. 1943 to provide a spiritual ministry to COs in prison and to their families and friends; to assist them in working out dependency problems; to provide educational resources and information relating to parole and release; and, to interpret the thinking of COs to a wide audience "in order that there may be promoted a deep feeling of unity and fellowship among all who aspire to live 'in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion of all wars.'" The work with conscientious objectors in prison led to an interest in working for basic improvements in the care and treatment of all prisoners and to the establishment of prison visitation programs throughout the country. James P. Mullin served as Secretary of the PSC in 1944-1945, followed by Arle Brooks in 1946, and John Magraw in 1947. The PSC was discontinued in June 1947.

Andresen, Bent (1908-1991)
CDGA: 1 box (5 in.), 1928-1991 -- biographical information; correspondence; 1945 diary, information about Andresen's hunger strikes; photographs; reference material

Born in Copenhagen, Denmark; grew up in Minneapolis (MN). Joined Socialist Party 1931. Attended Columbia University 1932-1934. Drafted in 1945 as a CO; assigned to a Forest Service CPS camp near Kane (PA); then 6 months as a guinea pig at Cornell University, living in a refrigerated room with three other men. Went AWOL from a government-operated CPS Camp 148 in Minersville (CA), when U.S. dropped bomb on Hiroshima. Sentenced to 2 years in prison; went on an 8 month hunger strike.

Later, an environmentalist and a protestor against the death penalty and the nuclear arms race. In 1982, the War Resisters League gave him their annual Peace Award: "Bent is known less for resistance than affirmation, less for civil disobedience than gentle work to restructure society into a better and more decent place.... We treasure him for his committments [sic.] to the forces of life...."

Andrews, Bennett W. (1906-1994) & Florence N. (1913- )
DG 209: 4 boxes (20 in.), 1940-1950, 1979-1980 -- biographical information; letters of Bennett & Florence, 1943-1946; mss. "From the Outside"; mss. "Somewhere in Prison"

Neither was a Quaker, but were associated with them.

Bennett Andrews, a musician from Philadelphia (PA) of Moravian background, was an absolutist conscientious objector during World War II. His total opposition to war meant for him that neither noncombatant service or Civilian Public Service were options he would consider. Instead, he chose prison with no parole. He was sentenced in April 1943 to five years in a federal penitentiary, and sent to Danbury Prison in Connecticut. There he worked as a farm laborer, librarian, editor of prison publications (The Nutmeg Guidon and Little Nutmeg), truck driver, and finally fireman. This latter position gave him the right to two hours of visitation a month, rather than the former one hour. He was released from prison on July 11, 1946 with no conditions, and received amnesty from President Truman in 1947. He had married Florence on July 22, 1938. She was also a strong pacifist, who fully supported her husband's C.O. stance. Twice a month Florence traveled ten hours on two trains to visit Ben for a half hour each visit, all that was allowed. She wrote to him every day while he was in prison, a total of 973 letters, giving him the news of the day, telling of her life at home (on a very small budget) and the office, reflecting on her beliefs about God and about peace, and using humorous stories and drawings to help keep up his spirits. He wrote often to her as well, sharing his opinions about the war, relaying anecdotes about life in prison, and expressing his longing for her.

Florence worked as a secretary for the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia from 1943-1948, as secretary for the Dean of Haverford College (PA) for nine years, and in various libraries through her 84th year. Ben continued his avocation as a musician, working as both music teacher and organ teacher at the Settlement Music School in Germantown (PA).

Florence to Bennett: "May 10, 1943. I can only think how much I miss you. It is our job to see this through, but you are doing so much and I so little.... We both suffer in being away from each other, and that is the thing I really mind. It is so wonderful to have a husband who is real pal.... I hate to think of you doing menial work, scrubbing floors, a man of your ability, and with those hands that are so talented and precious to me. But a life-time brings many changes that one cannot foresee, and to trust God's care is not too hard for me to do." "July 5, 1946. I want you to come home. I think of you all the time, -- I am even wondering about such minute details as the fact that I have a can of tuna, but it is almost impossible to buy mayonnaise, -- will you be disappointed when you return to such an incomplete tuna salad? A tomato slice, or celery might help, -- or I could dabble in home-made recipes for mayonnaise? Will you trust your leather-encrusted stomach to me once more, my precious mate? Gee, I feel like an old maid. Imagine a man walking thru these sacred, quiet precincts, that have echoed to nothing except the rattle of a typewriter for three years and three months..."

Binford, Raymond (1876- ?) & Helen
CDGA: 1 box (5 in.), 1941-1946 -- correspondence; newsclippings; photographs; research project material

Raymond Binford was President of Guilford College (Greensboro, NC) for 16 years before taking a leave of absence to become a director, along with his wife Helen, of Buck Creek Civilian Public Service Camp 19 (Marion, NC), and later of Camp 108 (Gatlinburg, TN). They conducted research under the auspices of the Pacifist Research Bureau.

Blanchard, Joshua Pollard (1782 (1783?) - 1868)
CDGA: 1 box (2.5 in.), 1819-1868 -- published articles pasted in old ledger

Bank bookkeeper from Boston (MA). An absolute pacifist who believed that all war was unchristian. An important peace leader in the 19th century (& abolitionist). Joined the Massachusetts Peace League in 1816 and was for many years active in the American Peace Society and the Universal Peace Union. His articles appeared often during the time of the Civil War. Elihu Burritt wrote during that period: "I feel I have gone as far as I could, without exposing myself to arrest, in opposing the war; I feel powerless and alone. Dear old Father Blanchard stands strong as a mountain of iron..."

Braxton, John Worth (1948- )
CDGA: 1 box (5 in.) -- FBI & CIA files re: his case, obtained 1971-198
2

From North Wales,(PA). Employed by Swarthmore College (PA). Registered for the draft on Oct. 18, 1966. Refused to report for alternate duty. Sentenced to 2 years & 6 months in prison; term began on Dec. 29, 1970. Sent first to Allenwood Federal Prison Camp (PA), but transferred to Petersburg Federal Reformatory (VA) after a work strike. Paroled on May 15, 1972. Employed in botanical research at Academy of Natural Science (in Philadelphia?). Active in A Quaker Action Group, Philadelphia Resistance, American Friends Service Committee, the Vietnam Moratorium, and the New America Movement.

Cameron, Holland
CDGA: 1 folder -- June 19, 1918 letter

Member of Ohio Yearly Meeting. Registered as CO in World War I, and accepted noncombatant service. Sent to Camp Gordon (GA) in 1918, and worked in kitchen, as head waiter, and as orderly for a Lieutenant. Refused to do any work that required wearing a uniform.

Catchpool, T. Corder [Thomas Corder Pettifor Catchpool] (1883-1952)
CDGB Great Britain: 1 box (5 in.), 1914-1952 -- correspondence; documents related to Catchpool's military & conscientious objector status; newsclippings; pamphlets

An engineer. Arrested as a CO in Great Britain; at Norton Barracks (Worcester), refused to wear uniform on Jan. 21, 1917; refused to obey orders 1917-1918; for 19 months, worked with Friends Ambulance Service in Flanders; decorated for service. Sentenced to 18 months of hard labor & sent to prison. In his statement at his court-martial he said: "I need not reiterate the case against war...or enlarge on the positive alternative, the better way of overcoming evil revealed in the life of Jesus Christ. I believe that a nation with the vision and courage to choose His way may win a like redemptive victory -- the only kind of victory that can rid the world of war. My love for England, my faith in her, makes me hope that she will some day be that nation. I despise my own comfort and safety when my fellow-men are laying down their lives. I honour those who believe that by fighting they advance a noble cause. It is hard for me to withhold from sharing their self-sacrifice. If I held their views I should be in the trenches and nowhere else. But I am commanded to fight for the Cause of Peace with other weapons.... [T]he spectacle before the world as I stand here to-day, of two highly civilized Christian nations straining every nerve in the effort to starve each other's women and children, to destroy the greatest possible proportion of each other's manhood, strengthens my confidence in the better way, and lays upon me afresh the duty of proclaiming it." Discharged on April 8, 1919. Described war experiences in his book On Two Fronts. Arrested in Berlin in 1933 while a secretary for the International Quaker Centre. Worked for international understanding and release of conscientious objectors.

See Tripod for books written by and about him.

CCCO/An Agency for Military and Draft Counseling
DG 073: 130.75 feet, 1948-[ongoing] -- draft and military counselors' case files & legal files; meeting minutes (1948- ); releases; statements; memoranda; manuals; staff members' files; photographs; A/V material; newsclippings; subject & reference files pertaining to military service, conscientious objection & Selective Service regulations. Correspondents include Douglis Farnsworth, James Feldman, E. First, Steve Gulick, Jon Landau, Robert K. Musil, Robert A. Seeley, Arlo Tatum, George Willoughby, Irene Wren, & Eric E. Wright

Founded in 1948 following passage of the Selective Service Act. Called the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (CCCO) until 1969, it developed a nationwide network of military and draft counselors and attorneys. Most active during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the CCCO today promotes such issues as amnesty, repatriation, and counter-recruitment. Not a Quaker organization, but includes correspondence etc. from Quakers.

Champney, Horace (1905-1990)
DG 166: 8.25 feet, 1906-1990 -- correspondence; diaries/journals; flyers; newsclippings; minutes of meetings; essays, newspaper & periodical articles by Champney; material re: Phoenix mission to North Vietnam; approx. 586 photos, mostly black & white snapshots taken during the Phoenix voyage

Born in Cleveland (OH). Graduated from Antioch College (OH) in 1932; Ph. D. from Ohio State University. Joined the Antioch Press as a printer and editor; a founder of The Peacemakers, a movement of revolutionary pacifists begun in Chicago in 1948; sailed to North Vietnam with other Quakers on the yacht Phoenix; established a personal vigil and fast at the gates of the White House, protesting the war; advocate of war-tax resistance; member of A Quaker Action Group, the American Friends Service Committee, the Committee for Nonviolent Action, and the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

Cope, Paul Markley
CDGA: 1 folder, 1919 -- misc. material

A member of the Friends Reconstruction Unit, 1919 [a CO?]

Cornell, Julien (1910-1994)
DG 010: 3.25 feet, 1940-1947 -- correspondence; files re: cases handled; 10 bound volumes of court records showing the legal treatment of conscientious objectors (1940-1948); reference material [restrictions apply to much of this collection]

A 1930 graduate of Swarthmore College (PA). He practiced law in New York City, with a special interest in civil liberties. During World War II, he handled many cases for conscientious objectors, as well as advising many other COs about their various problems with the legal system. He served as Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union's National Committee on Conscientious Objection (NCCO), and chaired the Lawyers Committee of the Metropolitan Board for Conscientious Objectors. He was the author of The Conscientious Objector and the Law (1943) and a supplement entitled Conscience and the State (1945). He was considered an expert on legal issues regarding conscientious objection and Civilian Public Service, and was consulted by many lawyers throughout the country for his opinions.

DeRosa, Ulysses (ca. 1892 - ?)
CDGA: 1 folder re: WWI experiences -- mss. "Odyssey of a WWI Conscientious Objector" (written ca. 1980)

Moved from Italy to Hartford (CT) in May 1905. "Before Christmas my brother had an accident which hurt his arm so that he could not work. After an unsuccessful operation he had to return to Italy. He wanted to take me, but after reading about Carnegie and Rockefellar [sic.] I was ready to become a millionaire in America." (p. 2) "I never joined a party as such, but I felt comfortable with any group that helped lift the poor. I associated with socialists, anarchists, religious leaders, labor leaders, and all "-isms" as long as they were for the betterment of mankind." (p. 2) "I also was very much in sympathy with the Quakers because they were honestly and earnestly against the war. I felt that their way of doing things was better than others', with better results, because of the non-violence. That's what prompted me to join them, because I felt they could better fight injustice." (p. 3). Drafted July 1918. Arrived at Ft. Leavenworth on July 25 & then sent to Ft. Riley. Refused noncombatant service & farm furlough. Court-martialed for refusing to shovel refuse at Ft. Riley. Statement at court-martial: "In these trying times the only authority that I obey is the "Inner-Light - the great ideal for which Christ gave his life, namely: Humanity. It is the spirit of reconciliation, not hate; non resistance, not aggression, that should dominate us. On many occasions I have been told that I do not like to work. On the contrary, I feel that I am very desirous of doing some work that tends to show the true spirit of reconciliation -- anything that serves to uplift humanity instead of destroying it -- any form of this work that is not under military control. As I told Major Kellogg....the Friends Reconstruction Unit in France is the only humanitarian work offered me that I can conscientiously do." Court-martial record: "He testified that he was an International Socialist, a Quaker, and a member of the Society of Friends since June 1917." In Oct. 1918, sentenced to life imprisonment; reduced to 25 years. Sent to Ft. Leavenworth. "The cells were about 6x7x8 feet high. The bed was a wooden board, the size of an ironing board, flush with the floor, with one blanket..." Released from prison Jan. 21, 1919.

See also pamphlet "Report of Treatment of Conscientious Objectors at the Camp Funston Guard House," Dec. 1918

Detzer, Dorothy (1893-1981)
DG 086: 3 feet, 1913-1981 -- biographical information; correspondence (1924-[1970-1980]); speeches; congressional testimony; writings; oral history interview with her; reference material; photographs; memorabilia. Correspondents include Jane Addams, Fenner Brockway, Kathleen Courtney, Anna Melissa Graves, Mildred Scott Olmsted, Rosemary Rainbolt, Mercedes M. Randall, & Barbara Sicherman.

Peace activist, writer, and lobbyist; served as National Executive Secretary of the U.S. Section of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (1924-1946); influenced an investigation of the munitions industry (1934-1936) and later wrote the book Appointment on the Hill (1948) describing her two decades in Washington, D.C. A non-Quaker who spent a year with the American Friends Service Committee in Austria at the end of WWI, and then two years with the AFSC in Russia in famine relief (her driver was the grandson of Leo Tolstoy). Her twin brother, Don, was gassed and died in WWI.

Friends Committee on National Legislation (U.S.)
DG 047: 198 feet, 1940-[ongoing] -- chiefly correspondence & reference files including materials about & correspondence with other organizations including American Friends Service Committee, A Quaker Action Group, Friends Coordinating Committee on Peace, and other organizations of the Society of Friends; information on Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, Committee for Nonviolent Action, Consultative Peace Council, Federal Council of Churches (later National Council of Churches), Fellowship of Reconciliation, National Council for Prevention of War, National Peace Conference, National Service Board for Religious Objectors, SANE, and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; material of and relating to FCNL staff members including E. Raymond Wilson, Edward F. Snyder, George I. Bliss, Wilmer A. Cooper, Jeanette Hadley, Charles H. Harker, and Frances E. Neely; records and correspondence of several affiliated committees including Friends Committee on Legislation of Northern California, Friends Committee on Legislation, Southern California Section, and Illinois-Wisconsin Friends Committee on Legislation; records of Friends War Problems Committee; and material from Civilian Public Service Fund Committee of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (1941-1946). Includes reference files relating to disarmament, conscription, universal military training, conscientious objection, pacifism, United Nations, Vietnam war, civil liberties, civil rights, food supply, and Indian rights. Correspondents include Stephen L. Angell, Emile Benoit, Charles J. Darlington, Thomas A. Foulke, Paul Comly French, Hugh B. Hester, Dorothy H. Hutchinson, J. Stuart Innerst, Homer A. Jack, Samuel R. Levering, Mary Cushing Niles, Philip Noel-Baker, Victor Paschkis, Lawrence Scott, Annalee Stewart, John M. Swomley, and George Willoughby.

Quaker lobby established in 1943 to bring conscience and spiritual values to the political process in Washington; grew out of the work of Friends War Problems Committee

Fry, A. Ruth [Anna Ruth] (1878-1962)
DG 046: 1 foot, 1905-1957 -- mss. and typescripts as well as published copies of Fry's works, reflecting her activities as writer, activist, & lecturer on international peace; autobiographical materials including sketch & several journals written during her travels in Russia, France, Morocco, & South Africa; scrapbook compiled by Fry; photos & newsclippings recording activities of Friends relief work in Europe (1918-1921); etc. Includes material relating to her work during and after World War I as honorary general secretary of the Friends WarVictims Relief Committee (later Friends Emergency & War Victims Relief Committee), active role in international relief projects, secretary of National Council for Prevention of War, treasurer of War Resisters' International, and work with the Women's Peace Campaign.

An English peace activist and author. As a commissioner for the Friends War Victims Relief Committee in World War I, she travelled through Europe and Russia. She also served as secretary of the National Council for the Prevention of War and as treasurer of War Resisters' International. In autobiographical notes, she portrays herself as "a dreadful coward." "I feel such a strong sense of guidance in my life, preparing me for the work which so unexpectedly came to me, that I feel inclined to excuse in myself what looked so much life weakness and to maintain that it was an unconscious sense of what was right."

Gara, Larry
CDGA: 1 folder, ca. 1949-1969 -- biographical information; writings; slide set "Active Nonviolence"

Teacher at Bluffton College (OH). Convicted because he supported and encouraged another CO -- one of his students, Charles Rickert -- who refused to register under the Selective Service Act of 1945; sentenced to 18 months in prison. Was freed on parole by Nov. 1950.

Hoffman, Wray
CDGA: 1 folder -- diary (section 1 at Camp Meade: Sept. 22, 1917 - Sept. 02, 1918; section 2 : "Trip to France" Dec. 5, 1918 - Sept. 29, 1919)

A CO, sent to Camp Meade (in 304th Engineers). Served in the Friends Bureau Office of the American Red Cross in France and Belgium in Dec. 1918 - Sept. 1919. Girlfriend sailed with him; married in France.

"Nov. 29, [1917] (Thanksgiving). Menue: crisp celery, turkey with stuffing and gravy a la Camp Meade, mashed potatoes, lima beans, bread and butter, ice cream, fruit cake, mince or pumpkin pie, candy, oranges and bananas, coffee, cigarettes." "Dec. 05, [1917]. An old Friend from West Grove, Pa., names Chas. Kirscht came in mornnig and held a short meeting just before mess. He is an old Civil War Veteran and spoke very fervently in the meeting justifying the position of the C.O.'s." "Dec. 09, [1917]. Sam Mason had a Y.M.C.A. visitor here who asked him to sign a card and ask Christ to help win this war. The man himself was a minister and thought that war was the only practical way out, but I don't believe was fully convinced himself that it was entirely Christian.... McClay attended a Y.M.C.A. service in BB11 this evening and the elderly man preached. Among things he said was 'Take your bibles to the trenches with you and read them in the trenches, and remember that Jesus is with you and is going to help you catch the Kaiser."

Kantor, William Marx (1893- )
CDGA: 2 folders (2.5 in.), ca. 1917-1920 -- autobiographical writings "Journal of a Modern 'Convinced' Friend"

Born of Russian Jewish parents in Camden (NJ); lived later in Philadelphia (PA). Became a socialist and an absolutist conscientious objector to World War I. He was imprisoned for his pacifist convictions and became acquainted with Quakers (Kantor became a "convinced" Friend). "I felt that I had truly entered a congregation of God's people...." Refused uniform, noncombatant service, a farm furlough, and service with the AFSC. "I was visited by Col. Bohn, who told me that I ought to be shot. I infuriated him by throwing wide my jacket and offering him a chance to make good his threat." Sentenced to 20 years in prison; reduced to 10 years. H was sent to Camp Meade and to prison at Fort Jay, Fort Leavenworth, and Alcatraz, from which he was dishonorably discharged in Nov. 1919. Mentions many other COs in his writings, including Quakers.

Kelsey, Mary
CDGA: 1 folder, 1914-1918 -- correspondence

From Chestnut Hill (Philadelphia, PA). Served with the Friends Reconstruction Unit from Feb. 1918 - May 1919. She wrote in a March 31, 1917 letter to Miss Elizabeth Spreckels of Dresden: "My dear Elizabeth, You have not answered my last letters -- perhaps they have not reached you -- but I am not going to be discouraged in writing again. A terrible situation has grown up between your country and mind, but I do not want you to believe that in America there is only ill-will towards Germany. I know that the papers here are doing there [sic.] utmost to give that impression, but you may have seen the strong and concerted effort that the pacifists, the group to which I belong, have made to prevent war. This group is determined not to be swept into the stream which considers the vilifying of the people of another nation as 'patriotism.'"

Love, Alfred H. (1830-1913)
DG 038 Universal Peace Union: 19 boxes (12.5 ft.), [1846-1866], 1867-1923, 1938
Series 2 includes Love's 1848-1912 diaries; also one box of personal items, correspondence, passport, photographs, etc.

When drafted in 1863, he refused to serve in the Union army or to pay for a substitute to go in his place. He also did not allow his woolen commission business to sell goods in support of the war effort. As a result, his business suffered, and he also endured criticism from those who found his absolutist pacifism too uncompromising. He was one of the founders of the Universal Peace Union in 1866; he edited its periodicals, as well as served as its president until his death.

In diary #9 (Feb. 25, 1861 - Dec. 17, 1862), he wrote: "[April] 21st, [1861]. Sunday clear & mild a very choice Spring day.... Went with Ma to good old quaint Green St. Meeting. I have had for three days an intense feeling & a Spirit moving to attend Social worship there this day & I was gratified by hearing Henry W. Ridgway on the subject of the day -- war! He was very earnestly conclusive for peace. I felt the full force of the occasion & the deep responsibility resting upon every one & especially upon the Quaker. Soon after Henry sat down I offered a few remarks that flowed from me as freely as I felt the flood of light stream into my soul. I am so clear & firm that one ought not to contend with arms but should carry out ...the great truths of early Friends. The golden rule seems now forgotten & some of our Friends waver & some have even joined the army. To these I felt called upon to speak & the termination of the morning proved I acted for the best. It was a great trial to thus get up in meeting but this is no time to please ourselves merely & be afraid." "[April] 22nd, [1861].... Many, almost all, the stores closed at 4 PM to give the employees an opportunity to drill. We did not close until nearly 6. I was asked to sign as a manager of the Spring Garden Institute for the [large?] room being used for military purposes I declined on principle. Our building is for the arts of peace education etc. & not for teaching our youth the arts of war. "May 1, 1861.... Rec'd a very cheery letter from Wm. Lloyd Garrison. He is my echo & answers my spirit longings for peace principles - I have been waiting for a response & it came to day quite unexpectedly. I find so few to agree with my non resistance stand."

In diary #10 (Dec. 18, 1862 - Nov. 8, 1964), he wrote: "January 1st, 1863. Thursday. Bright & glorious on the day of Freedom. Should be we have no proclamation published from the President but it is understood he presents it to day. Oh that it may be so! Many churches are celebrating it as a day of Freedom." "Friday, 2nd. Clear & pure. We are all full of praise & patriotism to day. We feel that we have a President to grateful for & a country to adore. The Proclamation of Freedom to Slaves of Rebel Masters -- They are declared forever free! I have saved the proclamation. I have heard no one condemn it."

McDowell, Mary Stone (1876-1955)
CDGA: 1 folder -- newsclippings; brief re: her "trial"; 1945-1954 tax returns & correspondence with the IRS; photograph of "Haverford Peace Tramp" group, which began shortly before WWI

A graduate of Swarthmore College; instructor in Latin at the Manual Training High School in Brooklyn, NY. A Latin teacher since 1905, she was put on trial before a special committee of the Board of Education and charged with "conduct unbecoming to a teacher." When asked "Would you do your part in upholding the country?..." She answered "If it were the law that I should have to bear arms, I should believe it to be my conscientious duty to refuse." Dismissed from her position in 1918 because of her refusal to sign an unqualified loyalty oath, which she felt conflicted with her Quaker principles. Her brother, Dr. Carlton McDowell, served with the American Friends War Victim Relief Committee in 1918. Her position in the school system was restored in 1923 and she taught until her retirement in 1943. During and after World War II, she was a war tax resister. She wrote to the IRS on Nov. 12, 1954: "In reply to your notice of Oct. 7 that I owe...$246.28....I believe that war is wicked and contrary to our democratic faith...and it is also contrary to our Christian faith which teaches us to overcome evil with good. Moreover, in the atomic age and in an interdependent world, even victorious war could only bring disaster to our own country as well as others. War preparations and threats of atomic war cannot give us security. True patriotism calls for world-wide cooperation for human welfare and immediate steps toward universal disarmament through the United Nations. Accordingly, I still refuse to pay the 70% of the tax which I calculate is the proportion of the tax used for present and future wars. The portion used for civilian welfare I am glad to pay."

Norton, Edgar R.
CDGA: 1 folder, 1945-1950 -- newsclippings re: trial; statement; correspondence

From Glen Falls (NY). Graduated from high school in 1945. A music student. In 1949 was convicted as a peacetime conscription draft dodger. Sentenced to 4 months in prison for refusing to register for the draft. Indictment against him dismissed on a technicality on Aug. 8, 1950.

Olmsted, Mildred Scott (1890-1990 [died at age 99])
DG 082: 12 feet, 1881-1990 -- biographical information; correspondence; writings & speeches; material re: involvements with WILPF & other organizations; photographs; cassettes of interviews with her; memorabilia

Born in Glenolden (PA). Attended Friends' Central School in Philadelphia (PA) and graduated from Smith College in 1912 with a degree in history. In 1913, she received a certificate from the Pennsylvania School of Social and Health Work. In 1919, she went to France with the YMCA where she organized recreation for soldiers at the Sorbonne. It was while in Paris that Olmsted first met Jane Addams. In 1920, she went to Berlin and joined the German Unit of the American Friends Service Committee, American Relief Administration. There, she helped organize the feeding of famine-stricken Bavarian children. Returning home, Olmsted became Assistant Director of the White-Williams Foundation from 1920 to 1922. She married Allen S. Olmsted, 2nd, in 1921 and the couple had one child and adopted two more. She held many positions, including that of Executive Director, with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), and gave leadership to many other peace organizations. An early leader in the birth control movement, Olmsted helped set up the first clinic in the Philadelphia (PA) area. She championed the causes of women's suffrage, civil liberties, the protection of animals, and conservation of natural resources. Her hobbies included gardening, travel, antiques, and historic preservation. Olmsted resided for most of her life in Rose Valley (PA), a suburb of Philadelphia. She was a member of the Society of Friends and attended the Providence (Media, PA) Meeting where she served as clerk. She was a member of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Committee on Reorganization in 1973 and 1974 and also served on the Executive Committee of the Peace Education Committee of the American Friends Service Committee.

Palmer Jr., T. Vail
CDGA: 1 folder, 1950 -- newsclippings

From Concordville (PA). A 1948 graduate from the University of Pennsylvania; later, student at Oberlin Theological Seminary (OH). When aged 23, he was charged with being a draft evader, though he had informed his draft board in Media (PA) that he intended to not register for the draft. He surrendered voluntarily to the FBI in __ after having lived for nearly two years on a cooperative farm in Modesto (CA). Sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison.

Richards, Frederick & William
CDGA: 1 folder, 1940-1942 -- newsclippings; statement by William

Sons of Edward C.M. Richard, a CO in World War I (who refused to register in the 1942 draft as well). From West Chester (PA). Frederick Howard Richards, 22, was a sophomore at Swarthmore College (PA), who defied the draft. In April 1942, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison, and was sent to Danbury Federal Prison. William Lippincott Richards, 21, was a student at Antioch College (OH), where he was arrested in May of 1942 for refusing to enlist. In his statement he wrote: "To me, as a Christian and a Quaker, all war is wrong. War is not only destructive of human rights and liberties but also is contrary to the spirit of the life and teachings of Christ and to the dictates of my conscience. I cannot compromise with war or the war system.... I have not registered and I cannot register for I should be going contrary to all my religious beliefs and to the dictates of my conscience were I to do so. Registration is wrong for me and offers me no choice but actual participation in the war or submitting to forced labor in a C.P.S. camp. With no course which I could conscientiously follow left open to me, I chose refusal to register as the only way by which I could reconcile my actions with the truth as I saw it." He was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

See pamphlet "Federal convicts, numbers 1128 and 1129 : college to prison" [Philadelphia?, 1942?], published by the parents of Frederick H. Richards and Arnold C. Satterthwait to show why the boys refused to register under the Selective service act. Howard Richards was a graduate of Swarthmore College, class of 1945; Arnold Chase Satterthwait, "Haverford ex '43".

Richardson, Channing Bulfinch (1917- )
CDGA: 3 folders -- correspondence with/about COs, 1968-1972; 1 folder restricted correspondence; reference material

Served as a CO in Civilian Public Service during World War II; acted as a counselor for COs during Vietnam War era, writing letters on their behalf to their draft boards, etc.; professor at Hamilton College.

Rustin, Bayard (1912-1987)
CDGA: 1 box (2.5 in.), 1944-current -- biographical information; writings & speeches; 1970 Testimonial Dinner; audiocassette of him singing

Born in West Chester (PA) & raised by Quaker grandparents. An African-American from New York City (NY), he was a singer & recording artist, plus involved in many peace and civil rights organizations and marches. He spent 28 months in prison as a CO in World War II. Participated in the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation, for which he was sentenced to 22 days on a North Carolina chain gang. He was Race Relations Secretary for the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the first Field Secretary for the Congress of Racial Equality, and Executive Director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, to name a few positions. He said "I believe in social dislocation and creative trouble." He was imprisoned for nonviolent civil disobedience more than 20 times.

Satterthwait, Arnold Chase
CDGA: 1 folder, 1941-1943 - material regarding his CO experiences

From Reading (PA). Student at Haverford College (PA). Refused to register for the draft; trial occurred on Nov. 26, 1941, and he was sentenced to a year and a day in prison. Sent to Danbury Federal Prison. Finished prison term on Sept. 15, 1942. In 1943, was sentenced to 3 years in prison for refusing a physical exam ordered by his draft board.

Solenberger, Edith Reeves (1886-1976)
DG 176: 4 feet, 1910-1979 -- speech given re: what Quaker response should be to war, ca. WWII (box 6)

From Delaware County (PA); graduated from Radcliffe College with A.B. and A.M degrees. Co-clerk at Lansdowne Friends Meeting, and a founder of the Lansdowne-Upper Darby branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, serving as chair. She was WILPF's referent on American Indians in the 1950s. Her interests were broad, including the peace movement, the draft, conscription of women, women in prison, the Japanese Peace Treaty (1951), the United Nations, the "fifth column" (the U.S. Communist Party), venereal disease in the armed services, and academic freedom. She made several trips to British Columbia where she was befriended and honored by the Doukhobors.

Talbert, Loren J.
Subject File: Conscientious Objection/Objectors -- religious statements (Religious Society of Friends): pamphlet "A Quaker Marine on Four Fronts" reprinted from April 1936 "The Messenger of Peace"

"I am a birthright Quaker, but in 1918 I became a marine and saw combat service on four fronts in France. Before reaching devastated areas "Over There," I was a young Friend who entertained the opinion that to be a combatant on foreign soil was a dangerous mission, but, at the same time, was the fulfillment of duty involving glory and high adventure....[In France,] we hiked sixty kilos on one meal toward the Champagne front. Each of us carried sixty or seventy pounds of military luggage. As we plodded wearily toward new hazards, we morosely expressed extremely unfavorable opinions of our miserable existence "Over There." But propaganda advised the folks back home the boys in France were cheerful, well fed and that front-line experiences had resulted in many of them gaining a new and finer brand of spiritual life. The truth was, the majority of A.E.F. combatants were injured morally, mentally and physically..... During several hours of that day, my adventure was to occupy a hole alone in no man's land.... I was keenly aware that an enemy sniper was trying to snuff out my life. At that time, my mind was too obsessed by peril to remember, with resentment, certain people who had encouraged me to bear arms in France.... For days and nights, I lived with blood, fear, hunger, thirst and the adamant convicion that Quakers...were right.... The antagonism of Friends to war truly involves the right sort of fighting for the best sort of cause, which is peace among men." Written to encourage Quaker youth to oppose war with all the force of their inherited convictions and enthusiasms.

Thomas, Edward (1877-?) & Margaret Loring Thomas
CDGA: 1 box (2.5 in.), 1916-1952 -- correspondence on behalf of refugees & prisoners of war, 1917-1918, through the Emergency Committee for the Assistance of Germans, Austrians, and Hungarians in Distress; correspondence with conscientious objector Harold Blickenstaff, 1943-1945; writings; material about the Institute of Politics, 1926

Edward was a patent attorney in New York City (NY). Involved in recruitment and fundraising for the Friends Reconstruction Unit. In 1917, he was chair of the New York Yearly Meeting Peace Committee. Margaret, before marriage, had been active in settlement work and a teacher of home economics.

Collection includes one folder of correspondence (1943-1945) with Harold Blickenstaff, one of the COs who agreed to be a starvation "guinea pig" at the University of Minnesota as his alternative service. Blickenstaff wrote on Dec. 10, 1944: "They keep close track of everything we eat.... They have been giving us a series of what they call factor batteries and psycho-motor tests. These are an attempt to establish our normal intelligence and muscular coordination so they can see how they are affected by starvation...." On March 16, 1945: "We have now been on our semi-starvation diet for almost five weeks.... It is...more evident to me than ever before the importance of a proper diet to a cooperative and constructive life. Before we went on our starvation I can't remember of ever being in a more humorous and lively bunch of CPSers.... But such is not the case any more. We have become a more somber and serious group of fellows each one of which is interested in wasting no more energy than necessary. It is much easier to criticize and I find myself being bothered by characteristics in other people that I had not noticed before.... At the start...I weighed 150 pounds. This morning I weighed 137.5 pounds.... Only 25 more pounds to go, but when I look at myself it is hard to see where they are going to come from." On Sept. 11, 1945: "We stopped starving July 29 (army doctors who had been in Europe who looked us over said we were in very similar conditions to the people they found in Belgium and the Netherlands except that we had been able to keep clean)."

Walker, Charles C.
CDGA: 1 folder, 1950s-1970s -- biographical information; writings [includes book Quakers and the Draft: What Friends Are Saying and Doing About Selective Service edited by Walker, 1968]

From pamphlet "Resist the Draft: An Appeal to Conscience, A Call to Action / 40 Years of Draft Resistance": "On September 16, 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Service Training and Service Act for 1940.... The previous day was my 20th birthday. I had on that day decided that to oppose war, as I was then doing, I also had to oppose the draft, even if I was exempt or shunted aside as a conscientious objector. Later came Pear Harbor, in 1941. That came as a great shock, changing my views.... I took an erratic path, buffeted by valued friends with conflicting advice, awed by the possible consequences I could only dimly imagine, mindful of the burden on my mystified family, humiliated at times for not knowing my own mind on a big question. Planning not to register, I did. I waived a ministerial exemption for which I was qualified. I refused to go to a CO camp but then was convinced to give it a try, then was transferred to work in a mental hospital. But I was in a job from which a man had just been drafted! Finally I walked out, told the authorities, was given a four-year sentence and assigned to Petersburg Penitentiary in Virginia. Later I was paroled to a hospital in Elizabeth, NJ."

A founding member of Peacemakers in 1948, and later its national coordinator.

see Tripod for books written

Paul Wilhelm & Jayne Tuttle Wilhelm
CDGA: 3 boxes (15 in.), 1943-1978 -- letters to/from each other, 1940-1943; Paul's writings re: the CPS Union, 1944; his drawings re: CPS

Paul drafted in 1941 & registered as a CO. Served in three CPS units from 1942-1944; latest was at Philadelphia State [Mental] Hospital. Married while still in CPS. Both joined the Society of Friends soon after their marriage. Worked against peacetime conscription, for desegration, & did draft counseling in 1968-1970. Paul an architect; Jayne a teacher.

From box 2:

"[undated] Darling Wife: ...With only an occassional [sic.] drunk for entertainment, here the show is continuous -- it has taken me 20 minutes & 3 hand washings to write this much [1 paragraph]. Perhaps you'd rather not hear all the details, but I'd like to record a couple of my customers while they're plenty fresh -- and not just in my mind. Alton Gessford, my first all-restraints patient, is playing a new role. Tonight it is he who is yelling for quiet. In the room next to him is one Joseph Molino, who is also an all-restraint lad and who has absorbed so many hypos that they have practically no effect upon him.

I've not had a chance to see Molino's record card, but if I can believe my ears and my imagination, he's the real character Cagney and Bogart get paid for imitating. He's handsome, Italian, and the veneer of easy cash "culture" hasn't completely eradicated the slum accents he was likely born with. He has a cute way of pointing his slim right index finger with his thumb cocked as a trigger -- or rather hammer, and when I've gone in to straighten out his sheets under him he's "confessed" enough to me to put him in the electric chair a dozen times -- in the "hot shower" as he occassionally [sic.] calls it with terror in his voice. I could easily believe that Hell is right here for tough Joseph. He's done. Tho [sic.] his body is in good shape & he'll probably lay in those restraints for years, all his mind is dead except his memory and his conscience. Andy they prey upon him so relentlessly that he can only sleep under heavy dope. The rest of the time he lays in there alibi-ing or confessing. In a loud, desperately excited voice, he tries to explain to "Foureyes" that it was the dame that tripped up the scheme, that he had done his part -- "smooth, see" -- but the dame -- "she went upstairs, see, and Jake and me had to wait and that gave 'em time." Yet when I go in, he rattles his hands in the straps and says he'll talk. "You tell 'em to get that 'writer' in here, I'll tell you all about it. It wasn't nothing to me, I didn't bill nobody. It was Jake -- you found me in a wrecked automobile, I didn't kill 'em." Listen -- now he's saying, "Father Joseph, can I go to heaven? Can you save my soul? If I tell 'em everything, can I get to Heaven?" I wish I could record a few of his paragraphs as he says them. He has a livid scar running from the base of his thumb to back of the bone that protrudes below the wrist joint, on the heavy side of his arm. "What did my family mean to me," he asks? "Look what my sister done to me" -- he indicates his wrist -- "Just for taking a piece of cake." "And my brother Ben -- see this scar on my throat?" "To hell with 'em, I owed 'em something, didn't I?" "Just shove him over to me and let me have him -- you're a big shot, you're so jerky you'll queer it." "You can't drive this car. Let me outa these bracelets and I'll drive -- look out!!" I could go on for hours -- it's a good way to keep him from getting on my nerves.....

There are some nice characters here too. Charles Devlin betrayes [sic.] his name by being a sweet character whose right side is paralized [sic.], as many patients are, here.... And old emotional Schartz...who weeps because they cut off his leg and pulled his good tooth. He's the one who is so grateful, even when one can do nothing for him -- "That's all right, my friend, that's all right!" he mouths in his gutteral accent. Then when one can help him, the helper has to be on the alert to escape a wet kiss."

See also Civilian public servants : a report on 210 World War II conscientious objectors by Paul A. Wilhelm; Washington D.C. (1601 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Suite 750, Washington D.C. 20009-1035) : National Interreligious Service Board for Conscientious Objectors, c1990

Willoughby, George & Lillian
DG 236: 59 boxes (24.5 ft.), 1931-2010 -- biographical material; correspondence during time of sailing of "The Golden Rule"; statement, etc.

From New Jersey. George was a CO in World War II. Had a PhD in political science. Served as Executive Secretary of the Des Moines Regional Office of the AFSC for 8 years, and as Executive Secretary of the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (1956- ). Was married with three children when he joined three others in 1958 on boat "The Golden Rule," which sailed in April 1958 from California to Hawaii through a forbidden zone to protest weapons testing in those waters. In George's statement, he wrote: "I have lived and worked for peace for many years. My country and others have continued to arm and now possess the ability to destroy civilization, if not man himself. The time has come to act. I am willing to give up my life in the hope that this act will call mankind back from the road to mutual suicide. Quakers have a long tradition of grabbing hold of a problem somewhere and going to work on it. Our journey into the nuclear weapons testing area in the Pacific is an attempt to 'grab a hold' to do something to end the evil of nuclear destruction.... I make this journey into the bomb test area out of deep religious compulsion. I can do no less for the future of my children, of all children everywhere." The men were arrested and jailed.

Wilson, Alexander & Edith J.
CDGB Great Britain: 1 box (2.5 in.), 1916-1919 -- letters to/from COs; material re: COs; pamphlets by Edith Wilson

Edith was Assistant Clerk of the London Yearly Meeting in 1915-1921. Alexander corresponded with and on behalf of COs in Great Britain.

Young Friends of North America: Committee on Conscription
DG 083: 1.75 feet, 1968-1971 -- questionnaires & accompanying statements on the draft & on the concept of sanctuary made by various monthly & yearly meetings of the Society of Friends; epistles; declarations; correspondence to Peter M. Blood, chair of the committee; information on draft resistance among members of other denominations, notably Church of the Brethren & the Mennonites

The Young Friends of North America, an open fellowship of Friends between the ages of 18 and 30, established a Committee on Conscription in the fall of 1968 to facilitate communication among Friends who were involved with draft resistance; collected information from members of the Society of Friends who had refused to cooperate with conscription since the 1940s as well as Friends who were currently imprisoned for draft resistance. The Committee was chaired by Peter Blood, who gathered information on Quakers opposed to conscription since the 1940s.

 

Other

List of Quaker manuscript collections

List of all manuscript collections (A-M) (N-Z)

List of material regarding conscientious objection

Database of Quaker conscientious objectors

Database of World War I conscientious objectors

Paper given at Conference of Quaker Historians & Archivists, June 2002

 

 This page created by Anne Yoder, Archivist, June 2002

 


 

For more information, contact Wendy Chmielewski, Curator, at wchmiel@ swarthmore.edu or call 610-328-8557.

For other resources, see the college's online library catalog (Tripod).

Explanation of CDG-A, CDG-B
& DG Designations
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Swarthmore College Peace Collection |

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