Tag Archives: history

150 years ago: Benjamin Hallowell, man of peace

150 years ago: Benjamin Hallowell, man of peace

By Christopher Densmore

Curator, Friends Historical Library

(This article originally appeared in the April 2012 edition of the College Bulletin.)

collection_hallowell001_portraitBy 1862, the campaign to create what would become Swarthmore College was renewed, but there were conflicting ideas on the nature of what was then being referred to as “the boarding school.” Some supporters wanted a grammar school, some looked toward a “normal school”—to supply teachers to local Quaker primary and secondary schools. Benjamin Hallowell looked further. In a letter to future Swarthmore President Edward Parrish, Hallowell wrote, “The Institution must, from its commencement, possess faculties for pursuing a liberal and extensive course of study … equal to that of the best Institutions of learning of our County. …”

Hallowell’s words carried weight. He was a well-known scientist and educator. His boarding school in Alexandria, Va., was known particularly for mathematics. Paradoxically for a lifelong Quaker, one of his better-known fellow alumni was Robert E. Lee, future commander of the Confederate Army, who studied mathematics with Hallowell to prepare himself for West Point.

In 1860, Hallowell became the first president of Maryland Agricultural College, now the University of Maryland, on the condition that the school would not employ slave labor. During the Civil War, Hallowell was clerk of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting, a body that included Virginia and Maryland. A confirmed pacifist, Hallowell nevertheless rejoiced when his former pupil Gen. Lee was driven from Pennsylvania.

collection_hallowell003_paperAfter the war, Hallowell, acting for the Baltimore Yearly Meeting, wrote to president-elect Ulysses S. Grant, advocating peaceful relations with the Indian nations of the West. Under Grant’s “Peace Policy,” some Indian agencies in the Plains were staffed by Quakers. In 1872, his old friend Edward Parrish, after serving as the first president of Swarthmore College, died in the West while on a mission for the Quakers to broker a peace treaty between the Indian nations of the Plains and the United States.

Hallowell’s last major scientific work Geometrical Analysis (1872) is dedicated “To Swarthmore College, including the Youthful Laborers of both sexes … who are devoting themselves to the pursuit of a knowledge of the True, the Beautiful, and the Good in every Department of Science and Nature.”

New History courses may be counted toward Peace and Conflict Studies minor

Enrollment for fall courses is coming up on Monday, and we are happy to announce that, with the hire of a new faculty member in the History department, Rosie Bsheer, three new courses may be counted toward a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Please note that the last course listed below may only be counted with special permission. See more information about special-permission courses at http://www.swarthmore.edu/academics/peace-and-conflict-studies/academic-program/courses-by-semester.xml

HIST 001N. First-Year Seminar: Oil and Empire

This course examines the political and social history of oil since the late nineteenth century, looking at oil’s impact on the rise and fall of empires, the fates of nation-states, its role in war, as well as its varied impact on social and cultural life. This course addresses global trends and processes, from Venezuela to Indonesia and the Niger Delta, but the primary focus will be on the Middle East.

Writing course.

1 credit.

Fall 2013. Bsheer.

May be counted toward a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies

HIST 017. Social Movements in the Arab World

May be counted toward a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies

HIST 006B. The Making of the Modern Middle East*

This survey course is designed at once to introduce students to the broader historical narratives and historiographical debates associated with major local, regional, and global events and processes that have most profoundly affected the political, social, cultural, and intellectual realities, past and present, of the modern Middle East. We will draw on readings from various disciplinary areas, including history, anthropology, politics, and literature.

1 credit.

Spring 2014. Bsheer.

This course can be counted toward a Peace and Conflict Studies minor with special permission.  See more information about special-permission courses at http://www.swarthmore.edu/academics/peace-and-conflict-studies/academic-program/courses-by-semester.xml

Tahrir Square
Photo: Amobasher CC license

Quaker Rhetoric and the Birth of American Antislavery, 1657-1761

We would like to share this exciting announcement from our friends in the Department of Religion and the Friends Historical Library. Visit the Quakers and Slavery exhibit online in Triptych.

From Peace to Freedom

Quaker Rhetoric and the Birth of American Antislavery, 1657-1761

Lecture by Brycchan Carey

Wednesday, March 6, 7:00 pm, Friends Meeting House, Swarthmore College

In his book “From Peace to Freedom,” Carey shows how the Quakers turned against slavery in the first half of the eighteenth century and became the first organization to take a stand against the slave trade. Through meticulous examination of the earliest writings of the Friends, including journals and letters, Carey reveals the society’s gradual transition from expressing doubt about slavery to adamant opposition.

Brycchan Carey is Reader in English literature, Kingston University, London.

Sponsored by The Department of Religion and Friends Historical Library

Maps and directions 

Download a flyer.

 

The picture and transcription below are posted with the permission of the Friends Historical Library from the Tri-college online archive of documents and photos, Triptych. John Woolman published the second part of his book, Considerations on keeping Negroes, in 1762. The first part was printed in 1754.

Press and Woolmans book
From the Overseers of the Press Concerning Jn. Woolmans Negro Book

To the Quarterly and Monthly Meetings of Friends belonging to the Yearly Meeting which is held for Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Our Friend John Woolman having wrote some Considerations on keeping Negroes Part the second, the same hath been inspected by the Friends appointed to oversee the Press, and are now printed containing fifty two Pages, and are to be sold by David Hall at the New Printing Office near the Jersey Market in Philadelphia at [sevenpence] per Piece. A considerable Number of them are lodged with our Friend James Pemberton, and with our Friend William Wilson at his Store in Market Street, opposite to the London Coffee House between Front and Water Streets, and if such Friends who are inclined to purchase would at the Close of a Monthly Meeting when Time permits give in their Names to some one of their Members the Books are ready to be delivered to the Purchasers by our said Friends at [4/9]. per Dozen that being no more than the Cost of publishing & binding them. Signed in Behalf of the Overseers of the Press aforesaid By Jams. Pemberton. Philad. 28. 3 mo 1762.

Antisemitism, the Holocaust, and why antisemitism poses a challenge for the Left

We would like to share this announcement about an upcoming event that may be of interest:

Please join us for a talk by Moishe Postone, the Thomas E. Donnelley Professor of History at the University of Chicago, on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism.

Prof. Moishe PostoneOn the basis of a reading of Marx’s social epistemology, Dr. Postone will seek to differentiate antisemitism from other racisms in ways that both explain the ideological frame necessary for the Holocaust and indicates why anti-Semitism poses a particular challenge for the Left.

This talk should be of special interest to students of European and intellectual history; social theory; and Jewish studies.

Thursday, February 28 in the Scheuer Room.

The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. with an introduction by President Chopp.

Sponsored by the President’s Office, the Deans Office, the Cooper Fund, Forum for Free Speech, the Interfaith Center, and the Departments of Religion, History, Political Science, and Sociology & Anthropology

Peace Collection and Prof. Ratzman featured on college website

What a great way to start the spring semester, with Peace and Conflict Studies folks featured on the front page of the college website.  The main banner photo shows Swarthmore College Peace Collection curator Dr. Wendy Chmielewski and Miriam Hauser ’13 displaying Jane Addams’ 1931 Nobel Peace Prize Medal. The full story is reproduced below.

You will also notice the distinguished visage of Prof. Elliot Ratzman over an announcement that he will be the keynote speaker at the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day luncheon on Monday January 21, 2013 at 12:30-2:00 in Tarble-in-Clothier. He will speak on, “Mighty Streams: What King’s Intellectual and Political Influences Have to Teach us Today.” The full text of the event description is also reproduced below.

Swarthmore website screenshot

 


McCabe’s Lower Level Reveals a Renowned Resource

by Camila Ryder ’13

While McCabe Library may be most familiar to the students whose thesis carrels are found there, it also holds a world-renowned but less wellknown treasure – the Swarthmore College Peace Collection (SCPC). Housed within the lower level and basement of the library is an extensive collection of books, manuscripts, photographs, posters, audiovisual items, bumper stickers, buttons, flags and other ephemera that documents “non-governmental efforts for nonviolent social change, disarmament, and conflict resolution between peoples and nations,” according to their mission statement. Established over 80 years ago, the Peace Collection is one of the most extensive research libraries and archive collections in the country that focuses solely on movements for peace.

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Wendy Chmielewski, the Collection’s George R. Cooley Curator, and Miriam Hauser ’13 look over materials in the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

In 1930, Jane Addams, the prominent internationalist and founder of Hull House in Chicago, visited Swarthmore for the 300thanniversary of the founding of the state of Pennsylvania. During her visit, Addams met with Frank Aydelotte, the president of Swarthmore College from 1921 to 1940 who is famous for implementing the College’sHonors Program as well as helping to strengthen its liberal arts education and to elevate the intellectual and student life on campus.

“He was interested in developing a library on internationalism for the students and faculty,” says Wendy Chmielewski, the Collection’s George R. Cooley Curator. Thoroughly impressed with Aydelotte and the College, Addams bequeathed her extensive collection of personal books on issues of peace and internationalism as a contribution to the library.

The collection, though, had been unofficially developing over the years before Addams’ donation, as the College began accumulating records from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom(WILPF) – an organization of which Addams was the first international president. After Addams became the first U.S. woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931, the collection began acquiring more and more documents from Addams, including personal letters and even her Nobel Prize medal. The WILPF continued housing all of their records, making it one of the largest collections in the library.

“Since that time, we’ve probably added three or four thousand more collections, and many thousands more books, photographs, posters, bumper stickers, stamps, political buttons, digital files, and every audio visual format,” Chmielewski says. “Every format you can name, we probably have.”

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Jane Addams’ 1931 Nobel Peace Prize Medal, above, is part of the Peace Collection.

The millions of documents and items stored in the collection represent a wide array of peace-related topics, dating back to 1815. “We collect mainly on religious and secular pacifism, disarmament, [the] anti-nuclear movement, conscientious objection, nonviolence, [the] civil rights movement, the anti-Vietnam war [movement] and the current anti-war movement,” Chmielewski says. Other main collections include issues of anti-militarism and even a collection of letters written by Mohandas Gandhi.

The collection originated with a strong emphasis on women’s rights and women’s involvement in the peace movements – an emphasis that is still strong today. “Fifty percent of what we have here is about women’s public role, not just in the peace movement, but in social movements in general, from the 19th century onwards,” Chmielewski says.

Chmielewski, who has been working at the Peace Collection for what she deems “many, many years,” knows the collections, their stories, and the thousands of items like the back of her hand. When she first joined the SCPC, the College had received a grant from the Ford Foundation to organize all the collections on women into a guide, which allowed her to familiarize herself with the many peace organizations founded and fostered by women. As one of the larger collections, the WILPF records include a bevy of documents, photographs, correspondences, publications, and audiovisual aspects that have been collected since 1915. Other women’s groups represented in the collection include Code PinkWomen Strike for Peace, theWoman’s Peace PartyAnother Mother for Peace (a group that opposed the Vietnam war), and the World War II-era Women’s Committee to Oppose Conscription.

The collection also highlights individual female peace activists who were involved not only in the woman’s suffrage movement, but also in anti-war and anti-nuclear efforts. One such collection is that of Mildred Lisette Norman, better known as Peace Pilgrim, who walked over 25,000 miles across the U.S. promoting global, national, and inner peace. Her papers consist of pamphlets, writings, and news clippings, as well as her tattered shoes, comb, and toothbrush – the few things that Peace Pilgrim carried on her travels.

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Memorabilia from Code Pink, such as this cup with anti-war messaging, is also a part of the Collection.

As the only collection in the country that focuses solely on peace, the SCPC attracts scholars from all over the U.S. and the world, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, France, and Canada. Graduate students use the records for their theses or Ph.D. work, while another portion of the collection’s visitors are undergraduates and the general public. The SCPC also maintains a close connection with Swarthmore’s Peace and Conflict Studies program (Chmielewski is a member of the program’s oversight committee) and provides materials for databases such as the Global Nonviolent Action Database, spearheaded by visiting assistant professor George Lakey and his students.

Another recent use of the Peace Collection’s holdings can be found in the work of Duyen Nguyen ’13, a Wichita, Kan., native and political science major, and Alison Roseberry-Polier ’14, a gender and sexuality studies and history double major from New York City. They dedicated their time last summer to the expansion of an online database that identifies female candidates who ran for office before 1920 – and thus before the 19th Amendment which allowed them to vote was ratified. Called Her Hat Was in the Ring!, the database features biographies for several little-known women involved in the political process of the early 20th century. Their work was supported by Tri-Co Digital Humanities, an initiative committed to discovering and promoting digital literacy and innovating through humanities-based inquiry using new technology.

Though the Peace Collection is mainly utilized for research purposes, it also has its eclectic side, with unique items such as banners from women’s suffrage marches, photographs of the Vietnam War, anti-war bumper stickers, a piece of the Soviet missile destroyed in Saryozek in 1988, and even a small portion of the Berlin Wall. The online database, Triptych, provides digitized versions of over 1,700 buttons, pins, and ribbons from peace organizations over the last 130 years, as well as many other items.

The Peace Collection hosts a variety of lectures and exhibits with McCabe Library and the Friends Historical Library, such as last year’s exhibit on Bayard Rustin, a peace activist and organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, and a recent lecture about Roy Kepler, founder of Kepler’s Books in California and a prominent member of the public radio station KPFA. Chmielewski also hopes to host an event commemorating the upcoming 100th anniversary of WWI.

With its historical treasures and materials, the Peace Collection offers up a distinctive slice of national and international history on peace and social justice.

 


Mighty Streams: What King’s Intellectual and Political Influences Have to Teach us Today

Eliot RatzmanElliot Ratzman, Visiting Professor in the Department of Religion, will be the keynote speaker at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day luncheon. King the activist was informed by King the scholar. The speeches, sermons, and strategies of the Civil Rights Movement were in large part shaped by the vibrant ideas King wrestled with during his education at Morehouse College, Crozier Seminary and Boston University. The books he read and the scholar-activists he was inspired by shed a different light on King’s works and legacy. Those thinkers on King’s bookshelf were also themselves activists for justice, peace, and equality. As we celebrate King’s life and rededicate our own commitments to justice, come hear what these “mighty streams” have to teach us for our own struggles.

Elliot Ratzman is a visiting professor in the Religion Department teaching courses in the modern philosophical, political and ethical dimensions of religious traditions. Since college, Ratzman has been involved with movements for economic justice, Middle East peace, and human rights. He is finishing a memoir on academics and activism in Israel called “After Zion” and writing a monograph about the genre known as “immersion journalism” where journalists experiment with living for a time as “the Other” as in the classic Black Like Me and Nickel and Dimed. Ratzman’s course, “Religious Radicals: The Theological-Political Martin Luther King Jr” is the basis for a book project on King’s intellectual influences. Contact him at elratzman@gmail.com.

Location Information:

*Swarthmore College – Clothier

Room: Tarble-in-Clothier All-Campus Space

Contact Information:

Name: Naudia Williams

Email: nwillia1@swarthmore.edu

 

The Global History of Genocide

Ben Kiernan lecture

The Guest Speaker:

Ben Kiernan is Professor of History, Professor of International and Area Studies, Director of the Genocide Studies Program, and Chair of the Coucil on Southeast Asian Studies at Yale University. He has done extensive research on the genocides in Cambodia and East Timor, and has published numerous books and articles on these subjects. He is the author of Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur (2007).

The Lecture:

The lecture “The Global History of Genocide” will provide a survey of genocide from ancient times to the twenty-first century. It will include substantial parts on the Holocaust, Cambodia, and East Timor. It would bring out a number of commonly recurring themes in a range of historical cases of genocide that make possible advance detection of future cases, and it would illustrate new technology for tracking genocide in real time.

Scheuer Room

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 4.30pm

Swarthmore College

(A different kind of) snacks will be provided.

Presented by Southeast Asian Student Association (SEASA).

Funded by Peace and Conflict Studies Program, Department of History, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Department of Political Science, and Forum for Free Speech (FFS).

Honors PCS alum Reina Chano ’09 returns to speak on campus

Reina Chano ’09, Honors Peace and Conflict Studies minor and recipient of the 2010 Elise Boulding Award, will return to campus on November 5 to speak at an event organized by the Department of History. Welcome back, Reina!

Reina Chano '09HISTORY WITH A FUTURE

Conversation with Reina Chano ’09

November 5, 2012; Trotter 303; 4:30pm

Come hear Reina Chano ’09 speak about her experience working in international development for non-profit organization OIC International as well as her recent school relaunch at the University of Pennsylvania as a student in the Masters of Science, Historic Preservation Planning program.

Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to history@swarthmore.edu if you plan to attend.

Michael Doyle to speak on Pacifist Bookseller Roy Kepler

“Radical Chapters: How Pacifist Roy Kepler Changed the World”

Popular Reading Room, McCabe Library, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Thursday, October 25, 2012

Maps and directions to campus

Kepler’s Bookstore in Menlo Park, CA was long the hub of literary bohemians, counterculture musicians, and those in search of a good read. It was one of the most influential, independent bookstores in the history of America, and created a community space which particularly fed the minds of young beatniks like Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter, and Willie Legate. The store’s owner, Roy Kepler, was a radical pacifist, World War II conscientious objector, anti-nuclear activist, influential member of the War Resisters League, protester against the war in Vietnam, and a pioneer in promoting the “paperback revolution” in the middle of the twentieth century.

Michael DoyleSpeaker Michael Doyle is the author of Radical Chapters: Pacifist Bookseller Roy Kepler and the Paperback Revolution. Using resources from the Swarthmore College Peace Collection and other sources he will speak about Kepler and his decades-long fight for social justice, the independent bookstore movement, and creating a vibrant community. Doyle is a reporter in the Washington, DC, bureau of the McClatchy newspaper chain. He holds a master’s degree in government from Johns Hopkins University and a master of studies in law from Yale Law School, where he was a Knight Journalism Fellow.

Reception to follow talk.

Open to the public

Peace and Protest: Nigerian Civil War Activism and the 1960s Milieu

“Peace and Protest: Nigerian Civil War Activism and the 1960s Milieu”

A Lecture by Brian McNeil

(University of Texas, at Austin, 2010 Moore Fellow)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

7:00 p.m.

Keith Room, Lang Center for Social Change

Swarthmore College

Co-sponsored by the Friends Historical Library and the Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Lucretia Mott Symposium – November 4

Lucretia Mott Symposium, Swarthmore College

Friday, November 4, 2011, 2:00 – 5:30

Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall, Swarthmore College

Free and Open to the Public  (maps and directions)

Lucretia Mott (1793-1880), Quaker minister, abolitionist and feminist,  a founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society, the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society and the “guiding spirit” behind the First Woman’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls in 1848, spent sixty years of her long life working for reform.  This symposium marks the publication of historian Carol Faulkner’s new book, Lucretia Mott’s  Heresy: Abolition and  Woman’s Rights in  Nineteenth Century America.  The symposium also commemorates the contributions of Margaret  Hope Bacon (1921-2011), author of Lucretia Mott: Valiant Friend and numerous books on Quakers and reform.

2:00 – 3:30        Lucretia Mott, Margaret Hope Bacon and the Rediscovery of the Early Woman’s Rights Movement and Radical Reform.

Presenters:  Beverly Wilson Palmer, Nancy Hewitt, Judith Wellman and Christopher Densmore.

4:00 – 5:30         Lucretia Mott: Truth for Authority, Not Authority for Truth

Presenters: Carol Faulkner, Ellen M. Ross and Bruce Dorsey.

Questions? contact cdensmo1@swarthmore.edu