Tag Archives: Quaker

100th anniversary of the start of World War I

Recognition of the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I-the Great War

Swarthmore College Peace Collection

Anti-conscription demonstration 1916
Anti-conscription demonstration 1916

Wendy Chmielewski, Curator of the Peace Collection attended the “Resistance to War” conference at the University of Hull (UK), September 7-9, 2014 .  The conference included presentations historians and other scholars from the UK and other countries focused on resistance to war from the mid nineteenth century through World War I.  Chmielewski presented a paper on the role of women in fundraising efforts that financed the peace movement in Great Britain in the 1850s.

On September 30th, Anne Yoder, Peace Collection Archivist, spoke on World War I conscientious objection at the Kate Furness Public Library in Wallingford, Pennsylvania.  This presentation was part of the Furness Library’s program recognizing the centenary of the Great War.

Yoder and Chmielewski will both be attending the “World War I: Dissent, Activism, and Transformation” conference at Georgian Court University (NJ), and co-sponsored by the Peace History Society, in mid October.  Yoder will be speaking about WWI conscientious objectors, David and Julius Eichel.  Chmielewski will present on the war and anti-rhetoric in the suffrage speeches and writings of movement leaders Carrie Chapman Catt and Jane Addams.  Both papers will use resources housed in the Peace Collection.

Peace Collection staff have contributed articles on resistance to World War I as part of the new web site “Home Before the Leaves Fall, Digital Resources in the Delaware Valley on the Great War”. The web site <http://wwionline.org/> contains information about resources in the Peace Collection and Friends Historical Library on peace congresses leading up to the war, women efforts for peace from 1914 onward, conscientious objectors, the varieties of opposition to the war, and the work of British and American Quaker relief organizations.

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Waging Peace: David Hartsough book talk

David Hartsough book

David Hartsough
Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist

Thursday, December 4, 2014
5:00 PM
Bond Hall at Swarthmore College
500 College Ave, Swarthmore, PA

This event is open to the public.
Maps and directions to campus are available.
A flyer is available for download.

David Hartsough knows how to get in the way. He has used his body to block Navy ships headed for Vietnam and trains loaded with munitions on their way to El Salvador and Nicaragua. He has crossed borders to meet “the enemy” in East Berlin, Castro’s Cuba, and present-day Iran. He has marched with mothers confronting a violent regime in Guatemala and stood with refugees threatened by death squads in the Philippines.

Inspired by the examples of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., Hartsough has spent his life experimenting with the power of active nonviolence. His new memoir, Waging Peace, offers a peace activist’s eyewitness account of many of the major historical events of the past sixty years, including the Civil Rights and anti–Vietnam War movements in the United States and the little- known but equally significant nonviolent efforts in the Soviet Union, Kosovo, Palestine, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines.

Hartsough’s story demonstrates the power and effectiveness of organized nonviolent action and shows how this struggle is waged all over the world by ordinary people committed to ending the spiral of violence and war.

Read more about David Hartsough and his work in this 2004 interview in the New Internationalist magazine.

Photo: David Hartsough (seated at right end of counter) with fellow students at a lunchtime sit-in Arlington, Virginia – circa 1960

 

Co-sponsored by Swarthmore Friends Meeting and the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Swarthmore College.

Gratitude for Ann Yasuhara

We have learned that one of our Swarthmore alums, Ann Yasuhara, passed away on June 11,2014. Ann, a Quaker, had become a strong influence in the direct action organization, Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), working to end mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia. Friends lovingly referred to her as their “Mountain Woman”. EQAT recently honored Ann as one of their Elders at a special ceremony at the Friends Center on Cherry Street in Philadelphia.

Others gathered for a memorial service and outdoor reception in Princeton:

EQAT's 2014 07July Ann Y Memorial album on Photobucket

We encourage you to read all of the obituary published in Princeton’s Town Topics, but we offer a few excerpts here:

A logician and computer scientist, she was known for combining her Quaker faith with action focused on peace, social justice, racial equality, and the environment. Her life balanced her love for the sacredness of all life, the compassionate concerns of a Quaker activist for the world and the local community, her delight in music, gardening, and art, and her generosity to friends and family. Ann Yasuhara belonged to the living tradition of Quaker spirit-led peace and justice activists. Unflagging in her resistance to war and violence, she studied the philosophy and methods of non-violent resolution of conflict with George Lakey, the noted Quaker peace activist. In turn, she led training groups for inner city children.

Most recently she enthusiastically supported — and went on protests with — the nonviolent direct action group, Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), which works to end mountaintop removal coal mining. On her 79th birthday she protested on a strenuous mountain climb in West Virginia mining country. In January, just before she was diagnosed with cancer, the Philadelphia-based group honored her as one of its outstanding “wise elders.”

“Ann was a leader in the Quaker faith and an inspiration to all of us. She set the bar very high and gave us confidence to fight for a better world,” says Janet Gardner, a documentary film maker at the Gardner Group and a member of Princeton Friends Meeting.

We appreciate Ann for her profound influence on so many pursuing peace and justice.

Ann_Yasuhara_EQAT

Quakers and Abolition

Quakers and Abolition, a book just released by the University of Illinois Press, includes essays by Ellen Ross (Religion), J. William Frost, (Professor Emeritus) and Christopher Densmore (Friends Historical Library). The book was edited by Geoffrey Planck (Swarthmore graduate) and Brycchan Carey, with an acknowledgement to the Cooper Foundation for its support of the 2010 Quakers and Slavery Conference.

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TODAY: Learn about Joshua Evansc an active Quaker abolitionist

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Joshua Evans Event at Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College

Wednesday, April 9, 4:30 PM

Ralph Greene of New England Yearly Meeting will present a program on Joshua Evans (1741-1798). Evans was considered “singular” even by the Quakers. He was an early and active abolitionist, traveling as far South Carolina to bear testimony against enslavement, he worked on behalf of the Native Americans in New Jersey, his scruples against any support of slavery led him to wear undyed clothes, because the dyes used at the time were produced by slave labor, and he criticized the worldliness of Quakers of his time, suggesting among other things that the wearing of shoe buckles, where a simple lace would do, was vanity.

The manuscript Joshua Evans Journals at Friends Historical Library are being digitized and transcribed as part of a Digital Humanities Program.

Ralph Greene is very active in New England Yearly Meeting and the Friends Church in South China, Maine.

All are invited to Friends Historical Library, just inside McCabe Library, to hear more about the life and witness of Joshua Evans. Please forward this invitation to anyone who might be interested.

Earth Quaker Action Team honors its Elders

It was a privilege to be at Earth Quaker Action Team’s ceremony honoring their elders at the Friends Center on Cherry Street in Philadelphia on Sunday, January 26. Attendees included a number of Swarthmore alums and faculty.

Alexa Ross ’13 delivered a wonderful tribute to Peace and Conflict Studies Prof. George Lakey, and Robin Harper, a friend of the Peace and Conflict Studies program, was also honored alongside three other elder EQAT activists: Vint Deming, Ann Yasuhara, and Allen Bacon. Friends, family, and comrades sang, read testimonials, and read the words of the honorees from interviews that were conducted before the ceremony.  It was a wonderfully affirming and very intergenerational event.

 

Lee Smithey created an interactive timeline of biographical information about Robin Harper’s life work in the fields of peace, social justice, and climate justice.

150 years ago: A College Founded in Wartime

Cleaning one’s office can be a chore, but it also encourages one to stumble across gems that were set aside in the rush of an academic year.  In my cleaning today, I came across one of Chris Densmore’s sesquicentennial historical pieces from the July 2012 Swarthmore College Bulletin.

150 years ago: A College Founded in Wartime

Christopher Densmore

Curator, Friends Historical Library

By 1862, the Civil War was in its second year. The campaign to raise money for what was to become Swarthmore, which had been temporarily suspended at the beginning of the war, was resumed in earnest. The founders had originally anticipated that the school could be funded by large donations from wealthy individuals, but they now turned their efforts to a grassroots campaign to visit and solicit support from Quaker meetings across the Mid-Atlantic. Later perhaps, the “stewards of a superabundance of this world’s goods” might be persuaded to contribute larger sums.

The war became an impetus for establishing a Quaker school. An editorial in the Friends Intelligencer in September 1862 commented: “The war spirit has penetrated almost every institution in the land; the Public Schools are used as means of promoting the love of military glory, and are increasingly engaged in teaching military drill to their pupils. We should be especially concerned to guard our children against this snare, and to build them up in those principles which will not only preserve them in the practice of peace and good-will towards all men, but will make them fit successors to those who have gone before them as lights in the world, and exemplars of the peaceable spirit of Christianity. To this end Friends should educate all their children under their own care. …”

Today, Swarthmore College seeks diversity among its students, faculty, staff, and administrators and strives to make the campus a safe place for that diversity. Likewise, the College founders sought to create a safe place for diversity, though in the form of a “guarded education” for the children of Friends.

Other sesquicentennial pieces by Chris Densmore include:

150 Years Ago: The Dream of a College (April 2011)

150 Years Ago: “Honest, Useful Men and Women” (July 2011)

150 Years Ago: Friends, We Have a Problem (October 2011)

150 Years Ago: Martha Ellicott Tyson proposes a new school (January 2012)

 150 years ago: Benjamin Hallowell, man of peace (April 2012)

150 Years Ago: The Meaning of Swarthmore (July 2013)

First Monday Series: William Kashatus speaks August 5 on Abraham Lincoln, the Quakers, and the Civil War

Monday, August 5, 2013, 7:30-9:00 pm in the Barn at Pendle Hill. All are welcome to a free public lecture by William Kashatus,”A Trial of Principle and Faith: Abraham Lincoln, the Quakers, and the Civil War.” This program is part of Pendle Hill’s First Monday Series of free lectures, films, and events held the first Monday of every month, year round.

Sharing insights from his forthcoming book, historian William Kashatus explores Abraham Lincoln’s relationship with the Religious Society of Friends during his presidency. Lincoln and Quakers faced a similar dilemma during the Civil War – how to achieve the desired goal of emancipation without extending the bloodshed and hardships of war. Quakers pressed the president for emancipation, urged amnesty for conscientous objectors, and provided spiritual support and counsel to Lincoln throughout the war.

William C. Kashatus is an historian, educator, and author. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Earlham College, he earned an MA in history at Brown University and a PhD in history education at the University of Pennsylvania. He currently teaches history at Luzerne County Community College in northeastern Pennsylvania. He has also taught at Penn’s Graduate School of Education and in the History Department of West Chester University.

A prolific writer, Kashatus is the author of more than a dozen books. He is a regular contributor to the History News Service, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Pennsylvania Heritage. Kashatus has also written and published more than 200 essays in such periodicals as:American History MagazineChristian Science MonitorIndependent Schools Magazine,New York TimesPennsylvania Magazine of History and BiographyPhiladelphia Daily News, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Quaker History.

For more information, contact John Meyer or call 610-566-4507 ext. 129.

Travel directions to Pendle Hill.

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.