Scope and Contents
The papers includes Esther Rhoads’ correspondence, documents, typescripts and manuscripts, pamphlets, albums, periodicals, blueprints, works of art on paper, photographs, notebooks, notes, scrapbooks, calligraphy, clippings, yearbooks, business cards, passports, diplomas, citations and miscellaneous items.
Some correspondents include: Kazuko Abe, Iwao Ayusawa, Gurney Binford, Hugh Borton, Gilbert Bowles, Minnie Pickett Bowles, Howard Brinton, Chichibu no Miya Setsuko (Princess), Janice Clevenger, Clarissa Cooper, J. Passmore Elkinton, Herbert Hadley, Anna C. Hartshorne, Seiju Hirakawa, Hirohito (Emperor of Japan), Hatsuko Ikeda, Masaharu Inagaki, Yukio Irie, Elmore Jackson, Thomas Elsa Jones, Michi Kawai, Ichiro Koizumi, Douglas MacArthur, Fumiye Miho, Lawrence McK. Miller, Nagako (Empress, consort of Hirohito), Herbert V. Nicholson, Inazo Nitobe, Mariko Nittono, Lucille Nixon, Alice Lewis Pearson, Caroline Paxson Rhoads, Edward G. Rhoads, Jonathan E. Rhoads, Margaret Paxson Rhoads, Margaret Whitall Rhoads, Ruth Ely Rhoads, Eleanor Roosevelt, Edith Sharpless, Orie Shimazaki, Harry Silcock, Jane Rittenhouse Smiley, Edward Wanton Smith, Sarah A.G. Smith, Hon Ham Sok, Sarah C. Swan, Mitsuo Tanaka, Toki Iwasawa Tomiyama, Masa Uraguchi, Elizabeth Gray Vining, Yoshi Watanabe, E. Raymond Wilson, Yoshi no Miya Masahito (Prince).
Biographical / Historical
Esther Biddle Rhoads (1896-1979) was born into a Quaker family in Philadelphia, the daughter of Margaret Paxson Rhoads and Edward G. Rhoads, M.D. Her siblings were an older sister, Ruth Ely Rhoads; a younger sister, Caroline Paxson Rhoads; and a younger brother, Jonathan Evans Rhoads (who became a prominent Philadelphia physician and educator). She was educated at a variety of institutions, including the Germantown Friends School, Drexel Institute (now University), and Earlham College and, over the course of her life, she spent significant amounts of time in Japan at the Friends Girls School and as a member of the American Friends Service Committee. At the Friends Girls School she began work as a teacher and eventually became principal. She was in Japan from approximately 1920 to 1960, only leaving during World War II. In addition to her Friends School work, she also took part in the Licensed Agencies for Relief in Asia, efforts to help Japanese-American internees during World War II, and relief work in Tunisia.