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Henry J. Cadbury papers

Identifier: HC.MC-1121

Scope and Contents note

Papers consist of:
  • 1.articles, published and unpublished;
  • 2. books;
  • 3. book reviews;
  • 4.contributions to books, such as
  • 5. forewords;
  • 6. introductions;
  • 7. chapters, etc.;
  • 8. bible course notes;
  • 9. correspondence;
  • 10. lectures;
  • 11. miscellaneous; and
  • 12. papers.
  • Scope and Content Henry Cadbury gave some of his papers to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection because they were, in his opinion, related to peace. Many of his other papers are housed at Haverford College and some are at Guilford College. The bulk of the Swarthmore holdings are manuscripts (1917-1967) for articles, and notes (1917-1963) written for talks or taken at conferences, that deal with the subjects of war and religion, particularly Quakerism, civil liberties, and pacifism. There is a small amount of correspondence (1918-1974) in Series III. In Series IV, a significant amount of correspondence and reference material pertains to teacher loyalty oaths, especially in Massachusetts (1935-1936, 1953). Other subjects treated include conscientious objectors and war tax refusal. Cadbury's obituary, biographical news clippings, his draft card from World War I, and several printed articles written by him, are also in this collection.

    A description of the Swarthmore holdings follows this finding aid.


    • 1910-1974


    General Physical Description note

    60 document boxes (30 linear ft., ca. 15,000 items

    Limitations on Accessing the Collection

    The collection is open for research use.



    Copyright and Rights Information

    Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Archives with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.


    The following is copied from an article by Steve Neal which appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer of October 9, 1974, at the time of Henry Cadbury's death:

    Dr. Henry Joel Cadbury, one of America's most distinguished biblical scholars and a founder of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), died Monday evening in Bryn Mawr Hospital. He was 90.

    According to a family spokesman, Dr. Cadbury suffered a concussion after falling down a stairway in his home at 774 Milbrook Lane, Haverford, earlier in the day. He never regained consciousness.

    Most of Dr. Cadbury's long life was devoted to humanitarian causes. As a leader of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), he made significant contributions to the American peace movement and in 1947 accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of that organization.

    The American Friends Service Committee was proposed by Dr. Cadbury during a peace conference at Winona Lake, Ind., in 1915. His idea resurfaced two years later when the United States entered World War I.

    Although the Quakers opposed the war, they found, according to one historian, that "...they had become too sophisticated to explain and justify this opposition in the simple terms of their forefathers. They could no longer be simply against the use of violence, they must be for a society which was nonviolently ordered throughout its structure. They needed, in the terms of William James, to find a moral equivalent to war."

    The AFSC was organized in April of 1917 to offer Quakers and young conscientious objectors "a service of love in wartime." Dr. Cadbury, for some months, functioned as its chief executive with the help of one secretary.

    It soon established relief activities in France, Germany, Russia, Poland, Serbia, Hungary, and Austria. At war's end, the AFSC began helping in Europe's reconstruction. Dr. Cadbury organized the feeding of 1 million German children a day during the summer of 1920.

    Dr. Cadbury was born in Philadelphia on Dec. 1, 1883, the son of Joel and Anna Kaighn Cadbury. He was graduated from Haverford College in 1903, then attended Harvard University where he received his Ph.D.

    He returned to Haverford to teach biblical literature in 1910. Dr. Cadbury generally was regarded as a rising young professor until, in the fall of 1918, he spoke out against anti-German prejudices.

    Americans, Dr. Cadbury charged, were carrying on an "orgy of hate" against Germans. He said that "never in the history of his greatest arrogance did the Kaiser utter more heathenish and bloodthirsty sentiments than those now current in some quarters of this country."

    His statement made him a controversial figure. A large group of Haverford alumni demanded his resignation. Newspapers charged that Dr. Cadbury was a German dupe. And the U.S. attorney's office threatened to arrest him on sedition charges. When Dr. Cadbury explained his views to U.S. Attorney Francis Fisher Kane, the prosecutor dropped his case.

    Resigns Post

    But Dr. Cadbury, still under fire at Haverford, resigned his teaching position. While college administrators said Dr. Cadbury was within his rights in making his public statements, they gave him little support other than offering him a long leave of absence.

    He subsequently was hired by more tolerant administrators at Harvard, where he taught from 1919 to 1954, except for a six-year term at Bryn Mawr College (1925-1934). At Harvard he spent his last 20 years as Hollis Professor of Divinity, the oldest and one of the most prestigious academic chairs in the United States.

    Dr. Cadbury was a prolific writer. He wrote a column called "Letters >From the Past" for the Friends Journal and hundreds of articles on biblical subjects and the history of Quakerism. He was one of the scholars who prepared the new Revised Standard Version of the Bible and was particularly noted for his contributions to the books of Luke and Acts.

    He wrote ten books of his own on religious subjects. One of these books, "George Fox's Book of Miracles," was the result of Dr. Cadbury's discovery, in 1932, of an unknown book left by the founder of Quakerism.

    Dr. Cadbury made the find while researching the Fox writings and papers at Friends House in London. The manuscript had never been published. He later edited "The Narrative Papers of George Fox," published two years ago.

    "Certain persons appear from time to time in history who possess in a high degree this peculiar capacity of awakening faith and of carrying suggestive attitudes irresistibly into action," Dr. Cadbury wrote. "George Fox was in his day unquestionably a person of that type."

    Dr. Cadbury served as chairman of the AFSC from 1928 to 1934, and succeeded Rufus Jones, his brother-in-law, as chairman in 1944, retiring in 1962. He served as honorary chairman from 1960 until his death. Under Dr. Cadbury's leadership, the AFSC became involved in settlement houses, black schools in the South, and depressed areas of Appalachia. In 1931, at the request of President Herbert Hoover, they fed children of coal miners.

    The AFSC remained in the coal fields after the food crisis was over, establishing schools, health clinics, furniture making cooperatives, and recreation programs. For a time, during the 1930s, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt donated all money earned by her radio talks to the AFSC for the coal fields. During World War II, Dr. Cadbury and the AFSC began working for such causes as fair housing, equal employment, and school desegregation.

    As always, Dr. Cadbury spoke out against U.S. involvement in war.

    "The longer this war is waged," he told the Race Street Forum in 1944, "the more badly conditioned we are for making a good peace. Either we have victory without peace or peace without victory."

    One member of the audience asked Dr. Cadbury, "How is it possible to negotiate with a Japanese who would rather commit suicide than talk to you?"

    The AFSC was active in post-war relief work in Germany, France, Italy, Finland, and Japan. In 1947 the group was awarded the Nobel prize.

    Before Dr. Cadbury flew to Oslo for the presentation ceremony, he was advised that he would need a full-dress suit. Since he did not own one, and wasn't particularly anxious to buy a suit with tails, Dr. Cadbury appealed to the Friends warehouse at 23d and Arch Sts. He managed to find one. It wasn't a perfect fit, but with pressing, the suit was adequate for the occasion.

    `All Want Peace'

    In accepting the prize, Dr. Cadbury said, "The common people of all nations want peace. In the presence of great impersonal forces, they feel individually helpless to promote it. You're saying to them today that common folk - not statesmen, nor generals, nor great men of affairs - but just simple plain men and women, like the few thousand Quakers and their friends, if they devote themselves to resolute insistence on good will in place of force, can do something to build a better, peaceful world."

    Dr. Cadbury told an interviewer, shortly after his 90th birthday, that while the Nobel Prize was a tremendous honor, "the work of the Service Committee made more converts through action than the Nobel Prize ever could."

    After retiring from Harvard, Dr. Cadbury moved back to Haverford. He lectured at Haverford College, Temple University, and, for 12 years (1956-1968), was chairman of the board of directors at Bryn Mawr College.

    In his last interview, Dr. Cadbury seemed optimistic about the future of American pacifism. "Vietnam was more largely disapproved of than any other American war since the Mexican war. We can be more hopeful for peace now, especially if there remains a strong moral tinge to our objections, not just an economic or political one."

    Dr. Cadbury received honorary degrees from the University of Glasgow, Haverford College, Whittier College, Swarthmore College, and Howard University.

    He was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an honorary member of the Oxford Society of Historical Theology. He was also a member of the American Oriental Society, the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis, and the American Society of Church History.

    He is survived by his wife, the former Lydia C. Brown, to whom he was wed on June 17, 1916, two daughters, Mrs. John K. Musgrave, of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Mrs. Martin Beer, of Haddonfield, N.J., two sons: Christopher Joel, of Clinton Corners, N.Y. and Warder Henry, of Albany, N.Y., and nine grandchildren.

    Further information on this line of the Cadbury family can be found in Henry Cadbury's Cadbury pedigree : American section 1965 / With Sesquicentennial memento, Haverford, Pa., 1965


    30 Linear Feet (60 boxes, 15,000 items)




    Papers of the notable Quaker Biblical scholar Henry J. Cadbury (1883-1974), a founder of the American Friends Service Committee and Nobel Prize winner on behalf of the American Friends Service Committee. Cadbury taught at Haverford (1910-1919 and 1954-1963) and Bryn Mawr Colleges as well as Harvard Divinity School as Hollis professor of divinity.


    Printed articles, manuscripts, and notes written by Cadbury were placed together in Series I by type of document, in chronological order. The titles of these documents can be found in the checklist. Cadbury's original files were preserved and often contain correspondence, reference material, and his own writing. Most of these are in the subject file series, but some are in other series, depending on the predominant kind of material within the file. There were many printed documents from the American Friends Service Committee and from other groups for whom SCPC maintains collections. They were moved from the Cadbury papers to these collections, with removal sheets to document the transaction. A large collection of pamphlets was similarly placed in the Peace Collection pamphlet file. Newsclippings were saved only if Cadbury's name appeared in them. Other collections of newsclippings about particular subjects were noted on removal sheets and discarded.

    Articles, books, book reviews, contributions to books, including forewords, introductions, chapters, etc. are in boxes 1-18 and box 59;

    Bible course notes are in boxes 19-28;

    Correspondence is in boxes 29-35 and 59-60;

    Lectures are in boxes 36-43;

    Miscellaneous is in boxes 45 and 59-60;

    Papers are in boxes 45-59;


    Gifts of Henry J. Cadbury, 1973, 1974

    Accession Numbers: 73-303, -304; 74A-28, -70.

    Additional gifts were received in 1974-75, 1977-79 and 1984..

    Related Materials

    Other collections containing material relating to Henry Cadbury include a separate addition to the Henry Cadbury papers, boxes 61-74, also, a section of the Jones-Cadbury papers, collection no. 1172.

    Separated Materials note

    Reconsidering Quakerism and Quaker Education in Microforms Room.

    Henry Cadbury's Haverford College senior thesis written in 1903 entitled "The Philosophy of Faith" is available in the Haverford College archives (HCV).

    "A map of Barbados for Motorists ..." to 812

    Letters of Norwegian Quakers. To 950

    "H.D. Thoreau - Quaker" / by Theron Coffin. To 950

    Diary of Elizabeth Sandwith Drinker. Typed copy of manuscript. To 975 A

    "Det Norske Kvekersamfunus historie ..." / by Anne E.M. Jansen. Typescript. To 975 A

    "John Bowne: Pioneer of Freedom" / John Cox Jr. Typed manuscript, copy. to 975 A

    Plates depicting meetinghouses: East Nottingham, Calvert Md. and Springfield Friends Meeting, Springfield, PA. To 989 B

    "Map of the English Counties and Principal Towns visited by George Fox." To 995

    "Quaker History for Non-Quakers" / by Rhicard R. Wood. Typed, 40 p. To PG4

    "Quakers in Colonial Connecticut" / by Cynthia Reak. Typed manuscript, 1962. To PG4A

    Microfilm: Portion of Swarthmore Manuscripts and "2, continued from 1." To Microfilm Room, Quaker Collection

    Microfilm: "The True Protestant Mercury : or Occurrences Foreign and Domestick." No. 1, Wed., April 27, 1681 - No. 38, Sept. 2, 1681 (a newspaper). To Microfilm Room, Quaker Collection

    Microfilm: "Giles Calvert ... An account of his publishing career, with a checklist of his imprints" / by Altha E. Terry. 1937 (M.S. Thesis). To Microfilm Room, Quaker Collection

    Microfilm: Italian manuscript, 1658 [of Andrea Molino?]. To Microfilm Room, Quaker Collection

    Microfilm: Selected papers of George Fox. To Microfilm Room, Quaker Collection

    Microfilm: "The Quakers Jesus or the Unswaddling of that Child ... / by William Grigge. London, 1656. To Microfilm Room, Quaker Collection

    General Physical Description note

    60 document boxes (30 linear ft., ca. 15,000 items

    General note

    The portion of the finding aid that is a checklist for microfilms was prepared by Martha P. Shane (April 1985)


    Henry Cadbury collected some materials which may have been used in his research. These may be found in box 54 with other miscellaneous materials.

    Bright, John to Joseph Green. 1887 5/20. ALS.

    Trueblood, D. Elton. "The Thinking of American Youth." 1931. TS.

    Peters, J.T. "A Report from the Friends Meeting of State College, PA., 1929-1930. TS.

    "Sketch of Baron Francis Mercurius van Helmont's Connection with the Friends." TS.

    Letters from the Hack family of Brighton, England, to Sarah Cadbury, re Friends' relief work in Metz (Germany). 1870. ALsS. ca. 15 items.

    Wills of individuals, likely all Quaker, residing in Barbados. 18 certified wills; 6 typed copies of wills


    The abbreviation for Henry J. Cadbury, "HJC" is used throughout the finding aid.

    The number of items given for a container of any type is approximate.
    Henry J. Cadbury papers, 1910-1974
    Diana Franzusoff Peterson
    Description rules
    Describing Archives: A Content Standard
    Language of description
    Script of description
    Language of description note

    Find It at the Library

    Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

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