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Lewis and Sarah Benson family papers

Identifier: HC.MC-1303

Scope and Contents

This collection is primarily 20th century letters from the Benson, Potts, and Rhoads families.


  • 1906-2014


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17)

Biographical / Historical

Lewis Benson (August 15, 1906 - August 23, 1986) was born to Clara (Clarette) and John Benson. He was born into and raised in Manasquan Friends Meeting, New York Yearly Meeting. He rejoined the meeting in his retirement, and is buried in its graveyard. However, his religious life in his youth was rooted in two places as well: Lewis and his mother attended a Scotch Presbyterian Church, and in the summers he spent time at Sea Girt-Manasquan with his cousins. Benson attended Executive Meeting and Half Yearly Meeting, where he was able to socialize with Quakers his own age, and learn Quaker business practices. He didn’t graduate from high school, which prevented him from permanent positions at Quaker organizations later in life. He became interested in the metaphysical system of Gurdjieff, which left him in self-described despair. At 25 he was drawn to George Fox’s Journal, wherein reading about Fox’s struggle with despair, he found kinship and support. He became a life-long student of George Fox’s message, studying his work for over fifty years. He worked with Quakers in Britain. He participated in dialogues with Anabaptists and Quakers, including publishing much of his writings in “The Call,” which was published in Britain and the United States. He was a prolific writer and lecturer. The New Foundation Fellowship started in the 1970s, with Benson as as founding member. He was also part of the Young Friends movement in Philadelphia, which was concerned with reunification of the two yearly meetings. He met his wife Sarah at Pendle Hill the winter of 1933-1934, they were married in 1937 in Germantown. He later became the first librarian at Pendle Hill. Their son John was born in 1940.

(The Friend, September 19, 1986; Sarah Benson biography of Lewis)


0.82 Linear Feet (2 hollinger boxes)




This collection is primarily 20th century letters from the Benson, Potts, and Rhoads families.


This collection is in two series, correspondence and personal materials.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donation by John Benson, January 2018.

Processing Information

Processed by Mary A. Crauderueff, completed August, 2018.


Lewis and Sarah Benson family papers
Mary A. Crauderueff
August, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Find It at the Library

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