Scope and Contents
Correspondence and administrative records, minutes, financial statements, membership lists, publicity, correspondence about new meetings, Intervisitation, and Wider Quaker Fellowship, 1933-1954.
Primary correspondants include Sydney Baily, Willis Beede, Clement M. (Clement Miller) Biddle, Raymond Binford, Dr. Emma Bolzau, Hans Buchinger, Florence Burridge, Seaton Burridge, Rebecca Timbres Clark, Pearl Davidson, Robert J. Davidson, Emily Eaton, Horace Ainsworth Eaton, Russell Edgerton, Mae Edgerton, J. Passmore (Joseph Passmore) Elkinton, Leonhard Friedrich, Henry T. (Henry Tregelles) Gillett, Lucy Gillett, Frederick John Gillman, Leanore Goodenow, Walter G. Heacock, Burton S. W. Hill, Erika Hodgkin, Helen G. (Helen Griscom) Hole, Elizabeth Fox Howard, Grace Howson, William Hubben, Karl Hujer, Margaret E. Jones, Robert M. Jones, Rufus Matthew Jones, Thomas Elsa Jones, William Kantor, Thomas R. (Thomas Raymond) Kelly, Gilbert Hawthorne Kilpack, Hilda Koch, Rose Hum Lee, Robert Limburg, Joseph Wharton Lippincott, Eleanor Lippincott, Albert Martin, Augustus T. (Agustus Taber) Murray, William Noble, Charles Palmer, Anna Palmer, Irene Pickard, Alexander Converse Purdy, Grace E. Rhoads, Ronald Rice, Annie Rodgers, Leslie D. Shaffer, Beatrice Shipley, Ward W. Silver, Margaret Simkin, Robert Simkin, Fred Smith, Madame Raissa Soudarskaya, Dorothy Starr, Francis Starr, Greta Sumpf, Peter Tennant, Sergei Thomas, Willard O. Trueblood, James F. Walker, J. Barnard (Joseph Bernard) Walton, Benjamin F. Whitson, and David Wills.
Biographical / Historical
The American Friends Fellowship Council had its origin in the Fellowship Committee of the American Friends Service Committee. The primary purpose of the AFFC was to foster an increased interest in Quakerism throughout the United States and to draw all Friends groups into closer sympathy and fellowship. The Fellowship Council merged with the Friends World Committee, American Section, in 1954. From its beginning as the Message Committee of the AFSC, the Council assisted Friends travelling across America. Itineraries were prepared, contacts made, and a small fund was established to provide travel assistance. In 1937, the Friends World Conference brought about 250 foreign visitors to the United States; the Fellowship Council assisted in visitation plans.
The Wider Quaker Fellowship (WQF) was established as a spiritual movement in 1936. Its original purpose was to make it possible for persons to be associated with the Society of Friends while still maintaining other religious affiliation. Literature was sent to members several times a year.
The AFFC also assisted in the nurturing of new groups of Friends across the United States, especially in areas with no other Friends meetings. Some of these groups were directly affiliated with the American Friends Fellowship Council if there was no satisfactory yearly meeting connection. A policy for this purpose was adopted in 1944.
The Fellowship Committee also created a number of small unit libraries, designed for communities in which books were not easily available. These travelling units were sent to rural communities all over the country. Each year the Council printed a calendar of all of the Yearly Meetings. It also published the Quaker Handbook, a Quaker Bibliography, and the Quaker Letter, a single sheet letter sent to isolated Friends four times a year.
The American Young Friends Fellowship was established out of a youth group at Lake Forest, Illinois, in 1934. In 1942 it became the youth section of the American Friends Fellowship Council.
The Friends Conference on the Nature and Laws of Our Spiritual Life was affiliated with the Fellowship Council in 1945. Its primary purpose was to introduce and nurture a deeper searching for a richer and fuller spiritual life. Its name was changed to the Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology in 1947.
In 1953, the AFSC sponsored the Quaker Leadership Grants program. These grants, ranging up to $1000. or $2000., were intended to develop imaginative leadership among younger Friends through study, survey, or research. Among the groups for whom this assistance was intended was the American Friends Fellowship Council.