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Archives & Manuscripts

Edward W. Evans Quaker Concerns Papers

Identifier: SFHL-RG5-237
This collection contains the papers of Edward W. Evans compiled largely while he was the Secretary of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (1938-1946), with some additions by his immediate successor, Howard G. Taylor. The papers contain materials from Evans’ activities as Secretary and also from the committees on which he served during the period from 1938-1950. Included are documents pertaining to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and ecumenical groups such as the Philadelphia Federation of Churches to the World Council of Churches. Much of the collection is concerned with World War II and the role of Quakers as conscientious objectors. This includes papers relating to Civilian Public Service. There is also a considerable amount of paperwork from the Friends Committee on National Legislation, which was responsible for bringing Quaker interests, especially conscientious objection, before the federal government. Correspondents include Clarence Pickett (AFSC) and Paul Furnas (FCNL). This collection is significant in its documentation of pacifist attitudes and the ways in which the Society of Friends was active during the Second World War.

Organization: Series 1: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Series 2: Ecumenical Groups. Series 3: Peace Activities. Series 4: Other Activities.


  • 1938-1951


Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Rights Information

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.


7 Linear Feet (14 boxes)


Edward W. Evans (1882-1976) was a Quaker leader and lawyer active in the educational and peace concerns of the Society of Friends. The collection primarily contains papers compiled by Edward W. Evans during his time as Secretary of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Orthodox), from 1938-1946. Of particular interest are the materials concerning Civilian Public Service. The collection is significant in its documentation of pacifist attitudes and the ways in which the Society of Friends was active during the Second World War.

Biographical / Historical

Edward W. Evans (1882-1976) was born January 31, 1882, in Germantown, Pa. He graduated from Germantown Friends School and received an A.B. from Haverford College in 1902, an A.B. from Harvard University in 1903, and an LL.B. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1907. He married Jacqueline Pascal Morris in 1911. He served on the Board of Managers of Haverford College from 1912 to 1965.

Evans was a lifelong member of Germantown Monthly Meeting and active in many Quaker concerns. He was particularly involved in the area of peace work. He was the General Secretary of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Orthodox) from 1938-1946 served on the War Problems Committee, Civilian Public Service Committee, Joint Peace Committee, Peace Committee, and Friends Committee on National Legislation. He served on the board of directors of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Committee of Pendle Hill, and the White William Foundation. He was instrumental in the founding of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and was executive secretary from 1916-1919. He also was active in PYM Committee to Confer with the Federal Council of Churches, Committee on Epistles, Committee on Social Order, Committee to Revise Discipline, and Committee on the Westtown School. He was a delegate to the Five Years Meeting, to two Peace Conferences in London, and to Friends World Conference.

He died on May 26, 1976, at Foulkeways, Gwynedd, Pa.

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Libraries' online catalog:

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Haverford College, 2001

Related Materials

RG5/69 William I. Hull Papers, 1892-1939

RG 2/ Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Records

Swarthmore College Peace Collection: DG 13 Fellowship of Reconciliation Records. 1915-[ongoing]; DG 122 Edward W. Evans Papers, 1916-1922 (Concerning his involvement in Fellowship of Reconciliation and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Peace Committee, 1916-1922); DG 95 Allen S. Olmstead Papers.

Processing Information

Order was largely retained as received.

As described, “Internal Communications” are letters, phone messages, memos, etc, between members of the committee, usually pertaining to administrative matters or the preparation of general letters and other documents. Sometimes copies of external letters are forwarded with the internal ones and are retained in the folder.

“External Communications” are papers either to or from a committee member someone outside the committee member. When internal communication pertains directly to the subjects of an external letter, it is included with it in the external folder. “Administrative Papers” includes minutes, scheduling issues, memos, and some drafts of official statements.

“General Letters” are form letters, or newsletters and other mass mailings, as opposed to “Personal Correspondence.”
Edward W. Evans, Quaker Concerns Papers, 1938-1951
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2016: This electronic finding aid was updated in Summer 2016 by Abdulrezak Kemal in preparation for importing into ArchivesSpace, to conform to current markup standards and the ArchivesSpace data model.

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