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Biographical / Historical
The Friends Employment Society was founded in New York City in 1862 by Hicksite women as the Women's Association of Friends for the Employment and Relief by Clothing of the Suffering Poor. These Quakers felt a concern to aid in relieving the want and distress of the wives and widows of soldiers, women who were untrained for work outside of the home, and women whose family cares compelled them to remain in the home.
Incorporated in 1902, it continued to provide sewing employment for the working poor. In the early years, the Society purchased the materials, and its own members cut the garments which were distributed for sewing by the beneficiaries who were paid for their work. Later, other charitable associations such as the Association of Friends for the Relief of Freedmen and local hospitals purchased the materials. The Friends Employment Society distributed the piecework and paid the workers. The finished clothing and bedding were then returned to the charitable organization. During WWII, instead of sewing linens for hospitals, the women sewed garments for the American Friends Service Committee, to be distributed overseas.
By 1947, the Society became inactive due to the small number of participants and changing labor conditions and welfare options. In 1948, it changed its charter to support the needy through contributions to other charitable organizations, which included the New York Young Friends Aid Association, a New York Quaker organization that consistently donated funds to the Friends Employment Society.
The Friends Employment Society was founded in 1862 in New York City by Hicksite women as the Women's Association of Friends for the Employment and Relief by Clothing of the Suffering Poor. Incorporated in 1902, it provided employment for the working poor by providing sewing projects. In 1948 it revised its charter to state its purpose of giving help to needy people, through contributions to other charitable organizations. This collection contains minutes and financial and other records from 1862 to 1948.
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Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donor: New York Yearly Meeting
Annual Reports were transferred from SG 3 files in Friends Historical Library to supplement issues lacking in the collection.
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[Indicate the cited item or series here], Friends' Employment Society Records, RG4/098, Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College http://archives.tricolib.brynmawr.edu/repositories/7/resources/4572 Accessed December 05, 2019.