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Archives & Manuscripts

Bennett W. Andrews and Florence N. Andrews Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SCPC-DG-209
The collection includes some biographical material about Bennett Andrews and Florence Andrews, and various forms of their correspondence while Bennett served a prison sentence between 1943 and 1946.

Dates

  • 1940-1950, 1979-1980

Creator

Language of Material

Materials are in English.

Copyright and Rights Information

There are none.

Extent

1.67 Linear Feet (20 linear in.)

Abstract

Bennett Andrews was an absolutist conscientious objector during World War II. He served a five year sentence Danbury Prison, a federal penitentiary, in Connecticut. There he worked in a number of positions in the prison. Bennett Andrews was released from prison on July 11, 1946 and received amnesty from President Truman in 1947. Florence Andrews (born in 1913) married Bennett on July 22, 1938. She was also a strong pacifist, who fully supported her husband's C.O. stance.

Biographical note

Bennett Andrews, a musician from Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), was an absolutist conscientious objector during World War II. His total opposition to war meant for him that neither noncombatant service or Civilian Public Service were options he would consider. Instead, he chose prison with no parole. He was sentenced in April 1943 to five years in a federal penitentiary, and sent to Danbury Prison in Connecticut. There he worked as a farm laborer, librarian, editor of prison publications (The Nutmeg Guidon and Little Nutmeg), truck driver, and finally fireman. This latter position gave him the right to two hours of visitation a month, rather than the former one hour. He was released from prison on July 11, 1946 with no conditions, and received amnesty from President Truman in 1947.

Bennett Andrews, born on September 13, 1906, married Florence (born in 1913) on July 22, 1938. She was also a strong pacifist, who fully supported her husband's C.O. stance. Twice a month Florence traveled ten hours on two trains to visit Bennett for a half hour each visit, all that was allowed. She wrote to him every day while he was in prison, a total of 973 letters, giving him the news of day, telling of her life at home (on a very small budget) and the office, reflecting on her beliefs about God and about peace, and using humorous stories and drawings to help keep up his spirits. These have been excerpted and collected by Florence into a manuscript called "From the Outside." He wrote often to her as well, sharing his opinions about the war, relaying anecdotes about life in prison, and expressing his longing for her. These letters have been excerpted and collected by Florence into a manuscript called "Somewhere in Prison." This collection provides a fascinating and valuable portrait, from both the female and the male points of view, of a devoted couple who were forced to live apart for three and a half years for their beliefs.

Florence worked as a secretary for the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia from 1943-1948, as secretary for the Dean of Haverford College (Pennsylvania) for nine years, and in various libraries through her 84th year. Bennett continued his avocation as a musician, working as both music teacher and organ teacher at the Settlement Music School in Germantown (Philadelphia). He died on May 2, 1994.

Arrangement

Box 1 contains files of biographical material; papers about Bennett Andrew's conscientious objection status; writings by Bennett and Florence Andrews; and edited transcripts of the original letters between husband and wife, typed by Florence. Box 2 contains copies of the original letters numbered 1-970.

Other Finding Aids

For the catalog record for this collection and to find materials on similar topics, search the library's online catalog.

Custodial History

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for these papers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--Florence N. Andrews. Method of acquisition--Gift of; Date of acquisition--1998 (acc. 98A-026 and 98A-047); 2002 {acc. 02A-048)

Separated Materials

Issues of The Little Nutmeg and issues of The Nutmeg Guidon have been removed to the Periodical Collection.

Legal Status

Copyright to the papers created by Bennett W. Andrews and Florence N. Andrews has been transferred to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Copyright to all other materials is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Processing Information

Processed by Anne Yoder, May 1998; updated 2002; newest version of the finding aid prepared by Wendy E. Chmielewski, July 2009
Description rules
dacs

Revision Statements

  • 2017: The file list was standardized in Summer 2017 by Mary Olesnavich in preparation for importing into ArchivesSpace. Tessa Chambers added the notes in Fall 2017.

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 Swarthmore College Peace Collection Library

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