Scope and Contents
This collection consists of 95 assorted archival boxes, with the material organized within each box in file folders. The materials located within consist of minutes, correspondence, agendas and other ephemera.
Series 1 through 3 of the collection contain the records of the three predecessor committees to the Friends Peace Committee, the Committee on Peace and Service (Hicksite), the Philadelphia Peace Association of Friends (Orthodox), and the Peace Committee of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Orthodox).
After Series 3, the remainder of the collection includes the records of the Friends Peace Committee, formed in 1933. Series 4-5 contain the minutes, logs, and financial records of the general committee. Series 6 and 7 contain the correspondence and files of Executive Secretaries Richard Wood and George Hardin, respectively. Series 8-13 contain the records of a number of subcommittees founded during Hardin’s tenure, while Series 17-19 contain miscellaneous correspondence and documents related to various committees and projects.
Series 20-30 contain the more recent additions to the collection. Series 20 deals with the relationship of the FPC with the Coordinating Committee for Testimonies and Concerns, while Series 21 contain the papers of the staff coordinator from 1974 to 1981. Series 22-30 are all the records of various subcommittees of the FPC.
Copyright and Rights Information
Copyright has not been assigned to the Repositories All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the individual Meeting or its successor. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Repositories as the holder(s) of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.
Biographical / Historical
The Friends Peace Committee (FPC) of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting was formed in 1933 by the merger of similar committees that had been established in 1892 by the Race Street Yearly Meeting (Hicksite) and in 1916 by the Arch Street Yearly Meeting (Orthodox) in Philadelphia. The records in this collection include those of the predecessor committees, official and unofficial, as well as those of the FPC itself.
In 1892, a Peace Section was formed as a subcommittee of the Committee on Philanthropic Labor of PYM (Hicksite). Work for Peace and Arbitration was carried out under the direction of Arabella Carter, who was known as the Peace Superintendent. In 1916, an autonomous Emergency Peace Committee was appointed to "work in closest harmony with the like committee appointed by Arch Street." Jesse H. Holmes was appointed Chairman, with Arabella Carter continuing as Peace Superintendent. The name of this Committee changed several times, to the Committee on Peace and Emergency Service in 1917, and to the Committee on Peace and Service in 1920. Members published and distributed literature, engaged in other educational work, and supported a Swarthmore College Peace Caravan team sent out by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).
The Philadelphia Peace Association of Friends (PPAF) was an unofficial body formed in 1891 by members of PYM (Orthodox). Samuel Morris and John B. Garrett served as Presidents for most of the period from 1891 to 1916. Members printed and distributed peace literature, arranged lectures and educational programs, and corresponded with legislators and world leaders.
When the Yearly Meeting (Orthodox) formally established a Peace Committee under the Chairmanship of John B. Garrett in 1916, the PPAF ceased to be active. Anne Garrett Walton served as Executive Secretary. She was succeeded by William Wickersham and, beginning in 1923, by Richard R. Wood.
After the merger of the two peace committees in 1933, the joint organization was called the Friends Peace Committee, first of Philadelphia and Vicinity and subsequently of the Philadelphia Yearly Meetings. It was funded by appropriation from both Yearly Meetings and by contributions from individual Friends. In 1955, after the reunification of Philadelphia Yearly Meetings, FPC was placed under the direct oversight of PYM and its Representative Meeting.
Richard R. Wood assumed the position of Executive Secretary of the Friends Peace Committee of Philadelphia and Vicinity in 1933, after serving in that capacity for the Peace Committee of PYM (Orthodox). In 1949, George C. Hardin was hired as Executive Secretary. George R. Lakey took over for him on an interim basis, during the former's leave of absence from 1963 to 1965. Hardin retired in 1973.
In 1974, PYM was restructured, placing FPC within the Coordinating Committee for Testimonies and Concerns, Section II (CCII). In an effort to increase efficiency and to consolidate the many activities of PYM, CCII had been appointed to oversee social programs and committees under its care, and reported in turn to PYM and its Representative Meeting. The position of Executive Secretary of FPC was eliminated, and a staff coordinator was appointed to handle administrative tasks. In 1981, PYM's budget cutbacks forced CCII to assume administrative duties for FPC, so that staff could continue to maintain essential programs.
Into the 1980's and 1990's, the FPC continued to grow and change. New subcommittees were formed to focus on such issues as peace in the Middle East and the presence of the military in schools.
The Records of Friends Peace Committee were received in a number of accessions from several sources. In 1938, scattered minutes of the Committee on Peace and Service, then the Peace Section of the Committee on Philanthropic Labor, were received from PYM (Hicksite) Offices at 1515 Cherry Street. Included in it were records of the joint Friends Peace Committee from 1933 to about 1935 as well as the Treasurer's Ledger and a few records of the Philadelphia Peace Association of Friends. Most of the Orthodox records had been deposited in the YM Archives at 304 Arch Street and were transferred to FHL in the mid 1970's. Additional papers of the Joint Committee were deposited in 1954, and those of the FPC several times in the 1970's, including the files of George Hardin. Fire partially destroyed files and literature in the FPC Offices on May 23, 1962; so much original FPC material dating from the late 1950's and early 1960's is missing. The records of Bruce Birchard and Tom Conrad were received in 1985, covering the period from 1973-1984.