Scope and Contents
The records of the Committee on Philanthropic Labor include minutes of the general committee and some of tis sub committees as well as a series of correspondence and miscellaneous papers, arranged chronologically and topically.
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 Committee on Philanthropic Labor was appointed by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends (Hicksite) in 5mo 1892, merging the existing committees of Indian Concerns, Temperance and Intoxicating Beverages, and Colored People of the South. The Committee coordinated Philadelphia Hicksite Quaker activity in a number of social concerns, including race relations, Indian affairs, temperance and peace. The Clerk and Assistant Clerk of the Temperance Section, James H. Atkinson and Annie Caley Dorland, were named to the same positions in the merged committee; an Executive Board of nine people was also appointed. One of the first actions of the Committee was to appoint delegates to the meeting of the Friends Union for Philanthropic in 8mo 1892. Dorland passed away in 8mo 1894, and Eleanor K. Richards was named in her stead.
In 1902, a Sub Committee on Equal Rights for Women with Susan W. Janney as Chair was named by Yearly Meeting, "while some did not feel prepared for such action." After an address by Marianna Chapman of New York, a membership organization, Friends Equal Rights Association of Philadelphia, was formed out of the Sub Committee; in less than a year, the Association was reported to have 200 active members. The Equal Rights Sub Committee was laid down in 1919.
A Committee on Prison Reform was added to the Philanthropic Labor Committee in 1908. In 1916, an Emergency Peace Committee, made up up the membership of the Peace and Arbitration Sub Committee was set off as an independent committee.
The Philanthropic Labor Committee itself was reorganized in 1919, with Sub Committees of: Social Morality, Child Welfare, Temperance and Anti Narcotics, Delinquents and Defectives, and the Race Question. The latter was initially intended to be concerned with Native Americans, African Americans, and immigrants. An Anti-Lynching group, formed in conjunction with Arch Street Friends, absorbed much of the membership of the Race Question Committee, and it ceased to report to Philanthropic Labor; the name of the Anti-Lynching Committee was changed to the Committee on the Interests of the Colored Race in 1921.
In 1927, a Sub Committee was appointed to examine the areas of better economic order and improved industrial conditions, areas which the Orthodox Social Order Committee had already taken up. In 1935, the Yearly Meeting directed that the section on Economic Order join certain activities with those of its counterpart at Arch Street. A joint Social Order Committee was established by 1937.
By 1929, sub committees of the Philanthropic Labor Committee included Temperance and Anti-Narcotics, Child Welfare, Social Work, Social Order, and two new ones, Capital Punishment and Farm Problems. By the time of the Yearly Meeting in 1936, the Committee saw declining interest in participation in its activities. Separate committees for Race Relations, Peace, Social Order, and Temperance were already established. The Yearly Meeting approved the hiring of a Field Secretary to work with local meetings. A formal name change to Social Service Committee was also made at that time.