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Archives & Manuscripts

Social Order Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Records

 Collection
Identifier: QM-Phy-820
Records of the Social Order Committee of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Includes minutes, 1917-1932 and 1939-1969, subcommittee records, correspondence, financial records, conferences and lectures, reports and publicaitons, projects, and miscellaneous records.

Dates

  • 1917-1969

Language of Materials

These records are entirely in English

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Collection is open for research. Access may be provided via digital or microfilm copy, per repository policy.

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.

Extent

13.5 Linear Feet

Overview

A Social Order Committee was established by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Orthodox) in 1917 to "consider the part which the Religious Society of Friends should take in the present day application of efforts to promote the Kingdom of God on Earth, particularly as it relates to social, political, and industrial conditions." In 1927 it began to more formally cooperate with a similar committee of the Hicksite Yearly Meeting in much of its work; the two shared a Secretary, David S. Richie, after 1939. In 1948 the two Philadelphia Yearly Meetings formed a joint Social Order Committee. It was absorbed into the Meeting for Social Concerns in 1969-70.

Biographical / Historical

A Social Order Committee was established by Arch Street in 1917 to "consider the part which the Religious Society of Friends should take in the present day application of efforts to promote the Kingdom of God on Earth, particularly as it relates to social, political, and industrial conditions." Early members included Bernard G. Waring, Agnes L. Tierney, and Thomas K. Brown; Edward W. Evans was the first General Secretary. At the beginning it was divided into a number of sections, inclluding farmers, educators, and industries. The Farmers’ Group considered the problems of farm laborers and other issues, but was not able to become very active. Two additional groups were soon created: Business Problems and Women’s Problems. The former had a number of related concerns, including the Christian duty of employers toward employees. The latter considered problems of domestic employment.

The Hicksite Committee on Philanthropic Labor (Hicksite) was reorganized for greater flexibility and decentralization in 1919. It changed its name to the Social Service Committee in 1936. The Section On Economic Order held meetings jointly with the Social Order Committee of Arch Street whenever possible; a separate committee on Economic Problems to this end was authorized by Representative Meeting in 1937. The Hicksite Committee on Economic Problems changed its name to Social Order at Yearly Meeting in 1948. The two Social Order Committees of the Philadelphia Yearly Meetings became a Joint Committee in 1949 after many years of cooperation. The Social Order Committee was absorbed by the Meeting for Social Concerns in 1969-70.

J. Howard Branson (1894-1984) served in WWI European relief work for the AFSC. He was appointed Secretary of the Social Order Committee in 1928, a position he filled 1/3 time with his job in Philadelphia’s Bureau of Municipal Research until he resigned both to work for Abbott’s Dairies ten years later.

Wilmer J. Young and Arthur J. Bertholf filled in on an interim basis until, in 1939, David S. Richie (1908-2005) was appointed Secretary of both the Committee on Economic Problems of Race Street and of the Social Order Committee of Arch Street. Richie founded the weekend workcamp program the following year.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Minutes (1953-1961) deposited by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.

Gift of Martha Richie, 2007.

Related Materials

The records of the Social Order Commitee after 1968 may be found with the records of the Meeting for Social Concerns at Friends Historical Library (RG2/Phy/758); likewise the records of the Committee on Economic Problems (RG2/Phy/730) and of the Friends Weekend Workcamp Program (RG2/Phy/774) are described in separate finding aids at http://trilogy.brynmawr.edu/speccoll/pymcomm.htm.

David S. Richie's personal papers are catalogued as RG5/264. These two collections have the same provenance and Committee records and personal papers are frequently interfiled. Researchers interested in any aspect should consult both.

Separated Materials

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends (Orthodox : 1827-1955). Social Order, Committee. A Statement by the Social Order Committee. Philadelphia, 1921.

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends (Orthodox : 1827-1955). Social Order, Committee. Coal Mining and the Social Order. Philadelphia, 1928.

Brown, Thomas Kite ed. Adult Education for Social Change : A Handbook for Leaders and Members of Discussion Groups, Forums, and Adult Classes. Edited by Eduard Lindeman. Philadelphia : Social Order Committee, 1935.

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends (Orthodox : 1827-1955). Social Order, Committee. What Is the Social Order Committee Trying to Do and How Is It Trying to Do It? [Philadelphia, 1937.
Title
RECORDS OF THE SOCIAL ORDER COMMITTEE OF PHILADELPHIA YEARLY MEETING
Subtitle
A Finding Aid for its Meeting Records Deposited in Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Date
2007-2008
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

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.

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 Quaker Meeting Records at Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections and Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library