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Elmore Jackson Papers

Identifier: SFHL-RG5-202

Scope and Contents

Elmore Jackson (1910-1989), was a noted Quaker author and former U.S. State Department official. He was particularly involved in using Quaker principles in the realm of international relations. This collection also includes the papers of his wife, Elisabeth Rose Averill Jackson (1909-). The papers are primarily the working files of Elmore Jackson rather than personal papers, and they encompass his entire career. His journals, in the Writings series, contain only sporadic entries. His professional career, which was devoted in large part to introducing and using Quaker techniques in the realm of International Relations, is well documented.


  • Creation: 1927-1985


Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Rights Information

Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce items in this collection beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns. See

Biographical / Historical

Wesley Elmore Jackson (1910-1989) was the son of John and Cora Osborn Jackson, of Marengo, Ohio. He was a birthright member of Gilead Monthly Meeting. His family transferred to Alum Creek Monthly Meeting in 1912 and then to Green Monthly Meeting, in Idaho where Elmore attended Greenleaf Academy, a Quaker school. He went to Pacific College (now George Fox College) and then on to Yale University, where he received his M.Div. in 1934 and did two years of graduate work in International Relations. In 1934 he married Elisabeth Averill, a graduate of Mt. Holyoke who had just received an M.F.A. in theater from Yale. Elisabeth Averill, born in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1909, was the fourth of Carrie Brownell Averill and the Rev. Edward Wilson Averill's six children. The Reverend was an Episcopal minister. Further information about the Averill and Brownell families is located in Series 7, which includes photographs of Elisabeth's parents, siblings, and ancestors. Elmore and Elisabeth had two children, Karen Jackson Williams (b.1940) and Gail Elisabeth Jackson (b.1944).

Once he had finished school, Jackson worked for the American Friends Service Committee for twelve years, serving as Assistant Secretary, Personnel Director, Commissioner in England during the post WWII relief era, and for his last two years, as Assistant Executive Secretary. In 1948, Elmore Jackson began work as Director of the Quaker Program at the United Nations, a position he held until 1961. He was involved in mediation efforts in the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan (1952-3) and between Egypt and Israel in 1955. He traveled extensively in the Middle East, assessing economic and community development projects, and he lived in Beirut in 1957-1958.

From 1961-1965, Jackson worked for the Department of State, as Special Assistant for Policy Planning to the Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs. He continued to serve as a consultant for the Department of State for a few years, but he returned to the United Nations, this time as Vice President for Policy Studies at the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA). There he developed a Policy Studies Program "focused on major issues related to effective U. S. participation in international organization affairs." A number of panels were established with the assistance of a committee headed up by former Deputy Secretary of Defense, Cyrus Vance.

In 1973 Jackson became a full-time consultant to the Rockefeller Foundation, where he "assisted in the development of a new international affairs program focused on the analysis and control of international conflict." Jackson retired in 1977 and went on to serve as a Special Advisor to the Aspen Institute. In 1983, he published an account of his 1955 Middle East Mission in. In 1980 the Jacksons moved to Pennswood Village in Newtown, Pennsylvania, a Quaker retirement community, and were members of Wrightstown Monthly Meeting.


10 Linear Feet (18 boxes (and 2 boxes of photographs))




Writings, correspondence, and other papers of Elmore Jackson (1910-1989), a noted Quaker author and former U.S. State Department official. Jackson was particularly involved in using Quaker principles in the realm of international relations. This collection also includes the papers of his wife, Elisabeth Rose Averill Jackson (1909-).


The collection is divided into six series:

  1. Biographical
  2. Writings
  3. Correspondence
  4. Professional files
  5. Subject files
  6. Elisabeth Rose Averill Jackson Papers

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog

Custodial History

This collection was offered by Elmore Jackson's family after his death. It was transported from Pennswood Village to Swarthmore College by Edwin B. Bronner, then head of the Quaker Collection of Haverford College, so that representatives of the AFSC Archives, the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, and Haverford could confer about its ultimate placement. Haverford and AFSC indicated an interest in portions of the material, but since Friends Historical Library indicated a willingness to accept the entire collection, that is where the collection was ultimately deposited. The Elmore Jackson Papers were fully catalogued in 1999, when an additional material was transported from Haverford to Swarthmore.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donor: Beth Jackson, Karen Jackson Williams, Gail Jackson, 1989

Separated Materials

The following materials have been removed from the collection and added to PA, photographs:

  1. Averill Family Photographs, including disbound album
  2. Elmore and Elisabeth Averill Jackson
  3. Jackson's early family life
  4. Karen and Gail Jackson
  5. Singing Eagle Lodge, 1949
  6. Elmore Jackson & Quaker House
  7. Elmore Jackson & UNA-USA
  8. Jordan River Valley
  9. Other people and places


  1. Middle East mission: the story of a major bid for peace in the time of Nasser and Ben-Gurion. New York: Norton, c1983.
  2. Bellagio Conference on Climate Change, Food Production, and Interstate Conflict (1975) Climate change, food production, and interstate conflict: a conference held at the Bellagio Study and Conference Center, Italy, June 4-8, 1975 / sponsored by the Rockefeller programs in conquest of hunger, quality of the environment, conflict in international relations; [final draft written by Elmore Jackson]. [New York]: Rockefeller Foundation, 1976
  3. The Management of interdependence: the planning function: a conference held at the Bellagio Study and Conference Italy, May 10-14, 1975; [final report written by Elmore.New York: Rockefeller Foundation, 1975
  4. Meeting of minds: a way to peace... With special contributions by Carl Christian Schmidt Sir Frederick W. New York, Toronto, [etc.]: McGraw-Hill book co., inc., 1952

Processing Information

Although they were somewhat disarrayed at the time of processing, an attempt was made to maintain Elmore Jackson's original order, or more accurately, to preserve and in certain instances recreate Elmore's means of organizing his papers. He grouped together materials relating to each job he held and maintained an alphabetical subject file comprised mainly of reference materials concerning issues of interest to him. Those files that only contained clippings and reports were deaccessioned. Duplicates were also weeded out, and a number of United Nations publications were removed. The job series and subject file series were maintained. His published writings, multiple copies of which had been scattered throughout the collection, were brought together, along with files relating to his major publications, school papers, and day books, into a "writings" series. Jackson's file names were almost always preserved, with dates added.

Elmore Jackson Papers, 1927-1985
Rachel Onuf
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

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