The New York Colored Mission records
Scope and Contents
The records of a Quaker organization ("New York Colored Mission") from the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries, with social and training offerings in New York, particularly to the African American community, and based on the principle of obtaining jobs and decent housing for African Americans. Many of the materials in the collection document financial information related to the Mission rather than information about individuals using the Missions's services.
Accounts includes information about the financial resources of the Mission, while records includes donations and other information related to the Fresh Air fund, which sent women and children to the country. Correspondence often focuses on financial information, partnerships with other organizations, and administrative issues. Minutes detail the administrative decisions of the Managers and Trustees. Miscellaneous materials include reports, including information on job placement, and foundational documents.
The addition to the collection includes certificates or incorporation and by-laws, further financial information and accounts, correspondence, often related to building issues, annual reports for the Mission, and photographs of Sunday School.
- New York Colored Mission (Organization)
The collection is open for research use.
Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).
Biographical / Historical
According to an article of its constitution, the objectives of the New York Colored Mission were the “religious, moral, and social elevation of the colored people.” Programs to this end were classes in cooking, sewing, carpentry, and bible instruction. The Mission also had a lodging house, employment agency, and district nurse. Its Fresh Air program gave black women and children a chance to spend some time in the country.
The New York Colored Mission was under the care of the Society of Friends from its inception in 1865. It was incorporated by the state of New York in 1871. Its objectives were “to conduct in the city of New York Sabbath schools for religious instruction, social religious meetings, an evening school for adults, a sewing school, a mother's meeting, an employment office, a free reading room, and a temperance society, also to employ missionaries to aid the society in promoting the foregoing." It also provided housing for some women. It was located on both 130th and 131st Streets in New York City until 1941, when it was reduced to three houses on 131st St. It was affiliated with the Protestant Welfare Federation.
Originally named the African Sunday School Association, the Mission was later renamed the New York Colored Mission. The governing arm of the Mission consisted of a Board of Managers and a Board of Trustees. While the managers, appointed by the trustees, carried on the work of the Mission, their actions were subject to approval by the Trustees. The goal of the New York Colored Mission was not to promote equality for Black people, but instead to provide job and health training
Two of the Mission's leaders were Joshua L. Barton, 1849-1926, and Levi Hollingsworth Wood, 1873-1956. Barton, a doctor, was elected to the Board of Managers in 1883; he served as secretary and president of the Board of Trustees until his death in 1926. Wood, a lawyer, was elected secretary of the Board of Trustees in 1898, a position he held till his death in 1956. He was also active in other social work, and was chairman of the Board of the National Urban League.
The New York Colored Mission was closed in 1966. Assets of the Mission were turned over to New York Monthly Meeting.
2.5 Linear Feet (6 boxes)
The records of a Quaker organization from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries, with social and training offerings in New York, particularly to the African American community, and based on the principle of obtaining jobs and decent housing for African Americans.
Separated material: Printed pamphlets and booklets published by The New York Colored Mission to PG & QC
Original processing information unknown.
- The New York Colored Mission records, 1865-1964
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
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 or requesting reproductions from Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library
370 Lancaster Ave
Haverford PA 19041 USA US