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William Huntington papers

Identifier: HC.MC-1181

Scope and Contents

The collection includes materials collected by William Huntington (1907–1990), a 20th-century Quaker peace activist. The contents of the collection relate to Civilian Public Service Camps, specifically Big Flats, Conscientious Objection, the Quaker United Nations Program, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the ketch The Golden Rule, and nuclear disarmament. Included are correspondence, photographs, conference papers, newspaper articles, memoranda, and minutes. Notable letter writers include Willy Brandt, Chancellor of West Germany, 1969–1974, and AFSC members Stephen Cary, Julia Branson, and Louis Schneider.

The collection is divided into eight series, ordered roughly chronologically: Conscientious Objection and Civilian Public Service (1942-1946); American Friends Service Committee (1942-1960); Golden Rule and Phoenix (1956-1961); Algeria (1961-1963); Quaker United Nations Program (1963-1969); Disarmament (1973-1978); Letters to the Editor (1939-1989); Scrapbooks (1953-1967). Within these are subseries, grouped by type of material, including correspondence, photographs, official documents, and other materials.

The Conscientious Objection and Civilian Public Service series includes William Huntington’s application for Conscientious Objector status, as well as other writings on the topics of conscientious objection, civilian public service, and conscription. There is material from the Episcopal Pacifist Fellowship, including articles written for Witness Magazine. Materials from Huntington’s time at the CPS camp at Big Flats, NY, include official forms and information about the camp, evaluations of the camp by members (including information related to a strike protesting the CPS program), drawings, and photographs. Correspondence is found in a separate sub-series, and is arranged chronologically.

The AFSC series includes material from William Huntington’s time as Commissioner in Europe, on the Board of Directors, the Foreign Service Executive Committee, and the Russian-American Relations Committee. Included are general and official AFSC materials, and materials from conferences Huntington attended: the AFSC Conference of Community, Neighborhood, and Youth Centers, 1947; the Bielefed Conference, 1949; the Conference on Church and War, 1950; the Scattergood Conference, 1954; the Mohonk Seminar for Diplomats, 1959; and others. There are minutes and memoranda from each of the committees Huntington served as a member of. Materials from Huntington’s work abroad are arranged by country, and include materials from work in France, Hungary, Germany, Italy, and Poland. Photographs comprise a separate sub-series, and are found at the end of the series.

The Golden Rule and Phoenix series includes correspondence and photographs relating to the voyages of these two boats. The correspondence is ordered chronologically, and also includes letters regarding Huntington’s speaking engagements and letters of support to the crew of the Golden Rule while they were in prison. There is also material relating generally to disarmament activism 1956-1960.

The Algeria series includes material from Huntington’s work in Algeria and Tunisia during the Algerian War of Independence, in 1961-1963. These include six of Huntington’s notebooks, reports and drawings (especially maps), official documents, correspondence (arranged chronologically), and photographs.

The Quaker United Nations Program (QUNP) series includes four notebooks, reports and notes, and correspondence. The notes are related generally to QUNP projects, and also to particular conferences and committees, including the Friends World Committee Covenant on Human Rights regarding Conscientious Objectors, 1950, a QUNP Mohonk Seminar, 1965, and the Mohonk Consultations, 1981. Also included is William Huntington’s statement of personal belief, composed in 1963.

The Disarmament series is mostly comprised of materials from William Huntington’s tours of Europe, 1973-1978, speaking with world leaders about nuclear disarmament. These materials include UN General Assembly official records, October-November 1976, correspondence, reports, and travel documents. There is also general correspondence regarding issues of disarmament, arranged chronologically, and material from the York Forum, 1976.

The series of Letters to the Editor contains letters and articles written by William Huntington throughout his entire career. Both drafts and published articles are included, and are arranged chronologically. Topics include conscientious objection, relations between nations and world powers, war, and nuclear disarmament.

There are five scrapbooks. These include materials - mostly newspaper clippings and some photographs - collected and arranged by William Huntington. The scrapbooks cover disarmament activism, the Golden Rule, and the Fourth Friends World Conference.


  • Creation: 1932-1984


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Copyright and Rights Information

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical note

William R. Huntington was a Quaker peace activist, active primarily 1942-1985. He was born in Manhattan on January 28, 1907, and lived until 1990. He graduated with an AB from Harvard in 1928, and attended architectural school at Columbia and the University of Virginia, receiving his BS in Architecture from the University of Virginia in 1932. During World War II Huntington was a conscientious objector, and was assigned to the Civilian Public Service Camp at Big Flats, NY, where he was appointed Assistant Director. After the war Huntington joined the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). He served on the foreign staff 1945-1949, and was the Commissioner in Europe 1947-1949. With the AFSC, Huntington worked in France, Hungary, Germany, and Italy. After 1950, Huntington returned to his architectural work, but remained involved with the AFSC. He was a member of the Board of Directors 1954-1961, Chairman of the Foreign Service Executive Committee 1954-1959, and a member of the Russian-American Relations Committee 1949-1950. He also traveled to Poland during this time to help with the relief effort. Huntington was a mate and owner of the ketch Golden Rule, which sailed into the South Pacific in 1958 to protest atomic testing there by the United States. He was also involved with the Phoenix, which sailed a similar voyage in the same year. Huntington was arrested with the other crew members of the Golden Rule – James Peck, George Willoughby, Orion Sherwood, and Albert Bigelow – and sentenced to 60 days in jail. From 1961 to 1963, Huntington travelled to Algeria to aid in relief efforts during the independence war there. Huntington was involved with the Quaker United Nations Program (QUNP) and Quaker House 1963-1969. He remained active in the following decades in issues of nuclear disarmament, publishing numerous articles and letters to the editor, as well as touring Europe to speak with world leaders 1973-1978.


7 Linear Feet (13 boxes)




The collection relates primarily to William Huntington, (1907-1990), a 20th century Quaker peace activist and the ship The Golden Rule which Huntington and others used to protest atomic testing in the South Pacific. Included are correspondence, photographs, conference papers, newspaper articles, memoranda, and minutes.


Series I. Conscientious Objection and Civilian Public Service (1942-1946)

Subseries I
Conscientious Objection
Subseries II
Episcopal Pacifist Fellowship
Subseries III
CPS Big Flats
Subseries IV

Series II. American Friends Service Committee (1942-1960)

Subseries I
Subseries II
General AFSC Materials
Subseries III
Subseries IV
Board of Directors and Executive Committee
Subseries V
Europe and Latin America
Subseries VI

Series III. Golden Rule and Phoenix (1956-1961)

Subseries I
Subseries II

Series IV. Algeria (1961-1963)

Subseries I
Reports and Drawings
Subseries II
Subseries III

Series V. Quaker United Nations Program - QUNP (1963-1969)

Subseries I
Notes and Official Documents
Subseries II

Series VI. Disarmament (1973-1978)

Subseries I
European Disarmament Tour
Subseries II

Series VII. Letters to the Editor (1939-1989)

Series VIII. Scrapbooks (1953-1967)


The William Huntington papers were donated to Special Collections, Haverford College, in 1996 and 1997 by Leonie Huntington (wife of William Huntington).

Separated Materials

Some printed materials from this collection were moved into PG 6 - William Huntington.


"AFSC" will always stand for "American Friends Service Committee".

"CPS" will always stand for "Civilian Public Service".

"QUNP" will always stand for "Quaker United Nations Program".

Processing Information

Processed by Elizabeth Peters; completed March 2015.

William Huntington papers, 1932-1984
Elizabeth Peters
March, 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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