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Howard Haines Brinton and Anna Shipley Cox Brinton papers

Identifier: HC.MC-1189

Scope and Contents note

The collection opens with genealogical, biographical and autobiographical materials relating to Anna Shipley Cox Brinton and Howard Haines Brinton. It continues with letters from Anna Brinton from her early youth, through her boarding school days at Westtown School, receipt of her Ph.D. from Stanford University and service in the feeding program in Germany and Poland under the A.F.S.C., family life, academic career, travel under Quaker concerns, especially to Japan and work as co-director of Pendle Hill. Anna Brinton’s correspondents include: American Friends Service Committee personnel, Minnie Bowles, various Brinton family members, Henry Cadbury, various Cox family members, especially her sister Catharine Cox Miles, Hans Freund, Joan Mary Fry, Anna Hartshorne, Mary Hoxie Jones, Rufus M. Jones, Hertha Kraus, Margarethe Lachmund, Mills College.

There is an accumulation of information prepared by Anna Brinton on classical studies, specifically on Virgil and Horace and including some drawings by Anna Brinton, her trip to Europe and Asia, including China, in 1946, AB’s notebooks from the period in Japan in 1953-54, as well as in Korea in 1954 and on travel home through Hawaii in 1954. This is separate from the diaries which she kept from 1936-1954, and then appointment book-style diaries, 1955- 1968. To round out Anna Brinton’s part of the collection are glass slides of silhouettes of Quakers and photographs taken in Japan, as well as miscellaneous materials, including Christmas cards hand-drawn by Anna Shipley Cox Brinton.

The collection continues with the correspondence of Howard Brinton, from his early youth, then teaching at Guilford College in North Carolina, his work with the feeding program of the AFSC in Germany (1920-21), his marriage to Anna Shipley Cox Brinton and the birth of their children, teaching at Mills College in California, the trip to Japan and finally, settling in as co-director of Pendle Hill (1936). He maintained connections and interest in many Japanese friends and acquaintances. Brinton writes about his publications, his beliefs, lectures, and his marriage to Yuki Takahashi (1972).

Howard Haines Brinton’s early letters are primarily to his parents, then also to Anna and Anna’s parents. His correspondents include: Stephen Hobhouse, Yukio Irie, Rufus Jones, Walter Miles, Douglas Steere and many others.

In addition to Howard Haines Brinton correspondence are his book reviews and contracts, notes and research on topics of interest to him, manuscripts, typescripts and published articles, juvenilia, poems, lectures and diaries. Many of these deal with the theme of American Quakerism. As well are materials relating to his academic life at Haverford College, Harvard University, Pickering and Mills Colleges.

There are documents and pictures relating to the German and Spanish feeding program relating to both Howard Haines Brinton and Anna Shipley Cox Brinton. Included here are some unusual photographs from Almora Gaza accompanied by a note suggesting that AFSC had a project with refugees in Gaza.

In the papers of Alvin J. Cox, arranged with Cox family materials, are photographs of Philipinos, probably taken in 1917 when Cox was visiting on an inspection trip of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources as Director of the Bureau of Science. The photographs are of the Igorot people of the Philippines.

There is an extensive list of materials removed to other locations at the end of the finding aid. These are primarily published articles.

In all, the collection points to the extraordinary lives and output of Anna Shipley Cox Brinton and Howard Haines Brinton and, not least, the importance of their family life.

Abbreviation of Anna Shipley Cox Brinton or Anna Brinton for Anna Shipley Cox Brinton and Howard Haines Brinton or HB for Howard Haines Brinton may be used; “ASCB” signs as “Eldy” in some of her letters; LBF = Lydia Brinton Forbes; CM = Catharine Cox Miles; Pendle Hill = Pendle Hill; PYM = Philadelphia Yearly Meeting; AFSC = American Friends Service Committee

Though not all letters are listed individually, those that are highlighted are done so on the basis of content of the letter or historical importance of the letter writer.

A good deal of the descriptive information about materials in this collection was provided by the donors. In addition, topical materials as arranged by donors have been kept together and folder titles provided by the donors have generally been maintained. The result is that formatting of information varies, depending on the creator. Howard Brinton's Haverford College senior thesis written in 1904 entitled "The Element of Mysticism in Quakerism" is available in the Haverford College archives.

N.B. Papers of additional Brinton family members and Bean, Cox and Shipley families have been received as an addition to this acquisition, but have not yet been described in detail, though they have at least folder-level identification.


  • Creation: 1859-2005


Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use note

Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact Haverford College with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.

Biographical/Historical note

Howard Haines Brinton was born into a Quaker family in West Chester, PA on July 24, 1884 and was the son of Edward and Ruthanna Brown Brinton. He married Anna Shipley Cox in 1921 with whom he had 4 children, and Yukiko Takahashi in 1972. He received a 1904 and a M.A. in 1905 from Haverford College. He also received a M.A. in 1909 from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from the University of California in 1924.

Brinton taught at Friends Boarding School in Barnesville, Ohio (1906-1908) and Pickering College (1909-1915). He was a professor of mathematics at Guilford College (1915-1919) where he also served as acting president and dean. Howard Haines Brinton was faculty advisor to the Guilfordian (student newspaper at Guilford College) at least for the period 1917-1918.

He was secretary and publicity director of the American Friends Service Committee (1919-1920), director of the child feeding program in the Plebiscite area of Upper Silesia (1920-1921). In 1927, Howard Haines Brinton was recorded a minister in the Society of Friends. He returned to teach physics at Earlham College (1922-1928), religion at Mills College (1928-1936). Brinton served as acting director and lecturer at Pendle Hill Graduate School of Religion & Social Study (1934-1935) and director (1936-1952). He continued to be active as the Swarthmore lecturer in London (1931), resident fellow and lecturer at Selly Oak in England (1931), lecturer at Haverford College (1932, 1945 & 1949), William Penn lecturer in Philadelphia (1932 & 1938), lecturer at Bryn Mawr College, (1934 & 1936), Dudleian lecturer at Harvard (1949). He was a representative of the American Friends Service Committee in Japan (1952-1954). Howard Haines Brinton was author of several books, including Friends for 300 Years (1952), The Mystic Will (1930), Creative Worship (1931), Divine Human Society (1938), editor & contributor to Children of Light (1938), Quaker Education (1940), editor and contributor to Byways in Quaker History (1944, Creative Worship and other Essays (1963). He was also the author of pamphlets published by Pendle Hill. Howard Brinton died in 1973.

Anna Shipley Cox Brinton, scholar, teacher, activist and organizer was born into a Quaker family in 1887, the daughter of Lydia Bean Cox and Charles Cox and granddaughter of Joel and Hannah Bean of College Park. Anna attended Westtown School and graduated from Stanford University, Phi Beta Kappa, and Ph.D. in 1917. She also studied at the American School of Archaeology and Classical Studies in Rome. In 1918, she became a member of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting for the Western District. In circa 1920, she was appointed to the child feeding program of the AFSC in Upper Silesia (northern Poland). In 1928, Anna Shipley Cox Brinton was recorded a minister in the Society of Friends. Later, at Mills College, she became professor of Archaeology and Convener of the School of Fine Arts, as well as Dean of the Faculty. From there, Anna and Howard Brinton went to Earlham College where both of them taught. In 1936, she and Howard Brinton were appointed as permanent directors of Pendle Hill. In 1948, Anna was appointed the AFSC Commissioner for Asia. Under that title she addressed the Women’s Problems Group in Philadelphia and authored a Pendle Hill pamphlet. Both Anna and Howard worked toward the reunification of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. In 1951, Anna Brinton wrote the pamphlet “Toward Undiscovered Ends” on Friends’ religious concern for Russia. After the Friends World Conference of 1952, the Brintons gave two years’ service in Japan, and Anna was in charge of post-war relief at one of the two Friends Centers in Tokyo. Anna served as a member of the AFSC Board of Directors (1938-1952) and then as vice chairman (1958-60; 1962-65). Anna Brinton’s head was the model for Sylvia Judson Shaw’s sculpture of Mary Dyer, the Quaker martyr. She herself was artistically inclined. Anna Shipley Cox Brinton was president of Friends Historical Association in the 1960s. In the 1960s, Anna edited the book to honor Henry J. Cadbury, Then and Now and the Pendle Hill pamphlet on “The Wit and Wisdom of William Bacon Evans” in 1966. Anna Shipley Cox Brinton died in 1969. 12

Alvin J. Cox was Director in the Bureau of Science in the Department of Agriculture. He traveled to the Philippines in 1917 with other Bureau chiefs of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Secretary Apacible. While there, he collected a series of photographs of indigenous Filippinos, apparently taken by a professional photographer. Some of the photographs portray a group living in the mountains of northern Luzon. Their languages belong to the Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) family. Of two large groupings among them, by far the larger, comprises the peoples of the higher country who cultivate wet rice, mostly in step like terraces on the mountainsides; the other comprises peoples of the lower rainforest areas, who grow dry rice in seasonally shifting gardens. Kinship is traced on both the paternal and the maternal sides, extending as far as third cousins. The Moros, or Bansamoro people, a Muslim community, are among the indigenous groups of the Southern Philippines. Their name originated from the Spanish word Moor, meaning Muslim, and they mostly live in a region dubbed as Bangsamoro in the southern Philippines. The Bangsamoro people have traditionally been led by either a sultan or by datu, whose function was similar to a duke’s. In return for tribute and labor, the datu provides aid in emergencies and mediates disputes with other communities.

Joel Bean was one of many children born to John and Elis(z)abeth Hill. Hannah E. Bean married Joel Bean; both were missionaries and ministers in the Society of Friends. They had two daughters, both of whom married Coxes.

The Shipley family was a Philadelphia Quaker family with deep roots. The patriarch was Thomas Shipley, a well-known abolitionist. He was the second husband of Lydia Richards. Lydia Richards was first married to Daniel Elliott and they had 4 children: Margaretta Elliott, Annabella Elliott, John Elliott, and Daniel M. Elliott. Margaretta appears not to have married. Annabella married Thomas Winn, and was a Philadelphia Quaker minister.

Lydia Richards Elliott Shipley had three children with Thomas Shipley. These were Samuel R. Shipley, Hannah Elliott Bean, and Catharine Morris Shipley. Samuel R. Shipley married Anna Shinn Shipley. They had three children: Susan who never married, Anna who married Samuel Henry Troth, and Annabelle who died in infancy. Anna Troth had one son, John Theodore Troth, who was a great favorite with his grandfather Samuel R. Shipley. Anna Shipley the younger died a year after the birth of her son.

Catharine Morris Shipley married a distant cousin Murray Shipley. They lived in Cincinnati. He was a businessman and she gave lectures on art history. They both did philanthropic and charitable work. He had many children by a previous wife.


Information from: Internal evidence, Directory of American Scholars, 3rd ed. and a number of published works (see footnotes); also Encyclopedia Brittanica for information on the Philippines.

1“Howard & Anna Brinton” by Dan Wilson. Chapter in Living in the Light: Some Quaker Pioneers of the 20th Century ed. by Leonard S. Kenworthy. 1984

2“Living the Peace Testimony: the Legacy of Howard and Anna Brinton” / by Anthony Manousos. Pendle Hill pamphlet 372, 2004.


26 linear ft. (57 boxes and 2 rolled objects)

Language of Materials



Howard Haines Brinton and Anna Shipley Cox Brinton were 20th-century Quaker educators and prolific authors whose areas of expertise included the physical sciences and the Classics. Notably, they also worked for the American Friends Service Committee in Europe, for Friends Center in Tokyo, Japan, and as directors of Pendle Hill, an adult study center in Wallingford, PA. They were both recorded ministers in the Religious Society of Friends. This collection also contains materials of other Brinton, Bean, Cox and Shipley Family members.

Other Finding Aids

Box and Folder Listing and More Information:

Custodial History note

Gift of Catharine Cary, Lydia Forbes, Joan Erickson, Edward Brinton 1975, 1991, 2002, 2004, 2006 Accession #3304, 5536, 6644, 6676 & 6950

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Catharine Cary, Lydia Forbes, Joan Erickson, Edward Brinton

Processing Information note

The creation of the electronic guide for this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project.

Finding aid entered into the Archivists' Toolkit by Garrett Boos.

Howard Haines Brinton and Anna Shipley Cox Brinton papers, 1859-2005
August, 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
The creation of the electronic guide for this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project. Finding aid entered into the Archivists' Toolkit by Garrett Boos.

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