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Elizabeth and Leon Stern papers

Identifier: HC.MC-1282

Scope and Contents

The collection contains materials from Elizabeth and Leon Stern.

The Elizabeth Stern materials include writings, correspondence, and personal materials. The writings series includes columns written for the Philadelphia Ledger as Eleanor Morton, various short works, and extensive notes and drafts for The Women Behind Gandhi. Correspondence includes both personal and business correspondence, particularly related to the publication of The Gambler’s Wife. Personal materials include school notes and a scrapbook related to a 1936 trip to Italy.

Leon Stern materials include a variety of materials related to prison reform, including materials related to Leon’s work on the Committee on Citizen Participation, American Congress of Correction, his work on volunteer courts, and through various Philadelphia Yearly Meeting committees. There are also materials from his involvement with the case of Isaiah Green, whose sentence was commuted from death to life in prison, and other materials related to the death penalty. There is also correspondence related to this topic. Barnard Walton materials include correspondence about him and a variety of notes and drafts of a biographical essay. Personal materials include correspondence, awards and honors, and photographs.


  • Creation: 1920-1968


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical Note

Elizabeth Gertrude Stern was born February 14, 1889, in Skedel, Poland. Her family immigrated to Pittsburgh in 1892, where her father was a rabbi. She earned a bachelor's from the University of Pittsburgh, and then served as a school principal, executive director of two settlement houses, and as head of cultural work at Wannamaker’s in Philadelphia. In later life she was involved in many Quaker and philanthropic organizations; she was a member of 12th Street Meeting at her death. Stern was a writer for the Philadelphia Sunday Record, the New York Times, the New York Evening World, and the Philadelphia Public Leader using the pen name Eleanor Morton. She was the author of several fiction and non-fiction books, including My Mother and I (1917), I am a Woman -- And a Jew (1926), Josiah White: Prince of Pioneers (1947), and The Women Behind Gandhi (1953).

Leon Thomas Stern (1887-1980) was a noted American penologist and prison reformer. He earned a bachelor's from the University of Pennsylvania and a social work degree from the New York School of Social Work. Leon was the director of education and chief probabtion officer at the Philadelphia Municipal Court. He served as director of the Pennsylvania Committee on Penal Affairs and Regional Director with the Deputy Attorney General of the US in a national survey of crime. He had a major role in the drafting of the plan for the Pennsylvania State Parole Board. He was involved with the American Correctional Conference and various committees of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting related to prison reform. He was a member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting.

Elizabeth and Leon met at the New York School of Social Work. They married in 1911 and had two sons, Thomas Leon, born in 1913, and Richard LeFevre, born in 1921. They co-authored the book A Friend in Court (1923). Elizabeth Stern died in January, 1954. Leon Stern died August 1, 1980.


2.1 linear ft. (6 boxes)

Language of Materials



Elizabeth Gertrude Stern (1889-1954) was an author, educator, and social worker. Leon Thomas Stern (1887-1980) was a noted penologist and prison reformer. Materials in the collection reflect their careers and interests.


The collection is divided by creator, and within each series by subject.


The Elizabeth and Leon Stern papers were donated to Special Collections, Haverford College by Richard Stern.

Related Materials

HC.MC.1102 Josiah W. Leeds papers

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Horowitz; completed March, 2018.

Elizabeth and Leon Stern papers
Sarah Horowitz
March, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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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 repoductions from Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

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Haverford PA 19041 USA US