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Daniel A. Seeger Collected Papers

Identifier: SCPC-CDG-A-Seeger, Daniel A.

Scope and Contents

These papers are primarily about Seeger's draft case from 1963-1965. They include FBI files on Seeger, received through the Freedom of Information Act.


  • Creation: 1958-2008


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use



[from Wikepedia]

Daniel Andrew Seeger is a retired American non-profit-business administrator, and a Quaker religion and social-issue writer, who was earlier a defendant in a case on conscription of pacifists that was decided by the Supreme Court.

Seeger had come from a Roman Catholic background, been heavily influenced by Quaker ideas, and volunteered with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). In 1958, he was denied conscientious objector status under the 1948 military-draft law, on grounds that his religious beliefs did not constitute "belief in a Supreme Being"; he was eventually ordered to enter the armed forces, and convicted of draft refusal. In 1965, the Supreme Court ruled in United States vs. Seeger that his conviction was mistaken, because Congress, in its statutory language, "did not intend" using "the usual understanding" of "Supreme Being", but rather an interpretation that extended to Seeger's "compulsion" to "goodness".

Seeger made a career in the administration of the AFSC, and also worked as Executive Director of Pendle Hill, from which he retired in September 2000. On April 1, 2010, Seeger stepped into the role of Interim General Secretary at the AFSC, pending the conclusion of the search for a permanent General Secretary.


2.9 linear ft. (35 linear in.; 7 boxes)


Seeger is best known for the 1965 Supreme Court court case regarding his conscientious objector claim without belief in a Supreme Being as grounds for C.O. status.

Other Finding Aids

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Custodial History

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for these papers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Daniel A. Seeger, 2014 [acc. 2014-008 and 2014-018].

Separated Materials

One photograph of Seeger with his bride, Betty Jean Adams (January 31, 1960), was removed to the Photograph Collection.

Legal Status

Copyright may have been transferred to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection or may have been retained by the creators/authors (or their descendants), in this collection, as stipulated by United States copyright law. Please contact the SCPC Curator for further information.

Processing Information

Processed by Anne M. Yoder, Archivist, April 2014.

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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 Swarthmore College Peace Collection Library

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