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Ross Flanagan Papers

Identifier: SCPC-DG-064

Scope and Contents

The Ross Flanagan papers are organized by the name of the project in which he was involved. The Friends Mississippi Project papers consist mainly of printed materials: reports, news releases, clippings, financial reports, and photos, notably of the burned African-American churches in Mississippi, and their reconstruction.


  • Creation: 1962-1993
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1964-1978


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use


Biographical note

Ross Flanagan (1934- ), Quaker pacifist and activist, has been involved in many Quaker-related and Quaker-sponsored projects. In the 1950s he served on the staff of the American Friends Service Committee. He was arrested in Berkeley, California, and sent to prison for civil disobedience from December 1962 through January 1963 as a result of his individual protest against the escalating American presence in Vietnam.

In 1964, as he served as a member of a Quaker exploratory team travelling in Mississippi to assess the destruction of African-American churches which had been burned during civil rights disturbances. Thomas Purdy and Lawrence Scott were also members of this team, which provided material assistance in the reconstruction of those churches and related buildings damaged by violence. This effort, known as the Friends Mississippi Project, evolved from the Friends Committee for Reconciliation and Church Reconstruction, It was initiated by the New York Yearly Meeting of Friends with the support of the Philadelphia and Pacific Yearly Meetings.

Ross Flanagan was active with the Quaker Action and Relief for Vietnam War Victims between 1966 and 1969. This project was concerned primarily with the shipment of medical supplies to Vietnamese civilians, first in North Vietnam, and later to civilians in all parts of that country. The Canadian Friends Service Committee, A Quaker Action Group (AQAG), and the crew of the yacht Phoenix figured prominently in this endeavor. Flanagan was a project director of AQAG at this time. He was also director of the Quaker Project on Community Conflict of the New York Yearly Meeting during this period.

In 1972, Flanagan helped found the Block Association of West Philadelphia, a neighborhood safety program, which used community involvement and training programs in nonviolent tactics to teach citizens about crime prevention, provide victim services, and reduce urban fear of crime. A collateral organization, CLASP (Citizens Local Alliance for a Safer Philadelphia) served as a liasion and clearinghouse for the block safety movement. Ellie Wegener, a resident of the area and wife of a Lutheran clergyman, was executive director of CLASP, and a founder of both the Block Association of West Philadelphia and CLASP.

Ross Flanagan was later involved with the Interfaith Peacemakers Association.


1.5 linear ft. (1.5 linear ft.)


Ross Flanagan (1934- ), is Quaker pacifist and activist, has been involved in many Quaker-sponsored projects, peace, and civil rights activities. In the 1950s he served on the staff of the American Friends Service Committee. He was an early protestor against the Vietnam war and worked with A Quaker Action Group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In the 1970s Flanagan was involved in neighborhood revitalization projects in West Philadelphia.

Custodial History

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Ross Flanagan, Stephanie Judson, 1982 [Acc.82A-043], [Acc. 82A-048]; and Ross Flanagan 1993, [Acc. 93A-011].

Related Materials

  1. A Quaker Action Group Records (DG 074)
  2. Horace Champney Papers (DG 166)
  3. Peace Action Center Records (DG 093)

Separated Materials

Photographs have been removed to the Peace Collection photograph collection (see boxes for DG 064).

Legal Status

Copyright to the materials created by Ross Flanagan has been transferred to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Copyright to all other materials is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Processing Information

Checklist prepared by Barbara Addison, November 1992; This finding aid was prepared by Chloe Lucchesi- Malone, July 2009.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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