London Grove Meeting Records 1957-1961
The source for the text below is London Grove Friends Meeting Minutes archived at Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College.

1957 - 1961

Swarthmore Research 11-11-2015

Records examined:

London Grove Monthly Meeting
(Society of Friends)

1/ 6/1957 - Communications were read from the following:
American Friends Service Committee concerning the Peace Caravans and the College Institute of International Relations which matters were referred to the Peace Committee.

Yearly Meeting Committee on Race Relations requesting funds, which letter was referred to the Race Relations Committee.
Friends' World Committee relative to the Conference of Friends in the Americas
American Friends Service Committee relative to reports on developments in foreign service to be given January 8, 1957.

2/3/1957 Helen H. Corson read the annual report of the Meeting on Worship and Ministry which was as follows:

“As a whole our meetings are exercised under the direct leading of the Holy SPIRT with the deepest sincerity of …. Truth. There are members of the meeting who feel the importance of some preparation before attending meeting, not necessarily prearrangement. Other members feel a need for a living silence; with the help of all present to channel their thoughts to a final outburst of vocal presentation of the feeling of the meeting. All members are encouraged to voice their spiritual thoughts freely. (R. Walter)

Helen Corson reported on the Race Relations Committee.

8/4/1957 - The Meeting approved the Nominating Committee's recommendations in regard to delegates to the Beliefs Into Action to be held October 12, 1957, at the Race Street Meeting House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The nominations were as follows: (19 are listed; Helen H. Corson is listed for the “Segregation in the North” roundtable.)

William P. Moore reported on the afternoon session at which four students from Pendle Hill discussed the problem of Integration of the Colored and White Races.

The queries in regard to race relations suggested by the American friends conference on race relations held at Wilmington College, Wilmington, Ohio, in 1956 were read. It was suggested that these Queries be read at the time of the reading of our Seventh Query and in addition thereto. Copies of the same have been distributed and this matter is to be taken up at the next monthly meeting.

12/1/1957 - .. the 12th query unrelated activities on human brotherhood read Sherwood G Holt made a report on certain activities in connection with this Query:

1. The Peace Committee sent out questionnaires the young members of meeting asking for an expression of their opinion concerning military training and the draft for the purpose of improving the committee's ability to counsel those who wish it and presenting a well rounded picture of opportunities for alternate service.
2. A sizable delegation from the meeting attended the “Beliefs Into Action” seminar in Philadelphia which was entitled “Discovering America.”
3. The Monthly Meeting has appointed a Race Relations Committee.
4. One member of the Meeting spent several weeks at Koininia Farm in Georgia made report problems developments there.
5. Several students from Lincoln University have been guests homes members and have spoken before the adult classes in regard to the problems of Africans.
6. Jeffrey Steere, special representative for use of the Yearly Meeting Peace Committee, met with our young people on two occasions for discussion of the problems concerning pre-draft age people.

7. The Peace Committee hopes to be able to create interest in Work Camps during the next year. Listed committees included the following: Social Service, Peace Committee, Race Relations. Helen Corson is member of the Race Relations Committee.

The Social Service Committee reported that progress was being made in connection with the proposed building to house the various activities of the migrants. The Meeting approved immediately sending our donation of $100.00 to this building fund.

The Religious Education Committee reported that it was requesting a scholarship of $44.00 to defray the expense of an overseas guest at Cape May Conference to be held this year.

Helen Corson attended the United Nations seminar conducted by the United Nations sub-committee of Friends General Conference, Peace and Social Order Committee held March 13 and 14,1958. Helen stated that there were about one hundred in attendance and she reported on the Human Rights Commission and in some detail on the Trust territories

A letter was read from the Clerk Concord Monthly Meeting in regard to a Peace Walk to Washington, D.C .on May 29, 30, 31 and June 1, 1958. This letter was forwarded to the Peace Committee. The clerk read the following letter which was sent by the Peace Committee on behalf of the Monthly Meeting to President Eisenhower:

London Grove Meeting
London Grove, Pennsylvania
April 20, 1958

President Dwight D. Eisenhower
The White House
Washington, D.C.

Dear President Eisenhower:

The London Grove Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends feels very strongly that the United States should do everything possible to create a stronger feeling of trust and confidence on the part of the peoples of the world.

One big step in this direction would be to cancel the nuclear tests planned for this spring. People the world over place much of their hope for a peaceful and safe future in your leadership. Their faith would certainly be increased if we halted nuclear testing.

We appreciate very much your efforts toward promoting world peace by economic foreign aid, the extension of the reciprocal trade program, intercultural exchange with Russia and support of the United Nations. We are very hopeful for a successful summit conference.

We know that any of our actions will be accompanied by success only when they grew out of faith that there is one divine Father and the love is His supreme law.

On behalf of our Monthly Meeting,

Sincerely your friend,

Artie P. Yeatman 2nd
Peace Committee Chairman”

The Race Relations Committee presented a response to the Special Query on Race Relations which the Yearly Meeting of 1958 directed to be sent to Monthly Meetings with the requested answers be sent to the Yearly Meeting Committee on Race Relations. The Special Query and the answers approved by the meeting are as follows:

1. What are we doing through our Meeting to eliminate the spirit and practice of segregation:
(a) in our personal friendships?
(1) Individuals of the Meeting have personal friendship with Negroes which is an example to others to do likewise
(2) Unequivocal remarks at meetings by some individual strengthens the conviction of others
(b) in our Meeting activities?
(1) A summer speaker at First Day School, Winston Cavell, a Negro, who spoke about race relations.
(2) Appropriate reading material in the library.
(3) Lessons on brotherhood particularly at Quarterly Meeting and Summer Vacation Bible School.
(4) Support by many members of the Meeting of Koinonia, Georgia, an integrated community.
(5) The idea of a new community committee, the Human Relations Committee, originally in the Quarterly Meeting Race Relations Committee which is made up of a few London Grove members.
(c) in the civic, social and business groupings which we are part?
Association with the meeting influences members favorably in their civic, social, and business groupings.
2. What are we doing to enrich the lives of all of our members, and more particularly, of our children, by providing for intercultural and interracial activities and associations?
(a) A kindergarten conducted by an individual on Meeting House premises is open to everyone.
(b) The Rhythm class conducted by an individual on Meeting House premises is open to everyone.
(c) Two interracial picnics two years ago.
(d) Some members assist nearby Migrant Camp.
(e) Young people encouraged to attend a few integrated cultural conferences.
(f) At least two young people have helped it weekend work camps.
3. What more can we do to make her community and integrated inclusive and brotherly place to live?
(a) Invite Lincoln University people to meeting for worship especially during the summer.
(b) Carry out special programs first day school classes – more specifically one called the Green Circle Program by a Negro.
(c) Correct our own attitudes.
(d) More members take advantage cultural activities at Lincoln University.
(e) Try to invite more Negro children to the kindergarten and rhythm class mentioned above.

Helen Corson listed on Race Relations Committee.

The following statement on “Capital Punishment” prepared by the Peace Committee was read:

“As Friends we again express our opposition to the death penalty. We reaffirm our belief in the immeasurable value of every human life, and in the potential spiritual rebirth of every human, no matter how degraded. We regard the law of God for the individual as binding upon community, as we cannot rest satisfied while what is wrong for single person is practiced by the state. Moreover, we believe the capital punishment fails as a deterrent. Those favoring capital punishment point to any increase in civil crime under the penalty throughout the centuries of its use in Britain and the United States.

Friends are opposed to capital punishment as it is contrary to the Divine Law of Love. The effect of the death penalty is brutalizing and degrades the public mind. It leaves no room for the reforming character which should be the principal aim of the law, nor for the revision of the sentence in case of a miscarriage of justice.

We heartily approve of the bill presently in the Pennsylvania legislature to abolish capital punishment.

The Peace Committee emphasized the need for funds to help the Fort Dietrich cause and also to go and participate. Arthur P Yeatman reported on a day spent at Fort Dietrich.

Helen Corson is listed on the Worship and Ministry committee and the Race Relations Committee.

? (11) We wrote letters to the State Department and Pennsylvania Senators protesting the ban on travel for Russian diplomats in the Kennett Square area. If it wasn't for this ban we might have had a speaker for the embassy on the subject of world peace for one of our summer programs.

(12) Two members attended the AFSC Institute on World Affairs Conference at Cape May to hear Clarence Pickett speak.

(13) we purchased and posted in the Meeting House nine peace posters. These were distributed by the yearly meeting peace committee at 20 cents a piece.

(14) Five members attended the World Order Study Conference held in Philadelphia on October 24th. The reports will be given during a First Day School hour during the first five months of 1960-- one report a month. More details will be given of this later.

(15) During the latter part of the year we often discussed the Fort Dietrich Vigil, and did our best in several ways to encourage interest in the Vigil among other members of the meeting.

(16) Last we wrote a letter complementing President Eisenhower on his world trip last month emphasizing the implication it has for greater world peace and friendship.

Our attention was called to the Christian alternative to Germ Warfare Conference to be held at Fort Dietrich at Frederick, Maryland on Tenth Month 4th and 5th by the chairman of our Peace Committee.

Dorothy Brosius called attention to the newsletter put out by Fallowfield Meeting and Margaret Thomforde on Helen Corson's experience in Miami with the lunch counter sit in.

William Moore reported on our October Peace activities. The sum of $90. 00 was realized from the frugal meal and the total of $300. 00 was raised. This sum will be presented along with the contributions from other Friends of the Peace Pilgrimage at Washington later this month for the benefit of the United Nations on the “Technical Assistance to Africa” program. It was reported that fourteen of our members plan to take part in this pilgrimage.

The possibility of making protest of the advertising of military toys, cigarettes and liquor was discussed.

“Annual Report – 1960 Peace Committee – London Grove Meeting

Our committee held 10 meetings during 1960 with an average attendance of eight members and guests. We met at each other's homes on Friday evenings. For the third consecutive year, Arthur P. Yeatman served as chairman.

Among our many projects during the year were the following:

(1) Five reports on the World Order Study Program were given to the adult classes of our First Day School at the beginning of the year. The five topics were:
Religious Foundations of Peace –
Leader: Jean Parker
Institutions of Peaceful Change –
Leader: Arthur Yeatman
Alternatives to Retaliation and Deterrence –
Leader: Peter Collins
Development of Underdeveloped Countries –
Leader: Robert Parker
Toward an Adequate U.S. policy on China –
Leader: John Anderson

(2) During the year we wrote letters to the President, Congress, and local newspaper's on such topics as Eisenhower's trip around the world and the Antarctica treaty.

(3) We sent contributions to the FCNL, the Friends Peace Committee, Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the Committee for Quaker Peace Witness, and to a young African who is translating a book on non-violence into four native languages.

(4) We gave 1-year gift subscriptions to the FCNL [?] the Fellowship of Reconciliation magazines to a total of [?] families in the meeting. We hope they will subscribe on their own behalf after this 1-year subscription expires

(5) We have continued our gift subscriptions of “The Reporter” to teenage boys in the meeting. This is a monthly publication concerning alternatives to service to military training. One member, William Heald, was successful in obtaining an exemption from the ROTC at Penn State. Our Committee's draft counseling policy is not to directly urge our boys to take a stand against military service or the ROTC, but rather to stand ready to assist with the advice if required, and give moral support. Our young men should feel free to seek such aid from any member of the Committee.

(6) Two committee members represented the meaning at a United Nations conference in April.

(7) During the summer and fall helped organize a letter writing program on topics relating to our peace testimony. A total of 25 people participated from London Grove.

(8) Three committee members represented the meeting at the annual Beliefs into Action Conference in Philadelphia in October.

(9) This fall was the 300th anniversary of the Friends Peace Testimony. Our activities during the celebration included:

(a)We obtained Richard R Wood to speak to October quarterly meeting on our peace testimony.
(b) The memorable words of George Fox and James Naylor relating to our testimony were read by committee members at meeting for worship on October 16.
(c) A two-part program on William Penn was sponsored by the Religious Education Committee on the last two Sundays in October.
(d) In cooperation with Worship and Ministry we arranged a frugal meal of soup, bread and water after first day school on October 16. Savings over the regular Sunday meal $96.75 were contributed to the United Nations by the 75 people who participated.
(e) In September we wrote all families of the meeting asking them to contribute 1% of their October income to the United Nations. 26 families replied, contributing a total of $183.40.
(f) We encouraged all members to attend the pilgrimage to Washington on November 12 – 14. Twelve people from London Grove attended.

(10) In September five of our committee presented a program on the Presidential candidates to the adult class of the first day school we discussed their positions on world peace, with special emphasis on our peace testimony.

(11) At Christmas we will present our annual gift to the Meeting library this year it will be “The Arms Race” by Philip Noel–Baker, winner of the 1960 Nobel Peace Prize.

Our 1960 budget was $175.00, or about 80 cents per adult member. Our expenses during the year were over this amount but we had a small balance from the previous year to cover the deficit.

We are well aware that some members of London Grove are not in accord with our peace testimony. Many are lukewarm. Others profess belief in it– –but not under today's world (?)sions. A fourth group believes in it and practices it– –regardless of circumstances or “ifs” or “buts”. Our committee's ultimate goal is to increase membership in this fourth group by traditional Quaker friendly persuasion.

London Grove Peace Committee

11/29/1960 - Informing us of the James L. Pennock bequest of $2,000.00 ….. and the report made a part of these minutes.
November, 29, 1960
Norman S. Pusey, Clerk
London Grove Monthly Meeting
West Grove, Penna.

Dear Norman;

The proceeds of the quest provided in the will of James L. Pennock, and the amount of $2000.00 has been deposited by the trustees in a new account designated: Social Services Fund.

A letter from J. Roland Pennock, Executor and Trustee of his father's estate, explains, “His fathers will provide a date request $2000, for the London Grove Meeting, in trust, however, the income of which is to be used for social service work as it is now carried on.' Under the law as it was at the time his will was probated, this bequest is subject to a ten percent state inheritance tax, which the trustee must collect. Accordingly I am enclosing a check for $1800. Not wishing the Meeting to have to bear this tax, however, I am enclosing my own check for $200. as a contribution to cover the amount of the tax.

The trustees plan to give the income from this fund to the work of the Social Service Committee of London Grove Monthly Meeting, for additional work.


/s/ Frank

Frank P Walton

Helen Corson on Race Relations Committee.

12/11/1960 - An extension of the December Monthly Meeting was held on 12th Month 11th, 1960, to hear reports from several of the twelve people from London Grove who attended the Quaker Peace Witness Conference Washington, D. C., On 11th Month 12, 13 and 14th. 1100 Friends from all over the country gathered in Meetings for Worship, [?]-mile walk to the Pentagon and 2 days standing in a line of silent vigil around the Pentagon. Several posters along the line conveyed our message of protesting the arms race and of hope for peace through the power of love. At evening meetings the group heard addresses by Samuel Levering of the [?] Years' Meeting and Raymond Wilson of the Friends' Committee on National Legislation. Delegations of six each were chosen to visit the White House, the State Department, and the British and Soviet embassies. Shirley Yeatman was one of those visiting the White House where they presented the scroll bearing Friends' reaffirmation of the George Fox declaration of Peace to President Eisenhower's religious secretary. Another delegation delivered the $31,000.00 contributed by Friends to the United Nations in New York

Friends of all ages sure there were learning experience in God's power at this pilgrimage commemorating 300th anniversary of our peace testimony

Norman S. Pusey, Acting Clerk

2/12/1961 - The second Query was read. Helen Corson spoke on spiritual inspiration in preparation for ministry, pointing out that although we do not speak through prearrangement, we do need outside preparations for reading and deep thought so that we can speak when we feel the spiritual urge.

7. Civil Defense: Unionville-Chadds Ford School Area is considering a plan for providing fall-out shelter to its students in the school. This indoctrination of our children with the sense of fear and false security is contrary to our belief in promoting peace and understanding. We recommend that the monthly meeting write a letter to Mr. Smith, the Supervising Principal, stating that we do not favor proposed fall-out shelter program.

Arthur P. Yeatman, Chairman”

There followed a long discussion of fallout shelters. The clerk was requested to write a letter to Mr. LeVan P. Smith, Supervising Principal of the Unionville-Chadds Ford School, expressing the opposition of London Grove Meeting to the suggested plan for a fall-out shelter for the school. Copies were designated for the two principles of the school system and for two local newspapers

The following letter was read before sending it to Mr. Smith:

November 12, 1961

LeVan P. Smith
Supervising Principal
Unionville Chadds Ford School District
Unionville, Pennsylvania

Dear Mr. Smith:

The members of the London Grove Monthly Meeting wish to express their opposition to the suggested plan for a fallout shelter for the Unionville Chadds Ford School System.

There is considerable hysteria throughout the nation because of our dread of the effects of nuclear warfare. It is natural that we want to do everything possible to protect our children from physical harm, but we are now letting our emotions cloud are thinking. We have been told that there is no real protection against nuclear bombs and fallout; yet we are seriously preparing to commit ourselves to gigantic expenditures for building fall-out shelters as a gesture toward protection. At best we can only create a sense of false security to add to our children mounting fears.

The best authorities admit that some people might be saved if they can read shelters but they have no answer to the after-effects. As stated by Dr. J. M. Wolf, director of Biology and Medicine of the Atomic Energy Commission: “Fall-out shoulders in many areas seem only a means of delaying death and represent only a part of the survival plan at best.......... the question is where does man go after his sojourn in shelters?..... Even if some semblance of civil order has been preserved (as is most likely in view of the appalling chaos), the means of existence, heat, light, and food would be virtually nonexistent.”

We believe that the effort and tremendous expenditure required in building fallout shelters could be more effectively used in educating for peace.

Sincerely yours,

/s/ Horace a. Hemenway

Horace a. Hemenway

cc. to
Mr. Wilber V. Reese
Mr. Ralph Emery
Daily Local News
Kennett News and Advertiser”

12/3/1961 - The twelfth Query and related advices on “Human Brotherhood” was read. In response, the annual report of the Peace Committee was read by John Humphrey:

“ 1961 annual report

Peace Committee – London Grove Meeting

Our committee held ten meetings during the year with an average attendance of twelve members and guests. We met at each other's homes on Friday evenings. Peter Collins served as Chairman, Leona Hemenway as Treasurer, and John Anderson as Secretary.

Ten of our major projects during the year were:

(1) Contributions were sent to the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, the Central Committee for Conscientious Objection, the Friends Peace Committee, the World Peace Broadcast Foundation, the San Francisco to Moscow Peace Walk, and several other miscellaneous concerns.

(2) Education pamphlets on capital punishment were purchased and distributed during a First- Day School in April. We also obtained a speaker on this to [?] the adult classes.

(3) We assisted the Race Relations Committee [?] in arranging the visit of fifteen Lincoln University students to the May Forum program.

(4) During the year representatives from London Grove attended numerous conferences relating to the peace testimony. The Committee help to pay some of their expenses.

(5) During one of our committee meetings we heard and discussed a tape recording of a speech by Philip Noel-Baker, winner of the 1959 Nobel Peace Prize. At another committee meeting we viewed and discussed the film “Operation Abolition”, describing a House Un-American Activities Committee hearing in San Francisco.

(6) During the summer we obtained Dr. Robert A. Clark to talk on the peace testimony during one of the First Day School periods.

(7) We continued a yearly subscription to the AFSC Peace Packet for John Heinrichs in Africa.

(8) During this summer a concern was expressed over Congressman Paul Dague's suggestion that the United States withdraw from the UN if Communist China was admitted. Our committee disapproved of this view, and stated our opinions in an open letter to the 23 Friends Meetings in Lancaster and Chester Counties. Other letters were sent to the chairman of the Chester County Republican and Democratic Parties.

(9) During UN week, our Committee presented a program on the UN for our adult First -Day School classes. A frugal meal sponsored by five of our Monthly Meeting Committees followed this program. 75 persons took part in the meal and $106.00 was contributed to UNICEF. This represented savings over the participants regular Sunday meal. (10) Committee member sent numerous letters to public officials and newspapers on issues relating to our testimony. We are happy that many other members of the meeting also wrote letters.

Our budget during the year was $225, or about one dollar for each adult member of the meeting.

The year 1961 has been a trying one for the Friends peace testimony. The resumption of nuclear testing, the Cuban invasion, the Berlin crisis, violence in Africa, civil defense – – all of these events apply that our testimony is old-fashioned and impractical. Your Committee, however, feels otherwise, and we hope that our efforts during the year have helped in some manner to advance the cause of world peace and mutual understanding.

Peace Committee
London Grove Monthly Meeting