London Grove Meeting Records 1962-1967
The source for the text below is London Grove Friends Meeting Minutes archived at Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College.

1962 - 1967

Friend’s Historical Library
Swarthmore College
Notes on Helen Corson from London Grove Meeting Records


1/7/62 - Helen Corson added to Peace Committee for 1963

12/31/61 - Helen Corson named as rep to Yearly Meeting

3/4/62 - DC Peace Walk – demonstration by students against resumption of nuclear testing reported by C. Hearne

5/6/62 - Per Arthur Yeatman II, Helen Corson attended Friend’s Witness for World Order in DC 4/28-5/1. Vigils were held at White House and State Dept “in witness to the creative spirit and actions which take away both the occasion of war and the fear of war. Their concern for World Order was also presented.” Four members visited Rep. Paul Dague to urge support for UN bond issue.

6/3/62 - Executive Committee Meeting held 5/20/62 with committee chairs which included Helen Corson for Race Relations

- Concern expressed for Helen Corson’s arrest in DC for passing out leaflets in front of the White House. “Helen’s deep convictions to do what she can for promoting peace, have led her to join a few others who also have picketed and suffered arrest to show their repentance for their country’s course in resuming nuclear testing. The judge has discharged the case this time. However, our Meeting will send it’s love and encouragement to Helen via Mr. and Mrs. Ray Hartsough who are going to Washington today. Also the Peace Committee will send Helen $10 for financial help.”

7/1/62 - Helen Corson spoke about the difficult task that had been Undertaken by the American Friends Service Committee in Algeria.

12/2/62 - Report of Nominating Committee names Helen Corson to Peace Committee for 1963, Monthly Meeting Nominating Committee for 1964, and Race Relations for 1965.

1/6/63 - Helen Corson attended Mid-Winter Institute, bringing to the Worship and Ministry Committee some of the values obtained. From this institute experience came the idea of a course of study on the “Deepening of the Spiritual Life”.

- Helen Corson took part in Pendle Hill Retreat for Worship and Ministry

2/3/63 - Helen Corson named to attend PYM 3/21-3/27

4/7/63 - Helen Corson among those adults who gave a report at Young Friends’ Mid-Winter Conference in Haddonfield NJ

6/2/63 - “Helen Corson presented a concern of the Race Relations Committee. We are living in a history making period in social evolution comparable to the Civil War. The American negroes deserve much credit for the spiritually led tactics of non-violent resistance to discrimination. The meeting approved of having the clerk write a letter of support and commendation to Rev. Martin Luther King and sending copies of this letter to the local newspapers.

7/7/63 - In response to the seventh query on Social and Economic Relationships, “Helen Corson stated that this is a very timely query, coming to us in a time of racial stress. The events of the Civil War seem far removed but we are now living in a time of testing the meaning of brotherhood. Many churches have been slow to respond, but are now actively participating to aid desegregation.”

8/4/63 - “Helen Corson explained the purpose of the Civil Rights Demonstration to be made in Washington, August 28. The intention is to show Congress that the movement is supported by white people as well as negroes and to emphasize the need for continued non-violent approach to the civil rights problem.”

12/1/63 - “This is the year in which one of the beloved members of LondonGrove Monthly Meeting received the West Chester Human Relations Council Award for Distinguished service in the cause of brotherhood. Helen Corson has dedicated her life to serving her neighbors; she is an inspiration to all of us. She is the admired Gadfly, encouraging the Meeting and individuals to write to Dr. Martin Luther King, to President Kennedy, and others, about Friendly concerns. Her example is a prick of conscience when we become apathetic and numb to human needs.”

-Report of Nominating Committee for 1964– Helen S. Corson (sic) Monthly Meeting Nominating Committee for 1964 and Race Relations for 1965

1/5/64 - Helen Corson reminded Meeting that each member should assume his share of the meeting tax and give an amount based on current economic standards rather than the standards of 10 years ago.

- “Helen Corson and Marjorie Yeatman expressed their concern regarding the vast number of war type toys exposed to our children and mentioned that since toy manufacturers design and fabricate Christmas toys early we should start contacting firms as soon as possible and ask that more constructive toys be made available.”

2/2/64 - ”Helen Corson announced her concern regarding the plight of the Seneca Indians whose lands have been condemned by the Federal Govt for the Kinzum Dam Project. These Indians must relocate before 1964. However, no legislation has been enacted to permit payment for confiscated properties to these people. As a result, many families are financially unable to move.” Clerk to write to government officials.

3/1/64 - “The plight of the miners of Southeastern Kentucky was brought to the attention of the Meeting. Helen Corson requested that the Meeting send $25 to the Penna. Committee for Miners which is the organization in Penna for this purpose.”

6/7/64 - Helen Corson suggested that those absent from Meeting be called so that they will realize they are missed and will feel the Meeting’s concern.

12/6/64 - Report of Nominating Committee for 1965 – Helen Corson Race Relations

1/3/65 - “Helen Corson suggested more practical thoughts be given to the Meeting of Worship and its intent. A long, prepared message is not necessary; it is better to share a short message or perhaps some favorite verses with the Meeting. The interpretation can be left to the meditation at the Meeting.

-Helen Corson asked Meeting to answer questionnaire sent to all Meetings on the Yearly Meeting’s Race Relation Committee Call to Action. Action was referred to the Race Relations Committee.

4/5/65 - “Helen Corson reported in behalf of the Peace Committee that on April 15, 1965 ten representatives from London Grove Monthly Meeting journeyed to Washington. This group, along with 65 other representatives of 25 local Monthly Meetings stated the Friends’ position regarding the Vietnam situation.

6/6/65 - “The query was read and followed by advices… Helen Corson expressed the Meeting’s gratitude for such a searching and comprehensive report and made special comments regarding that portion concerned with the Meeting’s eldering responsibilities. We must realize that it is difficult to elder without exhibiting ‘self-righteous’ characteristics. As an aid, she suggested that we study John Woolman’s humble but persuasive technique as examples of eldering.”

-Helen Corson said we should feel a deep obligation to respond to Yearly Friends’ Meeting’s request for financial assistance.

147 Following a suggestion to donate at least $25 to the Avondale Fire Company, Helen Corson “reminded the Meeting that the Avondale Fire Company still refuses to admit negroes to membership. The Meeting decided that the Property Committee should make a minimum contribution of $25 with the stipulation that London Grove Monthly Meeting protests the segregation policy followed by the Avondale Fire Company and that London Grove requests that Avondale Fire Company pursue an integrated policy.” 11/7/65 159 Helen Corson announced that R. Passmore will conduct the first meeting on the Friends’ Response to Conflict, aggression and Violence on 11/28/65. 12/5/65 160 Report of the London Grove Race Relations Committee “At the start of the year the Race Relations Committee continued its efforts started the previous year on the Fayette and Haywood Counties Workcamp Project.” -Those who gave funds to this project were thanked.

“In addition to raising funds for the Workcamp Project, Helen Corson, a member of our committee, served as a workcamper in Tennessee for six weeks. While there, Helen taught reading courses.”

“In an effort to promote a more rational understanding of the plight of the negro race as related to our white society, the London Grove Race Relations Committee has initiated the Reading Project. In this project, our committee is contributing books to the Meeting library. For many of those whose contacts with minority groups are limited, it is extremely difficult to understand the people who form these groups. Too often, lack of understanding leads to complacency or hatred. By reading about these people, we can gain a rational view of their problems and ours. For this reason, we wish to urge each member of London Grove Monthly Meeting to make use of these books.

We feel it is important for each of us to be more literate in matters concerning racial affairs. From time to time members of our committee will suggest that you read some particular book. When such a book is recommended to you, please examine your schedule and try to reserve an accumulated 4 hours for this purpose.

This past year the Yearly Meeting Race Relations Committee held a special meeting at Lincoln University. The London Grove Race Relations Committee was very happy to take part in this meeting, and was glad to have the Yearly Meeting worship at London Grove Meeting during the morning prior to the meeting at Lincoln University.

On June 18-21, 1965 Helen Corson represented our committee at the National Conference of Friends on Race Relations held in Richmond, Indiana. Much valuable information was gained at this conference. We plan to analyze this information during our coming meetings and develop further projects.

The London Grove Race Relations Committee is still taking part in community projects. Each member has membership in the NAACP of Southern Chester County. In addition, we still participate in the Biracial Employment Committee.

During the past year our committee has also supported the Yearly Meeting Mississippi Project, Indian Affairs Committee, Continuation Committee, C.O.R.E., S.D.S, S.N.C.C., Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Sarah Patton Boyles lectures.

Friends have always attempted to practice their religion by demonstrating the relation of their Inward God to the problems of mankind. All of our testimonies are intended to exemplify a living religion in which love, compassion and sharing result in a mutual understanding of fellowship and life.

At the close of this year we ask ourselves and the Meeting, “What have we done as individuals and as a Meeting to promote this spirit of loving understanding?” It is true that some individuals have made some personal sacrifices but the struggle for human rights continues to go on all around us. We pray that each member will become more aware of the Christian responsibility and join us in this struggle.

Helen Corson stated that it is very difficult to know and understand the complex problems of human brotherhood unless we can experience the affect of the struggle for human dignity. It behooves each of us to become more informed about this problem so that we can be knowledgeable and understanding. We must read and examine available information

- using our conscience and our moral sense of responsibility in this task. We must drop all artificial relations and develop sincere, firm relations with all human mankind.”

- Report of the Monthly Meeting Nominating Committee for 1966: Helen Corson, Peace Committee for 1966 and Race Relations Committee for 1968

2/6/66 - Helen Corson responds to the Trustees Report asking that the term “Meeting Purpose” be further defined.

4/3/66 - “The Fourth Query on Unity Within the Meeting and its advices was read. Helen Corson read a few sentences from Douglas Steere’s article entitled “Fellowship Within the Meeting”, suggesting that more warmth and spiritual love be expressed within the Meeting.

- Related to a discussion on a housing related project and a suggestion involving contributions, “Helen Corson felt there would not be too many individuals in the meeting who could give substantial amounts to realize the $1000 figure. ‘We should give as a Meeting’, she said, ‘and also encourage individual gifts or loans’.”

7/3/66 - Helen Corson reported that she had visited with Maryann McNaughton and welcomed her to London Grove Monthly Meeting.

12/4/66 - Report of Nominating Committee for 1967: Helen Corson named to Race Relations for 1968 and the Peace Committee for 1969.

4/2/67 - Helen Corson provided an account of the changes/remodeling at the Arch St Meeting House