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Richard R. Wood family papers


Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Richard Reeve Wood Richard Reeve Wood graduated from Haverford College in 1920 with a degree in mathematics; he received an honorary degree of letters from his alma mater in 1971. In 1919 he served with the Mission Anglo-Américaine de la Société des Amis in France, and he also worked with the American Friends Service Committee in reconstruction work in France. He taught at Friends Select School in Philadelphia and for a short time at Whittier College in California. Richard also did graduate work at Harvard University but decided that his interest lay in the peace movement. He became secretary of the Friends Peace Committee of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM) and also the editor of The Friend. As the Committee's secretary, he became president of the National Peace Conference which led him to be a consultant in the meetings leading to the formation of the United Nations in 1945. He was a member of Moorestown Friends Meeting, served as a clerk of PYM and was on the boards of the William Charter School, Friends Select School and Haverford College. In 1923 Richard married Nancy Morris and they had three children: Rebecca, Anne and Richard Jr.

Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of Public Economy Founded in May 1817, the Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of Public Economy was inspired by observations of poverty in Philadelphia in the winter of 1816 and a report on the causes of poverty and who was poor. Committees included those on the poor laws, on public prisons, on domestic economy, on the suppression of vice and immorality, and on the public schools. The Society sought to educate the poor and improve their management of their resources. While some of the founding members and officers of the Society were Quaker, it was not an exclusively Quaker organization.

Friends' Freedmen's Association was an organization of Philadelphia Quakers founded in 1863 as Friends' Association of Philadelphia and Its Vicinity, for the Relief of Colored Freemen. Its purpose was to provide relief and education to freed enslaved individuals during and after the Civil War. The name was changed circa 1873. Between 1870 and 1847, the Association supported the Christianburg Institute, a school founded in Montgomery County, Virginia to educate previously enslaved individuals. From 1947 to 1955 the Association supported Black students in schools and summer work camps. From 1955 to 1970 the income from investments was used to provide grants for scholarships for black students. From 1970, income and principal was distributed yearly primarily among Bryn Mawr, Earlham, Guilford, and Haverford Colleges. In January 1982 the Association was dissolved. The funds were distributed among the four colleges named above to be used as aid to Black students as the J. Henry Scattergood Scholarship Fund.

Materials in this collection include records from the Friends Freedmen's Association, the Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of Public Economy, personal materials, and miscellaneous materials.

The Friends Freedmen's Association records are the largest section of the collection. The minutes cover the earliest years of the Society, from 1863 to 1878. Minutes describe both regular and annual meetings, which feature reports from standing committees and information about expenses and schools supported. Lists of officers for each year are included, as is a draft constitution. Accounts cover the period 1907 to 1945; J. Henry Scattergood was the Treasurer during this entire period. They show contributions, payments for teachers and students, and costs associated with running the schools. There is also farm information, including the amount of several types of crops produced and expenses for feed and equipment. Expenses for the Christianburg Industrial Institute are often listed separately, and there is a photo of students and teachers in 1929 pasted into volume 5 of the accounts. In some years, details are given about how many students are boarding at schools. Correspondence covers the period 1912 to 1928; it deals almost exclusively with the Christianburg Industrial Institute, particularly fundraising and the construction of a new school building.

Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of Public Economy materials cover the period 1818 to 1829 and include financial records and minutes. The financial records are addressed to Samuel B. Morris as Treasurer. These include mortgages, loans (often to the House of Refuge), and records of payments and donations. The minutes are from 1828 and discuss disbursement of funds.

Personal materials include materials related to Richard R. Wood and family photographs. Letters include one from Haverford College President William Wistar Comfort on the shape he hopes future relief work will take, and an anonymous one enclosing a Westtown document from 1848. Mission Anglo-Américaine de la Société des Amis includes two travel permit and two copies of a list of mission members. The family photographs are unlabeled and undated.

Miscellaneous materials are a small book with a handwritten copy of a letter dated June 25, 1867 from Basel, Switzerland about a visit to Bethelwald, a Christian community, written by Henry Hartshorne.

Materials are arranged in four sections: Friends Freedmen's Association, Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of Public Economy, Personal materials, and Miscellaneous.


Processed by Sarah Horowitz, completed August 2018

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Horowitz
Finding Aid Date
August, 2018
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17)

Collection Inventory

Minutes, 1863-1878.
Volume 1
Accounts, 1907-1914.
Volume 2
Accounts, 1914-1919.
Volume 3
Accounts, 1919-1923.
Volume 4
Accounts, 1923-1928.
Volume 5
Accounts, 1928-1936.
Volume 6
Accounts, 1936-1945.
Volume 7
Correspondence, 1912-1928.
Box 1
Correspondence, A-B, 1926-1928.
Box 1
Correspondence, C-Z, 1926-1928.
Box 1

Minutes and financial records, 1824-1828.
Box 1
Financial record books, 1818-1829.
Box 1

Letters to Richard Wood, 1918-1949.
Box 1
Mission Anglo-Américaine de la Société des Amis, 1919-1920.
Box 1
Family photographs.
Box 1

Henry Hartshorne letter, 1867.
Box 1

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