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Bacon 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

S. Allen Bacon, son of Francis R. Bacon and a graduate of Antioch College, was one of thirty-two men who contributed to the book Men of Peace who refused to become members of the U.S. armed forces during World War II. They tell what led them to refuse induction and choose to labor for no pay or go to federal prison during the conflict. He was Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Federation of Settlements from 1968-1974 and was Special Projects Director for the William Penn Foundation at least for the year 1975.

Margaret Bacon (1922-2011) was the daughter of artist Norman Borchardt and a graduate of Antioch College. After marriage to S. Allen Bacon she became a Quaker and author of more than a dozen books relating to Quakers and Quakerism -- among the most prized was Mothers of Feminism, but also biographies of Henry J. Cadbury, Lucretia Mott and others. As well, she served as assistant director of information for the American Friends Service Committee from 1962-1984. She was a T. Wistar Brown Fellow in Quaker Studies at Haverford College and a Friend in Residence at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham, England

The collection primarily focuses on Margaret H. Bacon and S. Allen Bacon and is led through letters and papers beginning in 1934 and continuing until 1993 to understand the family life, convictions and work of the Bacons, their children, his father (Francis R. Bacon) and their friends. While the main thrust is provided through letters, diaries and other attending materials lend further understanding of the Bacons. Both Margaret and Allen Bacon wrote frequently to their parents and extended families offering up a view of daily life, particularly of the activities of their children and also their own productive lives. In Margaret Bacon's letters, she tells of the books she is writing. In Allen Bacon's letters, he reports of the jobs he seeks and those he gets with some description of his duties. There is also reporting on friends with whom they visited and especially on their summer home on the Rancocas River in N.J.

Margaret and Allen Bacon were world travelers and by invitation traveled to Mexico and Central America, to England and South Africa, and one can get others' impressions of them through the letters of welcome and thanks they received, as well as through the journals they kept.

In the description of any letters or papers, an estimated number is given so that researchers can have an idea of quantity. However, actual descriptions of content are limited to more substantive information, while an overall note for any group of letters or papers attempts to describe general content.

Gift of Margaret Hope Bacon and S. Allen Bacon, February 2011.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Diana Franzusoff Peterson
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Archives with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.

Collection Inventory

Biographies and genealogies; Norman Borchardt stories.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Norman Borchardt (father of Margaret Hope Bacon) stories in typescript, manuscript and published. ca. 10 items;

Typed list of topical references in the diary (1813-1829) of George Bacon, including events of the Separation in 1826-28;

Genealogical information on Borchardt family members; descendants of Samuel Allen Bacon (1848-1908) and related families; Bacon family record, ca. 1725; Bacon family trees; historical and genealogical data on the Bacon family;

Bacon family ancestry: biographies of Francis Bacon, Allen Bacon, Grace Bacon; also sketches of various family members;

Photos of Bacon family members, beginning with David Bacon (1729-1801);

Obituaries for Edith Bacon and others;

Sympathy letters on the death of Myrtle Hope Borchardt (mother of Margaret Hope Bacon);

Memorials for various friends

Letters of Francis, Peter, Marilyn, Ann, Christopher and John Bacon.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Francis R. Bacon (1888-1965) letters (a few to him), speeches, transcripts of property deeds, photos, include:

Letters from Leipzig, documents, testimonials, photos. ca. 15 items.

These all relate to the period beginning in 1920 when Bacon served in the child feeding program in Germany under the auspices of the AFSC, becoming director in 1922, with the exception of one letter in 1965 on the use of the family burial plot. One letter to him (1958) discusses the erection of Cumberland (or Budd's) Furnace

Christopher Bacon's letters to his grandparents, Allen and Margaret Bacon, ca. 1994-2001. ca. 20 items;

Maya Ann Bacon (Annie) letters and information re to family members from Central America and Swarthmore College, 1990s-2003. ca 20 items;

John Bacon letters to family and autobiographical sketch, 2002-2003. ca. 5 items.

Peter Bacon letters to parents while in school in Falaise, France and then California, 19602s, 1980s. ca. 50 items.

Peter Bacon and Marilyn Bacon letters to Margaret and Allen Bacon, some from the ashram where they live in CA, 1970s-1990s & n.d.. two folders, ca. 90 items;

Physical Description

2 boxes

Letters, 1947-1959 .
Box 3
Scope and Contents

MHB's letters, 1947-1959:

1947. ca. 45 items.

Note: These are letters written to her parents and Bacon family members and report on Allen's studies, planned visits, reports on health of family members, visits with friends. In this year, they moved from Dover, MA to Friends Academy on Long Island where Allen was to teach. There are a few letters by Allen interspersed.

Highlights include:

to Dad and Mother. 1947 10/12. Allen's teaching and other events' schedule; MHB is teaching the staff of a publication at the school where Allen works to write journalistically, gave two lectures and will meet with individual students and helping to plan the faculty play

1948-1949. ca. 40 items.

Note: Letters to parents and Bacon family members and report on Allen's and other family members' activities.

Highlights include:

to Bacons. 1948 2/29. Has a service committee project to make children's pyjamas.

to mother. 1948 3/9. Allen has received an M.A. diploma from Harvard in teaching.

to parents. 1948 7/14. Re birth of Elizabeth Bacon

to family. 1949 11/6. Some in medical profession accusing Lehman of wanting socialized medicine and to vote for Dulles.

to Bacons. 1949 12/4. Has sold three short articles and another in the making

1950. ca. 35 items.

Note: Letters to parents and Bacon family members and report on Allen's and other family members' activities and move to Wayne, PA.

to Bacons. 1950 1/29. Allen has agreed to take AFSC job of Director of Work Camps and description of job

1951. ca. 20 items.

Note: Letters to parents and Bacon family members and report on Allen's and other family members' activities and birth of son Peter. Also, a good bit on traveling

to Mother (Bacon). Wayne, PA., 1951 6/26. Sensed their disapproval of her at the time of marriage to Allen that, in part, was based on her religious background and other misunderstandings

to Bacons. Wayne, PA., 1951 7/19. Will be spending some time in Friends work camps in Kentucky and Tennessee and a run down of the trip

1952. ca. 20 items.

Note: Letters primarily to Bacon family members on family issues, but also a bit on her writing and outside activities

1953. ca. 10 items.

Note: Letters primarily to Bacon family members on family issues

1954, 1955, 1957. ca. 10 items.

Note: Letters primarily to Bacon family members on family issues

1954, 1955, 1957. ca. 10 items.

Note: Letters primarily to Bacon family members on family issues

1958. ca. 20 items.

Note: Includes two clippings of newspaper articles she has written.

to family. 1958 7/3. Writes on the last day as director of the Philadelphia Center

Note: Letters often to Bacon family members on family issues

1959. ca. 20 items.

to family. 1959 5/10. Tells of writing assignments

to family. 1959 5/25. Active with elections and the League of Women Voters

to family. 1959 10/. Has met C.P. Snow and wife [Pamela Hansford Johnson, Baroness Snow?]

Early papers.
Box 3
Scope and Contents

Papers relating to MHB's early years include:

Letters from father and grandfather to MHB, and a few from MHB. ca. 20 items;

Photos of people and places from MHB's youth, including of MHB. ca. 20 items;

College senior paper, no title;

Wedding announcement (1942), poems, etc. re marriage to S. Allen Bacon

Letters, 1960-1969,; 1972; 1992.
Box 4
Scope and Contents

1960 ca. 30 items

Note: Letters are to parents, Bacon family and other family members and tell of family and social events

Highlights include:

to Parents and Aunt Jen. 1960 3/27. Has a publicity job at school; is writing a feature story about Oakbourne Hospital; is writing about a Dr. Bish; wrote a brochure on Germantown Settlement

1961 ca. 15 items

Note: Letters are to parents, Bacon family and other family members and tell of family and social events

1962 ca. 45 items

Note: Letters are to parents, Bacon family and other family members and tell of family, work and social events

Highlights include:

to Parents and Aunt Jen. 1962 1/12. Allen has been offered a job in Washington under Ribicoff, but will stay with Germantown for now; meetings attended

to Parents and Aunt Jen. 1962 2/23. Has finished writing her weekly column for the Bulletin

to Parents and Aunt Jen. 1962 3/9. Decision to move to Germantown

to Parents and Aunt Jen. 1962 4/6. Heard Robert F. Kennedy speak at Fellowship Commission banquet

to Parents and Aunt Jen. 1962 5/20. Has been asked to launch a national public relations campaign on the Algerian situation by AFSC, with substantial information on the situation -- accepted the job

1963 ca. 30 items

Note: Letters are to parents, Bacon family and other family members and tell of family, work and social events

to Family. 1963 5/3. This was her last day as a full-time employee of AFSC, though several small jobs will still take place, and she has a commitment to Germantown Settlement

to Parents and Aunts Jen and Jeannette. 1963 5/30. Working for Phila. Center for Older People

1964 ca. 40 items

Note: Letters are to parents, Bacon family and other family members and tell of family, work and social events

to Parents. 1964 1/24. Beginning to set up itinerary for trip to South Africa.

to Parents and Aunt Jen. 1964 3/6. Allen received a grant from the Loeb Foundation to launch his program of work with emotionally disturbed children in the schools

to Family. 1964 5/8. American Federation of Settlements nominated Allen as a delegate to the International Social Work Conference in Athens

to Family. 1964 5/28. Is writing a script for a film about the Quaker Center in Dacca.

to Family. 1964 12/4. Appreciation of Grace Lowry who had just died

1965 ca. 50 items

Note: Letters are to parents, Bacon family and other family members and tell of family, work and social events, including daughter Peggy at Antioch College

to Family. 1965 3/8. Spoke at World Affairs Council on South Africa trip

Bacon, Betsy to Family. 1965 7/11. Writing from Tours and description of trip to France and specifically to Falaise (a few other letters from daughter, Betsy, in the 1965 letters from Margaret)

to Parents. 1965 10/1. Writing an ad for newspapers based on the AFSC Board decision on a public statement re Vietnam

1966 ca. 50 items

Note: Letters are to parents, Bacon family and other family members and tell of family, work and social events. A few letters from Peter writing from France are included

to Parents. 1966 1/7. AFSC sending a couple to Vietnam to start a refugee program and publish a study on alternatives to the war.

to Parents. 1966 3/23. Press conference to launch her book Peace in Vietnam

to Parents. 1966 5/27. Re press conference for a Buddhist monk in U.S. to plead for peace in Vietnam

to Family. 1966 9/2. Son Peter taking year abroad in Falaise, France

Letters to Margaret Bacon, 1966 3 items

Letter writers include:

Jack Cope, Joseph Mofolo Bulane

Highlights include:

Bulane, Joseph Mofolo. 1966 8/1. Disagrees with article on African novelists, and is ready to publish a piece on the topic

1967 ca. 40 items

Note: Letters are to parents, Bacon family and other family members and tell of family, work and social events

to Family. 1967 1/27. Working on a Quaker history book

to Family. 1967 2/24. At a reception in honor of Robert Kennedy and dinner at which he will speak

to Mother. 1967 3/23. Allen picked as a delegate to the national ADA convention

to Family. 1967 10/20. Working on assignments for the NYT magazine and hoping Ladies Home Journal will publish her piece on Quang Ngai

1968 ca. 40 items

Note: Letters are to parents, Bacon family and other family members and tell of family, work and social events

to Parents. 1968 3/8. Will dedicate her Quaker book to Francis Bacon who got her started on the Quaker history trail. Had appointments at both the New Yorker and Newsweek and chose the latter

to Parents. 1968 4/5. Still in shock over murder of Martin Luther King Jr. AFSC calling on other religious groups to march on Washington in his honor and to underline his demand for jobs and income

to Parents. 1968 4/19. Has received an offer of a contract for her second book, a biography of Isaac Hopper

to Family. 1968 8/16. Allen is the new director of the Delaware Valley Settlement Alliance

to Parents. 1968 11/22. Working on 3 books simultaneously -- The Quiet Rebels, Lamb's Warrior and research on the Christianity Riots

1969 and 1972 ca. 40 items

Note: Letters are to parents, Bacon family and other family members and tell of family, work and social events

to Parents. 1969 1/24. Finishing up Lamb's Warrior

to Family. 1969 6/27. Steve Cary leaving AFSC after about 27 years to become vice president of Haverford College, and she will be acting director of the department until John Sullivan takes over.

to Allen. China, 1972 5/9. Working hard on the question of women, old people and social welfare

to Allen. Xian, China, 1972 5/18. Reports on her activities

to Allen. South Africa, 1992. Will go to Johannesburg meeting and see Olive Gibson and then to Soweto Meeting

Bacon family Christmas letters and photos, 1974-2000. 1 folders.
Box 4
Physical Description

1 folders

Letters, 1934-41.
Scope and Contents

1934-1936 ca. 60 items

Note: Letters are generally to family and report on school (Westtown) and social life. The letters begin (1934) with a letter from the Westtown School principal stating that Allen Bacon had received as scholarship to the school; this was renewed in 1935 and 1936. Some grades are also included

1937 ca. 60 items

Note: A continuation of letters from Westtown School offering detailed information on life at school. On August 4, 1937, a note from Pres. William Wistar Comfort of Haverford College indicates that Allen Bacon has received a scholarship of $150 for the 1937-38 school year and letters begining October 7, 1937 are written on Haverford stationery. These give great detail about life at Haverford

Haverford, Pa., 193710/7. Speaks of various events at college and that he and others went to Bryn Mawr College, but didn't find Emma Cadbury or some other girls there

Haverford, Pa. 1937 11/21. Douglas Steere gave a good talk on Scandinavian countries and the place of Quakers there; has decided to major in economics and wants to talk to Thomas Kelly and others about it.

1938 ca. 35 items

Note: Allen Bacon determines to take a year off from Haverford College, so letters written from Pocono Manor and elsewhere telling of his activities.

1939 ca. 10 items

Note: Bacon transfers to Antioch College for the school year beginning in 1939

1940 ca. 35 items

Note: Some letters tell of Bacon's studies at Antioch which he feels gives higher grades than either Westtown or Haverford. Others tell of speeches he is making

to Mother. 1940 7/2. Indicative of the kind of community activism with which Bacon would associate himself through his career, including giving speeches at a conference

to Parents. Yellow Springs. OH. Lists his reasons for not registering for the draft

Aurora, Oh., 1940 11/12. Bacon is one of the signatories on a letter to fellow pacifists suggesting a positive response to the drumroll for America's participation in the war which is "A Food March to the Sea," a caravan to gather food, apparently to then be sent abroad

1941 ca. 40 items

Note: More extensive information on college life, but also on activities, such as membership in Fellowship of Reconciliation and looking for work with organizations such as Student Peace Service or American Friends Service Committee

Yellow Springs, OH, 1941 12/9. Reactions to the news of America's joining the war

Papers and grades from Westtown School, 1937.
Box 5

There are some grades from the Park School which Bacon attended before Westtown here as well

Container Summary

Also contains 55th reunion booklet with some biographical information

Antioch Senior Paper and "Through the Looking Glass".
Box 5

The author of "Through the Looking Glass" is not stated, but the paper was found with S. Allen Bacon materials

Letters, 1942-46.
Box 6
Scope and Contents

1942 ca. 60 items

Note: Letters begin with Allen's arrival in Chicago in January, in preparation for starting college at Antioch in Yellow Springs. A few letters are from Margaret

to Parents. 1942 2/1. A clear statement of his position on the war

to Mother. 1942 3/8. Would like to be part of a non-CPS pacifist group committed to living creative lives aimed at non-violent reconstruction or revolution

to Mother. 1942 4/22. Started a school for non-violent direct action

to Parents. 1942 6/23. Discusses his intention of marrying Margaret Borchardt

to Parents (from Margaret). 1942 10/26. Has decided to become a Friend

to Parents (from Margaret). 1942 8/28. Interest in Friends' work in Japanese internment camps -- necessity of love for all races, fighting intolerance, minorities' rights and thus maintenance of democracy

1943 ca. 60 items

Note: A few letters are from Margaret

to Mother. 1943 3/23. Will be starting a job with AFSC

to Parents. 1943 6/5 Interesting description of examinations for army status or "fitness for slaughter."

to Family. 1943 8/4. Working at the Eastern Cooperative League in New York and getting ready to leave for CPS Camp

to Family. Walhalla (Mich) CPS Camp, 1943 8/22. Some activities in the camp.

to Family. Walhalla, MI, 1943 9/9. Issues arising from work men are doing at the camp for which they are not compensated

to Family. Walhalla, MI, 1943 9/22. Has begun a survey of other CPS camps to determine the extent and kind of coop activity

to Parents. Camp Walhalla, 1943 10/17. Camp will be closing and people will be dispersed to other camps

to Parents. Camp Walhalla, 1943 10/23. Will be transferring to Lyons CPS camp, a mental hospital using C.O.s

to Parents. Sykesville, MD. 1943 11/11. A description of the Springfield State Hospital where he is working

to Parents. 1943 1/3l. Comparison of their views on Socialism and that of the Socialist Party.

to Paents. 1943 2/21. an idea, based on Louis Adamic's "Two-Way Passage' whereby 2nd generation Americans would return to their mother land to help reconstruction

1944 ca. 50 items

to Parents. 1944 1/8. Continues description of the mental hospital where he is working

to Parents. 1944 2/3. Attended International Cooperative Reconstruction conference in Washington

to Parents. 1944 4/9. Margaret will be working in a hospital on the t.b. ward .

to Family. Sykesville MD, 1944 9/17. Is considering sending part of his birthday money to the Socialist Party to help fund their broadcasts to American soldiers overseas

to Parents. Sykesville, MD, 1944 11/6. Margaret won a writing contest in the magazine Progress Guide. "Any pacifist who is willing to see our present economic-political arrangements which make up the driving forces of our civilization continue as they have in the past must accept war as an integral part of the future."

to Family. 1944 11/26. Reference to an institute (AFSC?) which will include many prominent people, including Haverford grad, William H. Chamberlin

1945 ca. 35 items

Note: Some letters from Margaret interfiled here

to Mother. 1945 5/15. Has been offered a job at the Bedford Street Center to start a co-op store and wants at the same time to work at Byberry Hospital

to Parents. Sykesville, MD, 1945 11/23. Has been offered job of Camp Director at Bowie, MD CPS camp #34 and he accepted.

to Parents. Sykesville, MD, 1945 1/2. Reports on a job at a refugee shelter that he did not get; architecture in Tampa, FL and murals being painted by his father-in-law, Norman Borchardt

to Family. 1945 3/4. First move after CPS. will be to get an M.A. in education from Columbia U.

1946 ca. 50 items

Note: Quite a number of letters from Margaret interfiled here while Allen busy with his studies

to Parents. Bowie, MD, 1946 3/18. Has received a T.Wistar Brown Fund grant

to Peggy ("Stasch") 1946 3/21. A letter to his baby about the world and her parents

to Parents. Bowie, MD, 1946 4/24. Re birth of daughter Peggy

to Parents. Dover MA, 1946 7/27. Have a place to live while he attends Harvard

Letters, 1952-1960.
Scope and Contents

1952 8 items

to Parents. 1952 2/5. Will be going to California to a meeting of all those in AFSC who are concerned with the Native American program, mostly the reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. A work camp on the land of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in N. Carolina is also being planned

to Parents. 1952 8/25. Opening a year-round work camp at Flanner House in Indianapolis and another at the Pine Ridge Reservation, S.C., home of the Oglala Lakota Tribe.

1953 3 items

to Parents. 1953 4/20. Has been offered two jobs, one as manager of a housing project for the Friends Neighborhood Guild and the other as director of community organization, also for the Guild and he has accepted the latter

1960 1 item

Note: No letters from 1954-1959.

to Parents and Aunt Jane. 1960 12/4. Has just given a speech on social welfare to the Radnor Meeting Forum. Believes that neighborhood agencies like settlements, which provide face-to-face contact through various programs can help families such as are on the rolls of the Aid to Dependent Children Program

Physical Description

2 boxes

Box 7
Scope and Contents

MHB: Summer travel journal, 1959;

MHB and SAB: Journal of trip to Western US, 1959;

MHB and SAB: Letters, photos and article re South Africa, 1964

MHB and SAB: Letters from AFSC trip to South Africa, Paris and Geneva, 1964

MHB: Rancocas (N.J.) diary, 1969

MHB and SAB: Logs of European trip, 1972

MHB: Diary of trip to China (with photo), 1972

MHB and SAB: Journal of trip to Nicaragua, 1970s

MHB: Journal of trip to Greece, 1976

Box 8
Scope and Contents

MHB: Journal of trip to Mexico, 1981;

MHB & SAB: Primarily letters of appreciation to during FWCC trip to Western U.S. and B.C., 1988;

MHB: Primarily letters of welcome to Australia Yearly Meeting, 1989;

MHB & SAB: Journal of a trip to England and Scotland, 1979; and Ireland, 1988;

MHB: Journal of trip to Costa Rica and Friends World Conference, 1988; Egypt, 1990;

MHB: Journal of trip to Australia, 1989; Galapagos, 1992;

MHB: Itinerary and photos for trip to Woodbrooke, 1990;

MHB: Journal of trip to South Africa, 1992;

MHB: Primarily letters of welcome to Woodbrooke, 1993

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