Arnold Satterthwait 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
Arnold Chase Satterthwait (1920-2012) was born April 8th, 1920 in Germantown, Pennsylvania to Charles Shoemaker and Elizabeth P. (Smith) Satterthwait. He enrolled at Haverford College in 1939. A lifelong Quaker, Arnold refused to register with the Selective Service. On November 27, 1941, he was sentenced to year and a day in federal court; he was released after serving almost ten months. Arnold again refused to register upon receiving a draft notice in September 1943. He was sentenced to three years in prison. In December 1942, Arnold married Fannie Jane Zissa. They had five children: Arnold Chase, Robert Bruce, Michele Diane, Cecilia Ann, and Sally Melissa. After World War II, Arnold finished his degree at Haverford and earned an master's from the University of Pennsylvania. He taught Arabic to the employees of ARAMCO (the Arabian American Oil Company in Saudi Arabia) for ten years. He returned to the United States to earn a PhD in linguistics from Harvard University. He became a faculty member at Washington State University, where he supported student protests during the Vietnam War. Arnold continued to actively participate in Quaker meetings throughout his life. Fanny Jane died in 2002, and in 2003, he married Florence Bye. Arnold Satterthwait died November 9, 2012 in Pullman, Washington.
Fannie Jane Zissa Satterthwait (1920-2002) was born December 20, 1920 in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. She entered the Bryn Mawr School of Nursing in 1939 and graduated as an RN in the spring of 1942. After graduation, she continued to work at Bryn Mawr Hospital. She and Arnold were married in December 1942, and had five children. Fannie Jane died of brain cancer on January 10, 2002.
Charles Shoemaker Satterthwait, known as "Chub," was the father of Arnold Satterthwait. A lifelong Quaker and member of Landsdowne Friends Meeting, in 1942 he resigned from the Society of Friends (Quakers) because he was not going to register as a Conscientious Objector. Both his sons (Arnold and Charles Jr.) were COs, and Charles felt that it was disingenuous to fight while retaining his Quaker membership. He became a Lieutenant in the 349th Engineers.
Charles Shoemaker Satterthwait, Jr., known as "Bro," was Arnold Satterthwait's younger brother. While a student at Cornell University, Charles Jr. registered as a Conscientious Objector. He served with the American Field Service, driving ambulances in the Middle East and Italy. He was married to Rose Josephine Negri Barsotti.
Materials in the collection are concentrated in the period 1939 to 1950 and include correspondence among many family members, materials about Arnold Satterthwait's status as a Conscientious Objector, some post World War II materials, materials from other family members, and miscellaneous items.
The correspondence section of the collection is the largest. Letters from Fannie Jane to Arnold during his second prison term detail her daily life and provide information about their son. Letters from his mother, Elizabeth, also include details of daily life. Many of the letters from his father, Charles, were written during Charles's time with the army in Alaska, while those of Charles Jr. are written from Cornell University after the war. The section of letters from friends often shows support for Arnold's stand, although others do not agree with his decision; letter writers include various Haverford faculty such as Douglas Steere. Of particular interest may be the letters between Arnold and Felix Morley, then president of Haverford, who thought Arnold should sign his draft card and declare himself a CO that way. Letters between Arnold and the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Committee on Race about students of color at Haverford reveal Arnold's interest in other activist causes. Other family correspondence includes letters from Elizabeth to Charles while he was away with the army, and to Fannie Jane from her mother and friends. There is also correspondence to Charles and Elizabeth about Arnold's case.
Conscientious Objector status materials include correspondence about legal matters, including with Arnold's lawyer and from the draft board related to both his 1941 and 1943 convictions. Bail materials discuss issues of money and payment. There are materials related to the presidential pardon of draft resistors after the war, which included Arnold. Pamphlets and articles about COs and the Quaker Peace Testimony illuminate the climate in which Arnold made his decision, as do various issues of the newspaper The Conscientious Objector. Materials about other COs include Larry Gara, Theodore Richards (a Swarthmore student who was at one point Arnold's cellmate), and Elliston P. Morris (Haverford class of 1922), as well as clippings about a variety of conscientious objectors.
Post World War II materials include writings which illuminate Arnold's Quaker faith and continued activism, as well as his time at Washington State University. Materials from other family members includes letters and clippings related to Charles Satterthwait's decision to resign from the Society of Friends, and Charles Satterthwait Jr.'s time in the American Field Service. Miscellaneous materials include those from educational institutions Arnold attended, an autobiographical sketch, resumes, several photographs, a piece of a Spitfire parachute, copies of the journal Fellowship, and various essays and other information.
This collection is organized into five series: correspondence, Arnold Satterthwait's status as a Conscientious Objector during World War II, post-World War II materials, materials related to other family members, and miscellaneous materials.
The Arnold Satterthwait papers were donated to Special Collections, Haverford College in March, 2014 by Cecilia Zander on behalf of Arnold C. Satterthwait Jr., Michele D. Satterthwait Goldman, and Sally F. Satterthwait Fridge.
Processed by Sarah Horowitz; completed April, 2018.
- Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- Sarah Horowitz
- Finding Aid Date
- April, 2018
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).