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James A. Babbitt 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

James Addison Babbitt was born on October 22, 1869, in Waitsfield, Vermont, to James Howard Babbitt and Mary French Abbott. He earned his bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1893. Afterwards, Babbitt attended Haverford as a graduate biology student, earning his master's degree in 1896. He also attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania from 1894 to 1898. His primary career was that of physical training, which he pursued at Haverford College. He also served as registrar at Haverford. Babbitt was a member of the American Association for Advancement of Physical Training, the William Pepper Medical Society, and the Society of College Gymnasium Directors. He married Mary Abigail Adams in Swanton, Vermont, on September 11, 1895, and they resided together in Haverford, Pennsylvania. During World War I, Babbitt served as a member of the American Friend Reconstruction Unit of the Red Cross in France. This collection contains documents and diaries from that time.

Collection includes two diaries (1917-1919) kept by James Babbitt. The first dairy, entitled "Haverford Reconstruction Unit No. 1," describes the work of emergency relief in France beginning with the departure of Dr. Babbitt and 54 men from Haverford College in August, 1917, and through the establishment and operation of Hôpital du Chateau (Chateau Hospital) in Sermaize-les-Bains, Marne, France. Includes letters (1918-1919) by Dr. Babbitt in France to his patients expressing interest in their condition, and letters (1917-1918 + undated) from his patients, primarily thanking him for his help and reporting on their conditions. Also contains an introduction of Dr. Babbitt by Henry J. Cadbury (August, 1917) as a member of the American Friends Service Committee; reports consisting of an introduction to the project and some personnel, short description of the hospital buildings, four weekly hospital reports from August, 1918, and a list of operations performed; poem portraits of hospital staff (1917); and ca. 30 photographs showing the exterior and interior of the hospital and hospital staff. Materials in English and French.

Arranged by document type.

Source of acquisition unknown.

Processed by Anna Neuheardt; completed March, 2019.


Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Anna Neuheardt
Finding Aid Date
March, 2019
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Collection Inventory

Diary, (1917-1918).
Folder 1
Diary, (1918-1919).
Folder 2
Intro of Dr. James Babbitt, (1917).
Folder 3
Poem Portraits of Hospital Staff, (1917).
Folder 4
Reports, (1917-1918).
Folder 5
Hospital Photographs, undated.
Folder 6
Correspondence, (1917-1919).
Folder 7

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