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L. Hollingsworth Wood photographs and ephemera


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

Levi Hollingsworth Wood was born August 14, 1873 at Mt. Kisco, N.Y., the son of James and Emily (Hollingsworth) Wood. His sister was Carolena M. Wood (1871-­1936). He was a graduate of Haverford College (1892­-1896) and Columbia University Law School (1896-­1899). He practiced law in New York City at the firm Kirby & Wood). In 1915 he married Helen Underhill, who died Jan. 30, 1924. Wood later married Martha Speakman (d. 1977). They had one son, James Wood. Wood died July 21, 1956, at Mt. Kisco, N.Y., at the age of eighty­-two. For much of his life, L. Hollingsworth Wood worked actively in the areas of peace, civil rights, African American education, and Quaker education.

A partial list of organizations and committees which Wood began work with before 1920 includes Young Friends, Hope Day Nursery for Colored Children, New York Colored Mission, Joint Committee on Peace of the two New York Yearly Meetings, Penn School (St. Helena Island, S.C.), Central Bureau of Colored Fresh Air Agencies, North American Civic League for Immigrants, National League for the Protection of Colored Women, National Urban League, Whittier Fellowship Guest House, Five Years Meeting, Camp Fire Girls, Peace Association of Friends in America, American League to Limit Armaments, American Union Against Militarism, Friends Ambulance Unit, Association for the Study of Negro Life and History and Fisk University.

Wood was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Friends Service Committee, and the National Urban League. In addition, he served as president of the Urban League for 26 years. In 1917 Wood was elected to the Board of Trustees of Fisk University and was vice chairman of the Board at the time of his death in 1956. He was a member of the Board of Managers of Haverford College for over forty years.

During the years prior to America's entrance into WWI, Wood was part of an active group of pacifists seeking to counter the growing military spirit sweeping the country. The American League to Limit Armaments and its successor, the American Union Against Militarism were direct forerunners of the ACLU. In 1920 Wood was elected a member of the American Commission on Conditions in Ireland, which held hearings to investigate the escalating conflict between England and Ireland. A member of the Board of the International Rescue Committee, Wood served as chairman in the 1940s and 1950s.

Wood was also very active in Quaker concerns, especially in the areas of peace, Friends education, and in promoting cooperation between Friends of different backgrounds and branches. He was the American correspondent to the London Friend and a member of the Peace Association of Friends in America. Wood was a guiding force behind the Joint Committee on Peace of the two New York Yearly Meetings, which sponsored a Peace Conference of all branches of Friends in 1910. The Joint Peace Committee of the Associated American Yearly Meetings was a direct result of this conference.

Wood was also very active in the Young Friends movement and with Five Years Meeting, helping to organize the latter's Meeting of 1917. He served on committees planning the Friends World Conferences of 1920 and 1937. Wood was also clerk of New York Yearly Meeting from 1926­-1931.

Sources for above: Dictionary of Quaker Biography; NY Times obit. July 23, 1956; LHW papers; "The National Urban League, 1910­1940" by Nancy J. Weiss (New York : Oxford University Press, 1974) [E185.5.N33 W44]; "In defense of American liberties: a history of the ACLU" by Samuel Walker (New York : Oxford University Press, 1990) [JC599.U5 W28 1990].

This collections contains forty-three photographs of L. Hollingsworth Wood, Haverford College Class of 1896, and his fellow students and faculty members at Haverford circa 1892-1896. The photographs primarily show Haverford sports teams, students, faculty members, theatrical productions, and classroom and dorm scenes. The collection also includes a poster advertising a football game between Haverford and Swarthmore College held at Haverford on November 23, 1895.

Gift of James Wood, Haverford College Class of 1950, November 2021.

Processed by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger, completed August 2023.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger
Finding Aid Date
August, 2023
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

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

Collection Inventory

Sports, 1892-1896.
Box 1
Theatrical productions, classrooms, and campus life, ca. 1892-1896.
Box 1

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