Philadelphia County Board of Assistance records on employees dismissed for alleged Communist affiliations
Held at: Historical Society of Pennsylvania [Contact Us]1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
The Philadelphia County Board of Assistance (PCBA) was created in 1937 under policies established by Pennsylvania’s Board of Public Assistance and Department of Public Welfare. These two entities supervised and regulated the county boards, which attended to the social welfare and financial needs of their respective populations. In October and November 1941, the PCBA dismissed some of its employees due to their alleged connections to and affiliations with the Communist Party. Several dozen discharged employees subsequently filed appeals—transcripts from these hearings make up the bulk of this collection. Between November 1941 and April 1942, these hearings were held before a reviewing board of the PCBA, which was chaired by W. W. Montgomery and whose members included Charles M. B. Cadwalader, Joseph E. Beck, Boyd L. Spahr, and James Edgar Gibson. Also present were William C. Ferguson, special counsel for the Department of Public Assistance, and other lawyers for various appellants. In addition to chronologically arranged hearing transcripts, there is a 1940 Report of Assembly Relief Investigating Committee [California] (Box 1), an early finding of facts report (Box 1), and a similar report of findings with conclusions (Box 4).
Gift of James E. Gibson, 1943.
Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Cary Majewicz
Finding Aid Date
, July 2009
The collection is open for research.
Report of Assembly Relief Investigating Committee [California], (1940).
Box 1Folder 1
Pennsylvania County Board of Assistance findings of fact report, (circa 1941).
Box 1Folder 1
Letter to James E. Gibson, (3 Dec. 1941).
Box 1Folder 2
Hearing transcript, pages 1-745a, (20 November-20 December 1941).
Box 1Folder 2-8
Hearing transcript, pages 746-1600, (7 January-3 February 1942).
Box 2Folder 1-8
Hearing transcript, pages 1601-2814, (5 February-18 March 1942).
Box 3Folder 1-14
Hearing transcript, pages 2815-3340, (20 March-30 April 1942).
Box 4Folder 1-7
“Findings of fact and conclusions of law with briefs in support of the same”, (1942).