Young Friends of North America Committee on Conscription Records
Held at: Swarthmore College Peace Collection [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore 19081-1399
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. 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
The Young Friends of North America, an open fellowship of Friends between the ages of 18 and 30, established a Committee on Conscription in the fall of 1968 to facilitate communication among Friends who were involved with draft resistance. The Committee, chaired by Conscientious Objector Peter Blood, collected information from members of the Religious Society of Friends who had refused to cooperate with conscription since the 1940s, as well as Friends who were currently imprisoned for draft resistance. Besides Peter Blood, David Morrison and Gary Stewart also seemed to have been involved in keeping the Committee active.
This collection is small, but valuable because of the personal information it contains in correspondence, statements, and questionnaires filled out by Friends (and others) who resisted the draft. The Committee also collected information from various yearly meetings about their stance on draft resistance, conscription, providing sanctuary to men opposed to the draft, and tax resistance. In addition, the collection holds a small amount of material from other Protestant denominations about these subjects, including the Church of the Brethren and the Mennonite Church. One folder in the collection regarding the Young Friends of North America and its joint (?) efforts with New Swarthmoor does not seem to be part of the Committee on Conscription's work, though men involved in both groups may have been active with or interested in the Committee.
The Committee worked closely with A Quaker Action Group and other organizations in developing material to promote draft resistance among Friends and to document Quaker men who had declared themselves to be Conscientious Objectors. In processing this collection, it was at times difficult to discern when something was designed by the Committee alone, or when it was done collegially with another group, and the original folders were not specific enough to help in sorting the material as well has would have been preferable. Therefore, researchers should be aware that the current arrangement of the material may not be a totally accurate reflection of this Committee's work.
Guide to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, 2nd ed., p. 83.
Gift of Peter Blood, 1974 [Acc. 74A-022], 1998
Processed by Anne Yoder, September, 2004. This finding aid prepared by SCPC staff, and updated by Wendy E. Chmielewski, March 2011.
In 1998, Peter Blood created another questionnaire regarding Quaker draft resistance, and this (along with the two replies he received) was sent to the SCPC. He also donated a 1970 manuscript by Jeff Keith, entitled "Prison Memoirs," which reflects on Keith's experiences as a Conscientious Objector at Lewisburg and Petersburg prisons in 1965-1966. Both of these items were placed in the Young Friends of North America: Committee on Conscription collection in 1998, but were removed to the Subject File in 2004.
- Draft resisters -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Draft -- United States -- History -- Sources
- Conscientious Objectors -- North America -- History -- Sources
- Conscientious objection -- Societies, etc. -- History -- Sources
- War -- Religious aspects -- Society of Friends
- War -- Religious aspects -- Church of the Brethren
- War -- Religious aspects -- Mennonite Church
- Asylum, Right of -- History -- Sources
- War -- Moral and ethical aspects -- History -- Sources
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Conscientious Objectors -- Sources
- Quakers -- North America -- History -- Sources
- Quakers -- Societies, etc. -- History -- Sources
- Youth and peace -- History -- Sources
- Swarthmore College Peace Collection
- Access Restrictions
- Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
- Use Restrictions
3 complete issues; partial of 2 other issues?
includes Friends Peace Committee