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J. Stuart Innerst Papers

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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

J. Stuart Innerst was born in 1894 in Dallastown, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Lebanon Valley College in 1916 and received a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Bonebrake Theological Seminary in 1919. He and his wife, Marion Reachard (whom he had married after graduating from college), became missionaries in Canton in January 1920 through the China Mission of United Brethren in Christ. They lived and worked in the small, rural town of Siulam, but their discomfort with the way the Chinese people were dominated by foreigners -- personally and also systemically through unfair treaties imposed by other governments -- led the Innersts to leave that country in protest in the Spring of 1927. Stuart Innerst did not return to China until May 1972, when he was allowed to enter the country as a guest of the Chinese Peoples Association for Friends with Foreign Countries. He was the first American missionary to be granted a visa to return, and he took full advantage of the privilege by visiting many sites over a five week period, focusing on the social changes achieved since he had lived there five decades earlier. Before that, in 1968, Innerst traveled to the Far East, including Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, to meet with Quaker groups concerning the situation in China. China was of life-long interest and concern for Innerst, and was the subject of much of his writing and lobbying over the years.

Stuart Innerst served as a chaplain at Otterbein College (Ohio) from 1927 to 1939, and then as pastor for the Fairview Church in Dayton (Ohio). In 1943, he joined the Society of Friends, which eventually led him to a pastorship at the First Friends Church in Pasadena (California), where he stayed for many years.

In addition to his pastoral work, Innerst also served as the Director of the Quaker Friends in Washington Program (1960-1961); for thirteen months he lobbied and interviewed members of Congress regarding China, disarmament and peace, and other issues. Concern for his wife's health forced an early departure from Washington, but he returned for brief periods in 1963 and in 1965. His other involvements included participation in various Friends boards and committees, such as the Executive Committee of the Friends Committee on Legislation, the La Jolla Meeting Peace Committee, and the Friend in the Orient Committee of the Pacific Yearly Meeting. He attended four conferences of the World Peace Council in Europe in the early 1960s, and helped plan the 1962 World Congress on Disarmament and Peace.

Innerst was a prolific writer of Letters to the Editor, lobbying letters to government officials, Bible study helps and devotionals, articles and leaflets. Between 1965 and 1970, he edited the Understanding China Newsletter, published by the American Friends Service Committee. From his home in 1971-1973, he produced the China Spectator Papers. He co-authored the book A New China Policy: Some Quaker Proposals (1965), and his reflections on China were published posthumously in the book China Gray, China Green.

Innerst and his wife had four children, Almena [Neff], Dick, Lucille [Nordgren], and Ivan. After wife Marion's death in October 1964, Innerst married Gladis Barber Voorhees and settled in La Jolla (California). He died in his home on August 30, 1975.

The Innerst papers were sorted by daughter Almena Neff, who arranged the folders into loose chronological order and tied or taped up many of the periodicals in which her father's writings had been published. The shipment of five cartons arrived at the Peace Collection in 1976, and a temporary checklist was prepared in 1980. In 2003, the collection was re-sorted, re-foldered and re-boxed according to current preservation standards, and a new checklist was written. The Innerst papers were in good condition, though some had been scorched around the edges in a house fire; the worst burned were photocopied, as were various newsclippings and mimeographed pages. It is not known if any papers were lost in the fire. What is found in this collection allows the researcher to study the witness of a man who cared deeply about peace and social justice issues. His letters to editors, government officials, broadcasters and many others show his wide concerns and his inability to stay silent in the face of injustice. His voluminous sermon notes, as well as published Bible study helps and devotionals, provide a window into his thoughts about faith, which often intersected with his viewpoints on peace and justice.

Innerst's correspondents included Jennifer Haines, Charles Harker, Chet Holifield, Clare Sturges Johnson, A.J. Muste, Reinhold Niebuhr, Kirby Page, Drew Pearson, Edwin Sanders, Ed Snyder, Norman Thomas, Arthur Wadsworth, and E. Raymond Wilson.

Several photographs were removed to the Photograph Collection (including two portraits of Innerst). The 1962 "Directory" of right-wing groups, produced by Group Research Inc. of Washington, D.C. was removed to the CDG-A for Group Research Inc. The newsletter of Group Research Inc. was removed to the Periodical Collection.

Researchers should be aware that there are also Innerst papers at the Mandeville Special Collections Library at the University of California, San Diego. The material (4.9 linear feet) includes correspondence, writings, notes, publications, photographs and audiorecordings, the bulk of which reflect Innerst's interest in China. See the finding aid for this collection at http://orpheus.ucsd.edu/speccoll/testing/html/mss0097a.html.

Boxes 1 and 2 contained biographical information about Innerst and his family, and materials about his involvement with several organizations from the 1960s onward. Boxes 3-5 contain Innerst's correspondence. Boxes 6-10 contain Innerst's writings in all formats. Boxes 10-14 contain his speeches and sermons. Boxes 14-15 contain reference files on a few of the many topics which interested Innerst.

Guide to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, 2nd ed., p.50.

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is the official repository for these papers.

Gift of Almeda Innerst Neff [Acc. 76A-110].

Checklist prepared by Anne Yoder, October 2003; This finding aid was prepared by Chloe Lucchesi- Malone, July 2009; additions by Wendy E. Chmielewski, December, 2009.

Publisher
Swarthmore College Peace Collection
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

All or part of this collection is stored off-site. Contact Swarthmore College Peace Collection staff at peacecollection@swarthmore.edu at least two weeks in advance of visit to request boxes.

Copyright to the J. Stuart Innerst Papers created by J. Stuart Innerst has been transferred to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection. Copyright to all other materials is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Use Restrictions

None.

Collection Inventory

Archival Resource Key. Checklist.
Box DG 103: 1 [off-site box SCPC-4032]
Archival Resource Key. Biographical information.
Box DG 103: 1 [off-site box SCPC-4032]
Archival Resource Key. Biographical information: Publicity and/or programs for speaking engagements or presiding over events, 1950-1971, undated.
Box DG 103: 1 [off-site box SCPC-4032]
Archival Resource Key. Biographical information: Media coverage.
Box DG 103: 1 [off-site box SCPC-4032]
Archival Resource Key. Efforts/Involvements: Congressional testimony given, 1960-1967.
Box DG 103: 1 [off-site box SCPC-4032]
Archival Resource Key. Efforts/Involvements: Interviews of members of Congress, 1960, 1969.
Box DG 103: 1 [off-site box SCPC-4032]
Archival Resource Key. Efforts/Involvements: Sign-on letters.
Box DG 103: 1 [off-site box SCPC-4032]
Archival Resource Key. Efforts/Involvements: Efforts re: silent peace vigils, 1960-1967.
Box DG 103: 1 [off-site box SCPC-4032]
Archival Resource Key. Efforts/Involvements: Efforts as draft counselor, 1968.
Box DG 103: 1 [off-site box SCPC-4032]
Archival Resource Key. Efforts/Involvements: Involvement with various groups.
Box DG 103: 1 [off-site box SCPC-4032]
Archival Resource Key. Efforts/Involvements: Involvement in neighborhood canvassing and/or petition drives re: Vietnam.
Box DG 103: 1 [off-site box SCPC-4032]
Archival Resource Key. Efforts/Involvements: Involvement with Executive Committee of Friends Committee on Legislation (California), 1960-1965, 1967.
Box DG 103: 1 [off-site box SCPC-4032]
Archival Resource Key. Efforts/Involvements: Involvement with La Jolla Meeting Peace Committee (California), 1965-1975, undated.
Box DG 103: 1 [off-site box SCPC-4032]
Scope and Contents

[see also general correspondence files]

Archival Resource Key. Efforts/Involvements: Involvement with Pacific Yearly Meeting (California).
Box DG 103: 2 [off-site box SCPC-4033]
Archival Resource Key. Efforts/Involvements: Involvement with Pacific Yearly Meeting (California): Friend in the Orient Committee, 1968-1974, undated.
Box DG 103: 2 [off-site box SCPC-4033]
Archival Resource Key. Efforts/Involvements: Involvement (as Board Member) with the Southern California Library for Social Study and Research, approximately 1970-1971.
Box DG 103: 2 [off-site box SCPC-4033]
Archival Resource Key. Efforts/Involvements: Attendance at World Congress for General Disarmament and Peace, Moscow (USSR), July 9-14, 1962.
Box DG 103: 2 [off-site box SCPC-4033]
Archival Resource Key. Correspondence (general), 1928-1975, undated.
Box DG 103: 3 [off-site box SCPC-4034]
Archival Resource Key. Correspondence with staff of David C. Cook Publishing Company, 1945-1948.
Box DG 103: 3 [off-site box SCPC-4034]
Archival Resource Key. Correspondence re: "Friend of the Orient" column, 1961.
Box DG 103: 3 [off-site box SCPC-4034]
Archival Resource Key. Correspondence re: "The Communist and I" article/leaflet, 1962-1970.
Box DG 103: 3 [off-site box SCPC-4034]
Archival Resource Key. Correspondence re: (and support for) John Robinson of the Nine for Peace, 1968.
Box DG 103: 4 [off-site box SCPC-4035]
Archival Resource Key. Correspondence re: (and support for) tour of Hiroshima panels, 1968-1971.
Box DG 103: 4 [off-site box SCPC-4035]
Archival Resource Key. Correspondence etc. re: Law of the Sea, 1973-1974.
Box DG 103: 4 [off-site box SCPC-4035]
Archival Resource Key. Correspondence etc. re: world hunger, 1974.
Box DG 103: 4 [off-site box SCPC-4035]
Archival Resource Key. Correspondence etc. re: World Peace Tax Fund, 1974.
Box DG 103: 4 [off-site box SCPC-4035]
Archival Resource Key. Correspondence with/re: Right Sharing of the World Resources [org.], 1974-1975.
Box DG 103: 4 [off-site box SCPC-4035]
Archival Resource Key. Correspondence with staff of newspapers and magazines [not Letters to the Editor].
Box DG 103: 4 [off-site box SCPC-4035]
Archival Resource Key. Correspondence with television and radio broadcasters.
Box DG 103: 4 [off-site box SCPC-4035]
Archival Resource Key. Correspondence with government officials: White House, 1932, 1940s-1975, undated.
Box DG 103: 4 [off-site box SCPC-4035]
Archival Resource Key. Correspondence with government officials: State Department.
Box DG 103: 4 [off-site box SCPC-4035]
Archival Resource Key. Correspondence with government officials: Congress, 1929-1949.
Box DG 103: 4 [off-site box SCPC-4035]
Archival Resource Key. Correspondence with government officials: Congress, 1950-1975, undated.
Box DG 103: 5 [off-site box SCPC-4036]
Archival Resource Key. Correspondence with government officials: Misc., 1930-1975, undated.
Box DG 103: 5 [off-site box SCPC-4036]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Letters to the Editor, 1930-1979, undated.
Box DG 103: 6 [off-site box SCPC-4037]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Bible study helps written for "Young People's Journal" and for "Young People's Teacher", 1943-1944.
Box DG 103: 6 [off-site box SCPC-4037]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Bible study helps written for "The David C. Cook Young People's Journal", 1947-1953.
Box DG 103: 6 [off-site box SCPC-4037]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Bible study helps written(?) for "Christian Living for Senior Highs", 1953-1954.
Box DG 103: 7 [off-site box SCPC-4038]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Bible study helps written for "Young People's Teacher", 1945-1946.
Box DG 103: 7 [off-site box SCPC-4038]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Bible study helps written for "The David C. Cook Young People's Teacher", 1947-1953.
Box DG 103: 7 [off-site box SCPC-4038]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Bible study helps written for "The New Century Leader", 19541.
Box DG 103: 7 [off-site box SCPC-4038]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Bible study helps written(?) for "Christian Living for Senior High Teachers", 1954.
Box DG 103: 7 [off-site box SCPC-4038]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Bible study helps written(?) for "David C. Cook Comprehensive Guide for Bible Study", 1953-1954.
Box DG 103: 7 [off-site box SCPC-4038]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Devotionals written for "The Quiet Hour", 1945-1961.
Box DG 103: 8 [off-site box SCPC-4039]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Articles published or printed, 1920-1975, undated.
Box DG 103: 9 [off-site box SCPC-4040]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: "Chronicle of a Friend in Washington", 1961, 1966.
Box DG 103: 9 [off-site box SCPC-4040]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Leaflets published.
Box DG 103: 9 [off-site box SCPC-4040]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Leaflets published "What Most Americans Don't Know About Vietnam" [includes rough drafts and notes].
Box DG 103: 9 [off-site box SCPC-4040]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Misc. "Introduction to the Bible".
Box DG 103: 9 [off-site box SCPC-4040]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Misc. re: Jesus (chapters 1-3).
Box DG 103: 9 [off-site box SCPC-4040]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Misc. articles etc.
Box DG 103: 9 [off-site box SCPC-4040]
Scope and Contents

[3 folders]

Archival Resource Key. Writings: Misc. articles etc.
Box DG 103: 10 [off-site box SCPC-4041]
Scope and Contents

[2 folders]

Archival Resource Key. Writings: Notes on various books of the Bible.
Box DG 103: 10 [off-site box SCPC-4041]
Scope and Contents

[2 folders]

Archival Resource Key. Writings: Notes etc. re: amnesty for draft evaders.
Box DG 103: 10 [off-site box SCPC-4041]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Notes etc. re: anti-war protests.
Box DG 103: 10 [off-site box SCPC-4041]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Misc. articles re: China and/or missions, 1920-1923.
Box DG 103: 10 [off-site box SCPC-4041]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Notes for and rough drafts of "The Plumb Line and the Atomic Age".
Box DG 103: 10 [off-site box SCPC-4041]
Archival Resource Key. Writings: Notes for and rough drafts of "Reflections of a Troubled American".
Box DG 103: 10 [off-site box SCPC-4041]
Archival Resource Key. Speaking/Preaching: Transcripts of sermons and addresses.
Box DG 103: 10 [off-site box SCPC-4041]
Archival Resource Key. Speaking/Preaching: Funeral services: Sermon notes etc., 1950s-1960s.
Box DG 103: 10 [off-site box SCPC-4041]
Archival Resource Key. Speaking/Preaching: Notes for sermons given, 1927-1935.
Box DG 103: 11 [off-site box SCPC-4042]
Archival Resource Key. Speaking/Preaching: Notes for sermons given, 1936-1943.
Box DG 103: 12 [off-site box SCPC-4043]
Archival Resource Key. Speaking/Preaching: Notes for sermons given, 1950-1959.
Box DG 103: 13 [off-site box SCPC-4044]
Archival Resource Key. Speaking/Preaching: Notes for sermons given, 1950's.
Box DG 103: 14 [off-site box SCPC-4045]
Archival Resource Key. Speaking/Preaching: Notes for sermons given in more than one year.
Box DG 103: 14 [off-site box SCPC-4045]
Archival Resource Key. Speaking/Preaching: Notes for sermons given, undated.
Box DG 103: 14 [off-site box SCPC-4045]
Scope and Contents

[3 folders]

Archival Resource Key. Speaking/Preaching: Notes re: worship aids (hymns, poems, prayers, etc.).
Box DG 103: 14 [off-site box SCPC-4045]
Archival Resource Key. Speaking/Preaching: Notes for talks given, 1928-1970.
Box DG 103: 14 [off-site box SCPC-4045]
Archival Resource Key. Reference material, 1930s-1950s.
Box DG 103: 14 [off-site box SCPC-4045]
Archival Resource Key. Reference material: "Fellowship of Prayer Newsletter", 1956-1958.
Box DG 103: 14 [off-site box SCPC-4045]
Archival Resource Key. Reference material, 1960's.
Box DG 103: 14 [off-site box SCPC-4045]
Archival Resource Key. Reference material, 1960's.
Box DG 103: 15 [off-site box SCPC-4046]
Scope and Contents

[3 folders]

Archival Resource Key. Reference material re: right-wing groups, 1960's.
Box DG 103: 15 [off-site box SCPC-4046]
Archival Resource Key. Reference material: "Okinawa White Paper", approximately 1969.
Box DG 103: 15 [off-site box SCPC-4046]
Archival Resource Key. Reference material, 1970's.
Box DG 103: 15 [off-site box SCPC-4046]
Scope and Contents

[2 folders]

Archival Resource Key. Reference material: The sea bed; Law of the Sea, 1973-1975.
Box DG 103: 15 [off-site box SCPC-4046]
Archival Resource Key. Reference material, undated.
Box DG 103: 15 [off-site box SCPC-4046]
Archival Resource Key. Refile Material.
Box DG 103: 15 [off-site box SCPC-4046]

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