Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. 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
Martha Fell Schofield was born Feb. 1, 1839, near Newtown, Bucks County, PA. She was the daughter of Oliver W. Schofield and Mary (Jackson) Schofield who were married at Darby Meeting in 1834. Both her parents were involved in a number of reform activities, including abolition, temperance, women's rights, and improved education. The family included twin older sisters, Sarah Jane and Lydia, born 1835, a brother, Benjamin, born 1837, and Eliza, a younger sister born in 1840. Of the four sisters, only Sarah Jane married, to Samuel Shinn Ash.
Martha was educated at the schools at Newtown and Byberry and the Sharon Female Seminary in Darby, Pa., which was operated by their mother's brother, John Jackson, and his wife, Rachel. Martha began her own career in teaching at age eighteen at Bayside, Long Island, N.Y., where her aunt, Eliza (Jackson) Bell, lived. She also taught in Harrison, Westchester Co., N.Y., in a school connected with Purchase Monthly Meeting.
In 1865 Martha Schofield went to the islands off the coast of South Carolina to help educate the newly freed African Americans. She found the malarial conditions devastating to her health and moved inland to Aiken, South Carolina, where she founded what became the Schofield Normal and Industrial School in 1868.
The School was partially supported by the Pennsylvania Friends Relief Association, headquartered in Germantown, Pa., and was headed by Sarah Fisher Corlies (sister of Deborah F. Wharton) and Elizabeth Dorsey. The School received some state aid for a number of years. By 1882 there were over 200 pupils, and in that year, the School was incorporated.
Need for financial aid were constant through the years, and a number of people from the Hicksite branch of Philadelphia and New York Yearly Meetings supported the school. By 1883 there were over 400 pupils who, in addition to their education, were taught a trade. In 1884 a boarding department was opened, as well as a student aid fund. In 1887 Edward Hicks Magill and Howard M. Jenkins of Swarthmore College were among those serving on the Board of Managers, and the school house was partitioned into a dormitory for boys. In 1890, the Deborah F. Wharton Industrial Hall, with half of the cost donated with by her sons, was completed.
By 1910 the school occupied two entire blocks of the town of Aiken, with three large brick buildings, two large frame buildings, and various other improvements. In addition, the school owned a 280 acre farm three miles outside of Aiken with its buildings. The running expenses were principally made up by annual gifts from voluntary subscribers. With the exception of the headmaster or headmistrees and Martha Schofield, who served as Business Manager, all departments heads and teachers were Black graduates of the School.
The night before the School was to celebrate the 77th birthday of its founder, Martha Schofield died in her sleep. She died in February 1, 1916 in Aiken, S. C., and is buried in the Darby Friends burial ground in Darby, Pa.. The Schofield School was absorbed into the public school system in 1952.
The Schofield Normal and Industrial School was founded in 1868 by Martha Schofield (1839-1916), a Pennsylvania Quaker. Her intention initially was to provide education for formerly enslaved people. The School gradually evolved into a boarding school for training young Black people in industrial trades or to become teachers. It was absorbed into the public school system in 1952. The collection contains minutes of the board of trustees (1886-1942), legal documents, financial records, correspondence and other papers.
The collection is divided into thirteen series:
- Charter and Constitution
- Financial papers
- Legal papers
- Correspondence (1892-1957 and n.d.)
- Bulletins (1902-1931, with gaps)
- Programs, promotional material, etc.
- Floor plans and drawing of land plots
- Material concerning Martha Schofield
- Reference Material
Donor: Board of Trustees, Schofield Normal and Industrial School (Aiken, S.C.), 1952, 1959, 1964, 1971
- African Americans -- South Carolina
- African Americans -- Education -- South Carolina
- African Americans -- Vocational education -- South Carolina
- Boarding schools -- South Carolina
- Education -- South Carolina
- Teachers colleges -- South Carolina
- Society of Friends -- Charities
- Quaker women -- Education
- Schools -- South Carolina -- Aiken
- Trade schools -- South Carolina
- Vocational education -- South Carolina
- Education -- South Carolina -- Aiken
- Freedmen -- Education -- South Carolina
- Quakers -- South Carolina
- Quakers -- Social life and customs
- Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877) -- South Carolina
- Women social workers -- South Carolina
- Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
- Finding Aid Author
- FHL staff
- Finding Aid Date
- before 1967
- Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries
- Access Restrictions
Collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Some of the items in this collection may be protected by copyright. The user is solely responsible for making a final determination of copyright status. If copyright protection applies, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns to reuse, publish, or reproduce relevant items beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to the law. See http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/UND/1.0/.
7 typewritten copies, 1 printed
Minutes, 1886-1919. Loose papers at back include typed copies of minutes, 1886-1925, with gaps; printed 44th annual report for the year ending Oct. 1, 1912; and Constitution.Physical Description
1 vol., printed
typewritten copy and mimeographed copy
Includes: treasurer's accounts and reports; Industrial Dept. Reports; financial statements; Superintendent's financial reports.
Includes auditor's report (1955), bank book, bills, contributions, income account (1942), list of securities, receipts and salaries.
Includes deeds deposited, 1959
Does not influde financial reports.
Arranged chronologically. Includes calendar 1943; catalogue 1939/40; two dramatic skits concerning Martha Schofield and the School; list of graduates and their occupations; official statements; printed articles; programs; publicity.