Friends' Employment Society Record
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
The Friends Employment Society was founded in New York City in 1862 by Hicksite women as the Women's Association of Friends for the Employment and Relief by Clothing of the Suffering Poor. These Quakers felt a concern to aid in relieving the want and distress of the wives and widows of soldiers, women who were untrained for work outside of the home, and women whose family cares compelled them to remain in the home.
Incorporated in 1902, it continued to provide sewing employment for the working poor. In the early years, the Society purchased the materials, and its own members cut the garments which were distributed for sewing by the beneficiaries who were paid for their work. Later, other charitable associations such as the Association of Friends for the Relief of Freedmen and local hospitals purchased the materials. The Friends Employment Society distributed the piecework and paid the workers. The finished clothing and bedding were then returned to the charitable organization. During WWII, instead of sewing linens for hospitals, the women sewed garments for the American Friends Service Committee, to be distributed overseas.
By 1947, the Society became inactive due to the small number of participants and changing labor conditions and welfare options. In 1948, it changed its charter to support the needy through contributions to other charitable organizations, which included the New York Young Friends Aid Association, a New York Quaker organization that consistently donated funds to the Friends Employment Society.
This collection contains minutes and financial records from 1862 to 1948. It also includes work assignments, donations, and other miscellaneous papers.
Organized into five series:
- Constitution and legal
- Treasurer's Books
- Annual reports
Donor: New York Yearly Meeting
Annual Reports were transferred from SG 3 files in Friends Historical Library to supplement issues lacking in the collection.
- Quakers -- New York (State) -- New York
- Quakers -- Poor -- Services for
- Society of Friends -- Charities
- Charities -- New York (State) -- New York
- Clothing and dress
- Poor -- Services for -- New York (State) -- New York
- Quakers -- Societies, etc
- Society of Friends -- Charities -- Records and correspondence
- Women -- New York (State) -- Societies and clubs
- Quaker women -- New York (State) -- Societies and clubs
- Women in charitable work -- New York (State) -- New York
- Women -- New York (State) -- Societies, etc
- Women -- New York (State) -- New York -- Societies, etc
- Church work with the Poor -- New York (State)
- Social service -- New York (State) -- New York
- Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
- Finding Aid Author
- FHL staff
- Finding Aid Date
- 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/.