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
Mary Ellicott Arnold (1876-1968) was a Quaker writer and social activist, known for her work with consumer cooperatives. After an unsuccessful farming venture in her youth, Mary Ellicott Arnold and her lifelong companion, Mabel Reed, worked with the Karok Indians in California as employees of the United States Indian Bureau. After a period as chief organizer for the U.S. Employment Service in New York State, she and Mabel Reed were involved in a number of successful cooperative ventures, including cafeterias and an apartment building in New York City, miners' housing in Nova Scotia, cooperative credit unions among lobster fishermen in Maine, and the Tanguy and Cheyney Cooperative Homesteads in the Philadelphia area. She was an early Treasurer of the Cooperative League, was very active in the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and was a member of Providence Monthly Meeting, Media, Pennsylvania. Mabel Reed died in 1962, and Mary Ellicott Arnold died on May 23,1968, in Media, Pa.
1876 Born, April 23, at New Brighton, New York City. 1894 Attended Drexel Institute, Philadelphia, Pa. 1901-6? Farming on the Reed family farm with Mabel Reed, her lifelong companion. 1908 Work with the Karok Indians in California. 1910-14 Organized two cafeterias in Ithaca, New York to instruct students at Cornell in dietetics. 1915-16 Special studies in economics at the University of California. 1918 Chief Organizer, U. S. Employment Service for the State of New York. 1919-37 Managed 10 cafeterias and a 12-story cooperative apartment house for the Consumers Cooperative Services in New York City. 1937-39 Organized three cooperative housing projects for coal miners in Nova Scotia. 1939-40 Administrator of land settlement program for fishermen in Newfoundland. 1940-42 Organized credit unions for lobster fishermen in Maine. 1942 Visit to relocation camp for Japanese-Americans at Poston, Arizona. 1943 Began work with the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Federation. 1947-49 Organized, cooperative housing project, Tanguy Homesteads, Glen Mills, Pa. 1949 Interim Coordinator, Eastern Cooperatives, Inc. 1950-52 Planning for Cheyney Cooperative Homesteads, Cheyney, Pa. Proposal abandoned before work began, 1952. 1954-57 Chairman, Finance Committee of the Pennsylvania Branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; Treasurer, Jane Addams House, Philadelphia, Pa. 1958-63 Work for Indian rights.
The collection includes correspondence, financial papers, notebooks, reports, and clippings concerning Mary Ellicott Arnold's varied activities. Correspondents include Wallace J. Campbell, Moses Coady, Darlington Hoopes, George Meany, Richard H. Rhoads, and many others.
The collection is divided into eleven series:
- Biographical material
- General correspondence
- Special correspondence
- Early work with cooperatives
- Consumers cooperatives
- Cooperative housing
- Indians of North America
- Other activities of Mary Ellicott Arnold
- Quaker activities and writings
- Pictures and Memorabilia
- tebooks of Mary Ellicott Arnold
Donor: David and Marian Elkinton, 1975, 1979. Later accrual: Accession 1998.064
Partially processed by Marian Elkinton. Processing completed by FHL staff and stored in RG 5.
The following published material, originally part of the collection, has been removed and cataloged with FHL books:
- Arnold, Mary Ellicott. The story of Tompkinsville. The Cooperative League, NY, 1940.
- Arnold, Mary Ellicott and Mabel Reed. In the land of the grasshopper song. Vantage Press, NY, 1957.
- Coady, MM. Masters of their own destiny. Harpers and Brothers Publishers, NY, 1939.
- Fowler, Bertram B. The Lord helps those... The Vanguard Press, NY, 1938.
- Quaker women
- Quaker social reformers
- Quakers -- Pennsylvania
- Housing, Cooperative
- Indians of North America -- Civil rights
- Working class -- Dwellings
- Karok Indians
- Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
- Finding Aid Author
- FHL staff
- Finding Aid Date
- 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
Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce items in this collection beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns. See http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-RUU/1.0/.
Letters sent and received by Mary Ellicott Arnold, arranged chronologically. Includes correspondence with the following individuals: Roland N. Benjamin, E.R. Bowen, Wallace Campbell, Moses M. Coady, Dorothy Conklin, Hartley Cross, Darlinton Hoopes, Dorothy Kenyon, W.J. Lockwood, Goron Loveless, C.J. McLanahan, Roy McCorkle, George Meany, Thelma Pence, Viola Pfrommer, Jane and Richard Rhoads, A.G. Shaffer, Howard Leland Smith, Geore Tichenor, James J. "Jimmy" Tompkins, Lillian "Tety" Arnold Tompkins.
Letters regarding certain subjects or persons, arranged alphabetically by subjects listed below. Folder with undated letters and fragments at end of series.
The Kunn family were Estonian refugees during World War II.
Mary Ellicott Arnold and Mabel Reed managed 10 cafeterias and a 12-story apartment house.
The pioneering adult education work of James J. Tompkins and Moses M. Coady provided much of the inspiration and leadership for the housing project. Folder of writings by and about Coady and Tompkins together with notes by MEA.
MEA's personal files and notes, not intended as a complete organizational record.
Includes notes by MEA for earlier years.
Including MEA's summary of his book Out of Debt, Out of Danger: Proposals for War Finance and Tomorrow's Money (New York: Devin-Adair, Co., 1943).
Includes origin of cooperative movement in England by "Rochdale pioneers." Contains list of early Directors of CLUSA, with some writings by James Peter Warbasse, 1st President.
File kept by MEA particularly regarding the 120 days in 1949 when she served as Interim Coordinator. Not a complete organizational record, many gaps throughout.
Includes MEA's reports on her 120 days as Interim Coordinator, 1949.
Educational leaflets, mostly prepared by MEA.
Includes MEA's notes for earlier years.
List of member stores, investments, quotas.
Mid-Eastern Cooperatives was a regional subsidiary of Eastern Cooperatives, Inc., founded October, 1951.
With MEA's notes, 1947-1951.
MEA's personal files. She began work with PACF in 1943.
Includes articles of incorporation by-laws, membership requirements.
Four folders of material, arranged alphabetically by the name of the society--2 folders of material on the Media society.
Includes Rochdale Housing Corp., Abraham Kazan.
MEA served as an advisor to the project, 1949.
Attempt by 16 families to form a cooperative to build houses on 18 acre of land in rural area near Philadelphia. MEA provided guidance and leadership, but ultimately cooperative dissolved and houses were never built.
Primarily Mary Ellicott Arnold's writings (articles and notes) on Indian history, treaties, and mistreatment at the hands of white settlers. Also included are articles, clippings, reports, and newsletters collected by MEA, largely from organizations working for Indian rights. Most of the material dates from the 1950's and 1960's. Arranged alphabetically by subject.
Included is text of an "Indian Pageant", written by Mary Ellicott Arnold and performed at Chester Quarterly Meeting, April 26, 1958
See also: Series 11. Notebooks: Writings of MEA on Indian history and culture, including relations with early white settlers. Also contains material used by MEA in her talks to teachers in the Philadelphia schools, and for her course "Ten Little Indians."Physical Description
re: lands taken from the Senecas in New York and Pennsylvania to build Kinzua Dam.
Report prepared by Mamie Sizemore for the Division of Indian Education, Arizona State Department of Public Instruction. Contains a chapter on Indian tribes of Arizona.
New York: Vantage Press, 1957
MEA visited the camp in August 1942 (or 1943?)
See also Ser. 7, Indians of North America
Foncerning Indians of North America.