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Mary Bye Papers


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 Du Bois was born on April 25, 1913. She graduated from Swarthmore College in 1936 and married Ranulph de Bayeux. They had five children, Dennis Latham (b. May 31, 1942), Barbara Downman (b. April 7, 1944), Richard Edwin (b. March 12, 1951; d. May 10, 1951), Stephen Gerard (b. June 18, 1952), and Catherine Maitland (b. 1955).

She is an active member of Doylestown Monthly Meeting and Bucks Quarterly Meeting, serving on several committees, including the Quarterly Meeting's Peace and Service Committee. In addition to her political involvement through the Meeting, she individually was active in the peace movement and other social causes. She protested several issues, leading to her arrest at the Pentagon in 1969 and at Harrisburg in 1972. She also protested by not paying her taxes.

One of the most important things she did as a political activist was to open her home as a forum where people such as Father Daniel Berrigan could speak to the community and peace walkers could spend the night.

This collection consists of the papers relating to Mary Bye's political activity. It includes correspondence, notes, clippings, and other files concerning peace and justice issues. Includes material on Daniel Berrigan, Robert Whittington Eaton, the Plowshares Eight, Vietnamese conflict, Continental Walk for Disarmament, corporate divestiture, Central American refugees, and many other issues. Correspondents include Noam Chomsky, Alexander Calder, Theodore Friend, Kai Yutah Clouds, Fr. Paul Kabat, and others.

The collection is divided into two series:

  1. Correspondence
  2. Miscellaneous

Donor: Mary Bye, 1991, 1994

This collection was given to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection by Mary Bye. It was transferred to Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College in 1991.

This collection was given to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection by Mary Bye. It was transferred to Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College in 1991. Periodicals were retained by the Peace Collection. Mary Bye's original subject designations have been retained, and they have been put into alphabetical order. Form letters and solicitations from various organizations were returned to the donor or discarded.

Note: This is an open collection, with additional unprocessed accessions arriving at indeterminate intervals.

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
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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

Collection Inventory

Scope and Contents

Folders arranged alphabetically according to Mary Bye's subject designations. Although this series is largely comprised of Correspondence, the folders also contain many notes in Mary Bye's hand, rough drafts of letters and proclamations, newspaper clippings by or about Mary Bye, bills, receipts, photographs and slides. In some folders general background information is included to allow for a fuller understanding of Mary Bye's involvement with the issue.

Background material and rough draft of article.
Correspondence, including talk of the Federal Airborne Hunting Act.
Correspondence and letters to the editor as a member of the Peace and Service Committee of Bucks Quarterly Meeting.
Correspondence; includes letters to the editor and newspaper clippings about Father Daniel Berrigan's speech to 700 people about war policies. A Jesuit priest and peace advocate, he had visited North Vietnam and had gone to jail when convicted with eight other activists of destroying Selective Service records in Catonsville, MD.
Mary Bye came up with the idea of using billboards as part of Doylestown Monthly Meeting's anti-"Safeguard" the anti-ballistic missile system campaign.
Correspondence, advertisement clipping.
Correspondence exclusively with Senator John Heinz about Nicaragua and El Salvador; also about the federal budget and acid rain legislation.
Correspondence and notes, including Mary Bye's requests for access to files the FBI, CIA, and Dept. of the Navy may be maintaining on her.
Correspondence, mainly notes considering the possibility of alternative living situations.
Correspondence, etc. Also includes clippings, photographs, slides and background information on the Continental Walk, which Mary Bye organized for the Bucks Co. area.
Letters to the editor and related notes.
Correspondence and news clippings.
Correspondence. Includes typescript of a speech by the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
Correspondence and several drafts of the statement.
Correspondence about the position of Friends regarding the draft and clippings about Robert Eaton '65, who was sentenced to three years imprisonment for refusing to report for nonmilitary duty as a conscientious objector.
Correspondence, some on behalf of Southampton MM, and notes concerning U.S. policy. Related to folder on Sanctuary for Refugees.
Includes correspondence and news clipping. Some corresp. with Vice President Gore and President Clinton and news clippings, 1994.
Draft of a letter to Mr. Wilson.
Some correspondence on behalf of Friends Peace Committee, notes and drafts of an "Elegy to Polynesia after the French atmospheric nuclear test on July 21".
Drafts of two letters to Ed Snyder.
Includes names and addresses of attenders at the F.L.G.C. Mid-Winter Gathering, which Mary Bye attended.
Correspondence, notes and memorial invitation.
Correspondence, particularly to the judge involved in the case. Includes drafts of a "Statement of Interest" on behalf of Southampton MM, background information on the killing of five labor organizers in 1979 and the acquittal of those accused of the deed, and notes.
Correspondence. Kai Yutah Clouds was an American agriculturist who had been working for over a year in the village of San Jose Poaquil, Chimaltenango, Guatemala, when he was assassinated. Includes photographs, maps of the area, notes, and background information on Kai.
Correspondence and notes.
Correspondence. Includes criminal complaint form, clippings and background information. Mary Bye was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. She chose to spend three days in jail rather than pay the $21 fine.
Also known as the Berson Bill and the Vietnam War Bill. Includes correspondence, notes, signed petitions, copy of the Bill, drafts of a "Proclamation".
Correspondence and notes.
Correspondence. Includes a check made out the Bucks Co. Commissioners and one to the City of Philadelphia, never cashed, drafts of a "Statement to the Commissioners" from residents of Bucks Co., and notes.
Correspondence, pamphlets.
Miscellaneous correspondence. Includes material relating to the showing of the film "War Without Winners," initiated by the Peace and Service Committee of Bucks QM. Mary Bye was convener of that committee.
Correspondence and newsletters from Father Paul Kabat, a Catholic peace activist convicted for damaging missile silos in Missouri.
Correspondence with Sen. Wofford and Sen. Specter.
Correspondence and notes, some on behalf of the Friends Peace Committee.
Correspondence and miscellaneous financial papers relating to the LMDC's sale of donated artworks in order to raise necessary funds. Folder contains photos of a work by Alexander Calder and several handwritten letters from him to Mary Bye.
Correspondence and notes.
Explanatory pamphlet and notes.
Correspondence and Friends Military Counseling Service Minutes.
One form letter from Arlen Specter.
Materials concerning the Journey of Reconciliation, organized by the National Council of the Churches of Christ. Mary Bye participated in the Journey.
Physical Description

2 versions

See Gentry, Alwyn (Mary Bye Papers).
News clipping.
Mostly notes.
Correspondence received.
Correspondence, background information, notes and clippings about the Plowshares 8 - the name given to the 8 persons who entered the GE plant in King of Prussia and destroyed nuclear warhead cones - and about the celebration Mary Bye coordinated in their honor.
Correspondence, some with prisoners, PVS Committee information, notes and a photograph.
Draft of a letter.
Correspondence and notes, including Southampton MM's Declaration of Sanctuary.
Miscellaneous notes.
Correspondence, notes and clippings.
Correspondence, including some with Noam Chomsky, an interview with College President Theodore Friend, and related materials.
Typescript of "Inner Direction and Outer Action," notes about "Living the Peace Testimony".
One form letter from Arlen Specter.
Correspondence, notes, clippings, armband, photograph, and official papers relating to the arrest of Mary Bye on June 18, 1969.
Kent Larrabee's newsletter while on his walk from the U.S. to Moscow.
Original and revised writing, correspondence, 1993.
Correspondence and minutes from WRL meeting.
Correspondence, particularly with the IRS, Mary Bye's tax returns, War Tax Concerns Support Committee minutes and notes; correspondence, 1994.
Correspondence and notes.
Correspondence, including some with C.B. Hall notes, clippings, and background information on Hall, who led a walk from Seattle to Moscow that stopped at Mary Bye's home, and a photograph.

Cancelled personal checks, 1978.
Scope and Contents

The checks show the variety of organizations Mary Bye supported.

Biography of Mary Bye, "Quaker Activist" by Donna Dvorak-Knieriem.
Box 3
Scope and Contents

Published in the Bucks County Town and Country Living.

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