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Bliss Forbush Papers

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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

Bliss Forbush (1896-1987), Quaker educator, administrator, and author, served as the Headmaster of Baltimore Friends School, Chairman of Friends General Conference, and Executive Secretary of Baltimore Monthly Meeting. He was born in 1896, the son of William B. and Maud Forbush. He married E. La Verne Hill (1894-1990) in 1915.

Most of the material in this collection is in the form of scrapbooks kept by Bliss Forbush. They record his work as Executive Secretary of Baltimore Monthly Meeting, 1921-1943, as Secretary of the Advancement Committee of Baltimore Yearly Meeting, 1928-1943, and as Instructor in Bible, 1923-1960 and later Headmaster of Friends School, Baltimore, 1943-1960. He was Chairman of Friends General Conference 1941-1949. He also served as a member of the American Section of the World Council of Churches, 1941-1950, and as a delegate to the first Assembly of the World Council of Churches in 1948. He was President of the Board of Trustees of The Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital from 1961-1971. For complete biographical information see Who's Who in America v.33, 1964-65.

The Bliss Forbush Papers contain the papers of Bliss Forbush (1896-1987), Quaker educator, administrator and author, and reveal a detailed picture of Quaker life in Baltimore, Maryland for most of the 20th century.

The collection is divided into four series:

  1. Bliss Forbush
  2. LaVerne Forbush
  3. William Byron Forbush
  4. Forbush Family

Series I is majority of the collection, and within this Series, the material is divided into subseries:

  1. "A Forbush Chronicle" (autobiography of Bliss Forbush)
  2. "The Treasure Chest," 1915-1978
  3. "My Baltimore Book," 1921-1943
  4. "Baltimore Yearly Meeting Advancement Committee," 1928-1943
  5. World Council of Churches, Amsterdam, 1948
  6. Album. (mostly correspondence)
  7. Books and articles
  8. Miscellaneous correspondence and paper
  9. Memorabilia

Donor: Bliss Forbush, 1960-1985

Originally catalogued as MSS collection. Transferred to RG5 and additions incorporated in 1986. At that time, additional reference material collected by Bliss Forbush as background for his writings was transferred to more appropriate collections. Baltimore Yearly Meeting material was added to reference files on individual meetings in PG 1 or to RG 2/ Meeting Records. Correspondence and reports of the Standing Committee on the Indian Concerns placed with that Committee in RG 2. Early history of Swarthmore College placed in RG 6. Some of the Elias Hicks material added to Hicks MSS. Most printed material was catalogued separately.

The following materials were removed from the collection and recatalogued:

  1. Baltimore Yearly Meeting material was added to reference files on individual meetings in PG 1 or to RG 2/ Meeting Records
  2. Correspondence and reports of the Standing Committee on the Indian Concerns placed with that Committee in RG 2
  3. Early history of Swarthmore College placed in RG 6
  4. Some of the Elias Hicks material added to Hicks MSS
  5. Most printed material was catalogued separately
  6. Casette tapes and CDs, Acc. 2019.028 to AV processing

Publisher
Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
FHL staff
Finding Aid Date
1986
Sponsor
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/.

Collection Inventory

Vol. 1, 1896-1939.
Box 1
Vol. 2, 1939-1960.
Box 2
Vol. 3, 1960-1976.
Box 3
Epilogue II, 1977-78.
Box 3
Epilogue III, 1979.
Box 3
"Talks given home Meeting", 1931-1964.
Box 3
Scope and Contents

The journal contains dates, titles and subjects of talks.

Subseries 2. "The Treasure Chest," 1915-1978.
Box 4
Scope and Contents

The 20 bound volumes go to 1973, additions cover 1973-1977, and family correspondence of 1978 is included. Contains much personal correspondence, but also many papers pertaining to Bliss Forbush's work as Headmaster of Friends School, Baltimore from 1943-1960.

Physical Description

20 bound vols + additions

Subseries 3. "My Baltimore Book" (scrapbooks), 1921-1943.
Box 4
Scope and Contents

Contains the record of Bliss Forbush's work as Executive Secretary of Baltimore Monthly Meeting, in cooperation with the Advisory Committee. Includes copies of minutes of the meetings of the Advisory Committee, programs, announcements, clippings, snapshots, etc.

Physical Description

22 vols

Subseries 4. "Baltimore Yearly Meeting Advancement Committee," 1928-1943.
Box 4
Scope and Contents

These scrapbooks contain the record of Bliss Forbush's work as Secretary of the Advancement Committee. Includes copies of the minutes of meetings of the Committee, programs, announcements, clippings, snapshots, etc.

Physical Description

11 vols

Subseries 5. World Council of Churches, Amsterdam, 1948.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

Album and Program. Bliss Forbush was appointed as a representative to the Council by Friends General Conference. LaVerne Forbush also attended as an accredited visitor. Album contains clippings, photographs, and some correspondence.

Subseries 6. Album, mostly correspondence.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

The album was presented to honor Bliss and LaVerne Forbush when he retired as Headmaster of Friends School, Baltimore. Presented by the Parents' Auxiliary of the School.

Scope and Contents

Published by Columbia University Press, 1956. Folder of miscellaneous papers used by Forbush in writing the book includes:

Physical Description

typewritten ms. and proof sheets

Hicks family genealogical material.
Box 7
Notes on photographs of persons and houses in Old Westbury and Jericho, New York.
Box 7
Maps and charts.
Box 7
Elias Hicks (bust).
Box 7
Elias Hicks's home in Jericho.
Box 7
Elias Hicks's cherry desk.
Box 7
Marriage certificate of Elias Hicks and Jemima Seaman.
Box 7
Biographical sketch of Elias Hicks from Hannah L.
Box 7
Robbins's notebook, copied by Phebe U. Seaman,, 1900 4mo 3.
Box 7
Account of Jemima Hicks's funeral service from newspaper, 1835.
Box 7
Physical Description

ms. copy

"Orthodox Reflections..." and Elias Hicks's reply.
Box 7
Scrapbook of reviews.
Box 7
Moses Sheppard, Quaker Philanthropist of Baltimore.
Box 7
Lippincott, notes for, 1968.
Box 7
A History of Baltimore Yearly Meeting of Friends, published by the Yearly Meeting in 1972, 1972.
Box 8
Scope and Contents

Manuscript as edited by Alfred Stefferud.

"Three Hundred Years of Quakerism in Maryland, Virginia and Central Pennsylvania".
Box 8
"A History of Baltimore Yearly Meeting of Friends".
Box 8
"Quaker education in Maryland as found in the discipline", 1928.
Box 9
Scope and Contents

A term paper for Johns Hopkins.

"Permanent contributions of Quakerism", March 6, 1938.
Box 9
Scope and Contents

From a talk delivered at Abington Friends Meeting.

"Teuton and Semite in Germany", 1939.
Box 9
A study of the Old Testament.
Box 9
The life of Jesus.
Box 9
The life and letters of Paul.
Box 9
The growth of the Bible.
Box 9
Bible study guide: The Old Testament published for Friends School, Baltimore.
Box 9
Correspondence, 1939-1947.
Box 9
Scope and Contents

Includes travelling minute for Bliss and Laverne Forbush to Friends Centers in Europe 1939, signed by Clarence Pickett.

Physical Description

one folder

Correspondence, 1972-1976.
Box 9
Scope and Contents

Correspondents are Sam Legg, Carol (Albrecht) Penn, Robert W. Gibson, W. Berkeley Mann.

Physical Description

one folder

Papers concerning Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital, 1969-1976.
Letter from William V. S. Tubman, President of Liberia.
Box 9
Reference material.
Box 9
Letter from Bliss Forbush to Peter Ashurkoff, 1962 9mo 11.
Box 9
Letter from Peter Ashurkoff to Bliss Forbush, 1962 8mo 29.
Box 9
Draft statement of purposes, Detroit Friends School, August, 1962.
Box 9
Recommendations of the Curriculum Committee.
Box 9
Recommendations of the Personnel Committee.
Box 9
Scope and Contents

Mostly honorary degrees and citations.

State of Maryland: Appointment as a Trustee of Morgan State College, 1949.
Box 9
Picture of Board of Trustees of Morgan State College, 1956.
Box 9
Baltimore Urban League: Citation.
Box 9
Encyclopaedia Britannica, Certificate as a Contributor.
Box 9
Morgan State College. Degree of Doctor of Laws, 1954.
Box 9
Citation for LL.D. Morgan State College.
Box 9
Citation accompanying the degree of Doctor of Laws from Swarthmore College.
Box 9

Correspondence and material on the Baltimore potters.
Box 9
Manuscript of "The sufferings of Friends in Maryland".
Box 9
Notes on Quaker china makers.
Box 9
Picture and reference material on Friends' Hymnal, 1955.
Box 9

"Knights of King Arthur".
Box 9
Scope and Contents

Four pamphlets of the church fraternity.

Christmas cards.
Box 9
Table of contents of autobiography.
Box 9
Bibliography of material on Quakers and slavery in America presented to Morgan State College.
Box 9
"The Highlander Myth" by Hugh Trevor-Roper.
Box 9
Clippings.
Box 9
Checklists of material received from Bliss Forbush, 1971-1973.
Box 9

Print, Suggest