Howard Haines Turner 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
Howard Haines Turner (1909-1996) was a Quaker economist and educator who was active in a variety of social concerns, particularly in improving the justice system. He also had a lifelong interest in cooperative communities and worked in South Vietnam under the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Born in Brooklyn, New York, on April 12, 1909, the son of Henry Chandlee (1871-1954) and Charlotte Chapman (1877-1942) Turner, he graduated from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in Political Science in 1930. He married Catherine Pierson (1910-1999) two days after his Commencement, and then left for Europe to study at the London School of Economics. The couple returned to the United States the following year. Haines Turner did graduate study at Columbia University from 1931-33, and was awarded a Ph.D. from Columbia in 1941.
Turner held a number of jobs during his career. He began work as a statistician with the economic advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was employed as the Executive Secretary of the District of Columbia Cooperative Federation from 1937-38, and also was an instructor at the University of Texas and the Wharton School. In 1941 he joined the staff of Pendle Hill, a Quaker conference center in suburban Philadelphia, Pa., where he developed short-term courses to broaden the outlook of labor union members. In 1957 he joined the faculty of Earlham College, and two years later moved to Bloomington, Indiana, where he was an Associate Professor of Labor and Economics at Indiana University. He retired from Indiana in 1973.
Partially due to the influence of Clair Wilcox at Swarthmore College, Haines Turner refused his inheritance from his father, one of the founders of Turner Construction Company. He strongly believed in living on the fruits on his own labor. While he was at Pendle Hill, Turner took a leave of absence to work as a laborer for Magma Copper Company in Arizona, a farm hand at Losantville, Indiana, and machine operator for Chevrolet Motor Company in Muncie, Indiana. From 1951-1952 he worked as an office worker, and later worked for the American Labor Education Service and for the Amalgamated Food and Allied Workers Union of New Jersey. His job at Indiana allowed him to develop off-campus courses for labor unions in the State, establish advisory committees of local union officers, and coordinate a Union Leadership Program. After his retirement he continued to work part-time for the Labor Center.
Turner was an active member of the Society of Friends. In 1966-1967, he took a leave of absence and did volunteer work for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), establishing a social service project in South Vietnam and recruiting personnel for a medical project at Quang Ngai. At home, he was involved in working to improve conditions in the penal system. He visited prisoners in the local county jail, maintained correspondence with some of them, and tried to assist in their rehabilitation. He was a cofounder of Citizens for Juvenile Justice. He and his wife played a significant role in founding the Community Kitchen of Bloomington in 1982. He was also one of the founders of Harmony School in 1975, which was originally begun to serve disadvantaged children. He was also interested in intentional and cooperative communities. His wife, nicknamed Cay, was born Catherine Clark Pierson (1910-1999), the daughter of Senator and Mrs. Arthur Pierson of Westfield, N.J. She graduated from the Mary Lyon School of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and was a member of the class of 1933 of Swarthmore College.
The Turner Papers are the archives of H. Haines Turner. Materials include a full range of personal documents, diplomas and certificates, financial and medical records, some personal and family correspondence, particularly in his later years, as well as his files of the courses that he taught at Earlham, Indiana University, and other institutions of higher learning. Of particular interest are his letters home from Vietnam while he was there under the auspices of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in the mid 1960's; some of these were previously published by the AFSC. Also included is his correspondence with prisoners in Indiana and documentation of the work that he did with inmates.
The collection is divided into five series:
- Early Life & Education
- Teaching & Other Employment
- Vietnam, AFSC, & Peace Work
- Prison Work
- Family & Personal Life
- Obituary, Friends Journal, 1996.
Donor: Clark P. Turner, 3/1999; Accession number: 99-011, 2000-015
The collection was given by Clark P. Turner, the son of Howard Haines Turner.
Pictures, including photos and slides of Vietnam, circa 1967, were removed to PA 82.
- Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding Aid Date
- 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/.
at the Labor Education & Research Center
re: Economic Program
re: Nat'l Rehabilitation Center (Saigon)
reports of AFSC Social Service Workers etc., rec'd by Haines Turner
Drivers license, classification notices, passports, etc.
birth certificate (copy), mileage ration records, passport, etc
inc. Personal Journal