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Charles M. Tatum. American Friends Service Committee Coal Relief Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SFHL-RG5-262

Scope and Contents

The collection documents the work of the American Friends Service Committee child relief team in the bituminous coal fields of West Virginia and Kentucky, 1931-1933. Of particular interest are (carbon) letters sent regularly to the American Friends Service Committee Coal Committee headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa., recounting almost daily the activities of the team from February-May 1932 as well as the hardships and political unrest. The first year of the program concentrated on feeding and clothing; thereafter, the administration for relief was gradually transferred to local government and was focused on social and economic reconstruction.

Organized into five series:

  1. Correspondence
  2. Casebooks and reports
  3. Publications
  4. Clippings
  5. Miscellaneous

Dates

  • 1931-1941 (bulk 1931-1933)

Creator

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Rights Information

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/.

Biographical / Historical

The President’s Committee on Unemployment Relief and the Federal Children’s Bureau requested that the American Friends Service Committee provide relief for the children of unemployed mine workers in the poverty stricken bituminous coal fields in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, and West Virginia during the winter of 1931-1932. The mining industry was particularly hard hit during the Depression when mines closed and other fuels gained market share. The following winter, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation worked through county agencies in most areas, but the AFSC continued to administer some programs in W. Virginia and Kentucky. By 1933-1934, the emphasis had shifted from relief to education and social reconstruction.

Charles Maris Tatum worked in West Virginia and Kentucky for the AFSC Coal Relief mission from 1931-1933. He was the son Mary Biddle McCollin Tatum and Oliver Parry Tatum. His mother was a doctor and worked in Warsaw for several years after World War I. Charles Tatum was born in 1903 and married Margaret O. Garrett at Lansdowne Monthly Meeting in 1939. An engineer, he was a graduate of Haverford College and member of Radnor Monthly Meeting. He died February 1984. The supervisor of the coal mission team in W. Virginia and Kentucky was Mary Kelsey, a Quaker social worker and pacifist who had worked with the American Friends Reconstruction Unit after WWI. She was born June 15, 1877, in St. Louis, Missouri, and became a member of Germantown Monthly Meeting in 1920. She died March 23, 1948.

Extent

1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language

English

Overview

The collection documents the work of the American Friends Service Committee child relief team in the bituminous coal fields of West Virginia and Kentucky, 1931-1933. Of particular interest are (carbon) letters sent regularly to the American Friends Service Committee Coal Committee headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa., recounting almost daily the activities of the team from February-May 1932 as well as the hardships and political unrest. The first year of the program concentrated on feeding and clothing; thereafter, the administration for relief was gradually transferred to local government and was focused on social and economic reconstruction.

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donor: Charles M. Tatum, Jr., 2003 (Accession number: 2003-025

Related Materials

Swarthmore College Peace Collection: Mary Kelsey collection, 1914-1919. CDG-A

See also the Archives of the American Friends Service Committee, Philadelphia, Pa.

Processing Information

The papers were preserved by Charles M. Tatum and his mother, Dr. Mary Biddle McCollin Tatum, and were not sorted when received. The bulk of the papers document the American Friends Service Committee’s relief efforts in mining areas of W. Virginia and Kentucky. A small amount of papers concerning Dr. Tatum’s work with the AFSC in Poland after WWI were removed and catalogued as a Small Collection. The Mining Relief Papers were sorted into series and processed. A small photo album (not labeled) and loose photographs have been removed to FHL Picture Collection, PA 140.

Title
Finding aid for American Friends Service Committee Coal Relief Papers, 1931-1941
Status
Completed
Author
FHL staff
Date
2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Find It at the Library

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