Let This Life Speak: The Legacy of Henry Joel Cadbury

By Margaret Hope Bacon | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 9
War and Darkness

With all of Europe embroiled in World War II and the United States on the verge of entering the conflict, Henry Cadbury seemed to his wife and others a driven man. In addition to his endless efforts to speak and write against war, he accelerated his already prodigious output of scholarly articles, reviews, and chapters.

Some of these projects were directly related to his pacifist concerns. In 1940 he developed a special reading list on "War and Religion" for the Bulletin of the General Theological Library, bringing together some of the research on this subject which he had been engaged in over the past twenty-five years. And in the same period he wrote a paper for the Civil Liberties Committee of the American Bar Association, preparing its case in support of the Jehovah's Witnesses, who refused to salute the American flag. Henry Cadbury's paper covered the refusal of certain early Christians to wear the laurel wreath when presented by the emperor; the disobedience of Quakers in Barbados, Virginia, and South Carolina to laws governing the holding of slaves; and more recent problems of Christians in Korea and Formosa when asked to participate in Shinto services, revealing something of the sweep of his scholarship.1

But there were other projects as well. Howard Brinton was editing a new festschrift, Byways in Quaker History, this one in honor of William Hull, a Quaker historian at Swarthmore. Henry Cadbury chapter was titled "John Greenleaf Whittier as Quaker Historian." Writing to praise the essay, Rufus Jones told of having gone when he was a young man to meet the Quaker poet.2

Results of his year's work on the Fox papers were still coming to fruition. In 1940 the British Friends Historical Society published Henry Cadbury Swarthmore Documents in America, a group of letters

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