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From Where They Sit

By Dorothy Hutchinson

Pendle Hill Pamphlet #84 (1955)

Price: $7.00

Synopsis

A Quaker housewife takes a round-the-world journey of friendship with an African-American friend, visiting 16 families of widely varying cultures, nationalities, and religions.

About the Author(s)

Dorothy Hewitt Hutchinson (1905-1984) was born in Middletown, Connecticut. She received a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in 1927 and a Ph.D. in zoology from Yale in 1932. In 1933, she married R. Cranford Hutchinson, a professor of anatomy at Jefferson Medical College in Pennsylvania. The couple adopted and raised three children.

A Methodist in childhood, Hutchinson became a member of the Religious Society of Friends when she joined the Falls (Pennsylvania) Monthly Meeting in 1940. The Friends printed 13,000 copies of her pamphlet A Call to Peace Now in 1943. That summer Hutchinson helped form the Peace Now Movement. She balanced her leadership of this group with the responsibilities of raising her children. She spoke at Friends gatherings, large and small, as well as at other church and secular gatherings. Later she taught classes at Abington Friends Meeting in Jenkintown, PA.

When World War II ended, she promoted the United Nations and helped organize a local chapter of the United World Federalists with the purpose of establishing world disarmament through world law. In 1954 she and Hazel DuBois, an eighteen year-old black woman, undertook a Journey of Friendship under the sponsorship of the Abington Friends Meeting and traveled 25,000 miles around the world, promoting friendship and peace, especially among women. She wrote about this experience in the Pendle Hill pamphlet From Where They Sit.

In 1958, Hutchinson fasted for five days at the Atomic Energy Commission. The aim was “to elicit a human response” against U.S. nuclear tests in the Pacific and protest the detention of the Golden Rule peace ship in Hawaii. She attended the World Peoples Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1960.

Hutchinson was active in the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She became president of the U.S. Section of WILPF in 196l, serving until 1965. She attended the Bryn Mawr Conference of American and Soviet Women in 196l. Representing WILPF, she traveled to Poland in 1963 and to Moscow in 1964. She then served as the chair of International WILPF from 1965 until 1968, the first American woman to hold that position since Jane Addams.

Dorothy Hutchinson was an activist for civil rights and civil liberties as well as for peace. In 1965 she participated in the Montgomery march for One Man, One Vote, working with Coretta Scott King and handling the switchboard that kept Selma headquarters in touch with the marchers.

In 1968 she represented the Quakers in New Delhi at the first International Inter-Religious Symposium held by the Inter-Religious Committee on Peace, flying from there to Vietnam to meet with Vietnamese government officials. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Mount Holyoke on the fiftieth anniversary of her graduation in 1977. Dorothy Hutchinson died in 1984.

Pendle Hill Pamphlet #84

Additional information

Weight 2.3 oz