Gest Fellow Hayley Glaholt is a Doctoral candidate in Religion, Ethics, and Public Life (Department of Religion) at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Her research is on late-nineteenth century British and American Quakers’ debates on the morality of animal vivisection, virtue, gender, and medicine.
My interest in using Haverford’s Quaker Collections stems from their extensive holdings concerning Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Orthodox) and their complete set of nineteenth-century Quaker periodicals, both British and American. While the majority of my research on British Friends was carried out at Friends House and Woodbrooke in England, I managed to miss one key journal—The British Friend. Haverford possesses the entire set of this periodical, and I have since found key primary source material that supports my claim that Quaker debates concerning vivisection overlapped with discussions of the parameters of their testimony for peace. The British Friend, in comparison to The Friend (London), has slightly more radical pieces describing the virtues of those engaged in war, vivisection, and other forms of cruelty, and particularly outlines women’s roles in establishing and maintaining a pacific ethic within the Quaker community.
Haverford’s holdings on Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Orthodox) have been significant for my research in that they proved the absence of a debate about vivisection among American Friends. While The Friend (Philadelphia) mentions the British Quaker community’s agitation against the practice of vivisection (or experimenting upon live animals), Philadelphia Friends consistently fail to engage with the issue in any meaningful way. I could not have substantiated my ‘hunch’ had I not accessed these important records from the late-nineteenth century. Further, side trips around Haverford to the American Anti-Vivisection Society and the Women’s Humane Society, both founded by Philadelphia Quaker Caroline Earle White in the late-nineteenth century, have allowed me to flush out the Philadelphia Quaker response (or lack thereof) to the problem of vivisection in medical education.
Lastly, Haverford has bits and pieces of material related to the contemporary incarnation of the Friends’ Anti-Vivisection Association, which is now called Quaker Concern for Animals. These modern discussions of vivisection, which draw upon Victorian Friends’ arguments, are extremely useful for contextualizing this long-running debate on violence towards animals within a religious community founded on pacifism.
This month has been a luxury, allowing me the time and resources to delve into a crucial aspect of my dissertation research. I would like to thank John Anderies and Ann Upton in particular, and the Gest Fellowship Committee more broadly, for providing me with this wonderful and inspiring opportunity to use Haverford’s Special Collections.