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Telling the AFSC story of change

Mary Hoxie Jones, 1905-2003

Mary Hoxie Jones, writer and author of "Swords into Ploughshares", at the 1955 Friends World Committee on Consultation. Photo: AFSC Archives / AFSC

Born in 1905 in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Mary Hoxie Jones was the daughter of one of AFSC’s founders, Rufus Jones. She worked as her father’s secretary for many years, and in 1939, she helped coordinate the wartime Friends Centers in Europe. But Mary’s primary passion was preserving and sharing the story of the growing organization. In 1937, she published the first comprehensive history of AFSC, “Swords into Ploughshares.”  

Rather than give a fact-by-fact account, Mary wrote in the book’s foreword that she aimed to create “an interpretive volume which would lay stress on motives for action, which would gather together more than facts and which would, in the process of telling the story of twenty years of service, show the subtle, intangible forces behind the facts revealed.”

Her book serves as an important first testament of the life and spirit of AFSC. “It is not perfect by any means,” she adds, “but it holds a challenge for every man and woman who believes that the Kingdom of God can come on earth and in the hearts of people of all races and nationalities.”

Read about more women change-makers from AFSC's history.

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