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Children's Story Garden  >  Notes to the Online Edition

emblem with words Droit et Avant, and showing tree, rising sun, book, oil lamp, and cornucopia on sides.

The Children's Story Garden

Notes to the online edition

And now approve yourselves the children of God, in your actions, for by your fruits you shall be judged. God is holy, and His children bear His image. Oh! redeem your time; prize your souls, and mind that which is eternal.

James Nayler, "A Discovery of the Wisdom ..." 1653.*


(i.e., not from the original book)

The Children's Story Garden is a set of sixty-five stories collected and published in 1920. The entire book is reproduced here, in electronic form, in the earnest expectation that readers may find something – in these stories and between the lines – of that which is eternal.

These stories challenge us to ask if the world has changed so much that the principles expressed here are no longer relevant. Peacemaking, love for our neighbors, sincerity, simplicity — are we naive to think that these principles remain valid in the 21st century? We may honor these ideas in the abstract, but let's see what we think when we read the stories closely!

Certainly a lot has changed from the days of the horse-drawn plow, the hand-written letter, and the Little Lord Fauntleroy doll. And aside from such physical details, people a century ago had tacit understandings and arrangements that may be hard for us to truly appreciate. The notes below, and footnotes at the bottom of some of the stories, are meant to elaborate on some of these aspects.

This book of stories is not simply a collection of snapshots of a bygone era. Together they show a course of change and development in the Society of Friends and in the wider society, from the 17th and 18th centuries well into the 20th century. Now, another century later, web-links add more perspective into what has become of the principles and good intentions that were originally invested into this storybook.

Versions in print

Children's Story Garden
(used for this online edition)
Collected by A Committee of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends, Anna Pettit Broomell, Chairman.
Published in 1920. 247 pages, with 65 stories.

Some stories in Children's Story Garden were included in two later storybooks:

Children's Story Caravan
Anna Pettit Broomell, editor. Published in 1935. 320 pages, 41 stories altogether.
Copyright renewal: BROOMELL, ANNA PETTIT, ed.

Children's Story Caravan. Introd. by Dorothy Canfield Fisher. Illustrated by Katharine Richardson Wireman. © 11Oct35; A86825. Anna Pettit Broomell (A); 3Oct63; R323068.

Friendly Story Caravan
Published in 1990 (any earlier editions?) by Pendle Hill. 18 stories.

The Committee, and illustrators

Anna Pettit Broomell, Chairman
1887-1972. A member of Green Street Monthly Meeting and active in the Society of Friends. She was chairman of the Publications Committee at Pendle Hill, the Quaker study center, and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting First Day School Committee (Race Street). (Source)
A websearch finds a history of Chestnut Hill Meeting, which mentions that "Anna Pettit Broomell, of Greene Street Meeting, wrote an article for The Friend and The Friends Intelligencer entitled 'Who Builds Our Meeting Houses?'" The article was "printed as a small pamphlet and widely distributed" as part of the Chestnut Hill Meeting's project to collect funds to build their meetinghouse. "The Monthly Meeting minutes of April 24 [1930] remark that 'its pithy statements are so much to the point that the meeting thought it worth using as propaganda material.'"
As it happens, Chestnut Hill Meeting was "the first United Meeting" of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Its formation in the 1920s anticipated and helped pave the way for reconciliation of the two yearly meetings in 1955. (More about Philadelphia Yearly Meeting(s).)
The PYM library booklists cite Anna Pettit Broomell as editor for the Children's Story Caravan (Lippincott, 1935) and Friends Among the Indians: Tales for Children (Friends Home Service, 1949).
Elizabeth W. Collins
Annie Hillborn
Emily Cooper Johnson
Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore has 0.5 linear foot of her papers: "Emily Cooper Johnson was a Quaker author and reformer, born 1885 and died 1966. The collection contains correspondence, articles, reviews, and other papers, relating to Johnson's books, Dean Bond of Swarthmore: A Quaker Humanist (1927), and Under Quaker Appointment: The Life of Jane P. Rushmore (1955); together with business and financial papers, family marriage certificates, reference materials, clippings, and photos."
Emily Cooper Johnson was a Quaker author, peace activist, and social reformer. She was born in 1885 in Camden, New Jersey. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1907 and studied at the Pennsylvania Academcy of the Fine Arts. She married Edwin J. Johnson in 1915 under the care of Haddonfield Monthly Meeting.
Emily Cooper Johnson revised and updated her father's book, Historical Sketch of Camden, co-edited The Children's Story Caravan, and wrote a biographies of Elizabeth Powell Bond and Jane Rushmore, and edited Jane Addams: A Centennial Reader. She was active in the American Friends Service Committee and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, where she served as president. She died April 11, 1966."
Emily Cooper Johnson, Under Quaker Appointment, The Life of Jane P Rushmore, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1953. (link)
Emily Cooper Johnson, Dean Bond of Swarthmore: a Quaker humanist. (Philadelphia : J. B. Lippincott Company, 1927). (Footnote 53 in pdf article from Women's History Review, 1998.)
Jane Addams: A Centennial Reader. Ed. Emily Cooper Johnson. New York: MacMillan, 1960. (Swarthmore College has her correspondence relating to this book; also something on her and WILPF.)
HAPPY GROVE SCHOOL - Correspondence "Re: Visiting Commission," 1930-1933. Archives at Haverford.
Alice Hall Paxson
Swarthmore archives: Her mother, Lydia Cox Hall was founding editor and editor for forty years of the periodical Scattered Seeds (Philadelphia : First Day School Association of Philadelphia, 1869-1935), a position in which her daughters, Alice Hall Paxson and Abby Hall Roberts, succeeded her. About 1928, Alice Hall Paxson became sole editor.
ALICE HALL, b. November 12, 1868, West Goshen Twsp PA105; d. June 04, 1955, Philadelphia PA106; m. CHARLES PAXSON, November 25, 1897, Swarthmore Meeting PA107 (source). Same source: her sister and brother also were married in Swarthmore Meeting. Her mother died in Swarthmore in 1908. Alice is recorded as buried in Friends Burial Society Cemetery, West Chester PA. Born 1868/11/12, died 1955/04/04, age 87 (source). Also buried in FBSC, her husband Charles Paxon - b. 1855/02/23, d. 1926/06/01. (See also.)
Anna D. White
An excellent article on Material Pacifism, by Patricia Applebaum discussing her "dissertation on the religious culture of Protestant pacifism," mentions articles by Anna White. Footnote 17: "Anna D. White, 'Christ of the Andes,' in Anna Bassett Griscom, ed., Peace Crusaders: Adventures in Goodwill: A Book of Recitations for Children (Philadelphia: American Friends Service Committee, 1928), 68-70; and elsewhere. Berg, Story Worship Services , gave as her source a pamphlet from the 'Missionary Education Movement' (60)."
Also: "Gardens were another favorite representation of international friendship.  Zonia Baber, the collector of 'peace symbols,' described some twenty 'peace gardens' along the US-Canadian border. These were built after World War I in commemoration of the Rush-Bagot agreement a hundred years earlier. [28]" Footnote 28: "See also Anna D. White, 'The Rush-Bagot Agreement,' in Griscom, Crusaders , 74-75."
Swarthmore College Peace Collection has, under "Misc. peace material, 1930-1938" - Flyer "The Rush-Bagot Agreement" by Anna D. White
Eugenie Wireman
Eugenie Wireman, age 18, and two Henry Wiremans passed through Ellis Island in 1892, all on the same boat and listed together on the manifest. (Ethnicity: U.S.A. (?) September 14, 1892; Ship of Travel: Belgenland; Port of Departure: Antwerp)
  • Henry D.  Wireman, age 50
  • Eugenie  Wireman, age 18
  • Henry F.  Wireman, age 15
Both artists have some traces on the web. July, 1925 Saturday Evening Post cover of girl with lantern?
Katharine Richardson Wireman
Too much of a coincidence – both artists for the book are named Wireman. Perhaps Katharine married Henry Jr.? (maybe)
Katharine seems the better artist - clean, light, nice flow. Her picture for the story "Scattered Seeds" is used on the front cover of the book (at least for the second impression). The joy and enthusiasm expressed in the picture, and the decision to use the picture on the cover of the book, seems marvelously incongruous with the moral given in that particular story. The committee may have decided to endorse a more optimistic interpretation, via the picture, with the four-line poem included in the books opening pages.

Other contributors

Adin Ballou
"Adin Ballou (1803-1890), founder of the utopian community at Hopedale, Massachusetts and a leading 19th century exponent of pacifism, was during his long career a Universalist, a Restorationist, a Practical Christian, and a Unitarian minister." See entry in Dictionary of Unitarian & Universalist Biography.
His book, Christian Non-Resistance in All its Important Bearings, is excerpted online. Christian nonresistance, a precursor to the modern philosophy and strategy of nonviolence, was embraced by a segment of the Society of Friends in the mid-1800s. Whittier gives an interesting spin, associating nonresistants with the "ultra-Hicksites," and other fringy characters.
Ballou is cited as a source for several of the stories given in this collection. Other stories pick up on the same theme.
Frances M. Dadmun
Author of "Wise Rightly, Wisest Wrongly," and many of the "Further readings" listed in the thematic index in The Children's Story Garden. A web search shows that Frances Dadmun was on the Sunday School committee of some Unitarian church in Boston, Mass., which published a children's book just a few years before The Children's Story Garden.
Dunkerley, Erica and Roderic
Their book is cited in Children's Story Garden simply as Dunkerley, Arm of God. An online bookseller has Erica and Roderic Dunkerley as co-authors, without a publication date, and a search by name turns up the two of them together on one page, with Arm of God attributed to Roderic and given as published in 1916.
Children's Story Garden suggests Arm of God as a source for a long list of "further readings."
Rufus Jones
Cited in the 'Outline by Themes' section for A Boy's Religion, which charts Jones's upbringing in the town of China, in rural Maine, in a Orthodox Friends meeting that retained the old-style practices of Friends.

First story  ...>

From: The Children's Story Garden, Stories collected by a committee of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting — Anna Pettit Broomell, Emily Cooper Johnson, Elizabeth W. Collins, Alice Hall Paxson, Annie Hillborn, and Anna D. White. Illustrated by Katharine Richardson Wireman and Eugenie M. Wireman. Published in 1920 by J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia.

Links and Notes

Droit et Avant
French, loosely translated as "Be correct, then proceed." The emblem with this slogan, at the top of this web page, is reproduced from the title page of the book. [top]
James Nayler, "A Discovery of the Wisdom" (link)
The quote, above, from one of the early Friends illustrates a concept which is important to Friends — that which is eternal.
"Now, all dear people, judge yourselves, if you will but deal faithfully with yourselves, there is that within you, that will tell you where you are, and from whether of these roots all your actions proceed: for if the root be holy, the branches and fruit will be holy also. And by the fruits you bring forth, you may know the tree, whether you be of the first birth, or you be born again: and unless you be born again, you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. You have long time taken things upon trust from men, and have been led blind, and brought forth fruits unto death, and have been servants to sin and the devil; let the time past be sufficient to have wrought the will of the flesh. And now approve yourselves the children of God, in your actions, for by your fruits you shall be judged. God is holy, and His children bear His image. Oh! redeem your time; prize your souls, and mind that which is eternal." [top]