Stokes, Anson Phelps, 1874-1958Alternative names
Anson Phelps Stokes was born on April 13, 1874, in New Brighton, Staten Island, New York. He received degrees from Yale University (B.A., 1896) and the Episcopal Theological School (B.D., 1900). He served as Secretary of Yale University (1899-1921) and was active on several University committees and organizations. Phelps also served as Canon of the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, Washington, D.C. (1924-1939) and was active on a variety of educational commissions and as a trustee of the Phelps-Stokes Fund (1924-1946). He died on August 13, 1958.
From the description of Anson Phelps Stokes family papers, 1761-1960 (inclusive), 1892-1958 (bulk). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702154920
Anson Phelps Stokes was born on April 13, 1874 in New Brighton, Staten Island, New York. He received degrees from Yale University (B.A., 1896) and the Episcopal Theological School (B.D., 1900). He served as Secretary of Yale University (1899-1921) and was active on several University committees and organizations. Phelps also served as Canon of the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, Washington, D.C. (1924-1939) and was active on a variety of educational commissions and as a trustee of the Phelps-Stokes Fund (1924-1946). He died on August 13, 1958.
Anson Phelps Stokes was born April 13, 1874, at New Brighton, Staten Island, New York. He shared a name with and was the son of Anson Phelps Stokes, a wealthy New York merchant and banker, and Helen Louisa Phelps Stokes.
After graduating from St. Paul's School in 1892, Stokes entered Yale University. A member of the class of 1896, he was chairman of the Yale Daily News as an undergraduate. Stokes received a B.A. degree from Yale in 1896 and a Bachelor of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Theological School in 1900.
In 1899, at the age of twenty-five, Stokes became Secretary of Yale University under President Arthur T. Hadley. Stokes held this position for twenty-two years, during which time he was largely responsible for the establishment of the Alumni Advisory Board and was instrumental in securing substantial gifts and endowments for the University. In 1900, Anson Phelps Stokes was ordained to the deaconate in the Protestant Episcopal Church. In addition to his duties at Yale, he served at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in New Haven from 1900 to 1918. During this period he was active on numerous New Haven and Yale committees. Yale-in-China, an organization to which he was to give many years of service as a member of the executive committee, was organized in 1902 at a meeting in his home. Stokes, along with Clifford Beers, was one of the founders of the National Committee on Mental Hygiene. A founder of the Lowell House Association and the Institute of Government Research, Stokes also served on the Committee on Japanese Peace Plans. (See Series III, "Yale, the Portsmouth Treaty, and Japan.")
In 1911 the Phelps-Stoke Fund, established by the will of Caroline Phelps Stokes, was incorporated. According to the wishes of Stokes's aunt, the fund would be used for "the erection and improvement of tenement house dwellings in the city of New York for the poor families of that city…and for the education of Negroes, both in Africa and the United States, North American Indians and needy and deserving white students, through industrial school the founding of scholarships, and the erection of endowment of school buildings and chapels" (Act of Incorporation of the Phelps-Stokes Fund Trustees, 1911). Anson Phelps Stokes was an active and devoted trustee of the Fund from its inception; in 1924, he became president of the board and served in this capacity until 1946.
Stokes resigned as Secretary of Yale University in 1921 at the close of the Hadley administration. He was considered for the presidency of Yale, which went instead to James Rowland Angell. In the interim period between his resignation from Yale and his acceptance of the position at Washington Cathedral, Stokes maintained his involvement in a variety of educational boards and commissions. In addition to his work on the board of the Phelps-Stokes Fund, Stokes had been a trustee of the General Education Board since May of 1912. At the request of the War Work Council of the Y.M.C.A., Stokes had made a study of the educational needs and opportunities of the American Expeditionary Forces. After publishing his findings in 1918 as Educational Plans for the American Army Abroad, he organized the Army Educational Commission. One of the organizers of the American University Union in Europe, he served as chairman of its board of trustees from 1917 to 1919. Because of his educational work in France, Stokes received the award of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor from the French government.
Stokes's involvement in international educational projects is further evidenced by his service on the administrative board of the Institute of International Education and the Central China College Board. As for educational institutions in the United States, Stokes was deeply concerned with the welfare of St. Paul's School, where he was a member of the board of trustees, and with Hampton and Tuskegee Institutes, in whose behalf he acted as the Chairman of the Special Gifts Committee of the Hampton-Tuskegee Endowment campaign.
Because of his clerical and educational affiliations, Anson Phelps Stokes was a logical choice to assist Charles Foster Kent of Yale University in organizing the National Council on Religion in Higher Education.
In 1924 Anson Phelps Stokes accepted the post of Canon of the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul in Washington, D.C., a position which he held until his retirement in 1939. In March, 1925, he was ordained a priest of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Stokes's skills as a fund-raiser were, as they had been at Yale, put to good use. His advice, tact, and organizational ability were responsible for securing special gifts and endowments for the National Cathedral building campaign.
During his years in Washington, Canon Stokes served on a host of committees, organizing some and chairing many. The unifying threads of this extensive committee work were three basic concerns in his life: education, social welfare, and religion.
A number of committees on which he served were directly related to his position as Canon, such as the various committees of the Chapter of Washington Cathedral, St. Monica's League, and the Diocesan Committee on Social Welfare. In addition, Stokes was the organizer and chairman of the Committee on Religious Life in the Nation's Capital.
While in Washington, Stokes was active in several charitable and welfare organizations: chairman of the Committee for the Relief of Russian Refugees in Constantinople, chairman of the board of trustees of St. Anna's Home for Aged Colored Women, president of the Family Service Association, and a member of the board of the Community Chest.
Stokes was committed to eliminating the exclusion of black people from the public and private social agencies of the nation's capital. To this end he organized the Interracial Committee of the Washington Federation of Churches, which co-ordinated the efforts of black and white churchmen in such concerns as a survey of Negro housing conditions, a study of discrimination in public theaters in Washington, and an exhibit of Negro art at the Smithsonian Institute. Stokes was also the chairman and organizer of the committee on integrating Negro churches into the Washington Federation of Churches.
One of the interests of the Phelps-Stokes Fund was low-cost housing for poor families in New York City. Anson Phelps Stokes expanded this concern into his Washington committee work, serving as president of the Washington Housing Association and as chairman of President Roosevelt's committee to plan the Alley Dwelling Authority. His efforts were directed towards the inclusion of housing for Negroes in federally funded projects. Stokes was concerned with another of the city's problems; he acted as chairman of the Citizen's Committee on Unemployment.
In the areas of education and research, Anson Phelps Stokes was a trustee of the Brookings Institution and the Booker Washington Institute of Liberia. He was chairman of the Committee on Leisure-Time Facilities for Government Employees. Stokes and the Phelps-Stokes Fund were involved in a project to compile an Encyclopedia of the Negro. W.E.B. DuBois and Guy B. Johnson were the editors; Stokes was chairman of a board of directors that included R.R. Moton, J.H. Dillard, and Benjamin Brawley. Only a preparatory volume appeared.
Due to the demands made upon his time by these extensive commitments, Stokes was forced to withdraw his participation from a number of boards. He resigned from the China Medical Board in April, 1930. In April of 1932, he resigned from the remaining Rockefeller boards of which he was a trustee: the International Education Board, the General Education Board, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
In 1939, Anson Phelps Stokes resigned from his position at Washington Cathedral to retire to Lenox, Massachusetts. There he devoted himself to two major research projects, which he had been pursuing in his spare time for many years: a history of universities and the history of church and state relations in the United States.
During the war years, Stokes was the organizer and chairman of the Committee on Negro Americans in the Defense Industry and the Committee on Africa, the War and Peace Aims. The latter committee published The Atlantic and Africa from an American Viewpoint in 1942.
In his years of retirement at Lenox, Stokes was involved in a number of conservationist efforts, among them the Stockbridge Bowl Association and the Pleasant Valley Bird and Wildflower Sanctuary in Berkshire County.
Anson Phelps Stokes's three-volume history, Church and State in the United States, was finally published by Harper and Brothers in 1950. In 1951 Stokes received the Churchman of the Year Award, followed by the Yale Medal in 1952. His book on the history of universities was never completed.
In the course of his long life, Stokes was a world traveler, beginning with a visit to the Holy Land as a young man in 1891. He traveled around the world after graduating from Yale in 1896 and toured the Far East in 1920. Nine years later, Stokes visited South America; during 1932 and 1933 he was Visiting Carnegie Lecturer to the Universities of the Union of South Africa. One result of the African tour was the Report of Rev. Anson Phelps Stokes on Education, Native Welfare, and Race Relations in East and South Africa, published by the Carnegie Corporation in 1934.
Anson Phelps Stokes was married to Carol Green Mitchell in December 1903. They had two sons, Anson Phelps Stokes and Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes, and one daughter, Olivia E. Phelps Stokes, who became Mrs. John D. Hatch. Anson Phelps Stokes died August 13, 1958, at the age of eighty-four.
For a list of published writings by Anson Phelps Stokes, see the bibliography compiled by Stokes (refer to his statement in the Description of the Papers). A list of writings on the Negro and race relations and a complete listing of committee and boards of which Stokes was a member follows this biographical sketch. Additional biographical information may be found in Series IV (box 207, folder 150), which contains "Anson Phelps Stokes's Services to the Phelps-Stokes Fund (1946)" and the Yale University News Bureau release on the event of Stokes's death.
* * * * *
List of Committees and Boards, A.P.S., 1892-1942 (Made at request of C.M.P.S.)
I. Yale Undergraduate and Theological School Days
- Yale Daily News Chairman
- Yale Cooperative Corporation
- Yale Debating Team Against Harvard
- Yale Junior Promenade Committee Floor Manager
- Yale Civil Service Reform Association Organizer and President
- Board of Directors, Y.M.C.A., and Board of Deacons
- Bible Study Committee of Y.M.C.A. Chairman
- Yale Alumni Fund Class Agent
- Mount Hermon School Board
- Wellesley College Trustees
- Committee on Commons (E.T.S.) Chairman
- Missionary Society (E.T.S.) President
II. Early Years in New Haven as Secretary of Yale
- Yale Corporation Secretary
- University Council Secretary
- Alumni Advisory Board Secretary
- Prudential Committee of Yale Corporation Secretary
- Alumni University Day Proposer, Organizer, and always Chairman or Secretary of Committee in charge
- Y.M.C.A. Debt Campaign Vice Chairman
- Yale-in-China (organized in house) Chairman Executive Committee; Chairman
- Lowell House Association (organized at house)
- Yale Bicentennial Committee Secretary
- Phelps-Stokes Fund Secretary, Chairman
- Phelps-Stokes Fund, Education Committee Chairman
- Yale Athletic Committee
- New Haven Hospital Board
- Board of Trustees of New Haven Dispensary
- Committee on Mental Hygiene (first Society organized in our house, and presided at the first meeting of National Committee)
- Trustees of the Hillhouse Property
- Russell Trust Association, Committee on New Building
- New Haven Organized Charities
- Committee on Civil War Memorial Secretary
- Committee on Japanese Peace Plans Professors Williams, Wolsey, and self
- International Committee of Y.M.C.A.
- Committee on the Yale Bowl
- Institute of Government Research one of group of three founders, others being Charles Norton and Jerome Greene
- Committee on the War and the Religious Outlook
III. Later Years in New Haven
- Committee on Yale Pageant Secretary
- Yale University Press, Committee on Publications Secretary
- Committee on Yale University Endowment Organizer and Agent
- Committee on University Memorials Secretary
- Committee on Plan for University Development (Reorganization) Secretary
- Conference Committee on Yale and New Haven
- Committee on Protection of Yale Name
- University Committee on Educational Policy Secretary
- Committee on Inauguration of President Angell Chairman
IV. Two Years Study After Leaving New Haven
- Ascension Farm School
- National Council on Religion in Higher Education assisted Professor Kent in organizing, and offered Chairmanship
- Hampton-Tuskegee Endowment Campaign Chairman Special Gifts Committee
- International Education Board
- General Education Board
- Rockefeller Foundation
- China Medical Board (Brief Period)
- American University Union in Europe Organizer and Chairman
- Institute of International Education Chairman
- American Academy in Rome
- Central China College Board
- Educational Commission of Y.M.C.A. A.E.F. Organizer
- Tuskegee Institute Declined Chairmanship
- Trustees of St. Paul's School
- Board of Religious Education of the Episcopal Church
- Phelps Stokes Estates and Corporation
V. Washington Days
Chapter of Washington Cathedral
- Committee on St. Albans School Chairman
- Library Committee Chairman
- Washington Cathedral Endowment Committee Vice Chairman
- Committee on Girl's School Secretary
- Committee on the Massing of the Colors Service Chairman
- College of Preachers Committee Secretary
- St. Anna's Home Chairman
- Washington Interracial Committee Organizer and Chairman
- Washington Housing Association Chairman
- Board Appointed by the President to Determine Form of Alley Dwelling Authority Chairman
- Diocesan Committee on Social Welfare Chairman
- Diocesan Committee on the Maryland Vestry Act
- Committee on Diocesan-Wide Mission Chairman
- Committee on Leisure Time Facilities for Government Employees Chairman
- Committee for the Relief of Russian Refugees in Constantinople Chairman
- Committee to Save St. Stephen's Church Chairman
- Citizens Committee on Unemployment Chairman
- Encyclopaedia of the Negro Organizer and Chairman
- Federation of Churches Board Declined Chairmanship
- Committee on Negro Representation on the Washington Federation of Churches
- Committee on Christian Unity and Associate Delegate Oxford Conference
- St. Monica's League Chairman
- Board of Sponsors of Episcopal Eye Ear and Throat Hospital
- Committee on Northwest Settlement one of organizers
- Community Chest Board
- Committee on Relations of the Hospital to the Community Chest Chairman
- Advisory Board of District of Columbia Board of Health
- Committee on Religious Life in the Nation's Capital Organizer and Chairman
- Brookings Institution Trustees, and Executive Committee
- Booker Washington Institute in Kakata, Liberia
- Advisory Committee on Education in Liberia Vice Chairman
- Committee on the Marian Anderson Episode Advisor and Representative before D.A.R.
- Committee on the Cathedral and the Washington Bicentennial Chairman
VI. Later Years Lenox and New York
- Lenox Library Board
- Pleasant Valley Bird and Wild Flower Sanctuary Chairman
- Vestry of Trinity Church
- Committee on Yale University History
- Episcopal Committee on European Refugees
- Committee on the Negro American in Defense Industries Chairman
- Committee on Africa, the War, and Peace Aims Chairman
From the guide to the Anson Phelps Stokes family papers, 1761-1960, 1892-1958, (Manuscripts and Archives)
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|New Haven (Conn.)|
|New Haven (Conn.)|
|Russo--Japanese War, 1904-1905|
|World War, 1939-1945|
|Portsmouth, Treaty of, 1905|
|Indians of North America|