Sunday, September 18, 2011

Von Edwin Peacock at Earlham College

...Ruth Hyde Paine testified before the Warren Commission that she became a Quaker in 1951. She had been acquainted with Quakerism long before that, however, having attended Friends meetings in her hometown of Columbus, Ohio, since 1947 (when she would have been 14 or 15 years old). In that year, too, she attended a Young Friends Conference at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana.

Although Ruth attended and graduated from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio – not a Quaker institution – she appears to have maintained contacts with Earlham through the years. (Richmond, Indiana is only about 50 miles from Yellow Springs, Ohio.) In fact, Richmond was Ruth’s last stop before driving to New Orleans during her “vacation” of late summer, 1963. She was visiting two faculty members from Earlham College – Wilmer Joseph Stratton, a chemistry professor, and Paul Alvin Lacey, professor of English....

....And by the way, there is yet another interesting name on the Earlham alumni list:

Von Edwin Peacock, class of 1957.

Peacock, you will recall, was Acting Director of Casa de los Amigos in Mexico City at the time Lee Harvey Oswald – or an impostor – supposedly stayed there in the fall of 1963.

Did Ruth Paine know Von Peacock? Did Peacock study under E Merrill Root? Did either or both absorb his philosophy? Or were they in some other sense beholden to him or to other right-wing elements of the College?

Further note the name Virgil Peacock, class of 1933, Von’s father.

Virgil was a trustee of Earlham College, and a member of the board at Quaker Haven.

Finally, checking public records, we find that Von Peacock’s most recent address is in… ahem …northern Virginia.

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