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Rowland Hazard Under the Care of Courtenay Baylor for One Year (1933-1934)


Who Was Courtenay Baylor?

Letters and archival materials from the Rhode Island Historical Society
(based on research conducted and coordinated by Wally Paton in 1997-1998)
Note: There is no evidence that Rowland Hazard ever met or was treated by Carl Jung at any time during the 1930's
(under construction)


The History of Alcoholics Anonymous
(Three One-hour videos presented by Wally Paton: Archivist, Historian and Author)

Volume 1:  The Miraculous Journey

Part 3: The Four Founding Moments of Alcoholics Anonymous 

The following material is from the script used by Wally Paton to produce the segment on the first founding moment of Alcoholics Anonymous.  Please note there is no reference to Rowland Hazard meeting or being under the care of Carl Jung in Switzerland during this time period because there is no historical evidence in the Rowland Hazard archival collection to support this premise.

3.     Slide: Four Founding Moments

1.      Rowland Hazard joins the Oxford Group in 1933 and carries the message of recovery to Ebby T. in Manchester, Vermont in August 1934.

2.      Ebby T. carries the message to Bill W. on November 25, 1934 at 182 Clinton Street in Brooklyn, New York.

3.      Bill W. has a “white flash” spiritual experience at Towns Hospital in New York City on or about December 14, 1934.

4.      Bill W. carries the message to Dr. Bob S. on May 12, 1935 at the Seiberling Estate Gatehouse in Akron, Ohio.

4.     Slide: First Founding Moment

I’m going to go through each of these events in more detail so you can see for yourselves the miraculous nature of these incidents.

5.     Slide: Rhode Island Historical Society

The first part of the story contains new historical information about Rowland Hazard.  His archival records are stored at the Rhode Island Historical Society in Providence RI.  I have been working with an archivist there for the past several years putting together some of the missing pieces in Rowland’s life.

Rowland Hazard was a young, talented and wealthy financial wizard.  He was born into a socially prominent Rhode Island family whose roots went back 350 years.  After graduating from Yale University in 1903, Rowland went to work in the family business, which consisted of woolen mills and chemical plants. In 1920 several of the plants merged into what is now the Allied Chemical Company and Rowland was elected to the Board of Directors. As the years passed it became evident that Rowland had a problem with alcohol and by 1929 he was on the verge of losing everything.

6.     Slide: Time Line from 1930-1934-Close-up

From the extensive amount of material in the Hazard collection, the Rhode Island Historical Society was able to compile a complete time line on Rowland from 1930-1934.

7.     Photo: Hospital Admissions-Cancelled Checks

In 1932, Rowland was hospitalized twice in the state of New York for alcoho lism.

And starting in 1933, Rowland went under the care of one of the foremost authorities on Alcoholism in the United States, Courtney Baylor.

Rowland was under Courtney Baylor’s care for over a year.

8.     Photo: Rowland Hazard Letters

From Rowland’s letters it would appear that he joined the Oxford Group in February of 1934.  He took the Oxford Group Four Steps and started working with others.  One of those people he carried the Oxford Group message to was Ebby Thatcher.

In the summer of 1934, Rowland was vacationing in Vermont with two of his Oxford Group associates, Cebra Graves and Shep Cornwell when he heard about the plight of one of his elementary school friends, Ebby T.  It seemed that Ebby was once again in trouble with the law and this time he was about to be sent to the state insane asylum for an indefinite period of time. 

It seemed that Ebby just couldn’t stay sober and when drinking he couldn't stay out of jail.  This time Ebby had driven his car, in broad daylight, through the side of a house.

The car ended up in the kitchen, which is where the lady of the house was working.  Ebby crawled out of the car and asked the woman, “May I trouble you for a cup of coffee?”  Well, the woman thought Ebby was crazy and so did the judge.

The judge was about to sentence Ebby to the state insane asylum when Rowland and his Oxford Group friends intervened.  Rowland asked the judge to release Ebby into his custody. 

Of interest is that Courtney Baylor was in the Bennington, VT area when Ebby was released.  The bill for his professional services shows that Courtney was in the Bennington area on August .15-16, 1934 

9.     Photo: Courtney Baylor Bill for Services

August 15 to September 15, 1934           $150.00

          ($150.00/month for Alcoholism Treatment)

Bennington (VT) trip August 15-16

          Expenses (for) transportation

          Lodging and meals                         $15.00

So Rowland Hazard, with the help of Cebra Graves was able to keep Ebby from going to jail.  As part of the arrangement with Cebra’s uncle, who was the judge in Bennington, Ebby was to accompany Rowland and Cebra to New York City where he would be placed under the direction and care of the Oxford Group.

10.  Photo: Calvary Mission

Ebby became a resident of the Calvary mission, where he took the Oxford Group Four Steps.  As part of his fourth step, Ebby was asked to “witness” to others

11.  Photo: Calvary Mission Meeting

When Ebby was asked to “witness” for the Oxford Group, he called on the only person he knew in New York who had a worse drinking problem than he did.  This was Bill W.

To learn more about the events leading up to and following the foundation of A. A., please watch and enjoy "The History of Alcoholics Anonymous"