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What was the relationship between the Tories and Quakers?

What was the relationship between the Tories and Quakers?

During the period of the American Revolution, most Quakers supported the British cause. But unlike many of the Tories, they were strict pacifists. What was the relationship between the British loyalists and the Quakers? In other words, how did the Tories view them?


Quaker Values

Quakerism emerged in England in the 17th century, a time of rapid political and religious change, as a form of Christianity that emphasized the direct relationship between people and God. Quaker forms of worship developed which focused on the group encounter with the divine, rather than on dogma or creed. Worldwide, Quakers (who also use the name 'Religious Society of Friends', or just 'Friends') now number around 900,000, with the majority in Africa and the Americas and considerable diversity among us in religious observance and the words used to express spiritual experience.

Quakerism is rooted in Christianity but has always had a deep respect for other faiths from which many Quakers have learned over the years. Most Quakers see spiritual experience as central to Quakerism, and not the use of a particular form of words, because words can become a barrier rather than a search for understanding our shared human experience.

Spiritual insights, often called “testimonies”, tend to unite Quakers worldwide. They spring from deep experience and have been reaffirmed by successive generations of Quakers. These testimonies are to integrity, equality, simplicity, community, stewardship of the Earth, and peace. They arise from an inner conviction and challenge our normal ways of living. They exist in spiritually-led actions rather than in rigid written forms. They are not imposed in any way and they require us to search for ways in which we can live them out for ourselves. Our commitment to non-violence in thought, word and deed is based on the idea that all human beings have something of the divine with us. This idea can be described, in the words of founder George Fox (1624-1691), as "answering that of God in every one" and “seeking the inner light” in each person.

Throughout our history, Quakers have sought the challenging task of living out these values, both individually and as a community, in the ordinary detail of our lives and in the wider world. Following this path has led Quakers to be early advocates against slavery, for women’s rights, for better prison conditions, and for harmonious relationships between peoples and nations. In particular, most Quakers are pacifists, and seek non-violent, sustainable ways of addressing challenges, whether at a personal, communal, national or international level.


Contents

When George Fox was eleven, he wrote that God spoke to him about "keeping pure and being faithful to God and man." [2] After being troubled when his friends asked him to drink alcohol with them at the age of nineteen, Fox spent the night in prayer and soon afterwards, he felt left his home to search for spiritual satisfaction, which lasted four years. [2] In his Journal, at age 23, he recorded the words: [2]

And when all my hopes in them and in all men were gone, so that I had nothing outwardly, to help me, nor could tell what to do then, O then, I heard a voice which said 'There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition.' When I heard it, my heart did leap for joy. Then the Lord let me see why there was none upon the earth that could speak to my condition, namely, that I might give him all the glory. For all are concluded under sin, and shut up in unbelief, as I had been, that Jesus Christ might have the pre-eminence, who enlightens, and gives grace, faith, and power. Thus when God doth work, who shall let (hinder) it? [2]

At this time, Fox believed that he "found through faith in Jesus Christ the full assurance of salvation." [2] Fox began to spread his evangelical Christian message and his emphasis on "the necessity of an inward transformation of heart", as well as the possibility of Christian perfection, drew opposition from English clergy and laity. [2] Fox wrote that "The professors [professing Christians] were in a rage, all pleading for sin and imperfection, and could not endure to hear talk of perfection, or of a holy and sinless life." [2] However, in the mid-1600s, many people became attracted to Fox's preaching and his followers became known as Friends. [2] By 1660, the Quakers grew to 35,000. [2] Well known early advocates of Quaker Christianity included Isaac Penington, Robert Barclay, Thomas Ellwood, William Penn and Margaret Fell. [2]

Quakerism pulled together groups of disparate Seekers that formed the Religious Society of Friends following 1647. [ citation needed ] This time of upheaval and social and political unrest called all institutions into question, so George Fox and his leading disciples—James Nayler, Richard Hubberthorne, Margaret Fell, as well as numerous others—targeted "scattered Baptists", disillusioned soldiers, and restless common folk as potential Quakers. Confrontations with the established churches and its leaders and those who held power at the local level assured those who spoke for the new sect a ready hearing as they insisted that God could speak to average people, through his risen son, without the need to heed churchmen, pay tithes, or engage in deceitful practices. They found fertile ground in northern England in 1651 and 1652, building a base there from which they moved south, first to London and then beyond. In the early days the groups remained scattered, but gradually they consolidated in the north—the first meeting being created in Durham in 1653—to provide financial support to the missionaries who had gone south and presently abroad. Before long they seemed a potential threat to the dignity of the Cromwellian state. Even arresting its leaders failed to slow the movement, instead giving them a new audience in the courts of the nation. [3]

In 1656, a popular Quaker minister, James Nayler, went beyond the standard beliefs of Quakers when he rode into Bristol on a horse in the pouring rain, accompanied by a handful of men and women saying "Holy, holy, holy" and strewing their garments on the ground, imitating Jesus's entry into Jerusalem. While this was apparently an attempt to emphasize that the "Light of Christ" was in every person, most observers believed that he and his followers believed Nayler to be Jesus Christ. The participants were arrested by the authorities and handed over to Parliament, where they were tried. Parliament was sufficiently incensed by Nayler's heterodox views that they punished him savagely and sent him back to Bristol to jail indefinitely. [4] This was especially bad for the movement's respectability in the eyes of the Puritan rulers because some considered Nayler (and not Fox, who was in jail at the time) to be the actual leader of the movement. Many historians see this event as a turning point in early Quaker history because many other leaders, especially Fox, made efforts to increase the authority of the group, so as to prevent similar behaviour. This effort culminated in 1666 with the "Testimony from the Brethren", aimed at those who, in its own words, despised a rule "without which we . cannot be kept holy and inviolable" it continued the centralizing process that began with the Nayler affair and was aimed at isolating any separatists who still lurked in the Society. Fox also established women's meetings for discipline and gave them an important role in overseeing marriages, which served both to isolate the opposition and fuel discontent with the new departures. In the 1660s and 1670s Fox himself travelled the country setting up a more formal structure of monthly (local) and quarterly (regional) meetings, a structure that is still used today. [5]

The Society was rent by controversy in the 1660s and 1670s because of these tendencies. First, John Perrot, previously a respected minister and missionary, raised questions about whether men should uncover their heads when another Friend prayed in meeting. He also opposed a fixed schedule for meetings for worship. Soon this minor question broadened into an attack on the power of those at the centre. Later, during the 1670s, William Rogers of Bristol and a group from Lancashire, whose spokesmen John Story and John Wilkinson were both respected leaders, led a schism. They disagreed with the heightening influence of women and centralizing authority among Friends closer to London. In 1666, a group of about a dozen leaders, led by Richard Farnworth (Fox was absent, being in prison in Scarborough), gathered in London and issued a document that they styled "A Testimony of the Brethren". It set rules to maintain the good order that they wanted to see among adherents and excluded separatists from holding office and prohibited them from travelling lest they sow errors. Looking to the future, they announced that authority in the Society rested with them. [6] By the end of the century, these leaders were almost all now dead but London's authority had been established the influence of dissident groups had been mostly overcome.

One of their most radical innovations was a more nearly equal role for women, as Taylor (2001) shows. Despite the survival of strong patriarchal elements, Friends believed in the spiritual equality of women, who were allowed to take a far more active role than had ordinarily existed before the emergence of radical civil war sects. Among many female Quaker writers and preachers of the 1650s to 1670s were Margaret Fell, Dorothy White, Hester Biddle, Sarah Blackborow, Rebecca Travers and Alice Curwen. [7] Early Quaker defenses of their female members were sometimes equivocal, however, and after the Restoration of 1660 the Quakers became increasingly unwilling to publicly defend women when they adopted tactics such as disrupting services. Women's meetings were organized as a means to involve women in more modest, feminine pursuits. Writers such as Dorcas Dole and Elizabeth Stirredge turned to subjects seen as more feminine in that period. [8] Some Quaker men sought to exclude them from church public concerns with which they had some powers and responsibilities, such as allocating poor relief and in ensuring that Quaker marriages could not be attacked as immoral. The Quakers continued to meet openly, even in the dangerous year of 1683. Heavy fines were exacted and, as in earlier years, women were treated as severely as men by the authorities. [9]

In 1650 George Fox was imprisoned for the first time. Over and over he was thrown in prison during the 1650s through the 1670s. Other Quakers followed him to prison as well. The charge was causing a disturbance at other times it was blasphemy. [10]

Two acts of Parliament made it particularly difficult for Friends. The first was the Quaker Act of 1662 [11] which made it illegal to refuse to take the Oath of Allegiance to the Crown. Those refusing to swear an oath of allegiance to the Crown were not allowed to hold any secret meetings and as Friends believed it was wrong to take any "superstitious" oath their freedom of religious expression was certainly compromised by this law. The second was the Conventicle Act of 1664 which reaffirmed that the holding of any secret meeting by those who did not pledge allegiance to the Crown was a crime. Despite these laws, Friends continued to meet openly. [12] They believed that by doing so, they were testifying to the strength of their convictions and were willing to risk punishment for doing what they believed to be right.

The ending of official persecution in England Edit

Under James II of England persecution practically ceased. [13] James issued a Declaration of Indulgence in 1687 and 1688, and it was widely held that William Penn had been its author. [14]

In 1689 the Toleration Act was passed. It allowed for freedom of conscience and prevented persecution by making it illegal to disturb anybody else from worship. Thus Quakers became tolerated though still not widely understood or accepted.

Netherlands Edit

Quakers first arrived in the Netherlands in 1655 when William Ames and Margaret Fell's nephew, William Caton, took up residence in Amsterdam. [15] The Netherlands were seen by Quakers as a refuge from persecution in England and they perceived themselves to have affinities with the Dutch Collegiants and also with the Mennonites who had sought sanctuary there. However, English Quakers encountered persecution no different from that they had hoped to leave behind. Eventually, however, Dutch converts to Quakerism were made, and with Amsterdam as a base, preaching tours began within the Netherlands and to neighboring states. In 1661, Ames and Caton visited the County Palatine of the Rhine and met with Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine at Heidelberg.

William Penn, the Quaker founder of Pennsylvania, who had a Dutch mother, visited the Netherlands in 1671 and saw, first hand, the persecution of the Emden Quakers. [16] He returned in 1677 with George Fox and Robert Barclay and at Walta Castle, their religious community at Wieuwerd in Friesland, he unsuccessfully tried to convert the similarly-minded Labadists to Quakerism. They also journeyed on the Rhine to Frankfurt, accompanied by the Amsterdam Quaker Jan Claus who translated for them. His brother, Jacob Claus, had Quaker books translated and published in Dutch and he also produced a map of Philadelphia, the capital of Penn's Holy Experiment.

The attraction of a life free from persecution in the New World led to a gradual Dutch Quaker migration. English Quakers in Rotterdam were permitted to transport people and cargo by ship to English colonies without restriction and throughout the 18th century many Dutch Quakers emigrated to Pennsylvania. [16] There were an estimated 500 Quaker families in Amsterdam in 1710 [17] but by 1797 there were only seven Quakers left in the city. Isabella Maria Gouda (1745–1832), a granddaughter of Jan Claus, took care of the meeting house on Keizersgracht but when she stopped paying the rent the Yearly Meeting in London had her evicted. [18] The Quaker presence disappeared from Dutch life by the early 1800s until reemerging in the 1920s, with Netherlands Yearly Meeting being established in 1931. [19]

William Penn, a colonist who the king owed money to, received ownership of Pennsylvania in 1681, which he tried to make a "holy experiment" by a union of temporal and spiritual matters. Pennsylvania made guarantees of religious freedom, and kept them, attracting many Quakers and others. Quakers took political control but were bitterly split on the funding of military operations or defenses finally they relinquished political power. They created a second "holy experiment" by extensive involvement in voluntary benevolent associations while remaining apart from government. Programs of civic activism included building schools, hospitals and asylums for the entire city. Their new tone was an admonishing moralism born from a feeling of crisis. Even more extensive philanthropy was possible because of the wealth of the Quaker merchants based in Philadelphia. [20]

The Friends had no ordained ministers and thus needed no seminaries for theological training. As a result, they did not open any colleges in the colonial period, and did not join in founding the University of Pennsylvania. The major Quaker colleges were Haverford College (1833), Earlham College (1847), Swarthmore College (1864), and Bryn Mawr College (1885), all founded much later. [21]

Persecution in the New World Edit

In 1657 some Quakers were able to find refuge to practice in Providence Plantations established by Roger Williams. [22] Other Quakers faced persecution in Puritan Massachusetts. In 1656 Mary Fisher and Ann Austin began preaching in Boston. They were considered heretics because of their insistence on individual obedience to the Inner Light. They were imprisoned and banished by the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Their books were burned, and most of their property was confiscated. They were imprisoned under terrible conditions, then deported. [23]

Some Quakers in New England were only imprisoned or banished. A few were also whipped or branded. Christopher Holder, for example, had his ear cut off. A few were executed by the Puritan leaders, usually for ignoring and defying orders of banishment. Mary Dyer was thus executed in 1660. Three other martyrs to the Quaker faith in Massachusetts were William Robinson, Marmaduke Stephenson, and William Leddra. These events are described by Edward Burrough in A Declaration of the Sad and Great Persecution and Martyrdom of the People of God, called Quakers, in New-England, for the Worshipping of God (1661). Around 1667, the English Quaker preachers Alice and Thomas Curwen, who had been busy in Rhode Island and New Jersey, were imprisoned in Boston under Massachusetts law and publicly flogged. [24]

In 1657 a group of Quakers from England landed in New Amsterdam. One of them, Robert Hodgson, preached to large crowds of people. He was arrested, imprisoned, and flogged. Governor Peter Stuyvesant issued a harsh ordinance, punishable by fine and imprisonment, against anyone found guilty of harboring Quakers. Some sympathetic Dutch colonists were able to get him released. Almost immediately after the edict was released, Edward Hart, the town clerk in what is now Flushing, New York, gathered his fellow citizens on Dec. 27, 1657 and wrote a petition to Stuyvesant, called the Flushing Remonstrance, citing the Flushing town charter of 1645, which promised liberty of conscience. Stuyvesant arrested Hart and the other official who presented the document to him, and he jailed two other magistrates who had signed the petition, and also forced the other signatories to recant. But Quakers continued to meet in Flushing. Stuyvesant arrested a farmer, John Bowne, in 1662 for holding illegal meetings in his home and banished him from the colony Bowne immediately went to Amsterdam to plead for the Quakers. Though the Dutch West India Company called Quakerism an "abominable religion", it nevertheless overruled Stuyvesant in 1663 and ordered him to "allow everyone to have his own belief". [25]

In 1691 George Fox died. Thus the Quaker movement went into the 18th century without one of its most influential early leaders. Thanks to the Toleration Act of 1689, people in Great Britain were no longer criminals simply by being Friends.

During this time, other people began to recognize Quakers for their integrity in social and economic matters. Many Quakers went into manufacturing or commerce, because they were not allowed to earn academic degrees at that time. These Quaker businessmen were successful, in part, because people trusted them. The customers knew that Quakers felt a strong conviction to set a fair price for goods and not to haggle over prices. They also knew that Quakers were committed to quality work, and that what they produced would be worth the price.

Some useful and popular products made by Quaker businesses at that time included iron and steel by Abraham Darby II and Abraham Darby III and pharmaceuticals by William Allen. An early meeting house was set up in Broseley, Shropshire by the Darbys.

In North America, Quakers, like other religious groups, were involved in the migration to the frontier. Initially this involved moves south from Pennsylvania and New Jersey along the Great Wagon Road. Historic meeting houses such as the 1759 Hopewell Friends Meeting House in Frederick County, Virginia and Lynchburg, Virginia's 1798 South River Friends Meetinghouse stand as testaments to the expanding borders of American Quakerism. [26] From Maryland and Virginia, Quakers moved to the Carolinas and Georgia. In later years, they moved to the Northwest Territory and further west.

At the same time that Friends were succeeding in manufacturing and commerce and migrating to new territories, they were also becoming more concerned about social issues and becoming more active in society at large.

One such issue was slavery. The Germantown (Pennsylvania) Monthly Meeting published their opposition to slavery in 1688, but abolitionism did not become universal among Quakers until the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting reached unity on the issue in 1754. Reaching unity (spiritual consensus) was a long and difficult process. William Penn himself owned slaves. Some Quaker businessmen had made their fortunes in Barbados or owned ships that worked the British/West Indies/American triangle. But gradually the reality of slavery took hold and the promotion by concerned members such as John Woolman in the early 18th century changed things. Woolman was a farmer, retailer, and tailor from New Jersey who became convinced that slavery was wrong and published the widely read "John Woolman's Journal". He wrote: ". Slaves of this continent are oppressed, and their cries have reached the ears of the Most High. Such are the purity and certainty of his judgments, that he cannot be partial to our favor." In general Quakers opposed mistreatment of slaves [27] [28] and promoted the teaching of Christianity and reading to them. Woolman argued that the entire practice of buying, selling, and owning human beings was wrong in principle. Other Quakers started to agree and became very active in the abolition movement. Other Quakers who ministered against slavery were not so moderate. Benjamin Lay would minister passionately and personally and once sprayed fake blood on the congregation, a ministry which got him disowned. After initially finding agreement that they would buy no slaves off the boats, the entire society came to unity (spiritual consensus) on the issue in 1755, after which time no one could be a Quaker and own a slave. In 1790, one of the first documents received by the new Congress was an appeal by the Quakers (presented through Benjamin Franklin) to abolish slavery in the United States.

Another issue that became a concern of Quakers was the treatment of the mentally ill. Tea merchant, William Tuke opened the Retreat at York in 1796. It was a place where the mentally ill were treated with the dignity that Friends believe is inherent in all human beings. Most asylums at that time forced such people into deplorable conditions and did nothing to help them.

The Quakers' commitment to pacifism came under attack during the American Revolution, as many of those living in the thirteen colonies struggled with conflicting ideals of patriotism for the new United States and their rejection of violence. Despite this dilemma, a significant number still participated in some form, and there were many Quakers involved in the American Revolution.

By the late 18th century, Quakers were sufficiently recognized and accepted that the United States Constitution contained language specifically directed at Quaker citizens—in particular, the explicit allowance of "affirming", as opposed to "swearing" various oaths.

The abolition of slavery Edit

Most Quakers did not oppose owning slaves when they first came to America. To most Quakers, "slavery was perfectly acceptable provided that slave owners attended to the spiritual and material needs of those they enslaved". [29] 70% of the leaders of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting owned slaves in the period from 1681 to 1705 however, from 1688 some Quakers began to speak out against slavery.

John Blunston, Quaker pioneer founder of Darby Borough, Pennsylvania and 12th Speaker of the PA Colonial Assembly took part in an early action against slavery in 1715.

In The Friend, Vol. 28:309 there is text of a "minute made in 'that Quarterly Meeting held at Providence Meeting-house the first day of the Sixth month, 1715' ." It reads as follows "A weighty concern coming before the meeting concerning some Friends being yet in the practice of importing, buying and selling negroe slaves after some time spent in a solid and serious consideration thereof, it is the unanimous sense and judgment of this meeting, that Friends be not concerned in the importing, buying or selling of any negro slaves that shall be imported in future and that the same be laid before the next Yearly Meeting desiring their concurrence therein. Signed by order and on behalf of the Meeting, Caleb Pusey, Jno. Wright,Nico. Fairlamb, Jno. Blunsten"

By 1756 only 10% of leaders of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting owned slaves. [30]

Two other early prominent Friends to denounce slavery were Anthony Benezet and John Woolman. They asked the Quakers, "What thing in the world can be done worse towards us, than if men should rob or steal us away and sell us for slaves to strange countries". [31] [ verification needed ] In that same year, a group of Quakers along with some German Mennonites met at the meeting house in Germantown, Pennsylvania, to discuss why they were distancing themselves from slavery. Four of them signed a document written by Francis Daniel Pastorius that stated, "To bring men hither, or to rob and sell them against their will, we stand against." [32] [ verification needed ] [ page needed ]

From 1755–1776, the Quakers worked at freeing slaves, and became the first Western organization to ban slaveholding. [28] They also created societies to promote the emancipation of slaves. [33] [ verification needed ] From the efforts of the Quakers, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were able to convince the Continental Congress to ban the importation of slaves into America as of December 1, 1775. Pennsylvania was the strongest anti-slavery state at the time, and with Franklin's help they led "The Pennsylvania Society for Promoting The Abolition of Slavery, The Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage, and for Improving the Condition of the African Race" (Pennsylvania Abolition Society). [31] [ verification needed ] In November 1775, Virginia's royal governor announced that all slaves would be freed if they were willing to fight for Great Britain (Dunmore's Proclamation). This encouraged George Washington to allow slaves to enlist as well, so that they all did not try to run away and fight on the Royalist side to get their freedom (Black Patriot). About five thousand African Americans served for the Continental Army and thus gained their freedom. By 1792 states from Massachusetts to Virginia all had similar anti-slavery groups. From 1780–1804, slavery was largely abolished in all of New England, the Middle Atlantic states, and the North West territories.

The Southern states, however, were still very prominent in keeping slavery running. Because of this, an informal network of safe houses and escape routes—called the Underground Railroad—developed across the United States to get enslaved people out of America and into Canada (British North America) or the free states. The Quakers were a very prominent force [34] [35] in the Underground Railroad, and their efforts helped free many slaves. Immediately north of the Mason-Dixon line, the Quaker settlement of Chester County, Pennsylvania—one of the early hubs of the Underground Railroad—was considered a "hotbed of abolition". However, not all Quakers were of the same opinion regarding the Underground Railroad: because slavery was still legal in many states, it was therefore illegal for anyone to help a slave escape and gain freedom. Many Quakers, who saw slaves as equals, felt it was proper to help free slaves and thought that it was unjust to keep someone as a slave many Quakers would "lie" to slave hunters when asked if they were keeping slaves in their house, they would say "no" because in their mind there was no such thing as a slave. Other Quakers saw this as breaking the law and thereby disrupting the peace, both of which go against Quaker values thus breaking Quaker belief in being pacifistic. Furthermore, involvement with the law and the government was something from which the Quakers had tried to separate themselves. This divisiveness caused the formation of smaller, more independent branches of Quakers, who shared similar beliefs and views.

However, there were many prominent Quakers who stuck to the belief that slavery was wrong, and were even arrested for helping the slaves out and breaking the law. Richard Dillingham, a school teacher from Ohio, was arrested because he was found helping three slaves escape in 1848. Thomas Garrett had an Underground Railroad stop at his house in Delaware and was found guilty in 1848 of helping a family of slaves escape. Garrett was also said to have helped and worked with Harriet Tubman, who was a very well-known slave who worked to help other slaves gain their freedom. Educator Levi Coffin and his wife Catherine were Quakers who lived in Indiana and helped the Underground Railroad by hiding slaves in their house for over 21 years. They claimed to have helped 3,000 slaves gain their freedom. [32] [ verification needed ] [ page needed ] [36] Susan B. Anthony was also a Quaker, and did a lot of antislavery work hand in hand with her work with women's rights.

Quaker influence on society Edit

During the 19th century, Friends continued to influence the world around them. Many of the industrial concerns started by Friends in the previous century continued as detailed in Milligan's Biographical dictionary of British Quakers in commerce and industry, with new ones beginning. Friends also continued and increased their work in the areas of social justice and equality. They made other contributions as well in the fields of science, literature, art, law and politics.

In the realm of industry Edward Pease opened the Stockton and Darlington Railway in northern England in 1825. It was the first modern railway in the world, and carried coal from the mines to the seaports. Henry and Joseph Rowntree owned a chocolate factory in York, England. When Henry died, Joseph took it over. He provided the workers with more benefits than most employers of his day. He also funded low-cost housing for the poor. John Cadbury founded another chocolate factory, which his sons George and Richard eventually took over. A third chocolate factory was founded by Joseph Storrs Fry in Bristol. The shipbuilder John Wigham Richardson was a prominent Newcastle upon Tyne Quaker. His office at the centre of the shipyard was always open to his workers for whom he cared greatly and he was a founder of the Workers’ Benevolent Trust in the region, (a forerunner to the trades’ union movement). Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson, the builders of the RMS Mauretania, refused to build war ships on account of his pacifist beliefs.

Quakers actively promoted equal rights during this century as well [ citation needed ] . As early as 1811, Elias Hicks published a pamphlet showing that slaves were "prize goods"—that is, products of piracy—and hence profiting from them violated Quaker principles it was a short step from that position to reject use of all products made from slave labour, the free produce movement that won support among Friends and others but also proved divisive. Quaker women such as Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony joined the movement to abolish slavery, moving them to cooperate politically with non-Quakers in working against the institution. Somewhat as a result of their initial exclusion from abolitionist activities, they changed their focus to the right of women to vote and influence society. Thomas Garrett led in the movement to abolish slavery, personally assisting Harriet Tubman to escape from slavery and to coordinate the Underground Railroad. Richard Dillingham died in a Tennessee prison where he was incarcerated for trying to help some slaves escape. Levi Coffin was also an active abolitionist, helping thousands of escaped slaves migrate to Canada and opening a store for selling products made by former slaves.

Prison reform was another concern of Quakers at that time. Elizabeth Fry and her brother Joseph John Gurney campaigned for more humane treatment of prisoners and for the abolition of the death penalty. They played a key role in forming the Association for the Improvement of the Female Prisoners in Newgate, which managed to better the living conditions of woman and children held at the prison. Their work raised concerns about the prison system as a whole, so that they were a factor behind Parliament eventually passing legislation to improve conditions further and decrease the number of capital crimes.

In the early days of the Society of Friends, Quakers were not allowed to get an advanced education. Eventually some did get opportunities to go to university and beyond, which meant that more and more Quakers could enter the various fields of science. Thomas Young an English Quaker, did experiments with optics, contributing much to the wave theory of light. He also discovered how the lens in the eye works and described astigmatism and formulated an hypothesis about the perception of color. Young was also involved in translating the Rosetta Stone. He translated the demotic text and began the process of understanding the hieroglyphics. Maria Mitchell was an astronomer who discovered a comet. She was also active in the abolition movement and the women's suffrage movement. Joseph Lister promoted the use of sterile techniques in medicine, based on Pasteur's work on germs. Thomas Hodgkin was a pathologist who made major breakthroughs in the field of anatomy. He was the first doctor to describe the type of lymphoma named after him. An historian, he was also active in the movement to abolish slavery and to protect aboriginal people. John Dalton formulated the atomic theory of matter, among other scientific achievements.

Quakers were not apt to participate publicly in the arts. For many Quakers these things violated their commitment to simplicity and were thought too "worldly". Some Quakers, however, are noted today for their creative work. John Greenleaf Whittier was an editor and a poet in the United States. Among his works were some poems involving Quaker history and hymns expressing his Quaker theology. He also worked in the abolition movement. Edward Hicks painted religious and historical paintings in the naive style and Francis Frith was a British photographer, whose catalogue ran to many thousands of topographical views.

At first Quakers were barred by law and their own convictions from being involved in the arena of law and politics. As time went on, a few Quakers in England and the United States did enter that arena. Joseph Pease was the son of Edward Pease mentioned above. He continued and expanded his father's business. In 1832 he became the first Quaker elected to Parliament. Noah Haynes Swayne was the only Quaker to serve on the United States Supreme Court. He was an Associate Justice from 1862–1881. He strongly opposed slavery, moving out of the slave-holding state of Virginia to the free state of Ohio in his young adult years.

Theological schisms Edit

Quakers found that theological disagreements over doctrine and evangelism had left them divided into the Gurneyites, who questioned the applicability of early Quaker writings to the modern world, and the conservative Wilburites. Wilburites not only held to the writings of Fox (1624–91) and other early Friends, they actively sought to bring not only Gurneyites, but Hicksites, who had split off during the 1820s over antislavery and theological issues, back to orthodox Quaker belief. [37] Apart from theology there were social and psychological patterns revealed by the divisions. The main groups were the growth-minded Gurneyites, Orthodox Wilburites, and reformist Hicksites. Their differences increased after the Civil War (1861–65), leading to more splintering. The Gurneyites became more evangelical, embraced Methodist-like revivalism and the Holiness Movement, and became probably the leading force in American Quakerism. They formally endorsed such radical innovations as the pastoral system. Neither the Hicksites nor Wilburites experienced such numerical growth. The Hicksites became more liberal and declined in number, while the Wilburites remained both orthodox and divided. [38]

During the Second Great Awakening after 1839 Friends began to be influenced by the revivals sweeping the United States. Robert Pearsall Smith and his wife Hannah Whitall Smith, Quakers from New Jersey, had a profound effect. They promoted the Wesleyan idea of Christian perfection, also known as holiness or sanctification, among Quakers and among various denominations. Their work inspired the formation of many new Christian groups. Hannah Smith was also involved in the movements for women's suffrage and for temperance.

Hicksites Edit

The Society in Ireland, and later, the United States suffered a number of schisms during the 19th century. In 1827–28, the views and popularity of Elias Hicks resulted in a division within five-yearly meetings, Philadelphia, New York, Ohio, Indiana, and Baltimore. Rural Friends, who had increasingly chafed under the control of urban leaders, sided with Hicks and naturally took a stand against strong discipline in doctrinal questions. Those who supported Hicks were tagged as "Hicksites", while Friends who opposed him were labeled "Orthodox". The latter had more adherents overall, but were plagued by subsequent splintering. The only division the Hicksites experienced was when a small group of upper-class and reform-minded Progressive Friends of Longwood, Pennsylvania, emerged in the 1840s they maintained a precarious position for about a century. [39]

Gurneyites Edit

In the early 1840s the Orthodox Friends in America were exercised by a transatlantic dispute between Joseph John Gurney of England and John Wilbur of Rhode Island. Gurney, troubled by the example of the Hicksite separation, emphasized Scriptural authority and favored working closely with other Christian groups. Wilbur, in response, defended the authority of the Holy Spirit as primary, and worked to prevent the dilution of the Friends tradition of Spirit-led ministry. After privately criticizing Gurney in correspondence to sympathetic Friends, Wilbur was expelled from his yearly meeting in a questionable proceeding in 1842. Probably the best known Orthodox Friend was the poet and abolitionist editor John Greenleaf Whittier. Over the next several decades, a number of Wilburite–Gurneyite separations occurred. [40]

Starting in the late 19th century, many American Gurneyite Quakers, led by Dougan Clark Jr., adopted the use of paid pastors, planned sermons, revivals, hymns and other elements of Protestant worship services. They left behind the old "plain style". [41] This type of Quaker meeting is known as a "programmed meeting". Worship of the traditional, silent variety is called an "unprogrammed meeting", although there is some variation on how the unprogrammed meetings adhere strictly to the lack of programming. Some unprogrammed meetings may have also allocated a period of hymn-singing or other activity as part of the total period of worship, while others maintain the tradition of avoiding all planned activities. (See also Joel Bean.)

Beaconites Edit

For the most part, Friends in Britain were strongly evangelical in doctrine and escaped these major separations, though they corresponded only with the Orthodox and mostly ignored the Hicksites. [42]

The Beaconite Controversy arose in England from the book A Beacon to the Society of Friends, published in 1835 by Isaac Crewdson. He was a Recorded Minister in the Manchester Meeting. The controversy arose in 1831 when doctrinal differences amongst the Friends culminated in the winter of 1836–1837 with the resignation of Isaac Crewdson and 48 fellow members of the Manchester Meeting. About 250 others left in various localities in England, including some prominent members. A number of these joined themselves to the Plymouth Brethren and brought influences of simplicity of worship to that society. Those notable among the Plymouthists who were former Quakers included John Eliot Howard of Tottenham and Robert Mackenzie Beverley.

Native Americans Edit

The Quakers were involved in many of the great reform movements of the first half of the 19th century. After the Civil War they won over President Grant to their ideals of a just policy toward the American Indians, and became deeply involved in Grant's "Peace Policy". Quakers were motivated by high ideals, played down the role of conversion to Christianity, and worked well side by side with the Indians. They had been highly organized and motivated by the anti-slavery crusade, and after the Civil War were poised to expand their energies to include both ex-slaves and the western tribes. They had Grant's ear and became the principal instruments for his peace policy. During 1869–85, they served as appointed agents on numerous reservations and superintendencies in a mission centered on moral uplift and manual training. Their ultimate goal of acculturating the Indians to American culture was not reached because of frontier land hunger and Congressional patronage politics. [43]

During the 20th century, Quakerism was marked by movements toward unity, but at the end of the century Quakers were more sharply divided than ever. By the time of the First World War, almost all Quakers in Britain and many in the United States found themselves committed to what came to be called "liberalism", which meant primarily a religion that de-emphasized corporate statements of theology and was characterized by its emphasis on social action and pacifism. Hence when the two Philadelphia and New York Yearly Meetings, one Hicksite, one Orthodox, united in 1955—to be followed in the next decade by the two in Baltimore Yearly Meeting—they came together on the basis of a shared liberalism. [ citation needed ] As time wore on and the implication of this liberal change became more apparent, lines of division between various groups of Friends became more accentuated. [ citation needed ]

World War I at first produced an effort toward unity, embodied in the creation of the American Friends Service Committee in 1917 by Orthodox Friends, led by Rufus Jones and Henry Cadbury. A Friends Service Committee, as an agency of London Yearly Meeting, had already been created in Britain to help Quakers there deal with problems of military service it continues today, after numerous name changes, as Quaker Peace & Social Witness. Envisioned as a service outlet for conscientious objectors that could draw support from across diverse yearly meetings, the AFSC began losing support from more evangelical Quakers as early as the 1920s and served to emphasize the differences between them, but prominent Friends such as Herbert Hoover continued to offer it their public support. Many Quakers from Oregon, Ohio, and Kansas became alienated from the Five Years Meeting (later Friends United Meeting), considering it infected with the kind of theological liberalism that Jones exemplified Oregon Yearly Meeting withdrew in 1927. [44] That same year, eleven evangelicals met in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to plan how to resist the influence of liberalism, but depression and war prevented another gathering for twenty years, until after the end of the second world war. [ citation needed ]

To overcome such divisions, liberal Quakers organized so-called worldwide conferences of Quakers in 1920 in London and again in 1937 at Swarthmore and Haverford Colleges in Pennsylvania, but they were too liberal and too expensive for most evangelicals to attend. [ citation needed ] A more successful effort at unity was the Friends Committee on National Legislation, originating during World War II in Washington, D.C., as a pioneering Quaker lobbying unit. In 1958 the Friends World Committee for Consultation was organized to form a neutral ground where all branches of the Society of Friends could come together, consider common problems, and get to know one another it held triennial conferences that met in various parts of the world, but it had not found a way to involve very many grassroots Quakers in its activities. [ citation needed ] One of its agencies, created during the Cold War and known as Right Sharing of World Resources, collects funds from Quakers in the "first world" to finance small self-help projects in the "Third World", including some supported by Evangelical Friends International. Beginning in 1955 and continuing for a decade, three of the yearly meetings divided by the Hicksite separation of 1827, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York, as well as Canadian Yearly Meeting, reunited. [ citation needed ]

Disagreements between the various Quaker groups, Friends United Meeting, Friends General Conference, Evangelical Friends International, and Conservative yearly meetings, involved both theological and more concrete social issues. FGC, founded in 1900 [45] and centered primarily in the East, along the West coast, and in Canada, tended to be oriented toward the liberal end of the political spectrum, was mostly unprogrammed, and aligned itself closely with the American Friends Service Committee. By the last part of the century it had taken a strong position in favor of same-sex marriage, was supportive of gay rights, and usually favored a woman's right to choose an abortion. Its membership tended to be professional and middle class or higher. [ citation needed ]

Rooted in the Midwest, especially Indiana, and North Carolina, FUM was historically more rural and small-town in its demographics. The Friends churches which formed part of this body were predominantly programmed and pastoral. Though a minority of its yearly meetings (New York, New England, Baltimore, Southeastern and Canada) were also affiliated with Friends General Conference and over the decades became more theologically liberal and predominantly unprogrammed in worship style, the theological position of the majority of its constituent yearly meetings continues to be often similar in flavor to the Protestant Christian mainstream in Indiana and North Carolina. In 1960, a theological seminary, Earlham School of Religion, was founded in FUM's heartland—Richmond, Indiana—to offer ministerial training and religious education. [46] The seminary soon came to enroll significant numbers of unprogrammed Friends, as well as Friends from pastoral backgrounds. [ citation needed ]

EFI was staunchly evangelical and by the end of the century had more members converted through its missionary endeavors abroad than in the United States Southwest Friends Church illustrated the group's drift away from traditional Quaker practice, permitting its member churches to practice the outward ordinances of the Lord's Supper and baptism. On social issues its members exhibited strong antipathy toward homosexuality and enunciated a pro-life position on abortion. At century's end, Conservative Friends held onto only three small yearly meetings, in Ohio, Iowa, and North Carolina, with Friends from Ohio arguably the most traditional. In Britain and Europe, where institutional unity and almost universal unprogrammed worship style were maintained, these distinctions did not apply, nor did they in Latin America and Africa, where evangelical missionary activity predominated. [ citation needed ]

In the 1960s and later, these categories were challenged by a mostly self-educated Friend, Lewis Benson, a New Jersey printer by training, a theologian by vocation. Immersing himself in the corpus of early Quaker writings, he made himself an authority on George Fox and his message. In 1966, Benson published Catholic Quakerism, a small book that sought to move the Society of Friends to what he insisted was a strongly pro-Fox position of authentic Christianity, entirely separate from theological liberalism, churchly denominationalism, or rural isolation. He created the New Foundation Fellowship, which blazed forth for a decade or so, but had about disappeared as an effective group by the end of the century. [ citation needed ]

By that time, the differences between Friends were quite clear, to each other if not always to outsiders. Theologically, a small minority of Friends among the "liberals" expressed discomfort with theistic understandings of the Divine, while more evangelical Friends adhered to a more biblical worldview. Periodical attempts to institutionally reorganize the disparate Religious Society of Friends into more theologically congenial organizations took place, but generally failed. By the beginning of the 21st century, Friends United Meeting, as the middle ground, was suffering from these efforts, but still remained in existence, even if it did not flourish. In its home base of yearly meetings in Indiana especially, it lost numerous churches and members, both to other denominations and to the evangelicals. [ citation needed ]

Quakers in Britain and the Eastern United States embarked on efforts in the field of adult education, creating three schools with term-long courses, week-end activities, and summer programs. Woodbrooke College began in 1903 at the former home of chocolate magnate George Cadbury in Birmingham, England, and later became associated with the University of Birmingham, while Pendle Hill, in the Philadelphia suburb of Wallingford, did not open until 1930. Earlier, beginning in 1915 and continuing for about a decade, the Woolman School had been created by Philadelphia Hicksites near Swarthmore College its head, Elbert Russell, a midwestern recorded minister, tried unsuccessfully to maintain it, but it ended in the late 1920s. All three sought to educate adults for the kind of lay leadership that the founders Society of Friends relied upon. Woodbrooke and Pendle Hill still maintain research libraries and resources. [ citation needed ]

During the 20th century, two Quakers, Herbert Hoover and Richard Nixon, both from the Western evangelical wing, were elected to serve as presidents of the United States, thus achieving more secular political power than any Friend had enjoyed since William Penn. [ citation needed ]

Kindertransport Edit

In 1938–1939, just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, 10,000 European Jewish children were given temporary resident visas for the UK, in what became known as the Kindertransport. This allowed these children to escape the Holocaust. American Quakers played a major role in pressuring the British government to supply these visas. The Quakers chaperoned the Jewish children on the trains, and cared for many of them once they arrived in Britain. [47]

War Rescue Operations, and The One Thousand Children Edit

Before and during the Second World War, the Quakers, often working with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee or Œuvre de secours aux enfants (OSE), helped in the rescue from Europe of mainly Jewish families of refugees, in their flight finally to America. But in some cases, only the children could escape—these mainly Jewish children fled unaccompanied, leaving their parents behind, generally to be murdered by the Nazis. Such children are part of the One Thousand Children, actually numbering about 1400. [ citation needed ]

Costa Rica Edit

In 1951 a group of Quakers, objecting to the military conscription, emigrated from the United States to Costa Rica and settled in what was to become Monteverde. The Quakers founded a cheese factory and a Friends' school, and in an attempt to protect the area's watershed, purchased much of the land that now makes up the Monteverde Reserve. The Quakers have played a major role in the development of the community. [48]


Quakers and the Forced Assimilation of Native Americans

Paula Palmer is the director of Toward Right Relationship, a project formed by Boulder Friends Meeting (IMYM) in response to the call by Indigenous leaders for people of all faith traditions to raise awareness about historical and ongoing injustices committed against Native peoples and to find ways of implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Paula was awarded the Pendle Hill 2015 Cadbury Scholarship to research the roles that Quakers played in conceptualizing, promoting, and carrying out policies of forced assimilation of Native peoples over the last two centuries. Paula spoke by phone with Western Friend on May 20, 2015. The following text is an edited transcript of portions of that interview. The full interview is posted in Western Friend’s online library. To learn more about Paula’s work, visit: boulderfriendsmeeting.org/ipc-right-relationship

Western Friend: I’ve still got huge gaps in my knowledge base about Quaker faith and history. We have a reputation for having been in the vanguard in the fight against slavery, but when you learn a little bit more, you see that being in the vanguard was mainly about getting Quakers to stop holding slaves themselves. Well, we also have a reputation for good relationships with Native Americans. So this research that you are planning to do on the Indian boarding schools run by Quakers, is it going to tell a similar story?

Paula Palmer: I remember from reading Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship, that Vanessa Julye and Donna McDaniel concluded that Quakers largely lived according to the values of the wider society. A few Spirit-led abolitionists like Lucretia Mott were certainly in the vanguard, and it’s to them that we owe our good reputation. I am eager to find out whether there were Quaker voices raised in defense of the rights of Native peoples during that same time period and since.

In the 1800s, the United States was completing its domination of the whole land base from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and European Americans were wondering what to do about the remaining Indigenous peoples. There were over 600 different Indigenous societies in various stages of trauma at that time – trauma from the loss of their land, loss of their hunting grounds, their populations, their leaders. And yet, they were still perceived as a threat by European Americans who felt that they had the right to populate and extend their ways of life over this entire land – and they didn’t imagine sharing it with the Native peoples.

Quakers, from what I’ve read so far, were very concerned about the federal government’s policy of extermination, which was being carried out by the U.S. Cavalry. Estimates vary widely regarding the number of Indigenous people who lived on the landmass that became the United States when the Europeans first arrived – somewhere between 8 million and 30 million people. But it’s pretty well established that 90-95% of that population perished over the next 200 years. Extermination almost happened.

Quakers wanted to prevent wholesale extermination of the tribes that had not yet moved onto reservations, those that were not yet “controlled” in any way by the U.S. government. The war was on. The Cavalry was after all of them. The Quakers wanted to bring those wars to an end.

So it appears from what I’ve read that Friends supported the creation of reservations where Native people would live by certain rules in exchange for goods supplied by the U.S. government. They would be prevented from hunting buffalo and required to become farmers. Their children would be required to go to school to learn English and learn to fit into a European society and economy. The schools would teach Christianity along with the manual skills that would prepare Native children to become farmers and homemakers and learn to live in a Christian European culture.

WF: So in their minds, they were offering a refuge?

PP: Well, they were trying to stop the killings on both sides. One thing that I’m interested in finding out through my research is whether Quakers had any other ideas for ways of accommodating all these different cultural groups within the United States. Did any Friends at that time see value in the Indigenous cultures, or advocate for Native peoples’ right to maintain their ways of life? Did they offer any other ideas about ways to share space?

WF: We could use those ideas today, huh?

PP: Well, today, 150 years later, we see the policy of forced assimilation in a very different light. Native people from Australia to Canada and throughout the United States are bearing witness to the damage that was done to generations of Native children, especially in the boarding schools. Whether the children were treated cruelly or kindly, the intention of the schools really was to annihilate Indigenous cultures, to “kill the Indian save the man.” Children were made to abandon the ways of their parents and grandparents and ancestors. They were made to become non-Indian. But what were they to become? Many survivors of the boarding schools say they became lost between two worlds, unable to belong anywhere. Psychologists tell us that trauma like this can be passed down from generation to generation, and Native people are asking now: How much of the despair and disease in some Indian communities today is attributable to the boarding school experience?

Through my research, I’m hoping to learn how Friends in the 1800s expressed their intentions in providing schools for Native children. How did they describe their goals in religious, cultural, social, and economic terms? Were there debates? Did any Friends raise questions about the forced assimilation policy, either on theological or moral grounds?

During my term as the Cadbury Scholar at Pendle Hill,
I’ll be able to do research in the Quaker history collections at Swarthmore and Haverford colleges, where there are letters and journals and reports to yearly meetings from the Friends who were directly involved in the schools. I want to read about their hopes, their doubts and concerns, and what they learned in the years they spent running and supporting these schools. And of course I want to learn as much as I can about how the Native children and their families experienced the Quaker schooling.

WF: I’m going to be so interested to read whatever you produce from all of this.

PP: I think it is easy, from the place where we are now, to be critical of the attitudes of these Friends. And yet I think we will find that we have much in common with them. I think this research will provide an opening for us to examine ourselves today, and to ask ourselves, “What are we missing in our analysis of the issues of our time? What are blind to? What are the contradictions in our own expression of our religious values? Are we living with integrity in our communities and on the land?” That’s the way I’m going into this.

At the same time, we clearly need to bring to light the harm that was done in the Indian boarding school era and the part the Religious Society of Friends played in it. We need to be open to the truth, as painful as it may be. That’s one reason why I think it would be good for Quakers to lead other denominations in undertaking this research, because we are seekers of the truth. We are guided by that old Quaker tenet that if we seek the truth, the truth will set us free.

As we look into our role in carrying out the policy of forced assimilation, I hope we can do it with love for the Friends who carried it out, and with love for the Native children and families who were damaged by it directly, and with love for their descendants who continue to suffer from those damages today. I hope my research will open opportunities for Friends to reflect on what this history means for us as a Society today. I hope we will find appropriate ways to support the healing processes that Native people are developing for their communities.

WF: So what do you imagine the benefits to us will be from accepting the truth of our history?

PP: The reason for doing this research now is because Native American organizations and tribes are asking for the country at large to take stock of the consequences of this policy of forced assimilation. As we learn more and acknowledge what did happen in this country, I think that will offer us an opportunity to ask how healing can occur, and that will bring about a kind of dialogue that we haven’t had before – between Native people and non-Native people, between the churches and the government and Native communities.

WF: Well, I feel a little obnoxious in pressing this further, but part of me believes that people act out of self-interest. So I’m wanting to ask it again: What good is it for European Americans to try to bring about this healing?

PP: I think there’s a real cost to all of us – as individuals and as a nation – from living in denial of the truth. Most of us know at some level that our country’s prosperity – and our own – are products of terrible injustices committed against the Indigenous peoples of this land, despite five hundred years of doing our best to cover them up. Wehear our politicians spouting these great national values, yet most of us do know that if we just scratch that surface a bit, we can see that, as a society, we have never lived up to those values. Our nation’s wealth has been built on two fundamental crimes – genocide and slavery – and we’ve never as a society faced up to that. And because we’ve never faced up to it, we’ve never healed from it. No one in this country is isolated from the terrible ongoing consequences of racism.

Sometimes, when European Americans are asked to think about the history of the Native people in this country, they very quickly go to, “So what do they want? Do they want us all to go back to Europe?” I think that kind of response – the fear that we live with and hide from, but underneath, it is there – shows that in some way we know that we did not come by our land and possessions in an entirely good way and there are debts to be paid. I think those of us who enjoy privilege – and even if we don’t desire privilege, we benefit from it – I think we live in considerable fear. And that’s what healing can do for us. We will no longer live in that fear.

In his book, In the Light of Justice, the Pawnee attorney Walter Echo-Hawk says that the first step toward healing this wound of genocide and colonization is to recognize the harm that’s been done. We have so successfully covered up the harm of forced assimilation through our education system and through our national sense of self-congratulation and exceptionalism. That harm needs to be uncovered – and held to the light of truth.


Who Were the Whigs and the Tories in the Revolutionary War?

In the Revolutionary War, the two opposing parties were the Whigs, who believed in separating from England, and the Tories, who believed that Americans should not break away from England. The Tories were also referred to as the Loyalists and the Whigs were also referred to as the Revolutionaries.

Whig and Tory were the names of the rival political parties in Britain, so they were used in the colonies since they were familiar nicknames. In modern times, Americans began calling the Whigs "patriots" because of their immense love for America.

Throughout the Revolutionary War, the colonists often changed their minds and switched from party to party. It was difficult to support one side completely as many people wanted to choose sides to help their personal needs, such as their businesses and their families, by adhering to the popular opinion in their various communities.

Some people did not want to take a side in the war, but a year after the Declaration of Independence was signed into action, the North Carolina revolutionary government created laws that forced all men of the military age to take an oath. This oath bound them to support the new government. The only groups that were exempt from this law were the four Christian groups: Quakers, Mennonites, Dunkers, or German Baptists, and Moravians. However, to escape the oath, they had to pay tax rates that were three or four times higher than the typical tax rate.


4 Coming to America

The Quakers were banished from New England and faced death if they dared to return, and were banned by law in the United Kingdom. William Penn established the colony of Pennsylvania in 1681 largely as a safe haven for Quakers. Penn began soliciting other persecuted Protestant groups to join the Quakers in his new colony, starting with the first German Mennonites settling in Germantown, Pennsylvania, in 1683. Roughly 100,000 Germans from the Palatinate region immigrated to Pennsylvania in the 18th Century, with about 3,000 of them being Mennonites and Amish.


The Presbyterians and Quakers

The presentations today on Presbyterians and Quakers proved to be very interesting.

Let’s start with the Presbyterians. To me, I can’t tell many differences between the different sects of Christianity. Judging by how pretty much everyone I knew went to a Presbyterian church, I assumed that was the “typical” sect of Christianity. Presbyterianism was formed after Martin Luther’s Protestant reformation. It focuses on the kingdom under God and focus on God’s ‘power and glory.’ They believe in the Trinity, that Eucharist is the real presence of God, but it is purely spiritual, and that God is the only one who can judge you. Interestingly enough, with common hot topics like homosexuality, many churches are split meaning that these are not religious issues but are more at the discretion of the individual. I feel like with their broad beliefs, i.e. the power of God, it allows a wide variety of people to attend their church and still worship the same general things. It makes sense that so many people are a part of the Presbyterian Church as it’s a very relaxed setting that focuses on each individuals’ relationship with God.

With Quakers, I knew some background knowledge from my friend who goes to the very conservative George Fox University, but still not that much. George Fox was the main founder in the 1600’s in England, but he received much persecution and was charged with blasphemy for starting this new religion, but luckily for him, the Quakers came to America in settlements at Rhone Island and Pennsylvania where religious freedom was granted. One type of Quakers is called the Hickside followers which don’t plan sermons but instead rely in silent worship in order to allow individuals to listen to their inner light. They don’t focus on the Bible so much, but they see it as a ‘symbolic representation’ to guide their teachings. They focus on more of the spiritual journey involved in their worship. In terms of their beliefs, they are very anti-war and don’t fight in any way, as they promote peace. They still believe in “typical” Christian beliefs, it’s more just a difference in the way they practice the word of God and how they feel the Holy Spirit.


An American Family History

The American folk hero, David "Davy" Crockett (1786 – 1836), grew up in East Tennessee.

The Watauga settlement was was south of the Holston River, on the Watauga and Nolichucky Rivers in the colony of North Carolina. There were three main settlements in the area known as Watauga, Carter's Valley, and Nolichucky. Most settlers came down the Great Valley through Virginia, while others went through gaps in the Unaka Range from North Carolina. The settlers believed they had settled in Virginia. However, all except the North Holston community were in North Carolina on land that belonged to the Cherokee Nation. They were told to relocate, but instead negotiated with the Cherokee to lease the land.

Julius Dugger and Andrew Greer were the first white men to settle in the Watauga Country. They settled about three miles above the present town of Elizabethton.

The first permanent settlement in Tennessee was made in 1769 on Boones Creek by Captain William Bean, and his wife Lydia. Their son, Russell Bean, is said to have been the first European child born in Tennessee.

According to Samuel Masengill, Henry Massengill, Sr. settled in 1769 as one of the first settlers.

In the fall of the year 1771, Anthony Bledsoe ran the boundary line between the Colonies of Virginia and North Carolina, far enough west to ascertain that the Watauga settlement was in North Carolina, and Alexander Cameron, the British agent, immediately ordered the settlers on the Watauga to move oflf of the Indian lands. James Robertson and John Sevier, two of the leading members of the Watauga settlement, immediately set about to devise ways and means by which they could avoid the order of the British agent. They could not buy the lands from the Indians, because the purchase was prohibited, but there was no law prohibiting a lease of the land, and in the year 1774, the Indians leased to the settlers on the Watauga the lands in the Watauga Valley and all was peace once again. (History of Southwest Virginia)

In 1771, Colonel James Robertson brought 16 Regulator families across the mountains from North Carolina. The group included his brothers and brother-in-law. Valentine Sevier, Sr. came from the Shenandoah Valley. John Sevier settled on the Nolichucky. His sons, John and James Sevier, located on farms nearby.

Jonathan Tipton and Joseph Tipton (brothers of Colonel John Tipton) had moved to the area accompanied by their father, Jonathan, who was over seventy-five years of age.

Colonel John C. Carter (1737) and his son Colonel Landon C. Carter (1760) settled on the western side of the Holston River about 1770. Both John and Landon were Colonels in the American Revolution. Carter County, Tennessee was named for Landon.

Many settlers came to the Holston and Watauga Settlements after the Battle of Alamance in May, 1771, when there was a mass migration of settlers from central North Carolina to the frontier regions.

These early settlers formed the Watauga Association which was was semi-autonomous government created in 1772. The first five men appointed to administer the Watauga settlement were John Sevier, James Robertson, Charles Robertson, Zachariah Isbell, and John Carter.

Sinking Creek Baptist Church was organized 1772 in Washington County (now Carter County).

In 1772 Jacob Brown located on the north bank of the Nolichucky River. He had brought a packhorse loaded with goods with which he purchased the lease of land from the indigenous people (and later received a deed) for a large tract on both sides of the Nolichucky. He sold this land to settlers. The government of North Carolina, however, refused to recognize the deeds' validity and continued to make grants in the territory.

The John Carr family came from South Carolina, and was one of the first in Washington County, Tennessee.

Fort Watauga (or Caswell) was built at the Sycamore Shoals of the Watauga River in 1775–1776 by the Watauga Association, to defend settlers from Indian (primarily Cherokee) attacks, which were in part instigated by the British. It was a group of cabins arranged in a rectangle connected by stockade walls of sharp pointed poles.

On March 25, 1775 the Watauga Purchase of the East Tennessee lands from the Cherokees was made.

The first settlers on Little Limestone were Robert and James Allison. In 1775 Michael Bawn and James Pearn were each granted permission by the county to build a grist-mill on Little Limestone.

[The Watauga Fort was attacked], July twenty-first 1776. At day-break, when there were a large number of people gathered there, and the women were out-side milking the cows, a large body of Cherokees fired on the milkers but they all fortunately escaped to the fort, the gates of which were thrown open for their reception.

After the battle with the indigenous people at Fort Watauga in 1776, a second fort was built upriver on lands owned by Valentine Sevier, Sr., but later owned by Solomon and Abraham Hart, sons of Leonard Hart.

Legislative Journal of the Provincial Congress at Halifax, North Carolina Monday, December 23rd, 1776

Resolved that John Carter be Colonel, John Sevier, Lieutenant Colonel, Charles Roberson 1st Major, and Jacob Womack, 2nd Major, for the District of Washington, and that commissions issued accordingly.

Resolved, That Col. John Carter be supplied with 200 wt. of gun powder from the magazine in Halifax, for the defense of the District of Washington, and Mr. Christopher Dudley is hereby directed to furnish him with the same.

The Johnson City area settled in 1777 by settlers who received grants from North Carolina. Among those settlers were the Young, Jones, Tipton, Jobe, Denton, and O'Neill families. The community was first known as Blue Plum. The grants were awarded in response to Great Britain's arming of indigenous Americans to fight American revolutionaries. Each head of household received 640 acres and 100 acres for his wife and 100 for each child.

Ord[ered]. Jacob Womack, Jesse Walton, Geo. Russell, Jospeh Willson, Zach. Isbell, and Benjamin Gist appointed to lay off the place for erecting the Court house, prison stocks, and the said return is ord. filed in the court office.

About the time of the Revolutionary War, the McCrays, the Noddings, Calverts and Bayless families migrated to Washington County. Daniel McCray and William Nodding, and both are on the 1786 list of voters and received land grants in Washington County.

Jeremiah Dungan, acquired land in the area in 1778 and built a mill on Brush Creek in the present town of Watauga.

"The Battle of the State of Franklin" took place at John Tipton's house in 1788. North Carolina authorities seized some of the people who John Sevier had enslaved. Sevier and his supporters came to the Tipton house to reclaim them. The North Carolinians rebuffed them and this signaled the end of the State of Franklin.

Two sons of Noah Range were early settlers. Peter and Elizabeth Range settled on Knob Creek in Washington County, Tennessee, in 1779. Jacob Range improved land in 1779 on the Big Harpeth River and later petitioned for a grand to that land.

In 1779, Tidence Lane established the Buffalo Ridge Baptist Church.

The Jobe family was also among the early settlers.

On September 25, 1780, the Overmountain Men assembled on the Sycamore Shoals of the Watauga to begin their march to the Battle of Kings Mountain. There were approximately 1,100 men.

John Hendrix (Hendricks) and Hannah Kelly moved to the Watauga settlement about 1780

In 1780 John Carter and his son, Landon C. Carter, built a two story frame home with two fireplaces.

Samuel Weaver purchased 600 acres on Little Limestone creek (#629) about 1784.

About 1782 members of the Broyles family moved to east Tennessee. They lived on Little Limestone Creek.

In late 1783, North Carolina passed an act to sell vacant land to settlers. This law, known as the Land-Grab Act, was in effect from October 20, 1783 to May 25, 1784. The entire western reserve was open to purchase by anyone who could pay 10 pounds per 100 acres.

Colonel John Tipton moved to the Watagua settlement in 1783.

David Matlock received a warrant for a 540-acre tract of land in Washington County in 1782 on the west side of the Doe River including the big spring and the bottom on both sides of Doe River.

1500 acres of land as a Boundry for Iron Works in the fork of Wataugah and Doe River Joining the Land of said Carter also Isaac Lincoln, Godfry Carriger, Teter Nave, Leonard Bowers, William Duggard, Elisha Humphreys, David Matlock, Deceased and Emanuel Carter, Deceased.

Also 1500 acres on the South of Doe River Joining the lands of Sam'l Tipton, Michael Tullis, David Matlock, Thomas Millsaps, William Sharp, Rich'd Kite, Isaac Eden, Sen., Wm. Bundy, Josiah Clarke, Ralph Humphreys & Joshua Houghton, Sen.

In 1784, Zachariah Isbell, John Sevier and Jesse Walton were appointed to confiscate the properties of Tories in Washington County.

In 1784, William Ellis purchased 325 on Boone's Creek.

In August, 1784 delegates from Washington and two other western North Carolina counties (all now in Tennessee), declared their Independence from North Carolina because of perceived neglect, and misuse by North Carolina&rsquos legislature. By May, 1785 they had petitioned to be admitted to the United States as the State of Franklin. The request was denied.

John Nicholas (1753) and Margaretha Mottern were from Berks County Pennsylvania. He served in Shraedel's Company during the Revolution. On June 10, 1788 they bought 160 acres from Juliana and David Shults in Sullivan County.

Mordecai Price received a patent for four hundred acres on Sinking Creek at the waters of Wattauga river on May 18, 1789.

In 1790 Reverend Samuel Doak and Hezikiah Balch organized the Hebron Church in the Knob Creek settlement.

In 1791, the Treaty of Holston proclaimed a treaty with the Cherokee in Eastern Tennessee.

On July 13, 1792 Moses Humphreys purchased a tract of land on the north side of Boones Creek in Washington County from William Ellis for 50 "current money."

Bowlin and Mary (Lee) Curtis settled by the Watagua River about 1792.

Washington County, Tennessee,was established in 1777 as Washington County, North Carolina. From 1784 to 1788,it was part of the State of Franklin.

The State of Franklin was an unrecognized, independent state in what is now eastern Tennessee. It was created in 1784 with the intent of becoming the fourteenth state. Its first capital was Jonesborough. It existed for about four and a half years and then North Carolina re-assumed control.

A land patent is an exclusive land grant made by the government. The certificate that grants the land rights is also called first-title deed and final certificate. In the United States, all land can be traced back to the original land patent.

February 1, 1796 Leonard Hart obtained 239 acres next to the Hendrix (Hendricks) Family in Turkeytown.

In 1799 the Knob Creek Brethren Chruch was established.

In 1799 there was a petition in Washington County asking for marriages performed under the State of Franklin to be recognized.

March 22, 1814
Court Minutes Book B-240
Security agreement.

The Tennessee General Assembly has passed a state lottery and the proceeds were divided among counties. Carter County received $16,000 and the Commissioners decided to purchase salt with the money, re-sell at cost to the citizens.

Abraham Hendry was Chairman of the Court, he and all other members were bound to the agreement. Others include,
Robert Blackmore, John Miller,William B. Carter, Christian Carriger, Moses Humphrey, James Kelly, Jahu Humphrey, Daniel Moore, Leonard Bowers, John Lyons, Richard Webster, David McNabb, Leonard Hart.

Boones Creek Christian Church started because of a controversy over the baptism of Fanny Renfro. In 1824 Jerial Dodge baptized her at the Sinking Creek Baptist Church, and the Baptist Association decided against the baptism.

James Miller and others left the church. The revival that followed on Boones Creek was called the “Great Meeting.” The revival also attracted members of the Buffalo Ridge Baptist Church.

The Nolichucky River flows through Western North Carolina and East Tennessee. It is a tributary of the French Broad River. During the 1770s, European Americans established the "Nolichucky settlements" in what is now Greene County, Tennessee.
The Village Messenger
Fayetteville, Tennessee
06 Oct 1824, Wed • Page 2


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1 Ward , W. R. , in Georgian Oxford: university politics in the eighteenth century ( Oxford , 1958 )Google Scholar , did point to the close relationship between religion and politics, but its implications have been left unexplored.

2 Speck , W. A. , Stability and strife. England 1714–60 ( London , 1977 ), pp. 104 –6Google Scholar idem, ‘Whigs and tories dim their glories: English political parties under the first two Georges’, in Cannon , John (ed.), The whig ascendancy ( London , 1981 ), pp. 51 – 75 Google Scholar Dickinson , H. T. , Liberty and property. Political ideology in eighteenth-century England ( London , 1979 ), pp. 121 –5Google Scholar .

3 Owen , J. B. , The eighteenth century, 1715–1815 ( London , 1974 ), p. 113 Google Scholar .

4 Holmes , G. S. , The trial of Dr Sacheverell ( London , 1973 ), pp. 275 –6Google Scholar .

5 Gay , Peter , The enlightenment: an interpretation ( 2 vols., London , 1964 ), 1 , 8Google Scholar Sykes , Norman , Church and state in England in the eighteenth century ( Cambridge , 1934 ), p. 330 Google Scholar and passim Greaves , R. W. , On the religious climate of Hanoverian England ( Inaugural lecture, Bedford College, London , 1963 ), pp. 3 – 5 Google Scholar .

6 Porter , Roy , ‘The enlightenment in England’, in Porter , Roy and Teich , M. (eds.), The enlightenment in national context ( Cambridge , 1981 ), pp. 1 – 18 CrossRefGoogle Scholar Gilley , Sheridan , ‘ Christianity and enlightenment: an historical survey ’ History of European Ideas , 1 ( 1981 ), 103 –21CrossRefGoogle Scholar .

7 Colley , Linda , In defiance of oligarchy. The tory party 1714–60 ( Cambridge , 1982 ), pp. 104 –15CrossRefGoogle Scholar Robbins , Caroline , The eighteenth century commonwealthman ( Cambridge, Mass. , 1959 ), ch. VIIICrossRefGoogle Scholar Browning , Reed , The duke of Newcastle ( New Haven , 1975 ), pp. 79 , 329–30Google Scholar The works of the reverend Thomas Newton, D.D., late lord bishop of Bristol and dean of St Paul's, London ( 3 vols., London , 1782 ), 1 , 78Google Scholar .

8 Coxe , William , Memoirs of the life and administration of Sir Robert Walpole, earl of Orford ( 3 vols., London , 1798 ), 1 , 25Google Scholar . In what appears to be Walpole's notes for his speech on the 1736 motion to repeal the Test Act, he concludes with a reference to Sacheverell. Cambridge University Library, Cholmondeley (Houghton) MS 76, no. 8.

9 ‘My Case in Relation to the Ministry and the Whigs’, n.d., Gibson papers, St Andrews , University Library , MS 5219 Google Scholar .

10 ‘Draughts of two letters prepared during Archbishop Wake's indisposition and when it was understood that the Archbishopric would be offered to me being before the affair of the Quakers’ Bill', Gibson papers, Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California, bound volume, no. 13. I should like to thank Dr M. A. Goldie for informing me of the existence of this collection.

11 Arnall , William , A Utter to the reverend Dr Codex ( London , 1734 ), pp 12 – 13 Google Scholar An apology for Dr Codex, humbly addressed to the Doctor ( London , 1734 ), p. 12 Google Scholar Authentick memoirs of the life and conduct of the reverend Dr Codex: from his infancy to the present time…By a presbyter of the Church of England ( London , 1735 ), p. 21 Google Scholar .

12 Gibson papers (St Andrews), MS 5219 ‘Queries concerning the Bishops and Clergy’, n.d., Gibson papers, Bodleian Library, MS Dep. c. 237, fos. 31–2.

13 Historical Manuscripts Commission. Manuscripts of the earl of Egmont. Diary of Viscount Percival afterwards first earl of Egmont, 11, 262.

14 Sykes , Norman , Edmund Gibson, bishop of London, 1669–1748: a study in politics and religion in the eighteenth century ( London , 1926 ), pp. 91 – 117 Google Scholar Gibson to Bishop Hare, 4 Aug. 1736, Gibson papers (St Andrews), MSS 5312–3 MS 5219.

15 For Gibson the strengthening of the whig administration was itself a benefit to the Church, believing ‘“That there is noe way to preserve the Church, but by preserving the present Establishmt in the State and That there is far greater probability that the Tories will be able to destroy our present Establishmt in the State, than that the Dissenters will be able to destroy our Establishmt in ye Church.”’ Gibson to Bishop Nicolson, 3 Dec. 1717, Gibson-Nicolson correspondence, Bodleian Library, MS Add. A. 269, fo. 72.

16 For the rise of anti-clericalism, see Gibson papers (St Andrews), MS 5219 Gibson papers (Huntington), bound volume, no. 13. For Queen Caroline in 1727, see Gibson papers (St Andrews), MSS 5200, 5201, 5202. For a brief account of the Rundle affair, see Sykes, Gibson, PP 155–9.

17 Kendrick , T. F. J. , ‘ Sir Robert Walpole, the old whigs and the bishops, 1733–6: a study in eighteenth-century parliamentary politics ’, Historical Journal , XI ( 1968 ), 421 –45CrossRefGoogle Scholar Hunt , N. C. , Two early political associations. The Quakers and the Dissenting Deputies in the age of Sir Robert Walpole ( Oxford , 1961 )Google Scholar .

18 Kendrick , , ‘Sir Robert Walpole, the old whigs and the bishops’ pp. 421 , 426, 429, 438Google Scholar .

19 Hunt , , Political associations, p. 92 Google Scholar .

20 Cf., Hill , B. W. , The growth of parliamentary parties 1680–1742 ( London , 1976 ), pp. 212 –13Google Scholar . Therefore, I do not agree with Kendrick that the policy of the 1736 session was designed to secure the ‘Old Whigs’ to a faltering ministry. Indeed, Kendrick's ‘Old Whig’ faction seems more imaginary than real. Ignoring the judgement of Caroline Robbins, to whom he expresses a debt for describing old whig ideology, that they never acted together as a political group, he names five M.P.s as prominent ‘Old Whigs’. Of these William Glanville [Hythe] and John Conduitt [Southampton] were consistent supporters of Walpole, while Walter Plumer [Appleby] and Robert Ord [Mitchell] were both leading opposition whigs. The loyalty of the ministerialists was not in doubt, and it seems implausible that the opposition whigs would have been won over by a few minor concessions to dissent. The fifth, Sir Joseph Jekyll, despite his links with the ministry through his position as Master of the Rolls and his marriage ties with Lord Hardwicke, maintained a staunch independence and actually opposed the Tithe Bill. Kendrick , , ‘Sir Robert Walpole, the old whigs and the bishops’, pp. 432 n, 433nGoogle Scholar Robbins , , Eighteenth century commonwealthman, p. 383 Google Scholar Historical Manuscripts Commission. Manuscripts of the earl of Onslow, p. 470 Linnell , C. L. S. (ed.), The diaries of Thomas Wilson, D.D., 1731–7 and 1750, son of Bishop Wilson of Sodor and Man ( London , 1964 ), pp. 156 –7Google Scholar .

21 Printed copies of the 1731 Tithe Bill, 1733 Ecclesiastical Courts Bill, and 1733 Church Rates and Repairs Bill are reproduced in Lambert , Sheila (ed.), House of Commons sessional papers of the eighteenth century ( 147 vols., Wilmington, Delaware , 1975 ), VII, 33 –4, 123–6, 119–22Google Scholar . A manuscript copy of the Ecclesiastical Courts Bill of 1734, which was very similar to that of 1733, can be found in Gibson papers (Bodleian), MS Dep. c. 246, no. 17.


A Theological Perspective on Quaker Lobbying

This publication examines the relationship between lobbying and Friends’ spiritual practice. Drawing on Quaker history and theology, as well as the teachings of Jesus, Margery Post Abbott connects FCNL’s work to the efforts of Friends through many generations to carry their concerns into the world.

Throughout our history, Friends have carried “concerns” that lead us to act. Sometime these concerns are for the Religious Society of Friends and its health and vitality. All Friends carry concerns for injustice that counters the world we seek.

In “A Theological Perspective on Quaker Lobbying,” Marge Abbott looks at the history of the Religious Society of Friends for the genesis of the Quakers’ call to lobby for peace and justice. At the same time, she also looks to the Bible, particularly in the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, his parables, and other teachings.

Her careful consideration of the spiritual and theological roots of Friends’ witness is both prophetic and pragmatic. She offers an explanation not only of how FCNL operates but also of how Friends through many generations have carried their concerns into the world.

Read an Excerpt

Quakers live with paradox: They are law-abiding people, but they wrote the book on civil disobedience.

… Early Friends knew from experience that the law is not always just, nor is it applied equitably. Thus, when government acted in ways that would cause Friends to violate the guidance of Christ’s light, they acted to change the law. And early Friends also knew that, at times, change requires disobeying the law. In other words, civil law is less important than holy obedience. Acts of civil disobedience are not taken lightly.”

About the Author

Margery Post Abbott is a ‘released Friend’ writing and traveling in the ministry with the support of Multnomah Monthly Meeting in Portland, Oregon. She is a past clerk of FCNL’s General Committee. Along with her husband, Carl, she is the author of the forthcoming book, “Quakerism: The Basics.”

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