Among mid-19th century New England Quakers, were the writings of Robert Barclay associated more with the Gurneyites or the Wilburites?  Am I correct in assuming they were not associated with Hicksites?

Also, does "Orthodox" apply to New England Gurneyites of that era, and "Conservative" to Wilburites?

Was John Greenleaf Whittier orthodox or conservative?

Thank you for helping me understand which New England Friends identified most strongly with Barclay circa 1850 and the correct usage of orthodox and conservative in that era.

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Peter Miller said:

"Bill,

What you are explaining, then, is that sermonizing by preachers like the Hoags sometimes (often?) took place during unprogrammed worship, is that correct?"

 

And I reply:

That's correct.  It is a misconception to think that unprogrammed Friends did not preach sermons in their meetings.  What was not acceptable was pre-arranged preaching and pre-planned sermons.

See THE QUAKER HOMILETICS ONLINE ANTHOLOGY for a sampling of sermons: http://www.qhpress.org/quakerpages/qhoa/qhoa.htm

Books of transcribed Quaker sermons were also published in the past.

Michael Graves, Preaching the Inward Light, explains the mechanics of Quaker preaching during the early period. http://www.amazon.com/dp/1602582408/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

On our discussion on this blog, I gave a link earlier for Ellwood Conrad's memoir.  He was a very capable minister and, as a young man, preached Christ in the Race Street Hicksite yearly meeting.

Ellwood's career as an evangelical preacher among the Hicksites earned the approval of the young people, but provoked wrath from some older folks.  He soon left the Race Street Meeting, first for the Philadelphia Orthodox yearly meeting, and then for Ohio Conservative Friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Ellwood Conrad's memorial, see http://www.quaker-chronicle.info/books.php?bookID=24

Bill,

That is quite enlightening and very helpful.  I will take a look at Quaker Homiletics and Michael Graves' book.

I have begun writing the manuscript about the life and times of 19th century American Quaker Jane Varney Durgin.   Research is ongoing and will continue for at least another 6 to 9 months.

My life right now feels like a total immersion in early Quaker life.   I am visiting the Sandwich NH Historical Society twice a week, where the archives of the Sandwich Friends Monthly Meeting are housed.   The minutes of the men's and women's 19th century meetings number more than 1,000 pages.   Fascinating stuff!

One thing that surprises me is how mobile these early Quakers were.  Their movements can be traced through removal certificates and the letters that authorized them to make religious visits to other meetings, all of which were dutifully recorded.   Travel could not have been very comfortable in the first half of the 19th century in rural New England, given the road conditions and the design of coaches.   Representatives from Wolfeboro had to travel all the way to Sandwich for monthly meetings, which they did, even in winter.   Check the distance out on a NH map!   

Because Jane Durgin had a complaint brought against her for marrying a non-Quaker, I am interested in all aspects of the complaint process as manifested in the Sandwich Monthly Meeting - types and frequency of complaints and the disposition of those cases.   My book will present much of this data.

In my book, I want to present a concise summary of how early Quakers differed from other Christians in belief, worship, and overall lifestyle.   What was distinctive about the early Quakers?   I would appreciate readers of QuakerQuaker directing me to some excellent on line resources comprehensible to the non-Quaker layperson.

I would also appreciate being directed to descriptions of 19th century Quaker life in America.   I am looking for references that have a sociological quality which explore marriage and family life, education, work, leisure pursuits,  and interactions with non-Quakers or lack thereof.

Consider the subject of education as it pertains to Jane Durgin.   The Rules of Discipline published by the New England Yearly Meeting in 1840 state that children should be educated in Quaker schools.  Now, the Wolfeboro Quaker community was quite small during Jane's childhood and adolescence.  I don't know what type of elementary school she attended.   But I am fairly certain that she attended the non-Quaker Wolfeborough and Tuftonborough Academy, because her father was one of the trustees for many years.   That seems to be a departure from Quaker norms.

I also wonder what types of literature were considered acceptable for Quakers.  Those 1840 Rules of Discipline contain many admonitions warning parents not to expose children to the wrong kinds of readings.  What was acceptable?   Scripture and the writings of Quakers, but seemingly not much else.  Jane Durgin founded a literary society in Sandwich, which encouraged the widespread reading of good books.  This, too, seems unusual.

That gives you a few glimpses of the content of my manuscript.

I truly appreciate all the assistance I am receiving from subscribers to QuakerQuaker.  Your input will enrich my book.

 Peter Miller said:

Bill,

That is quite enlightening and very helpful.  I will take a look at Quaker Homiletics and Michael Graves' book.

I have begun writing the manuscript about the life and times of 19th century American Quaker Jane Varney Durgin.   Research is ongoing and will continue for at least another 6 to 9 months.

My life right now feels like a total immersion in early Quaker life.   I am visiting the Sandwich NH Historical Society twice a week, where the archives of the Sandwich Friends Monthly Meeting are housed.   The minutes of the men's and women's 19th century meetings number more than 1,000 pages.   Fascinating stuff!

One thing that surprises me is how mobile these early Quakers were.  Their movements can be traced through removal certificates and the letters that authorized them to make religious visits to other meetings, all of which were dutifully recorded.   Travel could not have been very comfortable in the first half of the 19th century in rural New England, given the road conditions and the design of coaches.   Representatives from Wolfeboro had to travel all the way to Sandwich for monthly meetings, which they did, even in winter.   Check the distance out on a NH map!   

Because Jane Durgin had a complaint brought against her for marrying a non-Quaker, I am interested in all aspects of the complaint process as manifested in the Sandwich Monthly Meeting - types and frequency of complaints and the disposition of those cases.   My book will present much of this data.

In my book, I want to present a concise summary of how early Quakers differed from other Christians in belief, worship, and overall lifestyle.   What was distinctive about the early Quakers?   I would appreciate readers of QuakerQuaker directing me to some excellent on line resources comprehensible to the non-Quaker layperson.

I would also appreciate being directed to descriptions of 19th century Quaker life in America.   I am looking for references that have a sociological quality which explore marriage and family life, education, work, leisure pursuits,  and interactions with non-Quakers or lack thereof.

Consider the subject of education as it pertains to Jane Durgin.   The Rules of Discipline published by the New England Yearly Meeting in 1840 state that children should be educated in Quaker schools.  Now, the Wolfeboro Quaker community was quite small during Jane's childhood and adolescence.  I don't know what type of elementary school she attended.   But I am fairly certain that she attended the non-Quaker Wolfeborough and Tuftonborough Academy, because her father was one of the trustees for many years.   That seems to be a departure from Quaker norms.

I also wonder what types of literature were considered acceptable for Quakers.  Those 1840 Rules of Discipline contain many admonitions warning parents not to expose children to the wrong kinds of readings.  What was acceptable?   Scripture and the writings of Quakers, but seemingly not much else.  Jane Durgin founded a literary society in Sandwich, which encouraged the widespread reading of good books.  This, too, seems unusual.

That gives you a few glimpses of the content of my manuscript.

I truly appreciate all the assistance I am receiving from subscribers to QuakerQuaker.  Your input will enrich my book.


Peter:

Here are two good books to begin with:

Benjamin, Philip,  The Philadelphia Quakers.  Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1976.  Compares and contrasts the Hicksites and the Orthodox.  Somewhat biased against Wilburites, IMHO.

Smith, Hannah Whitall, The Unselfishness of Godhttp://www.amazon.com/Unselfishness-God-Hannah-Whitall-Smith/dp/B00...  First-hand account of religious life among the Philadelphia Orthodox in the 19th Century.

 

 

Peter

Keep in mind that at the point that you are writing about, Quakers had been in existence for about two centuries (founded in 1652 in England).   So, this isn't early Quakers - a better description would be more "midlife" Quakers. Also note that Quakers had been mobile since their existence - for example, the valiant 60 from England traveled all over Europe.  I've read both journal of Elias Hicks and of Allen Jay, who were both dizzyingly mobile - it was part of Quaker culture.

At this period in time, Quakers are known for having a "hedge" around themselves.  This is the common way that the restrictions on marrying out is referred to now.

As far as background, I will again suggest the work by Tom Hamm, Transformation of American Quakerdom 1800-1907.  It covers exactly the period you want and Tom is a well known and well respected Quaker historian.  I haven't read it but I have read others of Tom's work.  He is usually very readable.

The World Cat shows copies of this book at several libraries in your area, perhaps you can get your local community library to request a copy for you via interlibrary loan.

Karen

Hello, Karen!

I am pleased to know that someone else is following our discussion!

Thomas Hamm's book is a good one, though I have some serious reservations about his focus on Cyrus Harvey as representative of Conservative Friends.  For a Conservative Friend, Harvey was IMHO a few bubbles off level in theological matters. 

Bill Rushby

Karen and Bill,

So much to explore!  I look forward to this enlightening reading.

Hello, Peter!

In reply to your wish to describe the religion of the "early Quakers", Karen wrote: "Keep in mind that at the point that you are writing about, Quakers had been in existence for about two centuries (founded in 1652 in England).   So, this isn't early Quakers - a better description would be more 'midlife' Quakers."

I think that Karen has it right.  By the time Jane Durgin came along, there was no longer a unitary Quaker culture, or even anything approaching that.  I think you are talking about 19th Century Orthodox Quakerism, not about some generic Quakerism.  It would be important to pinpoint the specific Quaker denomination the Wolfeboro meeting was affiliated with, and which one Jane identified with.  Then you should be in business!

Some more references come to mind.  These refer specifically to New England Friends; even more specifically, to Maine Friends.  One is Eli and Sybil Jones: Their Life and Work (1889) http://www.amazon.com/Eli-Sybil-Jones-Their-Life/dp/1112329129/ref=...  This volume was a Rufus Jones production, and was very well done.

You should also look at Rufus Jones' memoirs of his early life.  One or more of these has a very interesting description of meeting life in his childhood meeting at South China ME.

The other is HJ Bailey, Reminiscences of a Christian Life. Publisher: Hoyt, Fogg & Donham, 1885.  Bailey was an Elder at Parsonsfield ME, probably not too far from where you are located.  See http://www.amazon.com/Reminiscences-Christian-Hannah-Johnston-Baile...

You may want to visit Vintage Quaker Books at Bath ME.  Kristna Evans, the proprietor, may have documents pertinent to your interest.

Bill Rushby

 

 

 

Peter Miller wrote: "What you are explaining, then, is that sermonizing by preachers like the Hoags sometimes (often?) took place during unprogrammed worship, is that correct?"

By and large, spoken ministry in unprogrammed meetings was problematic.  Some meetings had many ministers; others had few or none.  Some ministers were gifted; in other meetings, the speakers were short on giftedness.  I surmise that the Wolfeboro meeting was favored in ministry, referring specifically to the Hoags.  How the meeting fared in their absence, I don't know.  I know nothing of the state of the ministry in the Sandwich meeting.

Kristna Evans sent me a digital copy of Joseph John Dymond, Gospel Ministry in the Society of Friends: A Series of Letters. London: Edward Hicks Jr., 1892.  She indicated that it came from Mark Wutka.  I wrote to him for information, but thus far have received no reply.

Dymond's book comments at length on the state of spoken ministry in British meetings, and makes proposals for strengthening ministry in local congregations.  I speculate that Dymond's observations would apply to unprogrammed Orthodox Friends in the US also.  This was about the time there was a drive to eliminate recognition of ministers in London Yearly Meeting, so I take it that Dymond's proposals (regardless of their merits) never got implemented.

An Aside: I have long believed that ministry in a meeting will not prosper without built-in mechanisms for Bible study.  Darlene and I were involved in starting two different meetings; both at their inception featured regular group Bible study.  However, control fell into the hands of parties more aggressive than we were and not sympathetic to systematic Bible study.  Thus, the long term effects of corporate Bible study on ministry remains, for me, an unanswered question.

 

 

Bill and Karen,

Thank you ever so much for your kind and informative responses.   I am touched that you would reach out to a stranger in this way.

I will acknowledge you in the foreword to my book.  If you are interested, I will send you a copy after it is published.  If you are willing, I will send you the pre-publication manuscript to critique.

I will google your names to learn more about you.

If you google "Peter Miller", you won't find me.  There are tens of thousands of Peter Miller's out there, or so I have been told.  So let me briefly identify myself.  Before retiring, I was a university professor of psychology and a private practice psychotherapist.  I earned my doctorate at Stanford.  Writing is an avocation.  I have been studying writing craft under the auspices of the New Hampshire Writers Project for 20 years.  My two published books are listed on Amazon.com - "Seven Canterbury Tales Retold: Improvisations on Chaucer", and "So Fade the Lovely: A New England Mystery".  Both are fiction.

Karen   -  The scope of Quaker history is a lot for a novice to digest, but I will eventually become at least semi-competent.  I do know that "early" is not the most apt adjective for 19th century Quakers.  I am very interested in what you said regarding how 19th century American Quakers may have built a hedge around themselves.  The implication is that this wasn't always so amongst Quakers, correct?  Could you expand on that?  Was there, for example, an earlier time when marrying a non-Quaker did not invoke harsh sanction?

Bill  -  Bailey's reminiscences interest me.  I will check that out, and I will endeavor to make contact with Vintage Quaker Books in the coming weeks.  Parsonsfield Maine was close to Jane Durgin's bailiwick.  I believe the Parsonsfield and Sandwich NH Monthly Meetings were combined in a quarterly meeting in the last decades of the 19th century.  I might also mention that I am familiar with the town of Bath.  My favorite place in Maine, Reid State Park located directly on the Atlantic, is nearby.  My wife and I had our first "date" at Reid State Park long ago.

Pinpointing which denominations the Wolfeboro and Sandwich Friends Meetings were affiliated with circa 1845 - 1855 is proving to be somewhat of a challenge.  I am reading the Sandwich Friends minutes pertaining to that era very carefully.  Because of what I have already quoted, where it seems to me the Gurneyite response to the Wilburite "secession" was copied into the meeting minutes, I assume the Sandwich Monthly Meeting aligned itself with the Gurneyites, as did the overwhelming majority of New England Friends.  Jane Durgin, being the free spirit that she was, may have dissented.  I am not quite sure where the small Wolfeboro Quaker group fits in.  They were part of the Sandwich Monthly Meeting, of course, but they were also geographically distant.

Lindley Murray Hoag fits into this picture in some significant way that I have not deciphered yet.  He and his wife Huldah Varney Hoag were gifted preachers who took their message far and wide.  Thus the tiny Wolfeboro Quaker community had two charismatic, highly respected preachers.   The two Hoags met during their preaching travels.  Lindley removed from Ferrisburgh VT to Sandwich/Wolfeboro when he married Huldah.  Huldah died at a young age.  Lindley's "Memoir" of Huldah, written in the 1840's, was published in one of the mainstream Quaker journals.  I believe it can be called famous.  It is actively in print and can easily be found on the internet.  Its heartfelt sentiments will bring tears to your eyes.

Lindley removed from Sandwich/Wolfeboro to Hardin County, Iowa circa 1855.  I am curious as to why he did so.  He lived in Iowa the remainder of his lengthy life.  Perhaps the more fertile soil attracted him.  Like most people of his time, he was a farmer, too.  But perhaps he experienced disunity with the Sandwich Meeting.   As I read through the monthly and quarterly minutes, perhaps I will discover why he left and what happened to the Wolfeboro Friends afterwards.  Their meeting might have collapsed.  Jane Durgin moved back to Sandwich from Wolfeboro around that time.  Did she do so because Lindley Hoag had departed?   The plot thickens (maybe).

Friends' sentiments about momentous events in Quaker life aren't recorded in the Sandwich minutes, for the most part.  You'd never know, for example, that a major schism occurred amongst New England Quakers in 1845 unless you knew what to look for in the those minutes.  My God, all of a sudden there were two New England Yearly Meetings competing for the loyalty of Friends!  That's not small potatoes.  So, yes, the minutes tend to be very dry.  Makes me wonder if Friends of that time and place were characteristically dry themselves.  Of necessity, I have become adept at reading between the words.  Then the story becomes alive.

Jane Durgin wasn't dry.  It's amazing that she managed to forge a workable middle ground between the Sandwich Meeting's expectations and the dictates of her personality.  A daring, creative, enormous act of will, or so it appears.  She could have capitulated, but she did not.  She could have left the faith, but she did not.   "Fearless" was the adjective applied to her horse training.  "Mesmerizing" was the adjective applied to her preaching.   Uncommon stuff.

Enough rambling.

Hello, Peter!

Thanks for the interesting comments.  Based on what you have written, it appears that the Sandwich meeting was Gurneyite.  Since Wolfeboro was subordinate to Sandwich, Wolfeboro would have been Gurneyite in affiliation also.  My guess is that the Gurneyites were more dynamic and less hidebound than the New England Wilburites; this may explain the switch in sympathies of some of the Hoag offspring.

Joseph and Huldah Hoag's oldest(?) son Joseph became a minister among the Gurneyites, so Lindley could have done this too. And Joseph Jr. also moved to Iowa, to Hesper--I believe.  I would like to know the faith-stories of all ten of Joseph's children.  Some of them are buried in the same little cemetery as Joseph and Huldah.  Theirs was surely a remarkable family!

I am still searching for the horse training book.

Bill Rushby

 

 

 

Peter Miller wrote: " Lindley's 'Memoir' of Huldah, written in the 1840's, was published in one of the mainstream Quaker journals."

Which "mainstream Quaker journal"?

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