HISTORICAL SKETCH OF FRIENDS IN CAYUGA
As a broader, truer view is gained by retreating from our object, so the meaning of Quakerism, the work it has done in the growth of civilization and the progress of humanity, can be better understood by pausing a moment at the threshold, when it, and all the outcome which have followed down the course of time, were centered in one, the illuminated soul of George Fox.
His life began in Leicestershire, one of the northern midland counties of England, in. the year before the last of the reign of James I, in 1624. Of his parents he speaks thus : " My father's name was Christopher Fox; he was by profession a weaver, an honest man ; the neighbors called him 'Righteous Christer.' My mother was an upright woman, and of the stock of the martyrs."
The boy was given little of the learning or schools, he was apprenticed to a shoemaker, who was also a grazier.
The latter vocation was suited to the growth of thought. While tending the flock on his native hills, the young shepherd pondered the deepest questions that propound themselves to the human mind.
England at this period was in the throes of Civil War. A tidal wave of liberty had risen beneath the throne itself, and shaken thence the sacred person of the king, whose "divine right" was to perish on the scaffold. An era of greater freedom, was dawning. It was a time which ripened new ideas rapidly, and urged them to acceptance.
The young shepherd, now eighteen years old, fired by a religious enthusiasm, fostered by solitude and reading the Scriptures, wandered for some years in solitary places; sometimes he sought counsel and sympathy, but seldom found help; his advisers did not understand him, they thought him distraught, probably, and proposed activities of various kinds. One said, "use tobacco," another proposed military life, another marriage, etc.
Thus ever he was turned inward. In his wayfaring he found some sympathy. The first person who accepted and preached his doctrines was Elizabeth Hooton.
In 1647 he appeared and preached in Manchester, causing great excitement which resulted in his making converts, and being imprisoned for a time. Thenceforth he exhorted in season and out of season, the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, and tried the tender mercies of the most of its prisons.
Everywhere crowds followed and listened to him; a magnetic presence and a convincing power often disarmed and made converts of his enemies. An intrepid bravery, an endurance which no peril, and no suffering could daunt, piqued the admiration of jailers and courts, while a tender pity for all suffering and a spirit of forgiveness, divine in its quality, characterized him.
In figure he was tall and massive, and his manners, to use the words of William Penn, were "civil beyond all forms of breeding."
Such were some of the traits of the founder of Quakerism.
What did he teach which so brought down upon him the wrath of the powers that were? He taught the indwelling " Light of Christ" in the soul of man, which if followed, would lead into all Truth. " Mind the Light," was his frequent exhortation. Admonished as he believed by this Guide, he advocated simplicity, not only in worship, but in all the relations of life. He thought it his duty to lay aside complimentary practices, such as bowing and putting off the hat from respect to persons or places, also the use of the plural number to a single person, with other flattering redundancies of speech. Living in this age, and in this country, permeated with democratic feeling, we cannot perhaps realize how much of the spirit of caste, one so intense and so loyal to convictions as George Fox, would detect in these customs of his time, and feel to be unchristian. He also saw that war was inconsistent with the peaceableness of Christ's kingdom.
He taught that no intellectual training for the ministry was needed, and that no material compensation should be rendered for such service.
His testimony against taking oaths seems to have been specially exasperating to the civil authorities, and on account of their adherence to it, early Friends suffered more persecution than from any other cause.
It must have preceded his convictions in regard to war, for many of Cromwell's soldiers, being followers of George Fox, refused, from conscientious scruples, to take the oath of allegiance to his protectorate.
His peculiar views were crowned by the belief that women should preach when moved by the Spirit, and that they should have coordinate meetings for discipline. Some of the brethren were strongly opposed to granting the latter privilege, but the mind of George Fox prevailed, and they finally confessed their error with deep humility. He also exemplified his ideas of the rights of women to their own inheritance. On his marriage to the widow of Judge Fell, he was careful that the most chivalrous justice be meted out to her and her children, and his biographer remarks, that it does not appear that he ever made personal use of their property.
In 1689, forty-two years after George Fox's appearance in Manchester, there were twenty-six yearly meetings in the world, some of these composed of several subordinate meetings. Eleven were on the Western continent. It is thought the society reached its culmination in numbers and in activity during its first century.
In this sketch of that portion of his followers that settled in the southern part of our county, I shall try to give a glimpse of the life they lived. The civilization they planted, must include their places and forms of worship, their schools and their business.
It is also my purpose to give the names and some of the traits of a few of the shilling ones who have gone before to make a surer path for our feet.
The employments of our rural community were much more varied seventy years ago than they now are. Conspicuous in the furniture of each farm house, were the untiring spinning-wheel with its mass of fleecy rolls pendent from the bar, the swifts, often the loom, the quaint little flax wheel, and the reel, a curious delight to the children when permitted to whirl it, the. snap of the spring which reported the knots, furnishing an excitement which never wearied.
Instead of a trip to Auburn, and some marvellous bargains, renewing the outer man and boy from top to toe, each house and farm were the clothing store of the family.
On the farm grazed the sheep. The farmers took their fleeces, passed them to the women's hands, to be dyed, often carded, spun, woven and fashioned Into garments, mostly for the brethren, who, before the appearance of the country store, embellished their clothing with buttons of leather, which I am told were not poor substitutes for those which superseded them.
Dresses also, of pressed flannel, as handsome as that now worn, clothed in comfort the daughters of the past generation. When these fabrics represented as much of the time and skill of the owners, as some of the fancy work of the present age does, new dresses were not every-day facts, and were valued accordingly. Flax also was prepared with careful weary labor, and woven in colors for wearing, or plain, for table-cloths, handkerchiefs, etc. This exercise of skill could not but brighten the intelligence of the women of that time. An important part was enacted by them in the economy of life, now superseded by the labor-saving inventions of man.
But to the " Old Mortality " work assigned me. The moss has quickly overgrown what I would discover and make legible.
There was immigration to this region, of members of the society of Friends from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Long Island, New York City, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Dutchess, Westchester, Saratoga and Washington Counties in this State. Dartmouth in Massachusetts led the march hitherward. The first Friend who found a home here was Paulina, wife of Judge Walter Wood. She came with her husband to Aurora, in 1795, from White Creek, Washington county, originally from Dartmouth.
Judge Wood's name is still familiar as household words to many of us; he possessed one of those strong characters which not only impress their own, but succeeding time. A few of us have traditions of the gentle loveliness of the wife.
Benjamin and Mary Howland came in March, 1798, bringing five children, Humphrey, Martha, Mary, Harmony and Slocum. Lured by the hope of better soil than that of their native Dartmouth, they took the western trail in 1792, as far as Saratoga county in this State.
Not finding the fertile land they sought, and hearing of the famous "Genesee Country," (then all western New York was thus designated,) they sought and found this land of promise.
Snow lay on the ground ; they came in two sleighs, one drawn by oxen, the other, conveying the family, by horses. They brought flocks and herds, 20 cattle were in their train. Slocum Howland, then a little three years old boy, remembers peering over his wraps to watch the evolutions of the cattle. Benjamin Wilbur, also from Dartmouth, drove the ox drawn sleigh. My father, Slocum Howland, thinks they were more than a fortnight coming. Their way was impeded by snow banks ; driving the sheep and cattle also retarded progress. At Hardenburg's Corners they crossed Owasco Creek on a log bridge, built by the State.
Finally the end of the weary journey was reached, the oxen unyoked, the household treasures unpacked, the children set free, at a place two miles west from Poplar Ridge, on the State road coming from Cherry Valley over the Moravia hills and ending at the lake, at the mouth of Paine's Creek.
There was a log house, a living spring gurgling from the bank of the glen before the humble home, a saw mill, and a clearing of three acres, which a man named Wheeler had made and relinquished to the original owner, Judge Wood. From him Benj. Howland bought these improvements, with a farm of 135 acres, paying $4 per acre for 85 acres and $10 for the remaining 50. A framed house, two stories high in front, was built without delay; for Mary Howland, having no taste for rustic living, had come into the wilderness with the stipulation that she should not live in a log house, except temporarily. This house still stands, showing as little change as the "Deacon's one hoss shay" after its long run, and looks good for a century to come. The wide-throated chimney is just as it came from my grandfather's hands. He was a mason, and laid the foundations of many of the homes and firesides of the settlers.
Not a little of his work stands, attesting the thoroughness of the worker. His business was in such request that he employed several men, receiving $3 per day for himself and one assistant, the highest wages paid for any work at that time, ordinary farm work receiving 50 cents per day.
Benjamin Howland was a model pioneer ; his spirit was strong and genial, and his kindness acknowledged all drafts. A proof of this, as peculiar as convincing, is that he extracted teeth for hapless, suffering neighbors, for whom no dentist lived. When his work was well done, he sometimes received a thank offering of words, but if he failed, "Uncle Ben," as he was familiarly styled, had to endure something more than ingratitude.
In the front room of Benjamin and Mary Howland's new house the first Friend's meeting in this county was held, in 1799. On preparative meeting occasions the men withdrew to the upper room.
The following persons including the family circle, assembled twice a week: Allen Mosher and Hannah with their family, natives of Dartmouth; sometimes Judge Wood and his wife from Aurora; Wm. and Hannah Reynouf from New York; Sylvanus and Lydia Hussey and family from Dartmouth; Content Hussey, called "Aunt Tenty," from Dartmouth ; Samuel Haines from New Jersey ; John and Dinah Wood, Jethro and Sylvia Wood, the former son of John Wood, the latter, daughter of Benjamin Howland ; Joshua Baldwin, Elizabeth Baldwin, his mother, and Anne and Elizabeth, his sisters, from New York ; Isaac and Ruth Wood, parents of Judge and James Wood, from Dartmouth.
Benjamin Howland set apart a burial place below his house, on the height above the glen. The first form laid in " its kindred dust " in this ground, was that of Slocum Hussey, in 1803. He was a son of Jonathan and Content Hussey, a young man of unusual promise, a student of law under Judge Wood's instruction.
The meeting, after some months, was removed to Benjamin Wilbur's "front room," he having bought three acres from Benjamin Howland, and built a house. After a year, the room proving too small for the growing numbers, a log house, a few rods east of Benjamin Howland's, was fitted with partitions, to be closed during meetings for discipline ; and thither the meeting was removed, to remain until the meeting house was built in 1810.
It may be well to illustrate the church polity of the society, by tracing the dependence of this little meeting upon authority, for its right to exist. Being within the limits of Farmington Monthly meeting, Ontario Co., an appeal to it for permission to hold a meeting, was made and granted for six months, and a committee appointed to attend the "indulged " meeting, as it was styled, and report.
At the end of this probation, a preparative. meeting, to report to Farmington, was asked for, and granted. This monthly meeting was subordinate to Easton Quarterly meeting, in Washington Co., and that, with other similar bodies, to the New York yearly meeting. In 1808 the Quarterly meeting assented to the request of the Scipio Friends for a monthly meeting, separate from Farmington. In 1810 the yearly meeting constituted Farmington, Scipio, and DeRuyter monthly meetings; a quarterly meeting to be held at Farmington and Scipio alternately.
The quarterly meeting occupied three days, the first, being devoted to a consultation of Ministers and Elders, called select meetings ; the members of these meetings were appointed to hold their stations, b the monthly meeting to which they belonged. Little that was said or enacted at these meetings was ever divulged to other ears. The book of discipline gives their Queries. The third of the series for Ministers and Elders, arrests attention as most pithy: "Are ministers sound in word and doctrine, and are they careful to minister in the ability that Truth gives?" "Are unbecoming tones and gestures avoided, and do they guard against enlarging their testimonies so as to be burdensome?"
The elocutionary part of this query must have often required exceptions to an affirmative answer.
The ministers were thus subject to the criticisms of the elders, who were also charged with responsibility for the good order of that portion of the Society within the jurisdiction of the Quarterly meeting to which they belonged, though without special authority, other than that given by position and weight of character.
Returning to our glimpses of some of the characters of those pioneers who reared their roof trees in the forests of the "Genesee Country," and first assembled here "to worship in the silence of all flesh," we find next in order of coming, Jethro and Sylvia Wood, who came from Saratoga Co., in 1799. They found a humble home in the wood south of Benjamin Howland's, and lived there until the following year, when the parents, John and Dinah Wood followed, with their daughters, Anne, Content, Cynthia and Hepsibeth, also their married daughter, Hannah whippo and her husband, James Whippo. John Wood bought 600 acres of land at $3.50 per acre, extending from the road running west from Poplar Ridge to the next road on the south.
About a mile west of the Ridge Road he built a commodious log house for his family, containing several rooms. This was never supplanted by a more pretentious dwelling. The son and daughter were also allotted farms on the tract.
In this fertile region, the rich tilth which rewarded the farmers' toil, suggested to the busy brain of Jethro Wood the need of a better plow than the one in use, that more work might be done, at less cost. The exigencies of the short season demanded early planting. The plow in use was expensive, and required frequent repairs. The result of his thought and effort, was a plow, the main principles of which, are still in use. The effect of this improvement in agriculture, the world over, is unending and incalculable.
The gift of one of these plows to the Emperor of Russia, was acknowledged by a gold medal in return, a token of his appreciation of the value of the invention.
Jethro Wood in social life, was genial and kind; unlike the ways of his sober sect, he did not repress the unfailing humor which provoked many an unwilling smile.
John Wood was a man of ability. He served as State Senator, despite the restrictions of the Society in regard to holding office, and was a valued friend of David Thomas.
Dinah Wood was a native of Nantucket. Her maiden name was Starbuck, a niece of Ann Starbuck, noted in the annals of that island for being at one time, practically, its chief ruler. Resembling her aunt in executive ability, she knew how to bring comfort and luxury out of the asperities of an early settler's life. A lady, from whom the writer asked reminiscences, a daughter of Abial Mosher, (who with his family, made the journey from Saratoga Co., in the winter of 1802), says, that they accepted the hospitality of John and Dinah Wood, while their father retraced his way to a place where the snow had obliged him to leave his sheep. For ten days no word came from the father. Meantime, they were enjoying the glowing open fire in Aunt Dinah's sitting room, and faring sumptuously.
In the spring it was her custom to superintend sugar-making in the forest; at that time the farm furnished the sugar. She was fond of needle-work, if she had lived in these days, decorative art and lace-making would doubtless have been among her pursuits.
Their daughter Anne taught school, the second teacher of my father. She died in her youth.
Among the young men of that period was Humphrey Howland, a youth of eighteen years. Energetic and ambitious, he became surveyor of lands for Judge Lawrence, Robert Troup, Samuel Parsons, Richard Hart, and others, of New York City. In this business he traversed with chain and compass a large part of Cayuga, Tompkins and Cortland Counties. This life was attended with hardships, well seasoned with incidents, pathetic or curious, that beguiled weariness, and gave him many reminiscences for after years. Here is one showing the bill of fare sometimes offered in those days. He partook of a meal, where neither fish, flesh nor fowls, milk, bread, eggs, nor even salt, made a part of the repast. "What could it be?" do you ask. Beech leaves and vinegar.
In 1812, Humphrey Howland was a member of Assembly from this District, and his departure from the order of the Society of Friends, in accepting this preferment, is anonymously mentioned in its record.
Sylvanus and Lydia Hussey, and their family of four sons and two daughters, from Dartmouth, Mass., settled a mile and a half east of Aurora, on a farm now owned by their grandson. After living some years in primitive style, they built a framed house which was destroyed by fire. This they replaced by the one now standing, constructed of cobble stones. They were superior people; Lydia Hussey, a woman of strength of character and fine qualities, lived nearly a century.
The venerable Isaac and Ruth Wood were devoted and exemplary adherents of their faith, constant at meeting. He sat at the head, and determined time length of the meeting by shaking hands with his wife who sat at his right, and some-times broke the reverent waiting silence by her words of counsel and exhortation. He gave three acres of ground for the future meeting-house and burial place, and by will (in 1815 probably) left a legacy of $100 to the Society for the relief of the poor, to be dispensed as it might see fit. With judioious use, this sum lasted years ; portions of it may still be doing the will of the donor. The other worthies, who dignified this little assembly by their presence, have with those cited, left precious memories of good and useful lives.
An event of value to the little colony was the coming of David Thomas and his family from Lycoming Co., Penn., in 1805. Their first home was on the road west of Wheeler's Corners. Plain and humble, its occupants were cultivated and refined. Such a man. could not resist the call to teach. Accordingly, soon after the date of his coming, he opened a school in a log house, west, and south of Poplar Ridge. One of his pupils thus describes the school room: "The wide-mouthed fire place was piled with logs four feet long each morning, affording a fire which needed no replenishing for the day. The little ones were seated on low benches against the chimney. Tables and benches without backs were furnished the older students." In the vital matter of pure air, these rude appointments far excelled the best fitted school room of the present time, and it would be strange if the youthful brain did not work better in that day, than it is possible for it to do in this.
One episode in the life of this dignified man, related by the pupil cited above, is given, because illustrative of the primitive ways of the time. David Thomas spent several evenings with her father, Abial Mosher, making moulds and running buttons of pewter, for a suit of clothes. She thinks the moulding was done in chalk. The buttons for the coat were as large as a twenty-five cent piece, and for the vest the size of a shilling. She remembers the buttons were a success.
An essay on the life of this distinguished man has been given you from an abler pen than mine. But I would fain render my tribute of gratitude to one whose beneficent, useful life has blessed us all. Noble, cultured, philanthropic! The youth of this country should, through all time, cherish his memory, as they enjoy the choice fruits that he introduced and caused to abound ; and the florist remember that his fostering hand brought hither and tended many of our garden beauties, while his botanical knowledge taught us their correct names. His interests were not bounded by sect or vocation; heart, influence and means were given to the hated Anti-Slavery cause, when to be an abolitionist required somewhat of the martyr spirit.
In the spring of 1807, Joseph and Sarah Tallcot, with their sons, Richard and Daniel, and daughters, Hannah and Phebe, moved in from Dutchess County, and settled one-fourth of a mile north of Benj. Howland's. Joseph Tallcot brought to this young branch of the Society a fervent spirit, and an unswerving devotion to his faith, which seemed to rule every step in the straight and narrow way of his long life. He felt great interest in education and in the training of children, and assisted in founding several schools in his Society. For several years he published periodicals, at different times, entitled "The Friendly Visitant," "The Child's Companion," and "The Acorn," containing such moral and religious lessons as he thought should be inculcated. He frequently visited the public schools for miles around his home, and scattered his little books. The cause of temperance enlisted him, and in 1816 he was moved to prepare what he termed "A serious and affectionate address to the pious and influential part of the community in Western New York, relative to ardent spirits." The appeal is forcible and eloquent. The following is the statement of the causes which led him to this action, and the incidents attending it: "The summer of 1816 was an unusually cold season, which cut the crop of Indian corn short, so that there was a scarcity of grain in many places the following winter. At the same time the distilleries were kept in operation, while the poor found it difficult to procure what breadstuff they needed for their families."
"The circumstances affected me not a little, and induced me to write an address to the sober and influential part of the community, inviting them to a serious consideration of the melancholy situation, and the evils and calamitous consequences of intemperance. I insisted that nothing short of the example of that part of society which gives habits to the world, of abstaining altogether from the use of ardent spirits, except for medical purposes, would correct this alarming evil. I had no plan in view for giving publicity to my communication. I read it to some individuals as opportunities occurred. I learned that a Synod of Presbyterian clergymen was shortly to be held at Geneva. It occurred to me that a body of serious, influential men would be convened there, and were I to attend, I might have a favorable opportunity to promote my design." Then follows an account of disappointment in regard to a friend to go with him, and of his trepidation and faltering before the ordeal. "In the morning," he says, "I found my way to the house of Henry Axtel, the Presbyterian clergyman of that place. His brethren from the surrounding country soon began to come into the village, and call on him for instruction where they might find entertainment among their friends. The master of the house appeared very hospitable, inviting them to partake of his brandy, which they did, with what would be thought moderation. He turned to me and pleasantly said, he `supposed it would be useless to invite me to partake,' considering my business. I as pleasantly replied, that 'we had been in the same habit, but seeing the, evil of it, we had abandoned it,' and I hoped they would do the same." The result of Joseph Tallcot's concern was, that he was invited to read his address before a committee of the Synod; the committee in its report, approved of its being read before the whole body. This he did, and says: "After the reading they invited me again into the committee room, and asked me many questions, desiring me to use entire freedom in making any remarks I wished, as it was a new subject to them, and I could probably suggest a course that would be proper for them to take. I told them I had now accomplished what I conceived duty had required, and as they were men of understanding, I should feel satisfied to leave them to take their own course. The marks of sympathy I received from this respectable body, and the accommodating disposition they manifested toward me, in my lonely and peculiar position, I hope ever to remember with gratitude.
A few days after returning home I received a paper containing my address, together with the resolutions of the Synod fully approving it, and solemnly declaring that, from that time, they would abandon the use of ardent spirits except for medical purposes; that they would speak against its common use from the pulpit ;that they would seek for and give preference to laborers who would comply with their views on the subject, and use their influence to prevail with others to follow their example."
This incident has been dwelt upon at more length because the subject which Joseph Tallcot had at heart is one of vital interest to earnest people to-day. Sarah Tallcot was recommended as a minister in 1808, and accompanied by her husband, took long journeys to make religious visits and attend meetings in different parts of the State and in Canada.
The practice of the Society of furnishing its preachers with certificates
to travel and hold meetings, led to a variety of valuable results. It tended
toward raising all sections of the society to the same level, by making meetings
and individuals known to each other. Each member knew or might know
the names of some of the prominent Friends in every meeting in the world.
A Friend coming from England knowing that "Young America" had no picture
books, was careful to bring a goodly store, to the joy of childhood.
Their son, Richard Tallcot began the mercantile business in his early youth in Aurora. In 1812 he established himself at Ledyard, at the place which still bears his name, and remained there until 1825, when he removed to Skaneateles. He was an upright, benevolent man, a good citizen and strong in the faith of his fathers.
The other participants in the affairs of these first meetings, whose names appear, were Ruth Irish and Susanna Dennis, and John Winslow and his family, from Dartmouth, via White Creek. They came about 1804. Samuel and Elizabeth Willetts from New Jersey in 1805. Jacob and Katy Haight, George West who lived in Fleming and had a ride of twelve miles or more to meeting, John Bowen, Henry Pearsall, Isaac Haight and Welcome Mosher, the last named from Dartmouth. He had been disowned for joining the army of the revolution, having returned to the peaceable ways of his fathers, he was by his request restored to membership and remained a valued member the rest of his days.
Turning to the pages of the old record of Scipio monthly meeting, we learn that the first assembly of the kind was held " the 11th of 4th month, 1808."
That Joseph Tallcot was made clerk of the men's meeting, and Hannah Whippo, of the women's. Both were re-appointed annually for eight years.
The women's meeting appointed its own officers, received reports from its subordinate meetings, dealt with its offending members and had its own treasury for charitable purposes.
It could not issue or receive certificates of membership, nor disown nor receive members without the ratification of the men's meeting. The men were not thus restricted, yet all action in which both bodies were mutually interested, being officially reported to the women, and thus recorded, "women friends concurring therein,"--we see they had the rights of protest and of non-concurrence.
At these meetings the secular and other interests of the Society were considered, also cases of delinquent members; the queries were read and their answers pondered. The former are subjoined, to give an idea of the plain living and high thinking required of this peculiar people :
"1st Query. Are Friends careful to attend all our meetings for religious worship and discipline; is the hour observed; and are they clear of sleeping and of all other unbecoming behaviour ?
"2d Query. Are love and unity maintained as becomes brethren; if differences arise, is due care taken speedily to end them; and do Friends avoid and discourage tale-bearing and detraction?
"3d Query. Are Friends careful to keep themselves, their own, and other Friends' children under their care, in plainness of speech, behaviour and apparel, and do they endeavor by example and precept to train them up in a religious life and conversation, consistent with our Christian profession? Are the Scriptures of Truth frequently read in Friends' families, and do they extend a due care in these respects towards others under their tuition?
"4th Query. Do Friends avoid and discourage the use of distilled spirituous liquors, excepting for purposes strictly medicinal; and are they clear of frequenting taverns and of attending places of diversion?"
In one instance in 1810, the answer to this query concerning intoxicants, says, "clear as far as appears, unless using spirituous liquors at raisings be considered an exception" In a time when building was common, these exceptions afforded a good deal of latitude. It is encouraging to see how much the present prevailing ideal and practice here are in advance of the reach of the most temperate people, seventy years ago. No doubt due to the faithful work done by them.
"5th Query. Are the circumstances of the poor, and of those who appear likely to require assistance, duly inspected; is relief seasonably afforded them, and are they advised and assisted in such employments as they are capable of; and are their children, and all others under our care, instructed in school learning, to fit them for business?
"6th Query. Do any keep company with persons not of our Society, on account of marriage; do parents connive at their keeping company with such, and do any attend the marriages of those who go out from us, or marriages accomplished by a priest?
"7th Query. Are Friends clear of bearing arms, of complying with military requisitions, and of paying any fine or tax in lieu thereof ?
"8th Query. Are there any deficient in performing their promises, or paying their just debts ; do any extend their business beyond their ability to manage, as becomes our religious profession ; and are those who give occasion for fear on these accounts, timely labored with, for their preservation and recovery ?
"9th Query. Is care taken seasonably to deal with offenders in the spirit of meekness, and agreeably to discipline ?
"10th Query. Are the answers to the queries forwarded by subordinate meetings, the substance of, and founded on, the answers from the preparative meetings?"
The answers to the above were made every quarter by the overseers to the preparative meeting, thence referred to, read, acted on, and recorded by the monthly meeting; thence, through the same process, by the quarterly meeting ; and lastly, they went to the yearly meeting, where they rested in the archives of the Society.
If those of ,us who once listened twelve times in the year to these questions, which sometimes involved criticisms of our lives, have not verified Solomon's wise saying, it has not been through lack of training.
In scanning these records from 1808 to 1822, but nine cases of disownment for other causes than "marrying out," are discovered. On every page appears an infraction of the discipline in this regard. This inflexibility lost the Society many members.
One of the nine unfaithful accepted the post of paymaster in the army, in the war of 1812, and was disowned therefor, in these words:
"C. A., having had a right of membership with us, but not taking heed to the manifestations of Truth in his own heart, has so far deviated from the peaceable principles of our Society, as to be employed in the army; we therefore disown him from being any longer a member with us, until by amendment of life, he makes satisfaction for his outgoing."
Certificates of removal were furnished all members by the meeting they left, addressed to the one within whose limits they settled. These papers, prepared by committees appointed to investigate the affairs of persons removing, stated that they were members, had settled their temporal concerns satisfactorily, etc. If such a report could not be truthfully made, the reason was stated. A communication from Dartmouth advised, in regard to a member it had sent, that his acknowledgment of wrong in suing another Friend, before he left, should not be accepted unless he refunded the costs of the suit. It is pleasant to know that he was equal to the test, and complied with the requirement. Another trait of the Society, was care to be temperate in the use of language. The desire not to overstate, often led to the use of the negative form of expression; thus, in reporting a visit to a requester, "The Committee does not find but that his life and conversation are, in a good degree, orderly." All cases of imprisonment or distraint for testimony against war were reported annually.
Besides the queries already cited, there was a word of counsel for as many of the exigencies of life as could be generalized. There were advices against reading pernicious books, for moderation on festive and all other occasions, in the furniture of the house and in the manner of living, on the necessity of being provided with "correctly written wills, disposing of property according to justice, that harmony in families might be promoted."
Friends were desired to avoid any act by which the right of slavery might be acknowledged, and were admonished in these terms, to remember those who had been held as slaves: "The state of those who have been held as slaves, by Friends, or by their predecessors, calls for serious inquiry and close examination, how far they are clear of withholding from them or their children, that assistance which may be found to be their just rights; and the descendants of those Friends who have held them in bondage, are affectionately entreated to attend to the openings of duty on this subject."
"Even if no such obligations to this people existed amongst us, it is worthy of serious consideration, whether there is any object of beneficence more deserving of attention, than that of training up the youth of this injured part of the human family, in such virtues, principles and habits, as may render them useful and respectable members of the community."
Listen to this counsel, the purest ethical science: " Friends are advised
to be cautious in receiving collections or bequests for the use of the poor,
or for other purposes of Society, from persons who have fallen short of the
payment of their just debts, although they may be legally discharged by the
voluntary act of their creditors; for, until such persons have discharged
their debts, their possessions cannot, in equity, be called their own."
The subject of a suitable meeting house claimed the early attention of the growing settlement. A gift of three acres of ground for this purpose, and for a burial place, had been received. Neither steam nor electricity then infused the spirit of hurry into all human doings. So we need not be surprised that a year and more passed, before a committee, charged with the matter of procuring a deed for the land, finally obtained a correct form for such a paper, and completed the work.
It had been decided in 1809, to build a house 34 feet by 50, the posts 22 feet, at an estimated cost of $1,800. This decision was referred to the quarterly meeting, and passed thence to that department of the yearly meeting called the meeting for sufferings, which promptly replied that the project was on much too grand a scale, the house too large, too costly. The reason for this reference to authority lay in the fact that the yearly meeting paid a third or more, as the need might be, of the cost of building all the meeting houses in its jurisdiction, from a fund raised by tax on all its subordinate meetings, and in this way controlled any tendencies to extravagant ideas.
Scipio meeting was sure it understood its own need, and proceeded with its plan. Aaron Baker, the builder, (a Friend who came from New York), before beginning, estimated the cost of the house proposed, at $1,700. It was a nice calculation, for the actual cost was $1,728.29. The sum of $1,698.29 was assured, to begin, so there was a debt at the end, of $30, not heavy; but the taxation for building houses in other parts of the State was constant; as no church debts were permitted, the money was pledged before the house was begun.
As this house came from the hands of the builders in 1810, such it is to-day, save that the tints of the unpainted interior are mellowed by time. The aesthetic sense may not delight in the architecture of a Friends' meeting house, but if there be beauty in the fitness of things, then it can claim recognition by the canons of taste, for are not its bareness, its simplicity, typical of the nakedness of the soul in the presence of the great "I Am?" The unpainted benches and partitions of construction severely simple, and the bare floor, were all in harmony with the sober color, the stiffness of shape, and the absence of all ornament in the dress of those who worshipped within its walls. The form of the edifice, though not pleasing to the eye, gives in material shape, one of the distinctive principles of the Society, the equality of men and women in affairs of the church; the square building being convertible at will, into two equal rooms, where these coordinate bodies deliberate separately.
Soon after the completion of the house the need of a school house was considered, and ultimately one was built near the meeting house, where a school was held for a quarter or a century or more. Interest in the subject of education never wavered. The committee in charge of the schools (there were three under its supervision, with an average attendance of 80, though often many more), took its subscriptions in 1812 for school books, which they bought of the publishers, Samuel Wood and others. Alas, the list of books ordered is not given. Murray's excellent English Reader and Grammar, it is safe to say, were included. These books were afforded at reduced prices to parents, and some extra copies were useful to those children, either Friends or not, who were too poor to buy.
Whatever their text books and curriculum were, the young girls who came from
these schools "formed in 1816 a society for mutual improvement, meeting in
the school house at stated times to read original essays." Writes one
who was of the number, "A few years later, an older company of both sexes,
were in the habit of meeting at each others' homes for similar purposes,
adding to the literary part, some other matters, such as the study of botany."
They had a book club, buying to read such books as Zimmerman, Lord
Chesterfield's letters, Cowper's Task, etc. Summing up the additions
to the society by immigration and request, from the year 1808, when the monthly
meeting was instituted, to 1822, we obtain the following statement :
In 1809 there were thirty-five added. Of these was Jas. McLaughlin from Ireland, who entered by request. One who remembers him, describes him thus: "He wore long hose and knee buckles, and always walked to meeting, near or far; on monthly meeting days, the distance was ten miles. He was a sort of preacher of the olden time, not recommended by the meeting." "Truth, justice and mercy, my friends. Show me an honest man, and I will show you a Christian," was sometimes his sermon. Some prosy speaker once drew this criticism on his hapless head. "There are persons who can say more in a single sentence than others do in a long harangue," the "r" being rolled with effect. He was a ventriloquist, but from scruples of conscience, rarely used his power. It is said that once in his presence two boys were plying their fists on each other, when a voice descending, as they thought from above, caused fists suddenly to lose their force, and the grasp, its hold of the antagonist.
Asa Potter, from Uxbridge, Mass., also came in 1809 ; he was an active and useful member.
In 1814, he and his wife, Ruth Potter, opened a select school for girls in their own house, of which Phila Aldrich was teacher. They afterward removed to Aurora, where Cynthia and Sophia Southwick were the teachers. An indulged meeting was held there for the accommodation of the school. Young ladies, not members of the Society, were placed in the institution. This school was destined to mould characters which should shine in the highest walks of social life, and influence for good, the affairs of the nation. Judge Miller, of Auburn, whose ancestors were Friends, placed his daughters Lisette, afterward Mrs. Alvah Worden, and Frances Adelaide, afterward Mrs. William H. Seward - under the care and training of these Friends. Those whose privilege, it was to know these noble sisters, in their life at the Capital, can realize how unique and powerful a force they were; interested in the reforms proposed and agitated by the advanced minds of the time, they moved on the troubled sea of Washington life, during eighteen years of the darkest and most eventful period of the Nation's history.
Mrs. Worden, with a wit keen as a Damascus blade, would pierce the sophistries of the enemies of human freedom, charming while she demolished. Severely plain in their dress, one delighted by her brilliant conversational power, the other refreshed by a beautiful and saintly presence, and an ever ready sympathy. Thoroughly conversant with the politics of the day, they cheered a wearied Sumner, whose principles closed other homes to him, or discussed the cause of Woman with a distinguished foreign guest,--welcomed and gladdened a lonely teacher, or listened to the appeal of some poor Rachel grieving for children enslaved. Even animals basked in the glow of their kindness and love.
Thus all things found place, in the rounded fullness of their lives.
Aaron Baker and his family from New York City, came in 1809.
Wilbur and Susanna Dennis requested for their children Cyrus, Ann Eliza, and Seneca.
In 1810 the number added was fifty-seven including adults and children. Of these Jonathan and Sarah Swan are best re-membered. He was engaged in mercantile affairs in Aurora until 1820. Their home was one of the social centres of their time.
In 1811 there were thirty-two arrivals, of these, the names which some of us may recognize, are Peleg and Eunice White, the latter of whom died two years ago, having lived a century; William S., and Eliza Burling, and Sarah T., wife of Humphry Howland. William S. Burling and Sarah T. Howland were clerks of the Monthly Meetings of the men and women respectively, for years.
In 1812, thirty were added, of whom one, Wm. Green,* (*Since Deceased) now lives at Union Springs. Another, Elizabeth, second wife of Aaron Baker, a woman of much excellence, died a few years ago at the age of ninety-five.
In 1813, twenty-seven arrived. Among these were John and Elizabeth Earl from Rhode Island, and Gardiner and Rhoda Wainer of Dartmouth. Gardiner Wainer, was a nephew of the celebrated colored sea captain and philanthropist, Paul Cuffee.
In 1814, the whole number of arrivals was fifty. Thomas J. and Mary Alsop, came in this year. The few years following their marriage, were spent in his native town of Hudson. But Mary, who was a (laughter of Benjamin Howland, yearned for the home of her youth, so they removed to Cayuga. Not long after, Thomas Alsop opened a store at Sherwood in partner-ship with Humphry Howland. Unlike the common practice of the store-keepers of that time, they bore their testimony against drinking ardent spirits, by not furnishing it to customers. In 1821 they left the business, succeeded in it by Slocum Howland, and settled on a farm four miles west of Scipioville. Their home was a veritable Boffin's Bower. A genial influence radiated from its founders, who welcomed and sheltered the homeless, treated lovingly the boys of the neighborhood, who found here a spot where they felt themselves not "in the way," and so wrapped the congenial guest in its atmosphere of cheerful good-will that a visit there gave a foretaste of the ideal home.
Phebe Field, from Westchester County, claims special mention, she being a more than ordinary preacher and a woman of influence.
In 1815, forty-five were added by arrivals and requests. This reminiscence is from one of the former, a daughter of Cornelius and Abigal Weeks, who came from Cape Cod, Mass. The journey occupied twenty-seven days; coming in the winter they reached the end of the dreary pilgrimage on the last day of the year, 1814. The roads west from Albany were bad. The wagon broke at Oneida, and they were obliged to take shelter in a wigwam, while it was mended. The mother drove, and the father and two young men in company, Thomas and James Hoxie, walked. (The last named with his wife, still lives where they established themselves on their marriage in 1820.) After their arrival the daughter was sent to the school, under the auspices of the meeting, taught by Cornelius and Joseph Wing. There were thirty or forty pupils. The range of study was not extensive, but included some grammar.
In 1816, only sixteen arrivals are recorded. Of these, John E. Williams of Rhode Island, was well known to some of us.
In 1817, the eastern part of the State sent twelve to the growing settlement.
In 1818, twelve came from Amawalk, Galway, Sandwich and Little Egg Harbor.
In 1819, thirty-two arrived, among these Lydia Philadelphia Mott, of English parentage, and named for the city where the family found a home. She was reared in the Episcopal Church, and the simple ways of her adopted sect were but a thin disguise, which rather heightened the effect of the culture and grace which careful training gives to the upper classes of England. She was an admirable teacher and a preacher; a member of Scipio monthly meeting, though she lived and taught in Skaneateles, calling her school "The Hive." She had a genius for benevolence. Her sympathy for suffering never slumbered, nor did any need find her aid wanting.
In 1820 fifteen were added. Susanna Marriott was one of this number. She came from near New York, and took the school in Aurora, once in charge of Asa and Ruth Potter. The coining of this rare teacher and remarkable woman was an event in the history of this part of the county, from which few persons now living here do not derive benefit, either directly or indirectly. Indeed the importance of the event extended to a wide circle beyond the county; one might say, it marked an era in Western New York. Many who have since graced the cultured walks of life as teachers, writers, or in society, were her pupils, and all cherish her memory with a fervency mingled with awe, seldom equaled in similar relations in life. The salient trait of her character was strength; but she was much besides; she was large-hearted, philanthropic, just, loving, though often stern. She gave the rare opportunities her school afforded for higher education, to many who could not have otherwise enjoyed them providing both board and tuition for such assistance as they could render in the household, "which" as one of her beneficiaries remarks, "was no more than I needed for exercise." This lady writes of telling the venerable teacher, years after, how grateful she felt for the rare chance she had enjoyed. The reply was, that though she had helped hundreds in that way, it had been no pecuniary loss, but "perhaps the oil and the meal had been blessed on that account." She had a varied life; born and educated in England, and orphaned in early youth. A sea voyage being recommended for impaired health, she came to America in 1793, in the company of Deborah Darby and Rebecca Young, ministering Friends. She was then seventeen years old. The yellow fever prevailing in Philadelphia, she tarried on Long Island until it had subsided, and then removed to that city, where she was active in all charitable work. Her cousin, James Ecroyd, moved to the wilds of Pennsylvania, called the "Beech Woods." She accompanied him to attend to his domestic concerns, and she endured the privations of frontier life with a brave, cheerful spirit. Afterward in caring for her brother's large family of motherless children, her unusual powers and gifts for the teaching and for the discipline of youth, were developed. Thus was her vocation discovered; thenceforth she taught, until nearly fourscore. In some instances three generations were her pupils. She espoused the anti-slavery cause at its beginning, with ardor, and was a reader of the Liberator for years. By most careful abstinence, she bore her testimony against using the products of slave labor. She once told the writer that she was implicated in the wrong only in the use of paper; this was unavoidable, and, being made of cotton which had done one work, cost no increase of unrequited toil. She loved animals; the cultivation of flowers was a delight to her-probably the first verbena in a country garden was a scarlet, which grew a mass of brilliant bloom for her the wallflowers, and the daisies too, figured in long array, in memory of the English home. Dr. Alexander Thompson, one of the best florists and botanists of his day, said he owed his taste in this direction, to her.
This sketch of one of the best educators of her time must suffice. Could less be said where so much more is merited? When the world learns that faithful teachers are its best benefactors, the story of such lives will be told and treasured with care.
In 1821, twenty-three arrivals are noted. Among these were the young man, now the venerable Mathias Hutchinson, and his parents, from Buckingham, Pennsylvania. A letter from him on Christmas day last, in a hand as perfect as copper-plate, says; "I am eighty-four years old today. In the spring of 1821, I moved with my parents to Bradley's, now called Northville. In the fall of 1819 I traveled through this section of the country, making a journey of 1,940 miles on horseback." Further on he bears testimony to the good sermons he heard from Phebe Field and Sarah Tallcott, who, with Martha Tupper, were the only preachers in Scipio meeting for a long period.
The most of the settlers in the above estimate, with some not enumerated,
established themselves within a radius of ten or twelve miles, from the Meeting
house. There were indulged meetings for members more remote, at Amaziah
Taber's, near Owasco Lake, at Elmira, at Salmon Creek, at Hector, at Union
Springs, at Sempronius, at Aurora, and at North Street; all under the care
of committees from the monthly meeting. Salmon Creek meeting dates
from 1809; it was held sometimes in Paul Cogswell's house, sometimes in John
Kenyon's, until a house for worship was built about 1819. Welcome Mosher,
Jas. McLaughlin, and Samuel Green, Samuel and Elizabeth Bull, and others,
belonged to this meeting.
Hector meeting was allowed in 1813 at the house of Cornelius Carman. Union Springs meeting followed in 1814, held at the house of John Earl; Aurora meeting in 1816. North Street preparative was instituted in 1817, and the meeting house west of Scipioville was built in 1820. Sempronius, Skaneateles and Elmira were severally granted preparative meetings in 1819. The one at Elmira was held in the house of Townsend Carpenter.
The members who attended Skaneateles meeting were Wm. Willets and family, David Arnold and family, Charity Thorne and her family, and others. Those at North Street, were Chas. Gifford, Aaron Baker, Joseph Hoxie, and their families, also Joseph and Lois Estes, and others. Union Springs, John and Elizabeth Earl, Wm. S. and Eliza Burling, Elisha and Margaret Southwick and their daughters, and Mary Hart and her family.
Before quitting the pleasant paths of reminiscence, for-getting, for the moment, the great schism, and also the order of chronology, let us take note of the coming of another Friend, originally from Burlington, New Jersey. Josiah Letchworth, with his wife Ann and their family settled in Scipio in 1831. Such a man is an event in the history of the place he calls home. He identified himself with the public weal. Interested in the temperance cause, he gave it both pen and voice, with a zeal that never waned. His interest in the education and training of youth took him to the public schools of his vicinity, where he sometimes gave lectures prepared for the purpose. More fond of humor than some thought befitted the sober sect, his sallies of mirth were often a bright disguise for some truth he would enforce. Many of the children of his time will cherish to old age, the memory of the smile and the word of cheer he never forgot to give them. How few realize the influence of these ripples of kindness, impalpable as the light and air which report them. He loved and cultivated flowers and sometimes indulged in writing poetry. In short he enjoyed life with zest, because he knew how to get the best of it.
Out of the past beams another radiant face. In the autumn of 1843, the row of women who sat on the facing; seat in North Street meeting of orthodox Friends, was brightened by the addition of a brilliant and beautiful woman whom David Thomas had brought from Lockport to preside in his home.
Edna D. Thomas was a native of Massachusetts, but came to Western New York
in early youth. From the time of the construction of the Erie canal,
she lived in Lockport ; thus identified with its growth, and its interests,
site was as it were, a patron saint of the city. Then the wife of a
physician, Dr. Isaac Smith, her warm heart learned the sorrows of a wide
range of life; and it is safe to say, that no soul hungry for sympathy or
aid, failed to find her aglow to minister to its need. She was
emphatically, "Everybody's friend ;" especially active and interested in
the Temperance as well as in the Anti-Slavery cause. At a time when
intemperance was alarmingly prevalent in Lockport, she gave the impetus to
founding a Women's Temperance Society, of which she was made president.
She braved mobs to give her presence to Anti-Slavery meetings, when
it was the fashion to mob these gatherings. She also believed in the
equal rights of woman and never lacked the courage of her principles. In
a. verbal contest, a sparkling flash of eye and speech would transfix her
foe, whose enjoyment of the humor was more than an antidote to the chagrin
In the season of flowers David Thomas's garden was heavily taxed to supply her flower mission. On meeting days, a basket of bouquets generally adorned the lobby of the meeting house, which were dispensed by her, at the close of the solemn hour.
When this life, so full, and brave, and earnest, was ended, though measuring more than four score years, those who loved her, felt, not that an aged friend was gone, but that a strong, true woman was taken from the midst of her usefulness, and that they must henceforth miss the welcoming smile and the hand-grasp, which had cheered all, blessed with the friendship of this young spirit endowed with the glory of a grand old age.
Your historian has no record of the years from 1822 until 1827. Greenfield and Amy Iden came from Buckingham, Bucks County, Penn., in Nov. 1822, and settled permanently, west of the Ridge road, between Sherwood and Poplar Ridge. Both lived to be nearly ninety years of age. He leaves this legacy of business integrity which deserves record. Years of prosperity succeeding adversity, with a nobleness that can never be too much admired, he returned to his former home, and sought and paid those he owed. He was a man of thought, well read, and so far in advance of his time, as to be an abolitionist.
The venerable John Searing came from Long Island and settled not far from his present home, west of Poplar Ridge, in May, 1823. Nearly sixty years has the community in which he lives, enjoyed the influence and example of this model farmer and upright man.
John and Sarah Ann Merritt, well remembered by the community of which they were respected members for many years, came from Dutchess Co., in the spring of 1825, bringing three sons and four daughters. They established themselves a mile east of Poplar Ridge. Isaac and Susan Jacobs and their six children came from Uwchlan, Chester Co., Penn., in the same year, and eventually made a permanent home near King's Ferry. He, like his brother-in-law, David Thomas, loved the cultivation of fruit and flowers, and did much in this way to improve the taste of Southern Cayuga. He was also an active opponent of Slavery. The families of both, as well as many other Friends, abstained from the use of dry goods and groceries which were the product of slave labor. This required self-denial in many ways. The groceries were often not of the best quality, the texture of the prints was coarse and there were but four varieties of pattern, which gave little scope for the exercise of taste by the conscientious, who recognized each others' faithfulness, in the figures of their dresses.
Nehemiah and Sarah S. Merritt, from Dutchess Co., settled east of Poplar Ridge in the spring of 1827. Sarah S. Merritt was a devoted Friend, prominent in the affairs of the Society and earnest for the maintenance of its testimonies. She lived nearly ninety four years, and retained her mental powers until near the end.
Wm. and Mary King, of blessed memory, with their sons John and Alfred, came from Stroudsburg in 1828, originally from England.
With hesitation I now approach the difficult, delicate task of speaking of the division
In midsummer of the year 1828, the division occurred in the Scipio monthly
meeting of Friends. It had transpired in the yearly meeting, held in
that spring in New York City, so it was inevitable that the subordinate meetings
take the same course or identify themselves with one or the other party ;
a crisis of trial, grief and bitterness. The membership in New York
meeting was 18,445. It divided thus :
One noble deed, the last unitedly done by this body, brightens this period of fierce dissension, an act of humanity toward a part of the despised African race in North Carolina. There was a pause in the strife and all agreed to raise $3,000 to assist the yearly meeting of North Carolina in removing from that state, a large number of colored people who had been manumitted, and were liable to be re-enslaved if they remained in their native land. The quarterly meetings afterward paid their quotas, the money was raised, paid to the treasurer, and did its beneficent work. This episode illustrates remarkably how heads could differ hotly, and hearts unite and respond to the holiest dictates of duty.
The controversy was lengthened by the large property interests of the society, both educational and religious. As no compromise was reached, it is due the larger body to say, that a settlement was proposed by it, and rejected by the other. In Philadelphia, the property was adjudged to the smaller body, it being in the judgment of the Courts "The Society of Friends."
In New York, the Chancellor decided for the larger body, saying in his decision,
that their creeds though differently expressed, were substantially the same.
In 1851, the larger body, in the City of New York, divided the property
thus decreed to it, with the orthodox Friends, to mutual satisfaction. The
same was done in Baltimore as late as 1865. In this church without
a written creed, this nursery of character and of strong individuality, it
is not so strange that differences finally became irreconcilable, as that
a Society thus founded, should continue for nearly 200 years, without serious
Often in history, a single life precipitates and formulates, feelings and
principles, which had, as it were, been in the air. So it must have
been in this instance.
Such was Elias Hicks, whose name was given to the larger body, at the division. As it never accepted the designation, it has been avoided in these pages. In reading his life I can not see that he taught any startling innovations on the ancient doctrines, so far as I have read or understand them. To give his thought correctly permit some extracts from a letter written by him shortly before his death, to a friend : "Some may query, what is the cross of Christ? To this I answer, it is the perfect law of God, written on the tablet of the heart of every rational creature, in such indelible characters that all the power of mortals cannot erase it. Neither is there any power or means given to the children of men, but this inward law and light, by which the true and saving knowledge of God can be obtained; and by this inward law and light all will be either justified or condemned. It is evident that nothing but this inward light and law as it is heeded and obeyed, ever did or ever can make a true and real christian and child of God."
No division occurred at this time (1827) in New England, nor in North Carolina.
Some years after, a dissatisfaction arose in regard to the writings of Joseph
John Gurney, for just the opposite reason to that which caused the dissent
from the views of Elias Hicks. It was urged that Joseph John Gurney,
taught too literally the doctrines of the Anglican Church, and held lightly,
or failed to emphasize the principle of the "indwelling light," while his
life also was one of such exalted goodness, that none could doubt the source
of its illumination. This ended in a division which also reached the
Scipio meeting of orthodox Friends.
The pen so unequal to the portrayal which it would have gladly omitted, in closing, would pay a tribute to the people whose light has vindicated itself by the nearness of the work and walk of many of its followers, to the Truth. May the brightness and beauty of such sainted lives, as Pennington, Barclay, John Woolman, Antony Benezet, Elizabeth Fry, and 'a host of others, blind us to this dark page. Let us only remember how much this peculiar and remarkable little body has contributed to the growth of true christian civilization.
It was first to place woman beside man in the church, and is still alone in that regard, for which she will embalm its memory, if ever the need be. Its William Penn taught an Indian policy which our government would do well to learn. From its beginning its testimony against war has been unflinching. It early purged itself of complicity with human slavery, and furnished some of the most effective fighters against that iniquity the doctrine of immediate, unconditional emancipation, which became the watchword of English and American Abolitionists, was the thought of the quakeress, Elizabeth Heyrick.
Its Benj. Lundy began. the Anti-Slavery agitation in this country, to which its Whittier, consecrated his muse and its Lucretia Mott, bore her testimony. In short in every field of work for humanity and for the growth of justice and truth in the earth, may be found, not lagging, but foremost, members of the different Societies of Friends. Though no longer a unit, their methods of work are similar.
Whether they are one and all, to lose their distinctive place among the sects, is not for us to forecast, assured that the "Light" which has led them, that maketh for righteousness endureth forever.
From 1808 to 1821 inclusive the following members were added to Scipio Monthly meeting of Friends :
1808.--Nine Partners, Dutchess Co.: Wm. Mosher, Jonathan Dean ; Hannah Mosher and three children-Deborah, Sarah and Henry. Chappaqua, Westchester Co.: Samuel and Katy Weeks. Amawalk, Westchester Co.: Abraham and Elizabeth Lockwood. New York City : Aaron and Sarah Baker. Washington Co., N. Y. , John and Mary Kenyon and their son John; Ruth Allen ; David and Wealthy Frink and three daughters.
1809.--Washington Co., N. Y.: Nicholas Sherman. Coeyman's: Benjamin Stanton. Galway: Isaiah and Meribah Cogswell and three children. Duanesburg: Silas and Abigail Cook; Philip Allen; Benj. Hoag and wife and four children. Uxbridge, Mass.: Alonzo and Wait Thayer; Asa Potter. Northbridge, Mass.: Samuel, Ezra and Olive Southwick. Plainfield, New Jersey,: Levi Gaskell; Agnes Haines; Wm. and Rachel Webster and their seven children. Shrewsbury, New Jersey: Thomas Hance; Wilbur and Susannah Dennis requested for their children, Cyrus, Ann Eliza, and Seneca.
1810.--Nine Partners: Ruth and Mary Mosher. Hudson, N. Y.: Elizabeth Aldrich. Hardwrick, New Jersey: John and Anna Laign and five children; John and Rebecca Brotherton and six minor children, of whom Enoch Brotherton is the only survivor. Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey: Samuel and Hannah Shourds, their seven sons and two daughters. Dartmouth, Mass.: Joseph Lapham; Phebe Easton. New Bedford, Mass.: Peleg and Eliza Slocum; Lazarus Ewer. Easton, N. Y.: Elizabeth Mosher and daughter Amy. Duanesburg: Isaac and Abigail Higgins. Galway, N. Y.: Jonathan and Sarah Swan and son Jonathan; Charles and Mary Carman; Amaziah and Judith Allen and three children. Dartmouth, Mass.: Benjamin Howland, Smith and Sylvia, with their children Humphrey, Frederic, Slocum, Kijah, Sylvia, Howland and Cornelius.
1811.--Dartmouth, Mass.: Peleg and Eunice White and their four children-Abner, Amy, David and Susan; Sarah Smith; Cook and Rebecca Howland. New York City: Wm. S. and Eliza Burling and their children-Mary, Caroline, Thomas and William. Danby: Elisha and Margaret Southwick and their daughters, Cynthia, Sophia and Phebe. Chappaqua, Westchester Co.: John Mosher and nine children-Henry, Hannah, Loretta, Deborah, Sarah, Judith, Isaac, Israel and Samuel. Amawalk: Sarah T. Howland, wife of Humphry Howland. Uxbridge, Mass.: Benjamin Bowen.
1812.--DeRuyter, Madison Co.: David and Rest Wood and nine children; Isaac Scott and his wife; Joseph and Martha Darbyshire. Rhode Island: Jonathan and Abigail Green and seven children-Sarah, Abigail, Anna, David, William, Joseph and Jacob. Amawalk: Jane Purdy; Sarah Underhill; Anne Bloomer. Oblong: Wm. and Mary Wooden. New York: Elizabeth, second wife of Aaron Baker. Pennsylvania: Samuel Green.
1813.--Rhode Island: John and Elizabeth Earl and Samuel Williams. Easton:
Jacob Coffin. Coeyman's: Mehitable Wing and four children. Long
Island : Ruth, wife of Asa Potter. New Bedford : Samuel and Lydia Janney
and family. Dartmouth: (Gardner and Rhoda Wainer and son Michael);
Jonathan and Edith Sisson.
1814.--Dartmouth, (Abigail Weeks); Jos. Kirby; Meribah Slocum. New Bedford: Jos. and Deborah Howland and their .four children; Obadiah Janney; Ruth Swift and seven children; Wm. Davis; Jno. and Catherine Janney and nine children; Rachel Sharpstone; Caleb Manchester, joined by request. Hudson: Thos. and Mary Alsop and son John; Esek and Elizabeth Mosher. Amawalk: Jesse and. Phebe Field and daughter Deborah; Jos. and Sarah Kniffin. Easton: Joseph and Eleanor Hoxie and family. Duanesburg: Jos. and Lois Estes. Qnensbury: Isaac and Rebecca Starbuck. Chappaqua: Israel Cock and Elizabeth Cock.
1815.--Saratoga: Daniel and Barnabas Wing ; Sarah Wing and three children; Ruth Wing. New York: Mary, wife of Richard Tallcot. Troy: Mary Hart, and children-Joseph, Sarah, Ann, Jane and John. Galway: Josiah and Dorcas Thompson and six children; Arnold and Huldah Comstock; received by request--Elisha and Hannah Eldridge received by request---Lucretia. Bowen; Clark Morrison. Sandwich, Mass.: Thomas and James Hoxie ; Lazarus and Lydia Ewer. Creek Monthly Meeting: Major and Millicent Marshall; Austin Cross; Thomas Frost. Dartmouth : Wm. Smith; Barnabas Kirby; Riscom and May Kirby, six children.
1816.--Dartmouth: Elihu and Sarah Slocum and sons, Elihu and Ezra. Galway:
Jerothman and Olive Allen. New Bedford: Wm. Dillingham. Chappaqua:
Samuel Gale. Easton: Jas. and Margaret Kenyon; Benj. Kenyon. Westport:
Perry and Elizabeth Sisson. Queensbury: Jno. and Hannah Winslow. Rhode Island:
John E. Williams.
1818.--Amawalk: Willis and Ann Smith ; Abel and Phebe Underhill; Rebecca, wife of Daniel Tallcot. Little Egg Harbor: Rachel Brown and Beulah Gray. Galway: Zebulon and Hannah Hall; Jno. and Phebe Hoxie. Sandwich: Betsey Hoxie.
1819.--Saratoga: Jos. S. and Judith Allen, and Eben Allen. Bridgewater.: Jos. and Submit Frost, and seven minor children; Lydia P. Mott and Arthur her son. Chappaqua: Jacob and Eliza Griffin and two daughters. Amawalk: Wm. and Phebe Birdsall and nine minor children. Galway: Phiny Sexton; Anna S. Kenyon.
1820.--Galway: Samuel and Elizabeth Hall. New York: Isaac and Sarah Sutton and their five children. Chappaqua: Anna Underhill and two daughters.
1821.--Buckingham, Penn.: Thos. and Ann Casey Hutchinson their son Mathias Hutchinson. New York: Ambrose Cock, seven minor children.
NOTE. --The writer desires to return thanks to John Searing for the use of records, without which the foregoing paper could not have been written; and also to Samuel D. Otis for the loan of books, containing information and history of value concerning the Society of Friends.
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