|[Page 3: The History of Quakerism]
are the Adobe Acrobat documents that have been prepared so far,
the Kouroo Contexture, that deal with subjects in the history of
The document on Brown University provides the early
history of the institution,
while it was a Baptist institution known as
Rhode Island College, and later.
document on Friend John Kellam will tell you about the life of one of
in town, who worked until he retired as a City Planner
for the city of Providence.
The documents on World War II, filed
on the "Give War a Chance" (!) page, will tell you
general context of his experiences during that war, during which he
insisted upon the Quaker Peace Testimony and got stuck into a federal maximum
security penitentiary (just in case WWII happens to be ancient history for you :-)
The document on manumission from slavery contains descriptions of the various
papers that are on file under the eaves of the Providence town hall
-mingled in among the ancient real estate records- by which various local black slaves
have been "set free."
document on Friend Moses Brown will tell you about the life of the
of that local school (he was really one grand guy, plus,
imagine this, he had a wart
on the end of his nose the size and color
of a small cherry that didn't slow him down
even one little bit), and
about what has happened at that school subsequently.
-Did you know that it was at the Moses Brown School that *Astroturf* was first tested?
The document on piracy contains many fascinating facts about the years
Rhode Island excelled in privateering, and at piracy (they
didn't term us "Rogue Island"
and "the sewer of New England" for
The document labeled "REAL ROMANCE" is a heartwarming true story about
a cross-eyed man, and the beautiful woman who loved him.
In regard to the document "KIDNAPPED QUAKER GIRL": What would you do as a parent
if Indians came to kidnap your little auburn-haired daughter?
a Quaker, a believer in the Peace Testimony, you can't just shoot at
them. --But then,
what happens? Under such extreme circumstances does
our Peace Testimony fail?
file on the impact of religion on Rhode Island contains information not
just as to
the history of Quakerism, but also as to the history of the
Baptists here, and the Catholics.
The document about the life of Samuel Slater contains some information about
the beginning of the Industrial Revolution here in America.
The document about Saylesville and Smithfield offers information about Quaker meetings
in the surrounding environs of Providence, Rhode Island.
The document on
the international slave trade, the "middle passage," documents
years during which a significant percentage of Africans on the Middle
voyages were being brought over in our Rhode Island bottoms:
The beginnings of Quakerism in England and America
Quakerism continues into its 2d century
Quakerism continues into the first years of its 3d century
Quakerism continues during the remainder of its 3d century
Quakerism continues into its 4d century
Quakerism continues into this new century
Quakerism has a long history, some of it dangerous and all of it fascinating.
The Quaker Peace Testimony
to what you might have been imagining, the Quaker Peace Testimony
not spring righteously all at once out of somebody's pious head. It is,
by way of radical contrast, something practical that has had a long
of development and permutation, and testing by experience.
still some will tell you "Hey, give war a chance!")
Smithfield and Saylesville Friends
Quaker meetings at Saylesville and Smithfield in the environs of
Providence, Rhode Island, were in existence well before there was a
meetinghouse inside the city limits.
The oldest Friends meetinghouse in continuous use in New England
about the Quaker meetinghouse at Lincoln in the environs of
Providence, Rhode Island. It's like we worshiped old stuff, or
(No, we don't.)
The Great Meetinghouse of the Friends in Newport, Rhode Island
Information about the Quaker silent "Great Meetinghouse" and jiving black
dancehall at Newport, Rhode Island.
Samuel B. Comstock, a Quaker Failure
very many birthright Quakers have attempted to set themselves up
chieftain on a tropical atoll in the Pacific, with their every
creaturely need catered to.
Not very many birthright Quakers have
chopped sleeping people in the head with an ax.
In fact, I think I can
count them on one finger.
The father of this woebegone young man
originated just to the north of Providence,
Rhode Island at the
Smithfield monthly meeting.
Although he gave his son the benefit of a guarded Quaker education at our school
at Nine Partners, the school at which Friend James Mott and Friend Lucretia Coffin
taught -- well, the lad blew it. The birthright Friend blew it bigtime.
He spoiled the lives
of others, not to mention spoiling his own life
and disgracing everyone around him.
(You've probably never heard
of this young Quaker, until now. Quakers in general
have a good rep, as
perhaps you've noticed. However --if we can muster sufficient
courage-- we can perhaps learn something by examining our
failures, as well as
from forever congratulating
ourselves as to our successes.)
The Influence of Religion on Rhode Island
not just as to the history of Quakerism in Rhode Island,
but also as to
the history of the Baptists here, and the Catholics.
The Quaker phrase "Speak Truth to Power"
We've figured out where this came from! -- You can't imagine where it turns out to have come from!
The great Quaker politician
you aware that there was a famous Quaker politician, before Richard
"Tricky Dick" Nixon?
Were you aware that this famous Quaker politician
was the poet John Greenleaf Whittier,
and that he was the most
influential person in Massachusetts? Were you aware he had a sister?
Say you didn't know!
Major General Nathanael Greene was a Quaker and had a limp.
to historian David McCullough on The Daily Show with Jon
Major General Nathanael Greene of the American Revolution "was
a Quaker and had a limp"?
-- Hey, this sounds like the sort of
American pseudohistory they teach the kiddies
over at the Moses Brown
The practice of Quaker disownment
Rhode Island Quaker, Jemima Wilkinson, believed that her spirit
had been taken to Heaven during an illness in 1776, so that when
she woke again
to the world she had come back not as herself but as a
manifestation of "Divine Spirit"
sent by God to warn the
unfaithful. She answered to the name "Publick Universal
and rode around on a white saddle with blue velvet facings,
dressed in men's clothing,
preaching in Rhode Island,
and Pennsylvania. Her Quaker meeting of course promptly disowned her
(at least in part because one of her sisters bore a fatherless child,
and because some of her brothers had forsaken the Peace Testimony and joined
the revolutionary army of George Washington).
having stones thrown at her, she and her faithful band retreated
to a pioneer colony
"Jerusalem" in upstate New York.
Soon after Universal Friend's death in 1819,
disintegrated. In this record, her life is considered in comparison
with other cross-dressers of the period, in the context of Quaker
practices of disownment,
in comparison with other notable members of
the Wilkinson family both in New England
and in Old England, in
the context of the religious enthusiasm being created in that period
the Reverend George Whitefield, and in the context of the initial white
in the wilderness of the Finger Lakes district.
This detailed record of a Quaker disownment process provides a step-by-step
demonstration of the process.
The disownment of Lyndon LaRouche
LaRouche is of course a piece of work. But did you know that he started
as a Quaker? (If you won't tell, I won't tell.)
The disownment of Friend John Wilbur and his "Wilburites"
What is it like, to be a Quaker and to find oneself disowned? When and why does this happen?
The 19th-Century journal of Friend Stephen Gould of Newport, Rhode Island
What sort of private journalizing and introspection and soul-searching
did the Quakers engage in during the 19th Century,
when they were back home after hours of worship together at their
meetinghouse on First Day? Find out.
The Great Splitting between the Hicksite Quakers and the Orthodox Quakers
As we know, a great mysterious split occurred among American Friends early in the 19th Century.
The followers of Friend Elias Hicks
got aholt of a clerk's table by one pair of legs,
and the opponents of
Friend Elias Hicks got aholt of that clerk's table by the other pair of
and the unity of that table was no more.
Henry David Thoreau,
in his jottings, made various invidious remarks against Quakers,
also, we discover, he worshiped with Quakers. If you check out the
circumstances of this,
you discover that all of Henry's negative
remarks are in regard to the Orthodox Friends,
and you discover that
Henry worshiped with the Hicksites.
Evaluating Henry's reaction informs us of what this great mysterious split had been all about.
Quakers had just freed themselves from involvement in human
a blot on our national history, by manumitting their black
and these people who had used to worship with their
masters had set up their own churches
such as the AME church. Some of
the newly purified whitebread Friends, such as Friend Moses Brown,
went off on a tangent of Quietism that amounted to racial apartheid:
race was an ongoing problem in America, admittedly, but for them from
it was going to be a "not our problem" problem. "Don't bother
us, we're worshiping God here."
These were the Orthodox. After the
Civil War, a whole lot of white Americans imitated them
and the result
was Jim Crow segregation, another blot on our national history.
Meanwhile, however, other of the newly purified Friends, such as Friend Lucretia Coffin Mott,
had been going off on a different tangent, one of concern and of
that amounted to integrationism or to what was
then known as "amalgamation."
These were the Hicksites.
For these Hicksites, the answer to the question "Am I my brother's keeper?"
was simply "It is what it is."
The two groups of Quakers, going in very opposite directions in regard to America's
number one problem, greatly got on each others nerves, and it seems to have been this
that tore the Religious Society of Friends into two pieces.
Thoreau chose the Hicksites (this maybe was the right choice).
New England Yearly Meeting of the RSOF
many years the Quakers met annually either in Newport or at Flushing
on Long Island. When the British army seized their
meetinghouses because they would not
assist in the war against the
Americans, Friends had to begin to meet elsewhere.
We never looked back.
The New England Friends Home in Hingham MA
there is a paradise on earth. It is the New England Friends Home on
in Hingham, Massachusetts. Most of the old people who live
there now are not Quakers,
but a Quaker worship group meets in the rec
room there on First Days.
Friend George Fox
A founding father of Quakerism. Heavy dude.
Friend Margaret Fell Fox
A founding mother of Quakerism. Just why is it that women can't preach?
Friend Elias Hicks of Jericho Monthly Meeting
are usually quite benevolent folks, but there was a time when we got
excited with one another, that we tore a table to pieces.
was more than a century and a half ago and since then we've cooled down
but it is interesting and informative to go back and look at the
pieces of that table
we were struggling over.
Friend Lucretia Coffin Mott
Lucretia and James Mott are two of my favorite people. See why.
Friend Anthony Benezet
Quaker, educator, abolitionist.
Governor William Coddington of Rhode Island
Doesn't it seem strange now, to think of a Quaker as a Governor? How ever did we carry this off?
Friend Stephen Grellet
I came from France to befriend you.
Governor Stephen Hopkins of Rhode Island
of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, who had observed the
transit of Venus,
needed to be disowned by the local Friends
meeting because he was wearing Quaker attire
while refusing to manumit
(free) his slaves. This man, Governor Stephen Hopkins,
did agree with
the idea of freedom --at least abstractly, at least to a certain
extent-- as witness
the fact that (entirely disregarding the religious
society's Peace Testimony) his shaky signature
had appeared on our
Declaration of Independence. It was such a sensitive situation that
when the Religious Society of Friends disassociated itself
from him, they didn't even
let it be generally know for several
years that this had been done.
Never again would a
state governor pretend to be a Quaker.
Friend Mary Dyer of Newport
Friend Paul Cuffe of Westport
thought he was a Quaker -- until he died and the white Quakers didn't
with the white Quakers. It is a tragic failure, and has led to
the present world.
In the present situation, the majority of Quakers
are black and live in Africa,
and in the present situation, the Quakers
of England and America are very much
whitebread and have just about
never so much as heard of these black African Quakers.
Cuffe had a white F/friend in Stephen Wanton Gould, the watch repairman
of Newport, Rhode Island. Indeed, Friend Stephen attended Friend Paul
on his deathbed.
However, later on in his life Friend Stephen, a white
man, came to abhor abolitionism,
and abolitionists, as irreligious.
Read this, try to figure it all out -- history is sad.
Friend Ann Preston
She was a Quaker, and a woman, and a medical doctor. That's an exciting life.
Friend Maria Mitchell the astronomer -
had been disowned by her monthly meeting of the Religious Society of
and then she became the first woman to discover a new comet
through a telescope.
Friend Moses Brown and his School
founder of the Moses Brown School was really one grand guy, plus,
was very very rich, plus, imagine this, he had a wart on the end of his
the size and color of a small cherry that didn't slow him down
even one little bit.
And that is only one of the four guys who have
been named "Moses Brown"!
Did you know that it was at the Moses Brown
School in Providence, Rhode Island
that *Astroturf* was first tested?
Did you know that in the winter this is the best place
to take your
kids sledding in the entire area?
Providence's favorite draft dodger
John Kellam is one of your neighbors on the East Side of Providence,
who worked until he retired as a City Planner for the
city of Providence.
These are his experiences during World War
II, during which because he insisted upon
the Quaker Peace
Testimony he got stuck into a federal maximum security penitentiary.
bet you didn't think things like that could happen in America! :-)
Friend Prudence Crandall
she was totally immersed in a river, and became a Baptist, and then got
with a Baptist reverend, and after he died she toyed with
becoming a 7th Day Adventist
or Spiritual Scientist. Yes, but *somebody
said* she was, like, a Quaker. Plus, she's famous.
Associate Member of the Cambridge, Massachusetts Monthly Meeting Joan Baez
Is there a Quaker lady who says YES to boys who say NO?
Publik Universal Friend Jemimah Wilkinson
This is about as weird as it gets.
Sometimes a Friend, sometimes merely a reverend -- but always in opposition to warfare.
Robert Purvis: the joys and perils of being rich but not quite acceptably white in America
is it like to be a rich man in America -- but not socially acceptable?
Would you imagine that because your wife was darker than you, and you
had been seen helping your wife out of a carriage in front of a large
public edifice in Philadelphia, that a mob would then burn that
pillared edifice to the ground? --With the mayor and the fire chief
watching? (What kind of America was that, in which we would do things
like that? Does it bear any resemblance at all, to the America of
Red-Headed Quaker Girl Kidnapped by Indians
would you do as a parent if Indians came to kidnap your little
auburn-haired daughter? As a Quaker, a believer in the Peace Testimony,
you can't just shoot them. --But then, what happens? Under such extreme
circumstances, does the Peace Testimony fail?
Friend John Woolman
Friend John Woolman and Henry David Thoreau were so deeply alike! However, I have been unable to verify that Thoreau ever read Woolman. Can anyone offer me a clue on this, please?
Friend Arnold "the Hatter" Buffum
The Quaker Arnold
Buffum was called "the hatter." You see, mercury was used in the
processing of felt for hats, and so hatters tended to dementia on
account of prolonged contact with poisonous fumes. Likewise, a person
like Friend Arnold, who was concerned for the wellbeing of black
Americans to the extent that he was actually helping them steal
themselves away from their obligated service, must be the victim of
some sort of dementia caused by incautious exposure to Unamerican ideas.
Governor Walter Clarke of Rhode Island
Friend Thomas Clarkson
Friend Elizabeth Fry
Friend Angelina Grimke
Some called her "Devilina" (her husband Theodore Dwight Weld was also a handfull).
Friend Sarah Grimke
She was such a force for the good, she sometimes irritated even her own little sister.
Friend Joseph John Gurney and the "Gurneyites"
Friend Edward Hicks
William and Mary Howitt
Friend John R. Kellam of Providence
John is one of your neighbors on the East Side of Providence, Rhode
Island, who worked until he retired as a City Planner for the city of
Providence. These are his experiences during World War
II, during which because he insisted upon the Quaker Peace
Testimony he got stuck into a federal maximum security penitentiary. (I
bet you didn't think things like that could happen in America! :-)
Friend James Mott
Friend Bayard Rustin
The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr's right-hand man was a Quaker.
Friend Francis Slocum
Was this little redheaded Quaker girl the original Little Orphan Annie? If so, where was Daddy Warbucks?
Friend Horod Long Hicks Gardiner Porter
apparently just as hard to keep it in your pants, in colonial New
England, as it is now.--It seems to have been especially hard to keep
it in your pants if you were around the swiving Friend Horod, whom some
persons had for no good reason been terming "The Quaker Whore." Watch
out, she'll ask that you be forgiven!
Friends Floyd and Ruth Schmoe
You know that old Oriental curse, "May you live in interesting times"?
Well, actually, this isn't an old Oriental curse at all: it's merely
something that has been made up by Westerners and put in the mouth of
their Other, which is to say, when you read a newspaper columnist and
come across this gem, you need to remember that it's merely another
chunk of a general problem Westerners have, one that travels under the
Be that as it may. This thing that you will be
reading right now, what it is about, it is about a Quaker couple in
Seattle, the Schmoes -- and it is about the "interesting times" in
which Floyd and Ruth Schmoe lived: Big wars. Big concentration camps.
Big bombs. Really bad stuff. And, it is about the fine manner in which
this Quaker couple responded.
There's no monster in this story.
There is a monster mountain, a fine big mountain, a paradise of a
mountain, Mount Rainier. There's a moral in this story, as well, a fine
big moral, a paradise of a moral.
It is that you need to live like a Schmoe.
Friend Polly Thayer Starr
Would you like to see a selfportrait of a Quaker artist, done while she was young? Did I mention, Polly was beautiful?
Friends Daniel Ricketson of New Bedford
Henry David Thoreau's good old buddy.
Friend Joseph Ricketson of New Bedford
Underground Railroad operative who helped Frederick Douglass hide from American justice and retribution.
Friend Luke Howard
Friend Luke Howard was the first real weatherman. He categorized the shapes and conditions of the clouds, etc.
Friend Abraham Redwood of Newport RI
My goodness what a cute portrait of a well-to-do Quaker! I wonder how many black slaves he benevolently provides for?
Henry David Thoreau Speaks to Quakers