The Kouroo Contexture


Page 2: Chronology

Page 4: Giving War a Chance

Page 5: Captain John Brown at Harpers Ferry

Page 6: The View from Greater Rhode Island

Page 7: Additional Materials

Page 8: Henry Thoreau

Page 9: The People of WALDEN, A WEEK, and CAPE COD

Page 10: The Orient

Page 11: The People of Concord

[Page 3: The History of Quakerism]

Here are the Adobe Acrobat documents that have been prepared so far,
out of the Kouroo Contexture, that deal with subjects in the history of Quakerism.
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.

The document on Friend John Kellam will tell you about the life of one of your neighbors
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
of the 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."
The document on Friend Moses Brown will tell you about the life of the founder
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 during which
Rhode Island excelled in privateering, and at piracy (they didn't term us "Rogue Island"
and "the sewer of New England" for exactly nothing).
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?
As 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?
The 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 s
ome 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
the many years during which a significant percentage of Africans on the Middle Passage
voyages were being brought over in our Rhode Island bottoms:

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp The beginnings of Quakerism in England and America 

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Quakerism continues into its 2d century 

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Quakerism continues into the first years of its 3d century 

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Quakerism continues during the remainder of its 3d century 

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Quakerism continues into its 4d century 

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Quakerism continues into this new century 

Quakerism has a long history, some of it dangerous and all of it fascinating.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp The Quaker Peace Testimony 

Contrary to what you might have been imagining, the Quaker Peace Testimony
did 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 history
of development and permutation, and testing by experience.
(And still some will tell you "Hey, give war a chance!")

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Smithfield and Saylesville Friends

The Quaker meetings at Saylesville and Smithfield in the environs of
Providence, Rhode Island, were in existence well before there was a Quaker
meetinghouse inside the city limits.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp The oldest Friends meetinghouse in continuous use in New England 

Information about the Quaker meetinghouse at Lincoln in the environs of
Providence, Rhode Island. It's like we worshiped old stuff, or something.
(No, we don't.)

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp 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.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Samuel B. Comstock, a Quaker Failure


Not very many birthright Quakers have attempted to set themselves up
as a 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.)

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp The Influence of Religion on Rhode Island

Information not just as to the history of Quakerism in Rhode Island,
but also as to the history of the Baptists here, and the Catholics.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp 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!

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp The great Quaker politician 

Were 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
Say you didn't know!

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Major General Nathanael Greene was a Quaker and had a limp. 

According to historian David McCullough on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,
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 School!

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp The practice of Quaker disownment

A young 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 Friend"
and rode around on a white saddle with blue velvet facings, dressed in men's clothing,
preaching in Rhode Island,
Connecticut, 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).
After 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,
her community 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
by the Reverend George Whitefield, and in the context of the initial white settlements
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.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp The disownment of Lyndon LaRouche

Lyndon LaRouche is of course a piece of work. But did you know that he started out
as a Quaker? (If you won't tell, I won't tell.)

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp 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?

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp 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.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp 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 legs,
and the unity of that table was no more.
Henry David Thoreau, in his jottings, made various invidious remarks against Quakers,
but 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.
The Quakers had just freed themselves from involvement in human enslavement,
a blot on our national history, by manumitting their black slaves,
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,
then went off on a tangent of Quietism that amounted to racial apartheid:
race was an ongoing problem in America, admittedly, but for them from then on
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 interracial involvement,
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).

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp New England Yearly Meeting of the RSOF

For many years the Quakers met annually either in Newport or at Flushing Meadows
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.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp The New England Friends Home in Hingham MA

Yes, there is a paradise on earth. It is the New England Friends Home on Turkey Hill
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.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend George Fox 

A founding father of Quakerism. Heavy dude.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Margaret Fell Fox 

A founding mother of Quakerism. Just why is it that women can't preach?

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Elias Hicks of Jericho Monthly Meeting 

Quakers are usually quite benevolent folks, but there was a time when we got
so excited with one another, that we tore a table to pieces.
Well, it was more than a century and a half ago and since then we've cooled down a bit,
but it is interesting and informative to go back and look at the pieces of that table
we were struggling over.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Lucretia Coffin Mott 

Lucretia and James Mott are two of my favorite people. See why.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Anthony Benezet

Quaker, educator, abolitionist.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp 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?

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Stephen Grellet

I came from France to befriend you.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Governor Stephen Hopkins of Rhode Island

A governor 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.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Mary Dyer of Newport 

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Paul Cuffe of Westport

He thought he was a Quaker -- until he died and the white Quakers didn't bury him
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.
Friend Paul 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.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Ann Preston 

She was a Quaker, and a woman, and a medical doctor. That's an exciting life.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Maria Mitchell the astronomer -

She had been disowned by her monthly meeting of the Religious Society of Friends,
and then she became the first woman to discover a new comet through a telescope.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Moses Brown and his School 

The founder of the Moses Brown School was really one grand guy, plus,
he was very very rich, 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 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?

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Providence's favorite draft dodger

Friend John Kellam 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! :-)

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Prudence Crandall 

Actually, she was totally immersed in a river, and became a Baptist, and then got married
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.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Associate Member of the Cambridge, Massachusetts Monthly Meeting Joan Baez

Is there a Quaker lady who says YES to boys who say NO?

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Publik Universal Friend Jemimah Wilkinson 

This is about as weird as it gets.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp A.J. Muste

Sometimes a Friend, sometimes merely a reverend -- but always in opposition to warfare.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Robert Purvis: the joys and perils of being rich but not quite acceptably white in America 

What 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 today?)

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Red-Headed Quaker Girl Kidnapped by Indians

What 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?

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp 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 

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Thomas Clarkson

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Elizabeth Fry 

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Angelina Grimke 

Some called her "Devilina" (her husband Theodore Dwight Weld was also a handfull).

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Sarah Grimke

She was such a force for the good, she sometimes irritated even her own little sister.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Joseph John Gurney and the "Gurneyites" 

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Edward Hicks

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp William and Mary Howitt

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend John R. Kellam of Providence

Friend 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! :-)

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend James Mott

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Bayard Rustin

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr's right-hand man was a Quaker.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Francis Slocum

Was this little redheaded Quaker girl the original Little Orphan Annie? If so, where was Daddy Warbucks?

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Horod Long Hicks Gardiner Porter

It was 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!

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp 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 name "Orientalism."
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.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp 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?

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friends Daniel Ricketson of New Bedford

Henry David Thoreau's good old buddy.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Joseph Ricketson of New Bedford 

Underground Railroad operative who helped Frederick Douglass hide from American justice and retribution.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Friend Luke Howard 

Friend Luke Howard was the first real weatherman. He categorized the shapes and conditions of the clouds, etc.

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp 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?

AcrobatDocumentIcon.bmp Henry David Thoreau Speaks to Quakers