Petition (Template)

1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse
We, the undersigned citizens of central New York, heartily endorse the efforts to obtain funding to stabilize and restore the 1816 Farmington Quaker meetinghouse for use as an interpretive center for the nationally important history of women’s rights, Quakers and Native Americans, and the Underground Railroad in the Town of Farmington, Ontario County, for reasons outlined in the attached resolution:
Name Address Email (if available)
Please return to:
Helen Kirker (2146 Buffalo Street, Stanley, New York 14561) or
Judith Wellman (2 Harris Hill Road, Fulton, New York 13069)


Here is an article about Farmington
Friends in 1849, who were involved
in a very famous rescue of the
Edmondson sisters from slavery.

They were two of 77 people who
tried to escape from slavery in
Washington,D.C., in 1848 on a
ship called the PEARL. William
Chaplin, editor of the ALBANY
PATRIOT, was one of those
involved in this rescue. The PEARL
ran aground, and all on board
were captured and sold into slavery.
The Edmondson sisters, through
the efforts of their father, were
purchased and brought to the
Farmington area. They later
made a lecture tour around upstate
New York to help William Chaplin
get out of jail in Maryland when
he was again captured in Maryland.

ITEM #20128--from Accessible
Archives Database. Found by
Tanya Warren
October 26, 1849
Rochester, New York


Of the Provisional Committee,
for the Promotion of Education
among the Colored People, in
such of the Slave States are,
or may be accessible.
The organization of this Committee,
is the work of necessity. It grew
out of the consideration, that the
labors and prayers of the friends of
the slave had been blessed in the
deliverance of many thousands from
the fetters of legal bondage. But
their condition, when thus
emancipated, suggests the important
inquiry, that how glorious soever
may be our success in the future,
whether the consummation we so
ardently desire would not be reft
of half its interest and importance
if we were denied the reasonable
anticipation, that a blow so well
aimed and effective, would be
followed by a ready zeal, fidelity and
insight, in ample preparations to
impart the rudiments of sound
knowledge, with healthful morel
discipline, to the youthful masses just
escaped from legal bondage.
What is true of our slaves and colored
people, is true of every people,
long outcast and degraded. Such can
secure the recognition of their
rights, only through an intellectual
and moral regeneration. They
must burst the fetters of ignorance, and
vanquish the dominion of low,
sensual passions, or live and die in a
condition, in no way more exalted,
or worthy of a divine manhood, than
that of the veriest slaves!
The time has fully come in our
judgment, when a well advised and
effected plan may be vigorously
prosecuted for the enlightment and
elevation of our colored people,
who are at least nominally free,
though in the Slave States. In
some of those States they are not
seriously interrupted in the pursuit
of knowledge. They may be reached
in either of two ways, to wit: by
establishing schools directly among
them, or by selecting young persons
of good morals, and endowed with
active, strong powers of mind, who,
when sufficiently trained under
good teachers and the best social
influences to be found at the North,
may return to labor in the department
of instruction, among their
friends and the people of their peculiar
class at the South. This
latter is the idea which strikes us
forcibly, and which, for the
present, we shall seek to make
available by our efforts. Through the
events of Providence we have it
in our power, just now, in an easy,
quiet way, to make an experiment
in the direction alluded to, and under
the most agreeable and gratifying

The Edmondson Sisters, Mary and
Emily, you know by reputation. Their
brief history is singular
and affecting. It is enough to say,
that they were for seven months in
the hands of slave-traders, in
Washington, Baltimore, Alexandria, and
New Orleans - that their virtuous
and christian character afforded them
a shield of complete defence -
That by a rare impulse of social
sympathy, twenty-two hundred
and fifty dollars were raised for their
redemption! They are of a good
family - are now in this neighborhood,
under the most favorable
circumstances to be thoroughly taught,
possessing highly respectable
capacities, with most exemplary industry,
and a rare deportment for propriety;
they are anxious to acquire
information that will, in every way,
render them competent and
effective, as teachers and examples
among their people in the District
of Columbia. This Committee propose
to take charge of them - to advise
them, and to raise whatever means
may be required in the course of
their education. Others of equal
promise will, no doubt, soon offer
themselves. Indeed, we are well
informed, that any number of persons
adapted to the object we have in
view, can at any time be selected at
Washington or Baltimore.

Allow us to say, that it is not our
purpose to make pets of our
beneficiaries - to spoil them by
indulgence, or by superficial, shallow
views of the relations and duties
of life. It shall be our aim to
foster and assist their own exertions,
and by no means to supersede
them. Nor is it our design, in any
way, to build up schools exclusively
for colored children. We shall
place them where the chances for sound
instruction, exact discipline, and
real elevation of character, are the
most completely satisfactory.
Our limits forbid addition to this
hasty outline of our plans. We
wish to regard you as a corresponding
member of our body, and to look
to you constantly for counsel and
support, as a cordial and active
laborer in a common field of
enterprise and responsibility.
- Is it not
a delightful thought, that by a
united effort, the women of New York
can, in a brief period, place in
the District of Columbia, or the State
of Maryland, a dozen intelligent,
well-trained colored females, as
teachers of schools and models
of manners, behavior and character, to
exert an influence among those,
who are most sadly in need of its
quickening power?

You are left free to raise funds
and to bring this interesting
subject before the community
around you, in such way as
seems to you
most convenient, and at the
same time surest to reach a
speedy and desirable result.
The Committee will take care
that you receive frequently a f
ull report of what they design
and accomplish, and
especially of the manner in
which all the money and resources put at
their disposal are applied.

Your friends, truly.
P.S. Please to direct your
communications to our Secretary, C.G.
Hamblin, Farmington, Ontario Co., N.Y.


More Historical News

Most Important Needs!

Here is what we need right now:

1. a 501c3 organization to take over
temporary ownership of the building,
so that we can move it fairly immediately,
document, store it, and make a long-range
plan for it.

We have a couple of possibilities,
but no commitments as yet from anyone.

This will be a crucial next step.

2. a place to store the building.

Ideally, this would be a large
facility where we might be able
to spread out the pieces to do some
detailed drawings and documentation
(and perhaps partial reconstruction).

We do have some possibilities of a barn,
as well as a possible warehouse, but we
have nothing nailed down yet, so all
offers and ideas are most welcome.

Again, this is a crucial next step.

3. funding. We have a commitment of
$5000 from Heritage New York Women's
History Trail, a grant proposal in
to the Chace Fund (sponsored by
Rochester Monthly Meeting) for $5000
for documenting the building. We have
private donations of just over $1000.

We have another grant possibility
of $5000, and possible significant
public and private donations from
other sources. We are seeking estimates
from four contractors about moving the
building, and we are should have a
better sense about the cost of
Phase I
--documenting, dismantling, and moving the
meetinghouse--very shortly.

Last News Update

Update 4

The latest news this week is that the
Farmington Town Board deferred action
on a resolution to
demolish this meetinghouse
until March 28, to allow us as much time as

possible to come up with a plan.

We are most appreciative of their willingness
to work with us, consistent with public health
and safety.
The clock is ticking for this very,
very important part of America's

Here is our status:
1. DONATIONS--Thank you!

2. NEEDS--

a) 501c3 organization
to take ownership of the building;

b) place to store the building.
We have some possibilities for both,
but we are still working on this;
c) funding--we are still trying to
figure out how much Phase I
(documenting, dismantling, and
moving the building) will cost,

and we are working on a
combination of grants and
donations to raise this.
Stay tuned!

SISTERS--historic newspaper article

newspaper article.

Moving right along! Judy

Thanks so much to Syracuse
Monthly Meeting, which on
Sunday approved a donation
and a letter of support for
this meetinghouse. We
appreciate both so much.

For those who would like
to contribute money to
the Farmington Meetinghouse
project, here is the address
for Rochester Monthly Meeting:

Rochester Friends Meeting
84 Scio Street
Rochester, New York 14604
Attn: Paul Michaloski
1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse Fund

Next Previous Update

Update 3

Hello Friends--In grateful recognition for the life and work of Tom Fox, let us continue our work with the Genesee Yearly Meeting of Friends meetinghouse at Farmington, with thankfulness also for all of those who have volunteered so much time and so many gifts on behalf of all this meetinghouse stands for.

Thanks especially to Rochester Monthly Meeting of Friends, who this morning agreed to sponsor a proposal to the Chace Fund of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting to help document this building with photographs and drawings and also to set up a fund to collect money for the

meetinghouse. More very soon on exactly how we can write checks for this building. We are so grateful to Rochester Monthly Meeting, especially to Rich Regen, convener of a new oversight committee who will oversee this fund.

Thanks also to Diane Plassey Gutierrez, who has volunteered her skills as a graphics designer to help publicize the importance of this meetinghouse, and to Bruce Harvey, who took many large-format photographs of the meetinghouse on Saturday morning.

We are awaiting estimates from building movers about the cost of stabilizing, dismantling, and moving the building.

The Farmington Town Board will consider the fate of this building at its meeting this Tuesday evening, March 14, at the Farmington Town Hall. We will try to prepare a summary of what has happened so far, so that everyone is up-to-date on our progress by Tuesday.

Everyone is welcome. To get to the Town Hall:

Get off Thruway at Manchester exit. Take 96 heading west out of Manchester, toward Victor. About six miles west of Manchester, on right, there is a red schoolhouse. Turn right (north) on County Road 8. Go approximately a mile. Town hall is on left.


Go west on Route 31 through Macedon. Turn south on County Route 8 for maybe 5 miles. Town hall is on right.

How You Can Help

As the crucible of major American reform movements, the 1816 Farmington Quaker meetinghouse is an irreplaceable building that tells a unique part of the story of upstate New York and of the United States. You can help make this building one of central New York’s economic assets!

•publicize the issue. There is strong local support for this building, but the building needs immediate help for its stabilization and initial restoration efforts.

•support fund-raising efforts. Local people are working hard to give support. But the large amount of funding necessary to preserve and restore this structure must come in part from sources outside the community. Donations may be sent to: Elizabeth Cady Stanton Foundation, P.O. Box 603, Seneca Falls, New York 13148.

•sign a petition of support. (Click here to see a template you may use or adapt)
•pass a resolution of support for this project from your group. (Click here for a model which you may copy or adapt)

To Donate Funds: 1816 Farmington Mtg. Hse. Fund

Farmington Hicksite Meetinghouse c. 1900
(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Donations may be sent to: Elizabeth Cady Stanton Foundation, P.O. Box 603, Seneca Falls, New York 13148.

Work Project Manager - needed

Photograph by Charles Lenhart - 2/27/2006
(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Please contact Judith Wellman if you are willing and able to serve as the work project manager for this project.

Judith Wellman, Ph.D.
Director, Historical New York Research Associates
Professor Emerita, State University of New York at Oswego
2 Harris Hill Road, Fulton, New York 13069

Friends Meetinghouse, Farmington, New York

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Importance for Quaker History

Originally built on a knoll just across the road from the current Orthodox meetinghouse (built in 1876), this meetinghouse represents the spread of Quaker meetings west from New England into upstate New York after the American Revolution. This is most likely the earliest meetinghouse still standing west of the colonial settlement area in New York State. Reflecting Quaker values, it is a very plain frame building, 44 feet wide by 60 feet long. It once had a balcony on three sides and a divider down the middle, used to create spaces for separate men’s and women’s meetings. After the Hicksite-Orthodox separation in 1828, Quakers from western New York, Ontario, and Michigan met regularly in Genesee Yearly Meeting of Friends (Hicksite) in this meetinghouse in Farmington.

National Importance of this Meetinghouse

In the 1830s, these Friends assumed leadership roles in national reform movements, including the abolition of slavery, the preservation of Seneca Indian land rights, and the woman’s rights movement. National reformers spoke here, including both African American and European American abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison, Lucretia Mott, Frederick Douglass, and William Wells Brown. In the late 1830s, Haudenosaunee leaders appealed here for Quaker assistance in retaining their homelands. “We pulled the strings and the world’s people danced,” said one Quaker reformer. In terms of women’s rights, Genesee Yearly Meeting of Friends at Farmington in 1838 stated explicitly that “men’s and women’s meetings for discipline stand on equal footing of common interest and common right.” Ten years later, in June 1848, 200 Quakers walked out of this building to form the Yearly Meeting of Congregational Friends, in which men and women, blacks and whites met together on a basis of complete equality, joined not by creeds but by “practical righteousness.” At least one-quarter of the signers of the Declaration of Sentiments at the first woman’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, held in June 1848, came from Farmington Quarterly meeting. In her autobiography, Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote that the first speech she gave after the Seneca Falls convention was at Farmington meeting. Susan B. Anthony spoke here in 1873 at the time of her trial for voting.

In 1927, this building was moved to its current location, just east of its original spot, where its gallery was turned into a second floor and its windows were lowered a full sash length. Benches and stoves were moved to neighboring homes, and the meetinghouse became a barn.

For more on the architectural and historical significance of Quaker meetinghouses, see Catharine Lavoie, Silent Witness: Quaker Meetinghouses in the Delaware Valley, 1695 to the Present (based on Historic American Building Survey documentation, with an introduction by Christopher Densmore) and Silas B. Weeks, New England Quaker Meetinghouses, Past and Present.

Thanks to Helen Burgio, Christopher Densmore, Doug Fisher, Margaret Hartsough, Helen Kirker, and Charles Lenhart for their assistance with information about the meetinghouse.

- Prepared by Judith Wellman, February 27, 2006.

News Update

The Restoration Project is looking for someone to help post messages on the web/blogsite which you are looking at. (This has been filled 3/12/2006).

A letter from Judy Wellman, 3/6/2006

Hello Friends--Many people have come forward in the last day to offer help with various aspects of the meetinghouse project.

1. DOCUMENTATION. Committees from Rochester Monthly Meeting of Friends are working on sponsorship for the Chace Fund grant to help document the meetinghouse with photographs and drawings. The whole meeting will discuss this on Sunday. Turnaround time for the grant is rapid, and we appreciate so much the efforts of F(f)riends to meet the deadline. Meanwhile, Bruce Harvey has offered to take large-format photographs as soon as possible.

2. WEBSITE. Glenn Reinhart put up a website within one day yesterday so everyone will have access to photographs and information. Charles Lenhart has supplied pictures to show us how the building now looks. Tita Beal suggests a section on bibliographies, so if you have good ideas about useful books, please send them on. Christopher Densmore sent an excellent compilation of references to people who spoke in this building. If you know of other references, we would be delighted to add them.

3. MOVING THE BUILDING. Bob Skellan and Liseli Haines are helping to find out more information about moving buildings and reconstructing them. We have been receiving informal and extremely useful advice about this from various architects and professionals, as well. We are still awaiting a formal estimate from a local contractor, well-recommended, with experience in doing this.

4. PLACE TO STORE THE BUILDING. We are seeking a place to store the building, once it is dismantled. We have the offer of one place, outside, but if anyone knows of a large room, where the pieces can be kept under a roof, please let us know.
Many thanks to all who are working so hard, in so many ways, to help this building and all that it stands for survive. This must be an example of Thomas M'Clintock's "practical righteousness" at work.

As Daniel Anthony, a member of Genesee Yearly Meeting of Friends (Hicksite) and Rochester M.M. of Friends, wrote to his daughter Susan B. Anthony in 1848, "I am a member of that Society which has for its Teretory no less sphere than all creation & for its members every rational creature under Heaven." (Anthony Papers, Schlesinger Library, Harvard)
Yours in friendship, Judy Wellman

Judith Wellman, Ph.D.
Director, Historical New York Research Associates
Professor Emerita, State University of New York at Oswego
2 Harris Hill Road, Fulton, New York 13069

Meetinghouse Location

The historic meetinghouse is located approximately 25 miles southeast of Rochester, NY, approximately 4 miles north of the NY State Thruway (Interstate 90)

Address: 187 County Road 8, Farmington, NY 14425

The historic meetinghouse is located approximately 25 miles southeast of Rochester, NY, approximately 4 miles north of the NY State Thruway (Interstate 90)

Address: 187 County Road 8, Farmington, NY 14425

Contact Information

If you would like to help save and restore the Farmington Meetinghouse (Hicksite) please contact:

Judith Wellman, Ph.D.
Director, Historical New York Research Associates
Professor Emerita, State University of New York at Oswego
2 Harris Hill Road, Fulton, New York 13069
315-598-4387/wellman 'at'


To contact the website co-administrator: glenn.reinhart 'at'

Letter to Friends - March 6, 2006

The historic meetinghouse is located approximately 50 miles Southeast of Rochester, NY

(A letter from Judy Wellman)
Hello Friends—

Much has been happening, quickly, this week, on the Farmington meetinghouse, some of it excellent, some of it not. I'll start with the not-so-good news and then move to better news and finally to the best news. So read to the end!

1. NOT-SO-GOOD NEWS. Here is a photo of the Farmington Meetinghouse taken by Charles Lenhart on March 3, 2006. As you can see, the fence is almost up around it, but the clapboards and windows from the bottom half of the west wall are missing. The Farmington Town board has been very supportive, trying to give us as much time as possible to come up with a plan for this building, but the owner, fearful of an immediate demolition order, worried about liability, and not realizing how much progress we were making, took off this section of the wall on Friday. He is very willing not to do anything further while we develop a plan. But the clock is definitely ticking.

2. BETTER NEWS. Help needed! On March 1, we wrote a proposal to the Chace Fund of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting to document the building with photographs and drawings. The proposal was due that same day, so we were graciously given until March 10 to find a 501ce organization or Quaker meeting who would be willing to sponsor this grant. The grant is for $5000. If we are to have a chance at this money, we need a group to volunteer immediately to fill out the forms by Friday to complete this application. I realize this is a long shot, since most of you have Boards who would need to give their approval. But, at this point, documentation is crucial.
3. BEST NEWS! We have been promised $5000 to help toward carefully dismantling the building and labeling the pieces for future rebuilding elsewhere. I was so overjoyed that I forgot to ask the donor whether I could reveal the name. More later!

We are still working on:

1. setting up an account to receive funds.
2. getting estimates for dismantling and moving the building.
3. finding a place to store the dismantled building.
4. figuring out what we need to do, and in what priority order.

If you have ideas or can help in any way, please don't wait to be asked. This is an emergency situation. Everyone's help is needed. Whether any part of this building is saved will depend on what everyone does in the next few days. Please pass these emails on! The alternative--and it is not unrealistic--is to create a website with the photos and documentation and let the building go. But all know that this is not the same thing as a real living building.

For those of you who are new to this community we’ll post more shortly with the brief report we gave to the Farmington Town Board about this building last week.

With faith and hope, Judy

In June 1848, 200 people walked out of Genesee Yearly Meeting, held in Farmington. A month later, a core group of these Quakers became the single largest religious group to sign the Declaration of Sentiments at the Seneca Falls women's rights convention. (About one-quarter of the signers were these Friends.) In October 1848, they returned to Farmington to form the Congregational Friends, which abolished separately meetings for women and men and met on the basis of total equality for everyone.

Thomas M'Clintock, a leader of this group, wrote the BASIS OF RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATION, which stated that "the true basis of religious fellowship is not identity of theological belief, but unity of heart and oneness of purpose in respect to the great practical duties of life." The NEW YORK TRIBUNE reprinted this, and it became an influential statement for reformers throughout the country.

Historic Quotes about Farmington Hicksite Meetinghouse

The following are some accounts of visits to Farmington. The ones from 1816 onward all or mostly all refer to the old Hicksite meetinghouse, now the subject of an effort to preserve and document the building. The one I'm not sure of was in the Hicksite meetinghouse was the visit of English Friend J.J. Gurney, a vocal opponent of the Hicksites, though in this case my recollection of the source is that as the Hicksite meetinghouse was larger than the Orthodox house, and lots of people were interested in hearing Gurney, the Hicksite house was opened to him.


Presented to Farmington Friends Church, by Christopher Densmore, January 30, 1994.

William Savery, 1794

[9th Month 30th] Abraham Lapham came to our lodgings and conducted us to his house, where we were kindly received and spent a pleasant day. This county has two great disadvantages attending it, the scarcity of springs and rivulets and the unhealthiness of the climate in its present uncultivated state, yet it is settling very fast, the land being very fertile; but as the Indians are all round and the settlements of the whites are very thin, there still is some danger to be apprehended. The first settlers have passed through great difficulties, having near one hundred miles to go to mill, and struggling under many privations to procure a living for their large families; some have staid for many weeks under shelter of bark and bushes before they could erect a hut.

[10 Month 19th] First-day. Held a meeting for worship; a considerable number attended, who lived generally from two to ten miles distant. Many of them came on foot, there being but few horses in this country and fewer wheel carriages of any kind. One family came a considerable distance upon a sled drawn by four stout oxen. The people were solid, and through Divine favour it proved a good meeting, many were very tender and parted with us lovingly. It does our hearts good to see the gratitude some of the poor frontier people manifest, and the pains they take to be at a religious meeting. O Philadelphians, how abundant ought your gratitude to be for the enjoyment of your multiplied blessings."

- Journal of the Life of William Savery, Friends Library 1 (1837): 350, 354

Joseph Hoag, 1807

[7 Mo. 1807] Second of the month, we had a meeting at Asa Aldrich's, in Palmyra-- a laborious exercising meeting. I was led to show that one fault-mender was worth many fault finders; as none could mend a fault but those who committed the fault, and while people were looking up others' faults, they certainly neglected their own. I had to come to plain work, and felt quite comfortable after it.

First day, 3d, we attended Farmington meeting; this was also a tribulating time to me. I was led to address the backsliders, who wanted to be esteemed, and, like Adam, were hidden under a fig-leaf covering; showing them, that would not do, as also the eagle-eyed, to spy out others' fault for an excuse for the neglect of their own duties, showing them the neglect of duty was wrong, and doing wrong was the neglect of duty; and why they were condemning others, they were acting like them, and ranking themselves in range with those they despised. This was not wise. I was enabled to open these points closed and plain, to the relief of my mind.

-- Journal... of Joseph Hoag. Auburn, New York: Knapp and Peck, 1861.

Lydia P. Mott, 1828

Lydia P. Mott having for some years resided near Scipio in New York state, informs us that in those newly settled countries, where Friends are fast increasing, and forming new settlements and meetings, the traveling of some active members in attending quarterly and monthly meetings at great distances, visiting Friends in their retired situations as committees, and attending their meetings by appointment, &c., has been known to occupy full one-half of the year...

Herself and several others were travelling in winter in a sleigh, in bitter cold weather, when they were obliged to seek shelter for the approaching night, when by inquiry they heard of a Friends house some miles distant, which they reached late in the evening, almost perished with cold and drifting snow. On calling at the door, inquiry was made who they were, before they were invited into the house; and on finding they were Friends, the lonely woman of the house let them in, but had no candle, and but little fire. The wood was mostly covered up by the deep snow that had lately fallen. Her husband had been gone for some time to a distant part of the country on business, and left only his tender wife to take care of his stock and the family of little children. She, however, welcomed the Friends as well as she could, directed where the barn was, and that they must see to their horses themselves, that they had fodder, &c., while she went out in the snow to cut some more wood to warm the strangers. Having renewed her fire, she then went about preparing some refreshment; her children being asleep in a bed in one corner of the only room the house contained. After the homely meal was over, she told them she would lodge them as well as she could, but she had no spare bed. She therefore gave up her own bed to two of them; the other two, by climbing up a step-ladder, obtained a lodging in an open loft, where the snow blew in upon them, but having a buffalo skin with them, they slept till morning without much suffering from the cold; while the mother reposed with her little children in a kind of truckle-bed on the floor.

-- Journal of the Life and Religious Labors... of John Comly. Philadelphia: T. Ellwood Chapman, 1853, pp. 359-360.

Priscilla Cadwallader, ca. 1835

When Genesee Yearly Meeting came on, though still sick in bed, she felt drawn to go to Farmington, and was able to visit both men's and women's meetings, and to deliver in each the message which she believed herself intrusted. In the woman's meeting, she spoke beautifully and impressively of that divine love that had inspired her soul, and have given her strength to arise from her sick bed to come and sit with us. In the men's meeting they were engaged in the consideration of a revision of our discipline, and she exhorted them to great care therein, and to seek for divine guidance in reference to every proposed change, lest they should inadvertently put it in the power of some to oppress others, and thereby obstruct that growth which Truth would sanction.

She remained at Farmington during the remainder of the Yearly Meeting week, but was only able to attend one other meeting. This was the public meeting held on fourth day. She then spoke interestingly to a very quiet, though very crowded audience. At this meeting she predicted our present national conflict, saying, "I hear the cannon's roar, and the beating of the drums, and I see the horse and his rider amid the clash of arms and pools of human blood. Oh, Carolina! Carolina! how I would gather thee as a hen gathers her chickens, but thou wilt not hear the call. Slavery will go down sooner or later, and I entreat you to wash your hands in innocency.

-- Memoir of Priscilla Cadwallader. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Book Association of Friends, 1864.

Genesee Yearly Meeting at Farmington, 1838

That the discipline be so altered, that men and women shall stand on the same footing on all matters in which they are equally interested, such as alterations of the discipline; and on receiving and disowning members, and on granting certificates of removal, each branch of the monthly meeting shall obtain the concurrence of the other.

- Friends Intelligencer 1 (1838), p. 98.

Joseph John Gurney at Farmington, 1841

I know of no district in America, in which the anti-slavery cause, as well as that of total abstinence, are more vigorously maintained by the bulk of the population, than in the parts which I was now visiting. Great was the zeal of the young people, both amongst Friends and others, in the pursuit of these objects; and while we could not but admire the virtuous energy which prevailed amongst them, it seemed desirable to fix their attention on still higher objects, and to remind them of the Apostolic injunction, "Let your moderation be known to all men-- the Lord is at hand."

-- Joseph John Gurney, A Journey in North America. Norwich, England: Privately Printed, 1841. p. 309.

John Comly at Genesee Yearly Meeting, 1842

I saw no open door to cast off the burden of my concern, so remained silent.... Creaturely activity... is apt to seek relief from summering by the expression of words; to endeavour to throw off the burden before the time, as if it could do something thereby to forward the Lord's work. Ah! how abundant is this activity now among Friends! and professedly for advancing the testimonies of Truth! of all the families of the earth, Friends should understand this mystery of silent suffering in lamb-like meekness, when not Divinely called and qualified for active vocal service.

Much diversity of opinion prevails among members of this Yearly Meeting, arising as a branch of the tree of popular reform. But it is a superficial spirit that would throw off all restraint, and order, and discipline. Much mixture of creaturely activity is already interspersed among the ministry, even of many who are said to be in unity with Friends. The lecturing, wordy spirit of the times has affected even the professed gospel ministry of our society. But, alas! what can be expected when ministers do not think a renewed qualification of Divine ability necessary for the work! Surely, in such, the head is sick, and the heart (the life) faint.

[At South Farmington] This meeting was not large; we had a laboured communication from a stranger that occupied nearly the whole time; and it appeared to be a poor, lifeless meeting. Oh! how a lifeless ministry tends to shut up the springs of life Divine.

[On being invited to visit Canandaigua] I was invited and solicited to join the part, but declined as a practical testimony against the idolatry of gratifying curiosity in admiration and applause of the vanity of man. Ah! how few seem aware, while they are applauding the contrivance and show, the finery and superfluity, and extravagance of the rich, in their costly buildings and words of art, that they are not only worshipping the works of men's hands, but actually admiring and approving the fruits of oppression. For where does the superfluity of wealth arise from, but out of the gain of oppression, or fraud, or violence?

On fifth-day morning we returned to Farmington; and on the way, met a plain, aged Orthodox Friend who was inquiring the way to another orthodox Friend's house. As he stopped us for this purpose, he said he was "very sorry that we separated, but that now we must try to make it up in loving one another."

Much was said, many words were communicated; but I had again to recur to my lesson of the mystery of silent suffering with the seed of life, in confidence that Omnipotent power can do his own work, himself alone. So be it. His servants must not strive even to speak, where there is no room. They must not force their way, when He opens not a way for them. All they have to do, is stand ready to obey when He puts forth and goes before them, and opens a door of profitable utterance.

-- Journal of the Life and Religious Labors... of John Comly. Philadelphia: T. Ellwood Chapman, 1853, pp. 545-553.

Joseph C. Hathaway and Fugitive Slaves, 1842

A few days ago, a fugitive from Virginia gave me a call, on his way to a free country.... He arrived about 10 o'clock, and remained until after dinner; during which time, we had an opportunity of making many inquiries relative to the condition of our southern brethren in bonds. We urged him to remain over night with us; but he was impatient to set foot upon a soil where he could feel assured he was free. He was a fine looking fellow, of about nineteen, evidently possessing much native shrewdness. The Virginia, whose victim he was, staked him against $1000 in a cock-fight; and for fear his master might lose his wager, and he be sold to the South, he thought best to use the physical and intellectual powers God had given him, in finding a country where an immortal being is considered of too much value to have his destiny hang upon a chicken's foot.

-- National Anti-Slavery Standard, May 5, 1842.

[Fugitive slave "John Jacobs"] Aided by much friendly advice and information, he started for a free country; travelling in the nighttime, and concealing himself during the day. He says that the nights were very short, and the days very long; so anxious was he to get to a land of freedom. One evening, being almost worn out from his rapid journey, he ventured to call at a tavern for lodging. He had not been there long, when he heard a man read an advertisement, offering $600 reward for his apprehension; signed by his late master. John said he felt "every shape" while the man was reading. However, he pretended not to heed it, and took lodgings, for which he paid in advance. As soon as the family were all in bed, he arose, and pursued his journey. He grew afraid of human dwellings; mine was the third he had put his head into, since he had left his old home. He met with no one who befriended him, until the day before he reached here; when, as he passed a door, a man hailed him, and after inquiring his destination, gave him a good breakfast and a pair of boots.... I have no company of whom I am more proud than these panting fugitives...

- National Anti-Slavery Standard, August 11, 1842.

Sunderland P. Gardner, 1846

Nations war with each other-- opposing force to force, in a murderous vindictive spirit. But there are other wars, which, though not carried so far as to shed blood, yet the same ambitious war-like spirit may be prompt to action-- wrong may be wrongfully opposed, and war may be opposed in a war-like spirit...

-- Sunderland P. Gardner, "Address to the Youth and Children of the Religious Society of Friends," Friends Weekly Intelligencer 3 (1846): 177-9.

Benjamin F. Gue, 1848

Friday, Oct. 6, was warm and pleasant, this was the first day of the Conference held at the large meeting house. We attended and were much interested. In the evening went to a women's rights meeting held at the same place, it was attended by Elizabeth C. Stanton of Seneca Falls, she circulated a petition praying the Legislature to allow women of legal age to exercise the right of the Elective Franchise, which I signed.

- The diary of Benjamin F. Gue in Rural New York and Pioneer Iowa, 1847-1856. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press, 1962.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1848

One night, in the Quaker Meeting House at Farmington, I invited, as usual, discussion and questions when I had finished. We all waited in silence a long time; at length a middle-aged man, with a broad-brimmed hat, arose and responded in a sing-song tome: "All that I have to say is, if a hen can crow, let her crow," emphasizing "crow" with an upward inflection of several notes of the gamut. The meeting adjourned with mingled feelings of surprise and merriment. I confess that I felt somewhat chagrined in having what I considered my unanswerable arguments so summarily disposed of, and the serious impression I had made on the audience so speedily dissipated. The good man intended no disrespect, as he told me afterwards. He simply put the whole argument in a nutshell: "Let a woman do whatever she can."

- Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Eighty Years and More: Reminiscences, 1815-1897. New York: Shocken Books, 1975, p. 151.

I should feel exceedingly diffident to appear before you at this time... were I not nerved by a sense of right and duty, did I not feel the time had fully come for the question of woman's wrongs to be laid before the public, did I not believe that woman herself must do this work; for woman alone can understand the height, and the breadth of her own degradation. Man cannot speak for here, because he has been educated to believe that she differs from him so materially, that he cannot judge of her thoughts, feelings, and opinions by his own. Moral beings can only judge of others by themselves. The moment they assume a different nature of any of their own kind, they fail utterly...

[Note: This was the speech delivered by Stanton at the first Woman's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls in July 1848. It is probably similar to that delivered by her that year in the Friends Meeting Houses at Junius and Farmington, and elsewhere in Western New York.]

- Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Correspondence, Writings and Speeches. Edited by Ellen Carol DuBois. New York: Schocken Books, 1981, p. 27.

Christopher Densmore, Curator
Friends Historical Library
Swarthmore College
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081-1399