Whereas, New York State before the Civil War was a crucible of reform, at the cutting edge of nationally important reform movements dedicated to equality and respect for all people;

Whereas, these reform movements challenged Americans to consider the essential meaning of democracy in the new Republic, as stated in the Declaration of Independence: “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”;

Whereas, Quakers and others from across New York State and the nation, meeting at Farmington, were at the center of these nationally significant debates (helping to organize the 1848 Seneca Falls woman’s rights convention, developing a national crossroads for the Underground Railroad, and enhancing the relationship of mutual respect between Quakers and Native Americans);

Whereas, the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse, the earliest known Quaker meetinghouse still standing west of the colonial settlement line, represents an opportunity to interpret these nationally significant issues and events in the present world;

Whereas, the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse has received considerable support from national, state, and private groups—including the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Heritage New York Women’s History Trail, the Chace Fund of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Foundation, and an Advisory Board made up of historians, preservationists, and descendants of people involved with reform movements—as well as from nationally known architect John G. Waite;

Whereas, the restored 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse will provide a source of economic development through heritage tourism to the Town of Farmington, connecting Farmington to the National Park Service’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, the National Park Service’s proposed Votes for Women Trail, the Heritage New York Underground Railroad Trail, and the Heritage New York Women’s History Trail;

We therefore support the plan to keep the 1816 Quaker Meetinghouse in Farmington as a nationally important historic site, one of the crucibles of America’s dialogue about the essential meaning of the Declaration of Independence, to restore the meetinghouse to its historic appearance, and to donate it to the National Park Service or another appropriate historical agency for use as an educational and tourism center to interpret the nationally history of Farmington as a site important to woman’s rights, Quakers and Native Americans, and the Underground Railroad, as they reflected national debates about American ideals of equality.

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