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IF by a magic art we could lift the veil which so ef
So through the chambers of our life we pass,
REMINISCENCES OF CHAPPAQUA MONTHLY
BY JENNIE WASHBURN.
fectually shuts out the scenes of the past from our mortal eyes, how glad would we be to avail ourselves
of the privilege. For Friends' Intelligencer and Journal.
Through such a medium, we would see a novel CHAPPAQUA CENTENNIAL PAPERS.-III. sight were we to be taken back one hundred and ten [At the Centennial Commemoration at Chappaqua, on Eighth
years and set down on this identical spot. With difmonth 8th, essays suitable to the occasion had been pre
ficulty we convince our incredulous minds that this is pared and were read by three young Friends, Jennie Wash
really the same place where we have so frequently burn, Jonathan C. Pierce, and Mary Ella Weeks. Two of
met our Friends on Fifth and First-day mornings. these are given in full below, and the third, for which Everything appears so strange! Not a familiar house space could not conveniently be found this week, will ap- do we see, but instead, in some instances, a humble pear hereafter.—Eds.)
dwelling occupies the same site. In the midst of a T the conclusion of the reading of the essays, Aa
grove of trees stands the plain little unpainted meetron M. Powell gave a very interesting address
ing-house. It is a meeting morning, and we see a on the “ Lessons of the Century," contrasting one hun
queer procession wending its way toward this one
point of interest. Some of the people walking, some dred years ago with the present, in the great march
mounted on horses, with occasionally a second perof improvement, and expressing the hope that as the
son on the lintel of the saddle behind. They all look last century had witnessed the enfranchisement of very sedate as they assemble; the men dressed in the slave the coming one might witness a still greater their plain-cut homespun suits and broad-brimmed deliverance and emancipation from the bondage of in
beavers; the women, and even the little girls wear
ing caps and the plain scoop bonnets. As it is cold temperance.
weather they soon gather about the cheery fire in the A series of five minute speeches concluded the ex
spacious fire-places to limber their benumbed fingers ercises, in which the following Friends addressed the
and toes. This being the only means of warming the meeting: Aaron Sutton, of Nine Partners, who ac- house, they burn their faces while they freeze their quired a membership in this monthly meeting by backs. While the people are gathering we hear birthright over 92 years ago; Thomas Foulke, John friendly greetings passed from one to another, and
much talk of a new house as this has become entirely L. Griffen, Richard Lawrence, and Samuel B. Haines,
too small to accommodate the concourse of people of New York City, and Edward Ryder, of Quaker Hill.
which comes together on First-days. We also hear After a brief period of silence the meeting ad
of new meetings being established in different places, journed. One of the pleasant features of the occasion
and great rejoicing over the continued spread of was the presence of so large a company of aged Friends, “Quakerism." Meeting time approaching, we will sit down with these ancient Friends and see if we can years ago, a school was established on First-days in divine the reason of their power over the minds of this house. Here children who had no other opporthose who come in contact with them. We do not tunity of learning, were taught the rudiments of an sit Tong in silence before an aged Friend arises, trem- education. bling with emotion, and gives utterance to a few sim- This meeting-house originally stood in a grove. ple words, not grammatically formed, but having such Now, but two or three remain of those old trees force as to carry conviction with them. Others fol- which stood as sentinels for a hundred years or more. low, seated in all parts of the house, and of different One by one we have seen them cut down, and felt ages, from the bashful young man and maiden to the each time as if parting from a dear friend of our octogenarian. All have a message from the Fatherto childhood. Those which are left we cherish with a give to the assembly, and these are received with such feeling of veneration and look upon them as relics of eagerness as to leave no room for doubt in our minds those good old times of which we have heard our of the sincerity of the profession of these people that grandfather's talk. Let them be to us living emblems they are led by the Spirit of God. Thus the vision of the storms through which our beloved society has ended.
passed. The time to which I have alluded, a little over These walks have witnessed very striking scenes. a hundred years ago, was a prosperous time with Devoted at first to the care of the sick and wounded Friends. The meetings were then being set up that many souls may from here have taken their flight. have since been laid down. A larger meeting-house In accordance with the old-time custom, to how was built at Chappaqua, in order that all might find many marriage vows has this place given solemnity. seats within doors. The old one was removed two What a host of bereaved hearts have come here to say miles to the southeast, where it still stands, being now farewell to the lifeless remains of dear ones. What used as a barn. The new building was nearly fin- soul-stirring sermons have come from the occupants ished when the Battle of White Plains was fought, of these upper seats, many of whom have long been in 1778. While the roof was being shingled, the silent. heavy cannon were distinctly heard by those at work. The incidents of the past century would furnish In the retreat the American army passed near this material for a poem. May the sequel be worthy of place and left some of its wounded soldiers to be those who laid the corner-stones of our monthly cared for by the Friends of this vicinity, who con- meeting one hundred years ago; sented to turn their new meeting-house into a hos
“ And cast in some diviner mould, pital.
Let the new cycle shame the old." When horse sheds were first built it was with the idea to furnish shelter for horses only; when wagons
A FEW SCATTERED THOUGHTS CONCERNING THE came, they must stand without cover. Those first
SOCIETY OF FRIENDS. wagons! how uncomfortable they must have been !
BY MARY ELLA WEEKS. They were called bolster wagons, not from any resemblance in ease to a feather bolster, but because they CENTURIES had rolled away; man had endeavored to were entirely without springs.
grasp the sublime in theology, but to find it slip from The inconveniences to which our grandfathers sub- beneath his touch ; hosts of spiritually-minded remitted can now scarcely be imagined. Think of tak- formers had striven to draw the people from the ing a ride of forty miles or more in a lumber wagon, corrupt rut of the past; but not till the seventeenth or on horseback, with no umbrella or gossamer water- century did that simple faith dawn upon the minds of proof for protection against a driving rain, or even the children of men; that simple faith that has like walking, as we have heard of one woman doing, go- a fragrant rose infused its odor in every Christian ing from this neighborhood to Oblong to attend a church. quarterly meeting. Such experiences must have As air differs from atmosphere, so religion differs thoroughly prepared thein to enjoy the good monthly from theology. If man were to bear in mind this and quarterly meeting dinners which they had even nice discrimination there would doubtless be less then; for Friends have always been noted for their bigotry creeping in among the purer and higher hospitality.
thoughts. This narrow-mindedness destroys the enThose were the days of spinning wheels, when | livening influence of society as the worm destroys the people raised flax and spun it into cloth. Homespun leaf which fertilizes the flower. was worn altogether by the men.
No society has more work to accomplish and a The women, also, were compelled to practice self- broader field in which to do that work than the Soreliance, and were equal to emergencies. My great- ciety of Friends. Every individual member should grandmother, who was a member of this peaceful So- be willing to do his or her part in this elevated field ciety, twice crossed the American line with a female of spiritual labor, that thus each effort united as a companion, both on horseback, while the British had whole may lay the firm foundation of so grand an possession of New York city. This expedition was edifice that every eye beholding it shall say, It is undertaken to procure necessaries for her family, and truly well built. was successfully accomplished.
The influence of Friends has been more wideGetting an education was another almost unsur- spread than the Society itself has ever realized. In mountable difficulty in those days of hard work and localities where this spiritually-minded people have few privileges. To supply this want, about eighty predominated, and years after their ascendency has
only for the equality of the sister, but they labored DURING a recent visit to meetings and isolated
fallen, will be found a Friendly element existing un- either extreme, and is now vibrating with a regulariconsciously among the people; an element that has ty never before known. tended to mould the minds of the frivolous and gay into deeper channels of thought. Woman was once
For Friends' Intelligencer and Journal. but a toy, a doll to be fondled, to-day she is a helpmate, equal if not superior in her sphere of action to
ISOLATED FRIENDS IN WESTERN the man. This great development is largely due to
STATES. the influence of Friends. They have pleaded not
members of our society located in Nebraska and long and well for the freedom of our colored brethren. Kansas, I found several groups almost or quite large At the present day the temperance reform claims enough to sustain profitable meetings, yet feeling their attention, so from the foundation of the Society their weakness in numbers and lack of that self-conwe notice their united efforts with others in every fidence which leads to the acceptance of resonsibility great and important work.
beyond immediate personal duty. Scattered over When we lift the veil of the past and make thor- these states are other families of Friends, desiring ough research into the writings and teachings of the meeting privileges, but unable to have them except ancients, we discover in the written word of Socrates
in connection with teaching, or services that do not that great effulgence of spiritual light which fully satisfy their hearts. Many of these left their eastern accords with the life-giving power of our Society. homes to settle on the low priced but rich lands of Cicero said that “the philosophy of Socrates came the prairie states, either indifferent at the time to sofrom Heaven down to earth and introduced it into
ciety interests or benefits, or in the expectation that the cities and houses of men, compelling men to in- others of like religious faith would soon settle around quire concerning life and morals and things good and them, and aid in organizing meetings for worship. eyil."
The object of this letter is to call attention to several In all the great churches of the world there will of these little groups of members, who could, with undoubtedly be found a failure in many respects, of slightly increased numbers and assistance, organize attaining their highest standard. If in the religious and sustain religious meetings under the authority of body of Friends one error is more manifest than an- our society, and aid in turn the steps of others seekother, it is doubtless their remissness in clearly set- ing western homes into these groups, rather than to ting forth their principles before their children and points that will increase the number of isolated and those unacquainted with the testimonies of Friends.
religiously dissatisfied families that now dot these We are accused of locking our religion up and keep- states. ing the key ourselves. As the botanist loves his First comes Genoa, Nebraska, which, though orflowers the more dearly beeause of a thorough knowl- ganized as a monthly meeting, is yet small in its atedge of their little intricate parts, so we with a clear tendance and without a meeting house, except as they understanding of our principles are brought more use the district school-house. At a meeting in the deeply to feel their intrinsic value. If any religious school-house during my visit there, I was told that 36 faith fails to bear such an analysis it is not worth of the attenders were members of our Society though the maintaining
not all of Genoa meeting. Land here is apparently "Mind the Light.” How many times has this in- good, with plenty of room for more farmers; the town junction been re-echoed from these galleries, how of Genoa seems thrifty and ought so far as I could many times have we, as children, listened to it with judge, to be the centre of a thriving neighborhood of inquiring minds and to our inquiries ever found the Friends and the source of a valuable influence throughfollowing explanation-as the light of the outward out the State in behalf of our various testimonies. sun illumines the day, so the light of this inward sun, Isaiah Lightner, recently Indian Agent for the Santee which is Christ, illumines the soul of man. The mes- Sioux, has erected a comfortable home on a farm near sage which was received by this religious body, who Genoa, and when free from his official duties and a call themselves Friends, is the same given to the working member of Genoa Monthly Meeting, will apostles, that God is light and in him there is no doubtless be a valued co-worker, with our friend Geo. darkness at all. Their great fundamental principle to S. Truman, who has so long borne the chief responsiwhich they bear testimony is that God has endowed bility for this little meeting. May their labors bear every man who has come into the world with a por- rich fruitage. Correspondence regarding price of land, tion of this divine light which, if obeyed, is sufficient town lots, or lines of business, could be addressed to to lead him into paths of glory.
Geo. S. Truman or William Walton, Genoa, Nance Looking back over che past history of this Socie- Co., Nebraska. ty, it is gratifying to every human soul interested in The next point on the route is Bennett, Nebraska, the welfare of the little band, to note its advance- where I found nineteen members, fourteen being ment. The facilities are now open to us for work in a adults. There is also a still larger number of Friends broader field, and these opportunities must not slip of the various branches of the “Orthodox” faith, from us unsecured for want of charity.
some of whom sympathize quite strongly with us. abideth faith, hope, charity, these three, but the Two meetings were held in this neighborhood to good greatest of these is charity."
satisfaction, and an earnest interest in religious matBigotry may happily be counted as a thing of the ters was manifest. At present the experiment of a past. The pendulum, I trust, has ceased to sway in union meeting every two weeks was being tried, but
not with promise of full satisfaction, I thought. With stages as an indulged and preparative meeting was prudence, a growing meeting might be formed here, constituted a monthly meeting about 1795. This last and become another centre from which the simple, change closely followed the proposal, which did not practical truths of the Gospel might spread, and to seem satisfactory, of holding the monthly meeting which home-seekers in the West could gather. Land alternately with Salem. The present meeting-house is good, and so far as I could judge, the surrounding had been preceded by others and it also had been population was of good character for intelligence and enlarged to accomodate the quarterly meeting. The thrift; the proximity to Lincoln, (eighteen miles dis- establishment of the other meetings within its limits tant), makes this a very desirable neighborhood. was likewise alluded to.
Correspondence could be had with Wm. L. Dor- An account of the early ministry of the meeting land or Eaton Shotwell, Bennett, Nebraska, regarding revived the memory of such worthies as Deborah price of land, character of crops, markets, etc.
Bassett and James Laurie, the weight of whose spirits The third point for notice is a small settlement of seemed to have a solemnizing influence in the meetFriends in Jewell county, Kansas, near White Rock, ings they might attend. Republic county. Here are four or five families of earn- Extracts from the records showed the labors of est young members located in as beautiful country as Friends in the cause of liberating themselves from any we saw during the trip, and cheaper in cost per slavery and intemperance. In 1795 a quarterly meetacre than in most sections visited. We saw much evi- | ing committee was directed to hold conferences on dence of prosperity, and felt warmly drawn towards the latter subject in the various meeting-houses, which those visited, because of their earnest craving for "a conferences were to be accounted in the place of Friends' meeting.” A few more families moving in their mid-week meetings, showing that Friends of would give them the needed strength, and they, that day were not so rigid in their ideas as to think our society and the community would feel the bene- that no deviation must take place from established fits. Address, Nathan, or Walker Vale, White order. Rock, Kansas, for any desired information regarding Extracts from the ancient Discipline, copied from the neighborhood.
the records by direction of the Yearly Meeting, about The fourth, and last neighborhood to be mentioned 1761, for the use of the “Quarterly Meeting of Glouat present, is Chanute, Neosha Co., Kansas, where cester and Salem,” were compared with our present we found twenty-three members, mostly adults, with standard. sufficient experience and general qualifications, we The reading of the various productions during the thought, to open a meeting for worship. There two sittings was interspersed by brief appropriate reseemed to be the same craving for meetings, and lack marks by Allen Flitcraft, of Chester, Pa.; John Parof that confidence which would lead them to organize rish, Woodbury; Job S. Haines, Mickleton; T. E. without additional members or some one to lead, that Longshore, Philadelphia; Aaron Borton, Priscilla we found elsewhere. A few more families settled in Lippincott, E. R. Holmes, and others. It was felt to or near Chanute would give full warrant for a meet- be an interesting and profitable occasion. ing, and bring cheer to the hearts of some of the crav- A letter from John G. Whittier, received by Lydia ing ones now here, and strength perhaps to all.
H. Norris, was read by Carrie G. Norris, as follows: For especial information, address Wm. G. Smith,
CENTRE HARBOR, N. H., 8th mo. 9, 1885. Chanute, Kansas, (being careful to use the “G.," as
MY DEAR FRIEND:--Thy letter reached me here among . three other Wm. Smith's get their mail at that post
the hills where I am sojourning for a brief period. I can office.)
J. W. P. only say that I am glad that the 100th anniversary of your Chicago, Eighth mo. 24
meeting-house finds it still occupied by Friends, faithful I
hope to the vital principle of the Society-the Divine Imriends' Intelligencer and Journal.
manuel—the voice of the Holy Spirit within. To this CENTENARY OBSERVANCE AT
principle the thoughtful and devout of all sects are turning,
and it would be sad to see professed Friends neglecting or WOODSTOWN.
ignoring it. Hoping that the meeting on your anniversary YEVENTH-DAY, the 22d of Eighth month was ob
may prove a favored and profitable occasion, I am with love served as the centenary of Friends' meeting- and sympathy, house at Woodstown, (Salem Co.), New Jersey. There
Thy sincere friend,
JOHN G. WHITTIER. was quite a large attendance from the surrounding country, and a few from Philadelphia, Chester and A letter was also received from the venerable other localities. Asa Engle acted as clerk, and by his Thomas Shourds, giving some statements concerning side sat Bartholomew W. Coles, now in his 101st year, the families that constituted the monthly meeting at who, excepting a slight dullness of hearing, seems its organization. to haye his faculties well preserved. Although he
J. M. T. spoke of his sight beginning to fail, depriving him of
EARLY TEMPERANCE WORK OF FRIENDS. the pleasure of reading; so excellent is his health that, to use his own words, he “had not missed a C. MOON, of Morrisville, Pa., sends to the Bucks meal for five years."
County Intelligencer some extracts from the early After a season of silence the opening minute was records of Falls Monthly Meeting. This was one of read, followed by the reading of several poems and the first settlements of Friends in Pennsylvania, essays, together with an historical sketch of the meet- some of them having come there from the New Jering, which originated about 1719, and after various sey side of the Delaware, before William Penn's ar
rival. The minutes below, as appears from their toward all men.” He drew the sword, not for condates, were begun about five years after Penn's com- quest or power, but for peace, and the preservation ing. The use of liquor was at that time common of the unity of a divided nation. amongst Friends as well as others. One minute He hated war and its evils; he loved peace and shows that William Biles, who appears to have been its fruits. When the sword was sheathed, and peace a storekeeper, and also the treasurer of the monthly secured, his policy as President was to perpetuate it, meeting, was ordered to furnish rum to a poor Friend both in our foreign and home relations. At the close and charge it the meeting's account. But attention of the rebellion, when our country was ripe for war was soon drawn to the injury which liquor did to the with England, over the famous “Alabama Claims,” Indians, and the Friends, as appears below, acted this man, whose words "let us have peace” had gone promptly in regard to the matter. The minutes re- forth to quiet the passions of war and sectional ferred to are as follows:
hatred, gave his whole influence as head of the naSecond month 6th, 1687.-" Whereas, it's offensive tion, for a just arbitration. Later, to the “Internato see the great disorders that arise amongst the In- tional Arbitration Union,” at Birmingham, he wrote: dians by reason of the rum that's sold to them, and 'Nothing would afford me greater happiness than to that Friends may keep clear of selling them any, or know, as I believe will be the case, that at some futo any that are Indian traders, it's agreed that Thom- ture day the nations of the earth will agree upon as Janney and William Yardley do speak with Wil- some sort of congress, which shall take cognizance of liam Biles and caution him thereof."
international questions of difficulty, and whose deThird month 4th, 1687.—“Whereas, at last meet- cisions will be as binding as the decisions of our suing two Friends were oppointed to speak to William preme court is binding on us.” It was Ulysses S. Biles about selling rum to such as sell it to the Indi- Grant who first recognized the efficacy of the peace
His answer is that it is not against the law, principles of Friends in dealing with the Indians. neither doth he know that it is any evil to do it; but, His conduct towards them was the beginning of tarhowever, if Friends desire him not to do it he will dy justice, and during his last illness he received a for the future forbear it. It is the unanimous judg- formal letter from a body of Friends, praising the ment of this meeting that it is a wrong thing to sell wisdom of his Indian policy, and testifying to the rum to the Indians, directly or indirectly, or to sell good it had done. For the reason that he was in rum to any person, that the person so selling it be- character, public policy and in hỊs influence in prilievest it is to be disposed of to the Indians, because vate life, a man of peace, Friends owe him highest we know and are satisfied that the Indians know not praise, and can draw many lessons from so great and how to use it in moderation, but most commonly to magnanimous a life. the abuse of themselves and others. *
He was a typical American, the product of our that Loyneli Brittam do speak to William Biles again own institutions. Born in obscurity, by his transand acquaint him that it is the desire of Friends that cendent worth he became “the first citizen of thə he would be very careful and wary how he doth dis- Republic.” He possessed an indomitable perseverpose of rum to such as sell it to the Indians.”
ance, and faith in whatever he undertook. To these The following minute shows that the Yearly Meet- were added force, integrity, genius for action, and, to ing, a few months later, took cognizance of this same crown all, great simplicity of character. evil. and recommended the subject to the care of all When honors were showered upon him, he acits branches.
cepted them with modesty; and in no way did the Eleventh month 4th, 1687.—“A testimony from admiration of his countrymen and of the world make the Yearly Meeting, held at Philadelphia, the 7th of him less worthy of praise. As he bore the successes the Seventh month last past, against the sale of strong of life, so also did he bear its reverses. With a calm liquors to the Indians, was this day read, and the ad- and unshaken faith in the goodness of God, he met vice therein, for the subscribing thereof, approved of, loss and failure, pain and death. and therefore it's ordered that the monthly meeting Yet the bitter hours of suffering were cheered and book be brought to the next meeting that the said brightened by daily evidences of the esteem and paper may be accordingly entered and subscribed.” gratitude of his countrymen of all parties and beliefs ;
The next reform step in this inatter that we find and by the knowledge that his great magnanimity in recorded in this book is the following minute:
victory had caused foe as well as friend to admire him Third month 6th, 1724.—“It is the sense of this and to extend the hands of sympathy and love. meeting that the bad practice of giving rum at ven- History will ever record on one of its brightest dues is of ill consequence and should be discouraged.” pages his generous treatment of our vanquished
countrymen of the South,
And have they forgotten it? The beautiful tribTHE CHARACTER OF PRESIDENT GRANT.
utes from those who were once his enemies are more eloquent than words can tell. Have we not cause to
be thankful to God for the life of one, who, above all umns of the INTELLIGENCER AND JOURNAL of the other men, stood as mediator between the disrupted life and services of Ulysses S. Grant, a man from whose sections of the country; by the memory and influence public and private career all sects and conditions of his great deeds, bringing harmony and love of may draw faithful lessons. His was the name of a country out of rebellion, discord and sectional strife ? warrior, but in his heart was “peace and good will His patience and Christian fortitude, his courage and
Editors INTELLIGENCER AND JOURNAL:
I regret there has been no recognition in the col