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Amesbury Friends Meeting Records

1700-2010
11 vols., 3 boxes (2.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 902 a447

The Amesbury Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends, tied historically to the Hampton and Seabrook Monthly Meetings, has met on the coast of Massachusetts and New Hampshire for over three hundred years.

The records of Amesbury (Hampton and Seabrook) Monthly Meeting document over three centuries of Quaker practice in New England coastal communities. The meeting minutes for both men's and women's meetings are relatively complete for the period 1701 to the late 1880s, and after nearly a century-long hiatus, pick up again in the mid-1980s.

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Background on Amesbury Friends Meeting


An image of: Abbie Loring in Cape Cod Quaker attire, ca.1930. Photo by Alton H. Blackington

Abbie Loring in Cape Cod Quaker attire, ca.1930. Photo by Alton H. Blackington

A Friends' meeting on the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border, the Amesbury Monthly meeting has met in three closely-linked coastal communities since the turn of the eighteenth century. Friends were already a presence near Hampton, New Hampshire, before 1701, when Thomas Chase donated a parcel of land and Quakers from the surrounding towns raised the funds for construction of a meetinghouse there.

In the nearby town of Amesbury, Mass., Quakers were recorded as early as 1705, when locals began to meet under the care of Hampton Monthly Meeting. Between 1710, when a meetinghouse was completed in Amesbury, and 1768, monthly meeting alternated between the two towns. To complicate matters further the Hampton Monthly Meeting changed name to Seabrook Monthly in 1792, and in 1883 or 1884, the meeting adopted its current name, Amesbury Friends Meeting. They are known as the home of John Greenleaf Whittier, the most celebrated Quaker poet of the nineteenth century. As clerk of the Amesbury Building Committee in 1851, Whittier oversaw construction of the meetinghouse that is still in use today.

Part of the New England Yearly Meeting from its founding, Amesbury-Hampton have been part of Salem Quarterly Meeting since quarterly meetings were first established in 1705. As an early meeting in the region, Amesbury has given risen to a number of offshoots. Weare Monthly Meeting was set off in 1795, and Amesbury-Hampton have nurtured a number of worship groups and preparative meetings, including:

Worship groups Preparative meetings
Amesbury (1710-1889)
Brentwood, N.H. (1751-1756)
Chichester, N.H. (1778)
Epping, N.H. (1757-1803) Epping (1803-1901)
Hampton (1701-1778): became Seabrook Preparative
Haverhill, Mass. (1756-1758)
Kensington, N.H. (1755-1825)
Newbury, Mass. (1701-1761, 1790-ca.1830): became West Newbury Newbury (1761-1790)
Newton, N.H. (1754-1803)
Pittsfield, N.H. (1763-1802, 1860-1885) Pittsifled (1802-1860, 1885-1901): became South Pittsfield Worship Group
Salisbury, Mass. (1710-1803)
Seabrook, N.H. (1842-1885) Seabrook (1778-1842)
South Pittsfield, N.H. (1901-1954)
Weare, N.H. (1769-1777) Weare (1777-1795)
West Epping, N.H. (1901-1945)
West Newbury, Mass. (ca.1830-1853, 1881-1889) West Newbury (1853-1881)

Scope of collection

The records of Amesbury (Hampton and Seabrook) Monthly Meeting document over three centuries of Quaker practice in New England coastal communities. The meeting minutes for both men's and women's meetings are relatively complete for the period 1701 to the late 1880s, and after nearly a century-long hiatus, pick up again in the mid-1980s. The collection contains valuable, but incomplete, records of births, deaths, and marriages during the early years of the meeting and small bodies of materials relating to meeting finances.

In this finding aid, we use the meeting name appropriate to the time when describing the contents of the archive.

Inventory

Minutes
1701-2003
Men's minutes
1701-1888
Hampton-Seabrook Monthly: Men's minutes
1701-1757
Bound vol.
09:A5
Hampton-Seabrook Monthly: Men's minutes
1758 Jan. 19-1804 July 19
Bound vol.
09:A5
Seabrook Monthly: Men's minutes
1804 Aug. 16-1844 Mar. 7
Bound vol.
09:D2
Seabrook Monthly: Men's minutes
1844 Apr. 4-1888 Jan. 5
Bound vol.
09:D2
Seabrook Monthly: Men's minutes (rough)
1842-1843
Box 3: 2
Seabrook Monthly: Men's minutes (rough)
1844-1846
Box 3: 1
Seabrook Monthly: Men's minutes (rough)
1848-1850
Box 3: 1
Seabrook Monthly: Men's minutes (rough)
1851-1853
Box 3: 1
Seabrook Monthly: Men's minutes (rough)
1853-1860
Box 3: 2
Seabrook Monthly: Men's minutes (rough)
1863-1864
Box 3: 3
Women's minutes
1701-1885
Hampton-Seabrook Monthly: Minutes (Women)
1701-1752, 1780
Box 4
(11:B7)
Hampton-Seabrook Monthly: Minutes (Women)
1785 Feb. 17-1826 May 4
Bound vol.
09:A5
Seabrook Monthly: Minutes (Women)
1826 June 1-1851 Dec. 4
Bound vol.
09:D2
Seabrook Monthly: Minutes (Women)
1852 Jan.-1885 Dec.
Bound vol.
09:D2
Joint minutes
1985-2003
Amesbury Monthly: Minutes
1985-1987
Box 2: 2
Amesbury Monthly: Minutes
1988-1989
Box 2: 3
Amesbury Monthly: Minutes (includes State of Society reports for 1987, 1989-1991)
1990-1992 May
Box 2: 4
Amesbury Monthly: Minutes
1999-2001 Nov.
Box 2: 5
Amesbury Monthly: Minutes
2002-2003 July
Box 2: 6
Correspondence and reports
1700-1878
Seabrook Monthly: Removal certificates
1840-1876
Box 3: 5
Vital records
1700-1878
Hampton-Seabrook Monthly: Births, deaths, and marriages
1700-1878
Bound vol.
09:A5
Hampton-Seabrook Monthly: Minutes and marriages
1701 June 15-1757 Dec. 15
Bound vol.
09:A5
Amesbury Monthly: Stephen Sawyer and Sarah Rowell wedding certificate
1719 Feb. 20
Framed
Seabrook Monthly: Membership list
1873, 1875
Box 3: 4
Worship and ministry
1858-1893
Seabrook Monthly: Select Preparative Meeting
1858 Oct. 6-1893 Aug. 2
Bound vol.
09:D2
Seabrook Monthly: Traveling ministers: Beede, Daniel
1858-1867
Box 3: 7
Seabrook Monthly: Traveling ministers: Folsom, Thomas and Soviah
1865-1876
Box 3: 8
Seabrook Monthly: Traveling ministers: Gove, Edward and Elizabeth
1843-1873
Box 3: 9
Seabrook Monthly: Traveling ministers: Huntington, Moses
1841-1872
Box 3: 10
Seabrook Monthly: Traveling ministers: Meader, Martha
1864
Box 3: 11
Seabrook Monthly: Traveling ministers: Ordway, Newell
1841-1865
Box 3: 12
Seabrook Monthly: Traveling ministers: Ordway, Newell
1866-1871
Box 3: 13
Seabrook Monthly: Traveling ministers: Thompson, William
1846-1853
Box 3: 14
Finance and property
1835-1988
Seabrook Monthly: Treasurer
1835-1900
Bound vol.
09:D2
Seabrook Monthly: Property Committee
1980-1988
Box 2: 1
Seabrook Monthly: Property Committee
1980-1988
Box 1: 1
Seabrook Monthly: Property Committee grants
1983
Box 1: 2
Seabrook Monthly: Property Committee: Meetinghouse property data
1980-1981
Box 1: 3
Seabrook Monthly: Salem Quarterly correspondence re: Yearly Meeting stock
1841-1878
Box 3: 15
Newsletters and publications
1822
Epistle from the Yearly Meeting held in London. Boston: Stephen G. Jones
1876
Box 3: 16
Epistle from the Yearly Meeting held in London. Boston: Stephen G. Jones
1878
Box 3: 16
The Friends Library [subscription sheet]. Philadelphia: s.n.
1842
Box 3: 16
New-England Tract Association of Friends: Form of a constitution for auxiliaries. Providence, R.I.: s.n.
1838
Box 3: 16
A testimony issued by a conference of Friends held at Sugar Grove, Hendricks County, Indiana. S.l.: s.n.
1877
Box 3: 16
Yearly Meeting of Friends for New-England: Correspondents of New-England Yearly Meeting. S.l.: s.n.
1845
Box 3: 16
Yearly Meeting of Friends for New-England: [subscription list for "Memorials of deceased Friends of New-England Yearly Meeting"]. S.l.: s.n.
1841
Box 3: 16
Miscellaneous
1822
Beebe, Ruth: Letter to Jonathan Beebe (son at Friends Boarding School)
1822 Jan. 16
Box 3: 5

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Provenance

Gift of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends Records, March 2016.

Related Material

This collection is part of the New England Yearly Meeting Records.

Current contact for the meeting

Amesbury Friends Meeting website (accessed Nov. 2018).

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, October 2018.

Language:

English

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Amesbury Friends Meeting Records (MS 902 a447). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Amesbury (Mass.)--Religious life and customs
  • Hampton(N.H.)--Religious life and customs
  • New England Yearly Meeting of Friends
  • Quakers--Massachusetts
  • Quakers--New Hampshire
  • Seabrook (N.H.)--Religious life and customs
  • Society of Friends--Massachusetts
  • Society of Friends--New Hampshire

Contributors

  • Amesbury Friends Meeting [main entry]

Genres and formats

  • Minutes (Adminisrative records)
  • Newsletters
  • Vital records (Document genre)

Link to similar SCUA collections