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Nantucket Monthly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite: 1845-1945)

Nantucket Monthly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite) Records

1845-1976
2 vols., 1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 W553 N368

In the complex history of Quakerism on Nantucket, the Wilburite Nantucket Monthly Meeting of Friends stands out. Separating from the numerically smaller Gurneyites in 1845, the “Otisite” monthly on Nantucket separated again in 1863, drawing away from the Wilburite Sandwich Quarterly Meeting, drawing with them a number of sympathetic Friends on the mainland, particularly in Warwick, R.I. Although worship on the island effectively ended in 1894, the mainland Otisites maintained their separation until 1911. Quaker worship on Nantucket was revived in 1939 and with the reunion of Wilburites and Gurneyites in 1944, the monthly meeting decided to remain independent, joining New England Yearly Meeting only in 1956.

This small, but important collection is centered on the latter years of the Wilburite meeting on Nantucket, during the period of reunification with Gurneyites. The bulk of records for the Nantucket Monthly Meeting (Wilburite) are housed at the Nantucket Historical Association.

Background on Nantucket Monthly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite)

The turmoil within Quakerism during the first half of the nineteenth century resonated more profoundly, and more complexly in Nantucket, than almost anywhere else. Having already experienced a split between Hicksite and Orthodox factions in 1830, a Wilburite-Gurneyite split ensured within the Orthodox body in 1845. While elsewhere in New England the Gurneyites were the “larger body,” on Nantucket, the opposite was the case, outnumbering and outlasting the Gurneyites, who were laid down in 1867.

The Wilburites continued to experience turmoil, however, undergoing another separation in 1863, when a small group of “Primitive” or “Otisite” Friends seceded from the Wilburite Sandwich Quarterly Meeting of which they were part, forming a new Sandwich Quarterly Meeting (Otisite) and taking with them a number of sympathetic Friends on the mainland, mostly in Rhode Island. Although meetings for worship on Nantucket effectively ended in 1894, the mainland Otisites, based in Lynn, Mass., and Warwick, R.I., carried on the name Nantucket Monthly Meeting of Friends until 1911, when the Otisites reunited with the Wilburites.

Quaker worship was revived on Nantucket with summer meetings beginning in 1939. The Nantucket worship group decided to remain independent after the Wilburite and Gurneyite reunification in 1944, however its members in Warwick affiliated with the Providence Monthly meeting. The Nantucket worship group eventually affiliated with New England Yearly Meeting in 1956, and with Sandwich Quarterly Meeting in 1990.

Scope of collection

This small, but important collection is centered on the latter years of the Wilburite meeting on Nantucket, during the period of reunification with Gurneyites. The bulk of records for the Nantucket Monthly Meeting (Wilburite) are housed at the Nantucket Historical Association.

Inventory

Nantucket Monthly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite)
1845-1976
Nantucket Monthly (Wilburite): Minutes
1928-1934
09:B3
Nantucket Monthly (Wilburite): Minutes
1939-1944
09:B3
Nantucket Monthly (Wilburite): Correspondence [removed from volume of rough minutes for 1938-1945]
1938-1944
Box 1: 1
Nantucket Monthly (Wilburite): Correspondence re: archives
1944
Box 1: 2
Nantucket Monthly (Wilburite): Demand for property
ca.1845
Box 1: 3
Nantucket Monthly (Wilburite): Outreach
1927-1941
Box 1: 4
Nantucket Monthly (Wilburite): Removals
1850-1862
Box 1: 5
Nantucket Monthly (Wilburite): Ministers and Elders
1927-1944
09:B3
Nantucket Monthly (Wilburite): Receipts
1914-1944
Box 1: 6
Nantucket Monthly (Wilburite): Epistles and other communications
1828-1947
Box 1: 7
Gould, L. A.: An account of New England Yearly Meeting
1845
Box 1: 8
Maule, Joseph: Broadsides of religious meetings
1871, 1873
Box 1: 9
Mitchell, Mary: Some thoughts on the qualifications of an elder in the Church of Christ [copy made ca.1890]
1807
Box 1: 10
Nantucket Monthly (Wilburite): Burial ground
1894-1944
Box 1: 11
Nantucket Monthly (Wilburite): Civilian Public Service and war
1940-1943
Box 1: 12
Nantucket Monthly (Wilburite): History: Elizabeth Foster and Robert S. Leach
undated
Box 1: 13
Nantucket Monthly (Wilburite): History: Robert S. Leach essays
1976
Box 1: 14
Nantucket Monthly (Wilburite): Ministers who have visited the Foster family, Centreville, R.I.
ca.1860
Box 1: 15
Nantucket Monthly (Wilburite): Miscellaneous
1846-1924
Box 1: 16
Nantucket Monthly (Wilburite): Paddock, Emma: care and interment
1900
Box 1: 17
Neson, . Ripley: The Nantucket Friends Burial Ground
1954
Box 1: 18

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.

The bulk of records from the Wilburite Nantucket Monthly Meeting are held at the Nantucket Historical Association:

  • Men’s and joint minutes, 1845-1873: half vol.
  • Women’s minutes, 1845-1868: half vol.
  • Women’s minutes (rough), 1848-1859: 1 vol.
  • Joint minutes, 1873-1900: 1 vol.
  • Joint minutes, 1900-1944: 2 vols.
  • Membership, 1845-1912: half vol.
  • Marriages, 1845-1940: half vol.
  • Removals and denials, 1845-1898: half vol.
  • Ministers and elders, 1845-1911: half vol.
  • Treasurer’s book, 1845-1857 1?2 vol.
  • Treasurer’s book, 1856-1944 1 vol.
  • Library books, 1845-1869: half vol.
  • Miscellaneous loose papers, 1845-1889: 0.5 ft.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, October 2018.

Language:

English

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Nantucket Monthly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite) Records (MS 902 W553 N368). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Cemeteries–Massachusetts–Nantucket
  • Nantucket (Mass.)–Religious life and customs
  • Quakers–Massachusetts
  • Society of Friends–Massachusetts
  • Wilburites

Names

  • New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Link to similar SCUA collections

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

Nantucket (Mass.)--Religious life and customsQuakers--MassachusettsSociety of Friends--MassachusettsWilburites

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)