Collecting area: Religion

Pembroke Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends)

Pembroke Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends) Records

1674-1988 Bulk: 1702-1876
7 vols., 1 folder 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 P463

The town of Pembroke, Mass., was home to one of the oldest monthly meetings in the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends. Established as the Scituate Monthly Meeting in 1672 and settled in Pembroke after 1706, the meeting operated until it was formally laid down in 1876. Worship groups met in Pembroke sporadically from 1964 to 1992.

The records of Pembroke Monthly Meeting contain an extensive series of both the men’s and women’s meetings from the early eighteenth century to 1876, when the meeting was laid down.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2016

Subjects

Pembroke (Mass.)--Religious life and customsQuakers--MassachusettsSociety of Friends--Massachusetts

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)Vital records (Document genre)
Perry, Henry H.

Henry H. Perry Papers

1940-1942
4 boxes 2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1019

A Quaker investment broker and attorney, Henry H. Perry was born in Rhode Island in about 1885. A prominent figure in the New England Yearly Meeting, Perry was called upon by the American Friends Service Committee to act as director of three of the Massachusetts Civilian Public Service Camps: Royalston, Petersham, and Ashburnham. Under the Selective Service Act of 1940, negotiations between the Selective Service and the major peace churches resulted in the creation of a system by which conscientious objectors were allowed to refrain from direct participation in the war, by serving instead in Civilian Public Service camps. Assigned to “work of national importance,” they filled in for war-related manpower shortages in a variety of areas, including the Forest Service, Soil Conservation Service, mental hospitals, telephone line maintenance and repair, fire-fighting, and clearing fire debris that was left in the wake of the 1937 New England hurricane. Living in Petersham with his wife Edith (Nicholson), Perry served as director of the camps from June 1941 until they were discontinued in October 1942. Perry writes, in a letter dated November 1942, that he is “no longer connected to CPS;” his correspondence is addressed from Dover, MA, showing that he relocated to the Boston area. However, little information is available about him after the camps closed.

This collection consists of administrative and business records concerning the start up, operation, and shut down of the AFSC-run CPS Camps in Royalston, Ashburnham, and Petersham, Mass. Camp Directors were under mandatory orders to keep the strict records that make up the bulk of this collection—administrative documentation, correspondences, health records, itineraries, financial reports and budgets, all pertaining to camp operations. This documentation acted as a deliberate gesture, demonstrating the competency and legitimacy of CPS camp work to Selective Service authorities. However, this collection also contains some personal correspondence and notes not directly related to camp administration, that give a personal, everyday-life, glimpse at the stresses, struggles, and emotional labor, on the part of Quakers, who had to step up, come together, and make the best of a terrible situation: protecting and caring for conscientious objectors during a time of war.

Part of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends Records, April 2017.

Subjects

Civilian Public ServicePacifists--MassachusettsQuakers--MassachusettsWorld War, 1939-1945--Conscientious objectors

Contributors

American Friends Service CommitteeSociety of Friends

Types of material

Newsletters
Plainfield Friends Meeting

Plainfield Friends Meeting Records

1971-2010
2 boxes 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 P535

The Plainfield, Vermont, Monthly Meeting began in 1959 as a worship group under the care of the Burlington Monthly Meeting. In 1965, it was set off from Burlington under the care of Northwest Quarterly Meeting. It has since been the source of several other worship groups, including those at Barton-Glover (1984-1990), St. Johnsbury (1987-1990), Montpelier (1992-1993), and Peacham, meeting in Barnet (Vt.) (1995-present).

The bulk of this collection includes minutes and newsletters spanning approximately 40 years. In addition to these records, there is a smattering of correspondence and committee reports as well as information on finances, membership, day camp and various programs.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

Plainfield (Vt.)--Religious life and customsQuakers--VermontSociety of Friends--Vermont

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)Newsletters
Pleasant Street Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends)

Pleasant Street Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends) Records

1952-1978
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 P543

Pleasant Street Monthly Meeting was formed in 1952 when a group from the programmed Worcester Monthly Meeting sought unprogrammed worship. After more than a decade as an independent meeting, Pleasant Street came under the care of Connecticut Valley Quarterly Meeting in 1963, and a decade later, they began to hold joint meetings with Worcester, formally merging in 1979 to form the Worcester-Pleasant Street Monthly Meeting (later Uxbridge Monthly).

This small collection consists of photocopies of the two original minutebooks compiled by Pleasant Street Monthly Meeting prior to its merger with Worcester to form the Worcester-Pleasant Street Monthly Meeting (now Uxbridge Monthly Meeting).

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2016

Subjects

Quakers--MassachusettsSociety of Friends--MassachusettsWorcester (Mass.)--Religious life and customs

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends
Politella Family

Politella Family Papers

1915-2004 Bulk: 1938-1956
2 boxes 3 linear feet
Call no.: MS 885
Depiction of Dario, Antonio, Lillian, and Joseph Politella in Amherst, ca.1930
Dario, Antonio, Lillian, and Joseph Politella in Amherst, ca.1930

When Antonio Politella emigrated from Italy to Lawrence, Mass., in 1910, he joined an older half-brother Walter Pollano, but left behind his wife and infant son. Working as a pharmacist under Pollano, Politella was successful enough to reunite his family in 1919, and eventually raised a family of three, all of whom went on to earn undergraduate degrees at Massachusetts State College and dedicate their lives to education. The eldest child, Joseph (’33), served in the Army Air Corps during the Second World War, earned a PhD in philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, and taught in eastern religions at Kent State University. Lillian (’42) became a French teacher, while Dario (’47), an aviator during the war, earned his doctorate at Syracuse and taught journalism at UMass Amherst for many years.

The Politella family collection contains correspondence received primarily by Lillian Politella (’42), the bulk of which reflects the impact on the war on both her family and college. Among the letters are dozens written by her brothers Joseph (’33) and Dario (’47) and friend Donald W. Cadigan (’39) while in the service, which are joined by an evocative series from their teacher and mentor, Ray Ethan Torrey. Torrey’s letters in particular offer insight into Mass. State College during and after the war and are replete with news about acquaintances and complaints about liberals and current events.

Gift of Norma E. Parras, Nov. 2015

Subjects

Buddhism--Study and teachingHinduism--Study and teachingMassachusetts State College--HistoryMassachusetts State College--StudentsMysticismTheosophyWorld War, 1939-1945

Contributors

Politella, DarioPolitella, JosephPolitella, V. LillianTorrey, Ray Ethan, 1887-1956

Types of material

Photograph albumsPhotographsScrapbooks
Pondtown Monthly Meeting of Friends

Pondtown Monthly Meeting of Friends Records

1991-1993
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 P663

Pondtown Monthly Meeting of Friends, based in Winthrop, Maine, began as a worship group under the care of the Winthrop, Maine Monthly Meeting in 1982. After a year, it was set off from Winthrop Monthly Meeting to become a monthly meeting as part of the Vassalboro Quarterly Meeting. Eight years later, in 1991, the Farmington Monthly Meeting was set off from Pondtown.

The collection consists of six folders, containing minutes from 1991-1993, State-of-the-Society reports for 1991 and 1992, some correspondence and a query.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

Maine--Religious life and customsQuakers--MaineSociety of Friends--Maine

Types of material

Annual reportsCorrespondenceMinutes (Administrative records)
Portland Friends Meeting

Portland Friends Meeting Records

1973-2010
2 boxes 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 P678

The current Portland Monthly Meeting has its origins in two different monthly meetings taking place in close proximity to each other that later merged into what is now the Portland Monthly Meeting. Friends’ meetings in Portland, Maine began in 1752, and by 1790, joined the neighboring Falmouth Monthly Meeting. In 1850, the group built a new meetinghouse on Oak Street in Portland, and started becoming known as the “Oak Street” meeting. Meanwhile, the other of two originating meetings began when a second meetinghouse was built in 1855 on Forest Avenue to house the Deering Preparative Meeting that eventually became the Forest Avenue Monthly Meeting in 1934. The two separate monthly meetings continued in Portland until 1974 when they merged into one: the current Portland Monthly Meeting.

The current collection consists of materials dating from just before the start of the 1974 merger. Newsletters make up the largest portion of the collection, and have extensive information about the meetings’ activities, including (in some years) biographies of various members. There are newsletters from most years between 1973-2010. Minutes, primarily from the late 1970s and the late 1980s, make up the next largest portion of the collection. In addition, there is a smattering of committee reports and membership directories mostly from the mid-1990s. Material predating the 1974 merger can be found at the Maine Historical Society.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

Portland (Me.)--Religious life and customsQuakers--MaineSociety of Friends--Maine

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)Newsletters
Providence Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends)

Providence Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends) Records

1725-2019
27 vols., 14 boxes 10.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 P768

The Providence monthly meeting began in 1705 as a preparative meeting under the care of the East Greenwich Monthly. Set off in 1718, Providence Preparative became Smithfield Monthly Meeting by 1731, when the town of Smithfield was formed from Providence. At its inception in 1718, it joined the Rhode Island Quarterly Meeting, and has continued with this quarterly meeting–in various forms–ever since. Almost 50 years later, in 1783, this meeting split into four groups, one of which continued as the Providence Monthly. The Wilburite Separation of 1844-1845 affected Providence significantly, but the meeting has remained viable to the present day.

A large and particularly rich collection for a Quaker monthly meetingin New England, the Providence Friends Meeting records include a substantial series of minutes of meetings, vital records, records of Ministry and Counsel, the Women’s Foreign Society, and the run of business with respect to epistles, cautions, admissions and denials, and transfers.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2016

Subjects

Providence (R.I.)--Religious life and customsQuakers--Rhode IslandSociety of Friends--Rhode Island

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Financial recordsMinutes (Administrative records)NewslettersVital records (Document genre)
Providence Monthly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite : 1844-1881)

Providence Monthly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite) Records

1844-1881
3 vols. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 W553 P768

Formed in the Separation of 1844-1845, the Providence Monthly Meeting (Wilburite) was, for a time, a significant presence in the Wilburite community. As part of the Rhode Island Quarterly, Providence oversaw worship groups or preparative meetings in Fall River, Greenwich, Newport, North Providence, Pawtucket, and Warwick. During the challenging years of the Civil War, Providence absorbed the smaller Swansea Monthly (1863) and Rhode Island Monthly (1864), but it persisted only until 1881.

The records of the Wilburite Providence Monthly Meeting consist of a complete set of minutes from both its men’s and women’s meetings.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2020

Subjects

Providence (R.I.)--Religious life and customsQuakers--Rhode IslandSociety of Friends--Rhode Island

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)
Providence Society for Abolishing the Slave-Trade

Providence Society for Abolishing the Slave-Trade Minute Book

1789-1827
1 vol. 0.2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 935

Founded in 1789, the Providence Society for Abolishing the Slave Trade was an early antislavery organization forged in the unique political and social climate of post-Revolutionary Rhode Island. An interdenominational organization with a membership comprised largely of Quakers, the Society served as a self-appointed watchdog for violations of the act abolishing the slave trade and they provided funds to prosecute violators and to support African Americans fighting for their rights in state courts. The Society lay essentially dormant from 1793 to 1824 , when it was revived as an all-purpose antislavery organization, and it appears to have ceased operations in 1827.

The minute book of the Providence Society for Abolishing the Slave Trade are an essentially complete record of the organization’s formal meetings. The volume begins by laying out the organization’s constitution and includes listings of officers and members and summary records of their activities.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, 2016

Subjects

African Americans--Rhode IslandAntislavery movements--Rhode IslandProvidence (R.I.)--HistoryQuakers--Rhode Island

Contributors

Brown, Moses, 1738-1832Howell, David, 1747-1824

Types of material

Minute books