Collecting area: Religion

Bennington Monthly Meeting of Friends

Bennington Monthly Meeting of Friends Records

1958-2004
4 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 B466

Beginning as an independent worship group in Arlington, Vermont, in 1949, the Bennington Monthly Meeting settled in Bennington in about 1959. It has been affiliated with the Northwest Quarterly Meeting in 1962, and two monthly meetings have been set off from it since: Putney (1969) and Wilderness (1978). Bennington has also cared for worship groups in Pawlet (1988-1989), Putney (1964-1968), and Williamstown, Mass. (1989-1992), as well as the Wilderness Preparative Meeting in Plymouth, Vt. (1977-1978).

Although lacking the earliest years of the meeting minutes, the records of the Bennington Friends Meeting contain consistent coverage between 1970 and 2004, along with a handful of state of the society reports and a disbound scrapbook that includes some details on the early years.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

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

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

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

Berwick Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends) Records

1802-1975
10 vols., 1 box 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 B479

The fortunes of the Berwick (Maine) Monthly Meeting reflect the rise and decline of Quakerism in southern Maine more generally. Worship began in North Berwick in about 1750 and the Berwick Monthly Meeting was formally set off from its parent, Dover, in 1802. Following the Wilburite split, however, the meeting gradually declined. Regular meetings were suspended in 1919 and the meeting was formally laid down in 1952.

The surviving records of the Friends Monthly Meeting in North Berwick, Maine, contain the minutes of men’s, women’s, and joint meetings from throughout 1802, when it was set off from Dover Monthly Meeting, until it was laid down in 1952. The collection also contains records of births, deaths, and marriages under auspices of the meeting from the first worship in North Berwick in 1750 into the mid-nineteenth century.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

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

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)Vital records (Document genre)
Berwick Monthly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite : 1845-1881)

Berwick Monthly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite) Records

1845-1881
2 vols. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 W553 B479

The Friends’ Monthly Meeting at Berwick, Maine, divided during the Wilburite split of 1845, with the smaller Wilburite Meeting organized under the Wilburite Dover Quarterly Meeting (1845-1851) and then under the combined Salem and Dover Quarterly. Berwick was laid down on April 28, 1881, with its last recorded meeting on May 26, 1881. Its members joined Dartmouth Monthly Meeting (Wilburite).

Surviving records of this short-lived Wilburite Friends meeting include one volume each of minutes from the Men’s and Women’s meetings.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

Berwick (Me.)--Religious life and customsQuakers--MaineSociety of Friends--MaineWilburites

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of FriendsSouth Kingstown Monthly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite: 1845-1945)

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)
Blanchard Family

Blanchard-Means Family Papers

ca.1770-1970
48 boxes 67 linear feet
Call no.: MS 830
Depiction of Abby Blanchard (later Mrs. Oliver W. Means) at Jacquard punching machine, ca.1890
Abby Blanchard (later Mrs. Oliver W. Means) at Jacquard punching machine, ca.1890

The seat of seven generations of the Blanchard and Means families, Elm Hill Farm was established prior to 1797, when the joiner Amasa Blanchard began acquiring property in Brookfield, Mass., as he looked forward to his marriage. The success he enjoyed in farming was a spark for his family’s prosperity. Amasa’s son Albert Cheney Blanchard left Brookfield in the 1830s to pursue commercial opportunities out west as a partner in the Richmond Trading Co., in Richmond, Ind., and by the time he returned home to take over operations after his father’s death in 1857, Albert had earned a fortune. In the years after the Civil War, Elm Hill grew to 1,300 acres crowned by a mansion built in 1870 that became the center of a compound of eight buildings. Each subsequent generation at Elm Hill has left its own distinctive mark. Albert’s son Charles P. Blanchard, a minister and talented amateur photographer, developed a renowned herd of Morgan horses, and Charles’ daughter Abby and her husband, the minister Oliver W. Means, added a herd of Jersey cattle that included a prize-winning bull, Xenia’s Sultan, imported in 1923, and the cow, You’ll Do Lobelia, better known as the original, real-life Elsie the Cow. Abby’s daughter-in-law, Louise Rich Means, laid acres of spectacular gardens on the estate. Following Louise’s death in 2009, Elm Hill left family ownership.

Consisting of nearly two centuries of papers that accumulated on the Elm Hill estate, the Blanchard-Means collection stretches from a handful of documents from the late eighteenth century relating to landholdings and Amasa ‘s work Blanchard as a joiner, to a blossoming of correspondence, photographs, ephemera, and realia dating from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Well-educated, well-traveled, and well-informed, the Blanchards and Means were prolific letter writers, and their papers provide wonderful insights into the lives of a religiously-devoted family from the New England elite. Among the highlights of the collection are the extensive records from the Richmond Trading Company and from the farm’s livestock and gardening operations (both Morgans and Jerseys) and a remarkable photographic record that document the family, the evolving landscape of Elm Hill, and the town of Brookfield, as well as hundreds of images from C.P. Blanchard’s world tours in the 1890s.

Subjects

Agriculture--Massachusetts--BrookfieldAsia--Description and travelBrookfield (Mass.)--HistoryCabinetmakers--Massachusetts--BrookfieldCongregational Church--Clergy--ConnecticutCongregational Church--Clergy--MassachusettsEurope--Description and travelJersey cattle--MassachusettsMorgan horse--MassachusettsYale University--Students

Contributors

Richmond Trading Company

Types of material

EphemeraPhotographs
Bolton Monthly Meeting of Friends

Bolton Monthly Meeting of Friends Records

1799-1972
6 vols. 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 B658

A Quaker worship group was formed in Bolton, Mass., in 1763 and grew into a separate monthly meeting in 1799. Always a small outpost, regular worship continued there until 1954, when the meetinghouse was sold to the museum at Old Sturbridge Village. The meeting was formally laid down to Worcester Monthly Meeting in 1972.

The surviving records of Bolton Monthly Meeting include relatively complete minutes from 1799 to 1972, plus records of marriages, births, and deaths into the latter years of the nineteenth century.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

Bolton (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)
Boston Monthly Meeting of Friends

Boston Monthly Meeting of Friends Records

1870-1974
37 vols., 1 box 3.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 B678

Although Quakers first worshipped in Boston in 1661, they were late in the game in organizing a formal meeting. A preparative meeting operated in the city for just over a hundred years (1707-1808) under the auspices of the Salem Monthly Meeting, and a second attempt at building a community began in 1870 with authorization of an indulged meeting in Roxbury. Set off formally as the Boston Monthly Meeting Friend in 1883, this meeting continued until 1944, when it merged with an independent meeting in neighboring Cambridge to create the current Friends Meeting at Cambridge.

The records in this collection offer thorough documentation of the Boston Monthly Meeting of Friends from its establishment as an indulged meeting in 1870 through to its merger in 1944 and change of name to the Friends Meeting at Cambridge. In addition to the meeting minutes, the collection includes substantial records of the monthly’s Friends Guild and Women’s Foreign Missionary Society.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

Boston (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)
Brown, Moses, 1738-1832

Moses Brown Papers

1713-1840
3 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 930

In the early Republic, Moses Brown emerged as an ardent abolitionist, a social reformer, and one of the best known philanthropists in his native Providence, R.I. A Baptist who converted to the Society of Friends in 1774, Brown had made a fortune as a merchant, partly in the triangular trade, but a crisis of conscience brought on by the ghastly results of an attempted slaving voyage in 1765 and the death of his wife in 1773 led him to reexamine his life. Withdrawing from most of his business affairs, Brown joined the Society of Friends and emancipated his slaves. He was a founder of the Providence Society for the Abolition of Slavery in 1786 and a strong voice for peace, temperance, and universal education.

A small, but rich archive of the personal papers of Moses Brown, this collection centers on Brown’s activities in antislavery, peace, and educational reform and his connections to the Society of Friends between the 1760s and 1830s. In addition to significant correspondence with major figures in early antislavery cause, including Anthony Benezet, George Benson, William Dillwyn, and Warner Mifflin, and some material relating to the Providence Society for the Abolition of Slavery, the collection includes outstanding content on peace activism. In addition to materials from Moses Brown, the collection includes letters to Moses’ son Obadiah Brown and some fascinating letters and manuscripts relating to Moses’ friend and fellow Friend, Job Scott.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, 2016

Subjects

Antislavery movements--Rhode IslandPeace movements--Rhode IslandQuakers--Rhode IslandRhode Island--History--18th century

Contributors

Benson, George W., 1808-1879Brown, Moses, 1738-1832Brown, Obadiah, 1771-1822Mifflin, WarnerProvidence Society for Abolishing the Slave-TradeProvidence Society for the Abolition of SlaveryScott, Job, 1751-1793
Brunswick Friends Meeting

Brunswick Friends Meeting Records

1990-1994
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 B786

The Brunswick Friend Meeting was established in 1983 after a year of unaffiliated worship under Falmouth Quarterly Meeting.

The records for the Brunswick Friends Meeting consist solely of State of the Society reports for the years 1990-1994.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

Quakers--MaineSociety of Friends--MaineTopsham (Me.)--Religious life and customs

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends
Buffington, Zephaniah, 1771-

Zephaniah Buffington Account Book

1803-1808
1 envelope 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 226

Quaker merchant and farmer from Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Includes two major notations about a large cheese purchase and the sale of hoes in Washington County, New York. Also contains inventories of goods, notations for notes payable and notes receivable, and accounts of his farm (including amounts of cheese made, accounts of farm tools, and the keeping of cows and sheep).

Subjects

Bristol County (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th centuryCheeseCheesemakers--Massachusetts--DartmouthDairying--Economic aspects--MassachusettsDartmouth (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th centuryFarmers--Massachusetts--DartmouthHoesMerchants--Massachusetts--DartmouthQuakers--Massachusetts--Bristol CountyQuakers--New York (State)--Washington CountyWashington County (N.Y.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

Buffington, Zephaniah, 1771-

Types of material

Account books
Burlington Monthly Meeting of Friends

Burlington Monthly Meeting of Friends Records

1959-2010
2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 B875

Friends in Burlington, Vermont, began gathering as an informal, unaffiliated worship group in 1951, joining the New England Yearly Meeting five years later as part of the Upper Connecticut River Valley Monthly Meeting. With the continued growth of Quakerism in the state, the meeting was divided in two with Burlington and Hanover becoming monthly meetings in 1959, jointly comprising the new Northwest Quarterly Meeting.

The somewhat spotty records of the Burlington Monthly Meeting include minutes for two brief spans of time in the early 1980s and early 1990s, leavened by a fairly complete run of newsletters from 1969 through 2010.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

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

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)Newsletters