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American Friends Service Committee. Western Massachusetts

American Friends Service Committee Records

1975-2005
25 boxes, 1 oversized folder 36.2 linear feet
Call no.: MS 459

Established in 1968 in response to the war in Vietnam, the AFSC office in western Massachusetts did not limit its focus to draft and military counseling, instead the organization broadened its focus over time to include educational and outreach programs for a variety of peace and socal justice issues. Today the chapter focuses on economic justice, campaigns against U.S. military intervention, and actions to combat racism and classism. With an emphasis on serving the community of western Massachusetts, the program is equally committed to calling attention to issues of both national and local importance. Recent campaigns range from ending the war in Iraq and supporting peace in Columbia to preventing the construction of a new jail in Chicopee.

The collection consists chiefly of subject files that together provide a picture of the various issues in which the western Massachusetts AFSC was involved. Topics range from the organization’s earliest focus, the Vietnam War, to the first Gulf War, landlord/tenant relations, immigration, and landmines. The collection also includes materials relating to public figures, some of whom traveled to the region to speak.

Subjects
Activists--Massachusetts
Massachusetts--Economic conditions
Peace movements--Massachusetts
Social justice--Massachusetts
Contributors
American Friends Service Committee. Western Massachusetts
Austin, Samuel

Samuel Austin Collection

1718-1920
2 boxes 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 937

An historian and educator, Samuel Austin (1816-1897) was known for his long association with the Friends Boarding School in Providence, R.I. (later renamed the Moses Brown School). An alumnus who married an alumna, Elizabeth H. Osborn, Austin taught at the Boarding school for decades and was instrumental in gathering and preserving documents relating to the school. He wrote and lectured regularly on the history of Friends’ education and on the Boarding School, and its noted teachers and alumni.

A product of the historical work of Samuel Austin, the collection contains both essays, notes, and talks on the Friends’ Boarding School in Providence and on Moses and Obadiah Brown, and some significant original documents used by Austin in his research. Noteworthy among the original materials are a fascinating series of records from monthly and quarterly meetings in and near Rhode Island, mostly in 1787-1793; a rich series of epistles received by Smithfield Monthly Meeting from other meetings in New England (1718-1767); some key printed epistles from Yearly Meetings, including those on war (London, New England, and Philadelphia Yearly) and slavery (London and Philadelphia). Of equal note are a series of letters from Elisha Thornton (a New Bedford merchant, educator, and antislavery advocate), a lengthy letter on doctrine from John Wilbur, and a 1765 sermon from Rachel Wilson.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, 2016
Subjects
Antislavery movements
Brown, Moses, 1738-1832
Friends Boarding School (Providence, R.I.)
Peace movements--Rhode Island
Quaker women--Rhode Island--18th century
Quakers--Education--Rhode Island
Rhode Island--History--18th century
Society of Friends--History--Rhode Island
Contributors
Thornton, Elisha, 1748-1816
Wilbur, John 1774-1856
Types of material
Correspondence
Minutes (Administrative records)
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 Island
Peace movements--Rhode Island
Quakers--Rhode Island
Rhode Island--History--18th century
Contributors
Benson, George W., 1808-1879
Brown, Moses, 1738-1832
Brown, Obadiah, 1771-1822
Mifflin, Warner
Providence Society for Abolishing the Slave-Trade
Providence Society for the Abolition of Slavery
Scott, Job, 1751-1793
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 century
Cheese
Cheesemakers--Massachusetts--Dartmouth
Dairying--Economic aspects--Massachusetts
Dartmouth (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Farmers--Massachusetts--Dartmouth
Hoes
Merchants--Massachusetts--Dartmouth
Quakers--Massachusetts--Bristol County
Quakers--New York (State)--Washington County
Washington County (N.Y.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Contributors
Buffington, Zephaniah, 1771-
Types of material
Account books
Dover Friends Meeting

Dover Friends Meeting Records

1678-2007
23 boxes, 3 vols. 6 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 D684

The Friends Meeting at Dover, New Hampshire, is one of the oldest in British North America, with worship held there as early as 1662 when three Quaker women missionaries arrived on Dover Neck. Originally called Piscataqua, the meeting emerged as Dover Monthly Meeting by the latter decades of the seventeenth century and became the hub of a thriving Quaker community and the font from which several other New Hampshire meetings derived. In addition to overseeing a number of worship groups and preparatory meetings, Dover became the mother of monthlies and Berwick and Sandwich, which were set off in 1802, and Gonic in 1981.

The records of Dover Monthly Meeting offer extensive documentation of one of the oldest Quaker meetings in northern New England. Although most of the earliest records have not survived, the collection includes a nearly unbroken set of minutes from the turn of the eighteen century to 1981; extensive records of births, deaths, and marriages; spotty records for Ministry and Oversight and finance, and an array of recent newsletters. Minutes for the Women’s Meeting for the years 1783-1814 are not present and presumed lost.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting
Subjects
Dover (N.H.)--History
Quakers--New Hampshire
Society of Friends--New Hampshire
Types of material
Minutes (Administrative records)
Vital records (Document genre)
Durham Friends Meeting

Durham Friends Meeting Records

1967-2015
7 vols., 2 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 D874
Depiction of Durham Friends Meetinghouse
Durham Friends Meetinghouse

Durham Friends Meeting was set off as a monthly meeting under Salem Quarter in 1790, and was transferred to Falmouth Quarter in 1794. Leeds Monthly was set off from Durham in 1813, and Durham over saw a preparative meeting in the adjoining town of Lewiston until it, too, was set off in 1980.

The records of Durham Monthly Meeting consist of minutes of the meeting for business since 1987 and newsletters from 1967 to the present. Older records for the meeting are held at the Maine Historical Society.

Gift of NEYM and Durham Friends Meeting
Subjects
New England Yearly Meeting of Friends
Quakers--Maine
Society of Friend--Maine
Types of material
Minutes (Administrative records)
Gould, Thomas

Thomas Gould, A list of the names of publick Friends, who have visited New England

1838
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 903 bd

Born in Middletown, R.I., on May 25, 1730, Thomas Gould was part of an extended Quaker family in Newport County and descendant of one of the first Quaker converts in Rhode Island. Enjoying success as a “mechanic” and farmer, according to Representative Men and Old Families of Rhode Island (1908), he married Alice Chase of Portsmouth in March 1757 and raised a large family of five boys and five girls. Gould died on May 3, 1795.

This slender volume includes a chronological record visits to New England by Public Friends: Quakers who were considered to have a special gift in prayer or public speaking and who often traveled widely to minister.

Subjects
Quakers--New England
Types of material
Booklets
Holmes, Francis W.

Francis W. Holmes Southern Student Project Collection

1964-1972
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1008
Depiction of Deborah Craig as majorette, ca.1966
Deborah Craig as majorette, ca.1966

Between 1957 and 1968, the Southern Student Project of the American Friends Service Committee brought academically gifted African American high school students from the south to live and study in the north. Working initially through its New York office, the AFSC announced its desire to bring “to promising young people, thwarted by the doctrine of the separation of the races, the fullest development of their gifts” while providing northern whites with “an experience which will increase our understanding and deepen our involvement with the human community.”

A dense and nearly comprehensive record of participation in the Southern Student Project of the American Friends Service Committee, the Holmes collection documents a Quaker response to the civil rights crisis of the late 1950s and 1960s. Holmes carefully filed nearly every relevant piece of paper associated with his participation, from the fliers that introduced him to the project to listings of eligible students, his lengthy letter of inquiry and application, and his numerous exchanges with his support committee, the local high school, and the American Friends Service Committee. Perhaps more important, he kept both sides of an extensive and often lengthy correspondence with the Craig family, describing Deborah’s adjustment and progress in Amherst and the response of the local community. The collection also includes Holmes’ report of the Friends Conference on Race Relations and some correspondence between Holmes and Craig during her time in college, when Holmes attempted to provide counsel and financial support to help Craig continue her education.

Gift of Becky Holmes, May 2018
Subjects
African Americans--Education
Civil rights movements
Race relations
Contributors
American Friends Service Committee. Southern Student Project
Craig, Deborah
Mount Toby Monthly Meeting of Friends
Howland family

Howland Family Papers

1727-1886 Bulk: 1771-1844
2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 923

The Howland family of East Greenwich, R.I., figured prominently in New England Quakerism during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and contributed to the state’s public affairs. Brothers Daniel (1754-1834), an approved minister, and Thomas Howland (1764-1845), an educator, were active members of the Society during the tumultuous years between the 1780s and 1840s, caught up in the moral demands for a response to slavery and other social issues and in the divisions wrought by evangelical influences.

Centered largely on the lives of Thomas Howland, his brother Daniel, and Daniel’s son Daniel, the Howland collection is an important record of Quaker life in Rhode Island during trying times. As meeting elders, the Howlands monitored and contributed to the era’s major controversies, and the collection is particularly rich in discussions of the impact of slavery and the passionate struggle between Friends influenced by the evangelically-inclined Joseph John Gurney and the orthodox John Wilbur. Thomas’ complex response to his commitment to the antislavery cause and his fear of disrupting meeting unity is particularly revealing. Also of note is a series of responses from monthly meetings to queries on compliance with Quaker doctrine, obtained during the decade after the American Revolution.

Subjects
Antislavery movements--Rhode Island
East Greenwich (R.I.)--History
Peace movements--Rhode Island
Temperance--Rhode Island
Contributors
Bassett, William, 1803-1871
Brown, Moses, 1738-1836
Friends' Boarding School (Providence, R.I.)
Gurney, Joseph John, 1788-1847
Howland, Daniel
Howland, Daniel, 1754-1834
Howland, Thomas, 1764-1845
Moses Brown School
New England Yearly Meeting of Friends
Shearman, Abraham, 1777-1847
Society of Friends--Controversial literature
Society of Friends--History
Tobey, Samuel Boyd, 1805-1867
Wilbur, John, 1774-1856
Milne, Teddy

Teddy Milne Papers

1952-2010
36 boxes 54 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1048
Depiction of Teddy Milne, ca. 1981
Teddy Milne, ca. 1981

Born in 1930 in Delaware, Ohio, Margaret Theodora “Teddy” Milne, graduated from Boston University in 1952 before attending the University of Paris in 1953-1954 for post-graduate studies. Milne moved to Northampton, Mass. in 1959 to teach at the Northampton School for Girls. She married Alexander W. Milne, general manager of radio station WHMP, in 1965 and together the couple had three sons: Timmon, Peter, and James. Milne worked as a writer, serving as a reporter and copy editor at the Daily Hampshire Gazette, before establishing and editing two journals focused on peace: Laser, a children’s newsletter, and Compassion Magazine. She owned and operated the Pittenbruach Press, which published her journals as well as several book she authored, including Peace Porridge (v. 1-3, 1987-1995), War is a Dinosaur (1987), Solo Publishing (1990), Mooncakes and Flower Beans (1994), and Calvin Coolidge Doesn’t Live Here Any More (1994), and contributed articles, stories, and crossword puzzles to magazines and newspapers.

As an active author and peace activist, the Teddy Milne Papers cover all of her primary passions from parenting and teaching to publishing and anti-nuclear activism. The collection contains photographs and newsletters from her days as a teacher at the Northampton School for Girls as well as articles and columns she prepared for the Daily Hampshire Gazette. There are extensive records documenting the Pittenbruach Press, which Milne operated, including materials related to the journals and books she published. A series of letters along with files related to committee work and Milne’s membership in Quakers United in Publishing (QUIP), reveal the important role her Quaker faith played in her life.

Subjects
Antinuclear movement—United States
Authors and publishers
Northampton School for Girls (Northampton, Mass.)
Peace movements
Publishers and publishing—Vocational guidance
Quakers—New England
Types of material
Correspondence
Photographs
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