Collecting area: Quakers

Monadnock Quaker Meeting

Monadnock Quaker Meeting Records

1955-2012
1 vol., 3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 M663

In 1957, a group of Quakers in Rindge, New Hampshire, established an independent worship group affiliated with the Connecticut Valley Quarter which became the Monadnock Quaker Meeting in the following year. From 1957 to 2011, members of the meeting supported the Meeting School in Rindge, a co-educational boarding school run on Quaker principles.

The records of Monadnock Quaker meeting offer a perspective on the growth of the Society of Friends in southern New Hampshire over more than half a century. As kept by the meeting clerks, the records for the early 1980s include a jumble of newsletters, notes, drafts, and minutes of meetings which appear to be nearly complete.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

New Hampshire--Religious life and customsQuakers--New HampshireSociety of Friends--New Hampshire

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)Newsletters
Mount Toby Meeting of Friends

Mount Toby Meeting of Friends Collection

1977-1991
1 box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 694

The Northampton Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends (later the Middle Connecticut Valley Monthly Meeting) was formally established in 1939, bringing together the small community of Friends in Western Massachusetts. In 1959, the small preparative meetings in Amherst, Greenfield, Northampton, and South Hadley agreed to consolidate to create a more vital gathering. After five years without a fixed location, a Friend was moved to donate three acres of land on Long Plain Road in Leverett on which to build a proper meetinghouse. When that building opened in 1964, the meeting was renamed the Mt Toby Meeting.

Reflecting a strong history of promoting peace social justice, the Mt. Toby collection documents Friends’ involvement in a wide variety of issues ranging from war tax resistance (Randy Kehler and Betsy Corner), the “Colrain action” when the Kehler/Corner house was seized by the IRS), peace education and civil disobedience, refugee resettlement, the Sanctuary movement, and support for LGBT issues and racial equality. The collection consists largely of fliers and newsletters, ephemera, and newspaper clippings.

Subjects

Corner, BetsyKehler, RandyMount Toby Meeting of Friends (Quakers)PacifistsPeace movements--MassachusettsSanctuary movementSociety of Friends--MassachusettsWar tax resistance--Massachusetts
Mount Toby Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends)

Mount Toby Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends) Records

1937-2012
5 vols., 11 boxes 4.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 M686

Mount Toby Monthly Meeting of Friends (formerly Middle Connecticut Valley Monthly) was formed in the 1930s in Northampton, Mass., during a time of growth for Quakers in western New England. Now located in Leverett, Mass., the meeting has had two monthly meetings set off and has supported a number of small worship groups and preparative meetings in the region.

The records of Mount Toby Monthly Meetings include nearly complete minutes from its founding as an independent Monthly Meeting in 1939 to the present, with an extensive, but not complete set of newsletters. Covering nearly eighty years of Friends centered in the academic communities of the central Connecticut River Valley, the collection also includes some documentation of the Greenfield Preparative Meeting and a guest book from the Springfield Worship Group.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

Greenfield (Mass.)--Religious life and customsLeverett (Mass.)--Religious life and customsNorthampton (Mass.)--Religious life and customsQuakers--MassachusettsSociety of Friends--MassachusettsSpringfield (Mass.)--Religious life and customs

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

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

Nantucket Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends) Records

1776-1944
2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 N368

Established in 1708, the Nantucket Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends has had a distinctive history marked by the separations that troubled Quakerism in the nineteenth century. In 1830, Nantucket became one of the few monthly meetings in New England to divide along Hicksite and Orthodox lines, and as that separation was healing in 1845, the Wilburite and Gurneyite factions separated. Uniquely, the Wilburites split further in 1863, when the “Primitive” or “Otisite” Friends departed. Quaker worship was effectively absent on Nantucket from 1894 to about 1939.

This fraction of the records of the Nantucket Monthly Meeting of Friends documents the history of the meeting up to and through the Wilburite-Gurneyite schism. With the exception of some loose materials from the Women’s Meeting from 1776-1781, the collection contains little from the first several decades of the meeting (these are housed at the Nantucket Historical Association), but there is rich content on the state of the meeting and the conflict that followed the separation of 1845, along with minutes from the decade leading up the Wilburite-Gurneyite reunion in 1944.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

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

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)
Nantucket Monthly Meeting of Friends (Gurneyite : 1845-1867)

Nantucket Monthly Meeting of Friends (Gurneyite) Records

1845-1867
4 vols., 1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 G876 N368

Having already separated between Hicksite and Orthodox factions in 1830, Friends on Nantucket separated again in 1845 between Gurneyites and Wilburites. While Gurneyites were the “larger body” in nearly every other meeting in the region, on Nantucket they were the minority. Drawing some of their members from the Hicksites, who were disbanding at the time, the Gurneyite monthly was under the care of Sandwich Quarterly Meeting. Never great number, the meeting was laid down in 1867, although a worship group under care of New Bedford Monthly Meeting continued to 1897.

This relatively small collection offers relatively complete documentation for a short-lived Gurneyite Friends meeting, including nearly complete runs of minutes (including rough minutes) for both the men’s and women’s meetings and records of meeting finances.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

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

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)
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.

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)
Narragansett Quarterly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite: 1944-1951)

Narragansett Quarterly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite) Records

1945-1969
1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 W553 N3778

During the reunification of New England Friends in 1945, the Narragansett Quarterly Meeting (Wilburite) was formed as a transitional body. Established as a successor to the Rhode Island and Sandwich Quarterly Meeting (Wilburite) in 1944, it was the sole remaining Wilburite Quarterly, overseeing monthly meetings in North Dartmouth, Providence, and South Kingstown (which became Westerly in 1945). In 1951, Narragansett Quarter merged with the Rhode Island Quarterly Meeting.

The sparse collection for this ephemeral body consist solely of financial records maintained by the treasurer.

Gift of NEYM, April 2016

Subjects

Quakers--MassachusettsQuakers--Rhode IslandSociety of Friends--MassachusettsSociety of Friends--Rhode IslandWilburites

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Financial records
Narramissic Valley Monthly Meeting of Friends

Narramissic Valley Monthly Meeting of Friends Records

1992-1994
1 fol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 N3773

Beginning in 1972, worship group meetings met in Orland (Maine) in the care of the Midcoast Monthly Meeting. By 1979, the Orland Worship Group was set off as the Narramissic Valley Monthly Meeting. The meeting has been a member of the Vassalboro (Maine) Quarterly Meeting since 1979.

The single folder of records from the Narramissic meeting contains a partially complete set of minutes of monthly meetings from December 1992 to September 1994, lacking Apr, May, Aug and Oct 1993, and Mar 1994, as well as State-of-the-Society reports for 1992, 1993, and one unidentified year. It also contains a written statement of support for same-sex marriage.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

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

Types of material

Annual reportsMinutes (Administrative records)
New Bedford Monthly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite : 1845-1865)

New Bedford Monthly Meeting of Friends (Wilburite) Records

1845-1887
4 vols. 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 W553 N493

Formed during the separation of 1845, the Wilburite monthly meeting in New Bedford, Mass., was active until 1865. A member of Sandwich Quarterly Meeting (Wilburite), its members were joined to Dartmouth Monthly Meeting (Wilburite) after it was laid down.

The records of the New Bedford Monthly Meeting (Wilburite) include comprehensive minutes for both the men’s and women’s meetings, along with records of births, deaths, marriages, and removals.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, Apr. 2020

Subjects

New Bedford (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)
New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends Quaker History Collection

1783-1950
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 926

During the early twentieth century, the library at the Moses Brown School (formerly the Friends Boarding School) became an informal repository for Quaker manuscripts reflecting the history and work of the Society of Friends. Most of these materials were later transferred for custody to the school’s governing body, the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends.

This miscellaneous assortment of letters was apparently set aside by the staff at the Moses Brown School due to their historical content and preserved in the “vault.” Many of the letters appear to have been retained as good examples of Quaker expression of family and friendly bonds or as documentation about significant periods in Quaker history, particularly the Gurneyite-Wilburite controversy of the 1840s, and several touch on Quaker involvement in the antislavery and peace movements. Of special note are four interesting letters from the Quaker minister and social reformer, Elizabeth Comstock, written during and just after the Civil War; a series of nine lengthy letters from a visiting English minister Isaac Stephenson, traveling through New England meetings; a substantial series of letters from prominent Friend Samuel Boyd Tobey; and three letters from Harriet Beecher Stowe to Sarah F. Tobey regarding attempts to connect Stowe with Alexander T. Stewart in hopes of raising funds for her plans for the education of women.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, 2016

Subjects

Antislavery movements--United StatesGurney, James JosephSociety of Friends--HistoryWilbur, John,

Contributors

Comstock, Elizabeth L.Stewart, Alexander Turney, 1803-1876Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 1811-1896Tobey, Samuel Boyd, 1805-1867