Collecting area: Quakers

North Easton Monthly Meeting of Friends

North Easton Monthly Meeting of Friends Records

1980-1994
3 boxes 1.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 N437

Responding to a concern expressed in the New England Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends in 1971, Quakers in eastern Massachusetts set out to create an intentional Quakerly community for the care of elder Friends. The first meeting for worship took place in 1977, with the first residents moving in to Friends Crossing in 1979, leading to recognition of North Easton as a monthly meeting under Rhode Island-Smithfield Quarter in 1980. In the following years, however, the reduction in numbers of older members and decline in attenders, led to the decision in 1994 to lay down the meeting.

The records of North Easton Monthly Meeting document the short career of a meeting built around a planned Quaker intentional community. The relatively complete set of minutes is accompanied by a mixed, but useful body of financial records documenting the meeting’s dissolution.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

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

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Minutes (Administrative records)
North Fairfield Monthly Meeting of Friends

North Fairfield Monthly Meeting of Friends Records

1979-1994
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 N435

Quaker worship began in Fairfield, Maine, in 1784, under the care of Falmouth Quarterly Meeting, resulting in creation of a preparative meeting in 1803 under aegis of Sidney Monthly. Fairfield Monthly Meeting was set off in 1911, changing its name to North Fairfield in about 1935.

Documentation of North Fairfield Monthly Meeting is quite scant, consisting only of an incomplete set of newsletters and meeting calendars, 1979-1994, and some extracts from meeting minutes, including two referring to acceptance of same sex marriage. The early minutes of the meeting are apparently lost.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

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

Contributors

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

Types of material

Newsletters
North Shore Friends Meeting

North Shore Friends Meeting Records

1985-2010
1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 N6785

The North Shore Friends Meeting first took shape in 1979-1980 as a Preparative Meeting, meeting in Wenham, Massachusetts. In 1981, it was set off from the Cambridge (Massachusetts) Monthly Meeting, establishing itself as a Monthly Meeting in nearby Beverly Farms, Massachusetts. It is part of the Salem (MA) Quarterly Meeting.

The North Shore Meeting collections consists primarily of a run of monthly newsletter from May 1993 – Jan 2010, but also includes one folder of correspondence and one folder of several State-of-the-Society reports.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

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

Types of material

Annual reportsNewsletters
Northampton Friends Meeting

Northampton Friends Meeting Records

1991-1999
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 N678

The Northampton (Massachusetts) Meeting began as a monthly meeting set off from the Mount Toby monthly meeting in nearby Leverett, Massachusetts in 1994. In 1991, support for a Northampton meeting had begun to grow, so a preparative meeting, under the care of the Mount Toby meeting, met from 1991-1994. In 1994, a newly-established Northampton meeting was formed.

The collection includes almost all minutes from July 1991 through July 1993, as well as a State of the Society report for 1993. (See April 1993). The State of the Society report is called out in its own folder for 1994, the first year of the re-established Northampton monthly meeting. Then the minutes continue from September 1995 through July 1999.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

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

Types of material

Annual reportsMinutes (Administrative records)
Northwest Quarterly Meeting of Friends

Northwest Quarterly Meeting of Friends Records

1957-1989
2 boxes 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 N67848

The Northwest Quarterly Meeting of Friends consists of a collection of monthly meetings located in northwestern New England, specifically from Vermont and western New Hampshire. It was formed out of the Upper Connecticut (CT) Valley Monthly Meeting and was set off from the Connecticut Valley Quarterly Meeting in 1959. It currently includes monthly meetings from Bennington (VT), Burlington (VT), Hanover (NH), Plainfield (VT) and Putney (VT).

The collection primarily includes correspondence from the start of the QM in 1959 to 1982, and is organized by clerk, chronologically. It also includes a partial collection of minutes, mostly handwritten from 1959-1974, and a folder of Ministry and Counsel committee minutes from 1964 and from 1970. There are six folders of administrative records (mailings lists and position statements) and a folder of miscellaneous logistical information sent to the membership about preparations for various quarterly meetings. There are also 2 additional boxes with an almost complete set of issues of the newsletter “The Nor’wester” from 1959-2005.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

New Hampshire--Religious life and customsQuakers--New HampshireQuakers--VermontSociety of Friends--New HampshireSociety of Friends--VermontVermont--Religious life and customs

Types of material

CorrespondenceMinutes (Administrative records)Newsletters
Obadiah Brown’s Benevolent Fund

Obadiah Brown's Benevolent Fund Records

1814-2015
3 boxes, 7 vols. 5.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 956

Upon his death in 1822, Obadiah Brown bequeathed $100,000 from his sizable estate to support the Friends Boarding School in Providence, R.I., with much of the rest endowing a charitable fund that bears his name. A committed Quaker and philanthropist like his father Moses, Obadiah stipulated that the annual income from his benevolent fund be directed “principally for the benefit of our religious society” and assist in spreading “our Religious Principles where they are little known.” Independent of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends and administered by twelve trustees, the Fund over the years has supported Quaker education, the publication and distribution of religious literature, and other projects that provide “benefits to the Religious Society,” including work in peace and social justice. The Trustees also administer a separate fund with similar purpose established by 1914 bequest from Sarah J. Swift.

Beginning with records documenting the establishment of the Benevolent Fund, the collection documents nearly two centuries of philanthropic support for Quaker causes. In addition to copies of Brown’s will and the incorporating documents and by-laws, the collection includes a nearly comprehensive set of Trustees’ minutes and treasurer’s reports, with some supporting documents.

Gift of the Obadiah Brown Benevolent Fund, Mar. 2017

Subjects

Charities--New EnglandSociety of Friends--Charities
Orono Monthly Meeting of Friends

Orono Monthly Meeting of Friends Records

1971-2007
2 boxes 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 O766

The Orono (Maine) Monthly Meeting of Friends began meeting as an independent worship group as early as 1960, but in 1969, continued as a worship group in 1969 under the care of the Vassalboro (Maine) monthly meeting. They continued as a worship group until 1973, when they were set off as an independent monthly meeting, and a member of the Vassalboro Quarterly Meeting. In the 2010’s, membership fluctuated with members moving out of state, and new members arriving and joining, though membership remained small. In the late 2010s, membership dropped again and the meeting shifted to being a worship group as of 2017.

The largest portion of the collection consists of a partially-complete set of minutes from 1971 to 2007 (lacking 2001-2003), that included annual State of the Society Reports; these have been filed separately for easier identification. The collection also has a substantial set of treasurer’s reports from 1973-2000 (lacking 1993), and a set of newsletters from 1977-1991. There is one report from a constituent preparative meeting–Still Waters Conservative Friends Meeting–in 2005. In addition, there are several folders with correspondence, committee reports, and some vital and administrative records.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

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

Types of material

Annual reportsCorrespondenceMinutes (Administrative records)Newsletters
Parsonsfield Monthly Meeting of Friends

Parsonsfield Monthly Meeting of Friends Records

1984
1 folder 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 902 P377

In 1801, the Limington (Maine) Preparative Meeting–the forerunner of the Parsonsfield Monthly Meeting–was launched, under the care of the Falmouth (Maine) Monthly Meeting. In 1888, the Parsonsfield Preparative Meeting, begun in 1846, became the Parsonsfield Monthly Meeting, and joined the newly-formed Parsonsfield Quarterly Meeting including Parsonsfield in Maine, and Sandwich in New Hampshire. By 1938, this quarterly meeting returned to the Falmouth Quarterly Meeting, and the Parsonsfield Monthly Meeting went with it. By the late 1990’s, the monthly meeting had moved to Kezars Falls (Maine), and was laid down a few years later.

The collection includes a single folder of four newsletters from 1984 (Feb, Mar, Apr, Jul).

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, April 2017

Subjects

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

Types of material

Newsletters
Peck Family

Peck-Sisson-White Family Papers

1772-1975 Bulk: 1830-1875
2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 933

Perez Peck (1786-1876) and Asa Sisson (1815-1893) of the village of Anthony (Coventry), R.I., were innovative machinists and manufacturers of cotton looms. Active members of the Society of Friends, they were supporters of the antislavery struggle and sent their children to the Friends Boarding School in Providence, R.I.

Although the Peck-Sisson-White family collection spans three families and three generations, the bulk of material is concentrated on the lives of Asa Sisson and his wife Mary Ann (Peck) and their daughter Emily, who married Willis H. White, with an emphasis on their poetry and their time at the Friends Boarding School in Providence, R.I. The family also copied verse from other writers, including works from George Miller (not otherwise identified) extracting Anthony Benezet and “Remarks on encouraging slavery” and a “lamentation over New England” which touches on the execution of early Quakers in Massachusetts Bay.

Gift of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, 2016

Subjects

Antislavery movements--Rhode IslandDeath--PoetryFriends Boarding School (Providence, R.I.)Quakers--Rhode Island

Contributors

Peck, Perez, 1786-1876Sisson, Asa, 1815-1893Sisson, Mary Ann, 1816-1882White, Emily Sisson, 1856-1945

Types of material

DiariesPoetry
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