|Table of Contents|
Table of Contents
Part I. The Ante-Bellum period
Chapter 1. the Quaker background
Chapter 2. Early years in Indiana
Chapter 3. The yearly meeting begins
Chapter 4. Internal crisis
Chapter 5. Education
Chapter 6. Founding a college
Chapter 7. Speaking out
Chapter 8. Aiding the Indians
Chapter 9. Free blacks and slavery
Chapter 10. Crisis over abolition
Chapter 11. The anti-slavery friends
Chapter 12. The yearly meeting - years of growth
Part II. Moving in new directions
Chapter 1. The Civil War
Chapter 2. Continued aid to the freedmen
Chapter 3. The continued mission to the Indians
Chapter 4. New directions in mission work
Chapter 5. Social reform
Chapter 6. Educational endeavors
Chapter 7. The yearly meeting
Chapter 8. Religious change
Chapter 9. Conclusion
QUAKERS IN INDIANA IN THE
JOHN WILLIAM BUYS
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF TIlE
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1973
The purpose of this study is to present a general
history of the Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends in the nineteenth century. Too often Quaker history is viewed in terms of Friends in the eastern United States, but for many years of the nineteenth century, Indiana Friends constituted the largest concentration of Quakers in the United States. Previous studies of Quakers have taken brief note of Indiana Friends, but there has not been a detailed study devoted to the activities and growth of Indiana Yearly Meeting.
This is not intended to be a study of all Quakers
in Indiana, but only of that group which was designated Orthodox after the separation that took place in 1828,
1. The term "Yearly Meeting" refers to a central
controlling body for Friends within a defined
geographical area and does not necessarily
coincide with state boundaries. Indiana Y1early
Meeting at various times had with3.n its limits Friends in Indiana, parts of Ohio and M~ichigan,
as well as all Friends in settlements farther
west.- The expression, "Indiana Friends" is
used in reference to the membershiD of -the
Yearly Meeting, regardless of the state in which
over the doctrines espoused by Elias Hicks of New York.2 The Orthodox body, which became the largest and most important Quaker group in Indiana, also adhered to the views of British Friend Joseph John Gurney in a series of doctrinal disputes which followed soon after the Hicksite Separation. Toward the end of the century Indiana Yearly Meeting was instrumental in events leading to the formation in 1902, of a national Fibiends' organization known as the Five Year's Meeting, which
later changed its name to Friends United Meeting.
The story of Indiana Yearly Meeting in the nineteenth century is one of growth and expansion as a religious body. Paralleling the growth of the religious body is the story of Quaker benevolent and educational activities. An outstanding aspect of the Quaker heritage shared by Indiana Friends was a zeal for humanitarian
The formation of the Five Year's Meeting in 1902, is used as the concluding date for the narrative. The Five Year's Meeting began a new era in Quaker history, uniting for the first time most of the Orthodox Yearly
2. The Orthodox group was that segment of the Society
of Friends which rejected the teachinga of Elias Hicks, A discussion of the Hicksite Separation
can be found in Chapter IV.
Meetings in the United States. In addition to beginning of a new era of cooperation, it was also another sort of turning point for Indiana Yearly Meeting. The start of the twentieth century marked the end of growth for Indiana Friends as a religious body. Membership in the Yearly Meeting, which reached a high point during the last years of the nineteenth century, began a downward movement that has continued unabated to the present,
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PREFACE . . . .
ABSTRACT . . . . . . . . . . viii
PART I: THE ANTE-BELLUM PERIOD . . . . . 1
CHAPTER I: THE QUAKER BACKGROUND . . . 2 CHAPTER II: EARLY YEARS IN INDIANA . . . 8 CHAPTER III: THE YEARLY MEETING BEGINS ... . . 17 CHAPTER IV: INTERNAL CRISIS . . . . . 32
CHAPTER V: EDUCATION . . . . . . . 45
CHAPTER VI: FOUNDING A COLLEGE . . . . 59 CHAPTER VII: SPEAKING OUT . . . . . . 73
CHAPTER VIII: AIDING THE INDIANS . . . . 81 CHAPTER IX: FREE BLACKS AND SLAVERY . . . 101 CHAPTER X: CRISIS OVER A80LITICN . . . . 111 CHAPTER XI: THE ANTI-SLAVERY FRIENDS . . . 126 CHAPTER XII: THE YEARLY MEETING YEARS OF
PART II: MOVING IN NEW DIRECTIONS . . . . 150 CHAPTER I: THE CIVIL WAR . . . . . . 151
CHAPTER II: CONTINUED AID TO THE FREEDMEN . . 164 CHAPTER III: THE CONTINUED MISSION TO THE
INDIANS . . . . 0 0 & 0 0 186 CHAPTER IV: NEW DIRECTIONS IN MISSION WORK . 205
CHAPTER V: SOCIAL REFORM . . . . . . 223
CHAPTER VI: EDUCATIONAL ENDEAVORS . . . . 245 CHAPTER VII: THE YEARLY MEETING . . . . 261 CHAPTER VIII: RELIGIOUS CHANGE . . . . . 277 CHAPTER IX: CONCLUSION . . . . . . 300
APPENDICES . . . . . . 306
'APPENDIX I . . o a 307
APPENDIX II . . . 309
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . 310
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 324
Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate
Council of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
QUAKERS IN INDIANA IN THE
John William Buys
Dr. Michael V. Gannon
Department of History
The purpose of this study is to present a general history of the Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends in the nineteenth century. It is not intended to be a study of all Quakers in Indiana, but'. only of that group which was designated Orthodox after the separation that took place in 1828 over the doctrines of Elias Hicks. The Orthodox body also adhered to the views of British Friend Joseph John Gurney in a series of doctrinal disputes which followed soonafter the Hicksite separation. Toward the end of the century Indiana Yearly Meeting was instrumental in events leading to the formation, in 1902, of the Five Years Meeting, which later became the Friends
The first half of the nineteenth century was a period of continuous growth for Indiana Yearly Meeting as a steady flow of Friends came from the eastern and southern states to settle the virgin land of Indiana. First organized as a Yearly Meeting in 1821, Indiana Friends remained unchanged for several decades. Protected by a self-imposed communal isolation, the silent meeting without a pastor became symbolic of early Indiana Friends.
Obeying the dictates of their religious beliefs$ Friends were active in a number of educational and charitable enterprises. Friends' schools were established. to ensur e a proper education of the youth, and a demand for higher education led to the founding of Earlham College in 1859. Religious education was also supplied by a system of Bible Schools and the distribution of Bibles and selected reading material to all Friends. The aboriginal Indians, free Blacks, and slaves became the special concern of Quaker benevolence during this period In 1842 the issue of abolition of slavery became the center of a bitter dispute among Friends, leading to schism and the formation of a separate Yearly Meeting of Anti-Slavery Friends. By 1860 the separation caused by abolition ended and Indiana Friends were reunited.
The start of the Civil War marked the beginning of Friends' activities to aid the Freedmen of the South, an activity which continued for the duration of the nineteenth century. The concern for the Indian also continued after 1860, leading to the foundation of a school in Indiana'for the benefit of Indian children. New mission fields developed after 1860, as Friends began work in Mexico. The isolation of Friends ended in the post-Civil War era as the growing population of Indiana provided a field'for home-mission endeavors. In addition to missions, Friends began work for social reform in the areas of temperance, peace, and penology.
The most significant events for Friends after the
Civil War involved religious change, as the silent meeting. gave way to music, singing, and a paid ministry. The religious changes were forced upon Friends by a combination of progressive leaders, impatient youth, and converts to the Society of Friends from Protestant denominations. Many conservative Friends opposed the innovations, but were unable to halt the growing acceptance of new ways.
During the last decade of the nineteenth century Friends became aware of disruptive tendencies with the Society, as moderate Friends blocked further change.
By 1900 the years of religious innovation had ended. Friends had broken with the past,, but had stopped short of becoming a formal church similar to neighboring Protestant bodies. At that time a crisis in membership. appeared, as a century of continuous growth come to a sudden halt. Unable to hold the allegiance of younger and progressive Friends, membership in Indiana Yearly Meeting steadily declined thereafter.
PART I: THE ANTE-BELLUM PERIOD
THE QUAKER BACKGROUND
The story of any Quaker group is best started with
a retrospective mention of George Fox, founder of the
Quaker movement. Fenny Drayton is a small hamlet in
Leicestershire having little claim upon English history
other t han as being the birthplace of George Fox in
1624.1 Early records being sparse, little is known of
Fox's childhood other than that he was brought up in
a religious atmosphere, the son of a poor but honest
weaver who was known to his neighbors as "Righteous
Christer.' Apprenticed to a shoemaker in Nottingham,
1. Rufus M. Jones, George Fox. Seeker and Friend
(London: George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1930)$ p.
16. This small volume by Jones is an excellent introduction to the person of George Fox and the
early Quaker movement. For additional information
on Fox and the rise of Quakerism in England
see also Rachel Knight, The Founder of Quakerism
(New York: George H. Doran Company, 1923); Vernon Nobles,, The Man in Leather Breeches
(14ew York: The Philosophical Library, 193);
William C. Braithwaite, The Beginnings of Quakerism
(London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd-, 1912)$ and The
Second Period of Quakerism -(London: Macmilln~ Co.,
Ltd., 1919); Luella Mi. Wrght, The Literary Life of
The Early Friends 1650-1725 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1932); and Richard T. Vann, The Social Development of English Quakerism 1655-177T
(Cambr dge,Mass.: Harvard University Press, 199)
2. Jones, 17.
Fox's early years provide little indication-of the religious turmoil that would possess the young man in later years, 3
The turning point in the life of George Fox came in 1643 when a sudden emotional insight led him to the conclusion that Christianity as practiced in England
was empty and meaningless. At the age of nineteen Fox became a "seeker," searching after a type of religion that would fill the void created by his rejection of contemporary Christianity. Three years of seeking were brought to a fruitful conclusion by a sudden mystical experience in which Fox came to the realization that Christ's "work for man's salvation did not terminate on the Cross, but that He is operating continuously as a real presence in the world, and that all spiritual processes have their sphere within the soul of man." 5
During the next few years Fox alternately plied his trade as a shoemaker and preached his religious views. Gradually the central aspect of Fox's views emerged as a belief in an "Inner Light" in man, a notion that cannot be credited to the originality of
3. Ibid.9 22.
4. Ibid.9 26.
5. Ibid.., 30.
George Fox. The idea of the Inner Light first became prominent with mystics of the fourteenth century when it was referred to as "the Spark" or "the Glimmer." 6 Early supporters of this notion were Thomas Munzer, Sebastian Franck, and Jacob Boehme. Frank's declaration that the "Word of God, the divine Activity, or the divine Working, the living Power of God, dwells in the soul of man as an inward Light and a Source of guidance" makes it clear how deeply indebted are the views of
Fox to the early mystics.
Fox used the notion of the Inner Light to discard the Calvinist preoccupation with manis sinfulness and come to an optimistic view of man's nature. Fox believed that within every man exists a seed of God, an Inner L-Lght of divine and heavenly origin. By following the guidance of his Inner Light, every man had unlimited potential for goodness and was only made the victim of sin through his own free choice. Proceeding from his notions of the Inner Light, Fox discarded the traditional religious practices. Worship services became a preparation for the individual to experience God through the Inner Light. All external things were a hindrance to this experience, hence the removal of
6. Ibid.2 69.
7. Ibid.2 70.
all ceremony and the introduction of the silent meeting. Early meetings of this type often led to emotional excesses which introduced a state of "quaking" among the participants, thus originating the early name of Quakers.
Having formulated his basic ideas, Fox soon met
with greater success in winning adherents to his beliefs. The first notable triumph came in Yorkshire, where a large body of seekers had long awaited a prophet to lead them. In 1651, Fox first came into contact with these people and was quickly accepted by hundreds as the
prophet for whom they had been waiting. It is at this point that the actual history of the Society of Friends began. Previous to this time Fox had been alone preaching his message, but shortly thereafter sixty men and women were actively assisting to spread
the Quaker message.
Following the initial success of 1651, Fox
rapidly acquired a large number of new members for his group. Despite persecution and frequent imprisonment lox guided his followers until they numbered between seventy to eighty thousand at the time of his death
8. Ibid.5 66.
9. Ibid.) 67.
in 1691. Adherents to the Quaker belief came from all levels of society,, including such prominent persons as Margaret Fell, Robert Barclay, and William Penn.
Friends early felt called by God to spread their faith through missionary travels. Mary Fisher and Ann Austin felt such a call and in 1656 were the first Quakers to reach America, staying in Massachusetts a short time before being expelled from the colony for their religious views. A more substantial missionary endeavor began the following year with the arrival of the ship Woodhouse and a group of eleven Quakers. Despite extreme opposition which led four Friends to martyrdom, by 1670 Quaker settlements and meetings existed from New Hampshire to Virginia. The hold of Quakerism in America was considerably strengthened by the visit in 1682 of George Fox and a group of leading Friends. When William Penn established the colony of Pennsylvania on the basis of religious toleration, Friends used the opportunity to establish the first great center of Quakerism in America.
The story of Quakers in the American colonies has been well told by numerous authors and will be
10. Auguste Jorns, The Quakers As Pioneers in Social
Work, trans. by Thomas Kite Brown, Jr. (Fort
Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, Inc., 1931,
11. Jones, 162.
omitted from this study. It is sufficient to point
out that after the death of Fox in 1691 Quakerism lost
some of its original zeal; much of the "quaking" aspect
almost completely subsided. A period of "quietism"
followed during which Quakers formalized their organization
and religious views, both of which will be discussed in
detail in later chapters. At the start of the nineteenth
century Friends were located in every section of the
United States, with formal organizations ranging from
North Carolina to New England. As the new nation turned
westward and began a century of expansion thousands of
Quakers would join the migrant throngs seeking a new
life in the West. It is at this point that the story
of Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends actually begins.
12. Detailed information on Quakers in the colonial
and early national periods of United States history
can best be located by consulting the following
works: Frederick B. Tolles, Meeting House and
Counting House (Chapel Hill: University of
North Carolina Press, 1948), and Quakers and the
Atlantic Culture (New York: The Macmillan
Company, 1960); Rufus 1. Jones, The Quakers in
the American Colonies (London: Macmillan andTo.,
Ltd., 1911), and The Later Periods of Quakerism, Vol. I (London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1921); Sydney V. James, A People Among Pe6ples. Quaker
Benevolence in Eighteenth-Century America
(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press,1963);
and Edwin H. Cody, John Woolman: The Hind of the Quaker Saint (New York: Washington Square Press,
EARLY YEARS IN INDIANA
The early decades of the nineteenth century witnessed an unbroken movement of Quakers leaving the coastal states to establish new homes in the West. A great many of these Quakers found their way to the infant state of Indiana where they would eventually become the center of American Quakerism. Early in 1806, five young Friends, natives of North Carolina who had recently moved to Ohio, visited the Whitewater area of southwest Indiana which was later to become the site for the town of Richmond in Wayne County. 1Their glowing accounts of the rolling fertile land encouraged friends and relatives to settle in the area later that same year, all of whom were Quakers.; Others followed those first few and in the summer of 1807, Friends began holding a regular worship meeting in the settlement of Whitewater, which was later renamed Richmond. By September of that year, eighty-four Friends were living in the vicinity of Whitewater, a number sufficiently large to require the building of a regular meeting-house, which was completed in 1808. 2
1. Rufus M. Jones, The Later Periods of Quakerism, Vol.1
(London: M1-acmillan and Col, Ltd., 1921), p. 417.
2. 'Ibid., 420.
The early Friends who moved to Indiana were not .alone in their migration, but were part of a surge westward that marked the opening decades of the nineteenth century. The same time that Friends joined together r for their early meetings, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Baptists also began to populate Indiana in considerable numbers. To find a congenial atmosphere among those of the same religious persuasion, early Friends usually attempted to settle in areas already populated by Quakers. That resulted in the rise of a number of small settlements which were dominated by Quakers. In those isolated communities Friends avoided the impact ofthe "Second Awakening" which affected other frontier denominations. Content with their communal isolation in settlements in Southwest Indiana, Friends avoided active participation in state and national affairs, except when their religious beliefs were threatened. 3
The success of the first Quaker settlement was the signal for others to follow and by 1815 the number of
3. Friends in the e arly decades of the nineteenth century
avoided association with all non-Friends. This was
based on the belief that outside influences would corrupt their religious ideals and practices. A
more detailed examination of this attitude is
.given in Chapter III.
Indiana Friends had grown to nearly nine hundred and by 1820 to more than two thousand. 4 One outstanding feature of the early settlers and those to come was the large number that had removed from the slave states of the South. Remembering the Quaker opposition to slavery it might appear that the Quaker exodus from the South was a protest against the iniquities of the "peculiar institution" but such a view is much too simplified. The existence of the institution of slavery was primary reason for the Quaker flight,, but the economic factors were equal to any others.
Competing with a slave economy put 'the Quakers at a disadvantage since the use of white labor was more expensive. The rising land prices in the South caused by an expanding slave economy also forced Friends off the better land and onto the poorer sandy soil of the up-country. Sympathetic Quaker attitudes on behalf of the slaves and free Blacks often hurt relations with slave-owning neighbors. The stigma attached to manual labor also contributed to making the Quaker position in society less than desirable. Other factors which influenced the decision to emigrate were the widespread fear of slave uprisings and the later crisis over
4. Jones, 425-426.
nullification in 1832. Essentially the Quakers moved to Indiana for a chance at a better life, for land and opportunity. Since most Quakers came to the conclusion that slavery was their worst enemy in the South, the no-slavery clause of the Northwest Ordinance made Indiana's virgin soil even more appealing. So complete was the removal of.Southern Friends that often an entire meeting would eventually relocate in Indiana, even transferring the name of their town as in the instance of New Garden and Hopewell meetings in North Carolina. 5
Eastern Quakers were also joining the move to
Indiana for the same basic.reasons as those from the South land and opportunity. Even the recently settled area of Ohio fell victim to rising land prices as settlement increased, inducing settlers to continue on the cheaper land available in Indiana. Quakers from all areas were also subject to the wanderlust and spirit of adventure that affected many of the pioneers.
These early Friends in Indiana had to endure the
many hardships of conquering an unsettled land, but most
5. Stephen B. Weeks, Southern Quakers and Slavery
(Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1896), p. 263.
The term "meeting" as applied to Quakergroups
is similar to "congregation" as used by Protestant
groups. A complete explanation of Quaker
organization is given in Chapter III.
found themselves admirably suited to the task. The rich Indiana soil soon gave way to the plow and crops soon replaced the wilderness growth. The typical Quaker earned a living through agriculture, aided by the labor of the entire family. A sufficient number of Friends turned to business pursuits so that nearly all aspects of the settlement's economy remained in Quaker hands. With a well-deserved reputation for thrift, industry, and honesty, plus a deep religious faith to sustain them in hard times, Friends' settlements were soon noted for their prosperity.
During these early years Friends prospered materially, but encountered a certain number of difficulties because of their religious faith. The largest group of Friends had come from the North Carolina counties of Guilford, Randolph, Chatham5 and Alamance, known at that time as the "Quaker District." 6 They had brought with them an intense hatred for the institution of slavery and a sympathy for the deplorable condition of the Blacks, which often brought them into opposition with their new neighbors in Indiana. This is readily understood when it is remembered that much of Indiana's non-Quaker population had also moved from the slave-holding states of the South. The majority were either younger sons or upland Southerners, men who had
6. H.M. Wagstaff, ed.,Minutes of the N.C. Hanumission
Society 1816-1834 (Chapel 1934)9 p. 3.
not usually been slave holders due to their economic status, but still accepted the major Southern attitudes toward the Blacks. Those early settlers had even petitioned Congress to allow slavery for a period of ten years on the pretense that it was necessary for the development of new land, although infect Indiana was unsuited for slavery. 7
Since slavery had been outlawed in the Northwest
Ordinance and the state constitution of 1816, the Quaker settlers had expected to completely escape any signs of that odious institution, but such was not the case. Actually slavery had existed in Indiana territory and continued to exist after statehood was achieved in 1816. Numerically slavery was unimportant. The census of 1810 counted in T ndiana only 237 slaves; the census of 1820 cited 190 slaves; arid by 1840 there were only three slaves remaining in the state. 8 This continued existence of slavery testified to the apathy arid anti-Black feeling which characterized the majority of Indiana's inhabitants. The Quaker stand against slavery and sympathy for the Blacks therefore alienated them from the non-Quaker. This difference of opinion was heightened by Friends'
7. Edward E. Moore, A Century f Indiana (New York.,
1910), p. 86.
8. J.D.B. DeBow, ed., Statistical View of the United
States (Washington, 1854),, p. ix.
encouragement to free Blacks in the South to come and settle in Indiana. The non-Quaker population opposed this because- of racial prejudice and fear of Black competition in labor.
In addition to -their position on the Blacks and
slavery, Friends were often set apart for their advocacy of non-violence. In 1810 Friends had been exempted from military service, but due to the growing fear of an
Indian war this.was repealed in 1811. When Friends refused to fight in the War of 1812, they were often fined, had their property confiscated, or put into jail. This also caused some trouble within the Society, for a few members did perform-military service. In Wayne County several Friends were expelled from membership because they had served in the militia. 10 Although
9. Friends' Review,, Enoch'Lewis, ed., Vol. IX, No. 35
TPhilade 1p-_La: Samuel Rhoads Publisher, 1856)9
p. 553. The structure of Quaker organization is discussed in the following chapter. The Monthly Meeting was the smallest geographical unit wh ich supervised the affairs of the Society in a small area and met once a month. The Quarterly Meeting
was the next largest unit, responsible for an area which contained several Monthly Meetings.
The Quarterly Meeting met once every three months
and was attended by delegates from the constituent
10. Ibid., 554.
much of the problem abated with the conclusion of hostilities in 1814, it continued to be a source of friction between Friends and their neighbors.
Despite the occasional clashes with the non-Quaker segment of the population, Indiana Friends not only surIvived, but multiplied and prospered. In 1809, Baltimore Yearly Meeting, which was the governing body for Western Quakers, granted the Indiana Friends"the right to establish a Monthly Meeting, their membership having grown t o about 265. 11 Such a meeting met once a month and was allowed to send delegates to the Quarterly Meeting, which in turn sent delegates to the annual Yearly Meeting. During-the earliest years Baltimore Yearly Meeting supervised meetings in Indiana, but this power was shifted to Ohio Yearly Meeting when that body was established in 1813. 12 As the number of Indiana Friends grew, it was accompanied by the creation of new meetings to supervise the religious life of the Society. By 1820, the more than two thousa nd Indiana Friends were eager to be free of Ohio Yearly Meeting and set up their own complete organization. That year the Ohio body granted the request of the Indiana Quarterly
11. Friends' Review, IX, 32 (1856)$ 507. 12. Friends' Review, IX, 37 (1856), 582.
Meetings that they be allowed to form Indiana Yearly
Meeting of Friends, the first meeting to be held the 13
following year in the town of Whitewater. Proud of
having arrived at maturity after only fifteen years
Indiana Friends looked to the future with confidence.
13. Minutes of Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends
Hereafter cited as Hinutes] (1821), p. 1. The
complete minutes of every Yearly Meeting were carefully
recorded and then printed for distribution to the local meetings and members. A standing committee of the Yearly Meeting was in charge of collecting the minutes and having them printed. The actual printing was done by the printer that submitted the lowest bid for the job. Since the majority
of Friends were unable to spare the time or travel
the distance to the Yearly Meeting, the printed Minutes provided a newsletter which contained a
reDort on all the activities of the Yearly Meeting.
A complete collection of the Minutes for Indiana
Yearly Meeting can be found in the Friends'
Collection at the Lily Library, Earlham College,
in Richmond, Indiana.
THE YEARLY MEETI14G BEGINS
The opening of the Yearly Meeting in 1821 started the actual history of Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends. With an organization consisting of five Quarterly Meetings and twenty-nine Monthly Meetings, the representatives of that first Yearly Meeting confidently laid plans for the future. 1 Only a small amount of business was conducted at that meeting, the majority of the time being used to set up committees, plan construction of a meeting house, and adopt the
Discipline of the Ohio Yearly Meeting. Since the basic religious Discipline and organization established in 1821 were to set the pattern for the coming century it would be instructive at this point to examine both of them more closely.
The Discipline of the-Yearly Meeting was a printed guide for conducting the life of the Society and its members. During the years following the death of George
le Elisha Bates, List of the Meetings for Worship and
Discipline, Comprising the Yearly Mee ings of 0
an(I indiana (Mt. Pleasant,, Ohio, 1822). pp. 1-1U.
2. Minutes (1821), passim.
Fox, an elaborate code of behavior had evolved which was codified in the Discipline. The basis for this c %ode came from the Bible and observation of the ills of'contem-porary society. Many of the basic attitudes can be traced directly to the teachings of Fox, but later Quaker leaders such as Isaac Penington, Robert Barclay and William Penn added to and refined much of the original Quaker stand.
Besides the importance of the Inner Light, Friends had to subscribe to certain other views in order to be considered "sound" in practice. The Discipline warned that no one should "deny the divinity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the immediate revelation of the Holy Spirit, or the authenticity of the scriptures." Fox himself had been an avid student of the Bible and of-ten quoted scripture to support his teachings. His belief that the Scriptures were valuable for doctrine and instruction in "righteousness was maintained in the Discipline. Friends were advised to read often from both the Old and New Testaments.
3. Discipline of the Society of Friends of Indiana Yearl meeting (Cincinnati: Mirror Press, 1835r),
p. 19. The 1835 Discipline was still in the
adopted form taken from he Ohio Yearly Meeting
version of 1819.
Another basic Quaker belief was the testimony against a formal or paid clergy. Regarding a "Hireling Ministry" the Discipline stated "that it is under the immediate teaching and influence of the Holy Spirit, that all acceptable worship is performed, and
all gospel ministry supplied," Hence it followed that "the gift therefore being divine, the service is freely and faithfully to be discharged." 5 Aware that a meeting for worship without the guidance of an established clergy and lacking adornments such as music or singing is sometimes uninspiring, Friends were also warned to guard against coming late, falling asleep,
restlessness, leaving early, and poor attendance.
The greater part of the Discipline is devoted to rules for everyday living, Friends believing that a proper religious conviction should have its outward manifestations in the lives of the faithful. One of the best known rules was the Quaker injunction against taking oaths. Friends took quite literally the text in the gospel of Matthew to, "Swear not at all, neither by heaven, for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool . But let your communication
4. Ibid.9 59.
6. Ibid., 38.
be Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these comet of evillf (Matt. V: 342 352 37). Regarding politics, Friends were advised "to decline accepting any office or station in civil government; the duties of which are inconsistent with our religious principles." 7 Friends were strong believers in obedience to the civil government, but had learned from past experience that holding public office often "tends to lay Waste our Christian testimony" in such things as the taking
of oaths and military matters.
Plainess in "Dress and Address" were also firmly established principles of Quaker life at that time. Friends were staunch believers in the equality of men and refused to address anyone with what they considered artificial titles of distinction. For the same reason Quaker men would not remove their hats except in religious meetings where the difference was intended for God. This theme of equality was also extended to clothing and additionally supported by scriptural opposition to adornments. Simplicity of dress was not unique among Quakers, but was practiced by a number of religious groups. There was never a specific or exact manner of dress
7. Ibid.9 17.
prescribed for Friends, c hanges taking place according to style and fashion within the limitations of plainness. 9 Perhaps the only garmet which became a distinctive item of apparrel was the famous Quaker bonnet worn by the
women; which "became literally a snare, a fetish, a sort 10
of class distinction."
The names of the days of the week and months were not to be used because they were derived from heathen dieties. Nor were Friends to participate in "public fasts, feasts, or what are termed holy days, .**,l In matters of business Friends were expected to be honest and always pay their debts on time, If a dispute arose which could not be settled by the involved parties, they were expected to seek settlement through "friendly"
arbitration rather than seek redress in the public courts. Friends were even advised to have a will in the event of death,, thereby avoiding disputes over distribution of the deese' estate. 1
Education was encouraged for all members of the Society, necessary since the lack of a clergy and the
9. Amelia Mott Gummere, The Quakers. A Study in Costume
(Philadelphia: Ferris & Leach, Publishers,1901),
-p.- ;90. -.
10. Ibid., 227.
11. Discipline (1835), 21. 12. 'Ibid.,) 8.
13. Ibid.$ 75.
emphasis on knowledge of the Bible required a literate membership. Local meetings were advised to maintain their own schools so as to insure a guarded education
for the youth and thus avoid the corrupting influence of the outside world. Care was to be exercised in reading, avoiding plays, novels, and romances. 1
All Friends were expected to avoid "Gaming and
Diversions" as they tended to "alienate the mind from
the counsel of divine wisdom and to foster those impure disDositions which lead to debauchery and wickedness." isl The Discipline also warned against "Defamation and Detraction," well aware that gossip and loose talk were 16
frequent causes of unchristian feelings. Friends were'
expected to avoid taverns and observe moderation and temperance in all things, especially alcoholic drink. Early Friends had no strong position against alcohol beer and wine even being served at some bus iness meetings.17
1'4. Ibid., 14.
15. Ibid., 27.
16. Ibid,, 22.
17. Auguste Joins, The Quakers As Pioneers in Social
Work,, Trans. by Thomas Kite Brown, Jr. (Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, Inc., 1931,
1969), p. 131.
During the nineteenth century this position would gradually shift from one of temperance to that of -total prohibition. All members were expected to watch for any "lying, drunkenness, swearing, cursing; together with every other immoral or scandalous practice." 18
The Discipline was not only a guide for daily liv.ing but literally prescribed nearly everything from birth to death. The manner of recording births, the procedure
for marriage, and even the burial ceremony were all to be in accord with the limitations stated in the DiscipDline. Difficult as it might seem, Friends were expected to follow every advice of the Discipline or be subject to disciplinary action. Carefully following scripture, the procedure
was quite simple for dealing with an offending member-. "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee,, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican" GIlatt. 18: 15-17). Anyone who failed to
18. DisciDline (1835), 18.
heed the final recommendations of the Society was ultimately rejected, the term for such action being "disowned."
Maintaining the high standards of the Discipline was not left to the conscience of the individual, but was examined in every local meeting with a written report on the subject sent to the Yearly Meeting. To organize this examination of the state of the Society a list of nine questions or "queries" was to be read and l9
answered by all 'meetings. The local answers to the queries were compiled and presented to the Yearly H-eeting as a report on the "State of Society."
The answers to the first query usually dealt. with attendance at the weekly and mid-week religious meetings. A typical rely in 1829 reported that the meetings were generally well attended,and unbecoming behavior mostly avoided, "except in a few instances of drowsiness,) in which care has been taken." 20Members going to sleep appears to have been a frequent problem at Friends' meetings, no doubt attributable to the quiet nature of the meetings. Attendance was also a problem especially at the mid-week meeting which was a serious
19. An exact copy of the Queries can be found in the
20. Minutes (1829),, 9.
problem mostly for those Friends not living close to a meeting place. If a member was repeatedly deficient i n these matters, his local meeting would appoint a committee to deal with the offender.
The second answer to the queries concerned maintaining love toward each other "as becomes our Christian profession" and avoiding "tale-bearing and detractions." 21 The practice of maintaining a Christian love toward others was generally upheld,, although deficiency was
reported,, as in the Minutes for 1836 and 1829. Talebearing and detractions were seldom a problem, although again they were not without incidence, as mentioned in
The third answer was considered extremely important, dealing with the proper and guarded education of children. This, however, proved to be one of the most difficult testimonies to maintain, as reported in nearly every Yearly Meeting. The most frequently reported shortcoming was regarding the religious instruction of children,, while the 1829 Minutes noted a deficiency regarding "plainness" and the 1839 Minutes referred to a problem with the correct
21. Discipline (1835), 61. 22. Minutes (1836). Minutes (1839), 5. 23. Minutes (1838). 6.
anid scriptural use of the pronoun "thou." To guard their children from worldly influence was always of major concern, but even on the frontier it proved most d if f icu11t .
The fourth query to be answered involved temperance and places of diversion. Intemperance was a problem which Frien ds found most alarming, but despite close scrutiny many violations of the rule were reported. For example, the Minutes of.1834 reported several cases of unnecessary use of alcoholic drink, several instances of visiting taverns, and one incident of operating a
still. Despite their alarm, Friends at that time actually presented a nearly unanimous stand against intemperance. It was a time when many farmers preferred to store their corn in jugs rather than barns.
The subject of the fifth query rarely presented a
problem for Indiana Friends, being concerned with aiding the poor. Helping an unfortuante neighbor was a trait of rural life, not peculiar to Quakers. It was not until Indiana's population had significantly increased arid urban areas developed that poor relief became an important aspect of the Yearly Meetings work.
2'4. M-inutes (1829), 9, Minutes (1839), 5. 25. Minutes (1834), 4.
Query number six mentioned several troublesome
areas for Friends, particularly regarding oaths, military service, and a hireling ministry. The subject of military service was often a problem because of state laws requiring participation in the militia and complicated by the fact that Friends were also forbidden to pay the fine levied against those persons unwilling to serve. Fortunately, the Quakers had won the respect of nonFriends in the state and were seldom made to suffer for their pacifist views. The problem of oath-taking was complicated by laws which required an oath for some legal functions. This -too was usually settled amicably due to the Quaker reputation for honesty; the Friends' "Yea, yea" or "Nay, nay" deemed sufficient. The most persistent problem was that of a hireling ministry, mentioned in the Minutes of many Yearly Meetings. One reason for this was that many of the smaller meetings did not have a capable member who could speak with some eloquence at the local meeting. Rather than listen to some of their own somewhat inarticulate members or sit in silence, such meetings would give in to the temptation of paying a preacher to come and deliver a sermon. Possibly those meetings looked at such action as the lesser of two evils: a choice between the sin of a hireling ministry or the sin of drowsiness.
The next query dealt with business, stating that
Friends should live within their means, deal justly and be punctual in paying debts. Most Friends were observant of this testimony, the most common infraction being late in paying debts. Such was the case in 1837, with a lack of justice in business dealings also being mentioned. 2 6 The problems of that year were no doubt caused by the "Panic of 1837" and the economic depression which gripped the entire nation. It should also be pointed out that although the testimony on business dealingswas based on Christian ideals, it was also very sound business practice and was complied with partially on that basis.
The eighth query asked if Friends bore a faithful
testimony against slavery and aided the free "coloured,' Friends were of a single mind on this subject, with only an isolated mention of a deficiency in the testimony on slavery. All Friends agreed upon the evils of slavery, but they did vary in their views as to how the evil should be combatted. This problem will be discussed at length in a late r chapter on anti-slavery.
The.last query was mostly a reminder to deal
carefully with offenders of the Discipline. In each incident of a deficiency the guilty party was visited
26. Minutes (1837), 6.
27. Minutes (.1829). 10.
by a committee and given counsel. If the person continued in his deficiency, hie would ultimately be removed from membership. Discwrment was the most extreme measure, subject to appeal to the Yearly Meeting, which had final power of decision. The fact that most of the Yearly ileetings had to decide at least one membership appeal showed that Friends' meetings did not hesitate to exercise
-this extreme measure in maintaining the strict standards of the Society.
The organizational apparatus adopted by Indiana
Yearly Meeting complied with traditional Quaker practice. Basically the structure was a pyramid, with the annual Yearly Meeting at the top and the local congregations at the bottom. The local congregations were organized as monthly meetings, with some also divided into preparatory. meetings. These met weekly for traditional Sabbath worship and also conducted a mid-week service. Once a month a business meeting would be held, the presiding officer being termed the "clerk." The quarterly meeting was a geographical unit, meeting four times a year. All monthly meetings within the boundaries set for the quarterly meeting would send representatives to the meetiLng, which was primarily concerned with coordinating and supervising the activities of the Societyr in that area. The various quarterly meetings would in turn send
representatives to the annual Yearly Meeting, a week-long affair at which issues of the highest importance were decided. The Yearly Meeting was legally incorporated and was the official voice for Quakers in the state of Indiana.
The local meetings not only held weekly services
for worship, but were generally responsible for guiding the lives of the members. All vital statistics such as births., deaths, and marriages were recorded by the meeting. Consent of the meeting was required before Friends were allowed to marry. Often permission of the meeting was required before members were allowed to travel or relocate in new areas beyond the limits of the. Yearly Meeting. The business and various activities of the meeting were all handled by committees, with members often being appointed for indefinite service. Decisions reached by a committee or meeting were usually unanimous, if even a small opposition existed no action was taken. The merit of the system was to prevent division or discord in the Society, but the negative aspect was that progress or change of any sort was quite slow. Also negative was the fact that progressive Friends became impatient and occasionally left the Society to.find a more congenial atmosphere elsewhere. From this can be seen that although belief in the Inner Light seemed to dictate
a personal faith, in practice Quakerism was a highly corporate reli gion. The organization and the group
controlled the daily lives of the membership, with little toleration for independent thought or action.
Having completed their organization and adopted a Discipline, Indiana Friends seemed assured of both peace and prosperity as a religious body. The future did indeed have many years of prosperity in store for Indiana Friends, but at the same time peace would prove much more elusive.
A few short years following the successful
beginning of Indiana Yearly Meeting a series of events took place which Rufus H..Jones called "the greatest tragedy of Quaker history." Usually referred to as the Hicksite Separation, this tragedy witnessed varying degrees of permanent divisions within the Yearly Meetings forming the Society of Friends. Polarized about the views of Elias hicks, a Friends' minister from New York, every Yearly Meeting was torn by the tragic climax in the years 1827 and 1828.
Although Elias Hicks is usually considered as the cause of separation, unsettling tendencies within the Society had been apparent for many years prior to Hicks becoming the center of controversy. At the end of the eighteenth c-entury much of the Society was characterized by a state of lethargy, lifelessly maintaining the outward forms of Quakerism. In matters of theology there had been a trend toward religious orthodoxy, with greater
1. Rufus 1M. Jones, The Later Periods of Quakerism,
Vol. I (London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1921),
emphasis being placed upon Scriptural authority and less upon the more difficult means of the Inner Light.2 Dissension over these trends within the Society had appeared in Ireland by the end of the eighteenth century,, where some members denied the divinity of Christ, deemphasized the Bib-le, and placed sole reliance on the Inner Light. 3This new spirit was soon transferred to the United States where it fell upon fertile ground. Hannah Barnard of New York Yearly Meetin g joined the dissenters when visiting in Ireland and was disowned for her views in 1802 by her monthly meeting in Hudson, New York. 4Gradually bodies of dissenters appeared in New England, New York, and Pennsyluania, where they
were known as "N'ew Lights" or "Ranters." Speaking
2. 'Ibid., '458.
3. William Hodgson, The Society of Friends in the
Nineteenth Century. Vol. I (Philadelphia: Smith,
English, Co., 1875), p. 37.
4~. Ibid., 39. Hannah Barnard was a recorded minister
in-the Society at the time of her disownment. Her
position of disbelief in Scriptural infallibility
was the basis for the disownment action taken by Hudson Monthly Meeting. Her unsuccessful appeals
to the Quarterly Meeting and then to New York
Yearly Meeting attracted considerable attention 'and
contributed to the controversy among Friends over
5. 'Ibid., 58.
lightly of the Bible and discrediting the divinity of Christ, the dissenting groups were a source of scepticism and disorder within the Society.At the same time that "Ranters" were spreading
views, the orthodox evangelical position was also being strengthened. This occurred primarily through the influence of prominent British Friends traveling in the United States. The most prominent among them were Stephen Crellet.-William Forster, Anna Braithwaite,
and Thomas Shillitoe. The impact of these British Friends was to create an awareness of the growing dissension within the Society and provide impetus to the gradually evolving polarization.
Perhaps the growing tensions might have subsided without schism were it not for the person of Elias Hicks. Born on Long Island, New York, in 1748, Hicks was brought up in a strong Quaker atmosphere by his parents. Possessed of deep convictions and eloquence e in speaking, he became a leader in the Society. Claiming to be in unity with the original teachings of Fox, Hicks evolved a doctrine that turned to the Inner Light as being the only true source of revelation and authority in matters of faith. To Hicks the historical
6. Jones, Later Periods of Quakerism, 459-460.
Christ was not divine, but merely a model man who lived without sin. Christ was important only as an example of the possibilities man can attain by following the Inner Light. Basically Hicks believed that everything concerning the spiritual life of man took place within the soul through the working of the Inner Light. Everything external was of secondary importance, including the Scriptures and the historical Christ.
Traveling widely and presenting his views without reserve, Hicks soon became the object of bitter debate throughout the Society. Early ranters and dissenters became his most outspoken supporters, while those of orthodox convictions under British guidance soon looked upon him as a fallen person. The decade prior to 1828 saw most meetings divide sharply over the Hicksite dilemma, polarizing on the issue of authority, that of the Inner Light versus that of the Bible. Although this problem had actually existed since the beginning of Quakerism, this was the first time Friends were forced to make a decision. With both sides assuming an unyielding position, open separation erupted in 1827 and 1828. Throughout the country meetings divides with both parties claiming to be the true Society of Friends. Debates over authority, property, and membership resulted in hard feelings and even occasional violence as the two groups fought for supremacy.
When the struggle ended in 1829 the Society of Friends was permanently divided into Orthodox and Hicksite bodies. The Hicksite groups in Philadelphia, New York and Baltimore Yearly Meetings emerged with majorities and took control of those meetings, the Orthodox minority leaving to set up new organizations. The Orthodox Friends retained a majority in the remaining Yearly Meetings giving them a numerical. superiority in the total Friends' membership. By 1829, approximately one-third of the 95,000 Friends in the United States and Europe had gone with the Hicksites'.7
Indiana Yearly Meeting fell victim to the schism also, despite its isolated.position on the frontier. One-third of the nearly fourteen thousand members joined the Hicksite group and set up a rival organization. 8Aware of the growing problem in 1827, the Yearly Meeting had appended to the Minutes of that year "A Testimony and Epistle of Advice" which contained a rebuttal of Hicks' ideas, but Which only served to
convince the Hicksites that compromise was impossible. The 1828 Yearly Meeting was a scene of confusion due
7. Hodgson, I, 226.
8. Luke 11oodward, A Historical Sketch of the Schism
in the Friends Church in the Years 1827-1828 Known
as the "hicksite Separation," (Plainfield, Ia.,
1912), p. 2.
9. Minutes (1827), appendix.
to the split and the resulting quarrels over property and records. Many new committee members had to be appointed replacing Hicksites while subordinate meetings were asking for help and advice. There was also concern over the fact that the Hicksites had-held a meeting and called it the "Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends," the. same title used by the orthodox body. 10An "Epistle of Advice" was written instructing members what to do about the "Separatists," advising them not to fight or to become discouraged. 11
The 1829 Yearly Meeting found matters little improved over the chaos of the previous year. The Miami Quarterly Meeting-reported that because of the "intrusions practiced by those who separated from that' 12
meeting," it was forced to adjourn and meet elsewhere. A committee which had been aiding local meetings during that year also reported that at the Miami Quarterly Meeting it"was very distressing; the Separatists holding their spurious meeting in the house atliie same time." 1 That meeting and several others were advised to move
10. Minutes (1828), 4.
11. Ibid., 18-22.
12. Minutes (1829), 14.
their location rather than fight with the Separatists. Some of the subordinate meetings were completely dropped from membership because so many of the members had accepted the views of Hicks. 14By the end of 1828, the Hicksites had established twenty meetings in Indiana, many of them with the same name as suboordinate meetings of the Orthodox Friends. isThe immediate problem was the ownership of meetinghouses, schools, and other property. Usually -the largest faction retained control of the property with a settlement of some type awarded to the minority. During the following year, order was gradually restored and the Yearly Meeting resumed its former activities. The-only remaining difficulty was
the problem of deciding which meeting to recognize in other areas where similar splits had taken place. The last mention of the Hicksites during this period appeared in 1833, when Friends in Fairfield were going to aid a group of Blacks, but decided against it because they did not want to get involved with the Separatists who were already aiding those Blacks. 16After this period Orthodox and Hicksite bodies existed side by
14+. Ibid., 15.
15. Willard Heiss, A List of All the Friends Meetings
That Exist or Ever Have Existed in Indiana
(Indianapolis, 1961), pp. 65-6-8. 16. Minutes (1833), 12.
side in Indiana, but with little or no interaction. The memory of 1828 left a bitter legacy that was long remembered by Indiana Friends.
Many Friends hoped that after the tragic events of the Hicksite controversy, disputes over theology would no longer be a disruptive influence. This would only be true for the liberal Hicksite group, their repudiation of established doctrine and sole reliance on the Inner Light left members free to believe as they pleased. The conservative Orthodox bodies, however, found that their insistence on a strict Discipline and growing body of doctrine centered about Christ and the Bible would lead to further dissent.
The Orthodox bodies soon found themselves embroiled in controversy over a small volume published in England in 1835. Written by Isaac Crewdson, it was entitled A Beacon to the Society of Friends and contained an extreme evangelical position.17 Discarding completely
17. Isaac Crewdson, A Beacon to the Society of Friends
(privately printed, 1835). Crewdson originally
developed his ideas for a rebuttal of the Hicksite doctrines, but his position was too advanced to be
acceptable even to the evangelical faction of
Friends. The evangelical position still supported
the idea of the Inner Light while Crewdson viewed it
as "the theory of an infidel." Additional information
on the debate over, Crewdson's ideas can be found in A Few Particulars of the CDrrespondence Between the
Cornm-ittee Appointed by the Friends Yearly Heeting and
Isaac Crewdson (London: Hamilton, Adams, & Co., 1835),
and Isaac Crewdson, The Trumpet Blown (Hamilton
and Co., 1838).
the notion of the Inner Light, Crewdson placed sole religious authority on the Scriptures. Although the Orthodox body of Friends had been moving toward a more advanced evangelical position for many years, Crewdson's position was too drastic to gain wide acceptance.
Rather than curtail his activities and moderate his position, Crewdson chose to resign from Friends' membership and soon became the head of a small group known as Evangelical Friends. 18
The issue having gained publicity from the Crewdson episode, Orthodox Friends quickly began taking sides on the issue, some favored an advanced evangelical position and others hoped for moderation and reliance on established Quaker practices. Possibly greater trouble would have resulted among British Friends at this point had it not been for the leadership of Joseph John Gurney, one of the outstanding English Quaker leaders of the nineteenth century. Favoring an evangelical faith, but wishing to retain as much as possible from the Quaker past, Gurney gradually imposed his will on the Orthodox Friends and achieved a compromise solution. Placing primary importance on Scriptural authority with all else of secondary importance, including the Inner- Light, Gurney became
the spokesman for evangelical Quakerism in both England
18. Jones, Later Periods of Quakerism5 507.
and America. During the years 1838 to 1840, Gurney traveled widely in the United States, visited the limits of every Yearly Meeting, and greatly strengthened the evangelical position among Friends in America.
Despite the widespread popularity of Gurney,
opposition to his views arose under the leadership of John Wilbur of Rhode Island. Wilbur had become aware of what he considered unsound doctrines while visiting in England shortly before the "Beacon controversy." When the Gurney party came to dominance, Wilbur came forward to oppose the modernizing tendencies of Gurney. Wilbur wanted to retain a primitive Quakerism that would preserve both the Inner Light and Scriptures as sources cf inspiration. The .1-11icksites had taken the Inner Light position to an extreme and -the Gurneyites appeared to be going to an extreme Scriptural approach. Wilbur wanted to keep the elements of both that had originally existed in Quakerism.
New England Yearly Meeting was controlled by the Gurney supporters and soon came to resent the attacks on Gurney by Wilbur. Wilbur was disowned by his own monthly meeting in Rhode Island and his appeal was turned down by the Yearly Meeting in 1844. The following year a minority of the Yearly Meeting that supported Wilbur set up a rival organizaion-and presented the
other Yearly Meetings with the problem of deciding which 19
group properly represented New England Yearly Meeting.
With the problem out in the open, problems similar to those in New England soon developed in other Yearly Meetings as well. Although a middle party or compromisersr" appeared in Ohio and Philadelphia Yearly Meetings, most Yearly Meetings saw the smaller Wilburite 20
parties leave to set up their own organizations. The Gurney party held a large majority in all the Yeatly Meetings except Ohio and Philadelphia, where bitter struggles for control took place. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting tended toward the Wilbur position, viewing Gurney as more an "Episcopalian" than Quaker, but a determined and very capable Gurney minority prevented 21
any decisive action from being taken. Ohio Yearly Meeting was in turmoil for a period of ten years before a visit to the 1854 Yearly Meeting by Gurney's widow 22
ultimately forced a decision and separation. The smaller
19. Ibid., 526.
20. William Hodgson, The Society of Friends in the
Nineteenth Century, Vol. II (Philadelphia: Smith,
English, g Co., 1876), p. 118.
21. John L. Kite, Separationfrom the Religious Society
of Friends (Philadelphia, 1859), p.
22. Jones, Later Periods of Quakerism, 534.
Gurney party withdrew to establish a new organization, thereby wrecking what had been one of the strongest Yearly Meetings in America.
During those years of controversy and schism over the Gurney-Wilbur issue, Indiana Yearly Meeting escaped the turmoil which disrupted the other Yearly Meetings. Gurney had visited Indiana Yearly Meeting during his travels in America and was completely accepted by Indiana Friends. The only meetings in the vicinity -to experience any difficulty were Red Cedar Monthly Meeting and Salem Quarterly Meeting5 both situated in Iowa. 23 To aid the small Gurney body in Ohio, Indiana Yearly Meeting gave Alum Creek-Quarterly Meeting to the Ohio group in order to boost its membership. 24 At that point in the history of Indiana Year ly Meeting the acceptance of the evangelical position had only minor effects on religious practice or belief but in the years following the ante-bellum period the impact of Gurney would be felt to a much greater extent.
The separations of the period were the last of consequence to occur over matters of religion in the nineteenth century. Occasionally small disputes did
23. Errol. T. Elliott, Quakers on the American Frontier
(Richmond,, Indiana: The Friends United Press, 1969).
24. Hodgson, 11, 223.
take place, but for the time being Friends had learned a lesson and in the future did their utmost to avoid internal disruption over matters of faith.
One of the activities considered extremely
important by Indiana Yearly Meeting was the education of Friends' children. Early in the history of the Society George Fox set the example, stressing the need for education and helping to found several Quaker schools. Opposition to a trained ministry and the belief that all members had a right to speak out created a need for members to be able to read the Scriptures. As early as 1811 the IWhitewater Monthly Meeting had appointed a committee on schools, and that winter the first Friends' school in Indiana was taught by Robert Brattain. 1At the first Yearly Meeting in 1821, one of
the first committees appointed was one dealing with education. During the initial years of the Yearly Meeting's existence this committee was relatively inactive, reporting simply that a few schools were taught by Friends and that members were encouraged to establish schools.
1. Ethel Hittle McDaniel, "The Contribution of the Society
of Friends to Education in Indiana, "Indiana
historical Publications, Vol. 13, No. 2 (1939),
The concern for a proper education was-stimulated in 1829 as a result of the Hicksite separation and the fear of Hicksite teachers and writings. The "Report on Education" for that year entreated Friends to open their own schools with members as teachers because:
We believe that great loss is sustained by
such of our youth, as are educated at schools
under control of persons not in membership with
US5 by associating with children not of our
society who are taught therein, imbibing
principles and maxims, inconsistent with the
simplicity of our profession.2
The following year the education report was even more insistent upon the need for Friends to obtain property and establish their own schools. The report also warned against Friends' children attending the 11public seminaries in the State of Indiana, and the
District Schools in the State of Ohio." The Indiana public schools were opposed because they were in part supported by fines which were occasionally levied against
Friends for their refusal to participate in the militia. The Ohio schools were feared "as being founded on a system, which should the Society be brought completely
2. Minutes (1829)5 21.
3. Minutes (1830), 19.
within its operation, would powerfully militate against that testimony of our Society, which has for its object the guarded Education of the rising generation," 5
During the next few years Friends did their utmost to build up a system of schools under the guidance and control of the Society. One difficulty encountered was brought up at the 1831 Yearly Meeting, mentioning that the scattered location of Friends' homes made it difficult for them to unite in supporting a local school. 6 Another serious problem mentioned the following year was a lack of competent teachers among Society members, although the report did add optimistically that a considerable number of schools had been taught during the past year. 7 By 1'833, the situation had notice-ably improved, the report stating that "the number of schools appears to be nearly or quite equal to the number of monthly meetings," although there was still a shortage of qualified teachers, 8
In 1834 the first comprehensive report on the
school situation was presented to the Yearly Meeting.
6. Minutes (1831), 9.
7. Minutes (1832), 11.
8. Minutes (1833), 9.
The nine Quarterly Meetings reported a total of seventy Friends' schools taught during the past year, leaving about fifty neighborhoods still lacking a Friends' school. 9 A few of the schools were in operation for the entire year, but the majority of them operated for periods of time extending from two to nine months. 10 There were 5,743 children reported in membership, with 2,868 of them attending Friends' schools, 1,873 attending non-Friends' schools, and 1,002 not attending any school. 11
By 1840, the Yearly Meeting had expanded to twelve Quarterly Meetings5 with 7,,651 children of school age. 12 Friends schools taught 4,327 of those children;, 2,061 were taught by non-Friends; and only 319 were reported as not attending any school 13 The Monthly Meetings had maintained thirty-seven schools with an enrollment of 1,707, while the other 2,620 were taught by Friends in neighborhood schools not under control of the Society. 14 This was a remarkable record in
9. Minutes (1834), 9.
12. Minutes (1840), 9.
View of the fact that Indiana lagged far behind most other states in education. The average illiteracy rate in the United States in 1840 was 8.5 percent, yet for the state of Indiana-it was 14.3 percent. 15 With this figure in mind, it is an interesting comment on Quaker education that in 1840, Wayne County,, dominated by Friends, had 9,349 inhabitants over twenty years of age and an illiteracy rate of only .0045 percent. 16
During the decade following 1840, Friends continued their emphasis on education. By 1850, there were 8,728 Friends' children of school age, of whom only nine did 17
not attend any school during the year. Schools under the direction of Friends had an enrollment of 3082, while 4,0715 children attended non-Friends' schools. 18 Although Friends had maintained ninety-six schools during the year, many parents were beginning to prefer the public district schools. The reason for this was that "the Friend who paid taxes and saw a good district school nearby grew to believe his children could fare
15. Richard G. Boone, A History of Education in
Indiana (New York, 1892 p. 89. 16.. Ib1d7
17. Minutes (1850), 40.
as wellthere as in the smaller Friends school supported by private subscription."11 Although this seemed in opposition to the Quaker ideal. of a guarded education, Friends often achieved control of the public school through teachers or administration. 20
The majority of Friends' schools during this
period dealt with the elementary three "R's" plus a fourth for, religion. There were also several schools offering advanced work; the school report in 1848 stated that classes were taught in natural philosophy, algebra, geometry, and even some chemistry, geology, 21
physiology, and surveying. There was also an attempt
to obtain uniform school books for Friends' schools, but it was difficult to find -texts that would "inculcate valuable precepts, in the support of our various Christian testimoni'es.'2 Eventually some of the schools offering advanced work would evolve into private academics or
19. McDaniel, 212.
21. Minutes (1848), 21.
22. "Minutes of the General Committee on Education of
Indiana Yearly Meeting" (1844-1866. This is an
unpublished manuscript of the Education Committee's
minutes and is available in the Friends'
Collection of the Lily Library at Eariham College,
boarding schools, being the equivalent of a high school. By 1850, Friends had several schools doing advanced work, while the state of Indiana was just attempting its first high school in Evansville.
The desire of Friends during these years to establish private schools was not unique to Quakers-. One early. study of the subject pointed out that "it was commonly held that the various religious denominations should undertake the higher education of the young people and each sect tried to provide a school for its own
following. Despite the fact that they were a
relatively small body, inl the field of education "Friends 12~4
were the most successfuL" Nearly equal to Friends
in their educational endeavors were the Methodists and Presbyterians, the latter group organizing a branch of the Presbyterian Educational Society in 1830 for the purpose-of containing Catholicism through Christian education, even though very few Catholics lived in Indiana at that time. 2
23.. Mary A. Harding, The Early History of Education,
Public Schools, Colleges, N4ewspapers and Wome-n's
Clubs of Indiana. (Ft. Wayne,, 1916), p. 4.
24. Albert Mock,, The Mid-Western Academy Movement.
1810-1900 (pub. by author, 1949), p. 29.
25. Second Annual Report of the Directors of the Indiana
Branch of-t-h-e -Presbyterian Education Society
(Crawfordsville, 1832), p. 13.
For the state of Indiana in 18SO, the need for education was even greater than it had been in 1840. Between 1840 and 1850, the population had increased fifty percent, but illiteracy had increased one hundred percent. At this point the state became more responsive to the great need for public education and gradually built up the public school systems. Paralleling the rise in public facilities for education was a decline in the Friends' school system. The Yearly Meeting "General Committee on Education" reported in 1851, that the Monthly Meetings had conducted 114 schools that year, with an enrollment of 3,551; with sessions lasting -from six weeks _-o twelve months. 26 In addition, Fri-ends' teachers had taught in ninety-one public schools, showing how Quakers were transferring their influence to the district schools. 27 By 1860, the decline of the Monthly Meeting schools was 4uite apparent: their enrollment for that year being only 1,546, while 3,699 Friends' children attended district schools. 28 Friends were still careful, however, to
26. Minutes (1851). 26.
28. Minutes (1860). 34.
maintain a guarded education for the children, for of the 3,699 students in district schools, 2,069 of them were still being taught by members of the Society. 29 The main reason for this was that the practicalminded Friend could see no reason for supporting two schools; so he sent both his children and their teacher to the district school and obtained the same education for one-half the original cost.
Indiana Yearly Meeting was also active in other areas of education, such as the opportunity which occurred in 1851, to begin plans for the operation of two manual labor schools. That year a wealthy Philadelphia Quaker.) Josiah White, left fortythousand dollars in hiswill to the Indiana Yearly Meeting for the establishment of two such schools. 30 The bequest was accepted and a committee appointed to study the matter. The following year the committee recommended that one of the schools be built in Indiana and the other in Iowa, Friends in Iowa still being under the supervision of Indiana Yearly Meeting. 31 The funds were divided accordingly and separate committees formed to supervise the establishment of their respective schools.
30. Minutes (1851). 24.
31. Minutes (1853), 45.
The "First Annual Report of the White's Indiana
Manual Labor Institute" was presented in 1853, reporting that 760 acres of land had been purchased and were in
the process of being cleared. The committee had decided to wait a while before putting up any buildings, since the manual labor aspect of the school would necessitate having a workable farm before students
could be accepted. The "First Annual Report of the White's Iowa Manual Labor School" was also presented in 1853, the committee having incorporated the school according to state law, and purchased 1440 acres of land for the school's location. 34 Plans for a farm were put into action immediately, but they also decided to wait until the farm was completed before constructing any school buildings. 35
'During the next few years these schools made little progress except for the clearing of land. By 1860 the Indiana school had begun construction of the actual school building, but the Iowa school had not even progressed
32. IMinutes (1853). 20.
34. !bid.,. 21.
35.- Ibid., 21-22.
that far. A coi.,Lmittee appointed to check the records of the Iowa school in 1859, discovered the finances were in bad shape due to poor investments. 37 The next year new trustees had straightened out the financial records but feared that over eight thousand dollars of the school's funds would be lost due to bad investments made by the former trustees, seriously hindering future growth for that school. 38 Although progress had been slow, the later decades of the nineteenth century would witness a valuable return from the generosity of Josiah White.
Besides supervising the learning process of younger Friends, the Yearly Meeting also considered it vital that all Friends have Droper literature available for reading. Concern that each family have a Bible to read led to a survey of the membership to find out exactly how many families did not have a copy of the Scriptures. The report given at the 1830 Yearly Meeting revealed that 196 Bibles were needed in order for every family to be supplied. 39 In 1835, a similar
36. Minutes (1860) 25.
37. Minutes (1859), 29.
38. Minutes (1860)5 25.
39. Minutes (1330), 14.
report stated that every family had a Bible except for nineteen. 40After that year a few deficiencies were reported at most Yearly Meetings, but those were due to newly arrived families, who were provided with Bibles as soon as their situation came to the attention of the meeting.
Not satisfied for every family merely to possess
a copy of the Scriptures, Indiana Friends also promoted Bible study. At first, informal Bible study took place after the weekly meeting, which gradually evolved into a system of "First Day Schools." The original push for this work came from Hannah Chapman Backhouse, a cousin of Joseph John Gurney, who visited Indiana meetings in 1832. 41 Although some of the conservative minded Friends opposed any systematic Bible study, the influence of Gurney and his subsequent visit to Indiana Yearly Meeting guaranteed the permanence of Bible study
40. Minutes'(1835), 10.
41. A personal account of the visit to Indiana can
be found in Extracts from the Journal and Letters
of Hannah Chapman Backhouse (London: Richard
Barrett, Printer, 1858). Even before the visit
of Backhouse to Indiana auxiliaries of the
Bible Association of Friends in America had been formed in New Harden, Blue River, and Whitewater,
Indiana. -- Second Annual Report of the Bible
Association of Friends in America 1831 (PhiladeTlphia:
WillHim Brown, Printer, 1831).
as an aspect of Quaker life. At the end of the antebellum period nearly every meeting in Indiana Yearly
Meeting had some type of systematic Bible study,
usually in the form of a first Day School.
Friends also came to consider libraries as a vital
aid to education, feeling that by providing libraries
they could prevent members from coming into contact
with "pernicious books." In 1830, a "Report on
Libraries" recommended that each Monthly Meeting establish
a library containing only those books approved by the
Yearly Meeting.42 Some of the volumes considered as
most important were George Fox's Journal, Robert Barclay's
Apology, William Sewel's History, and William Penn's
Rise and Progress. Acting upon the committee report
42. Minutes (1830), 22.
43. Minutes (1829), 23. The Journal was Fox's personel
account of his life and became a standard literary item for Friends. First printed three years after
his death in 1694, Fox's Journal has since gone through many editions and printings. Barclay's
An Apology for the True Christian Divinity, being an
Explanation and Vindication of the Principles and
Doctrines of the People called Quakers first appeared
in Latin in 1676, and was translated by the author
into English in 1678. It has since been widely
accepted by Friends as the outstanding intellectual
defense of Quaker doctrines. William Sewel was a
Dutch Friend who wrote one of the earliest histories
of Quakerism. First published in 1722. Sewel's
History of the Christian People Called Quakers was a
detailed account of the early years of the Quaker
period. William Penn's The Rise and Progress of the
People Called Quakers, published in 1694, was also
of 1830, a standing committee was appointed.to supervise the establishment of such libraries, a function later taken over by the Central Book and Tract Committee. Although books were often difficult to obtain and quite expensive, most of the Monthly Meetings began action immediately to establish suitable libraries. The process was slow and often complicated by the. formation of new meetings, but by 1858, nearly every Monthly Meeting was reported to have a library, although most of them
were very sma
Indiana Friends could well afford to be proud of
their efforts in education during the ante-bellum years, having established a system of schools and libraries in. an area where none had existed. There is also another chapter to the story of Quaker education during these years, for, not content with elementary schools and an occasional academy, the desire for higher learning would eventually lead to the founding of a Quaker college.
a history of early Quakerism, but concentrated on matters of religious faith and practice. 44. Minutes (1858), 17.
FOU14DING A COLLEGE
During the earliest years of Indiana Yearly Meeting's existence, many Friends entertained the hope that someday they would have an institution of higher learning within the limits of the Yearly Meeting. Other Friends agreed, pointing out that already the shortage. of competent teachers for Friends' schools demonstrated an immediate need for such an institution. At the Yearly Meeting in 1832, several Friends pointed out that other Yearly Meetings had their.own school where young Friends. were educated in the higher branches of learning,, and so a committee was appointed to look into the possibilities of a "Boarding School." 1 Having accepted the need for a school, the Yearly Meeting wasted no time in appointing a committee to receive contributions in hopes that within a few years such an institution would be a
reality. During the following year the committee
1. Minutes (1832), 18.
2. Ibid.5 24.
received contributions totaling only $135, not a large amount, but a start. 3 For the next three years Friends seemed to have lost interest in the project,, contributing the negligible sum of $18.50 during that time. 4
The project seemed destined to failure, but in
1837 the activity of the determined committee gave the boarding school new life. That year, the committee contacted New England, Philadelphia, and North Carolina Yearly Meetings for information about their boarding achools.5 The committee also went on to recommend that the school be built on a farm. owned by the Yearly Meeting, and that male and female students be instructed in the
same house. The plans called for a school building large enough to accommodate three hundred students, to
be constructed at a cost of sixteen thousand dollars. To finance the construction, the plan called for the Quarterly Meetings to raise twelve thousand dollars in
3. Minutes (1833), 16.
4. Minutes (1834), 10, Minutes (1835), 15, Minutes
5. Minutes (1837), 18.
the next three years, with the balance to come from loans and donations. 8To many Friends the money involved was a staggering sum, but the committee stated such a project was possible because of the "abundance amongst
The optimism of the committee was grounded on
sound reasoning, as proven by the report in 1838. During that year the Quarterly Meetings had contributed $5,640.65 10
for construction of the proposed school. In addition, Dr. John Unthank of Ireland had donated the considerable sum of $1,370, and the committee reported that $1,310.59 had been received from o ther sources. 11With such a large sum on hand after only -one year of soliciting, the committee wasted no time in starting the work of establishing a school. A contract was made for 713,000 bricks, and for a large supply of lumber, the cost of these items alone being over four thousand dollars. 1 Although Friends had made sizeable donations, the committee was not satisfied with the amount contributed by Indiana
8. Ibid., 19.
10. Minutes (1838), 10.
Friends, stating that there was a problem the previous year due to the "depressed condition of money affairs in our country that situation had abated. 13 The committee went on to point out that the majority of Indiana Friends were of the middle class and could have given much more; hat they could have pro vided all the needed funds if they so desired. 14
The following year the Quarterly Meetings raised an additional $2,113.62 in subscriptions for the school,, leaving approximately six thousand dollars still needed to pay for anticipated construction, a sum the 15
subordinate meetings were expected to provide. Actual construction of the school had begun by this time: work on the cellars and foundation had started,
a-Lso work on the wash and bake houses. In 1840, construction was stopped due to a shortage of funds, but the committee had gone too far to allow failure at that point. 17 Rather than wait on the uncertain generosity of the members, permission was obtained from the Yearly
13. Ibid.9 11.
15. Minutes (1839). 17.
16. Ibid.2 18.
1". Minutes (1840). 8.
Meeting to borrow the funds required continue construction. 1
Following another year of difficulties, the
committee was forced to admit partial defeat and alter the original plans. Construction of -the buildings had progressed so slowly that it was decided to complete only a part of the building, sufficient for fifty to seventy students. 19 o lower the anticipated cost of operation when the school opened, the committee proposed that the manual labor system be adopted for conducting the school. 20Actual donations received by this time amounted to $9,602.06, although an additional 21
$3,360 was expected from promised subscriptions. The
committee asked -that an additional four thousand dollars be raised, which with the promised subscriptions would be enough to complete the construction, although it would only be three-quart1-ers of the originally proposed school. 22
18. Ibid., 13.
19. Minutes (1841.),-10-11. 20. Ibid., 12. The manual labor system was bas~d on
the use of student labor to help maintain the
buildings and other property connected with the
21. Ibid., p..20.
22. Ibid., p. 21.
In 1842, the committee was again plagued with
trouble over construction and finance. The walls and roof had finally been completed, but all additional work was again halted due to a lack of funds, 23 One possible solution was mentioned in a report on using the manual labor system. It was p.roposed'that only the oldest applicants be accepted and that their labor to be used to finish and furnish the building. 24 The committee saw the possibilities of student labor, but decided there was still too much basic construction to be done before any students could be accepted. The lack of donations had forced the committee to borrow funds, resulting in an indebtedness of $2,350. 25 Reflecting a typical Quaker concern for debts, the next three years saw little progress in construction, but nearly all of the deficit was paid. A plea for funds in 1845 finally obtained substantial results and the Quarterly Meetings raised subscriptions totaling $4,365.27 for completion
of the school.
Cheered by the renewed financial support, the committee reported in 1848 in a spirit of optimism,
23. Minutes (1842), 14.
24. Ibid.,, 13.
25. Ibid.9 14.
26. Minutes (1845), 17.
proposing that the school begin actual operation on April 1, 1847. 27 John B. Posey, a local Richmond builder, had been contracted for the completion of construction, which was to be accomplished by January 1. 1847. 28 A plan of operation had been formulated, with authority over the new school given to a new created "General Boarding School Committee. ,29 Provisions were to be made for a school for each sex, with accommodations for sixty males and forty females. 30 In addition it was suggested that all teachers must be Friends, and that a worship meeting must be held twice a week. 31 At last, Indiana Friends were to have an institution of higher learning within the limits of the Yearly Meeting. A dream was to be realized after fifteen long frustrating years of planning and construction.
The following summer in 1847 the Friends! Boarding School oDenedits doors to students for the first time, and conducted a fifteen-week session with thirty-six
27. Minutes (1848), 18.
28. Ibid.2 16.
29. Ibid., 18.
30. Ibid.2 19.
students in attendance. 32 Construction was finished and all debts paid; there was even a balance of $42.36 after meeting the expenses of the first year's operation. 33 English Friends were so impressed by this accomplishment they sent a donation of $1,406.65, of which one thousand dollars was design ated for a library. 34 Plans for the coming year were made with high expectation, calling for two sessions of twenty-three weeks each, and a raise in tuition from twenty to thirty-five dollars a
During 1848, the operation of the school was a
complete success,, the income from the farm,, donations, 36
and tuition being so great that a profit was realized. because of this, the committee decided to modify the price of tuition: students at the lower level were to pay thirty dollars a session, and students in the higher mathematics and the classics were to pay thirty-five dollars a session, 37 The library proudly announced it already had seven hundred volumes, while the science
32. Minutes (1847), 18-19. 33. Ibid.$ 19.
34. Ibid.2 18.
35. Ibid., 19-20.
36. Minutes (1848), 15.
37. Ibid.5 16.
department was equally proud of its new apparatus. 38 Attendance was considered sufficient, with seventy-three students at the winter session, and fifty of the summer session 39 For the next three years the school continued to prosper, serving notice to even the most sceptical that Friends' Boarding School was there to stay.
Encouraged by the initial success of the school, Friends were ready to undertake new construction in 1851, Reviving their early plans, the Quarterly Meetings were directed to raise sixteen thousand dollars in the next four years to pay for completion of the original plans. 40 Two years later, in 1853, the entire sixteen thousand dollars had been pledged by Friends for completion of the school. 41 With nearly all the necessary funds promised,, the committee agdin contracted with John B. Posey to finish the school, at a cost of $19,445. 42
While Friends were busy planning new construction, the Boarding School itself had continued to prosper. In 1853, the school found that rising expenses made it
38. Ibid.9 15-16.
39. Ibid.9 15.
40. Minutes (1851), P0.
41. Minutes (1853), 51.
42. Minutes (1854)9
necessary -to raise tuition to forty-five dollars a session for all students. 43 The following year attendance was up to eighty-five students at the winter session and sixty-one at the summer session, considered very satisfactory In view of the fact that tuition had 44
again been raised, to fifty dollars a session. Conditions appeared so promising to the managing committee that they approved plans for hot and cold running water in.the girl's section, purchasing an engine, boiler, and pump for that purpose. 45 Financial troubles again beset the Friends' Boarding School in 1855. Because of several fires a slate roof and lighting rods had to be added to the main building. 46 Since the cause of the fires was traced to the open fires used for winter heating, it was decided that some sort of central heating system would be necessary in -the near future, which would also add considerably to the school's indebtedness. 47 The following year, the Quarterly Meetings were directed to raise ten
43. Minutes (1853), 37-38. 44. Minutes (1854), 18-20. 45. Ibid.9 20.
46. lHinutes (1855), 33,35. 47. Ibid.$ 35.
thousand dollars so that the school might pay off its debts. 48 The main cause of the large debt was the failure of Friends to pay their promised subscriptions, plus the expense of the newly installed heating system. 49 It was suggested that funds could be raised by selling the land which adjoined the school, but Friends decided against such action from fear that non-Friend settlers might have a bad influence on the students. 50
The 1857 Yearly Meeting announced that the
school was in debt for the sum of seventeen thousand dollars, an exceptionally large sum which demanded immediate action. 51 The causes of such a large debt were the cost of installing gas lighting, and the rising cost of food, repairs, and equipment. 52 Several measures were approved in hopes of paying the debt, the first of which was to raise tuition to sixtv dollar's for the lower branch and sixty-five dollars for the higher branch. 53 A second measure was the decision to sell the land owned by the school, despite
48. Minutes (1856), 21.
49. Ibid.9 24.
50. Ibid..$ 27.
51. Minutes (1857), 50.
52. Ibid., 275290
53. Ibid.2 29.
the earlier opposition to such action. 54The third measure was to ease the school's entrance requirements in hope of increasing the amount received from tuition. Up to that time, only children whose parents Ibelonged to the Society of Friends were allowed to attend the school, but this was modified to allow students where. only one of the parents belonged to the Society. 55By the following year, the school's finances we're on the road to recovery, although the debt still amounted to $i1,691.5 The sale of school property was expected tc realize $13,692.18, and it was hoped that subscriptions clue from the Quarterly Meetings would be sufficient to liquidate the debt. 57The school was also put on a paying basis through a further change in the entrance' requirements whibh allowed children of non-Friends.5 Two years later, in 1860, the committee proudly reported thatall debts had finally been paid. 59
514. Ibid., 50.
56. Minutes (1858), 26.
58. Ibid., 21.
59. Minutes (1860), 50.
Despite the ever present financial troubles, the school continued to expand as an institution of higher learning. By 1856, the school boasted a faculty of eight, and collegiate courses were offered in hopes of granting .diplomas in the future. 60To help the course in ast'-ronomy an acromatic telescope had been purchased at a price of $630, an impressive addition for a small school. 61With the financial troubles clearing and the future promising, it was decided in 1859 that the school should become a college. 62The college program would be based on the four year course of study started in 1856, and a two year scientific program, with separate degrees for each.6 The school was
60. Minutes (1856), 22,25. 61. Ibid., 24.
62. "M,1inutes of the Acting Committee of the Boarding
School" (1846-1870),, p. 158. This volume is the
manuscript minutes of the Boarding School
Committee of Indiana Yearly Meeting and can be
found in the Friends' Collection at the Lily
Library, Earlham College. The important decisions
made by the committee were also reported in the
Yearly Meeting Minutes.
63. Minutes (1859),, 26.
appropriately named Earlham College in honor of Joseph John Gurney's home in England known as Earlham Hall. The following year saw work begin on an observatory for the telescope and a record number of students in attendance -- 140 students at the winter session and 64
eighty-four at the summer session. Earlham College had become an established fact in Indiana history, a lasting monument to the determination and drive of the early Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends.
64. Minutes (1860), 22. An excellent history of Earlham
College is Opal Thornburg's Earlham The Story of the
College 1847-1962 (Richmond, Ia.: The Earlham
College Press, 1963).
Friends.were not content merely with abstaining from what they considered the sins of the world, but they also believed it their duty to speak out against the evils of society. The early Indiana Friends were most vocal over what they considered the four greatest evils of society: intemperance, war, slavery, and capital punishment. These problems were considered to be world-wide in nature and opposition to them was held in common by all Friends, including those in Europe. A fifth issue unique to the'United States was what Friends considered -the offensive treatment afforded the Indians by Anglo-Americans.
Friends could have been' more successful than they
were in reform activity had they banded together in national organizations, but this proved impossible. Early attempts at general meetings and conferences were unsuccessful due to fears and suspicions generated by the doctrinal disputes over the teachings of Hicks and then Gurney. In addition, most Yearly Meetings were extremely jealous of their autonomous positions and refused to relinquish any authority to a central body composed of the various
Yearly Meetings. The result of this was that although Quakers worked for the same goals, nearly all of their activities were restricted to the various Yearly Meetings working alone.
Due to their somewhat isolated location in the West, Indiana Friends most commonly directed their appeals to the people and the government through petitions, addresses, and memorials. The 1838 Yearly Meeting demonstrated this, writing an "Address to the People of the United States, and to the Members of Congress in Particular," which was an appeal "on the civilization and Christian instruction of the aborigines
of our country." The 184.3 Yearly Meeting authorized the printing of ten thousand copies of an "Address to the Christian Professors of the United States and to the citizens generally," which dealt' with the evils of intemperance, war, slavery, and capital punishment,, and was sent to various government officials and distrib-uted by the membership. 2 Aware of growing tensions in 1846, the Yearly Meeting sent directly to Congress a memorial against the possibility of war with Great Britain over the issue of Oregon, with an
1. Address to the PeoDle of the United States, and
to the Members of Congress in Particular
(Cincinnati, 1838). p. 7.
2. 1-linutes (1843), 21.
additional one thousand copies being printed for general distribution. 3These early communications on general moral issues were largely ineffective, Friends being too few in number and too isolated to bring any real pressure on the law makers in Washington.
Indiana Friends were, however, better situated to bring pressure to bear upon the state legislatures of Indiana and neighboring states, the best example ocurring during the struggle for a temperance law in the 1850's. The 1853 Yearly Meeting appointed a committee to prepare a memorial to the state legislatures of Indiana, Ohio,. Illinois, and Iowa, appealing for a temperance law.4 Two years later the Yearly Meeting was happy to report that its temperance petition presented to the Indiana legislature had been well received, and that a prohibition law had been passed. 5The petition presented to the Iowa legislature also obtained favorable results in the form of a prohibition law similar to that in Indiana. 6 This initial success was short-lived, however; the 1856 Yearly Meeting reported that the Indiana
3. Minutes (184~6),, 32.
4. Ili4nutes (1843),, 23.
5. Minutes (1855), 22.
prohibition law had been rendered ineffective by
decisions of the state courts. Not dismayed by failure, continued efforts the following year brought another success in the temperance battle: the Indiana legislature passed a restrictive license law in response to a Friends' petition. 8 Hindered by the opposition of an active liquor lobby and an apathetic publicFriends' efforts ultimately failed despite an occasional fleeting success. The struggle was never abandoned, however, and in later decades would increase to greater endeavor.
One of the most prominent methods used by Friends
in their criticism of public morals was the distribution of selected books and tracts. -At first, the Yearly Meeting began the practice of printing copies of flepisties", or communications, from other Yearly Meetings of special interest, as in 1832, when three thousand copies of the London Yearly Meeting's epistle were printed for distribution to the membership. 9 Since Indiana Yearly Meeting took much of its religious direction from London-based Friends, the epistle of London Yearly Pleeting was regularly reprinted for the
7. Minutes (1856). 36.
8. Minutes (1857), 16.
9. Minutes (1832), 3.
edification of the members. Gradually the practice was extended to other topics, as in 1843, when the Yearly Meeting directed three thousand copies be printed of a pamphlet telling the history of the Friends' protest against slavery, and also five thousand copies of a general tract on slavery. 10 By 1851, -the growing use of tracts had led to the creation of a standing "Central Book and Tract Committee," which was in charge of obtaining and distributing approved books
Quickly expanding its operations, this committee reported in 1852 that it had presented Friends' books to public libraries, the state library, and the 12
state prison library. In addition, it had given members 66,000 tracts for distribution to the public, of which it had printed 31,000 itself; 35,000 were a gift from Friends in Philadelphia. 13 In 1854, the committee reported that 55,000 tracts had been given out for distribution, dealing with such subjects as intemperance, slavery, and dancing. 14 -Final distribution of these
10. Minutes (1843), 22.
11. Minutes (1851), 14.
12. Minutes (1852), 15.
13. Ibid., 16.
14. Minutes (1854). 15-16. Dancing was considered by
ndiana Friends to be one of the popular diversions
prohibited by the Discipline.
tracts was usually accomplished by individual Friends who obtained them at their local meetings. The 1855 Minutes noted that 44,000 tracts were put into circulation that year Friends distributed them on railroad cars, 15
steamboats, at hotels, and to travelers and immigrants. The majority of the tracts were placed in Indiana, with some being sent to isolated meetings or missionary groups in other states. The 1857 Yearly Meeting reported that several thousand tracts had been sent to Maine, Canada, Minnesota, and Tennessee. 16
By 1860, the Central Book and Tract Committee had become one of the most powerful means of protest for Indiana Quakers. That year the committee obtained 122,608 tracts, with a total of over one million pages 17 in a period and area where reading material was often scarce, it is likely that these tracts reached a large audience in spite of their religious tone. In addition to tracts, Friends' books had been placed in every country library in Indiana, the standard volumes being Robert Barblay's Apology, George Fox's Journal, and Jonathan
15. Minutes (1855), 18.
16. Minutes (1857), 29.
17. Minutes (1860), 29.
Dymond's Essays. The voice of Quaker protest had found a powerful ally in the printed message and in future decades this would be a constant part of expanding Friends' Activity.
In matters of local charity Friends remained faithful to the Discipline's injunction to aid the poor and disabled. Being mostly situated in Quaker neighborhoods Indiana Friends rarely allowed the needs of an unfortunate member to reach the attention of the Yearly Meeting. One of the few exceptions to this came to the attention of the Yearly Meeting in 1835, when the subject of an "Asylum for the benefit of such of our members as may be deprived of their reason" was discussed. 19 An investigation of the problem led to a call for donations, which by 1840 resulted in a fund of $488.75 for the
proposed asylum. in 1842, the Quarterly Meetings polled their members and reported thirty-six "idiots" and thirty-five "insane people" within the care of the 21
Society, most of whom were supported by their families.
18. Jonathan Dymond's (1796-1828) Essays on the Principles
of Morality was published in London in 1829. The
"Essay o-F-7ar" contained in the volume was considered
the classic interpretation of the Quaker position
19. Minutes (1835), 5.
20. Minutes (1840). 23.
21. Minutes (1842). 17.
Although the report indicated a possible need for an asylum, the project was set back by the committee's revelation that of its previously reported fund of $488.75, only $110 was in cash, the rest being in
subscriptions of dubious value. The following year, the Yearly Meeting decided that since all- of the reported insane people were being cared for, the project was abandoned and the money returned to the'donors and
the subscriptions cancelled.
Although the plight of the insane proved to be more imagined than real,, Indiana Friends were very much aware of two other groups genuinely in need of aid. These were the Indians and Blacks. To help them become the center of Quaker activity during the ante-bellum years, relegating other activities to minor importance. This concern was not just a matter of principle argued in tracts and pamphlets. It was, rather, a deep personal commitment by Indiana Friends that resulted in one of the outstanding chapters of Indiana Friends' history during ante-bellum years.
22. Ibid.5 20.
23. Minutes (1843), 25.
AIDING THE I14DIANS
Friends in North America have had a long history of interest in the American Indian. Since the days of William Penn5 Quakers have been noted for the unusually good relationship they maintained with the Indians. The basic reason for this was that Quakers were scrupulously honest in all their transactions with the Indians, believing that the Indians were entitled to the same basic rights and respect as a white man. As the Indians were gradually forced off their native land by the surging tide of white settlement, the Friends were' one of the earliest voices to protest and to found agencies for Indian relief.
Indiana Friends were no exception to general Quaker practice in this respect and at the first Yearly Meeting in 1821 set up an Indian committee which was to cooperate with similar committees of the Ohio and Baltimore Yearly Meetings. 1 The endeavor Indiana Friends were about to-join had originated in 1806 and 1807 when
1. Minutes (1821), 10.
English Friends subscribed approximately $31,500 for
Indian aid. About $13,000 of this sum was invested in bank stock in Baltimore under the control of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting and the income of the funds
was designated for the Indian work. In 1810, Baltimore Yearly Meeting accepted a request for aid from a group of Shawnee Indians living at Wapakoneta on the Auglaize River in Western Ohio. Active work had no sooner begin than it was forced to a halt by the uprising of the Prophet at the Battle of Tippicanoe in 1811 and the War of 1812, although aid
was renewed at the conclusion of hostilities in 1815.
Following the addition of Indiana Yearly Meeting tothe Indian work, a joint committee from the three Yearly Meetings visited the community of Shawnee at Wapakoneta in 1822, and bought a piece of land adjoining the reservation.6 A farm was cleared, and a house and cabin school-house were quickly erected,
2. Rayner Wickersham Kylsey, Friends and the Indians
1655-1917 (Philadelphia: the Associated
Executive Committee of Friends on Indian Affairs,
1917), Footnote pp. 139-140.
4. Ibid., 137.
5. Ibid., 138.
6. Minutes (1822), 6-7.
with four Friends hired as a staff. 7During its first year of operation the school was attended by only nine Indian children, but the low number was because of sickness and not from a lack of interest. 8By the following year, 1823, the general health of the Indians had greatly improved and thirty Indian children attended the Friends' school. 9
In 1824, however, the Indian parents became
reluctant to send their children to the school, which forced Friends to suspend .its operation. 10After waiting a year, the school was reopened in 1826, but again had to be shut down for want of students. Friends discovered that the reason for the poor attendance was Indian protest of a government plan to relocate them on a reservation west of the Mississippi River, where other Shawnee had already been placed. 12Their
7. Ibid., 7.
9.Minutes (1823), 10.
10. Minutes (1824), 9.
11. Minutes (1826), 10.
12. "Minutes of the Proceedings of the Committee on
Indian Concerns" (1821-1855), p. 24. This is the manuscript volume of the committee's minutes and
contains little of importance not found in the
annual Minutes of the Yearly Meeting. This
volume its kept in the Friends' Collection of the
Lily Library, Earlham College.
number already depleted, the remaining Indians requested that the school be reopened, which Friends did in 1827, for the benefit of about fifteen students. 13 In addition to the students at the mission school, four Indian boys were sent to school in Springfield, Ohio, at the request of their parents. 14
The Hicksite separations of 1828 also caused major disruptions of the Indian work, Prior to that year, funds for the work had been provided by the Ohio committee which received them from the funds controlled by Baltimore Yearly Meeting. When the majority of Baltimore Yearly Meeting went with the Hicksites, the income from the Indian fund-was lost to the work at Wapakoneta, which remained under the contro-1 of the Orthodox Ohio and Indiana Yearly Meetings. Having made a commitment t o the Indians, Indiana Yearly Meeting decided in 1828 that it would assume the responsibility for supplying the funds to continue the Indian work. is Acting immediately, in December of that year the Indian committee decided to renew the Indian school and
13. Minutes'(1827). 10.
15. Minutes (1828), 16.
promptly hired Robert and 11ahalah Green to go and take charge. 16The school was accordingly restored to activity and opened the following June,, 1829, attended by ten to fourteen children. 17Prospects for the school's future were promising. The Indians in that area were settled mostly on farms and were self-sufficient. All were eager for Friends to educate their children. 18
In 1830, the Indian committee made another trip to the Wapakoneta mission and found everything to be satisfactory, eleven students were in attendance. 19 Their work found to be satisfactory, Robert and Mahalah Green were hired for another year, but the contract was suddenly terminated by the death of Mahalah in September, 1830. The committee hired Henry and Ann Harvey as replacements. 20Since 1828, Indiana Friends had
16. Minutes (1829), 18. It was the policy of Indiana
Y-early Meeting to recruit Indiana Friends to staff the missions. Friends were necessary on the staff
so that a Quaker religious meeting could be held to which the Indians were invited. If Indiana Friends
could not supply the staff need, Friend s were
recruited from other Yearly Meetings. 17. Ibid.
18. Ibid., 19.
19. Minutes (1830), 10.
continued to try and obtain a portion of the funds controlled by Baltimore Friends,, but to no avail. Forced to look elsewhere, Friends obtained part of the necessary funds by renting the farm at the Indian mission. The income was one-half of the farm's produce. 21Ohio Yearly Meeting also continued its Support with donations, while the bulk of the funds were supplied by the subordinate meetings of Indiana Yearly Meeting.
In 1831, the Indians completed negotiations with the Federal government and agreed to trade their remaining land at Wapakoneta for new land west of the Mississippi River. 22Responding to a request from the Indians to stay among them as long as possible, Fibiends hired H-enry and Ann IHIarvey to manage the school for another year despite the imminent relocation of the Indians. 23 Attempts to continue the school failed due to the confusion stemmuing from the Indians preparations for moving, leading Friends to decide to sell their property at Wapokoneta. 24Adding to the confusion was the -Failure of promised government supplies to
21. Minutes.(1829), 18.
22. Minutes (1831), 11.
23. Ibid., 11-12.
214. Minutes (1832). 1145 16.
reach the Indians, who had neglected their farms while preparing to move,.2 Only considerable aid from Friends enabled the Indians to survive without the promised supplies, although the suffering still was often severe. To further aid the Indians, two Friends, Henry Harvey and David Bailey, accompanied four of the Shawnee chiefs to Washington to help them bring their grievances before Congress. 26When they reached Washington a friend of the cause was found in the person of Representative Joseph Vance of Ohio, who introduced 27
them to Secretary of War, Lewis Cass. Secretary
Cass was sympathetic with the cause and tried to get the Shawnee a new treaty, .but could not do so because of the opposition of President Andrew Jackson,.28 Stopped by Jackson, who gave the group the impression that he cared very little for the Indians or their rights, attempts were made to work through Congress. Again with the aid of Secretary Cass, a measure was successfully
25. Ibid., 14-15.
26. Henry Harvey, History of the Shawnee Indians
(Cincinnati: Emphraim Morgan & Sons, 1855),
p. 208. The four chiefs were Wayweleapy,
iBlackhoof, John Perry, and Spybuck; Francis
Duchequate and Joseph Parks, went-as interpreters. 27. Ibid., 210.
obtained calling for additional payments to-the Shawnee for their property in Ohio. 2 Preparing to leave Washington, Friends were elated by Secretary Cass's offer to pay their entire expenses for the trip, amounting to $640, and by his gift offifty dollars to each of the four chiefs. 30
By 1833, Friends had disposed of all their property at Wapakoneta, and all of the Shawnee had been removed to their new reservation. Friends did not,, however, lose their interest in the Shawnee; instead, three Friends applied to Secretary Cass for permission to visit the Indians at their new reservation. 31 Cass replied with praise for the work of the Friends, and promised that officials in the Indian department would
aid them as much as possible. When the deputation to the Shawnee returned,, they reported that the Indians had received good land, and seemed to be very happy with it. 33
29. Ibid. 213.
30. Ibid., 213-214.
31. Minutes (1833)5 15. The three Friends were
Henry Harvey, Simon Hadley,, and Solomon Hadden