Showing posts with label Society of Friends. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Society of Friends. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Quaker House Dartmouth Step Back in time

There’s lots to discover at the Dartmouth Quaker House. (Tiffany Thornton) The Dartmouth Quaker House
59 Ochterloney St, Dartmouth, NS, Canada
Sources The Canadian Quaker History Journal No 71 2006 A PDF Can be sent on request
Article from Dartmouth Herald by Tiffany Thorton
It’s a rainy Saturday over the Canada Day weekend. I am on my way to the Quaker House in downtown Dartmouth to discover more about this special place that is steeped in hundreds of years of history.
From the 17th century cemetery that juts out on top of a hill off of Victoria Street, to Christ Church on Dundas street with its identifiable weather vane atop the steeple (which represents Haley's Comet). I have been meaning to get to the Quaker House since I moved here. When I arrive, I am greeted by two jovial young women dressed in traditional Quaker attire. They are excited to tell me about the history of this place.
The house was built in 1786 and was originally the home of William Ray, a cooper (barrel maker). His wife and four children set out from Nantucket with 27 other Quaker families after the American Revolution to establish the whaling industry in Nova Scotia. They left so as not to have to pay the high taxes on whale oil imported to London. But what exactly are Quakers (also known as a “Society of Friends”)? Although the history of these communities in Dartmouth is extensive, few of us know what this religion truly entailed. see Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Volume 7, Issue 5
A tour of the house and the stories along the way help to enlighten me. Originating in England and founded by George Fox, the fundamental Quaker principle is that God is in each and everyone of us (“divine harmony”), and as such all men, women and children have the right to speak (very progressive for a time when women were not allowed to speak in church). As I tour the small home from room to room, I notice silhouette prints through out rather than actual photos. I am told that part of being a Quaker is a strong sense of modesty, with no overt displays of vanity or inequality. Photos would have represented vanity, so black and white silhouettes took their place. This caused a bit of difficulty for the museum to replicate costumes when trying to depict the clothing attire leaning towards simplicity.
The home is dark and you can gather that it would have been cold in the damp winter months. The women would weave wool into yarn for hours on end, for use in creating clothing and blankets. The wool came from the sheep on the Dartmouth Common, where the community’s livestock grazed freely. The women would also spend a lot of time in the kitchen staying warm and cooking. The men were often away for up to four years at a time, out whaling in the Atlantic (primarily for sperm whales which were valued for their oil). A fabulous display of whaling artifacts are on display, such as a whale’s skull, artworks created by the sailors and drawings of the various tools and techniques the hunters used. 
Dartmouth had established quite a name for itself during this time (1786 to 1788). Half of the whaling ships that entered London's harbor were from here; the oil they carried lighting up the streets of London and causing many in England to envy the success of the Dartmouth whalers. Eventually though, many of the Dartmouth Quaker leaders such as Samuel Starbuck and Timothy Folger (yes of Folgers coffee fame) left, setting sail for Wales with their families in tow to establish the whaling colony and town of Milford Haven. William Ray stayed on for a bit longer, but eventually he returned with his family to his birthplace of Nantucket, and the Dartmouth whaling industry faded into memory.
We are left with this incredible piece of history that can be enjoyed by all. These stories and many more line the walls of this home and the downtown streets of Dartmouth. This summer make sure to stop by the Quaker House and listen to the tales of long ago, have the kids partake in arts and crafts on Saturdays, from 11 am to 12 pm (shipbuilding, whale building and much more). Admission is $2, and donations are always welcome.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Eli Radley and Society of Friends

It is 1881 and Eli Radley sits on a new garden bench admiring the new stone for George Fox, fixed in the ground in front of the site of the present tree. Where is the tree? Is that it, posed for its photograph on the bench before it is planted? See Quakers and Shireditch 

Joseph Radley was the third son (fourth, child) of Eli and Louisa Radley, of Tottenham, Middlesex, where he was born on the May 23, 1835. He received his earliest religious teaching from his mother who came of Scotch Presbyterian descent. More info @ History of Friends
From The Anual Monitor of Society of Friends

When very young all the children of this large family were sent to the Infant school, founded by the late Elizabeth Forster. From there Joseph Radley passed to the Lancasterian School, and he always recalled with gratitude the sound grounding he there received. In 1847 he went to Croydon School, thus beginning his long and happy association with that Institution, with which, excepting brief intervals of residence at Flounders and at Bootham, York, he was connected until 1871. When just over fifteen years of age he was apprenticed to the Superintendent, John Sharp. In 1861 he returned to Croydon, and was married in July that year at Erith, Hunts, to Phebe Jane Bentley, daughter of the late Thomas Bentley, formerly of Ipswich.

A daughter and three sons were born of this happy union. Phebe Jane Kadley died in 1868, leaving him with three motherles boys, and he used often to refer to this time when he more than ever was able to cast all his care on his Heavenly Father. The strain, however, was too great, and his own and his friends' best judgment indicated that a change would be advisable. After a few months with his brother Alexander, as an accountant, he found an opening at Wigton School, which enabled him to resume the more familiar and congenial work of teaching. During his busy years at Croydon, though not always successful in his management of the boys, he won the attachment of many of them by his kind help and sympathy in their interests and favourite pursuits; he was also very ready in giving assistance in Temperance and other good work in the town. For some years before leaving Croydon he spoke in the ministry, his gift being subsequently acknowledged at Lisburn.

Soon after J. Radley's second marriage, in 1874, to Mary Elizabeth Robinson, of Pardshaw, Cumberland, they removed to Lisburn with their three boys, where he entered upon what may be said to have been his life work at Ulster Provincial School, having for a period of twenty five years carried out the responsible duties of Head Master and Superintendent. In the latter post he was ably assisted by his wife, whose good judgment and prudence helped him through the difficulties inseparable from such a position. A few years after receiving this appointment the increasing success of the School made it apparent that a considerable enlargement and improvement of the premises would be necessary, the original building having become antiquated through its long service as a Friends' School, established about the year 1794.

Joseph Radley's sanguine views as to its future success were not without foundation; and having, by his perseverance and hopefulness, enlisted the warm sympathy of many generous friends, and obtained substantial financial help in England as well as Ireland, a large and handsome addition was made to the building, and further extensions followed at a later period.

The exclusiveness which characterized the Society of Friends in an earlier day having given way to more breadth of view, the Institution has since been the guarded home of many boys and girls of various denominations who have been educated in mixed classes, of which Joseph Radley was a strong advocate before it became so general as it is now, in both elementary and higher education. He was much beloved and esteemed by the parents of the children, as well as by a large circle of Friends; his genial manner and kind sympathy made him a welcome visitor, especially where illness or trouble of any kind existed. His gift in the ministry was exercised with much acceptance in Lisburn Meeting, his remarkable knowledge of Scripture, his retentive memory, and a mind well stored with hymns and poetry of a superior order, rendered his ministry interesting and often very impressive. His duties at the School precluded him from traveling much beyond his own Quarterly Meeting, but he was ever ready to render any service in his power to the Society of which he was a most loyal member.

In 1899 failing health withdrew him from his much loved work of education, for which he had been largely gifted, not so much, however, in the advanced standard now required. His example in daily life and his efforts in the cultivation of religious impressions, and in all that was good and useful in the character of the young people under his care, is seen to be bearing rich fruit in the lives of many of those who can look back with gratitude to the helpful interest he evinced in their welfare, whilst his love for natural history and other studies outside the school routine, endeared him to many of his pupils. As already stated, he retired from the School in 1899, and removed to reside among his wife's relatives at Pardshaw, near Cockermouth, where his health improved, and he found congenial occupation in his garden, and in visiting his neighbors by whom he was much valued. His last illness was short, and ho was gently released from the earthly tabernacle on the First of Second Month, 1903, having been supported all through his varied experience by his deep sense of the love of God, the compassion of his Saviour Christ Jesus, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Grange Meeting House near Charlemont, County Armagh, Ireland Built About 1750  Immigration of the Irish Quakers

The Harvey-Hadley Homestead on the Wilmington-Lebanon Pike, RR #1 in Clinton County, Ohio was built around 1824 From Quaker Genealogy in Southwest Ohio  

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Captain's Well Amesbury

Story on the Captain's Well made famous by J G Whittier.

According to "Contemporary American Biography: Biographical Sketches of Representative Men of the Day Representatives of Modern Thought and Progress, of the Pulpit, the Press, the Bench and Bar, of Legislation, Invention and the Great Industrial Interests of the Country, Volume 1, Part 1" Mr. John Greenleaf Whittier received some high prices for his poems—so high, he used to say, that he could hardly bring himself to accept them. The highest of these was one thousand dollars paid by the New York Ledger for ninety-six lines entitled "The Captain's Well." See full poem at Bartlelby

 "Captain's Well" in Amesbury Is Rededicated Thursday, August 7, 1930 

Residence of Valentine Bagley; now the Huntington Home and The Amesbury High School and the Captain's Well. Photos from Warren NH Site Whittier is not the only one who has made use of Bagley's experience, for Mrs. Harriet Prescott Spofford, of Deer Island, Amesbury, has also written a poem on the same theme.

The January 11, 1890, issue of the New York Ledger included a "Souvenir Supplement" featuring "The Captain's Well," a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier, illustrated by Howard Pyle. Here is one of the illustrations, untitled, and engraved on wood by Henry Wolf. From Howard Pyle

This poem, which was written in 1889, and may safely be set down as Mr. Whittier's last one of great length, has an interesting bit of local history for its theme. In the last quarter of the eighteenth century, Valentine Bagley, a young man living in Amesbury, went to sea and soon became Captain Bagley. (by Charles Dehlin)

When he was yet young his vessel was wrecked in the Red Sea, and he was cast upon the shore of Arabia, where he was seized and sold into slavery by the Bedouins. After many years he escaped and fled to the great Arabian desert, where he wandered until he nearly perished of thirst. Then, for the first time in his life, he thought of prayer. As he supplicated Heaven for aid, the picture of his home in Amesbury rose before his mind, and, with the finest regard for detail, he vowed that if the Lord would help him back to Amesbury, he would dig a well in a certain spot by the roadside near his home and dedicate it to the Lord.

In time Captain Bagley was rescued and brought home. On the first morning after his arrival, he proceeded to dig in the designated spot. His neighbors asked whether he was digging for gold, and he said no, he was digging for something more precious—water. Finally he came scrambling out of his well, followed by a gush of pure, cool water which rose almost to the brim. The Captain built a curb over the well and spent the remainder of his days sitting near it, keeping the ample trough full and cool, and inviting man and beast to stop in passing, and partake freely of "God's best gift to earth."

Captain Bagley died in 1839, at the age of sixty-six, but the well still remains, though the decayed curb was taken down about ten years ago. Mr. Whittier was thirty-one years old when the Captain died, and had known him for many years.
Info from "Genealogy of Richard Currier of Salisbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts (1616--1686-7) and Many of His Descendants"
Sarah Currier, (Daniel, Thomas', Deacon Thomas'. Richard) daughter of Daniel and Electra (Currier) Currier, was born in Amesbury, Mass., July 5, 1743. She married Dec. 21, 1763, Valentine Bagley, son of Colonel Jonathan and Dorothy (Wells) Bagley of Amesbury, who was born in Amesbury Jan. 1, 1742-3. He was a miller and yeoman and lived in Newbury, Mass. He died April, 1780, and she married, second, David Blaisdell (published Nov. 13, 1790). They had seven children:— John, Dorothy, Dolly, William, Sally, Valentine, and William Bagley. She died Dec. 7, 1821.
Captain Valentine Bagley, son of Valentine and Sarah (Currier) Bagley, was born in Newbury, Mass., January 17 1773- He lived in Amesbury, Mass., and was a sea captain and he was a charter member of Warren Lodge, A. F. & A. M., of Amesbury*, in 1822, and its first treasurer. He married July 24, 1796, Hannah Currier, daughter of Timothy and Anne (Colby) Currier, granddaughter of Thomas and Jemima (Morrill) Currier, great granddaughter of Thomas and Sarah (Barnard) Currier, great-great-granddaughter of Deacon Thomas and Mary (Osgood) Currier, and great-great-great-granddaughter of Richard and Ann Currier, who was born January 27, 1774, and died Oct. i, 1859. He died January 19, 1839, and was buried in the Union cemetery at Amesbury. (See tombstone).

Captain Bagley's tombstone burying-ground on the hill, only a stone's throw from the well.

From Dr. Tony Shaw's blog
Within the same enclosure is the Friend's little half-acre, and in this lie the ashes of Mr. Whittier's dear ones—Uncle Moses, Aunt Mercy, his father and mother, sisters Mary and Lizzie, and brother Franklin—and at the westerly end of the row there was just room for one more mound to be made, and one more plain little headstone to be set up, where the poet intended finally to lay him down to rest. His home was at Amesbury, Mass., and there he was buried in accordance with the following request contained in his will:

"It is my wish that my funeral may be conducted in the plain and quiet way of the Society of Friends with which I am connected, not only by birthright, but also by a settled conviction of the truth of its principles and the importance of its testimonies."

J G Whittier attended many meeting here as well in Dover, NH 

*Warren Lodge was chartered in 1822 and named for General Joseph Warren (1741-1775); an American Patriot, writer and activist, medical doctor, and Freemason. In 1769 the Grand Master of Masons in Scotland appointed Joseph Warren “Provincial Grand Master of Masons in Boston its surrounding territory. In 1772, his appointment was extended by the
Grand Lodge of Scotland to be Grand Master of Masons in Continental America. He died commanding soldiers at the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775. Widely remembered as a General, he held the rank of Major General for only three days before he was killed, but he was a pioneering doctor for 13 years and part of a dynastic medical family—his younger brother, founded Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Medical Society.
Lodge Address
8 West Whitehall Road
Amesbury, Essex 01913

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Mary Coffin Strarbuck, Daughter of the Light

Some information on Mary Coffin/Coffyn Starbuck (1645-1717) and family. Plus some old articles published in newspapers on Coffin line.

Mary's father, Tristram Coffin
Mary Coffin Starbuck was born Feb. 20, 1645 in Haverhill, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Tristram Coffin (1605-1681) and Dionis Stevens Coffin (1610-1659) 

Cortlandt V. D. Hubbard, Photographer

In 1662, Mary married Nathaniel Starbuck (born in Dover, NH  February 20, 1634) son of Edward Starbuck and Katherine Reynolds. (Note: Nathaniel's sister Abigail Starbuck married Peter Coffin, Mary's brother) Mary and Nathaniel were the first couple to marry on the Island from the new settlement created by these families. The couple also became the leaders in introducing the Quaker faith to the island. Mary was the first woman Quaker minister. She was also called "The Great Merchant" an industrious, clever, and powerful woman. In 1702, John Richardson, a Quaker minister, was speaking at her home and she received a witness that manifested into a deep spiritual driving force of Light that never extinguished. It was in this moment Nathaniel Philbrick asserts that "established a unique fusion of spirituality and covetousness that would make possible Nantucket's rise as a whaling port." Several generations prosper in this industry as well as others.

Mary was a leader--a woman of "strong character and exceptional intelligence." Edward R. Snow Women of the Sea   "The islanders esteemed [Mary Starbuck] as a judge among them, for little was done without her, as I understood...the great woman," 1701 journal entry of John Richardson

She is also known for "Account Book with the Indians," a ledger tracking the credits and debits of 200 Indians, laborers, and whales-men who patronized Mary Coffin Starbuck's store and her later generations, it is a "treasure trove of data about Indian life on Nantucket...covering the years 1662 to1764..."

John Greenleaf Whittier, (1807-1892) the poet, is a 7th generation Coffin, descended from Tristram Coffin, Jr.
 [Manuscript deed of sale (November 14, 1685) of Nashowamoiasuk, now Neck Point of the Edgartown Great Pond, by "Mr. Harrie, Indian of Nantucket" to John Coffin (Mary's brother) for six pounds.From Mr. Larry @4dtraveler]

Below is from The Springfield Daily Republican September 1929

Our Boston Literary Letter. Good Folks and Persecutors. Covenanters, Quakers and Martyrs Andrew Lang's New March 17, 1909 Springfield Republican (Springfield, MA) A larger PDF version can be sent if you post a request or email me