The Quakers

By Hugh Barbour; J. William Frost | Go to book overview

17
THE LIBERAL TRANSFORMATION

Between the Civil War and 1900 eastern Quakers changed at a glacial pace while urbanization, industrialization, and immigration revolutionized the world around them. Philadelphia Friends in 1880 remained divided over the issues of the 1830s. Orthodox Friends, who united in refusing to associate with the heretic Hicksites, were composed of two disputing factions--Wilburites and Gurneyites--and only just managed to stay together in the Arch Street Yearly Meeting. The Wilburites, or quietists, distrusted higher education, opposed any change in dress or Discipline, disliked religious activities like First Day Schools or Bible societies, and idealized the virtues of a fast-disappearing rural way of living. The Gurneyites disagreed on each of the above, supporting learning and Haverford College, gradually dropping the distinctive Quaker language and dress, participating in a large variety of charitable and philanthropic activities, and attempting, unsuccessfully, to make minor modifications in the Discipline. 1 By 1900 the Philadelphia Orthodox numbered only 4,460, about one-third the size of the Hicksites, and were concentrated in urban areas where they resembled more an extended family or clan rather than a denomination.

The Hicksites had an easier task of accepting change since they had long claimed to stand for diversity and equality among members. Almost from the time of the separation the Hicksites embraced notions of the unimportance of creeds, the symbolic nature of religious language, and the priority of experience. In 1894 a revision of the Hicksite Discipline essentially ended disownment for mixed marriages or any other cause, merged Men's and Women's Meetings for business, and broke the equation between simplicity and the plain style of dress and language. 2 The Hicksites, recognizing that Swarthmore College could not continue as a satisfactory boarding school and college at the same time, in 1893 established George School in Bucks County as their equivalent to Westtown. As early as 1866 the Hicksite Yearly Meeting endorsed an attempt to establish contacts with all other Friends. By 1900 the Hicksite Yearly Meeting sessions

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The Quakers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Denominations in America ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Series Foreword xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Part One the Quakers: A History of Friends in America 1
  • 1: Introduction 3
  • 2: The Religious Setting of the Early Friends 11
  • 3 - The Lamb's War and the Awakening of the North of England 35
  • 4: Quaker Worship and Ethics and Their Transformation, 1652-1662 39
  • 5 - The Mission to America 58
  • 6: England, 1660-1689 61
  • 7: The Quaker Colonies 73
  • 8: A Tolerated Society of Friends 83
  • 9: A Spiritual Existence 95
  • 10: A Disciplined Christian Life 107
  • 11: Crisis and Reformation 119
  • 12: The American Revolutions 137
  • 13: Quaker Migrants to Carolina and the Midwest; Eastern Philanthropists 153
  • 14: Separations 169
  • 15: The Midcontinent in the Midcentury, 1828-1867 185
  • 16: West and Midwest, 1867- 1902 203
  • 17: The Liberal Transformation 219
  • 18: Suburban and College Friends 231
  • 19: Creativity in Peacemaking 247
  • 20: Social Service and Social Change, 1902-1970 261
  • 21: New Forms of Quaker Interaction, 1960-1987 271
  • Part Two a Biographical Dictionary of Former Quaker Leaders in America 281
  • A 285
  • B 287
  • C 301
  • D 311
  • E 313
  • F 315
  • G 321
  • H 327
  • J 337
  • K 343
  • L 347
  • M 351
  • P 357
  • R 363
  • S 365
  • T 369
  • U 371
  • V 373
  • W 375
  • Appendix: Chronology 381
  • Bibliographic Essay 385
  • Index 393
  • About the Authors 409
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