A SURVEY of Quaker historical literature reveals the lack of a relatively brief history giving a balanced treatment of all phases, periods and divisions of Quakerism with scholarly impartiality and scholarly method. The existing histories are either too long or confined to particular periods or phases of Quakerism. Brayshaw The Quakers: Their Story and Message most nearly meets the need of a onevolume history, but it ignores later American Quakerism almost wholly, and in style and purpose it confessedly departs from a historical treatment. Elizabeth B. Emmott A Short History of Quakerism stops with the year 1725.
Since none of our competent historians has such a history in hand or in prospect, I have undertaken the task of writing one. My purpose is to provide primarily a history of the Quaker movement as a whole, treating it as a segment of modern church history, relating it to its historic roots and to its environment, and in each period paying attention to the elements which are most important, such as the outstanding persons, the discipline, the conservative or progressive tendencies, or influential outside forces. I hope to give a balanced picture, unobscured by too much detail, of the Quaker movement, embracing all its periods and sections, including its chief phases and the significant activities, both personal and official, to which it gave rise.
The "Rowntree Series" of Quaker histories was planned by John Wilhelm Rowntree and edited and completed by Rufus M. Jones in collaboration with William Charles Braithwaite, Isaac Sharpless and Amelia M. Gummere. These volumes give with great detail and careful scholar-