THE SECOND PERIOD OF AMERICAN QUAKERISM
THE Second Division of Quaker history in America began about 1700 and lasted until 1756.1 Among the causes that prolonged this period in America were the work of pioneering which absorbed a large part of Friends' energies in constructive work; the steady increases in membership through convincements and immigration; the problems created by growth and expansion such as the building of new meeting-houses and the organization of new meetings; the care of the Indians; the treatment of Negro slaves; and the application of Quaker principles to the conduct of government in those provinces where Friends participated to a greater or lesser degree in political affairs.
The frequent visits and letters of travelling ministers constituted the chief unifying influence, supplemented and confirmed by epistolary correspondence between yearly meetings. These official letters usually dealt with common religious problems, for the most part in general and formal language, or were devoted to exhortations to faithfulness to Quaker principles. They served as symbols of the inward unity of the loosely organized Society and promoted its community feeling. Bownas at the beginning and Samuel Fothergill at the end of this half-century visited practically all Quaker communities in America. Their visits and epistles were the more important because there____________________