THE FRIEND'S SOCIETY

Fromthe History and Directory ofYates County - Volume I, by Stafford C. Cleveland    

Published 1873, pg I - VI  & 585

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Part1 

Pg I - VI

Friend’sLog Meeting House-  It was to satisfy their religiousaspirations that the Friend and her disciples left their homes in Rhode Island,Connecticut and Pennsylvania, to found a new settlement, far away from thecomforts and privileges of long settled communities.  That Religion was uppermost in their minds, is evinced by thefact that one of the first acts of the society was to erect a structure forpublic worship.  They did not waitfor the construction of a costly temple, but made with logs an edifice verysimilar to their own rude dwellings.  Thesketch of the Log Meeting House, which serves as a frontispiece to this volume,was drawn from a very minute and careful description of the building by HenryBARNES, who often attended meeting in it in his childhood, and retains a veryvivid recollection of this figure and appearance.  He was able to tell just how many logs could be countedbetween the ground and the roof, the number and position of the windows, and thenumber of panes in each; the way the doors were hung, how they opened, and howthey were latched.  He alsodescribed the chimney and how it was built, and the roof covered with puncheonand the pine tree standing near.  Accordingto Mr. BARNES, the picture is a faithful reproduction of the actual structure,which was about 30 by 40 feet in its dimensions. It was in this house that the meetings of the Friends were held for eightor nine years, except when occasions rendered it more convenient and suitable tohold them at the house of the Friend.  The seats for the congregation were rude benches made ofslabs.  The fireplace was a largeopen one in which large wood was burned.  Incold weather a huge blazing fire was kept up to warm the room. Frequently the attendance was so large that the meetinghouse was verymuch crowded.   The samebuilding was also used as a schoolhouse, and the first public school, as well asthe first public worship, was under its shelter. After the career of the Jesuits in Acadie, there is no doubt this cheapand simple edifice devoted to religious worship and education was the first onefor either purpose erected west of Fort Stanwix. It well deserved to be held in honorable remembrance, not only for itssacred and beneficent use, but for the sake of the pious and earnest people whofashioned it from the trees of the forest and sought religious consecrationunder its roof.  It stood very nearthe site of the Buckley mansion, now owned by James M. CLARK, and close by theeastern line of the Gore proper; in other words, the New Pre-emption Line.    

TheUniversal Friend-  The portrait of the Friend,presented at page 38, is affirmed by the few aged persons who have seen it, andwho were also familiar with the features of the original, to be a good andexpressive likeness.  It representsthe Friend as she appears in middle life, before the bodily infirmities of herlater years had wrought and tendency to coarseness in her physique; while yether fine personal symmetry was perfect, and the delicate bloom of healthytissues was unclouded in her complexion.  Theoriginal work of the artist who had the living form for his inspiration wassomewhat marred by his incompetence, and probably still more by those whorendered it in the printed engraving.  Thesedefects have been well overcome by hands more deft with the pencil and a brainendowed with higher capacity to idealize the various descriptive testimonies andtraditions, oral and written, which have been gathered up with much care,relating to the personal presence of this noted woman. Every picture is at the best but a striking suggestion of its subject;and this one has proved so perfectly suggestive as to reveal itself at once tothose who have seen both it and its prototype. It will be a source of pleasure to thousands of persons to find in thisbook an illustration that represents “The Public Universal Friend”; thewoman whose career has been so widely bruited and so much distorted by the voiceon ungenerous prejudice; - prejudice formed in sources of contemporarybitterness, and echoed with subsiding force along the years which compass nearlytwo generations since her departure from this world. If there is not in this delineation the most marked suggestion of thatregal quality of her character which gave her ascendancy and authority overothers by force of moral pre-eminence; there is at least an affluent expressionof benevolence and philanthropic feeling which confutes the old detractions andjustifies the generous title she assumed for herself and the assemblage of herfaith.    

Friend’sHouse – Erected 1790    That this was the first framed house built in Western New York, has beenconfidently asserted, and that it was the first after the purchase of Phelps andGorham, is probably true.  Framedhouses were not unknown among the Senecas, due to their long intercourse withthe French and the advance in civilization awakened among them by the Jesuitmissionaries.  Several frameddwellings were destroyed by SULLIVAN’S soldiers at Canadarque and on theGenesee during his destructive raid in 1779. This house was a remarkable edifice, considering the time andcircumstances which produced it.  Anantiquated relic, it belongs to a time to which we look back, as if to a veryancient period, although a few living persons remember it and its mistress whenshe had but just moved away from it to the dense wilderness of Jerusalem, whichshe did in 1794.  Many curiousrecollections cling to this old building.  Itsarchitect and builder was Elijah MALIN, an eminently pious Friend, who wasalmost as much identified with the household of their leader as were hissisters, Rachel and Margaret.  Hemarried the Friend’s sister, Deborah, after she became a widow, by the deathof her first husband, Benajah BOTSFORD.  Thehouse was not finished when the Friend arrived in the settlement, and while thework was going forward, she resided in a temporary structure called the“Shingle House” somewhat nearer the Lake. The Friend’s house when finished, was like a place in comparison withthe humble domicile built with logs, which dotted the surrounding wilderness,over which the Friend’s Settlement extended. The farm on which this house belonged was the property of the Friend aslong as she lived.  The house hasusually been kept in tolerable repair, and while its framework and siding hadremained the same, its roof has been once or twice renewed.  Its first siding was of plank nailed vertically. It is situated on lot one, of the Friend’s lands or Potter location.   

FirstHouse of the Friend in Jerusalem– Till 1803, the Friend’s Settlement, including the lands known as the Goreand eastward to Seneca Lake, belonged in Jerusalem.  Since that period, Jerusalem made only be understood toembrace the town bearing that name.  Whenthe Friend first established her residence in the “Second Seventh, “ it wasin the valley east of her final residence. There she moved into a log house of humble pretensions. To this was added another and then a third. Still later the first part was raised a story higher and sided over, whenit presented the appearance of a frame building as rendered in the picturepresent at page 66.  The entirebuilding is drawn  precisely asdescribed by Henry BARNES.  In thisabode the Friend and her family resided twenty years, during which period theirfortunes were shaken by many important events. This house stood on the south side of the road, was flanked on the eastby a very fine garden; a few rods south of it bubbled up a noble spring ofexcellent water, and still farther in the rear were log barns for farm uses.  On the north side of the highway was a long building used asa workshop by the women, where the spinning and weaving and much of the sewingwas done.  The flat on the north wascovered by as fine a sugar camp as ever stood in the county. Within the space of a half mile square, 2,000 maple trees could becounted.  These were large andthrifty and yielded sap in the sugar making season in wonderful abundance. Henry BARNES relates that he tapped 636 trees in this camp in one daywith an axe and gouge.  It was whilethe Friend lived in this residence that repeated attempts were made on onepretence and another, to arrest her, but without success. From this house, Eliza RICHARDS, a giddy girl, the ward of the Friend,eloped with Enoch MALIN, brining by this and subsequent acts of hers, a longtrain of vexatious evils on the Friend and her society. In this house the worship of the society was conducted when the meetingswere held in Jerusalem; though frequently the Friend accompanied by some membersof her household and others of the society went down to the original settlementand preached on their Saturday Sabbath at the house of Adam HUNT, or that ofIsaac NICHOLS.  These journeys theyusually made on Friday afternoon on horseback, and sometimes they formed quitean imposing cavalcade.   Whenthe meetings were to be at the Friend’s house, Silas SPINK, some of theNICHOLS family and also the HUNTS, and other steadfast Friends would go insolemn horseback procession to Jerusalem on the preceding day. With their broad-rimmed hats and peculiarly staid demeanor, ridingexcellent horses, they always made a notable and highly respectable appearance.  Scarce a sign isleft of the domicile which for so many years was the favorite rendezvous fortheir devotions.  Some years afterthe Friend’s decease the building was destroyed by fire.  

FinalResidence of the Friend– A house designed for a permanent home was not erected by the Friend till alate period of her life. It was commenced by Thomas CLARK in 1809, and not tillfive years later was it finished.  Thework done slowly, was also done well.  ThomasCLARK, the architect and builder was from Philadelphia, and his wife was asister of Rachel and Margaret MALIN.  Hewas not a Friend, but a Free Will Baptist of the strictest faith, and aided inexcommunicating James PARKER from that denomination when Mr. PARKER had growntoo liberal in his faith to find the doctrine of endless misery congenial withhis sentiments.  Thomas CLARK was agood mechanic and builder, and whether he builded better or worse in histheology is not in question here.  Thehouse he erected for the Friend is a structure of historic interest. It was her abode but little more than five years, and during aconsiderable portion of that time, she was a declining, suffering invalid. Many interesting meetings of the society were held there, and some of themost touching in their history.  There,the Friend died; and there died Rachel and Margaret MALIN; also several otherdevoted members of the society.  Therethe hapless sequel of the Friend’s will had its melancholy development.  There the society, deprived of its head, lost its steadinessand unity of purpose and came to its end.  Mostmournful of all, the needy Friends had not the live long home secured to them,which by right and by the terms of the Friend’s will, was their due. The place with its sadly interesting memories, will always haveassociations to challenge the regard of the thoughtful. It was well chosen for a pleasant home. The west arm of Lake Keuka lies in view, and the surround country forms abeautiful landscape in all directions.  Locatedon lot 23, of Guernsey’s survey, it was eligible as a central situation on theFriend’s domain.  Could she haveperpetuated her vigor and equity of judgment in those who followed her in thecontrol of affairs, it might have long remained a home of interest and happinessfor the household of the Friend’s faith. It remains simply a historic landmark, which will probably last muchlonger in memory of the people than the strong framework will resist the ravagesof time.    

Mausoleumof the Friend.      pg xv -xvi

Monumentalvanity had no place in the Friend’s theory of human duty.  She held tat the living owed their best expenditure of loveand labor to the living, and that the dead could be best remembered in thefragrance of lives consecrated to righteous endeavor.  The earliest graves at City Hill are not marked by so much asthe simplest head stone.  And in theFriend’s burying ground in Jerusalem, there are no graves designated bymonuments of any kind.  Many membersof the Society were there consigned to their final rest; but no inequalities oftheir temporal fortune can be inferred from anything that appears above thecommon sod under which they repose.  Atan early date in the present century, under the direction of the Friend, a vaultfor the reception of the dead was placed in the verge of the bank bordering thevalley west of the residence she then occupied. That vault was built by James HATHAWAY, with brick, and was an archedstructure.   In that vault weredeposited the bodies of: Thomas HATHAWAY Sr., his brother, James HATHAWAY andGeneral William WALL.  It came toneed repair, and on commencement of the work the arch fell in. The bodies there were then taken to the general burying ground; and at alater period the burial vault was constructed near the final residence of theFriend, the figure of which is given at the end of chapter IX. This was built by a mason, whose name was JAYNE, and was designed as asepulchral deposit for the Friend.  Forreasons elsewhere indicated, the body of the Friend was never placed in thatreceptable, nor were those of either Rachel or Margaret MALIN.   The bodies of the three rest together in a hillock onthat beautiful domain once presided over by the pious leader of the “PublicUniversal Friends.”  It is mostprobable that they will never have any other monument than that afforded by thememory of their lives.  It isperhaps as well so.  Shafts ofmarble and granite are, at the best, transient and illusive memorials of humanworth. Moral rectitude and faithful devotion to an exalted ideal of duty willreach higher in the esteem of the future and perpetuate their grateful halolonger than the chiseled rock will challenge the credulity of posterity. The Friend had better chances of a place in the recollection of thecoming generations than can be traced on the polished stone.  

 

Pg. 585 - The Burial Vault - Soon after 1800, the Friend caused a Burial Vaultto be erected in the bank a short distance west of her residence in thevalley.  The bodies of Sarah RICHARDS, General WALL, and several others,were deposited there.  Not being well constructed, this vault was brokendown and destroyed.  Subsequently, another was built, near her finalresidence, of which a sketch is given below.  It has not for many year beenused as a place of sepulture.

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