THE FRIEND'S SOCIETY
Fromthe History and Directory ofYates County - Volume 1, by Stafford C. Cleveland
Published 1873, pg 38 - 82
Returnto Home Page Previous Page NextPage Friend's Index Page
- pg 38 -
Whateverconclusion may be reached by the historian upon a fair and patient investigationof the character and career of the woman who planted the first settlement in theGenesee country, and made the soil of Yates county the seat of her remarkableinfluence and power, it must be acknowledged that she was an extraordinarypersonage. It has been common toclass her with those who have made deception the study of their lives and todismiss her form honorable consideration as a vulgar mystagogue. She has been relentlessly written down as a cheat and imposter, who byartful assurance made others subservient to her unscrupulous designs. It is now 50 years since she closed her earthly mission, and though thetongue of detraction has grown somewhat sluggish in that long interval, it hasnever been silenced. The publicmind is full of misconceptions engendered by a vigorous and long repeatedstatement of the malign story that has gone forth, without efficientcontradiction, as her life. It istime that story was confronted with, at least, a just statement of accessiblefacts.
Thoughit may not belong to such a work as this to enter upon a close analysis ofcharacter, it is proper to make it the medium of correct estimates of theprincipal actors who have preceded us, so far as it may be accomplished bypresenting the truth unwarped by prejudice. The space we have will not admit of extended reflections or carefullystudied deductions. These must beleft to the elaborate biographer. Whatis aimed at here, is a truthful summary of the leading events of a singular andimpressive life.
JemimaWILKINSON was born in the town of Cumberland, and county of Providence, RhodeIsland, in the year 1758. Herfather, Jeremiah WILKINSON, was a farmer of moderate estate, good character,strong native ability and firm purpose. Hemarried in early life, Amy WHIPPLE, a member of the Society of Friends, and ayoung woman of excellent character and amiable disposition. Twelve children were born to this couple, the eighty of whomwas the subject of this sketch dn the personage who has given celebrity to thefamily.
Of herearlier life, there is but little known of an authentic nature. When se was 8 years old her mother died, leaving her to the charge of herelder sisters. It is said she was not remarkably plastic to their control,and that she become rather the ruler than the ruled in the domestic realm. Her intellectual culture was that common to the children of New Englandat that day, and was limited to reading and the more moderate common schoolaccomplishments. She was favoredwith personal beauty, and took pleasure in adding to her good appearance thegraceful drapery of elegant apparel. Itis not strange therefore, that she was a punctual attendant of public worship. Until about 16 years of age, her mind was mostly engrossed with externalthings, and her reading, which was considerable, was that of poetry, romance,current news and light literature.
Aboutthis time there appeared in her vicinity a new sect of religious zealots, whorejected church organization and insisted upon constant and direct guidance fromHeaven. They awakened muchinterest, and among the most regular attendants of their meetings, was JemimaWILKINSON, who became very serious and gave evidence of a great change in herthoughts. Social gaiety gave placeto gravity and sedateness. TheBible was her constant study, and other reading was rejected. Yet she did not enter into the enthusiasm of the separatists,as they were called, and consequently was not regarded as one of their members. As usual with such spasmodic growths, bound by no external organization,they soon dissolved away; but while they lasted they had the constant attendanceof Jemima at their meetings, and apparently her most profound regard. She continued remarkably serious, betook herself to solitude and seemedto be absorbed with studious and melancholy reflections. Her mood was indulged by her family, until she grew averse to socialintercourse and finally in the summer of 1776, secluded herself wholly, kept inher room and complaining of ill health, become pale and enfeebled in physicaltone. A physician was called whopronounced the malady mental and beyond his skill to counteract.
In theAutumn her illness seemed to increase and she was not only confined to her bed,but required nightly watchers. Thesolicitude of her friends was greatly excited, but the physician insisted thather disorder was the result of no bodily debility, but rather the outgrowth of amorbid imagination, and the gloomy tendencies of solitude. Her attendants were startled by her repeated stories of sights and scenesnot obvious to their senses. Shedescribed heavenly landscapes, beautiful visions, angelic forms and seemed torejoice in society of a brighter world. Theseremarkable visions were minutely portrayed by the invalid girl and solemnlystated as real and vital to her senses. Nocontradiction or reproof had the slightest effect to diminish her assurance oftheir actual existence.
Finally,late in October, she fell into a deep trance, or almost lifeless state, duringwhich she scarcely breathed and her pulse almost subsided. For about 36 hours or more she remained in this state,motionless and apparently hovering on the boundaries of life. She was watched with intense anxiety by her friends, but noperceptible change occurred till about midnight of the second day, when sheraised up as if awaking from a profound refreshing sleep. Her attendants were more than ever surprised by the suddenchange in her state and demeanor. Shecalled for her clothing with a mien of authority, which admitted of no refusal,and would no longer be treated as an invalid. She dressed herself and went about as if fully restored, though stillpale and reduced in flesh. Sheinsisted that Jemima WILKINSON has passed to the angel world, and that her bodywas reanimated by a spirit whose mission was to deliver the Oracles of God tomankind.
Asmight be supposed, these declarations were received with surprise and concern byher relatives and friends. To themher conduct was exceedingly strange and unaccountable, and they could notbelieve she would preserve in claims which seemed so untenable and absurd. Let it be remarked here, that this girl of 18 years, not only didmaintain her claims then and there in the face of all expostulations andargument, but steadily and with unshaken firmness to the hour of her departurefrom the world, at the age of 61 years.
Hersolitary live and weary vigils were passed and a new career was about to openbefore this remarkable woman. Onthe Sunday succeeding her trance, she went to the place of public worship. After morning service she repaired to a tree nearby, and in its shadedelivered a discourse of considerable length to the crowd who assembled abouther. Though late in Autumn, theweather was fine, and there was a large attendance of people, who were greatlyimpressed by such an address from the lips of a young woman who thus broke uponthem like a meteor from the sky. Herdiscourse consisted largely of moral maxims and scriptural quotations. And sheevinced a familiarity with sacred topics which astonished the oldest experts intheological lore. After this, herpubic addresses were frequent, and she soon received invitations from far andnear, many of which she accepted. Sherapidly became famous as a preacher of remarkable power, and the fruits of herlabors were apparent in a large number of disciples who were converted by herappeals. She visited various placesin Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts; and at New Milford inConnecticut, and South Kingston, in Rhode Island, meeting houses were erected byher converts for their own worship.
Sheaccepted the principal doctrines of the Christian faith, but rejected theformalities and ceremonies generally practiced. With more zeal for the spirit than the form of faith, she inculcatedsobriety, temperance, chastity, all the higher virtues and humility before Godas necessary to the new life, and entrance into a better world. She continued her work with a good degree of success for about 6 years inthe region of her acquaintance, visiting the several localities where herdisciples lived; confirming them in the faith, and consolidating her work. Among the more important of her adherents in Rhode Island was JamesPARKER, a man of high character and wealth, who aided her greatly in her labors,and was strongly attached to her cause. Shemade her home at his house a share of the time and also at that of WilliamPOTTER, another influential and wealthy adherent.
In thesummer of 1782, a new mission was entered upon. Accompanied by a small band of her disciples, she went to Philadelphia,where she was cordially received by the Quakers and others. A church wasprocured for her use, and she preached for some time to large audiences. She then removed to Worcester in the county of Montgomery, about 20 milesfrom Philadelphia, where she received an enthusiastic welcome and met with muchsuccess. It was here that David WAGENER and other importantadditions were made to her society. Sheremained but a few weeks before returning to Rhode Island, where she tarriedtill the summer of 1784, when she visited Worcester again, and remained till theSpring of 1785. She established asociety during this visit, and installed her attendants in ah home set apart toher use, consisting of a fine farm with an elegant stone mansion.
Leavingthe place under competent management, she returned to Rhode Island, and remainedtill her final leave of that State about two years later. The idea of bringing her disciples together into onecommunity had been cherished for some time, and was much discussed among them. As early as 1786, Ezekiel SHERAMN, one of the Society, made a visit ofexploration to the Lake County, spent some time at Kanadesaga with two Indiantraders, the only white men there, gathered what information he could of thecountry and returned. His journey to the country was by the way of the SusquehannaValley to Newtown, and he was five days working his way in a deep snow formNewton to Kanadesaga, sleeping at night on cedar boughs laid on the snow. On his return he reported that the hostile attitude of the Indians wouldmake it useless to venture on making a settlement in the Genesee country. Notwithstanding this, a meeting of the principal members of the Societywas held the same year at New Milford in Connecticut, and a committee wasappointed to make further exploration.
Thecommittee, consisting of Thomas HATHAWAY, Richard SMITH and Abraham DAYTON, setout in pursuance of their appointment in 1787. They went to Philadelpha and traveling on horseback, explored theinterior of Pennsylvania, and in the Valley of Wyoming heard glowing accounts ofthe region in the vicinity of Seneca Lake. Following the tract of Sullivan’s army, they reached Kanadesaga, andfrom thence proceeded to Kashong, where they were entertained by DE BARTZCH andPOURDE, the French traders, who informed them that there was nowhere so fine acountry as the one they looked upon here. Bya brief sojourn, they became satisfied this information was correct, andreturned to give an account of what they had learned. It does not appear that this committee fixed upon any precise location,but emigration was resolved upon by the Society, and the region of Seneca Lakewas the locality where they resolved to settle. The exact place was left fordetermination by those who came as the advance guard. In June 1788, Abel BOTSFORD, Peleg and John BRIGGS, Isaac NICHOLS, GeorgeSISSON, Ezekiel SHEARMAN, Stephen CARD and others to the number of 25, embarkedfrom Schenectady for the land of promise.
InAugust they reached the spot where they made their settlement at City Hill. The sound of falling water heard across the broad expanse of the Senecaat that point, it is said, determined the location of the New Jerusalem. Though late in the season, they made a clearing in the forest and sowed,it is said, about twelve acres of wheat. Whostaid and who remained during the first winter, does not seem to be clear in themist of all the traditions. Butthat some remained is quite certain, for some of the pioneer families were inthat company. Nor does it appearthat they had any distinct notion of whom the lands were to be purchased. Application was made however, to Gov. George CLINTON, at an early day,for a grant of land. But they werenot ignorant of the operations of the Lessee Company, and James PARKER veryearly became interested in the claims advanced by that organization. There is reason to believe that Thomas HATHAWAY and Benedict ROBINSONalso acquired some interest in the Lessee Company.
TheSpring of 1789 brought large accessions of the Society to the new settlement,both from Connecticut and Rhode Island, and from Pennsylvania. It is quite clear, however, form a careful examination of allthe accessible evidence on that subject, that the Friend herself did not cometill 1790. She remained atWorcester in charge of the interests of the Society, and raising from the farmpermitted to her use means, which were afterwards employed to purchase lands andfound a home in the New Jerusalem. Itwas designed on the part of the Friend to come in 1789, and the journey wasundertaken, but owing to a casualty which occurred about 50 miles fromWorcester, she returned, and postponed her coming to the new seat of herinfluence and labor till the following year. The accident which caused this delay, resulted from a perilous attempt toford the Bushkill Creek, which swollen by recent rains, had a deep, swiftcurrent. The driver of thecarriage, Barnabus BROWN asked a man standing near, if they could ford thecreek. Misunderstanding his answer,they drove in and soon found that the horses were obliged to swim, and thecarriage was afloat on a violent current. MehitableSMITH, who accompanied the Friend, escaped with very little harm, as did thedriver, but the Friend herself, came near being drowned, and was so muchenfeebled by the shock, that her health was not restored for some time.
Insteadof coming that year to join her colony on the banks of Seneca Lake, she sentSarah RICHARDS, who had become her most important counselor and associate, toobserve how affairs were progressing, and make report to her of the state ofthings in the distant settlement. Sarahcame and visited the struggling pioneers and the writher learns form the lastmember of the Society able to recount its traditions, that she was notaltogether pleased with the doings she saw. One night in very warm weather she refused to sleep within the logtenement where the larger number abode, and made her lodgment outside under atree. During the night a heavythunder storm arose with a fearful display of lightning and an incessant roar ofthunder. Sarah availed herself ofthe occasion to go inside the dwelling and give a very earnest and impressivelecture, in reproof for unseemly proceedings, the nature of which is happilyforgotten. This is the most that isknown of Sarah RICHARDS’ first visit to the New Jerusalem. She did not come again till two years later.
Theyear 1789 was a trying one on the settlers. They harvested a small crop of wheat, but the wild animals had preyedupon it so much that it afforded a light supply. They had to subsist principally on provisions brought with them, eked outwith such additions of game as the forest afforded to hunters who had theirskill to acquire in the boundless wilderness around them. Some families subsisted for days and even weeks on milk and boilednettles. Castle DAINS and hisfamily lived in this way for 6 weeks, with no other nourishment except nettlesand a little bohea tea they had brought with them. John LAWRENCE finally discovered their situation and furnished them witha small supply of Indian meal. JonathanDAINS to obtain relief for his family, went to Newtown and worked by the dayuntil he obtained two bushels of wheat, which he had ground, doubtless at themill at Tioga Point (now Athens). Hecarried it on his back to the head of Seneca Lake, thence by boat to Norris’Landing, and then on his back again to his house, near the Log Meeting House. Such were the straits of pioneers.
Thatyear some corn was raised, and about 40 acres of wheat sowed by joint effort,which gave them abundance the next year, and famine never afterwards visited theFriend’s settlement. The sameyear, Richard SMITH, James PARKER and Abraham DAYTON, erected a Grist Mill whichwas put in operation about the first of January 1790. Before the gristmill was built, wheat and corn were prepared for cookingby pounding in a pestle. Thisconsisted of a stump hollowed out on the top, with a cavity into which a smallquantity of grain would be placed and pounded, with a mallet or large roundstone until pretty thoroughly pulverized. Sometimesan apparatus like a well sweep would be used to expedite the work and render itlighter. Henry BARNES states that awhite oak stump, which had been used for this purpose, was standing near theFriend’s house, in Torrey, as late as 1814. Adam CLARK remembers another which stood near the present four corners,just west of Charles J. TOWNSEND’S, near where Elnathan and Jonathan BOTSFORDfirst settled. The mill soon putthis primitive system of manufacturing meal, out of use. Indeed the mill was a great achievement, humble as it was,and added largely to the wealth of the young settlement. It was the first structure of its kind by at least two orfour years, west of Seneca Lake. Theonly one that could have preceded it west of Fort Stanwix, was that at TiogaPoint, before alluded to. Thepioneers come to it with their little grists for a distance of 30 to 50 and even70 miles. This mill was located onthe south bank of the point where the Oil Mill now stands, and a cascade isformed by the waters of the outlet of Keuka Lake, falling over the TullyLimestone. It was a well selectedpoint for a good mill site, and it was that waterfall that determined thelocation of New Jerusalem. That thesaw mill just below it was built a little sooner, is inferred from the fact thatthe gristmill probably could not have been constructed without some sawedlumber, for which there was no other resource. The mil stones were brought, like most of the supplies of the earlysettlers, on bateaux, to Norris’ Landing, and on ox sleds from the landing tothe mill seat.
Ananecdote was long current in r4egard to the millstones to the effect thatRichard SMITH transported them in his leather apron. The fact was that, in putting them into place, by some accident, one wasallowed to slip from the platform on which it rested, and it fell to the storybelow. This was looked upon as avery discouraging situation, as the means of raising it were not apparent. While the rest of those engaged in the work went to dinner, FriendRichard remained, and when they returned from their repast, greatly to theirastonishment, he had the stone, which seemed so difficult to move, almost backin its place. He had accomplishedalone, by ingenious leverage and industrious prying, in a single hour, what theyhad supposed would be a much longer task for a large number of men. Hence the jest arose that Richard SMITH had picked up the millstone andcarried it in his apron.
InMarch 1790, The Friend left Worcester, In Pennsylvania, for the Genesee Country,accompanied by a number of her followers, and greatly rejoiced the newsettlement by her arrival among them early in the Spring, the journey occupyingbut two weeks. Many of the Societyhad not seen the Friend for about three years, and her coming, on which they hadearnestly relied, added greatly to their confidence in the success of theirarduous enterprise. Doubtless itwould have been better for the unity and stability of the Society, had she comestill earlier. It was now acommunity of 260 persons, as proved by the census report of that year; and amore orderly, industrious and well-disposed body of people than these, werenever brought together for the foundation of a new community. They were held together by a common bond of religioussentiment, in which they were peculiar and alien to the world. Their apostle and head was present with them. They had every moral and material element of success within and aboutthem. This year they erected a LogMeeting House, a sketch of which, as described by Henry BARNES, is herewithgiven. It was located very near thepresent residence of James M. CLARK on the road from Norris’ Landing to theFriend’s Mill, as the road then run direct by the head of Bruce’s Gully, orLander’s Gully, as it was then called, and cutting off the angle since made. It was in this rude edifice that the Society held its public worship, forabout nine years, except when it was held at the residence of the Friend. A domicile was also erected the same Summer for the Friendand her household, which still stands on the farm of Charles J. TOWNSEND. A sketch of the original part of this structure is also given. It was built by Elijah MALIN, who was at that time an inmate of theFriend’s family, and was the first framed house erected in the new settlement,or in the whole of Genesee Country, as all west of Seneca Lake was called. Anna WAGENER furnished much of the means to erect this building. It was a quaint structure, and for so small a building accommodated alarge household. Mr. TOWNSENDstates that when he remodeled it internally, after it came into his possession,he found it to contain nine fireplaces, all attached to the same chimney. This house was also on the road from Norris’ Landing to the Mill, abouta mile from the lake, and when it was built that highways was the only one inthe country; other roads at that time were quite informal and without system.
TheFriend was now located with comparative comfort in the midst of her flock. She was 32 years old and had labored 14 years as a religious teacher andevangelist. Early in herapostleship she had dropped the name of Jemima WILKJINSON, and adopted that ofPublic Universal Friend. By thistitle she was ever called by her disciples, who always spoke to her and of heras Friend, or The Friend, and never used pronouns to designate their mistress. That they regarded her with great reverence and affection is anunquestionable fact. A large shareof those who had given credence to her teachings, were now whit her in aseparate community, and nothing was needed but unity and industry to make it agreat power in the land. Thatunity, however, was the difficult thing to preserve, though the most needful forthe perpetuity and prosperity of the Society, we shall soon see how dissensionsdisturbed this admirable community, and greatly circumscribed its influence.
At thisperiod, the Indians, although they had sold to Phelps and Gorham the greattract, reaching from the Pre-emption Line to the Genesee River, still hadhunting and fishing privileges in the country, and were still very ill-disposedtoward the State authorities and white people generally. They had been incited to hostility by the wiles of the Lessee Company,who had intended to get control of all the Indian lands under their long lease,but had been successfully thwarted by Gov. George CLINTON. The bewildered and demoralized natives were also influenced to hostileaction by British agency on the Frontier, which still dreamed of repossessingthe country. The Indians of thewest were also full of warlike feeling and costing the Government much trouble. The boldest warriors of the Six Nations were mingling with the contestagainst white encroachment, and it was but natural that those who remained onthe glorious territory of the Senecas, should regard with sullen discontent thesettlement of these lands by the hated race. The powerful settlement of the Friend’s Society would have been easilyexterminated by an onslaught of the native warriors. They felt the critical nature of their position, and the wellknown vindictive attitude of the Indians, gave them much concern. It prevented many from coming to the new country, and gave those who wereon the spot much solicitude to avoid all occasion of offence toward their redbrethren of the forest. The Friendsucceeded in making a favorable impression on the natives, who always treatedher with great respect, and none of her followers ever had reason to complain oftheir aggressions. In the summer of1791, when Col. PICKERING, on behalf of the U.S. Government, held a treaty atNewtown, about 500 Senecas on their way thither, encamped at Norris’ Landing. Red Jacket, CornPlanter, Good Peter, an Indian Preacher, Rev. Mr. KIRKLAND, the IndianMissionary, Horatio JONES and Japser PARRISH, the celebrated Indian Interpreterswere in the company. The occasionwas improved for an interchange of civilities. The Friend preached, and the Indians listened to her interpreted wordswith attention and respect. She didnot claim to be Christ nor his substitute, but rather his messenger, and thestory afterwards reported that Good Peter turned away in disgust, because shehad not the supernatural power to understand the address he made after hers, inthe Indian dialect, was a wanton fabrication. The Indians were cordial and sincerely friendly, as all their subsequentconduct toward the Friend and her Society most clearly proved. It is true they were always treated with hospitality and generosity ather abode. They were never turnedaway hungry, and they never made unreasonable requests. Singly and in larger delegations, they often called at theFriend’s house, and were always treated with the same unvarying kindness andrespect. They did not fail whenhunting in the vicinity, to keep the Friend’s larder well supplied withvenison, and they never missed a suitable reward for their thoughtful attention. When the great treaty was held in Canandaigua in 1794, which ended allthe Indian troubles in Western New York, the Friend attended and preached to alarge concourse of the Indians and pioneers, from the text: “Have we not allone Father? Hath not one God created us all?”
TheIndians were greatly pleased with this discourse and pronounced the Friend – SquawShinnewawna gis taw, ge- “ A great Woman Preacher.” Nor did they forget ever after to manifest their respect for thepersonage whose benevolence toward them was so earnest in both word and deed,thus proving that the native heart was prompt and true in its response to justand generous treatment.
In1791, Sarah RICHARDS, who had remained at Worcester to close up affairs at thatplace, came to the New Jerusalem with a number of others. Sarah was the prime minister, so to speak, of the Friend, and thehousehold and Society were now fully consolidated. The following memorandums made by Sarah RICHARDS, which havebeen preserved, are interesting scraps of this early history:
Firstof the 6th Month, 1791
Iarrived with Rachel MALIN, Elijah MALIN, E. Mehitable SMITH, Marian and the restof the Friend’s family, together with the Friend’s goods, which the Friendsent Elijah to assist in bringing them on. We all safe arrived on the west side of the Seneca Lake, and reached theFriend’s house which the Universal Friend had built for our reception, andwith great joy met the Friend once more in time and all is walking health aswell as usual. - SARAH RICHARDS
Jerusalem,7th of the 6th Month, 1791
Thenreckoned and settled up with Thomas ORMAN, the boatman, for bringing up theUniversal Friend’s goods. Settled,I say, to his full satisfaction, being in trust for the Friend. The Friend has paid him ten dollars and a half, which is hisfull demand. – SARAH RICHARDS
In theyear ninety-one, settled with Elijah MALIN, being in trust for the UniversalFriend at this time, reckoned and settled with him for building the Friend’shouse, and passed receipts 24th of the 6th Month, 1791. – SARAH RICHARDS
Reckonedand settled with Richard HATHAWAY, being in trust for the Universal Friend, forgoods, which the carpenters took up at his store for building the Friend’shouse in Jerusalem. Settled, I say,this 3rd of the 7th Month, 1791. _ Sarah RICHARDS
19thof the 7th Month, 1791
Thisday the Universal Friend sent me with Rachel MALIN to Benedict ROBINSONS todeliver $100 in sliver, for which he promised and agreed with the Friend to letthe Friend have land out of the second seventh township, in the BostonPre-emption at the prime cost and necessary expenses, for which he gave me hisreceipt. – SARAH RICHARDS.
Aboutthe 26th of the 7th Month, 1791, I and Rachel MALIN weretaken sick, about the time of wheat harvest, and never were able to go out ofthe house until the ground was covered with white snow, but entirely confined toour chamber, which finished up the year 1791. – SARAH RICHARDS
16thof the 6th Month in the year 1792
Thenreckoned and settled with Jacob WAGENER, in trust for the Friend, and he wasreceived 12 pounds of the Friend in full of all demands whatsoever. – SARAH RICHARDS
26thof the 6th Month, 1792
AsaRICHARDS departed this life 28th. The Friend attended his funeral. Hesaid he had a hope in his death, that he was going into a better world. The Friend spoke from these words: “The wicked is driven away in hiswickedness, but the righteous hath hope in his death.”
AsaRICHARDS came to the Friend’s house sick with consumption nearly two yearsbefore his death. He gave theFriend the receipt which he held from ROBINSON in proprietorship to draw land inhis stead at the prime cost and necessary expenses. This he delivered to the Universal Friend sometime before his death, tomake remittance for the care of all his sickness and funeral charges to theamount of 50 pounds lawful money of the State of Connecticut. – SARAH RICHARDS
7thof the 7th Month, 1792
Thenreckoned and settled with Benjamin BROWN for driving the Friend’s cattle fromNew England, by delivering him $10 in trust for the Friend, being in full of alldemands. – SARAH RICHARDS
5thday of the 1st Month, 1792 (3?)
Thisday I received a deed of BenedictROBINSON, to hold in trust for the Universal Friend, for which the Friend sentme with $100 in silver, and then sent two yoke of fat oxen to Phelps and Gorham,to make out the payment for the land, which he said would not be more than oneshilling per acre, and the deed contains five lots which makes 1,600 acres. – SARAH RICHARDS
10thof the 3rd Month, 1793
Firstday morn. This day, Mehitable SMITHleft time after about four month’s illness. She joyfully met death, giving glory to God and the Lamb. The Friend attended her funeral. Test– “The righteous perisheth and no man Layeth it to heart, and the mercifulare taken away, none considering that the righteous are taken away from the evilto come.
2ndof the 5th Month, 1793
Thisday I received a deed from Thomas HATHAWAY to hold in trust for the Friend, andthe Friend has paid all the consideration money to HATHAWAY. – SARAH RICHARDS
1stof the 6th Month, 1793
Thisday I have received another deed from Thomas HATHAWAY to hold in trust for theUniversal Friend, bearing date 1st of the 6th Month,ninety three, lot number 47th, which the Friend purchased for MaryBARLTESON, widow, and has paid the consideration money. – SARAH RICHARDS
24thof the 10th Month, 1793
Beingin trust for the Universal Friend, then settled with Barnabas BROWN, bydelivering him a pair of oxen valued at $40. – SARAH RICHARDS
The oldPre-emption Line which was run in 1788, indicated that the lands on which thesettlement made its start, were to be obtained of the State of New York, thoughthe operations and claims of the Lessee Company, very actively prosecuted atthat time, involved the question in some confusion. Early measures were adopted to make interest with thecompany, by James PARKER and his associates, as papers of Mr. PARKER veryclearly show. As soon as November1788, a portion of township number seven, first range, now Milo, was set off toJames PARKER and several others, his associates, by Caleb BENTON on behalf ofthe Lessee Company. The amount thustaken was 1,104 acres and is the belt since known as the Garter, and shows thatthe Friends built their mill on their own land, though a trifle west of the oldPre-emption Line.
Earlyapplication was made to Gov. George CLINTON, for land by James PAKRER and hisassociates, and they were invited by the Governor to attend the land sales inAlbany, and make such purchases as they wished. They did so, and secured 14,040 acres, afterwards called the PotterLocation, lying on the west bank of Seneca Lake, bounded on the north by Reedand Ryckman’s location, west by Lansing’s location and other lands alreadygranted, and extending south far enough to include the number of acres beforespecified. This deed was signed byGeorge CLINTON, the Executive of the State, and the grantees were James PARKER,William POTTER and Thomas HATHAWAY, as Tenants in Common, and not as JointTenants, for themselves and their associates, with no considerationexpressed except the requirement that there shall within seven years, be onefamily located on each 640 acres of the land. This deed was dated October 10, 1792. It would seem, that while waiting on the operations of the LesseeCompany, some lands occupied by the Society, had been located by others.
At whatprecise time the New Prte-emption Line was run, has not come to the knowledge ofthe writer, but probably as early as 1793. That line run through the Friend’s settlement more than a mile eastwardof the Old Line, and the space between fell into the possession of CharlesWILLIAMSON, then acting agent for the London Association, who had becomesuccessors, through Robert MORRIS, of Phelps and Gorham. Thus the State grants west of the New Pre-emption Line, became void, andthe settles were obliged to look elsewhere for their source of title. The following letter shows that those residing on the Gore, or spaceincluded between the two Pre-emptions Lines, had become satisfied that the wereon Phelps and Gorham’s Purchase.
Jerusalem,13th of the 1st Month 1794
FriendWILLIAMSON: - We take this opportunity to let thee know our wishes, who are noton thy land at the Friend’s Settlement in Jerusalem, in the county of Ontario,and in the State of New York. We,the subscribers, wish to take deeds from Friend WILLIAMSON for the land ourimprovements is on, rather than any other person. Our desire is, that thee would not dispose of the land to any otherperson but to use who are on the land.
BenajahBOTSFORD Asahel STONE
EleazerINGRAHAM Samuel DOOLITTLE
SolomonINGRAHAM John DAVIS
RichardSMITH Benedict ROBINSON
AbelBOTSFORD Philo INGRAHAM
EnochMALIN Samuel PARSONS
WilliamDAVIS Jonathan DAVIS
JohnBRIGGS Elijah MAILN
ElnathanBOTSFORD Thomas HATHAWAY
DanielINGRAHAM Mercy ALDRICH
RichardMATHEWS Elisha INGRAHAM
Otherletters from Benedict ROBINSON and others of the Friends are of similar import. James PARKER says to Mr. WILLIAMSON, “It is my desire to settle theseveral branches of my family near me; for that reason we began where we noware, with the intention to buy of the right owner when I could see him. The 1,000 acres may seem too much for one man, but when it is dividedbetween myself and son, and three sons in law, it, I think will not be deemedextravagant; especially considering I know not how soon I may have two more sonsin law. A man like myself, who was one of the first settlers, andbegan our settlement, which would have been elsewhere had it not been for me;and also encouraged many emigrants into this country, may claim to be indulgedin having the several braches of his family settled near him.
Satisfactoryarrangements were made with Mir. WILLIAMSON, who was a man of remarkablefairness and liberality in his dealing with all the settlers, and their titleswere confirmed as they desired. Thespace known as the Little Gore, lying in a triangular form between the NewPre-emption Line and Walker and Lansing’s locations, was released to Mr.WILLIAMSON in 1797, by Arnold POTTER and Elphalet NORRIS. It was stated in the deed to contain 1,147 acres of land and theconsideration of $6,308.50 is also expressed. Why this release was necessary, after the New Pre-emption Line wasestablished, is not understood by the writer.
Beforethe Universal Friends left New England, they had, according to their means,contributed and pledged themselves to contribute to a joint fund of the purchaseof land, in which each contributor was to share in proportion to his or herinvestment, the land to be valued at prime cost. The land purchased of the State was entered upon by the Society incommon. It was early surveyed intolots, and the members of the Society took up locations, some larger and somesmaller, according to their ability, confidently expecting to be secured intheir several titles, by a faithful execution of the original compact, inpursuance of which the deed from the Land Office of the State had been granted. They were however, to undergo a painful experience. Where unity of interest and action should have prevailed, there was to beseverance of interests and bitter discord.
Up tothis time, James PARKER had been the most important member of the Friend’sSociety, as well as the most active and valuable man to its interests, as anegotiator for land and a ready and efficient man of business. His force and activity were felt in every direction. He has been a magistrate for 20 years in Rhode Island, and was a man ofsubstance and high consideration. Besideshe was an enthusiastic devotee of the Friend and one of her most useful andtrusted counselors. It was throughhim that interest was obtained in the Lessee Company and at the Land Office. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace almost as soon as Oliver PHELPSwas appointed Judge of Ontario County and held the office sometime after 1800and did a large amount of business as such magistrate. For reasons not fully brought to light, Mr. PARKER and the Friend came toa parting of the ways. Whether hefelt that just consideration was not permitted him in the councils of theSociety, or his religious sentiments had undergone a change, or whether theFriend had just cause of any character for impugning his fidelity to the faith,is now enveloped in too much of the mists of oblivion to be distinctly traced.Let it suffice to say that there was a separation, a schism. Mr. PARKER was no longer a member of the Friend’s Society, and theFriend no longer countenanced Mr. PARKER.
Thatthis was a great misfortune to both sides is most evident form all thesubsequent history of the Society. Whetherthe alienation of James PARKER carried that of William POTTER or not, it isevident that they were simultaneous seceders. From having been friends they became opponents of the society and verydamaging opponents. Mr. POTTER, whohad also been a very prominent man in Rhode Island and Treasurer of the State,had been the largest contributor in the purchase of the land, having paid $2,000or more than half the entire cost of the 14,040 acres, patented by the State at25 cents per acre. That aconvulsion in the Society should be the result is not to be wondered at, andthat both sides should insist on all the law would allow, is perhaps the mostnatural result of the passions engendered.
A suitwas tried at the Ontario Circuit in June 1800, in which William POTTER was theplaintiff in the action, for ejectment, against George SISSON, who held lot No.16 in the Parker, Potter and Hathaway Patent. POTTER claimed the sole title, by a deed from PARKER and HATHAWAY to himself, their common title resting ona deed from the State. Thedefendant showed by letters of James PARKER, addressed to the Society, and thepetitions of the Society addressed to the Commissioners of the Land Office, thenature of the compact by which the purchase of lands had been effected, and thejust rights of its members.
InJOHNSON’S reports of cases, volume two, the report of this case goes on tosay:
“Thecontract with the Commissioners was fulfilled by the Society, of which JamesPARKER appeared to be the principal member, on the 29th of February,1792. By another litter of JamesPARKER, addressed to the Commissioners on the 15th of September 1792,he stated his former contract with the Commissioners for 12,000 acres of land(finally 14,040), for himself and his associates, and named the other twopatentees and defendant.”
“Thecommunity of Friends met on the 27th of October, 1791, among whom wasWilliam POTTER, one of the lessors of the plaintiff. They came to sundry resolutions, by which they appointed the other twopatentees above named, a committee to receive the contract form PARKER, and toindemnify him for his contract with the Commissioners of the Land Office, andcompensate him for his trouble, and directed the members of the Community to paytheir proportion of the expense of the lands, and that they should received landin proportion to their advances.”
It wasmade to appear that George SISSON, had paid $37.50, while William POTTER hadpaid $2,000. Upon these facts, averdict was taken for the plaintiff, by consent, subject to the opinion of thecourt. That opinion wasrendered by Justice KENT, to the effect that no legal estate was created by thepatent, but what vested in the three patentees named, PARKER, POTTER andHATHAWAY, and that an equitable title cannot prevail in ejectment against thelegal estate, especially if such equitable estate be dubious. In other words, that the equitable title was tooindefinite for a court of law, and the only remedy was by an action of equity. This was one of those fine legal discriminations so glorious for theprofession, but so wearisome to justice, and oppressive to those seeking the aidof courts to redress their wrongs.
Theremedy indicated by the opinion of Judge KENT, was attempted with veryunfortunate results. Richard SMITH,John BRIGGS and George SISSON, Trustees of the Society of Friends, consulted oneWilliam STEWART, a pretentious lawyer, who gave them encouraging advice, andexacted of them a note of $1,500 as a modest retaining fee, before commencing anequity suit. With a remarkable lackof wise foresight, they gave the note, which STEWART sold, and went his waywithout doing anything for the relief of his clients. No step was taken to initiate the equity suit. But payment of the note of $1,500 was exacted to the uttermost fathering. The Society had not sanctioned the action of the trustees, and declinedto be held accountable for their loss. Beingcomparatively poor, the consequences were disastrous to them. George SISSON and John BRIGGS had all their property sold by the Sheriffto the last and least of their household goods, and SISSON was taken toCanandaigua and confined within the jail limits, according to the stupid law ofthose days which allowed imprisonment for debt. His wife made a weary pilgrimage on horseback every week, tocarry him provisions and carry some word of home, or what should have been home,until he was in some way, released. Hisfellow trustees were greatly straightened and distressed by this procedure, andthe Society could but feel it as a deep injury.
At thetime when these troubles began, Abraham DAYTON was sent to Canada to negotiatewith Governor SIMCOE for a grant of land for a new location, and partly formfear of Indian troubles. The Governor made a grant in the township of Beauford,Canada West. But after somepreparations had been made to remove thither, the Governor annulled his grant. He exculpated himself by the statement that he had supposed the societyto be Quakers, of whom he entertained a high opinion, but learning that this wasa new sect, he did not wish to encourage their emigration to his territory. He made the grant, however, to Mr. DAYTON, individually, who removed toit with his family, and died there in early years. The DAYTON family, it would seem, was one of the best in the Society, andone desirable to retain. They werebesides sincere Friends, and it must have been a strong temptation that led themaway. Possibly the troubles of theSociety may have influenced them somewhat to leave.
Mrs.DAYTON is said to have been the first Cheese maker in the Genesee Country. Her curd was laid in a hoop on a stump, and stones laid on to press it. Mrs. DAYTON was always mentioned with great affection for her kindness inaffording relief in the season of great scarcity, 1789, from the stock ofprovisions her husband brought into the country. The DAYTON family lived near the primitive mill, and Mrs. DAYTON had oneday rather a thrilling adventure with a snake. Near the bank she was a large black snake entwined about the limb of atree projecting over a stream. Takinga stick in her hand, she stepped on a pile of boards and gave the snake a blow,which loosened its hold in it fell into the stream. At the same time the boards gave way and precipitated Mrs.DAYTON down the bank about 30 feet, along with the snake and the boards. When her husband came to her aid, he found her standing in the water, thebones from a broken leg protruding through the skin and stocking, while she wasbeating off the snake with a stick in her hand, his snakeship having concludedto give battled under the new turn of affairs. She was rescued and the bones were set and the limb dressed by the Friendin the absence of a surgeon, and the fracture was as speedily cured as ifmanaged by the most skillful expert in surgery. She married a second husband. (Col. STONE) and died at the age of 93years. A daughter of Mrs. DAYTONmarried Benajah MALLORY, who was a trader in the settlement at a very early day,and died at an advanced age, at Lockport, a few years ago.
Theinterest of Mr. DAYTON in the Pioneer Mills, he sold t David WAGENER, anothervery important adherent of the Friend, from Pennsylvania, on the “27thday of ye 12th Mo., 1791.” Theconsideration for grist and saw mill was 150 pounds; and for improved landsadjoining, 50 pounds. The deed waswitnessed by Daniel GUERNSEY, a surveyor and Barnabas BROWN.
Amongthe early sales of Phelps and Gorham, was that of township number 7, secondrage, (now Jerusalem) to Thomas HATHAWAY and Benedict ROBINSON, September 2,1790. Consideration, $4,320 for 36square miles. The Senior HATHAWAY,who was Mr. ROBINSON’S associate in this purchase, does not appear to haveretained for any length of time an interest in the 14,040 acres patented tohimself and PARKER, POTTER and others on Seneca Lake. Neither did he become alienated from the Society, but retained hisstanding therein till his death, and was ever regarded by the Society with thehighest respect.
BenedictROBINSON was another prominent man in the New Community. He too, was at first an enthusiastic adherent of the Friend,and the design to have the Friend’s abode in his township was very earlyentertained, as appears by the following letter, which it is supposed wasaddressed to Sarah RICHARDS:
NewSettlement – 13th of the 12th Month, 1789.
FriendSarah: - I arrived her after a fatiguing journey of twelve days travel; amkindly received, have explored the second 7th township, two days andthree nights successively together, and find it not as report says altogether. We are satisfied with our purchase altogether, one thing excepted, thatis, the land does not lay so compact as one would wish for every convenience wewant. Would the Friend accept theoffer of such a piece as I have mentioned in thy hearing? I think it would accommodate our first intention. The most of it that we have seen, is good enough, and I do not wantbetter. The timber exceeds any Ihave ever seen in this or any other country. The Sugar Maple aboundeth in plenty, the Oak, the Pine and Walnut, withdivers sorts makes it complete. Ithink there is a pleasant brook form the North to the Northwest branch of theCrooked Lake, from the distance of one mile to one and a half miles from theeast line, where is a good place for sheep, which we call Shepherd’s Hill,where one may view almost all the township. With some good timber, good springs and some runs of water, all which isvery advantageous to the situation of said hill, descending to the aforesaidbrook, which Thomas saith must be called the brook, Kedron. Two very fine mills seats thereon, and a third if wanted can be had; thenas excellent an interval, as good as is desired, or can be, from one quarter toone mile wide; from thence ascending until were come to the west side of saidtown, except about one and one half miles, &c, ***. I thought I would mention my desire – if may be – to be assisted inmaking the payment, where I have had encouragement from. As circumstances is with us, I can not say what is or will be right, butdo mean to do right as far as can be. Desiringto be remembered to and by the Friend in supplication and intercession for aremnant off a remnant, and by all those of whom the spirit of prayer is given,not forgetting my love to thee and all those who were and are my friends. As the bearer can inform more particulars of affairs, I shall omit it,and subscribe with my hand that I mean to be thy sincere friend.
Thatthe township was bought in consultation with the Friend and by her concurrenceappears from the fact that ROBINSON and HATHAWAY, under the Friend’s advice,resigned their opportunity to buy the township where Geneseo is now situated. It was a rule at that period in selling picked townships to require thepurchasers to draw for another township at the same price. In this way the purchases of Jerusalem drew the rich and valuabletownship afterwards owned by the WADSWORTHS. The Friend objected to her people, “ trading and buying property at adistance,” and they prevailed on Mr. PHELPS to release them from the bargain,which he was not unwilling to do, as he had learned the value of the township. Possibly the Friend was wiser than most worldly minded people would bewiling to concede.
InJanuary 1792, Benedict ROBINSON conveyed by a deed, witnessed by Ruth PRITCHARDand Lucy BROWN, lots 23,24,25,26 and the north half of lots 22 and 27, intownship number seven, second range, supposed to contain 1,400 acres, to SarahRICHARDS on behalf of the Friend. ThomasHATHAWAY, by a deed witnessed by Susannah and Temperance BROWN, had conveyed hisinterest in the same land to Benedict ROBINSON for this purpose in September ofthe previous year. Theconsideration expressed in HATHAWAY’S deed was 20 pounds, and in ROBINSON’S,40 pounds. June 28th,1793, Benedict ROBINSON conveyed to William CARTER for 1,000 pounds, all hisinterest in the township, except 550 acres.
August4, 1795, Thomas HATHAWAY made a like conveyance to William CARTER for 6,00pounds, of all his interest in the township, except 3,960 acres, a part of whichhe had before sold. July 14th,1795, William CARTER conveyed to Rachel MALIN, lots 45 and 46, 640 acres. Consideration, 56 pounds, received by Benedict ROBINSON of Asa RICHARDS,deceased. August 14, 1785, WilliamCARTER conveyed to Rachel MALIN, for 140 pounds, lots 21,22,23,24,25, 26, 27,28, 45, 46,47,50,51 and 52. Thiswould show that the full proportions of the Friend’s estate in Jerusalem, werein extent 4,480 acres, allowing each lot to contain 320 acres as stated in thesedeeds; and generally they contained more.
Theselection of the Friend’s location in Jerusalem, was made in 1791, by herselfand Sarah RICHARDS, and others who accompanied Benedict ROBINSON to his townshipfor that purpose; George BROWN, afterwards Supervisor of the town, serving as aguide; and in 1792, some work was done by way of clearing and makingpreparations for the erection of a house in the valley eastward of the finalresidence of the Friend.
Thequestion whether the first conveyance of lands by Benedict ROBINSON to SarahRICHARDS on behalf of the Friend was a give on his part, was a subject of mustdispute. The following covenant,witnessed by Lucy BROWN, would seem to set the question at rest:
“Thisagreement witnesseth, that whereas I have this day received a deed of severallots of lands lying and being in the town of Jerusalem, county of Ontario, andState of New York, in township number seven, second range of towns, as they weresurveyed and numbered throughout the county, 1,200 acres of which is made apresent, on the East part the remainder of which I have at the averagedprice as said township may be apprized and given $100 in part pay thereof or ifsaid sum of $100 doth purchase more land than what’s contained in the deed, Iam to have it added on the west part adjoining by the grantor thereof. In witness whereof, we have set our hands and seals in presents of thisfifth day of the first Month, in the year seventeen hundred and ninety-two(1792).
Lots 45and 45, called the Mile Square, or Asa RICHARDS lot, was granted for money, 56pounds paid by Asa RICHARDS to Benedict ROBINSON, the receipt for which on hisdeath was given to the Friend, in compensation for care extended to him in hissickness, and to pay his funeral charges.
Thenorth half of lot 47, (160 acres), was deeded to Mary, the wife of EzekielSHEARMAN, by Rachel MALIN, in 1797, for payment in part, of money loaned to paythe expense of transporting the property and effects of the Friend fromPennsylvania to the New Jerusalem; another 100 acres was added from lot 48 byDavid WAGENER, it is said to pay Ezekiel SHEARMAN for his pioneer explorationsfor the Society of Friends in 1786.
In1793, Sarah RICHARDS directed in person further improvements in Jerusalem on thenew location. Ten or twelve acreswere enclosed and a long tenement erected. Her health, which had been poor for some time, and which the hardships ofthe wilderness did not renovate, continued to decline, and she died late in thatyear. Her attending physician wasMoses ATWATER of Canandaigua, who wrote her Will, committing her trust to RachelMALIN, who from that time forth held the Friend’s property, as sole trustee,while the Friend remained with her disciples. Sarah RICHARDS left one child, a daughter, Eliza, which she committed tothe care of tutelage of the Friend. Hersubsequent career had a less favorable influence on the destinies of theSociety, than her mother would have wished.
In theSpring of 1794, after a residence of four years in the original settlement, nearSeneca Lake, the Friend removed her household to her new abode in the vale ofthe “Brook Kedron.” It wouldseem that no ordinary inducements could have impelled such a removal. Most of her people were settled on and east of the Gore, in a region ofrare beauty and natural wealth, where they had already made a goodly beginning. On the other hand, the new location was in the midst of a dense, unbrokenwilderness. It was not less than 10or 12 miles away from those on whom she depended for assistance and sympathy. There can be no doubt that a desire to be removed from hostileinfluences, which had become bitter and intolerant, was largely a motive forthis early removal. That the Friendsided with those of her Society who deemed themselves injured in the dispositionof the lands, is well attested; and she did not change her attitude on thatquestion when the worst results of the situation were experienced. While this intensified the attachment of one class toward their belovedleader, it greatly embittered others whose powers were much to be dreaded byreason of their position and power.
Whateverthe intention may have been in granting a tract of land in the “secondseventh”, there is no doubt that its original impulse, was to a large extentto provide a home and nucleus for the Society. If a desire to bring setters to the township was mixed with this purpose,it was not an unwise design, for it produced the desired effect. Membersof the Society actuated by a wish to be near the Friend, gathered about in thesame vicinity. A number of thepoorer ones were granted homes on the Friend’s own land, and for several yearsthe larger portion of the settlers in this township, were Friends or attractedby some influence connected with the Friend’s Society.
TheFriend retained a farm of about 300 acres in the original settlement while shelived. Anna WAGENER occupied thehouse for a few years after the Friend removed to Jerusalem. Aroom was kept in it for the Friend when she visited there, and a bed which noother person ever occupied, till about 1812, after which she seldom, if ever,came there. Meetings were held notonly at the Friend’s house in Jerusalem, but at her house in what is nowTorrey, at the Log Meeting House, and at the residences in later years of IsaacNICHOLS and Adam HUNT, who after a few years had commodious framed dwellings. The Log Meeting House was only used for worship till 1799. Henry BARNES, still living, remembers the last service in that primitivetemple. It was a warm summer day,and a heavy thunder shower arose, the rain come down like a flood and the roofleaked badly. Some of the women held a blanket or shawl over the Friend forprotection, while she continued her discourse, which was one of the mostimpressive and eloquent of her life, and was listened to with profound attentionby a large congregation, who crowded very compactly into the leaky structure. The Log Meeting House served as a school house as well as a meeting housefor some time. Here Sarah RICHARDScommenced teaching a few weeks before she died, another proof of her rareexcellence of character. Here,also, Ruth PRITCHARD taught a school in 1796 and John BRIGGS not far from thesame time. The old Log Meeting House finally became a dwelling. It is remembered by very few who still survive.
TheFriend gradually improved her surroundings in the deep forests of Jerusalem, bythe co-operation of her Society, of whom she retained a large number in spite ofall hostilities and persecutions. Thesingle log house had added to it another, and afterwards a third. The first and east part, of somewhat the largest dimension, was finallyraised a story higher and covered with clapboard, making a very comfortableabode. Her own room was abovestairs in the east portion. Themiddle building was used as a room for the meetings of the Society. The triple log house was the home of the Friend and her household tillabout 1814. Thomas CLARK, whosewife, Elizabeth, was a sister of Rachel and Margaret MALIN, commenced theerection of the large dwelling since known as the Friend’s House in 1809, andfinished the principal part in 1814. Hewas evidently not a rapid builder, but his work was exceedingly well done, andall the materials used were of the most substantial quality. The building is still in a good state of preservation, and when new was amarvelous advance upon the current ideas of architecture. The rooms are high and commodious and well arranged for a patritiateresidence. After 24 years of hardsacrifices and doubtful struggles, this residence in the midst of her owndomain, afforded a home of comfort commensurate with the wants of her family andits relations to the Society. Here,after the erection of this dwelling, the meetings of the Society were held. Here the career of the Universal Friend came to a close, five yearslater, and her the Society held its shrine after that sad event, until itsdiminishing votaries had mostly passed away.
Theinfluence of this remarkable woman continued unabated with a large body of herfollowers throughout her life and after her death, notwithstanding all adversecircumstances, all the litigations, personal asperities, and the repugnance ofmany to the strictness of the faith held by the Society. That this wonderful ascendancy was the result of mere religious credulityand superstitious awe, is not to be tolerated as an explanation of the fact,when we take into account the intelligence, conscientiousness and independenceof character, that prevailed with a large share of these people. The secret of her power rested in her sterling humanity, far more thanany peculiarity of doctrinal teaching. Shehad a lively and zealous concern in all that affected the welfare of her people She was truly a nursing mother to her flock. Her ministrations were first and foremost in sickness and sorrow. Her affectionate hand was a sure support in every trouble; and hersympathy was unfailing. All funeralservices within the Society, and many without, were attended by her. When called upon for aid to the poor, or comfort to the sorrowing,whether within or without her own fold, it was never withheld.
Thelife of the Friend, therefore, was one of manifold cares and labors. For many ears frequent visits were necessary to the neighborhood of thefirst settlement, sometimes to attend the burial of the dead, or visit the sick,and often for religious service at the public meetings. These journeys, until the later period of the Friend’s life, wereperformed on horseback, always with one or more attendants, and often with adozen, more or less, of whom Rachel MALIN was usually one, and frequentlyMargaret. Saturday was the Sabbathday of the Society, and when meetings were to be held in Milo, the cavalcadewent down on Friday afternoon, and would go back on Sunday afternoon; althoughSunday, which they did not hold as a Sabbath or sacred day, was generallyobserved as a day of rest by the Society, from deference to other people whoseSabbath it was. To the public meetings in Jerusalem, there would usually go up acompany from Milo on horseback, many of them remaining two nights at theFriend’s house, and the hospitality of that mansion was never at fault. A dinner was always provided for those who attended the public meetings,free to all who would partake. Thisliberal hospitality was always a feature of the Friend’s abode, and wasespecially extended to all strangers or persons from a distance who happened tobe present from motives of interest or curiosity.
At themeetings, the Society usually gathered promptly at the proper hours and sat insilence. The Friend would entersoon and sit for a few moments, lay off her hat, kneel and pray aloud ferventlyfor some time, then after remaining seated in silence for a few moments, ariseand speak, generally from an hour to an hour and a half. These discourses were always listened to with the utmostquiet. The voice of the speaker wasmusical and pleasant to the ear. Thegestures, mostly an easy waving motion of the hand, were always graceful. The eyes black and highly expressive, seemed to animate the language ofthe Friend, and add intensity to her eloquence. After his discourse closed, others sometimes spoke. Of these were Richard SMITH, Asahel STONE, Benajah BOTSFORD, ElnathanBOTSFORD Sr., Deborah MALIN, Mercy ALDRICH, Abigail BARNES, Lucina GOODSPEED,Experience INGRAHAM, Lucy BOTSFORD and others. When all speaking was closed, the meeting was dismissed by shaking hands. The Friend commenced usually by shaking hands with RachelMALIN, when all would arise and the hand shaking would become general. Every member present would make it a point to shake hands with theFriend. There was no singing inpublic worship, but a profoundly devotional spirit was cultivated, and a morereverential body of worshippers it would be difficult to find.
Theseparation of James PARKER from the Society, occurred very soon after the newcolony was planted near Seneca Lake, and bore bitter fruits on both sides. Mr. PARKER lost his religious home, and was very much afloat in spiritualrelations thereafter. For a time he was somewhat zealously identified with the FreeWill Baptists, afterwards strongly inclined to the Universalists, and finallydied at a very advanced age, a member of the Methodist Church, by which peoplehe was cordially received and kindly regarded in his later years. For a time after his breaking off from the Society, he was a leader inthe hostilities which raged against the Friend and her Society.
As amagistrate, he issued a warrant on the complaint of William POTTER, against theFriend, for blasphemy. The event proved this to be a grave error, but the prosecution was urged with anearnestness which showed that strong and passionate feeling was enlisted in thework, and that many prominent persons in the community gave it countenance andsupport. This was in the Autumn of1799. The warrant was placed in thehands of an officer, who met the Friend on horseback accompanied by Rachel MALIN,a short ways from Smith’s Mills, on the road to Norris’ Landing. He made a dash to seize his intended prisoner, who being an accomplishedhorsewoman, was not easily caught. Sheturned her horse about instantly and galloped swiftly down the hill and herpursuer not being able to follow so rapidly, was left considerably in the rear. She reined up at the house of Richard SMITH, a little west of the mills,dismounted and took refuge among those who were ready to protect her. The officer found the door barricaded and threatened to break it down,but met with so much resolute resistance, that he desisted and went his way.
Shortlyafter, another officer made his appearance in Jerusalem, armed with his warrant. The Friend was in a little house opposite her then residence on the northside of the road, used as a shop for weaving. Here the Friend, with several women of her household, was engaged whenthe constable walked in, his attendant, Enoch MALIN, remaining outside. His mission was at once understood and no time was given him to makeexplanations or commence offensive operations. He found himself outside the door in such precipitate haste, that hecould hardly comprehend what was going on. The woman handled him with so little care, that some of his garments werebadly torn, and a renewal of the onslaught was impossible without a repair ofhis breeches. Thus ended the secondattempt at arrest.
Thenext was much more formidable and more craftily managed. A posse of about 30 men was collected, some of them the most prominentmen in the new settlement. Theytook along a cart and oxen to convey their prisoner away, and hearing that theFriend was reported sick, they had a physician in their company to decidewhether she was in sufficient bodily health to endure the proposed arrest. Sometime after midnight, they surrounded the house, which was soon in astate of alarm. Stout resistancewas made to their entrance, but they broke down the door with an ax, and tookpossession of the premises. The physician soon informed them that an attempt to carry theFriend away, would not be advisable. Aman from the outside of one of the windows called out, “throw her in the cartand carry her off.” This was aman too, who had been one of her warmest adherents. And this same man, in after years, when diseased reminded him of hismortality, was glad to be reconciled to the Friend, and become the subject ofher sympathy and her spiritual consolation.
Findingthat their third attempt at arrest must prove abortive, a parley was held. An attorney representing the Friend was on hand, as it happened; arecognizance was entered into for her appearance at the next Ontario Circuit andthe idea of a trial before Justice PARKER was abandoned.
In thefollowing June, the Friend and her accusers were in attendance at the CircuitCourt in Canandaigua. The venerableAmbrose SPENCER was the presiding Judge. TheGrand Jury listened to all the evidence presented on the charge of blasphemyagainst the Friend, and unanimously agreed that there was nothing on which tobase an indictment. When thisconclusion was announced, the Friend was respectfully invited to preach beforethe Court and the people in attendance. Shedid so, and was listened to with the deepest attention. Judge SPENCER, on being asked his opinion of this discourse replied: “We have heard good counsel, and if we live in harmony with what that woman hastold us, we shall be sure to be good people here, and reach a final rest inHeaven.”
Onanother occasion, a woman who had been one of the Society, made affidavit thatshe had reason to fear for the safety of her life, on account of the Friend. That a warrant of arrest was issued in this case is probable but notquite clear. But the woman who madethe affidavit, accidentally confronted the Friend sometime after at the house ofa sick neighbor. “Chloe”, said the Friend, “did thee think I would killthee?” “No, Friend,” shereplied. “Then why did thee swearso wickedly?” continued the Friend. Therewas no answer for some time, but she finally declared that she has been “putup to it.”
Theseincidents serve to show the extreme intensity of hostile feelings that prevailedfor a time on the part of some, which was none the less bitter from the factthat it was led by those who had been personal adherents of the Friend.
Thelong litigation which hung like a cloud over the affairs of the Friend in thelast years of her life, and which did not reach its conclusion till some yearsafter her death, was another source of ill-feeling toward her and the Society,and doubtless laid the foundation for much of that venomous detraction whichpursued her fame and character through the lifetime of more than one generationafter her departure. SarahRICHARDS, the first trustee of the Friend, and one of the early and firmadherents of the Society, and its founder, dying in the latter part of 1793,left an only child, Eliza, in charge of the Friend to be reared in her family,doubtless with the expectation that she would remain a permanent member of thehousehold and attached like her mother, to the Friend. Sarah, by a will executed a short time before her death, devised hertrust to Rachel MALIN, including all the land she held in Jerusalem, and amongthe rest lots 45 and 46, held by virtue of Asa RICHARD’S Will, leaving toSarah the receipt (for money paid to Benedict ROBINSON), by which the land wasobtained. To her daughter, Eliza,she left nothing except a remnant of property, which she owned at Watertown,Connecticut, before joining the Friend.
Elizaseemed to be more disposed to follow the fortunes of a husband than adhere tothe faith of the Friend. In 1796,about three years after her mother’s decease, while she was still very young,she eloped from the house of the Friend, leaving through a window, in the hourof public meeting, met Enoch MALIN, who was waiting for her by previousarrangement, at a house near by, and was wedded to him. It does not appear that claim was immediately made to any of theFriend’s land by inheritance from Eliza’s mother. But in 1799, Eliza and her husband conveyed by deed, a strip of land 100rods in width, off the north side of lots 24 and 25, two miles long, containing400 acres, to Elnathan BOTSFORD Jr., and Benajah BOTSFORD, his brother, and thehusband of Deborah, the youngest sister of the Friend. It was afterward testified by Elnathan BOSTSFORD Sr., that he obtainedthe assent of the Friend to this purchase; and whether such assent was given inexplicit terms or not, it appears that the purchasers held undisturbedpossession of it for 12 years, and lived on and improved it. Whether the Friend regarded their source of title just or not, she wasprobably willing that parties holding their relations to herself and theSociety, should hold the land thus taken, so long as no father loss to herdomain was involved. There wereothers and subsequent sales, however, by Enoch and Eliza MALIN, which could notbe so tamely acquiesced in. Thesewere to Asahel STONE Jr., Asa INGRAHAM and Truman STONE. It was now perceived that all the Friend’s estate might be taken awayin the same manner, and legal redress appeared to be required to establish herrights. Measures were accordingtaken to prove the title of the Friend, through her trustee, Rachel MALIN, toall the land that had been conveyed to her from ROBINSON, HATHAWAY and CARTER.
In1811, Rachel MALIN filed a bill in Chancery, against Enoch and Eliza MALIN, andthe purchasers under their assumed title. Thedefendants by their answer, denied the trust claimed by Rachel, and alleged that1,000 acres of the land conveyed to Sarah RICHARDS was a gift, and thereforethat no resulting trust was conveyed. The cause was brought to a hearing on the pleadings beforeChancellor KENT in 1816. Afterpermitting the bill to be amended by inserting the name of Jemima WILKINSON as aparty complainant, he directed a feigned issue to be tried by a jury in theCounty of Ontario, to ascertain whether Jemima WILKINSON had advanced any moneyor other valuable consideration for the lands, or any other part thereofcontained in the conveyance from Benedict ROBINSON to Sarah RICHARDS; whetherthe will of Sarah RICHARDS had been altered; whether the whole or any, and ifany, what part of the lands conveyed by ROBINSON to Sarah RICHARDS, passed bythat conveyance; and whether the BOTSFORDS and others were bona-fide purchasers,without notice of the trust. Thisfeigned issue was noticed for trial at Ontario Circuit in June 1817, but was putoff for want of a material witness by Rachel MALIN.
Enochand Eliza MALIN both died before this stage of the case was reached, he inCanada and she in Ohio. They lefttwo sons, David H. MALIN and Avery MALIN, who were substituted for their parentsas parties to the suit. ElishaWILLIAMS, their attorney and guardian, brought actions of ejectment againstparties occupying the lands in dispute, and upon the trial, a verdictunfavorable to the Friend and her claims were rendered, and the case was at oncecarried to the Court of Chancery, where it was tried before Chancellor KENT in1823, the feigned issue, having bee set aside as the evidence adducted on thetrial of the ejectment suits, supplied the information sought by that issue. The decease of the Friend in 1819, left Rachel and Margaret MALIN, underher will, the representatives of her interests in the suit, and John C. SPENCERwas their counsel. The Chancellormade a decree affirming the trust, and upholding the title of the Friend, andthe defendants took their appeal to the Court of Errors. A final decision was reached in that Court in 1828, nineyears after the decease of the Friend, and 17 years after the commencement ofthe suit.
A fullstatement of the case is given in the first volume of Wendell’s reports, bywhich it appears that the litigation was one that must have enlisted the bestenergies of both sides, and the best legal talent of the period. Thomas R. GOLD, of Utica, was the counsel for therespondents, Rachel and Margaret MALIN, in the Court of Errors. The question of the trust was the main point of attack, andit was triumphantly sustained.
Thememorandums of Sarah RICHARD, given a few pages back, were offered in support ofthe trust, and were assailed as forgeries, several good witnesses affirming thatthey were written by Ruth PRITCHARD, and not by Sarah RICHARDS. The similarity of handwriting on the part of these persons,no doubt led to an honest difference of opinion on the subject. The ultimate conviction of all unprejudiced minds, must have been infavor of their authenticity. And the following letters, which could have presentedno stronger claim to verity, were much less questioned, and helped materiallythe cause of the Friend.
Jerusalem,3rd of the 6th Month, 1793
DearRuth: - I take this opportunity to inform thee further about the situation ofearthly concerns. The Friend hasalso taken a deed of Thomas HATHAWAY, containing south of that which ROBINSONdeeded to me to hold in trust for the Friend. And this deed is witnessed byWilliam CARTER and Abel BOTSFORD. Ihope we shall get together before long. Thisis from thye affectionate friend,
Jerusalem,12th of the 3rd Month, 1793
DearRuth: - This is to be a messenger of my love to thee. Hold out faith and patience. Thyletter was very welcome to me. Iwant thee should make ready to come where the Friend is in this town. The Friend has got land enough here for all that will be faithful andtrue. Dear Ruth, I will inform theethat Benedict ROBINSON has given the Friend a deed of some land in the secondseventh, in the Boston Pre-emption, which deed contains five lots, and theFriend has made use of my name to hold it in trust for the Friend, and now Ihope the Friend will have a home, and likewise for the poor Friends, and such ashave no helper, where no intruding foot can enter. Farewell. From thyaffectionate friend,
JusticeSUTHERLAND, who wrote an able and exhaustive opinion in the cause, was sustainedby a concurring and still more emphatic opinion, by William M. OLIVER, then aState Senator, and member of the Court for the Correction of Errors, and amajority of the Court decided in accordance with their opinions, establishingthe trust and confirming the title of the Friend, but affirming a valid title onthe part of the BOTSFORDS, whose purchase it was decided had been made withoutnotice of the trust. A life estateonly was granted to Rachel and Margaret MALIN, in lots 45 and 46, the title towhich was derived from Asa RICHARDS, on the grounds that the title to these lotswas the personal estate of Sarah RICHARDS, and that her will conveyed only alife estate thereto to Rachel MAILIN, leaving the remainder in fee to her ownheirs. It was also held by theterms of Benedict ROBINSON’S original deed to Sarah RICHARDS, that aconsideration was expressed which precluded the idea of a gift, and that whatwas paid covered the whole conveyance, as the consideration could not be limitedto any particular portion. It was also held by Justice SUTHERLAND, that the settlementon the land by the Friend, drawing others as it must, was a very valuableconsideration, and probably a sufficient one for the land.
Thisunhappy litigation, although it resulted in the end favorably to the Friend andher associates and supporters, was a great misfortune to all concerned. It alienated from the Friend and her Society, some who had been early andwarmly identified with it. Itwas tedious, expensive and embarrassing. Formany years it was an impending peril that threatened to engulf them. On the other hand, the contestants who gained the 400 acres,admitted that they had better never entered the struggle, for they lost thewhole more than once in the finally successful effort to gain it. Yet, though this tedious litigation cost so much in harmony and good willas well as money, it was the fruit of too much confidence and good will, as thewriter interprets the facts, and no desire on the part of the Friend to do morethan vindicate her just rights.
Theadverse fruits of the litigation were manifold. Owing to its cost, the erection of a meeting house was given up, evenafter the timber for the frame was hewed and drawn on the ground, whereon theedifice was to stand. Lands whichhad been given by David WAGENER, on condition that such a house should be built,went back finally to his heirs. Oldcalumnies were revived and strengthened and new ones propagated, and if it werepossible for personal fame to be utterly trampled down, the Friend must havebeen overwhelmed. Yet through itall, the Friend bore her way to the last with firmness, patience and unswervingtenacity of purpose. Preachers ofopposing sects often wielded their theological clubs against her, with suchdenunciation as the spirit of the times seemed to warrant, and weighty words ofopprobrium often passed for conclusive argument. But the Friend, retorted not. Sheyielded no pretension or proper right of her own, but taught her flock theessential virtues of the Christian life with assiduity, and with exemplaryconsistency.
Herhouse and grounds were always models of order, neatness and thrifty life. Those who belonged to her household were neither drones nor idlers. The work of her domain west forward in season, and those who performedthe labor, whether members of the family or hirelings, were always treated withkindness and respect. Sometimesthe members of the Society died the Friend’s work as a voluntary contribution. But this was principally in the earlier years and was always much morethan repaid by the generous hospitalities of the Friend’s mansion. She personally directed and controlled the operations of the farm, andwould often ride from field to field on horseback, and point out the work to bedone. Henry BARNES states, thatwhen a lad, he has often accompanied the Friend about the farm to let down andput up bars.
In thelater years of her life, when disease impaired her energies, she ceased ridingon horseback, and the running gear of a carriage she had in Pennsylvania, whichhad been laid away for many years while roads were bad, was taken to Canandaiguaand fitted up with a comfortable body. In this she rode during the years of her decline. That carriage is still occasionally seen in our streets, the property ofWilliam T. REMER.
Herfinal illness was long and painful, and for sometime previous to her decease,she was borne to the room where the meetings were held by her attendants, andwould address her flock while keeping her seat in a chair. No one could be more devotedly beloved and tenderly cared for than wasthe Friend by the members of her household and Society. She had proved herself a devoted and heroic leader. She had been their trusted guide and counselor in all difficulties andtrying straits, and her ministrations had sufficed for their sorrows andsufferings. It was but natural thather prospective departure should be a source of the keenest grief. Through all her painful struggle with a dropsical disease,the solicitude of her people was unsleeping and most touching in its tenderness. It has been alleged that they did not believe the Fried subject to theconditions of mortality. If anysuch vies were held by them, it was in direct contradiction of her own solemnand repeated assurances, and does not seem at all probable. Death finally visited her on the early morning of July 1, 1819, at theage of 61 year. Lucy BROWN adRachel and Margaret MALIN, were he attendants in the last hours, which werepeacefully and gently breathed away.
It hasbeen said that the grief-stricken Society were unwilling to bury their dead, andthat they deposited the body of the Friend in an apartment of the cellar, whichwas carefully walled up. This istrue. They had been informed,either mischievously or earnestly, that some of the physicians had determined tosecure the body for dissection. Thisthey determined to prevent; and hence the conduct so curiously regarded by thepublic. The burial was finally madeon a hillock, where Rachel and Margaret were afterwards laid by her side, but noheadstone or monument marks the grave. Trueto her principles and teachings, she bequeathed her estate to Rachel andMargaret MALIN, who were to succeed her as guardians of the poor of the Society,and continue to make the Friend’s house the home of those who belonged to thefaith, which they did.
Thusterminated the career of one of the most singular and remarkable characters ofmodern history. She has been treated as an imposter. A conscious imposter she could not have been; for sincerity, earnestness,probity and undeviating consistency, were the conspicuous elements of hercharacter. Her ministry of 43 yearswas an unvarying assertion of the same claims, without a lapse or singe act orexpression that could be construed into an indication that she was actuated bypurposes of chicanery. Sheconfronted her fellow beings with counsel and warning in relation to theirspiritual interests, with a manner that always impressed serious minds with thehighest respect for her devotional sentiments and the transparent integrity ofher convictions. It is worthy ofremark, that those who adhered, with the most fidelity to her teachings, were,without exception, people of pure and upright lives. On the other hand, without casting unkind reflections uponany who left the Society, it may be said with all truth, that those who founddelight in vicious ways, no longer found a congenial home in the Friend’sSociety. No preaching could be more pointed and emphatic than the Friend’sagainst the popular voice of her time. Intemperance,licentiousness and like moral irregularities, were never winked at by her. “John,” said she, to one of the early settlers who proposed to erecta distillery, “It will prove a snare to thee.” And the sequel prove that her prediction was true.
A manwho had been an early member of the Society, and afterwards left it and unitedwith another religious body, said to one of his former brethren in later years,“The Friend was all love.” Thevery name she assumed – Public Universal Friend – indicated a sentiment ofbroad and generous philanthropy, worthy, in this too selfish world, of the mostprofound respect. It may be saidthat there was ambition and desireto lead and to rule, mingled with this zeal for the welfare of the human family. All this may be admitted without diminishing the nobility and integrityof her character. If she ruled, itwas by virtue of characteristics that made her a ruling mind. If there was too much of unquestioned submission to her rule, that couldhardly be deemed a fault of hers. Likeall real rulers, she elected herself, and proceeded with her work.
Thatthe Friend was largely endowed with benevolence; there is abundant proof, for nocharitable appear was ever made to her in vain. This was also manifested in her uniform kindness to the poorresidents, whether of her own flock or not. William HENCHER, a settler who lived at Newtown Point, when the Friendcame into the country, helped her on with his teams through the woods on thehead of Seneca Lake. His sonaccompanied the expedition, and in after years related to Mr. TURNER theimpression it made upon him. He wasstruck by the singular dress of the Friend, and still more by the strangeness,as it appeared to him, of a woman directing men in all things relating to thejourney. Yet he remembered mostgratefully her kindness and hospitality when his father’s family came throughthe wilderness, and stopped at her residence on their way to the Genesee River.
In oneinstance, her hospitality was greatly abused. A French Duke, LIANCOURT, visited the Friend’s Settlement in 1795. He was very hospitably entertained by Benedict ROBINSON, Arnold POTTERand others and by the Friend herself, at whose house he was a guest with histraveling companions. It is said that Louis PHILLIPPE, afterwards King of France,was in disguise, a member of this party. TheDuke, in a work given an account of his travels, repaid the kindness of theFriend very shabbily, by retailing gossip and giving currency to slanders heshould have been ashamed to endorse. He listened with too ready credulity to the partisananimosities of those who at the time were at variance with the Friend and herSociety; and it is said she was not slow to express her disapproval of somegallantries imputed to the Duke, by which she incurred his thorough dislike. His revenge was taken in his book, which is not out of print and rarelyseen. Another book written tow orthree years after her death, was too evidently the work of embittered malice anduncharitable bigotry, to be anywise fair or truthful in its statements. It contains so many wanton, unfounded calumnies and averments clearlyfalse, as to be utterly unworthy of the least historical credit.
TheFriend has usually been represented as an ignorant person. This is by no means just. That she was a person of refined literary culture, we cannot pretend. But no mink like hers observes the panorama of life without gaining aneducation. She had great respect for education, and a strong preferencefor the society of those who possessed more than common intelligence andaccomplishments. This wasparticularly manifest in her later years, after the buffetings of a hardexperience had taught her the value of legal information as well as othergeneral knowledge. The visitof people of note and intelligence were not unfrequent at her residence, andthey were always cordially entertained. Shehad a considerable library, mostly of religious and historical books. Her familiarity with the Bible was truly wonderful. She always quoted it largely and with accuracy, from memory, in herdiscourses and was able to give the chapter if not the verse of her quotation. She was therefore too much learned, and too sharp and practical anobserver of human life to be accounted ignorant.
Spacedoes not permit us to hunt down all the derogatory and scandalous stuff, foundedin rumor and senseless gossip, which has been kept alive these many years by thesame power that gave it birth. Itcan be said, however, with the utmost assurance of truth, that the Friend neverpretended to be able to walk on the water, and therefore could never haveappointed a time and place to do it. Shenever claimed to be able to work miracles, and never made any pretense ofattempting such a thing. She neverclaimed to be the Messiah nor a substitute for the Messiah, but simply aminister of truth sent by divine authority to preach a better life to the world. She never appropriated the property of her disciples by saying, ”theLord has need of this,: nor exacted anything more than they voluntarily andfreely granted. She never made oneof her followers wear a bell as a punishment for impertinent curiosity. Sarah RICHARDS did something of that sort while she as at thehead of affairs in Pennsylvania in the absence of the Friend, and that was asmuch a matter of hilarity as otherwise.
Inpersonal appearance, the Friend was, till late in life, when sadly afflicted bydropsy, decidedly prepossessing. Shehad a good figure, with black, lustrous eyes and black hair, which combedwithout parting, fell in beautiful ringlets about her neck. She always dressed with good taste, and in such a manner as to heightenthe impressiveness of her appearance. Shewore a fine silk neck cloth, with a loose fold falling in front with gracefulnegligence; and a comely broad brimmed hat of fine texture was worn on her head,and laid off when preaching. This,with her style of dress, gave her a singularly masculine look. Her portrait was painted a year or two previous to her decease, by anartist at Canandaigua, whose name is not known, but this was after her figurehad lost its finest tone. It issaid however, to be a good likeness. Thepicture is now in the possession of Peter S. OLIVER.Whothat shall justly estimate this courageous and large hearted woman, in herremarkable force of character, in her devotion and constancy, in her benevolenceand generosity, in her power to rule, in her wealth of affectionate feeling, inher love of justice, in her preserving fidelity to her convictions and personalclaims, can deny her genius and originality, and that sincerity of heart andgreatness of mind which she luster on the history of her sex?
Theseelectronic pages may be printed as a link or for personal use, but is NOTto be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by ANY otherorganization or persons.
2014 Contact Webmaster Dianne Thomas
Copyright2005 - 2014
[NYHistory and Genealogy]