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By E. Earle Stlbitz

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the University of Michigan 1951

Committee in charge: Professor Veroer W. Crane, Chairman Associate Professor A m o L. Bader Professor Louis I. Bredvold Instructor Sidney Fine Professor William Frankena

t a b l e o f c o n te n ts



I. INTRODUCTION........................................... II.

THE PURITAN P E R I O D .......................................18








BELLES-LETTRES......... 100








. . . 200


B IB L I O G R A P H Y .........................




The basic aim of this investigation has bean to discover as clearly as possible the kind of treatment afforded Quakerism in Ameri­ can writing from the mid-seventeenth century to the present day.^


major kinds of writing have been examined, the historical and the belletristic, usually by non-Quaker writers.

The term treatment has

been restricted to mean the direct comments upon Quakers and Quakerism. This restriction, it should be noted, has excluded from consideration the problem of Quaker influences.

The accurate discovery of the treat*

meat of Quakerism brings with it other historical, literary, and phil­ osophical data and makes possible varied conclusions in fields beyond the immediate one of Quakerism.

Therefore, the work of research and

the efforts in presentation have been directed toward the end of that accurate discovery, with the belief that the accompanying data and the related conclusions, often of eq.ual or greater importance, find their validity in the soundness of the central investigation. As evidenced by numerous works from that of Parrlmgton to the re­ cent study of Ccmmager, the last quarter of a century in American schol­ arship has seen an increased Interest in the "American mind."


particular, much has been done by students of American culture toward a better understanding, Involving at times the revaluation, of specific patterns of thougnt. 1.

Notable, of course, has been the reexamination of

The writer is indebted to Professor Joe Lee Davis of the Departmeat of English, at the University of Michigan, under whose supervision this study was begun, for aid in the formulation of the problem and the determination of the course of the investigation, as well as for further advice.

2 Puritanism "by such scholars as Perry Miller, Samuel Marls c el , Kenneth Murdoch, Ralph Barton Ferry, and others.

less veil known hut also Im­

portant has been the new appreciation of Quakerism (a contemporary and "enemy" of Puritanism) brought about by the scholarly work of Rufus 2 Jones, William Bralthvaite, William Bull, and many others. Because the studies of the former group have tended to view early American life as too singly Puritan (and hence subsequent Influences as too Puritan dominated), because further light Is needed upon the place of Quakerism In American thought and life, ana because new Insights into the American mind can be gained, a study of Quakerism in American writings is worth presenting. Novelty in materials and method nay also be offered as Justifica­ tion of another study In a field already well filled.

While many

studies of Quakerism have been made, none has traced its reception over a long period of time as recorded in our writings; and when the writings have been used in this way for limited studies, they have usually been Quaker works, which naturally do not give as clear a 2.

Most important in bringing about a new scholarly appreciation of Quakerism has been the Rawntree Series edited by Rufus M. Jones. It Includes the following: Rufus Jones, Studies ^ Mystical Re­ ligion (London, 1908) (a later work is Jones* New Studies in Mys­ tical Religion. New Tork, 1928); Jones, assisted by Isaac Sharpless and Amelia M. Gummere, The Quakers In the American Colonies (London, 1911); William C« Bralthvaite, i'*** Tu»g->*»«•*of Quaker­ ism (London, 1912); Jones, Spiritual Reformers of the 16th and 1.7th Centuries (London, 1914); and Braithwaite, The Second Period of Quakerism (London, 1919)* Another important work is the Swarthmore College Monographs on Quaker History by William X* Bull, produced in five volumes, from 1953 to 19^1, under the auspices of the Howard M. Jenkins Researcn Professorsnlp. Such writers as Isobel Grubb, Lester M. Jones, Auguste Jorns, and Luella Wright have contributed to the new understanding with varied studies of Quaker theory and practice. The Increased organization and ac­ cessibility of the Haverford Collection of Quaker materials, at Baverford College, and the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore, have also aided.

3 picture of the attitudes toward Quakerism as do the

h o c



though mot the malm purpose, a better understand ing of Quakerism comes with seeing the record of the Interaction between Quakers and Quaker­ ism, on the ooae hand, and those writers, on the other, who evaluate It. This Is, them, a study of the history of the treatment of am Idea.


dealing la this way with a single strand la the Intellectual history of America, we find Implications far that history as a whole.

A novelty

of materials and method is found also In the conjunctive use of his­ torical writing and belles-lettres.

The use of two streams of writing,

each with Its own alms and methods, offers not only a broader basis for Judging Quaker treatment, but also provides a reciprocal check upon the discoveries found and the conclusions drawn. The value of this or any study Involving Quakerism rests ultimate­ ly on the historical importance of that religion —

not only In the

sense of having been important through a limited period of the past, but also In having been an influence in the whole development of Amer­ ican culture.

Rufus Jones points up the former Importance In stating

that in the early expansion of Quakerism contemporaries found reason to believe that It would soon be the dominant religion In



religious and political dominance In Pennsylvania, West Jersey, and 3.

Jones states (Quakers the American Colonies, p. xlv): ”Throughout the entire period covered by this history — 1656 to 1780 -Quakerism was an expanding force In the colonies, and there were times within this period when It seemed destined to become one of the foremost religious factors In the life and development of America, it Is clearly evident from their own writings that at the opening of the eighteenth century the Quaker leaders expected to make their type of religion prevail on the western continent.” Ernest Sutherland Bates similarly comments (American Faith; Its Religious. Political, and Eccnnm-f^ Trnnafla.t.irma. Hew York, 19^* p. 193): "Any historian of 1700, Judging of the future in terms of apparent tendencies, would have been likely to forecast a Quaker America.”

k Rhode Island, as well as Its less official but real Impact In many other colonies, suggests that these expectations vere not unfounded. Often more difficult to ascertain are Its later and more subtle Influ­ ences; nevertheless Quakerism, like Puritanism, stands at the head­ waters of our cultural stream and noticeably colors its flow.

In Ameri*

lean literature, as such studies as those of Canby and Hintz show, the Quaker influence has been marked. ^

Ascertainable influences can also

be seen In the imposing list of American idealisms In which the Quakers have played a leading role, from the problem of Indian Justice to the 5 present work of European rehabilitation. In this respect Quakerism has perhaps more than colored the cultural stream, for without Quaker­ ism that stream would not have brought us, even as clearly as it has, the American Ideals of Justice, liberty, and tolerance.

Of this Canby

says, The Quakers, possessors of a set of Ideals and a prac­ tice of living each more perfectly realized than any other doctrine or ethics that came to America, have been neglected as a shaping farce... .Their mental habits and Ideals are stronger in the American mind than anything else brought overseas and only to be equalled by the effect of the na­ tive environment itself. Indeed one need not fear overstatement In saying that the fundamental Qualities of what can be called the American 4.

Canby (Henry Seidel) In many of his American literature studies stresses the importance of the Quaker influence. See especially Walt Whitmans American (New York, 19^3) and his treatment of Cooper, Whitman, and Emerson in Classic Americans (New York, 1931)* Howard W. Hintz In rather brief sketches In The Quaker Influence In American Literature (New York, 19*+0) indicates a Quaker In­ fluence In the work of Paine, Charles Brockden Brown, Cooper, Emerson, Whitman, and, of course, Whittier and Woolman, together with a number of others.


In addition, the list would include the antislavery movement, the struggle for religious freedom (and with it the work for the separation of church and state), the reform of prisons and mental hospitals, the peace movements, the woman's rights efforts, and American war relief.

5 brand, of idealism are essentially Quaker la character, and very largely Quaker In origin*6 In other and more Intangible ways, for example in the more purely re* liglous and Intellectual realms, Quakerism has been an on-going influ­ ence, and so again a shaper of American life. one authority, says:

Townsend, to cite but

"The Friends, commonly known as Quakers, were

probably the most significant for our subsequent philosophical devel­ opment . The analysis of the treatment of Quakerism in American writing and the larger implications suggested by that analysis can be properly understood only by having In mind the essential nature of the Quaker faith.

Although Quakerism from Its beginning with George Fox in 1647,

and from the time It took root in America in 1656, has undergone sig­ nificant changes, It has maintained a central core of belief and has held —

and for the most part has practiced —

distinguish It from other Christian faiths.

certain tenets that

The essential nature of

Quakerism can best be seen on the background of Its origin and general development and in light of Its main tenets.

An understanding of


Henry Seidel Canby, "Quakers and Puritans," The Saturday Review of Literature. II (January 2, 1926), 457-458, 459Bates (op. clt., p. 9), in tracing the roots of democracy to religion, comments specifically on the Quakers: "The equality spoken of in the Declaration of Independence was an outgrowth of the equality practiced by the Quakers."


Harvey Gates Townsend, Philosophical Ideas in the United States (New York, 1934), p. 16 Merle Curti in The Growth of American Thought (New York, 1945) has high praise for the beneficent influence of the Quakers at var­ ious stages of our social and Intellectual development. Among other studies recognizing this kind of influence by Quaker­ ism, the following should be mentioned: Gustavus Myers, The tti at.nrrv of American Idealism (New York, 1925)j Mecklln, The Story of American Dissent (New York, 1934); and T. C. Hall, The Religious Backgrounds of American Culture (Boston, 1930)-

6 Quakerism will also be aided by a characterization of its mystical Q qualities. About the beginnings of Quakerism there was an Inevitability that reveals Its relationship to other Christian beliefs.

The mid-seventeenth

century search of Puritan trained George Fax for a more satisfying re­ ligion than that offered by the national church or any of the numerous other religions of his day was paralleled by the search of many religious persons, with newly discovered Bible In hand, for some more meaningful answer to their spiritual needs.

It was but a matter of time until

scmecme would find that answer, or at jleast one that many of the seek­ ers could share.

Such an answer Pox found.

In 161*6, after four years

of search that carried him beyond the current ecclesiastical Ideas of religion, Fax experienced a climactic mystical Insight that fused his previous findings and was the dynamic source of his life and work. This Insight became through him the vitalizing Idea of the movement that developed Into Quakerism. As recorded In his Journal this experience apparently embodied two elements:

the strictly personal or mystic, and out of that the

less personal and more universal element.

Coming to this mystical

experience burdened with his failure to find religious help from any person or Institution to which he had turned, Pox heard a voice say, 8.

The Bowntree series, mentioned above, gives the most thorough ac­ count of the history and the religious philosophy of the Quakers. EHga.Tiat.ti ~Ewnrio-tt»a A Short History of Quakerism (London, 1923) is a condensation of the Series. Two good short histories are The History of Quakerism (New York, 19^+2) by Elbert Bussell, and The hi story of the Friends In America (Philadelphia, 1930) by Allen C. Thomas and Blchard Henry Thomas, revised by the farmer. The best recent Interpretations of Quaker faith and practice are the works of 'William Wlstar Comfort, Quakers in tiaa Modern World (New York, 1949), and Sidney Lucas, The Quaker Story (New York, 19^9) •

7 "There is an®, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy

condition. ”9

Fox records that he had a direct awareness of all that before had seemed indirect, an awareness that he could come to God and a knowledge of divine truth without the aid of any agency other than his own spirit. At the same time he had, as he says, an "opening" that every man was enlightened by the Divine Light of Christ.... and that they that believed in It came out of condemnation and came to the Light of Life... but they that hated It, and did not believe in It, were condemned by It, though they made Profession of Christ.10 Thus is stated the beginning of a view of man and God that was counter to that of the Puritans —

the divinity of man as against total de­

pravity, freedom as against predestination, the priesthood of all as opposed to the clerical priesthood, and even the inspiration, of common man as possibly eq.ua1 to that of the writers of Scripture.

Far and

wide Fax preached this message of Christianity as an inner and living experience, and It became the central teaching of the new Society of Friends.

His message was logically a call to reality in every rela­

tion of life, and he was led to attack the artificialities and social abuses of his day, an emphasis that was Immediately embodied in Quaker­ ism. Quaker historians generally agree that Quakerism developed through three major periods:

a first period of dynamic and expanding Quaker­

ism (to about the end of the seventeenth century); a second period of settled and even static Quakerism —

although with some Increased social

concern (into the early nineteenth century); and a third period of fer9*

Quoted and commented upon by Braithwaite, The Beginnings of Quaker­ ism. p. J>h


See Braithwaite, Ibid.. p. 36.

8 meat and of a new concern religiously and. socially (through the nine­ teenth century and down to the present). In tke first period, under the effective preaching and direction of Fox and others who Joined him, the small bands of believers in northern England were led into a larger fellowship that soon became the Society of Friends.11

Quaker "ministers” carried the message of a

personal Christianity to southern England and other parts of the British Isles, and also to the continent, the East, and America.

The first

Quakers to arrive in America were Ann Austin and Mary Fisher, who came to Massachusetts in 1656 from Barbados.

They were at once arrested

and imprisoned, and after five weeks deported. This did not stop other Invasions nor the subsequent development of a native brand of Quakerism.

From the beginning the Puritan treat­

ment of Quakerism In Massachusetts was exceedingly severe, mounting to a persecution that saw the hanging of four Quakers including one woman. Other colonies, although less severe, were far from kind to the Quakers, with Rhode Island standing out as the happy exception. marked by certain extravagances — 11.

Although not un­

such as the disturbing of church

In I6V 7 the Mansfield community accepted the message of Fox and formed an association tinder a name that had been used before by some other group — The Children of Light. It was the earliest name by which the Friends were known. later "The Friends of Truth" was used, and then "The Society of Friends.” The term Quaker has a disputed origin, but was In use as a nickname for certain enthusiasts as early as 16*1-7 *nd was first applied to the Friends in I65I, appearing In print In a pamphlet in I652. Fox says (Journal I, 58) that Justice Bennett in Derby gave the nick­ name because he (Fox) had bidden him tremble at the name of the Lord. Braithwaite, however (on. clt., p. 57) states that Fax, In Great Mysteries, pp. 66, 110, accepted the meaning "tremblers” saying that Bennett had given the name. Barclay (Apology» Propo­ sition 11, Section 8 ) indicates, also, that the name came from the trembling of Friends under the powerful working of the Holy Ghost.

services and the going naked as a sign —

Quakerism In

and Amer­

ica thrived In the face of persecution and In both places absorbed many Seekers and other religious Individualists who had already gone the same way as Quakerism. By the time of Fox*a death In 1691 (the Toleration Act had been passed and other liberalizing steps in England and America had been taken), Quakerism had become a more or iess settled religion.


Society became Increasingly unified in the eighteenth century, and the insights and the actions of Individual members came more and more under the scrutiny of the group and were thus brought Into line with what wexe becoming the accepted principles of the organization.

With the desire

for unity often passing over Into a demand for uniformity, the expan­ sion of Quakerism was arrested, and In many areas the Society suffered a decline.

Sidney Lucas In giving the reasons for this change offers

a characterization of the second period: Among the many causes contributory to the decline were the acceptance of the Quietist Interpretation of the Inward Light, leading to a sterile vagueness of thought; the debilitating effect of prosperity; and the lack of leadership.^ Nineteenth century Quakerism felt the effect of two divergent ten­ dencies from the preceding century — phasis and the evangelical.

the rationalistic, Unitarian em­

Although it could not be identified with

either tendency, Quakerism from the beginning had contained elements akin to each.

But the Quakers, for the most part non-theologically and

non-philosophically minded people, had accepted without complete recon­ ciliation the divergent elements; and It was not until the Impact of evangelical thought in the early nineteenth century that they became 12.

The Quaker Story, p. 100

10 more fully aware of the differences that actually existed among themselves.

This awareness resulted 1a various divisions, of which the

American Orthodox -Hicks ite split — was the most lasting and serious.

known as the Great Separation — But more significant for the nature

of Quakerism was the revitalizing effect upon Quaker religious and socia 1 thinking which resulted from the nineteenth century stirrings. the concern with constructive social service —


embodied In such organ­

izations as the American Friends Service Committee —

has marked mod­

ern Quakerism. This brief and general view of the origin and development of Quakerism shows why any systematic summary of Its tenets Is likely to give a falsely static picture of Its essence.

Quakerism has developed

as a way of life based upon inner experiences, and at Its best It has not been particularly concerned with the formulation of standards of belief.

As a whole the emphasis has been upon the experiential and

practical rather than upon the theological and philosophical.


theless, during its history certain principles have come Into common acceptance. Quakerisms'^

William Comfort, for example, mentions four principles of (1) "The Light Within."

Quaker mysticism and so Quaker­

ism Itself Is based upon the belief that God is within, a source of knowledge and so of spiritual assurance to every Quaker.

The correla­

tive recognition of this light in all other human beings regardless of race or color has had, of course, Important consequences. universality of grace."

(2) "The

No man Is excluded from "grace" or the in­

ternal Influence that makes It possible for him to make necessary choices between good and evil and to Implement this choice by action. 15.

Quaker« ^ the Modern World. Chapter V, "The Foundation Tenets of Quakerism"

11 Again, tlxls belief affects tremendously the Quaker methods of dealing with other human beings, with spiritual appeals used and violence re­ jected.


"The call to perfection."

Although holding that no one

Is ever perfect, the Qua Jeers have generally believed that everyone Is bound to try to be perfect.

Herein lies the basis of the high ethical

demands which the true Quaker demands of himself and of others. "The belief in a continuing revelation."


The Quakers have constantly

held that God has plain and specific guidance far man regardless of the age in which he is living and that man need not depend upon past reve­ lation.

There is a continuing experience of God and of Christ within.

A somewhat different and perhaps more lloerax emphasis -- in it­ self an illustration of the lack of complete uniformity among Quakers — is to be found in Sidney Lucas' summary of Quaker faith and practice.


Lucas, like Comfort, holds that the belief in the Inward Light lies behind the organization of Quakerism and is at the heart of the Quaker faith.

The outward evidences of inner conviction are called testi­

monies, and of these Lucas mentions four groups that throw into relief the outstanding principles of the Quakers in all details of life. "Worship."


Belief in the Inward Light brought into being a new type

of religious meeting, the silent worship without a paid speaker.


custom and the absence of such ecclesiastical elements as liturgy and sacraments have grown out of the conviction that all believers have an eq.ual share in the religious experience and that all life is equally sacred.



The Quakers have always stressed complete

truthfulness and honesty, even excluding the taking of oaths because they felt that such swearing implied a double standard of morality. 14.

Lucas, o~p« cit., Chapter V, "Faith and Practice"

12 (3)


In ocrder to emphasize tiie importance of develop­

ing the richness of the inner life, the Friends have kept the outward life as plain as possible.

This emphasis led to the often misunderstood,

and often misused, customs of plain speech and dress. nition of that of God in every man."


"The recog­

ThiB belief led the Quakers to

certain methods of dealing with their fellow men.

Chiefly it led them,

as suggested above, to the renunciation of war and violence, and, more positively, to the insistence upon the complete equality of men; thus comes the Quaker concern with slavery and their practice of tolerance. If mysticism is defined as the human being’s direct apprehension of the supernatural, Quakerism can be said to be a mystical religion.^ However, because of the extremely cannotative quality of the terms mystic, mystical, mysticism, etc., special qualifications are needed to make clear the way in which the terms can be applied to Quakerism. The most basic restriction is that Quaker mysticism is fundamentally Christian mysticism —

even though the Quaker emphasis upon this ele­

ment of Christian thought, coupled with the rejection of other elements, makes this phase of Quakerism unique.

The object of Quaker mystical

experience is a Christian God or a Christian Christ, and the transla­ tion of that experience is in Christian terms of the day in which it takes place.

It must also be recognized that Quaker mysticism, like

any other, varies in intensity from person to person and from time time in the same person’s life. 15»


The more Intense experience may indeed

This definition of mysticism alms to present the common idea of seven definitions of mysticism presented by William R. Inge in Mysticism in Religion (Chicago, 1948), pp. 25-26. Inge in his Bampton Lectures an Christian Mysticism (1899) lists twenty-seven definitions. See Christian Mysticism (London and New York, 1933)> Appendix A.

15 reflect the characteristics that William James found to be usual in the mystical experience ~ and passivity.

ineffability, noetic quality, transiency,

On the other hand, it may simply be —

as it has

been with most Quakers -- the personal awareness of God or some divine truth, without the ecstatic quality often associated with mysticism* Again, Quaker mysticism has not shared usually the Induced quality found in the experience of some Christian mystics, especially Catholic mystics, who arrived at a visio del step by step through a prescribed discipline.

Apart from the help of silent meeting and private medita­

tion, the Quaker's experience of God has came without the preparation of asceticism and without the preliminary stages such as James Leuba analyzes in his psychological study of. mysticism.^

While Quakerism

clearly partakes of mysticism, as defined, perhaps it Is equally well described by the phrase "personally experienced Christianity." Bufus Jones, in commenting upon the dynamic Quakerism of early colonial days, has characterized better than anyone else the mysticism and the Christianity of Quakerism.

The Quakers, he says, "discovered

or rediscovered, a new spiritual principle which they thought was destined to revolutionize life, society, civil government, and religion." 16.

The Varieties of Religious Experience (New York, 19^5 ).> PP« 380382. By "ineffability" James means the difficulty or impossi­ bility of communicating to others the nature of the intense ex­ perience; by "noetic" — the apperception of some "idea" or knowledge and the desire to communicate It; by "transiency" — the short-lived nature of the mystical experience; by "passivity" — the negation of self and the overpowerhg control of the super­ natural force.


See The Psychology of Religious Mysticism (London and New York, 1925), especially Chapter V, "The Methods of Christian Mysticism," in which the author analyzes the place of mysticism and passivity in the mystical experience, and the stages of mystical union.


This and the following quotations are from Quakers in the American Colonies, p. xvii.


14 Thle principle vae the presence of a Divine Light In man, a radiance from the central Light of the spiritual universe, penetrating the deeps of ever; soul, which If responded to, obeyed, and accepted as a guiding star, would lead Into all truth and Into all hinds of truth. The Quakers thought that they had found a way to direct the discovery of the will of God and that they thereby could put the Kingdom of God Into actual operation here in the world.

'The whole momentous

Issue of life, they Insisted, is settled by personal obedience or disobedience to the Inward Divine Revelation.M

Many others In the

Christian church have been exponents of this mystical idea that God manifests himself Inwardly to the soul of man and that His real pres­ ence can be directly, Immediately, experienced.

The novel thing about

the Quaker experiment, Jones claims, is that It presents mystical re­ ligion embodied In a group and worked out through a long span of his­ torical development.

The highly individualistic elements were checked

and guided by group life and discipline Into a social religion, one of the chief manifestations of which is the Quaker meeting.


Thus what­

ever have been the differences or even divisions within Quakerism, such as those caused by the disagreements between the liberals and evangelicals resulting In the Orthodoac-Hlcksihe split, no group of Quakers has been permanently removed from the basic tenets and core belier.

Quakerism at its best has represented these ideals In remark­

able purity; at Its formal and mechanical worst, it has never com­ pletely deserted them. The historical and literary writings in this study are considered in three divisions based upon the developing Intellectual emphases in 19.

Ibid.. p. 156

15 the history of American thought:

the Puritan period, the age of human -

itarianism, and the period of scientific naturalism.

The divisions are

arbitrary, but It Is reasonable to assume that the climates of opinion that have existed in related areas of thought are operative here.


assumption, however, has been made tentatively and one of the problems in the study has been to determine how far the treatment of Quakerism in a given period bears out the assumption.

In order to cover the long

span of time so as to reveal a development In the treatment, It has beau necessary to deal selectively with the materials.

An extensive selection

of writings, however, has been made; and they are thought to be fully representative of the handling of Quakerism.

The histories have been

chosen on the basis of their historiographical Importance, coupled with the presence of the Quaker treatment, although in a few Instances special handling of Quakerism has demanded the inclusion of a less generally important history. stories, plays, and poems —

The literary works —

novels, short

have been chosen on the basis of their

containing important Quajcer themes or characters and not primarily for their literary worth. Last in the way of introduction is the matter of the questions which this study seeks directly or indirectly to answer.

The prime

question, that of the treatment of Quakerism, Is of Interest in Itself. To those Americans religiously or philosophically interested, sympa­ thetically or otherwise, the reception of Quakerism in American his­ tory is of some concern.

Also of interest are the clearer ideas of

Quakerism and its place in American culture that accompany the answer to the prime question.

As suggested, however, the discovery of the

Quaker treatment is productive of other important Insights and conclu-

16 sions in immediately related fields. main areas:

These are forthcoming in two

the area of Intellectual and social history; and the

area of the technical aspects of historical and literary writing. The first intellectual Question., heyond the immediately one con­ cerning the nature of the Qua leer treatment, is the why of that treat­ ment.

The discovery of attitudes toward Quakerism is clearly of

greater value if the reasons for them can also he determined.


the present study of the recorded reactions to this specific religion and religious philosophy seeks to present a kind of laboratory analysis, which offers both qualifications and confirmatians of existent general­ ized statements about American thought. social question.

Closely related is a more

As Quakerism and Quakers have always held one or

another idea at odds with conventional belief, this history is also a study of the treatment of a minority. The use made or historical and literary writing inevitably raises questions concerning the particular methods and aims of each.

For ex­

ample, there is the question or the effect of either kind of writing, each with its own peculiarities, upon the picture of Quakerism it seeks to present.

What is the result of the factual as compared with

the imaginative treatment?

The necessary evaluations of specific works


raises the question of standards of excellence in each form.


apart, iron aix-ecu evaluations, the inherent nature of each kind of writing is reflected in a comparative way.

The larger trends, too,

in both literary and historical writing in America are interestingly revealed in the treatment from generation to generation of a fairly constant pattern of Quaker thought.

And last, that both the litera­

ture and the histories of a given period deal with the same subject

17 suggests the possible discovery of some kind of correlation between the two.

Each of these Intellectual and social, historical, and

literary questions has received consideration in this study.


Ths results of m o d e m scholarship In the study of Puritanism make It more nearly possible today than It was seme years ago to refer to a commonly accepted concept of what Puritanism actually was.1, This clearer reference is of help In the present study of Quakerism, a re­ ligious belief and a religious-social movement that had its beginnings, both English and American, In the spiritual and Intellectual climate of Puritanism.

In particular, a more settled understanding of Puritanism

provides the groundwork for a better understanding of the treatment of Quakerism in the American writing of a period predominantly Puritan; and this It does chiefly by clarifying the basic similarities of the two faiths, as well as their real differences.

Such a clarification

can help us graBp the import of the discussions and the charges and countercharges that are frequently a part of the writing of this period. A statement of the nature of the Puritan religion, extended to the point of comparison with Quakerism, will throw initial light an the theoretical and actual relationship of these ways of life.

It can be

said that Puritanism was a seventeenth-century manifestation of the basic religious attitude that there Is an all-powerful sovereign God, apart frosm whom man is partial and lost. 1.

It can also be said that It is

Among the particular studies that have proved helpful in the study of Puritanism the following should be mentioned: H. W. Schneider, The Puritan Mind (New York, 1930); Perry Miller, The New England Mind (New York, 1939); Perry Miller and T. H. Johnson, The Puritans (New York, 1938); also such general intellectual studies as H* W. Schneider, A History of American Philosophy (New York, 19^6); Woodbridge Riley, American Thought from Puritanism to Pragmatism and Beyond (New York, 1923, reprint 19^1); Merle Curti, The Growth of American Thought (New York, 19^3)* 16

19 in the further analysis of that human dilemma as man's fault, and in the offer of Its resolution, that the Puritans reveal their essen­ tial Christianity.

Still further, it is in their detailed and dogmatic

elaboration of the resolution —

the reunion of man with God (salvation)

that their essential Puritanism lies.

Certainly It is not in the earlier

fundamentals of God's sovereignty, man's sin and separation, or Christ's agency in reestablishing the God-man relationship that the Catholics and Anglicans, the Anglicans and Puritans, or even the Puritans and Quakers disagreed.

Rather their source of contention lies, as suggested,

in the particular objects and instrumentalities of salvation —

in such

practical questions as to who is saved and how, and on what immediate authority this Is determined.

These particulars, with their very im­

portant implications for the practical ordering of the life of the church and the state, often called the Puritans forth to vigorous bat­ tle.

Granted that the Puritans, as Perry Miller asserts, were seriously

interested in theology as such, one cannot read the record of the Quaker-Puritan controversies without being very forcibly reminded that same fairly mundane matters of colonial authority were not far off stage. Both the more purely religious and the political were a part of the picture; and both entered into "the clash between the Quakers and the Puritans, for both aspects were a fundamental part of the difference which the clash revealed.

Of the various Christian divisions, the Qua­

kers and the Puritans were more nearly alike than most in that they had traveled far together along the road toward religious individualism and antl-eccleslastlclsm.

The clash between them came because the Quakers

wished to go significantly farther toward a religious democracy. Whereas the Puritans held that the source of truth was the Bible Inter­ preted by a select clergy to the reason of man, the Quakers denied the

20 need, of "til* clergy, and doubted the unqualified authority of the Bible. They thus moved forward to the authority of the spirit and reason in the Individual.^

This was an Important difference even upon purely

religious grounds, especially when it hit directly upon the Puritan doctrines of original sin and election; but, as can be readily seen, the non-religious, political implications were equally upsetting for a system such as that of the Puritans which rested in practice upon clerical authority.

Yet it is not without the Bupport of human exper­

ience and religious and political history to say that the violence of the Quaker-Puritan controversy was due not only to this real difference, but to that difference linked with the basic similarity, the essential oneness, that is evident in these two Christian parties.

The Puritan

persecution was not due primarily to a misunderstanding of Quakerism but to a hatred of what was understood. As stated, it is the plan of this study as a whole to analyze both the historical and belletristic materials; however, for the earliest period of American writing such a distinction needs largely to be waived.

There is very little of the belletristic in early Amer­

ican writing, either in New England under the direct dominance of the Puritans, where the motive of writing was characteristically "to con­ vey religious truth or to give sound instruction on immediate practical issues,

or in other colonial areas where if the motive were somewhat


For the development of this idea, see Woodbridge Hi ley, American Thought. the section on "Mysticism" and especially pp. 38-40.


Kenneth B. Murdock in a Literary History of the United States (Spiller, Thorp et al.. Mew York, 1948) I, 54. A fuller dis­ cussion of Puritan literature is to be found in Murdock*s Literature and Theology in Colonial Mew England (Cambridge, Mas s., 1949) ♦ See particularly Chapter IX, "The Puritan Literary Atti­ tude, " in which Murdock comments on the generally high level of

21 less religious, the writing was equally functional.

Thus the writings

selected are mostly of this religious and functional kind.

Also, alw

though the writing of this period, and the works in which this chapter is chiefly interested, are Puritan and hence of New England, the at­ tempt has heen made to ascertain something of the treatment of Quakerism in writing with its provenience beyond the New England borders.

The time

boundaries of this chapter are governed logically by the coming of Quakerism in 1656 on the one hand, and the decline of Puritan thought, on the other.

For the latter a guide has been Perry Miller's asser­

tion that the second decade of the eighteenth century is the furthest limit to which it can be said that Puritanism in its original quality as a system of thought continued to live.

Still it has been necessary

to be aware of the fact (substantiated by this investigation) that eras do not die like persons and that writers who were Puritans in 1700 will not be entirely different in 1725*

The inclusion of each work, there­

fore, was determined as much by its own internal quality as by mere date of writing and publication. The fact must be stressed that the writings examined in this chap­ ter are hlgnly selected —

a few out of many -- and, therefore, are dis­

cussed as merely representative.

because of this rarced limitation, it

has been thought sound to deal with the "few" as thoroughly as possible. The New England materials begin witn important but typical Puritan and (3)

Puritan literature achieved in the face of severe material handi­ caps; however, he states (p. 35) that the Puritan author's "stylistic practice and his successes and failures were deter­ mined not so much by the fact that the ink sometimes froze in hie minrell, as by hhe ideas he held and those he rejected.“ In this connection the utilitarian emphasis of the literature is again stressed (p. US), Attention should also be called to the high evaluation of the Puritan histories in Chapter 111, "Puri­ tan Historians: 'The Lard's Remembrancers.'"

22 Quaker controversial writings, and these are followed by the "literary” results of the Fox-Williams debates. With same of the Issues thus set forth, the shift is to a consideration of certain Puritan histories, and then diaries.

Last among the New England materials are a few

writings somewhat nearer to the belletristic.

The non-New England

writings, considered together, include history, diary, and belle-lettres efforts. On the title page of John Norton's The Heart of New England Kent1* is this quotation from the New Testament: 1 know thy works, and thy labour, and patience, and how thou can*at not bear them which are evil; and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them Lyars. (Revelation 2:2) In thought as well as in phrasing this utterance is quite in the spirit of the writer who quotes it here as a kind or text for his book of animadversion on the Quakers.

It Is not only an apt text for Norton's

book, but also a suitable one for nearly everything written by the Puritans concerning the Quakers.

The Puritan writers reveal a high

degree of unanimity In their religiously based antagonism to Quakerism and in their fear of its threat to civil life.

It is with a frequency

greater than variety that they expressed themselves through the spoken and written word.

Variations from the theme there were, but these were

clearly exceptions. The substance and nature of Norton's work epitomizes In many ways the Puritans • view of Quakerism found again and again in their writ­ ings.

For a contrasting view there is George Bishop's New England

Judged, to be considered later. 1*.

Norton's title itself gives a good

The Heart of New England Rent at the Blasphemies of the Present Generation. Or a Bflef Tractate Concerning the Doctrine of the Quakers etc. (London, 1663;

25 indication of the attitude revealed within the hook —

on the one hand

he sets forth the sin of New England for having given a foothold to Quakerism, and on the other nanu., the distinct threat of Quakerism to church and spate. In Chapter I, by linking Quakerism to old heresies —

especially at

that "dead sea of heterodoxy" in Germany and the low countries —


argues that Quakerism, which has opened this "vast and horrible sink," is but a second edition of the doctrine of the enthusiasts and liber­ tines of the last century

He discusses the old heresies regarding

the trinity, the person of Christ, the Bible, etc., and takes them up as heresies now held by the Quakers:

the denial of Christ as God and

man in one person, the denial of Scripture as the rule of life by majcipg the "light within" the guide, the refusal to own any lawful magistrate save a Quaker, and the pretension of an immediate call of God and in this a denial of man’s sin.

All of these are argued* for the most part

Biblically, and assertions are made that the Quakers would not have admitted as true.

In the next chapter the theme ,is that God will

soon inflict "vindictive spiritual-justIce" an the non-receivers of the truth, and that the false Quaker teachers are Go d ’s instruments: lying spirits, which in themselves are "inconsiderable" and "despicable" but as divine messengers are formidable.

Norton is less the objective

theologian here and more the ardent religionist.

The destructiveness

of Quakerism is dealt with in Chapter III, the essential threat of 5.

Norton here suggests a connection of the Quakers with continental influences which has been studied in later scholarship. Rufus Janes in Spiritual Reformers in the 16th and 17th Centuries (London, 191^), sees a fairly clear connection. William Braith­ waite in The Beginnings of Quakerism is less willing to grant the specificity of influence. See the Jones work, "Index" under "Quakers, precursors of," and Braithwaite's "Introduction."

Quaker doctrine to Puritan beliefs and Institutions through, a com­ plete spiritualizing of the sacraments and of other visible aspects of Puritan church and state rule.

The spirit which thus motivates

Quakerism is particularly destructive, for it is accepted by the Quakers as infallible, even though the evidence shows it is of the Devil. The remedy which Norton prescribes in the remainder of the book is that of the watchful orthodoxy to meet the crafty serpentine Devil, and he also urges that the Quakers be thought of, not as casual or despicable, but as what they are: emissaries of Satan, yet commissioned executioners from God of his vindictive displeasure.

In answering an

objection to these remedies, based on the argument that Hinterposed authority” is a violation of conscience, Norton says that if this were so, the church might not deal authoritatively with any of her members for holding and teaching false doctrines.

After this answer, he goes

on to make a distinction that has a modern ring in a day or argument over "subversiveness."

He says the magistrate has no right to punish

unbelief ('Quiet Heresy”) but only when the heretics are "turbulent Hereticks” and when they are trying to seduce others.

There should

be freedom of conscience for the individual when alone.^

There may

be considerable doubt as to how well the Puritans lived out this prin­ ciple.

Norton, anyway, disclaims any pangs or "pressure of conscience"

because of his restrictive attitude, for the Quakers are of a "turbu­ lent, intrusive, and proselyting kind”; and he vigorously defends the measures taken against them.

Like most Puritan writers Norton pic­

tures the Quakers as active offenders, sowers of the seeds of ruin for church and state, and New England, the sufferer defending the truth 6.

Norton p. 72

25 against wanton attack.

He makes what is a freq.uent assertion —


Quakers ran themselves on the sword which was held in simple defense. Horton is a fair representative of the Puritan point of view, of the more intellectual kind, and he is not as hitter or as personal as some; moreover, granted the premises, he is fairly logical.

He deals

with Quakerism as a heresy, and in throwing the discussion into the pattern of general heresy and the means of defense against it, he es­ capes some of the violence that comes with the discussion of particu­ lars.

Thus he avoids commenting directly upon what the Quakers and

most later writers call the crimes of persecution.

He gives rather

the Puritan theological basis of difference from the Quakers, and sug­ gests by statement and Implication the struggle over authority in church and state.

Into some phase of this total view fits each of

the opinions of the writers to follow. It is of interest, in passing, to note a legal confirmation of Horton’s position.

In the General laws of Massachusetts?

under "Heresy

Error*’ the statement is made that although no human power is lord over the faith and conscience of men, still because there are those who brlxg in heresies destructive of Christian faith and souls, it is necessary to restrain them from such "notorious impieties."

Quakerism is dealt with

in the list of heresies and is accused of blasphemy &nd of despising, the government; and the laws dealing with Quakerism are given.

It Is

significant that of five pages concerned with heresy, four are cn Quakerism; and that out of the whole body .of "laws and liberties," only a few codes —

e.g., the maritime and the military laws —

are more

extensive. 7.

The General Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts. SeviBed and Reprint­ ed by Order of the General Court, Edward Sawson, Sec., 1672

26 For all its detail and somewhat circular progression, George Bishop's Mew England Judged^ is of Interest to anyone concerned with the Issues and the actuality of the Quaker persecutions, not to mention the Quaker Interpretation of them. this last phase —

A good part of the Interest rests In

in the theme of retribution, in the poetic justice of

a righteous God being meted out to the Puritans for their injustice. This is Bishop's basic interpretation and the chief unifying principle for much in the book that on the surface seems rather miscellaneous. Part I, written In 1661, deals with the sufferings of the Quakers from I656-I7OO, and is an answer to the "Persecutors' apologizing." Bishop uses as his point of departure the Declaration of the General Court of Massachusetts in 1658, issued in defense of the acts against the Quakers.

He attacks this as not having given any good reason,

legal or otherwise, for the executions, and claims the Puritans have only succeeded in condemning themselves -- "Justice needeth no apology." Here and elsewhere the Puritans are dealt with satirically for their cruelties in the contrasting light of their claims to pure Christianity and of their having left England "for Conscience Sake."

In continuing

the analysis of the Declaration, Bishop scornfully traces the history of the Quaker reception in Massachusetts from the first unprovoked imprisonments to the more violent suppressions and continuing torture. "Oh ye Rulers of Darkness...unto what shall I liken you?" asks Bishop, and manages to answer quite effectively with a list of unfavorable com­ parisons.^

Turning from this lawless stage of Puritan activity, he de­

velops a fairly cogent argument far the illegality of the Massachusetts laws concerning Quakers, chiefly on the ground that the laws were out of 8.

Mew England Judged B.v the Spirit of the Lord, in two parts (London, 1705)

Bishop pp. 13~51

27 harmony with the English law.

But mostly Bishop concerns himself

with the various Quaker sufferings, Issuing denunciatory Judgments and prophesying retribution. already visited —

Where possible he specifies the retributions

for example, he points out that the Indian uprisings

were a part of the execution of God's righteous Judgment;^" and he de­ nies any validity in the Puritan charge that the Quakers brought perse­ cution upon themselves: Had ye not Foreheads of Brass, and Faces of Flint, and Hearts harder than adamant, and Consciences seared with a hot Iran, It were wonderful to think that you should dare to utter such abominable Untruths, before God and Man, much less to put your Justification of All upon the Consideration of what ye here call YOUR GRADUAL PROCEEDINGS.12 Throughout Part I there is a varied return to these various issues:


the Declaration and its fallacies, to the cruelties of the Puritans,^ but most of all, to the theme of Judgment —

Indian uprisings and war,

storms, fires, and sudden death are all visitations of God*s Judgment upon the Puritans.


Part II deals with the Quaker troubles from 1660-1665*

The treat­

ment Is essentially the same as in part I, with even mare stress upon the theme of Judgment — Puritans.^

that the hand of God Is still heavy upon the

in addition to indicating wars and general,

Bishop is aoie uo point out cases of personal Judgment, such as the 10.

Ibid.. pp. hk ff.


Ibid.. pp. 82, 82

12. Ibid.. p. IkO 12Ik.

Ibid., pp. I85-205; a catalogue of sufferings 1b given. See, for example,Bishop's comment in the following places: ^63,k6k-k65,

1 8 2 , 2 0 6 - 7 , 3 5 0 , 25l j 15.

Ibid.. p . 2 0 8


28 s u d d e n d e a t h s o f G o v e r n o r E n d i c o t t , J o h n N o r t o n , a n d H u m p h r e y -A d d in g to n , a l l o f whom w e r e e v i l - d o e r s a g a i n s t t h e Q u a k e r s . ^

T he h i s t o r y o f a l l

t h e s e e v e n t s i s " blen ded w i t h s a t i r e a n d S c r i p t u r e , w i t h p o l i t i c a l a n d l e g a l a r g u m e n t; a n d a g e n u in e r e l i g i o u s f e r v o r p e r v a d e s a l l . B e tw e e n t h e p u b l i c a t i o n o f N o r t o n * s w o rk a n d t h a t o f B i s h o p ' s , w i t h t h e i r som ew h at a c a d e m ic d e n u n c i a t i o n s , t h e P u r i t a n a n d t h e Q u ak er p o i n t s o f v i e w c l a s h e d i n a m ore h a n d - t o - h a n d f a s h i o n i n t h e o f t - m e n t i o n e d d e b a t e b e t w e e n R o g e r W i l l i a m s a n d c e r t a i n Q u a k er r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s , whom J o h n B u r n y e a t w as l e a d e r . and p r o l i x i t y ,


The d e b a te ,


i n m ost o f i t s vehem ence

f o r tu n a te ly or u n fo r tu n a te ly p r e se r v ed f o r p o s t e r it y

i n W illia m s * G e o r g e F o x D l g g ' d O ut o f h i s B u r r o w es a n d F o x a n d B u r n y e a t *s T h e New E n g la n d

FirebraiB. Q u e n c h e d .


A nu m ber o f w r i t e r s h a v e d i s ­

c u s se d th e d e b a te , u s u a lly d e a lin g w ith i t s w r a n g lin g a n d b i t t e r n e s s w h ic h i t

e x t e r n a ls and w it h th e

c a lle d fo r th .

I t is

t h e o p in io n o f

b o t h Q u ak er a n d n o n -Q u a k e r w r i t e r s t h a t t h e r e p u t a t i o n o f n e i t h e r s i d e w as p e r m a n e n t ly i n c r e a s e d b y t h e d e b a t e n o r b y t h e b o o k s g r o w in g o u t o f it.

R u fu s J o n e s s a y s o f t h e tw o b o o k s ,

" th o u g h o f A n t i q u a r i a n I n t e r e s t

t h e y a r e a m e la n c h o ly m onum ent t o t h e b i t t e r n e s s o f s e v e n t e e n t h c e n t u r y t h e o l o g i c a l w a r s . "^9

B u t e v e n t h o u g h t h e b o o k s r e f l e c t t o o m uch o f t h e

p p . h63t k6k-$


I b id .,


G e o r g e F o x D l g g ' d O ut o f h i s B u r r o w e s , o r a n O f f e r o f D i s p u t a t i o n on F o u r t e e n P r o p o s a l s M ade t h i s l a s t Sum m er. 1 6 7 2 . u n t o G e o r g e F o x t h e n P r e s e n t i n New E n g la n d . . . ( B o s t o n . 1 6 7 6 ) ; T h e New E n g la n d F i r e b r a n d Q u en ch ed (L o n d o n , 1 6 7 8 )


F o r e x a m p le : S . H . B r o c k u n i e r , T h e I r r e p r e s s i b l e D e m o c r a t (New Y o r k , 1 9 ^ 0 ) p p . 213-21k; R u fu s J o n e s , T h e Q u a k e r s i n t h e A m e r ic a n C o l o n i e s , p p . 1 1 4 - 1 1 8 ; J a m es E r n s t , R o g e r W i l l i a m s : New E n g la n d F i r e b r a n d (New Y o r k , 1 9 5 2 ) P a r t I V , C h a p te r 1 ; E m ily E a s t o n , R o g e r W i llia m s — P r o p h e t a n d P i o n e e r (New Y o r k , 1 9 3 0 ) p p . 3 5 5 “ 358.


Q u a k e r s i n t h e A m e r ic a n C o l o n i e s , p . 1 1 8

29 i r r a t i o n a l b e a t o f b i t t e r a r g u m e n t , a n d e v e n th o u g h , i n t h e e c h o e d c o n ­ f u s io n t h e y f a i l — fr o m a l l t h e a v e r a g e r e a d e r ca n d is c o v e r — t o t h e m a in i s s u e s ,

s t i l l o n e m u st r e c k o n w i t h th e m i n a n y h i s t o r y

jo in

o f th e

t r e a t m e n t o f Q u a k e r is m i n A m e r ic a n w r i t i n g s , p l e a s a n t a s i t w o u ld b e , be cau se o f th e i n f e r io r it y

o f t h e w r i t i n g a n d a r g u m e n t , t o d i s r e g a r d th e m .

P r o b a b ly t h a t i n f e r i o r i t y r e p r e s e n t s a s w e l l a s a n y t h i n g e l s e p e c t o f t h e Q u a k e r - P u r it a n c o n t r o v e r s y i n fa ir ly ,

or o u t o f b o o k s.

one a s ­

T o b e ju d g e d

h o w ev er, b o th w orks s h o u ld b e s e e n in t h e i r tim e , t h e i r i n t e l ­

l e c t u a l s e t t i n g , and t h e i r l i t e r a r y

c o n te x t w ith o th e r s im ila r w r it in g s .

T he d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e d is a p p o i n t m e n t o f m o d e m a d m ir e r s a t t h e s p i r i t d is p la y e d b y t h e le a d e r s h a s p r o b a b ly i n t e r f e r e d w it h s u c h a f a i r e v a lu a tio n . W illia m s * b o o k i s

n o t o n ly a r e c o r d o f t h e d e b a te a n d a ren ew ed

a tte m p t t o g e t a t and e x p o se t h e f a l s e n e s s it

is a ls o ,

o f t h e Q u a k er d o c t r i n e , b u t

on t h e o n e h a n d , a c o n s c i o u s a n s w e r t o F o x * s e a r l i e r w r i t ­

i n g , a n d , on t h e o t h e r , a n u n c o n s c i o u s e f f o r t o f t h e w r i t e r t o

ju s tify

h i m s e l f a n d t o s t r i k e b a c k o n c e m ore a g a i n s t w h a t h e c o n s i d e r e d u n f a i r tr e a tm e n t in th e d e b a te .

T h is s e n s e o f b e in g w ron ged c r o p s o u t a g a in

a n d a g a i n a n d d e s t r o y s W il l i a m s * i n i t i a l e f f o r t s a t i m p a r t i a l i t y a n d r e ­ s tr a in t,

f o r a lth o u g h h e c la im s t h a t h e d o e s n o t u s e h i s

" sh a r p

S c r i p t u r e la n g u a g e " p a s s i o n a t e l y a n d u n j u s t l y a s t h e Q u a k er s d o , a n y f a i r r e a d e r w o u ld q .u e s t io n t h a t c l a i m . b a s ic ir r a t io n a lit y

o f th e Q u ak ers,

H ow ever, i n t h e c h a r g e s o f th e

o f t h e i r i n a b i l i t y t o know t h a t t h e

i n n e r p r o m p tin g s a r e fr o m G od , a n d o f t h e i r i n c i v i l i t y

and e x c e s s e s a t

t i m e s , t h e f a i r r e a d e r w o u ld s a y t h a t W i ll ia m s h a d t o u c h e d on som e d e f i n i t e Q uak er w e a k n e s s e s o f t h a t d a y .

T he f o u r t e e n p r o p o s i t i o n s h e

s e t f o r t h f o r d e b a te , a lth o u g h n o t v e r y l o g i c a l l y d is c u s s e d , s o m e t h in g o f t h i s

i n s i g h t i n t o W illia m s * t h i n k i n g on

g iv e

Q u a k e r i s m . 20

30 H is a c t u a l f e e l i n g , h o w e v e r , c a n o n l y b e g r a s p e d b y r e a d i n g h iB v i g o r ­ ou s a c c u s a t i o n s a n d h i s n o t a lw a y s r e l e v a n t s i d e r e m a r k s an t h e Q u a k er s a n d Q u ak er p r a c t i c e . O ut c f t h e w e l t e r o f t h e d e b a t e , a n d fr o m t h e c h a r g e s a n d d i s p u t e , it


d an gerou s t o s e l e c t one id e a a s c e n t r a l .

charge th a t i s

" P r id e a b o u t s p i r i t u a l m a t t e r s i s

w h o le r e l i g i o n .


i n t e r e s t i n g l y r e c u r r e n t, and t h a t i s W illia m s 1 c a l l i n g

t h e Q u a k ers t o t a s k f o r t h e i r s p i r i t u a l p r i d e . sta te s,

S t i l l th e r e i s

I t is

fa ir ly

E a r ly in th e b ook he

t h e R oot an d B ran ch o f you r

e v i d e n t fr o m t h e a c t u a l h a n d l i n g o f

t h e i n d i v i d u a l p o i n t s th r o u g h o u t t h a t h e f e l t t h i s w as b a s i c — w h e th e r ,


The f o u r t e e n p r o p o s it io n s a r e : ( 1 ) T he p e o p l e c a l l e d Q u a k er s a r e n o t t r u e C h r i s t i a n s a c c o r d i n g t o t h e h o l y S c r i p t u r e ; ( 2 ) T he C h r is t t h e y p r o f e s s i s n o t t h e t r u e L o rd J e s u s C h r i s t ; ( 3 ) T h e s p i r i t b y w h ic h t h e y a c t i s n o t t h e s p i r i t o f God; (h ) T h ey d o n o t own t h e h o ly S c r ip t u r e s ; (5 ) T h e ir p r i n c i p l e s and p r o f e s s i o n s a r e f u l l o f c o n t r a d ic t io n s and h y p o c r is ie s ; (6 ) T h e ir r e l i g i o n i s n o t o n ly an h e r e s y in t h e m a tte r o f w o r sh ip , b u t a l s o i n t h e d o c t r in e s o f r e ­ p e n t a n c e , f a i t h , e t c . ; ( 7 ) T h e ir r e l i g i o n i s b u t a c o n f u s e d m ix tu r e o f P o p e r y , A r m in ia n is m e , S o c i a n i s m e , J u d a is m s , e t c . ; ( S ) T he p e o p le c a l l e d Q u a k ers ( i n e f f e c t ) h o l d n o G od, n o C h r i s t , n o D e v i l , n o H e l l , b u t w h a t i s i n man; ( 9 ) A l l t h e i r r e l i g i o n r e q u i r e s ( e x t e r ­ n a l a n d i n t e r n a l ) t o make c o n v e r t s a n d p r o s e l y t e s , a m o u n ts t o n o m ore t h a n w h a t a r e p r o b a t e may e a s i l y a t t a i n u n t o and- p e r fo r m ; ( 1 0 ) T he p o p e s o f Rome d o n o t s w e l l w i t h , a n d e x e r c i s e a g r e a t e r p r i d e , t h a n t h e Q u a k ers s p i r i t h a s e x p r e s t a n d d o t h a s p i r e u n t o , a l t h o u g h many t r u l y h u m b le s o u l e s jnay b e c a p t i v e am ong th e m , a s may b e i n a n y o t h e r r e l i g i o n ; ( 1 1 ) T he Q u a k ers r e l i g i o n i s m ore o b s t r u c t i v e , an d d e s t r u c t i v e t o t h e c o n v e r s i o n a n d s a l v a t i o n o f t h e s o u ls o f p e o p le , th a n m ost o f t h e r e l i g i o n s t h i s d ay e x s t a n t i n t h e w o r ld ; ( 1 2 ) T he s u f f e r i n g s o f t h e Q u a k ers a r e n o t r u e e v i ­ d e n c e o f t h e t r u t h o f t h e i r r e l i g i o n ; ( 1 3 ) T h e i r many B o o k s a n d w r i t i n g s a r e e x t r e m e ly p o o r , la m e , n a k e d , a n d s w e l l e d up w i t h h i g h t i t l e s a n d c o r d s o f b o a s t i n g ; ( 1 4 ) T he s p i r i t o f t h e i r r e ­ l i g i o n t e n d s m a in ly l ) T o r e d u c e p e r s o n s fr o m c i v i l i t y t o b a r b a r ­ is m , 2 ) T o a n a r b i t r a r y g o v e r n m e n t a n d t h e d i c t a t e s o f t h a t s u d ­ d e n s p i r i t t h a t a c t s th e m , 3 ) T o a s u d d e n c u t t i n g o f f o f p e o p l e , y e a o f k i n g s a n d p r i n c e s o p p o s in g th e m , 4 ) T o a s f i e r y p e r s e c u ­ t i o n s f o r m a tte r s o f r e l i g i o n and c o n s c ie n c e , a s h as b e e n or can b e p r a c t i c e d b y a n y h u n t e r s o r p e r s e c u t o r s i n t h e w o r ld .


G e o r g e Fox D l g g fd . p . 3


31 a t on© e x t r e m e ,

i t b e t h e a s s u m p t io n b y t h e Q u a k e r s o f a d i r e c t c a l l

fr o m G od, o r , a t t h e o t h e r , b e in g s .

o f c o n s e q u e n t " I n c i v i l i t i e s " t o m ere human

W h ile h e a r g u e s s t r e n u o u s l y a g a i n s t t h e s p i r i t u a l i z a t i o n


w hat h e c o n s id e r s n e e d f u l m a t e r ia l a s p e c t s o f ch u rch and r e l i g i o u s t h e a p p a r e n t Q u a k er p r i d e m o s t i r r i t a t e s h i s s p i r i t , t h i n g s b o t h e r h i s t h e o l o g i c a l m in d .

life ,

h o w e v e r m uch o t h e r

I t i s n o t e a s y i n th e e m o tio n a l

r e a c t i o n s a n d v e r b a l a r g u m e n ts t o s e e m uch d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n R o g e r W i llia m s a n d t h e P u r i t a n l e a d e r s ; a n d t h i s e s s e n t i a l P u r ita n is m o f W illia m s .

i s a g o o d r e m in d e r o f t h e

N e v e r th e le s s ,

in r e a d in g h i s b o o k

o n e n e e d s t o k e e p i n m in d h i s p r a c t i c e I n R h od e I s l a n d . s e l f c la im s t h a t h e i s

A nd h e h im ­

u n p r e j u d i c e d a g a i n s t t h e Q u a k er s a n d i s

a c tu a lly

a r g u in g i n d e f e n s e o f God — t h a t h e e v e n a c c e p t e d Q u a k er s i n t o t h e c o l o n y a n d s u f f e r e d f o r t h e i r e r r o r s i n h o p in g t o make th e m " c o n s i d e r . H e r e in i s ,

lik e ly ,

t h e c a u s e o f W i llia m s * e a r n e s t n e s s .

The i n t e l l e c t u a l

a n d s p i r i t u a l m ean s w e r e a l l t h e w e a p o n s h e h a d a g a i n s t a f a l s e a n d u p s e t t i n g d o c t r i n e ; h e w o u ld n o t a n d h e c o u l d n o t c o n s i s t e n t l y f o l l o w th e P u r ita n p a t t e r n o f s u p p r e s s io n b y f o r c e .

A s i n d e e d h e reco m m en d ed

t o G o v e r n o r W in th r o p o f C o n n e c t i c u t som e y e a r s b e f o r e , h e m u st " t r y S p i r i t s . A n d

t r y th e m e a r n e s t l y h e d i d .

" B e in g s o m e t h in g i n a n s w e r u n t o a h y i n g , S la n d e r o u s B o o k e n t i t u l e d ; G e o r g e F o x D ig g * d o u t o f h i s B u r r o w e s . . . " i s t o F o x a n d B u r n y e a t »s w o r k . here,

Som e e x p o s i t i o n o f t h e b o o k i s n e e d e d

I f f o r n o o th e r r e a so n th a n t o

i n d i c a t e t h a t W illia m s w as n o t

a l o n e i n u s i n g v e h e m e n t ly w o r d e d a t t a c k s . c a l l y i s E n g lis h in o r ig in ,

th e d e s c r ip tiv e s u b - t it le


E v en t h o u g h t h e b o o k t e c h n i ­

c o n n e c t i o n s a r e a l l A m e r ic a n , a n d , e v e n


I b id ., p . 25


I n a l e t t e r o f S e p te m b e r 8 , 1 6 6 0 , p r i n t e d i n L e t t e r s o f R o g e r W i l ­ lia m s 1 6 3 2 - 1 6 8 4 , e d i t e d b y J o h n R u s s e l l B a r t l e t t ( P r o v i d e n c e , 1 8 7 * 0

32 m ore t h a n W i l l i a m s * , i t b a te.

jm r tn e r , i t


needed t o

o f t h e A m e r ic a n d e ­

i s q .u it e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f a t y p e o f Q u a k er a t t a c k

a n d d e f e n s e i n A m e r ic a . c o u n te r -e p ith e ts ,

an a c c u r a te r e f l e c t i o n

A lt h o u g h n o t o f t h e b e s t ,


i n c l u d e s , a m id

som e c l e a r e r e x p o s i t i o n o f Q u a k er b e l i e f s ,

w h ic h i s

c o r r e c t c e r t a in o f W illia m s ’ m is r e p r e s e n ta tio n s .

T he b o o k b e g i n s w i t h a v i r u l e n t r u s h i n t h e a d d r e s s t o t n e r e a d e r , e x p l a i n i n g t h a t t h e w r i t e r s h a v e n e v e r s e e n s o m uch " F o u l la n g u a g e an d c o n t r a d ic t io n " a s a r e fo u n d i n W illia m s * b o o k .

T h i s o p e n in g c o n t i n u e s

w i t h a p e r s o n a l i n d i c t m e n t o f t h e enem y a u t h o r c h a r g i n g him w i t h " L i e s , S l a n d e r s , F a l s e h o o d s a n d F o r g e r i e s , " a n d , c e r t a i n l y n o t f a i r l y , w i t h thB p e r s e c u tio n o f th e Q u ak ers. m e t , a n d m uch s p a c e i s

T oo o f t e n ,

o f c o u r se , th e is s u e s a re n ot

s p e n t in p e r s o n a l a t t a c k and in a c h ild is h

t h r o w in g b a c k o f i n s u l t s ,

o r o f m e r e ly d e n y in g c h a r g e e .

T h is h a b i t o f

p u r e - c o n t r a d i c t i o n and d e n i a l w ith o u t t h e i n t r o d u c t io n o f r e a s o n and e v id e n c e i s

o n e o f t h e m ore i r r i t a t i n g q u a l i t i e s

As i t p r o g r e s s e s , how ever, th e r e i s

o f th e c o u n ter a tta c k * •

a g r e a t e r te n d e n c y t o m eet and

a n s w e r som e o f t h e a s s e r t i o n s

o f th e o p p o n e n ts, and t o do s o w ith a

d e g r e e o f e v i d e n c e an d l o g i c ,

o f t e n e x p l a i n i n g m o re c l e a r l y w h a t t h e

Q u ak er v i e w p o i n t i s

on c e r t a i n s p e c i f i c p o i n t s ;

f o r e x a m p le , t h e a u t h o is

g i v e t h e Q u ak er r e a s o n i n g r e g a r d i n g t h e i n n e r l i g h t , a n d t h e Q u ak er v ie w o f th e S c r ip tu r e s .

T h e com m ent o n t h i s

la tte r is

s i g n i f i c a n t enough

t o q u o te : I t w as t h e H o ly G h o s t i n t h e p r o p h e t s a n d a p o s t l e s t h a t g a v e f o r t h S c r ip t u r e s ; and w it h t h e l i g h t o f C h r is t we s e e th e m , a n d a r e l e d u n t o a l l t r u t h b y t h e H o ly G h o s t . ^ B u t t h e a r g u m e n t a n d d i s c u s s i o n a s a w h o le i s m uch o f t h e b o o k i s


q u ite u n even.

Far to o

s p e n t i n p o le m i c a n d n o t e n o u g h i n e l u c i d a t i o n .

Hew E n g la n d F i r e b r a n d Q u e n c h e d , p .

1 12

T o g e t a c l e a r e r p i c t u r e o f t h e s e tw o c o n t r o v e r s i a l w o r k s a n d t h e i r r e la t iv e v a lu e , th e m .

c u e w o u ld n e e d t o d o c o n s i d e r a b l y m ore t h a n m e r e ly r e a d

I t w o u ld b e n e c e s s a r y t o p l a c e th e m B id e b y s i d e i n sam e k in d o f

m ore c a r e f u l e v a l u a t i o n o f t h e k e y a r g u m e n ts a n d c o u n t e r - a r g u m e n t s , d i s ­ c a r d in g a s b e s t o n e c o u l d t h e n o n - e s s e n t i a l . w h e th e r t h i s



a q u e s t io n , how ever,

i s w o r th d o i n g .

One o f t h e e a r l i e s t P u r i t a n h i s t o r i e s a n d t h e f i r s t t o d e a l w i t h t h e p e r i o d I n v o l v i n g t h e Q u a k er s i s Hew E n g la n d s M e m o r ia ll ( 1 6 6 9 ) b y H a th a n ie l

M o r t o n . ^5

y e t one i n t e r e s t e d

M o rto n i s

c l e a r l y a d e fe n d e r o f th e P u r ita n f a i t h ,

i n r e c o r d i n g t h e f a c t s a s h e sa w th e m , to w a r d t h e

a c h ie v e m e n t o f w h ic h h e u s e d q u i t e e x t e n s i v e l y B r a d f o r d ’s h i s t o r y a n d o t h e r s o u r c e s m ore p r im a r y i n n a t u r e . w as t h e s t a n d a r d h i s t o r y f o r f i v e f le c t e d th e a r tic u la te

H. J . H a l l s a y s 2 ^ t h a t t h i s w o r k

o r s i x g e n e r a t io n s , and t h a t i t r e ­

o p i n i o n i n t h e B a y C o lo n y a n d i n P ly m o u th —

"The views of those who Jealously guarded their sectarian theology as though it were a Jewel in their keeping.

Hence we find a strong at­

tack on the Quakers. I n w r it in g o f t h e t im e s a ro u n d t h e y e a r 1657* th e lo s s


M o rto n b em o a n s

o f som e "m ost u s e f u l P r o p s " o f t h e c o l o n y — W in t h r o p , H o o k e r ,

S h e p a r d , J o h n C o t t o n , W in s lo w , B r a d f o r d — a t a t im e w hen t h e y w e r e m ost n e e d e d , f o r c e r t a i n p e r s o n s w ere t r y i n g t o d is r u p t t h e lo n g p e a c e b y p r e te n d in g a g r e a t z e a l f o r l i b e r t y o f c o n s c ie n c e .

A lib e r t y , he a d d s,


Hew E n g la n d e M e m o r ia ll, e d i t e d b y H. J . B a l l , S c h o l a r s F a c s i m i l e s a n d R e p r i n t s (Hew Y o r k , 1 9 3 7 )


I b id . .


I b id . , p . v i


I b id . . pp. 1 5 0 , 151

p. i i i

t h a t w o u ld h a v e p r o v e d h a r m fu l a n d e v e n d e s t r u c t i v e o f c i v i l a n d c h u r c h s o c ie tie s .

T o t h i s d a n g e r w as c o u p le d a t h r e a t fr o m Mmany o f t h a t p e r ­

n ic io u s S e c t c a lle d Q u ak ers,

w h o se o p in io n s a r e a c o m p o s it io n o f many

e r r a r B , a n d w h o se p r a c t i c e s t e n d g r e a t l y t o t h e d e s t r u c t i o n o f b o t h C hurch a n d S t a t e ."

B u t e v e n th o u g h "many u n s t a b l e p e o p le a m o n g st u s

w e re le a v e n e d w i t h t h e i r e r r o r s ., " G od, w h o, h e s a y s , d e l i g h t s i n t h e m i s e r i e s o f h i s p e o p l e i n o r d e r t o show h i s p o w er a n d w isd o m , l e d t h e p e o p le i n e l e c t i n g a J o s h u a — T h an k s P r i n c e — a n d u n i t y i s b r o u g h t a g a in .

Josh u a*s le a d e r s h ip can n ot have b een t o o e f f e c t i v e ,

f o r in r e ­

c o r d in g t h e e v e n t s o f t h e y e a r 1 6 5 9 * ^ M orton s a y s t h a t f o r som e t im e t h e Q u ak ers h a v e a b o u n d e d a n d t h a t t h e y h a v e so w e d t h e i r

" c o r r u p t an d

dam nable D o c t r i n e s " b y w ord a n d w r i t i n g i n a lm o s t e v e r y to w n . lis ts

som e o f t h e d o c t r i n e s :

of lif e ,

th e r e j e c t io n

He t h e n

th e b e l i e f in t h e in n e r l i g h t a s th e r u le

o f t h e B i b l e , t h e d e n i a l o f t h e m anhood o f

C h r is t , th e d e n i a l o f t h e r e s u r r e c t io n o f th e d e a d , and th e v e r y h e r e t ­ i c a l a ffir m a tio n th a t p e r fe c tio n i s a tt a in a b le in t h i s l i f e . Q u a k e r s, h e f u r t h e r c o m p la in s , d o n o t a l l o w s p e c t t o s u p e r i o r s i n a n y w a lk o f l i f e .


or p r a c tic e a n y - c iv il r e ­

He s a y s t h e y .deny a l s o t h e u s e

o f o a t h s " w ith o t h e r a b o m in a b le O p i n io n s , D ream s, a n d C o n c e i t s , w h ic h som e o f th em h a v e e x p r e s s e d t e n d i n g t o g r o s s B la sp h e m y a n d A t h e is m . "^0 M orton t y p i c a l l y s t r e s s e s t h i s

" e f f i c a c y o f D e lu s io n " a n d t h e i n ­

c r e a s e o f t h e num ber o f Q u a k ers a s a r e a l d a n g e r o f t h e s u b v e r s i o n o f t h e com m on w ealth , a n d t h i s i t y t o s u p p r e s s t h e s a m e ."

in s p it e

B u t a g a i n t h e L ord com es i n t o h e l p t h e

a u t h o r itie s by " b la s tin g t h e ir


I b i d ., p . 157


I b i d . , p . 1 58

o f th e " en d eavors o f th o s e in a u th o r

^j?he Q uak ers^ E n t e r p r i z e s a n d C o n t r i v e -

55 m e a ts” s o t h a t t h e t h r e a t w ith e r s aw ay. t h a t t h e P u r i t a n l e a d e r s may h e g u i l t y

A t n o p l a c e d o e s M o rto n g r a n t o f m is c o n d u c t i n t h i s s u p p r e s s i o n ,

n o r d o e s h e s u g g e s t i n a n y w ay t h a t t h e m ean s u s e d w e r e l e s s t h a n C h r i s t i a n ; h o w e v e r , h e d o e s a v o i d t h e m e n t io n o f t h e s p e c i f i c m ean s o f s u c h m e a s u r e s a s e a r - c u t t i n g , b a n is h m e n t , a n d e x e c u t i o n .

He s p e a k s i n

o n ly g e n e r a l t e r m s o f t h e s u p p r e s s i o n ; f o r e x a m p le , h e s p e a k s o f t h e f a c t t h a t v a r i o u s l e a d e r s a n d t e a c h e r s o f t h e Q u a k e r s h a v e d e p a r t e d fr c m th e c o u n tr y , a s i f th e y had l e f t t h a t t h e L o rd w i l l make t h e f o l l y

o f th e ir

own f r e e w i l l ;

he h op es to o

o f t h e r e m a in d e r m a n i f e s t t o a l l m en,

a n d c o n s i s t e n t l y h e g i v e s t h a n k s t o God f o r d e l i v e r i n g New E n g la n d fr o m so g r ea t a dan ger.

T h i s a v o i d a n c e o f a n y m e n t io n o f t h e s p e c i f i c a c t s

o f v io le n c e by t h e P u r ita n s i s h a r d ly a c c id e n t a l, and i t n o t t o th in k t h a t i t



a s ig n o f a c e r ta in se n se o f g u i l t ,

d o u b t a b o u t t h e m e th o d s u s e d .

d iffic u lt or a t le a s t

T h a t h e may h a v e h a d som e s u c h d o u b t s i s

a l s o s u g g e s t e d b y t h e f a c t t h a t on e o f t h e d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n M o r t o n 's a c c o u n t a n d B r a d f o r d ' s , w h ic h h e o t h e r w i s e u s e d c l o s e l y ,


t h a t h e o m it s

t h e e x e c u t i o n s a n d o t h e r s t r o n g m e a s u r e s u s e d f o r t h e p u n is h m e n t o f mur­ d e r and m o ra l p e r v e r s i o n . C o m p e n s a t i n g p erh a p s f o r t h e s e a m is s io n s , h e i s m ore v i o l e n t t h a n B r a d f o r d i n h i s d e n u n c i a t i o n s o f W il l i a m s a n d G o r to n a n d o t h e r w a n d e r e r s fr o m t h e p a t h , a n d t h i s a t t i t u d e o v er t o th e Q u ak ers.

B ut su c h an e x p la n a tio n i s n o t n e e d e d , f o r t o

M o rto n t h e n a t u r e o f t h e Q u ak er h e r e s y w a s s u f f i c i e n t i n fo r th th e r e tr ib u tio n

c a r r ie s


it s e lf to c a ll

d id .

32 W i l l i a m H u b b a r d 's H i s t o r y o f New E n g la n d ^ h a s b e e n t r a d i t i o n a l l y


H a ll, p . iv



G enera. 1 H i s t o r y ox wew E n g la n d fr o m t h e T im e s o f D i s c o v e r y t o 1680 (1 6 8 2 ), C o lle c t io n s o f th e M a ssa c h u se tts H is t o r ic a l S o c ie t y , s e c o n d s e r i e s , V o l . V - V i, 1& 13, ib 4 tf

m e a t s " s o t h a t th ® t h r e a t w i t h e r s a w a y . t h a t t h e P u r i t a n l e a d e r s may b e g u i l t y

A t n o p l a c e d o e s M o rto n g r a n t o f m is c o n d u c t i n t h i s

s u p p r e s s io n ,

n o r d o e s h e s u g g e s t i n a n y w ay t h a t t h e m ean s u s e d w e r e l e s s t h a n C h r i s t i a n ; h o w e v e r , h e d o e s a v o i d t h e m e n t io n o f t h e s p e c i f i c m ea n s o f s u c h m e a s u r e s a s e a r - c u t t i n g , b a n is h m e n t , a n d e x e c u t i o n .

He s p e a k s i n

o n ly g e n e r a l te r m s o f t h e s u p p r e s s i o n ; f o r e x a m p le , h e s p e a k s o f t h e f a c t t h a t v a r io u s le a d e r s an d t e a c h e r s o f t h e Q uak ers h a v e d e p a r te d fr a n th e c o u n tr y , a s i f th e y had l e f t t h a t t h e L o rd w i l l make t h e f o l l y

o f t h e i r own f r e e w i l l ;

he h op es to o

o f t h e r e m a in d e r m a n i f e s t t o a l l m en,

a n d c o n s i s t e n t l y h e g i v e s t h a n k s t o God f o r d e l i v e r i n g New E n g la n d fr o m so g r e a t a dan ger.

T h i s a v o i d a n c e o f a n y m e n t io n o f t h e s p e c i f i c a c t s

o f v io le n c e by th e P u r ita n s i s n o t t o th d n k t h a t i t


h a r d ly a c c i d e n t a l , an d i t


a s ig n o f a c e r ta in se n se o f g u i l t ,

d o u b t a b o u t t h e m e th o d s u s e d .

d iffic u lt or a t le a s t

T h a t h e may h a v e h a d som e s u c h d o u b t s i s

a l s o s u g g e s t e d b y t h e f a c t t h a t o n e o f t h e d i f f e r e n c e s b e tw e e n M o r t o n 's a c c o u n t a n d B r a d f o r d ' s , w h ic h h e o t h e r w i s e u s e d c l o s e l y ,

i s t h a t h e o m it s

t h e e x e c u t i o n s a n d o t h e r s t r o n g m e a s u r e s u s e d f o r t h e p u n is h m e n t o f mur­ d er and m oral p e r v e r s io n .^

C o m p e n s a tin g p e r h a p s f o r t h e s e

a m is s io n s ,

h e i s m ore v i o l e n t t h a n B r a d f o r d i n h i s d e n u n c i a t i o n s o f W i l lia m s a n d G o r to n a n d o t h e r w a n d e r e r s fr o m t h e p a t h , a n d t h i s a t t i t u d e c a r r i e s o v e r t o th e Q u ak ers.

B ut su c h a n e x p la n a tio n i s n o t n e e d e d , f o r t o

M o rto n t h e n a t u r e o f t h e Q u a k er h e r e s y w a s s u f f i c i e n t i n fo r th th e r e tr ib u tio n i t

Ball, p . i v



c a ll

d id .

William Hubbard's History of New England 31.

it s e lf to


has been traditionally

G e n e r a l H is u a r y o f New E n g la n d r r o m t h e T im e s o f D i s c o v e r y t o 1 6 8 0 (1 6 8 2 ), C o lle c t io n s o f t h e ifc is s a c h u s e tts H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y , seco n d s e r i e s , V o l. v - v i , 1813, 1848

56 lo o k e d upon a s a w ork l a r g e l y d e r i v e d cfr o m T he New E n g la n d M e m o r la ll and W in th r o p 's J o u r n a l.

K e n n e th M urdock s u g g e s t s , ^ h o w e v e r , t h a t Hubbard

h a s b een u n d e r r a te d and t h a t h i s h i s t o r y i s n o m ere t r a n s c r i p t ;


f a c t , M urdock I n d i c a t e s t h a t H u b b a rd 's h i s t o r i c a l m eth o d and p h ilo s o p h y show a d e f i n i t e a d v a n c e to w a r d m odern s t a n d a r d s .

C h i e f l y t h i s w o u ld

seem t o b e i n t h e t e n d e n c y t o s e e k n a t u r a l c a u s e s f o r e v e n t s and t o p u t t h o s e c a u s e s on a p a r w i t h d i v i n e p r o v id e n c e s ; a l s o i t


seen in h is

e f f o r t t o w r it e h i s t o r y w ith an e y e t o th e f a c t s o f th e p a s t r a th e r th a n t o t h e p u r p o s e s o f i n s t r u c t i o n . N o t o u t o f harm ony w it h H u b b a rd 's s u p p o s e d o b j e c t i v i t y i s h i s f i r s t r e f e r e n c e t o Q u a k er ism . ^ 4

He p o i n t s o u t t h a t r e l i g i o u s fr e e d o m i n

Rhode I s l a n d l e d n a t u r a l l y t o t h e p r e s e n c e t h e r e o f many d i f f e r e n t p e r ­ s u a s i o n s , o f w h ic h Q u a k er ism i s

o n e ; a n d h e r e m a r k s , "But w h a t t h i s h a s

d o n e to w a r d s t h e p r o m o tin g o f G o d l i n e s s , and p u r i t y o f r e l i g i o n , t h e y are b e s t a b le t o among th e m ."

ju d g e t h a t h a v e had o c c a p io n t o b e m o st c o n v e r s a n t

Y e t h e l a t e r s t r i k e s a d i f f e r e n t t o n e i n d i s c u s s i n g R o g er

W i l l i a m s ' g u i l t ;^5 and t h e r e i s n o d o u b t o f h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l and emo­ tio n a l d is lik e

o f t h e Q u ak ers i n h i s com m ents on t h e i r d o m in a n ce i n

R hode I s l a n d .

T h e re i s a c l e a r d a n g e r i n h a v in g n e ig h b o r s w i t h p r i n ­

c ip le s

**whlch do o v e r th r o w t h e v e r y fu n d a m e n ta ls o f t h e C h r i s t i a n r e ­

lig io n ."

R hode I s l a n d , h e c o n c lu d e s ,


"bona t e r r a , m a la g e n s ."

p a r e d w i t h N o r to n an d M o rto n , Hubbard i n many w ays i s m i l d .


An i n d i c a ­

tio n

o f a t le a s t a s t r a t e g ic g e n e r o s ity

i s fo u n d i n h i s a rg u m en t

th a t


" W illia m Hubbard an d t h e P r o v i d e n t i a l I n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f H i s t o r y , " P r o c e e d in g s o f t h e A m erica n A n t i q u a r ia n S o c i e t y , C II ( A p r i l O c to b e r , 1 9 4 2 ) , p p . 14--16


H is t o r y o f New E n g la n d , p . 3 3 6


I b i d . , p p . 31+8-3^9

"because p e o p l e s y m p a t h iz e w i t h t h o s e p e r s e c u t e d f o r r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f , w h e th e r t h a t b e l i e f i s

tr u e or f a ls e ,

p e r s e c u tio n i s

h o p e s t h a t i f p e r s o n s c a n n o t c o m p ly w i t h t h e r e l i g i o n

u n w is e .3 7

But he

o f th e p la c e

w h e r e t h e y a r e , t h e y c a n a t l e a s t h a v e " s o m uch m a n n ers a s n o t t o

ju s tle

a g a i n s t i t , ” e s p e c i a l l y w h e n , a s w i t h Q u a k e r is m a n d A n a b a p tis m , t h e d iffe r e n c e s a re e s s e n t ia l.

The s p e c i f i c

e v e n t s o f t h e y e a r s fr o m 1 6 5 6 -

1 6 6 1 , a s h e co m es t o t e l l o f th e m , mar c o n s i d e r a b l y t h e c a lm o f h i s g e n e r a l o b s e r v a t i o n s .^ ®

He f l a t l y

l a b e l s t h e Q uak ers an d d e s c r ib e s

th e ir th r e a t: " . . . . o p e n a n d c a p i t a l b la s p h e m e r s , o p e n s e d u c e r s fr o m t h e g l o r ­ i o u s T r i n i t y . . . (a n d fr o m ) t h e h o l y S c r i p t u r e s a s t h e r u l e o f L i f e , o p e n e n e m ie s t o t h e g o v e r n m e n t i t s e l f . . . .m a l i g n a n t a s s i d ­ uou s p ro m o ters o f d o c t r in e s d i r e c t l y te n d in g t o s u b v e r t b o th our ch u rch and s t a t e . " He g o e s on t o a r g u e t h a t b e c a u s e o f t h i s

dan gerou s tu r b u le n c e , th e

m a g i s t r a t e s , e v e n u n o u g n unwl.LLuig.Ly, nad. t o d e a x w iu u ww» Q u a k e r s " in c o n s c i e n c e b o t h t o God a n d man a t t h e p o i n t o f t h e s w o r d ." a g a in i s

t h e o f t - s t a t e d th e m e t h a t t h e Q u a k er s w i t t i n g l y r u s h e d u p o n

t h e sw o r d a n d b r o u g h t t h e i r b l o o d up on t h e i r

own h e a d s .

Q uak ers d ie d n o t b e c a u s e o f t h e i r o th e r c r im e s . . . th e ir

A nd h e r e

i n c o r r i g i b l e c o n te m p t o f a u t h o r i t y . "

d i e d o r w o r s e ."

He s a y s


(b u t b e c a u s e ofj

"We o u r s e l v e s m u st h a v e

H ubbard c l a i m s , a n d w i t h l i k e l y h o n e s t y , t h a t t h e

P u r i t a n s w o u ld h a v e b e e n g l a d i f t h e Q u a k e r s h a d q . u i e t l y r e m o v e d th e m ­ s e l v e s and had n o t p r e c i p i t a t e d t h e h a r sh d e a lin g s .

No d o u b t o n e o f

t h e s u b o r d i n a t e r e a s o n s t h e y w o u ld h a v e w e lc o m e d t h i s s o l u t i o n


t h a t i t w o u ld h a v e iaade u n n e c e s s a r y t h e d e f e n s e t o t h e S i n g , w h ic h

p . 373


I b id . ,


I b id . , p . 359

38 t o o k t h e f o r m o f a l e t t e r fr o m W in th r o p i n 1 6 6 0 . and d e fe n d s t h i s

l e t t e r a n d t h e w h o le a p o l o g i a a t som e l e n g t h .

d e f e n s i v e d o cu m en t t h a t t h i s h i s t o r y m e n t io n s i s G en era l C ourt in

H ubbard d i s c u s s e s


A n o th e r

th e D e c la r a tio n o f th e

H ubbard s u p p o r t s t h e p o s i t i o n

o f th e D e c la r a ­

t i o n fr o m t h e n e c e s s i t y - o f - d e f e n s e a r g u m e n t o n t h r o u g h t o t h e a s s e r t i o n t h a t th e m a n ife s t f a n a t ic is m

o f t h e Q u a k er s c a l l e d f o r r a i s i n g t h e

sw o r d i n b e h a l f o f c h u r c h a n d s t a t e . Among t h e v a r i o u s a t t e m p t s i n t h e A m e r ic a n h i s t o r i c a l a n d c o n t r o ­ v e r s i a l w r i t i n g t h u s f a r e x a m in e d , H u b b a r d ’ s h i s t o r y s e e m s t o h a v e b e s t s u c c e e d e d i n r e c o r d i n g Q u a k e r ism i n t h e m id s t o f P u r i t a n i s m . a u th o r i s

s u p e r io r in g iv in g a t o t a l p ic t u r e ,

T he

and y e t i s w i l l i n g ,


p a r e n tly u n lik e N o r to n , t o d e a l in d e t a i l w ith c e r t a in a s p e c t s o f th e Q u ak er t r e a t m e n t .

A nd i t

can b e s a id t h a t e v en th o u g h h i s

d o e s n o t b e a r up u n d e r t h e s t r a i n b r e t h r e n t h e Q u ak er b a t t l e s ,

im p a r tia lity

o f l i v i n g a g a in w it h h i s P u r ita n

h e d o e s make a s u c c e s s f u l e f f o r t t o a c h i e v e

a degree o f h is t o r ic a l o b j e c tiv it y . T he h i s t o r i c a l w r i t i n g

o f I n c r e a s e a n d C o t t o n M a th e r s h o u l d p r o ­

v i d e f i t t i n g m a t e r i a l w i t h w h ic h t o r o u n d o u t t h i s s a m p lin g o f P u r i t a n h is t o r y , w ith i t s

r e fle c tio n

o f t h e P u r i t a n a t t i t u d e to w a r d Q u a k e r ism .

I n c r e a s e M a th e r ’ s c h i e f h i s t o r i c a l i n t e r e s t w a s i n t h e I n d i a n w a r s , b u t t h e o n l y Q u ak er i t e m i n t h e I n d i a n w r i t i n g i s

in th e a d d ress t o

t h e r e a d e r i n h i s H i s t o r y o f K in g P h i l l i p ’ s War^Q — a som ew h at s l i g h t ­ in g r e f e r e n c e t o a n o th e r n a r r a t iv e

o f t h i s w ar b y a Q u a k er i n R hode

I s l a n d , a n a r r a t i v e ’’f r a u g h t w i t h w o r s e t h i n g s t h a n rneer m i s t a k e s . " He i s

a ls o th e v e r y - r ig h tly

’’s u p p o se d * ’ a u t h o r o f a B r i e f R e l a t i o n o f


I b i d . , C h a p te r LE7


T he H i s t o r y o f P f r i l l i n ’ s War ( I 6 7 6 ) , D rake, 1862; s e e page 3 5 .

e d i t e d b y S a m u e l G.

39 trhe S t a t e

o f New E n g la n d . ^

u n d er 1 w h ic h t i t l e

lie m ak es a d e f e n s e o f

New E n g la n d 's a c t i v i t y

i n g e n e r a l a n d h e r p o l i t i c a l a t t i t u d e to w a r d

E n g la n d i n p a r t i c u l a r ,

a n s w e r in g v a r i o u s c h a r g e s a g a i n s t t h e new w o r ld

s e ttle m e n t*

I n d e e d , h e s a y s t h a t many o f t h e a c c u s a t i o n s made c o n t a i n

no tr u th a t a l l ;

s t i l l h e a d m it s t h a t t h e New E n g la n d i n h a b i t a n t s a r e

hyman a n d may h a v e e x h i b i t e d som e f a i l i n g s so fa r as t o s in g le

lik e

o t h e r m en .

M a th e r g o e s

o u t one o f t h e s e p o s s i b l e f a i l i n g s :

The o n ly t h in g (s o f a r a s I ca n le a r n ) a n y C o lo u r o f T r u t h b e j u s t l y r e f l e c t e d on f a u l t , i s t h a t i n som e m a t t e r s r e l a t i n g t o d i f f e r e n c e o f O p in io n , t h e y h a v e b e e n m ore th a n th e P r im it iv e C h r is tia n s or th e G o sp e l

w h ic h c a n w i t h th e m a s a g r e a t C o n s c ie n c e and r i g i d and s e v e r e d o th a llo w

Y et t h i s i s t o be s a id in t h e ir b e h a lf , th a t th in g s a r e r e p o r t e d w o r s e in d e e d t h a n t h e y w e r e a n d t h a t now many L e a d in g men a n d t h e g e n e r a l i t y o f t h e P e o p l e a r e o f m ore m o d e r a te t e m p e r . I know many t h a t h a v e a g r e a t I n t e r e s t t h e r e , d o a b h o r t h e S p i r i t o f P e r s e c u t i o n a s m uch a s a n y men i n t h e W o r l d , t o T h is ,

i n 1689* m ark s a c o n s i d e r a b l e s t e p b e y o n d

th e a t t it u d e o f th e o th e r le a d e r s .

Some s l i g h t

t h e common a t t i t u d e o r q u a l i f i c a t i o n may b e


o r d e r w hen we rem em ber t h a t t h i s w a s w r i t t e n fox* E n g l i s h c o n s u m p tio n , b u t o n ly a s l i g h t q u a l i f i c a t i o n ,

f o r C o t t o n M a th e r d e s c r i b e s h i s

f a t h e r ' s p o s i t i o n a s e s s e n t i a l l y t h a n sn ow n p o s itio n is a

w ith in th e g iv e n c o n te x t i s

n e r e . t o

I n c r e a s e M a t h e r 's

c l e a r , a n d a t t h e sam e t im e t h e r e

n o t e t h a t s u g g e s t s t h a t a u n i v e r s a l s w e e t n e s s an d l i g h t h a d n o t

y e t e n g u l f e d New E n g la n d .


A B r i e f R e l a t i o n o f t h e S t a t e o f New E n g la n d fr o m t h e B e g i n n in g o f t h a t P l a n t a t i o n t o t h e P r e s e n t Y e a r 1 6 8 9 — " In a l e t t e r t o a p e r s o n o f Q u a l i t y " — L o n d o n , l 6 8 9 j F o r c e H i s t o r i c a l T r a c t s IV ( l 8 t o ) N o . 1 1

to .

B r ie f R e la tio n , p . 7

to *

"Mr. M a t h e r .. . l i t t l e a p p r o v e d som e U n a d v is e d a n d S a n g u in a r y t h i n g s t h a t w e r e d o n e b y th e m who d i d a l l ; p a r t i c u l a r l y t h e R a sh t h i n g s d o n e u n t o t h e Q u a k e r s ." P a r e n t a t o r , p . 5 7 > a s q u o t e d b y K e n n e th B . M u rd ock , I n c r e a s e M a th e r : T he F o r e m o s t A m e r ic a n P u r i t a n (Cam­ b r i d g e , 1 9 2 5 ) P» 5 8

ho T h is r e v ie w

o f som e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e P u r i t a n w r i t e r s w o u ld b e

n o t i c e a b l y d e f i c i e n t w i t h o u t a n e x a m in a t io n o f t h e t r e a t m e n t o f Q u a k e r ­ is m i n C o t t o n M a th e r ’ s M a g n a lia . ^

I n t h e B e v e n b o o k s we g e t a f a i r

su m m a tio n o f t h e P u r i t a n p o i n t o f v i e w , a l t h o u g h , a s J a m eso n h a s p o i n t e d o u t, ^

w i t h som e f a c t u a l i n a c c u r a c i e s .

A ls o i t


p o s s i b l e t h a t M a th e r

Was made b o t h m ore a n d l e s s P u r i t a n b y a n a w a r e n e s s t h a t h e w as s t e p ­ p in g n o t o n l y i n t o a new c e n t u r y , b u t i n t o a new a g e i n w h ic h t h e r e w a s r i s i n g a g e n e r a t i o n who knew n o t t h e M a t h e r s .

A p a r t fr o m a n y s o f t e n i n g

o r s h a r p e n in g o f s e v e n t e e n t h c e n t u r y v i e w s , t h e M a g n a lia , a s J o h n H i g g i n s o n ’ e " a t t e s t a t i o n " m ak es c l e a r ,

i s P u r i t a n i n c o n t e n t a n d i n a im :


r e c o r d o f G o d ’ s p r o v id e n c e s o t h a t man m ig h t know a n d God b e g l o r i f i e d . And s o C o t t o n M a th e r h a r m o n io u s ly b e g i n s : C h r is tia n r e l i g i o n ."

T h is r e l i g i o u s

" I w r it e t h e w on d ers o f t h e

c o n t e x t a n d M a th e r ’ s p i c t u r e o f

h im s e lf a s a d e s t in e d le a d e r o f h i s p e o p le n e e d

t o b e k e p t i n m in d i n

o r d e r t o s e n s e t h e t o n e o f h i s com m ents u p o n Q u a k e r is m . M a th e r f i r s t com es t o v e r b a l g r i p s w i t h t h e Q u ak er p r o b le m i n a d i s ­ c u s s io n o f r e l i g i o n

i n t h e P ly m o u th c o l o n y , w h ic h , h e s a y s , h a s h a d som e

"un hap py s e c t a r i e s , v i z . : m ens

Q uak ers and s e e k e r s , and o th e r su c h E n e rg u -

(p a r d o n m e, r e a d e r , t h a t I h a v e t h o u g h t th e m s o ) w h ic h h a v e g i v e n

u g g l y d i s t u r b a n c e s t o t h e s e g o o d - s p i r i t e d men i n t h e i r T e m p le -w o r k ; b u t

they have not prevailed...."


His attitude toward the actual treatment

Magnalia Christ! Americana or an Ecclesiastical History of Hew Eng­ land (1702) 2 volumes (Hartford, 1855) 45•

A f t e r c o m m en tin g up on t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n , m e th o d , a n d s t y l e

o f th e

Magna lia, John Franklin James an (The History of Historical Writing in America, Boston and New York, 1 3 9 1 ) offers this evaluation of Mather as an.._historian: "He is often inaccurate, but he has con­ veyed to us a great amount of inf ornation not elsewhere obtainable." (P » 5 9 ) He is "our chief American example of a remarkable historical school then dominant in every part of Europe, and shows American participation in the life evolution of European thought." (p. 6 1 ) ^+6.

M agna 1 1 a I ,


41 o f t h » Q u a k ers i n M a s s a c h u s e t t s i s

fir s t

i n d i c a t e d w hen h e o b j e c t s t o t h e

’’l i h e l " t h a t t h e Q u a k er s p u b l i s h e d i n t h e i r R e p r e s e n t a t i o n t o t h e TC-tng a n d P a r l i a m e n t , w h ic h c la im e d t h a t c e r t a i n

ju d g m e n ts h a d b e e n v i s i t e d

up on t h e i r p e r s e c u t o r s ; a n d i n p a r t i c u l a r h e o b j e c t s t o

" th o se r e v i l e r s "

c o n s t r u i n g J o h n N o r t o n ' s d e a t h a s a ju d g m e n t o f G o d . M a t h e r t h a t i t w as n e c e s s a r y f o r

e x p la in s

" t h a t e n c h a n t e d p e o p l e ” t o t a k e r e v e n g e on

N o r to n f o r h i s s o l i d r e f u t a t i o n

o f Q u ak er d o c t r i n e .

For a l l h is h a tred

o f Q u a k e r ism , M a th e r , l i k e h i s f a t h e r , w i s h e s t o d i s s o c i a t e h i m s e l f fr o m t h e v i o l e n t p e r s e c u t i o n s , yong h is P u r ita n b r e th r e n .

and in t h i s he i s

s till

s u b s t a n t ia lly b*-

S p e a k in g o f N o r t o n ’ s r e f u t a t i o n , h e s a y s ;

"and p e r h a p s , i t h a d b e e n b e t t e r i f t h i s h a d b e e n a l l t h e c o n ­ f u t a t i o n . w h ic h I a d £ , b e c a u s e I w i l l n o t , X c a n n o t make my s e l f a v i n d i c a t o r f o r a l l t h e s e v e r i t i e s w i t h w h ic h t h e z e a l o f som e e m in e n t men h a t h s o m e tim e s e n r a g e d a n d i n c r e a s e d , r a th e r th a n r e c la im e d t h o s e m is e r a b le h e r e t i c k s ; b u t w is h t h a t t h e Q u a k er s may b e t r e a t e d a s Q ueen E l i z a b e t h d i r e c t e d t h e I*ord P r e s i d e n t o f t h e N o r t h t o t r e a t t h e P a p i s t s ; w hen s h e a d v i s e d him t o c o n v i n c e th e m w i t h a r g u m e n t, r a t h e r t h a n s u p ­ p r e s s th e m w i t h v i o l e n c e , t o t h a t p u r p o s e u s i n g t h e w o r d s o f t h e p r o p h e t s , N o lo M ortem P e c c a t o r i s . A lt h o u g h , a s w i t h S o g e r W i l l i a m s , t h i s v ie w a t t i m e s i n c r e a s e s r a t h e r th a n l e s s e n s h i s v e r b a l a t t a c k , th e e x p r e s s io n q u o te d i s The p o s s i b l e

h is b a s ic a t t it u d e


c o n s t a n t , and

o f t e n m a tc h e d b y o t h e r s . ^9

i n f e r e n c e t h a t C o t t o n M a th e r ’ s p o s i t i o n

on t h e

m e th o d o f d e a l i n g w i t h t h e Q u a k er s r e v e a l e d a s o f t e n i n g o f t h e e s s e n ­ t i a l f e e l i n g a b o u t th e m i s

in v a lid a t e d by h i s s u b se q u e n t tr e a tm e n t in


I b id . , I , 298; s e e above on N o r to n ( p . 2 8 )


I b id . .


F o r e x a m p le , m uch l a t e r i n h i s w o rk h e p o i n t s o u t t h a t th o u g h s h a r p la w s a r e n e e d e d t o c h e c k h e r e s y , a n d t h a t t h e f a n a t i c i s m o f t h e Q u a k er s I s t o b la m e i n p a r t f o r t h e p e r s e c u t i o n , s t i l l h e r e t i c i d e i s n o t a n e v a n g e l i c a l w ay o f p u t t i n g down h e r e s i e s ; h e f u r t h e r s a j e t h a t i f t h e Q u a k ers w e r e s u b v e r s i v e o f a u t h o r i t y , t h e y o u g h t t o h av e b een d e a lt w ith d s th e l u n a t ic s w e r e . I I , 5^5


( p * 2 2 - f f ^ r e g a r d i n g N o r t o n ; a l s o B is h o p



t h e M a g n a lia .

A l l t h e cam rnents u p o n Q u a k e r is m t a k e n t o g e t h e r fr o m t h e

sev en hooks o f f e r a f a i r l y

s u b s t a n t i a l b o d y o f h i s w r i t t e n o p i n i o n fr o m

w h ic h t o d e r i v e h i s p o s i t i o n O b v io u s ly ,

i n sem e d e t a i l .

i t w as n e v e r j u s t a m a t t e r o f i n t e l l e c t u a l d is a g r e e m e n t

b e tw e e n M a th e r a n d t h e Q u a k er s — a n o b j e c t i v e d i f f e r i n g u p on c e r t a i n p o in ts o f r e li g io u s th in k in g .

B a t h e r t h e Q u a k er s w e r e t o h im t h e w o r s t

o f h e r e t ic s , th e w o rst th a t th e age produ ced. i o n s i n R hod e I s l a n d ,

In w r itin g o f th e r e l i g ­

in c lu d in g t h e Q u ak ers, he s a y s t h a t t h e r e w ere

" e v e r y t h i n g i n t h e w o r ld , b u t Roman C a t h o l i c k s , a n d r e a l C h r i s t i a n s . "50 When h e d i s c u s s e s t h e Q u a k er s a n d A n a b a p t i s t s t o g e t h e r ,


i s n o t , he

a s s u r e s t h e r e a d e r , b e c a u s e he t h in k s t h e A n a b a p tis ts a r e a s b a d , f o r t h e y h a v e " i n f i n i t e l y m ore o r C h r i s t i a n i t y . :'5 1 " f a l s e w o r s h i p p e r s " a n d " i d o l a t e r s . "52 w hat h e c a l l s

T he Q u a k e r s w e r e a t b e s t

E m o tio n a lly h e w as r e p e l l e d by

" t h i s s i n k o f a l l e r r o r s . "53

Or a g a i n :

"We s e e t h e v o m it

c a s t o u t in t h e b y - p a s t a g e s , b y w h ose k e n n e ls o f s e d u c e r s ,

l i c k ’ d up

a g a i n f o r a new d i g e s t i o n , a n d o n c e m ore e x p o s e d f o r t h e p o i s o n i n g o f m a n k in d . "5^

y e t I t m u st b e c l e a r l y rem em b ered t h a t i n s p i t e

of a ll

t h i s f r e e d e n u n c i a t i o n , t h e r e w e r e t o C o t t o n M a th e r , a t t h e t i m e o f m o s t o f t h i s w r i t i n g , Q u a k er s a n d Q u a k e r s .

T h e r e w a s t h e o l d F coclan

b r a n d a n d t h e r e w e r e t h e new P en n Q u a k e r s , t h e fo r m e r t o b e r e j e c t e d w i t h a l l v i g o r a s b la s p h e m e r s , t h e l a t t e r a l s o t o b e r e j e c t e d , b u t l e s s

I b id . I I ,



I b id .



I b id . I I ,



I b id .


I b i d . ii, 5 2 2




h a r s h l y , p e r h a p s , a s b e i n g l e s s f a n a t i c a n d m ore c i v i l ,



an d — an

43 im p o r t a n t p o i n t — l e s s p r o n e t o Q u a k in g , t h a t m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f t h e

Devil.55 M a th e r *s t r e a t m e n t c a n h e s e e n m ore c l e a r l y h y n o t i n g a num ber o f h is s p e c if ic

o b je c tio n s .

One r e c u r r e n t o b j e c t i o n i s t h a t t h e Q u a k er s

w o u ld d e s t r o y C h r i s t i a n i t y b y o v e r - s p i r i t u a l i z i n g c is m o f Q u a k e r is m . 5 ^


- - a c ommon c r i t i ­

i n t h e s e c t i o n o f t h e M agna 1 1 a o n t h e l i v e s

o f th e

g r e a t d i v i n e s , M a th e r p r e s e n t s t h i s a s t h e v i e w p o i n t o f T h a c k e r , b u t i t is a ls o h is

ow n:

T h e Q u a k e r s w o u ld a n n i h i l a t e a l l s e n s i b l e

h o ly r e l i g i o n u n d er t h e p r e t e n s e o f b e in g s p i r i t u a l , b e n o B i b l e , n o C h r i s t , n o b a p tis m , n o o r d in a n c e s , e v a p o r a t e i n t o •’m y s t i c a l n o t i o n s . ”5 7 th is

o b je c ts of

s o t h a t t h e r e v ou 3d

e t c .,

u n t i l a l l w o u ld

M a th e r t h o u g h t , a n d r i g h t l y , t h a t

" s p i r i t u a l i z a t i o n M th r e a te n e d t h e h o ld o f th e P u r ita n c h u r c h - s t a t e .

P e r h a p s i t w a s t h i s f e a r t h a t l e d h im a n d o t h e r s t o o v e r s t a t e t h e m ean­ i n g o f som e o f t h e Q u ak er t e a c h i n g s ; th e h i s t o r ic it y

o f C h r is t,

f o r e x a m p le , t h a t Q u a k e r is m d e n i e d

or th a t i t

He s a y s t h a t Q u a k er s t a k e t h e l i t t l e

c o m p l e t e l y r e p u d i a t e d t h e B i b l e . 58 r e m a in d e r o f t h e d i v i n e im a g e ,

w h ic h t h e P u r i t a n C h r i s t i a n i t y w o u ld a l l o w s i n f u l m an, a n d make i t t h e l i g h t a n d Judge o f a l l .

T hey f i n d , s a y s t h e i r r i t a t e d P u r it a n , S a v io r ,

S c r i p t u r e , H e a v e n , a n d a l l , w i t h i n man h i m s e l f . 5 9

M a th e r w o u ld s u g g e s t

a m uch lo w e r s o u r c e t h a n man f o r m uch o f t h i s Q u a k e r is m .

A ll th e e x ­

c e s s e s w h ic h h e d e n o u n c e d — t h e o c c a s i o n a l n u d i t y , t h e s a c k c l o t h - a n d a s h e s i n t e r r u p t i o n s , t h e q .u a k in g , e t c .


I b i d . I I , 5 2 3 » 5 2 8 , and e ls e w h e r e


I b id . I I ,


I b id . I ,



I b id . I ,

492, 544; I I


I b id . I I ,

— a r e m ore l i k e l y m a n i f e s t a t i o n s

5 2 3 -5 2 4

524; I ,


(A p p e n d ix ) 6 4 7 - 6 5 1

i*i* o f tli© D e v i l .

A num ber o f t i m e s lie d i r e c t l y

is m w i t h w i t c h c r a f t ;

f o r e x a m p le , t h e r e i s

or in d ir e c t ly

l i n k s Q u a k er­

t h e w e ll- k n c w n a c c o u n t o f

t h e b e w i t c h e d g i r l whom t h e e v i l s p i r i t s w o u ld n o t a l l o w t o r e a d t h e B i b l e , b u t w ho r e a d Q u a k er p a m p h le t s w i t h o u t i n t e r f e r e n c e . 6 0 r e c o r d e d o b j e c t i o n s , m ore o r l e s s t o su ch p r a c tic e s a s

O th e r

in c id e n t a l y e t e a r n e s tly g iv e n , a re

”h a t f o p p e r y ” a n d t h e r e f u s a l t o t a k e o a t h s . 6 1

C e n t r a l t o M a th e r ’s v a r ie d c r i t i c i s m w as h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h e d o c t r i n e or t h e i n n e r i l g h c , a n d h i s v i e w s a n d h i s f e a r s o f t h i s a s p e c t o f Q u a k e r is m a r e t y p i c a l o f t h e w h o le P u r i t a n a t t i t u d e . m o s f s i g n i f i c a n t p o i n t r e v e a l e d b y h i s c o n ia e n ts i s ance o f a m y s tic a l d o c tr in e .

T h is i s


h is q u a lifie d a c c e p t­

im p o r ta n t, n o t j u s t in c l a r i f y i n g

a t h e o l o g i c a l q u e s t i o n , b u t i n s h o w in g t h a t t h e r e w as a n u n c e r t a i n e l e ­ m en t i n ‘c u e P u r m a n s y s t e m 01 t h o u g h t w h ic h l e d i t s

d e fe n d er s t o a

m ore v i o l e n t d e n u n c i a t i o n o f Q u a k e r is m t h a n o t h e r w i s e w o u ld h a v e b e e n tr u e .

A s n o t e d i n C h a p te r I , t h e r e w a s w i t h i n P u r i t a n i s m ,

a s in a l l

P r o t e s t a n t is m — in d e e d a l l C h r is t ia n it y — a m y s t ic a l and p i e t i s t i c q u a lity ;

o n e m ig h t s a y a k in d o f i n c i p i e n t Q u a k e r is m .

I t seem s p o s s i ­

b l e t h a t t h e P u r i t a n s r e c o g n i z e d i n t h e Q u a k er m ovem ent a l o g i c a l e x ­ te n s io n

o f a p h a se o f t h e i r

own i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c P r o t e s t a n t t h o u g h t ,

a n d , t h e r e f o r e , a m ore' fu n d a m e n t a l t h r e a t t h a n m ere e x t e r n a l a t t a c k . M a th e r , a t l e a s t ,

seem s t o h a v e r e c o g n iz e d t h i s

’’Q u ak er e le m e n t* 1

w i t h i n P u r i t a n t h o u g h t , a n d r e a l i z e d t h a t w i t h t h e c o m in g o f Q u a k e r ism t h e r e w a s a d e e p c a l l i n g u n t o d e e p , w h ic h i f a b a s ic r e l i g i o u s and p o l i t i c a l r e v e r s a l . a n d m ore v i o l e n t l y . 60.

I b id . I ,


M a g n a lia I ,

a n s w e r e d w o u ld b r i n g a b o u t

T h e r e fo r e , he fo u g h t h ard er

A t l e a s t a p a r t i a l in d ic a t io n o f th e ground fo r


5 2 9 - 5 3 O; I I , 5 0 6

45 th is

i n t e r p r e t a t i o n c a n "be g i v e n . I n o n e p l a c e M a th e r s t a t e s t h a t i t


" n o w a r r a n t a b le o r c o n v e n ­

ie n t th in g f o r C h r is tia n s o r d in a r ily t o lo o k f o r su ch in s p ir a t io n s a s d i r e c t e d t h e p r o p h e t s t h a t w e r e t h e p en -m en o f t h e S c r i p t u r e . " ^ 2 h e a d d s , t h e r e a r e som e 11uncommon i n s t a n c e s

o f com m union a n d f r u it i o n * *

h e r e a n d t h e r e i n m o d e m t i m e s w h ic h " f a v o f a a g o o d man w i t h a l . ” th ese v is it a t io n s s e n s u a litie s ,

Y e t,


com e o n l y t o t h e h e a v e n l y , t o t h o s e p u r i f i e d o f

in d e e d ,

c n ly t o

" p e r s o n s b e t t e r p u r g e d fr o m t h e l e a v e n

o f en vy and m a lic e an d i n t o l e r a b l e p r id e , th a n u s u a lly t h o s e v a in p r e ­ t e n d e r s t o r e v e l a t i o n s t h e Q u a k er s a r e . . . "

T h i s i n I t s e l f w o u ld s e e m t o

b e som e k in d o f a n t in o m ia n a d m i s s i o n o f t h e f a c t a n d t h e p r i n c i p l e o f an in n e r l i g h t .

He s e e m s t o s a y t h a t G od, o n o c c a s i o n , d o e s com m uni­

c a t e w i t h t h e i n d i v i d u a l man t o d a y a s h e d i d w i t h t h e w r i t e r s o f S c r ip tu r e , b u t th a t i t fo r su ch in s p ir a t io n s .


n o t f o r th e C h r is tia n s

" o r d in a r ily " t o lo o k

F u r t h e r , G od e v i d e n t l y s p e a k s o n l y t o t h e

p r o p e r p e o p le , t h o s e p r o p e r ly c le a n s e d , w ho,



r e a s o n a b le t o co n ­

j e c t u r e , w o u ld b e c e r t a i n P u r i t a n s , s p e c i f i c a l l y t h e r e l i g i o u s

le a d e r s .

I t m u st b e a d m it t e d , h o w e v e r , t h a t i f M a th e r w e r e f a c e d w i t h t h i s c h a r g e h e w o u ld p r o b a b ly h a v e i n s i s t e d ,

lik e

o t h e r P u r i t a n s b e f o r e h im ,

u p o n a d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n C h r i s t i a n i n s p i r a t i o n a n d m ere a n t in o m ia n is m , b e t w e e n t h e g u id a n c e b y t h e H o ly S p i r i t i n t o t h e t r u t h r e v e a l e d i n t h e B ib le

( o r , p e r h a p s , t h e u s e o f t h e B i b l e a s a m ean s o f c o m in g t o s e e

G od) a n d t h e c l a i m t h a t c o n te m p o r a r y man m ig h t r e c e i v e r e v e l a t i o n an a par w ith th e B ib le .

The p o s s i b i l i t y

o f an o r d e r e d C h r is t ia n m y s tic is m ,

h e m ig h t g r a n t ; b u t h e w o u ld r e p u d i a t e , a s in d e e d h e d i d , e n t h u s ia s m o f any k in d .^

N e v e r t h e l e s s , M a th e r ’ s com m ents a l r e a d y n o t e d ,

and h i s


I b id . I I ,~ 5 4 4


F o r a n a n a l y s i s o f t h e n a t u r e o f " m y s tic is m " a n d " e n th u s ia s m " a n d o f t h e d i s t i n c t i o n s b e t w e e n th e m a s h i s t o r i c a l t y p e s o f C h r i s t i a n i t y ,

k-6 own practice, If we turn to M


diary for evidence, suggest that the

distinction was theoretical rather than actual,

numerous times in the

diary he records having sought and found in his devotions a "particular faith" —

that is, a specific knowledge or conviction concerning the

outcome of same troubled situation or pending event.

For example, Mather

writes of having received special insight regarding the health of his wife and his child, the spiritual future of his son, and other assur­ ances bordering on the informative.

The distinction between these ex­

periences and those of the Quakers in being led into some conviction or "concern" seems rather tenuous.

The difference seems to reside in

who it Is who may receive this divine guidance, the Quakers holding that everyone was capable and Mather that cnly a select few, perhaps, even, an elect few.

Essentially, this is not so much a theological differ­

ence as an ecclesiastical one; and as such it was one in ITew England that could soon become political.

Thus there was a two-fold fear on

the part of Mather and like-minded Puritans: the religious fear that there was an incipient Quakerism within Puritan thought that might grow into a disrupting heresy; and the religious-political fear that the Quaker democratization of the Holy Spirit would result in eq.ualitarianism in church and civil organizations with the subsequent loss of clerical authority.

The threat of such developments was enough to

call forth vigorous opposition to Quakerism — physical persecution.

even to the point of

Much to Mather’s credit, however, he decried

that persecution. Rhode Island, whether the Puritans liked the fact or not, was, at least geograpnically, a part of New England; and, as Roger Williams * (63)

see Joe Lee Davis, "Mystical Versus Enthusiastic Sensibility," Journal of the History of Ideas, IV (June, 19^3) PP» 301-319*

47 p o s i t i o n d e m o n s tr a te d , I t w as n o t by a n y m eans d i s t i n c t s p i r i t u a l l y . A b a la n c e d p i c t u r e o f t h e New E n g la n d a t t i t u d e to w a r d Q u a k er ism m u st i n c lu d e a v ie w o f R hode I s l a n d , a n d t h e b e s t a v a i l a b l e h i s t o r y t r e a t ­ in g o f Q u ak erism t h e r e , i s An H i s t o r i c a l D is c o u r s e on t h e C i v i l an d R e­ l i g i o u s A f f a i r s o f B h od e I s l a n d ^

by J o h n C a lle n d e r , a B a p t i s t m i n i s t e r ,

w h ose a p p r o a c h t o h i s t o r y b o t h i n m eth od and s p i r i t w as f a i r l y a d v a n c e d f o r t h e d a y .^5

B o r a n y f a i r c o m p a r is o n o f C a lle n d e r w i t h t h e P u r it a n

w r i t e r s , h o w e v e r , t h e d a t e o f t h i s h i s t o r y m u st b e b o r n e i n m ind;

1739 i s r e l a t i v e l y l a t e i n t h i s p e r io d ,, and s o i n a d d i t i o n t o b e in g a B hode I s l a n d d i s s e n t e r , h e I s s o m e th in g o f a t r a n s i t i o n a l f i g u r e t o a com in g o u ilo u x t.

- a i i u o i d , h i s h i s t o r y r e p r e s e n t s a p o i n t o f v ie w

t h a t we m ig h t r e a d i l y e x p e c t o f a n e a r l y e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y B a p t i s t who c h o s e R hode I s l a n d i n p r e f e r e n c e t o M a s s a c h u s e t t s . T h is a t t i t u d e I s s p e c l f i c i a l l y r e v e a l e d i n t h e a c c o u n t o f t h e com­ in g o f t h e Q uak ers t o R hode I s l a n d i n 1656 and 1657? t h e i r w e lc o m e , and th e ir r e lig io u s su c c e s s. says,

W ith o u t t h e u s u a l a d v e r s e com m ent, C a lle n d e r

’’ ...m a n y , an d som e o f t h e B a p t i s t C hu rch, em b ra ced t h e i r d o c t r i n e s

a n d p a r t i c u l a r o p i n i o n s t o w h ic h many o f t h e i r p o s t e r i t y , an d o t h e r s , s till

a d h e r e .



C a l l e n d e r ’ s f u r t h e r h a n d lin g o f Q u a k erism i n d i c a t e s

v a r i a t i o n fr o m t h i s .

In asm u ch a s t h e th em e o f t h e b o o k i s t h a t

o f l i b e r t y o f c o n s c i e n c e , h e speakB o f t h e p r e s e n c e o f t h e Q uak ers and


An H i s t o r i c a l D i s c o u r s e on t h e C i v i l and R e l i g i o u s A f f a i r s o f t h e C o lo n y o f R hode I s l a n d and P r o v id e n c e P l a n t a t i o n s i n New E n g la n d i n A m e r ic a , .fr o m 1 6 5 8 t o t h e End o f t h e C e n tu r y ( B o s t o n , 1 7 5 9 )? s e c o n d r e v i s e d e d i t i o n , C o l l e c t i o n s o f t h e B h od e I s l a n d H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y , V o l . IV ( I 8 3 8 )


M ic h a e l K r a u s, A H is t o r y o f A m erica n H is t o r y (New Y o rk , 1 9 5 7 ) P» 9 1 7 ? a l s o m e n tio n s h i s v a l u e t o l a t e r h i s t o r i a n s th r o u g h h i s h a v ­ in g b r o u g h t t o g e t h e r an d p r e s e r v e d v a r i o u s d o c u m e n ts .


H is t o r ic a l D is c o u r s e , p . 118

ke their meeting houses, not merely vith tolerance, "but with acmething lilsa pride•^

Also he defends these who c a n to Bhode legend fros Massachn-

setts against the false picture painted by the hew


who, he says, wrote by way of ancpology far and In ▼indication of their persecution of all who differed from them.**® Thus In the first part of the history dealing with Hew Bug land as a whole, he c(assents upon the Puritan settlers as "loath to allow liberty of those from whose poser they had fled."

To which, In eighteenth oentury s u m s ,

he adds, "In reality, the true grounds of liberty of conscience were not then known or embraced by any sect or party of Christians."^

It Is In

this spirit and with this approach that the history proceeds to a more specific consideration of Bhode Island.

Hot such la said of Quakerism

In the dlrlslon on civil affairs, but when Callender cones to the re­ ligious natters, he begins with a statement of his attitude, as well as that of the oolony, toward, religious differences, a statement that Is inoluslve of Quakerism: I take It to have been no dishonor to the colony that Christians, of every demoalnatIon, were suffered to lead Quiet Uvea, without any fines or punishments for their speculative opinions, or for using those external forms of worship they believed God had appointed. 7 ® It Is perhaps worth noting that in the elaboration of what he consid­ ered to be the essence of Christianity and of the Christian attitude ~ chiefly his emphasis upon a personal Christianity — 71 close to the Quaker views of the day.' 67. For example, Ibid.. pp. 120, 121 68.

Ibid.. pp. 150-151, 159


Ibid.. pp. 69-70


Ibid.. pp. 103-104


See Ibid.. p. 108

the author Is very

*9 The works thus far examined for tbe treatment of Quakerism have been representative of the historical and hlstarlcal-controreralal writing In the first porlod In Amerloan history. of sens examples of a dlfferoat kind of writing —

Tbe examination noxt tba journal type —

will serve to broaden the literary basa for tba eenelualon that tba trawtaunt of Quakerism In aost early American writings raflactad an aaaazxtial unity in currant attitudes.

Tba two diarlas to be axaainad

are thoea of Cotton Mather and Saanal Sewall, wbo represent tba clerical and the lay points of view,

in form they m y aarra as a transition to

a more literary bind of writing in Haw England, and in thought and tlaa as a bridge to tba succeeding and different Intellectual period. The diary of Cotton Mather?2 covers forty-three years, extending from 1681 to 172h, thus reaching if not actually passing beyond what in this paper was set as the U n i t s of pristine Puritanism.

A review

of the diary treatment of Quakerism need not repeat in detail the kidd of conusant already noted in the Magnalia. but it can cheek on its pres­ ence, indicate variations, and trace any.vlsible shift of opinion through the years covered.

Although the Quantity of Quaker comment is

less than that in the other work, what there is is significant. Mather's position on the persecutions is very aneh the same. I692 he says, concerning a sermon to tbs General Assembly:



other things I ran the Hazard of much Reproch by testifying in that ser­ mon, against the Persecution of erroneous and conscientious dissenters, by the Civil Magistrates."

The zeal against such persons, he says, had

In it at one time more fire than it should have "when the mad Quakers 72.

The Diarv of Cotton Mather. 1681-1724. two volumes, Massachusetts Historical Society Collections, seventh series (19U), Volfl. VII,


50 ««ro seat to the Gallowes, that should hare heea kept rather la a Bedlam."

And there is the further Interesting r i u n t i

"x think I

sat the only sinister llrlng la the land that hare testified against the Suppression of Baeresy, by Persecution.”

Qs prays, too, for the

greater success of other Methods "sore spiritual and evangelical. "?3 There Is at least one bit of evidence that he tried to put these aethods into practice —

his dealing with a vcaaa la his church who 7it was seduced into sons Quaker heresies*1 A disavowal of the perse­ cution is reaffirmed later la the diary; for example, la connection with the Questions raised in a letter froa the Independent Ministers' group la London, a disavowal that Is nore than personal, for Mather new vigorously clalas there are no persecuting lavs la Massachusetts. Of course there are echoes (and acre substantial sounds) of the denunciations of Quakerism la the M m m d H a . Quakerism";?6 of the

Be speaks of "serpentine

Within as a dark, feeble, sinful crea-

ture, sad that to set It up for Christ and God, which Is done la Quakerism, is a very horrible Idolatry";??

of Quakerism as one of

three major false thoughts, with which he groups Popery and Arminianissu?®

His continued antipathy to this evil Is also revealed In his

references to articles and sermons which he Is writing or has written


Dlarv I, 149 —


Ibid* H ,

May, 1692

10 - May, 1709


I> 571 —

September, 1706


Ibid. I, 149, note —


X & & . I, 571 —


Ibid. H j, 207 —

May, 1692

September, 1706 May, 1715

7» lass

rlrolant feeling, an Impression due partly to tba relative Infrequency of comment, bat also to tbs slider nature of tba ocasssat itself, es­ pecially tbat in tbe later pears*

An explanation in

with tbe

idea proposed earlier is tbat Jiatbar cans finally to realize tbs essen­ tial "Quaker” duality of a phase of bis religious thought and practice, and honestly realising this, be no longer kicks against pricks.


show tbat this conjecture has substantial basis, and to represent most fairly Mather *s total treatment of Quakerism, reference is m d e to >»■>* Vital Christianity, a work published one year after bis diary was com­ pleted.®® Vital Christianity presents nearly tbe a—

Mather theology as

before, bat in attitude it shows him as baring trareled far from bis earlier bitter utterances on Quakerism.

In one place be explains tbat

there are various ideas of a spiritual Christ within man, and there­ fore, various fruits ar results, at time uncomfortable; bat if tbe "Blessedness of Christ in as" is tbe goal, it is right; "let this be taken up withal, and all Vanities be thrown away; so all will be well* Tbe change is most clearly revealed in tbe dedication, tbe Quality of 79*

For example, bis reference to a treatise to tbe ministers in London, y w PlspQyagftW flLJrfr SplrJft QQalpsrJ^ag; and at tbe same tins bis .mention of writing a catechism with special attention to tbe means of refuting Quaker errors (I, 571). Be speaks too of composing an article warning the people against "an unlearned ministry, " Tbe Flocks Warned AnafrMft ** ghee*(£* 329), which was published later as A lfBirnl1ltft *0 the FloqlfB and is a strong anti-Quaker statement*


Vital Christianity, a Brief Baser on tbe idfe rf Qad in tba Soul ) Vol*IH,p*ll87*


Vital Christianity, pp. 29-30

52 which cam b M t be e«t forth In a few excerptas To all who desire to v o n h i p God In tbe spirit, and. re­ joice in Christ Jesns. and hare no Confidence in the Flesh; ■are particularly to our beloved Friends (i.e., Quakers], vho desire that a Christ within nay hare due Hagards paid unto And after stating that an Inner Christianity Is the real or ”71tal Christianity," he aahes the following Quaker referenoes An ong those that are waiting to feel the Presence and the Power of the Lord, that they nay see the figfiSS^BBS.jgC an healed Soul, ve nay reckon naay vho go under a Hlck-Hame, that should no nore he put upon then* Mather, avoiding the nlck-nane, expresses the hope fen* a brotherly union vlth then, sad adults that God had raised up the "Friends to chastise us for contempt which

people usually east on the light

within" and for "a criminal rebelling against the light*” You will now Join vlth us, In owning a Christ without. and you now see how far ve Join vlth you, In owning a Christ within* This from one ••••vho unspeakably abhors and laments the abominable Per­ secution which you hare suffered* •.from an unadvised and unrighteous world.•••and one vho In true anlrlt of Lore most heartily wishes you all the blessings of Goodness. Thus Cotton Mather In 172$.


Samuel Sevall*s diary®^ Is representative of a lay point of view In practically the same years covered by Mather's diary; however, either because of his non-clerical approaoh, or because of his different tem­ perament, Sevall Is both lass violent and less conciliatory In his ccmmants on Quakerism than was Mather.

Sis evident ncm-ooamltt&liam nay


That Mather was — & genuine attempt to reach the Quakers vlth this appeal and apology la suggested by the fact that he had this work published in Philadelphia and handled by a Philadelphia book­ seller. See Holmes, loc. clt.


The Diary «”-|pel Sevall. 167^-171^ two volumes, Massachusetts Historical Society ‘''Collections, fifth series (1878) Vole. 7, 71

53 i n w bean due simply to a lack of genuine interest,

jimsiod; for ox*

ample, sees this diarist as dull and petty, and as haring a folly exercised about s ^ l l things, ” eren though


he does offer ralnable

historical material.^** Apart from the possible reasons, the fact Is tkat Sevall usually confines himself to reporting the Quaker l t e w vlth rery little added in the vay of personal opinion.

For example, vhen he first

speaks of the Quakers, he reports that a certain Quaker vent through town crying "Repent”; and without elaborating or giving any reaction he goes on to speak of the Indian V a r s . ^

Again he tells of Mr. Shepard

and sco0 others rlsitlng his father to discuss, among other things, the disorderly meetings of the Quakers.

The opinion of the group is for

suppression and that they will trust God as to the effect that action nay have on Kagllah feelings.^

This Is reported vlthout an expression

of his own views, although one might gather that if Sevall strongly dis­ agreed he would make that disagreement evident. sent comes within the same years

A more revealing state-

after recording that a m m in church

was seised vlth falling sickness and created a scene, Sevall adds, ”*Tls to be feared that the Quaker disturbance and this are ominous.” Just why is less clear.

One of the last references to the Quakers in

the diary is typically non-comulttal —

although the circumstances them-

selves suggest the social acceptance of the Quakers: Bait at Devotions.

"Dine at Smith's;

Lodge at Bellinge's....Conril, a Quaker, In com­

pany.”®*^ The Quaker, however, la still a Quaker rather then Just a man. 84.

Jameson, on. elt. p. 47

85. Dlarv I, 15 —

July, 1676


Ibid. I, 30 - December, 1676


Ibid. 11,251 —

September, 1709

5* Bren later la the diary there Is a farther indication of this acceptaace In a religious way.

Sevall is describing a trips

the Xastera Bead which Is mare Smooth and level.

"...went hy

In this we saw the

Portsmouth Quaker meeting house, which has an apartnent anexed to it QQ

for the woman at sons seasons.

Again there is the report without

Interpret Ire cement. Between the first mention of Quakerism and the last there Is no adverse statement stronger than those cited.

8ewall*s utterance con­

cerning a female Quaker in sackcloth and blackened face who disturbed a church meeting Is typical:

"Host amazing uproar that I ever saw. ”89

One can almost suspect him of enjoying this.

A lees negative Indication

of a liberal attitude on his part can be seen In the examples of his social acceptance of Quakers Indicated In the passages above and else­ where.

In all, the references here made have been to a few out of many

possible statements representative of Sevall*s general treatment — quite objective and certainly not very denunciatory one.


It la Inter­

esting to note that apparently Sevall did not see In the Quaker any threat to authority; at least enough to disturb his objectivity. mildness may be due to the personal factors mentioned earlier — lay and even secular point of view, and his temperament — judicial, perhaps Indifferent. finally noted —

His his


There Is, however, another element to b»

his sensitiveness to changes In the Intellectual

climate, to the general change of public opinion.

His confession of

wrong-doing in the witch trials Is evidence of this.

And there Is

enough In the diary to suggest that Sevall was yielding, as was the whole Puritan pattern, to the new thought of a new day. 88.

Ibid. II, 193 —


Ibid. I, 43 —

Septamber, 1718

July, 1677

55 As Indloatsd earlier, there is certainly not melt off what can rightfully be called belles-lettres la early American writ lag; still tbare la ease, and it is worth while te look late that "seme" for h^«^n«e of the Quaker these.

The works of Ann Bradstreet a»fl Edward Taylor are usually

considered of literary significance, aad frost a standpoint of popularity so are those of Michael Wlgglesworth.

A n examination of Ann Bradstreet 's

collected works aad of the available published works of Taylor shows that neither writer touched upon Quakerism. 9®

one would not be sur­

prised to find a few Quakers in the ranks of those condemned in Wigglesworth*b "Say of Docm," but they apparently were not represented; nor does "Meat out of the Eater" mention the Quakers.

An examination of a

representative selection of early literary efforts reveals only three significant Quaker references,

one is in Ichabod Wlavell*s elegy on tie

death of Samuel Arnold, In which poem the author praises Arnold for his effective stopping of the Q u a k e r s . A n o t h e r Is In Peter Folger*s un­ poet lc poem developing the theels that the then current Indian Wars were caused by the violence of the Puritan persecutions of dissenters from the way; thus we have here a pro-Quaker literary statement.^



The Work;* Bradstreet In Prose yaw**, edited by John Barvard Ellis (Mew York, 1867, reprint 1932) The Poetical Works of Edward Taylor, edited by Thomas H. Johnson (Hew York, 1958) '


Ola Winslow, aHR"tM7a ti Broadside Verse (Hew Baven, 1950) Ho. 7, Stanza XI7s The Quakers he oft blasts And stpps their Mouths with Scripture Gag, Makes them as mute as Sheep, If In their ranging Circuits, Into his Fold they peep. 1695


a frooir^nfl Glass For the Tjata or The Former Spirit of Hew England Revived In This Generation C1675) Bhode Island Historical Tracts (1885) Ho. 16

56 most Interesting "treatment" of Quaker lam is found la Sarah I M b l e Slight's Journal of her trip from Boston to Vow Y o r k * ^

Th* t r u t n m t

consists of a derogatory comparison of Mrs* Belcher to "one of the Quaking trite"; a mention of Quakerism as one of the religions la Vew York; and a humorous aad slighting anecdote concerning a Singing Quaker at Halford, although he was no doubt one of dubious acceptance by the regular Quakers*?** While many

such minor Items nay be scattered through

many second-rate writings, there Is no substantial treatment of Quaker­ ism In the early "literature" of Mow Xngland* F inally, it will contribute to a better view of the writings already discussed, as well as to a more complete understanding of the period as a whole, to emnlne the treatment of Quakerism in s o w representative writing outside of Vew Xngland. Because the writing outside of Vew England, especially in the South, was

much less extensive, and because Quakerism was not as much of sn

Issue, the Quaker treatment Is relatively slight*?^

There are four

writers, however, In whose works mention of Quakerism Is made:


Alsop aad Bobert Beverley In their histories, Will lam Byrd in his his­ tories of the Dividing Line and the Secret Diary, aad Xbenezer Cook (which Is perhaps a pseudonym) In his "Sotweed Factor." Alsop, in writing his Character of Marylan d ^ from a strongly Angll93.

?SMFPPX 3»P*t f*T ffhft on a Journey from Boston to Vew York In the Year 170k. edited by George P. Wlnshlp (Vew York, 1935)


Private Journal, pp. 3, 5k, 6k for these respective references


This is, of course, exclusive of Pennsylvania and Vew Jersey where the bulk of writing was produced by Quakers or by those usually sympathetic to their cause*


A Character of the Prprince of four parts, plus a treatise on the Indians (London, 1666) Maryland Historical Society Publica­ tion (1878-1880) Vo. 1?

57 can viewpoint, 1a more concerned, as far aa religious matters go, with rldlcul lag the Scot oh. "cract brains" aad the Puritans than in bother­ ing vlth the minor wanderers from the true eco lea last leal path.


doea apeak, however, of "the abaenee of the fanatic aeota of Adamites, Banters, Fifth Monarchy Man, aad aakaa aa Interesting statement con­ cerning the Quakers: away."

"Quakerism la the onlj opinion that bears the bell

This presumably nanao that Quakerism la the only aeot to gain

headway or take the lead.^

Unfortunately, the cogent la Beverley's

superiorly written History la very brief .9®

in bis discussion of

e h r e h matters he says that there are few dissenters, even though there la liberty of conscience, aad mentions five conventicles la the colony, among which he lists "small meetings of Quakers."

He than

states a /truth which the Puritans were slower la discovering:

"As for

the Quakers, 'Tie observed by betting them alone, they decrease dally."99 Thus is shown at least a desire for the reduction of the Quaker forces, albeit officially allowed. The famous histories of the Dividing Line, both *The Begular" aad lOO the "Secret5 yield something more In quantity aad la revelation of attitude.

Byrd has a good deal to say la his Introduction to the

regular history about the Hew Jersey aad Pssnsylvaaia Quakers —


their large numbers, aad about Penn's surprising influence with a


P* 50 The TTiatorv and Present State of Virginia (1705) edited by Louis B. Wright (Chapel Hill, 1947). The brevity of comnent is particu­ larly disappointing, for Beverley Is In Jameson's words aa admir­ able exponent of easy-going and comaonplace life la Virginia.

100. MviAiag Iflne Hiatnyiea. edited by William K. Boyd (Balelgh, 1929)

58 "Popish Prince*”

This ho incidentally explains by saying that Penn vas

not always a Quaker and at one tine was a very popular society amn, es­ pecially vlth the mistress of the Doha of Monmouth, by whom he had a daughter*

Whether this inaccuracy is given in the way of slander, or

merely as aa accepted fact without derogatory intent, it is difficult to say*

Against this latter interpretation is the fact that Byrd seems to

hare been the only one to hare said this about Penn; and if it is derogatorlly meant, it may well be taken aa a touch of anti-Penn Jeal­ ousy, rather than an anti-Quaker expression*

Byrd is fairly free in

his praise of what by "Dllegence aad Frugality" the Quakers had accom­ plished in establishing the colony of Pennsylyanla.

Be is somewhat more

grudging in giving credit for anything very unusual in their dealing with the Indians, feeling that they had received disproportionate praise (over the other colonies) for having paid a little for their land*

In the history itself there are various references to Quakerism,

most of which reveal him as q.uite open-minded with a fair knowledge of what the religion stood for, although certainly he is not drawn to it as a way of life*

Xarly in his account of the surveying Journey he re­

cords having passed two Quaker meeting houses, one of which had an araar ment on one end"that seem'd to ape a steeple," aad he expresses surprise at this "Piece of Foppery from a Sect so much outside Simplicity."1


also shows some concern for his own church In pointing out that the "lower Parrishes” are so burdened vlth poverty that good clergy will not cons there, with the result that they have become good ground for Quaker proselyting, largely because the uninstructed take to the first religion offered.^ Ibid*, p. 68 2*

Ibid*, p. 307

Late in the account Byrd tells of a Quaker member of

59 thvir party being baptised and. says ha did not know whether tha nan did it by conviction or Just to get rid of tha troubles coo farms and restralnts of OuaksriBn.

To Byrd they would certainly be that*

In Byrd's

writing nothing that could ba called extremely hostile to Quakerism is found; but there Is at times an Indifference*

To Byrd it apparently

seemed to be a sect of mistaken direction; it had a few good points, bid altogether it was rather queer.

There is nothing either in tha pub­

lished parts of tha Secret Dlarx^ to change this quite general character lzatlon.

His fair-mindedness, however, was more definitely tested in

that ha had to deal with tha problem of the Quakers' refusal to take their peart in military service*

In an entry of September, 1711, he re­

ports a long talk with the governor "concerning what should be done with the obstinate Q u a k e r s * A n d later he tells of fining all the Quakers for not taking part in drill, but not with undue harshness: gently with the Quakers*"

"I spoke

For which he seemed to think they liked him*^

After the earnest writings of Hew England and the almost equally serious efforts in other areas, **Phe Sotweed Factor"^ may not seem to offer a very high level upon which to close the discussion of the Puri­ tan period*

Nonetheless, this burlesque attempt, in its own way, ap­

proaches literature as closely as any writing examined* 3*

Ho detailed

Secret Diary of William Brrd of Westover 1709-1712. edited by Louis B* Wright and Marion Tinllng (Richmond, 19*1) Another Secret Diary of W illiam Byrd of Westover with Letters and Literary Exercises 1&4-1726. edited by Maude H* Woodf in (Richmond,

19*2 ) g*yaLJlZQ2-171g> p- *09 5*

Ibid.. p.


Ebeaezer Cook, The Sotweed Factor of a Forage to Maryland — A Satyr (London, 1708) in Shea's Early Southern Tracts, Ho* 11

consideration of the poem la necessary* for the naln point is that the factor —

the chief rogue among quite a muster* sale and feassOe —

a Quaker.


Late In his visit, the voyager turns to the problem of fin­

ishing his business successfully —


To this intent, vlth Guide before, I trlpt It to the Eastern Shoar; While riding near a Sandy Bay I met a Quaker, Yea aad Nay; A Pious conscientious Bogus As e'er voar Bonnet or a Brogue, Who neither swore nor kept his Ward* But cheated la the Pear of God; And when his Debts he would not pay, By Light within he ran away. With this Zealot soon I struck A Bargain for ny English truck e






The contract thus between us nade, Not well acquainted with the trade, Hy goods I trusted to the Cheat, Whose crop was then aboard the Fleet; And going to receive ay own, I found the Bird was newly flown: e



Having net with this tricky thdetexy, he turns for help In some kind of rectification to a native doctor-lawyer, and the poem here shifts to a caricature of this "ambodexter Quack" and the law processes of Maryland, all of which leaves him In a worse state. Even though apparently written by an Englishman In Maryland rather than a native —

not a distinction of great Importance In 1700 —


Sotweed Factor" reflects a good deal of Maryland opinion by the clever play upon the characteristic Quaker beliefs and practices, and of the total view of the sect, with all the connotation of superiority that the word sect calls forth.

To those who did not understand the nature

of the religion, the Quakers were likely a minority who religiously, politically, and socially were something of a nuisance.

But such irri­

tation, at Its strongest, was quite different from the earnest heresy

61 boating tbat characterises tbe treatment of Quakerism la most of tbe Hew

accounts. Tbe writings of tbe Puritan period., la or out of Hew England, re-

real a sharp antagonism toward Quakerism and shew, Incidentally, tbat tbe later leaders were often more bigoted than those in control at tbe rery first*

And even although this attitude lessens markedly la tbe

last years of tbe period, tbe feeling of tbe writers never approaches a positive liking*

At best they are Indifferent*

Aside from the

out-and-out pro-Quaker comment, tbe nearest to an appreciation of Quaker lam Is tbat found, oddly enough, in tbe later writings of Cotton Mather, aad be can hardly be said to have liked Quakerism*

Tbe reasons, stated

or Implied, for the general antagonism are chiefly religious*


tbe theological points regarding salvation, Indicated earlier as ele­ ments of difference between Puritanism aad Quakerism, are the ones In­ volved In tbe attack*

Quaker belief was seen as a threat to tbe primacy

of tbe Bible aad to tbe peculiarly Puritan views of original sin aad election*

It was felt, also, tbat tbe rise of Quakerism would under­

mine tbe people's belief In tbe visible signs of Puritan Christianity; tbe sacraments aad, of course, tbe Bible, but most of all the visible church aad tbe clerical civil authority*

It would be wrong to assume,

as m o d e m Ignorance of theology might lead seme to believe, tbat tbe Puritans were merely misguided by a bigotry* the Quakers could be religiously dangerous*

Tbe writings reveal tbat Their moral Influence

theory of salvation struck at tbe traditional dogmas of sin aad salva­ tion, and their emphasis upon the Inner light was Intel cable to tbe Puritan stress upon visible mesas*

Quakerism was a Puritan heresy, and

It Is not strange tbat the writers reveal a corresponding religious fear And because of tbe close church aad state relations of tbe time, tbe

62 fear was lasritablj political*

At any rata ona effect of tha analysis

of these early writings has heen to point up tha often neglected im­ portance of Quakerism In early colonial life. Mather’s writing, however, substantiates the Idea that the sharp­ ness of attack was not due to these differences alone, but to the fact that Puritanism aad Quakerism shared the Protestant heritage of individ­ ualism aad mysticism*

Puritanism was willing to grant a kind of con­

trolled mysticism which would give Insights Into already revealed Blblloal truth, but It was shocked at the Idea that contemporary man would claim revelations on a par with the Bible*

It also stood In

fear of enthusiasm of any kind and considered the Quakers guilty on this score*

The Puritans* attitude toward mysticism aad enthusiasm, and

the fact that Puritanism was dangerously susceptible to aatlnomlan divergencies, had already been made clear by the Ann Hutchinson troubles* These facts help to explain the extreme sensitivity of the leaders, aad it has been shown to be the leaders rather than the Idlty. wrongly these were their feelings aad attitudes* them wrongly to use violent means of suppression*

Rightly or

Unfortunately it led This persecuting

activity Is another element that many writers, even m o d e m cooes, have tended to slight In their characterizations of early New England.



The high degree of unity in seventeenth century thought — result of the theological, or at least religious,



way rapidly as the eighteenth century advances aad moves Into tbs nine­ teenth.

Although a new emphasis replaces the old, a comparison of the

first hundred years of American history with the second hundred reveals that the new emphasis Is far less dominantly unifying. there the absence of as strong a cession feeling

Hot only Is the people of

the new age, but there Is also, in the new thought (the Enlightenment and Its successors) not only a philosophical but also a practical plural­ ism and freedom.1

In religion, this can be sean in the major dividing

up of Puritanism, on the one hand Into the evangelical stream —


such differing contributors as Edwards and the Methodists — and on 2 the other hand, Into rational Unltarlanlsm. In the more secular and philosophical phase, it can be seen In the varying shades of deism, deistic politics, and liberal religion of the eighteenth century, and ta the nineteenth In such varied academic and popular schools as material­ ism, comson sense realism, transcendentalism, with their political mani­ festations.^

There Is, however, a greater oneness than this catalogue


See Woodbrldge Blley, American Thought. Chapter I, "Puritanism, * the section "Philosophy and Politics, from Absolutism to Democracy." Blley here traces the shift from passivity, determinism, and pessimism to activity, freedom, and optimism.


For the relationship of Edwards to seventeenth century Puritanism, see Herbert Schneider, A History of American yhiioaonhv. pp. 13“1 & and Perry Miller, The Hew England Mind, pp. 62, 176-177» tor his opposition to Methodism, Schneider, pp. 20-21. Miller and Johnson, The Puritans, pp. 3-5, in their comnents on mis taken ideas of Puritanism, trace the two-fold division of Puritanism.


Schneider's history has a good discussion of the eighteenth century


64 would, indicate.

S t u d if there la not the controlling unity of the

early times, one finds hack of the varied Manifestations an Important ccanon denominator —

and that la nan's coneera for nan.

each of the points of view mentioned — transcendental, etc. —

A teat of

evangelical, Unitarian, deist let,

reveals that, regardless of the philosophical

or religions reason for it, the concern of each Is a n .

in this coaeon

denominator Is found the logical basis of measuring stick for the period to he considered in this chapter —

a period extending from the decline

of Puritanism and religion through the Civil War. The analysis of the writings of this period for their treatment of Quakerism can best he approached vlth seme awareness of the relation of Quakerism to the varied religious and Intellectual movements mentioned. Perhaps the most important point to he aware of Is that Quakerism Is nob the result of these movements, singly or collectively; nor la It Just another collateral religious manifestation.

Quakerism Is rather a

source or a cause, among others, of the new spirit — new movements

and hence of the

Fundamentally, it Is the religious product of a spirit

long abroad In the world:

In the first place, It is a product of the

Protestant and humanistic spirit of the sixteenth and seventeenth centur­ ies; and as a legitimate «>»-nA of the Reformation aad Renaissance, It (3) phases, Part II "The Enlightenment,n especially divisions 4, 6, 1, For the various later schools, see Index of Blley aad Schneider. 4.

Chester Jorgenson aad F. L. Mott, In the American Writer Series Franklin (Rev York, 1936), p. xxii, list Quakerism, together with the frontier, deism, Methodism, aad science, as a force undermining the Hew TSngland heritage. These editors give various characteristics of Quakerism which are of significance In this context: a belief In the priesthood of all believers and In the right of private Judgment; a rejection of total depravity and the doctrine of election; a be­ lief in a loving father-God; an opposition to ceremony In religion; a conviction that private revelation Is anterior to Scriptural; a stress upon morality expreseed in fellow service. The Quakers, therefore, Jorgenson and Mott contend, lent momentum to the rlee of hnaamltarlanlam In prison reform and antislavery movements, (xxilin)

55 shares lta parentage vlth such other religion* aad secular manifesta­ tions ae Puritanism, deism, evangelical Christianity, capita lias, and science; and It antedates most of them*

In the second place, Quakerism

hy naans of Inheritance and unique re-discovery, Is connected spiritual­ ly vlth primitive Christianity*

This Is of great Importance*


though In an age of enlightenment and fast developing humanitarian lam. Quakerism can he discovered sharing and fostering many of the human­ istlc religious emphases of the day, It Is basically lnccapatible vlth them*

For example, In Its mysticism, Its sense of evil, and its ability

to unite religious belief and practical ethics, It has a religious depth that the typical thought of the day does not have; thus often vhen It holds firmly to certain Ideals of the age, It does so for different and religiously older reasons —

reasons central in Christianity*


such a total relationship, It Is natural that there vere definite points of disagreement, as veil as agreement, between Quakerism and the various views of the age.

The chief points of disagreement vere pacifism and

mysticism; the chief points of agreement vere the desire for a creedless religion and the Interest in the antislavery movement aad other aspects of the humanitarian Impulse*

In their treatment of Quakerism

the vrltlngs of the period reflect these agreements and disagreements• ▼laving the writings ae a whole, one finds that theibfclhnce is certainly In favor of the agreements vlth Quakerism, and Increasingly so as the period progresses. The historical writing shares the general attitude of the period toward Quakerism for the intellectual reasons just given*

In addition,

growing out of Its Individual duality, the historical treatment has peculiarities of Its own.

As it moved from an age of arbitrary divine

Providence further Into an age of natural lav, the historical writing

66 Increasingly dropped Its task of religious Instruction.

But It did not

gain scientific objectivity, for new tasks cf Instruction awaited It ~ chiefly the functions of educating sen away froat the old superstitions, even the old Puritanism, and of leading annent, revolution, and nationalism. ^

Into new paths of enllgkb-

While the nationalism sought was

generally democratic and thus favorable to Quakerism, to the extent that It was warlike or partook Hew England, It was critical*

of the fillo-pietiotie admiration for in light of these varied goals It can

be seen why the historical treatment of Quakerism Is both friendly sad hostile, and why, vlth the exception of the war periods, It Is generally favorable*

Analysis shews, however, that one cannot on this basis Judge

a priori any of the histories, for at least two other fact are —


personal viewpoint of the historian aad the changed nature of Quakerism — at times prove stronger than the peculiarities of historical writing, and, for that matter, than the general Intellectual tendencies of the age.

Partly because of this fact the best arrangement of the materials

in this chapter is less logical than chronological and geographical* The analysis of the treatment of Quakerism In this historical writ­ ing nay well begin vlth The Sn— aarv History of British Settlements by William. Douglas, ^ a history that dearly reflects some of the new eight­ s'

This general historical development Is dealt vlth by Barry Elmer Barnes in A History of Historical (Hew York and Chicago, 1919), "Rationalism and Historical Writing," pp. 147-152* The influence of Increased nationalism upon the functions of American historical writing Is suggested by Michael ETaus, op* cit., Chapter 17, "Historiography I75O-I8OO aad the Growing national Spirit," especially the earlier pages, 1Q5-113. See Jameson, op. clt*. p. 67, for cr— ant on the shift from didactic history; and pp. 80-85, 90-51 for a discussion of the, nationalistic em­ phases*


A Sumawr. Hiat,orleal and Political, of the First Progres­ siva T m r ovwents. and Present State of the British Settlements In Horth America...*2 volumes (Boston. 1747)

67 eenth century trends.

At first glance Douglas seems to be Inconsistent.

He states, for example, tbat Just as the American colonies served to drain off the "disaffected" from England, so the new colonies, Bhode Island, serve the older ones in removing the "Quakers and other wild sectaries."^

Further, in a discussion of liberty of conscience,

he stresses the essential oneness in prayer of all denominations, but excludes the "profane anthuslastlck Prayers of the Hew Lights and O others" who in praying follow as the spirit guides. This would seem to be a criticism Inclusive of the Quakers, yet in this same context he praises the Quakers for their "mental prayers" - - prayers without words, with simplicity of mind, without verbal sounds that distract.

The seem­

ing contradiction here and elsewhere may be explained by his assumption that the Quakers of an early day and those of his time were two dif­ ferent

kinds of people —


one fanatic enthusiasts and the other sober

Evidence that this dual view is at the basis of his treat­

ment comes clearly to light at the close of the history. in arguing that the conduct of the Quakers in 165k


The author was "ludicrous

and indecent, " speaks feelingly of their blasphemies and disturbances; and he readily accepts the severe laws passed against them.

But he

adds that the Quakers in his own day are noted for their thrift, fru­ gality, moral honesty, etc., and are given various exemptions in the matter of oaths and the payment of taxes for the ministry. however, he cannot refrain from a kind of qualification:

Even here, their re­

jection of the sacred symbol of Christian fellowship, the Lord*s Sup­ per, "is not to be accounted far."^ Summary. I, 206 8.

Ibid. I, 229


Ibid. I,

68 Throughout this first volume Douglas* discussion of the PuritanQuaker controversy rsfloots the growing eighteenth century spirit. explaining the Puritan domination, he says that


in a "natural

unpolished state" Is an "animal superstItlosum” and therefore subject to great Influence by the clergy.

And he argues that leniency is the

best nedleine for fanaticism; persecution only Increases it.

In bring­

ing the natter of religious differences down to his present, he points out that those differences are not now essential, to which effect he quotes Locke: I design to take qy Religion from Scripture, and then if it suits or suits not any Denomination 1 am not much concerned, for I think at the.last Day it will not be En­ quired whether I was Church of England or Genera; but whether I sought aad embraced the TRUTH IH THE LOTS OF IT. The second rolune of Douglas* work includes a more particular consideration of Quakerism in the individual colonies, such as Hew Haspshire, Rhode Island, Hew Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. For some reason, Douglas is more critical of anti-Quaker attitudes and here comsends tolerance wherever it is found. ^

He praises the Quakers,

not merely for the "capitalistic virtues" of thrift, eto., but for more essentially religious qualities.

He wishes, for example, that

other religions would adopt the creedless policy of the Quakers aad so avoid the ever-present tendency to division.

He defends their

doctrine of the Inner light, their loyalty to the government, their policy in regard to oaths, aad their attitude toward the Scriptures. But on one issue, pacifism, he makes another aad final qualification: "The pusilanimous Doctrine of not defending themselves by Force against 10.

See Ibid. I, khjn, for the Locke quotation; for the preceding com­ ment, I, kkZn.


See, for example, Ibid. II, 76a, 129a, 135-

69 aa Invading Enemy la very absurd.

Pro Patrla is not only a lav of

nations tat of Nature.”12 An example of the sometimes slight treatment that Quakerism reeolred In tha non-Hew UwgiAT*d histories Is to he found. In William Smith's History of Mew York.1^

Although there Is no major discussion,

seme of the minor points are not without a revealing quality*

From, this

history ve learn of the presence of Quakers in Hew York at various times through Its past.

Ve learn too that after the Revolution certain mem­

bers of the assembly from Queens, "being Quakers,” vere dismissed for refusing the oaths.^

It Is also recorded that In 1737, vhen various

lavs vere being passed In response to popular demand following the Zeager upheaval, a lav vas offered "to give the Quakers further indul­ gence by exempting them from producing certificates from the Quarterly meetings...of their having been members of that persuasion a year be­ fore the offer of themselves for an affirmation.”1^

All told the

treatment Is slight; tat the lack of any particular comment by the author, as veil as the slightness Itself, no doubt reveals

a lack of

concern.1** Another non-Haw England colonial history, vlth Its extensive treatment of Quakerism, but a acre Important one for this study, Is 12.

Douglas* defense of the Quakers, Ibid. II, 153* 156, and in con­ nection vlth Pennsylvania, II, 325 ff. The "pusllanlmous” state­ ment Is found In II, 132.


A History of the Late Province of Hew York frcm Its Discovery to the Anno 195* 217

On the antislavery issue, see IV, 176-177 (Quotation); VI, 655* the p6nal code and prison reform, IV, 2k ff.


88. A Htatqqrv of icnpia.r»sl 5 volumes, I, II, III in 1858-186k; IV In 1875; V in 1890, posthumously (Boston) Bassett (p. k7): "...a defense of Puritanism written at a time

96 -felon, for the moat part, Is handled satisfactorily; and tbs humanitarian Ideals of the nineteenth century certainly seem to bare left tbsir arnrk Is Palfrey's favorable evaluation of Quaker social and political prac­ tices.

Yet bere once more tbe author cones to pick tbe berries from

two different Quaker bushes -- tbe early and late varieties. Palfrey begins, advantageously, with a general characterization of Quakerism, by which he reveals the personal point of view maintained throughout the whole account.

Present day Quakers possess, "In a high

degree," the respect of mankind, and In consideration of their "praise­ worthy character" tbe world overlooks their somewhat objectionable pecul­ iarities; e.g., of speech and dress.

Hie praises their thrift, practical

judgment, and high moral dualities, wad mentions particularly the "val­ uable Improvements" In prisons, the treatment of the insane, aad admin­ istration of public charity. the sentiment of —

Hot least, "they have done much to rectify

in respect bo the character of war."


was apparently far enough away fron the Bov olutiooary War, and, Ironi­ cally, near enough to the Civil War to believe and make such an evalua­ tion).

The chief names in philanthropy have been Quaker —

Hopper, etc. — Quakers.

Fry, Benezet,

and the slave business has had no stronger foe than the

But to all this he adds, r^The founders of the sect were men

of different metal"

"seldom have enthusiasts been more coarse, more

unfriendly, more wild and annoying than the early



when men like Charles Francis Adams vere beginning to criticize with singular sharpness the deeds and Ideals of the former ruling class." And Barnes (p. 232): "the long Puritan apology of John Gorham Palfrey." But Jameson (p. 123): "probably the best single large pleoe of work that has been done ^L.e. by I891j in America an any part of our Colonial period."


The History. II, 1*52-45^

Palfrey present* good sketches of Quaker history, first English, and then A m e r i c a n . ' The English account, which is dependent upon Sewell, includes the life aad experiences of George Fax, whose courage is praised, even if "his doctrine was somewhat misty aad unsatisfying." The Puritan fears of Quaker sahverslveness are justified in the Americas sketch, and the Puritan effort to suppress the Quakers is pictured as "an unequal contest that Is waged with adversaries, who —

whether by

reason of Insanity, or of passion, or of conscientiousness — embarrassed by fear of death." stubborn obstinacy."

are un­

This contest the Quakers won by "more

On the other side, Palfrey admits that Massachu­

setts was unfortunate In the temper of the three man who had most to do with the government —

Eadlcott, Bellingham, aad John Horton —


that the court in continuing the battle by means of severe lavs put Itself In a position "which they could not maintain without grievous severity, nor abandon without humiliation aad danger." should have paused and retraced its steps.

"The government

It would have had to acknowl­

edge itself beaten; but this it could afford to do, and this it was obliged to do at last..."

But the author has a final thrust at the

early Quakers, in whoa "idiotic felly was mated with indomitable boldness."

The record of the struggle is continued —

pects of Rhode island and Hew Haven history —

Including as­

down to 1720.

this time on Quakerism.•.was unmolested aad Insignificant."

"From The causal

relationship between these two descriptive facts, however, remains un­ noted. 90.

For the English sketch, see Ibid. II, 4-54- ff.; for the American account, II, 461-482. To these sections the references In the following paragraph are made; the quotations are from pp. 462, 4?6, aad 481.

98 Clearly the historical writings of the "Age of Humaaltarlanlen" are wore favorable to Quakerism than those of the "Puritan Ira."


chief reasons underlying this new attitude and causing its expression In written history need to he kept in mind if that attitude is to he correctly interpreted.

The histories early reveal a movement away from

Puritanism and reflect, moreover, an attempt to correct the excessively Puritan point of view of the preceding writings.

Often, particularly

at first, no great liking for Quakerism is shown; rather it is felt that the Puritan leaders had simply not acted properly or wisely in the difficult situation created hy the Quakers.

Especially is this true,

say these writers, in light of the new eighteenth century standards of justice and reasonableness •

If, as with some writers, the comment stops

here, it is, whether meant or not, an Implied criticism of the Quakers; that is, Quaker sins caused the Puritan wrong-doing.

Most writers,

however, reveal a genuine if partial appreciation of Quakerism.


cared not so amch for the religious essence of Quakerism as for certain literal elements which it containedt a lack of dogma and formal creed, its struggle for religious and civil liberty, and its practical moral emphasis.

And when the historians are made aware of the mystical

element in Quakerism, they reject the religion or that part of it on humanistic grounds.

Another point of disagreement which might not have

arisen save for the Revolutionary and 1312 wars, and perhaps the threat of civil war, was with Quaker pacifism.

Closely related is the effect

of the function of Instilling patriotism which some histories undertook. The extent to which such histories were favorable or unfavorable to Quakerism depended upon the kind of patriotism or nationalism spon­ sored and upon the personal attitude of the writer.

It is important,

also, to note that the fact of a changed Quakerism enters Into the pic­

99 ture tkroaghont.

Most of the historians bars been asea to emphasise -

area overemphasise —

the distinction between early sad later Quakers.

It is a distinctloa that enables then to reject what they considered Its earlier fanaticism, and yet accept Its liberal and social emphases Thus Increasingly evident in the historical treatment Is a favorable attitude based upon the approval of vhat seemed the humanitarian Im­ pulses of Quakerism.

At first this grew out of a delstlc concern

with social reform and later out of a new evangelical Interest la a humanitarian expression of religion.

Historians thus discovered,

besides the Quaker spirit of democratic Individualism and concern for religious and clhlllllberty, the practical Quaker work in such specifio causes as the prison and mental hospital reform, the relief work for the poor, and the aatlslavery movement.

These called forth

the sympathy of many who In no other way would have been drawn to Quakerism.




Compared with the histories, the literary writings of the humani­ tarian age reveal a greater variety in the treatment of Quakerism, as veil as a wider range In the points of view regarding It.

The examina­

tion of the particular works will discover the most Important reasons for this variety; hut one obvious reason that should he noted at once Is the varied kinds of writing that have been included.

The term liter­

ature, at least In the early part of this chapter, has been broadly Interpreted.

For this there Is need.

Eighteenth-century American let­

ters boasts of a number of writers, such as Franklin, Paine, and Jeffer­ son, whose works, apart from the strictly belletrlstic Qualities, are of national significance because of their social, political, or philo­ sophical content.

This significance makes very desirable the consid­

eration of their writings even In a discussion otherwise devoted to the more strictly literary.

It needs to be said, moreover, that Judg­

ing oven on the basis of literary skill, In the sense of skill In prose writing, one would have difficulty In excluding the work of these men from any survey of American literature.

Finally, each of the writers

mentioned had a good deal to say about Quakerism. It Is not surprising to find that most of Franklin's comment on Quakerism concerns the practical Impact of Its belief rather than Ques­ tions of Its religious validity.

At times, however, he considers the

Quakers as Quakers, and It would be well to begin with his opinions of Quakerism as a religion.

By no stretch of interpretation of anything

Franklin wrote was he denunciatory of the Quaker religion, or even In sharp disagreement with it.

On the simplest level, he freely accepts


101 Quakerism as Just another religion.1

But Franklin did more than merely

accept the Quakers; he praised them and spoke clearly in their defense. From the autobiographical record of his first day in Philadelphia to on» of his last speeches In the Constitutional Convention in 1787, ve find expressions of this attitude.2

Still further, there la evidence of a

considerable area of religious agreement between his thought ism.


One Important aspect of that faith with which he was In complete

agreement was the Quaker belief in an unpaid clergy. comment:

Typical is this

"If Christian teachers had continued to teach as Christ and

his apostles did, without Salaries, and as the Quakers now do, X 1mr>e1ttn Tests would never have existed; for 1 think they were Invented, not to secure Beliglon Itself, as the fisoluments of it.

fie goes on to eay

that If a religion Is good, it will support Itself; to call for civil help Is a sign the religion Is bad.

Likewise Franklin's objection to

the taxation of Quakers for the maintenance of the clergy is based on this religious argument.

He says that if the end is to promote piety,

religion, and morality, then the Quakers have achieved the end without a regular clergy and paid teachers.^ That Franklin, a fairly thorough-going deist, expressed such re1.

In a brief Conte. Franklin tells, incidentally, of St. Peter's al­ lowing a Catholic, an Anglican, and a Quaker, without discrimina­ tion, to take their assigned places in heaven. The Wkl+-*"ff ** Franklin, edited by Albert Henry Smyth, 10 volumes (Hew York, 1905-1907) X, 125


For examples of his reaction early In the Autobiography, see v-ri-h-iwfi*. i, 251-232 and 255. In the Constitutional Convention on June 2, 1787, Franklin, speaking against a salary for the chief executive, pointed to Quaker coamlttee work as refutation of the argument that people would not work well without pay. (Ibid. IX, 59*0


Ibid.. V U I , 154


Ibid.. VIII, 256 Letter to Samuel Cooper, Passy, May 15, 1781. also references In Note 2.

Letter to Bichard Price, Passy, October 9, 1750 See

10& llgioufl agreement with Quakerism la sot surprising.

But a M r * col-

laetlen of his diraet statements on Quakerism (the H a l t of the anal­ ysis la this study) does not reveal the degree of agreearat that aa examination of the eaaeatlal polata of hie "creed" rereala.

At the

aaae time, one m a t look at theae common beliefs vlth the knowledge of the important difference la the procesa by which they were attained. Franklin, vlth his acleatlfle and highly rational approach, and the Quakera, vlth their ayatlcal approach, were poles apart.^ On one applied phase of the Quaker religion In the peace Issue, Franklin found himself at odds vlth the Quakers; yet he never a peaks in other than tolerant tones.

In fact, he often cornea out In defense

of their right to their principle, criticizing those "who are ever railing at the Quakers for doing vhat their principles seem to require, and vhat In charity ve ought to believe they think their duty, but take no step themselves for public safety ."** In countering the charge that his militia act was too lenient vlth the Quakers, he restates the po­ sition of the charter on liberty of conscience and clalma that the act was directed against other kinds of cowards, who hate Quakers more than they love their country.7

Tet Franklin can be critical.


Verner V. Crane states in WT*anirH«i Englishman and American (Frevidence, 1936), p. 13: "Save for his entire lack of mystlelsm and his realistic view cf war, Franklin had much In coeenon vlth his neighbors." Mott and Jorgensen analyze the Quaker Influence upon Franklin, and although their points are rather conjectural, they do serve to point up Franklin's view and Its similarity toutkhe Quaker outlook, ( o p . clt.. p. cxxvil)


VfttiTu^a ii, 3hd-3^9 "Plain Truth or Serious Considerations on the Present State of the City of Philadelphia and Province of Pennsylvania"


Ibid. IF, 313-319 "Dialogue Between X, Y, and Z Concerning the Present State cf Affairs in Pennsylvania"

103 For example, a ccaMnt la the Autobiography suggests that the Quaker opposition to his cere:


oluntaer mllltla plan la something lass than sin­

"Indeed, I had sons causa to believe that ths defense of tha

country was net disagreeable to any of thorn, provided thay vara not re­ quired to assist la it*

And 1 found that a such greater number of them

than I could have Imagined, though against offensive war, were clearly for the defensive.”®

And, later, Franklin Indicates that tha Quakers,

caught betveen loyalty to tha royal government and to their principles, fell back upon a variety of evasions to avoid complying vlth the de­ mands for defense; tha common mode, he says, was to grant money "for tha king's use” and not to Inquire how it was applied. Franklin put a better light on this inconsistency:

Once, at least,

”1 know that tha

Quakers now think It their Duty, vhen chosen, to consider themselves as Representatives of the Whole Fssule, and not of their sect only.... "9 The fundamental cause of this whole *felstahan policy," Franklin clearly believes, lies In the rigidity of their principle —

In their having

published and held as unchangeable that no kind of war was lawful; sufh Inflexibility should always be avoided, so as to allow future genera­ tions some room for movement.

His final comment In this connection

has a word of implied praise:

he says that tie- Quakers chose "rather

to quit their power than their principle.”

The "defense” problem Is

but one aspect, although a major one, of the Quakers' relation to the government, and Franklin's treatment of this la typical cf vhat he says of the other phases.

Be could view Quaker weaknesses realistically,


For this statement and for the comments on defense Immediately following, see Ibid. I, 361 ff., especially pp. 364 and 368.


Ibid. H , 277 letter to Peter Colllnson, August 27, 1755* also another letter to Collins cm, November 5, 1756, H I » 5^5 •

10k yet see also their many virtues; aad, not leant, he recognized In Quftkr-

lsn a religion Quite akin to any that he would adnlt t o *1 0 Paine *b writing, even mere

clearly than Franklin *b, points up

the misleading similarity between Quakerism and deism*

Indeed In the

Quaher-delatio nature of Paine's thought Is to he found an excellent example of the truth stated early In Chapter


and partially Illus­

trated In the foregoing discussion of franklin, namely, that an agree­ ment between Quakerism and deism on certain particular points Is no assurance of a common religious basis*

Paine held that Quakerism, of

all religions, came closest to his own deistic religious philosophy; In fact, as the son of a Quaker, he seemed to consider himself a sort of unofficial member of the Society.11

Yet, fundamentally, Paine and

the Quakers were in disagreement; and, although Paine newer recognized the fact, It Is evident that the Quakers did.

The Question of the

extent of Quaker Influence on Paine's total thought Is not one to be discussed here; however, It Is helpful to keep the fact of the Influ10*

Examples of other comment upon the Quakers: In regard to taxation for schools, Ibid* III, 228; of opposition to and friendship with the proprietors, IV, 361 and 82; concerning the Indiana, IV, 222 An example of franklin's realism is his comment on Voltaire's eulogistic description of the Quakers* living In complete har­ mony* franklin said that It was well that Voltaire's portrait was drawn from a distance* Ibid* IV, 267* Letter to Henry BouQuet, Philadelphia, September 30, 176k*


"The religion that approaches the nearest of all to true Deism, In the moral and benign part thereof, Is that professed by the Quakers." Age of Reason. T.-tfe and Works of Thom as Paine, edited by William M. Van der Weyde (Hew Rochelle, 19^5) 10 Tolmmes, VIII, 73. Evidence that Paine was considered by some to be a Quaker Is the Incident of Marat's objecting to Palneh speaking in the french national Convention concerning the execution of Louis on the grounds that Paine was a Quaker and therefore preju­ diced: Works VII, 309. Paine In his will asked to be burled in the friends cemetery. Ibid. X, 295 This request the Quakers refused.

105 ence la mind la considering simply vhat Paine said about the Quakers •^ Beginning vlth a proud acknowledgment of his Quaker heritage — that it vast his good fortune, his father being a Quaker, to here "an exceedingly good moral education and tolerable stock of useful learn­ ing”1"* — Quakerism.

Paine throughout his writings has such to say In praise of Part of this is occasioned by his approval of Quaker kunaal-

tarlanlsm and part by more purely religious reasons, but In both


pects he praises, In alter-ego fashion, vhat he seems to consider ver­ sions of deism.

Thus on religious persecution:

"The only sect that

has not persecuted are the Quakers, and the only reason that can be given Is that they are rather Deists than Christians.

They do not be­

lieve much about Jesus Christ, and they call the scriptures a dead Ik letter.” This certainly Is a description which would not apply to the Quakers as a whole. Quaker religion:

Paine mentions other unique qualities of the

the Quakers are the only people as a professional

sect who provide for the poor; they have no priests; their church warship Is a quiet assembly without show or noise ("true religion Is without either"); and the Quakers are especially remarkable for the education of their children.

The chief negative to the praise is


Moncure Conway, Life of Thomas Paine. 2 volumes (London and Hew York, 1392), sees throughout Paine's career the early Influence of the Thetford meeting house; e.g., "In a profounder sense Paine was George Fox •.•humanised In a world of men. Paine Is explicable only by the Intensity of his Quakerism." (II; 201) Again: "His whole political system Is explicable only by his theocratic Quakerism." (I, 251) A quite different point of view, one stressing the relatively greater place of such Influ­ ences as those of Hewtcnlanlam and Classicism, Is that of H. H. Clark, Pains Selections (American Writer Series), xli-xw. See also the rather slight treatment by H. W. Hints (op. clt., Chap ter II), vhlch is a synthesis of other views.


Works VIII. 68-69, Age of Reason


Ibid. VIII, 271, Age of Reason

106 that Paine feels that the Quakers "hare contracted themselves too much *

by leaving the varies of God out of their system."

This divergence in

their views of nature is one of the iagtortant distinction between Quakerism and

deism. ^

On one major practical point — plied in the Revolution — Quakers.


the "peaceable principle” aa ap­

was in sharp disagreement with the

As aa ideal it was acceptable, "but we live not in a world

of angels.

The reign of Satan is not yet ended; neither are we to ex­

pect to be defended by miracles.”1** In the Crisis. Paine quotes with approval the condemnation of the Quakers by the Pennsylvania council for safety for their issuance of the Pemberton paper urging resistance to the government in its war moves.

Hie comments that if no Injury had

been done to the public by this "apostasy of the Quakers from them­ selves, " the public would have nothing to do vlth it, but now it is treason against every state.

He develops his favorite theme that sep­

aration from Hog land would be a means of disentangling America from the forced wars of Europe; yet the religious polities of Quaker leaders would cut off the hope of escape by tying this continent to Britain like Hector to the chariot wheel of Achilles. Franklinlike terms s rldden people.


He exclaims in un-

Ye fallen, cringing, priest-amd-Pambertcn-

Vhat more can we say of ye than that a religious Quaker

is a valuable character; and a political Quaker a real Jesuit.” An interesting summary of most of Paine's arguments against the Quaker 15.

For the various unique aspects, see Ibid. IX, 20, 23, "Worship and Church Bells”; for the qualification mentioned, VIII, 75, Age of Reason.


Ibid. U , 79 "Thoughts on Defensive War”; the number of the Crisis referred to is Humber 3, April 19, 1777, II, 3 ^ “5^9, 325-328.

107 position, together vlth one of his heat analyses on what he considers to he their inherent ineomsisteney In entering into polities at all, is to he round in his "Epistle to the Quakers," vhloh Is an answer to the "Ancient Testimony and Principles of the People Called Quakers, Renewed in Respect to the King and Government.. •n issued hy the Phi Indelphla nesting of January, 1776*


Its thesis Is that if it is God's

prerogative, as the Quakers say, to raise up or put down kings and governments, then q.uietistic waiting should he the policy and not po­ litical exhortation to resist the hreak with the king. Jefferson, the last of this group of thinkers to he considered, came to his opinion of Quakerism in two ways:

academically —

that is,

hy way of an historical and theoretical evaluation of Quakerism as a religion; and practically — experience with the Quakers.

that Is, through first-hand political Partly because of a deictic misinterpreta­

tion of Quakerism, Jefferson's finding through experience did not al­ ways satisfactorily harmonize vlth his theoretic appreciation; as a result an occasional querulous note comes Into his conments.

His final

Judgment, however, Is certainly one favorable to Quakerism. In his historical view he was very sympathetic with Quakerism and looked with distaste on their mistreatment in the colonies, especially in Virginia.

He points out hew the Quakers fleeing persecution in

England and seeking an asylum in these new countries found them only free for the reigning sect.

Toward the Quakers who came to Virginia

the powers were "most cruelly intolerant, driving them from the colony hy the severest penalties”; and whenever and wherever they did manage 17.

Ibid. II, 183-187. of Common Sense.

The "epistle" appeared in the third edition

108 to stay, tlwy were iiAJoet to unrighteous compulsions.^ In hi* theoretical evaluation, the rn m n n ground between deism and Quakerism draws frcm Jefferson, as frcm Franklin and Paine, rarlons words of admiration. religion should be*

Quakerism Is typically used as aa example of what In a comparison of the polltloal conservatives with

the clergy, who, he says, lire by the schisms they create, Jefferson contrasts Quakerism w i t h the false actIt ity of orthodox religion: The mild and simple principles of the Christian phil­ osophy would produce too much calm, too much regularity of good, to extract from its disciples a support for a numer­ ous priesthood, were they not to sophisticate It, ramif.y it, split It Into hairs, twist Its texts till they cover the divine morality of Its author with mysteries, and require a priesthood to explain them. The Quakers seem to have dis­ covered this* They have no priests; therefore no schisms. They judge of the text by the dictates of comuon sense and crimenn morality.^9 Creeds, like the priests, are the bane and ruin of the church, that which has divided Christianity and made it a slaughter house.


the Quakers have none and "hence, alone, the harmony, the quiet, the brotherly affections, the exemplary and unschaeatlzing Society of Friends." And again he speaks of his fear of creeds arising among the Unitarians:

"Hew much wiser are the Quakers, who, agreeing In the

fundamental doctrines of the gospel, schismatlcize about no mysteries, and, keeping within the pale of common sense suffer no speculative dlfference of opinion.... to impair the love of their brethren.



The w-ri-fcinga of Thomas Jefferson, edited by Albert Ellery Bergh, 20 volumes (Washington, B.C., 1907)> I* 57* Autobiography: II, 218, "Notes on Virginia"


Writings X, 25k, latter to Eldridge Gerry, Washington, March 29, 1801; the identification of the Quaker Inner light with common sense Is an example of Jefferson’s deist leally biased Interpreta­ tion of Quakerism.


For these comments on creeds, see Ibid. XV, 31k, latter to the Rev. Thomas Whittemore, Montlcello, June 5, 1822; and XV, 385* Letter to Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, Montlcello, June 26, 1822.

109 Jefferson believes that lie and the Quakers are at one in many Important respects, bat bis additional explanations of the ground of bis own con­ victions reveal a rationalistic reasoning with which it Is doubtful 21 that most Quakers would, agree. As suggested earlier, tbls basic misinterpretation say be partly the cause of Jefferson's dlaappolntsent with the Quakers when be bad to deal wltb them first' band In social and political activity.

Be never

grasped the absolutlstlc nature of the Quaker religion and ethic, dlaappolntsent, however, can be understood.


Jefferson was certain that

an at least some issues his administrative policies were in perfect harmony wltb Quaker beliefs; but the political support of the Quakers, which be might readily have expected, was never forthcoming. lem that illustrates tbls Is that of the Indians.

One prob­

In 1807 Jefferson

thought that the government's and the Quakers' Ideas on help for the Indians were very much alike, especially in the order of that help, which was to begin with "practical things" and then move to things of the mind, and only then to religion and morals.

Yet we find Jefferson

a few years later mentioning the fact that the Quakers failed to support the administration In Its Indian policies.


In the peace Issue,


The following observation reveals a rather quantitative view of education and religion that the more spiritual Quakers would have had difficulty In accepting: "I think with them on many points, and especially on missionary and Bible societies. While we have so many, within the same social pale, who need instruction and assistance, why carry to a distance, and to strangers what our own neighbors need?" Ibid. XV, 434, Letter to Michael Megear, Montlcello, May 29, 1823


ibid. XI, 394-395, Letter to James Pemberton, Washington, No­ vember 16, 1807; hie later comment on the lack of support, X U , 346-3^7, Letter to Samuel Kercheval, Montlcello, January 19, 1810


Jeffaneo felt area more clearly deserted, for the Quaker principle was more definitely involved . As secretary of state in 1798, he tried to get support against a war with France, and so he writes to Madison: "An attempt has heen made to get the Quakers to cone forward vlth a petition, to aid vlth the weight of their body the feeble p e a c e *


But only a few signed and even the Quakers In the Pennsylvania

assembly agreed in voting against a peace notion.

Jefferson gives vhat

to him is the reason far this attitude, a reason which he often repeats: ••Their attachment to England Is stronger than to their principles or their country*

The revolution war was a first proof of this."


as President, he writes that the administration has always tried for peace, and because in all questions its principles have been those of Friends, he Is at a loss to knew the cause of their opposition* 1810, he writes more bitterly*



The Quakers are also men of passion

which If Involved even their principles suffer*

He says that the

Quakers have failed to support the government's efforts for peace and the measures as to Indians, the slavery question, and religious free­ dom.

The reason?

"A Quaker Is an Englishman, in whatever part of the

earth he Is born or lives.

Some years later Jefferson voices the

Bane complaints and something of the same reason:

'They are protestant

Jesuits, implicitly devoted to the will of their superior, and for­ getting all duties to their country in the execution of the policy of their order.

The vide gap between these criticisms of Quakerism


Ibid. X, 18, Philadelphia, March 29, 1798


Ibid. XII, 7 % To Walter Franklin, Washington, June 22, 1808


See note 22b.


Ibid. XV, 115, Letter to Marquis de la Fayette, Montlcello, May Ik, 1817

Ill and the feeling expressed earlier In regard to It aa a noble religion le not to he explained on a genetic basis of earlier and Inter thought. (It will he noted that hoth before and after these strictures upon Quakerism, Jefferson writes in praise of Quakerism as religion.) Bather the discrepancy is to he explained hy the fact of an immediate and perhaps temporary irritation with the Quakers la a face-to-face practical situation. The treatment of Quakerism in the more distinctly helletrlstlc voxfc of this period is preseated through an analysis of a representative group of writings which have Quakerism as an important these.

In ad­

dition, for the purpose of a more complete view, the opinions of um jar writers are presented, whether or not those opinions constitute a theme. Although the writings of the thinkers and statesmen, such as Franklin, Paine, and Jefferson, often rose to literary levels, national American literature, in the narrower sense, was still to come.

And it is only

at the very last of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth that there are clear indications of its coming.


tlve of the late eighteenth century literary stirrings and in turn repre­ sentative of the Quaker treatment axe the works of five writers con­ sidered here as a groups

Jonathan Sewell's A Cure for the Spleen,

John Murdock's The Trii^p>»«

Love. Jeremy Belknap's The Foresters.

Susanna Bowson's Beuben and Bachel. and various poems hy Philip Freneau. From an aesthetic point of view these works are sub-literary, hut they are of interest in reflecting what were no doubt some cf the current views of Quakerism in the. late eighteenth century.

Although Quakerism

receives some serious consideration, it is viewed chiefly as a sect vlth various peculiarities. Thus while the consents are not as anti-

112 Quaker as -those found in -the Purl-tan period, they are also by no M a a s eulogistic* Tbs full title of Sewall'a "play,** vlth the list of characters, Is a general description of Its nature:

A Cure for the S-pleen their language; but I am a young man.... I feel that within me that tells me, should my king or country re­ quire my assistance, I should readily draw a sword in their defense. What if we were all men of peace, who would pro­ tect us from the encroachment of our enemies ?33


Reuben and Rachel; or. a Tale of Old Times (Boston, 1798)


Ibid. II, 210-211

117 Rachel, left behind la Eng land., vhere she falls la lore vlth. a soar lotcoated soldier, experiences the aarrov religiosity of her Quaker aunt. Rachel rebels against her aunt 'a prohibitions, saying that she does not condeaa the faith but those vho, lacking heart to enjoy Innocent pleasures God gives, condemn others for enjoy lag them*

On the Awarlcan

scene, vlth Reuben, ve hare a picture of the dishonest and vealthy Quaker uncle, Jacob Holmes, aad vlth It suggestions of a criticism of the vealth-accumilatlng Quakers of the eighteenth century.

This em­

phasis is balanced, however, by the person of Jacob's vlfe, vho though not very Intelligent doeB have a natural sense of right and wrong. The comment on Quakerism In Reuben and Rachel thus praises the Quaker moral virtues and simplicity, but criticises their narrowness, their pacifism, and perhaps their materialism.

The treatment is

rather superficial aad reveals little real understanding of Quakerism as a religion.

This concern vlth Quaker externals Is fairly typical

of the literary use of Quakerism at the time, and It is to be seen elsevhere In other vrltlngs. Philip Freneau, In his particular intellectual leanings, takes his place vlth Paine and, In a more general delstic way, vlth Franklin and Jefferson.

In a literary vay he forms a bridge from the eighteenth to

the nineteenth century, from the rationalistic to the more romantic emphasis in thought and expression.

From both the Intellectual and the

literary aspects It is Interesting to see briefly vhat this poet of the Revolution has to say about Quakerism.

Vhat there Is, Is mostly criti­

cal, as can be seen In a few excerpts from his poetry.

Da his "Sketches

of American History, 11 after a long doggerel and delstic description of the Puritan settlers, Freneau cases to the Quakers:

118 From Indwelling evil those souls to release, The Quakers arrived vlth their ©f peace — But some were transported and sane hare the lash, And four they hanged fairly, for preaching up trash.^ And a satiric description In *^he Expedition of Timothy Taurus, Astrol­ oger, To the Falls of the Passalck Elver In New Jersey” continues the sane caustic tone: Here were people on people — I hardly know who — There was Mammon the merchant, and Jophet the jew; There was Slyboots the Quaker, whose coat had no flaps With two of his lambkins, as plain In their caps. In silks of the richest I saw them array, But nothing was cut In our mode of the day, They hung to old habits as f i n as to rocks. And are just what they were In the days of George Fcac. They talked In a style that was wholly their own; They shunned the vain world, aad were mostly alone, One talked In the Nay, and one talked In the Yea, And of light In their lanthornsthat no one could see^* e






Freneau likewise pays his Ironic compliments to Quaker pacifism and the Quaker Idea of a universal peace to come.

The context

of the ode

aid especially the succeeding poem remove any doubt as to hisIntent. Ye QuakersJ see with pure delight, The times approach when men of might, And squadrons roving round the ball, Shall fight each other not at all, Or f i g h t with wooden g u n s . 3 6 But, like many others vho did not feel too kindly toward the Quakers generally, Freneau had words of praise for William Penn.

A few lines

from many In "The Bising Empire” bear this out. She famed for science, arts, and polished men, Admires her Franklin, but adores her Penn. e




The Poems of Philip Freneau, edited by F. L. Pattee, 3 volumes (Princeton, 1902-1907), II, 273


Ibid. I, 127


Ibid. Ill, 175, "On the Frigate Constitution." Ode IX, The Book Odes

119 Ha planned no schemes that virtue disapproves, He rotted no Indian of his native groves, But Just to all, beheld his tribes lnerease, Bid vhat he could to bind the world In peace37 e



A number of early nineteenth century writers made revealing use of a Quaker theme.

Among them core Washington Irving, James ELrke

Paulding, James Fenlmore Cooper, John Heal, Catherine Sedgewlek, and Hobert Montgomery Bird.

With the possible exception of Cooper and

Irving, they are minor literary figures; nevertheless, their work is on a markedly higher level than that of the writers Just examined. As a whole, too, they present a more sympathetic treatment of Quakerism.

It la worth noting that the better literary works here offer the

better treatment of Quakerism, not on the grounds that there Is favor­ able cament but on the grounds that there Is a somewhat more serious consideration of certain central issues in Quakerism, Including Its social or humanitarian emphasis. Irving Is one of those who touched rather lightly upon Quakerism. His brief comment Is of interest, however, because, like some of the historical writers, he comes to a sympathetic view of the Quakers through a dislike of the Puritans.

In the TTnir-tearbocker History, Irving

ridicules the Connecticut Yankees for their surprise and indignation upon discovering that not everyone thought alike.

He says that they

believed in freedom of thought, if each person thought " r i g h t A s a consequence, came the fiery persecution of the Quakers and other dis­ senters.^

Irving *s approach Is again suggested by an incident In

his story "The Devil and Tom Walker." 37*

Ibid. ill, Ik


Chapter VII

The devil, Introducing himself

120 to Tom, says, "Since the red non hare been exterminated by you white savages, I amnse myself by presiding at the persecutions of Quakers and Anabaptists." NegatlTe evidence of Irving's sympathy would seen to be found in the

Saknagundl sketch, "The Stranger In Philadelphia."

The possibilities of Quaker ridicule are very present here, but Irving passed over them aad presented a relatively favorable picture. Irving's Salmagundi partner, James Kirke Paulding, In at least one novel —

Kcaalpgsmarke: The L o o p ffinw —

and Quakerism.

dealt more fully with Quakers

As one cannot be sure that Paulding takes his work

seriously, In an artistic or an Intellectual sense, perhaps not too much weight should be put upon what he says as being truly his own opin­ ion.

Nevertheless, It Is an Interesting treatment of Quakerism and one,

no doubt, that reveals the Ideas abroad at that time. tains a two-sided treatment —

The novel con­

a poking of fun at the Quaker peculiar­

ities of dresa, speech, stiffness, etc., and a eulogy of the Quakers In their peaceful method of dealing with the Indians. self also consists of two elements:

The story It­

the first Is that of the contest

over boundary lines between a Swedish settlement (Elslngburg) on the Delaware and William Perm's Quaker settlement (Coaguanock); the second i

Is that of the Indian destruction of Elslngburg and the capture of the hero and heroine.

Chiefly out of the first and basic situation come

the satiric sallies against the Quakers, or "Big Bats";

for example,

that concerning their ability to get hold of land, Pena's skill In "paper war," their stubborn rejection of social amenities, eto.

In this

phase the somewhat humorous character, Quaker Shadrock Moneypenny, fig­ ures amply .59 39.

The second and later plot element gives the occasion for

Tfonlngsimrke: The Long 2 volumes (New York, 1923) Items mentioned, see I, 23, 97**9S, 105-111, 137# 158*

For the

121 most of the praise.

William Perm and the Quakers are pictured giving

food aad friendship to the attacked Swedish town, aad they also help In rebuilding it.

But even more Important is the fact that through

Penn's good offices and Shadrock's skillful mission to the Indians, the captive hero and heroine are released.

Apparently not satisfied vlth

this Indirect praise, the author himself speaks of the Illustrious William Penn and his followers, vho through following the principle of non-violence "fight” their way among the wild Indians, displaying "moral courage, faith, perseverance, hardihood, and lore of Independence, civil and religious.”

Thus they %ecured to themselves and posterity the noblest

of all privileges, that of worshipping

Clod according to their con­

sciences, at the price of their blood. Quakerism had a substantial place In Cooper 'a ancestry, and his father, Judge William Cooper, as still something of a Quaker, married Elizabeth Fenlmore, the daughter of a prosperous Quaker In Burlington. That Cooper's fattier appears In The Pioneers Is of significance, there­ fore, In viewing the author's handling of Quakerism.

Robert Spiller

says, "Marmaduke Temple Is beyond doubt the representation of William Cooper, but only as a puppet on strings manipulated by the hand of the son of William Coooper.

Be Is acceptable, therefore, as a ccontent upon

his father rather than as a literal portrait.

The literalness of

the portrait Is not of final concern here, for If Judge Marmaduke Temple Is Cooper's consent upon his father, much more will the observa­ tions concerning Temple's Quakerism (and related Quaker items) be 40.

ibid. H , 112-120 £bld. I, 193-194



Critic of* TT1«


(Nev York, 1931) PP* 13-14

122 Cooper’s comment on this religion. In The Pioneers, there la far more by Implication than by direct comment; however, even the direct comment la sufficient to Indicate Cooper*a thought concerning Quakerism.

Phases of this thought are

first revealed In Cooper's discussion of Marmaduke Temple's ancestry, especially his first American ancestor, who came to Pennsylvania, It Is proudly asserted, "as a friend and co-rellglonlst of its great patron." On the other hand, telling of a later generation, Cooper sympathises vlth the point of view of Major Effingham, who because of his struggles against the Indians on the Pennsylvania frontier heartily dislikeB the peaceful policy of the Quakers.

Effingham's son therefore keeps secret

his friendship vlth young Marmaduke Temple, who at this time was "quite the Quaker in externals."

It is Temple's faithfulness to this friend­

ship and, contrary to appearances, his faithfulness to the property trust Imposed upon him by the younger Effingham, that provide an import­ ant strand in the plot of the novel.

And there is half praise and half

criticism of what might be called Temple’s Quaker materialism and of his inconsistency in buying up lands taken from others by violence — for which he was censured by the Society. Beyond this early exposition, there are continuing although inci­ dental references to Quakerism.

As the novel develops, Temple is in­

creasingly pictured as (and, perhaps, he increasingly becomes) something less —

or more —

than a Quaker.

Certainly he is less typically a

viuaKjer ana raox-e simpxy a cnriebian-maral squire.

At the same time, he

shows traits that sometimes flatteringly and sometimes unflatterlngly reveal his lingering Quakerism.

His tendency to slip back into Quaker

speech is perhaps a symbol of this. "lingering":

There are various examples of the

from early habit he refuses to have sleigh bells, and he

123 always wears a suit of plain black; bis attitude toward the Indian Is modified by bis Quaker training, yet be does not, by any means, adopt paelflstle principles; tbere Is also tbe fact tbat owing to religious scruples be would not own slaves —- yet, far all practical purposes, through tbs trick of legal ownership by bis brother Richard, be does o n at least one.

As Cooper points out, this practice Itself bad Quaker

precedence. Temple’s early property and money dealings take cn a Quaker flavor from tbe Quakerism of tbat period of bis life; therefore, when tbe over­ hanging suspicion tbat he has betrayed tbe trust of bis friend Effing­ ham is finally removed, a cloud of criticism Is also lifted from> the Quakerism be seemed to represent.

In spite of the mixture of favorable

and unfavorable observations on Quakerism, a clear Impression gained frOa this novel as a whole Is that Cooper acknowledges the practical and moral value of an inherited Quakerism, but that he la not at all drawn to it as a religion.

In fact, he appears Impatient of seme of Its be­

liefs and what be would call Its peculiarities In practice. Of tbe writings of John Heal,

Brother Jonathan and Rachel Dyer

best represent bis rather divided treatment of Quakerism.


Jonathan (1824), the earlier of tbe two to be written, Is a story of revolutionary times and presents tbe character of William Harwood and the problem of bis mysterious parentage.

In this long and disconnected


For general estimates of Temple’s religious character, see The Pioneers (Everyman edition, Hew fork, 1929), pp. 86, 90, 100, 115/ 192, 331; for tbe specific evidences of Quakerism mentioned, see pp. 43, 46, 71, 75, 192; tbe slave Issue is first mentioned on p.


John Heal was a Quaker by birth but was removed from tbe Society for, as be reports it, "knocking a man who Insulted him head over heels; for paying a militia fine; for making a tragedy; and for desiring to be turned out, whether or no." Dictloptayy of


novel the picture of Quakerism la one of the readerfe few rewards.


term picture la appropriate, for much of the h a w d H wg of the Quaker theme la la form of actual description of the mercantile Quakers of Hew York, and of their hones and places of business. After various experiences on the Hew York frontier, William Harwood cones to Hew York City with a letter of Introduction to the Quaker Mr. Ashley, head of a business house.

At the first meeting of William and

Mr. Ashley there la a clever description of a roomful of Quaker book­ keepers t ..... primitive, odd looking, venerable boys, who were stuck about the room — perpendicularly; each with a broad-brimmed hat on; a coat buttoned up to his chin — a brown silk handkerchief drawn tight about his throat — lnsupportably right — and a stiff, straight quill in his hand.... (William Is guilty of acme unQuakerllke remark] Here followed a gen­ eral buzz — round came the heads of the boys with sort of a spring — all — one after the other; all their pens up In the air; all their hats over their eyes; and all their prim posi­ tive mouths brimful of sharp astonishment.^ Comparably Dickensian caricatures come In Heal*a description of Mr. Ashley and his house, of various Quakers, and even of Quaker horses. Especially memorable Is that of a silent meeting In which Hannah Grizzle, handsogae Quaker leader, falls into an old-fashioned quaking. author's final comment on this is worth recording:


"The 'sitting*

over, these remarkable and capricious 'believers' became all of a sudden, rational, kind, sociable and agreeable.

Even the description

of the flowers in William’s room at the Ashleys Is made the vehicle of opinion —

"prudlsh-looklng, formal Quaker flowers, without smell

or flavour —

beauty or disorder... .all fresh and clean; glittering


BwrtHtai. Trwio+han • n.


Ibid. II, 171-172

ttift Hew Englanders» 3 volumes (Edinburgh

125 as if thoy ]ud b o m recently purified -— not In wind and. abover —— but with soapauda and a soft hruah... "^7

This sort of satire, if it is

that, is interspersed with evidences of a genuine appreciation of Quaker simplicity and quietness.

And indeed this fun**poking is mild oonpared

to sons hitter consents directly from the author.

Speaking of the lew

state of religions "fifty years ago, " he says, *Fhe Quakers were, be­ yond all doubt, perhaps, the most Ignorant, obstinate, and foolishly presumptuous.H

He ridicules their going to their martyrdom with a line

of Scripture badly translated, as if, he says, the world was going to be saved by people whose chief qualification was their "boasted lack of knowledge."

Equally condescending and bitter is his account of the

degeneration of Quakerism into "a course of habitual, absurd, frivolous, childish contradictions."

Or again,' he speaks of their pursuit of

"paltry, scrupulous, minute opposition, to whatever, is thought highly of by the world."

But he praises the early Quakers, for example Fox

and Penn and their followers, for their courage and sincerity, and holds that even if they were at times absurd, unlike the present generat ion they were never childish.


Real's view of Quakerism seams emotionally confused.

He apparently

has been hurt, or at least annoyed, by his official exclusion; and he is certainly irritated by what he believes to be Quaker Pharisaism. And although he has manifestly rejected Quakerism, still underneath he seems to be drawn by various Quaker tones to which he was conscious­ ly or unconsciously attuned in his childhood.

Because of this, the novel

has a peculiar mixture of sharp criticism and genuine appreciation. *7-

Ibid. II, 176


For these attacks, see Ibid. Ill, 166-169; for some words of praise, see H I , 256.

126 Rachel Dyer (1828)**9, vith Its lack of proportion and its digres­ sions, does net ccme up to the not-too-high artistic standard of Brother Jonathan; nor in the treatment of Quakerism does it match its descriptions or clear denunciations.

But because the novel deals more

with the older Quakerism, toward which, as was revealed in the earlier novel, Heal is more kindly disposed, the tone here is more favorable. The theme of the story is that the witchcraft troubles in Hew England of the l690*s were, or were thought to be, a Judgment for the Quaker persecutions.

This is a Judgment prophesied by many Quakers and es­

pecially by Elisabeth Hutchins, a banished friend of Mary Dyer, execu­ ted by the Puritans.

The novel, with numerous complications and con­

spiracies and trials, la not so much about Quakerism, as such, as it is about witchcraft.

Still, Quakerism is./projected out of the historic

past and is reflected in various later happenings throughout the story. Because of the prophetic oSLament, Rachel Dyer, descendant of Mary, is looked upon with awe, and perhaps hate.

She is described as a red­

headed hunchback; yet she has an inner beauty that is her source of strength in honorable and courageous action.

As the author says, she

has the faith of a people who when smitten on one cheek, turned the other, who when reviled, reviled not again.

Thus it is through the

character of Rachel Dyer that Heal praises the early f a n of Quakerism. In her, in spite of the clutter of the story, the Quaker is symbolised and honored. Apart from the tribulations of orphaned Jane Hlton, the chief story element in Catherine Sedgwick's A Hew i*-9. Rachel Dyer: 50.

Is that of

A North American Story (Portland, 1828)

A England Tales or. Sketches of Hew England Character andjfennera (Hew York, 1822)

127 Quakerism* moreover, this sleasat offers the rain Intellectual interest In the norel; and, while It doss not Itself escape sentlmentalizatlon, It is an important aid in keeping the tale frees he lug washed under by facile emotionalism.

A somewhat hotter understanding of Quakerism sod

a handling of a greater number of Its phases cure , -found here than is usual In the literary presentation of this subject • The view IS far ar­ able to Quakerism, in seme places even vigorously eulogistic*


critical remarks there are, are introduced only In order to refute them A Mew England Tale has all the ingredients of a typical sentimental novel

Within this framework the Quaker theme Is presented In two


(l) through the character of the Quaker, Mr. Loyd, with his ac­

tions as benefactor and later husband to Jane; (2) through comments by the author and by the characters, extended at times Into discussions of religion*

Early In the norel, It Is established that Quakerism Is

traditionally a religion of kindness and good deeds.

Yet it Is not pre­

sented as a social gospel kind of religion, for there Is a stress upon personal spirituality*

Mr* Loyd faces the death of his first wife with

the ’’trust of a mind long and thoroughly disciplined by Christian prin­ ciples* "5s

jt is made evident that this discipline underlies his

morality, his spirituality In face of material success, and his ability to practice non-violence although confronted with extreme provocation. Many'of these virtues are emphasised by contrast with the "Puritan" way of Jane's selfish and hypocritical aunt, Mnu Wilson*

On the other hand,

the criticisms of the Quaker life are indicated as coming from prejudiced 51*

H. B* Brown, The S e n * - *--al Hovel in America 1789-1860 (Durham, N.C., 19bO) Chapter YX, "The Sentimental Formula”


a Tale, p. k9S toe the evidence of this discipline In the practices mentioned following, see pp. 176, 208-212, 217-219.

128 a oarces.

Most revealing of these unthinking attacks is that of Edvard

Erskine, would-be lover of Jane.

Jane's answer to Erskine includes a

refutation of the "creedlesa" charge and praise of William Penn, togetlmr with an account of the Quakers' interest in prison reform treatment of the Indian and the slave.


With this and other expressions

of admiration for Quakerism, and with its kindly personification In Mr. Loyd, it is not surprising that Jane not only marries her


but, without urging, becosies a Quaker herself. Robert Montgomery Bird's Nick of the Woods (1837), with its setting in Kentucky of the 1780's, is a picture of dirty, brutal Indians ver­ sus almost equally brutal, if somewhat cleaner, whites.

One aspect of

this melodrama presents Edith Forrester, tricked out of her fortune in Virginia, and her cousin and protector, Boland Forrester, on their way through Kentucky to the Falls on the Ohio. is the Quaker one.

The other and major phase

This deals with the wandering Quaker, Nathan

Slaughter, or "Bloody Nathan," as, because of his non-violent principles, he is Ironically called.

The name Bloody Nathan comes to be Invested

with a new irony as the reader receives hints, and finally the full revelation, that Nathan is the unidentified slayer and mutilator of Indians —

Nick of the Woods.

The mystery of the story lies in the

skillful withholding and gradual uncovering of the dual nature of Nathan the Quaker and the reasons for his duality.

The treatment of Quakerism

thus logically focuses on the principle of non-violence, concerning which the Quakers receive harsh treatment.

Through the earlier part

of the story, Nathan is presented as a coward, and, also — shown as not averse to killing if he is not Involved —

for he is

as a hypocrite.

The point is made that the Quaker philosophy of non-resistance has little place in Kentucky.

129 Tbat It was Incumbent upon avary able-bodied a n to fight the enemies of their little state, the murderers of their wires and children, was a canon of belief Imprinted on the heart of every nan In the district; and Nathan's failure to do so, however caused by conscientious aver­ sion to bloodshed, no more excused from, contempt and persecution in the wilderness, than It did others of persuasion In the Eastern republics, during the war of the revolution*^ Nathan Is Increasingly Involved in an untenable situation until, in acdaar to save Boland's life, he must desert his peaceful pretensions. He hills and mutilates a number of Indians and openly assumes the character of Nick of the Woods.

His history is then revealed:

in an

attack of savages upon his heme, Nathan had offered his gun to the Indian chief as sign of peace, whereupon this warrior cold-bloodedly killed Nathan's wife and children and even scalped him, leaving him for dead.

It Is suggested that the effects of the Injury and the

desolation of heart and fortune together led Nathan Into a life which was at such variance with his profess ions. Thus in the criticism of Quakerism, the charge of cowardliness and hypocrisy (In the original sense) against Nathan is removed, but only because he has not really been following the principle of non­ violence. than ever*

The attack upon the Quaker principle, therefore, Is stronger The idea of non-resistance against the Indians is made to

appear highly sentimental*

Nevertheless this criticism would be more

effective If It dealt with the religious reason lying back of the Quaker belief.

The principle Is considered only as a foolish rule,

and at no time is the real Quaker view of the Indiana presented — that they are human beings and brothers of the white man.

One cannot

help feeling that In presenting In terms of expediency a mechanical 53*

Nick of the Woods, or. the Jlbbenalonsay, An American Book Shelf, edited by Mark Van Daren (New York, 19^8) p. 60

130 rule rather than the real Quaker philosophy, Bird le


ism superficially and, therefore, unfairly*^ Morins on to a generally later tlae, one finds In Ralph Waldo Bserscn a far different writer than any of the group Just examined.


son'a thought concerning Quaker lam must he drawn fr cm many statements throughout all of his writing; and the host way to keynote that thought Is to restate in fuller context one of Emerson's oft-quoted comments. Edward Emerson gives It its settings His cousin, the Her* Daniel Greene Hoskins, relates In his little hook...that when Mr. Emerson praised Swedenborg's writings to him he asked whether he was a Swedenborglan. This Mr. Emerson would not fully allow. "On my asking . him how, then, he would define his position, he answered, and with greater deliberateness and longer pauses between his words than usual, 'I am more of a Quaker than anything else. I believe in the "still small rolce" and that voice Is Christ within us.""55 In nearly all of his statements concerning Quakerism, Emerson moves at Its heart and not on the periphery of custom and manners of dress, speech, worship, etc.

He la not so much a oonmentator upon Quakerism

as an expounder of it as a doctrine with which he himself Is in sym­ pathy, for he looks upon It as one of the many expressions of transcend­ ental thought —

which thinkers through the years have recurrently held. 5^

Emerson's observations are here considered In three main groups, according to their source -- the essays, the Journal, and the letters. 5k.

Hick of the Woods, a drama in four acts, by Miss I*. H. Medina, et al.. Boston, is a tHghiy telescoped adaptation of the novel. There are also qualitative changes; for example, the problem as­ pect of the novel — the clash of the Quaker principle with worldly reality— Is all hut removed. The play was originally produced at the Bowery Theatre, Hew York.


The Complete Works of Balnv» i w a n n . 12 volumes, Centenary Edition (sloetom and Hew York, 1903“190*0* VIII# 31®*


Works I, 1^3 "The Transeendentallst"

131 This grouping vill reveal any shift in the treatment of Quakerism that is due to a change la the forms of -writing*

The references to Quaker­

ism In the essays are alone sufficient to establish Emerson's kinship, or at least sympathy, with the Quaker way.

For example, he takes

stand with the Quakers in advocating contemplation over against "high action*"

Mankind, he says, has a deep stake in the "inward Illumination. "57

Here and elsewhere it is interesting to note the lanedlate connection In Emerson's mind between Quakerism and various transcendental ideas* In the essay "Greatness,”58

discusses "self-respect" —

closely akin to self-reliance*


What then is self-respect?

"It is


our practical perception of Deity in man.

If you have ever known a

good mind among the Quakers, you will have found that is the element of their faith.”

In support of this, Bserson gives the words of the

Quaker Mary Both on the operation of the silent mental obstacle to action, "something which the contradiction of all maw kind could not shake and which the consent of all mankind could not confirm."


transcendental negative of Quakerism interested linerson, for he speaks of it elsewhere.59

For all his emphasis upon the centrality of re­

ligion or philosophy, and for all his doubts about reform, Emerson has words of praise for the more practical expressions of Quaker faith — most specifically the Society's antislavery labors and its help in advancing woman's rights.^

And of the many statements of praise and


Ibid. IV, 266 Goethe, or, the Writer"


Ibid. Y I H , 508 ff.


For example, Ibid. IV, 140 "Swedenborg, or, the Mystic"


Ibid. XI, 107-108, Address, "Emancipation in the British West Indies," delivered, Concord, August 1, 1844; XI, 415, Iscture, "Woman," Boston, September 20, 1885

132 appreciation of Quakerism, the strongest was made by Emerson in a lec­ ture on "Hatural Religion. ”61

in tkle Re testified:

I bare sometimes thought, and indeed I alvays do think that the sect of Quakers In their best representatives appear to me to have come nearer to the sublime history and genius of Christ than any of the ether sects. They hare kept the traditions perhaps for a longer time, kept the earlier purity, did keep it for a longer tine; and I think X see this cause, I think X find in the language of that sect, in all its history and all the anecdotes of its leaders and teachers, a certain fidelity to the Scriptural character. In the Journals Emerson's reflections upon Quakerism confirm the point of view expressed in his more formal writing.

Most of these

observations are made early in his Journal-keeping days, which, coupled with the fact that he mentions then his contacts with Quakers, is sug­ gestive of the formative Influence of Quakerism upon him.

He speaks

of such men as Stubler the Quaker, and there is a particularly appre­ ciative tribute to Mary Roth and her religion.

"Pleasantly mingled


with my sad thoughts yesterday the sublime religion of Miss Roth." The Journals also contain Emerson's ideas on the enthusiastic and mystical elements in such religions as Quakerism.

He discusses, for

example, the areas of community between Quakerism and the religions of such leaders as Swedenborg, Luther, Boehms, and Guy on. ^


there is also the expression of a simple and strong appreciation of Quakerism.

"Bitter cold days, yet I read of that inward fervor which


Uncollected lectures by Ralph Waldo Bserson. edited by Clarence Gohdes (Hew York, 1932) pp. Vf-60; quotation, p. 57


The Journals of Ralph Waldo Baers on. edited by Edward Waldo Emer­ son and Waldo Emerson FQobes, 10 volumes (Hew York, 1909-191*0 • Praise of Stubler, II, 296, May 12, 1830; III, 228, November 19, 1833* Commant on Mary Roth, III, 258, February 12, 1834. (Cf. letter to her, March 28, 1847, A Memoir of Ralph Waldo Bserson, by James Eliot Cabot, II, 498-500.)


Journals II, 318; III, 432, 497; VII, 515

133 ran as fire from heart to heart through •gngimyi in George Foe's ti»®. A knowledge of what Emerson said elsewhere about Quakerism gives the fragmentary references in his letters greater —

than the

casualness of these references alone would suggest; but even without that background, they offer evidence of his favorable opinions.


very casualness of sam e of his most informal allusions suggests this. He tells a friend that "he shall speak or forbear... .according to Quaker rule," or his wife that in her dislike to be treated in general terms she is "a Quaker in nothing so much as in a partiality for thee and thou"; or another friend that he must come and visit him "until we shall have a 'solid season' as the Quakers say."65

More than other

writing, the letters reflect Emerson's acquaintance with Quakers as persons and not merely as representatives of a religion.

He always

refers to the Quakers most kindly, and certainly reveals the highest admiration for such leaders as Lucretla Mott, even although he does not completely agree with them. ^

Finally, as illustrative of the fact

that his letters contain the clear statements of praise seen in his other writings, there is such a consent as the following, in which he refers to certain Quakers as "a sublime class of speculators."


have been perhaps the most explicit teacherB of the highest article to 64.

Ibid. i n , 432, January 7, 1835

65. The Letters of Ralph Waldo 1 ^ " « - edited by Ralph L. Busk, 6 volumes (Hew York, 1939). The references in the order made: V, 536, To Sarah Swain Forbes, Concord, November 10, 1867; III, 154, To Lidian Emerson, Staten Island, March 5, 1343; V, 64, To Benjamin Peter Bunt, Concord, February 28, 1857• 66.

For examples of personal comment, see letters I, 400; III, 139, 154. Regarding Lucretla Mott, Ibid. Ill, 130-131, To Elisabeth Hoar, Philadelphia, January 21, 1843; H I , 133, To Lidian Emerson, Philadelphia, January 25, 1843*

134 which human faith soars, the strict union of the willing soul to God and. so tho soul's accoss at all times to a verdict upon ovary Question which tho opinion of all mankind cannot shaks

which tho opinion of

all mankind cannot confirm."^ Any consideration of Emerson's thought raises the Question of Thoreau's attitude on the same Issue; particularly so here, for In m a y \

practical ways Thoreau was more of a Quaker than Emerson.

But Thoreau

did not know, or did not appreciate, Quakerism as did Emerson, for ap­ parently his only comment on It Is In letters written on two of his rare removals from Concord*

On Staten Island Thoreau attended a Quaker m e t ­

ing to hear Lucretla Mott, and he writes that he liked "the proceedings" and the good talk by Miss Mott — form."

"Transcendentalism In Its mildest

Same years later, of a meeting In Perth Amboy, he reports In

more characteristic vein and says that It "was expected that the spirit would move me (1 having been previously spoken to about It); and It did, or something else did, —

an Inch or so.

I said Just enough to

set them a little by the ears and make It lively."


Perhaps Thoreau

was too much of a Quaker to be a "good Quaker.” It is often the minor or even less than minor writers who, rather than the less popular major writers, reflect the general thinking of the day.

Two pre-Clvil War writers who In the treatment of Quakerism

give us this Insight are Bayard Taylor, who is good enough to be labeled a minor writer, and John Richter Jones, who Is something less than minor. 67-

Ibid. I, 431, To Benjamin Peter Bunt, Concord, January 23, 1835Emerson here uses almost verbatim Mary Roth *s words, which now have apparently become his own. Cf. p. ljl above.

68 .

t>h» TB M i riHaf

Tmtters of Henry David Thoreau, The of Henry David Thoreau. edited by F. B. Sanborn, 11 volumes (Boston and New York, 1893-1894), XI, 115, To Eelen Thoreau, Staten Island, July 21, 1843; p. 336, To Sophia Thoreau, Perth Amboy, November 1, 1836.

The work of "the latter Is an example of what was probably too often poorly achieved, but the writing of the former, for the picture of Quakerism presented, is worth considering in Itself. be considered first.

Jones may best

At his hands, specifically In >The Quaker Soldier

(I858), Quakerism receives one of its more superficial treatments.^ This is not necessarily the result of the author *s other phases of the norel are as artistically poor.

for The story is of

the Washington-deif icatlon type, a highly nationalistic and romantic account of the Revolution in and around Philadelphia. framework the hero — achievements —

Within this

Charles Hazelwood, a Quaker youth of mammoth

operates with unfailing heroism.

Although Quakerism

is sometimes praised for its simplicity and kindness, it is more often belittled.

The norel, however, is chiefly subject to criticism for its

failure to deal seriously, or, perhaps, even sincerely, with Quakerism. Although Charles has rebelled against his Quaker father, and after six years* travel in Europe and the East has in reality ceased being a Quaker, the reader is allowed to see very little of the causes and less of the working out of that rebellion and change.

Only at the time

of the,hero's complete casting off of Quakerism to Join the Revolution, midway in the story, is it suggested that the most serious reason for his attitude is the forced Quaker discipline of his childhood. most constant object of criticism is Quaker non-resistance.


In spite

of the seriousness of the issue in such a novel, Jones never deals luito fairly with it.

This principle is superficially presented in the person

of the hero, who, not really a Quaker, uses his Quaker appearance and his apparent peaceableness as a deceptive prelude to violence. 69.


The Quaker Soldier. orf the British in Philadelphia: A Rmsaace of the Revolution (Philadelphia, 1866)

136 la perhaps a key to the whole treatment. The story, being fundamentally a nationalistic tale of the Revolution, unsyaq>athetically uses the Quaker element In a surrace way to give local color and to add mystery through disguise In dresf, as well as disguise In motives. The Pennsylvania and Quaker background of Bayard Taylor enters sub­ stantially Into his fiction, and never sore Interestingly than with the novels, The Btorr of Bennett (1866) and

Thurston (1863).

In the

first It is used directly and effectively; In the second, less directly and less effectively.

After the presentation of the Quaker community

In the first half of The Story of Bsnaett, the norel — point of this study —

from the stand­

travels Intellectually downhill; Indeed, standards

beyond this study might call for the same


As the painting

of the physical and the Quaker soeial-rellglous setting Is the most skillfully executed phase of the novel, the later heavy emphasis upon adventure and love

elements marks an artistic falling off.


should not make us ungrateful, however, for the Interesting picture we do get.

The author Is writing of a cemaunlty and a people he knows.

Even although there is a general sweep, he Is able to deal In particu­ lars.

There Is the countryside, which peacefully supporting Its simple

dwellings takes an a Quaker character of Its own; there are the specific dualities of the peoples

their friendly soberness, their feeling against

sports, their frugal living (both from need and by choice), and their restricted outlook; there are the particular Quaker mores, differing markedly from the ways of the "world’s people"; and there is the Quite objective picture of Quaker meeting.^0 70.

In spite of a touoh of the

The Storv of Bennett. The Prose Writings of Bayard Taylor, 12 umes (New York, 1861-1867) Vol. 12, p. 96ff. Whittier speaks the novel's "fidelity to Quaker character in Its less amiable pects." Quoted by Cowle, on. cit., p. 825, n 121, from W. D. ells, Literary Friends and Acquaintances, p. 135*

vol­ of as­ How­

137 sentimental, the Quakers are presented with a fair degree of realism and with a sympathy that brought the author, and so brings the reader, to see then first as human beings and only secondly as members of a sect. Tfrmnah Thurston lacks the artistic Integration of Tfannatt but it possesses, albeit In a rather potpourrl-llke form, a greater intellectual content.

Besides the lesser anti-intellectual and anti—reform axes

that the author tries to grind, the story concerns Itself with the struggle of the Quaker Hannah Thurston to readjust her thinking con­ cerning woman's rights, of which she has been a strong advocate.


need for this readjustment Is created by the antlfeminlst arguments of Maxwell Woodbury, and by Hannah's awareness of their love far each other • The Quaker element Is not always Obvious, but It Is real.

The Town of

Ptolemy, New York, is apparently a version of Bennett Square.



Thurston Is by birth and accepted principle a Quaker, but she follows the externals of Quaker dress and speech less from conviction than from a desire to please her mother.

A Quiet but Intellectually strong

woman, Hannah is presented as an Individual as much as a representative of Quakerism.

Yet, consciously or unconsciously recorded by the author,

there are Quaker Implications In her position on many Issues ofxthat day.

The historical and logical connection between Quakerism and the

humanitarian movement, Including its anti-slavery and woman's rights as­ pects, Is apparently taken for granted; at least it Is not discussed. The more evident Quaker touches are usually less Important; for example, those that arise In the home situation of Hannah and her mother.


here, «n «>e lesser comments, Is found the Quaker mother's articulate 71-

The opinion of Cowle, op. clt.. p. 478

138 disagreement with her daughter's views on woman's rights.


this Is Bayard Taylor's Interpretation of the Quaker viewpoint, and a rather wishful Interpretation at that.^2 Quakerism was the object of serious consideration by a number of Im­ portant literary men In pro-Civil War America — reasons. to It —

and for a variety of

Longfellow, apart from his sympathies with Quakerism, turned specifically the Quaker-Puritan controversy —

ject for his drama.

as a good sub­

Whitman found in liberal Quakerism a mystical re­

ligious expression of Ills thought, perhaps even a source of that thought. Whittier, of course, did not find Quakerism as much as Quakerism, with Its keen human concern, found and. used him.

Hawthorne saw In the rela­

tionship between early Quakerism and Puritanism a symbol of a greater truth.

That these writers chose to express themselves on or through

Quakerism says something for Quakerism as well as for the writers them­ selves.

What this something Is, can perhaps be discovered in an analysis

of the writings. The notebooks and journals of Longfellow reveal that of all his writings none so dominated his literary life as the trilogy Chrlstns. The work was first conceived in 1841, and in succeeding years until 1872, the time cf Its first publication as a whole, It was constantly in hie mYndl 73 72. 73*

xn this work it Is the first of the New England Tragedies

Prose Writings. Vol. 10, pp. 411-412, 162-166 T. W. Higgins on, ffenrv Wadsworth Longfellow."American Men of let­ ters Series" (Boston and New York, 1902), p. 236, says that Christus was "the great design of his life." See also the Intro­ ductory note to Christus: A Mystery. The Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow." 6 volumes (Boston and New York, 1895)# Vol. Tt This Introduction gives the plan that Longfellow Jotted In his notebook of 18^*2: Part I, The times of Christ (Hope) (which be­ came "The Divine Tragedy" (1871))} Part U , The middle ages (Faith) (which became "The Golden Legend" (1851)); Part III, The present (Charity) (which became '^The'Nev England Tragedies" (1868)).

nJolm Endicott, " (originally "Wenlock Christiaan") — the theme of early New England Quakerism.

that la derotad to

That Quakerism and the Puritan

persecution of the Quakers should enter as a major theme into Longfellow »i favorite work shows either a high regard for Quakerism or for the Purltm • Quaker controversy as literary subject.

Probably it was both; but that

Longfellow felt the wrong done the Quakers, and at the same time saw an ethical value in dramatising it, is clear.

He states his aim in the

Prologue: And bring to light, upon the blotted page The mournful record of an earlier age. And laterx "Why touch upon such themes?" perhaps some friend May ask, incredulous; "and to what end?" •





I answer: For the lesson that they teach The tolerance of opinion and of speech. Hope, Faith, and Charity remain — these three; And the greatest of them all is Charity. By a disregard of strict chronology, most of the major events of the years of the QuaksrpPurltan trouble are either actually presented or axe vividly retold somewhere in the five acts of this poetic drama.


play begins after the hanging of the four Quakers, and has as an ex­ ternal conflict the growing Quaker strength (with the Increased sym­ pathy of the people) against the clerical powers.

On one side are the

Quakers Edward Wharton, Wenlock Christ is on, and his daughter Edith, sup­ ported by such sympathizers as Nicholas Upsall and Simon Snapthorn; the other side is led by Walter Merry and the adamantine and almost diabolical character, John Norton.

A more central conflict is Governor

Endicott's struggle against his growing doubt as to the rightness of the Quaker persecution in which he has had so large a part.


struggle Is objectified in the clash with his son, who, motivated peart-

lbo ly by his admiration of Edith Chrlstlscn, publicly denounces tha Puritan laadare: Awakei awakeJ 7a sleepers, era too lata. And. wipe these bloody statutaa from your books } Act XV, scene 11 In his presentation of their cruelties, Longfellow spares little in tha indictment of tha Puritan clergy.

Tha only qualification Is Endicott *s

partial repentance and the suggestion that In all else than tha persecu­ tion ha was a good man and a good governor.

Tha Quakers, on tha other

hand, are praised for their spiritual faith and q.ulet courage.

In its

attempt to present rather than discuss these early happenings, the play Is essentially dramatic.

Unfortunately, Longfellow's easy narrative

style invades the play and softens the Impact.

Even at that, "John

Endicott" Is more effective drama than "The Divine Tragedy" and "The Golden Legend," the other two parts of the trilogy. The Quaker Influence upon Whitman through his Quaker mother, and through his non-Quaker father's inclinations, Is well known. this influence shaped

How far

this thought and entered into his creative work

Is variously considered by Whitman critics

His direct treatment of

Quakerism, however, can be objectively ascertained.

Naturally enough,

what Whitman had to say on this subject is to be found in his prose writings, and besides some scattered references Is focussed in his 8ketch of the Quaker Ellas Hicks.

The scattered references, neverthe­

less, are not without their revealing quality. 7b.

He mentions his Quaker

One of the best discussions is that of Henry Seidel Caaby In his wait whitman? An American (Boston, 19bJ). Emory Holloway, Whitney: An interpretation in Narrative (Hew York, 1926) suggests Quaker sources for, or at least parallels of, various phases of Whitman's thought. Newton Arvin, Whitman (Hew York, 1958), states that Quakerism had an unfortunate emotional and anti-intellectual In­ fluence upon him (e.g., pp. 17b-175)• H. W. Hints, op. clt., in writing of Whitman, gives one of his better summaries.

lfcl ancestry, he states his thought an the impossibility of the q^*in»r peace ideal as a lav of nan, he praises the writing

work of Whit­

tier, and he re—defines in older Hebraic and never Quaker terms the concept of


.75 still ve

l e a n more from the Hicks sketch, not

only because he tells us more quantitatively, but because in speaking of Hicks, he speaks more generally of Quakerism; and, in speaking of Quakerism, he reveals a good deal of his own thought.

The sketch is

both a tribute to a great Quaker and a testimony to his own faith in the Quaker way.

In it Whitman tells the story of Hicks' life and

Journeys down to the time in his old age when the boy Whitman heard him speak, as the man Whitman says, with a "magnetic stream of natural eloquence.” At various times in the account Whitman discusses specific Quaker problems.

He deals with the Quakers in the Revolution, and

quotes Hicks/ solution to that dllesum —

that is, by being faithful

to their principles they were, after some suffering, accepted by both sides.

He comments upon the "Great Separation," in which Hicks played

the leading part, and which showed, Whitman said, "how much of human infirmity was found to be still lurking under broad-brim hats and drab coats."

There are ;also more purely religious reflections.

He praises

Hicks for his "service of pointing to the fountain of all naked theology, all religion, all worship, all the truth to which you are possibly eligible —

namely in yourself and your inherent relations."


stresses the fact that Hicks believed little in a church organised, even 75.

The Ccurolete Writings of Walt Whitman. "Camden Edition," 12 volumes, (Hew York and London, 19G2); on ancestry, see IV, 10; on Whittier, V, 9; on prophecy, IV, 507. His comments on the peace ideal are to be found in Holloway's edition of The Uncollected Poetry and Prose of Walt Whitman (Hew York and Toronto, 19B1); 197- The sketch of Ellas Hicks is in the Writings, YI, 2A1-273*

his own.

"But ha believed always In the universal church, In the

soul of nan, Invisibly right, aver waiting, ever responding to uni­ versal truths.”

Later Whitman cements, acre generally, that It Is

only In a "Deity implanted law apart from conventionalities or even decorous, that the true Quaker has faith.”

Throughout, this is Whit­

man's Idea of what Quakerism Is, and at the sane time It Is a statement of his own creed.

Characteristic of Whitman is his thought concerning

the Inner light dwelt upon by Fox, Barclay, "and all deep thinkers since and now."

It will be noted that there are specific echoes of

"Democratic Vistas." In my opinion they have all diagnos'd, like superior doctors, the real Inmost disease of our times, probably any times. Amid the huge Inflammation call'd society, and the other Inflammation call'd politics, what is there today of moral power and ethic sanity as antiseptic to them all??® f

This is but one utterance from a number that make one think that the Whitman of "Democratic Vistas” —

as well as of much else —

is more

directly a Quaker than has been usually recognized. John Greenleaf Whittier, unlike his earlier Quaker brothers, Chalkley and Woolman, was enough of a literary man (and a propagandist) to wish to objectify In creative prose and poetry his thought and feelings on Quakerism. poems —

Aside from the well-known "Snow-Bound, ” q.uite a number of

to consider only the most obviousr-ccntaln consents on one

phase or another of Quaker history, folklore, oppression, religious principles, etc.??

Whittier's prose treatment of Quakerism Includes


Writings IV, 260


The Writings of John Greenleaf Whittier. 7 volumes (Cambridge, 1899). Typical of his poetic treatment of Quakerism are the following t "The Pennsylvania Pilgrim," Writings I, 316, an attractive por­ trait of Pastorius a-mi bis leadership In the Germantown area; "Cassandra Soutfawlck," Ibid., I, 65, a dramatization of the Puritan

the nan-literary, ae veil ae the literary, as Is exemplified by hie express lorn of opinion upon the persecution, John Endicott, John Woolnan, abolition, and proposed changes in the Quaker discipline. Q f greater Interest here, and therefore tc be considered at greater length are the three following literary samples:

'•The Little Iron Soldier;

or What Aminadab Iris on Breamed," "Pasconavay," and Margaret Smith's J o u r n a l .


The first of these Is a brief satiric story dealing vlth tbe

Quaker peace Ideal applied to a minor practical situation.


vho Is in the iron business, has to decide whether or not to vote for

a military man.

In a dream a little Iron soldier appears to urge

to rote so, an the principle of "Business first, conscience afterwardsJ ESeep up the price of Iron with peace If you can, but keep It up at any (77) cruelty In the attempt to seal the children of the Quaker Southwlck, for non-payment of fines; "Barclay of Ury," Ibid. I, 107, abuse borne nobly by an old world soldier turned Quaker; "The King's Missive," Ibid.I. 381, a picture of the moment when the king's mandamus releases the Quakers from prison and checks per­ secution; "How the Women Went from Borer," Ibid. I, 400, and "Banished from Massachusetts, " Ibid. I, 419* whippings and ban­ ishments; "First Bay Thoughts," Ibid. II, 242, and "The Meeting," Ibid. I, 278, verse comment on the more purely religious aspects; "A Friend's Burial," ibid. II, 301, and "The Quaker of Olden Times," Ibid. Ill, 271, show Whittier's admiration for the old and simple Quakerism. Many of the "Personal Poems" contain tributes to individual Quakers, and there are the numerous antislavery and other humanitarian poems. 78.

In replying, vlth regret, to an Invitation from the Essex Insti­ tute's "Commemorative Festival," Whittier states that he has al­ ways viewed "with abhorrence" the severe persecution under Endi­ cott, but is not unmindful of his "otherwise noble qualities"; be admits some wild activities on the part of the Quakers (which always result from persecution), but argues that "the extravagances of some of the early Quakers have been grossly exaggerated." For this comment, see Ibid. YI, 434-435; for the Woolman evaluation, Y U , 315 ff.; for the opposition to discipline changes, V H , 305*


"The Little Iron Soldier," Ibid. V, 251-257; "Pasconoway," Ibid. V, 258-277; Margaret fim i t y a Journal. Ibid. Y, 9“195

rata. " Against this advice and that of a hanker friend, Amlnadab Ivlaan keeps his conscience clear by not voting.

"Paseonaway" is a

sketch or short stqry of Haverhill in 16^1, which treats anachronistic*! ly of sous Quakers, and pictures In their proper tine such dlvergents as Williams, Gorton, and others.

With all of these the author is sympa­

thetic, and, conversely, he Is quite critical of the Puritan attitude. Far more significant is the story of Margaret ami tin*a Journal.


haps it .Is because of the Quaker aversion to the novel that Whittier chose the Journal form for this picture of early Quakerism; or he nay have thought that It was best suited for the material and point of view he wished to present.

Be these possibilities as they nay, It

seems fortunate that this "historical novel" was so shaped, for the Journal was a form with which Whittier as a Quaker felt at hone and of which, Judging a posteriori, he made the most effective use.


his chief aim was to present his view of American Quakerism; still one has the feeling that the story as a story often Interests him as much as the "message."

Thus, as often, there is an artistic improvement

which makes more effective not only the story, but the comment he wishes to offer.

Not least Impresdive is Whittier's ability to make

the Journal seem

real and so the events It records.

Contributing to

this is his skillful mixture of the historic and the fictional, and his homsly picturing

of the town and countryside of seventeenth-

century America. Ma.Tpa.rah Rm-f-hV s journal contains two major lines of Interest.

One ,

broadly social and religious, is that of the position of an expanding Quakerism In a society striving to repress it.

The other is the more

personal thread of the character and activities of Margaret, or Peggy, Brewster.

This gentle and courageous Quaker girl is the focal point

for a good, deal of the Quaker-Puritan consent; and her lore and mar­ riage with Leonard Smith; an eventual Quaker convert, contributes the main plot element.

These two lines of development and the many related

incidents are reported in the .Tmynai for the years 1678 and 1679. Margaret Smith ia a young Englishwoman who with her brother is visiting the family of her uncle Rawson, the s t e m secretary of Massachusetts. As she is a visitor and a fair-minded person, the narrative is told from a more or less

detached point of view.

Especially in the earlier

part does Whittier give the impression of objectivity, by which means he is able to heighten his pro-Quaker and anti-Puritan observations. later the same end is accomplished, as Margaret, educated by various events, deBerts her objectivity for more open sympathy with the Quakers. It is Impossible to suggest in any detail the unusually complete picture of Quakerism and Puritanism that Whittier paints.

Viewing it

in the large, Quakerism, with a few exceptions, is favorably presented in Individual, family, and community life

likewise In problems in­

volving the Indian, Negro, witches, and all oppressed.


also with few exceptions, is unfavorably seen, chiefly in the persons of such leaders as Raws on, Ward, Richardson, et al. Even a complete record of the persecution of the 1650's is introduced as told to Mar­ garet by an old woman who had been a servant in Governor Endicott *s heme.

Although the author*s point of view is usually presented indi­

rectly, there are occasionally more direct thematic passages, as In Mr. Ward's and Leonard Smith's argument over Quaker practices.80

But here

as throughout, Whittier, although taking sides, tries to be fair and he does make certain concessions and admissions. 80.

All told, there is

The account of the persecution, Ibid. V, 156 ff.j Ieomard Smith and Pastor Ward, V , 113 ff •

146 not a 'better description of bis position than that which he blame If gave In the ccement referred to earlier on Endicott a.r*A the persecution. Considered as literature, "The Gentle Boy" by Nathaniel Hawthorne is superior to all other treatments of Quakerism: In America before the Civil War.®^

The basis of this superiority Is that this short story,

far more than any other writing, offers In terms of restrained sympathy an objective analysis of both Quakerism and Puritanism in their unhappy relations.

The result Is not only a psychological study and a creative

picture, but also an ethical comment that reaches beyond the particulars of the story to Judge the ever-present states of mind and practice that these particulars represent —

persecution and fanaticism.

The story can be divided into three parts:

a brief sketch of the

historical setting, the story proper, with Its earlier and later divi­ sions, and a sort of epilogue.

The significance of Hawthorne's


ment can best be grasped by noting the main elements in each part In relation to those In the other parts and to his Intent as a whole.



Elsewhere Hawthorne dealt with Quakerism more briefly and therefore perhaps more generously. In ’Main Street" (The Snow Image and Other Twice Told Tales), he tells the story of the persecution, Including the part played by Major Bathome. He has a brief word of praise for George Fox In ‘The Virtuoso's Collection" (Mosses from an Old Manse). Part X, Chapter VXX, Grandfather's Chair, recounts the troubles of the early Quaker arrivals, es­ pecially the martyrdom of Mary Dyer. Xn the Custom House section of the Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne mentions again his Quakerpersecuting ancestor.


G. Harrison Orlans In "The Sources of Themes of Hawthorne's *The Gentle Boy, The New England Quarterly. XIV, No. 4 (December, 1941), 664-678, seeks to determine the historical sources which Hawthorne probably used and the extent to which the characters of the tale had historical models. He also isolates the main themes — ambition or fanaticism, prejudice, and the problem of Isolation — and suggests that "The Gentle Boy" is a pre-study of a later use of these themes In Hawthorne's major works. Xh the present analysis, the emphasis upon the purely Quaker aspect Is naturally greater, and there is an occasional differing from Orlans* interpretation. It Is difficult, for example, In the

The historical sketch touches generally upon most of the ideas that core made concrete in the story proper*

Hawthorne speaks at the cruel per­

secution and its failure, partly through arousing sympathy, to check the rise of Quakerism.

He indicates the belief by the Quakers that

the persecution vas a call to come to Massachusetts and suffer.


also expresses his own belief that Quaker enthusiasm bordered on mad­ ness and that it resulted in "indecorous exhibitions, vhich, abstractly considered, veil deserved the moderate chastisement of the rod."


makes the important point, reiterated in the story proper, that the extravagances of the Quakers vere at the same time a "cause and a con­ sequence" of the persecution.

Finally, there is a most severe indict­

ment of Endicott, although he is not mentioned by name: He vas a ;man of narrow mind and Imperfect education, and his uncompromising bigotry vas made hob and mischievous by violent and hasty passions; he exerted his Influence Indecorously and unjustifiably to compass the death of the enthusiasts, and his whole conduct in respect to them vas marked by brutal cruelty. This historical sketch reveals the detached point of view Hawthorne maintains throughout —

detached in the sense that he does not perman­

ently choose sides, but remains free to analyze, and so to praise or blame either Quakerism or Puritanism. Hawthorne ’a antipathy to Puritan cruelty is obvious throughout the story, and need not be stressed.

More interesting are two other of

(82) light of the emotional nature of the extreme Quaker characters,

to accept without qualification the conclusion that " ‘The Gentle Boy* is the pre-study.•.of the ascendency of head over heart." More Important: whereas Orlans holds that Hawthorne began vlth the idea of a real child in a persecuting situation and embues the character of Xlbrahlm vlth an etherial quality to make clear the symbolic nature of the story, here, in the present study, it is suggested that the boy I Ibrahim is basic­ ally a symbol of an ideal Quakerism.

IkQ his react lone: hie view of the results of Puritan bigotry his final evaluation of Quakerism.


The former is to be traced in the

effect upon seme of the main characters.

Upon Catherine, the mother of * IIbrahim, the Gentle Boy, persecution had the effect of driving her to extremes of action.

In this, Hawthorne vould seem to say, she is typi­

cal of most Quakers.

Upon Tobias Pearson, the Puritan befriender of

Ilbrahlm, the actions and attitude of the Puritans had the effect of pushing him into the Quaker camp.

Hawthorne traces the thread of this

development in Tobias "towards an end which his most secret thought had not yet whispered.”

Before noting the effect of the Puritan treat­

ment upon Ilbrahlm, it may be pointed out that there are indications that Hawthorne considered him a symbol of pure Quakerism or spiritual­ ity.

Hawthorne says of the boy in this new lifet

"Under the


ence of irinfl treatment, and in the consciousness that he was loved, Ilbrahlm's demeanor lost a premature manliness, which had resulted from his earlier situation; he became more childlike.”

He was one who

found rich treasures of happiness in unimportant things and was very sensitive to pain.

And, again —

which also suggests certain strengths

and weaknesses of a pure Quakerism —

"His mind was wanting In the

stamina for self support; it was a plant that could twine beautifully round something stronger than Itself, but if repulsed, or torn away, it had no choice but to wither on the ground.”

Thus the effect upon

Ilbrahlm of the cruelty of the Puritans, especially as reflected and magnified in their children's actions, was such as to injure and alter his spirit —

even though for a while he recovers physically.

As might

have been said of a spiritual but persecuted Quakerism, his thoughts were all "brooding within him, when they should naturally have been wandering abroad.”

1*9 What then of Hawthorne*a evaluation of Quakerism?

Apparently he


considers that the kind represented hy Ilbrahlm is an ideal that cannot eziat in a world of hateful a n . kind did thrive.

But a strong, and at times fanatic,

And Hawthorne's dislike of the Quaker fanaticism al­

most matches his antipathy to the Puritan extremism — its Quakerism but because of its fanaticism.

not because of

The symbolic representa­

tion of this Quakerism, which in its lack of balance leads to unnatural acts, is found In Catherine.

Numerous times she is arraigned by the

author for forsaking her natural duties as a mother "to wander on a mistaken errand, neglectful of the holiest trust which can be ccnmltted to a woman.”

Catherine herself, moved by her natural love, confesses

to Ilbrahlm, ”1 have ill performed a mother's part by thee in life.” Yet Immediately after, swept on by her zeal, she deserts him.


Hawthorne thinks Quakerism Itself, and not Just Catherine as an Individ­ ual, was guilty of such unnaturalness is pointed up by the comment of Tobias' Quaker friend, who says that Catherine's love for her son was a hindrance to her faith, which the death of the child will remove. The epilogue, which rapidly carries the story some years into the future, confirms the conclusions already drawn.

As long as persecution

lasts, it creates by opposite reaction an equally unbalanced fanaticism In time the Puritan extremism dies out, and with it the Quaker brand. Even Catherine returns to live quietly with Tobias and his wife.


"as if Ilbrahlm*s sweetness yet lingered round his ashes; as if his gentle spirit came down from Heaven to teach his parent a true religion, her fierce and vindictive nature was softened by the same griefs which had once irritated it."

Thus Hawthorne may be saying that historically

the ideal elements of Quakerism blended with and metamorphosed the more fanatic elements.

The closing reflections of the story emphasise again the universal ethic that Is fundamental to Hawthorne*s uananwg of the Quaker-Puritan theme and the Judgments that result.

Evil takes shape —

as it did In

both Quakerism and Puritanism -- when a normal and moderate path of human life is deserted for any extreme way. ▼lew underlies the whole story.

This humanistic point of

And this positive philosophy, as was

true with the negative comments on fanaticism and persecution, Bawthorae Is unwilling to let wander unembodled.

So in the story the human, bal­

anced way is represented by Dorothy, the wife of Tobias.

When she and

Catherine meet, with Ilbrahlm, at church, Hawthorne thus describes them:

’The two females, as they held each a hand of Ilbrahlm, formed

a practical allegory; It was rational piety and unbridled fanaticism contending for the empire of a young heart.” Compared with the historical writings of the age, this literature, Including the work

of Franklin, Jefferson, and Paine, Includes a much

greater variety of attitudes toward Quakerism and a considerably wider range In the quality of writing, due to the Individual Interests and varying abilities of the writers.

One example of this spread Is the

great difference between Jonathan Hawaii's play and Emerscn'a philo­ sophical appreciation, or Hawthorne's Imaginative picture.

Various Ob­

jections to Quakerism have been revealed in the literary works Just re­ viewed.

An important one, beginning with Franklin, Jefferson, and Pains ,

is that to the Quaker peace principle.

This attitude probably reflects

American nationalism:

Indeed, =for scorn citizens, pacifism and Quaker­

ism became identical.

An object of less serious but usually more

satirical treatment is the Quaker restrictiveness In speech, dress, marriage, etc.

Viewed In one way, this Interest makes these writings

more superficial than the histories of this period.

But viewed In another

way, as a criticism of what was actually a tendency of Quakerism — the quiet1stic settling Into a concern with certain distinguishing forms —

it gives the writings greater significance*

Again It can

he said that the praise of Quakerism is varied, hut that it centers upon ethics — metaphysics.

individual and social —

rather than upon religion and

As has been seen, Quakerism is contended for its simple

moral virtues, for Its kindliness leading to good deeds, and so, of course, for Its humanitarian interests.

As with the histories, there

is indeed some praise of Quaker liberal religious Qualities; hut with such writers as Jefferson, Franklin, and especially Paine, this appre­ ciation seems based upon a mistaken stress of the delstic traits in Quakerism.

Emerson's more understanding insights into the mystical

nature of Quakerism are unique. of this period are poor.

As literature, most of the products

But in the success of the few, not least of

which are Whittier's and Hawthorne's stories, there Is another Indica­ tion of a correspondence between effective literature and the effective handling of the Quaker theme; and there Is also the suggestion that literature has the qualities for being a better medium for the full picturing

Quakerism than historical writing.

But regardless of

these implications, the period marks the first serious consideration of Quakerism by a number of good writers, four of whom at least are major figures in American literary history.




On the level of formal thought, the secularizing and disunifying trend which began with the decline of Puritanism and which, In the suc­ ceeding years, was retarded by the underlying concern for man, contin­ ues after the Civil War.

Although a new materialistic emphasis Is

certainly evident In the Immediate postwar era, no pronounced shift from the older ways of life and thought is noticeable for some years. Bp the turn of the century, however, It Is clear that the secularizing and disunlfylng trend has greatly accelerated.

Thus American thought

In the last years of the nineteenth century and lr the first half of the twentieth (the period In which most of the writings here consid­ ered were produced)

develops a character far removed from that of the

Integrated body of religiously based beliefs that marked the common mind In early colonial days.

This retreat from unity was evidenced

not only by the departmentalization and professionalization of knowledge in all fields,1 but also by the variety and conflict within those areas of thought -- Often In the issue of the old (and non-ecientif lc) versus the new (and scientific).

Fundamental, also, was the lack of

Integration In the Individual human being, revealed by the absence of formal belief on the part of a growing number of Americans.

The new

secularism, In fact, waB both a cause and a result of the rapid develop1.

The development of specialization and professionalization (without the Interpretation here given) is well summarized by Curtl, The Growth of American Thought, pp. 325-327 and Chapter XXIII. Paul R. Anderson and Max Fisch, Philosophy In America (Hew York, 1939)* PP* 441-4^3, discuss academic specialization and profes­ sionalism In the establishment of graduate schools, the founding of journals, etc.

153 meat of the new, and often unconscious, philosophical attitude of scientific naturalism. The lack of surface unity which the new spirit helped to create paradoxically obscured the fact that It was at work Influencing all o phases of man's practical thinking. Scientific thought beginning In the mid-nineteenth century and continuing In the new century with the developments in all branches, old and new, grew to be the Intellectual authority that set increasingly restricted boundaries not only to the older supematuraliam but also to the traditional concept of human free­ dom. ^

But the new philosophy did not, of course, displace many of the

older ways of life and thought, and later It bad to face various new challenges; nevertheless, a naturalistic and deterministic view becomes more established and through one channel or another reveals itself as the fundamental working philosophy in m o d e m America. ^ The influential nature of this Intellectual attitude and the like­ lihood of Its impact upon such an area of human expression as writing becomes more evident when It Is recognized that its general acceptance Is to be explained by the presence of non-intellectual influences.



Henry Steele Commager, The American (Hew Haven, 1950); P* ^ gives a goOd picture of the tremendous change that took place after 1890, a change that was not only quantitative but qualitative. Of the oneness of the new temper, he says, "Notwithstanding two world wars, enormous material growth, astonishing advances in technology, and revolutionary changes In science, the three score years that came after I89O possessed an unequivocal unity." (p. 5k)


Curtl throughout his study traces the rise of science and in Chapter XXI deals specifically with "The Delimitation of the Supernatural. ”


See Ralph Gabriel, The Course of American Democratic Thought (Hew Tork, 19lt0 ), pp. I57-I58, for comments on the authority of sci­ ence In American life. Oscar Cargill, Ttvfca11 actual America. Part I, "The Invading Forces," (1) and Part II, "The naturalists" (1 and 2) deals with the In­ fluence of European naturalism; and in Part II (3) with American naturalism.

154 was Indeed only as the mass of people were conditioned by their ex­ periences In the economic, social, and political areas of life — the successes and failures of capitalistic society — receptive to the new spirit.


that they became

Industrial expansion with its higher b»-

terial standard of living, political corruption*, and the seemingly In­ evitable depressions, together with the added catastrophes of modern war, led many to question the older spiritual values and Induced a materialistic and pessimistic temper that confirmed the emphases of 5 scientific naturalism. Yet It was also true that the same elements led many others to question the soundness of a materialistic way of life and a society based upon

naturalistic assumptions.^

The examination of the writings of this period that deal with Quaker ism reveals a paradox.

Quakerism as a mystical religion and as a relig­

ion with an emphasis upon an other-worldly life certainly experienced an uncongenial climate; yet this fact Is only very partially reflected In the writings of the time.

In fact, these writings, taken as a whole,

offer a better treatment of Quakerism than has been found In either of 5•

Gabriel, op. clt.. Chapter XV, ,fThe Gospel of Wealth of the Gilded Age, " not only describes the content and suggests the effect of the Gospel of Wealth, but also indicates the Intellectual baseB. Gabriel holds that the gospel was based upon the theory of prop­ erty elaborated by the Scotch common sense philosophy, the domin­ ant philosophy of most American colleges. Thus, although, as Woodbrldge Riley points out, common sense realism opposed early materialism, it was, if Gabriel is right, quite materialistic at heart and ultimately advanced cruder practical concerns. Amer­ ican Thought (New York, 1941 printing) Chapter V For the pros and cons of "social Darwinism" see Herbert W. Schneider, A Hjlstarv of American Philosophy (New York, 1946) PP- 380-383.


Ccmmager, among others, stresses the challenge to American philosoph­ ical assumptions that came with the Increasing urbanization and in­ dustrialization of society (o p . clt.. Chapter XI, "The Watershed of the Nineties"). "The dominant Impression at the turn of the cen­ tury is not that of material development, splendid as that was, but of bewilderment and distraction." (p. 48)

the preceding periods.

This can he clearly seen In the historical

writings, the subject of this chapter, for although there is a certain unevenness, the histories as a whole offer an Increasingly understandlxg picture of Quakerism.

And the total result Is that Quakerism receives

Its best analysis and evaluation.

The superior treatment of Quakerism

by histories written la an age of scientific naturalism Is a paradox of sufficient Interest to make It worth while to Inquire, in a preliminary way, Into the reasons for It.

Probably the most Important and the most

readily establishe d explanation of the paradox lies In the nature of modern historical writing ~

chiefly Its renewed concern with the dis­

covery and presentation of truth backed by methods that made the ap­ proximation of that goal more likely.

Although this was the result of

a long period of Internal development, m o d e m historical writing was also Influenced by the new scientific spirit. Thus even although scientific naturalism as an Influence In his­ torical thought would reject Quakerism as Invalid and Irrelevant, its BtreBS upon scientific method and the objective treatment of the past helped to give Quakerism Its rightful p l a c e T h e Increased objectivity of modern history Indicated an Important development

from the slanted

didacticisms of the Puritan, nationalistic, humanitarian, and other historical schools which had colored the writing of most preceding his­ torians.

An examination of the writings of the present period shows

that many of the prejudiced distortions of Quakerism had been removed. A more sympathetic picture of Quakerism also resulted from the reaction against the older New England school of history and from the twentieth century reaction against an actual distortion of Puritanism. 7*


The rise of the "Scientific School" Is discussed by Michael Breus, A History of American History (New York, 1957) r Chapter 3X

156 the historical writing had seme deficiencies, net least of which was the failure of many historians to see the peculiarly intuit ire nature of Quakerism, it still was able to giro a much fairer treatment than had yet been achieved* Part of the explanation of the paradox of the effective treatment of Quakerism in a naturalistic age might possibly be jfound, too, through a closer analysis of the intellectual currents of the period.


naturalistic spirit did not establish itself without strong resistance by the older ways of thought and did not continue without challenges from a number of new philosophies and schools of social criticism*® These areas of resistance were strong enough to Qualify at times the dominant spirit and create elements of thought and feeling mors favor­ able to Quakerism*

Assuming that such a human activity as writing is

colored by the Intellectual surroundings, it can be conjectured that historical writings, although to a lesser degree than literature, were helped by those elements of thought and feeling to a more understanding treatment of Quakerism*

Finally, it must be admitted on the other aide,

that the fairer treatment, if a less understanding one, may well have come from a modern Indifference to religion, especially theological controversy* The culmination of the years of sectional strife in the open divi­ sion of the Civil War, together with the philosophical Questioning and the threats to national security from the new complexities of indus­ trial society, led to a new concern with the bases of national exis­ tence and with the shaping Quality of the past* 8*

In the imnediate poet-

A more detailed analysis of the points of opposition and challenge is presented in the next chapter In connection with the discussion of the literature of this period*

157 war years, historians tended at first to neglect Quakerism as one of the shaping elements worth considering, and it Is a number of years until the histories deal with Quakerism sufficiently to warrant their consid­ eration here*

This neglect was no doubt due partly to the current

materialistic temper and partly to the pacifism of most Quakers In the war period* The first histories to deal substantially with Quakerism, even If relatively late, offer no sharp break In their treatment from that found In the pre-war studies dealt with in Chapter H I *

One example of this

continuity of treatment Is found In Benson Loesing's T^iatory of the United States, a rather popular and streamlined history*^

Because of

the nature of this history It does not deal with the Quakers In much de­ tail, but enough is said to reveal the historian's full sympathy with them, of wham he says:

'Their preachers were the boldest, and yet the

mildest 9f all non-conformists*

Purer than all other sects, they were

hated and persecuted by all*"10

Losslng speciflally Indicts the Angli­

can churchman of Virginia and Maryland, the Butch of Hew Amsterdam, not to mention the Puritans of Hew England, for their treatment of the early Quakers*

Only in Rhode island did they find freedom, and not always

there the peace they sought*

The chief reason for the persecution by

the Puritans, Losslng suggests, was the Quaker attitude toward author­ ity, especially their "in-person” denunciations of the magistrates*


is implied that It was not so .much because of religious reasons as be­ cause of the simple irritation of the proud magistrates that the "bar­ barous laws" were established* 9*

Benson J* Losslng, The History of the United States from the Disccv cry of America to the End of the First One Hundred Years (Syracuse,

1§75) 10.

Next to the Quakers In Hew England, those

ibid.. p. 9k

158 In Pennsylvania receive the most attention, with the standard praise for their peace and Indian activities*

That his general admiration

for Quakerism was not just an historical projection is shown by his cessment on its contemporary representatives: highest character

"They still maintain the

for morality and practical C h r i s t i a n i t y * I n this

statement there is more than a hint that the basis of Judgment is ethi­ cal rather than religious, and. that an understanding of the more mys­ tical nature of Quakerism is still missing* One

of the first major treatments of Quakerism is that found in 1g

Hollowell's The Quaker invasion of Massachusetts (1885),

a work that,

as the title indicates, has Quakerism for its central theme, and a work too that helped to bring about a revaluation of the Quaker position in American history*

Even though it is not a large work and although it

is basically a Quaker history, a kind of writing that has not generally been Included in this study» its strategic position demands that at least some attention be given to it*

Written with a conscious attempt

”to correct popular fallacies and to assign Quakers their true place 13 in the early history of Massachusetts, " it deals with Quakerism sym­ pathetically but with little distortion*

Hollovell holds that the

Quaker persecution was basically in cause and intent a religious one* With this premise he sets out to refute rumors and to correct misrepre­ sentations of which the histories to that date, he thinks, had been guilty*

Some of these ’’corrections” are not too important in then-

selTes, but taken all together they offer a revision of considerable 11*

Ibid*, p* 122


Bichard P. Hollowell, The Quaker Invasion of Massachusetts (Bos­ ton, 1883)


Ibid*, p. ill

159 significance*

And memo, such as the author's refutation of the argu­

ment that the Quakers had no business in Massachusetts (by pointing out that four-fifths of the Quakers were already inhabitants of the colony), are significant even If viewed singly.

But influential as the history

has been, the fact that it vas not in the main line of historical writ­ ing has kept it from hawing a wider impact* The point of view that Hollowell presented is not solely the result of a concern for Quakerism, for his is not the only history to turn sharply against the Puritans and the filio-pietistic school whose some­ what biased histories defended them.

Indeed there is evidence in the

writings as a whole of a reaction against the earlier interpretations. Of particular interest is the reaction within the ranks of New England writers, which can be best representated by the works of the Adamses — Charles Francis Adams, first, and even more, Brooks Adams. Because of its basic approach, the 1892’study by Charles Francis Adams —

i jl

Three Episodes of Massaehuaetta fttatarvx^ —

reveals an atti­

tude toward Quakerism not entirely different from that of a few earlier historian: a sympathy aroused, but also limited, by a strong dislike cf certain aspects of Puritanism*

Adams* chief discussion of Quakerism is

his presentation of the second episode, "The Antinomies Controversy," This he logically develops into a consideration of the Quaker persecu­ tion, in which he is stringently severe in his judgments upon the Puri­ tan clergy.

The story of the Quaker executions is allowed to stand in

the words of the Quaker source, w w Enpiand Judged — lit.

a token, perhaps,

Charles Francis Adams, Three Episodes of Massachusetts History. 2 volumes (New York, 1892) The three episodes: "The Settlement of Boston Bay, " ’"The Antinomian Controversy," and "A Study of Church and Town Government•" Kraus, op. clt.» p. 524, speaks of this as "the most original and suggestive town history ever written la this country."

160 dtf Adams' protest against the earlier pro-Puritan accounts.1^

Later, ,-r

however, although, still critical of Puritanism, he reveals his lack of complete appreciation of Quakerism as a religion*

Be states, for exam­

ple, that Mary Dyer "would, seem to have hean of that class, numerous In those days, whose brains were wholly unsettled by religion.

This is

Indicative of an attitude and representative of an era that could scarce­ ly grant that religion should be a controlling force In all departments of life*

Thus Mary Dyer's devotion seemed not only rather silly but

actually psychopathic*

Finally, another weakness that appears in

Adams' generally sympathetic account is Its anecdotal character that leads the author to pass over significant events and basic issues to present supposedly more Interesting story material*

Soane important Qua­

ker events and issues are thus slighted* An even more vigorous come-outer was Brooks Adams*

In 1886 he

wrote and published The Emancipation of Massachusetts *^

which to a

large extent is a sharply worded attack upon most of the histories of New England to that date.

A new edition appeared In 1919 with some 160

pages of preface carrying as its chief burden the author's reassertlon and even underscoring of the views expressed some thirty years earlier* Of these views, generally condemnatory of the Puritan theocracy and of "most authoritative historians" of New England, none are more vigorous than those In the section on the Quaker conflict*

The persecution of

the Quakers, Adams claims, was caused by the urgent need by the ecclesi­ astics to remove the threat of the Inner light doctrine to the popular 15*

See particularly, the Three Episodes, I, h07_iK)9*


Ibid* II, 5^9


Brooks Adams, The Emancipation of Massachusetts (New York, 1886, 1919)

161 belief that the clergy were endowed vlth attributes denied to ordinary nan*

Upon thle belief ultimately rested the power of the clergy.^ In evidence of the hateful dualities displayed by the Puritan lead-

era, Wilson, Higginscn, Norton, Endlcott, et al.. Adams uses such nottoo-lmpotrtant sources as fended*


and Truth and Innocency De­

Chief attention Is directed, however, to the other side of the

stoory as that Is presented by the later historians of Puritanism, of whom Adams singles out the leading filial piety historians — Palfrey, and Dexter.^


These writers, he says, preserved the false

picture of the Quakers as the persecuting invaders and Puritanism as on the defensive.

Feeling that he has earlier proved that legally the

Quakers, like all peaceful British subjects, had a right to dwell In Massachusetts, Adams centers his attention on the remaining Question of whether the Quakers were peaceful.

After a careful examination of

the cases of misconduct presented by the filial pietists, he states that although sane Quakers spoke and acted extravagantly and followed some offensive customs, such as their refusal to remove their hats, the basic Question Is still not one of their “social attractiveness” but whether their conduct was such a threat to peace that It demanded the suppression that followed.

If this was tame, then the Reverend histor­

ians have established their proposition*. But If, on the other hand, the Intense vindictiveness of the onslaught was due to bigotry and greed of power of a des­ potic priesthood. •.then it must be held to be demonstrated that the clergy of New England acted In obedience to those


Ibid.. p. 30k


For this discussion of the Puritan historians, see Ibid.. pp*307 ff.


Ibid.. p. 510

162 This Adams clearly thinks Is true*

With a degree of ;logical analjsls

and with more than a touch of feeling, he proceeds to an extended exam* Inatlon of the records regarding the "turbulent Quakers" (fourteen apart from those executed) who suffered persecution.

The presentation of this

evidence carries Adams more directly into his theme of "emancipation" with which he closes his cause.

"None but ecclesiastical partisans can

doubt the bearing of such evidence.

It was the mortal struggle between

conservatism and liberality, between repression and free thought."


the battle In Massachusetts was and is but "a little fragment of the sternest struggle of the m o d e m world."

Of the Quakers* valuable part

in that struggle Adams finally asserts *

"All who love our country *s

freedom will reverence the memory of those martyred Quakers by whose death and agony the battle in New England has been won.?21 In terms almost as vigorous James Trualow Adams —

sets forth his views on the

Adams —

a non-lineal

Quaker-Puritan controversy,and

offers an additional negative revaluation of Puritanism.

Although his

general works are more popular and synthetic than those of the Massa­ chusetts Adamses, this criticism Is less true of his particular study op of New England, The Fo«™nT>ff of New Tanffiand. in this history Adams forthrightly expresses the belief that the Quaker-Puritan conflict was a battle in the lnng war for freedom and democracy.

Although there Is

this social-political emphasis, Adams sees at the core of the contro­ versy the clash of antithetical religious ideas.

In the completeness

of this religious antithesis lay the

cause for Puritan alarm andcounter-


The quotations are from pp. 3**3

and 3**8«


James Truslcw Adams, The Founding of New England (Boston, 1921). Moris on calls this work "the best history of early New England that appeared for a generation." Yet he and others question his severity in dealing with the Puritans. See Kraus, op. clt., p. 526.

163 movements • Adams views, and with sane anti-Puritan bias, the acts passed against the Quakers as little less than tyrannical; and of one law he has this to say: Few bits of legislation can be more complete than this, which thus provided punishment far an offender, denied anyone the right to speak in his behalf, and made it a crime to criti­ cise the men who passed the l a w * 3 Using Quite extensively the colonial records of Plymouth, Connecticut, and Hew Haven, as well as of Massachusetts, this history presents with­ out any Qualification the record of Hew Eng land fs cruel treatment of the Quakers. Yet the martyrdoms are pictured as being entered Into voluntarity "In order to

testifyto the truth as they saw it, and to

die for liberty of opinion.

Adams refutes the argument that the

Puritan harshness should not be Judged by the standards of later times. He claims the Rhode island record and the liberalizing moves in Maryland, Hew Jersey, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania show that the second half of the seventeenth century was by no means as intolerant as many of the defenders of Puritanism would have us believe.

Adams blames the

Pur item leaders' desire to hold on to power, and states that the course these authorities took was wholly unnecessary as was proved by the events in the other colonies .^5 In his somewhat later companion study, Revolutionary Hew England (1923), the Quakers are not among Adams* concerns. much to his comment upon 23.

The Founding


Ibid.. p. 271


Ibid.. pp. 277-278


Nor does he add

them inhis more varied account in Provincial




16* Society26 (1927)*

However, in keeping with the aoelal history Intent

of the History of American Life series, Adams emphasises the social con­ tributions of the Quakers.2?

Logically, therefore, their part in the

ant islayery movement and. In the development of an improved, penological system receives greater attention* Adame* evaluation of Quakerism can be said to owe a great deal to three currents of thought:

the reaction against the older New ^ gl^an*

historians, the modern, especially the 1920, reaction against Puritanism (of which Mencken was high priest), and the new appreciation of the Quaker contribution to traditional American liberties*

Be the causes

or influences what they may, his Indictment of New England leadership remains a cogent one, and his positive appreciation of Quakerism devel­ ops Into a view almost as strong* for toleration*

And central to all Is his concern

In The Founding of New England he Justifies his lengthy

discussion of the Quaker-Puritan controversy by stating that his Interest Is not In the antiquarian or dramatic aspects, but rather In the Issue of toleration involved, for In toleration lies the hope of man.2®

In the light of m o d e m threats the older Quaker sacrifices

seem to stand out*

The Quakers become to him, as he reveals In Provin-


Provincial Society. I69O-I765, History of American Life series, Volume H I , Schlessinger and Dixon Pox, editors (New York, 1927)* Some of the more Important Quaker comments are to be found as follows: pp. 6, 62, 128, 151, 152, 162-165, 511, 168, 259.


In a comment on this series John Erowt points out that the social historian deals not Just with the "residuum” left over after other historians have marked off their fields, but with "social relation­ ships ” in all areas* And although he grants that the American Liib series has various weaknesses, he Indicates that it Is social his­ tory as he has defined that term* **Reflecticns of a Social His­ torian, " Aunrpachas to American Social History. William E* Llngelbach, editor (New York and London, 1957)


p. 276

165 clal Society, "the noble m

and woman who suffered and gate their

liras that the power of Massachusetts' theocracy might be broken the human mind unshackled. The chief value of the work of such writers as Hollowell and the various Adamses, as far as Quakerism Is concerned, lies In their attempt to correct misrepresentations and mis Impress Ions.

They suffer, however,

from the touch of reaction and even of new distortion.

A number of otter

historians writing In a different vein were better able to analyze the nature of the Quaker-Puritan conflict and present a fuller understand­ ing of religious Quakerism.

The historians John Flske, Woodrow Wilson,

and Carl Lotus Becker, at different levels of historical worth and at somewhat varying times in the present period, are representative of this approach.

The works of John Flske are Important In the history of

American thought for his attempts to reconcile the religious and scien­ tific points of view In the late nineteenth century, and from this van­ tage point he makes a valuable contribution to the understanding of Quakerism.

Hext to Becker, Flske reveals the clearest Insight Into

the bases of the Purltan-Quaker conflict, and, even better than Becker or Wilson, an appreciation of the Quaker religious contribution to American life —

not only through the Puritan colonies but also in the

key regions of Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, and others.

His chief

failure Is his Incomplete understanding of Quaker mysticism. The Beginnings of Hew ghe Puritan Theocracy

which has the revealing subtitle 30 -Relation to Civil and Religious Liberty,


P. 90


John Flske, Tho Tiwgi«E3npa of New England, or the Puritan Theocracy In Relation to Civil and Beligioiis Liberty (Boston and New York, 1889)* The quotations which follow and the discussion of the lnnm* light are to be found on pp. 179“l8l.

166 makes clear that with the coming to power of Endlcott and Norton, "as arrant fanatics as ever drew breath,” the stage was set for deadly per­ secution.

The occasion of this persecution arrived with the Quakers

who, says Flske, had already aroused the scoxn of those who "had not gone so far as they toward learning the true lesson of Protestant IsmP This evaluation Is made more explicit in his praise of Quakerism for having stripped Christianity of its non-essential features of doctrine and ceremonial.

Flake’s view of Quakerism Is quite logical for one who

Is religiously minded and yet sufficiently Interested In science to wish to be clear of dogma.

He even accepts the mystic point of the

"Inward light” on the qualifying basis of the absolute right of pri­ vate Judgment, especially, it should be added, when that Judgment re­ jects original sin, resurrection of the body, baptism, and other points of traditional doctrine.

Thus Flske, somewhat misled here as to the

roots of early Quakerism, considers that It has gone far on the road to modern rationalism.

He explains that even though the Quaker Inner

light Is similar to the Puritan appeal to Individual Judgment, It put Itself and all Quakerism In hostility to Puritanism because of Its anti-doctrinal conclusions and Its apparent displacement of the Bible. Flske grants that the Quakers at times were guilty of excessive conduct, but he explains this in two tways:

that in those days all

manifestations of dissent were apt to be violent; that the Puritan persecution called for a resistance In kind.

The persecution, he makes

clear, began before the Quakers had a chance to act; their mere coming was an attack upon the theocratic Idea, and It was dealt with accord*1 ingly In Massachusetts and other like-minded colonies.*' 31.

Ibid.. pp. 181, 182


167 F isIds, like seojr other©; la careful to lay the blame far the persecution upon clergy rather than the laity.

This harmonises with the reason

given for the hostility of Endicott and his party -- their fear that the Quakers aimed a deadly blow at the root Idea which had brought the Puritans to Hew E n g l a n d . I n concluding his fairly detailed account of the Quaker suffering Flske expresses the opinion that the martyrs had not died In vain.

"The Puritan Ideal of a united body of believers

was broken down; never again to be restored. "^3 31s views on Quakerism outside of New England are set forth In two subsequent studies:

Old Virginia and Her Neighbors, 1897; end The

Dutch and Quaker Colonies. 1 8 9 9 Eu the relatively slight treatment of Quakerism in the former history; the chief Issues; while Involving some direct religious elements; are mainly concerned with the external applications of the Quaker faith to the problems of oaths, militia and Jury service, and.Ahe like —

in Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina.

While there was some persecution In these provinces — Flske, sharpest In Maryland —

according 4>©

it did not approach the severity of New

England's; nor does it stir equally the interest of the author .^5


the second of these histories, Stuyvesant's tortuous treatment of jRobert Hodshone is pictured as approaching some of the severities of New 32.

Ibid., p. 197


Ibid., p. 190


John Flske, Old Virginia and Her Neighbors. 2 volumes (Boston and New York, 1807); The Dutch and Quaker Colonies. 2 volumes (Boston and New York, 1899). Another Flske history, In which the treat­ ment of Quakerism — the Quakers In opposition to the Eevolution — is slight, Is The American Revolution. 2 volumes (Boston and New York, 1891).


Old Virginia and Her Neighbors II, 153; 30k, 138; 20

168 England; but In the way of balance "there came "the "magnlfleant protest" by the officers and citizens of the Flushing community >

More Important

Is Flslce*s effective handling of "Penn's Holy Experiment*"

This he be­

gins with a discussion of the extreme Protestant nature of Quakerism, similar to that in his Hew England volume*

The major Interest here Is

his added comparison of the Quakers with the early European mystics and quletlsts, and the very Important suggestion, In which he anticipates Rufus Jones, that George Fox may have come under the influence of the Butch "Friends of God" through the Butch weavers in his heme region of Leicestershire*37

From an evaluation of the modernity of Fax's thought

In Its emphasis upon complete toleration and equality, and a brief his­ tory of English Quakerism, Flske moves on through New England Quakerism to a consideration of that In Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Of greater In­

terest than the repetition of the many details of Penn's governing dif­ ficulties is the relatively full treatment of Penn's life and the sur­ prisingly thorough analysis of his thought*

Flake's analysis of the

background of Penn's writings, and the critical evaluation and sunsnary of many of them, Inevitably lead the

reader to a better understanding

of American Quakerism of this later period* The most critical comment on the Quakers is called forth by their negative attitude toward learning*

Flske attributes this to their


The Butch and Quaker Colonies I, 231-232


Ibid* II, 108-110


For the discussion of Penn add his writings, seeIbid* II, 116140* Flske praises especially his humane,liberal, andreason­ able qualities, but also his original Intellect, as shewn, for example, in his anticipation In "Sandy Foundation Shaken," of J. S. Mill's "Essay on Liberty." For the account of Hew Jersey, see II, 140-148; and Pennsylvania In "The Quaker Commonwealth," II, 148-167, 294-329#

169 stress upon the Inner light In contrast to the Puritan emphasis on textual criticism of the Bible; and he holds that to the Quakers the ancient languages were pagan, literature was frivolous, and the elab­ orate equipment of scholarship was rubbish* ^

Credit, hotrever, Is gives

for their Interest In the practical essentials of the three R*s.


wise there Is the usual praise of the Quaker spirit In dealing with criminals and paupers, and, of course, tor the antislavery work, the Influence of which spread out from Pennsylvania and was of "Inestimable value" In the other regions.**0 Whatever Flske’s present status as an historian — than It once was — one*

and It Is lower

his treatment of the Quakers Is a very effective

While equalled by more recent writers, he certainly Justified In

1911 the comment of Rufus Jones that "mare than any other historian of colonial America fhe^ has succeeded in understanding the Quaker posi­ tion. "1*;L Equally interested In the religious and more clearly moral Influ­ ence pf Quakerism was Woodrow Wilson* ^

As something of a latter-day

Puritan, Wilson not surprisingly points up the sober moral qualities of the Quakers, which had a steadying Influence upon the number of early settlements; for example, he speaks of the Albemarle frontier of Virginia as a refuge for the restless and the unfortunate, and adds:

"Some very

steady and substantial people there were also, no doubt • ••• like the 39»

Ibid* II, 320


Ibid. II, 326-327, 3b8-3b9


Rufus Jones, The Q u a d ra in the American Colonies (London, 1911), p. 33* Barnes, op. clt*, p. 233* speaks of Flske — for good or ill — as the "most popular national historian of the last gener­ ation. "


Woodrow Wilson, A History of the American People, 5 volumes (New York, 1901, 1902)

170 good Quakers whom Mr. Durant had 'brought thither because they could find a vale one nowhere else."^5

But Wilson* s appreciation of Quakerism vent

behind the moral to the religious, in the discuss ion of Penn and his colony* he has clear vcards of praise for the religion of George Fox as a religion with no new creed* but vlth a piety and simplicity of life, the direct gift of the guiding light from Heaven vithout intermediation of priest* church* or dogma* a recognition of the Independence of man's conscience.

Fox* he says* "spoke such vords as made men's hearts burn

vlthln them* and Quickly kindled a fire vhlch no man could put out or cheek.

Yet* for some reason* perhaps again because of certain Puritan

sympathies, Wilson chose not to touch upon the Quaker troubles in New England. Wilson* the political scientist and democrat* also found Quaker­ ism praiseworthy. The democratic government of West Jersey vlth Its humane lavs and liberality he credits to the presence of Influential Quakers among the proprietors.

Among these vas William Penn* "at vhose

hands schemes of proprietorship In America vere to receive new dignity and a touch almost of romance."

The story of the "gentle" government

of Pennsylvania he describes as: "an idyl amidst the confused annals of colonial affairs•

Whatever there vere Quakers* he says* the gov­

ernment vas simple and Just* vlth little need for courts* because most Quarrels vere settled "in meeting."

Peace vlth the Indians came through

"loving Justice and keeping faith*" and vhereas the Puritan sought only «4£ Justice* the Quakers sought Justice mingled vlth "gentle kindliness." 43.

Ibid. I* 248; also on this subject* I* 292


Ibid.. 302


About Penn* Ibid. I* 301; about Pennsylvania, I, 303


Ibid. I, 302-310

171 Thera Is even a warm word for the Quakers * faithfulness to their peace principles against the pressures In the Revolutionary tines and In the still sharper challenges In the Civil War through which they worked at great risk of person and property.^7 In general, the heat treatments of Quakerism came after the turn into the twentieth century*

(Best Is used here In the sense of a com­

bination of a relatively objective view of Quakerism with a wellrounded understanding of it In itself and in its contributions.)


of these "best," and at the same time the most incisive, is that of Carl Lotus Becker in The Beginnings of the American People. ^

The work

is narked by a high quality of scholarship enlightened by a thought-out philosophy.

Thus Becker's account of Quakerism is not a mere chronicle

but rather an Integrated interpretation, and an interpretation from the point of view of a m o d e m proponent of American democracy inter­ ested in whatever the past has to offer that democracy.

Becker character

lzes the early Quaker beliefs and practices with colorful and sometimes ironic language, although it is difficult to tell whether the latter sword falls more heavily on the Quakers or Puritans.

He speaks, for

example, of the Quakers coming among "the seemly Puritans of Boston. •• with scandalous impropriety of action bringing the staid Sunday sermon or Thursday lecture to irremediable confusion, with voluble harangue and wealth of stinging epithet pouring scorn upon the self-selected lead­ ers of the chosen people. "^9

More flattering is the account of how


Ibid. II, 219,

285; 17, 77-73


Carl Lotus Becker, The Beginnings of the American People* River­ side History of the United States, Volume I, William £. Dodd, general editor (Hew York, 1915)


Ibid., p. 109

172 Quakerism flourished In ‘the face of persecution with the average eagerly turning from the literalism of the Puritans to the Quaker mes­ sengers of the spirit* Yet the implied criticism of Puritanism — lectuallsm” —

Its "cold gray intel-

Is balanced by the description of Quakerism as a politi­

cal danger and a public nuisance*

The political threat of Quakerism Is

the key point in Becker fs discussion, which deals not only with the Quaker beliefs but also with the Inherent weakness of Puritan theocracy.^0 The Quaker hangings revealed "in respect to theory and practice alike, the insecure foundations upon which the Church-State rested* ”


Quakers were disturbing because they pressed the basic principles of Protestantism to their logical conclusion; the inner light Is Implicit In the premises of Luther's covenant of grace*

Bare Becker raises the

basic eocial-rellglous question which was Luther's and has been a significant one down to Thoreau and the latest conscientious objector: are belief and conduct In religious matters to be controlled by social will through church and state or by Individual will following reason and conscience?

Becker points out that the position of the sixteenth and


seventeenth century dissenters was Illogical:

on the one hand they

denied external authority, and on the other (like the Puritans with the Quakers), they felt forced to assert it.

He believes that the Protest­

ant church-state was destined to be destroyed by the very principles upon which it had been founded*

In suggesting that the Quaker-Puritan

controversy, with the popular opposition to the leaders, was the be­ ginning of the end of the Bible conmoawaalth, Becker is certainly Indi­ cating the essential Protestant nature of Quakerism, not only In Puritan 50*

The discussion, the conments on whihh follow, Is set forth on pp. 110-116 .

173 timea but also In modern democracy down to the present day.


It can be said that one Important aspect of the genius of Protestantism displayed by Qua JeerIsm, as the Society of Friends, Is the willingness to occupy a position of polar tension between the extremes of ecdeslastlclsm and stat lam on the one hand and mere personal opinion and anarchy on the other.

In these stated and implied truths, which reveal new in­

sights In the relationship between the Quakers and Puritans, lies much of the excellence of Becker's treatment.

This church-state problem

continues elsewhere to be the core theme In his further discussion of Quakerism.^ Whether attributable or not to the philosophy of the time, one of the dominant characteristics of the age of scientific naturalism was an emphasis upon the democratic and social aspects of thought.

Ho doubt

there were direct connections between the Inductive method and findings of science on the one hand, and democratic Individualism and social em­ phasis on the other.

Moreover, as suggested earlier, the democratic and

social emphasis Is traceable In part to a new critical questioning of the materialism and excessive Individualism of the day.

It must be said,

however, that much of the emphasis Is simply a continued development of the political and social tendencies which began with the nation and weze accelerated by the crises of the Civil War.

A greater social emphasis

Is noticeable in most of the histories of this period and has been evi­ dent In those thus far examined.

While It Is therefore not possible to

speak of any few histories as uniquely social, It can be suggested that seme have a more dominant social note and that it is revealed In their treatment of Quakerism. 51.

Three of these histories that are "social" in

For exangle, see Ibid., p. 133* 13*b 167* 2l»2, 157*

widely different ways are the works of McMaster, Turner, and Beard, and their treatments of Quakerism have certain points in caramon. McMaster*b title, A History of the American People, from the Rerolatlon to the Clrll War.


suggests something of his central interest —

th© growth of democracy and the importance of the common man*


it can he said that with McMaster the United States has for the first time a conscious social historian in the narrower sense.^


as the history terminates with the Civil War, the sectlcnallsm-slavery issue is one of the most Important themes; and every comment on the Quakers is in connection with that theme.

Although viewed in the hulk

of the eight volumes, this Quaker comment is not great, it is suffi­ cient to establish the historian's appreciation of the Friends' stand on slavery.

Be traces their growing concern over this problem from as

early as 1688 on through the crystalizatlon of their policy hy Revolu­ tionary times, with the memorials to congress that followed, down into their more politically active participation in the abolition movement.^* The geographical breadth of the Quaker influence is indicated by his treatment of their early antislavery work in Pennsylvania, Barth Caro­ lina, and Georgia, and of their later work in these and various other states.

Be mentions particularly the Journalistic work of two Friends,


John Bach McMaster, A History of the united States: from the Revo­ lution to the Civil War. 8 volumes (New York, 1883-1913)


William T. Hutchinson, in commenting upon McMaster *s Interest in democracy and the ccramon man, states that the united States had for the first time a social historian. "John Bach McMaster," The Marcus W. J emegan Essays in Historiography (Chicago, 1937) Barnes, on. cit.. up. 57l>. 305. praises McMaster's work for its concern with the life and interests of all classes; and he goeB so far as to call it a "monumental work."




358? I. -578-5798



175 Charles Osborne and Bmbree, in Ohio and Bast Tennessee.^ McMaster exhibits little Interest In the purely religious nature of Quakerism*

Only as It oernes Into contact with slavery does It re­

ceive his attention*

This Is not to say there are no religious over­

tones, especially in the Quakers' dedication to this work in face of the most heavy odds.

Of their part in carrying on the battle, he says t

"Save for the Society of Friends, the members of the struggling aboli­ tion societies, whose delegates met each year, the cause of abolition had scarcely one advocate. "^6

Thus McMaster records his appreciation

of the pioneer work to which the Quakers "eacriflcally gave themselves The historical writing of Frederick Jackson Turner is social in a mare technical sense in that it deals, rather single-mlndedly, with a shaping force in American culture. ence

And certainly in its seminal influ­

upon American historiography Turner's HThe Significance of the

Frontier" (1893)57 has surpassed every other comparable work.


his thesis has suffered loss of prestige, his work with its few com­ ments on Quakerism should receive at least some attention.

Three es­


speak of the Quakers,

in "The Old West" they are presented as


of the mixed stream of peoples making up the 176® frontier; and as

the ruling party in Pennsylvania they are revealed as the main factor 33*

Charles Osborne edited The Philanthropist, a weekly founded at Mt. Pleasant, Ohio, in 1817; Ellhu Embree in l8l9 established The Eman­ cipator at Jonesborough, East Tennessee, the first newspaper in the United States devoted entirely to attacking slavery. See Ibid. 210-212


Ibid. Ill, 515


Frederick Jackson Turner, The Frontier in Awiriu a History (Hew York, 1920). Avery Craven comments, "Frederick Jackson Turner wrote leas «x»ri influenced more than any other important historian." "Freder­ ick Jackson Turner" in the Jernegan essays cited, p. 232

176 In the Bast-Weat antagonisms in that province.-'*® While this is gener­ ally descriptive rather than evaluative, something of a democratic criticism is to he found here,

in "The Ohio Valley in American History"

the Quakers areqaoken of as furnishing a part of the foundation of emo­ tional responsiveness to religion in that section and of the readiness to find a new heaven and a new earth politically as well as religiously. 59 Similarly the Quakers migrating from Virginia to Ohio and from North Carolina to Indiana because of their opposition to slavery are consid­ ered by Turner to be one of "The Dominant Forces in Western life. "6° These items show that in this study the Quakers and Quakerism are viewed as a part of social rather than of religious history. Also from the social direction came one of the most significant, or at least controversial, developments in historical writing, the rise of economic interpretation.

Of all the volumes of American his­

tory none is more typical of the economic school, nor of greater influ­ ence, than Charles and Mary Beard's The Rise of American Civilization, published in 1927.^

Although a far cry from a truly Marxian inter­

pretation, this history is written with a new awareness of the import­ ance of the social and economic forces that shaped

American life.


place of Quakerism from such a point of view is necessarily slight, far 58.

Ibid.. pp. 105, 112


Ibid.. p. 164


Ibid.. p. 224


Charles A. and Mary R. Beard, The Rise of American Civilization, 4 volumes (New York, 1927, 1940, 1942). The title, which is commonly used for the first two periods — The Agricultural Era and The industrial Era — is the general title alsoccoeering the last two volumes — America in Midnaasage (1940) and The American Spirit (1942). Quakerism is dealt with substantially only in I and II.

177 that view screens out much that would Interest an historian more con­ cerned with Intellectual and religious history in a narrower sense* Quakerism In the Beards* study, therefore, is considered rather fragmentarily as a part of larger movements*

The deficiency of this ap­

proach Is Illustrated by the fact that the Quaker persecution Is not touched upon, either because it Is not a significant part of a larger movement or because it does not appear to the authors to be related to an Important social or economic development.

This Is drawing the his­

torical map true to scale, but from a standpoint of values it slights much of Importance in human experience.

More positively viewed, the

Beards* treatment gives a much better Idea of Quakerism In Its socio­ religious origins and relations than most histories have given thus far.

Quakerism is rightly seen as one of the many end-products of the

Protestant revolution, largely economic in character.^

And a social

effect of Quakerism Is seen In the influence of the Quaker migrations In breaking down the sectional harriers and helping to unify the nation. ^ Culturally the Quakers are shown as fosterihg an Ideal of simplicity comparable to the Puritans', yet avoiding force as a means of achieving this end; for example, in their dulet efforts to stamp out such diver­ sions as music, drama, and dancing.

At times, too, the social-economic

emphasis leads to insights Into Quakerism not otherwise obtainable^ *s, for example, that the Quaker stress upon Jesus* teaching of equality rather than upon "distinctions1* left them "outside the *society * con­ structed on the basis of waste and spending power. 62.

The Bise I, 28-29


Ibid. I, 85


Ibid. I, lk3

While not pointed

178 out by the Board®, this being outside, or, moro accurately, not being devoted to, the dominant economic society has given many Quaker® a po­ sition from vhich they, .have been able to use their ^

* 1, leverage on a

more materially weighted society, beginning with the Puritan Issues on through slavery down to present judgments on m o d e m war and Halted State sRussian relations.

Through all of the treatment in The Rise of American

Civilization, there is no criticism of the Quakers, unless one Includes comment on certain weaknesses in the Pennsylvania government.

And even

these judgments are more than balanced by the praise of Quaker contribu­ tions to America in the form of freedom of thought and religion, prison reform, and the fostering of elementary education, not to mention the 65 great deal presented concerning the Quaker work with slaves and slavery. * It is revealing of the opinion that the Beards had of Quakerism that with their emphasis upon the formative factors and their dealing with major forces, that the Quakers do not appear in the subsequent volumes of the history. American historical writing came to full maturity in the early twentieth century.

Even an awareness of the long development toward

that maturity does not remove an element of surprise at the high qual­ ity —

the extensiveness, thoroughness, and impartiality —

of a sig­

nificant number of historians in the first quarter or so of the new century.

A major Influence in the achievement of this end was that of

science and the scientific spirit permeating the age.

While It cannot

be asserted that the dast word in American history was written at this time, nor that the methods or philosophy of historical research were beyond improvem ent, it is certain that modern scientific history marked 65.

On the slavery issue, Ibid. I, 107, 355> 523-524; other contribu­ tions, Ibid. I, 143, 146, 165, 177-178

179 a new level in the object ire recording of the past and that a baele was laid for a sane return to needed Interpretive writing.

Quakerism bene*

fited by the treatment of the scientific historians, for through their objective handling the fullest and fairest picture of Quakerism was given.

In the following analyses of the works of Osgood, Channlng, Van

Tyne, and Andrews this kind of treatment is well illustrated. Even though Channlng(s study appeared a few years after Osgood*s, it should be considered first, for much more than the earlier work it has a transitional q u a l i t y I n it the older historical method ap­ proaches the newer scientific. but —

It has a high degree of objectivity,

limited by the author’s Interests —

it falls to achieve the ex­

tensiveness and thoroughness of Osgood’s scholarly research.


however, fares very well, and apart from. Osgood’s history, this offers as complete and impartial a treatment of the religion in America as any history up to this time.

Beginning with Stuyvesant’s persecution of

the Quakers in New Amsterdam, before he turns to New England, Channlng sets forth the record from that early point on down through history to the problem of the Quaker C.O. *s in the Civil War.

At times it may seem

that Channlng'a objectivity is carried to a n on-sympathetic point —


example, in the New England discussion where the establishment of the death penalty against the Quakers in Massachusetts is referred to merely as an "unfortunate action on her part which led to the execution of Mary Dyer and three others •"

Nevertheless, as with Osgood, the ua-


Edward Channlng, A History of the United States. 6 volumes (New York, I9O5 ). Barnes, on. clt.. w. 260, considers Channlng as carrying on the newer scholarship of concern with accuracy; Michael Ekaus (p. 4^1) mentions his "great influence. •• on the teachers and careful writers of history."


Ibid. 1, 532

180 prejudiced, treatment and the absence of axe-grlnding makes the praise of Quakerism when It appears all the more significant.

The fullness of

the treatment Is exemplified in the -varied discussion of Quakerism be­ yond the chief provinces of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. the important matter of Quaker persecution, at least as

In fact, la

much space Is

given to the accounts of anti-Quaker activity and legislation In such areas as New Amsterdam, Virginia, and Maryland as to that In Hew England. This emphasis, in the context of the whole treatment, suggests a sympa­ thetic Interest In the plight of the Quakers as well as a fairness to the Puritans. Channlng *s views can be fairly well sumnarlzed under the two headings heretofore used:

the narrower one of Quakerism as a religion,

and the more Inclusive one of Quakerism In Its social and political Im­ port.


main elements ofChannlng's discussion of Quakerism as a

religion are:

an account of Quakerism's early years under Fox, whose

sureness of reasoning Channlng praises highly;


an analysis of Quaker

religious essentials, although with little evaluative comment;^ em account of Quaker pacifism, its difficulties In the New World and the basic compromise distinction between the "military” and the "police”; an Incisive, although brief, criticism of Quaker discipline as "subver­ sive of freedom of thought and action;^0 and an enumeration of the troubles (to Channlng, apparently needless troubles) resulting from the clash of Quaker religious Ideas with the government and American mores — among which disagreements were those over the taking of oaths, the prob68.

Ibid. I, 9k ff.


Ibid. I, 97


Ibid. I, 99-102; V, 209 tt.

181 lam of military service, and the Quaker marriage restrictions.?^


at the beginning of this religious treatment Channlng recognizes Fox's mystical experience, he fails to develop clearly the fact that this mysticism Is at the center of the Quaker faith.

There Is perhaps an

Indirect suggestion of this truth In his handling of the Eh 1th contro­ versy, hut even here the: problems of polity bulk larger than theology or philosophy.?2

Nevertheless, from this whole discussion the reader

gets an unusually firm grasp, an intimate and real view,

of Quakerism

In Its religious essentials as revealed In the lives of its ordinary believers• Channlng's account of the political and social impact of Quakerism on life In early America points up, for the most part unintentionally, the contribution of Quakerism to the widening and deepening stream of democracy.

At the first, out of the strife created by Stuyvesant's per­

secution, came the Flushing Proclamation.?^

And In the Quakerstruggle

with Andros In Jersey were formulated the Concessions and Agreements of March, 16J6, "which shadow forth the spirit of democracy that actuated the Quakers."

In these ^Agreements, freedom of religion, equal justice,

and self-taxation were guaranteed, together with such Instruments as trial by jury.?^

Channlng praises Penn for such achievements as those

with the Indians,

although he extols the material success of Pennsyl­

vania and the rlohness of Its leader's international Quakerism, he con­ siders that province a failure politically.

In a long discussion the


Ibid. n ,

315-316, 325# 329i Til, **9-*51; VI, *17


Ibid. H ,



Ibid. I, *72-*7*


Ibid. II, 11*-117

182 basic criticism scams to be the disregard of the "fundamental laws" and the continued rule by » minority, the latter being especially notice* able in tin peace and defense :issue* Quakers there is little but praise*

But of the Quakers acting as

Thus Channlng approaches superla-

tlres in his comment on the Quakers ’ voluntary relinquishing of poser In Pennsylvania politics:

"Retirement from public life under such cir­

cumstances and for such reasons is an act of public spirit and politi­ cal disinterestedness that seldom has been paralleled in the history of 75

legislative bodies."'^

A detailed report of the rise of the antislavery

feeling vlthin the Quaker fold is a further indication of Charming *s in­ terest in the Quaker contribution to American democratic thought and action*


He Includes an account of the Quaker removals —

whole meetings —


from Virginia and the Carolines to north of the Ohio

In the early nineteenth century to escape the evils of southern slavery* Hated too is the resistance to the fugitive slave law and to Civil War 77

service on conscientious grounds* 11 Even granting certain limitations in the religious interpretation, Channlng *s account of Quakerism marks a distinct advance for the stu­ dent interested in the historical treatment of this faith*

Bath in its

limitations and its achievements it reflects substantially the intel­ lectual climate of the early twentieth century*

Thus, as indicated, it

combines something of the older approach to the social and political aspects of the American past with the newer scientific historical method* 75*

Ibid* II, 339 for the quotation; II, loe ff. far general discussion.


See, for example, Ibid* II, 596, and following, and VI, 559*


The removals, Ibid. V, 59-61; the Fugitive Slave law, V, 107; the conscientious objectors, VI, 417*

183 There are emphases, however, which can be explained only by Channlng's personal izferests and leanings, which seem to connect

with the older

approach rather than to the newer* If one without any Knowledge of Quaker history and the QuakerPuritan controversy wanted to find out fairly what happened and what was the attitude on each side, he could do no

better than to turn first to

Osgood’s presentation in The American Colonies in the Seventeenth Cen­ tury* ^

And if he wanted to trace the further development of Quakerism

he would do well to use the succeeding volumes of this author *s account of eighteenth-century America.

The treatment would be particularly sat­

isfying to one Interested in the facts and in the more obvious causes rather than in inner meanings and religious interpretation.

In thorough

ness and fairness the scientific approach to history here was more than successful.

As this impartiality was the author's achievement^ so also

was it his aim*

Be early makes his position clear:

In thus describing the attitude which was assumed by the Puritan toward the Quaker, and the arguments by which he sup­ ported it, no effort has been made to Justify or condemn one party or the other. The sole object has been to show how the case appeared to the minds of man in the seventeenth century whoee intelligence was above the average, although their sym­ pathies may not have been broader than those of most contemp­ oraries. 79 Osgood’s initial discussion of Quakerism gives a good idea of its early position through a comparison and contrast of the Quakers with the other enemies of Puritanism —

the antlnomians and the Baptists




Herbert Levi Osgood, The American Colonies Century. 3 volumes (Hew York, 190^-1907)

the Seventeenth


Ibid. I, 273


The discussion, one of the more important ones, is found in Volume I, 269-289. The references in the remainder of the paragraph are to this section.

13k Quakers, he aaggeats, had even less in e o m s n with the Puritans than did those other dissenters. The? ware «Ci-a ldwer aecialrank and ^included more ncn-tfew Englanders than either of the other two.

Moreover, they

were more radical, for they held all that Roger Williams and the antinomtane did and went far beyond with their consistent emphasis upon the Indwelling spirit*

The Quakers reversed quite completely the Puritan

Ideas In regard to the externals of religion and proudly asserted their democratic claims*

Osgood Interestingly suggests that the Quaker lang­

uage (although first adopted by Fox) was a syhhol of their attitude toward the Puritans and -their leaders:

"No more pronounced assertion

of social equality than this had been made*" Quakers were -nothing less than libertines.

To the Puritans the

Osgood's comment on this

charge should be noted: The Quakers were not libertines, although some of them behaved as if they were such. Through their Insistence upon the right of private Judgment, their passive but determined opposition to war and to oppression In all forms, the pref­ erence they everywhere showed for simple and quiet modes of life, they contributed toward the humanitarian trend of the eighteenth century* But these things the Puritan could neither see nor appreciate* Bad he seen or welcomed them, he would not have been a genuine Puritan; such a feat would have proven that the. Individual who performed It was free from same of the essential limitations of Puritanism* In modification of this Indirect criticism of Puritanism the author says that to claim that the Puritan could have acted differently is merely to becloud the Issue; and, again, that the death penalty did not evoke the feelings In the seventeenth century that It does now.


In this "defense" he argues against the modern writers who say that the Puritans had no right to exclude any group, for the 1637 la" against strangers still stood, never having been overruled by the home government*

185 Tills account of Massachusetts Quakerism Is a relatively detailed one from the first landing to the decline of the persecution — antiellaactlo

classification of the Quakers as vagabonds*

with its

In setting

forth the record Osgood uses a variety of sources, official colonial records and such histories by both Puritans and Quakers,-as those by Sewall, Besse, Bishop, Norton, Palfrey, and Sills.

There Is an occa­

sional evaluation of the sources; for example, the remarlr Is made that Norton's history was as good as most that passed under that name, but that a modern would consider It worthless.

In the whole aecount no

Indication of an approval of the Puritan treatment Is to be found, and there are certainly touches of an opposite point of view.

The ruin of

Quaker families by the persecution Is mentioned; Quakers are spoken of as being "haled Into court,” and "hurried to prison”; and the Judges are pictures as sharp and denunciatory, to which attitude the Quakers returned in kind.

Elsewhere Osgood makes a two-edged comment that

well sums up the presentation —

that those who placed themselves In

opposition to the cherished plans and Ideas of the leaders could not Al expect mild treatment, "or even Justice.”

All told, the more one

analyzes Osgood’s treatment of Quakerism, the more difficult It Is to see the basis of some criticism of his attitude; for example, that of H. J. Coppock, who asserts that certain of Osgood's biases and prejuO O

dices show most obviously in his dealings with the Quakers.

As has

been made evident, Osgood, from a pro-Quaker point of view, is at least Impartial; and many would hold that he gives the Quaker’s something of the advantage. 81.

Ibid. I, 188-189


H. J. Coppock, "Herbert Levi Osgood,” The Mississippi Valley His­ torical Review X U (December, 1952) p. 4 0 0 . Quoted by E.C.$*Beatty, p. 286 of the Jemegan essays.

186 The handling of Quakerism in ‘the other colonies reveals a more ; positive appreciation*

An emphasis upon the constitutional aspects of

government In Jersey and upon such matters as public election, trial by Jury, and the simplicity of court proceedings reflect an appreciation of the Quaker efforts to protect private property and personal freedom*®^ In the account of Pennsylvania there is a recognition of the broader Influence of the Quakers in America by identifying Quaker concerns with the main tendencies of colonial life. Wherever they settled in considerable number, religious freedom must necessarily exist, clerical Influence would be greatly lessened, the power of the legislature would be fully developed, the tendency toward an elective official system would be strong, the centralising pcwer which is often the consequence of war would be difficult* After Quakerism, like other forms of Puritanism, had became mellowed and broadened, it became favorable to popular education* The equality and individualism of colonial life found their counterpart in Quaker tendencies and beliefs* Quakerism acted as a powerful solvent on the feudal_aad monarchlal elements In the constitu­ tion of the province Among the few elements of criticism that Osgood Includes are the in­ difference of the Quakers to the defense needed by Pennsylvania and the lack of interest in civilising the Indians*

There is a possible

question as to the fairness of the latter charge with its statement that Penn, himself, was the only Quaker who undertook this concern* Beyond Pennsylvania this history deals at some length with the posi­ tion and activities of the Quakers in North Carolina, where outside of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, they were the strongest, and in New York, Maryland, and South Carolina, where it is Indicated they were small in number and unimportant.®^ 83*

The American Colonies II, 19B


Ibid. II, 25 k


On North Carolina: i n , 241f, 321-313, 332; New York: III, 310312; Maryland: III, 312, 321-522; South Carolina: III, 312, 325

187 The treatment in the four ■volumes of The American Colonies in t>m Eighteenth Century* published much later, ie essentially the eame.®^


there le a shift, it Is that some of the emphases of the earlier work become more pronounced:

the account Is more extensive, to the point of

being rather miscellaneous; and it is even more objective, with an in­ creasing reluctance on the part of the author to express opinions* There are, nevertheless, a few significant evaluative comments, some­ times In criticism but usually In praise of Quakerism.

There is also

something of a wider view In this work, much more being said of Quaker­ ism in the colonies as a whole and in relation to the Empire.

And as

the emphasis of this second work is avowedly more political, the re­ ligious aspects of Quakerism receive even less attention than before, which Is again an emphasis of a preceding tendency. Among the varied items touched upon with this attitude in Volume I are the following:

the Quaker political dominance in Rhode island,

favoritism shown by Hamilton to the Quakers in Pennsylvania, the un­ happy effect of the earlier Quaker trials upon the witchcraft troubles In Massachusetts, the religious disabilities "suffered” by the Quakers of-Maryland and Virginia, and the weakening effect of the Quakers' emphasis on freedom in regard to the defense of New Jersey.

It is an


objective account with little comment. ' Two themes in Volume II are the expansion of the Anglican church In America and the political tensions In the various colonies.



The Amerloan Colonies in the Eighteenth Century, h volumes (New York, 1924)


On Rhode Island: I, 20£, 1+05; Massachusetts and the witch trials: I, 511; Maryland: I, 555; Maryland and Virginia: I, 559-560; New Jersey: I, 585* 586, 598

188 connection with, the former, is a camparatiY© evaluation of the Anglican vith other religions*

Osgood says that it was intolerant as

i re­

ligious bodies then were, ”but its system of inquisition was by no means as searching into life and morals as was that of the Puritans, or even that of the Quaker after he

stiffened into regularity.”®®

The second theme Involves the Quakers on such matters as the oath and military service, and especially the attitude of the governors of var89 ious colonies toward them. Volume 111 deals more definitely with the growth of Quakerism add its establishment, or at least its toleration, in key areas such as Massachusetts as well as in the colonies generally.

This development,

it is made clear, did not take place without a certain amount of Quaker needling and propaganda in such matters as the religious tests, the taxation for established churches, and the larger problem of war.


Although Osgood offers little in the way of insight into the central nature of Quakerism, he does give a sense of its importance in and to America.

Concerning the impact of Quakerism on American idealism it­

self, he later, in the final volume, makes one of his rare evaluative comments.

He states in reference to the western expansion that the

Quakers were the only group whose views and course of action in reference to it were systematic and fully self-consistent. In their case these views determined their attitude toward the Indians as well as toward the French and the Spanish. They would not make their religion, though Christian and Protestant, a cause for war with either heathen or the Catholics. It is true that they based their views on 8®.

Ibid. II, 5


Examples of these Involvements are found throughout Volume II,


On Massachusetts: I H , 76-142; North Carolina: Rhode Island: III, 232

H I , 115-116;

189 litoral reading of Scripture texts sad thus shared in the nental hahIts of their time* But beneath this procedure lay a true consciousness of the essentials of humanity which transcends all differences of color, race, nation, or creed.91 And on the Quaker refusal to Join in the war against the natives that ac­ companied the westward expansion Osgood has even more direct praise: Under the conditions and to the great majority of people In their time, this attitude seemed perverse and purely ob­ structionist. But to modern man It appears worthy of all honor as a dim f or©Shadowing of what human relations should everywhere be. Of the superiority of the Quaker ideal to that of the Calvinist, even when viewed from the standpoint of the New Testament alone, there can be no doubt whatever-9s And even though Osgood is at times critical of this very Quaker spirit (or at least of the attitude it consistently deumnded) and of some of the Quaker finesse in avoiding issues that would compromise them, he holds essentially to a

position of praise for their idealism.


over, it should be finally noted, he does not consider it an anaemic Idealism, for he says that on the subject of patriotism and militarism the Quakers were the realists and the New Englanders and others were the idealists.95 Claude H. Van Tyne, leading scholar and historian of the Revolution, offers us a somewhat fresher approach to an evaluation of Quakerism. 9^ This is due, on the one hand, to the fact of his special Interest —


phase of history which in this study has received only incidental at­ tention —

and, on the other hand, to a slight shift in Intellectual


Ibid. 17, 48-49


Ibid. 17, 49


Ibid. 17, 74


The works of Van Tyne relevant here are: (1) The Loyalists in the American Revolution (New York, 1902) (2) The Causes of the War of Independence (Boston, New York, 1922) (3) The War of Independence — American Phase (New York, 1929)

190 emphasis.

As at least part of his historical creed, Van Tyne believed

that religious and other forces had h e m slighted by many historians "in their worship of the golden calf of economic causes ."95


can be seen that this point of view anticipates, to a degree, a general swing in historical writing, such a single statement should not be over­ emphasized, for Tan Tyne was la most regards a representative of the scientific age both within and without the realm of history. Inevitably the main issue regarding the Quakers was their position In the war itself.

This position varies according to time and place,

and it even seems as though Tan Tyne's interpretation shifts as his study proceeds; still the basic Quaker position revealed is that of opposition to war with England on any terms --a position that was an influence in qualifying Pennsylvania’s adherence to the American cause. The Loyalists in the American Revolution clearly posits the idea that the basis of this Quaker opposition was religious.9^

And although Tan

Tyne shows that some Quakers leaned toward political loyallsm, a few even actively supporting the British military cause, he is sympathetic with the Quakers in his report of the hardships they suffered at the hand of the military and the militarily



The fact of a Quaker opposi­

tion is reaffirmed with more detail in a still later work, Causes of the War of Independence (1922).9®

The study of

ence in The War of Trtdeuendence —

the Quakers and independ­

American Phase moves beyond the war


"Influence of the Clergy, and of Religious and Sectarian Farces on the American Revolution, " American Historical Review XXX (September, 1913) ?• 44


The loyalists, pp. 102, 132-133


Ibid., pp. 171, 207, 210, 227-228


For a representative statement, see The Causes, p. 146.

191 Issue and gives a broader picture of their government in Pennsylvania* Its minority rule is condemned but its democracy is highly, if somewhat ambiguously, praised — in

A m e r i c a .


a society, says Van Tyne, as democratic as any

The battle for political power within Pennsylvania is

pictured as a preparation for the Revolution, In which the Quakers most­ ly aligned themselves with the .cause of England.

What is of most inter­

est in Van Tyne*s interpretation 1b that he presents the Quaker position as politically rather than religiously based —

that there was more in*

volved than "Quaker coldness tamilitary resistance.**


At least two aspects of Charles M. Andrews* outstanding colonial work are revealed by the treatment of the Quakers and Quakerism in The Colonial Period of American History.1

The first characteristic is that,

more than In the other histories examined, the American colonial prob­ lem is seen in relation to the total British colonial developments Thus Quakerism is effectively seen in a larger framework, too.


than diminishing the importance of American Quakerism, this perspective shows it to be a part of a larger Quaker movement radiating out from the British Isles to the continent of Europe, to the East, and to Barbadoes, from which place it leaps to New England.

Of particular inter­

est are the times when the Quaker movement and the colonial expansion 2

do rot run merely parallel but become causally connected. " 99*

The main discussion is in Chapter XL, **The Conservative and Rad­ ical Disturb the Peace of the Quaker State.**

100. Ibid., p. 217 1.

The Colonial Period of American History, k volumes (New Haven, 193^1937V." 1. II. n i z The Settlements: V7: Tgryrtfwrt ** Commercial and Colonial Policy


For example, (Ibid. I, 6k) the Quakers as the chief offenders of the Conventicle Act of 166k are shipped off to the colonies; again (I, 66), Quakerism in indicated as a part of the religious

192 The second aspect of Andrews* total work which is reflected in his treatment of Quakerism Is his scientific objectivity and completeness. For good or 111, he rarely makes Interpretative comments,

If the reader

Is looking for out-of-hand praise, he 1b disappointed; but If he is look­ ing for the flattery of Quakerism In a full and fair treatment, he cer­ tainly Is not,Judgments, of course, are made; and there are very de­ cisive ones concerning the Quaker persecution In England and America, Judgments against the British and the Puritans far actions, which, says Andrews, "even, an apologist cannot condone — stand, .

however well he may under­

Something of the author's historical thoroughness 1b shown

In his careful analysis of the '^Religious and Political Difficulty" of the Puritans, in which Quakerism is seen as a late development of the essential doctrines of Anne Hutchinson and other Individualists —


of Roger Williams, paradoxically an arch Ideological foe of Quakerism,**' Andrews also shows an unusually broad grasp of Penn's life and activi­ ties from beginning to end.

Although Penn's Quaker beliefs and the

(2 )

Impulse leading to colonisation; In a somewhat reverse way, the Quakers enter the picture by being among those influenced toward colonisation by the commercial spirit (see 1, 45)*


This position is widely evidenced; for example, Andrews says that the hardships encountered by the Anglican priest who broke the ordination oaths were not to be compared "in severity and brutality with the outrages perpetrated against the Quakers and Anabaptists," (Ibid, I, 352n) He also supports George Fax's charge that Massa­ chusetts had taken un-English and certainly unpatented power in its brandings, ear cuttings, banishments, and executions, (I, 494 and 49lin) Still again he notes the "almost merciless treatment of the invading Quakers," (I, 470)


See Ibid. I, 470 ff., especially p. 479 and 479h. Some of the Quaker relations to the Rhode Island and Connecticut dissenters are touched upon as follows: Coddlngtom (II, 8); Gorton's beliefs compared with Quakerism (II, 16 ); the Williams-Fax debate (II, 20); Gorton, Fax, Clarke, et al.. in sharing the effect of the inhuman side of Puri­ tan character (II, 40n); Rhode Island Quakers and their coming into power (II, 40-41, 56); Connecticut laws against the Quakers, "the loathsome heretics" (II, 114 and ll4n).

195 character of the Quaker groups with which he was connected are set forth, the focus of Interest is upon him as a British coloniser.

The theme of

this treatment of Penn, however, is the conflict between his aristocratic leanings and his Quaker ideals.

Within this framework, and with striking

thoroughness in detail and In the use of minor issues, Andrews elaborates the history of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, a history that begins in England (in fact in Penn's mind), and continues on through the American settlements with their varied political, social, and religious troubles. It is his longest single exposition of Quaker-related material, and in it he uses carefully such detailed sources as the records of the Friends Historical Society.^

Similar thoroughness marks the treatment of

Quakerism elsewhere in the history:

in the parts dealing, for example,

with the New Netherlands, Jamaica, and the Carolines.

In the dis­

cussion of Quakerism in this last province can be discovered the ser­ iousness of the Quaker threat to Anglican control, and at the same time, as in New England, the cause of the threats and measures against the Quaker religion.^ Because of the superior qualities of Andrews * history, Quakerism is more nearly pictured as the force it was in colonial life.


reader cannot escape an impression of the ubiquity of the Quakers — economically, socially, politically, as well as geographically —


of their influence for good, if the leavening quality of Christian and democratic ways are considered good. The examination of the historical treatment of Quakerism in the period of scientific naturalism can best be rounded out by cansidera5.

New Jersey:

Ibid. Ill, 158-181; Pennsylvania:


Ibid. H I , 2^1-268

III, 268-528

19^ lug a contemporary or near-contemporary -writer and his writings.


work of Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker has been seleoted as representative of the most recent viewpoint —

settled modern scholarship, which In

its best form combines the scientific approach with a sense of ibMJLgatlon to point out relationships and to reassert basic values, Individual or social. Nothing very new is offered by Wertenbaker In. his otherwise inter•7

eating The First Americans. 1607-1690 (1927)*

The treatment of the

Quaker and Puritan difficulties Is generally rather mild:

the Quakers

were obnoxious to the Puritans for their democratic leanings, their re­ fusal to respect the magistrates, and their denial of the need of an established clergy.

The author states In stronger terms that the ef­

fect of the persecution "could but cause revulsion In men’s minds against the system which was responsible for it.” And he best reveals . his view of Quakerism by the descriptive phrase, "gentle mysticism."^ Such a description, although not elaborated, Indicates an awareness of the basic religious duality of Quakerism that some of the more elab­ orate accounts have missed.

And this In turn reveals the possible

fact that historical writing has moved beyond the scientific emphasis and is more receptive to the essentially religious. Under the general heading of The Founding of American Civilisation Wertenbaker has produced over a span of years various studies dealing with the three eastern sections of the developing nation. The Middle Polonies (1938)F

The first,

deals amply with New Jersey, but the focus

Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, The First Americans, 1607-1690 (New York, 1927)


The quotation Is from p. 105; the mysticism comment is on p. 14-9•


Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, The Founding of American Civilisa­ tion: The Middle Colonies (New York, 1938)

195 la logically upon Pennsylvania. Much more attention than usual Is given to the Internal elements of Quakerism as a religion —— a concern with. 10 Its faith and practice* Wertenbaker *a evaluation of Quakerism, governmentally as well as religiously, Is most Interestingly revealed In his comparison of Pennsylvania with the other colonies, especially Massa­ chusetts, and in his attempt therein to come to some conclusions about the Impact of Quakerism and Pennsylvania upon America*

In political

manipulations and In the "art of cajoling, threatening, starving their governors," the Pennsylvania Quakers are pictured on a par with the southerners or New Englanders*

And they, too, have their hypocrisies

and their nobilities, although above average credit Is given for their handling of the Indian problem.

A more specific comparison of Pennsyl­

vania and Massachusetts Indicates certain ilmtlarlt ie&&nd differences be tween the Quakers and the Puritans*

They were alike In their close

union of civil government and church and In their severe moral codes, more strictly enforced by the Puritans*

They were different in that

the Puritans' conviction that it was God's will that they smite His enemies led them to restriction and persecution, whereas In contrast the Quakers' belief In love and peace brought them to the practice of religious freedom*

Wertenbaker thinks that the ultimate causes of the

failure of the Holy Experiment and the Wilderness Zion were the same: each aimed at isolation, at being peculiar, an aim that was destroyed by the coming of new and different people; and eaeh found the severe moral codes a source of weakness, especially as economic well-being 10*

The religious aspects of Quakerism are discussed in Chapter VI, p. 188 ff • For an interesting treatment of Quaker architecture, see Chapter VII, "Quaker Spirit in Brick and Stone*"


Ibid.. pp* 215-231

196 Increased and made their followers more susceptible to worldly tempta­ tions.

Wertenbaker »s most valuable generalization Is his summary of

the importance of the Quakers In American civilization.

At first view

this would seem to be slight In comparison to that of the New TCngianri Puritans, who sent hordes out to the South and West, whereas the Friends fee says, failed even to reach western Pennsylvania.

But In spite of

their failure to become a great denomination and In face of their vio­ lations of their own Ideals, they were able to Instill a peculiar spirit Into American life.

Something of this Quaker spirit, Wertenbakar

says, Is shown In a freedom from religious hatred and persecution In America and In the people's interest In numerous humanitarian concerns. A further interpretation of Quakerism by Wertenbaker Is to be found in his recent study of New England, The Puritan Oligarchy. C19^7)^.


Is an interpretation not basically different from that Just reviewed, although It does mark a further shift from that given earlier in The First Americans. As the title suggests, the attention Is focused more sharply than In any of his other histories upon the problem of religious and other freedom, a concern that is readily understandable In one writing from a 19^7 point of view.

Els account Is two-fold:

on the

one hand it is the story of the reduction of Puritan theocratic power; on the other, of the gradual establishment of Quakerism.

In spite of

the opening assertion^ that the persecution of the Quakers was a purely defensive move In keeping with Puritan psychology, the weight of sympathy is with the Quakers and their struggle is implie viewed 12.

The Puritan Oligarchy: York, 19^7)

The Founding of American Civilization (New


The Founding, pp. 212-213

197 as one for the larger Issue of religious freedom.

Thus the author

speaks of Rhode island's refusal to join the persecutions as a "land­ mark on the stony road of religious freedom In America.

And he

goes so far as to say that it is surprising that the Puritans did not think of using the concentration camp and thus keeping Quakers from testifying so successfully before the people.

"But either this device

for strangling free thought and free speech, familiar to modern times, did not occur to them, or theywere deterred by the expense it en­ tailed."^

In this we have an Interesting association of Puritan oli­

garchical doings with fascist activity.

Moreover, a comparison of

Wertenbaker*s views here expressed with those set forth in the 1927 First Americans reveals a much greater concern with this problem, which is a shift in emphasis again explainable by the tragic events of the twenty years between.

By 1697, to return to the account Itself, Quaker­

ism had become well established, symbolised by the appearance of a meeting house on Brattle Street.

But with this achievement there came

a corresponding loss of power, a clear suggestion "that the strength of the Quakers in Massachusetts had been a direct consequence of their Bufferings.

Without persecution, says Wertenbaker, they would

never have been more than a handful —

certainly another lesson for

moderns. In the representative histories here reviewed considerable evi­ dence has been presented for the contention that contrary to the prlma facie expectations the period of scientific naturalism was productive lh.

Ibid., pp. 228-229


Ibid.. p. 23^


Ibid., p. 2kS.

198 of historical writing that gave Quakerism Its best analysis and most appreciative understanding up to this time.

Such works


those of

the Adamses were effective In countering long-standing misrepresenta­ tions^ and studies like those of Fiske, Wilson, and Becker presented new and mare understanding Interpretations from religious and democratic points of view.

And while the Beards and others gave new and much needed

social and economic Interpretations, the so-called scientific historians were the scholars who offered the: most complete and, because of the nature of their work, the most flattering treatment of Quakerism.


writings of Cbanning, /Osgood, Van Tyne, and Andrews have here repre­ sented thlB emphasis, with Wertenbakar *s histories a sample of the ten­ dency of contemporary scholarship to return to Interpretation more factually based.

Thus although no single treatment can be said to have

done all that one might wish, especially In their giving full recogni­ tion of the mystical quality of Quakerism, the Judgment that this per­ iod offered the best historical analyses still stands. Of equal Interest and Importance to the fact of the treatment, be­ cause of the paradoxical nature of the treatment In the present period, is the discovery of the reasons for it.

As suggested, an explanation

may be found In the presence of non- or antl-naturallstlc elements amidst the dominant current of scientific naturalism, but most of all, In the nature of modern historical writing — ivity,

i.e., its greater object­

Beyond the connection with the single fact of the treatment of

Quakerism, these explanatory factors have some significance In a better understanding of modern American thought and various cultural mani­ festations related to it.

The first two of the factors, of course,

influenced American belles-lettres, and so In turn the treatment of

199 Quakerism in that kind of writing.

This literary treatment, together

with the effect of the peculiarities of that medium upon the inter­ pretation of Quakerism, Is the subject of the next hhapter.


THE ERA OF SCIENTIFIC NATURALISM: BEUBS-IEETHBS * The novel, the form of literary writing in which the treatment of Quaker lam appears most frequently in the era of sclent ifio naturalism, has been used to represent the vast extent of belles-lettres in America in the years since the Civil War*

In addition to the concreteness that

it shares with all literature, the novel has peculiar qualities of Its own that make for the effective picturing of Quakerism.

Unlike the

drama, it allows, even with the modern fashion of auctarlal withdrawal, for a degree of direct interpretation; and unlike the poem or short story It has the possibility of full character development, an essen­ tial for the concrete handling of a Quaker theme, especially the subtle emotional aspects of the faith*

The novel Is thus the best medium for

the modern writer Interested in the Quaker theme and at the same time the most fruitful form for the student In search of developing attitudes toward Quakers and Quakerism*

In this latter regard the novel has the

added value of a close relationship to the popular mind —

closer than

In the other forms of literature and certainly closer than the more scholarly historical writing. All the novels selected for analysis deal with Quakerism as a major theme, and the number mhosen from the successive periods within this era bear a rough correlation to the number of "Quaker novels" produced* Thus both the qualitative and quantitative pattern Is reflected*


treatment of Quakerism in post Civil War literatuhm at first was very scant, and even when the theme appears more frequently Its handling remains rather superficial, In a religious and in a literary sense, until the relatively better work of Silas Weir Mitchell at the turn of


201 the century*

The subsequent Quaker novels of the early twentieth cen­

tury are again only moderately successful, and it is not until late in the period between the two world wars that a treatment with any real depth Is evident.

At this time the handling of Quakerism reaches a

high point, not only In the literary writing of the naturalistic period, but In the historical and literary writing of all three periods consid­ ered In this study. Thus, fully as much as with the historical writing, the literature of the period reveals an Interesting contradiction between the dominant thought and the actual treatment of Quakerism*

As with the histories,

the nature of the writing Itself helps to explain this development*


as literature Is more sensitive than historical writing to subtle changes In the temper of an age, the minor currents of thought in this period more clearly account for the paradox*

While the nature of the

writing can best be seen with the help of the analyses of the individual novels, It would be better In advance to examine more closely than we have done the Intellectual elements of this age. The important fact Is that the establishment of scientific natural­ ism did not take place without strong opposition.

In religion major

opposition continues until, partly by reconciliation and partly through the capitulation of liberal religion, the contest is fairly well solved by the mid-twentieth century*

By that time, however, neo-orthodoxy had

effectively reasserted, although on a more intellectual plane, the opposition to the dogma of science — benefit from*

a position that Quakerism could

Resistance to the new naturalism came also by way of

philosophy, first from without and later from within the ranks of sci­ ence itself*

The opposition of the older schools of realism and ideal­

ism was augmented significantly by the position of the newer persona lias

202 And pragmatism.

Personalism offered Its resistance through a strategic

shifting of Its line of defense from the universe to the individual, aixL from that point carried out Its thelstlc offensive.1

Pragmatism, more

accurately Jamesian pragmatism, offered its resistance by using the em­ pirical scheme of Bclence

to establish the validity of religious ex2 perlence and to assert the practical value of metaphysical belief.

Quakerism found support in both schools;

as a highly individualistic

and man-conscious theism, It found support In personalism; and as a mystical, and therefore empirically based religion, It was In a position to be helped by Pragmatism.^ 1.

ThlB function of personalism can be seen in the treatment of it by Harvey Gates Townsend, Philosophical Ideas In the United States (New York and Boston, 193*0 pp. 150“157* Centering the discussion upon the Ideas of George H. How isan and Borden Parker Bowne, and upon the appeal of personalism generally to the inner human ex­ perience, he shows the attempt of this philosophy to meet the ad­ vance of positivism. A fuller treatment of American personalism Is that of W. H. Werkmeister, A History of Philosophical Ideas In America (New York, 19^9) Chapters VII and VIII.


Woodbridge Riley, op. olt.« pp. 325“331, Indicates the relation of pragmatism to science and to religion In Its willingness to use all irirtAa of experience. Gabriel, op. cit., pp. 283“234, comments on the religious nature and the effect of Jamas' thought; and Riley, pp. 1*4-5 ff., points up the "rich vein of mysticism" in James.


The statement of Riley (pp. 326-327) comparing French positivism and pragmatism is suggestive of the relationship of pragmatism to the acceptance of mysticism: "No Comteaa would put on the same level the experiences of science, of metaphysics, and of religion. But this is what the pragmatists do; they reverse the positive formula — the necessary successive Phases; theological, meta­ physical, positive — when they assert that Pragmatism can utilize all experiences from the clearest to the moBt obscure, from the clarities of science to the mysteries of the subconscious." And William James has high praise for Quakerism: 'The Quaker re­ ligion which he (frosQ founded is something which it is impossible to overpraise. In a day of shams, it was a religion of veracity, rooted in spiritual inwardness and a return to something more like the original gospel than men had ever known in England. So far as our Christian sects today are evolving Into liberality, they are simply reverting In essence to the position which Fax and

203 Within scientific thought Itself, especially as the period advances Into the second quarter of the twentieth century, there was an In­ creased questioning of the authority of Bdence as the sole guide to truth.


After an earlier, almost apocalyptic dogmatism, there was an

Increasing tendency to admit definite limits to naturalism and even to allow for the validity of religious faith*

This limitation and the grant

ing to religion, and even mysticism, of a mare respectable place by such scientists as Eddlngton, Jeans, Mllllkan, and Compton, contributed to a more favorable view of Quakerism, which because of Its lack of credal orthodoxy was in a better position than Its stricter brother religions to benefit by the scientific blessing.^

All told, the new emphases In


the early Quakers so long ago assumed." It should be added that along with further praise of Fox and the Quakers, James points out what seem to him certain psychopathic elements in Fox's constitu­ tion. The Variety of Religious Experience (New York and Bombay, 1908) p. 7 The position of recent personallsts — for example that of Ralph T. Flwelllng and Edgar S. Brlghtman — has helped to create a philosophical atmosphere more resistant to naturalism and more re­ ceptive to mysticism of the Quaker kind. Flwelllng says that as there can be no scientific thought without the assumption of- uni­ versal law, so there can be no religion and philosophy of life without the assumption of the universal reality of human values, and that these values may still be undemonstrable from a scientific point of view. Brlghtman's position, while more pragmatic and de­ pendent upon other supports, rests also to a large extent an simple religious experience. See Werkmeister, on. eft., pp. 321-333* In identifying phases of m o d e m American thought receptive to Quakerism, it is of interest to note that, as Werkmeister points out (p.151), absolute idealism accepts logically part of mysticism.


See Gabriel and Curti as referred to, and also Curtl, pp. 706-707 and the section "Uncertainty In Scientific Thought" (pp. 722-750). Commager discusses the transition from certainty to uncertainty in The American Mind. Chapter XX, "The Twentieth-Century American."


Eddington, in his Nature of the Physical World (New York, 1928), p. xvi, offers a prime example of the new affirmation: "I am con­ vinced that a just appreciation of the physical world as it is understood today carries with it a feeling of open-mindedness towards a wider significance transcending scientific measurement, which might have seemed illogical a generation ago." In Chapter

20k the relation of religion to science offered the religious thinker some new, albeit not very robust, support; and without doubt it colored to a degree the thinking of many secular writers, including the writers of fiction. On the less intellectual and more practical side of American thought, a noticeable qualification of the naturalistic emphasis came by way of the growing reform spirit and specific social criticisms in many fields. ^ To those sensitive to the doubt and disillusionment brought on by the materialistic and capitalistic ma&a, Quakerism's spiritual emphasis, coupled with its highly developed social conscience, offered a positive alternative.

And because of this it found greater acceptance in modern

America with its growing sociality and collectivity.

There is little

doubt that the relief and constructive work of the Friends Service Com­ mittee in Europe and Asia, as well as in America, contributed to a new appreciation of the Quakers.

The same was true to a lesser degree of

the Quaker influence in the twentieth-century peace movements. The various areas of resistance to scientific naturalism and the criticisms of some of the social directions were strong enough to qualify here and there the dominant philosophy of the age.


the sensitivity of literature to such qualifications, it is not without reason that this kind of writing —

especially the novel —

should pre-


XV, "Science and Mysticism," this point is made strikingly specific in what is basically am argument for the validity of the mystical approach to reality. See also Eddlngton *s Science and the Unseen World (New York, 19&9); in this Swarthmore lecture the author himself seems almost Quaker.


Among the many accounts of the persons and ideas Involved In lit­ erature of criticism and reform, Curti and Gabriel offer effective summaries: Curti, op. clt., Chapter XXIV, ’^Formulas of Protest aid. Reform"; Gabriel, on. cit., Chapters XV, "Religion of Humanity," XVI, '•The Religion of Humanity at Work, ” and XVII "Neo-Rationalism, the Evolution of the Welfare State."

205 sent more deeply appreciative picture*of Quakerism, even mystical Quaker­ ism, although the age as a whole was certainly otherwise preoccupied* Involved in the analysis of the novels is the problem of total evaluation*

First attention has been given to the ^ m A U n g of Quakerism

the degree of sympathy and understanding, as well as the truthfulness i*. and balance, that are exhibited*

But it has been necessary also to pasd

literary Judgment upon each of the works, for the effectiveness of the novels as novels is closely related to the skilled presentation of Qua­ kerism*

Moreover, the degree of permanence in the comment on Quakerism

is limited by the degree of literary universality in the works examined* The novels have been considered chronologically in the four groups sug­ gested above:

first, those produced in the years from the Civil War to

the end of the century; second, Mitchell's works; third, those of the earlier twentieth century; and last, the novels of the years from 1933 to 1950*

Chief attention is given to the last and particularly rich

group with special concern with thework of Jessamyn West, Theodore Dreiser, and Ronald Kirkbrldo. Probably the most frequent accompanying theme in the historical novel dealing with Quakerism is that of the Quaker so convinced of the rightness of a cause —

usually national rather than personal —

he surrenders his peaceful principles and goes into the fight*

that The

a forterlori quality of the argument, as well as the dramatic poesi7

bilities of such a surrender, seemed to appeal to the romantic writer*


A "true story" example of this kind of interest, published immed­ iately after the Civil War, is A. J. H* Duganne's The Fighting Quakers, A True Story of the War for Our Union (New York, i860)• In playing up the rejection of peace principles, it tells of the death of two Quaker boys, one at Gettysburg, and the other in Libby prison*

206 One such was the author of Clayton's Rangers (1876)*®

The story involves

the Revolutionary activities of the Free Quaker, William Battle, age 23, a lieutenant in a Quaker cavalry unit under Captain Sills Clayton. Thomas Sanford and his family —

all regular Quakers —

are confronted

with the problem of Quaker peace principles versus their felt loyalty to the American cause. powerful story.

This is the major Quaker phase of this none-too-

Jenny, the daughter, faces the problem in relation to

her love for Lieutenant Bettle, which love has to win initial repugnance for his Job —

way over her


getting men for an unrighteous work.

The sens wish to enlist and finally overcome their father's mild oppo­ sition, which is strangely personal rather than Quaker.

Not until late

in the story does Thomas Sanford himself yield to the exigencies of the threat to his home, and its being defended by women, and go over to the cause. Another Quaker phase is a rather Interesting and detailed explana­ tion of the origin of the 'Free Quakers" in their "separation" in 1775 from the main body of Quakers over a difference of opinion a e t o the attitude to take toward England.

The group still considered themselves

Quakers but assumed or had put upon them the new name.

They established

a meeting house at Fifth and Arch Streets in Philadelphia, and some even formed military units*

A number of times in the story the idea is ex­

pressed that Quaker discipline was good training for the military life. This idea, and the theme idea mentioned at first, are revealed in the words of one character: "A Quaker troop of horse, with a Quaker captain. 8.


Clayton's Rangers: or The Quaker Partisans, "A story of the Amer­ ican Revolution, " (Philadelphia, 1876)* The author's name, Edward H. Williamson, did not appear with this publication.

207 I never 2 What do I think? Why I think the cause that has made that sort of fight in v men is a good one. and must suceeed."9 Beyond these Quaker elementb , the stotry is one of Revolutionary adven­ ture, with Bettle and the rest acting as soldiers and adventurers rather than as Quakers.

The story indeed has an unfortunate balance:

a rather

one-sided view of Quakerism balanced by a superficial characterisation and story development. In The Puritan and the Quaker. Rebecca Beach,^9 unhappily following in the sentimental tradition, produced a novel ineffective in its shal­ low characterisation and overly pat, and numerous, coincidences.


the historical events used contribute something to a realism, they add little to the literary value of the story since they are forcibly inter­ twined with the story rather than made an integral part of it.


spite of the literary feebleness, however, the explicit preface and the story itself leave no doubt as to the purpose of the novel —

to set

forth in a true and therefore favorable light the qualities and acts of the early Quakers, which the author says she has found too often misrepresented• Puritanism is pictured throughout the novel as a system of despotism against which the Quaker movement is the only persistent protest.


view is set forth first in the preface, which at considerable length attacks Puritanism and defends Quakerism with a varied argument.


actual story that carries this Quaker point of view takes place in the first days of the Quaker invasion.

The chief Quaker characters wham

we come to know, and who suffer persecution, are John Morrison and 9«

Clayton*s Rangers, p. 31


Rebecca G. Beach, The Puritan and the Quaker: T~ttgea (New York, 1879)

A Story of Colonial

208 William Robinson.

Th© latter Is on© of the four executed, and In the

story he is rather unflatteringly pictured as a fanatic.

The central

character Is Edith, Morrison *s daughter, and although sympathetic vlth her father, she herself is no Quaker.

Various historical figures among

the Puritans, such as Endlcott and Raws an, play their uneuloglzed roles. And another minister, Young Mildman, as an Individual and as a Puritan, takes the religious and moral part of the villain.

In spite of the ef­

fort to use the Quaker-Puritan controversy as a motivating force in the story, it becomes chiefly aochannel of comment, and the real narrative interest is found in the themes of human love and female hate. I cat

of certain qualifications for the sake of the narrative,

the * ''otnsnt of Puritanism Is not as severe as that in the preface. Still the basic attitude and some of the arguments of the preface find narrative elaboration —

for example, the Quaker extremes are made the

result of the Puritan persecution, the Christian orthodoxy of Quakerism is defended, and the division among the Puritans regarding persecution Is veil developed.

It is of interest to note that the tvo different

kinds of treatment of the same material, vhlch the presence of a preface and a story give, represents on a small scale the difference In treat­ ment between the historical and literary handling.

There Is the ra­

tional appeal of the farmer over against the more emotional appeal of the latter, the factual as opposed to the imaginative treatment.


second, even though poorly done, gives a sense of life that the former does not.

The failure of the novel is that It never quit© blends the

factual with the fictional reality. Although Mrs. Oberholtzer in a dedicatory note to HopefiB Heart Bells11 11.

Sarah Louisa Oberholtzer, Hope *s Heart Bells: phia, 1884)

A Romance (Philadel­

209 (1884), speaks of the novel as "this Quaker story," the Quaker elements are certainly less clear than one might wish.

And It must be said that

from, any realistic modern point of view the literary treatment of Quaker — ism in American writing here approaches a new low.

As its n»ln char­

acter, the story presents the sweet Quaker maiden, Hope Willis, who is an unhappy blend of Grlselda, Elsie Dlnsmare, and Follyanna —

added to

which is a drop or two of what the author conceives to be Quaker saint­ liness.

We are told that the Willis family is Quaker, but the viBlble

Quaker characteristics are limited to the use of plain speech, a few references to the Quaker dislike of certain colors, a rather general handling of a Quaker funeral, balanced in turn by a wedding, and, finally, some general comments on the "Quaker spirit of peace."

There is little

to make the reader actually see and feel this as a "Quaker story."


would seem that if there were any real Interest in Quakerism beyond the desire to picture something quaint, the author would have used the opportunities that lay at hand —

chiefly, the religious discussions

in which Quakerism 1b touched upon only superficially.

Much "fine

writing," especially In nature descriptions, limited characterisations, and unst&htle moralistic pronouncements on wealth, snobbishness, and drink are some of the literary deficiencies.

Incidentally, the title,

which is completed In the chapter, "Hope's Heart Bells King,” means that the heroine falls In love and 1b married —

supposedly In Quaker

fashion. A shift of attention to a point six years later in American lit­ erary history and the consideration of the next novel, Down the 0-hi-o, (1891) by Charles Roberts,12 may help to dim th© tintinabulation of 12.

Charles Humphrey Roberts, Down the O-hl-o (Chicago, 1891)

2X0 Hope’s bolls.

Although a slight and sentimental tale, it Is


most worth reading by the Interest evoked In the setting, both tins and place, and by certain minor characters.

Been the Q->»1-o gives a good

view of the Quaker community of Swarthemore County In southern Ohio in the pre-Civil War years of the 1859' s . We are brought into this community by following the fate of the little orphan girl, Earen Ulllngham, who, having escaped from a drunken stepmother and gone down the Ohio to Martin's Ferry as a stowaway on a steamer, is adopted by the Quaker family of Jazar Frost.

If the reader

can lay aside the painfully melodramatic Items of childhood hardship, escape, and growth of Earen Into beauty and popularity, as well as the presence of a lawyer villain and the Impending problem of Inherited wealth, he can find pleasant and even enlightening pictures of rural Quakerism.

The picture of the community Is not painted as a whole but

Is built up through Incidental happenings and the attitudes of individual Quakers.

Through these means we learn to know, for example, of the

division between the

Orthodox and the Hicks ite Quakers, and of various

Quaker beliefs and customs, such as their antipathy to dancing and worldly dress, and their feeling regarding war and slavery.

Com particu­

larly effective picture growing out of the time and place is that of the Quaker part played in the Underground Railway and their subsequent resistance to the government. The author’s best work Is his characterization of certain Quakers who, although good Quakers, have large elements of worldly wisdom. Specifically, there is Farmer Frost, who combines without too much difficulty a rigid orthodoxy with hard-driving shrewdness. saying describes him:

A Quaker

"Godward he was a very fine man; but manward he

was a leetie twist leal.” And there is Blllee Klthcart, the storekeeper,

211 scrupulously honest hut a good bargainer to hoot*

Only once does the

author enter directly his own comment, and that is to call upon the Friends not to avoid theterm Quaker, for it represents historically a vigor and a concern that ought not he lost* Whatever faults are exhibited in George Fox Tucker's novel, A Quaker Home (1891)*^ —

and some, such as a frequently

are clearly evident -- Inapproprlatsness of

title is not

tritestyle, one.All lines

of character, action, and idea lead radially out of or Into the center of "home*"

The teller of this occasionally amateurish tale is the son,

Hiram Wellworthy; the place is Quaker-built New Bedford, Massachusetts; and the time is the iperlod from ahout i860 to 1900*

Without doubt the

picture presented Is an idealised one, hut at the same time the author achieves a kind of convincing normality. his refusal to oversimplify.

This is derived in part from

Illustrative of this is his attempt to

Include the Quaker viewpoints of three generations within the family, as well as the views of representative persons on the outside.


fully presented, these viewpoints, with the logical exception of the grandmother, are not static hut developing.

Indeed, the most important

single theme of the novel is the twofold one of a growing liberaliza­ tion of Quakerism, and the author’s search for a reasonable emancipa­ tion from the restrictions of his Quaker heritage.

The first is estab­

lished through changes In Quaker views on such things as plain clothes, plain speech, "portrait taking," music, and literature; and there are the more basic innovations brought by some Quaker advocates of a less "guarded" education, the acceptance by some of a paid clergy, and even the advent of revivals. 13.

Although the author favors a liberalization,

George Fax Tucker, A Quaker Home (Boston, 1391)

212 ho sees that It may 'bring/ ©specially in the sensational preaching and in the changed attitude of the young people, a partial disintegration of Quakerism as a peculiar way of life.

The second aspect of the theme

is Hiram’s emancipation, especially as related to his freedom for liter­ ary work.

This is progressively revealed, with little of what might be

called actual revolt*

An ironical, and psychologically sound, result of

his emancipation is that the emotional ties to Quakerism are too strong to let him enjoy the worldly fruits of his freedom. Although the novel can hardly be said to be religiously profound, it does present more than most Quaker stories the Quaker ways of living and the deeper tensions between the old and the new.

The chapter "A

Peculiar People" gives an excellent summary of the distinctive features of Quakerism established by George Fox, and a good account of modern Quakers, their virtues and weaknesses (mostly the former), as the author, one of that people, recalls them.

The chief Quaker virtue mentioned in

this chapter and one which the Quaker characters, above all the father, portray, is a disciplined approach to life accompanied by a flexibility that acceptB change without fundamental canrpromiee.

Unfortunately the

skill in the presentation of Quakerism outruns the artistic ability of the author as a novelist. The last novel in this late nineteenth century group, A Colonial Wooing (1895) by Conrad Abbott,



is distinctly anti-Quaker in tone. 1 i

Amid the elements of semi-literary description and intrigue, the novel offers a sketch of Quakers and Quaker attitudes as the author conceives them to have existed in the early days of the Pennsylvania settlement. The story focuses upon the "Quaker fairy," Ruth Davenport, a blithesome llf.

Charles Conrad Abbott, A Colonial Wooing (Philadelphia, 1895)

215 girl who In spit© of her secondary label Is In cheerful rebellion* against Quakerism and a Quaker stepfather, who Incorporates, in addi­ tion to various personal meannesses, some supposedly special Quaker ones. Although It is not declared that he, Matt Wilson, Is typical of all Quakers, the Impression Is given that In his f,sole aim of acquiring an estate" he represents a Quaker materialism that is far from atypical. "To be poor and to be a Quaker was simply a contraction," says the author, and adds that the Quakers seem to feel that an Inability to ac­ quire wealth argues an understanding too weak to appreciate the teach­ ings of George Fox.

Ruth*s mother, a more likeable person, Is a con­

scientious Quaker, but in the eye of the author this is doubtful praise, for true Quakerism is pictured as essentially Puritanical, In the restrictive sense of that term*

In the overly active Quaker Com­

mittee of Overseers with their opposition to literature, music, and like enjoyments, Quakerism is revealed as narrow, officious, and even hypocritical.

Throughout, the Quaker conscience is pictured as pecul­

iarly elastic, which one character In the story calls amusing and dis­ gusting —

as indeed it would be.

The novel suggests, however, that

Quakerism Is disintegrating, that the youth are turning from Quakerism whenever they can, and when they feel forced to subscribe to the faith they do so with mental reservations. mentary.

The total picture is not compli­

One has the feeling, in light of the surface treatment, that

the author has gathered together all the details of a trite representa­ tion of narrow sectarianism and laid them at the threshold of the Quaker meeting house. Although the strong undertow In American literature at th© turn of the century was toward greater realism, In some sectors there was a re—

21k surgence of the romantic in the sense of the glorification of the Amer­ ican past.

This was perhaps brought on, as Van Daren suggests, by the

expansiveness of Spanish-American war times.1-* Historical fiction, per­ haps by the very nature of the form, was generally of a minor quality; but of this minor work some of the best was that by Silas Weir Mitchell. Although from the viewpoint of an artistic absolute his writings seem to occupy the lower rungs in the great ladder of literary being, still from the more temporal points of view (especially in light of the foregoing novels) his work has a certain kind of excellence.

Among the

good points of his novels dealing with Quakerism of the Revolutionary period are his ability to create fairly rounded and quite believable characters, a skillful presentation of the Philadelphia milieu, and his power to give a sense of reality through a discriminating selection and handling of varied events.

The four works by Mitchell considered here

are two novels, Thi^h w-gpne, Free Quaker (1897) and its sequel, The Red City (1907), and two earlier works, really novelettes, Thee and You and Hephz lbah Guinness, published in book form in Hugh W.vnne is the best known of Mitchell’s writings and is certainly one of the better novels of the American Revolution.


It is centrally

the portrayal of the inner and outer growth into manhood of the son of a Quaker merchant in Philadelphia, with his increasing opposition to his father and his growing separation from traditional Quaker Ways.



Carl Van Daren, The American Novel (New York, 19^0) P» 221


Silas Weir Mitchell»s works were published as follows: Thee and You in Lippincottfs Magazine, 1876; Hephzibah Guinness, with Thee and You, in book farm. New York, 1880; Hugh Wynne. Free Quaker 1 New Ydrk, 1897; The Red City, New York, 1907.


E. E. Leisy says the work is "one of the greatest of Revolutionary novels.w See The A m e r ic a n Historical Novel (Norman, Okla., 1950) P* 83.

215 romantic plot element ie provided, by hie rivalry — matters of inheritance —

In love, war, and

with a somewhat villainous British cousin*

The story carries Hugh Into the war as a soldier (with his capture and Imprisonment by the British) and on to his later work aa a lieutenant colonel on Washington's staff.

It is hardly necessary to point out that

Hugh is successful in all three phases of the rivalry.

The story 1b

told by Hugh himself, except when, for the sake of modesty or a new lit­ erary point of view, he presents sections from the Journal of his friend, Jack Warder. The Quaker theua is fundamentally related to Hugh's personal prob­ lem of deciding, in light of his growing

disagreement with his father

and the Society of Friends, what his relationship to each Is going to be. The disagreement with both his father and the Society is based largely upon his dislike of Quaker strictness and upon the paclflstlc and mer­ cantile loyalty to England.

A developing separation on these points

leads to Hugh’s decision to break with his father and the Friends and enter the army.

While the process leading to the decision Involves the

young man's personal inclinations under the stimulation of Revolution­ ary events, it is also nurtured by his Aunt Galnor, an aristocratic, pro-American Whig*

She is a strong-willed but likeable old woman,

whose characterisation is one of the literary highlights of the novel. Hugh's choice comes about midway In the novel; as a result the Quaker theme is pretty well left behind in the second half, and the story be­ comes largely that of Hugh, the Revolution, and Philadelphia, with oc­ casional references to Quakerism. Although Mitchell disagrees with Quakerism, it is evident that he has a respect and even an admiration for it.

He seldom questions

Quaker sincerity, although he may throw doubt on their consistency, as,

216 far example, when Wynne and Company arm their trading vessels.

He shews

hie respect by always dealing seriously with the Issues presented by the Quaker stand In the Revolution; but he stresses vigorously the futility of non-resistance In this and all affairs of the world. lesson, early and late.

This was Hugh's

When, at one point In the story, Mitchell stops

to analyze the philosophy of the Quakers* peace principle, he differs with them not actually on religious or philosophical grounds, but on the •jQ

shifted grounds of patriotism and the American cause.

And later he

seems to think that Hugh In deserting the Quaker way by seeking revenge upon his cousin has left behind a nobler ethic

A sharper criticism

of Quakerism is directed towards its stern and drab duality, its rigidity and repression, and above all its self-righteous treatment of Hugh and others who differ with the traditional beliefs.

But even in the wriflnh

of pictures that present these faults, the author also pictures certain Quakers, both men and women, who, although differing with Hugh, treat him with Christian kindliness.

He is usually careful to present the

good and the bad in Quakerism, or better, the good and the less good. Throughout the novel, the quiet dignity, the simplicity, one might say the good manners, of the Quakers are praised.

Perhaps this emphasis is

related to the strange lack of criticism of the Quakers in respect to their growing wealth and corresponding loss of social dynamic, exempli­ fied in part by the timidity of their wealth in the Revoltrticn.




Etmh Wynne, pp.



Ibid., p. 556


Regarding Mitchell's view of Quaker harshness, note Aunt Gain or *s comment on Hugh's father: "He is what his nature and the hard ways of Friends have made him." (The novel, p. 95) And again, the author's own statement: "The Quaker habit of absolute self— repression and concealment of emotion again prevailed." (p. 132) Both are doubtful generalizations.

217 evidently wrote from the point of view of at leaet the middle class. While he can criticize zealously the religious tenet of pacifism, he has little to say about the equally religious, and equally Quaker, problem of wealth.

One feels, indeed, that it is a saving grace in the Quakers

that they were so often well-to-do and had the social graces.


falls also to treat adequately the central Quaker tenet of the inner light. Hugh Wynne exhibits the literary qualities noted of Mitchell's work in general.

Skill in characterization, mentioned in the picturing of

Aunt Gain or, is almost as evident in a number of other portraits, in­ cluding that of Hugh Wynne himself. psychological insight.

These are done with considerable

A number of one-dimensional characters are also

brought consistently to life.

Among these is the not overly apotheosized

picture of George Washington.

Philadelphia is well drawn, especially

the vibrant contrasts between the city in war and in peace times, and the whole relation of war to the on-gCigg city life.

In the handling

of the events of the Revolution and of the more personal plot, the double point of view (Hugh's and Jack's) is effectively vised. The Red City as an historical novel has its points of superiority to Hugh Wynne — romance.

chiefly in the greater degree of realism diluting the

The novel is not per se a Quaker novel, but it does present

a number of well-drawn Quaker characters, and in this personal way more than a little of the religion they represent.

Chief of these characters

are Mary Swanwick, Margaret, her daughter, Hugh Wynne, to the extent that he still represents Quakerism, and various other more Quaker but less important persons in the novel.

The attractive Quaker home of

Mary Swanwick, with its "Quaker salons," provides the main setting of the novel.

The story itself deals with the adventures of a noble

218 ✓ ■* French emigre, Combe Rene de Courval, and the development of hie love for Quaker Margaret Swanwick. This latter Situation, with the oppoeition of Rene's mother, pro­ vides opportunities for contrasts in the presentation of Quakerism: contrasts between the Quaker way of life and that of the noble French family.

Simplicity stands over against rich worldly ways, peaceful

attitudes and actlcnB are contrasted with violence, and an Inherent nobility is set in opposition to that which is merely inherited.



gap in bridged by love, with Rene becoming something more of a Quaker and Margaret something less of one —

a change that neither is very

reluctant (or very profound) in making.

There is an attractive repre^

sentatlon of Quakerism in the Swanwlcks, generally, and in many of their friends, although there are evidences that they are not completely typical, that there are other more narrow and officious Quakers. or two of those come into the story.


Even the broader Quakerism proves

too restrictive upon the beautiful young Margaret.

The novel as a

whole takes place against the background of Washington's second admin­ istration and involves the Federalist-Jeffersonian conflict.


sympathies are clearly with Hamilton, who is angelically presented while more than a few slurs are thrown in the direction of Jefferson and other "Jacobins." In their characters and in their plot elements, Henhzlbah Guinness and Thee and You foreshadow The Red City, and to a lesser degree, Hugh Wynne,

in Henhzlbah Guinness one of the chief minor characters is a

young French emigre who, like Rene de Courval, goes to work in a Quaker business house in Philadelphia.

Here, too, is a young girl, Marguerite,

who has been raised in Quakerism and, like Margaret in The Red City, 1b

in mild rebellion agaioet It.

The Quakers in the story are essentially

those found elsewhere in Mitchell »s work. Hephzibah, is more unusual.

She apparently embodies a criticism of a

narrow and anti-esthetic Quakerism. properly Quaker faults;

The chief character study,

Yet not all of her weaknesses are

for example, there is her Jealous possess Ire­

nes s which led her to the theft of her brother's mall and the conceal­ ment of Marguerite's background on the basis that it was the command of the Inner Light.

As a psychological study of the almost criminal use

of the subjective Quaker voice of God this story la uniq.ue. larity to The Red City ie even greater in Thee and You.

The simi­

The setting

here is a Quaker boarding house, a kind of prototype of the Swanwick heme.

A number of characters of the later novel make their first ap­

pearance here under different names.

And an ambivalent Quakerism,

which was a part of the theme in both the longer novels, is presented, as the title suggests.

This time it is embodied in the person of

Richard Wholesome, who although nominally a Quaker and in Quaker habit has a romantic love of honor and fighting.

By presenting these non-

Quaker qualities attractively, Mitchell is able to comment upon the dullness of some Quakers.

The two stories, taken together, provide in

character, and in the themes of love and Quakerism, an unusually clear adumbration of The Bed City and Hugh Wynne. Taken as a whole, the early twentieth century novels dealing with Quakerism are somewhat better than those of the late nineteenth.


presentation of Quakerism is fuller and, perhaps because nearer to the present day, more interesting. much more profound.

It is difficult to see that it is

In general the literary Qualities still are not

on a par with the handling of the religious content of the novels, and the treatment of Quakerism thus suffers.

220 In th® fabric of th® nor®l} The MaM n g of Chrletophar Fcrrlaghaa (1901) by Beulah Dix,21 the Quaker theme la hut a single thread, hut It adds a significant touch of color*

As the title partially suggests, the

story Is that of the developing character of Christopher FerrIngham, a free and easy young English gentleman visiting in Puritan Massachusetts near Boston. two.

The novel Is broadened hy a romantic sea-going episode or

In the disciplining of Christopher, motivated largely hy his love

of a Puritan maid, Quakerism plays its part.

It enters the story in

the persons of two early Quaker arrivals to Boston, two women, Sarah Wheelock, unattractive and rather harsh-spoken, and Recompense, her daughter, who suffers with and because of her mother.

The deportation

of the women gives Christopher an opportunity to show his innate kind­ ness as he defends them against Insult an hoard ship and looks after them when they have been put ashore somewhere on the southern coast. The presentation of Quakerism is chiefly an historical report of the coming of the Quakers to Boston, their harsh reception, and their ban­ ishment.

The author prepares for this Puritan cruelty hy a lengthy

picture of Puritan life highlighting its severer side.

There is the

suggestion, however, that the Quakers are at fault and that Sarah Wheelock, like the mother of the Gentle Boy, hy her stubborn return to Boston is unnecessarily exposing her child to hardship.

The kindness

and the purity of Quakerism are portrayed hy Recompense.

The picture

of Quakerism, as well as the inrevel as a whole, suffers through being given second-hand hy reports rather than hy dramatization. Because of Mary Johnston’s above-average ability to recreate a past (whether a past that ever was is smother question), and because 21.

Beulah Marie Dix, The Making of Christopher Ferr Ingham. (New York, 1901)

221 of her popularity as writer of historical fiction, passing reference is 22 made to her use of Quakerism in the novel Audrey (1902). Quakerism here functions as an element in the sub-plot of the main story which deals chiefly with Virginia in the days of Colonel Byrd and Governor Spdtswood, and with the romantic-tragic life of the hackvoods orphan, Audrey.

A rather original character is created in the person of the

Quaker Mistress True love Taberer, pictured as plain and beautiful.


love with her is the storekeeper MacLean, who by his Scotch ancestry and his rough and even violent temperament, is her complete opposite. In their relations she exhibits a steadfastness to certain Quaker Ideals, not least the use of nan-violent means to repel evil, even when in danger and when Maclean would use other means.

Through his love for

her, however, and .through the attractiveness of the faith, MacLean is won over to a degree of acceptance of Quakerism.

He says, at one time,

that Mistress Taberer almost persuades him to give up his fine hatred. In the light of her q.uiet control of the situation, it is not surpris­ ing that she is the one who finally proposes marriage.

The treatment

of Quakerism is limited to the theme of a woman's faithfulness to the Ideals of Quakerism in the face of her personal love.

The account is

marred by the rather superior attitude of the author toward these minor characters, whom she treats as something on a lower plane of existence. No easy spmmary of Edward Valentine's treatment of Quakerism in Hecla Saadwlth (19Q5),2^ is possible.

The variety of Quakers and Quaker

attitudes in the story makes false any generalizations about the author's point of view.

There acre all degrees of Quakers; and there are liberal


Mary Johnston, Audrey (Boston and New York, 1902)


Edward Uffington Valentine, Hecla Sandwith (Indianapolis, 1905)

22>2 conservative, and narrowly Puritanical Quakers; and there are ratlonallistic and emotionally evangelistic


This refusal to Twaim all

Quakers fit into a single pattern, even those found within one family, is a virtue that contributes to realism.

However, the portrayal of cer*»

tain aspects of basic Quaker thought and practice is of doubtful accur­ acy and the tendency to identify personal and even community peculiarities with Quakerism also partially invalidates the picture given.

This is

not a judgment upon the novaL as a novel, although the same tendency toward mixture is evident in the presence of unassimilated details and the quantity of tragedy of a radio-serial kind. richness becomes merely cluttering.

At times what might be

Two abilities of the author, how­

ever, modify the third-rateness of the novels

the ability to present

some relatively complex characters, and with that the ability to analyze psychologically in almost m o d e m terms various human relationships. The story is a mid-nineteenth century one.

It takes place in the

iron-making region of central Pennsylvania when new methods of smelting and of financial ownership are replacing the old.

Hecla Is the daughter

of Joshua Sandwlth, the honest and irascible Quaker founder of the local furnaces.

Throughout most of the two books of the novel, Hecla faces

not only the problems of inherited ownership and inept management by her half-brother, but also the personal problem of love and, for a long while, a loveless marriage with the English Richard Ballett. major complications disturb her life.


One is the psychological antipathy

to marriage, or at least Its consummation, which is derived from her experience at the time of her mother’s death at the birth of her sis­ ter.

The other Involves the Quaker aversion to the marriage of first

cousins, which in its Incestuous suggestions Is an obstacle to her love for Wentworth Oliver.

The interesting and not entirely Quaker lesson

223 that Hecla l o a m s from all this Is that she should he guided by Impulse rather than by custom, or duty*

Just where this leaves Quakerism It Is

difficult to say. The varieties of the Quakerism presented may be suggested by the mention of a few of the Quaker characters* Joshua, Pentecost, and Gideon

The three Sandwlth brothers -

are Quakers*

Joshua, the founder, Is

a strict man, but from the Quaker viewpoint has a few lapses; for exam­ ple, his purchase of a splnnet, the cause of his estrangement from Pente­ cost, a more rigoristic Quaker.

Gideon is also strict, but a miser,

Interested In the death of the )

22k sotting is mainly the Bmall town of Cannock In Eastern Pennsylvania during the Civil War era#

The contrasts grow out of the experiences

of Abby Woolf orth, a Quaker maid of "celestial purity, " in her love troubles with George Fatherly and Clayt am {Barley# The former is a steady ✓ Quaker and an expectant fiance of long standing. The latter, a young plantation owner from Maryland on visit to the local rectory, gets in­ volved with Mary in their sudden mutual passion#

The contrasts in the

novel are sharply drawn in favor of the Quakers and serve rather well, although often in a naive fashion, to point up the virtuous character­ istics of Quakerism —

its simplicity, spirituality, democratic spirit,

and concern for practical brotherhood# A more effective novel, both In its literary skill and in the depth of its portrayal of Quakerism, is The Royal Americans (1910) by Mary Hallock Foote#


Catherine Yelverton, the heroine, is first presented

to the reader at the time of her entrance Into the world at Fart Ontario in the early years of the French and Indian War#

As her English mother

soon dies and her father, Lieutenant yelverton, is called away by the duties of war, the Infant is sent to relatives in Walkill, Hew York# Here with occasional visits from her father, she is brought up by the soon-widowed Adrian Deyo, dominie In the Dutch Palatine Church#



own extended visits with the Schuyler family In Albany and with rela­ tives in England carry her through the period of the Seven Years* War and into the imminent Revolution, at which time she returns as a young lady to her guardian, Adrian Deyo# The Quakerism is sympathetically considered, first seen In the Quaker family of Bavergalls and the relationship of Jonathan Hevergall 2 5 . Mary Hallock Foote, The Royal Americans (Boston and Hew York, 1910)

225 and Catherine.

The Dominie differs with but still honors the Quaker

faith, going so far as to defend the right of the Havergalls to refuse to pay the military tax.

Deeper Insights appear In the friendly argu­

ments between this Presbyterian and Jonathan.

In their discussion of

Indian-white relations Deyo charges that the Quakers are able to forgive the red man but not the white for weaknesses Inherent in human nature, and he points out that the Quakers In safe places like Philadelphia send fine sermons but no aid to the Presbyterians exposed to attack on the frontiers.

In answer, Jonathan*s Quaker indictment of the whole

white treatment of the Indian is a telling one.

An interesting result

of these particular arguments is that a "coneera" is laid upon Jonathan regarding the duty of contemporary Quakers to the Indians.

As the

story later reveals, he decides that each family should send at least one son to live with the Indians and bring a Christian influence to bear upon Indian-white relations.

Thus David Havergall is sent by the

wishes expressed In his father’s will to set up a church on the fron­ tier, a church of righteous deed to be defended by the power of faith and not by arms • The love story of Catherine and Francis brings with complete sympathy a more intimate view of the Quaker family and the ways they follow.

A major variation upon this theme of Quaker ortho­

doxy is Francis* apostasy, which shows Itself in a lack of enthusiasm rather than in revolt, and in his shamefaced desire to avoid the consplcuousness that the Quaker peculiarities of speech and dress always brought.

This character trait —

ness to sacrifice —

a lack of courage and an unwilling­

extends beyond the strictly Quaker phase of the

novel and Is the cause of the failure of his and Catherine's love to come to fulfillment.

Although The Koval. Americans does not explore

all the religious reasons lying behind Quaker principles and customs,

226 it does catch more sincerely and less superficially than most stories of this era the spirit of the religion. 26 pathy and some literary shill. Oliver Huckelfe

And it presents it with sym-

A Dreamer of Dreams (19l6),2^ the last of this group

of early twentieth century novels, illustrates again the restriction that limited literary shill puts upon the treatment of Quakerism.


the lack; of proportion and simple clarity obscures an otherwise inter­ esting picture of Quakerism.

Following the lead of a number of writers

of Quaker fiction and of the Quakers themselves, Bickel chooses to pre­ sent his story in the form of a Journal, and rather logically, for it is a story of William Penn as supposedly told by Guilulma Maria Springett, his wife to be.

Through the pages of her Journal (found, so it is

claimed, in an old oaken chest at Worminghurst, England) is recorded the love of the two young people and details of Penn’s early life, as she learned them frcan him, including the story of his becoming a Quaker and sharing the Quaker hopes of restoring primitive Christianity.


too are sketches of various great men of the day, among them Milton and Fox.

Still more important is the account of the early days of

Pennsylvania and the ideal hopes far this new world venture.

There is

little in the story that is newly Imagined, but what is told is colored by the personalities of the Journalist and of young Perm, who is pic­ tured as a great and a loveable man.

At times the confining Journal


Another Quaker comment by Mary Foote is found in an earlier short story, TFriend Barton’s Coneera,” 1879* Eli Barton faces the problem of whether or not, with an ill wife, to became a Quaker minister; later he faces the problem of his daughter’s marrying out of meeting.

2 7.

Oliver Huckel, A Dreamer of Dreams, "Being a new and Intimate telling of the love-story and life-work of *Will Penn the Quaker, (New York, 1916)

227 point of view results In awkwardness, as In the narrative of events which at the time could hardly have been seen as they are here pre­ sented.

Too often, also, Marla Sprlngett Interpolates rather full bio­

graphical sketches of the Quaker leaders or passages from the writings of her fianc^.^® ter which

At the end a new point of view Is added in a chap­

purports to have been written by Penn’s daughter, Letltia.

Examples of Quaker fiction during the World War I period and for some years after are extremely scarce, no doubt because of popular feel­ ing against pacifism.

It is not until the 1930's that there Is any

consistent production of writing of this kind, but when it develops, It proves to be of a high calibre and deserves a fairly extensive examin­ ation.

Often evident Is a new depth of feeling for Quakerism as a

mystical religion, and this aspect is usually presented without a loss of appreciation for the social-ethical values. also generally Improved.

The literary quality Is

Although the writings must usually be classed

as minor, they are often very good of their kind.

Further, this writing

is occasionally marked, as at no previous time save in the days of Emerson and Whittier, by products of high literary rank.

The works of

Dreiser and Jessamyn West, and perhaps Bonald Kirkbrlde, stand as evi­ dence of the literary Improvement of the writing dealing with Quaker­ ism.

If the close correlation between literary skill and effective

handling of Quaker themes has been negatively demonstrated by the limitations of many of the preceding novels, it Is shown positively in the dual excellences of most of the novels in this 1930“1950 group. 28.

This pre-marital comment upon his writing is possible, for Penn was married on April k, 1672, and some writings had already been published; for example, The Sandy Foundation Shaken (1668) and Wo Cross. Mo Crown (Rammer W. Kelsey. Dictionary of American Biography)

228 Using an increased realism —

a reflection of American literary trends —

they shew at the same time a deeper religions sympathy.

The novels

selected will be considered, with a few exceptions, in chronological order. The Valiant Wife (1933) by Margaret Wilson2 ^ is the tale of Belinda Baldwin's heroic struggle to ccme to her husband, who has been impris­ oned In Dartmoor by the British after his seizure at sea during the War of 1812.

Her struggle is not all external, for its marks the passage

from self-centered and protected ease to devoted hardship.

It is also

the story of Mark Baldwin’s physical and mental battle with prison con­ ditions, in which he is saved from defeat by the arrival of his wife. Although Belinda's father had deserted Quaker principle by becoming a "fighting Quaker" In the Revolution, the Quaker influence is present in the persons of her grandmother and her mother; the latter became a convinced Quaker in the time of spiritual stress at the death of four of her children.

Part of the interest of these women in Quakerism is

seen in their prison reform and antiSlavery work.

Despite long stretches

of the novel that do not discuss Quakerism, it is Quaker throughout in peculiarly intangible ways.

The Quaker family background is part of

the context of Belinda's thought and action, and of Mark's, too, if for no other reason than that he is conscious of having violated Quaker principles in going to war.

More direct is the influence of Sarah Kent,

a Quaker friend of the family.

Her unconsidered sacrifice In making a

dangerous trip from Florida to help her debtor brother in prison in Philadelphia precipitates an almost religious experience on the part of Belinda, an experience that changes her basic selfishness. 2 9 . Margaret Wilson, The Valiant Wife (New Yorks Co., 1933)

Her plan

Doubleday, Doran &

229 of aiding her husband received its Initial Impetus from the Quaker idealism personified hy Sarah Kent.

A third Quaker element is re­

vealed in the presentation of the cruelty of war exemplified in the Dartmoor happenings and pointed up by the attitude of various Quakers. Most of all it is found in Belinda *a growing conviction of the absolute evil of war and her turning, like her mother, to the spiritual streng­ thening of Quakerism in the time of stress through which she goes. With little direct elaboration, the novel establishes a tone favorable to Quakerism and records its positive function both as an aid in per­ sonal spiritual struggle and, without suggesting specific methods of opposition, in its judgment upon war. In The Long View (1957) by Hilda M o r r i s , 2° the "long view" is in essence a Quaker view, but not in the limited sense of Quaker customs and beliefs; rather it is the acceptance of the ultimate reality of the inner life. inner light.

Nor is this inner life to be identified with the Quaker It is the belief that the life of man is only understood

to the extent that he is able to distinguish between the external and the eternal, and is willing to sacrifice the first for the second.


referent theme of this novel is then a universal one; but the commun ica­ ting symbols are particular lives and situations that have their local habitation in the Quaker family of Allans in the New Jersey town of Stepney on the Delaware.

The story is centrally that of Asher Allan,

born into the family about 1850.

The externals that he learns he must

release are the outer Quaker traditions and his Quaker past. l oa m s he must do positively — picture fr-t™ as doing — 30.

What he

and what the novel does not too clearly

is to accept and live by the essence of the

Hilda Morris, The Long View (New Yorks

G. P. Putnam’s, 1937)

230 faith of his Quaker fathers. The child Asher, growing up in the old-fashioned Allan house and well-to-do Quaker household, is made constantly aware of the past and the goodness of the present only as far as It embodies the past.


of this awareness comes through his complacently orthodox mother, hut even more It comes from his grandmother, who, acquainting him with the details of Allan ancestry, ever cautions him to remember the Allans* noble place In Quakerism.

With this emphasis upon the past, coupled

with the Stepney resistance to change, Asher as a Quaker becomes aware of his and his religion's separation from the rest of the world. some mediating elements are present In his life. from his relatively liberal father.


These come partly

He Is the publisher of the Stepney

Intelligencer and a leader In the underground railway; and he exhibits his independence in a number of ways, Including the not trivial defi­ ance of the meeting In purchasing a piano.

The liberal side of Asher's

training Is also aided by the Quaker-based habit within the family of respecting the subjective decisions of each member.

Family silent meet­

ing helped also in giving him the sense of Quaker spirituality.


not least Is the direct advice of hie great-aunt, Deborah, who in her effort to counter the grandmother's training, urges him not to remember but to forget. With this intellectual and emotional conditioning, Asher strives to adjust to a world that he finds quite different from the Allan world. And through his short-lived experience as a boy-eoldier In the Civil War,

his equally cut-short training to become a doctor, and his manu­

facturing and business efforts, in which he finally succeeds, he does manage to adjust. pressing close."

Still It is with a "strong sense of old Friends And he comes to accept his father's advice:


231 carry the family traditions as a burden...Take the heart of thy Inheri­ tance, the rectitude and faith of thy people. "31

yet In staying on In

the old house, the symbol of the outer traditions, Asher is very nearly enslaved by the more formal aspects of the religion, and his life almost goes to seed. Stepney.

In time, however, he escapes from the house, and from

Whatever may remain of his Quaker faith, the scaffolding, at

least, is gone. The remainder of The Long View shows Asher growing into maturity with the help marriage and family and success In business In various parts of the country can give.

Throughout his life he practices a wise

acceptance of the "inner part of tradition" or, as he thought of it, he keeps "a silken thread to guide him safely through the labyrinths of the future."^2

Although the novel fails to show clearly how far this phil­

osophy carried over into action, it offers, all things considered, an intelligent treatment of Quakerism as a religion of Inner and intangible realities.

In a literary way, the early Stepney section offers by far

the best writing in the novel, for the unified note of authority struck here Is soon diffused by the extensive ramifications and repetitions that are demanded by the later development of the story.

Even so It

ranks among the better Quaker novels. P. P. Barnes, in Crum Elbow Folks (1938),


brings the reader into

intimate contact with a rural Quaker community of Hew York, near Hyde Park, In about the second quarter of the last century.

The plot is

the rather trite one of a Quaker in love with a non-Quaker; still the 31.

Ibid., p. 31


Ibid., p. 100


P. P. Barnes, Crum Elbow Folks (Philadelphia and New York: Lipplncott*e, 1938)

, J. B.

232 psychological dilemma of the Quaker girl thus involved is realistically enough presented to move the story beyond the mere problem situation. The chief virtue in the Quaker presentation, however, is that the com­ munal spirit of Quaker living, as opposed to the scrambling ways of the world, is well portrayed; this is best seen in the Quaker business and worship meetings.

Within the Quaker fold there are various kinds of

Quaker sheep, with varying degrees of materialism and spirituality and with different ideas on how far the Quaker community should regulate the individual member. black.

Morally, there are gray sheep and even some

The Sheldon family, important in the story, reveals within it­

self much of this variety. Unfortunately the best of the novel is again the early sections. By the midway mark the story has narrowed down to Hulda Sheldon's per­ sonal problem regarding marriage, and this theme seems to repeat Itself rather than develop.

Also the early pages of seneltlve description are

not equalled in the succeeding pages.

Nor is the first promise of full­

ness in characterization met, for there is little development or dram­ atic enactment of initially sketched characteristics.

In addition, the

story is marred by rather doubtfully motivated and so sentimental action. At times some events differ only from the older melodramatic writing by reason of a more m o d e m style —

for example, the fortuitous rescue by

Blackman of the narratively important runaway carriage, and the elder Blackman *s turning his erring daughter from his night-darkened doorway ■ But even if the novel is uneven and is not self-sustaining, there is the skill shown in the handling of Hulda's problem and there are pleasant and at times understanding pictures of individual and com­ munal living.

233 Ben Ames Williams» primary aim In writing The Thread of Scarlet (1939)*^ a story of Nantucket in the War of 1812, was apparently the study of character, of personalities fortified or twisted by the com­ munity mores of this sea-going town*

Quakerism cannot be said to be

the author's chief concern, yet Quakerism and Quakers, living and. dead, are an Integral part of the novel, for they are an Interwoven part of Nantucket, past and present. upon even the non-Quakers. acter, David Swain.

As such they can be seen as an Influence This is illustrated by the central char­

Although it is not so argued by the author, it is

hard to believe that the psychological difficulties of this sensitive and

courageous sailor boy in facing wartime were not due to vhis Quaker

inheritance and current Quaker influence.

But also among the causes

of David's reluctance to break with the community attitude and Join the nation's fight against Britain were two non-Quaker ones:


fear that as an escapee from the British impressment he would be hanged, and his sharing the sense of Nantucket's isolation from the mainland. And it is possible that Nantucket with its Quaker makeup is more than geographically Isolated from New England and the rest of the new nation. In light of his fear and love tensions, David is a kind of Nan­ tucket Hamlet.

British-violated Nantucket seems to call for vengeance

and restoration, but whether David, with his unsettling love for two girls, is to taka part or no is the question.

The continued violation

of Nantucket in terms of unemployment and near starvation brings him to a decision, and on board a privateer he is drawn Into violent handto-hand battle with the British.

From this blood bath, he emerges

purged; all complexities, even those of personal love, are resolved. 34.

Ben Ames Williams, A Thread of Scarlet (Boston: Co., 1939)

Houghton, Mifflin,

23V Quakerism In the Important character of Demarie Coffin Is dealt vlth more directly*

A selfish, externally Inhibited Quaker beauty, she Is

In semi-revolt against the restrictive customs of the Quakers.


revolt expresses Itself chiefly In her relations with men, and she con­ sciously symbolizes it by secretly stitching a scarlet thread Into her cap or other article of Quaker clothing.

In a way Denaris In turn Is

the scarlet thread In the rather gray community. That It Is Quakerism that she Is revolting against Is in same ways Incidental, for she Is the eternally feminine rebel, as well as the reappearing Williams' fe­ male on the lookout for self and pleasure. In the novel —

Fortunately the other women

for example, Ruth Hillbum whom David marries -- are

more attractive characters. One

advantage of the novel's Indirect delineation of Quakerism, in

assuming rather than calling attention to its presence, Is that the men and women in the story are persons before Quakers.

The disadvantage

is that the implicit treatment leads to mistaken Impressions concerning Quakerism.

As a whole, It is represented as the source of dead custom

rather than live principles.

Especially unflattering Is the handling

of the peace issue and the emphasis upon the prudent dealings of the Quaker leaders with the British —

leaders who "deplored any talk of

war and asked only to be allowed to send out their ships and bring them

h o m e ."35

yet through the character of David, with his indecisions,

the ethical quality of the peace position receives equal stress.


Bophically the novel seems incomplete, for while psychologically David's ethical and emotional problems might conceivably be solved by the physical action which brings the novel to a dashing close, still those problems as problems remain Intellectually unsolved. 35.

Ibid.. p. Ik

235 Beginning within a personal framework, The Tnnar Voice (1940), by Ulna Wilcox Putnam, ^

establishes a sympathetic understanding of the

Quaker Pickett family in South Carolina, especially of the boy Jonathan, and then moves Into the broader stream of pro-Civil War history and the dramatic events of the conflicting forces battling over slavery In bloody Kansas.

On the personal plane, we come to know the fullness and

the incompleteness of Nancy Blair's and Jonathan's love, a thems that with these two as man and wife continues through the novel.

An even

more continuing theme Is that of the Quaker Inner voice, which, with tlm help of "fanatic” Cousin Lorlng Pickett, speaks to Jonathan of the evil of one man's owning another.

The novel presents with patriotic

as well as Quaker tones this strong "convlncement” that all Quakers should free their slaves, and Indeed see that all slavery be wiped out. Jonathan tells sympathetic old EllBha Coffin that one can love the Ideals of his country so much that he will sacrifice anything to save those Ideals even against the will of the country Itself.

Here is

laid the logical and the psychological baslB of his leadership in the Quaker migration from South Carolina to Indiana, and In the later dif­ ficult removal to the Kansas territory and the fight there to estab­ lish a free government. Unlike many novels dealing with American history and Quakerism, this work

does not give the Impression that the events of history

unfold for the express benefit of the Quaker theme.

This author evokes

a sense of the American past as ah objective and multidimensional reality In Itself.

As a result, the Quakers and Quakerism came to us as a

realistic part of the stream of American life and not aB a stiffly 36.

Nina Wilcox Putnam, The Inner Voice (New York: 19*40)

Sheridan House,

236 acted part against the painted 'background of a pseudo-historical set­ ting.

If Quakerism bulkB larger here than it did in history, it is

rather the result of a focus cn a particular time and place than a dis­ tort ion of historical fact.

Hina Putnam's peculiar contribution is her

clear suggestion of the important place of Quakerism in American culture, and of a certain identity of Quakerism and true Americanism in the idealistic basis of the struggle for a free America. An external and unintentional irony of Ilka Chase's I Lore Miss 37 Tilll Beam (19*4-6 ) is that its geographical point of departure is the Woolman area around Burlington and Mt. Holly, New Jersey.

The treatment

of Quakerism, such as it is, raises a suspicion that this is a fact of which the author may be unaware.

In attitude, spirit, and moral content,

not to mention the subtler aspects of style, it would be difficult to find a more complete antithesis to Woolman than Ilka Chase, as here re­ vealed. The novel makes use rather than treats of Quakerism.

Chiefly, the

Quaker background of Maud Bean is used in an attempt to provide a dramatic contrast to her worldly propensities and to give a basis for Maud's admiration, if not always exemplification, of what she calls "Character.H

The story is told in retrospect by Maud's daughter, Ma­

tilda or Till!, a n d begins about the year 1 9 1 3 *

Quaker Maud Bean, age

thirty-five, a widow with a girl of six, is helping her father keep a country store in Isnesboro, New Jersey.

For all her Quaker staidness,

she is not only attractive but romantic, and is suffering the sexual frustrations of widowhood.

Thus the way is mare or less prepared for

the rapidly successful courtship by Giovanni Richetti, a traveling representative of his family’s pasta business in Italy. 37.

The couple,

Ilka Chase, I Love Miss Tilli Bean (New York: Doubleday and Co., 19*46)

237 with. Tilli, move at once to Italy.

Through flash hacks are presented

▼lews of Maud's childhood and Quaker training, of her earlier marriage,, and the ineffective Quaker idealism of her first husband.

Apart from

this, little Is said directly about Quakerism, but the lives of the mother and daughter In Italy, France, and America, with all their artistic and sexual activities, appear in Ironic contrast to the ever** present Quaker background. pant.

The treatment of Quakerism is generally flip­

The author takes her art, Italy and Italians, Paris and Paris lass ,

all more seriously than the Quakers.

And the possibility that the novel

is supposed to trace seriously the liberation of the woman from a Quaker-dominated small town in America is made unlikely by the consis­ tent concern with trivia. That the less elaborate literary efforts are often the most suc­ cessful in dealing with Quakerism is suggested by two novels of ElizalQ

beth Emerson, The Good Cron (19^6) and The Garnered Sheaves (19b8). In the two there is but one story —

the chronicle of four overlapping

generations of the Quaker Bees family, first in Tennessee (with back­ ward glances toward North Carolina from which the pusn or slavery ana une puxx of i«nri brought the early Beeses), then in Illinois, and finally in Indiana. War II-

The time span is from about 1830 through World

Because of the size of the families and because of the various

uprootings and reestablishments, the material struggle for life is an important part of the story.

Still in the lives of the various parentB,

the emphasis is a human and a Quaker one in the sense that the major conern is for the children as persons. 38.

There is always a strong desire

Elizabeth H. Emerson, The Good Crop (New Yorks Longmans, Green, and Co., 19^6); The Garnered Sheaves (New Yorks Longmans, Green, and Co., 1 9 W

238 that each on© of the many children hare the opportunity to develop M peculiar qualities.


Thus the title of the first novel, which is of

William and Bebecca Bees establishing their home In Illinois, is in reference to the children.

Such a crop, through the fortune of good

seed and soil plus careful Quaker nurture, they feel they finally achieve. The Garnered Sheaves title refers to the final fruits of a late genera­ tion, and especially to Sybil, who becomes a Quaker minister. Of great Interest Is the portrayal of the changes that take place In midwest Quakerism.

Among these are the growing disuse of the plain

speech and clothes, and advent of the hired minister, the use of music In Quaker meeting, and even a rev ivallstic stress.

More important for

the effect that It had on Quakerism's Influence in America is the at­ tempt to provide the Quaker young with a fuller education.

Various aca­

demies and colleges such as Earlham In Indiana and Penn In Iowa cure samples of the tangible results of the educational emphasis.

A less

tangible result Is the increased realism In Quaker relations with the "world” —

for example, the more reasoned attitude toward war.


central to all In these novels Is the spiritual quality of the Quaker heme, Its exercise of self-discipline and concern for reconciliation In all human relations. the

Quakerism Is thus seen In active relation to

element In American history:

In the slavery and Union

Issues (with love of Lincoln mingled with Quaker doubts), In the human problems of the various depressions, in the concern with the Influence of science and materialism In America, and, of course, In the problems of war, with the Quaker testimony to be borne and human suffering to be mitigated in the Civil War and World Wars I and II.

In the successes

and tragedies of the characters, and in familiar glimpses of the great

239 men and women of Quaker history, from the Gurneys through Whittier to Rufus Jones, Quakerism comes to the reader of these novels with a degree of intimacy* The Good Crop is too much a mere chronicle, too lacIcing in clarity of form, to he a strong novel.

It has a beginning, middle, but no end,

for it moves off Into as many directions as there are ears In the good crop.

This weakness is avoided somewhat by The Garnered Sheaves, which,

by concerning itself chiefly with Sybil, William and Bebecca»s daughter, achieves a better vision through a sharper focus.

This biographical

unity is reenforced by the theme of Sybil's Internal conflict of decid­ ing whether or not, as a mother, she should become a Quaker minister. Although the narrative point of view in both novels is outside the story, there Is the intimacy mentioned before,

perhaps derived from the

fact that the author is one of the later members of the Bees tribe. 30

A Clouded Star (I9U8 ) by Ann Parrish

is a story of Harriet Tub­

man, famous Negro slave who, after her own escape, led numerous groups of her people through the dangers of the underground to freedom In Canada. place.

In this novel the Quakers occupy an Indirect but important The bounds of the novel are set by the interest In the work of

this historical character in leading her sixth band of fearing slaves, by way of Quaker stops on the underground In Wilmington and Philadel­ phia, to a new life farther north.

Important also is the fictional

character, Samuel Mingo, Negro slave boy, from whose viewpoint canes not only the account of the flight, but of the bitter-sweet days of his plantation life. erary Uncle T m ' H

The novel in many ways is a

modern and more lit­

and the story of the escape seems consciously

39. Anne Parrish, A Clouded Star (New Yorks

Harper and Brothers, I9W

240 to parallel the Biblical exodus, from Harriet *b nickname of Moees to the dls 113ns ioned and rebellious hankering In the wilderness after the fleshpots of slavery. In several layers:

The superlative praise of the Quakers Is unfolded

first, Harriet's encouraging stories to the slaves

of the Quaker kindness awaiting them, reflected in the slaves' longing anticipation; then the actual reception by the Quakers in Wilmington and Delaware; finally, their acts of helpfulness seen retrospectively. Of deeper significance Is the presence throughout of Harriet's spiritual approach to her tasks -- her mystical dependence upon God's guidance. Quakerism Is shown thus to have left Its mark In other than external deeds of mercy. In narrative art, particularly the skill of realistic characteriza­ tion, these novels have shown a marked advance over their predecessors. A like advance has been seen in their more complete social and religious understanding of Quakerism, Including Its mystical nature.

But good as

most of these novels are, they are equalled and in many respects sur­ passed by the work of three novelists yet to be examined:

The Friendly

Persuasion (1940-1945) by Jessamyn West; The Bulwark (1946) by Theodore Dreiser; and Winda Blow Gently (1946) and Spring Is Hot Gentle (1948) by Ranald Kirkbride.140 Miss West's work, considered as literature, marks a new high level for this study; however, her literary ability 40.

Jessamyn West, The Friendly Persuasion (Hew York: Harcourt, Brace, and Co*, 1945); the Individual parts appeared In the years 1940 to 1945 In Prairie Schooner. Collier's. Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic Month! -g. The ladles Home Journal. Hew Mexico Quarterly Review, and Theodore Dreiser, The Bulwark (Hew York: Doubleday and Co., 1946) Ronald Kirkbride, Winds Blow Gently (Hew York: Frederick Fell, 1945); g-pyiwff Ta Hot Gentle (Hew York: Doubleday and Co., 1949)* the third novel of the planned trilogy, A Wind I* Rising, has not yet been published.

2kl is closely interwoven with, her sympathetic perception of Quakerism. The Bulwark Is of unusual interest In showing a sympathy with Quaker­ ism In one of the former high priests of naturalism, important shift in Dreiser's thinking.

in showing sn

Kirkbride's novels represent a

fully rounded -view of Quakerism, particularly contemporary Quakerism, ty an adequate present day writer.

In the success of these novels as lit­

erature and In their hand ling of Quakerism are to he found suggestions of the qualities needed far any such successful treatment.

In their

achievement, too, can he sensed the Influence not only of American lit­ erary development, hut also of the favorable currents of modern Americcn thought. The Friendly Persuasion portrays an Indiana Quaker and nurseryman, Jess Blrdwell, his wife, Eliza, who Is a Quaker minister, and various children.

That there Is also the "friendly persuasion," Quakerism,

seems almost Incidental until we see the work as a whole and are then aware of the singing picture that comes to us

from the overtones of

the skillfully sketched lives of the individuals.

No work of American

fiction reveals mo clearly as this one the fact that the effective >iftr^dHng of the Quaker theme and literary excellence are mutually de­ pendent. thus far.

In both aspects It stands superior to all others examined In one respect only might this he questioned.

As a series

of stories or sketches It may seem to lack the sustained strength that the Btrictly novel form gives •. But this is partly a surface judgment, for the stories have the unity of continuing characters, and there is chronological and spiritual development.

The stories are chapters, as

it were, progressively revealing new facets of the whole.

Still it

must he admitted that there is a lack of intellectual power and a sense of the tragic that makes the use of the term great applied to this work

21(2 seem Inappropriate. Only a few of the many excellences can be considered, but first, in order to remove the misconception that the label "Quaker writing” creates, is the book's pervasive humor.

Because of its humanity and

antiseptic power in regard to sentimentality, this humor might well be considered one of the most important characteristics.

Gentle, witty,

laugh-provoking, by turn, it is most often the by-product of the dram­ atic tug-of-war between the individualistic wills of Jess and Eliza Birdwell,

Various chapters illustrate this:

"Music on the Mnscata-

tuck," with Jess's heretical love of music, which leads him, in face of Eliza's displeasure, to the purchase of a reed organ; "The Facing Goose," with Eliza's victory over Jess in hatching Samantha, and her unQuakerly victory in court to keep the animal, this time with her hus­ band's loving help; and "A Likely Exchange" and "A First Lay Finish," dealing with another of Jess's unorthodox traits, his love of fast horses.

Humorously human, these stories reveal the Quaker faith of

the Blrdwells as a serious personal conviction with centuries of tra­ dition not easily cast


Quakerism is an Integral part of the

characters' lives; to a great extent it is assumed and revealed indi­ rectly.

Thus the humor is derived from fundamentally human traits

rather than from any Quaker peculiarities or q.ualntness*

At times, h o w

ever, the basically human, the personally individualistic, and the typi­ cally Quaker elements are mingled —

and delightfully so.

With re­

straint anfl humor that helps her avoid any sentimentality, none the less with admiration and love, the author sets forth these friendly portraits. That Miss West is able to deal profoundly, although simply, with Quaker philosophy in the tensions it creates both with the outside

world and within Quakerism la strikingly demonstrated by the story of "The Battle of Finney Ford."

In it is the down-to-earth telling of

the Civil War raids of John Morgan and his threat to the rural towns arri countryside of southern Indiana. the threat is more than physical: way of non-resistance.

To the Quakers such as the Birdwells, it is a challenge to the traditional

By it the character and the character of the be­

liefs of all Quakers, young and old, are sharply illumined.

To young

Joshua Blrdwell, tense, sensitive, idealistic, and deeply disturbed by thought of death, it was almost repulsive to see his family going about their ways while other human beings were dying.

Joshua is absolutlstlc,

himself, but he resents the religious absolutism of his mother; and even his father, of whom he is usually more tolerant, irritates him. "Old people, Josh thought, get so eroded by time and events that they are as slippery as a handful of stones at a branch bottom.

Bolling and

tumbling against each other, slippery as soap, not a single rough, jagged spot left with which to hold on —

or resist, or strike out."^1

JoBh'B conflict with his family, which reveals other attitudes toward war and the threatening violence, is well pictured, in a memorable i|0 breakfast table scene. Eliza, the mother, here represents an untried Quaker idealism —

"No. man is my enemy."

But she interestingly recog­

nizes her weaknesses in her own fears of loss — of the particular."

"I've grown over—fond

Mattie, the daughter, 1b torn between what she

feels is needful and what she knows, as a Quaker, to be Ideally rjght. The child, little jess, is emb&rraesedly concerned by the strange tension in the household. ifl.

Labe, heretofore pictured as more flexible

The Friendly Persuasion, p. 60

2kk and easy going than Josh, remains undisturbed In the q.uiet strength of his convictions and thinks that better arguments for non-resistance than his mother*s could be made*

It remains, however, for the father,

Jess, to fasten down the meaning of Josh's idealism in terms of the demand to kill.

"In the Quaker household the ward was bare and stark."

Arid he forces Josh to the less firm and relative ground of expediency and patriotism.

Jess represents a less passive pacifism, a resistance

that Is fighting with other weapons.

In spite of Josh's decision to

go to war, the family exhibits the Quaker Ideal of allowing the Inner Judgment to speak finally, and they remain one In love.

Josh, carried

into war and hurt In an accident at Finney Ford, escapes any real fighting. fight.

Labe, In hunting for Josh, gets Involved, Ironically, In a

Connected with these events la an Interesting comment on

Quakerism and on the psychology of bravery: "I purely hate fighting,” Josh said. "Don't thee Labe?" "Not so much," Labe answered. "I hate it, " Josh said, "That »s why I got to." . "And I got not to," Labe said, "because I like It." ^ In the whole treatment of this Quaker problem can be seen the advantage of the literary concrete handling over even the best of abstract dis­ cussions. Equally understanding Insights Into Quakerism, and more moving because more ordinary, are found In other simple accounts of the Bird— veils* common but by no means commonplace lives.

In their dally liv­

ing is seen the sense of tradition, of being God-led, of the need of the simple life as against the luxury of the world (not because of Quaker restriction, but because of the real Joy found therein), and, above all, of the Quaker emphasis upon Inner values in Judging others and in evalu1*3.

Ibid., p. 8 9

245 at lug themselves.

The later stories seem to stress this Inner quality:

"The Meeting" deals with Jess in his struggle with the problem of dying; "The Vase," with Eliza's loneliness and separation from Jess in her creation of a thing of beauty; "The illumination" (the coming of gas to the farm home), with Jess's clarifying awareness that eternity is quali­ tative and not temporal; "Pictures from a Clapboard House," a criticism perhaps, of the lack in Quakerism of a poetic wildness; and "Home and the Lilies," with Jess's old age comradeship with a young lad too frail to live. The high regard with which the author views Quakerism is evident in all the stories in that she does not belittle it by abstracting it from the people or by shaping the persons to represent the particulars of the religion.

This is an important characteristic of her writing.


Eliza, Labe, Josh, Mattie, et a l .. are Quakers, but they are human beings first and almost incidentally Quakers.

This is not to say that the

Quaker element does not make a qualitative difference, for the author has clearly shown that it does; but it is not something added to or different from human qualities.

As presented, Quakerism warms the bud

and helps bring to full bloom the human flower.

As such a blossoming

under the guidance of the spirit is a Quaker belief, this story illus­ trates rather than argues the strength of the faith it deals with.


is seen a core idea of Protestant Christianity, which is peculiarly Quaker:

that being must precede doing.

This belief The Friendly Per**

suasion strongly reasserts. As suggested before, it is difficult to say wherein the excellences of this work are literary as distinct from Quaker. ready been Illustrated.

And this has al­

Certainly simplicity, as much as it is a Quaker

trait, is also a literary one, and the author in her utter simplicity

21*6 approaches the proportions of greatness.

The skillful characteriza­

tion stands out in contrast to much m o d e m writing,, and in that contrast illustrates the negative principle that case studies are no substitute for characterization, and the positive one that lore, or at least deep understanding of persons as whole persons, is needed to acters come fully alive.

the char­

The style of The frianfln Persuasion, granted

all the subtleties the term includes, has the mark of literary authen­ ticity.

It is rich in the use of rural midwest colloquial speech; both

homely and poetic descriptions reveal the Indiana farmland and country­ side; and, in keeping with the content, language (factual or moving) images the thoughts of the deceptively simple people,

intensely local,

the author achieves a penetration to the fundamental basis of living that brings a high degree of intellectual and literary universality. But the abiding quality is that the simple clarity of her writing lets the full warmth of her understanding of Quakerism through to the sym­ pathies of the reader so as to warm them to the like understanding. The interest in The Bulwark by Dreiser is heightened by the fact that a leading naturalistic writer would be interested enough in Quaker­ ism to make it the subject of a novel.

And the interpretation of

Quakerism is made more significant by the fact that the novel, although written over a long period of years, was published posthumously and represents the author’s final v i e w s T h e story is that of the family life of the Quaker Solon Barnes, although the novel reaches back to trace his life from boyhood, and forward to study the effect of modern American life upon his children, to whom Solon has tried to transmit 1*4.

For a history of The Bulwark, which was begun in 191^ s®e Kobert H. Elias, Theodore Dreiser; Auostle of Mature (Hew York, 19^9)> pp. 166, 179-181, 193, 202-205, 207, 269, 291 ff.

zkj traditional Quakerism.

The so-called "Introduction" pictures the

wedding of Solon and Benecla, which event comes later in the novel at the end of Bart I, and suggests the changes in Quakerism since the early days and the reasons for the "lag of a great ideal."

Part I

tells the story of Solon's mother and father as shopkeepers in 'Sekoogit, Maine, and of their shift to the more complex and materialistic life in the Philadelphia area.

It tells, at the same time, of Solon's growth

under Quaker influences from a quiet hoy to an almost equally quiet and steady young man who holds traditional rather than vigorously spir­ itual Quaker beliefs. own home.

Ae such a

man he marries and establishes his

Solon's married life, as pictured in Part II, begins placid­

ly with a sense of material and spiritual well being, and it continues with the expectation that the children who are being b o m to h-tm will be happy in the kind of future he will provide.

This future will neces­

sarily be like the childhood he and his wife had —

traditional, peace­

ful, governed by law and order, and all Quaker, with no pictures, music, or bookB, except for a few religious ones.

But beyond the first few

years of his married life, Solon never fulfills his dream.

In the

first place, his Quaker peace of mind is disturbed by the materialistic and unethical strife he discovers In the business world; he is deeply bothered by the doubtful relation of Quakerism to the life he must lead in m o d e m society.

In the second place, his children become children of

the age and desert, either in form or content, the faith of their father.

Isobel, although more or less resigned to being cut off from

what she wants, is unhappy and basically frustrated.

Orville, conven­

tionally religious, is actually dully materialistic.

Etta and Stewart

openly rebel against what seems to them the leaden narrowness of their home.

Etta runs away to the University of Wisconsin and then to

2U8 Greenwich Village, where ehe lives with the artist Willard Ehne; how­ ever, the end of the story sees her return home to find a richer under­ standing of Quakerism.

Stewart brings the greatest tragedy to his

father by his suicide following a drunken escapade in which he is in­ volved in the killing of a girl.

Solon, after the death of Stewart and

of his wife, Benecia, comes to a new discovery of mystical Quakerism, so that the closing days of his life find peace in a more spiritual relig­ ion than he had known before. In the treatment of Quakerism two closely related, although not easily reconcilable, themes can be defined:

(1) the destructive impact

of m o d e m materialistic society upon Quakerism; (2) the strength and the weaknesses of Quakerism.

In the development of the first, with the em­

phasis upon socio-economic and biological determinism, much of the typi­ cal Dreiser is to be discovered.

He seems to say that against certain

fundamental forces and in the Zeitgeist of m o d e m America, the struggle of Quakerism to survive is futile.

This victory of materialism and

twentieth century mores is made concrete in a number of ways.

It is em­

bodied in the subtle decline of the religion of Solon's parents after their shift from rural Maine to urban Pennsylvania.

And what was true

of this family was even m o m true of various Quaker relatives who had been longer exposed to modernity.

It is illustrated in Solan's life as

he discovers the inapplicability of the Quaker faith to m o d e m business Apfl finance methods. his children:

Above all, it is seen in the deryeloping lives of

the clear impossibility of their following distinctive

Quaker ways amid the social pressures and the stimulation of their own desires.

They are pictured in true naturalistic fashion as being sub­

ject to farces beyond their control, and against which Quakerism, even if they believe

in it, is helpless.

This victory of American material­

21*9 ism is quite comparable to that in others of Dreiser's works —


example, An American Tragedy; hut the victory here is actually greater, for the religious heritage with which these children meet the secular forces is far more vital than the puny equipment which was Clyde Grif­ fiths •. If one were to accept the logical implications of the first theme, there would be little but a picturing of the weakness of Quaker ism in the discussion of the second. ment is not thus confined.

But logically or not, Dreiser's treat­

Very much in the person of Solon, ^


finds in Quakerism something beyond the reach of naturalistic forces. In other words — thought —

although one hesitates ever to use them of Dreiser's

there is an element of the supernatural.

At any rate, he

finds in the Quaker inner light a mystical awareness of the creative love in the universe.

Although there are suggestions of this awareness

at various times in the novel, it is climactlcally revealed at the very close.

After Solon has been crushed and made ill by disappointment in

his children, particularly by the self-blame accompanying his son's tragedy, and by the sudden death of his wife, he experiences a period of deep searching which results in the discovery of a new spiritual source within the framework of Quakerism.

Conditioned by the general

spiritual atmosphere of Quakerism, by the loving care of Isobel and Etta, and, perhaps, by his physical weakness, he discovers that source through a

mystical experience with nature in the fields near his home.

He is led by a new fascination in the detailed beauty of the flowers, Insects, »r»a fish he observes there to a fresh acceptance of the Creative 1*5.

Ellas (Ibid.. p. 298) suggests that Solon is a picture of Dreiser % father transformed by the author's new feeling of understanding and affection.

250 Farce that lie feels made this variety of design and color.


concludes the account of this experience: Then, after tending down and examining a blade of grass here, a climbing vine there, a minute flower, lovely and yet as inexplicable as his green fly, he turned In a v-ind of religious awe and wander. Surely there must be a Creative Divinity, and so a purpose, behind all of this variety and beauty and tragedy of life. For see how tragedy had de­ scended upon him, and still he had faith, and would have. And then again, thinking of Benecla, he proceeded to pray to this great Creative Spirit for her peace.1** A comparable experience, In which Solan Is convinced that he has made a puff adder so aware of his harmless Intention that It glides toward him, leads him to a new sense of the oneness of all, and that "good Intent Is of Itself a universal language.”

Of this Solon says to Etta:

Daughter, until recently I have not thought as I think now. Many things which 1 thought X understood, X did not understand at all. God has taught me humility — and, in His loving charity, awakened me to many things that I had : n ot seen before. One Is the need of love toward all cre­ ated things.^7 These mystical experiences are made firm and established within the framework of Quakerism by comparably new insights into the faith through Etta’s reading to bim from Woolman and by his return to Quaker meeting. Dreiser's ccement on the spiritual strength to be. found in true Quakerism is reenforced by the portrayal of Etta’s experience. by her lover, she has returned .in loneliness to help her father.

Deserted In

reading to tn« from Woolman's Journal, she experiences a kind of relig­ ious conversion and receives an .insight into a depth and breadth of Quakerism that her childhood training had never given — 46.

The Bulwark, pp. 517-318


Ibid.. p. 319

251 ...a dawning revelation of the meaning of faith. Here was not a narrow morality, no religion limited by society and creed, but rather in the words of Woolman, 'a principle placed In the human mind, which in different places and ages hath had different names; it is, however, pure and proceeds from God. Xt is deep and Inward, confined to no forms of religion nor excluded from any, when the heart stands In perfect sincerity. In whomsoever this takes root and grows they become brethren. The love of Willard Kane no longer usurps all her love, and she cosnes to a love of mankind in general.

To use the words of Jessamyn West's Eliza,

Etta is no longer "too fond of the particular." Dreiser's positive view of Quakerism throws light upon what he considers Its weaknesses.

His criticism is not of the heart of Quaker­

ism, but what many Quakers, lncludln" Solon, have made of it.


although talking about the Inner .~ghc, too often stressed tradition rather than the inmedlate reality of that cosmic force.

Again, such

Quakers as Solon's parents and Solon himself were too desirous of Amer­ ican respectability and sacrificed the spiritual to the material to gain that end.

The most consistently criticized weakness, and one which

Solon comes to recognize, Is the restrictive attitude of orthodox Quakerism.

The beauty and richness of music, art, and literature,

and the naturalness of freer human relations, are squeezed out of life. Even with the Quakers there was too much stress upon: form and rule, and too little of the spirit exemplified by Woolman.

Rightly or wrongly,

Solon's children felt emotionally starved, and they turned, not too successfully, to the world to find the food they needed, perhaps even the love that they felt their legalistic home did not give them. Dreiser seems to suggest that if they had been given Ib bs of the form and more of the spirit of Quakerism, they would have been better equipped


Ibid.. p. 528

252 to meet the modern world, and perhaps adjust to it without losing their real Quakerism. The Bulwark presents, in all, a strikingly appreciative view of Quakerism*

And if the interpretation of the novel given here is at all

correct, it calls for a substantial qualif icat ion of the label natural­ istic as applied to Dreiser.

The parallels between the key mystical ex­

periences of Solon and those of Dreiser, and Dreiserfs and Solon's shared liking for Woolman, establish the fact that the novel is in part auto-


biographical. ^

Still, from the novel alone, it is difficult to say •

how far he developed beyond naturalistic thinking.

The main difficulty

is that the essentially religious and even supernatural theme is super­ imposed upon the naturalistic theme without basically changing it. the surface, anyway, the two stand unharmanlzed.


There are several

possible reconciliations, each of which suggests a different degree of the qualificatian of Dreiser's naturalism.

A reconciliation is possi­

ble through assuming, as some evidence indeed suggests, that in the first theme Dreiser had in mind formal or organized Quakerism, and in the second, the spiritual essence. k9»

From another point of view, the

A number of Dreiser's experiences, as recorded by Elias, are es­ sentially mystical (and very similar to Solon's). One day in 1936 in back of his house an Mb. Kisco, Dreiser saw a puff adder and, thinking it poisonous, killed it. He learned, however, that it was harmless, and later an discovering another, he spoke to it and it crawled toward him and over his foot. Dreiser was con­ vinced that it understood, and also that man could talk to any animals or birds (Ellas, p. 288)* For example, he felt that a blue bird that used to came and sing near him while he was work­ ing knew and understood him (Ibid.. p. 298). In the summer of 1957, while at the Long Island Biological Laboratories, he inter­ rupted his work one afternoon to take a walk and came across some flowers by whose beauty he was almost moved to tears. He "felt for a moment that ldvlqg care must have been lavished upon every object in nature." (Ibid., pp. 299-500) Dreiser's specific at­ titude toward Quakerism is shown by his regard for Woolman. He clearly had great admiration for him. All through The Bulwark this appreciation is shown by numerous references and, at the close, by extensive quotations.

253 history of the novel's writing seems to Indicate that at the beginning Dreiser had only the first theme In vlew.^^

This might

the second

a mere addition without any real reconciliation, even In the mind of the author, and would reveal two separate purposes in the writing:


study of the effect of deterministic forces upon religion; an attempt to find seme answer to personal religious questioning of late life.


it may he that Dreiser was fully aware of the nature of the themes and believed that they represented life.

That Is, human life and thought,

Including religion, are highly conditioned elements, but at the same time, beyond, over, or under there is something else not quite explain­ able by the known forces. explanation.

Further refined, this seems the most likely

The refinement Is simply this:

Dreiser rather than dis­

covering new and, In the older sense, superaaturallstlc forces, comes to see the forces In which he believed In a new light.

He comes to see

them not as earthbom and blind, but as cosmic, creative, teleological, and therefore divine.**1

But no matter how specifically Interpreted,

the theme, and the novel, give a new glimpse of Dreiser's thought and 50.

According to Ellas (pp. 179"l8l) The Bulwark at first was "dedi­ cated to showing the Ironical failure of faith."


Of great interest, in this connection, are the wards of Dreiser in an unpublished essay, "My Creator," written apparently in

194-3 : "I am moved not only to awe but to reverence for the Creator...concerning whom — his or its presence In all things from worm to star to thought — 1 meditate constantly even though It be, as X see It, that my Import to this, my Creator, can be but as nothing, or less, if that were possi­ ble. "Yet awe I have. And, at long last, profound reverence for so amazing and esthetic and wondrous a process, that may truly have been, and for all X know, may; yet continue to be forever and forever. An esthetic and wondrous pro­ cess of which I might pray — and do — to remain the in— finltesslmal part of that same that I now am." (Ellas, p. 292)

254 reveal a serious questioning in what is very nearly the realm of relig­ ion, a questioning that marhB a distinct advance beyond his earlier naturalism.

And the novel narks also, of course, a significant H-tgH

point in the American literary treatment of Quakerism. The literary technique of the novel is worth a concluding glance. Structurally, some might question the tendency of the two nmjor themss to to remain separate, hut to the extent that they are intellectually recon­ ciled, they are artistically united.

Although Dreiser uses a biographi­

cal framework, as he has done before, he emphasizes I s b s the externals of the life dealt with.

This is, of course, in keeping with the new

concern with the intangible, and even when the acting causes are external the results are often inner.

A consequence is a lessening of the typi­

cal novel emphasis upon the particulars of time and place, but whether this is a conscious universalizing attempt is doubtful.

Another result

is a weakness in the tendency to summarize rather than present details dramatically.

All of these qualities suggest an interesting relation­

ship between form and content.

In style Dreiser seems somewhat simpler

than usual, lighter and less mundane. a lighter touch.

His treatment of sex also reveals

It must be admitted, however, that stylistically he

often lacks the strength of his earlier writing.

Such elements as fore­

shadowing are sometimes handled satisfactorily and sometimes not.


theft and failure of a friend's son, whom. Solon had recommended for the position, anticipates effectively his tragedy with his own son.


there are also various fortuitous happenings and too easy connecticais of events.

At those times one cannot help thinking that Dreiser was

Interested in something other than in writing a good novel. is a possibility.5s 52.

And that

ifo matter how important from the standpoint of its

In the final stages of revising and writing the novel, Dreiser felt

255 comment on Quakerism, the novel leaves the impression of being a far from great literary work. One familiar with the history of the Society of Friends and with its basic spirit and social practice is struck by the distinctive Quaker flavor in Ronald KLrkbride *s novels, Winds Blow Gently (19^5) and s-nrinp Is Not Gentle (19**-9)> "the first two of the still uncompleted trilogy. The Quaker quality is pervasive, far the point af view of the teller of the story —

within the narrative framework, David Jordan —

mentally although broadly Quaker.

is funda­

Woven into the texture of the novels

are the essentials of obedience to an inner voice more powerful than any external call, and the correlative essential of a peaceful solution to all problems of human relations (a recognition of the Inner light of others), so that the solution may be both right and permanent. The story begins in 1921 with the Quaker Jordan family at the time of their moving from the peaceful Blue Hills Quaker region of eastern Pennsylvania to the alien surroundings of a plantation near Columbia, South Carolina, and brings them down through World War II.

The recol­

lected story of David Jordan, who is a small boy at the beginning of the first novel, Is something of a spiritual autobiography, but It in­ cludes well-drawn and objective sketches of his father and mother, his sisters and brothers, and a good account of their struggle to live out in practical life the promptings of the spirit as each hears It speak. These novels offer a fitting close to the present account of the treatment of Quakerism in American literature, for they offer a cen(52) moved by forces strange and intangible, which were responsible for his inpiratlon. Sometimes he refused to plan a day ahead, waiting to be moved. (See Ellas, p. 293*) This attitude Is not only another interesting illustration of his thought, but of his literary method in the later stages of The Bulwark, which may help to explain the lack of strict logic.

256 temporary treatment of twentieth century Quakers in their concern with three of the most important social problems in America, coupled with all their threats to national well being and their tragedies for indiv­ idual men and women: tice, and war*

the problems of racial equality, economic injus­

In picturing these problems in a particular environment

of ignorance and hostile prejudice —

which is an intensification of

all environment, ancient or modern —

the novels, in subject natter at

least, move into the realm of the universal.

But even more universal

than these human social problems is the personal problem of the matur­ ing David in the loneliness that comes to him in a land of cruelty and pain.

In this can be seen, whether or not it is the intention of the

author, the struggle of modern man, with lingering elements of broth'rliness, to find some binding unity in an atomistic society; the struggle of man, with some inherent sense of values, to find a Justification for those values in a valueless universe of descriptive science.


the difficult task of describing these searchings, the author uses a technique of many of the naturalistic writers, but with a significant difference.

Unlike the deterministic naturalist, he strives to make

clear some kind of answer to man*s dilemma, and he finds it partially at least in the Quaker faith —

socially and personally interpreted.

Very briefly stated, Quaker individualism and sense of brotherhood, on a social and economic level, find expression in Winds Blow Gently through skillful agricultural management and wage Justice regardless of race; and in Soring Is Mot Gentle through the cooperative movement, also with its racial equality.

On the philosophical and religious level, the

answer in both novels is the Inner light• The only bases for values, if not found in the structure of the visible universe, must and can be found within, but that ’’within11 in Quaker thought is the channel to an

257 absolute without and beyond man. From a literary point of view, the undertaking ha** uneven results. In the writing of the social and economic kind, especially in the ac­ count of the southern cooperative, there is a tractate and even handbook quality,

lacking is the imaginative power in these parts to bring the

reader to an emotional acceptance of such an organization as the object of devotion that it is claimed to be for David and others,

likewise, it

is difficult for the reader with 1930 views of bmwan nature, not to meir tlon the awareness of modern economic complexity, to accept the complete optimism that the author holds for such a program.

Emotionally and

rationally the willing suspension of disbelief has not been achieved. In the more individual aspects, in the philosophical and religious writ­ ing, the literary results are far happier. strength of the novels lies here.

For most readers the real

There occur no doubts as to David's

sense of isolation, of his bewilderment, from living in a world of pain; for example, the cruelty of the whites to the Negroes.

Nor are there

doubts of the sincerity of his childhood questioning of the why of this pain.

Later, in the second novel, equally real is the poignancy of his

and his wife's love for each.other amid their growing alienation.


haps more movingly successful because more difficult to portray is the pictured power of the mystical inner light.

It is seen, for example,

in the conviction that draws David’s father to South Carolina, where: for his racial and economic ideas he meets death at the hands of a respect­ able mob.

It was an outcome that David's mother says she expected frcm

the beginning, and in answer to his question as to why then they came South she says:


Because there is no stopping a man who is moved


by a feeling inside.

Thy father was not the only man to give his life

258 for othera,n55

Tills Inner conviction Is continually seen In David's

Ilf® as the dynamic for his social vision and action against violent opposition, even when his actions are the cause of away from him.

wife's drawing

Still more strongly does it operate in his pacifistic

stand during World War II, as revealed in parts of each novel. For the effectiveness of hoth the novel and the treatment of Quaker Ism It Is Important that the mystical quality is made real through skillful picturing of the silent meetings in the Jordan household and elsewhere.

Of the Idea and the spirit of these meetings Jordan makes

many records, of which the following, although weakened by being out of context, are quite typical: It is not the place or the house, but the invasion of the spirit, that matters with our people. God Comes to us wherever we are; we do not need to go and find him. I cannot remember when 1 first discovered there was a meeting place within. Certainly I knew It as early as I knew that the Water In the lake in the Common where the wild ducks came to feed was buoyant and held you Instead of let­ ting you drown. I knew it as soon as I knew how to swim and they always went together in my mind after that. Our meeting was held In the den and for two hours or more we sat In perfect silence -- silence that was good, leaving you singing Inside, so that long after you could feel a great strength moving you as real as your hand. It was not easy, mind. And it took all your concentration.5 It Is Btrange how the Power will creep out of the si­ lence, beating its wings like a bird, to grow like a shadow on roof and field, swifter and greater than a bird; a light In Bound, a soundllke power, as strong and real as your hand. There Is knowledge that no man can describe, clearness In mystery, wisdom In Joy, that trembles Into thought like a Btring plucked in darkness and left to scatter its music abroad. So I felt that Power that day, and all our thoughts drawn Into silence, found the center and did not stray.55 53*

Winds Blow Gently, p. 308


Ibid.. p. 71


Soring Is Not Gentle, p. 157

259 I n t h e p o r t r a y a l o f t h e s i l e n t m e e tin g s , t h e a u th o r r e v e a ls a r e v e r e n c e f o r t h e Q u ak er w ay — n o t i n I t s p e r i p h e r a l p e c u l i a r i t i e s ,

b u t in i t s

d d e p e s t e s s e n t i a l —— t h a t o t h e r w r i t e r s h a v e n o t b e e n a b l e t o f e e l , a t le a s t r e f le c t .


D r e i s e r , s y m p a t h e t ic a s h e w a s , w a s I n c a p a b l e o f

t h is p a r tic u la r f e e lin g ;

and J essa m y n W e st, s u p e r io r In t h e l i t e r a r y

q u a l i t y o f a r e s t r a i n e d s t y l e , d i d n o t q u i t e g r a s p t h e s e n s e o f immed­ ia c y h e r e g iv e n .

W ith K l r k b r l d e ' s w o r k a new d im e n s io n h a s b e e n a d d e d

t o t h e u n d e r s t a n d in g o f Q u a k e r is m I n A m e r ic a n l i t e r a t u r e . The r e v ie w

o f "Q uaker n o v e l s '1 i n t h i s c h a p t e r sh o w s a c l e a r g r o w th

i n t h e s t r e n g t h o f t h e l i t e r a r y t r e a t m e n t o f Q u a k e r ism t h r o u g h t h e y e a r s fr o m t h e C i v i l War t o t h e p r e s e n t .

I t m akes e v i d e n t t h a t I n t h i s

p e r i o d o f s c i e n t i f i c n a t u r a l i s m a r e f o u n d n o t o n l y t h e g r e a t e s t num ber o f s u p e r io r f i c t i o n a l s t u d i e s , b u t , v ie w e d B ln g ly , t h e b e s t p r e s e n t a ­ tio n s

o f Q u a k e r is m i n t h e h i s t o r y o f A m e r ic a n w r i t i n g ,

h is to r ic a l.

l i t e r a r y or

The p o s s i b l e I n t e l l e c t u a l an d s o c i a l c a u s e s o f t h i s d e v e l ­

op m en t h a v e a l r e a d y b e e n s u g g e s t e d , a n d t h e s e s u g g e s t i o n s s e e m c o n f ir m e d b y t h e I n t e l l e c t u a l a n d r e l i g i o u s c o n t e n t o f many o f t h e n o v e l s exam ­ in e d in t h i s c h a p t e r .

C e r ta in ly th e r e i s

c le a r e v id e n c e in D r e is e r 's

n o v e l f o r t h e t r u t h o f t h e id e a t h a t t h e t w e n t ie t h c e n tu r y b ro u g h t a lo s s

o f f a i t h i n s c i e n c e t h a t c r e a t e d a c l i m a t e m ore f a v o r a b l e t o

m y s t i c i s m i n g e n e r a l a n d Q u a k e r ism I n p a r t i c u l a r .

In s im ilar i f

le s s

s t r i k i n g w a y s t h e o t h e r f i c t i o n a l w o r k s , e s p e c i a l l y t h e m ore r e c e n t , s u g g e s t t h e p r e s e n c e o f m in o r e l e m e n t s i n t h e I n t e l l e c t u a l a n d e m o t i o n a l p a t t e r n o f t h e A m e r ic a n m ind t h a t a r e I n e f f e c t p a r t i a l c a u s e s o f t h a t fic tio n . O th e r r e a s o n s f o r t h i s d e v e lo p m e n t I n v o l v e t h e v e r y n a t u r e o f l i t ­ e r a t u r e a n d e s p e c i a l l y t h e n o v e l a s w e l l a s t h e t r e n d I n m odern A m e r ic a n lite r a tu r e .

T ouched upon a t t h e b e g in n in g o f t h e c h a p te r w ere th e c h a r -

260 a c te r is tic s

o f f i c t i o n a l w r i t i n g t h a t maim i t p a r t i c u l a r l y s u i t a b l e t o

t h e p o r t r a y a l o f Q u a k e r is m — c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , e m o t i o n a l r e p r e s e n t a t Io n .

in t e r p r e t a t io n , and

T h e s e a r e b u t a s p e c t s o f a m o re b a s i c k i n ­

s h i p b e t w e e n Q u a k e r is m a n d l i t e r a t u r e , w h ic h s u g g e s t s w hy l i t e r a t u r e i s u l t i m a t e l y a b e t t e r m ediu m t h a n h i s t o r i c a l w r i t i n g .

I f Q u a k e r ism w e r e

a p h i l o s o p h y , a m ore i n t e l l e c t u a l a n d a n a l y t i c a l t r e a t m e n t w o u ld b e c a lle d fo r ,

b u t Q u a k e r is m i s a r e l i g i o n , a n d s o c o n c r e t e r a t h e r t h a n

a b s t r a c t — e v e n m ore c o n c r e t e t h a n m o s t r e l i g i o n s . iu m i s

one t h a t p r e s e n t s r a th e r th a n a n a ly z e s .

T h u s t h e b e s t med­

E ven s o , w it h r a r e e x ­

c e p t i o n s s u c h a s i n t h e w o r k o f W h i t t i e r , t h e l i t e r a r y m edium w a s n o t u s e d a s e f f e c t i v e l y b y t h e e a r l i e r a s b y t h e m ore r e c e n t w r i t e r s , b e ­ c a u s e t h e tim e w as n o t r i p e . in t h is ,

I n t e l l e c t u a l in f lu e n c e s a r e a g a in in v o lv e d

b u t m ore d i r e c t l y i n v o l v e d a r e t h e l i t e r a r y t r e n d s .

T he t i m e s

o f t h e m ore f r e q u e n t a n d t h e b e t t e r u s e o f Q u ak er th e m e s h a v e b e e n t h e tim e s o f e x c e p t io n a l i n t e r e s t in h i s t o r i c a l f i c t i o n In th e la s t decade or a o . ^


aro u n d 1900 and

T h i s may e x p l a i n i n p a r t t h e r i s e

o f Q uaker

w r i t i n g a b o u t t h e t u r n o f t h e c e n t u r y , Q u a k e r is m b e i n g t o m o s t a r e ­ lig io n

a s s o c ia t e d w ith t h e p a s t and s o m a t e r ia l f o r h i s t o r i c a l f i c t i o n ,

b u t I n l i g h t o f th e n a tu r e o f r e c e n t n o v e ls I t d o es n o t e x p la in th e f i n a l a c h ie v e m e n t . new r e a l i s t i c r e n ts

T h e r e a s o n f o r t h i s a d v a n c e p r o b a b ly l i e s

q u a lity o f r e c e n t f i c t i o n ,

o f th o u g h t.

in th e

su p p o rted by s i g n i f i c a n t c u r ­

B eca u se o f th e c o n c er n o f e a r l i e r r e a lis m w ith th e

p o p u l a r p r o b le m s o f s e x a n d s o c i a l a n d e c o n o m ic J u s t i c e , Q u a k e r ism w as n o t a su b jec t o f in t e r e s t .


W ith t h e c o m in g o f n a t u r a l i s m I t d i d n o t

L e is y (o n . c i t . , p . v i i ) s t a t e s t h a t a t t h r e e tim e s t h e h i s t o r i ­ c a l n o v e l w a s t h e d o m in a n t g e n r e i n A m e r ic a n l i t e r a t u r e : (1 ) d u r in g t h e y e a r s o f n a t i o n a l e x p a n s io n f o l l o w i n g t h e tw o w a r s w i t h E n g la n d ; ( 2 ) a t t h e t u r n i n g o f t h e p r e s e n t c e n t u r y ; a n d ( 3 ) t h e m o s t im p o r t a n t — d u r in g t h e l a s t tw o d e c a d e s .

261 fa r e any b e t t e r .

O n ly w i t h t h e 1 9 3 0 * a a n d t h e b e g i n n i n g o f t h e s h i f t

aw ay f r o m t h e s e e a r l i e r

" r e a l i s t i c ” em p h a ses, and o n ly w it h t h e d e la y e d

e f f e c t o f a n o b j e c t i v e r e a l i s m t h a t c o u ld s e e r e l i g i o n , r e lig io n ,

even m y s tic a l

a s a p a r t o f human e x p e r i e n c e , d i d Q u a k e r is m c a t c h t h e i n ­

t e r e s t o f a d e q u a te w r i t e r s .

But i t

i s n o t s o m uch t h a t t h e r e a r e b e t ­

t e r w r i t e r s d e a l i n g w i t h Q u a k e r is m , b u t t h a t t h e i r t r e a t m e n t o f i t s e r io u s ,

t h a t th e y d e a l w ith i t ,


n o t a s s o m e t h in g odd a n d q u a i n t , b u t

a s a g e n u in e r e l i g i o u s e x p r e s s io n .

A s w e l o o k b a c k , e v e n H a w th o r n e 's

" G e n t le B oy" w as a s t u d y i n f a n a t i c i s m s h o w in g r e l a t i v e l y


in te r ­

e s t i n t h e c o r e n a t u r e o f Q u a k e r ism ; t o H a w th o rn e i t w a s s t i l l a s o c i a l a n d p s y c h o l o g i c a l p h en o m e n o n .

F rom w h a t e v e r c a u s e , t h e n — I d e o l o g i c a l

or lit e r a r y

— t h i s f i n a l c h a n g e , t h e c o m in g t o c o n s i d e r Q u a k e r is m f o r

w hat i t

a m y s t ic a l r e l i g i o n w ith a r e l i g i o u s l y b a se d e t h i c , and t o

is ,

d o s o w i t h o u t u n d u e p r e j u d i c e a n d e v e n w i t h c o n s i d e r a b l e s y m p a th y , m arks t h e m a tu r ity o f i t s tim e s .

t r e a t m e n t i n A m e r ic a n l i t e r a t u r e o f t h e m o s t r e c e n t


T he h i s t o r y

o f Q u a k e r ism I n A m e r ic a n w r i t i n g c a n b e s t b e s e e n a s

a g e n e t i c w h o le b y v i e w i n g c o m p a r a t i v e l y t h e n a t u r e o f t h e t r e a t m e n t in e a ch o f th e s u c c e s s iv e p e r io d s : th e n a t u r a lis t ic . v e a ls ,

On t h e b a s i s

t h e P u r i t a n , t h e h u m a n it a r ia n , a n d

o f a t o t a l v ie w an d t h e p a t t e r n i t r e ­

r e l e v a n t c o n c l u s i o n s c a n b e d raw n i n t h e a r e a s d e f i n e d i n

C h a p te r I :

th e a r e a o f i n t e l l e c t u a l and s o c i a l h is t o r y , and th e a r ea

o f t h e t e c h n i c a l a s p e c t s o f b e l l e t r i s t i c and h i s t o r i c a l w r it in g . T h e f i r s t r e c e p t i o n o f Q u a k e r is m i n A m e r ic a w a s v i o l e n t l y h o s t i l e , a n d t h a t h o s t i l i t y w as e m b o d ie d i n A m e r ic a n w r i t i n g f o r com e.

T h e im p o r t a n t a n d t h e l e s s

many y e a r s t o

im p o r t a n t w r i t i n g s o f a l l k i n d s , '

b o t h w i t h i n a n d o u t s i d e o f New E n g la n d , h a v e b o r n e w i t n e s s t o t h a t c o n tin u in g s p i r i t .

Y et th e P u r ita n s — how ever d is p r o p o r t io n a t e ly or

m i s t a k e n l y t h e y f e a r e d Q u a k e r is m — u n d e r s t o o d a g r e a t many o f i t s b a s ic p r in c ip le s .

I n d e e d t h e r e l i g i o u s u n d e r s t a n d in g o f Q u a k e r ism

i s n e v e r a g a i n q u i t e a s n e a r t o b e i n g c o m p le t e a s i n t h o s e e a r l y d a y s , a f a c t t h a t i s n o t s t r a n g e f o r a n a t i o n i n r a p i d r e t r e a t fr o m t h e o ­ l o g i c a l th in k in g .

O nce a g a i n , a n y ju d g m e n t a g a i n s t t h e P u r i t a n s a n d

s i m i l a r l y m in d e d men o f t h e i r a g e i s n o t t o b e b r o u g h t b e c a u s e o f t h e i r r e lig io u s

in t e r p r e t a t io n b u t b ec a u se o f t h e ir p e r s e c u tin g s p i r i t ,

w h e th e r r e v e a le d in t h e i r c i v i l and e c c l e s i a s t i c a l a c t s o r i n t h e i r m any w r i t t e n e x p r e s s i o n s . e a r ly w r itin g s a s w r it in g s .

L i t t l e m ore n e e d s t o b e s a i d a b o u t t h e T hey fu n c tio n e d a s p a r t and p a r c e l o f th e

t h o u g h t o f t h e a g e , a n d t o c o n t i n u e t o c r i t i c i z e th e m f o r t h a t w o u ld b e t o f a c e a g a i n fr o m a d i f f e r e n t a n g l e t h e sam e p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s o f P u r i ­ ta n th e o lo g y .

263 A s t h e G od- o r r e l i g i o n - c e n t e r e d a g e m erged g r a d u a lly i n t o t h a t in w h ic h t h e c o n c e r n w a s m ore d i r e c t l y m an, t h e w r i t i n g s b e g a n t o em body l e s s h o s t i l e a n d e v e n som e s y m p a t h e t i c com m ent u p o n Q u a k erism * in g ly ^

t h i s new a g e f i n d s i n Q u a k e r ism t h a t o f w h ic h i t

In crea s­

can app rove —

a p p a r e n t h u m a n i s t i c a n d h u m a n it a r ia n q u a l i t i e s d i s c o v e r e d t o t h a t a g e i n an e t h i c a l r e l i g i o n w ith a co n cern f o r th e s o c i a l and p h y s ic a l w e l l ­ b e i n g o f human k i n d .

T h a t t h i s n ew a t t i t u d e r e s u l t e d fr o m a p a r t i a l l y

m is t a k e n v ie w o f Q u a k e r is m , a n d t h a t som e w r i t e r s s e e i n g Q u a k e r ism m are c l e a r l y w ere l e s s e u l o g i s t i c ,

d o e s n o t a l t e r t h e f a c t t h a t t h i s p e r io d

r e f l e c t s a m ore e v i d e n t s y m p a th y . s h ifts to a n ic a lly ,

c r itic is m

In su b sta n c e , th e h i s t o r i c a l w r itin g

o f P u r i t a n i s m a n d a d e f e n s e o f Q u a k e r is m .

T ech ­

i t m ark s t h e a r r i v a l o f a m ore o b j e c t i v e t r e a t m e n t o f t h e p a s t ,

a l t h o u g h now c o l o r e d b y a new n a t i o n a l i s t i c In c o n te n t, th e lit e r a r y w r itin g ,

or p a r tis a n d id a c tic is m .

l e s s c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e P u r it a n - Q u a k e r

c o n tr o v e r sy ,

com m ents d i r e c t l y u p o n Q u a k e r is m , m o s t l y i n a p p r e c i a t i o n .

T e c h n ic a lly ,

i t marhB o n l y t h e b e g i n n i n g r a t h e r t h a n t h e f u l l d e v e l o p ­

m e n t o f a m ore s k i l l f u l l i t e r a r y t r e a t m e n t o f Q u a k e r is m .

H o w e v er , t h e

f a c t t h a t L o n g f e l l o w , E m e r so n , W h i t t i e r , a n d H a w th o rn e c h o s e t o d e a l s e r i o u s l y w i t h Q u a k e r is m i n m a jo r fo r m s o f l i t e r a t u r e


im p o r t a n t -per

s e a s w e l l a s s i g n i f i c a n t f a r f u t u r e d e v e lo p m e n ts . I n th e e r a o f s c i e n t i f i c n a tu r a lis m t h e r e w ere t im e s , e s p e c i a l l y i n t h e e a r l y y e a r s , w h en Q u a k e r is m w a s p o o r l y h a n d le d o r n o t d e a lt w i t h at a ll.

M o r e o e v e r , t h e r e l a t i v e l y r i c h v e i n o f w r i t i n g o n Q u a k e r ism

t h a t e v e n t u a lly d e v e lo p s i s p r o d u c tio n .

o n ly a s l i g h t p a r t o f t h e p e r i o d ' s t o t a l

N e v e r th e le s s , th e e r a b rou gh t f o r t h ,

and b e l l e t r i s t i c

e ffo r ts,

in b o th h is t o r ic a l

t h e m o s t s k i l l f u l a n d scans o f t h e m o s t

f a v o r a b l e t r e a t m e n t s o f Q u a k e r is m .

The h i s t o r i e s r e p r e s e n t an e x c e l ­

l e n c e to w a r d w h ic h s c h o l a r s h i p h a d lo n g b e e n m o v in g , a n d t h e l i t e r a t u r e

26k d e a l i n g w ith . Q u a k er la m , o n l y so m ew h a t t h e r e s u l t o f a p r o g r e s s i v e d e v e l ­ o p m e n t, r e a c h e d a h i g h e r l e v e l t h a n a t a n y p r e v i o u s t i m e .

The p a ra d o x ­

i c a l n a t u r e o f t h e s e a c c o m p lis h m e n t s i n a t i m e o f n a t u r a l i s m , d e a l t w it h i n C h a p t e r s V a n d YX, i s

o n e o f t h e m o re I n t e r e s t i n g r e v e l a t i o n s o f t h e

stu d y . T h e l i g h t t h a t t h e e x a m in a t io n o f t h e t r e a t m e n t o f Q u a k e r ism b r ln ^ p t o h e a r upon t h e

I n t e l l e c t u a l a n d s o c i a l h i s t o r y o f A m e r ic a c a n o n l y h e

h e l p f u l l y f o c u s e d I f t h e r e a s o n s f o r t h a t t r e a t m e n t a r e a l s o made c l e a r . T h e se r e a s o n s h a v e a lr e a d y h een s e t f o r t h In t h e i r c o n te x t and can he r e a d i l y s u m m a r iz e d . m o tiv a te d .

T h e e a r l y a t t a c k s u p o n Q u a k e r is m w e r e r e l i g i o u s l y

T h i s w as t r u e i n a t h e o l o g i c a l s e n s e , a s s e e n I n t h e p o l e m i c s

a g a i n s t Q u a k e r is m a s a h e r e s y ;

i t w as t r u e i n a p o l i t i c a l s e n s e , a s s e n

I n t h e h i t t e r a t t a c k s u p o n t h e Q u ak er t h r e a t s t o P u r i t a n a u t h o r i t y . d e c lin e o f h o s t i l i t y

T he

I n t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y cam e w i t h t h e a w a r e n e s s

o f t h e P u r i t a n e x c e s s e s h y l e s s s u p e m a t u r a l l y a n d m ore r a t i o n a l l y d i s ­

posed t h i n k e r s , t h i n k e r s w ho t h e r e f o r e h a d a d i f f e r e n t p o l i t i c a l t h e o r y fr o m t h a t o f t h e P u r i t a n t h e o c r a t s .

The r i s e

o f a m ore f a v o r a b l e tr e a tr*

m e n t i n t h e e i g h t e e n t h a n d n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y w r i t i n g cam e w i t h t h e a p ­ p r o v a l o f t h e a p p a r e n t r a t i o n a l i s m o f Q u a k e r is m a s e x h i b i t e d I n I t s e t h i c a l e m p h a s is a n d I t s n o n - c r e d a l a n d a n t l - e c c l e s l a s t l c b e l i e f s . w as lik e w is e t h e r e s u l t o f a g r e a t e r o b j e c t iv i t y a n d t h e b i r t h o f a m ore m a tu r e l i t e r a t u r e . w i t h i n Q u a k e r is m - - c h i e f l y i t s e n c e d o p in io n . fir s t,

s e ttlin g

W hat a d v e r s e c r i t i c i s m


in h i s t o r i c a l w r itin g

A t t h e sam e t i m e , c h a n g e s

In to r e s p e c t a b ilit y — in f lu ­

t h e r e w a s cam e fr o m tw o f a c t o r s :

t h e r e l i g i o u s a n d p h i l o s o p h i c a n t i p a t h y t o Q u a k er m y s t ic is m ;

a n d , s e c o n d , t h e n a t i o n a l i s t i c d i s l i k e f o r Q u a k er p a c i f i s m . f o r th e r e a s o n s J u st g iv e n and b e c a u se o f i t s In te r e sts

H ow ever —

s o c i a l a n d h u m a n it a r ia n

— Q u a k e r is m m ore a n d m ore r e c e i v e s a s y m p a t h e t i c a p p r a i s a l .

265 T h i s w a s e s p e c i a l l y t r u e I n t h e p r e - C i v i l War y e a r s . its e lf,

The w ar p e r io d

a n d t h e y e a r s f o l l o w i n g , sh ow a n I n d i f f e r e n c e e x p l a i n a b l e b y

t h e p r e s e n c e o f a n t i —p a c i f i s t ± c f e e l i n g a n d t h e a s c e n d a n c y o f s c i e n t i f i c th o u g h t and m a t e r i a l i s t i c m o res. is m , e s p e c i a l l y

L a t e r g a p s i n t h e t r e a t m e n t o f Q u a k er­

In l i t e r a t u r e , w ere l i k e l y due t o th e n a t io n a lis m o f

t h e W o r ld War 1 p e r i o d a n d t h e e x tr e m e n a t u r a l i s m o f t h e Im m e d ia te p o stw a r y e a r s .

P o s s ib le I n t e lle c t u a l r ea so n s fo r th e resu rg en ce o f an

I n t e r e s t I n Q u a k e r is m fr o m 1 9 3 0 on a r e f o u n d I n t h e p r e s e n c e o f m in o r b u t s t e a d i l y g r o w in g c u r r e n t s I n A m e r ic a n t h o u g h t , p h i l o s o p h i c a l a n d p r a c t i c a l , t h a t h a v e b e e n fa v o r a b le t o a s u p e r n a tu r a l and ev en m y s t ic a l v ie w o f l i f e .

M ore e v i d e n t i a l r e a s o n s a l s o h a v e b e e n fo u n d i n t h e n a ­

tu r e o f th e w r itin g o f t h i s p e r io d .

N a tu r a lis m a lt h o u g h a n t i t h e t i c a l to

Q u a k e r is m h e l p e d b r i n g a m ore o b j e c t i v e a n d s o a m ore a c c u r a t e a c c o u n t o f Q u a k e r is m i n h i s t o r i c a l w r i t i n g . ap p roach In l i t e r a t u r e ,

A s im ila r o b j e c t iv e and r e a l i s t i c

t o g e t h e r w i t h a n e m p h a s is o n h i s t o r i c a l f i c t i o n ,

c o n t r i b u t e d , u l t i m a t e l y , t o a f u l l e r p o r t r a i t o f Q u a k e r is m . T h e m o s t o b v io u s c o n c l u s i o n i n t h e I n t e l l e c t u a l a r e a t h a t I s t o b e draw n fr o m t h i s a n a l y s i s

is th a t i t

o f f e r s a n o th e r c o n fir m a tio n o f th e

b e l i e f t h a t id e a s a b o u t Id e a s o r a b o u t p a t te r n s o f th o u g h t h ave a h i s ­ t o r y o f d e v e lo p m e n t I n t h e c o l l e c t i v e m in d o f a p e o p l e .

A lt h o u g h som e

c h a n g e i n a t t i t u d e to w a r d Q u a k e r is m c a n b e a t t r i b u t e d t o a c h a n g e w i t h i n t h e r e l i g i o n , f o r e x a m p le , con cern , th e b a s ic s h i f t s


lo s s

o f f a n a t ic is m and i t s g a in i n s o c i a l

i n t r e a t m e n t c a n n o t b e e x p l a i n e d a p a r t fr o m

th e c h a n g e s in t h e c lim a te o f o p in io n , t h e n a tu r e o f t h e w r it in g , o c c a s io n a lly , by th e p e r so n a l p r e fe r e n c e s o f th e w r ite r . o f t h i s tr e a tm e n t i s th u s a s m a lle r -fo e u B e d h is t o r y p h a s e s o f A m e r ic a n t h o u g h t .

In g e n e r a l t h is h is to r y


The h is t o r y

o f som e im p o r t a n t J u s t if ie s th e in -

266 t e l l e c t u a l d i v i s i o n s c h o s e n f o r t h e s t u d y , a n d w i t h som e i n t e r e s t i n g q u a lific a tio n s i t

c o r r o b o r a t e s c o n v e n t i o n a l i d e a s c o n c e r n i i g A m e r ic a n

i n t e l l e c t u a l d e v e lo p m e n t .

G iv e n a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e Q u a k er l e n s

u s e d , t h e s p e c i f i c f o c u s g i v e s a s h a r p e r v ie w t h a n w o u ld h e p o s s i b l e w ith o u t i t .

Some g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s a b o u t A m e r ic a n t h o u g h t a r e m ade m ore

p r e c i s e a n d m ore s u b t l y undex-e ucuiu&Dxe t h r o u g h t h e q u a l i f i c a t i o n s a n d r e fin e m e n ts t h a t h ave r e s u lt e d . The v a l i d i t y

o f t h i s c l a i m c a n b e s e e n i n a f e w o f t h e m o re im p o r t­

an t c la r ific a tio n s .

F o r o n e t h i n g , t h e s t u d y o f t h e Q u a k er t r e a t m e n t

h a s m ade c l e a r a g a i n t h a t c o m p a r t m e n t a liz e d d i v i s i o n s i n i n t e l l e c t u a l h i s t o r y a r e d e v i c e s f o r t a l k i n g a b o u t t h a t h i s t o r y r a t h e r t h a n s im p le a c tu a litie s

i n t h e m s e l v e s ; t h e r e a r e n o t h o u g h t - t i g h t c o m p a r tm e n ts o r

v e r y su d d en tu r n in g

p o i n t s i n t h e d e v e l o p i n g A m e r ic a n m in d .

A n o th e r

c l a r i f i c a t i o n h a s com e i n t h e v i e w o f P u r i t a n i s m a n d Q u a k e r is m , b o t h s e p a r a t e l y and i n r e l a t i o n t o e a c h o t h e r .

In f a c t ,

t h e u n d e r s t a n d in g

o f e a c h o f t h e s e p a t t e r n s o f t h o u g h t h a s b e e n made c l e a r e r t h r o u g h s e e i n g t h e r e c o r d o f t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p r e s t a t e d fr o m v a r i e d h i s t o r i c a l and l i t e r a r y p o in t s o f v ie w .

T h e ir c la s h in g d i f f e r e n c e s h a v e b e e n h ig h ­

lig h t e d a s have t h e ir b a s ic s im i la r i t i e s a s in h e r ito r s o f P r o te s ta n t th o u g h t.

A lt h o u g h t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l v ie w

i n e a r l y A m e r ic a n h i s t o r y a n d i t s it


o f t h e d o m in a n c e o f P u r i t a n i s m

su b seq u en t I n flu e n c e i s r e e n fo r c e d ,

a l s o q u a l i f i e d b y a new a w a r e n e s s o f t h e im p o r t a n t p r e s e n c e o f

Q u a k e r is m , n o t o n l y i n t h e t i m e s a n d p l a c e s o f i t s

su p r e m a c y b u t a l s o

i n A m e r ic a n c u l t u r e fr o m t h e e a r l i e s t d a y s dow n t o t h e p r e s e n t .


o t h e r r e f i n e m e n t h a s b e e n t h e p o i n t i n g u p , i n c o n c r e t e te r m s , o f t h e d i f f e r e n c e i n t r a in i n g and s p i r i t b e tw e en th e f i r s t P u r ita n le a d e r s and t h e l a t e r p e r s e c u t in g o n e s . t h a t th e p e r s e c u tio n i t s e l f ,

And t h i s s t u d y h a s a l s o m ade e v i d e n t

o b v io u s a s i t

is ,

h a s o f t e n b e e n a v o id e d

267 b y w r i t e r s t h r o u g h t h e y e a r s j e v e n som e m od ern r e v a l u a t i o n s i n o v e r t h e o l o g i z i n g t h e P u r i t a n m in d h a v e h e e n g u i l t y a n o th er d i s t i n c t i o n ,

o f t h is n e g le c t.

S till

e m p h a s iz e d t o t h e p o i n t o f new u n d e r s t a n d in g ;


t h e d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n t h e P u r i t a n c l e r g y suad t h e l a y p e o p l e , n o t o n l y i n t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s f o r t h e t r e a tm e n t o f t h e Q uak ers bu t a ls o

in t h e ir b e lie f s

r e g a r d i n g Q u a k e r is m .

f o c u s an Q u a k e r is m i t s e l f h a s r e s u l t e d i t s w ay o f l i f e ,


p r o -P u r ita n w r i t e r s ) , above, i t s a ll,

T hroughout a sh a rp er

— upon i t s

e a r ly en d l a t e r p e r io d s

e s s e n tia l b e lie fs ,

( o v e r l y e m p h a s iz e d b y

i t s v a r ia t io n s and d iv i s io n s ,

and, a s sta te d

d i r e c t a n d i n d i r e c t I n f l u e n c e i n A m e r ic a n l i f e .

o f c o u r se , has been i t s T he o p e r a tio n o f th lB

C e n tr a l t o

r e c e p t i o n i n t h e m in d s o f n o n - Q u a k e r s .

s tu d y a s a sh a r p e r f o c u s upon c e r t a in a s ­

p e c t s o f A m e r ic a n i n t e l l e c t u a l h i s t o r y c a n b e s e e n i n t h e a n a l y s i s o f t h e w r i t t e n t r e a t m e n t o f Q u a k e r is m b e y o n d t h e p r o b le m o f Q u a k e r - P u r it a n r e la tio n s .

F a r e x a m p le , e v i d e n c e f o r t h e s u b t l e t y o f t h e c h a n g e fr o m

a P u r i t a n d o m in a n c e t o t h a t o f t h e E n lig h t e n m e n t h a s b e e n a n a c c o m p a n i­ m ent o f t h e a n a l y s i s .

S h a d es o f o p in io n o th e r w is e d i f f i c u l t t o s e e in

t h i s in -b e tw e e n p e r io d h a v e b e e n h ig h lig h t e d b y t h e d is c o v e r y o f v a r ­ i o u s a t t i t u d e s to w a r d a r e l i g i o n t h a t i s n o t P u r i t a n , n o r d e i s t l c , y e t U n ita r ia n . r e v e la tio n


A l s o t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f d e is m h a s b e e n h e l p e d b y t h e

of its

m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f Q u a k e r is m .

L ik e w is e t h e m is ­

t a k e n b e l i e f t h a t Q u a k e r is m w a s m oved b y t y p i c a l h u m a n it a r ia n I m p u ls e s h a s h e lp e d t o sh ow , b y c o n t r a s t , t h e d i s t i n c t i o n b e tw e e n t h e r e l i g i o u s l y b a s e d w ork o f t h e F r ie n d s and th e s e c u la r ly b a s e d r e fo r m s o f th e r a d i c a l d e is ts ,


l a t e r , t h e d i s t i n c t i o n b e t w e e n t h e Q u a k er m o t i v a t i o n o f a

r e l i g i o u s b r o t h e r h o o d o f man a n d t h e e v a n g e l i c a l i d e a o f h u m a n it a r ia n w o r k a s a s i g n o f G o d * s g r a c e a n d human g r a t i t u d e f o r i t . m ore p o p u la r s p i r i t o f n a t i o n a l i s m h a s b eco m e m ore r e a l ,

E ven t h e le s s

o f an

268 a b s tr a c tio n ,

in s e e in g i t

p eace p r in c ip le s . w h ic h i s

in th e lig h t o f i t s

A fin a l c la r ific a tio n

s h a r p a t t a c k s u p o n Q u a k er

s h o u l d b e m e n t io n e d — t h a t

fo u n d i n t h e c o n fir m a t io n and q u a l i f i c a t i o n

of s c ie n tific

n a t u r a l i s m a s t h e d o m in a n t p h i l o s o p h y o f m o d e m A m e r ic a .

T hat p h il­

o s o p h y h a s in d e e d b e e n d o m in a n t, b u t b y n o m ean s a s u n c h a l l e n g e d a s h as o fte n been a s s e r te d .

T h e t r e a t m e n t o f Q u a k e r ism i n m od ern A m e r ic a

sh o w s t h a t t h e r e a r e n o n - n a t u r a l i s t i c s t r a n d s o f t h o u g h t w h ic h g iv e ; t o k e n o f a n i n t e r e s t i n g m ovem ent to w a r d sam e k in d o f s u p e m a t u r a l i s m . A m ore d i s t i n c t l y v e s tig a tio n m in o r ity .


s o c i a l a s p e c t o f h is to r y r e v e a le d in t h i s

in ­

t h e v i e w i t h a s o f f e r e d o f t h e A m e r ic a n t r e a t m e n t o f a

T h r o u g h o u t t h e t h r e e h u n d r e d y e a r s o f t h e i r A m e r ic a n h i s ­

t o r y , t h e Q u a k e r s h a v e h e l d o n e o r m are b e l i e f s w h ic h w e r e h e r e t i c a l t o t h e d o m in a n t t h i n k i n g o f t h e p e o p l e — o r , a t l e a s t , t o t h e t h i n k i n g o f t h e d o m in a n t p e o p l e .

The Q u a k ers, h o w ev er, h a v e la c k e d t h e e x t e r n a l

m ark s o f s e p a r a t i o n o f som e r a c i a l g r o u p s a n d s o h a v e n o t h a d t h a t p la g u in g d e t a i l t o c o n te n t w it h .

B ut r e g a r d le s s o f th e r e a so n , i t

m u st b e a d m i t t e d t h a t fr o m P u r i t a n i s m o n down t h e r e h a s b e e n r e v e a l e d a g r o w in g w i l l i n g n e s s t o l e t t h i s m i n o r i t y h a v e s o m e t h in g o f i t s


w a y , e v e n t o t h e p o i n t o f t h e B t a t e a d j u s t i n g sem e o f i t s

T h is

i s n o t , h o w e v e r , t o d e n y som e t r a g i c e x c e p t i o n s .

la w s .

V ie w e d o p t i m i s t i c a l l y ,

t h i s r e a s o n a b l e n e s s m ig h t b e a t t r i b u t e d t o a d e v e l o p i n g t o l e r a t i o n a n d o p e n - m in d e d n e s s .

V ie w e d m ore r e a l i s t i c a l l y ,

i t w o u ld a p p e a r t o b e t h e

r e s u lt o f a la c k o f c o n v ic tio n in m a tte r s o f r e l i g i o n . is

T h is s u s p ic io n

c o n f ir m e d b y t h e p u b l i c c o n c e r n a n d e v e n b i t t e r n e s s a t t i m e s w i t h

Q u a k er n o n - r e l i g i o u s h e r e s i e s - - f o r e x a m p le , i t s ia n i a m a n d r e l i g i o u s p a c i f i c i s m ,

e c o n o m ic e q u a l i t a r -

a r e a s i n w h ic h t h e t r a g i c e x c e p t i o n s

h ave ta k e n p la c e . B e c a u s e t h e t r e a t m e n t o f Q u a k e r is m h a s b e e n a f f e c t e d b y t h e p e c u l i a r

269 itle s

o f b o th , t h e h i s t o r i o g r a p h i c a l a n d b e l l e t r l s t i c m e d ia , t h e exam ­

i n a t i o n . o f t h a t t r e a t m e n t h a s b r o u g h t som e i n s i g h t s i n t o t h e h i s t o r y a n d n a t u r e o f t h e t w o k in d s o f w r i t i n g i n A m e r ic a . o n l y t h e m o re im p o r t a n t h i s t o r i e s d e a l i n g ,

The s e l e c t i o n


w i t h Q u a k e r is m h a s i n d i ­

c a t e d t h e d e v e l o p i n g e m p h a se s i n t h e m a in l i n e

o f h i s t o r i c a l w r itin g .

W ith t h i s h a s com e a v ie w o f t h e v a r i e t y o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n t h a t h i s t o r y o f t e n g i v e s t o t h e sam e b o d y o f f a c t s . t h e p r o -P u r ita n w r it in g , w it h i t s p ie tis tlc

T h e o v e r a l l t r e n d h a s b e e n fr o m

su b seq u en t c o n tin u a tio n in th e f i l i o -

s c h o o l, th r o u g h a n a t i o n a l i s t i c f u n c t io n a lis m a n d on t o th e

in c r e a s in g ly s c i e n t i f i c h is to r y ,

soon q u a lif ie d by th e in t e r p r e ta tio n s

o f m o re r e c e n t g r o u p s , s u c h a s t h e e c o n o m ic a n d r e l a t l v l s t l c o f h is t o r ic a l w r itin g .

s c h o o ls

A v a r i e t y , a l s o b a s e d t o som e e x t e n t on t h e

p e r s o n a l le a n in g s o f t h e w r i t e r s , h a s b een s e e n i n w orks a s d i f f e r e n t a s t h o s e o f N o r t o n , M a th e r , P r o u d , H u t c h in s o n , B a n c r o f t , B e c k e r , O sgood , W e r te n b a k e r ,

t o m e n t io n b u t a f e w .

T he l i t e r a r y w r i t i n g s , f o r t h e m o s t

p a r t , h a v e n o t b e e n i n t h e m a in l i n e o f b e l l e t r l s t i c

d e v e lo p m e n t .

T h is

p o i n t s up t h e f a c t t h a t t h e p o p u la r t h o u g h t o f a p a r t i c u l a r t im e i s o f t e n b e t t e r s e e n i n m in o r r a t h e r t h a n i n m ore t i m e l e s s w o r k s . w r itin g s ,

T h ese

h o w e v e r , t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e s m a l l e r num ber o f m a jo r w o r k s e x ­

a m in e d , h a v e i n d i c a t e d i n d i r e c t l y a n d d i r e c t l y som e o f t h e m a jo r d e ­ v e lo p m e n ts .

R o m a n t ic , r e a l i s t i c ,

and n a t u r a l i s t i c

in f lu e n c e s h ave been

i n d i v i d u a l l y n o t e d , a s h a v e t h e p a r t i c u l a r im p a c t s o f t h e s e n t i m e n t a l n o v e l , t h e i n t e r e s t i n h i s t o r i c a l f i c t i o n , a n d t h e c omi ng o f w h a t p e r ­ h a p s c a n b e c a l l e d a new r o m a n t ic r e a l i s m . I n a f i n a l e v a l u a t i o n o f t h e w r i t i n g s t h e d i s t i n c t i o n b e tw e e n t h e e ffe c tiv e n e s s

o f t h e Q u ak er p r e s e n t a t i o n a n d t h e q u a l i t y o f w r i t i n g a s

w r it in g s h o u ld b e m a in ta in e d , a lt h o u g h , a s p o in t e d o u t , t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t h e tw o p h a s e s i s

in e s c a p a b ly c l o s e .

The q u a l i t y o f m ost o f t h e

270 I n d i v i d u a l v a r ie s h a s h e e n com m ented u p o n .

A Jud gm ent u p o n t h e w r i t i n g s

a s a w h o le I s t h a t t h e h i s t o r i c a l r e p r e s e n t s a c o n s i s t e n t l y h i g h e r l e v e l th a n th e l i t e r a r y

i n b o t h t h e t r e a t m e n t o f Q u a k e r is m a n d t h e f o r m a l

d u a l i t y o f t h e p a r t i c u l a r k in d o f w r i t i n g .

T h is can b e a c c o u n te d f o r

l a r g e l y b y t h e s e l e c t i v e p r o c e s s i n t h i s s t u d y a n d a l s o i n t h e m e th o d s o f p u b lic a tio n :

th e b e t t e r h is t o r ie s have been ch osen fo r a n a ly s is ,

w h e r e a s t h e Q u a k er th e m e d e t e r m in e d t h e s e l e c t i o n

o f t h e l i t e r a r y w o rk s;

a n d h i s t o r y i s m ore l i k e l y t o b e p u b l i s h e d w i t h a n e y e t o s c h o l a r l y d e ­ m ands t h a n i s

lite r a tu r e .

T he l i t e r a r y w r i t i n g i n c l u d e s t h e w o r s t b u t

a l s o t h e b e s t t r e a t m e n t s o f Q u a k e r ism , a n d , i n q u a l i t y o f w r i t i n g ,


in c lu d e s w orks p o o r e r th a n a n y o f t h e h i s t o r i e s b u t a l s o w r i t i n g a t l e a s t e q .u a l t o t h e b e s t i n t h e h i s t o r i c a l b r a n c h . T h u s i s r a i s e d t h e q u e s t i o n o f t h e e f f e c t o f t h e s e k in d s o f w r i t i n g u p o n t h e h a n d l i n g o f t h e Q u a k er th e m e , a n d t h e q u e s t i o n o f t h e r e l a t i o n ­ s h ip b e tw e e n t h e t e c h n i c a l q u a l i t y o f w r it in g an d t h e c o n te n t e f f e c t i v e ­ n e s s o f t h e Q u a k er p r e s e n t a t i o n .

H is to r y b y i t s

com m itm en t t o p o r t r a y

a c c u r a t e l y t h e p a s t i n s u r e s i t s e l f a g a i n s t t h e p o o r h a n d l i n g fo u n d i n som e o f t h e l i t e r a r y w o r k s , w h ic h h a v e n o s u c h c o m m itm en t.

On t h e o th a :

h an d , a s h a s b e e n d e m o n str a te d , h is t o r y by i t s v e r y n a tu r e i s

le s s

c a p a b l e o f o f f e r i n g a c o m p le t e u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h a n l i t e r a t u r e i s .


m ere r e c o r d o f t h e p a s t m u st i n c l u d e c h i e f l y t h e a c t s a n d t h e b e l i e f s o f Q u a k e r is m a n d i s n o t a b l e e a s i l y t o c a t c h t h e s p i r i t . t o d o s o b y b e i n g m a re i n t e r p r e t i v e ,


If it

tr ie s

a n a ly t ic a l n a tu r e sta n d s in

t h e w ay o f a n a p p r e c i a t i o n a n d p o r t r a y a l o f m y s t i c a l e x p e r i e n c e .

A g a in ,

i f h i s t o r y a tte m p ts an e m o tio n a l p i c t u r i n g , e s p e c i a l l y o f a n in d iv id u a l e x p e r ie n c e , In d eed ,




e v e n m ore l i m i t e d a n d i s

i l l a t e a s e in i t s

h a s in v a d e d t h e r e a lm o f l i t e r a t u r e .

Q u a k er l i f e ,

th e in d iv id u a l and in n e r q u a l i t i e s

a tte m p t.

T he c o n c r e t e w a y o f o f Q u a k e r is m , a n d e v e n

271 its beliefs —

all colored with emotion —

Imaginative writing.

can best be handled by

Negatively, this truth has been illustrated by

bhe relative failure of the excellent histories dealing with Quakerism, even those by competent Quakers; and, positively, by the relative suc­ cess of many of the literary works that have been reviewed.

No doubt

this difference between belles-lettres and history has been one of the f

r e a s o n s t h a t n o m o re t h a n a l o o s e c o r r e l a t i o n h a s b e e n d i s c o v e r a b l e b e t w e e n t h e tw o k in d s o f w r i t i n g i n t h e i r t r e a t m e n t o f Q u a k e r is m .

B o th

h a v e g iv e n f a v o r a b le o r u n fa v o r a b le tr e a tm e n t w it h in a g iv e n p e r io d a n d f o r som e c f t h e sam e r e a s o n s , b u t b e y o n d t h a t l i t t l e lis h e d .

Y et th a t i s

s o m e t h in g ,

and i s p e r h a p s g r o u n d s,

can be e s t a b ­ in t h e r e a d in g

a n d t e a c h i n g o f l i t e r a t u r e a n d h i s t o r y , f o r t h e u s e o f b o t h fo r m s o f w r i t i n g t o p r o v i d e f u r t h e r u n d e r s t a n d in g o f t h e w h o le o f w h ic h e a c h o f th e se is

a p a r t ..

In f a c t , th e la c k o f c o r r e la tio n in I t s e l f i s


g o o d r e a s o n f o r s u c h a u s e t o c h e c k w h a te v e r d e f i c i e n c y e v id e n t l y e x ­ is ts

I n e i t h e r fo r m o f t r e a t m e n t t a k e n b y i t s e l f . On t h e b a s i s

an sw er i s

o f a t o t a l v ie w o f t h e t r e a t m e n t o f Q u a k e r is m , a n

s u g g e s t e d t o t h e f i n a l q u e s t i o n o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e tw e e n

th e q u a lity

o f w r it in g , h i s t o r i c a l o r l i t e r a r y , and th e e f f e c t iv e n e s s

o f t h e Q u a k er p r e s e n t a t i o n . b e tte r h is to r ie s m ost i n e v i t a b l e . p le te n e s s ,

I t h a s b e e n a m p ly i l l u s t r a t e d t h a t t h e

o f f e r t h e b e t t e r t r e a t m e n t o f Q u a k e r is m . T he q u a l i t i e s

fa ir n e s s ,

o f good h is to r y

T h is i s a l ­

— o r ig in a lity ,


and a d eg ree o f p o e t ic in s ig h t in t o th e p a s t —

a r e q u a l i t i e s n eed ed f o r any p h a se o f t h a t p a s t , b u t th e y a r e p a r tic u ­ l a r l y n e e d e d f o r t h e p o r t r a y a l o f s u c h a m a n i f e s t a t i o n a s Q u a k e r is m . The c o n n e c t io n b e tw e e n t h e q u a l i t y o f b e l l e t r i B t i c w r i t i n g and an e f f e c t i v e h « - ^ H n g o f t h e Q u ak er th e m e i s m are c o m p l i c a t e d a n d d i f f i c u l t t o a n a ly z e .

I t can be s a id ,

h o w e v e r , t h a t t h e m ost s u c c e s s f u l l i t e r a r y

272 p o r tr a its

ocf Q u a k e r is m h a v e g e n e r a l l y b e e n fo u n d i n t h e l e s s p r e t e n ­

t i o u s w o r k s , v o r k B m ark ed b y a p e c u l i a r l y u n f e i g n e d s p i r i t . tr a its

T h ese

o f s i m p l i c i t y a n d s i n c e r i t y , w h a t e v e r e l s e m ig h t b e n e e d e d i n

w o r k s i n c o r p o r a t i n g th e m , a r e p r im e v i r t u e s i n a l l l i t e r a t u r e .

T here

i s a l o g i c a l r e a s o n w hy t h e s e c l o s e l y r e l a t e d q u a l i t i e s a r e n e c e s s a r y f o r t h e s y m p a t h e t i c a n d t r u t h f u l h a n d l i n g o f Q u a k er s a n d Q u a k e r ism . Q u a k e r is m i s b a s i c a l l y a r e l i g i o u s w ay o f l i f e u in g r e l i g i o u s e x p e r ie n c e . le s s


i s n o t a p h ilo s o p h y ;

I n t e l l e c t u a l t h a n many r e l i g i o n s ,

sh are o f in t e lle c t u a ls . w ho i s

g r o w in g o u t o f a c o n t i n ­ in d e e d ,



fa r

a l b e i t i t h a s m ore t h a n i t s

I t w o u ld s e e m , t h e n , t h a t t h e l i t e r a r y a r t i s t

t o d e a l s u c c e s s f u l l y w i t h t h i s th em e m u s t, b e c a u s e o f i t s v e r y

n a t u r e , a v o i d a n e m p h a s is u p o n s o p h i s t i c a t e d t e c h n i q u e , a n d h e. m u st f o r e ­ g o a n o b v io u s p h i l o s o p h i c a l a p p e a l .

To sa y t h i s


t o r e s t a t e th e

e v e r - p r e s e n t n e e d o f a d a p t i n g fo r m t o c o n t e n t a n d c o n t e n t t o t h e l a r g e r ends so u g h t.

T o t h e e x t e n t t h a t t h e v a r y i n g fo r m s d e a l i n g w i t h Q u a k er­

is m h a v e dcase t h i s t h e y h a v e n o t o n l y b e e n " g o o d l i t e r a t u r e ” b u t a l s o h a v e b e e n s u c c e s s f u l i n p r e s e n t i n g Q u a k e r is m w i t h i t s tc n e s.

F in a lly ,

e m o tio n a l o v e r -

th e: .n a t u r e o f t h i s c o n n e c t i o n b e tw e e n fo r m a n d c o n t e n t

h a s o b v io u s i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r t h e a t t i t u d e o f t h e a u t h o r .

He m u st b e

in h im s e lf a r e a l i s t o f th e s c h o o l th a t a c c e p ts th e r e a l i t y a s a t l e a s t a s i g n i f i c a n t p s y c h o lo g ic a l e x p e r ie n c e . r e lig io n w e ll;

in f a c t ,

o f r e lig io n

He mu s t know t h e

h e m u s t b e s o m e t h in g o f a Q u a k er i n s p i r i t ,


i n som e w ay e n t e r i n t o t h e f e e l i n g s o f t h o s e w ho h a v e had; m y s t i c a l e x ­ p e r ie n c e s .

O n ly t h u s w i l l t h e a u t h o r a v o i d t h e u n h a p p y s e n t i m e n t a l i s m

t h a t h a s m ark ed s o m uch o f t h e l i t e r a r y h a n d l i n g o f Q u a k e r is m . t h u s w i l l a s y m p a th e tic b u t t r u e p ic t u r e b e p r e s e n t e d .

O n ly

A g a in , t h i s

b u t a n a p p l i c a t i o n o f t h e t r u t h l y i n g b a c k o f a l l e f f e c t i v e l y m o v in g lite r a tu r e

— t h a t t h e a u t h o r m u st h a v e a n e m p a t h ic u n d e r s t a n d in g o f


273 w h a t and. a b o v e a l l whom. h e I s d e a l i n g w i t h .

T h e r e f o r e , e v e n t h e m ost

t e c h n i c a l l y s h i l l e d w r i t e r , s u c h a s H a w th o rn e ,

i f h e la c k s t h e s p e c i f i c

i n s i g h t i n t o Q u a k e r is m w i l l n o t b e a s s u c c e s s f u l i n h i s t r e a t m e n t a s a le s s

s k i l l e d b u t m ore u n d e r s t a n d in g w r i t e r , s a y a J e s s a m y n W e s t , a

W h ittie r ,

o r ev en an e n fe e b le d D r e is e r .


B ib lio g r a p h ic a l S o u rces

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D r a m a tic B i b l i o g r a p h y .

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3 v o l­

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