Friends Historical Association Past Events

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Spring 2018

June 22-24, 2018

Conference of Quaker Historians and Archivists at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

June 24-26, 2018

Post-Conference Bus Tour of Historic Quaker Sites based in Providence, RI

The Conference of Quaker Historians and Archivists (CQHA) meets every other year. In 2018, the conference was held at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA, from June 22–24, 2018, at the UMass Campus Center.

The conference began with a set of archives-oriented sessions on the first day, followed by history sessions for the next two days.

An optional post-conference Bus Tour of Quaker Sites ran from the end of the conference on June 24 to 5:00 p.m. on June 26 and was based in Providence, RI.  The Friends Historical Association subsidized the cost of the tour and arranged for a van to provide transportation to interested members, departing from the Philadelphia area.



Spring 2017


Each spring, Friends Historical Association arranges a tour to a Quaker site of interest. On May 6, 2017, inspired by last November’s conference “Quakers, First Nations and American Indians from the 1650s to the 21st century,” we traveled to southern New Jersey to learn about past and present Quaker-Indian relationships, share stories, and renew friendships. We made stops at the following sites:

  • Salem Oak and Friends Burial Ground, also the site of the first Quaker meeting in West Jersey, where tour members received a warm welcome from a member of the Lenni-Lenape tribe;

  • Lower Alloways Creek Meeting House, which was named for Aloes or Alowas, a Lenape sachem;

  • Greenwich Village, with opportunities to see Greenwich Friends Meeting, Bacons Neck, Ambury Hill Graveyard, the Cumberland County Prehistorical Museum, and the 1870 monument erected by Quaker George Bacon Wood to an Indian chief whose name is lost;

  • Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Grounds, where a delicious meal was shared, greetings and gifts exchanged, and friendships renewed; and

  • Gouldtown, established 1690, possibly the oldest African-American community in the United States.



FALL 2016

Quakers, First Nations and American Indians from the 1650s to the 21st century

The Friends Historical Association's Annual Meeting took place in conjunction with this three-day conference, which was held Thursday, November 10 through Saturday, November 12 at the University of Pennsylvania (Nov. 10), Bryn Mawr College (Nov. 11), and Haverford College (Nov. 12). 

"Quakers, First Nations and American Indians from the 1650s to the 21st century" examined relations between American Indians, First Nations and the Society of Friends. The 17th century founding of the colony of Pennsylvania was made possible by a unique accommodation among Lenape Indians and the Quaker settler colonials. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Quaker reputation for maintaining good relations with American Indians gave them influence in federal policy on Indian Reservations, at boarding schools and in adoption programs. Quakers also reached out to Canadian officials and the First Nations of Canada. Over time, the pattern of interaction between Quakers, First Nations and American Indians has taken many turns, sometimes giving rise to currents of distrust and disappointment, darkening the celebration of Pennsylvania’s mythical, original peace.

The FHA Annual Meeting on Saturday, November 12 at Haverford College included a Luncheon Meeting and Panel Presentation.

Panel Presentation: Quaker Indian Schools
Chair: Joshua Moses

  • Elizabeth Thompson, “Quakers and American Indian Assimilation: Teaching American Indian School Children their Positions”

  • Paula Palmer, “The Quaker Indian Schools, 1797-2005: What Were They Thinking?”

  • Thomas J. Lappas, “Tunesassa Echoes and the Temperance Struggle: A Family Tradition at Tunesassa Quaker Indian School, Allegany Reservation Across Generations”

Keynote speakers for the conference were John Echohawk, Pawnee, executive director of the Native American Rights Fund, and Jean Soderlund, author of Lenape Country: Delaware Valley Society before William Penn



Spring 2016


Seneca Falls

In May of 2016, Friends Historical Association sponsored a three-day tour of historic sites relating to Quakers and movements for equality (for Native Americans, African Americans, and women) in upstate New York.

See photos from the trip here.

Participants also celebrated the 200th anniversary of the 1816 Quaker Meetinghouse in Farmington, New York.

The tour included:

  • Rochester home of Susan B. Anthony, 19th century women’s rights leader

  • 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse, a center of national movements for equal rights

  • M’Clintock House, home of Thomas M’Clintock (clerk of Genesee Yearly Meeting of Friends), Mary Ann M’Clintock, and their five children, where the Declaration of Sentiments was written in 1848

  • Women’s Rights National Historical Park, Seneca Falls, site of the first women’s rights convention, where Quakers made up the largest single religious group

  • Seward House, home of William H. Seward, Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln, and Frances Seward, Quaker abolitionist and women’s rights supporter

  • Auburn home of Harriet Tubman, the “Moses of her People” and a major underground railroad agent

  • Howland Stone Store, operated by Slocum Howland, Quaker and underground railroad agent

  • North Street Meetinghouse, 1834, Orthodox Meetinghouse and major center of reform movements.

    Locations in Farmington and Sherwood were so important for reform movements that they are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Farmington Quaker Crossroads Historic District and the Sherwood Equal Rights Historic District.

    Tour participants ate dinner Friday evening with Farmington Friends Meeting and joined in meeting for worship and lunch Sunday with Friends at Poplar Ridge.