Title

From The Hicksites To The Progressive Friends: The Rural Roots Of Perfectionism And Social Reform Among North American Friends

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2006

Published In

Quaker Studies

Abstract

In the 1840s and 1850s, North American Friends endured a series of localized separations. This paper examines the Progressive Friends separations in Genesee Yearly Meeting in 1848, centered in the 'burned-over district' of New York State, and in Western Quarterly Meeting of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Hicksite) in 1852-53. Both separations had roots in the controversy among Friends over appropriate anti-slavery activities and both challenged the existing structures of the Religious Society of Friends. These separations were both radical and rural, and mark a distinct change from the earlier deference of Friends towards the leadership of London and Philadelphia Yearly Meetings.