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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:218
  • Format:Paperback
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667833248

Finding Our Foundation

A History of Plumstead Friends Meeting

by Carol Ann Gray

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Overview
Finding Our Foundation is a comprehensive and well researched history of a rural Quaker Meeting in the Philadelphia area, set in the context both of U.S. history and the history of American Quakerism. Extending over a period of more than 350 years, it is well illustrated and contains both sweeping narrative and short anecdotes about the lives of individual Friends. An appendix contains selected original documents. This is the first comprehensive history written about Plumstead Friends Meeting in a large part because its records have not survived, and may have been intentionally destroyed. The missing information slowly emerged from researching other contemporaneous documents. The title refers both to the historical foundation of the congregation, and the colonial foundation of the building which was exposed during construction in 2019, becoming the impetus for this book.
Description
Finding Our Foundation is a comprehensive and well researched history of a rural Quaker Meeting in the Philadelphia area, set in the context both of U.S. history and the history of American Quakerism. Extending over a period of more than 350 years, it is well illustrated and contains both sweeping narrative and short anecdotes about the lives of individual Friends. For example, there is a portrait of Quaker Cephas Child, who, in 1716, walked 150 miles from Maryland to his holdings in Plumstead Township, Bucks County, eventually becoming the first clerk of Plumstead Friends Meeting. And shortly after the American Revolution, the Doan brothers began their career as outlaws; two of them were hanged in Philadelphia, and are buried outside the walls of the Plumstead burial grounds. The book opens with the period before the arrival of William Penn, then moves into Plumstead Friends Meeting history in colonial America and the American Revolution. Two chapters are devoted to the schism, describing both Plumstead Hicksite and Plumstead Orthodox meetings. Another chapter concerns the post civil war Quaker theology which led to reconciliation. The final chapter brings the reader to the present day, and an extensive appendix contains selected original documents. Examples of these include the 1823 "Quaker Doctrine" issued by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, and a list of the members of Plumstead Meeting in 1869. This is the first comprehensive history written about Plumstead Friends Meeting in a large part because its records have not survived, and may have been intentionally destroyed. The missing information slowly emerged from researching other contemporaneous documents. The title refers both to the historical foundation of the congregation, and the colonial foundation of the building which was exposed during construction in 2019, becoming the impetus for this book.
About the author
Carol Ann Gray is a resident of Bucks County, Pennsylvania and is long time member of the Society of Friends. She has attended Plumstead Friends Meeting for over 20 years. She has a special interest in history and is the author of a previous book, "Fourteen Quaker Meetinghouses".
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