Thursday, September 09, 2010

Black Mountain 2010

I spent last weekend at the beautiful Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain. I enjoyed seeing lots of friends at Yearly Meeting.

It's a 3 or 4 hour drive - depending on how many wrong turns I make - so I usually try to check out the used book stores while I'm in the mountains. I had planned to do that Monday, on the way home, but this year I actually bought more books before I even left Yearly Meeting. They set up a Quaker bookstore at the back of the meeting room, and there's always something I can't resist. I mean, I'm a genealogist and Quaker historian, and here's a whole room full of Quaker books! (Look for a future post on links and resources for Quaker books.)

I quickly had an armload of books, and had to put some back - these are all new, with "new" prices.

I bought the recently reprinted Autobiography of Allen Jay. That name is so common around my hometown that I thought he was local. But he was actually one of the northern Quakers that came down after the Civil War to help people in North Carolina rebuild. Many had moved to Indiana and other places to escape slavery laws, and more people wanted to leave after the devastation of the war. Because of Allen Jay and people like him who encouraged people to stay, we still have a thriving Quaker community in the Piedmont.

View of Asheville Hall from the creek below it
I also got Self-supported Ministers: Lest We Forget by Billy Britt, because I know the author and I might know some of the people included in this collection of biographies; and The Quakers in America by Thomas D. Hamm. I've met Thomas a couple of times and he is a wealth of fascinating Quaker history. I had been looking forward to his book and hadn't realized that it's already been out a while.

I put back George Fox's Book of Miracles. I had heard of the book in other writings, but hadn't realized that it no longer exists. This new book is a re-created version based on an extant index of the original. After skimming through it, I realized much of the content is about the scholarly process of filling in the information, which was still interesting to me as a writer.

I wasn't really tempted by another book of re-created information - because of the price, that is - but I might have to buy it someday. It's about Centre Friends Meeting in Guilford County, whose minutes were destroyed in a fire. The author has not only tried to re-create those business records, but has written a thorough genealogical reference using land records, family stories and photographs. It's pretty impressive!

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