|Copying 18th-century letters|
Fredericksburgh Meeting members considered themselves remote and independent, so they reported directly to London. I never thought that was strange until I happened to mention to the librarian that most of these pioneers were Irish. His implied question was immediate: wouldn't they report to Ireland? But no, the letters are there. Maybe it was because the Religious Society of Friends started in England; London was considered the mother ship. The letters show great loyalty and attachment, even though the people writing and reading them probably never met.
With London's insistence, Fredericksburgh eventually joined New Garden Quarter, based in North Carolina. They really didn't want to. They wrote that they were "isolate" and "remote." The nearest monthly meeting, Bush River, was about 75 miles away, and New Garden a couple hundred miles. The funny thing is that during those days of walking or traveling by horse, Friends "in this wilderness" felt like New Garden was as out of reach as Mars; they preferred to answer to people on the other side of the ocean.
I found a clue. The helpful librarian brought me an article about Fredericksburgh. They turned over their minutes to Bush River Meeting about 1783. So, at some point, over 200 years ago, the minutes existed. Somebody did write things down.
|The library at Quaker House. Old prohibition posters adorn the balcony.|