CONCORD QUARTERLY MEETING
(Then k/n/a Chester Quarterly Meeting)
Quarterly Meeting held at Concord the 11th day of the 8th mo: 1777 (in pertinent part)
“Such of the monthly meetings as have not already done it, are now desired speedily to appoint a Solid Committee in each Meeting to consider and preserve accounts of all Sufferings which may be inflicted on any friends within their respective limits for their faithfulness to Truth’s Testimony agreeable to the intention of the Yearly Meeting, and to be ready to advise and strengthen any of our brethren .”
Quarterly Meeting held at Concord the 10th day of the 11th mo: 1777 (in whole) (first Quarterly Meeting following the Battle of the Brandywine)
“The representatives being called all appeared.
This Meeting received reports in writing from each of the Monthly Meetings which being read we are thereby informed that the Queries have been read according to order.
That all our Religious Meetings are kept up and constantly attended by a number, but more diligence and concern still appears necessary among friends in most places, especially on week days and in the Attendance of Meetings for Discipline tho one Meeting hints some amendment herein. The hour generally observed of indecent behavior in a good degree avoided, except that of drowsiness being too much given way to. That friends are preserved in a good degree of love and unity in most places, tho by divers of the accounts there is as a sorrowful deviation from this badge of true discipleship. Tale bearing and detraction not enough discouraged by all, tho care is said to be taken to end differences and to endeavor to deal with offenders as our discipline directs.
Wilmington Monthly Meeting mentions George Wolaston’s intention to appeal to this meeting from the Judgement against him, but we are now agreeably informed by a friend that George inclines to drop his complaint and endeavor to remove the cause of uneasiness.
The general Epistle from the last Yearly Meeting in London was read at the close of the Meeting for Worship to our satisfaction and comfort, as it contains excellent advice particularly against the Evil of mixed marriages, which Advice we desire may be duly attended to by all.
The Extracts from the Minutes of our last Yearly Meeting were read over, and that Meeting, having had under their weighty consideration the sorrowful complaints of deficiencies in the religious care and education of the Youth both with respect to their pious instruction in friends families and also their schooling, and under the calming influence a Seasoning Virtue of Truth, unanimously agreed to recommend this weighty subject to the deep attention and speedy care of Quarterly Meetings; that they may appoint suitable Friends in each of them in committees to visit the Monthly, Preparative, and particular meetings or families of Friends as Truth may point out the way for a reformation with respect to the due and wakeful attendance of our religious Meetings, plainness of speech, behavior, apparel and household furniture and other deficiencies mentioned in the answers to the Queries which were the cause of deep concern and exercise. And in order to strengthen the hands of friends in the Quarterly Meetings; appointed a Committee of fourteen friends to take the matter relating to the Youth and their Religious Education and Schooling particularly under their care, and give such Advice and assistance therein and respecting other deficiencies as they in their wisdom of Truth may see expedient: divers of which Committee from other Quarters attended here to our satisfaction: and some awful remarks made touching the necessity of a real and speedy reformation the Church now in this alarming season. [Names] are appointed to the said Service and particularly enjoined by this Meeting to be careful to excite friends in the schooling of their children to put them under the care of Virtuous Tutors.
The care of friends respecting grave stones is desired to be continued until they are all removed.
As to the reports from the Monthly Meetings are mostly silent respecting slaves, this Meeting is desirous that there may still be a fervent concern among friends to labor with such Members who retain any of our fellow men in bondage, agreeable to the respected advice of the Yearly Meeting and tender an account at our next meeting.
A considerable time being spent and many expressed their sentiments on the subject of taking a part of another day to finish the business of this meeting, it appears to be the general Sense of friends that it may be most useful to hold our Youths’ Meeting at this House tomorrow instead of meeting at Chester as usual which being agreed to this Meeting adjourns to the close of the Meeting of worship tomorrow.
On the Eleventh the business opened again at the time Adjourned to and the representatives being called mostly answered: the Monthly Meetings are desired to take proper notice in speaking to those that are absent.
The Epistle from the last Yearly Meeting in London directed to the Yearly Meeting in Philadelphia containing expressions of their brotherly sympathy with, and regard for us in this time of tryal, was this day read before Men and Women parted to our edification and comfort.
Sundry of the weighty Advices contained in the Extracts being again read and solidly considered and spoken to, particularly those respecting the distilling and use of Spiritous Liquors and the polluting practice that keeping Taverns, Beer Houses etc. This Meeting being desirous that this good and intended may be answered Appoints [Name of People] to labour for a reformation of friends in the Quarter in those respects as may be directed in best Wisdom agreeable to the Advice of the Yearly Meeting and report their care and the circumstances of friends in regard thereto to a future Meeting.
It now appearing necessary that some regulations take place with respect to the holding of our Youths Meetings. Therefore [names] are appointed to meet together and consider of this matter and propose their sense thereof to next Meeting.”
Quarterly Meeting held at Concord the 9th day of the 2ndth mo: 1778 (in pertinent part) (Washington is at Valley Forge; British have occupied Philadelphia)
“Uwchlan Monthly Meeting informed this meeting that some well minded friends among them have received pay for Provisions or forage taken from them for the use of the Army, and desires the sense of the Meeting thereon; much time being spent in considering the subject, it appears to be the sense of this meeting that such a conduct is of a Nature inconsistent with our peaceable Testimony and also against the Sense and Advice of the Yearly Meeting.”
“The difficulties of the times having prevented divers of the committee appointed to visit the Monthly and Preparative Meetings etc. from attending to the service ….”
“As the Country Members of the Meeting for Sufferings in Philadelphia cannot give their attendance there as heretofore because of the interruption by the Military Guards; and a number of our beloved friends in and near the City, divers of whom were very useful members of that meeting, being banished by an arbitrary Power to a distant part of this continent, and as various occasion (sic) have and may yet occur for the brotherly assistance one of another in these times of difficulty and distress. It was moved in our last Quarterly Meeting and now again revived; That a Solid Committee be appointed to consider of and appear in all Suffering cases; and in order more fully to consider of this matter the Meeting adjourned to the rise of the Meeting of Worship tomorrow. The Meeting then resumed the Subject of yesterday, and after solid deliberation thereon the following friends were chosen for service [names] who are to meet together at least once a month, and take into their consideration all Suffering cases and appear in the behalf of any of our brethren who are or may be in Bonds or under Suffering for conscience sake as they may be directed and enobled in the Wisdom and Power of Truth, paying a due regard to our peaceable Testimony and Principles therein.”
Quarterly Meeting held at Concord the 10th day of the 8th mo: 1778. (in pertinent part)
[In answer to the first query] “About the beginning of the first month last, forcible entry was made into the Meeting House of our friends at Uwchlan for a Hospital for the American sick soldiers, and was kept for that purpose ever since until within a few days past, so that the General Meeting usually held there in the Sixth Month Yearly was not held this year for want of a convenient house; and friends there held their Meetings for worship at house of our friend George Thomas in the great valley. Excepting the above instance, our Meetings have been kept as usual and diligently attended by most families on first days ….
Quarterly Meeting held at Concord the 10th day of the 5th mo: 1779. (in pertinent part)
Wilmington Monthly Meeting queries of the Quarterly Meeting whether such persons should be dealt with as offenders who are concerned in importing goods and such as deal in goods now imported in these times of public commotion; also whether such as grind grain or feed cattle that belong to the Army ought to be looked at as offenders, and whether such as sell provisions, forage, etc. to commissaries or others for the use of the Army do bear a faithful Testimony against military service. On consideration of these Subjects, this Meeting agrees to lay the same before our next Yearly Meeting for Advice.
WILMINGTON MONTHLY MEETING held 18TH DAY 8TH Month 1777 (n pertinent part)
The Friends appointed report they: all attended the Quarterly Meeting and Inform this Meeting that it was recommended to Monthly Meetings the appointing of a committee to collect a regular account of the Sufferings of Friends now in this time of tryal agreeable to the advice of our Yearly Meeting. Also to give advice to those who may be in Difficulty the Meeting therefore appoints [names] ….
CHESTER MONTHLY MEETING (Middletown was then a Preparative Meeting) held the 27th day of 10th month 1777 (in pertinent part)
The Preparative Meetings are Desired to endeavor to raise subscriptions to be applied to the Relief of such as are or may be hereafter in Necessitous Circumstances in this time of Tryal and Suffering.
CONCORD MONTHLY MEETING (Birmingham was then a Preparative Meeting) held the 5th day of 11th month 1777 (in pertinent part)
“Birmingham Preparative Meeting brings a complaint against Charles Dilworth for taking the Tests prescribed by an Act of Assembly under present Commotions and likewise for much neglecting the attendance of our religious meetings.”
CONCORD MONTHLY MEETING (Concord was then a Preparative Meeting) held the 4th day of 11th month 1778 (in pertinent part)
“Concord Preparative Meeting brings a complaint against Gideon Gilpin for taking the Tests so called or Declaration of allegiance to the Present Unsettled Powers as also for setting up a Tavern or Place of Entertainment.”
GOSHEN MONTHLY MEETING held the 9th day of 11th month 1778 (in pertinent part)
“The friends in Suffering Cases report they have met several times & had the case of Sufferings under care & we believe there is none that suffer for want of food & clothing & friends have not yet furnished us with their acco. of suffering who may be weak and wavering in this time of great difficulty and distress, and make report t our next Meeting.”